IAB Digital Video 2011 Recap

Digital Video 2011

Digital Video: Channeling Innovation

The sold-out 2011 IAB Digital Video Marketplace kicked off on April 4 in New York City as more than 400 brand marketers, agency executives, and other media professionals gathered to explore a vibrant medium that is becoming much more than just TV on the web. The annual event—which started five years ago with the theme Broadband and Beyond—centers around the targetable, interactive, robust platform that empowers brands to become full-fledged content creators, rivaling the work of television networks.

What exactly are we talking about when we talk about “digital video?” Robert Davis, Worldwide Marketing Director, Digital, Digital Video Practice Lead, Ogilvy Worldwide, and Brian Shin, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Visible Measure, challenged the audience to collectively “define” the landscape after absorbing the lessons and themes from the day. The pair also shared their own insights, ideas, and opinions on the landscape. Davis sees users in the driver’s seat, noting that it is their increasing consumption of digital video that is forcing advertisers to play catch up on search optimization, monetization, and scalability. Shin also highlighted the leadership of the user when he talked about how consumer choice in ad selection drives brand lift and recall. In terms of scale, Davis said the industry must be open to accepting that engagement with the right people may be better than awareness with a lot more of the wrong people.

Content led the next session as Tom Pickett, Director, Global Content Operations and Online Creators, YouTube, and Lance Podell, Director, Global Head of the YouTube Next Lab and Audience Development, Google, revealed the thinking behind the recent acquisition of Next New Networks. Sharing the “secret sauce”—proven tips and techniques that have super-charged content—with the UGC creators is helping the platform thrive and appeal more broadly to a user who is leading the advertiser, rather than being led by them.
The work of the IAB’s largest committee—the Digital Video Committee—took center stage as Committee Co-Chairs Suzie Reider, Head of Ad Sales, YouTube & Google Display, and Joey Trotz, Senior Director, Strategic Advertising and Digital Technologies, Turner Broadcasting, talked through the recent initiatives of the four working groups: Digital Narratives, VAST & VPAID Technical Updates, VAST and VPAID Compliance & Education, and Video Measurement. Reider also unveiled the results of, “An Inside Look at Demand-Side Perceptions of Digital Video Advertising,” a comprehensive survey examining the views of marketers and agencies that illustrates the increasing shift in ad dollars to digital video. View the complete study here.

With no shortage of video metrics available in the marketplace and a lack of unified, cross-platform metrics , buyers and sellers continue to struggle to make measurement make sense. Should the online industry speak the language of TV? Which measurement company can scale in the current landscape? How granularly can you really break down the data and where does that lead you? Julie DeTraglia, Vice President, Digital Research, NBC Universal Digital Media, posed these questions to Megan Tweed, Media Director, Razorfish; Jeff Ranter, Senior Vice President, Digital Director, Zenith Optimedia; Bill Lederer, Chief Executive Officer, Kantar, and Jon Gibs, Senior Vice President, Analytics and Insight, The Nielsen Company, during “The Great White Whale of Unified Measurement.”
Hollywood star power took the spotlight in the afternoon. Kevin Pollak, Host, Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show, and Chris Young, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Digital Broadcast Group, both part of the team behind Multi Award-Winning Actor Kiefer Sutherland’s new original online series “The Confession”, introduced a video address from Kiefer, (who was unable to be there in person due to a last-minute emergency). Then, they dove into a discussion of the burgeoning trend of high-quality, original digital-only video content. The best way for advertisers to take advantage? Young called it “brand utili-tainment” –a mix of utility and entertainment in brand created original content.  

As the marketplace evolves at breakneck speed, it can be challenging to know how to take advantage of new and upcoming trends. The audience went behind the scenes with four technologies that are emerging as a new reality. Anshu Dua, Vice President of Mobile Business Development, YuMe, explored the YuMe Mobile Connect Ad-Unit, a full screen, interactive mobile video ad experience. Zvika Netter, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Innovid, launched iRoll Apps Studio. Jen Soch, Senior Vice President, Activation Director, Advanced TV, MediaVest USA, untangled the new age of complexity brought on by addressable TV and addressable advertising. Kenny Miller, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Creative Director, the KM.com, and Co-Founder, Starling.tv, shared insights on co-viewing—the result of an audience being driven to watch TV and interact with specific social applications and tools simultaneously.

The day wrapped up with several in-depth case studies. Vin Farrell, Vice President, Digital Studio, R/GA, and Luane Kohnke, Senior Vice President, Managing Director, Analytics and Accountability, R/GA, outlined the need for a holistic connection between content and analytics, detailing how their “story and system” approach accomplished the goals of the Nike Head 2 Head campaign and the Walmart Project Dream Dorm campaign. Kohnke was quick to point out the importance of both the social and paid media behind both examples. It takes the paid media to drive users to the viral aspect—neither stands on its own in an integrated campaign. Then, Erin Clift, Senior Vice President, Branded Experiences, AOL; Carrie Frolich, Managing Director, Digital Media, MEC Interaction and Kevin Jonas, Sr., Co-Founder and Partner, Jonas Group, dissected AT&T’s involvement with Cambio—an entertainment platform the connects teens with all their favorite things, specifically music artists. Giving the brand a real, relevant reason to be there is imperative for a seamless user experience, they said.

From the fast-paced Marketplace sessions, main stage presentations, workshops, networking opportunities, and closing cocktails, the sold-out 2011 IAB Digital Video Marketplace pushed the conversation about the future of digital video to the next level and raised the bar on the momentum for growth in the coming year.

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Videos from the stage courtesy of Freewheel  FreeWheel