3 Key Takeaways from IAB Digital Video Agency Day

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2012 is fast becoming the year of Sight, Sound and Motion, if you haven’t already noticed. The proliferation of tablets is helping to fuel the flames around the globe. But the content bonfire is happening beyond any of their borders.

This year opened with “the money shot” in entertainment — the Super Bowl, followed by the Jeremy Lin “Linsanity” passing the ball to the Hunger Games. Continuing with that sports analogy, The Olympics will soon drive down the middle and setup the assist to the summer political conventions rabidly known for brand spin and personal storytelling.

Fresh premium entertainment content premiering on powerhouse webcasters holds the potential to redefine TV this fall and it is anyone’s guess what the holiday season will hold for innovation in retailing, travel, and shopping. As Occupy Wall Street and Arab Spring leaders will tell you, the revolution will be streamed. So where does that leave those of us in commercial messaging?


Last week at the IAB Digital Video Agency Day we scratched the surface of the some of the thorniest question facing us as an industry: Measurement, Creativity, and the role of Digital Video (“DV”) in media planning. For various reasons each of these questions currently impedes the sector’s growth potential. For some it is a matter of reducing friction in supply chain, for others, the story lies in unlocking the potential of the medium to speak with a voice we don’t hear in other platforms. A few themes emerged, and I had three key takeaways:

1. DV needs to be a higher priority in media planning.

It is a front line strategy, not an afterthought. Savvy marketers understand that translating a :30 into a :15 rarely unlocks the platform’s optimal potential. Leading creative executions from Droga5, HUGE, M ss ng P eces, Anomaly, and Blast Radius displayed cutting edge visuals with an eye toward biometrics, social media, and gameification — trends that will define the space. Marketers are increasingly seeing themselves as content producers who need to fill the pipes every week — if not daily — with fresh content on Facebook Pages and fan blogs. Agencies continue to be the ad sherpa into the heights of the unknown reaches of social marketing. The need for greater innovation was urgent and clear.

2. Measurement is a blueprint, tools build the house.

We must improve measurement, and work with publishing partners who control differentiated technology. Not only in theory, but in practice. Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) laid out the market case for a shift toward a viewable impression and demographic GRP. These concepts, in conjunction with upcoming pilots, resonated with audience members desperate to have clearer ROI metric across all media. At times as an industry we tend to get ahead of ourselves, focusing on the wish-list items as opposed to the must-haves. We need to be able to compare apples to apples first, before diving deeper into discussions about Granny Smith versus Red Delicious.

Measurement heavyweights comScore and Nielsen opine on measurement tools and audience tracking. We still have a great deal of ground to cover in that direction, particularly on the mobile front. The MRC will play a large hand regulating the means of this new digital currency. The new coin of the realm must then be considered as legal tender throughout the empire, in order to be successful.

3. Creativity turns heads and wallets.

The price is what you pay, value is what you get - invest in creative and choice media to feature your distinct point-of-view. The flexibility, scale and budget effectiveness of DV allows the medium to be both cavalry and ninja in the attack. The afternoon’s creative showcase underscored this perspective.

We will be debating many of these challenges further at the IAB Digital Video Marketplace this Tuesday, April 10, as we address many of these challenges and strive to drive innovations in the digital video ecosystem. Come join us!

About the Author


Seneca Mudd

Seneca Mudd directs IAB’s programs and member initiatives for the Digital Video, Networks and Exchanges, Social Media, and Multicultural Committees and Councils. He specializes in industrial solutions, market development, and revenue advocacy among the advertising agency community. He can be reached on Twitter @muddzhlinger.