May 2013 Archives

The advertising ecosystem today is inventing smart, unique campaigns that use the latest interactive advances to engage consumers. The results are powerful.  With audiences bombarded by marketing messages in every medium, advertisers are pushing the envelope to get attention and creating a truly dynamic marketplace as they surprise, delight, and win followers.

In response, we’ve added seven new categories to this year’s IAB MIXX Awards to make sure the best, most forward-thinking work gets noticed. Through the global IAB MIXX Awards, the IAB recognizes the talent that crafts this innovative, leading edge and high impact creative. The new categories give the digital industry more opportunities to showcase how brands and agencies move their business - and the advertising industry - forward.

Iab-mixx-awards-2013-logo.jpgBranded Utility
A successful branded utility campaign has the power to embed the use of the brand into consumers’ everyday behavior—Nike+ FuelBand, the 2013 IAB MIXX Awards Gold winner in Digital Integration—is the perfect example.  David’s Bridal recently got media attention for its app that lets brides make wish lists, interact with bridesmaids, keep track of their bridal purchases, plan the wedding party, show her current mood through an icon, upload images, log-in via Facebook and send invites to friends through the social network.  Those newlyweds might then move on to using the Chip It! app from 2012 IAB MIXX Awards’ “Best in Show” winners Sherwin Williams and McKinney that lets you match real world colors with paint colors. 

Content Marketing
Content marketing is increasingly recognized as a new channel for brand marketers.  At least two major agencies recently announced new units devoted to helping clients with content marketing development.  American Express is well known for its “OPEN” Forum dispensing advice of all kinds to small businesses.  Lincoln Motor Company’s “Lincoln Now” site features content that celebrates design, technology and art, and in the process, the company’s 90-year history of making cars.

Augmented Reality
Augmented reality campaigns take advantage of consumers’ addictive smartphone behavior by creating often game-like apps that communicate brand messages in clever ways.  How do you get an adult audience to rekindle their love of Lucky Charms cereal?  This year Lucky Charms agency Saatchi and Saatchi created an augmented reality app that sent customers on a “Chase for the Charms,” complete with a $10,000 “pot of gold” at the end of the rainbow.

Custom Mobile Rich Media Display  AND IAB Standard Mobile Rich Media Display

With mobile advertising skyrocketing by 111% in 2012 as reported in our recent study, brands are out to take advantage of the landslide shift of eyeballs to mobile. Major publishers like USA Today, New York Times, ESPN and more are hosting rich media ads on their mobile apps, and platforms like Google, Twitter, Facebook and Pandora are drawing huge mobile audiences.  Last year the IAB established its first-ever mobile ad standards — the Mobile Rising Stars.  Agencies are expressing great creative ideas through these new formats with great consumer and business effect.  For example, Dunkin’ Donuts and Celtra used Facebook for a mobile ad using rich media and HTML5 to let users customize their perfect drink.

Clicks-to-Bricks
Retail brand marketers are using interactive in significant ways to drive traffic to their brick and mortar stores.  Macy’s created an all-purpose Black Friday app last November that enabled shoppers to preview and get push notification on Black Friday specials, create lists to share with friends and family, direct shoppers toward local store specials and preview exclusive items.  The app’s debut coincided with Macy’s holiday broadcast campaign featuring spots with Justin Bieber, Carlos Santana, Martha Stewart and Taylor Swift.  The IAB MIXX Awards honor not just creativity but impact and nowhere is ROI felt more immediately than in a retail environment

What’s next? We’ve added one final category to find out:

Can’t be Contained!  - Any execution so experimental and innovative that it defies categorization in the IAB MIXX Awards!
Technology is moving fast, and cutting edge agencies and brand marketers are keeping up with it.  “Can’t be Contained” offers agencies and brand marketers the chance to submit their campaigns using the latest most experimental, groundbreaking technology.  No doubt there are even more forward thinking digitally savvy campaigns on the horizon.

Learn more about the global IAB MIXX Awards at iab.net/mixxawards.

About the Author 
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Peter Minnium
As the Head of Brand Initiatives at IAB, Peter Minnium leads a series of initiatives designed to address the under-representation of creative brand advertising online. He can be reached on Twitter @PeterMinnium.

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Social Media: Planning for Real Time in Sports Marketing

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At the IAB’s Social Media Agency Day last month, held in the beautiful offices of AppNexus in New York City, I had the honor of moderating the sports marketing panel. The event’s title, “Social: Planning for the Real Time,” was apt given that sports is a highly conducive venue for real-time marketing. That is especially the case with social media marketing, which, increasingly, requires marketers to be constantly on their toes, ready to take advantage of any important moment — or relevant opportunity within or around a sporting event — in which their brand could potentially benefit or add to the evolving story of that game, match or event. In short, the combination of sports, social media and real-time marketing are a potent elixir for savvy markets and brands wishing to tap into consumers’ insatiable demand for smart, visually appealing content.

I led a discussion with three distinguished panelists. We discussed a number of topics related to real-time sports marketing, but first, we had to get the obvious out of the way: Oreo’s now-famous Super Bowl blackout ad. While the Oreo ad featured prominently in much of our discussion about how social media and real-time marketing are changing sports marketing — for better and worse — the panelists quickly made it clear that the ad shouldn’t live in a vacuum. The reality of real-time social media marketing in sports is that it’s not just the big, epochal moments that make for great marketing opportunities for brands. It’s what you do to integrate your brand within the broader context of the sporting event between the pitches, between the downs and after the whistle blows that sets the digitally savvy brands apart from those that allow themselves to be bystanders.

I asked each sports marketer to reflect on what real time marketing means to their organization, how social fits into the equation and how success is measured.  Below is a synopsis of each of their thoughts on how real-time social media marketing is altering the sports marketing landscape, with some of their favorite examples.

Marla Newman | Senior Vice President of Sales | Fox Sports Digital

Real time marketing means engaging with our fans in a way that enhances their viewing experience, their sports knowledge and/or their fandom. Social is the most effective vehicle for real time marketing — in fact they are synonymous.

In terms of inserting ourselves within non-obvious real-time marketing situations, it’s important for us to extend the relationship they have with our brand and our talent on-air and deepen that relationship. It’s important for us to be relevant to their sports experience, which enables us to be considered the go-to source of info and continue to make sports fun. 

Fox_Sports_Logo_KT_blog.pngWhat does success look like? I don’t think anybody has cracked this code yet. We can only look to show increases in the number of our fans engaging — tweet, re-tweeting, taking any form of action then we are heading in the right direction.



Tweet_your_heart_out_KT_blog.pngJonathan Perelman | Vice President of Agency Strategy and Industry Development | BuzzFeed

Social media is all about real-time. I think real-time marketing is quite simple: it’s capturing a moment in a natural and organic way.

Tricks don’t work in social; the consumer can see right through it. To be good in real-time social media marketing, brands need to capture a moment and evoke emotions.

MLB_image_KT_blog.jpgThe concern is that marketers will try too hard and will want to turn every event into a real-time marketing opportunity; that simply won’t work. I love a BuzzFeed example in which we worked with MLB 2K13, the video game that launched around the start of the 2013 Major League Baseball season. 

BuzzFeed_image_KT_blog.pngAnother good example with BuzzFeed is work we did with the NHL around the playoffs in 2012. Leveraging known tent-pole events and allowing great content to find its audience served both brands well.

Tide_image_KT_blog.pngAs for a non-obvious situation, I’m impressed with the Tide newsroom. Tide quickly took advantage of a crash at the Daytona 500, where the crew used Tide to clean the crash site. Tide aggressively used a spontaneous moment and filled the social Web with organic, timely content.

Success on the social Web is about sharing. A key metric in that respect is how often a piece of content is shared/reproduced on the social Web. It’s very difficult to simply make something go “viral.” Creating shareable content that captures the moment and evokes emotion is what works on the social Web. These qualities are what make sports so much fun to watch and talk about.   


Patrick Albano | Vice President of Sales | Mobile and Innovation, Yahoo! Sports

Yahoo_image_KT_blog.pngWe have taken a few interesting approaches to real-time marketing that have helped brands scale this concept. Brands reacting quickly and pushing content or commentary out over social channels is attractive. But we find it’s difficult to scale and sustain this strategy. We have developed ways to help brands understand the stories that are going to go viral before they do and have been able to attach a brand to that content as people start talking about those topics and sharing relevant content. Imagine if we could have told the Oreo team there was a blackout coming and allowed them to prep their integration ahead of time?

A good example of this was the work we did with a wireless service provider for last year’s NCAA tournament. Our editors created “bundles” of content in real time based on the major sports stories in the new. We integrated the brand into the story that day, so all of the discussion and sharing that occurred around the story included the brand.

Another great example is our Smart Ads program, which a large beer brand took advantage during the 2012-13 fantasy football season. The actual ads within the game updated in real time with the names of teams and scores from the previous Sunday’s fantasy match ups, sparking smack talk sponsored by the brand.  

Football_image_KT_blog.jpgSuccess for these campaigns comes in the form of engagement and earned media. We see up to 20 times the engagement lifts with the real-time personalized ads. By attaching to content that’s already being shared and discussed the brand “rides along” and earns media without having to have a news desk or clever social media manager. We’ve also seen 2-3 times the lift in purchase intent and brand favorability based on the brands being able to relate in real time.

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This is the third in the blog series that provides an overview of discussions from the April 3, 2013 “Social - Planning for Real-Time” Agency Day including ways that Travel, CPG, Sports, and Auto have planned social for real-time to make their marketing dollars work harder, and is also a part of IAB Social Media Committee member initiatives focusing on the intersection of Social with Paid, Owned, and Earned Media Best Practices. For more information, contact Susan Borst, Directory Industry Initiatives, IAB - [email protected]. #iabsocial 
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About the Author


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Keith Trivitt

Keith Trivitt is the Director of Marketing and Communications at MediaWhiz where he focuses on strategy, brand, partnerships and the company’s narrative. He is a member of the IAB Social Media Committee and can be found on Twitter at @KeithTrivitt.

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Social Media: Planning for Real Time in Consumer Package Goods

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Recently, I had the privilege of moderating the CPG panel during the IAB Social Media Agency Day. The title of the event was a bit paradoxical; “Social: Planning for Real Time”, but given that marketers are dedicating more and more of their budgets toward social media, they are increasingly leaning on their agency partners to do something that they haven’t traditionally been asked to do, namely plan for the unexpected. The recent “poster child” for a brand that did this successfully is, of course, Oreos during Super Bowl XLVII (which was jokingly referred to during the event as “Lord Voldemort” i.e. the campaign which shall not be named—precisely because everyone has been talking about it.) Organized by the IAB’s Social Media Committee, this event discussed real time social media planning by different verticals:  CPG, Travel, Auto and Sports. “By featuring different categories, we were able to show a great range of real time social media examples”, said IAB committee liaison, Susan Borst, adding, “You don’t have to be a Super Bowl advertiser to have real time social media impact.”

With me on the panel were three social media notables: 
Our conversation ranged from the Oscars to the tragedy in Newtown and highlighted key insights that CPG/Food brands and their agencies need to keep in mind as they strive to engage with consumers in ways that are both meaningful to them—after all, they wield the power today, don’t they?—and true to the brand promise.
 
Phil Ripperger: What does real time mean to you and how does social media fit into the equation?  

Emily Culp: Humans are real time, and brands need to be more and more humanized (by the very humans who create them!). This doesn’t mean jumping up in every possible moment. It means, just like a human, that brands should add value in relevant moments. 

What is a relevant moment? How do you know as a human? You can feel it. Brands need to be listening, asking questions, and engaging with their consumers in a way that adds value and allows them to feel when topical content or value is right. 

As marketers, we go to school to learn classical marketing (5Ps) and then spend the weekend acting as a consumer might. Those two things need to come together, with the rise of mobile. Getting out of campaign mindsets and living and breathing each day is the real value of real time. 

How do we do that? It means we need a team full of smart, innovative, pioneering marketing minds and the support of legal, comms, and the executives to support something that might not feel quite as comfortable but will resonate with our consumers & sell more units.

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Dina Freeman: At BabyCenter, being prepared for real time means more than pushing stuff out during big events like the Oscars or Super Bowl. Every day, moms in the BabyCenter Community are talking to other moms with similar due dates or children who are the same age, asking for advice and product recommendations. Our Talk Tracker tool can pinpoint when these conversations are happening down to the exact week of pregnancy or a child’s life. This represents an enormous opportunity for brands who want to reach moms at the exact time that they are making decisions about that product or service. That’s as real time as it gets. 

GG: Real time is creating and distributing content that is consumed right at that moment about topics that are relevant to a specific time period. Examples - talking about the Oscars DURING the TV broadcast or covering fashion week in NY as it’s happening. The content loses its relevance after a very short period of time. Social is the absolute perfect place to distribute real time content. People are checking it all times, it is interactive, it is short form, and it is highly mobile.
 
PR: Why is it important that we’re talking about it and what are some examples of how it’s being done right? 

DF: When we dissect new trends until we’re all sick of hearing about them, we move the industry forward. As much as people are tired of hearing about the OREO moment, it was monumental in bringing real time social to the surface. It forced brands to pay attention and create a strategy.  

One important question for brands to ask is when shouldn’t we be engaging in real time social?  When national tragedies hit, like the Boston Marathon bombing or Newtown, it’s wise for brands to immediately take the temperature of their fans and be prepared to remove all posts in all social networks if necessary.  We learned this during the Newtown tragedy back in December. When the news hit, we were in shock along with the rest of the nation. While grappling with the senselessness, we forgot to pull our pre-programmed posts, including a celebrity-focused Facebook post that was not right for that moment.  Our moms instantly let us know that this was not appropriate and we agreed with them apologizing for the oversight.  We then decided to pull all posts for a couple of days because, frankly, nothing seemed right to us either.  All of that to say, it’s as important to be prepared and have a checklist for those real time moments when silence is golden.   

GG: Because real time / social content is driving consumption on mobile and everyone has smart phones and are using them as content consumption devices on top of communication devices. Brands that take advantage of real world events are doing it well - obviously Oreo cookies but brands like Burberry do an amazing job covering fashion week (both their own brands and other brands) and L’Oreal does a good job having events during the Golden Globes and Grammys.

EC: Social moves units. It gives us context for consumers. It drives them to specific retail locations. And more than anything, it builds a deeper relationship with a brand they actually want to talk to. 

At Unilever, we want the best idea to win and fast. So that means we can’t just rely on marketing models with historic data & react solely to that. We’re passionate about our consumers, bringing them closer to us and making the brand a part of their lives is far more interesting. 

This is about pre-work, it’s about having your entire team and your agencies working together before that real time moment (whether it’s the Super Bowl or a Monday afternoon that matters in your community). Just as we used to plan ahead for crisis, we should plan ahead for positive moments where a brand can add value.
 
PR: Now to put my market researchers hat on and ask my favorite question about social media: How do you know if it’s successful—how do you measure it? 

GG: If lots of people are consuming the content.  If the content is being syndicated on Twitter by both the brand’s account and on tons of influencer accounts, it will be viewed by lots of people. An even better testament is the engagement. If people start sharing and commenting on the content it is even better. Measuring hard metrics like Post views on Facebook, retweets on Twitter, pins on Pinterest etc. are a good start. 

EC: We played with content during the Grammys to understand what we would do during the Oscars on Dove. This is about testing and learning. What matters is that our engagement numbers on those pieces of content go up compared to a normal day.

D.F.: Measurement really depends on the platform, but overall, we measure success by the level of engagement.  We look at Social Actions, which is any action taken on a post regardless of platform. Comments, likes, shares, photo views, photo submissions, pins/repins, clicks … the list goes on and on. Our clients are also interested in Social Impressions, or the number of times a post is displayed on Facebook and Twitter.  

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This is the second in the blog series that provides an overview of discussions from the April 3, 2013 “Social - Planning for Real Time” Agency Day including ways that Travel, CPG/Food, Sports, and Auto have planned social for real time to make their marketing dollars work harder, and is also a part of IAB Social Media Committee member initiatives focusing on the intersection of Social with Paid, Owned, and Earned Media Best Practices. 


About the Author

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Phil Ripperger

Phil Ripperger is Vice President, New Media Solutions at IRI. Phil focuses on driving partnerships with Tier 1 publishers, ad networks, and digital media research companies to create breakthrough solutions for CPG and retail companies. He is a member of the IAB Social Media Committee and on Twitter at @RipperP

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GRPs are coming at you…like a train,” warned George Ivie, CEO and Executive Director at the Media Rating Council (MRC). Presenting in a webinar the IAB hosted Monday, April 15, Ivie offered some insight on the buy-side push for certified viewable impressions that will eventually play a role in the all important cross-media GRPs. 

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The most difficult aspect of adopting a viewable impression has been the lack of a standard way to measure viewability, especially for ads that are rendered within iframes. The IAB’s recently released SafeFrame specification and open source reference implementation is the solution, but time is running out and the industry faces some challenges that must be overcome. 

Here’s what you need to know about viewability and SafeFrame:

The Buyer’s demand for viewable impressions is old news
Companies, such as measurement verification services, have been asking the MRC to audit their methods for measuring viewability of buyers’ ads on publisher placements long before viewability became a buzzword in today’s media.

3MS is a cross-industry coalition committed to developing brand-building digital metrics and cross-platform measurement solutions. The first principle of the initiative is to help the industry shift from currency based on “served” impressions to currency based on “viewable” impressions.

In November of last year, the MRC issued an advisory that outlines some of the limitations in measuring viewability and asked the buying and selling communities to refrain from engaging in transactions that involve viewable impressions as a currency, ideally, until the issues can be addressed. 

In Q4 2013, the MRC will lift its advisory “and the floodgates will open,” advised Ivie in a review of the MRC timeline for addressing viewability measurement. At that time, the marketplace will move on, with or without us.

Viewability measurement is fragmented
As already mentioned, several marketplace vendors are coming to the MRC to request audits on their methods for measuring viewability. The MRC is legally required to honor such requests. However, with no formal guidelines describing this new counting procedure, each company is validated against the MRC’s own stringent methodological standards and then reviewed against the company’s audited abilities.

The proliferation of methodologies for measuring viewability is actually a good thing, in that it showcases the industry’s ability to innovate and adjust to the needs of the market. However, these different methodologies represent a fragmented marketplace. Fragmentation in digital advertising has always created friction and interfered with the flow of advertising budgets.

Compounding the issue is the high level of variability across vendors. In a test on 22 live campaigns involving more than 3 billion impressions, viewable rates varied from a high of more than 78% to a low of 7%. Several reasons exist for not being able to measure viewability, but the leading cause of such variable rates was the inability to measure from within cross-domain iframes.

SafeFrame is a window into viewability
A cross-domain iframe is essentially the webpage of one server inside a container on the webpage of a different server. Measuring viewability under these conditions is the technical equivalent of trying figure out where you are in the world from within a sound and lightproof box—a task that is nearly impossible without the ability to escape the box or communicate with someone outside of it.

Some methodologies can circumvent the iFrame to a limited extent, however, with regard to current accreditations on viewability conducted by the MRC, Ivie notes that “NONE of the vendors can see ALL of the inventory.” 

While no amount of technology or distinct methodologies will likely ever be able to measure ALL inventory, the 2012 release of IAB SafeFrame 1.0 can help companies close the gap on viewable variability. 

IAB SafeFrame is a cross-domain iframe with an API that enables communication between the content in the SafeFrame and the hosting webpage. With SafeFrame in place, security is maintained while communication lifts limitations on functionality, including the ability to measure viewability on ads. 
Explaining that future accreditations on viewability will be based on a standard currently in development, Ivie predicts that SafeFrame will likely play an important role in many successful accreditations.

Challenges exist
IAB SafeFrame is a long-awaited solution to addressing issues clouding viewability measurement in cross-domain iframes. Once publishers have implemented SafeFrame, they can achieve transparency while maintaining control over the iframe-contained content served to their pages. Ad servers or vendors can also measure viewability with SafeFrame but must develop functionality to take advantage of the SafeFrame API.

The IAB has identified 3 key challenges the marketplace faces as we enter a phase of SafeFrame adoption.

1. Complexity for publishers with multiple properties: For publisher companies that own multiple properties, implementing SafeFrame across all sites is a time-consuming task made more complex by the fact that each site may operate differently. 

To address this challenge:
  • Focus on implementing SafeFrame on high-value properties first
  • Consider working with your sell-side ad server to implement SafeFrame to simplify implementation so that all you need is a JavaScript tag you can distribute to your sites that in turn implements the SafeFrame
2. Lack of testing tools for vendors: Buy-side vendors (viewability and rich media) won’t be able to capture SafeFrame data until their SafeFrame functionality is properly implemented. Vendors need a testing tool to help them with proper implementation 

To address this challenge:
  • IAB is developing a testing tool vendors can use to test their SafeFrame-enabled tags
  • Create tags that work with the SafeFrame API and test them in IAB’s testing tool when it’s available
3. Lack of established benchmarks: The market needs viewability benchmarks based on test data from SafeFrame enabled environments. Having just been released in February of this year, very few SafeFrame implementations exist for testing. 

To address this challenge:
  • Publishers should implement SafeFrame as soon as possible and begin collecting data to show what they can measure with SafeFrame
  • Vendors should use SafeFrame tags with publishers who have implemented SafeFrame and begin     collecting data that they can compare with publishers
  • Select publishers and vendors should consider working with 3MS and the MRC to re-run pilot tests that establishes comparative benchmarks to those gathered in the aforementioned MRC viewability tests
IAB can help
Ivie noted that the MRC can help a little, but that the IAB can help a lot and companies should lean on the IAB to move forward with SafeFrame adoption.

To move forward, the IAB is calling for participation in the following:
  • Publishers: Help the IAB define a “Publisher Onboarding Guide” for the industry to use as they work toward SafeFrame implementation
  • Vendors: Create tags that work with the SafeFrame API and test them in the IAB’s testing tool when it’s available
  • Publishers and Vendors: Contact MRC about participating in a round of viewability testing where SafeFrame is used. Particularly useful in these tests are companies that have already participated in earlier rounds of testing where SafeFrame wasn’t used
There is a train coming; we can’t stop it, but at least with SafeFrame you’ll be able to see it. 


About the Author 

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Steve Sullivan (with contribution from Katie Stroud)

Steve Sullivan is VP of Advertising Technology at the IAB, and on Twitter at @SteveSullivan32.