January 2014 Archives

On Tuesday, January 28th, the Wall Street Journal posted an article focused on the release of an IAB paper “Privacy and Tracking in a Post-Cookie World.” The story on WSJ.com originally contained three errors related to fundamental aspects of the IAB’s membership, technical ramifications of described technology and the nature of the document discussing current technological alternatives to the cookie. We appreciate the Journal’s willingness to make those fixes resulting in a decidedly more accurate representation of the IAB and the digital advertising industry. However, I would still like to address a few instances of language selection that could be easily misinterpreted by an average reader.

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First, I would like to explain what a cookie is and how it works, since the description in the Wall Street Journal wasn’t on the mark.

The IAB’s Wiki calls it “a string of text from a web server to a user’s browser that the browser is expected to send back to the web server in subsequent interactions.” Yes, the cookie is also the means by which tracking and preference management happens today in digital advertising, but “code” is another word for software that implies active functionality. As anyone familiar with web or internet technology knows, a cookie is just a marker like a security badge (the analogy given in our whitepaper) or a supermarket customer loyalty card.

Second, within the article, there is an implication that client-generated state management (device IDs) could consolidate online tracking in the hands of specific vendors.

In fact those vendors would only control the underlying mechanism that creates the IDs and not the nature of the way those IDs are used by the industry. This is equivalent to saying that the phone company has control over your supermarket loyalty program data because in that case the ID is your phone number. In fact, within this particular solution class, we have seen two very privacy-centric implementations by Apple and Google in their respective mobile operating systems.

The third potential misinterpretation comes from the statement that device IDs solve the problem of cross device tracking.

Since client-generated state is created within a specific operating environment (such as a device operating system or a browser) it does not enable cross-device tracking. In fact, no current implementations of client-generated state allow automatic industry-wide cross-browser or cross-device tracking. This can and should only ever be possible at the bequest of the user.

Lastly, the cloud solution class described in the document is meant to be a connector between different state management technologies, not a warehouse of personal data, as asserted in the article. 

In fact, the cloud technology envisioned in the whitepaper could become the technology that enables a user to synchronize their advertising preferences across devices and domains. 

In fairness to the journalist, I recognize that this is rather technical for a general business audience. But, we at the IAB feel it is important to accurately represent technology and prevent the perpetuation of misunderstanding for the purpose of easy readability.

About the Author

Steve-Sullivan-headshot.pngSteve Sullivan 



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

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By: IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence and Millennial Media

As the latest in our series of research projects on how owning mobile devices changes the way people live their daily lives—on both typical days and special occasions—IAB teamed up with Millennial Media to survey Americans’ plans to watch Super Bowl XLVIII, including what they expected to be doing with their smartphones during the big game.  We enriched the survey findings with 2103 Super Bowl mobile media and advertising insights drawn from Millennial’s network that have implications for this coming Sunday. 

According to an IAB survey conducted online by Harris Interactive in January among over 2,000 U.S. adults, 74 percent of American adults said they are planning to watch the Super Bowl this year.  That’s a slight increase from the 70 percent of American adults who said they planned to watch in 2012 (per a similar IAB study).  The past two years have also seen a dramatic change in smartphone adoption:  In 2012, 43 percent of Americans planning to watch the Super Bowl owned a smartphone.  In 2014, that number has grown to 61 percent.  For marketers running ads during the game, then, having mobile ties built into those expensive commercial slots is transitioning from a nice to have to a must have, as a strong majority of likely viewers will be able to take advantage of a smartphone call to action.

This strong usage trend was reflected on the Millennial Media platform during the 2013 game, as total mobile traffic on their platform on Super Bowl Sunday was 10 percent above average. In fact, Millennial also saw that mobile traffic in Sports apps was 54 percent higher than the platform average, and traffic in Social apps was 7 percent higher.

 

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The IAB survey this year found that 57 percent of smartphone owners with plans to watch the game expected they would use their phones during the game.  And a number of specific activities stood out.  As far as communication channels, 36 percent of the smartphone-owning game-intenders said they’d use their smartphone to text, email, and/or instant message with friends (the most-cited activity), while 21 percent said they’d be posting to social media and only 16 percent said they expected they’d call friends and family to talk about the games.  Multitasking is also important:  20 percent said they’d be checking non-Super Bowl-related news and information.  And ads are important too: 14 percent expected to look up information about ads or products advertised during the game.


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We looked at how the activity data break down between men and women.  Eighty-three percent of male smartphone owners plan to watch the Super Bowl, versus 75 percent of female smartphone owners, a significant difference.  But by and large, the Super Bowl is an equalizer, and male and female smartphone owners who plan to watch the game expect to be using their devices very similarly on Sunday—our survey noted no statistically significant differences in planned smartphone use by male versus female device owners.

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To provide some deeper insights into what to expect as far as Super Bowl mobile traffic and advertising, Millennial revisited its 2013 platform data.  In terms of peak usage times, Millennial found that mobile traffic during commercial breaks was 10 percent higher than while the game was on.

Millennial also analyzed mobile application categories used during the Super Bowl commercials.  The top three corroborate reported usage plans from this year’s survey:

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From a mobile advertising perspective, Millennial identified a few key trends from 2013.  In terms of advertising verticals four stood out:

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In terms of advertising goals, most Super Bowl mobile advertisers Millennial tracked aimed to build brand awareness (71 percent) as opposed to launching a product (21 percent) or driving traffic to a mobile site or application (7 percent).  And most used rich media and some form of targeting to be sure their ads reached an interested audience, and successfully captured their attention.

The Super Bowl has always been about TV and football and snacks and friends—and of course the commercials.  Going forward, as smartphone adoption climbs and data usage continues to grow, it’ll increasingly be about mobile media as well.  We at Millennial Media and the IAB Mobile Center are looking forward to tracking those trends as they unfold.


IAB Survey Methodology

The IAB surveys were conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of IAB from January 17-21, 2014 among 2,047 adults ages 18 and older and from January 23-25, 2012 among 2,217 adults age 18 and older. These online surveys are not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Joe Laszlo, IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, at [email protected].

Millennial Media Methodology

Millennial Media data is based on actual campaign and platform data from February 2013.

About Millennial Media

Millennial Media is the leading independent mobile advertising platform. The Company’s unique data asset and full technology stack enable its demand and supply-side clients to garner meaningful results to drive their business. Based on its mobile-first approach to data, technology, and audience targeting, Millennial Media is leading the market by connecting consumers with relevant messages across screens. For advertisers looking to reach and engage with consumers in powerful ways, Millennial Media offers a broad array of solutions, delivered through brand, performance, and programmatic approaches. For developers and publishers, the Company offers a comprehensive set of managed and automated services to maximize revenue. 

Visit Millennial’s Research Page to sign up to receive Millennial Media-related news. For questions about the data in this report, or for recommendations for future reports, please contact us at [email protected]

IAB Launches Digital Advertising Regulation 101 Guide

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Are you familiar with Section 5 of the FTC Act?   Do you know how the government enforces its privacy laws?  What are the important state and federal laws that are relevant to your business model?

 Historically, the U.S approach to regulating privacy has been largely sectorial, meaning that there are a number of laws in place that address individual industries (e.g., healthcare or financial services) versus the far more comprehensive approach taken by the European Union.

To provide digital advertisers with a basic working knowledge of the current privacy laws applicable to the industry, the IAB has created a Digital Advertising Regulation 101 resource

This guide is for those with a limited understanding of current privacy law who are looking to learn a little bit more about the U.S.’s basic approach to these issues.  It is not meant to provide extensive detail into legislative histories or prognosticate on the outcome of pending privacy cases winding their way through the courts, but instead to give those new to the world of privacy a lay of the land.  

The guide covers all facets of digital advertising regulation.  It explains the basic rules that businesses need to follow, outlines both federal and state regulation, and provides summaries of sector-specific rules pertinent to digital advertising (all linking out to further information for those interested in delving deeper into a certain topic).  

This new resource is a supplement to the IAB’s Legislative and Regulatory Tracker that went online in October of last year.  It is meant to provide a general overview of the policies already in place, while the Legislative Tracker shows up-to-date developments on individual pieces of pending legislation in the context of digital advertising.

About the Author

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Stephen Hicks

Since February 2009, Hicks has served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Ziff Davis, LLC. and its predecessor. Hicks is co-chair of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) legal affairs committee. Prior to joining Ziff Davis, Hicks served as General Counsel and Secretary for: MTM Technologies Inc. a publicly traded IT services provider and product resller; OutlookSoft Corp. a VC backed international financial software corporation acquired by SAP; and AMICAS Inc. (formerly VitalWorks) a publicly traded medical software corporation. Hicks also worked on the executive staff of Dennis Vacco, the New York State Attorney General; and was an associate at a New York law firm.
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How to Advertise on Mobile Messaging Apps

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When phones were still considered the ‘3rd screen’, one of the first ways advertisers tried to reach audiences was through SMS campaigns. American Idol anyone? But mobile-friendly social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, with their glitzier interfaces and richer communications through video and images quickly left SMS campaigns in the dust.

But, a Facebook post only has a real life of 3 hours, and a tweet 18 minutes before getting flushed down the timeline. The rise of mobile messaging apps such as WeChat, Line and KakaoTalk promise to combine the direct targeting of SMS with the continuity and multimedia richness of social network communication. How can marketers use these platforms to talk to their consumers effectively?

1. Talk in Emoji

For brands or agencies leading the pack, consider emoji a new exercise in art and copy. Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’ lyric video illustrates how familiarity with the canned symbols is just as important as familiarity with the alphabet in this new craft. For example, the ‘super’ for the line “I got the eye of the tiger a fire”, was “I got the (winking smiley) of the (side tiger)(front tiger)(side tiger) a (flexing bicep).” If that just had you go “???”, think of it as having your copywriter and art director combine into one role, and express in Wingdings. And brands will probably have to get used to the fact that using smileys —and chickens, and monkeys, and poop icons— in their corporate communications is now ‘on-brand’.

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Katy Perry’s “Roar” Lyric Video mashes emoji and text

FYI, Whatsapp, whose interface was featured in the video, didn’t have to pay Perry a dime, simply because she was a fan… and probably has her finger on the pulse of the millennial consumer ;)

2. Hand over your brand with branded stickers

Besides the default emojis, most of the apps come with another type of communication format: Stickers. While emojis are static, canned default symbols from the app, stickers are large, downloadable add-on (read: brandable) GIFs, usually of cute animated characters. The expressiveness of stickers have fans of Line in Taiwan creating viral melodrama comics using the brand’s sticker characters, bunny and bear.

The Walking Dead official account on Line just released their zombie sticker set on Nov 5, allowing fans to disseminate the apocalypse. Stickers are also the perfect vehicle for celebrities. Korean pop idols such as G-Dragon and 2PM have their own suite of mini-me stickers —laughing, crying, booing— expanding the meaning of ‘give your brand over to the fans’. I’m waiting for a Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) to release dancing burgers so I can express my hunger. Turn on your notifications, branded stickers might just become the next hashtag.

Furthermore, these apps are linked to a whole creative suite of ‘in-house’ editing apps such as Line Camera and KakaoStory, that allow you to add filters, messages, stamps to your messaging images. There is a huge possibility there to put a spin on the now ubiquitous photo campaigns. 

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Branded stickers allow consumers to express themselves with your content.

In-app creative apps allow consumers to take your branded content and run with it, such as this Line Camera photo-editing app.

A Walking Dead photo can be edited within Line, with the Line Camera, and shared with friends.

3. Press 1 to Start an Official Dialogue

WeChat brands so far have had the most robust 2-way dialogue with their fans. Starbucks, Harrods, Nike, Durex etc have pinging setups that resemble ‘press one for english’ type phone menus. Chatting with Durex for example, gleans you sex tips, an 8 second voice message in your choice of sexy female or sexy male voice saying ‘Don’t be angry, baby” in Chinese, and hours more of 2-way pleasure.

Nike+ has 8 different workouts delivered right to your message box. Starbucks has the latest coffee blend with gorgeous pictures and a mouth watering description to go along with it. The Walking Dead on Line has ‘On Air’ sessions after every episode airs on TV, attended by over 30,000 fans. This allows the brand to engage directly 1-on-1 with its consumer base, and gauge the popularity of the series’ storyline.

How is this different than an email or Facebook CRM program you might ask? The difference is, consumers can control the path they want to take with talking with the brand, feel special while doing it. And brands get stats on what is most popular.

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The Walking Dead ‘On Air’ function on Line allows 1-on-1 conversations between brand and consumers.

Nike+ on WeChat lets you choose workout programs directly from your message box.

It still remains to be seen when social messaging will truly take off in the U.S. The most popular U.S. based app, Whatsapp, remains staunchly against advertising on its platform. For global brands however, most social messaging apps allow brands to customize localities. So Miley Cyrus has a Japan account, Korean account etc. No matter what, Asia seems to be taking the lead in this conversation, or so its 200 million Wechat users are saying. 

 

WeChat

Line

Kakaotalk

Whatsapp

Facebook

Twitter

Country of Origin

China

South Korea, now Japan-owned

South Korea

US

US

US

Global User base

(millions)

400*

230*

100*

300**

1,555

500

Tech in Asia, August 2013 This statistic gives information on the most popular mobile messenger apps in Asia as of August 2013, based on number of registered users worldwide. As of that month, NHN Japan’s LINE app had 230 million registered users, up from 100 million registered users in January 2013.

**The Next Web; WhatsApp This statistic shows a timeline with the amount of monthly active WhatsApp users worldwide as of October 2013. In August 2013, the mobile messaging platform announced more than 300 million monthly active users, up from over 250 million in June 2013.

About the Author

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Ruth Ong


Ruth Ong is an Art Director at Grey New York. She hails from sunny Singapore and has called New York home for the past 8 years. Besides art, strategy and all things digital, she loves sailing and culinary encounters of the third kind. Twitter: @ruth__ong 

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What's a VAST?!? Understanding IAB Digital Video Suite

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Digital Video has become a thriving advertising channel that enables rich, DigitalSimplifed.jpgengaging creative messaging and provides interaction opportunities with consumers. You may not know about the technical nuts and bolts behind digital video advertising, so to help you, we’ve created a short educational video, “IAB Digital Simplified: Understanding IAB Digital Video Suite”.  This video, narrated by Adapt.tv’s Founder and Chief Product Officer, Teg Grenager, breaks down the processes of digital video advertising and illustrates the technical concepts of the IAB Digital Video Suite (V-Suite). Now you can quickly gain baseline knowledge on some of the critical work developed by IAB members to benefit the interactive advertising industry.

VsuiteVideoImage.jpgAs for digital video advertising, it may not have ever scaled without the help of VAST and VPAID, two specs that are part of the V-Suite. In December 2013, 188.2 million Americans watched a staggering 52.4 billion online content videos.  This amounted to 35.2 billion video ad views and 13.2 billion minutes spent watching video ads for the month.  Additionally in December, 86.9% of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.* Recent estimates show U.S. digital video ad spending will nearly double in four years, climbing from $4.14 billion in 2013 to $8.04 billion in 2016.**

Adoption and use of the IAB V-Suite technical specifications have helped in this growth of the digital video marketplace and IAB seeks to encourage further adoption.  We know the full specification isn’t easy reading, so we invite you to check out this video and share it with your colleagues and partners. You’ll be empowered to speak about digital video and these specifications.

The IAB and its member companies have worked extensively to create an interoperable environment for video ad delivery across the digital supply chain. IAB Digital Video Committee working groups representing the industry have invested in long-term collaboration to create a suite of protocols that helps reduce operational complexity for video ad delivery. The result is the IAB Digital Video Suite, which includes three specifications: VAST, VPAID and VMAP. Each one plays a different role to enable communication between video ads and video players, and to simulate a TV ad experience with enhanced interaction.

As with many things in our industry, we’re only going to see more development and progress out of Digital Video. In fact, we’ve already seen attempts at integrating these specifications to work with technology involving connected TVs and cable networks. To stay on top of the issues and learn more about what’s happening in Digital Video, get looped into the Digital Video Committee.

For more information on the IAB Digital Video Suite go to: iab.net/vsuite or email [email protected].








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Demand for programmatic buying in mobile has skyrocketed in 2013. At the IAB, we saw this trend unfolding and launched the Mobile Programmatic Buying Working Group, led by Joe Laszlo as staff manager and Victor Milligan of Nexage as chair, to address this rapid growth and the unique aspects of mobile programmatic. As the working group’s leaders, we co-wrote this post to outline some of the key takeaways from the group’s conversations, and share our thoughts for 2014.

While there are certainly similarities between PC and mobile programmatic, the differences warrant a working group dedicated to mobile. These differences are critical design points for publishers, exchanges, buyers, agencies, and advertisers, and include:

  • Mobile’s unique and massive applications and game ecosystem
  • Mobile’s data model that is built absent a universal, persistent third-party cookie
  • Mobile’s unique targetable data including location (notably lat/long), mobile OS (iOS and Android), carrier, connection type, and device types.
  • Mobile’s form factor and the importance of creative that is optimized for smartphones and tablets

The Mobile Programmatic Buying Working Group brings together 40 individuals at a diverse array of IAB member companies with a shared interest in how programmatic is evolving in mobile and how the IAB can help members understand and fully capitalize on programmatic.

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Takeaways 

The group’s first task was to organize the broad concept called programmatic and focus on those items important—and unique—to mobile. 

Given that programmatic has come onto the digital landscape quickly and that programmatic itself describes a family of technologies, we needed to itemize and define the different programmatic markets. Aligned with the IAB Programmatic Publishers Task Force, we identified four types of marketplaces:

  • Automated Guaranteed (reserved inventory at a fixed price, just transacted via an exchange, also known as programmatic reserved or guaranteed)
  • Unreserved Fixed Rate (unreserved inventory at a fixed price, also known as preferred deals or first right of refusal)
  • Invitation-Only Auction (unreserved inventory sold at auction, but to a select number of potential bidders, commonly referred to private marketplace or exchange); and
  • Open Auction (unreserved inventory sold at auction, to any bidder, usually using real-time bidding [RTB]).

Although the world of ad exchanges (in both PC and mobile) started with a largely open auction model, other models such as various forms of invitation-only auctions like exclusive or first-look private exchanges have generated a great deal of interest from publishers and buyers alike. A recent analytics report from Nexage describes trending in programmatic and the extraordinary uptake in private exchanges, as publishers and buyers become more comfortable and adept at using private exchanges to accelerate their businesses.  

The task force then began to discuss key mobile programmatic issues that will guide our work. Examples include:

  • The data model: The lack of cookies in mobile has an impact across most elements of programmatic buying. Because third-party cookies are not typically available, mobile ad inventory relies on proprietary means of targeting, tracking, and accountability, which aren’t always articulated clearly to buyers. Nexage views exchanges in all their various manifestations as serving as a critical integration point between first-party data (e.g., from the publisher/network/inventory owner), brands’ CRM data, and third-party data. 
  • Targetable data: There are a number of data types that apply in mobile that don’t have PC analogs, including location, operating system, carrier, network connection (wifi, 3G, 4G, etc.), and even handset maker/device model.  Some of the parameters, are sometimes considered complicating aspects of mobile fragmentation, but they can be better seen as methods for better targeting in an exchange setting, providing a valuable proxy for consumer demographics (e.g., iPhone users are different from Android users).

  • Transparency: Ensuring that programmatic is not a black box but a clear box where transparency aids impression level decisioning is a priority. For example, latitude/longitude (lat/long) is a critical parameter for hyperlocal campaigns, but not all lat/long data are created equal. Some are GPS derived, but others are derived from zip code or post code, called centroid lat/long, which are far less precise. Some exchanges already have business controls to enable buyers to know which is which and target and price accordingly.

Looking Forward

Across both PC and mobile, programmatic is shifting from a disruptive force to a valuable (and necessary) solution connecting ad buyers with desired ad opportunities. As we get into 2014, we have several ambitions for our working group:

  • Analyze the issues related to mobile programmatic’s unique factors to help members best understand and capitalize on the opportunity.
  • Provide input to the IAB’s other programmatic efforts, making sure that mobile’s unique aspects are represented.
  • Continue to serve as a forum for exchanging experiences and sharing knowledge.
  • Start collecting emerging good or best practices and case studies to illuminate what is working for buyers and sellers alike. 
  • Organize an industry town hall conversation to help disseminate our learning to marketers and agencies that need it.

It’s been an exciting year for mobile programmatic buying, and next year promises to be even more so. We’re looking forward to kicking the Mobile Programmatic Working Group into high gear, addressing challenges and ensuring continued growth for everyone.

About the Authors 


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Joe Laszlo
Joe Laszlo is Senior Director of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at the IAB. 

Victor Milligan
Victor Milligan is the CMO of Nexage where he leads all marketing and analytic functions. Twitter: @vtmilligan.
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