April 2014 Archives

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In this, the final installment of the IABlog series, “IAB Asks NewFront Sellers,” NewFront founders and presenters share what excites them the most with regard to digital video content, advertising, and the NewFronts.  Here’s what they had to say:

Ben Dietz, VP Sales & Business Development, VICE Media 

We’re excited about the IAB Rising Stars, in terms of their ability to incorporate video into certain units. We think longer-form video is going to continue to be a mode that people adopt. A quarter of all videos on YouTube right now are 20 minutes or longer. So there’s a huge appetite and a huge shift in the desire to consume longer pieces of content. Ads can probably get longer and less “selly” as a result. 

Jack Bamberger, Head of Agency and Industry Relations, AOL

People should attend AOL’s NewFront on April 29th and they’ll find out. We’ve got some surprises ad exciting announcements that we’ll be unveiling at the NewFront separate from our slate. Last year we were very bold in measurement, very bold in original content, and there’s no reason to expect anything but a continuation of AOL investing more in video. A great example is our acquisition from September of last year Adap.TV and what does that mean to the industry in terms of programmatic video. 

Jonathan Perelman, GM of Video & VP Agency Strategy, BuzzFeed 

It’s about highlighting ways that brands can do really compelling, sharable, video content. That to me is not pre-roll or TrueView ads, but it’s actually custom, bespoke, branded videos that tap into learnings and understandings about what makes video successful and doing that with brands. That’s what I’m really excited about and what we at BuzzFeed have been doing and are really excited to do a lot more of. NewFronts_LogoLock5.jpg

Peter Naylor, SVP Advertising, Hulu

As content consumption continues to be a multi-screen experience, we will see more ad formats with the ability to run across different platforms. On Hulu, we see over 3,000 multi-platform combinations used to watch Hulu Plus each month. For example, I watch Hulu Plus on an iPhone, iPad and my PC. I find that stat to be highly illustrative of the direction consumers are headed. And we can’t just follow where consumers are going, we have to always lead and be one step ahead. So, the ability to run ads across different platforms is a big trend. Another big trend - geo targeting, and ads that are targeted to local viewers.

The Hulu Upfront will take place April 30th in New York, and we’re excited to talk about how we are staying ahead of industry trends and innovating in the space on behalf of our advertising partners, content partners and users. I don’t want to give away too much (you’ll have to wait for the upfront!) but we’ll be sharing some new ways we can help advertisers reach their target audience through innovative new formats, alongside great new programming on our platform.

Jason Krebs, Head of Sales, and Erin McPherson, Chief Content Officer, Maker Studios

Krebs: Everything we’ve touched on [for this Q&A] are trends, because they’re very early. Either it’s Erin fielding different calls from new creators in Hollywood, traditional again, who’ve never done anything online. We have advertisers also asking us about potential new ways that we can take our creators and get them involved in their story. How are things happening socially? Are people sharing these? What are the view times? What are their browsing habits? Are they stumbling upon content? Are they tuning in? We have the whole subscription notion of YouYube. Many of the biggest subscribed channels in YouTube across the earth are Maker creators, and what does that mean? What’s a publishing cycle look? How often should we be producing this content? Where are people coming from when they’ve come to that content? Where do they go after? All of these things. We haven’t said the word data yet, so now I’m saying the word data. All those points are completely brand new. The trend of using all of that so everyone is better at what they do, advertisers and creators and consumers, it’s all early on and very exciting. 

McPherson: For a while now native has been a buzzword. People use that word loosely and broadly. We certainly use it when we’re talking about advertising that is truly organic to the consumer. Native content can be a creative idea that we work on with a brand. Native can also encompass a kind of ad that we’re in the early days of seeing in video. I’ll call it a smart ad, a targeted ad, an ad that understands what consumers’ behavior and interests are. We’re in the early days with video in personalization, really being able to customize not just your video content, but your video ad experience.

About the 2014 Digital Content NewFronts
Each year, thousands of people attend the Digital Content NewFronts to witness great new original video content, learn marketing best practices, and hear headline-grabbing announcements about partnerships that will change the course of the digital medium. This powerful series of presentations proves that digital video is the right place for brands to engage with consumers because consumers are engaging with digital video. Presenters include AOL, DigitasLBi, Google/YouTube, Hulu, Microsoft, Yahoo, and more. Learn More & See Schedule

IAB Cross-Screen Marketplace, Spotlight: Video, May 15, 2014
If you’re interested in digital video, IAB is bringing together thought leaders from both brands and agencies for the IAB Cross-Screen Marketplace. We’ll reveal how the buy and sell side are partnering to develop, deploy, and evaluate the success of multi-screen/multi-channel content and brand experiences, and the increasingly powerful role video is playing in this revolution. Learn More & See Agenda


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In this installment of the IABlog series, NewFront founders and presenters reveal how they see the relationship between emerging video consumption devices and good, old TV. We asked them: 

There’s a theory that mobile video and connected TV will start taking big chunks of consumer and advertising time out of basic cable fare. Is this happening? If not, why not?

Jonathan Perelman, GM of Video & VP Agency Strategy, BuzzFeed

Over half of our views are coming on mobile. I wrote something recently that said, for the last 7-10 years, people have been wondering if it’s the year of mobile. The reality is every year is the year of mobile ever since then. I was on the subway this morning and someone was watching a full-on movie on their phone. That 5 years ago was not something anyone would ever consider. Mobile is only going to grow and become more and more important to consumers and thus to advertisers. 

IAB: Do you think mobile is competing with TV at all audience time or advertising budget? 

Perelman: No, but we do see a lot of BuzzFeed video being watched during primetime, which that means someone is presumably sitting on their sofa maybe watching something else while on a social network. Someone passes along a video to them, and they’re going to click and play it while they’re watching something else. So I think, there’s maybe a burgeoning competition, but in terms of numbers and dollars it’s not so much a completion. 

Peter Naylor, SVP Advertising, Hulu

Everyone is limited to just 24 hours a day. That’s a constant. The variable is how people choose to spend their time, of course. There’s been a trend for many years that points to the rise of time spent with media and the rise of multi-tasking. So the media pie is getting bigger, but the slices of the pie are getting thinner. People now have the ability to time shift, device shift and place shift their media, and they are taking full advantage of all screens. We are essentially competing for mindshare and time share -quality content coupled with a best-in-class user experience is the key to being an essential part of a consumers daily entertainment choices.NewFronts_LogoLock4.jpg

Erin McPherson, Chief Content Officer, and Jason Krebs, Head of Sales, Maker Studios

McPherson: A lot of folks from the TV industry side say, “TV’s never been healthier,” which in many ways is true. The data I’ve looked at most recently showed consumption rising on traditional television platforms, as well as on digital. The secret here lies in—I won’t even call it second screen because second screen has come to mean a screen that interplays with your first screen—I’ll call it multiscreen. They are watching YouTube videos while they have the game on. Or they’re watching video in their Facebook or Twitter feeds, while they’ve have a reality show on. So the television is on but are people watching?  How are they watching and how are they engaging? At Maker, consumers don’t just view, they engage. 

Krebs: It’s the classic lean back and lean forward. We have a lot of lean forward, people interacting with the content, with the comments, with the sharing, as well as interacting with the ads themselves. We have a pretty vibrant business in ad creative that is purely interactive, where people can dive in more. 

Ben Dietz, VP Sales & Business Development, VICE Media

It’s not like we study the Nielsen ratings and go “ABC morning news is down 20%.” It’s more anecdotal, what we hear from our millennial audience. They’re consuming more on mobile. They’re consuming more online. They’re consuming more in a time-shifted fashion, and then beyond that they’re looking deeper into content that falls outside of mainstream broadcasts. We hear loud and clear from our audience that they’re shifting away, and that we believe very firmly that with audience will come dollars. It’s not happening as quickly as we’d like and there are inequities in the marketplace such as the rate that we can get for mobile, which needs to come to parity quickly. But we see it happening, and it will happen more in the future.

About the 2014 Digital Content NewFronts
Each year, thousands of people attend the Digital Content NewFronts to witness great new original video content, learn marketing best practices, and hear headline-grabbing announcements about partnerships that will change the course of the digital medium. This powerful series of presentations proves that digital video is the right place for brands to engage with consumers because consumers are engaging with digital video. Presenters include AOL, DigitasLBi, Google/YouTube, Hulu, Microsoft, Yahoo, and more. Learn More & See Schedule

IAB Cross-Screen Marketplace, Spotlight: Video, May 15, 2014
If you’re interested in digital video, IAB is bringing together thought leaders from both brands and agencies for the IAB Cross-Screen Marketplace. We’ll reveal how the buy and sell side are partnering to develop, deploy, and evaluate the success of multi-screen/multi-channel content and brand experiences, and the increasingly powerful role video is playing in this revolution. Learn More & See Agenda

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In this installment of the IABlog series, “IAB Asks NewFront Sellers,” NewFront founders and presenters share their perspectives on the trajectory of digital video by answering this question: 

Is this the golden age of video? If so, how come? If not, when will we see a golden age, and what will it look like?

Ben Dietz, VP Sales & Business Development, VICE Media

No. The golden age of digital video is yet to come. You look at a) the decreasing cost of production which is democratizing the format; b) the increasing capacity for things like live streaming and video-on-demand; and c) things like oculus rift that change the way we watch and the way that we experience video; and I would say the golden age of digital video is some years ahead of us. That being said, I think it’s a great time to be in digital video because you can make stuff that is intended for desktop, intended for mobile, intended for social and have it be premium enough and evolved enough that it can travel to the highest platforms in the world. You’ve seen digital shorts that we’ve made [turned] into feature films and win prizes at Sundance. It’s a tremendously exciting time, but the golden age is still a couple years off. 

Jack Bamberger, Head of Agency and Industry Relations, AOL

This is the golden age of premium content. If you don’t have good content that consumers engage with, share, like, want to watch, that’s meaningful to them and entertains them, delights them, surprises them, you’ve got nothing. And you’ve got to surprise them too. Ultimately this is about content. Do we want to connect it from convergence and pipe standpoint? You bet. But the content is ultimately the story. That is why AOL has invested so incredibly much in premium content. We have the largest video library in the industry, now over 900,000 pieces of content, growing rapidly on a daily basis. We are hugely invested in content creation and content curation. And our numbers continue to grow on an annual basis based on the premium content partnerships that we continue to build-on.

NewFronts_LogoLock3.jpgErin McPherson, Chief Content Officer, Maker Studios

I don’t think we’re there yet. We’re in the early age of video. We’re in the Jurassic stage of video. We haven’t even seen it yet. This is the beginning of massive, massive tidal wave.  

Peter Naylor, SVP Advertising, Hulu

It’s a great time for consumers. Mike Hopkins, Hulu CEO, just spoke at the Ad Age Digital conference earlier this month about this very topic - the “heyday” of television. There’s so much great content out there, and consumers who have grown up in a connected world have high expectations of how, when, and where they get their content.  Consumers who grew up in a three-network household are still wide-eyed at the abundance of programming available to them in this new on-demand world. Hulu can super-serve all audiences, so, yes, it’s absolutely a golden time to be in the video space.

About the 2014 Digital Content NewFronts
Each year, thousands of people attend the Digital Content NewFronts to witness great new original video content, learn marketing best practices, and hear headline-grabbing announcements about partnerships that will change the course of the digital medium. This powerful series of presentations proves that digital video is the right place for brands to engage with consumers because consumers are engaging with digital video. Presenters include AOL, DigitasLBi, Google/YouTube, Hulu, Microsoft, Yahoo, and more. Learn More & See Schedule

IAB Cross-Screen Marketplace, Spotlight: Video, May 15, 2014
If you’re interested in digital video, IAB is bringing together thought leaders from both brands and agencies for the IAB Cross-Screen Marketplace. We’ll reveal how the buy and sell side are partnering to develop, deploy, and evaluate the success of multi-screen/multi-channel content and brand experiences, and the increasingly powerful role video is playing in this revolution. Learn More & See Agenda

 


There is no doubt that mobile gaming is a hot topic that is attracting the notice of brand advertisers. Mobile gaming is growing significantly due to three key trends:
  1. Growth in smartphone and tablet usage (according to the IAB Mobile Center research, as of January 2014, 57% of all US adults owned a smartphone and 44% owned a tablet)
  2. Increasing sophistication in mobile app ecosystem
  3. Growing willingness among consumers to pay for virtual goods and accept mobile advertising
Mobile game monetization comes from:
  1. Virtual goods
  2. Paid apps and downloads
  3. Advertising
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Per eMarketer, mobile game monetization is projected to increase significantly over the next four years. All three of the primary monetization models—downloads, in-game/virtual goods, and ad-supported—will grow, but the mix will shift in favor of in-game/virtual goods.
 
For these reasons, the IAB Games and Mobile Committees convened a Town Hall discussion titled “The Future of Mobile Game Advertising.” Susan Borst, Director of Industry Initiatives and the IAB lead for the Games Committee stated that interest in game advertising has never been higher and bringing these two committees together is important given that nearly a third of all time spent on mobile is on games. Joe Lazlo, Senior Director of the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence added that successful game advertising has much to teach the rest of the mobile ecosystem.

Following a welcome and some perspective on the state of mobile games advertising from event host, Jeff Colen, Ad Sales & Marketing at Zynga, Lewis Ward, Research Director of Gaming at IDC, shared some background information on smartphone growth and share, consumer spending on games and consumer sentiment for game play by device.
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Lewis noted the growth of the tablet for game play, and in particular the iPad as gamer’s favorite iOS devices. He went on to say that significant demographic differences exist across the various mobile platforms, notably HH income and gender, which have obvious implications for game developers and advertisers. For instance, the IDC study showed a big disposable income gap between iOS and Android, and game play on Kindle Fire skews heavily female.

Defining and sizing smartphone and tablet ads is “tricky due to technology fragmentation and the rapid pace of market innovation and evolution,” said Lewis, and the audience agreed. This is an area where the IAB could work to provide some clarity. 


Source: IDC
PANEL DISCUSSION
The key takeaway from the Town Hall discussion is that there has been a significant and important shift in just the past year or so and the momentum is building.  
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Key Highlights:

  1. Ad format evolution taking place: From advertising that offers player rewards, value exchange video advertising, rich media creative, branded content and more native integration—ads on games are becoming less aggravating—and more frictionless. 
    • There is an overall increased acceptance of advertising among users when advertising is executed in a way that brings value to their experience, is contextually relevant, delivered in a format that is visually appealing or synergistic to their mobile experience. Benjani highlighted inMobi’s focus on “working with studios and brands to create deeply integrated native ad experiences to connect advertisers to audiences globally.”
    • Emotional targeting that is additive to game play (creating value exchange between advertiser and user) tapping into players’ emotions and serving ads in the right place at the right time with the right message is a win for both advertisers and consumers. This allows the brand to be a welcome “hero” for the player, taking part in the user experience and offering players rewards during moments of “achievement” or tips at points of “frustration.” 
    • “In-game advertising is the only way brand marketers can reach and reward, encourage and rescue players in a way that adds value to the user experience. For example, during Breakthrough Moments™ (BTMs™), brands can reach game players during moments of “achievement,” such as when they get a new high score or a longest jump. With this approach, people will reciprocate the brand’s gift and take a post ad action—such as purchase a product or visit a website—and further engage with the brand, giving marketers a unique way to make lasting, meaningful connections with people,” said Brandt.
  1. Increasing focus on brand metrics: As Lewis noted, CPM, CPC, CPA and CPV all have some traction in mobile games, but increasingly, better brand metrics, analytics and real-time decisioning are changing the way effectiveness is measured. “Keep in mind as to where your ads are running as not all impressions are equal. If your primary KPI is to deliver a positive brand experience and association, look at where the ad is running and ask if you were playing this game - would you feel interrupted by or helped by this advertisement? User experience is at the paramount of successfully advertising on mobile and simply porting over outdated ad units and placements from display advertising is not enough. These are personal experiences on mobile and the key is tailor advertising to match this new medium”, said O’Connor.
  2. More options for developers and advertisers: From in-app to HTML5, more options are emerging for game developers and advertisers to foster “native” experiences. Grossberg added: “Brands are also beginning to leverage HTML5 to create their own mobile web games (the game is the advertising!) to engage their target audience at scale through this preferred activity on mobile, and do so in a cost effective manner in a way that fosters social and viral growth.”
Mobile game integration is a reality and has become industry standard for marketers.  The IAB Games Committee is  finalizing a white paper titled “The Games Advertising Ecosystem” report which is intended to help the industry understand today’s game play, the core game types and advertising categories for marketers to reach consumers.  Stay tuned!

About the Author

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Kym Nelson

Kym Nelson serves as an IAB Games Committee Co-Chair and is Senior Vice President of Sales at Twitch TV, the world’s largest live-streaming video platform. In this role since May, 2013, she has created Twitch Media Group, launching an inside, direct-sales media group at Twitch. She is responsible for creating and leading a world-class sales organization that delivers completely new and innovative digital solutions on a platform that is spearheading digital media as we know it today. 

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In the second installment of the blog series, IAB asks NewFront sellers about the role of celebrity in the sale of digital video content by asking this question: 

Last year at the NewFronts we saw celebrities, writers, directors, and actors putting a grubstake into digital video. Why is it happening? 

Peter Naylor, SVP Advertising, Hulu

You will continue to see digital video publishers walking the walk of TV in terms of quality talent both in front of and behind the camera. At Hulu, we just hired Craig Erwich to be our head of content. Craig has made big TV shows like “Prison Break” and “The Voice.” We love his track record of making quality TV shows that are enjoyed by audiences globally, and we are excited for him to bring his expertise to Hulu as we become more aggressive about our investment in original content. At the Hulu Upfront, we will showcase our slate of originals this year, including shows like “The Awesomes” with Seth Meyers, which we greenlit for a second season, and “Deadbeat,” which launched April 9th on Hulu and Hulu Plus. Continuing to bring break-through original programming to Hulu will further help to define our brand and complement the deep strength we already have with both “last night’s TV” and our deep library of programming.

Jonathan Perelman, GM of Video & VP Agency Strategy, BuzzFeed

That’s a trend that is a result of the upfronts, which how that business works.  That’s how  advertising gets sold: come look at the new series, the great people, the great content we’re producing, see it, experience it, and buy advertising against that and the other programs that we have. It’s distinctly different in digital in the sense that inventory’s attached differently. A half-hour sitcom is a 22-minute show, and you have to fill 8 minutes of advertising. Digital is just completely different. But for us it’s less about big name stars and celebrities and more about how we think about creating this compelling, sharable video content. 

Jack Bamberger, Head of Agency and Industry Relations, AOL

We took a very deliberate approach to the NewFronts last year, and yes celebrities were a part of our strategy, but here’s the real context. Our approach was around four words, “authentic voices, remarkable stories.” If you happened to have been a celebrity that was a part of one of the AOL On Original slate from last year, it was likely because you had not only an extraordinary social footprint, but you had a passion project where you were able to tell your story because it was remarkable and you had an authentic voice. A perfect example is Nicole Richie and “Candidly Nicole.” The success of that show was because Nicole had a huge social following, which not only did she leverage, but she was the true Nicole in all of the content, which is why it so deeply engaged consumers. That’s just one example. You’ll see a continuation of that strategy in 2014. It’s not about celebrity, but I will say one thing, you’ve got to find celebrities who actually meet specific criteria that actually will create engagement with consumers. So it’s not celerity for celebrity sake. 

DCNF2_logo.jpgErin McPherson, Chief Content Officer, and Jason Krebs, Head of Sales, Maker Studios

McPherson: We are in a moment of transformation of the industry. We’re seeing a convergence of traditional television and “new media” especially as 

delivery systems overlap so I can get my Netflix on my iPad and I can also get YouTube on my iPad. As the consumer, I’m mixing these forms of media and I’m not differentiating, especially younger consumers, to them it’s all just great entertainment. What you’re seeing on stage is a reflection of that. 

I also think from a commercial, strategic standpoint, what you’re seeing on stage is the demonstration by a bunch of different digital distributors that the content online is “premium” and there is some effort to bring familiar faces and familiar formats to television buyers who may misperceive that there is no quality content online. I think there is a lot of great quality. It depends how you define quality, but I think in some respects, it’s an effort to legitimize the platform. 

Krebs: There’s a rolling catch up time between what people see as star power. We’ve always talked about this from radio to movies, from radio to TV, from broadcast to cable, from cable to Netflix. If you had said 10 years ago that something like a Netflix would win an Emmy award for programming, you’d have had people laughing at you. In a couple of years, there won’t be a traditional Hollywood talent and digital talent. We just won’t say those things anymore.

About the 2014 Digital Content NewFronts
Each year, thousands of people attend the Digital Content NewFronts to witness great new original video content, learn marketing best practices, and hear headline-grabbing announcements about partnerships that will change the course of the digital medium. This powerful series of presentations proves that digital video is the right place for brands to engage with consumers because consumers are engaging with digital video. Presenters include AOL, DigitasLBi, Google/YouTube, Hulu, Microsoft, Yahoo, and more. Learn More & See Schedule

IAB Cross-Screen Marketplace, Spotlight: Video, May 15, 2014
If you’re interested in digital video, IAB is bringing together thought leaders from both brands and agencies for the IAB Cross-Screen Marketplace. We’ll reveal how the buy and sell side are partnering to develop, deploy, and evaluate the success of multi-screen/multi-channel content and brand experiences, and the increasingly powerful role video is playing in this revolution. Learn More & See Agenda


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In this, the first installment of the blog series, IAB asks 2014 Digital Content NewFronts founders and presenters to explore the relationship between digital video and traditional television, by answering the question:

In what ways do you see digital video filling in gaps that are being created in classic TV and/or creating new information and entertainment modalities?

Jack Bamberger, Head of Agency and Industry Relations, AOL

I don’t look at it as digital video filling gaps verses classic TV. We look at it as connecting it all. This is about connecting advertisers, creators, publishers, consumers, and really the connecting of digital and TV. That is what we see as the future, and that’s what were very, very excited about building toward with AOL video. This is about connecting, nothing more, and in fact, the theme of our NewFront this year is “Connected.” Because that’s really what it’s all about. It’s about all of this convergence that’s going on. It’s about cross-screen. We don’t even use the word “mobile” at AOL. We use the words “cross-screen”, because we look at this holistically. As an example, AOL is on 17 different over-the-top devices. I only see that number increasing. 

Ben Dietz, VP Sales & Business Development, VICE Media 

Broadcast TV, by definition, has to be broad in its appeal. Digital video, because it can be made inexpensively and it can be made by niche groups, means we can tell everyone’s story. We can tell stories that are the most compelling, not just the most widely appealing. Second, digital video can be used in conjunction with other technologies to tell a new kind of multi-layered story… Digital video allows us to incorporate social; it allows us to incorporate events; it allows us to incorporate disparate personalities in a way that the broadcast medium and linear formats don’t. For our partner AT&T we made a film called The Network Diaries. It’s based on a true-life event that’s brought to life as a scripted recreation. If you text in a short code prior to the film’s beginning, you get text messages that correspond to developments in the film

Jason Krebs, Head of Sales, and Erin McPherson, Chief Content Officer, Maker Studios

Krebs: There are new connection points with consumers. But it’s also just as much about the technology and the screens. People are walking around with them in their pockets and their backpacks, so the combination of those two things became very important. Then, something that not a lot of people talk about is you really couldn’t get what was on your TV on the screen in your pocket. 

Logos.jpgMcPherson: The way digital is filling gaps is very nuanced. One, the move to digital by consumers is keeping pace with the massive platform shift to mobile. Two, there’s a new genre that digital captured and that’s short-form. Short-form content and storytelling is something that was born really on digital platforms, and it’s become a major consumption point especially for younger audiences. They are playlisting content in the way we all playlist music. And short-form storytelling is really coming into its own as a genre. So there is the mobile shift. There is short-form. There’s video on-demand. Digital really enables non-linear viewing and on-demand viewing in targeted way that tradition television cannot. 

Jonathan Perelman, GM of Video & VP Agency Strategy, BuzzFeed

Digital video is different than television, and the advertising that works on each platform is very different. At BuzzFeed just about 50% of our video views come on a mobile device. What we believe is that we can create really compelling videos, and we do create really compelling videos. We can do that for brands as well, and we’ve done that. So what’s interesting to me is to look at ways that brands can tell great stories using video that’s different from television. It really focuses all on sharing. You think about why someone will not only engage with video meaning to watch it but also then ultimately to share it. I think that’s the highest marker, saying, “I like this, you’ll like it.”

About the 2014 Digital Content NewFronts
Each year, thousands of people attend the Digital Content NewFronts to witness great new original video content, learn marketing best practices, and hear headline-grabbing announcements about partnerships that will change the course of the digital medium. This powerful series of presentations proves that digital video is the right place for brands to engage with consumers because consumers are engaging with digital video. Presenters include AOL, DigitasLBi, Google/YouTube, Hulu, Microsoft, Yahoo, and more. Learn More & See Schedule

IAB Cross-Screen Marketplace, Spotlight: Video, May 15, 2014
If you’re interested in digital video, IAB is bringing together thought leaders from both brands and agencies for the IAB Cross-Screen Marketplace. We’ll reveal how the buy and sell side are partnering to develop, deploy, and evaluate the success of multi-screen/multi-channel content and brand experiences, and the increasingly powerful role video is playing in this revolution. Learn More & See Agenda

IAB Standards Reach Japan

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As we hear of increased demand for IAB or IAB-like standards, guidelines and best practices in countries where IAB does not yet have a local IAB operation, we are intentionally seeking ways to engage in meaningful discussions and collaborate on specific initiatives in strategic markets like Japan.  
 
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IAB has been working in close collaboration with D.A. Consortium in Japan for nearly a year. As strong advocates for IAB standards and guidelines, DAC announced its launch of IAB Mobile Rising Stars in Japan and conducted research into their effectiveness in that marketplace. DAC has also translated and published on their subsidiary PlatformOne in Japan the IAB whitepaper “Programmatic and Automation: The Publisher’s Perspective”, part of IAB Digital Simplified Series.
 
Continuing this trend, the DAC team just recently they published a translation of the IAB whitepaper “Privacy and Tracking in a Post-Cookie World”. Click here to view the Japanese version or here for the original English version.

About the Author

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Alexandra Salomon

Alexandra Salomon is the Senior Director, International at the Interactive Advertising Bureau



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At a recent IAB Town Hall gathering supported by the Content Marketing Task Force and Social Media Committee, members met to discuss the rise of visual content marketing as part of the digital communications mix, focusing on the animated GIF.

In an entertaining presentation titled “Moving the Needle: The Power of the Animated GIF for Publishers & Advertisers,” Tumblr’s Creative Technologist Max Sebela presented the history and significance of the GIF as a file format—including its decline in popularity and recent resurgence as a prime communication tool, plus best practices and the “secrets” behind a great GIF. 

“GIFs were the first file format to give color and personality to the Internet, and they’re experiencing an exciting renaissance as an instrumental force in content creation, consumption and cultivating culture on Tumblr and across the web,” said Sebela.  “We’re seeing a pivotal shift in marketers embracing the animation platform to tell compelling brand stories, connect with consumers, and drive engagement and earned media.”

Members were invited to share their perspective on the GIF format as part of their content marketing mix.
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Buzzfeed, arguably one of the most prolific GIF users in the publishing world, added:

BuzzFeed2.gif“If a picture is worth a thousand words, a GIF is worth 10,000. GIFs are a mini-vehicle for storytelling, capturing emotions and communicating them in a concise way that words and pictures alone cannot.” -Joe Puglisi, Senior Creative Strategist, Buzzfeed

“People scroll past hundreds of images everyday on the internet without batting an eyelid. An animated element goes a long way towards bringing an idea to life, and turning an ordinary static image into an extraordinary, eye-catching concept. GIFs help us trim the fat and highlight the core emotional truth behind an instance or idea.” -Will Herring, Senior Creative, Buzzfeed


Animation credit: Will Herring, Buzzfeed

According to Sarah Wood, Co-Founder and COO of Unruly

“The GIF has been re-energized as a format, likely tied to the success and emergence of “sugar cube” content on Vine and Instagram Video.  Portable, postable nearly everywhere, featuring fast load times and quirky, jerky looping “video,” the animated GIF, like Vine, is a content gateway.  GIFs and Vines are both low cost forms of content creation that require the barest of tools and enable a new army of content creators to express themselves.  The limitations of these formats only add to the creativity required to make awesome content.  As short as a couple of seconds, the animated GIF broadens the dimensions of the video content spectrum, followed by Vine at 6 seconds, Instagram Video at 15, all the way to the 2-5 minute social videos we’ve seen trend on the Viral Video Chart.  Animated GIFs and Vine require zero budget—and highlight the democratization of online content.  Brands of all sizes can easily use these formats to drive their social conversation with custom content to win the hearts and minds of consumers, and get their feet wet before expanding to longer forms of video.”

Ahalogy’s Raman Sehgal, VP of Client Services, was quick to point out that Pinterest now supports GIFs and offered this suggestion to marketers looking to take advantage of this new content on the visual discovery platform, “When pinning, always remember the consumer context.  Pinterest is not just a social network, but a content discovery tool.  Marketers need to make sure their pinned GIFs add meaningful value for a user, and are in the right brand lens.  Many of our brand clients treat GIFs on Pinterest not as ads, but rather as inspiring short-form stories.”  See an example here.

Demand Media has a dedicated GIF offering for their clients, says Christine Fleming, Senior Director of Content Strategy and Monetization:

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“The intent of our animated GIF offering is to have the best of both worlds: the instructions and the visualization of those instructions, all in one, without having to go back and forth between an article and a video for example.  We’ve seen an increase in CTR (as compared to related articles and videos) by adding GIFs to related content alongside articles.  We create content that meets the needs of people in their everyday lives, so this it’s a perfect format for step by step tasks that require in motion visual instructions, like cooking or fitness or even making a clothespin earbud holder!” 


Animation credit: Demand Media

Lastly, Business Insider shared an example of how they are incorporating GIFs into editorial content to help bring stories to life. Emily Allen, SVP Ad Strategy added, “They’re great for showing short snippets of video and are much more convenient for the reader.  GIFs are more dynamic than photographs.  They offer the same effect as in the Daily Prophet in Harry Potter - except without the magic.”  

From advertising to sponsored content to editorial usage, it is clear that GIFs are an exciting and powerful element in the visual content marketing toolbox for publishers, marketers and agencies alike.  IAB will continue to host sessions where members will share their content marketing best practices for industry gain. 

About the Author

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Susan Borst

Susan Borst is the Director, Industry Initiatives at the IAB focusing on Social Media, B2B, Games, Content Marketing and Native Advertising. 
She can be reached on Twitter @susanborst