IABlog

From the Winter Olympics to a fantastic World Cup, it’s already been a great year for sports around the world. And as the summer baseball season unfolds in the US, the IAB Mobile Center and InMobi have collaborated to publish a look at how US consumers use their smartphones to plan and purchase tickets to sporting events.

This report completes a trilogy of studies examining mobile and ticketing. Previously we looked at mobile and movies and mobile and live theater and music performances. Like those event categories, sports benefits greatly from the ease and convenience of the mobile internet.

Among the key findings from the sports research:

  • 85% of mobile sports fans turn to mobile after seeing ads for entertainment events on other channels. 
  • 49% of mobile sports fans say they find information about entertainment activities via mobile, making that channel more important than PC and print for entertainment information.
  • 78% of mobile sports fans use their mobiles to help plan trips to watch live sporting events.
  • Sports fans use their devices during games to record videos and watch replays.
  • 1 out of 3 mobile sports fans purchases game tickets directly through their phones or tablets. Box office, online and mobile are now all major sources of ticket sales. 

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Like mobile consumers generally, mobile sports fans gravitate toward ads that combine fun and relevance. Sports marketers seeking to make mobile an MVP on their media team should remember that 36% of this group prefer ads that showcase video, sound, and photos; 33% like deals or other promotions; 28% like pre-sale ticket opportunities; and 27% like ads that feature their favorite sports team.

It’s hard to imagine a category of marketer that’s a more natural fit for mobile than entertainment ticketing. Whether it’s a spontaneous movie night, the game of the year, or the concert of a lifetime, mobile has the immediacy and relevance to help a fan learn what’s going on, act on that, and share the experience with friends and the world. We hope these three studies help open marketers’ eyes to the value that mobile brings to the world of event ticketing, and look forward to seeing even tighter and better integration of mobile into sports, music, theater, event, and movie marketing.


About the Author

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Joe Laszlo

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

 



I have been in multiple conversations recently with clients about video fraud, safety and content verification and how those impact video advertising today. I was asked questions such as “How concerned should I be? What’s the best way to prevent issues? What are my options? It became clear to me that while there’s overall concern about the topic of video verification, there’s also a knowledge gap that needs to be addressed. 

So here is a cheat sheet of the things you may want to consider in your solution. All the items below are critical to ensuring maximum protection for your brand. 

1) Media Neutrality
The single most important thing is to ensure that you are not using a solution that is provided by a company that also sells you the media. There are several verification solutions on the market, but many of them are homegrown solutions offered by media sellers that aim to offer insight into the quality, or lack thereof, of their competitors’ inventory. In other words, if Company A sells you media and also tells you, here’s a solution that will verify our media - can you believe that this is a viable solution? To avoid this conflict of interest and ensure that you’re getting accurate information, you should prioritize solutions that are media neutral.

2) Methodology and Technology
It is also crucial that you are confident in and comfortable with the technologies and the methodologies used by your solution of choice. Here are 3 questions you want to ask:
  • What’s your measurable Rate? - This KPI measures the percent of impressions verified out of the total impressions delivered in the campaign. Your goal should be to get as close as possible to a measurable rate of 100%.
  • Are you MRC accredited? - A solution that carries the MRC seal means it is a trusted solution that has gone through a rigorous set of tests and has been validated to meet a certain set of guidelines and industry standards. 
  • What’s your level of publisher transparency and cooperation? - Keeping your media partners in the dark is counterproductive and ensures the negative outcomes you are trying to avoid. Make sure the relevant data is available to your media partners in real time and that you frequently communicate with them to address any issues that may come up. 
3) Fraud Detection and Brand Safety
No verification solution can be considered viable without addressing these two topics. 

Fraud detection identifies whether an impression was generated by a human (i.e. real or not). Fraud has been an ongoing issue since the early days of online advertising with click fraud in search marketing and other CPC driven marketing. Since then, the problem evolved and started affecting CPM based advertising such as display and video. There is already a great deal of industry buzz, so let it suffice to say that there are many forms and tactics of impression fraud as the fraud committers become increasingly sophisticated. That said, there are several companies dedicated to solving the problem with robust solutions to address different methods of fraud. 

Brand safety focuses on identifying areas which are not suitable for brand advertising. An impression may be real and viewable but if the ad ends up appearing next to inappropriate content such as adult material, hate speech, violence, etc. - it can lead to a disaster for a brand which invested years in building its public image.

4) Full Campaign Visibility
You should make sure that you get granular data and reporting that gives you full visibility into what affected the performance of your campaign: How many issues were detected? How were they distributed across your media partners? How many impressions were affected? How did it affect your overall campaign performance? Etc. 

It is also important to combine your display verification and video verification reporting. There are solutions on the market that offer one or the other, and solutions that do both. The advantage in combining both is streamlined operations and the benefit of utilizing display verification data in video verification and vice versa. The more historical data you use, the more accurate your detectionand thus protection, will be.

That said, reporting is only good at detecting the issues and giving you a backward look at things. This is good for understanding what happened and suggesting measures for future campaigns. 

5) Impression Blocking 
The best measure to ensure that issues will actually be prevented is to deny the delivery of the impression. Several techniques exist to do this:
  • Blacklists - A list of domains is created where your ads must not run.  Ads can run on any site that isn’t on the blacklist.
  • Whitelists - A list of domains is created where your ads may run.  Ads must not run on any site that isn’t on the whitelist.
  • Impression-level analysis - Inspecting each impression and determining whether it meets the advertiser’s specific criteria, including brand or message conflict, along with fraud, brand safety, and other requirements, and denying ad delivery when these criteria aren’t met for the specific impression.  
Many advertisers today use black and white lists. However, this is like throwing out an entire container of eggs because one is broken. Making a decision per impression is preferred to making a collective assumption that a domain is always safe or never safe as it ensures fewer bad ad impressions where something went wrong on a trusted site, and more good ad impressions on sites that otherwise might have been totally excluded with a less granular solution. 

6) Page Verification & Video Player Content Verification
It’s important to understand that online video appears on pages composed of two separate pieces - one being the video player where the video content and your video ad appear, and the second being the actual page that hosts the video player. Verification issues can happen both on the page and inside the video player, but most solutions on the market focus on detecting issues within the page only. Often times, the page content may be safe while the video content inside the video player is inappropriate for your brand. You must be able to detect BOTH issues related to the page and issues related to the video content itself. 

6 Steps to Video Campaign Recovery
Once you are over the hump of admitting that fraud and a general lack of visibility represent a threat to your digital campaigns, use this list of six key considerations as your guide to recovery. When the curtain is pulled aside to reveal an industry problem, many technology providers will race to offer proprietary solutions. Not all solutions are created equal, so find a solution that deals with each of these verification considerations for you so that you have the most complete capabilities possible.

About the Author

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Ronnie Lavi

Ronnie Lavi is vice president, product, at Innovid, a technology platform for delivering immersive video advertising anywhere. Ronnie is a digital advertising technology veteran with nearly a decade of product development and product marketing experience.



Should You Submit to the IAB MIXX Awards?

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With less than two days left to submit entries to the IAB MIXX Awards, you might be asking yourself should you enter. Here’s a handy flow chart to help you decide.

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Congratulations to the 2014 IAB MIXX Awards Screening Committee

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The IAB MIXX Awards screening committee, comprised of marketing and advertising  pioneers, determines the pool of finalists from which the IAB MIXX Awards judging panel will select this year’s winners. Each one of these leaders individually scores each submission to ensure the world’s most creative and high-impact digital executions are recognized. The decisions this group makes helps shape the industry by highlighting what they think is important and innovative in interactive marketing as well as educates the industry on what’s happening and what’s next.

Every entry is evaluated by multiple committee members for an accurate, thorough review. The five entries with the highest scores become the finalists for each category. Finalists will be notified by August 8, 2014.

The 2014 IAB MIXX Awards esteemed screening committee are comprised of:

Guillermo Abud - Vice President, Digital Director, MV42 | MediaVest Multicultural
Aliza Adam - Vice President, Interactive Design Director, Deutsch
Azher Ahmed - Senior Vice President, Director of Digital Operations, DDB
Paul Alfieri - Vice President, Global Marketing, Turn Inc.
Gil Arevalo - Senior Creative, VML/Red Fuse
Cynthia Ashworth - Senior Vice President, Innovation Marketing, Univision Interactive Media
Joe Barone - Managing Director, Digital Advertising Operations, GroupM
Bex Bartolo - Planning Director, Iris Worldwide
Andreas Baumert - Associate Creative Director, kbs+
Dan Bensman - Associate Creative Director, Wunderman
Heather Bergstein - Director, Corporate Digital Marketing & Media, The Estée Lauder Companies
Christian Borges - Senior Vice President, Marketing, true [X] media
Natalia Borges - Vice President, Marketing, Batanga Network
Mitch Brandow - Vice President, Energy, BBDO
Kedma Brown - Vice President, Director of Integrated Production, Saatchi & Saatchi
Evan Caffee - Senior Manager, Reporting and Analytics, National Markets Sales Operations, YP
Adam Cahill - Executive Vice President, Media Director, Hill Holiday
Jaimie Camesano - Mobile Marketing Lead, Lenovo
Juan Cano - Account Manager, The Vidal Partnership
Matthew Carollo - Executive Director, Digital Marketing & Sales Enablement, Hanley Wood Media
Julia Casale-Amorim - Chief Marketing Officer, Casale Media
James Chester - Senior Analyst, Digitas Health
Federico Churio - Latin America Digital Marketing Manager, Lenovo
Harry Clark - General Manager, Underwriting & Integrated Marketing, New York Public Radio
Erin Clift - Vice President, Global Marketing & Partnerships, Spotify
Serena Connolly - Group Creative Director, LBI
Danny Cordella - Senior Copywriter, Creative, Digitas
Makiko Cronin - Vice President, Client Partner, Chango
Tom Davis - Chief Marketing Officer, Forbes Media
Karen Dayan - Vice President, Corporate Marketing, AdTruth
Sefanie Digianvincenzo - Associate Creative Director, Wunderman
Rachelle Digregorio - Strategist, Big Spaceship
Dabney Donigan - User Experience Designer, Big Spaceship
Kelley Drake - Director, Trade Marketing, AOL, Inc.
Kevin Dreyfuss - Vice President, Creative Director, Deutsch
Alice Dure - Digital Group Director, MEC Global
Sia Ea - Senior Creative Director, Ansible Mobile
Keith Eadie - Vice President, Marketing, TubeMogul
Carla Eboli - Chief Marketing Officer, Dieste Inc.
Tom Eslinger - WW Creative Director Mobile and Social, Saatchi & Saatchi
Linda Evans - Vice President, Cross Platform Marketing, Time Warner Cable
Rita Ferro - Executive Vice President, Disney Media Sales & Marketing, Disney Interactive Media Group
Joel Fisher - Vice President, Creative Director, Verve Mobile
Craig Furlong - Senior Creative Technologist, PointRoll
Fred Gerantabee - Director, Technology, Grey
Adam Gerber - Vice President, Sales Development & Marketing, ABC National TV
Ali Ghuzzi - Creative Director, Voltari
Jason Gomez - Digital Supervisor, BPN
Nicole Granese - Global Brand Marketing and Strategy, Visa
Lindsey Greathouse - Email Program Manager, Lenovo
Paul Greer - Associate Creative Director, Digitas
Nancy Griffin - Media Director, Tapestry Partners
Jose Guizar - Art Director, Huge
Steve Haroutunian - Vice President, Digital Production Manager, Mullen
Walter Harp - Vice President, Product Management & Marketing, Mixpo
Marc Hartzman - Group Creative Director, kbs+
Nikki Hawke - Marketing Director, North America, The Exchange Lab
Josh Heitsenrether - Director, Marketing Services, Summit Business Media
Elizabeth Hellman - Chief Marketing Officer, Dstillery
Bobbie Herbs - Vice President, Marketing & Insights, Rovi Advertising
Stephanie Hing - Campaign Planning and Delivery Manager, Lenovo
Amber Horsburgh - Strategist, Big Spaceship
Ryan Hose - Creative Director, Red Fuse
Christopher Howell - Associate Director, Digital, BPN
Erin Hutchinson - Director, Events Marketing, Merkle, Inc.
Greg Johns - Client Director, Digital Strategy, Initiative+
Craig Johnson - Global Account Director, Oracle, ZenithOptimedia
Pete Jones - Executive Creative Director, McCann XBC
Jae Sung Jung - Art Director, kbs+
Erin Kapczynski - Vice President, Marketing, Purch
Nancy Katz Aresu - Director, Client Services, Young and Rubicam
Brittney Kernan - Senior Technologist, Big Spaceship
Eric Kingsbury - Head of Marketing and Creative, FetchBack
Lindsay Kirkman - Project Manager, Worldwide Web Campaigns, Online Web Marketing, Lenovo
Jack Koch - Director, Global Marketing Insights, Electronic Arts
Kamil Kowalczyk - Copywriter, Leo Burnett
Lisa LaCour - Vice President, Marketing, Outbrain
Justin LaFontaine - Art Director, Huge
Claudia Lagunas - Senior Director, Global Digital Marketing, Visa
Scott Lahde - Director, Corporate Marketing, YuMe
Gian LaVecchia - Managing Partner, Digital Content Marketing, MEC
Tim Leake - Senior Vice President, Director of Growth & Innovation, RPA
Brian Leder - Senior Partner, Digital Director North, GroupM
John Leeman - Senior Vice President, Marketing, RMG Networks
Chris Lehault - Associate Creative Director, Wunderman
Michael Lepkowsky - IT Director, Digital Marketing Services, Unilever
Penn Li - Associate Creative Director, Razorfish
Tom Limongello - Vice President, Product Marketing, Crisp Media
Jane Lin - Director, Marketing, Gravity
Daniel Littlefield - Search Strategist, Morpheus Media
Ewa Lonska - Senior Art Director, Cramer-Krasselt
Karmen Luznik - Vice President, Marketing, Celtra
Mike Manganillo - Creative Media Director, McKinney
Chanel Marks - Senior Strategic Account Manager, Electronic Arts
Ryan McKone - Vice President, Strategy Director, Interactive, Cramer-Krasselt
Kirsten McMullen - Director of Marketing, Chief Privacy Officer, 4INFO
Suzanne Molinaro - Senior Vice President, Director Of Digital Production, Deutsch
Chuck Moran - Chief Marketing Officer, Burst Media
Rodrigo Moretz - Senior Digital Marketing and Innovation Manager for Latin America, Unilever
Alex Morrison - Senior Vice President, Director of Digital Marketing, Grey
Mark Mulhern - Senior Director, Mars Petcare, BBDO NY
Marco Muzzi - Marketing Director, AcuityAds Inc.
Scott Navarro - Agency Lead, AOL
Piryanka Nayak - Global Brand Strategy and Communications, Lenovo
Paul Neto - Research Director, YuMe
Chris Nicholls - Communications Director, Saatchi & Saatchi LA
James O’Neill - Vice President, Director of Interactive, Assembly
Brian Orlando - Senior Brand Manager, Unilever
Jabez Palmer - Executive Director, Creative, Mixpo
Juan Paredes - Brand Manager, The Vidal Partnership
Lisa Parente - Vice President, Millward Brown
Crystal Park - Senior Director, Marketing, AOL Networks
Catherine Patterson - Senior Vice President, ex. Integrated Production, McCann
Rob Peragine - Senior Account Executive, North America, BPN
Rey Peralta - Senior Vice President, Director of Creative Technology, Deutsch
Constanza Peuriot - Senior Vice President of Global Marketing and Expansion, BPN
Lea Platz - Associate Creative Director, kbs+
Ben Plomion - Vice President, Marketing, Chango
Joanna Popper - Vice President, Marketing, NBCUniversal Telemundo
Erica Pressly - Copywriter, The Barbarian Group
Erik Rabasca - Senior Vice President, Digital Integrated Lead, BPN
Rajesh Raina - Senior Director Global Marketing, Abbot
Mohan Ramaswamy - Partner, Strategy, Work & Co
Kerstin Recker - Vice President, Marketing, NTENT
Alex Reinoso - Art Director, Razorfish
Christine Roeder - Associate Director, Marketing, AT&T AdWorks
David Rosenberg - Associate Creative Director, SapientNitro
Soizic Sacrez - Trade Marketing Director, Terra Networks Operations, Inc.
Kendra Salvatore - Strategy Director, Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Matthew Sandercock - Program Manager, Consumer Digitization, GE Appliances
Paulo Santamaria - Digital Marketing & Social Media Manager, Lenovo
Shelby Saville - Executive Vice President, Managing Director, Spark
Marla Schimke - Vice President, Marketing, ZUMOBI
Laura Schooling - Chief Marketing Officer, Jumpstart Automotive Group
Adam Seymour - Senior Vice President, Managing Director, Carat SF
Naim Sheriff - Senior Designer, Big Spaceship
Deb Siegel - Associate Creative Director, Digitas
Hunter Simms - Associate Creative Director, Razorfish
Dahee Song - Art Director, kbs+
Angela Steele - Chief Operating Officer, Ansible
Kerry Steib - Product Marketing, Spotify
Patrick Stern - Chief Creative Officer, iCrossing
John Swadener - Principal, Consumer Impact Consulting, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Ryan Tetuan - Creative Account Director, Google, Inc.
Andrea Thompson - Vice President, Creative Director, McCann Erickson
Julian Tippins - Copy Writer, Huge
Alex Toledo - Senior Manager, Interactive Development, SapientNitro
Matt Trego - Associate Creative Director, McKinney
Zak Treuhaft - Chief Digital Officer, Grey
David Urbano - Director Digital Strategy and Production, The Vidal Partnership
Sean Vanderdasson - Senior Vice President, Games Service & Retail Marketing, WildTangent
Daniela Vojta - Group Creative Director, McCann XBC
Kip Voytek - Senior Vice President, Director of Digital Innovation, MDC Partners
Sean Wachsman - Brand Manager, Chambord Trademark, Brown-Forman
Rick Weir - Director, Business to Business Marketing (Local, Mobile), Yahoo!, Inc.
Eric Weisberg - Executive Creative Director, JWT
Esmee Williams - Vice President, Brand Marketing, Allrecipes.com
Donald Williams - Chief Digital Officer, Horizon Media
Jeffrey Woelker - Vice President, Director of Digital, Zócalo Group
Lise Yellen - Creative Director, VML/Red Fuse
Susan Young - Group Creative Director, McCann XBC
Felicia Yukich - Director, Marketing Communications and Content, Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts


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The IAB is only as strong as its members. 

We’re delighted to congratulate Time Inc. for being the inaugural member of the month. Time Inc. was selected because they have taken full advantage of learning to leading opportunities, ranging from leading conversations on the Programmatic Council to attending educational  IAB webinars. 

Below, we interviewed those leaders and learners to hear their perspective on what is going on in digital advertising and their experience with the IAB.  

What does your company do, and specifically how does it serve the digital ecosystem?
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Dan Realson, VP Digital Sales, Time Inc. 
Time Inc. is first and foremost a storyteller. From desktop to mobile, from video to social, our diverse portfolio of brands engages 83 million passionate, loyal consumers on a monthly basis in a dialogue that entertains, informs, inspires and enriches their lives. The connections we have with our consumers are a powerful draw for our ad partners. Our scale and breadth of brands give us diverse audiences, deep insights and rich data - both offline and online - allowing us to create custom solutions that are highly targeted and contextually relevant, driving more efficiency and effectiveness for advertisers. It’s that intersection of content, context, data and scale that fuels our innovative suite of digital solutions.

Whether working directly with one of our brands, or buying programmatically across the Time Inc. digital network our advertisers benefit from the value audiences place on our quality, branded content.

What initiatives is Time Inc. looking forward to working with the IAB and its member companies on; and how do you motivate your colleagues to get involved?
Dan Realson, VP Digital Sales, Time Inc. 
Time Inc. will continue to work with the IAB on initiatives to advance industry education on programmatic as well as other initiatives such as transparency, viewability and building a trustworthy supply chain. We are also eager to work with the IAB on establishing industry-wide standards for tablet, campaign measurement, and audience measurement for video, as well as the development of responsive, multi-platform ad units.

The key to motivation is in claiming Time Inc.’s leadership position in the media community, recognizing the IAB as an arbiter and megaphone for best practices, and underscoring our opportunity to have a voice in shaping the issues that are driving our industry today.
 
How have you leveraged thought leadership development at IAB over the past year and what was your take-away from the experience?
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Patrick Landi, Executive Director Programmatic Sales, Time Inc.
I have been an active member of the Programmatic Council for publishers since last summer where I have participated in a number of initiatives to help create best practices around programmatic selling. Projects have ranged from creating guidelines for building out a programmatic sales team to developing content for a programmatic 101 webinar in which I participated as a speaker. I also helped curate content for the IAB’s recent professional development class entitled Advanced Programmatic for Direct Sellers, and I will be serving on the Digital Media Sales Certification (DMSC) exam committee later this year. Participating in this group and getting to know my peers on the council  has been an invaluable resource that I have used to help develop Time Inc.’s own programmatic sales team and strategy. I’ve also incorporated the materials from the IAB webinars into my own programmatic training sessions across Time Inc. and continue to use the IAB as a resource as our programmatic organization continues to develop.  
 
How did you participate as a learner at IAB over the past year and what was your take-away from the experience?
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Nicole Waddell, Digital Client Services Manager, Time Inc.
We are well trained on Time Inc.’s ad solutions but we rarely get to take a deeper look into what the industry as a whole is doing, especially as it relates to our colleagues at other companies. The IAB Programmatic Webinar (specific for publishers) was a unique opportunity that allowed me to see how other media companies are looking at Programmatic, what approaches their organizations are taking, how they are adapting their business strategies, and how they deal with challenges that may arise. I was encouraged to learn from an outside perspective, that even as the industry continues to adapt and grow, Time Inc. is taking a unique approach and has a strong offering in the marketplace.



To find out more about Time Inc.’s digital advertising opportunities go to www.Timeinc.com



About the Author

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Nicole Horsford

Nicole Horsford is the Member Services Director at IAB.




The 4th of July fireworks were doubly celebratory for me this year, celebrating Independence Day of course, but also the completion of a new compliance test for the IAB’s MRAID specification.  This is a major MRAID milestone, and I’m very happy to announce that the final version of the compliance test is officially live as of today.

MRAID has been one of the key ongoing initiatives of the IAB’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence since we started it over three years ago. The IAB created MRAID in order to help mobile rich media advertising scale more successfully, by simplifying and standardizing the application programming interface (“API”) “language” that ads use to communicate with the apps that run them.fireworks.jpg

The MRAID project solves a clear and distinct industry need, and adoption of MRAID throughout the industry has been gratifying.  However, as adoption grew the IAB working group overseeing MRAID realized that the standard had several adolescent growing pains that threatened to prevent it from living up to its full potential. 

Over the past several months, the MRAID Working Group has taken four concrete steps to address those growing pains.  I’d like to review them here.

Finalize the Compliance Test for MRAID v2.  Today the IAB has released a final version of the compliance test for MRAID v2.  This test consists of six well-documented test ads developed by the IAB’s MRAID Working Group as “canonical,” correct ads that collectively test every important MRAID v2 feature or requirement.  Where previously the IAB had to take vendors claiming MRAID v2 compliance at their word, the new test establishes an objective bar for any would-be compliant solution. 

To earn the MRAID v2 compliance seal, a vendor must now attest that it has successfully run all six of these test ads, and that the ads behaved fully in keeping with the checklists outlined in the documentation.  The test ads also establish models that creative designers can look at for insights into how to write MRAID ads.  More information on the MRAID compliance program is here. 

Launch an Web-Based MRAID Creative Tester.  Ad designers have long needed a way to make sure that MRAID ads they have developed actually use the MRAID APIs correctly.  To address that the IAB has been overseeing the development of a basic, web-based tester for MRAID ads, which is available at webtester.mraid.org. This open source project helps ad creators ensure that they’ve implemented MRAID correctly in their ads. 

Of course, while this basic test can identify errors in using MRAID, ad creators should still also QA test MRAID ads with the actual apps/SDKs/devices that will be running them.  But if an ad runs correctly in the web tester, that’s a strong indication that it will run correctly elsewhere as well.

Take a Stand on Technical Standards Convergence.  In May, the IAB released a perspective paper on the topic of the interoperability of the various standards we have established to simplify the creation of rich ads.  These include MRAID for ads in mobile applications, SafeFrame for the web, and the VSuite (VAST, VPAID, and VMAP) for video ads.  This document, “Choosing Between VPAID, MRAID, and SafeFrame,” establishes our goals and priorities for vendors and ad creators who increasingly want or need to use these specs in tandem with one another.

Publish Best Practices for the MRAID Ecosystem.  Growing MRAID adoption has been great, but there has long been a need for guidance on using MRAID above and beyond the specification itself.  We addressed that with the MRAID Best Practices we released in April and just updated today.  This document provides clarification on ambiguous points in the MRAID spec, and underscores important MRAID requirements that some ad designers and vendors have overlooked.  We view it as a vital complement to the MRAID spec itself.

The MRAID project has achieved much over its lifespan and with these new developments we are locked on a course to ensure that MRAID continues to help the industry for years to come.  I’m very grateful to the many IAB members who have generously supported the MRAID project with their time and expertise.


About the Author

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Joe Laszlo

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

 

Media Multitaskers and Purchase Influence

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Consumers are increasingly pressed for time and, due to the multitude of readily available media sources, undivided attention.  Thus, it should come as no surprise that consumers are frequently multitasking, particularly with other media.  82% of American adults (over 18) go online while watching TV and 43% of them make this a regular habit.  So, as sellers of media, the question arises:  Are these Media Multitaskers even noticing the advertising?  And where does digital fall in this picture?  New research from the IAB shows that they are indeed noticing the ads on both media and they’re even being influenced by them, especially digital.  

As media multitasking grows, it becomes increasingly important for media buyers and sellers to understand the place of media in this new environment and how to best reach consumers.  The IAB analyzed Prosper Insights data to examine the media behaviors and influence of habitual Media Multitaskers and the results are impressive

Media Multitaskers are more likely than the general population to notice TV commercials and digital ads and are more likely to have their purchases influenced by the media and ads that they’re taking in on either screen.  They’re 6 percentage points (ppt) more likely than the general public to report regularly watching TV commercials.  Media Multitaskers are 5 percentage points more likely to report that both Broadcast TV and Internet Advertising influence their Electronics purchases.  Fascinatingly, Internet Advertising and Email Advertising have a higher purchase influence on Media Multitaskers than Cable TV does.  For instance, 29% of Media Multitaskers state that Internet Ads and Email Ads influence their Electronics purchases while only 23% report that Cable TV influences those purchases.  Similar differences in ad influence are seen across product verticals.   

Who are these Media Multitaskers?  Media Multitaskers are more likely to be young, single, females of average income who are heavy media users, especially of digital media.  Within digital, they’re also heavier Video Streamers and users of Mobile and Social Media—all of which are more likely to influence their purchases.  In an average week (M-SU), they’re 10 percentage points more likely than the general population to surf the internet, where they are 14 ppt more likely to use social media and 8 ppt more likely to stream online radio.  Media Multitaskers are also 9 ppt more likely to regularly watch digital video either online or on a mobile device.  They’re more likely to own and use any mobile device.  Media Multitaskers are most active online during primetime TV viewing hours (8-11pm).  

Evidence points to Media Multitaskers integrating media together across screens.  For example, Media Multitaskers are more inclined to do an online search related to something they’ve seen on TV or in a digital ad.  About one-quarter to one-third report searching online as a result of what they’ve seen in an internet or email ad or on TV.  While searching, they’re more prone to be influenced by a sponsored search result - nearly half report doing so.  

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Compounding the impact of search, Media Multitaskers are more likely to regularly do online product research before buying and their #1 online activity for fun is shopping. Additionally, Media Multitaskers happen to be planning major purchases within the next 6 months, more so than the general population.  These major purchases include vacation travel, computers, furniture and autos.

But it’s not just about search.  Media Multitaskers integrate various media types and are influenced by all digital media ad formats.  29% of Media Multitaskers report that their Electronics purchases are influenced by Internet Advertising and Email Advertising (5 ppt and ppt more than the general population).  Media Multitaskers are much more likely to use any social media service and 21% are influenced by social media in their Electronics purchases.  65% stream video online and 59% report watching the video ads (5 ppt more than the general population).  20% report that their mobile device influences their Electronics purchases (+4 ppt). Digital media ad influence extends beyond Electronics purchases, as detailed in the report.

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All of this points to digital advertising as the place to reach the time-constrained, multitasking consumer.  Digital should be part of any integrated TV campaign, since digital is increasingly where TV viewers are taking action.  Those who are simultaneously surfing and watching are in fact reacting to what they’re seeing on each screen and the computer seems to be the screen in which they take their actions further.  They’re most likely to be simultaneously watching TV and online during primetime TV hours, so this is the place to hit them with an integrated campaign, which they can search about online, where they should encounter a related digital ad. 

Retailers too should consider digital as a component to their TV buys since Media Multitaskers are more likely to research online before buying and more likely to do their shopping online.  Media Multitaskers’ major purchase plans combined with the purchase influence of digital advertising formats create ideal conditions for digital advertising to them. 

Perhaps the most important reason to target this group is that since multitasking behavior is growing at a fast pace, today’s Media Multitaskers will soon become tomorrow’s typical consumers.  By embracing the new way consumers watch TV - which includes an online accompaniment - advertisers can meet consumers on their terms by offering an integrated brand experience across screens, thereby deepening their relationship with the consumer.


About the Author

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Kristina Sruoginis

Kristina Sruoginis is the Research Director at IAB.


We are at war.  The industry is under siege from organized criminals who proliferate malware to steal individuals’ sensitive information, turn consumers’ devices into bots that generate billions of fraudulent ad impressions and clicks, and who pirate valuable content—all for their own financial gain.  

We are also at war with ourselves.  We have created an overly complex and porous supply chain that is obfuscated from the very marketers we hope to sell to.  And, we have not shown the necessary vision and commitment to effectively fight back.  

Without trust between marketers, publishers, consumers, and the multitude of parties in between, the growth of our industry—and by extension all of the monumental innovations our industry supports—is indefinitely debilitated. As IAB President and CEO Randall Rothenberg said in a powerful call-to-action earlier this year, we need an industry-wide behavior change at an unprecedented scale.

 IAB is uniquely positioned to lead this charge. Our members have driven the advancements that created this complex supply chain and can propel the progress that will lift us out of this morass.  Success, however, will require all of you.  Only with the help and dedication of the entire advertising community will we be able to instill confidence in consumers, security in content creators, and better understanding in marketers. 

To accomplish this ambitious and essential goal, the IAB is launching a Trustworthy Digital Supply Chain Initiative, comprised of 5 distinct objectives: 

  • Eliminate Fraudulent Traffic
  • Combat Malware
  • Fight Internet Piracy
  • Promote Brand Safety through greater Transparency
  • Create Accountability

Here is the roadmap for accomplishing each objective: 

Eliminate Fraudulent Traffic

No economic model in which a significant percentage of the goods sold are fraudulent is sustainable.  We must identify bot-generated, non-human traffic and remove it from the supply chain.  The first step is to develop a common taxonomy so the entire ecosystem can speak the same language when talking about “transacting in only human traffic”.  Second, we must have a set of principles, operational and technical in nature, that help guide sellers of inventory in the identification and filtering of fraudulent activity.  Lastly, there needs to be better communication across the industry on known threat vectors and cutting edge solutions.  

IAB is currently leading the Traffic of Good Intent Task Force, which earlier this year scoped the cause and nature of this problem and produced a set of definitions. This group will soon expand upon that product with the release of new principles that establish best practices for fraud detection and set institutional limits on selling that inventory.  Following this work, the group will focus on adoption and accountability across the entire industry.

Combat Malware

Eliminating fraudulent traffic and combatting malware are two sides of the same coin. Malware is the malicious software downloaded onto consumers’ devices as they browse the web, download apps, or click on an infected link or advertisement. By decreasing the proliferation of malware the industry will create a safer, more enjoyable experience for consumers, and will help thwart the creation of botnets, which in turn create fraudulent traffic. 

To organize industry’s efforts on this front, IAB is establishing a new Malware Task Force within the Trustworthy Digital Supply Chain Initiative.  This group will create a set of high-level security principles to help companies detect malware attacks on their sites, as well as to help define technological baselines for companies to deploy against criminal activity. Malware attacks are constantly evolving, thus this group will also serve as an information sharing platform in which one company can share the latest intelligence on malware threats with other companies.  IAB will also form a partnership with law enforcement agencies to help them more effectively investigate and prosecute criminal activity.  Finally, the industry must work to plug the most commonly exploited security hole, which is outdated software on individuals’ devices.  We must educate consumers about these security risks and encourage them to update their browsers, operating systems, and other software. 

Fight Internet Piracy

Advertising revenue should never flow to criminals who steal copyrighted material and place it on “pirate” sites.  IAB and many of its members have already made strides toward this imperative through the Quality Assurance Guidelines, which include the prohibition of the sale of advertising on sites dedicated to copyright infringement. While many networks and exchanges already devote a great deal of time and resources to detecting this illegal activity, more must be done. IAB is participating in a cross-industry effort to standardize best practices and piracy detection technologies, thus making it easier for companies to double down on their existing efforts.  In addition, the Quality Assurance Guidelines program recently established a complaint system, whereby rights holders can notify networks and exchanges about potential pirate sites.  However, the process must be simpler, detection more accurate, and participation ubiquitous. And finally, marketers and agencies must build upon their own commitment to not purchase inventory on pirate sites by including this language in their contracts for every advertising campaign.

Promote Brand Safety through Increased Transparency

There is no easy way to say it, but too many marketers and agencies do not fully understand the inner workings of the digital advertising supply chain. The path an ad travels today, from insertion order to the screens of a target group of consumers, is a labyrinthine and far too opaque to the buyer. As Rothenberg said in his article, “Even if you know that your own suppliers are reliable, you can’t tell whether your suppliers’ suppliers are secure.”  Unchecked, this lack of transparency deters brand spending in our ecosystem.  To build openness, understanding and trust, sellers must continue to grow the transparency provisions contained within the Quality Assurance Guidelines—particularly in light of the rise of programmatic—and evolve the compliance program so that it governs every transaction flowing through the trusted supply chain. 

Transparency is one of the foundational goals of the Quality Assurance Guidelines. As its mission states, the Quality Assurance Guidelines aim to provide “clear, common language that describes characteristics of advertising inventory and transactions across the advertising value chain.” Already 29 top digital companies are certified under the program, with many additional leaders en route. We must continue to build out participation and increase awareness of the program amongst marketers and agencies.

Create Accountability 

Principles and guidelines are only effective when you have industry-wide adoption and compliance.  This kind of accountability ensures each participant can rely on the multitude of other actors in the supply chain to do the right thing. Without it, trust erodes. 

We have the building blocks of an industry wide compliance program in the current IAB Quality Assurance Guidelines.  To build this out to ensure a trustworthy digital supply chain, it must be expanded to cover areas such as fraud and malware and to additional areas as they arise. The compliance mechanism must be strengthened to include active monitoring systems and serious consequences for non-compliance. Last but not least, ALL actors in the digital advertising supply chain, from marketers and agencies to ad technology intermediaries and publishers, need to certify against the parts of the guidelines that are relevant to their business model.  Advertisers then must request, demand if you will, this seal of approval from those with which they buy. Only then will we have an accountability program that truly becomes the “Good Housekeeping seal of approval,” meaningfully signifying who to trust in the digital ad supply chain.   

These five discrete objectives compose a roadmap toward a more trustworthy digital supply chain, one that will increase the entire industry’s value and worth. They will be discussed in more depth at the Advertising Technology: IAB Marketplace event happening today in New York. However, it should be said, there is no such thing as a completely trustworthy supply chain. Most of our efforts are directed at fighting criminal activity, and it’s impossible to stamp out all crime. But we can implement successful programs that make it difficult for the criminals to be successful. That’s what we are doing today and we need your help to achieve our goals. 


About the Author

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Mike Zaneis

Mike Zaneis is SVP & General Counsel at the IAB.

Although Integral has been on the forefront of the fight against impression fraud in the digital advertising industry, I have been largely silent on the topic.  Despite that I’m a battle-scarred ad tech vet with strong opinions, I have been quiet because I know that many will perceive my words as biased due to Integral’s role in fraud prevention.  Two recent incidents, however, prompted me to end my silence.  Some will be surprised by my conclusions.

For the record, my definition of impression fraud - as recognized by the IAB - is a situation where an advertiser buys a digital ad that has zero chance of being seen by a human.  Fraud comes in many flavors, including ad stacking, whole websites stuffed into non-viewable i-frames, and botnets of infected consumers’ computers, which surreptitiously mimic humans’ surfing behavior.  Although all cause harm to the advertising ecosystem, I will be referring mainly to bot traffic here as we believe it’s the most common form of fraud and probably the hardest to detect.

The first aforementioned incident that caused me to speak out was a call I received from an old colleague who runs a media company that produces valuable fitness-related content.  He called me in panic because he was told by one of his big clients that they were discontinuing advertising with his company.  Their reason was that a technology vendor had found that 100 percent of his site’s impressions were fraudulent.  Given what I knew of the site, 100 percent fraudulent traffic sounded improbable.  I quickly offered to help by running a test on his site.  The results showed that my former colleague’s site did have some fraud, but the levels were closer to 20 percent.  It became quite clear that the technology vendor measuring fraud was labeling a lot of legitimate inventory (in this case 80 percent) as bad inventory.  I thought that this may have been an isolated case, but with further investigation, I found that this was happening to a lot of other publishers as well.  Sites that had even a modicum of fraud were being labeled as fraudulent by this well-known vendor.  

This issue seemed like a micro-level problem to me.  Human traffic was being incorrectly categorized as bot traffic on domains with any level of fraud, and while unfortunate, only impacted those sites affected.  The second incident, a call from an investment bank research analyst, made me realize that there is a macro-issue at play as well.  This bank was putting the final touches on its special report on the state of digital media and wanted me to verify that the annual loss from impression fraud in the online display ad industry was over $20 billion.  Say what?  I have read some pretty aggressive predictions around the dollars lost to fraud, but $20 billion?  That estimate is way too high. 

So, I feel I need to come forward and take a stand.  Fraud is a problem in the online advertising industry, but NOT a problem of this magnitude.  Whether on purpose or not, the fraud problem is being exaggerated.  We have a problem, but it’s been blown out of proportion and it’s not as big as what we read.  There, I said it.  A year ago, I was concerned because I felt that the industry was not talking enough about the fraud problem, and now, I am worried about the opposite.  If we’re not careful, we are going to get carried away and cause irreparable harm to the future of digital advertising.

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So how did we get here exactly?  I put the blame into a couple of categories.  The first category has to do with limitations in technology.  The unnamed vendor labeling my former colleague’s website as having 100 percent fraudulent traffic is a good example of technological limitations.  In this case, the vendor correctly detected some fraudulent activity, but extrapolated this information to the domain or site level.  In other words, bot-related fraud happens at a user level (an infected computer), but due to technical restrictions, it is often tied to a domain level (e.g., fitness-related-site.com).  To make matters worse, many solutions only have two classifications of the entire site: fraudulent or clean.  Thus, if the solution sees any reasonable fraction of fraudulent impressions on a website, it has to make a decision to label the site as fraudulent or clean.  The threshold for fraud is typically set quite low in order to eliminate as much bot traffic as possible.  The end result is that a relatively few fraudulent visitors can cause a vendor to mislabel a large percentage of normal impressions fraudulent.  And as most fraud appears on legitimate sites that are buying traffic (a portion of which turns out to be non-human), as opposed to whole fake sites with 100% fraudulent traffic, this mis-labeling is very common.  When you start to aggregate these mis-labeled statistics and extrapolate on what it means industry-wide on a percentage of total impressions, the amount of fraud present looks downright scary.  Then, if you apply industry average CPMs to these extrapolated estimates (despite the fact that fraudulent inventory is usually cheaper than average), suddenly $20 billion appears plausible. 

So, what’s the alternative to rolling up fraud statistics and detecting at the domain level?  The better option is to intercept the ad call as soon as you detect a fraudulent user and thus only block the one ad from serving to this specific bot.  However, you need to do this detection at the ad impression level.  It’s the equivalent of using a laser to perform surgery rather than a butcher knife.   Here are a couple of things to look out for:  If more than 15 percent of your campaign impressions overall are identified as fraudulent and blocked, there is a good chance fraud detection is at the domain level.  This means you are using a butcher knife, and this will likely cause friction with partners and needlessly hurt your scale.

Additionally, if you ever hear that blocking is not possible or bad because it tips off the fraudsters, you should know that you have been given false information.  If done correctly, there is absolutely NO truth to this claim.  It’s an urban myth - similar to one that claims freezing water in plastic bottles release dangerous dioxins - so don’t fall for it!  Even if fraudsters were able to somehow detect that a specific bot did not receive the originally intended ad each time (not likely), there is no data that would give them the ability to reverse engineer the reasons why.  People claiming that blocking is bad because it helps the bad guys are either naïve, rely on only one method for detecting fraud (like side channel analysis) or are purposely deceitful.  In any case, it means that they’re suggesting a solution that does not have the technological sophistication to block at the impression level, and thus not as effective in preventing fraud and saving money for advertisers.

The second category of blame for exaggerating the fraud problem is related more to commercial reasons.  The fraud problem has created lots of opportunity and companies have popped up almost overnight to capitalize on it.  Many of the companies are made up of people who have never bought or sold an ad and have no appreciation for the media or the technology behind it.  They see dollar signs and exaggerate the problem to give their company attention and help them create more demand for their product and services.  Furthermore, most of these companies see only a small percentage of the online population - typically the worst stuff.  They make the assumption that their tiny sample of media is representative of the entire industry’s media and use these biased samples to wildly extrapolate.  Needless to say, the industry’s long-term health is not their top concern.  

So, where do we go from here?  Well, first it starts with a little perspective.  We have a fraud problem.  It has been exaggerated, however, and it’s not as big as many of the pundits say.  It definitely won’t ruin the industry - we won’t allow it to — and it’s not out of control.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is fraud is still a problem nonetheless.  It’s not only a sell side problem nor is it only a buy side problem.  It’s an industry problem.  And this problem will not go away anytime soon and may never completely vanish.  The bad guys are made up of amateurs and very sophisticated professionals.  We can eliminate the amateurs, but the pros are making a lot of money in fraud and they will continue to invest heavily in building better deceptions.  Our goal has to be to work together as an industry to shut down all amateur activity and get the professional levels to a very small, manageable amount.  The good news is that we are making progress.  Despite what you may hear, fraud levels have dropped over the past year.  We are at the beginning of the battle, but we’ve got the bad guys on the run. 


About the Author


Scott_headshot_hi-res.jpgScott Knoll

Scott Knoll is the CEO of Integral Ad Science



Make Mobile Work continues with Design with Device in Mind

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On Tuesday, May 13th IAB’s Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence hosted our second Make Mobile Work webinar of the four-part series. Devoted to cross-screen creative and “Designing with Device in Mind” we had a great discussion with insights from Xaxis, Doubleclick and Tremor Video. View the full webinar, download the slides and sign up for future webinars here.

As we continue our call to help marketers navigate mobile and cross-screen opportunities - we’ve invited Time, Inc. to share some additional studies of brands successfully connecting with their always-on, device-agnostic, digital consumers. Additionally, be sure to check out the Mobile Center’s new launched creative and case study showcases page where you can see examples of HTML5 mobile and tablet creative as well as cross-screen case studies from our members.

The Driven Campaign 
A Time Inc. Digital Experience 
Coming from a publisher’s point of view there are several important factors when addressing cross-screen capabilities for our sites and ad campaigns.  With upwards of 50% of our digital audience visiting us from mobile devices, and growing, it makes cross-screen strategies an imperative from both the user experience and business operations point of view. Today Time Inc. has 21 Tablet Magazines, 25 Mobile & Tablet Apps, and 19 Mobile Websites  ̶  many of which are going through responsive design reboots. 

For this post I’m going to focus on a specific campaign we created for Land Rover that was powered by our Watercooler LIVE content marketing platform. The platform comprises several unique products and capabilities that come together like Voltron to help marketers win the battle for attention and engage with audiences across devices.  

In the demos below you can see the Land Rover - “Driven” campaign as it renders for users across multiple environments. Time Inc. curated the “Driven” campaign content from paid, owned, and earned media channels into a responsive site that was iFramed into landroverusa.com/driven. We also put a re-direct on that domain pointing to a standalone site for users coming from mobile devices in order to ensure an ideal user experience for every device.  

This is how visits were divided by screen:
  • 66% Desktop
  • 12% Tablet
  • 20% Smart Phone
The HTML5 responsive site worked seamlessly across screens and was also engineered to provide dynamic content to its accompanying Time Amplify ad units. All of our products are designed to increase both reach and engagement by allowing advertisers to take context (Time Inc. content) to go.  Through our data assets and platform connections, we were able to run these units both on and off of the Time Inc. network, finding our audience at the right place, at the right time, and on the right device. As part of this campaign, we also created a custom unit to roadblock sponsored editorial content and provide users with another opportunity to engage with the “Driven” campaign as a 100% opt-in experience. The video below showcases the Time Amplify units that dynamically pair Sports Illustrated content to the “Driven” campaign elements. 
Using MOAT analytics to measure in-view and interaction across all screens, we delivered the equivalent of over 10 years of measured in-view time across desktop, mobile and tablet in a two-month period. As you can see, the “Driven” campaign really benefited from us taking device into consideration from the outset. The campaign garnered an average engagement rate north of 7% and Average Time Spent across all elements of the campaign of nearly a minute. Great results across the board.

Here are a few tips for marketers wondering where to get started for a winning cross-screen strategy of their own. Developing for cross-screen has never been easier:
  • Start with the basics - Campaign objectives, creative brief, brand guidelines
  • Tailor your objectives to fit each screen—While you can leverage desktop assets across screens you should be mindful of screen size, bandwidth, and device-specific user behavior
  • Leverage platforms and tools to develop/experiment in faster cycles
  • Chart your users’ journey and create meaningful touch points using the screen and technology that’s most appropriate
  • Measure the metrics that matter for each screen and look at campaign results both holistically and in detail A/B test, measure, analyze, improve, and repeat
  • Always identify what could be done better and incorporate that learning into the next campaign

At Time Inc., we strive to leverage large, impactful, flexible, and standardized canvases — including the IAB rising stars — by painting them with dynamic, content-driven ad experiences that feel authentic to consumers and drive engagement and results for marketers. Make sure your partners are equally committed to approaching cross-screen in a way that resonates with your customers. 


About the Authors


headshot.jpgBelinda J. Smith

Belinda J. Smith is Senior Manager of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at the Interactive Advertising Bureau



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Sam Mansour

Sam Mansour is Director of Digital Ad Product Experience at Time Inc




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