IABlog

3 Reasons Advertisers Need Advanced Television Now

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Advanced Television truly has… advanced. An estimated 75-100MM Americans watch TV content over IP across a host of devices. TV Everywhere video starts grew by over 100% last year. Addressable TV already reaches tens of millions of households across DISH, DIRECTV, Cablevision and Comcast, and soon could jump by about another 50% with the addition of multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD’s)/multi-system operators (MSOs) such as Charter, Cox, and Verizon. 

With staggering numbers like these, what we’ve been calling “Advanced TV” rightfully should be called, simply: “TV.”

The underlying technologies of Advanced TV have enabled innovation in content delivery and interaction, which has led to radical consumer behavior shifts. The way people watch TV—how, where, and on what devices—has changed. And in this shift, the IAB sees tremendous opportunity for advertisers’ strategies around media, creative, and measurement to evolve as well, generating greater value for advertisers, for publishers and distributors, and yes, for viewers.

To step back and define Advanced TV: it is the evolution of television, far beyond the linear television viewing experience and :30 commercials of the past 50 years. Non-traditional television consumption methods - such as time-shifting on DVRs, VOD and interactive television (iTV) — and enhanced cross-device viewing experiences — such as TV everywhere and Over-the-Top (OTT) viewing — have enabled unprecedented consumer control and choice. New content delivery platforms and functionality enable marketing nirvana: better targeting and addressability, more efficient and automated buying and selling methodologies, more holistic measurement and robust insights, and all of this enabling more impactful and influential campaigns. Advanced TV brings the best capabilities of digital advertising to TV advertising. 

To help accelerate innovation and adoption in this space, the Advanced TV Advisory Board of the IAB has begun work on an industry primer, to be published in Q2 2015. The primer will serve as a resource and buyers’ guide, pointing the way to help brands and agencies access the 3 core advantages of Advanced TV advertising:

First, the highly effective targeting technologies available through Advanced TV platforms help advertisers find their audiences — and re-aggregate them at scale — cross-device and at any time and place. And the addressable technology of Advanced TV makes that reach and scale more relevant to that audience when and where they are found.

Second, the richly interactive technology of Advanced TV enables greater engagement. Audience choice — viewers choosing their content and influencing or potentially even choosing which ads they see — ensures deeper engagement with that content and the advertising that goes with it. Richer data return on what audiences are choosing helps further refine the addressability of the platform, since based on the viewers’ choices of both content and advertising, the ads being served can be optimized.

And third, that same data return offers advertisers more effective and meaningful measurement of campaigns. Brands can be more certain that they actually reached their audience effectively, and gain insight into viewers’ usage and engagement. These insights feed back into the top of the cycle, helping advertisers target, reach, and engage their audience more and more effectively.

In short, with Advanced TV, advertisers have the opportunity to deliver more targeted messages and interactive content, with accountability far beyond simple media exposure. Stay tuned (so to speak) for the publication of this industry resource to help smart advertisers achieve exactly that. Until then, here are two more ways to derive more value from this space:
If you are an advertiser interested in exploring Advanced TV advertising, be sure to bring it up with your agency and ask for recommendations. 




About the Authors

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Elaine Boxer

Elaine Boxer is the Director of Industry Initiatives at IAB.



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Chris Falkner

Chris Falkner is the Senior Vice President of Advanced TV, NBC Broadcasting at NBCUniversal.



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Adam Lowy

Adam Lowy is the General Manager of Interactive & Advanced TV at DISH



The Power of Open Source Collaboration: We Need You

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Overview
There is a major demand in our industry today when it comes to providing tools and code needed to implement technical specifications. In order to help fill that gap, as well as provide transparency, certification and validation in the marketplace, IAB created structures such as its newly formed Tech Lab to augment the written specifications it currently produces. The IAB Tech Lab is tasked with researching and defining the necessary Open Source tools and code needed to quickly and easily put such specifications into practice. The lab is built around three core pillars: specifications, protocols, certification and tools. The “Tools” pillar, the focus of this post, is comprised of three different elements:

  1. Tools.jpgThe IAB CodeBank: The advertising industry’s repository of Open Source code, tools and implementation solutions;
  2. An Open Source network of developers which collaborates with the Tech Lab, donating their time, development cycles and resources to issues of interest to the IAB community; and
  3. A platform of utilities and testing tools that allow members to work with the specifications the IAB produces in order to help solve their real-world implementation needs.
One of the tools in this newly formed toolbox is the IAB’s SafeFrame technology, a managed API-enabled iframe-like vehicle that opens a line of communication between the publisher’s page and externally framed content such as ads. The bad news is that since its inception, the support materials surrounding SafeFrame has been limited to human-readable documentation, code excerpts and loosely coupled specifications. The good news is that is about to change. Since June of this past year, IAB members, Open Source developers, and technology enthusiasts have all banded together to jump start this important technology; and the results have been substantial. In six months, testing tools have been created. Roadmaps, both product technology as well as adoption, have been defined. Use cases are being created. Documentation updated.  In short, what had been an idle idea has now gotten an infusion of life thanks to the power of Open Source collaboration.

Contributions from IAB Members
In order for the industry to succeed as a whole, the IAB must be responsible for producing and promoting code that supports its standards, and do so with the help of the community in order to gain traction, as well as adoption. But, just supplying them with code is not enough. Ancillary products such as testing tools and other supporting materials must be part of the mix. In other words, what good is a piece of code if you have no way of ensuring that it will hold up to its intended purpose? This was one of the major roadblocks that prevented SafeFrame from moving ahead.

This is not to imply that the SafeFrame technology has been laying dormant for the last year. On the contrary, IAB members have been actively working with it, but in their own proprietary way. Microsoft and Yahoo have both integrated the SafeFrame technology in one form or another in several of their products. The problem though is that these integrations leverage each company’s own in-house technology and does not lend itself to a robust, general purpose solution that others can easily implement on their own. With that said, we know that without proprietary innovation, general standards lay dormant. The first step in any evolution is the need to fill a void. For Microsoft and Yahoo, their needs focused around “providing a solution to enable 3rd party ads while preserving user privacy and security, and doing so with least amount of work for their publishers and properties” and leveraging a technology that offered the end user with a platform that could ensure accountability, respectively.

Prabahakar Goyal, Chief Architect of Display Advertising at Microsoft, and one of the original authors of the SafeFrame utilizes this technology from a practical standpoint:

Safeframe is a standard which enables publishers to include 3rd party advertisements, including advanced ad formats such as richmedia, while mitigating the risk of data leakage or broken page because of the ad and page content interferences. It also provides a standard way to measure viewability across cross-domain iFRAME. Most recently we have deployed SafeFrame on one of our largest properties - Outlook. This is laying the foundation for serving 3rd party ads while making sure that our user’s data is protected and privacy is maintained.

Sean Snider, Senior Web Software Engineer at Yahoo and the original SafeFrame co-author currently leverages SafeFrame at Yahoo by integrating it into their core mindset:

“One of the largest benefits of digital advertising is how dynamic it is. The entire industry works toward delivering the most relevant and captivating advertisements to individual users. But being that dynamic comes with huge tradeoffs in terms of level off effort, safety, privacy, and consistent metrics. The whole idea with SafeFrame, is to have a foundation on the web for such advertising to reside, so that we can mitigate those tradeoffs, as well as move towards the future. Rolling out and developing SafeFrame and other standardizing technologies like it, is in of itself a large challenge. And that’s why it’s a very big win, for the IAB to take a leadership role creating and managing the technology required. Standards and specifications are the first step, but it’s critical to have open technology platforms that enforce and deliver on those standards.”

Without the proprietary work that is going on at companies like Microsoft and Yahoo, the community doesn’t move forward, and no one benefits. Luckily for IAB members, the creators of these types of solutions also happen to be the co-authors of the Open Source version of SafeFrame as well.

Contributions from Non-IAB Members
Because of the historical scarceness around support for SafeFrame in the past, Open Source developers began experimenting on their own, and needless to say, out of necessity came innovation. One company in particular, Streamwize spent so much time creating one-off solutions they took it upon themselves to write their own SafeFrame testing tool:

“The ‘Patcher’ is the first in a series of tools and services being offered by Streamwize to help accelerate and simplify SafeFrame adoption by both advertisers and publishers and raise the floor of ad capabilities for the industry. It is an enhanced, open source web-based tool that advertisers can use to inject, test and view their creatives on nearly any web site with both SafeFrame and Friendly iFrame simultaneous format support. Within the tool, you simply put your own creative code snippet or ad tag, the web site you wish to target for testing and either auto select or enter the CSS expression of where the creative will be rendered on the targeted web site page. The tool supports all IAB layout designs including floating lightboxes and expanded ads as well as the ability to define height and width. It then works by proxying any selected URL, injecting the SafeFrame publisher-side framework into the web site, and then loading the selected creative into the specified location. You also get a unique URL you can share with others so they can also see how your creative would look and operate, in context on the targeted website before certification or client review. 

Streamwize is further developing tools for publishers to ease the transition to SafeFrame by allowing them to simultaneously support SafeFrame with older standards until they are ready to make a full switch over to SafeFrame. Building tools for both publishers and advertisers on top of SafeFrame allows publisher and advertisers to leverage some of its advantageous features, including support for measurement and contextual advertising. 

Such is the critical importance of SafeFrame adoption across the industry in dealing with thorny issues such as mitigating publisher risk, consumer protection and viewability, that Streamwize will offer the “Patcher” tool free and will shortly be launching a dedicated web site to showcase why it is committed to the SafeFrame cause and it’s growing capabilities and benefits for advertisers and publishers.”

Another company, SquareOffs, interested in implementing SafeFrame but didn’t know where to look for help, reached out to the IAB and donated their developers’ time to work with us in order to implement SafeFrame directly into their product. What may have taken them weeks to do with little success was overcome in a matter of days working directly with Chris Cole, SafeFrame’s chief developer. According to SquareOffs CEO Jeff Rohr:

“The way that the IAB has been willing to work with real world companies on the ground is remarkable. SquareOffs is extremely grateful to be one of the first participants in the IAB Tech Lab and we are delighted that they see the huge win-win scenario going on here. It’s so valuable for an organization, such as the IAB, to experience the gaps and pitfalls present with any specification (or product) in it’s infancy that would never come up on a whiteboard. Getting out of the building and obtaining a big enough sample size of feedback is crucial to defining whether the needs are truly being met. We are glad that the IAB is taking this head on, while being wise enough to realize that a collective group approaching a problem from many different angles will reach the goals of the project and produce thorough documentation at a much faster pace.

SquareOffs has reached two product initiatives in our embedded debate technology at warp speed thanks to the IAB and Chris Cole: the ability for our embed to expand onto the page and the ability to dynamically match the content of the page where the embed is placed. Both of these enhancements directly impact our customer base and will be showing up much earlier than expected on sites near you. Our iframe solution would not allow for these capabilities and building a javascript solution to accomplish them would have come with much more overhead. The implementation of this new technology was a smooth process and we look forward to giving back to the community by documenting our use cases and those that come in the future.”

It is the collaborative efforts of companies like Streamwize and SquareOffs, in addition to their drive, passion and innovation that make the difference in whether a piece of technology ever sees the light of day, and really ever truly succeeds.

We Need You
Microsoft, Yahoo, Streamwize, and SquareOffs are only the beginning of the story. Much more work is needed in order to ensure technology such as SafeFrame makes it to the marketplace. The power of Open Source collaboration is unquestionable, but the realization of it takes time, effort and commitment. The IAB, with the creation of the Tech Lab, understands this, but it only works if our companies and individuals alike step up and push the boundaries of what is possible, so together we can collectively “raise the floor” on what can be done.

In closing, it should go without saying that the IAB can no longer simply sit back and rest on the laurels that it has produced best-of-breed standards. It must take a much more active approach and involvement in order to support the industry it serves. This means it must also execute on the specifications it delivers. Must roll up its sleeves and place “hands on keyboard” if ever it is to help its members succeed. The main impetus for the creation of the IAB Tech Lab was to provide an open environment where members could contribute, learn and grow in a collaborative manner. The only piece that is still missing… is you.


About the Author

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Alan Turransky

Alan Turransky is the Senior Director of Technology and Ad Operations at IAB.



Top 5 Trends in Digital Out of Home

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We tend to spend a lot of time outside and on-the-go, getting from one place to the next. It’s no surprise, then, that the average global consumer is exposed to various Digital Out of Home Media for 14 minutes per week, and investments in the space are expected to grow 14.2% year-over-year between 2011 - 2017. New York City’s Fulton Center in Lower Manhattan has recently reopened, accommodating up to 300,000 daily riders and boasting more than 50 digital screens available for marketers. The largest and most expensive digital billboard debuted in Times Square this past November, with just as many pedestrians expected to pass though the area daily. The overlapping powers of digital, mobile, outdoor, and Out of Home content seem to be stepping up.

Digital Out of Home (or “DOOH” as the channel is commonly referred) encompasses a variety of screen shapes, sizes, and levels of interactivity. From digital billboards and signs on taxis, to digital signage at airport gates and gyms and waiting rooms, these varieties underline a necessary bridge between context and location in relevance and favorable recall - vital components of any media campaign. The IAB sees norms and expectations from the online advertising world informing and expediting the growth of DOOH, and the IAB’s Digital Out of Home Taskforce launched this past fall with aims to define the DOOH channel while positioning its place within the larger interactive advertising industry.

As we collectively say “hello” to 2015, the Taskforce shares its thoughts on the Top 5 Trends in DOOH.
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photo courtesy of Luke Luckett, IAB Consultant

“Top 5 Trends in Digital Out of Home”

1. Cross-platform targeting opportunities are on the rise. As mobile devices become more advanced and ubiquitous, the proliferation of captive digital screens in home and out of home has been growing. Interactions with consumers have become more prominent via new mobile technologies like NFC, beacons and more accurate geofencing capabilities. Such technologies may allow a marketer to personalize the consumer’s experience and even allow for immediate interaction.

2. DOOH will provide increasingly relevant messages in locations that matter. The amount of time spent outside and in transit is increasing in many regions.  New forms of targeting and subsets have made the art of reaching specific audience segments in ideal locations easier - and in our highly distracted modern experience, a consumer’s receptivity to new concepts outside the home can be highly impactful. In fact, a recent study by YuMe and IPG Media Lab found that consumers are 41% more receptive to advertising in public places than at home, and 16% more receptive at school/work than at home. As a consumer, the device you carry with you creates a natural tie-in to your visual experience outdoors, and relevant DOOH messages enhance the value via existing screens throughout popular locations.

3. Data is (literally) where it’s at, locally and programmatically. According to BIA/Kelsey, marketers spent $1.4 billion on location-targeted mobile campaigns in 2012. By 2017, spending on location-targeted mobile advertising will reach $10.8 billion, representing a 52% share of all mobile ad dollars. (In fact, next month the IAB’s Location Data Working Group will release a primer on using location data for attribution and ad effectiveness.) DOOH is benefiting from this rapidly growing segment, using big data to reach the same mobile consumer on larger, higher impact screens and enabling marketers to craft cross-screen, location-based strategies to maximize the impact of advertising to consumers outside the home.       

At the same time, finding scale and ease of buying in DOOH is being made easier through programmatic conversations and data-driven media buying. Programmatic solutions are developing in DOOH, and are leading to a deeper connection with the mobile and interactive marketplaces. Programmatic DOOH has the potential to drive standardization and reduce overall fragmentation in the marketplace. The 1st and 3rd party data sets that allow buyers and sellers to better define audiences exposed to DOOH media is also rapidly evolving. Programmatic bidding enables buyers to more accurately target the most appropriate audience, while sellers benefit from yield optimization of their media assets.

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photo courtesy of Outfront Media

4. Out of Home creates a unique canvas for top-notch creativity. From street furniture and cinema ads to augmented reality and live experiences on outdoor screens and vehicles - the ability to build awareness and drive impressive results is getting easier in DOOH. Whether it’s part of a larger cross-media effort or a locally focused campaign, DOOH offers opportunities to reach a unique audience, creating unexpected parallels between location (as content and backdrop) and messaging. DOOH has huge potential to drive immediate impact and scale close to point of purchase; it also can garner award-winning praise and even the Direct Grand Prix at Cannes

5. There is a rise of new measurement and addressability opportunities in DOOH. New location and mobile data sets are leading to new ways of measuring attribution in experiential and out of home media. Location, as an audience definer, is just as important to DOOH as it is to mobile advertisers. Retargeting in the real world is more than just copying the online model; the best context is location - where we are and who we are. It is about delivering real-world context and campaign messages that are close to point of purchase. A consumer’s exposure to these mediums can now be verified beyond the self-reported opportunity to see, improving marketers’ confidence in their ability to isolate the impact of DOOH from other mediums in the cross-channel mix

Looking forward, the space is heating up. The number of digitally connected screens is growing, and all signals indicate that inventory and creative options in digital out of home media will continue to grow. Watch this space as the IAB and its DOOH Taskforce combine the talents of key players with out-of-home, mobile, local, and video expertise to build and expand upon this growth.
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photo courtesy of Titan
We start the New Year by addressing a question that’s on many people’s minds in the digital industry… 

Will the FTC provide guidance on native advertising in 2015
and, if so, what might we expect?

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At December’s IAB Native Advertising Disclosure Workshop, which was attended by Laura Sullivan, Senior Staff Attorney, Division of Advertising Practices at the Federal Trade Commission, along with nearly 200 IAB event registrants, there was some speculation that the FTC had plans to provide guidance for native advertising. 

I sat down with Mike Zaneis, Executive Vice President, Public Policy & General Counsel from the IAB’s Washington, DC, office to get some perspective on what FTC guidance for native advertising might entail. 




When the FTC provides “guidance” on a specific advertising topic, what does that mean? Why do they do this?
Companies may be familiar with legal regulations that have been promulgated by the FTC, such as those issued last year under the COPPA statute. These regulations have the force of law and must be followed by companies. The FTC also brings enforcement cases against “unfair or deceptive” business practices.  Because this authority is extremely broad, the FTC sometimes helps companies understand what may be expected of them by issuing formal guidance. These documents provide examples of good or bad business practices and may provide direction in new or emerging marketplaces. 

Although it is speculative at this point in time, what might we expect from guidance on native advertising disclosure?
In the past, the FTC has issued broad-based guidance as well as guidance for specific business models. In the native advertising space they have only delved into the search advertising space, issuing guidance in 2002 and then providing an update in June of 2014. It is hard to predict what type of guidance they may issue in the future, but the focus on multiple business models during their 2013 native advertising townhall is a clear indication of the scope of their interest.  

The IAB, via its Native Advertising Task Force, issued the Recommended Native Advertising Disclosure Principles below as part of its Native Advertising Playbook (published 12/13). How similar or different might the FTC’s guidance look?

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The IAB disclosure principles are a good example of the broad-based guidance that I described above. At their core they simply attempt to apply the existing law around advertising disclosures to the emerging field of native advertising.  In this case we might expect similarly broad language from the FTC, accompanied by specific examples in several native advertising categories such as In-Feed and Recommendation Widgets as outlined in the IAB Native Advertising Playbook. This was how they developed their “.com Disclosures” guidelines in the past.

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FTC.com Disclosure document. Source: FTC

Do you have any suggestions on what, if anything, publishers/marketers/agencies could or should do in anticipation of potential guidance being issued for native advertising?
As an industry we should strive to be proactive versus reactive in this area. At the IAB’s recent native advertising townhall event we heard from more than a dozen companies about how they are evolving their disclosure practices. These developments ensure that consumers understand where the content on the page ends and the advertisement begins. Many of us long assumed that disclosure and consumer engagement were countervailing forces, but we are discovering that, to the contrary, an informed consumer is a happy, engaged consumer.

How does the FTC announce that they are providing formal guidance?
There is no set process for issuing guides. In the ideal scenario they will publish a draft and solicit public comment before finalizing the document. However, they have sometimes simply issued new guides without a comment period or, in the case of search advertising, just sent letters to a number of companies to provide details on the updated guide.

If guidance is issued, how should publishers/marketers/agencies respond?
While they do not carry the same legal weight as a regulation, guides provide insight into the types of areas where the FTC may bring future enforcement actions. Therefore, companies should pay close attention to the “advice” provided in these documents and double check their current business practices against them. Guidelines are usually just that, guidelines, and they should provide room for variation, responsible experimentation, and future innovation.
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For those who had questions about potential FTC Native Advertising Disclosure Guidance, we hope these answers were helpful. The IAB will continue to advocate that disclosure is of paramount importance for this growing source of digital advertising revenue. We will continue to provide updates on potential FTC guidance as/if available.

About the Author

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Susan Borst

Susan Borst is the Director, Industry Initiatives and IAB liaison for the Content Marketing and Native Advertising Task Force groups, along with the Social Media, B2B and Game Advertising Committees at the IAB. She can be reached on Twitter @susanborst 


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

- See more at: http://www.iab.net/iablog/2014/04/GIF.html#sthash.jts7rfyl.dpuf
Tsusanblogpic.jpghe year 2014 marked an important turning point for game advertising … for all the right reasons. Driven by new technology and social and mobile adoption, the gamer landscape has rapidly evolved. The evidence is clear that the demographics for games are more inclusive than ever with time spent playing growing at an unprecedented rate. And now more than ever, savvy marketers are viewing games as valuable and highly engaging content that fits in both content marketing and paid advertising strategies. 

The IAB’s new “Games Advertising Ecosystem Guide” was developed to help marketers and agencies understand today’s game play, the core game types and advertising categories to reach consumers. The guide provides an overview of today’s game play and a summary of the game advertising system outlining:

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  • The evolving and dynamic gamer landscape and trends 
  • The two main categories of games that can be played across multiple devices
  • The three main types of advertising formats available to marketers and agencies with examples
  • The most common performance models
  • The most common revenue models
  • The future evolution of game advertising

On the importance of this guide, Sandro Camarao of MediaBrix, who led the Game Advertising Ecosystem Guide working group said: It is important for buyers to understand how to leverage gaming content for maximum brand impact. Gaming has grown exponentially, and with its growth, new opportunities for brands to forge emotional connections with key audiences. The IAB Games Ecosystem Guide comes at a critical time for buyers who are determining how best to integrate gaming into their media plan.  

IAB Game Committee co-chairs added:
quotesnew.PNGIn looking forward to 2015, the IAB Games Committee will take deeper dives into each of the three main types of advertising formats to provide more guidance for marketers and agencies who seek to deploy game advertising in their content marketing strategy and media mix.

On a related note:  Be sure to check out the IAB’s recent (11/14) research study “Mobile Gamers:  Who They Are, How They Shop, and How to Reach Them.” This report examines the behaviors and economic outlook of mobile phone owners who use their smartphone for all of its functions as compared to the general US Adult 18 and over population.

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

- See more at: http://www.iab.net/iablog/2014/04/GIF.html#sthash.jts7rfyl.dpuf

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

- See more at: http://www.iab.net/iablog/2014/04/GIF.html#sthash.jts7rfyl.dpuf
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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

- See more at: http://www.iab.net/iablog/2014/04/GIF.html#sthash.jts7rfyl.dpuf

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

- See more at: http://www.iab.net/iablog/2014/04/GIF.html#sthash.jts7rfyl.dpuf




The IAB is only as strong as its members. 

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Each month IAB selects a member company who has demonstrated both exceptional leader and learner roles due to their elevated participation in IAB activities. Member participation in our initiatives not only empowers committees & councils to create industry-wide accepted specifications, guidelines and best practices, but also gives member companies and individuals the opportunity to have their voice heard and receive visibility for their efforts. 

This month we spoke with BrightRoll, who has taken advantage of Town Hall speaking opportunities, Webinar attendance, 3MS Educational Forums, Quality Assurance Guideline Training, IAB.networking events, and much more.


What does your company do, and specifically how does it serve the digital ecosystem?
BrightRoll builds software that automates digital video advertising globally. The company enables advertisers, publishers and technology partners to grow their business through the industry’s leading programmatic video advertising platform. 

Brands, agencies, agency trading desks, demand side platforms and ad networks use our technology to reach precise audiences at scale, reduce waste, improve performance and simplify the complexity of video advertising across screens. 

On the publisher side of the business, BrightRoll enables more than 21,000 websites, mobile websites and apps to maximize their yield and efficiency, provide control over pricing and the advertisers appearing on their sites, and simplify the process to enable the delivery of advanced video advertising formats across multiple screens.

In addition, BrightRoll partners with a consortium of technology and data companies to bring advanced capabilities to the video ad ecosystem to help marketers improve the efficacy of their programmatic video advertising campaigns.

What initiatives is BrightRoll looking forward to working with the IAB and its member companies on; and how do you motivate your colleagues to get involved?
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Tim Avila, SVP of Marketing Operations, BrightRoll
BrightRoll is an active supporter of all IAB initiatives focused on establishing guidelines, standards and best practices for digital video advertising. We look forward to continuing leadership efforts around industry wide initiatives to combat ad fraud, including the IAB Trustworthy Digital Supply Chain and IAB Quality Assurance Guidelines. BrightRoll also looks forward to actively participating in multiple working groups including the research council and the digital video, 3MS and programmatic working groups.

The value the IAB brings, not only to our business and clients, but to the industry as a whole, is evident to employees across our organization. A number of BrightRoll colleagues are active participants in IAB efforts and have either contributed thought leadership at events or joined committees and councils to support important industry initiatives. We encourage our colleagues to attend IAB events and have hosted IAB leaders at BrightRoll events to promote the progress being made by the organization and its members. We value the various opportunities the IAB offers for our employees to become involved and we encourage other industry professionals to join us in moving the industry forward.

How have you leveraged a leadership role at IAB over the past year and what was your take-away from the experience?
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Sable Mi, Senior Director, Research Strategic Planning, BrightRoll
I have been a member of the IAB for nearly four years and it has continuously proven to be a rewarding experience. Being a digital research strategist, I am always looking for better ways to measure and prove ad effectiveness across media. Working closely with IAB provides me with the opportunity to collaborate with industry leaders and continuously improve the efficacy of digital advertising.
My most recent leadership role with the IAB was at the Cross-Screen Video Town Hall where I presented ‘TV & Mobile: The Complete Picture,’ which tells a compelling story of how TV and mobile video together improves reach and cost efficiency. In addition to the town hall presentation, I have been actively involved with the IAB Research Council and its Advisory Board, Emerging Innovation task force as well as Data, Mobile Video and the Ad Effectiveness working groups; all of them are playing crucial roles in moving the industry forward. 

There is never a dull moment in this rapidly evolving industry and I value the opportunity to be a part of the initiatives that are contributing to the growth of the industry. This progress wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of the IAB and its members who have collectively provided thought leadership and guidance in standardized measurement, data and inventory quality, cross-platform ad effectiveness, and more. It is incredibly valuable for leaders from across the digital ecosystem to come together to share their expertise in an actionable way and I am honored to be a part of it. 

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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David Liu, Business Development Manager, BrightRoll
Being a member of the IAB has been an incredibly valuable experience and I appreciate the expert learning opportunities that it provides. I began my career as an Ad Operations Manager at BrightRoll and was excited to join IAB Ad Ops Council to learn the more about the operational efficiencies within interactive advertising. Even as I’ve transitioned into my new role as a Business Development Manager at BrightRoll, I continue to find that the IAB’s diverse services are immensely valuable. 

Most recently, I attended the IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report Webinar to monitor the latest spending trends in digital advertising and to get a better sense of where the video is headed. It’s our goal to integrate leading companies into our BrightRoll Partner Program and this report serves as a valuable data point in identifying the right partners. Additionally, the business development team at BrightRoll both appreciates and leverages the advertising standards set forth by the IAB. Regardless of whether it has to do with viewability or VPAID, the IAB standards provide an indispensable baseline for our partner integration conversations.



About the Author

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Nicole Horsford

Nicole Horsford is the Member Services Director at IAB.


IAB and the Future of the Cookie: Evolving to meet Market Realities

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A few years ago, the demise of the cookie was the chief worry on everyone’s mind. Marketers, agencies and publishers all struggled to imagine a future where they were able to continue delivering the seamless, connected experiences (that consumers have come to expect) in a world where the core technology supporting these strategies (the cookie) no longer existed. 

In 2012 the IAB formed the Future of the Cookie Working Group to address these issues - adding to them, the context of consumer privacy, publisher control, and other principles. 

In the “Privacy and Tracking in a Post-Cookie World” whitepaper, the group established five technology classes that described existing and emerging state management technologies, and evaluated their impact on consumers, publishers, and other industry participants. Thanks in part to the important work of this group, industry adoption and comfort with a variety of state management technologies, including the cookie, has become the norm.  

As we look ahead to 2015 and the current discussion and needs of the market, two main streams of work remain. In response to this and our members’ needs, the IAB is sun setting the Future of the Cookie Working Group to tackle these two streams of work more efficiently:  

1.  Data

Now that buyers and sellers have become more familiar with cookie-replacement technologies, and many are choosing to create their own proprietary solutions, a larger business and process discussion about audience engagement and the usage of audience data has emerged. Where the need was previously to understand the available technology choices, now many in the market are focused on gaining clarity around the new techniques, and best practices, for use and control of audience data in this developing cross-platform landscape. Including, but not limited to, the use of audience identifiers - the IAB’s Data Council will be home to continued discussions and guidance for how we can all be good data stewards. This will undoubtedly include timely issues such as data quality, protection, control and using data to inform an overall digital strategy. 

2.  Technology

Understanding the available technology has been a core effort of the Future of the Cookie working group.  With the IAB Tech Lab, we have a natural forum for continued evaluation of state management technologies, and the opportunity to bring together technical experts to develop resources and guidance for implementation.  

The IAB Tech Lab spearheads the development of technical specifications, creates and maintains a code library to assist in rapid, cost-effective implementation of IAB specifications and guidelines, and establishes a test platform for companies to evaluate the compatibility of their technology solutions with IAB protocols.   

As we move forward, these two groups will address the breadth of technologies that are available for understanding audience behavior and continue to provide guidance and leadership in those realms. So with that, we would like to extend a sincere and hearty “THANK YOU” to the more than 200 individuals, companies, members and non-members who contributed to the Future of the Cookie initiative. Also worth some praise are our stellar initial cast of co-chairs who truly contributed blood, sweat, and more acronyms than we can mention here:

  • Jordan Mitchell, VP Product, Rubicon
  • Amy Kuznicki, Associate Director, Verizon
  • Susan Pierce, Engineering Manager, Google
  • Matt Tengler, SVP Product, Millennial Media
  • Phillip Smolin, SVP Market Solutions, TURN

About the Authors

Anna Bager


Anna Bager

Anna Bager is Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence at the IAB. You can tweet her @AnnaBager.


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Scott Cunningham

Scott Cunningham is Vice President of Technology and Ad Operations at the Interactive Advertising Bureau






Forging the path to Data Demystification

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Data had a landmark year in 2014. This year we saw everyone get interested in data. Brands, agencies, publishers, automakers, consumers, legislators and even the Supreme Court was fixated on issues surrounding digital data. Most of these issues centered on the data captured, stored and shared by our mobile phones. 

As the device that goes everywhere with us throughout the day, the industry is now just starting to realize the immense data opportunities created by Mobile. On the revenue side, Mobile continued its unhindered ascension to digital dominance. The IAB half-year ad revenue numbers showed Mobile revenues increased 71% in 1H14 capturing 24% of total internet revenues or a total of $2.8B in ad spend.  

With this continued monumental shift to Mobile comes an ever-growing list of terms, acronyms and the confusion that accompanies any nascent industry. We at the IAB are no strangers to helping supply the tools to enable nascent markets to grow. Our Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence was started four years ago with the sole purpose of growing Mobile budgets and today we have taken another leap towards facilitating that goal. 

I’m excited to announce the release of the IAB’s Mobile Data Primer - a companion document to our updated Data Primer released in 2013. This Mobile Data Primer marks an important step in helping us coalesce, as an industry, around the data opportunities, classifications and use cases available in the Mobile Advertising Market. It also provides important Mobile data best practices and an updated code of conduct. 

Beyond providing clarity and transparency, our aim is for this primer to be used as a foundation that will enable deeper conversations around the Mobile data opportunity in the coming year. Now that we have a common knowledge base, we can explore more sophisticated use cases and can leverage Mobile data as part of an overall marketing automation strategy to inform better messaging and creative, and foster deeper consumer relationships. 

I would like to thank the IAB’s Data Council for their continued work to help truly demystify data for the digital industry, and also for their leadership in the creation of this primer. We are excited to continue these conversations as data maintains center stage in the coming years. 


About the Author

headshot.jpgBelinda J. Smith

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



Mobile Discrepancies: Getting to the Same Count

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This has truly been a progressive year for mobile. Marketer budgets continue to grow as we continue to chart new territory through the use of interactive creative formats, enhanced audience and targeting capabilities and more reliable measurement. One thing that continues to be of discussion as the mobile platform accelerates is how we agree on the ways in which we serve, count and transact on impressions. Namely - the issue of mobile discrepancies. 

Discrepancies are not anything new to digital advertising. These still occur on desktop, and IAB guidance is that players in the ad serving process should be able to manage to a 10% discrepancy rate between the parties counting. In mobile, however, we have not yet achieved a predictable, or reliably low, discrepancy rate.

This year, the Mobile Ad Ops working group continued its investigation into mobile discrepancies in an effort to continue to provide guidance to the market on how to properly manage discrepancies in the mobile environment. In the updated paper - Mobile Discrepancies 2.0 - you can read a review of the major causes of mobile discrepancies as well as extended guidance on how to manage, troubleshoot and prevent discrepancies in your campaigns. In addition to updated guidance, this year the group conducted a survey of 99 participants to better gauge how the industry is dealing with this issue. This year’s survey uncovered some interesting insights, worth sharing here. 

First, we had wide participation this year from every piece of the industry which was crucial in getting feedback from experts along all pieces of the ad serving chain:

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Additionally, while ads with rich media interactivity seemed to cause more discrepancies, many reported seeing high levels of discrepancies across almost all ad formats:

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Lastly, and perhaps most encouraging, is the fact that more stakeholders are coming to the table to help troubleshoot and investigate mobile discrepancies, with over 50% of respondents reporting they are able to get agencies involved in solving this issue:

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For more results from this year’s survey along with extended troubleshooting guidance and a review of the common causes of discrepancies, download this year’s whitepaper - Mobile Discrepancies 2.0.


About the Author

headshot.jpgBelinda J. Smith

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


Who are Mobile Gamers and Why Do They Matter?

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Mobile Gaming apps are the most popularly used mobile app type, according to the recently released IAB study “Mobile Gamers: Who They Are, How They Shop, and How to Reach Them” which is based on an IAB analysis of Prosper Insights data and represents the self-reported media behaviors of about 15,000 US adults 18 and older (A18+). Not only is Mobile Gaming the number one app type, but Mobile Gamers represent a substantial 37% of the US adult population. 
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Who are Mobile Gamers and why should marketers and digital publishers care? Mobile gamers are likely to be women (56% vs. 51%A18+), professionals (35% vs. 28%), higher earners ($68k vs. $62k) and purchase influencers (40% vs. 32%). They earn more, they spend more and they’re more likely than the general population to be planning both major and minor purchases. A full 16% are planning to buy an auto (vs. 12% A18+). Female mobile gamers are more likely to be planning a vacation (25% vs. 18%A18+) while male mobile gamers are more likely to be shopping for a new mobile device (17% vs. 10% A18+). This is a desirable audience.

But perhaps most important to digital publishers, Mobile Gamers are heavy mobile media users who can also be reached on digital media via their mobile devices. While male Mobile Gamers tend to be heavy gamers (74% play videogames during the week), female Mobile Gamers’ video gaming habits are more reflective of the general population (49% game during the week vs. 44% of A18+). Female Mobile Gamers are casual gamers and they spend their time online, taking in all forms of media on their computers and smartphones.

As heavy digital and mobile users, Mobile Gamers’ purchases are much more influenced by various forms of digital and mobile media than the general adult population, providing ample opportunities to reach them using these ad formats. Not only is this desirable audience more likely to watch online video (73% vs. 56% A18+) and mobile video (65% vs 41%A18+) but they’re also more likely to watch the video ads (62% vs 34%A18+) and even say that their Electronics (18% vs. 13%A18+) and Clothing (12% vs. 8%A18+) purchases are influenced by mobile video.  

Being digitally savvy and mobile focused, 94% of Mobile Gamers regularly research products online (vs. 89% A18+) and on their mobile devices before buying. Interestingly, the products they’re most likely to research (Electronics and Clothing) are also the ones that digital advertising is most likely to persuade them in, presenting an ideal environment to serve such ads. Internet ads and Email ads have more influence on them than Cable TV and nearly as much influence as Broadcast TV. One in three Mobile Gamers say their Electronics purchases are influenced by Internet Ads (vs. 24% A18+) or Email Ads (vs. 25% A18+). Female Mobile Gamers are heavier Social Media users and 23% admit that their clothing purchases are influenced by Social Media (vs. 13% A18+). Thus, ads served to them while researching products, whether online or in the store on their phones, will likely be rewarded.  

Mobile Gamers are more likely to own a smartphone (52%) than a desktop computer (45%) and they regularly showroom. They’re also much more likely than the general US adult population to make purchases using their mobile devices. While Mobile Gamers ‘showroom’ regularly, consisting mostly of reading product reviews and price checking, they most often end up buying the product in person at the store or at a competitor’s store. Interestingly, Mobile Gamers are more likely to both check email on their smartphones (90% vs 62%A18+) and to be influenced by email ads, providing another opportunity to reach them in store. Since they’re reachable on the go via mobile while in the stores, targeted ads, offers or email coupons during their shopping experience would likely sway their purchases. After they’ve left the store, many Mobile Gamers will buy the product online, offering a second chance for advertisers to reach them through digital media.

In summary, Mobile Gamers are a desirable audience that is planning to spend and they shop armed with a smartphone. As heavy mobile users, they are reachable online and are always connected. Their overall media consumption profile implies that a sequenced media mix to these Mobile Gamers could be effective. An ad on a mobile video game, followed by a targeted ad online while they’re researching the product, then followed up with an email offer or targeted in-store offer (for those who are reached by beacons) to catch them while they’re showrooming could win Mobile Gamers’ dollars. Digital and mobile ads are likely to influence Mobile Gamers’ purchases so intercepting their online activities with ads and offers is likely to pay off. A savvy marketing mix that makes good use of the variety of digital formats and mobile technologies could transform Angry Birds into Happy Marketers and Words With Friends to Advertisers With ROI.


About the Author

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Kristina Sruoginis

Kristina Sruoginis is the Research Director at IAB.




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