IABlog

Historic Transatlantic Partnership for the Digital Ad Industry

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Today IAB US and IAB Europe join together to publish recommendations for promoting global trade and innovation as our respective governments negotiate a vital trade program. Titled “Modernizing Safe Harbor to Ensure Continued Growth in the Digital Economy”, we provide the industry’s first consensus policy position on data governance issues, and hope they can serve as guidance for ongoing negotiations between the US and Europe on the revision of the Safe Harbor framework.

The US and EU are among the world’s most vibrant digital advertising marketplaces, together representing $92 billion in annual revenue, or nearly 70% of the global industry, and maintaining equally significant market share in emerging categories such as mobile advertising.

The Safe Harbor framework has greatly contributed to the success of this marketplace by providing more than 4,000 businesses, including many IAB member companies, a means to transfer data across the Atlantic in a streamlined and cost-effective manner that ensures consumer protection.

As negotiators in the US and EU undertake the critically important task of reviewing the Safe Harbor framework, it is imperative that both sides seek to develop a more integrated transatlantic market for data flows to accelerate the growth of the digital economy. 

It is with this aim that IAB US and IAB Europe today announced principles for a modernized Safe Harbor framework to serve as guidance to US and EU negotiators on the digital advertising industry’s priorities. These principles call for a business environment that is conducive to innovation and economic growth, a balanced approach to economic growth and protection of personal data, increased legal certainty for companies, and coherence with US and EU laws. 

The principles also highlight the importance of US and EU trade negotiations that are currently underway as a means to furthering the success of the transatlantic digital economy for years to come.

IAB US and IAB Europe will continue to leverage the IAB Global Network to push for a workable framework that ensures the responsible flow of data between the world’s two largest digital marketplaces.

About the Authors

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Randall Rothenberg

Randall Rothenberg is President and Chief Executive Officer, IAB



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Townsend Feehan

Townsend Feehan is Chief Executive Officer, IAB Europe






For the past seven years, I have focused on the growth and adoption of Ad-ID. It started with a vision and now Ad-ID is the industry standard for the registration of advertising assets across all media platforms and is recognized as the uniform unique ad asset identifier. Yet, in an industry where data is ubiquitous, best practices and processes for asset identification were almost non-existent before the launch of Ad-ID. Now, embedded metadata in creative assets has taken center stage because of the significant benefits that extend far beyond the registration and identification of ads. 

There is no greater evidence of Ad-ID’s relevancy in the modern marketplace than the fireside chat that took place at the IAB’s recent MIXX conference between the ANA’s Bob Liodice, the 4A’s Nancy Hill, and the IAB’s Randall Rothenberg. They spoke about how Ad-ID is a key part of a framework for enhanced cross-platform interoperability, measurement, and operational efficiency. Ad-ID has already made major strides in adoption in broadcast commercials so now we plan to devote more resources towards the broader use of Ad-ID in digital video advertising in order to reverse the chaos that exists within the digital video supply chain.


Case in point: Digital video asset data, decoding/encoding, and distribution processes are extremely fragmented with no standards or best practices in place. To achieve scale across all screens and devices, delivery of the original video asset (the mezzanine file) with a unique ID and “digital slate”—embedded metadata—is critical. Ad-ID makes this possible via our schema for the Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) which is an open standard that enables metadata to be embedded in a variety of different file formats that are used throughout the industry—and can enable more interoperability-focused APIs. XMP and embedded metadata is the backbone of Ad-ID and ensures that the asset’s identity is accurately preserved across platforms. But for meaningful interoperability, metadata needs to flow freely and seamlessly.

Thankfully, the perfect “partner” to make this a reality already exists: The IAB’s VAST 3.0 (Digital Video Ad Serving Template). I’m happy to report that Ad-ID and the IAB are currently working together to develop the mechanism for the transport of metadata via VAST 3.0 to enable cross-platform interoperability and enhanced operational efficiency for digital video. (I will be speaking at the IAB’s Ad Operations Summit on November 3rd in New York City on this very topic.) We’re exploring all the different ways that Ad-ID metadata can reinforce VAST 3.0.

But let’s think bigger: Integrating Ad-ID metadata in digital video assets provides capabilities beyond interoperability and streamlined processes. By aligning the metadata between TV commercials and digital video ads (70% of all digital video ads are repurposed from commercials), brand marketers can finally analyze campaigns and ROI using comparable metrics. They can track performance across multiple platforms and devices on the creative asset level. That’s a huge win for everyone: buyers, sellers, and the vendors who support them.

As Randall said during the fireside chat, “You need systems, you need processes, and you need maturity and sophistication if you are going to grow profitable businesses.” At Ad-ID, we couldn’t agree more. 

To hear more on this topic, join me at the IAB Ad Operations Summit: Spotlight Transformation on Monday, November 3. 

About the Author

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Harold Geller

Harold Geller is the Chief Growth Officer of Ad-ID, a joint venture of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). Harold speaks and writes extensively regarding interoperability, digital asset workflow, and advertising metadata and is the co-author of four white papers on the subject. He can be reached on Twitter at @Adidentify.

 


Following efforts in the content marketing and native advertising space, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) continued with the October 21 Town Hall focused on best practices for user-generated content (UGC). Brands, publishers and agencies gathered at the IAB Ad Lab to present UGC case studies, offer tips on successful UGC strategies and discuss legal concerns involved.

Susan Borst, Director of Industry Initiatives, IAB, opened the Town Hall by welcoming members and guests before highlighting the benefits of UGC available to all players in the digital ecosystem. Borst defined the terms of the debate and outlined what qualifies as UGC sources noting that UGC can be either paid or organic. 

User-Generated Content Best Practices 
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Eryn Ivey, Account Director/NE, Izea, and Michael Sadicario, Chief Sales Officer, Storyful spoke about how user-generated content works, what the benefits are, and where the industry is headed. Sadicario and Ivey offered five tips for brands and publishers exploring UGC strategy:
  1. Analyze the content ecosystem - from sites of interest and user relationships desired to metrics and questions of attribution, the process involves homework.
  2. Celebrate fans (with contests, repurposing content) and explore different types of compensation.
  3. Identify other sites where users engage with your brand and “trend” there.
  4. Set internal goals (KPIs) and promote user engagement.
  5. Learn how to engineer content - leveraging UGC in real time is key, as is knowing when to sit out the content storm.

Justin Garrity, President, Postano/TigerLogic, offered 10 tips on executing user-generated content campaigns. Garrity highlighted lessons learned in UGC including how to set ground rules, ideas to leverage influencer content and best practices on everything from hashtags (they can’t work alone!) to selfies (they need props!).

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On the brand safety best practices front, Tom O’Brien, National Advertising Director, Disqus, reviewed  some well-known “hashtag horror stories” that can occur with UGC and highlighted how brands use commenting platforms such as Disqus to leverage their “ability to mitigate and pre-moderate” UGC discussion by setting the terms. O’Brien cited a 2013 Adobe study that showed a rise in consumer commenting and highlighted brands that are using the Disqus commenting platform successfully such as Dove with the “Real Beauty” campaign. He also noted that it is the publisher or brand site that sets the level of moderation based on their needs.

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Insights from UGC Case Studies
There are many executions of UGC campaigns from crowd-sourced content, influencer campaigns/sponsored social, user reviews and comments, UGC for events and intelligence and so much more.  IAB members and special guests highlighted case studies, including some legal considerations for their campaigns.

New IPSOS Research & Why Hershey’s is Sweet on Authentic UGC
Anna Lingeris, Sr. Manager, Brand Public Relations & Consumer Engagement, The Hershey Co., presented the first case study. Lingeris described her company’s approach when looking to leverage user-generated content in promoting Hershey’s Spreads. After a great deal of pre-launch discovery, Hershey “primed the pump” by planting seeds in search engines and establishing parameters of the conversation. Lingeris explained how Hershey leveraged UGC generated by the campaign with Crowdtap to inform future marketing strategies in a technique named later as a best practice. 

Anna Kassoway, CMO, Crowdtap, offered the audience results of the 2014 Ipsos MediaCT study sponsored by Crowdtap and SMAC that demonstrated what user-generated content means to millennials. As one would imagine, UGC is an essential part of daily life for this consumer base. The study showed that millennials are spending over 5 hours per day with user-generated content. Millennials considered UGC 50 percent more trustworthy than other media and 35 percent more memorable than other media.

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A Lens into Earned Media With Canon and Klout
Monica Patterson, Supervisor of Internet Marketing, Canon, presented the next case study with Jon Dick, Sr. Director of Marketing, Klout. From the Project Imagination short film series with Ron Howard to the Pixma Pro City Senses events, Canon has found user-generated content a natural fit for its products. In fact, Canon saw a huge spike in engagement during the City Sense events of 2013 and 2014, with its Pixma Pro line being the beneficiary.

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Publisher TimeOut New York Crowd Sources Instagram Fans for Content
Mike Kelly, Digital Marketing Director, Time Out North America, presented a case study on taking user-generated online content and using it in a print medium - the magazine’s cover. Time Out New York ran an Instagram contest asking for user photos from restaurants the magazine nominated for its annual food and drink awards. Instagram users were more than happy to oblige, with over 1,000 entries along with a 40 percent increase in Instagram engagement over six months as a result of the contest. Retweets to 31 million followers highlighted the success of the foray into UGC.

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How Industry Reviews Helped the Travel Industry Take Flight
David Elkins, Director of Sales, TripAdvisor, presented a case study for a company whose content is exclusively user-generated. Elkins related the findings of a Cornell University study showing why travel brand owners are paying as much attention as consumers. Higher review scores allowed hotel owners to charge 11 percent more than their lower-rated competition without lowering occupancy rates. He then showed how travel brands are using TripAdvisor reviews on their own sites and even in their own advertising. 

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Wrapping up the session as it relates to UGC legal considerations, Borst stressed that it is always best to consult your legal team with any questions prior to engaging any UGC campaign. There are many factors that need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The audience stated a strong desire to elaborate on the topic of “legal considerations” in future IAB initiatives.

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


Reporting by Eric Schaal, IAB Editorial 


I’ve been thinking a lot about the global impact of the mobile media revolution lately. Advertising Week brings with it IAB’s annual Global Summit, a gathering of representatives from IAB branches worldwide. In conjunction with that event we have published our third annual anthology of IAB mobile perspectives, The State of the Mobile World.

For 2013, IABs in 30 countries participated—more than double our previous editions, providing a truly global view.  Where our Global Mobile Ad Revenue study provides the cold-hard-cash point of view on the mobile regionally and globally, State of the Mobile World offers a more nuanced, qualitative picture.

And what is the state of the mobile world? Well, growing—the participation of more and more IAB’s in our anthology project underscores how important mobile is becoming across national and regional divides. But beyond overall growth, mobile is very diverse from country to country, and depends on whether the dominant mobile technologies are feature phones or smartphones, and slower data speeds or mobile broadband. Below are a few common themes that I discern.

  • Marketers are playing catch-up. Whatever the state of mobile itself in a given country, in every market it feels like consumers lead the way, media companies are doing their best to follow, and agencies and brands, on average, tend to lag a bit, puzzled by mobile or unsure how to respond to the shift of the digital audience to phones and tablets.
  • Location gets people excited. Regardless of the phase or state of mobile adoption, location is the universal unique selling point of mobile. It’s the thing that piques marketers’ interest, and first sparks creative thinking about mobile’s possibilities as a distinct medium.
  • Video is coming up fast. Many participating IABs also cited video as a major mobile opportunity. This makes perfect sense, since video content is abundant and, assuming networks can handle it, an attractive content type for mobile consumers.
  • Improving creative is our common task. In terms of industry challenges, better ad formats was very common, and clearly a place where the global network of IABs needs to focus our efforts over the next 12 months. Building future-proof mobile creative is a huge challenge, but collaboratively the IABs are poised to meet this challenge in the coming year.

We hope the IAB State of the Mobile World provides a useful reference for anyone looking to learn more about mobile’s evolution across countries and continents.


About the Author

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Joe Laszlo

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

 

A Conversation with Nick Law, Global Chief Creative Officer, R/GA, and IAB MIXX Awards Judge

This past May at the What Works & Why in Digital Advertising: Insights from the IAB MIXX Awards event, Nick Law described his thinking on the alchemy needed in today’s digital world to achieve creative success. Although he took just five minutes to lay out his thesis, it crystallized for me the answer to a question I had been furiously pondering over the past four years: what is the right creative model to achieve the level of brilliance in the digital world that marketers have come to expect of the best agencies in the analog one?  I wasn’t the only one who found his thinking revelatoryNL2.jpg; I saw dozens of pens busily scribbling during his short talk. 

While Nick was at the IAB Ad Lab in New York to judge the 2014 IAB MIXX Awards, I asked him for a chat about this notion so we could share his thoughts with the industry. Our conversation is captured below and in the accompanying video.

Peter Minnium (PM), IAB: R/GA has a unique model of deploying talent in teams to get the best results; can you tell us the genesis of this thinking?

Nick Law (NL), R/GA: About a decade ago, I looked at the creative skill sets that we had at what was then a very different R/GA, and it occurred to me that if you were to be brutal in your division of skill sets, you would cleave the world into storytelling and systematic thinking. The important point about this realization, as much as understanding that these two ways of thinking exist, was to recognize that  are both creative ways of thinking. So if you’re from Madison Avenue, over the last 50 years, what has been considered creative is storytelling, because the mediums that we’ve used are narrative mediums. And since the advent of digital, this type of architectural and spatial way of thinking has become very important. In the advertising world, I think the problem is that this hasn’t been considered creative. It’s been relegated to a sort of an executional or technical path.

So when people talk about the “big idea” in advertising, they still really refer to the ability to tell a story and to distill a brand down to a little narrative. And when they think about this sort of interactive, they think about it from a technical point of view. So then, having come up with the big idea, they wonder how to push that down into this new set of formats and channels. But what I realized was that the sort of creativity associated with systematic thinking was very powerful and very different. 


PM:
Why is the distinction between the different skills sets important?

NL: This is an important thing to recognize, because if you don’t recognize the difference between storytelling and systematic thinking as sort of categorically different ways of thinking, then creators—because they’re all vain and because there’s this sort of hubris associated with creative people—will say that because they’re creative, they should be doing it all, right? So I would have an instance where someone who grew up designing interfaces and was a systematic thinker couldn’t wait to get over to the content studio and do a film, even though for 10 years, that wasn’t the way they thought. And vice-versa. I think that early on in this sort of emergent digital world, there were many creative executions that came from an art director/copywriter type of narrative team, which in a systematic world, failed dismally, right? I won’t mention any big platforms, but there’s quite a few. And a lot of money was wasted. 

PM: Are people born Systemic or Narrative Thinkers?

NL: So if you look at a human brain—and I sort of found out later that we don’t know a lot about neuroscience—we do know that the left-hand brain processes things sequentially and that the right-hand brain processes things simultaneously. So it’s this play between time and space, between the temporal way of thinking and the spatial way of thinking. Therefore, it stands to reason that if you’ve been doing something and you’ve gotten good at something from a creative point of view, the paths in your brain are in a very specific place. So for me, that explains why it’s very difficult for a narrative thinker to connect and design a systematic piece of work, and vice versa because they’re in a habit. 

PM: Bill Bernbach revolutionized creative teams in the 1960’s by pairing art directors and copywriters. Is the model different now?

NL: So at R/GA at least, we think that the atomic team is not an art director and a copywriter, but rather a storyteller and a systematic thinker. Another way of looking at this is as a tension. Storytelling is the act of simplifying, because it’s about the revealed moment and good storytelling, good brand storytelling, is really about that distilled moment and how it’s revealed. And there’s this tension between that simplicity and the possibility provided by systematic thinking. So systematic thinkers are good, very good at possibility because they understand how each node plays with each other and can look at all these relationships simultaneously and generate many ideas. 

So when you have a systematic thinker and a narrative thinker, you get this lovely tension between simplicity and possibility. When that is absent, when all you have is simplicity, you just have simple brand storytellers, really just a lucid brand but without innovation. And when you just have systematic thinkers’ input of possibility, then you get really interesting and multiple tactics that don’t ladder up to a simple brand idea. So that’s how I can tell whether or not we have the balance right—whether things are simple but not innovative, or innovative but not lucid. That balance becomes very important, that interplay. This doesn’t mean that underneath that organizing principle, we don’t have all sorts of different combinations: art directors, copywriters, data scientists, and strategists, and all sorts of other combinations, but that’s the sort of balance we’re trying to achieve, between storytelling and systematic thinking.

PM: Thanks, Nick; I now better understand the magic behind the award winning work at R/GA.

To learn more about creativity in digital advertising download the IAB MIXX Awards 2013 Insights Report: What Works & Why, which showcases examples of award winning digital advertising campaigns and the genius behind the creative work from thought leaders across the industry.

About the Author
peter-minnium-headshot.jpgPeter Minnium 

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

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 Tremor Video, who has taken advantage of Town Hall speaking opportunities, Webinar attendance, Digital Content NewFronts, Quality Assurance Guidelines and much more. 


What does your company do, and specifically how does it serve the digital ecosystem?
At Tremor Video we’re transforming the video advertising experience across all screens for our clients. In a nutshell, we are a tech company that really understands brand advertising for video.

We’ve developed a technology platform, VideoHub®, which offers advertisers and publishers a complete programmatic solution to reach and engage consumers while providing new insights into what drives brand performance across screens.

We operate a complete digital ad tech stack for video, meaning we offer solutions for both advertisers and publishers, ranging from ad serving, to buying & selling inventory, to analytics.

The digital ecosystem has evolved to a point where a screen-specific approach is not the most effective way for marketers to reach their target audiences, so we’re helping them reach consumers in a screen-agnostic world.  


What initiatives is Tremor Video 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 Ware, Head of Mobile/CTV Sales, Tremor Video
We work closely with the IAB to develop guidelines around a number of initiatives, including quality assurance, measurement and innovative new ad units.

As the head of mobile and CTV sales, I’m most looking forward to elevating the importance of mobile creative to showcase how effective mobile video advertising is as consumption continues to grow, particularly in tablets for 2015. I’m also looking forward to teaming with the IAB to work with affiliated industry groups like MRC as we develop Advanced TV measurement and best practices. Advanced TV combines the best of digital and TV advertising capabilities and we’re at an exciting time where over 83M US consumers are watching content on them.

Motivating my colleagues to get involved with the IAB isn’t hard because everyone fully understands the value and insights one can gain from participating. The IAB offers so many different options to get involved at any level and time commitment. Tremor Video holds seats on a number of committees and councils as well. 

 
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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Doron Wesly, Head of Market Strategy, Tremor Video
I love to tell stories, especially when I can weave in data nuggets to remind marketers that “consumers” are people just like them. We spend so much time looking at demographics and target audiences, but I like to be the person that gets everyone to take a step back see the big picture. 

Speaking at the IAB at events like the IAB NewFront Lunch, Future of the App Town Hall and upcoming IAB Mixx give me the opportunity to show people what I’ve learned from being on the road and talking to real consumers. 

Seeing the crowd nod their heads and scribble down notes reminds me how important market research is, and the IAB is a wonderful platform to share those learnings.
  
 

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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Lisa Tanzosh, Sales Strategy, Buy-Side Platforms, Enterprise
I attended a number of events this past year, including “Using Data & Programmatic to Go Global and Build Brands” which focused on different perspectives and opinions from panelists working in all corners of the industry (agency, publishers, data, platform, etc.). The viewpoints discussed left me with three important takeaways:
    • Transparency is key, but as an industry we need to define - what does it mean to be truly transparent in the programmatic space? 
    • Now that programmatic technologies are in place, let’s find ways to implement more engaging and interactive creative in real time
    • Now that people are getting more comfortable with letting technology do the heavy lifting, we can begin to take advantage of programmatic efficiencies
As Tremor Video continues to improve its programmatic offering, it’s helpful to participate in IAB events that elevate the programmatic conversation and allow publishers, advertisers, and agencies to dig into important industry topics. 




About the Author

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Nicole Horsford

Nicole Horsford is the Member Services Director at IAB.



Mobile advertising sometimes feels like that old cliché about the weather: everyone complains about it but no one ever does anything about it. There are many paths to improving mobile ads:  encouraging better creative canvases (like the IAB Mobile Rising Stars), as well as tools to make it easier to build cool things to go on those canvases (like the MRAID), or guidance to creative designers on using tools that already exist (like our work on HTML5).

But it’s also incredibly important to listen to consumers. While sometimes that conversation feels very one-note (“I hate all ads everywhere”) most people do realize that ads are why they get so many of their digital content and services for free, and so would rather see good ads than bad ones. That’s why the IAB Mobile Center was excited to partner with Meredith Xcelerated Marketing (MXM), to tap into Meredith’s “Real Women Talking®” community on some questions about what they like, and dislike, about mobile ads.  

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The results speak to striking a balance—perhaps one that the mobile industry hasn’t quite mastered yet—between being too obtrusive and being too ignorable, and being relevant without being creepy. We found that context is critical - from placement to creative messaging. The best mobile advertising is relevant placement, simple creative and engages on her terms. That is, a successful mobile ad must fit into the context of a busy, mobile life.

With mobile advertising, it’s easier to miss the mark than to hit it. Women in Meredith’s Real Women Talking®” community told us that “I often miss the ads when they pop up on my phone” - too unobtrusive—but also that “Ads that take up the whole screen [are] really bad and would leave me with a negative impression of the company” -too obtrusive. This suggests a need for a better banner—something bigger than a 320x50 but smaller than a 300x250. It also underscores the potential of in-feed ads, which are hard to overlook even as they scroll with the content.

Based on the conversations with the women in its community and the mobile ad examples they shared, MXM proposes five core principles for mobile advertising aimed at its audience (and consumers more generally):

  1. Get noticed: 320x50 banners don’t do enough to get her attention.
  2. Don’t force it: Forced ad engagements, for example with time consuming auto-play video ads, leave a negative impression.  Don’t let frustration trump the ad’s message.
  3. Relevance, relevance, relevance: Be relevant not just to her, but to what she’s doing at that moment.
  4. It’s all about her: Get to know her. Be relevant, and she’ll be much more likely to take notice.
  5. Keep it simple: An unclear message will be perceived as spam she’ll ignore them. Be simple, direct, and succinct.

“These principles are just the beginning”, says Britta Cleveland, SVP of research who leads Meredith’s Real Women Talking® community, “our goal is to continue to listen to the feedback - good and bad - and continue to do something about it!”
I couldn’t agree more. A more detailed summary of what the Meredith’s Real Women Talking® Community had to say about mobile ads can be found here

About the Author

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Joe Laszlo

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

 


Big Data Empowerment: Promoting Civic Engagement

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The following post is the first in a series examining how the use of commercial data and innovative data analytics techniques are being used to empower individuals in a variety of ways. 
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It’s not exactly a closely-guarded secret that voter turnout in the United States has a tendency to lag well-behind other established democracies. While it’s probably not fair to compare U.S. turnout with countries that mandate voting (a fine is a pretty effective way to encourage participation), the U.S. still trails behind comparable non-compulsory voting countries such as Austria, Sweden and Italy that experience turnout rates near 80%.[1] In the U.S., about 60% of the eligible population votes during presidential election years, and about 40% vote in midterm elections.[2] When presented with global images of long lines in Kandahar and the Sudan, where citizens risk limb and possibly life to participate in the most basic of civil rights, the U.S. turnout rates can dull the senses of even the sunniest of optimists.

In November 2008 President-elect Barack Obama swept into office on the tide of the highest voter turnout rate since 1976. Obama and his staff were credited with running one of the savviest campaigns to date that fully-utilized the internet as a means of reaching out to potential voters with the right message at the right time in the right place. The campaign was widely-credited with not only harnessing the power of newly-emerging social media platforms, but also with becoming one of the first campaigns to realize the potential of leveraging the use of commercial data to help ensure that possible voters were seeing messages that mattered to them, and more importantly, messages that could inspire them to take action and participate in the civic process. Since 2008, political parties of all shapes and sizes have been exploring the judicious use of commercial data to get newly-engaged voters to the polls. 

With the 2008 election being historic for many reasons, it’s easy to lose sight of an often overlooked, yet fascinating development - that when used appropriately, the marriage of commercial data and relevant messaging can lead to an uptick in citizens exercising that most basic of civil rights, voting. 

About the Author

Alison Pepper

Alison Pepper

Alison Pepper is Senior Director of Public Policy, Interactive Advertising Bureau.



[1] Source: FairVote, The Center for Voting and Democracy, www.fairvote.org

[2] Source: FairVote, The Center for Voting and Democracy, www.fairvote.org

In the wake of revelations regarding U.S. intelligence programs, the European Union is calling for a revised U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework that could increase the compliance burden for IAB members.

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According to European data protection law, companies are not allowed to transfer consumer data outside of the EU unless there is a guarantee that the data will receive an “adequate” level of protection, as determined by the European Commission. In 2000, the EU found the Safe Harbor Framework proposed by the U.S., a voluntary self-certification program that requires participants to publicly adhere to principles such as notice, choice, access, and enforcement, satisfied the “adequacy” requirement of European law. 

Since then, the Safe Harbor Framework has provided more than 3,000 businesses, including a significant share from the digital advertising industry, a means to transfer data across the Atlantic in a streamlined and cost-effective manner that ensures consumer protection. The Framework accomplishes this by offering U.S. companies an efficient compliance process, and European companies and consumers an easily accessible list of compliant participants.

This Framework has been a major success for businesses of all sizes and types, and has allowed for borderless innovation and job creation. Today, the combined U.S./EU digital advertising marketplace represents $92 billion in annual revenue, nearly 70% of the global industry. In the U.S. more than 300 Safe Harbor certified companies use the Framework to conduct advertising services. From a recent poll of IAB member companies, an even higher percentage of our members participate in the program, thereby allowing them to efficiently build an international digital supply chain. 

Despite its many successes, critics of the program argue that recent revelations of the scale of U.S. surveillance activities necessitate a strengthened Framework. In response, last November the European Commission proposed 13 recommendations to “restore trust in data flows between the EU and the U.S.”

The stated goals of the EU’s recommendations are to increase transparency, create a more active enforcement and auditing process, limit the scope of U.S. authorities’ access to EU data, and improve dispute resolution processes. Several of these recommendations reinforce the original Framework without creating unnecessary burden on businesses. Other recommendations, such as requiring companies to publish the privacy provisions of their contracts with subcontractors and notify the U.S. Department of Commerce of onward transfers of personal data under the Safe Harbor Framework, are not workable for industry and provide no additional protections for consumers.

The IAB Public Policy Office is working to ensure that the updated Framework takes into account the digital advertising industry’s perspectives. Our industry represents a significant share of the U.S. and EU economies, allowing us to provide meaningful insights into the impact changes to the Framework will have on digital advertising and the economy at large. We are also coordinating our research and messaging internationally through the IAB global network of 26 European-based IABs to more fully capture the impact any changes to the Safe Harbor Framework will have on the transatlantic trading relationship and the international business community. Our advocacy is taking place on both sides of the Atlantic, which is the only way we can effectively negotiate an acceptable solution.

The U.S. and EU negotiators have expressed interest in finding solutions to the EU’s recommendations by this summer. As negotiations progress we will continue to push for a workable Framework that allows for the free flow of data between the World’s two largest digital marketplaces. For more information please contact Alex Propes at [email protected].

About the Author

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Alex Propes

Alex Propes is Senior Manager, Public Policy, at the IAB.

TV in the Digital Age

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Perhaps the thing I love most about the digital advertising industry is the continuous evolution and emergence of new trends and sectors to develop and discover. The latest area to pique the interest of IAB members, and also top agencies like Zenith and Maxus, is Connected Device Advertising. We’ve all cast our bet on this being one of the next needle movers and many are heavily investing. From an IAB perspective, we know what it takes to create an efficient, smooth value chain - and that’s a sound set of standards, forums for innovation, and industry-wide education. With our soon-to-be rolled out Advanced TV initiatives, covering the spectrum of digital TV platforms ranging from Connected TVs and game consoles to capable set-top-boxes, we’ll be starting work groups to create cross-screen video ad delivery standards iterated from IAB Digital Video-Suite, address the convergence of measurement and metrics for TV and Digital Video, discuss standards for OEMs, the role of data and targeting in AdvancedTV, and much, much more.

As a kickoff to greater focus in this arena, IAB held a Town Hall in May, sponsored by member, Delivery Agent, titled “TV in the Digital Age: How Big Brands are Harnessing the Power of Connected Devices.” The program was packed with stellar contributors to the evolution of the TV space, ranging from buy side to sell side to the tech sector. We brought in one of the few analysts who covers and knows this space inside and out, Heather Way of Parks Associates. Heather grounded us on what is included in the the Connected Device footprint and gave insights on projected marketplace distribution growth.

A panel of buying and technology experts gave us perspective on the unique value of the products residing on connected device platforms that play well together like targeting capabilities and on-screen conversion features. A case study was covered which used first screen embedded ACR technology in Samsung Smart TVs to deliver a T-commerce experience during the Super Bowl. How long have we been talking about buying Jennifer Aniston’s sweater from TV? The item for purchase in this campaign was not her sweater, rather, it was David Beckham’s underwear, sold by H&M. This campaign is proof that if we dream it we can achieve it. It’s those notions and thoughts, like Jennifer’s sweater, that give the industry an idea to rally around and in-part fuel the innovation of companies like Delivery Agent and Samsung to innovate.

I’d like to extend an invitation to you and your company to get involved in IAB’s Advanced TV efforts as they begin to emerge. It’s in the Digital Video Committee and AdvancedTV Work Groups that we will conceive the notions that lead to the next best thing in TV. If you are interested in participating, please email [email protected] for more info. 

As I close, I’d like to leave you with a highlight reel and full coverage of Delivery Agent’s TV in the Digital Age Town Hall. As you review, buyers, think of ways you can include functionality like this in campaign proposals and technologists, think of ways you can build off of the IP feature set to build new experiences for the viewer and client. Let’s all bring our ideas to the table and make some serious strides toward addressable, cross-screen video experiences. 



About the Author

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Julie Van Ullen

Julie Van Ullen is the Vice President of Member Services at the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Julie oversees a number of IAB’s elite Committees and Councils, charged with putting industry best practices and thought leadership into the marketplace. Those focal areas include Native, Programmatic, Digital Video, Advanced TV, Digital Audio, Social Media, Games and more.

 



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