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“We optimize against over 1,000 variables,” boasted the ad tech CEO just before drinks were served at yet another digital media summit. This was the grandest of many “bigger is better” assertions that were peppered into content throughout the day. “50 attention measures,” “33 engagement metrics,” “517 data sources integrated” — the claims clattered from the stage like heavy rain on a tin roof.
Humans are programmed to find a story in everything we see. Every picture, word or sentence, no matter how simplistic, is imbued with deeper meaning. This hardwiring helps our brain understand, contextualize and retain details about the world around us. For that reason alone, it is only logical that good stories can also function as potent strategic business tools — ways and ...
“Say that again?” I asked, startled. “We don’t pre-test our advertising,” repeated the Fortune 50 marketer. I convinced myself I was hearing things. Twenty years ago, I worked on several of this marketer’s iconic brands, and they were rigorous adherents to a dogmatic advertising testing process.
Poor, aggrieved advertising just can’t catch a break. Even in the good old days, when families gathered in living rooms to watch TV, advertising needed to run the gauntlet to be effective: creating an opportunity to see, capturing attention, leaving a branded impression, delivering a message, and finally, changing attitudes and behavior.
Technology is fundamentally reshaping the advertising and media landscapes; the fault lines between pure-play media and advertising are fast disappearing. We now live in a world in which media, advertising and technology — “MAdTech” — intersect to fundamentally alter how consumers “consume” content.
With the proliferation of content and the rise of multi-device, multi-media multi-tasking, it’s harder than ever for ads to break through to viewers. Previously, in “Pay Attention! 3 Steps to Digital Advertising Breakthrough,” I laid out the challenging course that communications must traverse to be successful — in being linked to the brand, conveying a message, changing att ...
With the proliferation of content and the rise of multimedia tasking, it’s harder than ever for ads to break through to viewers. Previously, in “Pay Attention! 3 Steps to Digital Advertising Breakthrough,” I laid out the challenging course that communications must traverse to be successful — in being linked to the brand, conveying a message, changing attitudes and driving fa ...
“Look at me, Judy,” I blurted out with exasperation at my 13-year-old daughter, trying to get her undivided attention. It was nearing 10 p.m. on a school night, and I was beginning to panic. That day, Judy had uncharacteristically asked me for help with her homework rather than her mother, who thankfully plays the tutor role, as I am usually at work or traveling during the appointed hours.
“And we’ll do a brand lift study,” added the seller to sweeten the digital media deal she was proposing. I was in a midtown restaurant in New York eavesdropping on the adjoining table’s conversation about a cool new type of digital media. I expected the media agency executive to respond with questions that would lead to a robust conversation of his client’s objectives and ho ...
“Are you kidding?!” exclaimed the major global agency creative director. “That’s not your idea!” She had been sitting quietly at the BuzzFeed offices listening to a credentials presentation but could not hold her tongue when the first advertising case study was presented. It turns out that BuzzFeed had created a very successful listicle for a client of the global agency.
“Come on, Peter,” chided the CMO, “you can’t expect me to commit millions of dollars in media spending based on that evidence.” The first 50 minutes of the one-hour meeting at this major brand marketer had gone spectacularly well. I was still at the IAB and had come to present the latest and greatest in digital advertising experiences, from new display forms to digital video and native.
“Display is dead,” glibly chirped the very senior agency executive at a recent meeting of six dozen impressively pedigreed brand marketers and agency leaders. I was a guest at the confab — and this was a good thing; if it were my meeting, I would have verbally boxed this digital “guru” in the ears. You see, I have reached my wits’ end.
Five years ago this month, I moved from the “traditional” advertising world of television and print into the digital one. In early 2010, I was, by all accounts, a successful global advertising agency executive, continuing to pursue my professional passion of using creative ideas to transfix consumers and transform businesses.
Marketers, agencies, publishers, and especially technology companies get so caught up in the potential of technology and data to optimize the delivery of an ad to the right person at the right time in the most efficient manner possible, that they often lose sight of a fundamental truth: the ad creative has to be good, or it’s all for naught.
Marketers, agencies and publishers have been hard at work since 2011 to establish a measurement framework for digital that allows for cross-media comparability. This has been a sore point for digital media because marketers and agencies have been unable to use the enormously rich data available in digital in ways that allow for the free flow of dollars across media.
I received a text the other day from the CEO of a leading U.S. advertising agency asking me a simple question: “Peter, can you send me proof points for why digital advertising works for brand marketers?” It turns out that she was in an annual review session with senior members of her consumer packaged goods (CPG) client, including those delightful folks from procurement, and ...
The digital advertising ecosystem has often been opportunistically portrayed with excessively complex diagrams featuring hundreds of logos and arrows indicating multiple flows and directions. These maps justify financial interests in the many different sub-sectors of digital marketing technology, to the benefit of bankers, but they are detrimental to marketers, brands, and agencies.
While talk of “engagement” currently permeates discussions of digital advertising effectiveness, it is by no means a new concept; in fact, it has been debated in some form for more than 100 years. The digital industry invented many things, but it did not invent advertising nor originate the notion of advertising engagement.
I love standard ad formats, I confess. I find myself daydreaming about them when I am in meetings. My scratch pads are filled with ad standard doodles. I corner people at parties expounding on the sublime qualities of the Medium Rectangle; I mean, who doesn’t marvel at the fact that this desktop unit fits neatly in-stream on smartphones, yet it was named a standard a full fi ...
Not all native advertising is created equal. There is a wide and growing disparity between high-quality examples — those that are in the user's activity stream, respectful of page content, and integrated with the site experience — and the lowest-common-denominator (LCD), "spots and dots" variety that may be in a feed (but that's all).