Posts Tagged ‘technology’

In the Earbud Era, Sonic Branding Is Marketing’s Biggest Missed Opportunity

May 10, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Can you remember the last time you closed your eyes to hear a sound clearly? To ingest the soothing comfort of a babbling brook, to absorb the effortless harmony of a choir, to listen to another human's heartbeat? Two things stand out: The memory of the moment is visceral, and it evokes strong emotions—exactly the kinds of reactions that advertisers strive to elicit in building brand strategies. However, we live in a world where consumers are bombarded by a constant stream of visual stimuli and where marketers spend massive resources on visual identity to influence consumer beliefs and behaviors. In a time where consumers have a shorter attention span than a goldfish, marketers must embrace the the power of sonic branding to capture attention. Audio has always been one of the most powerful ways to tell stories, and thanks to technology and the ubiquity of mobile devices, capturing attention with audio has never been more important. Punching through the barrage of visual clutter with clean, memorable sound isn't the only reason advertisers should revisit their branding playbooks. After all, neuroscience has long supported the powerful imprint audio signals leave on the human brain—whether delivered in a foreground tone or a subliminal manner. That's why broadcast radio remains a $17 billion-plus business in the 2010s. But audio has come a long way in the past decade and is smarter and more innovative than ever

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Vice’s Shane Smith After ‘A Few Ales’ Touts Millennial Dominance at a NewFront Like None Other

May 7, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Vice is launching six new verticals and will expand its TV presence by adding 20 new channels around the world. But that's probably not what buyers will take away from the millennial-skewing media company's NewFront presentation Friday afternoon. Perhaps aware of how weary media buyers are following a week that included AOL taking over New York's South Street Seaport and Sia putting on a show-stopping performance YouTube's BrandCast , Vice had what has to be among the shortest presentations in NewFront history. "We're going to do something a little bit different tonight," said Vice founder Shane Smith, after coming out on a dimly-lit stage at Pier 59 Studios' Stage C. "I'd like to preface the evening with saying I've had a few ales." Smith's remarks, half of which came while he was lying down, lasted less than 10 minutes, mostly talking up Vice's history, from its roots as a Canadian-based print magazine to one of the largest digital media companies in the world. But at least he remembered he had a job to do. "I'd like to talk to you about Vice, because that's my job," he said. "I am the Russian bear that shits on the floor for wooden nickels." Smith briefly mentioned Vice's new Viceland TV channel with A+E Networks. In the 67 days since launch, Viceland is the fastest aging down of a network in TV history, Smith claimed. Viceland replaced H2, which targeted adults 25-54, a much older demo than Viceland intends to reach. Smith added that they've done ad deals with Unilever (already a launch partner for their Broadly digital channel ), Samsung, ABI, Bank of America, Toyota, T-Mobile, Diageo and Shinola. The six new digital channels will cover Health, Gaming, Travel, LGBTQ, Money and Sustainability, bringing the total to 17 different verticals for Vice, which has seen its web traffic fluctuate in recent months. Smith said he's also looking for more multi-platform deals similar to the one they cut with ESPN earlier this week . Smith then abruptly cut off his speech and joined the house band for a performance of Sham 69's "If the Kids Are United." The house band was made up of Nick Zinner and Brian Chase of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jaleel Bunton of TV on the Radio, and producer Money Mark. The presentation-turned-party continued into the evening with special guests Win Butler from Arcade Fire, Pusha T, Charli XCX, Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino, Perfect Pussy's Meredith Graves, Kurt Vile, and Kristin Kontrol

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Hulu Is Targeting Living Room Viewers With New Interactive Advertising Deals

May 4, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Hulu spent much of last year improving the quality of its content and striking big deals for new and acquired series like Casual, Difficult People, The Mindy Project, 11.22.63 and all nine seasons of Seinfeld. This year, the streaming service is focusing on improving the experience of watching that content, especially in the comfort of viewers' own homes. Hulu's subscriber base has grown more than 30 percent from last year, and will reach 12 million U.S. subscribers by this month. "Hulu is TV, and the fact that 70 percent of our viewing happens in a living room environment just reinforces that idea to the market," said Peter Naylor, svp of advertising sales with Hulu. That's why many of the company's big announcements at Wednesday morning's NewFronts event at the Theater at Madison Square Garden center around initiatives relating to what Naylor calls the "living room," but refer to any viewing via connected TV devices like Roku, Apple TV, PlayStation or smart TVs. Hulu has teamed with interactive advertising company BrightLine to bring interactive advertising to connected TV devices for the first time. Havas Media will be the exclusive charter agency for the new ads, which debut on Hulu this summer. It will allow viewers to interact with the creative itself much as they would on a computer or mobile device. They can click on the ad and be taken to a site or page with details about a particular brand

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Snapchat Led the Way With Vertical Video. Will Virool Make It the New Standard?

May 2, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Not so long ago, it was taboo to turn horizontal video on its head, as marketers grappled with doing more for mobile than merely refitting TV spots for smaller screens. But today, vertical video, once seen as a Snapchat anomaly, is gaining traction and providing publishers and advertisers with perhaps another way to win over the ever-growing mobile audience—with some 163.7 million Americans owning smartphones by the end of this year, per eMarketer. Virool, a programmatic video distribution company, is planning a vertical video ad unit called Vertical Reveal. Using a portion of the $12 million in venture capital it recently raised, the San Francisco-based firm is betting on a format that, as Virool CEO Alex Debelov and many others have noted, best matches up with how we hold our mobile devices day-to-day. "We're excited because in the last 18 months, Snapchat has been a lone wolf in this fight, but we now have the opportunity to really make this the new standard," he said. "So our vision is that over the next year, this will become something you will see everywhere, and that will provide a much better advertiser and user experience." One of the first brands to sign on with Virool is DJI, a Chinese drone manufacturer that also recently started making handheld cameras. It will start running ads in the next few weeks, as Virool ramps up its vertical debut for the second quarter. Meanwhile, a European rollout is planned to coincide with the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in June. "We need to be in front of [users] in some way that's not intrusive—it isn't a banner, it isn't boring," said Gabe Chan, global director of digital brands at DJI. "So vertical video seems like a very logical choice to us and to any advertiser in digital marketing now." Rubicon Project will be the exclusive programmatic platform for Virool's new unit. "From everything that I'm seeing, we believe that there will be a lot of momentum behind this unit because of the way everyone is consuming and how marketers really want to capture that experience," said John Peragine, head of video at Rubicon Project

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Target and Lancome Produce Snapchat’s First Ecommerce Ads

April 29, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After slowly testing more interactive ads in recent months, Snapchat is open for ecommerce. Lancome and Target started running shoppable ads today within Cosmopolitan's Discover channel—the hub of the app where media brands publish daily stories. Like Discover's other ads, Lancome and Target's promos appear between Cosmo's articles and videos, each with a 10-second call-to-action instructing viewers to "swipe up" for more. Copy on Target's ad reads, "New products every week." Swiping down on the screen pulls up a loading page with Target's mobile site where people can shop the products featured in the ad—like plant stands and water bottles. Lancome's ad promotes a lip product called Juicy Shaker. Similar to Target's ad, people can shop the beauty company's site without leaving Snapchat. While creative on Snapchat is still relatively limited—ads, just like content, are capped at 10 seconds—Snapchat has experimented over the past few months with similar ads that ask consumers to 'swipe up" for more content. In November, Activision tested the first longer-length video on the platform, and a number of advertisers— particularly entertainment brands —have run similar campaigns since then. Then in February, mobile game Cookie Jam became the first advertiser to run app-install ads . Shortly afterward, shopping app Spring and ticketing company Gametime ran app-based campaigns, indicating that ecommerce ads may be coming soon. Last month, AT&T tested another type of swipeable ad with an article attached that's akin to a piece of branded content. It's been a busy week for Snapchat. On Thursday, the app announced users watch 10 billion videos every day, and 60 percent of its daily active users create content every day. The messaging app also inked a deal with NBC to broadcast clips from the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio

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YouTube Builds ‘Little Haikus of Video’ With New 6-Second Mobile Ads

April 26, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As more video consumption moves to mobile, YouTube has a new ad format for brands designed specifically for quick snippets of content. Today it's launching Bumper ads—six-second, unskippable video ads—that run before videos, similar to YouTube's skippable TrueView ads. Unlike TrueView—which lets advertisers create an ad of any length—Bumper caps promos at six seconds, which could force marketers to build campaigns with mobile in mind, since smartphone users have shorter attention spans. YouTube describes the new ad format as "little haikus of video ads" and will start rolling them out to advertisers this month. Media buyers can buy them through Google AdWords. Bumper ads are geared towards advertisers interested in testing the difference between TrueView and shorter video clips. For example, Audi Germany has been testing the ads, and chose to run a 45-second TV spot as TrueView ads. But with the six-second format, the brand focused on two shots—one of a soccer player and one of car spinning in a circle. Atlantic Records has also used the new format to slice up clips from a campaign that launched a new album for English band Rudimental. According to YouTube, early tests with bumper ads are particularly effective when, surprise, paired with TrueView and Google Preferred ads—its premium ads that run alongside the platform's most popular content from creators. "Bumper ads are ideal for driving incremental reach and frequency, especially on mobile, where 'snackable videos' perform well," Zach Lupei, product manger of video ads at Google, said in a blog post. "In early tests, Bumpers drove strong lift in upper funnel metrics like recall, awareness and consideration—complementing TrueView's strength in driving middle and lower funnel metrics like favorability and purchase intent."

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NBCUniversal Will Start Selling TV Advertising Programmatically This Fall

February 24, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After two years of selling its digital video and display inventory programmatically, NBCUniversal is finally allowing programmatic buys on its linear networks as well. Today, the company announced NBCUx for Linear TV, which will launch as part of this year's upfront. "It's the industry's first national programmatic TV offering at scale," Krishan Bhatia, evp of business operations and strategy, said during a conference call with reporters. It's an extension of NBCUx, which the company launched last year as a digital programmatic offering, after making its digital video and display inventory available for programmatic buying two years ago. "We've seen great success with it, and now we're extending those capabilities to linear television," said Bhatia. He said that starting in the fall, "advertisers will be able to use data and automation to build media plans for our premium linear TV inventory across NBCUniversal's entire portfolio of cable and broadcast networks." The fall start date means the technology won't be available for advertisers to use during the Summer Olympics in August. NBCU's data offerings, which also include ATP, its audience targeting platform, and its addressable NBCU+ Powered by Comcast platform, represent "a sea change in thinking about how we create value for our customers," said Dan Lovinger, evp, entertainment ad sales group. "Our advertiser partners have been asking for help with automating their media planning and buying in a data-informed way, and we expect that by adding premium TV inventory to our offering, we'll provide the help that they're seeking." As part of the new offering, "select advertisers now will be enabled to include traditional TV inventory in their automated media plans via a private exchange using a combination of their own data, third-party data sources and NBCUniversal's premium television inventory," said Lovinger. NBCU will make its inventory and pricing information available to "a select set of demand-side platforms," and the company's client and agency partners can combine that information with their own data sources to build a media plan against their own data sets and target audiences. "Then, those agencies and clients will issue a media plan that will be subject to inventory availability and pricing at the time and approval on our part," said Bhatia. While it automates only part of the linear television workflow process, he called it "a big step in terms of making that process simpler." Lovinger said the company wasn't worried that clients using the technology could ultimately save more money than NBCUniversal would like. "We feel that we've got a complete hold on what we're doing here," he said.

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Squarespace Celebrates Leon Bridges’ Meteoric Rise to Nominee in Grammys Ad

February 15, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It would be unfair to call the rise of Leon Bridges a Cinderella story. The talented young soul singer has worked far too hard to explain it away to miracles and magic. And yet, the arc of the first part of his career has been nothing short of miraculous and magical. A little over a year ago, Bridges was washing dishes at a Tex-Mex restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas, and playing open mics after every Tuesday shift. But tonight, he'll be under a different spotlight in Los Angeles, where he's up for best R&B album at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards . To celebrate the achievement, website design platform Squarespace and Austin, Texas-based agency Preacher have partnered with Bridges—a longtime Squarespace customer—to recreate the past year in the form of a 30-second spot that will air during the awards show. An extended version of the commercial can be seen online, with a short documentary also in the works. "It's so surreal being in that same place and having no idea I'd be here now," Bridges told Adweek. "If you would have told me I'd be playing to a crowd of thousands, I would have run the other direction, you know? I would have been like, 'No, you're lying, you're lying, you're lying.' It's pretty crazy to look at that video and reflect on how everything happens." It wasn't all that long ago that Bridges was just playing coffee shops. (Last March, he was playing to a crowd of 200 or so at a college cafe in Western Tennessee.) But things are different now: When his new tour schedule was released Friday, more than half of the shows sold out by the end of the day. The history of Bridges and Squarespace date back to his early coffee-shop days

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Les Moonves Is Named Chairman of CBS, Replacing Sumner Redstone

February 3, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Les Moonves, CBS Corp.'s CEO and president, has been named chairman of the company. He replaces the ailing Sumner Redstone, who resigned Tuesday as executive chairman, but will remain as chairman emeritus. Moonves, who joined CBS in 1995 as CBS Entertainment president, was unanimously elected by the CBS board after being nominated by Shari Redstone, Sumner Redstone's daughter and vice chair of the board. Moonves will continue on as CEO and president. Redstone, who is 92, also served as executive chairman of Viacom (when CBS and Viacom split in 2005, he was chairman of both companies), but there is no word yet about his future at that company. UPDATE: "The Viacom board of directors is scheduled to meet tomorrow," Viacom said in a statement late Wednesday afternoon

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Scripps Launches TV Everywhere, Complete With Targeted Advertising

September 1, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Another TV company is diving into TV Everywhere, with Scripps Networks Interactive now offering livestreaming of HGTV, Travel Channel, Food Network, DIY Network and Cooking Channel. TV Everywhere platform provider Anvato is powering the livestreaming—and dynamic ad insertion, or DAI—on each network's website, along with the iOS and Android apps for HGTV, Food Network and Travel Channel The livestreaming was soft launched in June, said Matt Smith, chief evangelist at Anvato. Scripps' embrace of all things TV Everywhere, including DAI—in which linear ads are replaced by advertisements targeted specifically at the nonlinear audience—shows how much has shifted in the TV Everywhere universe since networks first started experimenting with livestreaming. "The last couple years, you've had brands big and small say, 'Okay, we're going to stream. Let's get it done and we'll figure out how to make money later,'" Smith said. "Scripps looked at this and said, 'This isn't just about extending the brand

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