December 9, 2016 MediaStruction

Media Trends To Watch This Week

Here are the items from the perpetually evolving advertising world that caught our eye this week…


Is it agencies or marketers? In a recent survey by Advertiser Perceptions Inc., the respondent split is about 50/50. It’s important to have a basic understanding of the technology and delivery system behind the debate. Online ads are dispatched via ad servers, which electronically send the ads to publishers. When the agency ad server receives a “call” from a publisher’s ad server that ad space, meeting the agency’s criteria, is available, the transfer is made, faster than a blink of an eye. For example, a laundry soap marketer wants ads shown to parents of high school athletes. A website publishing results of local football games has an ad impression available. The laundry soap ad gets sent from agency server to publisher server, displayed on the publisher website, and read by a consumer. All of that communication between publisher and agency ad servers, as well as consumers’ devices which are tracked in the process, creates data. And that data can be valuable for third parties. I might argue that the marketer, who has paid the agency to represent the brand, owns the data, much as they own the advertising. But consumers, who are wary of increasing privacy creep, might disagree. 
It’s currently not so much audience targeting as media buying efficiency. There are some targeting capabilities, but not on a truly large scale. This week Lotame, a data management platform, announced it has built a first-to market television DMP. The Lotame product, having partnered with smart TV manufacturers, says it will connect first-party consumer behavioral data with TV homes. Considering the cap on TV inventory, sometimes I wonder if the digital integration isn’t more a threat to TV measurement systems, like Nielsen, than to further commoditization of TV inventory. On an interesting note, this Lotame project is also partnering with Pearl TV, an industry consortium of Cox Media group, E.W. Scripps, Graham Media Group, Hearst, Media General, Local Media Group, Schurz Communications, Raycom Media and Tegna. That’s a good amount of leverage. And they’re all spot-market businesses. It will be interesting to see what targeting capabilities Lotame’s product will produce. 
Addressable TV is a very complicated ecosystem for advertisers to navigate. To understand what’s possible, you must work with each supplier, which makes scale nearly impossible. Furthermore, addressable TV assumes a certain mindset – a readiness to purchase. But that strategy may be missing one of the highest values of TV, the emotional connection of sight and sound, especially when done well. which raises awareness, a necessary fertilizing of the intent seed. 
This according to a recent Leapfrog Digital Benchmark Study. While the Leapfrog report was more focused on investment in digital channels, it is a shame that the push for ROI makes an omnichannel consumer journey strategy more challenging. But what if you could tie brand awareness to ROI? Our belief is that consumers first change perceptions before they change behavior. And we have a solution for determining how brand metrics lend to sales. 
A long-standing patent case between Samsung and Apple made its way to the Supreme Court this week. At the heart is how much Samsung should pay Apple for a portion of a product that violated an Apple design patent. A lower court ruled that if one piece of the product violates a patent, then the entire product is in violation. This is called the total-profit rule, which was created in the late 1800s for products like rugs and wallpaper. The problem today is the pace and proliferation of not only electronic products but patent trolls who make a living by buying up niche patents and going after large brands for settlement. Google, Facebook, Dell and eBay are choosing sides. Ever have the feeling the titans on Mount Olympus are in a skirmish and all of us mortals will pay for it, somehow?  

The internet is disrupting so many industries, perhaps the most dramatic of which is newspapers. But with every challenge comes an opportunity. For cartoonists, once reliant on daily newspapers, the internet is opening a resurgence. That said, please buy your children a MAD Magazine for the holidays. Subscribers are down to 180,000 for this iconic magazine that influenced a whole generation of comics. 

In case you’re interested in Super Bowl advertising — February 5 on Fox. Ad space is nearly sold out.



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