Google’s Digital TV Move
Google is rolling out several new & interesting advancements in digital TV buying via its TV Made Smarter platform. Keep in mind, this is only for digital TV, which still represents a small slice of the TV universe. That said, its platform is testing various spot lengths and forecasting audience numbers, so marketers can bid smarter on digital TV inventory. Rather than forcing :30s and :15s into a pod, marketers can bid on :30s or :15s or :06s or, really, any length spot. That’s really breaking the rule book, and I like the way it will mess with viewers’ subconscious cues to take a bathroom break. TV Made Smarter is working on a gaming feature, rewarding viewers for watching ads. Perhaps my favorite feature is the ability to run video ads outside of video content, like in-between paragraphs, although Teads already does this. It’s even testing creative enhancements by applying machine learning to help publishers organize thousands or millions of pieces of video content into a catalog. That last feature does beg the question: Who has that much video content?
How would you tackle this branding conundrum? With the largest mass shooting in history in Las Vegas earlier this month, the branding tagline “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” no longer seems appropriate. Hats off to Las Vegas’ marketing team, who has deftly handled a sensitive topic. Quickly adopting #Vegasstrong, and then running spots with native Andre Agassi deserves applause. “What is strength?” ask Agassi. “Strength is valet parkers who become medics, mothers who become emergency responders.” The campaign is a lesson in meeting adversity head on, but with skillful empathy.
Be The “Thing,” Not The “Thing That Sells The Thing”
I attended a media conference recently when one agency head advised: Be the “thing.” Not the “thing that sells the thing.” Sometimes being the “thing” is a challenge, since how do we measure its efficacy? Here, the Mercedes marketing team did a great job with that mantra by creating a 06-second video spot, highlighting Mercedes hybrid’s ability to go from 0 to 60 mph in under 6 seconds.
Digital Game Changer
A bit of big news made a small splash this week, as Twitter announced transparency initiatives. I have the sense, should Twitter be serious, it could just change the way paid media is managed. Thanks to all the controversy around the murky digital media ecosystem, Twitter announced it’s opening the Twitter Advertising Transparency Center. The Center will show how long each ad has been running and what it looks like. People will be able to see what ads have targeted them and report feedback. And that doesn’t touch the changes to political campaign ads. Twitter says it will require political marketers to disclose intentions at influencing an election. To date, there are no legal guidelines for political advertising in the digital world, although broadcast stations have fairness rules in place. Considering so much of last election’s digital political manipulation was intended to look like news, I will be curious to see if this mandate is more gums and less teeth. But if Twitter puts its money where its mouth is – game changer.
Feel-good Friday. Just wanted to share this amazing, emotional campaign from Burger King. It’s an anti-bullying ad. Who knew fast food was so magnanimous?