It’s no surprise that native advertising is drawing the attention of the FTC, which held hearings on the subject on December 4, although does not intend to regulate the industry at this time.. Not only is there the potential for confusion on the part of consumers, but advertisers and publishers are equally confused. According to Poynter,
“Native advertising” is a paid placement that matches the editorial and design style of a given website. “Sponsored content” is a synonym, though other labels like “promoted by” may be used. This is the digital descendant of the print advertorial, though some contend the potential for confusion is greater.
As long as native advertising is bought and sold direct, and advertisers know where their ads appear, we believe there will be little confusion on the publisher side of the industry. The ads will have to match the site’s appearance and content, not detract from the user experience, and will provide publishers with supplemental content that might be of interest to their readers anyway. Publishers have data to make sure this can happen.
On the advertiser side, there is always the danger of providing “marketing spin” rather than content a site’s visitors want to read, and that’s up to publishers to judge. Interestingly enough, this may require publishers to use editors in a way they haven’t been traditionally used — on the business side of the house.
All this can be solved in a direct transaction between advertisers and publisher. Where it could get dicey is when the ads are placed through a network or an exchange, or sold as remnant inventory through RTB. That’s when advertisers may not know what they’re buying, or publishers may find low-quality content appearing on their premium sites.
The FTC, however, doesn’t care about this aspect at all. Its job is to protect the consumer, and it wants to make sure that consumers will have a clear way of distinguishing between sponsored content and “journalism,” however that’s defined in this day and age. If there are to be regulations, Poynter says they’d probably be around labeling sponsored content, the way an ad tech site like Digiday does when it labels an article “Sponsored” or a consumer site like Buzzfeed does when it tags a post “Featured Partner.” These early adopters of native advertising, now a segment approaching $2.85b impact in the eyes of EMarketer, will likely have a seat at the table defining the rules.
It’s amazing now narrowly the discussion of video advertising has focused. Most participants view it merely as placing ads in front of, in the midst of, or at the end of video content. Let’s call that advertising on video.
That’s a real miss for media planners who have video ads they’d like to deploy with greater reach during the holiday sason. There’s a large audience that doesn’t frequent video sites, yet spends much of the day online. Those consumers are READING. They’re getting information about everything from their finances to the weather to what they’re going to give for Christmas, but they’re not getting it from YouTube. Most of these people visit premium sites and tend to be people with more money than the younger people who frequent YouTube. Because they are information gatherers, they also tend to be more educated and they skew a bit older. You can’t reach them on video because they’re busy, but they do keep up with the news, or the ball scores, or the health sites.
To reach those more affluent, more educated consumers, a format like our ZINC InArticle unit is ideal. It displays a video ad alongside an article the site visitor is reading. This format deployed over our premium network gives advertisers unduplicated reach.
As you can see, these ad formats are not involved in the discussion of whether TV is dead, is shifting online, or whatever the latest ad tech distraction is. It is irrelevant whether TV has shifted online, or even if these consumers watch TV at all. These are not ads in video, they’re engaging, high impact video ads in a print environment. They display in standard IAB sizes, and they can be placed wherever you might place a display ad, although they can use content made for TV or video. Because they ARE video, these formats are more engaging. Although they do not auto-play, if the user mouses over them the volume turns on. And if a visitor clicks on the ad, it expands to full screen. It’s ideal for new car launches, financial service products, most luxury goods, and even consumer packaged goods.
Our initial tests of these formats sold through our ZINC platform demonstrate substantially higher levels of engagement and recall. So if you’re looking for a way to reach new customers with existing video ads, inArticle could be your best choice.
We are entering the holiday season, otherwise known as the advertising season. Retail forecasts are less than glowing, and stores are adjusting their hours and promotions accordingly. It appears that as soon as we get up from the table on Thanksgiving, we’ll be heading off to a sale.
And how will we find out about those bargains? Probably on our mobile devices if we listen to Macy’s CMO Martine Reardon, who is behind a new campaign promoting the Macy’s app as a component of its holiday advertising. In her view, all consumers are relying on mobile more to make purchase decisions. And with mobile comes mobile video. Both in-app video and video on mobile sites will play a big role in holiday advertising.
Mobile video can be especially effective if it’s not tied exclusively to video sites like You Tube, which attracts people who are watching video, but not necessarily the audience that wants a given advertiser’s product. Rather, video advertising should also appear on premium sites targeted to the desired audience. Ad formats that appear in the midst of articles are especially effective according our own experience with the InArticle format.
And now, as Ad Age points out, these ads can be measured.
The industry has grown up beyond its infancy over the last year, recognizing that the selling power of TV also needs to be in place for digital. Enter Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings (OCR). Enter comScore’s Validated Campaign Essentials (vCE). Enter Vindico‘s advanced reporting (OpenPixel). The adoption of GRP-based measurements acts as a great indication that the market is growing up, and following the footsteps of its older — and certainly wealthier — TV parent. The focus on demographic delivery and content validation is reflection of maturity. The biggest challenge that advertisers face is not content. It’s not reach. It’s not demographics. It’s all about the execution of the ads.
And now we can also offer transparency into how and when the ad was delivered, Broadly speaking, execution must reflect transparency into how and where the ad was delivered within a page. Because our ads appear in traditional online display formats, we can offer information about them that most ad tech companies can not.
That’s our holiday gift to you; delivery of mobile video in unusual formats that drive attention to your ads.
Changes to Custom Ad Generator for Rich Media
Our Custom Ad Generator is well known to all ZEDO customers running Rich Media ads. When we first added this tool, it stood alone, in the Normal tab of Create Ad. We have now incorporated it into the more appropriate Rich Media trafficking template, under the new name “Custom Code Generator”.
We’ve also updated the workflow; making it easier to traffic, edit and clone ads created using Custom Code Generator. You no longer have to download the JS file and then upload it. The file and any supporting files will be automatically uploaded from the template.
Please contact support @zedo.com with any questions.
Custom Reporting for Publisher and Advertiser Roles
We have added a new Campaign feature – Custom Reporting – that allows you to specify what Campaign data your Publisher and Advertiser Users can see when they’re logged in.
It’s simple to set up:
In the new Custom Reporting for Campaigns section of Edit Role (for Advertiser or Publisher), specify
which data (imps, clicks, and/or actions) you want these users to see
whether you want the selection to apply to all campaigns, or only to campaigns that have “Custom Reporting” enabled
Select the Custom Reporting checkbox for the campaigns you want to apply this to.
The last 25 years have seen an extraordinary shift in the digital media business. New media already dwarfs old media in market value. In fact, it’s almost 3x the size of old media, which is worth a mere $480 billion compared to the combined power of Apple, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Yahoo, who together are worth $1081 billion.
All this was revealed last week at Business Insider’s Ignition conference, along with the biggest trend, the appearance of multiple screens.
In advertising, we’ve already experienced this. Our publisher clients are well along in their mobile strategies, and we brought out our first high impact tablet ad formats almost two years ago. Now we are exploring how best to advertise on smart phones, and how to be engaging without being intrusive. Our first foray into this is with our InArticle video format, which allows visitors to view a video ad within the article they’re reading and expand it to full screen if they wish.
In Asia, “phablets,” large screen phones that act like tablets, are capturing the market, often because they are the user’s only computer. Indeed, 60% of online devices are now phones or tablets. PCs are becoming dinosaurs.
Mobile video is booming, along with other forms of mobile entertainment. And mobile e-commerce is now 20% of e-commerce traffic.
According to Henry Blodgett, money follows eyeballs, and if the eyeballs are on mobile, the money will follow the attention. Digital now accounts for 25% of ad spend, and it grows about 20% a year. While Blodgett asserts that digital is already bigger than TV, other analysts say no (for now). But there’s no question the growth of digital video is hard to ignore, and ways to monetize it, including our own InArticle format, are proliferating.
Most teenagers do not see a need for cable, do not intent to pay for it, and watch just about everything streamed online. And since these are the future audiences, it’s hard to believe TV is not in for a drubbing in the next few years. Our clients are already bringing their TV creative to our online publishing partners.
Online, all forms of advertising are growing, even display. But social ad spending is growing the fastest, with Facebook and Twitter reaping their rewards at last. Mobile ad spend is still way behind, but it will have to grow, because the eyeballs are already there. And mobile ad prices are still low, so they represent great value.
For us, with our affordable ways of achieving unduplicated reach for advertisers, 2014 ought to be an incredible year.