Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp, the nearly free ( $1 a year) group text platform that doesn’t believe in advertising, sent shivers down the spine of the advertising industry. For brands, the question was “how do we target and engage with those users?” For agencies, the question took a slightly different form: “what constitutes an ad format on a messaging app? ” Up to now, it’s been possible to standardize ad units one way or the other. But what’s an ad unit in a text message, on a site that doesn’t allow them?
If nothing else, the purchase reminded the industry that it had better get busy on a mobile strategy. When newspaper publishing came on line, it quickly adapted its existing print display ad units to the web. Compared to this new communication model, that adaptation was a piece of cake, and yet we’re almost two decades into it without any great creative solutions. Mobile is going to be a great deal more difficult.
For one thing, consumers are empowered to an extent they were not when print publications first came on line, and they have grown quite resistant to advertising in general, and downright angry at the interruptive ads they used to have to flip by in magazines (continued on p.63) to get to the end of the story. The entire idea of interruptive advertising (and now a word from our sponsor) has grown repugnant.
Yet consumers DO still engage with brands, watch demos, and even visit the Tesla stores in the US, which are nothing but large-scale advertisements for cars that aren’t even sold on the premises. The “right” kind of ad delivers the same engagement that it always did.
So what’s the foundation of a good mobile strategy? It’s the same thing it always has been: killer creative. The kind of creative that makes viewers and listeners want to talk about it, share it, and be a part of the brand that thought it up. It doesn’t matter if the creative is done by the agency, the in-house team, or the users themselves — it just must be provocative or emotional enough to draw a response from a busy person. It has to be targeted, and it can’t be pushy. It has to help the consumer, not nag him. And it has to know who she is and what she wants, sometimes even before she does.
Who’s ready to take on this assignment?
Custom HTML Ad Template
Create Ad Template Screen:
The templates created will be available in the Create Ad page as a new primary ad type called Ad Templates.
Create Ad Screen:
This will allow you to eliminate all the manual tweaking required before you upload a new ad with new supporting files.
So go ahead and create templates for all your custom ad code and make life easy for your ad trafficker.
Master JS tag on ad tag generator
The new tag is easy for publishers to implement, while providing speed, flexibility, and efficiency. Publishers can now use a single tag to serve ads in all ZEDO ad slots via a single request.
Master Tag Generator:
This provides the best possible experience for end users, while simplifying ad delivery of web, mobile, and video content.
This looks like the year the advertising ecosystem will finally get around to using viewable impressions as a metric. For us, it’s long overdue. For a little history, we announced a partnership with mPire, whose AdXPose technology we integrated in 2010, allowing our publishers to activate verification, measurement, alerting and ad blocking services directly within the ZEDO user interface, and better collect, control and understand advertising data on their sites. Since then, we’ve known that ads served on our sites are not fraudulent, and are viewable. We were blocking bots before bots were cool.
When publishers own their own campaign data, they can better protect their pricing and reputation from intrusive post-campaign reconciliation. Our publishers can run real-time reports, receive alerts on ad data quality, block live ads instantly, and detect and prevent click and impression fraud.
AdXpose was later bought by comScore, and we became an early comScore partner. In the beginning of 2012, we were a launch partner for its validated Campaign Essentials(R) program. At the same time, we began to test all our new ad formats against the comScore viewability standards. We did it to protect our publishers. Click fraud has never been a problem for them because we protect them from it.
Publishers often feel a loss of control over their online ad inventory, especially when working with large volumes of different advertisers and networks, because they don’t have access to the same verification data. But because our network has been verifying and protecting advertiser campaigns, our publishers can shield themselves from make-goods and charge-backs, and provide an even safer experience for brands looking to advertise on ZEDO client sites and networks.
Now, several years later, the industry has finally come around to the metric we have been using for years — viewability. Although this is far from a perfect standard – Wickipedia defines a viewable impression as when
…ads of pre-defined size delivered to pre-defined space on the content page is registered by RealVu when the Ad Content is loaded, rendered, and at least 60% of the ad surface area is within the visible area of a viewer’s browser window on an in focus web page for at least one second. Click-through is enabled at the moment of the “viewable impression”.
That is indeed a low bar, but it does at least allow a viewer a chance to engage with an ad if he or she wants to, and that’s why viewability is becoming a standard. Just so you know, any of the ad formats we’re currently selling through ZINC or that our publishers are selling direct are 99% viewable or we don’t include them in the portfolio.
“There is no excuse for crappy network-served teeth whitening and “one weird trick” ads served against high quality content. Disastrous.” –Marc Andreessen, founder of Netscape and co-founder of VC firm Andreessen-Horowitz.
Andreessen was part of a multi-party Twitter conversation on the future of news one evening recently. He made the point that a proliferation of publishers has been beneficial to readers, but when the conversation turned to how those publishers are going to support themselves, he made the comment above about advertising. It will have to get better, both on the creative and on the technical side, to fulfill its promise to digital publishers, implied.
We have known that for a long time, which is why we encourage our premium publisher partners to sell our High Impact Formats direct. Publishers must preserve this new type of premium inventory that ZEDO creates for them and not allow annoying, irrelevant ads to be served in it. That means to keep this new super premium High Impact Format space as just that, and perhaps even to run house ads rather than sell these premium slots as remnant. Once you fall into “hungry” mode, putting your best new inventory on multiple networks and allowing valuable slots to become part of commodity inventory, you’re in danger of losing your brand differentiation.
Ultimately, brand is as important to a publisher as to an advertiser. In theory, publisher and advertiser work together to satisfy consumers. It’s jarring for someone who is used to reading a trusted, premium news site to come across an irrelevant, poorly created ad. The good news is that good advertising brands in these new premium formats can actually support and build the publisher’s brand too.