ZINC: High Impact Formats for Brand Impact

Are you wondering what the relationship is between ZEDO and ZINC.? Many of our customers are. It’s time for some good “talking points” about ZINC, ZEDO‘s advertiser subsidiary.
Because we are a big proponent of user initiation in advertising and an even bigger proponent of visibility, ZINC has developed a suite of high impact formats for agencies to use for brand messaging on mobile. We know how quickly users are moving to mobile and we  help advertisers meet them there .
This is a different way to get a brand message in front of users, and a better option than pre-roll, because it encourages a higher level of engagement and it can scale quickly and globally as pre-roll, with its limited supply of inventory, cannot.
These ads can be embedded in articles, and they’re not tied to a piece of video content to deliver their message. In addition, we have a proprietary trigger mechanism for the ad that prevents it from appearing until the viewer is there, ie., has scrolled down that far on a page. ( If the user scrolls, she’s there.) After the trigger, the ad will auto-play, but with the sound off. Mousing over the ad turns on the sound, and clicking to full screen turns any smart phone or tablet into a full screen video player.
If the visitor doesn’t click, the experience is very much like pre-roll, but unlike that video format it doesn’t prevent the visitor to your site from consuming your content. In a simpler version of the “Skip Ad” feature on many sites, this format, which we are calling InArticle for now, allows a reader to keep scrolling if she doesn’t wish to view the ad.
A because ZINC is part of ZEDO and works with the ZEDO network of Tier 1 publishers and news sites, InArticle has gotten the publisher adoption to allow you to scale your ads globally. We have hundreds of sites, a publisher network that allows marketers to access the right audience with their existing video assets. No creative customization is necessary.
Feel free to email adsales@zincx.com to learn more about this novel, ideal branding message platform.


Business Insider: Mobile Exploding


To answer the call for an industry leading technology in the ad space ZEDO has invested resources in the ZINC High Impact product suite. Our leading platform provides the technology to make an impact on the right audience on web and mobile. ZINC is fostering an environment for effectively reaching consumers on mobile devices – a goal that many have attempted, but none have successfully achieved. A new study conducted by Business Insider puts ‘mobile usage at an all-time high’ sharing that ‘we’ve reached a usage tipping point’ as ‘mobile was the only media type to grow in total U.S. Consumer minutes spent per day from 2010 to 2012’.

ZINC is differentiated and gaining prominence among brand marketers and high level agency execs because of the highly visible nature of its mobile video formats. ZINC is able to connect with consumers while they are engaged with the most personal device they own – their phone. The ability to adapt, create, and innovate in this space is dependent on the ability to understand how consumers use mobile smartphones. ZINC presents brands the opportunity to expand mobile reach and engage at the most intimate level with consumers.


Because ZINC provides game-changing video formats that are both non-intrusive and highly visible, and plugs into a network of Tier 1 publishers who are part of ZEDO’s customer base, advertisers can gain immediate access to the “right” global audience with the reach and frequency they need to get their messages out.

High Impact Formats Deliver A Banner Year for ZEDO

This is another time of transition in the advertising and publishing industries, two industries whose symbiotic existence is threatened by privacy advocates, ad blocking software, and the shift to mobile. Banner ads, the publishing industry’s main strategy for making the shift to digital in 1993, are longer effective after two decades of being the workhorse of online advertising. Click-through rates have declined from  .63% in 1999  when ZEDO was founded to today’s meagre .04% CTR for the standard 468×60 banner. That’s an all-time low, and everyone knows they won’t recover as digital natives come to the table with higher standards for what will get their attention.

Publishers once again feel their revenues are being threatened as CPMs accompany CTRs in this race to the bottom. Intuitively publishers may know their content is premium and their ad space is more valuable than current rates indicate, but without better audience engagement they can’t prove it to media buyers. Publishers need something to sell that will engage even the most jaded visitor.

Enter high impact formats. a new suite of ZEDO products that invite user interaction, increase CTRS, and raise publisher revenue.

These products are especially valuable to publishers today  because media buyers also love them. We are signing up premium publishers at an unparalleled rate, and agencies are running very high profile ad campaigns using these new formats.

The high impact formats, many of which are measured 99% viewable by comScore, have opened new divisions and product lines for ZEDO. Although we have not forgotten our origins as an ad server, and we just completely re-architected our ad server as a cloud-based solution so it’s faster and better than anyone else, we have become a total solution provider and not merely an ad tech company.

These innovations, coupled with the fact that we are a company that runs on revenues rather than funding, gives us both stability and market leadership. We are having our best year ever, even amid the constant turmoil.

Our support team receives consistent praise from customers who are impressed by the quality of our customer service and our implementation support. Our developers, who are constantly scanning the horizon for new ideas to offer our publisher partners, are constantly innovating.

We feel that ZEDO is positioned to capitalize on all the coming changes in the ad tech industry. As a company that generates cash rather than burning it, with an experienced team that knows ad tech since the last century, and a focus on customer service, we’re ready for anything the industry throws at us.


Enhanced by Zemanta

The Economist’s Recipe for Success

The Economist is one of the success stories in the shift of news media from print to digital. Its web site receives 7.8 million unique visitors each month, most introduced to it through social media, where it has over a million Facebook followers, and Twitter, where it has two million followers.  It also has a prestigious reputation for delivering well-thought out financial news analysis that came with the magazine from its print heritage.

Its digital edition (free and paid-for) is read on 500,000 devices. The Chairman’s Interim Report at the send of September of last year pointed out that people increasingly read The Economist on tablets and smartphones.

Of the total circulation of 1.6m in September, 140,000 customers bought digital-only copies. Of the others, about 25% read both print and digital editions.

The Economist Group, which owns the magazine, is investing to make sure it develops The Economist on the devices its readers use, and  is also adapting marketing so that prospective readers know the paper is available on these platforms.

In its Annual Report, the company calls attention to a welcome new trend:  the revival of long form journalism because of the fast uptake of tablets.

What is revolutionary for magazines like The Economist, however, is the reinvention of long-form reading triggered by Amazon when it launched Kindle in 2007 and fueled dramatically by Apple’s iPad.x We are fortunate because tablets, e-readers and smartphones allow our readers to  enjoy the ritual, lean-back, immersive experience of reading The Economist that they love in print. Many of our readers tell us that this experience is, in fact, even better than print ,because as well as being lean-back, digital editions are delivered immediately and reliably…; the backlit screens display images, maps and charts beautifully; and the devices offer opportunities to innovate and deliver more functionality—so, for example, our tablet and smartphone apps also deliver the full newspaper in audio each week.

Very recently, the editor-in-chief of the Economist, John Micklethwait, told a conference audience that  “it’s possible that the economics are being turned upside down — not just advertising, but also circulation. You can now reach hundreds of thousands of people at very little extra marginal cost through digital devices.

There are few publications that have managed the transition to digital with more aplomb and more financial stability. ZEDO is honored to welcome The Economist as a publisher client and we look forward to their thought leadership in publishing.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Digital Spend by Big Agencies Now Approaches 25%

Not that this is really news to anyone, but advertising dollars continue to shift online.  Four of the Big 6 agency holding companies, Aegis, Havas, Interpublic, and Publicis have contributed to a report by Standard Media Index, which is the best view to date of how dollars are allocated by big agencies on behalf of global brands.

Fueled by double digit growth in every sub-segment, overall digital spending rose 17% during the first quarter to 23.5% of agency media buys.

While mobile (+92%) and exchange-based digital buys (+46%) were the fastest growing sectors, display (+12%) and search (+12%) still account for dominant shares of digital spending. During the first quarter, direct-from-publisher display advertising accounted for 8.6%, and search accounted for 6.2% of all buys made by the major agencies.

We have been anticipating this shift, and have moved ZEDO in several new directions to accommodate it. Behind the scenes, we have strengthened our ad server for greater security, scalability, response time and redundancy. We have made more than two dozen new development, implementation, and account management hires during the last two quarters as we continue to grow with the industry we pioneered. And we are opening our New York office, hopefully on Madison Avenue.
On the product side, far more visible are our high impact formats, which are available to agencies through our new ZINC platform and available to publishers for direct and programmatic sales through ZEDO. Those formats, many tested by ComScore at 99% viewability, include the InView Slider, and FullScreen Video on the Web, the most engaging formats in the industry at this point.
With all the changes in how advertising is bought, display advertising spend still increased 10% in 2012, partly because Latin America is coming online. One of the reasons we strengthened our ad server was to get ready for this global scale as 2 billion people come on the internet this year, many of them through mobile devices. Our high impact formats work well on those devices, especially in the fast-growing tablet market — the favorite way to read news for most consumers.
These formats fit right into where marketers are going: away from direct response, where falling CTRs and falling CPMs are driving both the advertising and the publishing side of the industry to a bottom, and toward brand building — where online advertising will be far more effective. Marketers say brand advertising will pass direct response this year:

63% of marketers project that the dollars allocated to online brand advertising will grow in 2013, while one in five believe the increase will exceed 20%, according to Vizu, a Nielsen company, and the CMO Council.


We’re happy to see better creative, which comes with brand advertising, come into the industry at last. We’re sure it will help realize the potential of digital advertising.


Enhanced by Zemanta

ZEDO Partners with GeoSurf to Target Global Markets

Winning in the online advertising world requires smart strategy combined with smart tools. Partnering with GeoSurf has allowed us to deliver the best possible service.

Our aim is simple, to ensure that our clients get the best return possible on their ad spend, or the best revenue for their ad inventory. For us to meet these standards we need a reliable, professional tool that allows us to see what is going on in the online world, in every market, in real time. GeoSurf provides us with a fast, reliable proxy tool and a great display analytics solution.

ZEDO Partners with GeoSurf

GeoSurf Delivers ZEDO Global Intelligence



Enhanced by Zemanta

Internet ads can (and will) be as effective as TV

Internet ads can (and will) be as effective as TV

View the Article

Sometimes it is lonely to be the CEO of the biggest independent advertising technology partner for publishers. The long view: my belief in standing behind the high quality publishers to make Internet advertising work at least as well as the best TV advertising – is a position not often shared. Yet I believe that we can make Internet advertising work brilliantly for high quality product launches and brand building. We won’t be stuck with text based CPC ads. We will show that the best sites can run fantastic graphical and video ads that sell great products.

I’ve been saying for months that the distinction between above and below the fold should go away, and I finally have company for my perspective. Good company: Comscore, Inc.

A week ago I attended an event in New York City at which Comscore unveiled its new Validated GRP(TM) tool that rates the effectiveness of digital ads. Validated GRP takes the rating standards advertisers apply to TV advertising (Gross Rating Points) and establishes a similar metric that will apply to digital advertising. For advertisers, this is a metric to judge online campaign effectiveness–to make an apples to apples comparison between the effectiveness of TV and the effectiveness of online display and video ads.

In the development of its Validated GRP tool, Comscore conducted a major study on the quality of campaign delivery that allowed it to investigate discrepancies between expectations and reality when it comes to ad delivery. The full study, the results of which will be released in March, included twelve major brands with household names like Ford, Sprint, Kimberly Clark, and Kellogg’s.

To conduct the study, Comscore used the AdXPose technology it acquired earlier last year. The AdXPose team tipped us off in advance because we were already partnered with them. We got a sneak preview of the study’s highlights, which we are now free to share here.

In December 2011, Comscore measured 2,975 placements on 380,898 site domains — totaling over 1.7 million impressions, all delivered in iframes.

The conclusion? Something we, as an ad server and a advertising technology partner for publishers, have already observed: many ads are served, but not seen. That’s because web pages are no longer mostly short pages with static user experiences; they’re long pages with dynamic usage. Many use the increasingly popular “infinite scroll”. By the time an ad at the top of the page is served, the reader may have already scrolled by. Yet many ads further down may be very visible to the user. In Comscore’s own words:

“It’s not just an ‘above the fold versus below the fold’ issue. Sometimes people scroll down quickly to get to the content they want, and miss home page ads. In those cases, the action might be below the fold. Compelling ads can work in both places – but only if they’re visible.” Comscore found that 24% of ads above the fold were not visible.

While this is not great news for the advertisers who paid for those campaigns, It is great to see Comscore measure this for advertisers. And it’s why we developed the InView slider formats. Web pages, like the Huffington Post and Daily Mail are getting longer. And they are increasingly optimized for tablets where users are quick to scroll and therefore quick to skip past the top of the page to get to the content they want to read.

Comscore’s findings become very important, especially as online advertising moves from simple banner display ads to on-page video. And I believe it will move to great video ads for cars, cosmetics and movies etc right on the page. Right now, we’re selling the InView Slider ad unit with great confidence that it works for advertisers wherever you place it. It only appears if the reader is going to see it. The InView slider gives publishers a way to boost revenue, and gives advertisers a great way to guarantee to catch scrolling readers.

We’re also launching an in page video ad that will appear when the viewer is guaranteed to see it.
The InView slider has been quickly adopted by publishers since the summer because all the revenue for the publisher is additional and yet there’s no additional work involved.

We look forward to Comscore publicly presenting the full results of its study in March, and of course we are proud to be their partner in making advertising on the web as good as the best advertising on national TV.

Programmatic and Real Time Bidding Are Not the Same

If the recent IAB Leadership Meeting is any indication, online publishers appear to be moving full speed ahead into Real Time Bidding. The problem  is that they sometimes can’t predict how much they will get for their ads, and they are fearful that display advertising is falling victim to the negative side of economies of scale. They don’t seem to understand that there can be a difference between programmatic buying and Real Time Bidding (RTM). You don’t have to create a race to the bottom when you automate your buying and selling.

Programmatic buying is a work flow solution that automates the process involved in buying ads. It’s like computerized trading on Wall Street; an algorithm can look for available inventory against a set of specific parameters, and it can buy many ads quickly on a global scale. Programmatic buying in and of itself does not drive CPMs down. If publishers declare their inventory as premium, and have the chops to prove it, such as high impact formats or viewable impressions, programmatic buying can even boost CPMs because it enables buyers to find the right sellers.

So far so good. But then Real Time Bidding (RTB) enters the room. RTB adds an auction marketplace to the programmatic buying. If you deliver all your inventory to RTB, you can expect to see your CPMs go down, because advertisers still see RTB markets as a bucket for remnant. Thus, it’s to a publisher’s advantage to withhold part of the inventory — the best part — and sell it directly.

Which does not mean you can’t sell it programmatically. You can — through a direct pipe between ad agency and publisher. A direct pipe is like a private exchange between a single agency or media buyer and several premium publishers. As a publisher, you are better off keeping your premium inventory off the RTB marketplace and thereby creating a scarcity. That drives up your prices.

SO as a publisher, your goal shifts from getting rid of all your inventory by dumping it on the RTB market to delineating percentage of that inventory as premium and selling it as high impact, non-traditional display, using the new viewability metrics as a rationale.

Are There Differences Between Ad Servers?

We don’t write much about our flagship product, ZEDO ad server. This is because the perception is that changing an ad server is tedious, complicated and doesn’t increase revenue. Instead we write about our High Impact Formats because using them is exciting to publishers; they are easy to implement and they get the publisher new ad revenue instantly.

However, sometimes publishers do need a new ad server. And ZEDO is both different and better. For example, the ZEDO intuitive UI and unlimited 24/7 customer service keep winning us new business. Our customer service team does anything at all that a publisher wants – we are a true partner for publishers. We often build demos for the publisher sales teams and even edit the advertiser flash files over the weekend if helps win the publisher more revenue.

Further we have the biggest ad server development team in the industry – it is spread across 4 development centers around the world. And as you have probably heard, ZEDO has the most modern, most state of the art -ad server in the industry. It has just been rebuilt from the ground up. We used all our years of experience and knowledge and understanding of the challenges of the next 10 years and built a perfect brand new product that operates on the any cloud (including AWS) and scales and performs beautifully. We are very, very proud of this technology and love the positive and surprised reaction we get from publishers who are initially skeptical but decide to test it out.

Many publishers still feel that all ad servers are about equal. Yet even some of those try our High Impact Formats, love the revenue they get, then decide to use ZEDO for all ad serving – they prefer one platform for all standard units and for the High Impact Platform.

ZEDO is the only ad server that can accurately refer to itself as full service. ZEDO’s ad server has an integration tool to all major ad exchanges (RTB exchanges and others), offers an ad network optimization platform, supports VAst 2.0 and mobile. Unlike its larger and smaller competitors, it also offers ad operations and creative assembly services that reduce the headache of operating an ad server.

And we help you make more money from all the ad exchanges – much better than being tied in to just one ad exchange – that knows too much about your inventory. Typically those tied in exchanges only pay $0.01 CPM more than the next campaign – because they know the price of your next campaign – which they shouldn’t.

Last, all our customers get a dedicated local account manager. That’s in addition to support by phone, email and chat.


According to IAB, performance-based advertising has reached the point of diminishing returns for all its players; it has created a highly efficient market in which there is almost no margin left for either publishers or agencies. So this  is the year digital brand advertising can and must be born, or the digital advertising industry can’t survive.

We are part of the IAB because we feel we are aligned with its goals. We don’t just join every organization. IAB shares our beliefs that if agencies are freed to produce magical creative, technology will help them build brands across platforms and geographies. And all this can be measured with metrics that are useful to marketers.

Here is a summary of the IAB Digital Brand Building initiatives for this year.

1. Rising Stars rewards the creative that interacts with consumers right on the page and allows them to engage the way they used to engsge in person. We have to allow agencies to produce better creative — the kind with which people really want to engage.

2. 3MS(Making Measurement Make Sense) is the initiative that began last year to change how we measure ads. Last year, the emphasis was on viewable impressions. Going forward measurements will also include Interactivity, Engagement and any other tangible forms of ad interaction that correspond with results.

3. Advertising Technology and Operations. Deployed well, advertising technologies can eliminate fraud and assure brand safety. But the ecosystem has been portrayed with unnecessary complexity. iAB wants to simplify and lubricate the supply chain. Amen brother.

4. Protecting Privacy. To build brands requires trust, and the industry should collaborate with consumers to combat malware and spyware, and protect privacy through self-regulation. Firefox’s decision to forbid third party cookies is the tip of the impending security/privacy iceberg.

5.Demystifying Dats. Right now, the advertising industry takes more data than it gives, and to be successful we must foster  transparency and trust in the ad value chain.

6.Screens. Simplifying the delivery of ads across devices is critical.Cross-screen research initiatives will quantify the value of cross-screen campaigns and IAB will try to help marketers manage the risks and maximize the rewards of working across screens.

7. Learning and Certification. iAB wants to grow, professionalize and standardize our sales teams, ad ops, and ad technologists so the industry can be taken seriously.

8.Global Brand Building. All brands can and should be global. Digital reaches everywhere, and digital can play both a global and a hyperlocal role simultaneously. IAB plans to help brands be global safely.

Once again, we’re ahead of this curve, already selling our high impact formats and full screen video formats that accept already- produced TV ads on a digital platform. We’re just waiting for you to meet us here in the digital marketing Utopia ahead. How else can we help?