“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.