The Future of TV Advertising conference is becoming a fixture in the media calendar. This year’s affair featured a renewed confidence in the strength that TV can deliver for clients. This was largely due to two factors: a thorough econometric study from Thinkbox which showed the ROI of TV, and the ongoing brand safety and viewability concerns plaguing digital media. Several themes became apparent throughout the conference, which I have expanded on below:
The ROI of TV
A new study from ebiquity, commissioned by Thinkbox, has shown TV unequivocally drove the best ROI. This was true in the short-term, but was even more pronounced in the long-term. Everyone knows how powerful TV can be at building brands, but it was strange to see marketers having to remind themselves of this fact, and question the levels of investment they were getting from digital.
Hitesh Bhatt from Samba TV made the point that actually ROI is highest when TV and Digital work together. TV is misunderstood due to the inability to measure as much as digital, and actually broadcasters should be working with agencies and digital partners as much as possible to really prove their value further. This was reiterated by Ryan Jamboretz, CCO of Videology, who also called for broadcasters to define Advanced TV before someone else does.
Addressable TV is getting closer to possible
For a long time addressable TV, or programmatic TV, has been a dream for clients and agencies. It seems like that dream is close to a reality today, certainly in the UK and US markets. In the US, the introduction of OpenAP is allowing advertisers to reach specific audiences across a range of broadcasters. In the UK, Sky has been offering this approach for the past couple of years. The recent launch of Group M’s Finecast looks to broaden the opportunity beyond Sky, and currently involves all broadcasters bar ITV.
Does this mean personalised TV will become the norm? Interestingly, most major advertisers thought not. Many argued that in reality, there is little wastage in TV, as all views could be valuable. Richard Brooke, global media director for Unilever, pointed out when Dove for Men launched, the target audience, men, knew instantly what the brand positioning was. The reason for this was they had seen so many female-targeted Dove ads in the prior decade. Echoed by Rick Mandler, VP of Strategy and Digital at ABC, who said that as an industry we know that data driven advertising will always be part of our future, but if we only focus on micro-targeting we will lose the broader brand perception which gives them meaning.
The other downside is cost. The ROI for addressable still did not deliver compared to more large-scale TV campaigns aimed at broad audiences. However, addressable TV has been brilliant at persuading smaller more niche clients to use TV for the first time. For example, Mclaren, selling a £175,000 sports car, used TV instead of direct mail for the first time.
Brand Safety and Viewability is weighing on everyone’s minds
This was a TV conference, so the bias was understandable, but most advertisers expressed their concerns with digital marketing. David Benson from Google was left to defend YouTube, and pointed out that AI improvements are now helping remove unsuitable materials in 87% of cases before they have even been flagged. But this may not be enough to persuade some large advertisers back to the platform. They want to be able to target audiences, and TV now seems to be opening up that opportunity in a safer environment.
Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, had previously said Facebook delivers a Superbowl-sized audience every night. Fox TV looked at the numbers, realised this stat wasn’t close to the reality, and published the data showing they deliver the equivalent of 700 Facebook audiences each day.
Ben Sutherland, CMO for Diageo, shows a cartoon illustrating the thoughts of many in the room on the difficulties with digital advertising:
After outlining his approach for building a trusted marketplace for Diageo, he also called for digital partners to show a step forward approach in terms of the seriousness around brand safety and ad fraud across the board, more than just through white and black lists.
Will TV keep losing young viewers to OTT?
If there was a dark note to the air of self-congratulation, it was the growing reach, and deep pockets of Netflix and Amazon. Both services continue to be successful, especially with younger audiences, and are taking viewers into an ad-free space. Their success to date has been built around drama and comedy (see image) but there was much talk that Amazon in particular may explore live sports as the next step. In the US they have broadcast NFL games this year. Apple, Facebook and Google also look interested in growing their OTT services and potentially using sport as a way in. Sport has huge attractions for these businesses: a built-in audience, they are willing to pay a premium to watch, and they have shown already they will move platforms to view.
The final and over-arching message of the conference was that there is definitely a future for TV, and an exciting one at that, as long as broadcasters and agencies/brands take control and define their future in the right way with their consumers at front of mind.
Hello and welcome to your weekly OMD FWD. This week, Facebook are using AI to be more helpful, watch your favourite shows live on YouTube, Android eats Windows lunch, US teens can’t get enough of mobile video, we introduce you to the Metaverse and more…
As always, please share anything you find interesting at #OMDFWD.
What are the three scariest words to a marketeer? Well, according to David Pogue, Tech Critic at Yahoo Finance, at the OMD Oasis at CES last week they are “skip this ad”. The four members of the panel delved deeper into why consumers want to skip ads and their conclusion? It’s all down to relevance (or lack of it).
Bastien Schupp, Vice President Global Marketing Communications at Groupe Renault, explored the notion of relevance further by equating it to the car industry. He explained that, at any one time, 96% of people are not in the market for a vehicle and yet around 90% of communication is attributed to them. He talked about how we need more balance in focusing on the 4% who are actually ‘in the market’ to buy a car by marketing to individuals rather than marketing to the masses. His stark warning?
“More efficient targeting is about relevance. And if we don’t become more relevant we are doomed.”
Bastien also added that it goes far beyond targeting, it’s also about relevant content too. Simply put? “You can’t just put your TV commercial on digital platforms”. He pointed out that achieving this shift was “a long process” and to ensure this happens “agencies need to transform rapidly”.
Paul Kelly, Chief Partnerships Officer at Awesomeness TV, elaborated further on the topic of relevance. He made a clear distinction between ‘individual relevance’ (something that satisfies the need state at that particular moment in time) and also ‘cultural relevance’ which he said was “an inconvenient truth… purchase decisions are often made on emotion rather than fact”. Kelly insisted that by continuing to chase increasing accountability through all forms of addressable media “we are possibly missing out on cultural relevance”. He cited an example from Honda who had decided to target younger age groups even though they are obviously not in the market for a Honda. The reasoning behind that move? Because if Honda don’t speak to those younger consumers then by the time they get into the market Honda won’t be in their consideration set. He added, “a lot of big brands are missing out on that right now”.
Nikki Mendonça, President at OMD EMEA, interjected and stated that brands need to become more disruptive. She believes that since the economic crisis many clients had become “risk averse” but she had detected more recently that some clients were becoming “more willing to take risks”. In terms of addressable media, she added that “we are only at the beginning” and the main challenges to adoption would be the acceleration of technology, how we use the data and data protection laws. But she made it clear that both advertisers and agencies need to get on board because “no-one is going to stop the addressability train”.
What followed was a lively debate on the future of live content via the likes of Periscope, Meerkat or Facebook Live. Bastien Schupp believes it’s potential is “hugely overrated”. He conceded that it may offer an interesting opportunity at live sporting events (such as unique viewing at half time during a football match) but for the automotive industry he was much more sceptical: “we could broadcast from a Motor Show but frankly unless we had a flying car then no-one would watch”.
David Pogue disagreed. His assertion was that the power of live video was its authenticity. He offered a personal perspective of taking the unboxing of technology (something we have all witnessed on YouTube) and taking it to a live platform. For example, he had reviewed the Apple Airpots in a 15-minute unveiling last month. Despite the fact that he didn’t think anyone would watch he was astonished that “58,000 people watched me open a box!”. In the following days, the views jumped up into the hundreds of thousands. He went on to say that although it wasn’t necessarily the best quality broadcast the fact that “you can’t edit it and you can’t script it” is one of the main reasons why consumers love it so much.
Paul Kelly had a foot in each camp. He acknowledged that there were limited applications for ‘live’ right now but still felt that we would pivot towards it when we had figured out how best to use it. And that is a challenge for clients, agencies and vendors alike to determine how best to use the platform. What is also true is that the technology will continue to evolve and as such previously undreamed-of applications will inevitably surface. But the key driver of the platform will, as ever, be the consumer themselves. As Kelly put it so succinctly “it depends solely on what the audience wants to see”.
Well, as predicted in my pre-CES piece, the main areas of interest were automotive, robots and VR, although my confident prognostication that ’embeddables’ was going to be the breakout technology for 2017 proved to be a tad off the mark. Actually I was way off. But you can expect me to reuse the same prediction every year until it finally happens…
Anyway, swiftly moving on, let’s take a closer look at how the more successful predictions came to fruition.
Your car is now the largest connected piece of technology that you can own. And every single one of the manufacturers displaying their wares focused on the progress they have made in connecting your vehicle to other devices.
The major innovation for 2017 was the use of voice activation. Both Ford and VW announced their respective collaborations with Amazon ‘Alexa’ whilst Nissan talked about their association with Microsoft ‘Cortana’. Talk to your car and it will politely talk back, whilst simultaneously acting upon your every whim at home – switch on your lights, adjust the central heating or even check what’s in your fridge (assuming you have the right connected appliances of course).
Alternatively, talk to Alexa at home and control various functions of your car, like turning on the air conditioning or checking how much fuel you have left.
And talking of Nissan, I watched the keynote speech by Renault-Nissan CEO, Carlos Ghosn, at the Westgate Pavilion, where he stated that there will be more change in the automotive sector in the next 10 years than there was in the last 50 years.
He confidently predicted that by 2030 a quarter of all vehicles on the road will be autonomous (and added that this was a “conservative estimate”). He also talked about their alliance with NASA on developing the revolutionary Seamless Autonomous Mobility (SAM) system. What problem does it solve? Well autonomous systems follow strict road rules (such as, your car can never cross solid road lines) so SAM uses a human interface to offer ‘real time’ solutions to complex ‘real world’ problems that even sophisticated algorithms can’t figure out.
Elsewhere we saw China’s answer to Tesla, Faraday Future, launch its vision of an electric production car (as opposed to the outlandish FFZero1 hypercar concept which it revealed at last year’s CES).
The unimaginatively entitled FF91 is fully electric, autonomous and has very cool motorised doors. There are no firm details on when it will be launched or the price but you can put down a $5,000 deposit to get yourself on the list. However, given some of the negative stories circulating about the financial viability of Faraday I won’t be one of them.
TV WENT ON A DIET
Can you imagine a TV as thin as a credit card? Well, LG can. And it did: the new LG Signature 4K OLED W series. The W stands for wallpaper and refers to the TV’s new “picture-on-wall” design. Its dual system has the main display underpinned by a Dolby Atmos Soundbar. That very same Soundbar also houses the TV’s primary guts, HDMI inputs and so forth. But it’s that screen which is the key feature coming in at a mere 2.57 millimeters thick.
VR WENT FROM INTERACTIVE TO IMMERSIVE
Samsung finally demonstrated how far VR has come since the Oculus Rift took CES by storm just a few short years ago. Their five-arena immersive oasis was simply stupendous and one of the real highlights of this year’s show. Want to take a bobsleigh ride, fly shotgun on a stunt plane, throw buildings at a rival robot or even go on a Star Wars X-Fighter mission? No problem, Samsung Gear offered the opportunity to experience them all, and provide a genuine taster as to what immersive entertainment will become over the next few years.
ROBOTS GOT WEIRD
Smart home assistants, such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home, became an unexpected Christmas 2016 consumer hit. But given the new kit we saw on display at CES this week, it will make these simple voice activated units obsolete rather swiftly.
Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics demonstrated its Sophia Bot late in 2016 and, although it was a huge leap forward in the development of animated expressions/emotional intelligence, it still looked somewhat creepy. Or is it just me?
At CES it showcased the latest version of the same technology, which took strange to a whole new level. Professor Einstein is a 14.5″ Wi-Fi-connected robot which is designed along the lines of Amazon Alexa, albeit with a very different outward appearance…
RANDOM STUFF THAT NO-ONE EXPECTED
This is the Kickstarter style, off-the-wall, oddball tech that nobody could have predicted apart from the crazy people who invented it. And as usual, there was plenty on display.
For starters, what about the Kolibree? It is the world’s first toothbrush with Artificial Intelligence. With the associated app you can gamify your brushing experience (seriously, you cannot make this stuff up) to ensure you clean your teeth properly.
Not convinced? Me neither. So next up, we have VR shoes from Taclim. The footwear literally allows you to walk in the shoes of your virtual heroes and can simulate a variety of terrains (from sand to snow). They look a bit like Croc sandals so even though the enhanced gameplay might be cool, you certainly won’t look chic whilst wearing them.
Talking of cool, what about a levitating speaker system? Well thanks to the Crazybaby Mars you can have your mind officially blown. It looks a bit like an Amazon Alexa, replete with funky blue lights (naturally) and a free floating dome. It’s also not just a gimmick as the sound quality is incredible. Until I saw and heard it, I had no idea that I needed one in my life.
So there you have it, another tech fest over for another year. Did CES 2017 live up to expectation? Whoa, did it ever. Leaving Las Vegas. And out.
This article was originally posted at M&M Global – http://mandmglobal.com/2-4-million-square-foot-of-whoa-ces-2017-reviewed/
Long gone are the days when the whole family would crowd around a single television, completely focused on the screen for the entire duration of the programme. Today, family members consume different content in different rooms on different devices. All of this means that the traditional advert break is becoming less and less relevant – so just what does this mean for brands?
Ad blocking is already gaining ground, with more and more consumers eliminating ads they consider intrusive. According to PageFair, at least 419 million people are now blocking ads, a 90% increase in 12 months. This figure does not include content-blocking apps, in-app ad blockers, and opt-in browser ad blockers. PageFair forecasts the global cost of ad blocking to reach $41.4 billion in 2016. The best response to ad blocking is to make each advert as relevant to the viewer as possible so that it is a welcomed interruption rather than an annoyance. All messages will have the potential to become context-aware when TVs connect with other objects in the home and wearable devices.
Despite the general move away from real-time programming, certain big TV events will remain compelling enough for audiences to watch live, particularly global sporting events. But, there will be increased expectations for augmented viewer experiences through immersive content and second-screen interactivity. Netflix earlier this year announced a new second screening feature providing viewers with supplemental content which can be accessed through their mobile devices. Further brand integration with entertainment content will be key going forward, from product placement (making a brand visible in a scene) to product immersion (making a brand an integral part of the storyline). Brands should also take advantage of device fluidity – connecting TVs with other screens and platforms allowing owned content to flow from screen to screen – to provide a connected and holistic viewing experience.
Success today lies not in targeting more people, but in how brands reach consumers with personalised content based on their environment or needs. Addressability allows brands to show different ads to different viewers while they are looking at the same content, such as Destination Canada’s ‘Explore Canada’ campaign. The more a brand knows about its target audience, the more it can refine its message and deliver maximum impact. Personalisation is currently broadly limited to viewers being able to choose which device they want to watch media content on, and getting suggestions for future content based on their viewing history. We are also seeing trends in the personalisation of viewing content, such as NFL NOW, a video network which allows sports fans to build their own channel of content by selecting their favourite teams or players. In the future, personalisation might start to influence storylines based on viewers’ preferences, or perhaps even by syncing with the viewer’s emotional, physical and haptic biometric data.
DRASTICALLY CHANGING VIEWING HABITS IS ALREADY PROVING HUGELY CHALLENGING FOR BRANDS.
As Nikki Mendonça, OMD EMEA President, explained at the Future TV Advertising Forum, it is the role of media agencies to cross-pollinate (like bees) between the emergent walled gardens to create powerful custom audiences, which will become the marketing currency of the future.
However, she warned that “there is a lot of value in the so-called wastage.” We need the reach of TV, even if targeting is very valuable: P&G scaling back targeted Facebook Ads is an interesting example.
Ultimately, we need to follow the same marketing principles as we always have. We still need a powerful story that reaches the right people at the right time and in the right place. The brands that are leading the charge in giving individual viewers what they really want will reap the rewards going forward.
Want to know more about the Future of TV? Email us at [email protected]
Traditional e-commerce websites may be good for shopping when you know what you’re looking for. But for those times when you don’t, Instagram has introduced new features. These new features will help users identify products in Instagram photos from brands. Vishal Shah, Instagram’s Head of Product Management for Monetization, mentions that even though we have seen progress in mobile purchasing “these two things — discovery and the actual purchase — are just not well-connected like in physical stores”. The feature will enable retailers to price label their products on the platform and then direct customers to their mobile website – still not enabling users to purchase through the app. However, Shah does mention that commerce will evolve into big business in the future – either through ads or a cut in sales.
- Facebook is a hive of activity, reporting very strong Q3 fiscal results, testing instant games it now wants to start selling TV spots on TVs through Apple TV and Roku
- In a move that will please e-commerce teams, Instagram is set to add some shoppable features
- WhatsApp tests Status, a new feature that’s like Snapchat stories as the platform continues to evolve
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As Vine prepares to shut down, its users respond to the loss of their beloved platform. Thousands of fans including digital influencers, industry leaders and media members spent last Thursday mourning the platform. However, some Viners are choosing to look at the bright side. Despite increasing their social footprint on other growing and more lucrative platforms, Vine has allowed them to set up a format. Thomas Sanders, who won best Viner of the year at the 2016 Steamys, says “I continue to make content on other platforms. But Vine is a wonderful place for me to start with my social media and branch outward from there”. The news can perhaps serve as a reminder to us all that a single channel approach could be a risky strategy for brands and influencers.
- As Vine prepares to shut down, its users respond to the loss of their beloved platform
- Facebook is getting all Snapchatty with an in-app camera and lens style Halloween masks
- The bots are (still) coming and they can now take payment
It has been a significant couple of weeks for our understanding of the developing TV landscape. The convergence of TV and Internet technologies has been spoken of as some kind of future event for the past 15 years or so. Now, more than ever, we can understand it as something that has happened and will continue to develop.
The over the top global TV platforms continue to scale.
Netflix announced a global partnership with Liberty Global giving access to a further 30m homes worldwide driving growth beyond the current 29m subscriptions outside the USA. Additionally, RBC Capital Markets reported that 42% of UK internet users used Netflix to watch TV/Movie content in the past 12 months, compared to 54% for YouTube and 62% for the BBC iPlayer.
In terms of high-profile content, Amazon announced a launch date of November 18 for ‘The Grand Tour’ maybe the most prominent global reach show to date for an OTT platform. Twitter streamed their first live NFL Thursday night football match between the NY Jets and Buffalo Bills. In the VR space, the first VR Emmy went to the Oculus Story Studio. We are now witnessing premium content propositions, in virtually every genre, being made available through these new platforms being launched every few weeks.
On the other side of the convergence coin, the traditional broadcasters and platforms have been taking advantage of new technology led opportunities. At IBC in Amsterdam, Sky recently discussed the launch of Sky Go UK inventory sold via the Videology platform on a programmatic basis enabling brands to access content such as live English Premier League outside of traditional broadcast.
At IBC a range of new TV screens were launched that go beyond 4K into High Dynamic Range, Wide Colour Gamut and Ultra HD. Content in these cutting edge formats is more likely to be initially delivered over IP rather than broadcast.
It is not just a zero-sum game, these platforms drive each other.
Nielsen in the US report that increased viewing of related content on YouTube drives viewing of a TV show. Consumers are happy to bounce between platforms, especially on the same device, to create a more personalised experience. Measurement of this behaviour is now a global scale challenge requiring new methodologies for TV measurement, in-store attribution and cross-device targeting.
We can now see a path to better monetisation of video impacts delivered over IP. No longer are they something that is hard to measure, scale and trade. Consumers have taken to new platforms and formats, especially younger and more affluent consumers. Global platforms are creating and distributing some of the most high profile and sought after inventory. Brands can now also access that high-quality content through a range of new buying mechanisms.
Convergence has positive impacts on TV, we just need to frame the opportunity a little differently.
This was very much the focus of discussion amongst the media and advertising community at IBC. It is now especially relevant to have a deep understanding of many audience segments. Through conditional insight, testing different hypotheses and experimental design, we can recognise brand differentiators through value creation mechanisms. A clear measurement framework that operates across devices, platforms and approaches is now the most critical challenge to deliver on the opportunity of the post convergence TV/AV landscape.
Google has launched an artificial intelligence app called Allo, rejoining the messaging app war. While Apple (iMessage) and Facebook (WhatsApp and Messenger) have massive head starts, Nick Fox, Google’s VP of Communication Products isn’t stressing about Google rejoining the race. Fox said that “while messaging has been around for a while, smart messaging is much newer”. Google’s AI assistant and search functionality are built into Allo, offering a new level of service which other messaging apps do not offer. For example, if you are making dinner plans, Allo will scan nearby restaurants and cinema timings, helping you plan your night. You can even find out football scores and directions to your destination so you won’t be late. While Google+ or Hangouts may not have dented the messaging or social media scene, Allo represents Google’s persistence and commitment to foray back into mobile communication.
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Snapchat could soon be planning your nights out with the recent purchase of mobile search app Vurb for $110m+. Vurb is doing what traditional search engines cannot yet manage, which is bundle leisure activities together from reviewing movies, booking tickets and making restaurant reservations. Not only this, but you can do this collaboratively with friends and even pass the invitations on. Vurb is collaborating with partners such as Yelp and Rotten Tomatoes to pull information into its card-based interface. The app even deep-links you into Uber and Google Maps, providing all you need to make that night happen. Whilst Vurb’s plans are unclear, we can be sure the commercial and marketing opportunity is exciting. Especially as Snapchat becomes a source of an ‘information digest’ throughout the day. Whether that be your own friends, current news or sponsored content. As always please do share anything interesting you spot with #OMDFWD