Click below for full video on evolution in video and TV space with BBC and SKY. It was an interesting debate, mainly between me and Tim, as usual full of opinion (rightly so!).
Category Archives: digital
As I sit wide awake on an American Airlines flight to California, when really I should be sleeping, mainly down to the horrendous ‘Angle flat’ beds I started thinking of the blog I wrote a year ago called ‘A Frictionless Web’
It talked about how Google wanted to streamline the whole cookie process and launch for the first time a ‘true stack’ something that had raised some eyebrows at the time mainly because Google had been excellent in many areas but had been flawed on Doubleclick and bordering on slow in the DSP space after purchase of Invite.
Google presented the new DFA and lots of new brand names like DDM – Doubleclick Digital Marketing, DBM, DC Bide Manager, DS3 and so on. Funny to think back then that even the Google people on stage were struggling to remember to use this terminology rather than good old Invite, DART etc etc. Neal Mohan presented credibly what the future would look like and that it was going to be powerful. At the time I thought, sometimes out loud and to the dislike of the DBM competition that this could really strike a blow to the competitive ecosystem if it turned out to be true.
Fast forward a year. In my opinion a big part of that dream has turned out to be right. Let me start with some of Audience On Demand’s change. We were well known for working with Invite and were heavily crticised for it but we stuck with it, especially as I saw the content of CAB 2012. The London office of AOD, powered by Geoff and Danny migrated all accounts to DBM (we say that now instead of Invite with out reminder!) the London office was and probably still is the largest user of DBM anywhere in the world and that includes the US, that does not happen often with something like DC.
As a result we were the first in the world to use the Search remarketing opportunity where DBM joins seemlessly with DFA and DS3. I cant reveal the results to that as thats my presentation at CAB but we learned an awful lot and that is still a big USP for us in the market as not many people have lined up DBM, DS3. DBM itself had a rocky start but again is now delivering the promise and we are pleased we got out there early and set the pace, working closely with the US team.
Bigger and more ominous for the competition however is that the new DS3 has really started to roll and two big things have happend. The first is that the product itself is good, widely acknowledged to be an improvement on some systems without the extra cost. I have seen across Europe business being returned to them from the companies that jumped in to fill the void of a quality Google product for years. The second is DFA in general has started to win back some lost ground from others in its own right. A good job Facebook bought Atlas as that was literally dead in the waters and amazingly those few major clients who continued to use them had seen the light and were off.
But the real success has been where advertisers or whole agencies are swapping to DS3 and DFA because they are or are about to be heavy users of DBM and want to benefit from the frictionless web. I work with people a year ago who were nowhere near wanting to work with DFA and were proudly using Mediamind or Flashtalking etc and have now switched and are happy. One major advertiser held a pitch right around now this time last year and the Stack solution was sold but was a just a little early with DS3, DBM all untried for them. One year on that shift is well under away. This is the fruits of the Stack and it is pretty compelling, Google in a year has transformed the display sell and regained an incredible amount of ground in such a short period of time.
There is work to be done of course around social tools and dynamic creative but hasn’t everyone? I am looking forward to presenting the amazing work the UK Audience On Demand team have done at this years CAB and hearing the next stage of the revolution. Over to Neal Mohan…
So $50 billion wiped off the company value and multi quarter underachievement. As an Apple fan boy of many years, I have started to change my views on Apple. The Galaxy and Android combination is becoming evermore attractive. Multiply me by many as well as the younger generation not seeing them as cool and none of this should come as a surprise to Apple.
If Apple did bother to listen to the customer base they would have heard some exceptionally loud and clear sentiment about where people felt Apple was going and what they needed to change. So if they had of come down from the ivory tower and talked to me, they would have heard a few things.
First they would have heard that we were all pissed off with the 4S vs 5 debacle, all the hype and build up that was allowed to swirl before dumping a 4S on the customers. They would have heard loud and clear that the customer base wanted more innovation and not an S. They are also less and less excited every time a new product appears.
If they had spoken to us and done some market research they would have seen that people wanted bigger screens, they wanted bigger screens for sometime but Apple did not listen. The headlines screamed innovate faster, consult with us more, but Apple ploughed on regardless. The new iPads came and went and then we saw the start of the Apple fall. They responded to the ask, but because it was late and a reaction to competition, their halo dropped.
The iPhone 5 was underwhelming above all else. Where Apple have gone wrong is in thinking that a big megapixel number or screen resolution will excite the user, not true, they should be additive. Apple has won on design and reimagining design and in this area they have singularly failed. The iPhone 5 was boring and frankly looked the same as the last two and that was a mistake. They had a chance. The iPad mini is a great product, I bought one, but the shine was taken off it because it was in response to the Nexus and other tablets. I would hold iPad mini as an example of where design was first and foremost and came with less tech spec, but noone really cared.
If they had listened they would have heard the rumblings of discontent about constant need for buying new and different chargers and new and different sims, the rest of the world was standardising and it is what people wanted and yet Apple thought that we would swallow the relentless change over and over. We do of course but the cracks are showing in our patience.
Apple should have read the signs and acted faster. Noone is perfect of course, even Samsung have had to admit that perhaps the S3 screen is too big for most people and have now downsized for those who want it, they listened pretty quickly after seeing the signs.
Overall with Apple my overriding sentiment is boredom. They bore me now, they make good products and I like them, but they have not got me excited for some time and I dont think I am alone, so in my view Apple need to start listening and innvating more if they are to regain their crown.
CES never ceases to astound, not least because the sheer scale is incredible. Over 150,000 people gathered this year to see the onslaught of new gadgets and software, with over 20,000 new products being launched. However this year I was less surprised by the products being launched.
Yes there were bigger TVs, thinner TVs, TVs with the most incredible picture quality, more tablets, more phones, more games and even fridges that talk to you. Loads of great stuff. But not loads of surprises. The focus as far as I could see was in making all of these things talk, connect and share with each other.
It struck me at CES just how much technology enables a seamless, frictionless ecosystem for us and our consumption of content. There were some fascinating examples on the show floor that all point to the consumer being able to do exactly what they want to do, when they want to do it. I can guarantee that our children will be demanding a completely open proposition when it comes to media consumption. They will want and expect it in a non- linear fashion as well.
A prime example of this was DISH, who is trying everything to help us do that. First they allow the recording of every primetime network channel automatically on to your set top box and then they have enabled the transfer of this content to your iPad for later viewing on the go. A brilliant idea which fully utilises the tablet / PC and TV.
Intel and Comcast are working to make sure that the average home can have a number of different devices wired up so individuals can watch and do whatever they like in whatever room of the house they are in. This allows the consumer a seamless movement of viewing / playing around the house.
And with Intel’s Microsoft Windows 8 laptop come tablet devices users can play with based on their mood – laptop for work, tablet for play. There is no one device that has come to the fore here and I am sure the best route will take a while to play out, but it will.
Samsung’s interactive TV’s continue to delight with the ability to talk with friends via Twitter, Skype etc… and indeed there are now competitors challenging the idea that adding these interactive services does not need to push up the price tag so considerably. Hisense is democratising these services and has entered the market with an affordable Smart TV for everyone.
Interestingly, the superstores in the US are also trying to push this out of the preserve of the lucky few. Both Walmart and Bestbuy will now only sell Smart TV’s, trying to drive further adoption of these ever connected devices. Intrinsic to growth in the connected TV area (there are 35 million connected TV devices in the US) is just that, getting them connected.
The Wi-fi revolution has meant that it is now so easy to connect a new device and adoption rates are high in the Smart TV market. All of this means we are very quickly going to arrive at a world where the lines between your TV and mobile devices are seamless.
This is being accelerated by a need to can the wires, a greater desire for social TV and a realisation that the TV can be a great central hub for all content wherever it comes from, and indeed can be the starting point for finding content and sending it outwards. In addition, on demand services and social apps also mean that people will be looking for Smart TV’s as a matter of course. Driving further adoption.
The key issue, however, is that the devices are seamless but the content is not. Broadcasters in particular are trying to manage a market that is shifting rapidly around them. In my home where I don’t have an aerial and the digital aerial does not work I turn to Apple TV. Apple TV is great for streaming to the TV, but who are the people that won’t let you do it – C4, ITV, Sky etc. How limited and short sighted are they? What are the alternatives? I don’t watch their programmes, or I do?
My Samsung TV has no 4oD, the result is I don’t watch this channel as much as I would. Comcast in the US is not letting people stream programming from the likes of HBO Go, it is being artificially restricted. This strangulation by these broadcasters needs to adjust and fast as viewers will not put up with it for much longer.
One huge irritation I have is the fact that Sky won’t let me have unlimited devices to watch SkyGo on – we live in a world where people often have an iPad, an iPhone, an iPod and perhaps even a Nexus 7 – I want to watch SkyGo anywhere I want, at any time – that drives loyalty.
How technology will impact advertising
So, we have a seamless technology ecosystem developing, let’s look on the bright side and suggest that broadcasters do give up their old school methods and let us all do what we want. There will be two implications for the advertising business. The first is that measurement of viewership will become an impossible task without some improvement in the technology tracking it – a big ask. And that leads neatly to the second – addressable TV advertising.
DISH is currently piloting zipcode targeting – basically they download ads to the set top box and then fire them to the appropriate household and hopefully in time, person. How can they do that? Well, if a household is governed by a central console like a Comcast box, then we could be in a position to more easily identify who is watching what content and serve them relevant advertising.
Simulmedia recently released numbers that suggest that as much as 75% of TV ad impressions are reaching just 20% of their target audiences. If this data becomes verified, advertisers will be looking to alternatives and addressability will be paramount.
So, after a few days in Vegas we did not see a great deal of change, more a rapid progression of technology that was present last year – more tablets, more Smart TV’s, interchangeable laptops and tablets, sharing technology, social technology. As a result our industry also needs to rapidly progress. The consequences for the media will be far reaching and affect all of us.
Marco Bertozzi is executive managing director of Publicis Groupe’s VivaKi
Apart from loving the word, I wanted to write about Serendipity as I sometimes wonder whether it is going to be a rare thing for coming generations. For those that are not sure the definition of Serendipity is basically about coming across something pleasant by accident. Now I started thinking about this from what I read online and updates etc and it struck me that unless you work hard at it, serendipity is not what it used to be.
I work in a business where we deliver exact ads to exact cookies which is another shot in the eye for Serendipity when compared with TV advertising that still trades on the fact you buy one audience but could pick up many other ‘free’ audiences. Online advertising is just one part of the equation though, it is also about my Twitter feed, Linkedin and so on.
If you think about it the World Wide Web is closing in on us everyday we use it. We have Google showing us Ads related to searches and sites we visit and then content that is determined by our own behaviours and our friends social behaviour. I have 500 people I follow that I have hand picked based on their subject matter expertise whether that is personal or professional or indeed they are just friends. By definition I am presented with content of the same genre, often lots of the same content over and over. Of course you can add random people but most people forget to do that. To help make your readership less varied Twitter then suggest people like you so you keep adding more of the same.
Facebook is of course again a hand picked bunch but for some reason I see the same people adding updates. I keep being told that this is based on my interaction with them, I know for sure that is not the case so there must be some other science at work, either way I want more variety and it is killing my Facebook experience and interest. On top of that I am being shown highly targeted Ads based on interest and friends. It all adds up to a pretty repetitive and unsurprising experience.
Linkedin are usually people from the same genre and updates cross over with Twitter, Ads are targeted and so again I am seeing the same stuff. If I go shopping on Amazon they are predicting my tastes and showing me content that they think I will want whether it is books, films or electricals. This leaves very little revelation in my experience. That extends into most shopping as targeting becomes more sophisticated where very personalised content will be shown just for me across many sites. Of course we are then flocking to sites like Zite that learns fast or asks what content you like until you end up with a painfully myopic view. To be honest the examples go on and on with iTunes and other music systems proposing other songs and albums, but always based on something that you already like.
Right now we are primarily talking about ads and people but when we get into search that becomes more and more tailored we may never see an alternative view. If Google learns that I am a conservative and look at that content, that is what I will see, I will never be given alternative content. Same for any belief or interest. The technology we use is driving our experience to be more and more focused on understanding the user and making sure what they see is relevant. That might be good for Ads but I feel like we need a serendipity button.
We need to mix this up, challenge ourselves and give ourselves an opportunity to see something new and exciting before we target ourself into the most narrcow cast existence with no little surprises around the corner. Let us all press the Serendipity button. Aleks Krotoski has allowed us to do this, the image for the blog above is her Serendipity engine which actually creates it through a physical representation. It takes some getting your head around but it is fascinating – click here for more.
Some people dont care, some have been in it for years, some are freshers like me but quietly everyone is pleased to be in Campaign’s A-list. It wont change your life or your career, it’s a nice to have and a
good addition to the Bertozzi Bytesize scrap book.
Thanks to Campaign for my inclusion, let’s hope I get to stay in it now although it looks like you have to work hard to get thrown out going by some old timers in there!
The area people seem to be most interested in is the icons that sum you up, I had four which for a fresher was deemed good and I was described as nice (!), Reliable, techie and one other. It’s all rock and roll around Bertozzi by the sounds of it.