Digital Place-Based Advertising Association (DPAA) conference attendees heard from a top creative in the advertising business Tuesday afternoon, as well as from a handful of well-known industry research executives. The creative -- Alan Schulman, chief creative officer, SapientNitro -- said the industry needs to figure out where it best fits in the world of “storyscaping,” which he described as the always-on, constantly evolving and multiplatform technique of storytelling that many marketers have embraced in the digital era.
The researchers said that given the array of place-based formats, accredited measurement standards are not likely anytime soon. As Leslie Wood, chief research officer at Nielsen Catalina Solutions, put it, “you need multiple measures here to understand what is really going on.”
Schulman cited IBM’s “Let’s Build a Smarter Planet” storyline and the Harry Potter franchise as two examples of brands that go beyond storytelling to storyscaping. “They’re extended it across every division of their business,” Schulman said of the IBM “Smarter Planet” messaging. “Harry Potter” isn’t just a series of books, he said, “it’s a world” that includes movies, games, and theme parks.
Storyscaping, said Schulman, is non-linear, so that consumers can experience pieces of the story when and where they want to.
“Which part of the storyscape can you best serve?” is the question that digital place-based media players have to address, said Schulman. He suggested that for some the answer is at the hyperlocal level, particularly where multiple marketers -- he cited The Home Depot and Lowe’s as hypothetical examples -- are battling aggressively for business. “Your networks can drive sales promotions in those battleground markets,” he said.
“Help create worlds, not just ads,” Schulman said.
As for research, David Shiffman, senior vice president, director of research at Publicis Groupe’s MediaVest, said that a measurement service for the digital place-based media sector that is accredited by the Media Research Council would go a long way toward advancing the industry’s credibility with buyers and marketers.
That said, Shiffman added, the industry has made significant progress in making their case. MRC accreditation is the gold standard, he said. “But there’s perfection and there’s good. We need to make good better.” And at a time where marketers are focused on integrated plans, digital placed-based media should focus on “proving the value of the campaigns we run in this space and how it fits in an integrated media plan.”
Wood asserted that digital place-based media “really shines” by focusing on so-called “recency,” which she defined as the “regular delivery of reminder [messages] across time. It reinforces the larger media. That’s the value.”