Hmm. It seems BuzzFeed's decision to up the level of its editorial from idiotic listicles to content with actual merit was well timed. At least as it applies to Australia -- where the
country's IAB and Media Federation have formed a new group to determine what exactly shall be deemed "premium content." Heading up the new group is GroupM Chief Investment and Intelligence Officer
Danny Bass -- who in a not so subtle jab at BuzzFeed-esque native advertising said: “There is also the question of what can we as an
industry do to protect journalism. That’s the thing I really want us to do on this board because if everything goes down the quick, snackable in-and-out news path then our opportunity to grow
digital revenues, to work with clients on digital marketing spends will decrease.” Explaining further: Bass added, “There are two things I want to achieve with this. There is an
operational goal around brand safety and one which is more around an industry goal where if we have the media owners who come to us and talk about premium and say we are not a Buzzfeed, Mail Online,
News.com and we are this and this then we have to understand what does that actually mean.” Now, if this effort and others can eliminate the over 90% of content on the Internet which is pure
crap, "surfing" the Internet might once again become a bit more than a mindless waste of time.
According to a new study from AOL that queried 177 large advertisers, agency and publisher clients of AOL, 86% of agencies and 76% or brands use programmatic buying for their display advertising. In addition, 60% of agencies use programmatic for both mobile and video ads -- and among brands, 56% use it for mobile and 48% use it for video. Among agencies and brands, just 18% use programmatic for social. The report, without surprise, lends support to AOL’s recent $345 million round of funding to bolster the programmatic elements of its business.
Well here's some uplifting motivational information for you. David Murdico, ECD and managing partner of Supercool Creative, has penned an article in iMedia entitled "8 Reasons to Love the Ad Industry Right Now." While Murdico has some interesting points -- the rise of video advertising and the ability (if one partners with the right providers) of analytics to greatly improve campaign effectiveness -- he drops in the weirdest of all reasons to love the ad industry; people think it's cool. He writes: “I was actually at Best Buy the other day getting my laptop fixed by the Geek Squad (awesome name and branding). The Geek asked what I do, and when I said I run an online ad agency, he was very interested. Soon the whole store gathered around and listened, as I told tall tales of advertising lore. They dimmed the lights, gave me a microphone, and broadcast me on the video wall. I look particularly handsome on the Samsung models...just saying." Really? Really? This is more like the reason why everyone hates all of us in advertising.
Healthcare. It's the hottest trend in the agency business now. Arnold recently bolstered its division. And now Grey is cranking it up with the hiring of Ben Ingersoll, who will take on the role to chief creative officer and managing partner of Grey Healthcare Group. Ingersoll comes to Grey from Cline Davis & Mann, where he spent upwards of a decade working on healthcare brands.
For the past day or so, it seems impossible to escape from a Google News alert that isn't filled with that story about popular Indian celebrity Aishwarya Rai, who appeared in an ad for Kalyan
Jewellers elegantly dressed with a dark-skinned child holding an umbrella over her head. Many have called the ad racist.
An open letter from a consortium of feminist, child and human rights groups says the ad appears to "be representing aristocracy from a bygone era -- bejewelled, poised and relaxing while an obviously underage slave-child, very dark and emaciated, struggles to hold an oversize umbrella over your head."
The letter, which shares several examples of 17th- and 18th-century images that would now be considered racist, continues: "We wish to convey our dismay at the concept of this advertisement, and that you have, perhaps unthinkingly, associated with such a regressive portrayal of a child to sell a product...we, therefore, urge you to do the right thing -- cease to associate yourself with this offensive image by ensuring that further use of this advertisement is stopped."
In response, a statement from Aishwarya pretty much shirks any responsibility and blames the creative agency for the debacle. The statement read: "On the onset we would like to thank you on drawing our attention to the observation of the perception of the advertisement. Here is an attachment (picture of Aishwarya without the child holding the umbrella) of the shot taken by somebody during the shoot. The final layout of the ad is entirely the prerogative of the creative team for a brand. However shall forward your article as a viewpoint that can be taken into consideration by the creative team of professionals working on the brand visual communication. Thank you once again."
Kalyan Jewellers has pulled the ad.
On Wednesday at the LSA|15 Conference in Los Angeles, the Local Search Association announced the winners of its second annual Ad to Action Awards competition. LSA received 91 entries across 10
categories and the winners were revealed on the main stage at the event.
The competition focused on celebrating the most innovative "local" marketing products or solutions that facilitate consumer actions such as calls, clicks, store visits, etc. The winners demonstrated the greatest potential for driving local consumer engagement and best addressed current market needs.
The judging panel -- made up of 18 companies including Twitter, Foursquare, Yahoo, MapQuest, xAd and more -- evaluated these products and solutions. Each judge reviewed a subset of entries and no judge reviewed any entries where there was a potential conflict of interest.
In the Platforms and Services category, Chicago-based Rise Interactive, which likes to refer to itself as an "interactive investment management firm," won the top spot. And we can see why. Any agency that can spin the fact that they buy online advertising into "interactive investment management form" is worthy of praise.
For, oh, at least the past 7-10 years, every prognosticator has gleefully been promising "this is the year of mobile!" to the point where it's become a joke. Now, certainly, mobile has matured and
has become a viable medium for many things including advertising. But AKQA CCO Rei Inamoto isn't completely convinced.
In an interview with The Drum, Inamoto said, “To an extent I think the promise of mobile in relation to marketing has been exaggerated. The biggest misconception about mobile and the biggest mistake that advertisers make about mobile is to treat it like an advertising channel. Instead we should use it as a way to provide service not to provide a message.”
And, being the smart guy that he is, he's right. Rather than forcing old models (*cough* ...banners) through mobile devices, brands should embrace new services. Many have. Love them or hate them, Inamoto cites Uber as a brand that's fully embraced mobile, not as an advertising medium per se but, rather, as a platform for doing business.
So, yes, mobile has finally arrived. But my hope for the medium is that we can skip past all the missteps we took forcing old advertising models onto the internet and treat mobile very differently and more effectively. Like the personal service it has become. Not a pipe through which to shove ads.
In an audit of the 1,000 posts that BuzzFeed deleted from its site, three were deleted because advertisers complained. Yes, it's true. Don't like what someone writes about you? All you have to do
is bitch a little and get it removed.
In 2013, BuzzFeed published a post about an Axe body spray ad that was, it seems, not very positive. The brand's agency at the time didn't like what they read, complained and it was removed. Also is 2013, the publication chided Microsoft about its Internet Explorer browser. According to BuzzFeed Editor in Chief Ben Smith, the post was deleted because its author "had worked on a Microsoft ad campaign, and BuzzFeed's chief revenue officer complained about the post to me."
A third post, published in January 2014, which discussed what brands had planned on Twitter for the Super Bowl was pulled because it was critical of what Pepsi had planned and -- oops, the brand's Twitter account was handled by BuzzFeed staff at the time. Of that decision, Smith said: "We'd never previously considered the case of an editor that would be writing about an ad that was produced by our creative team, but we decided it was inappropriate and deleted the post." Really?
Remember when advertising and editorial where separate entities? Yeah, neither do I. We've all been pummeled so hard with native advertising bullshit over the past few years that it's practically become -- much like the banner before it -- invisible. Not to mention the over-the-top, incessant use of ridiculously sensationalistic clickbait headlines that achieved nothing but to quicken the tactic's invisibility.