OMD Tests 'Fast-Forward' Ads, Others Embracing New Ad Models
Asserting that DVRs "are not a threat" and may actually enhance the TV advertising experience by serving more relevant advertising to consumers who are more in control of the content they see, DeSocio said the new fast-forward ad tactic nonetheless would enable OMD's clients to "involve the consumer even when they are in avoidance mode."
While he did not reveal specifics of the test, DeSocio implied they might be similar to some of the techniques TiVo is developing including options that run audio ad messages, superimpose billboard messages, or run commercials in picture-in-picture screens while consumers are fast-forwarding through conventional commercial advertising pods.
DeSocio said the development was part of a fundamental seachange in the way OMD is looking at the consumer media marketplace and in how it is advising its clients to exploit it. "What we're telling our clients in this evolving landscape, is consumers first," he said in a presentation that outlined a "personal media revolution" that ultimately would give consumers control over when, where and how they see advertising messages.
OMD's shift, as well as its plans to begin exploiting fast-forward mode, underscored the overall theme of the CAB conference in which both cable sales executives and top advertisers and agencies spoke about the need for new business models, and how they can actually enhance, not deteriorate the consumer advertising experience.
For cable operators, those new ad models are coming from enhanced TV advertising platforms, especially ad-supported video-on-demand approaches that can surgically target ad messages to specific subscribers on the basis of what's most relevant to them.
"It's the Internet on steroids," boasted Larry Fischer, president of media sales at Time Warner Cable, during a panel of top cable sales executives.
"It's the new Internet," concurred Anne Ragsdale, vice president-advertising, at Bright House Networks Group.
Time Warner's Fischer said the new approaches were taking "money from broadcast, and lots of it," but he cautioned that the cable industry needs to move quickly to develop uniform standards to begin managing the plethora of new on-demand advertising formats that are beginning to emerge with the new technology and to avoid the advertising anarchy that ruled the early days of the online marketplace.
Led by Starcom CEO John Muszynski, a panel of Madison Avenue leaders also called for new approaches to valuing local television advertising.
"We are after effectiveness, not exposure," said Muszynski, generating an ovation from the crowd of nearly 1,000 cable salespeople. "Some local media options may cost more but deliver more, and so they are more effective."
Musynski's sentiment was echoed by co-panelists Bob Liodice, president & CEO of the Association of National Advertisers, and Kathy McCauley, senior partner and USA director of client service and local broadcast of Mindshare, who hinted that new pay-for-effectiveness media models are in the works.
Muszynski told the audience that Starcom is actively applying a proprietary effectiveness formula to TV evaluation. He declined to specify what that new metric is, but he alluded its is closer to "cost-per-lead" generation than it is to conventional cost-per-thousand media buying costs metrics.
The statements dramatized a continuous shift in viewing patterns that alter the opportunity landscape for advertisers. "If I ask my teenagers to name their top four networks, not one will be a broadcast network," said Muszynski. "Hear what I'm saying: If you engage with consumers, we will pay you for it."