Advertising, On Demand

Last week there was an important conference called the On Demand Summit 3.0.

Now, I'm not a big fan of the use of the word "summit" -- unless there's a meeting between world leaders to sign treaties. I mean, this is still television. But there were big issues discussed, including the industry's view of the on-demand advertising opportunity.

The opening keynote was given by Carl Fremont, EVP Global Media Director of Digitas, who delivered a strong, thought-provoking message on the challenges and the opportunity ahead for advertising in the free VOD space. He noted that we are in a transformative time, when a consumer-led market is becoming increasingly demand-driven -- and that part of our task in the (near) future will be to "test and champion new video formats, especially those that create consumer engagement." Digitas has coined this "Active Branding."

Much of Fremont's address focused on the first public release of the Phase 1 report of the Advanced Advertising Media Project, or AAMP. (Disclosure: my company conducted this study and authored the report.)



This three-phase, industry-wide initiative was designed to test and quantify the impact of advertising within free on-demand television. This first phase report provided the results of in-depth interviews with twenty key media decision-makers.

Among the issues those decision-makers discussed: a concern with the pace of change in the on-demand space, and gaps in media analytics and consumer research. There was a call for dynamic ad insertion as a potential game changer. There were frustrations with past efforts and "frozen perceptions" that need to be addressed.

Still, as Fremont noted, there was a continuing expectation of major growth for FVOD advertising, and the potential for a powerful new role for VOD as a platform that would act as a bridge between linear TV and online -- one that combines the characteristics and attributes of both. He reported that VOD is seen as "advanced television, with differences that permit viewer-directed, intentional engagement." Thoughtful ideas.

There was a call for a greater priority on understanding the end user, and on more product-marketing-like thinking in promoting VOD. All of this led to a singular conclusion: that the industry must embrace a larger vision for VOD. Those words are important in many ways now. As we all deal with the day-to day tasks of mastering and creating value from new capabilities, let's not forget the "vision thing" (as a former president once said.)

The final point was a call to action to join the AAMP initiative by emailing  To download a free copy of the findings, access the website at

Vision and direct response. Well done.

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