Myth-Busting: The Truth About Mobile Video RTB

Video, mobile and real-time bidding (RTB) are all hot buzz words in the digital advertising industry, but many marketers and industry thought leaders may not be giving mobile video RTB the credit it deserves.

Below are some of the top myths floating around the industry today regarding mobile RTB -- and, more specifically, mobile video RTB:

  • Myth #1: Formatting ad units for a smaller screen is a creative nightmare.
  • Myth #2: The lack of reliable cookies makes targeting impossible (other than by geography).
  • Myth #3: Mobile advertising isn’t effective to begin with.
  • Myth #4: The volume of mobile RTB ready impressions isn’t at scale yet, especially in video.

In this blog post, I’ll identify the truth behind each of these myths:

Truth #1: Have a TV spot? Serving and execution is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

Mobile video RTB doesn’t require the marketer or agency to reformat ad units. It’s really simple: If  advertisers have a 15 or 30 second spot created for TV, they can use that same spot on a programmatic buying platform.



Truth #2: No cookies? No problem. Here’s how the plumbing actually works.

Mobile publishers and developers can pass dozens of pieces of data with every ad request, and programmatic buyers use this data to help them decide whether to serve an ad. No cookies are passed during this transaction; however, multiple actionable pieces of non-personally identifiable data may be available to the buyer including IP address, user agent and user/device ID (e.g. Android Device ID or Apple’s Identifier for Advertising).

Programmatic buying platforms often use a combination of data points to create their own unique ID. In real time, they can crosscheck each ad request against sets of IDs already stored on their platform and decide which ad to serve. While it’s not the silver bullet of a universal cookie, buying platforms utilizing RTB certainly have the ability to target well beyond geography and context. Today, buyers of mobile video RTB can identify a specific anonymous user at the point of the ad request, match that user with other users they’ve seen before on either mobile or Web, and serve them the targeted pre-roll creative.

Truth #3: What’s the last banner ad you remember? Video is more effective than display.

In general, marketers agree mobile is not ideal for traditional display advertising. However, mobile video advertising gives brand advertisers the opportunity to tell stories to viewers as they are using their most personal devices. Some ad platforms also let advertisers add survey-based research to measure the impact of their mobile video campaigns, helping to provide validation that mobile video positively affects brand metrics.

Truth #4: The fire hose is ready. Video inventory is already at scale.

Mobile video inventory volumes reached scale in early 2012, and the supply of this inventory available through RTB is significant. Today billions of transparent, premium and brand-safe mobile pre-roll video impressions are available to RTB buyers every month.

We all know there’s still some time before mobile advertising reaches maturation, and that’s why the delta between consumer time spent and advertiser spending remains high. But the truth is, successful campaign execution through mobile video RTB is achievable today. Better targeting, efficient pricing and the ability to deliver effective brand messages may make buying mobile video programmatically the smartest place for marketers to start making the delta disappear.

3 comments about "Myth-Busting: The Truth About Mobile Video RTB".
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  1. Pete Austin from Fresh Relevance, February 21, 2013 at 11:49 a.m.

    Myth #1: Formatting ad units for a smaller screen is a creative nightmare. Myth? Explain this then:

  2. Pete Austin from Fresh Relevance, February 21, 2013 at 11:50 a.m.
  3. Matt Young from BrightRoll, February 21, 2013 at 4:50 p.m.

    Hi Pete. The article you reference proves my point. Display advertising on mobile is not easy to execute because you have to reformat the creative asset. However, VIDEO advertising on mobile is incredibly easy to execute because you do not have to reformat anything and it won't result in a creative nightmare or "blurry ads."

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