Programmatic Mobile Video: Floor Wax or Dessert Topping? It's Both!

In the classic “Saturday Night Live” skit “Shimmer Floor Wax,” Chevy Chase stars as the ad man describing a product that can be used as floor wax or a dessert topping.

Brand dollars are now coming online in a programmatic fashion through digital video advertising.  Kellogg's mentioned getting serious back in 2011 and is now looking to programmatic mobile video (PMV) as its branding strategy.  American Express mentioned wanting to spend close to 100% of its online budget on programmatic. Proctor & Gamble projects  spending 70% to 75% of its U.S. digital media budget via programmatic by the end of the year.  These advertisers and the digital media ad industry need the floor wax or dessert topping to really take off and finally see the premium programmatic window open.



So is it a floor wax or a dessert topping? Does it matter?

Floor Wax

It’s not hard to argue that PMV should be the centerpiece of programmatic, when mobile video usage numbers are off the charts. Mary Meeker informed us earlier in the year that mobile data traffic has grown nearly 90%, with video the strongest category. Consumers love both short form and long form video more today than ever before. The content is becoming increasingly  designed for mobile video with over 60% of the new content channels being created just for these devices.  Even the long form video ads on mobile phones are getting  ~250M views.  On top of this, programmatic is growing so fast  it has already surpassed many experts’ full-year projections. Mobile ad growth is greater than a $30 billion opportunity, proving that PMV is definitely a floor wax, or the mainstay of programmatic.

Dessert Topping

Mobile is growing very fast, making it the hottest new space for brand-building as Internet TV replaces linear TV. However, all screens will be important with cross-screen programmatic. Some say the “sizzle” may be PMV, with the “steak” being the cross-channel programmatic buy.  Mobility provides both data and context, which is important in a programmatic world as consumers are creating rich contextual data.  However, many of the DMPs are filled with cookie data, which they then layer in local and mobile data as a dessert topping.  Mobile video’s uniqueness is ensured as users begin “unbundling” services and shifting to hundreds of well-designed apps with personalized mobile video content. Now, programmatic buying tools can help publishers, agencies and advertisers become more effective with brand-building and storytelling.

Both Floor Wax and Dessert Topping For Ads

We're at an early stage for PMV ads, with many parallels between mobile advertising and TV evident. Consumer usage is off the charts for mobile video, but the share of ad dollars in the space is very small and still being developed. Publishers will be able to generate higher ad revenue while users scroll streams of content. Many buyers remember the pre-and post-roll ads in television. Today, we are seeing these forms and formats in mobile video.  In-app and in-stream also have positive parallels to the early days of TV advertising.  As programmatic upfront buying continues, PMV will be not only sought out, but also featured as the “premium of the premium” inventory for brands. PMV is not just video; it’s mobile interactive video.  There’s never been a better time to engage consumers in the only way mobile video experiences allow:programmatically.

So, after arguing about whether the product is a dessert topping or a floor wax, Gilda Radner and Dan Akroyd finally kiss when our our hero Chevy Chase unites them, announcing that it is both!

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