• Enter The Digital Media Performance Score
    I've been working on perfecting a calculation for a normalized index of multiple objectives and priorities that allows for the comparative analysis of campaigns and elements within campaigns. The resulting digital media performance score is not skewed by campaign scale and should be well formulated such that the calculation does not change over time. Of course, I can't give away the entire punchline here, but I will walk you through the general framework for creating your own model.
  • A Guide To New Advertising's Favorite Watering Holes
    Today's ad industry is very different from the old one. In this new world, paper and ink have given way to screens and software. Our predecessors used to speak in terms of universal selling propositions and mass markets, but now we use jargon like pay-per-click, engagement, and brand content. But our need to socialize, gossip and blow off steam after dealing with clients and data all day has remained relatively unchanged.
  • Zuckerman Hypothesis Proven, As IWitness Puts Documentary Filmmaking in Student Hands
    Four years ago, after observing that the Web had evolved from version 1.0 (which allowed physicists to share research papers) to version 2.0 (which allowed people to share pictures of their cats), Ethan Zuckerman put forth a hypothesis: that sufficiently usable read/write platforms will attract both porn and activists. If there's no porn, he continued, the tool doesn't work, and if there are no activists, it doesn't work well. In 2011, we began to see just how well the Internet and its subsidiary read/write platforms work.
  • In Praise Of Joe Paterno
    I am like so many of the more than 450,000 folks affected by Joe Vincent Paterno -- thousands of whom work in our industry and who attended Penn State over the past 61 years. It is probably hard for those who didn't go to Penn State or who didn't live nearby to fully understand the impact that a football coach could have on so many. But I can tell you that Paterno's effect on our lives was extraordinary.
  • The Gray Areas Of Digital Brand Measurement
    As an industry, we have made several promises that we have yet to keep. The promise of accountability, while realized for direct response marketers, is still a conundrum for most brand marketers. In our somewhat-modern digital marketing age, we have not yet overcome a number of measurement challenges, some of which are never acknowledged by the very strategists and media planners managing significant media investments.
  • Can An Agency Succeed On Pay-For-Performance?
    Can a pay-for-performance model really work in the agency world? Last week Mediabrands made the announcement that it was going the performance route and would begin to tie its compensation to the success of clients' campaigns. I think this could be the start of something important.
  • The Business Of Memes (Or Lack Thereof)

     On April 2, 2008, the country of Canada went on strike.

    Tired of being mocked -- on Canada Appreciation Day, no less! -- the good citizens of Canada decided to show the world just how bad things would be without them. And no one was hit harder by the strike than Kyle, Stan, Cartman and Butters from South Park, Colo. The boys were forced to watch Terrance and Phillip reruns until they were no longer funny

    Desperate, they called Stephen Abootman to get him to call off the strike, and Abootman was happy to comply -- if the boys ...

  • The Ad Industry And CES: A New Love Affair
    I spent all of last week in Las Vegas at CES. Me and thousands and thousands of other ad industry folks joined the historically geeky crowd jazzed by the newest in consumer electronics. Five years ago, few from the ad industry ever trekked to Vegas to one of the world's largest tech shows. But that's changed now. Why the newfound love affair between the ad industry and CES?
  • Do You Have Industry Deja Vu?
    Do you have industry deja vu? I do! Doesn't it feel as though the primary issues of the day we face today are the same issues that we faced eight or 10 years ago? Is this a sign of the cyclical nature of the business -- or have we literally stalled?
  • Solving Advertising's Talent Crisis
    Advertising is a massive human enterprise. The top 10 advertising agency holding companies employ a combined 370,000 employees worldwide, with thousands more employed as consultants, freelancers and outsourced team members. All of this talent is a major investment for the agencies. Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, estimates that his company spends $9 billion each year on employee compensation. The other holding companies spend billions more on top of that. Despite this, the industry is in the midst of a major talent crisis. Here are four signs:
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