Neither rain nor cheap umbrellas put a damper on Tuesday's action at Advertising Week
It rained on the second day of Advertising Week in New York City, not exactly a downpour but hard enough to start a run on cheap, flimsy umbrellas from happy street vendors. But nothing could deter legions of damp advertising pros from flocking to workshops, panels and parties at venues around Times Square.
Here are a handful of highlights from Tuesday's sessions:
Premium Content: Everybody's Doing It: The race is on to create the next big video program that will wow audiences and prompt advertisers to divert ad spend from TV to digital premium content---which this Brian Hunt, Head of Creative Development, Original Video, Yahoo!. OMMA Video panel defined as exclusive, high-quality content made by professionals on both sides of the camera (not user-generated) and relevant to audiences that could appeal to potential advertisers.
Outside of content quality, panelists cited other factors, such as clear metrics and deeper insight into online audiences, that could convince marketers to sponsor digital content over TV. Kevin Law, CEO of Uncommon Content, argued that video retention time---how long a viewer watches a piece of content---and hours viewed per channel should be more important to advertisers than page views. "If you have 10 million views but the average view time is three seconds, what good is that?" he asked.
Audience insights are a great way to target and promote premium content---and show advertisers who they can reach by sponsoring it, said Brian Hunt, Head of Creative Development, Original Video, Yahoo!. His team leverages Yahoo!'s personalization technology, which delivers tens of thousands of customized front pages that are changed every 10 minutes, to promote premium content to the right audiences.
"When someone is logged in, we know what they like to watch, so we can continue to promote content in a way that's not available on television right now, he said. "We're getting closer to being able to say exactly who's watching a program right after it runs."
Creators of online premium content may feel like revolutionaries---"We're creating content for the new world," said Rob Barnett, founder and CEO of My Damn Channel---but the tide is turning.
"A few years ago, we'd put content up for a couple of months and say, 'Okay, what's next?'" says Hunt. "Now we're entering year five with The Thread, sponsored by P&G, which is a really long time in this space. So things are really evolving."
Unlocking the Power of Mobile—Research, Data and Insights: This IAB MIXX workshop was a festival of factoids taken from several research studies by the IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, which is focused on driving the growth of mobile advertising. Who doesn't like a good stat? Here's a sampling from IAB studies across a wide range of mobile consumer use:
- Marketers' top concerns about mobile advertising are privacy (40%); device operating system fragmentation; (39%), and lack of standardized metrics
- 70% of smartphone owners say their phones are "mission-critical" and can't live without them; 70% of tablet owners say those devices are primarily for entertainment
- 55% of mobile shoppers likely to use mobile to help make purchase decisions; 53% ditched an in-store purchase as a result of using their mobile device. (Smartphones are the "remote controls" for our lives, said presenter Anna Bager, VP and general manager of the IAB center of excellence.)
- What products and services do mobile users research, shop and purchase the most with their devices? Digital content (76%); clothing (38%); entertainment (34%); consumer electronics (33%)
- The top 5 mobile shopping-savvy cities are Houston, New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Dallas
Digital Culture! Now a Thing! There's probably an inside joke in that session title meant for the passionate community of nerds who revere Chris Hardwick as their multi-media guru. Unlike high school, "nerd" isn't a Chris Hardwick of The Nerdist pejorative here; nerds are the power and glory behind a powerful brand and intensely loyal community that Hardwick embraces, embodies and has built a very successful enterprise around---called The Nerdist.
It all began in April 2010 as a single podcast, quickly multiplied to a podcast network, added a premium content YouTube channel, a news division (Nerdist News) and a television version of the original podcast produced by and aired on BBC America. Hardwick and Peter Levin (GeekChicDaily) teamed up to form Nerdist Industries, expanding to create more podcasts and webshows, which was acquired by Legendary Entertainment, a mega-movie, comic and entertainment company that Hardwick says has the good sense to let Nerdist Industries run independently. Oh, Hardwick and Levin now lead Legendary's digital entertainment division. Talk about revenge of the nerds.
What is a nerd, anyway? Turns out it's more than just liking Stars Wars, comics and Battlestar Galactica. "I don't think a nerd is defined by what they like," he says. "I think a nerd is defined by how passionately and granularly they like those things. That also has a dark side---if you upset them, you'll get four-page dissertations about why you suck, with footnotes."
The key to success is Hardwick's love and understanding of nerd culture (so huge, who knew?) and his drive and energy to create things they all like across all media. And he's obsessed with being authentic and respectful to his kind. "When most people try to take on nerd culture, they're like, 'Look at those dumb nerds over there,'" he says. "We're like, 'Hey, let's get some more nerds over here.' We celebrate the culture. We're not trying to sell things to people; we trying to build a community."