Advertiser Interests in the Digital World
In October, 2014, three associations representing the advertising industry banded together in the United States to launch an initiative to combat advertising that – often inadvertently – ends up on piracy websites. Ads from major brands have appeared on sites that provide unauthorized downloads or streaming of music, movies and television shows, funneling revenue to the sites’ operators.
The American Association of Advertising Agencies has teamed up with the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Association of National Advertisers to try to combat the problem.
As the buying and selling of digital ads has become more automated, many advertisers have seen less transparency around where their ads are ending up.
Advertisers used to buy ads based on the media environment – choosing to place ads, for example, on a TV show or in a newspaper based upon the assumption that their target audience was likely to see it. Now that they are bidding directly on audiences, the environment in which those ads appear has become less important.
Advertisers still want to appear in what are known as “brand safe” contexts, though. Given the choice, most would not choose to appear on low-quality websites, especially those containing pornographic, violent, hateful or otherwise shady material.
But the speed of ad trading, and the sheer number of middlemen who handle the transaction – from the advertiser all the way to the publisher who places the ad – has made it harder to verify where ads will show up.
Another side of the same problem arises from non-human traffic – sites that use bots to appear as though they have many visitors, tricking advertisers into placing ads on websites with few actual visitors. The piracy crackdown is just part of a larger fight against this kind of wasted money.
Canada’s Next Broadcast Strategy
Canadian supermodel Coco Rocha makes her debut as the host of Canada’s Best Beauty Talent on Sunday night. But you won’t be able to watch highly produced, high-definition reality television show on a traditional television network.
The 12-part series – which pits makeup and hair specialists from across the country against each other in a series of competitions intended to crown one contestant the most skilled of them all – is being filmed by Rogers Media Inc. exclusively for broadcast to the Internet, and is funded directly by an advertiser.
“I think viewers are looking for content, entertainment and a good story, and that’s what we’re striving to achieve,” said Jacqueline Loch, Rogers Media’s vice-president of client solutions, about the company’s first online-only feature series. “Obviously, L’Oreal brands are present in the context of that storytelling, but nobody is holding up labels.”
L’Oreal contends overall viewing numbers don’t really matter – what does matter is the precise targeting of its advertising dollars.
“This is very different from traditional advertising because the marketing of the future is more about branded content that communities of people can talk about,” said Marie-Josée Lamothe, chief marketing officer at L’Oreal Canada. “It’s not so much about logos and products, though there is some of that. It’s about generating content that is relevant to a particular community.”
“This is very different than advertising.”