Signal, February 10: Superbowl Postgame

Super Bowl Viewers' recall ratesThis week in last week’s best links: Federated Media nostalgia, Super Bowl ad effectiveness gets another look, YouTube’s new chief, forgotten ads, best tweets, worries about digital ads, the Technium, YouTube’s revenue tension and Rubicon’s IPO.

We All Owe Federated Media A Debt Of Gratitude | MediaPost A sweet reflection on the purchase of Federated Media’s content marketing arm and the split from sovrn from Andrew Boer.

Funny Super Bowl Ads Are Getting More Violent. But Are They Working? | Slate Researchers have determined a few ways in which funny ads work: by getting people’s attention, and if relevant, memorable. Funny ads are more likely to be discussed. That said, there’s no conclusive proof they lead to purchase.

Google Looks to Ads Executive Susan Wojcicki as Next YouTube Chief | The Information Sending a the message that Google’s ad products are getting attention, Google is likely to put Susan Wojcicki as the new head of YouTube.

Survey: Super Bowl Ads Are Already Forgotten | Bloomberg BusinessWeek With only 10% average recall, advertisers need to ask themselves if the reach is worth four million.

The 5 Best Real-Time Marketing Moments of the Super Bowl | Digiday A look at Digornio Pizza, Oreo, Hilary Clinton, Buffalo Wild Wings, JCPenney and Newcastle’s best tweets during the superbowl.

IAB Head: ‘The Digital Advertising Industry Must Stop Having Unprotected Sex’ Business Insider With that um, provocative, headline, Randall Rothberg outlines problems with the digital advertising industry, including: fraudulent bot traffic, supporting digital piracy, fears about viruses and brand safety.

The Technium: A Conversation with Kevin Kelly | An interview with former Wired editor, Kevin Kelly, looks closer into his theory of “The Technium.”

Chasing Their Star, on YouTube NYTimes A profile of YouTube entertainer Olga Kay finds revenues shrinking as audiences grow. The tension between viewers, production and advertisers will be something to watch in the next several years.

Rubicon Files for $100 Million Internet-Ad IPO | Bloomberg “Rubicon Project Inc., whose online-advertising platform reaches 96 percent of Internet users in the U.S., filed to raise $100 million in an initial public offering.”

Signal, February 3: FM news!

This week in last week’s best links, we sell off the content marketing arm of Federated Media, sovrn launches, a post-cookie world, IAB’s new fraud guidelines, Facebook works it for advertisers, Superbowl 2014 justifies its costs, digital media gains, another Yahoo exec leaves, ad rates impacted by digital, Mayer under pressure and a new look at content marketing.

Facebook operating chief Sheryl Sandberg. Getty Images

A BIG DAY FOR FEDERATED, AND THE BIRTH OF SOVRN HOLDINGS | Battelle Media LIN Media acquired all of Federated Media’s brand and content marketing business. Sovrn Holdings, Inc. will build on FM’s programmatic publisher platform — based on FM’s 2011 acquisition of Lijit Networks.

Federated Media Goes Full Programmatic And Declares Itself ‘Sovrn’ – Real-Time With New CEO Knapp | Mediapost Last Tuesday, Federated Media sold its content marketing arm to LIN Media and rebranded its programmatic business to sovrn Holdings, Inc.

How You Might Be Tracked for Ads in a Post-Cookie World | WSJ The industry is looking to device identifiers to solve for many of the problems for marketers dependent on cookie-tracking. Cookies can’t follow people across browsers — they lose track of people who clean them out.

IAB Locks in Traffic Fraud Guidelines | AdWeek Suggesting several guidelines, the IAB also suggests:
- Buyers shouldn’t leave campaign objectives “broad and open to interpretation.”
- Buyers should, “Be willing to pay the real price for the media [they] want.”
- Buyers should not pay anybody suspected of fraud.

Facebook Uses Data to Charm Advertisers | WSJ Google works when people search for things they already want to buy and then see ads for relevant products. Facebook works to educate consumers about products they might want to buy in the future. They’re using that edge to account for 6% of the $117.6 billion global ad market last year — compared with Google’s 31.5%.

Super Bowl 2014: Advertisers lose yardage Although Super Bowl advertisement costs are up to a high of $4 million per 30 seconds, marketers are finding it tough to justify that investment.

Nielsen: Internet Ads Up as Old Media Takes a Hit | CNBC Nielsen says that last year, internet ads saw the quickest growth between advertising platforms last year.

Yahoo Former Revenue Chief Joins Millennial Media | Business Insider Michael Barrett, Yahoo’s former chief revenue officer, joined mobile ad company Millennial Media as its new CEO. “Some time ago, I expressed my desire to the board to transition out of the company, and return to working with early stage entrepreneurs”

Twitter: We Will Impact TV Ad Rates at Upfronts | Hollywood Reporter The way TV viewers engage with their second screen is ready to change the rates of TV ads — just watch the cable and network adsales upfronts this spring.

Vox Media doesn’t just have to reinvent the news — it has to reinvent advertising too | GigaOM Vox Media, launching Project X, helmed by Ezra Klein, says it wants to reinvent the news by “providing more context and background for news stories.” Vox is also going to have to take a closer look at the advertising—dependent revenue model.

What’s Content Marketing Again? | Recode Asking, “What is content marketing again, and why is it a thing people are fighting over?” might find the idea that content marketing offers a big opportunity at the next phase of marketing technology.

Yahoo Results May Further Pressure CEO Mayer | Marketwatch Marissa Meyer’s mixed fourth-quarter results makes its advertising business — especially display advertising — all the more crucial.

Flexible Content for Brands > Content marketing strategy in the current digital landscape Medium “When executed well, brand marketing can deliver new levels of entertainment or information that rise far beyond the bar of simply not being rejected — they, in fact, make the consumer experience better.”

Signal, January 27: The Native Speaker

Could I Have That wears Old NavyThis week in last week’s best adtech links: New marketers need to be analytical sales smarties, Obama conflates ad tech and the NSA, Google launches AdSense Direct, Twitter highlights diversity, Native ads compete with programmatic? Pinterest growth plans, a call to banish “content,” NewsCred’s cash infusion, Facebook’s 3rd party app ads, RTB inefficiencies (and how to fix them) and a new content marketing division from Viacom. Click on.

Why marketing isn’t marketing anymore | VentureBeat Two main points about hiring marketing people strong in analytics. One, the new marketers need to believe in product before content. Understanding that all the products they build – including their sites – need to be built with a solutions mindset. Two, new marketers need to deeply understand your company’s sales environment.

In Speech, Obama Conflates Ad Tracking With NSA Spying | AdExchanger Making things harder for online marketers, President Obama conflates digital advertising with the NSA’s intrusive surveillance program. AdExchanger goes far enough to call it a “branding calamity” for online advertising.

Google Launches AdSense Direct, A New Tool For Direct Ad Sales | TechCrunch This week, Google launched AdSense Direct, allowing publishers to make deals with individual advertisers – no matter whether the publisher is on AdWords or not.

Twitter Users’ Diversity Becomes an Ad Selling Point | WSJ Twitter’s multicultural strategist, Nuria Santamariahas been leading its effort to target black, Hispanic and Asian-American users. Accounting for 41% of Twitter’s 54 million U.S. users, minorities make up a bigger percentage of Twitter than Facebook. Ms. Santamaria says this information is advertiser-led. Advertisers want to know more about racial and ethnic minorities on Twitter.

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Featuring the latest in luxury auto tech, FM site KNSTRCT highlights Cadillac’s new crest.


Data-Driven Thinking column…Native And Automated Advertising: Complementary Or Competing? by Jay Stevens, Rubicon Project | AdExchanger “So there you have it: Native advertising, just like advertorials in print, is nothing new. Rather, it is an area in which premium publishers have – and always had – expertise, and are in prime position to offer advertisers.”

Pinterest CEO Lays Out Growth Plan, Sees Revenue in 2014 | WSJ A fascinating conversation with the 31 year old founder of Pinterest, Ben Silberman. Here, he focuses on how he plans to build an ad business to support 240 employees and the kind of rapid growth that is valued at $3.8 billion.

Let’s banish the word ‘content’ | Kernel Mag Making a case to replace the all-weather word “content” (referring to anything on a site that’s not code or advertising), Lewis G. Parker suggests more specific replacement phrasing like narrative, article and story.

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Check out posts from Sydne Style and Could I Have that work out in Old Navy’s latest workout gear.


NewsCred Raises $25 Million to Fill a Content-Marketing War Chest.  (What’s Content Marketing Again?) | ReCode With recent big investments in Contently and NewsCred, content marketing fills a current advertising need. This is good news for publishers, writers and photographers looking for new markets.

Facebook announces it’s testing its own ad network for third-party mobile apps | Facebook Facebook is looking to monetize mobile apps beyond its own Facebook app. “We are running a small test to explore showing Facebook ads in third-party mobile apps. In this test, we’ll be extending Facebook’s rich targeting to improve the relevancy of the ads people see, provide even greater reach for Facebook advertisers, and help developers better monetize their apps.”

The Inefficiencies Of Exchange Traded Media | AdExchanger Despite the fact that exchange-traded media gets big praise for making the ad market easier and more efficient, a closer look reveals billions of wasted media dollars. Laying out solutions like bigger investments in viewability, fraud detection and prevention, and algorithmic attribution solutions, as well as closer looks at frequency distributions will result in more efficient spends.

Viacom Unveils Unit to Create Content for Ads | Variety Viacom has created Viacom Velocity, formalizing a new ad-sales unit devoted to creating marketing content for advertisers — that content can then be seen on its cable networks, in digital venues, in news stories and online.

January 20, Signal: Native Can’t Be Done On The Cheap

Native advertising has been around for a long, long time.

Image from The Awl.

This week in last week’s best links: Publishers cheap out, hacking gets results, Nest makes it big, Yahoo invests media-style, BBC Worldwide is thinking like a startup, Facebook set to release “Paper,” Twitter targets power users, a history of native, the cookie is with us, some vintage ads from BoingBoing, the auto industry increases RTB spend and some great social campaigns from 2013.

Report: Publishers Doing Native on the Cheap | AdWeek Representing more experienced (read: expensive) journalists, some publishers are using cheap freelance labor to create native content. “They represented themselves as giving access to their editorial staff,” one marketing exec said. “Then they delivered articles written by copywriters instead of journalists.”

Understanding the Underbelly of Online Marketing & Why You’ll Lose if You Don’t | Both Sides of the Table A straight-talking overview of the hacks, the sneaks and the workarounds that get big results until they are strongly policed or adapted as the way of doing business.

Google Buys Nest Labs for $3.2 Billion in Cash | CNN Google announced Monday that it’s investing in the internet of things, buying Nest Labs for $3.2 billion in cash. Nest develops “smart” home appliances like thermostats and smoke detectors that program themselves and communicate with smartphones.

Is Yahoo serious about media? | Monday Note Until Marissa Mayer, Yahoo focused on survival. But now, in Yahoo’s quest to become a big news media player, they seem to be acquiring strong bylines and have been are planning a mobile app.

Fired Yahoo Exec’s $109M Golden Parachute Was One Of The Biggest Ever | Forbes That’s a lot of cabbage for a person who barely stayed a year. Ouch.

Paul Dempsey: ‘Media companies must embrace the open internet to survive’ | The Guardian Paul Dempsey, president global markets, BBC Worldwide says the internet is challenging the establishment to become more consumer-focused and behave more like startups.

Facebook Preps News Reader to Rival Flipboard | Called, “Paper,” Facebook is looking to release a Flipboard-like reader before the end of the month. As part of a multi-year effort from the News Feed team, Project Reader is led by Chris Cox, Facebook’s VP of product.

Twitter Power Users: You’re Now a Target for Ads | Digiday Twitter  now offers marketers the ability to target ads to specific users’ accounts. Based on their bios, follower count, verified status and past tweets, the most popular tweeters can now expect an influx of ads.

Google, Nest and the Rise of the Physical Graph | Mashable Are you ready?

A History Of Native Advertising | The Awl A history of native advertising from FM partner site, The Awl, this look at the relationships between newspapers and their advertisers is worth a read. From the New Yorker to the Honolulu Advertiser, sponsored content has a long history.

Reports of the Cookie’s Death Are Greatly Exaggerated — and That’s Good | AdAge Says Joshua Koran, “Next year, and the year after, the cookie will still be with us. And that is a good thing for advertisers, publishers and consumer privacy.”

40 outrageously offensive vintage ads | Boing Boing Oof. This collection of vintage ads reminds us how far we’ve come, and how far we still have to go.

Article: Programmatic Ad Buying in the Auto Industry Gathers Speed | eMarketer Second only behind retail in current RTB spend, the automotive industry will increase its programmatic buying in 2014.

The best social media campaigns of 2013 (so far) | iMediaConnection A historical post from June, these campaigns are worth revisiting as we budget for social efforts for 2014.

Signal, January 13: Well, At Least We Live In Interesting Times

Image from Christoph Niemann - thanks to WiredThis week in last week’s best links: NSA v. Internet [again],Twitter’s ad risk assessed, Yahoo! steps up ad offerings, NYT goes native, the sad executives at CES, shady redirects to the Apple store, Target breach worse, eyeball circuitry, Pandora in cars, Silicon Valley as Entourage, Publicis + Spotify and LinkedIn = True Love for Now, news sites hosting content marketing as “native marketing” continues to inspire dollars, mega-ad deals at CES, Twitter Nearby,

How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet | Wired Passing the blame from government to whistle-blower to tech company to host, this well-researched long-read from Wired, finds everyone guilty. The current state of surveillance finds tech companies with the following pickle, “While Silicon Valley must be transparent in many regards, spy agencies operate under a cloak of obfuscation.”Yahoo’s mobile mystery.

Twitter ‘Riskier’ for Ads Compared to Facebook | MarketWatch The year wasn’t even a week old, and the decision is still up in the air about whose ad platform is the riskiest. Industry sentiment is already pointing toward the dominance of Facebook Inc. and Google Inc. and away from the just-gone-public Twitter Inc.

Yahoo Advertising revamped to unify web, mobile, and video ad products | Yahoo Including a suite of web, mobile, and video ad products accessible through a purchasing platform, Yahoo’s rolling out everything advertising. This includes Tumblr posts, Yahoo ads, and their ad exchange.

The New York Times Embraces ‘Organic’ Ad Strategy | Digiday The NYT redesigns with an eye toward content marketing in the editorial well. What does that mean for consumers? Says Meredith Levien, EVP of advertising, “Premium [ad] growth is going to come from native, organic and custom.”

The Super Sad Executives Of CES | Buzzfeed A hilarious look at the sighs and mehs of this week’s CES presentations, Buzzfeed shows what this week has been all about.

The Shady Practice of Mobile App Install Ads | Digiday Redirects to Apple’s app store from Google ads show how obfuscated mobile advertising can bevome. “The ad was remnant inventory which is controlled by Google. We resolved the issue when we learned of the item,” NBC said in a statement. “Google said redirecting users from a mobile website to an app download page without the user’s consent is a violation of its policy.”

Target Data Breach Much Worse Than First Thought | Friday morning, Target announced that up to 70 million of its customers had personal info stolen during the holiday buying season. Not only that, the security breach could affect anyone who has ever shopped at a Target.

This Clear, Flexible Electronic Circuit Can Fit on the Surface of a Contact Lens | Smithsonian Mag Swiss scientists have demonstrated a flexible, transparent circuit — tiny and thin enough to fit on a contact lens. This is huge for monitoring intraocular pressure for glaucoma sufferers or any kind of biological context.

Pandora’s CES reveal: Ads for cars, radio’s wheelhouse | CNET At the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, Pandora said it will launch audio ads specific to the cars that feature Pandora — which includes 130 car models with native Pandora integration.

HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ Aims to Be New ‘Entourage’ | Hollywood Reporter
The Office’s Mike Judge will produce an upcoming HBO comedy set in Silicon Valley, where “the people who are the most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success.” Starting April 6, producer Berg said, “…Anyone who takes themselves too seriously and is full of themselves is ripe for a kicking.”

Publicis Moving Ad Money to Spotify, LinkedIn | CNBC Maurice Levy, CEO of Publicis talks about moving money to digital “We are moving money to Spotify,” adding that his brands are also increasingly working with LinkedIn. Nearly 40 percent of Publicis’ revenue comes from digital.

Report: Native Advertising Set to Dominate Digital | Mediapost J.P. Morgan predicts that native advertising will take over digital in 2014. Lead analyst Doug Anmuth says, “We believe native ads are quickly becoming the de facto ad format on mobile and increasingly moving into desktop.” There are strategists urging restraint. Steve Rubel, EVP of global strategy and insights at Edelman said, “As an industry, we’re going way too fast.”

The real action at CES: Quietly closing the mega-ad deals that keep the consumer Web running | PandoDaily On Battelle Media, I talk about the 4 phases of CES. Pando suggests a fifth wave. “The real reason that so many Valley and New York tech CEOs whose companies have absolutely nothing to do with electronics are increasingly coming here every year religiously: They are sitting in Strip hotels closing big honking six and seven-figure ad deals.”

Twitter Inches Closer to the Local Ad Market | Digiday Making Twitter slightly more like Foursquare, Twitter seems to be parlaying its ambitions as an ad platform to local advertising.

Agencies React To Yahoo Ad Products; Mobile Advertising Remains A Mystery | AdExchanger Sharing the spotlight with consumer-facing products, Marissa Mayer rolled out Yahoo’s new ad products at this week’s CES. Although some ad execs were optimistic, their mobile strategy remained unclear.