Monday Signal: Tired Of Advertising? Have I Got a Deal For You…

“Advertising tactic” — a simple phrase meaning a plan or procedure for promoting a desired end or result in advertising. But to folks fed up with various attention-seeking approaches used by brands online, one brand’s tactic is another consumer’s headache. In today’s Signal, we lead off with two stories in which two different tactics are examined and mildly criticized, and a third that suggests one of those tactics provides false-positive CTR results. To the links:

Why Retargeting is the Hottest Area of Ad Tech (Digiday) The old tactic of finding people who have visited your site has seen a resurgence thanks to recent ad-tech advances. But consumers and privacy advocates aren’t happy. Does the fact that a strategy works make it acceptable?

Are Online Video Ads Wasting Your Time? (AdAge) In an industry that isn’t short on cutting-edge ideas, we’re slow to create an alternative to the 15- or 30-second pre-roll that many consumers see as nothing more than an obtrusive time delay. In fact, a quick scroll through the comments at the end of this Ad Age piece reveals that some video consumers are willing to pay to avoid watching pre-rolls.

From Clicks to Completion: Online Video Ad Effectiveness (emarketer)  Brands need to pay close attention to the fastest-growing online ad format: video. A study by ad server VINDICO, which examined video ads served in the US in 2011, found that ad completion rate was a much more useful metric of ad effectiveness than CTR. Turns out, high CTRs for video ads are being misinterpreted as a sign of success, since many users are clicking on ads in an attempt to make them go away.

Tomorrow’s Privacy Struggles, On Display Today  (NYT Bits) Ready to risk privacy for safety or convenience? Last Thursday, AT&T showed off a batch of technologies under development at AT&T Labs. Among them, a steering wheel that communicates with a GPS device and vibrates to tell you which way to turn, a system that uses a smartphone and sensors in a car to allow parents to keep track of how their teenagers are driving, and a location-based messaging  program that allows someone to send a text that will be delivered when the recipient arrives at a specific location.

Whether The Digital Era Improves Society Is Up To Its Users – That’s Us (Guardian) Danah Boyd writes, “Social forces are not linear. There’s no universal narrative of ‘progress’ where we continue to march forward to ever-increasing levels of enlightenment.” Couple that lack of narrative with the fact that the Internet  exposes users to people who are different, as well to those who are of like mind, and the result is a great amount of anxiety. That, believes Boyd, begs the question, “What role does social media play in generating or spreading societal fear?”

Foursquare Eyes June for Launch of New Advertising Platform (AdAge) In just two months, Foursquare, the startup that recently topped 20 million users, apparently plans to launch a paid-media platform that will allow merchants to promote deals. The ads will be targeted using the same algorithms that power “explore,” which recommends establishments based on a users’ past check-ins, as well as those of friends and the wider Foursquare user base.

Web Video and TV: Joined at the Hip  (Digiday) Respondents of Digiday’s semi-annual poll of predominately digital agencies, brands, publishers and ad networks or intermediaries suggests that that the rate of planning television and online video ads “together” will grow by more than 50 percent in the coming year. Analysis of the survey contains many points, including this one: “Look for publishers to accelerate efforts to move video buyers onto private marketplaces but also to expand their efforts into custom and branded content as a way of deepening their most important one-to-one relationships.”

U.S. TV Ad Market Was Worth $72BB In 2011 (Nielsen Wire) In the first installment of a three-part series, Nielsen looked at viewership and advertising across five traditional primetime genres and found that dramas account for the largest share of viewership, timeshifting and ad spend, while reality programs claimed the largest share of product placements. Our takeaway? We hope that tomorrow’s Signal won’t include a link announcing the premier of American Idol: Special Victim’s Unit.

Opinion: The Flight From Conversation (NYTimes) “We are tempted to think that our little ‘sips’ of online connection add up to a big gulp of real conversation. But they don’t,” writes Sherry Turkle. “E-mail, Twitter, Facebook, all of these have their places — in politics, commerce, romance and friendship. But no matter how valuable, they do not substitute for conversation.” And, we’ll add, they never will.

Me and My Data: How Much Do the Internet Giants Really Know? (Guardian) I don’t know everything about you, you don’t know everything me, and, more important in the world of tech giants, Google and Facebook don’t know everything about either one of us.

NYT Digital Lessons (Monday Note) The New York Times Company’s latest quarterly numbers contain a rich trove of data regarding the health of the digital news industry. It’s been a tough year for standard display, but there’s good news for the Times on paywall: With roughly half a million paying subscribers, has captured the equivalent of 39 per cent of its weekday print circulation of 1.3 million.

Google Shutters One Pass, Its Paid Content Platform ( Alas, Google won’t be helping the rest of us anytime soon. After a little over 13 months, One Pass is history (along with a lot of other Googley projects).

Death To Blogs Dot Tumblr Dot Com (FC) BS. A blog by any other name is still a blog. The difference here, of course, is whether or not you are in control of your own platform. If you’re not independent, you’re not in control.

Innovations with Kinect (DBTech) Watch this space. Seriously. It’s going to be very important.




FM’s program of the day is our CM Summit in New York, this May14-15. It’s the kickoff event to Internet Week, and features some of the best minds in Internet media and marketing.


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