November 18, Signal: Social TV, Insights on Fraud, and Government “Transparency”

In last week’s most interesting links, DSPs get better at data, Flipboard gets shoppable, Twitter vs FB for TV, new social data might change your strategy, quantified selfers want access, confessions of an ad fraud, programmatic evolves, YouTube welcomes Nielsen, DMP Acquisitions, Google shares governmental requests, high-hanging fruit, Pinterest loves retailers, Facebook’s $3 billion offer and ad sharing under scrutiny.

Why Publishers Are Giving The Thumbs Up To DSPs And DMPs | Ad Exchanger At an ad:tech New York panel discussion, executives from Fox News Digital, Viacom, Washington Post Digital and Turner Broadcasting brought up the lack of visibility and standards around whether consumers actually see ads as a major headache.

Flipboard fires a shot across Pinterest’s bow with new curated brand catalogs | Giga Om Adding the ability to pull together ads and listings into a “curated catalog,” Flipboard adds ecommerce transactions to its capabilities.

Facebook, Twitter ‘Trash Talk’ Over TV Show Ads | NYPost It’s Facebook vs. Twitter, looking at size vs. relevancy as they compete for advertising dollars from the entertainment industry.

10 surprising social media statistics that might make you rethink your social strategy | The Next Web From surprising demographic growth (on Twitter, it’s the 55–64 year age bracket) to a massive mobile shift, to privacy, social data continues to change.

You Are Your Data | Slate Quantified Self trackers find their biggest pain point is trying to access their own personal data — when it’s siloed in proprietary systems.

Inside Ad Tech Fraud: Confessions of a Fake Web Traffic Buyer | Digiday A fascinating look inside ad tech fraud — and a person who bought fake traffic. The bigger the dollars, the less likely the incentive to self-police.

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Check out the Timberland Men’s Fall 2013 post on FM partner, The Art of Manliness.


IAB Panel: Programmatic Marketplace Still Hazy To CMOs, More Transparency Needed | Ad Exchanger An IAB panel discussed the fragmented state of programmatic and the confusing data situation. The next stage? More comprehensive DMP integration.

Google Relents on Ad Measurement for YouTube | WSJ Finally, Google lets Nielsen track views of YouTube videos, paving the way for a big shift of TV ad spending to online video sponsorship.

A Wave of DMP Acquisitions Might Be Coming | Ad Exchanger Data Management Platform maturity means that more acquisitions and development is in the works. But will this be a rehash of the CMP technology aggregation?

Government requests for user information double over three years | Google Google shares the alarming increase in requests for user information from the government over the past three years (100%). Says Google, “We believe it’s your right to know what kinds of requests and how many each government is making of us and other companies.”

Marketers Eye The Higher-Hanging Fruit In Retargeting | Ad Exchanger Ad retargeting has some evolving ahead — some marketers are asking for more nuance, so there’s less waste on retargeting and the “creepy” factor is eliminated. Vendors are responding.

Pinterest Expands to E-Commerce Sites With Now-Trending Tool | WSJ Pinterest is starting to allow retail partners use real-time data to make lists of their most popular items in their online stores.

An ambitious experiment in Data Science takes off: a biased, Open Source view from Berkeley | FPerez Combining government, academia and business, 3 foundations announced a $37.8M funding commitment to build new data science environments to “change the culture of universities to create a data science culture.”

Facebook’s $3 Billion Offer Spurned by Snapchat | WSJ Snapchat turned down an all-cash acquisition offer from Facebook for nearly $3 billion (or possibly more) — this comes as Snapchat is being wooed by acquirers worldwide.

YouTube’s New Deal: Biz Wary of Revised Ad-Sharing Terms | Variety YouTube is shifting nearly all media partners to a 55/45 advertising revenue share. Those with the different 70/30 revenue-sharing terms may not welcome the change.

November 11, Signal: Adtech On A Roll

Snapchattery. This week in last week’s most compelling links: AdTech is back, how to spend $250M on journalism, NSA v. Google, Best Buy goes all in on showrooming, Gary Vaynerchuk doing his thing, Net Neutrality faces challenges, Twitter’s sponsored images smell like display ads, AOL gets another 6%, agencies adjust for programmatic, Snapchat’s worth questioned, Pinterest gets SFChronicle’s Joanne Bradford, Airlines get personal, and programmatic matures. Just another week in our biz. To the links:

Why AdTech is Back (It Never Left) | A straight-talking evaluation of the value AdTech can bring to audiences and brands, Pakman shows us how accountability and targeting are only two of the benefits of digital marketing.

What to do with $250m in digital journalism? (1) | Monday Note Ebay’s founder, Pierre Omidyar, pledged $250m to an investigative publishing venure — Monday Note looks at how he might go about it drawing similarities to ProPublica and The Guardian.

Google Chief Slams NSA Spying as ‘Outrageous’ | WSJ Google executive Chairman Eric Schmidt finds government spying “outrageous” and potentially illegal.

Best Buy promotes price-matching in a move to embrace showrooming | WSJ Best Buy is running television ads that explicitly call out “showrooming” as a benefit of the stores. Touting its stores as “the ultimate holiday showroom,” it’s playing on the practice of shoppers visiting brick and mortar retailers to evaluate products before leaving to buy them online for less.

Riding the Hashtag in Social Media Marketing | NYTimes A fascinating profile of digital Gary Vaynerchuk, wine purveyor and digital marketer, promoting his new book, “How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy, Social World.”

We’re About to Lose Net Neutrality — And the Internet as We Know It | Stanford If a federal court strikes down net neutrality, we may lose equal treatment online. An important issue that all of us should pay attention to.

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Whoever said Millennials are lazy, never met Danny Mendoza | Good Men Project & Toyota


Twitter’s New Display Ads in Action | Digiday Twitter’s new display ads — featuring images in promoted tweets appearing automatically in unsubscribed feeds — have hit the stream, just in time for the company’s IPO. Examples from CBSFilms, The Book of Mormon and KitKat had varying levels of impact.

AOL’s Ad Surge an Emerging Industry ‘Megatrend’ | CNBC CEO Tim Armstrong calls AOL’s 6-percent revenue increase an emerging “megatrend” within digital. Calling his company’s ad performance part of a bigger theme, he said the company was positioning itself amid the “disruption of technology in media.” What he’s really talking about is programmatic, of course.

How Agencies Are Retooling for the Automated Ad Buy | AdWeek Jay Sears, svp of market development for the Rubicon Project, explains trends and market forces.

Am I Going Insane? Snapchat is Intrinsically Worthless | Roy Murdock With a critical take on the valuation of Snapchat, Roy Murdock looks at the unicorns and comes up confused.

Pinterest Hires San Francisco Chronicle President Joanne Bradford to Lead Advertiser and Media Partnerships (Updated) | All Things D Pinterest hired digital-media veteran and current San Francisco Chronicle president Joanne Bradford as head of partnerships and sales.

How Airlines Mine Personal Data In-Flight Figuring out how to use customer data without encroaching on “creepy,” airlines are making sense of the wealth of customer data they collect. Birthdays, seat preferences and allergies are all up for use.

AppNexus Abides As Mobile And Direct Deals Take Over | AdExchanger Does programmatic maturity mean colonization? It can feel that way, both from seeing VC investment slow and by watching companies back away from building display ad tech to focus on partnerships.

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The Daily Dot and Kia share great tips in a content series about the ultimate tech tailgate.


November 4, Signal: The NSA Gets MUSCULAR

Image from PandoDaily via the NSA

This week in last week’s most compelling links:  a call to tech arms, Social ROI soars, Tumblr gets sponsored, advertising businesses are hard, Tweet-a-Coffee gets hot, everyone creates content, Facebook gets a middling grade, vCPMs show promise, Facebook loses young teens, programmatic 101, Aggregate’s snapped up, NYTimes print edges digital, Android ID takes cues from Apple, Bing’s display ads meet search and Instagram’s first sponsored post takes a beating.

NSA infiltrates links to Yahoo, Google data centers worldwide, Snowden documents say | Washington Post New information from documents obtained from Edward Snowden say that the National Security Agency has broken into the main communications links between Yahoo and Google data centers around the world. This means the NSA has put itself in a position to collect from hundreds of millions of user accounts. The image above reflects the self congratulatory sensibility of the wayward agency, and makes us reflect:

It’s time for Silicon Valley to ask: Is it worth it? | PandoDaily Calling for outrage from Silicon Valley, Pando assess the damage done to privacy and trust.

Social ad ROI skyrockets: Facebook click rate up 275%, Twitter revenue per visitor up 4X | Venturebeat Social continues to improving ROI. The Q3 Adobe Social Intelligence report says Twitter is delivers four times the revenue per visitor this year over last year, and Facebook’s ad click-through rate is up a whopping 275 percent. It’s still undervalued because of timing, “Social media is often not the last thing you do before you buy,” says Adobe digital analyst Tamara Gaffney, “It’s often the first thing … so advertisers are undervaluing social by as much as 116 percent.”

Yahoo Still Looking to Ignite Tumblr Ad Potential | Ad Week Tumblr’s next project is to help brands “amplify” their presence, says sales chief Lee Brown. It’s likely Tumblr will target the “trending” section on its mobile app. Under Marissa Meyer’s direction. “Playing in an established market is good for Tumblr,” noted Peter Minnium, head of brand initiatives at the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

Entrepreneur PSA – Advertising Businesses are Hard | Seth’s Blog Former founder of Meebo Seth Sternberg shares the biggest challenges to starting an advertising-supported company. Citing headaches like reaching audience size, driving sales for your advertisers, building a sales team, keeping a positive cash flow, the difficulty of selling and starting from scratch, quarter over quarter. We can relate.

Starbucks Lets You Buy Coffee for a Friend via Twitter | Mashable Starbucks has launched a beta program called Tweet-a-Coffee. It allows customers to buy a $5 gift card for a friend through Twitter by syncing their Starbucks account to Twitter and linking a credit card to your account. After tweeting “@tweetacoffee” with the Twitter handle of the intended recipient, that person will receive the gift card.

Pew: 54% of US Internet users post their own photos or videos; 18% of phone owners use Instagram, 9% use Snapchat | The Next Web Although there’s no growth data, according to Pew, 18 percent of all mobile phone owners are on Instagram and 9 percent are on Snapchat. Fifty-four percent of US adult Internet users post original photos or videos online that they themselves have created, up from 46 percent last year.

Forrester Gloomy On Facebook’s Shift From Social To ‘Traditional’ Ads | AdExchanger In a report from Forrester Research, analyst Nate Elliott reports that executives are not happy with the direction Facebook is taking. Saying that Facebook no longer prioritizes affinity and social connections in its ad products, many advertisers feel alienated.

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Venture Beat and Sheraton team up to bring you an incredibly useful list of apps that make the most of business downtime. App it up.


Will Viewable Impressions Ever Become Online Advertising’s Currency? | AdExchanger Outlining the challenges to moving to a vCPM, or viewed impressions will impact publishers, advertisers, ad servers and the companies who count the impressions. Moving there as an industry needs to be a team effort.

Facebook Admits to Drop in Usage Among Teens | Forbes David Ebersman, CFO from Facebook admitted “we did see a decrease in daily users specifically among younger teens.” This news overtook what was otherwise a positive earnings release Both daily active users and revenue are up significantly from last year.

Demystifying Programmatic Marketing and RTB | Medium A primer to “Programmatic Marketing,” explains, “At a high level, Programmatic Marketing is the practice of implementing an automated set of business rules to efficiently target your most valuable customers and prospects with personalized ads.”

Neustar Acquires DMP Aggregate Knowledge For $119M | AdExchanger For $119 million, communications infrastructure provider Neustar acquired data management platform Aggregate Knowledge.

NYTCo Still ‘Challenged’ By Programmatic, Mobile Ad Revenues Lag | AdExchanger Digital ad revenue continued to slide for The New York Times Co. in Q3. CEO Mark Thompson said that for the first time in recent years, print actually performed better than digital.

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We love this winter white kitchen inspiration from Apartment 34 and Samsung. (with bonus giveaway).


Google Replacing “Android ID” With “Advertising ID” Similar To Apple’s IDFA | Marketing Land Google announced that they are replacing the unique Android ID (similar to Apple’s old UDID) with a new “Advertising ID.” A long, anonymous string of digits, the new ID is similar to Apple’s Identifier For Advertising (IDFA).

Microsoft Bing tests ‘Hero’ ads in Windows 8.1 search results, jousting with Google | Geekwire Microsoft Bing’s new Hero Ads, pilot a new form of visual search advertising in Windows 8.1. These ads mix both elements of display and search ads. Early adopters include Land Rover, Jaguar, Home Depot, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Radio Shack.

The Time Has Come: This Is The First Ad On Instagram | Business Insider Comments on the first promoted post on Instagram haven’t been entirely positive. A Michael Kors advertisement is the first public ad released.

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FM and Zazzle teamed up for a huge brand ambassador program with some of our most stylish publishers.

We love this sponsored Pinboard and post from the Glitter Guide as well as this gorgeous creation from Project Nursery.


Signal, October 28: GOOG and FB, Sitting in a Tree….

Photo: Josh Valcarcel/WIREDThis week in last week’s best links: Deeplinks, Google hearts Facebook, Mastercard and GE are always-on, Dr. Boris builds ad tech, Graph Search gets real, TV ads tap Facebook, smart brands invest in content, a whitepaper from Comscore, Google tests display ads, Google/Mediavest upfront deal, publishers share mobile stats, Google witholds keyword data, Turner Digital looks to programmatic.

How Deep Links Could Revolutionize Mobile Advertising | Mashable Deep Linking, or linking all the way to the right page from apps has support from companies like URX, Quixey and Cellogic’s

Hell Freezes Over: Google to Sell Facebook Ads | Mashable Google will sell Facebook ad inventory through Google’s DoubleClick Bid Manager, its real-time bidding system. Soon marketers can buy ads for Facebook’s Ad Exchange through the Bid Manager.

Master Class: How Brands Create Content At Scale | Digiday Mastercard and GE invest in content creation at scale — by offering different kinds of content, creating flow and managing many agency relationships.

Google’s DSP Added To Facebook Exchange | AdExchanger Another look at the Facebook/Google ad partnership expounds on the details above. With a 15.4% share, Google leads the US in display ads. Facebook will have 14.4% by the end of the year.

Meet Dr. Boris, the Godfather of Ad Tech | Digiday A look at Dr. Boris, a key figure in the technology that powers the ad backbone of the web. Out of 250 companies that sell real-time ads, Iponweb’s technology is behind about 20 percent.

Why Facebook Is Teaching Its Machines to Think Like Humans | Wired Thanks to the evolution of Facebook’s Graph Search, they need to parse normal human language — including slang.

Social TV Ads (Sort of) Come to Facebook | New York Times Blog As Facebook and Twitter compete for social television eyeballs, companies are trying to serve ads on Facebook that match the commercials running on television.

Marketing to the Multi-Platform Majority – comScore, Inc | Comscore This white paper from Comscore gives context to understand how to refine business strategies through the right tools, metrics, and insights for brands in the new digital landscape.

From channels to ecosystems: the atomisation of advertising The Guardian Thanks to changes in content marketing, brands need to change how they talk about and present themselves. Smart brands invest significantly.

Google Testing Huge Banner Ads For Branded Queries | Search Engine Land Although in 2005, Google promised that banner ads would never come to search, their “brand image experiment” is now live with about 30 advertisers, including Crate & Barrel and Virgin America.

Prism Skylabs Raises $15M Round Led By Intel To Use Surveillance Cameras For In-Store Analytics | Techcrunch Using footage from in-store security cameras, Prism Skylabs can layer that data with footpaths through the store, heat maps of customer interest, and customer counts and conversion.

Google And MediaVest Cut An Upfront Deal With Emphasis On Video | AdExchanger Publicis Groupe’s MediaVest and Google have signed an upfront agreement. This means Publicis has committed committing to spend a “significant amount” of ad dollars on YouTube and Google’s other display and mobile properties, including its ad networks.

The Publisher Mobile Surge By The Numbers | Digiday A cross-section of digital publishers share their percentage of mobile traffic, and more interesting, mobile growth over the past year.

Is there a Dark Side of Google? | Social Media Explorer Google’s decision to withold keyword data from Analytics is a troubling sign for business owners, brands and publishers.

Turner Digital Does About Face On Programmatic, Rolls Out Private Marketplace | Ad Exchanger Recently, Turner Digital Ad Sales’ launched its private marketplace. This comes right after former ad head Walker Jacobs left Turner Digital.

Signal, October 21: Ad Platforms – Everyone’s Doing It!

Apple Picking in SebastopolThis week in last week’s best links: Twitter plans ad network, the Intention Economy gets a closer look, Yahoo’s stream ads steam ahead, clients try their own hand at ad tech, Foursquare steps out, all ad traffic needs a second look, search + transaction data = privacy concerns, Yahoo’s stream having trouble attracting brand advertisers, ad tech’s successful pivots, Twitter’s expenses, demographic information from the grocery store, Google Now wants to inform your experiences, dying Mobile Apps, Google’s massive ad impressions, Foursquare ads use reviews and Jay Z’s brand preferences skew luxurious.

Twitter reportedly planning targeted ad network for apps and websites | Engadget Speculation about Twitter’s MoPub acquisition could mean that Twitter is developing its own targeted ad network based on tweet activity.

Beyond the Advertising Bubble | Customer Commons Modeling the future of revenue on the web, this article explores the benefits and pitfalls of the Intention Economy. Will we see a future where more Net-aligned market interactions win out?

Life Is But a Stream at Yahoo Now — But Will It Revive Ad Revenue? | All Things D Yahoo’s “Stream Ads” are scheduled to arrive in April. Also showing up in Yahoo Mail, this sponsored content is close to Facebook’s News Feed. Code name Moneyball, this is CEO Marissa Mayer’s big gamble to turn around Yahoo’s advertising business.

Agencies Defend Turf – Ad Tech Moves Clients | AdAge As clients open their own trading desks and data management platforms, they’re making more of their own decisions about online media buys. Unilever and Kimberly-Clark Corp. have made the leap, more may follow.

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FM publishers show how BMW’s Diesel car is clean, stylish and ready to go on a moment’s notice.

Say Yes to Hoboken headed up to Sonoma County for apple picking in a BMW Diesel.

Jill from Inhabitat’s trip to Green Point burned barely a half tank of gas.

Mike Payne from The Coolist took a week to take his BMW Diesel through the paces.


Foursquare Opens Ad Platform To 1.5 Million Merchants | Fast Company After raising $41 million in financing, Foursquare’s ad platform is its latest effort towards profitability. Equity interest from Microsoft and American Express only sweeten the deal.

The Amount of Questionable Online Traffic Will Blow Your Mind | Ad Week Is fake traffic an acceptable tradeoff for numbers? Despite efforts, many top networks must deal with questionable traffic. Says Alan Silverberg, media platforms director at Moxie Interactive, “You see it with almost any partner you work with. From AOL and Yahoo to Facebook, from pure-play partners and the network space to portals. We can’t stop it.”

Card-Linked Offers Address Local Audiences With Transaction Data Ad Exchanger With your card linked to your search data, and all transactions up for grabs, will Microsoft/Bing be sensitive enough to privacy concerns to make this a success?

Yahoo’s Native Ads Have an Image Problem | Digiday Are direct-response marketers ruining Yahoo’s attempt at in-stream advertising? Agencies say they’re working for direct-response advertisers, but the jury is still out on whether they’re perceived as right for brand advertising.

Be Ruthless: The Art of The Ad Tech Pivot | Digiday The world of ad tech changes quickly. The ability to keep a company ahead of quick market changes is part art and part science. Looking at pivots from Tacoda, Buddy Media and Turn also speak to the element of luck.

Twitter Reports Biggest Quarterly Loss Ahead of IPO | Wall Street Journal Last Tuesday, Twitter filed third quarter results, showing its biggest quarterly loss yet. Thanks to rising expenses due to capital expansion, Twitter posted a $64.6 million loss.

This snack-food corporation has a creepy plan to watch you in the grocery store | Washington Post  Hooking a Kinect controller to a snack shelf in the grocery store will aggregate facial recognition and demographic data from throusands of transactions. The shelf will also let the company know if the item was picked up for consideration.

Google Now: The Tip of A Very Long Spear | Battelle Media Google Now is planning to become the real time interface to life. As it moves out of search and into experience, Google Now is poised to shine its data onto every corner our lives.

Why The Mobile App Will Die | Ad Exchanger Andrei Dunca, co-founder and chief technology officer at LiveRail argues that browser strength may beat out the current mobile vertical when it comes to mobile advertising.

Just Look At How Google Dominates Ad Tech | Ad Age Google, which served 300 billion ad impressions in September, is the biggest player in ad tech. The search company and DoubleClick owner is ahead of its nearest competitor OpenX by over 200 billion monthly ad impressions.

What Are the Most Mentioned Brands in Jay Z’s Songs? A Chart | Vanity Fair In his music, Jay Z’s most mentioned brand is Mercedes Benz. Lexus, Maybach, BMW and Bentley also get mentioned. As well, Gucci, Versace and Tom Ford make appearances.