IAB Mixx & Ad Week Summary

mixx_expo_logo_2010I recently had the privilege of attending the IAB Mixx and Advertising Week conferences in NYC. A few main themes emerged as things we should all be aware of:
Advertisers Want a Creative Canvas

Seth Godin was one of the keynotes for this conference, and mentioned how quickly the industry has been commoditized and flattened. He said “Those advancing and growing in their markets are those who are creating art.”

Most of the advertising industry is tired of creating the same boring ads, over and over. So there are a few important trends happening in the creative market. All of this is happening with the goal of giving creative minds the ability to make engaging ads and improve consumption of rich media.

  1. Big publishers/portals are consolidating the number of ads they will allow on any given page. AOL’s projectdevil initiative is a great example.
  2. Publishers are creating larger ad units to allow for more creativity (see ESPN or Nickelodeon home pages)
  3. Ad units are becoming more flexible by pulling in dynamic elements into creative, like product recommendations. Many ads now pull in feeds from multiple sources (Titter, etc.).

One of the most telling quotes came from the CEO of Digitas, who said “Data will unlock the next phase of creativity.” We believe this to be paramount, as we move towards one of the most exciting ages of advertising opportunity.

Consumers Expect Ads to Be Aligned With Content

Almost all of the largest internet portals have a “content strategy.” We need to look no farther than Yahoo or AOL, given their recent acquisitions of content companies Associated Content, and TechCrunch. As part of this growth in content, more consumers are expecting to see sponsorships as part of their online experience. They have learned to ignore the standard ad placements, but are open to ads that engage, inform, and inspire.

I don’t know about you, but I expect ads to be a part of consuming quality content. If any of you watch Mad-Men on AMC, I’m assuming you notice how the lines are being blurred between what’s content and what’s advertising. When I go to Hulu.com to watch the most recent episode of 30 Rock, I don’t mind seeing a few ads as part of my experience. In fact, as an advertiser, I at least know consumers aren’t fast-forwarding over my commercials.

Another great quote mentioned during the conference was from the former head of NBC Jeff Zucker, who said, “We’re in the business of turning analog dollars into digital pennies.” As you can imagine, the online ad world is still working towards reaching its full potential, so there is still a lot of unlocked opportunity. The “true” value of an online consumer needs to be unlocked, but through the right vehicle.

Ads + Recommendations?

As we move towards an important upcoming announcement at {rr}, I want to leave you with one last obvious, but important quote from Sheryl Sandberg (COO of Facebook) which she gave in reference to the advertising opportunities on Facebook…”People want things that are more personalized.”

…Many exciting things to come.

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This post was written by Jake Bailey

ABOUT Jake Bailey
As VP of Product Marketing and Solutions, Jake is responsible for identifying, assessing, and building new markets, and driving product and technology innovations for our retail and brand partners. A recognized thought leader in e-Commerce, Jake joined RichRelevance in 2009, and was tasked with building RichRelevance’s Shopping Media platform, which now delivers personalized advertising on some of the world's largest retail websites, empowering these retailers to become premium advertising publishers. To view Jake's full profile, click here.
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