Dynamix Aims To Find The Purpose In Repurposed TV Spots

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Jamie Goin, DynamixThe word “repurposed” is often used disparagingly when discussing TV commercials being employed for digital video ads. After all, people accessing content on PCs, tablets, smartphones are in a different mindset from when they’re watching TV. Ads need to be “native” to their environments and merely cutting a 30-second spot into a 15-second one suitable for YouTube, Hulu or some other site isn’t going to work.

But what if it could be made to work? That’s the proposition Dynamix (fka Dynamic Video) is hoping marketers will want to hear. Jamie Goin, VP of Business Development, and co-founder/COO Jack Cohen-Martin, spoke to AdExchanger about how the company is approaching video with a flexible touch that can not only encompass different viewing mindsets, but different ad campaign goals.

AdExchanger: What is Dynamix? And why rebrand from Dynamic Video? Is it strictly marketing or does it reflect any change in strategy?

JAMIE GOIN: Dynamix, to put it simply, is a dynamic video creative platform. We are primarily focused on the in-stream video space. Our clients are the largest brands and their agencies, so we are working directly with the likes of Chrysler and Dove and JetBlue and their corresponding agencies.

What separates you from the rest of the online video ad pack?

On one side of the spectrum, we’ve got companies like Eyeview, who are playing with in-stream dynamic rendering in VAST. On the other side of the spectrum, you’ve got companies that are permanently focused on in-stream, interactive, VPAID units like Innovid and a handful of others.  What makes us unique is what we are doing, that we do both ends of the spectrum and that we package that with media.

The patent pending technology that we really hang our hat on is our dynamic rendering engine. This is in more of the VAST side of things. Let’s say, as a hypothetical, we take Ford’s 30-second TV spot, re-purpose it, package it with creative services for all four screens, and localize it for about 250 markets. That ability to make commercials more flexible and seamless to a particular screen device or locale is what will make online video scalable.

Despite online video ad spending’s robust growth the last few years, the actual dollars remain small and the idea of creating a scalable business still seems to be a challenge. How do you view the opportunities in online video in the near term as you try to create a business?

We’ve been around for two years, and a good portion of that time was spent focused on the technology. As we get into the marketing mix more and more, we’re going to feel the effects of the current trends. Obviously, CPMs are dropping. What we can bring to the table and why we think this business is scalable is because we’re an end-to-end platform. We’re not only just an ad-serving company; we’re also doing the whole thing.  What we can bring to the table is a premium service designed to boost those lower CPMs.

How do you see RTB video ad buying and programmatic impacting your business?

Some of the other companies -- I consider them tent pole video companies, the video networks and the large exchanges, companies like BrightRoll and Adap.tv – they’re definitely leading the charge on the programmatic front. We’re in that, and so we’re working with those companies. What we do for those companies is really the dynamic, creative side of the business by bringing that rich media layer and the flexibility of transferring to video.

JACK COHEN-MARTIN: We like to think of ourselves as part of the solution. Roughly 98% of all in-stream ads come from TV, according to various researchers. We’re focusing on helping TV advertisers to go in-stream. That involves the usual benefits of online ad targeting, but it goes deeper to include changing the methods in how they buy media across the different platforms and networks, the way they handle data, and the way they approach creativity.

When it comes to creativity and messaging, one of the big differences, at least in marketers’ minds, between traditional and digital is that the former is a better vehicle for brands and the latter is better for direct response. Is that where you begin when it comes to tailoring a TV spot for the web?

We’re primarily speaking to brand advertisers. And anytime you bring up the word “dynamic,” it immediately conjures lots of different variations in targeting, which deals with direct-response. So, yes, we’re at an intersection between those two poles.

You’ve got a brand like Kellogg’s that is spending a pretty decent amount of their video budget on the exchange. That, in and of itself, is something that has surprised the industry a little, and we’re in that mix. TV advertising is king, and we’re definitely part of that legacy. But what we’re doing is bringing the targeting options that the digital platforms provide.  We’re bringing the data to life.

If you backtrack, look at say 2007 to 2010, primarily, there was a grouping of barely more than five or 10 sites that an advertiser could run a video ad on that would come close to offering the requisite meaningful scale. There wasn’t much to choose from. You then had the rise of video networks, which widened the promise of running video ads at scale. The next step, after distribution and scale, was about applying some of the creative things that can engage users the way they are with TV. You had the likes of Innovid get into the game. You had the IAB start to put together VPAID. Then you also had companies, the traditional ad-serving companies like PointRoll and MediaMind, start to put together an in-stream video offering.

I think that if you ask where is it going to continue – because it’s not going to stop here – the next thing that’s going to be in the video space is the dynamic rendering, but it’s going to look different than what it looked like in display. Anything that’s related to video is more complex, essentially, because there are so many different screens available.

Another part of the complexity related to video is related to measurement. Where does Dynamix come down on the question of whether Gross Ratings Points can be applied to online video the way it’s applied to TV ratings?

When we look at a campaign’s performance, it’s always based upon the business objectives of that particular campaign. If we’re talking specifically about real-time optimization, we’re doing that based upon business goals that were determined by the client with us, but determined by the client. So the metric isn’t always the same.

The metrics that typically drive things, the performance, are the same metrics that you’re familiar with. The old clickthrough rate is one of them, but we’re also starting to see how many people engaged with the video. What was the completion rate of the video? If it’s a social unit, how many people shared it with their friends on Facebook?  If it’s a unit that is, say, Ad Selector, where there’s four videos, what video creative was clicked on more and viewed more?  It’s a really broad range, and it’s always based upon what was the objective of that.

We’ve got a whole range of YouTube-specific ad units, and the objective of these units is to drive YouTube views of a specific video on the client’s YouTube channel. Now, that media is being sold on a cost-per-view basis, and so the objective of that is something that’s completely different than how many people engaged with the brand and clicked on a particular promotion.

The other thing that I would point out is that we sell on a CPM basis. But we’re aware that clients, and especially when we’re talking to TV advertisers, they want to buy and sell video in the way they’ve been buying and selling, or the way they’ve been buying TV, which is on a GRP. So one of the big differences between what we see and what, I think, the industry sees in the digital space versus TV, is the make-good.  There’s no such thing as the make-good in the digital world.

The way we get around that is by offering a way to buy media based on a unique user. So if we want a guaranteed, unique 10 million users, then we need to sell some of it at a really high cost per view and we need to reach five times the amount of users to get that guaranteed user. That difference between what they would normally buy at say like a $10.00 CPM versus buying it at say $140 cost per view, that difference really works out to what they experience in the TV world, which is the make-good. So, I would say that we’re starting to get into those kinds of buying and selling models, but like everybody else, we’re still very focused on the CPM. I think that that’s something that’s going to evolve in 2013 for us.

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