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Starcom MediaVest Group And Nielsen Catalina Partner At Behest Of Kellogg And Kraft

kellogg smg nielsen catalinaPublicis-owned Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) and Nielsen Catalina Solutions (NCS) – a 2009 joint venture between Nielsen Research and Catalina – unveiled a two-year partnership Wednesday wherein Nielsen Catalina’s household-level purchase data will integrate directly with SMG’s optimization system TARDIIS. This deal will ideally let SMG clients swiftly access NCS data so they can better allocate their TV ad spend.

NCS data sets, which combine viewer data from Nielsen with shopper data from Catalina, are designed to let advertisers use purchaser data instead of demographic data to inform their media buys, particularly in television.

“[Our software] lets you better choose shows that are over-represented on your audience,” said NCS CEO Mike Nazzaro. Nielsen Catalina and its clients have been at this for a while, but what’s different here is that Nielsen Catalina has a deal with an agency.

Traditionally, the company worked with agencies but, as Nazzaro said, “it’s a stretch to call them deals. We typically sell our services to the advertiser but the agency is the day to day user on behalf of the advertiser.”

Still, it’s not as if NCS and SMG struck this deal independently from advertisers. SMG clients Kellogg Company and Kraft Foods Group drove the agreement, according to Nielsen Catalina’s VP of product and strategy, Chase Miller.

The benefits of this tighter integration, said Nazzaro and SMG EVP of research Kate Sirkin, is that it eases workflow around accessing and integrating NCS data.

Adknowledge Makes Another Video Ad-quisition

adknowledge-legg_editedAdknowledge has acquired video analytics provider TriVu Media for an undisclosed sum, a move the former hopes will extend its ad targeting capabilities to YouTube advertising.

The company is betting the big three sources of video inventory going forward will be native (by which CEO Ben Legg means inventory sold through a transparent network), Facebook and YouTube. Its AdParlor platform, acquired in 2011, gave Adknowledge the tools to optimize ad placements on Facebook (and Twitter). And its last video-related acquisition in March, Giant Media,  runs a publisher and social network across which it seeds branded video content.

“We think we’re in the three areas that are brand safe, have high volume and are trusted,” Legg said. He described conversations he’s had with advertisers and agencies who are “mad keen” to move budget from television to digital video. “TV advertising budgets are around $70 billion,” Legg said. “Digital video advertising is $6 billion.”


Video Viewability: The Standard That Isn’t A Standard

ViewableVideoOn Monday, the Media Rating Council’s (MRC) advisory to avoid buying in-browser video impressions on the basis of viewability will end.

Although the MRC defines in-browser video viewability as an ad that is at least 50% in view for at least two continuous seconds, there’s little agreement in the industry on what, exactly, constitutes video viewability.

One issue is that viewability for video is about more than just visibility.

“Video viewability is a different animal (from display) and it’s more worrisome in some areas and less worrisome in others,” said Ted McConnell, EVP of digital for the Advertising Research Foundation. “With video, it could be autoplay, below the fold, sound off, sound off below the fold, semi-completion or it could be a robot.”

The MRC recognizes that the current definition of viewable, as it pertains to video, is still a work in progress.

“At some point, creative execution comes into play in terms of engaging and keeping the user playing the ad,” said David Gunzerath, SVP and associate director of the MRC. “We wanted to find that moment within the ad execution in which the (publisher) can add other metrics, but use this as an initial baseline building block.”


YuMe Plunges Into Programmatic Advertising With 'Video Reach'

Video-ReachVideo ad tech firm YuMe on Monday launched its first programmatic solution, Video Reach, designed to provide agency trading desks and brand advertisers with more insight into their TV ad buys.

Aimed at television advertisers, Video Reach collects first-party data across screens (PCs, mobile devices and connected TVs) with its Audience Aware SDK and audience surveys to help advertisers improve their ad-buying decisions, said YuMe's SVP of marketing, Ed Haslam.

“What we’re making available through Video Reach are first-party data capabilities to allow people to do demographic targeting,” he said. “The data that’s collected is automatically analyzed through our machine learning algorithms, enabling advertisers to accurately target their desired audiences.”


Akamai Stays In the Ad Game With Video Insertion Product

akamaiContent-distribution network Akamai sold its Advertising Decision Solutions (ADS) business to Mediamath earlier this year. Many assumed the move marked the end of Akamai's involvement in the ad business. Not so.

Soon after it auctioned off its ADS assets, Akamai focused on video ads when it launched its Ad Integration Services in February. Part of the company’s Sola Vision suite, the Ad Integration Services inserts targeted ads from multiple ad-decisioning or ad-network platforms into video streams.

“While Akamai sold our ADS business to Mediamath in January, we continue to help content owners and advertisers deliver online video ads through offerings such as our Ad Integration Services, as it is a natural extension of our content delivery capabilities,” said Akamai spokesperson Chris Nicholson.

Now Akamai may be moving into a new phase of marketing those products. Based on data from Sola Analytics, it published a study today on video ad-viewing patterns. The company analyzed 367 million videos and 257 million ads from more than 3,000 publishers that were viewed by 65 million unique users worldwide.


Moontoast And VideoGenie Bring Video Ads To Facebook News Feed

MoontoastandVideoGenieFollowing on the heels of Facebook’s announced plans to introduce video ads to its News Feed, Moontoast, a rich media ad platform provider, and the video platform VideoGenie unveiled a new partnership today that will also enable advertisers to insert videos into the social network’s News Feed.

Moontoast is a Facebook-preferred marketing developer and winner of the PMD Innovation Award; its partnership with VideoGenie will not compete with the social network, insisted co-founder and CTO Marcus Whitney.

“Moontoast does not have access to Facebook’s plans for its autoplay videos, but as a preferred marketing developer we align our products with Facebook,” Whitney said. “We have no intention of competing with them. Facebook has incredible targeting capabilities and we’re providing a platform that complements those capabilities.”


Two Video Industries, One World

Data-Driven Thinking"The Video Audience" is a column written by members of the media community and focused on the evolving world of online video advertising.

Today's column is written by Harvey Kent, Chief Media Strategist, MediaOcean, an advertising technology company.

The way things stand today, the video business isn't one business, but two separate businesses evolving in parallel. Players from across the video landscape don't want things to be that way—and it could be different.

The first business I'm referring to is the business of "traditional" network and spot TV. I put the word "traditional" in quotes because, from social apps on TV to addressable ads, traditional TV is highly sophisticated and evolving at a very impressive clip; "traditional" is a bit of a misnomer. Not to mention that the systems for delivering analog content and managing buys are often far more sophisticated than their digital counterparts. In any case, traditional TV is its own world.

The second business, of course, is the purely digital video that consumers can view on the Internet and mobile devices. That's world number two.

Had you listened to the breathless prognosticators ten years ago, you would have assumed that the landscape would have been different by now. Traditional TV was supposed to die out, online and mobile video was slated to take the reins. But that hasn't happened. But traditional TV viewership has stayed healthy over the past years—even with cord-cutting and online viewing options, with online viewing often supporting, not cannibalizing, traditional TV. And TV ad dollars have held steady following the audience. That stability of the traditional TV world has driven the technology investment I mentioned above.


Understanding Video in a Display World

The Video Audience"The Video Audience" is a column written by members of the media community and focused on the evolving world of online video advertising.

Today's column is written by Cynthia Butler, Publisher Integration Engineer at Denver-based, SpotXchange, a video advertising technology company.

I’ll give you two differences between display and video advertising: technology and people.

Some publishers and networks are selling video ads in the same way that display banners are sold. Display ad servers are “upgrading” their software to integrate video ad serving capabilities. The people behind advertisers and agencies who have been in the online industry expect video to behave the same as display banners. From both perspectives, video is being treated like it’s the same as display banners. Voila, all our problems are solved, right?

Okay, noted sarcasm there. But anyone who’s ever tried to “integrate” a new video ad server or new video technology keeps running into the same issues. Advertisers, agencies, networks, and publishers are all building, managing and creating video very differently, yet expecting the same results as display banner advertising. Beyond that, video is at the point of adoption where it is changing much more quickly than display.

Along those lines, over the years the IAB has set all regulations and standards for display banners. The IAB is working hard to establish standards for video technology (VAST, VPAID, companion banner sizes, overlays). But the video ad industry isn’t there yet. While video technology is changing and adapting quickly, some regulations set by the IAB have not kept up with this faster pace of change.


How Digital Video Publishers Should Adapt Their Strategy as Consumers Embrace Online Video

The Video Audience"The Video Audience" is a column written by members of the media community and focused on the evolving world of online video advertising.

Today's column is written by Mike Gaffney, CRO, at Auditude.

Television advertising dollars are starting to follow consumers and move online in a meaningful way.

We will examine three strategies that digital video publishers (defined as content owners and distributors) should employ to benefit from this trend:

  1. Support ad products that excite advertisers, but are not custom executions;
  2. Reach your entire addressable audience, not just viewers on your website;
  3. Experiment with ad loads for different types of users and content.

There are simple measures that publishers can take today to position themselves to capitalize on the phenomenal growth in digital video advertising.

1. Ad products don’t have to be scary

Everyone agrees that just running 30-second pre-rolls is a recipe to annoy audiences but discussions about how publishers can differentiate themselves through advanced ad products quickly devolve into worries about technical complexity and visions of operational treachery.   Therefore, no one does anything and you still see a lot more 30-second spots than you should, if only because those creatives exist and they are the easiest ones to run.

There are, however, some simple ways to provide a differentiated and scaled experience for advertisers, and the technology exists today to execute on these. The key is to use a simple notion of a linear content timeline to create ad experiences that vary by duration of stream, distribution environment and/or type of content.

Here are examples that we have seen done effectively:


Online Video Advertising: Why It’s Still Broken and What We Can Do About It

The Video Audience"The Video Audience" is a column written by members of the media community and focused on the evolving world of online video advertising.

Today's column is written by Teg Grenager, Founder and VP of Product at

Online video advertising spending continues to grow rapidly, and it’s easy to see why. It’s practically the perfect medium for brand marketers, combining the power and engagement of television ads with the targeting, tracking, and interactivity of online advertising. High-quality online video advertising creates greater value for advertisers, earns higher CPMs, and is in high demand. There’s just one problem: five years after the debut of YouTube, buying advertising in online video continues to be fraught with headaches for advertisers, publishers and everyone in between. Buyers can’t buy enough suitable online video ad space to satisfy their campaign goals or fulfill their budgets, and many publishers continue to have large amounts of unsold inventory.

What’s wrong, and what can be done to fix it?

1. Standardization of Ad Serving Protocols You’re probably thinking that video formats need to be standardized, and that once everyone uses VAST it will work fine. But the problem lies a bit deeper. The IAB did the right thing in defining VAST, but one of its greatest strengths – the fact that it was designed to be flexible and accommodate variation – is also its greatest weakness. VAST specifies the language (XML schema) to transmit ad information from an ad server to a video player, but it does not specify which variations a publisher’s video player should support. All too often a publisher and an advertiser both support VAST and yet are unable to run the tag. The reasons for this abound: encoding, bitrate, and aspect ratio of the video files themselves; formats in which the companion banner is specified (iframe, JS, HTML, image, etc.); and lack of support for multiple video files or multiple companions, “wrapper ads” or even particular tracking events. These technical details are the primary barrier to wider spending, since buyers limit their campaigns to publishers and ad networks without trafficking problems.