IAB Annual Leadership Meeting – Live Blog! – NBC’s Naylor Becomes Chair

IAB ALMCocktails are complete (for now).. and …. The IAB Annual Leadership Meeting is underway!

IAB President and CEO Randall Rothenberg begins the meeting with an intro of the agenda and an overview of IAB highlights in the past year. The place is pretty packed – sold out according out to the IAB – and Rothenberg promises provocation with ne’er do wells floating around the conference hall trying to, well, provocate with microphones.

On Twitter, Ari Paparo notes, “Billy Crystal seems a little different this year.”

Rothenberg announces that NBCU’s Peter Naylor will be the new IAB chairman (see release) taking over for Bob Carrigan. Then, Rothenberg intros Carrigan for his going away speech.

Carrigan appears to have new glasses. Good choice on the rims. Carrigan takes a glance at the year past and says that it’s time for him to hit the beach, listen to some Jimmy Buffett and “pass the proverbial torch.” Carrigan does his best Ed McMahon and intros Peter Naylor for his IAB keynote address. Naylor has chosen not to wear a tie and begins a review of the digital transformation that media has undergone.

Naylor says social technology is making television more robust than ever. He makes the example of POTS – plain ol’ telephone service. POTS and Plain Ol’ TV (POTV) as we know it continue to exist and thrive.

The IAB Twitter account quotes Naylor, “TV is moving beyond time and space and knowing how to work it will be critical to your success #IABALM.”

Ohhh, Naylor goes DOWNTOWN and says Pinterest is the “Jeremy Lin of the internet.” He adds, like Lin, Naylor’s not sure Pinterest will be around in 6 months.. but that was a joke. Maybe!

Naylor sees social TV as having a beneficial impacting on media. He makes a connection to something NBC sold in the past (TV 360), and he says Trendrr and BlueFin are able to effectively track the co-viewing of social tv applications before, during and after a program. He also says that multi-platform campaigns with TV + digital works better than TV alone.

Talking the TV game, Naylor quotes the Hulu CEO, “TV is no longer just hardware, it’s of ‘TV quality'” is now a phrase that means “it’s good.”

AdExchanger aside: I don’t remember any discussion about TV last year at the IAB event… trend! Here comes TV online. Certainly, NBC’s Naylor is going to talk up the power of television. For the IAB, his selection appears to recognize (or hope) that the long-awaited convergence is imminent, or close.

Naylor notes that TV is able to tell stories and that digital has not had the same impact – calling out the .02% clickthrough rates for ad banners. He sees the Rising Star ad formats (big ads!) as changing away from the .02% CTR game.

Throwing a few bouquets at the end, Naylor announces service excellence awards as his first official act as IAB chairman.

Rothenberg returns.

Advertising formats are being re-formatted! Et tu, Randall. Then fall 728×90. No wait, it’s not that extreme. 728×90 stays. The new 2012 ad formats are formally known as the Rising Stars units. The 6 new formats have been tested with different creative agencies leading up to tonight’s announcement.

Aol’s Pictela Twitter manager writes, “@AOLAdvertising and Pictela have 2 units in the new IAB standard portfolio: Rising Star winners Portrait and Pushdown.”

IAB’s Peter Minnium does the formal intro for the new units. Roll video that assails “banner blindness” and champions telling “bigger bolder brand stories.”

First up, AKQA’s Sr. Art Director Paul Nowikowski shows off a unit built by Aol on the Pictela platform. I give you “The Portrait.” (see example).

Next up, agency Big Spaceship shows off its implementation of Sidekick (see it). A big, big ad space opens up on the right side of a 300×600, which is on the right side of a web page.

Here’s the release on the new ad units fresh off the IAB digital press.

And now the “Billboard” from the Conde Nast crew. It’s a monster horizontal ad – 970×250 – that can be closed. Before it closes, you can fill it full of video, games, sofa, etc. Again, see it here – kinda.

Next, CP+B has sent Matt Walsh to show his agencies efforts with the Filmstrip format “inspired by” Microsoft Advertising. IAB says its a 300×600 ad unit with multiple panels according to the guideline’s page.

AdExchanger aside: Creative is going to get more expensive to produce. The hope is this will be more than offset by the higher CPMs which the bigger screen space and better engagement. This seems good for creative agencies. Good for “bigger ideas, too.” Will brand dollars move online more? Sure, why not? Getting data to tell the story of attribution and online ads benefits (or not) remains critical.

Slider (970×90) is the next unit and comes from agency BBH and head of digital development Jennifer Gavin with a unit built by MediaMind. The ad blows away the crowd .. in a silent kind of way. The media/media tech-focused crowd is in awe.

Finally, The Martin Agency delivers its Pushdown ad unit which is a game of the UPS guy boxing the Geico gekko. It’s a crowd pleaser. UPS guy wins, Gekko sent off in UPS box.

By the way, check out the “De-listed” ad units (see down the page here)…. goodbye 468×60!

Gazehawk (as seen at Y Combinator last September), Affectiva (AdExchanger Q&A) and Moat (AdExchanger Q&A) technology are featured in order to show the engagement of the new Rising Star ad units as well as show-off new engagement tech.

IPG Medialabs takes the audience through the testing of new IAB units.

  1. 30% improvement in visual engagement (people are finding it more)
  2. Rising star ads are viewed 32% longer.
  3. The smile factor – the new, bigger rising star ads are making people smile 33% more. Now there’s a stat for all you ad haters out there. Smile a little! (Affectiva)
  4. Moat data shows that the Rising Stars ads had 2.4x the interaction.  “universal interaction rate definition.”
  5. Positive impact on brand metrics with Rising Stars.  But for direct response, the IPG guys seemed to say that maybe it didn’t work as well.
  6. Improved sentiment about ads with the new units.

IPG Media Labs encourages the industry to feed the creative beast and start using these new forms of creative measurement.

Rothenberg retakes the stage.  And moves to presenting IAB awards.

By John Ebbert

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