The Guardian Runs A Time-Based Campaign; Amazon Tests On-Demand Test-Drive With Hyundai

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Tick Tock

The Guardian is running its first time-based online ad campaign, reports Lucinda Southern at Digiday. Advertisers can buy ad slots of up to 30 seconds across the publication’s properties. The Economist, which also bills for ads based on time, is the first advertiser to sign on. Publishers are seeking alternatives to the CPM, which obscures how or even if an ad translates into an impression. While it’s not super encouraging that the Guardian’s first buyer is a publisher pushing for time-based metrics to catch on, “[w]e’re lighting lots of small fires to see where we’ll get the big flames,” according to Mark Beard, SVP of digital media at The Economist. “We need to be buying on engagement, and buying on time is a useful test because time is a potential proxy for engagement.” More.

Full Service

Amazon is teaming up with Hyundai to offer an on-demand test-drive program in Los Angeles. Those in the market for a new car can order a 2017 Hyundai Elantra to test-drive for 45-60 minutes via Amazon’s Prime Now delivery service. Amazon directs interested drivers to their local Hyundai dealer. Hyundai CMO Dean Evans calls the program an “innovative solution we are testing to modernize today’s automotive shopping experience.” More at Ad Age.

Mobile Gaming Money

Investments and merger activity around mobile games for 2016 has already surpassed $25 billion, and the year’s only two-thirds over. The previous full-year record for spending in the category was $14.9 billion in 2014, writes Sarah Needleman at The Wall Street Journal. Three mobile gaming leaders – Supercell, King and Playtika – went for almost $19 billion. The result has been an intensification of acquisition interest in smaller mobile game developer shops. Read it. In a separate story, the WSJ details the pressure on Supercell (scooped by Tencent in June at a valuation of more than $10 billion) to justify its price tag with a limited portfolio of lucrative games. Read that.

Drastic Measures

“The reason we’re having conversations about fraud year after year is that it’s really hard to do ad measurement right. There’s no silver bullet,” said Claudia Perlich, Dstillery’s chief scientist, in a Q&A with eMarketer. Bots and fraud have proven incorrigible, and the only real solution is a healthy skepticism, according to Perlich. When advertisers started trading on complete video views, bots flooded in. Whether it’s viewability or clicks (or even more demanding KPIs like filled-out forms or signing up for test drives), “[a]s long as we have some weakness in our measurements, these things are easily gamed.” More.

Quality Control

The New York Times’ Facebook Live strategy leaves something to be desired, writes the paper’s public editor, Liz Spayd. The Times has raked in millions of views on some of its Live video reporting, but others are “plagued by technical malfunctions, feel contrived, drone on too long, ignore audience questions or are simply boring,” she writes. “On the one hand, it has before it a compelling new form of journalism, a young and eager audience, and the crown prince of social media opening up its checkbook. On the other hand, if you’re producing about 120 videos a month, implementing good quality control can take a back seat.” More.

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