Facebook’s Engaging Ads; Rocket Fuel Sees $50 Million In ’11; Rubicon Says DSP Spend Pulsing

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Engagement With Facebook Ads

Facebook ad lovers, prick up your ears. Ad Age’s Cotton Delo peels away the skin on Facebook’s newest ad unit and its “Insights” tool. Delo writes, “The new ads resemble sponsored stories and are constructed around engagement with a piece of branded content, but in this case the brand’s messaging is integrated into the ad. The new ad will appear on the right side of a user’s home page with no other ads present.” Engagement theme – yet again. For brand buyers looking for a story about performance and ROI, engagement metrics lead the way. Read more. And, ClickZ’s Christopher Heine takes a deep dive, too.

Is An IPO Next?

Ad network Rocket Fuel announced that it has hired an “experienced tech veteran” – Peter Bardwick – as its CFO in addition to trumpeting its overall revenue momentum. From the release, “For the first half of 2011, Rocket Fuel tripled six-month revenues, quadrupled gross profit compared to a year earlier, launched a UK operation, and is on a $50M annual run rate based on August revenue.” Is a Rocket Fuel IPO a year to 18 months away? $100 million in revenues get you your own offering, or so they say. Read more.

RTB After Midnight

On his personal blog, Nicolas Kruchten recently pondered the extreme change in RTB prices in an auction just after midnight. He writes, “So what’s with that midnight jump? This is supposed to be an efficient marketplace, but are impressions a minute past midnight really worth 40% more than impressions 2 minutes earlier? (…) Our current working theory is in fact that there must be lots of bidders out there that behave just like our first one did: they have a fixed daily budget and they reset their counters at midnight. This would mean that starting at midnight, there’s a whole lot more demand for impressions, and thanks to supply and demand, the price spikes way up.” Read more. (source: @AdOpsInsider)

The DSP Media Flood

New Rubicon Project-sponsored research generated by eConsultancy says that demand-side platform media dollars are growing. According to the release, “The research, which questioned over 400 advertisers and agencies globally, reveals that over a fifth (23%) of the advertisers and agencies surveyed say they use a demand-side platform (DSP) which takes an average of 32% of the media plan. This is highest in the US, where 39% of the advertiser and agency respondents surveyed say they buy display advertising through DSPs.” How many said this two-year ago? Few. Times are changing quickly. Still more data here.

Real-Time Intent

An article from the Wall Street Journal over the weekend titled “Decoding Our Chatter” points to the data trove which is still yet to be fully-unlocked through Twitter. “Scanning 580 million tweets over eight months, Stanford University researchers discovered that Twitter topics seemed to rise and fall in six distinctive patterns that could help to predict their popularity.” I can see the Twitter intent index now… Read more. In a similar spirit, Kunur Patel asks if social data are the future “tea leaves” of advertising, too, in Ad Age. Read her piece with infographia.

Trusting Ad Networks, DSPs and Trading Desks

Ad verification company DoubleVerify published its 1 half 2011 Trust Index which suggests, in so many words, which ad networks/DSPs/trading desks are buying what they’re saying their buying – and which aren’t. According to DoubleVerify, the media buying, third-parties seem to be doing a better job: “In the first half of 2011, the non-compliance rates for ad networks were at their lowest ever, since 18 months ago. The best-performing networks had an average non-compliance rate of 0.6 percent, but the bottom tier’s rate was 26 percent (compared to 2 percent and 35 percent respectively in 2H 2010).” Read the release.

But Wait. There’s More!

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