Home Agencies How Agency-Vendor Ventures Add Real-Time To Media Buys

How Agency-Vendor Ventures Add Real-Time To Media Buys


TVmileageAgencies and vendors are teaming up to tackle the tech and organizational challenges associated with aligning real-time media with trending topics.

Publicis-owned agency DigitasLBI, for example, during its digital NewFront rolled out a series of publisher and vendor relationships to improve its real-time offerings.

The agency developed a Brand Content Index in conjunction with the content measurement and distribution vendor SimpleReach to measure client campaign performance against SimpleReach’s anonymized publisher metrics.

Although the tool is exclusive to Digitas and its clients at present, the content index will be opened up for wider release later this year following the in-house beta.

Likewise, independent media agency Horizon Media along with Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners invested some $3.5 million in predictive social intelligence tool BlabPredicts to get more predictive about media-buying based on trending social and broadcast content.

“We know we’re not a technology company at our core, but what we do have is over 100 brands in our portfolio, relationships with thousands of publishers online and offline and independent clout in the marketplace, so we do move quickly in different ways,” said Taylor Valentine, SVP of social media strategy at Horizon Media.

What’s happening at Horizon is growing across the agency space. Havas Media Labs, for instance, was created to foster such data, tech and content partnerships.

“People have to create relevant content in eight hours, not eight weeks,” Valentine said. “This is the new creative cycle. Media is even more challenging than creative, so one of the things we’ve been experimenting with is how we take insights about what will be hot in the next 48 hours and have that inform our real-time bidding.”

Although Horizon has used BlabPredicts for two years, the agency is in the process of “operationalizing” the kind of information Blab mines. The promise of the platform is that it enables marketers to predict, with more than 70% accuracy, consumer intent and trending topics 72 hours in advance, the company claims.

Valentine said Horizon has incorporated BlabPredicts data into five brand campaigns to date, including client work in the QSR (quick-service restaurant), CPG and subscription-company spaces. Horizon recently worked with an entertainment company – during an eight-week lead up to a film launch, a range of marketing initiatives include a number of live events and cross-platform promotions targeting the 14- to 26-year-old demo.

Because the campaign fell during the Teen Choice Awards, Horizon felt it was an opportune time to align relevant media. Horizon used BlabPredicts to identify a trending topic around “TVD” or “The Vampire Diaries.”


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Horizon guided a series of social conversations with talent from its client’s upcoming film, “The Vampire Diaries” talent and the Teen Choice Awards to create momentum, within a relevant audience, for the movie it had been tasked to promote. “Then there was the opportunity to amplify tweets from our talent through paid social so we could get more mileage for it,” Valentine said.

Agencies have been pushing networks to amplify their shows with social extensions for the past few years. Three years ago, Horizon positioned an RFP to 12 networks pitching precisely that capability.

“The television sales people [and the] digital teams didn’t know how to handle it, so they handed it to the social community managers, but they didn’t know what they were licensed to do,” Valentine recalled. “Fast forward three years and platforms like Twitter allow this to become ubiquitous across any television buy with Amplify.”

The ability to align paid social media with TV ads really culminated from Twitter’s 2013 acquisition of Bluefin. Facebook is also getting into the game via a developing Shazam-like TV-syncing service and myriad social TV acquisitions.

Because there is more demand to extend broadcast buys with social reach, as well as surface real-time content, Valentine referenced the development of a practice “to engage our partners at all of our publishers – not just television but print, out-of-home, streaming radio, etc. to help consult as how to build a social offering. It’s something our television, social and digital group has been doing for the past three years to activate.”


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