Tremor Media GM Risicato On New Video Hub And Branding In Online Video Advertising

Tremor MediaAnthony Risicato is GM of Platforms at Tremor Media.

He discussed Tremor Media’s new Video Hub (see the release) and brand advertising with online video ads recently with What was the trigger for the creation of the Video Hub for Tremor Media?

AR: We compare everything we do to television advertising, because that’s really the birth of video advertising – the latest rendition of that is online.

So, [for the Video Hub], we started to work on a set of technologies that would provide a level of comfort and transparency into online video advertising that brand marketers needed. When you advertise against “Glee,” you know what you’re getting on television. When you advertise online, either on a website or against video content, brand advertisers need that additional level of transparency, brand safety and confidence.

Do you agree that digital is held to a higher standard by brand marketers?

Yes, it’s tyranny in some cases. I gave a talk more than 10 years ago at the IAB in Europe. I said that the best thing about online advertising is that it can be measured and the worst thing about online advertising is that it can be measured.

The TV folks have created the greatest brand marketing medium ever. Digital folks look at TV as a little bit of a dinosaur and it’s not the future. And I put forth that that’s the wrong way to look at it.

They built a remarkable engine for driving brand awareness, understanding purchase intent, and figuring out which demographics resonate with which type of advertising. The reason they did that – and had to do that – was because they did not have data.

They created these sophisticated models to understand who was watching what programs and then fashioned their marketing behind it. Because they didn’t have the data, they had to think very deeply about the medium and how it works.

With digital, we never had that problem. We have clicks, impressions, views and cookies. We can measure. I think many digital advertising shops and digital marketers didn’t have to spend a lot of time thinking deeply about the medium they were working in.

Bringing video online now flips that back around. We are here because we learned from TV marketers. The Video Hub was developed to give the insights, transparency and depth of analytics that the modeling teams behind television marketing have developed over the years.

Can Tremor bring a lean‑back opportunity to online video advertising similar to what television brings?

Well, you have to start with the question – do you believe branding works? And if you don’t believe branding works, then you don’t care about lean-back.

I think that most marketers have realized that almost anything that anyone has ever considered purchasing that’s of a meaningful size and value is a result of some brand marketing that’s happened. Whether it’s a TV, phone, compute – that brand marketing message has resonated with us. So I believe that brand marketing works. Therefore, I believe that lean‑back experiences are just as valuable as lean‑forward, search‑driven types of experience.

Tremor, because of our massive reach – more than half of the people in the United States with a billion videos a month – we’re able to provide that sort of experience and give the brand marketer a way to play in that experience in a meaningful way.

How does the Video Hub meet the needs of the brand marketer in particular?

There are two pieces to the Video Hub – and it’s worth noting that there’s a reporting dashboard piece to the Video Hub, too.

If I’m a brand marketer or an agency and I log in, I of course need to see the basic metrics of what’s happening across my campaign: how it’s pacing; what my performance is based upon whether it’s engagement; impressions, reach or frequency; etc. So there’s a part to that which we don’t discuss much from Tremor’s perspective because we expect it to be there. But the interesting, deeper piece about it is what we do with those metrics.

We’re unique because we analyze the video, the audio and the elements of the page – and understand what the viewer is seeing and consuming from a content standpoint. That alone is unique in the ecosystem.  The Video Hub takes that depth and reveals it to the marketer by analyzing all of that data and scoring it for you.

The marketer will know the most important signals that are driving brand performance. In many cases, it’s measuring brand lift in real-time.

A huge number of our clients use our technology to know how a person is responding to their brand, exposed versus control groups, in real-time as that campaign is running.

Looking at Tremor’s solutions down the road, and looking at solutions such as 5min, do you see adding video content to your model – where video content drives the advertising business?

What we don’t want to do is necessarily be the content distribution. What we want to do is monetize that content distribution for people. But again, whether it’s on the advertiser or marketer side or on the publisher side, for us, those are two ends of the same barbell that need to feed one another for real success in the video marketplace.

At a high-level, does Tremor Media think about the marketer’s cross channel buying? After all, don’t you have to be hooked into the other channels to provide the marketer the best results in online video advertising?

From a data management, as well as what we call environmental variables in the marketing ecosystem, we are absolutely going down that road. You will see, coming from us and because of this Video Hub platform, the ability to provide very broad insight into what is happening such as – in the auto industry’s marketing efforts. Or, what drives performance for CPG? Or, when weather is bad in certain areas of the country, how does that make people respond to an over‑the‑counter allergy medicine, versus going and buying a car at a dealership? Etcetera.

All of those require the access to data that we don’t have. So we go out and get that data from other folks, or the agency or the brand that has the data. And we bring it into our platform and it becomes just another signal for us to optimize against, to provide predictive analytics against.

So my view of the world – also being an old DoubleClick alum – is that data in the end is king, but you have to be Switzerland in that data play.

By John Ebbert

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