Home > DigitalDay News > iMedia’s Break Through Summit — all about the “emerging” media

iMedia’s Break Through Summit — all about the “emerging” media

More than 350 senior level brand marketers, publishers and emerging media technology experts gathered at the Lowes Resort in Lake Las Vegas this past March 25 – 28 to discuss the issues and opportunities marketers and their agencies are experiencing as they attempt to deal with today’s “Break Through” emerging media: broadband video, mobile marketing and in-game advertising.

Here’s a little video overview I snapped with my digital Canon:

More questions were asked than were answered. Leveraging these new technologies as marketing vehicles raised several comparisons to the Wild West internet days of 1995 when experimentation reigned, standards were a dream and everyone touted their solution as the brass ring.

My focus was to gather ideas and insight into these new technologies and how we, as an interactive agency, could leverage these for our clients. Networking with some of the industry’s biggest and brightest, as well as a little golf and gaming, was a bonus. Here’s an overview of my notes:

The State of Brand Content and Creative

“Busy consumers with a multitude of choices cannot be pitched or easily persuaded They now expect to be engaged.” said Maria Mandel of Ogilvy Interactive in her opening Keynote Presentation.

Mandel offered three basic content strategies:

  1. Tell a Story
  2. Invite Interaction
  3. Create Buzz

She also outlined the differences between:

  • Web 1.0: Access and Find
  • Web 2.0: Share, Participate and Collaborate
  • Web 3.0: Co-create and Experience

The old model of ads simply “riding along” with content is becoming less and less effective. A panel hosted by Brian Buchwald, GM nbbc, Tim Murphy, Digital Marketing Director of Annheiser Busch and Dmitry Shapiro, CEO of Veoh Networks, asked questions to challenge marketers to take risks and work to get consumers engaged “leaning forward.”

  • Can content be channel agnostic, with no allegiance to a specific distribution method, and be able to stand on their own as true concepts?
  • How will content be measurable and accountable, not only to the advertisier but to the audience.
  • Will it be interactive and dynamic, and facilitate a participatory model to drive community?

With the barriers to entry disappearing, content winners will be the best ideas, not the biggest spenders.

In her Breakthrough keynote, R/GA’s Anne Benvenuto said planners today need a 360-degree view and a broadly integrated and inspired workforce. She outlined her agency’s Universal Planning process:

  1. User Insights
  2. Content Strategy
  3. Design & System Interaction
  4. Online Media
  5. Interaction Metrics

“One-way communication doesn’t work anymore,” Benvenuto said. “We need to leverage interaction between brand and consumer.”
According to Benvenuto, one of the solutions is to embrace complexity, and that means navigating through the broad array of deliverables in today’s media world:

  • Campaigns that deliver a message
  • Programs, which include dialog, channels and communities
  • Products, applications and interface that facilitate a value exchange

Benvenuto’s view is that the media landscape is no longer just about paid advertising. She stressed there are huge opportunities out there in the big picture that include brand-sponsored content, brand-generated content, consumer co-created content and consumer media.

Her take-a-way that “content today needs to inspire activities and action” is really nothing new. We’ve been striving to do that online since 1995 — and it’s much easier to do today. I agree with her that marketers ought to embrace complexity to be more effective, however convincing them to budget for the cost of complexity is the real trick.

What to do with Online Video?

Most of the online video presentations and discussions focused on monetizing video and advertising in the video environment. The consensus was:

  1. There’s no consensus, and
  2. What worked yesterday on TV will not work today online (the :30 spot is dead)

First, some 2007 statistics:

  • There are 127MM monthly video viewers, 70% of the online audience
  • They watch more than 7 billion streams per month
  • Approximately 63% of online viewers are between the ages of 18 and 49

The seven types of video advertising available today include:

  1. Video IS the ad (You Tube)
  2. Pre-Roll (sometimes with accompanying banner ad)
  3. Mid-Roll and Post-Roll
  4. Big Events
  5. Television as online video
  6. Syndication
  7. Original Programming (Cube Fabulous, Bud TV)

To get the most out of custom video as a marketing vehicle, Jon Tauber, Miller Brewing Company and Steven Rosenblatt, VP of Dennis Digital, offered up these five points:

  1. Brands and marketing partners need to balance the emphasis of branded messaging vs. quality content and be willing to give up control to consumers for increased pass-along.
  2. Understanding the environments where consumers seek content is essential to maximizing reach and increases the likelihood that consumers will embrace the content.
  3. Original video content should be treated as a component of an overall marketing strategy and should not seek to work in isolation.
  4. New distribution channels have given consumers greater control on how they interact with a brand’s message.

Essentially, they say, it’s time to break the :30 spot habit. I think it’s more than just that. Marketers need to change their passive TV-Advertising approach as it will not work online. With Tivo and other DVR technologies, it barely working on TV. Online video marketing techniques need to evolve to take advantage of the interactive nature of the web and the technology exists already — does anyone remember Flash?

Mobile Marketing’s Untapped Legions

According to the folks at AdMob, if 2005 was the year of social networking and 2006 the year of video, 2007 will be the year of mobile marketing. They all claim it’s about to explode, but no one knows for sure, how it will work. Today, the mobile advertising models include:

  • click to call
  • click to play video
  • click to listen to a personal message
  • click to play a game, enter a contest or answer a poll

eMarketer forcasts that 2007 will see nearly $3 billion worldwide spent on mobile advertising and expect it to grow to $14 billion by 2011. Currently, these are the basic Mobile Marketing types where budgets are being spent:

  • Mobile Internet
  • Video
  • SMS/MMS messaging
  • Downloadable Applications

Still to be answered: What are the best practices for mobile advertising and content creative? Will users rebel or is there a model in which they’ll accept advertising on their phones.

To me, this has a long way to go. Today, only a small percentage of brand sites offer mobile versions — even of scaled back content. This ought to be the first step in reaching mobile users.

Chaos Scenario 2.0

According to Ad Age Columnist Bob Garfield, another of the Summit’s speakers:

“Mass media, of course, do not exist in a vacuum. They have a perfect symbiotic relationship with mass marketing. Advertising underwrites the content. The content delivers audience. Audiences receive the marketing messages and patronize the advertisers, and so on in what for centuries was an efficient cycle of economic life.

The first element of Chaos presumes the fragmentation of mass media creates a different sort of cycle: an inexorable death spiral, in which audience fragmentation and ad-avoidance hardware lead to an exodus of advertisers, leading in turn to an exodus of capital, leading to a decline in the quality of content, leading to further audience defection, leading to further advertiser defection and so on to oblivion.

The refugees — audience and marketers alike — flee to the internet. There they encounter the second, and more ominous, Chaos component: the internet’s awkward infancy.”

He basically waxed about the death of television, and particularly the :30 spot, and how the hangers on are still clinging.

I found the text to Garfield’s entire presentation here.

Venture Capital – Where is the Money Going?

Richard de Silva, Highland Capital Partners, and Tabreez Verjee, Global Asset Capital, pointed to the hot categories they’re seeking to fund:

  1. Search, with the broader question: How does “Search” become “Discovery”?
  2. Social Media, with an emphasis on “simplexity” – interaction with a simple consumer proposition (www.twitter.com, http://www.gofish.com

They also echoed the refrain that “Traditional TV commercials on the web will not work. Marketers need to develop a more integrated, appropriate approach”

My Take-a-Way

Regardless of the online medium, passivity is not as effective as interactivity whther it’s content or advertising. We’ve all known this for a decade or more. The trick will be to integrate interactivity into video (let me click on it, rate it, explore it, create alternative endings), into mobile (give me something I want, value and is relevant to me when I’m mobile) and into gaming (wait, aren’t online games, by their nature, already interactive? Maybe that’s why they’re so effective as marketing tools.)

Categories: DigitalDay News
  1. May 5, 2007 at 1:44 am

    Cool. Thanks

  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: