a r t i m e d i a

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Watch, Tweet and Buy

TV and Ads as We Know It

Since television became the biggest media responsible for spreading advertising message back in the 70’s before the online world took over, everybody knew what were the standards and what kind of behavior to expect from it: ads had a specific period of time, between the programming or inserted as merchandising in small appearances on the hands of beautiful stage helpers. End of the story. 

The internet came and change everything, but TV still had a major role in the advertising cake, especially when regarding video ads. In the early online days, display banners were the trend while the old and good commercials were still delegated to the TV, on the interval of “Friends”. But slowly, it started to change, especially with the boom of YouTube and then with the streaming media like Netflix. And video started to invade the digital world and to show it had come to stay.

I recently read an article about the first video clip broadcast in 1981 on MTV and the impressions of the author when watching it. It was something like “we know that from now on music was not only to be heard but also to be seen.” Something similar gradually happened with advertising as it evolved from television to the internet:  while the content was static and had a timeframe doomed to end in the television, the online world brought the possibility of interaction, unfolding this content in thousands other ways. But still in an unclear way, overlapping ads here and there over content, and slowly developing technologies and formats to adapt to the new reality that the computer screens at first and then mobiles and tablets brought. 

To be Continued…

All of these changes finally lead advertising to surrender to both media: we wouldn’t dare to say that television is dead. Maybe weaker, but exclude TV and its importance would be too outrageous. What happens is that the consumer now shares the attention and so, the content needs to be shared in equal pieces as well: the story that begins in the TV should continue online. That’s exactly the proposal of the recently launched “Twitter Amplify”. After few months of the beta version, finally the official version was released in the US this week.  The technology consists in aligning TV ad-targeting technology to all U.S. Advertisers that run national television spots and want to reach live viewers with synchronized in-tweet promotions.

It basically works like that: suppose Coca-Cola runs a commercial across several shows and networks. Twitter will identify exactly when the ads are shown and on what programs – it then looks for users tweeting about these shows by naming them, mentioning the show or using hashtags: meaning that these users have probably seen the Coca-Cola ad. Twitter TV Ad Targeting lets advertisers target these people with Twitter Promoted Tweets ads that show up in their stream. This could include pure text tweets reinforcing the commercial, a link they can follow to learn more or make a purchase, or even a Vine to give viewers a second dose of video marketing.

The technology that allows Twitter to detect when a TV commercial airs without brands giving them a heads up is based on BlueFin Labs, a TV analytics service Twitter acquired in February. That means these ads can easily complement existing TV campaigns without a ton of work, enhancing the content and solving one of the main issues online advertising faces nowadays. 

And Now What?

But if one problem is solved, we still have another big issue to be concerned with when talking about the migration of commercials from TV to online: formats. TV viewers watch a commercial in a totally different way, and when ads moved to the internet, viewers over time mentally blocked ad spaces due to the overdoses of irrelevant content that used to exist at the beginning of the online advertising video days. The web mentality was challenging and demanded new solutions that could only be reached with innovation and creativity: through new formats. 

Still, it’s not as simple as it seems. As we have mentioned, viewers block specific places mentally, and a new format not only needs to prime for engagement enhancement and no obstruction of meaningful content, but mainly for placement. Artimedia developed through deep research and a state-of-art technology its exclusive format, that delivers all of these requirements and guarantees zero content brakes: TargetRoll™. Conceived for viewers with accurate web mentality and advertisers with premium targeting, TargetRoll™ blends display ads within video backgrounds and place ads in locations where viewers do not block mentally the ad. With the recent launch of “Twitter Amplify” and all the huge possibilities we see in front of us, I am sure the differentiator resides in what’s different between the web and the TV. And the answer is the format of the ads.



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