How to De-Mystify Digital Out of Home

As technological advancements and big data change the ability of legacy media to compete in the new ecosystem, we are finding that digital out of home (DOOH) is becoming a competitive option for advertisers and brands.  But how does one overcome old mindsets, ingrained buying prejudices and still-to-be-solved challenges in this space?  That was the focus of a recent Advertising Club panel titled De-Mystifying Digital Out of Home.  From the agency side, Andea Campbell, Partner and Director, Analytics & Insights, MEC and from the platform side, Ian Mirmelstein, Senior Vice President, Digital Engagement, AdSpace Networks shared their views on the opportunities, challenges and future of DOOH.

Opportunities and Advantages
More and more, DOOH is being discussed in the same conversations as digital and social media and that, according to Campbell, is a good sign for its growth and acceptance because it creates a "natural similarity."  Also a plus:  Malls are valuable end points for advertising because they offer recency messaging that occurs close to the end of the shopper consideration funnel.  In addition, Campbell noted, DOOH is "100% viewable and offers a fraud-free space."

Through its use of mobile location data, DOOH is able to track the daily consumer journey which takes it down to a close one-to-one measurement. "If a consumer enters one of our mall locations, they probably saw the ad and we can then push messages," Mirmelstein said.

Growth in both mobile and programmatic can benefit DOOH in the future.  "Mobile can be used for different types of measurement," Campbell stated.  "Programmatic developments and developments in mobile provide the perfect storm for an evolution in this space that can translate into bigger dividends for the channel."

Challenges and How to Overcome Them
So, in a world where media planners are spending valuable time policing their buys, why isn't DOOH more than a last on/first off media spend?  One of the big challenges is data and measurement, though Mirmelstein believes "measurement is getting better through the mobile device."  But a bigger issue is that DOOH is not able to get the exact return on ad spend which hampers its ability to fully compete with those media platforms than can post against this information.

"Brands need to be able to report back to their clients, and the market mix modeling in DOOH won't look good," Campbell asserted.  "It doesn't perform in the ad spend paradigm.  We need to look at sales lift and we can talk about attitudinal studies and brand awareness."

Of course, old mindsets are the hardest to change.  "A big challenge is the status quo," Mirmelstein said, noting that media spending is often a history of who has been bought in the past.  So it becomes more of a rote exercise of repeating what was done before.

To change that, "you need to have the right people in the room," Campbell said.  In addition to the usual participants, try to include analytics, investments and planning, for example.  "Also," she noted, "big holding companies have approval lists.  Get in the door and become an approved vendor.  Think of yourself as a digital vendor."

These things take time and one must remain philosophical.  "Nothing is perfect," she continued.  "Mobile isn't perfect.  If you are looking to poke a hole, you will find it.  The expectation has to be that we are as possible as possible now."

Next Steps to Success
The best way to overcome the status quo is to change the conversation.  "Don't talk about foot traffic," Campbell warned.  That is an old metric that is antiquated in today's digital world.  "Talk about viewability, reach, no fraud, the funnel and attribution."  There also needs to be transparency in measurement.  Be open to doing more custom research.

When it comes to the creative, "cater it to the environment," Mirmelstein suggested.
Getting in front of the planning cycle is another consideration, although, as Campbell explained, planning cycles vary by agency, category and brand. "Agencies also have lunch-and-learn meetings, so go in and present," she said, adding, "agencies have a test and learn budget," which can help introduce the value of DOOH for an agency.

"Not only do I see DOOH as an integral part of video strategies at agencies in 2018, but it will be viewed more so on a neutral playing field with other forms of digital video," she concluded.  "At the end of the day, the closer it leans into the science part of the art and science (which is at the crux of edia buying and planning) the more opportunity there will be for the medium."

Being open to the possibilities and getting out the message of the promise of DOOH as an addition to the current buy may, in fact, be the best route to success.

This article first appeared in

What is the Future of Television?

What is the future of TV? That question was hotly debated at the recent and NYME conference in New York City. Arguably the most impactful change in TV is, as Ned Sherman, Counsel/Director, Manatt Digital and Founder, Digital Media Wire, described is the "major shifts in video consumption." Overall video consumption is rising but how viewers are accessing this content is now impacting the business model.

Cord cutting, once dismissed by industry experts, appears to be accelerating. Emarketer reported that in 2017 they were 22.2 million US adults cutting the cord, "up +33% in this year alone," Sherman reported. On an even more ominous note, the percentage of cord-nevers also rose (+5.8%) to 34.4 million. Will these cord-nevers eventually succumb to the siren call of traditionally accessed TV? It remains to be seen but the trends point to no taking into account behavioral trends on Generation Z and Millennials. In the meantime, the business of TV must respond to the current landscape as it evolves.

Here are some predictions for the future of TV:

Facilitating Content Across Platforms Will Have to Become Pro-Forma
As viewership moves across platforms, the ability to easily offer content cross platform becomes vital to satisfying consumer demands. Tom Shelburne, Director of Operations, Vizrt, stated that, TV is at a crossroads and needs a reboot.” His company enables content to be published anywhere on multiple platforms at the same time.

Generation Z focused companies such as Awesomesness TV have designed their business model on the TV shift, according to Rebecca Glashow, Head of Worldwide Distribution, AwesomenessTV. While legacy networks might be handcuffed by contractual obligations that limit cross platform content rights, her company has established a business model appropriate for their target audience that is multi-platform at its core.

Some traditional companies such as Disney have initiative a direct to consumer initiative. Peter Phillips, Former EVP/GM Interactive & Distribution, Marvel Entertainment, explained, “The challenges are that the MVPD business will change. Cord shavers and cord nevers will greatly impact the business and the options for consumers are confusing. We are a long way from making it easy for consumers.” Making it easy will separate the successful companies from the failures.

Quality and Unique Content is Table Stakes
No matter how easy you make the distribution of content, if that content fails to engage the audience, your efforts will be for naught. Floris Bauer, Co-Founder and President, Gunpowder and Sky, advised, “TV needs to innovate, decline or die.” But there is a certain amount of self-censorship according to Paul Potenzone, SVP/Content Director at Digitas Studios, DigitasLBi. “You need conflict in content to make it interesting,” he posited, “and big companies are too careful with shareholders.” Creating compelling content is not only expensive, often involving trial and error, time consuming -it can take years to develop a winning program - it is also like caching lightning in a bottle - rare and sometimes surprising. But the risk of not focusing on the development of unique content is greater than spending time, money and creative capital on it and risking failure. As Mike Vorhaus President, Magid Advisors, concluded, “Unique content is table stakes.”

Small is Nimble and Yet, Bigger May Be Better
There are three challenges that place stress on smaller networks - increased competition, the cost of doing business and the fight for distribution. While the fight for distribution may be ameliorated with the vastness of the IP that enables nimble smaller networks to expand their distribution, the first two challenges may see the demise of many smaller niche networks, according to some. Glashow noted that “The cable bundle has only ten brands that mean something. The rest was born to fill in” the channel offerings. She sees the death of smaller networks because there is not enough investment in them.

There is no absolute path for television network success in the coming years. But the best advice of the day was from Phillips who concluded, “Experiment and be willing to fail.”

This article first appeared in

Finding Solutions at the Attribution Accelerator Conference

The perfect attribution model, in my opinion, is a chimera. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t hold out hope for an industry multi-touch attribution model that, even if not perfect, is considered pretty good. This past week, executives from data and analytics companies to advertisers and content providers met to exchange pretty good ideas at the Attribution Accelerator Conference in NYC.

The conference strove to present attribution solutions for marketing measurement.  “Attribution is the hot spot,” stated Alice Sylvester, Partner, Sequent Partners, who added, “The development of a unified approach is taking place. We are now focusing on data and data quality and have a more practical, more analytical orientation this year.” But the path to a generally accepted attribution model may be further off than we think because of a fear of change in the industry which has relied on Mixed Media Models for decades and the walled gardens of data that have increasingly siloed and segmented data applicability.

Here are some takeaways from the Attribution Accelerator conference:

Challenges to Attribution
There are many reasons why it has taken so long for attribution to start to gain traction in the industry according to John Leeman, former CEO of Fresh Direct. Companies fear choosing the right dataset, upending the current business model or changing the decision set of marketers which results in less creative control and second guessing of their media choices.  And, once having instituted an attribution model, what if it’s wrong? “It doesn't have to be perfectly accurate to be valuable,” he stated.

But moving towards a prove-able attribution model is pivotal in this new media world of ever increasing consumer touchpoints that make the journey to purchase a meandering minefield. “Get over your fear- trust your gut, imagine, realize and just do it,” he concluded.

Finding Solutions for Advertisers
Many companies are tackling multi touch attribution head-on, striving for a real time model that might even incorporate media mix modeling, drive minute by minute allocation decisions and increase advertising agility. But there are many, many considerations that may vary by brand and by company.

Charlie Hilton, AVP Advanced Analytics for AT&T, noted that her company has been, “doing attribution for nine years. We are now shifting gears to true attribution and near real time optimization.” Her attribution methodology needs to take into account how all of the different media tactics interact with each other, how to quantify the precise combination of different touch points along the way and if advertising for one product impacts other products.

Kristina Kaganer, Director of Global Market Strategy, Coty, has product lines that span from discount to high end.  “Fighting for shelf space at Walmart involves different competition than when you are competing at Sephora,” she noted. Scalable attribution is her company’s goal and that requires the collection and control of pertinent data, technology that functions on the local level (which can differ depending on locality), the standardization of processes that can cross local markets, data storage and analytics. 

Finding Solutions for Media Companies
There are five keys to driving sales, according to David Poltrack, CBS Corporation Chief Research Officer and President, CBS Vision and they are Reach, Targeting, Recency, Creative and Context. “Few TV campaigns are tapping the full potential of TV,” he asserted. From untested creative, a disregard to context, a cost efficiency rather than a reach orientation and little attention paid to recency, advertisers are not maximizing the true value of television in a buy. “Digital is not going to replace TV,” he stated. “Advertisers and marketers must focus on getting TV right. TV is a reach medium and a combination of TV and digital is important. Understanding how to get that combination right is what attribution is all about,” he added.

Summarizing the results of a study with CBS, Leslie Wood, Chief Research Officer, Nielsen Catalina Solutions noted that the fundamentals for advertising are as follows: Creative is the most Important factor, although media is playing an increasingly larger role. Reach is critical because only consumers who are reached can respond. Targeting has to focus on buyers of the product or service and Recency is vital because the value of exposure decays over time.

Finding Solutions for Measurement and Data Companies
Nielsen has always owned its own data. But in a world of first party data and big datasets, Nielsen is becoming more flexible and philosophical in how they acquire data and partner with other companies in the space. Matthew Krepsik, Global Head of Analytics for Nielsen, spoke of his company’s journey working across walled gardens. “We have the algorithm. We are good at the math. But it is not about building a better algorithm. The most important thing we can do now is to seek out better data.”

It is not a simple journey because, he noted, “every touch point can drive conversion. Shoppers are increasingly changing their behavior. They are becoming omni-channel digital natives and engaging brands directly.” Different products have very different purchasing cycles which make them multi-dimensional, multi-faceted and difficult for attribution. Nielsen is striving to tackle the de-duplication of devices so as to better analyze ROI, data hygiene and privacy compliance so as to insure an attribution model that better allocates marketing dollars

Attribution “is an elusive quest,” he concluded.  So too for us all.

This article first appeared in


Nielsen and clypd Collaborate to Advance Audience-Based Buying

At the recent TVB Forward conference, Steve Hasker, Global President and Chief Operating Officer, Nielsen, noted that more transparency and accountability was needed in measurement. With Nielsen’s recent announcement of a collaboration with clypd, a leading audience-based sales platform to network television ad sales organizations, there is now a greater ability according to the press release to, “enable buyers to seamlessly share their media plans and the audience segments created via Nielsen’s planning software… with sellers through the clypd platform.”
What this means is that Nielsen is integrating its television ratings data into the clypd platform enabling advertising agencies to more efficiently execute on media plans based on custom audience segmentations. To enable advertisers to define custom segments, Nielsen is offering a range of proprietary consumer profile data, including Nielsen Catalina Solutions, MarketBreaks, Nielsen Buyer Insights, and Nielsen TV MRI Fusion. They are planning to offer services to estimate custom audience performance (for pricing and yield management) and fully steward sales contracts on these segments.
For clypd, this collaboration with Nielsen will scale and streamline advanced advertising contracts from beginning to end of a buy. Jason Burke, Vice President Strategic Development, clypd explained, “The clypd platform (is) activating Nielsen data across the entire media workflow including planning, media buying and measurement of linear TV advertising.“
I was curious to know how this all worked and asked Kelly Abcarian, Senior Vice President Watch Product Leadership for Nielsen, the following questions:
Charlene Weisler: Is this initiative for both local and national markets?
Kelly Abcarian: We will initially focus on national cable and broadcast networks but are assessing demand for a similar solution in Local markets. Nielsen already has plans to launch our Nielsen Media Impact (NMI) planning suite for Local television in early 2018. 
Weisler: Are buys fully stewarded through the sales process?
Abcarian: Yes through the clypd platform which now provides both Nielsen demographic and advanced audience delivery reporting and posting throughout the campaign lifecycle. This should allow media owners and agencies to steward buys to deliver upon audience guarantees. 

Weisler: Is this something that will be integrated into Adviews?

Abcarian: We are working are in the process of integrating the advanced segmentation performance data across our entire portfolio of offerings. We will continue to update the marketplace on our latest plans and roadmap.
Weisler: How many segments? Are they standardized? Can segments be customized and proprietary?
Abcarian: You can create an unlimited number of audience segmentations using combinations of attributes from Nielsen-collected, 3rd party and advertiser 1st party behavioral data. Through NMI, agencies can compose audience definitions using segments from a number of Nielsen data products, including Nielsen TV MRI Fusion, Nielsen Buyer Insights credit card spend data, MarketBreaks and Nielsen Catalina Solutions in-store loyalty data. With the integration built between clypd and Nielsen Marketing Cloud, digital segments can be activated on TV as well. Finally, marketers can use this client behavioral data for forecasting and optimization.
Weisler: Can you bring in other data sets such as first party data or other syndicated datasets?
Abcarian: Yes. clypd’s platform enables the use of any data sets – beyond Nielsen’s - for forecasting, measurement, optimization, and stewardship/posting of advertising activity on television. Marketers are clamoring to activate their data within TV, but the process has been proven to be slow and painful, limiting the scale of this valuable data strategy.  Through this collaboration, we are streamlining this process to allow for leveraging various data segments including offline CRM data and digital behavioral data which can be matched against Nielsen TV viewership data as a foundation.  This unique workflow makes it possible to create advanced segments born from person level matches as opposed to household matches, common with STB or Smart TV data. 
Weisler: Is this or can this become cross platform?
Abcarian: This is a first step towards cross-screen advertising based on custom audience segmentations. With these pieces in place, clypd's forecasting and optimization and Nielsen's digital and TV measurement products will enable end-to-end advertising across screens as a subsequent offering for the market
Weisler: What is the basic metric used to post? delivery? Live +1? c3? All or any of these or others?
Abcarian: Audience posting and campaign performance is supported across any rating stream agreed upon by media owner and agency and for which the underlying data source includes measurement.

Weisler: Are the solutions from clypd & Nielsen focused on a particular type of client?
Abcarian: All of the product initiatives benefit both media company and media buyer by streamlining the buying process and enabling both sides to benefit from data-driven decisioning to improve their advertising efforts. The forecasting and posting services will open up tools for the buyers and sellers ecosystem, but also with incremental stakeholder groups like external advertising platforms, industry analysts and finance groups, by providing tools to best understand and manage their media and advertising efforts with advanced data sources.
Weisler: How does this collaboration break new ground?
Abcarian: The ramping activity in the past two upfront calendar years has positioned the market to be in a place to increase investments. For these investments to continue their upward trends, the market requires tools for empowering clients and media companies to fuel these industry shifts.  clypd and Nielsen’s collaboration streamlines integrations between the existing optimization tools and datasets being used  and creates new product offerings to help move the industry forward. These innovations bring advanced audience forecasting, pricing and stewardship/posting to the wider advertising ecosystem for the purposes of planning, executing and managing advanced audience deals, ultimately playing a key role in helping to accelerate the market adoption of these shifts.


Zenith Predicts Smartphone Penetration Will Reach 66% Worldwide

Forget your old flip phone.  The world is going totally smartphone, according to Zenith's Mobile Advertising Forecasts 2017, which was released today.  This impressive growth in smartphone adoption will pose both opportunities and challenges to advertisers and brands.

Among the findings in the forecast:  Western Europe and Asia Pacific continue to lead the world in smartphone ownership.  In 2018 66% of individuals in 52 key countries will own a smartphone, up from 63% in 2017 and 58% in 2016.  Those countries projected to have 90%+ penetration in 2018 include the Netherlands (94%), Taiwan (93%), Hong Kong (92%), Norway and Ireland (each at 91%).  Further, eleven markets will have penetration levels between 80% and 90%, all of them in Western Europe and Asia Pacific with the exception of Israel, where penetration will be 86%.  In terms of total number of users, China leads all other nations with 1.3 billion users, followed by India with 530 million users and then the U.S. with 229 million users.

While overall penetration of smartphones is reaching ubiquity to as much as 80% to 90% of populations in the world's most advanced markets, the actual rate of smartphone growth is projected to be only 7% year-on-year in 2018 compared to 10% growth in 2017, 14% in 2016 and 21% in 2015.

What does this bode for advertisers and brands?  "Brands need to design all their online communications for mobile viewing," says Jonathan Barnard, Zenith Head of Forecasting and Director of Global Intelligence.  "These communications need to look good on the small screen, grab the viewer's attention immediately and convey their messages quickly while their attention remains focused."

In addition to smartphone device growth, the importance of mobile will increase and will impact ad spend buying decisions.  The report notes that 53% of all Internet ad spend will go to ads viewed on mobile devices in 2017 and is forecasted to account for 59% in 2018 and 62% by 2019.  The amount of ad spend on mobile has surpassed that of desktop ads for the first time ever this year.  In addition, mobile devices are the primary means of accessing the Internet right now.  Users spend 70% of their Internet time on mobile in 2017 and this will grow to 73% in 2018 and 76% by 2019. "For most consumers and advertisers, the mobile Internet is now the normal Internet," posits Barnard.

Tablets, on the other hand, are losing appeal and projected to stabilize at 20% worldwide penetration.  China is distinctly unimpressed with tablets where their penetration is just 4.8% this year, compared to 85.4% for smartphones.  Tablet penetration is even declining in Thailand.  According to the report, tablets are usually household-owned as opposed to smartphones, which are individually owned, and the ability to attain a smartphone with a larger screen negates the need for a tablet.

The conclusion?  Mass uptake of smartphones and other mobile devices means increased contact between brands and consumers -- whether paid advertising in third party content, branded content exposure or stepped-up social media engagement.  It also facilitates new opportunities for consumers to connect to media content whenever and wherever they are and thus to broader brand experiences.

This article first appeared in

Advertising Week 2017: Bots, Crowds, and Other Trends

With so much going on at Advertising Week 2017, from the latest tech to the continuing deluge of data to the confounding challenge of attribution, one might be forgiven for thinking the end of the media business as we know it is nigh. Areas of the industry often thought to be protected provinces of the human touch, such as content creation, have recently been executed by a combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and camera drones, according to the Content Marketing Institute.

As of now, the major media industry trends can be parsed into three areas: data facilitations like measurement and attribution; changing consumer behaviors forged by millennials; and the “Brave New Tech World” of artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and augmented reality (AR).

Data Facilitations

Read the full article on the Videa blog.


How Nimble and Innovate TV Can and Needs To Be. Interview with clypd’s Mark Mitchell

Mark Mitchell started his career as a TV buyer at Y&R before entering broadcast television at ABC in sales and then venturing into a series of start-ups. Now, as Chief Relationship Officer, clypd, he is on the cutting edge of audience-based advertising.  Clypd, which recently entered into an agreement with Nielsen, is a software and services provider to network television ad sales organizations. 

Charlene Weisler:  What is your current job responsibility? 

Mark Mitchell: I establish and manage our partnerships with the TV Networks for clypd.  Four years ago when we started the company, a ton of effort went into convincing sales leaders that the industry needed to begin to change.   Those early days of "programmatic TV" were all about educating, building trust and testing new transaction models.  We're now at the point where everyone sees the benefit of selling advanced audiences, and market adoption is underway.  

Weisler:  What is your definition of programmatic TV?

Mitchell: The application of rich audience data for targeting to improve television advertising outcomes, with underlying technology that allows this to happen in an efficient, streamlined fashion.

Weisler: What are the advantages of an Open Marketplace, of a Private Marketplace and what are the challenges in each?

Mitchell: The private marketplace (PMP) model puts clypd's advance audience forecasting and optimization capabilities into the hands of the Network teams for execution of Advanced TV sales strategies.  They are able to operationalize any advanced audience data, create optimized proposals and then manage those deals through their existing sales systems.  

The clypd open marketplace (OMP) was initially developed to provide non-traditional buyers, DSPs and digital agencies, the means to purchase linear TV inventory, where conventional relationships with TV sales orgs may not have exist.  At the same time, it gave TV media owners access to new sources of demand.  While a robust marketplace, OMP's managed service approach falls short of the hands-on control that traditional TV buyers need.  For that reason, we are launching a self-service OMP application that will allow holding companies to transact across all of our partner networks, in a semi-private environment.  Networks will use clypd's software to manage agency/advertiser-specific deal terms, just as they would in an offline sale today.  Think of it as a convenient Amazon-esqe experience for buying and selling linear TV advertising.  

In both cases, the biggest challenge is changing legacy behaviors and beliefs.  Some people embrace it, while others need a bit more convincing and support.  

Weisler:  What is your definition of television?  

Mitchell: Wow.  Harder to define every day.  Having grown up in this business, I still see it as the viewing experience of programming supplied by a media owner who operates linear channels.  Distribution and consumption of that content has and will continue to change in ways that best serve the consumer, with business models evolving to support it.

Weisler:  What is the biggest challenge for an agency / advertiser in buying television through a platform?  

Mitchell: Transparency, trust and costs.  How direct is the access to the inventory and the audiences that am I getting, and what impact is it having on the cost of media.

Weisler:  Where do you see television in general and television sales in the next three years? 

Mitchell: The TV advertising industry is going through a renaissance, which is essential for it to compete with the likes of Google, FB and eventually Amazon.   The sales side of network television has always attracted some of the brightest people in the industry.  Many get a bad rap for holding onto old ways of doing business.  But those "old ways" drove some amazing profits.  Now you will begin go see just how nimble and innovative this community can really be. 

This article first appeared in