Let’s talk #AWEUROPE19

My first visit to Advertising week started more rushed than expected, having received a last minute invite to a breakfast presentation – 40 minutes before it began.

The breakfast was hosted by PubMatic’s Andrew Baron (VP of Machine Learning & Marketplaces) and was titled ‘Auction Dynamics and Supply Path Optimization [sic]’. PubMatic have been banging SPO’s drum for a few years now, but the topic has recently made the headlines with Google announcing a change from second, to first price auction in the upcoming months (For a brief explanation see here, for an in-depth chat – feel free to come and find me!).

With queues for the first talk ‘Growing up with Programmatic in 2019’ (starring Omnicom’s very own Harriet Perry) growing to the front door, the screening hall was at capacity almost immediately, leaving about 75% of the queue (including myself) disappointed. The three panels I did make it to are all extensions of programmatic media at differing levels of maturity; Video, In-App, OTT (Over-The-Top TV content – not limited to Connected TV’s). As such, they all posed similar questions: Why is this product not being fully maximised? What can be done to drive developments? Who is to blame for this?

By far my favourite of the day was ‘Unlocking the Promise of In-App Advertising’, hosted by Emma Newman of Pubmatic and featuring representatives from Incentivized Video (Greg Carroll – King), News Outlets (Milton Elias – NewsUK & Andrew Hayward-Wright – Guardian) and Agencies (Julius Carboni – Affiperf). A summary of the comments, retaliation, and some personal thoughts was as follows:
1. ‘In-App video is a waste, and brands don’t want it as it offers no engagement’
a. What is often forgotten is that all video is incentivized video – whilst it might not extend the enjoyment of a game, it enables any number of things (free television shows, YouTube videos etc.).
b. From Greg Carroll of King – ‘In its infancy, this statement was very much true. Game developers had not matured into business’, and as a result did not care where the finance was coming from or the impact it had’
2. ‘The slow uptake in In-App advertising is a result of agencies not doing enough to discourage their clients to invest where the audience is going’
a. Blockers exist that make it difficult to invest in this environment with any confidence with measurability being one.
b. No advertiser (In-house or agency led) is doing In-App properly yet. Activity is currently being presented as an append to existing plans, where the buying models, pricing and KPI’s aren’t easily transferable. To properly exploit this environment the media plan needs to be reimagined, from a holistic, cross channel perspective.

What all three of these panels agreed on was that this tech does exist, and does unlock significantly more potential than we are seeing. However, something needs to be done to boost confidence in the market. Three points to achieve this mentioned in each panel:
• More work needs to be done between media buyers and measurement companies to provide a value of new formats to their clients.
• Measurability Metrics need to be appropriate to the goal and environment – not used for easy alignment with the rest of the plan.
• The advert shown needs to be built with the environment and delivery in mind. It is not a ‘one size fits all’ situation anymore.

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