Archive for the 'Advertising' Category

Joe Pemberton

Asserting User Choice in Advertising

Hulu (, the web tv brand launched a month ago by NBC Universal is set to let users pick which ad to watch.

Maybe you’ve had the experience, trying to catch up to an episode of Lost that your Tivo somehow missed… You go online and are required to watch a few ads — in some cases the same ad repeated throughout the episode. This is the web. Shouldn’t it be smarter than this?

Giving the users a choice of which ad to watch is obvious. Below is a sketch of a concept we’ve put in front of some of our mobile and handheld device clients who are trying to align the gap between users and ad-subsidized content. I’ve contrasted that with what Wired describes as Hulu’s approach.

The user benefit is obvious. They self-select the message they’re interested in, or at least willing to watch. But, what’s in it for advertisers? This is a touch harder for advertisers to create a case for; after all advertisers are the ones holding all the risk. But, there’s also lots of risk in leaving the status quo. The answer is in the numbers; the data. An advertiser can know exactly which ads are getting selected with a day or 2, rather than waiting weeks for metrics to come back. What’s in it for the network, Hulu in this case? They get to charge a premium, hoping advertisers really want their juicy, data-driven ability to serve targeted ads.But is it truly a win-win-win (winners being users, advertiser, and networks)? Time will tell, but I’m looking forward to seeing how Hulu implements it.

I’m going to continue to assert that we’re just starting to see how the web and mobile lifestyle is going to turn advertising on its head. This is just one outgrowth of that. What I’m encouraged by is the evidence that advertisers and networks are putting the user in control (to a degree).

There are of course unanswered questions: how much data are the networks really going to aggregate over time at sites like Hulu? Your play history, your queue, the list of ads you’ve selected over time will inevitably be nefit you as the system starts serving you more relevant stuff. But, that aggregated data also ups the ante for networks to sell your aggregated data to advertisers.

So, user, how much privacy are you willing to sell in exchange for control?
Read the article in Wired

(Thanks Missy Kelly for the contribution.)

Antti Ohrling, Co-founder, BlykMEX CONFERENCE, LONDON — Antti Ohrling, co-founder of Blyk kicked off the second day of the MEX conference with his views on understanding the importance of user experience in delivering mobile advertising. Ohrling’s core belief is that mobile advertising is successful only if it is relevant and contextual: the consumer must see it as a benefit, rather than a distraction.

Ohrling used his presentation to discredit 3 commonly held myths about advertising in the mobile context, based on his experience with Blyk and on customer surveys Blyk has recently conducted. First he pointed out that the target audience for mobile advertising is a 19-year-old male, 80% of whom are paying their own monthly mobile phone bill.

Myth #1: Content is King
By this Ohrling means the use of content as a platform to delivery advertising. A January 2007 survey of 619 mobile phone users aged 16 to 24 year-old asked them what they do most with their mobile phones:

  1. Voice
  2. Text
  3. Alarm clock

73% do not use mobile data services. 2/3 said they use mobile data services once a month or less, which in essence means that they don’t use it at all. Tying a mobile advertising campaign to WAP-based content that requires the consumer to access via the browser on their device is thus not a sound decision.

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