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Jun 13th 2016

Dear Industry: Here's Why You Need to Be in an Open Relationship



Hello friends,

Another celebration of the creative carnival that is Cannes Lions is about to come and go. Beyond the new categories at the awards, at the center of this circus is the barrage of ideas from brands all aimed at capturing the hearts and minds of people to buy more, consume more, be more. What's changed since last year? You need to be in an open relationship.

That's right. Today, people want to keep things open. They expect to explore beyond one screen, one format, or one-size-fits-all messaging. They crave experiences they can engage with on their terms. Content tailored to what they're into. They want it exactly when, where and how they like it. And they're challenging you—brands, agencies, publishers and developers—to walk the talk and get inventive.

So how do we get there? By breaking up with the old way of doing things and taking the necessary leap to embrace today's progressive consumer. That means no more tone-deaf creative experiences that alienate the consumer (unless, of course, you're excited by the prospect of foregoing nearly $22B in wasted global revenue thanks to ad blocking.1 Yeah, didn't think so.) Here's how it's done.

Get to know your consumer better than you know yourself.
54% of consumers "expect brands to really know and understand them as people."2 There's a lot of chatter about consumer-centricity through data, but it's about time we separate what's real from what's snake oil. With nearly 70% of the world going mobile by 2016, a mix of creative thinking and true 1:1 data is imperative to reach audiences at the "person-level" no matter how they're consuming media.3 And when I say 1:1, I mean validated data about who someone really is, not just who they declare themselves to be.

Content is everywhere, all the time, causing consumers to raise the bar.
61% of consumers don't care if content is sponsored by a brand...as long as it's good.4 But what makes content good to them? To find out, you need to relinquish control and open up your creative process to let the consumer become a branded content muse. Demographic and behavioral data are table stakes at this point. Harnessing insights that unearth consumers' mindsets and motivations for consumption should be the new standard for content development.

The next generation of video technology is flourishing.
Consumers are embracing the massive rise of live, virtual reality and 360 video; 64% of them believe that viewing VR will be just as common as watching video on mobile devices today.5 Video today is authentic, real-time, unfiltered and is becoming democratized in a way that uniquely piques innate human interest like no other medium. Considering that 80% of all global consumer traffic will be from video by 2019, opportunity is ripe to make the most of this quickly evolving form factor.6 Let's not screw this one up.

So, let's just get on with it. Out with the old, in with the new. If you want to start (or keep) winning those creative accolades, you have to embrace these trends and open up your relationship with consumers in a radical way. Or, stay in your comfort zone and taint the ecosystem with antiquated norms that push consumers to some other brand. While change is never easy, we'll help you along by sharing insights and innovations to break down the boundaries, open your approach and give consumers what they want.

Shingy

Sources:

1. Adobe, The 2015 Ad Blocking Report, the Cost of Ad Blocking, 201.
2. Microsoft Advertising, U.S. Consumer Data Value Exchange, June 2015.
3. GSMA, The Mobile Economy, 2015.
4. AOL, Alchemy of Connection, 2015.
5. AOL, Omnibus, February 2016.
6. Cisco, Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2015–2020.

Jun 13th 2016

Open relationships, creative connections



Forget traditional relationships. Today's consumers expect to keep things open. They want to explore beyond one screen, one format, or one-size-fits-all messaging. And they're challenging us all to do better and to be more inventive.

Cannes, by its nature, thrives on openness: it's a meeting of minds, a space to share ideas. This year, we're breaking down the boundaries and opening the industry to a new way of doing things. If you're joining us in France, check out our keynote on Monday with Jimmy Maymann, President of AOL Content and Consumer Brands, and on Wednesday spark your creativity with David Shing, AOL's Digital Prophet, on the main stage.

In the meantime, we're making it easy to get started on your open relationship by sharing the creative best practices that you can use today. Dive into our multi-part series to open up your perspective and give consumers what they want.

Let's Get Creative

Apr 28th 2016

Jimmy Maymann Named to VideoInk's 2016 Power Sixers List

VideoInk released their list of the "2016 Power Sixers" and we're thrilled to share that AOL's Jimmy Maymann, Executive Vice President and President, AOL Content & Consumer Brands was named!

Maymann joined AOL in 2011 through the acquisition of video advertising company GoViral, which he founded in 2005. GoViral was an early innovator in online video production and distribution, and became an integral piece of AOL's growing video business. Since joining AOL, Maymann has served in several roles including Senior Vice President of International and most recently as CEO of the Huffington Post, where he has made international expansion, profitable growth, and improved video operations his three key priorities. As President of Content and Consumer Brands at AOL, Maymann leads AOL's portfolio of content brands, as well as AOL's content strategy and OTT operations, which altogether reach a global audience of around 400 million unique visitors every month.

VideoInk's list, honors industry movers and shakers who are shaping the future of the business. VideoInk observes that this year has been especially interesting as new subscription video-on-demand (VOD) businesses emerge daily and content companies, from old timers to newer players, compete for viewers and revenue.

Congratulations to the other Power Sixers!
  • Jonathan Skogmo, CEO and Co-Founder, Jukin Media
  • Allen DeBevoise, Investor, ThirdWave Capital and Chairman, Machinima
  • Judy McGrath, CEO and Co-Founder, Astronauts Wanted
  • Susanne Daniels,VP, YouTube Originals
  • Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix

Apr 28th 2016

NewFronts 2016 is Coming


AOL is throwing the spring's biggest party in New York City on May 3 and trust us: you do not want to miss it. Lucky for you, even if you aren't a big wig at an ad agency, you can join in the fun. Curious? Keep reading to find out more.

What is NewFronts?
If you're a big TV fan, you may have heard about the "upfronts." The upfronts are when the networks make big announcements about their next season of programming to try and sell advertising ahead of the shows' premieres. (In other words, they want the advertisers to pay for the ads "up front.")

Of course, nowadays TV networks aren't the only folks making original programming. So in 2012, AOL, DigitasLBi, Google/YouTube, Hulu, Microsoft and Yahoo created the Digital Content NewFronts as a way to connect content creators with brands and marketing agencies.

AOL's NewFront Presentation
This year, AOL is going beyond the traditional presentation format to showcase the things that truly make us stand out in the industry: mobile, video, open, and live: with an enormous block-party installation in New York's South Street Seaport. We'll stream the whole thing live on AOL.com. Join the party on Tuesday, May 3 at 6:45PM. It's going to be awesome.

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