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Jul 24th 2013

It's Time for Programmatic to Explode Creativity



Coming on the heels of our successful Digital Content NewFront in late April, we announced today that we are holding the first ever Programmatic Upfront event on Sept. 23 -- the first day of Advertising Week 2013 -- for more than 150 clients, media, analysts and investors. The theme of the AOL Networks Programmatic Upfront is "Programmatic Explodes Creativity." We will celebrate the creativity headed our way as technology, data and automation free up marketers and agencies to do wildly imaginative things.

Since the 1970s, TV has been the primary beneficiary of upfront buying. In the last two years, digital has also held upfronts, with a heavy emphasis on video inventory. But as chief marketing officers and other brand stewards come to terms with the reality that proving ad spend ROI is "the new black", there is every reason to believe advertisers will soon be willing to pre-allocate media budgets against large scale display inventory.

The online advertising industry has created a fear and chaos-based environment filled with hundreds of small companies each pitching highly technical necessities to drive digital spend and achieve ROI. At AOL, we believe this must change. CMO's can't embrace digital much further without a simpler connection between people and platforms. They can't shift their budgets from TV until we - as an industry - demonstrate the true power of digital to unlock creativity.

We believe this is the first of what will become an annual industry event -- just like the Digital NewFronts. At AOL, we want to lead this new revolution and help define a new way of buying in the programmatic space.

Recent stats from eMarketer show just how big this business is and will be in the coming years. eMarketer estimates U.S. advertisers will spend more than $3.36 billion on real-time bidding this year, up from just under $2 billion in 2012 and less than $1 billion in 2011. eMarketer expects double-digit increases in spending each year through 2017, when real-time bidding will account for more than $8.49 billion in digital ad spending-or 29% of all digital display spending.*

Check out the event details below.

AOL Networks Programmatic Upfront
Date: September 23, 2013
Location: Skylight West, 500 West 36th Street (@ 10th Avenue)
Time: 5:00-7:00PM ET
Invitation only event

The event will feature marketers and agency executives who will showcase the business rationale that illustrates why upfront programmatic commitments are critical to their business strategy. Speakers will talk about the creative revolution that is made possible by automation.

Brand, agency and industry participants in the AOL Networks Programmatic Upfront will be announced at a later date.

*eMarketer Digital Intelligence Report (April 4, 2013): RTB Ad Spend Continues Robust Growth

Jul 19th 2013

Feeding the Curiosity Monster

One of AOL's core values is embracing change and we're encouraged to have "a DNA of curiosity," to think big and take chances. It's a great topic of conversation, and as one of AOL's cultural ambassadors I love learning how others keep their curiosity monster well-fed. Last week I attended AOL Advertising's new speaker series, Masters of Advertising, where David Shing, a thought leader and member of senior management presented his telescopic view of creativity and how brands can differentiate themselves in the bustling digital marketplace. Here are a few things I learned:

  • Attention is the new currency. David mentioned that most users download over 40 apps to their smartphone or tablet and actively use a core set of about five. It is a brand marketer's challenge to retool how they approach securing that mindshare in order to successfully gain market share.
  • Exercise your right brain every day. The daily grind of the work week is inherently tethered to our left brain guru. I don't know about you, but I find myself keeping more tabs on my to do lists and project plans than stretching my right brain beyond its comfort zone. David encouraged the audience to start channeling their individual creativity by stepping away from the spreadsheets and exercising the other parts of the brain.
  • Ideas are everywhere. There is a wealth of content available not only for consumption, but also for inspiration. "Contagious videos" are a growing portion of that content, they tell the brand story from a human experience. David shared the following thought-provoking examples during his presentation: Driving Dogs, Metro Train PSA, Fallen Angels (UK).

For more on David Shing's take on creativity in the digital space, click here.

Learn more about AOL and how you can embrace your DNA of curiosity by visiting the AOL Careers site for a list of exciting opportunities. Also keep up-to-date on all things AOL Advertising by following them on Twitter.

Jul 15th 2013

Ad Networks Best Practices

Today, the White House announced the Best Practices Guidelines for Ad Networks to Address Piracy and Counterfeiting (2013IPPractices.com). In an effort to address content owner concerns about ad networks providing revenue streams to websites engaged in piracy and counterfeiting, the guidelines will help ad networks establish a set of self-regulating best practices to address known infringing sites in their respective ad networks.

Some highlights from the guidelines:

  • Ad Networks are committed to maintaining high quality standards for advertisers and publishers and at the same time respecting intellectual property rights to maintain a healthy Internet and promote innovation.
  • The best practices include (among other things):
    • Maintaining and posting policies intended to discourage or prevent, to the extent possible, websites that are principally dedicated to selling counterfeit goods, engaging in copyright piracy or otherwise violating laws from participating in the ad network;
    • Accepting and processing proper notices from rights holders regarding websites participating in the Ad Network alleged to be principally dedicated to selling counterfeit goods or engaging in copyright piracy and to have no substantial non-infringing uses; and
    • Providing guidance for the content of a proper notice and identifying the designated agent to receive such notice.
  • The best practices are intended to encourage and supplement, not replace, responsible and direct independent actions taken by intellectual property owners to enforce their intellectual property rights and are not intended to impose a duty on any Ad Network to monitor its network to identify offending websites.

As part of this initiative, AOL, along with Yahoo, Microsoft and Google, established this set of self-regulating best practices to address known infringing sites in their respective ad networks.

AOL has been building trust with our users for more than 28 years. And we have been equally committed to maintaining high quality standards for advertisers and publishers – taking piracy and counterfeiting seriously. Many of the best practices guidelines very much mirror what we have been doing all along at AOL and, consequently, we quickly supplemented our current practice and are now in compliance with the best practices. Advertising.com boasts one of the best networks in terms of quality, which is part of our success story, and this initiative will reinforce that. I commend the collaborative efforts of the participating Ad Networks and the industry to help combat online piracy.

May 9th 2013

AOL To Be The First Digital Media Company To Certify Its Sales Team Through The IAB

Earlier this year, AOL was named one of only two companies who received the IAB Award for Overall Sales Excellence recognizing our commitment to provide clients with the best customer service, knowledge and innovation. To raise the bar in the industry, AOL is set to become the first large-scale digital media company to certify its sales team in partnership with the IAB. Joining their Digital Media Sales Certification program will allow AOL sellers to excel as industry leaders.

IAB's Digital Media Sales Certification program, established in 2012, is the first-ever educational standard for digital media sales teams, creating a professional benchmark for the digital advertising field. The program is created by and for industry experts and AOL will benefit by ensuring they have the most knowledgeable sales teams possible.

The certification knowledge areas include:
  • Comprehending the Digital Advertising Ecosystem
  • Selling Digital Media
  • Managing Digital Advertising Campaigns
  • Analyzing Campaign Performance

This certification is the highest industry credential for digital media sales professionals and it's a badge AOL's sales teams will wear proudly.

Click here to learn more about AOL Advertising.

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