aol advertising posts
Jun 27th 2012
Maurice Levy, CEO and Chairman of Publicis Groupe, joined David Bell, AOL Advisor and Chairman Emeritus of IPG, for an AOL Voices session live from Cannes Lions last week.
Levy talked to the evolution of the digital space and its impact on the advertising industry, and more specifically to Publicis. He reflected on the influence of technology and how it has forced brands to think about how they approach consumers, and make a difference in their lives. This philosophy is at the root of Publicis' mission to be the #1 human digital agency connecting brands and consumers worldwide. Levy encouraged marketers to listen to their clients, that paying attention to detail is the secret behind delivering great campaigns. Levy's tenure at the world-renown agency has spanned 40+ years, and has been "...a dream, is still a dream."
To learn more about Maurice Levy, including his thoughts on leadership, fighting fires and pursuing one's passion, watch AOL Advertising's AOL Voices interview here. A video series featured on AOL Advertising's trade site, AOL Voices spotlights ad industry thought leaders exploring the state of media and creative and the future of the advertising business.
Jun 27th 2012
Today AOL announced that we have expanded our Premium Formats suite to the smartphone and tablet. After launching Project Devil for desktop just eighteen months ago, the beautiful, engaging, content-rich ad formats that are powered by the award-winning Pictela technology will now be available on mobile devices. We are simplifying premium digital advertising and offering marketers the ability to serve the same brand content experience across multiple devices.
Mobile Premium Formats are built using applications similar to those currently available for the desktop. Each ad unit includes three apps. At launch, the applications for an advertiser to choose from are:
- Photo Gallery – Allows advertisers to tell their brand story through beautiful, high-quality images of products or messages. Up to nine images can be featured in a carousel that can be swiped through to see the next image.
- Video Gallery - Displays stunning HD content and provides advertisers with another platform to utilize TV spots and other video content that has already been produced.
- Content feed – Advertisers can include proprietary feeds to highlight company news and updates for consumers.
- Facebook feed - Displays content from a brand's Facebook page in a scrollable-list to provide real-time conversation updates.
- Twitter feed - Displays content from a brand's account or a chosen hash-tag in a scrollable-list to provide real-time conversation updates.
Additional apps will be incorporated into this mobile offering in the coming weeks. Similar to the desktop browser experience, every high-definition experience within the ad unit can be navigated without leaving the page. The functionality takes into account the tactile nature of mobile devices, and allows users to swipe and tap to see more content which can be updated instantly during a campaign.
Advertising inventory will be available across AOL's Owned & Operated mobile web properties and apps, as well as across third party mobile inventory through Advertising.com. This technology is available for iOS 4.0+ and Android 2.2+ in the U.S. and Canada.
Apr 17th 2012
When we had the opportunity to rekindle our relationship with TOMS to help celebrate this year's One Day Without Shoes, we spent a lot of time of trying to think of the right way to extend our relationship. In 2011, we had over 1,000 employees all around the world kick off their shoes to raise awareness for children who don't have them.
At first, we considered the idea of doing something twice as big. And then ten times as big. And then 100 times as big, arriving at the number: 100,000. We decided interacting with 100,000 people to tell them about the One Day Without Shoes message would be the number that we would rally our employees and customers around. But how do you count people "we told about something"? It's relatively easy in social media to measure likes, followers, comments, and retweets by using some basic social media analysis tools - but what we were doing was something a little bit different. Each one of these social actions would contribute to the number of people we "told about something", and our goal was really just to reach people with the message.
We then turned to our friends at Simply Measured, and took a look at what reports they had available to help us and found that they were able to measure "Reach", a calculation that measured the potential audience size for our tweets (i.e. how many people may have seen our message through Tweets made by ourselves and others sharing the campaign). Reaching people through Tweets was something we do every day, but previously we'd been unable to quickly and effectively measure this on a campaign basis. Simply Measured has been a great partner to work with, and have even shared a bit more about the methodology used to measure our metrics in a case study on their blog.
The end result was a set of tactics that included ways for all sorts of different users, across a few different platforms, to help incite people to join the movement:
- We donated a TOMS One Day Without Shoes mail sign in page that ran from April 7th to April 9th. The sign in page reaches an average of 10 million impressions a day**
- Our about.me team encouraged consumers to change their profile pages to help raise awareness and blogged about the event.
- AOL Advertising offered up a Style Your Sole party to the agency who was able to best evangelize their employees to share the word.
- MapQuest donated advertising space on top of every map today to raise awareness about the campaign.
- AOL Artists around the world are pledging to go barefoot with AOL as well. Check out AOL Artists' Tumblr for updates on which artists are going barefoot and to see them in action.
- We shared the campaign in taxicab spots that ran in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston (check out the video below).
All of these calls to action had a social component that would allow users to take an action, and then easily share what they were doing.
We launched our campaign on March 18th, with an initial goal of reaching 100,000 people by April 10th - the day of One Day Without Shoes. That day, we were lucky enough to have TOMS Chief Shoe Giver Blake Mycoskie join us to tell the story of TOMS and One Day Without Shoes. After the event, we started to invite our employees to contribute tweets about the topic, and offered a few tweets from our AOL Twitter account, and to our surprise, we were over our 100,000 reached goal in less than 18 hours. In the tradition of thinking big, we decided to reset our goal to one million. Sure enough, by the end of the campaign, we had some stats to be proud of that we want to share. In total, we reached:
- A potential audience of more than 1.2 million people on Twitter
- Around 20,000 people through About.me, where more than 600 people changed their profile to a special TOMS background. (read more about their success)**
- Millions through the TOMS messaging on MapQuest and on AOL Mail.**
- Nearly 200,000 people who visited the TOMS page on AOL Impact**
- Hundreds of employees took part in events all across our offices and shared the news via Twitter
It was great to see so many people respond positively to our campaign and us to learn a lot more about how social content can spread.
Reflecting on AOL's contribution, Blake added, "Because of AOL's continued support of One Day Without Shoes, we were able to make an impact. Through this year's partnership, we built a program with highly measurable results. We can't thank enough everyone that participated, and because of your contributions, we were able to bring so much more awareness to our cause."
We hope you were able to take part in TOMS One Day Without Shoes and if not this year, then mark your calendar for next year! Learn more about the TOMS One for One movement at TOMS.com.
(Photo by Eileen O'Brien)
** Internal AOL Data
Mar 16th 2012
After a few days of unexpected Austin rain, I joined Kristin Ciccone and Grace Meiners of the AOL Advertising team for a walk around Austin to see how marketers brought brands to life. Here were some of our favorites:
American Express Sync with Jay-Z Show
It's hard to discount the amazing job American Express did at SXSW. By launching their new Twitter sync product which allows you to tweet with hashtags to "load" discounts to your American Express card for major partners including Whole Foods, Zappos, McDonald's, Virgin America and more, they were able to redefine social commerce.
But on top of that, they offered up an amazing launch incentive for people to sync - a live performance featuring none other than Jay-Z, in as small of a venue as he has played in years - which required people to sync their cards, and present them early in the morning to receive tickets. I was lucky enough to qualify for tickets, and the show was amazing. The post show tweets on #JayZSyncShow were full of thanks to American Express for making things possible. Nothing better for brand sentiment than that.
Pepsi brought back their Zeitgeist screen for another year, featuring social content contributed by conference attendees, on a giant screen designed to have the feel of a train station. The space also featured a series of product demos and nutritional facts, a social vending machine, and an interactive phone booth that words can't even describe. Pepsi also hosted a schedule of brainstorming sessions featuring Gary Vaynerchuk, Toby Daniels of CrowdCentric, and Alexis Ohanian, founder of Reddit amongst others. But my pick for the coolest swag of the conference, and the best interactive experience was the "What If" program, where they gave 200 conference attendees specially designed LiveScribe pens (pens with a little camera inside to record drawings and gestures) and notebooks to share their SXSW experience. Read Kristin's interview with the folks who designed the program and learn more about the inspiration behind it.
Featuring a "social" refrigerator that opened only after 10 people checked in on Foursquare, a MakerBot Replicator 3D printer, a precision laser cutter, some folks welding (!) things, sample of products by Quirky (a brand that makes products submitted and voted on by users) and regularly scheduled demonstrations with people who, well, make stuff, the GE Garage was a genius way to bring GE's component business to life for consumers. Take a deeper look at GE Garage on our Advertising Blog.
Spotify's home away from home, east of the Convention Center, featured a home-y experience, live musical acts, and a respite from the craziness going on downtown. It opened its doors right in the gap between SXSW Interactive and SXSW Music, as the company sees itself as innovating in both worlds. We caught up with their crew and enjoyed a little chillout time.
Friskies' You vs Cat
After my last post previewing some of the must see panels at SXSW Interactive, one of the best e-mails I got was a request to come play Buddy the cat in a new iPad game called You vs Cat. I was more than happy to oblige, after all - cats and tech are pretty much the center of the Internet universe. Kristin and Grace and I dropped by to meet Buddy, play the game (we lost) and learned a little more about the inspiration for the product.
Spotsi Knife Throwing
Spotsi, a Portland based startup that builds an app that facilitates user generated tours, took a very low tech and local approach to their activation - knife throwing! It was one of the more Texas things that we did and we talked with their CEO about the unexpected connection between their app and knife throwing.
All in all, the marketers were out in force again this year, competing in a noisier than ever atmosphere. But for me, the brands who "won" SXSW were the ones who cut through the noise by telling their brand stories in the most actionable way possible.
(Thanks to Emily Hom for her editing support.)
Feb 27th 2012
At last night's IAB Annual Leadership Meeting's Creative Showcase, AOL's Portrait and Pushdown units, winners of the IAB's 2011 "Rising Stars" competition, were recognized as official IAB standard ad units. This acknowledgment shows that the IAB is committed to driving the industry forward with standard brand ad formats and metrics around engagement and interactivity, as we continue to see the shift of brand advertising dollars to the Web.
Dave Jacobs Re-elected as Co-Chair of IAB's Networks and Exchanges Committee
Today it was announced that Dave Jacobs, Senior Vice President of Publisher Services of Advertising.com, has been re-elected to the Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB) Networks & Exchanges Committee as Co-Chair for 2012.
The IAB Networks and Exchanges Committee is comprised of senior leaders of ad networks and exchanges that are general member companies, dedicated to furthering the interests of ad networks and exchanges in today's complex ad marketplace.
Last year, Jacobs was selected for an IAB Service Excellence Award, created to recognize outstanding leaders who have driven advancements for the interactive advertising industry, for his work in drafting the Networks & Exchanges Quality Assurance guidelines, a document that standardizes networks and exchanges information, and enhances buyer control over the placement and context of advertising, thus providing brand safety. These guidelines represent the end of an 18 month-long process of creating a new industry standard that provides transparency and brand controls to advertisers.