david shing posts

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.



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.

Jan 6th 2014

AOL at CES: What's Next for the Heart of Technology

The proving ground for breakthrough technologies for more than 40 years, CES has become much more than the world's largest trade show. And its implications and innovations reach far and wide beyond the tech industry into our everyday lives. From 4K TVs to wearable technology, from automotive telematics to smart appliances, every year, CES amazes and delights us with what's next and what's possible. As AOL Networks' CEO Bob Lord puts it, "CES has become a cauldron of what it means for consumers and marketers. It challenges how we do advertising." And only AOL, with its award-winning consumer brands and its powerful advertising platforms and products, is squarely at the heart of CES.

CES: Connecting to innovation
What's fascinating about CES is how tech and humanity come together, in a way that transforms the consumer experience. And AOL is focused on programming content that consumers love with our consumer tech sites Engadget and TechCrunch. In addition to once again being the Official Online News Source for CES, Engadget is also honored to be the media partner for the Best of CES Awards. And for the first time, TechCrunch is bringing its signature Hardware Battlefield to CES, to uncover this year's startup stars, with the help of celebrity judges like Martha Stewart. But if CES is where man meets machine, it also happens to slap us in the face at a time when we're taking stock, making resolutions, and thinking about how we will make this year better than the last. The Huffington Post's re-launched GPS for the Soul app is the perfect reminder for how we need to find balance amid technology's temptations.

CES: Connecting with partners
CES has become a hotbed for advertisers and agencies, and we're looking forward to meeting with partners to discuss how our barbell solutions, global opportunities, cross-screen capabilities, video, and programmatic platforms can drive their brands forward. In fact, this week marks the first time where AOL will bring our full video and programmatic stack to market with Adap.tv, fulfilling a vision that began at last year's CES. Continuing his thought-leadership Shingerviews video series, this week David Shing will talk to some of tech and media's leading figures to make sense of the evolving technology landscape and discuss how we can use technology to help make powerful human connections between consumers and brands.

CES: Connecting humans
AOL connects to consumers – and in turn connects those consumers to brands and marketers. And we can't wait to see how the innovations revealed this week will impact our lives.

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.

Mar 18th 2013

AOL's Digital Prophet, David Shing, Interviews Industry's Leaders at SXSW for "Shingerviews"

David Shing, AOL's digital prophet and brand evangelist, flew out to Austin, TX, for SXSW 2013 to see the latest in film, music and tech. While intrigued by what was happening on the main stages, Shing was also interested in digging into the latest trends in digital. He took to the streets, interviewing leaders from start-ups to iconic American brands. He shares his conversations on the web series, "Shingerviews" on AOL On.

The series features the creative minds and leaders behind Soundcloud, Wired Magazine, Cadillac, Readmill, Obama Campaign, Mondel─ôz International and more. Watch the playlist below or visit AOL On for more insightful "Shingerviews."

Sep 10th 2012

AOL David Shing Featured in Canada's 'Marketing' Magazine

AOL Digital Prophet David Shing delivers the keynote speech at Marketing magazine's inaugural Branded Content Conference this Wednesday in Toronto. In advance of the event, the magazine sat down with David for a Q&A, during which he stressed the importance of "movements" over "moments" in marketing. Here are a few highlights from the interview:

"How can content connect in context and not contribute to clutter?
The key to success starts with a great idea. This foundation allows for the idea to travel across multiple properties with strong storytelling. The key to context is to ensure you are telling the right type of story at the right place at the right time. Too many brands tell the same story across different media and forget that people are using digital properties for different needs.

You've long said that generic advertising needs to evolve to "influence marketing," adding that it's not about size, but influence. What do you mean?
If we can move people beyond liking to actually share-or take other real actions-we can engage the crowd to create movements and not be limited to moments. For example, the concept of "like" is conceptually flawed because there is very little commitment to the action. I believe we can harness the power of "friends of a friend" to make the social experience-especially social-commerce-authentic."

Read the full article click here.

Search the blog

Follow us

RSS feed


AOL Blog Archives

Select Month