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Jan 10th 2012

Mobile Advertising: Will this be the Premium Advertising Platform?


Advertisers often lump smartphones and tablets into the "mobile" category, but I think we need to focus less on their portability, and more on how these devices are used. A smartphone is constantly connected and is mostly used on the go, whereas a personal computer tends to be more stationary. Plus, people have grown accustomed to the type of ads they see on both of these devices.

A tablet, however, falls somewhere between the smartphone and the traditional web experience one has on a computer. We are still at the very early stages of understanding how consumers are using this device – only 10% of consumers own one, compared to the 44% who own smartphones and nearly 80% who own personal computers. But, Forrester Research projects that U.S. tablet sales will grow from 26 million in 2011 to more than 50 million in 2012.
So what is the right format for this advertising? Is this experience a lean-back and watch interface, or do people expect to engage with ads like never before? Are in app-ads the best way to go? Is it video?

If we look at how consumers use their tablet devices, we know that its main uses are gaming, web browsing and email, with ecommerce quickly gaining an edge. In fact, a recent study conducted by comScore and Jumptap found that 63 percent of tablet owners have made a purchase with their device.

This tells us that their experience is not unlike the traditional web browsing we've seen for years. Our research shows that tablet usage occurs mostly in the morning and evening (50% above day usage), which clearly suggests that PCs are being replaced by tablets. Additionally, tablet users sessions are significantly longer - almost 5X longer - than mobile devices, also suggesting that tablet usage is PC-like.

But what makes a tablet different is the functionality of the device. The touch screen on a tablet is very different from that which ones uses on a smartphone, and is completely different than most PCs. This needs to be the driver of advertising innovation on the tablet.

People aren't looking for a traditional 250x300, click-induced direct response ad – they want to be able to swipe and drag through ads as if they were apps themselves. We need to push ourselves to build not only the technology for a dynamic content experience on tablets, but an incredible ad experience as well.

If you're at CES today, stop by Digital Hollywood at CES at 12 pm PT to discuss this very topic.

Track I - STC7 - SmartPhone & Tablet Conference
Location: North Hall N261
iPad-Tablet-SmartPhone Advertising - the Premium Advertising Platform

Oct 21st 2011

AOL Takes the Stage at Digital Hollywood Fall 2011

Digital Hollywood Fall 2011 took place this week in Marina del Rey, CA. The event was a premier gathering of entertainment and technology thought leaders, from producers and distributors to advertisers and brands. Six AOL thought leaders took to the stage throughout the conference to weigh in on video technology, marketing, distribution, and editorial.

Panel discussions focused on the innovations and trends around concepts of such as online video advertising, branded entertainment, the value of 3D content, audience targeting, fragmentation of content and platforms, the semantic technology of top video networks, and how to build a genuine social experience. The theme of the event seemed to be online video advertising: how to activate a social, engaged audience with a relevant, premium experience - and do so at scale. Solutions and strategies touched on a myriad of levers in the sector, including branded entertainment, gamification, targeting by device, and the value (or lack of value) of click-throughs.

The recurring solution was that a connection needs to be formed between the user and the editor or producer of content, and the brand needs to be a part of this experience in a non-obtrusive, relevant way. Users will join and invest in the conversation, contribute to brand lift, and get talking. Premium content leads to premium engaging and sharing. Mike Hogan, Editor in Chief of Moviefone and AOL TV, may have said it best in referencing the social platform of Huffington Post. "We're trying to have a cocktail party," he said, "not scrawls on a bathroom wall."

Thanks to all of the folks below who represented AOL on stage!
  • Richard Bloom on "Internet Video and Advertising Strategies - Relationships between Content, Advertisers and Technology"
  • Chris Grosso on "Maximizing Content Value - From Video to Entertainment and Information - Metadata, Content Farms, Syndication, Behavioral Search & Subscription"
  • Ran Harnevo on "Video Advertising: How New Consumer Habits Are Driving the Advertising Community to Innovate, and the Challenges with Scale"
  • Jeffrey Hochberg on "Hypertargeting: Ad Networks, Ad Serving and Ad Targeting"
  • Michael Hogan on "Media, Entertainment and Brand Ubiquity - Sports, Comedy, Reality & News - TV, PC, The Tablet, The Smartphone - Understanding the Content and Commerce Equation"
  • Debbie Menin on "The Future of Enhanced Advertising: Addressing Brands, Message, Technology, Media and Entertainment"

(This post was originally posted on the AOL Advertising Blog)

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