Monday, 20 December 2010

Online's Big Brother

With the Christmas break fast approaching and the adverse weather causing havoc, the last few days at work have been really busy as my team and I are trying to implement all the digital campaigns in time for their January 'Live' date. Like most things in life there is more to a display ad than meets the eye and a lot of behind the scene work is carried out in order for it to exist.
An example of this is creating and layering the advert with tags which track how well an ad is performing. This is one of the reasons online has become so popular - it offers increased measurability. Being able to track a campaign's performance is extremely desirable for all parties (the client, the media agency and the media owner). Every display ad you see on a site whether a standard banner, a video or expandable ad has a tracker to measure how many people view and interact with it. Therefore ads which are not reaching a great enough audience can be optimised so that the client achieves the results it desires.

You may not think it but most, if not all the ads you see online are targeted to you directly in some way depending upon your online behaviour. Targeted display or 'behavioural advertising' is exploding and is getting more personal than ever before particularly now that audiences are even more fragmented. Another way to think of behavioural targeting is when you use online shopping at Tesco.com. It tracks and remembers what you have previously purchased and offers you a list of your most popular items so you don't have to trail through the pages and pages of groceries to find what you're looking for. It is applications like these which make using online so appealing. The implementation of such services make using the internet a breeze.
Ultimately this is what display advertising aims to achieve. Rather than be seen as obtrusive, it aims to be identified and used as a useful tool to minimise the stress and lengthy process of surfing the world wide web.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Shimmy Right, Arm Sway, Shimmy Left

This week Microsoft came to our office to demonstrate the new Xbox Kinect technology. For those of you who, like me were skeptical about it's technological competence, fear not. I tried it out for myself and although losing a Kinect boxing match to one of my colleagues, I left feeling excited about the thought of actually buying one. The motion sensor is extremely accurate and picks up your every move. I particularly enjoyed cutting some shapes to Rihanna when playing Dance Central and you can even watch yourself back - not the best showreel if your moves fail to match the dancing talent of pro group Diversity!

On the business side of things, the kinect has officially set the record for selling the greatest number of units in the shortest space of time. Since it's launch just under a month ago Microsoft has seen sales reach over 2.5million, over taking the benchmark that Nintendo set in 2007 with the release of the Wii.

With consoles increasingly appealing to a wider audience, more and more people of all ages are kitting out their homes with the latest gaming technology. You only have to watch Saturday night TV to see Dame Helen Mirren boasting about how she's improved her balance using the Wii Fit. As a result I predict that in-game advertising will actually be a more important part of a brand's advertising strategy. Although in-game advertising is not new, it is rarely considered a crucial part of a brand's overall campaign. I believe this will soon change.

This blog has moved to www.laurarobinsonblog.com

Taking Over the Home of Online

I am now half-way through my rotation in the digital department and I can now talk the language of cyberspace.

A lot of my time has been filled doing reports and PCA's (post campaign analyses). Although reporting is not the most thrilling of tasks, it has taught me a great deal about how to measure the success of a digital campaign and especially what works well for particular clients. The higher the CTR (click through rate) the more efficient the campaign has been and the cheaper the CPC (cost per click) the more cost effective the campaign has performed. Put this together and you can work out the overall best site placement. This could be an expandable MPU on MSN's homepage or a leaderboard on the guardian.co.uk. However it's not just choosing the format of the display because the placement of the display ad is actually most important. Targeting consumers at the right time in a contextual environment is key. This brings up an age old debate about creative agencies and media agencies and who has the most important role.
Personally collaboration is what constitutes great advertising and working together to maximise the ad creative so that the right consumers are exposed to it is where an idea turns into results and ROI.

In relation to online advertising I had to put together a powerpoint deck for all the different Home Page Take Overs (HPTO's) available on the digital marketplace. Who would have thought there was so much scope to be creative with display advertising on websites. From my research and speaking to different media owners I found a HPTO for the film Avatar which is to be particularly engaging.
Click on link to see:

Once on the page the user is instantly greeted by a rich media MPU (multi-purpose unit) which when clicked on, glides the whole homepage down to reveal an interactive trailer page.
(Note: on the MPU there is a text button to enable the Avatar skin on/off)

Before being exposed to the variety of display possibilities I was unsure about the future of display advertising. However I do believe that as an industry we have only scratched the surface of display ads and it won't be long before we see video display ads that change their copy (message) to speak to the user directly as soon as they land on the webpage.

Watch the online space!

This blog has moved to www.laurarobinsonblog.com