November 24, 2016

Weekly Roundup - 47/16

Voice-activated devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home are quietly promising a revolution unseating the default visual nature of advertising. Some brands are currently experimenting with "skills" - spoken instructions from a smart home device on how to clean stains, make cocktails or find a nearby liquor store in response to spoken voice-based queries. One holding company has even launched a stand-alone agency to meld together the creative and technological sides of AI and voice.

Following earlier revelations about overstated average viewing times for video ads, Facebook announced that a comprehensive audit has uncovered more measurement flaws. It found that its analytics tools were miscalculating and overstating 4 more metrics. Under pressure from ad buyers for increased third-party validation of the soundness of its numbers, Facebook also announced the creation of a Measurement Council to work with advertisers.
[AdAge / Adweek / WSJ]

As online shopping starts to mimic offline shopping - where people start off with broad categories and narrow down choices using visual cues - online ad formats that showcase a series of product images responding to general cues and queries are being developed. Both Google and Facebook are offering retailers ad formats that eschew targeting a user with a single product and instead put together a cluster of product images - usually following the first click - to evince interest and facilitate visual discovery.
[Adweek / Adweek]

Why don't digital video platforms report their audiences in average audience per minute? Because doing so would reveal the true - and unimpressive - scale of their reach vis-a-vis TV. Doing the math, Mark Ritson reveals that Twitter's impressive 6.8 million viewership for its US election coverage shrinks to 165,000 on the conventional metric - translating to a meager 0.2% of the viewing population.
[Marketing Week]

A new twitter account called Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) is alerting brands to their ads appearing on news sites that stoke racist sentiments. The problem is exacerbated by the opaque nature of internet ad buying through third-party ad exchanges and networks. Some brands responded by black-listing the sites in question, others by pleading their ads shouldn't be seen as political commentary.
[Digiday / The Guardian]
About the author:
Iqbal Mohammed is Head of Innovation & Strategy at a digital innovation agency serving the DACH and wider European markets. He is the winner of the WPP Atticus Award for Best Original Published Writing in Marketing & Communication.
You can reach him via email or Twitter.


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