Bring programmatic thinking in-house

Ian Perrin, CEO ZenithOptimedia
By Ian Perrin, CEO ZenithOptimedia | 14 August 2015
Ian Perrin.

Working in a media agency you become very accustomed to being sold to. Companies come up with extremely innovative ways to sell their products to you, including one personal experience when a sales person pulled a live lobster out of his bag to make a point. So it is easy to become somewhat jaded about new innovations and how they are going to change the industry.

However, in my 20-odd years in the industry, I can only count a few times when I have genuinely been absolutely, fall-off-my-chair excited about a new media development. Subscription TV changed our approach to targeting and drove a greater focus on segmentation; search made us think differently about how we closed a sale; and social introduced us to the term “earned media”.

Right now we are experiencing an equally big ‘fall-off-the-chair’ moment, and it’s not a new channel but a piece of technology that is changing how we communicate. The most startling development for me are the advancements in synchronisation technology.

As part of the VivaKi group, the AOD Sync offering is proving an absolute game changer. Very simply put, it works by synching a real-time TV signal to boost digital programmatic buying. Using video detection technology, a TV ad going to air triggers bid rules to buy programmatically across digital screens. This can be through mobile, search, video, display or social using targeted or dynamic creative.

While this makes our media more relevant and targetable, what is game changing is the impact this has on creative messaging. We can follow a brand TVC with an offer message, we can continue a story started with a TVC through Facebook and we can deliver promotional mechanics in real time. We can activate our search spends in highly targeted windows.

It also enables clients and agencies to think more creatively about their competitive strategies. That could be the ability for a competitor's TVC to trigger search spend to harvest the demand spike they have created. Or a very specific price point message to beat what is advertised on TV.

This fundamentally changes how we use television advertising. Each spot can become an event, a starting point or an ability to interact with a brand. More so than simply a hashtag.

Creative agencies the world over have grappled with the issue of fitting multiple messages into a TVC, but the technology now gives them the opportunity to layer their messages sequentially, by device and by audience. With MCN leading the way in driving the programmatic agenda in the TV space, and OOH companies such as Adshel also experimenting in their industry, it won’t be too long until we can close the loop on all media activating this way. This
further reinforces why, as an industry, we cannot separate programmatic into a silo.

We need to bring programmatic thinking right into the heart of our agencies. The old debate about whether creative and media agencies should be integrated again seems anachronistic. Deciding on the right model for leveraging synchronisation technology in an always-on marketing ecosystem is far more important.

This type of technology integration is the beginning of the promise of seamless storytelling that programmatic can enable.

This article first appeared in AdNews in-print. Click here to subscribe to the AdNews magazine or read the iPad edition here.

Ian Perrin



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