“Major brand” interest in new digital video intelligence venture

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 25 June 2015

A new media science research centre for digital video intelligence has been set up to explore the fast-spinning world of online digital advertising.


The University of South Australia is set to launch a media science research centre “like no other” in order to translate ad tech data into real business insights.


The university’s Business School’s Centre for Digital Video Intelligence, set to launch later this year, is headed up by its director, Dr Karen Nelson-Field, who says there is already strong interest and investment from “major brands” that want to learn more about how to best use digital video online to reach consumers. 


“Even though online advertising has been around for quite some time, for many companies, investment in video is still seen as somewhat of a risk,” said Nelson-Field.


“In response to industry demand we have established a large-scale, independent, media science research centre to facilitate growth in the online video sector. We deliver science-based principles that inform best practice decision making.”

Speaking to AdNews, managing director ANZ at Videology, Sarah Wyse, said as brands, content producers and advertisers try to figure out the world of convergence, on its own, incremental reach is simply not enough anymore.

We need to focus on the impact of video and delve deeper into the psyche of consumers,” she said.

News that the University of South Australia is taking steps to highlight digital video as a legitimate and effective media for advertisers should be met with positivity, especially when its focus is on helping brands extract value from their own data.

The digital industry has a wealth of data available to us, however the difference in how we use data in online video vs. other media is that the industry focuses on upfront data, utilising it in the targeting phase. Other screen media hasn’t had this luxury, but does have a history in understanding the effect of video post-event – i.e. how many bottles of shampoo did I sell after my TV ad campaign.”

Nelson-Field, who spent nine years as a senior researcher at the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, and was also previously manager, marketing communications/destination development at the SA Tourism Commission , said its goal is to provide industry with “much needed direction about video investment”.


The research agenda focuses on principles for effective content distribution, content creation and platform impact.

Winner of the 2014 SA Telstra Business Women’s Innovation Award and the Newscorp Women in Innovation Award, and author of Viral Marketing: The Science of Sharing, Nelson-Field, who was also an advertising team manager at News Corp back in the 90s, has been a champion of rigorous research into the impact of online and digital technologies and social media platforms in the marketing and advertising space. 


The centre, based at UniSA’s City West campus, with the Centre for Business Growth and the new HP Innovation and Collaboration Centre, will bring together a team of experts in marketing and media science, mathematical modelling, machine learning and advertising effect measurement. 


The centre will also be forging partnerships with the Australian big data research group, the Data to Decisions Cooperative Research Centre and UniSA’s own Institute for Choice based in Sydney, as well as a broad range of leading international companies and brands.  


Wyse added: “Having a credible institution like the University of South Australia launch a media science research centre within the Australian market that will deliver tangible insights for brands and highlight the effectiveness of online video, should be met with open arms.”

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