New swim lane in Mediaocean
Among issues holding back adoption of, um, new currencies—an issue that has been cited, somewhat gleefully, by Nielsen CEO David Kenny and some agency executives —has been the “new” players’ inability to integrate with Mediaocean’s widely used, mainframe-housed legacy billing system. Mediaocean is a widely used advertising service and software company.
Still, "even Mediaocean is moving over to a new buying system,” iSpot.tv CEO Sean Muller said. “And at some point, we’re just going to do this and figure it out.” Also, it’s worth noting that Mediaocean was an early-stage investor in VideoAmp, so it doesn’t necessarily have a vested interest in the status quo.
It’s not a one-on-one game
Although NBCU's Abcarian and iSpot's Muller have sat down together at Cannes to discuss their partnership, Travis Scoles, senior VP of advanced advertising at Paramount, cautioned the industry about the pitfalls of thinking there are alliances being formed.
“The first thing I want to do is dispel a narrative that I think is emerging in the industry that NBC is an iSpot shop, and Paramount is the VideoAmp shop, and that’s how it’s going to be forever,” Scoles said. “That’s not true. Paramount’s position is we’re currency agnostic. We want to be able to deliver our buyers' campaigns based on the data and the audiences that they choose. VideoAmp was an early integration because there was demand for people buying that way. We also support Comscore, support Nielsen, and will support more and more of these things.”
Attention rises, but 'shit rolls downhill'
“I think we need to race towards understanding the value of attention,” Dentsu's Rozen said. “Viewability and impressions are not sustainable metrics, and that’s how we’re trading." He advocated on trading on "did a consumer actually see an ad and do something with that ad? It’s simple. It’s basic. But it’s ridiculously hard.”
Also, the market may be headed the other direction, at least among marketers focused on mainly CPMs, or the cost to reach 1,000 viewers. “I’m getting pressure from our clients, but I’m putting pressure on our publishers, and it just keeps driving the quality down,” said Jon Schaaf, global chief investment officer at Stagwell Media Network. “To Doug’s point, when you don’t buy good media, you’re not going to get that attention. …Shit rolls downhill. So we get this pressure, and we have to turn around and pressure our partners.”
It's the creative, really
Strangely, even in the deepest media analytics depths of the festival fringe, creativity got another significant shout-out, following an endorsement by Roku the day before.
In a presentation of case study work showing how TV ads generate online search, Kevin Krim, CEO of measurement firm EDO, said the data shows big brand campaigns actually drive search very nicely, and search is tied to sales. “TV far too often is thought of only as upper funnel,” Krim said. “We show clients all the time on the brand side, ‘Here’s your best performing creative, and it’s always one of their big brand campaigns. It’s not a call to action. It’s not a limited-time offer. Big brand campaigns that are done well creatively drive performance and brand impact, all in one.”
Brand marketers should show up
Speaking of brand performance, not a single brand marketer was in attendance at the OpenAP event. Several attendees privately said the marketing world might work better if more did attend such events. Then again, it was a rainy day. The power even went out at the end. And several attendees have noted that brand marketers appear to be scarcer generally at the festival this year than pre-COVID.