Archive for January, 2011

Thursday’s Goodies

From Jacquie:

Women are more likely to share information on online community sites as opposed to social networking sites.

It’s been awhile since we’ve talked about Netflix and since everyone is all steamed up about the CRTC letting service providers meter usage I thought this article was fairly interesting. Basically, Netflix wants ISP providers to foot some of the bill for video streaming, it’s only fair right? Providers are saying NO WAY so Netflix is getting ready to flex some muscle – releasing a list, in order of “the best, most-consistent high speed Internet for streaming Netflix.” Could be embarrassing for some of the providers at the bottom of the list…

Speaking of streaming video. CLickZ Experts wrote this little diddy about the Highs and Lows of Advertising in Online TV.


From Zac:

It’s been entertaining watching the drama of Google’s very public, $6 billion purchase attempt of Groupon unfold and result in them launching their own competitor in Google Offers. There is talk of a revised revenue sharing schedule, but it will be interesting to see if they maintain the standard 50/50 commission split of most competitors.  

From Alexander:

Hulu may be having some problems with its content partners, as there are disagreements regarding ad revenue among the suppliers. This may become more of an issue as online video competes with traditional TV for content and advertising dollars. Hulu is not available in Canada, and may never be an affordable option, as Canadian ISPs are currently trying to ensure that viewing TV online is not a viable alternative to their archaic  packaged TV subscriptions.

From Shannon:

The IAB puts on some really fantastic courses and seminars.  These are great for a wide variety of people from agency professionals, to client side, and publishers.  I’ve been to a number of them, and have always walked away pumped to be a part of such an amazing industry.

Thursday Axillaries

From Jacquie:

How do you know if you’re campaign is successful? Well industry standards of course…or is it. This article by ClickZ Experts talk about how you should ignore industry standards and guage your own success.

My new desktop background was downloaded from this link; Things Real People Don’t Say About Advertising

From Alexander:

Pay attention everyone, this is important! Shaw will now be charging  for data usage that exceeds your monthly limit. Check the data transfer limits on your plan if you’re unsure how much you can download.  Tyler Hardeman has a very informative blog that covers most of the important details regarding this. Basically, if you watch a lot of video online (especially  in HD) your costs will be going up.

A few things to consider:

  • Canada is the #1 country in the world for viewing video online; local companies like CTV have invested heavily in making video available online and recent additions like Netflix is significantly increasing video viewing.  Unfortunately, be prepared to start hearing the same arguments we hear regarding smart phone usage in Canada. Our phone data plans are much higher than anywhere else in the world, and now our home internet will be taking a huge step back too. Users make be become reluctant to stream video online, so the availability of pre-roll inventory may drop.
  • 1 HD movie is about 4GB. Under Shaw’s high-speed plan (without bundling to an archaic TV or phone package) , assuming you don’t use your computer for anything else, (no email or webbrowsing) you can watch about 15 movies a month, which works out to about $3.40/movie. If you go over the limit you’ll be charged $2 per GB, or $8/movie.
  • This all comes hot on the heels of Netflix’s introduction to Canada.  As Shaw offers video-on-demand, and Netflix and other sites offer streaming television as well as movies, this move may be seen as a measure to limit the access to competitors to the archaic format of packaged TV.

The value of an impression

As a branding tool, I wonder what  the value is for a single impression? We use frequency to try and make a lasting impression on a user, but how can we estimate how many impressions are needed if we don’t know how much impact a single impression has?

Consider a webpage I viewed recently:

As you click each thumbnail  picture at the bottom of the page it would be displayed in the main image area. What’s important to note is that each time a new pic was shown in the main image is a new page view – so viewing all 34 house pics would mean 34 page views.

This is important, as each time there is a new page view there is also a new ad impression. The Tide ad in the upper right was therefore served to me 32 times (a different ad appeared twice during this period).  It took me about a minute to cycle through all the pics, so each impression lasted about 2 seconds. On the flip side of this, if I had been reading  an article that was mostly text, I would have spent about the same amount of time on the page, but would have only been served a single impression.

So how do we determine how effective an impression is supposed to be? In this example, those 32 impressions would have had the same impact as a single impression on a text based page;  therefore, not all impressions have the same impact.  Perhaps we need to look at the average time spend per page view to determine the average impact of a impression? Next time I’ll take a look at internet averages for the internet, as well as a few major sites, and try to determine what the time value of an impression might be.

How Much Privacy do we Need?

Now that the crazy-ness of the holiday’s has settled down, I thought it would be valuable to take a few minutes to share some of the thoughts and projections that the DSA team has for 2011. As Media Planner’s and Buyer’s, we get asked for our opinions about the Online Privacy Rules that seem to be profiled in the news.

To summarize, in the US the government has recently been exploring the idea of limiting the information that online content networks can collect to shelter individuals surfing habits. The “Do Not Track” legislation will govern methods of taking information from users online and using that information to target advertisements to them. If the US does adopt this privacy standard, then Canada is likely to follow on the heels of our southern neighbours. If this happens, then likely the way that we are able to behaviourally target ads will evolve. Currently we rely on tracking pixels that are left behind from websites. These pixels do not contain personal information, but do provide information on search habits, and may include information from sites that the consumer has visited. On a recent business trip Jacquie, DSA Project Manager, was taking a look at USA today and noticed an article on this very thing, with quotes from concerned citizens saying things like, “There is always the danger that you’re going to be judged or somehow pigeonholed by the site you are looking at, I don’t think I like that very much.”

The challenge with this is that the loudest group of people that are supporting these privacy regulations are the people who thing that sites are tracking the “individual” as opposed to tracking the “surfing habits”. People don’t know that Behavioural Targeting isn’t going to say “Shannon went to this page (oh I’m jealous of her going on a trip) and Jacquie went to this page (look at her style). It is anonymous tracking that expires when the pixel expires. It gets returned to the publisher as “User A went to the travel page (lets serve him or her a travel ad) and User B went to the fashion page (lets serve him or her an ad with a pair of fancy shoes).”

Sam, DSA Media Director, had a great approach on this. Sam feels that behavioural targeting is an ad service. She enjoys an enhanced online experience without having to disclose information. “My privacy isn’t being violated, my online habits are being analysed by a computer server. I am going to be served ads anyways; at least Behavioural Targeting increases the chances of them being useful ones!”

How does all of this affect our business though? Better yet, how does it affect your business? If online publishers are not able to behaviourally target ads based on a person’s surfing behaviour, then they’ll have to find another way to refine targeting for campaigns. Alexander, DSA Online Media Specialist, had some great insight. He said “As much as we use BT, we also use site indexing to identify where we should be advertising, much as we would through other mediums. We can still identify sites that target groups, so we don’t lose the ability to reach those users, only the ability to reach them when they aren’t on the targeted sites. In this sense, the loss of BT would force us to rely more on comScore data, which as all online media planners know has some major limitations in Canada. On the plus side, I would hope that a significant movement back to relying on comScore may actually instigate better data from comScore, even if that only means regional data becoming available (hint, hint, comScore).”

Alexander goes on to say, “In my mind, the main arguments against BT mostly stem from misconceptions about BT: What is this ‘personal information’ that is being collected, and does visiting a website constitute giving up a measure of privacy? You may be on your computer but you are also on somebody else’s website. If we can answer these questions about BT, then the only real issue remaining is placing cookies – which is an issue that merits discussion.”

I have to hand it to Alexander, he has a great way of approaching things, and I really think that he touches on a very valid point. I’ve heard a lot of industry experts talking about the death of behavioral targeting, but I really think that it will be more of an evolution, and it may even strengthen the way that people are targeted, ideally without pixels. Our team appears to be split between supporting and not supporting the decision to further regulate online privacy. Either way, we are prepared for it to happen, and are excited to see how the conversation evolves.

Thursday Axillaries

From Jacquie:

Mobile advertising network Millenial Media announced today that the Android OS has surpassed Apple’s iOS as the leading smartphone OS on its network. Maybe iPhone owners are making the switch because the 3G is slowly becoming obsolete with the new software that keeps coming out. I’ve been to the Apple store 6 times in the last 2 months and at least 2 of the reps told me that crashing software was just something that I would have to live with because everything is built for the 4G so my poor [one year] old phone is just going to have issues. That was obviously confirmed by the fact that I’m on my fourth new phone and it still has issues.

I just have to post this one because my baby cousin (and by baby I mean 18 year old cousin) is Justin Bieber’s biggest fan. No really, she is one of those crazy screaming girls who makes fan videos and faints at the sound of his name. Now we’re going to have a hard time keeping her conscious because they’ve just announced a Bieber url shortener and his name is going to be everywhere! Even better…use the link and you can see his photo on that page! Check out this DSA example: http://bieber.ly/78ff

*updated* The site has been taken down…it was good while it lasted :P

From Alexander:

Your social media plan sucks. Probably. An interesting and concise post highlighting the pit-fall of poorly-planned social media. What I take from the post, but isn’t specifically highlighted, is that there is still a numbers game to social media; it isn’t a just a feel-good, lets all talk and hope something good happens sort of process. Set goals, find ways to reach them.

More to that point, how often should your fan page be posting? A lot of businesses/product pages update fairly often, sometime more than once a day, and I’m assuming its because they like to talk and think we like to listen. But according to a new study, less may be more.  Posting every few days may be the best level of interaction with your fan base, but take that with a grain of salt, as the best level is dependent on your audience. Personally, I don’t like seeing business posts more than once or twice a week, and if the post doesn’t seem like anything more than talking for the sake of talking, that’s the fastest way to get un-liked by me.

I recently came across a site where publishers were ranking ad networks based on the criteria that matters to them. Though they value different things than media buyers, I found some of their comments very interesting, and could potentially adjust my opinion about some ad networks. Website publishers are often very concerned about the quality of the ads that run on their sites, which is the flip side of advertisers being concerned about what sites their ads are running on. A network that works well for both sides is likely a network worth working with.  Though it hasn’t been updated recently Cash Steer has an interesting list of network ranking and reviews.

From Shannon:

I wonder if somehow we could get BBM to measure WOW players per hour, so that we could compare that number to television shows.

Of course it would be ideal to have it broken down by city so that we can see

heat maps of highly populated World of Warcraft players.


Thursday Axillaries

From Jacquie:

ClickZ brings you New Year’s Digital Resolutions.

There’s a lot of chatter about the Do Not Track happening in the States right now especially how it is going to affect Canada. I really feel that the issue is lack of proper education about what behavioural targeting really is, but until some education happens all I can do is watch the articles that arise. This latest on by eMarketer states that Men are more open to Online Tracking then Women.

I thought I had the fastest thumb in the west when it came to texting, but a new US report states teens 13 – 17 are sending and receiving on average 3,700 texts per month!

From Charissa:

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you didn’t need to be searching for the DVD remote everytime you wanted to watch a move?  Microsoft is looking to give you the ability to start a movie by waving your arms or talking to the machine!

Very cool! Hopefully Google Translate comes sooner than later…

In 1993 AT&T made a few predictions on what they thought would be developed in future technologies in their You Will ad campaign and were amazingly accurate.

From Alexander:

Fun with Facebook ads. Knowing your demographic can make advertising a bit more fun as Panasonic demonstrates in a Facebook ad featuring the Rage Guy. This is a quickly little ad that plays on a popular online meme.

Set up your social campaign carefully!  Suffolk tourist board embarrassed. How would you like this to be the face of your cities local tourism iniative? Suffolk tourism tried to find the most iconic images that represented their town, and this is what they got. Always keep in mind that orginized groups of people online can serious impact open polling – just ask Justin Beiber

Global Spam is down, but is still responsibly for 50 BILLION messages a day!