Working Together to Find Solutions … While Remaining Competitive. The Advanced Advertising Summit

At last week’s Advanced Advertising Summit in New York, Dan Aversano shared his version of an “ah ha” moment: the key to success for OpenAP will be building scale, consistency and simplicity. The Senior Vice President of Ad Innovation and Programmatic Solutions for Turner Ignite was just one of the speakers reporting on how data can best be used in advanced television advertising at the B&C/Multichannel News conference.   

Panels focused on a range of data, measurement and industry initiatives that highlighted the frenetic and changing landscape for marketers and media, each with a common theme of making data-driven targeted advertising more effective. 

Cross corporation partnerships is a significant step forward. In addition, the industry can benefit from monitoring data usage, creating industry standards and protocols and using data in an ethical manner. 

OpenAP – An Update
In talking about OpenAP, Aversano was joined by Noah Levine, Senior Vice President, Advertising Data and Technology Solutions, Fox and Gabe Bevilacqua, Senior Vice President, Product Management Advanced Advertising, Viacom. Aversano went on to say that media companies can work independently and reach their own, great solutions but they will all be different and difficult to merge. The ‘ah ha’ realization can take OpenAP from a custom solution to an industry standard.

“OpenAP focuses on linear TV,” added Levine, “and makes it easy to transact on the same ad across optimized linear.” It enables all types of advertisers, from short purchase cycle CPG to longer cycle Automotives, to better achieve their goals beyond adults 25-54. “We are bringing new types of advertisers to the table, which is critical to continued success of TV. Also, it allows us to improve the end user viewer experience. Long term goals include lowering the ad loads and offering different types of ad experiences,” he concluded.

The partnering of frenemy companies is both new and welcome. Bevilacqua noted, “We are extremely competitive and want to deliver the best results for our clients but we won't win by coming up with our own definitions. It doesn't scale this business for any of us. So we can agree and still have our lanes. There is a lot of land out there that is right spot for us to compete.” Currently OpenAp has 30 agencies on-boarded in time for this upfront.

The best industry standard attribution model for media continues to be elusive, but there are many media experts focusing on the issue. Data+Math is a TV metrics company that focuses on TV attribution. John Hoctor, Co-founder and CEO, explained, “We take exposure data from Smart TVs and Set Top Boxes and connect exposure data anonymously to other datasets.” 

Adam Gaynor, Vice President, Advertising and Data Solutions Sales, AMC, found this data output useful, “Now we can help tie what brand is trying to do. And it adds extra elements of insights. TV works and now we are able to prove it.” But for Keith Kazerman, Group Senior Vice President, Client Solutions, Discovery, the question is, “How do we standardize measurement? Eighty percent of questions from clients are about how we can do better than yesterday. How can we measure outcomes?” Attribution is table stakes - not across categories, but by clients. “For example, financial clients demand attribution,” stated Kazerman.

The biggest untapped targets for this next TV Upfront are, according to Gaynor, measurement, technology and collaboration. “We need to work together as an industry to find solutions,” he added. For Kazerman, the target is “Standardization. Make it efficient.”

Optimism in the industry is high ... and focused on data and how it maps the consumer journey. “2018 is the year of audiences. And attribution is another tool that enables us to see what happens. It all gets us further down the funnel,” concluded Gaynor.

The core takeaway for me is that the media industry needs to exert both optimism and vigilance. “Optimism” that this continuous industry evolution is beneficial and creates opportunities to better serve consumers and improve the overall business model. “Vigilance” that the data we use is not only scientifically fact-based but also appropriate for the analysis and ethically obtained.

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