Ben Young
Ben Young
October 19, 2018

This week I spoke at AdTech Connect on where content meets advertising, how to make smart decisions from your data and shared our NZ to NY story. I’d love to speak at more events, let me know any you’d recommend.

One big thing
Consolidation in branded content is coming. From Lauren over at BI, I agree with this. Those that are slick are getting the lions share, then if they have a portfolio they are retaining clients that way. Expect more activity like Vox Concert, one place selling across multiple sites – but delivering a consistent experience.

Notable stories this week

  • Google previews new native ads in Google Discover.


  • Really enjoyed this chat with Sir Martin at Programmatic IO, the focus on Smarter Faster Cheaper is spot on. What he’s really touching on is the dramatic need for efficiency through technology. Put it on in the background and give it a listen on your way in.
  • Following that, give this a listen from Terry of Luma.
  • Magna Global revises their programmatic spend estimates up.
  • Pinterest continues its march to $1b in ads.
  • Facebook is getting sued for measurement mistakes impacting the level of investment brands placed in their video product. The lawsuit alleges that “Facebook engineers knew for over a year” that the company’s metrics were “overstating the average time its users spent watching paid video advertisements,” and that “multiple advertisers had reported aberrant results caused by the miscalculation (such as 100% watch times for their video ads.”
  • BuzzFeed launches a book club in their bid to diversify revenue streams.
  • Digital transition triggers ad industry trust crisis. A good wrap on the current state of affairs.
  • Facebook’s approach to publisher monetization.
  • FameBit on their ‘Search Lift’ and ‘Influence Lift’ metrics. Very interesting. Could Google end up owning influencer marketing?
  • Overheard at DigiDay Publishing Summit. “The quality of vendor data is shocking. And some are two, three days out of date. How can you make any decisions off the back of that?”
  • Enjoyed this, brand storytelling driven by purpose.
  • Agencies are still figuring out the best way to resource (and their role) in branded content.
  • Facebook is updating their brand content disclosure. This is a great improvement.
  • ComScore’s second act.


Campaign of the week

  • [Nativeception]. From AdWeek with Adobe, 4 questions you need to ask about media measurement.
  • Cheerios on, wanted to celebrate the many ways Baby Boomers are giving back to their communities and to show how acts of kindness, both large and small, can create a ripple effect of good deeds. To thank these everyday heroes, Cheerios tapped the TODAY Brand Studio to run the first-ever partner contest on, awarding $1000 “Goodness Grants” to selected winners.
  • Like this partnership with Wu Tang Clan and Impossible Burger. The low fi aesthetic, they’re just having fun with it.
  • Tim Hortons The Away game. There’s only one hockey team in all of Kenya. They had nobody to play. So, we brought them to Canada for an unforgettable game.
  • Submit your own and then view all 2018.

Smartest commentary

  • “Fusing together content and distribution will help break down some of the silos that are holding back broader adoption, and help shift the mindset of Native as a format to Native as a strategy.“Craig Aron, Strategic Partnerships, Bidtellect
  • “One of our biggest investments has been in branded content through our in-house Storyworks studio. It’s a relative strength for the company, having editorial strength with newsroom value… Close to half of our advertising this year will have a content component”Jim Egan, BBC News CEO

Datapoints of note


  • Native Institute is hosting Native Days this November in Berlin, Germany. Use code NAIFRIENDBEN to save.

That’s it, Happy Friday!


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