Ben Young
Ben Young
May 11, 2018

I’ve been lapping up the sun the last week here in New York.

We see Samsung beginning to sell ads direct AND this post by Joe Lazauskas, around media companies copying marketers and marketers are copying media companies.

Everyone is competing for attention, so it makes sense that everyone becomes a media company.

What is curious is the trend, of everyone opening a studio to provide service/content around their tech driven ads OR companies selling their own ads.

Further, if you look at emerging platforms like OwnerIQ, which enable selling access to your data to subsidise marketing spend. These all intersect in a view of brands trading ad space – and a great collision.

For example if you spend $6/click and you can subsidize that through data sales, ad space, or recommended content. Will you do it? Not for everyone but some will.

Final case in point: Firefox’s new ads from their pocket acquisition.

Notable stories this week

  • IAB 2017 digital advertising report is out, you can dig through them here. The one that sticks out to me, is CPM growth. CPMs grew, with video by 3% and display by 6%, despite new advertising options, growing attention and device time. This is one to watch over the coming years.
  • ^ Note, no specific data was sharing about native & content.
  • Samsung gets in to ads. This is analogous to tech/publishers starting their own studios.
  • NYTimes simplifies around infeed and flex frame ads, providing a blueprint for modern publishers, strong content + native units. More from the horse’s mouth here. I quite like it.
  • Medium dramas again, Ev Williams sent a manifesto to NYTimes, got a write up, in parallel cut old publishers on their subscription plans. Impacting revenue.
  • Hearst opens up, a pay per article model for brands to attach to breaking news.
  • Natives placement through the funnel, from Ally at Sharethrough. I think this subject area is undercooked, content & native can be used all the way through the funnel – buyer journeys have collapsed in a digital first world.
  • Seven steps to successful brand content, data-driven suggestions from their Content Connect II Report (datapoints at bottom).
  • Digiday awards, congrats to Jeremy Elias from The Atlantic for Content Marketers of the Year, PressBoard for Content Marketing Tech Platform of the year.
  • Adidas has stopped purchasing Facebook video ads and is reviewing whether to cut its spending on the platform over concerns that its ads aren’t being viewed.
  • [Long read] Univision is a f***kn mess, commentary on the PE buyout from the inside.


Campaign of the Week

  • The Urban Wild, Vice partners with Visit Copenhagen, sending Brandon Jew Chef at Mr Jiu’s in San Fran to Copenhagen to meet Kristian Baumann.
  • HBO/WestWorld partner with The Atlantic for Crazy/Genius, a podcast / hub on The Atlantic.

Smartest commentary

  • “The term [branded content], in India is getting a bad reputation. People think of it as a dirty word and a lesser form of content or simply as something bad. That doesn’t have to be the case. If it is bad, you just made a piece of bad content.”Hosi Simon, CEO, Vice ASIA Pacific
  • “In nine months I’ve touched more content for clients than I may have in the past five years.”Armando Turco, GM Vox Creative

Datapoints of note

  • Via Reuters Content Connect II Report, 77% of global consumers expect to see more personalized content in the future.
  • ^ Also, 63% of consumers agree that personally relevant content improves how they feel about the brand associated with it. And 58% see brands in a more positive light if they provide them with content that match their interests.
  • Further global consumers consider sponsored content more appealing if it is thought provoking (64%), imaginative (58%), humorous (55%) and innovative (51%)..
  • Branded content contributed more than 50% of advertising revenue to BBC Global News. An increase from 38% last year.
  • PlayBuzz brand lift of 91% compared to Nielsens 8% norm.
  • Waze claims that, on average, its advertisers see a 33 percent increase in navigations to their stores.
  • US marketers will increase their investment in marketing technology by 27% over the next four years, spending more than $122 billion on marketing tech by 2022.


If we’ve missed any events, please do submit them.



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