Archive for Roy de Souza

A History of Transparency in Advertising

Posted by Roy de Souza on June 7th, 2015 at 3:48 pm

No wonder it has been so difficult to establish transparency in the advertising industry. From its very inception  advertising’s business model was based on secrecy. A history of more than 150 years is difficult to erase.
The first advertising “agent,”  Volney Palmer, opened a shop in Philadelphia in 1843. Palmer essentially worked as a lead generation service for local publishers, sending ad copy written by the advertiser along with collected payment to the newspapers for which it was intended. There was no copy-checking, and no “truth in advertising” standard, and no creativity. If you paid for the space in the newspaper, the ad ran.
Palmer did not work on behalf of the advertiser at all. However, some time later, a man named Samuel Pettingill opened an agency in New York and changed the model to one of an independent space broker, taking his payment as a commission on the fees paid to publishers. Naturally the agent wanted to buy space from the publisher as inexpensively as possible and sell it to advertisers for as much as possible, without revealing the numbers to either party.
Because of this lack of transparency, neither side trusted the advertising agent in the 19th century. InThe Mirror Makers... Read more

Mad Men Signals the End of Traditional Agency Roles

Posted by Roy de Souza on May 18th, 2015 at 8:10 am

It’s heart-wrenching to watch the final episodes of “Mad Men” and watch the market researchers come in and the intuitive creatives go out as Sterling Cooper Draper Price gets absorbed into McCann Erickson, especially if you are still in advertising and realize that was just the beginning of the struggle of the agency concept to survive. With its mystique diminished, the former Sterling Cooper staff is nothing more than a half dozen arms and legs to add to a McCann meeting.
Over the past forty years, agencies have only gotten larger and larger, combining finally into holding companies, almost as if they are huddling together in a single tent to fight off an invader. The marauder, of course, is change itself.  The growth of television and its quick rise to supremacy over print as a way to reach audiences was contemporaneous with the appearance of the first mainframe computers in agency back rooms. It’s almost as though the new medium demanded its own new tools.
Outside the agency things were changing just as quickly.We saw Peggy Olsen become the first woman to rise out of the secretarial pool and the introduction of Tampax and Topaz Pantyhose as brands that represented the growing... Read more

Vendor Consolidation is Sorely Needed

Posted by Roy de Souza on April 29th, 2015 at 8:48 am

You know things have become difficult for marketers when the President and CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) admits that all the money  flooding into ad tech has merely caused more chaos. As a marketer  you certainly already know this as you attempt to deal with the tangle of new partners who come between you and the consumer. As a publisher you rail at the way every new middleman takes a small piece of the pie that represents your inventory.
It’s time for everyone to consider consolidating from the current melange of startups to a single larger vendor who can do it all.
Here, for your viewing pleasure, is the display Lumascape.  Notice the sheer number of possible partners, and then take a look at the number of acquired and shuttered companies.

Display Lumascape
All this has got to stop. Marketers, the ones who pay the bills, must think about consolidating to a few larger trustworthy vendors and stop experimenting with startups that promise the Holy Grail and sell you stuff that doesn’t work as promised and doesn’t measure what you need measured.

The Video Lumascape
But you’re not relying on display anymore, are you? You are also using video, and you’re moving to mobile.
You... Read more

Clever Video Ads That Pull Heartstrings

Posted by Roy de Souza on February 5th, 2015 at 6:29 am

In today's fast-paced world, advertising on the Internet has become a necessity for all businesses. More and more people are using the Internet not just for entertainment and news but to seek information before making decisions - right from searching for the best car deals to the perfect life partner. It's no secret that the Internet's growing reach allows advertisers to reach consumers who are skipping TV ads or texting their friends in the commercial breaks instead of watching the ads.
Little wonders that many ad networks have cropped up to sell online advertising. A few networks use "premium" tag to get business out of agencies and advertisers. But in reality ad networks just sell small old banner ads. These are too small to show a powerful message and most are never seen by the TG. Far from premium - they are ineffective and not exciting to clients.
A majority of the agencies now feel that most ad networks are low end and sell the same undifferentiated ineffective banner ads. The humble banner isn't dead yet, but it could certainly be soon. On the other hand, advertising through exciting online video ad formats is hot and only getting hotter. According to Cisco,... Read more

Programmatic Direct Beats RTB for Brands

Posted by Roy de Souza on January 12th, 2015 at 10:23 am

Why is programmatic direct better for advertisers than just being content with RTB?  RTB took over quickly because it saved media buyers both money and time. RealTime Bidding gives marketers the opportunity to look at hundreds of billions of impressions a minute, and bid only on what they think is relevant to them. The use of demand side platforms (DSPs) can make advertisers more selective about their ad spending and change bids in an instant, alter their buys or entire campaigns on the fly and take advantage of opportunities to reach the same customer in different locations or at different times of day so their ads are actually in a context the consumer finds useful.
With real time bidding an advertiser can also retarget a customer quickly, which sometimes enhances the value of a campaign. It’s all a question of speed. Because every marketer can access so many impressions, display retargeting is low-hanging fruit.  Not only does this improve effectiveness, it lowers costs. If a consumer doesn’t click, she can be removed from the advertiser’s list of potential customers. And because exchanges do the job of aggregating customers, they offer the advertiser a form of “one-stop shopping” for the right target
The... Read more