The art of in-app video ads (part 2 of 5): Conquering latency

Posted by Daniel Kang in Opinions on August 27th, 2014 at 10:00 am

Mobile video ads are one of the most powerful ways to engage users. The average click-through-rate of mobile video campaigns increased by 265.7 percent in 2013 and the share of tablet and mobile video plays soared by 74 percent. Mobile video ad spend is expected to increase by 82.1 percent in 2014.

Video watchers have been trained by TV to expect a seamless transition from content to ads. A large body of research shows that users have no tolerance for low quality videos. University of Massachusetts Professor Ramesh Sitaraman published a study titled “Video Stream Quality Impacts Viewer Behavior” where he measured the correlation between online video load delays and user drop-off rates. Based on data representing 23 million video views from 6.7 million unique visitors, he found that 20 percent of viewers give up and leave after just two seconds. Every second of additional delay results in approximately 6 percent more viewers jumping ship. Four out of five online users will click away if a video stalls while loading.

Speed is critical, and latency is one of the biggest hurdles preventing programmatic mobile video ads from reaching their full potential.

What causes latency?

Latency is the...

Jumping to Conclusions on the Ice Bucket Challenge

Posted by Tom Hespos in Opinions on August 27th, 2014 at 6:38 am

If you were going to jump to a conclusion that a fundraising meme is stupid, everything about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge would have made that easy.

Outwardly, it seemed ham-handed in its approach to raising money to combat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).  People urged one another to pour buckets of ice water over their heads in order to avoid donating to, and making videos of it seemed to be something that just about everybody online had an urge to do.  When sized up as a strategic marketing tactic, the Challenge appeared to be working against itself.

That wasn't the only thing people disliked about it.  Some didn't like the notion that it seemed to be driven by human narcissism.  Others wondered aloud why people seemed so eager to dump freezing water on their heads when donating seemed to be a more attractive alternative.  Still others wondered whether anybody making the videos had learned anything about ALS - what it is, and what it does to people afflicted with it.

As of this writing, I've not been formally challenged, but I will admit that when I first saw the videos beginning to build viral momentum, my immediate reaction was negative. ...

Common Law Firm Marketing Myths

Posted by Anna Johansson in Creative Best Practices on August 26th, 2014 at 10:04 am

Fans of Breaking Bad are delighted by the news about the Better Call Saul spinoff, featuring Walter White’s less-than-ethical attorney, Saul Goodman. As part of the promotional campaign, AMC has been airing a series of mock attorney ads, such as the tongue-in-cheek “Sue ’Em Now” spot.

While the hilarious teasers are obviously fake, they shed light on an unfortunate misconception among attorneys and audiences alike regarding the ethics and methods of law firm marketing. Rather than instigating frivolous lawsuits to make a quick buck, most law firms have a sincere need and desire to offer their services to potential clients.

But how does a firm distinguish itself from its less well-intentioned counterparts? The key is to understand the principles and best practices of marketing.

Myths that keep law firms from building strong marketing strategies

When law firms shy away from marketing campaigns, they risk laboring in obscurity, and never achieving the growth of which they are capable. Among the myths that keep them from investing wisely in marketing are:

  1. Television marketing looks “tacky.” Late-night, low-budget personal injury law firm commercials often give the profession a bad image. But marketing effectively via television and online video is possible when...

Why Building Your Brand Is All About Sharing Your Values

Posted by Dave Hawley in Opinions on August 26th, 2014 at 9:01 am

As a brand manager, it is your responsibility to make people of different demographics, geographical locations, and socioeconomic statuses feel like members of one collective whole--your brand tribe.

Brands need values that hold their community together, and as a smart tribe builder, you must show these values through both words and actions.

By identifying the interests and values that your ideal customers share and demonstrating that your brand shares those values through the conversations you start, join, and share, you bring about stability and growth for your brand.

Richard Branson provides a great example of digital tribal leadership. When you go to the Virgin website, instead of finding goods and marketing slogans, you find a regularly updated blog with Branson’s environmental initiatives, startup tips, political commentary, and more. There’s virtually nothing about what Virgin sells--in fact, linking from to anywhere you can buy stuff is challenging. You get the impression that Branson is trying to save the world rather than convincing you to buy something.

By spreading awareness of Virgin’s values, beliefs, and actions, Branson allows people to identify with Virgin and feel like part of the imagined community.

Enter The Dollar Shave Club. Whoever is behind...