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A case study of how in-banner video generates brand awareness

Katelyn Watson, Online Marketing Manager from Shutterfly discusses how they drove awareness of one of their most prominent products: Photo Books, via utilizing in-banner video advertising. Watch the clip to see the great engagement rates that were achieved.

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Distributing Content Beyond the Web

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p>We’re a big fan of iMedia Connection and their regular summits, and participate in quite a few of them every year. On Monday, at the iMedia Breakthrough Summit in Florida, our President of North America, Keith Kaplan, presented to about 150 people during a breakfast session.

Presenting at breakfast is a challenge – people are trying to stay awake and you have to shock them to get their attention. So we wanted to come up with an idea that would make sure that everyone in the room remembered Adconion and our newest product, the Joost Video Network.

We gave the attendees three reasons why they should partner with Adconion and use the Joost Video Network for their video advertising needs.

The first was our people. The second was our products. And the third was our innovation.

Sounds pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? And maybe not like the kind of presentation that will keep you awake before your second cup of coffee.

But everyone who left the room was buzzing, according to eyewitness accounts.

At the end of the presentation, we gave attendees a sneak peek at one of the projects we’re working on. You’ve probably heard of the iPad? You won’t be able to get your hands on one until April 3, but we’re developing a Joost app for the iPad. Like the Joost app for the iPhone, this app will let you watch videos from Joost over WiFi connections for free.

Why are we working on this? We’re working on this because we’re determined to deliver targeted ads and content wherever you are on the Internet – whether you access the Internet on your computer or on your mobile device.

Stay tuned…we’ll let you know when the Joost app for the iPad is approved and in the app store.

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Different Strokes for Different Campaigns

Video is a huge focus for our company this year – which is probably not a surprise for most of you given our acquisition of Joost assets last year and the launch of the Joost Video Network last week. We’re creating the most robust end-to-end online video advertising solution in the marketplace – from video ad serving and distribution to creative services and branded entertainment.

One of the important steps in this process is educating our teams on video. A lot of our employees come from online video backgrounds or branding agencies, but for a long time, Adconion has been focused on performance marketing. With our move “up the funnel” to video advertising, it’s important to us to get all of our employees up to speed on the mechanics of an online video branding campaign.

It was during one of these trainings last week in Santa Monica that I mentioned a concept that lies at the heart of the differences between branding and conversion campaigns.

Most conversion campaigns have a clear call to action, such as  “Click here to buy now,” “Sign up now to talk with an agent”…the goal is pretty straightforward: here’s a little bit about our offering, now buy it or use it. So if someone is in the market for an item (which we know because it’s a targeted campaign), and doesn’t jump (or, in this case, click) the first time, and doesn’t click the second time, the traditional school of thought is that you’re better off saving the ad impression for a different user. It’s common to see frequency cap around two impressions for these types of conversion campaigns.

As you move up the marketing funnel, though, these rules change. Campaigns become less about driving an immediate action and more about building brand awareness or provoking evaluation of the product. Building brand awareness requires a different formula between the two key elements: time and exposure. Branding campaigns need to serve a higher volume of ads over a shorter period of time – or at least a higher volume of ads over the same period of time – in order to increase brand recall, brand recognition and/or brand loyalty. For online branding campaigns, it’s common to see frequency cap set to as high as 5 to 10 per creative execution  – versus the one or two ads per month per user you see with online conversion campaigns.

Since this disparity exists with frequency capping, a very common and (presumably) straightforward campaign element, imagine the potential disparities for other elements of a performance campaign versus a brand awareness campaign – such as day parting, targeting and reach. Frequency capping is just one indicator of the differences between running successful online branding and performance campaigns.

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Introducing the Joost Video Network

When Adconion acquired Joost assets last year, there were a lot of questions about why an ad network would buy a video platform.

What people might not have realized is that we’ve been building our video capabilities for nearly two years. From technology acquisitions to our exclusive relationship with the branded entertainment studio RedLever, we’ve made strategic investments so that we can deliver a complete online video advertising solution.

Today, we’re launching the Joost Video Network, our comprehensive line of in-stream and in-banner video advertising solutions. We’ve built the Joost Video Network with our experience as a display ad network, our understanding of audiences, and our proprietary targeting algorithms, combined with our in-house video and ad serving technology.

All of this delivers global video advertising capabilities with the reach and quality of a video portal, but the scale and efficiency of a network. At the same time, our network is DoubleVerified and IASH compliant, so all video campaigns on the Joost Video Network run in brand-safe environments. In practice, this means that video ads will only accompany premium content; all video ads only appear on our network of premium publishers.

This is an important launch for us, but it’s also a continuation of our existing strategy to be a strategic partner for advertisers and brand marketers, providing them with online solutions to reach customers throughout the marketing funnel.

For people who still wonder why we purchased Joost assets, here is the answer. We’re serious about video, and we’re committed to providing the most complete solution in the marketplace.

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The New Golden Age of Content Distribution?

Comcast and NBC were back on Capitol Hill last week, testifying about their proposed merger. Interestingly, as the deal began both companies claimed that this deal was not about digital distribution. But as the testimony goes on, it’s clear that even if Comcast and NBC claim they aren’t focusing on emerging technologies, everyone else is.

And they should be. With the erosion of the broadcast hegemony, and the rise of DVRs, video-on-demand and online video, this merger has the potential to shake up the digital industry.

The fact is that an increasing number of Americans are watching time-shifted TV, video-on-demand and online video – and not just on YouTube or Hulu. According to the comScore Video Metrix, more than 50% of online video viewing comes from sites outside the top 25.

All these shifting habits are probably still good news for Comcast. In addition to offering subscription-based DVRs and pay-per-video-on-demand, online video is likely driving demand for Comcast’s broadband services. Once a customer has a broadband connection, there’s little chance they’ll downgrade to dial-up. But as more videos become available online, people might give up their Comcast cable subscriptions. That’s not good news for Comcast, and one of the reasons behind their partnership with Time Warner Cable to provide “TV Everywhere.”

“TV Everywhere” is an attempt by Comcast and Time Warner to go where their audiences are going. After all, people don’t care about the technology that delivers their favorite programming to their screens – they just want the show to play when they hit “on” or press “play.”

With the addition of the NBC Universal cable networks – Bravo, USA Network and SyFy, to name a few – to Comcast’s existing cable networks – like E!, Versus and The Golf Channel – and a dual-stream mode of content delivery, Comcast is well positioned to deliver content to people who want it when and how they want to watch it.

And in our increasingly fragmented media landscape, aggregation and distribution is a good business plan. It’s not enough just to aggregate – it might be sufficient in the short term, providing an incremental revenue stream or somehow making up for lost revenues in other areas of the business. But in order to reach the largest possible audiences, or retain an existing audience, distribution is necessary.

Comcast knows it can’t rely on cable subscriptions forever; NBC knows it has to find a way to monetize its broadcast and cable programming online. Both companies – and other MSOs, studios and record labels – are trying to solve a distribution problem they’d previously had under control, but has broken down in the digital age.

If this deal goes through, it will be a big digital win for Comcast. It already owns the methods of distribution, the two most common pieces of technology people use to access these shows today – the cable and Internet connections – and with the joint venture, it will have found a way to keep these pipes important.

Comcast has chosen its means of audience aggregation, but it’s not possible, and certainly not economical, for a company that wants to become an integral part of content distribution to build its own technological infrastructure. Fortunately, people behave more fluidly on the Internet than they do at home in front of their TV, and it is possible to aggregate interesting and targetable audiences of people online.

Whatever the aggregation technique, and whatever the distribution method, the goal is the same – to distribute content to relevant, interested audiences – and, of course, to make money doing it.