Transcript of my comments at: Advertising in the age of convergence, Intellect London 25/10/2007

I look after the evamgelism for Eyeblaster – a leading global digital advertising solution. I am also a consumer.
And as a consumer, I choose how and when – and then I change my mind – continuously!

Every time you dictate and make it difficult for me, I seek out the path of least resistance.

  • If you want to know about me and find out about me – then ask, do not presume.
  • If you want to talk with me – then converse, do not preach.
  • If you want to change me my mind – then convince, do not convert.

Walk up to me at the bar and try and arouse my interest. Talk with me. Make me laugh. Maybe offer me a drink. If I want you to stay I will let you know. If I don’t, then respect that. A little coaxing and encouragement may work, but if I get bored or feel pushed too far, then expect a volatile reaction.

Shouting at me louder, will not work. I will just tell you to shove off.
Block my path as I try and walk off and I will just push you away.

Isn’t that how we work as people?
– So why do we as marketers do everything opposite to what we already know to be true inside?

Advertising is not working, all the clutter has desensitised us. It is being filtered out.

Turning up the ad breaks just annoys people. The 30 second ad break is losing momentum on TV, so why do you think it will work online? Trust me – forced PreRoll as we know it WILL die!!
– You really think I want to watch a 30 sec ad every 2 mins of content?

In fact too much intrusiveness, especially when trying to build a brand – causes a negative reaction.

Branding is morphing and being consumed by response. We are obsessed with measurement – whether tangible or emotional.

I come from the company who invented intrusiveness on the web.

While everyone was talking about buttons and banners and pay-per-click, we were serving pop-ups and overlays to the masses. And they worked, seemingly, for a while. We saw 5% click thru – now we see about 0.5%. We have all learnt a lot since.

What we have learnt is that it is not about being intrusive, it’s about being immersive.
-Talking to people where they are. Giving them choices. Holding a conversation with individuals.

We have all heard the hype of Facebook – web .2.0 – Social networking.
Then Facebook decides it is going to launch an new Stealth Ad system to read the content of my web page and serve adverts against it. WITHOUT ASKING?!!!

Web 2.0 is not about social networking – it’s about conversation – that is a two-way process.
That is why brands are panicking about how they can let go of the control of their brand, in a world where people start having an opinion, where consumers start answering back.

  • Web 1.0 – Content
  • Web 2.0 – Conversation
  • Web 3.0 – Convergence

Is it all a great big con?! For an advertiser, it is if you do not understand who you are talking with.

Semantic web – automation, prediction, intelligence.
It is going to be about permission – it is going to be about “me”
There is going to be a maturity where there will be genuine two-way conversation – and openness about that permission. I am an intelligent human being, not an experiment in your ad lab!

  • Relationship marketing – come alongside, befriend
  • Permission marketing – ask, don’t dictate

Resonate with me – I am living in multiple spheres – in a hybrid future of media multi-tasking.

Channels can no longer dictate methods

Consider Soap Operas – brand-funded content. The original viral!

Then the channels start dictating.

If I want to watch EastEnders, I must pay a license fee to the BBC.
If I want to watch Coronation Street I must watch 3 minutes of adverts every 15 minutes on ITV.

Then I decided to watch an Omnibus on Sky – and whose brand does the syndication model build?

Sky – and they are charging monthly license and serving ads!!
– No wonder both BBC and ITV businesses are panicking!!

I went from paying £100 a year to £30 a month – and watching ads?!

Am I going to sit back and accept that?
– I want to watch “24” – but do you really think I am going to watch your ads every 10 minutes?!

No, I will go and BitTorrent and download every episode from China in HD with no ads.
Stuff you license, stuff your subscription and stuff your ads!
– Isn’t that what happened in the music industry?

But hold on, $4Bn was spent on Brand placement last year in the US alone.

Consider 24 – Apple computers, Cisco phones – Chloe “it’s impossible that our network is under attack – it’s self defending!” as the camera zoomed onto a monitoring system with the Cisco logo emblazoned across it…

That is whole point of how “Soap Operas” started off!

I can download the content on BitTorrent, or watch it via TiVo and how the heck can I skip the ads? The content was already paid for – and as a user I get it for free.

Think about how we converse like in real life; in middle of conversation, you go “hey nice shirt, where did you get that from? – pause, interact, respond, move on…

What about if I could insert adverts in real-time within a content stream against searchable meta-data – at frame 37-42 there is a “Cicso” phone – which is now hot-spottable?

Not all going to happen on TV screen with a ‘click red’ remote control, when am used to pixel accuracy on my laptop.

Going from Time-shifting to Place-shifting (choose when to watch content, to where and how)

So I move into Environmental awareness – content follows user, but adapts to device

  • Simultaneous connections and multiple devices
    • 3” mobile – Mobile applications “1ft user experience”
    • 19” laptop – PC applications and web pages “3ft user experience”
    • 50” TV screen – Interactive TV applications “10ft user experience”
    • 10’ Billboard – digital boards for the “100ft user experience”
  • Lean back / Lean forward content
    • Lean back: passive viewing, relaxing with a remote control in one hand
      • menu driven from single point
    • Lean forward: interactive experience of a keyboard, mouse and monitor
      • hot spotting video / clickable media

MultiPlatform Programming

  • Entertainment across an entire media mix
  • Synchronised Television – “two-screen” or “synchronous solutions”
    • Web applications may be synchronised with the TV broadcast
  • NanoGaming – Play on your computer while you watch on TV

TransMedia Story Telling

  • Person appears in TV drama
    • Assumption to viewer he has been there for years
  • Website has picked up inter-episode
    • Minor character become significant influencer with history timeline, previous relationships revealed in short video stories
  • Mobile Updates in guise of a text competition
    • Response reveals further clues about upcoming storylines
  • Designed for mass InterPlay across media
    • No user ever has total handle on story and requires coffee-machine conversations to fill in missing gaps for each other, pooling information from various sources to enhance experience
  • TV becomes only ‘part’ of the story
    • All media consumption takes equal importance, but led via TV

TransMedia Advertising

  • On TV, Footballer talking in front of an ‘Adidas’ board
    • Also wearing an ‘Adidas’ Shirt
  • The Adidas logo is clickable via ‘red button’ to launch content, which leads to Adidas channel, which can be stored in schedule
    • On Web, video content has Adidas bumper slot
  • Character jumps into adjacent banner and waits for interaction
    • User controls interaction and kicks ‘Adidas’ ball into other banner
  • Success ‘in net’ reveals data-capture for competition
    • Spend a day with the team and load of Adidas goodies
  • Links to mobile phone to provide viral video short
    • Text back answers to questions contained in viral
  • TV show discusses answers that are coming through
    • Real-time social connection between brand and content across any and every device

It’s a Consumers “Choice”

“I will choose how and when and then I will change my mind, continually”

Learn how users respond and then give them multiple options.

When I want to make a call, can I decide to pay individually, have a subscription plan or listen to an ad? Depending on who and when I am calling, I will make that decision.

For every disc I buy, I will probably pay for 10 streams and have downloaded a further 100, half of which I never get to watch.

So not one method – but multiple.

  • Free Digital
    • Brand Funded over BitTorrent (anti-piracy)
    • Advertising Funded over any stream
  • Buy Digital Content
    • VOD (individual)
    • Subscription (month)
    • License (annual)
  • Buy Disc
    • HD
    • DVD
    • Tape