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Mobile Fix - December 8

(What’s this? Learn about my new adventure here)

One to One

When P&Gs Mark Pritchard talks, the ad business listens. His reset at the start of the year was a catalyst for much of the clean up that has taken place across the ad ecology in the last few months.

The earlier move away from targeting was much discussed but seems to have been misunderstood. Now his explanation of their move towards One to One marketing at mass will set the industry in the right direction.

I remember evangelising Peppers and Rogers One to One when we were persuading big brands that yes, they really did need a website. Read the excellent article we shared last week on how new brands are building their business with smart use of Facebook ads and you can see this is an idea whose time has come.

Treating people as strangers, when you actually can recognise them, makes no sense. And as the unit economics of adapting creative fall, it makes good business sense to tailor your message to reflect your knowledge of the people you are targeting. We see compelling evidence of the return on investment from this approach across our clients. And we are working on partnerships with the best players in each sector to enable this approach.

Getting it right still is not easy though and Accenture think that $2.5 Trilliion of sales globally are lost because of “poor personalization and lack of trust,”. This isn’t about who can do big data - it’s about deriving smart insights from this data and testing and learning how to best action those insights.


One key factor in how One to One plays out is the data signals used to identify individuals and GDPR is going to disrupt this. Tracking walls are seen as one way to sidestep some of the restrictions; essentially a content provider asks the user to give consent to tracking otherwise they can't access the content - better explanation here.

But there are conflicting views on whether this will work with the legislation or not - The IAB thinks they are a good idea and here the Page Fair guys unpack their views that it won’t work.

The one thing we do see with GDPR is that everyone is trying to work out how to pass the problem on to someone else. We know that the legal people at many big companies quickly worked out this should be an agency problem and started tweaking contracts accordingly. When agencies spoke with their Insurance companies and saw how their indemnity premiums were going to rocket, they looked at passing the responsibility to publishers. Who in turn are trying to pass the hot potato to their ad tech partners. I think we are going to see a dramatic slowdown as everyone watches everyone else to see who is doing what.

There are of course things that can be done without tracking and this article is a good reminder. Our approach is all about signals - and whilst data is a big part of that, events can be powerful signals too. Our work with mporium is seeing some real progress as a mention on TV, a sports score or an influencer post are signals that drive consumer action and can be amplified for marketing purposes.

The cost of Brand Safety

Running in parallel to the P&G reset brand safety continues to be a headline issue. Teads have some research on how brand are reacting - largely with a move to quality and increased involvement in how their budgets are spent.

As we have long argued, brand safety has pretty much been available - at a price. Buying quality has always cost more and now YouTube have their own version of surge pricing - demand has gone up for the best inventory so the prices adjust. It’s not just video - as ad.txt weeds out domain spoofing Google report that prices are increasing.

In 2018 digital will be inflationary as the cheap crap is washed out of the system. But if you are doing things right this shouldn’t affect the value of your spend - the cheap crap never drove any outcomes so the cost per point of brand uplift or the CPA shouldn’t shift significantly.

Some see brand safety issues as a tactic to divert money out of digital and back into traditional media. GroupM are forecasting a move back into TV in the UK - partly due to the World Cup and Winter Olympics next year but also see growth in the duopoly slowing. - partly because of fraud and brand safety.

As a major casualty of the growth in digital - and the duoploy in particular - it shouldn’t be a surprise that Murdoch papers have been quick to trumpet stories about brand safety. And it’s no surprise they have a new digital ad offering - built with ad safety in mind. Both GDOR and Brand safety are going to cause a drive to quality inventory so this is timely and likely to be quite successful. It will be interesting to see what they do with ad formats though - a better suite of formats that ‘fit’ the content would be a smart move.

Fake News

One of the issues with brand safety is that when the President of the Free World shares violent video on his Twitter feed it highlights how hard it is to set rules about acceptable content. Trump also pointed to a worrying new trend now he has started questioning whether it was him talking in a video of his misogynist ‘banter’. (yes we know he has admitted it previously)

The ability to manipulate video and audio is becoming easier with AI and that is worrying. But there are big opportunities for similar technology to make marketing easier and cheaper. We have been playing with Amazon Polly to develop personalised audio that could work in contextual video from Photspire or as a Voice service for Alexa.

GAFA coopetition

Whist GAFA compete furiously across many different categories with their vertical stacks, they also have lots of mutual dependencies. But every so often one of these becomes an issue and bickering commences. Google and Amazon are quarreling over their video services and YouTube is no longer available through Amazon Fire TV - apparently in an attempt to persuade Amazon to stock Chromecast. Amazon dropped this and other Google products a couple of years ago - along with AppleTV.

But in a sign of rapprochement with Apple, Amazon Prime video is now available through Apple TV.


The emergence of mass One to One is good news for the various addressable TV initiatives. The WPP play in this space is Finecast and this piece by one of their people is a good summary of the sector and an insight into how WPP see the opportunity.

The progress towards addressable TV delivered on TV highlights the need for comparable metrics across all delivery modes for video. But the real prize is in understanding the effect of the ads and In the US a number of broadcasters are to test attribution. This seems similar to the sort of surveys offered by Facebook with Catalina etc and is good - but again we have a balkanisation of research so little can be compared apple to apple.

Despite the delivery method the way people watching video is often similar - for example IAB have new research showing lots of co-viewing of OTT video, rather than the stereotype of a single viewer, watching on their phone.

Navigating the similarities and differences of watching video across devices and platforms is a priority for Facebook in particular. Their video viewers don’t have the muscle memory of say YouTube where behaviours are quite set. So they are testing both pre roll and mid roll in their pitches for Watch.

Regulating GAFA

On my visit to Sydney last year I did a talk at Google and we discussed how Australia is a great test market - an affluent western style customer base on the other side of the world. With Amazon now launching there, the media and digital ecology is also quite similar to the west, so something that works there would probably have a good chance of success in Europe or the US

But maybe the first concept to be tested is regulation of the duopoly. Australian competition authorities are to investigate Google and Facebook to see whether they have disrupted the news market to the detriment of publishers and consumers.

Quick Reads

The very question of what is real and what isn’t will only escalate as augmented reality goes mainstream - Magic Leap is now valued at $6bn and has yet to release a product. But Forrester see a big future for AR

With Facebook, YouTube, Snap and more commissioning video content for their platforms, it’s a good time to own a show format. But one of the most interesting new ones has resisted the lure of the platforms and runs in its own app. Hype seems like a real hybrid of TV and mobile and will be copied by many

More great thinking from Dave Trott and another story about former boss and Fix friend Mike Yershon. Quality of eyeballs wins over quantity. Still true today.

As people look to reduce their dependency on Google and Facebook Amazon is attracting more and more spend

QR Codes are back - just need to be used in a way that delivers real value for the user

Interesting new study from Deloitte on the global mobile consumer

An Israeli start up lets publishers run Stories - and maybe steal some money back from Instagram.

Finally - a good look at the lost decade of Display; how the ad business turned into the current mess. Let’s fix this.

Whats cooking at The Media Kitchen?

More new business meetings - a corporate start up in Financial Services, a global travel brand and looking at developing a B2C revenue stream for a strong B2B brand.

What should we be talking about? If you find the topics we cover in Fix resonate with you we should be talking about how you seize the opportunity in 2018

Whatever your marketing stack I feel sure we could probably add value. Lets discuss.


Fix is my thinking rather than that of MediaKitchen. We now have over 5500 subscribers across Google, Facebook, Snap, Yahoo etc as well as many VCs, Brands and Agencies.


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