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Mobile Fix - November 25

· Mobile marketing,Advertising,Consultancy


We have been using the NewTV moniker for some time, to denote the ways that TV and video are evolving. The video from GAFA is moving fast whilst the more trad players are moving more slowly – changing the direction of a supertanker takes time and given the ad market continues to invest heavily in the old model, there is some trepidation around change.

But Sky AdSmart has proven the model for more targeted TV (with over $100m revenue over the past 2 years) and now Channel4 are launching a new ad product around their 4OD service. This will enable advertisers to run interactive ads.  They also plan to use the data they have captured to allow addressable ads.

As the Sky COO puts it;

The false divisions between old TV and new TV are not going to last – people are happy to watch good content on all their devices (choosing the one that is most convenient/ appropriate) and brands want to reach the right people whilst they are enjoying that content.

Case in point; I watched the last Leeds game on the big screen through the NowTV app and Chromecast – so is that old TV or new TV? Do any of the brands advertising care that much? They just want to reach as many football fans as possible.

The divide is diminishing – this week saw one of the leading players in Set Top box technology bought by AT&T. WPP and Google have been long time investors in Invidi, which allows ads to be inserted at a local level to match user profiles.

This week McKinsey argued that personalisation at scale is a marketers Holy Grail. Not sure we totally agree, but the ability to reduce wastage by showing people relevant ads has to be a good thing. As we have discussed before imagine a babyfood or diapers brand who know that around 90% of (say) their £10m TV budget is wasted on people outside that market. Offer them the chance to eliminate that waste and save £1m of their budget. One happy client.

Their Agency may be less happy as their CPT has shot up but £1 million in cash beats beating the station price – and how many brands really understand that anyway?

And the media owner now has a huge amount of extra inventory to sell to brands that do want to reach baby free people. These economics will drive more and more taregttting and personalization.

A Fix friend makes the point that the tech approach for this type of premium video content needs to be different from the adtech race to the bottom and that a way to discriminate between premium video and UGC is necessary. But we’d argue that’s needed in the display world too.

Fake News and Fake Ads

It’s not just the Macedonians we mentioned last week that are profiting from clickbait headlines and Trump stories. There are lots of US people doing the same.

The Monday Note guys are great commentator s on the News industry and their take on this is really interesting. Essentially they think the focus on data and the eyeballs on a story has favoured quantity over quality – so creating the effect media swamp for Trump to exploit. Could brands have a roll to play in rebalancing the news world? If brands valued context again and were willing to pay more for the audience in a news environment than we might all be better off.

And that’s not asking too much – common sense says ads in the right context will be more effective that reaching the same people on eBay or in Yahoo Mail. We have been trying to find people to fund some research that proves this, for ages.

Both were fake. Appearing to be from ESPN and CNN, the ads were clickbait taking you to dodgy self improvement products.

How do we drain that swamp?

China & Twins

With Chinese buying western digital businesses on a regular basis (SkyScanner the latest) we now see AirBnB buying their Chinese counterpart.

The Galapagos effect of not having GAFA in China means that many Western businesses have a Chinese twin – and we can expect more consolidation.

As our friends at YourMD continue to make great progress (1.25m app downloads and 600k MAUs & their Facebook Messenger ChatBot grew users by 140% in one month) their Chinese Twin is doing well too. Baidu Doctor now has their own Chatbot Melody, drawing upon their expertise in AI

Social CopyCopyCopy

The big social apps continue to be inspired by each other and the feature sets are converging. Now Instagram offers Live Video and ephemeral Chat. Sound familiar?

There are new models out there – Video chat aps like Marco Polo are getting lots of attention – and investment  - but we can’t see these staying independent. GAFA or Snap will snap them up if they prove successful. Or just be inspired by them and launch the feature themselves.

As part of the Learning programme we put together for one of the big Agency groups we focused in on Social this week with Pinterest sharing how brands are using their Platform. We also heard from the Fetch guys on some of their creative and media strategies. What’s clear is that social still rewards real effort – getting into the detail and looking for the marginal gains pays dividends. For example in some cases square video is outperforming Vertical. And using Captioning even when you have a soundtrack is good practice. But what works on one platform often doesn’t work on another – even though the features are similar.

So reading that Fix friend Ed Couchman and his team at Facebook are looking to help Agencies get to grips with all the opportunities of their platforms makes sense.  And his point that many brands are still repurposing work from other channels isn’t a surprise but is disappointing. In our experience platforms need bespoke work and the investment in creating messaging that fits the platform perfectly always pays off.

Bots vs Apps

The medical bots mentioned above are good examples of the burgeoning Bot scene. Wired suggest that Bots are poised to replace Apps, something we have mooted before.


We are big fans of adjacencies – how businesses can grow by moving into related areas that exploit their existing assets. GAFA tends to be really good at this. Two great new examples from the Next 11 around travel and eating out – areas we are focused on with our RCKSCK project.

AirBnB are using their network of Disciples- the people who rent out properties through them - to offer more services to their customers through Trips. Trips builds on the local area guides they have offered for a while by offering Experiences. Activities range from truffle hunting in Florence to surfing in Los Angeles and photography in Nairobi.

And Uber are now in the restaurant guide business using their data on who goes where.  Not sure how this one will play out but it’s an interesting idea.

Quick Reads

More clients are paying their Agencies based on success. Being paid for being clever has to be better than getting paid for time and team as is the norm - which actually rewards slow and over staffed Agencies. General Mills seems to have a good approach.

The smart people at Moat have a new Video measurement metric. Lots of early support from brands and agencies, which is promising. Digital measurement is improving quickly.

Mobile to take lead in holiday season – not a huge surprise but more evidence we have passed Peak Desktop

A look at the work behind the new Uber app. It’s actually had some tough feedback as the muscle memory of an app used often is hard to change.

Atlas, the ambitious play by Facebook to use their People based marketing to usurp Google s DoubleClick, has morphed into a measurement tool. Despite assembling a superstar team and having a great product, weaning people off the Google ad serving platform was always going to be a tough fight.

Finally;  You ain’t seen nothing yet. The new Ericsson report is good reading, But this chart is mind blowing – suggesting that the data used by each smartphone user is set to increase by 500% over the next few years. And that’s largely down to Video.

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