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Mobile Fix October 21st

When P&G announced they were evolving their strategy with Facebook to focus less on precise targeting, the usual suspects were quick to pronounce the death of digital. This interview with P&Gs CMO is revealing as it shows how P&G have encouraged and supported digital platforms. Lots to learn for any marketer. And any agency.

Whilst a few clients like P&G make the running with GAFA, the other side of the coin is how Google and Facebook - in particular - focus on clients. When working with Google organizing an event last year I was amazed at how well they know their C level clients. This AdAge piece gets into how they are structured to manage these relationships.

Reading this you can see that the world has changed and the agency no longer owns the client relationship. At best they share it with media platforms – ideally  as partners. But does this shift open the door for consultancies to build new relationships with clients? Relationships that have tech and data as their centre of gravity, with the more executional creative and media skills sets brought in as necessary?

Clearly the strategic thinking is key and so is creativity. But as each platform needs bespoke creative (probably done by the platform or a specialist) does that reduce the role for a generalist creative agency?

Programmatic Pass the Parcel

Probably the biggest challenge facing agencies is the automation driven by programmatic. Currently hoovering up digital display and moving into mobile, Programmatic is actually still quite exotic to many in Agencies.

For smart clients, blending the inherent efficiency of the approach with the enhanced effectiveness skilled practitioners can derive from the tools and technique is intoxicating

For publishers though, not so much. As the Guardian demonstrated the other week, much of the value evaporates along the way. Digiday looked further into where the money goes and it’s quite murky. Too many hands are currently involved and we think this game of Pass the Parcel has to come to an end.

We foresee consolidation, with only those firms who can clearly demonstrate the benefits of their involvement getting to stay in the game. Perhaps this will be driven by the key players in adtech, but it could be the more sophisticated Martech people. Advertising is jolly important to all of us who grew up in the business, but to our clients it’s merely a subset of marketing. Would consultancies have a less romantic view and embrace boring martech?

Google Pixel

The Samsung Note shaped hole in the smartphone market has come at a really good time for Google. With great reviews the Google Pixel seems perfectly placed to pick up all those high end Android users

The marketing is cranking up. Lots of posters in London and an event at the only Google store – inside the PC World on opposite Warren Street tube

Distribution probably needs more work though – it’s not for sale through Amazon yet and whilst most of the high street phone shops are selling it, it doesn’t feel like a major launch yet.

Branded Content & TV

We have mentioned BMW the Hire many times. It is the seminal example of branded content, having huge success in the days before YouTube when it took an hour to download or you had to request the DVD.

It’s coming back and this US article has more than its fair share of nonsense about why it may not work. We believe that quality wins out, and if they can achieve the same standards as they did first time around, it should do well. This sort of immersive entertainment has to be a better way of inventing desire for a car brands than the much hyped idea around seeing a Mercedes ad before you can afford one.

One of the best quotes about advertising applies here “People read what interests them. Sometimes, it's an ad.” The quote is from Howard Gossage and if you want to understand how advertising can work you must read this excellent book about him by a former colleague.

With news that Buzzfeed have ambitions to create branded content for TV, the lines between new and old TV continue to blur. Industry guru Marco Bertozzi ask a key question  - why do TV and digital seem to argue the whole time. Everyone knows the clever thing to do is get the best from both worlds – and seeing Amazon promoting the Echo in Cold Feet shows that GAFA know when to invest in old media.

Snap matures

Snap want to change the way they work with publishers. Currently they share ad revenue eared around publisher content but they are trying to move to a model where they pay a fixed fee for content and keep the ad revenue.

This willingness to carry the risk of whether they can sell ads underlines how effective Snap have become as an Ad platform and is a sign of their growing maturity. Most media commission content and pay the producers – then sell the ads. Whether you are making Bake Off for C4 – or writing something for the FT, that’s the way things work. As GAFA and the rest cement their position as platforms they will go the same way and we believe good content producers will probably welcome the certainty of a fixed fee over a revenue share. As we saw with Bake Off it is possible to take your IP to another partner is you don’t feel you are making enough money.


Just as Facebook seek partnerships with rights holders and media businesses to create IP for Facebook Live, people are spontaneously seizing the opportunity. On Tuesday night a Leeds fan shared the whole of the Leeds Wigan game live on Facebook, shot in his iPhone from the Kop. Not quite like the Champions League coverage we all remember, but pretty good when no streams from Norwegian TV etc are available.

The number of viewers ebbed and flowed but around 150/200 were watching at most times. How do you get that genie back in the bottle?

One more thing on newTV and sport – Wolves have signed a deal to have their games shown live in China. As clubs find ways to control their own TV rights, the opportunity for GAFA to drive distribution grows.

And whilst The Chump was debating with Hillary, his team had as many as 200k viewers on his Facebook Live broadcast of pundits. With rumours his family are exploring setting up Trump TV, could Facebook be the carrier rather than a Cable provider?

Quick Reads

Still on the new TV tip, the Economist have looked into the economics of influence posts – YouTube being the most lucrative at the moment.

The latest Piper Jaffray report shows Snapchat is the top social platform for Teens. But for the first time YouTube is bigger than Cable TV.

Whilst many luxury brands we talk with are very excited about digital, many are still quite cautious and this report from BNP Paribas shows some of the downside. And LVMH have declared they won’t ever sell through Amazon.

Still on Digital & Luxury one of our clients is looking for a digital designer. Probably suited to a second jobber, this is a good chance to join a smart team at a wonderful brand. If you know anyone who might be interested please point them in our direction, No recruiters, thank you.

Like many publishers the Wall Street Journal is rethinking how it operates to be better suited to a digital age.

Google continues to shift its focus to mobile with a separate Mobile Index which will be the primary Index, reducing desktop to a secondary less current one.

Much digital marketing seeks to capture intent – so a search is a good indicator of interest. The Cluetrain people have a new model called Customer Driven Leads where. It’s quite theoretical at the moment, but there is something interesting here and we should expect new models to emerge.

Finally in an interesting piece of how Uber is expanding into LatAm we saw this great example of modern advertising – drones in traffic jams promoting Uber

It’s half term next week so we are resting in Paris and hence no Fix next week. We are comparing a panel at a fascinating event organised by Tubular Labs in a couple of weeks where we will be talking with some of the people best able to both create and distribute content for new TV. If you are coming along, do come and say hello

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