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Creative Links

The digital ad industry is officially out of ideas




Consider Marc Pritchard, the chief brand officer at Procter & Gamble, who has been on something of a 12-city summer tour decrying the state of ad tech.

Pritchard told an audience at the Dmexco conference in Cologne, Germany, that the various factions in the industry needed to work together to build "the next generation of digital ads," Ad Age reported.

After years of holding out against and generally slamming banner ads, BuzzFeed is now running them. Vox Media is trying to build a premium ad network for brand advertising, promising "bold, beautiful adexperiences." And after long resisting, it’s starting to sell its ads programmatically.
Yet guess what the experience for a consumer seeing digital ads is in 2017: lots of squares and rectangles.
Josh Topolsky, who helped found The Verge and ran Bloomberg’s web operations, said digital media needed a complete ad overhaul. He points to platforms like Snapchat and Instagram — where the ads are built for those mobile apps and are placed in the same framing as their core functions and content — as being where the open web needs to go.

Patrick Keane, a veteran digital ad executive who’s now an operating partner at the investment firm Stripes, said when it came to digital creative, "There is no new new right now."

"I wouldn’t say I’m super optimistic," he added. "You’ve got audiences that are impossible to reach and are doing everything in their power to avoid you."

LINK



Buzzfeed just sent out a message to the digital publishing business




So-called "native" ads should look and feel like the websites they appear on (think a Promoted Tweet). They should be custom to that site and that advertiser. Ideally, in BuzzFeed’s view, web ads should be actual "content" that people enjoy and might even want to share, like "9 Simple Things You Can Do For the Crazy School Week Ahead" which looks much like any other post on BuzzFeed, only it’s brought to you by Target.

But there was always the question about whether such hand-crafted ads could scale enough to build an entire media business around, particularly one that is set to get public at a valuation in the billions.

That explains BuzzFeed reversing course, and fully embracing programmatic advertising, including highly targeted, data-driven ads and classic banners, as Business Insider reported. Those are the same kind of ads former BuzzFeed president and Cheddar founder Jon Steinberg once called a "completely broken product" a few years back. Founder Jonah Peretti even once mused about whether the fictional character from Mad Men would really love banners.

Dave Nemetz, cofounder of Bleacher Report and now CEO of the science content site Inverse.com, said the BuzzFeed news was "shocking" but also logical.
"There is still a ton of growth in branded content, but it is so, so crowded," he said. Plus, "the margins are lower and the execution is so much more involved. Brands and publishers can only do so much. Not everyone can do sponsored listicles and build a business."


LINK



2018 Sony World Photography Awards: A snapshot of the entries so far




Now in its 11th year, the Sony World Photography Awards celebrates the finest contemporary photography from the past 12 months. All competitions – Professional, Open, Youth, Student Focus and National Awards – are free to enter.

The Awards’ winning and shortlisted photographers can enjoy worldwide recognition and exposure, in addition to cash prizes, the latest digital imaging equipment from Sony and inclusion in global exhibitions.

New for 2018, award-winners can also secure a grant to fund future photographic projects form Sony. Multiple grants of $7,000 (USD) will be awarded to selected winners of the Professional competition and $3,500 (USD) will be given to chosen shortlisted Student Focus photographers to work together on a new photographic commission set by Sony and the World Photography Organisation.

The shortlist for all competitions of the Awards will be announced on 27 February 2018. The Open and National Award winners will be announced on 20 March 2018, and the Photographer of the Year and the Professional category winners will be announced on 19 April 2018.

LINK



Apple explains how it’s making Siri smart without endangering user privacy




Most of the big tech companies are now developing their own personal assistants in one form or another. To feed them, many tech companies tend to vacuum up as much of your data as they can from your various devices and the cloud services you use. They then use powerful cloud computing and machine learning to combine and analyze that data. This allows them to connect a lot of dots about your habits, intents, and preferences. Those learnings can then be used to offer helpful and insightful assists.

But in Silicon Valley’s growing AI war, one narrative that’s emerged over the past year says that Apple’s AI efforts lag behind the work of other big tech companies in part because of its dedication to protecting user data. Among the big tech companies, Apple has taken a hard line on privacy and has tried to resist any collection of personally identifiable user data in its servers. The company has repeatedly argued–sometimes in court–that your personal data should be kept private, untouched by the police, advertisers, or even, in most cases, by Apple itself.

By not sending users’ personal data to the cloud, it’s been argued, Apple may be hindering Siri’s potential, starving the AI models it depends on of the personal data needed to more personalized and informed assistance to users.

Apple has been relatively silent on that narrative. But several members of Apple’s AI and Siri teams who recently spoke to Fast Company said user privacy and smart AI are not competing principles.


LINK



Publishers need to learn from mega platforms like Facebook




There’s no doubt that publishers and media companies need to take drastic measures as Facebook and Google continue to dominate the digital ad industry.

Publishers are increasingly disenchanted with the poor ROI they are getting after tap-dancing around changing requirements for Facebook and other social media giants. Recognizing the disenchantment within the publishing community over ad revenues, Google and Facebook have extended an olive branch in the form of new subscription tools to help publishers establish subscription models.

However, publishers and media increasingly are realizing that it’s do-or-die time in terms of preserving and monetizing their relationships with their audience, boosting the integrity of their brands, and recapturing control over not only the content they create but the full lifecycle of the content.

The status quo in advertising and social promotional strategies clearly is not working. Increasingly, publishers are coming to realize what Mashable chief content officer Gregory Gittrich pointed out at Web Summit 2016 when he said, “Social media dilutes your brand. Publishing direct content on social media, over time, negatively impacts your brand integrity.”

This is the perfect time for publishers to take control of their platforms and the video streams that will drive the next phase of the digital content revolution. With advances in live video programming and the speed with which original content can be created, publishers can greatly enhance what they already do and know, and monetize it through changes in advertising models that fuel online media platforms as well as live-streaming video platforms.

Apps like Periscope and Facebook Live should inspire publishers to do new things, as opposed to trapping them by putting them in a prostrate position to Facebook and other social giants.


LINK



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