- Wednesday, Sep. 26, 2007
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- NEW YORK
Attendees of the first day of the IAB's (Interactive Advertising Bureau's) MIXX Conference & Expo, which kicked off Advertising Week on Monday in New York, came away with an appreciation for where digital technology is taking us -- if they attended the entire day's events, that is.
In "Content Without Borders," one of the afternoon track sessions, attendees learned how marketers are taking advantage of new platforms and technologies to extend the reach of branded content. Panelists included Richard Williams, executive director of advertising and digital media at Verizon Wireless, and Dee deVries Solomon, senior VP of sales and marketing at CondeNet. Williams began the conversation with a reference to "interconnected screens," describing how Verizon is blending mobile with the Internet and FiOS TV to provide marketers with an opportunity to play ads across different spectrums. Not to be outdone, Solomon discussed the way CondeNet serves its web content across different platforms, including mobile, where a wine pairing feature is running on a mobile page for Epicurious.com.
Williams reached out to advertisers in the audience who might be hesitant about mobile by saying there are 120 million subscribers, so it "has scale. Advertisers can buy across carriers, so there is potential to deliver." He also said the advertising is measurable and unobtrusive, available to customers who opt in.
Participants in Second Life no longer think of themselves as unique because the popularity of virtual worlds is growing and causing marketers to take notice. In "3D Immersive Experiences: The Future of Engagement," the afternoon's last track session, Burt Rosen, VP of brand interactive marketing for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, explained how the company built a virtual loft at Second Life. "It was an experimental platform where avatars could go and visit and give us feedback on the property," he said. Their comments provided details on hotel design the company may be able to use.
Jack Myers, editor and publisher of Jack Myers Report, said the younger generation (i.e. eight-year-old children) use many other virtual sites, such as Club Penguin, and their entire generation is being raised in a virtual world that marketers will flock to a decade from now. Current advertising that is used at Second Life, such as banners posted at virtual locations, won't work, but more creative user generated options might, when the numbers are there to support them, he said.
Speaking of numbers, "there are no traditional measurements or quantifiable metrics for virtual worlds now," Myers stated. Rosen said there was value in focusing on what the few visitors to the Starwood loft did and to use their feedback.
Two sessions on video advertising were included in the program. In "The Future of Online Video," one of the morning sessions, the future wasn't really discussed. Instead, there was debate about video pricing. Adam Gerber, VP, ad products and strategy at Brightcove, said targeted video advertising is more valuable than TV. "If advertisers can buy the exact people they want, they should be willing to pay 10 times TV." But Jeff Minsky, director of emerging media platforms for OMD, said, "The models don't prove it yet."
"Frontiers in Digital Video," an afternoon track session, featured two agency executives, who discussed their use of video. Dawn Winchester, executive VP, chief client services officer at R/GA, explained how the agency is producing 125 video campaigns this year. She said the challenge is "how to produce cost efficiently and control production value." This is achieved with video, which "brings production costs down with desktop capabilities."
Joseph Crump, executive creative director at Avenue A/Razorfish, said, "It used to be difficult to get TV people to do video, but now we can produce three dozen videos for the cost of a single :30 TV commercial, so they're eager to do the work."
At the beginning of the show, Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of the IAB, welcomed the crowd with some exciting numbers. In the first half of this year, spending on digital advertising has jumped 26.8 percent to $10 billion. A detailed report is expected later this week.