Conagra, Social TV and Online Video

There is a clear correlation between social media buzz and television ratings. The social TV phenomenon has been fueled by the explosive use of other screens-notably phones and tablets.

The above video interview is from the ANA TV & Everything Video Forum.                               
Sponsored by
online video, webtv, webisodic series, video advertising, consumers, eyeballs, brands, display advertising, ana, association of national advertisers, iab, 4as

Fernando Arriola, VP Media and Integration, Conagra Foods, recently participated in a panel discussion at the ANA (Association of National Advertisers) TV & Everything Video Forum in NYC. The panel was on Social TV.

There is a clear correlation between social media buzz and television ratings. The social TV phenomenon has been fueled by the explosive use of other screens-notably phones and tablets. Consumers are no longer simply passively watching television. Rather, they are connecting with other fans to chat about their favorite shows. This has important implications for marketers as brands now are also able to become involved in the conversation. The panel focused on opportunities provided by social TV for brands.

I sat down with Fernando to talk about the panel and Conagra’s digital and online video strategy. Everyone on the panel made it clear that we’re still in a learning phase when it comes to social TV. There is a lot of opportunity for those who gain insights into social TV to exploit the insights on behalf of their brands.

TV & Online Video Upfronts

Conagra is moving a lot of marketing dollars to digital. A fair amount of Conagra’s upfront spending is moving towards online and mobile video, in addition to broadcast and cable. Conagra wants its brand managers to think of video as one ecosystem, rather than broadcast, cable and online silos. This point is echoed by Alan Wurtzel, Head of Research for NBC (will publish that interview shortly).

Content Marketing

Conagra is also moving beyond the 15 – 30 second spot towards “brand as content producer”. Conagra wants to distribute its owned media through multiple channels and platforms such as Youtube and Facebook, portal partners such as Yahoo and MSN, mobile and Web. Distribution is one of Conagra’s biggest challenges for original content creation. How does the brand get the content it has invested in producing in front of a million people, rather than fifty people? While the company will still run banner ads and do traditional online advertising, Fernando is excited to create and distribute content directly to its target audience and brand fans.

Metrics of Success and Key Performance Indicators

Fernando likes to look at completion rates for both the creative and the distribution channel as a good indicator of how involved the audience is. The brand tries to run attribution models around how the actual content tracks to sales. Fernando acknowledges this is a bit more difficult given that most sales are in grocery stores.

Scale vs. Targeting

Online video creates opportunities for brands to hyper-target very granular audiences. However, the more a brand targets, the less audience there is to reach. So brands have to balance broad reach versus hyper-targeting. A brand such as Orville Redenbacher, which has broad consumer appeal, will do a network media buy and supplement the buy with some online video targeting. Slim Jim, on the other hand, has a pretty narrow target demographic. The company will buy small cable networks such as G4, Fuel, and MTV2, and spend online to reach consumers on niche gaming Web sites.

Brand Safety

Fernando responds with a question: Does your agency have the culture and infrastructure to really know what they are doing? What are your partner trading desks strengths and weaknesses in terms of execution?

Monetizing Digital Content

Better Strategies for Monetizing Digital Offerings: Thinking Out of the Box while Looking across Industry Silos

Better Strategies for Monetizing Digital Offerings: Thinking Out of the Box while Looking across Industry Silos

Introduction: Dr. Howard Morgan, Co-Founder and Partner, First Round Capital

Monetizing digital offerings is a continuing challenge. Advertising can generally generate only some of the revenue required, so customer payments appear to remain essential for most businesses. Freemium was a good starting point, and now soft pay walls are being tested. Shifting music and film from purchase to subscription is emerging as a sea change.

Paul Smurl, Vice President, NYTimes.com

Shawn Price, President, Zuora.com

Betsy Morgan, President, TheBlaze.com

Richard Reisman, President, Teleshuttle Corporation

What else is new? What can be applied across verticals? Do we need to rethink the value proposition and customer relationship? How successful are strategies to apply social influence and “pay what you want”?

This panel discussion looks broadly at how content businesses such as publishing, music, and video are transforming themselves to achieve economic viability:

Among the issues discussed:
– What strategies are they adopting?
– What can these verticals learn from one-another?
– Do new transaction platform services create new opportunities?
– How far out of the box can solutions go?

Panel Moderator:
– Dr. Howard Morgan, Co-Founder and Partner, First Round Capital

Panel Speakers:
– Betsy Morgan, President, TheBlaze.com
– Shawn Price, President, Zuora.com
– Richard Reisman, President, Teleshuttle Corporation
– Paul Smurl, Vice President, NYTimes.com

The Future of Web Advertising

4 AdTech Startups That Could Change The Marketing Landscape for Online Retailers in a Big Way

4 Startups That Could Change The Marketing Landscape for Online Retailers in a Big Way

Hear pitches from 4 companies who are changing the way online retailers advertise to consumers. Learn how these innovative entrepreneurs plan to disrupt the web ad online advertising space and dig down to learn more about their ideas and business models.

5 minute presentations by each of the teams, followed by 5 minutes of questions by our panelists which include a distinguished group of VCs.

We showcase the 4 following startups:

Album+ – is the easiest way to aggregate location specific event photos, in real time. We use mobile technology, and geolocation, along with a web app and some API`s to make shooting, collecting, organizing, sharing and purchasing photos from the same event; automatic. Our target market right now is weddings, and our business model is charging the host for the service. The app is free and can be found here http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/album-plus/id437410243

Appside – Founded in 2011 AppSide is the first end-to-end content marketplace for motion-controlled entertainment devices. With years of experience in the motion field, AppSide provides the “missing link” between hardware manufacturers, developers and end-users, in the fast growing market of motion-controlled/Natural Interaction entertainment devices. AppSide`s end-to- end marketplace (platform and content) gives users easy access to innovative motion controlled games and apps using the best device experience possible. The company is based in Tel Aviv, Israel, and is backed by Wekix, a technology and new-media start-up accelerator, as well as high-profile US and European private investors.

Immersive Labs – provides adaptive advertising technology designed to optimize content based on actual viewership on digital signs for retailers and out-of-home advertisers. The technology is a combination of anonymous facial detection, sophisticated machine learning and strategies specified by the marketer. Immersive Labs is a Techstars NY company and was selected as one of the Top 25 hottest startups to watch in New York City by Business Insider.

Lemon – (an acronym for Location Enhanced Mobile Opt-in Network) is a digital media company providing total B2B solutions for location-based mobile marketing. The company offers state-of-the-art white label software that can be integrated into any app on the Android, Blackberry, or iPhone platform. When installed, the LEMON software enables push messaging based on precise locational awareness and specific user behaviors, resulting in highly targeted and relevant messages delivered at exactly the right time and place for maximum impact. The company also offers agency and consulting services, including strategic planning, custom app development, campaign planning & management, and metrics & reporting.

Panel Moderator:
– Lori Hoberman, Partner, Chadbourne & Parke LLP

Panel Speakers:
– Peg Jackson, Gridley & Co.
– Erik Nordlander, Google Ventures
– Jeanne Sullivan, Starvest Partners

Globalization of Brands from a Social Media Perspective

UM has been monitoring the globalization of brands form a social media perspective, and Graeme Hutton spoke to us about it.


The above video interview is from the Advertising Research Foundation Audience Measurement conference.

Sponsored by

advertising research, brands, webtv, webisodic series, online video, consumers, eyeballs, display advertising, ana, association of national advertisers, iab, 4as

Graeme Hutton of Universal McCann gave us a rundown of all the data they have been collecting on social media and the influence it has on advertising and marketing.

UM has been monitoring the globalization of brands from a social media perspective. They have a global tracker of over 35,000 people from over 50 countries on watch. Hutton made the point that social media is not only about social networks but also includes blogs, photo sharing sites, and video sharing sites.

They found that as social media grew, people’s visits to company websites actually decreased. Consumer interaction with social network fan pages increased dramatically. More and more people are sharing branded content online. Hutton pointed out a big difference between sharing branded content online verses the word of mouth is that when people mention a brand through the word of mouth, people are very casual about it, and it’s often brought up to keep a conversation going. Sharing through social media, on the other hand, tends to have more of a purpose because it’s more of a representation of a person’s online personality. It makes sense because if you share something online it’s archived, and in some way, it’s more permanent than a mention in real life.

Some other points Hutton made include:
-The effectiveness of integrating two mediums into the same campaign. (ex. twitter and television for Superbowl)
-Consumers making and sharing their own content
-Virality of popular branded content
-Frequency caps for ads
and more data associated with social media

The Creative Agency as Business Consultant

John Baker of JWT discusses the challenges presented to creative agencies by new digital advertising paradigms.

The above video interview is from Internet Week in NYC.

Sponsored by

brands, webtv, webisodic series, content marketing, consumers, eyeballs, display advertising, ana, association of national advertisers, iab, 4as

“It’s less about the channel and more about ideas that solve business problems,” says John Baker, President of Client Services, JWT New York. More than just coming up with great creative, Baker sees his agency in a consultative role, assisting with media selection, how different media will play off each other in the ecosystem, how social will be used and additional, important decisions.

Baker speaks about having success by going beyond messages that a particular product is a better choice than those offered by competing brands to answering consumers’ questions about which is a better company. Citing work with Microsoft and T. Rowe Price in this interview, he describes using brand journalism to communicate thought leadership through timeliness, relevancy, content value and peer participation/influence.

As the industry works towards shorter development cycles and multiplatform “content events,” the process can get guidance from brand metrics — such as those for video that allow measurement down to individual units on individual channels. Development, creation and deployment, though, include new challenges. For example, these initiatives carry the additional cost and time burdens of the involvement of a greater number of people — from inside the brand, inside the agency, other agencies and media and technical partners.

Addressing interactive video in particular, Baker sees a need for deeper collaboration between agencies, as well as greater commitment by agencies to make this engagement technique more widely used. Without an example that leaps to mind among industry insiders, much less consumers, he is open about needing, “A huge idea that shows the world what we can do with branching or interactive video. Whether we or someone else does it, we’ll all be better for it.”

Get to know Pew’s Internet & American Life Project

Lee Rainie, the Director of Pew’s American Life Project, talks about internet, social media, mobile, and journalism.


The above video interview is from the Advertising Research Foundation Audience Measurement conference.

Sponsored by

advertising research, brands, webtv, webisodic series, online video, consumers, eyeballs, display advertising, ana, association of national advertisers, iab, 4as

We interviewed Lee Rainie, the Director of Pew’s Internet & American Life Project, at the ARF audience measurement conference. Lee talked about Social Media’s role in real life interactions and how that impacts advertising. Lee talked about the 3 revolutions that are disrupting the way people communicate and view content– the Internet Revolution, the Mobile Revolution, and the Social Network Revolution. According to Lee all of these things are still evolving and constantly changing–especially with the explosion of mobile devices and ‘always on’ technology. Mobile technology, including mobile internet, will become more robust. According to recent Pew research, Lee found that the people who are most active on mobile internet are still of a very narrow population– rich, educated, adult males.

The second half of our interview focused on the changing nature of how people consume news. Pew ran a research project that asked questions like, ‘how have people changed their news diet?’ In this research, they found that regardless of where a person found a piece of news, they are supplementing their news diet with online research to do a deeper dive on topics they are really interested in.

Some other interesting topics Lee Rainie covered include:
– The fact that the average age of Facebook users is increasing and what that has to do with marketing on Facebook
– How marketers take advantage of mobile video
– The role Twitter plays in fact checking for journalists
– The rise of citizen journalists
– The sustainability of the business models associated with hyperlocal news
– People curating their own internet news

Interactive Ads With XBox Live

Microsoft’s Carolyn Fuson talks about interactive advertising on gaming consoles and branded content.


The above video interview is from the Advertising Research Foundation Audience Measurement conference.

Sponsored by

advertising research, brands, webtv, webisodic series, online video, consumers, eyeballs, display advertising, ana, association of national advertisers, iab, 4as

We recently spoke to Carolyn Fuson, Sr. Audience and Analysis Manager for Microsoft’s XBox Live, at the ARF Audience Measurement conference. She made the point that when people think of XBox Live users, they think of a 18-34 male audience. What her team has found is that while 37% of XBox Live users fit this stereotype, more than half of Live users are families that have children under the age of 18.

XBox Live is a really interesting platform for advertisers. For those who are not familiar, the XBox Live Dashboard is a menu with a series of categories, and within the categories, there are scrollable 300×250 panels. Some panels are image ads while others are streamable videos or demos for future XBox games. As Fuson points out in the video, most people will have their controllers in hand instead of a cell phone or anything else that distracts their attention. When consumers dive into a portal on the XBox Live Dashboard, they are choosing to view or interact with the advertisement–and from previous articles on this site, we know that when a consumer chooses to view an advertisement or branded content, engagement and brand loyalty simply sky rockets.

Fuson also gives us some insight on the future of XBox Live, such as bringing Live to Windows Mobile, where live users can collect gamer points on the go. Just under 50% of Xbox Live users own a Kinect (present company included), an add-on to the XBox. Microsoft is encouraging brands to make interactive ads that take advantage of the Kinect’s voice control and motion detection abilities.

Some other developments involve using combined search engine data between MSN, XBox Live, and the Windows Mobile browser and using it for future measurements.

Story Time with Buick

Craig Bierley of Buick spoke to us at the Digitas Newfront 2011 conference about storytelling as branded content.

The above video interview is from Internet Week in NYC.

Sponsored by

brands, webtv, webisodic series, content marketing, consumers, eyeballs, display advertising, ana, association of national advertisers, iab, 4as

Craig Bierley of Buick stopped by the Digitas NewFront and talked to us about the important role storytelling plays in Buick’s branded content strategy. He addresses the 3 pillars of Buick advertising, which includes culinary, culture and connected, and human achievement.

Buick is currently developing the 3rd pillar, human achievement, which focuses on inspiring human interest stories. Through experience and measurement, Buick found that by organically integrating a product into a story, consumers are less likely to fast forward through it than traditional advertising on broadcast television.

Bierley gives other great insights on the thought process that goes into marketing Buick as a down to earth brand. He also shares some interesting recent research data, talks about the importance of branded content, future developments for Buick, and other important elements, like distribution channels, that go hand in hand with a successful branded content campaign.

Check out Buick’s YouTube Channel for some examples of storytelling as branded content. Pay special attention to the ‘Discover Buick’ Tab.

5 Challenges to Accelerating Marketing to Real Time

Shiv Singh of Pepsi discusses the power and challenges of real time marketing.

The above video interview is from Internet Week in NYC.

Sponsored by

brands, webtv, webisodic series, content marketing, consumers, eyeballs, display advertising, ana, association of national advertisers, iab, 4as

Brand promotion. In the moment and within the context of real life activities.

Shiv Singh, head of digital for Pepsico beverages, sees great potential for consumer engagement when marketing goes from strategy to execution, to deliver valuable and resonant content, in a matter of moments.

He cites five challenges ahead for real time marketing.

1. The marketing ecosystem limits celebrities and intellectual asset owners from full participation. For example, if a “fan” shoots a photo of Lady Gaga with a beverage can, she’s likely to want to be compensated for allowing her image to be used should that fan push out a real time brand promotion. Singh sees this constraint easing as celebrities recognize the value of participating in those conversations.

2. Organizations are planning now for quite a while out, say 2012 and 2013. Changes need to be made so that they are instead addressing just a few minutes from now.

3. As powerful as listening online and social tools may be today, they are capturing just a fraction of all the conversations. More is needed.

4. Television distribution has a long way to go before it’s in real time.

5. Stronger, tighter ties are needed between brands and content creators to produce branded content. Singh makes it clear he is not speak of trying to displace existing media companies — as they have strengths and capabilities that branded content may complement.

When asked about content discovery, Singh felt this was not a problem for his large brand. Smaller brands? Well, content discovery is likely to be number six on this list for you.

Turbocharging Brands with Crowd Sourcing

Liz Boone, Global Director for Digital and Social Engagements at General Motors, on social media engagement.

The above video interview is from Internet Week in NYC.

Sponsored by

brands, webtv, webisodic series, content marketing, consumers, eyeballs, display advertising, ana, association of national advertisers, iab, 4as

As brands move from broadcasting their messages to marketing approaches with increased consumer participation, they need to uncover values that can be shared with communities in authentic conversations. Established brands are fortunate to have positive lifestyle associations upon which to build more social relationships with their customers.

Chevrolet is partnering with another iconic American brand, Major League Baseball (MLB), in a program that can best be described — pun intended — as grassroots.

Liz Boone, Global Director for Digital and Social Engagements at General Motors, describes Diamonds and Dreams. The program seeks pitches via Facebook from communities to have Chevrolet and MLB, with whom it has a long-time relationship, rebuild decayed baseball diamonds. Successful communities are promoted on Chevolet’s Facebook Page, as well as on TV commercials, amplifying the voices of consumers as a means to enhance brand associations.

Inside the Vault is another initiative using crowd sourcing. Teaming with content creators, bloggers and others, GM has developed video magazines around programs in which its brands are involved, such as the MTV video awards and racing. With the intention of creating destinations for consumer outreach, the video magazines are then pushed out across blogs, microsites, Twitter and Facebook.