Today in the Digital Thread we are looking towards the future of advertising technology and how advertisers are looking to new developments to address the many problems currently fermenting in an increasingly fragmented and diverse viewership.
Particularly, multiple devices, platforms and operating systems make concentrated advertising efforts increasingly difficult. Brands now have to target audiences with a multi-channel approach, meaning that they inevitably have to increase their ad budget and plan for a more diverse campaign i.e. what might work for TV won’t necessarily work for mobile. Furthermore technology ranges across devices and platforms provides further complications that increase development costs and time-to market.
In this post I will be briefly looking at the latest technology that attempts to simplify this complex issue.
Back in 2011 Microsoft unveiled, to an audience at AdWeek, its unique NUAds platform which would rely upon the Xbox and its Kinect tool to transform “passive TV advertising into engaging, actionable experience”. Explicitly, this is interactive ads. Ads which require user input. In the video below users command the experience through voice recognition software, changing the course of the action:
Voice NUads Unilever UK Where Take Girl on First Date
This early uptake of interactive advertisement on the Xbox platform paved the way for the Xbox One to become more than just a gaming device. The intention for Xbox One was always to see it as a holistic entertainment device, combining TV, internet and gaming for a greater cross-channel user experience, thus defragmenting the nature of contemporary advertising.
Samsung have also been looking for ways to simplify advertising across their network. With the introduction of Smart TVs Samsung can now open up advertisers to their vast network. The result, Adhub, is a global marketplace for advertisers to connect with audiences using Samsung’s Smart TV hardware. The platform is tailored towards high-quality interactive advertisements that can be displayed on the home site and mini-sites of the TV, as well as allowing for access to multi-platform advertising channels on all Samsung devices. This leverages the whole of the Samsung device network, ensuring that advertisers can target across multiple devices, providing a greater interactive experience. It also further integrates user experience and advertising relevancy, meaning that end-users won’t get bombarded with irrelevant spam.
Moonrider, the interactive advertisement company, showed off their Art-Jam rich media platform for interactive advertisement back at CES (International Consumer Electronics Show) 2013. The platform is aimed at the second-screen device and specifically targets tablet and mobile users utilising the latest HTML5 and iOS rich media for increased user experience. With particular focus on HTML5 as a locus for integration with rich media (it will be supported by all new platforms), Moonrider’s interactive advertisement platform should be able to capitalise on increased consolidation across digital media platforms.
Recent hype however has centred on a number of interesting start-ups who seek to utilise smart technological applications to smooth the fragmented nature of this industry. One such platform, unveiled at CES 2014, has been designed by BrightLine and Active Video, and aims at something similar to Samsung’s integrated Adhub platform, but which utilises the splintered device market to their advantage. The result is a platform based in the cloud; Active Video CEO Jeff Miller says “By rendering ads in the cloud, rather than in individual devices, we can expedite creation of a truly universal marketplace for pay-TV operators and connected device manufacturers in which interactive TV advertisers can reach every STB or connected device”.
The platform uses Active Videos CloudTV AdCast platform along with BrightLine’s interactive TV solutions arm; the effect, to bring about more integrated multi-channel advertisements with an interactive user experience which addresses the concerns of advertisers over the disparity between up-to-date devices and those devices being used in the real world.
Lastly, innovation has seen the increased use of big data to farm intensive development around the way consumers spend their time. More recently, that has been focussed on the second-screen. Innovid has joined forces with Cisco to develop real-time advertising around TV shows in partnership with cable companies. The platform will auto-generate keywords from television shows as you watch them, producing advertisement content on your second-screen device centred around that keyword. The consequence will be to ensure that advertisers can target relevant demographics with related content, increasing the user experience and user engagement.
Cisco And Innovid Partner For Another Second-Screen Ad Solution
Imagine for a second that you’re watching a game of football while simultaneously surfing on your second screen; suddenly the advertising you see is closely related to that game, the teams playing, the players on the pitch, the ball their using or even the boots they’re wearing. This tool tightens that disconnect between TV advertisement and digital advertisement, effectively erasing the line between the two.
The future is tighter connectivity, further integration and less disparity between devices – I suspect there will always be differences between advertising between devices, because mobile screens=small, TV=big. Having said that, there is still lots of work to do on integrating the technology so that advertisers can target their audience more effectively, cheapen the cost of advertising, and avoid unnecessary development or launching costs.
Future advertising technology is always a subject that interests us. If it interests you too be sure to keep your ear to the ground by following us on Twitter. Alternatively, you can add our RSS feed for updates. If you want to talk about video marketing opportunities then get in touch here.