To echo Carolyn’s post last week, my brand advertising team is very excited about the new creative opportunities that we are bringing to market for advertisers. In discussions I’ve had with CMOs, time and time again we hear them say that digital represents 10% of their spend but over 50% of their time and effort. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that math doesn’t add up. The imbalance means that right now digital campaigns are too difficult to buy and execute at scale. By 2014, digital will double in market share to 25% of US advertisers’ budgets*. Over that same three-year time period, our goal is to work with the IAB to cut the production time for creating ads in half while we continue to expand the creative palette that advertisers and agencies have to work with. It’s a big, bold goal.
To achieve this goal, Microsoft Advertising is approaching creativity with an ‘outside in’ mindset. We think about size, scale, simplicity in everything we create. Last month my team submitted three new ad formats (below) to the IAB ‘Rising Stars’ competition. Our goal was simple: shake up the antiquated formats in use today. These building tools are simple to use, device agnostic and allow creatives to do what they do best – be creative. The new ad formats provide creatives the freedom to tell a story across multiple pages and across devices, meaning advertisers can reach consumers on any device, without having to create different ad units for various devices. Re-sizing assets based on the various publisher sites/sizes the ads run on can be a production nightmare for advertisers and agencies (up to 200 re-sized assets for a single campaign!). Think of how inefficient that is… plus, these formats offer what at first glance looks like a ‘custom creative execution’ at scale—which addresses one of the biggest pain points agencies have been challenged with.
- Calypso Marquee - is ‘one size fits all’ as the creative agency only needs to develop one set of assets and Microsoft will fit it for any screen – iPad, TV, Xbox, mobile, video, web, etc. If the IAB selects this Rising Star submission, this unit has the potential to become the most scalable ad format in the digital world. This alleviates a huge pain point for advertisers who regularly have to create rich media ads for each different device and for different publisher implementations.
- Interactive Filmstrip - is the first ad unit to combine both how the ad is sequenced with what a ‘typical’ marketing funnel goal consists of into one unit. The ad is designed to dynamically change to match how a consumer is interacting with the ads based on their mindset given the content they are interacting with thus becoming more useful and relevant to the consumer. The user can interact with the ad through scrolling, hover and touch (on an tablet or mobile device).
- Page Reveal - another first for the industry, is an intriguing new way for consumers to engage with ads that become a full-page canvas for brand advertisers to tell their story. The ad is user-initiated with the goal of not disrupting the content experience on the web page. The ad is built behind a web page, giving a look and feel of a full page ad within a magazine. Once initiated by the user, the content on the web page disappears as the ad rolls out revealing different pieces of the ad. This ad gives creatives a large palate to work within and to implement rich interactivity (video, links, games, etc.).
The IAB will pick their winners during their annual conference the week of Feb. 28. Should one of our submissions be chosen, it could be turned into an industry standard that anyone could use. We are already working with our customers to bring these creative opportunities to life across Microsoft’s properties. We are always working to develop innovative creative formats and experiences, such as the Social Hub, which brings together four rich media social features that we recently released to our markets in the US. Stay tuned for more to come!
*Source: PWC Entertainment and Media Outlook plus internal MSFT Market Sizing.