Video Panel Recap

Digital Video and Programmatic Advertising: “Not All Screens Are Created Equal”

Over 150 attendees braved the New York City rain for a chance to learn more about the current state of video advertising. Even through the clouds, it was the perfect setting for the evening’s stellar lineup, presented by 212 NYC and sponsored by TubeMogul, with moderator Sara Poorsattar (Director of Product Development at Times Video) and panelists Raymond Greene (VP, Director of Media Activations and Partnerships at Digitas), Natalie Bokenham (SVP Managing Partner at UM WW) and Ari Bluman (Chief Digital Investment Officer, North America at Group M), who gathered to discuss programmatic advertising in mobile video and the future of the medium that has everyone watching.


If programmatic advertising sounds unfamiliar to you, you’re not alone; Advertising Age recently reported that only 23% of marketers actually know what it means. To put things in perspective, Green explained:

“Programmatic is essentially the center of your demand side and your buying side. It’s putting information in front of the right person at the right time, taking into account all the individual needs and data points of that particular person.”

Bluman went so far as to simplify the process to pure automation, while Greene highlighted a “need to look at the output, and then re-funnel that to inform future buys. It’s like social media,” he said. “A brand puts a post out, but that’s not the end of it. People might comment negatively or positively and then it’s the brand that has an obligation to react. It’s not a plug and play process; it’s an ongoing cycle.”

Experimentation and trial and error are often the best ways forward when in doubt. The speakers all agreed that embracing uncertainty and finally shedding light on what’s wrong, instead of simply lauding what’s right, is vital to continued growth in the field

In identifying current and arising issues, Bokenham pointed out that 75 percent of spending tends to hits the same 25 percent of an audience again and again, illuminating the need for better budgeting and diversifying linear TV spend. She also highlighted the fact that the idea behind cross-screen initiatives and catching people on different devices at different times of the day just isn’t working yet as promised.

Instead, Bokenham is most excited by “the promise of interactive digital experiences,” bringing up the example of Sesame Street’s collaboration with Xbox and Microsoft’s Kinect, a line of motion sensing input devices. The project makes it possible for a child to become virtually involved with the show, playing catch with Elmo and Grover, for instance, and blurring the lines between traditional television programming and the future of gaming.


As the world moves towards total connectivity, Bluman ascertains that the ability to truly track users is of utmost importance. “User behavior controls viewability,” he said. We may be able to track things like drop off rates and viewing times, but it’s the where, when and how of usage across devices that we’re inching towards, and we still have a long way to go.

Finally, don’t be too quick to dismiss TV while making room for digital. When it comes to different screens, “It’s not an and/or and it’s never going to be,” claims Bluman. “It’s about building a bridge between TV’s continued success and reach and seeing what digital can add to it.”

For marketing professionals, it’s all about utilizing audience verification. Analytics tools like ComScore and Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings (OCR) and Cross-Platform Campaign Ratings are key to important decisions like whether you should be putting your impressions towards TV or digital.

“All screens are not created equal,” Green reminds us. But if you’re planning on ditching TV, think again. Bluman’s confident that companies that move solely towards digital, taking away all TV funds, are bound to fail. Turns out, like with most things, it’s all about finding the perfect balance – and for now, the search continues.

By Anastasia Dyakovskaya, NewsCred Contributor

Mobile Panel Event recap courtesy of NewsCred.