Snapchat Begins To Integrate Digital Ads

As will happen, another social media brand will be making a move toward the inclusion of digital advertising. As Advertising Age reports, image messaging service Snapchat has announced that they will begin the process of adding advertisements to their platform.

madads-snapchatThis move should not come as a total surprise to Snapchat users. CEO Evan Siegel recently indicated that ads would begin appearing in Snapchat’s “Stories” feature. A few advertisers have already begun launching experimental campaigns through the platform, including Dove with its recent “Self-esteem Weekend” initiative.

In a recent blog post, the company explained the move with a measured degree of nonchalance. It describes what current plans to incorporate advertisements will look like, saying that users can can expect an ad to appear in their Recent Updates “from time to time, and you can choose if you want to watch it.” It describes the move as “No biggie.”

And while the company is upfront about the reason for the change (“we need to make money”) it is apparent why they want to calm any fears about disrupting the user experience. Snapchat is dominated by younger users with over half of its base between the ages of 18 and 24. According to research firm comScore, the company falls behind only Facebook and Instagram in popularity among smartphone users between 18 and 34. The claims that its platform supports over 700 million “snaps” and about 500 million stories per day.

With those demographics as their base, their is a significant amount of cool factor to think about as Snapchat moves into its next phase. Bloomberg has reported that Yahoo would be investing in the company, putting its total estimated value at $10 billion.

Read more at Advertising Age.

Digital Ad Sales Continue to Surge Forward

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On a list ranking the amount of money companies spend in regards to Google search advertisements, there were some surprising finds, according to an article recently completed for Ad Age. Generally speaking, there were a surprisingly low number of retailers on the list. Walmart and Sears Holdings Corporation spent nearly sixty million dollars apiece. In the top twenty-five, there were only an additional four retailers.

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Digital Ads Now Triggered by Real Time Events

Due to collaboration with AOL, after nearly a year of testing the waters in advertisements and  fueled by real time events, UM has finally been able to achieve their desired results. According to an article recently completed by Advertising Age, UM has attempted this over the course of the last year with three clients; however, the operation wasn’t as successful as they had hoped.

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However, AOL’s ability to create powerful technology and software will allow for the program to truly shine as UM had imagined.
This approach with the new software provided by AOL, entitled real time marketing, will proceed further than this campaign ever has previously, working on a larger scale with less effort involved. For example, in the case that gas prices suddenly spike, advertisements can be altered to fit the rise in need; car dealers can immediately start advertising their hybrid models in an attempt to pull off of the public’s reaction to the increase in prices.

Along similar lines, if the stock market has a rough day and the success of stocks suffers, investment firms can immediately commence advertisements promoting conservative investment options. This idea has been around for quite some time; The Weather Company built on this public perception to change their ads according to the local weather. However, the technology created by AOL’s engineering team will revolutionize the process and the results.

The technology will hold a period of exclusivity with UM; however, after the set amount of time has passed, the software will be available to others in the market. Several triggers have been listed as items of focus for UM, including sports scores, market indices, local gas prices and life events such as anniversaries; the data will be collected from a variety of sources, including AOL properties and other data partners. UM executives claim that the software will have very realistic applications to its clients; Brown Forman, owner of the Jack Daniels brand, will use the software to prompt clients towards a celebratory drink at earning a promotion or to suggest a bottle to celebrate a favorite sport’s team’s victory.

Verizon Wireless Turns To Mobile Advertising

Verizon wireless, the nation’s largest telecom operator, is now making the move into mobile advertising. According to an article recently completed by Ad Age, the company will be partnering with Precision Market Insights to harness the appropriate technology to complete their goals. The deal also includes collaborating with BlueKai, a data management provider, Brightroll, a video ad platform and, finally, Run and Turn, an advertising technology provider. Together, these companies will create a mobile advertising campaign that can hopefully reach Verizon’s demographic, which increasingly relies on mobile devices to access browsers.

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Verizon makes the move to mobile advertising.

United States wireless operators have previously been wary of entering the mobile marketing terrain, based on a lack of cookies that makes providing appropriate and appealing ads difficult. Without cookies, data is difficult to obtain, which makes it impossible to provide appealing ads to consumers as they browse various sites. However, PrecisionID has found a solution to this problem, which has assured Verizon’s concerns of the potential for profit sufficiently to proceed.

This new implementation from PrecisionID tracks requests from consumers to visit sites through the Verizon network. It then chunks the data with an anonymous identifier to be delivered back to Verizon. From there, ads can be chosen specifically for the individual on the device. However, this still does not hold the capability to connect an individual’s browsing preference from one device to another. For instance, if a consumer searches for shoes on their phone, that search result will not follow them to influence their ads provided on their tablet. Essentially, despite the lack of connectivity between devices, this solution by PrecisionID allows for a cookie-like component to track browsing and supply consumers will applicable ads thereafter.

Some ad experts are wary of the system, however. They fear the potential for sales and profits will be dwarfed by certain backlashes to data; in essence, the cost of tracking efforts may exceed the amount of profit earned. However, Verizon is moving forward with the plan, which will affect their one hundred and three million retail subscribers. Corporate and government subscribers are excluded from the marketing campaign; likewise, should a retail subscriber remain uninterested in personalized ads for their browsing, they can adjust the privacy settings with Verizon to override the incoming ads.

American Express Changes Its Online Advertising Techniques

American Express recently announced some surprising news for the most well-known ad-tech companies. American Express is known as a huge digital advertiser and has decided to create an ad strategy of shifting the entirety of its ad budget to programmatic channels. The company has been known to focus on heavy-duty online and digital advertising, so their switch to mainly working on programmatic advertising strategies has caused quite a stir in the advertising world. The reasoning behind the company’s emphasis on programmatic channels appears to be a means for them to better position themselves and to get the most use of their digital advertising budget.

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This mainly is due to the fact that American Express spent over $120 million dollars on online advertising in 2013 alone. Ad Age Datacenter recorded American Express as the ninth largest online advertiser in the United States.

Only around 20% of online ad buying occurs via programmatic channels. Arguably, companies do invest advertising dollars into programmatic technologies, but unquestionably the majority does not allocate its entire advertising budget to the strategy.

American Express seems to be finding a new method and strategy to become more efficient in terms of spending their online ad dollars. They trying something different and attempting to position themselves in a new way in order to get more out of their advertising budget. Will other companies follow the company’s lead? American Express could be onto something big, but only time will tell how their new digital and online advertising strategies play out and if spending 100% of their budget on one method will be worth it.