Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Posts Tagged ‘advertising

New (Google Ad) Rules

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Google is jumping on the political advertising guard rail bandwagon, announcing new limits on its microtargeting to age, gender, and general location (zip code). Google will also continue to allow retargeting based on content of website visits.

They will no longer allow ads to be directed to specific audiences based on public voting records or political affiliations (“left-leaning,” “right-leaning,” etc.)

The policies will impact both Google search results, on YouTube, and via the Google Content Network which displays ads on other sites.

The move left many politicos stunned, for in past campaigns they have leaned mightily on microtargeting specific sets of voters, an efficiency that makes many grassroots campaigns financially feasible.

Also on the GOOG front…remember Google Duplex, the creepy-crawly AI that would sound like a human and call to make your hair appointments? Well, Duplex is now officially moving beyond the confines of voice ops and launching as “Google Assistant in Chrome” as a streamlined workflow to help you buy movie tickets.

Next up: Streamlining the process of renting a car. And then?…maybe using Google Duplex to more easily buy political search ads from Google??!

Written by turbotodd

November 21, 2019 at 10:32 am

The Politics of Advertising

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Good morning. And congrats to the Washington Nationals on the District’s first World Series victory in 95 years. What a series.

And on the subject of D.C., Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced yesterday that the company would stop accepting all political and issue ads on its platform globally starting November 22.

Dorsey stated in a Tweet that “we believe political message reach should be earned, not bought,” and that “this isn’t about free expression. This is about paying for reach.”

No word yet on whether or not Mark Zuckerberg provided a RT.

Apple earnings were out late yesterday, reporting Q4 revenue of $64B (up 2% YoY), with growth fueled by services, wearable and iPad.

Samsung, OTOH, saw its operating profit drop 56% to $6.6B on revenue of $53B, but still beat estimates.

Facebook’s Q3 saw revenue of $17.7B, up 29 YoY, and its daily active users rose 9% YoY. Political ads or not, Facebook is still printing lots of Benjamins.

Funding Rounds: U.K.. commission-free stock investing firm Freetrade raised $15M in a Series A…IoT back-end platform Particle raised a $40M Series C led by Qualcomm…Crunchbase raised a $30M Series C to help folks find “signals in the data” (meaning, they intend to become a dealmaker info resource).

Written by turbotodd

October 31, 2019 at 9:32 am

LinkedIn, Algoed Up

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Happy Tuesday.

Yesterday was a bad tooth day. I had my first root canal since I don’t want to remember when. 

The headphones with classic rock with Pandora, some deep bone antisthetic shots to fully numb my tooth, and a steady stream of nitrous oxide made a root canal a nearly fun experience. 

Endondontists everywhere, more nitrous for all root canals.

While I was down in the endo’s chair, I learned this AM how a small ISP in Pennsylvania “tanked a big chunk of the Web” yesterday.

According to a story from Slate’s “Future Tense,” a Web outage in the Northeast affected “Verizon users and thousands of Website serviced by Cloudflare.”

Cloudflare provides security and performance services to 16 million websites and demonstrates how “one little error…can cause swaths of the Web to break with little warning.”

The outage started around 7 a.m. and affected Verizon before spreading to Amazon Web Services, web-hosting provider WP Engine, live-streaming platform Twitch, Reddit, and several others.

While we wait for the 404s to fade away, know that Axios is reporting some big time algo changes over at LinkedIn.

Axios reports the company has made the algorithm changes over the past 12-18 months to favor conversations in the LI feed that cater to “niche professional interests,” as opposed to elevating viral content. 

Specifically, Axios reports LinkedIn is focused on:

  • Elevating content that users are most likely to join in conversation, which typically means people that users interact with directly in the feed through comments and reactions, or people who have shared interests with you based on your profile.
  • Elevating a post from someone closer to a users’ interests or network if it needs more engagement, not if it’s already going viral.
  • Elevating conversations with things that encourage a response (like opinions commentary alongside content), as well as posts that use mentions and hashtags to bring other people and interests into the conversation and elevating posts from users that respond to commenters.
  • Elevating niche topics of conversation will perform better than broad ones. (When it comes to length, LinkedIn says its algorithm doesn’t favor any particular format, despite rumors that it does.)

This matters because…advertisers want higher-quality engagement, which in turn leads to happier advertisers, which in turn leads to more ad revenue for LI.

Have *you* noticed a difference in your LI feed?

Written by turbotodd

June 25, 2019 at 10:04 am

How Are YOU Watching These Olympics?

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So how are you watching these Olympics (if at all)?

I have to say, the whole time 15 hour time difference between here and PyeongChang isn’t exactly helping, either.

I don’t have cable, but have been recording the games via my TiVo and over-the-air broadcasts on NBC. 

The problem is, by the time I’m ready to watch a prior’s day performance, fast forwarding through the parts I want to watch, the morning news shows have already blown the news: Shaun White won his THIRD gold medal in snowboarding!

I guess you can’t embargo the news of a gold medal so easily (although NBC has tried). And I still go back to fast forward and see all the juicy bits, like Shaun flying through the air in one of his “1440s.” That way, I skip all the commercials.

The Wall Street Journal’s “CMO Today” e-newsletter today reported that NBC’s partnership with Snapchat for the Olympics is paying off, with 32 million users having watched its coverage thus far. Snap reports well over 90 percent of its audience watching Olympics coverage is under 35. All the people over 35 still think Snap is a tea-like drink (Snapple).

I also tried to download the NBC VR app so I could see Shaun flying through my VR goggles. Boy, was that a mistake. NBC wanted me to first lay claim to which cable provider I use.  Will they never learn?  Here I was, ready to go out of my way to download this VR app from NBC, and they were worried about whether or not I was paying a cable bill, instead of getting my eyeballs (and, presumably, driving up their ad rates).

The very same day, Ryan Murphy, he of “Glee” and “American Horror Story” fame, signed a $300 million, multi-year deal with Netflix.

Not with NBC or Disney or ABC.

This is the beginning of the end of the beginning, a new day for content consumption is at hand.

Stay tuned.

Written by turbotodd

February 15, 2018 at 9:38 am

Snapchat Opens Up Its Marketing API

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Happy Humpday.

First, congrats to the Flying Tomato, U.S. snowboarder Shaun White, who flew through the bruising air of Pyeonchang yesterday to take the gold medal in the men’s halfpipe snowboarding competition. And that, ladies and germs, is a full-on gold medal American sweep of the Olympics snowboarding competition.

Now, Snap to it, because Snap is now opening its Marketing API for all developers to use.

According to a report from VentureBeat, the company first opened its API to a limited number of advertisers back in 2016, which allowed tech and creative companies to deliver ads and put it on the road to programmatic advertising.

“Our advertising business changed profoundly over the past year as we migrated the sale of our Snap Ads to an automated auction,” said Snap’s cofounder and CEO Evan Spiegel during its recent earnings call. “Over 90 percent of Snap Ads were bought programmatically during Q4, which means that the auction transition for Snap Ads is largely behind us.”

With this move to open up its Marketing API, this should provide more accessibility to Snapchat to even more advertisers, and in the process create some economic upside for developers.

Written by turbotodd

February 14, 2018 at 9:12 am

Posted in 2018, advertising, snapchat

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Unruly Taps IBM Watson Personality Insights Service For Improving Online Marketing Campaigns

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The power of IBM Watson has already been unleashed on the advertising industry with Equals 3’s “Lucy” media planning tool.

Now, British ad tech company Unruly is using IBM Watson to create a new cognitive powered psychographic targeting tool to increase the effectiveness of digital video ads.

Unruly DNA combines the company’s emotional intelligence tools with IBM Watson’s machine learning capabilities to help identify and engage the people most likely to increase a brand’s sales. The company is tapping Watson’s Personality Insights service to help advertisers to learn how and why people think, act, and feel a certain way.

The Unruly DNA tool analyzes social media and other digital data from consumers and learns personality traits such as empathy, trust, assertiveness, and imagination.

Unruly’s new audience targeting tool creates profiles of light buyers who, according to academic research, are more likely than heavy buyers to increase sales because they have a greater capacity to purchase more. Unruly DNA then generates a recommended list of third-party audience segments based on these characteristics, which can be used by advertisers to improve the efficiency of their targeting.

Scott Button, Unruly’s Chief Strategy Officer, said, “Cognitive technologies and Artificial intelligence (AI) have made massive strides in the last few years and are now at a point where they can recognize quite subjective and very human qualities, such as emotion and personality.”

“We’re really at the beginning of the journey when it comes to using cognitive technologies in advertising. Machines can be a powerful tool for marketers to recognize human desires and aspirations. We’re really excited to be at the forefront of this new world with integrating Watson capabilities into our Unruly DNA tool, helping brands increase penetration and sales by targeting their light buyers,” added Button.

Unruly’s new tool is built on large scale consumer panel studies with more than 10,000 respondents combined with insights from social media accounts of participating consumers. By tapping IBM Watson, Unruly DNA uses a mix of linguistic analysis and machine learning to determine the sociodemographic and psychological profile of each panelist, clustering and aggregating the profiles based on buying patterns and purchasing frequency.

All people participating in Unruly’s online consumer panel provided personal data with their express permission and consent. In Unruly’s internal and external reports and analysis, all personal data is anonymized and aggregated. When targeting adverts, Unruly uses anonymous third-party cookies which are not linked to any personally identifying information and enable users to opt out.
According to recent research by Weber Shandwick, in association with KRC Research, more than half of global CMOs expect artificial intelligence to have a greater impact in marketing and communications than social media ever had.

You can learn more about the IBM Watson Personality Insights service here.

Written by turbotodd

December 16, 2016 at 9:32 am

My Kingdom For A Horse! (Or A Dodge Ram Truck)

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Perhaps the Super Bowl should have blackouts more often.

I thought I was going to fall asleep near the end of the first half, though Beyonce and her friends most assuredly would have awakened me from my slumber at halftime.

I don’t think she lip-synched that performance, and neither, it seems, did Ravens quarterback and MVP Joe Flacco, who actually threw for less yardage than San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick, some 287 of them. But Flacco’s passes garnered a little bit more accuracy and a couple more touchdowns, so it will be he who rides with Mickey and Minnie in the parade at DisneyWorld this time around.

As for the SuperBowl of advertising, well, let’s just say it was a year filled with fair to middling entries, some strong, most anemic, several childish but sometimes fun.

With many of the ads, I got the feeling I was watching the Mike Judge SuperBowl Advertising Film Festival, with a little bit of Sundance throw in for good measure.

For my money — and in the end, that IS what advertising is all about, getting you to spend your money — the Ram truck ad featuring the still life images of farmers and ranchers, underlined by the voice of heartland radio commentator Paul Harvey, walked away with the gold.

Sure, the Tide “Miracle Stain” spot was funnier and more entertaining, and Anheuser-Busch’s “Budweiser Brotherhood” spot may have tickled your sentimental bone a little more, but the Ram spot really hit home. It associated the promises of the product with a broad sweep of American experience — more gut feel than emotion, with images from a remix of Ansel Adams and Norman Rockwell, but unapologetically so, backed by the plainspoken Harvey explaining why “God made a farmer.”

Of course, all those stories have very little lasting power when compared to Richard III, the last of the Plantagenet, the royal dynasty that endured to the end of the Late Middle Ages, and for whom Shakespeare had cry, “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse.”

Turns out Richard could have used a shovel instead, as his remains were recently discovered underneath a parking lot in the English midlands city of Leicester.

What’s even more fascinating, DNA evidence linked with modern ancestors proves the genetic link.

It also turns out that Richard’s body did, in fact, have the historically anticipated hole in his head after all, having been struck by a medieval halberd (think pole ax), along with a scoliated spine.

According to The New York Time’s story, the University of Leicester plans to rebury Richard’s bones in the Leicester Anglican cathedral, and that the reburial will likely take place as part of a memorial service honoring Richard as an English king sometime early next year.

Not to worry about those Tower of London plots where he schemed to have his nephews killed way back when. That’s water under the bridge!

Wait a minute, you might be saying to yourself, how in the world did they find Richard beneath a parking lot in Leicester in the first place?

Ground penetrating radar, of course! This is a technology blog after all — why else would I be bringing up Shakespeare and King Richard!?

In any case, truth in this case is definitely stranger than fiction, and the fiction was pretty strange to start.

As for millions of American football fans around the world lamenting the end of the NFL season, King Richard via William Shakespeare anticipated our frustration in the opening soliloquy of his play Richard III and summed it up quite succinctly: “Now is the winter of our discontent!”

Written by turbotodd

February 4, 2013 at 3:49 pm

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