Advertising Week


Advertising Week 10th Anniversary Official Guide

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Advertising Week: You've spoken quite a bit about the shifting digital landscape for advertisers. From your experience, what has been most surprising about the direction the industry has gone since digital was introduced? Tara Walpert Levy: For a medium that is all about connection and creating a uni- fied experience across people's lives, I'm surprised by how many new siloes we've created to address the digital landscape. Digital gave brands the opportunity to be part of people's entire lives and to be relevant and meaningful to them throughout the micro-moments of their day. The opportunities for integrated brand experiences have never been more compelling. And yet, in trying to create those integrated experiences, we created a proliferation of siloes—by medium (e.g., digital, TV, print.), by format (e.g., search, display, video), by buying door (e.g., reservation, programmatic), by measure- ment technique (e.g., last click, first click, multi-touch), just to name a few. We still have much further to go to break down barriers that undermine the full potential of the medium. AW: As digital continues to transform advertising, businesses and brands, what do you anticipate will be the next set of challenges marketers and advertisers will face in the coming years? TL: Consumers are more impatient and demanding than ever. As technology has enabled more personal and on-demand experiences, consumers now expect this kind of value across all aspects of their lives—including ads. Evolving our industry to meet and exceed these expectations requires shorter, faster, more relevant, and more choice-driven (vs. interrup- tive) ad formats. How we provide value to consumers in the moment they have the opportunity to engage with an ad is key to how they'll respond to it. While everyone is eager to evolve the ad experience, it's not easy. For example, last year we launched six-second video ads, which are now being offered across the industry. Creatives and consumers love them, brands are seeing incredible results, but there's a whole new learning curve to determine the best way to incorporate them into a campaign—and the into the business model. Those who are moving most quickly are seeing real benefit. Keeping up with—or ahead of—the con- tinued acceleration in changing consumer preferences will represent the next set of challenges—and opportunities—for adver- tisers and agencies in the years ahead. AW: In the time since YouTube first grew to rapid success, what have you noticed brands doing well on the platform? How have brands improved within that digital video space in the past few years? TL: Brands have become more fearless in their approach to video advertising. Often, the brands we see who have the greatest campaign success are also the ones most willing to experiment. The first brands who moved their TV campaigns to YouTube are typically the ones who were also first to make production edits for the platform, to build creative from scratch for the platform and to embrace all the new sto- rytelling options (e.g., length, interactivity, targeting) available to them. Take Neutrogena. 'The Power of Light' campaign marked the first time the brand tapped a male teen influencer (Nash Grier) for custom content creation, the first time the brand produced six-second ads, and, most importantly, the first time Neutrogena launched a product with a digital-first campaign in the U.S. The strategy of firsts paid off. When compared to the 2016 average across all brands in Johnson & Johnson's portfolio running Google Preferred, Neutrogena saw 5x the lift in ad recall and 13x the lift in product awareness. Neutrogena attributes a lift in sales for the Light Therapy Acne Mask to its YouTube campaign, proving that it can literally 'pay off' to take a risk and experi- ment with a new approach. For the decades that spanned between Mad Men and the modern era, televi- sion was the unrivaled king of ad-supported media. At first untouched by the slow-but-steady rise of early digital trends, tele- vision has finally begun to feel the effects of the digital transition as con- sumers begin turning away from traditional TV and turning to digital video platforms and streaming services. As head of the Americas Agency team at Google and YouTube, Tara Walpert Levy is charged with helping agencies prosper in the digital age and demonstrating, by way of YouTube and Google's rampant, de- cades-long success in the digital space, why advertis- ers must follow consumer attention. And today, con- sumers have their sights set on digital video.

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