Facebook's TV Aspirations; Video Ad Tech Next For Rakuten?

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Video Ad Logistics

Facebook is pressing “auto-play” on its 15 second video ad strategy in users’ newsfeeds in hopes of capturing TV and video ad budget.  As the LA Times points out, however, the success of TV ads can largely be attributed to the fact that people are passively staring at a screen, not scrolling through a web page. "Video is the new black," said Tim Hanlon, founder and chief executive of the Vertere Group, an advertising consulting firm. "Everyone wants to do video, even if it doesn't seem to fit. And I think on its face video in social networks is a tough fit." Read more.  And then there’s myth-debunking site Snopes.com which says FB video ads are still only “a claim.”

Ecommerce Adding Media

Rakuten has plans that reach beyond traditional ecommerce as All Things D's Kara Swisher says that the company has acquired Viki, a video site she quotes as "Hulu for the rest of the world." Read more. Rakuten CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani tells Swisher about the $200 million transaction: “Our foundation is not only limited to e-commerce, but an intention to strengthen our ecosystem in Japan and worldwide. We have been looking into finding a global solution for video.” Is video ad tech next for Rakuten? It's affiliate marketing business - Rakuten Linkshare - bought retargeter Mediaforge in 2012.

Target Amps Up Mobile App

Target is the latest retail to begin tying its offline and online store through its mobile app, adding such features as in-store WiFi and localized shopping lists. Other enhancements, Mobile Commerce Daily is reporting, include a location-based weekly ad. All of these changes will help Target collect more data about consumers’ shopping habits both online and in-store. It’s still early days for this type of integration as a recent EKN Research study found only one in ten retailers have an in-store mode within an app. Read more.

Optimizing The Ad Network

TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha gets a demo of a new mobile yield optimization product called Optimizer from MoPub.  With the new product, he writes that the ad network “waterfall” is controlled by MoPub data rather than the data provided by ad networks, “Now, when publishers hit the Optimizer button, MoPub will automate that prioritization process based on its own data and the data it has acquired from various networks, so that it can predict the likely CPM, clickthrough rate, latency, and more on a given ad.” Read more.

Completion Rates

Music streaming service Pandora has found success with video ads, according to ClickZ, despite the initial perception that it was just an audio platform. "We can say definitively that our auto-play video on Pandora is an effective driver throughout the entire consideration funnel from ad awareness through to brand consideration and purchase intent," claims Heidi Browning, SVP of strategic solutions at Pandora. "Our completion rates are very high and are well above the industry standard." Read more.

Pinterest Data

After Pinterest opened up its network to be more business friendly, companies have been flexing their viral marketing muscles on the social platform. Examples include exclusive giveaways and product launches. ReadWrite’s Lauren Orsini examined the way hotel chain Four Seasons is using the site to act as a concierge service through its Pin.Pack.Go promotion. All it requires is a basic understanding of Pinterest and everything else is handled by the hotel. Read more about it here.   Pinterest data is waiting to be unlocked.. it’s only a matter of time.

The New Media Model

Joe Marchese, CEO of SocialVibe, takes to Ad Age and explains in the wake of the Publicis Omnicom Merger why the combined entity’s buying clout won’t result in lower rates for publishers and the like. He points to digital where premium publishers are putting up paywalls, streaming services like Pandora and Netflix are offering paid subscriptions without ads and DVR technology is allowing consumers to skip right over ads. Read more.

Shoveling Display

The Wall Street Journal covers this success of what may be one of the few newspapers not in decline - the Amish newspapers Budget and Die Botschaft.  No need for brand safety filters here!  At Die Botschaft “photos of people aren't allowed in ads. Shovel photos are permitted. The ad for Smuckers Horse Dentistry shows a drawing of two horses. The more lenient Budget, meanwhile, ran an ad with a photo of an 87-year-old grandmother providing a testimonial for a pill that helped stop her itching within three days...” Read it (subscription).

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