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By Jeff Kuntz   |   Posted at 8:42 am on January 5, 2012   |   Comments Off

Want to Save Display? Cut Supply

Many of us in this industry have been fighting the good fight for a long time now to make display advertising a better outlet for brand dollars. And, if we get it right, everyone wins. But up to this point, the focus has almost entirely been on better technology. That’s not going to cut it.

From my rough calculations, the vast majority of venture-capitalist dollars, roughly $2.5 billion of $5.7 billion in the first half of 2011 alone, and strategic exits have focused on the automation of the sales and buying process, targeting and optimization.

Improving technology obviously has its benefits, but as an industry we have a bigger problem to fix: the essence of display advertising itself. We are all so caught up on acronyms and technology that we sometimes forget what it is that we are doing: We are in the business of advertising. The problem? A lot of display ads are not noticed. Beyond click-through rates hovering at fractions of fractions of a percent, 43 percent of users say they ignore and disregard banner advertising. To fix this, we need to change the economics: fewer and bigger ads. Not just bigger ads, but fewer.

Read More: Digiday

Meet Your Audience (for the Second Time)

These days, advertising and data platforms are giving marketers a wealth of information that can be used to validate their strategies and optimize their digital campaigns for better performance. There’s a lot of data to sort through – some more useful than others. Sometimes, good campaign optimization comes down to the basics: understanding who your audience is, and why they are doing what they are doing.

Let’s look at a real-life example of a digital display campaign, run through the digital ad agency of a popular mattress retailer. The agency wanted to test new inventory sources for the campaign by running broadly on general interest sites, evaluating the demography of audiences that showed purchase intent, and optimizing over the course of the campaign to maximize impact.

A theory being tested was that older audiences, who report more difficulty sleeping than younger demographic groups, would respond more favorably to the retailer’s online display ads. Campaigns were initially skewed to sites that over-indexed against an audience composed of ages 50 and older.

Read More: ClickZ

Unruly Adds $25M In Effort To Scale Social Video Campaigns

Anxious to scale its social video advertising platform, Unruly just secured a $25 million Series A investment from Amadeus Capital Partners, Van den Ende & Deitmer and Business Growth Fund. Since its debut in 2006, the London-based company claims to have executed over 1,400 social video campaigns, while delivering, tracking, and auditing 1.34 billion user-intended video views.

“We set out to help brands capture the massive opportunity in social video,” said Unruly founder and Group CEO Scott Button.

Unruly’s proprietary technology, RAMP (Real-time Amplification and Measurement Platform) powers social video campaigns for Old Spice, Electronic Arts, adidas, Unilever, T-Mobile and Coca-Cola.

It also had a hand in spreading Evian’s “Roller Babies,” T-Mobile’s “Life’s for Sharing,” Coca Cola’s “Happiness Factory” series, and Old Spice’s “Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaigns.

Profitable since 2009, Unruly reported full-year revenue of $25 million in 2011, and a current revenue run-rate nearing $50 million.

Industrywide, social video campaigns generated 2.7 billion views in 2010 and more than 8 billion views in 2011, and are predicted to generate 20 billion views in 2012, according to Unruly.

Read More: MediaPost

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