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BRIAN MORRISSEY: Thanks a lot, Matt.
That was great.
And I love the *** rug.
It's a new addition.
Thanks a lot for coming here.
I know it's already been a long weekend.
It's only two and a half days in.
But this is a pretty important subject.
And I think there's two large trends I see going on that are
inter-related, and I think that that both pose challenges
and also probably opportunities for publishers.
And one is that advertisers are looking for a little bit
more than just ad impressions nowadays.
They're looking for deep connections with consumers.
I think we've heard that over and over and
over again this week.
And then another parallel trend is that we're not in
short supply of places to place ads.
And that's putting a lot of pressure on publishers to do
even more to please advertisers.
So we're going to find out from some great publishers
what exactly they are doing to push the industry forward.
First, we've got Elizabeth Harz.
Elizabeth is the EVP of Global Media at Electronic Arts.
Erin Clift, SVP of Global Sales and Development at AOL.
Maria Mandel, VP of Marketing and Media Innovation at AT&T.
And Andy Wiedlin, SVP at the Huffington Post.
So I want to start off with just sort of a state of the
And I'm going to throw this one to you, Erin.
I've heard a lot this week about the internet being a
And what's not spoken when people are saying that is that
it's kind of failed as a brand medium.
Do you agree or disagree with that?
ERIN CLIFT: I have to agree to some respect.
I don't think it's failed.
I think that's kind of a strong word, because I think
that when attached to other things, it's actually
performed in interesting ways.
But the internet that exists today was definitely not built
for what brands are trying to accomplish.
I would agree with that.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: So how do you change that?
Give me two things.
You guys are doing Project Devil.
But what are three things the industry
needs to do to change?
ERIN CLIFT: I think that publishers in general just
have to think differently.
So Project Devil, which is something that we rolled out
on Monday, people are calling it a big ad format, as in my
friend Brian over here.
But really it was really about reinventing the page.
So if you looked at a page just on AOL, and I'm sure you
could say the same about a lot of other publishers, about 20%
of the actual page was content.
And then the rest of the page was various types and formats
of ads, it was navigation bars, sublinks and whatnot.
And what we're really trying to do is maximize the page for
the consumer experience.
So customers want to see content.
And if you're going to reinvent a page for content,
then let's also reinvent the page for brands to really
engage with the users who want to engage with ad content and
give them a canvas where they can have messaging and utility
and function, the same reason that people come to read the
content on the page at all.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: Andy, tell us a little bit.
I mean, Huffington Post, obviously, is a
newer digital publisher.
When you guys look at your advertising business, you must
be looking out there and see there's infinite
places to place ads.
Are bigger formats the answer?
Or what do you need to do to build big
brand advertising business?
ANDY WIEDLIN: The question before was about, did the
internet fail as a brand medium?
And I think advertising has failed as a brand medium.
If you look, whether it's online or TV or
print, 95% of ads suck.
And on the internet, maybe it's 96%.
So maybe we're doing more poorly.
But I think great creative always breaks through.
I think as a new publisher, we can do things that other
people can't do.
So we're experimenting with larger units, and similar to
what they're doing at AOL, integrating content with video
and blog posts and Twitter feeds to try to make it a
little bit more engaging.
But I think the answer is less units, certainly less bad
units, and more bigger, better units.
Did I say that?
I want less units that are better.
That's what I meant to say.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: Maria, you recently joined AT&T from the
Maybe also with keeping in mind your agency role for
many, many years, what do you see that
publishers need to do better?
MARIA MANDEL: I think the challenge that we're seeing is
that the internet of today really hasn't evolved that
much from the internet of where it was 10 years ago,
when we were in a much slower dial-up type of world.
And the ad formats, the banners, the buttons really
haven't gone that much further.
And why is that every time you do research, a television
commercial versus online advertising, the television
commercial always beats out the online
ad in branding measures?
Because it has sight, sound, and motion.
So that's where the creative comes in, is that I think as
internet advertising, as all digital advertising starts
becoming more complex, [INAUDIBLE]
use more video, more of that sight, sound, and motion, the
ability to deliver that emotional type of advertising,
that's really going to drive more of those brand dollars to
go into the space.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: Elizabeth, do you want to build on that?
And I said I wasn't going to let you guys say I want to
build on that.
Do you want to talk a little bit about that?
Because one of the other things I've heard this week is
this notion of digital advertising becoming more like
TV advertising and vice versa, but we'll stick
with the first one.
I mean, is that what you're saying?
ELIZABETH HARZ: Yeah.
At EA, we have the luxury of incredibly rich content that
separates us from the digital pack.
And in general, we think about connecting external brands
with the brands that EA has spent 25 years building.
So we think less about online as this discreet channel and
think about how do we take Toyota's brand and build
affinity for Toyota with an incredibly passionate audience
around The Sims and tap the brand affinity for The Sims
and convey that to Toyota, as an example?
And think holistically across all platforms, whether
someone's playing The Sims on their PC, or they have their
mobile app, or whichever way they're engaging in that
content to then connect the external brand.
And making sure that we work with our partners at the
inception of their strategies versus at an RFP stage and
say, how do you take your creative assets that you're
using on television or on other media and paint our
palette with those core goals?
So that's how we're talking about it.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: Erin, we hear a lot of talk about
audience-based buying systems. And it's amazing to me.
There's tens of millions of dollars going into advertising
technology, all basically around this idea that you're
going to be able to find the audiences you want, and that
content and context is not as important anymore.
As a publisher, has the train left the station on that?
And how do you differentiate when you can
find audiences wherever?
ERIN CLIFT: I definitely don't think the train
has left the station.
I definitely think that as a publisher we are very
concerned about it.
As consumers, we should all be very concerned about it,
because if you're commoditizing that piece of
it, then the content's not going to be great.
And then one day we're all going to be reading basically
syndicated headlines from one source.
So it's a little bit scary in that respect.
I think audience-based buying is really important now.
And I think technology has done an incredible job of
allowing us to reach very specific segments of audience,
no matter how you want to slice them up.
And I actually think that there definitely
is a place for that.
I think there's also a place for brands to integrate with
content in unique ways.
We just finished a study that was actually just released
this morning, so you probably haven't seen it
yet, but you might.
And it was really about that, that there's a finite amount
of content you'll actually read during the day.
And in that content, they actually are really open to
They accept it.
They'd actually rather see it more integrated.
And I think that that's differentiated inventory.
So I think that it's really important that we build
towards that, both as publishers and people who are
responsible for building brands.
The audience-based buying systems are important, but I
just think they're one component of how you try to
achieve an objective.
ANDY WIEDLIN: And I see these audience-based buying systems,
it's a race to the bottom.
I mean, we're just absolutely swimming in [? IB ?]
All sites are.
And you've got these really neat technologies that can
aggregate audiences and sell them really cheap.
And I see that happening on the one hand.
And on the other hand, I see advertisers going to us,
saying, yeah, we can always buy ad networks or DSPs and
we'll get a cheap price.
But how can we do something great?
How can we do something that's never been done before or
leverage the power of social media?
And they're pushing us to come up with new programs that
aren't price driven.
They're more creative driven and audience driven and
And so it just seems like on the one hand CPMs are going up
for really cool, interesting programs. On the other hand
it's just a cesspool of cheap inventory out there.
If you guys want it, you can buy it.
ELIZABETH HARZ: I would disagree with Andy just
because I like to disagree with Andy.
I think the audience piece is really important.
And as former Yahoos, that reach play is crucial.
And I think it's important for the medium for marketers to be
able to get mass and get reach.
At the end of the day, people know if they spend certain
amounts on television that it's going to move product in
Walmart on Saturday.
And if we don't grow up and offer that kind of reach, we
will always be this emerging or cool [? factory ?]
or direct-response medium.
So I applaud that.
I think having reach and having scale is critical.
But to the one point that I will agree with you, Andy, is
that it is important to have both.
And so to be able to work with the EAs of the world, the Huff
Post, and others to do very cool executions and then marry
it with reach is the way to go.
ERIN CLIFT: Let me add one more thing, sorry.
ANDY WIEDLIN: There's one thing I think we all agree on
is Elizabeth's shoes are fabulous.
ERIN CLIFT: They're shiny.
ANDY WIEDLIN: They're really wonderful.
ERIN CLIFT: I was just going to say that I definitely
believe in audience reach.
advertising.com is part of the AOL family.
So obviously this is something that I care about deeply.
But that doesn't mean that reach has to come in the same
form or the same boring internet as it is today.
So if consumers are already telling us today that they
have banner [INAUDIBLE] or whatever people call it, we
should continue on using technology to reach specific
audiences but really force change of what those formats
are, how it's engaging on the page and whatnot.
And then I think you have a better mix.
MARIA MANDEL: And I'll also just add to that the targeting
criteria as well, because there's mass reach and then
there's highly targeted reach where you're getting at that
bull's eye audience that you're trying to get at.
And I think that's the big impact that digital has had in
the space, where now you're not just necessarily buying
against specific content, but you can buy at very specific
type of audiences.
And the more data that we get on audiences over time, the
more we'll be able to really tailor messages to specific
audiences when they're most receptive to those messages.
ELIZABETH HARZ: Yeah.
We've been talking a lot about relevant reach.
And I think that's what people want.
We have to have enough critical mass that it can have
an impact on their business, but it has to be relevant.
And that's not just men, 18-34 [INAUDIBLE].
BRIAN MORRISSEY: So Andy, give us an example of a way that
you guys are getting out of that race to the bottom,
creating a program that you can't get through an audience
ANDY WIEDLIN: Well, at the Huffington Post, our big bet
is on social and social news.
And so what we're trying to do is we're going to advertisers
and saying, hey, instead of buying a bunch of banners on
our site, tell us the brand attribute that you want to be
So for example, when HP Amazing came out, they said,
look, we want to own all the amazing content on your site.
I said, fantastic.
So we found that content for them.
But the cool thing about it is that they own
that Amazing content.
And when someone decided to share that article, whether
it's across Twitter or Facebook or Google Buzz, the
HP advertising went with them.
So if I was reading an HP article and I shared it to
Facebook, all my friends that looked in their news feed
would see Andy just read this cool HP Amazing article
brought to you by HP.
So it's that sort of thing where you're trying to
leverage the power of social networks and going beyond your
own little site to reach as many people as possible in a
That's what clients are telling us
they're excited about.
That's what we're focusing on.
ERIN CLIFT: I would like to give an example.
I think that's great.
I think that we're doing it.
I know a lot of other publishers are doing it as
well, but we're really investing
heavily in branding content.
I think taking what a brand stands for and trying to marry
it to a piece of content or to someone who's well known who
wants to create content with that brand is something that
we are increasingly getting a lot of demand for.
We have some examples upstairs here with Cambio trying to
find the teen space and partnering with some of the
largest teen talent out there.
We worked with some of our favorite brands up here on
this stage to really build programming around what the
brand stands for.
And I think that's another way to get out of the bottom.
Is that what you called it?
BRIAN MORRISSEY: Well, I was saying--
ERIN CLIFT: The race to the bottom.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: The race to the bottom.
I was just quoting Andy.
But how about adding, like Andy was talking about, the
How important is that now and how important do you think
that is in--
ERIN CLIFT: Yeah.
I think the social element is enormous.
I'll just stick to the Cambio example.
Cambio as a brand has a partnership with the Jonas
Group, which includes talent such as the Jonas Brothers,
Demi Lovato, Jordin Sparks, and many, many other stars
that if you have children you might hear about quite a bit.
And at the end of July, we launched the brand that's
Cambio didn't exist before, and we actually launched it
via social channels, so Facebook, Twitter, name your
favorite social channel.
And now 50% of our traffic just in the first two months
is actually coming from those social channels.
We have over two million unique visitors.
And outside of that 50%, the other 50% is coming direct
typing in cambio.com, typing in cambio.com/ whatever
programming it is.
So I guess our big takeaway there is, wow, when you have
the right content and the right people, you can actually
drive a whole new business model using social.
Search is still important, but in this particular instance
not as important as social.
MARIA MANDEL: Well, it's interesting, because we
actually leveraged search quite a bit in the way that we
target our audiences, because yellowpages.com, yp.com is
part of our network.
And so we leveraged local search behavior and then
modeled people into tender segments, so people interested
in a certain category at that local point when they're most
interested in actually making that purchase.
And then we re-target them in a privacy-compliant fashion--
ERIN CLIFT: Disclosure.
MARIA MANDEL: --when they're on third-party sites.
And so that's a great way of getting somebody right at that
point of purchase when they're ready to make that buy.
ERIN CLIFT: Also, we count have just as a publisher
general in people sharing content.
We basically build content assuming that we know what our
consumers want and assuming that they're going to want to
share that with their friends.
Andy, I'm sure you could say the same.
I mean, I think that that's going to become a bigger and
bigger part of how publishers actually grow their business.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: Do you have any sort of global figure
about how many referrals end up coming through social
channels versus search?
ANDY WIEDLIN: We do.
The Huffington Post has grown 200% in the last year.
And we're not a destination site.
Very few people have us as a home page or bookmarked.
Over half of our traffic comes from Google,
Facebook, and Twitter.
And Google's the largest because we spend a
lot of time on SEO.
But a huge percentage, well over 20%, comes from either
Facebook or Twitter.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: Facebook or Twitter, which one is bigger?
ANDY WIEDLIN: Facebook's bigger.
And I think it's because we make it really easy to share.
We're big fans of Facebook Connect and OpenSocial.
And we just feel like it's a great way for people to share
news across their social graph.
We try to make it as easy as possible.
And it's great for us because it brings traffic to us.
ERIN CLIFT: I think that we would definitely
have similar metrics.
And I think that one of the reasons that obviously people
search for all of AOL content.
But also we work with really well-known journalists,
well-known brands, and they carry their own following on
Facebook and Twitter, so that when they post, they use their
fan base and their followers to actually
drive to the content.
That's something that we would rely on very, very much.
ELIZABETH HARZ: I know it'll be shocking to all of you, but
gaming is fairly popular on Facebook.
And we have seen gaming grow about 400% year over year.
There's about 125 million global Facebook
users who game daily.
And so we acquired Playfish last December to make sure
that we had expertise and a way to publish appropriately,
both Facebook-specific games as well as taking our
traditional intellectual property, like Madden or Need
For Speed, on Facebook.
And it's just been such an interesting year working with
brands, not only to come up with the ad executions or the
brand integration in those experiences but also the
And there are a lot of social listening tools out there that
listen to who's posting and how many comments there are.
But we're increasingly working with different partners.
Networked Insights is one of them that actually measures a
So we did a campaign with Dr. Pepper where they gifted a Dr.
Pepper vending machine into Restaurant City.
And we saw not only over 25 million downloads, which is
extraordinary, in a very short window but also a pass-along
effect or a ripple effect of almost 20
times the media spent.
So every buck they invested, they were able to actually
measure 19 more dollars of earned media just as a result
of the social currency.
So it's an exciting time, I think.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: So I want to get back to the
earned media question.
But you mentioned Playfish.
And EA's history is in console games, clearly.
But is there any difference in integrating brands within a
social gaming context versus a console gaming context?
ELIZABETH HARZ: I think it goes back
to what I said before.
It's really about the intellectual property, the
franchise, as we call them, the title, the game.
Whether it's Restaurant City or Mass Effect 2, very
different consumer audiences.
So I often parallel it to just traditional media.
And you think about how you do your advertising for
television versus print or for Sports
Illustrated versus ESPN.
And as long as brands think about it that way, what you do
for The Sims is authentic whether it's on Facebook or
So it's more for us about the content and the audience.
ANDY WIEDLIN: Maybe it's a generational thing,
because I am older.
ELIZABETH HARZ: I'm not as old as you.
ANDY WIEDLIN: Someone Google that fact, please.
But like, when I was growing up, you were always on the
lookout for someone selling out or some sort of ham-***
And the best ones make total sense and you're OK with it.
But most of them stink.
But I would think that the younger generation that's
grown up on Twitter and Facebook and social
networking, either they're blind to it or they're
indifferent to it.
I see a lot more acceptance of product integration, product
placement on television and on digital than I think my
generation would accept.
MARIA MANDEL: Well, I think it goes beyond
even product placement.
I think it's this blurring line between
advertising and content.
And I think what you're going to start seeing more of is
advertising starting to move towards content.
And what you see is a lot of the examples of some of the
most standout campaigns that are out there right now are
funny or they're entertaining and they break through and
they take on a life of their own on channels that go
beyond, whether it's social media channels or branded
content or creating games or video content or movies or
whatever it may be.
So I think you're going to see a lot more of that
acceptance of that.
ERIN CLIFT: I think the authenticity of that is so
important, though, because they think that consumers have
a high tolerance for that.
And they actually, again, based on a recent study, could
actually find the content to be more credible when
partnered with the right brand, where the values of the
content and the values of the brand match.
But if you don't do that, it puts the brand, I think, very
much at risk.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: Elizabeth, what do you
think about this idea?
Should all brands be thinking as publishers?
I mean, we often hear that.
ELIZABETH HARZ: I do.
I think that if you have four million Facebook fans and
you're communicating with them every
day, you are a publisher.
And I think media players who are threatened by
that, they will fail.
And as long as you have great content as a publisher that
consumers love, you will always have a way to add value
to the brand's discussion with the consumer.
You're not going to be their only way.
You wouldn't be their only way anyway, so
helping them to do that.
T-Mobile is an example with EA.
They do lots of direct content creation, product updates,
promotions, all of those tactics, obviously.
And then through their partnership with EA, they
bring exclusive downloadable content, exclusive game play
that enhances and extends relationships that consumers
already have with a game.
And they have the halo effect of delivering that content.
So they're even looked at as a co-publisher with us, because
had they not partnered with us, we wouldn't have made that
Mac pack, or we wouldn't have made that opportunity for a
consumer to level up quicker.
So I think it's a balance between what they do directly,
how they tap UGC, and how they partner with established
content players to publish.
But they are publishers.
And if they're not doing it, their brand's not going to be
around so long.
ANDY WIEDLIN: Well, you hear a lot of advertisers saying, oh,
I want to be in the publisher.
We have all this valuable content.
But often times, when push comes to shove, great content
is great content.
We love it.
We'll integrate it on the site.
But often times, it's not great.
Nobody's going to want to read it.
OK, so that's one thing.
And the other thing is, sometimes people just don't
have the time.
I don't have the time for this.
I don't have time to answer.
I'll write a blog, and then people are commenting and
talking about my brand and nobody has time to answer
So I think it's attractive.
And we're open to advertisers that want to engage in
conversations and publish and be part of the content game.
But it takes a great client to do that.
And from what I've seen, we don't have
enough great clients.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: Always a problem.
We hear a lot about this blending of
advertising and content.
But there are certain lines, I guess, between them.
How are you, at Huffington Post--
I guess you're not blurring the lines, exactly.
But how are you getting advertisers off the sidelines
and closer to your readers and visitors?
ANDY WIEDLIN: We have a pretty integrated
partnership with IBM.
And I would say IBM is a great client, because what IBM's
doing is they don't want to say, hey, check out our 2007
server and the power of printing and
all this other nonsense.
IBM is staking out something in terms of brands, saying, we
want to be the sponsors of the future.
And that's sponsorable.
So anything future-related, anything tech-related,
anything that has to do with innovation, we want to have
them aligned with our content.
And they can provide content.
They've got a bunch of PhDs.
But as I was saying before, unless it's great content and
unless it's around a brand attribute as an interest to
both the advertiser and the consumer, I don't want anybody
to sponsor quality footwear or something.
It's not that interesting.
The future is interesting.
ERIN CLIFT: I'll answer that.
Unlike Andy, we actually have a lot of really
good clients, Andy.
you can't be so rough on the audience, Andy.
ANDY WIEDLIN: I just want more.
ERIN CLIFT: Anyways, I actually think two things.
One, I think it's really important that you have to be
careful not to blur the line.
You can't dupe the consumer.
People are way smarter than that.
And I think that you have to be very, very clear about
what's editorial and what's not.
But I think that when you use a lot of data-- people talk
about data all the time.
We use a lot of data to dictate what our consumers
like, the format they want to engage with, what types of
topics are trending, what do they need to
write about, whatever.
And when you can match that topic and that need from the
consumer with what a brand's doing, that's really exciting.
We've done Bank of America savings experiment, is one
that comes to mind, where they really had a mission to
educate the consumer after they got a lot of heat over
the past couple of years.
Our consumers are looking for ways to save money in a tight
economy and we were able to create a really interesting
experience together, but not blurring the lines, but doing
And I think that's what, Andy, you were talking about.
ANDY WIEDLIN: The fox educate the hens, is that what you're
going to do?
To me, that's what it is.
It's like a Bank of America banking center, like how to
pay fees effectively.
ERIN CLIFT: That's actually not the content, but I hear
where you're going.
No, the content is done by our editorial.
So it's about educating the consumers
on how to save money.
It was just something that's actually
sponsored by Bank of America.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: How do you keep that away from being
Or maybe it is advertorial, different [UNINTELLIGIBLE].
ERIN CLIFT: There's modules that Bank of
America owns on the page.
They are very clearly marked.
And the editorial where we're creating the videos and how-to
tips are very clearly marked as well.
MARIA MANDEL: I think that depends on the category and
what type of brand it is, because certain brands are
easier to leverage and certain campaigns are easier to
leverage than others.
But for those brands that do have great content, some of
the new type of formats that are evolving are where I think
advertising is going.
For example, we have our U-Verse platform, which is an
IPTV platform, where we're launching these new type of
And so this is a channel that somebody can go to to interact
with a brand's content.
And we're launching one on Monday
with a major CPG company.
And so that's creating this immersive experience around a
brand's content that's clear that it's
that brand of content.
It's not integrated with another channel.
ELIZABETH HARZ: And I would just say this whole debate, to
your point, Andy, about the generation difference, I think
when we did grow up with the advertorial concept, I mean,
that absolutely doesn't fly now.
And so it's more, if you're going to be a publisher,
creating an app.
I saw this insurance company in Europe that I thought was
As part of their campaign, they created an iPhone app to
help you get organized in the case of an accident.
So you [UNINTELLIGIBLE] on your mobile all the relevant
And their mobile app interacted through augmented
reality with print and other pieces.
And that's content, but it's useful and it's not that
cheesy, advertorial experience.
So I think we have to be very careful of that line.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: So just to return to the ad format
question, I've noticed advertising, online
particularly, is looking to get a little bit more
And I'm wondering whether or not that's just a phase now
where people are sick of small banners and buttons and things
like that, or whether it's time for publishers to be
like, look, we've got really high-quality content and
you're going to have to give a little bit of your time over
to an advertising message beforehand.
Is this a trend?
Do the ads themselves need to get bigger and maybe more
ANDY WIEDLIN: Is that to me?
God, I hope not.
I mean, it's obnoxious as hell.
I mean, I don't think so.
I don't think ads should be more interruptive.
I think we should have less ads on a page, and I think
they should be larger but not necessarily prevent you or
block you from getting the content you want.
Has anybody watched TV lately without TiVo,
like, a cable channel.
Godfather II comes on and the first half hour is commercial
free, you're going, yes, and you grab a beer
and you're so excited.
And then, seriously, every 10 minutes, there's a pod of
And I don't want that to happen in the internet.
And we're swimming in supply.
And in order for demand to catch up to supply so we get
our prices to rise, I would say less ads that are cool and
engaging but not interruptive.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: It's a fine line between engaging and
interruptive, I find, when talking
with advertising people.
ERIN CLIFT: I don't think it has to be, though.
Actually, I really agree with Andy.
I think that you run into ads all the time that are
They give me something that I can then go
into a store and use.
I just think it's coming up with new ways to do that.
I don't think it's necessarily the size.
But it's going to be a very sad day if they get more and
And I definitely have a lot of respect for what the
Huffington Post is doing in terms of innovating around
that, for doing their own thing.
Lots of publishers out there are trying other things.
And I just think that we actually have to try harder
and work faster.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: Devil does give more of the page over to
ERIN CLIFT: A percentage of the page, yes, but within
So it's content.
Like, we look at it in terms of our advertiser as
We want to give them a chance to be a publisher.
We think that, against the right content and being the
right brand, that you can actually offer something
useful, whether it's a coupon or a store locator or engage
with a video or see more 3D views of a product.
I think that there's interesting ways that ads and
contents can work more closely together.
And I think that's really the mission behind it all.
ELIZABETH HARZ: I just think consumers and brands are
waiting for greater innovation and standardization.
Think about what iAd, what they accomplished in such a
short period of time, because it's a really elegant solution
And it can be as large or as small as the consumer chooses.
There can be an app within an app.
You're not taking away.
There's some sight, sound, and motion.
It does lots of things.
And I think the market's waiting for a great experience
ERIN CLIFT: And I'm really encouraged that there's a lot
of companies out there taking that step.
We certainly look at Devil as a beginning, not an end.
And I think there's a lot of great stuff going out there.
And I just think that we, as people in the industry, it's
our responsibility to make this happen.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: So we hear a lot about
And Maria, I'm wondering, also from your experience in the
agency side, do you think advertisers have the metrics
they need to figure out whether on not these things
are actually working?
MARIA MANDEL: Well, metrics is always a hot topic.
Especially in a tough economic time, I find that it becomes
an even hotter topic.
One, I think, part of the issue is that we don't have
uniform metrics across different channels.
So let's start off with that.
So it's certainly challenging with, how do you measure
How do you measure online?
How do you measure television?
For some reason, television isn't always measured to the
same scrutiny as online or mobile is.
So one, I think we need not just a measurement
[UNINTELLIGIBLE], but I think we need commonality and
pricing models across channels.
I think we need to start looking at some uniform
measures on how you measure branding.
How do you measure engagement?
How do you measure response to help level
set some of the channels?
But I think the beauty of digital is that it is more
trackable than some of the other more traditional analog
So all of the data is there.
It's about how do we analyze that data and how do we
evaluate against the specific marketing objectives the
One of the key things I find is that often times clients
have certain marketing objectives, but they're not
measuring to those objectives.
So that's something to definitely keep in mind.
ELIZABETH HARZ: I hate when panelists pile on to another
ANDY WIEDLIN: [UNINTELLIGIBLE]
ELIZABETH HARZ: --a quick endorsement
because it's so true.
As an example, EA recently did a study with Gatorade.
And we evaluated their in and around game advertising on a
number of sports properties.
And then we hooked up with Nielsen's Home Scan panel and
demonstrated that there was 24% sales increase as a result
of the in and around game advertising.
That's awesome, and it's great for Gatorade.
It's a great case study for us to talk about.
But it's all these silos.
Each one of us comes up with these cool results and it's
And at the end of the day, until people can look
holistically and get demographics like graphic,
brand lift, actual purchase and ROI stats, not just across
one publisher but across the digital landscape, it will
hold us back.
ANDY WIEDLIN: It's funny.
You talk to an advertiser, an agency, and they say, we want
something breakthrough, never been done before.
But we want measurements, and we want best practices, and we
want you to fill out this spreadsheet.
I get it.
Everybody wants everything.
Everybody wants to have their cake and eat it too.
But sometimes you can't have both.
So some of the real trailblazing stuff in social,
there aren't great metrics associated with it.
And yes, over time they'll develop.
But look, advertisers, I love you.
I really do.
I seemed to besmirch you before.
That's not my intention.
I'm just saying that we'd love to do great things, but great
new things are new by definition.
So we haven't worked out all the bugs in terms of the
metrics and measurements yet.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: So on that note, before we go to the
audience Q&A, I wanted to get each of you to give one great
engagement-based marketing program that's going on or
that recently went on that really impressed you and that
you think is one that people should look at when thinking
about the future.
I'm going to start with you, Maria.
MARIA MANDEL: Well, the Old Spice campaign.
I mean that's--
did I take all of your answers?
I'm so glad I went first. Thank you, Brian.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: And I was going to say, you couldn't
mention Old Spice.
ERIN CLIFT: Oh, Brian!
MARIA MANDEL: I mean, that's just a great example of
actually revolutionizing a brand with great creative and
taking a relatively low involvement product and making
it high involvement with a great creative concept.
And I think that's one of the issues in the space right now,
is that there's not a lot of really great creative and not
a lot of really great creative that's leveraged across
And they did such a great job leveraging traditional and
emerging media with that campaign, and the most recent
use of social media with Twitter and YouTube has just
BRIAN MORRISSEY: Erin?
ERIN CLIFT: It's hard.
I should have asked to go first. It's
hard to top Old Spice.
I think it's sad that the one campaign stands out
in all of our heads.
I think that that is a challenge to this entire room
to go do something.
I think there's been a lot of interesting things.
I think BlackBerry ran an interesting integration for
the Geek Awards, which is something that we hosted in
LA, but not everybody could be there.
And they sponsored, and they actually integrated their QR
code across our article pages, so that if you are a
BlackBerry user, BBM user, that you actually could be at
the event with the event even though you
couldn't be at the event.
I thought that was an interesting use of the actual
utility of the BlackBerry, which I thought was good.
And I actually really love the AT&T Around the Globe, which I
just saw the other day from one of your agencies.
ANDY WIEDLIN: What do you mean you just saw it?
I mean, it's everywhere.
ERIN CLIFT: I didn't see it.
I don't consume enough media, apparently.
But I love that it's just a simple use of the tools that
AT&T has and really demonstrates everything that
you're trying to accomplish.
So I thought that was actually really great.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: Elizabeth?
ELIZABETH HARZ: I did think that the example I was talking
about really impressed me, the application the insurance
company created, because it was useful.
And they tied in multiple mediums. And they leveraged
augmented reality, which is newer.
We also did a campaign with Renault that I thought was
And I hate to use our own property, but what I think was
interesting about the entire campaign, it was digital as
well as offline, was the use of digital to create demand.
So they are launching their electric vehicles
outside of the US.
It was a European and Latin American and Asian initiative.
But they're launching electric vehicles, and they wanted to
talk to a younger audience.
So they turned to interactive entertainment, to gaming and
they put their concept cars out there to get buzz going
and have people be able to gift them far prior to the
real-world launch of the vehicles.
And I think more brands using digital before launch and not
thinking of it from a direct marketing, post-launch
perspective is inspirational.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: Andy?
ANDY WIEDLIN: I'm just a big Dos Equis, Most Interesting
Man in the World.
And the TV commercials are genius and brilliant.
I wish they would do a little bit more online in terms of
interactivity and sharing and a little more social aspects.
But it's genius.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: So I want to turn it over to you guys.
I think we have some microphones around.
AUDIENCE: How are you?
David Cole, [INAUDIBLE].
MARIA MANDEL: How are you doing?
AUDIENCE: We knew each other when we were both at our other
companies, so this is great.
Mine's about metrics.
We started talking about metrics a little bit.
And that was the hot thing I wanted to hear.
And I want to tie that into an early comment about the race
to the bottom.
The thing about marketing, there's awareness.
There's also affinity building.
And affinity building is the match of the consumer, the
media, the advertisement with the content.
If you put that match together right, you can really build
affinity and really drive people towards that action,
most likely a sale.
Is there a metric, or what set of metrics do we really need
to harness as an industry to demonstrate how important that
affinity building match is?
And will that help us get away from this race to the bottom?
BRIAN MORRISSEY: I'm guessing this isn't the clique?
ANDY WIEDLIN: No.
It's a great question.
And I'll give a paradoxical answer.
So I think to build affinity, the best way to do it is
So if I recommend something, people in my social graph are
more likely to accept it.
And so anything that you can do in terms of power and
sharing and getting all this earned media I
think builds affinity.
The sad reality is that we don't have metrics regarding
shares and building that affinity.
So the best thing you can do for affinity is word of mouth,
and that's the thing you can measure the least, just to
screw with your brain.
And that's just the way it is.
ANDY WIEDLIN: That's what I'm advocating.
ERIN CLIFT: I think that what Nielsen is doing with Facebook
and the GRP is a step in that direction.
I think that's what you're talking about.
And I agree.
I didn't participate in the metrics discussion, because I
feel like every year for the past however long the
internet's been around, we talk about how online's held
to an unfair standard when it comes to media measurement.
And I think that's true.
And I would say that I'm probably most encouraged by
what Nielsen and Facebook are doing right now, because I do
think that we need to really rise above that immediate
response for online media or we won't move away from this.
ELIZABETH HARZ: I was smiling as you asked the question
because we're actually going to talk tomorrow.
I don't know if you're busy at 9:00 AM, a shameless plug for
the EA session at 9:00 AM tomorrow here at the New York
But we will be announcing an affinity meter.
It's obviously for our platform.
But because we're across so many platforms, we have to
start in our own world.
And we're releasing an insight suite that will help people be
able to look at their overall investment across console,
online, social, mobile, and in one destination be able to see
the impact that their investment has had.
And part of that is a meter that basically benchmarks that
investment and the holistic impact of that, how many games
were played, how much time was spent, all those metrics
across all of our platforms, and then benchmark it against
other campaigns in regards to building brand affinity.
I think people have to take a stab at it.
It's going to be a while before there's one affinity
meter across all of digital media.
So I think it's our responsibility to at least do
it for our own silos.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: Some more?
This one over here?
AUDIENCE: The question is for Liz.
I know that EA recently took in-game advertising in-house.
So I wanted to get a sense of what you guys
talked about creative.
And [UNINTELLIGIBLE PHRASE]
And I wanted to get a sense of what the
future holds as a medium.
We know print and web and the iPad.
But what is in-game advertising?
What's down the road for that?
I'd love to get a sense.
ELIZABETH HARZ: Absolutely.
So just a quick history for folks who play
console games connected.
Our experience in connected game play, we can serve
dynamic or live ads into the games just the way you serve
ads online, but into the living room, into a console
And previously, we had worked with two external firms.
Massive, owned by Microsoft, was one of those.
But clearly, in working with brands and building holistic
campaigns across all these platforms, it didn't make
sense for us to outsource dynamic and game advertising.
But to your question about the future, the opportunity to
have that technology in-house and collaborate directly with
the developers of these games and be able to serve more and
more things dynamically instead of having to hardcode
something onto a disk that's getting shipped out, or once
you download the game, whatever ads are in there, you
have those ads for a year or two, it was just incredibly
essential to our strategic vision to be able to turn more
of our advertising in this medium into dynamic
So the future is being able to manipulate those virtual
environments real-time, just like you serve ads dynamically
onto the web, mobile, or social.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: OK.
I think another one over there.
AUDIENCE: So I just think a lot about the term,
"engagement." And isn't that just a sexy word to sell
Because even with the example that Andy used with Huffington
Post, how they've reformulated their site and the HP example
where they own a section of content and someone reposted,
they read that--
OK, they can own that, quote, unquote, but is there really a
real engagement there?
You read an article.
It's just our way of maybe extending--
these are all media impression-based programs
So I just wonder what your thoughts are on that.
ERIN CLIFT: I was just going to say that I agree with you.
And I think that content's engaging, so why shouldn't ads
And I think we talk about blurring the lines.
And ads should be functional and should be utility.
And they should be fun and entertaining.
And that's not just something you see.
It's something that you're invited to interact with.
And I think that that's engagement.
MARIA MANDEL: And I think also, you look at things like
time spent or interactivity.
There's certain ads when you measure the impact of just
seeing an impression on a banner versus interacting with
a rich media ad unit that you spend a
minute interacting with.
When you measure that impact, whether it's branding or
whether you're measuring it all the way through to an
acquisition or some form of a response, I think that there
is a big difference between that sole impression or seeing
a 30-second spot versus interacting with something for
BRIAN MORRISSEY: Any more questions?
OK, up front.
AUDIENCE: Good afternoon, everyone.
My question is, as a publisher, what we're always
finding is advertisers want to do all these great things, but
at the end of the day, they want us to [UNINTELLIGIBLE].
They want the numbers.
That's all they want.
They want the ROI.
How do you reconcile those two things where they want the
engagement, they want this, that, and the other, but then
the answers that they want are completely different from the
questions that they're asking?
ANDY WIEDLIN: You've been living in my world.
We deal with that all the time.
Everybody wants their cake and eat it too.
I think that's just human nature.
And sometimes companies want ROI.
And then there's other parts of the company that are tasked
with doing something great or building a brand or driving an
And so often times, there will be, within the same company,
two separate groups.
Same with AT&T. AT&T is the number-one advertiser on the
internet, but the majority of their
investment is going to ROI.
And that's banners and buttons and beyond.
But every once in a while, they'll come up
with something great.
And they'll do something breakthrough and interesting
So yeah, it's a schizophrenic world, and a
lot of bipolar clients.
But there's budgets for both of them, so we're OK.
MARIA MANDEL: And it gets back to the point I made earlier
about measuring to the right criteria.
So if you're doing something that is building your brand
and driving engagement, that you're measuring against those
kind of metrics versus acquisition and measuring and
And this goes back to even when I was on the agency side.
It's always, at the start of a campaign, getting the client
to make those tough decisions to understand, because that's
going to inform the way you plan your media.
That's going to inform the type of ad units that you go
after, the type of placements you go after.
So it's important to think of that strategy up front and
then implement the right media and creative against that.
BRIAN MORRISSEY: Well, we're out of time.
But I want to thank the panelists, Elizabeth, Erin,
Maria, and Andy.