Google acquire another Ad Display Company

For the second time in less than one month Google has acquired another display ad company.
Earlier this month Google captured the Display Company Admob for in the region of $750 million, Admob delivers display ads to mobile platforms, including iPhones. The recent acquisition for Google is Teracent. Teracent amends adverts according to computer analysis of early reaction to different elements of a particular advert banner. Attached to this is tracking software that produces accurate numbers of the adverts.

The official Google blog highlighted “Teracent’s technology can pick and choose from literally thousands of creative elements of a display ad in real-time — tweaking images, products, messages or colors. These elements can be optimized depending on factors like geographic location, language, the content of the website, the time of day or the past performance of different ad”

The second acquisition of display Ad Company’s enforces Google’s focus and determination to dominate online advertising.


IAB Engage 2009 – lots of debate!

IAB Engage 2009Perfect Storm have been members of the IAB since 2007 and we benefit greatly from this – white papers, events, latest stats, training guidelines and also a great way of seeing what others in our industry are doing online for clients. The title of this year’s event was ‘Keep Fit. Be Healthy’ – and unbelievably, Mr Motivator was on hand to give us some advice on how to be healthy in a digital marketing perspective!

Press panel at IAB 2009The speakers were impressive, and I have to say I learned a lot from most of them – not all, most!
We had Jeff Levick from AOL (head of global advertising and strategy), Charlie Leadbeater who is a strategic advisor and really is a ‘wizard of the web’, Louise Ainsworth (MD of EMEA and Nielsen Online), Shaun Gregory (MD O2 Media), Daniel Rosen (head of AKQA mobile), Mark Lund of COI, Chris Brittin head of Google UK, and of course great speakers from IAB including Kieron Matthews and Guy Phillipson. Did I mention the amazing Mr Stephen Fry? What a way to end the event and what a truly lovely, entertaining and intelligent guy he is.

One area in which there was a lot of debate was around the role of press and online – we had reps from MailOnline, NY Times, Bauer Media, Independent – what came across was interesting, but all sung from the same hymn sheet – relevance and quality of online content is key. Can Rupert Murdoch really remove his news from Google? Who knows, but all agree that some form of pay per view on news will eventually be something that most press titles look at.

The launch of UKOM was a really interesting development – this was announced last month by IAB. Louise Ainsworth of Nielsen and Guy Phillipson of IAB explained more about it yesterday.

In September this year, UKOM appointed Nielsen as its official partner “to deliver an industry-agreed online audience planning system, which will allow advertisers and their agencies to plan online campaigns targeting specific audiences, using an industry-approved system, just as they do with traditional media.”

Radio, press, tv etc all have their own planning tools and now online will have its own in the form of UKOM. It was explained that the system will launch early 2010 with a panel of 35k selected to be as representative of the UK population as possible. Profiles will cover age (from 2+), region/geo demographics, social grade, income, occupation, and what the panelists are in the market for e.g. houses, cars and other products.

It will be interesting to see how this will help us as an agency who regularly plan online campaigns for clients.

Stephen Fry at IAB Engage 2009Stephen Fry was simply superb – who knew he knew so much about online and also the origins of the internet! He is one switched on guy who now has nearly 1 million Twitter followers and who also explained a bit about why he nearly committed ‘Twittercide’ a few weeks ago! He hasn’t read a newspaper in over 10 years and gets his news from BBC, CNN etc which is interesting – again mostly online sources of news. He also sees himself not as a performer these days, but as a content provider!

Stephen Fry at IAB Engage 2009

I could go on all day about the conference, and will add other learnings over the next few days.


Ofcom event and an inside look at offline media

OfcomYesterday Ofcom invited Perfect Storm Digital Marketing along to an event to discuss the results of a recent report supporting the spending of public money on new local news channels, following the announcement that local news is under threat due to the massive drop in advertising spend.

My role at the event was to be the voice of online and inform my audience of how content is perceived, distributed and found online.

As I sat there listening to the many offline channels discuss the need for local news and why this investment was needed I constantly questioned in my mind where was online in all this “research”. It was apparent that online was very much an after thought or indeed an add on to any discussion. The morning came and went without much mention of the wonderful world of the internet, then my turn to speak.

I outlined in a world where the perception of content is changing, news and broadcast journalists alike would have to embrace those changes or suffer in the digital world. I spoke of the impact the real time web is having on content and how Social Media is changing how we access information. I stirred reaction on many topics that I sensed struck fear into my audience. Where was quality journalism in all this content? This was one burning question for many audience members. The sad reality was many online users today don’t value the quality of the content, they just want the content.

Take the example of the military shooting at Fort Hood; that news story was broken to the world by a soldier based within the base through Twitter. Yes, Twitter. No mainstream media source knew about the incident until the tweets were leaked to the world. Although the incident was true, many of the tweets released by the soldier were inaccurate – did readers stop and analyse the entire wording of the content? Sadly, no they didn’t. They just cared that it happened and distributed the information accordingly.

This example is one of many in the ever changing landscape of online content and something that offline media owners have to accept and adapt to. Already many offline channels are a tad late in their reaction to online media and content, it has often been secondary to print and television in terms of priorities. After lengthy discussions around online content and its value, what was the first question in the mind of my audience “how can we embrace this?”, “what can we do to change our structures?” No, in a true offline media fashion it was “how can we regulate it?”.

Ultimately this is the problem with many offline media channels – the amount of red tape and politics to get news stories out there is playing secondary to sources such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Offline media content owners cannot compete with online unless they change their thinking and restructure their organisations.

For me personally, I do believe in quality content and I do believe that news and broadcast journalists are key to the future of content online, however they have to embrace how content is changing. How do they do that? By investing in online portals, by cutting out the red tape and by retraining journalists to understand the online world and its tools.

I could sense yesterday an element of fear from the media organisations as if online was out of control and would harm them more than do good. Online is being blamed for the death of printed publications, however, the only people to blame for the death of newspapers is the publications themselves, many tabloid newspapers are offering the same churned out content both online and offline, there is no originality and customers are now aware of that. These customers want something new and fresh and they get that online from other sources. There has been plenty of debate around the death of print journalism however I don’t think that will happen anytime soon, instead what print media needs to do is embrace online and get a new fresh message out to the world offline and online with good quality content that is original.

The future of content is the web, whether offline media owners accept it or not. What needs to happen now is for huge investment into online portals and how content is delivered online. We are now in the digital age and we are still throwing investments at standard forms of media which have been proven not to be as effective in the current age of online. It’s crazy to think that £5 million is being invested in “local news” channels, with no mention of online portals! The government and offline media giants have to accept the internet is now, its happening and people want information online, surely now this is where major “public money” investments should be or at least a sizeable portion of the budget available.


Macsween launch haggis in a minute!

Our new client Macsween Haggis today launched a new sliced, microwavable version of their famous tasty haggis. Same taste, same haggis, but now available in packs of 2 slices which are steam cooked in revolutionary new packaging… the microwave in just 1 minute!
Now you just can’t beat that can you? If you head along to BBC Good Food this weekend in Glasgow, you can taste for yourself at the Macsween stand, number SP7.
Look out for a range of online campaigns going live in the next few weeks across facebook, search and other social media platforms.
What a delicious product to be promoting. And do you know how to make haggis nachos? No? Find out here:

Bebo and Facebook Now Live For NHS Forth Valley Central Sexual Health

Campaign continues to grow, raising awareness of sexual health issues. New ‘how safe are you?’ quizzes, forum activity and display ads.

Central Sexual Health facebook profile

Central Sexual Health facebook profile

Central Sexual Health Bebo Profile

Central Sexual Health Bebo Profile

Facebook Gets 15% of all UK Page Views in September

Facebook gets 15% of all UK page view in September

Facebook gets 15% of all UK page view in September

According to Hitwise, Facebook accounted for 15% of all UK page views in September. Next was Google with 5.8%, then ebay 5.5% and YouTube with 2.5% of all page views.

New Campaign for NHS Central Sexual Healthy

Targeted at gay and straight communities to raise awareness of sexual health matters. Integrated campaign across Gaydar, Bebo, facebook – display ads, content ads, quizzes and forum participation.

Sample of the display ads below – note we can only upload gif files, not swf files to the blog. Flash version allows think bubbles to be interactive with different questions. Holly Nelson is the account director managing this work.

Central Sexual Health campaign for NHS Forth Valley by Perfect Storm

Central Sexual Health campaign for NHS Forth Valley by Perfect Storm

Ad click throughs are directed to the main NHS Central Sexual Health site which is here

NHS Central Sexual Health campaign from Perfect Storm