I started reading Shoptimism by Lee Eisenberg a few days ago. I have only gotten through 50 pages – but so far it’s an interesting read on consumer marketing. An early section on the work of Vance Packard and his exploration (in the 1950′s) of consumer motivational research by social scientist working for advertising agencies reminded me of an incredibly insightful (and somewhat frightening) PBS FrontLine documentary on the same topic. If you have not seen The Persuaders – it’s mandatory viewing for anyone interested in advertising and if your not living off the grid on some atoll in the South Pacific you should be interested in advertising right now.
With respect to Online Advertising check out the narrowcasting section and how marketers and political parties have been working with data vendors (Axiom in this case) to customize their packaging / messaging for every consumer segment – with all the recent talk in the ad industry about customization, personalization, the consumer in charge; makes you think.
An interesting thing happens on Yahoo Video when you disable the safe search function and search on “adult” type keywords. Porn videos and adjacent Brand Ads from multiple AdNets. Advertisers and AdNets beware of cheap inventory, you may just be getting what you pay for.
Hopefully Oprah and Dr. Oz will NOT go after the AdNets (most all of them ran some variation of this campaign) that facilitated these ads running on pretty much every website on the interwebs January – March 2009.
As of 8/20 there are no more Oprah endorsed Belly Fat Ads on MSNBC – but Rachael Ray is still fair game I guess.
Update: Adotas has a good article with more details here..
So there are a few different kinds of display ad networks out there. This would include: general banner ad networks, advanced targeting ad networks, and exchanges.
The Ad Network world is certainly in a state of flux and these definitions are changing – but the general banner ad networks business model concentrates on performance type CPA (DR) offers. What this means is that they serve a whole lot of ads with a whole lot of offers for “Free Florida Vacations”. These networks are shall we say more liberal with the types of advertisers and publishers they work with.
The advanced targeting networks business model concentrates on highly targeted Brand type offers. This type of network generally offers very high CPM (high for remnant at least) but lower fill since they are only able to monetize qualified traffic. These networks generally are more restrictive in terms of the advertisers and publishers they work with because they need to be to work with premium partners to command premium rates.
The exchange is where all these networks collide; and indeed most all ad networks participate in some way with exchanges be it with MSN, RightMedia, and/or DoubleClick. It is in this marketplace where premium ad networks can be exposed to the more flexible policies of the general banner ad networks if they are buying and selling inventory. This issue is much worse when it is the exchange in questions policy not to provide adequate transparency between the advertiser, network, and publishers partners.