Video

Christmas is coming…and so are the adverts!

Christmas is coming…and so are the adverts!

Meet Daisy, a 14 years old junior intern. She visited the Bristol office last week for work experience and to learn all about Coull.

This is her first taste of marketing! Check out Daisy’s favourite Christmas adverts and our festive advertising top tips…

1. John Lewis – Monty the Penguin

What is it about?

This advert is about a boy who has a toy penguin, represented in life form. The boy decides to give the penguin a companion for Christmas, to keep him company. This advert may not have any words, but it still shows emotion in a playful and powerful way.

Why do we like it?

  • John Lewis talks beyond their brand and convey an emotive message, for example, “Christmas is for sharing”.

  • They use memorable, impactful music.

2.  Coca-Cola – A Coke for Christmas

What is it about?

Coca-Cola have become quite iconic in the Christmas advertising world and are allegedly responsible for Santa being dressed in red. They’ve managed to market a product, that’s arguably not very healthy for you, and make themselves a worldwide brand. This advert depicts a family Christmas and everyone sharing and celebrating with a coke. ‘Family time’ and ‘sharing’ are common themes in Christmas ads.

Why do we like it?

  • Coca-cola have created a worldwide tradition by dressing Santa in red, in a clever way to reinforce their branding.

  • They show a family Christmas, really speaking to their audience on a personal level.

3. M&S – Mrs. Claus

What is it about?

Marks and Spencers made a comeback in 2016 when they released their Mrs Claus advert. This is a heartwarming and funny advert, targeting their audience with the main character (Mrs Claus). As well as all this, there’s a theme of feminism throughout, empowering Mrs Claus as a more important part of Christmas.

Why do we like it?

  • It shows a different side to Christmas, a ‘behind the scenes’ look.

  • This advert speaks directly to their target market.

  • This is an empowering message for women.

4.  Sainsbury’s – 1914

What is it about?

2014 marked 100 years since that start of World War 1, and Sainsbury’s decided to mark this pivotal point in history with this ad. This advert shows soldiers in the trenches, creating a strong sense of patriotism as well as showing the importance of kindness and friendship.

 

Why do we like it?

  • This advert speaks to British audiences, making them feel proud of their country and heritage.

  • It also reminds us of the core values about Christmas: sharing and kindness – a running theme in these Christmas ads.

5. John Lewis – The Long Wait

What is it about?

This 2011 advert shows a little boy, waiting patiently for Christmas and it ends in a heartfelt moment of present giving. What this advert does well is it takes a different point of view, taking it back to our own childhood memories.

Why do we like it?

  • This ad tells a very emotive message to the viewers, similar to the other adverts.

  • There’s no speech, only a well-chosen song, this makes more of an impact and makes the advert visually compelling.

 

Top tips for a successful Christmas advert

  • Emotional imagery speaks louder than words.

  • Use impactful/memorable music – sometimes speech isn’t needed at all.

  • It can be fun or serious, but think outside the box to help it stand out. For example, take a different point of view like the Mrs. Claus character.

  • Know and speak to your audience.

  • Use events from the past that convey a strong message, like the Sainsbury’s ‘1914’ advert.

  • Think beyond the business or the product, viewers react more to emotional, relatable messages.

 

What are your favourite Christmas adverts?

Tweet us @Coull

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Coull Quickie October – The one about ad fraud

 We’ve spoken about ad fraud before, it’s making headlines, lots of platforms and vendors are saying they’re doing something about it, but the proof is not in expensive marketing campaigns claiming miracles, it’s in the investment by tech companies to make a real change to the way digital media is bought.

Let’s break this down, discard the sugar coating and get real.

Posted by simonholliday in Coull video

Apple and Google giveth and the IAB taketh away

Auto play mobile video is evolving but who will have the final say?

Apple and Google want to give adtech companies an alternative way to auto play video ads on the mobile web, one that avoids the use of nasty hacks to enable autoplay functionality. While this sounds like a step forward, the IAB is far more concerned with the user experience and wants to limit autoplay mobile video to Wi-Fi connected devices.

In reality both of these options have the same goal, to reduce the burden on the user’s device. The result – improved user experience. We’re going to dig a little deeper to uncover the merits of each so you can decide which is more valuable.

Let’s talk about mobile auto play video ads

Video ads that auto play in your phone browser use up a lot of data over time. Despite this fairly obvious negative implication, the format is growing in popularity because it can drive 10x the revenue of standard image ads.

Until now, getting a mobile video ad to autoplay has required reliance on a hack,  especially on iOS where a video had to load in the full screen native player. The new iOS & Chrome updates change all that. It’s time to say goodbye to the hacks and the problems associated.

The good, the bad and the ugly

You can look at mobile video auto play on a spectrum of polished, to pathetic.

At one end you have the best example of the ad format in all its glory – on Facebook. Auto playing muted ads are implemented in a controlled environment within the user’s feed.

Technically speaking, there is only one ad call, and because Facebook control the ad unit and ad server it can be lightweight code and compressed video – both easy on the device. The user decide to disable autoplay, or choose to only accept it on Wi-Fi. Despite this choice you will find that no one chooses to limit it because the settings affect all video – not just the ads. It’s in-banner video, but in it’s most considerate format.

On the other end we find the pathetic versions of the format.  Arbitrageurs buy cheap ad slots intended to image ads and load a video player into the user’s browser, then making requests for ads to every ad source they can find. This is incredibly taxing for the phone, running JavaScript that hangs the page, and a never ending sequence loading resources behind the scenes.

If and when an ad is returned, the adtech used by the arbitrager exploits a browser hack via the HTML5 <canvas>, not the <video> as intended. This is slower, and doesn’t provide any playback or volume controls – less than ideal.

Apple with iOS 10, and Google with the latest Chrome update 53 have taken a pragmatic approach. They’ve looked at the data and seen how much this shoehorned method has slowed webpages, especially heavily arbitraged ones like NYPost.com & Wikia.

The updates they’ve implemented go a long way to improving the mobile experience, but have they considered the user enough?

 

 

The IAB goes in to bat for the user

The new draft proposal (page 9) for should be shown Ads in 2017 has some big changes for Outstream players like Teads, and also the arbitrageurs mentioned above (pretty much every video ad network).

This guidance addresses video ads in non-video environments. Video guidance applies to in banner videos and ‘outstream’ ads that are placed in between non video content, e.g. in article or in lists or any video ads in non-video content experiences.

1. Video MUST be user initiated.

2. Video controls to Mute/Unmute audio and Pause/Play video MUST be available when video is playing

3. The RECOMMENDED maximum length for in banner video is 15 seconds and 1.1 MB file size

4. MINIMUM 24 fps

5. Video download MUST NOT start until user initiation

 

Video MAY be played by the ad without user initiation when it does not significantly impact the user’s cost of consuming content. It may be used under the following guidance:

1. When a user is on Wi-Fi or broadband internet connections. This is to respect user’s cost of consuming content.

2. Audio MUST be muted when video is played without user initiation.

3. Auto play MUST begin after ad is at least 50% in view

4. Auto play MUST provide pause/play and mute/unmute controls from the start of video play

Even in draft, it’s a clear message from the industry’s own trade body that more respect should be shown to the user, and to stop pushing them to install ad blockers with obnoxious execution.

Where to now?

Google and Facebook have made a commendable move to provide a much better mobile video auto play experience than would be achieved via a hack, however the IAB’s assertion is that auto play is interruptive, cumbersome and a financial burden to the user as are some other ad formats identified in their latest guidance. You can bet there will be lots more to come from them in the near future and it will be interesting to see how Google and Facebook respond.

Posted by simonholliday in Coull comment

The Coull Quickie – Header Bidding

In the latest Coull Quickie, Elise is joined by Coull CEO Aden Forshaw and Developer Tom Riley to talk header bidding and find out exactly what all the fuss is about. Join us for this easy to digest explanation of how it works, why it’s beneficial for the industry and the value we see in using it at Coull.

Posted by simonholliday in Coull video

Coull Quickie – July 2016

In the latest Coull Quickie, Elise talks about the big acquisitions, and non-acquisitions from July, looks at augmented reality triumph, Pokemon Go, and Google makes some new announcements for advertisers. All this, and more, coming your way in this short video.

Posted by simonholliday in Coull video
Digital advertising in Asia is growing, and fast!

Digital advertising in Asia is growing, and fast!

Why should we care about the Asian-Pacific digital advertising market?

According to the latest Strategy Analytics report, this year the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) is likely to overtake North America as the biggest digital advertising market worldwide. Predictions range between an 18%-20% increase in digital ad spending, which would bring its total spend for 2016 up into the region of $70-$80 billion.

This is a staggering figure and one we should not overlook. Perhaps unsurprisingly, China is firmly in the front seat of this regional drive in digital ad spending. This year, 44% of total digital ad spending worldwide will come from the U.S and China alone. But China is not an oddity, with the likes of Japan, Thailand, India and Indonesia, the region boasts half of the world’s top six countries in digital ad spending.

What is unique & desirable about Asia-Pacific digital market?

Mobile-first – The majority of people in APAC interact and engage with the digital world through their smartphones. In China, uniquely, users often even favour apps over mobile web. Understandably, many APAC countries have become critical markets for mobile app and gaming companies. Leading in-app advertising company, Vungle, saw ad revenues soar up 400% in China from 2015.

Efficient broadband – Mature markets such as Singapore have well developed broadband networks, providing a large internet-connected audience. WeAreSocial reported that an impressive 82% of the city-state was connected to the web. The availability and size of audience in many countries in APAC is attractive, and there is plenty of room to grow. Currently, spending per person in APAC is around $15, compared with $165 in the US and $95 in Western Europe.

Untapped technology – The Pokémon Go phenomenon has highlighted the power and potential of location-aware apps and geo-targeting. This week, breaking away from its traditionally risk-averse mould, Japan has become the first country to include in-app brand sponsored locations with McDonald’s Japan.

What are some of the challenges of the Asia-Pacific market?

  • Unique market – Just because it works in the West, doesn’t mean it will work in APAC. Whilst foreign companies can bring a lot of value to the region and act as a bridge between China and the rest of the world, it is essential to tailor tactics to the region. Vungle’s unprecedented success in China is largely due to their commitment to understanding the local market. By hiring Chinese-speaking employees and sending them into the field, they have localized everything from sales, engineering to account management.

 

  • Latency – The Chinese firewall not only screens and blocks websites, but also slows down almost every international ad call. Moving forward, companies would benefit from investing in localizing their servers.

 

  • Anti-Fraud & Ad-Blocking– Anti-piracy efforts and standards of viewability abroad are yet to catch up with the U.S. and Western Europe. In addition, many APAC consumers in countries such as China are mobile-savvy and well-aware of the latest ad blocking technology. According to a study by PageFair, 36% of smartphone users in APAC countries have ad blocking technology installed.

 

To recap, the potential of programmatic video in Asia-Pacific is huge. Foreign companies should not be discouraged by the regional challenges; APAC offers a unique market space that is only just starting to take off.

Posted by simonholliday in Coull comment

Coull Quickie – May 2016

The Coull Quickie for May is here and it’s not good news for publishers as 3 Mobile UK sets to trial Shine’s ad blocking tech at network level. The IAB US reveals some interesting stats around new viewing habits, AppNexus launches free viewabiltiy measurement for its partners and the Guardian launches their own native mobile ad formats. Get all the latest programmatic video advertising news right here, every month.

Watch the Coull Quickie – May 2016 right here, right now:

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Coull Quickie – April 2016

In this latest Coull Quickie, Elise reports on linear television and programmatic video ad tech coming together, Facebook officially burying LiveRail, Snapchat increasing the price of its inventory due to the interactive vertical video ad format and the good news for programmatic in the UK. Find out why in this short, but sweet, Coull Quickie.

Posted by simonholliday in Coull video