Todd Tran: managing director for Europe at Nexage
Todd Tran: managing director for Europe at Nexage
A view from Todd Tran

They do exist: brand protection and enhanced creative in mobile

We are a culture of brands: personal brands being built and nurtured through social media, "selfies", and documenting life's every moment. It's become quite personal.

Companies live in the same dynamic. They build, nurture, and socialize brands in any number of ways – from traditional corporate activities to intentional memes. Brand advertisers are no exception, as they seek continuous engagement with consumers throughout the day and across channels.

There are many elements to engaging with consumers in digital and mobile advertising, but we’ll focus on two that are rapidly maturing and changing the game: the nature of the creative and brand safety controls.

The mobile creative

It’s widely acknowledged that more engaging creative delivers a better brand experience. For mobile advertising, that quickly points to rich media and video ad formats, and, more to the point, where we are as an industry in developing these formats to create a powerful palette for brands to engage the consumer.

In short, we are making progress, but need to go faster. Rich media and video standards (MRAID and VAST respectively) are in place and programmatic markets fully support them. These standards create the opportunity to accelerate development, achieve efficiencies, and deploy high-end creative.

To further support the cause, some publishers and advertisers are building custom (that can scale across publishers) and native ad formats (native to a specific publisher’s content.

But we need to continue to invest in mobile-native creative to address a digital landscape increasingly dominated by mobile. While mobile-native means designing for a smaller screen (not just porting online creative), it also means harnessing the power of mobile – gaining greater share of voice, taking advantage of the personal nature of the device, leveraging features like the accelerometer and gyroscope and more.

Brand safety

Building and managing brands entails protecting them – having the visibility and control to ensure that ads appear alongside content that is appropriate and complementary. Direct media buys already offer that capability since the advertiser (or agency) has a direct relationship with the publisher.

But we also need to look at supporting brand safety in context of programmatic markets. This is especially true as programmatic markets – including programmatic direct, private exchange, and the open exchange – are on pace to soon represent more than 50% of spend. The recipe for brand safety is quite similar to direct, but is implemented as targeting parameters that enable media buyers to determine site/app and page-level brand appropriateness. This includes:

  • Transparency at the impression level
  • Contextual understanding at the page level
  • Privacy enforcement to honour consumer opt-in/opt-out.

 Companies have the right expectation for a brand-safe advertising environment, whether an ad is bought directly or programmatically. The good news is that brand safety mechanisms are in place to fully support these needs. As a premium marketplace, we have placed significant emphasis on brand safety, through Nexage Protect, for both premium publishers and media buyers.

The road ahead

This third instalment of our series focused on mobile advertising, a market propelled by an unprecedented shift in consumer behaviour. In each of these articles there has been a core theme: the consumer has moved to mobile and we are well beyond the point of if we "mobilise" our businesses to a world where it is imperative that we understand and master mobile.

Doing this entails creating strategies and capabilities rooted in mobile, and executing them to ensure you are not late or last to a market that will dominate digital advertising in a few short years.

 Todd Tran is managing director for Europe at Nexage