Food Advertising

Advertising Trends 2011

Advertising Trends 2011

** Updated click to read – > Advertising Trends 2012 **

10 Advertising Trends for 2011 from Gourmet Ads

For the past few years, as the year comes to a close, I’ve tried to predict the Advertising Trends for the year ahead. I’ll be the first to say that I’ve got some predictions wrong, but for the most part I think I’ve been on the money. My advertising trend predictions are simply derived from what we as a company are seeing in-market. If you’re curious to see what I wrote in previous years they can be seen here – Advertising Trends 2010 and Advertising Trends 2009.

What I can say about the digital advertising space is that it changes rapidly and you need to keep up with advertising trends, especially for agency media buyers and brand advertisers. How we operated or worked has changed significantly over the past few years.

As we go into 2011, the majority of commentators (if not all) are predicting growth across the entire digital advertising industry. For us however there are two advertising trends which I believe are real industry game changers; Video Advertising and Real Time Bidding. Both of these will change how consumers interact with ads, as well as brand performance and ultimately overall campaign results.

So here are our 10 Advertising Trends for 2011 from Gourmet Ads…

1. Video Advertising (Pre Roll)
During 2010, video advertising matured into a real product for many publishers, and we believe this trend will continue in 2011. This was for the most part due to video ad servers working to both VAST 2.0 and VPaid standards. We believe that Pre Roll will continue to dominate. It’s expected by the industry common standards for Non-linear / in-player ad units will finalize specifications making it easier for advertisers and media buyers to produce one set of creative for multiple publishers. Right now many publishers have their own standards, making it a headache when developing nonlinear video creative for multiple publishers.

At Gourmet Ads we’ve heavily invested in to both development of our food video advertising offering as well as working with key players on VAST 2.0 and Player integration. During 2010 we started adding a number of food publishers with video content and we believe this trend will continue into 2011. For publishers, the key when it comes to video is having quality content and we expect there to be investment made in this space also in 2011.

2. RTB (Real Time Bidding) & DSP (Demand Side Platform)
If you attended ad:Tech in New York back in November you’ll know the two buzzwords there were RTB and DSP. Over the past twelve months the industry has seen a massive growth in companies offering a real time solution (I’ve heard there is now over 50 in the US market alone) as well as large agencies investing in establishing their own trading desks. The DSPs basically allow agencies to buy an audience using some sort of data segments in real time.

For the most part, this activity seems to be have been restricted to the USA only, however we strongly believe that an advertising trend for 2011 will be a number of DSPs will pop up in the UK, Europe and Australia replicating the growth of the USA.

3. Data, Data, Data.
We’ve already mentioned Real Time Bidding above, but the underlying foundation of RTB rests in systems being able to understanding the characteristics of the audience, and in the case of RTB making a buying decision at that time if they want to purchase the impression. This all occurs using some sort of Audience Data usually acquired from one of the number of data suppliers out there. In addition there are some interesting products such as Quantcast’s “Lookalikes” which allows you to buy precisely the audiences you want, based on targets defined by your own audience data. i.e reach an audience you want using audience characters in line with conversion data for example. We believe that an advertising trend in 2011 will be for companies like Gourmet As to take a look internally at their own data sets and start allowing advertisers to target this data. This is certainly something we’re working on both a technical and a marketing perspective and believe that others are taking similar steps right now.

4. Location Based Marketing
Remember when you Location Based Marketing meant you were sent an SMS if you walked past a store. Hasn’t it changed dramatically with 2010 being the year for location based services. Not only did the likes of FourSquare and Facebook allow you to “Check In” to places, but local coupon based services like Groupon grew at unprecedented levels, so much so they just turned down a $6 Billion acquisition from Google. There is no reason why this mobile focused advertising trend won’t continue in 2011 and beyond where local retailers can take advantage of technology and preciously market to audience in a given geographic region.

In addition to mobile Location Based Marketing, Gourmet Ads is currently seeing unsurpassed levels of enquires about running campaign with some sort of geo targeting focus. This is either national brands running ads in specific locations, or more regional companies using digital to geographically target their consumers either at the state level or right down to the DMA or postcode.

5. Consolidation of Ad Networks
There was a period of 3 weeks in October and November this year where we saw one video ad network buy another every three weeks. Talk about dog eat dog. We haven’t seen this trend really in regular display ad networks for some time, but we think it has to happen. If you haven’t checked out the Luma Partners Display Ad Landscape chart you have to. It illustrates not only how many of the companies in the Display Ad Landscape work with each other, but you’ll notice how crowded the space is. As such there has to be some market consolidation. Not so much for companies that have a niche like Gourmet Ads which only does food, but we believe that there will be consolidation for ad networks which have a general focus and have no niche.

6. Mobile Advertising
An advertising trend which we’ve said it for the last three years is Mobile Advertising, but 2011 will be the year that Mobile Advertising takes off. Not only are smart phones like iPhone and Android handsets selling like hot cakes, you’ve now got additional inventory from devices like iPad which are as mobile as phones with larger screens. Apart from Apple’s own iAd Network, the leaders in this space have been publishers like the New York Times really experimenting with mobile ads.

For Gourmet Ads, the advertising trend of mobile advertising is significant. We have run some initial campaign tests, but in Q1 2011 we’ll be exploring how to give advertisers the ability to reach household grocery buyers in store, thus helping influence the consumer at point of sale in the supermarket.

7. Socially Enabled Ads
Socially Enabled Ads are about engagement, not CTR and we’ve seen this advertising trend pop up in Q3 and Q4 in 2010 and we believe it will become the standard as we roll into 2011. Socially Enabled Ads means that when running the advertisement there is space on the ad with links to the brand or companies social pages like Twitter or Facebook. A lot of print and TV campaigns are running this sort of messaging. A company which produces these ads very effectively is Spongecell. Be prepared to see more creative being socially enabled in 2011.

8. Increased spending by FMCG & CPG Brands.
Again an advertising trend we mentioned last year and the year before, but it’s actually happening in some markets now. Many of the large FMCG / CPG companies are now actively spending online and consistently from month to month. I guess what we saw more of in 2010 was brands run more campaigns throughout the year, opposed to reserving all their budgets for Q4 like has been done in previous years.

In terms of an advertising trend, we’re predicting we’ll see a raft of more small to mid sized companies move to online in 2011 where they can easily compete with large FMCG / CPG companies, possibly more so on a localized / geo targeted basis.

9. Non Standard IAB Units
During 2010 we’ve seen a massive growth in requests from media buyers for Non standard IAB Units and we believe that this advertising trend will continue into 2011. Sometimes referred to as “Beyond the Banner”, Non standard IAB Units provide advertisers a creative executive that grabs the viewers’ attention. The key executions we’ve worked with are ;

  • Background Advertising
  • Content Page (like this Recipe Pages for KitchenAid)
  • 800×600 Anchored Floating Creative which “float above the content then disappear)
  • Totally customized units – an example we’ve done a few times is a 990 x 300 which has been placed underneath the top navigation on our publishers sites.

The challenge with going down the path for media buyers of using Non standard IAB Units is that they do required additional resources on the creative side to execute. We’ve had plenty of agencies and advertisers want this type of activity but fall short either not having the budget or resources to create custom sized ads or content. Additionally we’ll see these booked for longer periods such as 12 months or at least by the quarter, which takes me into Sponsorships…..

10. Sponsorships
Sometimes including Non Standard IAB Units and other times just regular display ad units, sponsorships have been an advertising trend that we’ve seen occur during 2009, 2010 and will continue into 2011. For those that are not familiar, this is where an advertiser buys a fixed placement for a period of time of a particular ad unit. An example could be a 12 month buy out of say the Recipe Homepage. Typically we have seen sponsorship type placements booked on a CPM basis, we believe the trend will move into a fixed type pricing for sponsorships.

We’d love to get your feedback on some of our 2011 Advertising Trends. So feel free to leave a comment.

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