Advertising Trends for 2012 from Gourmet Ads
For the past 4 years, and as the year comes to a close, I’ve looked forward to the future trying to predict what the Advertising Trends for the year ahead will be. Looking back I think for the most part I’ve predicted the advertising trends rather well. That said I’ll be the first to say that we’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.
So here are our Advertising Trends for 2012
1. Real Time Bidding Budgets to Increase
Real Time Bidding Budgets was something I predicted last year and again it’s my number 1 advertising trend prediction for 2012. Why? Well late in 2011, Gourmet Ads launched our private ad exchange called the Gourmet Ads Marketplace. Since then we’ve had an amazing response to real time bidding and if anything we’ve started to see many more advertisers start buying media like this. As the year came to a close, we spoke to all our major media buying partners and not one of them said that budgets were going backwards. Nearly all of them said they will have many more advertising clients in 2012.
2. Media Buying with Data
Just like Real Time Bidding, we also mentioned Data in last year’s advertising trends. In 2011 the buzz term by Q2 was DMP (data management platform), now if you believe everything you read in the digital press, DMPs will be no longer around in 2012. Then there is the debate of 1st Party Data vs 3rd Party Data and I’m not going anywhere near that.
Our prediction is that digital media buying using some sort of data will grow significantly in 2012. I think it’s the sole motivation for advertisers contemplating a move to real time bidding platforms, i.e. the fact they can pair the media buy up with data and then buy the impressions they actually want at scale. Once advertisers have developed a clear use of their own 1st Party Data sets and can begin to only buy the impressions they want we will see continued growth in data.
3. Mobile Advertising to Grow
During Q3 in 2011 we started seeing questions on both the advertiser and publisher sides regarding mobile advertising. We had advertisers asking about inventory and publishers asking about demand ( which is always great). When publishers in the food space are asking our publisher team about mobile advertising because their building an App or dedicated mobile site, then 2012 will be all about mobile. We saw during 2012 a number of supermarkets launch iPhone and Android apps which have been highly successful with consumers. See Woolworths in Australia which have a great mobile app. As a company we too have invested in mobile. Our development team is currently working on the RecipeBridge Mobile site which is scheduled to be launched in January 2012. Mobile content aside, I wonder if we’ll see better quality mobile advertising from advertisers in 2012. It does seem that text ads are still the main type of creative used on mobile devices.
4. Branded Recipes
During 2011 we saw a major advertising trend from food manufactures and some supermarkets seeking to integrate their branded recipes on our network publisher sites. I would say nearly every RFP we received requested some sort of recipe integration as part of the media plan. We believe this is only the beginning for Branded Recipes. Observing this trend, Gourmet Ads developed our own platform for branded recipes on RecipeBridge.com, where we add all the recipes of a brand into the RecipeBridge site. Then when people search for a recipe such as “fondant recipe” then brands with fondant recipes will be displayed alongside other recipe sites, where consumers can then click through to the brands website for the ingredients, cooking method and presentations.
Early in 2012, Gourmet Ads will be announcing the launch of our Brand Solutions on RecipeBridge to help brands get more exposure for their branded recipes to household grocery buyer.
5. Video Advertising
Video Advertising for the digital advertising industry in 2011 was huge. If you don’t think it was you’ve been on another planet. I recall sitting @ Digiday New York in November and watching the “State of the Industry on Digital Video” report and being amazed by nearly every statistic being presented. This is why I’m adding it as an Advertising Trend in 2012.
Why the huge recent growth in Video Advertising? There are a number of answers why. It’s so very similar to buying television and advertisers (and their advertising agencies) understand how to buy TV media. Engagement rates are consistently solid (notice I didn’t mention click through rates). Creative is rather standard now. Most video advertisers are using a 15 or 30 second pre roll video together with a 300×250 Companion Ad using either VAST or VPAID formats. We’ve also seen in 2011 more non linear advertising solutions come to market.
For Gourmet Ads, Video Advertising was the fastest growing section of our business in 2011. We’ve seen huge demand from advertisers and we don’t think this will subside anytime soon. We believe that video based revenue will increase significantly for the company over the next year or so. That said, there are still lots of challenges for video. Lack of quality video inventory is one. We’ve worked hard to build a large collection of Cooking Videos on Tastydays. The second is the technical requirements needed to setup a publisher to accept video pre roll ads. We have made some great progress with our own video hosting platform for publishers, but more education is required.
6. The 300×600 Ad Size
There is something to say for big things and the 300×600 is one the largest display ad sizes available with many calling it the “half page ad unit” Not only from a creative aspect is there lots of room to get the message across, but in our testing we’ve seen engagement rates from 3 to 10 times better than regular display sizes.
Over the past 6 months we’ve slowly started to see more advertisers ask for the 300×600 size and given the great performance of the unit, we believe that in 2012 will see more advertisers using this size.
7. Vertical Ad Networks will Continue to Grow
As I had predicted last year, there was plenty of consolidation across the digital advertising ecosystem. We saw video companies acquire other video advertising companies, we saw ad networks acquire other ad networks and major web portals continue buying investment that make sense them. What we didn’t see was any acquisitions of Vertical Ad Networks in 2012.
Many in the Digital Press predicted that Vertical Ad Networks will die a slow death, which really cracks me up. Gourmet Ads which just focus on Food Advertising are very much alive and kicking. We’ve seen amazing growth again this year and are looking forward to continued growth in 2012. I’m often talking to my peers at other vertical ad networks and all report solid growth and revenues. Gourmet Ads in 2011 strengthened our inventory by investing in RecipeBridge and I know other networks have been quietly acquiring more web properties and inventory which they can call their own.
So yes, I’m predicting that Vertical Networks will continue to grow in 2012.
7. CPG Brands to Increase Budgets
Again an advertising trend we mentioned last year and the year before. We saw a number of new advertisers in the CPG space in 2011 and we’re already seen new brands at major CPGs advertising for the first time. That said we would like all CPGs to start using online. In 2011 we started to see CPGs run longer campaigns, compare to previous years where they were just concentrating on Q4, then going dark for the rest of the year.
We have two predictions as an advertising trend in 2012, is that we’re going to see smaller to mid sized companies move to online in 2012 where they can easily compete with large FMCG / CPG companies, possibly more so on a localized / geo targeted basis.
8. Contextual Advertising for Food Advertisers
Another advertising trend we’ve seen from food advertisers in 2011 is the request to advertise on pages where recipe content is closely related or is contextually relevant. We’re predicting this will continue into 2012 as some advertisers want to only reach the exact target each and every time.
An example of contextual advertising for foods would be say a seafood company running a campaign for salmon and they only wanted to advertise on pages where salmon was being mentioned. Pages might be smoked salmon recipes or grilled salmon recipes. Now this is relatively easy for a single site to provide this type of targeting and Gourmet Ads has a few sites where this is possible. We’re working on contextually being able to target against videos with pre roll video advertising. The challenge has always been one around how much inventory is there.
Rolling in 2012, we predict that companies will use Contextual Advertising for part of their media plan, it might be in two ways. 1. They will allocate 10-20% of the media plan’s budget to contextual to ensure the plan remains relevant, then use retargeting and then general run of food. 2. They will book a 6 or 12 month media plan to “own” the term. I.e. they will own “salmon recipes” in very much like a sponsorship type investment, changing the ad creative when required.
What do you think about my Advertising Trends 2012 Predictions ?