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Pop up banners, instant play video ads, text promotions, DIY videos and engaging contests. With an abundance of content online, this panel dives deep into the difference between advertising, sponsored content and entertainment. They discuss what’s working and what may be the next steps for marketing new shows, new music and content to the end user.
With programmatic ad-buying strategies, digital media executives are building niche audiences in the current world of ad bombardment across multiple channels and platforms. Fast-forwarding by PVR and ad-blocking are common ways consumers avoid advertising. But through programmatic buying, media strategists can reach a very specific target audience – in the demographic they want, with the characteristics that suit their brand – and achieve measureable results. In this video, digital media executive, Carolina Joan, and Kaaren Whitney Vernon of the innovative agency, Shift-Two, explain how they harness the power of compelling, sponsored content to build and engage their audience. With a video series like the popular ‘Carmella’ or ‘V Morgan is Dead,’ they develop a fan base over the period of the series, creating an emotional connection and building trust that soon transfers to the product brand.
Co-Creator of web series YidLife Crisis and head of eMerge Enterprises Ltd.
Co-chair IAB Canada, Data & Analytics Canada
CEO of shift2
“Marketing and advertising in a world of bombardment…it’s very difficult to get attention through the multiple platforms that we have…I think there are a lot of important strategies and lessons to be learned as we try to figure this game out.”
“So ‘programmatic’ is just a fancy, jargony way to say digital media infused with technology so we can make the buying process more automated…For example, …with programmatic, we directly plug into the source, and it’s a shift from buying inventory to buying audiences on a scale…we pay for women 25 to 54, impression by impression, in real time, and we can layer in the data…not only …a woman that is 25 to 54, but I also want her to be in market for a car.”
“We have to give them something that’s going to engage them, that’s going to have them coming back for more. I am personally so tired of the viral video, the one-off video. Again, it had a moment, but you have this little moment of conversation around it and then it’s gone. Our whole idea around entertainment is that it has to be ongoing. It’s not a campaign. It’s there to create an audience. It’s there to create an opportunity for a fan base to grow around it, and that takes time… That is really where advertisers have to get to, is stop thinking about themselves and thinking about the audience that they are trying to go after.”
“Enter Shift2 and Smokebomb Entertainment, who believe in starting a two-way conversation with millennials through a scripted series using characters and storylines that they can relate to. Give the audience something of value, and they will be open to listening to your message. To achieve this, we created V Morgan is Dead, a 20 part scripted series starring V Morgan who, after dying suddenly, wakes up on a mysterious sixth floor. There… the RBC values will leak into the series in an authentic and non-intrusive way.”
“…my big belief is that content is king [and] data is the queen.”
Eli Batalion: Are we all good to go? Is everyone settled down? Looking at, getting prepared to tweet and engage in this fascinating conversation.
Carolina: So much tweeting.
Eli Batalion: Or eating during this conversation, both are accepted. It looks like we are beginning this session. There is a lot to talk about. I, for one, find this particularly fascinating and I am very much looking forward to speaking to these two experts in their respective fields and I’m honored to be up here with them. This is a panel for marketing and advertising in a world of bombardment. It is indeed quite true because it is very difficult to get attention through the multiple platforms that we have. It is particularly difficult when we are trying to sell something as well, to be able to do that.
I think there are a lot of important strategies and lessons to be learned as we try to figure this game out and it will be interesting to hear from their perspectives. Basically, even though I will be asking a few questions, this is meant to be a market conversation and by the end of it, we hope to open up the floor to you guys, to feel free to ask whatever questions you think would be most useful to our experts.
Allow me to introduce them. I am going to start with Carolina Jung. Carolina is an accomplished digital media executive who spent the last decade in cross-functional leadership roles encompassing sales, marketing, and ad operations. She is currently the director of business development for Cadreon which is IPG Mediabrand’s ad tech unit, responsible for fostering strategic partnerships, leveraging best in class for problematic [inaudible 00:01:44] solutions, increasing neuro-life of Fortune 500 advertisers such as, you might have heard of them: Johnson & Johnson, Chrysler, Sony, and Labatt [inaudible 00:01:53]. She is also the current co-chair for IEP candidate data and analytics committee, committed to advocating best practices and identifying key challenges and growth opportunities that will help drive the digital advertising industry forward.
Prior to Cadreon, Carolina was the digital strategist and social media manager at Samsung Canada and a key member of the executive sales team that helped to launch the new MSN portal in Canada. Clearly, Carolina comes to us with a whole swath of expertise.
Carolina: You make me sound amazing.
Eli Batalion: Now we will move over to Kaaren Whitney-Vernon’s bio. Kaaren serves as CEO of Shift-Two. There was actually a representative this morning [inaudible 00:02:44], an innovative agency that helps brands explore their millennial voice using scripted series as social media to drive measurable results. A co-venture between a production company Shaftesbury and its digital arm Smokebomb Entertainment, Shift-Two works with brands to harness the power of video content on YouTube. Branded entertainment projects include the hit You by Kotex funded series Carmella with 45 million views and counting, which is amazing, on the company’s KindaTV channel, which is now the largest scripted YouTube channel for millennials in Canada. Also amazing.
V Morgan is Dead, a scripted mystery series brought to life by RBC. Additional branded content includes fashion-focused comedy series Mislabled, produced in partnership with Shaw Media and Schick Quatro for women, season one, and Tetley [inaudible 00:03:36] for season two. And lifestyle series I Do, founded by Hartmann Incorporated.
With 15 years experience as CEO of Youth Culture, one of Canada’s largest youth media companies, Kaaren has a proven track record creating successful, millennial targeted products, including popular lifestyle brand Verve Girl and Trendstand, the premier research study provided data on marketing to youth in Canada for more than 35 national and international brands. Kaaren also serves as executive producer of The Avenue, the first reality show on YouTube which garnered over 2.5 million views and developed countless loyal fans.
We got some experts here and they are coming at it from two different perspectives. What I think is going to be very interesting and I spoke to them a little bit before, is seeing where the convergence is between what they have to say. Also, there might be a difference of opinion as well. I think it will be very interesting. We had a clip actually for Kaaren. Maybe we could play this to lead into our first question.
It is a dropbox. Shift2. [Video Plays 00:04:44]
Eli Batalion: Actually before we begin, this is something I want to do off the top, just to get a sense of the audience right now, how many people here would describe themselves as producers or content creators? Okay, not a whole lot of you, but represent.
How many people here would say that they are from the broadcasting community? Okay.
How many people here are with brands or in the advertising community, perhaps?
Carolina: Yeah, all four of you. Amazing.
Eli Batalion: Okay. Any other groups I am missing out on?
Audience 1: Academics.
Eli Batalion: Academics? I like the sound of that.
Audience 2: Public policy.
Eli Batalion: Public policy, I also like the sound of that. There are a lot of legal and policy issues related to branded content. Anyone else? Okay, well. That is a very interesting crowd, so let’s start off. Obviously you guys have a lot of sophistication in your areas, but just to make sure we are on the same playing field, we should probably start off by just defining some of the lingo that we will be talking about. How would you describe words like advertisement, branded content, and sponsored content? What do you think differentiates them, if anything at all? We hear terms like content integrations, branded integrations, product placement … Are these all the same buzz words that mean the same thing? Do you see some major differences between all of these?
Kaaren: Well, I do, for sure. Recently, I think the last two years, at the Cannes International Creative Film Festival, there are over 1300 entrees into that award, and [inaudible 00:07:17] because it is for branded entertainment and branded content, and we are still doing what we have done all of this which was branded content, we put the brand first. It is usually around a campaign. We have a new launch, a new product, we are going to put the piece of branded content around that. Branded entertainment should be about the audience first. That is really hard for brands to wrap their head around. I would definitely make a distinction between, obviously advertisement is there to push the product. It is a push kind of scenario, but branded entertainment, its role is to first entertain an audience, not push the product. That is the distinction.
Eli Batalion: So I guess Carmella would fall under branded entertainment?
Kaaren: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yup.
Eli Batalion: Things like product placement, where would you define something like that? That has existed for a long time in Hollywood and filming.
Kaaren: Oh, yeah. We all can remember the ET back in the eighties. They made Reese’s peanut, the little nuts, very famous, right? The placement in ET. I know that is sort of what we strive for with branded entertainment or branded content. It is putting that product first into a scenario that people kind of think it is natural, but we all know that when we see a Coke bottle and it has got 75% of the logo showing, that it is paid for. I think, because we talk to millennials all the time, they sniff this out right away. They know when something is placed in a certain way and that a brand is paying for that opportunity.
Eli Batalion: Right. They heard it.
Carolina, on your side, you specialize in the world of programmatic ad-buying. I am not sure if everyone here is familiar with that term. Maybe you can explain a little bit what programmatic buying ad is and how this has been changing the advertising landscape.
Carolina: Absolutely, so I am in the field of paid medium, paid advertising. Programmatic is just a fancy, jargony way to say digital media infused with technology so we can make the buying process more automated. I think the best way to describe programmatic is by taking it back to the traditional way of buying digital media, where you would call up your rep, negotiate the rates, website by website, portal by portal, and pre-buy inventory in bulk in hopes to reach the audience you want.
For example, if I wanted to buy on ChannelA.com [inaudible 00:09:52] in hopes to reach women 25-54, I would do that, negotiate, have a contract. With programmatic, we directly plug into the source and it is a shift from buying inventory to buying audiences on a scale, so instead of hoping to reach women 25-54, we pay for women 25-54, impression by impression, in real time, and we can layer in data. Not only do I want the impression to this person I am reaching to be a woman that is 25-54, but I also want her to be in market for a car.
I think it is the marriage between data and audience, and because there is so much data, big data, which just means more data, we have the luxury to carve out these niche audiences.
Eli Batalion: Generally you drill down and get more specific with that audience member, I assume it becomes more expensive for an advertiser.
Carolina: Yes, it does. It is all option-based, right? It is kind of like the stock market. You have all these large publishers who kind of plug into the same pool, this open exchange of inventory, all of this unsold inventory. If I am looking for a woman that is 25-54, I am competing. You get to set the bar. I only want to pay up to 5 dollars for her. I guess the pool is so broad now that it ebbs and flows, so not necessarily more expensive, but for certain data sets. There is offline and online data you can purchase. Air miles for example, sell their data. If I want to purchase this person based on their past purchases or their past behavior, then yes, we would have to incur a greater cost. My stuff is so boring.
Eli Batalion: I wouldn’t say so. I have heard from people that buying media 30-40 years ago, the idea that it could be that targeted and then re-targeted, is pretty fascinating.
Carolina: Oh, absolutely. That is a whole other conversation. It would take the entire day.
Eli Batalion: Maybe we will have time for it, we will see.
Carolina: I see what you did there. Okay. Yes.
Eli Batalion: Let us actually go back into a prior media time where there was more focus on traditional advertising. Kaaren, if advertising is basically not like it once was for the viewer, because now PVR lets consumers fast forward through traditional advertising. Many streaming services do not have advertising at all. With changes in the way consumers are getting their content, how would you say the role of sponsored content has changed in the last five years or so.
Kaaren: Does anyone have teenagers or young adults in their family? When was the last time you saw them sitting in front of the television? I never see my kids anymore in front of the television and that probably happened 4 or 5 years ago. We were in the family room and there was no one in it. I realized that everyone had gone into their own little space and was watching exactly what they wanted, when they wanted. To be honest, I was in the print world. I looked around at YouTube and I saw what was happening there, and I sold my company. I just went, this is crazy.
No one is here anymore. The kids are not reading. They are not watching the ads. They are certainly not waiting for an ad to come out. They are not tweeting it. They are not talking about it in most cases, and then we have all heard of ad-blocking. That is the other thing that gets me. Sitting and watching something on YouTube, and my son looked at me and said, “Why are you watching the ad?” I said, well in five seconds I get to skip it, it is fine. He said, “No, you do not even have to have the ad come up.”
It is that realization that being in the advertising world for so long, we always look at the ads. That is part of my business. What I saw was all of these young people are not looking at the ads. They do not care about them. How, as marketers, are we going to get to them and give them something? The option is on mobile now for them to just click it on a moment’s notice and go, “I am bored. I do not like this.”
We have to give them something that is going to engage them, that is going to have them coming back for more. I am personally so tired of the viral video, the one-off video. Again, it had a moment, but you have this little moment of conversation around it and then it is gone. Our whole idea around entertainment is that it has to be ongoing. It is not a campaign. It is there to create an audience. It is there to create an opportunity for a fan base to grow around it, and that takes time. Nothing happens overnight, as we all know. It is the opportunity to come back, and have a reason for you to come back and watch that. That is really where advertisers have to get to, is stop thinking about themselves and thinking about the audience that they are trying to go after.
Eli Batalion: I am kind of wondering, just to skip ahead, how you ultimately demonstrate when you build that audience for years, I guess ultimately someone is saying, “Okay, well when are the sales of the product coming in for the particular brand?”
Kaaren: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Eli Batalion: I am kind of curious. In your experience, how cool are the brands about understanding that it is not a clear thing that is not that trackable and you have to have faith in the process? I am kind of curious what the range is as far as the brands that you deal with in terms of saying, “We need this particular ROI” or “No, we understand you are building a community. Lots of stuff is happening on social media for us. That is very satisfying.”
Kaaren: Yeah, I mean, let’s be honest. Brands have to have an ROI. They are not looking at this. I will say this cannot be a vanity metric, we have to prove that we can sell more tampons we have to change the perception. We do, we start off doing research, finding out what do people think about this particular brand, how do they engage with it; we are going to get information about this industry and from there, we can show after the series, that we actually moved the dial on those key triggers. How do we prove sales to advertisers? Well, how do you prove on a television campaign? Well we cannot really because we were doing radio at the time, and outdoor, and we are not really sure.
There is a lot of guesswork in this, but we are hoping that a lot of the data that we have and we always do a paid campaign around it. No, no, you have to. No one is going to hand you a great contract unless you have a great campaign behind it. It is looking at the data that we can get in these areas, but at the end of the day, that fan base will appreciate you giving them good content. They appreciate you not beating them over the head with an ad. They will listen to you. They give you that respect. They really do. It is amazing.
Carolina: I think on the note of data, I think it is true that everything now becomes so traffical online, that everyone is measuring the analytics and seeing how all the pieces tie together, all of the different channels across all the different platforms that when, Kaaren or whoever, does a huge branding initiative to increase brand affinity, you can see where on the funnel, where on the conversion path, it impacts.
I think with that data you can drive closer to ROI, but then you have performance metrics, not just re-targetting or other messaging, maybe native ads with a stronger call to action. That may be a little further from the branding perspective, but that drives us closer to the endpoint of sale.
Eli Batalion: Well, I think that if it is e-commerce oriented, like I do not know how many people are buying tampons online. I truly have no idea in this world, but many people are. They are buying in bulk on Amazon and drones are dropping them off at this point. If that is the case, and I imagine it is, but for things that require walking up and doing something in a retail space, that is probably a lot harder to track, although I would not be surprised if people were already working on that.
Carolina: It is becoming a very interesting space, but I feel that brands like tampons, it relies on the strength of their brand and then reaffirming that brand affinity is incredibly important. You have two oranges, which one would you prefer?
Kaaren: Thinking about the retail experience, we all walk down the aisle and say there is a thousand choices of whatever the product is.
Carolina: Say, tampons.
Kaaren: Yeah, and there is. The consumer is kind of shut down after a while. By having that connection, that emotional connection that we have created where we actually encode the brand archetype and the brand values within the story world, that stands out when they are walking down that aisle going, “Oh, what tampon should I have?” There is that connection. We go even further. I do not know how many people saw Jay’s presentation, but [inaudible 00:18:21] actually had fans that created the boxes of Kotex tampons, and now you see the characters coming to life on boxes. It is that tie in, full circle of the story world into the product.
Eli Batalion: Yeah, which I thought was extremely cool. Extremely cool that they get that excited about it, and what I think that he is saying was, you did not reveal that the brand was involved until, what was it? Episode 17?
Kaaren: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Eli Batalion: None the less, once it was there, because you have established that trust, they are excited about the brand. They are not just excited about the show. They are actually excited about the brand.
Carolina: At some point, you guys are going to see a clip and it is all going to make sense.
Eli Batalion: Yeah.
Carolina: Like, “What are they talking about?”
Eli Batalion: We could show it now.
Carolina: Yeah! Let’s do it now so that there is a little context. [Video plays 00:19:16]
Video: [inaudible 00:19:15] Research suggesting that young people would rather have a root canal than speak to their bank. Understanding this, RBC wanted to change the way they speak to young comedians and were willing to think of new ways to engage this audience.
Enter Shift2 and Smokebomb Entertainment, who believe in starting a two-way conversation with millennials through a scripted series using characters and storylines that they can relate to. Give the audience something of value, and they will be open to listening to your message. To achieve this, we created V Morgan is Dead, a 20 part scripted series starring V Morgan who, after dying suddenly, wakes up on a mysterious sixth floor. There, she is given an opportunity by boss Benson, [inaudible 00:19:48] get back on their destined life paths, and she will get her life back using the theme of helping people to navigate key life moments at the starting point, the RBC values will leak into the series in an authentic and non-intrusive way.
In doing so, RBC established itself as an entertainment provider and content creator, the first step in making youth aware that they really are valued customers. New episodes were released weekly on YouTube and V Morgan is Dead was brought to life on multiple social media channels. Conversation surrounding the series extended onto the V Morgan is Dead and RBC website Vmorganisdead.com where fans of the series would find exclusive behind-the-scenes content, interviews, blog posts, quizzes, and more.
Throughout the series, RBC and Shift2 used various research approaches to better understand millennials and the relationship with the banking series content, its characters, and the RBC brand. The initial research was used as a benchmark on perception. The secondary research culminated in a series entitled Conversations Brought to Life by RBC. This companion digital series showcases the audience’s favorite characters discussing life and the issues they face in a light, entertaining way. The end result was a branded two-way conversation to demonstrate that RBC understands someone like me.
The conversation and engagement hit a fever pitch when we engaged YouTuber Lilly Singh, aka Superwoman, gave a shoutout to the series on her daily vlog and snapchat. The V Morgan is Dead series boasts over 1 million views and 1.9 million impressions on social media, with daily fan engagement in the form of fan art, gifs, recaps, and more. Postwave research found that consumer connection to RBC and usage intent for the brand, grow significantly among those exposed to V Morgan is Dead. V Morgan may be dead, but the power of branded storytelling, is very much alive.
Eli Batalion: Very cool. Let me ask, this is the first thing that comes to mind, which is, what is the creative process for coming up with something to go to RBC. I am just picturing a pitch meeting where the idea of going to the RBC office and saying, “It is about someone dying.” Sounds like it would not work. I am curious about the process and how you are really taking very traditional brands and putting them with some pretty un-traditional circumstances.
Kaaren: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well the bank is a perfect example. They are what I call the ruler brand. They have obviously, a big history. The first thing out was millennials do not like ruler brands. They are looking for something to disrupt this category, Fintech is coming out … The banks are actually really scared about what is happening next, so I think they are willing to take a little bit of a risk.
We had a little group, could not go up and say it to everybody because there are so many different layers at RBC, but we did research first. It was always little bits of comfort first, to find out, what was their core demographic that we were going after for millennials and where could we get the most traction? Then we came up with this selection of stories and they went for the one that was right off the deep end. We gave them ones that we thought were really cautious, but we did not want to do, and they said let’s go for it.
I think brands are starting to … If you can get the biggest company in Canada to do this, market cap at 81 billion dollars, over 8 million employees or 8 million customers. It is just a massive organization and they are willing to do it because they know that the change is happening. If they are going to sit on the sideline, then somebody else is going to come along, like the bank of Google, and we just saw Apple coming up with something today. It has got Apple Pay. If they are not getting on board, you think the millennial is going to walk into a bank and start being its bank? No way.
Eli Batalion: I applaud their innovative [inaudible 00:23:40].
Kaaren: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Eli Batalion: To be quite honest, I am a bit surprised by it.
Eli Batalion: It took me … Surprised by it. Carolina, on your end of things. We are talking about the struggles that producers have getting products discovered, which is a large part of why we are here with the rise of streaming. Can you talk a little bit about the struggles that advertisers are facing, getting their products discovered? What strategies are you now implementing to get product names out there to the public?
Carolina: Yeah, for sure. To be honest, I do not think that there is a problem. We have never had a time where there are so many different channels and so much different devices that you can consume content on. All these different platforms that, just because you cannot push advertising content through like linear tv for example, or certain streaming services. It still opens up all of these other channels like social media where people are consuming content. Mobile devices, different sites on mobile gaming in-app were a lot of people spend most of their free time. In fact, I think the stat is 80% of the time spent on mobile devices on an app, and one of 10 apps. I bet 5 of those apps are some weird game like Candy Crush or some Marvel game, whatever your flavor is.
It becomes a really interesting space. It is just about adopting to which platform makes the most sense for your message and the type of content you are trying to push out, directed at the type of user you want and the mindset of consuming that content.
For example, if I want to push a piece out on LinkedIn, then there is a lot of different rich executions you can do with LinkedIn where it is more of a professional mindset. If you want to hit someone in the evening where they are more relaxed and you want to hit them on a tablet device, maybe on social media platform. It just becomes a really interesting space, and so I think the opportunities are endless, and listen, it is just about being creative and knowing who your target is and understanding if your message aligns with the strategy.
Eli Batalion: When you are doing these sort of campaigns, it is people like yourself who are taking these notes as human beings, thinking of a strategy, and then you are putting various inputs into some sort of bidding system, and then that is just being followed through automatically, independently? What is the process like when you actually buy media when you think of it this way?
Carolina: Yeah. So you would be amazed at how unautomated process of digital buying is, and when I say programmatic, we play every channel that is digital. Digital out of home can be done programmatically now, with the use of data, so that’s like restrooms, transit ads, hotel elevators, things like that as well as personal, desktop, and mobile devices, social media, different video distribution channels. Ironically, advanced TV is coming along. The ability to buy linear TV in a more programmatic way. That being said, I feel Canada still has a lot of things to work out in order for that to happen. In the interim, you can still buy television ads via video through connected devices, like, set-top boxes, gaming consoles, or a smart TV.
When I am on my smart TV and I want to watch Crackle, for example, before the content plays, there will be a video and the option to make that video more interactive, so the ability to play with the ad, click on things, make it a lot more immersive, if you will.
In terms of process, it really comes down to what is your core objective? Is it branding? Is it awareness? Is it sales? Depending on what your goal is, what are the key KPIs … I sound so boring. The key metrics that will help indicate success?
If it is sales, for example, it will be your conversion rate, your cost per acquisition or your cost per action, if it is a lead. If it is awareness, could it be the average cost per thousand? How cheaply are you getting these eyeballs? It could be a click-through rate or engagement rate, or things like that.
Once we figure out what the objective is, does that align with the marketing goals? Then we select the platforms we want, and every platform has different targeting options and different ad formats, then we select the right combination, and then we push it out.
For example, if you are running an acquisition campaign and your goal is to increase sales of a product, sometimes boring is the best way to go. It is not sexy, but it does the job. Targeting, we will learn about that later.
Eli Batalion: I am actually just kind of curious.
Eli Batalion: Right now, you are saying that at-home targeting is a possibility.
Eli Batalion: If I were biding on something right now, I do not know, on the Thompson hotel elevator, are you telling me that I could literally click and you could show up in an elevator in Vancouver?
Carolina: Yes and no. We are in the process of doing a press release, so we will be launching the first campaign in Canada to be bought programmatically through digital at-home. It is a partnership with New Ad. Initially, it was a partnership with New Ad and Patterson.
Even though we are automated and the way to book the inventory is very automated, the process of getting the ad up is still not very automated, and there is no standardization across the different vendors. It is still a little manual. Programmatic digital out-of-home is near real-time and they can do it a lot quicker than they used to be able to do it in terms of cost-efficiencies and in terms of placement. I can select, I want this particular hotel or this particular restaurant in Yorkville. I only want to show my ad between 11 and 2pm in the women’s bathroom. In that sense, it is a little more interesting, but there are still all those hurdles that comes with parts of the process being manual. Look out for that press release, guys. I am very proud.
Eli Batalion: I certainly will. I happen to find this cool, by the way.
Carolina: Okay, cool. Awesome. Yeah.
Eli Batalion: Yeah, it is cool.
Carolina: How can I find out where you live by the bathroom spot and then run …
Kaaren: Carolina, do you get to see the actual creative?
Kaaren: Are they pulling that closer together or is it still really silent?
Carolina: It depends. For me, because I am director of business development, my whole job is to create new relationships, new partnerships, pitch for new pieces of business. This is with a new advertiser. The interesting thing is, when you get a new advertiser, they just got out of a messy divorce with their last agency, and I am like, “No, no. Come love me. Trust me. Let’s do this thing.”
It becomes very intimate. I can help guide them along the process, but unfortunately because of lead times at the costs of making creative, sometimes you have to cut them a little cheap. So for digital automotive, for example, we are running the same pre-roll ad that we will across device. This execution is actually cross-channel. We are doing radio. We can even do audio programmatically now … Spotify, Google Play. Mobile, desktop, social media, across Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and digital at home. This is going to be an interesting execution, but because there are so many moving parts, we have to use the same pre-roll creative because we just did not have the money.
Eli Batalion: To bring you both together, we could presumably use programmatic for branded entertainment, correct?
Carolina: Good question. In order of creating it, I feel my world ends where her world starts, right? Because I am very automated. The thing with automation is that it has to be standardized, whereas hers is very creative and custom, that you have to tailor it to the different platforms. In terms of pushing it out to different channels based on the format, like if it is video for example, and the channels you want to drive to, then yes, absolutely.
Eli Batalion: Cool.
Kaaren, let’s talk about sponsorship deals. As we all know, many of them are not created equal. What examples can we give of a time when sponsored content worked particularly well. Tell us why you thought it worked and give us examples of less successful sponsored content.
Kaaren: I mean, YouTube has done a really great job. They kind of divide content into three buckets. One they call the hero of content. The hero of content is that thing that is going to blast everybody out and get the attention. Think a Volvo and VanDame and the Volvo truck. Everybody saw that when he did the splits on that moving truck and people then want to start to watch what was behind the scenes on that and how did he do that? That is hero content. That is getting that massive eyeball to it. I think that is a great way of showing that sponsored content that is being paid for and making sure they have buckets to support it. That is a good campaign. They did other videos and then they show what the inside of the truck looked like. They took you, more immersive, into it.
I do not want to say anything bad. I saw one … Again, I play in the teen millennial space, so there is an Ultra Clearasil zombie series, and within the first two second of the opening line of the series, I thought, “Oh, this is going to be great. I love zombies. I am totally into zombies.” I started watching it and this girl Skypes with this guy and he has got a big zit on his face. She goes, “Oh my god. What is wrong with your face?” And he is like, “I got a zit.”
I am already going, “Oh no. Oh no.” I see it coming. The apocalypse is happening and they are talking about this zit on his face. He goes, “Don’t worry” and he holds up the … “I just used the Ultra Clearasil.” You can see, bam. People are gone. They then had six other episodes afterward, but nobody is watching it because everyone has left. It ruined the moment. It is a really cute show afterward. I watched the whole thing. That is my business. They missed that opportunity. To do it right, front and center? They ruined it.
Eli Batalion: You were talking before about some research about millennials that their reactions to logos is specific, which I thought was very interesting. Maybe tell us a little bit about that study? Basically, that they are turned off by logos.
Kaaren: The wonderful thing about working with RBC is they had deep pockets and they want to test everything, and at the end of the day, that is what we have to do. We have to try it. There is nothing really wrong with anything, you try it, then you test it, and hopefully learn from it. This was a company called BrainSights. I did the test with about 250 people in the target group, and all they have to do now is sit and watch content with these special brain things on that test different waves, brain waves. They look to see where you are losing people and when there is an emotional connect with the content.
It is fascinating because when I look at YouTube, you can see where people … On the backend, you can see where people watch and where they fall off, second by second. What happened was, we tested 4 different spots to test what happens if we put the logo here? What happens if we put a voiceover with the logo? What happens if we just have the logo? What happens if we have on with a mug with the logo on it and the voiceover? If you ruin it. If you do not get it right, we watched as the audience would go bam. You could see them drop off, and then they would not watch any … Their whole emotions moving forward, their attention, was gone. That made us all go … We saw on YouTube. We saw the drop off, but we did not know why and then we realized it is the logo. The logo, people instantly go, “This is a bank? I do not want to watch this anymore.”
There are ways to do it. We found when you do the voiceover with the logo, it was less intrusive than just having the logo. I actually like that character and she is telling me. They respected that a lot more and they would watch through the rest. That is what we ended up doing, but ideally you want to find, you have to let the audience get into it before you slap them with the logo. That will just turn them off.
Eli Batalion: It sounds like millennials have some serious skepticism about brands.
Kaaren: I think the biggest problem we all face is trust. Millennials do not trust politicians, they do not trust banks, they do not trust big business. That is why they are looking for the startups and the smaller renegade brands. One of the reasons I love working with legacy brands is because they do have this challenge with millennials, but there is such an opportunity. They just have to flip their thinking around.
Carolina: I am just going to add to that point. I think it is an incredibly valid point. I also think the placement and the timeliness of a logo really depends on the vehicle you are using. For example, we work really closely with Google at my company, and if you only have 30 seconds to get your point across, Google actually tells you, put the ad in the first 5 seconds and engagement will increase. They have studies around that.
It is because it is an ad and not an episode, right? Whereas, you are trying to build an affinity, we are just trying to get a message across. I think, depending on the tactic, that the logo delivery can work in different ways. How Google worded it to us was that, if they can skip it in 5 seconds, make it worth your while. Show your logo in the first 5 seconds.
Eli Batalion: Even if it is skippable, you can guarantee it plays the first 5 seconds.
Carolina: Yes, exactly. It is not an ongoing series where I do agree that, if that is the case, you will lose the credibility. You are in for the long haul. We are in for the short and dirty, wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am. Yeah, I said it. I went there. All right.
Eli Batalion: Just curious, Carolina?
Eli Batalion: Automatic buying is, by nature, automated. How does this format work when it comes to trying to reach niche audiences? We were talking about getting about getting granular. I am just curious, how granular can you go? What is the deepest you could possibly go?
Carolina: It is like a limbo stick. How low can you go? Pretty low, actually. Because of big data, which just means that there is more data being collected, more data being stored, which allows for more data to be granularly segmented.
For example, if I go back ten years ago, if I wanted to do category targeting, it would be like business. That is kind of it, just very generic, anything to do with business is in this bucket. Now that so many people are collecting so much different data sets, I can go from business to business, small business, home office content. You get to get fairly granular, and also there is a lot more players that are selling data. If you are not paying for a service, you are the product. They are selling that data, and I am buying that data, and everyone is happy.
You can get incredibly granular, but depending on the platform. There are different types of data. It is going to get really boring now. Raise your hands if it is boring, and I will skim through this. You have probalistic data and you have deterministic data. What probabilistic data is, it is almost like actual data. It is log in data. If I logged into Facebook, that is deterministic, meaning I am the same person logged into Facebook through my phone or through my desktop device, I am the same person. When I say an age, and I target by age on Facebook, chances are that is my actual age. Whereas, if I target an ad on houseandhome.com or a different app, I never have to log in and give my personal information. In that case, it is probabilistic. This person is probably this age. This person is probably interested in that.
It becomes an interesting space. I think I have said that 18 times. But yes, it gets incredibly granular.
For example, I am doing a campaign for a big gas company and they want to target fleet managers and municipal something-or-other. We can actually target that, but only in like-Hamilton. That is happening, across video. It gets really granular.
Eli Batalion: I am actually kind of curious, are we at this point where you can sort of uniquely identify a specific customer, because in public policy there are a lot of issues around that and privacy data issues, and things like that.
Eli Batalion: Across behavior, can you probabilistically figure out, based on someone’s behavior on one particular device, and then on another device, can you say, “Oh yeah, that is Carolina.”
Carolina: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. It is called cross-device tracking. When you use the walled garden, so Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google … I am on my Gmail and I am logged in, and then I go on YouTube and I am logged in. Yes, that is absolutely a reality because it is the same user that is logged in and you follow them very accurately, but when you go everywhere else that you do not have these wild gardens that you never had to log in, it is based on a whole bunch of different factors, like how often did these two devices sync at the same time to the same wifi connection? Cookies, and the recency of those cookies. Cookies get deleted. Device Ids, certain behavior patterns and browsing patterns … When you stitch all of these probabilistic pieces together, then you can determine … You have this ID, this fingerprint of this person.
At no point do we collect personal, identifiable information because that is not legal, but yes we can stitch that together. We run a lot of campaigns that way. We run campaigns across multiple devices, multiple platforms, and to see how that user goes from point A to point B, and the 18 touch points that they had before they bought that pair of shoes, to see that graph becomes an interesting story. You have to stitch it together somehow, yeah.
Eli Batalion: That is very interesting, very cool. Kind of scary.
Carolina: I am so glad you think so.
Kaaren: Kind of scary.
Carolina: Yes, it is.
Kaaren: I also know, with millennials, they are very willing to give up their data. They do not have a problem with giving it. You would think that because they do not trust people that they would be kind of cautious about it, but some might send their …
Carolina: Well, the Facebook log in … How many sites can you, in terms of single user log in, use Facebook? I went on to sign up for a new app that is not run by Facebook, but you sign in using Facebook. It is just easy. It is like, “Yup. I have done this 18 times today. It’s cool.”
I feel millennials are a lot more …
Eli Batalion: Are they cautious of the value of their data, I guess, is the question?
Kaaren: Well, they are getting something in exchange, right?
Eli Batalion: So they recognize that it is a quid pro quo?
Eli Batalion: Yeah, they know you are going to sell it to brands or whatever, but it is fine. It is worth it, or are they not conscious of how data is being used?
Kaaren: Oh, no. They are very conscious. That is why they get ad blocks.
Carolina: Also, lazy, right? “Oh fields? I have got to fill mine in manually or one button. Hm.”
Eli Batalion: Right. They are smart and lazy.
Carolina: Smart and lazy.
Eli Batalion: That is the future.
Carolina: Work smarter, not harder.
Eli Batalion: Good point.
Kaaren, this is a two-part question. When going through the process of making content for a niche audience, what are some of the key questions you will ask, regardless of niche, in order to make sure it is customized? I know you focus on millennials specifically, but maybe there are sub-niches within that.
The second part is, when making content for an international audience, because I believe Carmella is quite international, what do you have to keep in mind as far as consumer behaviors and legalities of content and showing financing is tied to brands?
I can repeat these again because these are longer.
Kaaren: I think Carmella is a very niche audience. Our belief is you really delve deep into … I would rather have 2,000 fans, like people that are very core and niche, and build out, than start with a big mass. I would say masses and ways to get a mass message. Imagine, what we found with Carmella was that we connected in a really emotional way with the LGBT community, and what they found was that this was a story about a girl who is at university, and she falls in love with her roommate who happens to be a vampire.
There was no coming out story. These women just were. It just went off on fire because it created this community, and they all started to share it and started to talk. Every time an episode came up, they wanted to go there and they wanted to share their stories. It did something that we were all kind of surprised. We would sit in the office and we would go, “Ah, look at these: this fan art coming in and these stories.”
I think, from an international standpoint, you are right. We do not translate. There is a French site here. We would love to be part of it, but we do not have to. The fans did it. I think it is now in 15 different languages and we never did any of that. We allowed them the access to it, but they have come with Russian and Turkish.
Eli Batalion: They subtitled it?
Carolina: That is amazing.
Kaaren: Yeah, yeah. They subtitle it. If you go and watch it, you can just go pick your language of choice. From the international standpoint, this is a challenge for us, but I think, an opportunity as Canadians.
You will notice, with the RBC, our … Has anybody seen the RBC logo? The man? The man with the bowler hat? He is a white, old dude with a bowler hat. We made sure that our lead character was female, and she is actually Southeast Asian, and they were really excited about that because that goes so counter from what they .. It is golf and it is Tiff, and it is the Olympics. These big organizations. We took something that was very different for them and that sells in Canada, because we have access to more nationalities here in Toronto, for example. You can create content and find actors that will cover that international scope. There is a great opportunity for us, here in Canada, to provide content for the world and give them an opportunity to see what other cultures are like.
That is why Lily Singh is so popular. I do not know if anyone watches her. She imitates her mom and dad, and when you have South East Asian kids growing up in Brampton. They were like, “Oh, that is exactly my experience.” I think we do have a really great opportunity in Canada to create content that has an international opportunity, and we should be open to it.
Eli Batalion: On the boring, legality side, I suppose there is a sensitivity around branded content or content that is funded by brands, and how that is displayed to audiences. I am actually not too familiar with how it works in Canada right now, but are you aware of anything else in the world? I could see a nightmare of saying, “Well these 17 countries require these sorts of disclaimers, but these do not, and here you have to do that.” Is it a really primitive state where no one is really talking about it on the video front?
Kaaren: I know in the US, we have the FCC is looking at, making sure that influencers actually say “I am getting paid to do this” and put disclaimers on their content. I think we are obviously, heading up from an international scope, I would not know how to answer that. It is certainly … more and more people are looking at how we are doing content and making sure that the audience knows this is being funded.
Eli Batalion: Right. Also, quick question. You are talking about people doing subtitles, people drawing you art. How do you connect with these, let’s call them brand ambassadors? Well, they are show ambassadors, but that also seems like it carries over to the brand too. How do you identify … Do you have a one-to-one relationship with people where you know who they are? For example, does Kotex know who they are? How does that transfer over as far as them being aware that and knowing these individual people that are supportive?
Kaaren: Yeah, our biggest fan for Carmella is in Scotland. She will basically hop on a plane at a moment’s notice and come anywhere that we are going to be. We do know the superfans. What is really interesting, now that we are going into season three, is that the Americans have just discovered this thing that we have been running for over two years, but they realize this is a really hit show. They are going, “Hey, we want to get involved and we will actually support it with media.” We have never had media support before.
That is really hard now, to kind of break through without having a paid campaign. It is back to that niche. There are all these people out there that do not see themselves reflected in any mass content. If you can bring them something that speaks to them on an emotional level and reflects them, I think brands sometimes do not have the time to do that. I think as storytellers, we can find stories that are not being told and allow brands to be part of that as long as it reflects their values and what they are, I think we have got wonderful opportunities.
We are all looking for new ways to find content, right? As storytellers. You know, your show is fantastic. I watched it. It is funny. It is great. We have relied on the government for a lot of these funds, and at some point, that could change.
Eli Batalion: That is the thing. If you do not fit exactly the system in particular ways, then you cannot rely on the government for that, so you need alternatives. Turning to brands is a very, very logical choice, and makes most sense in my humble opinion.
You are talking about underrepresented audiences and niche audiences, and I think specifically in the case of Carmella, the LGBTQ audience. I am actually curious, from a programmatic standpoint, I was just filling out the census form for Canada, and there are certain designations, but some committee has chosen this, not necessarily representative of everyone. I am wondering if a community like the LGBTQ community, if in the programmatic modules, people have found a way to model this data and have a way to target that community.
In your world, are people looking at different groups, at different associations and saying, “Okay, let’s take this set of 7 publishers and we are going to say, that is basically the publisher set for the LGBTQ community. We are going to get that inventory, and log these figures, and break down all together”?
Carolina: I am going to say yes. Yes and no. I personally have not been involved in anything specifically targeted to that community, but it is a possibility. I have been involved with things targeted toward other niche communities. There is definitely a need for it.
There are a lot of studies done that the gay and lesbian community are very brand loyal, so if you get them, you have them in terms of retention. Though there is not a data set that you can target based on sexual preference, there is other ways that you can kind of sideways target them. For example, on social media, based on their affinity or different associations they are part of. If they are a fan of Pride or other relative associations and events, things like that, you can target that way.
Eli Batalion: It is a probabilistic model?
Carolina: Yeah, the chances are that if this person likes these types of brands and associations that they may fit this category or at least be an advocate and have friends in that category. I guess, that and some things can be very sensitive if you target. That way, yes, but no.
Eli Batalion: Interesting.
Eli Batalion: Carolina, I am going to follow with another one for you. Actually, soon we are getting close to the end of the session. I am going to ask one more question and then maybe we can open this up to the audience. We have a microphone, the voice of God.
Carolina: Yeah, it is really bright. We are kind of looking.
Eli Batalion: Carolina, I was going to ask, what are the challenges of traditional advertising in the Golden TV era, was the lack of information you had about your audience for a show? What are the types of analytics now available for content creators and advertisers who want to know how content is being engaged in and streamed.
Kaaren was just mentioning before, I think BrainSight it was, literally there is something on people’s heads. Typically, that is not how most of us watch shows, although maybe we should. For the regular desktop or tablet-based watching audience, how granular can you get in terms of … I have seen a lot of tracking studies and stuff like that. How deep can it go in terms of watching video?
Carolina: I think it is short of moving a third party who can do brain scanning and heat mapping, and things like that, it really boils down to the platform you are using to distribute your content and what kind of analytics they have.
Also, if you are housing it in two different places, like you have your own website as well as YouTube for example, to kind of look at the different analytics that would report. For video, if you are just serving different videos, you can see by Portile, how deeply they engage before they drop off. Depending on your analytics, you can see the demographic makeup of the people that are engaging. I think YouTube also has a new feature through True View, that you can re-target anyone that has subscribed to your channel or that has ever engaged with your videos, and you can segment it a certain way. That becomes another powerful way to target [inaudible 00:53:52].
I know it’s not a great answer but, It really depends on the platform. Look at whatever you are using to distribute your content, and see what they have under the dashboard, and see how granular you can get. Do not be afraid to use other third party analytic systems as well. On that note, if you are using Facebook, for example, to drive your content, like if you are using Facebook to drive back to YouTube or a site that you are hosting everything on, make sure that you pen certain tracking at the end of your URL so you can look at the data in different ways. Yeah.
Eli Batalion: One active, last, quick, tangential data question related to what is going on in the lobby, then we will open up for the floor.
The world of VR, is that going to open up the data possibilities?
Carolina: Oh god, I hope so.
Eli Batalion: For example, if I put on … If I use Google hardware or I put something on, you know what I am looking at. You know exactly what my eyeballs are looking at.
Carolina: Right. I can see what catches your eye.
Eli Batalion: Yeah. On one hand, it could be used maliciously. In another way, it is very interesting for a creator of content to know where attention actually goes for the user. I am just curious, are there any discussions about what the analytics are going to be around this stuff? Or people are just wrapping their heads around making cool stuff?
Carolina: Yeah, VR I feel is in really early dates. In places like Asia, where they kind of grapple onto emerging platforms a lot quicker, they execute [inaudible 00:55:17] and they care a lot about analytics so they need to make systems more robust. I have not heard much about VR, but what’s his name? They guy who just spoke on VR by Secret Location? He was awesome, by the way. I am going to sneak in with him because I am also a member of the Emerging Platforms Committee with the IBA, the Internet Advertising Bureau. I think now it is probably Interactive Advertising Bureau, do not tell them I said that.
I wanted to come present to the group … It is weird. Advertising is a very self-regulated industry, so we have to push our own boundaries and like 90% of the people do not do anything, and then we have the 10% that do. Hopefully, I will have something different to report in a month with that guy’s help. For now, early days, I do not want to say anything wrong.
Eli Batalion: Safe answer.
Carolina: Yeah. Long winded, safe answer.
Eli Batalion: Let’s open up the floor. Hopefully there are some interesting questions from people …
Carolina: You guys look so excited. Thank you so much.
Eli Batalion: We have got one, right up front here.
Nice. This question is for Kaaren. You touched on influencer marketing, but you did not really delve deeply into it. Is it complementary to branded entertainment or is it competition? Also, for my own personal edification, to get something like Lily Singh to do something like that, does it cost a fortune? Is it pricey?
Kaaren: Yeah. Influencers are certainly a part of it, in fact we get a lot of brands that say, “Hey, why don’t you throw an influencer into your scripted series?” But most of them cannot act. Once they get out of their bedroom or whatever they do, they cannot memorize lines. They are great to have to promote the show, but Lily is a perfect example. [inaudible 00:57:09] She had a deal with her manager on that. Yes, she is expensive. Yes, she decides who she is going to work with. If RBC had gone and said, “Hey, we want you to work with us,” she would have said no way. Because it was a show and because she really liked the characters, she watched it, it was an authentic connection for her. She agreed to talk about it, but it was difficult to deal with. She is flying to Mumbai. She is all over the world now. I think influencers play a really great role in creating an authentic conversation with that fan base.
Again, when we are talking about the LGBTQ community, you can actually find influencers that have a strong affinity within that group and you can approach them and do work with them. Again, that attracts more and more of that audience. I know YouTube just opened up a little studio. Actually, just right down the street from our office, and they are trying to get more people to come in and use that space and kind of collaborate. I think they are an important part of it, for sure.
Eli Batalion: I have got another one right here.
Audience 3: Hi there. I have a quick two part question. One is, when you look at display advertising or all of the products which you sell, Kaaren, this question is directed at you, how do you tackle the ROI problem when you are talking to … If it is a problem. When you are talking to clients, what are they looking for? What type of metrics are you looking at? How are you bringing that ROI?
Kaaren: I mean, it is the same in traditional campaigns. I want to increase awareness and I want to sell my product. They always come generally with that and the bank was a little different. Just awareness, we do traditional tracking. We look at views, engagement scores, watch time. The wonderful thing about YouTube is that we can do a lot of that tracking and we have grown as we have learned that this does not always work. We have to buy some. Now we are working to make sure that we have a campaign so that if you want a million views, we just have to make sure we have go the budget set aside to get the views that you need. At the end of the day, the views are not what matters in my book, it is the engagement.
Audience 3: You are looking at different metrics such as time spent, CPM is something that is totally out-of-date for you?
Audience 3: Okay.
Kaaren: Again, dealing with the bank, we had six marketers we were dealing with all the time so we had to come back with analytics. That is why we used outside, third-party research companies that analyzed what are the values, what is the perception of the bank within this cohort, have we shifted perception? Imagine if you could actually get somebody who could go, “Hey, I did not like RBC and now they are a little interesting. I am at least going to listen to what they have to say.”
That is really what we were trying to do with that particular campaign. We proved that we could. You really have to do research before you can understand what your objectives are and have very measurable things that you are moving toward, but some stories, it is harder for them to see their brand archetype or brand values that we are trying to bring to the table. When we talked about helping, they wanted “RBC is the bank that helps.” The only way that she was going to come back to life is that she had to help 100 people. It was this helping, this emotional connection she created with the people she helped that we are trying to say, without beating them over the head, we really do care about some of these issues that young people are facing.
The numbers really did not play a role in that, that was really more of a gut shot. We also made sure we had electrodes on our heads. It was a combination of the creative process with analytics. I think the pivoting and testing, anyone who is creating content now on YouTube, it is that what the beautiful thing is. You create something, you can see within three days, “Did this work? Did it not? How do I adjust it? What can I do differently?”
Audience 4: Hi, so, segway to what you just said. We are here to talk about discoverability. How did you get people to know that V Morgan existed? Did you use traditional media to get to that? How did you … How was that put forth? Did you evaluate the rebound effect, if I can call it that? People thinking, “Oh, RBC is cool because it is taking care of milleniums.” Millenialls, sorry. I am not a millennial, but I could think that RBC is cool as well.
Kaaren: Absolutely. It is all about finding that niche community we talked about. V, the other thing that we had to show research, was she is completely tattooed. We have got this east Asian lady and we want to completely tattoo her. [inaudible 01:02:32] How do millennials feel about tattoos? We said, they actually like tattoos. Whole Foods is setting up a tattoo parlor in its store and gaining millennials. Tattoos are popular. I think, we went after communities. We started to engage the tattoo community. We started to engage different communities of fans of different content that we found. In this case, Dead Like Me. Believe it or not, people still talk about that show. They miss that content.
We can reach out to fan bases on Tumblr. That is the first place we always go is Tumblr. Tumblr is great content for finding fan bases. We have a lot of people in our office who are just searching for those stories and those fan bases. Certainly, we would love anybody to watch the show. The more people who watch it, the better. Certainly, we can use that word millennial, but it is more mindset than it is … I mean, if you are watching stuff on YouTube, we want you.
Audience 4: This is a question for Kaaren. You talked about trusting brands earlier and the lack of millennials trusting brands versus other people who do not trust brands. When it comes to brand advertising, my issue tends to be more about trusting the story rather than the brand that might be behind whatever the story is. Also, in my conversations with creative friends of mine and, like I said, my own personal reactions, if I find out that a brand is behind a great story, I feel like I was fooled or suddenly I will just drop the story altogether as being somehow irrelevant. I do not care about the brand. I might like them just fine and buy their product, but I do not want to watch the movie or the film or whatever it is anymore.
There is a lot of stretching the truth and boundaries community about that boundary between the advertising and the content. What are some of your experiences with negotiating that boundary and dealing with that issue?
Kaaren: We use social media at the exact same time we are releasing content, and that is why we do not do it after one episode. It is feeling it out. It is creating that fandom before we start to bring in the brand. We have never had a negative … It is really interesting. We have not really had a negative response to it, in fact. We have had the opposite, really positive … Again, we are providing content that they are not seeing anywhere else, so there is a sense of, “Hey, you get me” and you are willing to give us all this stuff.
RBC was approached by one girl, Michelle, and other brands call her brave. I was like, “What a weird word to use to describe her. You’re brave.” She did not put a logo and she did not get involved in the content. We have not really had a negative from the campaign… Maybe …
Carolina: I would love to know how you convinced certain brands to wait 17 episodes before you showed their logo.
Kaaren: That is why they are calling me brave. They were like, “My boss wants to know where’s the logo? Where is my logo? I want my logo.”
Carolina: Yeah, make my logo bigger.
Audience 5: Hi. I was just curious how relationships between the two of you would sort of evolve with capturing that audience and sort of identifying those leads from a sales perspective, and then driving them into a long term product like yours? If you could just elaborate a little more on how to complement each other.
Carolina: Yeah, I think from a paid perspective, we help kick off the process, so if it is good content, it can almost stand on its own, but just to light that fire or get some people going to it, the organic growth happens. I think in that sense, there is a lot of synergy. There is also a lot of bad content that you need to drive. When I used to work at MSN, we would do these big content integrations for L’Oreal and it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, so we made this hub for them all about fashion or the Oscars or whatever, but we needed to drive eyeballs there to keep L’Oreal happy and to try to get that growth, but if the content is not good, it is a very forced experience. There is only so much paid can do. At the very least, it keeps the advertisers happy because they will see the numbers go up. Everything else, I think, the heavy lifting definitely goes to the writers, or what you do.
Kaaren: You are right. It is becoming more important. Our goal, our next goal now is we want to take a community and this is outbound marketing, and how can we create an inbound marketing scenario and really understanding, how to we re-target them with season 3 is coming out. We are doing a pop-up store in New York on Saturday and it is a period pop-up store in New York. How do we get these people who we gave a sample to, who saw Carmella, that bought a sample, on Amazon? Because we are now selling it on Amazon, and drive them back to season 3?
Carolina: I know a great way you can do that with digital.
Kaaren: See, that is what I mean.
Carolina: If you see your own database, you can find these people back online, because they have had to sign up, and then you can create lookalike audiences based on the common attributes of those people to expand that base. Yeah, very cool. Sorry, sorry.
I also think, one last point. For Facebook, for example, there is a lot of platforms that used to be really organic, but the organic re-trade on Facebook now is at 2.6%, so if you put a message out to your community that are your friends, you are only going to reach, say 2.6% of them. If you want to reach 100% of your fans that chose to be your fan, you have to pay to play. It becomes a very interesting space.
Eli Batalion: It was 15%, they dropped it?
Carolina: I think it is 2.6 or 2.7 as of now.
Eli Batalion: [inaudible 01:08:51]
Carolina: Yeah, it is pretty sad, pretty sad. You pay a lot to even get those fans, most times anyways. I have noticed that. We paid a lot of money to get the fans where they are.
Kaaren: That is always a fear, right? Social media sites can just change their algorithm and all of your efforts just disappeared.
Carolina: Only the angry people find you. The only people who find Samsung organically are like, “My phone broke and your fridge sucks. Where is my firmware?”
All of the happy people, you have to put it in their face and they are like, “Oh, I like Samsung. Yeah, I do.”
It is interesting.
Eli Batalion: I am sorry you had to go through that.
Carolina: Oh, that is all right. You know, I am going to stop talking, but it was great. It was great.
Eli Batalion: I think there is another question. Okay, so after this I am going to do a closing discussion and send people off.
Audience 6: The question is around programmatic buying.
Audience 6: It sounds like you buy display, video … What about search? How does search come into play there? Are you able to search beyond, or purchase beyond the search term and put more attributes around that term?
Carolina: In my particular company, we do every channel but search, but we work really closely with our search partner display [inaudible 01:10:16]. That being said, there is a lot of cross-channel learnings. I am using a lot of jargon words. For example, if Coke is running a search campaign as well as display, mobile, social, whatever … We will take their best performing keywords and we will apply across display … What we can do is we can do keyword scanning, and we can base the targeting on their recent behavior, which can include search queries.
It is the same audience. You just do not get them at the exact same time that they are searching and they are putting their query in the search bar. You just get them a little later. You already scan the page and kind of loop them together. In terms of the analytics, that definitely exists to tie everything together.
Does that answer your question?
Audience 6: Yes.
Eli Batalion: Maybe just to close out, quick last thoughts. If each of you might discuss, for the remainder of 2016 going into 2017, what you think the most interesting trend is for us to look for in this particular field, and also what you are up to in your particular company that we should be looking out for.
We will start with you Kaaren.
Kaaren: I am doing a show that I really want to get off the ground. I am looking for tech partners, by the way, about getting young girls to code, learning about coding. I think we can create a movement while getting really great content in the platforms. Again, pop culture does not show women in code is a really interesting job. We are looking at creating this massive series of movies and digital series all around showing women coding. The future is really testing and pivoting. That is my big belief is that the content is king. Data is the queen of this. You have to marry the two.
Carolina: I like that. I am going to steal that.
Carolina: I think that is a great series. I am going to look out for it. In terms of the future for paid advertising, it is definitely a collection of the refinement of data and cleaned it out. A lot of garbage data, analytics, bridging everything together. As automated as everything is, there is still some pieces that do not fit together because of standardization. That is kind of the future, and hopefully that really cool VR stuff. I would really like to use that.
Eli Batalion: [inaudible 01:12:48]
Carolina: That is what she said.
Eli Batalion: Hello. Oh yeah, and the press release.
Carolina: Oh yeah, the press release. They are the … actually, they are a great client. They do Quickbooks and TurboTax. It is targeted toward entrepreneur, tech savvy industry in Quebec … It is going to be cool. Check that out.
Eli Batalion: Very cool. Listen, thank you everyone. [inaudible 01:13:21]
Carolina: Data, so exciting.
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