TOP TEN TAKEAWAYS AND INSIGHTS FROM #NEWFRONTS2017

his year, I attended about 10 out of the 34 presentations at this year’s Digital Content NewFronts. (Actually, I attended 11 – because The New York Times held two events, but it only listed one of them on the official IAB agenda.) By combining what I saw and heard with a quick review of the 629 articles about the 2017 Digital Content NewFronts, I believe that I’m in a fairly solid position to select the top 10 takeaways from the 10-day marketplace.

Now, what follows isn’t “all the news that’s fit to print.” But, hopefully this article does contain strategic insights, critical data, and trends in the digital video marketing business. That’s always been my objective. So, without further ado, here are my top ten takeaways from actually attending about a third of the #NewFronts2017 events:

NewFronts 2017: Top 10 Takeaways

#1 More new digital video content than you can shake a stick at. Most presenters used the 2017 Digital Content NewFronts to showcase new star-studded shows for audiences around the globe. For example, Time Inc. unveiled a baker’s dozen new initiatives. Group Nine also introduced a baker’s dozen new programs. And YouTube announced seven new ad-supported shows: “Ellen’s Show Me More Show” starring Ellen DeGeneres, “Good Mythical Morning” starring Rhett and Link, “What the Fit?” starring Kevin Hart, “I Am” starring Demi Lovato, “Best.Cover.Ever.” starring Ludacris, “The Super Slow Show” starring The Slow Mo Guys, and “Katy Perry Live Special” starring Katy Perry. So, brands and media buyers can select from more new digital video content than you can shake a stick at.

#2 Johnson & Johnson declares victory and is advertising on YouTube again. Back in March, I wrote a memo to Johnson & Johnson and other big brands that were boycotting YouTube. After Philipp Schindler, Google’s Chief Business Officer, apologized and announced that Google was conducting “an extensive review of our advertising policies and tools,” I suggested that these big brands adopt the “Aiken formula” for ending the Vietnam War: “Declare victory and bring the troops home.” Well, during its Brandcast event, YouTube announced that Johnson & Johnson Consumer Brands will be the exclusive sponsor of “Best.Cover.Ever.” The big brand is also making a major investment in YouTube creators through Google Preferred. So, it looks like Johnson & Johnson has declared victory and is advertising on YouTube again.

#3 The reports of Twitter’s death are greatly exaggerated. Twitter unveiled a dozen new premium live streaming video content deals across news, sports, and entertainment at its first-ever Digital Content NewFronts presentation. I covered the joint announcement with Bloomberg Media, but deals were also announced with BuzzFeed News, the WNBA, MLBAM, the PGA TOUR, Live Nation, and half a dozen others. Twitter COO Anthony Noto said, “Last quarter, we streamed over 800 hours of live premium content from leading brands across sports, esports, news, and entertainment.” The new collaborations will bring hundreds of hours of new exclusive live original programming, live games and events, live syndications, extensions of existing live deals, and new always-on live streaming premium content to the platform. So, the reports of Twitter’s death are greatly exaggerated.

#4 Who are those guys? I mentioned that Group Nine Media introduced a baker’s dozen new programs. Who are those guys? Well, it is a family of digital media brands (NowThis, The Dodo, Seeker, and Thrillist) built for the mobile, social, and video-first world. Their videos got 3.3 billion (with a “b”) views in April 2017. That puts the media and entertainment property that many video marketers have never heard of ahead of Comcast, which ranked #9 with just under 3 billion views. And if you rank the top media and entertainment properties by engagements, then Group Nine ranked #1 in April with 96 million social actions. That puts the privately held company created in October 2016 ahead of the Walt Disney Company, which ranked #2. So, Group Nine isn’t a household name – yet – but it is scaling up at a breakneck pace.

#5 When they say “brand safe environment” they really mean “unlike YouTube.” Several media powerhouses, including The New York Times, emphasized that they offered advertisers a “brand safe environment.” Using the slogan, “Truth + Dare” (that’s Truth and Dare, not Truth or Dare), The Times showcased its content creators – who are still called journalists – and let them tell their stories about the many ways they work to find the “truth” – from the front lines of the war on terror to the inner workings of investigating the world’s most powerful governments. The Times was hoping that brands and media buyers will “dare” to stand with that expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness when they think about the best ways to tell their own stories. In other words, when they said “brand safe environment” they really meant “unlike YouTube.”

#6 When they say “fake news” they really mean is “Facebook.” Several traditional media companies, including Time Inc. and BBC.com, talked about what they were doing to combat “fake news.” Using the slogan, “Get real,” Time Inc. asserted that its properties could be trusted amid the furor over fake news in social media. BBC.com said that it was combating fake news with “slow news,” which means more in depth analysis of topics, putting events into context, as well as providing audiences with the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ behind the news headlines. In other words, when they said “fake news” they really meant “Facebook,” which wasn’t a presenter at the 2017 Digital Content NewFronts.

#7 Why hasn’t Facebook ever been a presenter at the Digital Content NewFronts? According to the fourth annual “Digital Content NewFronts: Video Ad Spend Study,” advertiser investment in original digital video programming has nearly doubled over the past two years with 80% of brand and agency executives are planning to spend even more on original digital video this year. Confirming the role that the Digital Content NewFronts plays in media buying decisions, 88 percent of advertisers said that they increased their original digital video budget as a result of attending the 2016 NewFronts. And 77 percent agreed that the 2016 NewFronts encouraged them to investigate ways to incorporate VR or 360-degree video advertising into their marketing strategy. So, why hasn’t Facebook ever been a presenter at the Digital Content NewFronts?

#8 Streaming enabled TVs have changed the way Americans watch television. During the IAB NewFronts Insights Luncheon (which I attended), the organization released “The Changing TV Experience: 2017,” a comprehensive study revealing that 56 percent of U.S. adults own a Streaming Enabled TV. Among these adults, watching digital video on Streaming Enabled TVs became an entrenched habit in 2017, with 46 percent saying they do so daily. This is a significant increase from 32 percent in 2015 (and the highest daily usage among all digital screens over this same time). Chris Kuist, the Senior Vice President of Research and Impact at the IAB, told luncheon attendees, “Streaming Enabled TVs have changed the way Americans watch television.”

#9 They are world famous on YouTube. Both traditional celebs and “internet-famous” YouTube creators are gaining fans on multiple platforms. The best example of this was Casey Neistat, who teased his CNN project at the Turner event (wearing a t-shirt) the same day he appeared at the YouTube Brandcast event (wearing a suit). But, he wasn’t the only cross-platform celebrity who was featured at one of the #NewFronts2017 events. Ellen DeGeneres, who has hosted her syndicated TV talk show since 2003, also turned up a Brandcast, while the design guru team known as Mr. Kate, which has 1.1 million subscribers on YouTube, announced a new show called Office Goals on the Entrepreneur Network. What do they have in common? They are world famous on YouTube.

#10 Media buyers are alive and well and living in New York. Back in April, I hypothesized that the vast majority of human media buyers who once decided where to place ads on YouTube may have already been replaced by programmatic buying. Boy, was I wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. At #NewFronts2017 events, I talked with lots of media buyers. And I learned why programmatic buying hadn’t decimated their jobs. Although agency executives had expected programmatic buying to reduce their headcount and costs, that hasn’t happened – because there are 97 different flavors of ad-tech and agencies still need people who know how to use duct tape and bailing wire to place video ads. So, that’s why media buyers are alive and well and living in New York.

In addition to discovering that one of my was assumptions going into #NewFronts2017 was wrong , I also didn’t attend more than two-thirds of the presentations held in New York City the first two weeks of May. So, this article doesn’t pretend to be a complete description of the topic. However, if you want something more comprehensive, then read and analyze “2017 Digital Content NewFronts in the News.” It is IAB’s curated list of 629 articles about the 34 presentations made during the 10-day marketplace. (You’ll discover that nine of them were written by me for Tubular Insights.) Or, check out the 59 video interviews conducted by Beet.TV for the IAB. You can find them at “2017 Digital Content NewFronts Video Highlights.”

[“Source-ndtv”]

Great Teaching And The ‘Escalation Of Insights’

DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images

Owen Fiss, the longtime Yale law professor, has a new book out. Called Pillars of Justice, it devotes a chapter each to thirteen lawyers who influenced his thinking (and not incidentally, also left their marks on the world). I don’t know Fiss, and I don’t know much about legal history, but the portraits he paints contain rich insight. They have as much to say about great leadership and inspired teaching—and the crucial role of asking questions in both—as about the evolving legal doctrine of the civil rights era.

Take, for example, his account of how he was mentored by Harry Kalven, a leading light at the University of Chicago Law School—an apprenticeship that started when Fiss joined its faculty in the summer of 1968. As Fiss describes their interactions, they always began with a question, which grew into an “intense, all-absorbing” dialogue as the two walked through a nearby perennial flower garden and along the Chicago lakefront. “His method was conversation,” Fiss writes of Kalven:

“He would manage to find in the words of the apprentice glimmers of insight, which he would then restate in terms so eloquent and profound that they deepened understanding and encouraged further inquiry and comment. The apprentice felt obliged to say more, to think harder, to look at the problem from a new perspective. The conversation became an escalation of insights. That was the core of my apprenticeship with Harry. It was one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life, and it revealed the special qualities of the master.”

Fiss concludes that “Harry Kalven was a genius, a completely original intelligence.” Whether the two of them were discussing a recent Supreme Court decision, a political event, or the future of legal education, he says, “My view of the world would almost always change.”

Reading praise like this for a mentor is always uplifting, and for many of us, it raises its own question, too: Who have been my greatest teachers, and what made them so special? For me, the name J. Bonner Ritchie comes immediately to mind, and for similar reasons. Ritchie was my mentor while I earned my master’s degree, and, as I’ve put it elsewhere, “he singlehandedly rewrote the maps in my mind by constantly confronting my worldviews.” He was a world-class questioner. Another of his students once said about Ritchie, “There is no question he dare not ask.” (This was in contrast to another faculty member, about whom it was said, “There is no question he dare not answer.”)

Perhaps you’ve had your own great teacher who, on reflection, you realize had a knack for “escalating insights” by asking questions—and even better, encouraging you to ask better ones yourself. If so, you may be as appalled as I am at the large body of research that shows how little generative questioning goes on in the average education setting—whether we’re talking about grade school, high school, college, or workplace training sessions. James T. Dillon of the University of California, Riverside, studied this phenomenon several decades ago. He observed that students who give voice to their curiosity get all sorts of negative reactions from both teachers and classmates. The lesson they take away from the experience is “Don’t ask questions.” Scholars monitoring other classrooms and arenas of learning and decision making consistently come to the same conclusion: Creative inquiry is an innate human behavior that gets actively suppressed and shut down. And thus children grow into adults who always dare to answer but never dare to question.

Owen Fiss makes clear that, as well as knowing his share of inspirational thinkers, he has also experienced the corrosive effects of bad teaching. He tells the cringe-inducing story of a professor in his first year at Harvard Law, back when a class of about 125 students included only three or four women:

“Now and then students volunteered a comment or posed a question, but for the most part Leach conducted his classes by calling on students to recite the facts of a case or answer a question he put to them. At the beginning of the course, though, Leach announced that he would not call on any of the women students on a regular basis. Instead he would designate one or two ‘Ladies’ Days,’ during which the women students, and only the women students, would be called on.”

To this day, it rankles with Fiss that he and his classmates didn’t object on the spot to this obnoxious marginalization. Instead, “we said nothing, not a note of disapproval, not even a whimper.” If Kalven’s effect on his students was an escalation of insights, then this man’s was just as surely a stultification of them. I suspect it’s no coincidence that the other aspect Fiss recalls about him is his stunted form of questioning.

Teachers (and leaders) who make good use of questions—the kinds that challenge assumptions and draw others into intense, all-absorbing dialogues—produce proteges who don’t hesitate to defy traditional thinking themselves. Whether it’s an outdated preconception that needs to be confronted, or an outright prejudice, the person who rises to the occasion will be someone who was a student once, and who learned to question.

[“Source-forbes”]

Great Teaching And The ‘Escalation Of Insights’

Owen Fiss, the longtime Yale law professor, has a new book out. Called Pillars of Justice, it devotes a chapter each to thirteen lawyers who influenced his thinking (and not incidentally, also left their marks on the world). I don’t know Fiss, and I don’t know much about legal history, but the portraits he paints contain rich insight. They have as much to say about great leadership and inspired teaching—and the crucial role of asking questions in both—as about the evolving legal doctrine of the civil rights era.

Take, for example, his account of how he was mentored by Harry Kalven, a leading light at the University of Chicago Law School—an apprenticeship that started when Fiss joined its faculty in the summer of 1968. As Fiss describes their interactions, they always began with a question, which grew into an “intense, all-absorbing” dialogue as the two walked through a nearby perennial flower garden and along the Chicago lakefront. “His method was conversation,” Fiss writes of Kalven:

“He would manage to find in the words of the apprentice glimmers of insight, which he would then restate in terms so eloquent and profound that they deepened understanding and encouraged further inquiry and comment. The apprentice felt obliged to say more, to think harder, to look at the problem from a new perspective. The conversation became an escalation of insights. That was the core of my apprenticeship with Harry. It was one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life, and it revealed the special qualities of the master.”

Fiss concludes that “Harry Kalven was a genius, a completely original intelligence.” Whether the two of them were discussing a recent Supreme Court decision, a political event, or the future of legal education, he says, “My view of the world would almost always change.”

Reading praise like this for a mentor is always uplifting, and for many of us, it raises its own question, too: Who have been my greatest teachers, and what made them so special? For me, the name J. Bonner Ritchie comes immediately to mind, and for similar reasons. Ritchie was my mentor while I earned my master’s degree, and, as I’ve put it elsewhere, “he singlehandedly rewrote the maps in my mind by constantly confronting my worldviews.” He was a world-class questioner. Another of his students once said about Ritchie, “There is no question he dare not ask.” (This was in contrast to another faculty member, about whom it was said, “There is no question he dare not answer.”)

Perhaps you’ve had your own great teacher who, on reflection, you realize had a knack for “escalating insights” by asking questions—and even better, encouraging you to ask better ones yourself. If so, you may be as appalled as I am at the large body of research that shows how little generative questioning goes on in the average education setting—whether we’re talking about grade school, high school, college, or workplace training sessions. James T. Dillon of the University of California, Riverside, studied this phenomenon several decades ago. He observed that students who give voice to their curiosity get all sorts of negative reactions from both teachers and classmates. The lesson they take away from the experience is “Don’t ask questions.” Scholars monitoring other classrooms and arenas of learning and decision making consistently come to the same conclusion: Creative inquiry is an innate human behavior that gets actively suppressed and shut down. And thus children grow into adults who always dare to answer but never dare to question.

[Source”cnbc”]

Price Chopper Celebrates 5 Years of Insights Community

Northeastern grocery chain Price Chopper has been working on positioning itself as a more customer-centric chain in recent years, whether through rebranding its private label or revamping its namesake banner and its marketing materials under the new Market 32 fresh-focused format. Critical to the  grocer’s efforts in this space is its insight community, which is about to celebrate its fifth year of operation.

The Schenectady, N.Y.-based grocer’s Food for Thought community is powered by the Sparq 3 engine from Vision Critical, a Vancouver, British Columbia-based provider of cloud-based customer intelligence platforms. The customer intelligence platform introduces the concept of Relationship Memory, which offers the ability to connect what retailers already know about their customers with attitudinal data collected from an insight community, and to use that information to learn more, faster than ever.

Here’s how Relationship Memory works: A grocer invites customers to join its community and build a profile. It then connects that profile to transactional and behavioral customer data, searches and recalls what it already knows to ask more focused questions, and engages members in ongoing activities to uncover attitudinal insight. Afterward, it learns more through smarter reporting and analytics, and then shares findings with memorable and impactful reports and stories.

But the makeup of the community wasn’t ideal when Sam Trimboli took it over in 2013. As consumer insight specialist with Price Chopper, he noticed that the community wasn’t focused on all of the right people: The previous consumer insights department originally set it up with the intent of talking to just the “very best” customers.

“I changed the makeup of the community to … also [have] representation of middle-of-the-road customers or not-so-great customers,” he tells Progressive Grocer. “I wanted to do that because it’s definitely very important to know what the people who really love us think, but it’s also equally important to know what the people who don’t love us as much think, because that’s a huge opportunity for us to better meet their needs.”

Currently, Food for Thought boasts 5,000 members who can be called upon for any insights needed, from assisting with explaining the inexplicable – like when a separate tool shows low scores in customer perception of produce – to one-off ad hoc stories asking something simple such as “What tools are you using to buy groceries that you weren’t five years ago?”

“The best thing is that it allows us to make decisions a lot quicker than we would be able to in a more traditional approach to research,” Trimboli says. “For example, I could send out a study about something, and two days later, I could have 1,500 or 2,000 responses, which is really great if you want to find out insights really quickly.”

These insights have been used to help the grocer:

  • Improve marketing materials – In 2015, Price Chopper began its massive project to rebrand stores under the Market 32 banner, a new format offering healthier food choices and a better shopping experience. In tandem with that effort, the grocer decided to revisit its flier design, as a huge part of its customer base – especially Baby Boomers – still use flyers regularly. By engaging the community, Price Chopper determined what should and shouldn’t be in the flier, and has generated a 5 percent increase in customer traffic since the relaunch.
  • Successfully launch and relaunch brands – The Market 32 rebrand left Price Chopper with an opportunity to re-examine its private brands and consider rebranding them. Feedback from Food for Thought members revealed that an earlier version of the company’s brand caused some confusion, leading decision-makers to uncover more effective ways of communicating the new brand, tweaking packaging and messaging, and then launching the new brand in 2016. Early results show accelerated growth, with one line of snack items, for instance, enjoying a 7 percent sales increase post-rebrand.
  • Identify unmet needs – New product ideas at Price Chopper are inspired by a deeper understanding of the customer journey. For instance, the insight community recently revealed that many shoppers, particularly Millennials, find cooking with certain types of meat intimidating. In response, the grocer’s meat department piloted a meal kit type of product enabling shoppers to get a ready-to-cook meal in a complete package.

Ultimately, the Food for Thought community has helped the grocer develop a better relationship with many of the 5,000 members – superfans or not. According to Trimboli, his interactions with these people is what grew his survey response rate to 53 percent over the years.

“I think a lot of that has come from just over time, being able to put kind of a face behind Price Chopper,” he says. “In a lot of communications I do with community members, I’ll even include my picture like I’ll sign my name. It’s not just like you’re talking to a faceless corporation, and I’ve found that to be really good at driving up overall engagement and participation.”

[“Source-progressivegrocer”]