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Top 5 Takeaways from AdU Grad: RTB/Programmatic

Posted By thinkLA Aficionado, Thursday, November 6, 2014
Updated: Thursday, November 6, 2014

Technology is changing the media-buying landscape. The term "programmatic" is growing in popularity but often lacks consistent definition. On 11/4, we met at Rubicon Project for a top line overview of what programmatic is and what it isn't. Here are the takeaways from the team at Rubicon Project…

1. Automation is not the future, it’s the present.
2. The machines won’t put people out of work; relationships and negotiations are still needed, though execution becomes
    easier and performance gets better.
3. Buyers and sellers both benefit – this is not a one-sided solution.
4. Automation isn’t new – in fact, advertising is late to the party.
5. Programmatic originally focused on unsold inventory but has matured into premium, high-valued placements and audiences.


Presentation Slides



How creative can marketers get with programmatic?

Will fraud be the death of programmatic 

The 3 biggest marketing attribution challenges

How is the IAB addressing programmatic?

3 practical ways publishers can protect programmatic inventory

4 key ways programmatic is transforming marketers

Will last-click attribution ever die? 

2 programmatic misconceptions you need to reexamine

3 simple ways to ease programmatic into your strategy

How did programmatic get a bad rap?

Understanding programmatic accountability

The 5 fastest ways to alienate online audiences

How USA Today Sports entered the programmatic video space


Thank you to our host:
Rubicon Project

And to our instructors:
Ed Carey, VP, National Sales, Rubicon Project
Michael Gellar, Sr. Director - Central, West, & Canada Head of Sales, Buyer Cloud, Rubicon Project
Trent Beckley,Director, West Coast Sales, Rubicon Project
Elvin Kawasaki, VP Digital Group Account Director, Initiative
Jennifer Dodez, Account Director - Programmatic Solutions, Edmunds.com

Tags:  Education  Professional Development  Programmatic  Real Time Buying  RTB 

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Top 10 Things You Need to Know about Programmatic but Were Too Afraid to Ask

Posted By thinkLA Aficionado, Friday, October 24, 2014
Updated: Friday, October 24, 2014

On 10/23, ThinkLA and IAB were thrilled to host the Programmatic Summit, in association with eMarketer. Our first ever collaboration focused on the rising tide of programmatic within digital media. Over 500 brand marketers, media buyers, online publishers, ad networks, ad exchanges, and other solutions providers came together to discuss and debate the next evolution of programmatic.


Here are the top 10 takeaways from the event about programmatic...

  1. Programmatic is more than RTB. There is a lot of confusion over the term programmatic, which many people mistakenly believe is only real-time bidding (RTB) or used only for remnant inventory. Ultimately programmatic is the process of buying and selling media in an automated fashion.  This includes four main types of transactions – open auctions, invitation-only/private auctions, unreserved fixed rate/preferred deals, and automated guaranteed/programmatic guaranteed deals. Every time someone says the word “programmatic” make sure you ask what exactly they mean. Watch this Digital Simplified video that explains how one part of programmatic, RTB, works step by step.
  2. Lots of challenges still exist to enable programmatic to work. Concerns that were addressed throughout the event included transparency, fraud, and trust; limited understanding and knowledge; confusion over terminology; moving from direct response to branding dollars, moving from mostly standard banners to native, video, rising stars, and audio ad formats; internal organizational challenges for brands and publishers; and delivering different creative through programmatic.
  3.  Programmatic is big and getting bigger. The programmatic market (including auction, and direct deals) is expected to top $10B in 2014 and grow to $20B by 2016.  For now, RTB remains the dominant part of programmatic spending (92% in 2014), but is expected to fall to under 60% of total programmatic spend by 2016 as programmatic direct increases.  Within RTB, open auctions account for 88% of total RTB spend, though this is changing with private marketplaces growing significantly faster. While display is still dominant for now, mobile and video programmatic are growing fast.
  4. Fraud and trust are big issues, but are being tackled by the industry.  Bots and fraud have become a big issue mainly due to the large sums of money involved. The IAB and the industry are building a trust stack to tackle fraud, malware, piracy, and transparency and include these in a joint cross-industry accountability program) building on the existing Quality Assurance Guidelines.  Advertisers and buyers should make sure they know their supply sources, choose their vendors carefully, and always remember “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is!” Publishers need to ensure they are coordinating between sales, marketing, operations, and analytics to identify any strange traffic patterns and remember if they are doing audience extension they need to apply the same controls as buyers should.
  5. Publishers can hit a home run with programmatic video.  The concern that programmatic has been perceived as a "race to the bottom" for rates and yield has not been the case in video due to restricted supply. Publishers can use programmatic to fund the creation of quality video content particularly by helping to monetize traffic spikes. Ultimately efficiency doesn't have to mean lower CPMs; it can also mean more effective engagement. 
  6. Measurement matters even more in a programmatic world. Brand marketers are looking for transparency, inventory quality, and technology simplicity. Buyers should ensure they are reaching the right audience, use a consistent, comparable metric to plan, buy, and sell audiences, use brand data to ensure advertising resonates, and ultimately ensure that the campaign drives the desired action.
  7. Attribution is essential to effective programmatic spend. Last touch attribution is outdated and is like giving all the credit in a relay race to the last runner.  Attribution models should incorporate the “first site visit” separating the funnel into prospecting and retargeting, and set the right incentives to each part.
  8. Brands in automotive are leveraging programmatic. Leading brands are looking beyond the simple retargeting of ads and embracing programmatic across the consumer path to purchase from unaware to loyal purchasers. The agency automation “stack” includes four layers – unified data platform, open access to media inventory, single metrics regime, and dynamic ad creation/production/serving platform.  Brands are finally learning from programmatic media to employ new tactics in automated creative—not creating by machines, but optimizing ad variables based on real-time, impression level data.
  9. Publishers need to re-org to capture the value of programmatic.  Publishers are adopting programmatic as a core part of their monetization strategy. However, this can pose internal challenges. The top five ways to build a successful programmatic publisher organization were the following: align incentives and compensation; educate direct sellers and have them attend Programmatic 101 training; programmatic team to focus on supporting direct sales (agencies) and covering programmatic buying entities (DSPs, trading desks, retargeters); establish a programmatic rate card; and have internal and external quarterly budget reviews.
  10.  Creativity and programmatic are not enemies. Every ad should be dynamic and leverage the same audience signals used in programmatic media buying to make the creative relevant. This can be done by infusing first or third-party data on demographics, location, and previous website behavior to alter the headline call to action, image, or assets of the ad unit to ensure the message resonates with the user.  Doing this can double yield on interaction rates and increase engagement by 50%.

Carl Kalapesi, Senior Director, Head of Industry Initiatives, IAB. Reach him via Twitter @carlkalapesi or email carl@iab.net



Speaker Slides

What's Creative Got To Do With It? - Peter Crofut, Head of Creative Platform Solutions, Google
Will Fraud Be The Death of Programmatic? -Scott Cunningham, VP of Technology and Ad Operations
Size Matters...When It Comes To Programmatic Spending - Noah Elkin, Executive Editor, eMarketer
Why Measurement Matters for Branding In A Programmatic World - Aimee Gerry, Head of Partner Strategy and Attribution Initiatives, Nielsen
Programmatic - Diving In - Carl Kalapesi, Senior Director, Head of Industry Initiatives, IAB
The Publisher POV: Challenges, Opportunities, and Best Practices - Jason White, VP of Programmatic Revenue, CBS Interactive
Attribution Insights - Seph Zdarko, Head of Partner Strategy, and Attribution Initiatives, Quantcast

Thank you to all of our speakers!


Download this exclusive free eMarketer report:
Programmatic Guaranteed: Meaningful Momentum, Despite Murky Industry Definitions

Press Coverage

6 Digital Marketing Pros Define Programmatic Advertising by Matt Kapko, CIO.com
IAB and ThinkLA Get Programmatic by Monica Seebohm, Tremor Video
The Future of Fraud in Programmatic by Agata Smieciuszewski, iMedia Connection

Many thanks to:

And thank you to our sponsors:
Premier VIP



Tags:  Attribution  Education  IAB  Programmatic  Programmatic Summit  Real Time Bidding  Real Time Buying 

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Top 5 Takeaways from Bands & Brands 2014

Posted By Laura Horstmann, Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, October 22, 2014

On 10/21, we got together at Red Bull Media House to discuss the future convergence of music and brands, and how brands enable the commercialization of music today. Here were the takeaways from the panel:  

  • Music is both experiential and connective
  • It's important for agencies and brands to have a strong A&R department. 
  • It's not easy to be a matchmaker. To make magic happen, labels, brands and artists have to work together. 
  • The best relationship between a band and brand is when it begins organically and authentically. A band should find a brand compelling. 
  • A band can be unpredictable. How do you mitigate that? Sometimes you can't. It's about having a strong A&R and the right category from the start. 

Bottom line for those in attendance, brands are looking to align with bands in an authentic way that helps them make an emotional connection with consumers!  


Thank you to our speakers:
Dax Kimbrough, (moderator), Head of Marketing, PopStar Club
Sam WalshExecutive Producer, Team One

Raymond Leon RokerDirector/Content Executive, Goldenvoice
Dennis WolfeHead of Music Content & Partnerships, Tongal

Thank you to Defiant the Lion for the live performance, and our host:

Tags:  Branding  Music  Red Bull Media House 

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7 Inspiring Takeaways from Trends Breakfast 2014

Posted By Laura Horstmann, Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, October 1, 2014

On 10/2, we gathered at the Beverly Hills Hotel to discuss "hacking creativity" and how to shatter the limits of human potential with moderator Bryan Smith of 72andSunny, and keynotes Marc Eckō of Complex Media and Dr. Andrew Walshe of Red Bull. Here are seven takeaways from our speakers...

  • Brands need to recognize what their utility is for consumers, not just focus on awareness via paid media.
  • Your audience is diverse. Embrace the 'multi' of it all.
  • Marketers should strive to get outside their comfort zone more often to achieve a deeper understanding of creativity.
  • The mind creates problems that don't even exist.
  • Key to success: Motivation, repetition, progression, feedback, and failure is ok.
  • How to hack creativity? Everyone is creating. Don't need to be a painter to be creative. Get to it.
  • If you're consistently perfect, then you don't have room to make mistakes and learn from them. It's about pushing through, and that's how you hack talent.
Highlights Video
Maker.TV Interview with Andy Walshe
Maker.TV Interview with Marc Ecko

Thank you to our Speakers:
Bryan Smith (moderator), Co-Director of Strategy, 72andSunny
Marc Eckō, Founder/Chief Brand Innovator, Complex Media
Dr. Andrew Walshe, Red Bull Stratos High Performance Director, Red Bull
Press Coverage:
3 lessons on building your brand by Agata Smieciuszewski, iMedia Connection


Hacking Creativity and Shattering the Limits of Human Potential by Jeff Peterson, Primary Color


Thank you to our sponsors:
Creative PartnerVideo Partner


Tags:  72andSunny  Branding  Complex Media  Creativity  Red Bull  Trends 

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AdJam: Battle of the Agency Bands 2014

Posted By Administration, Monday, September 22, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, September 17, 2014

On 9/18, we met up at the Club Nokia to rock out to the greatest hits of the 90's performed by some of our favorite agency bands!

Congratulations to the winner, Phelps - Ruckus!
Thank you to all of the bands for putting on a great show:

Acento - Don Ramones
AkinsParker - Tangible Feedback
Garage Team Mazda - The Garage Band
Greenlight - Green Hot Chili Peppers
Innocean - HB "Riots"
Phelps - Ruckus
Saatchi LA - The User Experience
Team One - T-UN1T
ymarketing - y~snake

Highlights Reel

Another big thanks to our judges and host:
Valerie Miranda, N.A. Manager, Label Relations, Spotify
Tom Rowland, SVP Film & TV Music, Universal Music Group
Joey Arbagey, Head of Artist and Label Relations, TuneIn
Lori Teig, VP Talent, Vevo

Tommy Wooldridge from Lyric Lines (YouTube celeb)


And last but not least, thank you to our sponsors:
BarPhotoVideoBeer Garden




Tags:  #ThinkAdJam  AdJam  Club Nokia  Music 

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Charity Golf Day benefitting Ad Relief 2014

Posted By Administration, Friday, September 12, 2014
Updated: Thursday, September 11, 2014

On September 9th, we teamed up with Ad Relief for our annual charity golf tournament in Moorpark.



Thank you to the sponsors, players and Moorpark Country Club.


Tournament Results:

3rd Place:


Creekside 18   52
Davis Chan
Jesse Booner
Mike Wolfe
Penn Jones
2nd Place:
Creekside 6B50.7
Chris Antzoulatos
Peter Brown
Steve DuBane
Tod Perry
1st Place:
Canyon Crest 9A   50.5
John Goodstadt
Greg Abraham
Lee Sparer

Closest to the Pin:

Closest to Pin ($100)   Distance
Jim Horan6'3"
#6 Creekside ($100)   Distance
Jim Horan6'3"
#4 Ridgeline   Distance
Scott Findar12'
#9 Ridgeline ($100)   Distance
Greg Abraham14'5"
#3 Canyon Crest   Distance
AJ Hoceyer3'1"
#8 Canyon Crest   Distance
Sean Kelly5'8"

Tags:  Ad Relief  Golf Day  Philanthropy 

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Social Media Breakfast 2014

Posted By Administration, Friday, September 5, 2014
Updated: Friday, September 5, 2014

On Thursday September 4th, we got to hear about the evolving nature of Social Media from experts in the field. Kim Celestre from Forrester Research discussed creating utility marketing to reach the "always addressable consumer." Stacy Martinet from Mashable touched on the importance of being picky when choosing which platforms to market your product across. Tom Pettus from Deutsch highlighted the ever-growing trend of User Generated Content and it's influence throughout a variety of campaigns. Guests also heard from a great panel of specialists including Katie Lavin of 20th Century Fox, Derek Baynham of tinyREBELLION, and Eric Holden of EIF who covered the basics of how to take a human approach to social media marketing.

Presentation Slides

Press Coverage

How to Make Sure Your Social Marketing Isn’t 'Junk' by Matt Kapko, CIO

Forrester offers 5 ways to win at utility marketing at ThinkLA Social Media Breakfast by Lizzie Serber, iMedia Connection

Congratulations to the raffle winners:

Michele Fitzwilliam, The Hollywood Reporter - Jawbone, courtesy of Sizmek
Edward Trujillo, Hall & Partners - Beats by Dre Headphones, courtesy of tumblr

Thank you to our speakers:

Kim Celestre, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research
Stacy Martinet, Chief Marketing Officer, Mashable
Tom Pettus, EVP, Group Creative Director, Deutsch

Thank you to our panel:

Don Lupo (Moderator), SVP/Director of Digital Production, Dailey
Derek Baynham, Content Creator, tinyREBELLION
Eric Holden, SVP, Digital Marketing, Entertainment Industry Foundation
Katie Lavin, VP, Digital Marketing, Twentieth Century Fox

Thank you to our sponsors:



Tags:  Deutsch  Forrester Research  Mashable  Social Media  tinyREBELLION 

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SummerJam 2014

Posted By Administration, Friday, August 22, 2014
Updated: Thursday, August 21, 2014

On August 21st, we threw a backyard bash featuring dinner, dancing and cocktails to celebrate the end of summer. The evening was spent playing backyard games such as bocce ball, corn-hole toss, and Jenga on the lawn at the Bel Air Bay Club.



Congratulations to our raffle winners:
Elizabeth Thrash, Palisades Media Group - Fitbit courtesy of Thinknear
Sunny Minh Nguyen, Horizon Media - GoPro camera courtesy of Thinknear
Thank you to our sponsors:

Tags:  AdColony  Quantcast  Summer  SummerJam  Thinknear 

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Save the Surf

Posted By thinkLA Aficionado, Monday, August 18, 2014
On August 16th, we teamed up with the Surfrider Foundation clean the beach and learn to surf or strike a yoga pose.

Thank you to our sponsors:

Tags:  beach  Maxpoint  Philanthropy  Surfrider  yoga 

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Laughing MATters 2014

Posted By thinkLA Aficionado, Friday, August 15, 2014
On Thursday, August 14th, five advertising industry comedians took over the Laugh Factory stage in Hollywood for a hilarious show to benefit the MAT Program.

Thank you to our presenting sponsor:

This post has not been tagged.

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