Tag Archives: Google

Not great, Brittin

But better.  Last week, at IAB Engage, Matt Brittin, Google’s vice president of business and operations in Europe, said that YouTube in the UK was ‘bigger’ than ITV (channel? broadcaster?) for 15-34s.  This is something of a rethink from what was being said by Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt back in May when he said that YouTube had ‘overtaken’ the whole of TV.

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Taking pride in advertising

It’s been a good week for being proud.  In addition to the Diamond Jubilee festivities and England’s victory over Belgium, our own celebration of excellence – the Thinkbox TV Planning Awards – took place last week.  I couldn’t have been more proud of all 73 writers of the entries, the 20 short-listed papers (particularly the highly commended one), the 6 category winners and the ultimate Grand Prix winner.  You can find out who they were and a little about their work here.

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Listen to the calm, not the heavy breathing

There were so many movers and shakers in the room at Oliver and Ohlbaum’s ‘Through the looking glass’ event yesterday that it was practically a blur. I felt dizzy.

However, any potential nausea from standing on this giant media power plate was swiftly quelled by the steadying influence of the consultants unveiling their latest research.

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Real-time rules

Not long ago you couldn’t read an analysis of the future of TV viewing without someone (including us) predicting a world where we would all live by our own personalised TV diet.  The story went like this: we now have the ability to create our own TV schedules on-demand, so… er…we will.

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TV weaves through the MediaGuardian 100

It might just be me, but the annual MediaGuardian 100 – just published – provides a lovely insight into the many ways TV touches upon our different media and various parts of our media lives. It is an elegant – albeit accidental – exposition of convergence and shows how TV is the strong and consistent thread running through almost every aspect of the media landscape.

The set-up for the list betrays a lingering – though thankfully declining – propensity to play ‘old’ or ‘traditional’ media off against ‘new’ or ‘digital’ media. The front page introduces the 100 (which comes with a heavy disclaimer on how it was chosen) by saying:

“Back in the heady days of 2001, [the list] was topped by big broadcasters, AOL and someone called Gordon Brown. How things change…This year, more than ever, digital dominates, with the rise of social media bringing new challenges to traditional businesses. Will newspaper bosses ever dominate the lists again?”

Now I can’t answer that last question, and I suspect the answer is no-one really knows.  But the direction of travel seems to be most definitely from text to audio-visual, whatever technology or platform you’re looking at.  

A Thinkbox interpretation of how TV (an almost entirely digital and very social medium) figures within the top 10 alone will, I’m sure, convince you that TV is truly where it’s at.

Here is the top 10:

1. Steve Jobs, Apple: makes flat devices with screens that let you watch more TV; TV on the bus, TV at work. If he could make faded jeans and black roll necks with screens on, I’m sure he would.
2. Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Google: search is hugely driven by TV programmes and ads.  Joined the TV business by buying YouTube, a recent convert to ‘proper’ professional TV, making it another TV platform.  Recently announced the coming of Google TV.
3. Mark Thompson, BBC: works for a company that makes some of the best TV in the world, and a pioneer of on-demand TV with iPlayer
4. Rupert Murdoch, News Corp: the Daddy of pay TV.  Trying to buy all of Sky.  MediaGuardian says he is ‘betting the future on television’
5. Evan Williams, Twitter: nothing gives a better window into how TV’s shared ‘virtual sofa’ encourages real time debate and chatter than Twitter. It would be a lot quieter without TV
6. Simon Cowell: fronts and owns some of the biggest TV shows in the UK (and isn’t exactly small on US TV)
7. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook: owner of the home to countless TV programme and advertising fan pages and conversations. Facebook without TV would be a less exciting, and visited, place.
8. James Murdoch, News Corp and BSkyB: chairman of a major UK TV company
9. Jeremy Hunt, Culture Secretary: obviously will have more than a passing interest in all things TV, especially how it is funded
10. Archie Norman, ITV: chairman of the largest commercial UK TV channel group

And we need not stop at the top 10 (at 11 is Martin Sorrell, who makes a fair bit of money from commercial TV; at 12 is Jay Hunt, controller of BBC1…).

Obviously, even I might struggle to see the TV-ness of some of the people in the 100 (Clay Shirky, [no. 93], for example – although he was only too happy to use TV interviews to plug his new book, on sale at all good bookshops priced at £20 – or you can get the gist for free here).

But my point is that, although this blog is an obviously TV-centric way of looking at it (radio and newspapers could have a go too), I’d suggest it is as valid – if not more so – as banging on endlessly about global ‘digital’ technologists.  The list should be at least as much about the people who make the content, professional or not, that makes digital platforms, broadcast and online, worth visiting.

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Falling in love with Google

One of the regular taunts Thinkbox gets is that Google has become the biggest brand in the world without using TV advertising.  We usually respond by saying a) no-one says you can’t build a brand without using TV, it’s just easier and quicker if you do and b) brands which occupy significant real estate have a great advantage.  Marks and Spencer eschewed any advertising for decades; significant presence on the high street plus great products meant they managed fine for a very long time.  

Google owns the biggest bit of online real estate imaginable; 80% of online journeys start by going through a search gateway, mostly Google’s.  Google is dominant because it is a fantastic search product; it has become the generic for the category and entered the dictionary.  Until something comes along that improves on it (Bing?) why would we swap brands?   But such things do happen; the majority of us now do the ‘hoovering’ with a Dyson.

Google did in fact advertise its Chrome browser on TV last year but, until last night, had not done so for its core search business.  It did however invest in a series of classy films that have been available online, including YouTube, for the last three months.  

Last night it bit the bullet and bought a big fat TV spot in the Super Bowl in order to share one of these with a much wider audience.  This is the one it used.  Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO hinted at this on Twitter on Saturday saying:  “Can’t wait to watch the Super Bowl tomorrow. Be sure to watch the ads in the 3rd quarter (someone said “Hell has indeed frozen over.””)

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YouTube finally "gets" TV

There’s nothing quite as nauseating as someone revelling in an “I told
you so” moment but there’s no stopping me; you might like to retreat now. 

 

Jubilation all round today at Thinkbox Towers thanks to YouTube’s new ad
campaign promoting the arrival of proper TV content (courtesy of its deal with
C4) which uses the line, “YouTube’s got TV”. 
What they didn’t advertise was “YouTube’s got long-form video”.

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Action TV stations

It is important to respond, to act. Ask Gordon Brown about biscuits and he’d better respond with something – anything – or else there will be trouble. Deafening silence rarely suggests success.

Advertising doesn’t always expect an instant response; often it is trying to change the way people feel or think about a brand.  But if advertising doesn’t eventually lead to a response (ideally a purchase or a change in behaviour), then it is difficult to see its point.

But the issue of attribution is a tricky one; how can you identify everything that has contributed to a response?  This is just as true in online media, despite their supposed easy accountability.  The online world is trying to ditch the ‘last click wins’ model in order to assign value to other online ad exposures that precede the final response.  Fair enough, but once the online world has opened that particular can of worms they must acknowledge the contribution of the radio ad, the PR coverage in the paper and, most significantly, the TV campaign that is running, or has previously run.  Is, in fact, the supposed accountability of online more misleading than enlightening?  This question of credit going where it is due is crucial if advertisers are to gain a better understanding of how advertising works.

So it is rather handy that a new econometric study from MediaCom, commissioned by Thinkbox, has measured TV advertising’s ability to send people online. It is the first time that the instant effect TV ads have on web response has been measured and made publically available.

Over a period of three months MediaCom analysed over 175,000 TV spots and the activity they caused on different advertisers’ websites in 10 minute intervals for seven leading brands across six different markets. Sounds like fun doesn’t it?

Two of the headline findings from their analysis are:

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