Advertising Week may have ended, but questions of the industry’s future remain. Advertisers will continue to face challenges – consumer attention is increasingly fragmented, technology changes constantly, and heightened privacy regulations mean the industry must reevaluate traditional targeting methods.
It is up to the AdTech community to turn the challenges of today into new opportunities for the future. That is why Ogury, the global leader in personified advertising, hosted a panel about how brands should navigate an uncertain future.
Moderated by NBA all-star, investor, and entrepreneur, Baron Davis, the panel featured industry leaders Anthony Flaccavento, Ogury’s General Manager of the Americas, Michael Liu, SVP of Innovation at Dentsu, Nidhi Sood, VP of Media at Vayner, and Ali Saraniti, Director of Insights at Fandom. The discussion was well-attended by hundreds of eager participants
The panelists shared their unique perspectives on pressing industry challenges. From the deprecation of third-party cookies to the importance of creative, from promoting diversity and inclusion to the impact of web3 and the metaverse - the panelists all agreed on one thing: delivering experiences that are customized to personas has become critical for advertisers, and will remain so in the future.
Baron Davis opened by emphasizing how advertising provides an opportunity to demonstrate creativity, promote inclusivity, and create meaningful connections across the globe. He discussed his latest project, Sports Life in Culture (SLIC), an OTT platform for brands and creators.
The deprecation of the cookie and the effectiveness of personified advertising
Baron asked how panelists were approaching the demise of the cookie, and how they would ensure their advertising remains relevant going forward. The answers boiled down to respect and personification.
“Personified advertising is a slam dunk for marketers and more importantly, for consumers, because it respects them,” said Flaccavento. He added, “consent, privacy, and the responsible use of data have always been part of the DNA of Ogury,” said Flaccavento. We recognized where the market was moving based on behaviors and regulations. We feel the best way to approach a cookieless and ID-less market is to deliver to personas based on interests at the placement level.”
Saraniti spoke about the pendulum swinging back to “what we used to do before we had all this [consumer] data. We have learned so much about people, but consumers have gotten angry,” she said, stressing the importance of delivering to personas vs. broad targeting methods.
Liu added that it is all about being “above board” and getting the “right consent.” “We don’t see it as the death of the cookie, but the rise of addressability. When we think about partners we work with and the methods they have, we want to make sure we get the right consent.”
Creative is key
“Creative plays such an important role [in advertising]. We should not focus on people, but on reaching cohorts or audiences with creative that is highly relevant, putting it out at the speed of culture, and speaking to consumers in moments that matter,” said Sood
Flaccavento added that you can’t just have “beautiful, entertaining creatives, it is important that people are being exposed to it in a meaningful way,” and Ogury believes that ads must be fully viewable to capture attention.
Liu spoke about the relationship between data and creative, “people think about data as this evil thing, but you should think about it as a way to inform the creative itself. It’s not just targeting.
Utilizing new platforms and new ways to capture information and insights is just as important.”
The importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion
Davis addressed the significance of representing communities and cultures in advertising. The panelists agreed that more work must be done in order to make a real impact.
Saraniti explained that “broad multicultural targeting is not enough because it’s not a seed that has been planted at the core of the strategy.”
“It’s a “rising tides lift all boats” mentality,” shared Flaccavento. “As an industry, we’ve acknowledged that things have to change, and through education, hiring practices, and recognizing cultural differences, we will create a more diverse workforce, and more diverse creators, and content.”
Sood expressed that brands cannot just have a tagline or insert themselves into a specific heritage month. “There is more you need to prove that you’re doing for these underrepresented communities.”
Liu added, “you have to find ways to make sure you highlight, lift up, educate, and provide opportunities. I love that the industry is making its way toward that.”
Advertising in 2122
The conversation wrapped up with a discussion about what the industry will look like in 100 years.
Liu highlighted how newer technologies will be an asset for us from here on out. For example, the blockchain allows us to safely preserve history, art, and culture so that they can live forever. Web3, NFTs, and the metaverse get a “bad rap,” but, if you “peel back the layers” and look at the technology behind it, they will provide tremendous value in preserving culture.
Saraniti added, “you need to separate how technology is currently being used from the possibilities it provides. We need to focus on educating on the possibilities.”
Sood gave her perspective on the future, saying that “in 100 years, we will find creative ways to get emotive data back as a response to ads in real-time.”
The future is bright according to Flaccavento, “it is about exploration, togetherness, and curiosity.” The group looks forward to reconvening in the future to see if their hypotheses are proven right.