The conversation started like any other... North American media director of largest single brand advertiser in the U.S.: “Hey Anthony, my agency is putting more pressure on me to buy programmatic online video and they want to run it through their trading desk. Can you audit the results for me?” Me: “Sure can, pre-bid and post-bid. But do you have time for a quick chat about the potential pitfalls of going programmatic?” Him: “What’s there to know—isn’t everyone going programmatic because it’s the most cost-effective way to buy?” And that’s where the problems begin.
"Please don't suck" is my mantra as I wheel my hand luggage into a town essentially owned by the large TV advertiser I am set to meet. I am here to discuss their strategy for the transition of TV advertising into Internet connected devices. As I wipe the red arc of Bloody Mary away from my top lip, I know for sure that this particular large TV advertiser, once his defenses are eased, will admit to being completely and utterly confused about how to buy and track online video in a manner that makes sense for his business needs. Damn, and you were thinking the transition to online video is already underway and most advertisers just need a gentle nudge to fulfill the media prophecy. Truth is—and it only comes out when you go to advertiser headquarters and sit with "transition" teams—we are nowhere near the tipping point.