The top 4 things we learnt at Adweek Europe

AdWeek Europe is one of the biggest gathering of experts from across marketing, media and publishing. It's during these four days in London that experts take to the stage to discuss what's going on in the industry, the trends impacting decision making, and how the industry moves with new advances in technology and legislation (think GDPR!). In no particular order here are our main takeaways from a great and very in-depth four days.

1, The UK has the lowest level of trust for social media...

During a panel on “Why Businesses, Brands and People Can’t Afford to Stand Still”, Social Chain’s Steven Bartlett referenced the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer and said that the UK’s trust in social media is at 24%. This is the lowest level of trust amongst the nine countries listed, and is down 2 percentage points on last year, helped in part to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The biggest mover in this study is America, with trust in social media declining 11% in the last year. Social media giants have a long way to go to build trust in Europe and North America to the levels seen in China and India.

Why is this bad news for brands? With ever increasing budgets being diverted to social media, brands will no doubt be used to seeing Facebook on their media plans. The question brands now need to ask themselves is whether an environment with such high distrust affects the perception of their brand?

2, You can tell a story in 6 seconds...

During the panel “Making Every Video Play Count” there was a discussion on format length, with the panelists voicing concerns that brands cannot tell a story in 6 seconds. At OLV Media, we don’t agree.

A 6 second ad can be an important part of the customer journey, perfect for reinforcing a brand message. It’s all about the creative messaging, the user journey funnel, the story being told. It doesn’t matter how long the messaging is - it’s how effective the messaging is. TikTok proves this, as did Vine before that, and Snapchat to some degree. There are creators on these platforms perfectly showing how to tell a story in short bursts.

For a branded campaign, there are myriad of ad formats and strategies that can complement each other and tell a story, and a lot of these strategies can incorporate a 6 second message.

A campaign we recently undertook for an international broadcaster used the 6 second Bumper Ads format on YouTube very effectively. This was part of a wider campaign tasked with building Reach and Awareness for our target audience and drove very successful results for a client. Driving uplift in organic search for the brand.

3, The industry want a standardised measurement framework...

It’s been a problem for years within the industry. Walled gardens like Facebook and YouTube measure their activity in different ways. What is deemed a success on Facebook is measured considerably different to success on YouTube. This is why Tubular Labs, Vice, Buzzfeed and Group Nine Media announced their Global Video Measurement Alliance earlier this year. Why has it taken this long? Social video is relatively new and still in its infancy, but how we buy and measure this is still built upon legacy display technology. As the social media offering has expanded, we now see vertical video, click to play, 6 second Bumper Ads, VR and AR all now thrown into the media mix. And when you’ve got lots of different platforms, with lots of different format offerings, it becomes very difficult to talk in a unified way across them all. With the help of a millward brown study, we’ve also seen that users react differently to different ad formats, so you can start to understand the enormous complexity around this issue, and how a unified measurement might be challenging.

So why are people calling for a unified measurement? Publishers want this because they hope to divert more money to their O&O platforms at the expense of Broadcast. If publishers can measure and prove their brand effectiveness alongside TV, there’s an argument for a bigger share of the pie. Media buyers want this so they can plan more effectively and talk about apples next to apples. Brands want this so they can understand marketing effects on their brand cross platform.

All are valid and fair points. But there is already a way. It's not about measuring video next to TV - it's about attribution modelling for your brand metrics. Video fits at all of the stages in the consumer journey. Whether that's broad-reach awareness pieces or influencer endorsement of your products at the other end of the purchase funnel. It's very important that we can measure cross platform but as marketers, we use video at each stage in the consumer journey, on all different platforms, where users interact with different things at different times. The important part of this puzzle is what part video is playing in your overall marketing mix, understanding your attribution windows and understanding how sequential storytelling is impacting you.

There still going to be a lot of work we need to do - but the important thing is that we focus on the right areas. TV and video will come closer together as the platforms mechanisms of buying, and the ways they are served to consumers, come closer together. This will happen as everyone moves closer to digital.


Users now have so much choice that we're seeing a natural saturation in decision making. Algorithms can only go so far in providing you with content which they deem you'll be interested in, but what we're seeing is that this proliferation of content is pushing users to take longer and longer to decide what to watch - through fear of missing out on something better. This isn't just a platform problem. With lots of content on different platforms users will switch around to find something they think they will like. I know I regularly get struck with a case of FOBO (fear of better options). It's similar to knowing you'd like a chocolate bar but when you go to the chocolate aisle you're so overwhelmed with choice you become a bit stuck. In this instance you have lots of different stores with equally as much choice in each. In the end you go with something you know or nothing at all.

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