By Oli Whitten, Head of International, Rubicon Project
Advertising Week Europe 2016 is descending upon London this week and it promises to be a congregation of the brightest minds across the advertising spectrum, fuelling great conversation, experimentation and innovation. Similarly to the Cannes Lions festival, the influence of advertising technology on the industry has become more and more evident in recent years. As the marriage of creativity and technology is solidified, companies like ours now have a strong foothold at these tent pole global events. We're also seeing agencies developing an arm devoted to technology and data-driven marketing, the most recent of these ventures being Omnicom's new media agency network Hearts & Science just last week.
Advertising automation is at the heart of this coming together of technology, data and creativity that is breaking down walls across previously siloed media channels. This, coupled with creatives embracing technologists and vice versa, means we are beginning to uncover potential for some of the most interesting advertising propositions we’ve seen yet.
At Ad Week Europe this year we presented a panel entitled ‘The Future of Automation’. ‘Programmatic’ advertising on desktop and mobile devices has taken the lion’s share of headlines in recent years, but this is only a subset of a broader media trend of advertising automation that is revealing itself in different ways across different media. The advertising industries of TV, Outdoor, Digital and Radio are all being disrupted by consumer technology, the advent of big data and advances in advertising technology. We are thrilled to have been joined on our panel by some of the most innovative and disruptive businesses within each of these channels.
On the panel we had Sky, a broadcaster that is demonstrating a refreshingly future-thinking attitude in a sector that is encountering challenges as technology changes consumer behaviour. Their AdSmart technology allows brands to serve automated, targeted ads based on the data points and subscription data each household has amassed.
Also on the panel was Spotify, who deliver programmatic audio ads on the free version of their streaming service. Outdoor media owners like Clear Channel and Brightmove are embracing automated technology solutions, including Bitposter, to automate outdoor media trading. Finally, location data is touting itself as the silver bullet for marketers, and xAd see incredible potential in using location and mobile particularly to connect advertising on all media types with consumers in all environments.
We are seeing great disruption across ‘traditional’ media, and this evolution will continue for some time. The video above represents a very real future of an ‘omnichannel’ horizon, in which the media planner/buyer of the future is able to plan, execute and refine campaigns centrally and in real-time across multiple channels. And while we may not be there just yet, we’re getting very close – the future is exciting!