Despite its many critics, television advertising is a $100bn-plus a year market. So it's not entirely surprising that the market for online video ads has evolved to look a lot like its offline counterpart.
There's the desire, now being realized, for digital up-fronts. There is a growing focus on channels. There are Hollywood-like deal structures. And, of course, the pre-roll is the dominant ad unit.
It's a seemingly great time to be a brand. Our digital world has created numerous challenges in reaching consumers, but thanks to digital channels like social and mobile, there are arguably more opportunities than ever to create connections.
For agencies, whether the digital revolution is a boon isn't always so clear. Yes, agency services are in great demand as a result, but the complexity of digital advertising is creating some significant pain.
Numbers don't lie, or so we're told, and it's no surprise that as advertisers gain more and more tools, they are increasingly looking to see if their assumptions are backed up by the numbers.
This is particularly true when it comes to the $130bn/year television ad market, where advertisers frequently do significant amounts of market testing before rolling a campaign out at scale.
Mobile is everywhere, and while it might not be everything, one need look no further than Facebook to recognize that for many companies, figuring mobile out is crucial.
But despite the obvious opportunities being created by the mobile explosion, many questions remain. One of the biggest: just how big is the mobile ad market going to be?
Google may be online advertising's 800 pound gorilla, but using its digital dominance to push into traditional advertising markets has proven to be a real challenge.
In 2006, for instance, Google began trials of a platform designed to help advertisers more efficiently purchase ad inventory in newspapers.
In 2009, the search giant killed the offering. Ditto for a similar platform created to move radio ad inventory.
So perhaps it won't come as a surprise that Google has decided to throw in the towel on Google TV Ads, an extension to AdWords that made it possible for advertisers to "bring digital buying and measurement technologies to traditional TV advertising."
According to some in the tech startup community, television is dead, or should be.
Instead of striking fear in the hearts of executives at the major television networks, it probably brings a smile to their faces. After all, year after year they count billions of dollars in revenues from upfronts as it rolls in.
Groupon may be one of the fastest-growing consumer internet companies
ever, but when it came to introducing itself to consumers on television,
it learned a harsh lesson: developing a successful television ad
campaign can sometimes be more difficult than building a
After its Crispin Porter + Bogusky Super Bowl ads flopped, Groupon faced a
consumer backlash and industry criticism from those who wondered how a
company that is doing so well could go so wrong on the biggest
advertising stage in the universe.
Google's big foray into primetime television advertising during this year's Super Bowl was arguably quite the success. Its Parisian Love ad, which wasn't even designed for Super Bowl, was one of the most well-received ads shown.
The internet search giant is apparently so fond of its creation that it's giving everyone the ability to create their own Parisian Loves using a nifty new YouTube tool called Search Stories.
Microsoft surprised a lot of people with its Laptop Hunters advertising campaign. They were surprisingly unawkward, unlike Microsoft's Seinfeld campaign. While 'hip' may not be a good descriptor, they weren't uncool either.
Apple is standing idly by, however. It is firing back with another 'I'm a Mac' ad that takes aim at Microsoft's campaign.
This weekend, Google did something it (to the best of my knowledge) has never done before: it started promoting one of its products using a television ad.
That product is Google's browser, Chrome.