guy cookson

Why brands and digital media owners must collaborate on creative

There’s huge creative potential when brand advertisers and media owners choose to collaborate. It’s astonishing how scarcely it seems to happen, especially given just how memorable such collaborations have typically been.

Take the first episode of zombie thriller The Returned on Channel 4 earlier this year. The programme was aired in its original French, with English subtitles, a first for mainstream drama on television.

With a brilliant touch, the first commercial break was also in French with English subtitles, and included spots by French brands such as Renault, Boursin and L’Oreal.

Ad placements should fit, not fight, the publishers’ brand

Undoubtedly publishers were concerned about relinquishing control over their sites when they first started to work with third party ad networks.

Trailblazing ad networks convinced publishers of the benefits of outsourcing most of their ad sales by promising healthy revenues, operational cost savings and big brand advertisers.

Publishers have become so comfortable with working with third party ad providers that it’s now the norm, but when something becomes so normal, it loses what makes it unique, and consequently, its value.

For the most part ad formats are now ‘standard’, fitting industry agreed dimensions and functionalities. This has seen ads become commoditised.

As more publishers give their space over to standard ads, the amount of inventory available to advertisers through third parties has increased massively, and the value of each ad placement has plummeted.