Is Programmatic advertising problematic? (#MeToo)

Can I read about rape, and laugh in the same breath?

In the wake of the #MeToo conversation, our digital and more specifically, social media platforms have been abuzz with links, status updates, comments, and multiple shares with women finally garnering the courage to share their ordeal of violence and sexual abuse.

As society, we’ve both consciously and otherwise known that rape in our society has been vile, but in the recent period, never has it become so starkingly apparent that perhaps, rape is one of the biggest human challenges of all time. It is incredibly disturbing that almost every woman has a story to tell, and the most critical thing is that not all of the women do get the opportunity to tell their stories. Communication is critical therefore when women do get to tell their stories, particularly with regards to the #MeToo conversation, do we need advertising messaging in between? I don’t think so.

rape is one of the biggest human challenges of all time

This article is not necessarily about #MeToo, but rather advertising during this time whilst all of this is happening.

As I was reading this article about how difficult it is for women to speak about the experiences of violence and sexual abuse, perhaps even more interesting is that before victims can even decide to speak, they have internal battles as to whether the men in question are in actual fact doing anything wrong. This by default, gives the perpetrators the benefit of doubt.

 

Whilst reading such heart wrenching articles, one is hit by programmatic advertising. These are sometimes ads that have humor in them, and they intentionally aim to bring lightness and laughter. Now, if one is reading an article about rape, and comes across an ad that’s funny, what must happen?

 

Below are screenshots of excerpts of the aforementioned article where two brands ended up advertising, not by human choice, but rather through an automated algorithm that saw it fit for the ads to appear in the article.

 

SH 4SH 3SH 2SH 1

 

Whilst programmatic advertising is underpinned on the desired or identified target audiences’ demographics, interests and identified platforms, perhaps we should think about the content as well. No? Perhaps identified publishers will once-in-a-while publish serious content like #MeToo, and our ad placement will inevitably fall out of place. Awkward.

I’m conflicted. Does it matter who advertises in an article about rape? Should there even be advertising? It somehow feels like a rude interruption to a serious topic/issue. I suppose this becomes the “noise” that we just scroll over?

I feel that the content of certain articles should not be bombarded with advertising that inevitably dilutes the impact therein. Rape is a serious issue/topic and readers should not be interrupted, more so, the author, the person sharing their story should not be interrupted with adverts that almost make it seem as though the story isn’t that serious nor important.

Or am I reading too much into it? Perhaps we really need to think about where exactly our ads will end up. Should marketers, brands, agencies and social media people be concerned and conscious about where their programmatic adverts will unintentionally land?

Whilst the ads are programmatic and perhaps advertisers don’t really have complete control of the automatically chosen media, is there a way to mitigate against adverts popping up on pages or platforms that may dilute their messaging?

As Advertisers, what is our responsibility when it comes to programmatic advertising?

Do we need to be thinking deeper about where exactly our ads will land?

Should we be thinking about pages or platforms where our brands shouldn’t be?

Is this even a topic worth talking about?

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

PS: N.B.: Kulula & Lay’s are not targeted or meant to be appear insensitive, they appeared in the story as I was reading it, and the ads that you see may be different to the two brands, because of programmatic advertising.

 

Advertisements

Advertising: Retainers aren’t enough

‘Retainers’ aren’t enough to secure relationships. Most agencies think that having one with a client is in itself is a signifier of a strong relationship, but it isn’t. Retainers just mean secured income for a specific period; they don’t mean that clients are tied down to your agency.

How intimate are you with your client?

Remember, you are not the only pursuer; clients are constantly and consistently being approached by other suppliers. If you and your client aren’t intimate, just transactional, you’ll inevitably lose. Whether your client is retainer or project-based, you have to keep pursuing your client by showing interest at all times.

In today’s commoditised world of creativity, your biggest asset, value proposition or differentiator is not the latest technology, but affection — how intimate are you with your client?

 

Adapted from original article: here

“Free” = You are for sale (Free Facebook, or not)

Indeed we have sold ourselves. Now Facebook knows you and me better, and Vodacom has access to that information. And they can sell it to third-party companies who can and will serve you with ads.

I’ve been receiving ads from companies I have never interacted with these past few weeks. How do we explain that?

Bogosi Motshegwa

“Either you are being sold a product (or service) or you yourself are the product” – Mogorosi

That line I heard from, Mo and that time, I thought it was the deepest advertising line ever.

If I were to paraphrase his quote, I’d say; “If you are not being sold to, you are being sold to someone else”. But that sounds a tad like a capitalist system and slavery at the same time, doesn’t it?

Have you used Free Facebook yet? Here are the terms and conditions of using free Facebook (see pic below):

screenshot_2017-01-17-23-36-09

The middle paragraph says it all. “By signing up for this experience, you grant Facebook permission to tell others about your use of Facebook for free on Vodacom” – Facebook.

In case you weren’t sure, ‘others’ means companies that advertise on Facebook. Simply put, you have just sold yourself to Facebook, and in return, you get…

View original post 62 more words

5 things to consider to win in digital

Digital marketing is a long-term brand building process

The problem with most brands when it comes to digital: they think of it in campaign formats. Digital is a long-term process

In order to win at digital; you need to think of it as a long-term process that requires consistency, persistence, and patience.

How to win at digital (How to think about digital):

  • Think of it long-term – it’s a process that will require time to yield results
  • The implication therein is to think about consistent type of content that’s true to your brand
  • Don’t think of it as a place to do everything (you don’t think of doing everything on TV because it’s expensive, therefore don’t think of doing everything on digital just because it’s cheaper)
  • Digital is immediately measurable, but that doesn’t mean results are immediate – you need patience (immediate measurement doesn’t always mean success, sometimes it just means progress – so keep working
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself; we are all trying to figure it out – therefore, keep learning to improve and do amazing things (we are all students of digital who will never graduate; not because we are failing, but because the learning never stops. Try new things all the time.

Where is South Africa’s tech industry?

In South Africa, the level of technological interest is primarily at consumer-level.
 
We need to shift our focus from just being content with consuming Apps and other technological ideas, and lean towards creating and producing tech solutions that will impact the world. 
 
Our schooling system needs to be supplemented with an online-skills-acquisition-programme (OSAP). And this needs to happen ASAP.

“Free” = You are for sale (Free Facebook, or not)

“Either you are being sold a product (or service) or you yourself are the product” – Mogorosi

That line I heard from, Mo and that time, I thought it was the deepest advertising line ever.

If I were to paraphrase his quote, I’d say; “If you are not being sold to, you are being sold to someone else”. But that sounds a tad like a capitalist system and slavery at the same time, doesn’t it?

Have you used Free Facebook yet? Here are the terms and conditions of using free Facebook (see pic below):

screenshot_2017-01-17-23-36-09

The middle paragraph says it all. “By signing up for this experience, you grant Facebook permission to tell others about your use of Facebook for free on Vodacom” – Facebook.

In case you weren’t sure, ‘others’ means companies that advertise on Facebook. Simply put, you have just sold yourself to Facebook, and in return, you get basic Facebook where you can view posts and comment. The terms and conditions go on further to state that the information you give them will also be accessible to Vodacom and it’s related companies.

But I bet that you knew this when you signed up because as they saying goes; “There’s nothing for mahala”

But Facebook and Vodacom had you at “Free”.

Not all trends matter

It’s as simple as that.

Particularly in a social context. When things seem to be moving in a general direction that seems worth tagging along onto, ask yourself these questions:

  • What implication will this trend have on my brand?
  • Should I jump on the bandwagon; if yes, why and if no, why not?
  • If I do jump onto the bandwagon, what will I be missing out on?
  • Is the trend in line with my brand?
  • Could it be a fad?
  • What am I chasing, hype or substance?

Not every single trend is worth any investment.