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技术和内容,一场困扰广告界的博弈
Walter 08月24日 阅读 1533 快速评论
沐浴在法国海边的阳光下,一个月前身处戛纳的每个广告人都在思考这样的问题:我们该如何定义技术和内容之间的关系?这是专属当下广告营销界的“斯芬克斯之谜”。

 

文|Walter

沐浴在法国海边的阳光下,一个月前身处戛纳的每个广告人都在思考这样的问题:我们该如何定义技术和内容之间的关系?

这是专属当下广告营销界的“斯芬克斯之谜”。

所有人都知道答案,广告的未来总归要在技术和内容之间寻找到平衡;但每个人对这个目标的达成却有着不同的想法和路径规划,大家都在摸索,暂时还无错对之分。

技术力量对广告的介入力道之深,对于五年前的人们来说,恐怕还始料未及。互联网和移动互联技术的迅猛发展,让广告营销圈数十年的运作逻辑土崩瓦解,大创意、大媒体和大投放不再占有垄断地位。与之相反,一些创新的媒体形式正在加速向我们驶来,它们都或多或少带有着技术的基因。

那些聪明而敏锐的广告人已经发现了潜藏在技术和内容夹层间的巨大商机,并且积极地行动了起来。它们开辟出新的广告形式,坐拥其中衍生出的巨大利润,并推动整个产业向前挺进。

在广告营销界的争论中,我们既能看到人们的焦虑和彷徨,也能发现他们内心深处的乐观。反正这个问题迟早都会解决,广告也将在技术的帮助下迎来属于又一个黄金时代。

1

技术还是内容?

Snapchat在戛纳影节宫前亮黄色的摩天轮,成了今年戛纳国际创意节最招人眼球的视觉元素,人们喜欢在这里自拍然后将照片上传到Facebook、Twitter或者微信上。

影节宫是创意节的主会场,那些受人欢迎和引人思考的演讲都会在这里举行。所以,摩天轮出现的位置几乎是每个广告人必经的地方。眼下这座六层楼高的装置十分显眼,甚至连创意节组委会主席TerrySavage都赞不绝口。

在此之前,Savage来到了中国。当面对中国广告人的演讲中,他也举了Snapchat的例子。在去年的戛纳创意节上,Snapchat招牌式的亮黄色也覆盖了戛纳的大街小巷,这让它出尽了风头。

这像是一场互联网的盛会。”Savage说。

这是一个事实:广告不再只是广告人的专利,以互联网为代表的技术力量对它的影响也不容小觑,Snapchat就是其中的典型。

此前Morketing有关Snapchat的文章中,就曾提到它的创新广告形式深受广告主和消费者的喜爱。要知道,在人们对广告营销充满质疑的时候,让产业链的两端同时喜欢不是一件简单的事情。

Snap推出了滤镜广告,这是一种和用户玩起来的广告形式。当人们使用App并选择相应滤镜时,手机上就会出现带有品牌logo的滤镜画面。这个功能颇受欢迎,那些被称为Snapchatters的用户在使用它时,实际上也付出了自己的注意力资源,这对于身处媒体碎片化时代的广告主来说颇为珍贵。毕竟,获取注意力是最终达成传播效果的起点。

这是激活品牌的全新选择,也是我们最具吸引力的广告产品之一。”在Snapchat的官网上,他们这样介绍这款由技术驱动的创新广告产品。

Snapchat只是一个个案,背后反映出的是互联网正在成为驱动广告产业发展的核心力量。

在中国,腾讯也扮演着类似的角色,备受广告主认可的朋友圈广告开始了一轮轮地迭代更新。最新的版本是在5月中旬上线了卡片广告形式,相较以往有了更大的广告展示面积,点击跳转后的落地页也能传递更多的广告信息。事实证明,新的广告形式推出之后,无论从点击、点赞还是评论的层面讲,用户的互动热度也有了急剧提升。

总的来说,以往的广告人在意的是创意和内容。现如今,再抱守着这种思维看起就难免显得过时。没有一个人敢忽视技术的力量,毕竟它代表着数据、精准和可追溯,或者说看起来就是广告的未来。

2

取代内容,还是辅助它?

今年的戛纳是审视技术和内容间关系最好的舞台,广告人们对技术的矛盾心理一览无遗。

有关技术的论坛和演讲仍然是戛纳最受欢迎的场次,“中国之日”上接近一半的演讲嘉宾都来自互联网或有着技术背景,Google、Twitter、甲骨文乃至IBM的技术高管也向广告人们描绘着颇具想象力的广告图景。在他们的眼中,技术能帮企业找到它们希望找到的人(也就是“目标消费者”),或者说百货商店之父在数十年前提到的“浪费了一半的广告费”也能借由技术帮忙寻回。

看起来,就像是广告世界中的“乌托邦”。

毫无疑问,当下的广告营销界正在发生着可能是有史以来最大的变化。上一次类似的震荡要追溯到上个世纪八十年代,当时的广告公司掀起了集团化的浪潮来应对全球化的经济和社会趋势,整合营销传播也在当时的美国西北大学应运而生,并指导了接下来若干年的广告实践。

但这一次的变化显然比八十年代的那次来得更大,它重构了广告的产业逻辑。或者从另一个层面来说,广告界始终不曾缺少“乌托邦”的理想,但技术让人们看到了它变成现实的可能性。

同时,这也让不少人因为这个美丽的设想,高估了技术的作用,形成了技术崇拜的狂热。即使在戛纳,这样的情况同样存在,VR、AI、大数据、云计算这样的技术词汇充斥着几乎所有演讲,就像它真正发生在今天一样。

人的精力总是有限的,当人们的目光都被技术吸引过去时,创意和内容看起来就不那么重要了。今年戛纳,阳狮的新任CEO宣布明年告别戛纳,另外包括广告节、广告奖等付费推广活动也将一并取消,节约下来的钱将被投入技术研发,希望为阳狮全球各地的办公室打造出一个协同平台。

很难说这是一个正确的决定,营销者放弃了对自己的宣传,转而表现出对技术的热情。你能说这是技术时代下广告公司的与时俱进,但也能说这是焦虑心态下的无所适从。

一些人开始反思我们是不是把技术的地位看得过重了。

在“技术”成为热词时,越来越多的人也开始注意到“讲故事(storytelling)”的重要性。在AnnetteSimmons的《故事思维》一书中,她说“事实无法形成信任,信任需要故事维系它——一个有意义的故事能激发人们对你的信任,希望你的建议确实能实现你的承诺,听众会重新燃起对你的希望。”

技术能帮你找到对的人,但打动他的是故事,否则再精准的广告营销也会无功而返。所以你会看到,那些曾经看起来攻城拔寨的互联网公司开始寻求和广告公司的合作,阿里和阳狮达成了战略合作关系,腾讯和电通也开启了全面合作。

广告公司提供创意内容,互联网公司提供技术支持。这一系列的最新变化显示出的趋势再自然不过:内容的作用不该轻忽,技术只是传达内容的手段,不是目的。

3

走在钢索上的人

当人们冷静下来就会发现,内容和技术是广告的一体两面,缺一不可。它们之间存在着一丝似有似无的关系,但找到这层关系对于产业未来的发展至关重要。

真的就有那么一些广告和技术人才开始了自己的征程,并且做的还不错。

以色列,那个看起来饱受战火的是非之地,同时也被人们视为创新的摇篮。2007年前后,一家名为Taboola的广告技术公司在那里成立,并在随后的短时间内发展成为备受关注的独角兽。

这家公司将它们正在做的事情称为“内容发现”,这是在技术的基础上探索出的让读者与内容互动的全新模式。

如果你还有印象,最早的广告由弹出式广告控制,这种强制传播的模式割裂了用户的使用体验;随后出现了以banner为代表的展示广告,但骨子里仍然沿用的是传统媒体时代广告逻辑。

而被称为“内容发现”的全新模式重构了用户与内容间的互动,你可以将它视为广告营销版本的“今日头条”。唯一不同的是,今日头条是一个媒体平台,而这两家公司只提供技术服务。

技术平台通过结合用户的信息浏览行为和严密的算法,为他们推送匹配度更高的信息。这一方面抑制了消费者可能产生的“逆反心理”,另一方面也让广告推送到了它们最应该出现的位置。

很难想象在传统媒体时代会有这样的操作模式,早先的传播路径往往是内容的批量化生产和传输,很难做到个性化。在Taboola看来,“千人千面”不再是一个遥不可及的理想,它是变化的现在进行时,内容互动方式变迁的根源就是技术。

在接受Morketing专访时,Taboola的首席运营官EldadManiv提到:“产生广告收入的最好办法是通过原生的赞助广告以及瞄准特定受众的创意活动来实现,而不是靠规模化的广告展示。

在Maniv看来,当人们在阅读有关健康跑步的文章时,向他推荐另一篇相关的文章,并在其中加入品牌露出,是否会产生更好的效果?答案是显然的,相关性保证了用户的打开度,精彩的内容也能引人入胜,广告信息则完成刺激消费者决策或品牌记忆的最后一步。

在技术的帮助下,讲故事的过程一气呵成。

当技术和内容得到很好地结合,首先受益的永远是企业本身。Taboola的数据显示,它们每年覆盖的访问者达到10亿之巨,内容推荐的规模达到了3600亿条,营收规模在2016年高达5.5亿美金。

某种程度上,Taboola并不算是耀眼的明星公司,但作为底层技术供应商也坐收了不小的利益,这只是因为他们聪明地将技术和内容巧妙结合在了一起。

发现一个故事,然后讲出来。”作为一家技术公司高管,Maniv对广告的清醒认知或许是帮助他的企业高速发展的重要原因。

最开始,人们谈论创意。然后,他们谈论技术。现在,他们开始谈论技术和内容的融合。与其他新鲜事物的发展轨迹一样,人们总是喜爱从事情的一端走向另一端,随后在争论和实践中慢慢调整到最舒服的位置。

眼下,广告营销界正在经历的一切,也是如此。

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

以下为英文对照版本:

Technology or Content——aGame that Troubles Ad Industry

By Walter

Bathing under the golden ray in France’s seaside,every ad man in Cannes a month ago was thinking about the same question: How dowe define the relationship between technology and content?

This is the“Riddle of Sphinx”in today’s advertising &marketing industry.

Everybody knows the answer that advertising willeventually reach the balance between technology and content. But everyone has differentidea and plan to achieve the balance. There is no right or wrong for we are all on our way to explore the right path.

Technology is reshaping the advertising industry,but we did not expect the huge influence five years ago. The rapid developmentof Internet and Mobile is collapsing the operation logic which has been runningin advertising & marketing industry for decades. Big agencies and media wouldno longer hold the monopoly over the market. Instead, some innovative media arerushing toward us. They are more or less carrying the gene of technology.

Some ad men with sharp insights have already seen thehuge opportunity hidden between technology and content, and taken actions proactively.They created new ad forms and reaped huge profits out of them, driving thewhole industry moving forward.

In the debate among the advertising & marketing industry,we see the anxiety and confusion in people’s eyes, and the optimism deepinside their hearts. Anyway, this problem will be solved sooner orlater, and advertising will embrace a next golden age with the help oftechnology.

1

Technology or Content?

The brightyellow sky wheel in front of Palais des Festiva presented by Snapchat hasbecome the most eye-catching visual element in this year’s Cannes LionsInternational Festival of Creativity. People enjoyed taking selfies here andupdating them on Facebook, Twitter and Wechat’s Moments.

Palaisdes Festiva was the main venue of the Festival, where the popular andthought-provoking speeches were held. Therefore, Snapchat’s sky wheel is theplace not to miss for almost every ad man. The six-story installation was veryattractive, even Terry Savage, chairman of the Cannes Lions Festival, was fullof praise about it.

Savage went to China and cited the example of Snapchatin his speech addressed to China’s ad professionals before the Festival. Hementioned that Snapchat dressed the whole city with its typical bright yellowin last year’s Festival and hogged thespotlight.

“It looks like a carnival of Internet industry,”says Savage.

Savage’swords revealed a truth:advertising would no longer be exclusive to ad men, and technological powerrepresented by the Internet would exert greater influence on advertisingindustry. Snapchatis one of the cases.

An article about Snapchatwritten by Morketing mentioned that the creative ad forms of Snapchat win thehearts of advertisers and customers. We have toknow that it is not easy to be favored by both sides of an industry chain in atime when advertising & marketing is facing with doubts.

Snap rolled out ad filters or lenses, an interactivead form. When users choose ad filters or lenses in Snapchat, related logos willappear on the mobile screen. It is quite a hit. Snapchatters actually paidtheir attention when they were using the branded filters or lenses, which isquite valuable to advertisers in an era of media fragmentation. After all,getting attention is the starting point for achieving communication effects.

“This is anew option to activate brands, and also one of our most attractive ad products,”anintroduction to the ad product on Snapchat’s official website says.

Snapchat is just one of the cases, but reflects a phenomenonthat theInternet is becoming the core strength driving the development of ad industry.

Tencent’s Wechat seems to be the China’s version ofSnapchat. It has updated its WeChat Moments ad which highly recognized byadvertisers for several times. The latest version  in mid-May adopts the card ad form, which haslarger display area and the landing page after click could deliver more information.It is proved that the new ad form has greatly improve users’ interaction interms of the amount of click, like and review.

Generally speaking, creative and content are what ad menemphasized before, but now it is far from enough to only focus on the above twothings. No one can ignore the power of technology for it represents data,precision and trackability, or put it in another way, it seems to be the futureof advertising.

2

Content’sAlternative or Assistant?

This year’s Cannes was the best channel to review therelationship between technology and content. The ambivalenceof ad men was obvious.

Forums and speeches about technology were still themost popular activities in Cannes. Almost half of the guest speakers in “ChinaDay”are from the Internet industry or with technological background; techexecutives from Google, Twitter, Oracle and IBM presented a vision with greatimagination for advertising. In their eyes, technology can help enterprisesfind the people they want to target or the so-called“target consumers”,and  get back“half of the wasted adexpenses”which proposed by John Wanamaker a hundred years ago.

It seems like the“Utopia”in the advertising world.

Undoubtedly, today’s advertising & marketingindustry is probaly undergoing a greatest change ever. Last similar change can  be traced back to 1980s, during whichadvertising agencies initiated a movement of conglomeration to adapt to thesocial and economic trends of globalization. In response, the idea of IntegratedMarketing Communication(IMC) emerged in Northwestern University of USA andguided the advertising practice in the following years.

But this change is obviously bigger than that in 1980s,it literally rebuilt the industry logic of advertising. From anotherperspective, we would say that advertising industry never lacks “Utopian ideal”,but it is technology make people see the possibility of coming ture,

At the same time, quite a few people overestimate the roleof technology because of the beautiful ideal, and thusformed a craze of technology worship in advertising industry. The same thing evenhappened in Cannes. Technological words like VR, AI, Big Data and Cloud Computingcould be heard in almost every speech, giving people a feel that the “Utopianideal”has already come ture.

However, a person’s energy is limited. When we paidour attention to technology, creative and content seem not that important asbefore. In this year’s festival, the newly-pointed CEO of Publicis Groupeannounced that Publicis would take a break from Cannes next year andcancel all paid promotion activities including ad festivals and ad awards. Themoney saved would be invested into technological research and development withan eye to building a concerted platform for all the branches of Publicis globally.

It is hard to say whether it is right orwrongas marketers put most oftheir focuses on technology rather than promotion. You can say this reflectsthe ad agencies are keeping pace with the technology times, you can alsoconsider this as a representation of confusion under anxiety.

Some people start to rethink that if we overvauledthe technology.

When“technology” becomes buzzword, more and more people also start to realize theimportance of “storytelling”. Annette Simmons wrote in her book TheStoryFactor: “Facts do not give birth to faith. Faith needs a story to sustainit - a meaningful story that inspires belief in you and renews hope that yourideas, do indeed, offer what you promise.”

The right audience could be found by technology, but theywould not be touched without story even with the most precise ads and marketingactivities. So you would see that some Internet giants started to cooperatewith advertising agencies, for example, Alibaba established strategiccooperative relations with Publicis; Tecent and Dentsu Aegis opened comprehensivecooperation.

In this way, advertising agencies provide creative andcontent, and Internet companies power technological support. These changesreveal an obvious trend: content shall not be neglected, and technology is justa tool for delivery but not the goal.

3

Walking on the Wire

After cooling down, people would find that content andtechnology are two indispensable sides of advertising. There is an indistinctand subtle relationship between content and technology, but grasping therelation is vital to the future development of advertising industry.

Actually, there were some ad men and technology men startingto do it and did well.

Isreal may be a war-torn nation in many people’s mind,but it is also consided as the cradle of innovation. Around 2007, an ad-tech agencynamed Taboola established there and developed itself into a high-profileunicorn very soon.

The agencycalls what they are doing as “content discovery”, a brand new interactive modebetween audience and content based on technology.

Takinga look at the evolution of advertising, we could see the earliest advertising wasdominated by pop-ups. But the forced mode of communication harmed user’sexperience. Subsequently, display ad e.g. banner appeared, but it still followsthe advertising logic in traditional media times.

However,the new mode – “content discovery” rebuilt the interaction between users andcontent. You can regard it as the “Toutiao (which means today’s headlines, afamous news aggregator in China)” in advertising & marketing industry. Thekey difference lies in that Toutiao is a media platform, but the two companiesonly provide technological services.

Technologicalplatform delivers information with higher relevancy to users through thecombination of users’ browsing behavior and rigorous algorithm. On the onehand, it could restrain consumers‘ potential “reverse psychology”;on the other hand, it could ensure ads to be delivered and shown in the rightplaces.

This mode is hard to imagine in traditional mediatimes for the early communication is often achieved by massive contentproduction and transmission. Personalization is very hard to achieve. ButTaboola thinks that personalization is no longer an impossible dream. It is a changeablepresent continuoustense and the source of the changes in contentinteractive is technology.

TaboolaCEO Eldad Maniv told Morketing: “the best ways to generate ad revenue arenative sponsored ads and creative activities targeting specific audience ratherthan massive ad display.”

Maniv wonder ifit wouldexert better effect to recommend another relevant article with brandexposure when users are reading about health and running. The answer ispositive. Relevancy guarantees users to read it, interesting content drawsusers’ attention, and ad information stimulates consumers to finish the laststep of decision-making or brand memory.

Technology enbales a very smooth process ofstorytelling.

Whentechnology and content are combined together, enterprises will be the first oneto get benefit. According to the data from Taboola, it serves 360 billioncontent recommendations each year to over 1 billion unique visitors, and itsrevenue in 2016 reached 550 million dollars.

To some extent, Taboola would not be regarded as abright star company. But the bottom technology supplier’s ingenious combinationof technology and content yielded considerable profits.

“Find astory and tell it out.”Maniv’s clear understanding on advertising might be the mainreason why his agency develops so rapidly.

At the very beginning, people talked about creative.Then, they talked about technology. Now, theystart to talk about the fusion of technology and content. When a new thingemerge, people tend to shift from the one side to another, then graduallyadjust to the most comfortable position in debate and practice.

And now, advertising & marketing industry isfollowing the same track.

·END· 

本文由Morketing(ID:Morketing投稿梅花网,

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