AOL agency sales boss: TV and digital video shouldn’t see each other as a threat

AOL’s top agency sales executive has said publishers and agencies wanting to be competitive in the digital world need a clear ‘consumer first’ strategy to be effective in both the content and marketing space.

In a video hangout with Mumbrella Jack Bamberger, global head of agency development for AOL, said that for all the hyperbole around digital as a threat to legacy media the question would be who put consumers at the heart of their strategy.

“I don’t look at it as a threat, I just start with the consumer,” said Bamberger. “The consumer behaviour has changed – reality check there – so we need to make sure we are following the consumer we will then figure out what to do, but I think the broadcast companies are recognising that as well.

“What we are doing is taking a consumer first perspective to video and looking at how consumers are using devices and what that means in terms of formats and then creating content towards that.”

Bamberger’s comments came in the wake of AOL’s Newfronts presentation in New York last week which saw them announce a deal with NBC/Universal and also flag it was moving from creating content for a “season” to a “yearly” cycle, which AOL called a “Content 365″ strategy.

“Digital companies and broadcast companies can partner together to create the next generation of opportunities for marketers,” said Bamberger.

“We measure everything that we do and that then determines what we will shift on.”

He cited AOL’s new experiment with AOL Rise, a new mobile only breakfast program which provides short form snackable video content. 

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“What we saw is that 80 per cent of consumers look at their smartphone within the first hour of waking up,” he said.

“We saw that as a real opportunity to create smartphone snackable content that could be delivered on a smartphone – and what we are excited about is pushing out premium quality, readable, seeable content on that device.”

Asked about AOL’s push in new programmatic, which recently saw them roll out programmatic platform One by AOL to markets such as Australia and Japan, Bamburger said brands and agencies were still figuring out the best way to use the technology.

“It’s about seeing content from a very different lens and its really the data that is driving that in terms of what we decide to create,” said Bamberger.

“From a content standpoint content is still key and brands need to define who they are, what is their purpose etc. particularly in this 24 hour world where so many platforms now exist.

“At the same time making sure that messaging – be it a 15 second, 30 second unit, or whatever, is getting to the right consumer at the right time.

“We at AOL have launched One by AOL our end-to-end programmatic solution and other companies have their programmatic solutions, but I think agencies and clients are still trying to figure out where does programmatic fit in this new world we all live in?

“There is an energy among agencies to ensure they are creating solutions for their clients that will drive effectiveness. ”

Timeline of questions: 

  • 0.30 – AOL on why Newfronts are important
  • 1.40 – ‘A consumer first’ perspective to video
  • 4.28 – TV vs digital – is there a threat to traditional players?
  • 5.30 – The importance of premium content online
  • 7.00 – Creating mobile snackable content
  • 9.00 – AOL’s programmatic push
  • 10.00 – Marketer awareness of the options in programmatic

Nic Christensen in New York


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