The Week in Brief

The Week in Brief

This blog has now closed for 2020. Sign up to receive the latest news and insights across the digital marketing industry: Stay updated Looking back…

Friday 18 December

Goodbye to 2020, hello 2021! What a year it’s been! Read our Q + A with key team members across Bench on their highlights, challenges and advice moving forward. 2020 has been one of the most impactful years in terms of shifts in consumption habits. Read our final channel trends and insights for the year, which includes what we’ve seen across media channels this month, as well as predictions for the summer. IAB Australia has released its December Nickable Slides with the most recent Australian digital ad revenue and media consumption statistics.  Also, have a read of the top 5 trends to be across for 2021. Rising indie agencies? Innovation as success? Read the predictions from industry leaders on how 2021 will pan out. Australian marketing experts explain how to prepare for what’s next, and how businesses can feel empowered to face the future. iOS release updates How will Apple’s iOS 14 release impact your Facebook ads? Clearly, the social media giant isn’t happy about the upcoming updates. The upcoming iOS changes are expected to spark ‘a wave of acquisition activity from gaming companies‘. Channels: CTV The future of TV was reshaped by 2020, and this will continue to have lasting industry impacts. TV is evolving by the day. Here’s three ways to make CTV and OTT more accessible. In other news… As Covid vaccines are rolled out, Atlassian is pushing ahead with its policy to work from anywhere.

Friday 11 December

Data and privacy Has publishers’ first-party data become a prerequisite to programmatic ad sales? An overhaul of the Privacy Act poses a huge threat to customer data and advertising as we know it. The demise of third-party cookies has dominated headlines this year. As we enter a new era of data, what are the predictions for 2021? In review: the year that was According to Zenith’s latest Forecasts, the global ad market has recovered more rapidly than expected this year. It is now forecast to shrink by 7.5% across 2020, instead of the 9.1% forecast in July. Memes of 2020: Instagram’s review captures the mood of the year. Netflix Australia has revealed its most popular shows of 2020. oOh!media looks back at the top campaigns of the year. Channels: audio Is the biggest podcast mistake brands make thinking, ‘if we build it, they will come’? With the development of RadioMatrix, audio and radio will see continued growth. In other news… IAB Australia is now taking applications for its 2021 Mentorship Program.

Friday 4 December

Industry news Salesforce has acquired messaging platform Slack for $US27.7 billion. Verizon Media launches its new unified ID solution, Verizon Media ConnectID, built for the cookie-less future. ​​​​​​ Channels and social Could Facebook Ads be reaching saturation point? Samsung has quietly launched its TV Plus streaming service in Australia. Betting company Tabcorp has been fined for posting illegal advertisements that encourage gambling on Instagram Stories. ​​​​​ Digital advertising: the year that was, and moving forward It’s been the year of the pivot. How have brands adapted their strategies? IAB Australia asks industry leaders to reflect on digital advertising in 2020. SpotX has released its 2021 Global Trends Report for Video Advertising. In other news… Air New Zealand and Tourism New Zealand have released Aotearoa, the 8th Wonder of the World, a new safety video that promotes domestic travel.

Friday 27 November

Shopping season: Black Friday is here! McKinsey charts the rise of Black Friday, and the interest in other global consumer events such as Amazon Prime Day and Cyber Monday. Australian retail brands are keen to engage in Black Friday events to ‘put a marker between the pandemic economic downturn this year’. Payment provider Klarna has expanded in Australia in time for the shopping season. In order to create brand awareness and convert leads during the sales, it’s important to make sure that Black Friday aligns with brand values. ​​​​​​ Change, growth and forecasting The digital habits of Australians are constantly evolving. Browsing and purchasing online will increase even more during the holiday season, so how can brands connect with consumers by responding to these emerging trends? The pandemic has brought with it a jagged wave of change. This long read explores the ups and downs. PwC has released its Australian Entertainment & Media Outlook 2020-2024. As you’d expect, this year’s Outlook highlights the impact of the pandemic on consumption habits, and consumer and advertising revenue. Channel trends IAB Australia investigates the growth of the Australian CTV market, with a focus on ad fraud and how media buyers can ensure they get what they intend to buy. It’s often said that linear TV is dying, but it’s time to get back to the facts. ​​​​​​Introducing Spotlight. Snap Inc. launches its new entertainment platform for user-generated content within Snapchat.

Friday 20 November

Brand studies From one iconic shape to four. PlayStation 5 takes over the London Underground. Is your e-commerce brand missing the mark? Now is the time for creative bravery. Think with Google explores how brands keep it real, value passion over programming and engage with experimentation. Ad verification company DoubleVerify is launching a tool to assist advertisers with brand suitability and safety. Summer movement and consumer trends Our webinar Summer Movement in Digital Media, hosted with Foursquare and VMO, unpacked the latest consumer insights and trends in order to understand how marketers can harness the power of movement. Read the key insights. This year the pandemic has introduced huge shifts in consumer behaviour. This year’s holiday spending is up for grabs. ​​​​ Channels: social  It’s been revealed that advertisers using Facebook’s conversion lift studies tool were fed faulty data for 12 months. As consumers increasingly turn to YouTube, the platform has introduced audio ads to connect brands with audiences. Parents and guardians can now guide their child’s experience on TikTok through Family Pairing. In other news… SBS has unveiled its exciting 2021 content line-up, including new series and old favourites for NITV.

Friday 13 November

Australian tourism, movement and branding Destination NSW and Tourism Tasmania are major sponsors for the annual 52 Weekends Away issue of Good Weekend. Virgin Australia’s new campaign, You Can’t Keep A Good Thing Down, is all about bringing the excitement of flying back to life. A new study has revealed that Australians favour brands that have cultural relevance, and are involved in local culture. ​​​​​​Channel trends: Audio and TV Audio continues to rise as advertisers embrace it as an effective digital ad platform. The listening hours for SCA live radio streaming have increased by 30% YoY and unique listeners have jumped 58% YoY. Nine is launching Stan Sport, an on-demand sports package for Stan users, with initial content to involve its new partnership with Rugby Australia. Nielsen is adding connected TV data to its TV ratings currency for the first time. In other news… advertising this festive season Dan Murphy’s has the ‘Holidays Handled’ this season. ‘All I want for Christmas… is a Covid-free Christmas ad.’ This year, Santa is looking to Salvos Stores to give back and to embrace a more sustainable gift-giving approach.

Friday 6 November

Social media and the US election ​​​​​​ The US election has dominated media this week. At the time of writing, there’s a lot of uncertainty, which extends to paid media strategies. S​​​​​​ocial media platforms Twitter and Facebook have introduced emergency measures to halt false claims of victory as results are awaited. ​​​​​​ Channel updates oOh! media is using data to showcase a new campaign for Movember, which aims to raise funds and awareness for mental health issues, as well as prostate and testicular cancer. Tourism Whitsundays has reported a huge boost in sales due to a new Wavemaker and Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) campaign, which features Apple’s Siri. A new whitepaper by YouGov explores how the gaming market is thriving amid the pandemic. Facebook Australia has partnered with NAIDOC to launch a new initiative that celebrates Indigenous people and stories for NAIDOC Week, including Instagram Story templates designed by Indigenous artists. Spotlight: Bench’s webinar on summer movement Marketers are now more open to trying and testing new methods for campaign success. Next week, Bench will be hosting a panel discussion to unpack how marketers can rethink plans this summer as trends predict that an additional 600,000 Australians will in the country due to Covid-19. Don’t forget to register! In other news… The Australian Government is rolling out a new campaign, How’s your head today?, to raise awareness about how Covid-19 can impact mental health.

Friday 30 October

Spotlight: Bench’s webinar on summer movement Register for Bench’s upcoming webinar to find out how increased movement in Australia this summer will impact digital media. Channels OOH company Big Outdoor has announced its new programmatic capabilities, which will be powered by Vistar Media. Subscription TV service Foxtel is offering a free version of Kayo to attract more advertisers and viewers to the sports streaming service. Shopify and TikTok have teamed up. With the TikTok channel for Shopify, e-commerce businesses can reach new, highly engaged audiences. Industry news: advertising solutions Google announced that it is increasing investment into Campaign Manager as a standalone ad server to combat gaps in measurement and add additional third-party integrations. The Trade Desk and LiveRamp have formed a partnership to allow publishers access to Unified ID 2.0. Buyers will now be able to transact across multiple environments including display and connected TV. In other news… Kazakhstan’s tourism agency, Kazakh Tourism, has used Borat’s famous catchphrase in a new campaign to highlight the nation’s food, culture and scenery. Very nice!

Friday 23 October

Channels: TV Seven and Foxtel have showcased their upcoming content line-ups for next year through Upfront events. Australian ViacomCBS executives claim that the new content and streaming assets of Network 10’s new US parent company will ‘terrify’ its local competitors. Mobile-only streaming service Quibi has shut down after just six months. Channels: DOOH Due to ongoing travel restrictions, more Australians will be staying in the country over the festive season. What does this increased local movement mean for marketers and digital media? Tune into Bench’s upcoming webinar to find out. Programmatic continues to disrupt the OOH space as it dials up the ‘wow factor’. VMO believes its automated trading solution will enable marketers to utilise digital measurement in real time. ​​​​​​ OOH leader JCDecaux has developed a new campaign that uses live timetable data to prompt commuters to access money via MyPayNow while waiting for the bus. Big Tech: Facebook As the US election draws closer, Facebook has pulled 120,000 posts from its site and on Instagram that were intended to ‘obstruct voting’. Facebook has launched its ‘Supreme Court’ as an oversight board to review posts, but as it has a 90-day window to start reviews, it is unlikely to make decisions before Election Day. ​​​​ In other news: retail The pandemic has brought shopping timelines for the festive season forward. How can marketers prepare for the November sales season?

Friday 16 October

Channels: OOH ​​​​​​VMO (Val Morgan Outdoor) sets a new benchmark in OOH measurement with hourly audience planning at screen level as part of its revolutionary tool DART R&F. OMA (Outdoor Media Association) has launched an industry campaign, Spring into Out of Home, to celebrate the return of people to outdoor spaces. Domestic movement: Tourism Australia Tourism Australia has released a new campaign, Holiday Here This Year, to encourage Australians to support local tourism operators by booking a domestic holiday this season. Flight Centre has partnered with Tourism Australia to release a new campaign using its ‘Wake Up’ messaging to turn attention to domestic travel. Facebook and attribution ​​​ Facebook recently announced that it will be phasing out its 28-day attribution window, but it now appears they have reversed the decision after advertiser feedback. Have a read of Mi3’s opinion piece on this move. Industry diversity The latest Think with Google Rethink podcast episode explores diversity and inclusion in the industry. ‘Can advertising walk the talk?‘ In an already tough-to-break-into industry, has COVID-19 hindered the advertising industry’s ability to attract diverse new talent? ​​​ In other news: shopping shifts After its delay due to COVID-19, Amazon Prime Day hit Australia this week. Perhaps, it will stay in October moving forward to signal the start of the shopping season.

Friday 9 October

Social and Big Tech ​​​ Facebook announced that it will be phasing out its 28-day attribution window. Stay tuned. The US House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust has released a new report that includes criticism of the big four tech giants: Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Google. It calls for a more competitive market for smaller businesses. A recent social media census by L&A Social has revealed that the average time Australians spend on social media has increased by 30% during the pandemic. Instagram turned 10 this week! Read how the social media platform is ‘pushing culture forward’ in its birthday message. Channel trends JCDecaux has partnered with the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) for its #MySydney2000 social campaign to highlight memories from the 2000 Olympics. Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has launched two digital audio attribution products. SCA Footsteps will measure footfall attribution to provide insights on the movements of listeners, and SCA Soundcheck provides information for brand and campaign effectiveness. TV networks are predicting that Q4 2020 will see a surge in TV advertising, as BVOD viewing has increased 46% YoY since March this year. ​​​​ Industry insights The latest IAB Australia Ad Tech Matters briefing covers CTV standards, trafficking automation and more. It’s available now for members. ​​​​​ Christmas will feel a little different this year, and as such, influencers can deliver great value for advertising solutions.

Friday 2 October

Ad effectiveness and channels What drives ad effectiveness and attention? Think with Google explores. Global gaming advertising company Frameplay has partnered with advertising platform Magnite to provide programmatic in-game ads. Leading video advertising company SpotX has seen an increase of over 900% in political advertising spend across its OTT and CTV channels since April this year. “Tech years are like dog years, and a decade might as well be a century … But the more some things change, the more they stay the same: Marketers still need some convincing to spend on mobile and in apps.” Big Tech: Facebook spotlight As the US election approaches, reflect on Facebook’s issues with targeted campaign ads. ​​​​​​ This week, Facebook made a controversial decision to ban a ‘sensational’ ad by period underwear brand Modibodi, as it didn’t fit in with strict advertising standards. ​​​​​ In other news: B&T Awards 2020 The B&T Awards 2020 shortlist has been revealed, and Bench is in the running for Best Digital Services. Fingers crossed!

Friday 25 September

​​​​​​Data and identity  The Verizon Media DSP now offers Integral Ad Science (IAS)’s contextual targeting and contextual avoidance capabilities across programmatic ad buying. “How much should advertising cost by screen and platform?” An Australian beta trial with a standard measurement linking active ad attention to CPM pricing aims to find out. IAB Australia has announced plans to future proof audience measurement in the industry, and the IAB Ad Effectiveness Council’s new paper ‘Beyond the Cookie: Mapping the Future of Marketing Measurement’ aims to help marketers understand the impact of moving to a cookie-less future. ​​​​ Channels: TikTok spotlight TikTok has launched its first Australian brand campaign, ‘It Starts on TikTok’, which focuses on local creators as the social media platform continues to expand into the Australian market. In other TikTok news, the company’s latest Transparency Report revealed that it took down 104 million videos in the first half of 2020 for violating its Community Guidelines. Industry news: B&T Women in Media B&T has revealed its Women in Media Awards 2020 shortlist, and included in the list of amazing women is Bench’s Head of Client Services, Natasha Nuckchady. ​​​​​​ In other news…Is 30 too old to work in media?” A chief executive at one of the world’s top advertising agencies has apologised after sparking controversy over ageism.

Friday 18 September

Death of the cookie “The countdown to the end of cookies is on. And with that, third-party data will cease to exist. As one door closes, this could finally be the opportunity for publisher first-party data to take center stage.” Learn more. It’s about “re-architecting the entire process”. Here’s how Vice is planning to tackle life after the cookie. Big Tech news Facebook has announced that it will start limiting how many ads can run on a page at any particular time in order to improve ad performance. Technology company Oracle has taken over Microsoft in the bid to partner with TikTok in the US. Channels Nine has announced Audience Match, its new data partnership with Adobe, which will allow marketers to activate people-based audiences across all of Nine’s properties using Adobe Audience Manager. oOh! Media has launched a Melbourne campaign that showcases meaningful contemporary works by Australian artists from art gallery STATION to reach the city’s commuters and essential workers. In other news… Now is the time to start planning your festive marketing. IAB Australia has asked advertising experts for their advice on preparing for the silly season. Actors Hugh Jackman and Ryan Reynolds have paired up to create a hilarious advertisement for Jackman’s Laughing Man coffee.

Friday 11 September

Data and identity “In the cola wars, it was Coke vs. Pepsi. In the battle of the coasts, it’s New York vs. Los Angeles. Rap? Tupac vs. Biggie. And of course, Google vs. Facebook in the battle for identity supremacy.” How can we move forward in the identity wars? Google has introduced Consent Mode to help advertisers effectively measure conversions, without compromising on user consent choices. According to new research, 55% of Australians have viewed Google’s campaign against the proposed News Media Bargaining Code on its homepage. IAB Australia has released its latest Digital Device and Usage Report. Channels This month, OOH leader JCDecaux is using VR technology to continue the conversation for R U OK? day Music consumption is surging globally on connected TVs, and now, music video streaming service Vevo is available on Telstra TV. Consumers COVID-19 has altered how consumers behave across all aspects of life, and marketers must engage with this shift.  In other news… At Bench, we understand the importance of mental health in and outside the workplace, and that a simple conversation can be life-changing. For this year’s R U OK? day, the theme is, “There’s more to say after R U OK?”. It can be as simple as showing support by starting a conversation.

Friday 4 September

Big Tech: Facebook and Apple spotlight Facebook has caused a huge stir by revealing that it will prevent publishers and users from sharing news on its platforms in Australia if the proposed News Media Bargaining Code goes ahead.  What does Facebook’s strategy for the iOS 14 update mean for developers?  Plus, Apple is now delaying its iOS 14 privacy rule that will require permission for the gathering and tracking of user activity.  Insights and data Global advertising company WPP has come out of an economic low point to announce dividends. What does this signal for roadmaps to prosperity in the wider industry? The anticipated death of the cookie will shake up entire digital marketing approaches. It’s time to rewrite the rules. Webinars Don’t miss IAB’s upcoming webinar on the growth of online retail and e-commerce. In other news… How has remote work blurred our work-life boundaries? “Digital, or Slack, presenteeism isn’t new but thrown into sharp relief now the future of team communication and company culture, without a physical headquarters, is being reconfigured.” 

Friday 28 August

Insights and opinion Growth in the Australian digital advertising market has declined by 12% in Q2 this year due to the impact of the pandemic. Read IAB’s latest report. Do some ad tech companies create confusion to oversell AI-powered solutions? Channels During lockdown, audiences have gravitated to the biggest screen in the house. BVOD viewing has lifted 48% and it’s here to stay. Snapchat has created new lenses to be used for viral TikTok dance challenges. In other news… B&T has released its Women in Media Power list for 2020, which includes our Commercial Director Esther Carlsen.  Nike’s new Mamba Forever ad by creative agency Wieden+Kennedy honours basketball player Kobe Bryant. 

Friday 21 August

Insights According to a new study, Australians are watching more ads than they think. 51% of ads tracked had “eyes on screen”, which is double the time participants believed they spent watching ads. PubMatic’s latest report on trends in the mobile space has revealed that mobile ad spend is skyrocketing with a 71% increase over the last year, and that publishers are increasingly turning to programmatic tactics. Channels: VOZ The Total TV database VOZ promises the first true all-screen, cross-platform picture of national TV viewing. “But the question remains: will it deliver as the final piece of the measurement puzzle? Big Tech This week, Google posted an “Open Letter to Australians” claiming that new government regulation will “hurt how Australians use Google Search and YouTube”. The ACCC, however, has accused Google of spreading “misinformation” about the new rules. Read additional commentary here. In other Google news, many of its services including Gmail and Drive were down due to a mass outage on Thursday. Mi3 argues that the “Stop Hate for Profit” Facebook boycott needs a more meaningful and sustainable solution as many businesses “won’t be able to operate for long without switching this advertising back on”. There’s another strong bidder for TikTok as it was revealed that software company Oracle is in talks with the Chinese-owned social media platform.

Friday 14 August

Publishers, channels and effective advertising Google is introducing programmatic audio to Ad Manager, which will allow publishers to monetise their podcasts and other audio content. The Facebook advertising “boycott” may now be over for some, but the social media platform is still combating hate speech. “How much time does an ad need in front of a user or viewer to be effective? On average around 50% of ‘time-on-screen’ has no viewer attention paid at all.” “Attentive” seconds may be the answer. Don’t miss IAB Australia’s upcoming webinar on the revenue models available for new and niche publishers with a focus on the role of digital advertising. Data and consumer insights A new report by Almeida Insights has found that 42% of respondents worry about their data privacy but feel like they can’t do anything about it, and that 83% use social media at least daily. “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, Australian consumers have consistently been more concerned and cautious than consumers in countries that were far less effective at handling the health crisis.” McKinsey looks at Australia’s cautious consumers. In other news: rethink and listen “Rethink is an investigative journey into the biggest issues facing marketers today.” Check out the new marketing podcast by Think with Google.

Friday 7 August

Programmatic spotlight Programmatic has been the biggest disrupter of digital marketing. And as current trends point out, it’s the way of the future. Read our take on the evolution of programmatic. Google’s upcoming changes to its search ranking algorithm may mean that slower programmatic ads could impact SEO. IAB has revealed that programmatic advertising is expected to reach 68% of digital ad spend worldwide this year. By 2022, 8% of podcast ads are expected to be traded programmatically in the US (double the amount this year). Social media: news and updates Google and Facebook will be forced to pay for news as part of new mandatory code of conduct developed by the ACCC. This code aims to support traditional news media and address the power imbalances in the market. Snapchat has launched a new marketing campaign, The Snapchat Generation, to connect brands with its unique community. Introducing Instagram Reels. The social media platform has released “a new way to create and discover short, entertaining videos” in a move that appears to take on popular social media app TikTok. And speaking of TikTok… there’s a lot happening in this space. Earlier this week, shares of Microsoft rose nearly 5% (around $US77 billion) after the company confirmed that it’s continuing discussions to purchase the social media platform in the US. Discussions are still ongoing. Listen: discussions on OOH OOH was arguably the media hit the hardest by the pandemic, but the recovery is well underway. Listen to this deep dive by Mi3 with global industry leaders.

Friday 31 July

Innovation and strategy
As large holding groups have shed jobs, many agencies in the indie marketing sector have retained staff. Now, it’s time for them to take on the global groups. Unilever has overhauled its advertising strategy, and it’s here to stay for the post-COVID world. The pandemic has widened the gaps between the ends of economic profit. According to this report by McKinsey, “Companies with resilient, future-ready business models positioned to ride these trends have pulled further away from their industry peers.” Privacy and data issues Apple’s privacy announcements for iOS 14 have caused a stir recently. IAB Tech Lab lays out what advertisers need to know. According to the ACCC, Google misled Australian consumers in order to obtain additional personal data to use in targeted advertising. The Deloitte Australian Privacy Index for 2020 has revealed that 83% of consumers are concerned about their activity being tracked online for marketing purposes. Sign up to IAB Australia’s upcoming webinar on how the removal of third-party cookies and other identifiers will impact publishers. Audio and video In the US, podcast advertising revenue is nearing the US$1 billion mark. Expect to see the Australian market to follow suit, too. Facebook has announced it’s launching officially licensed music videos for artists, in a move that will present a significant challenge to YouTube. In other news: Big Tech The CEOs of Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Google testified to defend their companies’ behaviour and power in the market. Listen to the latest episode of Wall Street Journal’s The Journal, “The ‘Emperors of the Online Economy’ Testify”, for more.

Friday 24 July

The data conversation  IAB Australia has brought its Data Handbook up to speed for 2020. Nielsen is planning a new digital measurement methodology to prepare for a cookieless future. Innovation and consumer insights “Innovation can be defined as ‘change that adds value’. And without the ability to change and adapt quickly, across all areas of a business, survival is unlikely.” Here’s why innovation is key to success at this time. Think with Google has decoded consumer purchase decisions in order to reveal how marketers can show up when it matters most. Channels and social TV’s new combined audience trading currency, VOZ, is being rolled out to agencies this month after many delays and roadblocks. Spotify has launched a new video podcast feature in order to enrich the audio experience. Netflix is now spending less on marketing. Here’s why. “Mindfulness in a Snap.” Headspace and Snapchat have collaborated for Headspace Mini, which will allow for Snapchatters to access short meditations and mindfulness exercises. In the US, advertising spend on Facebook is down by more than 31% due to advertiser pullback. In other news… Conversations about mental health and wellbeing are more important than ever. Heart On My Sleeve has partnered with the Mentally Healthy Change Group to reveal what this period has been like for leaders in the media and marketing industry.

Friday 17 July

Future planning Consumer sentiment and spend continues to reflect the uncertainty of the crisis. Explore McKinsey’s global view. Consumer behaviours and attitudes have shifted significantly in recent months, and may not return to pre-pandemic norms anytime soon. As COVID-19 cases rise around the world, brand strategies will need to pivot once again. The value of connected TV As many brands leave Facebook spending behind, budgets could shift to connected TV instead. In case you missed it… check out our insights on the value of BVOD, and our full-length interview with BVOD industry leaders on why now is the time to invest. Data and tracking Since Apple announced that IDFA tracking will become opt-in for consumers, there’s no denying the huge impact this will have on media spend and strategy. As data privacy discussions continue, one study finds that only 9% of consumers will provide GDPR consent to be tracked. Will Google’s proposed changes to third-party cookies impact your marketing and brand strategy? Check out this guide by Cheetah Digital for more information. In other news… Snapchat has launched Brand Profiles as a permanent home for brands on the platform. Keen to learn more about programmatic? Sign up for AdNews and PubMatic’s upcoming webinar: A Marketer’s Guide to Programmatic.

Friday 10 July

Spotlight: programmatic transparency The author of a recent ISBA study that highlighted the need for a reform of programmatic supply chains has reflected on the lessons learnt since its publication. Following on from an update to its Australian Digital Advertising Practices, IAB Australia has called for the industry to adopt transparency standards across the programmatic supply chain. Channels: BVOD and social media Now is the perfect time to invest in connected TV as audiences expand rapidly. Don’t miss our insights on the value of BVOD and our full-length interview with BVOD industry leaders. Trump considers banning TikTok in the US over tensions with China. This comes after a ban in India and amid similar discussions over security concerns in Australia. Just for fun Even during a pandemic, the advertising industry has remained as creative as ever. Check out some of the best ad campaigns of 2020 so far.

Friday 3 July

Security and privacy issues Apple has announced a huge change to mobile-ad technology. With its new iOS update in September, users will now have to opt-in for IDFA tracking. As the Australian government commits to a massive investment in cybersecurity, it’s important to consider how to protect digital channels and consumer identity. Social media platforms Many brands are now boycotting advertising on social media platforms such as Facebook in an effort to stop the spread of hate speech. Brands taking a stand include Starbucks, Unilever and Microsoft. In other Facebook news, the platform will now prioritise original news content and stories with transparent authorship. Channels: audio and OOH Spotify is currently testing new interactive in-app offers for podcasts to create a more direct funnel for advertisers. The City of Sydney has awarded QMS with one of the largest advertising contracts in Australian history, which will lead to a complete reinvigoration of the city’s outdoor advertising assets. Meanwhile, JCDecaux has launched a national OOH campaign to say “hello” to Australians returning to public spaces after lockdown. In other news: industry spotlight The Rubicon Project and Telaria brands have merged to form Magnite. According to Gartner’s 2020 CMO Spend Survey, marketing budgets are suffering cuts but many CMOs believe the negative impacts of the pandemic won’t be long-lasting.

Friday 26 June

Economic forecasts Two leading authorities on the effectiveness of advertising, Rob Brittain and Peter Field, have published a new report titled “Winning or Losing in a Recession” to examine the impending recession and the impacts of the pandemic on the advertising industry. As restrictions start to ease, consumer spending behaviour begins to return to the next normal. Google’s ad revenue forecast in the US is expected to fall for the first time. Revenues for Facebook and Amazon, which are less reliant on travel advertising, will continue to grow. Even with this year’s economic decline, GroupM has reported that it expects “global advertising to grow by 8.2% next year”. Digital futures and programmatic transparency Accelerating your digital transformation is the key to future-proofing your business. This continues to be important. There’s a need for more transparency in adtech as the programmatic-advertising space grows. Calls for a reform and a study by the ISBA earlier this year are efforts in the right direction to ensure open supply chains and fair rates. Data rights A new global survey by iProspect reveals that 87% of consumers believe data privacy is a right, and that 91% are concerned about the amount of data companies can collect. Data Dividend Project claims “data rights are human rights”, and is calling for people to be paid for the data they create on platforms such as Facebook and Google. In other news… Menulog’s new advertising campaign features a catchy jingle by Snoop Dogg. Did TikTok users and K-pop fans really sabotage Trump’s recent rally in Tulsa?

Friday 19 June

A snapshot of the industry: social platforms and media buying Google is updating its Misrepresentation Policy with a Clickbait Ads Policy in order to avoid misrepresentation and enhance consumer trust. This new policy will cover the use of clickbait tactics, sensationalist text and strong negative emotions in advertising to drive traffic. LinkedIn now allows retargeting capabilities and the ability to build target audiences from page visits, video views and lead-form opens. And in a move that follows Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, users can now post Stories on the professional-networking platform. In a submission to the ACCC, Facebook has claimed that removing news from its platform wouldn’t have a significant impact on its business. And in other news, the ACCC has flagged Google’s recent acquisition of wearable-tech company Fitbit. Leading industry bodies have agreed on a set of working practices to help build trust and transparency in programmatic and the digital advertising supply chain. The way that media-buying strategies are implemented has changed. Knowing how to adapt is essential for success and survival. CTV, audio and DOOH are on the rise As the value of CTV rises, 59% of buyers in the US are increasing their CTV budgets (according to an IAB study). New data from Roy Morgan has found that 61% of Australians use audio streaming services, and Spotify is by far the most popular. Nine Radio has announced a new commercial offering and exclusive sponsorships for its news, sport, weather and traffic coverage. Following on from our recent Q and A with leading DOOH experts, Broadsign’s Ben Allman outlines why now is the time to get serious about programmatic DOOH. In other news… The Media Federation of Australia (MFA) has launched MFA support in response to Australia’s unemployment rate of 7.1%, which is the highest percentage in 19 years. The program will support media professionals who have recently lost their job by providing access to continued education and re-employment opportunities. If you missed IAB Australia’s webinar on behavioural changes in media consumption, catch up here.

Friday 12 June 

Moving forward The need for flexibility and agility has always been important for marketers, and it’s only increased in response to the pandemic. A survey by Dentsu Aegis Network revealed that 95% of marketers have changed their 2020 strategies since March. Research by Emma (Enhanced Media Metrics Australia) reveals that digital news media now reaches more than nine out of 10 Australians – a 10% increase from the previous period. Programmatic spending is picking up across the globe with markets in the US and Asia on the rise. When companies invest in inclusion and diversity, it results in more adaptive teams as we move forward. McKinsey’s 2019 analysis found companies that had higher ethnic diversity outperformed those with lower diversity by 36% in terms of profitability. Moving away from the pandemic, the conversation around data and privacy continues. A discussion among industry leaders considers how agencies can improve their first-party data capabilities to understand consumer needs. In an episode of Fear and Greed, Gai Le Roy, CEO of IAB Australia, discusses the huge growth of online advertising in recent years – and how it isn’t slowing down any time soon. Channel updates We look to what channels add value to marketers, and how increased movement impacts media trends and consumption. Check out our June insights for the latest updates and research. We sat down with industry leaders to hear about the evolving programmatic DOOH space, and in case you missed it, check out IAB’s webinar on DOOH. Brands are increasingly using digital avenues to be smart, creative and engaging. For example, sport retailer Rebel has launched a DOOH campaign to promote the post-lockdown return of AFL. Radio is continuing to hit new records. SCA has reported a 42% increase in May live-radio streaming compared to the same month last year. Social video platform TikTok is having a monster year, and has launched its programmatic buying capabilities in Australia. It’s also looking to launch a new augmented-reality advertising format, which will allow advertisers to add interactive visual effects to their videos. Watch this space. Advertisers can create product ads in real-time on Snapchat as the company has now launched Dynamic Product Ads in Australia. In other news… Many brands have responded to the Black Lives Matter movement on social media – see why some responses work, and others miss the mark. One powerful example includes a post by Aesop which highlighted that, “We cannot look away, and words are not enough.” The skincare brand has committed US$100,000 to support organisations that fight racial injustice and promote opportunities for Black people. There are many ways to support the movement here in Australia. A few important organisations that support Indigenous communities include Common GroundJawunThe Aboriginal Health Justice Project and Reconciliation Australia. And in Sydney’s Surry Hills, a huge mural of AFL legend and Indigenous leader Adam Goodes has appeared. The mural was painted by advertising agency Apparition Media.

Friday 29 May

The future is digital As we mentioned last week, it’s clear the road to recovery is digital. McKinsey looks at how the Australian lockdown experience has created a new set of digital users, and how businesses can emerge stronger. There’s been a huge increase in all things digital and there are clear shifts in the age segments that have been hardest to convert, which means a broader reach of people moving forward. Australians are consuming more digital media from engaging with social platforms to reading news, and participating in online activities such as exercise, shopping and video catch-ups at an increased rate. These insights are important for marketers to consider when keeping pace with digital strategy as restrictions across the country continue to ease. Check out the change in movement in Google’s latest mobility report for Australia. Channel insights Audio usage is on the rise. Southern Cross Austereo has reported that its live-radio streaming and audio-on-demand platforms continue to break records, with weekday listening hours up by 19%. As more cars are on the road with easing restrictions, this increase will only become more significant. Spotify has removed its library song limits in a move that signals the immense popularity of the platform. In TV news, Seven has announced that from June it will be reducing the length of its advertising breaks. This comes after research into the effectiveness of advertising and viewing habits – reduced ad loads will increase the opportunity for brand recall by 25%. As the free-to-air partner of the AFL, Seven can also expect increased viewership with the start of the sport’s season next month. BVOD channel 10 Play has unveiled new experiences for Telstra TV users and advertisers. There will be a simpler design, as well as a compulsory log-in feature, which will allow for additional data and targeting capabilities. DOOH is set to add a lot of value for advertisers as people are on the move. With the gradual return to school, work and social normalcy, we’ll see the increase of opportunities for programmatic and digital out-of-home. A reliance on digital is a safe bet to improve campaign ROI. Get ahead of the curve with oOh!media’s latest pulse report, and sign up to IAB’s upcoming webinar “DOOH: from Go to Whoa” to learn more. In other news… Actor John Krasinski has sold his popular YouTube show Some Good News to CBS. Let’s hope the good news and positivity keeps on coming after the move.

Friday 22 May

The road to recovery Digital is the way forward in the COVID-19 recovery period. McKinsey Digital looks at how to keep pace and accelerate the use of technology effectively. It’s important for marketers to refocus digital efforts towards changing consumer expectations and enhancing the customer experience journey. Being agile and quick to adapt is a must, too. As always, the marketing cycle is constantly in motion – and now more so than ever. It’s time to get back on track by revisiting marketing strategies, understanding the consumer and thinking long-term. We look to Kantar’s recent Marketing in Motion insights and trends forecast on getting media right. And how can we emerge from this crisis stronger? Many advertisers have paused in this time, but that’s not necessarily the solution here. It’s all about connecting with people and investing in long-term branding. Industry updates As we mentioned last week, ISBA’s study on programmatic supply chains highlighted the need for a change. IAB Australia’s technology lead Jonas Jaanimagi contemplates how the industry should respond. As the ACCC investigation into Google and Facebook continues, frameworks for how news media can be compensated for content have been put forward. Channels Where should marketers be focusing their efforts at this time? DOOH will have significant value for marketers as restrictions ease across the country. Digital outdoor company QMS has won the outdoor advertising contract for City of Sydney from JCDecaux. It also recently won the digital portfolio for 7-Eleven’s advertising screens. Mobile is at the forefront of digital advertising’s recovery. There’s been a shift away from desktop as mobile phone usage and content consumption have intensified. Video ads have taken a hit due to budget constraints, but the value of mobile video is here to stay. YouTube has announced a relaunch of its premium ad offering as YouTube Select, which offers more flexibility to reach and target audiences. Facebook and Instagram have introduced a new Shops feature. Now, sellers can connect with customers directly via in-app purchases on the social platforms. Watch this space!

Friday 15 May

Industry updates As restrictions start to ease, spending has continued to increase in areas including online retail and subscriptions, supermarkets and food delivery. Gyms, public transport, travel and hospitality continue to be impacted with heavy falls in spend. The publication of a groundbreaking study by the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) has called for a reform of programmatic supply chains revealing there’s “a lack of understanding and consistency among the ad tech suppliers as to how they could legally share data and what permissions were needed”. This study has augmented the efforts by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to investigate Australia’s media supply chains. Data challenges The conversation around data and value exchange has continued. Since Google announced it was making moves to build a more private web, there has been a lot of discussion around what this will mean for digital marketers. Brands are starting to turn to first-party data and the growing demand for personalised experiences as a solution. Value exchange is key here, as is brand trust. IAB Australia is running a webinar series on the responsible use of data and best practices. If you missed part one yesterday, make sure to tune in for the next two. Channels and publishing Buzzfeed announced the closure of its Australian operations as the current climate continues to have a huge impact on the publishing industry. Although times have been tough in publishing, native continues to be an important channel of value for advertisers. IAB recently hosted a webinar with local creative examples, and make sure you check out our guide on how native can help your brand throughout COVID-19. In other news… It’s important to stay connected, and especially now. There are many ways technology can help keep us sane and adapt to our new reality. According to Google Trends, “coronavirus” is still highly searched but is no longer topping Google’s daily search trends. As restrictions start to ease, perhaps this is a sign of good things to come on the road to recovery. And finally, Ryan Reynolds has produced a spot-on ad/presentation for Mint Mobile. It’s perhaps meant as a parody but also reveals how advertisers can pivot their campaigns in the current climate. It’s definitely worth a watch.
2247 1498 Shai Luft

Shai Luft

Shai Luft brings over 25 years of diverse marketing experience to the table, with a focus on fostering growth by leveraging data led marketing strategies. His journey began with roles in senior marketing positions within leading telecommunication companies including TPG, Optus, and Telstra, where he gained valuable insights and honed his strategic thinking. In 2012, Shai co-founded Bench, a digital agency that quickly gained recognition for its quality services. Serving a broad range of clients such as Epson, Nestle, and Panasonic, Bench became known for its digital expertise and global media buying capabilities. Shai holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from UNSW, with a specialisation in Marketing and International Business.

All stories by : Shai Luft
SHAI LUFT - CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Meet Shai Luft, a senior marketing executive with a proven track record of delivering results for Australia’s largest ASX200-listed companies

Chief Operating Officer

Shai Luft

Meet Shai Luft, a senior marketing executive with a proven track record of delivering results for Australia’s largest ASX200-listed companies. Despite his success, Shai was frustrated by the amount of red tape and bureaucracy that held back marketing innovation. That’s why he co-founded Bench in 2012. As the driving force behind Bench’s operations, Shai is committed to empower marketers with the agility and control they need to achieve their best results.

ORI GOLD - CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER An ad tech and martech expert. Driven by the frustration of everyday marketers facing a lack of control and accessibility, Ori co-founded Bench in 2012 to revolutionise the digital advertising landscape.

Chief Executive Officer

Ori Gold

Meet Ori Gold, an ad tech and martech expert. Driven by the frustration of everyday marketers facing a lack of control and accessibility, Ori co-founded Bench in 2012 to revolutionise the digital advertising landscape. Heading the talented and forward-thinking team at Bench, Ori is the driving force behind the company’s strategic and product vision. Thanks to Ori’s leadership, Bench has become one of the most respected and successful digital agencies in Australia.

GENERAL MANAGER LIAM GARRATT Meet Liam Garratt, the creative mind behind Bench’s top-notch products and services. With a career in digital media spanning over a decade, Liam has made a name for himself as a leader in the industry.

General Manager

Liam Garratt

Meet Liam Garratt, the creative mind behind Bench’s top-notch products and services. With a career in digital media spanning over a decade, Liam has made a name for himself as a leader in the industry. He got his start in 2011 working for UK-based programmatic platform Crimtan, where he played a key role in launching the company’s Australian office. In 2017, Liam brought his expertise to Bench, where he now leads the Product & Services functions. Liam is passionate about delivering only the highest quality products and services to Bench’s clients. His commitment to excellence is the foundation of Bench’s stellar reputation.

VP OF GROWTH ANTHONY FARGEOT Meet Anthony Fargeot, the pioneer behind Bench’s growth and success. Joining Bench in its infancy in 2013, Anthony’s experience with high-growth start-ups gave him the skills to help Bench become one of the most successful digital agencies in Australia.

VP of Growth

Anthony Fargeot

Meet Anthony Fargeot, the pioneer behind Bench’s growth and success. Joining Bench in its infancy in 2013, Anthony’s experience with high-growth start-ups gave him the skills to help Bench become one of the most successful digital agencies in Australia. As Head of Client Services and then Director of Operations, Anthony led Bench through its highest growth period. Today, as VP of Growth, Anthony uses his creative thinking and strategic insights to always look for new and innovative ways to help Bench stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly changing digital landscape.