We’re proud of our publisher partners and regularly feature the sites we think do an outstanding job of incorporating in-image advertising into their sites.
One of our newest publishers, Wetpaint Entertainment is an entertainment news site with more than 12 million unique visitors per month. Started in September of 2010, the site reaches young, educated and affluent women who love entertainment. Its parent company, Wetpaint, uses its social media publishing and distribution platform to build and engage audiences that are highly attractive to advertisers.
We spoke with Melissa LaCaille, senior manager of revenue and ad operations to get her thoughts on the in-image advertising category and working with GumGum.
GumGum: What appeals most to you about the in-image advertising format?
LaCaille: What’s great about in-image is that it gets noticed, as opposed to standard banner advertisements. Our users are looking intently at our galleries and the ads really add to the gallery experience. In-image is a flawless addition that works well with Wetpaint content.
GumGum: What advice would you give to anyone thinking about employing the in-image format?
LaCaille: Test it. See how users react. For advertisers, it is a great way to get brand recognition in a more unassuming yet effective way. For publishers, it is super easy to implement and get started. It is an easy decision to go from no image revenue to real cpm revenue.
GumGum: Is there anything else you’d like to add about working with GumGum?
The Wetpaint development team loved the implementation, how easy it was, and how it looked. The communication has been great between companies, and there haven’t been any major hiccups, a welcome surprise.
Much has been said on both sides of the premium vs. programmatic debate in recent months, with some going as far as to declare real-time bidding will someday overtake the role of digital media sales professionals.
Such an eventuality, should it come to pass at all, is likely still a few years away. In the meantime, there’s no lack of work to be done to package premium opportunities around a publisher’s best inventory and alternative ad units like those available on GumGum’s in-image advertising platform.
But what exactly does “premium” mean?
This was a question posed to the attendees of a recent Digiday Agency Summit, to which several agency professionals chimed in with their own definitions, including:
• Quality Audience
• Scarce Inventory
• Engaging Creative
• Quality Publishers
• Relevance and Context
Billing GumGum as the “premium in-image advertising solution for publishers and brands,” we felt a certain obligation to define what “premium” means- at least as it relates to the inventory we make available to our brand advertiser clients.
Our brand of “premium” is expressed in several dimensions, all of which can be summed up by saying:
We bring beautifully animated rich media creative to engaged audiences, overlaid on highly relevant, quality images delivered on a portfolio of brand-safe content publisher sites.
Is that premium? We think so.
Like most things, the true value of premium advertising inventory is worth what someone will pay for it. And while “premium” may continue to be a subjective term, one thing is for sure: advertisers want it, they know it when they see it and they’re willing to pay for media that meets their own definition of performance.
What does “premium” mean to you?
We couldn’t be more proud to present our campaign for Cat’s Pride® Fresh & Light® cat litter at ad:tech San Francisco this week. During the session, “Native Ads, Images and New Must-Haves in the Media Plan,” GumGum SVP of Marketing, Tony Winders and our client, Bob Tacy, SVP of Digital Media at Doner, will present how in-image advertising put Cat’s Pride® directly in front of cat enthusiasts.
Other panelists include Dave Martin, SVP of Media for Ignited; Julie Jensen, Sr. Group Manager of Media for The Clorox Co.; Gyro Executive Creative Director Steffan Postaer; and Sharethrough Co-Founder and CEO Dan Greenberg. We’re looking forward to hearing these other experts’ views, especially in light of our post on native advertising last week.
The Cat’s Pride® campaign was one of GumGum’s most successful ever, boasting an overall click-through rate of 1.18
percent. Upon interacting with the creative, consumers were taken to a video light box overlay that
achieved a 50 percent completion rate and a 4.22 percent CTR to the official Cat’s Pride® website.
Around the time industry buzz about “native advertising” reached a fervor pitch in 2012, we made a decision not to make it central to GumGum’s market positioning, despite how easy it would be to jump on the bandwagon.
Besides not wanting to confuse our buyers, we saw the potential unintended consequence of having to spend time defending how in-image ads are native, at a time when there was still so much to be said about the emerging image marketplace and the opportunity it represents for both publishers and marketers.
Whether native advertising is just another buzzword or a category with real staying power remains to be seen – people seem to either love it or loathe it. But one thing native and in-image advertising certainly share in common is the desire to take a serious chunk of the $100B+ global digital advertising market.
So are in-image ads “native?”
It comes up often enough in our conversations with brands that we decided to publish our own definition of native advertising. If nothing else, to serve as a litmus test for whether we’re technically native, regardless of what anyone thinks, or whether we decide to position it as such.
GumGum’s definition of Native Advertising:
Native Advertising is sponsored content or paid advertising of any kind that is both relevant to users and consumed in-line with how they would normally encounter the content published around it.
By this definition, in-image advertising would be considered native, so long as the ad is contextually relevant to the image over which it appears.
For now, we’ll leave the bidding of how the industry should define native advertising to others. In-image ads work because they get seen, appearing on contextually relevant images, in-line with editorial content where a consumer’s attention is actively engaged. If advertisers (or publishers, for that matter) want to call them native advertising, that’s fine with us.
Clients, Partners and Friends,
As the visual web continues to evolve, so does in-image advertising and the growth of GumGum. Over the past year our team has nearly tripled in size, and we’ve run hundreds of campaigns. We now have offices in New York, Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco and Los Angeles and partners that represent us internationally in Canada and Latin America.
Our growth isn’t accidental. It is because in-image advertising works for each of our stakeholders. Brands achieve their objectives because ads are targeted and visible, publishers earn more revenue because their images can now be monetized, and consumers are satisfied because the ads are relevant and unobtrusive.
We’re proud of our accomplishments to date, but our work continues toward nurturing in-image advertising to its full potential. As we continue to educate the industry about the power of images for marketing and monetization, our priority is to continue providing our advertiser and publisher partners with superior technology, excellent service and outstanding results.
Finally, we would not be where we are today without your support, and I’d like to thank our brands, agencies, publishers, investors, advisors and staff, each of whom are responsible in some way for our continued success.
GumGum Relaunches Monthly Newsletter
To see Ophir’s letter and get a full look at our March newsletter, click here.
Tony Winders, SVP of Marketing
They say “a picture is worth a thousand words,” but what does that actually mean? And where did the expression come from?
Here at GumGum, where we routinely celebrate the power of images, we thought it would be fun to explore the origin of this often-used phrase. And we were surprised to learn it has actually been attributed to several sources throughout the years.
We’ve come to accept “a picture is worth a thousand words” as truth in our culture because of the ability of a photo to quickly convey so much meaning with so little, if any, explanation. But in the age of social media and cameras on mobile devices, when photos are shared with more regularity than ever, does the powerful ability of a single image to convey so much feeling, information and complexity get taken for granted?
Perhaps a look back at the earliest known uses of the phrase will remind us of the specialness of the photos we share.
One of the earliest known references to the expression is from a 1911 newspaper article in which newspaper editor Arthur Brisbane, speaking about journalism and publicity, says “Use a picture. It’s worth a thousand words.”
A similar phrase, “One Look Is Worth A Thousand Words,” appears in a 1913 newspaper advertisement for the Piqua Auto Supply House of Piqua, Ohio, but ironically uses only words, not images, to invite prospective customers to see its products in their store.
It is believed the modern use of the phrase stems from an article in the December 8, 1921 issue advertising trade journal Printers’ Ink, in which Fred R. Barnard referred to “One Look is Worth A Thousand Words” to promote the use of images in advertisements on the sides of streetcars.
A later ad by Barnard appears in the March 10, 1927 issue with the phrase “One Picture Worth Ten Thousand Words,” which he erroneously credited as being a Chinese proverb so people would take it more seriously. As a result, the expression is also sometimes mistakenly attributed to Confucious.
Whatever the origin of the phrase, the next time you share or receive a powerful photo, take a minute to appreciate its uncanny ability to convey one thousand words, or more.
How many words could you use to express this photo?
A thousand? Ten thousand? One word?
Let us know by replying below!
Our clients absolutely LOVE that GumGum click-through rates average between .2 and .5 percent, our video completion rates are 62 percent and CTRs from our video light box average a whopping 1.8 percent. But as any savvy digital marketer will tell you, those engagement metrics are only a proxy for what brand advertisers really want to know: does in-image advertising move the needle on brand metrics?
The answer is a resounding YES!
According to a recent Vizu study, GumGum’s in-image ads significantly raised the awareness of a new comedy series for a major broadcast television network in the days leading up to its debut. In addition to an overall brand lift of 5.3 percent, our custom animated rich media unit drove 8.8 percent lift. When the frequency of survey respondents exposed to 3-4 impressions generated a whopping 22.4 percent lift.
As we continue to prove that in-image advertising can deliver key brand metrics, this is the kind of research our advertiser partners can expect and we look forward to presenting to the online advertising industry in 2013 and beyond.