Advanced Ad 2016: Great Advertising Means Entertaining

At a time when technology and demand are upending TV as we know it, the tenets of video advertising – from audience targeting to content creation – also have to be revamped to resonate with consumers, an industry leader said Wednesday.

“Our brands should be entertaining audiences,” said Donna Speciale, president of Turner Ad Sales. “The ads we feature should be compelling, relevant and ultimately drive the product off the shelves, off the lots."

Speaking at the Advanced Advertising Summit, part of NewBay Media’s annual NYC Television and Video Week, Speciale said that process started at Turner several years ago, when leaders determined to “reimagine the consumer experience” across the company. 

For Turner’s ad sales division, that included upping its emphasis on four “main stops” crucial in “reimagining what great advertising can be” – audience targeting, redefining ad environments, content creation and content optimization, she said.

As a result, Turner today uses data to sell inventory against guarantees that go beyond audience age and gender; sells inventory holistically across Turner properties rather than by show; and fills traditional ad time with branded content – and then cuts that branded content into “bite size pieces of entertainment” that's distributed on social media platforms.

“The experience is everything when it comes to reimagining advertising,” Speciale said.

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Such steps also are crucial to improving both the impact of ads, and advertisers’ relationship with viewers, both of which are on the rocks because for years “all of us have simply stuffed too much advertising” into TV,” she said.

As television continues to evolve, it is critical that media companies work together to share best practices that will forward the industry – particularly as early successes emerge, she said.

“Over the last few years our industry has faced many challenges,” Speciale said. “We are all living through them and we cannot hide from them. We are not going to be able to advance the ad community if we don’t break down the silos.”