An actually engaging banner ad? I’m all ears.

Last week I was Googling some movies to watch. I clicked on a search result that led me to IMDB. To my surprise, I was greeted by Dumbo, who flew around my screen overtop of the content I was trying to view. After falling out of frame, he reappeared in what seemed to be a static banner on the side.

What did I just witness? Did I just see an elephant fly? It was unexpected. It was irrelevant. But it was kinda cool. I then proceeded to engage with the banner, wondering if Dumbo knew any more tricks. After clicking on the “watch video” button, Dumbo came back to life, flew out of the ad and back across my screen, leaving behind a pop-up of the trailer.

Sorry, no video—I took one on my phone but it was too large to upload. Hoping to share live.

Why it’s hot:

Upon closer inspection, this AR-like experience was nothing more than a cleverly placed pop-up that interacted with another cleverly placed banner ad. And although this technology is nothing new, it got my attention. In fact, this is probably the first time I intentionally clicked on a banner…ever? Let alone the first time I engaged with a banner that had nothing to do with the content I was viewing, or even anything I was remotely interested in. It was a smart idea with smart execution, which led to a click. What more could you ask for?

I’ve been returning to IMDB to see if there were any other cool ads like this. So far there haven’t been, although there was a somewhat similar pop-up for the Lion King, but it wasn’t nearly as innovative.

Ultimately, I believe this experience can best be summarized by the words of a particularly talented murder of musical crows:

But I be done seen ’bout ev’rything
When I see a elephant fly

When programmatic goes wrong

Jaguar Land Rover has ceased all digital advertising in the UK after an investigation revealed it was funding terror organizations without its knowledge.


According to reports the car marque’s programmatic ads were among a number of brands indirectly paying Islamic extremists, white supremacists and pornographers.

Ads for the Jaguar F-Pace have appeared on YouTube next to a pro-Isis video that has been viewed more than 115,000 times. It has since been removed.

In a statement Jaguar said: “Jaguar Land Rover is very concerned by reports that advertising featuring our brands may benefit extremist and other inappropriate on-line media. This is an unintended consequence of algorithm technology used on some video-sharing websites.

Why It’s Hot
-It reminds us that algorithms and quant data are not everything. Our ability to monitor, evaluate and draw learnings is key
-It also is a reminder of our responsibility, liability and yes sometimes vulnerability in engagements with our clients. I can imagine the phone calls Jaguar’s UK agency received. We need to be able to justify our decisions but also deal with our mistakes when they happen (and they will happen. and we will have each other’s backs!)

New Video Platform Guarantees Viewer’s Full Attention

magnets_0New video platform Syncroll offers the first 100% guaranteed completion rate option for advertisers with a platform optimized for attention rate and interest.

Despite a growing interest in digital video ads from both brands and consumers (video ads are now the most engaging ads for Milennials) there are still hurdles and inconsistencies when it comes to actually measuring the success of video ads and making sure your audience sees them.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the threat of virtual “bots” that skew the success of social posts when brands optimize for impressions or views. These bots often mimic human behavior and fill in gaps between actual traffic or engagement with a video and the desired benchmark a brand has set—making it seem like the brand is meeting its goals when in reality a lot of the traffic is fraudulent.

Not only do bots skew the results of video ad engagements, but the APIs on the platforms also deliver confusing results. YouTube and Facebook differ in their definitions of views, making performance metrics hard to quantify and compare.

With all the chaos and confusion, brands are between a rock and a hard place as they combat measuring performance while continuing to optimize for the most engaging type of digital ads. However, Mediabong launched a  new video platform it calls Syncroll to solve this. Syncroll’s algorithm calculates in real-time a viewer’s interest in a video, prioritizing engagement and actions over views. Advertisers using Syncroll only pay for video ads that are watched in full.

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Syncroll’s KPIs are based on attention rather than views or completion rates, which the platform says is a more telling metric and also more useful when it comes to retargeting.

And brands have seen real results with the platform. Volvo and Netflix saw a 30% increase in video competitions and engagement rates using the Syncroll platform.

Why It’s Hot: Guaranteed views is a more cost effective KPI for brands and a better indicator of ROI from digital ads. The capabilities Syncroll offers could help brands wary of entering the space of digital video content more willing to test the waters and media spend dollars—thus giving consumers more of the content they desire.