Tag Archives: advertising

Next to Now Late February Edition



“In the decision to trust a source, objective expertise appears to matter less than the determination that this person shares our beliefs, assumptions and suspicions, that they are, in a sense, a member of our tribe.”

Tell a story, earn some trust. 



What makes you want to pay attention?  Here are VentureBeat’s “4 best practices to move the needle on digital advertising.”

“The only problem is that creating an exciting, engaging campaign is easier said than done.”

No kidding!  But food for thought as we select our review quotes.



The advertising market is more diverse than some would have us believe, says SMI via MediaPost.

See from a different perspective. 



Pamela Paul speaks at the Publishers Advertising and Marketing Association’s event next week, Wednesday, March 1.

Full disclosure:  Poster Christian Toth is PAMA’s president!

More here if you’re interested. 



Next to Now for January 2017


Not always.  Here are 6 tips from Facebook for making silent videos speak.

Listen to the silence. 


“For mobile marketing, a moment of transformation is at hand …

… By year’s end, 75% of online content consumption will be mobile.”

Something to bear in mind when reviewing our ad stats, which often average mobile and desktop together.  (Not all CTRs are created equal.)

Tune in to Programmatic with Point 3.  A tool to remember as we plan our campaigns.

Read about the projections. 



Maybe that’s a good idea … but maybe not.

Consider this. 




Next to Now: Social Media Edition



Twitter expands its ad products to drive video views and Tweet engagements beyond the Twitter platform.




57% of Pinterest users have browsed food content on Pinterest while in store. For cookbook publishers, that sounds like an opportunity:

DIY and crafts, home decor, food and drink, design, and hair and beauty were the leading content categories for which users considered Pinterest a “go-to” source”





But if you’re a marketer for McDonalds you need to be a little more careful with where you get your images.




(1) Front-loaded excitement, (2) Gifs tied into cultural moments, (3) Audio-agnostic experimentations, (4) Creator collaborations, (5) Brands as live broadcasters, (6) Content with a cause. Now you don’t have to click the link.  




Unprecedented marketing opportunities are coming soon when social, engaged marketing practices meet virtual reality. Mainstream VR devices are coming soon from Valve, HTC, Facebook’s Oculus Rift and more. While that doesn’t mean they’re going mainstream for another 5 years or so, it’s worth starting to get to know the possibilities now.


Next to Now: July 4th Edition

Happy 4th of July everybody. We’re getting this week’s edition of Next to Now out a little early so people can get their book-related ad industry reading in before fireworks prep work tomorrow. Here’s what we’ve been reading this shortened week:


When we say video is exploding online, we really mean that *mobile* video is exploding, and when we say mobile we really mean mobile phones, which are at 34% of video viewing as of March 2015 (up from 15% in March of 2014). The really good news from our point of view is that people are more than willing to watch ads to get their content free:

“IAB found that 78% of respondents would rather watch free mobile videos with ads, vs. 15% who would rather pay for a monthly mobile video subscription with no ads and 8% who would rather pay for each mobile video with no ads.”



Virtual Reality comes to retail (at least in demo). If they can bring a SoHo shopping experience alive to festival-goers in Cannes, maybe we can also start talking about translating the real physical indie bookshop experience online in the near future?  What I wouldn’t give to be able to noodle around Chicago’s 57th Street Books basement stacks from my New York City apartment.


Benedict Evans’ newsletter is worth subscribing to if you’re interested in all things mobile (and you should be). Here he is from his most recent newsletter on search, discoverability and how to find what you’re not really looking for:

  • “Google is very good at giving you what you’re looking for, but no good at all at telling you what you want to find, let alone things you didn’t know you wanted.”
  • “Amazon, after 20 years of ruthless execution, still only has under a third of the entire print books market. Most people buy most of their books in physical retail, because book shops are not just relatively inefficient end-points to a physical logistics network, but also filters and recommendation platforms. They’re high-latency but also high-bandwidth.”
  • And the pay off:  “Though some companies can make it entirely through organic search or Facebook virality, most cannot . . . For the rest of us, that means marketing. In effect, by removing all other constraints, the internet makes advertising more important than ever.”





English labs Teddy, left, and Winston, right, relax with their owner, Assemblyman Steve Otis, during Animal Advocacy Day on Wednesday, June 3, 2015, at the Legislative Office Building in Albany, N.Y. (Cindy Schultz / Times Union)

Next to Now: Dog Days Edition

A conversation about native advertising with the VP for Marketing Solutions for CondeNast:

“For brands to compete in the digital space, they have to be as interesting as or more interesting than everything else out there. Brands are committing more to try and create higher-quality, interesting content. Even if it’s marked “sponsored content” so that the reader knows what it is, that doesn’t limit the level of engagement. If it’s great content, it transcends the label.”


Who are advertising agencies *really* advertising to? Great Tom Goodwin piece in the Guardian on the kinds of campaigns that win awards:

“I’ve never met anyone who has seen a vending machine reward them for laughing, I’ve never walked through a door marked ugly, got a Coke from a drone, or been offered a crisp packet with my face on. I’ve never had a friend share their personalised film, I’ve not seen outdoor ads that are also street furniture or had an ATM give me a funny receipt. I’ve not received a magazine with a near field communication thing and I’ve not had a virtual reality experience outside advertising conferences. I’ve not once seen a member of the public 3D print anything. The one thing that binds together the more than 200 Cannes winners I’ve seen, is that they are ads only advertising people have a good chance of seeing. I’m not sure that’s what the industry should be about.”

(via Dark Matter. In fact all the links in Dark Matter email #047 are so good, it’s worth checking them out )


Ads on Amazon shipping boxes. Seems like a good idea to us:

“People used to go to their mailbox and [brands] could write to them,” said Allen Adamson, North American chairman at brand consulting firm Landor. “Now you can’t reach them at the mailboxes unless they get a package of something they’ve ordered digitally. [Shipping boxes] end up in customers’ hands. It’s mail that customers look for and want and it’s unused space, so it’s a really smart move by Amazon to capitalize on a powerful media touch point.”


TV is still the most effective advertising medium, says Adweek (quoting a study paid for by people Turner Broadcasting):

“MarketShare’s analysis found that TV advertising effectiveness has remained steady during that time period and outperforms digital and offline channels at driving key performance metrics like sales and new accounts.”

Related: “Boom: Netflix is now bigger than Yahoo”:

“A torch was passed today, as Netflix’s stock market value surpassed Yahoo’s in intraday trading.”



For all you trying to make an honest living as a social media manager (which is beginning to feel like everyone, in one way or another). Here’s a little infographic on the decline in organic reach on Facebook, and what you can do about it (other than, you know, buying ads).

Speaking of Dog Days, June 3 was New York State Animal Advocacy Day. Photo above (c) Cindy Schulz/Times Union.  

Thelonious Monk

Next to Now: The Week in Reading Links

The Week in Reading for the Week of April 10

April 3, 2015

Monk’s advice never gets old.

April 6, 2015

Top brands on Instagram know the difference between quality of posts and quantity.

April 7, 2015

Sports fans care more about speed than quality. Don’t let your ad slow down their experience.

The founding Executive Director of the Digital Public Library of America notices ebook sales leveling off, says (essentially), “Don’t believe the data.” Does he count as a disinterested observer?

April 8, 2015

Get your gifs here: Hulu does a deal with Tumblr.

Good tips for presentations.

Instagram’s carousel ads would be GREAT for book publishers. Now if we can just get them to come down a couple hundred thou on their minimum spend.

Used right, YouTube cards could be a great way to show more information in ads—always a plus for book publishers.

Get your word nerd on: A lovely piece on the use of quotation marks. (via @GroveAtlantic)

We aren’t going to London Book Fair, but if we were this is a presentation we’d love to attend. Sara Lloyd gives great talks.

Want to go write in the Antarctic for a few months? You might get a book deal out of it.

Welcome LitHub! A brand-spanking new website with a nifty pedigree: created by Grove Atlantic and Electric Literature.

April 9, 2015

A new video game lets you wander around de Chirico cityscapes!

Programmatic buys aren’t the end of creativity; they’re just the beginning!

April 10, 2015

iHeart Radio brings programmatic to broadcast. 

“Metaphysical Daring as a Post-human Survival Strategy” discussed in the French Embassy Ballroom at 5am. Who’s in?

Great take on advertising as seduction, excerpted from a book we were happy to work on.

The rise of the Instagram influencer (nice work if you can get it).

“This is terrifying and inspiring in equal measure,” says Google’s Ben Malbon about Chris Messina’s idea (reality) of “the full stack employee.” True dat.

Clay Shirky and the New York Times’ Margaret Sulllivan talk about the future of print news. Shirky’s “darker narrative” is about the print newspaper, but does it have relevance to the plateauing of print book share (versus digital)? Shirky says, “So it seems likely to me that after the early, rapid decline, we are now in a period of shallow, secular decay, which will give way to a late-stage period of rapid decline.”

Jason Fried on the differences between how platforms make you feel:

“Every scroll through Instagram puts someone’s good day in front of me. A vacation picture, something new they got that they love, pictures of nature, pictures of people they love, places they’ve been, and stuff they want to cheer about. It’s just flat out harder to be negative when sharing a picture. This isn’t a small thing – it’s a very big deal. I feel good when I browse Instagram. That’s the feel that matters.”

(via Almighty’s “Dark Matter” email)

The Vertical Video: An aesthetic disaster but a must for engagement. (via Almighty’s “Dark Matter” email)



Next to Now: The Week in Reading Links

The Week in Reading Ending April 3
March 30, 2015

Digital natives would just as soon read it in print. 

March 31, 2015

Mobile messaging apps are the one category of app that retains its users. While current advertising options are beyond the reach of most book publishers. We’re watching this space closely for developments in ad products and lower prices.

Here’s another reason to think about messaging apps:  Over 50% of WeChat and Snapchat users are Mobile Shoppers. So get your mobile commerce on. (Via @PeterMcCarthy)

Here’s an interesting piece in the UK’s Bookseller about the potential connections between video game publishing and book publishing. Its insights about production and marketing are not applicable to all kinds of publishing, of course (no insights are true across a field as diverse as book publishing), but it’s worth thinking through.

As an advertising agency, we’re in the business of knowing as much about the users we’re sending ads to as possible. As an integral part of the book publishing ecosystem, we’re committed to both free speech and privacy.  In both those roles, we were keenly interested in this interview between two brilliant legal scholars with a literary bent. It serves as a strong corrective to the endless praise for Big Data, secret algorithms, and behavior-shaping policies. (via Alexis Madrigal’s Real Future newsletter)

This ad industry news reflects broader trends and also is good news for one of Verso’s ad partners: WPP keeps up the acquisitions, adds to Xaxis’s capabilities with mobile-first company Action X.

Is it time for the ad industry to lose its reliance on cookies?

Media buyers are planning on upping programmatic spend by 21% this year, but media suppliers (web publishers, etc) said they only expected to boost their programmatic sales by 4% this year. Something’s gotta give, and it’s probably the quality of the impression.

The New York Times is ready to boil down the news to one sentence to better fit new devices. How do you write a one-sentence news story, as distinct from a headline and a teaser? That might be a good new class to teach in J-School.

April 1, 2015

You should take notes by hand, not on a laptop. (Via everyone, but we saw it first from @timoreilly)

April 2, 2015

Eric Greitens gives a mid-air reading from his book Resilience, then helps an ailing passenger with techniques from the book. People, this is how you do an event.

Great interview with design star Michael Bierut. Love the 100-day project! (Via Dark Matter by Almighty)

“Capitalism is at its core a diverse, intimate network of human and non-human relations.” Doesn’t sound so bad when you put it that way. Here’s a new perspective on what they heck we’re all doing at work every day from “A Feminist Manifesto for the Study of Capitalism.” (via Alexis Madrigal’s Real Future newsletter)

“I still read the newspapers and scream every morning.” Seymour Hersch thinks we’ll be OK in a world where BuzzFeed and Gawker are the future of journalism. Also, we’ll always have the New York Times.

“A team losing a game is not a ‘disaster.’” The AP Stylebook gets real about hackneyed sports cliches.

Next to Now: A Week in Reading Links

Union Square - Spring Tulips

Links for the week ending March 27, 2015
March 23, 2015

Good piece on designing for how we read. It’s about designing responsive web sites, but has implications for anyone who’s making consumable information (including book ads!). Via @hawkt.

March 24, 2016

How’s your mobile strategy coming? According to this article in eMarketer, “Mobile Will Account for 72% of US Digital Ad Spend by 2019.” They think this will come about because of “consumer usage” (you think?) and better ad formats (an agency can hope!).

March 25, 2015

“It’s go-time for Facebook Auto-Play Video ads.” It’s a great format, but you have to have the chops for it.

Here’s an ad to inspire you. And by “inspire” we mean literally (“inspire: To draw in by the operation of breathing; to inhale”). It’s made out of water vapor you can breathe in, or blow away.

OK, OK, we admit it: this Fran Lebowitz interview is pretty great. (Via everybody on Twitter)

Good thinking on responsive design from the Associate Director of Audience Development at the NYT. I remain a pro-responsive design guy, but his arguments are worth a good think.

Great tips on setting the stage for productive feedback, useful for any creative enterprise, including ads! Via @Almighty

March 26, 2015

A new report on the US Digital Display Market says Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Yahoo own nearly half of all digital display ads now, and more to come.

CJR has a good take on Facebook’s move to take control of more news content, and its relationship to Snapchat’s Discover platform. 

The CJR also has a good piece on podcasts that lays out the landscape for producers, listeners, and advertisers:

“But the real reason established media companies are starting to take podcasts seriously has more to do with the nature of their listeners. Podcast consumers, according to Edison Research, listen to an average of six episodes per week. Once they find a podcast they like, they tend to be devoted. The medium feels intimate. Unlike the audience online, which tends to click through and then bounce away quickly, podcasts draw people in for the duration of the episode. They feel a deep, personal connection with the hosts.”


Next to Now: Links for the Week’s News in Book-Relevant Ad Tech

Links for the Week Ending March 20, 2015
March 13, 2015

Looking for the hottest thing in mobile? If you’re cool with $100 CPMs, Snapchat’s the way to go! Partner with CNN, ESPN, Cosmo, People, Food Network, Vice. Keep your eye on Snapchat (but keep your wallet close).

The video field is getting crowded. Who has the edge for mobile advertising going forward? Business Insider produced a good (pro- YouTube) breakdown on the differences between mobile advertising via YouTube, FB, and Vine.

It’s a supply and demand lesson: More advertisers going programmatic means programmatic prices are going up as supply goes down.

March 17, 2015

Programmatic advertising makes sense for book publishing—at least in certain cases. But it also represents great potential for fraud. ClickZ’s “6 Good Questions to Ask Your Programmatic Partner” are a good place to start any new relationship.

March 18, 2015

We like what the designer of the new Seattle Times site says about respecting reader experience—and how it’s good for advertising. For those of us who specialize in advertising things to read, that good sense goes double for us. Here is Mike Monteiro on “All the News Where It Needs to Fit.” (via @HawkThompson)

March 19, 2015

Podcasts: the perfect marriage between close attention, bookish demos, and mobile-friendly environment. Here’s eMarketer on growth in the podcast market.

This CJR report on Millennials and news has direct implications for the future of publishing. Pay attention to how the new generation is establishing its information gathering.