"There is still a lot to do in the field of sustainability"

With Advertise Responsibly, Teads is committed to responsible advertising. Chief Strategy Officer Todd Tran talks to Werbewoche.ch about attention in advertising and current challenges.

Todd Tran is chief strategy officer at Teads. (Image: zVg.)

Werbewoche.ch: Todd Tran, in mid-June the Cannes Lions took place live for the first time since the Corona pandemic began. Teads was also represented there. Why are the "Lions" still a "place to be"?

Todd Tran: Live events are back in a big way in 2022 - and Cannes Lions is no exception. Cannes has always been a place where the global advertising industry comes together to discuss and celebrate the best work. But this year was different again: with the focus on sustainability, the marketing world is living up to its role of advertising responsibly and being aware of the impact on our planet and society in general. This is going to be an extremely exciting year.

 

You work at the interface of the media and advertising worlds. Both are undergoing rapid change. What trends are we facing?

In fact, some important trends are emerging: First, across the media sector, leaders are addressing all aspects of responsible advertising. These include environmental impact, promoting quality journalism and supporting diversity and minority associations, as well as mitigating fraud and brand safety concerns. In addition, the world of measurement is also evolving. Visibility has long been the standard for measuring digital effectiveness. However, it has been proven that measuring the attention paid to a product is three times more predictive of results. Attention is being hailed as the new metric that combines media planning and creative effectiveness to help advertisers achieve good business results. This includes increasing publishers' revenues and improving the customer experience. We are still in the early stages of attention measurement, but significant progress is already being made.

 

What consequences does this entail?

This makes the discussion around the topic of "cookieless", which is often focused on the lagging setting of third-party cookies in Google Chrome, all the more important. However, the open web is already 50 percent cookieless, and as much as 60 percent in markets like the US and UK. The reality is that cookieless is not just coming, it's already here. The entire media sector needs to invest in cookieless solutions today to ensure it doesn't fall behind.

 

How can these trends be leveraged to generate new revenue streams?

Attention and cookieless are the areas for which we expect to see new revenue opportunities in digital. If we look at media buying without the use of third-party cookies, Teads has in hundreds of tests a

 

Equivalence of media and brand metrics for advertising campaigns established. This means that advertisers and publishers can develop sustainable privacy practices that protect user data without decreasing campaign performance. As for the attention metric, in our recent study with Havas, we found that a lower measure of ads increases attention to an ad. This gives us an interesting insight into how monetization within publishers might change as digital media evolves.

 

You've been championing "sustainable advertising" since 2015 - and increasingly again this year in Cannes. What does that mean exactly?

 

A sustainable media ecosystem has always been at the heart of everything we do. This is demonstrated in two ways: on the one hand, Teads balances respectful and attention-grabbing user experiences, and on the other hand, good monetization for publishers and business results for brands. This benefits the open web. If any one of these three pillars is not successful, the ecosystem will be out of balance. That's why it's especially important to maintain the highest standards at all levels. We have long encouraged our advertising partners to advertise responsibly. This includes a number of aspects such as promoting quality journalism, diversity and inclusion, and supporting non-profit organizations. One of the most important pillars of Advertise Responsibly is environmental sustainability. We are developing a better and better understanding of how digital ads impact the environment and how we can reduce these negative impacts without compromising the effectiveness of our campaigns. We're at a critical point for the global ecosystem, so it's absolutely essential for all companies to make sure there's a balance here as well.

 

What is currently still standing in the way of the desired "ideal scenario"?

There is still much to be done in the area of environmental impact. It's a huge undertaking to accurately track the amount of energy used - for example, by servers, users' phones, office usage, etc. - to reduce energy consumption and ultimately be as CO2 neutral as possible. But it's incredible the progress that has been made in the last few years alone. Even if it seems difficult now, it's something that can definitely be achieved in the near future. And all it will take is a commitment from all sides to make it consistent and actionable.

 

How can the Web be made "a better place for everyone" - advertisers, programmatic buyers, publishers and users?

It's not hard to do. Advertise Responsibly makes the Internet a better place for everyone. For this to happen, several conditions must be met: Users want reputable ad experiences that aren't too intrusive, protect their data, and whose ad content is high-quality and responsible. Advertisers want to place their ads in high-quality content. That content needs to offer brand protection and interesting ad experiences that lead to success. And publishers want advertising experiences that provide a high-quality, reputable advertising environment. That's how they can get their users to stay with the publisher and keep coming back to it regularly.

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