Brand safety concerns fuel ad spends on OTT - Aatsi Desai Jasani

Last year can be termed as “stand-up and take notice” year for marketers. Starting with Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer at Procter & Gamble, declaring, "We have a zero-tolerance standard when it comes to brand safety. Our brands are protected in other forms of media. The same zero-tolerance standard of performance applies to digital media.” to  YouTube where big names Verizon, Walmart, Pepsi and likes pulling out their spends on google when YT allowed monetisation of violent content featuring children.

It was the year of advertiser’s agony. It was the year when “Brand safety”, a term defined as - ensuring of advertising appears in an appropriate and relevant context online so that a brand's reputation is not damaged was the talk of all marketing summit. 

Needless to say there are certain steps that Google has taken to address this issue such as - a channel must have 10k views before the videos can be monetised and stricter measures to scrutinise the pool of content that google receives. However, the advertisers are still wary and some have either restricted their spends to search only or completely cut their partnership.

Another big concern has been the advent of fake news. Research backed reports states the negative impact it has on the brands whose ads appear on any platforms carrying fake news.

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With automated buying at the centre stage can this issue really be 100% resolved? 

In my opinion 2018 will be the year when the brands take back the control. This is the year when brands will shift their spends from FaceBook & Google onto content which is created in brand safe environments. We will see more monies being spent on OTT platforms like Hotstar, Sonyliv, Zee5 as well as content platforms like Scoopwoop, Storypick etc. Created and not curated content will be sought after. This is because it allows all parties to know where exactly the ads would appear.

The recent DAN report also stated that the ads on OTT platforms have higher viewership of over an hour with viewers completing almost 98% of the ads. Thus more bang for the buck!

A huge push in this space will also come when cross media measurement becomes much comprehensive with the launch of measurement services like EKAM. This will clearly give a huge boost to premium created content.

Thus with the combination of measurement services and the brand safe environment I foresee going forward the TV ad budgets too will shift to these platforms. 

(The article is written by Aatsi Desai Jasani, Co-founder & Chief Business Officer of What Clicks, India's leading digital marketing audit firm.)

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