TV in a digital world: How to shape the future


This article was originally written for, and published at, AdExchanger.
Read the original article, “Is Marc Pritchard Fighting The Wrong Battle?”, here.

In early 2017, Procter & Gamble’s chief brand officer, Marc Pritchard, set the advertising industry on fire, launching a “brand-safety revolt.” In a speech at the IAB’s Annual Leadership meeting, he slammed the industry for what he called “crappy advertising accompanied by even crappier viewing experiences.”

He also gave platforms a powerful ultimatum: If they failed to align their digital advertising offerings with industry audience measurement standards before the year was through, he’d withdraw his company’s advertising spend.

As the one-year deadline for the platforms quickly approaches, Pritchard took his message to Dmexco, where he assessed how far the industry has come – and where it still needs to go.

But in his noble quest, is Pritchard fighting a battle he can’t win? Should he direct his attention to shaping the future of TV, which the walled gardens haven’t yet conquered?

Marc Pritchard Vs. The World?

Pritchard’s efforts have been hailed as a turning point for the industry – an influential global marketer standing up for the everyman, taking on the big walled gardens. In this real-life story of David and Goliath, the industry has eagerly celebrated David’s little victories: YouTube channels must now collect at least 10,000 views before they can monetize their video clips, while Facebook will enable advertisers to exclude certain publishers from their ad network.

According to Pritchard, the industry is about halfway there.

But these minor concessions can hardly be seen as industrywide wins. They still do little to solve the key challenges of widespread fraud, a lack of independent measurement and walled-garden brand safety concerns.

In his mission to improve the industry, Pritchard and his allies have come up against the world’s most powerful companies. These tech giants don’t just control the internet economy – they wield tremendous power over almost every facet of our lives. And while some might want to see the slingshot take some of them down, it’s not an even match nor a fair battle.

Is this the battle we should be fighting? In the words of Sun Tzu, “If a battle can’t be won, don’t fight it.” What if Pritchard focused his attention where victory was more certain?

Conquering Unclaimed Territory: TV In A Digital World

The platforms erected their digital walls years ago without advertisers grasping the consequences, and they are now trying to do the same with TV. However, a smarter, wiser industry now knows what to anticipate – and brands such as P&G are perfectly positioned to get out ahead of the walls not yet built around TV.

Instead of working toward a slow, incremental uphill battle against the tech giants’ entrenched digital positions, brands have an unprecedented opportunity to shape and accelerate the future of TV as it evolves into the realms of digital and programmatic.

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