Digital on the Rise

PACE_DIGITAL-MARKETING-TRENDSDigital marketing is unstoppable. The current issue of Ad Age is dubbed “The Digital Issue,” with some very interesting stories and features on the meteoric rise of digital, which they call the “unquestionable future of marketing.” At the same time, they warn that some companies and brands may be close to overdosing on it, looking at digital as the savior for any and every problem they face. Globally, 24% of ad budgets are now going to digital. But it’s still difficult to draw a direct line from digital spending to real results for most companies. What is the proper allocation? Is it an “inexpensive miracle drug” as some companies believe, or should it be treated as part of a balanced media regimen? We’re for the latter, but we encourage you to take a look at the article (“Overdose?”) on and see what you think.

A new survey from Strata, a developer of media buying and selling software, as reported on, provides some more fuel for the meteoric rise of digital. The survey finds that 81% of ad agencies are paying more attention to digital advertising than they were a year ago (we certainly are), and 41% expect an increase in digital ad spending during 2015. 35% of the agencies polled saying their clients are increasing their budgets from last year; that’s a 50% uptick in expectations from just two years ago. It’s a very interesting shift occurring in real time – exciting and unpredictable at the same time. Click here to see more of the survey results.

PACE_digital-marketingWhat are you seeing in crystal ball of digital marketing?


100% Viewability Isn’t Possible, Yet

We agree with the IAB, the more digital we place the more apparent it becomes 100% viewability isn’t possible yet. As a refresher, Digiday defines viewability as, “an online advertising metric that aims to track only impressions that can actually be seen by users. For example, if an ad is loaded at the bottom of a webpage but a user doesn’t scroll down far enough to see it, that impression would not be deemed viewable.”

The idea is an extension of a well talked about topic of 2014 which got a kick start from the article that was published a year ago on Business Insider,Google Will Now Only Charge For Ads That People Can Actually See.   Ad Age covered this topic in an article from Tuesday:

“The Interactive Advertising Bureau said Tuesday that it isn’t yet possible to guarantee that every impression in a digital ad campaign will meet the industry’s viewability standard.

“It’s time to set the record straight about what is technically and commercially feasible, in order to get ourselves on an effective road to 100 percent viewability and greater accountability for digital media,” Randall Rothenberg, IAB’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

Viewability, or an online ad’s ability to be actually seen, has become an important topic among marketers, who are concerned that they’re paying for online ads that few people see because, for example, they’re served lower down on the screen than many people scroll. The Media Rating Council last year said an ad could be considered “viewable” when 50% of it is visible for one second or more.

The Media Rating Council said in October that it is “unreasonable for advertisers, agencies and publishers implementing viewable impressions as measurement currency to expect to observe viewable rates of 100% in analyses of their campaigns.”


The IAB said Tuesday that it supports the goal of ad campaigns in which every impression meets the viewability standard, but agreed with the Media Rating Council that the technology and measurement systems aren’t ready yet.

“The MRC said it best,” Mr. Rothenberg said in his statement Tuesday. “100% is currently unreasonable. Why? Because, different ad units, browsers, ad placements, vendors and measurement methodologies yield wildly different viewability numbers.”

“Publishers, agencies, marketers, and ad tech companies can resolve these differences by working collaboratively to make measurement make sense,” he added. “We won’t do it by holding guns to each others’ heads.”

The IAB’s argument, laid out in a position paper titled “State of Viewability Transaction 2015,” comes less than one month after the media-buying conglomerate GroupM said it had reached an agreement with Condé Nast, the publisher of brands such as Vogue and, to pay only for online ads that are entirely viewable by consumers, a stricter standard than the Media Rating Council.

In theory, the MRC’s viewability standard should increase ad rates for publishers because only a limited supply of the web’s vast inventory qualifies as viewable. But several publishers have said their ad rates were still facing downward pressure, and many had incurred additional costs shaping up their web pages to ensure their ads are within view. Unilever and GroupM, meanwhile, are pressing for an even more stringent standard.

“The advertising industry should recognize that 2015 is a year of transition: technology and billing systems have to catch up to this massive move to greater accountability in advertising measurement and delivery,” the IAB’s position paper says. It recommends not applying a standard stricter than 70%.”

When do you think 100% viewability will be achievable or measurable?

Innovative Packaging Designs

When done right, a good packaging design can be as good as or even better than the product it’s for. Brilliant and innovative packaging designs will consider aesthetics, branding, safety, and even re-usability – some of these product packages can themselves serve as useful objects or as memorable marketing tools.

For this post the public relations department and the digital department of PACE have weighed in on their favorite packaging design from this great article:

The Public Relations Department

Goldfish Teabags

 Innovative Packaging Designs - Goldfish Tea

Cupcakes in the Oven

Note Headphones


The Digital Department

Honey Packaging For Klein Constantia Farm

Parmesan Pencils

Innovative Packaging Designs - Parmesan Pencils
Blossom Cava Sparkling Wine


Which is your favorite?

Captializing on the Ice Bucket Challenge

It was only a matter of time until a company jumped on the Ice Bucket Challenge and used it for product promotion.

In case you are unfamiliar the foundation behind Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease,  has a viral donor campaign.  According to Wikipedia, and points that it already has an Wikipedia page, “The Ice Bucket Challenge, sometimes called the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, is an activity involving dumping a bucket of ice water on someone’s head to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and encourage donations to research. The challenge dares nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and challenging others to do the same. A common stipulation is that nominated people have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation.”

To say it has worked is an understatement. As of Monday, August 25, The ALS Association has received $79.7 million in donations compared to $2.5 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 25). These donations have come from existing donors and 1.7 million new donors to The Association.   DigitasLBI Paris created an infographic of celebrities who have completed the challenge and who nominated who:  (click to here to see the full image)


With millions dollars raised and everyone – from Oscar winners to MVP’s – dumping ice on their heads Samsung had jumped on the ice bucket bandwagon to promote its galaxy phone.  In the spirt of the challenge, the ad produced by their UK division, nominated Apple’s iPhone 5S, HTC’s One M8, and Nokia’s Lumia 930.

What do you think of this ad?