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RTL takes on Facebook and Google with video marketplace addressing brand safety fears

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Pan-European media conglomerate RTL has announced the launch of a new offering to address brand safety concerns, called the Video Marketplace (VMP), one it hopes will offer international advertisers access to European audiences.

VMP forms part of RTL’s Adconnect suite of adtech tools and was created to give international advertisers access to RTL’s library of digital content across VOD platforms, TV channels, YouTube, plus other platforms.

RTL said in a statement that it considered the VMP an independent alternative to offerings given by US tech giants like Facebook and Google, and a one-stop solution that gives international access to viewers of its content.

The RTL AdConnect suite featured three separate solutions in its VMP package: VMP AdPremium for VOD platforms; VMP AdFinity for user-generated content and influencer videos on YouTube; and VMP AdExtension, which reaches its audiences through partner networks such as ITV and RAI in Europe. VMP also lets advertisers access content properties such as Fremantle Media, which includes American Idol and other reality and unscripted programming in its stable.

RTL AdConnect’s managing director Stephane Coruble explained to The Drum how the offering resembled what Facebook and Google propose to the market, but with added brand safety assurances.

Describing VMP AdPremium, he said: “Let’s say you’re watching American Idol. You’ll see a lot of short videos on our YouTube channels and we have access to all sorts of inventory. We’re combining access to these, whatever the platform, in the same approach to a YouTube or Facebook.”

The launch of VMP essentially puts RTL in direct competition for the same ad dollars as those entities, but in a way that embraces their respective digital platforms and gives brand partners access to its own slate of content as well.

Coruble also added that VMP AdFinity lets advertisers purchase video inventory, that can be served across its content curation properties such as United Screens (which it had acquired at the beginning of the year), and others across the EU in one bucket.

VMP AdExtension also offers media buyers video ad inventory on legacy publisher websites that utilize adtech tools from within the wider RTL stable, such as SpotX and SmartClip. Coruble explained further: “This is basically a group of over 1500 that includes Spotify, it includes CNN, or The Telegraph, you can get very specific print websites that deliver video.”

According to RTL, the advantage of VMP is that it lets the media company do what YouTube has failed to do: properly address brand safety where marketers can buy media.

“We have really strong management of our content,” said Corbule. “Because we know exactly which content can be tied to a specific property and curate in a way that Google cannot.”

He added: “Basically, we can blend those three types of offerings into a ‘blended CPM’ across countries, and I think that has an added value, which is quite new for the European market, at least.”

Coruble said that it’s the responsibility of content publishers to step up and provide tools for brands to safely publish ads without fear of running adjacent to unsavory programming.

He added: “There has never been more opportunity, and more risk, for advertisers in today’s digital ecosystem, RTL AdConnect provides a simplified, global solution for brands looking for more transparency on monetization and measurement – in addition to helping create more reliable brand safety for advertisers online.”

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JWT partners with University of Sydney to explore tech-driven creativity

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J. Walter Thompson has formed a partnership with the University of Sydney to explore how technology can be applied to the creative process and develop creative solutions for digital transformation in China.

The partnership will kick off in December 2018 with an Industry and Community Project Unit (ICPU), that will see 16 University of Sydney students from interdisciplinary areas form small teams to develop creative, ethical and context-sensitive solutions over four-week intensive courses. The University introduced ICPUs earlier this year, to provide units of study based on authentic problems and issues set out by industry, community and government organizations.

Students will be based in Sydney for the first week, where they work through the project brief, background research, and information, as well as country information. They then undertake intensive targeted research with their project groups. During weeks two and three, students will work in Shanghai with JWT China.

The final week will be spent back in Sydney, where they write up their assessment task and undertake interactive workshops to encourage critical reflection on their experience and transferability to career development.

“Ultimately the partnership will work towards what actions creative agencies can take now to deliver efficiencies across their business, and to ensure creativity is able to effectively adapt to the implementation of artificial intelligence and new technologies,” said Carter Chow, the chief executive officer of JWT China.

“We're particularly interested in exploring the connection between human and machine learning and how this will change roles in the future. We hope this is the start of many innovative and future-facing topics that both JWT China and the University of Sydney can work together on solving for the creative industry.”

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Circles.Life unveils Discover, its new AI-powered lifestyle feature

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Digital telco Circles.Life has launched an AI-powered feature called Discover in its app to allow customers to explore interesting events happening around the city.

According to the Singapore-based telco, the more Discover is used, the smarter it gets in recommending events that users are most likely to go to. This new feature, which is personalised based on the interests of individuals is available for everyone, including users who are not Circles.Life’s mobile customers.

It is optimised for local events in Singapore, enabling users to explore trending events in the country, customises the event suggestions based on the users’ interests and allows users to share the events on social media, and invite their friends.

“Circles.Life is setting up the world’s most personalized digital platform leveraging its innovative telco stack and proprietary data platform,” said Rameez Ansar, the co-founder of Circles.Life.

“Two years after the launch of what is now the leading no-contract mobile service in Singapore, we are taking a step further. Discover is the first AI-powered product outside our core mobile service. It is available for ALL users inside the Circles.Life app!”

Last month, in an attempt to get consumers to re-evaluate the value of a mobile contract and challenge the assumption that it always saves them money, Circles.Life explained to The Drum why it used the country’s favourite food, chicken rice, to prove its point.

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JWT forms partnership with University of Sydney to explore tech-driven creative solutions

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J. Walter Thompson has partnered with the University of Sydney to explore how technology can be applied to the creative process and develop creative solutions for digital transformation in China.

The partnership will kick off in December 2018 with an Industry and Community Project Unit (ICPU), that will see 16 University of Sydney students from interdisciplinary areas form small teams to develop creative, ethical and context-sensitive solutions over four-week intensive courses. The University introduced ICPUs earlier this year, to provide units of study based on authentic problems and issues set out by industry, community and government organizations.

Students will be based in Sydney for the first week, where they work through the project brief, background research, and information, as well as country information. They then undertake intensive targeted research with their project groups. During weeks two and three, students will work in Shanghai with JWT China.

The final week is spent back in Sydney, where they write up their assessment task and undertake interactive workshops to encourage critical reflection on their experience and transferability to career development.

“Ultimately the partnership will work towards what actions creative agencies can take now to deliver efficiencies across their business, and to ensure creativity is able to effectively adapt to the implementation of artificial intelligence and new technologies,” said Carter Chow, the chief executive officer of JWT China.

“We are particularly interested in exploring the connection between human and machine learning and how this will change roles in the future. We hope this is the start of many innovative and future-facing topics that both JWT China and the University of Sydney can work together on solving for the creative industry.”

All copyrights for this article are reserved to their respective authors.

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