Ad Tech Gets Positive News Post-GDPR; Amazon’s Mammoth Ad; Thursday’s First Things First

Plus, Netflix's competition values their streaming services differently

Amazon created the largest rooftop ad ever.
Headshot of Jameson Fleming

Welcome to First Things First, Adweek’s new daily resource for marketers. We’ll be publishing the content to First Things First on Adweek.com each morning (like this post), but if you prefer that it come straight to your inbox, you can sign up for the email here.

Today’s Top Story: Despite GDPR, Programmatic Advertising Is Still Growing in Europe

It’s no secret ad-tech companies initially feared the worst when GDPR took effect last year (one company noped its way out of Europe by closing its London office ahead of the regulations). But a new report released at Dmexco found programmatic spend is actually up 33% last year to hit $18.4 billion.

Here’s why else marketers are optimistic:

  • More than 70% of display ads and 50% of video ads are now traded programmatically in the region.
  • The majority of stakeholders expect an increase in programmatic investments of up to 80% over the next 12 months, according to Townsend Feehan, CEO, IAB Europe.

However, transparency is still an issue. The study found only 6% of advertisers and 26% of agencies attach an ads.txt file to their inventory.

Related reading: Earlier this week Martin Sorrell said that ‘every single client is looking at in-housing.’

Most of Netflix’s Newest Rivals Aren’t Really Trying to Take On Netflix

If streaming services look like Netflix and act like Netflix, it’s not unreasonable for these burgeoning services to be considered competitors to Netflix.

But there’s but. Streaming video never was, and never will be, the be-all and end-all of their businesses. Many of Netflix’s most compelling peers in the space are instead betting that streaming television will give them a way to shore up more vital businesses endeavors.

Read more: Reporter Kelsey Sutton examines everything else Apple, Disney and NBCUniversal have at stake with their streaming services.

Unmissable From the Air, This Jack Ryan Promo Is the Largest Rooftop Ad Ever

Amazon typically thinks big. No surprise there. But 50,000 square feet of rooftop big? OK, that’s impressive. The tech giant is promoting the second season of Jack Ryan with what FlyBy Ads categorizes as the largest rooftop ad ever created.

Oh, and it’s lit (feel free to interrupt that literally or as slang).

Just Briefly: The rest of today’s top insights

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Ad of the Day: ‘You’re It’ Becomes a Rallying Cry for Kids in Nike’s New Anthem


Nike’s first big foray into marketing to kids and, specifically, girls, happened in 1995 with the “If You Let Me Play.” The ad from Wieden + Kennedy Portland was a bold and assertive approach to empowerment. In 2012, another Nike ad celebrated the 40th anniversary of Title IX.

The brand’s latest, from Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam, takes the classic kids game of tag and spins it with a healthy dose of adrenaline. While it’s not quite as direct as some of the brand’s earlier work, the passing of positive energy in the spot from one kid to the next is classic Nike.

Marketers Explain Want Skills They’re Looking For

Michael Wachs, chief creative officer, GYK Antler

Compassion. The most effective brands today are the ones who are purpose-driven. Marketing is based upon the skill to influence others to action, and while the needs of purpose-driven brands are no different, if it lacks heart, values and passion it rings false. Being able to emotionally deliver for your consumers in an authentic way takes a far higher level of emotional intelligence and optimism if we are to embody the values a good brand is built upon and the communities we’re hoping to serve.

Simon Fenwick, evp, talent engagement and inclusion, 4A’s

Social Advocacy Manager: A role centered around how to build a community of social advocates who can speak on behalf of a brand and help expand its network. Given that recent data shows that more than 92% of customers trust peer reviews over ads and recent algorithm changes prioritize shares from family and friends over posts from brands and publishers.

Mitch Polatin, evp, group strategy director, Deutsch LA

Vulnerability: It may be antithetical to call vulnerability a skill—but the act of accepting one’s own vulnerability surely necessitates skillfulness. Traditionally, marketing saw vulnerability as a weakness—a feebleness that, meant one wasn’t cut out for this cutthroat endeavor. Why? We, as marketers, are tasked with confidently selling ideas to the world and accentuating the benefits of products and services. We put products in their best light and are expected to do the same with ourselves. So, what happens when we concede there is imperfection within us? When we ask for help or admit mistakes? A lot of honesty and self-reflection as it turns out. Change is afoot. What was once frowned upon as an industry weakness is now perceived differently. Having the courage to expose our vulnerabilities is often gratifying.

Quote of the Day: David Kahan, CEO of Birkenstock Americas

“Unfortunately, right now the market is so dynamic, Amazon might be the most visible, but it’s become a martial art, and, if you’re managing a brand, you better be Bruce Lee.”

David Kahan, CEO of Birkenstock Americas, explains why the retailer left the platform in 2016 despite seeing strong sales growth.


Publish date: September 12, 2019 https://dev.adweek.com/programmatic/ad-tech-gets-positive-news-post-gdpr-amazons-mammoth-ad-thursdays-first-things-first/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT