Summary:

Interactive ad vet Wenda Harris Millard has long championed the need for online advertising to have a greater level of creative quality, so…

Ty Montague, Michael Lebowitz, Wenda Harris Millard

Interactive ad vet Wenda Harris Millard has long championed the need for online advertising to have a greater level of creative quality, so that the industry can eventually attract brand spending in the way that other established media have. So she was a perfect choice to moderate the final session at paidContent Advertising, as she put the question to Ty Montague, founder and co-CEO, Co Collective, and Michael Lebowitz, founder, CEO, Big Spaceship, about developing original ways of telling a brand’s story within a digital ad format.

Acknowledging that data is the basis of most advertising, especially for online ads, which is driven by unique views, Montague quipped, “It’s easy to forget that those eyeballs are attached to a brain and that brain is attached to a heart.”

In offering his personal definition of his role in the marketing business, he said, “We think of what we do as creating meaningful relationships between people and companies. It might include advertising at some point. We’re not anti-advertising, but we don’t think it’s a starting point. What’s the action that’s going to allow you to create a story and move your consumers?”

Lebowitz: “I’m always desperate to get more of the raw connectivity data, which is easy with Twitter. But it’s also about finding engaging, real time stories. Facebook is loosely structured, Twitter is more tightly structured — the former is more appealing. YouTube (NSDQ: GOOG) is the second largest search engine. How often do you go to the main page to look at videos? It’s about people sharing videos. It’s enormously hard to plan for.”

Turning to mobile, Montague said that he has a hard time thinking of mobile as an ad medium. The medium that matters today is people. If you think of “eyeballs to heads to hearts”, figuring out how to move them, to excite them and get them to share your story and get involved — that’s the key. But if someone is out and about, the idea of getting people to share something is interesting.

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