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Entries in New York (9)


Programmatic Premium: Context and Audience in an Automated World

Is the industry ready for programmatic premium? And what does that really mean? We sought to answer those questions and more today at Advertising Week New York, in a panel discussion titled, “Programmatic Premium: Context and Audience in an Automated World.” Ad Age’s Alex Kantrowitz moderated a panel with our own Wade Rifkin, VP of Programmatic; Tony Katsur, Head of Buyer Cloud, Rubicon Project; Carrie Nicholson, VP, Ad Innovation and Programmatic, Turner; and David Murnick, VP, Sales Strategy & Client Services, Gannett.

The first question, right off the bat – what is programmatic premium, really? Is it even a thing? The answer from all the panelists was yes, but with slightly varying definitions. Nicholson explained that at Turner, they define it as premium environments and premium ad executions—and that ultimately, they’re seeking to move towards a place with a guarantee. Rifkin talked about how what’s premium to one brand isn’t premium to another. As he put it, at DigitasLBi, what we generally look at is the context, the format, and the audiences, that by and large, outpace the supply.

With two publishers onstage, the panel also explored some of the challenges that took place early on as their organizations moved into selling inventory programmatically. As Nicholson explained, the original concern was, “Is programmatic a place that puts audiences above all else?” But the buying landscape has evolved so much, with maturation in the marketplace for context and audiences in just the last year – creating a lot of programmatic successes with advertisers. Murnick also addressed some of the other internal challenges for any publisher who moves into programmatic – evolving infrastructure and teams, figuring which sales team is covering what and what the compensation plan is.

As this space evolves so quickly, there was also the question of what kind of talent do you recruit? Much has been said about the importance of mathematic backgrounds and hiring “quant people”, but Katsur explained that it’s not just necessarily about hiring quant people – it’s finding people who can think analytically. And while you need analytical thinkers, storytellers are also crucial—there’s still an art side to this entire industry.

And finally, there was the question of why now? Why is this the year when suddenly there’s been such a big shift in how much is being bought via programmatic? Rifkin attributed that to two things: better tech infrastructure for the industry, and the release of inventory on the sell side that makes it worth it on the buy side.

To learn more about what DigitasLBi is doing in this space, check out the news about our new premium programmatic agreement with Rubicon Project here and here.


Taco Bell Previews Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos via Twitter and Speakeasies

On February 13, Taco Bell® transformed a quiet flower shop into the coolest taco speakeasy in NYC and let one lucky fan unlock it for the rest of the city. Four hours. 11 hidden cameras. 800 Cool Ranch® Doritos Locos Tacos (DLT). That. Just. Happened. Who will sample the Cool Ranch® DLT next?

Fans didn’t have to wait long to find out. Yesterday, devoted followers in Dallas embarked on a similar quest to discover the DLT speakeasy. They followed the Tweet. They traveled to Lovers Lane Barber Shop.They whispered “I want to look cool”—and their wishes were granted as they were handed a Cool Ranch® DLT.

Worth the trek? We think so—just check out the Vine video previewing the mighty Cool Ranch® DLT for proof. 

Stay tuned for the next hunt. Keep following @TacoBell for further information.



AAF’s Most Promising Minority Students Program 2012 at Digitas New York

Last week, 50 of the nation’s top advertising students were brought to New York City to be recognized as one of the American Advertising Federation’s Most Promising Minority Students.  From networking receptions and more formal Q&A sessions to recruiting expos and agency visits, the students are set up with some amazing experiences. 

I would know.  I was one of these students just two years ago- a member of the Most Promising Minority Student Class of 2010.  But this year brought a new experience for me.  I was no longer sitting amongst my peers vying for that exclusive access to people in the “real world” or waiting in lines to get my valuable time with recruiters.  This year, I was given the opportunity to represent Digitas for the Program.

Last Wednesday evening, Digitas New York opened its doors to the 50 Most Promising students, their university advisers, and members of the AAF community.  We had appetizers, drinks, and coveted swag for the students, but also gave them access to a panel of some of Digitas New York’s senior leaders.  Being that I was in these students’ shoes not that long ago, I was asked to sit on the panel as well. 

I shared my experiences being a Most Promising Student, stories about challenges and growing in my job, and some advice that I hope helps these students as they prepare to enter this “real world”.  My advice was two-fold:

  • First, be open-minded.  It is important to have plans and goals for your life.  But keep your mind open to those opportunities that slightly stray from your path.  They may lead to something you really enjoy and you may find yourself on an even better path. 
  • Second, don’t feel like you have to fit the mold.  In fact, I encouraged the students to break it.  In my opinion, there is no “ideal” candidate.  People’s interests, passions, and characteristics make them unique and should not be underestimated.

Thursday began the Recruiter’s Expo portion of the program, where companies and agencies from across the country come out to give their time to these Promising students.  It did not take long standing on the recruiter side of the Digitas table for me to be incredibly impressed.  These students did an amazing job of selling themselves and it is no surprise at all why they were chosen to be Most Promising.  They had business cards, demo CDs of their work, and one girl from Hawai’i even brought us chocolate covered macadamia nuts so we would remember her.  Talk about Promising.  We knew these students would be smart and talented, but it truly amazed me how so many went the extra mile to make an impression and try to convince us that they would make a great addition to our Digitas family. 

I cannot believe it has been two years since my class of Most Promising Minority Students.  But meeting and talking to the Most Promising Class of 2012, I soon realized that this new class is of a caliber beyond my own.  And that is encouraging.  These students will be the future leaders of our industry.  Some of them will likely walk the Digitas halls.  They are not to be undervalued.  While their Most Promising title is an indication of these students’ potential, it is their work, drive, and passion that are proof of very promising things to come for the advertising industry.

- Amanda Villarreal, Senior Analyst, Search Marketing, Digitas


Live from Digitas New York: Beet.TV Leadership Summit, Featuring Dave Marsey

November 17 Update: Didn't get a chance to watch the panel? Check out the full video below.

November 15: Live from our New York office, we're livestreaming today's Beet.TV Leadership Event, a ninety-minute webcast with senior media and advertising agency executives, from 2:30-5:00PM. Today's topic of discussion is "The Next Phase of Online Video Advertising: The Value of Engagement."

Speakers include:

- Dave Marsey, SVP/Group Media Director, Digitas
- Jason Krebs, Chief Media Officer, Tremor Video
- Beth Doyle, Innovations Director, VivaKi
- Jill Griffin, SVP, Strategy & Innovation Director, MediaVest
- James Kiernan, SVP, Managing Director at ZenithOptimedia
- Riley McDonough. SVP/General Manager, Thomson Reuters
- Mark Marvel, Senior Director of Video Monetization,
- Sean O'Neal, President, Vizu Corporation 

Watch live streaming video from beet_tv at

You can also follow @Digitas and #beetshow on Twitter for live updates during the event!



Digitas Silicon Alley Swing Round 2

Yesterday, our leaders and members of the Social Marketing Practice embarked on its second “Silicon Alley Swing” – an all-day event packed demos, brainstorms, and more from various stars on the start-up scene in New York City’s booming technology district known as “Silicon Alley.”

The goals of “The Swing” (as some often refer to it) are to build familiarity and relationships with these companies and to begin thinking/discussing specific opportunities we can bring to our clients. 

The new social media technology companies we visited included:

  • – allows you to collect, organize, analyze, shorten and share links
  • Buddy Media – offers various social media marketing products to help engage and grow audiences;
  • BuzzFeed – tracks the web's obsessions in realtime;
  • Klout – provides social media analytics to measure a user's influence across their social network;
  • Local Response – enables cross-platform “check-in” based ad network;
  • Percolate – provides a content curation platform;
  • SocialFlow – helps tweets earn greater attention and engagement by publishing content when audience is most available and receptive to your tweets.

The Swing demonstrates how Digitas’ Social Practice strives explore partnership and collaboration opportunities with new social media technology companies. The event also shows underscores our commitment to ensure Digitas’ creatives and technologists have complete access and understanding of social marketing touch points and are contributors to client strategies and programs.

We walked away with ideas we can action and confidence to make them happen. Looking forward to making those ideas come to life with the rest of the Digitas community.

In the meantime, contact either myself ( or Amie Green ( if you would like to learn more about any of the companies we met with on The Swing.

--Jordan Bitterman, SVP, Social Marketing Practice Director, Digitas