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Q&A: Samantha Minish, Director of Mobile Video Gannett Co., on Video Ad Innovation

August 14, 2014 | By Michelle Manafy, Editorial Director – DCN @michellemanafy

Q: To drive success in video advertising, what is the most important thing to consider:

SamHeadshot1A: Put the users first. If you build a product – and an ad experience – that puts the needs and habits of consumers first, then you will be able to maximize the overall impact. A majority of app consumption happens at home, often while also watching TV. Users are coming to our apps to escape the same old TV commercials, so we need to provide them an innovative ad experience that compliments the mobile mindset. Before you run an ad, the first question you should ask yourself is, “would I sit through this ad?”

Q: Describe one of your video advertising campaigns that you think is particularly innovative:

A: USAToday partnered with Dodge on a unique campaign that paired-up with movie trailers. We presented an interactive pre-roll that featured stars from upcoming movies, which allowed users to answer trivia questions about the Dodge Durango. Often publishers will talk of gamification of content to drive engagement. We have taken that concept, combined it with the idea of native advertising and created an experience that will encourage interaction with both the content and the advertisement in a seamless and social manner.

Q: What is working in video advertising and what do we need more of in order to drive success in this area?

A: I think the biggest step forward in video advertising, particularly in the mobile space, has been the adoption of Vine and Instagram by brands. Finally we’re starting to think outside of the traditional 30-second pre-roll box, and focusing on the wide array of platforms users now consume media through. An overwhelming majority of people use their tablets and phones while watching TV, and most are doing so during commercials. We cannot expect them to engage in our video content if they are forced to sit through the exact same ad that they are trying to escape.

Samantha is currently the director of mobile video for Gannett and its properties, including USAToday and over 100 local broadcast stations and local newspapers. She oversees both product and content strategy for the company’s mobile apps and mobile website. Samantha has worked on both the editorial and product side of the video and content business, with time at both AOL and The Weather Channel.

Also in this series:

Q&A: Aaron Broder, CEO & Co-Founder Evolve Media, on Video Ad Innovation

 Q&A: Beth Lawrence, EVP Digital Sales, Scripps Networks Interactive, on Video Ad Innovation



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