Human Creativity: The Next Dimension

VidMob Partners with Amazon to Tap the Power of Machine Learning for Content Creation, Optimization, and Discovery

This is the start of a new chapter for VidMobthe launch of the Agile Creative StudioTM.

We have spent the past seven months building a first-of-its-kind creative insights platform to enable marketers to understand, at a deep level, which creative choices drive business goals. Up until now, marketers have been limited to “asset level” performance data, e.g. Asset A did better/worse than Asset B. No data to explain why, and thus, nothing to take action on.  Guesswork is so 2017. We are building a complete set of tools to give brands a comprehensive understanding of how specific creative attributes within videos impact campaign performance.

Not sure where to place your logo?
Wondering which color pairings drive view duration?
Curious as to how a celebrity spokesperson impacts conversion?

We can tell you.

Want to know if showing the puppy boosts ROAS?
Need to prove to your boss that giggles drive more leads?
Interested to know if drum beats generate higher ROI than violin melodies?


The Agile Creative Studio is about knowing which creative characteristics move the needle on the KPIs you care about. It doesn’t end there, because, what good is knowing cool stuff if you can’t act on it?  Our creative analysts and expert creators are at the ready to deliver optimized creative assets based on insights while campaigns are live. This means your creative keeps getting stronger and your campaign performance improves with time.    

Over the course of the next few months, we will unveil the full toolset, but we don’t want to keep you in suspense. Here is an overview of what we’ve got cooking.  

If you want to learn more about how Agile Creative Studio can work for your business, drop us a line at


Cannes Lions Daily Wrap: Mardi

Day two has come and gone! The Cannes Festival of Creativity is nearing the halfway mark. If you missed out on day one, no worries. You can get a quick recap of yesterday’s top stories here. As for today, check it out…

Panel Picks: “YouTube What Matters Next?”

We don’t have to tell you that YouTube is the monopoly of video content, whether personal or professional. Susan Wojicicki, CEO of YouTube, took the stage this Tuesday morning to discuss how YouTube has changed not only the industry but the world itself. She also explored brand building, engaged audiences, accountability in the digital age, and more. Accompanied by L’Oreal chief digital officer, Lubomira Rochet, these two powerful women opened up about the success of their brands and how video is changing the ad industry. (And don’t we know it!)

If you’re interested in the full scoop, you can watch it here.

From Susan Wojicicki:

“Our goal is to build products that work for everyone.”

“Every day we see how an open platform can inspire creativity, share information, and build meaningful communities.”

“Users are going digital and so brands are also going digital. That is an incredible opportunity for us to enable new connections, to reinvent advertising, and to think of new levels of engagement.”

“We’ve seen video really change in terms of the way that it’s consumed.”

From Lubomira Rochet:

“We’re reinventing our advertising model around sequencing, targeting, and personalizing our content today.”

Spotify on the Future of Music

Photo courtesy of Spotify:

Earlier this month, Spotify was named Cannes Lion Media Brand of the Year. The revolutionary music app is used by nearly 170 million audio lovers and enables artists to connect with their fan bases at any scale. This year, Spotify’s presence can be seen at their Spotify Beach headquarters on the Croisette, exhibiting a range of exhibits and interactive tools.

In addition, Spotify is partnering with Cannes Lions’s See it Be It initiative, which puts a spotlight on gender imbalance in the industry in order to spur action and real change. As a part of that initiative, Spotify will be hosting a series of discussions, concerts, and parties throughout the week, so be sure to check it out!

Exhibits: Instagram’s Storyscape

Photo courtesy of AdAge:

Need your daily interactive art intake for the day? Well, we’ve got a story for you. Facebook Beach is featuring STORYSCAPE, a filmic sculpture by British artist and designer Es Devlin. Presented by Instagram, this 360-degree experience is projected onto a cylinder, relaying visual narratives told by individuals. The projections cover every surface of the “skyscraper” and is meant to explore the democratization of storytelling. The original foundation of a story held by an individual is exponentially spread to “perspectival shift” and “cultural change.” It runs until the end of the festival, so be sure to stop by, sit back, relax, and enjoy storytime.

That’s all for now, be sure to check back tomorrow for Wednesday’s highlights.

À plus tard!

Cannes Lions Daily Wrap: Lundi

The ball is rolling! The Cannes International Festival of creativity is officially underway. As promised, here are the panels and speakers we couldn’t stop talking about today, plus some of the exciting news we heard around town.

Adobe: “Accelerating Creativity in the Age of AI”

“Being able to create something doesn’t equate to being able to create something that can inspire and motivate.” — Natasha Jen

In this packed, hour-long discussion hosted by Adobe, Natasha Jen from Pentagram and artist Mario Klingemann looked to the future to debate the many ways AI will inform not just our everyday lives, but more specifically, the creative process. This panel covered everything from brand identity and systems packaging to exhibition design and digital interface, and how artists can embrace algorithms and data to further their craft.

Another quote we love:

“The efficiency is going to increase a lot, productivity is going to increase a lot meaning now we’re going to be able to create and really kind of visualize and materialize our ideas a lot faster” — Natasha Jen

The Dance Between AI and Human Creativity

“We cannot really create something from nothing. There are always impulses coming in that trigger something in us, which then allows us to connect things in our head…with machine learning, we can have the machine give us these impulses based on what things might be relevant to us—and help us augment our creativity”  — Mario Klingemann, Artist

So, What Is Creativity in the 21st Century?

“I only see things as creative when somebody else solves a problem differently than I would have expected.” – Mario Klingemann

We are entering a new kind of creative generation that is enhanced by AI but also limited to what is deemed “creative.”

If you’re interested in the rest of the discussion, you can watch it here.

Future Lion’s Capturing Creativity

AKQA announced the winners of the Future Lions competition. Recognizing young innovators, this award shines a light on ideas that were simply unimaginable due to lack of technology. With over 386 schools submitting their work across 55 countries, one of the winning ideas came from a team of Miami Ad School students.

Their life-changing idea, named “Hush” for Apple, allows iPhone users to activate Siri in scenarios where they feel too threatened to pick up the phone and dial 911. The technology lets the victim utter a “safe word” that triggers Siri to call 911 and provide the details of the danger the user is in, without illuminating the screen.

If you want to see their brilliant video, you can watch it here.  

Wrapping Up:

P&G announces their advancement in committing to gender equality through a series of partnerships intended to spark diversity throughout their chain. Their hope is to promote and reveal more accurate and realistic portrayals of women in everything from advertising to media, all while amping up social good. Kudos!

Check back tomorrow for more about our favorite moments, videos and announcements from the festival.


Au revoir, and bonne journée!


Cannes Lions 2018: What You Need to Know

Bounds of creativity, the most innovative people in the industry, sandy beaches, and French cuisine. The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity has fallen upon the creative and marketing industry once again. If you’re not up to speed with the five-day festival, we’re here to give you the lowdown on the top events to look forward to, news updates, and what makes this year’s festival different. We’ll be sure to cover the festival as the days roll by, but for now, here’s a breakdown on what Cannes Lions is and what the creative industry is buzzing about.

How did Cannes Lions come to be?

Bearing its roots in 1954, Cannes Lions has given global recognition to the world’s most authentic and cutting-edge influencers in the marketing and creative communications industry. By connecting the worldwide network of the creative world, Cannes has provided the opportunity for self-expressers and innovators alike to celebrate, build, and learn through its iconic event hosted every year in Cannes, France.

With more than 16,000 attendees, Cannes pulls from brands, activists, artists, and more from all around the world. 200+ speakers, ranging from Conan O’Brien to the CEO of YouTube Susan Wojcicki, are taking the stage this year over the course of five days, covering topics like “Five Campaigns that Shook the Advertising World” and “What Creativity Can Do.” For Cannes Lions, creativity is, and will always, drive the world.

This year, after fielding some critique, Cannes decided to revamp a few things:

  1. The festival is now five days, not eight. Cannes is out for “quality over quantity,” refocusing purely on creativity and cutting out the rest.
  2. Companies can submit to six Lions categories max. The best work will shine and juries won’t get fatigued.
  3. Pass prices are down! So are prices for hotels, taxis, and more, making the festival more accessible to companies and creatives of all stripes.  

Here are this year’s awards categories:

  1. Communication
  2. Craft
  3. Entertainment
  4. Experience
  5. Good
  6. Health
  7. Impact
  8. Innovation
  9. Reach

In the Cannes News Now: #WomenCannes

Calling all lionesses! An anonymous collective is calling for women to wear black at the festival. In a movement called #WomenCannes, the group is hoping to bring their social movement to light by wearing black as a statement of solidarity and safety. They’re also aiming to use their platform to reflect upon the sexual misconduct that takes place in the ad industry and hoping to shine a light on the lack of qualified women who are excluded from the festival.

Their website also features a call to action for agencies to submit the women they’re sending on behalf of their company, hoping to garner support from fellow female “lionesses” while on stage, celebrating the nominations and awards won by females in the industry. #WomenCannes also features the #TimesUpAdvertising hashtag as a part of the US-stemmed group aimed to address and reveal the gender inequality and sexual harassment in the advertising world. These hashtags are now circling the social media, with companies, and men and women alike, showing their support for the campaign.

Speaking of #PowerfulWomen, Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo Movement, is also a speaker this year! She’ll be taking the stage on Thursday, June 21 to talk about what inspired her now 11-year devotion to work and what she’s doing to keep the ball rolling when it comes to sexual assault awareness.

Now What?

So, now that you’re up to speed with all things Cannes and all things Creativity, be sure to keep checking our social media and blog for coverage on the festival, with updates on our favorite events and what Cannes has brought to the table in 2018. For now, au revoir!

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Creative Counts…The Most. Here are the numbers to prove it.

In the early days of digital, when online advertising was just beginning, the sentiment that “none of this stuff works anyway” was fairly pervasive. It’s morphed somewhat over the years to take on various forms like, it’s the audience, or target, or placement that matters most. But, despite the digital ecosystem eventually maturing away from bad formats like flashing pop-ups and boring 468×60 display banners, that remnant pessimism is still pervasive.

Now, two recently released studies by Analytic Partners and Nielsen Catalina Solutions incontrovertibly disprove those beliefs and should encourage us to give creative the time and attention it merits.

1.   The first study by Analytic Partners, “The ROI Genome: 2017 Marketing Intelligence Report,examined $430B dollars of media spend across 43 countries. Leaning on structural equation modeling, they found that creative accounted for ⅓ of the ROI of display advertising ad ⅔ of the ROI of video advertising.

2.   The second study, an analysis of 500 CPG campaigns by Nielsen Catalina Solutions found that creative accounted for 49% of the sales contribution. Furthermore, it emphasized the importance of quality. Strong creative accounted for 89% of the sales contribution, versus weak creative, which accounts for only 16% of sales contribution.

So, creative skeptics their peril.  The evidence suggests otherwise and not fully committing to creative has repercussions for the bottom line.

Want to know how your creative is performing?

Reach out to to request entry into our closed beta. Stay tuned for the official launch of ACS so you can get access to meaningful insights that count.

Why Should Brands Care About Agile Marketing?

VidMob CMO Stephanie Bohn Breaks It All Down for AdWeek  

Have you ever wondered how the engineering concept of agile software development became the new framework for content production in digital marketing? Well, when you look back to the television of the 1970s and compare it to the mobile device of today, the answers start to take shape.

In the past, one hero idea dreamed up by a highly reputable agency was typically enough to cover all the bases. One great idea for one placement and one general audience.

Today, however, brands must overcome the challenge of connecting with many audiences across many social platforms and digital placements. Not only that, they’re expected to reach highly specific audiences with targeted, personalized content at the right place, right time, and with the right message. Oh, and to do all that in near real-time.

Luckily, agile development was created to solve big problems and solve them fast. Adopting the agile development formula of launching small, strategic experiments in order to receive bigger and faster wins, helped brands reimagine the way to successfully approach creative while saving time and money.

As brands and marketers stay in this constant loop of production, discovery, and optimization, they’ll never have to worry about producing the elusive, one-size-fits-all campaign again. Because, as Stephanie Bohn mentions in this AdWeek piece, “what is the point of building unique customer segments if everyone gets served the same ad?”  


An Operating System for the In-House Movement

Last week I wrote about the tension between the Old Agency model and the emerging New Agency model. New agencies have smartly recognized that their clients’ needs are evolving and have made strides to adapt to the changing times. To do so, they have shown a willingness to work with 3rd party solutions providers, in a recognition that by focusing on the things that they do really well, and turning to partners for things that can be done better elsewhere, their clients will ultimately win.

But in far too many relationships this recognition has taken too long, and the resultant pain and wasted cost have led to a growing wave of brands moving large swaths of the production needs in-house. From last week’s post:

It seems like the wave of brands cutting, or severely limiting the scope of their relationship with their old agencies is growing by the day. Just in the last few weeks, we’ve seen announcements like this one from Chobani, from a host of other companies including, P&G, Unilever, Pepsi, ABI, Diageo, L’Oreal, Wayfair, Allstate, StubHub, Sprint,, Starbucks and BMW.

When we talk to some of our clients who have taken the leap into in-housing, there are a few consistent themes behind their choice to do so:

•   Agency cost-structures don’t match their needs of social transcreation.
•   Old agencies are still very TV focused and seem to be largely ignoring TV’s steady demise.
•   Digital “Test & Learn” approaches are an anathema to the old agency creative process, despite being proven to work.
•   Creative talent can be found everywhere — no longer monopolized by traditional agencies.
•   Making performance data actionable in real time drives huge results, but only when they can connect the loop between data and rapid response production.
•   Brand employees know their product better than the inexperienced talent at the traditional agencies that would be staffed on their project.

But moving things in-house has proven to be far more challenging than many brands assumed. The reality is that agencies add a ton of value to the process, and pulling back on their usage has created a number of challenges:

•   Brands don’t know the best practices of the myriad online platforms that they should be advertising on.
•   Finding world-class creative talent isn’t easy.
•   Managing/paying a wide array of creative freelancers is a pain and carries legal risk.
•   Managing creative assets is a universal problem and will only get worse as more versions of each campaign become the norm.
•   Collaborative review among key internal constituencies is a messy process.
•   Asset approval times lead to missed deadlines.

These are real problems, and solving only one or two of them doesn’t really help brands get where they need to be. In order to be truly useful, a single-point solution is needed that accomplishes at least all of the following points:

•   Affordable — To go from producing a few video assets to producing thousands, production has to get a lot cheaper. Period.
•   Built specifically for “Test & Learn” — A properly deployed process of testing and learning leads to dramatic increases in campaign efficacy. But this isn’t as mindless as simply changing the colors of cars in ads.
•   Curated pools of talent that are pre-vetted for each job — Every job is different and the talent needed to succeed on Pinterest is very different than what is needed for Instagram Stories. Finding the right people every time is the first step to success.
•   Fully connected loop (data → production → publishing) — Data without the ability to act on it is useless. The new tools need to connect these three components into a seamless loop so that brands can see what’s happening, create new materials accordingly, and then put those new materials to work the instant they are done.
•   Empowers brand employees to drive the results they want — Every brand has different needs. To be useful, the new tools will have to allow brands to specify the specific KPI’s that matter to them and then optimize around those exact points.
•   Helps brands understand the specific best practices for each platform, as they evolve — Each platform has its own set of best practices, and what’s working today may not work tomorrow. Given that content creation isn’t instantaneous, this puts even more pressure on having continuously updated best practices.
•   A single point of payment and legal agreement — Brands want to create at scale. They don’t want to pay vendors at scale!
•   Archival and robust asset search enables instant access to everything in a brand’s library — As brands produce more and more assets, their library will grow exponentially. Being able to find everything that you already have instantly and easily becomes increasingly important as a lever for cost efficiency and speed of production. Machine learning can be used to help here, but it needs to be connected in a way to enable easy extraction and manipulation of the selected library assets once you find them.
•   Collaboration software will need to make multi-stakeholder projects easy —When rapidly shifting cultural moments make producing content “in the moment” ever more important, timelines have to be compressed as much as possible. To do this, technology needs to play a role in managing all aspects of ideation, production, licensing, and approval in one seamless system.
•   Tools to not only learn what creative is working but why Data is reactive and tends to look backward. Data tells us what worked. In order to improve our creative processes and hit-rate, we need information not just about what worked but why. Creative insights are key, and when creators are given access to systems that can deliver real-time creative insights during the production process, learning cycles can be compressed significantly.

At VidMob, we’re laser-focused on addressing each of these points as part of the technology platform that we offer our brand clients as part of our Agile Creative Suite (TM). In doing so, we think VidMob can offer a solution that behaves like “an operating system for the in-house movement.” Change is never easy. But a great technology platform built on a foundation of respect for human creativity and a true alignment of interests can go a long way towards accelerating us all towards a better marketing future.

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