As IBM Ramps Up Its AI-Powered Advertising, Can Watson Crack the Code of Digital Marketing? | Ad Week

As IBM Ramps Up Its AI-Powered Advertising, Can Watson Crack the Code of Digital Marketing?; ; In Ad Week (Advertising Week); 2017-09-24.
Teaser: Acquisition of The Weather Company fuels a new division

tl;dr → Watson (a service bureau, AI-as-a-Service) is open for business.

Mentions

The Weather Company

  • lines of business
    • location-based targeted audiences, delivered to the trade.
    • weather indica, delivered to consumers.
  • 2.2 billion locations/15 minutes
  • Dates
    • WHEN?, Acquisition by IBM
    • 2016-01, new business strategy,
      “AI” as a service (AIaaS)
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Cloud Computing
  • Products
    • WeatherFx
    • JourneyFx
  • The Weather Company is a <quote>legacy business<quote> (deprecated).
  • AIaaS is a <quote>cutting-edge advertising powerhouse</quote> (house of power).

Watson Advertising

  • Cognitive Advertising
    • contra Computational Advertising, circa the ‘oughties (2005)
    • something about
      • <buzzzz>transform every aspect of marketing from </buzzz>
      • something about image and voice recognition to big data analysis and custom content.
  • What is it? (What is Watson-as-a-Service?)
    • Count: <quote>dozens</quote>
    • Interfaces
      • API
      • Projects <quote>studio-like</quote>
    • Pricing: <quote>millions of dollars</quote>
    • Structure: four (4) sub-units
  • “<snip/>It’s not been designed to target consumers the same way that Alexa or Siri have been,” attributed to Cameron Clayton.

Units

The 4 pillars of Watson Advertising.
  1. Targeting, Audience construction & activation
  2. Optimization, Bidding & buying
  3. Advertising, Synthesis of copy and creative
  4. Planning, media planning, the buy plan, the execution plan

Audience Targeting

  • the flagship service
  • neural networks
  • scoring users, propensity scoring <quote>based on how likely they are to take an action</quote>
  • towards CPA or CCPV or CPVisit or <more!>
  • Performable on the Weather Company O&O
    • <quote>but on TV, print, radio and other platforms. <quote>
    • Partnerships
      • Cognitiv
      • Equals 3

Optimization

Bidding Optimization
  • Is too boring for details early in the article.
  • Optimize against brand-specific KPIs.
  • Uses <buzzz>deep learning and neural networks</buzzz>
  • Optimize Cost Per Action (CPA).

Advertising

  • Badged as Watson Ads and Watson Advertising
  • Services
    • content creation
    • content copywriting
  • Launched: 2016-06.
  • Is merely: nterest-Based Advertising (IBA)
    which in turn is a but regulatory term of art, that covers a wide range of in-trade practices.
  • Sectors, aspirational
    • <fancy>aviation</fancy> (airline ticket booking?)
    • insurance
    • energy
    • finance
  • Cognitive Media Council,
    • a focus group.
    • a user group, “friends & family” of the business.
    • a group of important customers representatives
      <quote>senior-level executives from agencies and brands</quote>
Reference Customers
Toyota
  • Mirai
  • Prius Prime
  • Benefits
    Attributed to Eunice Kim, Toyota (TMNA), something about…

    • <buzzz>create a one-to-one conversational engagement</buzzz>
    • <buzzz>garner insights about the consumer thought process that could potentially inform our communication strategies elsewhere”</buzzz>
Campbell’s
  • the Soup people
  • Something about creative synthesis
    themed as: recipe generation with flu symptoms with location
H&R Block
  • Something about creative synthesis
    themed as: automated robot tax expert, suggest tax deductions.
UM [You and Em]
  • An agency. Off shore? They have a “U.S. CEO” Maybe one of those English Invasion thingies.
  • Refused to name their client.
  • Something about auto dealerships.
  • <quote>meshing Watson data with client stats to analyze metrics across a large number of car dealerships in a way that optimizes ad spend while also checking local inventory to see whether or not it should personalize an ad to someone in that market.<quote>
  • <quote>combination of weather data, Google searches and pollen counts to trigger when media should be bought in various markets.</quote>

Planning

  • <quote>AI-powered planning</quote>

Partners

Cognitiv
Something about a partnership for understanding marketing texts.
Jeremy Fain, CEO and co-founder
Equals 3
Lucy, a product-service-platform.
Something about <quote>to uncover extra insights and research.<quote>

Fairness & Balance

Promotions

Ogilvy & Mather
  • Honorific <quote>longtime agency<quote> [fof record for IBM].
Stunts
2011
Jeopardy
2015
[Television] campaign, with Bob Dylan.
2016
Synthesis of the trailier for Morgan (a move; genre: science fiction)
2017-02
Performance, an “analysis” of the stylings of Antoni Gaudi, <quote>inspire an art installation </quote> (what does that mean?)
The “art installation” was exhibited at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Statista

…is quoted
the future is boosted.

Sectors
  • “AI services”
  • “Big Data services”

Themes

Problem
  • The people are “afraid” of AI.
  • The people need to be groomed to accept AI.
Remediation

Ensmoothen & enpitchen the Artificial Intelligence (AI) as…

  • humble
  • friendly
  • ”I’m here to help’ type personality”

Attributed to Lou Aversano, Ogilvy.

Detractors

James Kisner, Jeffries

Via: James Kisner, A Report, Jeffries, 2017-07.
Jeffries is an opinion vendor in support of an M&A banking operation.
tl;dr → Watson is a failing product-service. <quote>IBM is being “outgunned” in the race…</quote> (yup, he mixed the metaphor).

  • as evidenced in measured job listings at Monster.com
    Apple had more listings booked thereon than IBM.
  • Customers were interviewed.
    Watson’s performance/price ratio was low (the rate card is very high).
    2016-10, IBM reduced the rate card for API access <quote>by 70 percent</quote>
  • Lots of press
  • Not a lot of monetary results, as evidenced in the quarterly & annual reports.
Joe Stanhope, Gartner

Via: an interview, perhaps;
Gartner Group is an opinion vendor.

  • Too much hype, can be forgiven
  • Gartner runs the Hype Cycle brand
  • Claims: <quote>IBM does seem to be all-in with Watson.<quote> (be nice to hear that from IBM, not as a “hot-take” from a newshour pundit
DemandBase, Wakefield Research

A Report; attributed to “staff”; DemandBase and Wakefield Research

  • A survey,
    • “how do you feel?”
    • Do you “have plans-to …” in the next N months.
  • There are a lot of uncertainties

Uncertainties

Training Data
  • Just isn’t there.
  • And … computers can only give answers, it can’t give [pose] questions.
Does it [even] Work?
  • No one knows.
  • Many are nervous.
  • No one wants to be first to fail
    (& be fired for outsourcing their job function to The AI).

Competitors

  • Einstein, of Salesforce(.com)
  • Sensei, of Adobe
In-House
  • Buying operations, Xaxis of WPP
    the “AI” is a “co-pilot” to the trading desk operator; optimization recommendations towards CPM and viewability; North American operations only.
  • others?
    Surely everyone nowadays has some initiative that does “co-pilot”-level decision support to adops.
Research Efforts
  • Amazon
  • Facebook
  • Google
Venture Capital
  • Albert
  • Amenity Analytics
  • LiftIgniter
  • Persado
Amenity Analytics

An exemplar of the smaller-nimbler-smarter clones of the Watson genre.

  • A Watson-type experience, but cheaper
  • Does text mining of press releases
  • Reference customers:
    Pepsi
  • A spin-out from some hedge fund, <quote>origins in the hedge fund world</quote>
  • Nathaniel Storch, CEO, Amenity Analytics.
  • <zing!>“Think of it as ‘moneyball’ for media companies,”<zing!>, attributed to Nathaniel Storch.

Consumer

  • Siri, of Apple
  • Cortana, of Microsoft
  • Now, of Google

Who

  • Lou Aversano, U.S. CEO, Ogilvy & Mather (Ogilvy, O&M).
  • Jordan Bitterman, CMO, Watson (Business Unit), IBM.
    attributed in quoted material aso “earlier this year” (2017?); c.f. Michael Mendenhall
  • Kasha Cacy, U.S. CEO, UM
    UM is an agency.
  • Cameron Clayton,
    • General Manager, Content and IoT Platform, Watson (Business Unit), IBM..
    • ex-CEO, The Weather Company
  • Jacob Colker, “entrepreneur in residence,” The Allen Institute
    …quoted for color, background & verisimilitude.The Allen Institute is a tank for thinkers.
  • Jeremy Fain, CEO and co-founder, Cognitiv.
  • Chris Jacob, director of product marketing, Marketing Cloud, Salesforce(.com).
  • Eunice Kim, media planner, Toyota Motor North America (TMNA).
    …quoted for color, background & verisimilitude.
  • James Kisner, staff, Jeffries.
    …quoted for color, background & verisimilitude.
    Jeffries is an advice shop, like Gartner, but different.
  • Francesco Marconi,
    …quoted for color, background & verisimilitude.

    • strategy manager and AI co-lead, Associated Press
    • visitor, MIT Media Lab
  • Michael Mendenhall, CMO, Watson (BU), IBM.
    announced as CMO in prior press [Ad Week, Marty Swant, 2017-07-07].
  • Sara Robertson, VP of Product Engineering, Xaxis of WPP.
  • Joe Stanhope, staff, Forrester
    …quoted for color, background & verisimilitude.
  • Nathaniel Storch, CEO, Amenity Analytics.
  • Marty Wetherall, director of innovation, FallonFallon is the agency that certain campaign booked on Watson for H&R Block

Pantheon

  • Antoni Gaudi, architect (per civil engineering), citizen of Spain.

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