Interactive Advertising Bureau
13 June 2022

Interact 2022 Attendee Tells All

On 25th and 26th May 2022, IAB Europe hosted its annual, flagship event, Interact, in Madrid after a two-year virtual break. In this blog post, Interact attendee, İlhan Demir, IAB Academy Manager, dives into his experience of the two-day conference and awards ceremony. Are you hoping to join us next year? Then keep reading for a first-hand view!

The Venue

Circulo de Bellas Artes, one of the historical-cultural centres of Madrid, hosted the Interact Conference and Award Ceremony. The building, which is one of the important touristic locations in the city, provided unforgettable moments to all participants both in terms of architecture and with its terrace/city view, which can be entered with a museum card.

AdEx Benchmark 2021 Results

The conference's opening session was the results of the AdEx Benchmark 2021 European Digital Media Investments Report, which is eagerly awaited every year. According to the report prepared with the contributions of IAB Europe Chief Economist Daniel Knapp;

  • European Digital Advertising Market grew by 30.5% to achieve €92 billion.  
  • Audio grew by 50.2% across all markets, and Video also grew by an impressive 46.2% to €18.5billion.
  • The AdEx Benchmark Study highlights can be downloaded here.

After the session where the report was announced, Daniel Knapp and GroupM COO Lisa Humphreys shared their comments on the figures. According to the comments received, although the growth continued in double digits, the opinion is that there is still greater potential for further growth. It was stated that there will be more growth in areas such as Digital Out Of Home, Video on Demand, Retail Media, and Connected TV for 2022.

New Playground for Brands: Workday Consumer & Attention Economy

The emergence of the opportunity to work from anywhere, along with the pandemic, blurred the boundaries between the work and personal lives of employees, and also caused the emergence of two same personas, "employee mode" and "consumer mode" during working hours. Research results shared by Forrester EMEA Consulting Group's Senior Consultant, Asha Dinesh, defines the “workday consumer” as:

  • 60% have a mix of work and personal tasks on their to-do lists during work time.
  • 59% consider work and personal tasks of equal importance during worktime.
  • 63% spend more time on their work PC than before the pandemic.

On the other hand, according to the research, brands cannot gain the attention and contact of consumers with out-of-date consumer persona strategies. Changing social and working life dynamics show that brands can create more opportunities.

In the panel after the session, the experts emphasised the importance of reaching the consumer with the right call to action with the right advertising communication in the right medium, with the changing consumer behaviours after the pandemic.

It is coming…

 Thomas Servatius, Co-CEO of Smartclip MD Platform & Technology, shared his insights on the future of traditional and digital publishing:

  • Video, and especially widescreen video, will continue to be the most efficient format for branding.
  • Linear TV will continue to survive, even if it shrinks.
  • “Content brands” will continue to grow. Linear TV and digital advertising experience will converge.

One of the interesting points in the presentation was the information that the company started to replace the linear advertising spots in Germany and Spain with different advertising spaces specific to the audience. Of course, it is a matter of curiosity what kind of legal and commercial regulations will be required in order for this situation to spread to other countries.

In the connected panel, it was stated that the "consent" to be obtained from the viewer for personalised communication over Connected TVs should cease to be a competitive phenomenon and be valid for all platforms. The importance of implementing a holistic measurement approach and the ongoing efforts to standardize the metric differences between Linear TV and Connected TV were shared.

Retail Media: “I wonder what unit profitability was in 2017 without advertising” (Jeff Bezos) 

Another main topic of the first day of the conference was Retail Media. In the panel that took place after Daniel Knapp's detailed introduction presentation, predictions about the point and future of Retail Media were shared.

According to Daniel Knapp's review, sources for retail media budget growth in the US are listed as follows: Organic growth in Digital, Digital channels, traditional channels, commerce, sponsorship/events/promotions.

Although there are challenges such as infrastructure and process management for retail companies to enter the media business, companies from many different industries are expected to increase their investments in this field in the near future.

The Metaverse

Meta's EMEA Global Business Marketing Director, Carrie Timms, brought the participants together by narrating the possibilities of the Metaverse. She portrayed the developments that await us in many subjects such as education, technology, new job opportunities, security and privacy, through the Metaverse universe.

The New Role of Industry Associations During Crisis

In the last session of the day, IAB Ukraine CEO Anastasiya Baydachenko conveyed what happened with the war that started on February 24.

Although it is said that creative ideas emerge in times of crisis, it would not be wrong to say that war is a very extreme example. Baydachenko shared that even in this situation, many studies continue, such as bringing individuals together, ensuring correct information flow within the country and internationally, maintaining motivation and ensuring the continuation of activities. Baydachenko's speech received a standing ovation from the participants. 

And The MIXX  Award goes too…

Every year, MIXX Awards Europe and Research Awards Awards found their owners at the Interact Conference. Turkey was awarded a total of 6 projects, making it one of the countries that received the most awards. Congratulations again to the all-winning agency and advertiser teams.

For the full list of winners

 Premium Publisher Business Model in Digital Advertising

The first session of the second and last day started with a presentation from The Telegraph's Head of Commercial Success, Digital Innovation, Anthony Crocker. Sharing the changes they made regarding premium publishing, Crocker conveyed what can be done for a healthy reader experience:

  • Content renders first
  • Content does not move
  • One ad per screen as attention falls by half if more than two ads are visible
  • No overlays
  • Ad space is clearly defined

Brand Safety, Brand Attention, and Brand Impact metrics are of great importance to make the experience of the readers valuable. 

19% of subscribers engage with more meaningfully brand ads. 22% remember the brand they saw the ad for.

Although brands generally prefer the headline areas of the site, the most interacted pages stand out as article pages.

What did you do today for “sustainability”?

The last sessions of the conference were about the sustainability issue that has been talked about in Turkey for many years. The issue of sustainability has an important place in the policies of companies from both social and environmental aspects. While describing the changes involving the employees at Google, Google EMEA Head of Sustainability Adam Elman said that adding scooter and bicycle routes that will support fewer carbon emissions on Google Maps is among the near-term plans.

So how can we reduce carbon emissions in the supply chain?

By increasing the efficiency of data transfer: it is possible to change the infrastructure with faster processors and smarter data centres.

By reducing the amount of data being sent: By determining strategies for how and under what condition data is sent.

Supply the Internet with green energy only.

In fact, the steps to be taken are quite simple. Here, it is necessary to pay attention not only to technological steps but also to behavioural changes. Initiatives such as accurate targeting, avoidance of fraud, and even increasing the efficiency of asset transfer are very important. Extra mails, unnecessary downloads, etc. situations are significant triggers of extra carbon emissions.

See you next year!

And just like that, the two day conference came to an end. The event, which was attended by over 200 industry professionals from different countries, added a great motivation to the industry after the pandemic. Although it has not yet been announced which European city will host Interact next year, we hope nothing affect us all meeting in person again. And maybe one day, Istanbul will host Interact!




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