IAB Now Argentina 2013: The importance of brand building and new metrics. Mobile: What’s ahead

The need for new metrics and to stop using clicks as a form of measurement was a common theme in several of the conferences. The importance of user selectivity and interaction were also salient themes. And mobile and the death foretold of the “Generation C” banner also occupied center stage.

IAB Now Argentina, organized this year by the IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) and the MMA (Mobile Marketing Association), was held yesterday in the city of Buenos Aires, at the Hoyts Cinemas of the DOT Baires Mall.

Around 2000 people attended the event yesterday, according to event organizers. With a nod towards being “interactive,” IAB Now Argentina 2013 offered a schedule of simultaneous sessions whereby each attendee could go to the theater hall holding the talk that interested them the most. The theme of this year’s event was “Come Understand how the Internet is Reaching Out of the Screen and into a New Dimension.”

iab.now.2013i IAB Now registration area. Source: Getty Images Latin America

Keynote speakers were Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of IAB USA; Laura González-Estefani Ramiro, Growth Manager LATAM at Facebook; Michele Tobin, Head of Brand Partnership, Rovio; and Cris Morena and Thomas Yankelevich, of Telefé.


“Let’s put aside the numbers and metrics for a second: Do any of you have any doubt that your customers are connected to the digital world?”, asked Alejandro Fishman, President of IAB Argentina, during his keynote address.

Fishman stated that the Internet is the most widely used media in Argentina after TV, making it an excellent complement to traditional media.

Digital ad spending reached 1.55 billion pesos in 2013, equivalent to 7% of the overall advertising budget spent in Argentina.


Fishman stated that mobile phone penetration in Argentina stands at 100%, with 33% accessing the Internet through this platform. Smartphones account for 30% of the country’s mobile penetration, which means feature phones make up the other 70%. Another interesting fact is that only 5% of Argentines turn off their cell phones.

Fishman closed the event’s opening address by stating that the specific way to reach consumers in the digital world is by “placing more trust in industry executives and professionals,” and that a good way to do this is to “spend more, invest more in digital.”

Fishman’s opening address was followed by Randall Rothenberg, CEO and President of IAB USA, who presented a rather tedious talk on IAB’s history and how the institution has evolved into its current form.

“I am not going to talk about the digital advertising industry overall, but rather about trends and activities that enhance the overall digital advertising industry”.

In the U.S., IAB represents 80 % of advertisers in digital media. In 10 short years, the Internet has become the largest media in the U.S., said Rothenberg.

“Is digital media going to be only about performance and not brand building?”

Randall Rothenberg, IAB USA. Source: Getty Images Latin America

Painting a “Chronicle of a Death Foretold” type of scenario, the IAB CEO predicted the end of two practices:  digital advertising as a medium based on performance and the use of traditional banners.

For Rothenberg, current standards are already obsolete and new formats are needed for display and banner advertising. “We need a new class of advertisers who understand that the focus is on interaction.”

Brand building

Duncan Southgate, Global Brand Director, Digital at Millward Brown, also talked about the importance of brand building in digital media and the need for a change in how metrics are used.

“Sixty-four percent of executives use clicks (CTR) as their fundamental metric, even though their marketing goals and digital media advertising campaigns are framed in a different direction.”

We need to “stop talking in terms of CTR and impressions,” said Paul Goode, Senior VP of Marketing, International at comScore. “Only 46 % of online ads are actually viewed by people,” he said. According to Goode, changing how we use metrics will be the only way to get bigger budgets for digital media.

Michele Tobin, Head of Brand Partnership & Advertising at Rovio, spoke about brand building for Angry Birds and on the power users and followers wield on social media for Rovio. In the end, building a successful brand for the company “is all about the fans,” he said. Tobin cited the case of how Angry Birds helped a guy propose marriage to his girlfriend through a special game screen as an example of how Rovio applies this philosophy to its users.


IAB Now closed with a session led by producer Cris Morena and Tomas Yankelevich , Content Director at Telefé. The session stressed the importance of thinking about content that overcomes “the division between offline and online” and how to create a 360-degree media strategy by presenting a detailed analysis of their “Aliados” (Allies) series.

“With the Aliados series, we want the channel to become a multi-platform. In October, we’ll be launching a video game of the series to generate more interaction with the viewer, as an addition to the apps that are already in place,” said Yankelevich.

Translated by Candice Carmel