Jenny Chan 陳詠欣
Jun 25, 2015

Cannes 2015: Yoyi Digital talks up 'Programmatic Plus'

CANNES - Roy Zhou, chief executive officer of Yoyi Digital, gave delegates a primer on 'Programmatic Plus' in China in light of Premier Li Keqiang's 'Internet Plus' plan unveiled on 5 March.

Roy Zhou on the Cannes' Experience Stage
Roy Zhou on the Cannes' Experience Stage

Programmatic buying has disrupted China’s digital advertising landscape, and is becoming one of the most influential methods for marketers to build their brand and drive performance, Zhou said.

With increasing fragmentation, advertisers now demand a unified programmatic platform covering PC, mobile, social, video, digital TV and more that can reach right audiences through the right screen at the right time.

The evolution of China’s programmatic buying scene is now shaped by the Chinese government's 'Internet Plus' national strategy. "It is unknown in Europe and the US, but in China, everyone is talking about it," he said.

For the first time since 1990, China's GDP growth dropped to 7.4 per cent. As the economy slows down, the government is using the ‘Internet Plus’ strategy to revitalise it. That means everything from encouraging everyone to be a tech entrepreneur to facilitating the coming together of offline industries through the internet.

"So 'Programmatic Plus' is very similar to 'Internet Plus', where programmatic buying is not just on online channels anymore, but on print, television and outdoor. Especially in China's US$100 billion TV industry, programmatic TV is the next-big-thing opportunity," he said. 

When the chairman of Haier announced that the brand will stop all advertising spending on print and shift it to the digital space, this is indicative of that opportunity, pointed out Zhou. The reason is quite simple: wastage. A high percentage of the audience on print is not who the advertiser wants, and even for the most popular online-video ads, approximately 30 per cent of all views are wasted.
But as programmatic becomes the mainstream buying method in China, some challenges remain despite the growth potential: data liquidation, standardisation of ad formats (there are 1,700 ad formats in China), and brand safety, he concluded.

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