From BlueKai to AI: The Adventures of Omar Tawakol

By Martin Kihn | January 30, 2018

Swimming in the red ocean of ad networks in the mid-2000’s, BlueKai was fish of a different color: a company that wasn’t trying to sell you ads or buy them for you, but rather offered information about people. Were they…


Ad Tech Undertones: A Conversation with Eric Franchi

By Martin Kihn | January 17, 2018

Eric Franchi may be the best-developed investor in ad tech – and not just because he’s mastered the intricacies of competitive weight lifting. Co-founder and ex-domo of the ad network-turned-creative platform Undertone, sold in 2015 for $180 million, Franchi is…


The Marketing Clouds: A Journey Into 2018

By Martin Kihn | January 04, 2018

We’ve looked at marketing clouds from both sides now, up and down – and still, somehow, it’s their illusions that we recall. Do we really know marketing clouds at all? As the godfather of one of the big clouds told…


Good News for Ad Humans: Creativity Counts

By Martin Kihn | December 20, 2017

In the spirit of the holidays, we bring real news: creativity matters, at least in advertising. We’ve been admiring two recent studies of the elements of campaigns that really toss up the tinsel and palpate the pitch … the kinds…


Taylor Swift Delivers a Master Class In Marketing

By Martin Kihn | November 21, 2017

So we finally have it, Reputation, after waiting since the MTV Video Music Awards last August: Taylor Swift’s sixth album, a 55-minute oleo of fifteen tracks on the theme of a young woman’s broken, broken heart. We won’t comment on…


“Hot Dog Or Not?”: Don’t Fear the A.I.

By Martin Kihn | November 10, 2017

Let’s admit that A.I. and related topics are quite the soup of the moment. Here’s a glimpse at Google Trends over the past couple of years: And Gartner’s most recent CMO spending and strategy surveys show nothing but green arrows…


Ad Tech’s ‘Godfather’: Dr. Boris Speaks

By Martin Kihn | October 18, 2017

In a world gone wild with self-promotion, Dr. Boris Mouzykantskii does not have a Wikipedia page and barely registers in a routine search. Yet ad tech majordomo Terence Kawaja of LUMA Partners calls him “the Godfather,” saying “much of the industry…


36 Advertising Stats: A Cheat Sheet

By Martin Kihn | October 09, 2017

Note that these numbers are rounded, sometimes seriously so. Any marketer could memorize them. Let’s start with a picture: Big Picture Global ad spending: $500B U.S. ad spending: $200B Yearly growth rate: +4% Brand spend vs direct response: 50 /…