What You Need To Know From IAB’s Guide To Branded Content

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has released a guide for branded content that includes definition, disclosure, best practices and how to measure a successful campaign.

Branded Content Creation and Distribution Guide” was developed by members of IAB’s Social Media/Native/Content Committee. The guide builds on the IAB Native Advertising Playbook from 2013, factoring in both creation and distribution as it relates to the current advertising landscape.

The guide is extensive, but here are the key marketing takeaways:

An Ad By Any Other Name . . . Is Still An Ad

There is still a great deal of confusion from ad buyers about what constitutes branded content, native advertising or sponsored content. IAB’s guide includes a list of definitions of brand-owned content, publisher-hosted and/or branded sponsored content and branded content distribution, aka native advertising, along with charge metrics.

IAB said that “branded content,” in the context of this guide, is synonymous with “sponsored content” and refers to content that is sponsored by or promoted by a brand that is non-promotional in nature.

Whichever type of branded content a marketer chooses, IAB stresses the importance of clear disclosure.

“Use language that conveys the advertising has been paid for, thus making it an advertising unit, even if that unit does not contain traditional promotional advertising messages,” the guide reads. “Be large and visible enough for a consumer to notice it in the context of a given page and/or relative to the device that the ad is being viewed on.”

Define. Evaluate. Activate.

“Developing and distributing branded content shouldn’t be hard,” wrote IAB committee member and Nativo senior vice president of strategy and operations. “The most important step in the process is defining a clear, creative strategy, including not only the type of content needed to achieve business objectives, but also the most effective means of distribution.”

IAB’s guide breaks down branded content strategy into three steps:

  1. Define your creative strategy and objectives,
  2. Evaluate content solutions, and
  3. Activate your content: disclose, distribute and measure.

The guide breaks this process down, posing questions to marketers about owned media channels and brand content they can repurpose, as well as when to consider the use of influencers.

Measuring Success: The 3 Types Of Engagement

There is no “one size fits all” for what constitutes a campaign’s success, IAB notes, adding that there may be metrics that are important in different circumstances depending on the type of content.

“Measuring the success of branded content marketing campaigns can be complicated given the nuances of various tactics, and also because the strategic objective of branded content initiatives is largely upper funnel related,” notes the guide.

The solution, IAB suggests, is the use of metrics as a denominator. These metrics are needed to present a clear picture of the effectiveness of the native campaign.

In addition to defining the three key industry metrics—awareness, engagement and consideration—IAB breaks down engagement metrics into three categories: cognitive, emotional and behavioral/physical.

Cognitive engagement includes how a consumer thinks about a brand after viewing its sponsored content. This may include brand awareness, brand message recall and a change in purchase intent. Cognitive engagement, the guide states, can be measured with the use of consumer surveys.

Emotional engagement includes how a consumer feels about a brand after viewing its sponsored content. This may include a change in brand perception or brand loyalty or even a physiological response. These responses can be measured with surveys or biometrics, in the case of physiological changes.

Behavioral/physical engagement includes how a consumer acts during and after viewing a brand’s sponsored content. This may include gaze time, click through rates and interaction, or as simple as a follow on social media. These engagements can be measured through eye tracking, web analytics, social analytics and social listening to observe how consumers speak about the brand in an offline setting.

“You may very well want to run a variety of different formats that will reach consumers in different ways for maximum impact,” the guide suggests. “This could include sequential messaging and native ad format sequencing as a tactical strategy that could potentially accelerate the consumer journey and purchase path.”

Gamers Spent $8.9B In March; ‘Fortnite’ Rules F2P Console

Global consumers spent $8.9 billion on digital video games in March, an increase of two percent (YoY), according to the latest figures by SuperData Research.

Console digital revenue was the primary driver of growth last month, SuperData reports, driven by Epic Games’ Fortnite. This growth helped offset single-digit declines in the free-to-play (F2P) PC and social game markets. Note: these figures do not include physical game sales.

Holding Down The Fort

Fortnite jumped two spots to the number one console game for March. In fact, it is now the largest F2P console game of all time in both revenues generated and monthly active users (MAU).

Epic Games’ zombie survival/battle royale title generated $223 million across console, PC and mobile in March, an impressive 73 percent increase from February. Brand partnerships with Drake and an unlockable skin that looks like John Wick contributed to the massive growth, said SuperData.

Fortnite is doing well across all platforms, too. It debuted on iOS at number one in terms of revenue and has the highest conversion rate of any free-to-play PC game in March.

Far Cry Fanfare

Ubisoft’s Far Cry 5 sold an estimated 2.5 million digital units across console and PC in March. Digital console sales of Far Cry 5 rose nearly 500 percent compared to the launch of Far Cry Primal two years ago.

“This points to not only the underlying health of the Far Cry series but also to growing digital download rates for AAA console games in 2018,” said SuperData with the findings.

Still Crushing It

In March, Candy Crush experienced its most successful month since 2014. SuperData noted that King’s flagship mobile title has shown double-digit year-over-year growth since mid-2017. Activision purchased King in February 2016.

Speaking of Activision, Call of Duty: Black Ops III is still holding an “impressive” audience despite being two games old. A new mode and map will be released this month to help sustain the active player community.

Tencent’s mobile kart-racing game, QQ Speed, meanwhile, has generated over $100 million in revenue for its third month in a row.

Dungeon Fighter Online held the top spot in March for PC games worldwide and generated the highest revenue of any Free-to-Play PC title. SuperData attributes this success to a limited event that celebrated the game’s third-year anniversary.

Facebook Q1 Ad Growth Unaffected By Cambridge Analytica, Unworried By GDPR

Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of his third committee in three weeks, this one made up of powerful figures that could substantively affect the future of his company and his place in it—a.k.a. Facebook investors.

Advertising Revenue Grows Like Clockwork

The company reported a 50 percent year-over-year increase in advertising revenue in Q1 2018, reaching $11.8 billion. Facebook’s revenue growth has been steady over the last three years, and this quarter is no exception.

Daily and monthly active users likewise increased at a steady clip, hitting 1.45 billion and 2.20 billion, respectively. Both of these figures mark 13 percent year-over-year growth.

This steady growth comes despite Facebook’s heavy tweaking its advertising policies at a steady clip this year, first banning cryptocurrency ads in March, then requiring political advertisers to disclose their funding sources just this week.

Even so, Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg warned that, due to the platform’s increasing ubiquity, investors should expect Facebook’s advertising revenue growth rate to flatten in coming quarters.

Total ad impressions across Facebook’s products, which include Instagram and WhatsApp, increased by 8 percent, and price per impression increased by 39 percent. Mobile continues to dominate Facebook’s advertising space, with its mobile advertisers making up 91 percent of its total advertising revenue.

Several callers expressed concerns about Facebook’s heavy focus on advertising as its primary revenue source, which both Zuckerberg and Sandberg shrugged off. The company stated it does not have any plans to monetize its marketplace or payment functions outside of ads.

“Advertising-supported businesses like Facebook equalize access and opportunity,” Sandberg declared instead of commenting on if the company has plans to create an ad-free subscription model.

Keeping A Brave Face On GDPR

The subject of GDPR came up frequently, though Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg expressed little concern that the landmark data privacy law would affect their bottom line. Because GDPR affects all platforms and advertisers equally, Facebook does not expect to lose much business even if advertisers become less able to target their advertisements. In essence, Facebook’s position on the effect of GDPR on advertising ROI is, “It’s not our problem.”

The company did caution that it expected new user growth in Europe to flatten or possibly shrink, though were quick to express that they were both not particularly worried and that they could not provide hard predictions as to its total effect.

Facebook has been busy moving as many of its users as possible outside of the EU’s jurisdiction (most of Facebook’s user data is stored in Ireland, a prevalent tech tax haven), but still promised to make all EU-mandated privacy tools available to all its users.

Investment In Privacy, Security

Zuckerberg’s concerns over the social good of Facebook figured heavily into the earnings call.

“We are taking a broader view of our responsibility and investing to make sure our services are used for good,” the Facebook CEO opened the call with. “But we also need to keep building new tools to help people connect, strengthen our communities, and bring the world closer together.”

In light of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and his recent testimonies in front of Congress, Zuckerberg announced plans to invest heavily in both research and staff to better protect privacy and safety on the platform, such as doubling its human moderation staff to 20,000 by the end of the year.

He also expressed high hopes for the ways that Facebook can better society in the future, again emphasizing his plans to optimize the platform for “connections” over “time spent.”

Multiplayer Games Drove 96% More Headphone Sales In March

The NPD Group has released its monthly report for sales on new physical video game products, as well as a subset of full-game digital downloads from participating publishers in NPD’s digital panel. Although not intended to cover total market/total consumer spend, the figures give us an idea of industry-wide trends.

March saw a drop in video game spending across hardware and software, while gaming accessories like cards and headphone sales grew dramatically as popular online multiplayer titles fuel the need for headsets.

Overall spending on hardware, software, accessories and game cards fell 11 percent year-over-year (YoY) to $1.3 billion in March. For the entire first quarter, however, sales grew 15 percent YoY to $3.4 billion across all categories.

The Sound Of Success

Headphones/headset sales grew 96 percent in March YoY and 78 percent year-to-date (YTD), which includes Xbox and PlayStation.

According to NPD video game industry analyst Mat Piscatella, headphone sales are driving accessories growth across both platforms, “likely driven by the increase in popularity of multiplayer games such as Fortnite from Epic Games.”

The most popular headset sold in March—and year to date—was the Xbox One Ear Force Stealth 600 wireless headset from Turtle Beach.

Cash For Consoles

Spending on Xbox One consoles has driven hardware growth up 13 percent to $925 million so far in 2018—the largest YTD total since 2014.

In March, the best-selling hardware item was the Nintendo Switch with 32G of memory and neon red/blue Joy-Con. This was also the most popular hardware item YTD.

Despite the success of its competitors, PlayStation 4 isn’t suffering—in fact, it remains the best-selling console hardware platform in March, meaning that more games were purchased for PS4 than Xbox One or Nintendo Switch. PS4 remains the best-selling console hardware platform YTD.

A Cult Following For Far Cry 5

Far Cry 5 debuted as the top-selling title of March and instantly became the best-selling title of 2018, NPD reported. Ubisoft’s tale of an American cult set a new launch month sales record for the Far Cry franchise, nearly doubling full-game purchases compared to Far Cry 3.

Sea of Thieves stole the number two spot for March and is the eighth best-selling game of 2018 so far. The popular pirate game was developed by Rare, a company known for hits like Banjo Kazooie and Golden Eye 007. Rare was purchased by Microsoft in 2002 and Sea of Thieves generated the highest launch month sales for any Rare-produced title since tracking by The NPD Group began in 1995.

Twitter Reports Second Profitable Quarter, Promises Ad Improvements

Twitter reported profit for its second consecutive quarter on Wednesday, touting video ad performance and attracting more users with updated features.

For the first quarter of 2018, Twitter reported $655 million, an increase of 21 percent year-over-year (YoY) and exceeding Reuters estimates of $608 million. A majority of that income was generated through advertising revenue, which totaled $575 million—an increase of 21 percent YoY.

Total ad engagements increased 69 percent YoY, the company reported, while cost per engagement (CPE) decreased 28 percent YoY.

Twitter’s plans for the upcoming year include new ad offerings and tapping “new channels of demand” such as online video. In addition, the company pledged to improve its core ad offerings through better performance and measurement, including ad platform improvements, self-serve measurement studies, and third-party accreditation.

Global engagement is growing for the social media platform as well. International revenue totaled $318 million in the first quarter of 2018, an increase of 53 percent YoY. Japan remains the second largest revenue market for Twitter, contributing $117 million for the first quarter—an increase of 61 percent YoY.

Twitter placed a large emphasis on video, especially on live streaming and brand partnerships. The company reported over 1,300 livestreamed events during the first quarter, 80 percent of which were streamed to a live audience.

“We continue to make Twitter easier to use with the launch of Bookmarks and video timestamps,” Twitter said in its letter to investors, “and we’re making it easier to follow topics, interests, and events with new, curated timelines of Tweets around breaking news events across different parts of Twitter.”

The social media site boasted 336 million monthly active users, again beating estimates. Although Twitter did not reveal a daily active user count, the company claims that the number grew 10 percent YoY.

While the first quarter was profitable, Twitter warned investors that sequential growth rates for the second half of the year will slow as they reach the anniversary of broad-based recovery last year. Revenue growth rates, as a result, may more closely resemble those of the second half of 2016.

Domino’s To Use AI To Take Over-The-Phone Pizza Orders

Domino’s is inching closer to enabling the American dream of eating a pizza without ever having to interact with another person in the process. The company is now testing a voice recognition–based AI pizza ordering platform as a replacement for human employees manually taking orders.

This step is no great leap for the company. The virtual ordering assistant, called DOM, has been around since 2014, but Domino’s plans to put the platform in charge of answering all of its franchises’ phones, assuming its test batch of 20 goes off without a hitch.

“We believe natural voice recognition is the future, as seen by the rise in virtual assistants, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home,” said J. Patrick Doyle, Domino’s president and CEO, in a statement. “More importantly, artificial intelligence provides great learning platforms that will enable us to do more to deliver convenience for our customers and better job experiences for our team members.”

The pizza chain’s phone ordering system has already been withering on the vine for some time. As of 2018, more than 65 percent of Domino’s sales in the US are transacted through digital platforms.

“With DOM on the phones, our AnyWare ordering technology and plans we have for future in-store technology, our goal is to one day be 100 percent digital,” Doyle added.

The company’s goals for the platform aren’t limited to the initial order, however. DOM will also act as voice-based version of the Domino’s Tracker, a service launched in 2008 that allows impatient customers to monitor exactly where in the pizza-making process their order is at any given moment.

“Some calls to the stores are from customers who have already ordered,” said Dennis Maloney, Domino’s chief digital officer in the press release. “Based on the phone number, this system will automatically determine if this is a new call or a follow-up.”

AI-based phone ordering is one of the least out-there digital investments Domino’s has made in the past, which have included a Facebook chatbot and its AnyWare initiative, which allows users to order a pizza just by texting a pizza emoji.

Diageo Fights Binge Drinking With Virtual Reality

While most consumers know better (or claim to know better) than to drink and drive, binge drinking is much more insidious of an issue. To spread awareness, Diageo has released an interactive virtual reality public service announcement depicting the consequences of binge drinking.

Made in partnership with VR filmmakers Jaunt, “Decisions: Party’s Over” tells the story of four friends at a farewell party, allowing viewers to see the consequences of binge drinking from each character’s perspective. When viewed on Oculus Rift or GearVR through Jaunt’s app, users can switch between points of view at will.

“We made the choice to break into VR with our social responsibility program because it gives us the proper medium to explore numerous dangerous drinking situations in a very real way,” said James Thompson, chief marketing and innovation officer for Diageo North America, in a statement.

The interactive experience demonstrates the most extreme consequences of binge drinking, which the company defines as imbibing more than five drinks for men and four for women, depicting one character’s death from alcohol poisoning and another’s sexual assault by a fellow partygoer—”binge drinking playing its part in an all too common crime,” the company’s press release reads.

This sort of “scared straight” approach has been effective for Diageo in the past: the previous installment in the company’s VR PSAs, entitled simply “Decisions,” displays a graphically fatal car accident caused by drunk driving and garnered almost 14 million views. According to a study done by the alcohol brand, 73 percent of the experience’s viewers claimed that they would stop other people from drinking and driving in the future as a result of the video.

“While drunk driving and underage drinking are at historic lows, binge drinking rates have remained stable,” added Thompson. “Our hope is to build on our previous successes with virtual reality to reach our audience on an emotional level and prevent future detrimental impaired decisions associated with binge drinking.”

For users that don’t have access to VR equipment, the experience is available in YouTube’s 360-degree video format, though its interactive elements are disabled.

Ready, Set, Privacy: A GDPR Checklist For Brands

GDPR is upon us. Here is a last-minute checklist to help businesses make sure they’re ready, from data classification to user interface changes, along with expert advice to avoid common pitfalls along the way.

First and foremost, don’t ignore GDPR. It’s easy to assume that if your company is based outside of the European Union (EU), GDPR won’t apply to you.

“We advise that US-based businesses still need to comply with (let alone care about) GDPR, for a few reasons,” Anne P. Mitchell, attorney, GDPR compliance consultant and author of Section 6 of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (the Federal anti-spam law) told AListDaily.

She warned that assuming GDPR won’t apply to your business can have dire—and expensive—consequences if that turns out not to be the case.

“You really have no way of knowing whether someone with whom you are interacting online is actually in the EU or not,” said Mitchell. “IP address geolocation is not only unreliable, but it is also prohibited by GDPR.”

Mitchell explained that GDPR prohibits companies from using automated means to determine information about a data subject, including location. In other words, companies cannot simply exclude a user from accessing a web page because they are located in the EU.

“Second,” she continued, “GDPR applies to ‘people in the union,’ not ‘residents’ or ‘citizens.’ If I, a US citizen, do business with your US-based e-commerce site with my US-based email account—but I happen to be mid-flight over Germany at the time—I am, at that moment, technically, in the union.”

Some Assembly (And Help) Required

GDPR compliance will take a global, group effort. Here are some steps businesses should take to make sure everyone is ready by May 25.

  • Appoint a data protection officer (DPO) and create awareness among chief decision makers about the GDPR guidelines.
  • If you are outside the EU, appoint a representative in the EU.
  • Train staff to be aware of new data requirements.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has also released a set of tools to help attain GDPR compliance.

Classify Your Data For Proper Handling

Much as you would label packages “urgent,” “fragile” or “return service requested,” all data collected and stored by a company must be classified to ensure that sensitive information is handled properly. Correctly labeling data should also raise awareness to the end user so that they understand what information is stored and how it will be used.

Data classification is typically the responsibility of the chief information officer (CIO) or chief information and security officer (CISO). In order to ensure compliance, make sure your technical data is up to date so that it can handle data classifications properly as well as requests from users.

Time For A User Interface Makeover

Make sure users can easily:

  • Request access to their personal information
  • Update their own information to keep it current
  • Request that their information be deleted
  • Request that your company stop processing their data
  • Request that their information be transferred to them or a third party

Even if you’re not sure that GDPR applies to your company, becoming compliant makes good sense, Mitchell explained, adding that companies should announce GDPR compliance right on their websites, marketing materials, etc.

“At a time when data security (and lack thereof) is front and center on consumers’ minds, being able to say you are GDPR compliant is a huge plus in terms of giving consumers peace of mind,” said Mitchell.

Knowing Is Half The Compliance Battle

It’s a big world, and the internet connects us all. You never know who is accessing your business’ website or services and where they are at the time. For that reason, Mitchell says it’s better to be safe than sorry—and fined €20 million (nearly $25 million USD) or four percent of a business’ gross annual worldwide income, whichever is higher.

“GDPR specifically states that they will go after anyone—anywhere—who violates GDPR with respect to someone ‘in the union,’” warned Mitchell. “Plus, GDPR also has a private right of action, meaning zealous individuals will be filing their own grievances against companies wherever those individuals feel their rights under GDPR have been violated.”

According to a report by Crowd Research Partners, 60 percent of companies admitted that they are likely to be in breach of the law by the GDPR compliance deadline, and close to a third have not even started the compliance process. Will you be ready?

Editor’s Note: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Companies seeking GDPR compliance should consult legal counsel prior to making decisions regarding data privacy.

Facebook Now Requires Political Advertising Disclosures

At long last, Facebook is putting one of its transparency principles into practice, requiring all political advertisers disclose their identity and personal address to Facebook, and disclose their funding source to the public.

The program is currently limited to political and issue ads in the US, meaning that advertisers hoping to influence elections in other regions need not change their strategy just yet. However, Facebook promises that the policy will be expanded to the rest of the world “in the coming months.”

“In order to get your Page authorized to run political ads, we need to know that there’s a real person who has US residency who is responsible for the Page, and we need to know who’s funding the political ads,” the company states in its Facebook political ads guidelines.

Advertisers that abide by this new policy will see their political ads displayed as normal, but with a header declaring the ad to be a “Political Ad,” and a disclaimer displaying the ad’s source of funding “as provided by the advertiser.”

“We’re making these changes to increase ad transparency and as part of our election integrity efforts on Facebook and Instagram,” the company declared, but as its new policy operates at the moment, it’s doubtful that it will have any substantive effect on Facebook political ads.

To start, the authorization process only requires one of a Page’s admins to provide proof of US residency—a roadblock easily circumvented, given how simple it is to change Page administration privileges. Additionally, political ad funding disclosures are entirely self-reported and unverified by Facebook itself, meaning that users can easily just lie if they choose to.

“We’ll review your entry against our advertising policies, but you’re responsible for making sure your ad complies with any applicable law,” the company states.

Furthermore, the Facebook political ad disclaimer will not appear beside the post if it is shared organically, negating the original purpose of the disclosures if they are spread through word-of-mouth.

“An ad that a person sees and chooses to post is now a piece of organic content rather than an ad,” Facebook states.

All of these quibbles aside, Facebook’s new policy leaves doubts as to the effectiveness of a small header at mitigating the effectiveness and spread of vitriolic or misleading ads in the first place.

Overall, the new policy seems to be obeying the letter of election transparency law rather than the spirit, bringing Facebook legally in the clear without making much of a dent in the actual problem.

At Tribeca, Brands Like Kia And IBM Are Part Of The Experience

In recent years the Tribeca Film Festival has differentiated itself from other film festivals to focus on inclusion and innovation. In 2018, 46 countries are represented at the festival with many official selections from female directors as well as female-centric ones, and those focused on activism.

On the innovation side, Tribeca has emphasized immersive film, gaming and virtual reality entertainment. But alongside all the films, brands have become a cornerstone of the festival’s messaging and occupy Tribeca’s pavilions and theaters in different capacities: engaging with attendees and audiences through various activations like panels, branded films or awards and interactive experiences.

Jeweler Bulgari kicks off the start of its three-year partnership by working with Tribeca Studios to create two short films premiering at the event, both about Italian women entering professions or interests that are historically dominated by men. The two films are Conducting a Revolution, a documentary about Conductor Speranza Scappucci, and The Litas, which follows three women motorcyclists.

Another new sponsor partner is Kia, which is showcasing its 2018 Kia Stinger as its entry into the luxury category. Attendees can step into the car and star in a 4.7 second video that can be shared on social media. Green screens are placed on the windows, creating the illusion of going 0-60 in 4.7 seconds, while “drivers” recite whatever dialogue they can fit into the time.

“The folks at Tribeca watched our brand grow and do some exciting things over the past few years, and they felt that our [brand] would a be a good fit for their audience,” Kimberley Gardiner, director of marketing communications at Kia Motors America, told AListDaily. “They were looking for an automotive partner, and we were looking to expand our footprint to the East Coast after some success at the Sundance Film Festival.”

Gardiner explained that Kia learned from Sundance that film festival attendees tend to be highly engaged and they appreciate experiences that get them behind the scenes with the creators of content.

“I look at marketing and advertising as a spectrum,” said Gardiner, “so there’s a need for us to create different messages in the marketplace. There’s a variety of different ways we like to invite people into our brand and learn about our products; everything from traditional advertising to social media, digital advertising and events like Tribeca where they can experience our cars are all being leveraged and utilized.

“We’re a small company with a small budget and big aspirations. So, we have to work with partners can get the sense of who we are, what we want to talk about, and what we want people to experience.”

Longstanding sponsors of the Tribeca Film Festival include AT&T, which has been collaborating with Tribeca on its Untold Stories project to feature underserved voices in film, including women and minorities. Nigerian Prince, the winner from 2017, is premiering at the festival, and this year’s winner Lucky Grandma, is expected to launch in 2019.

“AT&T Presents: Untold Stories is a celebration of diversity and inclusion in film. It gives an opportunity to the creative minds who need a platform to tell their unique stories,” said AT&T chief brand officer Fiona Carter. “We are honored once again to shine a light on brilliant filmmakers. Faraday Okoro’s winning film from last year, Nigerian Prince, is a testament to the unwavering power of this program.”

IBM is entering its third year as signature sponsor by hosting a Future of Film panel series that pairs filmmakers with technology experts to explore “the intersection of business and technology and new areas where the media and entertainment industry continues to innovate,” said Ray Oram, vice president of communications at IBM North America.

Oram explained that the Tribeca Film Festival connects IBM with audiences it might not normally reach through traditional channels, since the event also does programming around video game development and immersive entertainment such as virtual reality, which are big focuses for the company.

IBM takes a broad view of the attending audience, with the understanding that it’s a multidimensional group of people. Many come to the festival to see films and talk about entertainment, but there are also professionals from a wide range of disciplines, all with “a shared interest and passion for exploring new opportunities to change the way the world works,” which falls squarely into IBM’s market.

In terms of ROI, “[We measure returns] through some classic means, but it’s also about whether there are new partnerships being formed through the people that we meet,” Oram explained. “Each year builds upon itself, in that we sometimes form relationships as business partners. The broader view is not necessarily a classic marketing view. [As] we get more developers to recognize what they can do with our technology and services, there’s going to be longer term growth.”

Tribeca may not be the biggest festival around, but in aligning itself with like-minded brands that are willing to help create experiences for audiences it also furthers its mission of inclusive and innovative storytelling.

“Tribeca serves as a platform for our partners to tell deeper stories and develop exciting and interactive brand experiences,” said Tribeca Enterprises chief operating officer Pete Torres, “not just for the Tribeca community of industry and creators premiering work with us, but the general audiences that are culturally curious and make up a large part of our attendees.”