Observations from a non-Ad:Tech London Virgin - Melville Solutions
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-16341,single-format-standard,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,side_area_uncovered_from_content,qode-theme-ver-7.6.2,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.1.1,vc_responsive

Observations from a non-Ad:Tech London Virgin

15 Oct Observations from a non-Ad:Tech London Virgin


After DMEXCO,  I attended the next big event on the European Marketing Tech Tour – Ad:Tech, London. This tour is a B2B haven that allows companies to showcase their products and services in a mixed group: Clients, Agencies, Media companies, Auditors, Investors, Tech companies, and consultants, like me.

Fellow attendees said that Ad:Tech, London is a poor man’s DMEXCO, as attendance numbers are significantly lower and there are no 2 storey stands that cost millions of dollars.  Nevertheless, there were some exciting products and highly driven people.  It was also still fresh in people’s minds that Ad:Tech was recently sold.

You might have read in my DMEXCO blog how advertisers and brands are still reviewing how to use digital (“which tech is best?”, “how do I use it?”, “do they really offer what they are talking about?”) but also the theme of digital ownership and transparency with agencies was visible.   This coincided with an article in Digiday about how Deutsche Bank are looking to build an in-house programmatic platform – read here.  The quote from Gerhard Louw, Deutsche Telekom’s senior manager of International media management, sums up the thinking:

“The transparency issue with some of the agencies taking the role as buyer and seller of media has accelerated clients’ desire to be more in control of the ad tech and the data flow. Advertisers don’t know where their money goes in digital, and with so many middlemen in the value chain, we are not sure what each of them earn, so we want to take back that control of data and the flow of money,”

We all know that the big players (Unilever, Procter & Gamble, American Express, Walmart and MoneySupermarket etc.) are building their own programmatic platforms.  Interestingly it is moving slowly to towards the smaller sized players and companies like Admedo were at Ad:Tech London who can help these companies do this.

What was interesting at Ad:Tech was looking at the new tech start ups.  Yes, there were some great speakers and topics but for me, the appeal was to be able to talk without pressure to the ‘new’ and ‘not-so-new’ companies.

There was an area with small stand space for start ups, who naturally couldn’t afford the big stand costs.  Next to it was another start up space called The “Next Big Thing” (NBT).  It was for start ups who has been shortlisted in a competition to pitch for the chance to win a pilot worth up to (US) $50,000 via The Unilever Foundry as well as £5,000 prize money. If you want to know the winner read until the end of this article…

It was valuable to see the different benefits to marketing they offered, not just advertising but also research, anti-fraud, sampling and e-commerce.   It was interesting to see how they marketed themselves and their products and services.  As the MMS Perception Pyramid shows – a brand might know what they offer but it needs to synch with what their customers think they offer.

Here are a few of the companies that I spoke to and thought should be shared – see below.

Note that ‘<>’ means that they were in the NBT competition.

 Creative use of Digital Formats

  •  <> Eyesee – digital ads are placed on a page according to the environment, tone and set up of the page. They are placed in real time and in different locations to make the ad more visible and appealing to the reader.  I liked their ability to add another layer of creativity and dynamism to existing creative but that is also not too in the face of the reader.

Other companies –

  • BannerFlow – a suite to create digital ads very quickly and cheaply and that is HTML5 friendly. Creative agencies watch out!
  • Bannercity – a team that builds online as cheaply and at scale. From South America, the land of digital creativity!
  • <> Adverdose –social media friendly video creation service.
  • Opennr – a new digital creative.


Call to Action

  • <> Adimo – very dynamic format and tech that allows readers on all digital platforms (websites, social media etc. ) to speedily purchase products, such as adding cereal to specific user’s shopping basket and account within a few clicks, and not going away to that user’s account on a supermarket’s website.
  • <> Sopost – great way for brands to send samples to customers and leverage the power of the customer voice through social.
  • Quikkly – taking QR codes to the next level. They were actively used at Ad Tech.


Research and Insight

  • <> Relative Insight – technology that scans the webs for discussions about anything.   Based on Language it gives unique insight into customer attitudes, including insight how Disney could improve their marketing of StarWars – they can do better.
  • <> Watchmycompetitor  – useful tool to track news about any brands across the web.
  • Adclarity – digital competitive tracking, including on programmatic spend. They have recently agreed a partnership with Kantar Media.  It is useful to see what competitors are doing online – how much, what creative and where.



  • – a new way to verify the quality of digital ads using behavioural checking.
  • <> Cablato – a new system in the programmatic space that collects data and fires out to the right space.


Finally, and back to the past, I spoke to a media agency where I used to work: Starcom Mediavest.  They are a leading force for media agencies to find and partner with the right tech solutions through their programme NextTECHnow.  This allows start ups to approach a big media agency and work with them on how to take their business to the next level.


So, a lot of the new and not-so-new.  I look forward to tracking what will stick and not stick. I also hope that I have given you some insight into Ad:Tech, London and saved you the cost of the trip here.


If you have any comments or want to know more, feel free to get in touch


Also, the winner of  TNBT was – here

TNBT winner


No Comments

Post A Comment
We have a passion and commitment towards marketing. Let us show you! Please get in touch with any questions or comments.