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OMD’s Ben Winkler On Ad Formats: You Can’t Go Wrong By Considering Consumers

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It took streaming video options and ad-free platforms to tip the scale, but the advertising industry has finally caught on to the importance of the viewer experience. “The big picture is that programmers are thinking today more about the user experience than they ever have before,” says OMD’s Ben Winkler, who will join a host of advertising and media executives at Beet Retreat in the City, scheduled for June 6 in Manhattan.

Titled Television Advances as Consumers Choose: The Beet.TV Town Hall, the event will bring together leaders in the advertising and media industry for a full day of conversation and interaction presented by LiveRamp, TiVo, true[X] and 605. Topics will include the rise of distribution platforms competing with linear TV, advanced audience targeting and how creative units are evolving to complement shifting consumer viewing preferences.

“Rewind only a couple of years and the Upfronts were about here’s our shows with almost no discussion about the things that make up fifteen, twenty percent of that hour, which is advertising,” Winkler says in this interview with Beet.TV. “I think we got to the point where even people in advertising realize and recognize the ad experience is not a great one, and that’s bad for the entire industry.”

When everyone starts to see “the entire experience, not just the shows, through the eyes of consumers, that’s when you start to get creative,” Winkler adds. “That’s when you start to deliver better experiences.”

The bottom line: help advertisers grow their businesses, regardless of whether their ads run six seconds or six minutes. “As long as it’s a good experience and not just the same thirty seconds one after another after another after another in a pod of eight or nine spots. That’s a good thing.”

OMD embraces the search for the most optimal ad experiences, according to Winkler. “We’re testing the hell out of it. No one has ever gone wrong by considering the consumer. And more and more, we’re seeing that shift happening.”