Accountability in advertising

Fighting words from Gabe Laydon, CEO of Machine Zone, one of the largest buyers of advertising in the world. Definitely will spark a debate between those on all sides of the advertising ecosystem. 

I don't agree with everything he says ... in fact, for some companies, at certain stages in their evolution, brand advertising matters a great deal. However, his call for accountability, traceability and precision in media spend, and in particular the need for trackable ROI, is compelling.

Excerpt below and the full video from the original re/code article.

Do you hate TV ads? Gabe Leydon does, too.

Except, unlike you, Gabe Leydon buys lots of TV ads: He runs Machine Zone, the game company behind all of those Mobile Strike ads with Arnold Schwarzenegger you’ve been seeing for the past few months. And the Kate Upton Game of War ads you saw last year, too.

Leydon buys those ads because he says he has to buy those ads. But he thinks they are terribly inefficient, as is almost all brand advertising: The stuff that Google, Facebook and everyone else on the Web would very much like to move online.

That’s a terrible idea, Leydon told the crowd at Code/Media last week, because almost all brand advertising is nothing more than a slush fund that feeds lazy advertisers, publishers and networks, who want to avoid accountability.

Real advertising, he argues, is the kind he buys for his games on mobile platforms like Facebook, which provide instant, precise accountability for the dollars he spends.

When Leydon laid this out for the Code/Media attendees, he freaked out most of the room — presumably because he was telling most of the room that they needed to get new jobs, stat.

It’s also possible that Leydon’s argument isn’t as strong as he thinks it is, since many advertisers want to sell things that can’t be purchased via your phone the way mobile games are. And that figuring out how to sell that stuff is always going to involve science and art, as MediaLink COO Wenda Harris Millard argued at the end of Leydon’s session.

Sunday Sessions: Experimental Reggae

Sat down this weekend to work on a new track, and in fact, a completely new genre for me.

Despite having been born in Jamaica, I have never tried my hand at Reggae, although I have always been a fan.

This track, built with the help of the Black Arc Expansion pack from Native Instruments, blends some Reggae, Dub, Cuban and Calypso inspired themes. Still a work in progress.

Passing Time On Planes

I fly somewhere between 340-400K KMS each year, and that (obviously) implies spending hours on planes.

Although I tend to work one way, often catching up on the deluge of eMails that piles up in my inbox, I try to take some time and recharge on the way back.

In my case, this involves writing music. For me, it's not only a great way to stimulate a completely different part of my brain, there is something about the process of creation that is all consuming and makes time pass very quickly.

I carry a very smart little keyboard from CME called the xKEY. It is low profile, fits in any knapsack or shoulder bag alongside a laptop, and yet is velocity sensitive, complete with after touch. In fact, all you need is an xKey, a Laptop, and your favourite DAW, and you have a fully functional recording studio at 40,000 feet. 

On the flight back from London yesterday, I spent some time on a new piece of music, enjoying and leveraging some fantastic instruments from Edwardo Tarilonte in addition to a new vocal instrument from Output, called Exhale. I would recommend you checking both of them out. I have barely scratched the surface of these libraries, and they are unreal.

So for what it's worth, here is the track that kept me occupied on the 7.5 hour flight across the atlantic yesterday, as did the unbelievable "alien" clouds (as you can see in the picture below). Caveat: the piece is still very much a work in progress. 

Latest Remix Project: Carmina Burana

As a challenge, perhaps jokingly, a friend suggested that I try a remix of Carmina Burana.

This is a wonderful piece of music, but not a trivial one to work with as (a) it changes key, and (b) it often changes tempo ... not to mention having a wide range of moods and tonality.

Here is the first draft (and very much still a work in progress) of three of the movements. The main elements of Carmina were extracted using Native Instruments Traktor, with additional voices  from the Komplete library played in on an AKAI MPK225 and a Native Instruments Komplete S62.

Update On The Four Horsemen

A must see presentation from Scott Galloway of NYU Stern, on the Four Horsemen of the internet (Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook), who is winning and who is losing, and why Apple may very well be the first trillion dollar company. 

Fasten your seatbelt, it's an action packed few minutes. 

Another 2 hour project

Another cold weekend by the fire, and another 2 hour project in the morning while the family sleeps; this time, starting with the excellent NEON Maschine Expansion Pack from Native Instruments, and selected components from the demo track "Fever Line". A wonderful way to explore what is possible with Maschine and the Komplete Library.

Another Weekend Project

On a snowy, cold day in Toronto, what better way to pass the time than working on a new track. This time, a down tempo, chill-out vibe ... perhaps inspired by the dreary conditions outside, and the dream of warm outdoor evenings that surely must only be months away. 

2 Hour Project

Sat down on a dreary Toronto morning and gave myself a 2 hour window to deliver something end-end. This track leverages the excellent Drop Squad Expansion Pack for Maschine. 

I gave myself a bit of a head start with the "Back To Dub Roots" sample project. The rest was played in on Maschine Studio, and my tiny CME xKey travelling keyboard. Track was mastered on-line with LANDR.

Despite having used Bigwig for a number of months now, getting back to Maschine was a breeze thanks to the workflow of Machine Studio.