Advanced Ad: TWC’s Lapa Says Innovators Must Stay Nimble

Web video grows in value, but tell that to the guy selling sandwiches

Successfully navigating the rapidly changing ad sector in a multiplatform media world requires open-mindedness and flexibility at every turn.

That was a central theme of the kickoff keynote session featuring Time Warner Cable’s Warren Lapa at Tuesday afternoon’s Advanced Advertising event, presented by Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News at New York’s Roosevelt Hotel.

“It’s really about striking the balance between traditional TV and the way consumers are using devices and directing their experience,” said Lapa, group VP of digital products and business development. “And what’s interesting is the vast differences between all of our advertisers. It’s everyone from national brands to local franchisees. …. That guy who owns three Subway restaurants only cares about whether you’re moving the needle on his stores. It’s not about CPMs.”

Moderator Jeff Baumgartner, technology editor of Multichannel News, asked Lapa about TWC’s second-screen approach.

“I can say that if you have a device in one hand while you’re watching your big-screen TV, you are probably less likely to skip ads because your hands are full,” Lapa quipped. “That device may be the ultimate defense against ad-skipping.”

Given his exec role in leading TWC’s charge into developing technology, Lapa was asked, both by Baumgartner and an audience member, about the valuation of web video by comparison to traditional linear programming. Lapa cited a stat that online ad pods placed on longform video content have an 80% completion rate.

But when the audience member wanted to know whether clients value online accordingly, he said, “It depends on the source. A digital buyer and a traditional buyer will give you different answers.” But the important thing in the advanced ad game, he added, is to be open to any way forward.