Condé Nast has joined the cloud and will use Flite to enhance delivery of rich media display ads across its portfolio.
Flite lets brands build, measure and update interactive ads real-time, integrating social, video, reviews, movie show times, weather, buy now, and live chat functionality, plus in-unit analytics, while the underlying technology includes the ability for ads to carry sharing icons for Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. “These ads are essentially mini Web pages,” said Flite CEO Will Price.
Leading brands and agencies already using Flite to create, distribute and manage campaigns include L’Oreal, CBS, Charles Schwab, Forbes, General Mills, IDG, Microsoft, P&G, Salesforce, Starcom Mediavest, The Atlantic Universal McCann, Sony Music, AMC Entertainment, Federated Media, Fox News Digital, LinkedIn, Orbitz, Time Warner Cable, Estée Lauder and Tribune Interactive.
The relationship with Flite moves Condé Nast from former client to eleven percent owner, placing the magazine publisher in an industry-specific leaderboard position for cloud computing, a space more often held by tech companies.
“We’re going to need a more scalable, more robust set of digital offerings that meet our consumers’ and marketers’ needs,” Robert A. Sauerberg, president told the NY Times. “We are actively, at Condé Nast, looking at a variety of targets to accomplish this strategy. We’re thinking about the equity structure with every opportunity that hits our desk.
This latest investment is one of a handful from Condé Nast including Trigger Media, creator of digital media companies and products; Ziplist, a digital/mobile shopping list and recipe service; and Moda Operandi, a fashion website.
As the brands-as-publishers movement grows, so does the debate over the health of display advertising in general. “We are constantly looking and trying to reimagine where content can go, and we saw a natural evolution while we were looking at display ads,” said Shafqat Islam, co-founder of NewsCred, a content licensing and syndication platform that partnered with Flite in June. “I don’t think a brand can have that special relationship with an audience without doing some publishing, but they won’t stop doing fundamental advertising,” added Islam.
Part of the brand shift to publisher is “a step toward re-humanizing advertising and developing emotional connections with content,” notes AdWeek, citing BuzzFeed president Jon Steinberg’s comment that social publishing forces brands to use a "lighter touch" and "love the user.” "Awareness, favorability and intention to purchase all go through the roof when you tie a social gesture to them.”
Noah Brier, co-founder of brand curation platform Percolate, says “the great brand awakening” is almost upon us, and that companies and advertisers soon realize, "I have to create good content to make a lot of money. When it comes to social content, you have to be more interesting than your audience's friends," reports Adweek.
Condé Nast is well-positioned to leverage social gesture and cloud technology. “Flite is a valuable addition to Condé Nast’s arsenal of development tools,” said Josh Stinchcomb, vice president of corporate partnerships. “Pairing it with our award-winning custom content and creative, we’ll be able to produce some of the most unique web ad experiences in the industry.”
With 18 consumer magazines, four B2B publications, 27 websites and 50-plus apps for mobile and tablet devices, Condé Nast is further solidifying its place in the digital ethers by ascending… into the cloud. Gives new meaning to the Rolling Stones’ 1965 chart-topper, "Get Off of My Cloud," when a cloud… was just a cloud.