The New York Times is struggling to sell all of its ad space

The New York Times is making ads for the future — but where’s the money right now?:

According to Haskell, the New York Times‘ digital story-telling machinery is appealing to companies as a way to convey heritage and complicated brand stories. He adds that clients like Prudential say they have had tremendous response to their campaigns, including huge lifts from social media.

But despite the promise of such ad tools — and clever platform tools like Ricochet and Sparking Stories – the Times’ overall ad performance is limping. Recent earnings results show that digital ad sales are not just flat but actually declining — a troubling development at a time when digital revenue is supposed to stabilize the company as it faces a permanent decline in its print business.

Haskell says the company has been unable to pre-sell all its inventory, and attributes the overall ad challenges to two factors — “an explosion of inventory from social channels” (read Facebook) and the rise of automated or “programmatic” buying which lets advertisers purchase digital ads on real time exchanges.

Why isn’t The New York Times using programmatic ad buying? Haskell, the company’s VP of advertising, thinks that their reader data and performance metrics can woo companies over from more automatic ad placement options. Why not give advertisers access to those metrics as part of a programmatic buying toolset?

Patrick Miller takes a look at games journalism

patrick miller writes about videogames — RIP 1UP: A meditation on where games journalism is going:

So, instead, we rely on advertisers to subsidize our costs so we can offer the publication for cheap or free. Essentially, we have two masters; the readers, who demand quality (and can take their eyeballs elsewhere if they’re not getting it), and the advertisers, who demand reader eyeballs (so they can increase awareness of their product so that you will buy it). These are two separate but parallel transactions: The editors tell the readers, “Hey, you should come here and read all the awesome news reporting/in-depth features we have, for free” and the ad salespeople tell the advertisers, “Hey, you can get a picture of your product right next to an article that someone is reading!” For one transaction, the product is the publication; for the other transaction, the product is your eyeballs. 

Sounds a lot like what we what we hear about most other kinds of journalism nowadays. Online publishing is going to have to find a workable business model over the next few years or we’re going to keep going through this same pattern of shrinking and consolidation – and SEO bullshit and link-baiting.

Mercedes-Benz CLA Super Bowl ad

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPNr0_6MnDo]

Willem Dafoe was a perfect choice for this ad. Forbes has an article with some of the specs, for the car nerds out there:

I’ll be very interested in driving the turbocharged 2.o-liter in-line four cylinder engine mated to a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission and monitoring the transparency of the ECO stop/start function. The engine has 208 horses and 258 foot-pounds of torque to move the estimated 3,264 pounds of curb weight. Top speed is 149 MPH.

Not quite as impressive as my favorite sports sedan, the BMW 335i. But I won’t hold it against Mercedes for $15,000 in savings.