How the IAB Intends to ‘Help Legacy Brands Evolve’ in a Shifting Digital Video Landscape

A year after 'a call to action,' what's changed?

The IAB’s incoming chairman says, ‘We have to make measurement make sense.’ - Credit by Getty Images
Headshot of Chris Ariens

When video publishers, media buyers, brands and ad tech meet in Palm Desert, Calif., today for the annual Interactive Advertising Bureau Leadership Meeting, the incoming chairman of the group has one goal: “to help legacy brands evolve.”

“What needs to happen today is that these pieces of the media jigsaw puzzle need to come back together,” said Scott Schiller, evp and gm of marketing, advertising sales and client partnerships at NBCUniversal and a founding member of the IAB. “Every single aspect of the supply chain is guilty of putting self-interest over the interests of the industry. That’s a legitimate conflict.”

Schiller said when the IAB was created in the mid-1990s, its first two decisions were how to measure media and how to create terms, conditions and a standardization. Since then, the challenge has been keeping up with the evolution of the digital video space.

Schiller pointed to last year’s meeting when Procter & Gamble CMO Marc Pritchard delivered “a call to action” for broad adoption of recognized viewability standards.

“Since then, the amount of work to reduce fraud and raise standards have followed suit, making measurement make sense,” Schiller said. “We have to make measurement make sense. The truth is measurement still doesn’t make sense.”

Schiller, who officially begins his one-year term as chairman today, said creating better metrics, combating ad fraud and ensuring brand safety must involve all of the IAB’s stakeholders.

“The agencies used to be in the middle,” he said. “Today, there’s a much more extensive supply chain. The media people need to sit alongside the client to architect much more media planning discussions. I view this meeting as a galvanization of that and a discussion of what the ecosystem is today.”

Companies represented at this year’s gathering range from Glossier and Google to Inc. magazine and AppNexus to brands like Unilever, AT&T and ad agency Wieden+Kennedy.

Schiller, who has been at NBC for nine years, has held digital sales and marketing roles at AOL, Disney and Viacom and has worked in the brand space for Pepsi and General Foods. He’s seen his role evolve from strictly sales to being a creative partner for brands.

“To me, the most interesting aspect is how do we help marketers and publishers create the best content,” he said. “Video should be video, but like everything, all video isn’t created equal. The best content will lead to the best engagement.”

Schiller said that “monetization of content” underpins the IAB’s various functions.

“It is our obligation to train our teams and our industry to think bigger,” he said.

@ChrisAriens Chris Ariens is the managing editor and director of video at Adweek.