AdForum, Best Ads on TV, Ads of World, David Reviews: Ad gold or coal mine?

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I'm Russell Glenister, founder and CEO of Curation Zone, who algorithmically analyse the world’s top freelance creative talent sources, digitally curating THE BEST OPTIONS into a frictionless, RANKED searchable index.

We are soft launching our SaaS platform, 9th July. As part of this launch I'm 3 posts into 6 blogs I plan to release by then; each of the 6 will relate to at least one of the eight source platforms we currently analyse - we'll have a total of 18-20 source platforms included as part of our SaaS offering, within months.

Today the platforms in focus are AdForum, Best Ads on TV, Ads of the World and David Reviews.
2020 was a bad year for the Advertising industry and a bad year for some of the source platforms that follow their fortunes. All four of AdForum, Best Ads on TV, Ads of the World and David Reviews rely on Advertisers to post their Advertising content, with associated credits, onto their sites. This way they can keep up to date with which Creative Agencies do what, where and when. They can also see what Production and Creative talent are up to as part of the credits that are added to the posts.

All platforms are primarily driven by TV and Print data - covering which TV Commercials and Print Ads are made, by whom and in which territories. Without Agencies, Brands or Production companies posting this data these platforms are basically data-less.

We use all our source platforms, including these, to gather data on Production and Creative talent, however, much of the data we get from these Ad platforms is a little old.

If the last Production talent credit data uploaded to any of these sites was from 2019, as we have found on too many occasions to count, what value does that bring? How is the data relevant to today?

A search for TV/Film Editor, across all these platforms brings up some interesting and often excellent choices, however, there is little data on any of them that is less than two years old. A number of the talent, either Production or Agency, are not employed where the platforms claim they are, as most all of the talent do not - seem to - perceive these platforms as relevant any more and therefore do not update their profiles, where required.

The most recent work for Lenny Mesina, an established Film Editor, is from 2018.


It's a similar story across the board. So, if these platforms are of little use for finding up to date data on Production and Agency talent, what is their value?

Even basic Agency data is very often much out of date. Would I use any of these platforms if I was a Brand looking at Agency data? No, I am not sure I would.

As the Advertising world moves away from TV and Print is there a place for these platforms, as they currently function? They have each tried to embrace other mediums, such as Digital, but without playing any significant role in bringing true comparison.

The combined Ad count for Print and TV(film) was (just before Covid 19) around 70% of the Ads showcased and Digital was around 10%. The remainder was largely made up of Outdoor and Ambient. The balance is now changing, but not significantly, from what we see.

Combined with the other data we collect, the Brand, Agency and talent data is undoubtedly valuable, but from a stand along perspective, they seem to bring little that can't be found elsewhere.

I don't want to sound critical of any of the platforms as they all got caught in the crosswinds of Covid 19 and fewer Ads being made, especially for TV. There has been at least a 50% reduction in the amount of Ads that were posted from 2019 to 2020, this of course is not the platform's fault, but the issue for each of them is, how to remain relevant?

Are any of these platforms going to retain their elevated status, post 2020?


Anyone using any of these platforms to discover creative talent will find that many of the creative's, work at Ad Agencies, so, if you need a Sound Engineer, for example, how do you find one that is not tied to an Agency? As we found, it's not easy - not that I am saying these platforms are there to service this, that's what we do.


The biggest value we bring to the data available through these platforms is that we bring it up to date.


We have analysed over 300,000 Creative's credit data from these platforms, but on average we can't find, on any of these platforms, any credit more recent than early last year, for most of the talent credited.

Therefore, bringing this data up to date is key to us and our offering. How we do that remains a secret, but we can guarantee that each of these 300,000 plus Creative's data showcased on is up to date - within a month. How valuable is that?

One final point, up to early 2020, just before Covid 19 really hit the industry, the most active Brand, across the platforms, was Volkswagen; Agency, was BBDO and; Sector, Not for Profit. It does seem as though Agencies are doing a lot of good making these Ads and all four of these platforms highlight this content significantly, we should all thank them for that.

Just don't ask them to recommend any of the Sound Engineer's, because they might have retired and moved to Africa, as we found with one significant Radio Producer credited highly on two of these platforms.

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