Mountain View, CA — This week, two of the world’s biggest digital players started unveiling new ad units and approaches designed for how we use digital tools right now.

Let’ start with Facebook

All that talk about Ello* taking over the social world isn’t intimidating the blue giant. This week it announced what Ad Week dared to call “marketing nirvana.”

Facebook is unpacking its improved Atlas ad server this week – the one that’s supposed to give marketers incredible, cookie-free insight into Facebook’s 1.3 billion users.

They’re calling it “people-based” marketing that lets brands know a ton about an audience without learning their actual names/identities. And it works well outside of Facebook’s walls – delivering audience insight across the web and apps, rivaling the infrastructure built by Google over the last decade.

You’re going to hear media types call this “first-party data” – that means data that’s gathered through a direct relationship, like filling out your Facebook profile. This new program lets marketers use the same targeting capabilities that power campaigns on Facebook across devices and publishers.

(*We’ve got Ello invites, btw. Just let us know if you want in!)

Ok, onto Google

You might remember last month’s Comscore report uncovered a true era of mobile dominance: “Mobile has swiftly risen to become the leading digital platform, with total activity on smartphones and tablets accounting for an astounding 60 percent of digital media time spent in the U.S.”

Google’s new ad units are designed to overcome the limitations of the small screen and deliver a truly branded experience – mostly based on user interaction (there’s one that’s a little more, shall we say, not optional). Here’s the new lineup:

  1. Anchor Ads that stay put even while a person scrolls down the page and can expand to a rich media experience
  2. Magazine Text Ads that bring glossiness to existing text ads in interstitials
  3. Video Ads With TrueView that will expand beyond gaming apps to bring video to many more apps. Brands only pay when a user chooses not to skip their ad.
  4. Mobile Lightbox Engagement Ads that dynamically resize to fit any ad size, making them quick-to-create, and brands only pay when users
  5. engage. Here’s an example they created for Kate Spade

If you’re deciding what to put in those fabulous rich media banners, think content. Video content. Ooyala’s Q2 Video Index Report found that 25 percent of online video activity happens on mobile devices—a spike of 400 percent compared to two years ago.”

Want one more? How about Tumblr.

It may be nearly almost impossible for brands to score a Google Doodle but they can now get a Tumblr Dot. It’s open to sponsors on special days like National Coffee Day when a little Starbucks cup took the place of the period in the logo.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation and Insights for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for building and scaling a global team of healthcare experts who together help life science leaders better understand the complex lives, influences and expectations of their customers. Specifically, they uncover actionable insights that fuel empathy and creativity; lead co-creation events that let marketers learn from peers, trends, and new possibilities; and help clients identify the most valuable and useful new customer experiences to create.

Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for nearly 20 years.She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she held several leadership roles at our largest agency, GSW.  There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business.

Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes.

A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. This year, she led over 250 experts to experts to focus on the most important changes in the commercial, consumer, marketing, digital and healthcare landscapes. (See reports at

Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice and Top 10 Innovation Catalysts of 2017 by MM&M, Leigh also was recognized  as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.