Our mission is to be the shortest possible connection between advertisers and publishers. We wanted to put our money where our mouth is, and get both sides of the advertising ecosystem in the same room.

And so vi direct was born.

Representatives from a handful of website and apps were invited to Cannes to meet some of the most innovative digital media agencies in the UK.

What proceeded was an open and honest conversation, where opposite numbers understood the issues facing their counterparts, and moved towards solutions to solve them.

Here are the hot topics from the event.


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Mobile vs desktop
Representatives from both the buy and sell side argued that they did not differentiate between mobile and desktop video; It was all just video.

Our team was surprised by this approach. We believe mobile video has very specific contexts, requirements and use cases that mean it should be treated separately. This applies to the type of content, use of sound, orientation, length etc., as well as KPIs and actions associated with it.

Saving money in the media buy
One thing that resonated with those present was the way vi uses data to target its media buy. We optimise campaigns towards inventory that is converting, using our machine learning. Sadly this isn’t the case with all technology providers.

All present agreed value was important, and would even commit more resources if it was clear that there would be a conversion.

Sequential storytelling
One agency had received a request from a client to run sequential video, whereby a user sees parts of a story broken into individual short-form commercials.

Our technical specialist Reeve was on hand to confirm that, although we’ve never done this, yes – it is possible.

We loved the creative possibilities that this offers, adding an extra dimension to mobile video. He’s now excited to get to work implementing such a campaign.

The time is now for Connected TV
Agencies are starting to act on demand for CTV. Technology providers should be moving quickly to implement connections in this area. The vi CTV SDK has just been released.

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Cutting out middle men
Everyone agreed there were too many middlemen involved in the buying of advertising space. Luckily the vi platform aims to solve this problem, and reclaims value for the advertiser and the publisher.

The cost of creativity
To attract people to our venue at Cannes (Maison vi) we used a 360 illustrated creative, produced by our team. Whilst the guests loved the concept, questions were raised about the cost of producing bespoke creative just for mobile usage.

Our response – the KPIs speak for themselves. If you want to reach users on mobile, you need to create native mobile campaigns. Naturally our transparent pricing model also makes it clear where these costs are coming in.


We’ll be organising another vi direct event very soon. Please email Alexandra Ezchkova if you’d like to join.