When I first came to intern at Mobfox’s Tel Aviv branch, I was expecting only one language barrier – not two. In addition to my not-so-perfect ability to speak Hebrew, I was overwhelmed when confronted with the fact that I was in an environment that spoke a language I never knew existed: the language of ad tech. Terms like “DSP”, “SSP”, “programmatic”, and even words that I thought I knew like “video” and “real-time bidding” held such complex and foreign definitions. However, while I saw no possibility of me ever adapting to this new language, while trying to simultaneously exercise my Hebrew skills, I surprised myself. Thanks to the team of fantastic foxes at Mobfox, within my first few weeks of interning, I was able to adapt both to this new ad tech language and the processes behind it. By no means am I ready to start building and monetizing an app on my own, but I can now confidently start a conversation about programmatic technology.
Getting to know Ad Tech
Coming from a somewhat strong background in advertising, I thought I knew what the industry was all about. My experience has varied from PR and marketing campaigns, to graphic design, social media, content, copy, and event planning. However, one aspect that I have not been as exposed to, is technology. Technology is what drives advertising, and it is interesting to see how the industry has changed and where it is moving. Advertising isn’t Mad Men anymore. Now, it’s automated technology.
Advertising technology basically refers to the tools, platforms, and analytics behind advertising and monetization – yes, there is also the creative aspect of relaying an idea in an artistic, compelling, and attractive manner, as well as all of the complicated work that stands behind it. And then, there is the technological aspect, essentially, how advertising works – whether it be through an SSP, DSP, DMP, or beyond – all of the magic happens in this alternate technological universe, which I still believe nobody can truly grasp.
Expectations vs. reality
Throughout my experience here at Mobfox, I have been exposed to, and rather enlightened, regarding many cultural differences. I love America. And now, Israel is right up there next to her. When I first landed this internship at an ad tech company, I really expected a bunch of computer geeks sitting in a silent office, in a stressful work environment. Well, I was wrong. I showed up to the Mobfox office on my first day, and to this day, I still feel the same sense of overwhelming surprise and excitement that I did then. Silence? Think again. The open office space is always filled with music, laughter, or cheers of celebration (literally, always). Computer geeks have come to be some of my favorite people here, and despite my unsuccessful, yet tireless efforts to understand the R&D, data, and BI teams, I strive to be like them. The amount of hard work, passion, and dedication put into the work here is clear. The energy is electric. I am always greeted with a smile, even if it is before someone’s morning cup of coffee. The work produced here is amazing because it is authentic.
So, what have I learned? Technology is scary. Going to work in a different country is scary. Coding is (still) very scary. But, scary is good because it means breaking boundaries. Between the data geeks, the business, the account managers, the creative team, and more, I have realized just how spectacular these people are in their different capacities. I am inspired to bring this forward and share it with the world. Through the advertising that I’ve come to know here, I can see that the industry is stronger than ever. As advertising adapts and evolves, its rapid growth may be intimidating, yet it is stirring and thrilling. Technology is conquering culture, and luckily, now, I get a front row seat as it happens.