Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Gen Z: A Unique Challenge

It’s back to school season and as Gen Zers head to college, marketers are realizing that they present a unique challenge. Ilyse Liffreing of Digiday reports that, while often grouped with millennials, Gen Zers are at “different life stages, care about completely different things and need to be programmed for and communicated to entirely differently.”

This realization has spurred an effort by agencies to begin researching this audience. Characterized by a progressive ideology and short attention span, Gen Z is very digitally savvy, having never known life without internet access. This generation also saw their parents go through a recession, in turn affecting their own purchasing behaviors.

Agencies and brands “are bulking up their own Gen Z expertise.” In order to help brands establish a connection, the Day One Agency created a website where Gen Zers answer questions covering various topics and the NFL partnered with AwesomenessTV for a series targeting Gen Z fans.

Sony Music Entertainment even created its own video production company, called Astronauts Wanted, to reach Gen Z. When asked what sets this group apart, Christine Murphy, Astronauts Wanted’s svp of branded entertainment, said, “They kind of have this heightened sense of intuition… and they really are progressive.”

 It is estimated that by 2020, Gen Z will number 2.6 billion and have an annual purchasing power of $44 billion. It would be wise for marketers to begin differentiating between millennials and Gen Z.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Argument for Awareness

Back in the day, the primary goal of advertisers was to raise awareness for their brands. In recent years, the focus of advertising has shifted to engagement, but it may be beneficial for brands to go old-school and once again drive awareness.

Now that consumers are engaging with various media all day every day, it can be hard for advertisers to break through the clutter and be noticed. In Adweek, Brian Sheehan makes the argument that advertising is no longer about persuading consumers but rather about being remembered.

Oftentimes it is the most innovative brands that receive the most attention. Advertising becomes similar to publicity for disruptive brands such as Tesla Motors, “the most valuable car company in the world despite being one of the smallest in sales volume.” T-Mobile also cultivates awareness with near constant innovation, making it “one of the hardest brands to compete with in the telecom world.”

Driving awareness from the bottom up has also been a successful strategy for companies such as Blue Apron and Glossier. These brands have demonstrated that they understand what consumers share and recommend to each other.


Considering the current cluttered advertising landscape, it would be wise for advertisers to make awareness their primary objective again rather than engagement.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Introduction to Podcast Advertising

If you are a listener of podcasts, you have probably heard advertisements for everything from mattresses to food delivery services. Although podcasts have existed for over a decade, many marketers are unfamiliar with the advertising opportunities associated with the medium.

Podcasts are unique in the delivery of the advertisements. Most podcast hosts read the copy points themselves and the length of time spent promoting the product varies. The audience is more engaged since they have to opt-in to the medium.

A study done by comScore found that podcast ads were considered to be the least intrusive, and listeners tend to take action after hearing an ad. NPR reports that “75 percent of podcast listeners take action on a sponsored message.”

As an advertising medium, podcasts are expected to grow exponentially. Steven Goldstein, CEO of Amplifi Media, said podcasts’ “’live reads and limited commercial loads are attractive” to advertisers. 


Monday, July 24, 2017

Advertising Market Predictions Through 2021

Every year, Price Waterhouse releases their Entertainment & Media Outlook report with advertising market predictions through 2021.

Since last year’s report, online advertising has overtaken television by about $15 billion. By 2021, the online advertising market is estimated to be 50% larger than TV and has a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.9%.

Mobile has the largest share of online ad spend and accounts for 71% of all internet consumption, as reported by Digiday. Fueled by social video, “mobile advertising is projected to grow by an annual average of 18.7% from 2016 through 2021”.  

Television advertising spend is growing slowly and is expected to reach 38.8% share of the market in 2021. Its low CAGR of 1.3% is due in part to declining viewership, a trend driven by younger demographics. Marketing Charts reports that this decline is not only due to cord-cutting but also the fact that 18-24 year olds are watching less traditional television.


With both the magazine and radio markets remaining flat, the only market expected to see a decline in revenues by 2021 is newspaper advertising. Despite loyal readership, the newspaper market revenues are expected to drop by $4.6 billion between 2017 and 2021. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Most Improved Brands Among Millennials

In the results of a recent survey released by the public-perception research firm, YouGov BrandIndex, millennials reveal which brands were the most successful in gaining their patronage. Although some of the brands are not so surprising, others, including brands considered to be traditional, stand out from the list.

The rise of the sharing economy puts Uber at the top of the list, despite public relations woes plaguing the company. Chase also occupies the list at No. 13, prompting Ted Marzilli, CEO of YouGov BrandIndex, to say, “ethics are good, but price and convenience carry the day”.

Traditional brands can also be found in the top 20. The presence of Puma, Delta Airlines, Visa, Adidas, and Ace Hardware show the value millennials place in adaptability. However, it’s important to realize why these brands make the list. These “graybeards” so to speak, aren’t popular for their nostalgia but rather for their ability to stay relevant and adapt to current times.


Another head scratcher on the list is number five, TLC, which dates back to the 1970’s. However, the network has gone through several facelifts to evolve from an education-oriented channel to a source of entertainment filled with Honey Boo Boo and shows like, “My Fat Saved My Life”. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Reaching Communities Through Mobile Advertising

The Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity had the who’s who in advertising and communications flocking to France last week. The festival presented an opportunity for marketers to share insights and new innovations as participants waited to hear who would be awarded a prestigious Lion award.

Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, and Airbnb’s CMO, Jonathan Mildenhall, presented on the growth of global communities and how marketers can reach them through mobile advertising.

The trend in marketing has been to move away from selling a product or service and instead connect the consumer with a community. Airbnb especially relies on the idea of community as it utilizes technology to connect people in real life. “Without our community there is no Airbnb, there is no brand,” says Mildenhall.

To effectively reach these communities, Sandberg says brands need to create attention-grabbing native mobile ads with “thumb-stopping creative”. With Facebook and Instagram, advertisers are able to test an ad’s performance while maintaining the ability to change out creative if the desired results are not achieved.

Noteworthy campaigns often combine multiple mobile elements. The “New Year, New Roads” campaign for Chevy used video and chatbot among other platforms to connect with consumers.  

Airbnb has seen significant benefits to investing in its own community with user-generated content receiving six times more engagement than advertising video on social media.


“At the end of the day,” says Sandberg, “this (ad) community’s job is to drive our businesses. Explain our purpose, but also drive sales.”  

Thursday, June 15, 2017

What Verizon’s Acquisition of Yahoo Means for Marketers

For marketers looking to expand beyond Google and Facebook, Verizon’s new subsidiary, Oath, will offer improved targeting and measurement. Through its merging of Yahoo and AOL, Oath will benefit from the advertising capabilities of both companies as well as Verizon’s subscriber data.

The focus on content brands, such as HuffPost and Tumblr, will set Oath apart in the digital advertising space. These content brands will soon be “automatically available on the ‘decktop’ of Verizon subscribers’ phones”.

Oath plans to focus its growth beyond the United States by targeting key markets and possibly acquiring more companies. Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL, stated the goal is for Oath to double its consumer base by 2020.

Verizon bought AOL in 2015 for $4.4 billion and recently acquired Yahoo for $4.5 billion. eMarketer estimated Verizon and Yahoo will generate a combined $4.7 billion in digital ad revenue this year.

News coverage around Verizon’s acquisition of Yahoo has focused primarily on the resignation of Marissa Mayer as well as Yahoo’s plans to lay off 2,100 workers. The Wall Street Journal reports that most of the job cuts will occur where there are duplicate roles and teams.

From the marketing perspective, however, Oath represents an opportunity for digital advertising to grow.