Monday, September 26, 2016

Digital Radio Goes Programmatic

It comes as no surprise to see digital radio (audio) numbers escalating. Nevertheless, all the bells and whistles to follow bring forth some interest.

eMarketer estimates that by 2017, “Digital Radio listenership will grow to 57.8% of the population”. Mutually, ad dollars being spent in the digital audio sector will also grow. However, those ad dollars might be spent in a slightly different way than usual.

The International Data Corporation (IDC) expects for one in five radio dollars (approximately $4 billion) to be booked programmatically by the year 2020. As defined by Prohaska Consulting programmatic buying is, “the process of executing media buys in an automated fashion through digital platforms such as exchanges, trading decks, and demand-side platforms (DSPs). This is an alternative to the traditional use of manual RFPs, negotiations and insertion orders to purchase digital and other platforms.”

So, why is digital making this switch into the programmatic world? Well, simply put, it’s easier and more detailed.

Easier – no longer do buyers have to ask for a proposal, negotiate for the best price, and send in an insertion order in order to make a buy. Now, buyers’ impressions (radio spots) are purchased automatically through a bidding format.

More detailed – Programmatic allows for layers upon layers of targeting with the use of app-login data, first-party registration data, and other third-party data.


So instead of just targeting a person who probably listens to alternative music during the hours of 6am – 8am, advertisers can now target that 28 year old male who loves alternative, drives to work between 6am – 8am and has also been eagerly searching for the perfect diamond ring, wedding venues, houses on the market, and all-inclusive resorts. That extra piece of information opens tons of doors to advertisers to specifically target the soon to be married male in contrast to a 28 year old male who loves alternative and lives in his parent’s basement. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Unexpected DVR Trends

I remember when my family first got a DVR; I was a young teenager with two very frugal parents. However, when the cable company offered a free trial, my dad bit the lure and after a few months we were hooked.

Even as a kid, I remember hearing the buzz about how DVR would ruin the television industry and take away from the advertisers. Surprisingly enough, data from Nielsen and the Video Advertising Bureau report a different story.

During the first quarter of 2016, time-shifted programming (recording television and watching it at something other than the original air time) has dropped 12% among viewers 18 and older.

For years, estimates had been that viewership would be roughly 50/50 between time-shifted programming and live programming. However, data from first quarter 2016 shows that 77% of viewing is done live while only 23% comes from DVR viewing.
Other demographics have seen a decline in DVR viewing as well. Those aged 50-64 have dropped 6% while people 65+ have declined 7%.

So, why aren’t people watching as much prerecorded television shows as they used to? After all, it does give you the power to fast-forward through all those commercials. Perhaps the industry is simply shifting. One theory is that the rise of digital media is to blame.

In my mind, this is great for advertisers. Most digital streaming video has opportunity for advertisements without the ability to fast-forward.


Fear not! Viewers are still watching television and they’re still watching their DVRs. Advertisers can still reach their audience during shows; it just might be through their laptop or smartphone screen rather than on “the tube”. 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Managing Makegoods and Broadcast Buys This Political Season


What’s worse than seeing political ads nonstop? If your answer is something other than, “having your ads pre-empted due to political ads nonstop” then it’s almost guaranteed that you don’t work in the media industry.

Borrell Associates Inc. has estimated that during the 2016 election season 5.8 billion dollars will be spent on broadcast television. And yes, you did read that right, that’s billion with a “b”. To top that, broadcast television advertising makes up roughly half of the total advertising spend for political this year.


So how do we prevent these pre-empt spots? Evan Brown points out some strategies in his article, “Working Around the 2016 Political Advertising Season”. Here are a few:

1.      Buy early! Typically stations use a “last-in-first-out” method, so the sooner, the better on those broadcast buys.
2.      Avoid buying five spots per week for a standard program like morning or late news. This gives the station absolutely no flexibility in your placements.
3.      See if 15 or 10 second spots are less likely to get bumped. Political ads are commonly 30 seconds in length.
4.      Accept the fact that the spot you paid $100 for last buy will now be double and adjust accordingly.
5.      Keep on top of your makegoods. Despite receiving them all day, every day, it’s important to respond rapidly to have the best chance to re-placed spots.

Hopefully these tactics can be of assistance in reducing the amount of makegoods into a more manageable task. As The Little Engine that Could would say, “I think I can, I think I can”, so stand strong broadcast television media buyers, there is light at the end of the tunnel!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Native Advertising: Accepted by Millennials but Questioned by Baby Boomers

You might be asking yourself, “native advertising, what’s that?” no worries, 42% of the adult population is clueless, too. Native advertising is defined by YouGov as, “the practice of placing videos or articles on a website that appear similar to the site’s regular content, but are actually paid ads that promote a product or company.” Remember the last time you were on a news related website and saw a couple stories with a label such as “sponsored” or “advertisement” next to it? Well, that is native advertising.

According to YouGov, millennials are the most welcoming when it comes to these advertised articles whereas older generations are worried about this paid content.



However, when users risk losing free access to website content, the older generations are more accepting of the ads.




Regardless of the immediate perception, native ads don’t seem to be going away any time soon. In fact, BI Intelligence estimates that by 2018, $21 billion will be spent on this form of advertising alone. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

The "Cans" and "Can'ts" of Google Mobile Ads to Look for in 2017

Google has made quite the headlines lately with their new page layout excluding right column ads, their new ad format allowing for more text space, and now their restrictions on landing page ads for mobile coming in 2017.

Greg Sterling reports to Marketing Land regarding these Google changes. Google has chosen to penalize ad ranking if an ad’s landing page includes “intrusive interstitials”. 
These intrusions are anything that includes a pop-up which blocks the content of the page, a standalone interstitial that has to be dismissed before viewing content, or an above the fold layout for an ad with the content below the fold.



However, few intrusions will be allowed including those in responses to legal obligation like cookie usage, age verification, or those top banner ads requesting app downloads.




With all of Google’s changes regarding ad formatting, it’s important to not forget the importance of landing page user experience. In 2017, it’ll be more important than ever. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

AdWords Flips the Script on the Well-Known Ad Specs

“If it’s not broken, why fix it?” might be one of the worst phrases to say to anyone involved in the advertising industry. A more accurate phrase would be, “if you’re early you’re on time, if you’re on time you’re late, if you’re late you’re running”. Well, that’s what my high school softball coach used to tell me, but hey, it applies to advertising as well.

In this case, Google AdWords would be running several laps for being so late to the game.

Anyone familiar with the traditional 25-35-35 character rule for AdWords has probably already taken note of this recent change. If you’re also late to the game, here’s the 4-1-1: Google has traded in its 15 year old design for a new and improved model. This new model lets advertisers have two headlines of 30 characters each followed by one description line of 80 characters.



This facelift allows for more prominent headlines, longer description line, and a relevant display URL that is automatically extracted from the final URL of the ad.

So what do we do with all the added real estate? Google suggests that advertisers focus on the headline saying, “big blue headlines are more prominent than your description text” which drive clicks and increase performance. Google also suggests that the second headline be cohesive with the rest of the ad. Use this space to deliver a call to action that previously was placed in the description like, “Attend Today’s Event” or “Sign up Here”.

So, why the sudden change after fifteen years? Well, Google announced that through their tests, “some advertisers have reported increases in click-through rates of up to 20 percent”.

The change might be hard though… especially for folks like Kirk who suddenly feels like he’s on an island in the middle of the ocean with no outside contact, that’s rough Kirk, real rough.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Olympics, Advertising, Gold Spikes, and Social Media Rules

The most anticipated event of the summer is well underway in Rio with people from all over the world tuning in and cheering on their country. For advertisers, the Olympic Games are a great opportunity to advertise on a large stage, however, you might want to double check what you say.

AdWeek brings to light the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games when Nike dipped their toe in some risky marketing strategies. At the time, Nike was not an official Olympic sponsor. So what do they do? Give Michael Johnson, a track and field superstar, shiny gold $30,000 racing spikes. Johnson ironically won the gold medal for the USA in the 400-meter dash stunning America with his gold medal and gold feet.

Not only did Nike sneakily advertise on Johnson’s feet, but they also (not so sneakily) built “Nike Centre” right next to the athletes’ village. On top of that, they handed out flags to visitors that had a huge swoosh on them.

But I’m not done… Nike made sure to load up on billboard advertising for the big event as well, flooding Atlanta with messages like, “You don’t win silver, you lose gold”.  As well as magazine ads that read, “If you’re not here to win, you’re a tourist”. Ouch, Nike.

Clearly, these tactics didn’t settle well with competitors who were official Olympic sponsors, like Reebok; or the International Olympic Committee (IOC). However, what was done was done, and couldn’t be reversed. Instead, the IOC and USOC (United States Olympic Committee) did what they saw fit and tightened up their rules.

Today, brands who are not official Olympic sponsors are not allowed to use words/phrases on social media like: Olympic, Olympian, Team USA, Future Olympian, Gateway to gold, Go for the gold, Let the games begin, Paralympic, Pan Am Games, Olympiad, Paralympiad, Pan-America; and that’s just the beginning. Many brands are choosing the safer route and avoiding simple words like “summer” and “gold medal”. AdWeek lays out a clear list of do’s and don’ts here

Bottom line: cheer for the Red White and Blue, but be careful with what you type in that 140 character tweet.