Thursday, December 26, 2013

Top ten TV shows across social media

Since word-of-mouth is one of the most effective tools in promoting or dissuading really anything, an advertiser’s biggest challenge is to encourage and direct it. With the introduction of social media, word-of-mouth is more readily available and mainstream than simple water cooler talk. That’s why it’s helpful for advertisers to know what dominates the social media arena.

According to Nielsen SocialGuide, cable TV shows, between September and November 2013, accounted for five of the top ten shows on social media. The focus was on the average unique audience.

MediaPost listed out the top ten shows as follows:
·        “Breaking Bad” from AMC with 6.03 million average unique audience (Cable)
·        “The Walking Dead” from AMC with 4.89 million(Cable)
·        “American Horror Story: Coven” from FX with 2.93 million (Cable)
·        “Scandal” from ABC with 2.31 million (Broadcast)
·        “Dancing with the Stars” from ABC with 2.22 million (Broadcast)
·        “The Voice” from NBC with 2.13 million (Broadcast)
·        “Glee” from FOX with 2.05 million (Broadcast)
·        “The X Factor” from FOX with 1.8 million (Broadcast)
·        “Catfish: The TV Show” from MTV with 1.77 million (Cable)
·        “Awkward” from MTV with 1.47 million (Cable)

The takeaway is the ability to know your audience. If your target audience are adults 18-49, and research shows that they like “Breaking Bad,” have your team track how that show trends on all types of social media. The good, bad, and ugly comments, posts, tweets, etc. can help an advertiser get a better picture of what the consumer wants and doesn’t want. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Teenagers digital activities shift from 2012 to 2013

With the integration of mobile and tablet devices, US teenage usage has increased over the recent years. According to eMarketer, a new study was released by Family Online Safety Institute and Hart Research Associates.

From 2012 to 2013, Americans between the ages of 13 and 17 went from 43% of mobile users having smartphones to 64%. Tablet use also showed a steep increase from 45% in 2012 to 67% in 2013.

Of those teenagers polled, digital activities slightly changed from the previous year to today.
·        In 2012, 86% of teens sent or received text messages. In 2013, it increased to 87%.
·        About 90% of teens sent emails in 2012, and that number decreased in 2013 to 81%.
·        Online social networking saw a small dip from 88% to 81% of respondents in 2013.
·        Again online instant messaging saw a decrease like social networking. Approximately 78% of respondents utilized instant messaging in 2012; this decreased to 71% in 2013.
·        In 2012, 0% of teens polled posted video or posted/received comments on Vine. Activity increased to 23% in 2013.

Overall, teenage mobile and tablet use has increased. The digital activities may have changed since last year, so it’s very helpful for advertisers to stay current on media usage.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A few tips for writing a good subject line for eblasts

Be honest, are you guilty of scanning the subject line of an email and don’t bother opening it? You are not alone, and researchers are working to decipher what words work best in increasing marketing email open rates. A new study conducted by MailChimp has given advertisers a few tips on creating eblast subject lines. The Center for Media Research summarizes:

Tip #1: Personalize the subject lines.
The study results showed a higher open rate with emails that have a personalized subject line. The highest open rates were emails with a first and last name listed in the following industries: government, creative/agency, and politics. Personalization hurt open rates with the legal industry emails.

Tip #2: Label emails as urgent when applicable.
Words that elicit a time-sensitive urgency tend to be attention-grabbing. This can lead to a higher open rate. Results show that words like urgent, breaking, important, alert, etc. can be beneficial to subject lines as long as they are appropriate to the subject matter.

Tip #3: Acknowledge your recipient with thanks.
Results show that thanking your readers can positively impact the open rates. Specifically, the wording “Thank you” has had a strong response.

Creating a marketing email can be tricky. The main goal is to stay true to your brand and true to your audience. After that, it’s up to the consumer to navigate the next steps.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Post-millennial media consumption on the rise

How much media are post-millennial viewers actually consuming? MediaPost reports from a new study conducted by Nickelodeon that kids born since 2005 are viewing more media than historically measured.

Here are some of the research highlights:
·        Media consumption is now at 35 hours a week, which calculates a growth of 7% within the last four years.
·        About 27% of the daily media consumption is from gaming consoles and computers.
·        Gaming is the number one activity for all devices. Approximately 96% of kids use computers for playing games with tablet following at 88% and smartphones at 86%.
·        TV usage is up by 12% compared to Nielsen data from nine years ago.

·        Tablet usage is about 8% of kids’ daily consumption.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Digital boards react in real-time as British Airways planes pass overhead

A major benefit to outdoor bulletins transitioning from vinyls to digital is the immediacy in which creative can be changed. MediaPost reported on a British Airways digital outdoor campaign that reacts to planes flying above the displays.

The outdoor company, Clear Channel, has a new “Storm” digital network in London. It launched in October and has been positioned along the busiest streets and highways in London.

British Airways’ campaign utilized the boards so that when a plane flies overhead, creative of a child pointing at the plane is displayed along with a detailed message with the flight number and destination. MediaPost gives the illustration of “Look, it’s flight BA430 Amsterdam.” Following this message are other creative displays that list facts or attractions of that certain destination. This campaign is possible by using surveillance technology and flight schedules to anticipate when a flight is above the outdoor board.

Being able to reach consumers in real-time can be a challenge for advertisers. By utilizing new technology and thinking outside-the-box, surprise your audience and give them something to talk about. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Does high TV viewership automatically mean a favorite show?

Have you ever began watching a new TV show, start to really enjoy it only to have it cancelled due to low ratings? Well, it’s safe to assume that has happened at least once in your lifetime. If it hasn't, consider yourself lucky. A new “sentiment” survey conducted by the media buying and selling software Strata attempted to find a correlation between TV viewership and emotionally positive ratings. Results showed that high viewership does not always mean a high positive response from viewers.

MediaPost reports that the CBS show “The Millers” had about 13.3 million Nielsen viewers for the premiere episode. However, the Strata poll showed that only 3% of those surveyed listed “The Millers” as a favorite new show. In contrast, the NBC program “The Blacklist” had similar viewership with 12.6 million, but it pulled a 15% mark for favorite new TV show.

The study also reveals that some shows have lower viewership numbers but a high positive score. “The Michael J. Fox Show” was like this with an 11% positive score and 7.5 million viewers.

Overall, the “sentiment” survey had CBS and NBC tied for best new programming with ABC in third, FOX in fourth, and AMC in fifth.

What can advertisers glean from this? A favorite show of a viewer, whether a high ratings program or not, can help cultivate a positive relationship with your brand. If the show has a long run, place your ads in it. If the show is cancelled, and you have the budget, why not hire the actors to reprise their roles in your commercials? If it makes sense for your brand and your audience, it can be a strong media relationship.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Do people seek out news from Facebook?

Whether a person actively or inactively pursues news, it’s readily available in different media channels. Pew Research Center did a study back in September to see how the social media site Facebook acts as a news conduit. eMarketer reported the results.

The study reviewed how the respondents consume news. According to the results, the top two ways people seek out news is watching local TV news and national evening network TV news programs.

Where does Facebook fit? More of the study showed that only a small percentage 16% of respondents go to Facebook for news. The majority log on to see what friends and family are up to at 68% and looking at videos and photos of family and friends at 62%.

Even though the main intention is not to get caught up on current events, it happens. Entertainment news, local, sports, national, political, etc. can creep up into a persons’ news feed. This can lead to people reading or scanning the news while scrolling around the social media website. Research shows that about 80% of Facebook users interact with news stories whilst interacting with other features.

The takeaway from this is that Facebook users do not seek out breaking news, but rather, the intention is to stay caught up with friends and family. Some news may passively be received, but that’s not a guaranteed active audience.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cinema Advertising Council commissions research to measure ROI

Not only do advertisers have to be constantly versed in new research to help make sound media judgments, vendors have the same responsibility. This is especially important since there are so many choices for audiences to consume media. In fact, many vendors commission research to accurately depict the media landscape.

The Cinema Advertising Council recently did just that by having the research director for the New York University Stern Center for Measurable Marketing observe the Return on Investment (ROI) of a campaign consisting of theater ads, national broadcast television, cable, local television, and syndication. MediaPost reports that the two most prominent theater advertising networks, Screenvision, and NCM MediaNetworks were both part of the campaign.

The study observed the link between budget spent and incremental sales. This showed cinema ads as having a 37% higher ROI than similar ads on TV. Having this information can help cinema companies better champion the product to advertisers.

While there are a variety of factors that can help increase sales like creative, audience targeting, geographic targeting, day-parting, the base of every campaign is know the target audience. That knowledge comes from research.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Email marketing receives the highest open rates on Tuesdays

For media planners, it’s pivotal to give clients a media recommendation that has great potential to be successful. Part of the planning process is doing research to see historical and trending statistics. According to eMarketer, the email marketing software company GetResponse recently did a study to see how consumers navigate email marketing.

The study first showed that marketers send out the majority of emails to consumers on Tuesdays followed by Thursdays and Mondays. This is good news considering Tuesdays have the highest email open rate of 19.9% and a click through rate of 4.6%. The national average for email marketing open rates is 10%. Surprisingly, Fridays have the second highest open rate of 19.6%, and it actually has the highest click through rate of 4.9%.

Therefore, a recommendation was for marketers to invest more email marketing dollars into Friday drop dates. Research supports that Fridays had the fewest emails sent out during the work week.

During the weekends, the open and click rates were pretty even. Saturday had an open rate of 16.9% and a click rate of 4.4%. Similarly, Sunday had 17.1% opened emails and a 4.5% click through rate. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Options for reaching consumers through music

Amy Winehouse, James Morrison, Neon Trees, The Penguins, Ne-Yo, The Black Keys, Nat King Cole, Boyce Avenue, and Cyndi Lauper… what do these recording artists have in common? Other than being musicians and being on a 29-year-old female’s mp3 player, not a whole lot. If an advertiser intends to reach this potential consumer through music, what are some options?

Terrestrial radio is always a solid choice. There is a mass reach and has the closest time of purchase that many other media options lack. However, one of the down sides to mass reach is that there is a limiting factor to targeting. Research can help advertisers to find stations that pull well generally for a demographic like women 18-34. But what about the women in that age bracket that don’t listen to those high-ranking stations and listen to male dominated stations instead?

Today, advertisers can look to online streaming music as a highly targetable option. With vendors like Spotify and Pandora, advertisers are able to target messaging on very specific demographic and geographic criteria. The down side to this is that while membership is growing exponentially, it’s not the audience size that radio has.

For those of you who have a Spotify or Pandora account, do you remember signing up and giving your birthday and your gender as part of the process? This information allows advertisers to only put the message in front of potential consumers. It limits the amount of spill.

So if a 42-year-old man is listening to a Justin Timberlake station, which is primarily known for a big female audience, he will not be shown the advertiser’s ad. However, if a 29-year-old woman is listening to Alice in Chains, you can reach her.

For online streaming, it’s not about the genre of music, but rather, the person. For terrestrial radio, it’s about casting a wide net and reaching a lot of people. Depending on the campaign and the goal, either of these options or even both can work.


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Illegal outdoor boards will receive fines in California

Let’s face it…the current generation is all about mobility. We want what we want when we want it, and media is no different. Media is working hard to stay relevant to advertisers and more importantly, the consumer. Sometimes, however, that can backfire. Take for instance outdoor and California. MediaPost reports that the state is working to shut down illegal outdoor ads and limit legal boards.

California Governor Jerry Brown recently approved a law that will make it increasingly harder to advertise with illegal outdoor boards. Typically, these illegal boards are trailers pulled by cars, trucks, bicycles, etc. to various locations. What makes this illegal is neither licenses were obtained nor rent paid to the city government or property owners. In Los Angeles alone, it is estimated that nearly 4,000 signs around the city do not have the proper paperwork or are in violation in some way.

Once caught, this new law allows for steeper penalties to be given to the violators. Los Angeles and San Francisco are two cities that have already established ordinances. Some people are working to increase Los Angeles penalty fees from $2,500 per day to $48,000 per day.

Advertisers should be aware of laws in any market in which they are advertising. One great outdoor blitz may end up costing the client a lot more than originally planned. The lesson one should take away is make sure that your outdoor vendor, whether it be mobile or static, has a permit. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

New study reveals women feel the most ugly on a Monday

A key component for any advertising campaign understands the target audience. This is why so many resources are funneled into research. Ad campaign misfires do occur; however, with the proper planning, the right product can be put in front of the right consumer.

According to MediaPost, Omnicom’s PHD recently conducted a study to determine which days and times of the week American women feel the least attractive and the most beautiful. The purpose is to know what kind of beauty product messaging is the most effective depending on the moods and perceptions of the audience.

The majority of respondents, approximately 46%, agreed that Monday was the day of the week in which she felt the ugliest. Sunday was close behind with a 39% response. Researchers found a variety of reasons on why these were two days where women felt less flattering. One reason is Monday is the start of the work week and signifies the end of the weekend, while Sunday can show the results of a socially active Saturday on women’s faces. Also, early hours of the day between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. and the later hours after 10 p.m. did not help women feel attractive either.

While a day of the week where women feel the most attractive wasn't listed, the study did denote that between the hours of noon and 3 p.m. women had the most positive outlook about their looks.

In knowing when women typically feel attractive and ugly reportedly will help this advertiser launch an “Encourage/Empower” strategy. Basically, the advertiser can run messaging that helps women feel good during least attractive times. In the window where the audience feels beautiful, the advertiser can run ads that maintain that image of beauty for women.

Overall, being sensitive to the target audiences feelings on a variety of topics, whether it is personal appearance or lawn equipment, can help advertisers avoid missteps which may end up offending the consumer.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Singles and smartphone habits

If you are a single American adult, chances are that you are in a committed relationship with your smartphone. eMarketer reports on a recent survey conducted by online dating sites Christian Mingle and JDate. The survey interviewed single adults and discovered a few mobile trends.
·        Apparently, 47% of those surveyed constantly check text messages throughout the day.
·        38% utilize the internet on his/her phone several times in the day.
·        35% check and send emails several times daily.
·        32% constantly check a social networking site throughout the day.
·        40% talk on the phone several times in a day.
·        31% look at or share photos several times a week or at least once a week.
·        47% rarely or never check online dating sites or apps.
The study also shows that the age group of 27–34 single adults seems to have the stronger reactions to certain statements regarding mobile habits.
·        61% of 27-34 acknowledged “I’m always afraid of missing something interesting if I don’t check my mobile device(s) frequently.”
·        57% admitted that they are, “so dependent on my mobile device(s) that it’s like an addiction.
·        47% stated, “I often get less sleep than I should because I’m using my mobile device(s) late at night.

What does this tell advertisers? While it would be great to use this as across the board responses for all single American adults, it has to be put in the perspective that these results are coming from a niche group of people from niche dating sites. Use this information as an insight to the single adult habits, but don’t consider it to be the absolute truth. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Which websites users go to for health information

You’ve had a headache for about two days straight, and you think you have a slight fever. Are you getting sick? What are your options- go to the doctor? Go to a friend for health tips? Go to a minute clinic? Go online? For those of you who chose going online with your symptom inquiries, what website did you use? If you are like 53% of respondents from the Makovsky Health and Kelton research survey, you went to WebMD.

According to eMarketer, a recent study of US internet users went to WebMD as the major online resource for health information. Following the health website was Wikipedia with 22%, health magazine websites at 19%, advocacy group websites at 16%, YouTube at 12%, blogs with 10%, Facebook at 10% and lastly, pharma company websites with 9%.

The survey focused on pharma company websites a bit further. A common reason for a user to navigate to this website is to research drugs/procedures following a diagnosis. This goes in line with the earlier results that few users seek these types of websites for health information and diagnosis.

Health care advertisers should take note in where potential patients get information. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Helpful tips to sales representatives to make media buyers and clients happy

Normally, this blog is intended to report and explain media research, new devices, gizmos, and general media news. This week, we are going to take a step back and talk about the human factor to advertising. Specifically, the sales representatives that help media buyers/planners and advertising agencies alike turn the clients’ expectations into reality.

It’s been said numerous times that word-of-mouth is the best form of advertising, which is true also in working relationships and reputations. A good word-of-mouth can help sales reps insure a loyal and long-standing working relationship with most media buyers out there. Let’s face it, we’re a particular breed. If we find a sales rep we like, we are not going to let them go for anything… even added value.

Here are a few tips from one media buyer to make the relationship mutually exclusive and mutually beneficial.
1.      Respond back to messages: Whether we call you, email you, or meet you in person, please respond back to us within 24 hours. We typically are working under a deadline, and need to make sure whatever we were asking for is on your radar. Even a message back saying, “I received your request, and I am working on it,” will earn you a few brownie points. Having to track down a person multiple times without a response will just make buyers grumpy. We know you are busy; we just don’t want to be forgotten.
2.      Be honest: Buyers know that sales reps need to reinforce the product with all of the good sales points, but please just be honest with us. If we want to buy a certain percentage of your inventory, and you don’t think it will actually run, let us know. We would much rather be told, “No, there’s not enough inventory to cover what you want. So, let’s look at other options…” vs. “oh, sorry, it didn’t run because there wasn’t enough inventory to support your buy.” What?!?! Now, we get the job of telling the client it didn’t work, which makes buyers grumpy.
3.      Manage expectations: Please try to under promise and over deliver vs. the opposite. Again, it makes the buyers grumpy.
4.      Write important dates down: If a buyer asks for recaps for a promotion or campaign by a certain date, write it down in your calendar. If we have to follow up multiple times, we get grumpy.
5.      Don’t blame others: Mistakes happen. We get it, but if you were to blame, own up to it. Please don’t blame traffic, corporate, your replacement while you were out, etc. It gets old, and it makes us grumpy.

Are you seeing a pattern here? Buyers can get grumpy for a variety of reasons, which isn’t helpful for the buyer/sales rep relationship. Likewise, we buyers know that we need to work on giving you more realistic deadlines and be patient when mistakes happen. We make them, too.

At the end of the day, a buyers main goal is to make the client happy. As such, we can only do that if we have a good team that consists of the buyers, sales reps, traffic department, and creative department. If we all work to make the clients’ goals our goals, there will be less grumpiness. Who doesn’t want that?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Local newspapers' classified revenues decrease

Media is not a constant, unchanging thing; it is something that is ever-evolving with existing vendors while new vendors enter the scene. What advertisers and media must do alike is figure out how each platform is unique and communicate that to the end user- the customer. MediaPost recently reported about how the free online classifieds site Craigslist has affected local newspapers’ own classified revenues.

A new study, “Responses to Entry in Multi-Sided markets: The Impact of Craigslist on Local Newspapers,” was created by the professors at NYU Stern School of business and Harvard Business School. Results showed that local newspapers reported a $5 billion loss in classified ad revenue between the years 2000 – 2007 when Craigslist came into the marketplace.

Observations of the papers that heavily relied on classified ad sales showed a chain reaction based off of diminishing revenues. These papers attempted to increase subscription prices to make up for the lack of classified, which in turn lead to lower subscribers. This led the papers to really rely on display ad rates.

While this can be taken as a strike towards local newspapers, it can really be the starting ground to refocus on what consumers want from a news product. Advertisers will have to work with news vendors to come up with cost effective and mutually advantageous opportunities to reach target audiences. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Online ad revenue grows for local radio

Local radio stations have been working to incorporate the digital platform into its arsenal of options for listeners and advertisers alike. Overall, online ad revenues have increased for local radio stations, but how does that compare to terrestrial radio revenues?

MediaPost reports that experts are suggesting a 14% increase from 2012 for online ad revenue for local radio stations. The Radio Advertising Bureau arranged the report, and Borrell Associates lead the study. In 2012, online ad revenues reached almost $371 million, and estimates place the end of 2013 seeing revenues of up to $420 million.

While traditional ad formats were decreasing in value for radio stations, there has been growth in other formats like social media, audio, video, and email. Approximately 20% of all digital revenue came in the form of streaming audio ads.

Digital continues to grow in radio; however, it is important to note that it remains a small portion of overall revenue. Local radio stations’ online ad revenue only contributes 2.5% of total earnings.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Nielsen uses a new definition of TV homes to generate the Universe Estimate

Prior to the television industry’s 2013/14 season upfronts, the Nielsen Company typically releases its new TV home estimate. This allows advertisers to better estimate audiences.

According to MediaPost, the overall American TV household Universe Estimate grew from 2012. Last year, it was estimated that there were 114.2 million TV homes. This year, the estimate has grown by 1.2% to 115.6 million. In fact, there are about 1.6% more TV viewers from last year, which calculates into 294 million viewers who are 2 years old+. 

One reason given for this growth could be the new Nielsen definition of a TV home. Now, each home must have at least one working TV or monitor that can deliver content by means of antennae, cable set-top-box or a satellite receiver. The satellite receiver could include a broadband connection.

With the new TV home definition in use, it will be interesting to see how the TV home population develops over the next few television seasons.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The most common demographic for tablet owners

Tablet computers haven’t been available to consumers for too long, but they have gained major ground to be in the hands of a third of American adults.

Pew Research Center released information this summer on the demographic breakdown of tablet owners. According to the Center for Media Research, data shows that by May 2013, 34% of adults owned a tablet computer. A tablet could be any one of the following devices: iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Google Nexus, or Kindle Fire. Compared to the previous year, ownership was at 18%, and going back to 2011 at 8%. Obviously, there is a history of steady growth for the device.

If advertisers were to make a broad generalization of the typical tablet owner, it would be an adult between the ages of 35-44 (49%), who graduated college (49%) and had a household income of $75,000 or more (56%). Reports show that these demographic categories have the highest index for being an owner of a tablet.

The demographic categories that have the lowest index for being an owner are people aged 65+ (18%), who did not graduate high school (17%), and who make less than $30,000 (20%).

Interesting to note is that about 50% of people who are parents to minor children have a tablet device. Compare that to 27% of people without children have one.

As ownership will most likely continue to grow, it will be interesting to see if the demographic breakdown will remain the same.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Research done to show if TV affects tweets or if the reverse is true

It’s not a new discovery in the media world that people can utilize multiple screens at the same time. What research hasn’t established is the concept of one media screen driving the other’s viewership up and vice versa. According to AdvertisingAge, the Nielsen Company and Twitter are working together to discover the correlation between live TV ratings and tweets.

Using SocialGuide, which derives from Nielsen and McKinsey & Co, over 221 primetime broadcast programs were monitored for the TV ratings and tweets. The study found that higher TV ratings often lead to more tweets of the particular show. Results showed a 48% increase in tweets when a live TV program grew in ratings. Likewise, as the number of tweets grew, it increased the live TV ratings in about 29% of the studied episodes.

Reports warn that this outcome may not occur with every program. A few examples of extremely hyped TV shows on Twitter that did not respond with high ratings were Oprah’s interview with Lance Armstrong and SyFy’s first viewing of “Sharknado.”

Overall, it makes sense. If you are browsing Twitter while watching something on TV and see a lot of chatter about a different program, it wouldn’t take much effort to change the channel. Similarly, if a particular show is so great for a variety of reasons, and you just need to share the wealth with everyone else, you may tweet about it.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Which device is used the most to access emails?

At some point, most advertisers have utilized email marketing in their arsenal of media platforms for a campaign. With smartphone and tablet capabilities and the growth of consumer adaptation to them, it can be beneficial to know which devices consumers are using to open emails. Knowing this can help a marketer tailor messaging to best fit the consumers’ needs.

According to eMarketer, the company Harland Clarke Digital did some research to see where emails are being opened. The standard desktop computer still holds the lion share of email opens with 55.2%. These opens include both the business to consumer and business to business messages. Following desktop, the smartphone boasts 25% of email opens with tablet earning 7.3%.

Interesting to note is the fact that smartphone and desktop behaviors tend to be more in line with one another than tablet. The study reports that most email opens occurred between 10 am and 4 pm for smartphones and desktops. In contrast, tablets see the most email usage between 4 pm and 10 pm. This can lead to a conclusion that desktop and smartphone usage peaks during the work day hours, and tablets are utilized more at home or at least, after work hours.

While smartphones and tablets are not the primary device in which a consumer accesses emails, both still have a foothold in the market. Therefore, it could behoove marketers to make sure an email blast translates well on desktop, smartphone and tablet formats.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Advertisers can now put an ad on toilet paper

I must admit, with writing a media blog for the last few years, I’ve gotten used to seeing new advertising opportunities in places where I didn’t expect to see them. It’s easy to get jaded. That being said, the company Star Toilet Paper surprised me. According to MediaPost, advertisements are now being sold on toilet paper.

College students created the business back in 2011. The premise is to provide free toilet paper to schools, businesses, and other venues that have public restrooms. Reportedly, there are currently eight venues that now supply patrons with Star Toilet Paper in the restroom facilities. In addition, about 70 advertisers have made the commitment to participate.

If you really think about it, it is a pretty smart way to get your message across to a consumer. Meaning, when a person is in a bathroom stall, you could theoretically have his or her complete attention for the duration of the stay. Also, with the introduction of smartphones, people have been known to bring it in the stall. Some of the ads have QR codes on them, which can encourage interactivity.

So, if you walk into a public bathroom, and you see ads on the toilet paper, you won’t be surprised. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Television dominates user viewership on subscription video-on-demand services

For those of you out there that subscribe to a video-on-demand (SVOD) service like Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime or Netflix, would you be surprised to find that television content dominated consumer viewing over movies? The company GfK recently did some research to see which consumers prefer.

According to MediaPost, the three services have the following viewership:

·        Amazon Prime: 79% view TV content vs. 21% view movie content

·        Hulu: 96% view TV content vs. 4% view movie content

·        Netflix: 77% view TV content vs. 23% view movie content

Research shows that on average of SVOD services, television had about 81% viewership vs. movies at 19%.

Interesting to note is that a large amount of viewing takes place on an Internet-connected TV device. A device could be a gaming console, Blu-ray player, etc.

The important take away from this for advertisers is the fact that consumers are seeking out TV content on a massive scale whether it’s on broadcast television or a subscription service. Advertisers may not be able to be on some of the SVOD’s yet; however, there are still ways to reach these people through digital initiatives and maintaining a strong broadcast schedule. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

US adults seek out TV for the main news source

As a media buyer and planner, I love reviewing polls and surveys that reflect how consumers are using media. It helps me create a more knowledgeable campaign for my clients. Recently, a new Gallup poll was taken to explain which media is the main source of news for adults in the United States. According to eMarketer, television still ranks number one.

If breaking down responders by age, the following was found:

18-29 year olds
·        50% prefer TV
·        27% prefer internet
·        7% prefer print
·        3% prefer radio
·        6% prefer other
·        7% have no opinion

30-49 year olds
·        50% prefer TV
·        28% prefer internet
·        6% prefer print
·        7% prefer radio
·        6% prefer other
·        2% have no opinion

50-64 year olds
·        58% prefer TV
·        18% prefer internet
·        8% prefer print
·        7% prefer radio
·        5% prefer other
·        3% have no opinion

65+ year olds
·        68% prefer TV
·        6% prefer internet
·        18% prefer print
·        4% prefer radio
·        2% prefer other
·        3% have no opinion

Interesting to note is the fact that the 18-29 and 30-49 age groups responded fairly similarly. Also, the older age group of 65+ had quite a jump in TV as a main news source, and it is the only age group to have print as the second highest ranked media. The other age groups followed up TV with the internet.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

New report shows magazine audience grows from last year

With digital media making a bigger presence in consumers everyday lives, advertisers can benefit in knowing to what degree this is true. MediaPost recently reported on data from GfK MRI that looked into American readership of magazines across the print and digital formats.

Overall, the data showed that print readership has increased since last year. If looking at the print magazine by itself, it increased from 1.19 billion in early 2012 to 1.21 billion in spring 2013. This is about a 2.36% increase in readership.

The digital platform is still new and growing, so its readership is less than print’s. As of this year, it’s approximately 1.4% of the total readership. In fact, the digital audience was 9.2 million in early 2012 and grew to 16.9 million a year later.

In combination of print and digital platforms (not including users on the magazine website), the magazine audience increased by 2.98% from last year.

The data shows that approximately 62% of the magazines measured audience increases from the year prior. Some of the titles include Diabetes Forecast, Psychology Today, Yoga Journal, Costal Living, and Food Network Magazine.  The publications FamilyFun and PC World were down in readership.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Teens pessimistic on future economic standing

The cable network MTV recently produced a study entitled “The New Millennials Will Keep Calm and Carry On,” which breaks down the millennial generation and the perceptions of the economy.

MediaPost reports that the study broke down the millennial generation in two parts, one being the younger skewing between the ages of 14-17, and the other being the older skewing twenty somethings. Interestingly enough, it is the younger millennials who have a more pessimistic view of the economy. About 60% of 14-17 year-old respondents think his/her generation will be worse off than his/her parents. The majority worry the current economy will negatively affect his/her potential futures.

Older millennials collectively responded in a more positive view of the economy. Reports show that this group believes that a successful future is possible and almost guaranteed with the help of college, working hard and playing by the rules.

While there was no distinguished reason why this group has split feelings of the economy, it may be due slightly to the fact that younger millennials may still be at home with the parents. Being at home and hearing the economic struggles from the parents’ perspective, may be a reason for the negative views of 14-17 year olds. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

New report shows top valued brands in U.S.

Worldwide, consumers have been surveyed to find out what brands they value most. Havas Media put out the report “Meaningful Brands” which surveyed 134,000 consumers in 23 countries. The report focused on positive perceptions of brands like health, happiness, relationships, and financial well-being.

MediaPost reports that the brands with top marks across all surveyed were Google, Ikea, Dove, Nike and Walmart. In the U.S. exclusively, Amazon, Target, Johnson & Johnson, Campbell’s, and Google were the top five brands.

The survey reports there is an American shift to a demand in value. Consumer focus is more locked into family, savings, stability, health, and safety. Whereas, the American focus a few years prior was on luxury, entertainment and social status.

It makes sense to see the shift from luxury to stability in the U.S. With the economic crash a few years back, consumers had to rearrange priorities. That being said, there was a higher demand for products and companies to be more accountable. Knowing how brands are perceived and consumer priorities, advertisers should be able to use this knowledge to better align the campaign with the target audience.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Demographic breakdown of smartphone users

Mobile users in the United States are continuing to grow with the segment of smartphone users growing exponentially. A new study put on by Pew Internet & American Life Project, discusses the current demographic breakdown among smartphone users.

eMarketer reports that there is a very close race between smartphone users who own Androids and those who use iPhones. Meaning 28% of smartphone users have Android operating systems and 25% have iPhone. Results were released in May 2013.

About 31% of Android users are male and 26% are female. For iPhones, females have a slight edge with 26% and males at 24%.

A more significant difference from the two types of smartphone operating systems came from the age breakdowns. Of people in the 18-24 age group, about 43% have Androids while 31% have iPhones. Androids have higher user percentages up until the 45-54 age group (27% Android and 25% iPhones), in the older age brackets, iPhones take the lead.

When looking at annual household incomes, those making more than $75,000 a year tend to have an iPhone at 40% vs. an Android at 31%.

iPhones also have higher ownership among individuals with a college degree or higher at 38%. Android users, who have a college degree or higher, pull a 29%.

What does this tell advertisers? Android phones tend to be in the hands of the younger, middle class and educated user. iPhones trend towards upper class, educated, with a slight skew to older users.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Study shows that upscale Hispanics are on the rise in the U.S.

The Nielsen Company has recently conducted a study to measure the amount of upscale Hispanics in the United States. The Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies released the findings. To summarize, the upscale portion of the American Hispanic population is growing at a fast pace.

According to MediaPost, the study depicts the upscale population as Hispanics in households with an annual income between $50,000 and $100,000. To date, that subgroup is an estimated 15 million people, which translates to roughly three of 10 Hispanic homes. Or, in a broader context, this group is about 12% of all U.S. households. Nielsen further explains that about $500 billion of the total $1.3 trillion in Hispanic consumer spending is done by the upscale group, which is almost 40%. Researchers expect growth to about 18 million by 2015 and to 35 million by 2050.

From the study, it was ascertained that this group of individuals are typically bilingual. A little more than half speak most or all English the majority of the time, and also about 75% speak some Spanish. In addition, this group spends about 52% of the TV viewing time on Spanish-language networks and 48% on English-language networks.

In conclusion, this group within American consumers has the added bonus of being reachable in a variety of media platforms. It is the advertisers’ responsibility to acknowledge the growth of this group which will lead to the increased influence on the consumer culture as a whole.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Big cable network goes dark in order to promote radio

If you were planning to watch Comedy Central on Sunday, May 19th, what you found was probably not what you expected. In a marketing blitz, the cable network went dark for the entire day in order to promote the new Comedy Central SiriusXM station with a sample of the content. The new radio station was set to launch at midnight the following Monday.

According to MediaPost, the only other time Comedy Central had gone dark before was in 1992 for Johnny Carson’s final “Tonight Show” broadcast.

The satellite station will include some of the network’s stand-up comedy specials, original content, etc.

Cross-promotion among different media platforms is nothing new; however, if done in a smart way, it can be very helpful to a campaign. Time will only tell if the blitz and good programming will keep the new Comedy Central radio station relevant and solid in listenership.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Outdoor boards being sold in an out-of-home network vs. individual sale

In a society where advertisers have more tools to reach specific target audiences, it can lead some media vendors to develop new systems for its products.

According to MediaPost, Clear Channel Outdoor has created “consumer networks.”  Basically, this is a way for advertisers to select out-of-home inventory that best aligns with the desired target audience. The networks are chosen based off of demographic, geographic and psychographic factors.

So far, the networks can be purchased on national and regional levels. In addition, it will include the “Eyes On” ratings from the Traffic Audit Bureau in order to give an estimate on viewership. This new system could eliminate the selection of individual boards.

Currently, the new system is active in Albuquerque, Cleveland, Orlando, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Seattle. More markets are noted to follow.

While the network is appreciated, I would still recommend picking out a few key individual boards in a campaign. Just like other advertising initiatives, it’s smart to reach the individual consumer with very tight targeting but still have a solid coverage base.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

More access to television shows leads to more binge-viewing

In order for advertisers to respond to consumer needs, it’s best to constantly be updated on consumer habits. According to MediaPost and eMarketer, Harris Interactive conducted a study this past February to record how US adults access time-shifted TV. Because of the numerous ways TV viewers are able to watch content, the phenomenon binge-viewing is continuing to grow.

Results showed that 80% of those surveyed watch TV through web-based subscription video on demand services (SVOD) like Netflix or Hulu, video-on-demand (VOD) cable or satellite, or through digital video recorders (DVRs).

In the findings, Harris reports that about 62% have watched multiple episodes of television shows in a row. This is called binge-viewing, which is most commonly watched through SVOD, VOD, DVRs, or DVDs. Interestingly enough, TV shows that tend to be the most binge-viewed are older shows or past seasons of current shows. Only about 12% of binge-viewing was done with current shows.

It is noteworthy that the younger demographics tend to have higher binge-viewership. According to the report, 18-29 year olds have a 78% likelihood to binge-view, 30-39 year olds are at 73%, and 40-54 year olds index at 58%. This behavior characteristic can be used to help advertisers craft a plan to reach the target audience. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

How do young consumers listen to music?

While streaming music online is growing more popular among consumers, it’s easy to forget that traditional radio still has a strong footprint in the media market. According to eMarketer, the research company The NPD Group conducted a survey over 4th quarter 2012 on the music listening of US consumers between the ages of 13 and 35.

Results showed that the terrestrial radio still lead as the primary method, by a small margin, to listen to music.

24% listened to radio primarily
23% listened to internet radio primarily
15% listened to digital files primarily

CDs and Satellite radio both had less than 10% of responders, 9% and 5% respectively, chose it as a primary method of listening to music.

Another find was that the car is still the main place where the majority of those surveyed listen to most music. A good reason is that listeners are able to use multiple devices in the car like the radio, smartphones, mp3 players, and in-car infotainment systems.

How does this affect advertisers? Consumers want music, and they want it their way. Whether it’s from their preferred radio station, favorite playlist, new CD, or online streaming, people are going to access the music. Therefore, advertisers will need to really understand their customer and be able to reach them on various music platforms at the same time. There is no need to pull money out of traditional radio; listeners are still listening. Instead, online streaming vendors may need to be evaluated as a radio station and included in the overall buy in order to reach the desired audience.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Cinema advertising network to roll out new consumer interactive products in 2013

National CineMedia (NCM) has changed up a few advertising tactics in order to increase total revenue spend according to MediaPost.

As one of the largest cinema advertising networks in America, the vendor has begun the process of phasing out the Fathom Business Events operations. With events revenue fading out, NCM will invest in new products in order to increase total revenue.

One new product will be an interactive video display called a “Monster Wall.” The wall will be approximately 8 feet by 10 feet and encourage people to interact with it by way of game and entertainment content. “Monster Wall” will also house interactive advertising content for moviegoers, which will give advertisers another way of reaching potential consumers. So far, it’s being tested in large markets. Should it be deemed successful, it will be dispersed across the network’s other theaters.

Another initiative rolling out later this year is FirstLook Sync, which is a second-screen capability with smartphones. The idea is to have movie audiences interact with the movie content through this technology.

With all of the upcoming changes this year, NCM is estimating a 1-4% increase in total revenue compared to 2012. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Half of online video shares happen within the first three weeks of publishing

As advertisers are more regularly running video advertisements online, it leads to the question, how will an advertiser know if this is successful? At this point, there is a two-pronged answer. The first is recording how often the video is watched in its entirety, versus being skipped. The second is watching to see if the video goes viral with social-sharing. Unruly Media Inc., a video technology company, recently researched the process of video sharing on social websites worldwide.

According to e-Marketer, the top categories that received the most shares were entertainment and fast-moving consumer goods and consumer products category. The smallest amount of shares was from the finance category.

Research also discovered the timeline in which most shares were performed. Unruly Media pulled information from the top 200 most shared videos in 2012. It found that:

10% of shares happened on the second day the video was available
25% of shares happened within the first three days
50% of shares happened over the first three weeks
66% of shares happened within the first three months

Overall, this can show advertisers the importance of making video available to the masses and making it relevant enough to share.