Thursday, April 28, 2016

Commuters are Tuning in to Traditional Radio

With all the music options available to today’s working commuter, some might wonder if traditional radio is still an active media. Commuters have options like paid satellite radio subscriptions, streaming radio services including Pandora and Spotify, listening to their personal music library, or dialing in to traditional FM/AM radio frequencies.

Edison Research released new survey results affirming that commuters do in fact still favor the traditional radio option. Results showed that nine out of ten commuters listen to traditional radio while on their way to work.

For advertisers, the biggest question comes when discussing the commercial time. Do listeners tune out immediately? Well, 23% do. However, 29% of respondents said that they don’t typically switch away during commercial breaks at all.

When Commercial Comes On AM/FM Radio During Commute
% of Respondents
Do not switch
Listen to at least one commercial
Listen to part of one commercial
Tune away immediately
Source: Edison Research, April 2016

When it comes to switching stations due to commercials, Pandora listeners are less likely. Edison Research states that 61% of Pandora listeners never switch away at commercial breaks.

From this research, it’s evident that traditional radio is still very viable. More listeners give advertisers more opportunities to get their message across. With the majority of Pandora listeners staying tuned during commercials, it might be wise to combine the two platforms in your media mix to best reach daily commuters.

Friday, April 22, 2016

How Does Your CTR Compare with Others in the Industry?

“What’s a ‘good’ click-through-rate?” is one of the most common questions I’ve received in my short nine months working in the media world. CTR is a commonly recognized statistic that shows advertisers how often their ad is being clicked. While CTR is not necessarily the most important data point depending on the goals of the specific campaign, it is important to understand.

WordStream looked closely at their data to create this very useful chart. Here, click-through-rates are broken down by industry to give advertisers a more in-depth look.

First, it is exceedingly important that advertisers compare search campaigns with other search campaigns and display campaigns with other display campaigns. Overall, the average CTR of a search network campaign is 1.91% while GDN (Google Display Network) only holds a CTR of 0.35%. It just wouldn’t make sense to compare search and display click-through-rates.

Next, advertisers need to be aware of the diverse industries. There are some industries that run in the middle of the pack in both search and display like Health/Medicine and Auto while others succeed stronger in search verses display or vise-versa.

Some search network successors are Dating/Personals (3.40%), Finance/Insurance (2.65%), and Business to Business (2.55%). To succeed in the search world, you have to have powerful and enticing copy, people actively searching for your product/service/industry, and motivation for consumers to click on your ad. However, Industrial Services (1.40%) and Legal (1.35%) don’t quite seem to have the same success when it comes to search advertising. Maybe it’s due to advertising restrictions causing the copy of the ads to be less enticing, or maybe consumers use word of mouth to find a lawyer as opposed to the internet.

On the GDN, Technology trumps all with a 0.84% CTR followed by Dating/Personal and Advocacy both at 0.52%. I imagine the creative minds in the technology business can come up with some pretty intriguing display ads. I believe that consumers are continuously interested in these three industries whether they’re actively searching for them or not, which could spark interest when a viewer sees the ad and lead to a click. On the reverse side, Employment Services (0.14%), Consumer Services (0.20%), B2B (0.22%), and Education (0.22%) are among the worst CTR performers on the GDN.

So, before pegging a campaign as a success or failure based on the CTR, it is important to see the averages in the same industry. This will help you better understand your campaign as well as set reasonable goals for the next campaign. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Do Lengthy Story Telling Ads Have Hope for a Comeback?

Today’s culture is one that embraces instant information and longs for messages that are short, sweet, and to the point. Our smartphones and tablets are flooded with six-second Vines and disappearing Snapchats. Advertisers have adapted their messages to reach consumers despite their dwindling attention span. So what about the “Mad Men era” emotion filled 60-second spots? Have they vanished alongside the Walkman or will they make a comeback like scrunchies and jean jackets? Google partnered with Mondelez International and Droga5 to find out.

Google’s study consisted of three similar ads for Honey Maid. The ads all varied in length at 15 seconds, 30 seconds, and just over 2 minutes. These ads were run on YouTube’s TrueView skippable ad format. With TrueView, viewers can skip any ad after just five seconds. The ads featured the Gomez family in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month. First, let’s break down each ad and its intention.

:15 Format
The product first appears at the six-second mark and is present in 33% of the ad. In theory, the shorter length will encourage the viewers to stick it out for “only 10 more seconds” after the skip feature is activated.

:30 Format
Here the story has more depth. The viewer can better understand the family culture. In this format, the Honey Maid product is first shown at the 11-second mark and receives 30% of the screen time. For this length, the idea is to get the best of both worlds; the viewer sees a more in-depth story while only watching an ad for half a minute.

2:17 Format
Perceptibly, this version gives the most depth into the story including family members speaking both English and Spanish. In contrast to the shorter ads, here the product is not shown until the 1:17 mark and is only filmed for 12 seconds which translates into just under 9% of the ad. With this method, the goal is to add richness into the story and produce an emotional connection.

While all three versions performed well, the 30-second spot had the highest VTR (view-through rate) which landed 30% higher than the 15-second spot. Both the longer spots also beat the 15-second spot when in terms of lifting brand favorability. However, if ad-recall and brand recognition are your main goals, the 15-second spot may be the way to go as it generates top-of-mind awareness.

With the TrueView format, ads are only charged if they are watched passed the 29-second mark or if the viewer interacts with the ad. So, unless marketers are solely driving brand recall, it only makes sense to go with the better performing, more interesting, and detailed ads.

After goals are set and ad length is determined, marketers are tasked with the challenge of creating an interesting and emotion provoking story while incorporating their brand/product in a non-disruptive way.

It seems that, like scrunchies and jean jackets, we can expect to see more comprehensive story telling ads exceeding a mere 15 seconds.

To see the entire study and watch the tested ads click here

Friday, April 8, 2016

Reaching the Youth of America: Generation Z

Today’s youth, those born between 1995 and 2012, is known as Generation Z. These kids (now between the ages of 4 and 21) of America have grown up with more technology than the Baby Boomers could have imagined. Because of that, they’ve consumed more “screen time” than the generations leading them. For advertisers, this fact brings forth positive opportunities and a few negative drawbacks.

DEFYMedia studied GenZ (people 13-24 years old*) and found that many individuals watch video from the time they wake up to the time they fall asleep. Forty percent of those studied reported engaging in video watching while at school or on the job.

Further, DEFYMedia reports the top three reasons for video watching are boredom kill/time filler (77% of respondents), keep up with shows, sports, YouTubers, etc. (63%), and stress relief/wind down from the day (61%).

More importantly for advertisers is how this generation is consuming the videos that they’re watching. Below is a chart showing the platforms that GenZ uses for viewing videos.

Digital Dominates The Menu
% Viewing
Cable/satellite TV
Digital buy/rent
HBO Now /
Sports apps
Sling TV
Source: DefyMedia, April 2016

Of these platforms, the GenZ respondents said that they just “can’t live without” YouTube (67%), Netflix (51%), Social Media (48%) and lastly Cable/satellite TV (36%). The usage of free online streaming is the most popular among this generation making up 12.1 hours weekly of viewing time where subscription services like Netflix and Hulu only collect 8.8 hours a week and Cable/satellite TV coming in last with a measly 8.1 hours per week.

From this, advertisers now know where to reach the youth of America; the hard part is how to reach them. Of those surveyed, a little over half are okay with a 1-minute pre-roll spot, however that figure jumps to 83% if the pre-roll is reduced to 15 seconds.

Advertisers must also create content that is short, sweet, and to the point to reach the generation who is accustom to 6 second Vines and Snapchats that disappear.

*The birth years in which a new generation group encompasses varies between sources thus the discrepancy between ages in this blog.

Friday, April 1, 2016

April Fools in the Business World

We all know the classic April Fools Jokes, taping the side sprayer on the faucet so when the water is turned on the person get sprayed, replacing the Oreo filling with toothpaste, turning someone’s office or bedroom completely upside-down, etc. Today, on this Fool-filled Friday, I decided to look out into the business world and share some ways that businesses have fooled us (or tried to) in the past.

1.      Google announced in 2012 that it would be shutting down YouTube as it was just a temporary effort to find the best video uploads in the world. Thankfully, it was a joke.
2.      Microsoft broadcasted its new “Palm Search technology” where users can search on Bing telepathically by scanning their handprint.
3.      Sports Illustrator writer, George Plimpton, wrote a story of a new Mets’ pitcher, Siddhartha Finch who could pitch at 168 miles per hour. Talk about throwing the heat!
4.      Groupon unveiled their new Grøüber service providing, “transportation from Groupon. Right meow” which features cats driving around passengers by following laser lights. YIKES!
5.      In 2014, Roku announced a Roku Watch, in case anyone wanted to squint at an itty-bitty screen to watch their favorite television show.
6.      In 1998, Alabama lawmakers decided to pass a law redefining “pi” as simply the number 3 as opposed to the never-ending 3.141592… However, still to this day pi has no end.
7.      Here’s one for all you south-paws, in 2015 Cottonelle tweeted its new left-handed toilet paper! Sorry to burst your bubble, but it is not true.
8.      Taco Bell, in 1996, announced via newspaper ad that it had bought the Liberty Bell in efforts to help the national dept. However, the popular fast-food chain did donate $50,000 for the bell’s care.
9.      Petco joked about releasing a selfie stick made for cats and dogs. Such a camera taking device would be activated by a simple “bark” or “meow”.
10. Office 2016 for cats was introduced in 2015 by Microsoft including PowerPounce, OneNap, and Meow.

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to seeing what businesses roll out this year for the infamous day of pranks!