By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Mar 2, 2012 12:00am ET
The Today Show on March 1 witnessed a horrific collision between content and advertising. Within the first fifteen minutes of the show, a segment aired about a cruise ship that had lost power while in the Indian Ocean. According to the segment, it took three days to tow the ship into port, through waters known for pirate attacks, and during that time passengers endured stifling heat and had to spend nights sleeping on the top deck. The cruise ship belongs to Carnival and the story noted that this was the line's second PR disaster in less than two months, while flashing to images of the Costa Concordia still on its side off the coast of Italy.
It only took ten minutes for the next PR disaster.
During the very next commercial break an ad for Carnival ran - the one with the Todd Rundgren track ("I don't wanna work, and wanna bang on the drum all day") opening with a teen age girl blowing a big bubble watching dad totally unwind on the cruise vacation.
Why, why, why - in this day and age isn't someone at the network (or local station level) monitoring the news content and looking at the commercial log to make sure embarrassments like this don't happen? Advertisers deserve better.
This is an age old issue. But the stakes are higher now as mistakes like this are amplified via social media.
My guess is that the Carnival spot aired in a local break on WNBC in New York (and perhaps other markets). But checks and balances need to be applied at both the national and local levels.
By Caitlin Nitz, Knowledge & Research Specialist
Posted: Feb 27, 2012 12:00am ET
The old saying "Don't judge a book by its cover," is more relevant than ever in today's Web 2.0 world. From LinkedIn to online dating profiles, we now judge other people based on tiny 100x100 pixel images. Never before has image control and personal promotion been more important to get a job, a boyfriend, and now a good seat on an airplane.
KLM, a Dutch airline, has introduced its "Meet & Seat" program, which lets passengers pick who they'd like to sit next to during the flight by browsing other passenger's Facebook or LinkedIn profiles. The airline touts it as an opportunity to sit next to someone "interesting" and "expand your network." Promotions for the program on the airline's website feature two handsome young business men meeting at the airport lounge before the flight, chatting it up onboard, and sharing a cab ride into the sunset after landing.
It's all so wonderfully naïve. I can't help thinking that Meet & Seat could create the blind date from hell, where there's literally no exit strategy and no "emergency phone call" from your best friend to rescue you.
Thank goodness the Meet & Seat fine print reads, "every passenger reserves the right to change his or her seat and KLM reserves the right to assign or reassign a seat at any time, even after boarding of the aircraft" - in case you did a poor job of judging that book by its cover.
By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Feb 22, 2012 12:00am ET
"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." Mark Twain uttered those now famous words in 1897 upon hearing that his obituary had been published in the New York Journal.
In recent years, many pundits have been predicting the death of television. At the ANA TV Forum in 2003 there was a session titled "Is Commercial Television (as we know it) Dead?" which was described as follows: a challenge to stop the madness of spending billions of dollars in a medium where returns are increasingly hard to get. Thought
leader and creative thinker Joe Jaffe (and a friend of ANA) published a book in 2005
called "Life After the 30-Second Spot" which was pretty much an obituary of television.
But alas, the recent Grammy Awards were watched by 39 million viewers - the second highest all-time and best showing since 1984. The Super Bowl was watched by 167 million viewers and set a new record as the most widely viewed event in American television history. The average household watches 8 hours 29 minutes of television a day - also an all-time high. Now, it's the American television industry that has the right to say, "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." This resurrection of the industry has been brought on via vitality in traditional television as well as new opportunities with TV and video. Some of those new opportunities are described below.
For the past year ANA and Canoe Ventures have worked together on a study measuring the effectiveness of ITV. The insights were promising as key brand metrics-including brand recall, likelihood to seek additional information, and likelihood to purchase-were
significantly higher when accompanied by a RFI interactive offer.
"Social TV," a term most of us hadn't even heard of a couple years ago, provides a platform for consumers to interact online with one another as well as with programming and brands.
Online video remains hot-YouTube, VEVO, Hulu, pre-roll, post-roll, etc. Jack Myers predicts +48% annual growth for online video advertising revenue over next the next four years.
Out-of-home video (also called digital placed based media) is everywhere-in stores, gas stations, airports, elevators, taxi cabs, and more. According to the newest ANA/Forrester survey, 63% of marketers agree that out-of-home video is increasingly important.
And then there's mobile. 2011 seems to have finally been the year of mobile. I recently heard a prediction that by 2016 there will be 7 billion people in the world and 10 billion mobile phones. Wow.
"The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."
Mark Twain, 1897
Television (& Video) Industry, 2012
By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Feb 13, 2012 12:00am ET
At this week's ANA TV & Everything Video Forum, separate research from ANA/Forrester and ANA/Canoe Ventures will reaffirm that ITV is coming on strong.
According to the ANA/Forrester work, 24% of marketers are currently experimenting with request for information (RFI) ITV ads and 13% more plan to experiment in the next twelve months.
Meanwhile, for the past year ANA and Canoe Ventures have worked together on a study measuring the effectiveness of ITV with ANA members Fidelity, GlaxoSmithKline, Honda, Kimberly-Clark and State Farm. The insights were promising as key brand metrics were significantly higher when accompanied by a RFI interactive offer. Metrics included brand recall, likelihood to seek additional information, and likelihood to purchase.
Stayed tuned for the full reports from ANA/Forrester and ANA/Canoe.
By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Feb 8, 2012 12:00am ET
Marketers are optimistic on the future application of set-top box data to help guide television media purchasing decisions. That is one of the key findings in the latest ANA/Forrester Research survey that asked national advertisers about their attitudes towards television and video advertising and the impact new technologies will have on their advertising budgets.
Seventy-two (72%) percent of marketers believe the quality and accuracy of set-top box data will improve in the next few years. Meanwhile, 48% feel the same about Nielsen audience ratings.
The survey also asked, "What sources of data do you trust to make TV media purchasing decisions?" A 10-point scale was used ranging from ‘don't trust at all' (#1 on the scale) to ‘trust greatly' (#10 on the scale). Set-top box data held its own on this metric as well.
- 31% were in the top three boxes for set-top box data being a trusted source
- 38% were in the top three boxed for Nielsen Media Research being a trusted source
This is interesting given that Nielsen has been the long-term currency for the television industry. However, more recently advertisers and agencies have expressed keen interest in the data potentially available from set top boxes. ANA members, for example, have been clear about their interest in brand-specific commercial ratings-not just the average rating for all commercials in a program, currently provided by C3, but the actual ratings for each individual commercial. Set-top box data could potentially be a pathway to brand-specific commercial ratings.
David Cooperstein, VP, Practice Leader at Forrester Research and ANA's partner on this survey says, "This is a call to marketers and to Nielsen that modernization is on the way."
The detailed findings from the ANA/Forrester survey will be debuted at the ANA TV & Everything Video Forum on February 16 in NYC.
By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Feb 7, 2012 12:00am ET
Recently, the Federal Communications Commission adopted rules implementing the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM Act). The act responds to years of consumer complaints that the volume on some commercial advertising was much louder than that of programming and requires broadcasters to ensure that the sound level of commercials is the same as programming. It will go into effect December 13, 2012.
In the past there obviously have been some advertisers (and their agencies) who, either inadvertently or intentionally increased the audio volume of their commercials. The CALM Act prevents that as of December 13, 2012.
The main enforcement burden of the act lies with broadcast and cable stations as well as multichannel video program distributors (known as MVPDs and examples include Comcast and Verizon FiOS) and requires them to adopt industry technology that ensures commercials aren't louder than regular programming.
It is expected that most stations/distributors will require that commercial materials be delivered meeting specifications adhering to the acceptable sound levels. At least one major network has stated that they will not be adjusting commercial sound levels and reserves the right to reject any commercial material that does not meet the requirements.
ANA's sister trade associations, the 4A's (American Association of Advertising Agencies) and AICE (Association of Independent Creative Editors, which represents editorial and post-production houses) are well aware of the CALM Act and will inform and remind their respective clients of the act, when necessary. The majority of advertisers simply need to be aware of the CALM Act and no action is required. Marketers who produce/finish commercials in-house need to know the detailed requirements for compliance and have updated materials specs from all stations in their media buy.
As we get closer to the December 2012 effective date of the act, ANA will provide additional reminders as well as any new relevant information.
By Rick Knecht
Posted: Feb 6, 2012 12:00am ET
In honor of the recent Super Bowl, probably the only broadcast of which anyone says proudly "I only watch for the ads," I thought I'd say a few words in defense of the seemingly lost art of jingles.
A jingle is a short song which is part of (or sometimes the entirety of) an ad. It often contains the brand's tagline, slogan, or phrasemark. Jingles promote retention. They're meant to be catchy and memorable. A good jingle will stay with you for days or weeks. A really good jingle can be recalled for years.
Think I'm kidding? I can sing an entire Toys 'R' Us 15-second spot from 30 years ago. I can also sing the entire 30-second spot from their local competitor, Lionel Kiddie City, and they've been out of business for almost 20 years.
Lean over and start singing to your co-worker, "My baloney has a first name..." and I bet more than half will sing back, "It's O-S-C-A-R!" Why are we stuck on Band-Aids? "'Cause Band-Aids stick on me!" Plop, plop, fizz, fizz... yep, you know the next line. Gotta get me some Kibbles-N-Bits? Or the indelible bouncing ball timing "Meow meow meow meow meow" of Ralston Purina's Meow Mix?
Let's not forget one of the best-known jingles of all: "I'd like to buy the world a Coke." The ad became so popular that the New Seekers actually reconvened in a studio and recorded it as a full-length song, which became a hit. (A later update of the ad for Super Bowl XXIV in 1990, starting with the original singers and bringing in their kids, wasn't as successful.)
And lest you think jingles only happen on TV, consider the still-running radio ads for Melrose Diner Restaurant in Philadelphia. I don't even know where the Melrose is on a map, and I've never eaten there, but I do know that "Everybody who knows... goes... to Melrose!"
Jingles have undeniable power. They last. They hang around long after the campaign is over, happily keeping your brand in the minds (and on the lips) of your customers without you having to lift a finger or spend a cent.
So where are the jingles today?
Consider the advertising from the Super Bowls of the last five years. Sure, you can name some of the spots, for creativity or controversy. Could you sing any of them?
A jingle is just a short song about a brand, with a strong hook. The hook gets stuck in your head and gets repeated. Encourage that by heavy rotation, and you have the perfect recipe for brand retention. Why aren't more brands creating and using jingles?
Marketers are failing to tap the tremendous potential of the zeitgeist (today we call it "going viral") if we overlook something as simple as a jingle to get our customers' attention.
Music helps us remember. That's why so many bits on "Sesame Street" feature singing: to help children remember the alphabet, numbers, street signs, measurements, and so on. It was the genesis of "Schoolhouse Rock," the three-minute interstitials which ran on ABC between Saturday morning cartoons, teaching an entire generation about grammar, multiplication, history, science, finance, and how a bill becomes a law. ("I'm just a bill, oh yes I'm only a bill...")
Sure, a good slogan will become part of the collective consciousness: "Don't leave home without it" and "Where's the beef?" are still associated with American Express and Wendy's, decades after the companies have moved on to other taglines. But when you think about GE's "We bring good things to life," don't you find yourself singing it rather than just reciting it? When you open with "Like a good neighbor," isn't the immediate response to sing "State Farm is there"?
A solid catchphrase is lightning in a bottle. Set it to good music, and broadcast the hell out of it, and now you have a power station.
Wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too?
By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Jan 30, 2012 12:00am ET
A key challenge to the successful planning and execution of integrated marketing programs continues to be the existence of functional silos inside a company. However, progress seems to have been made.
For the fourth time in the past eight years, ANA has surveyed our members on their integrated marketing practices and challenges. Although functional silos continue to be a major challenge, things are improving. This was noted by 48% of respondents in the most recent survey (best yet!) - versus 59% in 2008 and 63% in both 2006 and 2003.
Marketers were asked what they have seen done at their current company, or other places they've worked, to help breakdown functional silos. Common responses were:
- Changes in org structure to align multiple disciplines under one leader
- Cross-training on what other functional groups do in their support of the overall goal
- Regularly scheduled cross-functional team update meetings
- Shared success, shared annual performance goals
- Executive, top-down leadership support for driving integration
- Marketing councils that work across brands, geographies
Although not specifically mentioned in this survey, I've heard from others that open-seating floor plans with various groups "mixed-in" has also been an aid to knocking down silos.
It's certainly very encouraging that such progress has been made.
By Ken Beaulieu, senior director of marketing and communications, ANA
Posted: Jan 30, 2012 12:00am ET
For an increasing number of consumers, watching television has gone from a passive activity to a truly social one. With just about any mobile device in hand, they are able to rate, comment on, and participate in select TV programming and chat about their favorite shows with friends through social channels - all in real time. Advertisers have taken notice as they are now becoming involved in the conversation. Media economist Jack Myers predicts that, between 2012 and 2020, social TV will generate an aggregate $30 billion in spending by marketers.
Tom Cunniff, vice president and director of interactive communications at Combe Inc., believes social TV gives brands the opportunity to better connect with consumers in a more engaging, emotional way. In fact, he recently experienced the integration of TV and social media himself - and was moved, to say the least. Cunniff will be leading a panel discussion on social TV at the ANA TV & Everything Video Conference on Thursday, February 16, in New York City. He recently answered a few questions for the ANA.
Q. What do you think is fueling the growth of social TV?
A. First of all, marketers realize that TV is not going away and will probably still be the dominant form of media for some time to come. Secondly, I think there's a problem with most digital media, which is that it's inherently anti-scale. We keep trying to shrink and shrink audiences down as small as we can with the illusion of finding the one person who's going to buy today. So I think smart marketers look at social TV as a chance to have an integrated solution - something that has the mass reach of television and the intimacy of social.
Q. Why should advertisers even care about social TV?
A. I think we have to care about what consumers care about. Consumers like to watch TV, be entertained by it, and they like to talk about what they just saw. TV has always been a social activity. Go back to the 1950s, when TV was introduced. Families sat around the TV and talked about what they were watching, usually during the commercials. This isn't new behavior. This isn't technology leading something and enabling it. This is what consumers already do. As an example, when the Giants and 49ers were playing for the NFC Championship, I spent the entire fourth quarter talking about it on Twitter with all my friends. It made the game much more exciting.
Q. Do you feel more shows are being created to take advantage of social media?
A. I don't, or at least not yet. I think we see some tacking on of Twitter hashtags and "like us on Facebook" messages. I think Hollywood has to do some thinking about how to integrate social. It's really what we talked about interactive TV becoming.
Q. Can you give me a great example of a social integration with TV and why it is successful?
A. My favorite example is Heineken Star Player, developed by an agency called AKQA. It's an app that lets your interact in real time with a UEFA Champion's League game. Whether you're watching the game on TV, on your mobile device, or on your laptop, you predict what's going to happen next. So if there's a corner throw, will it lead to a score? A foul? You predict what's going to happen. This goes back to basic human behavior: nobody is more of a sports expert than a man with a beer in his hand watching television. So this app just harnesses that. The agency has done a good job of game-ifying the app. You earn points, you earn bragging rights, you can be in your own league with your friends, you can play against the world. I don't know what the business results have been, but I would say if I was CMO of Heineken, I'd be really excited about the app because it just feels so natural. If I can get a guy to have a Heineken in one hand and his mobile device in the other hand watching TV, that's awesome.
Q. How can data be used to make better programming decisions?
A. We should be looking for signs of vitality in shows that haven't yet caught fire. As an example, Seinfeld didn't hit the Nielsen top 30 until its fourth season, but it had consumer buzz, it had some other buzz. But today, in this sort of hair-trigger environment, you'd just kill that show - you'd kill it instantly because it wasn't performing well. So I hope that more people say, "You know what, this show hasn't caught fire yet, but there's lots of buzz on Twitter, on Facebook, and everywhere else. We should give it some time." What I worry about is that we'll end up drawing the wrong conclusions from the right data. We'll say, "There seems to be a lot more buzz when the character wears a hat." And so now, suddenly, we'll have everybody on How I Met Your Mother wearing a hat because that's what the data tells us. I think data is fairly neutral. We can be smart about it or we can be dumb about it. I'm praying for smart but worried about dumb.
Q. Do you think that the recent resurgence of Betty White's career is a great example of the public being rewarded for their social support?
A. Yeah, that's a great example. We have to give credit to the Snickers campaign, which got that public support going. Again, that points back to the power of television. I think a problem in business is that we have people who grew up in the TV world and people who grew up in the digital world, and there's some disdain for the other side. I feel lucky because I spent about half my career in traditional media and half in digital, and for the past 10 years I have crossed both. Both sides have strengths. If you want to create mass awareness of Betty White and bring her back, there's nothing like TV. If you want to start a word-of-mouth campaign, there's nothing like social for activation. Betty White is actually a great example of traditional and digital media working together. That's the kind of thing that we should be looking at and taking advantage of. We should resist the urge to reinvent the wheel. There's fundamental human behavior involved here, and it's working really well without our interference. We should just figure out where we fit naturally.
For the full agenda on the ANA TV & Everything Video Conference and to register, visit our website.
By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Jan 20, 2012 12:00am ET
There's a line in this business that goes something like, "What matters get measured and what gets measured matters." In ANA's latest integrated marketing survey we asked two questions on performance review measurements:
- Are there any performance measurements in your employee performance review related to the successful integration of different marketing communications functions?
- Are there any performance measurements in your agency performance reviews related to the successful integration of different marketing communications functions?
The results are a mix of good and bad news. There are some enlightened marketers with such metrics, but they are in the minority - 36% for employee reviews and 46% for agency reviews.
The lesson here for marketers is simple. If integrated marketing is indeed important, there should be formal performance review measurements-both internally and with agencies-related to successful integration.