By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Jan 30, 2015 9:00am ET
Native advertising provides marketers with the opportunity to create relevant associations between their brands and consumers via content. Done right, native advertising is a win for marketers, consumers, and publishers. Marketers win because their messages have a better likelihood of being seen/read versus traditional advertising. Consumers win because marketing messages have more contextual relevance than traditional advertising. And publishers win given the business development potential.
With native advertising the advertiser attempts to gain attention by providing messaging in the context of the user’s experience. The advertiser’s intent is to make the paid advertising feel less intrusive and increase the likelihood users will engage with it. But it cannot fool the consumer into thinking it’s editorial content from the publisher. There must be clear disclosure that it is indeed advertising.
According to the new ANA white paper, “Advertising Is Going Native,” 66% of respondents agree that native advertising needs clear disclosure that it is advertising. Only 13 percent feel that such disclosure is not needed, while 21% are not sure. Comment to that 13% who feel disclosure is not needed – you’re either wrong or misinformed and that’s the type of perspective that damages consumer trust in advertising.
According to survey respondents, both the publisher and the advertiser have a high responsibility to ensure disclosure. Comment to advertisers – this is an issue for you to be on top of; don’t simply delegate responsibility to your agency or the publisher. Advertisers must play an active role in ensuring disclosure.
Three-fourths of respondents feel that there is an ethical boundary for the advertising industry when it comes to native advertising – and that overwhelming perspective is terrific.
To enable consumers to tell the difference between native advertising and editorial, proper disclosure that native advertising content is indeed advertising is a must. Marketers have a responsibility to provide that transparency to consumers in order to maintain trust, and they must play a lead role in working with publishers to ensure proper disclosure. The advertising industry has had a long and successful history of self-regulation, but poor (or no) disclosure could undermine the long-term potential of native advertising and result in the threat of government intervention.
By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Jan 29, 2015 9:30am ET
Native advertising has been one of the hottest and most controversial terms of the past year and a new ANA survey provides the marketers’ perspective.
Native advertising is an advertising method in which the advertiser attempts to gain attention by providing messaging in the context of the user’s experience. In fourth quarter 2014, ANA surveyed members to understand how they use and budget for native advertising, manage its implementation internally and externally, and measure its success. The survey was also meant to reveal marketers’ opinions on questions of disclosure and ethics. The survey results are officially being released today and the following provides high level findings.
Budgets for native advertising are increasing
Almost three in five (58 percent) say their company used native advertising during the past year. Concurrently, spending on native adverting is increasing.
- Past year budgets increased for 55 percent of respondents.
- In 2015, 63 percent of respondents expect to increase budgets allocated to native advertising.
Despite the spending increases, native advertising currently accounts for a small percentage of overall advertising budgets — 5 percent or less for 68 percent of respondents.
Contextual relevance main benefit
The main benefit of native adverting is the ability to create extremely relevant associations between the brand and consumer via content. Given today’s media landscape, where consumers can avoid ads more than ever, advertisers are looking for new ways to get their messages noticed and acted upon.
Many external resources have roles
Many external resources have roles in helping marketers manage native advertising: media agencies, media owners/publishers, creative agencies, specialized digital agencies, public relations agencies, and content marketing agencies. Media agencies have the highest incidence of usage and are identified as the “most valuable” resource.
There are measurement concerns
Measuring the impact of native advertising is a challenge. Multiple metrics are employed, but no metric stands out as “most important.”
Disclosure and ethics are key issues.
Two-thirds of respondents agree that native advertising needs clear disclosure that it is indeed advertising. Only 13 percent feel that such disclosure is not needed.
Both the publisher and the advertiser have a responsibility to ensure disclosure.
Three-fourths of respondents feel that there is an ethical boundary for the advertising industry when it comes to native advertising. Disclosure and transparency are major concerns about native advertising that keep respondents up at night.
ANA members can access the full ANA report, titled “Advertising Is Going Native.”
By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Jan 15, 2015 10:30am ET
ANA was pleased to have been invited by the Consumer Electronics Association to develop conference programming for the 2015 CES, and presented Digital Disruption. Top industry leaders shared case studies and discussed the hottest issues in digital marketing and media. Some highlights follow:
Stevie Benjamin talked about how Twitter was at the center of a new Miller Time campaign — that’s Twitter and NOT television!
According to Michael Donnelly, digital advertising is a “forced multiplier” for MasterCard to drive business. Michael said, “Digital is a series of tactics. It’s not about having a digital strategy. Rather, it’s about having a business strategy.”
Bonin Bough of Mondelez (pictured at right) discussed the benefits of a “hacker mentality”— creating value by breaking things.
American Licorice realized that it couldn’t compete in its category with paid media. Instead, according to Michael Kelly, they played up their strengths in earned media allowing American Licorice to leverage its creativity and agility as well as the deep emotional connection consumers have with its brands.
According to James Whittaker of Microsoft, there are just too many apps. He stressed the importance of apps adding value and noted the RunPee app which tells movie goers the best times to use the bathroom during a movie, without missing important scenes.
Subway, per CMO Tony Pace (pictured at right), has been leveraging branded message integration to reach and engage consumers. Those consumers find branded content to be less intrusive than product placement.
Digital Disruption took place at C Space, located at ARIA, which was the official CES destination for creative communicators, brand professionals and digital advertisers. Kudos to CEA for organizing C Space and thanks again for the invitation!
By Michael Berberich, manager, marketing knowledge center
Posted: Jan 14, 2015 1:00pm ET
If you’re like me (or like the writers of 30 Rock) you’ve always been curious as to why GEICO runs so many different TV ads concurrently. From an overly-sensitive (but highly cultured) caveman to a camel who loves Wednesdays to the now-iconic GEICO gecko, no other brand in the history of advertising has used so many branded characters and ads with differing tones and messages at the same time. At first glance it might not seem like a wise use of budget, but GEICO has two very good reasons for its TV strategy.
First, think of GEICO’s target audience: car drivers. There are more than 200 million Americans with driver’s licenses, and GEICO wants their business, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, taste, or region. Even megabrands like Coca-Cola are focusing on some sort of niche (younger consumers typically drink more sugary soda), but car insurance is as close to a “universal commodity” as you might find: if you don’t live in a major metropolis, it’s very likely you have a car, and if you own a car you have car insurance. At least I sincerely hope you do. When you think of it that way, it starts to make sense why GEICO would offer ads that range from straightforward and tame to the borderline absurd.
The second reason for the volume and diversity of the ads is that people consume content (specifically TV content) differently than they used to. Fifty years ago, popular TV shows like Dragnet used to focus on one storyline per episode; today, shows like Game of Thrones, which has one of the largest TV followings of any show, can easily feature half a dozen intersecting storylines in a single episode. The digital revolution of the 1990s and early 2000s made us all media multitaskers, so it makes sense that a brand showing us so many different presentations of its messaging would appeal to us. Oh, and if you’re wondering if it’s made a difference in sales, how’s this: for the past 10 years GEICO has been the fastest growing insurance company in the U.S., going from the eighth- to second-largest provider in a category where the competition dwarfs them.
Want to learn more about GEICO? Click here!
(It’ll probably take even less than 15 minutes.)
By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Jan 14, 2015 10:00am ET
One out of every four attendees at CES this year came from outside the U.S. With 170k total attendees, that’s more than 40k from abroad. The international breadth of the show was apparent to me from the time I boarded my flight, where the two gentlemen in my row were part of a contingent from Israel. I also met people from Austria, Bahrain, France, Germany, and Mexico at the show.
The presence of Chinese exhibitors was seen on the showroom floor with large booths from Chenghong, Heier, and Hisense. A CEA spokesperson called this “the rise of the Chinese brands” and said that the Chinese have notably increased their exhibit space in just the last couple of years. Further, CEA announced that CES Asia will take place in Shanghai in May.
The name of the show, but the way, isn’t simply CES but is called the International CES. The world was truly in Las Vegas at the International CES.
By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Jan 13, 2015 10:30am ET
The CES Social Media Command Center integrated traditional, digital and social conversations and other data into real-time dashboards and visualizations. More than halfway intro the conference, these were the top trending terms (and my guess is that the final trending was similar):
- Wearable Tech
- Ultra HD/4K
- Virtual Reality
- Driverless Cars
- 3D Printing
- Connected Home
- Smart Phones
Wearables at CES focused on health and fitness, with smart watches especially hot.
Drones could provide applications for package delivery, security monitoring, and photography. It will be interesting to see where this category goes.
Televisions continue to get bigger, thinner, and cheaper, and 4K TVs are projected to represent 41% of unit volume in just three years.
Facebook helped spark the current interest in virtual reality with its acquisition of Oculus Rift.
There were a record ten automotive exhibitors at CES and many had driverless cars. Liability/insurance issues will need to be worked out before these can take to public roads.
3D printing exhibit space at CES was up 150% this year. This is likely to be more of a commercial than consumer product and the food industry was particularly noted by a number of exhibitors.
Take a look at those top trending categories again. How many could you have imagined just five years ago? I can’t wait to see what’s trending in 2020!
And a special thanks to the Consumer Electronics Association for organizing two tours of the showroom floor for the ANA and our members as those substantially enhanced our learning.
By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Jan 12, 2015 11:00am ET
Last week’s International CES in Las Vegas drew more than 170k attendees and featured 2.2 million square feet of exhibit space — both new highs. Some of my personal observations from the show:
Autos are tech products: There were a record ten automotive exhibitors at CES, with Ford President & CEO Mark Fields giving a keynote speech. Mr. Fields called Ford, “both a product and mobility company.”
The Internet of Things: Anything that can be connected to the internet, will be connected. That includes cars, home security products, mattresses, clothing, surfboards, and even urinals. That last product category was noted by Shawn DuBravac, CEA’s chief economist. Further, every device that connects with you, collects data.
Televisions are getting bigger, thinner, and cheaper: 4K televisions (ultra high definition with resolution of 4000 pixels) are projected to represent 41% of unit volume in 2018 versus 4% in 2014.
Wearable Tech: For the second year in a row wearables were a very hot category at CES, most focused on health and fitness. According to the CES Social Command Center, the #1 ranked term on Twitter (#CES2015) during the show was wearable tech. And smart watches were everywhere. One analyst said, “2015 will likely be the year of the smart watch.” Intel, LG, Motorola, and Samsung have smart watches; of course, Apple is coming.
ANA Presence at CES: ANA was delighted to partner with the Consumer Electronic Association to develop conference programming for the 2015 CES, and presented Digital Disruption, an event that brought together top industry leaders to share case studies and discuss hot issues in digital marketing and media.
I’ll close with a quote I heard from Shelley Palmer at a reception hosted by the Meredith Corporation: “Today you are experiencing the lowest rate of technology change you will ever experience for the rest of your life.” Think about that!
By Andrew Eitelbach, senior manager of marketing and communications
Posted: Jan 8, 2015 12:30pm ET
Today we launch a reimagined publication, ANA. Filled with trending topics, pertinent stats and charts, relevant news, marketing best practices, expert advice, and insight from some of the industry's most notable marketers, this monthly magazine offers a wealth of information in a fun and approachable way. And because it's digital, we can offer video, social sharing options, and a number of other interactive elements to enrich the reading experience.
In each issue, we'll have a dedicated special section where ANA Thought Leadership partners offer expert-level insights on the topics they know best. In our inaugural issue, Lippincott examines the catalysts that energize brands and accelerate growth.
Our cover story on developing an effective content marketing strategy looks to Kraft Foods, Charles Schwab, and Rust-Oleum as examples, with additional advice and perspective from agency professionals and industry leaders.
Other stories in this issue include Microsoft's new Instagram account, a Q&A with Heineken's Ron Amram, the numbers behind Budweiser's "Puppy Love" spot, what the new Congress will mean for the marketing industry, and much more.
Take a look, and let us know what you think. You can leave a comment on this blog post, send me an email at email@example.com, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter. We'd love to get your feedback.
By Jesse Feldman, senior manager of content strategy and partnerships
Posted: Jan 8, 2015 10:00am ET
The ANA has been disrupting busy CES schedules with great content and programming this week. Speakers from CEA, MillerCoors, Microsoft, MasterCard, American Licorice Company, and Mondelez International have already entertained and educated attendees during our Digital Disruption event. We’ve had standing room-only crowds and lively Q&A sessions.
If you’re in Vegas this week, don’t miss our last session on Thursday. Starting at 9 AM, Subway’s Chief Marketing Officer Tony Pace will be talking about the company’s digital, social, and content programs. All you need to get in is your CES badge; it’ll be scanned at the door. For more information, click here.
(Pro-tip: there’s a Starbucks just outside the room and up the escalator.)
Jesse Feldman works in the ANA’s Marketing Knowledge Center (MKC), a rich suite of insights, case studies, event recaps, and research. You might notice her taking notes for the MKC at committee meetings, members-only conferences, or (virtually) webinars. She’ll be popping onto the ANA blog to regularly highlight some latest and greatest MKC content.
By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Dec 29, 2014 1:00pm ET
Ad Age identifies media transparency as one of its “Biggest Stories of the Year” and acknowledges work from ANA, saying:
Media Transparency: As digital-media buying reached an all-time high this year, marketers pushed for more clarity around agency-compensation models, inventory pricing, ad viewability and fraud. An Association of National Advertisers survey found that nearly half of respondents were concerned about the transparency of media buys. This year, a handful of marketers also sought to exert more control over programmatic buying by bringing it in-house.
The Wall Street Journal wrote about “Five Issues Facing Madison Avenue in 2015” and one of those issues is: Programmatic buying and what it means for the agency-client relationship will come into greater focus. The article goes on to say:
Though programmatic technologies are aimed at making ad buying and selling more efficient, it’s also raising questions from clients about what they’re getting for their money when they use an agency trading desk and how their data is being used. A report earlier this year from Forrester Research and the ANA found 46% of the 125 marketers polled said they have concerns about the transparency between them and the agencies that buy online ads on their behalf. Some brands are even making moves to take their digital media buying operations in-house, highlighting potential trust issues between clients and their agencies.
I personally believe that the relationship between marketers and their media agencies is less transparent/more opaque than it’s ever been in any of our respective careers. You can count on the issue of media transparency staying high on ANA’s priority list in 2015!