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.
By Ken Beaulieu, senior director of marketing and communications, ANA
Posted: Jan 13, 2012 12:00am ET
Marketing departments are morphing into publishing organizations right before our eyes. To help feed consumers' insatiable appetite for high-quality, emotionally compelling content across channels, some major brands are creating in-house editorial teams akin to media companies. This shrewd approach allows these brands to effectively tell their "story" in a more authentic, credible way - through white papers, article postings, podcasts, blogs, videos, and other tactics.
Indeed, at a time when two-way communication between brands and customers has replaced interruptive messaging, companies increasingly are shifting more dollars toward content marketing in an effort to educate customers about their products or services, generate leads, boost sales, increase customer retention, and build brand loyalty. Two recent surveys bear this out.
The first survey, a joint effort by the Custom Content Council and ContentWise, found that the top 100 corporate marketers spent nearly $2 million on branded content initiatives in 2011, the highest level ever. While about $450,000 was spent on electronic forms of branded content last year, publication budgets increased a whopping 68 percent. Thirty-percent of survey respondents felt their content marketing budgets would rise again this year.
A second survey, by the Content Marketing Institute (CCI) and MarketingProfs, found that nine out of 10 b-to-b marketers use content marketing to grow their business, and respondents dedicate, on average, about 26 percent of their total marketing budgets to content marketing initiatives. The most popular tactics include article posting, social media (excluding blogs), blogs, and e-newsletters, respectively.
Also interesting, 41 percent of b-to-b marketers say their greatest challenge is "producing the kind of content that engages prospects and customers," followed by "producing enough content" (20 percent), and "budgeting to produce content" (18 percent). Web traffic is the most widely used success metric (58 percent), the survey found, with sales lead quality a close second.
There is a simple reason why, more than ever, content is king: consumers not only engage with content for hours on end, they share it, blog about it, link to it, Tweet about it. And if they're not getting useful information from their favorite brands on a consistent basis, they will simply tune them out. The most successful content marketing programs embrace customer input, meet the needs of the target audience, and foster sharability.
Of course, as the CCI/MarketingProfs study points out, the staggering array of media options today can make it difficult for brands to regularly feed the content beast across multiple platforms. That's why more marketing organizations are beefing up their staff with the appropriate personnel (or working with external agencies) to create and manage content marketing initiatives - a smart move in the age of engagement.
By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Jan 10, 2012 12:00am ET
It's fashionable in blogs like this to write about negative consumer experiences rather than the positive. The negative examples often are much more compelling to read! I've taken that path in past blogs on transparency in pricing and tipping. But just recently I had a very positive experience that I'd like to share.
I will be making a trip to Visa in Foster City, CA for an ANA committee meeting. There's a Marriott Courtyard literally right across the street. But alas, I waited too long and when I went to book online they were sold out. I called the central reservation number and was also told that the hotel was sold out. No room at the inn! Finally, I call the hotel directly and spoke with Ashley. Yes, the hotel was indeed sold out - ugh! I asked if a waiting list was available. Ashley told me that this was not common practice but she would be glad to start such a list and add my name to it. In the meantime, she let me know about an alternative hotel down the road. Wouldn't you know - a few hours later I got a call from Ashley as a room opened up.
How refreshing! In this era of communication overload and overworked customer service agents it was a pleasure to get such a call. Ashley's relatively small effort made a big impact and enhanced my perception of the Marriott brand overall. Well done, Ashley!
By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Jan 4, 2012 12:00am ET
I blogged just yesterday about transparency in pricing and in my post-holiday email clean-up came across a relevant article from The New York Times (December 26, 2011). Kudos to the U.S. Department of Transportation for now mandating airlines to include taxes and fees in advertised prices. Previously, airlines were allowed to use an asterisk to list those fees separately, resulting in a paragraph of fine print disclaimers about charges that could add 20 percent or more to a ticket's price. Transparency in pricing is good for the consumer!
By Harold S. Geller, Senior Vice President, Cross Industry Workflow, 4A’s and Managing Director, Ad-ID
Posted: Jan 3, 2012 12:00am ET
We have all heard the phrase, "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link." Truth is, in the current marketing supply chain weak links abound! To successfully create a supply chain which transforms an antiquated linear view to the more apt supply web which a more three dimensional network of partners.
In preparing to present at the East Coast "TV of Tomorrow Show" Event, I started to contemplate the supply chain as it currently exists in the marketplace. There is much good that emerges from a more efficient and productive marketing supply chain; however, there is a lack of understanding among Advertisers and their Agencies as to how to begin to see these benefits.
If you refer to Item 5 of The Association of National Advertisers 10 Point Marketer's Constitution (http://www.ana.net/constitution/show ) "The marketing supply chain must become more efficient and productive."
Let's break this down:
What is a supply chain? How does it function? More importantly, why does it function? According to Wikipedia, "A supply chain is a system of organizations, people, technology, activities, information and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer. Supply chain activities transform raw materials and components into a finished product that is delivered to the end customer."
The long and short of it is that Supply Chain Excellence is what allows manufacturers to deliver to the customer. The more efficiently and effectively it works, the more likely it is that it will function without delay, or malfunction. To be clear, efficiency is different than effectiveness, albeit just as important. Marketing efficiency enables us to shorten the supply chain, reduce waste and improve productivity. The principles of digital workflow throughout the marketing process, when fully embraced by the marketing industry, will improve the accuracy of reporting and evaluation of advertising assets, affording process improvements and cost savings for everyone.
The amount of technological innovation, regardless of the size of the organization, which needs to exist in order to be a value supply web participant, is the same. Firms who are committed to a clear flow of information are more valuable and profitable.
Unfortunately, the entire current system is based on meeting the needs of the customer without giving much regard to the efficiency. Supply chain leaders need to adjust their practices. The ultimate issue here is that in Marketing and Communications we see ourselves in silos and are focused on making sure that advertisers get what they want, when they want it, for the best possible price. Although, what we should be focusing on is ensuring that the process which delivers it from raw materials to consumer usage is efficient. Why should we care? Because there is untapped operating margin.
As you can see in the visual above, each user silo contains the same usage silos reinforcing interoperability.
Many of the exchanges encountered in the supply chain will therefore be between different companies that will seek to maximize their revenue within their sphere of interest, but may have little or no knowledge or interest in the remaining players in the supply chain. More recently, the loosely coupled, self organizing network of businesses that cooperates to provide product and service offerings has been called the Extended Enterprise. This network of firms may operate independently, for example through market mechanisms or cooperatively through businesses and contracts.
There are many other interpretations of Supply Chain Management. The Council of supply-chain management professionals (CSMP) defined Supply Chain Management as: "(it) encompasses the planning and management of all activates involved in sourcing and procurement, conversion, and all logistics management activities. Importantly it also includes coordination and collaboration with channel partners, which can be suppliers, intermediaries, third-party service providers, and customers. In essence supply chain management integrates supply and demand management within and across companies. Supply Chain Management is an integrating function with primary responsibility for linking major business functions and business processes within and across companies into a cohesive and high-performance business model. It includes all of the logistics management activities noted above, as well as manufacturing operations, and it drives coordination of the process and activities with and across marketing, sales, product design, finance and information technology.
This brings me to the Marketers' Constitution Item 6: "The marketing ecosystem - including agencies, media, and suppliers - must become increasingly capable."
In using sophisticated technology and better sourcing tools, best-practice companies are better tuned to opportunities for supply and demand. In spending more time on understanding and maintaining the process, costs plummet, thereby increasing the percentage of revenue.
A multidirectional supply chain gives each member a new found appreciation, understanding and value to their role in the chain. Prohibiting the network from using new found value ultimately depreciates the supply chain itself.
As broadcasters and vendors, there is always a fear that by identifying faults in your customer's processes, your share of the budget will be reduced. By advocating the use of Supply Chain Excellence for ads throughout the supply chain, and across media platforms, we are suggesting that a little work early in the process could make everybody's life a whole lot easier, embracing standardization without inhibiting creativity can improve marketing accountability, generate operational efficiencies, reduce human error and bring value to the Advertiser.
Do you want to be the weakest link? I highly doubt it.