Marketing Maestros

Why Does GEICO Run So Many Different TV Ads All At Once?

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.)

The World Was At CES

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.

What Trended at #CES2015

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):

  1. Wearable Tech
  2. Drones
  3. Ultra HD/4K 
  4. Virtual Reality
  5. Robotics
  6. Driverless Cars
  7. 3D Printing
  8. Connected Home
  9. 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. 

Observations from CES

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! 

A New Year, a New Magazine

By Andrew Eitelbach, senior manager of marketing and communications
Posted: Jan 8, 2015 12:30pm ET

ANA MagazineToday 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 Amramthe 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 aeitelbach@ana.net, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter. We'd love to get your feedback.  

Hello from CES!

By Jesse Feldman, manager, marketing knowledge center
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.

Transparency Issues Ring Out 2014 … And Ring In 2015

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!

See you at CES!

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Dec 19, 2014 10:00am ET

In early January 150,000 people will make the pilgrimage to Las Vegas for the 2015 CES.  More than 20% of those will be from the marketing/advertising industry.

ANA is excited to partner with the Consumer Electronic Association to develop conference programming and we will be presenting Digital Disruption. Digital has completely disrupted and transformed the landscape for marketers, agencies and media companies. Digital Disruption will bring together top industry leaders to share case studies and discuss the hottest issues in digital marketing and media. 

Digital Disruption will take place from January 6-8, 2015 at C Space, located at ARIA, which is the official CES destination for creative communicators, brand professionals and digital advertisers. Confirmed speakers for Digital Disruption are: 

Beware Sourced Traffic – per ANA/White Ops Bot Fraud Study

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Dec 16, 2014 10:00am ET

Last week ANA and White Ops publicly released the report, “The Bot Baseline: Fraud in Digital Advertising.” The study analyzed the level of bot fraud occurring across the digital advertising industry and made a series of recommendations.

One of the biggest findings is that publishers who purchased “sourced traffic” display inventory from a third party had 52 percent fraud. To put that in perspective, fraud in display advertising overall was 11% so sourced traffic display inventory was almost five times higher! Importantly, well-known publishers and premium publishers were not immune to high bot levels in sourced traffic.

Sourced traffic (or traffic sourcing) is any method by which publishers acquire more visitors through third parties. That’s often done because a publisher does not have enough available inventory on its own site to fulfill the requirements of a buy and, rather than turn away ad dollars, that publisher goes out to third party sites and buys traffic that mirrors the audience on its own site.

Given that traffic sourcing correlates strongly to high bot percentages, it’s recommended that buyers request transparency from publishers around traffic sourcing and build language in RFPs and insertion orders that requires publishers to identify all third-party sources of traffic. Furthermore, buyers should have the option of rejecting sourced traffic and running their advertising only on a publisher’s organic site traffic.

Publishers should always monitor sourced traffic, know their sources and maintain transparency about traffic sourcing. Publishers should then eliminate sources of traffic that are shown to have high bot percentages.

The Bot Baseline: Fraud in Digital Advertising has some terrific insights and provides a total of seventeen recommendations to the industry to help combat fraud. 

The December Issue of Spotlight Is Here

By Andrew Eitelbach, senior manager of marketing and communications
Posted: Dec 12, 2014 12:30pm ET

As the year comes to a close, so does the run of ANA Magazine Spotlight, or at least in its current form. But the publication is going out on a high note, with a look at the quest for cross-platform measurement standards and how we’re defining viewable impressions. Brought to you by our partner Scripps Networks Interactive, this month’s issue also takes a close look at how to effectively reach the highly-influential lifestyle consumer, and more.
In January, we’re launching a reimagined publication called ANA. Developed specifically for client-side marketers, this magazine will feature a new interface that allows for a more integrated multimedia experience, increased social sharing, and a better reading experience. Stay tuned. 
In the meantime, don't miss this month’s ANA Magazine Spotlight.

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About This Blog

To complement our two leadership blogs and build dialogue on the seismic changes happening in marketing, we launched Marketing Maestros. Our in-house citizen journalists will talk about everything from marketing technology to accountability and everything in between. This blog is written for marketers by ANA's marketers whose insights are drawn from the voices of the client side marketing community.