Marketing Maestros

The Votes Are in. Is Your Brand on Top?

By Sloan White,Principal Brand Manager, Brand Sponsorships, Capital One
Posted: Oct 18, 2012 12:00am ET

It may be an election year, but every day is Election Day in the world of consumer goods marketing. Every day, we the American people cast our vote each time we purchase a product. We cast our vote as consumers for our favorite brands. We choose the winners and the losers daily. Consumers, like voters, want to feel good about the brands they endorse. This was the theme of Marc Pritchard’s presentation. He provided some vital information regarding the successes and a few mistakes that Proctor & Gamble has made over the brand’s lifetime. However, the common theme throughout his presentation was that brands shouldn’t be afraid to show their human side and this simple truth can make the difference between a win and a loss at the polls.

As consumers, we make decisions, often times from a very emotional place and that was the influence behind the P&G “Official sponsor of moms” Olympic campaign.  The company leveraged this theme by communicating the message that being a mom is “the hardest job and the best job.” This campaign humanized P&G; advertising was created featuring daughters with their mothers showcasing athletes Shawn Johnson, Gabby Douglas, and Jordan Wieber with their moms.

Marc emphasized that brands must earn your vote by proving they understand your needs and wants. That is why P&G sent researchers into the homes of consumers to find out what parents really need from their Pamper diapers. It wasn’t how well it withstands hours on a crawling baby, but rather how dry it stays during the night. P&G quickly learned that what parents need perhaps more than anything is a baby that sleeps well. From there they went on to craft a product that met that need. A marketing campaign was developed with the tagline, “Peaceful nights. Playful days.” The campaign spoke directly to parents who understand the importance of a well-rested child.

Throughout his speech, Marc did an excellent job of providing insights into not only what P&G does to reach people, but why every single purchase we make as consumers is casting a vote. The key takeaway was that consumer insight + creativity is the key to winning at the polls.

Ad-ID, the Time Is Now!

By Bob Liodice, President and CEO, ANA
Posted: Oct 17, 2012 12:00am ET

In late summer 2012, the ANA’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to make Ad-ID the industry standard for all advertising asset coding by January 2014. Enough with all the industry excuses for not employing Ad-ID. There are no more valid reasons, no more lame excuses, and no rationale for deferring the broad scale adoption of Ad-ID. None.

So what’s all the fuss about? Let’s start at the beginning and talk about the grungy side of advertising: the “marketing supply chain,” which represents all the backroom business processes that move the creative from advertiser to agency to vendor to media. Most marketers like to look the other way when it comes to managing this because it’s not “sexy.” But the reality is that the process is suboptimal and it costs the industry plenty. The supply chain is unproductive and messy because much of it is mired in old, analog-based processes. The lost productivity in time, rework, and errors costs the industry $1 billion to $3 billion annually; that translates to $10 billion to $30 billion over a decade. I don’t know about you, but I see no reason to waste $30 billion over 10 years when the solution sits right in front of us: Ad-ID.

The supply chain needs a common coding system — one that serves functions similar to what the UPC code does with products and services. Each advertising asset should have a unique code assigned to it so that the asset finds its way through the supply chain like greased lightning. Unfortunately, the industry has not completely embraced this philosophy. Today, only 41 percent of television commercials, 12 percent of radio executions, and practically no digital ads at all leverage Ad-ID. All other marketers use homegrown coding systems that lead to confusion and waste, at an enormous cost to all players in the chain.

While lost productivity is one issue, the other major casualty of poor industry asset coding is suboptimum syndicated measurement. Without a common standardized coding base, syndicated measurement companies scramble to pull their data together — often incorrectly. This costs marketers dearly in terms of weak accountability and lost revenue due to bad decision making.

Ad-ID carries all the metadata necessary for the digital asset to fly through the supply chain “error free.” That means no rework, optimum productivity, and great measurement potential. So what’s not to like about it? The industry call to action is to have one universal advertising asset coding system by January 2014: Ad-ID.



Tech tock, tech tock...

By Lisa Wang,VP & Regional Head of Exchange Traded Funds Marketing, State Street Global Advisors
Posted: Oct 16, 2012 12:00am ET

Two recurring themes from the presentations at the ANA conference, whether they came from P&G, J&J, McDonald's, Luta, BP, Ford, etc. stick out in my mind. The first is understanding and embracing how technology can transform your business model and brand on a scale never before achieved; think how McDonald's efficient assembly line process revolutionized all industries across the globe. The second is leveraging your brand platform to do more just than sell products, but to personify the offering through acts that help underserved communities, as was the case for Luta's Fight for Peace program; a boxing-based project that takes youth off streets that are terrorized by drug wars.

Even more, today's technology allows people to communicate crisis, assemble a support group, or provide potable water to remote regions, and companies are pitching in. Although these high-profile humanitarian efforts might help companies sell widgets and build brands better and faster than hungry looking models, they are also the RIGHT things to do. And for us as consumers and marketers, it's very easy to support these efforts through linking inspiring Dove campaigns on Twitter and "liking" a relief effort post to donate a dollar through Facebook (and you know you like the warm tingle you feel as you push that send button). But what do we do about the dark side of humanity where the ticking bomb of technology is used to do WRONG? Things like advancing a nuclear arms race, releasing computer viruses on national defense systems and posting hate videos on YouTube? As much as we want to impact positive change, these situations are ones we tend to turn a blind eye to and leave in the hands of our national leaders. Because hey, that's above our pay grade, outside of our perception of our sphere of influence and frankly we've got enough problems to worry about! New York Times journalist David E. Sanger injects a dose of the current-events surrounding these realities, tells us why we should care and challenges us to consider what we can do about them. 

Take-aways from the ANA Masters of Marketing Conference

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Oct 15, 2012 12:00am ET

I am just back from the ANA Masters of Marketing Conference and learned so much!  The following provides a key take-away for me from each of the speakers.

How Marketers Are Budgeting for Newer Media Platforms to Reach Multicultural Customers

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Oct 5, 2012 12:00am ET

ANA has just completed and released research to help understand how marketers are using newer media platforms to reach multicultural customers (e.g., mobile, social media, webinars, blogs, search, and more). The results include some interesting findings related to how marketers are budgeting for this. 

The great majority of marketers project they will spend more (60%) or the same (24%) on newer media for multicultural efforts in 2012 compared to last year. The average increase in spend on newer media for multicultural marketing in 2012 is 9%. Meanwhile, the great majority of marketers project they will spend more (56%) or the same (31%) on all multicultural media compared to last year. The average increase in spend on all multicultural media in 2012 is also 9%.

Respondents to the survey were asked how newer media platforms for multicultural customers are currently being funded at their company. More than half surveyed (56%) said the funds are shifted from the general market media/marketing communications budget. An additional 22% have shifted funds within their multi­cultural media/marketing communications budget. Only 28% have an incremental budget. This indicates that marketing budgets continue to be under pressure, and while there may be some incremental budget available for multicultural newer media marketing, for the most part, existing funds are simply being reallocated.

Finally, in 2012 the average percentage of the multicultural media budget allocated to newer media platforms was 7.7%. That percentage is likely too low, as the consumers’ consumption of newer media in reality represents a much bigger percentage of their overall media consumption. At the same time, investment in multicultural marketing overall is also likely too low for many marketers. 

At the upcoming Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference, a panel will share the results and offer insights on the survey.




General Market Agencies Do Multicultural / Multicultural Agencies Do General Market

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Sep 26, 2012 12:00am ET

ANA recently announced the finalists for the 2012 Multicultural Excellence Awards, which celebrate the year's preeminent multicultural advertising campaigns.  This year, there are some interesting observations regarding the finalist agencies.

More multicultural agencies are doing work for the general market, and more general market agencies are doing work for multicultural markets.

LatinWorks is an interesting case study.  Their website describes them initially as“a full-service advertising agency.”  They have been named Hispanic Agency of the Year by Adweek and Multicultural Agency of the Year by Advertising Age. Alejandro Ruelas, LatinWorks' managing partner and chief marketing officer, was quoted earlier in the year in Ad Age saying, "The agencies that will survive in our space are the ones that behave like general-market agencies."  LatinWorks then backed up that statement when the Texas Lottery awarded its entire account to the agency, which had previously only handed the Hispanic portion.

Meanwhile, general market agencies like mcgarrybowen, McCann, and Leo Burnett appear to be increasingly involved with communications targeted to multicultural segments.

In ANA’s soon to be released survey on multicultural marketing and newer media we asked respondents to identify the external resources used for multicultural initiatives.

These results are most interesting as there appears to be the opportunity for more marketers to engage multicultural agencies, as only half of survey respondents are currently doing so.  At the same time, general market agencies appear to be increasingly involved with communications targeted to multicultural segments, as some clients are now “marketing to a multicultural nation” rather than doing “multicultural marketing.”

Let’s see how agencies continue to evolve in this space.  And stayed tuned for the winners of the ANA Multicultural Excellence Awards, which will be announced at the ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference  October 28-30 in Miami.




More Commercials is NOT the Solution for a Decline in Ratings

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Sep 21, 2012 12:00am ET

Viacom recently announced plans to increase the number of commercials run on some of its cable networks to offset loss of revenue due to a decline in ratings.  Really??

This is a short-term strategy and is clearly not sustainable over the longer haul or in the best interests of advertisers. With even more commercial minutes, consumers are likely to tune out, and off, even more.  Why would a viewer put up with as many as 16 minutes of commercials on Nick at Nite when DVDs, VOD, YouTube and other options are available with no or limited interruptions?

More commercials is NOT the solution to a decline in ratings as that will ultimately lead to an even greater acceleration to declining ratings and ad rates.  And then what’s the solution to that … even more commercials?

Websites Work for Connecting with Multicultural Customers

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Sep 11, 2012 12:00am ET

ANA has just completed research to help understand how marketers are using newer media platforms to reach multicultural customers. This research is important since multicultural customers have been the earliest adopters of digital technology and the growth rate for multicultural audiences has outpaced the general market. The results of the research should be of significant interest to the marketing community and full details will be shared at the ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference in late October. But in the meantime, we thought we’d tease you with just a sliver of the rich learning.   

Websites are the “king” of newer media platforms to connect with multicultural customers – specifically, company and branded product websites. Of the 18 newer media platforms analyzed in our research, websites rank as the top platform used to reach multicultural customers. Further, websites were cited as the newer media platform for targeting multicultural customers that will get the most spending in 2012. And to top things off, websites were ranked as the most effective newer media platform for reaching multicultural customers. That’s a great story for websites!   

And marketers are employing in-language websites to reach their U.S.-based multicultural customers. 63% indicate use of an in-language website to reach their U.S.-based multicultural customers. 59% of marketers have a Spanish-language website and 22% have an Asian-language website to reach their U.S.-based multicultural customers.    

Yes, there is buzz and news on mobile, social media, search, and more. And we’ll be sharing that in upcoming weeks. But websites are front and center for marketers to reach multicultural customers.



Calming Down Loud Commercials & Station Promos

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Sep 6, 2012 12:00am ET

The Calm Act goes into effect December 13, 2012.  The Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation 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.

MediaPost recently reported some interesting news on the Calm Act related to station promos.  The FCC has made it clear that station promos should be treated the same as ads – in other words, the station promos cannot be louder.  The National Cable & Telecommunications Association, a cable industry trade group, is arguing otherwise. MediaPost goes on to say,

“It makes sense for the FCC to treat the two as the same when considering CALM implementation. What a coup it would be for networks if promos were exempt, bringing louder promos than the programs and ads. Talk about standing out. The ad industry should make sure promos are treated the same as ads to avoid the prospect of distracting from their messages.”

ANA applauds the FCC perspective. With the Calm Act, commercials cannot be louder than programming.  And it makes perfect sense that station promos be treated the same as commercials and also not be louder than programming.


Tip Jars and Emotional Connections

By Bill Duggan, Group EVP, ANA
Posted: Aug 27, 2012 12:00am ET

Tip jars are now common at coffee shops, delis, and some quick serve restaurants. And those tip jars have recently taught me something about emotional connections.

One shop I frequent has a cash register that automatically dispenses change to customers and the tip jar is adjacent to that dispenser.  I never deposit change in that tip jar.  In another shop, a server provides the change to the customer—one human hand to the other.  I sometimes tip there.

Said another way, I never tip when the machine provides change but sometimes tip when a person provides change—usually when that person looks me in the eye, smiles, and says thank you.  So I tip when there is a human, emotional connection. 

Brands can learn from tip jars too as there is usually more power in creating an emotional connection in marketing/advertising versus communicating a rational/functional benefit.  Two recent examples from the trade press provide examples.

Advertising Age recently profiled Zumba CMO Jeffrey Perlman who cited the “a-ha” moment in Zumba’s growth as, “I realized we were selling the wrong thing.  We were selling fitness when we should be selling emotion.  I wanted to turn Zumba into a brand where people felt that kind of free and electrifying joy.”  

MediaPost reports on new Nielsen research from their TV Brand Effect service on factors that contribute to successful television commercials.  Nielsen found that ads building an emotional connection are effective “by triggering the brain to identify an experience as important enough to remember.”  Spots can’t just dole out information, but need to establish a narrative. 

Brands can learn from tip jars, Zumba, and Nielsen – emotional connections are typically better than rational ones.


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About This Blog

Written by our in-house citizen journalists, this varied blog draws on insights from the client-side marketing community, examines game-changing campaigns and industry research, provides actionable takeaways from ANA events, and more.