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By |October 4th, 2018|MediaTools Update, Product Update|Enter your password to view comments.

5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Must Know in June 2018

SQAD POD: 5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Should Know – June 2018

Industry news and insights podcast curated from the world of advertising and marketing trends.

It’s that time of year when people are hitting the road for weekend getaways, soaking up the sun on the beach, and relaxing poolside with a cold drink. As temperatures heat up, so are trends in the advertising world. This month, we’re looking at AT&T’s acquisition of TimeWarner, Apple’s refocus on advertising, Google’s response to  GDPR, podcast advertising metrics, and P&G’s push for more female representation in their marketing teams.

1.The Newest Mega-Merger

After the closely watched six-week trial for AT&T’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner, the judge has finally spoken and the companies have wasted no time after officially receiving the green light. With the $85.4 billion deal finalized, it is hands-down one of the most significant media consolidations for the U.S. communications industry as it unites massive mobile, satellite, cable distribution & programming, broadband, and pay-TV providers into a massive powerhouse that will shake up the entire landscape. AT&T was already distributing content to their 159 million wireless subscribers and 40 million pay-TV subscribers, but with the merge, it now owns all the content under Time Warner (now known as WarnerMedia) including HBO, CNN, TBS, and more. AT&T had already brought in a CEO for advertising and analytics, as well as an ad tech veteran to serve as its CMO – both of which are gearing up to spring into action. Their goal is to create an automated advertising system for premium video and TV, similar to the way digital operates. The merged companies are bound to make a huge dent in the advertising world; estimates from an AdAge report show that together, they are the nation’s second-largest advertiser after Comcast.

2. Apple Resurrects Its Ad Service

Apple has risen to dominance in the device industry, establishing itself as a trendy, must-have brand for consumers of all ages. This isn’t to say its hardware is unrivaled, however, given today’s saturated market of smart phones and gadgets that are just as good (and in some cases better than Apple’s products), the company is making moves to put less focus on its hardware and pay more attention to its digital advertising business. Apple met with digital companies like Snap and Pinterest to talk about them being a part of an Apple ad network that will deliver paid ads to their platforms. Looking to work within the framework of the newly-minted GDPR guidelines, Apple does not plan on relying on third-party data, rather contextual data – placing ads based on how relevant it is on the given site page, and the keywords being used to search. Apple’s advertising move could be game changing as it puts up competition against the duopoly of Facebook and Google, both of which depend on third-party data. App Store promotional ads brought in $1 billion last year, and this year that number may tick up even higher.

3. GDPR Reveals Google’s Grip on Publishers

After the official deadline for the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) at the end of May, ad tech companies have seen their digital ad revenues take a nosedive, revealing to many the extent to which they are reliant on Google’s vast (and clearly problematic) data collection and mining processes. Not long before the new guidelines were officially rolled out, Google warned its ad tech vendors who use its DoubleClick Bid Manager that there may be disruptions in their campaigns; and in the hours after the new enforcement was enacted, the prophecies came true. Ad vendors and exchanges saw their ad demand dip substantially from 20 to 40 percent. Sure, when GDPR was still but a looming policy, advertisers were aware of its implications – but now that it is here, they’re seeing the real impact on ad inventory and revenue. Suppliers across the board have suffered after Google’s decision to join the policy, and although some ad revenues are bouncing back after the initial drop, not all advertisers are as successful in their rebounds. GDPR is causing a reshuffling of process and priority in the online advertising industry, and things are only going to become more complicated if the US follows suit.

4. Podcasts Lure More and More Advertisers

Many find podcasts a convenient way to consume media and information – you hop in your car and start NPR, begin your day with a dose of The Daily, wind down with an episode of Welcome to Night Vale. Podcasts have quickly become a staple, and advertisers are starting to see the value of placing sponsored content on the streams. However, what’s holding them back is the lack of reliable measurement standards, which is why podcasters want to eliminate advertisers’ hesitation by adopting the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) new standard for podcast measurement. The guidelines demand more transparency and more accurate measurement of impressions. For example, a common practice has been to measure podcasts that are delivered through multiple files as separate downloads, thus artificially inflating the number of unique downloads. The IAB standards are meant to create a consistent and reliable means of leveling the playing field and ensuring advertisers get what they pay for. The short-term impact of transitioning to these new measurement standards is that advertisers may not be seeing the numbers they had been seeing previously, which were deflated and misleading. Several podcast companies are taking the lead in adopting the new standards with the hope that others will follow, which will ultimately change the game in podcast advertising, and subsequently give advertisers more reliable ROI measurements. In fact, IAB discovered in a recent study that U.S. podcast ad revenue increased 87% in 2018, and forecasts that it will reach $659 million by 2020, which is a 110% jump from this year.

5. Disrupting the Boys’ Club of Advertising

Things are certainly shaking up in the world of advertising, especially with the #MeToo movement serving as one of this year’s biggest catalysts. In an industry where agencies have long been dominated by male executives, brands are stepping forward to change the game and encourage women to take the spotlight. Proctor & Gamble is a prime example. As one of the world’s largest advertisers, it currently has women in only 10% of its director roles for its product commercials – and it wants to raise that number to at least 50% by 2023. To drive the game-changing initiative for greater equality, P&G will be partnering with Queen Latifah’s “Queen Collective” and other advertisers, including HP, to create short films produced by women that will then be promoted by P&G’s brands (Olay, Pantene, etc.). It has also joined forces with Katie Couric to support her new media company, which aims to produce content to more accurately depict women and other under-represented groups. P&G is making the moves to shift the narrative and empower women to bring change – change that will extend far beyond the advertising industry.

By |June 20th, 2018|Game Changers|0 Comments

5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Must Know in May 2018

SQAD POD: 5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Should Know – May 2018

Industry news and insights podcast curated from the world of advertising and marketing trends.

All the April showers have finally delivered May flowers…and more showers. But nothing can dampen the momentum and trends for the ad industry. Now that the temperatures are warming up and spring is in the air, we’ve got the big news stories everyone is talking about from the world of advertising. This month, we’re exploring Facebook’s clear history tool, transparency around political ads, Amazon’s next big move, the power of proving ROI, and Netflix’s eye on out-of-home advertising.

1.Facebook’s “Clear History” Changes Everything

Facebook’s advertising platform is fueled by the massive amounts of data it collects from users, whether through the site itself or via Facebook plugins embedded in external apps, websites, and devices – delivering unprecedented targeting resources for advertisers while churning out tons of ad revenue for the social giant. However, from the words of Harvey Dent, you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villain – and it appears Facebook is inching its way towards to the latter (in the eyes of advertisers) as it looks to reimagine their relationship with user data. Thanks in part to new GDPR regulations, and the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook is making big moves in the direction of user data protection and permissions. Up until now, there was no easy way of stopping Facebook from collecting user data, which has provided advertisers an all-you-can-eat buffet of unrestricted consumer data for targeted ads. But, CEO Mark Zuckerberg appears to be changing the game by announcing a “clear history” option that allows users to clear their browsing history stored by Facebook and to opt out of having their data collected. The implications are obvious: Facebook is no longer the reliable source of targeted consumer access, and advertisers are already looking for new solutions. It’s too early to tell if the changes to Facebook’s data model will break its current position as part of the duopoly with Google, but it’s clear that advertisers will need to start diversifying their digital ad strategies if they want to stay in front of their core buyers.

2. Lifting the Veil Off Political Ads

The digital space has exploded over the past decade as the new go-to channel for advertising, thanks to its ability to target audiences in a way that traditional TV, radio, and OOH never could. Look no further than the recent trends in political advertising spends, to see how powerful digital influence has become. But, recent revelations about collusion, foreign manipulation, and data breaches have resulted in regulations that crack down on digital political advertising and demand more transparency. This comes at a time where heated political issues dominate the media, as well as social media – where many operatives have leveraged loopholes for unverified content, to boost political campaigns, stoke racial unrest, deepen divides, and prey on the base fears of core constituencies. Promoted content for political propaganda has saturated social media newsfeeds over the past few election cycles, and now online companies are trying to do something about it. Specifically, Google is leading the way by requiring anyone purchasing a political ad, to have documents proving that they are a U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. Additionally, the company will release a Transparency Report that will document who is buying election-related ads and how much money is being spent. Google will also be requiring political ads to have full disclosure as to who is paying for it. If implemented and fully enforced, this could drive changes in other ad platforms and provide much-needed transparency, in a time where truth and transparency are in short supply.

3. Amazon on the Advertising Offense

While it’s not “breaking news” that Amazon is trying to position itself as a major player in the digital advertising world, some of their recent moves are really changing the game. The e-commerce giant is introducing a new tool that allows merchants selling in its marketplace, to purchase ads that will track users around the Internet and lure them back to Amazon for purchases – targeted remarketing. Normally, the fact that those running shoes you checked out on Amazon are showing up on other web pages would be blamed on Google. But now Amazon wants to do the targeting and be the beginning and ending of all advertising for products and services provided through their vast marketplace. The Amazon ads will be bought through a bidding system (similar to Google) and will appear on other websites and apps (similar to Google), giving merchants an opportunity to reach more eyeballs and thus more potential customers – all without getting Google in the mix. The new tool is undoubtedly one of Amazon’s most aggressive moves in the battle for advertiser dollars, and they’re clearly gunning for Google. Being a one-stop-shop for all the advertisers and content creators distributing through Amazon platforms could be a game changer and drive a real wedge in the duopoly of Facebook and Google.

4. NBCU and iSpot Team Up to Prove ROI

Advertisers want to see results. Results may come in the form of leads and increased brand awareness, but ultimately it comes down to the dollar signs. How much revenue is a campaign bringing in for the company? NBCUniversal has teamed up with iSpot.tv to provide ROI answers for advertisers – and ensure NBCU networks are the first choice for those advertising dollars. The partnership will provide advertisers with an outcome measurement that tracks ROI indicators such as web traffic and sales, specifically for TV advertisements. TV networks have been able to provide viewership guarantees, but now NBCU is stepping up the game to prove the actual effectiveness of ads with real hard data. Pairing with iSpot gives the network valuable viewing data, which they can use to track households that visited websites of brands they viewed on TV. The availability of this data has the potential to put pressure on other platforms to provide the same type of transparency or run the risk of being dismissed as immeasurable. Bringing real ROI measurements into the world of TV advertising will change the game, and help the aging linear format compete with the ever-growing dominance of digital ads.

5. Netflix Buys OOH Business, Because Why Not?

Digitally-native companies are starting to flock to out-of-home (OOH) advertising because they know people tend to skip, block, hide, or ignore ads that pop up online. With OOH, there are no options to skip the ad and it typically isn’t even interruptive to begin with – it’s just there, whether on a bus station shelter, a vending kiosk, or a billboard. A potential consumer just happens to pass by it, they get an impression of the product, and then through repetition, gain a relationship with that brand. The inability to “skip” an OOH ad is driving a bit of a renaissance for the industry as companies look for effective ways to get meaningful impressions with consumers. So it may not come as a surprise that there are whispers going around the industry, that Netflix is looking to acquire Regency Outdoor Advertising, a company that sells OOH spaces in California, Netflix’s home state. The streaming giant is probably thinking: why continue to pay rent on a billboard when we can own the billboard outright? Netflix is offering $300 million for Regency, and based on their advertising budgets, it will earn that money back in no time with savings. Plus, they can rent out the inventory to other companies when not in use. It’s a win for them, and a potential game-changer for the industry as a digital giant gets into the business of physical advertising.

By |May 24th, 2018|Game Changers|0 Comments

5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Must Know in April 2018

SQAD POD: 5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Should Know – April 2018

Industry news and insights podcast curated from the world of advertising and marketing trends.

With Spring and Winter still battling it out hour-by-hour for ultimate dominance (it’s 70 degrees one minute, then we’re bundling up for snow the next) we’re not sure what season it’s supposed to be. At least the cherry blossoms are finally busting out of their long sleep and in the advertising world, we’re shaking off the winter cold and looking forward to the brighter days of consumer engagement and big profits. This month, we’re talking about brands partnering with nonprofits to increase impressions, how data privacy concerns are transforming advertising, YouTube and Hulu’s plans to act like broadcast networks, P&G’s shakeup of their agency models, and NBCUniversal’s new combined metric.

1. Digital Ads & Nonprofits: A Win-Win Situation

Web users are hardly ever enthusiastic about clicking ads on websites unless they are laser-targeted (and even then there is a fine line between “timely” and “creepy”), but a new startup wants to change the way people feel about interacting with digital ads. A startup called Givewith is looking to help advertisers incentivize users to click through digital ads by tapping into users’ altruism. It’s developed a process that directly donates money to a brand’s chosen nonprofit each time an ad is clicked – or in the case of video, watched for a certain amount of time. The hope is that people are more compelled to click an ad if they know money will be donated to a good cause. While this can help brands increase click-through rates, they’re also likely to see a soft boost in consumer sentiment as their recurring ads are tied to a well-meaning nonprofit. As a proof of concept, Dell worked with Givewith to create a digital ad in partnership with Waterkeeper Alliance, a clean water nonprofit. The ad was programmed so that when potential customers clicked on it, money would be automatically donated to Waterkeeper Alliance. Users were also directed to a landing page that allowed Dell a backdoor-brag about their use of recycled ocean plastic in their packaging. While it looks good on paper, it’s too early to know if consumers will buy into the idea of “click-to-give” advertising and whether it’s the answer for advertisers to gain qualified clicks via digital ads.

2. Brands Proceed with Caution Around Third-Party Data

The ease with which demographic data is shuffled between platforms and apps is now being questioned, with none other than Facebook in the hot seat. The questions on the table revolve around the morality of data scraping and using it to shape perceptions through paid content – whether it’s sentiments about a clothing brand or a political figure. Amid Facebook’s ongoing Cambridge Analytica scandal, the social media giant shut down its Partner Categories program, which allowed data vendors to directly provide valuable third-party information to advertisers on Facebook. It looks like it’s also implementing a permissions tool to get ahead of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) policies, which requires companies to obtain permission from users before they can use their data for advertising and communications purposes. Facebook’s tool will require advertisers to certify they have permission to collect data outside of Facebook for use in targeting within the platform. Because most advertisers are several steps removed from the people they retrieve data about, it will be challenging for many to prove direct opt-in permission. Even though the GDPR policies are making landfall in the EU in May, it will certainly change the game for advertisers around the world. With more focused attention on privacy and personal data in the US, there are rumblings of a GDPR-like regulation on the horizon. Thanks to a few “bad eggs” taking advantage of Facebook loopholes, we may be on the cusp of an entirely new digital advertising world that may impact every online advertiser.

3. More Competition for Live TV Ads

Hulu and YouTube are set to start selling ads during live broadcast streams on their platforms – a move that will most definitely disrupt traditional broadcast TV advertising. Essentially, this move makes these two streaming services a real threat to the revenue model of traditional cable providers. The companies plan to start selling ads targeted to relevant audiences through their websites, over-the-top services, and mobile apps. If these ads are sold as a standalone a package (meaning, not part of a broad impression-based demo buy) then it would mean Hulu and YouTube could give advertisers freedom to choose exactly which shows they want to advertise on – just like network TV and cable providers do. The ability to target consumers while they stream their favorite live programming on these platforms could be a real game changer. The introduction of these types of ads on streaming services will be another giant swipe at the traditional media model and accelerate the seemingly unstoppable cord-cutting trend.

4. P&G Unleashes New Agency Models

Proctor & Gamble, one of the world’s largest advertisers, dominates the industry with its extensive network of brands and is about to shake things up with the creation of three new agency models. The first model will be comprised of multiple agencies led by Publicis Groupe, which will primarily be responsible for P&G’s fabric care brands including Tide, Gain, and Downy. The second model, called “Fixed and Flow”, designates agencies a fixed retainer of scheduled work each year, with a budget reserved for other projects that can be allotted to other agencies. The last model is the one we have been seeing develop over recent months, and that is the company taking more of the media planning and buying back into its own hands, clearing middlemen to make room for more efficiency and control. Some have speculated that P&G’s massive influence and new agency models will shake up the status quo and transform the advertising world. It’s too early to say, yet. Not many companies have the vast resources and buying power to pull off this type of advertising structure. But, if other mega-advertisers were to follow suit, the transformation in the industry would be massive.

5. New Year, New Metrics

The advertising world has rapidly become a digital-focused industry, with increasing emphasis placed on web and premium video content. As consumers steadily flock from traditional TV to online and over-the-top, advertisers and media companies need to innovate their data reporting to show advertisers the true impact of their ad spends. Looking to get ahead of the game, NBCUniversal is introducing a new metric called CFlight, which not only includes traditional linear data from Nielsen, but also digital data from comScore and other research companies. NBCU tested this metric during this year’s Winter Olympics, selling ads based on a measurement that combined both types of viewing (which they called Total Audience Delivery). CFlight will take third-party data and work closely with agencies to fine-tune the measurements, to ensure the product is churning out accurate numbers. This is potentially game changing in terms of how we measure audience data, and will likely be a dynamic shift for NBCU during the 2018 upfronts.

By |April 26th, 2018|Game Changers|Comments Off on 5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Must Know in April 2018