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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.

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