Here are the items from the perpetually evolving advertising world that caught our eye this week…
It wasn’t long ago that CNN couldn’t find its way out of a ratings decline-quagmire with no expert able to find a solution. And now, thanks to a new reality show called “The Presidential Election,” the only people winning are the news networks. CNN charged 40x its usual :30-second rate for the last GOP debate. Les Moonves, CBS’ CEO, says the circus atmosphere of this election may not be good for the country, but the ad revenue rolling in is damn good for CBS. The New York Times, Huffington Post, Time, CNN, among others have all reported that Donald Trump has received over $2 billion in free, “earned” media, precipitating the opponents’ need to counter his voice. The business model makes the movie “Nightcrawler,” where a reporter choreographed sensationalist news stories, seem not so fictional. Quite simply: Provide continual free media to the most controversial figure possible, increase ratings, which increases price per ad. Simultaneously, give little exposure to opponents, forcing deep pocket supporters to cough up big bucks ad money. Brilliant!
Snapchat is leading the way in targeting young Millennials and Gen Z. The key here is to be unique, authentic and respectful of the consumer experience. In other words, not to “advertising-y.” What could be challenging about that?
Speaking of social, Google has been quietly working on its own live video-streaming app to compete with Twitter’s Periscope and Facebook’s live stream. Meerkat, the first mover in this space, has decided to pivot, Silicon Valley’s term for move in another direction. Meerkat couldn’t compete with Twitter and Facebook’s scale. Sometimes it pays to have first-mover advantage. Sometimes, especially when a product is ahead of its time, it pays to let others absorb the headwind. Damn if Google isn’t smart enough to know when to deploy which strategy.
So if you want to respect the user experience, be authentic and original. you might just end up allowing internet voters to name a $300 million research vessel, “Boaty McBoatface.” Some have said the proposal has restored their faith in the internet. Others see the end of all that is respectful. The Boaty McBoatface name was so popular, and so amplified across the internet, voters crashed the Natural Environmental Research Council’s website. Rousing success or failure, I’ve got to hand it to the British sense of humor. God Bless the Queen.
In some scary news, that touchscreen technology that you are just getting used to on your smartphone, has become stale and old hat. Voice activation is the new touchscreen. And just wait until you see what Artificial Intelligence does to the mobile experience.