February 9, 2017 MediaStruction


Six Seconds to Change Perceptions
All too often the media team and creative team can’t seem to agree on the optimal ad length. Creatives want time and space for story-telling. Media experts fear wearing out the welcome, advocating for quick, efficient use of consumer attention. We often hear that a 30-second radio spot isn’t enough time. Or a 15-second TV spot just can’t be done. Google challenged agency creatives to create a compelling video in just six seconds. I was skeptical. But, after watching six seconds, and wanting more engagement, I’m now a believer. Check out the six-second winners here.
Cost of Super Bowl Advertising
Pittsburgh was the spot market with the highest Super Bowl ratings. And while the Falcons lost to the Patriots, Atlanta beat Boston in Super Bowl ratings. That said, Boston did a HH rating of 54. (Most prime shows do a HH rating in the single digits, by comparison.) With a cost of $210,000, in Boston, per Super Bowl advertisment, that advertisement equates to one of the most expensive TV spots a marketer can purchase. So why do brands spend so much money on the Super Bowl? Harvard Business Review calls it the equivalent of lighting money on fire, and says brands do it for the same reason gang members get face tattoos. To show they’re in it for the long haul. It’s the biological equivalency of excessive plumage on male birds to signal virility to potential female mates.
Ratings Measurement Updates
Nielsen gets accredited by the Media Ratings Council (MRC) for digital measurement in TV. ratings. This is a win for media buyers hoping to measure viewership across devices, because TV isn’t just watched on that big screen in the living room. Ask almost anyone under 30. Please note that the viewership is only measured when the ad airs simultaneous across devices. Meanwhile Comscore, bought last year by Rentrak, is facing potential delisting on the stock exchange. The delisting announcement came this week as shares slumped over 20% on news of delays in Comscore solving its accounting saga.  Takeaway: Nielsen has owned the media measurement space for so very long. Competition from Rentrak heated up much needed measurement evolution. Marketers hope competition will stay in place to incentivize continued innovation.
Watch Out Kids, Here Come the Grown-Ups
Older consumers are flocking to Snapchat, which is a convenient bit of news in advance of its IPO. Of course older adults are going there because how else can they engage the children and grandchildren? The challenge for Snapchat will be balancing scale and brand. Snapchat needs the scale of a broad demographic to demonstrate advertising return on investment. But its brand is all about the private, secretive platform. Private, disappearing messages is why users went to Snapchat. As anyone with kids understands, once the grown-ups show up, the kids tend to disperse. In the meantime, marketers may want to think about Snapchat as a solution for targeting teens and their parents.
Empathy in Advertising
The latest word in advertising: “Empathy.” In this Ad Age article, Olson agency’s chief creative officer writes how “empathy” is replacing “real” and “authentic.” “And how do we resist the temptation to appropriate and misuse it in our rush to sell the next bag of jalapeno snack chips?” writes Kevin McKeon. So why is a media agency curating articles about empathy in branding? Because whatever channel we deploy to amplify a brand position is only as effective as that brand position. As we’ve said before: First consumers change perception, then they change behavior.
Authenticity Works Too
But let’s not throw out authenticity too quickly. I’ve previously written about “realism” in advertising, as exampled, by fashion campaigns of non-airbrushed models. One could argue that much of President Trump’s popularity among supporters is his fearlessness in not mincing words, viewed as authentic. But my favorite, latest example is the New Jersey Girl Scout who sold over 16,000 cookies by marketing them in brutally honest language, as if J. Peterman had taken truth serum. She wrote “While caramel-chocolate-coconut is a winner, toffee-tastic is a bleak, flavorless, gluten-free wasteland.” Love this kid.

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