In the Office

Week In Marketing: Livestreaming, Advertising Mix, Analyzing Ads, FTC Standards, Twitter War


1. Livestreaming No Longer Limited to Just Mobile Phones
In an interview with AdWeek, the CEO of Periscope had hinted at expanding the use of Periscope beyond the smartphone; now the new GoPro Hero 4 camera allows users to switch between their GoPro and their iPhone cameras. The change comes about just in time for the X Games. Meerkat actually partnered with GoPro before Periscope, but it will be interesting to see what devices live streaming goes to next.

2. Neuroscience Says A Print and Digital Mix are Important
Although there is a large move towards putting the most time and energy into digital advertising, a meta-analysis of studies show that print advertising can achieve a lot of the things advertisers are trying to get by strictly digital. It can also produce better recall than digital advertisements, as well as raise effectiveness of the company’s efforts as a whole and contribute to a positive ROI. The study indicates the importance of incorporating both print and digital to get the best results.

3. Viewers of TV Ads Can Now Be Analyzed in Real Time
With new technology, view rates and impression metrics can now be found in real time. hopes to provide metrics to their clients during the Super Bowl. Clients will be able to see valuable metrics while they are occurring, including who is changing the channel or who watches their commercial multiple times in relation to the viewing rates other advertisements.

4. The Latest FTC Native Advertising Standards
The latest standards on native advertising previously discussed in 2013 and now released, did not really come as a shock. The FTC ruled that advertising should not be deceptive in nature, which many were pleased with because they felt that being more obvious about the branding of such posts would aid in promotion. Although not everyone was thrilled with the standards, the projected spending on native advertising for 2016 will increase, indicating the policy will not hinder this medium at all.

5. Fast Food Burger Battle on Twitter
Wendy’s and Burger King had it out last week. After Burger King targeted Wendy’s “4 for $4” deal, Wendy’s had a quick reply to bash the rival fast food restaurant which received more than 9,000 retweets. Let’s hope for Burger King’s sake that all publicity is good publicity for them, as a lot of the responses were not so positive. Either way, watching fast food corporations battle it out has been pretty entertaining.

A Q&A with Billy Barnes, Creative Director

Recently, our Creative Director Billy Barnes celebrated 15 years at Howard/Merrell. Billy_Barnes
Billy oversees all creative development and production at the agency and has been responsible for award-winning campaigns for clients including CORDURA Fabric, KIOTI Tractors, BB&T, Georgia-Pacific, ZenPuppy Dog Treats, Cisco and Sappi Fine Paper. Prior to joining Howard/Merrell in 2000, he worked as a copywriter at both large and small advertising agencies in New York City.

In celebration of his anniversary, we asked Billy to answer some questions. Here’s the first of a two-part Q&A series:

Q: What was your first job in the industry?
A: In 1993 I moved to NYC and got a job as a Jr. Copywriter at a small agency on the 63rd floor of the Chrysler Building. Great building. Tough job. We worked really late every night. Sometimes straight through til morning. It was nuts. But we had fun and I was able to get a ton of experience very quickly.

Q: What made you move to North Carolina?
A: It was time for a change. No offense New York City.

Q: What is the best advice you have ever gotten?
A: “Don’t be an ass hole. There’s already enough of them in this business.”

Q: What inspires you?
A: Everyday life. It’s amazing how much creative inspiration is out there if you just pay attention.

Q: What do you do to get your creative juices flowing?
A: Sometimes I listen to loud music. Sometimes I just sit quietly and focus. You have to have a clear understanding of what you’re trying to do first. Organize the pieces in your head. Then let the pieces fall in place. If that doesn’t work, I Jazzercise.

Q: As an award-winning copywriter, what’s your favorite ad you worked on?
A: Two billboards on a corner in Times Square was fun to do. But my favorite was probably the Super Bowl spot I did for Primestar Satellite TV. I’ve done better work since then, but it’s hard to beat the excitement of having your first Super Bowl spot produced. My Mom thought it was a pretty big deal. She told the lady at my hometown bank all about it.

IMG_2351_2Stay tuned for Part II.

In the the meantime, check out this press release about Billy’s 15th anniversary with us.

Congratulations Billy!

Week In Marketing: Trading Data, Chipotle Marketing, Local Advertising, Publicity Stunt, Risky Ad

chevy week in marketing jan. 18

1. Trading Data For Deals Is Not A Popular Option
Many consumers are not ok with grocery stores sharing the data that they receive from loyalty programs. Less than half of the shoppers interviewed said they would be ok with their information being shared in exchange for the discounts they receive from such programs, and 20% were on the fence. In general, people ages 50 and up were less likely to approve such a tradeoff, with there also being a negative correlation between household income and tolerance of the loyalty programs.

2. Chipotle’s Not Ready To Quit
Chipotle’s got big plans for its marketing tactics in the coming month after several E.coli and norovirus outbreaks have occurred nationally. These tactics will include revamping their internal communications and public transparency so that everybody is on the same page and aware of what is being done. However, a big component of their plans relies on an ‘All clear’ from the CDC. Will any amount of marketing allow help Chipotle recover?

3. Running In Style
A co-founder of Ministry of Supply, a menswear company, ran a half marathon in one of the company’s suits. The suits are design with wicking powers to make them more comfortable and durable, and these characteristics were evidenced in the publicity stunt. This goes to show that stretching a product to its limits can result in effective, and unprecedented, marketing.

4. Local Ads Will Rise In 2016 Thanks To Growth In Digital Platforms And The Election
Local advertising is expected to grow dramatically in 2016, thanks in part to growing digital platforms and political advertising dollars.The numbers predict a growth rate of 16.4% (from $113 billion in 2015 to $132 billion in 2016), and suggest that as much as $5.5 billion in advertising could come from state and local elections. Within the realm of digital advertising, it is expected that the most money will be put towards targeted display ($46.3 billion), followed by digital video and paid search.

5. Risky Ad Puts Nissan In The Spotlight
Nissan complimented its competitors in a bold ad that glorifies the vintage pickup trucks from before its time. The message of the ad is simple, with the narrator stating: “To those who have gone before us—Chevy, Ford, Dodge—thank you. We see the way forward.” This risky move seems to have paid off, with at least 4.2 million total impressions and nearly 4 million total views between Facebook and YouTube.

Week In Marketing: Ad-Free World, Fast Food, NBC, CES, YouTube Ads

1. Future of Marketing in an Increasingly Ad-Free World
With online ad-blockers, DVR, and television streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, traditional mainstream advertising has taken a hit. In order to survive, marketers have adapted, utilizing new tactics and putting money into digital media outlets where ads are almost impossible to avoid. Other companies, like General Electric, have shifted money to sports and other live TV programs.

2. Is ‘Fast Food’ Dying?
Don’t worry. Fast food isn’t really going anywhere, but the term is slowly disappearing. People are associating the term fast food with bad food, and that’s bad for business. As consumers are getting smarter about what they eat, companies like Chipotle, Shake Shack and Arby’s are strategically coining the terms “fast casual,” “fine casual,” and “fast crafted,” and improving ingredients to shed the fast food stigma. This new branding attracts a new type of customer who wants a quick meal but is also environmentally conscious and wants to feel healthy.

3. NBC Tops Broadcast Networks
Bob Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, says the network is now No. 1 in 18-49 viewers in non-sports programming for the first time since 2003, Overall, including sports programming, NBC says it has maintained its leadership among 18-49 ratings so far this year. CBS is down 4%, ABC is off 14%, and Fox has lost 5%. NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” remains the most-viewed TV series in any categories.

4. Key Takeaways from CES
Approximately 200,000 marketers attended the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year to get a glimpse into the future of technology. General Motors announced its goal of building self-driving taxis, Subaru partnered with AT&T to reveal their Ford Sync Connect initiative, and companies like Panasonic, Samsung, LG and Whirlpool presented their latest advances for achieving ‘a connected home.’ Cell phones are predicted to be consumers’ future personal control center, vertical video is quickly becoming the norm, and wearables are appearing to enter the health market.

5. 10 Most Watched Ads on YouTube in December
Supercell, a mobile gaming company, had five spots on the Top 10 list this month, including the number one spot, which also happens to be the first 360-degree video ever on the Leaderboard. GoPro, Volvo Trucks and Google made the list; along with Victoria’s Secret’s very own angles lip-syncing “Hands to Myself.” Learn more.

Week In Marketing: Super Bowl Ad, 140+ characters, Gen Z, Music Streaming, Retail Merchandising

1. Top 50 Super Bowl Ads of All Time
We are just weeks away from the 50th Super Bowl – and that means for those creating this year’s Super Bowl ads, time is running out. For half a century, there have been some truly memorable ads that have aired. To commemorate the 50th anniversary, Ad Age is counting down the top 50 Super Bowl ads of all time.

2. Ready to write more than 140 Characters?
There is a chance that Twitter will soon let people post tweets that are longer than 140 characters – though know that extra characters will likely be shoved into expandable cards. Re/code reported that Twitter is considering expanding the number of characters people can include in a tweet from 140 to potentially 10,000. Per Re/code, this change could happen by the end of the first quarter of 2016. Hours later Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey indirectly addressed the report with a tweet that included zero characters and a picture that contained way more than 140 characters.

3. Shaping Content to fit Gen Z
No surprise that Gen Zers, also known as the digital natives and post-millennials, are eager, early adopters of and the first out the gate when it comes to new gadgets and platforms. They will also react best to content that directs their attention to the customer journey and each distinct touchpoint across the funnel. PR Daily has recommendations for how brands can reach Gen Zers.

4. Music Streaming Services Are Changing Consumer Preferences
MusiComms this week released the results of its 2015 Year End Consumer Preferences for Future Music Delivery Survey. According to the research, more than 40% of respondents confirmed that they would change wireless providers if free music streaming came with their service plan. Nearly 25% of consumers would buy streaming services from their automobile manufacturers. What else did the research reveal?

5. Big Changes Coming To Retail Merchandising
According to new research from Retail Systems Research, new consumer shopping behaviors have made the merchandising process infinitely more difficult—and as a result, retailers are crying out for a better understanding of consumer demand. Key findings in the report, Merchandising 2016: Big Changes Coming, include:
• Retailers place tremendous value on tools that could unify the price and promotions they are running across all of their touchpoints with consumers.
• A surprising percentage of retailers want to change their organizational structures.
• The best performing retailers want their data to become actionable faster; their most frequently cited inhibitor is the need for speed from data feeds to output planning and action systems.
• All sorts of retailers are planning big changes to their portfolios. In fact, a significant percentage of retailers are contemplating a refresh of core merchandising systems.

Week In Marketing: Top Magazines, Online Industry Losses, Vloggers, Colors of the Year and OOH Rating


1. The Magazines That Made Everyone Take Notice in 2015
The “death” of print media? — 2015 has proven that is not true. Magazines including Vanity Fair, New York and People, were responsible for bringing us some of the biggest moments in popular culture. According to Adweek, in addition to their editorial achievements, this year’s Hot List winners also proved that they’re more than just magazines by embracing of-the-moment platforms, partnerships and advertiser collaborations to engage with new audiences.

2. Online Industry Is Losing $8 Billion a Year
According to an Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) study, ad blocking is costing the industry $781 million a year—yet makes up only a sliver of the total $8.2 billion lost to major problem areas including bot traffic and content piracy. The IAB:
– Estimates $781 million of that is from consumers installing ad blocking software
– Argues “non-human traffic,” or bots, create more than half the losses, around $4.6 billion
– Figures $2.4 billion in losses come from infringed content—stolen video programming, music, and other editorial content that is illegally distributed on the web
The report, “What Is An Untrustworthy Supply Chain Costing the Digital Advertising Industry,” was commissioned by the IAB and conducted by Ernst & Young.

3. vloggers: What can we learn from them?
The rise of the YouTube star has deeply changed how brands view digital video channels. Brands have been forced to recognize that traditional advertising tactics do not work for digital video. The CEO of YouTube claims YouTube has more subscribers on mobile than any other TV network. YouTube star PewDiePie got more than 6 billion views in 2014, whereas Nike’s best ad campaign had only 98 million views that same year. What should we learn from this?

4. Pantone Picks Colors of the Year
Pantone’s Color of the Year catapulted the company into the pop-culture spotlight and created a money-making business for brands. This year’s colors, pastel shades, were chosen by Pantone’s 20-person Color Institute for their calming effect in an age of technological overstimulation. For the first time, color company Pantone has selected two shades — the periwinkle-hued Serenity and the pink Rose Quartz — as its Color of the Year for 2016.

5. Out of Home Industry Will Add Seasonal Ratings
The U.S. out-of-home ad industry’s Traffic Audit Bureau (TAB) this morning unveiled plans for a “major” overhaul of the industry’s audience measurement system. The first phase of the plan will begin a “testing phase” aimed at developing “significant improvements” in the way the TAB measures audiences. The TAB said the new system will enable advertisers to measure “seasonal variation” and dayparting, as well as expanding coverage to additional out-of-home ad formats not previously measured. The new system is also expected to provide “advanced audience profiles” and enable “pre- and post-campaign analysis.”

Week In Marketing: Location Data, m-commerce, Banner Ads, Cross-Device Advertising, Snapchat Holiday Channel

1. Google Shares Black Friday Location Data for Marketers
Leading up to the holiday season, Google has been releasing a host of updates and features for marketers and consumers. The company’s latest offering will give advertisers a better idea of what’s driving people into their stores. Google will start showing advertisers which keywords people searched for before clicking on each brand’s search ad and eventually ended up in one of the brand’s brick-and-mortar locations. With this data, advertisers will have a better idea of when people are in their stores by now reporting store-visit figures by month, week, day and hour.

2. ComScore Predicts Biggest Cyber Monday, Record M-commerce
The holidays will be busy according to comScore – the company is predicting an increase of 15% in e-commerce in November and December. While the sales growth in desktop spending – which reached $53.3 billion in November and December of last year – is slowing, m-commerce is coming on strong. comScore says: 1) Mobile transactions are likely to surpass $10 billion in sales for the two-month holiday period. 2) All digital commerce — typically about 13.1% of discretionary spending — will rise to 15% in the fourth quarter. Forrester Research has predicted an 11% gain in online sales for the period. National Retail Federation is expecting that between browsing and actually buying, 46.1% of all holiday shopping will be done online — up from 44.4% last year.

3. Banner Ads are Not Dead
More than 80 percent of digital ads go ignored. Sixty-three percent of millennials use ad-blocking software to eliminate them entirely. Native-ad platforms tout that users look at their promos 52 percent more frequently than they look at banners, and are more likely to share them with others.
But instead of concluding that native will be king while the digital banner will become extinct, an AdWeek reporter feels a blended approach may be the future.

4. New Tech Tracks Ads Cross Device, Raises Privacy Concerns
It is amazing what technology can do to help brands market and better target ads as consumers move across media and channels, offline and online. But some industry groups believe it’s time to draw the line. Recently, the Federal Trade Commission held a workshop to discuss some practices involving the tracking of consumers across Internet-connected devices and related consumer protection issues.

5. Snapchat introduces Holiday-themed Channel
Snapchat Discover just got its first seasonal offering. A media startup debuted a “popup” channel on Discover that features holiday-themed content around baking, crafts and other DIY projects. The channel will be live on Snapchat on Nov. 27.

Making the Most of this Buying Season

The holiday season is all but upon us and it is bringing Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, along with it. With nearly every major brand and retailer offering some kind of deal to draw in consumers for the big day and its successor, Cyber Monday, it can be hard to figure out how to make your advertisements stand out among the crowd.

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Studies show that approximately 93% of millennials plan to participate in Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping this year. They cite electronics, clothing, household appliances, and toys as some of the main draws for this year with many of them shopping online as well as in stores on the big day.

So, the big question is, how do you tap into this market and make the most of the season?

New research suggests, that contrary to the belief that people hate advertising, many people have a preference on how they would like brands to market to them. For some, the results of which method of advertising in particular is most preferred, may be surprising.

– More than one third of the participants in the study indicated that receiving email from brands on their smart phones is their preferred method of receiving promotions and updates.
– About 38% like to visit the brand’s website for updates.
– Twenty percent choose to follow companies that they like on Twitter or other social media
– Only 8% would prefer to not be marketed to at all.

Knowledge of the best way to reach consumers and actually engage them with the content, can prove useful far beyond the holiday rush of Black Friday. Amidst the rush of apps, Twitter campaigns, and Instagram videos, it may well pay off to take a more traditional route with advertising for the season.

Week In Marketing: In-Store Advertising, Marketing Passions, Barbie, Fundraising Pages, Geofiltering

1. iDoor, the next big thing In-Store Advertising
The next big thing for in-store advertising is in the works. The iDoor is digital signage that will put video or static ads on convenient and grocery store refrigerator doors. There are already 600,000 doors installed in Circle K and Kangaroo gas stations. The ads are transparent so shoppers can still see what’s behind them.

2. Is it about Passion or Numbers?
A recent study indicates that next year companies will stop targeting the millennials as a group, but focus on targeting peoples’ passions. The studies revealed that 2016 is going to be about passions and certain values instead of the numbers reached.

3. Donations Made Easy
Facebook has launched a new feature for nonprofits called Fundraiser Pages. The pages will be designed for use by nonprofit organizations and will have a donate button so users can donate directly to the organization. These fundraiser pages will be similar set up to event pages, but will have a bar showing progress towards the final goal.

children-770216__1804. Barbies are for Boys Too!
Mattel has stepped away from the norm and gender stereotypes with their most recent ad. Recently released on YouTube, this ad includes a boy. The commercial promotes Barbie’s new limited edition doll and the young boy in the commercial says the doll looks “fierce.” Though some do not agree, the commercial has received overwhelmingly-positive responses.

5. Using SnapChat for Advertising
Snapchat recently stepped into the world of brand advertising with its geofilters that filter users based on location. P&G used this tool by setting up the geofilters around 868 Ulta stores, in order to reach the consumers who were near the locations. Even though Snapchat doesn’t off much information about the impact of the ad, it can show how many times the filter is used, how many times it is swiped over, and how many views the ad received.

Week In Marketing: Ad Strategies, Paid Social Media, Football Marketing, Star Wars Ads


1. FanDuel, DraftKings’ ad strategies diverge amid gambling controversy
Earlier this week it was announced that New York’s attorney general had declared that daily fantasy sports sites like FanDuel and DraftKings were considered illegal gambling and would no longer be allowed to operate. New York was the seventh state to outlaw these kinds of sites. FanDuel and DraftKings have combined to spend $260 million on TV ads since January 1, making them the 6th biggest sports advertiser, right behind Budweiser. However, since the New York news their strategies have gone in different directions. FanDuel continues to try to get their message out, spending over $75,000 on 136 national ads in this week alone. On the other hand, DraftKings is trying to stay out of the spotlight, spending only $2,552 on eight ads. Only time will tell which strategy will work out better.

2. Is paid social media the future of marketing?
Since its inception, paid social media has been considered as an expensive gimmick. However, a recent IZEA study has shown that its popularity is steadily growing. More than half of the companies, 52 percent to be exact, have a separate budget for sponsored social media posts now and around 54 percent of marketing professionals feel better about paid social media now than they did a year ago. The uptick in popularity is for good reason too: customers see about three of these posts a day, social media users find sponsored social to be equally or more effective than TV commercials and far more effective than banner, print, and radio ads. It seems paid social media posts are officially here to stay.

3. NFL pushes American football in the UK
The NFL is in the middle of a massive marketing campaign to make American football a mainstream sport in the UK. They have held one game a year in the UK since 2007, but this year they have upped that number to three. They are also trying to create a larger television offer across the pond with deals with Sky TV and BBC. According to the NFL, around 13 million people watched the NFL on TV last season. In addition to NFL programming, multiple ad campaigns have been ran including a “Rookie’s Guide to American Football”, a Papa John’s commercial, and promotions involving Budweiser, Gatorade, and Five Guys.

4. Expect ads to now be featured on both Instagram and Facebook
Facebook has long been at the forefront of providing an easy and effective advertising platform for brands, but Instagram’s rapidly expanding ad services mean that it will soon be on par with the social media titan. Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, own both social media platforms, and it seems as though brands will now be able to advertise through Instagram using an ad system similar to Facebook’s. A Instagram spokesperson had this to say about the new developments,“The fact that you can use the same rich Facebook targeting criteria on Instagram will make it massively effective for advertisers looking to get their products or services in front of exactly the right people at the right time.”

5. Skydiving Darth Vader headlines new Argos Christmas commercial
With the release of a new Star Wars movie only one week before Christmas, advertisers everywhere are looking to cash in on the world’s obsession with the legendary franchise. Argos did just that in their most recent Christmas commercial. Argos, a UK-based retailer similar to Wal-Mart and Amazon, features a new commercial where snowboarders, tubers, snowmobilers and others race down a powdered mountain, showing off all of the latest gear that Argos has to offer. The biggest surprise comes when three skydivers enter into the mix led by none other than the iconic Darth Vader, who is flanked by two of his loyal stormtroopers. Star Wars fans, brace yourselves; this will not be the last Christmas commercial that you will see involving Vader and his cohorts.

Image Credit.