The Less You Do….The More You DO
As I perused AdAge this morning, I stumbled upon a lengthy article about Eat24 parting ways with the “social” giant. I must say that Eat24 made some very valid points. Facebook has been acquiring a wide array of social media companies as well as some more questionable acquisitions in the form of Oculis Rift, a VR gaming company. The push for monetization on Facebook's end has been maddening. The downward spiral seemingly stemmed from its IPO some time ago. Since then, a myriad of questionable decisions and frivelous spending have plagued the once mighty social giant.
Eat24 wrote “We made mistakes too. We actually paid for some of those annoying promoted posts. You were all like, 'Dude, you gotta try out promoted posts, It'll help you make more friends and then more people can enjoy your LOLZ.' So we tried it because we loved you. Also, YOLO… And it's true, we got a ton of new likes on our page. Look at all these new friends, we thought. There's a guy in Houston, and this guy in… Bangladesh? And this girl in… Dubai? WTF Facebook!?… Right now we're only in the U.S., so even though we love our new international friends, we'd prefer not to piss them off by showing them a photo of a delicious calzone that they can't even order.”
While this was hilarious, it was also frighteningly true. You couldn't hit the nail on the head any better, unless you were to read further….
“But the bigger picture issue is that we can't trust you. You lied to us and said you were a social network but you're totally not a social network. At least not anymore… Why should we have to wade through a dozen promoted posts about how to lose belly fat (are you trying to tell us something?) and requests for Candy Crush (NO! Just no.) and suggesting we like our arch nemesis' page (seriously, WTF) before we can finally find the perfect Doge meme? It really seems like you've lost your way and have become nothing more than an ad platform.”
As someone who must delve into the social realm on a daily basis, sometimes against my better judgment, I can completely understand. So why do we stay active on Facebook. Simply put, it's the perceived lack of alternatives. I WILL, however, step out on a limb and vouch for the legitimacy of Google Plus. Not only can you network with anyone regardless of whether you originally knew them or not, but you can receive feeds from people that you actually want to hear from and organize your contacts into endless sub-groups. This past week, I even played trivia in real-time via Google Plus Hangout's Sporcle app.
What's more is that Facebook is constantly changing their user interface as well as the frequency with which organic reach for small businesses occurs. Change happens far too often and sometimes things are best left alone.
End of rant.
More Platform Jumping Than Ezio Auditore
What this means is that if you were to view an advertisement on your laptop, in theory, the same ad would appear on your smartphone or tablet. This would be absolutely HUGE if it works as anticipated. Currently, this is in a sort of beta phase, with large agencies with high traffic testing this nouveau hashtagging system. If this works, this could be a boon to the advertising community at-large. Digital marketing has already grown leaps and bounds due in large part to the ability to view and track analytics and hypertarget demographic groups. This has the potential to usher in a new era within the purview of the digital marketing age, and with streaming television services becoming more and more the norm, how long will it be before digital supplants traditional media as the dominant medium for advertising? Food for thought….
Marketing to Millennials: Are you sure you want to?
Is this push short-sighted? There's not a doubt in my mind that what is perceived as trendy, fashionable, or “in” is influenced largely upon the opinions of the younger generation. That being said, Millennials are one of the smaller demo. groups. Not only that, but they also have much less buying power than young professionals and established businessmen and women. Jean Twenge, author of the book Generation Me, credits Millennials with possessing the traits of confidence and tolerance, however, they also exude a certain narcissism and self-entitlement.
Should you market to Millennials? Yes…but as a part of a broader, more holistic approach…perhaps to paint a picture of a product as being trendy that will ultimately have a trickle-down effect on older, more affluent demos.
Super Bowl vs Olympics vs World Cup
This is the epitome of comparing apples to oranges. The Super Bowl is a single-day television event, largely isolated to just the United States. The Winter Olympics, while international, doesn't have the same kind of viewership that the Summer Olympics has, possibly because it largely excludes countries that don't participate in winter sports. The Winter Olympics also has the advantage of putting up large numbers because it is televised on multiple stations that showcase multiple events over the course of a couple weeks.
The World Cup trumps even the Olympics. It is a month-long event that takes place in the summer and televises the world's most popular game to an international audience. Corporate sponsorships are priced ~$75 million per sponsorship. That's nearly 20 times the cost of a Super Bowl ad, BUT this includes a lot of bonus spots and a confirmed number of spots that eclipses 400. This puts increased pressure on agencies and corporations to keep their message fresh because no one wants to be diluted with the same commercial over 400 times for a month.
The Olympics offers more competitive rates over a sustained period, but ratings will likely diminish based on time of day, event, and so forth…Figure skating may not appeal to a younger audience, whereas snowboard superpipe may not appeal to an old crowd.
The trick to determining whether or not to advertise during one of these highly visible sporting events is to do some thorough cost analysis and opportunity cost analysis and decide which suits your target demographic best. Will the impression you get with a Super Bowl ad give you the frequency you want? Will the frequency you get with a World Cup or Olympics ad reach the number of people you want it to reach (think Croatia vs Cameroon in the WC or Curling for the Olympics)?
Regardless of what happens, the CPM will continue to rise and so will the price for a single spot (as high as $10 million/ 30 seconds for the Super Bowl by 2040). Why does this happen? It's not just because of the VOLUME of people reached, but the quality of ads increases on the world's biggest stages. During the Super Bowl, people don't turn the channel, the viewership of advertisements actually EXCEEDS that of the game itself! Exciting times indeed….
New Fall Season Changes Media Buying
New fall shows, mean new ratings. New ratings mean new places to spend your money and a new audience to see your product or service. The new fall season will definitely shake up prime time, although I don't foresee CBS relinquishing the cobra clutch they have on Thursday nights. I encourage everyone to get excited, step out of your box, and break with the norm a little. You might be glad you did.
For those of you who advertise, rest assured that Mad Men Marketing will be their every step of the way, monitoring viewing habits with NSA-like precision, down to what people DVR. We are the only agency in the market to implement Rentrak, a service that gives us an extensive breakdown of what viewers watch based on innumerable sub-categories and demographics. While Nielsen utilizes an archaic journal-entry style system with less than a thousand people in the Jacksonville market participating (less than 1/8 of one percent), Rentrak uses 68,000 set top boxes that you're already using to gather data (roughly 8 percent). This is what sets us apart among agencies, being well-informed of where to spend YOUR money on advertising and being ahead of the curve with a research-oriented approach.