The Next Big Ad Innovation: Stop Stealing My Time

by Lizzie Widhelm, Senior Vice President, Ad Product Sales & Strategy, Pandora

I think about time, all of the time. With a busy career, spouse and three young sons, I often feel like I have very little of it. So little, in fact, that I’m relentless about choosing who and what gets my attention.

Do I sound like anyone you know? The quest for time and attention is a hot topic in our households as well as every marketing meeting. Now more than ever, consumers are taking control of their time, so capturing it has become exceedingly difficult for brands. They want attention but it’s not surrendered easily. Continue Reading →

Two Lessons From the Road: Never Get Comfortable and Always Look Up the Hill

I’ve worked for the same company for 14 years.  Crazy, right?  When you start early at such a dynamic company like PepsiCo, it’s hard to make a change.  But, it’s more than that.  Throughout those 14 years, I can honestly say I’ve transformed.  And I’ve had to because the company and industry have moved so fast.  It’s been exciting to run, or in my case, cycle, at that pace.  I’ve been an avid cyclist for many years, so I tend to appreciate high velocity.  I’m inspired daily by my colleagues, who are pushing the beverage category and consumer marketing to the next level.  This is why, 14 years later, it still feels just as exciting as it did in the beginning.

So, that got me thinking about the keys to create a culture within a company that inspires and encourages transformation.  What have I learned from my own career path at PepsiCo and my passion for being an ever-evolving employee?  It’s interesting — two lessons that immediately came to mind are also true in cycling; never get comfortable in the saddle and always look up the hill. Continue Reading →

How AAF’s Student Conference Evolved Over the Past 11 Years

Student Conference on Advertising

Let’s take a look back at the AAF Student Conference. In partnership with Postal Vault (a former NSAC sponsor) and McDonald’s, the very first conference kicked off at Hamburger University in Oakbrook, Il on October 31-November 1, 2004. Postal Vault and McDonald’s teamed up to discuss advertising from a client perspective and there were other sessions on mentorship, media and diversity. Other sessions covered topics relevant to college chapters and NSAC teams, like Innovative Chapter Projects, Creating a Successful Plans Book: Creative and Research, and What Are They Doing Now: Former AAF College Chapter members.

Knowing that not every college chapter member participates in the NSAC, the student conference became its own program in 2012. Its goals are still the same though: providing college chapter members with the tools they need to successfully transition from the classroom to the professional advertising world. In a few weeks, college chapter members from across the country will gather in Washington, DC for the newly branded Insight+Interaction: AAF’s Student Conference on Advertising. With sessions on programmatic, account management and translating data into brand strategy, to name a few, participants will learn from inspiring speakers and advertising leaders. They’ll increase their knowledge of the industry with visits to local agencies – something that previous conferences did not offer. And they’ll also connect with recruiters from top organizations and agencies like Razorfish, IPG Mediabrands, RPA, Team Detroit and Wieden+Kennedy. Of course, the conference won’t completely ignore the National Student Advertising Competition as research partners like Nielsen or AdMall for Agencies will offer their takes on current market research trends!

You can learn more about this year’s Student Conference, which will be held in Washington, DC on October 22-23, at http://membership.aaf.org/SCA. Student registrations will be accepted until October 2, 2015. Or if you are an agency or company interested in recruiting at Insight+Interaction, email us today!

Advertising, the Social Element and the Perception of School

Earlier this month I read a Facebook post from a former student of mine from teaching days gone by.  She had encountered a young woman and soon-to-be freshman at her alma mater. She enthusiastically shared advice with the promising young student-scholar about making friends, hair salons, homecoming, and branching out of her comfort zone. I acknowledged her insights, but reminded her that she had forgotten one area: academics.  She responded that the academics were a “given.” Although one would hope that learning and studying are truly “givens,” I really wonder if that is actually the case.  As I look at images that are used to promote Back to School (BTS) shopping, which is one of the most profitable times of the year for retailers, I am not so sure that students fully appreciate their academic responsibilities and opportunities.

So in former professor mode, I did a quick Google analysis of several 2015 back to school commercials and images to confirm my suspicion.  I discovered that nearly all of the BTS advertisements utilized images of children and teens engaged in activities that would be considered “social,” ranging from choosing seats in the cafeteria to spontaneously breaking out into dance routines. Only two out of the dozens of still images observed were of students engaged in active learning experiences.

Could it be that images associated with back to school actually accurately reflect children’s perception of school  – the social element – or are the images shaping children’s perception of school?

According to April 2014 Gradnation Report, most Big Cities had graduation rates of 60% and some in the 50th percentile, while the national high school graduation rate is at an all-time high of 80%.[1] In addition, U.S. students demonstrated higher mathematical literacy than students in only 5 out of 34 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.[2] The disparities in these statistics combined with the patterns of promoting the social over the academic in BTS advertising raises a few questions in my mind:  Do students today primarily  see school as a conduit for social interaction or as a vehicle that is essential to their education? Is there a correlation between back to school images and the importance of learning in the minds of inner city youth? To what extent could industries that control those images use their persuasive power to simultaneously better promote back to school products and the importance of learning?

The fact is, whether kids think going back to school is all about sitting next to the right person on the bus, or acing their science test, they will be going back to school, and they’ll probably want new clothes and school supplies if it is in their parents’ budget. In addition to sparking an interest in selective products, we as advertisers enjoy an opportunity to inspire students to focus on and value learning. Whether BTS ads show students in skinny jeans, leather jackets, or tennis shoes depends entirely on what our clients are selling. The visuals and narratives surrounding this genre of marketing and educational messages are totally up to advertising and marketing professionals…do we choose to emphasize break dancing in the hallways, or breaking the curve on a test?

About the Authors

Aryn A. Frazier

Aryn Frazier

Aryn A. Frazier currently serves as the Social Media intern for the AAF’s Mosaic Center. She is a third-year student at the University of Virginia, focusing on Politics and African American and African Studies. She has passion for social justice and equity in criminal justice, education, and media.

 

 

 


Constance Cannon Frazier

F_ConstanceFraizer_headshot

Constance Cannon Frazier joined the American Advertising Federation (AAF) in January of 2004 as the senior vice president, AAF Mosaic Center and AAF education services. She was promoted to executive vice president after one year of service to the organization. In October of 2007, Frazier became the AAF’s executive vice president of corporate programs and marketing and as of August of 2010, Frazier is AAF’s chief operating officer. Read More…

The Four Letter Word that Could Change Your Life by Linda Kaplan Thaler

Sadly, we live in a world that equates uber success with the “it” factor – having Mensa sized intelligence, virtuoso talent, or incredible wealth. But, in fact, research has shown that only 2% of born prodigies ever amount to anything in life. Yet 98% of the world’s most successful people possess, not the “it” factor, but the “grit” factor – guts, resilience, initiative and tenacity. Case in point, Colin Powell was a C- student all through college, Michael Jordan couldn’t make his high school varsity basketball team, and Steven Spielberg was rejected from film school – twice! What propelled them to extraordinary success was a winning combo of determination and perseverance to achieve their goals, no matter how lofty, no matter how far reaching. And the best thing about possessing the “grit” factor, we have found, is that anyone can develop it, whether you’re eight or eighty eight

98% of the world’s most successful people possess, not the “it” factor, but the “grit” factor.

Grit to Great

Grit is humanity’s great equalizer, and it’s the reason Robin and I wrote our newest book, “Grit to Great,” which will debut this September. The book is filled with groundbreaking research, empowering insights, and deeply emotional stories of people who have made it, despite all odds, as well as helpful tips and exercises to improve your grit quotient. And if you’re not sure just how much grit you have, we invite everyone to take our grit quiz at www.greattogreat.com.

Trust us, Robin Koval and I, although proud past Matrix winners, are neither geniuses nor prodigies. We are two ladies, born and bred in the Bronx, with public school educations, lacking in wealth, fame, or Ivy League diplomas. Yet, somehow, through sheer perseverance, pluck and passion, we managed to take a fledging start-up company, and turn it into one of America’s fastest growing ad agencies, the kaplan thaler group. We took Michael Bloomberg’s advice when he said, “I’m not the smartest guy, but I can outwork you. It’s the one thing I can control.” And that’s what we did, we outworked virtually all our competitors, going from one account in a small third floor walk-up office, to an agency (Publicis Kaplan Thaler) with over 800 employees worth billions of dollars in billings. And in answer to your question, yes, we did move from the third floor walk-up- four times in fact!

We are passionate about sharing the message in “Grit to Great” and are happily spreading the news, at corporative events, in high schools, colleges, and start-up companies around the country, that success is attainable, to everyone. And early reviews of “Grit to Great,” from everyone from James Patterson, whose meteoric climb to fame is featured in the book, to Arianna Huffington, the very personification of a gritty lady, have been incredibly positive.

If you’d like to take the steps to go from grit to great, please pre-order a copy (amazon, ibooks, BN) and find out just how far you can go!

About the Author

Linda Kaplan Thaler

Linda Kaplan ThalerLinda Kaplan Thaler is Chairman of Publicis NY, the flagship agency of Publicis Worldwide Network, whose blue-chip client roster includes: P&G, Citi, Nestle, L’Oreal, Merck, Pfizer, Tri-Honda and Wendy’s, among many others. Previously, Thaler was CEO and Chief Creative Officer of the Kaplan Thaler Group, which she founded in 1997 and grew from a fledgling start-up to a company with over a billion dollars in billings. In July of 2012, the Kaplan Thaler Group merged with Publicis New York to form Publicis Kaplan Thaler. [Read more...]

Marriage Equality and Advertising

In the past weeks, the Supreme Court has, with the stroke of a pen, made significant strides for freedom and fairness with its historic rulings in favor of marriage equality, to uphold the Fair Housing Act, and to solidify the Affordable Care Act, among others.

The Court upheld what have always been underlying theoretical ideals of equality and liberty; however, in reality in 2015 we are still seeking after these ideas in practice. As disseminators and shapers of images and messages, media, content outlets, and the advertising industry are situated to not only reaffirm these rulings, but to push this country to take the remaining steps towards a better, more equitable nation and world.

We put forth images of families. We put forth images of friends. We put forth realistic and unrealistic images of education, of crime, of right and wrong, proper and improper, on a continuous basis. And in so doing, we have more potential to influence the future of our country than perhaps any other industry – while the Court must wait for someone to bring suit, industry strategists, creatives, media mavens and promotion professionals can and do regularly release new images, giving us a distinct voice.

The question remains, then, what is it we want to say? Will we speak of love and acceptance of all? Will we speak of the right of families and children to have adequate healthcare, housing, enough food, and strong schools, regardless of their area codes? Will we speak of the things people need to hear and show the images they need to see in a tone that resonates, increases understanding, and inspires all of us to work collectively so this great country realizes its full potential?

There is no definitive answer to the question: “what should we be saying?” It is, however, our definitive professional and personal responsibility to think about the consequences and impact of our words we chose to say and images we choose to show.

About the Author

Constance Cannon Frazier

F_ConstanceFraizer_headshot

Constance Cannon Frazier joined the American Advertising Federation (AAF) in January of 2004 as the senior vice president, AAF Mosaic Center and AAF education services. She was promoted to executive vice president after one year of service to the organization. In October of 2007, Frazier became the AAF’s executive vice president of corporate programs and marketing and as of August of 2010, Frazier is AAF’s chief operating officer. Read More…

Moms Turn to Online Video: The Opportunity for Brands

Presented By

Think with Google

Whether they are researching the next family vacation or squeezing in a workout during nap time, today’s moms are turning to YouTube in their moments of need. Check out the video below to see how brands are answering those needs, sparking a discussion, or providing a little inspiration in return.

Today’s moms aren’t so different from their moms, or even their moms’ moms. They have many of the same parenting questions, and they experience similar joys—watching their children learn new things, for example. But the resources they use to manage the complexities of motherhood have changed. Moms still seek advice and a broad range of opinions, but they’re often turning to the web to do so.

To better understand the role of the internet in moms’ lives, we partnered with TNS to survey 1,500 women ages 18–54 who watch videos online and have kids under the age of 18. Results showed that 83% of those moms search for answers to their questions online.1 And of those, three in five moms use online video to answer those questions.1

When moms have those I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-buy, I-want-to-do moments, they often turn to YouTube. So much so that moms say they visit YouTube more than any other site or app for online video.2 Whether to research the next family vacation, get in a quick workout during nap time, decide which tablet is the best option for the kids to share, offer homework help with the fractions lesson, or learn how to set up the new printer for her own small business, Mom turns to YouTube in her moments of need, no matter how big or small.

With Mother’s Day fast approaching, we want to celebrate moms and all they do. Check out the video below to see how Mom is turning to YouTube in her moments of need—and how brands are answering her needs, sparking a discussion, or providing a little inspiration in return.

View full article at ThinkWithGoogle.

Measuring the Impact of Online Video on Brand Metrics

PRESENTED BY:

Think with Google

THE RUNDOWN

Engagement metrics show how people react to online videos, but brand metrics prove they move the needle on brand objectives such as awareness, perception, and interest. Google’s Brand Lift solution reveals these insights about YouTube ads in near real time so you can optimize on the fly.

Is the money we’re putting into online video making an impact?

Online video is undeniably one of the key areas of focus for marketers in 2015, as well as for the next few years, because spending on desktop online video alone is projected to grow 21% every year until 2019. But as that spend increases, so does the need for brand advertisers to justify budgets and answer questions such as the one above. You need to know that video is an effective way to connect with your audiences—and that its impact can be measured.

For online video platforms such as YouTube, engagement metrics (for instance, views, likes, shares, comments, and watch time) provide a basic barometer showing how an audience responds to videos. These metrics are important because they help to inform strategies as well as the content of the video ads. The result—hopefully—is quality content that the audience finds useful, entertaining, and shareable. Creating things that an audience likes is only part of the job, though. The effectiveness of an ad campaign is also evaluated by how it affects brand metrics such as awareness, perception, and audience interest.

Gaining insight into these metrics has been tricky, however. In the past, you’d put money into a campaign and get feedback in the form of clicks and views. But you could never really be sure about its brand impact without expensive, time-consuming testing, and sometimes those results wouldn’t come in until the campaign was over. When it comes to YouTube ads, that’s no longer the case: Google’s Brand Lift solution allows you to gather brand metrics about YouTube ads in a matter of days. Advertisers across a variety of verticals have used the tool to test and optimize their online video content.

Here we present the results of different meta-analyses that show how YouTube ads are performing for advertisers and what that means for how you should rethink measuring your online video campaigns.

NEAR REAL-TIME DATA SHOWS THE IMPACT OF YOUTUBE ADS

Quick access to information about brand metrics can shift the way you perceive video content. That’s because you can now tell whether the audience likes the content (with engagement metrics) and if it’s making an impact (with brand metrics). Most important, if the content fails to measure up, finding that out in near real time means you can react and optimize quickly to get the most out of your online video spend.

After analyzing around 50 campaigns from Fortune 100 brands and category leaders running on Google Preferred (some of YouTube’s most popular channels), we found that 94% of the campaigns drove a significant lift—an average of 80%—in ad recall. We also found that 65% of Google Preferred ads saw an increase in brand awareness, with an average lift of 17%. This is particularly impressive considering that the brands in the study were already well-known.

94% of campaigns drove lift in ad recall

We also measured YouTube’s impact on what we call “brand interest,” or interest in a brand as measured by an increase in organic searches for it on Google. YouTube proved effective here as well. Looking at over 800 Brand Lift studies, we found that 65% of YouTube TrueView campaigns drove a significant lift in brand interest, with an average lift of 13%.

Together, these numbers tell a compelling story: YouTube campaigns are driving brand impact. So let’s talk about three ways you can put that information to use.

1. TEST YOUR CREATIVE

Faster collection of brand metrics offers great opportunities to test your video campaign, determine what works, and fix what doesn’t before burning through too much of your media budget. For instance, when you A/B test your campaigns, you can analyze the results by version to see which creative executions are most effective at driving brand lift.

Mondelez International launches Trident Unlimited

Mondelez International did this for the launch of Trident Unlimited. The agency produced two versions of the same spot: In the first version, the actor put gum in his mouth at the start of the commercial, and in the other he was already chewing the gum. Which one resonated? A Brand Lift study let Mondelez know that the second version had a 5% higher recall rate. And, after optimizing budget behind that version, recall rose to 97%. “Brand Lift delivered quickly,” says Leonardo Carbonell, the agency’s paid media director. “It was good to optimize the campaign while it was running.”

Having access to this kind of data in near real time means advertisers such as Mondelez can optimize on the fly and make sure their campaigns truly resonate.

2. OPTIMIZE AND REFINE YOUR DEMOGRAPHIC TARGETING

Brand metrics also help you optimize to ensure that you’re reaching the most appropriate audience. Digital platforms such as YouTube allow you to target your video ads. Then data from Brand Lift can inform you about the age ranges and genders that are most affected by your campaign.

This is great for brands that begin at a broad level with their targeting; they can now see which subset the ad performs best with and use that information to refine their targeting and increase their spend where it will be most effective.

Nissan Canada created TrueView ads for Micra model launch

Nissan Canada, for instance, created two TrueView ads for the launch of its Micra model in July 2014. One of the ads featured actor Jim Parsons, while the other was a standard brand video. A Brand Lift study was able to confirm that both ads were effective at driving awareness lift and that one ad was much more successful at increasing ad recall. But the most important finding might have been that the ads resonated strongly with women ages 25–34 and 45–54. At that point, the brand had an ad that was proven effective, a more specific demographic on which to focus the spend, and a platform to get the ad in front of the target audience. For Nissan, it was a winning combination.

3. PRIORITIZE THE METRICS THAT MATTER MOST

Every campaign is measured differently, so your path to success won’t always be the same. A campaign that’s optimized for ad recall may look different than one that’s optimized for brand interest or view-through rate. Different metric priorities can lend themselves to distinct creative best practices. Even within Google, we’ve seen a case study for this.

“We tested seven videos for a recent campaign where our goal was to drive brand metrics,” said YouTube’s Global Media Lead Maria Chai. “Because we hadn’t been able to get real-time brand signals, we looked at view-through rates as a proxy for the creative’s ability to move brand measures. Although view-through rate can be a great metric for assessing whether the creative holds the user’s attention, we learned that videos with higher view-through rates don’t always correlate to a lift in brand metrics. Getting this insight in near real time allowed us to optimize our creative rotation quickly before we fully ramped up the campaign.”

The three takeaways above represent a new mind-set for brand advertisers’ approach to online video, where measuring brand metrics in near real time is instrumental in driving more effective brand spend. This approach ensures that you’re measuring what matters most: how your content and your media dollars are moving the needle on brand metrics such as awareness, ad recall, and brand interest.

Now is the Time to Build Consumer Trust Through Enhanced Ethics

Wallace Snyder

Wally Snyder, Executive Director, Institute for Advertising Ethics

Advertising Age reported on April 24, 2015, the dramatic results of a representative national survey of Americans commissioned by the 4A’s that found extremely low levels of trust for advertising.  Only 4% believed that Advertising and Marketing practice integrity, which 69% of the sample said means “always keeping promises.” (No One Trusts Advertising or Media, April 24, 2015; adage.com)

The findings must be dealt with because Advertising and Marketing’s job is to build consumer trust for our brands and clients.  As David Bell, member of the IAE Advisory Council, puts it: “Trust is the currency of our business and Ethics is the engine of Trust.”  This important “Trust” is created, motivated and maintained by practicing enhanced advertising ethics.

Consumers are highly motivated to purchase by Trust.  Research conducted by Bozell over twenty years ago showed that consumers ranked “ethics and values” as the number-one factor in assessing whether or not a company can be called a “corporate good citizen.”  Research reported in the Wall Street Journal showed that consumers think highly enough about ethics that they are willing to pay more for an ethically produced product. And Leo Burnett understood this when he stated: “Ethics is at the center of how we express a brand.”

The Institute for Advertising Ethics, a partnership between the American Advertising Federation and the Missouri School of Journalism, has adopted eight Principles for Advertising Ethics that emphasize the importance of ethics for the advertising entity and its professionals, and that cover the current ethical dilemmas we are facing. Specifically related to the consumer research findings, Principle 1 states that advertising and editorial share a common objective of truth and high ethical standards in serving the public, and Principle 2 urges that our advertising and marketing professionals exercise the highest personal ethics in the creation and dissemination of commercial information.

Principles and Practices with Commentary

Principle 3 urges that the line between advertising and editorial should not be blurred.  This relates to one of the negative research findings that only 4% trust “Brand-sponsored content that looks like it’s editorial content.”  So-called “Native Advertising” is now being offered by 75% of the nations’ publishers.  The point is that it can be done effectively and with trust with effective disclosure that it is paid content.

While the research is discouraging, it presents an opportunity for the advertising and PR industry to believe in the importance of building trust with the consumer through ethical and effective marketing communications.  IAE stands ready to assist with ad ethics classes, its certificate program and website page.