TV Still Has A Place In Advertising

Even though the likes of Netflix, Hulu and even Twitch are breathing down its neck when it comes to getting more advertising opportunities, the television industry is still strong when it comes to effectiveness in advertising.

A recent study conducted by Turner Broadcasting and Horizon Media, through marketing-analytics company MarketShare, recently analyzed various marketing optimizations used by major advertisers over the past five years, spanning from 2009 to 2014. From that, it believes that TV advertising effectiveness has remained steady, despite growing competition, according to Adweek.

In addition, TV has managed to outperform both digital and offline channels when it comes to key performance metrics, such as sales and new accounts. In addition, networks’ premium digital video managed to deliver higher than average returns when compared with short-form video content from non-premium channels.

Other findings are as follows:

  • MarketShare analyzed advertising performance across industry and media outlets like television, online display, paid search, print and radio advertising and found that TV has the highest efficiency at achieving key performance indicators, or KPIs, like sales and new accounts. When comparing performance at similar spending levels, TV averaged four times the sales lift of digital.
  • TV has maintained its effectiveness at driving advertiser KPIs over the last five years. In a study using data from a luxury automaker, TV was the only medium to maintain its effectiveness (a 1.5 percent decrease in five years) while the other advertising media—both online and offline—declined more than 10 percent.
  • TV marketers can optimize their spend by leveraging data sources, including high-frequency consumer interactions like website visits and inbound calls, to improve TV advertising performance.
  • Premium online video from broadcast and cable networks out-performs video content from other publishers.

“We really wanted to do the study to better understand how TV’s effectiveness – not average rating, but effectiveness – at driving key KPIS for advertisers has changed over time,” said Howard Shimmel, chief research officer for Turner Broadcasting. He added that when Turner sees reports with advertisers moving “big-budget shares out of television, we think that might be driven by the assumption that TV’s effectiveness is being diminished.”

Eric Blankfein, chief of Horizon Media’s Where Group, added that when clients seek to migrate their budgets to video, “because of that lack of consistent measurement, we’re not sure how effective those dollars are performing in the digital space. So, it was very important from our perspective to start to quantify business performance relative to TV advertising.”

“TV is the giant megaphone,” according to Isaac Weber, vice president of strategy at MarketShare. “When you want to get a message out, that’s still really the most powerful means to do it. The way that people view and consume television has changed…but I think the question is less about what has changed with television and more about what are some of the underlying issues with some of these other vehicles.”

Shimmel added, “We’re not say that digital is bad, but digital just can’t make up the reach that TV delivers. And digital, used in a way that’s complementary to TV, is a more effective strategy.”

More details about the report can be found here.

Machinima Launches Mobile App For Video Creators

Giving video creators the opportunity to not only share their work but promote it based on their terms is an ideal business practice. Victorious introduced such a program last month, with Bing Chen explaining how it fulfills the desire to let users remain in control of their own digital business. Now, Machinima wants to give this program a shot, with Victorious along for the ride.

VentureBeat recently reported that the pop culture network has recently launched a new mobile app that will enable its video creators to share their apps through its massive audience. Dubbed a service that will connect “many to many,” it enables broadcasters to reach out to the network’s 170 million monthly viewers, with an outreach via direct channels.

With this platform, which is powered by Victorious, creators can now connect with fans even better than before, through exclusive content and interactive community social features put together by them.

Chad Gutstein, chief executive for Machinima, stated that the company’s audience is very engaged, especially when it comes to being social, driven by video content and “mobile first,” indicating that new apps introduced by the company have no problem being accepted.

Through the app, users can shop through a variety of content from Machinima and its talent network. Sam Rogoway, the CEO and co-founder for Victorious, added positive vibes from the app, as it can deliver interactive programming to a zealous fan base. However, it also enables Machinima’s top creators to form a better bond with fans, and get better relation when it comes to content that caters to them.

On top of that, the timing of the announcement couldn’t be better. Machinima is moving full steam ahead into the Electronic Entertainment Expo next week, and it’s also set to launch two new series very soon, based on popular DC Comics/Warner Bros. properties – Justice League: Gods and Monsters Chronicles.

Indeed, it’s something that fans will want to keep an eye on.

Mobile Advertising Increasing In Engagement And Customers

With all of the changes in advertising these days — especially on the digital end — some companies are struggling to keep up. Still, that isn’t stopping some companies from experimenting with ideas, and flourishing as a result.

VentureBeat recently reported some interesting statistics surrounding mobile advertising, including increases through both engagement and customer base with certain companies.

For example, Disney has managed to find a perfect balance between targeting and creative with positive results. It managed to achieve seven times the average video ad engagement rate using smart audience targeting and utilizing its creative expertise. Video ads have picked up for Disney as well, showing an increase of five times the engagement of traditional static banner ads.

It’s not the only one benefitting, either. A national consumer goods company managed to team up with Kroger to achieve a 3.7 times increase in the number of consumers visiting its site to purchase products. This comes from a geotargeted mobile advertising campaign that focused on a number of factors, such as device data, location history and offline purchase data.

The mobile ad ecosystem can be hard to jump into, especially with companies getting their feet wet for the first time. But it’s all broken down into a helpful 11-step chart, which executes in milliseconds between ad networks, exchanges, demand-side platforms, supply-side platforms and data management platforms.

With the above chart you can see how every step is broken down, from when a user initially opens an app to when ad networks bid on space for their promotion to be seen to when the user initially continues on, unaware of all the transactions that took place in the cycle.

It’s also about finding the timing of certain advertisements to work to a company’s advantage. VentureBeat explained that Adidas missed a key opportunity last year during the World Cup. Even though two teams in the tournament (Germany and Argentina) managed to showcase the brand by wearing its gear, it failed to sell a special commemorative jersey that was offered at the conclusion of the World Cup, mainly because enough word-of-mouth didn’t spread about its availability.

This year, however, the company knew better. After Thomas Muller (of the German squad) scored a goal, Adidas offered his jersey seconds later. As a result, it saw a much bigger audience, to the tune of a massive 6.6 percent clickthrough rate on its home page.

VentureBeat has a full report available here that explains how brands and mobile advertising can win. It’s a bit costly ($499), but provides insight that could help companies get comfortable in the mobile market.

Explaining The Popularity Of Streaming Entertainment

Lately, music streaming services have been taking off. Even though Jay-Z’s Tidal brand struggles to find an audiences, others like Spotify and Pandora continue to do well — and with Apple getting involved with its own music brand, it isn’t likely to slow down any time soon, if at all.

So what is it about the streaming music that’s so popular Felix Richter, media relations manager for Statista, recently broke down some new findings that indicate just why everyone’s hopping onboard the stream train.

“Besides vinyl, which continues to do well in a niche of its own, streaming is the only segment of the music market that is not shrinking right now,” he explained. “in fact, worldwide streaming revenues increased by almost 40 percent last year as the same number of subscribers grew from 28 million in 2013 to 41 million by the end of last year.

“According to IFP, ad-supported and subscription-based streaming accounted for 32 percent of digital music revenue in 2014, up from just nine percent in 2008”

He also addressed Apple’s recent introduction of its forthcoming Music service, which will launch later this month. “The decision to join the subscription-streaming market is probably less about getting a piece of the $2 to $3 billion streaming market and more about tying customers to its own devices,” he said. “If streaming is what people want and Apple can deliver a compelling service that works seamlessly across all of its devices, it might help Apple not only to protect its core hardware business, but to grow it.”

The chart above, supplied by Statista, shows just how much streaming has grown. Even though permanent downloads have shrunken in percentage over the years (from 63 percent to 52 percent), the pie is much bigger, going from $4 billion to $6.9 billion in the same time frame. In addition, subscription streaming has seen tremendous growth, from six percent to 23 percent, and ad-supported streaming is on the rise as well.

One thing’s for sure — with Apple in the picture, music streaming is going to get way more interesting. Let’s see how many consumers hop on board.

It’s Lights, Camera, Blockbuster Box For Pizza Hut

When someone catches sight of a pizza box, they get excited, mainly because of what’s inside. However, a new innovation by Ogilvy Hong Kong could change the way people look at pizza boxes forever.

Business Insider reports that Pizza Hut has teamed up with the Hong Kong marketing company to introduce a new promotion that turns a regular pizza box into a projector that works in conjunction with a customer’s smartphone. Titled the Blockbuster Box, it still contains pizza when consumers initially gets it, but can then be converted into a small projector, using a lens that’s included with the package.

The Blockbuster Box is relatively easy to put together. First, customers punch a hole into the side of the box, based on a perforated cutout that’s easy to punch out. Second, the lens (which doubles as the little plastic stand that keeps the top of the box from touching the pizza) is placed in the hole, where it can easily be secured. Then, users place the smartphone inside the box, in a space reserved for it. Then it’s a simple projection of whatever’s on the smartphone screen onto a wall, and consumers have an instant movie theater. You should probably eat the pizza first, though, or at least remove it from the box.

The service works with whatever programming is available on the phone, whether it’s downloaded movies, Netflix or whatever’s on YouTube, but Pizza Hut also includes a QR code that enables consumers to download a free movie.

Four differently themed Blockbuster Boxes are being introduced with the promotion, each based on certain themes of films – Fully Loaded for action, Slice Night for scary films, Hot & Ready for romance and Anchovy Armageddon for sci-fi fans.

It’s an ideal promotion – especially during the summertime, when movies are highly popular – but, for now, it’s only overseas, as Pizza Hut has only introduced it in Hong Kong. However, it probably won’t be long before we see it on our shores, considering how much American audiences enjoy dinner and a show.

Check out the video below to get a better idea of how the Blockbuster Box works. Time to load up Guardians of the Galaxy!

‘Angry Birds’ And Lego Team Up

Even though it’s lost a little steam over the past couple of years, Angry Birds continues to be a big name in mobile gaming. And, of course, Lego has taken off in its own right, between popular toy sets, the grand reception of The Lego Movie, and forthcoming projects like Lego Jurassic World (which releases this Friday) and Lego Dimensions. So why shouldn’t the two team up for a gargantuan project?

Rovio, the creators of the Angry Birds franchise, have announced that it has teamed up with Lego to make a series of toys based on the popular line, which is set to release next year alongside the forthcoming Angry Birds film, according to The Telegraph. They will feature a number of Bird and Pig characters from the games, as well as the ability to recreate popular stages, based on the builder’s imagination.

Although the sets haven’t been fully revealed yet, Jill Wilfert, vice president of the Lego Group, stated that “our designers are having fun developing building sets that leverage the engaging play and deconstruction found in the Angry Birds game.”

“We are excited to bring Angry Birds to life in LEGO form, given the popularity of the game and its characters with fans of all ages, which will only be amplified by the forthcoming film,” she added.

Pekka Rantala, chief executive of Rovio, added, “The Lego brand has an unparalleled ability to connect with people through products that spark creativity and imagination. We’re really excited to build experiences together with this amazing best-in-class partner.”

Rovio could certainly use the boost in sales. Even with all the hype going into the Angry Birds film, sales on its recent releases in the series have faltered, forcing it to lay off more than 100 people in the past year.

Meanwhile, Lego has flourished on its success, with over 62 billion brick sets sold, and more projects in the works, including a Lego Movie sequel set to arrive in 2018, as well as other media projects.

The team-up is sure to be a win-win for kids, as well as adult fans of the series that want nothing more than to set up elaborate stages, only to knock them down as they attempt to crush those dastardly pigs.

Mobile Users Watching Longer Videos

Mobile video consumption has come a long way over the past few years — and according to the IAB, its growth seems to be going in a specific direction.

TechCrunch reports that a new survey conducted by the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) takes a closer look at mobile video consumption around the world, showing that many respondents prefer to watch more video on mobile devices than they did a year ago. 50 percent of those surveyed in the United States, along with 42 percent in Canada, New Zealand and South Africa admit they want some form of video on their smartphones — and not just “quickie” clips, either.

36 percent of those polled stated that they watch videos that are five minutes in length or longer on a daily basis. Though that’s still just a portion of overall mobile users, it’s a very healthy portion nevertheless.

Viewers in China partake in watching both movies and TV episodes on their phones, with 37 percent of respondents in China and 35 percent in Singapore stating that they’re watching less TV because of mobile video consumption.

The image above indicates what kind of percentage of audiences prefer to watch smartphone video. Turkey shows the highest percentage with 60 percent, while Denmark and Argentina are on the “lower” end with 41 percent when it comes to five-minute or longer clips.

As for where the content is usually found, 62 percent of those polled say they turn to YouTube, while 33 percent stick with general social media, 20 percent use search engines, and 14 percent go through advertisements.

“Audiences around the world are overwhelmingly open to mobile video advertisements that relate to their context and viewing patterns,” said Joe Laszlo, senior director for IAB Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence.

With sales of mobile devices increasing (particularly Android), we probably won’t see these numbers drop anytime soon, if at all.

Marketers Finding Challenge With Social ROI

When approaching social media with advertising, there’s always pros and cons to keep an eye out for. With the right campaign, a company can easily find great outreach with its product. However, on the flip side of that, there are challenges, such as making sure that something isn’t too promotional for its own good (thus losing the audience it was initially targeted for), or pushing too much in a certain direction.

Companies face these social challenges regularly, and a recently report conducted by SimplyMeasured and TrustRadius {link no longer active} across 600 social media marketers show just where these challenges lie, according to Social Times {link no longer active}.

Out of those surveyed, 60 percent believe that measuring the ROI of social media is the biggest challenge to overcome, followed by connecting social activities to business outcomes and securing internal resources. The chart below highlights just how high each one is specifically ranked.

Other difficulties brought up with social programs include developing for a specific marketing media strategy, securing internal resources, integrating a variety of social tools and monitoring the competition. Three different groups of marketers were polled, including those for small, mid-sized and enterprise-based companies.

Social Times believes that the reason social marketing teams may be struggling with trying to secure resources for social may be from using “vanity metrics” to measure success. 80 percent of those polled stated that “engagement” — including likes on Facebook, shares, comments, followers and other parts of a network — are the most important metrics when it comes to social programs, an indication that they’re getting some form of attention.

Meanwhile, 32 percent believe that leads were important, while 28 percent noted that revenue is a key metric with any campaign like this.

One respondent pointed out that connecting social aspects to sales can be “incredibly difficult,” saying, “Even with sophisticated programs and services like Eloqua, DemandGen, SFDC (, etc., there is still the difficulty understanding what works and what does not. At the end of the day, social media is just one part of a greater whole than a customer is exposed to.”

Does that mean companies will stop trying on the social front? Certainly not. But don’t be surprised if they take a more cautious route while trying to gauge what kind of success it could bring.

The full report can be found here. {link no longer active}

What Can Steam Machines Do For The PC Market?

The PC market continues to be a flourishing one for developers and publishers alike, with millions of avid players taking part in a number of downloadable and retail games, from DOTA 2 to Call of Duty. That trend will likely continue, but now it’s finally expanding into a whole new area – the living room.

GamesIndustry International recently confirmed that Valve’s Steam Machines, which were announced a couple of years ago, will launch on November 10, with a number of partners producing their special versions of the hardware, including Alienware, CyberPower and others. Interested gamers will be able to pick up a system, along with the innovative Steam Controller and the Steam Link peripheral, with the option to pick it up earlier, on October 16, for pre-orders placed through GameStop. The machines will be priced from $449 to $749, depending on internal specs.

“We are super curious to find out which products customers try first, what their experiences are, and how that learning can help [us] continue to expand their Steam experience in the days and years following launch,” Valve’s DJ Powers told Polygon. “Our goal is to expand Steam’s capabilities beyond the desktop.”

This introduces a new venue for players to try on the PC front, as this will enable them to play games directly on their TV or other desktop monitor without the need for an elaborate PC or laptop-based gaming rig, which can usually run into the thousands depending on hardware. Alienware previously dabbled in this market last year with the debut of its Alpha console line, although it didn’t indicate just how well it was selling.

With the Steam Machine, there are certain pros and cons to be weighed. Obviously, the “full” PC experience can’t be recreated through a controller, no matter how innovative it is. Some players will simply prefer the old-fashioned mouse and keyboard combo, although this set-up is likely to work with certain models of the system, similar to Alienware’s Alpha hardware.

Also, the store won’t be completely accessible upon launch. Steam OS will initially only launch with Linux support, with just over 2,000 games available. While that will still suit gamers’ needs to an extent, it’s only a matter of time before Valve revamps the service so that more Steam (and other game channel) offerings become available.

Still, the Steam Machine could be a big deal to the PC market overall, finally giving players an option to invest in the gaming experiences it has to offer – and take part in those Steam sales that Valve consistently hosts on its site (its next one, its official summer sale, kicks off next week). It allows an easier option for connectivity and “jumping in and playing,” compared to updating hardware so that everything runs efficiently enough.

It also gives Valve a competitor that can go head-to-head with some of the more popular consoles on the market, including Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4. While it’s too soon to tell just how much of an impact it’ll make, it’ll be interesting to see just who switches sides once the Steam Machines hit retail.

One thing’s for sure – the PC market will see a boost either way with the arrival of the Steam Machines. It’ll open up a new arena for casual and “hardcore” players alike to invest in, while at the same time creating a new funnel of investments in Valve’s Steam store, amongst other areas. And, yes, that controller, now built in with an analog stick for easier maneuverability with menus, is pretty slick.

Check out the video below to get a better idea of how it all works:


Even With Growth, Mobile Video Advertising Has Concerns

Mobile video ads have become a huge boon for some companies, as spending for the format is set to reach $2.62 billion this year alone, accounting for about a third of the overall $7.7 billion that advertisers will spend on digital video ads. eMarketer reported these numbers, estimating that they’ll grow even bigger to nearly half (47.7 percent) of total digital video ad dollars by 2019.

Consumers are watching a lot more video on the market, with an estimated 105 million U.S. smartphone users watching at least one ad on a monthly basis through one of their devices — a 13.9 percent increase from the previous year. Tablets is right up there as well, with more than 100 million users watching a video once a month, representing more than half of all tablet users.

That said, there are concerns about the format, according to The Video Ink. While numbers may seem high on the front end, it’s only expected to account for more than a third of overall total digital video ad spend for the year, even with more creativity coming from publishers and video creators alike.

“Mobile video ad spend is experiencing rapid growth, thanks to larger audiences of video viewers and growing time spent on smartphones and tablets,” said Jeremy Kressman, analyst for eMarketer and author of the report (which can be found here, via a subscription). “But changes with the format are causing growing pains for the industry.”

There are a number of formats to be used with video advertising that companies have to consider, such as in-stream advertising, in-banner, in-app and interactive videos, among others, making it hard them to commit to a particular format – at least, until they see a “clear winner” that would pay off in the long run.

Mobile video still has time to iron out the kinks, however. “As consumers are becoming increasingly agnostic about the device they use to watch video, some advertisers are finding the most valuable strategy to be buying mobile video ads as part of a broader cross-device campaigns on television and digital video,” added Kressmann.