Time Magazine They Are A Changing

Here in Ireland we are well used to seeing newspapers and magazines with all sorts of advertising on the front page and even for them to have complete advertising wrap-arounds. However, in the US this practice isn’t so familiar and is actually frowned upon by most editors to the extent that most publications choose to keep their cover page as forbidden fruit for advertisers. This long standing tradition in the American print industry changed recently when the illustrious Time Magazine decided to run  an advertisement for the mobile phone carrier Verizon on its front cover. Time Inc., is America’s largest magazine publisher and is generally seen as the standard bearer within the country’s print industry. The advertisement wasn’t a full-blown wrap-around, but rather a tiny ad in the bottom left corner. time magazine       time mag ad

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Most brands measure success on Social Media by way of likes, retweets & click-thru’s

budgieWe all know that nothing truly sucks seeds like a toothless budgie. However if you are measuring the success of  your social media brand strategy then you will more than likely count the number of Facebook Likes, Twitter retweets and weblink click-throughs delivered.

Findings from a recent study undertaken by Ipsos OTX for the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) in America discovered that 89% of U.S. client-side marketers cited Facebook Likes as their number one measure of social media content effectiveness, with click-throughs (87%), retweets (81%), daily and monthly active users (66%) and reach (66%) also popular.

Somewhat surprisingly, the study found that only one in four respondents said that sales was an important metric, with cost per sale selected by just 5%.

ROI Metrics for Social Media

(Source: eMarketer)


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15 Fast Facts About Banner Advertisements

Online Banner Advertising

It is generally accepted that the first online banner advertisement appeared in 1994 and was for the telecommunications company AT&T. This ground breaking advertisement appeared on the web magazine site Hotwired. In homage to its 20 year anniversary, here are 15 fast facts about the humble online banner advertisement:

1.Over 5.3 trillion display ads were served to U.S. users last year. (ComScore)
2. That’s 1 trillion more than 2009. (ComScore)
3. The typical Internet user is served 1,707 banner ads per month. (Comscore)
4. Click-through rates are .1% (DoubleClick)
5. The 468 x 60 banner has a .04% click rate. (DoubleClick)
6. An estimated 31% of ad impressions can’t be viewed by users. (Comscore)
7. The display advertising Lumascape has 318 logos. (Luma Partners)
8. 8% of Internet users account for 85% of clicks. (ComScore)
9. Up to 50% of clicks on mobile banner ads are accidental. (GoldSpot Media)
10. Mobile CPMs are 75 cents. (Kleiner Perkins)
11. You’re more likely to survive a plane crash than click a banner ad. (Solve Media)
12. 15% of people trust banner ads completely or somewhat, compared to 29 percent for TV ads. (eMarketer)
13. 34% don’t trust banner ads at all or much, compared to 26 percent for magazine ads. (eMarketer)
14. 25-34-year olds see 2,094 banner ads per month. (ComScore)
15. 445 different advertisers delivered more than a billion banner ads in 2012. (ComScore)

Setting aside the above facts, here are some different metrics which online advertisers should consider for banner based campaigns apart from the widely used CTR metric:

  • Ad Engagement – No industry standard definition yet, but primarily reviewing if the ad creative is appealing and if a user interacted with the ad in any way such as a mouse over the ad for a certain period of time.
  • Display time – The time for which the ad was visible on the page.
  • Engagement Time – The time for which user interacted with the ad.
  • As per Google, Technology is helping advertisers factor in- emotional engagement and impact on offline behavior (like in-store shopping choices) as display advertising metrics to measure a campaign’s ROI.
  • Rich Media? – Rich media, so far, has proved to be very effective at improving ad engagement. From videos to games to carousels and forms, all available in the banner ad. A 2012 study by media mind states that rich media ads are three times more likely to bring prospects to your websites than traditional banner ads. According to ClickZ, rich media advertisements can generate 6 times higher engagement rates than static display ads.
  • Different way of Targeting? – Google primarily uses contextual targeting to put ads on publishers’ website. No doubt this is the best option available for advertisers at the moment but this clearly isn’t working very well. Facebook lets you use “Custom Audiences”, or in a way allows you to target users on the basis of their profile, demographics and how they have interacted with your website or content, but again, we know that the CTR on Facebook is generally much lower, in comparison. A better way would be to use targeting in a different way. For example, this is the reason why retargeting ads work better than normal ads. Similarly, letting user take control of what they want to see and what they don’t want to see, can help increase the Ad engagement and CTR. This can be accomplished by a simple ad feedback system such as the one which is offered by Adzerk and currently in use on many popular sites like Reddit and stack-overflow. It lets users give a thumbs up or down to an advertisement.
  • Fewer Ads? – Google predicts that by 2015, the average number of banner ads seen by an internet user will decline by at least 25%. People will see less banner ads but the ones they will see, will be more relevant and connect with the user which will take up the engagement rate.
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Online Grocery Shoppers Spend Less

Online ShoppingOne of the downsides for grocery retailers looking to shift their consumers to online shopping is that they are less likely to spend extra money on impulse buys. A new survey conducted amongst online grocery shoppers by the digital specialist eDigital Research found that 29% felt they were less inclined to make impulse purchases when shopping digitally. In contrast, just 7% said they made more impulse buys online than in-store. This gap, said the company, highlighted a potential threat to supermarkets which are busy encouraging more people to shop online with money-off vouchers.

As well as spending less, online shoppers are also more likely to switch brands than those shopping in-store. In eDigitalResearch’s survey, just 10% said they always stick with the same brands for particular items, suggesting that there is a huge opportunity to influence people’s purchase decisions and disrupt their journeys online.

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Coca-Cola creates miniature kiosks to help promote new mini-size Coke cans

Going on the premise that the medium is very much the message, Coca-Cola devised and ran an innovative campaign in Germany to help promote the launch of their new mini 7.5 ounce can size for Coke brand by installing a series of mini vending machine kiosks in five major cities around the country. The mini kiosks attracted a lot of curiosity and attention from passing consumers which helped to get across the key message. The kiosks may have been miniature in size, but they were very much real in that they had a real vendor inside them and that they also sold familiar newsstand items such as newspapers and sweets.


The novel kiosks were a huge hit with customers who were eager to purchase the mini-cans from the miniature vending machines while also posing beside the kiosks and the vendor to have their photograph taken. The kiosks were detail to the level that they also included a small set of table and chairs on the pavement beside the kiosks inviting people to sit down and enjoy their tiny can of Coke. The campaign included the tagline “it’s the little things that makes us happy”

For more details about the campaign, check out the video below:

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Brilliant Campaign By Volkswagen To Remind Drivers To Keep Their Eyes On The Road

In order to highlight the perils of using a mobile phone while driving, the car manufacturer Volkswagen devised a clever and engaging approach to communicate the risks involved. Using a location-based broadcaster, Volkswagen sent text messages to the mobile phones of an unsuspecting cinema-going audience in Hong Kong which cleverly highlighted the key message of keeping your eyes on the road when behind the wheel.

The safety campaign was devised and sponsored by Volkswagen and has obtained nearly 4 million viewings on YouTube to-date.


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Out Of Home Consumers are 33% More Alert

It may be generally regarded as the oldest advertising format in existence, but it seems that outdoor is not living in the past when it comes to delivering active and engaged consumers.


Findings from a new research study conducted by COG Research on behalf of the Outdoor Media Centre (OMC) in the UK has revealed that people in out of home situations have a 33% heightened state of alertness when compared with people in the home. The results found that a consistently higher percentage of those out of home claimed to be feeling “energetic and active”, and took action at a higher rate for outdoor advertisements compared to other media. For example, 23% searched for more information on a mobile device after seeing a recent outdoor ad, compared to 16% for other media.

The research study was quite scientific in its approach in that it analysed over 140 continuous hours of monitored skin conductance readings by 20 subjects who also wore eye tracking glasses throughout their day. Matching the skin conductance highs and lows to actions and places in their daily lives, the research determined that people are significantly more alert outside of the home than in.

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How Social Media Is Transforming Customer Relationship Management

The ubiquity and influence of social media is transforming the way consumers interact with brands and visa versa.  For example over half a billion tweets are published on Twitter each and every day, and a huge percentage of these messages are from customers interacting with brands. Many reputable brands which have build up over the years are only 140 characters away from losing it all if they don’t effectively monitor and manage the social media conversations taking place about them.

Accordingly, social media is transforming customer relationship management (CRM), for example when it comes to consumer expectations, one in four Facebook and Twitter users think that companies should reply to their complaints on social media within one hour, and two-thirds expect a same-day response.

This visual from Fanhub looks at how social media is transforming the area of Customer Relationship Management:

Social Media CRM


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New study claims that TV delivers the highest ROI

Return on Investment5Findings from a major study just released from Thinkbox, the marketing body for commercial TV in the UK has claimed that TV consistently demonstrated the highest return on investment (ROI) of any form of advertising in recent years, despite the growth of digital media and the impact of the current recession.

The study commissioned by Thinkbox was very in-depth in that it involved an econometric analysis of over 4,500 advertising campaigns across ten advertising sectors between 2008 and 2014. It compared, on a like-for-like basis, the sales and profit impact of five forms of advertising: TV (linear spot and sponsorship), radio, press, online display (excluding video on demand) and outdoor.

Some of the key findings from the study were that:

  • TV created the most profit for businesses, with an average return of £1.79 for every £1 invested during 2011-14; this was a 5% rise on the £1.70 earned during the earlier period of 2008-11.
  • Comparable figures for other media were £1.52 for radio, £1.48 for press, £0.91 for online display and £0.37 for outdoor advertising.

According to Thinkbox, the effectiveness of TV in delivering ROI was due to several factors such as multi-screening where viewers were able to act instantly on what they saw, advertisers had developed a more sophisticated understanding of how to employ multiple TV ad opportunities and integrate them with other media, a “golden age” of TV content had created a higher quality environment for advertisers, and the cost of advertising on TV had been falling.

The report said that TV advertising consistently made other elements of campaigns work harder. This was especially true of branded searches, the number of which had risen by one-third as multi-screening viewers turned to internet connected devices and as advertisers included more specific online calls to action in their TV ads.

A further benefit of TV advertising was the ‘halo’ effect created across a brand or range of goods. The study found that 37% of TV advertising’s effect was achieved on products not directly advertised. Thus, for example, if a finance brand advertised a current account on TV, the campaign was likely to boost sales of its other products, such as mortgages or insurance.

The analysis also suggested that finance and retail brands should ideally allocate 60% of their advertising budgets to TV and said that for FMCG brands that figure should be rather higher. 

(Source: Thinkbox/WARC)

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