- VS -

 

 
   
(OR 300 Reasons Why It Needs to CHANGE)
   
   
"Exhibit I " / (Ad Age) Advertising Blues...More Headlines 2007 (Stories #100 - #111)
     
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CABLE LEADS US PRIMETIME VIEWING RACE / #1

NEW YORK: Cable television continues to dominate US primetime viewing. Analysing the latest data from Nielsen Media Research, Jack Wakshlag, chief research officer at Turner Cable Networks, says cable took a 55.4% household share compared with the six broadcast networks' 40.4% in the year to date.

However, growth appears to be levelling. The figures show that if the 69 measured cable networks reach the projected 55.5% share at the end of the year, it would represent just 0.1% growth versus 2005's share.

Cable's advertising share has also displayed little movement in 2006. To date it is getting just 31% percent of marketers' primetime spend, compared with the 69% going to the networks. Similar numbers were reported last December.

Data sourced from Adweek (USA); additional content by WARC staff, 18 December 2006

 

CBS REPLAYS RECORD LABEL

 

LOS ANGELES: Media giant CBS is reviving its once proud CBS Records music label with a view to the digital future. It plans to release music and promote new artists via shows on its TV networks and fledgling digital platforms.

 

It will also market and sell music via digital downloads, such as the iTunes store and its own website.

 

Comments ceo Leslie Moonves: "With more consumers choosing the online download model as the preferred way to purchase their favorite songs, we have an opportunity to use our unique and broad collection of media platforms to create a new music label paradigm for a small price of admission."

 

Over the years CBS Records has been home to legendary artists, including Miles Davis, Frank Sinatra and Bruce Springsteen. In 1988 the label was sold to Sony, which later folded it into one of its recorded music divisions.

 

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff, 18 December 2006

 

Luxury Retailers Thrived During Holidays / But Season Was Disappointing for Industry as a Whole / #2
By Mya Frazier / Published: January 04, 2007

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AdAge.com) -- Retailers catering to the wealthy were the biggest holiday winners this year, while discounters -- especially Wal-Mart -- were hit hard by decreased spending by low-income consumers and unseasonably warm weather.
Nordstrom reported a hefty 9% jump in same-store sales this December on sales of $1.2 billion. Other luxury department-store channels also beat December sales averages by a wide margin.
Photo Credit: AP

 

"Lower-income households were under strain, far more than upper-income households, where the job gains and income growths remains," said Frank Badillo, a senior economist at Columbus, Ohio-based research firm Retail Forward.

 

The flood of December sales results show that same-store sales overall were up just 3.2%, below the 3.6% registered in 2005, according to Retail Forward.

 

Nordstrom jumps 9%
But the luxury department-store channel beat those averages by a wide margin. Nordstrom reported a hefty 9% jump in same-store sales this December on sales of $1.2 billion. At Saks Fifth Avenue, same-store sales jumped a whopping 11.1% on sales of $444 million. Management pinned the gains on strong apparel sales -- despite industry-wide softness in the category.

 

The department-store resurgence wasn't shared by chains catering to the less affluent. Federated Department Stores, in its first season with a national advertising campaign behind its Macy's banner, came in below forecasts with same-store sales of 4.4%, not the 5% to 8% expected by analysts. Overall sales fell 8.5% to $5 billion. At Kohl's, same-store sales came in at 3%. At J.C. Penney, same-store sales were 2.6%.

 

For Gap Inc., same-store sales declined 8% in December across the company's brands and 3,184 stores. The only positive same-store gain came from its Banana Republic division, up 2% compared to a 5% drop in 2005.

 

Wallowing Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart, after warning same-store sales could be as low as 1%, bettered the forecast at 1.3%, but it was still a poor showing compared to the 4.4% rise at rival Target Stores. Costco, which also caters to a high-income demographic, reported strong results, with same-store sales at 9% on sales of $7.2 billion in December, in part due to strong demand for its flat-panel TVs. Although far lower than Costco, Sam's Club, which launched its first-ever national TV campaign during the holidays, saw same-store sales growth of 3.5% during December on sales of $4.8 billion, compared to 3.2% during the same period last year.

 

Despite the disappointing results overall, some industry analysts remain optimistic a surge in gift-card redemptions and a bout of cold weather could save some retailers. "The holiday season doesn't end in December anymore," said Phil Rist, a retail analyst at Big Research, a Columbus-based retail-research firm, which has projected $24.8 billion in gift cards were sold this year, compared to just $18.5 billion in 2005.

 

"There's potentially a silver lining here," said Pat Conroy, vice chairman of Deloitte's retail consulting business, who added that online sales in addition to gift-card redemptions may lift fourth-quarter results. "It could be a pretty happy January for a lot of retailers if the weather turns cold and gets people in that winter buying mode."

 

'Some wiggle room'
So what were the lessons of a season that saw heavy discounting and promotions, yet soft results?

 

Retailers "have to hunker down and keep inventory levels very lean," said James Hurley, a research analyst at the Telsey Advisory Group, a retail-research firm based in New York. The final verdict on the season won't be handed down until Jan. 12, when the U.S. Department of Commerce releases its numbers. The National Retail Federation will reconcile its forecast with those results then. The trade group had forecast a 5% gain in overall holiday sales for November and December.

 

"We do have some wiggle room there for December to come in at the low end, somewhere between 3% and 5%," said Ellen Davis, a senior director at the industry trade group.

 

Burnett's Stumble Continues as Altoids Slips Away / Wrigley Moves $16.3 Million Account to Publicis & Hal Riney / #3
By Jeremy Mullman and Stephanie Thompson  / Published: January 05, 2007

 

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Saying goodbye to the U.S. Army and Cadillac made 2006 a rough year for Leo Burnett, and 2007 isn't starting out a whole lot better.

 

Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co. today reassigned creative duties for Altoids, its most-awarded account, to Publicis & Hal Riney, Chicago. The company did not say whether it had spoken to any other agency, but two people familiar with the matter said Wrigley recently offered Altoids to Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, which passed on the business. A Crispin spokesman declined to comment.

 

Lost No. 1 spot
The shift comes as pressure mounts on the marketer to justify the $1.5 billion it paid in 2004 to acquire the then-scalding-hot brand (along with sibling Life Savers) from Kraft Foods. In the 52 weeks ending Dec. 3, 2006, Altoids surrendered the No. 1 position in the breath-freshener category to rival Hershey's Ice Breakers, which grew 39%, while Altoids sales fell 13%, according to Information Resources Inc. The figures are for drug and mass merchandisers, excluding Wal-Mart.

 

As Burnett's client list goes, Altoids, which spent $16.3 million in 2005, is a blip compared to Kellogg, Procter & Gamble and Philip Morris. But in the 13 years Burnett has handled the account, its profile has greatly exceeded its billings.

 

In 2006 alone, Burnett's work on Altoids won it two Kelly Awards, two One Show prizes, three Clios and a New York Festivals Grand Prix, far more than any other Burnett account. "The 'Curiously Strong' campaign is arguably one of the most awarded and successful campaigns of the last 12 years and we are proud to have created it," the agency said in a statement following the loss.

 

The critical acclaim made Altoids a useful showpiece in new-business pitches. "It's the most impressive work they've got," said one former Burnett account executive.

 

Concerns about other biggies
Moreover, there are concerns within Burnett that two major accounts, the $150 million Hallmark Cards and $200 million Walt Disney Co. business that former Chief Creative Officer Cheryl Berman played a critical role in, may be unsettled by her departure.

 

The Chicago Sun-Times last week reported that McGarry Bowen, New York, has been increasingly winning Disney theme-park assignments away from Burnett. McGarry Bowen surfaced on the account -- dominated by Burnett since the mid-1990s -- earlier this year.

 

"We use a roster approach with our advertising work," said Michael Mendenhall, exec VP-global marketing Disney Destinations. "Burnett remains one of the agencies in that roster."

 

Ms. Berman, a controversial figure who sometimes clashed with other executives during her 32-year run at Burnett, is credited with maintaining crucial relationships with Hallmark. Attempts to reach Ms. Berman were not successful and Hallmark did not return a call for comment. But one executive said, "You cannot overstate how important Cheryl was to that relationship."

 

Lovemarks: New-Business Development Tool Masquerading as a Book / Interview With Saatchi & Saatchi CEO Kevin Roberts
By Hoag Levins / Published: January 01, 2007 / http://adage.com/article?article_id=113642

 

Inside JC Penney's $430 Million Move to Saatchi & Saatchi / How the Retailer's CEO Was Wooed and Wowed by 'Lovemarks' Author / #4

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- "Lovemarks," which for nearly three years has been presented to the world as a book by Saatchi & Saatchi Worldwide CEO Kevin Roberts, is actually  In an eight-minute interview with Ad Age editor Jonah Bloom, Saatchi & Satchi CEO Kevin Roberts reveals the real story behind 'Lovemarks.'a carefully crafted new-business development tool and the first phase of a 10-year plan to remake the internal working philosophy and exterior image of the Publicis Groupe agency, Mr. Roberts said.

 

In a frank and animated video interview with Advertising Age editor Jonah Bloom, the British-born executive detailed how the agency -- rather than he -- owns both the book and the Lovemarks brand. The occasion for the interview was the release of a second Roberts/Saatchi book, "The Lovemarks Effect: Winning the Consumer Revolution."

 

During the interview, Mr. Roberts explained that the second book was the next step in an expanding franchise specifically designed to transform Saatchi & Saatchi "from an ad agency to an ideas company to become the Lovemarks company."

 

The 2004 original, "Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands," was a 225-page book with wild and eclectic graphic designs on nearly every page along with multicolored text studded with headlines such as "If you believe in mystery, clap your hands"; "The reign of the poetical has started"; and "Six truths about love." On the rear book cover was a quote from Roberts: "The idealism of Love is the new realism of business. By building Respect and inspiring Love, business can move the world."

 

Initially, the first book, its accompanying website, Lovemarks.com, and Mr. Robert's frequent public pontifications on the theme were the butt of derision throughout much of the marketing services community. But that all changed dramatically in September when JC Penney awarded the agency its $430 million advertising account and publicly indicated that decision had been significantly influenced by Mr. Roberts' Lovemarks book and philosophy.

 

This video interview was conducted in Mr. Roberts' 16th floor office, which commands a spectacular glass-walled vista of lower Manhattan and the Hudson River.

 

DriverTV Switches to Cost-per-Click Model / Adds BMW, Porsche, Suzuki and Volvo as Clients / #5
By Jean Halliday / Published: January 04, 2007

 

DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Video-on-demand channel DriverTV is moving to a cost-per-view model.
Since its debut in November 2005, DriverTV has guaranteed an undisclosed number of views over a 12-month period to its automaker clients, but now rates will be based on cost per click calculations.

 

DriverTV is an automotive video-on-demand and advertising platform that recently made its debut on Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox, featuring high-definition videos of the latest vehicles from General Motors Corp. and DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group.

 

Had guaranteed views
Since its debut in November 2005, the New York company has guaranteed an undisclosed number of views over a 12-month period to its automaker clients and offered make-goods if those tallies weren't met, said CEO Jan Renner. The annual fee ranges from $60,000 to $100,000 per model and partly pays for DriverTV to produce high definition videos. Now automakers will pay based on exactly how many consumers view their ads, within reason.

 

"We realize the car companies can't pay endlessly" for cost per views, so DriverTV works with them along with their media and interactive agencies on details of the deals, he added.

 

Mr. Renner said he had planned to move to a cost-per-view model from the start, but realized carmakers needed to see how well DriverTV reached digital cable subscribers first. "We're hoping we can charge more each year, but not until car companies are able to see the value in it."

 

Rates for 2007 have risen only modestly, partly because they now include the website, drivertv.com, which went live late last year, he said.

 

DriverTV creates the three-minute videos for automakers that run on all of its outlets, which include more than 20 million digital-cable TV subscribers of Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox and Insight, as well as in-room viewers on Liberty Media's On Command Hotel Network and DriverTV's first broadband website, driverTV.com.

 

Thinking mobile
DriverTV is in discussions with several potential mobile partners to bring the service to cellphones, Mr. Renner said. The entire catalog of 150-plus videos of different vehicles is being translated to Spanish and are expected to be offered as an option in some markets by DriverTV's current cable TV network partners.

 

DriverTV has signed four new carmakers as clients: BMW, Porsche, Volvo and Suzuki. They join a roster of 30-plus auto brands, including all eight from General Motors Corp.'s stable and all three of Chrysler Group's, as well as Toyota, Volkswagen and Audi.

 

Sprint Puts Creative Ad Account Up for Grabs / No. 3 Telecom Has $1.6 Billion Marketing Budget, Seeks 'Fresh Thinking'
By Alice Z. Cuneo
 / Published: January 03, 2007

 

SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Citing a need for "fresh thinking," Sprint, the nation's No. 3 telecom provider, which spends $1.6 billion in marketing, has placed the creative portion of its advertising account into review.
Sprint said it is seeking an ad agency that can provide it with a 'differentiated message.'

 

'Open to any options'
Company spokeswoman Mary Nell Westbrook said Sprint informed its long-term agencies, TBWA/Chiat/Day, New York, which handles consumer advertising, and Publicis & Hal Riney, San Francisco, its agency for business-to-business advertising, that it is "open to any options to bring us back to a competitive position" in the wireless marketplace.

 

After Sprint acquired Nextel in the summer of 2005, the merged company kept both incumbent shops and divided duties between them.

 

Hal Riney response
A spokeswoman for Publicis & Hal Riney said the agency was assessing whether it would participate in the review. The agency developed the black trenchcoat-wearing "Sprint guy" (played by actor Brian Baker) who espoused the virtues of the wireless service in more than 150 ads from 1999 to 2005. He was dropped after TBWA won the consumer account following a pitch.

 

TBWA did not return calls for comment. In the fall, the agency developed ads featuring actor Ron Livingston discussing the Sprint network in a straightfoward, plain-talking manner as part of a "Power Up" branding strategy.

 

Ms. Westbrook said the wireless service provider is looking for a "differentiated message" as "one element of many when we look at regaining our momentum in the marketplace."

 

Ms. Westbrook would not discuss whether both incumbents would be invited to participate or if they have agreed to participate in the process. She said the company would release a shortlist within a few weeks. The goal is to have an agency by the end of the first quarter, possibly in March or April.

 

Media stays at MindShare
Sprint CMO Mark Schweitzer will conduct the review. No consultant will be involved, she said. The media business was consolidated at WPP Group's MindShare in February and will remain in place.

 

The move comes as AT&T fires up its marketing to announce the re-branding of No. 1 carrier Cingular into AT&T, with an effort that is expected to exceed $1 billion.

 

New Tool Helps Starcom Figure an Ad's Worth / Better Estimates of ROI Could Change Where Online Dollars Go / #6
By Abbey Klaassen
/ Published: January 02, 2007

 

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- One of the biggest myths of online advertising is that it offers a clear-cut, simple formula for figuring return on investment. After all, when someone clicks on your online ad you know it worked, right? But what about all the online ad impressions that led up to that click? How does one assign credit to those? It's not as simple as it sounds -- and figuring it out has flummoxed advertisers skilled in what's long been considered the most accountable of media: the internet.
Jeff Marshall, senior VP-managing director at Starcom

 

Monitoring the combo
Indeed, when online advertising came on the scene 10 years ago, it was billed as the most accountable medium. "But that very moniker is working against us at this point," said Jeff Marshall, senior VP-managing director at Starcom, which is trying to solve the problem by creating a tool that monitors combinations of search and display ads and figures out how much each contributes to a conversion.

 

The problem? In online advertising, the ad servers only assign a favorable action -- a click or a purchase -- to the most recent ad to which a consumer was exposed. In other words, while many impressions can ultimately lead to a sale, the only ad that gets credit for the sale is the most recent one viewed. A rich-media home-page takeover can be assigned less value than a simple button farther down a cluttered page, despite the fact the rich-media takeover is a much more expensive, often more effective, ad unit.

 

Sussing out the mix
The accountability model was based on direct response and doesn't account for the various advertising impressions made over time. A recent study by Yahoo, for example, showed that search and display are linked. But it's hard for agencies to figure out what the mix of ad formats and units should be -- and to allocate those online ad dollars as effectively as they should.

 

Starcom has dubbed its solution "multiple-attribution protocol" and hopes it will determine the right combination of ads to increase sales. More simply, it's a system that can in real time monitor the mix of search and display ads responsible for a conversion.

 

"You've got to remove the search, display and web-site reporting silos," said Mike Zeman, VP-media director at Starcom. "And you've got to throw out the myopic most-recent-exposure reporting approach."

 

The Starcom tool is created using technology from a couple vendors, Blackfoot and Theorem Analytics, to see what creates the optimal returns. The deal isn't exclusive. Right now it optimizes between multiple types of online advertising but it's not unrealistic, said Mr. Marshall, to envision a system that some day integrates offline media as well -- IPTV or digital cable could be added to the mix once its available in a usable form.

 

Mobile Marketing Has Potential (to Be Really Annoying) / Forrester Study Finds Consumers Embrace Data but Are Wary of Ads / #7
By Abbey Klaassen and Alice Z. Cuneo
 / Published: January 02, 2007

 

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- The good news for mobile marketing is that advertisers can target by location, demographic and create actionable responses. The bad news? More than three-quarters of Americans are annoyed just thinking about it.
Only 3% of consumers say they trust text ads on mobile phones.

 

Latest finding
That's the latest finding in a report from Forrester Research on the state of the mobile-marketing industry titled "Is the U.S. Ready for Mobile Marketing?" But while the answer to that question overall is yes, according to Forrester, 79% of online consumers find the idea of ads on their mobile phones annoying and only 3% say they trust text ads on mobile phones. And that means marketers must tread lightly when it comes to mobile advertising, offering something of value in exchange for the message.

 

Christine Spivey Overby, a Forrester analyst who co-authored the study, said she was surprised by those numbers until she started to think about what consumers were responding to.

 

"We've grown up with this view of the TV commercial interrupting our favorite program," she said. "There's this ad-equals-interruption mind-set that we have, and when you think about something as personal as the mobile phone that you hold in your hand and carry in your pocket, the idea of a marketer interrupting you while you have the phone, that's an idea that consumers hate. "

 

Public disdain
Much of that public disdain for mobile marketing may be fueled by bad PR, such as recent TV news reports about consumers getting spam on their phones -- and then having to pay for it through data charges. At first the major carriers were reticent to carry ads on mobile devices, citing the cost of handling customer complaints, and problems such as being forced to give consumers money back on their bills for products the consumers said they didn't request.

 

Sprint this fall became the first major carrier to announce it would offer ads on its "deck," the landing page for mobile consumers as they access information on the mobile web. (Ads have long appeared on "off-deck" websites, those sites accessed from outside a carrier's portal. Those sites typically are more difficult to access than a carrier's portal and carry far less traffic than a carrier's decks.)

 

Last week, Verizon Wireless became the second major carrier said it will place banner ads on its deck starting this year. Cingular Wireless, about to be renamed AT&T pending final government approval, has kept mum on its advertising policy. Mobile marketing spending has increased from $45 million in 2005 to an anticipated $150 million in 2006, and is expected to grow to nearly $1.3 billion by 2009, according to research firm Ovum.

 

All about value
It's all about value, wrote Ms. Spivey Overby with Forrester analyst Charles Golvin. The key is to avoid the mind-set that the marketing message will be an interruption and instead give consumers something they want.

 

"When you get into these intimate media like a mobile phone you have to change the way you think about marketing," Ms. Spivey Overby said. "You have to change the rules. It's a new mobile mindset-replacing the view of interruption with value."

 

The report outlines three ways marketers can use the medium: text messaging, such as offering coupons and short codes; advertising with banner ads on a mobile browser; or creating ad-supported applications and content. But there are pros and cons to each. While text messaging is the most ubiquitous with the highest consumer adoption rate, it's far less immersive and interactive than ad-sponsored games, for example. And carriers are still reticent to allow advertisers to support free content on their service because it cannibalizes what has become a big business of selling ringtones, wallpaper and games.

 

Right ads for the medium
Ultimately, Forrester advises that marketers consider the medium and the message. Keep the message abbreviated and be sure to measure the response, even using mobile responses to gauge the effectiveness of a broadcast media. Target campaigns to the people most likely to respond -- Gen X and Y are the targets most likely reached through mobile marketing. And adopt a mind-set of value -- Forrester advises finding a consumer who's unfamiliar with the campaign and asking him or her to find the value in it.

 

While it might be difficult for marketers to adjust their thinking, Ms. Spivey Overby said she sees some good early signs, such as what Toyota is doing with its Yaris brand by sponsoring Fox's mobisodes, a term for short videos for mobile.

 

Fox is "using shorter, punchier commercials," she said. "But many advertisers who aren't familiar in the space need to turn to their agency or a partner that understands the space to build for this medium."

 

Early success
And despite a negative public perception of mobile marketing, the study says there have been some early successes -- especially when ads are well-targeted and when the value of participating is clear. For example, the study discusses a Cambridge, Mass.-based grocer that replaced its loyalty cards with a mobile phone-based program. About 82% of shoppers now belong to the program.

 

"Marketers can't dismiss mobile," said Ms. Spivey Overby. "2007 is an exploratory year for most mainstream advertisers and we need to keep this in perspective because it's still a very new market."

 

Survey: More Media Mergers and Buys Expected in '07 / But Execs Worry About Quantity -- and Quality -- of Properties up for Grabs / #8
By Meredith Deliso / Published: January 05, 2007

 

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Media mergers and acquisitions are expected to outperform last year's levels, according to the latest annual survey from AdMedia Partners, the investment banking and advisory firm that focuses on the publishing, advertising and interactive businesses. top


Executives said they believe media merger and acquisition activity will increase this year.
 

Fewer things out there
More than 70% of media and financial executives surveyed believe that merger and acquisition activity will increase this year. Though a boost is anticipated, the survey found that for the third straight year, a majority (59%) of senior executives believes there are not enough potential media acquisition targets to meet the increased demand.

 

"Most acquirable property has been sold or bought. There are literally fewer things out there," said Mark Edmiston, managing director for AdMedia Partners. Respondents to the survey, he said, were also concerned about the quality, not just the quantity, of what's coming into the market.

 

Last November Ripplewood Holdings acquired the Reader's Digest Association for $2.4 billion. , On a much smaller scale, Hartle Media and the McEvoy Group acquired Spin magazine in February for less than $5 million.

 

Currently on the table are 18 titles from Time Inc., which include the Parenting Group and most of the Time4 Media titles, such as Field & Stream and Popular Science. Second-round bids on the magazines are due in several weeks.

 

Cross-media deals
Last year, AdMedia forecast increased activity in cross-media deals, and 2006 did bring acquisitions such as that of Reddit.com by Conde Nast Publications in November. Other old-media purchases of new-media property included the New York Times Co.'s acquisition of Baseline StudioSystems, an online entertainment database, from Hollywood Media for $35 million in August, and Time Inc.'s purchase of Golf.com and the company that operates it, SirenServ, in January. Those kinds of transactions can be anticipated in 2007 as traditional media expands into digital options.

 

"What you're starting to see is not so much cross-media but all media, with companies looking at as many platforms that make sense to help advertising," Mr. Edmiston said.

 

AdMedia sent out 17,000 surveys to senior executives at media companies and had a more than 10% response rate.

 

The Scariest Issues Confronting Marketing in 2007 / #9
Audio Interview With Ad Age Editor Jonah Bloom / Published: January 02, 2007 / http://adage.com/article?article_id=114036

 

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Why will ad agencies be forced to further trim their staffs or media companies of all  
kinds be required to prove their real worth as never before during the coming year? In this unusually frank 10-minute year-end interview, Advertising Age editor Jonah Bloom surveys the last year of dramatic industry change and predicts the most likely disruptions awaiting marketers, ad agencies and media companies in the coming year. Leaving no stone unturned, he even explains what scares him the most as the editor of a national publication grappling with the often-unnevering new realities of the ongoing digital communications revolution.

 

New Pressure to Reduce the Cost of Producing TV Commercials / How the YouTube Effect is Impacting Small Agency Clients

Looking forward into 2007 I predict that agencies will come under new kinds of pressure to lower the costs of producing television commercials. I've been hearing from more and more clients about this issue in recent months and much of what they are talking about is related to the way consumer-created content has been rapidly raising its profile and successfully drawing surprisingly large audiences. Agency clients are catching on to this.

 

Call it the YouTube effect.

 

Millions of consumers watch amateur videos posted on YouTube.com, more than watch most network spots. And the cost of producing these videos is insignificant even as they generate remarkable levels of buzz. Is it any wonder that client are balking at spending $250,000 or more to produce a :30 spot? 
Some of the YouTube video performances that have drawn millions of viewers were made with absurdly inexpensive web cams mounted on the performer's computer monitor. The overall cost of producing such works is about the same as the price of a lunch at McDonald's.
 
I also believe smaller agencies will feel these cost-reduction pressures more than the larger shops. Or, at least, we'll feel it sooner than the big shops. That's because our clients have more limited budgets, and are more aggressive in their quest to discover lower cost, more effective ways to produce TV spots, so they can put more of their budget into media and other projects.

 

Like anything else, however, I feel you get what you pay for. Poorly produced spots affect brand image. For the most part, a good idea, cheaply produced, reflects well on the clients' budget, but not so well on the agency that produced it. Even more important, consumers can see the product or service in a different light. If the spot looks cheesy, the product will be perceived as such.

 

I said "for the most part." That's because there are still plenty of ways to produce spots for a fraction of what they used to cost. Video equipment is more affordable, and a lot of small-to-midsize agencies have their own, and can shoot and edit spots in-house. Plus, there are a lot of ideas that don't warrant costly production, or actually benefit from the look of a smaller production budget.

 

If this low-cost production trend continues, one day there won't even be a catering budget on the set. That will be a dark day indeed

 

Posted by Marc Brownstein on 01.03.07 @ 06:41 AM | 6 comments

 

Understanding the 1% Who Influence the Rest of Us / Why Small Agencies Need to Embrace Social Media / #9 top


Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba are marketing consultants in Chicago who have interesting theories about citizen marketing. A recent observation on their website creatingcustomerevangelists.com, caught my eye because what I read underscores how my agency has been attempting to reach consumers more effectively. According to McConnell and Huba, it's just one percent of the people who visit "democratized sites," such as WikiPedia that create those sites' content. McConnell and Huba conclude that this tiny percentage has a huge opportunity to influence consumers. There are those who disagree but it makes sense to me. If history teaches us anything it is that only a relative few influence culture. We like to think of ourselves as individuals, but it's a delusion for most.

 

Another blogger, Sean Moffitt, chimed in on McConnell and Huba's blog with the thought that the one percent rule uses facts and figures that we marketers are probably more familiar with and yet still tend to ignore when devising marketing plans.

 

If you follow the logic flow of these facts and figures it's apparent that word-of-mouth has more power to effectively communicate a brand's story than ever before. This shouldn't worry marketers or agencies it should excite us because we give people the words.

 

But are small agencies keeping the pace in this ongoing communications revolution? Many times the nimbleness of being a small agency allows us to be innovators, but I admit that our agency has not been utilizing the power of the individual as much as we could have. We are making strides in the right direction and our clients are pleased with our efforts, but I wish we were farther along in our experience.

 

We are still exploring how to use the tools and culture that the Internet has created. That's why it's an exciting time to be in this business. To embrace this latest evolutionary jump means being a part of a new day in advertising. We have been given the opportunity to invent new ways of connecting brands with consumers.

 

According to www.creatingcustomerevangelists.com   -

 

A few reasons why social media is important to marketers are these: / #10


By March 2006, 84 million Americans had broadband at home, a 40% jump from 2005 figures
By March 2006, Pew estimated 48 million Americans were regular online content creators
By the end of 2005, 139 million people in the world had a DSL (broadband) connection
In 2005, $6.7 billion worth of digital cameras were sold in the U.S.
About 41% of all cell phone owners use them as content tools
By the end of 2005, just over 1 billion people were online -- that's 1/6th of the world
Asia represents the world's most populous online segment
By July 2006, 50 million blogs had been created and their number was doubling every 6 months
About 7,200 new blogs are created every hour
By 2006, 10 million people were listening to podcasts in 2006; by 2010, it's expected to be 50 million people
About 100 million videos are viewed every day on YouTube; about 65,000 videos uploaded every day
In 2006, MySpace had over 100 million registered members, most of them from the U.S.

 

Posted by Bart Cleveland on 12.31.06 @ 12:50 PM | 5 comments / More News to Come.... top

 

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The Facts and Stats on Mobile Outdoor Advertising...

  • Some 150 Million Americans Commute Every Business Day.
  • The Average American Travels 15,000 Milers Per Year.
  • Outdoor Media Reaches 96% Percent of US Consumers.
  • The Average Truckside AD Reach is about 50,000 per day.
  • The Average CPM Rate for Truckside Ads is around $1.50!
  • According to the American Trucking Association - The Average Delivery Truck Makes 16 Mil. Impressions a Year.