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Views from 6th Digital Content NewFronts – digital and linear spaces are converging

Posted May 17, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 4:59 am

Media buyers said they planned to allocate 40% of original digital video budgets at this year’s NewFronts, up from 37% last year

Digital Content NewFronts

Over the last couple of weeks, at Digital Content NewFronts 2017, in New York, as many as 32 digital publishers presented a wide range of content packages and insights into the behavior of their audiences. The fortnight-long NewFront events provided a marketplace to media buyers and sellers to network and build partnerships extensively. This is the sixth edition of what is undoubtedly one of the biggest events of the year for digital video, where digital video publishers got first hand clues on how to develop an effective sales presentation in the NewFront/Upfront format. Spending on OTT advertising has increased exponentially, even as digital and linear spaces have begun converging, more than ever, while presenters like Hulu are leading the field with streaming videos.

At this year’s NewFronts, industry professionals also got an idea of the technology, trends and content that will sustain the interaction surrounding digital video for the current calendar. In a recent ad buying study, media buyers said they planned to allocate 40 percent of original digital video budgets at this year’s NewFronts, up from 37 percent last year. This increase reflects the growing demand for digital video and also the strength of NewFronts as a vital platform which motivates media buyers and marketers to make win-win deals that are helping in faster growth across the original digital video segment.

If VR content and VR-designated studios took center-stage at NewFronts 2016, this year, it was brand safety at the forefront mainly because it matters a lot to game changing enterprises. Biggies like New York Times and YouTube set aside their scale and focused more on how they are improving brand safety, while displaying more transparency on measurement. NYT made a presentation titled, “Truth + Dare” which explained how it gets to the truth; this was projected at brand managers to try and tell their own stories with similar ethical efforts. YouTube, too, preferred to bypass its staggering viewership numbering over a billion hours every day, and spoke of winning the trust of brands. Most media owners conveyed the message that brands will face much less risk when working directly with publishers.

Filed under: TV-Video

Arianna Huffington’s New Podcast Series Offers Insights on Getting Adequate Sleep

Posted May 16, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 3:58 am

The podcast series, sponsored by Sleep Number, maker of 360 Smart Bed is co-produced by iHeartMedia, whose iHeartRadio has an audience of 70 million

podcast series

Media mogul and sleep advocate, Arianna Huffington’s new podcast series is all about sleep. In this podcast series she talks with the rich and the famous about how they balance their absorbing and fast-paced schedules with getting enough sleep. She said the ability to find that vital balance is something worth paying attention to because it can work for everyone and not just the rich and the famous. The interviews have their own special variety with someone like actress Jennifer Aniston talking about how she manages the time she gives to her phone and someone like billionaire Mark Cuban explaining how he prioritizes between his emails and the meetings he has to attend.

Last year, Huffington founded Thrive Global, after quitting as editor in chief of The Huffington Post. Her new company is focused on helping folks find the right balance between how they use technology and how they set aside time for rest and relaxation to avoid burning out early. Sleep Number, the company that sells the new 360 Smart Bed is sponsoring the podcast series, which is produced by iHeartMedia. The podcast series is an excellent platform for Sleep Number to promote its 360 Smart Bed. Huffington reasoned, “The way we lead our lives—which is multitasking and being buried in our phones the whole time—goes right against our sense of wonder about life.”

The podcast series includes tips for listeners in the form of preroll and midroll ads, to make small changes in their lives. Huffington and iHeartMedia also plans to integrate the advice and interview highlights into ads and other content for iHeartRadio’s broader audience of 70 million. Earlier she had written “The Sleep Revolution,” which is about the struggles she and many others have had with sleep deprivation and how they solved it. “There is a passionate audience that wants to live their lives with less burnout, less stress but also more productivity. So it’s not like a trade-off between achieving and being productive and taking care of yourself,” Huffington said.

Filed under: Digital

“This bud’s for you” – Budweiser salutes Derek Jeter as the Yankees Retire His Number

Posted May 15, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 4:58 am

An emotional video on how New Yorkers honor their captain who served his team for over two decades

This Bud’s for 2

Budweiser, the sponsor of MLB (Major League Baseball) has come out with what it calls an “emotive new video,” titled “This Bud’s for 2…” to honor the legacy of legendary Yankees shortstop, Derek Jeter and the retirement of his jersey. The two-minute video, which went live Friday (May 12), shows Jeter hitting a walk-off RBI-single against Baltimore in his final at-bat at the Yankee Stadium. Nearly two and a half years after Jetter played his last game for the Yankees his shirt has been retired, making him the 22nd player in team history to gain this honor.

The video then goes around New York City, replacing the number two across different locations with Jeter’s 2 in pinstripes – on the Subway, a deli awning, a road sign, a chalk-drawn 2 in a fast food outlet, a fire truck, a neon 2 on a shop window and a taxi, among others. Jeter had reportedly communicated to Budweiser, “I’m honored MLB and Budweiser chose to celebrate my jersey retirement this way, and I’m really looking forward to being back at Yankee Stadium this weekend.” On Sunday, May 14, which was also Mother’s Day, the Yankees honored Jeter during a pregame ceremony with the retirement of his uniform number and the unveiling of his Monument Park plaque.

According to Brandwatch, the social media monitor, #ThisBudsFor2, with over 11.7 million impressions, had over 1,400 mentions till May 12. In 2014, after Jeter retired, brands like Nike and Gatorade had also created videos to honor the Yankee captain. He had founded Players’ Tribune in 2014, which he says, is a “new media company that provides athletes with a platform to connect directly with their fans, in their own words.” In response to the outpouring of emotions from Yankee fans, Jeter posted his own thank you to New York on the Players’ Tribune.

Filed under: Brand Marketing

Instagram Launches Campaign to Help People Mental Health Problems Know There’s Help Around

Posted May 12, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 1:39 am

Among the hashtags already trending, #HereForYou helps Instagram users suffering from mental illness find resources and support

HereForYou

Instagram recently launched a campaign, which is now trending – #HereForYou. It is designed to help users get help with preventing and recovering from mental illnesses by finding resources and support online and offline with ease. In this minute-long spot Instagram users can be seen speaking about how they have had hard times with indigestion, depression and even thoughts of committing suicide. The Ad spot features three individuals who are not social media celebrities but ordinary folks talking about mental health issues which is helpful for others with similar problems.

In addition to the hashtag #HereForYou, users have been using positive tags such as #ItsOkayToTalk, #RecoveryIsPossible, #EndTheStigma and #SelfLoveClub to connect with folks struggling with mental health. Marne Levine, Instagram’s Chief Operating Officer, said, “People come to Instagram to tell their stories in a visual, and through an image they’re able to communicate how they’re feeling, what they’re doing. So what we decided to do is to create a video campaign highlighting these communities of support that exist in Instagram.”

Elyse Fox, an Instagram user, who suffers from depression, is one of the three individuals running the campaign. This three member team has built positive communities of support on the platform for individuals with similar problems, struggling with mental illness. The 27-year-old woman says in the campaign video, “I knew that something was off, but I didn’t want to speak about it because I didn’t want to feel like an outcast. Through Instagram I was able to connect with other girls who were going through similar things. My main thing is to bring girls together and to let the girls know that they’re not alone.”

Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom, writing in a blog post, mentioned that in the US, half of all chronic mental illness problems begin by age 14. He wrote “Every day on Instagram, we see people share their mental health journeys and connect with communities of support. From dedicated accounts around an issue to unique hashtags adopted by groups, these communities are helping to make illnesses that are often invisible to friends and family visible through photos and videos.”

Filed under: Digital

AI has the Ability to Optimize Digital Marketing Achievements Better than Ever Before

Posted May 11, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 5:36 am

AI should be seen as an effective collaboration between people and technology rather than something that will make humans redundant

Artificial Intelligence

AI or Artificial Intelligence has the potential through to make many of the challenges faced by advertisers look less daunting. By lending power and insight to current programs such as, ad effectiveness, consumer engagement, brand safety and cross-device targeting, AI can actually be the ideal partnership between agencies and brands where people and technology function seamlessly for more effective and faster output.

In UX or User Experience, more data and more powerful machine learning will have the ability to figure out minute details and personalize the customers’ experience even as AI evolves and becomes more efficient. With the help of image recognition and natural language processing enabled by AI allows users will be able to interact with their devices much more closely and for more uses. Like super efficient sales personnel, chatbots powered by AI will provide product recommendations. Beck Kloss, senior director ads and merchandising at eBay, explains, “In the future, we can instantly know the person, steer them to the right part of the store, surprise them with something they didn’t even know they would love.”

Media buying is a major challenge especially when planning on an advertiser’s schedule, e.g. buying time when a show is on. There is the risk of showing the same ad to the same consumer on different devices when digital buys across various platforms are not in sync with each other. Since TV audiences are found across traditional linear TV, over-the-top, on-demand platforms and digital and social channels, a lot more optimization is needed while buying media space. It is now possible to pinpoint a customer’s receptiveness to an ad with the incredible number of data points that AI processes in real time.

“Ultimately, the marketer is becoming smarter with AI, and can use their smarts and expertise in various active and leveraged ways to help campaigns do better,” says Mark Torrance, CTO of Rocket Fuel, a predictive marketing platform that uses real-time data and AI.

Filed under: Digital

Spending on PR by Marketers will Increase Over the Next Five Years, According to New Report

Posted May 10, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 1:44 am

A joint study conducted by ANA and the USC Center for Public Relations has predicted that investment in public relations is set to increase

Spending on Public Relation

Over the next five years, marketers intend to spend more on public relations and boost internal staffing according to a new report conducted by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the USC Center for Public Relations at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism based on a survey. The survey which took place last winter aimed at finding out more about public relations perceptions of client-side marketers.

The survey produced quite interesting results with as many as 75% of respondents saying that they will spend more on PR over the next five years while 62% of the respondents said that they intended to increase internal public relations staffing over that same time period. Around 16% of respondents said they will increase internal PR staffing over the current year while 25% said they will increase spending on PR.

Bill Duggan, ANA group executive vice president, said, “Public relations as a discipline is clearly evolving and becoming more important to marketers. And PR is being fueled by the rise and omnipresence of digital communications. Digital has put PR front and center, as it allows immediate outbound communication and inbound feedback.”

Other interesting results of the ANA survey showed 54% of the respondents saying that public relations would change over the next five years and become “more closely aligned with marketing,” while 18% took PR to a different level, saying it would “become a subset of marketing.” The vast majority of respondents agreed that public relations can most effectively demonstrate its value.

An overwhelming 89% of respondents agreed that demonstrating the measurable business objectives of public relations programs will achieve that distinction. Most respondents referred to ‘social listening’ and ‘digital storytelling’ when asked to rank the importance of individual trends. The survey revealed that digital trends are critically important for the future of public relations.

Filed under: Agencies

KFC’s Novella, ‘Tender Wings of Desire,’ gives its Fried Chicken a New Dimension

Posted May 9, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 12:38 am

Wieden + Kennedy, the agency handling KFC’s creative communications, weaves a passionate love story around its founder, Colonel Sanders

marketing innovaion

With Mother’s Day 2017 in mind, KFC is offering a new twist to its fried chicken – a passionate romance novella, “Tender Wings of Desire,” in which the company’s white bearded, black-bow-tied founder is cast as a handsome sailor who sweeps a bored high society wife off her feet. Wieden + Kennedy Portland, the agency which is responsible for the KFC’s recent series of celebrity Colonels, came up with the idea. The writing of the book is credited to Catherine Kovach, a former Bustle.com feature writer who had also written a historical fantasy called Evangeline.

KFC announced the publication of its first novel with another passionate video in which a bearded long haired guy reads from its pages observing that dads ought to let “Colonel Sanders take care of dinner and mom’s fantasies.” The shirtless bearded man read out aloud from the book, “It was electric. It was everything, and whatever sickness Madeline believed she had from her infatuation with him melted away at the touch of his lips. Her entire body felt as though it were on fire, her heart beating wildly in her chest. He felt so warm, and his arms circled around her wait to pull her closer.”

The bearded man continued reading, “To call their affair passionate was an understatement. Sometimes it seemed as though Madeline and Colonel Sanders had been made to love each other and they tried to do so at every given opportunity.” The guy then licks his thumb in an obvious way and goes on to ask, “Don’t you wish you were a mom?” KFC’s George Felix said in a statement, “The only thing better than being swept away by the deliciousness of our Extra Crispy Chicken is being swept away by Harland Sanders himself. He promised that he’s getting his wife a bucket of chicken and the crispy fried love story so that “Dinner is taken care of and she’ll have the time to escape her busy schedule.”

Filed under: Marketing Innovation

Turner Broadcasting is Betting Big on its Digital Platforms Especially Bleacher Report

Posted May 8, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 4:01 am

More than 400 million millennials regularly visiting Bleacher Report and consuming the content for good measure

digital marketing

Digital Content NewFronts held near the Hudson River in New York’s West Village saw attendance by around 700 marketers in Turner Broadcasting interactive event, where they experienced a range of innovative and exciting digital presentations. They touched and leaned into pliable, synthetic walls that allowed them to watch and listen to videos from Turner Broadcasting’s digital platforms like CNN Digital, Bleacher Report and Great Big Story. Dave Finocchio, CEO, Bleacher Report, inaugurated the show by making a virtual appearance on screen although he was there on site. Casey Neistat, a social icon and partner at CNN was also present at the event; he announced that his viral-news-styled program which is eagerly awaited will be launched in two-three months. And then, Jeff Zucker, chief of CNN, announced that exclusive videos of Ted Talks will soon be distributed from that popular tech events platform.

It was Turner’s 2012 acquisition, Bleacher Report, which seemed to be toast of the event. More than 400 million millennials regularly visit Bleacher Report and consume the content for good measure. This explains why social and mobile are the key to success. With 4.3 million followers on Instagram, where it is gaining 8,000 followers every day, Bleacher Report is the platform to look for. This hub of millennials uses Facebook and YouTube to viral its videos and GIFs. Finocchio said, “Young people have a really low tolerance content that isn’t relevant to them. Don’t miss the boat marketing to a [sports] culture that no longer exists.”

Bleacher Report’s focus on basketball may be good idea, since it is growing internationally and is on the way to become the second most followed sport after fútbol. The site gets about 30-35% of its traffic from overseas especially during the English Premier League, one of soccer’s biggest annual events. In fact, half of its social engagement is driven by traffic from overseas. “Whether or not (basketball) gets to where people really care about whether a team loses or not, I don’t know. But the players and the culture of basketball resonate globally,” said Finnochio.

Filed under: Digital

McDonalds Presents the ‘Frork’ to Improve its Signature Crafted Recipes Eating Experience

Posted May 3, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 5:08 am

The ‘ludicrous’ innovation is designed to help you scoop up every last bit of McDonalds’ new premium burgers and chicken sandwiches

digital marketing

McDonald’s got pitchman Anthony Sullivan to work on the narrative behind its new ‘ludicrous’ innovation – Frork. Created to promote its Signature Crafted Recipes sandwich line, the Frork is introduced in an infomercial by Sullivan. It’s basically a hybrid fry fork which has a socket-like opening at the end where you can push in three French fires to make it look like a functional fork although it would be ludicrous to try and dig into your food with it. This is just to improve your eating experience of sandwiches of the new Signature Crafted Recipes line-up from McDonald’s, which it says, are so packed with toppings that you’ll need a special utensil to scoop up every last bit of the irresistible stuff falling on your plate with every bite.

“Will the Frork change your life? Probably not,” Sullivan says. “Will the Frork improve your Signature Crafted Recipes eating experience? I mean, sure … maybe.” That’s as far as one can get with honesty. Michael Haracz, McDonald’s chef, explained, “We started with All Day Breakfast, updated our Chicken McNuggets, offered new Mac sandwich sizes for every occasion and now we’re introducing Signature Crafted Recipes because they are inspired by our customers. And while the Frork is supremely superfluous, it shows that McDonald’s is willing to do whatever it takes to help them enjoy every last bite.”

McDonalds will make available at participating restaurants on May 5, a limited supply of Frorks with the purchase of a Signature Crafted Recipes sandwich. This isn’t the first time that the company has tried to add upscale offerings. Earlier in 2009, McDonald’s had some success for a period of four years with its Angus burger. Mark Kalinowski, a Nomura-Instinet analyst, says, “Not everything McDonald’s is trying will work, but some of it will. You don’t want a McDonald’s that sits back and is complacent and happy with all the successes it’s achieved in the past. You want a McDonald’s that continues to evolve for the better and that’s what McDonald’s is doing under [CEO Steve Easterbrook’s] leadership.”

Filed under: Marketing Innovation

Online Retailer Zappos is Disrupting the Public Conveniences Space with Refreshing Ideas

Posted May 1, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 5:25 am

The company is using its internet-connected washrooms called Porta Party, already a hit with users, to boost its brand image

digital marketing

Amazon-owned online retailer, Zappos, which has a reputation for cool customer service, came up with another great idea – Porta Party, which are internet-connected rest rooms in festivals and events that offer a unique experience to users who come out beaming after answering nature’s call in a new, refreshing and engaging environment. This is an excellent example of user connect at a place where the marketer can engage with the customer when he is alone and in a reflective mood. A lasting impression here can ensure a world of goodwill for any brand that handles the opportunity well.

These rest rooms have been so popular that Zappos have run out of units as they are sold out for 2017. The Porta-Party which Zappos first introduced in 2015, have been a runaway hit, prompting CEO, Tony Hsieh to say that it is a great way to disrupt this $2 billion industry by making the pee and poo chores somewhat more interesting if not inviting in crowded and messy places like the music festivals sporting events. These innovative washrooms also provide some data (anonymous) about how users behave in the rest rooms once they are alone inside.

The Zappos Porta Party washrooms a perfect selfie station, a motorized squatty potty, 40-inch weatherproof TV along with the refreshing fragrance of lavender. Users are also rewarded for good behavior with little gifts like gum, temporary tattoos, condoms, lip balm, glow sticks after every flush. Zappos used sensory data to get some analytics of washroom behavior by users – 77% went for the selfie station, 53% activated a feature called squatty feet for better comfort while on the potty and many other details. Hsieh said, “It’s not a great experience anywhere, but imagine if you went to a festival or something and you saw a Zappos porta-potty. I mean, we’ve talked about how it could be as simple as there’s a DJ out front so it’s a port-party while you’re waiting. Or it’s just a really amazing, clean experience.”

Filed under: Digital
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