Advertising Week Day 3 Roundup Adweek staff writers Andy McMains and Anthony Ha discuss the day's panels
October 5, 2011, 8:45 PM EDT
Agencies are seeing big pay-offs when they get consumers directly involved in their ad campaigns—and so are the customers.
At the Bloomberg CEO Summit on Wednesday evening, agency CEOs discussed the importance of engaging consumers in a hands-on way in order to set themselves apart in a crowded marketplace. This tactic, described by Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners’ CEO Greg Stern as “giving the consumers some kind of reward for their time,” has led to winning campaigns.
Andrew Keller, CEO of Crispin Porter + Bogusky, emphasized that “building utility and the brand at the same time” has proven to be an effective—and inexpensive—way to go. Keller described CP+B’s strategy for creating an experience for Domino’s Pizza lovers: The agency decided to avoid the high cost of fancy food photography by asking Domino’s consumers to submit their own pictures of their Domino’s meals. In return, the consumers all got free pizzas. The response was overwhelming, though it did show the potential downside of this kind of strategy—the amateur photographers' submissions weren't nearly as appetizing as professional shots would have been.
At least one agency’s campaign has contributed real value to the lives of customers eager to play a role. That's according to Sharon Napier, CEO of Partners + Napier, who discussed what began as a regional Blue Cross Blue Shield campaign. The agency started out by asking itself a question: "How do we make a healthcare card something that you turn to when you’re healthy?" First, it launched a humorous ad framing the last spot in the grocery store parking lot as the healthiest—it's 200 paces from the entrance, after all.
From there, it forged ahead with a “Step Up” program, in which it gave customers the opportunity to access online health coaches, connect with community walking groups, and track their eating habits. The program became more sophisticated, and customers could earn points through these activities to save money on their healthcare coverage. Within two years, it was possible for a family who actively participated to save up to $1,000 per year.
Keller summed up how consumer cooperation can lead to a groundbreaking campaign by saying, “The reaction is the opportunity a lot of the time.”
October 5, 2011, 8:26 PM EDT
Fast Chat: David Carey The president of Hearst’s magazine division could not be more excited about technology. Seriously!
Since you returned to Hearst last year as president of the publisher’s magazine division, you created a position called head of content extension. What does that mean?
Yeah. David Kang has that role. But what we’re very excited about is that the latest wave of technology is focused on getting people to pay for our content. So if you can imagine the first wave of the Web—and one of the collective mistakes we all made is that we gave our content away for free—the top people doing Web content all said it wasn’t something that needed to be paid for. Now you just look over the last year—through the creation of Nook Color and iTunes and the new Apple IOS and especially the Kindle Fire—now it’s all about creating devices where people can consume a great deal of content and pay for it. And so as the publisher of great content and also the owner of vast archives, this is the best possible news imaginable for Hearst.
Hearst claims about 300,000 digital magazine subscribers, up from basically nothing a year ago. Since tablet subscriptions are new, are those numbers good?
It was basically zero at the start of the year. We think that number is going to grow very rapidly now with the creation of a fourth distribution channel, the Amazon Fire product. So this next wave of technology allows us to build businesses that will have much more consumer revenue than we’ve had in the past. Just to keep in mind, our websites are 100 percent advertising in terms of the business model. Let’s call our magazines 75-25, advertising to consumer. Our goal for all of our tablet products is 50-50, between the consumer piece and the advertising, and in that way we hope to mirror what the cable industry has. The cable industry is very high functioning.
Hearst embraced e-readers early on, but I always hear about how that business model favors Apple and Amazon and leaves the publishers wanting more. Am I wrong?
The business model favors those who have the ability to build very large pools of credit card-enabled accounts—like iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. It favors those that make the transaction very easy for consumers. So if you’re in one of these environments and you just get the urge to buy, it’s pretty easy. But if you have to be in a place where you have to find your credit card and go through the registration, you inevitably lose people—so it favors those who build big communities of buyers.
The conventional wisdom is that Hearst’s stable of magazine titles are aimed toward mass-market, middle-of-the-road readers, maybe even housewives. Are they going to bother with these innovations, be they e-readers or social media or what have you?
I think we’ve learned something interesting. When Apple’s product first came out—the iPad—the screen is so great and it does so much. And so we thought this was going to be the only device where our content would work. But I think that we’ve been proven wrong. When the Nook Color came out—which is not a device that does as much as the iPad, but that you can read—it taught us there’s a pretty big market for people who want a replica product. And I think we also found that the Nook device is very popular among women because it fits in your purse. It’s a smaller physical footprint. That’s why we’re very bullish on what Amazon is doing.
Your career in the magazine business began long before Twitter, Facebook, Nook, and iPad. Do you ever miss the days when the industry revolved around a printing press?
Absolutely not. The business is more exciting and more dynamic than ever, and so I don’t wish it was 1959 or 1979 or 1999. And, if anything, if we would have met five years ago and I told you we were going to build a substantial digital business with meaningful consumer revenue, it wouldn’t have seemed possible. But technological change has brought this to our doorstep. So we’re excited as we can possibly be by what Apple, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble are doing. It’s fantastic for our business.
October 5, 2011, 6:13 PM EDT
Creating Sparks Instead of a Big Forest Fire Brands still need a strong identity to pull it all together
Agencies should think of branding as a series of brush fires rather than one big forest fire, according to The Martin Agency’s Danny Robinson.
Robinson, one of five creative leaders in a broader discussion about innovation today, cited his shop’s work for Geico as an example: the stone-faced question guy, a gecko, and now some guinea pigs who can row. Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s multi-pronged attack for Burger King also springs to mind.
Here’s the catch, though: A brand still needs a strong positioning to pull the bits and bobs of work together. “You still need a brand narrative,” said Mark D’Arcy, director of global creative solutions at Facebook. “Otherwise, it’s just going to be shotgun” advertising.
Another takeaway from the discussion? Not every brand should be on Facebook, or as Taxi’s Dave Clemans more colorfully put it, most consumers “don’t have time to have a relationship with your orange juice.”
What’s more, brands that land on Facebook better offer something entertaining, useful or both, panelists said. Otherwise, it’s like inviting people to a party without any chips or beer. Not much fun, right?
October 5, 2011, 4:36 PM EDT
When CBS and Turner Sports hashed out a deal to share the rights to March Madness back in April 2010, president of CBS News and Sports Sean McManus said the partnership “put us on solid financial footing for lasting profitability.” Without a cable partner, the broadcaster would have been hard pressed to renew its rights package; in shouldering half the burden, Turner not only kept CBS in the college hoops business, but it fast-tracked its own ambitions to become a big-time sports leader.
McManus and David Levy (Turner Broadcasting System’s president of sales, distribution and sports) on Wednesday recounted the back story behind the 14-year, $10.8 billion deal, a blockbuster born out of CBS’ need to cut costs while expanding to an all-live format.
“They needed four channels if they were going to carry every game live,” Levy said. “It was a question of necessity. Sean didn’t have the channels and we did.”
At the time the deal was hashed out, sources suggested that Turner would shoulder a greater portion of the rights fee in exchange for a bigger wedge of the ad sales pie. Levy said it’s actually a far more equal split. “We are equal partners,” he said. “Every sales dollar that comes in goes into one single pot.”
For all that, McManus said the merger of the two media cultures hasn’t always been seamless. “We agreed that [controversial TNT analyst] Charles Barkley would be a great addition to the broadcast team,” he said. Trouble was, McManus talked up Barkley’s new role before Levy had had an opportunity to ask Sir Charles if he’d like to come on board.
“I announced it at a [major] sports conference,” McManus said. “As soon as I opened my mouth, David looked at me . . . and I thought, ‘Jesus Christ, I wasn’t supposed to say that, was I?’”
Per Kantar Media estimates, CBS and Turner in 2010 shared $613.8 million in March Madness ad sales revenue, up 4 percent from the year-ago $588.7 million. Over the last decade, the tourney coverage has generated $4.85 billion in ad sales.
Levy said both parties would put a greater premium on digital and social media as the second year of the partnership rolls around. And while Twitter lends a real-time interactive element to the games, diving into the conversation isn’t for the weak of heart.
NCAA svp of basketball and business strategies Greg Shaheen said he unplugged from social media last March after reading tweets suggesting he “do something anatomically impossible with the bracket. “I stayed away from Twitter for a month,” Shaheen cracked.
When asked if he saw any other big-ticket collaborations on the horizon, Levy said the joint partnership between Fox-ABC Sports/ESPN for the rights to the Pac-12 Conference demonstrates the value of sharing the load.
“We’re going to see more and more of these type of deals,” Levy said. “I don’t see sports rights pricing going down any time soon, and this is the best way to relieve the burden.”
October 5, 2011, 4:12 PM EDT
It may be the end for men, as The Atlantic and others have proclaimed. But the rise of women, along with the splintering of media, declining newsstand sales, and fickle consumers, has left traditional women’s magazines scrambling to keep up.
Good Housekeeping, for one, has modernized by focusing less on cleaning tips and more on what its readers are interested in, said its editor Rosemary Ellis, speaking on a 2011 American Magazine Conference panel moderated by Men’s Health editor David Zinczenko. “The last thing they want to do is declutter all day,” she said.
She and fellow panelists also talked about low-cost competition and the opportunities presented by tablets and social media to connect with readers.
“We’re fighting with content farms and their need to put out just stuff,” lamented Sally Lee, editor of Ladies’ Home Journal.
There’s been a rush by magazines to try to publish on all possible platforms, especially as tablets and e-readers emerge as a way to sell magazine content. But as panelists said, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.
Essence Communications president Michelle Ebanks said women of color are heavy Facebook and Twitter users, but Ellis said that her readers “are not madly twittering.” On the other hand, Ellis said, she sees opportunity for her brand on the iPad, where Good Housekeeping has found that vertical apps based on its cookbooks have sold well.
But, with magazines still making most of their money in print, it’s not easy being an editor these days, especially with newsstand sales soft and the life cycle of a celebrity shorter than ever, which makes picking a cover subject trickier.
“I love celebrities—so easy to work with, so inexpensive, so easy to shoot,” Lee said with mock sincerity. “It’s not the greatest way to sell a cover. But they do sell.”
October 5, 2011, 2:27 PM EDT
What's the secret to creating popular content that promotes your brand? Don't think of it as advertising.
That was the advice offered today at an Advertising Week panel about content marketing—where companies create blog posts, video, and other material for the Web that indirectly promotes a brand. Several panelists repeated the same message: "Think journalism," not advertising or even standard "advertorial" content.
Yaron Galai, CEO of content recommendation startup Outbrain, recalled a campaign that he ran with a hotel chain. At first, the chain promoted a blog post about its iPad app, but when that failed to pique anyone's interest, it refocused on a blog post listing the top hotel apps—the advertiser was on the list, but not at the top. More importantly, it was an article that people actually wanted to read, and it resulted in more downloads for the hotel.
Galai offered a litmus test for whether potential content will succeed: "Is it good enough that we could sell an ad against that content?"
For the journalists in the room, Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, argued that they may find their future working for brands, rather than a publication like The Wall Street Journal. "Those are the people hiring in journalism today," he said.
One of the format's challenges, the panelists acknowledged, is that its success can be difficult to measure. Jermaine Peguese, director of Web content strategy at the University of Phoenix, said he thinks of content marketing as a way to "soften people who are higher up in the funnel," who may turn into students later on. So if you're talking about things like sales conversion rates, Peguese said, "you're having the wrong conversation."
October 5, 2011, 2:14 PM EDT
Don't Forget the 'Torso and Tail' Players Popular sites need consideration in media measurement standards
Google’s Barry Salzman sees value in the ad industry initiative to develop common standards for measuring the reach of ads online—and across all platforms—but worries that some popular online sites will lose out.
During an Advertising Week panel discussion yesterday, Salzman described the group at risk as “torso and tail publishers,” which includes blogs. He noted that they’re not well represented within the group that’s developing the new measurement standards—a joint venture of the ANA, 4A’s, and IAB—and therefore may lack consideration in the process.
“We need to make sure we’re not disadvantaging the publishers who I think are the real drivers of where this industry is headed,” said Salzman, head of media and platforms for Google in the Americas.
Such publishers won’t rank highly via TV-like standards like reach frequency. So, initiative participants need to be careful not to create biased measurement metrics, Salzman said.
After all, he added, “we created a new medium to do things like interactivity and measure impact differently. So, the quicker we get there, the better off everyone in this room will be.”
October 5, 2011, 1:03 PM EDT
JWT Wins Battle of the Ad Bands Jam With Toast slays with covers of Lady Gaga's 'Bad Romance' and Michael Jackson's 'Billie Jean'
They jammed, and the competition was toast. JWT's band Jam With Toast won the Say Media Battle of the Ad Bands on Tuesday night at the Highline Ballroom with its spirited covers of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" and Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean." They defeated, among other acts, Rubber Glove from Draftfcb, Buck from Euro RSCG, and The Passion Project from Momentum. Following the win, $1,000 is being donated to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation on JWT's behalf as part of the Share the Mic program. Members of the band—Jennifer Martinez (vocals), Owen Corso (vocals, guitar and keyboard), Fernando Sierra (guitar), Jordan Young (bass) and Steve Sincero (drums)—also won tickets to Rock Camp, made famous in the Citibank commercial with Dave Navarro.
October 5, 2011, 10:54 AM EDT
Michael Wolff Predicts the Future KBS+P co-founder Richard Kirshenbaum will talk to Adweek's editorial director about what's next for advertising and media
Advertising continues to change in new and surprising ways. It's more targeted than ever, more technological, and more mobile. It tells stories in innovative ways—about who we are and how we live—and helps us shape our own personal brands. (We are all our own brands now, like it or not.)
So where is the ad world heading? Michael Wolff, Adweek editorial director, will sit down with Richard Kirshenbaum, chairman and co-founder of Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners, on Thursday morning (9 a.m., PwC Auditorium, 300 Madison Avenue) to share his vision of the future of advertising and the media.
The two will explore what the advertising industry wants, what consumers want, and what's next for his own buzzed-about (for better or worse) magazine.
"The future of advertising is all about not just finding an audience, but getting your audience to pay attention," Wolff said in advance of Thursday's panel. "The future of media is all about how to convince advertisers that content still matters."
And the future of Adweek?
"Well," he said, "you'll have to come and find out for yourself."
October 5, 2011, 7:29 AM EDT