Consumers are highly engaged with magazine brands on social media, reaching one billion Likes/Followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest according to the Magazine Media 360° Social Media Report for the first half of 2016. The report is based on data provided by SocialFlow, exclusively for The Association of Magazine Media (MPA).
Instagram is currently the fastest growing of the social media platforms for magazine media and, for the first time, surpassed Twitter in total Likes/Followers among magazine brands participating in the Social Media Report. Overall, Facebook continues to dominate the social media landscape, with more than twice as many Likes for magazine media pages than Twitter Followers of the same brands. While Facebook added 23 million new page Likes, Instagram was not far behind with 21 million new Followers. Each of these dominate networks collected more likes/followers than the other three social media networks covered in the report, which added 19 million new Likes/Followers combined.
The Social Media Report incorporates data from 37 companies, tallies certain measures of social media for the quarter ended June 30, 2016 and reports changes by network and magazine brand compared to prior quarter for Facebook Page Likes, Twitter Followers, Instagram Followers, Google+ Followers, and Pinterest Followers.
Mobile is an ever-increasingly important platform in digital publishing as consumers spend more time on their devices. In fact, three-quarter of publishers (75%) stated they will increase their mobile investment in the next 12 months, reported AOL’s 2016 Publisher Outlook Report, which surveyed 300 publishers in the U.S.
Further, nearly half of the publishers plan on increasing their mobile investment up to 25% more and 10% plan on increasing their investment from 50-100% more in the next 12 months. Publishers also anticipate video ad sales to be the top revenue performer of the year.
Ad blockers, quality creative and quality experiences are top challenges publishers face today, while better audience metrics, interactive and engaging ad units, mobile-first video and faster ad loads offer big opportunities.
Publishers rank their biggest mobile opportunities as:
Better audience metrics – 43%
Interactive, engaging ad units – 43%
Mobile-first video (creative and formatting) – 42%
Faster ad loads – 42%
More mobile web-based content – 42%
Cross-screen tracking and measurement – 40%
Customized / personalized creative – 39%
More app offerings – 38%
Mobile commerce – 38%
Gamification of content – 27%
And rank their primary challenges as:
Ad blockers – 49%
Quality of consumer experience – 44%
Quality of content/creative – 42%
App installations – 38%
Measurement deficits – 31%
Platform and service costs – 30%
Off platform monetization – 30%
Off network traffic / audience – 27%
Lagging advertising spend – 27%
Inadequate revenue/ROI – 24%
Distribution platforms for content have also emerged this year. Companies like Facebook, Apple, Twitter and Snapchat are all trying to attract readers to keep using their platforms while consuming publisher’s content. Over 90% of publishers believe distributed media has had a positive effect; 53% report it’s “extremely positive.” By and large, publishers also said that syndication is vital with approximately 25-50% of their traffic coming via syndication referrals.
More and more publishers are increasingly assessing new and alternative monetization strategies beyond advertising. For now, more than 75% of publishers pursue subscription and ad supported business models. Of those focused on subscriptions, over 75% expect to grow their subscription choices in the next 12 months.
While publishers are still very dependent on advertising revenue, the way of doing business has changed. Seven in 10 publishers (71%) sell inventory via programmatic with many using a private marketplace. Private marketplaces allow publishers to offer their own inventory to buyers in a more transparent and controlled environment. More than half of publishers (56%) depend on at least one private marketplace and 28% use multiple PMPs.
Publishers continue to evolve with the times, building new technologies, developing new revenue sources and even creating internal agencies to develop new creative. Publishers must continue to re-think how people are consuming content, how to deliver it, how it lives across platform and how to monetize it beyond advertising dollars.
At least since the Sony Betamax case, content creators and the law have struggled to keep up with the technological advances in piracy. Just this year, HBO hired anti-piracy partner, IP-Echelon, which sent out thousands of copyright warnings for alleged piracy of its popular series “Game of Thrones” to internet service providers. The warnings contained the IP addresses of users suspected of sharing “Thrones” episodes. HBO’s and IP Echelon are still monitoring this situation and consider it critical to their business.
It turns out that online video streaming is now the primary means of pirating video content. In contrast, a decade ago peer-to-peer file sharing via torrent websites was the top method to download pirated video files. New data from the MUSO’s Global Film & TV Piracy Market Insight Report 2016 provides data showing pirate streaming sites had more than 57 billion visits last year. Out of the total 78 billion film and television piracy site visits, 74% of all visits to piracy sites were to those that stream content illegally.
MUSO’s analysis reports on over 14,000 visits to the main global piracy websites from 226 countries. Overall, MUSO tracked 141 billion visits to pirate sites last year. The U.S. tops the list of video pirate visits, representing 12% of total traffic, almost 10 billion visits. France, Germany and the UK are all included in the top 10 countries globally based on total piracy visits.
Torrent site traffic has shown gradual decline for illegal video content consumption. Approximately 17% of the piracy traffic went to torrent sites and direct download sites accounted for 8% of video piracy visits. Users predominately use desktops on both streaming pirate sites and torrent sites, 72% and 77%, respectively. Therefore, mobile piracy remains comparatively small. Interestingly, mobile download registered a slight increase (5%) in visits from the first 6 months to the visits from the last 6 months in 2015. However, the usage of downloads was still relatively low, compared to torrents and streaming traffic. Overall, the piracy environment is engaging in streaming consumption versus content downloading or sharing. However, piracy tactics have not transitioned to mobile at the same pace as other content consumption habits.
The majority of advertisers chose viewabilty as their campaign objective, followed by click thru rate and view thru rate according to a study by data software company Videology. Of all campaigns that ran on the Videology platform in Q2 2016, 43% used viewable rate as an objective KPI. Of those campaigns, 89% chose to measure viewability using the MRC standard (50% of pixels on screen for at least two consecutive seconds) while the additional 11% chose to use their own custom standard for determining if an ad was viewable.
Advertisers continue to emphasize demographic, geographical and behavioral data to target their campaigns. Over half of all campaigns Videology analyzed used behavioral targeting, while TV Viewing accounted for 14%, with advertisers looking to add incremental reach to their TV buys. It is interesting to note that more marketers are emphasizing the need for in-demo delivery of campaigns, a metric originating from the traditional methods of non-programmatic TV buying; Videology has seen a 115% year-over-year increase in the number of campaigns using Nielsen or comScore to measure in-demo targeting success.
Cross-screen advertising saw a 20% year-over-year increase (compared to Q2 2015), with the bulk of the activity consisting of combined PC, mobile, and connected TV placements. Campaigns using PC alone made up just 12%, a fraction of where this was one year ago when they made up a quarter of all placements.
With consumers expecting—even demanding—the flexibility to shift seamlessly between smartphones, desktops and tablets, the pressure is on marketers and publishers to customize experiences to “go with the flow.”
But it’s not enough to adapt advertising to accompany customers as they move across devices and across platforms. To maximize investments and conversions companies must also understand the strengths and weaknesses of each individual channel, stay current with consumer usage trends and combine these insights to architect an effective cross-device, cross-channel strategy.
This is where Mobile Advertising Around the Globe 2016, the annual report produced by Marin Software Incorporated, a cross-channel, cross-device performance advertising cloud provider for advertisers and agencies, sheds important light on spend, performance and usage across the channels that define the consumer journey.
Vendor spin aside, the research, drawn from a sample of advertisers who invest more than $7 billion in annualized ad spend on the Marin platform, provides marketers a solid benchmark chock-full of facts and actionable recommendations for optimizing advertising and approaches in order to reach and engage consumers across search, social and display.
However, it’s also important to keep in mind that the findings—because Marin Software’s client bases consists largely of companies spending upwards of $100K on paid search, social and display—are likely biased towards larger advertisers and may not reflect the trends small and medium-size businesses need to have top of mind.
In a nutshell, the report data:
Shows YoY performance by channel and device
Details how consumer behaviors are affecting desktop and mobile spend
Lists best practices for optimizing mobile advertising across channels
Significantly, the report also calls out mobile app advertising as a must, noting that apps “already account for almost 90% of all time spent on mobile devices” with more than half (60%) of mobile users saying they use apps on a daily basis. This, the report stresses, makes mobile apps advertising an important tool in any marketer’s toolbox, with in-app ads an important way to reach consumers and engage them.” This goes double for social media, as Facebook is the most used app on smartphones and tablets.
Effective advertising targets audiences on the platforms they prefer, and that platform is increasingly mobile. The report notes a “steady shift” in click share away from desktops to smartphones. While this finding won’t come as much of a surprise for seasoned marketers that “get” mobile, report data that shows tablet click behavior “has been relatively flat” is an eye-opener.
In one year, (comparing December 2014 versus 2015) smartphone click share grew by over half, from 22% of global search clicks to 35%. However, the report points out this growth didn’t come at the expense of desktop usage. “Rather, tablet usage is decreasing and smartphones are not taking more click share away from tablets than desktops.” Read between the lines, and it seems that tablets are losing some of their appeal, which is a natural outcome of the massive increase in smartphone adoption and use worldwide.
When it comes to display, click behavior is flat for tablets, holding steady at around the 10%. By end-2015, the vast majority (71%) of all display ad clicks were on a smartphone and the report forecasts this trend to continue this year.
By the end of this year the report predicts that “smartphone share will overtake desktop spend share, with 45% of all ad dollars being spent on smartphone, slightly edging ahead of desktops.”
Similar to click share, social spend is also heavily mobile-centric. (This makes sense as recent research from comScore reveals nearly 80% of social media time now spent on mobile devices.)
Clearly, mobile devices are attracting more “eyeballs” and chalking up more clicks than ever before—a development that should help advertisers and publishers prioritize how and where they allocate their budgets. The report correctly advises marketers to stay current new ad formats and innovations such as video and banner ads tailored for more effective and engaging mobile display.
But it’s not enough to use new ads formats to enhance the overall advertising experience. Companies are also advised to sharpen targeting across channels (and tracking technology to monitor results) in order to increase consumer awareness and keep a lid on costs.
Peggy Anne Salz is the Content Marketing Strategist and Chief Analyst of Mobile Groove, a top 50 influential technology site providing custom research to the global mobile industry and consulting to tech startups. She is a frequent contributor to Forbes on the topic of mobile marketing, engagement and apps. Her work also regularly appears in a range of publications from Venture Beat to Harvard Business Review. Peggy is a top 30 Mobile Marketing influencer and a nine-time author based in Europe. Follow her @peggyanne.
The Hispanic population, now at 55 million, is one of the fastest and youngest growing groups in the U.S. today. As a key demographic, Hispanics have narrowed the digital divide with adult internet usage at 84%, up from 64% in 2009. While internet usage also grew among white adults (from 80% in 2009 to 89% in 2015) and black adults (from 72% to 81%); use among Hispanics grew at a much faster rate. In addition, the gap in internet usage between Hispanics and whites decreased to 8% from 16% in 2009 according to a Pew Research Center report, “Digital Divide Narrows for Latinos as More Spanish Speakers and Immigrants Go Online.”
It’s not just the English-dominant Hispanics (94%) who are online but also bilingual Hispanics (86%) have internet access, up from 87% and 76%, respectively in 2009. Further three-quarters of Spanish-dominant Hispanics (76%) are also internet users and registered the most growth from 36% in 2009. Interestingly, most of the change in Hispanic internet use took place in the last three years among foreign born Hispanics.
Not surprisingly, younger Hispanics are more likely to be online than older adults. Nine in 10 of Hispanic adults 18-29 (95%) and Hispanic adults 30-49 (93%) are more likely to be online than older Hispanic, ages 50-64 (67%) and ages 65+ (42%).
Mobile access is the majority of Hispanics connect to the internet. Eighty percent of Hispanic adults reported using a mobile device, cellphone, smartphone or tablet, to access the internet. A full nine in 10 of younger Hispanic adults, ages 18-29 (94%) use their mobile device for internet access.
In terms of connecting at home, half of Hispanics adults (46%) reported that they use a broadband connection to access the internet. Surprisingly, while internet usage among Hispanic has increased, broadband access has shown little growth since 2010 when it was at 45%.
The fact that the Hispanic digital divide is closing is an important factor for companies to think about when exploring marketing tactics to target this key demographic group. The Hispanic audience is a fully engaged digital audience and often attracted by the social offerings of digital technology. Now more than ever before there is an opportunity to reach a full Hispanic audience across digital platforms.
Shifting from the tactics of next-generation data analytics to converting corporate cultures to being data-first is the emerging great challenge for media companies battling for consumer and advertiser relevance, according to a report released by the International News Media Association (INMA).“Big Data For Media 2.0: Going Data-First” synthesizes case studies shared with INMA through a co-hosted Big Data For Media conference and study tour, along with best practices from association members. The report features eight video interviews INMA conducted with Big Data innovators at five media companies.
Companies featured in the INMA report include Axel Springer, Dow Jones, Financial Times, Forbes Media, Hearst, The New York Times, Schibsted, The Washington Post, and The Weather Channel. Based upon the best practices at these media companies, author Martha L. Stone of the World Newsmedia Network (WNMN) makes the case that data-first strategies are yielding better outcomes and better results.
That said, she finds that even major media companies are facing cultural challenges in implementing these company-wide data-first strategies. However, the central role of data in the modern media company is highlighted by Rick McFarland, chief data scientist at Hearst Corp., who is quoted as saying: “Hearst is not in the publishing business or even in the media business. It is really in the data distribution business. Data is the gasoline” that fuels the business.
Overall, the report categorizes data-centric practices as being synonymous with customer-first strategies. Based upon her synthesis of the case studies and best practices, Stone says that her overall impression is one of “companies leading a cultural revolution” — with some succeeding faster than others.
The report examines:
Why Big Data is important at media companies and how different types of analytics are being applied
Who innovative media companies are in Big Data — and why
The process of developing the media company’s data operation
How companies implement a culture of experimentation using data
How leading media companies are structuring and staffing their data departments
The pending onslaught of data regulations
Results from the latest Big Data For Media Survey — including what media companies are doing with analytics and how that is changing
How best to generate revenue using data analytics
“Media companies are in the data distribution business and data is the gasoline,” said Earl J. Wilkinson, executive director and CEO of INMA, paraphrasing one of the executives interviewed in the report. “What we see among the industry leaders is Big Data not as a tactic to grow subscriptions but as a catalyst for fundamental culture change. This report is a snapshot in that revolution.”
The convenience and flexibility of watching television continues to grow with the ability to time shift and stream programming. These patterns hold true for viewers of public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom; Channel 3 services, Channel 4, Channel 5, S4C and BBC. According to their mandate, public service broadcasters must offer quality programming which informs an understanding of the world, stimulates knowledge and learning, reflects the strength of the UK’s culture and represents diversified viewpoints.
PSB channels are committed to the practice of fulfilling the programming criteria. The Office of Communications (Ofcom), the government-approved regulatory and competition authority for the broadcasting and telecommunications, assesses public services channels’ yearly performance in its report, PSB Annual Research Report. The report evaluates three key areas to gauge effectiveness of the of public service channels: 1) audience opinion 2) viewership and 3) programming and spending.
According to its most recent report, a full 73% of those who have ever watched a PSB channel reported being satisfied with the programming. Viewers reported strong levels of importance and delivery correlating to the objectives of PSB channels. The highest rated in terms of importance were “it provides a wide range of quality and UK made programming for children (88%)” and “its news programs are trustworthy (86%).” Viewers highest scores for delivery were “it provides a wide range of quality and UK made programming for children (85%)” and “its programs help me understand what’s going on in the world today (74%).”
The report also looks at time spent watching broadcast television, with demographic breakdowns, as well as the quantity and quality of public broadcast content. In all, viewers watched 3 hours 36 minutes of measured broadcast TV in an average day in 2015, almost a half hour less per day than in 2010. As we have also seen in the U.S., viewership declined notably for adults 25-34 (19%) and adults 35-44 (17%) during this same time period. These declines were attributed to adult usage of on-demand services such as BBC iPlayer, All 4, Netflix or Amazon, especially among those aged 15-24s and 25-34.
Further, according to the BARB data, viewing of national and international news on broadcast TV increased year-to-year to 96 hours per person 4+ after a three-year decline. Total viewing hours to broadcast TV news also increased (approximately 3 hours) among adults 35+ to 142.5 hours per person in 2015 in contrast to the declines among Persons 16-34 (32.4 hours in 2015 from 33.5 hours in 2014). Where are the younger viewers going for their news? Six in ten Persons 16-24 reported using the internet or apps for news compared to 51% who cited using television.
In 2015, the PSB channels broadcast 31,974 hours of first-run UK originated network programming, an 8% decrease from 34,689 hours ten years ago. A shift in genre production from big-budget dramas to relatively low-cost original programs allowed for a decreased spending with sacrificing too many programming hours.
Importantly, public service channels must support six core characteristics:
These values act as important guidelines in delivering effective programming. Adhering to these characteristics, as well as, noting the changes and differences between younger and older adult viewership, will allow PSB channels to meet the expectations of its viewers.
Programmatic advertising and its aggregation of inventory are often viewed as the key forces behind the commoditization of digital ad impressions. The shift to audience-centric media buying from earlier practices emphasizing context has left many questioning whether or not the environment surrounding advertising really matters. It is important that we examine what extent does quality drives advertising effectiveness.
Today’s release of comScore’s independent research, “The Halo Effect: How Advertising on Premium Publishers Drives Higher Ad Effectiveness” presents empirical findings that Digital Content Next member sites delivered significantly higher branding effectiveness results than other sites.* Importantly, the research finds that the primary driving force for the brand lift is the positive impact of the “halo effect” of the contextual environment in which an ad is seen. In other words: A good environment drives better ad campaign effectiveness. In fact, while some of the positive effect can be contributed to higher ad viewability and less invalid traffic on premium sites, comScore found that the most significant driver of increased effectiveness is the halo effect of appearing on premium sites. This “premium” designation is one that our own research has borne out as a distinguishing factor in other areas, such as the quality of ad inventory and the significantly lower bot traffic on DCN member sites.
What value does the halo factor have for marketers? Used properly, it can help a brand cut through the clutter and save money on marketing by using this momentum to operate effectively and efficiently throughout the marketing funnel, particularly in the brand consideration stage where the “halo” lift was 3x.
This is demonstrated by the research, which first compared the overall brand lift effectiveness of ads delivered on DCN members’ sites versus non-DCN premium publishers sites. DCN premium publisher sites significantly outperformed those on non-DCN sites—by 67% (0.89 brand lift vs. 0.53). Measuring brand lift answers some of the biggest questions marketers have such as are my ads influencing consumer behavior, are they influencing sales and to what degree. Knowing a campaign is 67% more effective in influencing consumer behavior and intent to purchase is a win-win situation giving marketers a lead in the marketplace.
comScore also identified ad effectiveness metrics in other parts of the marketing funnel. DCN publisher sites performed 32% better on top funnel metrics, which includes awareness, recall and message association (.56 brand lift vs. .42). The mid-funnel—where consumers have the potential to develop a stronger interest in your brand—performed more than three times as effective for DCN publisher sites with a 1.87 brand lift vs. 0.51. Premium publisher sites can influence the mid-funnel by 255% more effectiveness, a potential accelerator of brand sales. The lower and final part of the funnel includes purchase intent and share of consumer choice metrics. DCN premium publishers performed 9% better on the bottom-funnel metrics (.38 brand lift vs. .35).
comScore’s independent research provides a clear message that brands benefit from advertising on premium publisher sites. While the research found that premium publishers perform better across all phases of the marketing funnel, the value in driving mid-funnel metrics is especially important to convert awareness into positive brand consideration. So, while digital continues to create opportunities for targeting and increase opportunities for efficiencies, it is clear that placement within the context of quality environments provides a “halo effect” that drives ad effectiveness.
*This study was not commissioned by Digital Content Next (DCN) or any of its member companies. While the results were shared with DCN prior to publication, DCN did not have any influence over the design of the research or its findings.
Both the immediacy and the mobility of news has anchored it as an important part of today’s life. In fact, more than seven in ten adults follow national and local news somewhat or very closely and 65% follow international news with similar regularity. Digital access appears to fuel American’s hunger for news, according to a new report from Pew Research Center, which conducted a study in association with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. For example, at least a full 81% get at least some news through websites, apps or social networking sites.
Some key Findings:
Friends and family are important sources for news, even though consumers still rely on news organizations as their primary source. Trust in news reporting is an overarching problem however today’s online news consumers tend to place as much trust in the information they get from news organizations as they do in information coming from family and friends. Still, online news organizations play the larger role: 36% of online news consumers often get news from news organizations compared with about half as many who do so from people with whom they are close (15%).
Consumers are more cautious about news coming through social media. Close to two-thirds of U.S adults (62%) get news on these social platforms, however just more than one-third (34%) trust the information a lot/some.
Just as many consumers are loyal as are not loyal to their news sources. Just over three-quarter of respondents (76%) reported turning to the same sources over and over again. Importantly, consumers do pay attention to their digital sources. Among those who got their news three or more times from a link in a given week, at least 70% remembered the source half the time.
Consumer believe strong media bias exists in news reporting. Close to three-quarters of consumers (74%) feel that the news media favors one side. Another 75% of consumers credit the news organization for keeping leaders accountable and honest.
The majority of consumers prefer to watch news on TV. When asked where consumers get their news, 57% reported TV, 38% stated online and only 20% said they get their news from newspapers. As one would expect, only 5% of younger consumers, ages 18-29s, often got news from a print newspaper in contrast to close to half (48%) of adults, age 65.
News remains an important part of public life with digital news consumption becoming increasingly mobile. As more people get their news online, it’s important to distinguish between those who seek out the news online versus those who stumble upon it. This is an important consumer distinction as news sites look to market to the news consumer.
When asked to name the biggest trend in digital, publishers responded with one word: video. According to The State of Digital Advertising for Publishers, a new report from Mixpo, this clearly presents both challenges and opportunities. The gap between advertiser demand for video ads and publisher supply of video inventory is notable. This seller’s market has made video a valuable ad product for publishers, but it has also created pressure to find new ways to deliver video and take full advantage of 2016’s video boom.
In April of 2016, Mixpo surveyed over 250 digital advertising professionals employed by U.S. publishers, and conducted personal interviews with 30 digital advertising executives in a variety of functions from eight of America’s leading media companies. The State of Digital Advertising for Publishers highlights the top ten trends that emerged from Mixpo’s research along with insights on how publishers can think about, and tackle, the most pressing issues in digital advertising.
While video is front of mind for respondents, Mixpo also found that programmatic has evolved from threat to revenue opportunity. In fact, for the majority of publishers interviewed, programmatically-powered audience extension is their fastest growing revenue source.
Attribution and measurement, along with viewability, top the list of publisher concerns followed by ad fraud and bots, the increase of mobile consumption and ad blocking.
Other key findings of their research include:
More than a third (36%) of publishers use or plan on using Facebook video ads, with 13.6% using or planning to use Instant Articles.
Publishers ranked pre-roll, interactive pre-roll and in-banner video as the digital ad formats with the highest perceived ROI.
Facebook Dominates: 50.2% of those surveyed have run video ad campaigns on Facebook, compared to only 31.1% on YouTube, 17% on Twitter, 13.2% on Instagram, and 1.7% on Snapchat.
Video Growing Beyond O&Os: In the past year, 61% of publishers have sold video ads as a part of their audience extension packages.
Mobile is still a challenge, but for new reasons: 48% of publishers are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ concerned with the increase in mobile consumption, while device fragmentation was among the least disconcerting issues.
Ad blocking is a threat, but publishers are unsure of what to do: Nearly half of publishers (46%) said ad blocking is either “extremely” or “very”concerning, but on the long list of publisher concerns, ad blocking isn’t at the top.
In the age of rich data, publishers stick to basic metrics: Nearly 54% of publishers surveyed work with at least four ad tech vendors, and 5% work with more than 16, making consolidated metrics difficult.
In today’s ad environment, where consumers can skip, block, dodge, and flee ads to their heart’s content, we are seeing a flight to quality. In other words, since people don’t have to pay attention to ads anymore, brands are cranking up quality to get people to choose to watch their ads. Speaking to Ad Age at Cannes last month, Procter & Gamble Global Brand Officer Marc Pritchard said of their advertising, “We’re trying to turn down the noise and turn up the quality, which gives you a better chance of success.”
This movement was highly evident during the second quarter, in which our top Breakthrough ads were voluntarily watched on YouTube to the combined tune of 45 million views.
We saw highly emotional ads centered on moms and dads, with a dash of Olympic passion, rise to the top of our list of ads with the greatest Breakthrough capacity. Within our broad set of metrics, the components of Likeabilty and Attention form the Breakthrough dimension. Though Breakthrough is not always the primary objective of an ad, in today’s ad blocking environment, it’s crucial for brands to deliver engaging content that people will watch and share.
Top Breakthrough Ads of Q2, 2016
Out of nearly 1,950 television and digital ads tested by Ace Metrix this quarter, Gillette’s “This Father’s Day, Go Ask Dad” demonstrated the highest Breakthrough, which is remarkable considering the ad is 2:36 long (read more about this ad here.) With nearly 6.3 million YouTube views since early June, the success of Gillette’s ad, created by Grey New York, drives home the point that people will choose to watch high-quality branded content that makes them feel something.
Gillette parent company, Procter & Gamble, is next on the list with their inspirational tribute to the moms behind Olympic athletes, “Thank You, Mom – Strong” (read more about this ad, created by Wieden + Kennedy, here.) Similar to Gillette’s ad, “Strong” received high scores in Relevance, as well as Attention and Likeability. Unilever brand Dove also delivered a relatable ad with their annual heartfelt tribute to Dads, “Caring Makes My Dad, My Hero.” The minute-long spot, created by The Marketing Arm, showcases real father-child moments taken from online footage. Both of these CPG brands are leading the charge in connecting with consumers through intensely emotional ads.
The Emotional Word Clouds (or Emo Clouds) below help gauge the level of emotional connection respondents have with the top four Breakthrough ads by using words directly from their comments. These word clouds demonstrate that it is intense emotion that can truly connect and be relevant to consumers. Words like “touching”, “heartwarming”, and “moving” are seen in high doses. Emo Clouds, a key piece of the puzzle for understanding how to produce predictably great creative, will be launching in the Ace Metrix UI later this month.
We’ve also seen brands have great success connecting through the use of humor. Apple’s “Time – Behind the Scenes” broke through delighting viewers with humorous Cookie Monster and Siri interaction (read more about this TBWA\Media Arts Lab created ad here.) Similarly, Johnsonville broke through with their employee-created, with help from agency Droga5, spot “Jeff and His Forest Friends by Jeff” (read more about Johnsonville’s campaign here.) The Emo Clouds below show how well using humor as a vehicle worked for both brands.
A common theme represented by three of the top 10 ads was that of home and all that homes symbolize. Lowe’s (#6 on the Top 10 list) three-minute ad “House Love”, created by BBDO New York, tells the story of two homes and their young residents falling in love (read more here.) In Zappos’ (#7 on the list) tearjerker ad “Box Home” a boy builds a home for a homeless man with various materials, including Zappos boxes. Viewers used words including “beautiful”, “sad”, and “powerful” to describe the story. Zappos collaborated with creative collective Variable to develop the 1:49 ad. Coldwell Banker’s “This is Home” uses a catchy song set to user-generated content depicting scenes of happy moments big and small that make a house a home. The upbeat minute-long spot, created by Siltanen & Partners, evoked words like “sentimental”, “uplifting”, and “adorable.”
Half of the ads on the top ten list were digital-only ads, with nine out of ten 60 seconds or longer, giving brands enough time to fully tell a story and connect with viewers. It’s clear that this is one recommended path to success, and that more brands should seek emotional means to break through and create a memorable bond that consumers will enjoy and share.
Congratulations to all of the brands and their creative agencies on our list, as well as to those who produced outstanding Breakthrough ads this quarter that fell outside of our Top 10.
Miriam Tremelling serves as senior marketing manager at Ace Metrix where she is responsible for developing compelling stories that articulate Ace Metrix’s value proposition. Prior to joining Ace Metrix, Miriam worked at Conversant, Twelvefold Media and CBS Interactive.
Check out Ace Metrix’s complete list of Breakthrough ads for Q2, with links to watch them in their entirety.