The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has released “The Path to Consumer Electronics Purchases,” an in-depth analysis revealing that an interplay of media buys—including digital—is necessary to effectively influence people who are intending to purchase consumer electronics.
Examining consumers who said that they preferred to buy consumer electronics in “Discount Stores,” “Specialty Stores” or on the “Internet” showed that all three groups are influenced by a variety of media, over-indexing against the U.S. average on internet advertising and social media across the board. In fact, among the mass media, internet advertising is second only to broadcast television networks in influence, surpassing magazines, newspapers, direct mail and radio.
“Broadcast, cable, newspapers, and other media certainly play a role in influencing shoppers seeking consumer electronics, but the diversity of media it takes to truly reach buyers is eye-opening,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics, and Measurement, IAB. “A close look at the findings reveals that digital is a key part of the ad buy puzzle when it comes to selling electronics. Most consumers who are in the market for HDTVs, home audio set-ups and the like are clearly a tech savvy group, and that fact needs to be kept top-of-mind when trying to reach them as they consider their next major purchase.”
Additional findings include:
- Coupons — With “Specialty Store” electronics shoppers leading the pack (69%), all three groups over-indexed on declaring email coupons to be a compelling retail motivator (“Internet” 68% vs. “Discount Store” 62% vs. U.S. population 60%). Web coupons were also cited as a strong driver among all three, headed by “Internet” electronics shoppers (65%), with the other two groups over-indexing as well (“Specialty Store” 61% vs. “Discount Store” 56% vs. U.S. population 53%).
- Online Searching — Ad inserts are more likely to trigger an online search among “Specialty Store” (24%) and “Discount Store” (23%) electronics purchases, versus the general public (21%), and “Internet” buyers (19%). Newspaper is a much stronger search trigger for “Specialty Store” electronic shoppers (42%). After searching, all three over-index on being likely to communicate with others via social media (“Internet” 28% vs. “Discount Store” 25% vs. “Specialty Store” 24%) compared to the average U.S. consumer (21%).
- Research Before Purchase — “Internet” electronics shoppers are much more likely to research products online before purchasing in a store, when compared to other shoppers (“Internet” 62% vs. “Specialty Store” 46% vs. “Discount Store” 36%).
- QR Codes — “Internet” and “Discount Store” electronics purchasers are more inclined to have downloaded QR Code apps than their “Specialty Store” counterparts (“Internet” 55% vs. “Discount Store” 48% vs. “Specialty Store” 47%).
Report Signals Launch of IAB InsightCenter
“The Path to Consumer Electronics Purchases” includes intelligence from the Media Behaviors & Influence Study from BIGinsight, a consumer behavior portal. The report is the first in a series of consumer research reports that IAB plans to produce in conjunction with BIGinsight. The report also signals the debut of the IAB InsightCenter, a free online service for publisher members to access additional research data via the IAB web site. The series will include findings from BIGinsight’s monthly Consumer Survey, an ongoing survey that summarizes results from 8,500 interviews conducted each month since 2001, and the Media Behaviors & Influence Study which polls some 25,000 respondents twice a year.
“This research will be invaluable to publishers and marketers alike seeking to better understand the specific media influences that drive consumer decision-making behaviors,” said Mane. “Easy-to-use, it is sure to be a boon for our members who are always looking to have the latest information at their fingertips.”
“This InsightCenter can help marketers visualize trends in consumer media behavior and influence,” said Pam Goodfellow, Consumer Insights Director, BIGinsight. “It goes beyond point-in-time reports and instead delivers actionable insights in a customizable, graphical format.”
Cable TV network ad revenue growth is slowing, but still improving, reports Media Post. The Post is analyzing data provided by the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau (CAB).
Cable net advertising totaled $22.1 billion in 2011, which is a nearly 8% gain over 2010. But 2010 results were up 18.1% over 2009.
Overall (and including local spot ad sales), CAB estimates that 2011 totals were up by 4% to $28.7 billion, with English-language networks taking a 32% share. Spanish-language cable ad sales gained 21% for a total of $766 million.
Media Post believes that cable networks (and broadcast nets) gained from an improvement in upfront and scatter markets. Those cable nets that participated in last year’s upfront signed $8 billion in deals.
Perhaps most importantly to the networks, the “top flight” broadcasters and cable nets in 2011 pulled 11% to 15% increases in cost-per-thousand impressions (CPMs). (Neither Media Post nor CAB named those top flight networks.) Elsewhere, English-language broadcast TV saw boosts of 5%, spot TV of 5%, and syndicated TV at 8%.
TED (Technology, Education, Design), the non-profit dedicated to “Ideas Worth Spreading,” has announced the winners of its second Ads Worth Spreading initiative on the opening day of TED2012 in Long Beach, CA. This year's 10 winners were “carefully curated to shine a spotlight on ads which break the mold through longer-form, idea-based storytelling.”
Interestingly, and as Adweek observes, the ads generally push beyond the 30-second mark, and frequently appear online rather than on television. Entries ranged from 30-second spots to 5-minute mini-documentaries, as well as several custom-made pieces humanizing companies and causes.
The Ads Worth Spreading challenge attracted entries from 39 countries, and is designed to recognize intelligence in advertising and and reward “the kind of ads that inspire people to watch, learn and share,” said the company in a release. "We sought out ads that were driven by ideas," said TED Curator Chris Anderson. "At TED, we've seen the power of imagination and innovation. We want to reward companies that have invested in longer-form, beautifully crafted campaigns that value human attention and intelligence, and take the time to tell a thought-provoking story."
The ideas are at times downright strange. For example, the “Rethink Breast Cancer” spot by john st. Toronto features self proclaimed “hot guys” demonstrating breast-cancer self exams—the premise being, “Women are more likely to watch a video if it features a hot guy.” The L’Oreal Paris spot features athlete/model/actor/activist, and dual-prosthetics wearer Aimee Mullins, pushing L’Oreal’s message “Because you’re worth it” beyond its “spend on yourself” origins.
For this year's challenge, and in addition to accepting entries via YouTube from agencies and marketers, TED called upon 25 industry Advocates and six Nomination Teams to seek out compelling ads in six specific categories: Talk, Social Good, Cultural Compass, Creative Wonder, Brand Bravery, and Storytelling.
As Ronda Carnegie, Head of Global Partnerships at TED described, "This year's winners spanned across many categories, drawing from culture, technology and brand expertise. L'Oreal confronted the definition of beauty in a talk, Prudential exhibited powerful storytelling, and Chipotle raised the bar with its creative animation that beautifully communicates their message."
Next year, TED pledges to further evolve the Ads Worth Spreading challenge and engage in deep one-on-one conversation with the global advertising community to share what the organization has learned. Additionally, TED will open up TED.com as an incubation platform for testing and launching great creative.
TED solicited entries for this challenge via a channel on YouTube.com. The judging system for Ads Worth Spreading was hosted by AICP (Association of Independent Commercial Producers) and Zester. Ads Worth Spreading was also supported by Contagious Magazine, 4A's, IAB, IAA, Art Directors Club, and the Advertising Club of New York.
CBS CEO Les Moonves expects ad prices to rise by double digits for the next TV season, reports Broadcasting & Cable.
Moonves spoke yesterday at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference, where he said “I think we’re in that kind of marketplace and we’ve got that kind of ratings story.” Last year, CBS enjoyed increases of about 13%, largely by holding on to some of its inventory in a sort of chess play. The network charged in the high $70K range per unit, and sold about 78% of its inventory at that price. This year he predicts prices in the low $80K range.
CBS is in second place this sweeps season among viewers 18-49, with eight of the top 10 shows, including “NCIS” in the #1 spot, and “NCIS Los Angeles” and “Big Bang Theory” also in the top 10. Still, media buyers and planners predict that Fox will lead the February sweeps based on the strength of "American Idol."
On a side note, Moonves lamented a dropped ball at the CBS-owned Showtime network. Its contract with the producers/distributors The Weinstein Company excluded black-and-white films. Thus, lamented Moonves, “We look pretty stupud right how…we don’t get [Best Picture Oscar winner] ‘The Artist’” for Showtime, which instead Weinstein sold to Netflix.
- NBC aired the Season 3 finale of “Parenthood” last night, but is resting on the bubble rather than on its laurels, reports Media Life. NBC cut the season short to make room for the new reality show “Fashion Star,” with Nicole Richie and Jessica Simpson. “Parenthood” with its improvisational feel has been more of a critical than a ratings hit. It has rated second place in the Tuesday 10 p.m. timeslot this season, with a 2.0 among adults 18-49, versus a 2.4 for CBS's "Unforgettable" and 1.8 for ABC's "Body of Proof.” “Parenthood” is loosely based on the 1989 Steve Martin film. A 1990 series based on the film starred Ed Begley, Jr., and lasted only half a season.
- The National Football League (NFL) has moved its 2012 season-opening NFL Kickoff game to Wednesday, September 5 (NBC, 8:30 PM ET). The game was moved from Thursday, September 6, so as not to conflict with President Barack Obama’s Thursday speech at the Democratic National Convention. The Super Bowl XLVI-champion New York Giants will host the season-opener at MetLife Stadium. NBC will televise the game at 8:30 PM ET and NFL Kickoff 2012 beginning at 7:30 PM ET.
- FX has announced that it will premiere “Anger Management” starring Charlie Sheen kicks on June 28, with the first two episodes airing at 9:00 PM and 9:30 P.M. ET/PT. In the following weeks, the series will air first-run episodes Thursdays at 9:30 P.M. with the previous week’s episode repeated at 9:00 P.M. FX has ordered 10 episodes of Anger Management from producers Debmar-Mercury and Lionsgate Television. “Anger Management” stars Sheen as a “non-traditional therapist” in a private practice, and at a state prison.
- Discovery Channel’s “Doomsday Bunkers” will premiere on Wednesday, March 7 at 10 P.M. ET/PT. As Discovery describes the series, it “pulls back the curtain on advanced and secretive underground bunkers.” The series will follow Dallas, Texas-based Deep Earth Bunker owner Scott Bales and his team of engineers as they prepare clients for nuclear disasters, earthquakes and nose-diving economies. Each episode is a beginning to end “how to,” with an emphasis upon preparation in comfort and style.
- Boosted by ratings, ABC has picked up two additional episodes of its reality series “Shark Tank,” for a total of 15 episodes. Produced by Sony Pictures Television, “Shark Tank” is the No. 1 show on Friday nights on the broadcast nets with Teens 12-17, and is up over the previous season by 19% in Total Viewers and 27% in young adults. On February 24, "Shark Tank" dominated CBS’s "Undercover Boss" across the 18-34 demos: AD18-34 +17%, M18-34 +27% and W18-34 +15%. The series follows a panel of “Sharks” (investors” hearing business and product pitches from entrepreneurs. The sharks then compete to invest. "Shark Tank" airs Fridays (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Spike TV and the National Geographic Channel are drawing fire from archaeologists for two unscripted "treasure hunting" series.
The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) yesterday sent an email letter to its members, inviting them to complain to both Spike TV and the National Geographic Channel. The letter from AIA President Elizabeth Bartman reads: "The AIA has learned of two new TV shows that promote treasure hunting to find archaeological objects. National Geographic's "Diggers" airs tonight and Spike TV's "American Diggers" will air next month. Both shows feature metal detectorists and at least one ("American Diggers") emphasizes the commercial value of the found objects. The AIA believes that these shows promote the looting and destruction of archaeological sites."
Spike TV announced “American Diggers” on February 15, with a March 21 premiere date. National Geographic’s “Diggers” premiered last night (February 28) with two half-hour episodes.
“American Digger” is a 13 half-hour episode series created and produced by Gurney Productions (“Auction Hunters”). As the network described the series, it “follows the American Savage team, led by former professional wrestler-turned-modern- day relic hunter Ric Savage as they scour target-rich areas, such as battlefields and historic sites, in hopes of striking it rich by unearthing and selling rare pieces of American history.” After pinpointing historical locations such as Civil War and Revolutionary War battlefields, Savage then convinces property owners to let his team dig, “using state-of-the-art metal detectors and heavy-duty excavation equipment.”
“Diggers” follows two amateur archaeologists from Anaconda, Montana, as they use metal detectors to hunt for treasure across the U.S. The duo self-produced a DVD series called “Extreme Metal Detecting,” including comedic skits and actual finds, which they posted to YouTube. The video caught the eye of Half Yard Productions, creators of "American Loggers" and "Modern Marvels," which successfully pitched "Diggers" to National Geographic in July. As one of the duo described their methods to The Republic, “Nothing is off limits, and we push boundaries.”
Therein lies the complaint of archaeologists. Savage and his team use heavy digging equipment—not the sifting trays and toothbrushes to which careful archaeologists are accustomed. “The team will then sell any artifacts found for a substantial profit by consulting experts and scouring the antique and collectible markets, but not before negotiating a deal to divide the revenue with the property owners,” versus transferring ownership to museums or government institutions for public ownership. The “Diggers” crew, called Team ATC, makes no attempt to formally catalogue the finds with universities, historians, museums or non-government organizations (NGOs).
Those methods, complain archaeologists, ruin the scientific and historic record. Society for American Archaeology (SAA) President William F. Limp wrote directly to Spike TV President Kevin Kay on February 24 outlining the problem. “Archaeology is a scientific discipline involving the systematic examination and careful study of evidence relevant to human lives and lifestyles in the past. Members of SAA…advocate for the conservation of cultural resources, encourage public access to and appreciation of archaeology, and oppose all looting of sites and the purchase and sale of looted archaeological materials.” Further, “Once a site is dug, excavations completed, and artifacts removed, the site can never reveal the mysteries of the past again…Excavating in the way you suggest, without a plan, with little regard for science, preservation, or future approaches, is unethical and robs our descendants of knowledge.”
The AIA seems to understand that the channels are unlikely to pull the shows. But Bartman calls upon them to provide disclaimers during the airing of the shows that “what the shows are promoting is unethical and in some instances may even be illegal.”
Thus far, no comment from either network. National Geographic has amassed decent ratings with unscripted series like “Alaska State Troopers,” “Dog Whisperer,” and “Border Wars,” alongside more scientific offerings like “Explorer.” Spike TV offers more extreme treatments, with series like “1,000 Ways to Die” and “Deadliest Warrior.”
The National Basketball Association (NBA) is experiencing “its strongest TV viewership since the Michael Jordan era,” writes Sports Business Daily, with local ratings up by 19% and four teams more than doubling last year’s ratings. As Jeff Krolik, EVP of Fox Sports told the Daily, “The fans are happy to have the NBA back and it’s reflected in the ratings…It’s another example of the power of live sports.”
Nationally, ABC, ESPN, TNT and NBA TV all expect to post their highest NBA ratings historically. ABC has averaged 2.063 million viewers over four games, up 10% over last season. TNT over 21 broadcasts has averaged 2.7 million viewers, a leap of 25% over last season. Premium channel NBA TV is averaging 352,000 viewers across 52 games, up 52%.
New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin is driving record ratings at MSG Network (named for Madison Square Garden in New York). Two games generated a 7.3 rating (about 540,800 households) for an 82% jump compared to last season. And as the Daily observes, these were against the worst NBA teams (the New Orleans Hornets and New Jersey Nets).
Still, Lin fever overcame the threat of dull watching. The ratings increase has also generated double-digit increase in ad rates, and a 10% boost in ad revenue for MSG to date. That despite MSG’s being off the air for the season’s first half, due to a contract dispute with Time Warner Cable.
Following 3.8% growth in 2011, global advertising spending is expected to grow by 4.9% in 2012 to $465.5 billion, according to the latest Global Advertising Forecast from Strategy Analytics.
The U.S. ad spend will increase by just 2.7% compared to that global 4.9%. still, that beats 2011’s meager 0.6% growth. The U.S. will trail Europe as well, where ad spending is expected to grow by 3.7% to $136.3 billion in 2012.
Not a bad picture, globally. Ed Barton, Strategy Analytics’ Director of Digital Media Strategies, chalks the gains up to such major global-impact events as—
- The Summer Olympics
- The U.S. presidential elections
- The European Football Championships
- Japan’s continued recovery from the earthquake
Global Advertising by Media Type
Looking at spend by media type reveals that global TV advertising is expected to grow by 5% in 2012 to $188.5 billion, equivalent to 40% of all global spending. Global print advertising is expected to grow by 0.5% to a 26.4% share. Other traditional formats including cinema and radio will grow by approximately 4%.
By contrast, global online advertising is expected to grow 12.8% to $83.2 billion and 18% of global ad spending. Barton says, “Online advertising will continue along its growth trajectory fuelled by strong growth in emerging markets and increased spending volumes on social networking and online video advertising.”
U.S./Europe Advertising by Media Type
Online spending will lead in terms of growth in the US: online is expected to grow by 6.7% this year to $27.4 billion, versus 3.7% for TV and 2.9% for other traditional formats. Print is expected to decline by 1.5%.
In comparison, online advertising across Europe is expected to grow by 11.7% this year compared to 3.4% for TV and 2.4% for ‘other traditional’ advertising. Print is expected to decline by 0.1%.
Still says Barton, the U.S. will continue to lead the world in the share of revenue generated by TV advertising, which this year will be approximately 41% compared to 35% in Europe and 24% in the UK. Internet ad growth lags the world, but, will overtake print ads in 2016, a year ahead of the global market.
One caveat: “The [Eurozone] is one defining incident away from all forecasting outlooks…being rendered irrelevant,” says Barton. One natural disaster or economic collapse could shatter spending in a region of unsustainable national and household fiscal deficits.
A second caveat: this forecast does not include mobile advertising in online advertising. Mobile advertising is forecasted to reach $2.61 billion in the US in 2012, alone, representing 47% growth over 2011. At nearly 10% of the $27.4 billion projected for other online ad spend with its 6.7% projected growth, mobile stacks up very well.
Sunset for Print
As Leika Kawasaki, an analyst at Strategy Analytics's digital media strategies practice told DMNews, “Advertising is moving to online. We see clear online growth over traditional print advertising, which is shrinking in the US.” Kawasaki sees no major shifts in the role of print ads, as the “watershed” has already occurred: the shift of classifieds and locally-targeted campaigns to online advertising.
Thus, “Print spending in newspapers tends to be dominated by retailers looking to drive store traffic,” which too will continue to erode in the U.S. where print readership continues to decline.
Social activity drives tune-in, loyalty and more live viewing, according to a survey about social TV by TV Guide Digital. The company surveyed 3,041 respondents in February 2012 on their social TV viewing habits.
Fully 71% reported having seen social impressions about TV shows. In total, 17% of respondents say they have started to watch a show because of a social impression, and 31% has continued to watch a season because of a social impression.
Where were those social impressions? Dozens of places, reported TV Guide Digital General Manager and EVP Christy Tanner. She presented the findings at Monday's Hill Holliday's TVnext Summit in Boston. Tanner’s slide deck included an infographic showing just 20 of the sources, which included obvious suspects Twitter and Facebook, alongside social communities managed by Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide and People, among others.
Of those who responded that social impressions influenced them to continue watching a show, 80% said those impressions were ads, and in those numerous social outlets. The other social impressions were word-of-mouth at 46%, and a mysterious “other” category at 24%.
Of those who started watching shows for reasons other than social impressions:
- 76% responded “People had good things to say”
- 64% responded “Topics or storylines interested me”
- 13% said “I like to watch what other watch”
- 8% said “It sounded controversial.”
A surprising upside of social media: spoilers drive viewership. TV Guide found that 27% of respondents say they're watching more live TV (versus time delay or streaming) to avoid seeing plot and reality spoilers revealed in real time on social networks. That is up from 20% in 2010.
A mobile application with in-app purchase capability is an advertiser’s dream. In one well-designed app, a company can both brand and sell. But, believes eMarketer, those who make in-app purchasers are not consumers at large, but a segment of power users who are ultra-comfortable with mobile applications.
eMarketer quoted a study called the “Mobile Application Business Model,” released in February by Boston-based intelligence company ABI Research. ABI projects that overall revenues from mobile applications, which include in-app purchases, pay-per-downloads, in-app advertising and subscriptions, will reach $46 billion by 2016. That is a greater than 300% jump over the $8.5 billion earned in 2011.
ABI expects 2012 to the year in which revenue from in-app purchases surpasses pay-per-downloads, fueled by greater availability of in-app in applications other than mobile games.
So far so good.
Media researchers and consultants IHS Screen Digest made their own projections in a January report called “Mobile Media Intelligence Service,” and predicted that in-app purchases will ultimately garner the majority of revenue from smartphone apps. In-app purchases worldwide reached $970 million in 2011, for 39% of total smartphone app revenues, and will reach $5.6 billion or 64% of those revenues by 2015. Smaller figures, but ABI included subscriptions and ad sales in its forecast.
But a third firm, Localytics, discovered that the majority of in-app purchases to date are made by high-level or “power users” of applications—chiefly games. In January, Localytics (a mobile app analytics provider) found that 44% of those users who made an in-app purchase did so after their 10th session in the app. Only 22% did so in their first session.
eMarketer remarks that to capitalize on in-app purchasers, developers and marketers must “get non-power users interested in making purchases,” and include in-app purchase options in applications besides games.
But developers, advertisers and marketers have already done so. The way Localytics describes its own research, “Although it may seem like getting users to the sale proposition quickly is ideal…building relationships with app users and fostering long-term usage are more important.” Loyal customers generate 25% more in-app purchases. Games are not the only type of application that generates multiple visits. Loyalitics' own customer base includes publishers Bonnier, National Geographic, The New York Times and The Boston Globe, as well as Hulu and Rhapsody. Presumably, apps for newspapers, music download and streaming media sites generate repeat and loyal customers as well.
The takeaway may be to cease to define the "power app user" as a mobile-game-addicted millennial, but to include the daily news reader or music enthusiast. He or she may not make a purchase immediately, but this research suggests, they will in time.