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NYCU: Perspectives on the Future of Advertising

When two industry heavyweights meet and talk about the future of the advertising industry, it’s worth it to stop and listen. Marla Kaplowitz, President and CEO of the 4A’s for the past five years, probed industry issues earlier this month with Philippe Krakowsky, a 20-year veteran of IPG who recently completed his first year as CEO.
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NYCU: ARF Members’ Priority Issues

The ARF’s Knowledge Center answered 471 member questions in 2021. These provide good insights into the issues that are most important to our members. The heaviest users of the Knowledge Center continue to be marketers (41%), followed by agency members (26%), media (15%) and research companies (7%). Most member questions in 2021, as in previous years, were unique to the very specific business needs of the member. Many questions were about various marketing and media research issues, target audiences, the impact of COVID-19, creative issues and testing and media issues (such as the use of and impact of different platforms). Here are some other questions asked:

  • What are the latest trends, challenges and best practices with in-house agencies?
  • What are the opportunities of reaching consumers through the connected home?
  • What are the positive effects of corporate brand campaigns on underlying product campaigns?
  • How are brands today and tomorrow engaging and connecting with culture and consumers?
  • What is the optimal average frequency for an ad campaign? What is under-exposure?
  • Does advertising on platforms focused on wellness have an impact on brand ROI?
  • What channels and ad formats are seeing increased or decreased prioritization in ad buys?
  • What are best practices for CPGs during inflation?
 As an ARF member, you too can ask our Research Professionals specific questions to gain clarity on your most pressing issues and help propel your business forward. Click here to make a Knowledge Center request.  

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NYCU: The ANA's LGBTQ+ Marketing Inclusion

A new report by the ANA looks at the state of LGBTQ+ representation among client-side marketer members. The report is the first of its kind from the ANA and shows positive overall movement toward greater LGBTQ+ marketing inclusion in the advertising industry. It is based on a survey focused on LGBTQ+ representation in creative, targeted LGBTQ+ media vs. non-targeted campaigns, the timing of the campaigns, the benefits and challenges of inclusive marketing, overall industry support, and campaign measurement. A few highlights:

  • Half of the respondents indicated that they ran ads in the past year featuring identifiable LGBTQ+ casting.
  • Forty percent of respondents have actively marketed to the LGBTQ+ community via targeted LGBTQ+ media for at least one brand over the past year. Almost all of those marketing to the LGBTQ+ community via targeted LGBTQ+ media do so year-round.
  • Brand awareness and brand perception were cited as the most important key performance indicators of success when measuring LGBTQ+-inclusive marketing.
  • The three biggest challenges to LGBTQ+ inclusive marketing cited were: a general concern of getting it wrong (50 percent), making sure the messaging appears in brand-safe environments (44 percent) and budget limitations (44 percent).
  • Eighty-six percent of respondents said they believe their employer is very or somewhat LGBTQ+-supportive.
The ANA points out that this work is an important initiative for the Society and Sustainability priority, and the Talent and Marketing Organization priority of the ANA Growth Agenda, which provides a guide for the industry to leverage marketing as a sustainable growth driver. As more brands enter public conversations on societal movements, the ANA wants to show how to authentically support the LGBTQ+ community through marketing campaigns. Source: ANA. (2021, December 13). LGBTQ+ Marketing Inclusion Report. Marketing Knowledge Center; MKC Content: Research Studies/Research Reports, ANA (Association of National Advertisers).  

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NYCU: The Real Marketing Word-of-the-Year

Joe Mandese argues that the marketing-word-of-the-year is not, as widely assumed, “Diversity” but “Trust.” MediaPost’s Joe Mandese concludes that Trust, not Diversity, is the “real” marketing word of-the-year, based on an Advertiser Perceptions study. The research, a survey of ad execs (both marketers and agency media-buyers), found that nearly two-thirds would likely “downgrade” or scrap a media outlet from their ad plans altogether, based on a violation of trust. While trust has always been paramount in an industry where advertisers and agencies routinely require various proofs of performance on whether their ad buys ran as promised -- pre- and post-digital -- the percentage that assert they would dump or downgrade media for violating it went up 18 percentage points over the past 18 months. That coincides with another sentiment that ostensibly grew during the pandemic: Empathy. "Two-plus years ago, we were finding things more in the 'talk, but less action' category," says Sarah Bolton, EVP at Advertiser Perceptions, who oversaw and analyzed the study's findings, adding: "But post the pandemic, the social justice movement, the trend lines are all moving toward more accountability.” "In the beginning,” Bolton said, “we were seeing it associated with things ethics of data-handling – whether that's data privacy or security: brand safety, ad fraud, trying to understand where these things stack up with performance and ROI and scale. But in the last 18 months, we've really zoomed in on brand safety and digital content safety.” She adds that the subplot here is that brand marketers and agency media buyers are becoming much more cognizant of, and guarded about, the idea that their ad budgets are financially supporting media outlets that cause direct or indirect harm to society. Source: Mandese, J. (2021, December 13). Why 'Trust,' Not 'Diversity,' Is The Real Marketing Word-of-the-Year. RTBlog, Commentary: MediaPost.  

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NYCU: How to Make Ad Creative More Effective

Innovations in attention measurement reveal new insights that help marketers improve ad creative and place it in optimal environments. Here is a summary of key insights from new studies by Realeyes and TVision. (Please see the attached sources links for detailed findings as well as descriptions of their attention measures and research designs).

  • A study of YouTube cleaning brand ads confirmed that showing humans draws attention to ads and that product demonstrations convey the value of the product. However, advertisers must consider that people don’t like watching other people do unpleasant tasks – such cleaning. Demonstrating the pain of cleaning can dramatically reduce attention, especially if the ad dwells on that. The research suggests keeping it short and focus on the product’s benefits.  
  • This newsletter has frequently reported on research demonstrating context effect, that is, ad impact is affected by the context in which the ad is placed. Additional insights were generated in this study by comparing high and low scoring ad creative in different TV environments. The findings, low scoring ad creative is particularly likely to benefit from a high-attention context (high scoring ads perform well even in low-attention contexts). In addition, the study revealed that attentiveness to ads with high attention scores is likely to decline faster than attentiveness to low scoring ads. In other words, marketers should adjust frequency based on the power of the creative.
Sources: O’Brien, K., Pye, C., & Seslija, B. (2021, Q4). The CMO Guide to Unlocking Creative Attention Performance in FMCG Brand Advertising. Realeyes. Realeyes, TVision. (2021). The CMO Guide: Improving Media Efficiency Through Creative Attention. Realeyes, TVision.

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NYCU: What Makes Influencers Influential?

As influencer marketing becomes increasingly popular, marketers and influencers both need research-based insights to optimize the creative and the messaging in videos. For example, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires that influencers acknowledge sponsorships, but when and how the brand appears is likely to affect consumer response.   With the exponential growth of influencer marketing on platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok, research that explores how elements of such videos (across text, audio and images) are related to outcomes that influencers and marketers care about, is becoming increasingly important. The Marketing Science Institute (MSI, now part of the ARF) and the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR) have both published new research insights on this topic. A few takeaways:

  • A study reviewed by MSI found that a brand mention in the first 30 seconds of an influencer video results in a significant increase in attention to the brand–but also a significant decrease in positive sentiment towards the video (and by implication, the brand). Consumer electronics and video game categories seem particularly sensitive to the negative impact of early brand disclosure. Thus, adhering to FTC requirements, promoting the brand, while keeping viewers positively engaged, requires careful fine-tuning.
  • A study in the JAR found that consumers have different motivations for engaging with and purchasing from influencers. The researchers offer this segmentation based on why consumers follow influencers and how they react: Idea Seekers (32%), Silent Followers (20%), Entertainment-Driven Inspiration Seekers (17%), Spontaneous Entertainment Driven (13%), Influencer Unengaged (characterized by low levels of spend based on influencer recommendations, 11%), and Super Fans (high level of spend, 7%). The researchers recommend that brands select influencers who attract consumers with different motivations, rather than trying to appeal to all consumers and target those followers most likely to spend in response to influencer advertisements.
Sources: Manchanda, P. & Rajaram, P. (2021). Video Influencers: Unboxing the Mystique. MSI Working Papers, MSI. Campbell, C., Farrell, J., & Sands, S. (2021, December 1). What Drives Consumers To Engage with Influencers? Segmenting Consumer Response to Influencers: Insights for Managing Social-Media Relationships. Digital First, The Journal of Advertising Research.

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NYCU: Improving Native Advertising

A study on corporate social responsibility advertising finds that native ads can backfire if consumers find them misleading.

The new December 2021 issue of the JAR (Journal of Advertising Research) features a study by Linwan Wu and Holly Overton, both at the University of South Carolina, that analyzes responses to corporate social responsibility (CSR) communications in a native ad format. Their findings suggest that:
  • When evaluating native CSR advertisements, consumers care about companies' motivations only when they do not regard the messages as advertisements. If they feel the ad is promotional, they are likely to see it as insincere and manipulative.
  • The study's findings recommend that marketers develop native ad content that is seen by consumers as informational, sincere and not as promotional or misleading, especially for CSR communications.

Source: Overton, H., And Wu, Linwan. (2021, December 1). Is Native Advertising Effective For Corporate Social Responsibility Messaging? How Advertising Recognition Affects Consumer Responses To Proactive Versus Reactive CSR. Volume 61: Issue 4, Journal Of Advertising Research.

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