Despite growing consumer resistance to intrusive mobile ads — over 600 million devices have ad blocking software installed, 62% of them mobile — Snapchat has broken from its longstanding policy of voluntarily-only ad viewing with the introduction of six-second forced-view ads promoting movies like Deadpool and Adrift and products such as Samsung’s Galaxy S9 and Snapple. The move comes in response to pressure from advertisers unhappy with the dismal two-second average view time for Snapchat’s skippable spots. But it risks blowback — both from users, who recently forced Snapchat to roll back a widely hated redesign, and from advertisers, who will lose the ability to link the new ad units to longer videos or e-commerce experiences.
Amazon revealed its Alexa Super Bowl spot this week, and as you can see above, the premise is – imagine what it would be like if you were speaking to various celebrities instead of what at this point is a borderline monotone, virtually personality-less Alexa. There’s the anthemic 90-second version above, plus 30-second editions focused on specific personalities like you see below.
Why It’s Hot:
In a world where we’ll inevitably rely on speaking to digital assistants, why wouldn’t Amazon, Google, or any others give you the ability to choose your assistant’s voice and personality? And, why didn’t Amazon do it as part of this campaign? We’ve seen it in concept videos, but is this more than just an ad? Having GPS directions read to you by Arnold Schwarzenegger is one thing, but a true assistant you can interact with is a much different scenario. When can we expect this eminently possible future?
No one loves like Mom, Procter & Gamble declares with its newest spot, “#LoveOverBias.”
The minute-and-a-half-long video guides the viewer through moms supporting their kids with their dreams and through their circumstances—whether it be bias over color, religion, disability or sexual orientation.
Set to the tune of a version of “Ooh Child (Things Are Gonna Get Easier),” it’s poignant and lovely, and culminates with the copy, “Imagine if the world could see what a mom sees.”
Why It’s Hot
- The hashtag #LoveOverBias makes the brand’s message clear. By celebrating the differences of the young athletes, P&G makes an impactful statement in the face of a polarizing political climate. The video also becomes sharable on social media.
- Sometimes you just need a feel good ad on a Friday.
Burger King’s newest campaign focused on “Movember”, an annual month long event where men grow mustaches throughout the month of November to raise awareness for men’s health issues.
Since the Burger King mascot already has a full mustache and beard, he shaved his mustache – debuting a clean-shaven look for the first time. Burger King is using the hashtag #KingstacheChallenge to encourage others to participate in “Movember” and share it on social media.
Burger King created a humorous campaign video to go along with the Movember movement. They also worked in menu items into the names of different mustache styles.
Why it’s hot:
- It is important for brands to discuss social issues in a way that doesn’t come off as self-serving and promotional. After the success of their anti-bullying campaign video, Burger King has positioned the brand in a place where they are able to contribute to the conversation around important causes.
- By creating a humorous, lighthearted video, the attention is not overtly placed on promoting a product and makes the campaign itself seem genuine.
MM&M announced this week that “up to 20% of pharma brands are moving digital media spend to point-of-care tactics” which was grounded in a study fielded by ZS Associates. To a certain extent, this is unsurprising as many forms of digital media such as social and display continue to face increasing scrutiny around the topic of ad fraud.
This will have an impact on two key audiences in healthcare marketing – patients and providers – which if well thought through, should be overwhelmingly positive.
Platforms such as Phreesia offer patients the opportunity to engage with content as part of the intake process. The biggest challenge here will be placements that are relevant to the specific patient as there is a potential to spend effort on poor placements. Case in point; when I took my son to the pediatrician for his flu shot this year, I was offered the opportunity to “Learn More” about a branded product. The only thing I can recall about the brand is that is had nothing to do with why I was there and wouldn’t be appropriate for my son. Contextual relevance will be critical to success in these moments.
HCPs, particularly PCPs, are the target of massive amounts of marketing. Overwhelming is an understatement here. When you consider the necessity of staying abreast of current trends and new therapies, to a certain extent, they need to be exposed to these messages. However, when it’s all said and done, the moment that matters is when the Rx decision is made. The opportunity to be a relevant part of that moment as part of the HCPs workflow in the EHR/EMR offers pharma companies an incredible opportunity. When you consider the number of drugs that don’t have the budget for mass DTC advertising, the HCP really is the decision maker in the therapy of choice.
Why It’s Hot
While contextual relevance for audiences is improving and offers plenty of potential, the real win will be when a brand can own the conversation across the moments in an office visit.
Consider a diabetes patient checking in for a check-up who is offered a message around potential therapy they may be eligible with a DTC ad based upon key factors pulled through from their EHR.
Then, at the end of the appointment, the HCP if offered a targeted message in the EHR with a savings offer the patient can print and take with them.
With brands doubling down on these POC channels, we have the opportunity to take the in-office experience to new levels.
To align with Columbus Day, Astral Tequila presented “Columbus Day: A Reenactment,” an ad starring Jonathan Goldsmith, the Artist Formerly Known as the Most Interesting Man in the World.
At the end of the video, Goldsmith breaks the fourth wall to address us, the viewing audience, directly: “That is pretty much how it happened.” Cue a close-up of a bottle of Astral Tequila and, on-screen, “Happy Columbus Day.”
To say that Columbus’ legacy is complicated is a vast understatement.
When you touch upon this realm, there’s sure to be backlash, but they’re not taking sides, they’re making light of what we know as the facts: An explorer set out for India and landed in a new world, one already inhabited albeit, although he claimed to have found it.
“Our spot is simply lampooning Christopher Columbus’ journey,” says Astral VP-Marketing Joen Choe in a statement provided by Erich and Kallman, the agency of record for the Davos Brands tequila. Choe added that Columbus “set out for India, but bumped into America instead. We are certainly not making light of any historical events.”
Why Its Hot:
I’m steering clear of the controversial nature of “Columbus Day” theme and going for what I like most about this spot: re-purposing of a commercial celebrity. It reminds me of the ‘can you hear me now’ guy’s resurrection by Sprint. One brand’s trash is another’s treasure!
Knowing that videos tend to run the risk of being skipped, Snickers developed a way to keep viewers engaged by developing video game videos.
In line with their “You’re not you when you are hungry” campaign platform, the first features a school-bus driver whose hunger has turned him into a WWE wrestler with incessant road rage. In the second, a hungry tennis umpire has transformed into a whining rockstar.
In both scenarios, a series of Snickers bars float across the screen towards the character’s outstretched hand, but the viewers must click the pause button at the correct moment to help the characters grab them.
If they’re successful, the WWE wrestler calms down into a bus driver, and the musician morphs back into an umpire. If not, they’ve got nine more tries to get it right.
Why It’s Hot:
- Smart and entertaining way to engage viewers when consuming video
- It’s another example of how platforms, such as YouTube, are flexing to service creative ideas led by agencies
- Shows the growing trend of choosing to develop platform-digital-specific work rather than “copy and paste” TV commercials, which generally don’t perform as well
The Mirai is Toyota’s car of the future. It runs on hydrogen fuel cells, gets 312 miles on a full tank and only emits water vapor. So, to target tech and science enthusiasts, the brand is running thousands of ads with messaging crafted based on their interests.
The catch? The campaign was written by IBM’s supercomputer, Watson. After spending two to three months training the AI to piece together coherent sentences and phrases, Saatchi LA began rolling out a campaign last week on Facebook called “Thousands of Ways to Say Yes” that pitches the car through short video clips.
Saatchi LA wrote 50 scripts based on location, behavioral insights and occupation data that explained the car’s features to set up a structure for the campaign. The scripts were then used to train Watson so it could whip up thousands of pieces of copy that sounded like they were written by humans.
Why It’s Hot
May let us focus more on the design; less on the production.
Strapping a GoPro to your dog is so 2015. These days, to get the best pint-size footage, you have to strap Snapchat Spectacles to your kid!
And that’s just what Cutwater did for its new Mother Day’s commercial for Brawny, which was shot from the point of view of children wearing the socially connected eyewear.
The San Francisco agency hired director and producer Karen X, enlisted four real families and shot in their homes over two days. The glasses have no playback function, so the creative team had to capture as many “happy accidents” as they could—all in 10-second bursts.
Why It’s Hot
Along with Brawny’s new brand positioning, a campaign focused on mothers makes sense. Not to mention that it’s a natural fit with wearables, allowing for some fun to be had with new technology.The only thing missing is an Elmo lens.
Voice analytics firm VoiceLabs on Thursday rolled out the advertising platform, Sponsored Messages, for Amazon Echo, giving brands a way to engage with consumers using the voice-activated device. The platform launches with ad partners ESPN, Progressive Insurance, and Wendy’s, each signing “long-term” agreements, said Adam Marchick, CEO at VoiceLabs. Sponsored Messages are clearly noted as advertising. They are 6-15 seconds long, and inserted at the start and end of conversations, where they can naturally lead a consumer into an experience or converse with the consumer as they exit. They can tell a brand story over the course of multiple user sessions. Here’s how it works: someone listening to a podcast might not hear a sponsored 6-second advertisement such as “Thank you for supporting us by listening, and thank you to our sponsor, Progressive, until the fifth time. Five podcasts later, the listener might hear a 15-second message by the spokesperson Flo from Progressive.
The advertising platform runs on top of the company’s analytics platform for Alexa. VoiceLabs created a myriad of tuning capabilities to make sure the right ad is inserted at the right time, and the consumer does not get too many Sponsored Messages. In addition, high-quality Alexa developers Federated Media, XAPPmedia, TWiT.tv, Appbly and many independent Alexa skill developers are participating in the launch of Sponsored Messages. The sponsored messages thank consumers for supporting Alexa developers.
One key piece of data that will become crucial for search marketers is not yet available — the ability to identify when Echo owners searched for a product or a service on the device or on their smartphone after hearing the sponsored message.
Why It’s Hot
VoiceLabs is ushering a new era of interactive audio messages, where the consumer has the power to ask for more information, add products to their Amazon cart and provide feedback to the advertiser. The Amazon Echo consumer is interested in trying new things, and Echo devices are placed in the kitchen, living room and other important places in the home. With Sponsored Messages, brands can deliver a message about a new cuisine right as a consumer is planning their shopping list, or announce that a new show is premiering that night on their TV. Each Sponsored Message is delivered to a relevant user demographic and related to the application’s content.
It starts with a cheesy line “Real Beauty breaks mold”. After years of encouraging women to love their bodies, Dove set out to give its plastic bottles a makeover. The idea: “Just like women, we wanted to show that our iconic bottle can come in all shapes and sizes, too”
They have rolled out six different shapes of Dove-branded plastic body-wash bottles. Each roughly correlates with a (woman’s) body type. There’s an hourglass bottle. A tall, thin bottle with smaller curves. A pear-shaped bottle. An even squatter pear-shaped bottle.
Consider this scenario. A pear-shaped woman has run out of body wash. She visits the local drug store, where she finds a display of Dove Real Beauty Bottles. To her chagrin, now she must choose between pear- and hourglass-shaped soap. She must also present this proxy for a body—the one she has? the one she wishes she did?—to a cashier to handle and perhaps to judge. What otherwise would have been a body-image-free trip to the store becomes a trip that highlights body-image.
Why it’s hot?
A lot of people have been offended by it but no one has been able to explain why. The jury is still out on whether it’s stupid or genius.
Last moth, Eugene Romanovsky posted an ad to sell “my best friend,” his 1996 Suzuki Vitara on YouTube. This absolutely amazing video has amassed over 3.9 million views and reportedly two thousand offers to buy his car.
Eugene’s “adventures” with the Vitara include evading the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park, thundering down the desert dunes alongside Mad Max and the War Boys convoy in Mad Max: Fury Road and diving into the depths of the ocean to swim with sharks.
In case you’re wondering, Eugene is Creative Director/ VFX Supervisor/ Head of Motion GFX dep. at Gravity – an international Creative, Design, Animation and Effects group, situated in sunny Tel-Aviv, Israel.
Why It’s Hot
Just because your objective is simple—like selling a car—doesn’t mean you can’t think outside the box and have fun!
Can advertisers target teens when they’re feeling sad? Facebook might want to help them find out. Facebook came under fire this week when leaked documents showed Facebook Australia promoted advertising campaigns that exploit Facebook users’ emotional states—and how these are aimed at users as young as 14 years old.
According to the report in The Australian, the selling point of this 2017 document is that Facebook’s algorithms can determine, and allow advertisers to pinpoint, “moments when young people need a confidence boost.” If that phrase isn’t clear enough, Facebook’s document offers a litany of teen emotional states that the company claims it can estimate based on how teens use the service, including “worthless,” “insecure,” “defeated,” “anxious,” “silly,” “useless,” “stupid,” “overwhelmed,” “stressed,” and “a failure.”
The data is specific to teens in Australia and New Zealand only.
Facebook responded to the report: “Facebook does not offer tools to target people based on their emotional state. The analysis done by an Australian researcher was intended to help marketers understand how people express themselves on Facebook. It was never used to target ads and was based on data that was anonymous and aggregated.”
Why its hot
Facebook knows everything about us and this ability to gather incredibly intimate data raises obvious ethical questions. Should a pharma brand be able to target medication to mother’s with sick children? Should a sports supplement brand be able to target kids who feel weak?
As I walked into Target last weekend, a familiar sound greeted me- the sound of a Mario Kart race beginning. I had no idea why until now!
With the launch of Mario Kart 8 on the new Nintendo Switch, Nintendo wanted to promote the brand in a big way by having a big out of home campaign in Target. As you enter the store, you’re greeted by the countdown to a Mario Kart race.
Some of the shopping carts are outfitted as Mario Karts, as well as some cool things interspersed throughout the store as well.
Why It’s Hot
This is a creative out of home execution that I’ve never seen done at this level before, especially in partnership with a given store. With the flop of the recent Nintendo NES Mini due to huge scale/distribution issues, I just hope that Nintendo has the supply to keep up with the level of demand that this promotion brings!
McDonald’s new commercials don’t appear on the brand’s YouTube, Facebook or Twitter pages. And they never even mention the name McDonald’s, preferring instead to name-check Coca-Cola and Google.
It’s all part of a sly campaign by Omnicom agency We Are Unlimited to appeal to teens and twentysomethings, who prefer word-of-mouth and their own research about products and brands to corporate messaging, according to a writeup of the campaign in The New York Times.
The campaign does, however, feature a celebrity, the actress Mindy Kaling, who in several TV spots urges viewers to Google “that place where Coke tastes so good.” Kaling is wearing a yellow dress against a red background in the minimalist ads, but beyond those McDonald’s brand colors, she doesn’t actually say the name of the fast-food chain.
Why It’s Hot
- This campaign knows its audience. By allowing its target breathing room to do their own research, McDonald’s maintains some authenticity. With a wink.
- Aligning with an influencer is always a strong move.
- Bold move by McDonalds to purposefully leave out its own name while name dropping another brand. Win win for both Coke and that fast food chain where it tastes so good.
View Video and Read Article Here
The Trade Desk and Ad Age ran a smart native advertising placement- the focus was a video that highlighted smart devices specifically, and how brands should demonstrate the value that the product will bring on a daily basis for the user to make their lives better/easier. Take what makes a product attractive, leverage that data, and make it a service or better product that people rely on. Then, you’ll get more data on how people use it, and improve upon it. “What is this going to DO for me vs. what is the brand going to SAY to me”.
Why It’s Hot
I found this interesting for two reasons:
1.) It demonstrates how agencies/advertisers should leverage a product (in this case, smart devices) to show long term value to a consumer. E.G. Instead of demonstrating just advertising a new electronic lock that a company has, demonstrate how it keeps your family safe on a daily basis.
2.) The Trade Desk used this as a smart native ad to demonstrate how they could provide value to advertisers: a.) to get the data to help power this thinking, via their Data Management Platform (DMP) and b.) act on it via their Demand Side Platform (DSP).
The ripple of the video giant’s woes has gotten so great that some have predicted the impact from major brands could cost YouTube $750 million. Seemingly, there are some that are happy when such a kink in the armor is exposed, but there are myriad of stakeholders, each with their own perspective. With that amount of money – as well as brand reputation and confidence – at stake there are going to be some winners and losers, and here they are:
These are the classic media players who started losing their lunch the second Google started owning the internet. One could imagine publishers grinning ear to ear, thinking, “Told ya so. Quality content isn’t so easy.” They can can make a more convincing case that knowing the content and the audience actually is still important.
This issue can resurface a shift to high-quality, direct-bought content, where brands have the most control but pay a premium for it in some cases.
Anyone selling streaming ads is in a good position – including Sling, Dish and even TV networks. Hulu, Roku, TV networks and anyone with a digital video platform will be showing off their highly curated content. These new shows and programming will look pretty good to anyone with a heightened interest in knowing exactly where their messages will appear.
Tech tools & 3rd Party Verification Partners
Brands have called for digital platforms like Facebook and Google to clean up the media supply chain and to be more transparent with data. The brand safety issue on YouTube is yet another bit of leverage to force more cooperation.
One of the most important roles for agencies was helping brands make sure their ads didn’t show up in the wrong place by intimately knowing the targeting, brand safety protections and best practices of each channel. Well, now those services are increasingly valuable.
When the Trump administration makes further moves to undo net neutrality, as many anticipate based on current momentum repealing FCC consumer protections, Google’s ability to defend it in idealistic terms could be undermined by all the talk about serving ads on terrorist video.
It took a long time for programmatic to stop being a dirty word. Programmatic advertising was once considered the least controlled, lowest quality ad inventory at the lowest price. In part, brands could start to pull back from blind, untargeted buying without transparency.
YouTube has said that part of its solution is to implement stricter community standards, and that could mean more bannings and ad blocking from their videos, impacting their earnings.They could be quicker to cut a channel at the smallest offense now that brands are watching closely.
Advertisers still on YouTube – this is a tricky one to classify and it’s too early to say. We’ll have to see how the video platform reacts over time to increasing pressures to allow verification partners and data trackers access within the garden’s walls.
Why It’s (Still) Hot:
This topic will continue to be important to the brands we represent, aim to represent and even those far from us that are faced with the same decision to either stay the course or sit it out. There is a lot of money moving around on media plans, a lot of POV’s being routed and a lot of reps working overtime to reassure teams of buyers/planners that they are taking brand safety very seriously. Often it’s not the crisis that defines a company, but what they do in the aftermath. Some are hopeful that this is a definitive crack in the ‘walled garden’- but even if it is not, we’re all hoping for a better, safer platform at the end of this tunnel…a world where once again clients can be irked by their premium pre-rolls showing up prefacing water skiing squirrels and dancing cat videos instead of terrorist rhetoric.
Google Home is about to offer a feature Amazon’s Alexa can’t match: finds from local stores.
The new feature is powered by local inventory feeds sent by retailers that buy ads on Google. In the past year, local shopping queries have increased 45 percent and the search giant has doubled the number of retailers that send local inventory feeds.
With this new feature, Google is offering users something Amazon doesn’t — a way to find merchandise at your local store and try before you buy.
It’s all part of Google’s long-term strategy to develop products and services that use artificial intelligence to make it easier for people to interact with computers – that, in turn, will feed into Google’s ad-based business model.
Why It’s Hot
-It continues the local digital trend that’s grown over the past couple of years
-It’s also another interesting bridge between eCommerce and advertising – with a healthy mix of IoT thrown in
Budweiser teamed up with locals artists to create MLB custom designed cans per team and its awesome! Budweiser has done similar things to keep their consumers loyal and attract new ones, such as the America cans launched last summer, but this definitely more of a commitment as far as production.
Budlight partnered with the NFL to slightly customize their bottles that reference certain NFL teams, another great example of understanding your market and who is drinking your product.
Budweiser has been really successful in advertising to their consumer. Their 2015 Superbowl commercial “Brewed the hard way” made statements like “proud marco beer”, “not brewed to be fussed over”, “the people who drink our beer are people who like to drink beer”.
The cans will be available on March 27, just before opening day, in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Oakland, San Diego, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Washington, D.C.
Why its hot!
- Great example of a brand understanding their audience and connecting with them.
- Budweiser’s messaging is consistent and never forced.
- The cans aren’t available until the 27th and people are already posting about it on social.
UK’s Royal Mail has launched a set of special stamps into the sky featuring images of David Bowie’s best-loved albums in homage to the late singer.
52 sets of stamps were attached to helium balloons with cameras and set free. When the balloons burst, after reaching 34,100m at a speed of about 12mph, the stamps began descending at nearly 200mph.
To hype the launch of the new stamps, Royal Post is offering the public an opportunity to win some of the space-traveled stamps. They’ve set up a landing page where users can guess where the stamps ended up after their intergalactic travels and enter a drawing.
They are also activating users to interact with Facebook and Twitter by offering clues on the social media networks.
Why it’s Hot:
- Makes stamps exciting again
- Bowie fans are obsessive and everything about the campaign has significance. A nod to Bowie’s role in the 1976 film The Man Who Fell on Earth, the stamps sent to space were postmarked with a special edition thunderbolt for the cover of Aladdin Dane, each stamp features a different album cover
- The well-executed marketing stunt launched (no pun intended) on Tuesday and was covered and featured all over the web (mashable, the guardian, gizmodo) the same day.
The rise of digital billboards spawns the idea of targeted highway ads, with tests in the U.S. planned for this summer.
Last November if you were driving a BMW x5 or a Volvo XC60 on the highway ringing Moscow, you might have noticed a digital billboard on the side of the road flash an ad just as you approached, one for a new SUV from Jaguar.
If it was evening, you saw an ad with a dark background, helping the car stand out. In bad weather, you saw it maneuvering in the snow.
A startup called Synaps Labs has brought targeted advertising to the physical world by combining high-speed cameras set up a distance ahead of the billboard (about 180 meters) to capture images of cars. Its machine-learning system can recognize in those images the make and model of the cars an advertiser wants to target. A bidding system then selects the appropriate advertising to put on the billboard as that car passes.
Marketing a car on a roadside billboard might seem a logical fit. But how broad could this kind of advertising be? There is a lot an advertiser can tell about you from the car you drive. Indeed, recent research from a group of university researchers and led by Stanford found that—using machine vision and deep learning—analyzing the make, model, and year of vehicles visible in Google Street View could accurately estimate income, race, and education level of a neighborhood’s residents, and even whether a city is likely to vote Democrat or Republican.
As the camera spots a BMW X5 in the third lane, and later a BMW X6 and a Volvo XC60 in the far left lane, the billboard changes to show Jaguar’s new SUV, an ad that’s targeted to those drivers.
Synaps’s business model is to sell its services to the owners of digital billboards. The Jaguar campaign paid the billboard operator based on the number of impressions, as Web advertisers do. The traditional billboard-advertising model is priced instead on airtime, similar to TV ads.
The company is planning a test in the U.S. this summer, where there are roughly 7,000 digital billboards, a number growing at 15% a year. (By contrast, there are 370,000 conventional billboards.) With a row of digital billboards along a road, they could roll the ads as the cars move along, making billboard advertising more like the storytelling style of television and the Internet.
Why it’s hot: Truly innovative step in combining targeting technologies, recognition software and advertising.
Merck & Co. has a plan for boosting its immuno-oncology treatment, Keytruda, in head-and-neck cancer. And it relies on patients making plans of their own.
The New Jersey-based pharma giant has teamed up with Pro Football Hall of Famer and head-and-neck cancer survivor Jim Kelly for a new awareness campaign, “Your Cancer Game Plan.” The effort focuses on encouraging patients and their loved ones to craft support strategies, taking into account their emotional, nutritional and communication needs.
The particularities of head-and-neck cancer can hit patients both physically and emotionally. The disease sometimes hinders their ability to talk, triggers changes in their facial features or makes it difficult to eat, a Merck spokesperson explained in an email interview.
“Having a ‘game plan’ can help patients and their support teams be prepared for those kinds of challenges and complexities,” the spokesperson said.
Kelly, for his part, knows those “special challenges” firsthand. “My experience taught me so much about the importance of emotional support and taking care of myself, and I hope that by sharing my experience, I can inspire others to take action and know their game plan,” he said in a statement.
Merck first won FDA approval for its cancer star Keytruda in the disease back in August, and until now its patient-education activities have centered on providing information through the Keytruda product website and patient brochures. Going forward, the company’s goal is to continue the new awareness campaign “for some time,” the spokesperson said.
Why It’s Hot
Although the brand is ultimately becoming more widely known, the approach that Merck is taking is more human than many pharma ads out there. They’re not simply promoting their drug and talking about side effects- they are promoting the campaign by trying to help people prepare and cope with their illness and what can happen to them. Many pharma brands forget that they’re not talking to a condition- they’re talking to people, with big physical and emotional needs- ESPECIALLY when it comes to cancer. By becoming a support system (or helping their patients build one), a brand becomes more than just pill you take… they become a trusted resource. There should be more brands doing this in the space.
The film was created for the National Partnership for Women & Families, and it touches on a number of sore points: Neither Lauren nor her husband have paid family leave, so Lauren stockpiles vacation and sick days so she can give birth when her baby turns 6. (Ouch.)
“Lauren is every person in our country who has struggled with having to balance work and the inevitabilities of life without the support of a national paid leave policy,” creative director Jessica Coulter tells AdFreak. She adds that the stakes extend to more than pregnant women and their families. It also includes couples who adopt, and people who are caring for infirm loved ones, or who are sick themselves.
Wry smiles aside, the team hopes “A Long Five Years” will trigger action from lawmakers and the public by confronting them with “the absurd reality too many working people and families face,” says Shabo, who represents the organization.
“Millions of people like Lauren are being forced to choose between their health, families and jobs every day. The consequences for families, businesses and our economy are real. Lawmakers who claim to value families need to take a hard look at our nation’s truly absurd paid leave crisis, and commit to advancing a comprehensive solution.”
Citizens especially have a vested interest in saying something. “We shouldn’t accept an America where nearly one-quarter of new moms are back at work within two weeks of giving birth, or where an adult child who leaves the workforce to care for a parent forgoes an estimated $300,000 in income and retirement savings,” Shabo says.
Unsurprisingly, it’s a widely-supported idea. Some “82 percent of 2016 voters—including 95 percent of Democrats, 84 percent of independents and 70 percent of Republicans—say it is important for the President and Congress to consider a national paid family and medical leave law,” Shabo says. “People must keep up the drumbeat for change.”
The ad concludes by telling us that 86 percent of Americans have jobs that don’t provide family leave, and that we can change this—assuming the current administration is compelled to listen.
“The fact that the U.S. is practically the only country in the world that does not have a national paid leave policy is nearly laughable, if it wasn’t incredibly distressing,” says Terry. “Using a hyperbolic scenario—a woman who has spent the last five years basically doing one giant kegel to keep a first-grader in her uterus because she can’t afford to have her baby—made sense to get our point across. And if a 260-week pregnant woman doesn’t move people to act, we don’t know what will.”
Why It’s Hot
Especially pertinent to me now as a pregnant woman, I thought this was an interesting statement to make to potentially influence people and evoke a little more thought about some policies that the government handles. I have to note- we are some of the lucky ones- with our company recognizing the importance and covering our costs while we’re out.
Direct to Consumer advertising in the pharmaceutical industry has always been an uneasy subject among healthcare professionals. That’s for good reason- it’s only allowed in the United State and New Zealand. In every other country pharma companies are not allowed to advertise to consumers.
The banning of DTC advertising comes up every few years. The one of the most recent cases being in 2015, when the American Medical Association voted to ban it- to no avail. A ban or restriction of commercial advertising violates our First Amendment right to freedom of speech.
Regardless, a recent study done by InCrowd, says that 35% of HCPs would ban DTC ads. Why? 2/3 of physicians say their patients become confused due to pharma DTC advertising. 49% say advertising impairs patients’ understanding of treatment.
So why have DTC advertising (besides profit)- what’s good about it? It elicits doctor/patient conversations about treatment options. Compared to five years ago their has been a growth in discussions from x2/week to x6/week because of DTC advertising.
Still 35% of HCPs want to ban ads- this is not helpful to marketers, so let’s look at the other 65%.
- 31% Additional Patient Education
- 17% Simplify Messaging
- 7% No Change (whoohoo)
- 7% Explanation of Side Effects
- 3% Include Cost Information
Why it’s Hot:
While only the FDA banning DTC can make this conversation really hot, this article did let us venture into the HCP mindset surrounding consumer advertising. This can help us, as marketers, deliver to HCPs what they need to communicate to their patients- mainly more educational materials.
Some good news- it’s expected that the new generation of doctors won’t have as much concerns around DTC advertising, as it will be considered commonplace.
“I read some very interesting articles via my Apple News Feed on MS over the last week. Having been involved in research with MS patients I am always interested to learn about the needs of MS patients. The articles range from new potential treatments to living with MS and how it affects your daily life. Unfortunately, not one player in the MS market owns the space for MS news and information even though the research I was involved in clearly showed a strong need for this type of information. Instead, most Biopharma company’s online presence revolves around the needs and wants of patients. Instead, their websites contain the basics and sales copy.
Now think for a moment if you were suddenly diagnosed with MS, God forbid. What would you want to know and what emotional support would you want and need? This is the way that DTC marketers need to think, but it usually involves weeks or months of meetings and Power Point presentations with some MBA wide ass asking “what’s the ROI?”. What is the ROI of helping patients live with chronic conditions and helping one another with insights and advice?
Novartis recently launched a DTC site around heart failure that has doctors crying foul, but can anyone honestly say that patients are going to run to their doctor to say “I have heart failure and want this drug”? Today’s primary doctor visits are commonly scheduled at 15-minute intervals, and some physicians who work at hospitals are asked to see a new patient every 11 minutes, according to a 2014 article from Kaiser Health News. Even in that short time frame, doctors probably aren’t listening attentively to their patients. A 1999 study of family doctor practices found doctors let patients speak for only 23 seconds before redirecting them, and only 25% of patients got to finish their statement. Another study, this one out of the University of South Carolina in 2001, found primary care patients were interrupted after just 12 seconds, either by the health provider or a knock at the door. Obviously that’s not enough time to ask about health problems in depth. The Novartis site aims to help patients and caregivers understand that being diagnosed with heart failure is not a death sentence.
DTC, today, in an era when pharma is in the crosshairs of everyone on the Internet needs to go beyond “selling” . It has to involve the whole patient experience from diagnosis to management. It has to provide real answers on how to have a normal life and what to expect when on therapy. It can’t be med talk it has to be a human conversation, not a used car sales pitch.
There is a reason why online ad blockers have surpassed more than 200 million users and why people are time shifting live TV. They don’t have the time to be interrupted with advertising because ads today, for the most part, stink. They are irrelevant, boring and intrusive. DTC can’t fall into this trap. I know that most pharma people don’t get a cup of coffee without thinking about ROI, but today that’s not your job. Today your job is to convince management that we can enhance our brand and company by helping people not selling them.”
Why It’s Hot
As marketers in the health space continue to invest in advertising, they also have to keep in mind that throwing sales-speak at patients is not necessarily helping them. Pharma needs to think beyond “marketing” and be more empathetic to patients who become lost in a world where healthcare is in transition.
If you’re one of those people who’s complained about video ads playing automatically with the sound blaring, Facebook has heard you. Loud and clear. According to Facebook’s own research, 80% of people react negatively when mobile video ads begin playing loudly in content feeds and blame both the advertiser and Facebook itself. But on the other hand, it found that 41% of video ads don’t communicate their message effectively unless they have the sound on. Now Facebook wants advertisers to rethink their ad strategy: it’s not TV ads. It’s TV ads with the sound turned off. To help address this issue, the social network plans to begin automatically putting captions in video ads running in its newsfeed, which play automatically with the sound off by default. Facebook will roll out the automatic video ad captioning later this month in the U.S. and Canada.
Brands can already add captions to their videos on their own, but now there is a tool that does it all for them (advertisers can review and edit before posting the video ads.)
Facebook is also addressing its viewability concerns. They say that 55% of people who watch the first three seconds of an ad will watch the next 10 seconds. And 45% will make it all the way to the end. Facebook counts three-seconds as a “view.” Facebook has announced it is extending its “100% in-view” buying option – so marketers can opt to pay only when an entire ad has passed through the newsfeed. They are also introducing new measurement metrics so advertisers can see the percentage of people who have viewed their videos with the sound on versus those that watched with the sound off.
Why It’s Hot
People are now watching over 100 million hours of video on Facebook every day – and many of those users are watching autoplay videos on their mobiles, which silently play in the news feed. As Facebook is asking advertisers to rethink “video,” they are introducing the automatic captions for the video ads. Captions help give the users context when they are scrolling through their silent newsfeed. Facebook says that in their internal testing, adding captions on video ads actually increased view time by an average of 12%. Facebook is encouraging advertisers to make their videos more mobile-friendly – design them to be played silently, visually appealing and intriguing so consumers will want to stay.
The study, which the companies said involved 189 different ad scenarios, found that “viewability is highly related to ad effectiveness,” not a major surprise, but also that some ads that don’t meet the Media Ratings Council’s standards for viewability can still be effective and have impact for advertisers.
The researchers tested banner ads, large format ads, and video ads. For standard banners, the MRC defines ads as “viewable” if they are at least 50% in view for at least one second. For large format ads, at least 30% must be in view for at least one second. And for video ads, at least 50% must be in view for at least two consecutive seconds.
Respondents recalled 5% of ads that were below the MRC’s thresholds for “percent in view,” 4% of ads that were at the standard, 9% that were 75% viewable, and 11% that were 100% viewable.
Ads must satisfy both the “percent in view” and “time in view” requirements, though the study found that ads can have a significant impact (10.4% ad recall) if, for example, the “percent in view” falls below the standard but “time in view” exceeds it. It doesn’t work the other way around, though, as the study concluded that “time in view” is “a much better predictor” of whether a consumer will be able to recall an ad.
While enhanced viewability certainly increases effectiveness, the study concluded that “consumer attention does not necessarily correlate well with ad effectiveness. Even though more people may glance at an ad, it does not guarantee that it is being internalized.”
For example, for ads that met the MRC standards, only 51% of respondents looked at the ad, and 17% remembered it. For ads that didn’t meet the standards, 25% saw them and 17% recalled them, the same figure.
Why It’s Hot
Moving forward, we are trying to focus media efforts on finding MORE viewable inventory, so that each impression we deliver is actually reaching someone’s eyes. Wasted dollars = higher conversion costs, so this is yet another way of driving efficiency and bringing effectiveness to the campaign.
Google wants to put its powerful targeted advertising system to use in the fight against terrorism.
Soon, those searching for terms related to Islamic extremism will be hit with anti-radicalization propaganda ads aimed at dissuading potential Islamic State (ISIS) recruits. The nonprofits that create these ads will be able to run them at no cost, thanks to Google’s grant program.
“We should get the bad stuff down, but it’s also extremely important that people are able to find good information, that when people are feeling isolated, that when they go online, they find a community of hope, not a community of harm,” said Google executive Anthony House.
Why Its Hot
This is an excellent demonstration of how we can leverage technology and advertising for the greater good.
As a recent “cord-cutter,” my family and I have found more programming on Hulu, Netflix, SlingTV, Kodi, AmazonPrime, ChannelPear than we could watch in a lifetime. Good programming, too. Many of the Golden Globe winners earlier this week were not from network TV programming but from Prime, Netflix, and others.
YouTube is also part of the cord-cutting phenomena. My 6-year-old son can attest to that as he watches Minecart Dan talk about Minecraft playing strategies for hours at a time. We have to rip the tablet out of his hands. Dan and others rack up millions upon millions of views and make big bank with advertisers and content companies.
Well, it appears that social stars and over-the-top programming such as Netflix are joining forces. Netflix just signed a deal with YouTube star Miranda Sings for a scripted series. It will be Netflix’s first scripted series using a social media star, and one of very few examples of social stars crossing over.
Miranda has more than 5 million followers on YouTube and averages around 1.5 MM views per video. Some of her videos have received as many as 17 million views.
The series will be called Haters Back off.
Why It’s Hot
It further shows how the lanes between social and mass market TV are continuing to blur. As more and more people cut the cord and use their ubiquitous access to broadband to stream whatever they want, the paradigm of who the content creators are and what platforms are in demand and being used continues to be in flux. Advertisers will need to keep pace with these changes if they want to continue to reach their target markets.
John Lewis found a nuanced, metaphorical way to explore the subject of loneliness and old age at Christmas-time with its Man in the Moon ad, but German supermarket Edeka has no such qualms. It goes straight for the jugular in this spot through Jung von Matt, in which a lonely grandfather finds a pretty shocking way to reunite his family for the holidays.
They’re all too busy and far-flung to come over, and year after year we see him eating his Christmas meal all alone as he listens to an answerphone full of excuses. But there’s a guaranteed way of getting them there; faking his own death. He summons them all for a funeral, and when they appear at his house — surprised to find the table set for dinner — he explains “it was the only way of getting you all together.” Amazingly not one single member of the family freaks out over this (you’d think there would be one); instead, they’re overjoyed and they all sit down together to appreciate the season.
Why It’s Hot
We’re used to grocery stores promoting Can Can sales and slashed price. This is a very creative way of turning buying food on it’s head to share what’s behind it- love. Food brings people together. This is inspiring for me because it proves that people continue to be creative, no matter what the product being advertised is. Besides that, the commercial pulls on your heart strings and drives the important point home to make the time for your family.