Articles of Interest

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Power Metrics magazine buying power article

MediaDailyNews 11-24-04
Agencies Flock To New Mag Study, Measures Reader's 'Buying Power'
By Michael Shields
Monday, November 22, 2004
Add another name to the growing list of companies that are attempting to up the ante in magazine research.

Three-year-old Advertiser Perceptions Inc. is set to release the results of a pilot research study, Power Metrics, which they say will give planners a way to rank publications based on the buying power of their audiences.

And with ROI at the forefront of many marketers' minds, particularly in the magazine business, Advertiser Perceptions says they have signed up 11 of the top 13 agencies to use Power Metrics, including Zenith, Carat, Mindshare, and Mediaedge:cia.

CEO Ken Pearl believes that Power Metrics, which will release its first official wave of data in February, goes beyond audience research or even new measures of reader involvement. "We cut to the heart of it," he said. "Do they buy or don't they buy?"

Conceptually, Power Metrics is relatively simple. A panel of 7,500 respondents from a larger Harris Interactive database is asked two sets of questions, which are then cross-referenced. "Basically, it is 'What magazines do you read?' and 'What do you buy?'" said Pearl.

Power Metrics can produce rankings by specific brands, products, and categories. Theoretically, planners could select magazines that rank highly against purchasers of their product or a competitor's brand.

Power Metrics also purports to measure the reading habits of brand influencers--i.e., those that claim to tell their friends what to buy, which would likely appeal to advertisers of high-ticket items like autos or technology.

Pearl is adamant about not being considered a competitor to Mediamark Research (MRI), despite the fact that the company's twice-a-year magazine survey does include product data.

"MRI has usage data," he said. "The big differentiator [for Power Metrics] is the purchase intent information."

Another major competitive advantage Pearl sees is speed. "Most syndicated research comes out once or twice a year, and has a huge lag time," he said.

Power Metrics will come out quarterly, and the numbers are compiled within 30-45 days after the study is conducted (Pearl says that MRI takes much longer to release data).

Of course, Power Metrics will not measure actual return on investment tied to any specific magazine advertising campaign; it goes no further than identifying magazine readers who are buyers of particular products. But advertisers appear to be swayed.

"We're looking forward to utilizing Power Metrics in our planning and evaluation of print media," said Steve Greenberger, Senior Vice President, Director of Print Services, ZenithOptimedia, in an Advertiser Perceptions press release.

In addition to Power Metrics, Advertiser Perceptions also produces the Advertiser Intelligence Report, which provides 65-plus publishers information on how their magazines are perceived by the media buying community.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The New York Times > Business > Media & Advertising > Advertising: Advertisements You Didn’t Demand

The New York Times > Business > Media & Advertising > Advertising: Advertisements You Didn’t DemandVIDEO-ON-DEMAND has reached a critical mass, and advertisers have taken notice.

Once mostly a stomping ground for pay-per-view specials like "Wrestlemania," video-on-demand has grown to provide both paid and free content of all sorts, so far without advertisements. But Fox Cable Networks and Visa plan to test the ad waters in January.

The trial will be "Behind the Mysteries," a show that is scheduled for Jan. 24, 25 and 26 on the National Geographic Channel before becoming a free on-demand offering. The channel has been offering free video-on-demand content since October 2002, but has never included commercials. Viewers who choose "Behind the Mysteries," however, will see either 60-second Visa spots before and after the program or Visa commercials throughout.

"Video-on-demand is starting to get to a tipping point, in that the total universe of video-on-demand homes in the United States is about 17 million," said Steve Schiffman, executive vice president for marketing and new media at the National Geographic Channel, a joint venture between Fox Cable, which is part of the News Corporation, and the National Geographic Television and Film unit of the National Geographic Society

"Part of the test, candidly, is for Visa and for us to get a read of what is an appropriate way to offer a commercial approach within video-on-demand."

Michael J. Wolf, global head of the media and entertainment practice at McKinsey & Company, agreed that video-on-demand will become a significant way for consumers to find and watch programs. "From an advertiser's perspective, what makes this an incredibly attractive advertising vehicle is that you know the consumer actually selected the program," he said. "And especially if there are fewer ads, even if fewer people are watching, those impressions can be much more valuable."

Cable companies, too, are increasingly staking their futures on digital services like video-on-demand - with seemingly little choice. Comcast and Cox, two of the nation's largest cable companies, for example, recently attributed their strong third-quarter results to growing demand for their digital video services and high-speed Internet connections.

"There are a growing number of ways the viewing public can spend their time now that are really outside the traditional commercialized vehicles that we know and love," said Christopher C. Geraci, director for national television at OMD in New York, the media agency for Visa and a unit of the Omnicom Group. "The bottom line is, it's taken them away from the normal commercialized stream of television, and we're eager to get in front of them."

OMD has been at the fore of exploring new advertising techniques as technology changes the game. This summer, for instance, the agency arranged for 11 of its clients' products to appear in episodes of the mini-series "Five Days to Midnight" on the Sci Fi Channel.

But that project involved traditional television, where commercials are expected. The question now is whether consumers will welcome commercials in content that they believe that they control, said Alan Bezoza, a cable analyst at the New York office of Friedman, Billings, Ramsey.

People using TiVo and other digital video recorders expect to be able to fast-forward through commercials, and people who select free on-demand programs on cable expect to see no commercials at all, Mr. Bezoza said. "Unfortunately, they're used to it by now."

The test will take place in more than 90 markets served by Comcast, Insight Communications and Time Warner Cable, part of Time Warner. Its organizers expect 150,000 households to take part each month during the three-month test, sometimes repeating viewings or watching more than one episode, for a total of 250,000 views each month.

Expectations of viewers' reactions are less clear. To that end, the program will incorporate a contest which viewers can enter online. "The ads will say please come online and get a chance to win this fabulous trip," said Lou LaTorre, president for advertising sales at Fox Cable,. "In registering, they will be asked a series of questions, still in development, about their perceptions of video-on-demand, advertising in video on demand, degrees of acceptability, image, associations."

The test may not answer all the questions that need answers, but small moves are better than none, Mr. LaTorre said. "This is a legitimate first step."

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Tacoda To Pool Some Publishers' Audiences--Recently Signed Declines To Participate

Tacoda To Pool Some Publishers' Audiences--Recently Signed Declines To Participate
By Ross Fadner
Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Behavioral targeting provider Tacoda Systems Monday unveiled a behavior-based pay-per-click ad network that it will market to direct response and search advertisers. By combining the audiences of its publishers into defined segments, Tacoda believes it will be able to offer advertisers the reach they need for direct response campaigns.

Tacoda's network, called AudienceMatch, will operate on a bid model similar to Google's AdSense or Overture's ContentMatch: advertisers will bid against each other to place text ads within AudienceMatch units, which will appear on certain publishers' pages within Tacoda's network.

The network will be rolled out slowly over the next several months, starting with 60 publishers and 100 advertisers at the beginning of its two-month "launch-phase," and expanding to nearly a thousand publishers and a thousand advertisers. By mid-January, Tacoda expects the network to reach 85 million individuals--about 60 percent of the monthly Internet audience.

The AudienceMatch launch publishers include; Media General's sites, including Tampa Bay Online and the Richmond Times Dispatch; and the Virginian Pilot Online.

"By and large, our publishers were excited," said Morgan. "We had no trouble finding willing participants." But, he said, some publishers were "more conservative than others" in their reception to the network.

The New York Times Digital, for one, will not be a part of Tacoda AudienceMatch. Vice President of Sales Jason Krebs said Tacoda didn't approach the company with the network idea.

Tacoda first announced its intentions to start combining audience segments from different publishers in April. Since then, many industry observers have wondered whether Tacoda's plan makes sense, or whether obstacles--including privacy concerns and questions about whether individual publishers' sites would be diluted--would prove overwhelming.

Dave Morgan, Tacoda founder and chief executive, said that neither hurdle was insurmountable. "Privacy is something I worry about a lot," said Morgan. He said Tacoda dealt with the issue by placing AudienceMatch listings in an ad unit called the "Offer Inbox," which alerts consumers that the ads are targeted by behavior, and gives them the opportunity to opt-out of receiving those ads.

He emphasized that the network is called AudienceMatch because the system simply matches publisher data without sharing it, which he said is "essential to both data ownership and privacy."

Alan Chapell, a privacy specialist from the law firm Chapell & Associates, remarked that "the only real complication is in perception" as far as privacy is concerned. He said the network practices, as described in the press, sound kosher--but added that the threat of HR 2929, a Senate bill that could render the provisioning of cookies illegal, remains a future concern.

Morgan also said that network aggregation makes sense for direct response units, such as pay-per-click text ads--but not for publishers trying to sell image ads. "We're creating Google AdSense for behavior targeting," said Morgan, who added that, on an individual publisher-to-publisher basis, Tacoda publishers can sell targeted image ads.

GartnerG2 Analyst Denise Garcia said that larger sites will most likely not want to participate in the network because it might create tensions between their internal sales forces and that of Tacoda, which would handle sales on behalf of the network. She said that the ad sales process becomes "commoditized" through a behavioral targeting network, which focuses less on a Web site's content and more on the shared characteristics of various publisher audiences.

But Garcia emphasized that behavioral targeting in and of itself doesn't commoditize an audience; rather, being part of a network of segments does. She said that for advertisers simply looking to hit a target, buying on the network saves them time--and more crucially, greatly expands reach.

Niki Scevak, a JupiterResearch analyst, said Tacoda's pay-per-click ad network will most likely compete with contextual ad networks for remnant inventory on publishers' sites. He said the behavioral network will have to hit a certain scale in order to perform effectively for the various parties--something he called "a huge challenge." The short-term test, he said, will be whether publishers earn more with Tacoda's network than with contextual providers like Quigo and Kanoodle.

Omar Tawakol--senior vice president of product marketing for Revenue Science, a rival behavior targeting firm--called AudienceMatch a "different beast" from what Revenue Science offers its publishers and advertisers.

Tawakol said Revenue Science's target advertiser base is national brand advertisers looking to buy high-value publisher cost-per-thousand inventory with branding dollars. He said advertisers can expect something "very different" from Revenue Science, which is currently developing its own expected behavioral targeting advertiser network.

Morgan said Tacoda hired between 15 and 20 new people to concentrate solely on the ad network. The biggest challenge, he said, was to implement the new technology into the company's existing behavioral targeting technology without having to build a separate, centralized database.

Monday, November 01, 2004

AdWeek 10/11 Art & Commerce - Where to Go Next

Where To Go Next
October 11, 2004

How many art directors and copywriters looking for the big bang—the big idea that will enthrall the public—watched Smokey Bear, Ronald McDonald and the Pillsbury Doughboy march down Madison Avenue last month and felt wistful, wishing it were that simple today?

Everyone knows the world is changing, and how it communicates is changing, and the ad industry is learning to speak a new language. At two recent industry confabs—the American Association of Advertising Agencies' Creative Conference in New York and Adweek's own 30th Creative Seminar in San Francisco—creative directors from shops large and small, hip and not so hip, discussed this new world: how to build brands in it, how to change creative cultures, how to succeed in increasingly difficult jobs, how to reach consumers in a fractured media environment.

Beneath a swath of uncertainly and confusion in this age of DVRs, there were rays of optimism. As agencies are forced to rethink their communications strategies outside the 30-second spot, it would seem that the sky's the limit for new ideas—ones that go beyond that old great advertising invention, the friendly, often fuzzy, spokescharacter.

Is this the dawn of a new golden era for the advertising industry? Is a long overdue creative renaissance on the way?

If so, a few agencies might lead the way. During a panel at the Adweek conference on agencies' use of the Internet, Alex Bogusky, partner and executive creative director of Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami, addressed the room from the audience, and said that when someone from his creative department e-mails him an idea for a TV spot, he deletes it without reading it. They should know better.

CP+B has shown that with a little ingenuity and a lot of media savvy, even the smallest budgets can make some noise. And more often than not, TV isn't the point of entry.

Or take BBDO. In an effort to secure its power position in an uncertain future, the New York agency overhauled its creative ranks this summer, replacing Ted Sann, best known for his Super Bowl ads, with David Lubars, best known for the interactive success story of BMW Films.

Addressing the 4A's conference, Lubars urged the audience to expand "the colors of the palette" to include nontraditional endeavors like BMW Films and the live soccer billboard in Tokyo created by TBWA\180 for Adidas. Commercials and magazine spreads are not going away, he said, but the industry must expand its toolbox.

Much of the talk at the Adweek conference was about new frontiers. "It's the best time to be in the business," Bogusky said as he accepted Adweek's first Innovation Award, recognizing CP+B's media-agnostic approach to brand building. "I wish I was 25 again."

"Being young in this business right now is the most intoxicating thing there is," added Chuck McBride, ecd of TBWA\Chiat\Day in San Francisco, pacing back and forth, cheeks flushed, as he gave the closing keynote speech.

Of course, it won't be easy. "Things we come up with now will be the stale things other people imitate," Bogusky said. But he added, "It's not a scary time. The dynamics are out there [to find solutions]. We need to use intellect, not research and focus groups, to find them."

"We have a couple of big problems in front of us," McBride said. "Let's go solve a few of them. Surprise everybody. Blow people away."

If Lubars can modernize BBDO, the impact on mainstream agencies could be monumental. And with shops like CP+B beating the drum with a new voice, more will follow. Maybe the revolution is already here. Maybe you just have to decide whether to join in.

AdWeek 10/11: Bogusky - All Over Creation

All Over Creation
October 11, 2004

At the recent Adweek Creative seminar in San Francisco, I was reminded of my first Adweek seminar more than 15 years ago. It was there that I discovered something astounding. I found out that I worked in a service industry.

Over the next 15 years, I on a personal level and we as an agency dismissed the notion that we were part of the service industry and began to build a model and philosophy around the idea that we were in manufacturing instead—that our ultimate job was to produce great marketing products. Notice I say ultimate job, because there are elements of service to what we do. And I'm not the kind of revolutionary who wants to do away with account-service people. Many of the best ad people I know work in that department. And we all happen to believe that if it's possible to succeed at the service yet fail to deliver the marketing that does the job, then we can't be in the service industry. Great account people, media people, planners and production people deserve and take as much ownership of the marketing product as any person in the creative department does.

At this most recent seminar, somebody at Adweek decided I deserved an award for innovation—something I didn't really see myself as an expert in. So, the first thing I did was look up the definition of innovation.

Def.: The act of introducing something new.

The word new exploded off the page. New is not something you want or expect from the service industry. What you want from your travel agent is to have him or her book the destination and the hotels, and that's it. Don't screw it up.

For years, we got by on this idea that we were in the service industry. It wasn't important to create new and innovative products if you could simply force people to see them. So, if the products didn't really matter, what did? Service. A good meeting. A good golf game. A nice dinner.

What is good work is debatable. The process for making something new and innovative is not. It is done by people who are smart, passionate and educated in their field. They work hard enough to find a path that is new and fresh. It is not done by giving up in the name of good service.

"Hey, it's not going to work, but we did a good job because this is what our client wanted." Bullshit. Our clients want brilliant marketing. And by surrendering our expertise over the years, we've created an advertising culture that doesn't know how to operate when the end goal is to make something new.

Well, we're in a bit of a pickle now. Because the product matters more than ever, and believe it or not, it will probably become even more important in the future.

This isn't about creative. It's about creating an industry culture capable of introducing new ideas.

So, if we aren't in the service industry (because we can't be if we expect to succeed), then which industry are we in?

The manufacturing industry?

Although pretending to be in manufacturing here at CP+B was a handy exercise for us to change our own behavior, that can't really be it. Too much—in fact, pretty much all—of what we do is custom-made. We don't have assembly lines. And we aren't expected to do something new and different every few years; we are expected to do it every day. We create thousands of new products a year. We attempt to tap into, and perhaps even change, pop culture hundreds of times a year. And we create and stimulate and maintain dozens of brands a year.

Unless you've been living under a copy of Ogilvy on Advertising lately, you've noticed that every day what we do becomes more like the movie and television business. For some of you, the lines between what you do and the publishing business may have blurred. And some of you may find yourself harnessing industrial design and architecture to help build brands.

It's no coincidence. These are our sister professions. All of us share a common industry. Advertising, movies, music, television, publishing, architecture, industrial design and graphic design. We are all part of the creation industry.

I believe we always have been. It's just more obvious now. The market forces created by the rapid demise of mass media and traditional media models have made the real business we're in clearer than ever. We're in the business of leading our clients in creating new ideas and even mediums so compelling and entertaining that the consumer searches them out. These ideas can't be familiar. These ideas won't be comfortable. These ideas won't be obvious.

Brilliance will be more powerful than ever, and yet everything from above average on down will become invisible. Produce ordinary ideas and nobody will even see them. Great clients will expect from great advertising agencies the same things we all expect from the other creation industries: Create something so funny, charming or useful that I don't want to live without it.

The service model worked when anything we did created awareness. And so wine cellars, golf-club memberships and nights out on the town were what separated good agencies from mediocre ones. Good news: It won't work anymore.


Managing Angst While Moving Beyond an Obsolete Business Model
October 25, 2004
By Jonah Bloom
Give or take a few ostrich organizations whose marketing minds are stuck in the TV-as-total-solution sand, there is consensus: The consumer is in control. Every speech, every conversation at the recent ANA conference confirmed this is not just some journalistic refrain oft-read in Advertising Age, but a real-world issue confronted daily by most marketers.

Still, however, marketers face the challenge of changing their companies' cultures, structures, strategies and tactics to succeed in the consumer-empowered world. Some are already traveling down that road, while others remain at the acceptance-only phase. One media chief says: "I hear the CMO saying the old way is broken, but when his brand manager talks to us it's still, TV, TV, TV." So how to change?

Inculcate adventurousness: Marketers that have overhauled their approach overcame conservatism. At McDonald's, CMO Larry Light says it was about "learning to win," instead of "learning not to lose." At Ford, which has shifted from spending 2% to 20% of U.S. budget in nontraditional ways, it was about encouraging risk by tolerating failure. In the words of Ford marketing manager Richard Stoddart: "You have to be prepared for mistakes. From the start you make it clear these aren't failures but a learning process."

Get a mandate from the top: Light says the late CEO Jim Cantalupo was the real catalyst for change at McDonald's. GE's CMO Beth Comstock says she couldn't have initiated change without Jeff Immelt's appreciation of marketing and innovation. Jim Stengel's greatest strength at P&G might be the fact that CEO A.G. Lafley is actively involved in evolving the company's marketing strategy.

Avoid committees: Light, leaning heavily on a phrase also embraced by David Ogilvy, told the ANA that no one ever "erected a statue to a committee." Ian Beavis, the senior vice president of marketing at
Marketing executives today face decisions about which road to take toward an unknown horizon.

Mitsubishi, which recently pulled much of its budget out of broadcast TV, agrees. "Corporations can be bureaucratic and slow to adapt," he says. "That's why smaller players so often react faster. Change isn't a time for democracy. No one follows a committee into battle. You need one empowered leader."

Integrate: Departments focused on one medium or discipline -- traditional media, interactive, PR -- can end up championing their medium's cause, not focusing on the consumer. Beavis says: "Compartmentalized marketing isn't always best; that's why I resist putting in a media manager." At Ford that might be unrealistic, but Stoddart still stresses integration. "If you're looking at a plan that doesn't include everything up front, you're in trouble. Too often marketers feel they have to plan media in advance, everything else becomes an afterthought."

Fund change: Stoddart and Comstock stress the need to pony up, whether it be improving databases, hiring the right skill sets or budgeting for a long-term program. In Stoddart's words, "it's about having the tools but, also, once you invest, it makes you act on your plans." Stoddart also warns against getting stuck in trial phase: "It's easy to keep testing new things, but at some point you have to take what worked and put it into practice."

Most marketers accept the inevitable obsolescence of the old model. The question now is whether they're building a new one.

P&G's Project Apollo summit

MediaDailyNews 11-01-04
P&G Invites Rivals To Two-Day Meeting, Boosts 'Single-Source' System
By Joe Mandese
Editor, MediaPost
Monday, November 01, 2004
In a gathering reminiscent of a meeting it hosted six years go to jump-start the marketing world's involvement with the Internet, Procter & Gamble has invited some of the nation's largest marketers - including some direct competitors - to a two-day meeting to marshal support for a promising new research system that may finally measure the ROI on advertising. The meeting, code-named "Apollo," will be held Tuesday and Wednesday at P&G's Cincinnati headquarters, and will explore the details of a system that combines Arbitron's portable people meters with VNU's household product scanner system, to create a so-called "single-source" service capable of measuring how exposure to advertising impacts product purchases.

Apollo is a loose acronym for Arbitron's Portable People Meter, or PPM, a small page-size device that people wear with them throughout their day, which can detect their exposure to media via audio codes. By building a large national sample of consumers who use those devices and also participate in a panel in which they scan their household product purchases, Arbitron, VNU and P&G believe the system will provide the kind of marketing ROI that P&G has been rallying for.

"P&G intends to be the first customer. We are collaborating in this effort to ensure marketer's needs are met," the company's CMO Jim Stengel said Oct. 9, during a presentation to an auditorium full of marketers at the Association of National Advertisers conference in Boca Raton, Fla.. "This service, under the working title Project Apollo, shows good progress toward bringing us closer to our ultimate goal of measuring ROI in marketing."

"It's a big, big step forward toward helping us understand consumer habits at a level we've never seen before. P&G is really excited about this," added Ted Woehrle, Vice President, Marketing, North America, at P&G. "We believe it's a great example of something this industry desperately needs, that is: Broader collaboration and mobilization around measurement tools."

Details of this week's meeting were sketchy at presstime, but MediaDailyNews has confirmed that it is an invitation-only summit and would include mainly CMO-level executives, though some heads of advertising services were also invited. While the meeting is not generally open to ad agency executives, it is believed at least one or two senior agency researchers will attend as part of their client's contingent at the summit.

"It's not just about funding support," said an executive with knowledge of the meeting. "There's enough funding. P&G could easily support this themselves and still make an ROI case for it. It's about getting industry support behind it."

In that sense, executives said the meeting is reminiscent of the so-called FAST Summit, in which P&G hosted an event to explore how the marketing world could accelerate and influence the development of the Internet as a marketing medium. FAST stood for Future of Advertising Stakeholders, and that meeting set the tone for many of the principles and guidelines for online marketing that followed.

But unlike the FAST Summit, no outside stakeholders, including media companies, other third-party researchers, and for the most part, ad agencies executives have been invited to the Project Apollo meeting this week. However, Arbitron and VNU are expected to follow up with their own series of agency and media company briefings in the next several months.

P&G's avid support for the PPM-based measurement system comes in stark contrast to the market's tepid support for a separate media ratings system Arbitron and VNU unit Nielsen Media Research have been exploring in the U.S. The system, which initially would measure both TV and radio audiences, including those in out-of-home locations, has been mired in a long series of tests and likely will not be developed for at least another year, if at all. While the PPM technology has some technological hurdles, including the fact that it can mistakenly pick up audio codes from TVs and radios playing in locations adjacent to respondents carrying the devices, it is considered by many to be a potential improvement over the current state of TV set-based people meters, and the paper diaries used to measure TV in some markets, and radio in most.

The radio industry currently is conducting an economic assessment study of the system, which is being handled by Forrester Research.

Canada has already introduced the PPM as the official radio and TV ratings currency in its two largest media markets.