A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM NEW YORK INTERCONNECT
|Thursday October 21, 2021
Insights and Highlights from Advertising Week New York 2021
Cathy Applefeld Olson
Once again, cross-screen measurement is all the buzz. And once again, it’s still not happening fast enough but steps are more plentiful, and faster. There’s a pot of gold awaiting marketers who are ready to enter the brave new creator economy. And, the walled gardens in the CTV universe need to keep crumbling to entice new brand entrants. Welcome to the final day of Cynopsis’ coverage of AWNY.
DATA + MEASUREMENT
Big data: Comscore CEO & Executive Vice Chairman Bill Livek discussed how today’s viewership behaviors have signaled the need for a more modern cross-screen measurement approach during a “Future Finders” panel. “You can look at the auto registration information and other available data sets like credit card files in a privacy compliant way. Even gender is not a binary decision, so we shouldn’t be using these systems invented in the ‘50 an ‘60s when we have modern measurement that is census-like,” he said. Now the buyer and seller need to agree on a primary currency, said Livek: “We don’t think you need 22 currencies economically to trade on… you need to have demographics that go far beyond age and gender. The environment is perfect for that pivot today.”
Addressable actions: The progress and pitfalls of advanced and addressable TV took center stage during the “Advanced Advertising in the Era of ‘Every’ Screen” session moderated by Jason Brown, addressable advertising lead for WarnerMedia Ad Sales. Panelists agreed on the need for greater scale and consistency in inventory, with Molly Finnerty, SVP of Strategic Investment for Magna noting a desire to evolve from “demos to audience,” with innovation infused into Upfront strategies. “The future isn’t age and gender,” added Cara Lewis, EVP, Head of US Media Investment for Dentsu. “It’s who you are reaching, when you are reaching them and where,” as the rise in mobility and growth of streaming has created an evolution from traditional dayparts to an “always on” approach and the need to connect with audiences across all screens.
Cross-screen measurement and data collaboration is poised to play a much bigger role in Upfront deal-making, agreed speakers on the “Enhancing Customer Experience with Cross-Screen Measurement & Data Collaboration” panel. “It has to play a bigger role. We’re still in the midst of CPM inflation,” said Maureen Bosetti, Chief Partnerships Officer at Initiative. “We’re now on the journey of, how do we get the control back. And it’s not just in linear, it’s in CTV, YouTube, what’s going on with the Trade Desk impressions. We have to make more significant progress, because the marketplace has told us that we need to. It’s imperative that we get there faster.” Jay Prasad, Chief Strategy Officer, LiveRamp TV, said he anticipates the few deals that were driven by cross-screen data at this year’s market will swell to 20 or more in 2022—driven by higher-quality data. “There’s always been a lot of data out there, but some of it wasn’t very good,” he noted.
Kevin Arrix, SVP, Dish Media, said the de-silo’ing of data is key to driving business forward: “We have first-party data; we can provide deterministic attribution. We’ve been doing that for a while. Measurement for addressable television has been very good for a long time, it’s just been done in silos and departments. Now we have the ability to leverage data without having to move it to a bunch of different places, and report back holistically.”
Data’s great, but some AWNY panelists cautioned against getting too down in the lower-funnel weeds. If you’re not messaging in the upper funnel, “You’re not driving awareness, you’re not driving interest and consideration, and you’re not driving demand and purchase,” said Hailey Branham, Senior Account Manager at adQuadrant. “You have feed the funnel or you’ll ultimately stunt your full funnel growth.”
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM NEW YORK INTERCONNECT
“I need a new show”: With the TV marketplace more crowded than ever, programmers need all the help they can get to stand out. Twitter has been serving as a digital water cooler to help answer the question that’s in everyone’s text threads. “We’re seeing a 40 percent increase in replies on tweets about TV year over year,” said Sarah Rosen, Head of Entertainment and News Partnerships, US at Twitter. “If you share a hot take, it’s sparking a conversation.” Additionally, people exposed to a conversation about a show on Twitter were 2.5 times higher to tune in than people who were exposed to paid media alone, she said. How can programmers best bubble up? Rosen counted the ways during the “#MustTweetTV: Conversation on Twitter Drives Tune-In” session:
* Use a variety of formats, including livestreams, clicks, moments and audio Spaces. “Mix it up, give the people what they want.”
* Provide fans with access to things they can’t get from watching the shows alone, such as talent and deleted scenes.
* Reward fans for being part of that conversation
#TikTok made me buy it: Home to an undeniably new shopping culture with creators at the nexus, TikTok is “not about the most polished content, it’s about the authenticity of the entertainment,” said Gabriel Nicolau, TikTok Director, Global Head of Vertical Ads Solutions, at a panel about shopping opportunities on the platform. Internal research shows TikTok ranked No. 3, after recommendations from family and friends, for where participants are getting shopping inspo for the holidays, he said. He cited examples of product sales that blew up after associated videos went viral on the platform including Bissell, whose Little Green rug cleaner doubled sales during the past 18 months even though it’s been on the market for two decades. Nicolau also pointed to TikTok-themed pop-up kiosks in malls, and Barnes & Nobles’ in-store “BookToks” section, and walked the audience through how to use the TikTok Shopping suite of tools.
Snap Inc. launched Arcadia, a global creative studio for branded augmented reality, and walked AWNY attendees through the AR possibilities. The newest addition to the home of Snapchat will operate independently and serve its clients across platforms under a studio-esque model.
CULTURALLY RELEVANT MARKETING + PROGRAMMING
Romina Rosado, EVP/GM of Telemundo’s Hispanic Streaming division, shared some stats about the Hispanic audience and its ability to drive growth during the fireside chat “This Decade’s Hispanic Media Consumer.” Noting one in four Americans under 18 is Hispanic, and Hispanic audiences consume content more digitally than comparative cohorts, she said understanding the distinction between cultural content vs. language-based content is more important than ever.
During the “Harnessing Culturally Relevant Content to Connect with Audiences” panel, Hillary McPadden, Vevo Senior Director, West Coast Ad Sales, pulled highlights of a recent study among people aged 13-54 that backed the notion that, unsurprisingly, audiences are driven to entertainment and advertising content that most reflects themselves. The study also showed:
* 79 percent of respondents agreed that music videos play an important role in culture.
* 71 percent of Black Americans, 64 percent of Hispanics and 64 percent of Asian Americans responded that it is important to watch content that speaks to them specifically.
A new study from talent agency UTA introduced today at AWNY suggests an $18 billion bounty awaits brands that embrace the creator-driven, direct to fan ecosystem. Among findings of the survey of 1,000 consumers ages 13-54:
*Nearly half (49 percent) of those who’ve paid for creator economy services spend at least $25 a month to do so
* 95 percent of consumers are open to brands participating in the creator economy
* 76 percent of consumers find paid content more engaging and enticing than free content
Cynopsis caught up with David Anderson, Co-Head of UTA Marketing, to dive deeper.
Advertisers are increasingly turning to talent agencies to help elevate brands. What does that business look like today?
Talent agencies have long shaped culture by virtue of the creators they represent and how they collaborate with those creators to bring their stories, music, art etc. to life. Because of this role in shaping culture, talent agencies have a unique view and visibility not only into what’s happening in culture, but also what’s coming—whether that’s a music artist, athlete or a new social platform that will go on to garner significant consumer attention and engagement.
As disruption in the media and entertainment world has accelerated, there is a growing need for brands to re-imagine how they connect with consumers and tell their brand stories. Talent agencies are the ideal partner to help a brand do this. We work with our clients in completely bespoke ways, helping them to develop strategies, ideas and opportunities that will elevate their brand in culture.
How does UTA work with media agencies to bring a client’s vision forward?
We really see other agencies as our partners and the work benefits from this close collaboration.
What are the biggest opportunities for brands today in the television advertising landscape?
We believe the greatest opportunity for brands is to collaborate directly with creators and storytellers. There are certainly new innovations in advertising, but there’s a special magic when a brand and its values are brought to life and authentically told either with, or around, a creator or story.
At General Motors, aligning more closely with creators has brought the company even more in touch with its core values and mission, Deb Wahl, Global CMO, said during “Legacy Brands Navigating the New Creator Economy.” “We’ve talked so much about data, and at the same time myself and my team are more engaged than ever, all buying into the mission of the company,” she said, pointing to GM’s work with LeBron James—and by extension Maverick Carter—on a campaign for its Hummer brand. GM is also partnering with Malcolm Gladwell, who recently spoke to group of investors on helping to transform into “an all-electric world,” she said.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM NEW YORK INTERCONNECT
CTV + STREAMING
Conde Nast is looking big, and broadly, at CTV. During an “Innovations Changing Business” session, Craig Kostelic, Chief Business Officer, US Advertising Revenue and Head of Global Advertising Solutions, said the company is “not going to go all in with one CTV model, or a single OTT app destination. We have a distributed model in CTV just as we do in social, and that’s going to help us expand our footprint in the living room.” The time is right, he said, as one of CTV’s biggest issues is beginning to dissipate. “The connected TV ecosystem is its own mini walled garden. There are some tech companies that have come from the programmatic and social space that are applying that self-server performance tech to the living room experience. And that creates a lot of opportunity.”
But wait, there’s more: The mantra that CTV is an incremental reach play has been echoing through industry conference rooms for some time. But that’s selling the world of connected television short, Dan Vincent, VP, Media Director, Investments at Mediahub, said during the “Take Control of TV’s Convergence with Impactful Video Advertising Strategies” session. “We use CTV for specific tactics for conversion… but my opinion incremental reach is not necessarily a KPI for our clients. We are trying to push product,” he said. “We need to move away from looking at CTV as a pure extension of linear TV” and focus on its specific tactics.
Consumers are dreaming of streaming, but some obstacles to adoption still remain on both the buy and sell side. “The scale of getting the publishers really bought into it is key,” said Meredith Goldman, VP, Publisher Ad Solutions at Roku. “Without the scale, it’s not as attractive to the buyer. On the publisher side, all the publishers are excited for the new monetization [apart] from their traditional TV efforts… they just want to be able to test a little bit.”
From a consumer perspective, “there’s an extraordinary amount of content that is accessible through a very poor system of discovery on CTV,” said Matthew Papa, SVP of Global Partnerships at Captify, during the “Making Addressable CTV a Reality” panel. “From a tech perspective, it’s a huge transformation, moving from buying exclusively on shows to building a currency around attention.”
Christine Maguire, GM/VP, Global Media Business at Tripadvisor, spoke during “The Importance of Impactful, Purpose-Driven Marketing Campaigns,” moderated by Lindsay Stein, Chief of Social Impact at Havas. Cynopsis caught up with her to dive deeper:
More than ever before, brands are being asked to take a position on issues. Where are the biggest opportunities here?
The biggest opportunity for brands is to be open to course correction when they fall short on building inclusive relationships with consumers. Today, it’s essential to establish deep connections with consumers to build brand loyalty and break through the noise. Authenticity and empathy and representation are key to reaching and engaging with consumers. There is always room to grow and change perception by actively demonstrating a willingness to be open to speaking out about important social issues.
How does Tripadvisor incorporate purpose into your business and your marketing?
Tripadvisor exists to make everyone a better traveler and this brand mission and ethos is embedded into everything that Tripadvisor does as a business. For example, we’ve outwardly believed in the challenges faced by displaced populations around the world, especially the recent refugees out of Syria and Afghanistan. For years, the Tripadvisor Foundation has supported pro-immigration public policy matters and refugee resettlement efforts by contributing millions to organizations like the Mercy Corp and the International Rescue Committee to help aid displaced populations. We have introduced one of the first Animal Welfare policies in our industry. Sustainability is another one of Tripadvisor’s areas of focus. We launched a green leaders hotel website years ago that showcased sustainable hotels and more recently joined with the Duke of Sussex in launching the Travalyst Coalition.
One of our company’s values is “we’re better together” and we are committed to the tenets of equity, diversity, and inclusion. We’ve invested in building organizational structures to ensure we have a diverse workforce focused on representation internally and across our platform. We’ve also partnered with a variety of brands to amplify diverse voices, because externally (in terms of how we represent our brand) representation matters.
A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM NEW YORK INTERCONNECT
SCENE + HEARD
* “I don’t have children and I don’t sleep, so I’m on social media 24/7. You need to know what the audience is looking for” –Josh Safran, creator of “Gossip Girl”
* “We’re very vertically integrated. We have seven different disciplines within our group. The benefit we get from that collaboration is speed.” –Bryant Brennan, SVP of Global Creative, Peloton
* “What’s our brand’s role in society, how can we provide value to society through our brands?” – Adam Harter, SVP, Media, Sports & Entertainment, PepsiCo Beverages North America, on the company’s pandemic-inspired strategy
That’s a wrap on our coverage of AWNY 2021. We hope you’ve enjoyed the reports.