Author Archives: Amy Wisner

New York, New York: Recap From The 4A’s Data Summit

The 4A’s hosted their first ever Data Summit in New York on Wednesday Oct 16th with a jam packed agenda corresponding to the growing trend in big data and how it is evolving the advertising industry.


I was skeptical at first that the conference would dive so deep into the numbers that the strategy side of data would be lost.  To my surprise, I spent a wonderful day listening to numerous industry leaders, technology companies, and even a data scientist who impressed me with his knowledge on the wide world of data.  Here’s a brief look at my top 5 takeaways from the day:

  1.  Data and Privacy – there was a lively debate about privacy issues as it relates to data collecting and who is really being harmed in the process.  I think as long as we give the consumer a choice we can stay in front of strict regulations.  Clients want to build trust with their consumer, even more so today than ever, so if we are transparent with them we can make their ad experience better and more relevant.
  2. Programmatic Buying – the panel started out with a real time media trade and ended with a lively panel discussing this hot topic.  Data is allowing us to shift our thoughts from media buying to audience buying in a way we could never do before.  Real time trading allows machines to do the work faster than a human could and with a new resurgence of this concept higher quality placements and reach are at your fingertips.  I feel in an area where inventory can be limitless such as the web the trading desk can succeed but in an area where inventory is so limited such as TV and cable it will be hard to move to this model in the near future.
  3.  Facebook as a solutions provider – Facebook is committed to moving their advertising offerings to the next step and provide clients with real ROI on their business outcomes.  They are focused on providing advertising solutions for the mobile space since people are checking their phone on average 100 x a day.  It will be interesting to watch this next progression with Facebook since up until now it has been more focused on engagement metrics.
  4. Creativity comes from everywhere – media, data, creative, and technologist all need to come together to find solutions for clients to reach their audience.  We need to look to transform our own business to break down any silos that prohibit creative thinking.  The customer has to be in the center and we need to follow them on how they interact with a brand and what technology they use to do that.  We need to consider how a consumer connects with their multiple screens and devise a creative strategy for the context of that device.
  5. Future trends to keep an eye on – a representative from Goldman Sachs presented an enlightening snapshot at how Wall Street values big data.  They believe ad dollars will continue to shift online and that programmatic buying will continue to grow.  They predict a time when their will be frictionless buying across traditional and digital platforms.  (Can we say hallelujah!)  They believe the visualization of the web will continue as well as growth with companies leveraging first party data (Facebook, Amazon, LinkedIn).

In the end the trip was a HUGE success and we learned so much. Thanks to the 4A’s for putting this conference together. We can’t wait to come back up next year.



T-Mobile Advertising Take Over – April 11th

It started with a one email and then a phone call and then a few more emails… Radio stations across the country were contacting us about spots that were going to be bumped on Thursday April 11th due to a T-Mobile national take over buy.  It included Hispanic and general market stations, and we found out only the day before.

Yesterday, T-Mobile took over radio stations in South Florida, Seattle, Philadelphia, Denver, Orlando, Dallas, New York City, Portland and more. On 96.5 in South Florida, they ran the following message: “The Next hour of music is sponsored by T-Mobile” and every ad prior to that used the message, “Simple choice, simple choice and more simple choice.” There was a rumor that they would take over primetime television from 8:34-8:40 last night, so I watched intently for the take over and only happened upon one T-Mobile spot during that time period that I saw.  I did get served up the video on YouTube each time I tested that yesterday, so it was obviously they were also taking over social media outlets too.

Today, April 12th, is the launch for T-Mobile’s I-Phone 5.  The phone launch parallels with a strategy to “change the game” on wireless plans.  Using the tagline, “Now your choice is simple,” T-Mobile is hoping to gain market share through plans that have no annual contracts, are unlimited, and allow you to change out your phone when you want.

Here is a link to the President and CEO of T-Mobile explaining the new plans:

This strategy made me ponder the complexity that goes into a “takeover” type campaign.  How do you monopolize people’s attention in one day when they are consuming and using so many different devices, moving at a mile a minute?  Is one day enough time to create that connection in our minds between the commercial-free radio I heard in my car, to the YouTube ad playing on my computer screen?  I went to the T-Mobile Facebook page this morning to see how they were using social media to keep the conversation going and there was no mention.

So, I compiled a list of things to consider when implementing a one-day take over advertising strategy:

  • Leak the plan ahead of time so that people will anticipate it and Search for more information in advance
  • Have a main hub to drive conversation about the advertising that day
  • Use search and e-marketing strategies to boost your message
  • Use point-of-purchase signage to capture on site traffic that day and weeks following the campaign
  • Have a simple creative strategy that easily links the messages no matter what medium
  • Engage consumers by telling them what this day means for them – (define your WIFM) – what’s in it for me.
  •  Use social media to keep the campaign alive after the day is over

We’ll see if their new strategy worked for T-Mobile soon!

Do Two Screens Enhance or Disrupt Viewership?

I recently attended a webinar about the effects of the second screen on TV viewership.  As an avid TV fan I always find myself defending the medium in this new media world and felt this would be an interesting topic to look closer at the research on.  The question they were trying to uncover is if the second screen applications enhanced or distracted from the overall TV viewing experience.  They spoke about the currency of the new economy being “attention” which is an interesting consideration when you think about the magnitude of multi-tasking on our society.

The research study looked at visual attention patterns while watching a drama and a documentary.  Over the course of the two shows they found the same attention patterns with 63% focused on the TV screen, 30% focused on the second screen, and 7% off screen (looking around the room).  They found that if the TV program pushed an interactive action, attention did shift to the tablet however there was not a significant attention shift to the tablet during commercial breaks which I thought would have been high.  That seems encouraging in a world that seems to have shifted to advertising avoidance.  They also found no loss of ad recall during engagement of the tablet.

They are going to further this study with a look at how social media is impacted by TV viewership and the second tablet but they did find that twitter traffic was reduced during commercial breaks and higher during programming content.  It is such an instantaneous media that people are not waiting to tweet their comments.

The Study was conducted by Ball State University for further information on their studies you can go to

Local Online Newspaper Goes To Paid Subscriber Base Model

It won’t be the first paper and it won’t be the last one but it seems that the Baltimore Sun is going to start charging for access to their website, starting Oct 10.  Online customers will still have access to 15 pages each month for free but over the course of a month that really isn’t very much.  Paid subscribers will have unlimited access and the site will offer different payment plans but one of them is up to $49.99 for 26 weeks.  With so many places to have access to news it is questionable if this model will endure for a small paper like the Baltimore Sun.  They are throwing their hat in a ring with some big papers including the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal but only time and impressions will tell if this is a model that can sustain itself in Baltimore.

Consumer Education on QR Codes Needed

According to Nielsen, US smart phones are expected to hit 50% by the end of this year.  The growing rate of smart phones is going to help certain marketing tools gain prominence.  One of these tools is called a QR Code (Quick Response).  A QR Code looks like a small box with a strange black and white design in the middle. 

They are starting to show up on advertisements, products, and even employee lanyards.  Users point their phone or camera at the code and then receive whatever form of content the marketer has issued them.  It could be a URL Link to videos, signing up for a sweepstakes, or access to a game.  Marketers in return get to link the physical world with the digital world and offer a great direct response element to their campaign.

 As the prominence of these campaigns grow, consumers will want to explore them but it is still up for debate as to how much they will go through to use them.  The codes are not foolproof and experiences such as slow downloading time could turn off many consumers.  They must also download an app that can scan QR codes which may seem like an extra step for the fast paced consumer. 

 Marketers will need to take on the role of educating consumers about how to use them and show them enough reward to make it worth their time.  I think if you can entice the customer to respond to you directly from the physical world on your product the opportunities are endless.  Below is a video of how Macy’s used QR Codes in their Backstage Pass Campaign enticing consumers with beauty tips and videos.

Visit St. Pete-Clearwater used QR codes in one of their most successful sweepstakes ever and received more than 20% of the entries from the code.  This type of success can be translated into really any category that has some type of giveaway but we just need to make sure the consumers don’t shy away from it.

Outdoor Advertising Introduces New Measurement

In an effort to combat the question of who is really seeing those outdoor billboards and other advertisements a new measurement system has been introduced called Eyes On Impressions. The days of Daily Effective Circulation (DEC’s) will become a thing of the past as new methodologies will allow media buyers to measure outdoor against other media.

Eyes on Impressions (EOI) will measure the number of people likely to notice an ad. This will be based on several factors including unit format, size, side of the road, angle to the road, street type, and distance to the road. Impressions will be delivered on demographic audience segments as well as income, ethnicity, and education. These will be compiled using MRI research conducted during travel surveys. Traffic counts will still remain the foundation of the system making it possible to report the number of people passing the board.

We constantly struggle in the world of media to integrate our media plans with common metrics. This move in the outdoor advertising industry to impressions will certainly help deliver more reliable metrics and overall campaign level impact in our media plans. I am excited to work with the new measurement and see how it impacts our media recommendations.

Media Works Hosts Clients For LPM Information Happy Hour

The Media Works offices were buzzing with excitement on Thursday June 11th as the staff presented to its television clients the  role out of Nielsen’s Local People Meter in the Baltimore DMA.  The first official rating book will be released for the July 2009 period in mid August.  Other LPM markets have shown more fragmentation in viewing behaviors due to the electronic measurement versus the diary methodology.  The LPM data will also give the buyers at Media Works access to Live Only ratings which help offset the viewers who are DVRing programs.  We felt it was very important to explain to our clients the shift in measurement for the market and review new terminology in regards to their television buys. 

It was a great conversation starter with our clients and as the first year of data rolls they will be more knowledgeable as to how it may be affecting their television buys.  Rudy Miller, VP of Marketing and Community Relations at LifeBridge Health, was among one of our clients present.  She spoke highly of the event —  “honestly, in all the years I appeared on television I never got a simple, concise explanation of how the ratings were calculated.  But in one half hour presentation, the staff at Media Works provided a simple explanation of the methodology and implications of the new poeple meters.  Kudos!”

We look forward to our next client event where we unveil the mysteries of Arbitron’s Portable People Meter!