November, 2014

Super Bowl Xlix Ad Sales Coming Up Short



It’s the fourth quarter, and there’s still some way to go. Even with the addition of “about a dozen” new advertisers and returning dropouts, “NBC said in November ad sales were moving along slightly more slowly than in prior years,” Advertising Age reported November 17. Before last year’s NFL season started, in September, Fox had sold 90 percent of its availabilities. By December, they were completely sold out. Now, in late November, NBC’s sales have almost, but not quite, matched Fox’s 14 months ago, “approaching” – not at, but approaching – the 90 percent mark, with ten 30-second slots still unsold.

That notwithstanding, NBS Sports evp for sales Seth Winter says he’s “extremely satisfied” with how sales are going (or aren’t). “I’m never ‘extremely satisfied’ until we’re sold out,” he told the New York Times, but “I’m very satisfied with what we see.” But in an interview with USA Today the same day, he was singing a different song, coming up with excuses for the unsold inventory. Read more →

Will Beaconing Go The Way Of Qr Codes?


Remember QR codes? Way back three years ago, they were the hot setup in marketing. Today, you don’t see them around so much, and few, if any, consumers still use them. According to a November 13 Advertising Age report, the same’s about to happen to beaconing – this year’s bright, shiny new object – and for many of the same reasons.

“I predict that three out of every four beacon programs will fail in 2015,” writes Puneet Mehta. And while he offers no quantitative basis for this prediction, he nails the reasons why it will qualitatively come true. Those all spring from the same thing that killed QR codes, namely, advertisers misusing them.

Beacons transmit short-range messages to the mobile devices of consumers standing in or near a store. “The devices,” Mehta writes, “offer a way to connect with consumers unlike ever before in-store, when it’s relevant to their immediate location. To personally welcome individuals as they arrive. To disseminate important or motivating content. To gather unique insights into on-premise customer behavior.” But all that connecting and welcoming and motivating and insight-gathering will end up as largely wasted effort, thanks to the ways marketers will misuse the medium – just as they did with QR codes. Read more →

Two Bad Marketing Decisions May Have Cost The Democrats Iowa


According to a November 10 Daily Beast analysis, it was flawed computer modeling that lost the Iowa US Senate race for Democrat Bruce Braley. But that analysis is as flawed as writer Ben Jacobs says the computer models were. It wasn’t computer modeling that lost the election; it was human error, in the form of two very wrong marketing decisions, which “sabotaged” the Democrats’ stepped-up ground game. One was a decision about target audience and the other about media.

The first wrong decision was to go after the high-hanging fruit, i.e., going after potential voters who’d produce less return for more effort. “[I]n the crucial swing [state] of Iowa…the DSCC [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee] made a decision in September to put an increased emphasis on persuasion, talking undecided voters into supporting Democratic candidates rather than turning out its base voters,” writes Ben Jacobs. “In other words, instead of going after the type of people who reliably vote Democrat but don’t reliably show up on Election Day, they focused on voters who were somewhat more likely to vote but hadn’t firmly made up their minds.” Read more →