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For marketers, the college and NFL action during football season translates to major ad spend, and as the action heats up, fans jump online to stay in tune. According to Compete.com, football sites saw a sharp uptick in seasonal traffic in August, with Unique Visitors (UVs) to the Compete Football category up 92.2% over July, 2009. While NFL.com led the pack with nearly 6.5 Million Unique Visitors in August, fantasy fanatics flocked to CBSsports.com (up 41% to 4.35 Million Unique Visitors), fantasysports.yahoo.com (up 79% to 4.75 Million UVs), and FFtoolbox.com (up 350% to 579,000 UVs) to start their own seasons.

The Nielsen Company reported that U.S. advertising for the first half of 2009 fell 15.4% compared to the first half of 2008. Preliminary figures show that U.S. ad expenditures declined over $10.3 billion to a total spend of $56.9 billion in the first two quarters.

Cable Television ad spending was the only medium to show growth through the first six months of the year (+1.5%). The increase is especially significant since Nielsen reported Cable TV ad spending was down 2.7% through the first quarter this year. Spanish Language Cable TV also saw ad spending tick up 0.6%.
The rest of Nielsen’s measured media showed year-to-year declines, ranging from Internet (-1.0%) to Local Sunday Supplements (-45.7%). African-American television (a subset of Network, Cable, Syndicated, and Local), continues to grow, increasing 14.3% through the first six months of 2009.

“While some of the larger categories have cut back spending, we see others that continue to raise the ante on their media investments,” said Annie Touliatos, VP for Nielsen’s advertising information services. “What’s interesting is that we’re not just seeing a rise in spending for recession-friendly products like fast food restaurants. We’re seeing a lot more promotion of technological innovations like smartphones, computer software, and consumer-driven web sites. These advertisers see potential for their products despite our stressed economy and are leveraging advertising to drive their success.”

Read the full 2009 Ad Spending Release from Nielsen

I got my September 2009 issue of Vogue and boy is it large, but this issue is nothing (in terms of volume) compared to the issue I received two years ago. The September 2007 issue of Vogue with Sienna Miller on the cover had a record of 727 pages- the largest and heaviest issue of Vogue ever- coming in at five pounds. Now Vogue and fashion fans get a glimpse of what it takes to put together an issue of the most influential publication in fashion. So all you fashionistas who want to get into fashion- you might want to reconsider after you take a look into what really goes down.

About the movie
Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue for 20 years, is the most powerful figure in fashion. Wintour embodies a fascinating contradiction of passion and perfectionism as she reigns over a dizzying array of designers, models, photographers, and editors. Director R.J. Cutler delivers a rare insider account of the nine months leading up to the printing of the highly anticipated September issue of the magazine, which promises to be the biggest one ever. He takes us behind the scenes at fashion week, to Europe and back, on shoots and reshoots, and into closed-door staff meetings, bearing witness to an arduous and sometimes emotionally demanding process. At the eye of this annual fashion hurricane is the two-decade relationship between Wintour and Grace Coddington, incomparable creative director and genius stylist. They are perfectly matched for this age-old conflict between creator and curator. Through them, we see close up the delicate creative chemistry it takes to remain at the top of the ever-changing fashion field. Cutler cleverly deconstructs the creative process as it plays out in the hollowed halls of Vogue, lined with racks of couture. In The September Issue, his access and insight are impressive and make us aware that he is offering us a privileged glimpse into a world many dream about but few see.

Harris Poll…One of the main purposes of advertising is to help consumers decide what products and services they should buy or use. With so many different types of advertising being used today the question becomes what types are considered most helpful, that is they help people decide what products or services to actually purchase and which ones are most likely to be ignored or disregarded? These are some of the results of a new AdweekMedia/The Harris Poll of 2,521 adults surveyed online by Harris Interactive between June 4 and 8, 2009.

What Ads Are Most Helpful?
Over one-third of Americans (37%) say that television ads are most helpful in making their purchase decision while 17% say newspaper ads are most helpful and 14% say the same about Internet search engine ads. Radio ads (3%) and Internet banner ads (1%) are not considered helpful by many people. Over one-quarter of Americans (28%), however, say that none of these types of advertisements are helpful to them in the purchase decision making process. Half of people aged 18-34 (50%) say television ads are most helpful while three in ten (31%) of those aged 55 and older say they find newspaper ads to be most helpful. There is also a slight regional difference. Two in five Southerners (40%) say they find television ads most helpful, while only one-third (33%) of Midwesterners feel the same.

What Ads do People Ignore?
Almost half of Americans (46%) say they tend to ignore Internet banner ads. Much further down the list are Internet search engine ads (17% of people ignore), television ads (13%), radio ads (9%), and newspaper ads (6%). One in ten Americans (9%) say they do not ignore any of these types of ads. There are age and regional differences. Half of those aged 35-44 (50%) and 51% of Midwesterners say they ignore Internet banner ads compared to 43% of 18-34 year olds as well as Easterners and Southerners. One in five Americans 18-34 years old (20%) say they ignore Internet search engine ads while 20% of those aged 55 and older say they ignore television ads.

So What?
While advertisers scramble to create their ad campaigns, one thing they need to remember is that, even if viewership may be down and even with the increased use of digital video recorders so people can fast forward through commercials, television ads are the most helpful to consumers. Also, while an Internet strategy is essential for a comprehensive ad campaign, Internet banner ads are not considered helpful by few and are ignored the most. People are more likely to ignore ads on their computers but are more likely to pay attention to those on their television.

Bloomberg reports that Google Inc.’s YouTube will let users get a portion of the site’s advertising revenue when a video goes “viral” and draws a wide audience.

A clip will qualify for the program if it meets certain criteria, including the number of views and its so-called virality, the company said today. Users who regularly produce content can already make money through YouTube’s ad-partnership program. The new policy would apply to one-off hits.

Running more ads on viral videos will increase revenue for both users and YouTube, helping bring the site closer to its goal of turning a profit. One-off YouTube hits include “Battle at Kruger,” a showdown between buffalo and lions, which has racked up more than 45 million views. “Otters Holding Hands,” another viral hit, has drawn almost 13 million views.

“There is a huge amount of money to be made,” Tom Pickett, director of online sales and operations at YouTube, said during a conference call with reporters. “We have hundreds of millions of views a week that are monetized. We continue to grow that aggressively.”

Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt said last month that he is now more optimistic about YouTube becoming profitable. Google doesn’t break out specific revenue numbers for YouTube, the most popular Web site for viewing videos.

Google, based in Mountain View, California, rose $2.64 to $471.37 at 4 p.m. New York time on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The stock has climbed 53 percent this year.

‘JK Wedding’

While the company had offered the ad-sharing program to some one-time hits in the past, YouTube will now officially adopt that approach. Users will get a message when their clip qualifies. Pickett declined to say how many views a video needs before it’s invited to join the program.

YouTube only sells advertising on clips that are part of the ad-partner program, Pickett said. In some cases, outside parties can get ad revenue from a video they didn’t create. That happened with the “JK Wedding Entrance Dance,” which used music from Chris Brown. His recording company, Sony Corp., received a portion of the ad revenue.

Extending the program to one-time video hits will expand the number of people getting ad revenue from thousands to “tens of thousands,” Pickett said.

For more than a year, the U.S. consumer hit by the recession has changed the way he or she shops: a focus on value for money has led to some dramatic shifts in behavior that some say will last far beyond the current economic environment. With 80 percent of Americans saying they were stressed due to the economy, savvy retailers and consumer goods manufacturers have shifted their marketing to appeal to consumers watching their money more closely. But have those ads been successful? Nielsen IAG examined 67 such ads from 11 national advertisers and found that the same creative attributes that make for good advertising also make for good value messaging.

In short, value-message and recession-themed ads did not break through TV ad clutter at higher than ordinary rates. In fact, ad recall of the 67 ads evaluated was at rates lower than historical averages for the 11 advertisers. Packaged goods manufacturers saw no decline, while retailers registered minor declines. Financial service, insurance, auto and telecom advertisers posted significant declines.

Read more by Alka Gupta, Senior Vice President, Consumer Goods Research, Nielsen IAG
Are Value-Themed Ads Making an Impact? | Nielsen Wire

Good news for newspapers. According to a forecast from Borrell Associates, though newspapers will be down this year, expect a 2.4% rebound in newspaper advertising in 2010, and continued single-digit increases over the next several years. By 2014, newspaper ad revenues will be up about 8.7% over 2009 levels. While national newspaper advertising will do just fine, we foresee the greatest growth in local print – going from $8.9 billion this year to $10.1 billion, a 13.4% increase.


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