Madison Ave Insights

Trustworthy Accountability Group Addresses Critical Challenges Facing Digital Advertising

Posted in Digital, Privacy, Trust, Trust and Advertising

Just over a year ago, three of the leading advertising trade organizations – IAB, ANA, and 4A’s – formed the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) to address several critical challenges affecting digital advertising, including fraud, piracy, malware, and lack of transparency. These issues not only cost the U.S. digital advertising ecosystem an estimated $8.2 billion annually, but also erode consumer confidence in advertisers generally – and the brands they represent.

TAG has grown exponentially since its inception, attracting cross-industry participation and support from the world’s largest advertisers, agencies, publishers, and ad-tech companies. Its board of directors includes executives from Facebook, Google, IPG Mediabrands, JCPenney, McDonald’s, Mondelez, Motorola, NBCUniversal, Omnicom, P&G, Publicis, Unilever, and WPP.

All of TAG’s programs drive collective accountability … Continue Reading

The Evolution of the Chief Communication Officer

Posted in Communication, Media, Public Relations

If you were forced to pick one way in which companies have evolved the most significantly since the turn of the century, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more popular response than communication.

Social media has created two-way dialogue and real brand accountability. The 24/7 news cycle has amplified the impact of any crisis, from CEOs sticking their foot in their mouths to customer data breaches. Brands are compelled to be socially and environmentally conscious. Heck, Millennials want to know your charitable partners before they buy your goods or apply for your jobs.

These are just a few of the new functions that fall on the shoulders of today’s Chief Communications Officer (CCO). No longer is this a role exclusively … Continue Reading

Digital Media and Trust

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Marketing, Privacy

When it comes to trust and digital media, it’s an understatement to suggest that it cuts both ways. It’s more accurate to state that it slices and dices as many ways as a kitchen appliance from an infomercial.

On one hand, it appears to be easier than ever to assess trustworthiness across the digital landscape. We can vet product recommendations from Amazon, pull factoids from Wikipedia, and even gage credibility based on search engine rankings.

But on the other hand, what we see on digital media already reflects some prior manipulation or steering of products, or information. Or we may be seeing products and services that can’t even be sold. For example last year, Google banned 14,000 advertisers for hawking … Continue Reading

How Compelling Content Helps Shape Online Reputation

Posted in Digital, Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media, Technology, Trust

You’re only as good as your first page of Google search results. That’s the reality of today’s business environment. Keeping a company’s online reputation as pristine as possible is a baseline for any sophisticated marketing strategy.

Need proof? The Edelman Trust Barometer for 2015 found that Internet search engines are now the most trusted source of news and general information. When surveyed, 72% of online users said they trusted search engine results, a statistic that’s up 8% from 2014. Put another way, nearly three quarters of potential customers searching a company’s name will likely trust what Google returns on that first page. Glowing results will drive sales. Negative results will not.

One of the best ways to control what shows … Continue Reading

The Whirlpool Effect: Emotional Ads Boost Sales

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Marketing, Social Media

Buying is an emotional act. Science bears this out. Functional MRI scans, in fact, show that people often rely on emotions rather than information when evaluating brands. Other studies have found that the emotions triggered by an ad influence a potential customer’s intent to buy far more than the actual content – by a factor of 3-to-1 for television commercials.

A perfect case study for this is Whirlpool’s “Every day, care” campaign. In addition to being a solid example of the power of visual storytelling, the campaign’s television ads focus on the small, everyday acts of kindness that often go unnoticed, but have remarkable impact. The spots evoke strong emotions, and maybe even a few sniffly tears. Whirlpool has also … Continue Reading

If You’re Just Hearing About Multiplatform Publishing, It May Already Be Too Late

Posted in Digital, Marketing, Media

Have you heard of Digital Darwinism?

You can probably wager a guess at what it means. As it relates to multiplatform publishing, it holds that the brands that can’t adapt will not survive this content revolution. More specifically, brands that don’t seek to reach customers everywhere, and in real time, will be left in their competitors’ digital dust.

TV, print, radio, social, mobile, outdoor – the list goes on. Multi-channel marketing is not new. But the strategy of building and embracing an ecosystem of channels targeting a number of devices is becoming more of a “must” than a “should.” Sure, part of it depends on your industry. Media companies such as ESPN and Vice Media are leaps and bounds above … Continue Reading

New York Cracks Down on Advertising’s Bad Apples

Posted in Advertising, Direct Marketing, Legislation, Marketing

“Advertising and marketing cannot be used as a tool to confuse and endanger New York consumers.” – New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, April 2015

When you think about police work in the city of New York, you’re likely to think about officers patrolling the streets – not the billboards above it.  The fact is, however, that just as the city works to prevent violent crime, it also devotes law enforcement resources to ensuring that advertising and marketing in the city is not deceptive or otherwise in violation of the law.

The quote above, direct from the New York Attorney General, is proof of just how high that commitment reaches.  It comes from an announcement this spring of lawsuits the … Continue Reading

Women’s Active Wear Market Grows Inside Out

Posted in Advertising, Digital, Marketing, Media

Two decades ago, Jerry Seinfeld famously said to best friend and self-proclaimed schlep George Costanza: “You know the message you’re sending out to the world with these sweatpants? You’re telling the world, ‘I give up. I can’t compete in normal society. I’m miserable, so I might as well be comfortable.’”

But fashion designers didn’t give up. Fast forward to 2015, and active wear —whether for activity or leisure— has been reinvented. Active wear is no longer an afterthought. It’s much more than a stitch niche; in fact, it’s become one of the fastest growing fashion segments. According to market research company NDP Group, active wear drove an eight percent increase in women’s apparel from 2013 to 2014.

One of the … Continue Reading

It’s in the Bag: The Shopper Marketing Evolution

Posted in Advertising, Direct Marketing, Marketing

Once upon a time, newspaper circulars and static-filled messages broadcast over store speaker systems represented the cutting edge of shopper marketing. You had to think and decide for yourself what to buy and where to buy it. Those days are long gone.

Today shopper marketing happens in real time, across multiple marketing channels, and it’s always lurking around the corner. Shoppers are in the crosshairs whether they’re being hit by a retargeting banner ad after leaving an e-commerce site or pinged by a geo-located push notification on their mobile phone as they walk by a favorite shop with a clearance sale happening.

The heartbeat of today’s shopper marketing is what is called “programmatic advertising.” At a high-level, this tactic involves … Continue Reading

The Martin Agency Reveals the Model for Consistent Creative Work

Posted in Advertising, Marketing

In the advertising world, perhaps not even “Mad Men” is as consistently entertaining as The Martin Agency. Known for steady and creative execution of Fortune 500 accounts, Martin helped bring GEICO out of the stone age (or into it, rather) with its caveman campaigns, and re-energized Walmart’s image with a clean and modern approach.

Named as the 2009 Agency of the Year by Adweek, The Martin Agency may be headquartered south of the Mason-Dixon Line in Richmond, Virginia, but it’s not considered a Madison Avenue outlier or scrappy underdog in terms of its work or talent. (The agency has offices in New York and London, too.) It’s a top-flight outfit that’s fueled its success with strong leadership and even a … Continue Reading