Marketers promote, entertain, celebrate, and explain. In other words, they talk. But Dave Kerpen, cofounder and chairman of Likeable Media and founder and CEO of its sibling company, Likeable Local, believes that a different skill is needed in a media landscape increasingly driven by social media – listening.  And by listening, Kerpen means more than just using social media channels to respond to consumer questions and complaints.  He sees listening via social media as a means to tell stories and engender authentic conversations with and among consumers and to promote conversations that strengthen and reward brand loyalty.

In a lot of ways, it’s the next step in the evolution of branding. Branding started with the idea that companies and products … Continue Reading

In just a few short years, DVRs and video-on-demand have dramatically altered how television is watched. In 2006, fewer than two percent of households owned a DVR. Now, more than half do. The use of DVRs has changed along with market-growing penetration. Instead of just being time-shifters, many viewers are effectively becoming collectors, stockpiling so many shows on their DVRs that they don’t have time to watch them all. As a result, they’re also watching shows later, at a time when it’s convenient to them.

As The New York Times reported recently, this fall’s television season saw a surge of viewers watching shows four to seven days after the initial air-date. Broadcasters and cable networks typically base their ad prices … Continue Reading

We’re all familiar with the classic product demonstrations in television commercials: who hasn’t seen re-enactments of the super-absorbent paper towel, or the dish detergent that cuts through grease with a single drop?

How do we define a demonstration?  Well, a demonstration is just that: a way for advertisers to show the product functioning as it actually would, as objective “proof” of performance.  As such, it is especially important that demonstrations actually consist of a true and accurate portrayal of the product.  When the FTC began bringing enforcement actions concerning advertising demonstrations in 1959, it encountered cases where products or props had been doctored, enhanced or replaced to achieve the desired performance, and the advertiser had not disclosed any modification.  Even … Continue Reading

This week, leading lawyers, legislatures and marketers attended the 35th Annual Brand Activation Association (BAA) Marketing Law Conference in Chicago. At BAA I gave a presentation titled, “Journey to the Center of Advertising Law: Knowledge, Insights, and Practical Tips on The Most Important 2013 Advertising Developments.” Over the next few days, I will share with you three video clips from my presentation. Let’s dive into the first one…

How do we determine “reasonable consumer” behavior?  This is an increasingly important question in a world where the consumer population comprises people with differing views, perspectives, education levels, and experiences.  The “reasonable consumer” is crucial in advertising law:  this person interprets advertising, determines what claims are actually being made, decides whether there … Continue Reading

The FCC has changed its rules to require “prior express written consent” in order to auto-send commercial calls or texts. Failure to comply can open violators up to private lawsuits, and to damages awards of up to $1,500 per violation.  So what should be done to avoid pricey violations?

First, there needs to be written consent before commercial calls or texts are sent. While this rule revision was primarily meant to address robocalls, the interaction of this priority requirement with the need for “writing” means that it will have a special impact on commercial texts.  Notably, advertisers cannot send messages to consumer numbers pulled straight from interactions that begin offline (for example, from a responses to an on-TV exhortation to … Continue Reading

2013 has certainly been a landmark year, and we have seen both social and financial gains dance across the headlines of various news publications. We watched as the S&P 500 hit an all-time closing high of 1,682.50 in July, and we watched history be made with the United States Supreme Court’s ruling on DOMA.

While I still do not have access to a crystal ball, the fiscal outlook for 2013 will certainly determine a large portion of the way the growth within the Advertising Industry, among other industries, will play out.

The Way I See It I see the industry continuing to evolve to adapt to changing consumer trends, marketer needs and media evolution. I see the advertising industry continuing… Continue Reading

Spamming has taken a new form in this era of mobile phones and text messaging.  In addition to fighting the clutter in our e-mail inboxes, we are also faced with clutter on our cell phones.  In the words of the FTC, text message spam is a “triple threat.”  First, mobile spam often uses the promise of free gifts or product offers to get you to reveal personal information such as bank account, credit card, or Social Security information.  Alternatively, clicking on a link in a text message can lead to the installation of malware that collects information on your phone and sends it to a third party.  Second, the spam can lead to unwanted charges on your cell phone bill. … Continue Reading

Gatsby.  His name has been forever immortalized through the words of       F. Scott Fitzgerald.  For most of us, it conjures up memories from high school English classes, but now it’s being broadcast all over in ads and trailers for surrounding the film adaptation.  The Great Gatsby’s big movie turn got us thinking about how marketing strategies around blockbuster film adaptations impact book sales and play into the publishing industry.  Some of the biggest flicks to hit silver screens in the past few years have been adaptations from books – Harry Potter, Twilight, The Hunger Games, Silver Linings Playbook. And of course, this practice is nothing new. Even Gone with the Wind is an adaptation of a book. So how do … Continue Reading

I talk here on Madison Ave Insights a good amount about digital, social media, and mobile advertising trends and developments, and how they are changing the industry.  Advertisers are shifting dollars from traditional print and television to online media outlets and novel platforms – that is no question.  However, televisions are still in nearly every home in America, tuned to leading sitcoms, special programming, news, and sports.  So, how do advertisers determine which programs are worth allocating ad dollars to in order to reach target audiences?  Cue Sweeps periods.

The Way I See It I see Sweeps, which are a data-collection periods used to determine local viewing information and provide a basis for scheduling programs – what gets renewed and… Continue Reading

A few weeks ago, Chester Cheetah, the beloved “spokescat” for Cheetos, joined Twitter as @ChesterCheetah with a campaign to reach 50K followers.  And when he does, “a family gets a kitten.”  Chester Cheetah is just the latest of many brand mascots that have taken social media by storm in recent years.  Furthermore, digital media is allowing brands to create more developed story lines and detailed backgrounds for their mascots, resulting in consumers becoming more drawn to the characters, and, of course, to the brand and product they represent.  The insurance industry has made quite a splash with its brand mascots, including the GEICO Gecko and Allstate’s “Mayhem,” launching YouTube channels and earning verified Twitter accounts (i.e., celebrity status).  Creating such … Continue Reading