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Announcing: WOW! The Wit & Wisdom of Erwin Ephron

Erwin Ephron was a luminary in our industry and his words and writings still ring true today on so many pertinent topics. These include media planning, research, targeting, budgeting, data quality, engagement, reach and recency, digital marketing and so much more. The ARF is honored to announce that we have been bequeathed an enormous cache of Ephron’s writings. This windfall includes Ephron’s newsletters from 1992 to 2010.

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JAR Best Papers: Digital Video vs. TV Ad Spend, and Context Effects in Advertising (Event Summary)

  • Insights Studio

At this Insights Studio, JAR Best Paper winning authors discussed their findings on allocating spending across digital video and TV advertising, and the impact of media context on advertising memory. A Q&A panel then applied these insights to the industry and today’s marketplace. Guest panelist JAR Editor-in-Chief John Ford flagged topics of interest for future submissions to the Journal, including artificial intelligence, neuro-based analyses of effectiveness, cross-platform research, and the impact of Covid-19 on advertising.

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  • Article

NYCU: How Big a Problem is Ad Fraud?

The author argues in Forbes that ad fraud is a bigger problem than many of the other issues that advertisers focus on. Here is an edited summary.  In recent years, marketers have been focused on buying more reach and more targeting parameters in programmatic advertising. They bought into the idea that if their ads were shown on thousands more long-tail sites that they would reach more potential customers. When they found that many more ads in digital were not yielding better business outcomes, marketers started to look around for a reason why. First, marketers looked at “viewability.” That seemed to make a lot of sense. If an ad is not “viewable,” it can’t drive business outcomes. Unfortunately, focus on “viewability” was a boon for fraudsters. Fraudulent sites have higher viewability than real publisher sites, because the fraudsters use malicious code or other tricks to make their inventory 100% viewable. As a result, the amount of dollars going to fraudulent websites actually increased. Once marketers realized that bogus sites using fraudulent bot traffic to generate ads were stealing their budgets, they started to chase the next red herring - “fraud free” ad inventory. However, fraud verification tech services had trouble detecting most fake traffic as not real. Then, marketers found that their ads were still being shown on porn, hate speech, and fake news sites. They employed “brand safety detection” tech – which relies mostly on simple key word matching. Soon major advertisers found that their ads were blocked on sites like The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, because of words like “coronavirus.” These red herrings (and others) have led to marketers spending nearly a trillion dollars over the last two decades in digital marketing in the U.S. alone. I am not arguing that digital marketing does not work. But I am arguing that marketers who have been distracted by these red herrings were providing job security and revenue to fraudsters. Source: Fou, Augustine (2020, August 17). The Red Herrings of Digital That Kept Marketers Spending. Forbes.  

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  • Article

Advantages of Ad-Supported Audio

Editor’s Note: A new Nielsen survey describes the positive role of audio advertising in comparison with video.  Audio is fundamentally different from video in a number of ways, and business models need to reflect them. And as streaming becomes ubiquitous, it’s important for audio providers to embrace the fact that consumers are more apt to gravitate toward free options. After all, that’s where the advertising opportunities are. A special Nielsen survey into U.S. consumer sentiment toward streaming platforms found that in the video world, the vast majority of streaming users (more than 90%) subscribe to at least one paid streaming service. Juxtapose that with audio, where more than half (53%) of consumers use free, ad-supported streaming audio services. Ad-supported, free audio has been the norm since the advent of the medium, reaching today 92% of U.S. adult listeners each week. Big billion-dollar brands are (re)awakening to audio-based ad solutions. Audio offers a unique, intimate experience for listeners and the advertisers aiming to reach them. Yes, it’s tempting to get swept up in the fanfare around the latest subscription video services, but in the audio world, the focus for broadcasters, podcasters and creators is unchanged: Develop quality content that keeps audiences coming back regardless of platform or ad model—just as it’s been since the dawn of radio.
Source: Nielsen (2020, February 19). Ad-Supported Audio Presents a Compelling Opportunity. Nielsen.    

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Are You Targeting Too Much?

  • Gian M. Fulgoni, comScore, Inc.
  • JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH

P&G and Unilever have made it clear that brands need to get smarter at ways they deploy available targeting data, writes Gian Fulgoni, Chairman Emeritus of comScore, Inc. The focus should be on driving both short-term performance and long-term outcomes, which “need not be mutually exclusive.”

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