The Most Crucial Shopping Moment

Do marketers, especially e-marketers, focus on the most pivotal moment in the shopping journey? Sure, it’s important to target consumers during search and on social media. But one marketer thinks that those are not the best channels and that the most vital step in every customer’s journey and experience with a brand is the purchase.

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A Blueprint for Managing Transparency Messages in Influencer Marketing


With influencer marketing a fixture in many brands’ communications strategies, managing disclosures about these relationships gets tricky. A new study offers insights into conditions for transparency that can affect an influencer’s authenticity and engagement, depending on that person’s community size and the source of disclosure—whether the influencer, the platform or a lack of a message or no source.

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JAR: Shoppers Like Explicit Donation Links in Cause-Related Marketing Ads

Companies increasingly target nonprofit web and social media followers by using cause-related marketing display ads on the websites of charity or nonprofit organizations. Two key formats are used: either transactional (representing an explicit donation amount that a consumer can make to the nonprofit) or nontransactional (representing online cause sponsorship). Which one is more successful? A new study has some answers.  Read the article.

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JAR: Which Noncelebrity Endorser Is Best: Staff or Customer?

One way for smaller brands to save money on advertising is to use their customers and employees as endorsers, rather than spend big bucks (and risk fame fallout) on a superstar. So, which type of noncelebrity endorser is most effective, and under what circumstances? Findings from European researchers offer practical solutions to these questions.  Read the article.

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JAR: Going Live: How “Shoppable” Ads Measure Up

Live, “shoppable” advertising has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with big investments from influencers, brands and retailers. In response, researchers in London, Stockholm and the U.S. have collaborated on a typology for evaluating the value of this emerging platform. The work is essentially a launching pad for future investigation and measurement of liveness and shoppability in advertising.  Read the article.

Going Live: How “Shoppable” Ads Measure Up


Live, “shoppable” advertising has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with big investments from influencers, brands and retailers. In response, researchers in London, Stockholm and the U.S. have collaborated on a typology for evaluating the value of this emerging platform. The work is essentially a launching pad for future investigation and measurement of liveness and shoppability in advertising.

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NYCU: The LGBTQ+ Community and Social Media Sites

Perspectives from GLAAD (The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) and five leading social media companies.   Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube — are all "categorically unsafe" for LGBTQ+ people, according to a new study from GLAAD. The report from GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, lays out recommendations for all platforms, in addition to suggestions specific to each service. The broad recommendations include everything from tweaking algorithms to slow down the spread of misinformation, to hiring more human moderators to better enforcing existing harassment and discrimination policies. "There are real world consequences to what happens online," Ellis said. "There are direct lines you can draw between the over 100 anti-trans bills that are now circulating at the state (level) and what's being produced and pushed out within the social media world. I think that there are direct lines to, unfortunately, suicides of our community." Ellis noted that the online world, including social media, can still be an important gathering place for LGBTQ+ people. The report also gives a “thumbs up” for various things that GLAAD believes are positive steps, including Twitter’s rules against dehumanizing, including intentionally misgendering transgender people. “There are bright spots, there are absolutely bright spots,” Ellis said. “However, the challenge right now is that the negative is outweighing the positive." Here's what each of the social media platforms had to say in response to the report. Facebook/Instagram: "We believe deeply in the representation of and visibility for the LGBTQ+ community that GLAAD champions," CMO Alex Schultz said in a statement to Axios. "Finding the right balance between giving voice and taking action on harmful content is hard. This is why we partner with experts, non-profits and other stakeholders - like GLAAD - to try to get it right." YouTube: "Over the last few years, we’ve made significant progress in our ability to quickly remove hateful and harassing content against the LGBTQ+ community that violates our policies, prominently surface content in search results and recommendations from authoritative sources and limit the spread of extreme content by our recommendations," the Google-owned video site said in a statement to Axios. "This work is ongoing and we appreciate the thoughtful feedback from GLAAD." Twitter: "We welcome GLAAD’s initiative and the opportunity to better understand the experiences and needs of the LGBTQ+ communities on our service," Twitter said in a statement to Axios. "We’ve engaged with GLAAD to better understand their requests and are committed to an open dialogue to better inform our work to support LGBTQ safety." TikTok: "TikTok is committed to supporting and uplifting LGBTQ+ voices on and off the platform and we care deeply about fostering a welcoming and supportive experience for everyone," TikTok said in a statement to Axios. "We share GLAAD's dedication to the safety of the LGBTQ+ community and will continue working with GLAAD and other LGBTQ+ organizations to help inform and strengthen our work." Source: Fried, I. (2021, May 10). GLAAD finds top social media sites "categorically unsafe." Axios.

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NYCU: Is Clubhouse the Next Big Thing?

Oprah Winfrey, Drake, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and even White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain have signed up.  It’s time to talk about Clubhouse! Celebrities, CEOs, politicians, as well as comedians, relationship gurus and self-styled big thinkers, are among the millions who have downloaded Clubhouse in recent weeks. The invite-only app is, judging from the hype, the future of social media. For those still waiting for an invitation, here's a primer.

  • Clubhouse is an audio-only app where friends and strangers alike hold court on all kinds of conversations. Users peruse the app's "hallway" and drop into virtual "rooms" to listen in as moderators and guests talk — and there's no telling what you might eavesdrop on. Tech analyst Jeremiah Owyang, who was one of the first to sign up, said the serendipity of the app –"that pleasure of not knowing what's next" — is part of the draw.
Here are some recent Clubhouse rooms: "Are You an Influencer Because You Call Yourself One?" "Are Humans Naturally Good?" And "Focus Your Mindset and Manifest Your Future." More than 2.3 million people in the U.S. have downloaded the app since March 2020, according to data analytics firm App Annie. Driving the buzz is this country club-meets-Silicon Valley vibe. You need an invite to get on the app, and once there, Clubhouse has privacy rules. The app records every room but deletes the conversations after a short period. The company says the recordings are “solely for the purpose” of investigating.  People in the rooms, however, cannot record or even transcribe the conversations. The idea is to keep the chats ephemeral and unable to look up later. What’s said is said, and that’s the end of it. But it turns out, snippets and even entire conversations have been publicly leaked. Right now, an individual Clubhouse room has a maximum capacity of 5,000 people, something the founders of the app say they will eventually lift. Source: Allyn, B. and Miller, C. (2021, February 11). Clubhouse May Be Social Media's Future. What's All The Hype About? Technology: NPR.  

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NYCU: Four Measures of Super Bowl Ad Popularity -- USA Today, Ipsos, Tweets and YouTube Views

Again, this year, Super Bowl commercials are a hot topic and we hear many announcements proclaiming which ads were audience favorites. Here are four reports that rank the ads. They use very different methods – and come to different conclusions.  In next week’s NYCU, we will address a question one might consider even more important: “Are Super Bowl ads worth their price tag?” 

 The USA Today Ad Meter: The newspaper writes that Super Bowl advertisers faced a unique set of challenges this year in both production and messaging. The tumultuous events of 2020 served as a complicated backdrop for brands, leaving them to wonder whether their ads would strike the right tone. The COVID-19 pandemic also created practical obstacles in terms of filming, forcing some brands to limit crew sizes or move their sets outdoors. Nearly 60% of commercials featured an appearance by at least one celebrity or prominent athlete. This is USA Today’s Ad Meter Methodology: Ad Meter participants logged in, watched and rated this year’s Super Bowl ads starting Wednesday, Feb. 3. Ad rating ran through the big game and officially closed on Monday, Feb. 8 at 1 a.m. ET. Each participant rated every commercial that aired during the Super Bowl for their ratings to be counted. The findings:
  • Rocket Mortgage’s two, 60-second Super Bowl ads placed first and second. Both spots starred comedian Tracy Morgan – who urged his 2.9 million followers on Twitter to sign up for Ad Meter and vote for the commercials.
  • Amazon finished third with its ad starring Michael B. Jordan as a seductive version of Alexa, while M&M's humorous spot featuring Dan Levy was fourth; fifth was Toyota's moving ad about Paralympic swimmer Jessica Long; sixth was General Motors: “No Way Norway”; seventh was Cheetos: “It Wasn’t Me”; eighth was State Farm: “Drake from State Farm”; ninth was Doritos: “Flat Matthew”; and tenth was Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade: Last Year’s Lemons.
 Source: Schad, T. (2021, February 8). Rocket Mortgage pulled off a surprising double Sunday night. USA Today. ____________________________________________________________________________ Ipsos Creative Excellence Award: IPSOS’s new report says:  Appealing though it may be to single out a ‘winner,’ more sophisticated and rigorous research shows how little sense that makes. Ipsos leveraged its depth and breadth to analyze this years’ Super Bowl ads through both traditional and cutting-edge methods – from surveys to social listening to AI. This combination of approaches provides a more robust and nuanced picture of Super Bowl success. Here is their methodology: Here are their findings:    Note – all the Ipsos award winners are available via the link below Source: Howard, P. and Colligan, T. (2021, February 9). Ipsos Creative Excellence Award. Ipsos.
 The best Tweets: Twitter released an analysis of their internal data that ranks Super Bowl ads based on tweets. #1 Pepsi- “The MVP.” The brand that drove the largest overall conversation among Big Game advertisers was Pepsi. From giving fans a chance to win halftime prizes, to sharing exclusive content, Pepsi and The Weeknd (memes and all) stole the show to own the conversation before, during and long after the performance. #2 T-Mobile- “The Retweet Rusher.” The brand with the most retweets on a single Tweet from a brand’s handle among Big Game advertisers. #3 Verizon- “The Most Creative Play.” The brand that best used Twitter to creatively breakthrough, beyond promoted Tweets and video. The brand partnered with artists like Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus to live-stream #BigConcertSmallBiz. #4 Budweiser- “The No-TV Touchdown.” The brand without a national TV spot drove the largest, overall conversation. Budweiser did things differently this year by stepping up its game and the nostalgia on Twitter, iconic Clydesdales and all. #5 Disney+- “The (Re)Play of the Game” was the brand with the most engagements on a single video Tweet from a brand’s handle. Fans couldn’t stop talking about the latest Marvel series. #6 Indeed- “The Audible.” Indeed tackled the unemployment crisis by reacting to real-time events during the game and Tweeting job opportunities from brands that were advertising. Source: Len, L.; Samson, EJ; Bigelow, M. (2021, February 8). Best of Tweets Brand Bowl LV Twitter Sources:
  1. Twitter Internal Data (Semantic Core). February 7, 2021 from 6pm EST - 11pm EST amongst Super Bowl Advertisers, US Only, Ranked by Total Tweets
  2. Twitter Internal Data (Semantic Core). February 7, 2021 from 6pm EST - 11pm EST amongst Twitter-Only Super Bowl Advertisers, US Only, Ranked by Ranked by Total Tweets
  3. Twitter Internal Data (Semantic Core). February 7, 2021 from 6pm EST - 11pm EST amongst Super Bowl Advertisers, US Only, Ranked by Total Retweets
  4. Twitter Internal Data (Semantic Core). February 7, 2021 from 6pm EST - 11pm EST amongst Super Bowl Advertisers, US Only, Ranked by Total Engagements (RTs, QTs, and Replies) on Video-Only Tweets

YouTube Hits: According to Google, viewership of Super Bowl ads on YouTube during the game rose over 70% on TV screens from last year. The YouTube channel for half-time show headliner The Weeknd peaked at over 1.6 million views per hour at 8 PM EST. Here are Top 10 ads, as measured by YouTube views, by Gameday (Global) through 7pm PT / 10pm EST:
  1. Amazon – Alexa’s Body. The company’s Super Bowl ad asks the question, “What would be the ideal body for Alexa?” The answer is Michael B. Jordan, star of Black Panther and Creed.
  2. Jeep – The Middle. This two-minute spot features the usually commercial-shy Bruce Springsteen in an ode to unity, healing the divide, and common American ideals.
  3. Cadillac – All-Electric Cadillac LYRIQ | ScissorHandsFree pays homage to a classic Tim Burton movie in its “Edgar Scissorhands” spot, starring Timothée Chalamet as the clumsy Edgar who discovers the joy of hands-free cruise control.
  4. Uber Eats – Wayne’s World & Cardi B’s Shameless Manipulation | Eat Local | Uber Eats Saturday Night Live nostalgia revisiting the basement, public-access show Wayne’s World. Rapper Cardi B pops in to spice things up.
  5. Paramount Plus – Paramount+ Expedition | Sweet Victory | Super Bowl LV Spot SpongeBob, RuPaul and James Corden joined an all-star cast of heroes from Paramount’s streaming service Paramount Plus.
  6. Marvel Entertainment – Official Trailer | The Falcon and The Winter Soldier | Disney+ The second Disney+ series to be set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  7. Amazon Prime Video – Coming 2 America Official Trailer #2 | Prime Video. Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall reunite in this highly anticipated sequel.
  8. Anheuser-Busch – Let’s Grab a Beer | Anheuser-Busch Super Bowl LV Commercial | :60 Anheuser-Busch’s first ever company ad which shows everyday people enjoying beers together in a poignant reminder of pre-pandemic life.
  9. Doritos – Doritos 3D | Flat Matthew. Matthew McConaughey appears as a flattened 2D version of himself who gets bowled over by a football and tangles with a robot vacuum.
  10. Chipotle – Chipotle | Can a Burrito Change the World? Chipotle seems to think so.
Source: Andreeva, N. (2021, February 7). Michael B. Jordan, Bruce Springsteen & Timothée Chalamet Super Bowl Ads Most Watched on YouTube. Deadline.   Methodology Google Sunday night released data about the Top 10 most viewed ads globally on its video platform Feb. 7 through 7 PM PT.  And one final thought:  There were already a number of commercials released heading up to Super Bowl 55. Tide, GEICO and Guinness all released ads the week prior — leading to the confusion as to what, exactly is a Super Bowl ad anymore? Source: Rivera, J. (2021, February 9). Sporting News

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How Facial Expressions Can Predict Ad Sharing

  • Daniel McDuff, Microsoft Research; Jonah Berger, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania -- JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH

Why do some ads get shared more than others on social media? This study used facial coding algorithms to quantify the facial expressions of thousands of individuals in response to video ads. The findings help advertisers predict how different emotions influence sharing, and provide a deeper understanding of the complexities between emotion and transmission.

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