Category Archives: Production

RECENT STUDY RESULTS: The DVR is an advertisers friend!

Ad Avoidance and The DVR : recent study results

One of the topics  looked at in a recent study with special interest was the whole issue of ad-avoidance, not least because half the sample have the technology to avoid ads altogether, via the DVR.

In fact, one overwhelming conclusion from this study is that the DVR is used to enhance program viewing, not to avoid commercials. As a range of studies conducted last year found that PVR owners actually watch more commercials at normal speed as a result of owning the DVR. This is because only 12 per cent of their viewing was to time-shifted material (much less for younger respondents) and around 40 per cent of the commercial breaks were watched without fast forwarding. At the same time, owning a DVR appears to increase broadcast TV viewing by around 15 per cent, mainly to commercial channels, resulting in an increase in the number of commercials viewed. It is counter intuitive, but it is true, and has been supported by studies from BARB, Sky and the London Business School. The DVR is an advertisers friend!

‘Skipping’, or fast forwarding, does occur, but even the households who claim to skip most of the time only skipped ads for a small proportion of their TV viewing. Whether it is because they are aware of the short length of some breaks, they just forget they are viewing in time-shifted mode, or because they want to see the ads (quite often people fast forwarding would rewind to watch an ad that caught their eye) there seems to be no massive desire to edit out the ads.

Decades before the DVR was a glint in the eye of the electronics companies, people would often claim to leave the room when the ad break started, to make a snack  or attend to some vital chore. In our study, several respondents claimed to always get up and do something else as soon as the program credits rolled. Again, the reality does not match their claims. Even the most adamant only left the room two or three times during the four hours of their that breaks we recorded and, in total, less than 5 per cent of breaks suffered.

GM’s Super Bowl commercial helped Ford

Super Bowl Ad Aftermath: Ford Boosted By GM’s Fallout?

Playing dirty might be de rigeur in politics, but it seldom helps in selling products—even dusty pickups ravaged by the apocalypse.

That might end up being GM’s tough lesson from its Super Bowl XLVI ad which, to some, spoke less about the strengths of GM products than it did attack Ford’s reputation for durability and longevity.

GM’s Super Bowl commercial helped Ford

Based on traffic and visitor data collected by the shopping and pricing site Kelley Blue Book, more visitors browsed Fordafter the GM commercial—a lot more—even though Ford didn’t have a big Super Bowl ad. Whether looking at the controversy in the days surrounding, or specifically at the window of time during and after the ad aired, Fordappeared to benefit most, if an immediate browsing or shopping of new vehicles was the goal.

Full-size pickup truck visitors on Super Bowl Sunday, 2012 – Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com data shows consumer interest in the Silverado lifting during the commercial airing, leveling off after the commercial and declining after the game, as interest in the F-150 surged, curiously. Despite the Silverado’s lift during the game, Ford’s F-150 still drew a greater share of week-over-week attention from KBB.com consumers.

In comparing consumer interest on kbb.com among the Full-size truck segment, KBB analyst Akshay Anand noted that the share of visits to the F150 surged over 26-percent week-over-week, while the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 saw a 25-percent drop in traffic during the same period.

“Looking at the data for that whole day, Ford did see some lift, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence,” said Anand.

That leads to how some might have heard the commercial…something along the lines of this: What kind of truck do you drive to the impending apocalypse? If it’s a Ford, oh you sorry sap, you’re just not going to make it.

Advertising 101: Don’t make the competing product your punchline

And that hits hard at one very important factor: brand loyalty. To many, the commercial was less a declaration of the strengths of GM products than it was the buildup to an attack on Ford’s trucks. And it may have sent Ford loyalists to their laptops and tablets to search for reassurance about Ford’s reputation, as their GM counterparts gloated and stayed on the sofa.

“Truck owners tend to be more loyal than those in any other segment,” said Anand, and when a product with that level of loyalty is mentioned negatively in an ad, argued Anand, the response is likely to be one that’s on the defensive.

Other potential explanations: Ford was mentioned bluntly and clearly right near the end of the ad, so is that somehow the name that stuck with viewers? Or does the lesson to be learned really have more to do with etiquette?

It is, after all, one of the first commercials in some time to blatantly call out a competing product without mention of a number or metric as basis.


Here are the latest online video advertising numbers

December 29, 2011
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Though advertisers and agencies are often increasing their investments in digital video advertising at the expense of offline/traditional branding/advertising efforts, findings from DIGIDAY and Adap.tv suggest funding also comes at the expense of current display advertising budgets.

According to a November study, advertisers were more likely to fund their online video advertising efforts from offline channels such as print and broadcast TV than their agency counterparts. Advertisers most often planned to shift budget from print (41%), while 29% said they would take dollars from broadcast TV to fund their digital video advertising efforts. Just 24% planned to pull from display.

Agencies said boosts to online video budgets would most come at the expense of display (43%), indicating a general move away from less dynamic ad formats, such as banner ads, in favor of those with greater engagement potential.

Channels Their Clients Plan to Shift Budget from to Fund Online Video Ads According to Agencies and Advertisers in North America, 2010 & 2011 (% of respondents)

In addition, 39% of agencies said they would fund video from broadcast TV budgets. Though findings appear to suggest advertisers and agencies are shifting budgets away from TV toward video ads, more than half (56%) of respondents viewed online video as a direct complement to—and not a replacement for—their TV ad programs. Just 11% looked to online video to replace their TV ads, reported eMarketer.

In the past year, both advertisers and agencies have shifted their primary video advertising objectives from brand awareness to brand engagement, perhaps suggesting marketers are moving away from viewing digital video as a mere extension of TV ads and moving toward embracing online video for its ability to more directly engage viewers in a dynamic way.

By enabling video ads with social sharing and other calls to action, marketers can use digital video as a springboard to additional online engagement on social networks, their website and even mobile apps.

Online Video Ad Objectives According to Advertisers in North America, 2010 & 2011 (% of respondents)

Mobile is a growing area of interest for video advertisers, yet publisher offerings lag brand adoption. For example, 42% of advertisers and agencies have purchased iPhone-compatible video ads, yet only 35% of publishers supported such ads. Differences for Android video ads (31% vs. 28%, respectively) and iPad ads (41% vs. 35%) were similar.

Netflix 15th most-watched U.S. TV “network.” Service has “more than twice the viewer hours of CNN, Discovery, MSNBC and BET, would be No. 2 in homes that subscribe to Netflix — second only to CBS.

According to an analysis of newly released figures by BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield, Netflix would be the 15th most-watched U.S. TV “network.” The video streaming service has “more than twice the viewer hours of CNN, Discovery, MSNBC and BET,” said Greenfield, who added it would be No. 2 in homes that subscribe to Netflix — second only to CBS.

His data is based on recent news from Netflix that its subscribers streamed more than 2 billion hours of TV shows and movies in Q4.

“Netflix must be eating into traditional TV viewing time,” Greenfield said “Netflix streaming usage is exploding and is far, far bigger than traditional media executives give it credit for. Netflix is actually number 15 with 666 million hours monthly or 2 billion per quarter — our prior analysis estimated number 25.”

Looking at Nielsen data for TV networks, Greenfield highlighted that after the top 15 channels, monthly viewing hours are below 500 million. “With an estimated 667 million hours of viewership per month in October, Netflix would rank as the 15th most-watched ‘network’,” he said. “Netflix had more hours of viewing in October than FX, HGTV and History…pretty amazing, given that Netflix is only in 21 million homes.”

However, Greenfield also said that looking at aggregate TV viewing in the 100 million pay TV homes, Netflix represents only 2.4% of total time spent watching: “While Netflix may be very popular in Netflix homes, it is rather meaningless when put into the context of total television viewing.”

Shift in future TV habits as content goes cross-platform

 

A new study finds 54% of broadband Internet users watch TV content streamed or on an alternative platform weekly.  Non-traditional viewing now accounts for 10.8 hours a month, or 7% of total viewing time, with 149.4 hours still dedicated to traditional TV.

Horowitz Associates’ Multiplatform Content & Services 2011 says 18-34 year-olds spend substantially more time with TV content across all platforms.  Incidence of non-traditional TV viewing is higher among young adult broadband Internet users, with three-quarters (74%) of 18-34 year-olds doing so weekly— accounting for 10% of their total viewing time.  Broadband users 18-34 who watch on non-traditional platforms also spend more time with traditional TV, reporting an average of 167.7 monthly viewing hours—18+ hours more than average.

On non-traditional platforms, YouTube remains the most popular destination.  Study findings suggest, however, that TV brands developing a strong online and mobile presence can translate their success to new platforms.  ESPN is the most frequently mentioned destination for sports on the PC/laptop and on mobile devices.  CNN (closely followed by YouTube) is the main destination for news, as is HBO/HBO GO for those who view premium TV content.

As business and revenue models for non-traditional platforms evolve, the study suggests an increase in customers’ receptivity to online advertising.  Among broadband Internet users, self-reported incidence of clicking on banner and pop up ads increased by 127% since last year.

Content is content, and whomever owns it is going to get eyeballs and ad support for it, regardless of the way it is distributed. Many of the spots created for traditional TV are the same spots that roll into mobile and online TV programming. The money still gets spent on the traditional network and production company content holders, many of which are current networks that have migrated programming online. The losers in this migration may well be the cable operators and satellite companies from folks cutting the cord. For instance, Time Warner Cable just lost 128,000 video subscribers in its residential services in Q3.

Pandora hits the road with Toyota Entune system

Toyota is now offering an embedded version of Pandora on the 2012 Camry and 2012 Tacoma. That’s big for the streaming audio service, since the Camry is America’s best-selling car and the Tacoma is the best-selling compact pickup truck in the US market.

According to the announcement by Pandora Media, both vehicles began to appear on dealer lots in September 2011.

Pandora is available via the Toyota Entune system. With Entune, Pandora controls are made available via the radio dashboard, allowing drivers to easily select stations, thumb songs up and down, and skip songs using the vehicle’s controls. The key to connecting Pandora with Entune is the smartphone; Entune is currently compatible with Android, Blackberry and iPhone smartphones.

“Incorporating Pandora into the native environment of the car makes turning on personalized radio as easy as traditional radio. We’re thrilled that Toyota is offering our service to their drivers,” said Pandora executive vice president of business and corporate development Jessica Steel.

Report: Mobile Ad Spend to Hit $1 Billion, dramatic increase in banner, search, rich media, and video ads predicted

EMarketer has released analysis of mobile ad spending that predicts decreased investment in message-based ads and dramatically increased investment in banner, search, rich media, and video ads on the mobile platform.

mobile-ad-spending-share-2011-2015

As the iPhone 4S is released, featuring the Siri personal voice assistant that understands what you mean when you talk, it’s clear that smartphone technology is stepping forward. The increased presence of these high-tech tools, as well as decreasing costs, has pushed smartphone ownership toward becoming the “norm.” eMarketer predicts that smartphone ownership will reach 38 percent in the U.S. by the end of this year.

The increase in smartphone ownership coincides with a significant increase in mobile ad spending, which should reach $1.23 billion for U.S. advertisers by the end of the year, up 66 percent from last year’s $743 million figure. eMarketer predicts that the figure will continue to see escalating growth, reaching $4.4 billion by 2015.

Total investment isn’t the only big change, though. Advertisers are focusing less on message-based ads (ads sent via text message, usually after the mobile user sends a subscription message via short code) and more on visual and search ads. While message-based ads are currently in the lead with 36.1 percent of spend, eMarkter predicts that will have changed by the end of 2012.

eMarketer specifically predicts that rich media and search ads will win 33 percent of spend each, leaving message-based ads at 28.2 percent of spend. This divide will grow further in the coming years, with eMarketer’s 2015 figures showing messaging at just 14.4 percent to search’s 40.2 percent and rich media’s 36.4 percent.

The fastest growing segment, however, is video advertising. While it still holds a very small portion of the mobile ad market (at 4.7 percent currently), eMarketer predicts video “will grow at a compound annual rate of 69 percent between 2010 and 2015,” reaching 9 percent of ad spend (an estimated annual figure of $395.6 million) by the end of 2015.

eMarketer’s figures are based on “mobile advertising estimates from other research firms, company data from major mobile ad networks and vendors, marketers’ mobile marketing strategies, and smartphone and tablet adoption and usage trends.”

Speaking of advertising, online advertising hit a new high in the first half of this year, $14.9 billion, the IAB announced last week – with $7.3 billion of that from search advertising.

Facebook dramatically redesigning users’ profile pages to create a “new way to express who you are.”

Facebook is dramatically redesigning its users’ profile pages to create what CEO Mark Zuckerberg says is a “new way to express who you are.”

Zuckerberg introduced the Facebook “timeline” Thursday in San Francisco at the company’s f8 conference for some 2,000 entrepreneurs, developers and journalists. The event is also being broadcast to more than 100,000 online viewers.

The timeline is reminiscent of an online scrapbook, with the most important photos and text that users have shared on Facebook over the years. It’s Facebook’s attempt at growing from an online hangout to a homestead, where people express their real selves and merge their online and offline lives. The timeline can go back to include years before Facebook even existed, so users can add photos and events from, say 1995 when they got married or 1970 when they were born.

Zuckerberg took the stage after a humorous skit, in which actor Andy Samberg impersonated him. The real Mark Zuckerberg looked considerably more playful and at ease than he has in past events, suggesting he is growing into his role as the public face of Facebook.

But he quickly got down to business as he introduced the timeline as “the story of your life — all your stories, all your apps and a new way to express who you are.”

Expanding on its ubiquitous “like” buttons, Zuckerberg said Facebook will now let users connect to things even if they don’t want to “like” them.

“We are making it so you can connect to anything you want. Now you don’t have to like a book, you can just read a book,” he said. “You don’t have to like a movie; you can just watch a movie.”


J.D. Power Reports: September New-Vehicle Retail Selling Rate Shows Marked Improvement From August

 

 Sept. 22, 2011  — New-vehicle retail sales for September continue to improve, with the selling rate expected to be much stronger than in August, according to J.D. Power and Associates, which gathers real-time transaction data from more than 8,900 retail franchisees throughout the United States.

Retail Light-Vehicle Sales
September new-vehicle retail sales are projected to come in at 842,400 units, which represents a seasonally adjusted annualized rate (SAAR) of 10.3 million units. This marks the first time the retail selling rate would be above 10 million units since the 10.8 million-unit rate in April. Retail transactions are the most accurate measurement of true underlying consumer demand for new vehicles.
“Coming off a solid Labor Day sale, retail sales exhibited unexpected strength in the second week of September, as the recovering inventory levels have helped to bring buyers back into the market,” said Jeff Schuster, executive director of global forecasting at J.D. Power and Associates. “However, incentive levels remain flat compared with August and the economy remains a concern, so the sales pace in the second half of the month is expected to give back some of the gains.”
Total Light-Vehicle Sales
Total light-vehicle sales in September are expected to come in at 1,038,700 units, which is 9 percent higher than in September 2010. Fleet sales are expected to be down 1 percent compared with last September, but will account for 19 percent of total sales.

Sales Outlook
Given the relative strength of September, J.D. Power is maintaining its forecast for light-vehicle sales in 2011 and 2012. Total light-vehicle sales for 2011 are expected to come in at 12.6 million units, a 9 percent increase from 2010. Retail light-vehicle sales are forecasted at 10.2 million units for 2011, an increase of 11 percent from 2010.
For 2012, the outlook for total light-vehicle sales remains at 14.1 million units and retail light-vehicle sales are at 11.5 million units. However, there is a high level of uncertainty that remains.
“The uncertain global environment, specifically the debt troubles in Europe, continue to be the major source of downside risk in the U.S. economy and automotive markets,” said John Humphrey, senior vice president of automotive operations at J.D. Power and Associates. “Until a level of stability is reached globally and consumer confidence is returned, the U.S. automotive selling pace is not expected to return to pre-recession levels.”
North American Production
Through August 2011, light-vehicle production in North America has increased to 8.5 million units, up 8 percent from the same period in 2010. The Detroit 3 OEMs have increased production by 16 percent year-to-date, while the Japanese manufacturers have lost 8 percent—due to the parts shortages from the earthquake in Japan back in March. European OEMs are up 38 percent for the same period, as a result of added production of the BMW X3 and Volkswagen Passat in North America, as well as strong demand for the new Volkswagen Jetta.
Vehicle inventory maintained a 49-day supply at the beginning of September, unchanged from August. Car inventory remained at the same 40-day level as it was in the previous month, while truck supply edged down by one day to 57 days. With stronger production levels and imported shipments returning, inventory is improving—although several manufacturers continue to have limited supply availability: Hyundai/Kia with a 21 days’ supply (was 19 days in August), Honda with a 32 days’ supply (previously 28 days), and BMW at 33 days’ supply (previously 30 days).
The 2011 North American production outlook remains on track for 12.9 million units, an increase of 9 percent from 2010. Fourth-quarter 2011 production output is expected to reach 3.3 million vehicles, which is an increase of 11 percent from the same quarter in 2010.
“Continued inventory stock replenishment and Japanese OEM recovery is responsible for the large year-over-year increase relative to the lower level of recovery in vehicle demand,” said Schuster. “As inventory normalizes into 2012, growth in production levels is expected to slow to a pace more consistent with sales.”

Edmunds.com: Car Buyers Lean Towards Gas Sippers, Compact Demand Way Up, Incentives Way Down

Though gas prices continue to fall and are estimated to drop even more in the next few months through year-end, Edmunds.com data released Tuesday reflects that consumers are still more likely to purchase smaller gas sippers than take on an SUV or truck.

According to the company’s analysis, shoppers are still leaning towards compact or subcompact cars as a result of higher than average gas prices. High gasoline prices have caused a realignment of buyer priorities and almost unprecedented demand for small cars, just in time for the launch of a stable of tech- and content-rich new models,” explained Edmunds’ AutoObserver.com senior editor Bill Visnic.

Besides economic factors, Edmunds.com reports that increasing options in the small car segment are also driving consumer interest.

“More options in the small car segment are drawing in more consumers,” stated Edmunds.com analyst Jeremy Acevedo.

“The Chevy Cruze, Fiat 500, Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra are among the small cars that are stimulating interest,” he added.

Though more options and new 2012 small-car models are becomings increasingly attractive to consumers, the bad news is “as demand goes up, inventory and incentives fall,” company officials noted.

According to Edmunds.com’s True Cost of Incentives data, the national average incentive for the compact car in August was $864, down 63 percent from $2,318 in August 2010.

Moreover, subcompact car incentives in August averaged $520 per vehicle sold, down 57 percent from $1,211 in August 2010.

However, if consumers are willing to delve into less popular segments, such as mid-range luxury cars, they may find better savings packages. Edmunds.com data reports that the national average True Cost of Incentives for this segment came in at $4,228 in August 2011.

Breaking the trend seen throughout August down further, for cities, Atlanta saw the highest rate of increase in compact car shopping as it rose 41 percent from 2010.  Subcompact car shopping also increased by 35 percent year-over-year in Georgia’s capital city. 

Boston followed close behind, with August compact car shopping rising by 28 percent versus 2010, and the rate of subcompact car shopping in rose a significant 59 percent year-over-year.

Edmunds.com listed the rate of increase in compact and subcompact car shopping across the country’s metropolitan areas, as follows:

 

Market Increase in compact car shopping vs. 2010 Increase in subcompact car shopping vs. 2010
Atlanta 41% 35%
Boston 28% 59%
Chicago 43% 43%
Dallas-Fort Worth 44% 70%

Houston

48% 44%
Los Angeles 37% 58%
New York 38% 60%
Philadelphia 34% 53%
San Francisco 25% 44%
Washington, DC 41% 47%

Compact Cars Become more Profitable

Also of note, as the compact and subcompact segments continue to gain popularity, they are also becoming more profitable for dealers and OEMs, AutoObserver.com’s Visnic reported.

For example, Hyundai Motor America’s  chief executive officer John Krafcik recently noted at a media event the new Elantra is selling for an average of $4,000 more than the previous-generation model.

Moreover, AutoObserver.com reported that Don Johnson, General Motors vice president of U.S. sales, pegged the rise in the new Chevrolet Cruze’s average transaction price at $4,000 more than the Cobalt that preceded it.

“Auto-company executives wishing for increased small-car supply in the U.S. happens about as frequently as an appearance of Hailey’s comet, but with prices reaching new highs and almost no incentives required, compact cars are the auto companies’ new BFFs,” Visnic explained.