Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:25:48 +0000As they try to break through the Peak TV glut and grab viewers, broadcast networks have been relying heavily on new shows based on popular intellectual property (IP), like Lethal Weapon, MacGyver and the upcoming Training Day and Taken. But The CW's new drama Riverdale—based on the Archie Comics characters—offers the season's most intriguing test as to whether IP can truly help launch a show, even if its intended audience will likely have very little knowledge of the source material. Riverdale, which premieres Jan. 26, finds Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead entangled in racy storylines miles from the world of the squeaky-clean comics book, which launched in the '40s. The premiere episode alone features a murder, a hush-hush student/teacher affair and dark secrets galore. "It's an interesting conundrum: the IP builds awareness, but if you're then changing too much of the DNA, are you risking pushing the audience away?" said executive producer Greg Berlanti, who was intrigued by the opportunity to mine the originality of the characters, which had made the Archie comics so successful. "What was interesting to us was how much can we bring it into a new generation." While The CW's marketing campaigns for its other series based on comic books characters, including Berlanti's shows Arrow, The Flash and Supergirl, relied heavily on consumers' awareness of those characters, its Riverdale campaign doesn't reference Archie at all, aside from a few subtle Easter eggs. "We assumed that everyone we're reaching doesn't know who Archie is," said Rick Haskins, evp, marketing and digital programs. "Thank goodness we have the experience of [former CW hit] Gossip Girl; we know how to do these sexy, gossipy, pop-y things. That's really the playbook we're pulling from: more Gossip Girl than DC Comics." To that end, as he looked to reach women 18-34, Haskins created five major spots, all featuring popular music. The campaign includes buys on musical.ly (the popular music video social network for tweens and teens), and for the first time ever for a CW show, VOD, to target the millennial audience on their preferred viewing platforms. Despite the marketing campaign's millennial focus, The CW president Mark Pedowitz argued that the Archie brand does have some value to viewers. "The importance of the IP was it gives you a hook and something to tag it with; it started a dialogue that Archie was coming back," said Pedowitz, adding that The CW's audience isn't as young as one would guess: its linear median age is around 43 (though its digital median age is 20 years younger than that). He expects at least some old-school Archie fans will be intrigued enough to give Riverdale a try. "If those people tune in and don't like it, at least they checked it out," said Pedowitz. "And if they tune in and like it, it gives this a different flavor." And given that Archie Comics has been given an edgy revamp in recent years, "the current readership will connect what they're reading to the show," said executive producer Sarah Schechter. Buyers, meanwhile, are less interested in the value of Riverdale's IP than its potential to reach millennial woman (in the vein of Dawson's Creek and Gossip Girl, which defined The CW and its predecessor, The WB), given that the other programs targeting that demo, like Pretty Little Liars, are ending their runs, causing some of those viewers to seek out programming on other platforms. "Much of what they are offering on those other platforms isn't ad-supported, so this is a good contender in that space to speak to people," said Jill Isherwood, vp, associate director of broadcast research at GSD&M. Ultimately, however, neither the network nor the show's producers are certain whether their Riverdale gamble will pay off. Said Berlanti, "We'll never really know if there's an audience base until we air it."[...]
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:25:29 +0000Two and a half years after launching its first paid ads, Pinterest is finally ready to compete head-on with Google, Facebook, Snap Inc. and others for big brand dollars. Specifically, the San Francisco-based player has spent a couple of years building a measurement and data tool, search-like targeting and video ads to make the case for bigger brand budgets. But Pinterest's ad business has been slower than others to catch on—it reportedly made $300 million in 2016—partly because its 150 million monthly users are small potatoes to behemoths like Google or Facebook. "I think people have crossed into a threshold where they're really paying attention and seeing us as a platform where they need to invest in the same way that they have to invest on Google and Facebook—I didn't feel that a year ago," said Tim Kendall, Pinterest's president. Adweek talked to Kendall about the virtual pin board's video, measurement and ad plans for 2017 and why more brands are buying into the site's advertising. Adweek: You've been president of Pinterest for about 10 months and have made a number of acquisitions, hires and new features. What can we expect for 2017? Tim Kendall: The eye-opening point that you're going to hear from us all year is, "We're a mass reach play." A marketer tends to think, "If I want mass reach with my customer, I go to Facebook with their 1.7 billion users or I go to Instagram because they have 600 million users." But if you think about the major CPGs and retailers, the audience that drives all the decision-making are women, 25 to 54. If you want to reach those people, we reach 80 percent of what Facebook reaches every month. And we reach more of that segment than Instagram, Snap or Twitter. With the rise of Snapchat and other digital platforms, are you worried about attracting millennial and Gen Z users? We just looked at this, but I actually think on a millennial basis we're pretty comparable to Snapchat and we're significantly bigger than Snapchat when you're trying to reach female millennials. Pinterest has always been a platform for marketers, but it hasn't ever broken out in a big way. What is it going to take? I would agree that there's a perception that Pinterest is just there. I built all of Facebook's ad products in 2006 and 2007, and the conversations that I'm having with marketers right now are conversations that I had with marketers in 2008 and 2009. The perception of Pinterest kind of being there but not having crossed into the main fold of advertising spend is driven by a bit of a distorted view about how Google and Facebook got to where they got. The revenue trajectory that we're on is steeper than the trajectory that I saw when I was at Facebook. From 2014 to 2015 we quadrupled revenue from $25 million to $100 million, according to The Wall Street Journal. And from 2015 to 2016, we tripled revenue. Where do you expect revenue to be this year? We're not talking about that publicly. I expect us to grow significantly. Pinterest historically skews toward women. Are you doing anything specifically to target males and get them onto the platform? We don't feel like we need to. If I looked at our sign-ups today, 40 percent of them are male and one in four men in the United States are on the service. When I joined five years ago, we were 98 percent female and 2 percent male. Now it's about 70 [percent female], 30 [percent male]. The other thing that is lost on advertisers and sometimes journalists is that there's an assumption that every other platform is 50/50 female/male and that's not the case—all social networks skew female. Instagram is 60/40. There's also a perception that Pinterest ads are primarily for retailers. True or false? We're very strong in retail, but I would say equally strong in consumer-packaged goods, including beauty. L'Oréal and Estée Lauder are two of our biggest[...]
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:24:46 +0000Specs Who Michele Promaulayko Current gig Editor in chief of Cosmopolitan and editorial director of Seventeen Previous gig Editor in chief, Yahoo Health Twitter @michprom Age 46 Adweek: Right around the time that you were named editor of Cosmopolitan, E! began filming a docuseries about the magazine, So Cosmo [premiering Feb. 8]. What was it like getting this huge job and then immediately being on a reality show? Michele Promaulayko: It was next-level insane. It was kind of just a trial by fire, you just get thrown in. That's Cosmo—everything's done in big fashion—but it was kind of crazy. Did you know that you were going to be part of a TV show when you signed on to become editor? Well, it's funny … Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that I knew about it from having read about it, but it wasn't something that factored largely into the conversation. So it was a little head-spinning, but it's such a great opportunity for our brand and also for the brands that work with us. And, I mean, what brand wouldn't die to have this? But it's a lot in your first eight weeks. It's not like they were following me around all the time—I'm peripheral [to the story]—but they were here. You recently spent a year and a half at Yahoo. How does that experience factor into what you're doing at Cosmo, where the digital and print sides are mostly separate? One of the things that we're doing is trying to create a little bit more fluidity between the two sides. They've been siloed for good reason. [Digital] needs to produce the abundance of content that they're producing and not be beholden to what we're doing. But we now want to help them produce content, so we're being all trained on the CMS. We have a close relationship; we talk to them all the time, we're planning stories to do together. What did you learn working for a digital-first brand that you're applying to your new role? One of the things I learned is how to look at a conversation or a news story that's happening and figure out what germ you're going to take from it and what you can expand on that hasn't been talked about enough. When I was working for Yahoo Health, there might be a story that on the face of it didn't seem like a health story, but if you dug down you could find something about it that was related to health. The ability to generate ideas at the drop of a hat is something that's always going to be important for content creation no matter where that content is going to live. What kinds of changes are you bringing to Cosmo as far as editorial coverage? I want to bring my authority and experience in wellness to the pages of Cosmo, not just because it's my experience lately but because it's such an important topic to millennial women and to everybody. The wellness coverage will be more 360, so mental health in addition to fitness, nutrition, sexual health, et cetera, because our readers tell us all the time they're looking for ways to decompress. So that's definitely an area of expansion. From Helen Gurley Brown to Joanna Coles, Cosmo is known for having editors with very strong points of view. What do you want your Cosmo to be known for? You know, that's a great question. I think that relationships have never been trickier to navigate than they are now with the advent of apps and even the increased acceptance of sexual fluidity and expression of that. And Cosmo has always been first and foremost a relationship guide. So while there are a lot of other peripheral things I want to do, if I can be a go-to guide for young women to help them navigate healthy, satisfying relationships, I would think that would be a huge accomplishment. This story first appeared in the January 16, 2017 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe. [...]
Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:24:32 +0000(image)
Who Co-founder, CEO Joe Speiser and president, COO Gretchen Tibbits
What Branded content studio
Where New York
From tasty bacon hacks to soldiers' homecomings from overseas, publisher LittleThings has become a hub for useful and meaningful videos since 2014. After starting out as an ecommerce site for pet products, LittleThings expanded to mom-targeted branded content, with a focus on the buying power of women. The audience was "passionate about storytelling and watching inspirational content," explained co-founder Joe Speiser. In a bright office located near New York's Penn Station, LittleThings, with its 100 employees, creates instructional or emotionally resonant editorial posts and video series that connect with brand sponsors like Crisco, Applegate Farm and eBay. Eggland's Best recently sponsored a recipe video for "yummy egg bread bowls" on the website. Speiser says the company has grown rapidly in the past 36 months: LittleThings regularly sees 55 million unique visitors to its site each month and gets about 300 million video views from the site and its massive Facebook following combined. "You have to prove your content will resonate with your audience first, like a pilot episode," said Speiser. "Then take it to advertisers to see if it matches what they're trying to achieve. That's how we've carved out a large niche of meaningful content."
This story first appeared in the January 16, 2017 issue of Adweek magazine.
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Wed, 18 Jan 2017 00:24:18 +0000(image)
Earlier this month, media and marketing execs joined nearly 170,000 tech nerds in Las Vegas for CES, the world's largest consumer electronics showcase organized by the Consumer Technology Association. Here, just a sampling of the panels and parties that made waves.
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 23:01:01 +0000(image)
Wix.com is blowing up the Super Bowl, literally, in its Big Game spot with action stars Jason Statham and Gal Gadot.
In the 30-second ad, debuting today on YouTube Live and Facebook Live, a chef works on his restaurant's website in the kitchen of the establishment. Meanwhile, an action movie fight sequence with Statham, known for his role in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and Gadot, who played Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman, is happening at the front of the house, eventually resulting in the restaurant being blown up by a firebomb.
Thanks to Wix, though, the chef seamlessly transitions to creating a website for his new business, a gourmet food truck.
The ad ends with the tagline, "To succeed in a disruptive world, Wix makes it easy to create your own website."
allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="367" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1DuMu721ad8" width="652">
"We wanted to do something disruptive in terms of creative," said Omer Shai, CMO of Wix. "The ad shows that it doesn't matter how disruptive the world is or the challenges you'll face in starting your own business—we'll be there for you."
The Super Bowl ad and the campaign's additional short films were directed by Louis Leterrier, who directed the Transporter films, Unleashed, The Incredible Hulk and Clash of the Titans. The series was produced by Wix's in-house team and the creative team of Jeff Huggins and Andrea Janetos.
This marks Wix's third consecutive appearance in the Big Game, and its first time to launch a campaign live on YouTube and Facebook. Last year's spots were a cross-promotional effort for DreamWorks Animation's Kung Fu Panda 3, and its 2015 ads featured former NFL stars.
For more Super Bowl LI news, check out Adweek's Super Bowl Ad Tracker, an up-to-date list of the brands running Super Bowl spots and the agencies involved in creating them.
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 22:26:58 +0000(image)
Pennsylvania-based 84 Lumber surprised quite a few observers this month when it announced plans to spend several million dollars on a 90-second ad set to air before halftime of Super Bowl LI.
Yet, according to a report published by Campaign today, Fox Sports declined to run the first version of the ad submitted by 84 Lumber and its agency partner Brunner. Sources claimed the initial creative summary included a wall preventing would-be employees from crossing an unspecified border, thereby mirroring President-elect Donald Trump's campaign promise to build a physical barrier between the U.S. and Mexico.
"This is a big platform where we can tell an important story," said Brunner vp and head of public relations Steve Radick in a statement. "And so throughout this entire process, we've been working closely with both the client and Fox to think through a number of different ideas. Some have gone further than others, and we're continuing to explore all of our options."
The brand's press release indicated that its Super Bowl ad will target "entrepreneurial" men aged 20 to 29 and promote the company's management training program. According to past statements from the agency, it will specifically target those without college degrees or managerial experience.
Some observers read a political subtext into a concept announced several weeks after Trump's surprising win in the presidential election that was fueled in large part by blue collar voters in areas like Western Pennsylvania, the home of 84 Lumber.
A Fox Sports representative declined to comment today, and 84 Lumber's marketing department could not be reached at the time this story was published. Radick did not elaborate beyond the statement on behalf of Brunner.
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 21:39:00 +0000(image)
The app formerly known as Vine has started growing new roots.
Today, the Twitter-owned platform officially shut down and relaunched as Vine Camera, an app that will let lovers of the short-form format keep taking six-second videos but with a new outlet—the Twitter mother ship.
The app, which appeared in Apple's App Store today, lets users save Vine loops to their phones and post them directly on Twitter, doing away with the previous Vine-specific platform. (In October, Twitter announced plans to shut down Vine just four years after buying it for $30 million.)
To help people prep for the peaceful transition of power, Twitter published an FAQ explaining what Viners might want to do with their old loops and how they can get started on new ones. Here are a few of the highlights:
(image) 1. Save your old vines asap
As part of the transformation from Vine to Vine Camera, Twitter will be getting rid of all users' Vines saved on the app. That means anyone who wants to save their favorite videos from the past few years should download them immediately. (As TechCrunch points out, Jan. 18 will be the last day they'll exist in their current form.)
2. Behold, the Vine archives
Instead of erasing Vine entirely, Twitter is setting up a browsable archive. However, comments and likes will disappear from loops. Also, everyone who has a vine.co URL will see it show up as a page with a profile bio but without content.
3. You can transfer followers (sort of)
Anyone who's Vine-famous will be glad to know Twitter has created a sort of makeshift way to help followers make the move from one app to the next. Users can connect their Vine and Twitter accounts by utilizing the "Follow on Twitter" feature, which will let people more easily figure out where to find and follow their favorites.
This morning, Vine tweeted its own on fleek farewell:
You were all, truly, on fleek. https://t.co/94S0qlnyVY— Vine (@vine) January 17, 2017
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 20:36:58 +0000KFC has awarded its U.S. media agency of record business to Mediavest | Spark after a review that launched in September and did not involve the incumbent agency MEC. Select Resources International managed the process, helping the Yum! Brands chain find an agency partner "capable of deploying innovative media strategies while leveraging cost efficiencies and maximizing return on investment." In a release announcing the win, the parent company called Mediavest | Spark "an ideal fit for the brand," citing the network's "spot-on approach to creating customer-centric media strategies that drive business value for brands." Like many legacy companies, KFC is looking to cut its overall marketing spend moving forward. "For KFC to continue to gain traction in a rapidly evolving marketplace, we are focused on using cross-channel media touchpoints in new and unique ways to drive sales and build the KFC brand," said U.S. senior director of media and innovation Shindy Hodack in a statement. Mediavest | Spark CEO Chris Boothe called his agency's newest client "an iconic American brand that has been captivating consumers' taste buds for more than 70 years." KFC's recent marketing projects include a sponsored Instagram game and a line of "chicken-scented sunscreen" promoted by George Hamilton, who is one of many actors to have recently portrayed the famous Colonel in ads. The news marks a significant win for Mediavest | Spark and the larger Publicis Media organization, which followed a string of big-name losses with several victories and plans to defend its Sprint business in a recently-announced review. According to the latest numbers from Kantar Media, KFC spent approximately $230 million on measured media in 2015 and $167 million during the first nine months of 2016. Wieden + Kennedy remains KFC's U.S. creative agency of record after beating FCB in a closed pitch in February 2015. The brand, which partners with Edelman for public relations work in the U.S., also launched a review of its creative and PR shops in the U.K. earlier this month. BBH has held the former role for more than 15 years. [...]
Tue, 17 Jan 2017 20:05:27 +0000Albert Einstein once said "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving." It's clear that media agencies are at a crossroads, so for those of us in the industry, as we begin 2017, it's great time to reassess our role so we can continue to, as Einstein advised, move forward. Martin Cass Alex Fine Complicating matters further, there is a heightened state of distrust threatening the relationship between agency and client, and many are questioning the role that agencies play. So, what is the purpose of the media agency in a post-digital world? There seems to be three prevailing schools of thought: Nothing will change (aka "Please, God, let nothing change") This feels like trying to stop the tide from coming in at the beach. And as enticing as it might feel, the reality is that the world has evolved and isn't going back anytime soon. The business model of the old media agency was built on buying and trading media and that's what has glued the system together. Many are fighting hard to keep that cemented in place, and the current malaise is being exacerbated by the need for agencies to make money through their trading functions. But, clients are wising up to the "savings guarantees" that agencies have made over the past few years, and as they wake up to bot fraud, arbitrage and agency-owned inventory, clients are no longer settling for the illusion of value. The model isn't dead, but the patient is extremely sick. Clients will take all of their media buying back in-house We have certainly seen some of this happening, especially with digital media, and particularly with programmatic. But, I think this has less to do with perceived impropriety and more to do with data management. Clients are quite rightly seeing data as a competitive advantage and one that potentially needs to be kept entirely in-house. That said, as with most technology, the challenge for clients is to keep what they've built up-to-date. And while a couple of years ago having direct deals with Google and Facebook seemed like a good idea, there is considerable reassessment of whether this is the right approach today. An analogous situation exists with how clients manage pensions and investments. The media marketplace is looking increasingly like Wall Street in its execution, and I predict that trend will continue. In the long term, clients will want to build and maintain the skill sets required to be competitive, while data ownership is manageable via contract. The creative and media worlds will remarry Maybe, but not in the way that many of the advertising agencies think or hope that might happen. Media decoupled from the creative function more than a generation ago, and I think it's unlikely that the current and coming crops of media leaders are interested in playing second fiddle to creative. They manage their own business affairs and have built their own client connections, both in procurement and in the marketing department. So today, who really needs whom? So, what do I think the answer is? I think it's time to redefine what the role of media is for a business. In a post-digital world, the CMO's most important relationship is with the CIO. After all, that's the intersection of understanding the consumer, and, more importantly, grasping marketing's impact on the performance of the business. The CMO is driven by business performance, and the connection between action and impact is now provable. Media today doesn't simply deliver eyeballs; it also generates huge volumes of data about the consumer, the market and performance. Media deals in the future are going to be informed by both the price of the audience and the value of the data generated from the buy. Marketi[...]