Agency Intern Searches For Meaning of Ritual

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Whether a veiled agency promotion or just two kooks on bikes, 86 the Onions design intern and UCLA student Steve Ounanian and bike messenger Chris Jahn left Los Angeles on bikes September 5 and north on a 100 mile-per-day, 14 day ride to Starbucks headquarters in Seattle. The purpose of the pair's trip, in a nod to the morning coffee quest, is to examine people's daily rituals - their's and the rituals of others - and understand why routine is so important. The two are documenting the trip with a blog and video clips.

Ounanian says, "The hypothesis is, ritual equals comfort, but it also equals, ironically, both freedom and confinement. There is something about the repetitive task of riding my bike, the machine aspect of it that is alluring. When everything is uncertain, stressful, or even wonderful—you can have control over it by just executing your daily ritual." Ounanian and Jahn are stopping in 14 cities on the way and interviewing people about their daily rituals hoping to understand it's core. Somehow, this is all related to marketing. Or research. Or agency promotion. Or weight loss. Or. Or. Or not.

by Steve Hall    Sep-12-05    
Topic: Agencies, Research, Trends and Culture



Marketers Adopt Ad-ID Ad Tracking System

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Ad industry trade groups, The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA), today, announced Ad-ID, a universal ad coding standard, has been adopted by more than 300 of the nation's top marketers. In addition, a total of 875 companies have registered in Ad-ID, and over 14,000 individual codes have been created for various forms of advertising.

Ad-ID provides the foundation for digital trafficking and tracking as well as digital connectivity. It is the equivalent of the retail community's "UPC code." By assigning a unique system-generated identification code to all advertising assets, television, online, print and radio, Ad-ID can improve the accuracy and efficiency of advertising processes from delivery through billing, and is said to,ultimately, contribute to tracking and measuring advertising effectiveness across campaigns.

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by Steve Hall    Aug-29-05    
Topic: Policy, Research



Study Says Audience Measurement Horrible

The Advertising Research Foundation has released a study which finds current media consumption measurement methodologies to be woefully outdated and inaccurate.

by Steve Hall    Aug-29-05    
Topic: Research



Glamorous, High Cost TV Commercial Production to End

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Sullivan Higdon & Sink VP Creative Director and one half of the American Copywriter podcast team John January has weighed in on the recent Project Wannamaker study by The PreTesting Company which found creative effectiveness burns out after two to three weeks on the air.

In response to a blog post by Business Week's David Kiley which, in part, predicted a trend towards increasing offshore commercial production, January wrote, "Outsourcing production to India? Come on, kids. We can figure this out. Can't we? All it takes is open minds. Open-minded creatives, open-minded producers, open-minded production partners. So simple in pixels. So not simple in real life. But we'd better get our collective heads around this."

Kiley also mentions one agency is exploring how MTV produces so many high quality promotions and videos at low cost and how media shops, with their number crunching efficiencies are about to take on the bloated world of advertising production. Forget weblogs. That shift, if it sees light of day, is something to seriously ponder.

by Steve Hall    Aug-26-05    
Topic: Opinion, Research, Television



Study Measures Ad Viewership, Campaign Duration Too Long

Perhaps forcing Nielsen to more quickly move its plans to measure commercial rather than programming, The PreTesting Company has is currently conducting a 2,500 Omaha home test of its MediaCheck Project Wannamaker (nice reference to the 50/50 statement), which measures ad viewership rather than program viewership, found most people tire of a campaign's commercials after just two weeks indicating overexposure and poor creative hurt TV campaigns the most. The study also found that DVR-equipped homes did not skip commercials any more than non-DVR (by changing channel, etc.) homes.

The company has plans to roll out a national, 50,000 home study and is is talks with cable operators to incorporate the measurement technology in set top boxes. Hello? Nielsen? Hello?

by Steve Hall    Aug-24-05    
Topic: Research, Television, Tools



Nielsen to Interupt Viewers Every 42 Minutes

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We are so glad we work in the advertising industry which, gleefully, keeps us out almost all survey databases and out of Arbitron and Nielsen survey pools. Especially since Nielsen will now be interrupting Nielsen people meter users every 42 minutes, reminding them to register their viewing. Previously, interruptions would occur only when the channel was changed. Isn't advertising a wonderful thing?

by Steve Hall    Jul- 8-05    
Topic: Research, Television



Study: Branded Entertainment Compliments Traditional TV Advertising

A recent study by ABC and OMD of 18-49 viewers of ABC's American Music Awards in November found a 34 percent lift in brand awareness among viewers who were exposed to both traditional ads and branded integration. ABC Senior Manager of Primary Research claims the tow forms advertising work together yielding increased results saying, "This project was demonstrative of the effectiveness of the effectiveness of branding content coupled with traditional TV advertising. The most important thing in terms of integration is that it's seamless and organized in nature, both with the program and the brand identity. Viewers are savvy and the more intrusive, the less effective."

by Steve Hall    Jul- 8-05    
Topic: Research



Fifty Percent of Sales Reps Useless

A recent poll by MediaLife found media buyers believe only half of all media reps have a clue and know anything about what they are selling. The biggest area of media buyer complaints centered on sales reps' wasting precious time with too many sales calls, unpreparedness and overselling. Granted, there are certainly a lot of clueless sales reps out there but we quite sure we'd bet sales reps would say there's some pretty clueless media buyers out there too.

by Steve Hall    Jul- 7-05    
Topic: Research



Ambiguously Described Products Preferred Over Un-Ambiguous

Wharton marketing professor Barbara E. Kahn and Elizabeth G. Miller, a marketing professor at Boston College recently conducted a study which found marketers that name products with ambiguous or surprising descriptions for flavors or colors are likely to see increased sales over conventionally described products. With studies involving the selection of jellybeans and sweaters, the study found showing an example of a strangely named sweater color actually decreased the satisfaction upon respondents seeing the actual sweater.

The study findings elaborate on this further. "We find that the revelation of the color shade (through a picture of the color) prior to viewing the name decreases preference for ambiguous color names, but increases preference for unexpected descriptive color names," the paper states. "These results support the notion that when consumers encounter a surprising name (because it violates beliefs about informativeness), they engage in additional elaboration about the name to try to understand why it was provided. The type of elaboration will depend on how the name violates expectations: If the name is uninformative in a literal sense, consumers will engage in a Gricean process to determine the meaning of the communication; if the name is uninformative because it is atypical, consumers will search for the reason the particular adjective was selected as described by incongruency theory. The result of this additional elaboration is increased satisfaction with the product."

The study reveals online merchants may see better sales for products with uncommonly named colors if a sample of the color is not shown.

by Steve Hall    Jun-17-05    
Topic: Research



Multitasking Begets Multifragmentation

In yet another confirmation of the obvious, BIGresearch, in its upcoming Simultaneous Media Survey, found
that multitasking causes people to pay more or less attention to the individual multitasked activities depending upon which activity is receiving primary attention. In English, that means a person watching TV while on the Internet will pay less attention to both those media if they decide to make a phone call. Or, when the TV commands primary attention, the email being typed to a friend will pause mid-stream. You get the point. Most people can only do one thing at a time effectively. This whole multitasking thing is really a myth. It should really be called Multi-fragmentation. Afterall, that's what's happening. Attention is being further fragmented among multiple points of concentration.

by Steve Hall    Jun-15-05    
Topic: Research








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