Posts Tagged ‘media’

How Ashley Madison Became So Attractive to Subscribers Again

November 30, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

These days, Ashley Madison doesn't have to cheat to get ahead. So says Rob Segal, who has worked hard to refocus the site's image and rescue its reputation since April, when he left WorldGaming to join Ashley Madison's parent company, Ruby Corp. (formerly Avid Life Media), as CEO. Launched 15 years ago, Ashley Madison became famous (some would say infamous) as the go-to online resource for users (mostly men) seeking partners (mainly women) for affairs. Disaster struck in July 2015, when a breach of its database exposed the identities and information of some 32 millions users, tarnishing the brand's "good" name. Plus, Ashley Madison itself had been cheating: many of the "women" on the service were in fact bots deployed by its sales force to deceive men. Some doubted Ashley Madison would survive, but ownership banished the bots and shored up security to thwart future data hacks. (The site implemented more discrete credit card processing and stricter monitoring procedures.) And the board hired Segal, 49, a marketer by trade, who launched a big push to reposition the service as a lifestyle brand and social network for folks open to exploring aspects of human sexuality, from swinging and group sex to BDSM.

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Presenting the Hot List—the Year’s Top Magazines, TV and Digital Media

November 28, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It was the year that Donald Trump dominated and demonized the media. That magazines built around news and analysis (New York, The New Yorker, Time) made the greatest impact, and produced the most eye-catching covers. That The People v. O.J. Simpson, Stranger Things and Samantha Bee ruled the tube—and that Megyn Kelly found herself on both sides of the news. This was also the year that digital platforms, players, obsessions and innovations—from Snapchat to Pokemon Go to Facebook Live, DJ Khaled to Chrissy Teigen—commanded our attention. Here, we present Adweek's annual Hot List, featuring our editors' picks for the year's top magazines, television and digital media, and the executives and content creators who dictate where the business is and where it's headed. Take Amazon's Jeff Bezos, our 2016 Media Visionary, who not only has changed the way we shop but, via his ownership of The Washington Post, is helping to save journalism in a perilous time of real-vs.-fake news. Here, we also present the winners of our annual Hot List Readers' Choice Poll, which this year generated more than 1.2 million votes at Adweek.com. As ever, all the terrific content being produced out there is made possible by the smartest, most creative leaders in the business—aside from Bezos, individuals like Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, FX's John Landgraf, and Hearst's David Carey and Michael Clinton. It is on them that we cast praise, and on them that a vibrant, forward-leaning media industry depends. Check out all this year's honorees: Hottest Magazines Media Visionary: Jeff Bezos Magazine Executive Team: Hearst's David Carey and Michael Clinton Magazine Editor: New York's Adam Moss Hottest TV Shows and Networks TV Executive: FX's John Landgraf TV Creator: Full Frontal's Samantha Bee TV News Anchor: Fox News' Megyn Kelly Hottest Digital Brands and Products Digital Executive: Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Digital Creator: Casey Neistat This story first appeared in the November 28, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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2 Students Turned November Into Brandsgiving With These Incredible Mockups

November 23, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

How do you show brands you're grateful for them? If you're Cat DeLong and Micah Wilkes, creative directors for the Brigham Young University AdLab, a student-run, professionally-mentored ad agency, you spend November producing creative for 30 brands. Their project, Brandsgiving, is simple: Pick 30 brands you love, then each day randomly select one and spend an hour developing art and copy that conveys its message. Drawing inspiration from Communication Arts magazine and Brent Anderson, creative director of TBWA/Chiat Day Media Arts Lab, the pair wanted to create visual expressions for brands representing a variety of industries and styles. The project would improve their abilities to generate and produce work at a clip that's standard for a professional in the industry. As for how they split the work—DeLong is the copywriter of the duo while Wilkes, who has a passion for typography, design and illustration, does the design for each piece. The team is especially proud of the work it did for Jif and Delta (see below), as well as TruMoo. "We felt they were on brand, but coming at their brand from a totally different angle," they said. "It would have been really easy to create a whole campaign for them because they were strategically smart." They plan on submitting their favorites to Comm Arts and other brief shows, as well as using them in portfolios for competitions like One Show to vie for a coveted Pencil award. With graduation right around the corner, they've attended Advertising Week in New York and have a trip planned to Los Angeles in December to meet with various agencies. "I think we were especially fond of Wieden+Kennedy New York, Droga5 and McCann Erickson New York," DeLong said.

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How Data Can Fuel Improved Relationships Between Marketers and Agencies

October 31, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

How essential is data in any marketer's relationship with an agency? According to a new study from the Association of National Advertisers, data plays a key part of that relationship, with 80 percent of marketers indicating they use data "often or always" when handling partnerships with agencies. The ANA conducted its latest survey, "Using Data to Manage Agency Relationships: What's Important to Marketers," with help from Decideware. Polling 92 client-side marketers, the survey found that 82 percent of marketers said data improved the overall client/agency relationship, while 90 perfect felt it improved their agency's efficiencies. "Data helps build better relationships between the client and agency, helping both parties focus on outcomes. And at a time where there are transparency issues in the industry, the use of data enhances trust," ANA Group evp Bill Duggan said in a statement. One area where data is most useful for marketers is managing media and budgets, but is typically least useful on the creative and production side. With these findings, the ANA created a set of implications or guidelines for using data that marketers and agencies should think about in the future. When it comes to media, data is key, especially now that transparency is a major issue for clients. Based on the findings, the ANA suggests that advertisers "assume greater internal stewardship of their media investments," and that they "set up metrics to track performance." When it comes to creative, the ANA suggests that clients should be paying more attention to how data can help track "the number of rounds of revision that work undergoes prior to final approval, the average length of time that each approval step takes and even 'soft' metrics like the quality of the brief." The impact of that data may allow the client to potentially reduce agency fees and speed up work flow

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Donald Trump’s Lack of Ad Spending Is Leaving a Hole In Local Media’s Pocket

October 20, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The presidential debates provided plenty of free airtime. Gif: Dianna McDougall; Sources: CNN, Shutterstock The presidential election has been momentous and memorable: the first woman nominee of a major party, a businessman/reality show candidate, leaked emails, bigly, Ken Bone and Billy Bush. But local media will remember the 2016 race for what it didn't provide: significant ad revenue. Media forecasting firm Magna originally projected this year's political ad spend to be 15 percent above 2012, which would have set a new record. But current forecasts put the ad buy in line with the 2012 campaign. "[Donald Trump] is not nearly spending what Mitt Romney or John McCain's campaigns did eight years ago," said Mark Fratrik, svp and chief economist for BIA Kelsey. "That disappointed the outlooks of local media companies." Local TV ad sales were underwhelming despite a 10 percent increase this year. "Good, but it fell below our anticipations," added Vincent Letang, evp of global market intelligence for Magna. Around $2.8 billion was booked in local political TV ad sales this year, up 3 percent from 2012 dollars. It's particularly not impressive because a total of $20 billion was spent on local TV ads overall, excluding political ads. "When Trump was a candidate in the primaries, he spent very little," said Letang. "We thought once he got the nomination and gained more access to GOP fundraising, he'd spend closer to what Romney did during his general election [of 2012]. That didn't happen." But it's not just Trump's underwhelming spend that surprises analysts. "We all thought Virginia would continue to be a battleground state for the campaigns. But it just isn't

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How Jeff Bezos Is Turning the Washington Post Into a Digitally Driven Publisher

October 19, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

SAN FRANCISCO—When Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos took over the Washington Post in 2013, many wondered what a tech exec's leadership would look like at a 140-year-old newspaper. But with a growing digital business and new practices in the newsroom, the Washington Post's executive editor, Martin Baron, talked about how the paper approaches its deep reporting—like having 20 reporters cover this year's presidential election—during a panel at Vanity Fair's New Establishment Summit. "Jeff came in not only with financial power, but he came in with intellectual power and I think forced us to think more profoundly about how the internet changed the way that we deliver information to people," Barron said during an interview with Vanity Fair's special correspondent Sarah Ellison. Baron said the paper talks to Bezos once every two weeks for about an hour, and one of the first things he did after buying the paper was getting the newsroom to think differently about aggregation and curation. "One of the first things he talked to us about is, 'Look, you do these big, narrative stories. You do these deep investigations, and then some other media outlet in 15 minutes [has] rewritten your story, and they've grabbed your traffic. How are you going to think about that?' That's a hard question to answer," Baron said. That conversation left Baron with the impression that Bezos' ownership "will not allow us to do the deep, narrative stories—but that's not what happened." Instead, the paper started aggregating itself with staff members looking for parts of stories they could pick out and compile into one story. The publisher has also started aggregating from other news outlets.

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Even as TV Creators Come Around on Integrations, Buyers Are Starting to Look Elsewhere

October 17, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After years of treating "integration" as a dirty word, the people behind many of TV's biggest shows have changed their tune and are embracing them as something beneficial to their shows, rather than a punishment that must be endured. "We like having that extra money that allows us to do some scenes, or buy music, we otherwise wouldn't be able to," said Modern Family co-creator Steve Levitan. "In some cases, it actually helps the scene. It sounds more natural to say, 'Who wants to go to Target with me?' than, 'Who wants to go to the department store with me?'" Yet in a surprising role reversal, as TV's showrunners (including a dozen that spoke with Adweek) are more receptive than ever to integrations, buyers and brands no longer have the same enthusiasm for them. "It used to be the showcase in a buy, to say we brought in integration," said Neil Vendetti, president of investment at Zenith. "Now we're talking about integrations with clients a bit less." That sentiment is reflected in new data from Nielsen TV Brand Effect, which indicates that the number of integrations in original, nonsports prime-time programming on the five broadcast networks has fallen each year, from 4,701 in the 2013-14 season to 4,538 in the 2015-16 season. That's not to say that TV integrations aren't still plentiful, or high profile. In last season's most successful partnership, Empire featured a multi-episode arc in which rising star Jamal Lyon (Jussie Smollett) was wooed by Pepsi to endorse the soda. As the cast sat down to watch the ad, Empire cut to commercial where the actual spot played. "That was pure kismet because we broke a story in the [writers] room where we said, Jamal is going to get a major endorsement, and it's going to be a threat to [his father] Lucious because it means he's going to be a bigger star," said Empire showrunner Ilene Chaiken.

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These West Coast Agencies Are Fearlessly Embracing Change as Advertising Evolves

October 9, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

New York has long served as the heart of the media and advertising industries. Los Angeles, by contrast, pumps out a steady flow of popular culture and has its own agency scene to match. This global headquarters for the entertainment and production industries—with a dash of tech innovation—creates a wealth of opportunities for trend-smart ad shops that aren't afraid to draw talent and collaborators from outside the "traditional" marketing world. As clients cut budgets and the storied broadcast TV model evolves, these organizations are increasingly comfortable moving beyond the familiar. Thankfully, their hometown has a wealth of alternatives to offer. R/GA "The idea that the commercial should be interrupting [your viewing experience] is no longer accepted," said R/GA founder Bob Greenberg—and for his agency's L.A. office, this means more partnerships with local production companies like Maker Studios and Fullscreen that specialize in influencer-driven content. "Hollywood's unbundling creates opportunities for both agencies and clients," added R/GA vp and managing director Alex Morrison, noting that eight of today's top celebrities among teens are YouTube stars, and that a near-majority told a recent poll that such "creators" understand them better than their own friends. "There's no better place to have those conversations than in L.A.

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Here Are the TV Shows and Networks People Watch Live Most and Least Often

October 7, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

While broadcast viewers are thought to represent a more traditional TV audience than those watching cable, a new report says they are actually less likely to watch programming live than their cable counterparts, especially if the network in question is The CW. That information comes from TiVo Research's Q2 State of TV report, which was released today. The quarterly report tracks time-shifting using TiVo's Media TRAnalytics data set, which anonymously aggregates set-top box data from more than 2.3 million households including TiVo owners and other cable providers. According to the study, while the vast majority of TV viewing continues to be live, broadcast network prime-time viewing is more likely to be time-shifted than cable programming. Twenty-six percent of broadcast prime-time programming was time-shifted during the second quarter (23 percent overall was watched in the C3 window, from the same day to three days later; the other 3 percent was time-shifted four to seven days). In total day viewing, 20 percent of broadcast programing was time-shifted. For cable prime-time viewing during the quarter, 88 percent was viewed live, with total day viewing even higher at 91 percent. The CW is the most time-shifted of the broadcast networks. Only 56 percent of its viewers watch live in prime time.

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ANA Asks Facebook to Open Up Its Platform for More Third-Party Measurement

September 29, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

One week after details about Facebook inflating its video metrics for advertisers were discovered, the Association of National Advertisers has called for an audit and accreditation of the social platform's metrics. The ANA's qualms stem from a report in The Wall Street Journal last week finding that Facebook overestimated the amount of time users spend with videos by anywhere from 60 to 80 percent, according to a letter from Facebook to Publicis Media that the publication acquired. Facebook has since apologized, with multiple execs at Advertising Week discussing the mistake and a blog post from David Fischer, vp of advertising and global operations, explaining how the metric should have reflected the total amount of time spent watching a clip divided by total number of people who watched it. Instead, the faulty metric showed the total time divided by views of videos. In a blog post, ANA president and CEO Bob Liodice, wrote, "While ANA recognizes that 'mistakes do happen,' we also recognize that Facebook has not yet achieved the level of measurement transparency that marketers need and require." The trade organization's specific concern is that Facebook metrics are not vetted by the Media Rating Council—the industry watchdog that creates standards for advertisers to buy media against. Unlike other publishers and media companies, Facebook's so-called walled garden limits the amount of data that brands have into their campaigns, and the company has held back on giving third parties significant access into the platform, meaning that brands have to rely heavily on Facebook for insight into their campaigns. "With more than $6 billion of marketers' media being directed to Facebook, we believe that it is time for them—and other such major media players—to be audited and accredited. That is the standard of accepted practice that marketers and agencies have relied on for decades," Liodice wrote. "Internal viewability measurements employed by digital media owners should not be used for the purposes of conducting outside commerce." Liodice also cited an ANA report from last year that found that 97 percent of marketers think their ad inventory should be measured by a third party

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