Tim Hawthorne's blog
When the word Pinterest comes up in conversation these days, the image of direct response commercials and products doesn’t necessarily spring to mind. After all, this social media platform got its start as a place where people could create and share collections of visual bookmarks or “pins” for trip planning, project development, event organization and cooking.
Recently, Instagram and Omnicom inked a deal that’s sure to up the ante for online advertisers when it comes to digital ad quality. The new agreement will allow brand marketers that work with Omnicom to display promotional videos and pictures to Instagram users and is viewed as a push by Facebook (Instagram’s owner) to generate more mobile sales.
Just when you thought consumers’ attention spans couldn’t possibly get any shorter, they did. Credit mini-looping video apps like Vine, Vigi and market newcomer Vid with helping to substantially reduce the amount of time users commit to watching videos on their mobile devices. And with a new study revealing that mobile use now officially outpaces TV viewing, direct response advertisers should not only be paying attention to the trend — but also leveraging it to their advantage.
In a quest to see who can capture the most eyeballs online, a growing number of advertisers are using programmatic buying to get a leg up on their competitors. Defined as the automation of buying and selling of desktop display, mobile ads, video, Facebook ads, and Google Display Network ads, programmatic involves the automatic booking, analyzing, and optimization of online ad campaigns.
Thirty years ago last month — June 1984 — the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) deregulated broadcast TV commercial time limits. Thirty years ago this coming November, I sat in the basement of a friend’s house. He was the only guy I knew that had a giant satellite dish. I waited until 11 p.m. to make sure the first airing of the first infomercial I produced made it on air — an hour-long “product documentary” made for the astonishing budget of $15,000.
For an industry that’s talked about consumers ordering dresses literally off the backs of their favorite actresses with the push of a remote control button, the DRTV world has been hesitant to embrace the new crop of direct purchase apps on the market. Such is the plight of market pioneers who must hawk their cutting-edge options in a market that’s already littered with technology that hasn’t lived up to its promises.
In the offline advertising world, “frequency” — or, the concept that a consumer must see an ad multiple times over a specific period of time before actually making a purchase — is used to: 1) expose customers to a product or service; and 2) entice them to buy that product or service. The notion is basic: as you expose prospects to an item on a continuous and consistent basis, their likelihood of purchasing increases.
Nearly every major brand has multiple social media accounts, a YouTube presence, and even a place to call home on Pinterest. In 15 Brands Rocking Tumblr, for example, Mashable singles out Calvin Klein, Disney, and Lexus as just a handful of the major brands that are leveraging Tumblr’s micro-blogging platform to connect directly with their target audiences.
If there’s one thing about DRTV marketers, they know and understand the value of measurement, metrics and accountability. Born out of the need to keep close track of campaign performance and media spend, this attention to accountability should carry over into the other advertising mechanisms that marketers are employing in this Web 2.0 era. And while DR marketers may indeed be applying their metric-centric approaches to online video, content marketing and social media, the broader population of marketers is not.
As the number of emerging digital advertising methods and mechanisms continues to proliferate, interactive video ads have carved out a name for themselves in the cluttered online world. And if a new report is any indication, these video ads – defined by eMarketer as those that include some type of give-and-take and/or two-way communication between advertisers and audiences – can help DRTV advertisers eke just little bit more out of their production and media investments.