Kantar: Comcast passes GM to become nation's No. 2 advertiser | Droga5's first work for Coke Zero ties into March Madness | Advertisers reflect on Samsung's "smart pause" feature
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March 18, 2013
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Kantar: Comcast passes GM to become nation's No. 2 advertiser
Comcast spent $1.7 billion in measured media last year, up 9.7% over 2011, making it second only to Procter & Gamble as an advertiser, according to Kantar Media. One reason for its rise from 50th place only five years ago: Comcast's acquisition of NBCUniversal has it competing on several fronts, with Universal Studios vying in the heavy-spending movie sector and its Xfinity cable service going up against telecoms such as Verizon. GM, AT&T and L'Oreal rounded out the top five. The Philadelphia Inquirer (3/16), Advertising Age (tiered subscription model) (3/15)
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Company News
Droga5's first work for Coke Zero ties into March Madness
Droga5's first work for Coke Zero shows two men filling out their NCAA basketball tournament brackets at the office when they are interrupted by the boss. A narrator ensures the "bracketologists" that goofing off at work is an American tradition dating back to the Founding Fathers, who are shown in a flashback worrying about a "freshman point guard" and picking America. "It celebrates guys being guys," says Pio Schunker, Coca-Cola's head of integrated marketing communications. Advertising Age (tiered subscription model) (3/15)
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Advertisers reflect on Samsung's "smart pause" feature
Samsung's use of facial-recognition technology for a "smart pause" video feature in its Galaxy S4 could be ideal for advertisers, writes Christopher Heine. The feature, which pauses videos whenever a user looks away from his or her phone, also runs the risk of becoming annoying, however, and observers are split on whether the feature will spur innovation. "It might over time incentivize brands to create more relevant ads and more valuable video content," says Crid Yu, InMobi's vice president and managing director. Adweek (3/15)
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Miller creates an "Internship" of its own
MillerCoors is running a contest that ties in to the movie "The Internship," which follows two middle-aged men who score an internship at Google. The beer company is offering winners a two-week internship at Miller, in which the interns will go on a beer-filled road trip. USA Today/Pop Candy blog (3/15)
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Other News
Market Trends
Brands plan to ambush March Madness with crafty campaigns
Brands such as Pizza Hut, Hormel's Spam and Hooters are tying into the March Madness of the NCAA basketball tournament without explicitly saying so -- avoiding pricey sponsorship fees, writes Bruce Horovitz. Pizza Hut is giving away pies if the top four seeds reach the Final Four, Spam's Sir Can A Lot is talking about "the madness of March" on YouTube, and Hooters is establishing itself as basketball-watching haven. The tournament eclipses all other postseason sporting events for ad revenue, raking in more than a billion dollars last year, according to Kantar. USA Today (3/18), USA Today (3/17)
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Interactive
Adidas bows first global girl-centered pitch
An Adidas social program #mygirls is part of an engagement initiative called "All In" aimed at activating women and girls ages 14 to 23, writes Karl Greenberg. It's being backed by the brand's first global TV campaign aimed at girls. "Girls from all over the world and from all different walks of life, though they may be different in terms of what language they speak or where they live, all share a common passion for sport and love for 'their girls,' " says John Norman, TBWA\Chiat\Day's chief creative officer. MediaPost Communications/Marketing Daily (3/15)
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People & Personalities
CMO: GEICO's gecko was "born in a petri dish of data"
GEICO Chief Marketing Officer Ted Ward has relied upon data provided by Merkle for a range of information, even in determining the popularity of the gecko spokesman in ads, writes Kate Kaye. The gecko was "born in a petri dish of data," Ward says in this interview. "The fact is we analyzed results from running the first set of Gecko TV spots and liked the bump in business volume. We were able to attribute the increased business to the campaign and decided to move forward with additional Gecko executions." Advertising Age (tiered subscription model) (3/18)
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Hot Topics
AAF Spotlight
AAF's Advocacy and Action: Advertising Day on the Hill
Join advertising professionals from across the country in Washington, D.C., on April 17 for the American Advertising Federation's Advocacy and Action: Advertising Day on the Hill. In the morning of this premiere conference you will hear from legislators and regulators who make and enforce the laws that directly affect how the advertising industry does business. In the afternoon you and your fellow attendees will demonstrate the power of AAF's grassroots network by heading to the Hill and visiting with your elected representatives. The event will conclude with a special reception in the U.S. Capitol. Don't miss this exciting chance to make a difference in Washington, D.C.

View sponsorship opportunities or register for Advocacy and Action: Advertising Day on the Hill.
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Government Update
Marketers fret over dot-com disclosure rules
The Federal Trade Commission has updated its rules for dot-com disclosures and disclaimers, but the new guidelines leave online advertisers with plenty of work to do. Hyperlinked or pop-up disclaimers might not cut it, the FTC warns, meaning marketers will have to get creative to provide full disclosures in tweets, mobile ads and other space-constrained formats. "The FTC won't relax enforcement just because the ad is in a constrained space. Marketers will need to figure it out," says advertising lawyer Linda Goldstein. Adweek (3/17)
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SmartQuote
The work of an advertising agency is warmly and immediately human. It deals with human needs, wants, dreams and hopes. Its 'product' cannot be turned out on an assembly line."
-- Leo Burnett, member, Advertising Hall of Fame
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