Copy
February Ten

Super Bowl
 
You could argue that the Super Bowl epitomises oldTV - big brands paying $5m plus to run one ad to one huge audience. But it’s still a thing and clearly some brands do well from it.
 
And to me it does one thing that is really important. It proves that creative work is the key factor. 
 
Each of the dozens of brands taking part had pretty much the same strategy and the same media plan. The difference is the Creative;

Good Creative means the $5m is well spent.
Great Creative makes the cost a bargain.
And Poor creative means you just wasted a fortune.
 
That logic applies in just the same way on Facebook Ads, Search Ads and even banners. But the advantage of digital is the costs are lower and you can test ads before rolling the dice with a big spend behind them.
 
The smart brands share their ads on YouTube before the big game and you can get a sense of winners from the views
 
The audience was down on the previous year by about 5% - the lowest audience since 2006 - but Streaming set new records.
 
Every year someone adds up what a Super Bowl budget would buy in digital. It's a lot, but this really misses the point. The smart brands investing here have most of this in place, but the one thing GAFA can’t really do, is make you famous. As a clever marketer explains here.
 
We did see some experimentation and innovation. Cheetos included a Snap code that unlocked a free snack - yet to see any results. In the Kellogg School of Marketing review of all the ads, they have Cheetos as the winner, but also praise the Reddit 5 second ad.
 
Whilst some people still segregate ads as brand or performance, we believe smart thinkers recognise that every message can do both. Delivery firm GoPuff produces a report each year on which ads drive most orders - Pringles came out on top this year. And Pepsi - which didn’t run an ad but sponsored the halftime show from TheWeeknd - ran flash promotions on GoPuff throughout the game, promoted across social.
 
Sports
 
One area of newTV still in real flux is Sports. A stalwart of traditional TV, it’s realtime nature doesn't fit naturally with on demand streaming. But as audiences flee linear the reach of the big events is suffering. This chart from a good Samba report shows how ESPN has fared over 2020. 

This report looks at each of the major US sports and shows all are struggling - partly because of the impact of Covid.
 
But as the Parks data chart we opened with shows, Sports continues to be a big factor in peoples willingness to pay for TV.
 
So sports rights will retain their value and could start to climb again as more bidders emerge. In Italy the SeriesA rights are being fought over by Dazn and Sky, with a potential reversal of the current deal where Sky show the majority of games.
 
The flurry of M&A activity in adtech is heavily influenced by newTV - everyone sees this as the next driver of growth and people are trying to work out how to be best positioned. SpotX has spent a long time building an influential position and this blog explains why the deal is a smart move.

Social Video
 
The exciting thing about newTV is that people watch all sorts of video on all sorts of devices and don't see the differences that the industry likes to focus on. That’s why the viewership of Super Bowl ads on YouTube during the game rose over 70% on TV screens from last year. We watched a great Japanese film (Shoplifters) on YouTube on our smart TV. And why is the natural next step for TikTok is Android TV so it can be watched on SmartTvs, following the launch of their SamsungTV app late last year. It's all telly.

The rise in short videos - less than 60 seconds - is well documented and this talk from a Boston Consulting Group exec is good background. But are they not just the atomisation of familiar TV formats? the Fast Show, You’ve Been Framed, The Comedians etc. The space is evolving quickly — the Guardian notes the success of Snap Spotlight
 
One consideration is the need for captions. Despite the ubiquitous always in EarPods, lots of video is watched with sound off — so getting the captions right is important. So this new thinking  from Google on how they use captions, is really helpful.
 
Plus+
 
A new Britbox job ad - they are looking at new markets and need Marketing help
 
Ari from Beeswax is a must follow on Twitter and his predictions on ad tech M&A is a good read.
 
For all the headlines around the big Streaming platforms, there is a lot of money riding on the lower profile ad funded services. Lachlan Murdoch of Fox was bullish about Tubi in the latest earnings call
 
“We see the SVOD competitive set as the potential to lose billions of dollars – we see it as very crowded and hard to stand apart and differentiate ourselves within SVOD,” he said. “We expect to win in AVOD … and be the leading AVOD player in this country, and we expect to be able to do it by reinvesting our profits, but not by losing billions of dollars in programming costs or other costs in the time it takes to break even.”
 
Remember AT&T are hedging their bets with an ad funded version of HBO Max planned for later this year.
 
Interesting thinking on the Media Agency from the founder of the new Agency from Mother.
Making the simple complicated is commonplace;  Making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity - Charles Mingus

I'm with Charles. Too many people make things overly complicated.
I look for the patterns that unlock opportunities. How could I help you?


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