New Agency Consultancy Promises to Feature Real Moms in Ads

Mom is non-threatening. She wears a cardigan, she’s rarely seen outside the home and she adores her family. She’s not a unique individual with her own will and wishes at all—just a prim, proper, wholesome mother.

We’ve all seen that narrative portrayed in 1950s-era consumer products ads from the likes of Tide, Coca-Cola and, of course, Ovaltine. But in 2018, that stereotypical character is still alive and well.

That’s according to June Cleaver is Dead, a new consultancy born out of Seattle-based indie agency Wongdoody that vows to flip the outdated narrative on its head. The group, whose name plays on the archetypal housewife from the 1950s sitcom Leave It to Beaver as played by Barbara Billingsley, is comprised of a core team of Wongdoody employees who will work alongside the parent shop on relevant projects.

“Moms are super powerful. They make up 85 percent of purchase decisions, but one study showed that 95 percent of moms can’t relate to who they see on TV,” said Skyler Mattson, managing director of June Cleaver is Dead.

Mattson pointed to consumer products ads, like last year’s popular Mr. Clean Super Bowl spot, that still show mom bound to that ’50s stereotype. In the commercial, character “Sarah” was seen in her natural habitat—the kitchen—swooning over her man as he (shockingly) helped her clean their house.

“Generally, Mom is white, middle class, usually wearing a cardigan,” explained Mattson. “She’s joyfully partaking in carpool or folding laundry. You rarely see Mom partake in…

Thin Mints Coffee Is Now a Thing at Dunkin’ Donuts

Girl Scout Cookie-inspired flavors
Girl Scout Cookie-inspired flavors Credit: Dunkin’ Donuts

There’s already Girl Scout cookie-inspired Coffee-Mate, but that takes the effort of buying and pouring it into one’s cup. Now there’s another way to pretend you’re eating a Girl Scout cookie while sipping coffee.

Dunkin’ Donuts is making three flavors of coffee inspired by the organization’s cookies. Also, some franchisees will let troops sell the cookies at their shops over the next few weeks.

Thin Mints, Coconut Caramel and Peanut Butter Cookie flavors will be on the Dunkin’ Donuts menu from Feb. 26 through May under a licensing agreement with Girl Scouts of the USA, Dunkin’ Donuts said Friday. The flavors will be available…

ABC Sells Out Its Oscars Inventory, With Some 30-Second Spots Going for More Than $2.8 Million

Academy Awards voting continues until next Tuesday, but ABC’s ad sales team has already completed its Oscars business. ABC said it has sold out of this year’s inventory a week and a half ahead of the March 4 telecast, which the network said is the fastest Oscars sellout in its history.

This year’s 30-second spots are selling for more than $2.6 million, with some topping $2.8 million. This year’s Oscars ad revenue yielded high single-digit increases over last year’s telecast, where 30-second spots went for as much as $2.5 million.

“In addition to being the most highly viewed event that celebrates storytelling and excellence in film, the Oscars provides advertisers opportunities to engage with viewers in meaningful ways during a cultural moment they care about,” said Disney-ABC advertising sales president Rita Ferro in a statement. “In celebration of the 90th Oscars, we worked alongside…

Marketer’s Brief: Ryan Reynolds Is Newest Celeb Booze Backer

Welcome to the latest edition of Marketer’s Brief, a quick take on marketing news, moves and trends from Ad Age’s reporters and editors. Send tips/suggestions to eschultz@adage.com.

Walmart is having a rough week, #vanlife is trending and PepsiCo has a new pod-based drinks brand. Find out about all that and more below. But first, a look at the latest celebrity booze deal.

Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds Credit: Aviation Gin

Every celebrity wants a booze brand. At least it seems that way, with stars ranging from Channing Tatum to Drake buying stakes in upstart spirits brands in recent years. (People has a rundown on some of the star-backed offerings here.) Now, “Deadpool” star Ryan Reynolds has joined the club. The actor has taken a stake in Aviation Gin, brand owner Davos Brands announced Wednesday, saying Reynolds will “play an active role in the day-to-day business and oversee creative direction as part of his mission to introduce the world to the great taste of Aviation.” A spokeswoman confirmed that Erich & Kallman, the agency behind a new campaign for Davos’ Astral Tequila brand starring the former Most Interesting Man in the World, will handle the marketing.

Aviation did not make Reynolds available for interviews. But they did share an email address (Ryan@aviationgin.com) that returns a jokey auto-reply from Reynolds, including this description of his duties: “My responsibilities here at the company are vast. I’ll spend my days being photographed intermittently clinching [sic] my jaw muscles while pointing at things and nodding. I’ll drink Aviation Gin. I’ll sit in board meetings, imagining my very own Red Wedding.” He also joked about the deal on Twitter:

In the long and in no way disastrous marriage of showbiz and alcohol, so happy to announce I’m the proud owner of a gin company…

Retailers with shopping apps now see majority of e-commerce sales from mobile

For many retailers, mobile traffic equals or exceeds desktop traffic. Now, according to Criteo’s latest commerce report (Q4 2017), mobile sales represent the majority of total e-commerce for retailers with successful shopping apps.

Retailers that have both mobile sites and apps are seeing, on average, two-thirds of their online sales coming from mobile devices, according to the report. In the chart below, black is desktop sales, orange is mobile web and yellow is app-based sales.

As you might expect, conversion rates on mobile apps are higher, roughly 3x greater than on the mobile web. This may be because the user experience is better in apps, including the checkout process. But it may also partly be because those who download and use retail apps are more loyal and inclined to buy from those retailers in the first place.

Group Launches ‘3 Billboards’-Inspired Ads Calling Out Paul Ryan After Parkland School Shooting

Progressive Turnout Project, a Democratic political action committee, launched a Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri-inspired campaign today demanding stricter gun control laws and specifically calling out House Speaker Paul Ryan for not proposing legislation in the wake of another deadly school shooting.

The group’s digital billboard outside Ryan’s Janesville, Wis., congressional office reads: “17 killed in their classrooms. Still no gun reform? How come, Paul Ryan?”

Ryan is one of several GOP members of Congress facing backlash for pushing aside gun control legislation while accepting donations from the National Rifle Association, a revelation brought to light after last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people, including 14 students, dead.

According to a two-page ad in The New York Times today, Ryan has accepted $61,401 in funding from the NRA. Progressive Turnout Project further points out that Ryan received an “A+ rating” and endorsement from the NRA in the 2016 election cycle.

“Gun violence is an epidemic…

Dynamic Signal raises $36.5 million from Microsoft Ventures, others to help companies engage with employees

Dynamic Signal announced that it has raised $36.5 million for its employee communication and engagement platform in a round of funding from Microsoft Ventures, Cisco Investments, Time Warner Investments, Adams Street Partners, Trinity Ventures, and Venrock.

Founded in 2010, Dynamic Signal offers a platform that lets companies easily communicate messages to their workers, including videos and surveys, and is powered by alerts and push notifications. Employees are also encouraged to engage with content by commenting, “liking,” and sharing through their own social profiles on other platforms.

Above: Dynamic Signal

The San Bruno, California-based startup claims that more than a fifth of the Fortune 100 use Dynamic Signal, with big-name customers including Fedex, IBM, Oracle, Intel, Samsung, Sprint, and SAP.

Additionally, Dynamic Signal today announced a number of new features and products, including a newsletter creation tool, along with DySi Open, a new standalone mobile app aimed at marketing, HR, and communication professionals that serves up content around best practices, market trends, and more. It also allows professionals to connect with each other and share insights.

DySi Open app
Above: DySi Open app

Though there is no shortage of tools that…

KPMG adds Media Value Advisory to growing CMO Advisory practice

Hot on the heels of launching a Social Media Advisory group, KPMG Australia has brought on former Zenith managing director, Karen Halligan, to lead a new Media Value Advisory practice focused on the rapidly changing media, publishing and advertising landscape.

The new media unit sits under KPMG’s Customer, Brand and Marketing Advisory, which officially launched late last year and is led by Carmen Bekker. Its remit is to provide independent, informed and optimised investment advice across the media value chain by tackling issues such as technology change, disintermediation and measurement. The Media Value Advisory practice will operate in both Sydney and Melbourne.

Halligan joins as director, after spending 20 years covering media buying, strategy and optimisation professionally. Her resume includes agency roles at Zenith, Mediacom and Universal McCann, along with in-house roles at South Cross Austereo and Coca-Cola.

KPMG Customer, Brand and marketing Advisory partner-in-charge, Paul Howes, said the launch of Media Value Advisory is a direct response to the boardroom needs of clients.The group pointed out $15…

Advertisers Must Keep Up With Cord-Cutters or Else Brands Risk Creating ‘Lost Generation’

A coup d’etat is taking place across the television industry. It used to be that cable providers were the reigning powers of television, declaring what consumers would watch and when. Not home in time? Sorry, you missed this week’s episode of Seinfeld.

But no longer. The last year has marked a distinct shift in power away from the traditional thrones of cable networks and into the hands of consumers. This is no more evident than with Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox late last year, as content companies race to become media aggregators in an effort to reach consumers wherever they are. Not all consumers, though. The power lies with a new and growing segment of society: the people switching away from traditional television (if they ever used it at all) in favor of internet-driven TV.

The consequence? For advertisers who don’t shift with them, it means losing an opportunity to build brand awareness and affinity with an entire generation of increasingly connected consumers. And this connected generation could become a ‘lost generation’ for brands who stick with only traditional TV. For those who do, it means incorporating a new and powerful approach into their typical TV advertising plan.

Introducing TV’s connected generation

The connected generation is made up of two distinct pieces of today’s media-consuming population: cord-cutters, or the ones trading in coaxial cables for Ethernet ones, and cord-nevers, or those who never had coaxial cables in the first place. They’re typically aged 34 and younger, and they’ve spent most of their lives in our current digitally-driven world. They’re no longer bothering with traditional television sets or cable subscriptions but instead rely on the likes of smart TVs, PlayStations and Roku devices to stream live or on demand TV.

According to eMarketer, the primary driver of the shift for cord-cutters is two-fold: price and convenience. 85 percent of surveyed cord-cutters agreed that traditional cable subscriptions are too expensive, especially with the rise of skinny bundles like DirectTV Now, or when paid for alongside streaming services like Hulu—it’s just not worth it.

This connected generation could become a ‘lost generation’ for brands who stick with only traditional TV.

As far as convenience goes, internet streaming services offer capabilities including search, autoplay and personalized recommendations. Not to mention, the binge boom is real, with 40 percent of millennials and 87 percent of Gen-Z admitting to binge-watching, or watching roughly 5 hours of content in a single sitting on a weekly basis. As for cord-nevers, this is simply the world they’ve grown up in. They are no longer forced to wait until next week’s episode. They can spend their Saturday catching up on the full first season of NBC’s This is Us if they so choose. And they expect…

Data Forms The Backbone Of Everything We Do — says Manav Sethi, CMO at ALTBalaji

At a time when Indian Video-on-Demand (VOD) platforms is getting crowded by the day, ALTBalaji – the youngest entrant in the space has scripted a phenomenal success story with more than 15 million downloads. Even though biggies such as Hotstar & Voot are getting more eyeballs and have a wide user base, ALTBalaji (launched in April, 2017) continues to push up the numbers by offering a completely ad-free, only original content which is streamed in 90 countries globally.

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What’s different this time for the undisputed king of Indian television and entertainment is that much of their success is riding on data that forms the backbone of operations and strategy and the platform is all about original content that ticks with the audience. In a conversation with Analytics India Magazine, ALTBalaji’s Chief Marketing Officer Manav Sethi who is tasked with the job of international expansion, growth, customer acquisition & retention, product as well as UI guidelines tells us how data plays a huge role at ALTBalaji and why drumming up original content will always be an art + science.

1) Can you tell us how data and analytics is used to find insights to maximize customer engagement, and drive conversions by finding the relevant audience?

Given the kind of business we are in, data analytics forms the bedrock of everything we do. At any given point of time, we have 120+ triggers/ predictors that we catch before the customer is in suspecting stage on the platform or say registered with us. For example, if a customer viewed a trailer or interacted with the platform in any way, the kind of signals we look at are what frame he has viewed, what was the last viewed scene, location, gender and demographic et al. Then we go ahead and see whether he/she used the platform from one location or multiple locations, whether it is consumed on WIFI or mobile internet.

2) What tools or technologies does the data science team work on and what’s the size of the team?

All our data is very closely synced with RedShift and Microsoft Azure as a combination. From an analytics and visualization standpoint we use Tableau. We have a home-grown platform which is built on Python because in the high intensive computing environment, read-ops are a lot more and Python helps with that.

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In terms of performance marketing, we work with a team called Sokrati which has been acquired by Dentsu recently. Besides Sokrati, we also use lot of tools like App Annie for composition in the ecosystem and AppsFlyer. We also work with a fraud detection tool.

As for team, our current team size is 5 members and that includes both marketing analytics and analytics as a whole. But that said, we are always on a lookout for new members.

3) Can you tell us about your active base? Also, Hotstar pushes 100 million subscribers, but all are not paid users?

We have about 15 million downloads currently and if you look at the last App Annie report that came out last year, we were ranked amongst the top 3 revenue grossing video streaming app in the country, as per ‘State of Video Streaming Apps in India’ report. Now that was an eye-opener for the…