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It’s Time to Tighten Up Digital POP

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Do you have issues with attribution? Determining which media or combination of media is responsible for conversion of a prospect is daunting, and the new media technologies that are rapidly growing are about to make it much more challenging.

For traditional media, econometrics modeling has historically been used for attribution. This is a look back method using sophisticated tools to measure various traditional media types on how their scheduling and weights have impacted ROI, sales or awareness, depending on goals.

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Eight Things We’ve Learned So Far From Pokemon Go

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OPINIONS. TRENDS. MEDIA ISSUES.

Welcome to Mediasmith’s influential and widely
respected newsletter

Volume 16, Issue 7

Eight Things We’ve Learned So Far From Pokemon Go

by David Smith

(First published on MediaVillage) It’s not all fun and games with Pokémon Go. There is some significant business learning already, even though this phenomenon is only a couple of months old:

1. Artificial Reality (AR) is coming much faster than anyone thought. While many thought Virtual Reality (VR) would hit first, the arrival of the Pokémon Go (PGO) has created a surge in AR predictions that are leaving the more stationary VR in the dust. However, perhaps this shot across the bow of VR is just the first of the scrimmages. 

2. There is going to be a lot of money on the table. PGO is expected to rake in billions in the next few years. Like the Atari game Pong, Pokémon Go is only the first atom in a chain reaction of AR innovation and technology on their way to market. (Look where video games are now compared to the simple start with Pong.)

3. We have not even maxed out PGO. It begs to be played without having to look at your phone and in MR (Mixed Reality, a mash up of AR and VR) where you can interact with the creatures. I wonder if MR is the technology that will be the next big thing?

4. The advertising implications will come quickly. For example, businesses with their own version of Pokestops. What else could happen with a more sophisticated implementation?

Mediasmith Morsel

Pokémon Go and Ransomware!

Our good friends at Malwarebytes have been writing articles recently about cyber-criminals exposing vulnerabilities in the new technology of Pokémon Go. They are worth a read.

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5. Consumers are not overloaded with new things. And the market is not set for the current sites and apps we visit (look out Google and Facebook?) If something simple like PGO can rise to #1 in downloads with the longest engagement time on the planet, 2x that of Facebook, according to Forbes.com, what will happen as more sophisticated implementations come along? Will we look back on a world of keywords and friend updates as old fashioned?

6. PGO exposes the dichotomy of owning the physical space and owning the digital overlay of that space. It is a similar question to who owns the space above your house and how high does that space extend. Obviously, there are already laws establishing the ownership of the physical space, but laws dealing with the overlay of this space in the digital world haven’t been established. 

7. Leveraging things that are, or have been popular, and knowing what could be resurrected and be popular again, is important. Use of established hits like Pokémon when integrating/aligning might be the best way to sell a new technology and have the best opportunity for mass adoption. 

8. Never underestimate the ability of people to do dumb things. In the first few days of PGO, it seemed like everyone was vying for a place in the Darwin Awards: playing at the Holocaust Museum and Arlington National Cemetery, falling off of cliffs, running into police cars, being robbed, and even getting run over by cars. 

There will be more learning of course. But it’s amazing how much has happened in a short time.

Mediasmith Morsel

Tetris still best-selling game of all time. 

According to Forbes, to date the all-time best-selling video game across all platforms is Tetris at 495 million after three decades. Pokémon Go already sold over 200 million copies and it looks like it has also blasted through most other titles. Low cost and easy accessibility are huge factors, but will it stand the test of time?

Capture
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What’s the Story with VR and AR?

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OPINIONS. TRENDS. MEDIA ISSUES.

Welcome to Mediasmith’s influential and widely
respected newsletter

Volume 16, Issue 5

What’s the Story with VR and AR?

by David Smith

(First published on MediaVillage) With the release of Oculus Rift, virtual reality is really here. What does this mean, and what’s the difference between virtual reality and augmented reality?

If there is one thing we’ve learned from the Convergence Culture, it is that virtually reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) may someday be contained in the same headset. For now though, they are separate and they will always be very different. In fact, VR should not be confused with AR even though it is. So, a few words of explanation for those who do not understand (as I did not until recently).

VR is the total disruption of personal reality; a new reality is instead created through computer generated or translated images inside of a headset (think movies and videogames). AR maintains the users’ actual reality while overlaying or superimposing information about what the user is seeing (e.g., the first iteration of Google Glass). A simple comparison: VR is being inside of something else with no visibility as to your actual reality or surroundings while AR is viewing things in the real world, with information about objects overlaid. AR will have to interact and communicate with your surroundings, while with VR you could walk off a cliff without knowing.

If you’ve been following the VR developments captivating the country, then you know that big players are getting involved. Facebook with its purchase of Oculus Rift for $2 billion in 2014 sparked excitement for the next-generation of VR. The first Oculus Rift releases are now in the hands of consumers. (If you want to buy one now, figure on a minimum 3-month lead-time). Companies like Samsung, Apple, HTC Vive, Microsoft and PlayStation are also following suit with their own acquisitions and creations, not to mention all of the startups joining the field. The latest addition to the game is Intel with their investment already in the $300-500 million range.

Mediasmith Morsel

Want to know what’s really going on with digital media?

Terry Kawaja presented his “State of Digital Media” at DMS16. The report includes Ecosystem Considerations, Market Update and Significant Industry Trends.
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You can expect VR technology first to change our experiences with video games and movies; these devices are already on their way to a retailer or theater near you. However, like a lot of new tech, you should figure out a way to experiment with rather than buy one of these doodads. It seems clear from this vantage point that we’ll have to get to V 3.0 or so before this tech is fully ready. For prime time consumption, the video application of VR (like Facebook’s 360 view) is the slice that will need to grow if there is going to be a mainstream application.

As far as AR goes, you probably remember Google Glass. Some called it a debacle but in fact it was just an early version of what AR could be. Like V 1.0 of any tech, it was a flawed product and more of a beta than an actual release. If you saw this year’s Super Bowl ad for Microsoft’s HoloLens then you can easily see the draw of AR. Full AR capabilities are still a long ways off though. Not only will the technologies within the device need to get better, but so will the technologies in your environment. Remember, AR needs to be able to interact with your surroundings.

From GPS mastering your location in dense urban environments to sensor and signal identification, AR’s success depends on a relay of information. This information onboarding process hasn’t yet been fully realized or implemented. Eventually though, whether it is identifying items in stores, such as what’s on sale or what’s new, or understanding the ingredients and materials in something without actually picking it up, AR will soon accompany us in our exploration of the world. Just like with search engines, the next generation of consumers will not be able to imagine a world without AR.

Past all of their hype and potential, one thing is for sure, VR and AR applications are definitely closer to being a “reality” this time around instead of the word only existing in their name. I’ll give them a shot. Will you?

Mediasmith Morsel

Mediasmith Included in First Ever Agency LUMAscape

Mediasmith is proud to be featured as one of only four independent media agencies on a new LUMAscape dedicated to the Agency sector. This is the first in a new series of “Foundational” LUMAscapes that will be emerging in 2016, and is Mediasmith’s 3rd LUMAscape appearance.
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You can have my car when you pull the gearshift from my cold, dead hands

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OPINIONS. TRENDS. MEDIA ISSUES.

Welcome to Mediasmith’s influential and widely
respected newsletter

Volume 16, Issue 3

You can have my car when you pull the gearshift from my cold, dead hands

by David Smith

(First published on MediaVillage) It is a sunny October morning; I’m heading to work in my new AV (automated vehicle); my favorite song is streaming through speakers placed in optimal positions around the cabin; my dashboard’s 30-inch translucent screen is updating my schedule while I clear appointments, make dinner reservations, and check out the latest Netflix releases all with the swipe of my finger like a classical music conductor. Afterwards, I sit back in relax mode as a daily news aggregator covers my windshield and I let whatever the view is outside go by unnoticed. To me, all of this sounds nice, but not my cup of tea: I’ll give up my car when you can pull the gearshift from my cold, dead hands.

AVs are on the horizon with the potential of becoming mandatory in several different senses. One is mandatory by popularity: designated parking areas, insurance rates, and sponsorships. Another is mandatory by law: special or restricted roadways, taxes, fines, and limits on drivers. Another is public and “shared” driving: Taxis, Uber, etc. all of which are anticipated to be driverless sometime between 2025 and 2030.

Can you really imagine a driverless world? I can, but it is also probable that the complete implementation won’t take place in my life. (I feel like guys of my generation who wanted to retire before they had to deal with computers, only to find that computers were in their retired life too and they’d have to learn smartphones, emails, tablets and Siri.) For the time being, I still get to drive with the windows down, shifting up and down (which I quite enjoy) as I come out of or go into turns, and accelerating just because I want to. I still get to see the sights out my windows in all of their glory, whether it be The City, the fog rounding its edges into subtle corners, or the soft fall light embracing a country road heading up to the wine country. I get to enjoy these “driving” moments while blasting my music and free from the interruptions of a busy schedule, appointments, and the problems that face all businesses today. Deadlines and Commitments. I just want a few more moments with a gas pedal under my foot and a good tune in my ear.

My dad loved road trips. We’d pile in the car on a weekend day, usually a Sunday and drive. He often had a destination. A relative or friend to see, a waterfall, or sometimes a road with lots of interest. Our vacations were mostly road trips, always with an end in sight but willing to zig and zag when something interesting was on the horizon. I became schooled in reading of maps, trying to tempt my parents into side trips to see various treats or fulfill my curiosity. Maps have gone by the wayside with the GPS in our cars and phones, but it’s not the same. (More about that here).

Mediasmith Morsel

Our old friend Mike Drexler talking about changes in the financial procedures necessary in our industry. 

Happy to say that Mediasmith adopted these processes some time ago. Bring it on!
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No one has come out and said it yet, but I firmly believe there will be a point where the “right” to drive a car will be called into consideration, maybe even a bigger issue than the heated debate on gun ownership. Google’s AV project lead Chris Urmson has already stated his goal is to make sure his 11-year-old son doesn’t need to get a driver’s license. That’s right, we are talking the same automobile that fueled the post WW2 American Dream, that gave us the ability to live in the ‘burbs (that quiet cul-de-sac) and commute to work, the rite of passage for every boomer teen when reaching 16, to get their license and take mom or dad’s car out for a joy ride with their friends, avoiding scrapes and tickets (most of the time) while getting those first tastes of freedom. Sadly, self-driving seems to only have a decade or two left. The freeways will go first. Regimenting more cars, closer together, kept to a single lane, following obediently-no lane changes allowed. The country roads will be the last to survive. But it’s fairly certain that by sometime mid-century, even those open roads will vanish too, along with learning how to “take it to the limit, one more time”.

An earlier article of mine, What is the timeline for Connected Cars, Driverless Cars & who owns the data?, outlines more of the specifics on how AVs are the way of the future. Tesla is achieving it through software upgrades of their current cars rather than developing an AV from scratch, and this incremental method just might work best. Apple has already discovered the difficulty of building an AV from scratch and we are likely to see the existing manufacturers partnering with tech companies to get an AV done.

From my side of the industry, what will be the biggest change will be the unintended consequence, seeing the car as a new media vehicle (pun intended), and the new media opportunities that will arise with it. What will we do with 1-4 hours added into our “leisure” time? (Another future article, stay tuned)

I’d be lying if I didn’t say that AVs entice me, I mean they are going to be-cool, convenient, and like nothing we’ve ever owned. And perhaps future generations will look at my idea of the freedom of the open road and my own “not-self-driving” car as quixotic and even selfish. But that’s okay with me. Perhaps it is best if I am left in the rearview mirror on this one.

Mediasmith Morsel

Volvo Concept 26

Gizmag explores Volvo’s Concept 26 as they reimagine the driver experience. From creative mode, to relax mode, to drive mode, this car is really cool.
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The True Cost of a Super Bowl Spot

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OPINIONS. TRENDS. MEDIA ISSUES.

Welcome to Mediasmith’s influential and widely
respected newsletter

Volume 16, Issue 2

The True Cost of a Super Bowl Spot

by David Smith

(First published on MediaVillage) There’s been a lot of discussion recently on the cost of Super Bowl advertising-and every single article got it wrong. But before we tell you our perspective, here is some background: In 1967, during the first Super Bowl, the reported cost of a :30 spot was $42,000. It should be noted that $42,000 in 1967 adjusted for inflation is roughly $300,000 today. Super Bowl ads have never been cheap, but they’ve always been sought after, drawing interest early on from the likes of Master Lock, Macintosh 1984, to Budweiser and Coca-Cola. Why? Because they are generally the highest rated inventory available of the whole year. And, the Super Bowl attracts a very diverse audience, with some of the hardest to reach demographics tuning in.

This year, it was reported to cost $4.6-5MM. Which is quite an increase! In fact only 10 years ago it was in the $2MM range. That’s well over a 100% increase. The reason? There is nothing on the planet that reaches so many people at the same time: Super Bowl 50 had a 111.9MM viewers in the U.S. alone, with a 49 household rating and a 73 share across Nielsen’s 56 metered markets. Including an increase of 2.5MM unique viewers (3.96MM total) across laptops, desktops, tablets, connected TV devices and mobile phones. And these numbers still don’t accurately count viewing in public places which can be a big uplift. It is interesting that this was only the third most watched Super Bowl of all time and the peak for viewership was during the Halftime Show. This makes Pepsi’s positions slotted in half time almost ideal.

Mediasmith Morsel

The State of Video Streaming in The United States

More people than ever are using streaming platforms to watch TV and Movies. An infographic by Statista puts the Nielsen data front and center.
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Let’s use this year’s :30 cost of $5MM to make the math simple. Of course there is a 15% agency commission. Which almost no media agency on the planet gets for network TV. Many get 1-2% and in their wildest dreams might get 4-5% for a network buy. So, the spot itself cost the advertiser $4.5MM with commission to the agency; the remainder was rebated to the advertiser. This year, there was an added hook: CBS would not sell a spot to someone without an additional commitment. The advertiser had to commit to an equal amount of money on CBS as their Super Bowl commitment. This does not affect most advertisers as they either bought the spot in the Upfront market with tens or hundreds of millions in additional advertising or as a part of a larger scatter buy. But for the advertiser looking for just one spot in the Super Bowl, this might have been quite a shock. So now we are talking about $9MM ($4.5MM after the rebate x2).

There are tons of articles about what you could buy with $5MM, let alone $9MM, but they miss the point. A brand can’t just spend money in one place; they need reach extension, frequency and engagement for true effectiveness. Mediasmith research suggests that in order to properly support a Super Bowl spot, you would really need to spend $15-20MM to achieve maximum effectiveness for the campaign. This includes other sports sites/videos, long-tail sports sites through programmatic, sports fan targeting through programmatic, paid and earned social, mobile, SEM and events/PR plus a good budget for collateral, in-store, etc

Keeping the above in mind, here are some other factoids supporting additional efforts:

1.Over a third of this year’s viewers used a second screen to supplement the game-viewing experience, whether checking news, commentary, sports apps, etc.

2. 52% of viewers planned to use social media while watching

3. Forbes Magazine said it best: “The advertisers who ‘win’ from the Super Bowl may not be the advertisers whose creative won the AdMeter, but rather those advertisers whose creative integration of their Super Bowl spot into a broader strategic mix drives sustainable, long-term results.”

So “if” you’re budgeting for next year, don’t think just about a spot, think about what you want to accomplish with it (reach, registering a new concept, sales, etc.) and build a plan accordingly. If you only look at advertising as the cost of a spot then you aren’t seeing the big picture. It’s like thinking you need a famous QB to win the Super Bowl when an outstanding defensive team just might do the trick. 

Mediasmith Morsel

9 Times Media Changed the Outcome of a Presidential Election

From Coolidge to Obama, ADWEEK points out how political campaigns have borrowed from the consumer marketing approach.
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