Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Super Bowl as an Attention Structure

Roman numerals aside (XLVII in 2013), the costs of Super Bowl advertising keep heading skyward.

For 2013, CBS is said to be garnering up to $3.8 million for 30-second spots. It has been reported that almost all of the time slots were sold by early this fall.

This may seem like a lot for a little, but it is increasingly difficult to find advertising venues to reach substantial proportions of the US population at any one point in time. All the cable channels, countless video channels, and the plethora of other new electronic media, challenge the capacity of advertisers to develop media plans with wide reach to the nation.

Through all the changes in media and popular culture, the Super Bowl has emerged as the nation's most substantial annual moment of coming together via mass media. Each of the last two Super Bowls brought in about 111 million viewers (of a total US population of 315 million). These two Super Bowls are now among the record holders for largest television audiences.

Therein lies the basis for premium pricing.

For perspective, according to the TVB, in 2012 primetime television shows brought in audiences averaging about 4.5 million viewers. The peak year for primetime programming was 1980 with an average primetime audience of about 15 million.

Accordingly, there has been a two-thirds decline for primetime television audiences over the past 30 years. This underscores the impact of the Internet, broadband communication, and social media.

Now, in 2012, the average cost of a 30-second primetime spot was about $112,000. This delivers a CPM (cost-per-thousand) of about 24 dollars. With an audience of 111 million, and a per unit cost of $3.8 million, a 30-second commercial on the 2013 Super Bowl will deliver a CPM of about 34 dollars.

So, this year's Super Bowl will bring in a 10-dollar CPM premium compared with primetime television. But, with an effective message strategy and design, the advertising investment will be worth it.

The benefits include instantaneous reach to the largest and most diverse annual audience and the opportunity to place the advertised brands in the midst of the nation's annual moment of hype and hoopla.

Attention is the most valuable commodity in the economy, and the Super Bowl is easily the most valuable attention structure.

                   Copyright © 2012 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Antidote for Commercialization

Here's one "antidote for commercialization" in the season of plenty of it.

Telling the story by means of snowpersons makes it all the more charming and evokative. Emotions, feelings, and cognitive responses can often be heightened by unexpected or unconventional approaches.

This commercial was made by Adam & Eve/DDB in London for John Lewis, the UK's storied department store chain (since 1864).

For more on the psychology of advertising, see Diversity and Communication Power.

                  Copyright © 2012 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Lessons in Gangnam Style

Gangnam Style has captured imaginations around world. Go to the videos on YouTube if you have yet to experience this phenomenon.

The performance by Psy and his entourage exemplifies both what and why people "seek and share" in social media.

Now, Gangnam Style as become a meme, with new videos by Psy and others appearing on a regular basis. They present a classic case study in viral diffusion patterns as shown in these results for a Google Trends search for the term Gangnam Style.

Notice the ascending diffusion pattern composed of a sequence of layered Pareto distributions. The Pareto distribution is the "unit form" for the diffusion of an idea placed on the Web at one point it time.

In the graph, you can see how the intermittent infusion of new sources adds to the accumulation of interest over time. It will be interesting to watch how this story continues to unfold.

Here's an updated chart as of November 22, 2012. As of this date, there have been 1.1 billion visitors to Psy's YouTube channel, where the Gangnam Style video has been viewed over 800 million times.

You can see the continuing introduction of new sources of interest. These consist of new video posts on Psy's YouTube channel as well as posts made on other highly visible websites. You can also observe a cyclical character of peaks and valleys within the overall pattern that seem to accord with weekly patterns in search behavior.

On November 7, Psy explained how his Gangnam Style video become viral in his remarks at Oxford Union.

Can Psy's success be attained by others? Yes, to a degree, but such levels of success cannot necessarily be "manufactured." Audiences will gravitate to original expression, not corporate replication.

On December 17, nearly a half year after its first release, the lastest search on Google Trends shows the Gangnam Style video continues to garner worldwide interest. 

This latest graph shows daily interest levels holding within 80 percent of the peak reached about three months after the video's release.

For more perspective on psychological theory and the development of persuasive advertising, please see Strategic Power of the Theory of Planned Behavior.

                Copyright © 2012 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The "Jobsian Perspective"

Today Apple posted this video capturing Steve Job's vision.

The secret of Steve Jobs is to inform an insistent focus on what technology can be with human insights grounded in arts, history and social sciences.

The "fundamentals" of business success are not grounded in economic analysis, rather they reside in humanizing concepts and values.

For more on the psychology of advertising, please see Diversity and Communication Power.

                Copyright © 2012 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Shakespeare as Advertising Copywriter

To seek, to share, to save. The latest commercial from Google+ condenses and expresses the functions of social network services.

The creative work was done in London, UK by the advertising agency Adam & Eve.

Copyright © 2012 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Advances in Advertising Placement

It's not news that the precision of the Internet has dramatically advanced the productivity of advertising placement.

Here's an entertaining example in connection with the previous blog post about the Fiat 500 commercial that ran on the 2012 Super Bowl. A banner link to latest Fiat 500 commercial "House Arrest" has been appearing in the advertising banner location below the post.

That link won't be featured forever though, so here's the commercial for "archival purposes."

Copyright © 2012 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, February 6, 2012

What Advertising Can Be

On Super Sunday 2012 Fiat introduced us to the future of the muscle car.

Now, Detroit has been using sex appeal to sell cars for a very long time.

But, the metaphorical power of this wonderfully conceived and produced commercial reinvents advertising to car enthusiasts, and in so doing paves the way for the kinds of muscle cars the future may allow.

Despite all the hoopla about popularity polls, this is the 2012 Super Bowl any creative person would want to have on their reel. The commercial was done by the Dallas-based Richards Group.

Copyright © 2012 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Whale Of A Commercial

Tow truck drivers are like fishermen, always out to hook "the big one." Therein lies the basis of a great automobile commercial.

However, to realize this promise, the brand needs to be a big one, legendary in some respect.

It is one thing to "claim" legendary. Thirty years ago Audi pioneered permanent all-wheel-drive.

It is another thing to enact legendary with conviction. People recognize the metaphor of "the one that got away," whether it is Ahab's great white whale or a catfish lurking in a summer pond. This commercial is brilliantly conceived and produced.

Copyright © 2012 by John Eighmey. All Rights Reserved.