Media Buying Briefing: “It’s Hard to Fight City Hall” Why More TV Ad Dollars Are Not Following Audiences to Digital and Social Video

Although it made headlines when it was announced in late February, YouTube’s decision to introduce its content products to media buyers and customers in the middle of “initial week” when major broadcast networks and of cable present, was not quite down to earth. shocking news. But should he have been?

Should linear tv be concerned that the biggest ad revenue generator (Google) in media has set an initial market target of over $20 billion in an effort to suck a bigger share of dollars ? And more broadly, should media buyers and their advertiser clients think beyond linear television, given the inexorable trend away from conventional television viewing and toward Gen Z-focused platforms like TikTok, Snap, Twitch, and even Instagram, as well as YouTube?

That’s not quite the case yet, and one senior investment manager at an agency holding company, who declined to talk about attribution in order to speak more candidly, thinks he knows why.

“A lot of our clients are tied to these market mix models, and a lot of these models don’t give digital in general the attention and value that I think the viewer gives to these platforms,” ​​said the veteran buyer. “And those patterns continue to reinforce spending all your money on linear TV.”

Part of the problem, explained Matt Voda, CEO of OptiMine, a cross-channel marketing analytics firm, is that modeling the marketing mix on TV remains archaic and time-consuming to analyze, especially for advertisers who should rotate faster. “The traditional way of modeling the marketing mix will always favor TV because it cannot reach a level of detail” that allows brands to scale their investment and activation faster than using social video, Voda said. . “We’re looking at revenue, not long-term brand impact, but on a dollar-for-dollar basis, paid social will still consistently outperform TV when you dwell on those kinds of details.”

As the CEO of a digital video company put it (who declined to speak publicly so as not to offend potential clients), “What I often hear from people at the agency is that it’s hard to fight town hall – which means at the client side there’s baked-in inertia from decades of modeling market composition and media attribution that the client believes,” the exec said. “No one gets fired for recommending what has worked for the past 20 years.”

And yet audiences – especially younger audiences that advertisers struggle to reach on traditional television platforms – are flocking to digital and social video, from video games to social platforms. According to recent figures from Tubular Labs, which measures audiences across the digital spectrum, social video in particular outpaces the TV consumption of Gen Z and Millennials by a wide margin. Based on February 2022 figures, Tubular estimated that 25-44 year olds in the US watched 5.85 billion total minutes from the top 10 US media and entertainment creators on YouTube and Facebook alone.

Yes, it’s a billion with a B.

Yet resistance persists. “I’m still not sure about the perception of what [YouTube] offer is the same as reality,” said the holding company’s chief investment officer, who said he was always reluctant by customers when recommending increased spending on YouTube. “There are a lot of people who don’t see them as the quality of content they get in prime time.”

Josh Schmiesing, CMO of Tubular Labs, said he knows the tide is turning even among media agencies toward greater use of social video, as agencies and marketers are the growing customer segment. Tubular’s fastest. And he likened that adoption rate to the phenomenon of “moneyball” in baseball in the 1990s, when new measures for evaluating players who went against historical norms were introduced into the game – measures that are in order today.

“When you understand what people watch and how to find those interesting connections in culture, there’s inspiration beyond a media plan,” Schmiesing said. “What are audiences interested in? Where do you fit in as a brand or an advertiser? Or if you’re a creator, how do you tap into that? And I think the combination of those things is where things become really powerful.

OptiMine’s Voda pointed to another barrier to any greater shift of dollars from traditional forms to new forms of video: the brands and their agencies that are actively involved in the seed funding are often a different group than the people who plan spending on social video. “That’s part of the problem, that TV money is handled by a brand team and paid social networks usually live in a different part of the business – and sometimes they don’t even report to the same management” , did he declare. “Maybe that’s partly why some of those dollars haven’t been paid out.”

But the digital video CEO thinks those walls are coming down and the right questions are being asked more frequently. “It’s hard to see the change at the pace it’s happening when you’re in the middle of it. But we’re seeing this holistic, omnichannel independent video thing starting to gain traction. Teams that didn’t even talk to us two years ago are telling us to come and give them a 101 course and help them understand how to think about this growing market opportunity for their clients.

Color by numbers

As March Madness grips TV sports (and a ton of bettors) for the next week, a ton of publicity (some from betting and fantasy sports advertisers) has flooded the broadcast and cable networks covering the tournament. NCAA college basketball. Elevate Sports Ventures and Hive analysis studied the first week of games and compiled some interesting statistics:

  • Excluding the ads themselves, the first week generated $165 million in equivalent media value for brands exhibited in games, led by sports equipment maker Spalding, which got 25 hours of screen time until to March 20.
  • While the media value generated by exposure in men’s matches is significantly higher than in women’s matches (due to higher ratings and commercial costs), the average number of minutes of total brand exposure in women’s tournament games (89 minutes) was nearly 20% higher than men’s games.
  • McDonald’s, Dodge, Skittles, USAA and Walmart were among 12 unique brands in the women’s tournament.

Take-off and landing

  • GroupM’s wave maker landed global media roles for fintech company Square, with a focus on North America and EMEA.
  • the large agency holding companies, including Dentsu, Havas Media, IPG Mediabrands, Omnicom Group, Publicis Media and WPP/GroupM have agreed to fund City College scholarships for underrepresented media students. Each holding company will award approximately $30,000 per student, covering the full cost of in-state tuition.
  • Ralph Pardomost recently CEO of Omnicom’s Hearts & Science agency, was named new CEO of Omnicom Media Group North America, replacing Scott Hagedorn…Horizon Media named independent marketing consultant Joe Koller Executive Vice President/Managing Partner.

Direct quote

“It makes sense that Nielsen would turn down the offer. If Elliott Management’s acquisition of Nielsen goes through, it would likely mark the beginning of the end for Nielsen and traditional measurement. I suspect Elliott would sell the technology it could and would pull in cash flow where it couldn’t.All the while, they’re unlikely to invest in new technology.

– John Hamilton, CEO of TVDataNow, discusses Nielsen’s rejection of a $15 billion takeover bid by a private equity consortium led by Elliott Management.

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