Welcome to the Weekly Wrap for the week of May 11! From Google cracking down on display ads, Twitter acquiring a mobile adtech company, to studies on factors that affect future consumer behaviors, grab a cup of coffee and absorb the marketing insights and news from this past week.
Twitter Acquires Mobile AdTech Firm CrossInstall (Silicon Republic)
Twitter makes another move towards building out its mobile advertising business with the purchase of CrossInstall – an interactive, programmatic mobile advertising company.
- CrossInstall helps app developers acquire new users through the use of playable ads (the ads are a game).
- For now, CrossInstall will act as a standalone product but Twitter will be considering integration options in the future.
PepsiCo Finds that Consumers Want Empathetic Brands (MarketingDive)
Accentuated by the COVID-19 crisis, participants in a PepsiCo and Ipsos study said that it’s important for brands to be empathetic.
- 4/5 respondents believe empathy has become more important.
- 56% of respondents said that brands that use marketing to address COVID-19 are displaying empathy.
- According to respondents, the top five ways for brands to show empathy are: (1) Treating people with respect (52%); (2) Treating people like human beings (50%); (3) Listening to people (43%); (4) caring about people (41%); (5) acknowledging when the brand is wrong (37%).
Company Behavior During a Pandemic Influences Customer Loyalty (Lucid // MWWPR)
A new study supports the belief that how a company behaves during a public crisis will affect future sales.
- 83% of consumers said behavior by a company’s leadership during the pandemic will influence whether they buy from that company after the global health crisis subside.
- 84% of respondents reported that how companies prioritize their employees’ welfare during this time will become a more important factor on what they buy.
- 81% said businesses have a responsibility to help solve social or policy issues, even those outside their product category or industry.
- 73% said they want to hear from corporate leaders now as the general public seeks information from trusted authorities.
Facebook has begun testing skippable mid-roll, in-stream video ads.
- After five seconds, users are able to skip the ads.
- Mid-roll videos of 10-15 seconds will also be tested, including existing ads.
- Facebook will analyze the results of the tests before announcing any further expansion plans.
Google Will Crack Down on Resource Intensive Display Ads (Google Chromium Blog)
Google has recently discovered that a “fraction of a percent of ads consume a disproportionate share of device resources, such as battery and network data, without the user knowing it.” As such, they are implementing resource thresholds for ad resource consumption.
- Chrome will be placing a limit on the resources a display ad can use before the user interacts with it.
- When an ad reaches its limit, the ad’s frame will navigate to an error page (as pictured above) and inform the user that the ad has used too many resources.
- The thresholds will be set to 4MB of network data or 15 seconds of CPU usage in any 30 second period or 60 seconds of total CPU usage.
- They report that 0.3% of ads exceed this threshold currently but account for 27% of network data used by ads and 28% of all ad CPU usage.
Google’s news that they will be cracking down on data and battery draining display ads will be most welcomed by users and despised by extremely lazy creative teams and/or cryptocurrency miners. So, unless you’re one of the latter two parties, you shouldn’t be worried about this announcement given the high thresholds for resource consumption. However, this is indicative of a larger trend: The increasing demand for and importance of creative optimization. It wouldn’t be overzealous to assume that poorly optimized creatives (in terms of resource performance) will be increasingly penalized in various ways.
Lucid & MWWPR’s and PepsiCo’s studies further solidifies what crisis communications professionals have been saying for a while now… That it is key for brands to showcase: empathy, compassion, social-good orientation, proactive communication, and composure. This extends both externally (to consumers) and internally (to employees). Interestingly, it seems like consumers pick up on how a company treats its employees during a crisis and will then let that proactively affect their future purchase decision-making. Moreover, it showcases that brands have an opportunity to gain new, future customers during a time of crisis. It can be as simple as how a company manages a situation.
Twitter’s acquisition of CrossInstall is a sleeping giant of a story. It’s part of a long-winding mission by Twitter to beef up its advertising business in a way that’s suitable for mobile usage and the type of users on the platform (harder to display ads effectively on mobile + capture short attention-spanned users). With the implementation of CrossInstall’s interactive ads/games on the horizon, Twitter is slowly building its ad stack in a way that will certainly be attractive to ‘hip’ advertisers. All will tell in time.
Facebook’s testing of a mid-roll, in-stream video ads shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. They have steadily expanding mid-roll ads to various types of video content for a while now. The only question that will remain is how the user feels about it due to the unpopularity of mid-roll ads in general and that livestreams haven’t seen much advertising innovation or capabilities to date.
Insights from the Frontline (from client campaigns)
⬆️ Mattress brands are starting to see great results again, especially if they’re social-good orientated (e.g., sustainably made).
✅ CPA campaigns on the Open Web for Toys & Games companies remain highly effective. Even if the focus is on prospecting.
✅ Local advertisers are seeing fantastic CTRs with responsive display ad units.
✅ It’s a prime time for prospecting on the Open Web if there’s some level of organic interest in your product(s). I.e., Good CPMs, less competition, increasing e-commerce demand. This may be a missed opportunity if you’re not looking at these campaigns right now.
✅ Sincerely think about the optics of any employee-related decisions you have to make as a company. Word spreads fast and gets into the minds of consumers which will then affect their view of your brand. It’s a hard time but people expect premium treatment (as they should).
✅ Diversification. Diversification. If you’re in a position to advertise, as the economy opens up, make sure that you’re exploring new channels and ways to reach your audience. Advertising competition will be coming back so having multiple channels is key to ensuring cost-efficiency as well as performance (never a bad thing to have multiple touch-points).
And that’s a wrap for this week!
Please write to us if you have any questions or want to suggest a topic.
See you next week! Stay healthy and stay strong.