FEBRUARY 18, 2014

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Nielsen: An Update on Media Usage
The average American now spends 60 hours in front of a screen each week -- how they use their screens and the segments of the population leading those trends is all covered in Nielsen's latest State of the Digital Consumer report. The average American still spends the bulk of their media time watching live television -- 133 hours and 49 minutes each month during 2013; however that was down nearly 3 minutes versus the previous year. Conversely, the average smartphone user spent an additional 10 minutes using browsers and apps on their smartphones. The extra time spent on smartphones can be partially attributed to a migration away from computers. For example, Facebook had a 14% drop in its monthly unique audience on desktop versus the previous year, but a 39% increase in its smartphone app audience.
So what? This report from Nielsen might not provide any updates considered earth-shattering, but it does reinforce an important point. Digital audiences continue to move to mobile. In fact, smartphone users are spending an average of seven hours more per week using browsers and apps on their device than they do browsing on computers. With that in mind, brands need to continue to optimize content and advertising solutions to fit a smaller screen.
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Celebrity Endorsers Have Little to No Impact on Ad Effectiveness
Advertisements with celebrities tend to be less effective than ads without celebrities, according to advertising analytics company Ace Metrix. Analyzing more than 12,000 television ads – 10% of which featured a celebrity endorsement - Ace Metrix found that even when controlling for the target demographics and the product category, there was no benefit attributable to the use of celebrities. While celebrity ads as a whole had slightly lower effectiveness scores than non-celebrity ads, some celebrities outperformed the norm. Successful ads featured celebrities who have a meaningful connection to the product, and employed a clever script with a substantive message. The top performing celebrity was Ellen DeGeneres, the spokesperson for JCPenney.
So what? This study confirms what Condé Nast knows from years of featuring celebrities on our covers. Despite people’s fascination with celebrities, merely featuring a star on your cover or in your ad does not guarantee success. The celebrity should be a good fit for the brand’s values and the ad itself must tell a compelling story.
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Storytelling and Immersive Elements in Ads Welcomed By Consumers
Constantly connected and wanting to be entertained, consumers also want their advertising to tell a story and be interactive. According to a recent report by Latitude titled, The Future of Storytelling, 92% of survey respondents feel that ads could feel more like a story or a game, employing entertainment-based narratives. Creative themes or interactive elements, such as gamification were also desired by many consumers. One in three would like to see more ads provide a back-story about how a product was made or designed and one in four would like to have ads that they can interact with in a way that feels more game-like or visually immersive. Product placement has long been a way to both advertise and story tell, and seems to be well-received as three in four are interested in discovering products or services at relevant plot points in a story they are viewing.
So what? While this survey measures consumer receptiveness, it should not be confused with ad effectiveness. However, the attitudes reported on here are reflective of some of the new forms of advertising that have been introduced in recent years. As publishers continue to experiment with storytelling devices like native advertising, these findings lend support to attempts to make advertising less about the sale and more about the story.
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Mobile Video Viewing Becomes Increasingly Prevalent
Adobe has released its latest U.S. Digital Video Benchmark, which highlights the rapid growth in smartphone video consumption. The report reveals that in 2013, smartphones overtook tablets for mobile video streaming, and they now account for 13% of all online video views, up from 7% in December 2012. Tablets account for 9% of views, up from 8% last year, while PCs are down from 85% to 78%. Smartphones are the mobile device of choice even for special sporting events, like playoffs and championship games, where smartphones account for 14% of video views and tablets for an additional 13%. Mobile devices are especially strong when viewers are watching "TV Everywhere" (i.e. authenticated pay-TV subscribers watching TV on digital platforms). The majority of TV Everywhere streams are viewed on mobile devices, with tablets in the lead. Tablets are producing 42% of the views, followed by smartphones (31%) and PCs (22%). Gaming consoles, while still responsible for only a small share of the pie (3%), accounted for a significantly larger number of video views this year following the introduction of the Xbox One and PS4.
So what? Although a larger screen may seem like a better fit for video content, user consumption trends suggest that smartphones will capture a growing share of video views in the near future. Condé Nast and its advertisers should ensure its video content is compelling across a multitude of devices.
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Quick Takes
Millennials More Likely than Older Consumers to Make Unplanned Purchases on the Internet
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Globally, Samsung is Gaining Market Share on Apple in the Tablet Business
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Online Publishers Are Taking Measures to Protect Against Bots
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French and Americans Have Gained A Far More Favorable View of Each Other Over the Past Decade
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Condé Nast
Feedback, questions, ideas for future issues? Please contact:

Phil Paparella
Condé Nast Research & Insights | Associate Director
1166 6th Avenue, 14th fl. | NY, NY 10036 | office 212.790.6044 | philip_paparella@condenast.com

Tamar Rimmon | Senior Manager, Digital Analytics
Robyn Hightower | Manager, Research & Insights