OCTOBER 03, 2011

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Media
“Incentivized Engagement” Ads Increase Brand Perception And Purchase Intent
According to a recent study by KN (Knowledge Networks) Dimestore and SocialVibe, interactive ads that provide a value benefit to the consumer in exchange for their active attention affect all stages of the purchase funnel significantly more than ads that do not have these characteristics. Some of these interactive ads request consumers to answer polls and open ended questions, play mini-games, engage with video content, etc. In addition, if these ads include incentives, the brand benefits further. Some incentives that have been used successfully are giving away virtual currency (Farmville), free music, exclusive content, charity donations, etc. The study found that these “incentivized engagement” ads drive attention to a brand message, increase brand perception and consideration, drive website and in-store traffic, and drive purchase intent and conversions.
So what? Brands that deliver ads that respect consumers’ time commitment through the value-exchange approach will benefit.
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Technology
Google Android Outsells Blackberry and Apple
By the end of this year it is estimated that Google’s operating system will hold the number one smartphone position in the U.S. currently held by Apple. The Android is expected to gain 13 points and installed in 37% of all smartphones by the end of 2011. While Apple will have a slight increase, the biggest loser is RIM Blackberry expected to drop its share by half to 15%. As is the case in many areas, two to three major players dominate an industry. In the smartphone market, eMarketer Principle Analyst Noah Elkin estimates that Google and Apple will control three-quarters of the US Market with Google having over 50 Million users and Apple with 38Million plus. How RIM and Apple responds to this will be interesting to see. Will they introduce products more competitive with Android? Will they find ways to keep their current customers, add new customers? Their very existence depends on a successful strategy.
So what? So what: Although the Apple iPhone was first on the market and created the demand for current mobile applications, marketers would be negligent not to have similar creative opportunities available to android users as they are here to stay.
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Gen Y Embraces Smaller Screens for TV and Online Video Viewing
A recent article by eMarketer claims that although over-the-top video usage (viewing video over the internet via mobile device, PC, or TV) continues to surge across age groups, Gen Y consumers (ages 13-31) are leading the charge in online video streaming and mobile video viewing. According to online research provider Knowledge Networks, 56% of Gen Y internet users stream video on a weekly basis—twice as many as among boomers. Gen Y is also four times more likely to watch video via mobile than boomers.
So what? Marketers should take note of Gen Y as a sweet spot for digital video marketing. As online and mobile video content continues to proliferate, consumer usage of alternative viewing channels will continue to climb.
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Economy
Americans Living in Poverty Hit New Highs
In 2010, over 46 million Americans lived below the poverty line. That’s 2.6 million more people than in 2009. The poverty rate climbed to 15.3%, the highest rate in 18 years. The US Census Bureau defines poverty as a family of four having an income below $22,314. Report spotlights importance of education- and the steep lifelong penalty of dropping out of school.
So what? The persistently weak economy has taken a strong toll on both the middle and lower classes. As families look to prioritize needs, they are saving both time and money by reducing their media consumption. Studies by Deloitte and the Yankee group confirm this.
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Culture
Green Efforts Falter As Recession Drags On
During these difficult economic times, fewer Americans are willing to pay more for “green” items. MRI has found that a little more than half of Americans today (51.2%) are willing to pay more for eco-friendly items to help the environment, down ten percentage points from 2008 (60.5%). In addition, a recent NY Times article on P&G’s green efforts with Cold Water Tide noted that consumers are not flocking to the product. Even though this product costs the same, its’ sales are dwarfed by regular Tide ($150 million vs. $1 billion+).
So what? Consumers still want to support companies that embrace “green” causes to help the environment, but green products should have other clearly defined product benefits as well, including cost parity/benefits compared to non-green products.
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Quick Takes
Social Media Winners and Losers
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Forbes Top 10 Female Power Tweeters
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The Tablets Come Out At Night
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Time Spent On Facebook Is Growing At An Astonishing Rate
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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

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