JANUARY 03, 2012

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US Advertising Expenditures Up Slightly
Kantar Media reports that U.S. advertising expenditures increased 1.5% in the first nine months of 2011. The third quarter of 2011 marked the seventh consecutive quarter in which ad spending has grown. The growth of magazine media matched the overall growth of 1.5%. Newspaper media suffered the largest decline at -3.8%; outdoor advertising had the largest increase at +8.6%. The top 10 advertisers between January and September were: 1. Procter & Gamble 2. AT & T 3. General Motors 4. Comcast 5. Verizon 6. L’Oreal 7. Time Warner 8. Chrysler Group 9. Pfizer 10. News Corp
So what? While ad spends may not be growing at a feverish pace, the steady growth over the past two years is somewhat encouraging. The fact that magazines held their own in the media mix is also a positive takeaway. Many major advertisers, like L’Oreal (+22.6% ad spend over 2010), are aggressively expanding marketing support for their brands.
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The Traveler’s Road to Decision
A Google / IPSOS study examined the factors and media that impact travel planning. The study found that the outlook for the sector remains positive as the majority of respondents plan to take the same or more trips this year; that measure has grown during the past two years. The study also found that the internet is, by far, the most utilized resource when planning travel. Magazines ranked fourth behind the internet, family/friends/colleagues, and informational brochures as the most utilized resource among all travelers, but skewed higher among affluent travelers. Google also found that travelers have grown more reliant on their mobile devices to both plan travel and for activities while on trips, such as checking in for a flight.
So what? Magazines continue to be a resource for travelers, and even more so among affluent travelers, but the current opportunity to reach more consumers may lie in internet and mobile. Condé Nast might use these findings to ensure that search is optimized to land travel consumers on our sites. It also speaks to the opportunity to create unique mobile apps and services for our readers.
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Guidelines to Improve Digital Ad Performance
MediaMind, a company specializing in rich media, released a new paper covering the seven best practices for building a ‘smart’ ad. The paper argues that dwell metrics are a good proxy for measuring brand impact. Dwell metrics measure the number of interactions with a rich media unit as well as the time spent interacting. MediaMind examined over 300,000 ads and found the following practices are best for improving dwell rate: • Use video • Auto-initiate video • Match ads with site content • Use richer, more visible ad formats • Use Synched Ads • Use Dynamic Creative Optimization • Integrate exchanges into the media buy
So what? Agencies and advertisers are always looking for new ways to gauge the digital performance of campaigns. While dwell metrics may not always be suitable in every case, they should be considered. It could be useful to incorporate some of these into our digital ad practice.
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Time as Currency
In a recent trend watch, Iconoculture examines a new appreciation for time in the current economy. Consumers are now stretching their dollars to spend less over a period of time. And those with less time put even more value on balance. People who work more than 60 hours a week associated themselves with relaxation and balance more than those who worked less. These consumers are adding more scrutiny to how they spend their time and money, and look for experiences and products that offer a better return on investment and quality time.
So what? As consumers’ money and time have become more difficult to come by, Condé Nast’s brands and advertisers should value the investment made in us. In addition to asking “Why would a consumer buy this?” maybe we should be asking “Why would a consumer spend time with this?”
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Augmented Reality: Connecting With Consumers Via New Technology
The proliferation of smart phones has created an opportunity for brands and consumers to connect via a new technology: Augmented Reality. Augmented Reality is defined as the virtual overlay of digital information onto a physical world object seen in the device display. Forrester’s new paper highlights how various marketers use Augmented Reality and how the experience may fit into the consumer journey. Check out this video to see Starbuck’s usage of AR: http://mashable.com/2011/11/08/starbucks-ar-app/
So what? As Condé Nast continues to develop apps for smart phones and tablets, we may want to experiment with Augmented Reality technology. AR could prove to be an effective tactic for making content ‘magnetic.’
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Quick Takes
Apple, Samsung and RIM Manufacture the Most Mobile Devices in November
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United Way is Largest U.S. Charity
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A Comparison of Online Video Activity by Age
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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