Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘advertising’ Category

Unruly Taps IBM Watson Personality Insights Service For Improving Online Marketing Campaigns

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The power of IBM Watson has already been unleashed on the advertising industry with Equals 3’s “Lucy” media planning tool.

Now, British ad tech company Unruly is using IBM Watson to create a new cognitive powered psychographic targeting tool to increase the effectiveness of digital video ads.

Unruly DNA combines the company’s emotional intelligence tools with IBM Watson’s machine learning capabilities to help identify and engage the people most likely to increase a brand’s sales. The company is tapping Watson’s Personality Insights service to help advertisers to learn how and why people think, act, and feel a certain way.

The Unruly DNA tool analyzes social media and other digital data from consumers and learns personality traits such as empathy, trust, assertiveness, and imagination.

Unruly’s new audience targeting tool creates profiles of light buyers who, according to academic research, are more likely than heavy buyers to increase sales because they have a greater capacity to purchase more. Unruly DNA then generates a recommended list of third-party audience segments based on these characteristics, which can be used by advertisers to improve the efficiency of their targeting.

Scott Button, Unruly’s Chief Strategy Officer, said, “Cognitive technologies and Artificial intelligence (AI) have made massive strides in the last few years and are now at a point where they can recognize quite subjective and very human qualities, such as emotion and personality.”

“We’re really at the beginning of the journey when it comes to using cognitive technologies in advertising. Machines can be a powerful tool for marketers to recognize human desires and aspirations. We’re really excited to be at the forefront of this new world with integrating Watson capabilities into our Unruly DNA tool, helping brands increase penetration and sales by targeting their light buyers,” added Button.

Unruly’s new tool is built on large scale consumer panel studies with more than 10,000 respondents combined with insights from social media accounts of participating consumers. By tapping IBM Watson, Unruly DNA uses a mix of linguistic analysis and machine learning to determine the sociodemographic and psychological profile of each panelist, clustering and aggregating the profiles based on buying patterns and purchasing frequency.

All people participating in Unruly’s online consumer panel provided personal data with their express permission and consent. In Unruly’s internal and external reports and analysis, all personal data is anonymized and aggregated. When targeting adverts, Unruly uses anonymous third-party cookies which are not linked to any personally identifying information and enable users to opt out.
According to recent research by Weber Shandwick, in association with KRC Research, more than half of global CMOs expect artificial intelligence to have a greater impact in marketing and communications than social media ever had.

You can learn more about the IBM Watson Personality Insights service here.

Written by turbotodd

December 16, 2016 at 9:32 am

Speak Slowly In Your Regular Voice

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Happy Monday.

I just returned from a nice long weekend with my buddies out in West Texas, where we held our annual “South Austin Gun Camp.”

Don’t worry, nobody was hurt…well, save for that Easter Bunny pinata which made too compelling a target for our collective target practice to resist.

Speaking of targets, they were mostly old beer cans and paper zombies, but a good time was had by all and the weather mostly cooperated for our three day camp out.

I include in this post a pic of one of the shooting activities I semi excel at, which is skeet shooting (called “Olympic Skeet” in the Olympic games, the U.S. team for which I will not be selected for anytime soon).

Turbo takes out his pent up frustrations on some harmless clay pigeons in the wilds of West Texas, while also basking in his short-lived technological  disconnectedness.

Turbo takes out his pent up frustrations on some harmless clay pigeons in the wilds of West Texas, while also basking in his short-lived technological disconnectedness.

Today, however, it’s been email catchup and back to work.

Out in West Texas, I had limited access to any technology. My LG Cosmos II scantly picked up a Verizon signal, so every once in a while I would get a data dump so I could scan my personal email.

The lack of data connectivity made it a little difficult to keep up with the Sweet 16 results and the PGA event in Houston, but I was able to play catch up on those once back at Turboville late Sunday afternoon.

In the “While You Were Out” category, I noticed this story about Nuance Communications’ efforts to release “Voice Ads,” a “new mobile advertising format that lets people have a two-way conversation with brands.”

For the record, I’m a big Nuance (and voice dictation/speech recognition, more generally) fan, but the idea of my talking to a brand made me laugh out loud.

What happens when the brand can talk back to me?

“Hello, Budweiser. I’ll have one of you.”

“Could I see your ID, please?”

“Excuse me?”

“You asked for one of me. I’m Budweiser, an adult alcoholic beverage, and you must be 21 or older to speak with me, much less consume me. Could I see your ID, please?”

“Sorry, I left it at home.”

“I’m sorry, too.  You must be 21 or older to talk to this Budweiser.”

Upstart Business Journal has all the details, ‘splainin’ that Nuance has already signed up marketing partners like Digitas, OMD, and Leo Burnett to reach the approximate 100,000 app publishers out there in the world today.

And no question, mobile marketing is a huge market — I’m just not sure how many people are ready to talk to their brands.

If they are, it’s surely to help them get something useful done. I can easily envision this mobile app from JetBlue sometime soon:

Why am I so late, JetBlue Voice?”

“Your plane was delayed.”

“Why was my plane delayed, JetBlue Voice? I need to get to New York. I have a meeting!”

“Could you please enter your confirmation number?”

“It’s in another part of my smartphone, and I can’t find it because I’m talking to you. Don’t you have voice recognition or something?”

“Perhaps you could call back another time when you have your confirmation number. Thank you for calling JetBlue’s advertising.”

No no, NOTHING could go wrong with mobile voice advertising!

My Kingdom For A Horse! (Or A Dodge Ram Truck)

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Perhaps the Super Bowl should have blackouts more often.

I thought I was going to fall asleep near the end of the first half, though Beyonce and her friends most assuredly would have awakened me from my slumber at halftime.

I don’t think she lip-synched that performance, and neither, it seems, did Ravens quarterback and MVP Joe Flacco, who actually threw for less yardage than San Francisco QB Colin Kaepernick, some 287 of them. But Flacco’s passes garnered a little bit more accuracy and a couple more touchdowns, so it will be he who rides with Mickey and Minnie in the parade at DisneyWorld this time around.

As for the SuperBowl of advertising, well, let’s just say it was a year filled with fair to middling entries, some strong, most anemic, several childish but sometimes fun.

With many of the ads, I got the feeling I was watching the Mike Judge SuperBowl Advertising Film Festival, with a little bit of Sundance throw in for good measure.

For my money — and in the end, that IS what advertising is all about, getting you to spend your money — the Ram truck ad featuring the still life images of farmers and ranchers, underlined by the voice of heartland radio commentator Paul Harvey, walked away with the gold.

Sure, the Tide “Miracle Stain” spot was funnier and more entertaining, and Anheuser-Busch’s “Budweiser Brotherhood” spot may have tickled your sentimental bone a little more, but the Ram spot really hit home. It associated the promises of the product with a broad sweep of American experience — more gut feel than emotion, with images from a remix of Ansel Adams and Norman Rockwell, but unapologetically so, backed by the plainspoken Harvey explaining why “God made a farmer.”

Of course, all those stories have very little lasting power when compared to Richard III, the last of the Plantagenet, the royal dynasty that endured to the end of the Late Middle Ages, and for whom Shakespeare had cry, “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse.”

Turns out Richard could have used a shovel instead, as his remains were recently discovered underneath a parking lot in the English midlands city of Leicester.

What’s even more fascinating, DNA evidence linked with modern ancestors proves the genetic link.

It also turns out that Richard’s body did, in fact, have the historically anticipated hole in his head after all, having been struck by a medieval halberd (think pole ax), along with a scoliated spine.

According to The New York Time’s story, the University of Leicester plans to rebury Richard’s bones in the Leicester Anglican cathedral, and that the reburial will likely take place as part of a memorial service honoring Richard as an English king sometime early next year.

Not to worry about those Tower of London plots where he schemed to have his nephews killed way back when. That’s water under the bridge!

Wait a minute, you might be saying to yourself, how in the world did they find Richard beneath a parking lot in Leicester in the first place?

Ground penetrating radar, of course! This is a technology blog after all — why else would I be bringing up Shakespeare and King Richard!?

In any case, truth in this case is definitely stranger than fiction, and the fiction was pretty strange to start.

As for millions of American football fans around the world lamenting the end of the NFL season, King Richard via William Shakespeare anticipated our frustration in the opening soliloquy of his play Richard III and summed it up quite succinctly: “Now is the winter of our discontent!”

Written by turbotodd

February 4, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Orlando: The CMO Club’s Pete Krainik On The CMO Agenda

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Pete Krainik is the co-founder of The CMO Club, and brings over 30 years of experience in marketing, sales, IT, and product management within the consumer goods, high tech, digital and software industries.

Earlier this year, the Gartner Group informed us they were projecting that by the year 2017, chief marketing officers would be spending more on information technology than the CIO.

Yes, that turned a few heads, at IBM and elsewhere in the industry.

But Pete Krainik, the co-founder of the CMO Club, an organization which brings CMOs together in an environment “of openness and contribution that enables them to become better at what they do” explained during our interview in Orlando that CMOs face challenges bigger than simply better embracing IT.

Most CMOs are expected to lead the growth agendas of their organizations, Pete suggested, and yet many don’t feel they have the needed credibility or are not viewed with the same authority as other C-level execs.

Moreover, many are still wrestling with the rapid advent of social media, and the need to provide more aggressive outreach and enablement of their key advocates. As Pete explained, “Advocates have juice,” and yet so many organizations are struggling as to how to most effectively create and foster relationships with their brand advocates.

We discussed these issues, as well as the powerful narrative emerging around IBM’s Smarter Commerce play, in a fun and engaging discussion.

Live @ IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit Madrid: OgilvyOne Chairman & CEO Brian Fetherstonhaugh Speaks About The CMO Hotseat

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Brian Fetherstonhaugh, as the chairman and CEO of OgilvyOne Worldwide, has a unique vantage point on how brands are built, how corporate cultures are created, and what happens as the world goes digital. In the course of the past 25 years, Brian has worked hands-on with many of the world’s leading brands including, IBM, American Express, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Motorola, Unilever, Nestlé, Kodak, and Yahoo! Today, Brian leads OgilvyOne Worldwide, the interactive marketing and consulting arm of the Ogilvy Group. With more than 4,000 staff in 50 countries, OgilvyOne is at the forefront of the digital revolution. In 2007 and 2009, the Forrester Report ranked Ogilvy as a leading U.S. interactive agency.

OgilvyOne Worldwide Chairman and CEO Brian Fetherstonhaugh started our Q&A today here at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit in Madrid by revealing who his favorite character on the 1960s-era AMC show about advertising, “Mad Men,” was.  Drum roll, please….It’s…JOAN.

Mainly, Brian explained, because Joan “gets things done.”

We then turned our discussion to the vast evolution IBM’s own marketing culture has endured the past two decades, and the opportunities and challenges presented by the changing marketing landscape for CMOs, whose tenures these days last an average 27 months.

Brian also discussed other key issues facing chief marketing officers during this time of great change, including the need for CMOs to focus on new talents and skills development. Before he jetted off to another city somewhere in the world, Brian left the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit, and you, with some valuable marketing advice.

And when you watch the video, never mind the Spanish waiter who entered the frame for just a moment: He was simply doing what we wish to see companies everywhere do best, servicing their customers!

Facebook Up Front

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There’s nothing like the looming shadow of the largest Internet-related IPO in history to bring out all the Debbie Downers.

Mind you, I’m in a two-day meeting in Raleigh with my teammates, so I’m supposed to be paying attention to what’s going on inside these four walls.  And I mostly am.

But, I simply could not ignore this headline sent to me via email by a fellow colleague (just to demonstrate the continued critical importance of personal word-of-mouth recommendations…I can’t find out everything from watching “The View”, now, can I?): GM To Stop Advertising On Facebook.

This on the first scroll of The Wall Street Journal this afternoon.

It would be easy enough to dismiss this headline considering the source, News Corporation, which owns the Journal, which is competing for essentially the same advertising dollars never mind that they also own that little used social network, MySpace, which once-upon-a-time was the bell of the social networking ball — but, it’s General Motors, the U.S.’ third largest advertiser in a critical category for advertising (automobiles).

According to the story, GM has spent some $40 million on its Facebook presence and plans to stop advertising there “after the company’s marketing executives determined their paid ads had little impact on consumers.” However, it also points out GM will continue to expand its use of marketing through Facebook’s pages, which is essentially free real estate.

In this case, it seems that the “owned” media is outpacing the “paid.”

On the other side of Madison Avenue, AP-CNBC recently conducted a poll that indicated more than half (57 percent) of Facebook users polled said they never click on ads or other sponsored content when they use the site. Only 4 percent say they often click on ads.

This isn’t exactly a canary in Facebook’s coal mine, however.

As I’ve tried to point out to my own troops, the shift in attention to the Facebook platform cannot be denied — U.S. Internet users now spend 20% of their surfing time there, and as Facebook creates more intersections between entertainment, retail, and commerce, I would expect that number to go up, not down!

So what if people don’t click on an ad for the new Escalade — there’s a pretty good chance a few millions of the right people saw those ads, and quite frankly, if folks’ attention is moving from the big screen to the small (and, via mobile, to the smaller), then the attention deficit economy must eventually witness the transition of ad dollars in some semblance of parity, which heretofore hasn’t happened.

It doesn’t escape my notice that this news emerges the very same week that the big broadcasters are holding their “upfronts,” where they try to sell their $60 billion of inventory as much in advance as possible for the next year to advertisers, their agencies, etc.

The New York Times’ Amy Chozick penned a piece today explaining some of the festivities at this year’s upfronts. An excerpt: “At the Fox Party on Monday, the judges for the show ‘MasterChef,’ Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot, and Joe Bastianich, will personally serve a menu that includes organic salmon ceviche and a deconstructed Caesar salad accompanied by brioche Twinkies.”

Fox will be serving “veal meatballs with black truffles” along with “Manhattan mules,” a combination of vodka, ginger beer, and lime.

Traditional advertising’s Rome is burning, so why not throw a cocktail party and drink mint juleps as the last vestiges of appointment programming disappear into the Nielsen viewer diary of history?

The dirty little secret is this: We’re entering into a world where the absence of data is going to be replace by an abundance of data.  Moving forward, Facebook’s problem with advertisers will not be whether or not they can share information about the platform’s advertising performance, but more importantly, which data, about which demographic, on what platform, etc.?

There will be more information than most advertisers can consume effectively, particularly those more schooled in Nielsen “set meters” than A/B splits and multivariate testing.

Yeah, sure, go ahead and pile on the new kid on the block.  Mark Zuckerberg’s about to take away those truffles and Manhattan mules and your annual party is moving from up front to out back.  I’d be mad, too.

But that doesn’t change the fact that the advertising world is changing, and the big screen is about to be replaced by one that will get smaller and smaller, but one that will be more and more valuable to marketers.

Dave Drove A Ford

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“Dave drove a Ford.”

This year's SuperBowl ads sometimes left little to the imagination, yet also provided some needed optimism about the future of the American dynasty...along with the slingshot babies and beer-retrieving canines.

That’s all the ash-colored gentleman who survived the GM “Apocalypse” in last night’s SuperBowl advertising lineup had to say.  And then Ford pounced, trying to convince GM to pull the ad from SuperBowl rotation, arguing it was misleading.

Finally, some SuperBowl advertising drama!

As promised, I was on a JetBlue plane flying back to Texas from California last night.  The pilot joked before takeoff that he would get us up and off the ground as soon as possible, so we could get down to the business of watching the game, and then fate played a cruel joke as it took several longgg minutes for the DirecTV satellite to kick back in so we could join Al and Chris.

So, I missed a number of the early SuperBowl commercials, but being the faithful marketing pundit that I am, I went back and watched them all this morning.

I’ll give the overall year in SuperBowl advertising a “B-.”  Better than past years, but still plenty of upside available based on the inventory I watched.

Without any question, the most impactful spot of the evening was the “Imported from Detroit” spot starring Clint Eastwood.

He had my attention from the moment I heard it was him, and the message was powerful, couldn’t have been in better context, and was the kind of economic and America cheerleading ad we could stand more of these days.

What was it trying to sell?  Cars?  American exceptionalism? Detroit?  All of the above?  Yes.

Beyond that, I try to think of those moments that were not only funny or interesting, but stuck with me and pulled their brand along with it.  Remember, advertising’s supposed to sell!

So, here we go…

The moment the baby in the infirmary in the E-Trade ad responded, “Speed dating.”

Classic.

Jerry Seinfeld trying to buy some poor schmuck’s Acura, a spot which also saw the return of the “Soup Nazi.”

The cute little rescue dog ad rescuing people from thirst by getting them a Bud Light, titled “Herewego.”

The nice, big dog from Doritos who blackmails its owner with a bag of chips so as not to spill the beans about the missing cat.

The speed racing bulldog Mr. Quigly, who outpaced all the greyhounds in a commercial for Sketchers (although I don’t remember the specific shoe!)

And then there was that really subtle, yet memorable, message from Telaflora.com about Valentine’s Day: “Give and you shall receive.”

Ooo-kaayyyy.

But there’s little doubt, the night belonged to the automakers.

11 out of the 36 spots I counted were from car purveyors, not including the “Imported from Detroit” spot starring Eastwood.

Not all of them were funny, and certainly not every single one of them was memorable, but they were there, en masse, in the aggregate as a seemingly strong industry spending big money to pitch their latest wares.

That seemed to be a message in and of itself, a resurgent car market as leading indicator for an even more resurgent economy.

And as Clint Eastwood reminded us all, it’s only halftime in America.

Written by turbotodd

February 6, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Mad Men (and Women)

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I watched with eager anticipation the premiere of the fourth season of “Mad Men” last evening.

Me, along with everybody else in the advertising and marketing world, to be sure.

What strikes me about that show, however, is how much it’s not really about the world of advertising.  That includes the premiere show that aired last evening.

We’ve flashed forward a year or so since last season’s end, this time with Sterling Cooper having hung out their own shingle and having their own office space, instead of the single hotel room we saw last episode.

Don’s personal shortcomings pervaded the first episode of the new season. 

First, he blew an interview with a peg-legged reporter (“Korea,” he explains) from AdAge, failing to realize the interview wasn’t so much about his own personal vanity than it was to draw attention (and business) to the fledgling firm.

Hard to believe Draper’s character (particularly at this juncture) was either that modest or naive, but okay, I went along for the ride.

When he told the clients of bikini-wear maker Jantzen to get the hell out of his office, despite losing the potential ad placements, you could see Draper drawing a line between the clashing mores of the 50s and the 60s.  

He was going to work for forward-thinking, progressive businesses, or he was going to find another line of work.

Of course, his family life continues to be a mess…also the point…and Draper has become almost downright vindictive by now when it comes to ex-wife Betty, informing her she’s already overstayed her welcome in the house.  Her new husband, the politico, doesn’t make any brownie points with Betty when he suggests Don’s right.

At the end of the episode, you see Draper doing another interview, this time with a Wall Street Journal reporter.  This time, the show is on.  Draper’s as cocky and confident and ever, and the reporter’s soon eating out of Draper’s hands.

I’ve no doubt Sterling Cooper is about to find themselves very well positioned to take advantage of the dramatic changes taking place in the latter half of the 1960s.

I just hope Don Draper doesn’t entirely lose his soul along the way.

Written by turbotodd

July 26, 2010 at 10:52 pm

SuperBad SuperBowl

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You can listen in here to the podcast edition of the SuperBad SuperBowl blog post below (MP3, 4:34)

Written by turbotodd

February 8, 2010 at 11:28 pm

SuperBad SuperBowl

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Who dat?

First, take dem bags off yo heads.  You aint got no reason to wear dem no bags no more, N’awlins Saints!

Congratulations on your first ever SuperBowl victory!  And what a great victory it was for the great city of New Orleans!

The amigos watching the game at my house and I couldn’t have been more pleased.  What a SuperBowl!

I think this was my first SuperBowl ever where the game completely outplayed the advertising.

Of course, that wasn’t exactly a challenge this year.

In fact, I’d have to say this was probably the worst advertising year EVER for the SuperBowl.

As in bad.  As in really, really bad.

I Tweeted sometime mid-game “Did Al Qaeda strike Madison Avenue and nobody bothered to tell me?,” adding the hashtag #deathofadvertising

In the start of the first quarter, I just figured it was anomaly, that they were just saving the better spots for later.

But it never got any better.  I kept waiting.  And waiting.  And waiting.

I stopped counting at 78 spots (I included movie previews and most of the CBS promos, just to be consistent).

At the end of it all, there were two spots that stuck with me, remembering that good advertising should not only entertain, it should also inform and move the potential purchaser to take action — that is, an action other than running into the bathroom during commercial breaks to relieve one’s self because the commercials were so bad.

One was the Google ad.  That spot was cleverly done, well thought through, and there wasn’t a word spoken, all quite surprising considering that this was Google’s inaugural appearance in the big game.

It was hands down the winner in my book, specifically in terms of advertising value (not just entertainment value), because even if you weren’t aware of Google’s service, you would walk away from that ad with a very good idea of what the Google search engine could do for you.

And yes, it doesn’t strike me as being without some great irony that one of the best SuperBowl TV ads this year, if not THE best, was produced by an Internet search engine.

Go figure.

The other ad that I remembered was Denny’s space station floating, White House convening, chickens which were once again offering me a free Grand Slam tomorrow between 6 AM and 2 PM.  I remember that distinctly (then again, I like Grand Slams).

That’s it.  All the rest of ‘em, virtually the entire pack, were misogynistic, silly, flat, teenage drivel.

If you watched nothing else all year long, you’d think we were headed firmly for the futuristic banality of Mike Judge’s Idiocracy, where butt jokes rule the day and the World Wrestling Federation rules the government.

Speaking of which, I have just a few questions:

When, exactly, did Lance Armstrong start promoting beer drinking on TV?  What’s next, Olympic snowboarder Shaun White backs medical marijuana clubs?

Can we assume that The Simpsons is now in full pimp out mode, now that we’ve discovered that all of Springfield is a Coca-Cola town (although they had no choice!  Pepsi decided to gracefully bow out of this year’s SuperBowl in favor of doing some social media philanthropy instead, which is looking more and more like the most brilliant advertising decision of 2010).

Is a funeral really the most logical place one thinks of when trying to hawk Doritos?  Really? I say no, unless the funeral is for the now-defunct Taco flavored ones, in which case I concur, but only if you’re bringing the Taco flavored Doritos back.

Did Budweiser really think that driving a Bud delivery truck over a bridge made of people would help sell more beer, or was that perhaps the proverbial bridge too far?

Even longterm sellout rock band Kiss (and I’ll admit it, I’m a longtime fan) became a miniature sendoff of themselves when they used “a little Kiss” to sell Dr. Pepper Cherry.

Gene Simmons, helping sell a product where “Cherry” was a featured part of the product name?  Are you frickin’ kiddin’ me?!!

No, I think the real advertising winner of the evening was Bridgestone, which brought us The Who’s halftime show.

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, The Who delivered, which is more than I can say for the rest of the evening’s entertainment (excluding the game, of course).

And other than me and my amigos laughing our you-know-what’s off as Daltrey and Townsend sang “Let’s get together before we get much older,” it really was nice to meet the old boss, who really was the same as the old boss.

The next time I go shopping for tires, I am seriously going to have to consider shopping for some Bridgestones – if for no other reason than for their having salvaged the car wreck (brought to you by Toy…oh, never mind) that was Advertising SuperBowl 2010.

Written by turbotodd

February 8, 2010 at 3:30 pm

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