Auto makers reducing spending and switching to digital

July 29, 2008

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With gas prices through the roof and sales of gas guzzlers in free fall it really shouldnt come as a surprise that the big auto makers are readjusting plans and making changes. Besides blue-collar layoffs and office cut-backs, it seems that even the folks on Madison avenue may also have to worry a bit as auto-makers shift their spending to Digital or reduce spending altogether.

A couple of days ago Ad Age ran a story about Ford taking $20 million off the table as it reduced it’s ad spending from $300 million to only $100 million due to the free fall in truck sales. Another article that caught my eye, also on Ad Age, highlighted that GM has shifted close to 25% of its advertising from traditional platforms to digital media venues. Thats everything from SEO strategies to CRM implementations slated to get a 25% chunk of GM’s multi-billion dollar ad largess.

If you’re a traditional advertising agency this is the point where you get to quaking in your boots and if you’re a digital shop, my resume is up-to-date and ready to send.


Brands scratch at the surface of online conversations

May 19, 2008

Last week I looked at two social media services and wondered why brands weren’t taking advantage of the wealth of information about the products and services, being offered directly from their customers. Ad Age must have seen my post because they responded with a piece about a company which is hawking a brand monitoring service that is raking in the loot. The company, MotiveQuest, offers month long studies of the chatter happening about and around brands for $30k to $75K.

While I havent seen any of these reports, based on the description in the article they seems fairly superficial. They are only using keyword matches and user tallies to provide brands with “insight” into what people are saying. While I’m sure its a huge leap over what they had previously, that is to say nothing, simply giving demogrphic information based on keyword matches isnt really pushing the boundaries of what possible and knowable. When digital agencies start offering psychographic profiles and “viral value” of users that discuss a product online and then help brands engage with them is when it will get really interesting.


UK Internet ad revenue more than TV revenue in ’09

April 19, 2008

This week Ad Age published an interesting article on the growth of Internet ad spending in the UK. Despite shrinking ad budgets across other sectors, the article reports that online ad budgets grew 38% to $5.6 billion in 2007. They are expected to add another 30% this year for total ad budgets around $7.28 billion. UK advertisers spend some $8 billion on TV ads and at the current pace online ad spending will exceed this number in early in ’09. The other noteworthy item in the article was how very short-sighted some people in the ad industry remain. Despite the witting on the wall, Bob Wootton, pr flack for the ad industry in the UK, uttered the following quotable:

“Internet is thriving because it’s the refuge of small and medium-sized enterprises in hard times. It empowers and enables a new kind of advertiser to come to market… There is no surge of big brand advertisers towards the internet.”

In other words, real advertisers with real budgets arent moving their money online so we dont need to be concerned with small businesses spending their meager pennies on keywords. Classic luddite mistake #518, thinking scale is the only measure of importance.