Archive for March, 2010

Can CNN Guarantee Away-From-Home Deliveries?

This upfront season, we’re seeing CNN plant the seeds of a new strategy that may or may not bear fruit.

Greg D’Alba, EVP and COO of CNN ad sales, is putting forward a new stripped-down video pitch that shows off the true power of CNN’s 24/7 news-gathering approach – while also telling them he can guarantee away-from-home deliveries.

No one has ever attempted the away-from-home guarantee before, mostly because it’s incredibly difficult to prove and therefore very hard to convince ad buyers to pay for. The idea is that networks will tailor their news to the viewership in restaurants and bars, hotels and other third-party viewing channels, including away-from-home residences.

Part of the strategy is to begin appealing to younger viewers, who traditionally don’t often watch TV to get their news, though CNN says that studies prove that they’re the TV channel the younger generation prefers when they do tune in.

This strategy also draws the focus away from prime time, preferring to guarantee viewership on a 24-hour schedule. Previously, viewing outside of prime time netted only 10% of CNN’s total revenue – with their new strategy; it looks like CNN is hoping to shift that number upwards.

That is, if media buyers take the bait.

Digital Media Isn’t Necessarily Smooth Sailing

Marketing across the board has been seeing budget cutbacks, but digital media has seemed like a bright spot in an otherwise bleak advertising environment.

Social media, search, video, and mobile were the most popular and cost-effective new advertising techniques that appears to actually be gathering strength in spite of the recession.

Unfortunately, that mindset may me a little hyped-up. eMarketer just cut its growth forecast for the medium to 4.5%, down from their previous optimistic number of 9%. Online advertising may not even increase from 2009 to 2010, seeing as 2009 failed to meet the predictions of continual growth.

It’s not all bad; 2010 will see more effort put into extended digital media campaigns. While many companies in 2009 were still catching up to the digital revolution and needing serious persuasion from their ad buyers to invest money into digital media, there’s a lot of evidence that shows 2010 won’t have those same setbacks. Companies are planning more extended campaigns with more research and planning put in, which may actually turn around the problems with digital media we saw in 2009.

Video advertising is another bright spot, especially with the rise of websites like YouTube and Hulu, where there are long-form advertising options in a medium that companies are well used to utilizing – video commercials. Mobile is another advertising medium that may see an uptick in 2010, with more companies looking into advertising on smartphones using apps tailored to their target demographic. Finally, display advertising is expected to increase slightly, from $4.6 billion to $4.8 billion.

Digital media may not be the sanctuary it’s been touted as, but it isn’t worth turning your back on it. It’s still one of the best ROIs in the business.