Retro Ads from Ad*Access by Duke University Libraries

AdAccess Database

Whether they prompt you to scratch your head and ask "They said what to sell that?!," or incite your inner-vintage-monster to go on yet another Mad Men bender, the high quality scans of advertisements in Ad*Access are worth a look back in time.  Chock full of thousands of printed ad spanning the early-mid 1900's, this database's five primary categories are Beauty & Hygiene, Radio, TV, Transporation, and WWII. Because I can't state it any better, here's what the About page says:  "Ad*Access is a pilot project to make a selection of historical advertisements available for study and research. The project draws on part of a large collection of magazine and newspaper ads within the Duke library's J. Walter Thompson Company Archives." (I especially recommend reading the Preservation paragraph if you want a bit of perspective on how Duke's archivists managed these materials.)

Simply put, this is a major tool for those doing advertising or marketing research through an historical lens.  And this database, an end-product with hundreds of hours of work behind it, is free for anyone to use.  Sold!

You'll find more free advertising resources here.

NYT: How Companies Learn Your Secrets


Happy Monday!  We're starting out the week by revisiting a post on our Facebook page which deserves its proper due on our blog too.  We all know that companies are researching us as much as we do them, but as Charles Duhigg's NYT article titled "How Companies Learn Your Secrets" explains in excruciating detail, the extent to which retailers like Target can hone in on select life events based on shifting purchasing habits is, well, fascinating. We highly recommend devoting a solid 20 minutes of quality workload procrastination to reading the whole thing.  Yes it's a bit long in parts, but stick with it through the obligatory rat-and-maze experiment because the case study on Febreze alone is worth the price of admission.  Overall, depending on your metaporical empty-or-full-half-glass outlook when it comes to consumer psychology, you might come away a bit terrified, or you might want to try to cheat the system next time you buy groceries, or you might be jonesing to try that spiffy weight loss trick.

Google's Think Insights on Word of Mouth Advertising


Google's Think Insights recently published their study "Word of Mouth Advertising and the Internet". Based on the fact that there are 2.4 billion conversations per day that involve a brand name totally 3.3 billion mentions of brands, Google did a study to look at the effects of the internet on these brand conversations and the effect on Word of Mouth (WOM). They had 3,000 adults respond to questions on how they used media or marketing sources before the conversation (triggered or sparked the brand talk), during the conversation (checked facts, referenced a source, shared content), and after the conversation (shared more widely, took action, or to learn more). Here are some of their key findings:

  • 94% of Word of Mouth still take place face-to-face
  • Google was the #1 source for sparking WOM conversations and the #1 place for finding more information after the conversation
  • WOM conversations that start with search are more 25% more credible and 17% more likely to lead to a purchase than that those stared with social media sites

You can see the full report here. It's interesting that vast majority of these brand conversations are still taking place in person. And, it makes sense because I see my closest friends, those that influence me the most,  in person more than online. I'm not surprised that Google is the top site for sparking interest for these conversations, it is the top search engine. According to the study, search (and therefore Google) are still the most referenced sites used before, during, or after a conversation. Social Media is lagging back at 3.2%, do you think this will change in the next few years? Will my friends see where I'm shopping, eating, and what brands I "Like" and make purchase decisions based on that?  Is it still Word of Mouth if we aren't really talking about it, just doing it and being seen? I still think search will be a huge factor after the WOM conversation for research. We know what Google thinks, what do you think?

GrowthPanel is a Good Thing


While free fashion advice from your geriatric aunt would likely be unwelcome, free business advice from professionals with decades of experience in leading SMBs/SMEs would likely be met with open arms.  Enter, a “web-based marketing platform that blends marketing content with project management for intelligent marketing management.” I give them major kudos for giving away a significant host of free learning materials and tools to potential customers.  You can download their Strategic Marketing Process ebook at no charge, plus their Marketing Exercises, spanning over two dozen functions that any business should be doing well, e.g. search engine optimization, developing brand architecture, etc.  (Full disclosure: I did not discover GrowthPanel myself.  Dr. Bailey at UT’s School of Information assigned the Develop Your Media Kit during a graduate Administration course I took from her.)

One thing’s certain- GrowthPanel loves lists.  Bulleted overviews, check lists, short answer lists, these exercises are broken into readily comprehended and tackle-able segments that will have a working group thinking without being overwhelmed.  The resultant material generated from the exercises can be applied by almost any institution, commercial or non-profit, for real world self-evaluation and use.

Moat--The Search Engine for Ads


While plenty of us tend to avoid ads while we're searching the web, the folks at Moat are doing just the opposite. Moat lets you search brand names to see all their ads across the web. It's a great way to quickly see all the different campaigns for a particular brand and would be pretty handy for advertising students or perhaps getting ready for a meeting with a publisher or even a job interview. Here's an example of what a search on Mini Coopers brings up:

In addition to ad search, Moat also offers ad analytics helping advertisers understand how users are interacting with their ads using heatmap technology. You can see an example of their technology here.

Ad Spend Forecast


According to new eMarketer reports, US spending on major media will continue its slow recovery from the recession. Total ad spending won’t come back to 2007 levels in the next few years, but TV ad spending is making a better-than-average comeback and will surpass 2007 spending levels by 2012. TV still retains the greatest share of US major media ad spending, at 39% and is expected to keep that hold through 2015. This means the increases in online ad spending—set to grow from 15% to 26% of the total by 2015—will come at the expense of print.

Online already represents the second-biggest advertising medium after television, after surpassing print newspaper ad spending in 2010. By 2013, online ad spending will be greater than print spending on both magazines and newspapers combined.

Even though online advertising is projected to increase its share of US major media ad spend, overall spending on digital, including internet and mobile, still hasn't risen to match consumption patterns. The internet took up 25% of adults’ daily media time in 2010, but received just 19% of US ad spend. Mobile is also behind. It claims 8% of media time, but most of that is devoted to communications activities marketers are not looking to interrupt.

Average Time Spent vs Ad $ Spent

March Madness: The Big Dance for Advertisers


It's March Madness and while we can't help you with your brackets, we can help you research the dollars and cents of college basketball. According to Kantar Media, about 280 marketers have spent over $4.8 billion on national television advertising during March Madness over the past decade. In 2010 alone, ad revenue topped $613 million, up 4% over 2009.  And since games are streamed online, digital advertising represents a small but growing segment of March Madness advertising. Digital advertising represented only 1% of the ad revenue for 2006, but grew to almost 6% in 2010. The NCAA playoffs are also the #2 most lucrative post season sports franchise for ad revenue, ranked only behind the NFL playoffs. Top advertisers included GM, AT&T, Coke, Capital One and HP. Speaking of Coca-Cola, this is a big year for their Powerade division. According to AdAge, Powerade will launch its biggest marketing program yet as this year's "Official Sports Drink of the NCAA". Powerade products will be on the sidelines for all 88 games and they'll launch their new "Game Science" campaign during the first game with an ad featuring Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets. Powerade currently holds about 27% of the sports drink market share with Gatorade leading the category with 71%.