Tag Archives: advertising

Digital Radio: The Next Marketing Frontier

Date Posted: March 31, 2015 by

ScreenShot2015-03-31at3.31.50PMOver the past few years internet radio has been testing the traditional radio market. People are not only listening to music through a radio in their home or car, but instead they are streaming music through a web browser or app. Unlike traditional radio, we are now able to customize what we are listening to via internet radio sites such as Pandora, iHeartRadio, iRadioPhilly and Spotify. So how did we get here? And why should marketers be aware of the emerging market of internet radio?

When radio began it was a form of communication for news and entertainment. The invention of the television shook up the radio industry, and ever since, radio has become more of roadside companion. Now radio is facing competition once again. Internet radio began in 1996 with sonicwave.com. After the introduction of internet radio, the Digital Millennium Copy Right Act was enacted, forcing internet radio broadcast to pay additional royalty fees compared to traditional radio’s charges. Even with the additional royalties, internet radio companies have been flooding the market with great success.


Radio has many listeners, especially people commuting to and from work or school. The issue marketers tend to have with radio is that it is broadcasted to a wide audience that is not easy to track. However, internet radio listeners must have a registered account, so it is possible deploy messages based upon demographics and other audience specific metrics. What is helping to make these internet radio sites attractive to listeners is the ability to customize music stations. For example, Pandora’s Music Genome Project creates personalized playlists based on each listener’s unique tastes based on their choices, and subsequently linked with genres, artists and songs.

The share of time adults spend between media channels has been shifting throughout the past five years. EMarketer has shown that Pandora’s growth has doubled, while traditional radio dropped by 3%. By the end of 2014, Pandora reported 81.5 million active listeners, while Spotify and iHeartRadio, reported 60 million listeners, each. According to The Infinite Dial, just under 2/3 of 12-24 year olds listen to online radio weekly. Therefore, internet radio caters to a younger demographic, which have been more of a struggle to reach for most marketers.


Internet radio advertising has the advantage of targeting within their platform. For instance, most internet radio providers can target by age, gender, zip code, time, day, and device on which the ad is shown. Beyond that, internet radio companies offer the use of ad banners, takeovers, sponsored sessions, audio, video, custom playlist, and engagement functionalities within the site and app to provide advertisers a full brand experience. Beyond advertising as a junction in the listening experience, some listeners with opt in for ads to have longer period of time without them. As an example of such a tactic, Spotify now offers a sponsored session where listener receive 30 minutes of ad-free listening if they watch a video in its entirety.

So what does all of this mean for the future of the radio industry? Radio is still a large part of people’s lives and should not be overlooked, at least not yet. Internet radio is evolving and could soon be as integral of a part of the daily commute as traditional radio. Car are currently being built with Wi-Fi capabilities, which will make it easier to stream internet radio while driving. However, Android may be taking it a step farther with Android Auto, creating an platform for vehicles that would be optimized for driving with integration within the digital world – apps, music, and directions. All-in-all the future of radio is changing and marketers should embrace the new channels that are emerging as a way to better reach specific audiences, and tie back exact performance metrics.




Super Bowl Commercials: the Good, the Bad and the Innovative.

Date Posted: February 9, 2015 by


Super Bowl commercials might be short in duration, but viewers around the world certainly don’t spend a short amount of time “YouTubing” them. This year, as of the day after the game, we have spent 4 million hours watching Super Bowl ads! So is that a lot of time? Last year, we spent about 2.2 million hours watching these video ads; the numbers nearly doubled! That’s not the only rising Super Bowl statistic- the price is certainly increasing too. The cost of a 30 second slot during the 2015 Super Bowl was $4.5 million…that’s $150,000 PER SECOND! For reference, the first Super Bowl was held in 1967, and they priced the commercials at just $41,000. This brings up the questions, what makes the large cost of these spots valuable? Are they really worth the investment?

The number one commercial for the2015 Super Bowl was by Budweiser. On top of the millions of views from people watching the game (which was the largest viewing audience for the event in history), Budweiser also received 21 million views on YouTube! More than that, people are invested in these commercials, and even save their bathroom breaks for the game as to not miss any! For those of you who may not have been able to hold it, we’ve recapped the good, the bad, and the innovative ads from the 2015 Super Bowl.

The Good:

While The Super Bowl is primarily known for heartfelt or hilarious videos created by beer and candy companies, this year things changed. Some of the most memorable commercials included PSAs. The NFL has received a lot of negative media coverage over the last year in regard to incidents of domestic violence linking back to their players, so they created a very compelling commercial to try and regain some trust while generating awareness and support for Domestic Violence sufferers. The subtle 911 call audio combined with images of a house in conflict brought an eerie reality to the painful occurrence, while asking that we listen to people asking for help and take a stand together. Using a different approach to build the Always feminine hygiene brand, #Fightlikeagirl empowered viewers to be more aware of the way they understand, portray and in turn, value contributions from women because of the effect of the negative perceptions have on the development of individuals, and society as a whole. This ad was very relevant with larger exposure to the feminist movement, while also joining forces with a cause, therefore adding brand value.

The Bad:

GoDaddy, who is known for the racy and humorous commercials, was forced to take down their commercial and make a last minute switch which in turn reduced their number of views to a fraction of what they would’ve been. The pulled video played off of Budweiser’s heartfelt puppy appeal, showing a lost puppy’s journey back to the family farm, only to be greeted with delight on being able to sell the puppy on her new GoDaddy Website. What was created in jest caused enough unrest among early viewers that the brand made the decision to forego the exposure. Some would wonder if that outcome may have been to GoDaddy’s benefit, with the added exposure before the spot even aired on National TV.

The Innovative:

Doritos continued their “Crash the Super Bowl” campaign where they solicit customer commercial entries for a chance to be selected as an official Doritos Super Bowl ad. Millions of people view and vote on the video submissions, and Doritos chooses one or two of those commercials to actually air during their slots. Not only does this leverage customer prizes like trips to the Super Bowl, or $1 Million and a dream job at Universal Pictures, but by actively engaging the brand with customers, Doritos gets more exposure, benefits from customer innovation, and connects more directly with the customer values/mindset.

With our love of all thing marketing, some of us here at i76 Solutions guessed which brand commercials would be the most viewed. Here are the results:

1. Alexa – Budweiser (21 million views) #1 overall Super Bowl commercial!

2. Napoleon- T-Mobile & Kim Kardashian (13.1 million views) #3 overall Super Bowl commercial!

3. James – NFL Domestic Violence (5.7 million views) #8 overall Super Bowl commercial!

4. Michael – Skittles (1.2 million views)

5. Katie – Doritos (774,000 views)

6. Drew – GoDaddy (101,000 views)

Technology Obsessed, Marketing Challenged: Part 1

Date Posted: July 17, 2014 by

Did you ever wonder what life would be like without technology?

Well, before you answer that…since everyone else on my team decided to introduce themselves at the top of their first blog post, I’ll do the same.  I’m Drew, co-founder of this fun little agency we call i76 Solutions.  I run point on the technology and operations for the business…in addition to replacing the hand-towels in the bathrooms when they’re out…Now, back to the initial question.  What would you do without that smartphone?  Your laptop? Headphones?  SmarCar?  Television?  In some ways, life would be much simpler.  But we’re beyond the point of no return – and now, we need to keep up the pace to stay relevant.
This isn’t my first attempt at a blog.  The wildly popular (cough, cough) “Tones in Your Headphones” was born back in 2009 and hasn’t been touched since 2011.  Maybe I’ll get back to it someday. Thank God I have our awesome intern Rachel to keep me on schedule with this one.  I feel good things coming…I’ve always had an obsession with technology—computers, video game systems, the internet—and have followed their innovations and advancements from a very young age.  I wrote my first “application” at the age of 12 (okay, it was a “basic” programming app on a Commodore VIC-20 but it worked.  All 1,811 lines of code!). Like some of you, I was on AOL when it had no GUI and was just a glorified bulletin board.  At age 15, I figured out how to connect my modem directly to my friend’s computer across town so we could chat by typing to each other. I’m pretty sure I invented peer-to-peer chat before AOL did.  Okay, maybe not.  But, yeah, I was a geek…Fast forward to my adult years, and I’ve never been more excited than about where the world is right now—from a technology perspective, anyway (we’re severely lacking in common sense).  Innovators much smarter then I could ever hope to be are constantly challenging the universe with advancements that offer new ways to communicate, interact, and live.

First, I have to say, I love what I do—helping people navigate the ever-changing landscape of marketing and technology.  What was once, for the most part, single-layer solutions to accomplish a client’s goals and objectives (although sometimes multiple single-layered solutions were run parallel to each other) has now become multi-platform, multi-channel, multi-device insanity!  And the best part about it all is that when you know what you’re doing, you can pretty much ensure that you’re getting a return on your investment.   Running lean and efficient—and EFFECTIVE.
So I thought I’d use my maiden post to tell you about one of our latest toys here at the office.photo_(2)-418070-edited
Meet “A.v.a.” (aerial video agent), the i76 drone. You might ask, “Why does a digital media agency need a drone?”  My answer is why the hell not!  :)  Actually, this amazing little piece of technology has tons of real-world applications outside of being super fun to fly!  Equipped with a hi-definition, 14 megapixel camera, the still shots and HD video that A.v.a. beams back to earth are spectacular. Looking at the world from a whole new perspective—literally—keeps my creative juices flowing and helps my agency to stay relevant by coming up with new ideas and strategies that could generate buzz and awareness for our clients.  We’re not the first company to adopt a drone and begin to integrate the technology into our thought process, but we do think exposing the technology to some of our clients allows us to stay ahead of the curve and promotes the forward-thinking conversations that can help differentiate our strategies from the rest.  Think about the real estate vertical, the commercial and residential home services industry, photographers, event and entertainment companies.  The list of possible applications goes on…
Now of course, there’s a whole lot of gray area when it comes to flying drones.  Some states are passing legislature to limit drone flying—and we’re keeping up with the latest news and information. If and when we have legislature governing what we can and can’t do with A.v.a., we’ll be sure to fall in line.  But until then, we’ll practice safe flying and keep our eye on the communications from the FAA.
So how does the title of my blog post and an introduction to A.v.a tie together?  Well, personally, the “technology obsessed” part absolutely refers to me as an individual—however, I use it in terms of referring to the majority of the world.  A.v.a. is just MY latest little obsession; however, when is the last time you sat through a meal where you or someone you’re dining with DIDN’T check their smartphone (See “23 Signs You’re Addicted To Your Smartphone“)?  Get it? This obsession applies to us personally as well as in our business life.  If people don’t respond to emails within the hour of them being sent it’s almost considered ignorant.  That being said, the majority of us can probably agree we’re constantly connected—and it’s hard to disconnect.

Smart marketers realize that in order to penetrate an “obsessed generation,” they need to talk to you through your technology—by way of advertising in your apps, on your lockscreens, embedded in mobile websites, through direct email and using text / SMS messaging.  The “marketing challenged” part of the blog title comes in here.  Which platform or content channel is most effective?  How successful are in-app banner advertisements?  Does a higher CTR (click-through rate) on a mobile banner campaign mean that people are truly more engaged with your brand—or are our fingers just too fat to click and browse on those small screens?  That’s where we’re focusing much of our time as an agency when we deal with the marketing and media placement portion of our business.  We have great relationships with our partners in the mobile marketing space (Google, MoCentric, to name a few) that have enabled us to really have some fun and do some real-world testing with the latest mobile marketing technologies.  Mobile marketing needs to be a core part of any marketing campaign in order to ensure success.  It’s where the people are….  The tough part is navigating through the options.  My agency loves that challenge and I believe it’s something we do quite well.  We are a technology and marketing company—so we narrow down the options and turn the best into opportunities for our clients.
But mobile marketing is only one piece of the puzzle.
In my next post, I’m going to spend some time taking a look at the process involved in building and executing a strong digital marketing strategy.
But before I sign off…take a look at some video A.v.a. shot of the i76 campus:

Rewind: A Look An This Year’s Best Youtube Ads

Date Posted: April 25, 2014 by

Screens have become integrated into our daily existence, with people CHOOSING to spend nearly 1 billion minutes watching the top 10 ads on YouTube this year.  This is great news for advertisers, as video ads are seen as entertainment instead of just a roadblock. Let’s take a look at the most watched YouTube video ads to  assess how to make content that consumers will share & enjoy in 2015.

  1. Tell a Story – An elevator pitch is no longer  customary to say your piece then return to regularly scheduled programming. When consumers are able to opt of the ad experience but choose to watch, Google found that the top 10 adsaveraged around 3 minutes in length. If you can keep their interest, customers will continue to view and interact.
  2. Extend the Event Experience – Fans spent a staggering 14 million hours watching the top 10 Super Bowl ads, with 75% of that time coming from the days before and after the Super Bowl. You can use this space to give interactive, unique or elongated content.
  3. Create a Series – Recognition and familiarity can trigger higher likeability for a product/brand as well as opening popularity to any related content with a new release. Evian did this when they expanded on their “Baby & Me” video with “The Amazing Baby & Me” featuring Spiderman.
  4. Spark Cultural Conversations – Challenging consumers to rethink their surroundings instead of just making them laugh can be a bold, rewarding move.#LikeaGirl took off this year, with a look into an innocent euphemism may be negatively shaping our expectations and values  to half the population.
  5. Collaborate with Leaders – If you’re  not positive on what subject to choose, or how to get consumer attention, try what Purina Friskies did; by joining forces with video heavyweight BuzzFeed to create “Dear Kitten” collaboration gold.