Below is a recap of the five advertising/media stories that I found to be the most interesting/important/informative from this past week, along with a brief POV on each.
GOOGLE CONSOLIDATES PRIVACY POLICIES AND YOUR DATA
POV: There isn’t any way of fully understanding what this new policy means until it launches in March. But when Google starts making claims that they’ll be able to “provide reminders that you're going to be late for a meeting based on your location, your calendar and an understanding of what the traffic is like that day” it makes you wonder exactly where the privacy line should live. When triangulated in a way similar to the example above, non-personally identifiable information becomes extremely personally identifiable; and that’s going to draw some attention.
APPLE’S MOMENTUM CONTINUES
Why it matters: Toward the end of last year, it seemed that Android was going to continue to grow its lead over Apple in the mobile operating system market. Google made a smart move when they licensed their OS across so many devices – many of them more affordable than the iPhone. But in Q4 we saw the pendulum swing the other way.
POV: When we imagine our world twenty years from now, most of us see our mobile device becoming the cornerstone of everything we do. All of our files will be stored in a cloud (or some 2022 version of a cloud), and our handset will be used to access and control every bit and byte in our lives. The screens in our homes will become slaves to the devices we carry in our pockets. In that world, Apple’s philosophy of creating delightful consumer experiences is the only one that can thrive.
ONE OUT OF 12 MAGAZINE ADS HAS AN ACTION CODE
Why it matters: Measurement of effectiveness is becoming a crucial part of every media investment. And print, which has historically been one of the harder media types to measure, has struggled with how to evolve in an era of accountability. In 2012, for the first time ever, overall spending in digital media will surpass spending in print. Can action codes help slow the bleeding?
POV: Adding a direct response mechanism to a print ad is a good idea because it allows you to track to some degree whether or not your ad made an impact. But this technology still doesn’t solve the problem of shrinking audiences. And with full image recognition on mobile devices right around the technological corner, these types of codes won’t even matter in 18 months because the image itself will become the code. This is an exciting trend, but look for it to reach a peak in 2012 and then start to trail off as marketers continue to shift their dollars into other channels and as technology makes action codes obsolete.
STUDY SHOWS ONLY HALF OF SUPER BOWL ADS WILL BE ROI+
Why it matters: At $3 to $3.5 million per 30 seconds, you’d better hope you get a positive result from your advertising investment. But when you look at who will be watching versus who will be advertising, it’s pretty easy to see that some SB advertisers are in it for all the wrong reasons.
POV: Every year we see good Super Bowl ads and bad Super Bowl ads. But an even bigger problem is that the act of placing an ad during the Super Bowl, good or bad, isn’t always worth the price. In recent years, there has been an explosion of coverage of the advertising on the Super Bowl through social channels and video aggregators. It could even be said that the value of placing a Super Bowl ad has gone up considerably with the opportunity for earned media. But this latest study illustrates there must be reasons other than efficacy that advertisers are willing to fork out the big bucks. What those are we’ll never know.
IN Q4 APPLE SOLD MORE IPADS THAN HP SOLD PCS
Why it matters: We’re seeing a revolution in the way we connect and compute. Tablets are going to continue to displace PCs until at some point we’ll stop buying PCs altogether. Our kids will think of desktop computers the way we think of home phones: they simply aren’t necessary. But what does this mean for enterprise? Most of us still can’t imagine our work lives without our keyboard and our mouse.
POV: Apple without Steve Jobs seems to be doing just fine. In fact, they are bigger and better than they’ve ever been, begging the question whether Exxon (the second most valuable company in the U.S.) will ever catch them again. But more importantly, Apple continues to remind us that non-linear innovation is still more important to users than bigger, faster, more. At some point one of Apple’s competitors is going to figure that out. And at some point our work lives will be as portable as our personal lives.
WEEKLY BONUS: LOOK MOM, NO GLASSES