Monthly Archive
for: ‘January, 2017’

2016’s Lessons: TV is as Strong as Ever

With the new year we thought it useful to look back at advertising lessons learned during 2016. A Rosy Forecast for TV. You’ve probably seen plenty of summary articles. So let’s start with something unique – what we can learn from the effectiveness of Atomic’s campaigns at driving sales impact. After all, we do a bit of a rare thing for advertising – we evaluate our work for it’s ability to drive sales at the store. Crunching the numbers, we found something that many might find surprising: Looking at store sales, our 2016 campaigns delivered as much impact per dollar spent on TV advertising as they ever have. Let me repeat that: TV was as effective as ever in 2016. This might come as a surprise to those confronted by all the hype about new digital baubles. But 2016 was also a year for re-setting things based on marketing truth. Some key examples: Few “innovations” around advertising turn out to live up to the hype. For example, remember the headlines about streaming the Olympics? Well, it confused “stream” with “average viewers per minute”. Once adjusted to compare with traditional TV, it turns out the streaming numbers were not very significant. Here is an article by Mark Ritson working through the numbers. Bob Hoffman (the AdContrarian) has played a pivotal role digging into the fraud that plagues digital advertising. It’s at incredible levels for ALL types of digital work, including digital video. Here are a couple of good links about online ad fraud AND about video fraud. Mark Ritson is a marketing professor from Australia who has done some excellent […]

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“Barnes & Amazon” Coming Soon to a Mall Near You (Thoughts from a Store Visit)

The following relies on thinking outlined in my posts on Amazon’s overall finances, their retail reality, and the latest Amazon Q3 results. I’m fortunate to live within a couple of miles of the new Amazon bookstore at Washington Square (just outside Portland, Oregon). I recently visited to see if it matched the hype. I expected the store to take cues from’s shopping experience with different efficiency, purchase transactions, or some insightfully unusual product mix. And since this is only their second bookstore, it’s reasonable to assume it is set up using best practices, learned in Amazon’s first wave of stores. Remarkably the store in Oregon lacks any sense of Amazon that fits with their online activities. Rather, it seems they learned they’re most successful with bookstores that are, well, corporate-type mall bookstores. Some observations: The store was BUSY. Washington Square hasn’t had a bookstore inside for years, so Amazon was filled with people. Customers were all browsing in ways they can’t online. They were standing in the aisles, opening and searching books to find something of interest. The store is smaller than a typical mall bookstore – I assume this is a strategic choice by Amazon to limit inventory and lease costs. Watching shopper behavior and the store setup, it reminded me of Barnes & Noble. Sure, the Nook display was replaced by Amazon’s Echo and Kindles, but there was nothing else significantly “Amazon” about it. After several visits and watching Amazon announcements, I think there’s a very good chance Amazon’s end game is brick and mortar retail. Of course, they aren’t going to let us in on that secret, because Amazon’s strategy is more like […]

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