Lies, Damn Lies And Social Media

Lies, Damn Lies And Social Media
SHARE
THIS



In his latest column, B&T regular Robert Strothfeldt from Strothfeldt Consulting, opines if you bother to look at the facts then “new media’s” message often plays with the truth…

“Money doesn’t talk; it swears:” Bob Dylan

I keep reading that the media pendulum is starting to swing back to traditional media and that some (unfortunately not nearly enough) people in our industry are conceding that social media and advertising in it, has been vastly over rated.

To quote Peter Field, the British marketing consultant, “Advertisers have been seduced by a propaganda assault on traditional media spread by an immensely well- funded digital machine”.

Of course, it is the digital revolution and you have to “get digital or get lost”. The fact that TV and radio are digital, newspapers and magazines are increasingly read on tablets/laptops etc. and digital signage is a huge growth area is overlooked.

The Google/Facebook duopoly has been able to both buy and seduce on a level never seen before. I suppose if your stock was over-valued to a point where a correction would be nearly as calamitous as the Wall Street meltdown in 2008, you would do all you can to keep the false value high.

We have lost the art of strategic brand building and rely on short term promotions – because they are what works best on these flaky platforms.

We talk about Big Data, but our media shops don’t seem capable of anything much beyond primary school maths. The measurements to justify ludicrously low CPMs should have been called for what they are – Bullshit, a long time ago.

A report by the Wall Street Journal has estimated Facebook has over- estimated the average time spent watching video by a staggering 80 per cent. FMD! And still, our industry pushes Facebook and Google and lets them measure their own performance, with only a whisper of disapproval.

What do our media “leaders “say about the flaky measurements? “We are not surprised” and it was a “Careless mistake.”  (A huge fucking rip-off is more like it) But “After careful review we have determined that this error has no impact on the pricing and audience delivery of our campaigns.”. Of course.

“Here is your campaign performance – plus or minus 80 per cent. But we keep that juicy 20 per cent commission thank you, because the price is not affected”. Have to go, off the lunch/dinner/a show (put favourite past time in here) with Google/Facebook.

In a series of articles recently on Existential Threat to advertising agencies, Credibility and Remuneration were listed as two of the four major threats (Along with Identity and Competition).

When such a significant proportion of a media agencies revenue is linked to commissions, the question of “how objective is the advice and recommendations?” must be asked This is not confined to advertising, but any business whose major stream is derived from commissions.

The financial planning industry was subject to heavy criticism after a number of property financial products failed. Small “Mom & Pop” investors were wiped out. Instead of providing solid, objective advice, these unsophisticated but trusting “investors” had 80 per cent or more of their savings tied up in these products, rather than having their money spread across a number of areas to minimise risk.

A post mortem revealed they were presented to the clients as being almost zero risk, but high return. (Which goes against the basic laws of nature). It was revealed that the financial planners involved were receiving commissions of up to 20 per cnet from these high risk “products”. And to make matter worse, they received their commissions upon the signing up of the poor, unsuspecting client. The planners got their dough. The investors got screwed.

Even if a person believes they are providing objective advice, many studies over many years by psychologists have consistently shown that a person is more likely to believe in something that benefits them. They search for evidence to support their hypothesis i.e. commissions can lead to skewed advice, even if unintentional.

Irrespective of the area of the practise, being “seen to do the right thing is almost equally important as “doing the right thing”.

I have quoted Professor Mark Ritson on a number of occasions. He was the first high profile marketing academic to draw attention to the inadequacies and inaccuracies of social and online media measurements and impact, relative to mainstream.  For quite some time he was a lone voice.  I have worked with quite a number of marketing academics and they all have one thing in common – their advice is objective.  Academic is also somewhat misleading as they all have provided consulting to the both the private and public sector i.e. it is not just theory. They put their thoughts into practice and they are not beholden to a third party for their fees.

His most recent column in The Australian Media section last Monday highlighted how even the biggest and most respected advertisers can become ensnared in the question of conflict of interest.

At a conference at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney, attended by the cream of the Australian marketing industry, Telstra’s Chief Marketing Officer extolled the virtues of YouTube, detailing the role it played in the outstanding success of their new “Thrive On” campaign. It was described as the most successful in Telstra’s history. (Though I am not quite sure how this was measured).

It received 1.5 million views on YouTube. It was emphasised that 60 per cent of theses viewers did not switch off after three seconds, but saw it through to the end i.e. 900,000 people.

As well as the numbers generated by YouTube, the value was highlighted with a CPM of just $9 compared to $23 for FTA TV.

All sounds great. But Ritson applied a bit of basic maths and looked at the whole picture.

  • Getting 900,000 people to look at an advertising video is not to be sneezed at, but this equates to just 5 per cent of Telstra’ 17 million customers all of whom were “invited”, via email, to view it.
  • These views were totalled over a two-month period.
  • After just one week, Telstra’s ad had 10 million impressions on TV. Over two months that figure was around 90 million
  • Most viewers saw it more than the effective 3 times frequency on TV.
  • Comparing the two, 98 per cent of the video views were on TV and just over 1 per cent on YouTube

But the role TV played in the campaign was not recognised. To any impressionable person in the audience, YouTube was the hero and TV was yesterday’s hero. It is hard to put an accurate percentage on this, but I would guess that well over half of the audience started their careers in the “digital era” and have fed and believed that online and social as the future believe that time spent understanding traditional media is time wasted – we have a whole generation of marketers who have been brain washed.

As an aside, Senator Dastyari, the Labor Senator who was recently forced to resign for accepting money from Chinese businesses (and by extension, the Chinese government), is the darling of the young progressives. He named his 10 most evil companies – no surprise it was made up of the 4 big banks, the 3 big miners, Coles, Woolworths and Telstra. He did not nominate Apple, Google or Facebook. They are technology companies (well, Facebook and Google really are media companies, but to concede this would seriously cramp their style by having to work within the same constrictive legislative framework as the traditional media companies.).  The point – no one in our industry wants to be seen as living in the past. Facebook and Google (outside of their search business) do not come in for anything but the most cursory of scrutiny.

Telstra generates around $9 billion annually from video streaming, of which $1.9 billion comes from YouTube.

So there is a bloody big conflict of interest happening here. But the problem is it is not just “here” but occurring all through the industry.

Is it any wonder so much money has been poured into social and online advertising? One of the largest advertisers in the country is essentially lauding YouTube as the major driver of their most successful campaign ever. And our largest media buyers are shrugging their shoulders and saying “Oh, well, it doesn’t really change anything”, when Facebook is accused of inflating their video watching time by up to 80 per cent. If that figure was say 10 per cent, such a response would be understandable, but 80%?

The old question springs to mind “Is it incompetence, or is it corruption”?

No wonder advisory and management consulting firms are increasingly becoming threats. PwC recently produced research for their clients saying advertising agencies can no longer be relied upon to communicate with a diverse society, as the majority of creative directors are male, white and middle class and hence lack the empathy required.

Twenty years ago it would have been unheard of for a firm, who started out as chartered accountants, to be commenting on our core “product” – creative.

But these guys have the ear of the CEOs and boards.  It won’t be long before many start asking, “So if advertising agencies can longer be relied upon to create relevant communications, who can we rely upon”?

And they will smile and say “Us”.

Latest News

Digital Breadcrumbs: Picking Up The Pieces Your Competitors Leave Online
  • Opinion

Digital Breadcrumbs: Picking Up The Pieces Your Competitors Leave Online

In this guest column, Meltwater’s area director, David Hickey (pictured below), says a quick glance at the mountains of data your competitors are producing can fast prove a boon for your business too… It’s time for businesses to start paying attention and embrace the new digital reality we’re living in. We are currently in the […]

Opinion

by David Hickey

David Hickey
“The Rock” Leads a Flotilla Of Athletes In Huge Under Armour Campaign
  • Campaigns

“The Rock” Leads a Flotilla Of Athletes In Huge Under Armour Campaign

US sportswear giant Under Armour has enlisted Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to front a series of inspirational new ads featuring a host of sport stars and fitness icons. Created by Droga 5 the campaign is called “Will finds a way” and includes eight ads in all. Johnson aside, the spots include actress and martial arts star, Zoe Zhang. Fellow […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee joint hearing about Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, April 10, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB        (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Media

Free TV Calls For ACCC Oversight Of Facebook & Google

In a submission lodged with the ACCC inquiry into digital platforms, industry body Free TV today called for greater regulatory oversight of Facebook and Google. The FreeTV submission identifies a number of key areas of concern: Heavy regulation on traditional media providers and almost none on Facebook and Google Questionable claims about the reach, viewability, […]

APN Outdoor Confirms Retention Of Three Key Contracts
  • Media

APN Outdoor Confirms Retention Of Three Key Contracts

APN Outdoor has used its annual general meeting to announce three key contract renewals: Transport for Brisbane, Transdev Melbourne and Adelaide & Parafield Airports, for multiple years. Company CEO and managing director, James Warburton, said: “These contracts represent an important part of our advertising offering. The far-reaching impact they provide delivers a compelling proposition and cements our commitment […]

Women In Media Profile: Olivia Warren
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Olivia Warren

It's the latest in our Women In Media profiles, and this one is so good you'll possibly get a nervous twitch somewhere.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
LIDA Delivers Series Of Animated Info Bites For Busy Marketers
  • Marketing
  • Media

LIDA Delivers Series Of Animated Info Bites For Busy Marketers

M&C Saatchi Group’s customer engagement specialist agency, LIDA, has crafted an initial eight-episode series of bite-sized animated videos designed to help busy marketers stay ahead of the game. ‘60 Second Gets’ draws on LIDA’s wealth of experience to unpack the latest industry tools, tech and thinking. Launching today, the first video, ‘Success in 6 Seconds’, […]

Naked And Gidget Foundation Want Australians To Start Talking
  • Campaigns

Naked And Gidget Foundation Want Australians To Start Talking

Today Naked launches its ‘Start Talking’ campaign for Gidget Foundation Australia; a not-for-profit that provides support for families who are affected by perinatal depression and anxiety (PNDA). The centrepiece of the campaign is a powerful TVC that brings to life this common, but often hidden illness, and shows how Gidget Foundation’s ‘Start Talking’ telehealth program […]

MKTG Integrates Telstra Tracker Data With LED Signage At AFL Stadiums
  • Marketing
  • Technology

MKTG Integrates Telstra Tracker Data With LED Signage At AFL Stadiums

For the first time ever, AFL spectators will be able to view real-time Telstra Tracker player data via in-stadium LED signage, thanks to the combined efforts of Telstra, Champion Data and MKTG. By integrating the Telstra Tracker data into the LED signage at the MCG and Etihad Stadium, fans will receive contextually relevant information from […]

Westfield Shows Off New Visual Identity In Line With Fresh Digital Offering
  • Marketing

Westfield Shows Off New Visual Identity In Line With Fresh Digital Offering

Scentre Group has unveiled a new brand look and feel coinciding with the re-launch of the Westfield.com.au and Westfield.co.nz sites. This digital-first visual identity sees a shift towards creating a more contemporary, invigorated and colourful brand, reflective of Westfield’s in-centre experience. The iconic Westfield logo will continue to lead brand communications, supported with a new […]

The Age Of The Ephemeral: Why Experiential Marketing Is Compulsory This Year
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

The Age Of The Ephemeral: Why Experiential Marketing Is Compulsory This Year

In this guest post, Keep Left’s head of consumer engagement, Johanna Murray (pictured below), explains the merits of experiential marketing, as well as sharing some tips on how to do it – and do it well. Humans love to label things – especially intangible things, like time. We like eras and ages and eons because they […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
The Top Social Media Marketing Trends For 2018
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Technology

The Top Social Media Marketing Trends For 2018

This trends report is a must-read for all marketers, although it contains no news on the return of the bubble perm.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
How To Give And Take Feedback At Work
  • Opinion

How To Give And Take Feedback At Work

Georgia Murch (pictured below) is an expert in creating feedback cultures and author of Feedback Flow; The Ultimate Illustrated Guide to Embed Change in 90 Days. In this guest post, Murch offers her tips on giving (and receiving) feedback from colleagues without botching it up… We all know that feedback matters.  Most of us want the good, the bad and the […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Dentsu X Expands Operations To Sydney
  • Advertising
  • Media

Dentsu X Expands Operations To Sydney

Have you completely forgotten what Sydney looks like? Well, thankfully this story comes with a handy pictorial reminder.

SBS Radio Introduces Three 24-Hour Digital Radio Stations On Digital TV
  • Media

SBS Radio Introduces Three 24-Hour Digital Radio Stations On Digital TV

SBS Radio has announced two new digital radio stations – SBS PopAsia, SBS PopDesi and a refresh of SBS Radio 3 – is now available on digital TV. SBS Radio 3 will broadcast world news and current affairs from the BBC World Service (previously airing on SBS Radio 4 on digital radio) and special events […]

Aussies Invited To ‘Money With Sunny’ In New Suncorp Campaign
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Aussies Invited To ‘Money With Sunny’ In New Suncorp Campaign

At a time when more than two thirds of Australians are feeling confused and concerned about their finances, Suncorp has unveiled a new creative platform focused on making the complex simple. In a move that expands the brand beyond the sunshine state, Suncorp’s strategic approach is all about helping Australians focus on what they do […]

Champion Launches Music Platform Championing Emerging Aussie Artists Via Emotive
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Champion Launches Music Platform Championing Emerging Aussie Artists Via Emotive

For its first Australian campaign, Champion has partnered with creative and content agency Emotive to launch a music program titled ‘Revealed’. The program champions emerging Australian artists by intimately telling their story through video, and providing funding and creative support to create world class music videos for new release music. The first Revealed artist is […]

Finalists (And Host) Announced For Siren Awards 2018
  • Media

Finalists (And Host) Announced For Siren Awards 2018

Finalists for the best radio ad for 2018 have been announced, with 10 of Australia’s leading agencies from Sydney, Melbourne and Perth competing for the coveted Gold Siren. The finalists include The Monkeys, Clemenger BBDO, Marketforce, J. Walter Thompson, Ogilvy, BMF, McCann, YR, Fenton Stephens, and The Brand Agency. One half of last year’s winning […]

Delacon Launches Call Analytics In India
  • Marketing

Delacon Launches Call Analytics In India

Australian-owned call analytics provider Delacon has continued its international expansion, opening an innovation centre in India to service local and global partners, and develop the next generation of call tracking and analytics solutions. The office in Chennai is the eighth for the Sydney-headquartered business, which enables brands and agencies to optimise marketing campaigns by accurately […]

Protein To Handle Retail Roll-Out Of Recycling Initiative Return-It
  • Marketing

Protein To Handle Retail Roll-Out Of Recycling Initiative Return-It

Sydney brand and digital agency Protein has been appointed to handle the retail and digital roll-out of recycling company Return-It, which has just been announced as the container collection network for the ACT. Return-It awarded the work to the 17-year strong agency, following Protein’s tender support and brand development of the retail concept. The public-facing […]

Why We Need To Talk More About Failure
  • Opinion

Why We Need To Talk More About Failure

This is an excellent article about celebrating failure. Although, admittedly, we failed to get to the very end of it.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Women In Media Profile: Kimmie Neidhardt
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Kimmie Neidhardt

Kimmie Neidhardt doesn't just have a very cool name, as you'll read here. There's a good head on those shoulders, too.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
SCA Promotes Nathan Soulsby To Head Of TV Sales For Sydney
  • Advertising
  • Media

SCA Promotes Nathan Soulsby To Head Of TV Sales For Sydney

Southern Cross Austereo (SCA) has announced the promotion of Nathan Soulsby to head of TV sales for Sydney. The announcement comes after Kristen Budd’s move to general manager of SCA’s Central Coast office. Caretaking the role during Budd’s maternity leave, Soulsby has been a key contributor to the consistent share and revenue growth that has […]

Columbus, A Merkle Company Announces Client Wins & Senior Appointments
  • Marketing

Columbus, A Merkle Company Announces Client Wins & Senior Appointments

Following the launch of Merkle in the Australian market in March, Columbus, a Merkle Company has secured nine new clients in three months, including Macquarie University, Event Hospitality & Entertainment Limited and Hipages. Columbus has also appointed two group business directors in the Victorian market, with Leonie Dawkins (pictured above, left) and Guy McGechan (pictured […]

Black woman in handcuffs
  • Media

Adland Industry Leaders To Be Locked Up In Prison To Help Aussie Youth

Over sixty senior leaders from the media, marketing, tech and creative industry will spend the night in jail as part of UnLtd’s Adland Bail Out, to raise funds for Whitelion. The ‘inmates’ will be handing over their mobile phones and putting on their prison overalls to brave a night in the chilling cells of Yasmar […]

JCDecaux Partners With Seedooh To Verify OOH Campaigns
  • Advertising
  • Media

JCDecaux Partners With Seedooh To Verify OOH Campaigns

Global out-of-home (OOH) advertising giant JCDecaux has announced a partnership with independent tech platform Seedooh to offer advertisers greater transparency for campaigns. Under the agreement, Seedooh’s reporting and verification platform will be integrated into JCDecaux’s system to create an independent campaign delivery reporting function that works seamlessly within the end-to-end campaign delivery processes. It will […]

Innovation: The Foundation Of Marketing & Sales Collaboration
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

Innovation: The Foundation Of Marketing & Sales Collaboration

In this opinion piece, Seismic’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Andy Pattinson (pictured below), explains how marketers can work smarter and why collaboration is vital in delivering return on investment. Demand for marketing roles is growing, as marketers continue to learn more about what customers want. The marketing agenda is increasingly being tied in […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Roll’d Enlists Impress!ve Digital Ahead Of Franchise & Catering Push
  • Marketing

Roll’d Enlists Impress!ve Digital Ahead Of Franchise & Catering Push

Aussie food franchise Roll’d has announced it has signed on Melbourne digital marketing agency Impress!ve Digital to support its digital marketing. The partnership has already begun, with Impress!ve Digital aiming to significantly boost the company’s revenue through digital marketing strategies that are directly linked to return on investment and franchise acquisition. Impress!ve Digital has been […]

Yippee! More Photos from the 30 Under 30 Awards!
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media
  • Technology

Yippee! More Photos from the 30 Under 30 Awards!

If you think B&T simply runs these photo gallery stories so you can gawk at young, attractive people, you'd be right.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine