Advertising News:
Fall Agency Newsletter

23 September 2019
By : Ruthie Jenkins and Sarah Montgomery

Season of Change

As you are reading this, Labor Day weekend is well in the rear-view mirror as we collectively barrel down the road to fall. If spring is the season of renewal, then fall is the season of change. Here in Georgia, that means that the temperature is making its slow and irregular descent from the punishing 90s to the much more tolerable 70s. Farmers across the state have gone from picking berries to harvesting apples, pecans, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes. Even the leaves are changing from lush green to a medley of reds, oranges, yellows, and browns. But fear not – while the world around you transforms, this newsletter will be your constant.

In this edition, we discuss the removal of the “like” counter from Instagram, two new reports released about U.S. Hispanics, some great creative work made for football season, changes to Facebook’s rules for political advertising, and YouTube’s settlement with the FTC.

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Removing the “Like”

Facebook could soon start hiding the number of likes on a post and Instagram has already begun testing this feature in 7 countries. The rationale behind this change is to help users avoid envy and self-censorship. The removal of the “like” counter could change the nature of how an influencer operates and it will also change the way brands determine the success of an influencer campaign. Companies may start relying more on hard metrics like sales, rather than engagement with a post. It’s too soon to know the full extent of the fallout from this change, but it’s worth considering whether this will impact the stated goal of this experiment.

Can Instagram cure envy? This proposition seems too lofty to be achieved, after all, envy preexisted “likes” and it will certainly survive it. One of the drivers of this resentment is people comparing their real-life with the filtered version of life on social media, removing the “like” doesn’t erase this natural impulse to covet what someone else has. Will Facebook be able to prevent people from censoring themselves on social media? It probably won’t hurt, but decades of court rulings on the side of free speech didn’t stop self-censoring. The main driver of self-censoring on social media is the fear of “cancel culture.” Nothing will silence someone faster than their own fear that a single bad post will foment a mob whose only goal is to chastise them relentlessly. If social media is the cause of these problems, then there is a reason to doubt their ability to be the solution.

On the Multicultural Side

In the last few months both AdAge and Nielsen released reports on U.S. Hispanics that are full of useful data.

AdAge’s Hispanic Fact Pack 2019 has information about company spending on Hispanic media advertising and a rundown of the largest U.S. Hispanic agencies, which features PM3 in 16th place. But this Fact Pack has more than just industry information, it also contains updated data on media and technology use and demographics. One of the most striking facts was that the median age of the U.S. Hispanic is 29.5 compared to 40.6 for the non-Hispanic population. This makes sense given the age breakdowns later which explain that U.S. Hispanics represent 26.1% of the population for ages 4 and under. The demographic section has several graphics breakdown age distribution, Hispanics’ views on presidential candidates speaking Spanish, and attitudes towards cannabis.

Nielsen’s “La Oportunidad Latinx: Cultural Currency and the Consumer Journey” is more focused on consumer data than the more industry targeted report from Ad Age. Nielsen’s report covers a wide variety of topics and it’s well worth a full read. One of our favorite insights was about the way U.S. Hispanics treat Spanish as a cultural connector by choice, rather than as a necessary means of communication. 73% of Hispanics agree that it’s important to them that their children continue their family’s cultural traditions, and that their cultural ethnic heritage is an important part of who they are.


Noteworthy Industry News

In late August, Katie Harbath, Facebook’s public policy director for global elections, released a blog post about Facebook’s new rules for political advertising. The post begins by saying, “People should know who is trying to influence their vote and advertisers shouldn’t be able to cover up who is paying for ads.” The new rules will require large groups to supply their Employer Identification Number, a “government website domain” matching a .gov or .mil email address, or a Federal Election Commission identification number. Smaller organizations and more local campaigns who do not have one of these can still advertise by providing a verifiable phone number and email address associated with their business website.

YouTube, which is owned by Google, has agreed to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission costing more than $150 million to resolve allegations that the company illegally collected personal information about children. This settlement will be the largest civil penalty obtained by the FTC in a children’s privacy case.

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Creative Spotlight

There has been a lot of great creative work coming out recently, so here are some stirring spots to keep your heart warm as the days get darker and that autumnal chill fills the air. First, there’s “Morning Ritual” for amazon echo, which is a very simple spot with a subtle twist that put all of the uneventful activities into perspective. A new “Drive Bigger” spot from Volkswagen will strike a chord with anyone familiar with the chaotic morning routine of a family. Finally, an Ikea Greece spot will bring you tears and smiles with their story about two dogs set against Andy Williams’ ‘Love Story’.

Many people love fall because of the fashion, the weather, the food, and the holidays. But for a certain segment of the population, fall is basically synonymous with football. For football fans, every season is something to anticipate like a child on Christmas, but this year is more special than most. 2019 is the NFL’s 100th season and college football’s 150-year anniversary. The NFL is celebrating their centennial with an intense spot that really captures the excitement of fans and players from teams across the league. ESPN partnered with Friday Night Lights director Peter Berg to produce an equally powerful spot about college football. The ad is full of totems from college fanbases across the country, including Georgia’s own Spike Squad from UGA. Hope you’re hyped for this season of football, because they sure are. See you in the winter.


Soon you’ll hear about our future blog entries.

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