Archive for August, 2014


Last week’s news that American Honda is shifting some 2015 ad spending from television to digital and had already moved its Summer 2014 cable budget to concert sponsorships (Spots n Dots 8/20/14) is a wake-up call for the industry. Jim Doyle, President of Jim Doyle & Associates, a sales training and marketing consulting firm for television, says “Honda’s not going to be the last guys to do this.” The auto manufacturers are increasingly pushing their dealers, via co-op spending, to increase their reliance on digital marketing. But, he says, there are things that local TV sales operations need to be doing to maintain the long-established relationship between television and selling automobiles.

“We shouldn’t be anti-digital. After all, we offer lots of digital products,” Doyle warned. “But we’ve got to be very clear to dealers about the power of the TV-digital solution to dominate markets. He noted that many local TV stations and cable operators are offering digital solutions way beyond just a station’s own website. “So I would package my TV assets, my mobile platforms, or my desktop website with a TV schedule, but I might be calling on that dealer completely separately to help them manage their SEO [search engine optimization], SEM [search engine marketing] and Facebook stuff.”

Doyle says the increased emphasis on digital marketing absolutely will continue and TV sellers can’t play ostrich. He notes that it’s reminiscent of what happened 25 years or so ago when a new generation took over management of dealerships from their fathers and shifted spending on marketing from newspapers to television. Now, though, the new generation is oriented to digital media.

A top priority right now is to have relationships at the owner-dealer level. “Many times those relationships are going to have to be built by general managers in a generals-to-generals approach,” Doyle told us. “Number two, we need to resell the power of our core product, because today’s dealers, largely handled by agencies, have no one telling them how powerful television can be. We need to sell the idea of the combination between digital and television as the way to dominate markets,” he said.

Doyle noted that in terms of what dealers are now spending on digital, the percentage going to television-related digital assets is “very, very small.” He says television sales operations have to be more effective in advocating their digital solutions at the owner-dealer level—not just with the agency or at the digital manager level within the dealership. “Our competition for digital is the dealer verticals that are dealer-only and they have a pretty compelling sales story—but our sales story hasn’t been done and there are people who are doing some significant amount of money on digital by managing a lot of the dealership’s digital activities,” Doyle said. “But those kind of sales are occurring at the owner-dealer level, not at the agency or at the [dealer] general manager level,” he added.


It seems logical from a marketer’s viewpoint. If you’ve managed to plant a “cookie” on a customer or prospective customer’s smartphone, why not serve up a relevant ad when the GPS feature of their phone shows that they are in the proximity of your store. After all, that’s one way that a bricks-and-mortar store can have an advantage over an online-only retailer. The problem, though, is that consumers don’t want marketers to know everything about them and some people say they are “creeped out” by location-based ads on their smartphones.

Privacy was the number one reason for not wanting to allow smartphone tracking by marketers, cited by 51% of the respondents in a survey by PunchTab. 13% cited “too many messages” and 8% irrelevant messages as why they didn’t want to be tracked. The overwhelming majority of people say no to having their phone s tracked by marketers—but 27% say they are likely to allow tracking if they get the right benefits from it.

Of the 27% who said they’d be open to tracking, 88% said the best benefit would be coupons or special offers from the merchant. 72% liked the idea of being able to shorten their checkout time; 69% welcomed alerts telling them that products they like are on sale; 58% wanted to get updates on their points or rewards in the merchant’s loyalty program; and 57% figured it would help to have data on the most appealing offers.

There are definite gender differences. Among women, millennials are the most receptive (34%) to tracking. But among men it was a much older demo, 50-65, who were most likely to allow tracking (28%), followed closely by those 34-49 years of age (26%).

As for which type of retailer the willing respondents might allow to track their smartphones, superstores were viewed positively by 84%, followed closely by department stores at 78% and grocery stores at 74%. Men were more receptive than women to being tracked by home improvement stores and sports stores.

Apart from the 27% who are already willing to allow some tracking, what would it take to convert the others? PunchTab found that of the 50% of respondents who were opposed to tracking, only 12% were likely to try it if they got a $25 coupon from the merchant for allowing tracking. That was the highest coupon value mentioned in the survey. The 23% of all respondents who were “on the fence” about tracking were more persuadable. The percentage willing to try tracking increase as the coupon value went up, eventually including half of them.

PunchTab, whose business is helping build customer loyalty, surveyed 1,153 U.S. smartphone owners. The survey was conducted in April of this year.


If you think viewers are pretty much the same from sea to shining sea now that all Americans have instant access to the same information and pretty much the same TV programming across hundreds of channels, think again. A new Local Watch report from Nielsen finds that the unique nature of local markets stands out as a major difference-maker when it comes to how people choose to watch TV. Live viewing remains the most popular way to watch in primetime, but more consumers are viewing time-shifted and video on-demand (VOD) content as they become more aware of these options and as media companies make more content available through them. Even so, the use of DVR time-shifting and VOD varies considerably from market to market.

Across the top 25 local people meter (LPM) markets that Nielsen measures, more than one-third of all primetime ratings (34%) are driven by time-shifted content that viewers watch within seven days of their airing, and another 10% comes from VOD content. But those are averages, and the numbers are quite different for some local markets.

Live TV viewing in primetime is most common in Pittsburgh, where 70% of the total TV ratings are derived from consumers watching live programming. Comparatively, less than half (44%) of the primetime ratings in Dallas come from live TV, and 47% of the ratings are attributed to time-shifted content. In fact, Dallas is the top market for time-shifted viewing within seven days, followed by Los Angeles (45%), Houston (44%) and Phoenix (42%). At the other end of the spectrum are Pittsburgh (19%), Philadelphia (22%) and Minneapolis (25%), where time-shifted viewing contributes much less to primetime ratings.

Video-on-demand is also an increasingly popular way to view, and in markets like Seattle (14%), Boston (14%), Denver (13%) and Portland (13%), viewers are more likely to use it to watch primetime content than the average consumer in the top 25 LPM markets.

Technology is also affecting how we watch video, as it creates even more viewing opportunities, including streaming. Smart TVs, which allow users to stream content from the web directly to their sets, have a long way to go before they become as mainstream as smartphones (72% penetration in LPM markets) or approach a tipping point like tablets (41% penetration in LPM markets), but usage is growing. Currently, 12% of all households in the top 25 markets have a smart TV.

Interestingly, the data reveals that many of the markets with higher-than-average smart TV penetration—San Francisco at 17%, Dallas at 16%, Los Angeles and Seattle both at 14%—are also the markets where consumers are more likely to time-shift their primetime viewing or use video-on-demand, even though smart TVs are designed to offer consumers more options to stream content. On a year-over-year basis, smart TV ownership has grown the most in Dallas (10.2%), San Francisco (8.2%), Boston (7.3%) and Orlando (7%).


Author: admin

The Hollywood Reporter says CBS may be looking at an Englishman, James Corden, to replace Scotland-native Craig Ferguson as host of the Late Late Show. Corden is an producer/actor (he’s in the upcoming Disney movie Into The Woods).  Ferguson, passed over for the 11:35 time slot, leaves in December……We had reported that Extant was going to end its run one week earlier than originally planned so it will run two episodes back-to-back on Wednesday 8/20 starting at 9PM to accommodate the change in plans for September…….Tuesday night was the CMA Music Festival’s Country Night to Rock, so it’s an appropriate time for ABC to announce that for the seventh consecutive time, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood will team up to host The 48th Annual CMA Awards live from Nashville.  This year’s show will be on Wed 11/5 from 8-11PM.


Author: admin

The Detroit News reports a government website,, will launch on 8/20 over the objections of automakers, and will allow vehicle owners to submit VIN numbers to find out if there have been recalls issued on that vehicle. The paper notes some vehicles have had multiple recalls, and owners may not be sure if all defects have been fixed……Good results for Denny’s in the second quarter; same-store sales were up 3.7% at company-owned units and up 1.7% at franchisees. The majority of the chain (1533 of 1693 total units) is franchised……Good numbers also at DineEquity, where comps were up 3.2% at IHOP and up 0.6% at Applebee’s. DineEquity has sold off most company-owned stores to franchisees; The Wall Street Journal says that insulates it from the volatility of commodity costs and consumer spending……Arby’s new branding effort focuses on the seven other meats it serves beyond the roast beef the chain is known for. The Smokehouse Brisket sandwich is now being called the most-successful new product launch in the chain’s history……With Red Lobster now officially spun off from Darden, the Associated Press says the chain will now try to act like a “fancier restaurant” by ending many of the promotional discounts used in the past and using some “plating” tactics used at fine dining establishments. “At the end of the day,” the new CEO said, “people are not going to go to a Chipotle for their anniversary or their birthday”……Local Ashley retailers will get a chance to compete with online sellers with Ashley Express, featuring about 2,000 furniture and accessories selections, most available with 2-day delivery……Bedding sales remain strong with Tempur Sealy sales up 8.2% in the second quarter. Sealy net sales were up 6.8% and Tempur-Pedic brand did even better with a 12.2% gain……Small craft breweries continue to gain share according to a first-half summary from the Brewers Association. The group says in the first six months craft brewers sold 10.6 million barrels, up from 9.0 million barrels in the first half last year. There were just over 3,000 breweries in the U.S. at the end of June, with almost 2,000 more “in planning”……Chain Store Age reports Meijer intends to focus on apparel, footwear, and accessories with plans that include redesigning stores, hiring outside consultants, and launching multimedia marketing to highlight apparel……Aetna quarterly profit rose to $548.8 million from $536 million last year, with 23.1 million total subscribers compared to 22.7 million in the first quarter and 22 million a year ago. But the “benefit ratio,” the amount of premiums that goes to pay patient medical costs, rose slightly from 82.5% last year to 83.1% this year.