Ad Buyers Prepare For Upfront Tax; Amazon Advertising Teases New Features

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The Upfront Tax

Advertisers might be holding out on their TV commits, but that delay will likely cost them, according to Tim Peterson of Digiday. Because of the pandemic, TV advertisers are clamoring to buy based on a calendar year rather than the traditional upfront calendar, to align with their budgeting timeline. [Read more on that topic from AdExchanger.] Although that change didn’t happen en masse, about 10% to 20% of TV upfront advertisers have insisted on initiating deals based on the calendar year. While advertisers have historically paid 3% more for committing late, this year, the tax might be around 5%. That increase is happening for a number of reasons. Streaming inventory has offset some of the linear declines, emboldening the networks to charge more. Also, many networks feel they missed an opportunity to push for rate increases earlier and want the calendar-year deals to compensate. Meanwhile, ad buyers aren’t thrilled by the price increase (Who would be?), but think it’s still a cheaper option than buying on the increasingly expensive scatter market.

Do Not Underestimate The Power Of Amazon

Many brands don’t use the full power of Amazon’s ad platform, but that might change as Amazon is poised to make it easier for brands to drive ecom activity, reports Garett Sloane of Ad Age. Sloane charts some of the new tools in Amazon’s ad stack. The biggest change is a DSP API to, according to an Amazon blog post, retrieve reports and view campaign performance. Which seems like something that should have been added a while ago but, hey, better late than never. The API also unleashes more options, such as bulk editing line items and saving common filters. More is likely coming. Amazon teased for instance a live video shopping tool called Posts, currently in beta.

Data Tools To The Rescue

Marketers trying to navigate the unpredictable developments of 2020 are increasingly turning to more data. The Wall Street Journal reports that Spirits maker Bacardi Ltd. and Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz have turned in part to a dashboard of analytics that was introduced in May by their media agency, Omnicom’s OMD Worldwide. The dashboard pulls 35 data sources across 30 markets on subjects such as media consumption habits, ad rates, consumer sentiment, foot traffic, shopping behaviors and government restrictions put in place to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Bacardi used what it found in the dashboard to shift marketing dollars toward its ready-to-drink Bacardi Rum cocktails last summer as stay-at-home restrictions eased and people became more willing to venture outside, according to the company. Bacardi, which spent 65% of its planned media budget in the United States to support the product’s launch in May, increased its planned spend to the same percentage in June and July — from as low as 10% of its budget in June and 0% in July. Mercedes-Benz, meanwhile, has developed data tools to inform decisions related to the coronavirus, and how it impacts customer behavior and economic activity in different regions.

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