Online Advertising and Wasting “Half” Your Advertising Budget

John Wannamaker, a very successful nineteenth century department store mogul, famously once said that “I know I’m wasting half of my advertising budget, I just don’t know which half.” In his day, he didn’t have to contend with online advertising and click-fraud.

Take it with a grain of salt, but a trade group representing the nation’s biggest advertisers has found that bots are costing advertisers billions of dollars. According to Bill Cromwell at Media Life, the report…

offers an in-depth look at bots, software that imitates humans by going to web sites and clicking on ads and activating online videos, creating fraudulent traffic that advertisers end up paying for. The study predicts bot fraud will cost global advertisers $6.3 billion next year.

In mass media, advertising involves three parties. The advertiser wants to deliver a message. The publisher, such as a television station, magazine, or website, will display the ad in exchange for a payment. An advertising agent places an advertiser’s advertisement in a publisher’s publication. The first two parties are almost the same in the online world, but the role of advertising agent is often done by an advertising network. (Google owns the largest advertising network in the world.) Most commonly, advertisers pay for each click their ad receives. If memory serves, the higher the click-through rate the more money the publisher and advertising network receive from the advertiser. This is clicks generated by software, rather than human beings who will actually respond to an advertising message, is a problem.

Lastly, I say to take this with a grain of salt because advertisers are likely looking to drive the price of online ads down. Moreover, the organizational co-author of the report, White Ops, is a technology firm that sells bot-detection software. It absolutely makes sense that they would find that bots and click-fraud are a big problem for advertisers.

Starbucks, Facing a Saturated Market, Looks to the High End –

About a week ago in class, I presented to you, as an example of “disassociation,” the case of the Taco Bell Drive-Thru Diet.

Here’s another example of dissociation: Starbucks is going high-end. For years, Starbucks has become more or less the default coffee shop in most of the world and certainly in America. However, there’s been competition coming from cafes that feature baristas with fancy hats among other accoutrements. That’s right, instead of serving coffee that has been “roasted within an inch of its life,” as The Awl’s Matt Buchanan refers to it, Starbucks will serve single-origin, small batch coffees that will be prepared by hand. This is to placate, ahem, discriminating coffee drinkers, like me. And as I order a $7 manual pourover coffee that will take five minutes to make, I will not be reminded of the Starbuckses that crowd every corner of Manhattan, every airport concourse, and mall in America. They will be disassociating themselves from that Starbucks.

To distinguish Reserve from its mass-market cousin, Starbucks is banishing, to a great extent, its green mermaid logo at the new shops and in the product line. The Reserve stores and line of coffees instead carry a star logo, along with a red “R.”

From a coffee-drinker and armchair-business–analyst perspective, this could either be a great opportunity to bring high-quality single-origin coffee to the masses or it could be Budweiser Select.

Creative Boot Camp New York City!

Note: If you’re interested in advertising as a potential field for your career, consider applying for this Creative Boot Camp.

The One Club, a non-profit organization located in NY, would like to extend an invitation to students to participate in their free annual Creative Boot Camp New York City! The CBC will take place from Tuesday, January 20th – Friday, January 23rd, 2015. The CBC will be sponsored by Wunderman Advertising Agency and held at their location.

The Creative Boot Camp is a 4-day workshop that introduces students from all educational backgrounds to the creative process in the advertising industry. The goal is to recruit creative students who are not aware of advertising and design as viable career options and introduce them to the art of conceptualizing and building a campaign for a real client.

The CBC¹s are supported by the best advertising agencies in the world by utilizing their top creative talent to serve as mentors and judges throughout the program. Since it’s inception in New York five years ago, we have successfully completed many boot camp sessions with well over a thousand students participating from various cities including LA, Chicago, Atlanta, Austin, San Francisco, and London. We have watched these students go from knowing little to nothing about the field, to using the information and tools they gathered at the boot camp to move on to top advertising training programs, land coveted internship at large advertising agencies and even secure full-time jobs.

  • Provides students with the opportunity to experience what it’s like to work at an agency as a copywriter and art director by creating an advertising campaign based on a creative brief provided by a sponsoring agency.
  • Creates opportunities for networking with top local advertising professionals, who participate throughout the 4-day process as mentors.
  • Participants walk away with a solid advertising campaign to add to their portfolios.
  • Provides free breakfast and lunch to all participants during the course of the workshop.
  • Gives students the chance to compete for an internship position at the sponsoring agency.

Participants are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.


Facebook Field Trip

The Center for Communication is organizing a field trip to Facebook’s New York office on Thursday, October 9. Details below.

Get Social on Our Trip to Facebook

For more than a decade, Facebook has been connecting millions of people all over the world. The phenomenally successful social network is now partnering with traditional media companies and disruptors to connect users directly to breaking news. Join us to meet with the team that handles advertising, PR and sales, and find out what’s in store for the next ten years.

  • Adam Isserlis, Corporate Communications
  • Jennifer Skyler, Head of Consumer Communications
  • Andy Mitchell, Director, News and Global Media Partnerships

Students only.

Space is limited. If you’d like to attend, please complete this form. We will contact selected students with further details.