North Thinking
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North Thinking


A monthly look at the marketing and advertising industry from NORTH’s point of view.

Source: Unsplash

Video & TV Trends To Watch
Nicole Bell, Media Director

Before I get into anything, let’s review some terminology:

  • Over-the-top TV (OTT): Any type of streaming content delivered over the Internet. It includes subscription services like Netflix and Hulu, as well as devices like Roku and Chromecast.
  • Connected TV (CTV): Allows brands to reach their audience on Smart TVs (like Samsung, LG) and OTT devices.
  • Addressable TV: A way to deliver targeted ads on Linear Cable at the household level via a set-top-box.
  • Advanced TV: The umbrella that OTT, CTV, and Addressable TV live under.
  • Cord-cutters: User that are not Linear Cable subscribers, and watch content via OTT/CTV devices and services.
  • Keep in mind: CTV and OTT are used synonymously, and interchangeably. All CTVs are OTTs, but not all OTTs are CTVs.

Okay so that’s a lot, but it’s always good to have a refresher on the vocabulary because if there’s one thing we love in media more than flowcharts, it’s acronyms

Now to the good stuff:

GWI, a media/market research company, recently released a global report on TV/Video. I wanted to share the key highlights with you:

Broadcast TV is still King: Consumers are watching more Linear Cable TV per day than cord-cutters (2 hours more a day)

Takeaway: If budgets allow, layer in broadcast TV into your media strategy.

In the US, the most popular streaming services are: Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, Hulu, and Disney+

Takeaway: As part of your paid media plan, prioritize YouTube, Amazon, and Disney.

What users do when they’re watching TV:

67% use social media

48% check email

42% search for products to buy

37% search for information related to what they’re watching

Takeaway: The second-screen should not be ignored. Even though users are streaming content, they are also on their mobile devices.

Twitter Tests New Shopping Feature
Nicole Bell, Media Director

Twitter is flexing its eCommerce muscle. The Shop Module is a new feature on the social platform that lives at the top of a profile where businesses can highlight their products. Theoretically, when a user goes to visit a profile they’ll be able to scroll through products and make a purchase. It’s still in the early testing days, but it’s something to keep a close eye on as brands continue to evolve their eCommerce strategy.

Image Source: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

How Social Media Helped Britney Spears
Stephen Lawrence, Media Planner

In the past few months, Britney Spears has made headlines across the world, as the “Free Britney” movement has truly taken flight. Recently, Britney has been on trial to get out of her conservatorship, an “arrangement [which] requires her estimated $60 million fortune to be controlled by her father, who has legal power to negotiate business opportunities and other financial arrangements.” However, one interesting part of this journey is how social media helped Britney Spears in her fight for ownership. The #FreeBritney movement is a “grassroots movement in which members share and analyze court documents, help one another understand the ins and outs of guardianship law, organize in-person rallies around the world, and get the word out about Spears’ story.” (NPR) Ultimately, this movement is one of the ideal parts of social media — where individuals rally together for a greater case.

Instagram Introduces More Control of Sensitive Content
Stephen Lawrence, Media Planner

The conversation about sensitive content and social media continues this month, as Instagram rolled out a new “limit sensitive content” feature on the app. In the statement, Instagram’s parent company Facebook, noted that Instagram would now allow users to control sensitive content, whether it be more or less sensitive based on the individual’s preference. However, The Washington Post released an article this month, in which they also discussed how many individuals on the app, including BIPOC, women and queer individuals have claimed that ”they are disproportionately targeted by Instagram’s content moderation.” While Instagram has stood their ground on the content filters, it will continue to be interesting to see how this filter impacts user’s feeds.

Spotify Joins Forces with GIPHY
Stephen Lawrence, Media Planner

Sometimes the best response to a text message, Slack or email, is a simple GIF. And friends and coworkers aren’t the only ones who know the fun of a GIF — Spotify has now picked up on it. In July, Spotify partnered with GIPHY to create artist platforms on the GIPHY website — allowing users to search their website, find popular artists with their own specific GIFs, and then link directly to Spotify to listen to their music. Some of the current artists include Doja Cat, Conan Gray, Nicki Minaj and many more.

Image Source: AdWeek

YouTube Improves Connected TV Ads
Madelyn Engel, Senior Performance Marketing Strategist

As more viewers are using connected TVs to stream content, YouTube is making some updates to its Connected TV ad offerings to help advertisers maximize this opportunity. For context, YouTube reports that over 120 million people in the US streamed YouTube or YouTube TV on their TV screens in December 2020 alone. Firstly, YouTube is integrating CTV contextual signals into Google Display and Video campaign targeting, which will enable advertisers to pick CTV ad inventory by genre, length or live-stream content. Secondly, YouTube is adding sales lift measurement for CTV ads, via Nielsen Catalina Solutions (NCS) in the US. This will allow advertisers to quantify how their CTV ad impressions led to offline sales.

Twitter Adds Video Campaigns
Jose Torres, Media Intern

Twitter announced they are adding a 15-second video ad unit for advertisers who prioritize video campaigns. This allows brands to reach their audience in new ways, and allows them to utilize Twitter in their video campaign plans. The 15-second videos could be a very helpful tool for many brands as the ads will be shown to users who are more likely to watch full videos. Is this a push to join other platforms like TikTok, and Instagram who have had success with videos and are shifting to focus more on video content?

Image Source: SocialMediaToday

Instagram Tests Desktop Version of App
Jose Torres, Media Intern

Instagram has long been a popular tool for people to share and consume content, but it has primarily been limited to mobile, with very few capabilities on Desktop. However, Instagram has been testing image and video uploads from the desktop version of the app, which will be extremely useful for social media managers. This will allow you to upload images or videos directly from your Desktop, and also makes it easier to post edited photos and visuals. Overall the introduction of image and video uploads to instagram via desktop will enable more users to use the platform, and it will allow social media managers to take more of a centralized approach to their work.



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