ANA Event to Focus on New Technology

Oct 3, 2005  •  Post A Comment

By Daisy Whitney

Special to TelevisionWeek

When DaimlerChrysler’s marketing communications director speaks at the Association of National Advertisers conference this weekend, her talk will occur against the backdrop of two new emerging media initiatives for the auto giant that underscore the conference’s theme.

This month the automaker will air its first slate of interactive TV spots on DirecTV, and next month it will begin advertising in RipeTV’s video-on-demand service. Both ad venues, and other new media forms the marketer is probing, are measurable, said Julie Roehm, marketing communications director for Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge.

That fits with the theme of this year’s ANA conference, to be held in Phoenix Oct. 6-9: “Masters of Marketing: Marketing Technology’s Impact on Brand Building and Accountability.”

That’s a topic that advertisers are keen on, and ANA expects about 850 attendees, up from about 700 last year, said Barbara Bacci Mirque, senior VP of the association.

On Members’ Minds

The association selected that theme after canvassing members in January about their most important issues. Those were the two topics cited most by advertisers, she said.

“We have probably seen more change in advertising in the last five years than in the last 30,” she said. “Most of that is related to consumer control.”

On the TV side, the advent of digital video recorders and VOD, allowing viewers to watch TV on their schedules, has caused consternation for many marketers. At the same time, online advertising has mushroomed, with search engine marketing the fastest-growing segment of that business. Google CEO Eric Schmidt is slated to speak at the conference on how marketers can become more accountable through technology.

Because advertisers pay for what they get via online searches, marketers have begun to expect that level of accountability from the less accountable forms of traditional media, Ms. Bacci Mirque said. “A lot of advertisers, when they began to see how accountable online was, wanted to get that in their traditional advertising. We are seeing that all media is realizing it needs to be more accountable,” she said.

From an advertiser’s standpoint, traditional television is not particularly accountable, and an ANA study from two years ago rated TV the worst medium for providing return on investment. But as TV evolves to include interactive capabilities, VOD and digital set-top boxes, these measurable technologies will help TV become more accountable. “That is only a good thing, because advertisers need those metrics,” Ms. Bacci Mirque said.

Chrysler and other advertisers, including Procter & Gamble, General Motors and Coca-Cola, have been vocal about their exploration of new forms of marketing and so-called content on-demand. Ms. Roehm, for one, made a mark in the industry earlier this year when she spoke about the need for changes in how the upfront is conducted. At the ANA conference, she will focus on the “back end” of that conversation and talk about content on-demand models, such as VOD through RipeTV and interactive TV via DirecTV, as well as gaming, she said.

Accountability Update

Also at the conference, the ANA will present details from a yearlong study that an ANA task force conducted on accountability. The study is based on an analysis of the work that 20 member advertisers have done in the space.

Other speakers at ANA include executives from Procter & Gamble, Ernst & Young, Verizon, Motorola, Allstate and Johnson & Johnson.

Despite the knocks against TV, a study released last week by Ball State University found that TV is still the dominant medium by far, with the average American spending twice as much time with TV as with any other medium.