Welcome to Ad Age Datacenter Weekly, our data-obsessed newsletter for marketing and media professionals. Reading this online? Sign up to get it delivered to your inbox here.
The $69.3 million JPG
“After a flurry of more than 180 bids in the final hour, a JPG file made by Mike Winkelmann, the digital artist known as Beeple, was sold on Thursday by Christie’s in an online auction for $69.3 million with fees,” The New York Times’ Scott Reyburn reports. “The price was a new high for an artwork that exists only digitally, beating auction records for physical paintings by museum-valorized greats like J.M.W. Turner, Georges Seurat and Francisco Goya.” The JPG, part of a class of digital assets known as non-fungible tokens, had a starting price of a mere $100. Keep reading here.
Essential context: “What are non-fungible tokens (NFTs)—and why are they selling for millions?” per The Week (UK).
A $10 billion loss?
“Brands are ill-prepared for privacy changes that will lock down data in digital marketing,” Ad Age’s Garett Sloane reports, “and publishers stand to lose billions of dollars under new restrictions coming from Apple and Google.” That’s according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, which issued a data-focused report on Thursday.
“The IAB’s report said that as Apple and Google restrict consumer data on web browsers and devices, brands will need to find new digital marketing tactics,” Sloane adds. “Meanwhile, publishers stand to lose $10 billion in revenue as personalization becomes harder online thanks to the deprecation of third-party cookies.”
Keep reading here.
Additional context: “How Facebook and Snapchat are preparing brands for the data lockdowns,” also from Ad Age’s Sloane.
Funny TV ads are back in force
Remember when, during the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seemed like every other ad you saw on TV was of the sad, earnest, “in these challenging times” variety? New data from iSpot’s Ace Metrix suggests that grim is out and funny is back in.
Ace conducts nonstop viewer surveys surrounding most major TV ad campaigns. Right before the pandemic started to hit hard in the United States in March 2020, roughly one in five TV ads were flagged as being “funny” by survey respondents, as seen in the chart below. That percentage then cratered, lingering in the low- to mid-teens for months, before starting to recover by the fall of 2020. And lately the “funny” ad trend—spurred on, in part, by a critical mass of Super Bowl ads designed to tickle our funny bones—has been really surging.