'The Conners' (and everyone else) get ready to watch the New Hampshire primary: Tuesday Wake-Up Call
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The presidential candidates spent $71.1 million on advertising leading up to the Iowa caucuses, according to the latest Ad Age Datacenter analysis of campaign ad spending in partnership with Kantar/CMAG, and still things went topsy-turvy for the Dems. Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden underperformed while Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders surged.
Leading up to today’s primary in New Hampshire, as Ad Age’s Simon Dumenco and Kevin Brown report, Buttigieg and Sanders have devoted, respectively, $4.0 million and $5.9 million to targeting TV and radio to Granite State voters (through Friday). Now, the Biden camp, which had earmarked just $0.8 million to target New Hampshirites, appears to be scrambling, according to Bloomberg News, pulling ad dollars from South Carolina (where he’s polling well) and adding TV spend to the Boston market, which includes southern New Hampshire. Meanwhile, Warren has actually been cutting back on ad spending in early-voting states because her campaign is so pressed for cash.
Per FiveThirtyEight’s forecast, New Hampshire might end up looking pretty similar to Iowa, with Sanders and Buttigieg expected to do very well (the Vermont senator has the edge in the polls right now) and Warren and Biden battling over third and fourth place.
Still unknown is how the primary will play in Lanford—the fictional Michigan town where “The Conners” is set. ABC’s half-hour comedy will be broadcast live during tonight’s primary.
With privacy concerns and regulation making it tougher to track consumers on the web, marketers are looking to customer data platforms—software that creates a unified customer database using information culled from various sources—to save the day. “The expanded interest in CDPs is being driven by growing consumer privacy regulation and moves made by browsers such as Google Chrome to cease using third-party cookies come 2022,” writes George P. Slefo. "Many in the industry are betting that those two massive changes can be negated by brands creating a more direct relationship with their consumers using CDPs, which make sense of first-party data so it can then be used for personalization and targeting.” But CDPs aren’t yet proven. “It’s another three-letter acronym in search of a business case,” says Matt Prohaska, CEO and principal of Prohaska Consulting. Read all about the pros and cons here.
Toys aren’t just for kids anymore. With adults looking for diversions—and willing to pay handsomely for them—marketers are positioning playthings for the more mature set. “In the current economy, the mass market as we once knew it doesn’t exist anymore—what we have now are mass niches, relatively narrow audiences, but they buy deep,” Chris Byrne, a toy industry expert known as “The Toy Guy,” told Adrianne Pasquarelli. “It’s much more sophisticated, but that’s what the audience is willing to pay, that’s the risk and the opportunity.” Among the brands going after grownups: Lego is offering a building-set replica of the stadium of English Premier League soccer team Manchester United for $300; Build-A-Bear is marketing a swankier-than-your-average bear sporting a Swarovski crystal necklace for $140; and nostalgia toys are selling well. Note to Mattel: Don't even think about bringing back Chatty Cathy. Oh, was she a nightmare.
Last month, Ad Age published an opinion piece by Kevin Twomey—a senior director at MaRS, a Toronto-based nonprofit that works with startups—that blasted influencer marketing as “dishonest and wasteful.” Boy, did we get letters. (OK, we don’t get actual letters anymore, but the social sphere exploded.) So we invited Brendan Gahan, partner and chief social officer at Mekanism, for a lively point-counterpoint. The resulting influencer cage match is a fight to the finish. A small sampling: “Does all influencer marketing work? Hell no,” writes Gahan. “Can influencer marketing be an effective tool to reach real people and drive measurable ROI? Absolutely. Influencer marketing can work incredibly well. To say otherwise is false.” And now Twomey: “The academic side of marketing has been lost in recent years, and I worry that there is a new generation of marketers who think that running a Facebook campaign or partnering with a lifestyle influencer makes them a marketing pro.” Read the full smackdown here (subscribers only).
Mark your calendar: Interpublic Group of Cos. will report its fourth-quarter and full-year 2019 earnings tomorrow, February 12.
Something to cluck about: The Popeyes chicken sandwich is the gift that keeps on giving. Same-store sales at the chain grew 34.4 percent in the fourth quarter behind what Restaurant Brands International CEO José Cil called “a game changer for the brand in every way.” Popeyes added $393 million in system sales within the last quarter, which Restaurant Business magazine points out is about equivalent to the annual system sales at Chuck E. Cheese’s. Even more remarkable: the chicken sandwich was only back for roughly two months of the three-month period.
And now for dessert: Kind is getting kind of serious about extending its brand beyond bars. It introduced products in four different categories yesterday: refrigerated nut butter bars, frozen treat bars, bags of chocolate and nut bark, and nut clusters with fruit and seeds.
Did you watch the Oscars? Many people didn't. Anthony Crupi reports that Sunday's Academy Awards notched 23.6 million viewers, making it the least-watched Academy Awards ceremony in TV history. If you didn't watch, you missed Kristen Wiig's gown, which called to mind lasagne.
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