The best Super Bowl ads, YouTube anointed the king of streaming, PMAX updates, and more…

February 23, 2024

Happy Friday, My Digital Darlings,

Congratulations, you've survived another week under the dazzling yet sometimes oppressive disco ball we call capitalism. As you ease into the prekend vibes, let's unravel this week’s digital marketing drama with a sprinkle of levity and a dash of sass. 

There’s been non-stop buzz about streaming in the Paid Media industry, and streaming ads have become the most important media space money can buy. Looks like all those trend forecasters were right, because…

TV viewing hit a 4-year high in January.

So yeah, let’s make sure we’re running ads on TV. Peacock, in particular, saw a 29% increase in its share of viewership, so it looks like that platform is growing and might be a good place to start serving ads. Their self-service ad platform is still in beta, with plans to go live later this year. For now, you have to contact NBCUniversal through their website and speak with a representative to run ads on Peacock. Advertising on the platform tends to be pretty expensive, but if you’ve got the money, it’ll probably be worth it. That said…

Youtube was crowned the #1 streaming platform in America for 12 months straight.

With 8.6% of the market on lock, YouTube maintains a strong leader. Its top competitor is Netflix, with 7.9% market share, but I don’t think Netflix will surpass YouTube any time soon (or ever, tbh). And people are watching YouTube the same way they watch TV. According to Nielsen, “Viewers globally now watch more than 1 billion hours on average of YouTube content on their TVs every day.” So when it comes to buying streaming ads, YouTube is the place to be. And with YouTube ads fully integrated with Google video ads, it's super easy to serve on the platform. Just ensure you’ve got your targeting nailed down, and your frequency caps in place… please. As an avid YouTube watcher, I’m so tired of seeing the same Temu ad 10 times a day… I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again - I do NOT trust a company that sells $3 shoes!!

Speaking of TV, let's see who won the Super Bowl ad battle…

USA Today announced the most effective Super Bowl ads.

Their Ad Meter panelist rated all 59 ads, and 10 came out on top. With the Super Bowl charging $7 million for just 30 seconds of air time, all 59 brands have certainly been hoping to be on that list.

Top ads include State Farms’s mock film shoot with Arnold Schwarzenegger & Danny DeVito, Dunkin Donuts’ ad featuring a rapping Ben Affleck, and Kia’s heartwrenching ad showcasing a girl ice skating for her grandfather. If you’re an advertising nerd like me, I recommend binge-watching the top 10 ads here

Now let's pivot back to the OG ad-serving platform we know and love, Google…

Google announced some updates to Performance Max…

And, shocker, one of them is an AI integration. The asset generation feature, powered by Google’s AI model, Gemini, can now write longer headlines and will soon be able to auto-generate sitelinks. They’re also updating their image-generation model, which you can use to create lifestyle images of people using your products, without ever actually taking a picture. It can also process a creative asset that you already know performs well and generate variations of it. Bad news for photographers, but good news for digital marketers trying to scale creative. Moving forward, the quantity and diversity of creative assets will play a bigger role in determining ad strength. Google Ads product manager Pallavi Naresh summed it up - 

“It’s important to have a wide variety of creative assets that meet the needs of different customers and formats. Great creative drives results — we found that advertisers who improve their Performance Max Ad Strength to ‘Excellent’ see 6% more conversions on average.”

And in this week’s edition of ‘we live in a dystopia,’ on Tuesday…

ChatGPT had a meltdown and started sending creepy messages to its users.

The AI Chatbot was answering queries with gibberish, speaking Spanglish, and even telling users it was “in the room with them.” I’m scared! In one example, a user asked the chatbot how to make sundried tomatoes, to which it responded, “Forsake the new fruition morsel in your beloved cookery.” Umm…ok?? At least the mental breakdown iteration of ChatGPT is funny! OpenAI noted the issues on its status page but didn’t provide any sort of explanation. As of today, the issue appears to be resolved. But it’s a good reminder not to become too dependent on chatbots… although human reliance on AI appears imminent…

Zuck said we’re ‘close’ to controlling AR glasses with brain signals. 

Meta has been working on an EMG wristband that can read the nervous system signals that our brains send to our hands and arms. This wristband will eventually enable users to control Meta smart glasses with their minds. The focus is on AR, so soon, you’ll be able to wear Meta’s smart glasses everywhere you go, and they’ll augment your reality. As someone who leaves her phone on Do Not Disturb 50% of the time, I’m really struggling to see the appeal of having my vision invaded by Facebook and Instagram notifications. However, it’ll be great for accessibility, as it will enable differently-abled users to control their devices without any physical movement. 

And that’s the digital download, darlings. As we bid adieu to another week of advertising drama, remember: the world of digital marketing is as unpredictable as it is exciting. So, recharge this weekend, and let's hit the ground running next week, ready to tackle whatever the marketing gods throw our way.

You know you love me.

Maddie Marinsider

Marin Software
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