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Media Planning & Media Buying

Using OOH to Increase Suicide Prevention Awareness

By | Campus Advertising, Engaging Millennials, Food for Thought, Generation Z, Media Planning & Media Buying | No Comments
Suicide is a leading cause of death, with nearly 800,000 deaths around the world ever year, according to the World Health Organization. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that it is the tenth leading cause of death in the United States, claiming 47,000 lives in 2017 alone. While it isn’t an easy or comfortable topic to talk about, recent years have drawn a greater awareness to like issues. Suicide, anti-bullying and mental health overall are no longer off-limit topics of discussion and have been central to several awareness campaigns, as well as celebrity-endorsed social movements (check out Justin Bieber’s Instagram post here sharing his current struggle with mental illness). Such efforts and campaigns are executed with the help of advertising.

 

What is OOH Advertising?

There are several different types of advertising, though our focus will be Outdoor or Out-of-Home Advertising (OOH). As one might be able to decipher from the name, OOH is advertising that reaches the consumer while they are outside their homes. Such advertising includes billboards, bus shelter advertisements, newspaper kiosks and wall panels. It is a traditional form of advertising and can be wildly successful if executed correctly. We see numerous OOH advertisements every time we leave our homes, yet only a select few are memorable and leave lasting impressions.

OOH advertisements have played a significant role in starting and continuing the conversation around sensitive subjects, such as mental illness and suicide. It is not all that uncommon to see mental health, suicide awareness and prevention campaigns on these OOH platforms. Such campaigns are steps in the right direction for increased awareness and provide immediate calls-to-action, as they often include hotline phone numbers and additional resources for support.

An article in TIME Magazine states that the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline expected 1.1 to 1.2 million calls in 2013, the year that the article was written, and receives about 15 percent more calls year after year. The same article states that in the last 20 years, public policy and federal funding have shifted their efforts to a broader mental wellness movement aimed at individuals suffering from anxiety and depression, utilizing OOH advertisements to relay their campaign messaging. Individuals in the new target audience are often referred to as being “upstream”, meaning that they are not a current suicide risk. The thought behind this shift is to reach people before they are “downstream” and at risk for suicide. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is unique in that is has adopted the shift towards broader advertising while maintaining their position as an emergency resource for those at risk of suicide, as well. So, how is a safe and successful OOH awareness campaign created?

 

Tips on Making Your OOH Advertisement Successful

Out-of-Home advertisements are often seen in passing, while people are on the go, giving advertisers only seconds to capture people’s attention. How does one do this? I have complied a list of key points and strategies that appeared several times in my research. Read More

Audio Advertising 101

By | Buying Power of Millennials, Engaging Millennials, Generation Z, Media Planning & Media Buying, Mobile Advertising, Social Media Advertising | No Comments
Audio streaming, Spotify and Pandora
In today’s digital world, traditional advertising methods are no longer enough to maintain competitive in the media and marketing space. Every day, people consume advertisements through a variety of content and streaming platforms. They easily absorb their information through streaming advertisements, whether watching shows and movies on Hulu, or even listening to music or podcasts on Pandora and Spotify. Unlike traditional advertising, audio advertising can reach a more targeted and specific demographic based on the content the user is consuming. Before we dive into what makes audio advertising successful and provide tips on managing a successful campaign, let’s start with the basics: what is audio advertising?

 

What is it?

“Audio advertising” is simple – it’s the advertising you listen to while on your audio-streaming platforms. When you are listening to streaming content on Pandora, Spotify or similar stations, you are likely being targeted with audio advertisements. Advertisers can buy space on such platforms, and strategically target users who fit into their desired audience based on data that is unique to streaming platforms via required profile creation. Each time a user creates a profile on platforms like Spotify or Pandora, they are required to put in basic information such as gender, age, and music preferences. This data can be translated into key demographic data which in turn serves as a way for potential ads to target potential niche audiences. With the growing popularity of audio streaming, the advertising space they offer has grown too. This comes as no surprise, since we have our phones with us at all times; while we are commuting to work or just running errands on the weekend, audio advertising is infused into the daily soundtrack of our everyday lives.

 

Why is it important?

It’s no secret that the world of advertising is changing drastically. Consumers are no longer just engaging with traditional media, and the audio advertising space is one of the new channels that can be utilized to capture your target demographic. Forbes stated that streaming is officially the lifeblood of the music industry in the U.S., considering that Spotify alone has a total of 191 million monthly active users. This means that advertisers must adapt to digital platforms in order to remain relevant. While the space is relatively new and continues to emerge, it is increasing in popularity each year with no signs of slowing down, as more and more users are shifting to multimedia and streaming platforms. While such platforms provide the option of ad-free listening or the choice to skip them, this comes at a premium, but studies have shown that only a small percentage of users choose this option.

 

However, skipping an advertisement could actually work in the advertiser’s favor. In an interview with Ad Age, Danielle Lee, Global Vice President of Partner Solutions at Spotify, said she believes that users will only skip advertisements that are not of interest to them. Therefore, the advertiser can ultimately better target their demographic. Not only will this allow advertisers to narrow down their target audience, but it will allow them to be more successful in their efforts to increase conversions. Individuals will listen and engage with advertisements that interest them and, thus, provide advertisers with important information about how to better target and adapt their marketing efforts. For instance, according to The Drum, platforms such as Spotify have log-in data that allows advertisers to hone in on specific groups of users based on their age, gender and listening habits.

 

This allows digital advertisers to target their specific audience while also being able to measure post-advertising data that is integral in evaluating the campaign. On Spotify, for instance, advertisers can measure user interaction and if they listened until the very end. While it is important to be able to track how many people your advertisement has reached, what is becoming more and more important is the user journey after it has been played fully. For example, did the user visit the advertiser’s website? Did the user make a purchase? This information allows advertisers to track performance in real time and close the advertising loop, providing them with a holistic view of engagement surrounding their advertisement, which then provides a more accurate calculation of their Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) from music- to podcast-streaming platforms.

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How to Increase College Enrollment through Advertising

By | Buying Power of Millennials, Campus Advertising, Engaging Millennials, Media Planning & Media Buying, Mobile Advertising, Social Media Advertising, Uncategorized | No Comments
Despite the growing number of majors and universities throughout the United States, college enrollment has experienced a decrease in the last year, per the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Here at MSSmedia, we deliver college recruitment campaigns that help increase student enrollment, in addition to promoting majors and recreational activities on campuses. For example, we ran an out-of-home branding campaign for the College of Nursing at the University of Houston, generating more than 400,000 impressions in promoting the college’s new field of studies. As campus experts, we’ve put together tips on how colleges and universities can generate engagement and establish a strong footprint in the campus space.

Start your student recruitment activities ASAP

As a college or university, you may need to devote more time to recruiting at lower grade-levels, such as high school sophomores, rather than trying to get their attention as seniors. This has proven to be effective in establishing relationships between higher education institutions and students. For instance, by emailing students with exciting news about their colleges or universities will help build trust and loyalty over time. Make them feel special, and let them imagine the campus experience they will soon be living. At MSSmedia, we have provided our university and college partners with both traditional and non-traditional advertising campaigns, such as out-of-home and social media services for the School of Hospitality at Florida International University (FIU) in Miami, FL, which ranked as the number one hospitality program in the nation for three consecutive years.

Run a mobile college enrollment campaign

Almost 5 billion people interact on their phones nowadays, so an optimal way for universities and colleges to target students and increase enrollment is through mobile advertising. After planning out your objectives, start thinking of a social media channel to engage students with your campaign. Is it Instagram, Facebook or Twitter? Keep in mind that you don’t need all of them, rather focus on quality over quantity. At MSSmedia, we have helped clients understand the right social media plan to establish trust and generate engagement among students. Just last year, we ran a mobile campaign on behalf of Pandora at FIU to increase brand engagement and drive in-store sales for Mother’s Day. At the end of the campaign, we delivered more than 50,000 impressions and over 300 clicks. Read More

How to Promote Local Economic Growth through an Effective Public Relations Plan

By | Buying Power of Millennials, Campus Advertising, Engaging Millennials, Generation Z, Media Planning & Media Buying, Mobile Advertising, Social Media Advertising | No Comments
According to Trading Economics, the U.S. economy grew by 2.1 percent in the second quarter of 2019. As a result of this growth, local governments and non-governmental organizations keep contributing to the overall quality of life, whether it’s increased job opportunities or a safer culture environment. So, how can communities promote their local economic development and the successes that have shaped them today? It is here that Public Relations comes into play. Public Relations is defined as “the management function which tests public attitudes, identifies the policies and procedures of an individual or an organization with the public interest, and plans and executes a program of action to earn public understanding and acceptance.” Essentially, the best Public Relations strategy is to hear a good story and then tell a good story. Public Relations professionals are storytellers. They inform market perceptions by creating and building stories surrounding a product, service, brand or organization. At MSSmedia, our new Public Relations division – led by seasoned publicist Rebecca Astorga, who has worked with clients, such as Fashion Nova, Phil Collins and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit – has already started to create a sincere difference as a media and marketing agency. To mark the beginning of a new direction for our agency, we put together a few Public Relations strategy examples that your brand can use to make an impactful difference and stay ahead of the competition.

Keep in mind that Public Relations is not Advertising.

One of the main differences between Public Relations and Advertising is that Public Relations is earned media, whereas the latter is paid media. Earned media or free media refers to publicity gained through word-of-mouth, editorial coverage and mentions other than paid media which is the promotion of content through paid social posts, paid search results as well as promoted multimedia.  However, Public Relations and Advertising share the same goal of promoting their clients and, ultimately, setting them up for success by ensuring optimal visibility for the target audiences. Public Relations is the essential intermediary that builds strategic communication between organizations and the public, so it is important to define what target audience your efforts are geared toward. Are they real estate agents, local residences and businesses, or tourists? Once you define your audience, then the next step will be implementing a good story through media relations. One of the most successful examples that translates theory into practice is the campaign launched by Edelman for Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau (HVCB). The target market for this campaign was New Yorkers that commute via the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), from the subway to buses, and who purchased Hawaiian MetroCards in late April 2019, and then had a chance to win a breathtaking trip to the Hawaiian Islands. The campaign went viral, creating enormous engagement online and off, while also garnering excitement among New Yorkers and tourists. At MSSmedia, we know how to differentiate our local Public Relations services from the rest of the competition while driving high-value business for our clients, similar to the partnership between MTA and HVCB. Read More

How Digital Advertising Can Reduce Food Waste

By | Buying Power of Millennials, Campus Advertising, Food for Thought, Media Planning & Media Buying, Mobile Advertising, Social Media Advertising | No Comments
Most people don’t realize how much food they throw away every day. Did you know approximately 1.3 billion tons of food is wasted every year? Food waste has become a controversial issue, so restaurants, grocery stores and the federal government are adopting strategies to reduce it in the United States (as well as internationally). Even digital marketing companies have explored unconventional ways to raise awareness among people on a national scale. For example, in the last couple of years, media and marketing companies have been trying to sensitize Americans to learn how to recycle properly. At MSSmedia, we partnered with the University of Southern California to run an ad campaign for the Environmental Student Assembly. This campaign helped generate and increase awareness among all students through the installments of out-of-home advertisements to promote recycling bins. From years of experience dealing with sustainability campaigns, we want to share some ideas that digital advertising companies, like us, have been using to get people closer to food and recycling topics.

Remember. Advertising is everywhere.

Regardless if on a mobile device or giant billboard, people typically don’t realize that advertisements are everywhere. However, to succeed, it is important to set up the right digital marketing strategy that can help your brand gain measurable and attainable results. Last year, we ran a sustainability campaign partnering with the University of Illinois at Chicago to encourage recycling. At the end of the campaign, we delivered an outstanding 255,000+ impressions campus wide. In the full scope of this effort, we also implemented an out-of-home and mobile advertising campaign at Boston College and Northeastern University for Peapod, a food delivery service that has been working on sustainable seafood support since 2008. The multi-tiered campaign increased brand engagement and visibility through a mobile campaign as well as out-of-home advertisements that delivered more than 100,000 impressions and generated 1,000 clicks. This is a prime example of how business practices in food production can work with sustainability messaging to deliver a successful long-term campaign. Read More

The 5 Biggest Mistakes that Campus Advertisers Make

By | Campus Advertising, Generation Z, Media Planning & Media Buying, Mobile Advertising, Social Media Advertising | No Comments
College Marketing and Advertising
Each fall, millions of students attending U.S. colleges and universities carry more than $400 billion in spending power. As students flock to campuses nationwide, there are endless opportunities for advertisers to get in front of millennial buyers.  At MSSmedia, we’ve worked with both advertisers and universities to run successful back-to-college campaigns for 15 years. We are college marketing experts that know the place, the products, and how to successfully deliver marketing strategies. In our 15 years of experience, we’ve seen clients and other agencies make critical errors in their campus advertising campaigns. To learn from their mistakes and execute the best campaign possible, we’ve put together a list of the 5 biggest mistakes that people make. Read on to avoid wasting your budget and resources in the college advertising world!

Not Knowing your Competition

One of the most efficient ways to understand your target market, is to study the competition. Analyze your competitors’ weaknesses and strengths. What do they offer that you don’t? Who are they are selling to? Understand what they are doing right, and what they may be doing wrong. Once you have outlined a plan, start looking at their social media presence! Look at things like their engagement rate on Facebook and Instagram. Search for their home page on LinkedIn and see if you can do better! Conducting an in-depth analysis of your competition will help you organize all your ideas and projects on how to market to millennials. Working with a company like MSSmedia who can help you conduct a competitive audit can put you ahead of the game. Our campus experts can help you redefine your advertising strategy and maximize your advertising budget.

Not Defining your Target Audience

After you have analyzed your competitors, identify a specific target audience that will best fit your product or service. Do you want to target local students, international students, or maybe student organizations? The options are countless; which is why you need to organize your stream of thoughts before going further in your marketing plan. Start by answering some of the following questions. How old is your target market? Where can you find the target audience you want to reach? What are some of the values the target cares for most? What are they most interested in? Campus OOH advertising can be integral to generating brand awareness among generation Z. In fact, research has shown that more than 70% of students pay attention to on campus billboards and posters.

After answering these questions, you can begin to create a sketch of the types of young people you are interested in reaching. With this strategy, you will be able to personalize your marketing message and identify specific characteristics that you may have not considered before. At MSSmedia, we know how to reach college students. For instance, one of our out-of-home campaigns with Panera was launched a few years ago at Ohio University and Virginia Tech. It featured various OOH installments in order to promote the new delivery to the two campuses. The campaign ended up being so successful in the number of impressions delivered (over 58 million) that Panera scheduled a similar campaign the year after. Read More

MSSmedia Agency

By | Media Planning & Media Buying | No Comments

Campus advertising is our business. For years, we have catered to the millennial market on college and university campuses across the nation with our network of outdoor advertising displays. We have now expanded our services with MSSmedia Agency, a new business unit.
MSSmedia Agency will provide clients with campus marketing solutions to brands and agencies wishing to target the coveted millennial market on college campuses. This partnership is built on the distinct strengths of each company: MSSmedia Agency’s media planning and buying, digital and experiential expertise merged with MSSmedia’s industry leading college marketing experience. This combination will allow brands to further reach their target market and achieve new levels of efficiency, effectiveness and customer satisfaction.
“Digital – combined with traditional advertising – is transforming business and our industry in monumental ways,” says Michael Sheldon, founder of MSSmedia. “MSSmedia Agency allows us to bring this technology to our clients and leverage MSSmedia Agency’s knowledge, software and expertise.” Sheldon is also the Founder of MSSmedia, so it was an undeniable strategic move to have the two companies form a joint venture.

Colleges Are Being Transformed by Mobile Apps

By | Buying Power of Millennials, Campus Advertising, Engaging Millennials, Media Planning & Media Buying | No Comments

Today’s students have more technology than 30 years ago. Cellphones, tablets, laptops and more are commonplace on a college campus. With these devices come a multitude of mobile apps that open students up to a wealth of information from entertainment, news and much more. Popular apps range from social media, photo editing to fitness and education tools.

As a brand, these mobile apps are an opportunity to connect with students as they travel the campus. Traditional forms of advertising are still effective and incorporating mobile apps extends the longevity of the message. Below are some options to employ to target the college market with these apps.

1. QR Codes

Use QR codes on your creative to trigger downloads of your brand’s app or direct them to your website. QR codes can be scanned using an app found on many smart phones.

2. Offer Discounts

College students are always looking for discounts and deals. Have students download your app and in return, they can receive deals or discounts for your product or service. They will then have the app on their phone and an incentive to buy from you. This increases the likelihood that will be future customers.

3. Share on Social

Social apps are on the majority of college student’s phones so involving these highly used apps with your campaign will speak to this market. Millennials trust information that their friends recommend so having people share your content on social media increases the trustworthiness.

Coke Zero Brings Back Their Drinkable Billboard

By | Buying Power of Millennials, Campus Advertising, DNA of Millennials, Engaging Millennials, Media Planning & Media Buying | No Comments

Classes are in session, and with that comes the excitement for the upcoming football season. Tens of thousands of college students along with other enthusiastic fans will be in attendance to root for their respective teams. Thousands more will be tuning in via television, which presents an opportune time to sample your product with the college market. This is exactly what Coke Zero aims to do.

It’s said that Coke Zero was created for men because they were turned off by the word Diet. Taking a glance at Coke Zero and Diet Coke, one would think they are identical, but they do differ slightly. Although Zero’s launch 10 years ago had a different target, the brand has realized the opportunities of marketing to other targets. Thus, Coke Zero has made a name for themselves, becoming a $1 billion global brand in 2007 and continuing to keep their stature. Surprisingly, it hasn’t been due to giving out samples of their product, which brings us back to the vast sampling pool of people surrounding football games.

Their latest campaign capitalizes on the millennial market physically available at games by setting up billboards at certain stadiums and handing out branded gear with drink samples. In addition to these outdoor advertising efforts, Coke Zero is taking their drinkable campaign to TV. Through 10 new spots, ESPN personalities will ask viewers to open their Shazam app and hold it to the TV. The Coke Zero will appear to pour into a glass on the smartphone, and the viewer will be given a coupon for a free 20 oz. bottle redeemable at select retailers. Coke has accomplished the task of not only engaging fans in person, but involving fans at home, which extends their reach even further. Taking outdoor advertising and utilizing social media, Coke guaranteed success of their campaign.

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