Diversity and Multicultural Marketing: Six Keys For Success

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Diversity and Multicultural Marketing: Six Keys For Success

July 20, 2021

Marissa Price — SVP, Client Services, Sightly
Edwina Morales — VP, Multicultural Business Solutions, Horizon Media

Horizon Media (HMI) and Sightly have been partners for more than five years to drive outcomes for our brand clients. Recently, we met to share insights about our diversity and multicultural marketing best practices.

Sightly: Brand Mentality™ and United Outcomes Power Multicultural and Diversity

Like a lot of companies, last year was a turning point for us. First, we debuted our new Brand Mentality™ platform, which allows brands to move at the speed that’s really required today for marketing and media.

woman reacting to news on phone

The news cycle is faster than ever, amplified by omnipresent social and viral media. And the only way to be able to keep up is to establish who your brand is and then use machine learning and automation to move quickly and adapt your media approach in response to events as they unfold.

Here are a couple scenarios that we’ve seen…

  • A competitor does something newsworthy or controversial. Do you perceive it as a risk and avoid it? Or is there an opportunity there for you? 
  • There are calls for brand boycotts, or other social issues are heating up the news. How do you respond?

Consumers expect brands to be part of these cultural conversations now. We’re seeing brand loyalty change in an instant based on how brands choose to participate or sit on the sidelines during these big moments. 

Brand Mentality helps marketers control when and how they’re taking part in these cultural narratives.

Second, against this backdrop of developing and launching Brand Mentality, we were also acutely aware of the racial injustices and other difficulties faced by underrepresented groups.

We realized that if we’re going to challenge marketers to be more accountable for their brands, then we really have to do the same thing.

That’s what led to the formation of United Outcomes.

We’ve always said we’re outcome obsessed. Now we’re applying that same approach and mentality to three main focuses: mentorship, internship, and diversity in hiring.

young man in park with tablet device

Getting high school and college students from underrepresented groups involved early in marketing and media helps them discover which parts of the industry they might be most passionate about. And then we can give them resume-building opportunities to fuel diversity across the whole industry.

Horizon: The Boyd Initiative, Promoting from Within & Project Embrace

Diversity, equity and inclusion is Horizon Media’s DNA. We live by this ethos every day and choose to work with clients and partners such Sightly, who are equally invested in pushing this forward. 

At Horizon, we are committed to being a true organization of belonging by creating an enlightened work environment that truly reflects our diverse and unique communities. Our goal is to cultivate an environment where everyone has equitable access to learning and advancement and where our diverse community of employees really are nurtured.

We were fortunate to have a great foundation in place at Horizon to develop these programs, but for companies that need launching points for their DEI programs, a great way is to work with third party programs that already support these goals.

The Boyd Initiative Grads

One such program is The Boyd Initiative, which teaches students from HBCUs the fundamentals of media and advertising, getting them out of the textbooks and connecting them with companies like ours. 

Horizon is employing an intern from The Boyd Initiative this summer in its first virtual summer internship program. By working with third party organizations like this, you can quickly see how your company can walk the walk, promoting inclusion and diversity.

Equally important is cultivating a feeling of belonging once we bring someone into our organizations, fostering an environment that encourages people to be their full and authentic selves.

One way that our organizations elevate that is by promoting from within so that we’re continually investing in our people, making sure they feel valued. Belonging matters. In 2020, more than 30% of the open positions at Horizon were filled internally.

We believe belonging is not just for our employees, but also for brands and the customers they serve. Inclusive and culturally relevant marketing practices drive every conversation day in and day out. These practices are no longer optional, they are imperative.

Our commitment is that multicultural voices will continue to be heard and amplified. Horizon Media does so through Project Embrace, which is our agency-wide effort to empower our teams to think and act inclusively about the audiences we are trying to reach on behalf of our clients.

Now, more than ever, marketers need to transcend linear thinking to reach and engage multicultural audiences. We help our teams and clients apply diverse and inclusive thinking that leads to authentic and culturally rooted media strategies.

Horizon Media Project Embrace logo

We’re proud to have most recently worked with Sightly on a successful QSR partnership in reaching the Hispanic community. It was through this partnership that we understood the importance of Brand Mentality, which gives our brands the finer controls they need to avoid threats without making wholesale changes to their marketing that often wind up blocking multicultural media.

We all know this is an important industry issue that negatively impacts the multicultural population, especially with the constant “urgency of now” that brands face. We look forward to continuing to work together with Sightly to leverage Brand Mentality, which aligns excellently with Horizon Media’s cultural first strategic approach.

In Summary: Six Keys for Building Diversity & Multicultural Marketing Programs

For building diversity, equity and inclusion programs:

  1. Dedicate a business function or passionate group of employees.
  2. Determine the resources you can commit—financial, time, job experience, etc..
  3. Partner with groups that already have a network where your company can make an impact.
  4. Look for ways to provide ongoing support to interns and mentees. Help them discover their passions, act as a reference or check back in with them.

For refining your multicultural marketing practices:

  1. Be authentic to your brand’s/company’s mentality; authentic in your multicultural approach and messaging.
  2. Remember what happens when you assume. As we engage with multicultural audiences, we can also learn from them. That feedback loop makes for more informed media in the future and better brand interactions for both marketers and consumers.


Download the Six Keys One-Sheet to Share With Your Team

all hands in for diversity

Three Things Every Marketer Should Know About Brand Safety

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Three Things Every Marketer Should Know About Brand Safety

July 10, 2021

Greg Garunov
EVP, Business Development

Brand safety is a big focus for marketing executives and players across the advertising industry. Organizations like GARM, IAB, MRC and the 4As have or are developing standards. The Brand Safety Institute has begun certifying “brand safety officers” for participating companies. But it wasn’t always this way….

What is brand safety and when did it start?

While different definitions have circulated in recent years, brand safety in its simplest form is a contextual adjacency consideration. Brand managers ask themselves, “Where are our ads appearing and is it appropriate for them to appear there?” Simple questions but not so simple answers today. To understand why, let’s go back to a time when the primary media vehicle was a black and white cabinet television, say, 70 years ago.

Family Watching Television circa 1958

Back then, there were just a handful of broadcast networks to choose from—and a limited number of programs on each network. For an advertiser, it was a pretty straightforward process of understanding where your ads were going to show up. Managing message placement wasn’t really a concept at the forefront of anyone’s mind because it was relatively easy to do.

Plus, content standards were more structured (and stringent) compared to today. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulators, network censors and affiliates, as well as the individual show producers all had interests in ensuring that programming content appealed to the broadest audiences possible—and offended the fewest viewers.

Ads were also carefully scrutinized, not just for the truthfulness of their messages but also for what brands stood for compared to “accepted values.” 

This was what brand safety and brand suitability was in its infancy. Monitoring the programming was very manageable because there were a limited number of networks and time slots. Scrutinizing ads was manageable for the same reason—there were just fewer of them.

What brand safety challenges does today’s media environment pose for marketers?

As you can tell from that 70 year-old snapshot, a lot of things are different today. Over time, more and more media placement opportunities became available with the expansion and fragmentation of channels through technological developments like cable television and eventually, the Internet.

In just the past 15 to 20  years, the explosion of social media and user-generated content platforms, specifically, have exponentially increased the volume of content and thereby, the marketing and advertising opportunities. 

Monetizing all this content has become the focus for the platforms and the individual content creators have essentially become their own showrunners and their own programmers. And since there are millions of individuals creating and distributing new content every day, the sheer volume and variability of the contexts where marketers can place their messages has at times gotten completely out of control.

UGC video creator in back of car

Over the same period, standards around language, sexual suggestion and violence—just to name a few—have gradually degraded in our society and definitely in our media. 

Aggravating circumstances even further, the global pandemic accelerated digital content consumption and helped fuel the always-breaking news cycle and constant waves of social reactions, shares, comments, shares, re-reactions, etc.

Taken together, these factors have created a perfect storm for brand safety. The media ecosystem that marketers have to navigate has transformed from a very static and manageable one 70 years ago to an exceedingly dynamic and volatile one, which, for many, is nearly unmanageable.

What can you do to handle the increased complexity and accelerated pace of social media, news, trends, etc.?

Especially during this past year, we have realized that there is a critical piece missing in the current efforts to navigate brand safety and suitability, and that is a brand’s mindset.

group of young people watching videos on theor phones

It’s become more critical than ever for a brand to respond with speed and relevance to these media, social moments and viral trends. But the challenge is that the mechanisms in the marketplace today don’t support the ability to move as quickly as a lot of brands want, and frankly, need. 

First, each brand needs to define its unique mindset—a comprehensive, granular profile that details their views and opinions and takes into account their values and purpose and how it wants to respond to the blizzard of stories and viral moments.

The other missing element is the notion of opportunity. Brand safety and suitability mechanisms are focused on mitigating risk. That’s important, for sure, but it’s not the same thing as identifying and seizing the myriad opportunities for your brand in all this chaos.

One example of an opportunity could be when a competitor’s CEO makes some controversial public comments. How quickly could you activate on that content with your message today? And how long is the impact of that particular story going to remain an opportunity for your brand? 

Or, if your brand is aligned with a particular influencer that’s made some headlines, what’s the best course of action to capitalize on (or avoid) that narrative that’s in consumers’ minds or maybe take preemptive action against competitor brands?

There are big opportunities like these, as well as thousands of smaller ones, arising and subsiding all the time. And there haven’t been any solutions to accommodate what marketers are looking to do and capitalize on them—until now. We call our solution the Brand Mentality™ platform.

CEO of Delta article

One of the more unique features about it is that we’re constantly ingesting emerging viral trends and breaking news stories to achieve this moment-by-moment response-ability that includes the opportunities brand safety and suitability solutions have missed. 

Another unique feature is the Brand Mentality profile, which allows your brand to codify its mindset, filter threats and opportunities from our massive data stream and activate them in market.

Listen to the eMarketer podcast about Brand Mentality™ and real-time marketing

Reach out to us below to learn more or take the opportunity to listen to this in depth discussion of the platform on eMarketer’s popular Behind the Numbers podcast.

Listen to the full discussion on eMarketer’s podcast

Brand mentality and the future-forward marketing revolution

One Year Of United Outcomes: What Sightly’s Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Program Has Accomplished So Far

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One Year Of United Outcomes: What Sightly’s Diversity, Equality, Inclusion Program Has Accomplished So Far

June 30, 2021

Belonging matters. It’s a term that took on new life in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in May, 2020. In response to the Black Lives Matter movement that followed, Sightly employees and management felt a responsibility to not only support BLM but to take a stand with any group that is attacked because of its color, culture, religion, gender, sexual preference, etc.

We determined there were two areas where we could begin to make an impact: 

  • Emphasizing diversity in hiring and employee development practices and 
  • Developing relationships with programs/organizations that offer mentorship and internship opportunities for under-represented groups through youth education and engagement.
group of diverse inclusive employees

We felt this work was anti-racist and pro-inclusion, and it allowed for all members of our team to participate and share in the outcomes. This is how the Sightly United Outcomes (UO) program came to be—an organic program that arose in response to the BLM movement, with the encouragement of management.

Sightly is an outcome-obsessed company, and our focus on outcomes is central to our approach to diversity, equality, inclusion and positive change. We actively seek to uplift our community by creating opportunities for college students from under-represented groups in our industry through mentoring, internships, and sharing our experiences in speaking engagements and workshops. We look for ways to make an impact in the communities where we work—New York City, San Diego, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Boston.

This month, we celebrated our first  year of the United Outcomes program. Here are some highlights from the past 365 days.

Summer Bridge with United Activities

Summer Bridge is an internship program that provides low-income NYC students with experience in the tech industry. Student interns participate in workplace challenge projects over the course of three weeks, culminating in a virtual final workplace presentation to a panel of Sightly clients and Sightly Leaders.

“The Summer Bridge internship program was an incredible opportunity to teach young students about the many career paths within the tech industry,” said Kristlyn Lyons, Sightly’s VP of Business Development & Partnerships. “I really enjoyed seeing the students’ interests and passions shine through their work. There was an abundance of creativity, strategic thinking and teamwork that manifested during our time together.”

United Activities Unlimited

This program is meant to insure, transform, and empower individuals of all ages. United Activities provides comprehensive social services, educational supports, enrichment activities, prevention services counseling and workforce development training to an underserved community.

Work, Learn and Grow Program

Over the past year Sightly has worked with Work, Learn, and Grow, a New York City Council-funded initiative designed to build off of the experiences gained in the Summer Youth Employment Program. Work, Learn, and Grow provides participants of the 2020 Summer Bridge Program with career

NYC Dept of Youth & Community Development

readiness training and paid employment opportunities. Students, who must be between the ages of 16-19, go through real interview processes to find the right program.

Alena Pilichowski, Co-Chair of United Outcomes, hired a technology/data science intern through this program and oversaw his day-to-day progress. Of the experience, Alena affirms, “Participating in the Work, Learn, and Grow program was an amazing experience that mutually benefited our student participant, Kenny, as well as Sightly as a whole.

Through the program, Kenny gained invaluable career experience inclusive of a real interview process, onboarding, projects, and weekly check-ins, while Sightly had the privilege of having an incredibly bright young employee providing meaningful work on behalf of the company.”

The Boyd Initiative

The Boyd Initiative is designed to help young Black professionals discover careers in advertising and media. It teaches the fundamentals of media and advertising to participants and connects them with key personnel at some of the most influential companies in the world.

Through Sightly’s UO Program, we partnered with The Boyd Initiative to sponsor a teaching session at which several of our employees spoke about our roles and responsibilities and the career paths we’ve taken. 

From that experience, we hired an intern through the organization and provided practical experience in the industry. Our intern summed up her experience saying, “I wanted to work for a company that listens to the brand’s needs and goals and helps them grow with that intention in mind. I wanted to be impactful in a company, and I knew that my internship role would be important and valued.”

The Boyd Initiative

It’s through partnerships like the one with The Boyd Initiative that we hope to form meaningful connections that will lead to internship and full-time hire opportunities.

Project Morry

Project Morry empowers young people from under-resourced communities to envision and establish a positive future. Young people are given the tools to reach their full potential by access to improved opportunities and learning experiences through programs, such as the upcoming Career Day.

Project Morry

During the 90-minute Career Day session, Sightly members will discuss their backgrounds, roles, career journeys and any additional insights. It is meant to be entertaining for the students, while helping them to learn what part of the industry they might be the most interested in. 

Morry’s Camp was designed as a branch to the entire Project Morry. It was born out of Morry’s dream that all children should experience the gift of camp.

The program works with students through their entire high school career, then helping them apply to college and internships.

VAB IMPACT Diversity Leadership Summit

The VAB (Video Advertising Bureau) is an insights-driven research company dedicated to helping marketers make fully informed media decisions that solve business challenges and drive overall growth. It also provides a stage for new voices, diversity of thought and fresh perspectives with the ultimate goal of driving lasting change and inclusivity within our industry.

At the VAB’s recent IMPACT Diversity Leadership Summit, Marissa Price, Sightly’s SVP of Client Services and colleague Edwina Morales, Horizon Media’s Director of Multicultural Business Solutions joined together to discuss how our organizations approach diversity, inclusion, equality and belonging for employees—and for customers, through multicultural marketing.

VAB IMPACT Diversity Leadership Summit

“We love working with partners, such as Sightly, who drive towards solving diversity and inclusion industry needs across the media landscape,” said Morales. “And most recently and proudly to say, we worked with Sightly on a successful QSR partnership in reaching the Hispanic community. And it was really through the successful partnership that we understood the importance of brand mentality, as we looked to give our brands more control without having to make sweeping adjustments in the marketplace.”

Kamehameha Schools Virtual Student Internships

This summer, Sightly is partnering with Hawaii’s Kamehameha Schools’ Career Pathway Unit Work-Based Learning program to provide virtual summer internships for 

Kamehameha Schools

three college students interested in media/advertising industry careers through its Kāpili ‘Oihana Internship Program (KOIP).

Michele Ching, Sightly’s VP of West Coast Sales, is spearheading the project. Here’s how she describes our objectives: “Our greatest hope is that this internship experience gives Native Hawaiian students hands-on working experience that they can teach others—and grow to take a leadership role in sharing this with the rest of the industry in Hawaii.”

Upcoming Programs

Keep an eye on the In the News section of our website for announcements and updates about our United Outcomes initiatives, like this recent one about the internship program through The Boyd Initiative.

What TikTok’s Explosive Growth and Advertising Innovations Mean for Marketers and Advertisers

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What TikTok’s Explosive Growth and Advertising Innovations Mean for Marketers

May 25, 2021

Kristlyn Lyons
VP, Business Development & Partnerships

Of all the media trends that rose and fell during the past year-plus of life during coronavirus, TikTok deserves special mention for its explosive growth and popularity as a social medium. And now it is commanding brands’ attention as an emerging advertising platform as well.

TikTok influencer

Why are we hearing so much about it?

The New York Times recently offered several reasons for why we’ve heard so much about the platform over the past year.1

According to the Times, TikTok has:

  • Turned entertainment on its head by reinvigorating the music industry
  • Shaped shopping behavior, especially clothing trends
  • Offered a view of the front lines, giving users a glimpse of service and healthcare workers’ lives  
  • Helped people organize and speak out including groups like BLM supporters and politically-minded users
  • Helped people stay connected—schoolmates, teachers, friends, parents
  • Gave us life-affirming trends such as viral food culture (which migrated from Instagram in 2020), the cranberry juice-drinking skateboarder who cruised to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” and so many more.

The fastest-growing app in the world

The world’s most downloaded social media app in 2020, TikTok is a way to make and share short form mobile videos. How short? Initially, videos recorded using TikTok could only be up to 15 seconds long, but now you can string together up to four 15-second segments and create a 60-second video. If you upload a video that was created elsewhere, it can be longer than 60 seconds.2

According to TikTok, there are 805 million monthly active users worldwide who view an average of 185 billion videos per month on their mobile devices.

The global audience skews young and female. The same can be said for the US, however, the 35 years and older audience is projected to grow from 25% to 38% of the TikTok user base over the next five years.3

In just a couple years, the percentage of the US population using TikTok has grown to more than 25%, and is expected to surpass 28% by 2025.4

Among US teens, only SnapChat was still slightly more popular as a social media app in 2020. In fact, according to mobile usage data from AppAnnie, US consumers spend more time on TikTok per month than Facebook or Instagram.5

TikTok is the fastest growing app in the world

The rise of social entertainment

Analysts suggest that part of the reason for TikTok’s success is that people use it differently than other social media—I.e., they use it more as entertainment than as a way to connect with family and friends.6

TikTok is social entertainment

Other apps have emerged that mimic TikTok, indicating that the “social entertainment” might be the next big thing for social content and communication. For example:

  • YouTube’s Shorts
  • Instagram’s Reels
  • Snapchat’s Sounds and
  • Triller.

While traditional social media may have been diminished by increasing controversy and disinformation the past couple years, social entertainment apps like TikTok mainly offer lighter, fun fare that has tended to bring people together, as mentioned in the New York Times article cited above.

‘For You’ algorithm drives engagement

TikTok has two main user modes, ‘Following’ and ‘For You.’ The Following mode includes all the videos of TikTok creators you follow. The For You mode is built on TikTok’s groundbreaking algorithm which employs user interaction, information about the video (and especially, the audio) and account/device settings such as location, language preference, device type, etc. to begin showing the video to users who are not followers of the creator.7 Depending on response—completion rate, and whether users like, share or comment—TikTok shows it to more and more like users.
For You algorithm drives engagement

Brands balancing opportunities and risks

Why should you consider advertising on TikTok? Aside from its explosive growth and popularity, particularly among 34 years old and under audiences, the platform’s advertising offerings continue to expand, including:

  • Targeting options, e.g., demographics, customer data files, content engagement, interests and behaviors
  • Variety of ad formats align with different outcomes8
  • Creator Marketplace offers brands access to influencers
  • New ecommerce features like Dynamic Product Ads and Collection Ads to drive seamless in-app purchases for brands

For one real-world example, check out how top beverage brand Vita Coco capitalized on a viral TikTok trend to engage its audience via a focused ad campaign. Or contact our TikTok experts with any questions.

Get the full size Power of TikTok infographic

You’ve seen snippets of the stats and data from our Power of TikTok infographic throughout this article. Now download the full size version and get all the inside information on TikTok!

Get your copy of the full size
The Power of TikTok Infographic

High Engagement Opportunities

Notes

  1. This Is Why You Heard About TikTok So Much in 2020 https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/31/style/tiktok-trends-2020.html
  2. TikTok Video Length & Video Formatting Guide https://boosted.lightricks.com/tiktok-video-length-video-formatting-guide/
  3. TikTok User Share, by Age, eMarketer, April, 2021. https://forecasts-na1.emarketer.com/5e4c6b5ec56a401090de843e/60895b2d0b2f28075cb1a57d
  4. TikTok Users, US, 2021-2025. https://forecasts-na1.emarketer.com/5e4c6b5ec56a401090de843e/5e4c6a29c56a401090de843b
  5. US consumers spend more time on TikTok per month than on Facebook or Instagram, says App Annie, by Daniel Carnahan, Jan 15, 2021. https://content-na1.emarketer.com/us-consumers-spend-more-time-on-tiktok-month-than-they-do-on-facebook-instagram
  6. eMarketer’s key digital trends for 2021 [Part 2 of 2]: Disney+, event transformation, ‘brandstanding,’ social commerce, and social entertainment, Dec 15, 2020. https://content-na1.emarketer.com/emarketer-s-key-digital-trends-2021-part-2-of-2-disney-event-transformation-brandstanding-social-commerce-social-entertainment
  7. How the TikTok Algorithm Works in 2020 (and How to Work With It), by , July 29, 2020. https://blog.hootsuite.com/tiktok-algorithm/
  8. Everything You Need to Know About TikTok Ads, by Jessica Worb, June 12, 2020. https://later.com/blog/tiktok-ads/

How Kobe Bryant’s “Mamba Mentality” Inspired Game-Changing Marketing Technology

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How Kobe Bryant’s “Mamba Mentality” Inspired Game-Changing Marketing Technology

April 4, 2021

At 9:45 a.m. on January 26, 2020, a helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven other people crashed near Los Angeles, killing all on board. Millions of fans around the world were stunned by the news, including Sightly’s CRO and GM, Adam Katz, who had grown up watching Bryant’s entire career from beginning to end. 

During the days following the tragedy, Katz was struck by the outpouring of positive sentiment for Bryant. Here was a player who at one point early in his career was considered toxic by most brand sponsors. Now, many years later upon his death, he was being widely revered and remembered for how he’d reformed himself with a mindset he’d adopted and called the ‘Mamba Mentality.’

The perfect marketing and media storm

Fast-forward a couple months to the sudden onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic—quarantines, lockdowns, panic reactions, etc. Brands struggled to pivot, especially those with money locked into upfront agreements.

Fast-forward a couple more months to the BLM protests and marches across the country. Brands again witnessed the need for nimble messaging and media placement in the face of dynamically shifting sentiment.

While making continuous adjustments to keep customers’ brands safe and suitable in their digital media campaigns, the Sightly team noted an explosion in the amount and pace of news.

Every day, every hour, even every moment, there was something new happening digitally, socially, culturally that needed responding to on behalf of each agency and brand customer.

Most of the events and viral trends also had become more complex and nuanced as they ebbed and flowed. Reactions to them evolved over a matter of hours or days, sometimes changing focus and sentiment.

No wonder a survey conducted in May showed that brand CMOs in the US felt their biggest challenge going forward was ‘understanding consumer behavior changes,’ and number three was ‘aligning with new/changing customer sentiment.’1

Brand CMOs challenged by change

Polarizing moment leads to aha moment

An eye-popping moment occurred when the CEO of a client‘s competitor came out backing one of the political parties. The strong reaction in the market to this CEO’s statements suddenly highlighted how polarizing politics and cultural moments like these had become. Sightly was able to leverage the controversy for its customer—but the opportunity went away as quickly as it had arisen.

And this is where Kobe came back into play…

Photo by Alexandra Walt - Kobe Bryant and Mamba Mentality

“I went back to his ‘mentality’ concept and I realized that every brand would react differently to all these moments based on their mindsets,” Katz explained. 

It became obvious that brands needed a wider lens—one that could help them define what was truly suitable and safe, yes—but also one that could identify the opportunities.

Sightly had been developing products that incorporated industry brand safety standards from GARM, IAB, the 4As, etc. “Based on what was happening, we felt we wanted to expand on that and create a platform that gave brands the ability to put their own opinions in market as they see fit, to respond with speed to scenarios the way they feel,” Katz added. “We call it Brand Mentality™.”

Kobe Bryant’s mentality came from the Black Mamba persona he adopted, named after a deadly snake assassin in a Quentin Tarantino film.2 Over time, his Mamba Mentality grew to signify the total focus and dedication to his craft, a mindset that drove him to become one of the greatest and most admired players in the history of the game.

How Mamba Mentality informs Brand Mentality™

In his 2018 book, The Mamba Mentality: How I Play, Bryant wrote:

“The mindset isn’t about seeking a result—it’s more about the process of getting to that result. It’s about the journey and the approach. It’s a way of life. I do think that it’s important, in all endeavors, to have that mentality.”

In another section of the book, he added this:

“Keep it real. When I was young, my mindset was image, image, image. As I became more experienced I realized: No matter what, people are going to like you or not like you. So be authentic, and let them like you for who you actually are.”3

“What you see from Kobe is the excellence in the details, and continuous refinement,” observed Albert Thompson, Managing Director of Digital at Walton Issacson. “The whole notion of Brand Mentality is it changes as the story changes. And that is very much how the human mind works. Nothing lives on absolute terms anymore. It’s in and out and then moves to a new narrative or just goes away all together.”

Defining its Brand Mentality helps a brand establish its unique mindset and approach in market. It humanizes a brand so it can move with speed to drive outcomes and respond in real time to events, threats and opportunities that arise moment to moment. 

Listen to the full discussion of Brand Mentality in this recent episode of eMarketer’s popular Behind the Numbers podcast.

Notes

  1. Biggest Challenge for CMOs? Understanding Consumer Behavior Changes https://www.marketingcharts.com/demographics-and-audiences-115274
  2. How Kobe Bryant’s ‘Mamba Mentality’ changed the NBA, by James Herbert, Jan 29, 2020 https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/how-kobe-bryants-mamba-mentality-changed-the-nba/
  3. The Mamba Mentality—How I Play, by Kobe Bryant, text ©2018 Kobe, Inc. https://www.amazon.com/Mamba-Mentality-How-Play/dp/0374201234

In the Living Room: Your Best CTV Strategy for the New Year

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In the Living Room: Your Best CTV Strategy for the New Year

January 11, 2021

The year that most of us would rather forget produced effects that will linger well into this new year and beyond for advertisers and media agencies.

Trends in digital video and TV that had been moving incrementally for years suddenly fast-forwarded in 2020, thanks to a surge in demand beginning with lockdowns and quarantines in Q2, and impacts on production, including bellwether traditional TV content like sports events and live audience shows.1

In the Livingroom Young People Watch YouTube on CTV

Cord cutters, cord nevers and on-demanders

For example, while audiences overall have been shifting from traditional TV to streaming video for several years, a couple key statistics indicate how the pandemic has accelerated this trend.

  • Pay TV providers (cable, satellite and telecom) lost the most subscribers ever in one year—6.6 million households—down 7.5% year-over-year. Total households now stand at 77.6, which is down 22.8% from pay TV’s peak in 2014. By the end of 2024, fewer than half of US households will subscribe to a pay TV service.2
  • Connected TV households surpassed the 100 million mark for the first time, topping out at 104.7 million, or almost 81% of US homes. That number is up 82.1% from 2014. By the end of 2024, almost 86% of US households will use connected TV.3

Industry observers and analysts feel these accelerated trends are likely to continue this year and that CTV may have already reached a tipping point in its adoption.

Nielsen reported in June that “the rise in total media consumption during shelter-in-place restrictions was expected and has been well documented to date, but the persistent high levels of CTV use across smart TVs, internet-connected devices and game consoles suggests that life in the new normal includes a heavier dose of connected TV use than before the lockdowns.”4

US Connected TV Households 2020-2024

And Adweek added that this “…underscores the belief among many television streaming executives and onlookers that the pandemic may prompt an acceleration in streaming migration.”5

Get your complimentary copy of eMarketer/Insider Intelligence US YouTube Advertising 2020 report 

US YouTube Advertising 2020 Report

Digital video and CTV top ad formats in 2021

The pandemic has had similar effects on advertising as well. eMarketer/Insider Intelligence reported that time spent with digital video will grow another 19.4% in 2021.6 

And in its annual YouTube advertising report, it spotlighted the digital video platform’s dominance in OTT viewership and its significance for CTV advertisers:

  • YouTube is the largest ad-supported digital video platform in the US in reach and time spent. In 2020, YouTube was watched by 214.9 million Americans, making up 74.2% of US internet users.
  • This year, 95.4% of US OTT video viewers will watch YouTube at least monthly, surpassing even Netflix (74.9%). YouTube is second only to Netflix in share of time spent with OTT video in the US, particularly notable given that YouTube is largely ad-supported. 
  • During the coronavirus pandemic, YouTube saw both viewing and ad revenue increase due to behavioral shifts. For TV advertisers, this accelerated trend could make the platform a powerful alternative for those looking to re-allocate ad dollars from television to digital video.
OTT Video Viewer Penetration, by Provider - US, 2020

Your best CTV plans include YouTube

The eMarketer report concludes that in 2021, advertisers wanting to extend the reach of their TV campaigns to digital video and CTV will increasingly target their audiences on YouTube.

Not only is YouTube the most-used digital video platform in the US, it is “the single biggest source of supply in US CTV advertising. YouTube’s outsize role in the US CTV space is particularly striking given that advertisers can’t access CTV inventory on YouTube on non-Google platforms (e.g., Roku).”7

Whether your desired outcome is TV extension or digital video reach, branding or action, your best plan should include a mix of:

  • Audience- or content-targeted YouTube on CTV—then augment it as needed with
  • CTV on other platforms or
  • YouTube across other devices.

Contact Sightly’s strategy team for specific digital video and CTV ideas you could incorporate into your next plans.