Peebles Creative Group | Blog Masonry
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Blog-Blog 2017-Feb

Your Industry Update

As we move into the second half of February, there’s an abundance of advertising news coming to light. Facebook is central to a significant portion of recent developments. As one of the most powerful vehicles of advertising today, it’s important to stay ahead on what changes are being implemented. Here’s the latest:


1. Snapchat has an IPO coming up but, more than ever, Instagram is making strategic moves to cut into Snapchat’s market. Where does that leave Snapchat? As it turns out, brands are still seeing their viewership increase. While the rate of increase has slowed, it is still growing. As users shift to Instagram Stories, will brands continue to see rising viewership? Will user migration plateau? Stay tuned.


2. We wrote about influencer marketing on our blog last fall. The Drum published a great article about the state of influencer marketing this year. They talk about some of the immense positives, as well as pitfalls, of the relatively new marketing strategy. They also provide some valuable advice.


3. As Facebook’s video successes have rolled in, their aspirations have grown as well. Their next step toward conquering the world of digital video is creating their own original video content. To do so, Facebook recently hired Mina Lefevre, a former executive at MTV. She will lead efforts to develop original, episodic videos.


4. There’s certainly a difference between rural communities and those who live in cities or highly-populated areas. Agency Saatchi & Saatchi New York spent last summer traveling to rural areas to gain a better understanding of middle America’s everyday lives and perspectives. The result is an incredibly insightful and in-depth report on their research and findings. It’s well-worth your time.


5. Twitter released their revenue numbers last week and it wasn’t good. Advertising revenue fell from last year, which only serves to highlight Twitter’s struggle to grow their user base & effectively monetize. This is worth monitoring closely, because as Twitter struggles to demonstrate consistent growth, it will need to shake up its platform to keep shareholders happy.


6. Ever wanted to watch Facebook videos on a widescreen TV? Whether the answer is yes or no, Facebook is coming to a TV near you. The company is launching an app for Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV that will allow users to watch Facebook videos on television. Users watch tons of video on Facebook’s platform, so the success of this effort will be dependent on that interest carrying over to an entirely different medium.


7. Facebook is going to begin auto playing videos with the sound on. This will fundamentally change the way that brands and users approach making video content, as sound will be an important part of video production moving forward. This sounds like a user headache waiting to happen, so keep an eye on feedback and users’ receptivity to the change.



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TV Spot Touchdowns

The Big Game didn’t disappoint. And neither did the commercials. We talked with a few members of the team this morning about their favorite spots.



Ford Go Further


Why I loved it:

Funny, relatable, simple, graphic, and of course, inspirational. Great job, Ford!



Live Snickers Ad


Why I loved it:

I knew that Snickers was teasing a live commercial, and that could have been intriguing enough on its own, but the direction they ended up taking it was a surprise. Having everything go so (intentionally) wrong because they “shot a live commercial while hungry” was not only hilarious, but still true to Snickers’ “you’re not you when you’re hungry” slogan. The logistics of this ad were crazy, as well.



Honda – Yearbooks


Why I loved it:

It’s a creative take on using celebrities in advertising and it sends a powerful message about chasing dreams, which is part of Honda’s corporate fabric. It also flips the narrative on typically bland car commercials. Really well done.



Tide with Terry Bradshaw


Why I loved it:

It wasn’t the Mr. Clean ad.





Why I loved it:

While so many of the ads from the Super Bowl took some sort of stand, I thought the BUSCHHHHH spot was a cool, crisp and refreshing break from all things political. Simple, creative, funny and I actually knew who the advertiser was at the end of the commercial. #GAGAKILLEDIT



There was no shortage of good – and bad – spots for the game. And, there was certainly an emphasis on both humorous and politically charged messaging. What did you think about the latest batch of Super Bowl commercials?

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Your Industry Update

What’s new in the industry, you ask? Some of the most important stories, developments and insights of the last two weeks, curated just for you:


1. Facebook announced their quarterly results on February 1st. Profit numbers were $3.57 billion, more than double last year’s figure of $1.56 billion. The growth is primarily fueled by mobile advertising, which continues to grow in popularity. Look for this immense growth to slow until the social media giant finds more space to sell ads.


2. Snapchat is working on a new feature that will allow you to place virtual objects on landmarks and physical objects. Similar to the current feature that allows users to overlay lenses and filters on their faces, new virtual overlays could open the door for new & innovative advertising options in the near future.


3. LinkedIn recently made some changes that will allow marketers to better target users by leveraging LinkedIn’s vast amounts of data. Think of it like knowing what you share in common with someone at a networking event, ahead of time.


4. The world of marketing & advertising is a fast-moving one. The platforms people use, and how brands use them, constantly changes and evolves. With that said, there are some big changes on the horizon. From augmented reality to chat messengers, Forbes did a great job breaking down what the future may look like.


5. Procter & Gamble Co. called out the digital marketing industry at the IAB’s Annual Leadership meeting. In light of the recent measurement issues on various digital platforms, P&G’s Chief Brand Officer told the ad industry that the days of, “digital getting a pass are over.”


6. In response to its multiple measurement difficulties in recent memory, Facebook is taking steps to do something about it. Facebook announced new partnerships aimed at improving transparency for advertisers.


7. Nielsen’s long-awaited Total Content Ratings are getting pushed back slightly. Rather than a full rollout on March 1, the ratings platform will now initially have a limited commercial release. This development comes at the request of NBCUniversal as Nielsen looks to get the platform right in spite of heavy pressure across the media industry.


8. Snapchat opened up its ad platform ahead of its upcoming IPO. What does this mean? A larger number of brands can now advertise on Snapchat, and it’s easier to place ads. Snapchat has partnered with five companies to help cope with growing demand, and has added partners that will help advertisers produce good creative.




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Get Social for the Big Game

Millions of Americans will tune into Super Bowl LI on Sunday, February 5th. It’s an event so significant in the cultural landscape that it essentially renders itself a national holiday. While the day is undoubtedly about football, it’s no secret that advertisers and brands alike also consider it one of the biggest days of the year. In 2016, the broadcast drew an average of nearly 112 million viewers and counted a whopping total of 16.9 million tweets.


While big-budget commercials get most of the publicity, don’t sleep on engaging with fans on social media leading up to and during the big game. According to Influence Central, 78% of fans plan to spend time on social media while watching the game. Simply put, these platforms are where the conversation is happening.


The majority of Super Bowl watchers do so at a party with friends and/or family. And of viewers who plan on watching the game with friends, nearly half plan to spend between $100 and $249 on their gathering. The two aforementioned facts really reinforce what we already know; most people watch the game with friends, and many people plan to spend money on various products to maximize that experience.


Preparations by fans leading up to the Super Bowl present the first opportunity to engage with potential customers. This can be done in any number of fun and creative ways – from providing recipes before the game, to running a promotion on relevant products in the days prior to the game, to putting up physical banners advertising your establishment as the place to watch the game. After all, according to MediaPost, “Consumers are on social media to plan and prepare.” Leverage this insight to help craft your plan leading up to the event, specifically on social media. Think about how your brand, product or service can complement the fan experience leading up to game day.


The second time to engage, and equally important, is during the game itself. As we mentioned earlier in this post, 78% of fans are on social media while they watch the game. Social platforms serve as a sounding board for the game, the commercials and people’s experiences at watch parties. If your brand has a presence on social media, you need to place your stake during advertising’s biggest night. And, have fun with it. Get social with fans about the game, talk about the commercials, or make a play on one of the inevitably humorous memes. Use hashtags. Many fans will use hashtags as a way to tune into the social chatter regarding the game and topics relevant to the game. Again, spend some time determining where the strengths of your brand align with the interests of Super Bowl viewers. This is where you want to flex your creative muscles.


What social media platforms are deserving of your attention? As expected, fans will use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram extensively. During the game, a large percentage of the conversation will likely occur on Twitter where people can have real-time interactions. Additionally, Snapchat is deserving of consideration, as are Instagram Stories and other short-form video pieces. Ultimately, your organization has to decide which platforms make the most sense for your business and goals. Consumers today are more aware than ever about the authenticity of brands. And quite frankly, many consumers don’t want any part of brands that aren’t genuine. So take advantage of this opportunity to have some fun, connect with consumers, and be a part of advertising’s biggest day.



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Your Industry Update

Happy new year and welcome to our first blog installment of 2017!


There’s a lot to catch up on, so let’s get started.


1. 2017 is going to bring an array of new technological developments that will help chart the course of future marketing efforts – from 5G wireless to the refinement of AI technology like Alexa.


2. Apple began offering app-install ads in Fall 2016. Since then, more than 50% of consumers who click an ad are then installing the app. If your organization has a mobile app, this could be an attractive part of your marketing mix moving forward.


3. Facebook is set to launch mid-roll ad placements within videos. The offering will allow brands to place ads within their videos in exchange for 55% of revenues. Will users engage with ad-supported video like they do ad-free content? That’s the big question to watch.


4. As marketers, we’ve all heard that storytelling is key. Adweek published an infographic that quickly dives into the data behind brand storytelling.


5. Search engines represent, oftentimes, the first opportunity for your business to be seen by consumers. As a result, there is no overstating the importance of SEO. Here are four pieces of advice to improve your SEO efforts this year.


6. Snapchat is preparing for an IPO in early 2017. Consequently, they’re taking steps to alleviate concerns about the app’s ease-of-use. The company added improved search functionality, more visual user profiles, and made it easier for users to find content from media partners.


7. Chances are, you’ve heard about the annual CES that seems to captivate the attention of marketers and tech folks in equal magnitude. This article helps paint a picture of why that is; in short, the event introduces innovative new technologies that could allow brands to connect with consumers moving forward.


8. The Super Bowl brings out the best of advertisers. While commercials get the press, every organization should have a social media strategy for the big game. A full 78% of viewers plan to use social media while watching the game.


We’re always happy to talk the latest in marketing & advertising. Please get in touch if you want more information on the state of the industry, what’s next, or how these developments impact your organization.



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Your Website: Good to Great

The statistics are eye-catching. Most business leaders know that a good website is important, but the truth is, it is absolutely vital. According to Adobe, 38% of people will quit engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive. Further, 88% of consumers are now engaging with content across multiple screens, increasing the importance of mobile-optimized websites.


As an agency that designs and develops a variety of websites each year, we know a good website when we see one. In talking to members of our team, you gain years of insight and experience. For this blog, we talked websites with our creative and accounts teams to share some of their perspective. Angela is an Art Director, Libby is a Project Manager, Chrissy is our Creative Director and Laura is our Vice President.


On the most important considerations for designing & developing new websites…


Angela – The most important consideration for me when designing a website is how easy I can make it to use. Good user interface design is what will keep people coming back to the site. I can’t tell you how many websites I don’t visit anymore because of how clunky or hard to use they are.


On the divide between outdated and aesthetically modern websites…


Angela – When a website is not responsive (mobile-friendly), that’s the first thing that makes it seem dated. Websites that don’t stretch the width of the page are starting to feel dated also. Modern websites have little features that aren’t expected – things like custom scrolling methods or unique search functions.


Libby – Old content negates up-to-date content. It creates a sense of distrust for the user. It’s better to remove old content while you work to generate new content, rather than leave it as a placeholder while you work to replace it.


This is also true for design. If your content is up-to-date, but your design looks like it was last updated ten years ago, it can convey that you aren’t familiar with today’s market. Clean, visually appealing, graphic-rich websites create a great first impression. They tell the customer that you take pride in your appearance and value your customer’s needs and wants in today’s world.


On what users typically look for in a website’s UX…


Libby – How quickly am I able to get what I’m looking for, and is it predictable? On, for instance, the predictable prominence of the search bar at the top of the first page is key. Users are able to get what they need easily without having to look around and invest multiple clicks.


Universal Predictability is also key. Things like your contact information, hours of operation and similar items should be found on a “contact us” page and/or in the footer. Most people expect this information to be found in these places, and if it’s not there, users become frustrated.


On what makes the investment on a website worthwhile…


Laura – The number one reason is because it serves your customers. Visiting a business’ website is usually the first step in the sales process. In addition, websites build a brand’s image, allow you to engage with customers beyond traditional business hours, help you reach new target markets and can provide a competitive advantage.


On what makes our process at Peebles Creative Group so effective…


Laura – We don’t have a one-size fits all design and development solution. We have a thorough discovery process at the start of each website project that uncovers how customers will be using the site, unique must-have features and how the client wants to maintain it moving forward.


We offer custom design, copywriting, development, training and hosting… so that clients can choose a turnkey website buildout or we can work together, and they can choose what steps they most need our agency to complete and where we can create efficiencies. It goes back to us being a partner to deliver a scope of service that fits their needs and budget.


Chrissy – You get our whole team, not just the group of people assigned to your job – from strategy to design and development. All hands on deck, ready to make your website the most functional and beautiful website possible. And, because web design/development isn’t our only service, we are able to apply knowledge from our vast experiences in different industries and service offerings.


Are you frequently assessing the state of your website and it’s suitability for your customers? You’re not alone. Please get in touch & keep the conversation going!


– PCG Team