Ad Award Show Winners

Last summer we looked at a few awards shows that advertisers can submit their creative work to. Let’s take a look at some of the winners of this year’s shows.

Cannes Lions, International Festival of Creativity

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity show was recently held in Cannes, France June 19-June 23, 2023.  It is an annual prestigious advertising award show.

Google describes the festival this way, “Cannes Lions: The International Festival of Creativity – has been championing creative excellence since 1954 with the goal of providing a global destination and the definitive benchmark for creativity that drives progress.”

The Cannes’ site states that they have “been bringing the creative communications industry together every year at its one-of-a-kind event in Cannes to learn, network and celebrate.”

To view the current winners (your competitors?) click here.

Here is the The Grand Prix for TV/Cinema Film: Sectors-Consumer goods

Relax, It’s IPhone-R.I.P Leon Apple

There were many other winners from memorable brands like Ikea, Uber Eats, Levi, Ocean Spray, Skittles, Peta, Nike, General Motors, Netflix, Adidas, and McDonalds.

The Emmy Awards for Commercials

The Emmy’s give out an Outstanding Commercial award for ads that are between :30 and :120 seconds in length. The awards are announced in the Fall so this mention is for the 2022 winner.

•Gold winner 2022-Teenage Dream-Sandy Hook Promise

The One Show

According to The One Show’s website it is “…the world’s most prestigious award show in advertising, design and digital marketing. For over 40 years, the Gold Pencil has been regarded as one of the top prizes in the creative industry. The One Show has had a rich legacy of honoring some of the most groundbreaking ideas, created by some of the most remarkable minds in creativity.”

The winner of the 50th One Show 2023 is

•Best of Show, The Greatest, Apple

The One Club, San Diego

There are also local Advertising Clubs in major markets. (If you don’t know about your local area’s club contact AAF) The San Diego Ad Club, The One Club, has an annual awards show. 

The award show is in November. At this time, there is no news about winners from 2022.


Should You Test Market?

If you are trying to determine whether or not a media strategy will work for your product or service or you’re launching something new, you might consider conducting a test market media campaign. This type of campaign focuses on a small geographic area or audience to try out your plan. It can help determine if a bigger effort will make an impact, and if you are spending your dollars wisely.

The book Advertising Media Planning by Jack Scissors and Roger Baron describes a media test as “a simple field study of some advertising variable. An experiment is a carefully designed study in which the researcher controls and manipulates conditions to see how an experimental variable affects audience behavior.” The book says that most of the time, test marketing is done for consumer packaged goods.

One of the most memorable test market campaigns I managed was when the agency I was working for had the client Metabolife and they were launching new diet and energy bars. They had Outrageous Oatmeal Raisin, Perfectly Peanut, Downright Chocolate and Lemony Lemon flavors. Before we set out on a national television campaign we decided to plan local television advertising schedules to test out the response. We chose a few affordable TV markets to experiment on and found we were getting a good–enough response to launch the product nationally. We also found out which flavors were the most popular. 

If you are choosing a geographic test, I believe you should pick a smaller market, but not too small, that has a similar makeup as the larger market you plan on pursuing. You can find a list of Designated Market Area (DMA) television and radio markets here. DMA List Do some research to find out about the population.

The Advertising Media Planning book says that the Peoria, Illinois population has a similar population distribution as the United States as a whole, so marketers often use this market as a test.

There are a lot of things to consider when you are thinking about doing a test. You should ask questions like, what medium do I want to use? Should I use the internet, TV, radio or test out a new ad medium like coffee sleeves? Will I use multiple mediums or just one? What percentage of dollars will I allocate to each medium? Am I planning on doing a promotion or event? 

A lot of your answers should come from the research you did to find out what your target audience habits are so that you are getting your message to the right people. There are also considerations like how long will the test last and what will determine whether the test was a success or failure? Often your budget limits the options to how many mediums you will use and for how long.

Some marketers also test the message they are sending to see which one gets the most response. And, don’t forget that creativity can go a long way, like how Uber handled the Covid 19 crisis. They created a “Move What Matters” campaign that told people to stay home. Then they gave free rides and food deliveries to healthcare workers, older people and people needing help. Chiquita banana has also been creative in using transit to spread their message in Greece and London. In addition, they are creating memory recall by using blue stickers and also focusing on the color yellow or partnering with movies like Despicable Me. And, who can forget the timeless famous jingle?

So, now it’s your turn. Gather your team. Brainstorm. Answer the questions I raised and come up with creative solutions. Have fun.


Happy 4th of July

On this day in 1776, the United States declared independence which was adopted by the Continental Congress. It meant that the thirteen North American colonies separated from Great Britain.


Planning Your Media Budget

Now that you’ve figured out what your advertising budget will be for the year, who you want to target and when you will run your ads, it’s time to do the real work-what most media planners spend a lot of their time doing. You can hire someone, work with an ad agency or you can do it yourself. A large part of the effort is doing research and evaluations. You look at what options are available and then you send out requests for information. Once all the information is received, then you evaluate each one based on what your goals are.

The media landscape has gotten a lot more complex with so many options. You can determine what will work for your business based on the ad budget you planned. For example, if you are a small business, you probably wouldn’t have the budget nor would it make sense to run Olympic advertising. You need to consider what capacity your business has, if for example, you receive a large response from the ads but can’t fulfill the orders.

According to, the largest advertising spending in the United States is Internet spending and then Television. One thing to note, however, is how Internet spending is broken out. For example, you might decide to run streaming ads on a local television station’s online platform so you will have to decide if that category is internet or television. Most would list it under streaming Internet spending but a lot of times you can buy a package at a local television station that includes both streaming and broadcast ads so determine how you will break out those dollars toward each category. Something else to think about is internet ad spending measurement, which I wrote about here. There has been a lot of talk about making sure it is regulated, like how Nielsen has been rating TV and radio, and now they’ve come up with a reliable solution from Nielsen–a longtime leader in measurement.

So, one of the biggest benefits of internet ad spending is that it can work for any budget, and can also be very targeted to the people your business wants to reach. Here is an example of internet streaming rankings that I wrote about previously. 

Go ahead and start planning how you will achieve your goals with the ad budget you set. Once you launch your campaign, check to see how it is progressing and if you will need to adjust dollars based on results. But, don’t act too quickly in switching as sometimes it takes time to establish awareness, and for people to react.


A Worksheet To Help Define Your Ad Budget

As promised in the previous post, the next step after you have figured out your ad expenditure projection for the year is to map it out in a worksheet. This is a form that I share with prospective clients. I thought I’d give it to you too. It might help train your thoughts toward how best to use the funds you are allocating for advertising.


Even though it’s about time to start planning for summer vacations, before you do, consider forecasting your business advertising budget for 2024. 

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, companies should be spending seven to eight percent of their gross revenue for marketing and advertising. There are different rules that have been thrown around throughout the years, but generally it’s believed spending less than five percent won’t get the results that successful companies earn.

In my years in the industry, I found a lot of the companies that I have worked with spend less than that. Whether that’s a good choice or not, depends on the results they receive. I witnessed a lot of meetings when I was at advertising agencies where my bosses were trying to convince clients to spend more on advertising than they were. The clients would usually find a reason not to increase their budgets, so we’d spend a lot of time as media buyers working on how to get the most out of the budgets we were given.

Let’s take a look at a successful fast food chain, McDonald’s. According to a NY Times article, McDonald’s had revenue of $23 billion in 2021. Online research shows they spent anywhere from $409 million to $459 ( million on advertising in that same year. So, that’s about two percent of their gross revenue, based on these numbers. Note, however, that sometimes numbers can be inflated on reports. They can still give you a snapshot into what is happening though. Also, according to some, the percentage of advertising expenditure is different across various industries.

The best advice would be to take a look at your business numbers.

•What was your 2022 Gross Revenue?____________

•What was your 2022 Advertising Expenditure?__________

•What was your 2022 Percent of Advertising Expenses against Gross Revenue?____________

Look at a few of the years previous to last years. How did your advertising spending influence sales? Try to find out what your competitors are spending on advertising and what their gross revenue is. What is the average Advertising Expenditure percentage in your industry and market?

Based on these findings, what should your projected advertising expenditure be for 2024 based on your estimated earnings? __________

We can look at the best way to allocate those dollars in a future post.


Happy Memorial Day And Who Joins the Military?

Each year on the last Monday of May, Memorial Day is celebrated in America. It is meant as a time to recognize U.S. Military personnel who died serving the country. The day’s beginnings started after the Civil War and became a federal holiday in 1971. Most people consider it the first day of the summer season.  Source:, April 20, 2023

In years past when fashion trends were held to a higher standard than the relaxed atmosphere of today, it also meant storing winter clothes and refreshing closets with summer items, like summer whites. But, don’t mistake Memorial Day with Labor Day when that day marked the official end of wearing white.

What Motivates A Person To Join The Military?

A National Interest article dated March 19, 2021, reported on the top five reasons people join the military based on a RAND Corporation survey from 2018. Surveying 81 Army soldiers, they found 46 percent joined for occupational choices, meaning most were concerned about work. It appeared that medics were the ones who found the job to be a calling. Their research showed the top five motivating factors were:

  • Adventure and Travel
  • Benefits
  • Job Stability and Pay
  • Getting Away From Bad Environments
  • Job Training

Summer Fashion

So, is the don’t wear white after Labor Day still a rule in fashion? Pretty much no in the anything goes fashion season we’ve been in. According to an article in community, dated September 1, 2022, celebrities started challenging the rule by wearing white any time of year. Of course, depending on where you live, it might not make sense to walk around the remnants of muddy snow in white sneakers.

Finally, to help you get ready for summer, here is an article from that gives you planning ideas on how to get your closet ready for the Summer season. The examples are for a woman’s wardrobe but men can apply the same principles.

Happy Memorial Day!


What is Amazon AWS?

Well, to be honest, I’m still not exactly sure what Amazon AWS is. I understand it is a cloud based product but how does that help marketers? I think it might have ad tracking capabilities, but it seems it may be for more tech savvy people, like IT professionals. I don’t know. That’s why I’ve considered taking their six-hour free training course to find out. If you’re wondering too, here’s a link to their course. 

Link to free course

It seems that the FreeWheel media buyer product for TV and Video planning uses Amazon SageMaker “to predict advertising inventory for digital video and linear TV months in advance for billions of ad-serving records per day.” If you’re a standard marketer or media planner, then, you may not need to know all of this. However, if you like to stay educated, it probably doesn’t hurt to learn.


Who’s Watching What

So with all the online streaming options now available, are you watching what everyone else is viewing online? Are your customers watching these shows too?

Here are the top programs based on the total number of minutes viewed, according to Nielsen streaming content ratings, streamed for the week of April 3, 2023.

Rank Provider Program

1 Netflix The Night Agent

2 Netflix Love is Blind

3 Disney+ The Mandalorian

4 Netflix Beef

5 Netflix Murder Mystery 2

6 Disney+ Bluey

7 HBO Max South Park

8 Netflix Cocomelon

9 Netflix/Paramount NCIS

10 Apple TV+ Ted Lasso


A Better Way To Track Media Viewers

Hopefully, measuring video ad exposure and impressions will be a little more reliable now because Nielsen, the long-time leader in TV and radio ad measurement, is now offering ratings across the way consumers currently view media. They are now able, after some waiting time and red-tape, to show how your ads perform on linear TV (standard live Television commercial breaks), connected TV or CTV (ads played while streaming on connected TV), computer and mobile.

Their most recent offering is called Nielsen One Ads. The system measures media consumption by real people-and is validated. So, hopefully for you and your brands, a lot less guessing on what ads are getting the most attention and are working for you.

Let’s look at this year’s Super Bowl and how it was watched. Standard linear TV, which has been measured by Nielsen for years and that advertisers hold ratings accountability for, had a 61% viewership. Out-of-home (meaning they watched it at a party or bar) was 22%, Smart TV (or CTV connected TV) was used by 8% and Internet-connected devices (or CTV) had a viewership of 7%. Standard TV viewing decreased by 13% from the year before, and Smart TV and Internet-connected devices increased by more than 50%. Out-of-home was flat from the year prior.

So, it seems this measurement system by Nielsen will help advertisers get a better picture of how things look. So how much does all this cost? Well, subscriptions reach into the thousands. For now, you can always ask your media sales rep if they have access to the Nielsen One Ads rating system.