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5 Media Trends to Watch in 2017

We’re excited to have our long time media partner, McCulloch+ Company, as our guest blogger. We have worked with McCulloch for over a decade because of their media strategy and out of the box thinking for our clients. They have helped us take our creative ideas and implement them in unique and innovative ways in the media space.


Thanks to Neil Pace and Scott Christopher for their joint contribution to this blog. I would read carefully, they know what they are talking about!

– Shelly Hoffman, Partner


The world of media is always changing, and it’s nearly impossible to keep up with it all. From social media to “the Internet of Things” and wearables, it seems like every week there is a new media tactic that a brand can leverage. Luckily for you, the team here at McCulloch+Company is on top of it! And since it’s the beginning of a new year, we’re joining the fray of all leading minds in advertising and making our predictions for 2017. Here are 5 trends we’ll be watching in 2017 and how brands can utilize them to garner more impact.


The “Year of Mobile (maybe)” – Is 2017 the year that we can finally declare it to be the “Year of Mobile?” It seems so. Mobile device usage has been steadily for increasing the past few years. We’ve seen it happen in bits and pieces, particularly when it comes to shopping. “Showrooming” – the act of using mobile devices to compare online prices while in a brick and mortar location – is where it began. But people would still go back to their desktops to make the final purchase, so advertising primarily on desktops still made sense. Now mobile usage is far outweighing desktop, even in the home. In fact, it’s expected that sometime in 2017, smartphone ownership will surpass desktop with some users owning only a smartphone. And when you consider that technology is now capable of serving ads on mobile devices based on customers’ desktop activity, it becomes clear: if you’re not focusing on mobile users, you’re missing a ton of potential customers.


Outstream Video – Video units have historically driven a higher engagement and clickthrough rates than standard banners, and therefore are always in high demand. There’s been a push to create additional video units since advertisers love the results they get. Until recently, video meant “instream video,” where your ad would be before or after premium video content like a news report. Now we have “outstream video,” where video ads play outside of video content. You may have seen these in between paragraphs of text or – much cooler looking – floating on the corner of the page as you scroll through content. We’ve not had a chance to use these units yet, but we’re hearing engagement on them is even higher than standard video.


Live Video – Last year, live video exploded with the launch of Facebook Live and it shows no signs of stopping this year. Instagram and Twitter both integrated live video capabilities into their platforms late last year. eMarketer predicts that live video will garner a primetime-sized audience of over 10 million viewers this year. Brands can benefit beyond ordinary content marketing with live video that would generate more excitement with more timely messaging. Use it for a new product launch, a Q&A with an executive, or a behind the scenes video. As far as paid advertising, we think sponsorships and brand inclusion by influencers are only the beginning.


Virtual Reality – We know, we know… everyone’s been watching this one for a few years. But we think virtual reality will finally come to the masses this year. More devices are hitting the marketplace – you may have seen some of the Samsung TV ads over the holidays – and with it adoption among consumers is expected to grow, especially as the price points drop. More publishers are offering VR options as well like USA Today’s VRtually There weekly news series. Toyota is sponsoring it initially and running one of the custom “cubemercials.” It really showcases how this technology allows brands to create fully immersive experiences for customers.


Location targeting via technology and billboards – With advancements in technology and the prevalence of smart phones, there have been major improvements in targeting capability. One way this is happening is through beacon technology and billboards. We watched this trend last year, but expect it to advance even further in 2017. How does it work? The billboard companies place beacons on their billboard; if a consumer drives past and has location services on and push notifications enabled, they could be served a mobile notification. If it seems too “Big Brother”, don’t worry – it’s all anonymous, yet extremely effective. This is an excellent way to give more life to an out-of-home campaign and integrate mobile activation for brands.


Again, these are just five of the trends we predict for 2017. It’s only January, so there’s no telling what is on the horizon in the world of media options. If you find you need some expert media assistance from one of Marbury’s trusted partners, we have no doubt they’d recommend McCulloch+Company to assist you. We live and breathe media, and are laser-focused on achieving success for our clients.

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