Where Is Advertising Heading in 2012? Part 2

by Luckie Rethink Tank

In our last post, Luckie’s minds shared their predictions for new business, creative and public relations in 2012. We continue our look into the crystal ball – what’s in store for advertising in the digital, strategy and social media worlds?


Bill Abel, VP/Director of Digital Development

“Marketers are going to figure out how to deal with large amounts of customer data and business intelligence. Big Data, as it is being called, will bring new technologies and services for tackling data problems across all industries. For marketers, this will mean better tools for collection and analysis, resulting in more data–driven strategy.

“Another thing to watch out for in 2012 will be Apple’s entry in to the consumer television market. Not only will they disrupt the consumer electronics industry, but the advertising industry, cable networks and the cable distribution companies. If Apple pulls it off, it may be the start of a media revolution. Already, companies like Netflix and Amazon have proven large numbers of consumers are willing to pay for streaming video content without advertising.

“Paid content may be on the rise, but will people really prefer to pay premiums for no advertising all the time, or is there going to be a mix of ad subsidized content? The industry has been trying to figure this one out since the late ’90s – don’t expect it to be worked out in the next 365 days.”


Jay Waters, SVP/ Chief Strategy Officer

“There are four key factors that will shape 2012. They include:

  • Unified multi-screen (television, mobile, online, cinema) approach to buying video advertising
  • This will be the worst year yet for traditional newspapers
  • More integration of ad content into editorial content
  • More focus on using digital to deliver sponsored content and functionality, rather than pure advertising”

Social Media

David Griner, Director of Digital Content

“Facebook will finally extend brand options to mobile. So far, the best options for marketers on Facebook have been engaging applications and targeted ad campaigns. Unfortunately, neither has been optimized for mobile, and even Facebook’s recently upgraded mobile app excludes ads and apps. While there probably aren’t many users out there clamoring for ads, there is a lot of demand for contests, sweepstakes and other tab apps to work easily from a smartphone. The price to pay for that access will likely be mobile-friendly ad units. The first will almost certainly be Sponsored Stories, which are light ad units currently found on the sidebar of Facebook.com. The network already has announced plans to roll out Sponsored Stories into users’ news feeds, and Bloomberg reports that they’ll also start appearing for mobile Facebook users as well. Hopefully, apps won’t be far behind.

“It’ll be a do-or-die moment for Google+. The search giant’s Facebook competitor saw rapid initial growth in 2011, and some are predicting it could even reach 400 million users by the end of 2012. But a lot can happen between now and December ’12, and Google+ seems just as capable of auguring into obscurity as exploding in popularity. By shutting down a myriad of underused applications in 2011, Google showed that it’s done throwing good money after bad, so the first few months of 2012 will be extremely important. Google’s task is to prove that it has something great to offer other than being a solid alternative for Facebook haters. Outside of the ability to sort friends into Circles and the slick Hangouts video-chatting system — both of which were included at launch — Google+ simply has been slow to roll out any killer apps that crumble the foundation out from under Facebook. Hopefully, Google is investing in this level of forward-thinking R&D and not simply streamlining what’s already live. If Google gets serious about social media innovative, the momentum and its motivational effect on Facebook could be great for all of us.

“Pinterest will grow up. Few new social sites have exploded with the velocity of this addictive image-sharing service, but Pinterest still has some growing pains to work through. It remains in invite-only beta, which I’d wager won’t last long into 2012, but for now that simply helps create some aura of exclusivity. But once it goes live, will it have a revenue source? How would advertising or sponsored content work? For now, the site seems little interested in partnering with brands. A site rep recently told us they have no system to let brands secure their trademarked name as a Pinterest username and that they didn’t have any plans to create a system. That may fly for now, but long term, it’s going to chafe on major brands like Pepsi and Taco Bell, both of which have squatters on their Pinterest names.”

Edward Bowser is Community Manager at Luckie & Company. You can contact him by e-mail or follow @etbowser on Twitter.

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