Brands are all in on the NFT craze. In recent months, pitches for various NFT activities have ramped up at brands like Acura, Wrangler, Pepsi and others, as they look to use NFTs to get consumers’ attention. (In case you’re not caught up on NFTs, we published an entry into our WTF series on NFTs last March.)
It makes sense. Marketers are always vying for consumer attention and often jump on the latest trend to do so. But some agency execs and industry observers say marketers need to think about utility and brand fit before dabbling in NFTs, as some brands have faced a backlash for doing so, including MeUndies just last week. Rather than chasing a headline by having an NFT, brand marketers need to consider what that NFT can offer, as well as if it makes sense for the brand’s purpose and audience.
“Most brands don’t understand NFTs; most humans don’t – the entire phenomenon is in its infancy,” said a creative director at a creative agency who asked for anonymity. “As with any phenomenon, brands are always quick to jump on top of it and see if they can leverage it to see if they can enhance communications, but more often than not it’s not appropriate.”
Without fully understanding NFTs and the potential to offer something beyond ownership of a JPEG, some marketers may just be seeking out PR mileage – X brand is rolling out NFTs. That mindset is more likely to elicit eyerolls or backlash from consumers, according to agency execs and industry observers.
What would be far more useful, agree those observers, is spending more time and effort getting educated on NFTs and how they could potentially be used for their brand marketing. Brands should also work to “educate customers on what an NFT is and why they should value it” from a brand, notes Dennis Hegstad, co-founder of SMS marketing company LiveRecover, which he recently sold to VoyageSMS.
Hegstad sees the potential for NFTs to grow into brands, selling exclusive products and experiences only for NFT holders, as NFT project Doodles showcased this past weekend at SXSW, more successfully than brands wading into the NFT space.
Given that they likely won’t stop advancing into the NFT space, brands need to think about what they are offering to consumers via NFTs beyond the latest fad or gimmick. “Consumers don’t care if brands participate,” says Brendan Gahan, chief social officer and partner at Mekanism. “They do care about how they participate. Brands need to be adding value.”
Brands should take a “crawl, walk, run” approach to NFTs rather than diving straight in, per Gahan. “The window for novelty participation in this space is over,” he adds. “Big picture: We’re emphasizing the importance of utility. What value are we able to bring? How are we contributing to this community?”
3 Questions With Sennai Atsbeha, vp of brand marketing in North America for Gymshark
What does your current media mix look like? How have you adapted it to today’s changing creator economy?
Social has been key to everything we’ve done from day one–earned media, piggybacking on a moment, really finding ways to integrate into culture and lean into culture and make the brand relevant in that way. One of the things that we’re evolving to now is being a little bit more proactive and planting our flag in the ground as to where we see culture going.
One of the ways that we’ve done that is through focusing on new audiences, working with media partners, identifying media partners that are authentic spaces where we’re looking to go. We were early on in the TikTok space, one of the first brands to jump on TikTok, which is why we’re one of the largest and most engaged communities within our category on TikTok. Same thing with Clubhouse. When obviously the pandemic was in full swing, we leaned heavily into Clubhouse.
How much of your social media strategy is dedicated to influencer marketing versus boosted posts or proper ads?
It’s an “and” conversation. The reason I say that is because those pieces really work together. We want to lead with branded content. Branded content for us is storytelling, our value proposition, making sure that folks understand who we are as a brand, why we are the way that we are. We want to do things that only Gymshark can do. It’s not about us trying to out-whoever someone else as much as it’s us trying to be the best version of ourselves. If we commit to being the best version of ourselves, then we want to lead with that branded content that articulates who we are. — Kimeko McCoy
By the numbers
2022 is supposed to be the year working women recovered from the so-called “Shecession,” where women were pushed from the workforce to shoulder the brunt of the housework during the pandemic. While there has been movement, new research shows that women are feeling more stressed out and isolated in comparison to their male counterparts. Strategic and creative agency Berlin Cameron partnered with Kantar, Luminary, Eve Rodsky’s Fair Play on the report; data points below:
- 64% of women wish they had more time for themselves and 53% of women wish they could invest in themselves and their interests and hobbies.
- 66% of women didn’t receive a pay or salary increase and 79% did not receive a promotion since the start of the pandemic.
- 55% of women never or rarely do an activity that inspires them. — Kimeko McCoy
Quote of the week
“When advertisers say they’ve pulled the plug on ads in Russia, it doesn’t mean they’ve stopped paying. There’s a huge run-off cost of advertising that they [the advertiser] will need to pay for.”
— Jo Farmer, partner at law firm Lewis Silkin, on the complicated nature of the ongoing advertiser exodus from Russia.
What we’ve covered
- Inside Hollister’s long-term approach to influencer partnerships on TikTok
- How Fandom is pitching advertisers
- WTF are TV carriage fees?
AMD CEO says 5-nm Zen 4 processors coming this fall
Did you miss a session from GamesBeat Summit 2022? All sessions are available to stream now. Watch now.
Advanced Micro Devices revealed its 5-nanometer Zen 4 processor architecture today at the Computex 2022 event in Taiwan.
The new AMD Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors with Zen 4 cores will be coming this fall, said Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, in a keynote speech.
Su said the new processors with Zen 4 architecture will deliver a significant increase in performance upon their launch in the fall of 2022. Additionally, Su highlighted the strong growth and momentum for AMD in the mobile market as 70 of the more than 200 expected ultrathin, gaming and commercial notebook designs powered by Ryzen 6000 Series processors have been launched or announced to-date.
In addition, other AMD executives announced the newest addition to the Ryzen Mobile lineup, “Mendocino;” the newest AMD smart technology, SmartAccess Storage; and more details of the new AM5 platform, including support from leading motherboard manufacturers.
“At Computex 2022 we highlighted growing adoption of AMD in ultrathin, gaming, and commercial notebooks from the leading PC providers based on the leadership performance and battery life of our Ryzen 6000 series mobile processors,” said Su. “With our upcoming AMD Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors, we will bring even more leadership to the desktop market with our next-generation 5-nm Zen 4 architecture and provide an unparalleled, high-
performance computing experience for gamers and creators.”
AMD Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors
The new Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors will double the amount of L2 cache per core, feature higher clock speeds, and are projected to provide greater than 15% uplift in single-thread performance versus the prior generation, for a better desktop PC experience.
During the keynote, a pre-production Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processor was demonstrated running at 5.5 GHz clock speed throughout AAA game play. The same processor was also demonstrated performing more than 30% faster than an Intel Core i9 12900K in a Blender multi-threaded rendering workload.
In addition to new “Zen 4” compute dies, the Ryzen 7000 series features an all-new 6nm I/O die. The new I/O die includes AMD RDNA 2-based graphics engine, a new low-power architecture adopted from AMD Ryzen mobile processors, support for the latest memory and connectivity technologies like DDR5 and PCI Express 5.0, and support for up to four displays.
AMD Socket AM5 Platform
The new AMD Socket AM5 platform provides advanced connectivity for our most demanding enthusiasts. This new socket features a 1718-pin LGA design with support for up to 170W TDP processors, dual-channel DDR5 memory, and new SVI3 power infrastructure for leading all-core performance with our Ryzen 7000 Series processors. AMD Socket AM5 features the most PCIe 5.0 lanes in the industry with up to 24 lanes, making it our fastest, largest, and most expansive desktop platform with support for the next-generation and beyond class of storage and graphics cards.
And AMD said the “Mendocino” processors will offer great everyday performance and are expected to be priced from $400 to $700.
Featuring “Zen 2” cores and RDNA 2 architecture-based graphics, the processors are designed to deliver the best battery life and performance in the price band so users can get the most out of their laptop at an attractive price.
The first systems featuring the new “Mendocino” processors will be available from computer partners in Q4 2022.
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AMD’s Ryzen 7000 desktop chips are coming this fall with 5nm Zen 4 cores
AMD’s upcoming Ryzen 7000 chips will mark another major milestone for the company: they’ll be the first desktop processors running 5 nanometer cores. During her Computex keynote presentation today, AMD CEO Lisa Su confirmed that Ryzen 7000 chips will launch this fall. Under the hood, they’ll feature dual 5nm Zen 4 cores, as well as a redesigned 6nm I/O core (which includes RDNA2 graphics, DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 controllers and a low-power architecture). Earlier this month, the company teased its plans for high-end “Dragon Range” Ryzen 7000 laptop chips, which are expected to launch in 2023.
Since this is just a Computex glimpse, AMD isn’t giving us many other details about the Ryzen 7000 yet. The company says it will offer a 15 percent performance jump in Cinebench’s single-threaded benchmark compared to the Ryzen 5950X. Still, it’d be more interesting to hear about multi-threaded performance, especially given the progress Intel has made with its 12th-gen CPUs. You can expect 1MB of L2 cache per core, as well as maximum boost speeds beyond 5GHz and better hardware acceleration for AI tasks.
AMD is also debuting Socket AM5 motherboards alongside its new flagship processor. The company is moving towards a 1718-pin LGA socket, but it will still support AM4 coolers. That’s a big deal if you’ve already invested a ton into your cooling setup. The new motherboards will offer up to 24 channels of PCIe 5.0 split across storage and graphics, up to 14 USB SuperSpeed ports running at 20 Gbps, and up to 4 HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 2 ports. You’ll find them in three different flavors: B650 for mainstream systems, X650 for enthusiasts who want PCIe 5.0 for storage and graphics and X650 Extreme for the most demanding folks.
Given that Intel still won’t have a 7nm desktop chip until next year (barring any additional delays), AMD seems poised to once again take the performance lead for another generation. But given just how well Intel’s hybrid process for its 12th-gen chips has worked out, it’ll be interesting to see how it plans to respond. If anything, it sure is nice to see genuine competition in the CPU space again.
While Ryzen 7000 will be AMD’s main focus for the rest of the year, the company is also throwing a bone to mainstream laptops in the fourth quarter with its upcoming 6nm “Mendocino” CPUs. They’ll sport four 6nm Zen 2 cores, as well as RDNA 2 graphics, making them ideal for systems priced between $399 and $699. Sure, that’s not much to get excited about, but even basic machines like Lenovo’s Ideapad 1 deserve decent performance. And for many office drones, it could mean having work-issued machines that finally don’t stink.
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Disney’s Disney+ ad pitch reflects how streaming ad prices set to rise in this year’s upfront
With Disney+, Disney is looking to set a new high-water mark for ad prices among the major ad-supported streamers. The pricey pitch is representative of a broader rising tide in streaming ad pricing in this year’s TV advertising upfront market, as Disney-owned Hulu, Amazon and even Fox’s Tubi are looking to press upfront advertisers to pay up.
In its initial pitch to advertisers and their agencies, Disney is seeking CPMs for Disney+ around $50, according to agency executives. That price point applies to broad-based targeting dubbed “P2+,” which refers to an audience of any viewer who is two years old or older (though Disney has told agency executives that programming aimed at viewers seven years old and younger will be excluded from carrying ads). In other words, more narrowly targeted ads are expected to cost more based on the level of targeting. A Disney spokesperson declined to comment.
At a $50 CPM, Disney+ is surpassing the prices that NBCUniversal’s Peacock and Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO Max sought in last year’s upfront market and that gave ad buyers sticker shock. The former sought CPMs in the $30 to $40 range, while the latter sought $40+ CPMs. By comparison, other major ad-supported streamers like Hulu, Discovery+ and Paramount+ were charging low-to-mid $20 CPMs that major ad-supported streamers charge. As a result, Peacock’s and HBO Max’s asks ended up being price prohibitive, with some advertisers limiting the amount of money they spent with the streamers because of their higher rates.
Unsurprisingly, agency executives are balking at Disney+’s price point. “They’re citing pricing that no longer exists, meaning Peacock and HBO Max recognized they came out too high and they’re reducing it. Disney+ is using earmuffs to pretend that second part didn’t happen,” said one agency executive.
However, Disney+ isn’t the only streamer seeking to raise the rates that ad buyers are accustomed to paying. Hulu is also seeking to increase its prices in this year’s upfront, with P2+ pricing going from a $20-$25 CPM average to averaging in the $25-$30 CPM range, according to agency executives. And during a call with reporters on May 16, Fox advertising sales president Marianne Gambelli said that the company will seek higher prices for its free, ad-supported streaming TV service Tubi in this year’s upfront market. It’s unclear what Tubi’s current rates are, but FAST services’ CPMS are typically in the low to mid teens, said the agency executives.
“We have to get the value for Tubi. Tubi has grown to a point — it’s doubled, tripled in size over the past couple of years. So we are going to obviously make that a priority and look for not only more volume but price,” Gambelli said.
Meanwhile, in pitching its Thursday Night Football package that will be streamed on Amazon Prime Video and Twitch, Amazon has been pressing for a premium on what Fox charged advertisers last year, according to agency executives. The e-commerce giant will be handling the games’ ad placements like traditional TV, meaning that it will run the same ad in each ad slot for every viewer as opposed to dynamically inserting targeted ads. “It’s streaming broadcast,” said a second agency executive.
An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on pricing but did provide a general statement. “Thursday Night Football on Prime Video and Twitch is a purely digital broadcast, and we’re excited to bring fans a new viewing experience. There are 80MM active Prime Video households in the U.S. and, in a survey of our 2021 TNF audience, 38% reported they don’t have a pay-TV service – meaning TNF on Prime Video and Twitch enables brands to connect with cord-cutters and cord-nevers. Brands can also reach these viewers beyond TNF. Our first-party insights enable them to reengage TNF audiences across Amazon, such as in Freevee content.”
One of the agency executives that Digiday spoke to said the latest ask is for a plus-10% increase on Fox’s rates, though what Fox’s rates were are unclear and other agency executives said the premium that Amazon is asking for varies. Ad Age reported in February that Amazon was seeking up to 20% higher prices than Fox’s rates. “I don’t know if it is consistently plus-10, but it is definitely more. Which is crazy because Fox couldn’t make money on it, which is why they gave it up for this fall,” said a second agency executive.
“Someone was eating way too many gummies before they put the pricing together,” said a second agency executive of Amazon’s Thursday Night Football pitch.
Ad-supported streaming service owners also see an opportunity to push for higher prices as advertisers to adopt more advanced targeting with their streaming campaigns, such as by using the media companies’ and/or advertisers’ first-party data to aim their ads on the streamers.
Said one TV network executive, “You’ll see premiums, especially as it relates to advertisers that really want to hook into [their company’s streaming service] and buy those targeted audiences across the platform and either use [the TV network’s] first-party data or bring their own data to the table. That’s the biggest business we’re in, and that’s where we see great growth from a pricing standpoint.”
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