July 16, 2017

But is it really "true"?

This past Friday, we released the Mid-Year 2017 True Top 50. Such releases often generate questions and sometimes protests. I welcome them all. The "true" label is not meant to be marketing. It's a standard we are trying our best to meet.

Most of the questions I get can be summarized by the title of this post. As an example, someone recently asked me about the fact DRMetrix logs and includes all formats -- 30s, 60s, 120s, 5-minute and more -- in its database. The argument is against including anything but 120s in the True Top 50 because those not starting with or maintaining a 120 base are probably not managing their campaigns to a CPO. At least, they are not managing to a "working" CPO (whatever that means).

Fair point. Since no one ever reports on bottom-line campaign profitability or talks about the projects that end badly at retail, the real "top" marketers are the ones who can reliably find the most projects with sustainable consumer demand that deliver solid profit margins.

On the other hand, it's not clear that 120 spending is a reliable way of measuring that sort of thing, either. It's also safe to assume no one is spending Top 50-type money on losers, so campaigns ranked in the all-inclusive methodology must ultimately be some form of hit.

In any case, the question piqued my curiosity, so I decided to dig into the AdSphere system and look at 120s only. In the analysis below, I look at it two ways: by advertiser and by campaign. The former method will let us see who spent the most on 120s in the first half of 2017, and the latter will tell us who has the most hits in a top-50 ranking when campaigns with less/no CPO sensitivity are removed.


Below is how the "Big Five" stack up when you look at 120-spending only, ranked from most spending to least. (The number in parentheses is the rounded Spend Index.)

  1. IdeaVillage (100)
  3. Telebrands (90)
  5. Emson (58)
  7. Ontel (51)
  9. Allstar (35)

IdeaVillage (your True Top Marketer) is at 100 because they spent the most of any Short Form Product advertiser on 120s for the period, even beating out Proactiv (63), one of the industry's biggest spenders.

By the way, I pulled this out of AdSphere in about five minutes. It's a truly awesome and user-friendly tool for this kind of analysis, and anyone not using it is really missing out on a whole new level of competitive research and campaign management ... OK, end of plug!


Next, I ran the report by campaign and counted up how many hits each of the Big Five had in the top 50. Here's how that looks:

  1. IdeaVillage (9)
  3. Telebrands (9)
  5. Emson (8)
  7. Ontel (7)
  9. Allstar (3)

(I created a chart in my old format that shows the full ranking, which you can view here.)

IdeaVillage stays on top again with nine hits. While it lost a Copper Fit campaign in the re-ranking, it picked up an extension of one of its other brands: Finishing Touch.

That said, Telebrands ties with IdeaVillage for most hits on the new chart. Telebrands was the second biggest gainer in the reshuffling, adding Climb Cart and Zapp Light to its total.

Emson stays at eight hits, also losing one (Brooklyn Brownie Copper) but gaining one (Gotham Steel Double Grill).

Ontel was the biggest gainer, more than doubling its total from the overall chart to the 120-only chart. The marketer added four hits: HurriClean, EverBrite, Turbo Scrub and Miracle Bamboo Bra.

Finally, Allstar gains one -- Boom Touch -- which also means Paragon (your True Top Feeder) gains one, bringing our total to four hits for the first half.


So there you have it: Any way you slice it, the rankings for the first half look pretty much the same with only Telebrands improving enough to make a claim for a higher slot.

Ironically, that claim would pit the marketer against Emson, its arch-rival in no less than three battles currently on the True Top 50.

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