How Advertisers Can Reach March Madness Fans Despite Canceled Tournament

March 25, 2020 in Blog

Every year, the NCAA Tournament provides advertisers a great opportunity to reach consumers when they’re locked into their TV screens and online brackets. Every year, that is, except 2020. Like every other major sports league or event scheduled to occur this spring, the tournament has been canceled because of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) concerns.

Estimates suggest advertisers would have spent over a billion dollars this year to get their messages in front of March Madness viewers, significantly more than they historically spend on the PGA, MLB, NHL and college football playoffs, approaching estimates for the 2020 Summer Olympics. Fortunately, advertisers can still reach this coveted group of consumers – they just need to know how they’re diverting their attention.

ACR analysis from our parent company Viant shows that NCAA fans are shifting their viewing habits this spring to channels including FOX News, CNN and MSNBC, likely to keep up to date with the latest news about Coronavirus. But they’re also seeking entertainment on channels like HGTV, Food Network and A&E. Our analysis also shows tournament viewers are tuning into programs including NBC Nightly News, ABC World News Tonight and, for some lighter programming, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives in place of college basketball while still spending time with ESPN’s SportsCenter to capture any possible sports news that may be out there.

In addition, examining other data from Viant, which consists of more than 250 million registered users, we looked at some other TV programs that March Madness viewers are most likely to watch going forward in the absence of college basketball games and without brackets to fill out.

No Sports? No Problem – There’s Still Something to Root For
In the absence of competition on the court, March Madness viewers are likely to be found rooting for their favorites on other kinds of televised competition. They’re 82% more likely to tune into The Masked Singer and 80% more likely to watch The Bachelor.

In the absence of sports, game shows are also appealing to March Madness fans, who are 42% more likely to be found guessing along with the competitors on Family Feud.

They’re into What’s Popular, No Matter the Topic
In 2019, an average of 10.5 million viewers tuned into each March Madness game, according to Nielsen, underscoring just how popular the tournament is with sports fans and non-sports fans alike. When there are no games to be played, however, tournament fans turn their attention to other popular network TV content.

As such, hit NBC drama This is Us is popular with March Madness fans, who are 84% more likely to watch it. March Madness viewers are also 63% more likely to watch CBS’s God Friended Me and 47% more likely to watch NCIS: Los Angeles, also on CBS.

Live TV Still Appeals
While there won’t be any live action on the field or the court for a while, there’s still plenty of live TV to enjoy, and March Madness viewers are more likely to be found watching a number of live political and news shows. That includes the fourth hour of the Today show, which they’re 76% more likely to watch, and Tucker Carlson Tonight, which they’re 61% more likely to tune into.

Interested in learning more about how Adelphic’s access to first-party data helps marketers create a more informed strategy – and reach audiences where they’re paying attention? We break it down right here.

*The above information is based off of the Viant Total Graph Indexing Formula, which calculates matched profiles and data providers.

Hulu Fans Eat Way More Pizza Than Netflix Streamers, and Other Insights

February 20, 2020 in Blog

The number of cord-cutters and cord-nevers in the U.S. is expected to climb as high as 40 million by 2021. And as that figure increases, so does the number of Americans who subscribe to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu.

Ad-supported streaming providers like Hulu give advertisers a way to reach those who aren’t paying for cable TV. But what type of audiences are actually watching Hulu? And how do they differ from those tuning in to Hulu’s biggest competitor, Netflix?

Using data from Adelphic’s parent company Viant, which consists of more than 250 million registered users, we analyzed two groups of streaming service subscribers: those who only watch Netflix and those who only watch Hulu.

Here’s what we found:

Hulu Loves a Pizza Party

Hulu viewers are big supporters of the nation’s third-largest pizza chain. They’re 90% more likely to enjoy a slice from Little Caesars. In fact, Hulu viewers are all about a few of the country’s biggest pizza chains – they’re more likely than Netflix viewers to eat at Dominos, Pizza Hut and Papa John’s as well.

Netflix Fans Seek Sandwiches

Hulu viewers might be pining for pizza, but those who prefer Netflix have a passion for Panera. Netflix viewers are 88% more likely to enjoy the sandwiches, salads and soups at the fast-casual bakery café than Hulu viewers. Sandwiches are often top of mind for Netflix viewers, who also are 37% more likely to eat at Jimmy John’s.

Nissan’s Nice for Hulu Viewers

Japanese automaker Nissan is the brand of choice for car-shopping Hulu viewers. They’re 31% more likely to purchase Nissan’s Maxima sedan, as well as 26% more likely to purchase an Altima, another of Nissan’s popular mid-size models.

Across the Board, it’s Ford for Neflix Fans

Netflix viewers are more likely than Hulu streamers to be found behind the wheel of a Ford. They’re 56% more likely to purchase the iconic Mustang sportscar, as well as 24% more likely to purchase the eco-friendly Fusion. While both Netflix and Hulu viewers like the F150 truck, Netflix viewers are 7% more likely to drive one.

Netflix Viewers Need News

Host John Oliver is a big hit with Netflix viewers, who are nearly five times as likely to watch HBO’s Sunday night satirical news program as Hulu viewers. In fact, not only are Hulu viewers significantly less likely to watch Last Week Tonight than Netflix viewers, they’re also less likely to tune into another of HBO’s news shows, Real Time With Bill Maher.

Hulu’s Hot for Ballers

Hulu subscribers are less likely than Netflix viewers to tune into HBO in general, as Netflix viewers are 67% more likely than the general public to pay for HBO. So … what are Hulu viewers watching on HBO? They’re glued to wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the comedy-drama Ballers, which they’re 84% more likely to watch than Netflix viewers.

Adelphic’s access to first-party data gives marketers a transparent and holistic view of their audience profiles, which helps them to create a more informed strategy and smarter media investment. Interested in learning more about Adelphic’s audience-targeting capabilities? Click here.

*The above information is based off of the Viant IMP Indexing Formula, which calculates matched profiles and data providers.

African-American Millennials: 7 Stats for Black History Month

February 6, 2020 in Blog

African-American Millennials have a large and growing spending power; total African-American spend is projected to reach $1.4 trillion this year, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth, a 275% increase since 1990.

And yet, it’s not enough for marketers to speak to just Millennials or African-Americans when looking to connect with this influential group. Instead, marketers must reach African-American Millennials in customized ways that speak to them directly.

In recognition of Black History Month, we’re calling attention to seven noteworthy stats from our research paper The Marketer’s Guide to African-American Millennials. With insights like the below, marketers can reach African-American Millennials with the personalized messaging they have come to expect and build brand affinity.

1. African-American Millennials make up 26% of the total African-American population and 14% of all Millennials – and they have a growing spending power as they hit their late 20s and 30s.

2. Like most Millennials, African-American Millennials are big fans of online retailer Amazon. They visit Amazon nearly as often as they visit Target, JCPenney and Kohl’s combined.

3. The global color cosmetics industry is worth an estimated $48.3 billion, and African-American Millennials are heavy buyers. They are 24% more likely to be higher spenders on cosmetics and toiletries than other Millennials, and spend an average of $111.82 per quarter at cosmetics retailer Sephora.

4. African-American Millennials support TV shows and networks that feature celebrities who share their ethnic background. As such, they are 230% more likely to watch Power, 74% more likely to watch Empire and 40% more likely to watch Blackish than other Millennials.

5. When African-American Millennials stream OTT content, Hulu is the provider of choice. They’re 13% more likely to subscribe to Hulu Plus than other Millennials

6. Salty snacks are a favorite of African-American Millennials, who are 46% more likely than other Millennials to graze on them. They’re 78% more likely to buy Ruffles and 75% more likely to buy Cheetos.

7. Despite overall decreases in the number of Millennials on the road, driving has actually increased in the last decade for African-American Millennials who earn less than $50,000 per year. Most African-American Millennials (64%) fit that qualification, and they’re 57% more likely to drive a Cadillac than other Millennials.

To discover more about African-American Millennials’ habits and partialities, and to learn about how marketers can connect with this coveted group of insiders and spenders, download our white paper here.

Q&A with IRI’s CBD and Cannabis Expert

December 5, 2019 in Blog


Our Q&A series shines a spotlight on the biggest challenges, questions and trends in the programmatic marketplace with commentary from industry experts, clients and partners.

Today’s Q&A is with Larry Levin, Executive Vice President of Consumer and Shopper Marketing at data and insights company IRI.

We asked Levin to break down everything marketers need to know about the burgeoning cannabis industry.

Q: How big is the current cannabis market?

 In a word: Blossoming! IRI’s cannabis research partner BDS Analytics projects a global market of approximately $45 billion in total cannabinoid sales by 2024. For 2019, we’re estimating sales of $14 billion. In our CPG world, we see growth of 2-3% if we’re lucky; the opportunity for cannabinoids is unprecedented.

Q:  How can marketers best approach the challenge of educating consumers about cannabis?

As products move mainstream, education is needed throughout every level of the consuming landscape. In recent research published BDS Analytics, it’s clear that the vast majority of consumers in legal states ― where you would think confusion would be less clouded ― is still extremely confused.

BDSA’s research shows that over half of all respondents either don’t know the difference between CBD and THC or are wrong in their perceptions of what each is. While it’s down from 63% nearly a year ago, it clearly shows how much confusion rests in the market and is a signal that education is needed and could be most critical at the “final decision point” as retailers have to be sure their staff is aware of market differences between THC and CBD. In fact, the survey results from BDSA also show that consumers believe that any product that contains hemp will have an “altering experience,” which is simply not the case.

Q: Who is the typical cannabis consumer – if one exists?

Stereotypes need to be trashed when it comes to the mindset of who a typical cannabis consumer might be. Consumers mirror the U.S. population with young and old, the haves and the have nots, as well as urban and rural consumers. If there’s any demographic bent toward hemp use, it’s that it skews a bit more male. And hemp users are finding the products provide great relief for a number of ailments from anxiety to depression to pain and stress, which poses a threat to the over-the-counter medication market.

Q: What do marketers need to know about the regulations and laws regarding advertising cannabis products?

We are still at the very early stages of marketing for any cannabis products. As with alcohol, legislation varies from state to state, and even with counties and cities within those states. Legislation is changing and will continue for some time, so marketers will need to do their homework.

Social responsibility should be at the forefront of importance in messaging and its impact, especially with all of the press around the vape market and recent deaths. It’s apparent from our consumer data that education is clearly needed, and first and foremost it could be educating the consumers about the differences between THC and CBD as leading cannabis products available today.

Q: U.S. cannabis retail ad spend increased 24% in 2018 to $4.12 million, most of which came from out-of-home advertising, according to eMarketer. What is it about OOH that is particularly appealing to cannabis brands?

It’s a testimony to the “out of home” nature and active lifestyles that a number of consumers are engaging in, including exercise, living outdoors, and attending social events. Consumers’ ability to easily acquire THC and CBD products in legal markets gives them alternatives to consider that were not available a few short years ago.

Q: Data has become a key factor in driving growth in every vertical. What role can data play in the cannabis industry?

Data is simply “an ingredient” to understanding this market. Data continues to show how consumers are gaining more understanding and increasing their positive consideration to trying CBD and THC products. As the market becomes more mainstream in consumer adoption, it will become more mainstream in the general CPG market. Data will help quantify the size of the opportunity and where marketing and sales efforts should be concentrated. And, while more than half of today’s market connects sales through dispensaries, the channel will see much greater competition in the coming years as CBD goes mainstream. BDSA and IRI predict that in less than five years the dispensary channel will see share shrink to 25% of the market even though channel sales are forecasted to grow 2.5 times their current rate, showing that the market will be more competitive as consumers purchase “here, there and everywhere!” Data will be at the forefront to understand the who, where, how and why to win in this incredibly opportunistic market; it’s the most disruptive change we have seen in CPG in years, if not ever!

Q: What is unique about IRI’s partnership with our DSP Adelphic?

While this doesn’t speak to cannabis currently, IRI’s ability to understand the consumer and create activation plans is a perfect complement to Viant’s measurement of its 1.2 billion registered users; we have a matched universe of 83% unique profiles. An additional benefit is we can track offline dollar sales on a weekly basis to drive campaign optimization across a variety of tactics, including device delivery, shopping behaviors, audiences, inventory or campaign creative.

For those ready to really dig in and understand marketplace trends, I recommend a webinar I recently conducted with BDS Analytics just on this topic.

Q: What are the terms marketers should know when talking about the Cannabis market?

Check out our Cannabis “dictionary” here.


CBD Dictionary: All the Terms You Need to Know

December 5, 2019 in Blog


The cannabis industry is exploding – but research shows that consumers and marketers alike are confused by the unfamiliar terminology in the marketplace.

To help, we’ve compiled the top cannabis terms to know as everything from CBD to hemp to marijuana becomes more mainstream.

Cannabis: A genus of flowering plants. Hemp and marijuana are simply broad classifications of cannabis that were adopted into our culture; however, they are not legitimate nomenclature for the cannabis plant.

Marijuana: A term used to classify varieties of cannabis that contain more than 0.3% THC (by dry weight).

Hemp: A term used to classify varieties of cannabis that contain 0.3% or less THC content (by dry weight).

Cannabinoid: One of a class of diverse chemical compounds that acts on cannabinoid receptors, also known as the endocannabinoid system in cells.

CBD: One of more than 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants (hemp and marijuana). Studies find application for anxiety and cognitive movement disorders, and find that consumers look to CBD for health and wellness benefits, including improved quality of life, to sleep better and to relieve pain.

THC: One of over 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. The primary psychoactive or intoxicating compounds. Beyond intoxicating effects, applications include anti-nausea and appetite suppressant.

Adult Market: Adult Use, Recreational Use and Social Use are used interchangeably to describe the Recreational Dispensary Channel. You will also see Medical, which refers to purchases made by someone holding a medical card/license.

Level 1 States: These are fully legal cannabis (marijuana markets) states, where a retail landscape is established — AK, CA, CO, OR, WA, NV and MA. Looking at the size, growth and consumer behavior in fully legal markets provides an indication of the future U.S. marketplace

Contobox on Trends in Online and Offline Consumer Purchasing Behavior

November 14, 2019 in Blog

Our Q&A series shines a spotlight on the biggest challenges, questions and trends in the programmatic marketplace with commentary from industry experts, clients and partnerships.

Today’s Q&A is with Christine Carey, GM and SVP of Sales at Contobox, which offers an engagement management platform that empowers marketers to develop, launch and analyze interactive digital display and video campaigns.

A veteran of the ad tech industry, Carey is responsible for identifying and securing new partnerships, managing partner integration efforts and helping brands effectively use data-driven creative technology in their businesses.

Q: How important is it to simplify the online shopping process for consumers so that it’s more in line with expectations set by Facebook, Instagram and Amazon?

Experience is becoming more important to consumers, which is why we’re starting to see some form of shoppable ad units on every major platform. Facebook and Instagram offer shoppable posts, Pinterest has “shop the look” pins and Google added shoppable ads to their image search results earlier this year. At Contobox, we developed shoppable ads that can be run programmatically, giving consumers the opportunity to discover new products, compare them and add them to their online shopping cart from wherever they’re browsing on the open web.

In a time-crunched world, where people have more options than ever, using tech like this to remove the number of clicks to purchase couldn’t be more important. People are spending more and more time considering their purchase, whether that’s browsing or reviewing products, which means brands need to find more creative ways to drive them to conversion. Ad units that showcase more of your offering and give consumers an easier way to check-out can definitely help. Based on the campaign data we’ve collected at Contobox, shoppable ads can have a big impact on a brand’s ROAS, so I would say it’s extremely important.

Q: More and more people are shopping on their mobile devices, but the amount of money spent via desktop continues to increase as well. What does that tell us about today’s consumers?

It really just reaffirms what we already know: People are busier than ever, and busy people want convenience. As more brands work to enhance their digital offerings through innovations like shoppable ads, more people are realizing that they’re going to find that convenience online.

Even those who prefer to shop in stores, either for the experience or simply because they need to see the item in person, are starting to rely more heavily on digital. We’re seeing more people reach for their phones rather than connect with in-store associates to gather product information, compare costs or search for deals and coupons.

Q: What kinds of shifts in consumer purchasing behavior have you seen?

P&G’s 2005 “Moment of Truth” model describes the customer’s decision-making process based on three “moments” – buying the product, experiencing the product and then becoming a loyal customer. The rate of online shopping, both on desktop and mobile, has risen dramatically since 2005, and that’s resulted in a huge shift in the way consumers interact with brands. Not only has it given people more product options than ever, it’s also made it easier for them to browse. Perhaps not surprisingly, then, people tend to be a lot less loyal to brands than they once were. That increasing search for convenience also means that experience is becoming a bigger factor in people’s decision-making process.

In fact, we know based on recent research from Salesforce that the majority of customers now consider experience as important as a brand’s products or services — and as more people move online, a better customer experience is a better digital experience. That’s what’s really going to help your brand stand out. It may not matter how much time your competitor spent building brand equity and trust if you’re able to provide a more helpful and convenient experience.

Q: Many consumers conduct research or search for coupons on their phones while in brick-and-mortar stores. How do interactive ads benefit both brands and consumers in this situation?

Interactive ads can track a lot more consumer information, and that can help brands understand their audience’s buying behaviors in a much more detailed and nuanced way. They can also provide consumers with all of the product information and potential savings they’re looking for directly in the ad unit, so they don’t need to click through. No matter where your target audience is shopping, or how they plan to make that final purchase, being able to showcase more of your offering — wherever they happen to be browsing — is going to help your brand stand out and give you a huge advantage over the competition.

Q: What stands out about Adelphic’s partnership with Contobox?

Adelphic’s client-base is used to receiving best-in-industry data offerings in conjunction with cross-device and cross-format executions, and partnering with Contobox has allowed them to build on these strengths. They can now offer clients more advanced creative capabilities that can be delivered at scale across the open web. Our formats provide consumers with the full eCommerce experience, which helps enrich Adelphic’s already incredible data offering with engagement data, giving brands even deeper insight into their customers’ buying behaviors.

Q: Looking ahead, what do you see as big trends for 2019’s holiday season?

Speed, flexibility and convenience are what matters most to consumers, especially during a hectic time like holiday shopping. The best way to accommodate those expectations is through true personalization and truncating the purchase cycle, and nothing makes it easier for brands to achieve those goals than shoppable ad units. Unless of course we’re talking about our new Virtual Wallet feature, which allows consumers to save special offers promoted in display and video ads directly to their Google Pay or Apple Wallets well in advance of prime shopping periods to help them prepare.

Trader Diaries: Lone Ranger Manager of Programmatic Solutions

October 21, 2019 in Blog

Age: 31
Title: Manager of Programmatic Solutions
Employer Type: Small Agency
Years of Programmatic Trading Experience: 5

6:30 a.m.: I quickly take a shower and get ready for work. No time to make lunch – I will be buying lunch today. I make sure the pets are fed and happy before I start to head out!

7 a.m.: I leave to catch my 7:08 bus from N.J. to N.Y. The bus usually takes about an hour and a half without traffic, but since today was Monday, it took nearly two hours. I usually play a few rounds of sudoku while listening to music to help warm up my brain and get ready for the day. Sometimes I will find myself dozing off while in the middle of a puzzle. Sleeping on the bus is not ideal and I try my hardest not to sleep. Walking from Port Authority to the office takes about 10 minutes and grabbing coffee is a must 🙂

9:18 a.m.: I arrive at work a few minutes late due to the late bus. First thing, I turn my computer on, get settled and mentally prepare myself for what is to come by going through any missed emails and reminder notes. After checking my calendar to see all meetings for the day, I log into the platform and check in on every live campaign to make sure pacing is doing well, and document performance.

10:15 a.m.: Fire drill! Another liquidation campaign came down and they need to be up and active within 24 hours. While creating an authorization for the campaign, we are already being sent location and creative data from the client. We send the request for authorization to the client for signature. No campaign can be entered into the system unless we receive a written agreement, so we are at a pause for now. While waiting for the signed authorization, I continue to finish up my campaign pacing and documentation from the morning.

Lunchtime: For lunch I like to take a 10-minute walk to stretch and get moving a little. I stopped to get a chicken Caesar wrap and a bag of popcorn at the corner deli and brought it back to eat lunch with my coworkers in the conference room. We talked about the Marvel universe and how they can still legally put Stan Lee in the new movies, even though he passed away. Our lunch conversations change from day to day and can span from what happens in the afterlife, to religion or sports. We try not to talk about politics, but it always comes up, then the conversation ends with someone or multiple people shouting!

3 p.m.: Since we received the signed authorization around 2:30, I can now start to gather all given campaign info and start uploading all creative assets and geotargeting specifications. Since this is not a big agency, I am in charge of all these tasks as well as all the campaign setup. I love my work, but I do find it challenging at times having to be the only programmatic person. However,  I set up easy cheat sheets, I know the platform pretty well and I am confident in the work that I show.

3:45 p.m.: I was called into a meeting discussing new client opportunities. From that meeting, there was a request for a forecasting run, and a few other elements of reporting to see previous spending, current spending, demographic analysis to create new personas, and so on.

5 p.m.: I was able to leave work on time, and quickly ran to Port Authority to catch my 5:15 bus back to N.J. It took about an hour and 45 minutes to get home with a little bit of traffic, so I was home at 7. Once I got home, I changed into pajamas and started to relax and let the day’s stress melt away while talking to my boyfriend about some of my daily work challenges.

7:30 p.m.: For dinner I took some chicken breast out of the fridge and baked it in the oven, while making mashed potatoes and some corn.

9:30 p.m.: Usually around 9:30 is when I will lay in bed and watch Netflix or Hulu. My boyfriend and I are usually watching three or four shows simultaneously, so it really depends on our mood what we will watch. We ended up watching some of season three of The Office, it is probably the fourth run through of that entire series!

11:15 p.m.: I fell asleep with the music from The Office’s theme song playing in the background. I make it a point to get a good amount of sleep so I can be the best version of myself for the day to come!