Morning Brew - ☕ How do you measure, measure an ad?

The state of measurement in 2023.
January 20, 2023

Marketing Brew

Today is Friday. Today in We Didn’t Know This Job Existed, Netflix is hiring a flight attendant to work on its fleet of jets. Huge news for anyone who dreams of serving ginger ale to the cast of Stranger Things.

In today’s edition:

—Kelsey Sutton, Minda Smiley, Jack Appleby


Measure for measure

a collage of things related to measurement (ruler, measuring tape, etc) Francis Scialabba

There’s no way around it: conversations around media measurement aren’t exactly, well, sexy. But in a year where marketing budgets stand to face scrutiny in an economic downturn, the media industry’s long-elusive white whale—aka its ability to effectively measure ad views and performance across video platforms—finds itself at a turning point.

Back up: In 2021, Nielsen was stripped of its accreditation for its TV service by the Media Ratings Council, an org that audits media measurement companies. As we wrote last year, that decision “marked an inflection point that prompted broadcasters to envision, for a brief moment, a world without Nielsen at its center.” At last year’s upfronts, major networks went into negotiations armed with measurement alternatives.

In the last few weeks, there’s been a flurry of measurement news and announcements from companies across the ecosystem. Some of the biggest news in measurement land includes:

  • Netflix expanded its relationship with Nielsen to measure streaming and linear TV audiences in the US, Mexico, and Poland.
  • Samba TV, a Nielsen competitor, is offloading its media sales business and will instead focus solely on measurement.
  • Nielsen’s TV ad ratings replacement, Nielsen One, officially debuted its ad measurement tool, which promises to tally ad viewership “across screens.”
  • Fox, NBCUniversal, Paramount, TelevisaUnivision, and Warner Bros. Discovery formed a joint industry committee with OpenAP and the Video Advertising Bureau trade group aimed at establishing a third-party measurement certification process that could stand to boost Nielsen alternatives.
  • Warner Bros. Discovery struck a deal with measurement firm VideoAmp to measure audiences, which it plans to use in addition to Nielsen figures.

The developments, which come as pre-upfront conversations ramp up, seem to underscore just how essential it is for the media advertising ecosystem to have multiple reputable options to measure the reach and effectiveness of advertisements on streaming services as usage continues to climb and as companies like Netflix and Disney+ build out ad offerings.

Rewind: At CES, many meetings with advertisers and agencies inevitably went back to how investment will be measured this year. “That conversation that we’re having is, how do you protect your full-funnel marketing investment [and] make it accountable to your actual business in 2023?” Tim Lardner, a client strategy partner at the agency PMG, recently told Marketing Brew.

Both platforms and networks alike have shown they are “willing to invest in resources for measurement differently, because they know that partners are fighting that fight” for ad budgets, Lardner said.—KS



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Time for change

a gif of Jeff Goldblum saying Conan/TBS via Giphy

In C-suite land, it seems like many marketing execs have chosen to start 2023 with a clean slate, aka a new job. There’s been a flurry of CMO moves in the past few weeks. To recap:

  • Michelle Crossan-Matos left her marketing role at Samsung Electronics America to join Ulta as its CMO.
  • Leslie Berland, Twitter’s former marketing lead, was named CMO of Peloton.
  • Sherri Landry will soon become CMO and SVP at Denny’s after leading marketing at CEC Entertainment, which owns Chuck E. Cheese.
  • Pat O’Toole, who previously served as Mountain Dew’s CMO, will soon take on the same role at Burger King in the US and Canada.
  • Sadé Muhammad left Forbes to become the CMO of Time.

Heading out: Adobe’s longtime CMO hung up her hat after a 16-year run this week, and R/GA’s CMO is leaving the agency for a new role, according to Ad Age.

Zooming out: “While new CMOs taking the helm at the beginning of the year is nothing earth-shattering, brands will quickly scoop up heavy hitters who have extensive depth and breadth of experience in leading transformative growth amidst challenging environments,” Sally Witzky, senior director and analyst at Gartner, told us.

Plus, she said “more key talent is available” right now as layoffs occur across brands and agencies occur. “Another way to say that is that the marketing executive talent pool is richer for the moment. But as they land jobs like these, we would expect fewer to be as available again. This would include both CMO-level executives and key direct reports they wish to recruit to help them implement the transformations they need to lead.”—MS



No, your brand doesn’t need a Twitch channel

The Twitch logo as a broken lock leaking purple fluid Francis Scialabba

I had so much fun clacking away at Twitch. As a senior creative strategist, I worked directly with brands and agencies to build wackadoo creative ideas for our streamers. Even crossed off a few dream brands I’d always wanted to work like the NBA and Monster Energy.

When I wasn’t brainstorming, I’d be in Q&As with brands dipping their toes into Twitch. And inevitably, most brands would ask me the same question:

“Should we start a Twitch channel?”

No. Please don’t. I’m begging you. I’m not saying your brand shouldn’t be on Twitch (they should, I’ll show you how), but no, do not start a branded Twitch channel. Click here to keep reading.—JA



French press Francis Scialabba

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  • Netflix added 7.7 million subscribers in Q4, more than analysts expected. According to the streamer, engagement on its ad-supported tier has been “better than what we had expected.”
  • Speaking of Netflix, its founder and co-CEO, Reed Hastings, will step down from that position and become executive chairman.
  • Pinterest has promoted CMO Andréa Mallard to chief marketing and communications officer.
  • Google is laying off 6% of its workforce, or around 12,000 people.
  • Instagram has introduced a “quiet mode” feature that users can enable to pause notifications.


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Written by Kelsey Sutton, Minda Smiley, and Jack Appleby

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