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March 6, 2024
Monthly Report

RECAP! The Monthly Report: February 2024

"Explore February 2024's marketing highlights – Super Bowl ad winners, Meta's AI investments, Starbucks' brand success, and the global rise in social media.

William Yates
Co-founder
Spearheaded programmatic advertising initiatives for eBay, Co-founder of ttagz and The Affiliate Monkey
Table of contents

Welcome to the monthly report, where we briefly cover notable news and events from the past month to help keep you up to date with the world of marketing.

Super Bowl 58: The ads

The Super Bowl is the biggest sporting event in the U.S. This year, the NFL game drew 123.4 million viewers in the U.S. alone, making it the most-watched television program of all time.

The outrageously high viewership makes Super Bowl ads one of the most sought-after slots for big brands. For 30 seconds of screen time during the Super Bowl, it will cost you a brain-rattling $7 million.

We know the Kansas City Chiefs won the game, but who won from a marketing perspective? With 59 ads run during the Super Bowl, full of celebrity cameos, we’ve picked five as our winners of the night.

Dunkin

Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez, Matt Damon and Tom Brady combine hilariously in this short but sweet Dunkin’ ad

BMW

Perhaps the most impersonated person on the planet, Christopher Walken shows us there is only one him as he laughs off those who lack in comparison.

Lindt

A happy-go-lucky ad shows a Lindt chocolate ball making its way around town to the tune of Perry Como’s “Round and Round”.

Google

Google plays on the heartstrings with a powerful ad showcasing how the sharp photograph feature of the new Google Pixel can improve a visually impaired person’s ability to capture moments.

Mountain Dew

One of the stars from Parks & Recreation, Aubrey Plaza, gives us a vintage 30-second performance that features a cameo from fellow Parks’ star Nick Offerman.

Meta Goes All in On AI Investments 

As AI continues to find its way into the commercial space, Zuckerberg has gone all in on investing in the potentially life-altering technology. 

According to Zuckerberg, Meta holds $9B worth of Nvidia chips; a world leader in AI-computing models. Meta has openly claimed they are building an artificial general intelligence, something sure to spark both excitement and fear in many. 

Meta stock went up by 1.3% at $380.96 in early trading on Friday. The stock has more than quadrupled from its notable lows in 2022 when the social media company was struggling to capitalise on selling digital ad space and racking up billions of dollars in losses. 

Now AI has already fueled a 24% year-over-year increase in Meta’s ad business in Q4 for a total of $38.7 billion. The Vice President, Alvin Bowles, claims that Meta is in the middle of their AI journey, not the beginning.

Watch this space. 

Starbucks Named World’s Most Valuable Restaurant Brand 

Brand Finance, a global brand valuation firm, has named Starbucks as the most valuable restaurant brand in the world for an incredible eighth consecutive year. A 14% brand value increase means they now sit at an outrageous $60.7B. 

The coffee chain initiated its reinvention plan in September 2022 after the pandemic seemed to have a massive impact on the hospitality industry. The new plan emphasised expansion, stronger employee support, and new store concepts.

Another contributing factor was the return to offices for employees throughout the world, ultimately leading to an increase in demand for Starbucks.

Not surprisingly, U.S.-based brands make up 19 of the top 25 brands, with McDonald's ($38B) and KFC ($14.2B) rounding off the top 3 respectively.  

Influencers Are Failing To Disclose Advertising Content 

According to a new report by the European Commission, 80% of influencers do not disclose paid content. This puts both the brand and the influencer at risk. 

A failure to disclose paid content goes against advertising guidelines and in some cases may even be breaking the law. In the EU, consumer laws require that influencers disclose all paid content in the interest of transparency and honesty. 

In a statement, the European Union said “EU consumer law provides that commercial communications need to be transparent. In their posts, influencers should not mislead consumers with false or untruthful information on the promoted products or services that fall under the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive.”

They further stated, “Any promotion of the products or services of a brand in a post that earns its influencer revenues or other types of benefits must be disclosed as an advertising activity.”

Deepfake Ads Rock Cape Town Trading Platform 

Several deepfake ads appear to have benefitted Banxso, a Cape Town-based online trading group. The fake ads feature powerful business leaders such as Elon Musk and Johann Rupert and promise to turn a one-time investment of R4800 into R300K per month. 

The ads have been linked to Immediate Matrix, which the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has previously warned consumers about, stating that “It has come to the attention of the FSCA that Immediate Matrix may be providing financial services to members of the public without being authorised to do so.”

Banxso has strongly denied any link to the fake ads and Immediate Matrix, but a Moneyweb investigation found that people who register on Immediate Matrix instantly become Banxso customers. 

Banxso claims that Immediate Matrix registered individuals on the platform without their knowledge and regards it as a malicious attack.

The deepfake ads have led to investors losing millions. One Gauteng-based couple lost R5.5M while a 75-year-old Stellenbosch resident lost R2.6M.

Banxso refused to disclose how many clients have actually made money through the platform.

Global Social Media Users Pass 5 Billion 

The latest annual report from We Are Social, a socially-led creative agency, and Meltwater, a specialist in social and media intelligence, shows that active social media users have passed the 5 Billion milestone. 

According to the report, 62.3% of the world's population is now active on social media. A truly remarkable statistic. In the last year alone, users increased by 266 million, showing annual growth of 5.6%. 

A few other key metrics from the report: 

  • The average social media user spends 2 hours and 23 minutes per day on social platforms of their choice.
  • The average social media user uses 6.7 social media platforms per month.
  • 16.5% of users between the ages of 16 and 64 consider Instagram as their favourite platform. 
  • Digital ad spending increased by 10% year-on-year, with close to $720 billion spent on digital ads in the year 2023.
  • TikTok’s top hashtag is #fyp (for your page) with a total of 55.5 trillion views. 
  • Strong user growth was reported for LinkedIn, Snapchat, WeChat and Pinterest.

Nathan McDonald, co-founder of We Are Social, said: “For marketers, understanding platform nuances – and how to use social media to connect in culturally relevant ways – will be more crucial than ever.”

Alexandra Saab Bjertnæs, chief strategy officer of Meltwater, stated: “As social media enters its next chapter with five billion-plus users, understanding usage patterns, engagement, and emerging trends is crucial to helping brands find their unique voice amidst all the online chatter” 

We’ll be back with another report next month to catch you up with all of the latest marketing news and trends.

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