‘Between Classes’ | #SDState Podcast (Ep. 10 – Holidays and Advertising)

(music) (Host) We’ve all seen them. Advertisements for the holiday season have begun. Long before most of us can celebrate Thanksgiving. Roxanne Lucchesi is a professor of advertising for the School of Communication and Journalism. She is here today to speak about the ads, how she examines them in class and how millennials respond to them. So Roxanne, what do you think that the ad campaigns for the holidays do begin so soon? It seems like as soon as Halloween is over, it’s like Christmas 100 percent. (Roxanne) Well as a media planner, I always say that you have to advertise when people are open to the message and apparently retailers think that we’re open to the message at Halloween time. I would disagree with that but, I know that it’s a critical time for retailers. A majority of their sales, a big part of their sales are during the holiday season. And they have a lot of competition, so they want to get out there early and their brand out there, their offers out there so that the consumer remembers them and thinks of them when they want to buy things. (Host) You talk about getting the message out early and how it is super competitive, what are some different strategies that these advertising agencies use during this holiday season? (Roxanne) Well, it’s changed a lot. At one time you just advertised on television, radio, newspaper and in magazines. Today we do omni-channel marketing. You have to advertise as traditional media, but you also have to advertise in a digital environment and use digital and social media platforms to gear your advertising message. Sales will be at the brick-and-mortar stores and in e-commerce stores, and you know some people just shop brick-and-mortar stores some people shop e-commerce only and then there’s that group that shops both. They might look at something in store and buy it online and they might actually buy it online in the store. The use mobile devices to compare while they’re in the store. It’s a really challenging environment. So I think today advertisers are trying to figure that out. What kinds of messaging should I put on digital platforms and mobile platforms and in the store. The message needs to be somewhat seamless, you need to see the same message in all of those environments. There’s lots of moving parts with advertising. You have to have the offers there, and you have to have people coding so that people can redeem coupons in shopping carts and those kinds of things are the same offers that are in the store. (Host) When you talk about brick-and-mortar stores versus shopping online and you teach college students which typically more often shop online rather than the brick-and-mortar stores, what are some different things you see with them or different things that you teach them, with the physical store versus the online strategies? (Roxanne) Well we’ve moved to a digital first strategy, in our teaching because digital has to be first and if you really think about it mobile has to be first as well. So in developing advertising campaigns, you have to figure out the messaging of course and then figure out where you are going to place that message. And today it has to work online and be in a lot of different environments because we don’t know where the consumer is going to enter the conversation. They might enter it on Facebook or on Instagram or Snapchat or they might look at the website or they might be in the store first. (Host) How do you think consumers respond to this format of advertising and holiday advertising in general? (Roxanne) Well I think it kind of creates a frenzy. You know, people feel that they have that fear of missing out and I think that is especially true with Black Friday. So the consumer kind of, there’s a culture of shopping on Black Friday, it’s part of our culture and then consumers like that, advertisers kind of take things that consumers like and then they expand it and exaggerate it and so today we have kind of this frenzy and I think that some consumers are pulling back, a little bit. A good example of this is the REI campaign, a couple of years ago, when people where seeing that retailers were open on Thanksgiving, REI said ‘we’re not going to do that, we’re going to close our store on Black Friday Thanksgiving Day and we’re not going to be open on Black Friday. So they created this great, opt-outside campaign. And they’ve used this campaign for a couple of years now and it really fits well with their story of being an outdoor company, a premium brand and a lifestyle brand to promote you know just being outside. I think a really good campaign is the Small Business Saturday campaign. I think that’s a real success. other than the other crazy advertising during the holidays. Companies have to compete based on price so they do price deals, and so forth. But American Express started the Small Business Saturday campaign in 2010 after the 2008 recession and it was to help promote small businesses. That has really blended nicely with this real consumer interest of shopping local and it’s been ongoing every single year. So we have stores being open Thursday, then we have Black Friday and then we have Small Business Saturday and then we have Cyber Monday and so there’s all these crazy times to shop, but I think my favorite is the Small Business Saturday campaign. (Host) That’s always kind of interesting because with your students, in terms of internships and how they’re learning, they may not always be examining these big, you know, Wal Mart, Target large ads they may be helping with advertising for a small, local Brookings business. How do you examine the different types of advertisements in class? (Roxanne) Students do end up working in all kinds of environments. Some do work in local businesses Some work in retail, some work for museums, some work for a large corporation. Others work for agencies and work on a lot of different things. Our classes kind of work for all those different type of job opportunities, and there are basic strategies In advertising that you teach and then it works for different types of companies. Some things that we try to do is work with an experiential learning approach a lot of students in our classes are working with small businesses to create advertising strategies or a social media strategy so students actually get experience talking to local businesses and learning about their marketing challenges and then addressing them through advertising and media messages. (Host) Aside from just creating advertisements and looking at them, students examine other things What are some things that students who get a major in advertising can look forward to? Well the first thing that all campaigns start with is a little research. And we have a research class where they do focus groups, interviews, social media listening, and surveys of course to learn what the message should be. We discuss the various platforms that are available today to advertise on including social media, digital media and traditional media. Now it helps students learn about audience usage of various types of media and where to place messaging so it has the greatest impact (Host) And just to kind of talk about it a little more you said that we are the only university in the state to have a media planning class? (Roxanne) Right we have a class called Advertising Media Strategies and I think it started when I first came quite a while ago because I came from a media planning department, but that class has been around for a long time It has changed a lot. We used to talk about how to place advertising in traditional media and today it’s a digital first class where we talk about digital placement of advertising also using traditional media to reach the consumer. (Host) For students thinking about becoming a advertising major, how can they learn more about the program? (Roxanne) When students schedule a campus visit they should also schedule a visit to our school we’re the new School of Communication and Journalism. We have four majors, advertising, public relations, journalism and communication studies. And you just have to tell us what area you are interested in and we will have a faculty member in that area talk to you and give you a tour of our building. We have the Yeager Media Center to look at It’s a really nice broadcast center where students can learn a lot. (Host) Thank you Roxanne for coming here today to speak about holiday advertising and more about the advertising major at South Dakota State. This is Between Classes, thanks for listening.

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