It’s been argued for decades whether music can influence our behavior. Sure, listening to certain songs may put us in certain moods or remind us of moments in our life. However, can song lyrics lead us to do things we wouldn’t normally do?
When it comes to online searches, apparently they can. This, in turn, is making it more expensive for advertisers to reach their target audience via online advertising.
A recent Ad Week article used the example of Lorde’s smash hit “Royals,” which references luxury automaker Maybach. Since the song’s rise in popularity later in 2013, the price to run search and display ads intended for true Maybach buyers has increased by as much as 233 percent.
What’s at work here is more young people – who are definitely not in the market for the vehicle – are searching for “Maybach” and some behavioral audience targeting companies are accidentally lumping them in with intended buyers. While this doesn’t affect cost-per-click ads so much, it does greatly affect display and video advertising purchased on a cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) basis.
According to Tier10’s Digital Operations Manager Tim Schmidt, behavioral targeting is essentially targeting an audience of consumers based on their past internet behavior. This comes from consumer data taken from networks of thousands of publishers, which collect information on the types of sites they visit, articles they read, things they search and other online behavior. With that information, consumers are then sorted into “intender lists,” which allows for them to receive relevant ads.
“So, if there is a sudden increase in Maybach Intenders popping up in these data sets, advertisers would conceivably be wasting a good chunk of coin chasing un-deserving consumers around the web with Maybach offers,” Schmidt said.
As an ad agency specializing in automotive, Schmidt said Tier10 runs into situations like this more often than imagined, especially on cost-per-click (CPC) advertising. However, it’s not impossible to prevent it from wreaking too much havoc on CPC costs for clients.
“Interestingly enough, this happens with high-line brands like Porsche where consumers are often searching ‘Porsche 911’ to get images to drop on the wallpaper of their desktop,” Schmidt said. “Because of this, we spend a great deal of time building out expansive negative keyword lists to try and weed out un-intending consumers.”
From waking up in a new Bugatti, to Maybach Music, to Ferrari and Jaguar switching four lanes, being mentioned in a mega-popular song can do wonders for brand awareness with cool, young people. However, unless those cool kids are planning on buying their product soon, it’s safe to say that advertisers would rather spend their money on consumers with the highest probability of making a purchase soon.