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Since taking over radio's role about 70 years ago, TV has been a steadfast presence in our daily lives. It's taken up residence in our homes, brought our friends and families together, raised spirited debates and even put us to bed at night. We watched and watched and watched, and in between consuming sitcoms, dramas, made-for-TV movies, game shows and the nightly news, we snacked on ads in 15-, 30- and 60-second portions. This was the norm until early spring of 1999 — March 31 to be exact — when TiVo shipped its first units.

Jumping ahead 18 years — and surveying other innovations introduced since TiVo, namely downloadable TV programing on iTunes and streaming services like Netflix and Hulu — it's no surprise that TV's reach has been on a steady decline, especially in the last five years. According to Nielsen, viewership of TV among millennials and Gen Zers has dropped every year since 2011.

That's just the story for TV.

When we broaden our focus to include all of mainstream media (meaning TV, radio and newspapers, including online newspapers), we discover that television is the proverbial canary in the coal mine. And it's not just consumption of mainstream media that's declining: in 2016, Americans' trust in mainstream media sunk to a new low — the lowest since 1997 (according to a Gallup poll).

So where is everyone going?

There's no mass influx of viewers to any one channel or program. Instead, the audience is splintering off to consume content in hundreds of thousands of new ways.

With this splintering, microcosms of audiences are forming, forcing advertisers to redefine their meaning of "reach." Instead of media buyers having a portfolio of hundreds of high-reach vehicles for the masses, there are now millions of niche channels and vehicles that reach specific groups of people.

Because of this shift, mainstream is the new minority.

Enter Facebook, which has a reach of 1.9 billion people (as of 5/2017). The platform is by definition a niche enabler with hypertargeting marketing opportunities and the ability to connect with thousands of specific-interest audiences. There are now so many niche opportunities that the percentage of targeted permutations it presents is higher than those offering sheer mass reach.

Subsequently, consumers are already becoming accustomed to receiving messages tailored specifically to them.

EDM Loving Teens
Skydiving Enthusiasts
New Age Millennials
College Football Dads
HIIT Aficionados
Athletic Entrepreneurs
Professional Hockey Fans

According to a 2016 Adlucent research study, 71% of respondents prefer ads tailored to their interests and shopping habits
People are almost twice as likely to click through an ad featuring an unknown brand if the ad is tailored to their preferences
44% of respondents say they are willing to provide information, including their name, address or email address, in order to get more personalized advertising

Entertainment redefined

There are only a few mass-reach opportunities left where synchronous viewing occurs — and they are all event-based. Think: Super Bowl, Grammys, Oscars, World Cup and Olympics. Said simply, viewers are not consuming the same media at the same time in the same numbers that they once use to. At least not via scripted entertainment.

Reality TV shows like "The Bachelor" and "Big Brother" ushered other cultural changes. Audiences started to prefer reality TV more than scripted dramas. This became a precursor in a shift to "no filter" voyeurism, and now, people prefer to consume just plain reality. The average adult spends about two hours a day on social media. However, that number jumps impressively, perhaps disturbingly, higher when you look at the world's younger, mobilely-fluent audience: Teens dedicate up to nine hours of each day to social media, compared to two hours consuming traditional scripted programming. (Source: Common Sense Media)

Of course, these tectonic cultural shifts began with the founding of Facebook in 2004 and would forever transform the way Americans consume news, media and entertainment — essentially allowing audiences to ingest content about politics and events served to us by friends and acquaintances versus the mainstream media.

The result? We are spending more and more (and more and more) time scrolling through stories, pictures, posts and live streams of people's lives. Welcome to entertainment, 2017 style.

But the result is bigger than just an entertainment shift. The consumer's view of the world has shifted too.

Social algorithms stopped showing viewers what they don't want to see, ultimately insulating them inside echo chambers inhabited by their own niche interests and friends. This has caused an amplification of personal philosophies and experiences while diminishing our understanding of — and empathy with — other worldviews.

Even news isn't mainstream anymore. People can get information from any place they choose, whether the facts are real or "fake." So, both the personal world and the outside world become skewed based on what we perceive as "reality" versus reality itself — in essence the articles, op-eds, videos and posts that are seen and shared form a personalized reality.

The brand challenge

In decades past, the goal of an advertising campaign was simple: reach as many people as possible with one single, powerful human truth. Keep that human truth as consistent as possible, for as long as possible, across all communication materials.

But what happens to that goal when society is fractured across hundreds of thousands of echo chambers? How does that goal change when one mainstream, middle gathering place no longer exists?

There are fewer opportunities to reach the masses than ever before. And there are fewer messages that resonate with the mainstream because, as you've most likely surmised by now, a collective mainstream perspective is on the decline.

It used to be that the message simply had to be relevant to be effective. Now we need a relevant message, expressed through relevant content, living in a relevant context — which could mean thousands of messaging expressions instead of relatively few.

Today, the strategy of one resonant and consistent message based on a human truth and applied to reach placement is not enough. Sure, brands still must uncover a universal human truth that allows them to stand for something — but it doesn't stop there. The work has just begun.

In 2017, we are on a mission to find the many audiences and echo chambers that a brand can relevantly serve. And once we find them, our goal is not simply to reach their eyeballs, but to also tap into their niche interests so we can hold their attention for as long as possible. Because the closest thing to someone's wallet is their attention span.

Consider this: in an increasingly fractured world, will you have a larger ROI if you attract a large, mass, mainstream audience who may purchase a few times on average; or will it be larger if you focus on many niche audiences with whom your product strongly resonates and who will desire to purchase multiple times? If the answer is the latter, then it raises an even bigger question: How do you do this? How do you efficiently reach fractured, niche audiences without diluting your message or the integrity of your brand?

We'll start exploring this question — and its answer — when we launch "The Rise of the Tribes," the second installment of this four-part series from Moxie.

Marketing that moves

Moxie is built to create next generation marketing solutions that move our clients and our agency forward. Since our launch in 2000, our progressive approach has helped brands of every size and scope grab hold of — and ultimately own — untapped audiences, market share and revenue. Headquartered in Atlanta with offices in Los Angeles, New York and Pittsburgh, Moxie has over 400 talented employees and is a transformational component of Publicis Media. Moxie's client roster includes Verizon Wireless, The Coca-Cola Company, Porsche, Chick-fil-A, Nike, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, Walmart, Hoover, TGI Fridays, American Cancer Society and Delta Air Lines.


Justin Archer Chief Marketing Officer 678-916-4520 Justin.Archer@moxieusa.com 384 Northyards Boulevard Suite 300 Atlanta, Georgia 30313 moxieUSA.com


DANIELLE DONNELLY | SVP, STRATEGY Danielle spearheads Moxie's omni-channel strategy practice and leads day-to-day operations across all agency engagements, ranging from AORs to campaign executions and beyond. A skilled strategist with more than nine years of experience, Danielle possesses an in-depth knowledge of brand planning, content strategy, digital, paid social media, channel execution, influencer marketing and more. She has worked with an array of world-class brands, such as Chick-fil-A, My Coke Rewards, Scion, Dasani, Garnier, Verizon Wireless, UPS, 20th Century Fox, Emirates Airlines, InterContinental Hotels Group and Nike Women. Danielle is currently earning her MBA at Emory University.

STEPHANIE WIERWILLE | VP, CONTENT STRATEGY Stephanie oversees Moxie's content strategy discipline, helping national and global brands grow their businesses by finding the right stories to tell across digital, social and traditional channels. She possesses six years of experience that spans brands of all kinds — from Delta Air Lines, Wells Fargo, TGI Fridays and Chick-fil-A to Uniroyal Tires, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, MD Anderson Cancer Center and ULTA Beauty.

ASHLYN REMILLARD | DIRECTOR, SOCIAL STRATEGY Ashlyn leads the social strategy practice at Moxie, charged with evolving the agency's approach to a holistic channel experience amongst shared spaces. With over eight years of industry experience, Ashlyn has developed social and digital marketing strategies and campaigns for brands of all sizes, including The Coca-Cola Company, AT&T, NBC Sports, Atlanta United FC, American Cancer Society, Wells Fargo and more.

ABBY HILL | MANAGER, CONTENT STRATEGY A journalist both by training and trade, Abby is a storyteller to the core. She applies traditional storytelling methods to the digital landscape, weaving compelling brand narratives across the most appropriate channels. During her four-year career, she's worked with brands like Wells Fargo, Ocean Spray, Verizon Enterprises, Mizuno, NCAA and Team USA.

  • Production Lead: Dorothy Miller-Farleo
  • Production Design: Lyn Kotarski
  • Design: Jeff Stewart
  • Editing: Ann Masters
  • Development: Kevin Smith, Andrey Delgado
  • QA: Tony Chavda, David Sanchez