Blog Archives

Native advertising is currently one of the most overused buzzwords in the advertising world. Many people are quick to roll their eyes at native advertising, thinking of the original click-bait nature of headlines and the cheesy descriptions publishers used to lure the audience in, only to have them immediately bounce out. The channel has now evolved from click bait headlines, to include video with engaging content the audience seeks out. The ability to retarget off each unit is another fantastic feature found in the native space. As a result, content can more closely resemble a publication’s editorial content across a website, lowering advertisers cost and increasing engagement.

Two main units we look at and the cost associated with them include:

Native Articles:

This placement has expanded from simple CPM (cost per thousand) buying to now include CPC (cost per click) and CPE (cost per engagement) depending on the buying objective. Now more than ever, the buyer and the content strategist can work as one tying together the goal of the content and how its written with how the ad is bought. For example, one piece of content in a campaign could be bought to generate awareness while the second piece to go live could utilize the generated awareness to increase website traffic and website conversions. As mentioned, native articles previously served as a vehicle for click bait, but now with vendors like StackAdapt and OutBrain, native strategies can be taken to the next level.

Penna Powers Native Article Averages:

CPM: $4.45

CPC: $0.83

CPE: $2.94

Time spent on site (LP): 1m 38s

Native Video:

Video has been on a hot topic for a few years now with YouTube popularizing video as an advertising placement. Depending on video length a video will fall into one of two native camps pre-roll, playing before other video content and out-stream with the later only playing when in-view. By now you’re most familiar with pre-roll running pre, mid, or post and out-stream videos running within a piece of content, breaking up a Forbes article for example. One of the greatest features of the native video placement is the ability to retarget an audience based on completed video views. This allows the advertiser to further engage with the audience and lower the cost of a conversion since the audience has previously interacted with the brand

Penna Powers Native Video Averages:

CPM: $13.04

CPCV: $0.03

Viewability %: 57.87

Completion Rate: 67.34%

CTR: 0.33%

Display working with Native

These days everyone either hates online ads or blocks them all together. Insert display ads working in conjunction with Native articles and/or videos. The key difference when using display in a Native campaign is the ability to bid on a CPE model if you’re looking for engagements on a piece of content. Display ads offered by vendors such as StackAdapt provide a great opportunity to retarget your native campaign audience, further increasing engagement and post-click activity.

Penna Powers Native Display Averages: (Currently we are only using native display in retargeting campaigns)

eCPM: $4.74

eCPC: $3.56

CTR: 0.13%

StackAdapt Benchmarks:


eCPM: $3.00 – $5.00

eCPC: $0.80 – $1.50

eCPE $2.00 – $3.00

CTR: 0.40% – 0.80%

Avg time on site: 55s – 1m5s

​PreRoll Video

eCPM: $12.00 – $15.00

eCPC: $9.00 – $12.00

eCPCV: $0.02 – $0.05

CTR: 0.10% – 0.20%

Completion Rate: 70% – 80%

Native Video​

​eCPM: $12.00 – $15.00

​eCPC: $3.00 – $5.00

eCPCV: $0.05 – $0.07

CTR: 0.50% +

Completion Rate: 40% – 60%


eCPM: $1.50 – $3.00

eCPC: $1.75 – $3.00

CTR: 0.10% – 0.15%

Despite the perception, native advertising is not going anywhere anytime soon. Based on a IPG Media Lab and Sharethrough study, consumers looked at native ads 52 percent more frequently than banner ads. Native advertising presents a huge opportunity for agencies and their clients to create a lasting engagement that leads to further brand interactions and sales.    

Bike MS

Penna Powers recently enlisted the best damn team to participate in Harmons Best Damn Bike Ride for Bike MS. During the two-day event, our semi-amateur bike team covered 43 miles and raised $3,800. The total amount raised was 52 percent above the team’s $2,500 goal.

Bike MS

Participants included CEO and Partner Chuck Penna, Vice President of Channel & Content Management Marc Stryker, Social Change Director Brent Wilhite, IT & Operations Manager Tyson Holtkamp, Designer Ryan “Thor” Williams, Media Planner Jenny Beaudoin, Zero Fatalities Outreach Specialist Melinda Macfarlane and her spouse Brad Macfarlane.

Bike MS

Marc and Jenny decided to set the bar a little higher—in true media team fashion—and cycled 75 miles.

Bike MS

While Thor obviously did most of the work during the race, our fearless leader Chuck was able to crack the leaderboard in donations raised.

Thank you to Harmons and Bike MS for hosting the phenomenal event and our employees for pedaling their spandex covered butts all day. If only you raced as good as you look in spandex.

Penna Powers is celebrating Shark Week! While considered a bona fide holiday for many, we’re using the cherished event to drive awareness for our client Zero Fatalities. Over the course of Utah’s “100 Deadliest Days,” the majority of deaths on Utah roads happen between Memorial Day and Labor Day. We’re creating original content for every single deadliest day in order to decrease deadly driving behaviors. For Shark Week, Penna Powers created Snapchat and Instagram Stories ads for Zero Fatalities. Utilizing these ad placements will be a first in Utah, with each social channel finally opening their ad platforms to agencies of all sizes.

In our research process, one thing we noticed was Utahns did not realize the extreme risk of buckling up when you’re in a car crash. Statistics from the CDC show that you have a 50 percent chance of surviving a car crash if you don’t wear a seat belt. However, many Utahns still refuse to buckle up when they get in the car.

Kenny Hammond, senior art director, designed the Snapchat and Instagram Stories ad to coincide with our “What are the Odds?” campaign that plays to the availability heuristic principle. Our goal is that Utahns will realize the gravity of not wearing a seat belt. The ads started running Sunday, July 23 and will run until Sunday, July 30.

At Penna Powers, we strategize media plans backed by research to show ads only where the audience interacts with content on a daily basis. We jumped on the chance the use the new Instagram Story and Snapchat ad placements to reach the key millennial demographic of 25-to-34-year-olds in Utah. Using the shark creative, we are able to split-test the two channels against each other with identical spends to see which performs best. For this flight, we will compare CPM, CPC, and CPV.

This Shark Week, Penna Powers hopes you realize the true danger at hand: not wearing a seat belt. Trust us, not wearing a seat belt is a risk you don’t want to take.

Two decades. Twenty years. Penna Powers just marked another major milestone, celebrating the twentieth year that our dedicated VP of Project Management, Christine Menges, has been in the building. Not only has she been in the building, she’s been rocking the very foundation of this place with elevated account service, polished professionalism and an unmatched penchant for brand policing.

Originally from Portland, Oregon, Chris headed for the Beehive State after graduating from Portland State University’s School of Business. She arrived at Penna Powers after various gigs, from selling ads in the daily newspaper, to getting an ad agency education wearing multiple hats and kicking various asses all across town.

At Penna Powers, Chris blossomed into the plaid-hating, don’t-touch-her-lamp juggernaut she is today. Employees and clients alike have benefitted from Chris’s unique combination of Portlandia counter-culture personality and air-tight, borderline OCD commitment to organization and detail. Chris will always give you her best effort and marshal the agency’s forces in the most efficient and effective manner. And, always right on strategy and right on schedule.

So we congratulate Chris on her double decade derring-do. And welcome many more years of her grit and intelligence in taking our clients to the next level. But always remember this – at Penna Powers, dead men actually do wear plaid, if you happen to cross paths with the formidable Christine Menges.

Gladys Pastor, brings her expertise to our Nevada office to serve as our Community Relations Coordinator. In her free time Gladys enjoys spending time at home, where you will likely find her reading a book by her favorite author, Paulo Coelho. A motto that she lives by is “wherever God plants you, bloom.” When Gladys isn’t planning her dream trip to Peru, or daydreaming about the day she finally gets a Jeep Wrangler, you will likely find her hard at work or eating her favorite food, tacos!

Christine Adams, graces our Nevada office with her talents and abilities to perform the duties as an Account Manager. One thing you should know about Christine is to never come between her and her chocolate ice cream. In her own words, she “sincerely loves chocolate ice cream!” She enjoys spending her days off work camping with her partner, son, four crazy Boston terriers and snorty pug. One quote that motivates Christine is “live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Charlene Coffman, brings her talents to our Nevada office as a hardworking Program Coordinator. A few of Charlene’s favorite things include Mexican food, Jeep Wranglers and Nicholas Sparks books. Whenever Charlene is off the clock she is likely camping somewhere or exploring new cities. In addition to camping and exploring, Charlene hopes to eventually get the chance to visit Costa Rica, Peru, Ireland and Italy. If she could meet anyone in the world, living or dead, it would be Joanna Gaines.

Get your sword sharpened and pour yourself a glass of honeyed wine because winter is finally here. In honor of the season seven premiere for “Game of Thrones,” we’re taking a look back at HBO’s innovative marketing campaigns. Whether you are team Cersei or bow to the King of the North, here are our favorite “Game of Thrones” marketing lessons.

1. Print isn’t dead

Unlike most of your favorite characters, print and outdoor advertising isn’t dead in the realm of Westeros. “Game of Thrones” pulled a stunt to publicize its third season that was reminiscent of Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds” radio drama. The New York Times featured a full-page spread of mock articles with Drogon’s ominous form casting a shadow on the paper. The articles were “Game of Thrones” specific, telling stories ranging from “The Lion of the Desert” to “Medea Resurrects at the Abuelitas.” In addition to the newspaper spread, HBO’s office in Los Angeles featured a similar gimmick. The side of the building featured a large dragon shadow, making it feel as if Drogon was flying over your shoulder. Talk about forcing people to have a double-take when looking at your advertisements.

2. Interactive elements are crucial

If you’re not utilizing interactive content in your current marketing strategy, you need to introduce it—ASAP. Interactive content achieves four to five times more page views than static content and drives twice as many conversions. “Game of Thrones” rules its own Iron Throne when it comes to interactive content. Few brands are consistently utilizing innovative interactive content on their social channels. Before the fourth season, “Game of Thrones” hosted a social roast for everyone’s favorite villain: King Joffrey. Twitter users roasted Westeros’ most despised character using the #RoastJoffrey hashtag for over 48 hours. The campaign earned over 850 million impressions and a 367 percent increase in “Game of Thrones” mentions year over year. If those numbers didn’t impress you, the return on its next interactive campaign for season five will leave a lasting impression. #CatchDrogon was created as a social media game on Twitter to drum up hype for the season premiere. Twitter users were encouraged to set bait via specific GIF tweets in order to lure a tweet containing Drogon to their feed. Users then had to retweet the tweet before it expired and Drogon “flew away.” The campaign broke one billion impressions on premiere day and created more than 6.6 million interactions.

3. Use current events to your advantage

During the 2016 campaign season, “Game of Thrones” harnessed people’s desire to escape from current politics. HBO built a digital campaign that created election videos for Cersei, Daenerys, Jon Snow and Littlefinger. After watching the videos, fans were prompted to vote for their preferred candidate. Fans could support their political candidate by offering pledges in terms of social shares or purchases from HBO’s Amazon store. The total tally reached over 1.5 million ballots cast and the campaign was featured on various news websites.

4. Make visuals your centerpiece

Since “Game of Thrones” is known for its cinematography, it isn’t surprising that its advertisements are known for their visual aesthetic as well. During a 30-day countdown for the season four premiere, HBO featured 30 illustrations representing an iconic death from each episode. The illustrations were released one day at a time, keeping “Game of Thrones” at the forefront of its viewers’ minds. Facebook posts with graphics see 2.3 times more engagement than posts without images and tweets with graphics receive 150 percent more retweets than tweets without images. Encourage your designers to channel their inner Daenerys and unleash the creative imagery.

In Westeros, there are no limits as to what the characters will do to grace the Iron Throne. It also seems that HBO has no limits regarding innovation in their digital campaigns. Hopefully you can use these “Game of Thrones” marketing lessons to serve as inspiration to drive cutting-edge advertising.

In the meantime, you can catch Penna Powers in our loft streaming the season seven premiere. Leave us a comment with your best prediction as to which one of our favorite characters will die first.

Elyse Freeman, graduated from Ohio University with a degree in journalism, and decided to bring her talents to Penna Powers to put her skills to work as a Content Specialist. When Elyse is out of the office you can be sure to find her outside, likely up Little Cottonwood Canyon or down in beaUTAHful Moab. Unless it’s bad weather of course, then you will likely find her reading her favorite book, Prisoner of Azkaban. When she’s not dreaming about olives or the day she can get a Tesla, she’s here up in the “Girls Corner” hard at work! Her life motto is “It’s better to ask for forgiveness than ask for permission.”


Aubrey Andersen-Bakker, a recent graduate from Converse College in South Carolina came back to good ol’ Utah after graduation to work as an Associate Project Manager here at Penna Powers. She believes that anything is possible and “change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.” Aubrey is a fun, outgoing free spirit who enjoys being outside when she’s not here, working hard. An easy way to win her over and be sure to get on her good side is with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, specifically Cherry Garcia!


Jennifer Beaudoin, a previous B2B digital media planning specialist brought her expertise over to Penna Powers to give us a piece of her magic. Jenny played Division I soccer for three years at Northern Arizona University, then finished her bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis in marketing at Westminster. When she isn’t here putting her skills to work at P2, she spends her time as a full-time bicycle commuter, part-time botanist and part-time barista at the Red Moose Café. A quote that inspires her is “If you know the why, you can live any how.” – Friedrich Nietzsche