Here are all of the posts in the ‘News’ category.

Don’t watch the watch

by Tom Ollerton

Marketing Magazine recently published this article by me about how virtual reality is marketing’s next revolution. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below.

Image by Tom Bellamy

Marketing has moved from the radio to the TV, to the computer, from the Desktop to the mobile in the consumer’s pocket – each one a paradigm shift.

The most recent shift from desktop to mobile created a need for more intimate communications. It’s something that brands still struggle with – a mobile is a very personal space compared to a desktop screen.

Now, commentators are heralding the smartwatch as the new frontier. And in many ways, they’re right. The smartwatch will change the way we consume apps and therefore brand content on social. They offer the consumer more control over and access to certain apps, such as health trackers. They will make using technology an even more natural and habitual than it is already.

But the leap to smart watches isn’t a paradigm shift in the same way that desktop to mobile was. While you don’t wear a phone in the traditional sense, it’s pretty much attached to you and it’s a small, personal space. Smart watches hold many of the same challenges for marketers that mobile does. Small screen, limited real estate, an intimate space; all the problems marketers have been tackling in recent years, but amplified.

In terms of marketing’s next revolution, my money is on the shift from personal computing to virtual reality, such as Oculus Rift, or augmented reality, like Google Glass or Microsoft HoloLens.

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This shift will happen with social thinking at the centre. Facebook’s VP of engineering, Cory Ondrejka, was also the CTO at Linden Labs, who created Second Life. He’s responsible for working with Oculus Rift’s CEO and Mark Zuckerberg to bring virtual reality to a billion people. They’ve got the time, the funds and the ambition to make this happen.

Virtual Reality offers the chance for us to share our real life experiences with the people we care about in a way that will make the viewer feel like they were there with us. In the future we won’t just record our lives with photo and video approximations but will invite our friends to be there with us in the moment, no matter where they are.

Initially creating VR content will be an expensive business that only brands and publishers will be able to afford. This gives them the opportunity to pioneer on VR platforms as the medium develops. The NBA will be giving its fans a VR courtside seatnext month, Marriott hotels used Oculus Rift to help consumers explore exotic destinations, O2 gave rugby fans the Wear the Rose experience and we’ve seen John Lewis take an early step into VR using the Google Cardboard model and many more will follow in 2015.

It comes down to choice. Would you, as a consumer, choose TV or Laptop? Laptop or Mobile? A small watch screen or immersive 3D world? When virtual reality goes mainstream we won’t be looking at social media – we’ll be standing inside it.

 

 

 

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We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune Up #186

by Michael Batistich in News

Social ad spend to hit $23 billion globally
New figures from eMarketer show that advertisers will splash out a huge $23.6bn on social networks this year, a 33.5% increase on 2014. The publication estimates that, by 2017, this figure will rise to $35.98bn, or 16% of digital ad spend globally. Unsurprisingly, a lot of this investment is finding its way to Facebook. eMarketer estimates that the social giant will collect $15.5bn in ad revenues this year – that’s 65.5% of all social network ad spending worldwide.

Facebook owns four of the five largest social networks
Facebook has rather a lot of users. Projected Q1 2015 figures from Business Insider show quite how many, especially when you take into account the other platforms it owns. Of all social networks and messaging apps, Facebook is the largest with 1.43 billion projected monthly active users, followed by WhatsApp with 725 million. In third place we have Facebook Messenger (600 million) and fifth Instagram (300 million). In fact, WeChat is the only member of the top five that Facebook doesn’t own.

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Teens still care about Facebook
A new study by the Pew Research Center has found that Facebook is still the most-used social network among American teens aged 13-17, as 71% of respondents admitted to using it. This was followed by Instagram (50%) and Snapchat (40%). Boys use the site marginally more than girls, though respective figures of 72% and 70% show that it’s pretty close.

Twitter homepage attracts logged-out users
Twitter has a new homepage, designed for those who either aren’t signed in or are not using the platform at all. Users can click one of a selection of topics to be shown popular tweets around that subject, with categories including Pop Artists, TV Shows & Stars and (of course) Cute Animals. It’s only available in the US at the moment, but expect a broader roll out soon as internet users demand an easier way to find images of puppies in knitwear.

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Twitter suggesting tweets you may like
Twitter is testing a ‘you may also like’ feature on the right-hand-side of individual tweet pages on Twitter.com. The functionality, which you can see below, is currently only available to certain users. Sadly, I’m not one of them.

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Periscope is winning the live-streaming war
Twitter-owned Periscope is growing more quickly than its rival, Meerkat, which has actually seen a dip in its monthly active users since the start of April. Twitter’s superior resources are proving decisive, as are some potentially sneaky tactics, such as cutting off Meerkat’s access to Twitter’s social graph.

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On another, possibly unrelated, note, if you google ‘Meerkat vs.’, it autocompletes with ‘cobra’ ahead of ‘Periscope’. So there you go.

LinkedIn announces Marketo partnership
LinkedIn has partnered with marketing software company, Marketo, which specialises in automating digital marketing across email, social and the wider web. Its software will be combined with LinkedIn’s ‘Lead Accelerator’, which marries data about visits to brand websites with LinkedIn’s own demographic data. It’s essentially aimed at making adverts more relevant and (you guessed it) more profitable.

Snapchat overhauls its ad offering
Snapchat is changing the way it does ads. First of all, it has announced the withdrawal of ‘Brand Stories’, its first ever ad unit, which essentially allowed brands to put photos/video content in front of users that aren’t following them. It’s hinted that this ad format may be coming back in a different form, but for now the focus shifts to ‘Our Story’ and ‘Discover’. The former is set to be renamed and refocussed on live event feeds, as the platform sets to position itself further as a traditional media outlet for the social age.

Tumblr releases version 4.0 of its iOS app
Tumblr has unveiled version 4.0 of its iPhone/iPad app, along with a number of updates. Some of these are aesthetic, including a new icon, new notification widget and gifs that load in a ‘much more pleasing fashion’. Some allow easier blog management, including the ability to start secondary blogs, delete blogs and more easily include videos. To celebrate, here’s a gif. It doesn’t explain much, but it is very pretty.

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Tumblr adds ‘Sponsored Day’ to its ad offering
Tumblr has launched a new ad unit, called a ‘Sponsored Day’, which allows brands to post an ad that will appear at the top of users’ feeds for, well, a whole day. Nike is the first advertiser to get involved, encouraging us all to embrace our ‘uncomfort zone’. Maybe tomorrow, Nike. It’s Monday.

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Foursquare unveils location data ad feature
Foursquare has unveiled a new feature called Pinpoint, which uses its location data for ad targeting across mobile devices and the web. Location data is almost certainly Foursquare’s strongest suit, so this could well be a powerful move by the network.

Add Instagram to your Tinder profile
You can now sync your Instagram and Tinder profiles to show potential partners how much fun your life is, or at least that you can choose a good filter.

First Direct and We Are Social launch #SavingCup
First Direct and We Are Social took to Twitter to promote the bank’s SaveApp product, which helps users swap small purchases to save for big ones. They hired illustrator Mr Bingo to personalise coffee cups with people’s saving goals, including this for a follower who wanted to fly to Disney in Tokyo.

Lenovo and We Are Social create #LightandSeek exhibition Lenovo and We Are Social created a one-day-only art exhibition, powered entirely by the brand’s Yoga Tablet 2 Pro. Dubbed #LightandSeek, users were encouraged to take photos of their favourite pieces and upload them to Twitter using the hashtag. The event was accompanied by a live Instagram guide.

A virtual Instagram run with Reebok
Reebok took Instagram users on a virtual run around San Francisco last week with ‘Hunt the Pump’. Users who followed @zpump_startingline saw a grid of photos, one of which contained a hidden Reebok Pump logo. Liking the photo and clicking the panel took users to the next destination on their ‘run’, where the quest continued. If only it burned calories at the same time… reebokpump2

Nars adds a twist to Twitter competitions
Fashion retailer Nars ran a Twitter campaign last week, in which it encouraged users to tweet about its latest collaboration with Christopher Kane. Every tweet triggered a hammer to knock on one of two orbs located in Nars HQ, depending on whether it came from the UK or US; the two tweets that eventually broke the orb won the prize inside, the complete Nars and Christopher Kane collection.

Sport and entertainment get us tweeting about TV
When it comes to tweeting about TV, sport is what’s capturing the Brits attention, according to Kantar. It found that 42.3% of UK tweets about TV were related to sports, followed by 38.1% about entertainment. Second screeners were common (63% of respondents) but a large majority of them said what they were doing was unrelated to the TV content they were watching.

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Paddy Power tweets joke about police brutality
Paddy Power took its “TOP BANTZ” Twitter strategy a little far last week, making a joke that referenced police brutality against young African American men. It’s the latest in a string of intentionally controversial marketing attempts so, while other brands might apologise and remove the tweet, it’s still sat proudly on the Paddy Power Offers page.

We Are Social’s Tuesday Tune Up #185

by Amaury Tréguer in News

Dumb Ways to Die for Games of Thrones.

To celebrate the launch of the season five of Game of Thrones, Egor Zhgun has decided to parody the famous Australian Dumb Ways to Die song made originally for Metro Trains in Melbourne. This video that already counts more than 880,000 views, highlights different ways the characters on the show die throughout the past four seasons.

You drink, Uber drives…

Another great stunt by our friends Uber in Canada: In order to prevent Canadians to drink and drive, Uber has decided to launch Uber Safe. The principle is simple, people are offered to test their level of intoxication on a roadside breathalyser. If you are above the limit, Uber drives you back home for free. How good is that!

Facebook reveals messenger.com

Still reeling from the passing of MSN Messenger? Well, it’s good news for desktop chat fiends, as Facebook has launched a dedicated web interface for its Messenger app. It’s available to English speakers worldwide. Of course, you can still message via facebook.com if you prefer.

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Twitter updates RTs, Search and app brand profiles

Twitter has updated its retweet feature, making it much easier to add a comment before sharing a RT with your followers. You can see how it works in the below example, which I just found on the internet somewhere and definitely didn’t spend time creating.

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The network is also making a couple of updates to its ‘Search’ function: detailed ‘trending topics’ within Search are replacing ‘Discover’ on mobile, while they’re experimenting with simplifying the desktop layout, including an option to view ‘Live’ tweets in chronological order.

Finally, they’re are testing letting businesses pin an app to the top of their profile in Twitter’s iPhone app. The feature is currently being tested by the likes of Periscope and Uber.

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Interactive cards to appear on YouTube ads
YouTube is now allowing advertisers to add interactive overlay cards to skippable video adverts. This allows brands to include more information and could well be lucrative for YouTube; now, if viewers skip an ad but click on the card, the platform will still receive a fee.

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LinkedIn buys Lynda.com
LinkedIn has made its biggest acquisition to date, the $1.5bn purchase of online education site Lynda.com, home to videos and tutorials on everything from Photoshop to web development. LinkedIn users will now receive prompts to relevant courses, as explained by content head Ryan Roslansky:

 

Imagine being a job seeker and being able to instantly know what skills are needed for the available jobs in a desired city, like Denver, and then to be prompted to take the relevant and accredited course to help you acquire this skill.

Ad Age discussed the value of the move beyond LinkedIn’s plans around “connecting people to opportunity”. It will provide access to Lynda’s data and all that entails; we could well see the ability to serve ads to those who have completed certain courses, or recruiters being notified when they do so.

LinkedIn launches Elevate
LinkedIn has unveiled its latest app, Elevate, which suggests articles to users and allows them to share said stories across LinkedIn and Twitter. Anyone can download the app, but you’ll have to pay to use it. If you do subscribe, expect to see more networks, such as Facebook, added soon. screen-shot-2015-04-13-at-04-13-43

Snapchat’s Coachella filters
Snapchat released a set of time-specific geofilters for Coachella. Each related to a certain artist and was only available while they were on stage. Sadly, there wasn’t one for Shorty Jizzle and the Plumber Cracks.

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Brands jump on Instagram’s carousel
A number of brands are using Instagram’s new ‘carousel’ ad feature, which includes four photos and a link. Examples we’ve seen so far: Old Navy has produced a day-in-the-life series, Showtime has highlighted characters from ‘Penny Dreadful’ and Tiffany has juxtaposed a watch with New York architecture.

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Mountain Dew turns fan tweets into ads
Mountain Dew has brought back its popular Baja Blast flavour for a limited period. To promote this, it started posting discreet images of the flavour on its social channels, without making an overt announcement. This led to a fair bit of excitement on Twitter and beyond; the brand is now using celebratory user-generated tweets in its own online ads.

Stuart Weitzman combines Instagram and Facebook ads
Fashion brand Stuart Weitzman has launched a campaign that ties together Instagram and Facebook ads, as users are served videos on the former, followed by product posts on the latter. The promotion also includes the use of cinemagraphs, which, in the words of fashion icon Mugatu, are so hot right now. Boho

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The Generation Game

by Graham Jenks in News

I recently judged this brilliant case study for Paddy Power’s World Cup campaign that you probably saw last year. I’m pretty sure that Paddy Power brainstorms are a fun, outspoken and edgy place to be.

This reminds me of a few years ago when I found myself at the hands of a ‘brainstorming consultant’ who had us playing ‘idea catch’ around a boardroom table. One of those awkward ‘if my friends could see me now’ moments.

Systems and exercises to think outside the box and generate ideas are nothing new. I’m glad to say that most of the methods I have had the joy to sit through generally don’t work.

This is good. Creativity can’t be automated just yet and is seen as one of the last bastions against the rise of the machines. Creativity is about connecting stuff that’s unconnected and our brains are pretty good at it.

So I have a suggestion to throw into the circle which is easy to do and is, well… fun. If you’re a creative reading this I’m sure you have lost count of the times when you have filled the walls with ‘on brand’ ideas and started to run a bit dry.

My advice at this point is to throw caution to the wind and come up with some funny, rude and un-pc ideas. Basically something that would get you fired if it ever got near the client.

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Scamp credit: Tom Bellamy, additional details by Nick Hearne

In my experience coming up with ideas that you could never run leads to something that you can. After all, the best work often pushes the client and brand outside its comfort zone and stretching this can lead to something fresh and unexpected. Something Paddy Power is great at it.

After all, if you don’t have fun coming up with an idea, how can you expect people to have fun sharing it.

 

 

We Are Social’s Tune Up #183

by Abrye Redeker

Brands take advantage of the gullible on April 1

QANTAS added a U to their name, Google turned Maps into a giant Pacman game & Vodafone announced an emoji phone – these are just a few of the gags featured in Mumbrella’s 2015 April Fools Roundup.

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Fans celebrate Australia’s Cricket Win on Twitter

@CricketAUS took home the 2015 Cricket World Cup in a triumphant victory over @Blackcaps.  With 86.4 million tweet impressions, this final was among the most talked about games of the tournament. Find out the match’s most talked about moments in Twitter’s recap of how #CWC15 played out on their channel.

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Facebook launches new Messenger Platform

Facebook has rolled out its updated Messenger Platform, as predicted by last week’s Mashup (not to say we told you so). Users can now share content including GIFs and videos through a number of third-party partners, such as ESPN, JibJab and Giphy.

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Facebook adds new video features

Facebook has made a few updates to its video offering. First of all, you can now embed video on other websites by copying and pasting an HTML code.

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Meanwhile, there have been a few changes to the video API, divided into three categories: control, customise and ‘other’. ‘Control’ improvements include limiting an audience by age/gender/location, adding an expiration date and posting to a page but not the News Feed. ‘Customise’ add-ons allow customisable thumbnails and subtitles across multiple locales and ‘other’ posts look to make the upload process more efficient. The changes come with a new set of publishing partners for video.

New Facebook comment functionality

Facebook announced a new commenting system, which curates comments on web pages and Facebook links to those pages, then displays them simultaneously. Would you be interested in an illustrative GIF? I’m sure you would.

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Instagram launches Layout app

Instagram has revealed a new standalone app for iPhone, named ‘Layout’, which allows the creation of photo collages. Naturally, some brands have been quick to jump on it, including Victoria’s Secret and Sephora.

 

 

  A photo posted by Sephora (@sephora) on

 

Twitter launches Meerkat rival

Twitter has launched Periscope, a live video streaming app that looks set to rival (and quite possibly outdo) Meerkat. Users can notify some or all of their followers when a broadcast begins, see viewers as they join and comment live. Unlike Meerkat, videos can be stored in the camera roll and viewed in the app for up to 24 hours. Adweek produced a piece on first impressions, which you can read in full here; by and large, people seem impressed. It’s slicker and more polished than Meerkat, simple and easy to use. The only problem? Meerkat got there first. We’ll look forward to seeing how this one pans out.

As with anything that’s almost a week old, brands have rushed to get involved. Some good examples include adidas’s live stream of Rodríguez signing a new Real Madrid contract, Spotify posting behind-the-scenes content with Irish folk singer Conor O’Brien and Red Bull sharing exclusive video content from its Miami Music Week events.

Twitter and Foursquare partner for location services

Twitter and Foursquare have revealed a partnership that will allow Twitter’s location feature to be more specific, including landmarks and businesses, rather than just cities or areas. Foursquare CEO, Dennis Crowley, penned a blog post in light of the move, in which he discusses how the company has moved on since its initial focus on check-ins. The key takeout?

The big idea was to create a system that could crawl the world with people in the same way Google crawls web pages with machines.

Twitter starts testing autoplay video

Twitter is trialling autoplay videos for a small number of US-based iPhone and iPad users. Some will see an entire video autoplay in a loop, others will get a looping six-second teaser clip.

Brands and One Direction

So Zayn Malik left One Direction. Try and hold back the tears by looking at these examples of branded social media content, including Lidl cutting the price of One Direction easter eggs by a fifth.

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