We’re already helping Optus, eBay, Kia Automotive, Nivea, Expedia, Sony, Roadshow Films, Seven Network, Open Universities Australia & Adidas.
Brands post more on Instagram than Facebook
As organic reach on Facebook reaches an all time low, brands are turning to Instagram. A new study has shown that the world’s top 250 brands post on average 9.3 times a week to Instagram, but only 8.8 times to Facebook. Recently topping 300 million active monthly users, Instagram is proving to be an attractive place for brands, not least because all content posted will reach every single fan’s feed.
Facebook to provide topic data to brands
Through a partnership with DataSift, Facebook will now offer brands an insight into who is talking about what on the platform. This aptly named ‘topic data’ will include the demographics of people discussing a given topic, the specific things spoken about within it, such as brand names or products, and even the sentiment of the discussion. Advertisers will also be able to filter by the location and demographic information of the people within the conversation.
Twitter adds two new features for advertisers
This week, Twitter has launched a new analytics home page and in-tweet promotion feature, to make it even easier for brands to promote themselves on the platform. The analytics home page will provide a holistic view of tweet activity, such as how many people have seen your tweets, mentioned your username and shared your links. Also updated is the ‘quick promote’ feature which can now be done directly from a Twitter profile rather than through the analytics tool.
Twitter experiments with TV timelines
As the popularity of second-screening during live TV grows, Twitter is experimenting with ways of making this experience easier and more enjoyable for users. The new feature would track when users are talking about or searching for a particular programme and offer them the option to try out the show’s dedicated timeline. If the user accepts, they would see a new Twitter interface showing three column feeds (highlights, media and all) helping audiences to delve deeper into TV conversations and the promise of more eyes on your hilarious X Factor tweets.
Date with Ex Machina
The users of Tinder at SXSW saw a new arrival, an attractive 25-year-old named Ava. However, the furious right-swipers of SXSW may have come up disappointed. The profile was actually that of Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, who plays artificial intelligence in the film, with interaction driven by a bot inviting users to the @meetava Instagram page. The clever campaign was a novel use of a hard-to-crack platform and a fitting approach for a film about a robot trying to understand what it is to be human. It is unsure whether the crestfallen bachelors of SXSW will agree however.
Twitter buys live video app, Periscope
Its been confirmed that Twitter has acquired Periscope, a beta stage startup that lets users “explore the world in real-time through someone else’s eyes”. The move into live video is an obvious one that fits seamlessly with the real-time news element of the platform as well as their current focus on video content. The deal has come at a time when Meerkat, a similar live streaming video app, has gained a lot of traction. But, Twitter might have put a stop to Meerkat’s exponential growth by cutting access to the platform’s social graph, essentially making Meerkat users build their own following from scratch rather than using the fan base they have already acquired on Twitter.
YouTube launches 360-degree video
YouTube makes the first steps towards a virtual reality offering by introducing 360-degree videos. The videos can be watched through a browser, but also on mobile, with the android app allowing users to change the viewing angle based on where the phone is pointing. This feature means the android mobile app can be used with a Google Cardboard headset. YouTube have uploaded a playlist of the first 360-degree videos that are available.
Alibaba invests in Snapchat
Chinese e-commerce group, Alibaba has invested $200m into Snapchat. The deal pushes the value of the four-year-old photo-messaging app to an impressive $15 billion, putting it in the top ranks for privately-held start-ups. Snapchat is currently blocked in China, so it is still unclear of Alibaba’s plans for the app.
Apple buys all Twitter ad space for smart watch launch
In a bid to stop rival brands hijacking conversation around the Apple Watch unveiling, the technology giant bought out Twitter ad space on the day of the launch. Firstly with a promoted trend around the ‘Apple event’, but also with promoted tweets linked to all keywords associated with Apple and watches. The move follows on from last year’s iPhone 6 launch, where Samsung managed to steal much of the Twitter conversation.
Brands bid for attention during Apple Watch launch
Of course, that didn’t stop brands trying to join the conversation, so here’s our pick of some of the best and worst attempts…
— innocent drinks (@innocent) March 10, 2015
— Hostess Snacks (@Hostess_Snacks) March 9, 2015
— Papa John’s Pizza (@PapaJohns) March 9, 2015
— Corona (@corona) March 10, 2015
— Charmin (@Charmin) March 9, 2015
Marketing Magazine recently published this article by me about the evolving role of video content. They’ve been kind enough to let us reproduce it in full below.
Until a few years ago, the way marketing thought about video revolved around a very basic concept: the TV advert. This approach meant that a disproportionate amount of strategic, creative and production effort went into the creation of a single piece of content. Although it was adaptable to several formats, could be watched on several channels and inspire related content, the TV spot was a single, isolated element.
Today’s reality is very different. In the past brands’ stories could be told through one, or perhaps a few, TV ads. Today, they need to be part of a conversation, evolving through many different pieces of content in different forms.
The stories brands want to communicate must adapt with the way people use the internet, and the devices they use it on. They must unfold in channels where people want to engage, without interrupting them, choosing the best times and frequencies that are relevant for people’s lives. This approach is the very foundation of a content strategy; and this includes video content. Progressive brands are embracing this approach and integrating it into their strategies.
This doesn’t mean getting rid of TV ads – quite the opposite. It does mean rethinking them, making them part of a content ecosystem that builds a story that people want to engage with.
The number of different ways to communicate with audiences is growing constantly, stimulated by the social channels themselves. For example, as well as giving an advantage to video content in the newsfeed through “autoplay”, Facebook is experimenting with video channels inside Pages, for people who are interested in video content from a brand; a concept similar to YouTube’s “Channels”.
It’s not only about choosing communication tools that are relevant to modern media consumption patterns. It’s about developing content for all the interest categories that a brand wants to interact with. Just look at all the YouTube “Creators” that have grown hugely in popularity; what do they have in common? Their focus is on a single specific type of interest, not a generic approach to video content.
This approach to editorial video strategy is essential for brands that want to develop a deeper relationship with their communities. Studying behaviors, tastes and needs of people is even more crucial now for brands. In the past, TV ads (and their publishing online, e.g. through pre-roll ads) has been totally detached from ongoing editorial plans, or just tied to it by conceptual references.
Today, winning brands are choosing to put editorial planning at the core of their content strategy, where creative is expressed through long-form, mid-form or short form video. TV spots are part of this, extending it, making it more frequent and familiar to people. But it’s just a part of a whole system. A TV ad is now just part of the editorial ecosystem: it’s not the isolated “video star” it used to be.
Facebook makes page likes more accurate
Facebook is cleaning up its act and removing any page likes from accounts that have been either deactivated or memorialised. Page owners should expect to see a slight dip in the number of ‘likes’ on their page, though audience data will be more accurate as a result.
Clickable ads come to Instagram
So far, Instagram ads have been very limited. Only a few select companies could use them. All of that is about to change.
Instagram has introduced its first ever clickable links. Advertisers will be able to use the platform’s new multi-photo carousel ads to create a “more vivid way.. to influence people”. Instagram released the below video to explain the changes. Do you like the way these ads look?
Twitter reveals ‘Partner audiences’
It’s official: promoted tweets are going to show up outside of Twitter for the first time!
Twitter has added a new feature, named ‘Partner audiences’, which allows advertisers to target any of 1,000 different audience categories, based on signs of intent outside of Twitter. For example, a luxury brand could set an income threshold, while a coffee brand could target people who… well, people who buy coffee.
“What makes Twitter unique is that tweets can flow from Twitter to other mediums seamlessly, like TV, websites, and mobile applications,” the company said in its blog post.
Nestle has already trialled the system, targeting ads for its new Butterfinger Cup Minis to people who buy peanut-butter flavoured goods. Meanwhile, Ad Age has pointed out how Facebook launched a similar feature a couple of years ago – it’ll be interesting to see how this affects Twitter’s ad revenue.
Kik allows advertisers to target
If you like news about ad targeting, you’re in the right place. Kik, the messaging app, has also added new targeting capabilities, this time based on gender, country or device (Apple vs. Android). The network already has 60 brands using its Promoted Chats, including Funny or Die, which has over 1 million followers. Since the update, Seventeen Magazine has begun targeting its chats to women.
Tweet-to-unlock Avengers trailer
Marvel used a promoted tweet to tease its new Avengers trailer, asking fans to tweet in order to unlock the preview. Only once enough people had tweeted was it finally revealed. Before you Marvel lovers run over to Twitter, the trailer is now live.
Heinz and We Are Social create ‘Grow Your Own’
If you’re in need of some natural goodness, head over to the Heinz Tomato Ketchup UK Facebook page, where Heinz and We Are Social have brought back their classic ‘Grow Your Own’ campaign, this time to the whole of Europe. Users can sign up to win tomato seeds and are then encouraged to upload photos of their plants and enter competitions in order to win further prizes.
Penguin asks what books #YourMum likes
This is not a drill. Ahead of Mother’s Day, Penguin Books has used #YourMum as a campaign hashtag. Yes, you heard it. Of course, Twitter responded in a mature and sensible manner.
According to Campaign Brief, “While size may be important to some big clients (‘I’ve got a bigger agency than you’), it is by no means the only measure of an agency’s worth. Which is why Campaign Brief introduced in 1997 a new way of measuring our agencies: by relating their size to their creative product.”
With this in mind, it was an honour to find We Are Social Sydney ranked in the top 25% of creativity on the recent Campaign Brief HOT+COLD chart. The chart, which maps a number of factors including size and creative output, ranks agencies of all sizes in the Australian market.
“I’m a big believer in letting your work speak for itself with regards how you are going as an agency,” says We Are Social creative director Oz Dean. “Having never entered the Hot+Cold Chart (Billings Index) we felt it would give us an idea of how we were going creatively if we did. We are of course delighted at our position on the chart. It’s a great start to 2015.”
Read more at Campaign Brief
Technology has been ingrained in our lives for a long time now; it’s almost unthinkable for a large proportion of the world to even leave home without their smartphone. But technology is also evolving, so quickly that we often lose track of the possibilities and potential available to us today, whether innovative, useful or impactful.
In this regular series of blog posts, our heads of technology, creative and marketing will champion their best examples of ‘Innovative Social Thinking’, ideas that combine insights into social behavior with technology to form new connections, changing the world ever so slightly for the better.
Be My Eyes – Tom Ollerton, Marketing Director
Be My Eyes is an app that connects blind and partially sighted people with volunteer helpers from around the world via live video chat on smartphones. The app allows blind people to use the eyes of the helper to help them with tasks that they can’t manage without sight.
How does a blind person use a smartphone? The iPhone has a great feature called VoiceOver which enables people who are completely blind to use an iPhone with synthetic speech and touch-based interface. All the code is open source and the translations are being sourced in twenty languages currently.
This is a great example of social thinking using the motivations of people’s desire to help combined with clever technology to help someone in a moment of need.
The voice donor – Matt Payne, Head of Creative Technology
The voice donor is a campaign that ran in China on Wechat. It asked users to donate their voice to help create audio books for blind children. WeChat, like many social apps, allows people to send each other voice recordings usually used when typing a message becomes a nuisance. Up to 510,000 people opted to donate. When opting in to the campaign users were sent just a short paragraph of text. This text is taken from any number of books. They simply had to record themselves reading out the paragraph and send it back. With all copy being served by a coded management system all clips were easily tied together to create full audio books.
The technology behind this is pretty simple. Its the execution on a social platform that, for me, is innovative. Asking users to give just moments of their time to create something much bigger than any brand campaign has done in the past. It truly is a campaign for good with amazing results. I want to see this rolled out globally with all countries helping to donate books.
Megafaces – James Nester, Creative Director
Innovation is the lovechild of two old ideas. As illustrated perfectly by the multi-award-winning ‘Megafaces’ which fusing Pin Art toys (remember them?) with the ubiquitous Selfie.
Behind this stroke of genius was Russian ad agency Axis and their telecomms client Megafon, who were sponsoring the 2014 Paralympics in Sochi. They wanted to help anyone in the nation become part of Olympic History.
So they created ‘The world’s first large scale LED kinetic façade’. Booths were placed in the Olympic park as well as 30 cities, giving anyone the chance to have their faces photographed and recreated in 3D, 3,500 times bigger on the Pavilion façade. It worked just like a huge pin screen that could extend out to a depth of up to two metres. A digital Mount Rushmore.
All participants were messaged a video to share with friends, showing the moment they were the face of the Olympics. Awe-inspiring social thinking.