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On the U.K’s Channel 4, Normal Ads Suddenly Appear Blurred

Posted September 20, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 11:14 am

An unusual ad to convey the importance of regular tests during National Eye Health Week – 2017

Whirlpool

Channel 4 is a British public-service television broadcaster which partnered with the Royal National Institute of Blind People to run a series of unusual ad breaks to spread the awareness, among people to raise awareness of eye health and the importance of regular tests.

Channel 4 network modified the existing ads for Amazon Echo, Freeview, O2, Specsavers and Rabanne, so they suddenly appear blurry. It is just a simulation of eye disorder such as glaucoma, hemianopia, macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetes related sight loss.

The approach works especially well in the Specsavers spot below. The eyewear chain’s original vision-care message gains sharper focus as the video grows progressively hazy and dark from the edges, replicating the effects of glaucoma. “It’s great that we’ve found five brave and forward-thinking brands to work with, but we wish there were more,” said David Amodio, digital and creative leader for sales at Channel 4. “Brands talk a good game when it comes to accessibility and diversity initiatives, but you’d be surprised just how hard it is once you try to push these ideas over the line.”

Fashion brand Paco Rabanne was quite confident and clear about the ads which aired during reality show Updateable between 9.15 and 9.30 p.m., and was happy to educate the public about the effects of cataract especially, how cataract clouds their vision. For the sight-impaired viewers, a descriptive audio was also added so they can listen and become aware about the illness.

As a promotion for National Eye Health Week, and raising awareness and inspiring viewers to get regular eye checkup, David Amodio while creating commercials, said, “We have set ourselves an objective to make advertisers think about audiences with accessibility challenges such as hearing loss or sight loss.” Channel 4 expects other marketers to also take care and “consider improving from an accessibility point of view in the future.”

“We are the Superheroes” a Cannes Grand Prix winning film, is one of the notable campaigns that Network 4 had created and in addition to that during the games, with deaf artist and actor David Ellington, the channel also ran “the most accessible ad break ever” with full sign-language support for spots.

Filed under: creativity

Facebook’s New Move Has Brand Safety Tools for Advertisers and Publishers

Posted September 15, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 12:10 pm

The move is aimed at reassuring advertisers that their ads won’t show up on pages with inappropriate or objectionable content

Whirlpool

For over a year now, Facebook has been affected by controversy regarding brand safety of its advertisers whose ads ended up in pages with inappropriate or objectionable content. For brands that spend heavenly amounts in advertising on social sites like Facebook this is nothing but an outrageous instant of being let down by a platform on which they depended for their growth momentum. It all began with a stern warning by P&G (Proctor & Gamble) to Facebook and Google in particular to figure out a way and ensure that its ads didn’t appear on pages with inappropriate or objectionable content.

A number of new brand safety features have been announced by Facebook as a measure against ‘fake news’ providers, under mounting pressure to pacify irate mega advertisers who began threatening to pull out all advertising from the site. The brand safety tools that Facebook announced to address this issue will allow advertisers to see where their ads are likely to appear before they launch a campaign. This will include placement and category opt-out lists, which will allow advertisers better control over the placement of their ads in pages with content on both Facebook itself as well as placements bought via its third-party Audience Network.

The Facebook update also includes an analytics tool which allows advertisers to see where their ads have appeared post-campaign. It will also include ads that will run on its ad breaks, instant articles, branded content, and audience network offerings, as part of media space purchases. Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s vp of global marketing solutions, said, “This is an area where you’re going to see us make ongoing progress on and ultimately we care deeply about the health of the ecosystem on our platform¬—that includes publishers, our consumers that use our products and advertisers. We want to ensure that advertisers feel confident in their investment on our platform and brand safety and what content ads are running against has been an area of concern.”

Filed under: Brand Marketing

Whirlpool “care count” Program helps Boost Self-Esteem and Increases Student Attendance in a School

Posted September 12, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 11:23 am

Whirlpool Innovative Campaign Give Students Clean Clothes and a Fresh Start

Whirlpool

Every day in the US, more than 4,000 students drop out of school because of the lack of clean clothes. They don’t have enough confidence to connect with their peers and teachers in class and are afraid of being taunted by their classmates. Hence, rather than feel uncomfortable in school, these students without clean clothes would simply stay at home resulting in the increase of non-attendance.

With the goal of providing students with clean clothes and reduce non-attendance, the school needed to boost the confidence and desire to connect with their classmates and teachers in a classroom. In the efforts to quantify the problem and work towards the solution, Whirlpool launched the Everyday – “care count” program. As part of the program, Whirlpool and DigitasLBi installed washers and dryers for the disadvantaged kids in school districts – one in Missouri and 17 schools in California.

After over a year, the school identified students spending about six more days in school as compared to the previous years. The school also identified children with the need for clean clothes and more than 90% of the kids increased their attendance. Moreover 95% of the participants showed motivation in class and participated in extracurricular activities. What’s more, their peer interactions and test scores also improved to a great extent.
According to Martha Lacy, principal at the David Weir K-8 Academy in Fairfield, California, “Up until this year,” despite programs providing kids with better nutrition and social services, “we’ve never ever had anything that would address having clean clothes.”

Whirlpool senior brand manager Chelsey Lindstrom, notes, “We originally set out to impact attendance rates. But what we saw was that the program impacted so much more. When we all care cooking, cleaning and washing, every day, we believe we can change the world.” This is the power of these simple acts.

Filed under: Brand Marketing

The Gloves are off – P&G Chief Brand Officer Pritchard Sets Terms

Posted September 6, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 5:16 am

Internet giants, Google and Facebook are on notice to deal with growing cases of online fraud, scams and controversy that affect brand security

Google map parking location

For a company with a marketing budget of $ 2.4 billion, it’s not very difficult to make even the most intransigent segments of its supply chain to stand up and listen when it makes a point. Recently when the chief brand officer of P&G, Marc Pritchard said he has had enough of the lackadaisical approach of the biggest gainers from online advertising, Google and Facebook, toward growing cases of online fraud, scams and controversy that affect brand security, it became trending news. In a way, it has stirred a hornet’s nest if we consider how the other major online advertisers are going to take their respective cues from that.

While speaking at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s annual leadership meeting in Hollywood, Florida Pritchard set out his terms for spending P&G’s mega ad budget on digital media platforms. He wasn’t ready to give more than a year to the digital platforms especially the duopoly, Google and Facebook, to sort out the mess in their backyards. “Frankly, there’s, we believe, at least 20 to 30 percent of waste in the media supply chain because of lack of viewability, nontransparent contracts, nontransparent measurement of inputs, fraud and now even your ads showing up in unsafe places,” he said.

Information coming out of Facebook suggests that it will soon announce a number of new tools and policies aimed at assuring advertisers that the safety and security of their brand is a top priority for the mega social site. Now, whether it’s due to Pritchard’s warning or because Facebook realizes that brand safety is an idea whose time has come, is not clear but the coincidence is surely making Pritchard’s hardball play look more and more sensible. After all, advertisers, especially those with serious cash in their pockets are getting frustrated by this curious inertia that has gripped the digital platforms surviving and thriving on advertising revenues. It was a timely wakeup call.

Filed under: Digital

Google Map makes it Easier to Find Parking When You Drive into Town

Posted August 30, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 10:06 am

A good update that could have come earlier especially from a global leader like Google, which can make amends with better features soon

Google map parking location

Earlier this year, Google Map offered users in the US the option to see whether parking is going to be difficult close to their destination and if so, whether there are other parking options available. Now, Google has extended this facility to 25 cities outside the US. These cities are, Alicante, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Cologne, Darmstadt, Dusseldorf, London, Madrid, Malaga, Manchester, Milan, Montreal, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Sao Paulo, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Toronto, Valencia and Vancouver. Additionally, Google has also updated its Maps platform with a new feature called “parking difficulty” that is accessed via an icon on the Google Maps destination card.

The level of parking difficulty is categorized into ‘limited,’ ‘medium’ and ‘easy’ on the basis of historical parking data and machine learning. The feature is presently available on phones with Android OS. After identifying their parking slot, when a user taps his selected option, it automatically gets added to his trip. Since walking from the parking slot to the final destination is a vital matter, Google has mapped this walking distance and now offers walking directions from the parking slot to the final destination. Another parking reminder feature that allows users to record their parking locations was launched by Google Maps in April this year.

However, this new update has been found wanting by some users who felt that unless they get to know the number of parking slots available in a parking garage recommended by Google, as well as the price they have to pay for booking the parking slot the new update Map update isn’t worth much. They have a point when they point out that certain parking apps in Europe already offer such information and it’s only fair to expect it from the global leader. Of course, it won’t be long before Google identifies this gap in its offering and comes up with a solution that could include the option reserve parking slots in a garage.

Filed under: Digital

Ads from Pages That Spread Fake News will be Blocked by Facebook

Posted August 29, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 9:31 am

It is the latest move by the social platform in its fight against the menace of fake news and malicious content

facebook fake news

“False news is harmful to our community. It makes the world less informed and erodes trust,” said Facebook. The social site, that had become one of the main distribution points for fake news, has been criticized during the 2016 US presidential election as many think it influenced the election. So it is now trying to set things right by taking additional steps to find out the root cause of how it spreads.

According to the announcement, Facebook won’t allow advertisements on the platform that repeatedly share false stories – the social site will send articles to third-party fact-checking companies and will use updated machine learning to detect possible hoaxes. This is the extension of existing policy of blocking ads for links to stories and the latest attempts to clean-up the news-sharing function of the social platform.

According to the Facebook product managers, Satwik Shukla and Tessa Lyons, the move is really to help prevent pages from distributing misinformation, and making money they don’t deserve. According to the managers, the company will focus on three areas: disrupting the economic incentives to create false news, building new products to curb the spread of false news, helping people to take informed decisions about what they read and share.

They wrote “We’ve found instances of pages using Facebook ads to build their audiences in order to distribute false news more widely. Now, if a page repeatedly shares stories that have been marked as false by third-party fact-checkers, they will no longer be able to buy ads on Facebook. If Pages stop sharing false news, they may be eligible to start running ads again.”

Facebook news feed product manager, Sara Su said in a blog that Facebook would keep on testing its “related article” and work on other changes to its news feed to cut down on false news.

Filed under: Digital

Square, the Mobile Payment Processor, Unveiled its First Physical Store

Posted August 28, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 9:20 am

San Francisco based Square Inc.’s first brick and mortar outlet, opens at Mulberry Street

Square brick-mortar-store

Square, the company that started out providing small businesses with a credit card reader for smart phones has grown big enough to have a store of its own.

The company started by selling smartphone plug-ins that let food-truck vendors and other small businesses accept credit cards. It attracted larger merchants by offering a suite of services and software that make running a business easier. Those services have boosted the company’s financial performance and its stock including loans, food delivery and inventory-management software.

Initially square started as a business-to-business operation focused primarily on startups that were not able to bear the heavy credit card transaction fees. In a true sense, it is not a store, since from Monday to Friday, the showroom is open by appointment only and on weekends, the public can stroll in as well. The showroom holds point-of-sale tablets, third party accessories and credit card readers including bar-code scanners and iPhone cases. Square Capital, in addition to mobile payment processing, offers small business loans and automated payroll. There is rotating selection of products, which range from handmade jewelry to fancy packs and candles.

According to the company’s hardware lead, Jesse Dorogusker, the company had plans to open showrooms in other cities too, but initially started in New York because it already has an office in SoHo and hundreds of Square customers are within walking distance; also, there is heavy foot traffic. It will be easy for those customers who have questions or concerns and often want to meet face to face rather than communicate via email or on the phone.

In addition to Square, there is another Line, called Line Friends the Japanese messaging app, which also opened a store in Times Square. Similarly Warby Parker, the fashionable and affordable eyeglass company, has also built its lineup of retail stores across the US after selling only on the internet.

Filed under: Brand Marketing

Uber Launches a New Feature – Uber for Business

Posted August 25, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 10:13 am

The new feature is designed to absorb user feedback for streamlining travel policy, group-based access as well as custom programs

uber for business

Uber, ridesharing app is introducing a major revamp for its business platform and has launched a business-to-business (B2B) model called “Uber for Business”. This model incorporates a lot of user feedback to enable new cases like late-night rides, from work to home, daily commuters and much more. It helps the organization in saving costs as it ensures that employees travel within company travel policy.

It is time-saving for admins and managers since previously HR mangers used to tell employees what they were or were not allowed to do in terms of Uber usage, now as per the “Uber for Business” model business set rules ahead of time to streamline the process of using rides as well as group-based access levels and custom program creation.

Based on the employee eligibility or transportation requirements, a manager can configure programs like the type of car used, what time of day the service is to be used or even geographic limits can be set for Uber. How much an employee can spend and set travel location and if the rider’s travel could fall out of policy, they will be prompted to add their own payment method, while staying within the limit of organization policy. So they follow flexible approach, where they can mix and match these rules that work best for their company.

“Late night rides policy” as per this policy managers can set automated programs for airport rides, business travel and any other mobility needs such as, if employees are working late night, under this policy they can use a comfortable ride as this policy works for trips taken after 8 p.m.

Overall, “Uber for Business” is a great redesign with new features and has changed the way employees travel around the world as well as its use for businesses of all sizes for future growth. The Uber for business dashboard gives administrative flexibility and looks like a convenient option for expense departments trying to ease the workload.

Filed under: Marketing Innovation

Google and Walmart Team up to meet Amazon’s Challenge

Posted August 24, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 10:05 am

For the first time, Walmart is using a website other than its own to sell its products while Google sees a real challenge in the search business

google-walmart-teamup

Very few people would have thought that two global leaders in their respective fields would feel threatened by a single rival who is thundering towards their huge markets at great speed. That rival is Amazon, the world’s biggest e-retailer which dominates online shopping, aims to win a sizable chunk of customers from the world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer, Walmart, and is posing a serious threat to Google’s dominance of the search market as more and more people start their web searches for products directly on Amazon instead of Google. It has set alarm bells ringing ever more frequently in the Google and Walmart boardrooms, eventually bringing these two global giants together to tackle the common threat to their dominance.

Now Google will start offering Walmart products to people using Google Express mobile app and website. Hundreds of thousands of Walmart items can be purchased through Google Assistant, the AI-driven software assistant found in smartphones running Google’s Android software and Google Home devices. For the first time ever, Walmart, the world’s biggest retailer felt obliged to make its products available outside its own website, in the United States. Here’s how it works – first, customers need to associate their Walmart account to Google via a feature called Easy Reorder that helps organize the items that the customers will purchase online and in store by speaking to Google Home.

The two intimidated giants said their partnership is more about where online shopping is going in the future and less about how it is done today. Google Home, the voice-controlled speaker on Google will surely offer stiff competition to Amazon’s Echo and the future Walmart customers will reorder items they had purchased before, by speaking to Google Home. Walmart is also experimenting with new delivery methods with Google and in a year’s time, shoppers will be able to buy groceries and pick up voice orders on Walmart stores. Marc Lore, president and CEO of Walmart US ecommerce, said, “When it comes to voice shopping, we want to make it as easy as possible for our customers—that’s why it makes sense for us to team up with Google.”

Filed under: Digital

Relations Between Agency and Marketer Depends on Trust

Posted August 23, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 11:12 am

Agencies and marketers should rebuild fractured relations, continue partner on industry initiatives and keep open the lines of communication

agency and marketer

Agencies work for marketers and every brand has its horizon of work. As the marketer or brand has the responsibility to develop a product, they lend emphasis on product development rather than on the creative visual communication needed for marketing or selling of the product. That’s a full-time job done by ad agency professionals and it’s just not the core competence of the marketer. At the same time, it’s a critical part of the marketing exercise and so a lot depends on how well the brand marketer and the ad agency is able to sync and coordinate on a common strategy to implement the ideas generated by the ad agency. Here it boils down to ‘trust,’ which is a very big factor between the brand and the agency.

As far as the brand marketer is concerned, it is absolutely essential to treat the ad agency as a partner and not just as a vendor that will work according to the brief. Here it’s important to understand what exactly is the ‘brief’ – it is actually the guideline that the brand marketer provides to the client about the strategy to be followed. It is for the brand to understand why it has hired an ad agency to work on its creative communications and leave the arena free for the agency to come up with interesting ideas based on the strategy that has been outlined.

On the part of the ad agency, it is important that it should not step into uncharted territory by raising questions about the brand’s product offering. The agency’s job is find the best and most interesting way to communicate the benefits of the brand’s product. It should not exceed the brief or try to get involved with product development. Of course, these are not hard and fast line that either the brand or the agency doesn’t ever cross, but these are always exceptions and not the rule. That’s why in cases of misunderstanding or any gap in communication between the brand and the agency, there should be CBMs (confidence building mechanisms) available to handle crises.

Filed under: Agencies
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