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Brand Safety Across Platforms is Crucial for Secure and Contextual Marketing

Posted July 14, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 5:14 am

Johnson & Johnson has been able to optimize its utilization of scope offered by different platforms and audiences

brand safety and creativity

Marketers trying to optimize the contextual benefits of a platform realize the challenges related to viewability, brand safety and creativity in utilizing the latest formats and targeting options. Josh Palau, senior director, global partnerships, Johnson & Johnson, says, “Even the most efficient organization would have a really hard time developing one global concept and pushing it out to all the markets in a way that adheres to all the standards, best practices and nuances. To help with this one thing we’re trying to put in place is somewhat of a scorecard that can track how the creative we are developing lives up to the best practices of the platforms we are advertising on and align with our objectives.”

However brand safety is an area of prime concern for marketers especially when their ads are hijacked and abused by cyber criminals who use them in their spam videos and images that often carry malware. The question that arises is, how far are publishers willing to go in order to ensure that such abuse and misuse of brands don’t happen on their platforms? Says Palau, “What we really needed is more vigilance on the publisher’s side since they own the platform. Google was doing a good job of monitoring, but it can always get better – and, frankly, it did. When we think about this we look at: What new measures are you putting in place? What are the existing measures that are changing? Is there a scoring criteria for offensive content?”

Today, there are numerous formats available to marketers to leverage and it is really not possible to use all that consistently. Therefore, a fair amount of optimization is required to leverage the best opportunities across different platforms. Palau says, “There are just so many ways to tell a story online. The formats coming out now are a reaction to how people consume content. How do we ensure our creatives still feel energized to tell the while using new formats that publishers are finding to be successful. We are pushing everyone to think mobile-first, even if you don’t have mobile-ready creative. I think it’s about being present and useful when hitting the audience at the right time. Align content with what they want and let’s respect them by providing something that’s quick, that educates, and that fits into the platform they are on.”

Filed under: Brand Marketing

A Chat Bot With a Human Touch Beats AI Hands Down

Posted July 13, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 4:13 am

Restaurants first in New York and then in Los Angeles are rediscovering the advantages of human touch

Text Rex- dinosaur

Text Rex is a free texting recommendation service for restaurants in New York City for now. It has a dinosaur as a mascot, and has very efficient humans responding to requests from registered Text Rex users to find the perfect restaurant for their situation between 8:30 a.m. and 11 p.m. This unique chat bot was first launched in New York where it created quite a sensation. On the day it was launched, the number of people who signed up for the service was around 4,000, and today it has around 35,000 registered users just in New York City. On an average, the team handles around 500 requests every day from users planning a great dining experience.

Text Rex is the brainchild of music industry professionals, Andrew Steinthal and Chris Stang, who founded an enterprise called ‘The Infatuation’ that aimed at young diners although just about anybody is free to check out what The Infatuation website offered. They launched the hashtag #EEEEEATS which has been used more than 7 million times on Instagram but despite all that they found that offering dining ideas with a human touch is more likely to help them cultivate a deeper connection with users. And that was how they came upon the idea of Text Rex.

Following the tremendous response to Text Rex from New Yorkers, Stang said, “At first we thought, ‘what have we done? But we couldn’t start something then put it back in the box. People were excited and happy they could connect with someone. It’s a bridge between automation and a human audience.” He felt, AI solutions can’t “give people value in a fun, trustworthy way.” His partner, Steinthal says, “We have an engaged audience because we’re a discovery platform. Our secret sauce is that people trust us. We put brands and restaurants on our audience’s radar.”

Filed under: Digital

VSCO – A Color Management App That Enhances Online Imagery

Posted July 12, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 4:16 am

The app is the outcome of breakthrough innovation that was able to Produce a Blend of Lens Tech and Color Science for Web Use

Prizm lens technology

A new app from VSCO is making waves with the way it helps enhancement of picture and color quality of images that are uploaded on the web every day. The breakthrough innovation plays out via a new set of filters that replicate the revolutionary Prizm lens technology featured in the brand Oakley’s eyewear. How did VSCO do it? Call it fusion or call it a blend, most great things are the result of two established principles coming together to create something new and useful. Oakley engineers worked together with VSCO color scientists in developing the new technology that replicates the contrast benefits and enhanced visual clarity of Prizm for online imagery. VSCO thereafter integrated the new technology to filters, which calls it calls ‘presets.’

Along with the launch of the VSCO app, it was also decided to promote Oakley’s One Obsession #CantStop campaign aimed at motivating individuals to continually strive for the extra mile. As part of the campaign, VSCO community photographers were enlisted to share their views of #CantStop. The work included Oakley Prizm filters to represent the value of #CantStop in each individual’s life. Gene Paek, VSCO’s VP of marketing, says “We were able to match Oakley with authentic creators from the VSCO community based on the attributes they desired from a creative concept point of view, while also ensuring these creators felt empowered to capture their outdoor obsessions with our custom presets.”

Details typically missed by the naked eye are revealed by Prizm lenses that fine-tune individual wavelengths of color and optimize contrast. Based on the new technology developed by the joint efforts of Oakley and VSCO, three presets were designed by VSCO for specific environments, to represent three specific Prizm lenses – Prizm Sport, Prizm Snow and Prizm Tungsten. Each filter also has a slider that allows users to adjust color balance in the same way eyes color-adjust to Prizm lenses. “It is exciting to see our technology applied to another creative medium, allowing athletes and creators around the world to see the road, mountain and everyday life more clearly,” says Brock McCabe of Oakley.

Filed under: Marketing Innovation

Creating Meaningful Experiences With People-Based Marketing

Posted July 11, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 7:48 am

A 360-degree perspective of customers can ensure success in implementing a people-based marketing strategy

People-Based Marketing

For years, brands have been trying to market to consumers they know personally instead of strangers but couldn’t succeed in doing so with their digital marketing, but now it appears they have the options to do that and a lot more. They seem to have mastered the processes involved in highly targeted, effective, personalized marketing, after they were able to gain insights from increasingly more precise customer database. This helps them design and deliver the right messages at the right time to customers across the maximum number of media and channels. Marketers now apply the same amount of effort and automation to create inbound experiences that they have been applying for years to create outbound experiences. Today they are not just focused on creating decent programmatic or email or search but are actually engaging the consumers within a closer range.

Developing lasting and meaningful relationships with consumers by creating steady, special and valuable experiences that make them happy is the objective of people-based marketing. While in outbound marketing, the focus is on targeting, in inbound marketing, it is on real-time decision-making. When a customer visits a website, the offer he sees, should be the same that was emailed to him, or featured on his Facebook update, or in the display ad that drove him to the particular site. Personalization is what crosses both so they work in concert to orchestrate journeys that will optimize the value of the customer’s relationship with the marketer.

Integration of campaign tactics and the data that enables it, makes it possible for marketers to provide this seamless experience and although it is a simple concept, it can be challenging to execute. How do marketers make it work? A 360-degree perspective of the customer can offer three touch points for success in implementing a people-based marketing strategy. Advertising needs to be more addressable, e.g. campaigns should leverage media platforms to target customers personally, efficiently and at scale. Inbound channel interactions need to be managed efficiently, using advanced technology to provide more personal moments that are meaningful to the customer. Achieving better customer relationships by linking inbound and outbound customer experiences, using CRM and loyalty programs to manage lifetime customer value and optimizing marketing investment.

Filed under: Brand Marketing

Facebook Aims to Check Low Quality Links, Fake News, Clickbait and Spam

Posted July 6, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 3:47 am

The social site is keeping a close watch on users, to reduce the spread of sharing clickbait and misinformation

facebook Fake News

Facebook, the world’s largest social network, has about two billion monthly active users. It’s now taking a step to weed out low quality content like clickbait, sensationalism and hoax news, after hoax stories had spread widely during the US presidential election, e.g. Pop Francis endorsed Donald Trump and the federal agent, who had been investigating Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, was found dead.

Last Friday, Facebook revealed that it was going to change the computer algorithm written for news feed which aims to limit the reach of users, who frequently share links or clickbait content. According to the research done, there are only 0.1 percent people approximately, who share more than 50 posts every day with nuisance content such as fake news or misinformation, clickbait, etc, that create chaos or sensationalism among people.

Facebook aims to discourage the influence of these spammers and deprioritize the links from users that post more frequently on the social site rather than regular or informative and entertaining posts. As a result, it is expected to have a positive effect on the ranking of high quality content with useful informative posts because this update will apply to individual clickbait articles or links and not on pages, videos, photos or domains.

Once this update is done, publishers will see a reduction in distribution of links which they routinely share on public posts and they should keep in mind the basic guidelines to follow. In order to reach their audiences through Facebook the content they post, should be relevant and informative. Tackling fake news in news feed is a part of the new update showing Facebook’s efforts and by August, the update will de-emphasize news or stories with clickbait-type headlines or sub-headlines.

Filed under: Digital

Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam Launches “Stories Are Everywhere”

Posted July 3, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 4:31 am

At the 2017 Insta Stories Festival in Cologne, Germany, a Number of Instagram Stories films made by the agency were screened

Stories Are Everywhere

It’s Wieden + Kennedy’s first work for Instagram and it’s a huge multi-channel Instagram Stories campaign that was launched in the US, Germany and Italy in April. However, it is the agency’s Holland unit that came up with the video collection of 26 films that was screened at the Insta Stories Festival in Cologne, Germany, last week. Thierry Albert, creative director at W+K Amsterdam, says, “Instagram is one of the most loved brands in the world, and it’s their first global campaign. In a world full of hyperstylized communications, it felt fresh to shoot the campaign on iPhones, using only the Stories features. No cheats. No tricks. Anyone can do what we did. All you need is the Instagram app.”

The Insta Stories here cover different scenarios from a spectacular snowboarding jump, to something that appears cheeky, e.g., a snowboarder sticker on vanilla ice cream. Creating dynamic shortcuts to express a mood, a feeling or a moment, with the objective of channeling elicited emotions onto a product or brand, “Stories Are Everywhere” reflects how users have adapted a tactic advertisers have relied on for generations. “We intentionally mirrored the experience of Instagram Stories, so all the executions were short, fun and surprising. We didn’t take ourselves too seriously, because that’s what connecting with friends on Instagram is all about,” says Instagram executive creative director Bekah Sirrine.

Filed under: creativity

Hackers Paralyze WPP, the Largest Ad Agency in the World

Posted June 29, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 3:26 am

WPP workers using Windows operating systems were badly affected by the attack while those using Mac systems were unaffected

WPP - Petya attack

Many of the WPP agencies like JWT, Y&R, MediaCom and GroupM among others have been affected by the worldwide cyber attack, called Petya on 27 June 2017. A press release from WPP on the day of the attack said, “We are working with our IT partners and law enforcement agencies to take all appropriate precautionary measures, restore services where they have been disrupted, and keep the impact on clients, partners and our people to a minimum. Having taken steps to contain the attack, the priority now is to return to normal operations as soon as possible while protecting our systems. Our operations have not been uniformly affected, and issues are being addressed on a company-by-company basis. Many of our businesses are experiencing no or minimal disruption. We will provide further updates as the situation develops.”

Interestingly, Petya could not penetrate Mac computers even though it played havoc with PCs running on Windows operating systems. An intra group email alert sent out to all employees of all the WPP group agencies had asked employees to immediately shut down all PC running on Windows, till further notice. An internal memo attributed to WPP chairman, Martin Sorrell, said, “Many of you will have experienced significant disruption to your work. However, contrary to some press reports, WPP and its companies are still very much open for business. We are a group packed full of highly creative, ingenious and dedicated people. I urge you all to put those qualities to use in making sure that what our clients experience in the hours and days ahead is as close to business as usual as we can possibly manage.”

Is this attack a variation on the ‘Wanna cry’ attack that happened last month? Many experts and analysts now believe that the Petya attack is, in fact, a variation of Wanna Cry, which also targeted Windows systems and demanded ransom in bitcoin payment. Although Microsoft developed a series of “patches” in March, both the Wanna Cry attack and Petya cause a lot of damage to numerous businesses and departments of government bodies. “Enterprises are clearly not prioritizing patches effectively. While some organizations may have situations where they are unable to patch, that excuse doesn’t scale when you get a worm causing damage on this level,” says Josh Zelonis, senior analyst at Forrester Researcher.

Filed under: Agencies

Now Ads on Facebook Will Allow Brands to Target Specific People in Households

Posted June 27, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 8:40 pm

The new feature will help reduce waste in ad spend by tailoring ad-targeting based on products that individuals have purchased or not

household audience feature

Facebook has now made it possible for brands to target their ads down to specific households if not individuals. It will soon be introducing a new household audience feature that will allow brands to not just target individual families but even go further by targeting specific individuals in the family. With this new tool brands can now narrow down their targeting to individuals in the family who influence purchase decisions as well as those in the family who make the actual purchases. The tool allows brands to select a source audience uploaded on the social site comprising customers drawn from an email list or any other database. The marketers can then turn on the household audience feature to filter down their ads to specific individuals in the household.

Graham Mudd, product marketing director at Facebook, said, “What we want to do basically is leverage the power of our network to enable that kind of influencing or to support that kind of influencing across the family. Explaining how this might work during the holidays, he gave an example where he purchased products from Brand A, and invariably ends up in the brand’s customer database. Next, if his wife wants to buy him a gift, Brand A would target Mudd’s wife and even their children with ads designed to influence their purchasing decisions even as they’re shopping for their dad.

Traditionally advertising has been all about how you show the same ads to the same household at the same time. Facebook’s new feature will change all that by identifying individual members of the same household based on signals, as well as the relationships among family members and also the frequency of shared check-ins or where they access the internet. This will mean that advertising dollars will begin moving away from television networks toward Facebook in a major way because marketers will now be able to get a lot more ROI (Return on Investment) for the money they spend on advertising. This kind of precise targeting will ensure that brands have a better chance of maximizing their chances of getting their customers to make faster purchase decisions.

Filed under: Digital

A Facebook Messenger Bot That Turns Emotions Into GIFs on a giant LED display

Posted June 26, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 6:38 pm

San Francisco-based agency Heat made this innovative, artificial-intelligence-based program for this year’s for Cannes

Facebook Messenger Bot

San Francisco-based creative agency, Heat, came up with an interesting application – a Facebook Messenger chat bot that reacts to users’ emotions. Stijn Jansen, digital art director at Heat, said the idea for the chat bot began about a couple of months back when about 400 young people were competing, networking and attending classes in connection with Cannes. Jansen recalled his time at this school and wanted to do something to make it more interesting for the attending students. He said, “I think exactly 10 years ago I was an attendee of that school as well and it’s a very overwhelming week. Their cubicles are kind of sad-looking, very white—not the most inspiring space to brainstorm. So, we wanted to be really close to them where they could hang out, escape from all the white light.”

Jansen calls his innovation Heatbot, which has a 42”by 42” LED matrix panel fitted with more than 1,700 lights where each pixel contains three LED lights making up the display of the chat bot. A user must type a code into Facebook Messenger to verify that he is inside the Cannes installation before starting interaction with Heatbot. The technology that connects the panel to Facebook Messenger is what makes this chat bot interesting as it offers scope for other applications. Heatbot first asks a few questions to the user about how he is feeling. On the backend, Heatbot covers eight basic emotions that are connected to 1,000 responses.

Depending on the answers it gives to the users, Heatbot then produces on the LED display, a series of GIFs and photos that relate to the emotion and are based on color theory. For happy users, it may show goofy GIFs while for those who are sad; it will show GIFs of hugs and smiles. “Heatbot plays a sequence of GIFs for you that make you feel a certain way, “If you’re feeling good, it wants to celebrate with you. If you’re feeling tired, sad, lonely or uninspired, then it will create content that helps you get over that hump,” Jansen said.

Filed under: Digital

Reality Check for Traditional Supermarkets as Amazon Acquires Whole Foods

Posted June 23, 2017 by Rashmi D @ 5:23 am

Amazon will bring in it full range of big data crunching technology to engage customers more intensely than ever before

whole food market

When Amazon acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion on June 16, the food retail world woke up to a new reality – the prospect of relentless competition from the eCommerce giant and its desire to dominate the market for years to come. The fact that Amazon backs it up with amazing efficiency and daring strategies, makes it even more of a worry for its competitors. On the other hand, the supermarkets and grocery businesses are the ones that will have to figure out ways to meet the challenge. Amazon will be unloading its heavy artillery armed with big data and the only way to tackle that will be to match the firepower which most supermarkets and grocery businesses don’t have.

If they try to make peace, Amazon is likely to make them an offer they can’t refuse, and tell them ‘it’s my way or the highway.’ Grocery retail is now increasingly coming into the focus of technology as traditional and relatively old-fashioned businesses gradually come under its ambit. These segments haven’t had any innovation for years even though some outlets offer self-checkout but that is few and far between. In most supermarkets, customers still have to stand in long queues and that’s where technology is going to aim at. It boils down to convenience and most importantly, time.

The use of customer data is unknown to these traditional outlets because most of them are not bothered about their customers’ behavior at the point of purchase. They don’t know that customers’ market movements can be tracked and so can their purchase patterns. Amazon is definitely going to bring all of that into play with Whole Foods, which is good for the market. Of course, Whole Foods had literally dug itself into a hole with its ridiculously high prices for the organic foodstuff to sells. Amazon is surely going to make the necessary corrections because it will aim for scale in quick time. Amazon’s won’t entirely go for ecommerce with Whole Foods but will also spice up the in-store experience with technology that will help eliminate queues. Overall, grocery retail is in for a major shakeup.

Filed under: Digital
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