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Google Search and YouTube Drove Alphabet's Third-Quarter Revenue Growth

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 21:44:11 +0000


A year after Google spelled out its plans to evolve into Alphabet Inc., legacy products including search and YouTube continue to be the biggest revenue generators for the company.

According to its third-quarter earnings announced today, Alphabet once again beat analysts' estimates, reporting total revenue of $22.5 billion, a 20 percent increase over the same period last year. Earnings on a per-share basis totaled $9.06, up from $7.35 during the third quarter of 2015. (Analysts had expected total revenue of $22.05 billion and earnings per share of $8.63.)

On an earnings call with investors Thursday, Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat said the quarterly earnings were driven by growth in both search and YouTube.

"We had a great third quarter, with 20 percent revenue growth year on year, and 23 percent on a constant currency basis," Porat said in a statement. "Mobile search and video are powering our core advertising business and we're excited about the progress of newer businesses in Google and Other Bets." 

Advertising revenue for Google during the third quarter totaled $19.8 billion, up 18 percent from $16.8 billion last year. Aggregate paid clicks in the third quarter also increased, growing 33 percent year-over-year, while paid clicks on Google websites grew by 42 percent.

Aggregate cost-per-click decreased 11 percent, falling 13 percent on Google websites and 14 percent on Google network members' websites.

On the earnings call, Google CEO Sundar Pichai mentioned that Google's six-second "bumper" ads have shown strong results for marketers such as Universal Pictures.

Losses from other ambitious, long-term bets, or "moonshot" projects, like self-driving cars, cost Alphabet $865 million in the third quarter, a smaller loss than the $980 million it reported a year prior.

"As we reach for moonshots that will have a big impacts on the longer term, it's inevitable that there will be course corrections along the way," Porat said on the earnings call.

Earlier this month, Google made its debut in the hardware industry with several new products. in addition to launching Pixel, Google's first self-branded smartphone, the company introduced a new virtual-reality headset, voice-activated assistant and Wi-Fi router.

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Laura Desmond Steps Down From Publicis Groupe

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 19:28:28 +0000


Publicis Groupe announced today Laura Desmond will step down as chief revenue officer of Publicis Groupe, effective Dec. 31, 2016.

Desmond took a leave of absence from her role beginning July 1, 2016, citing a family issue for her time off and will not return once her sabbatical concludes in January 2017. During her time away, Rishad Tobaccowala, Publicis Groupe's strategy and growth officer, took on Desmond's day-to-day responsibilities and will continue to hold those duties when Desmond leaves at the end of the year. Tobaccowala has previously worked at other Publicis agencies including Leo Burnett and Starcom.

In a statement Desmond noted that while the family health issue has improved, "This sabbatical allowed me to consider where my greatest entrepreneurial and leadership opportunity existed. After thoughtful reflection and discussions with Maurice, I have concluded this is the right step for me. I leave the Groupe with nothing but thanks and appreciation for the opportunities and support I've received throughout my career and during my leave." 

"We are all very grateful to Laura for her many important contributions to Publicis Groupe and are sorry to see her go. I know that Laura will continue to be as incredibly successful in the future as she has been with us. With my colleagues of the management board we wish her only the very best," Maurice Levy, Publicis Groupe chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

Desmond earned the chief revenue officer role in December of last year when Levy announced major plans to restructure the entire network, which moved Desmond from global CEO of Starcom Mediavest Group to her current position.

In the chief revenue officer role, a role created with the restructuring last year, Desmond was responsible for "developing strategies that catalyze Groupe transformation and business transformation through the alchemy of creativity and technology." During her time at SMG, Desmond was credited with doubling the size of the agency as well as building some key relationships with clients including Samsung, Visa, Twitter and Coca-Cola.

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Watch Some of the Best and Funniest Vines Ever—While You Still Can

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 15:13:35 +0000


Vine will be remembered for its short-form video genius. Vine

Twitter announced on Medium earlier today—and not during its earnings call—that it will be "discontinuing" Vine, the mobile app for short-form video. Vine is a platform that hosts six-second clips that permaloop for ultimate enjoyment, and quick-witted, extremely talented creators may or may not lose their body of work.

Vine launched in 2012 and was bought by Twitter later that year. It became a home for comedians, bored teens, sports fans and political activists. And brands took notice.

Vine had a lot to offer, but it got overshadowed when Snapchat and Instagram entered the video scene.

As of now, it's unclear whether Twitter will simply erase the extensive catalog of over 39 million videos or if the platform will simply become a graveyard for inside jokes of yore.

Here are some of the most beloved Vines, but there are countless others worth watching and discovering while you can:

"Do It For The Vine"

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"He hit the sign"

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This year's Brand Genius winners once again represent a group of elite marketers creating groundbreaking work for brands within their respective categories. 

So what will it take for marketers of the future to get to the level that these men and women are at today? At Adweek's annual Brand Genius gala, held this year at the Rainbow Room in New York, a few of this year's honorees dolled out some of their best advice for the next generation of brand leaders and what they love most about their jobs.

2016 honorees included Taco Bell CMO Marisa Thalberg, Shinola CMO Bridget Russo, Intel CMO Steve Fund and Jeep CMO Olivier François, among others. Arnold Schwarzenegger received Adweek's 2016 Brand Visionary award.

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Ad of the Day: Secret's Latest Stress Test Has a Transgender Woman in a Pinch Women Know Well

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 14:58:16 +0000

Becoming a woman is hard. There's that whole awkward adolescence, then the long canyon of negotiating space—with men, in careers, with other women. It takes a while to know who you are, to figure out whether you like high heels or not, hair long or short, red lipstick or something less aggressive.  Are you less aggressive? Do you address problems or quietly wait them out? What does either position look like in the eyes of others? Are you interesting? Is it OK to want to be interesting and pretty? Do you have to smile when somebody asks you to?  It isn't a journey we'd impose on anybody.  And one of the biggest tests of everyday womanhood happens in public bathrooms, those social watering holes where grooming happens, decibels rise and packs form. The space is so small that you can't be ignored; you will be sized up. You time the length of your pee, even if no one else is listening. You follow conversation; whose voice is louder, who is dominating? Who gets the mirror, who's blocking the sink? And will you be tacitly accepted by the eyes you decide matter, in that eternal few minutes of relieving nature's call?  It's a little nothing, but it can mean a lot in the moment.  Secret introduces this very quandary in the latest installment of its #StressTest campaign from Wieden + Kennedy Portland. Women flood into a public bathroom, chatting amiably. It's a warm but sharply enviable space, full of pretty people who aren't questioning a word that comes out of their mouths—who aren't questioning themselves (even if they are, deep inside). Meanwhile, in a dark stall, another woman panics. The cues are clear: She has probably always been a woman inside, but is just learning how to express that woman outside. She's in the negotiating-space portion of her transition. And it's deafeningly horrible.  allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="367" src="" width="652"> After a deep breath, Dana exits her stall.  "Great dress," a voice says.  "It's really cute," says another.  Meanwhile, the words onscreen read, "Stress test #8260: Dana finds the courage to show there's no wrong way to be a woman."  As the ad wraps up, all the women watching collectively breathe out with our heroine.  "This ad was inspired by transgender women and a real-life moment which is stressful and challenging. This is one of many stories about women's stress we're proud to share," Janine Miletic, brand director of North America Deodorants at P&G, tells Adweek.  "Ladies' Room" has the unique quality of being both universally resonant among women, and timely, given the current political climate and all that hullabaloo about bathrooms and who gets to walk into which one.  "This spot was not intended to make any political statement or to support or oppose any specific legislation," Miletic clarifies. "We're nonpartisan and not affiliated with any political party. 'Stress-Tested for Women' builds on Secret's rich history of supporting all women who show courage in redefining feminine strength."  Per Miletic, Secret's objective has always been to support "confident, modern women" in its advertising. "The campaign highlights a variety of stressful situations that are culturally relevant, and how women face those challenges with courage every day," she says. "This spot is another story that we are telling through that lens. Secret knows it takes guts to redefine cultural norms, and proudly supports all women's efforts—big or small—to take life and stress head on." At the end of the ad, Secret promises "2x better sweat protection" for when your glands become your enemies. We like the campaign because, instead of focus[...]

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Twitter Is Cutting 9% of Its Global Workforce

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:18:28 +0000

Twitter is planning to lay off 9 percent of its global workforce, as the ailing San Francisco tech giant struggles to please Wall Street despite beating earnings expectations. The company officially announced the cuts today in its third-quarter earnings, days after reports began to surface of the impending cuts. According to Twitter, the majority of the reductions will take place in its sales, partnerships and marketing divisions in order to "continue to fully fund our highest priorities," according to a letter to shareholders. However, the earnings also came with some good news. Total monthly active users grew for the second consecutive quarter to 317 million users, gaining 4 million over the past three months since its second-quarter results. Daily active users also increased, rising 7 percent year over year. Twitter's revenue totaled $616 million—an 8 percent increase year over year. Earnings per share totaled 13 cents, beating expectations of 9 cents per share and $606 million in total revenue. However, the company reported profit fell by $103 million. Advertising revenue grew 6 percent to $545 million, with mobile now accounting for 90 percent of total ad revenue. U.S. revenue grew just slightly, increasing 1 percent to $374 million year over year, outpaced by international ad revenue, which grew by 21 percent to $242 million. Revenue from data licensing and other revenue also grew, increasing 26 percent year over year to $71 million. Ad engagements also increased, growing by 91 percent year over year, with cost per engagement decreasing 44 percent year over year. In a statement, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said the company's strategy is driving increased audience size and engagement, both in terms of monthly and daily users, but also in terms of tweet impressions and time spent. "We see a significant opportunity to increase growth as we continue to improve the core service," Dorsey said. "We have a clear plan, and we're making the necessary changes to ensure Twitter is positioned for long-term growth. The key drivers of future revenue growth are trending positive, and we remain confident in Twitter's future." Noah Mallin, head of social at MEC North America, said Twitter's progress might be going even better than it appears on Wall Street. But it might take some time to tell. "What it seems like to me, first of all, is that Twitter is in the midst of a transformation," Mallin said. "And it's on every level. There's a business transformation, and I think, sadly the layoffs are part of that. There's an advertising transformation, and I think the surprise of the numbers going up points to the fact that it's taking hold. And I think theres a transformation in terms of how people are using the platform." Some of MEC's clients have already begun advertising through Twitter's live video offerings, such as ad-supported livestreams of NFL games and presidential debates. Mallin said that has provided pleasing results for the brands that have tried it out. He said live video is likely to grow as awareness grows both on the advertiser and user fronts. (On the quarterly earnings call this morning, Twitter chief financial officer Anthony Noto said the company will introduce new syndicated video from partners such as NBA, NHL and Bloomberg in the fourth quarter.) Others are less optimistic about Twitter's progress. According to Janice Suter, director of social media at GSD&M, Twitter is still playing catch-up with its competitors. "Twitter can't touch the deep interest and behavior targeting capabilities that Facebook offers," she said. "And from a user perspective, the continuing lack of direction and understanding of what Twitter stands for is turning people away in favor of channels with more unique and compelling experiences, like Snapchat." Brand advertisers rema[...]

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JW Marriott Is Exploring Beyond the Typical Commercial With Branded Travel Series

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:00:01 +0000

The days of the typical commercial, where it interrupts the viewer's experience, might be coming to a close as another brand announced its intentions to create and distribute more of its own content. "We're flipping the script by becoming the creators," said David Beebe, the head of Marriott International's content studio. "You can't just make a commercial anymore. You have to create something of value." Beebe is behind the studio, which was created in 2014, and team that focuses on distributing content of all types including digital series, documentary-style TV programs or short films. All of these pieces of content are story-driven, as that's what holds interest these days. "Our approach is to stop interrupting what they're interested in, and become that instead," said Beebe. The latest of these content series comes from the winner of the first season of The Apprentice, Bill Rancic, whose exclusive development deal with Marriott Content Studios was announced earlier this year. The series will highlight some of the JW Marriott properties, one of Marriott's 30 brands around the world. In the show, titled Open Invitation, Rancic will travel the world with his wife Giuliana (who is a familiar face on E!) to visit Marriott properties; more importantly, he'll give viewers a look at the cities themselves, paying close attention to the food and the people. "Seasoned travelers can learn things they didn't know about cities they've been to many times," said Rancic, "and beginning travelers can see stuff they'll want to experience on their first trip." According to Beebe, most of the content studio's creations are available on Marriott's entire distribution network: People can watch on an exclusive multichannel digital distribution system including YouTube, Marriott's website, in-room and partner channels. "This series isn't only about the hotels," explained Beebe. "Sure, some of it is shot on property, but the show is about exploring the city and meeting the culture where it is. We want to inspire people to travel the world, or to maybe remind them to go back to cities they've visited before and discover something new." "I'm such a curious kind of person, that this series suits my personality well," said Rancic. "I'm always asking questions. When I married Giuliana, I told her our life would always be an adventure." The show will follow Rancic as he tries to "do things that aren't so typical or obvious" for first-time travelers to a new city. In the first episode, which is embedded below, the couple explores Venice while researching potential future recipes for his restaurants around the U.S. While these branded content series from Marriott feature its luxury and business-friendly locations, they still encourage people to explore the markets and views that are right beyond their room. Rancic, who got his start thanks to Donald Trump's reality show, confirmed that "Democrats, Republicans, independents, and bipartisans" will all be able to enjoy Open Invitation. "It's about seeing our beautiful world and what it has to offer," said Rancic. "There's even a family element, and I hope we can involve our son, Duke, in future episodes. I share the same beliefs and philosophies as the Marriott team, which is so refreshing." "We don't get in our own way creatively," said Beebe. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="367" src="" width="652"> [...]

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