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Thanks to Google, You Can Now Take a VR Tour of New York's Holiday Window Displays

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 22:20:16 +0000


Can't make it to New York to walk along Fifth Avenue to experience the iconic holiday window displays? Google is helping wannabe visitors check them out in virtual reality.

The company has partnered with more than a dozen major retailers to create Window Wonderland, a VR experience that lets anyone explore the lights and sounds of the season using Google Cardboard or Google's own headset, Google View. The tour—which debuts today—lets viewers zoom in on displays and even listen to audio guides from stores' creative directors as they talk about the process of creating the magic seen by more than 5 million visitors every year.

To create the experience, Google's Art, Copy & Code projects team took hundreds of high-resolution photos at 18 retailers like Burberry, Bloomingdale's and Saks Fifth Avenue and stitched them together to create a "life-like panorama." The displays—which have been a city staple for nearly 150 years—let viewers see Lord & Taylor's Enchanted Forest, see into Santa's command center at Macy's or see the almost 10-foot-tall jackalope at Bergdorf Goodman.

"With all of the artistry and time that goes into creating these holiday windows, we want to open them up to the whole world," Aman Govil, head of the Art, Copy & Code projects team, wrote in a blog post.

Of course, along with the VR experience, Google's microsite also has a link to a digital shopping window, which features buyable products from many of the brands featured in the walking tour. And while the VR tour doesn't cost a thing, the items featured online are far from free.

Serena Potter, group vice president of digital media strategy for Macy's, said the Christmas windows are always a high point of the holiday season. Now, the VR tour helps to capture the "wonder and whimsy" of the windows in a more accessible way.

"This partnership captures a unique retail tradition," she said. "And with technology, many more, who are not able to experience their beauty first-hand, are able to collectively experience this New York holiday tradition online."

Google, which debuted Google View in September, has been boosting its virtual reality capabilities over the past few months as it touts the content capabilities of the medium. (And while Google Cardboard is compatible with both Apple and Android smartphones, View only works with Google's new Pixel phone.)

Today, Google debuted a video on YouTube that offers a preview of the Window Wonderland:

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Ad of the Day: Ronda Rousey Shows 'Strong is Beautiful' in This New Pantene Campaign

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 20:03:49 +0000


Ronda Rousey shows that women contain multitudes—they can be strong, and beautiful, and whatever they want to be—in a new campaign for Pantene from Grey in New York. 

For the "Strong is beautiful" iteration with the mixed martial arts champion, the Procter & Gamble haircare brand updated its iconic 1980s tagline, with the Kelly Le Brock-spoken "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful" line revamped to be "Don't hate me because I'm strong." 

"This line ... with what [Rousey] has been up against her whole life, all the criticism that she faces but she keeps getting back up again and again and again, it just felt so right for her," says Joanna Carver, global group creative director at Grey. 

Carver adds: "With what the conversation has been, what the climate has been around strong women and feminism and what it means, this line and this campaign has become even more important and even more relevant."  

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The work is reminiscent of Under Armour's 2014 campaign with supermodel Gisele Bündchen, in that it takes a woman famous for one thing and shows her excelling at something else, subverting the viewer's expectations—as well as directly addressing her critics. 

"I'm fully aware that I might not be the first person people think of to collaborate with a beauty brand," said Rousey in a statement. "I've been called 'Miss Man' and 'savage' because of my physique, but to me, strength isn't only about having muscles." 

She continued: "It's about having heart and finding inner confidence, so I'm honored that Pantene asked me to be part of their new campaign that encourages women to break gender barriers, break the glass ceiling and never settle." 

Rousey joins brand ambassadors Selena Gomez and Lion Babe's Jillian Hervey.

"Ronda is the future of strong women everywhere—women rising above society's expectations and proving once and for all that strong is always beautiful," Jodi Allen, vp of hair care for North America at P&G, said in a statement. 

Client: Pantene
Agency: Grey New York

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Self-Help Godfather Dale Carnegie's Namesake Course Is Rebranding for the 21st Century

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 19:36:14 +0000

If you're among the fortunate few to be invited into Warren Buffett's office in Omaha, Neb., you might notice something unusual about the walls. The billionaire investor and Berkshire Hathaway founder holds a degree from the University of Nebraska and another from the Columbia Business School—but neither is displayed in a frame. Instead, as Buffet told the BBC a few years back, he has only one framed certificate on display—the one he received after completing a Dale Carnegie course. "I have my Dale Carnegie diploma there," Buffet said, "because it changed my life." In fact, the lives Dale Carnegie Training has changed read like a who's who of business and politics: President Lyndon Johnson, Hotelier J.W. Marriott, Jr., Chrysler turnaround CEO Lee Iacocca, Wendy's founder Dave Thomas and, more recently, Nascar driver Danica Patrick and former Google Japan vp Norio Murakami. All told, some 9 million people have taken Dale Carnegie courses, which are offered in all 50 U.S. states and 90 countries. But Carnegie Training has a problem these days, and something of an ironic one. The famous business course that teaches the merits of embracing change and effective communication hasn't quite kept up with its own mandate, at least in terms of marketing itself. Now, as the fabled business educator struggles to reach the millennial generation, its management has decided it's time for some rebranding. "We're one of the best-kept secrets in the corporate-training market, but there aren't enough people who know about us or what we do," said chief brand officer Michelle Bonterre. "To be frank, we haven't invested in it. Now, we've realized that we need to have a better way to tell our story." As its name suggests, Dale Carnegie Training grew out of the pioneering techniques of Dale Carnegie, who's been called the "father of self help." Born into a poor farming family in 1888, Carnegie discovered he had good speaking skills and developed a class based on his observation that success in business depends less on technical skills and more on the ability to talk to people. As Carnegie's 1955 New York Times obituary put it, he "found that a silver tongue could be more useful than a silver spoon in winning wealth and fame." The challenge facing Carnegie now isn't changing the core tenets of its founder's approach, which are sacrosanct, but rather presenting the program as fresh and relevant to an emerging generation of businesspeople. Ask a 20-something to name a business guru, and you'll hear names like Mark Zuckerberg or Elon Musk, not Dale Carnegie. "With the Boomers and Gen X, Dale Carnegie is very well known," Bonterre conceded. "But within the [millennial] demographic, we're not." Bonterre's first order of business was changing the organization's logo, which for years has been a rather baffling diamond crosshatch. The new logo uses the D and C initials as a monogram that looks like a butterfly. "It represents transformation and metamorphosis," Bonterre said, "and we believe that's what we at Dale Carnegie do better than anyone else."      The old and new logo (top) and fresher looks for the web (below). Also rolling out will be an updated website with, as the publicity people call it, "a completely new look and feel." That's a trickier task than it might seem, given that the organization presents itself in 25 languages in 90 countries. The revamped site will feature a unified overall look yet remain flexible in order to adapt to the conventions and expectations of different cultures. Carnegie Training is also readying various new ad campaigns, both online and off, that will be geared toward a younger audience of potential students. And, finally, the upcoming edition of Dale Carnegie's magnum opus, How to Win Frie[...]

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How an Instagram Star With a Name Like FuckJerry Makes $30,000 Per Sponsored Post

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 18:49:47 +0000

If you follow comedy or pop-culture accounts on Instagram, chances are you've come across one of FuckJerry's memes or funny jokes while scrolling through your feed. Since launching a Tumblr account in 2011 to aggregate his collection of pictures he found on the internet, Elliot Tebele has turned the popular FuckJerry account into a full-blown franchise, with 40 million followers across multiple social channels, a clothing line, a card game, a late-night TV show pilot with MTV and a small social media shop called Jerry Media. In addition to the FuckJerry Instagram account, which has 10.5 million followers, Tebele and his team also own a handful of other accounts including @pizza, @sneakers, @beigecardigan and @kanyedoingthings.   : @scottafters #EEEEEATS #DailyPizza A photo posted by #DailyPizza (@pizza) on Dec 5, 2016 at 5:56pm PST FuckJerry has also made use of Instagram's 4-month-old Instagram Stories feature for branded content. The team created a series of videos for Walgreens using the feature. Some brands might find the content inappropriate, but that's the point, argued Tebele. "We won't do anything that's not funny," he said. "If the brand isn't open to getting creative through our voice, then we usually turn that down." When asked about reports from comedians who are mad that FuckJerry steals and reposts jokes, Tebele said his team is working on creating more original content. "At first, I would say it was 80 percent curated and 20 percent original. Now I would say it's 60-40," he said. Even as more brands invest in influencer marketing, the name FuckJerry is still a difficult one for brands to get around, said Amy Tunick, president of Grey Activation and PR. Last year, Grey hosted an event with FuckJerry and talked to a couple of its clients about working with him on branded content deals, particularly for long-term partnerships. "We did have some conversations with a couple of our clients about him specifically. A lot of people were like, 'Eh, no.' It didn't matter about the power of his audience," Tunick said. "Brands have to really be comfortable. Maybe smaller or edgier brands are willing to go there, but I do think it's a handicap at least for that kind of specific, flagship brand." [...]

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4 Resolutions Marketers Can Make After Watching the Top YouTube Ads of 2016

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 18:36:37 +0000

This year, for the first time ever, I stuck to my New Year's resolution. I joined the Mark Zuckerberg challenge, setting out to run 365 miles—a mile a day—in 2016. I hit my goal at the end of last week, which means this week I've literally been logging "extra miles." That got me thinking about what an "extra mile" actually looks like for the advertisers we work with on YouTube. And then I saw the Year-End YouTube Ads Leaderboard this week, and I got my answer. The 2016 Year-End YouTube Ads Leaderboard celebrates the 10 most-watched, most-engaged-with and most-loved ads of the year globally. You can watch all the ads here. These 10 ads demonstrate what the extra mile in online video advertising looks like. For some, it meant adding something to the cultural conversation—from a "Puppymonkeybaby" to an empowering mantra like "Keep Playing." For others, it was finding a new metric that accounts for attention, or prioritizing mobile as much as consumers do. Below, I'll outline four New Year's resolutions these top ads might inspire that could help marketers take their 2017 plans the extra mile. Resolution #1 In 2017, don't just join the cultural conversation on YouTube. Add to it. When the now famous "Puppymonkeybaby" ad launched in February, The New York Times wrote, "The ad, created by BBDO New York, was intended to promote Kickstart, a beverage combining Mountain Dew, fruit juice and caffeine. Like Kickstart, a Puppymonkeybaby, evidently, also combines three things people love." Kate Stanford In other words, the Puppymonkeybaby creature literally exists as a composite of "things people love" online—puppies, monkeys and babies. Like the Puppymonkeybaby, the Year-End YouTube Ads Leaderboard is, in some ways, a composite of the things people love. The most successful ads on YouTube reflect the most dominant cultural trends on YouTube. Take the trend toward empowerment. As YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote back in May, YouTube viewers "are hungry for creative that empowers, rather than objectifies." Look at the empowering ads on our Year-End Ads Leaderboard: Always encourages girls to "Keep Playing." Pokémon has children all over the world saying, "I can do that." When brands like Always and Pokémon successfully add to the conversation around empowerment that's already happening on YouTube, they're rewarded. Empowering ads like these are two and a half times less likely to be skipped and 80 percent more likely to be shared than other ads. So, how do you know which trend is right for your brand? Google Trends can help you spot the difference between a flash-in-the-pan trend on YouTube (like the "Running Man Challenge") versus a longer-term trend (like "how to dance" videos). But don't stop at joining the conversation; add to it. If creative tied to culture wins every time, how will you add to the conversation in 2017? Resolution #2 In 2017, measure for attention—whether you're running :6s or :60s.  Adding a Puppymonkeybaby to the Super Bowl conversation paid off for Mountain Dew. Incredibly, the brand achieved a retention rate of over 100 percent on YouTube. That means they didn't just retain viewers; they had people watching, on average, more than 100 percent of their 32-second ad—actually going back to watch their favorite parts again and again. In the case of Puppymonkeybaby, the audience's retention was a great marker of the audience's attention. Retention is a close cousin of watch time, another great way to measure attention. Our latest research shows the value of watch time for brands: The more people watch, the greater the lift in brand metrics like awareness and consideration. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the three longest ads on the Year-End YouTube Ads [...]

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The 10 Most Watched Ads on YouTube in 2016

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 17:33:58 +0000


Gaming spots and Super Bowl commercials racked up massive view counts on YouTube in 2016, accounting for six of the 10 slots on Adweek and Google's full-year YouTube Ads Leaderboard, ranking the most-watched ads on the video site.

And in fact, two of the spots—including the No. 1 most-watched ad, for Mobile Strike—were gaming spots that ran on the Super Bowl. (The other was the #Pokemon20 spot.)

Skittles, Hyundai and Mountain Dew also put Super Bowl ad on this list, while Clash Royale's "Theme Song" was the other gaming spot. Knorr and Nike finished at No. 2 and 3 for the year with a social experiment and a flashy Euro 2016 spot, respectively.

Check out all 10 spots below. And check out this article from Google's Kate Stanford, who breaks down the year-end Leaderboard and offers lessons for marketers heading into 2017.

Note: To be eligible for Adweek and Google's YouTube Ads Leaderboard, videos must be marked as ads on YouTube (i.e., they get some paid views) but must also earn significant organic views. The algorithm factors in paid views, organic views and audience retention (how much of a video people watched). 

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Pandora's New Premium Service Lets Users Pick What They Listen To

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 17:08:16 +0000


Pandora is getting ready to launch Pandora Premium, an on-demand music offering that could let the music streaming service more closely compete with major players like Spotify and Apple Music.

Pandora Premium—unveiled on Tuesday night at a small press event in New York before a much larger holiday concert—will cost users $9.99 per month for the ability to go beyond the internet radio style of streaming and instead play individual songs and playlists. The service also integrates features from Rdio, which Pandora acquired last year for $75 million when Rdio filed for bankruptcy.

While it might seem like Pandora is a little late to the on-demand game, the service has a few things that separate it from major competitors like Spotify and Apple. One key theme is the role of personalized and predictive songs and playlists based on each user's listening habits. For example, if a user creates a playlist with a few songs, they can press a button to let Pandora fill in the rest with similar songs. The search bar has a similar feature, which will show relevant searches toward the top instead. (Think Google search bar but for music.)

Pandora will also have a "new music" section—similar to Spotify's wildly successful personalized suggestions like Discover Weekly and Release Radar. However, instead of a selection of songs, Pandora will give users a number of full albums that might want to check out. (There's also a feature that changes the color of the app based on the mood of the music.)

"Giving someone the keys to the record store might sound great at first, but ultimately it's overwhelming," Pandora CEO Tim Westergren said during the unveiling.

Pandora already has 78 million monthly listeners through its free advertising-supported version and the $4.99-a-month Pandora Plus. The company so far only has 3.9 million paying subscribers (at least before it overhauled Pandora One to become Pandora Plus), so the challenge will be either converting some of those users to the more expensive tier, winning over Spotify and Apple users, or getting people new to music streaming to finally get on board.

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Hong Kong's Tourism Board Wants You to Discover the City Like a Local

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 16:58:40 +0000


Although international arrivals to Hong Kong have grown over the last few years, the Hong Kong Tourism Board is seeking to lure more global travelers with a series of videos that highlight the city's lesser-known attractions. Its new "Best of All, It's in Hong Kong" campaign features the city's unique culinary, fashion, outdoor and kid-friendly experiences.

A series of four videos include Michelin chef Umberto Bombana sampling local delicacies and street food; designer Anais Mak shopping at high-end boutiques and local street markets; actor Sean Lau exploring hiking trails on the outskirts of the city and actor Michael Wong taking a family to local amusement parks and aquariums.

"By watching these videos, travelers can discover the breath-taking intensity, the surprising contrasts, the rewarding variety and the captivating style this wonderful city can offer," said Hong Kong Tourism Board's executive director Anthony Lau in a statement. "This new brand campaign will take Hong Kong to new heights as a destination by connecting and inspiring people to travel here and experience the best and most authentic Hong Kong moments."

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Turner and Snapchat Expand Deal to Include Original Shows and a Bleacher Report Discover Channel

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 16:41:10 +0000


Turner and Snapchat are expanding their partnership. The new deal, announced today, will bring a Bleacher Report Discover Channel to U.S. users (it was previously only available internationally) and the companies will work to develop new Snapchat shows from Turner brands.

Turner and Snap will work to develop original shows, producing content exclusively for Snapchat that's based on Turner brands like TBS, Adult Swim, truTV and its mobile-first digital content venture Super Deluxe.

Bleacher Report, Turner's millennial-themed digital sports brand, will launch a Discover Channel for U.S. Snapchat users on Jan. 4. Meanwhile, the CNN Discover Channel will feature more daily content. CNN and Bleacher Report were Snapchat Discover launch partners back in early 2015.

"Millions of Snapchatters value the authoritative and credible reporting by CNN and Bleacher Report every day and we are excited about offering more frequent news updates and expanding Bleacher Report's Discover coverage to the U.S.," said Nick Bell, Snap's vp of content, in a statement. "We're also thrilled to be building on two years of our Live Story coverage of March Madness with expanded sports content."

"This deal marks the latest strategic move for Turner to innovate within the digital arena and provide complementary viewing experiences for a younger, mobile-centric audience," said Turner president David Levy in a statement. "Snapchat is a powerful outlet to directly connect with the millennial generation and perfectly aligns with our portfolio-wide strategy to engage with audiences at every touch point."

Turner will continue using Snapchat's Live Stories to offer expanded coverage of its sports broadcasts like the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship and PGA Championship.

The two companies will team up on ad sales for this new offering: Snap will lead efforts on the Discovery Channels, while Turner will take point on Live Stories and Shows.

This is the latest major deal that Snapchat has made this year with a TV company. The company launched a partnership with Viacom in February, and teamed with NBCUniversal in August to bring NBCU's most popular shows to the platform.

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Comcast CFO Talks Netflix Deal, Wireless Rollout and Why DirecTV Now Doesn't Worry Him

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:59:03 +0000

Comcast isn't worried about competition from AT&T and Hulu's new streaming bundle services, nor is the company shy about competing in a new area of its own: wireless service. Mike Cavanagh, senior evp and CFO for Comcast, talked today at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York about the company's plans for 2017. (Netflix, CBS, 21st Century Fox and Discovery Communications execs spoke at the conference on Monday, while AT&T and Verizon weighed in on Tuesday.) The company is continuing to roll out its X1 set-top box, which Cavanagh said now reaches 45 percent of subscribers. Comcast is looking to bundle those next-gen cable services with broadband to keep its customers happy, "knowing that there's lots of competition coming," he said. Comcast sees X1 as a key component to keeping its subscribers engaged, and far away from its competitors. Cavanagh said the company has data that shows that ratings and engagement were higher for users who watched the Rio Olympics on X1, where the company combined all of NBC Olympics' linear and digital feeds in a special Rio Olympics hub, compared with those in non-X1 homes and non-Comcast homes. The integration pull "is significantly higher," he said. He's found the same with Comcast's recent Netflix partnership, in which Netflix was added to X1 last month. "Customers like it," said Cavanagh, explaining that they appreciate not having to switch TV inputs to watch House of Cards. "That's the point. We've made a great investment in a platform that is very flexible ... It's good for them; good for us." While the X1 tech and product teams had been focusing on the Olympics and Netflix experiences this year, they're now exploring other integration options. Those innovations, Comcast hopes, will fortify the company in the light of last week's DirecTV Now launch and Hulu's upcoming streaming bundle offerings. "When it comes to responding to some of the new competition, it's very important how we can take what I just described in video and bundle it with the best broadband product out there," Cavanagh said. "I'm not really worried," said Cavanagh, though he quickly added, "we'll be hustling to compete." The company is also preparing to compete in a new space itself: wireless. Comcast hopes to have its wireless offering ready by the middle of next year, and is eager to "overcome some of the skepticism" about that company entering the wireless space, said Cavanagh. "We've got 150 people working on" the wireless offering, which will target Comcast's existing customers, said Cavanagh. "It's going well, but we have work to do" to design the product they want. "We're in the learn and explore mode." Cavanagh also touched on NBC's broadcast ratings success (the company is on track to reclaim the 18-49 crown this season), crediting "a well-thought-out, well-executed approach to dominating big nights." Out of 61 "big nights" through the year, with major TV events that draw a large audience, "we've got 70 percent of them," thanks to programs like the Olympics, Sunday and Thursday Night Football and the Golden Globes. [...]

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