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Here Are 7 Interesting Digital Marketing Stats From This Week

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 16:40:36 +0000

We've collected seven digital marketing data points that got our attention this week, including news about livestreaming, app revenues and the NFL's top Twitter users.    Check them out: 1. Livestreaming down In the second half of 2016, per eMarketer, UBS Evidence Lab found that 36 percent of internet users said they watched live video as of November. Here's the thing: That figure is 2 percentage points less than those who reported livestreaming in a June. The data points come on the heels of Facebook reportedly planning to stop paying publishers to produce live videos. It's reasonable to wonder if the world's No. 1 social network's move—when considering UBS' new research—is a canary in the coal mine when it comes to livestreaming.  2. Upward mobility Global app revenue will double in the next four years to reach $102 billion by 2020, App Annie's new projections state.  3. Female tech finally flowering? Twitter on Thursday said that women made up 30 percent of its high-level employees last year, which outdid its goal of 25 percent, set in late 2015. This development should shine a bit more positive light on Silicon Valley, which has suffered from accusations of gender discrimination in recent years.  4. Mobile-minded transaction Speaking of Twitter, the company sold its mobile app developer platform, Fabric, to Google this week. Here's a glimpse into what Google got: Fabric reaches 2.5 billion active mobile devices, up from 2 billion devices in April. 5. Bavarian butterflies New York-based eMarketer also had a stat that should interest global ecommerce brands, as seen in this tweet: Nearly 40% of mobile phone users in #Germany said "security concerns" kept them from using mobile payments: — eMarketer (@eMarketer) January 18, 2017 Netflix is no stranger to slightly creepy and cryptic advertising when it comes to promoting its original shows. Last month, the brand posted a series of mysterious social posts for The OA and found a way to work around ad blockers to run an ad for the dark, technology-focused show Black Mirror in November. Whether or not other brands weigh in during today's inauguration will be interesting to see. Brands like L.L.Bean, New Balance and Kellogg's have struggled in recent months to maintain political neutrality when their brands pop up in the news alongside Trump, whether they ask to be part of the conversation or not. One marketer who seems more than willing to be part of the conversation is Expedia, which today rolled out an ad about global togetherness during CNN's coverage of the inauguration. Client: Netflix Brand: House of Cards Agency: Doner LA Jason Gaboriau EVP, Chief Creative Officer Zihla Salinas EVP, Managing Director Mike Cessario Creative Director Drew Brooks Design Director Andy Pearson Writer Liza Behles Writer Sara Schwartz VP, Brand Leader Scott McDonald, Producer Production: Exile Producer - Toby Louie Director of Photography - Adrian Correia Production Designer - Rodrigo Cabral Art Director - Alison Bauserman Executive Producer - CL Weaver Head of Production - Jennifer Locke Production Coordinator - Manon Carrie Editor - Will Butler Assistant editor - Brandon Lawrence VFX: Saint VFX Artist - Miles Essmiller VFX Producer - Kristina Theogersen VFX Executive Producer - Helen Park VFX Supervisor - Rob Trent Lime Sound Design & Mixer - Jeff Malen Music and Sound Design: JSM Music Joel Simon-CCO Jeff Fiorello – Executive Producer [...]

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CBS Hopes the AFC Championship Will Spark Its First New Reality Hit in 7 Years

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 16:18:30 +0000

The broadcast networks haven't launched a hit reality competition series since NBC debuted The Voice. CBS is looking to break that streak on Sunday as it launches the new series Hunted, with help from the NFL's AFC Championship game. The show follows nine pairs of contestants who have agreed to become fugitives on the run. They are pursed by a team of expert investigators, including former members of the FBI, CIA, NSA and the U.S. Marshals Service. Each team that successfully avoids capture for up to 28 days will win a $250,000 grand prize. CBS will premiere Hunted on Sunday night, right after the AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers. Last year's New England Patriots-Denver Broncos AFC Championship Game drew 53.3 million viewers in the late-afternoon slot (the NFC and AFC Championship rotate time slots each year). Fox has routinely used its NFC Championship Game to launch big shows, as it did last year for The X-Files' return (that show drew 16.2 million viewers and a 6.1 demo rating out of the NFC game, which had an audience of 45.7 million and a 15.7 demo rating). But CBS hasn't taken the same approach; two years ago, it aired a regular episode of Scorpion after the AFC game, drawing an audience of 12.3 million and a 3.2 demo rating. "The closest analogy I can think of was back [in 2010] when we did Undercover Boss out of the Super Bowl, which was unusual because it was a new show, and that was typically not our strategy in the past," said Kelly Kahl, senior evp of CBS Primetime. "Undercover Boss was a broad, easy to understand concept. It was easily promoted to a broad audience in the Super Bowl, and that's the case here as well: You're on the run, and there are people chasing you." By putting the premiere after the AFC Championship Game, "it guarantees that you're going to get some sampling for the show, and we think we have a show that's worthy of the big audience, and worthy of the sampling," said Kahl. "As you look across the course of the season, there are only so many opportunities to really get sampling to a new show, and this was one of them." Hunted was Glenn Geller's first big pickup when he took over as CBS Entertainment president in the fall of 2015. "It felt like it was the perfect reality series for us. It was that perfect blend of procedural and competition. It has all the spirit of Amazing Race but it feels like a scripted procedural. So it felt like a no-brainer. That's what our audience loves. They watch that every night of the week on CBS," said Geller. "In the U.K. [version], they had some real success, especially with male younger viewers, which is not easy to do." After its debut, Hunted moves to Wednesdays, where it will air between this season's two cycles of Survivor. "This feels like the perfect place to put the show. It's a natural fit for the Survivor audience, who loves competition and who wants to see those struggles of the characters," said Geller. Survivor and The Amazing Race have been solid performers for the network, but with 61 seasons between them (33 for Survivor, 28 for Amazing Race), CBS would like to find some fresh blood in the reality genre. (Its most recent unscripted success, Undercover Boss, launched in 2010.) While Survivor's fall rating in the 18-49 demo, 1.8, was down 10 percent from the show's spring cycle, the show still outrated everything on CBS' fall schedule except for The Big Bang Theory, NCIS and 60 Minutes. But even with its high-profile launching pad, Hunted will face an uphill struggle; in recent year, several broadcast networks have tried, and failed, to mount new reality competition series. The most notable flops include The X Factor on Fox, and a pair of musical competition misfires on ABC: Duets and Rising Star. "I think there's an expectation, fair or not, that when you put a reality show on it has to be a big hit," G[...]

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Budweiser Ending Olympic Sponsorship After 32 Years

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 15:28:42 +0000


After sponsoring the U.S. Olympic team since 1984, Anheuser-Busch InBev is ending its partnership with the U.S. Olympic Committee. The sponsorship had spanned 16 Olympic games.

"We continually evaluate our sponsorships as our business priorities evolve and we're adjusting our portfolio to reflect those priorities," said Eelco van der Noll, vp of experiential marketing, in a statement. "We're proud of our long-term partnership with the USOC and all that we have accomplished together on behalf of America's athletes."

Budweiser's advertising for last year's Rio Olympics was part of its "America" campaign, where the Belgian-Brazilian brewing company redesigned its cans and bottles, replacing "Budweiser" with "America." Budweiser also sponsored a mural featuring six Olympic and Paralympic athletes in Manhattan, and ran a branded content series with the athletes during the Games.

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Other brands that did not renew their USOC sponsorships after the Rio games included TD Ameritrade, Citi and Hilton. Brands like Coca-Cola, McDonald's, P&G and Visa maintain their worldwide sponsorship deals with the USOC. 

Anheuser-Busch continues to have a major presence as an advertiser in other massive sporting events, like the Super Bowl, where it will air spots this year for Busch, Michelob Ultra and Budweiser. Bud Light's spot will debut a new tagline, "Famous among friends."

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New Study Finds That Agencies and Marketers Are Still at Odds in 2017

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 14:00:01 +0000

It's 2017, but advertisers and marketers remain at odds over the changing nature of their relationship, according to results from a New Year Outlook survey conducted by development firm RSW/US. Asked about "troubling trends" in the industry, for instance, answers coming from the two disciplines were almost diametrically opposed. Marketers complained that agencies "haven't figured out how to be project-based," pointed to a perceived "lack of technical and data-savvy teams on our accounts," and claimed that too many legacy shops have yet to complete the cultural shift from old media to new. Agency executives, meanwhile, said marketers often turn to their own in-house departments for work they feel their teams could do better. They believe that such partners are unwilling to commit to quality work amid a "declining respect for agencies" and advertising in general. "I haven't seen much change in this in the past couple of years, and it needs to be addressed," said RSW/US founder and president Mark Sneider of the survey's results. "The fault rests on both sides, and both sides need to take ownership and take action. Agencies need to be bringing ideas and keep relationships fresh. Marketers need to look at agency partners as business partners." One point of contention that seems to be on the rise is marketers' increasing preference for project-based assignments over agency-of-record relationships. Thirty-five percent of agencies surveyed said a majority of their assignments are now project-based, while only 20 percent gave the same answer last year. That number was even higher—37 percent—for marketers. Sneider argued that agencies need to rethink their expectations accordingly. "Agencies have to adjust how they look at opportunities and see it in terms of the long-term value of a relationship, even if it is just a project assignment," he said, adding, "There are fewer ready-made AOR opportunities out there." On a more positive note, agencies' concerns over clients moving their work in-house may be slightly overblown. Forty-six percent of agencies expect to see a "moderate" to "very large" amount of work disappear this year, up from 32 percent in 2016. But a larger majority of marketers said such moves represent 20 percent or less of the work normally assigned to agency partners. The survey's most surprising finding, according to Sneider, was the speed at which marketers are investing in data-analytics software and hiring chief information officers to manage it. Thirty-seven percent of those surveyed reported employing a CIO, though they largely agreed with ad agencies in stating that those hires and their relationships with CMOs were so far only "moderately effective." "Agencies need to get on board with the data and analytics train," Sneider said, citing an unnamed traditional agency that recently won an assignment on the basis of its data and analytics offerings. Politics also played a role in determining survey participants' outlooks for 2017. While marketers are largely ambivalent about the prospects of the incoming Trump administration, 42 percent of advertisers said they thought it would have an unspecified positive impact on the industry. Sneider did not find this surprising. "As crazy as the man seems to be, he hasn't given businesses any reason to take pause and think he'd do something that's going to adversely affect a business and its ability to compete," he said. Other key findings in the survey include the following: Eighty-seven percent of marketers said they will invest "somewhat" or "heavily" in business, down from 89 percent last year. Eighty-nine percent of agencies think their clients will invest "somewhat" or "heavily" in business, down from 93 percen[...]

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Ad of the Day: Weight Watchers' Remarkable Film Asks Why People Gain Pounds in the First Place

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 13:15:12 +0000


It's hard to make weight loss testimonials feel like anything other than hackneyed or seedy, preying upon the audience's insecurities to shame them into looking a certain way.

But a new six-minute documentary-style ad from Weight Watchers in the U.K. and filmmaker Gary Tarn manages to render the genre into something more beautiful and intimate, through a mix of gorgeous camera work and a focus on why people put on pounds in the first place—and naturally, what inspired them to get back in shape.

Anabel Bonner started stress-eating as a child when her parents got divorced. As a young bride preparing for her wedding, she decided to pursue a particular aesthetic—fitting into the kind of dress she wanted became a guiding star for her weight loss program.

Caroline Kulemeka found herself gaining pounds after eating junk food at her desk, and, unhappy with the scenario, used it to discover a love of running.

Nigel Johnson, on a trip to Disney World, couldn't fit into the restraints on his favorite ride, setting him on a course of action that saw him lose a stunning 140 pounds, and found a much different man looking back in the (gym) mirror.

Dee Edgar got swept up in the demands of raising a family, but with some nudging from her own mother (the kind of thing that could really go both ways), lost the weight again.

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None of those examples might seem particularly novel. The ad still deals in clichés, as life sometimes does. But Tarn, the force behind 2005's Black Sun, succeeds in making the stories all seem both personal, and credible.

That's important because, despite the brand's clear agenda, its opportunity also lies in empowering viewers to believe they have control over their own bodies, and might be able to change their habits to ultimately feel better about themselves. It's effective because it's dramatic—larger than life—but also actually useful. Someone in the audience might realize that he or she should seek a clear goal (like Anabel's wedding dress) or explore new forms of exercise (like Caroline's running) to see what clicks. These aren't just before-and-after photos; they're real, relatable people living complicated lives that sometimes put them through the wringer.

To be fair, the result is still plenty reductive. The approaches Weight Watchers lays out here won't necessarily work the same for everyone. It's easer for some people to gain and lose weight than others. And what it means to be healthy, including self-esteem, isn't the same across different types of bodies.

In other words, by advertising around conventional notions of beauty in the first place, Weight Watchers can't help but be predatory, to some degree. But at least it's trying to be something more, too.

Client: Weight Watchers
Director and Composer: Gary Tarn
Production Agency: The Academy PR
Exposure: Online, PR

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Agency Crowdsourced This Mosaic of Standing Ovation GIFs as a Thank-You to Obama

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 12:00:01 +0000


If there was ever a time to give President Obama a standing ovation, today is the day. And GIFs—lots of them—are helping make it happen.

To offer Obama one final thank-you for the past eight years, Deep Focus came up with a way to let everyone give the president a round of applause. The agency created The Standing O, a microsite that collects user-submitted GIFs of people giving Obama a standing ovation that then become a mosaic of Obama himself. So far, thousands of people have submitted videos of themselves applauding the president, resulting in a recreation of the image of Obama that appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone in 2008.

"I think we were all postelection looking for another way that we could express ourselves while not being overly political and still giving thanks where thanks is due," said Michael Asaro, head of production at Deep Focus. 

For the project, Deep Focus partnered with Giphy and NowThis to collect GIFs of people facing the camera and applauding or videos of them that were then turned into GIFs by the agency's team. Images were then moderated to make sure they were not offensive, and then algorithms placed them in the photo based on color schemes.

Zooming in on the mosaic brings each individual GIF into focus. There are people of all ages and races, soldiers in uniform, kids with Snapchat filters, people with their cats. (Each time someone uploads their own, they receive an email with a link to exactly where in the image their GIF appears.)

While other agencies and brands have done similar mosaics in the past, most have used still images. However, GIFs offer a few perks. They take up less bandwidth than video and also are silent, which makes them easier to moderate since there is no offensive language or messaging to worry about.

According to Deep Focus chief creative officer John Reid, the GIF portrait is somewhat of a "living, breathing" tribute wall, which will continue to collect images even after Obama's term ends and Donald Trump is inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States. 

"I feel like this election was so toxic," Reid said. "Such a weird time in American history. I feel like this one was so tough that we wanted to do something positive and remember that the country is in a way better place than it was eight years ago."

The agency is hoping someone will be able to share the link with Obama himself so he can see the thousands of people showing their appreciation for his service.

"This is meant to be a shining light in the darkness of the divisive past six months," Reid said. 

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