Showing posts tagged Advertising

YouTube’s 20 Most-Shared Ads in February

#SuryaRay #Surya 1. Budweiser - The Clydesdales: Brotherhood

This vignette celebrates the relationship between the famous Budweiser Clydesdales and their trainers. With nearly 2.5 million shares, the ad has more than doubled any other’s share count during February.

Click here to view this gallery.

A highly-competitive February drove some of the most memorable ads we’ve seen in a long, long time.

More About: Advertising, features, Marketing, Social Media, Video, YouTube @suryaray

Conan O’Brien Introduces the ‘Most Truthful iPad Ad Ever’

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There are tens of millions of iPads in circulation. But what are people using them for?

Conan O’Brien didn’t pull any punches with this parody ad for Apple’s tablet. The joke: Apple has released a “more honest” ad that shows what users actually do with iPads.

_Image courtesy of TBS, YouTube_

More About: Advertising, conan o’brien, ipad, parodies, viral videos @suryaray

Nars Tests Pinterest’s Selling Potential

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Nars, whose last social media campaign managed to generate not-insignificant interest in a new cosmetics collection without giving away free product, is hoping to do the same with its next campaign — this time, on Pinterest instead of Facebook.

Nars has partnered with three popular Pinterest users — East Coast design enthusiasts Danaë Vokolos, Caitlin Cawley and Bekka Palmer — to offer early (and exclusive) access to its new Satin Lip Pencil collection. In collaboration with Nars, the three women have developed Pinterest boards for their own accounts that compliment the pencils’ three color categories: red, pink and nude. For a week leading up to the collection’s full release, Nars fa…
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More About: Advertising, beauty, Marketing, nars, pinterest @suryaray

This TV Spot Is Completely Composed of GIFs

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GIFs are hot, but marketers have mostly been at a loss as to how to appropriate them.

Give Fox Searchlight points for trying. The studio’s new ad for its upcoming movie _Stoker_ is entirely composed of GIFs. The GIFs were culled from, a site that “gave users a glimpse into the wicked and twisted world of the film’s main character,” according to Searchlight’s PR. The cinemagraphs proved so popular that the studio used them in banner ads, page takeovers and, finally, in the TV spot above, which is set to premiere Thursday night during Adult Swim on Cartoon Network.

For the studio, the GIF is less about goofy memes than a new “culturally poignant art form.”

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More About: Advertising, GIFs, Marketing @suryaray

The opportunities and dangers in the native advertising land rush

#SuryaRay #Surya Even if you’re not in the media or marketing space, you’ve surely noticed that there’s a content boom right now and that many media outlets are handling ad-like stuff a bit differently. Brands are now making more and sometimes better content than in years past, and seasoned journalists and editors are smudging the hard black lines separating editorial from advertising.

For a few years now, I’ve been working in and around “native advertising,” though I’ve only recently (and somewhat grudgingly) started referring to it by that name. There’s a ton of opportunity here on both sides of the fence: new revenue streams for media companies and journalists (especially freelancers), and marketing channels that demand smart, engaging content — as smart and engaging as the “real” editorial content it coexists with — from brands.

My favorite flavor of native advertising involves working with a top-notch media partner and publishing a blend of opinions from established thought leaders as well as a few brilliant people at the client company.  When done well, these campaigns are great for the publisher, the brand and the reader — or at least that’s the goal.

But there are plenty of inherent dangers. On the brand side, it can be very hard for corporate spokespeople to write with a natural voice, and it often falls to me as editor to turn reflexive corporate-speak into something human. This can be a sticky proposition — nearly every piece goes through rounds of client and legal review before publishing, but for it to work, it can’t read like it’s been through the sausage grinder.

But the real challenges in this type of advertising are on the publishers’ and writers’ sides. In the rush for media brands to become platforms and for journalists to become marketers, we’re missing some important considerations — branding considerations.

Journalists: You’re brands, too

Journalists, let’s start with you: You should know that I only want to hire you for your reputation, smarts and objectivity. (And partly for your audience, but if you say something smart, I can find an audience for it.) That’s your brand, and you have to protect it as fiercely as I protect my clients’ brands.

When I reach out to a journalist with an assignment, I always stipulate that he’ll have full editorial control, and I expect him to exercise it. The client gets final approval of the content — but only on a binary “approve/reject” level — and the journalist gets paid either way. That lets you, the journalist, go about your business of telling the truth and saying interesting things, which is what we value journalists for in the first place.

You’re free to push back on my edits, ask tough questions, even tar-and-feather the client, if that’s what you want. It’s my job to figure out a client response to that. I once got a client to approve a somewhat critical piece, with the stipulation that one of their people could write a counterpoint to it. It worked beautifully — a meaningful dialogue between influencer and company. On the other hand, I worked on a project with the editor-in-chief of a popular news site and had to throw out a lot of his work because he was obviously trying to please my client. That’s a ticket to journalistic purgatory.

I work hard to protect the reputation of the writers I commission, partly because screwing over journalists is not a good earned-media strategy, and partly because a compromised journalist is of no use to anyone. But mostly because surprisingly honest writing is a great way to engage the reader and bolster the brand that commissioned it.

Not every advertiser gets that, though, and I see bad examples of native advertising all the time: articles where the final copy clearly either isn’t the writer’s normal work or was passed through a corporate-speak filter. Journalists, that hurts your brand, and you should refuse to participate in that stuff.

Publishers: Are you _sure_ you want to be platforms?

The biggest danger in native advertising is to the publishers and their brands. On Thursday, Andrew Sullivan asked “aren’t we in danger of destroying the village in order to save it?” And in my years of negotiations with media companies, I’ve been shocked at how little some of them value their reputations and brand equity.

The “platform” idea perfectly encapsulates my point: August publishing companies are opening themselves up to the rantings of every amateur and careerist who wants to add “columnist” to a LinkedIn profile. Those companies also let brands publish on their sites with very little to distinguish ad from editorial.

Guys, a trusted brand is better than an open platform, both for your readers and for your advertising customers. The internet is full of amateur ravings and branded swill, and is starved for great content. If you can make the latter, why open yourself up to the former? For new revenue streams? That story is short, and we know how it ends.

I talked with a publisher a couple weeks ago who is taking a stand on native advertising. He was getting too much crap, and his readers were noticing, so he’s going to start rejecting stuff that isn’t up to his publication’s editorial standards.

At the end of the day, he’ll be leaving money on the table by making that decision. But should he even be worried about the quality of the native ads that run in his publication? Should he pick that money up? Many publishers are asking themselves these questions, and you probably are, too. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

_Kyle Monson, who will be speaking more about native advertising at paidContent Live on April 17, is Chief Creative at Knock Twice, a startup agency that focuses on tech PR and advertising. In a previous life, Kyle was content strategy director at JWT, and spent almost a decade as a journalist and editor._

_Image courtesy of Flickr user Dano_

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* Social media in Q1: commerce and discovery dominated
* How publishers must adapt to multiple content discovery options
* Players and Strategies for Real-Time In-Stream Advertising @suryaray

Huawei Unveils Global Ad Campaign

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Huawei, which was recently deemed the world’s number three cell phone maker, by volume, is attempting to raise its profile with a global branding campaign themed, “Make It Possible.”

The ad above is the first in the campaign, which does not feature any of the company’s phones or devices. Instead, the ad might be mistaken for a series of self-help affirmations. The script:

They tell me the road ends here. But not my road. I define where my road will take me, where my journey ends. Sure, challenges await me. Obstacles will stand in my way. And moments of doubt will appear. But I will never stop believing. Magic can be created. Dreams can be made true. Through determination and pers…
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More About: Advertising, Huawei, Marketing @suryaray

Bear Grylls Seeks Adventure in Latest Air New Zealand Video

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The creative minds at Air New Zealand have come up with a new way to demonstrate flight safety in their latest video, starring British adventurer Bear Grylls. Previously, the company has worked with Peter Jackson and castmembers from _The Hobbit_, Richard Simmons, and David Hasselhoff.

SEE ALSO: See How Peter Jackson Turns New Zealand Into Middle Earth

This is the first of its unique in-flight safety videos to be filmed outside of the airline. Instead, Grylls runs along the scenic 32-kilometer Routeburn Track, while providing passengers with “The Bear Essentials of Safety.”

Along the way, Grylls encounters New Zealand natives, like entomologist Ruud Kleinpaste, and local animals…
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More About: Advertising, Bear Grylls @suryaray

Network Effect: SingTel-Owned Amobee Expands Mobile Ad Network To Cover Its Globe, Optus And Telkomsel Holdings

#SuryaRay #Surya When the pan-Asian mobile carrier SingTel paid $321 million to acquire mobile ad network SingTel in May last year, some of the thinking was that the Singapore-based SingTel could use Amobee to serve targeted ads to its nearly 500-million mobile subscriber base across the region. Some 8 months after the deal has closed, that network effect is coming into play: today Amobee is announcing that it will take over all mobile ads for SingTel, as well as Globe in the Philippines, Optus in Australia and New Zealand and and Telkomsel in Indonesia. The deal is exclusive and will mean that all four carriers will be served ads through Amobee’s PULSE mobile ad platform — which was initially developed by Amobee in California but has since been integrated into SingTel’s servers in the Asia-Pacific region. PULSE is an example of how the “big data” concept is being applied in the world of mobile advertising: sourcing data like user location and browsing history from the carriers, it then serves back ads that are more targeted and relevant. On the media side, advertisers that have worked with Amobee, and can now potentially better target mobile users in Asia-Pacific, include Google, Skype, eBay, Barnes & Noble and Nokia. Interestingly, although SingTel is clearly subsuming and using its new mobile company to flex its muscle in the region, Amobee itself is run as an independent business. “We’re still run as a separate entity within SingTel. You could say we have continued operaing as a startup,” Mark Strecker, COO for Amobee, told TechCrunch. “But one of the opportunities for them buying us was about leveraging data and making context more relevant in mobile ads.” Mobile advertising is growing worldwide with the rise of smartphones, mobile broadband networks and a subsequent rise in usage of apps and mobile web — revenues in 2012 from mobile ads reached $2.6 billion in 2012. But its role in regions like Asia-Pacific is especially a focus for the industry because in emerging markets, handsets become the primary device for accessing the internet, instead of more traditional, larger-screened computers. SingTel buying Amobee was a strategy for the company to gain more control over that growing revenue stream. “The Philippines is one of the fastest growing, mobile-centric markets in the world, where nearly every Filipino owns a mobile device rather than a computer,” Ernest Cu, CEO of Globe, noted in a release announcing @suryaray

ABC’s Handling Of Oscars’ Online & Mobile Streaming May Set Precedent For Future “Event TV” Airings

#SuryaRay #Surya If you listened to the online chatter about last night’s Oscars’ telecast, you might come away with the impression that the show tanked. Well, maybe it hit a lot of sour notes in terms of its questionably comedic, and in some cases downright offensive, bits, but in terms of advertising, it has nothing to be ashamed of. ABC sold out its ad inventory at $1.7 million-$1.8 million for a 30-second spot - the highest prices in the last five years. The network is also maximizing the ad spend associated with the Oscars, too, by putting the show online immediately after it aired. @suryaray

Opera Spins Off Its Advertising Business Into Opera Mediaworks, Making Opera Easier To Acquire

#SuryaRay #Surya Opera just announced that it would spin off its advertising business into a brand new entity called Opera Mediaworks. Fully owned by Opera, the new subsidiary will consolidate multiple recent acquisitions, such as Mobile Theory, 4th screen or Admarvel, under one roof. The Norwegian-based company claims that the new entity is now the world’s largest mobile ad network. But the real news might come from the fact that separating these two entities makes a potential Opera acquisition much easier. For example, a technology company may be interesting by Opera’s browsers, but not by its very efficient and expansive advertising network. As Opera’s browsers are free, a good share of its revenue comes from advertising in addition to partnerships with hardware manufacturers and telcos. After today’s clarification, it will be much easier to evaluate the health of these two sources of revenue. Opera’s advertising unit powers 20 out of the top 25 global media companies. It reaches 300 million monthly unique consumers, representing more more than 50 billion ad impressions per month and $400 million of revenue in 2012. The company provides a wide array of products for publishers, advertisers and mobile operators — what you’d expect from a leading platform. Recently, the company announced that it would switch from its own rendering engine to WebKit. Shortly after that, the company confirmed that it would shrink its in-house developer team. With today’s news, Opera currently has a lot of announcements to make. The company may even hint at new products during Mobile World Congress. @suryaray

Samsung Planning Academy Award Ad Blitz Featuring Tim Burton

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Samsung is planning to blitz the Academy Awards telecast on Sunday with a total of four and a half minutes of commercials, one of which will feature director Tim Burton.

The ads continue the story of a small company trying to create a videogame called _Unicorn Apocalypse_, a shift that comes as Samsung goes after BlackBerry’s stronghold in the business market. In the story arc, the company’s game runs over budget, then gets leaked on the Internet, gets released and gets a laudatory tweet from LeBron James. Finally, there are plans to make it into a movie directed by Burton. A deadpan Burton says he loves the concept of zombies and unicorns (“Did you know that a unicorn is basically a goat?”…
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More About: academy awards, Advertising, samsung @suryaray

EU’s Probe Into Google’s Search & Advertising Practices Could Be Resolved After The Summer

#SuryaRay #Surya The European Union’s two-year long antitrust probe into Google’s search practices may be resolved after this summer, according to a Reuters report. The news agency quotes EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, telling a conference today: “We can reach an agreement after the summer break. We can envisage this as a possible deadline.” @suryaray

FastPay Has Provided Digital Media Companies With $100M In Credit

#SuryaRay #Surya FastPay recently announced that it has placed $100 million in credit with digital media companies. That’s $100 million used to deal with the common cash flow challenge in the ad business, where it can take 60 days or more to get paid by the advertiser. That can be problem if, for example, you need to pay the publisher in 30 days. So FastPay provides the funding to help companies deal with those issues — in the company’s words, “We finance the digital ecosystem.” @suryaray

Indie Mobile Devs Get A Leg Up With New Cross-Promotion Service From Chartboost, Execution Labs

#SuryaRay #Surya Execution Labs, a Montreal-based gaming incubator, is teaming up with mobile game advertising and monetization startup Chartboost to create a new matchmaking program that will help indie game developers promote each others’ work. It would allow smaller developers to tap into cross-promotion, a strategy that has helped bigger game developers hold onto their millions of players as they get shuttled from one game title to the next. Big game developers like Zynga and Rovio routinely promote their new games in old titles. That makes it much cheaper for them to get millions of users for a new title. At the same time, it’s become harder than ever for brand-new game developers to break in. Yesterday, a Distimo report showed that just 2 percent of the top 250 publishers in the iPhone App Store were “newcomers.” Android is not much better with just 3 percent qualifying as “newcomers” in the Android app store, Google Play. It’s a classic shift you see on software platforms, as early movers take advantage of lower marketing costs to gain reach and crowd out latecomers. Execution Labs is calling this matchmaking service the “Lab Partners” program. It will help indie mobile game developers find similar developers with whom they can set up advertising trades. They’ll be able to search for other games by platform and genre to see potential partners. So if a player enters one developers’ game, they’ll see ads for another studio’s similar titles. The service is free and is powered by Chartboost’s Direct Deals platform. Chartboost was founded by some former Tapulous employees and started off by facilitating direct advertising trades between mid- and large-size mobile developers. Over time, that grew into a gaming-centric mobile advertising network that now involves about 12,000 titles. The company’s revenues grew fast enough that the startup attracted a $19 million round led by Sequoia Capital earlier this year. Now Chartboost is envisioning itself as a business engine for games. While the company hasn’t shared its product roadmap for the coming year, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine it building out tools for retention and monetization later. As for Execution Labs, it’s a Montreal-based incubator backed by BDC Venture Capital, Real Ventures, and White Star Capital. @suryaray

By Helping Big Pharma Better Understand Your Local Doctor, Medikly May Just Be Tapping Into A Goldmine

#SuryaRay #Surya Medikly, a startup that aims to help pharmaceutical companies reach and better understand physicians, announced today that it has raised $1.2 million in series A financing from Easton Capital. A recent graduate of the Blueprint Health accelerator in New York City, Medikly has developed an enterprise-grade platform that provides Big Pharma with a multi-channel marketing solution, combining content, Big Data analytics and social in an effort to help them reduce campaign spend and get better insight into your local physician. @suryaray