In the Office

Week In Marketing: McDonald’s Health Campaign, Twitter vs Snapchat, Video Platforms, Millennials

McDonald’s Attempts to Have a Healthy Campaign
With the Olympics dominating the news and the new Pokémon Go game, there is a clear burst for healthy living in America. McDonald’s is trying to hop on top of this trending topic by including fitness trackers as kids toys in their happy meals. mcdonald-friedlogicHowever, recently the “Step It” toys were pulled due to wearers receiving skin irritation. It will be interesting to see how McDonald’s responds to this negative publicity.

Twitter is Trying to Keep Up with Snapchat
Twitter has added a new feature, which is allowing individuals to express themselves by adding stickers with embedded hashtags to their photos. As of right now Pepsi is the exclusive partner for this new feature, but there will be an opportunity for select marketers with managed accounts to be sponsors as well. Twitter is clearly following in Snapchats footsteps with this idea and similar to Instagram’s new story feature, it will be interesting to see how consumers respond to these new features.

Social Media Platforms Are Trumping Video Platform
According to a study created by Trusted Media Brands, platforms like Facebook and Twitter are seen as more important for marketing outlets than YouTube. It is very possible that this decrease in marketing appeal for YouTube is related to Facebook’s newest feature, Facebook Live, being recently released. This new channel that will be able to combine social media and video platforms is bound to be the new marketing focus, as 72 percent of marketers in this study are willing to invest in it.

Millennials Receive News Via Social Media
Millennials are more likely to use social media as their news source, rather than traditional news programs. Advertisers are catching onto this trend and are finding ways to market millennials with this knowledge. According to the study, reviews from people in their social media circles is the number one factor when determining to buy a product. Before it had always been TV advertising and then word of mouth, but with this trending outlet there is a change. It will be interesting to continue to see how advertisers will use this channel to reach millennials.

Week In Marketing: Location Data Sharing, Reddit Ads, Mid-Roll Ads, Instagram Stories, and Comment Moderating

Sorry to Interrupt…
Facebook Live streams may soon have commercial breaks. The increasingly popular Facebook feature allows users to share their live videos with the world, and now Facebook is ready to introduce advertising to the new platform. The company is testing inserting mid-roll ads directly into the live broadcasts for a small group of publishers. For the test, 15 second ads will begin after five minutes of users’ live broadcasts.


Growth of Location Data Sharing
With the introduction of the viral sensation, Pokémon Go, many consumers are concerned with the app sharing their mobile location in their quest to “catch them all.” However, there has already been a plethora of companies who collect and distribute mobile location data to advertising companies. Marketers are increasingly interested in location data, as it helps specifically target consumers and measure the impact of campaigns, like comparing ad exposure and actual in-store visits, for example.

Reddit Launches New Advertising Program
The popular social news website, Reddit, is launching a new advertising program for its 240 million users called Promoted Users Posts. Brands will be able to sponsor a user’s post with the user’s permission, and the creator will then receive a lifetime subscription of Reddit Gold. While Reddit’s user base has historically been cynical and resistant to marketing and commercial advertising, the cofounders of the website say the promoted posts could have a high reward for brands, if they put in creative effort.

Hi…Snapcha — I mean, Instagram Stories
This week, Instagram rolled out a new feature called Stories, which is eerily similar to Snapchat stories. Just like their competitor, the Instagram story is a series of videos or photos that last for 24 hours before disappearing. For advertisers, this seems to be a promising opportunity to have their stories and posts on one platform to increase brand awareness.

Instagram Tests Comment Moderating Feature
Instagram is developing a new feature that will monitor comments on posts for bullying and harassment. Users will be able to filter out negative comments or prevent comments completely on their posts. High profile accounts now have the opportunity to moderate comments on their posts, and after testing, the feature will expand to the general public.

Week In Marketing: Presidential Race, Tumblr Ads, Measurement Tools, Verizon-Yahoo

Presidential Race
How are Trump and Clinton Stacking Up on Social
A recent analysis found that there were three times as many tweets and Facebook posts related to Trump as there were referencing Clinton. Trump, was mentioned 129.7 million times between Jan. 1 and July 21. During the same time period, Clinton was mentioned just 37.3 million times.


Hillary receives celebrity endorsement at DNC
The second night of the DNC was a star studded event. Along with some big ticket appearances on stage, Elizabeth Banks drummed up a lot of celebrity support for Hillary Clinton with a video of number of celebrities singing “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten.

Trumps New Online Ads
Donald Trump has passed another milestone of campaigning by introducing a collection of online ads into his still-sparse ad mix. Trump’s long-overdue entrance into digital advertising reflects the recent acceptance of its dire need to build a supporter list and generate donations.

Tumblr users to be paid for ads
Tumblr has released ads across its users’ blogs, but they didn’t forget who their audience was. The artistic personalities of many Tumbler users don’t exactly match the corporate ad scene, so users can opt out of the ads. However, Tumblr is working out a payment plan for those users who do allow ads to come across their blogs.

New Performance Measurement Tools
Now there is improved data visualization on to help marketers show their contribution to the bottom line. The improved Beckon program allows videos and graphics examples to be embedded in the dashboard to give more meaning to the data, and show a more complete review of a communications campaign.

Could Verizon-Yahoo Reshape The Advertising Industry?
Earlier this week, Verizon purchased Yahoo for $4.8 billion. Verizon’s plan is to merge the assets it acquired with its purchase of AOL last year with its newfound assets form Yahoo. Verizon has said it plans to become a rival for Google and Facebook with this move. The combined companies now have as much reach as the other internet giants.

Week In Marketing: Ad Blocking, Served Ads, Mobile Ads, Blue Check, Back-to-School


Ad blocking is Getting Creative
Ad blocking is a growing issue for websites who rely on income from selling ads. So, many sites have begun to test ways to get around the ad-blockers, and still get publisher’s content out to their consumers. The Financial Times has come up with yet another tactic. For readers who block ads, the paper will block the words that those ads paid for.

Snapchat Working to Serve Ads Based on Objects Snaps
Snapchat has filed a patent for an advertising system that will identify objects in users’ photos to target them for ads. The ads would be image overlays from brands related to the object. Which brands get to put their images over which object? Snapchat has created an auction system for businesses to compete to buy the rights to the various objects identified in users’ photos.

Google Looks to Amp Up Mobile Ads
Google thinks its mobile advertising system runs too slow. So, it is initiating the AMP for Ads – Accelerated Mobile Pages project. Google is releasing tips that agencies can use to create faster ads to help urge publishers to use the new system. However, the it is not currently set up for video, but it is an upgrade they are working towards.

Users can Apply for a Blue Check on Twitter
Recently, Twitter has opened up applications for verification. Want that little blue check next to your handle? Put in an application. As long as your account has a phone number, an email address, and a bio, along with a profile photo or a website, it is up for consideration. This is Twitter’s attempt to provide users with more public influencers and creators. So, maybe it’s time for your company to step up their Twitter game, and get verified.

Kid’s Created the New Target Back-To-School Campaign
How better to reach your target market than going straight to the source? At least, that’s Target’s new approach. Target let a group of kids to design their new back-to-school ad. It’s their way of getting involved with the community, and getting the community involved with them. The campaign, named “To School & Beyond,” just launched.

Week In Marketing: Native Ads, Pokemon, eMail Newsletters, Optimal GeoSpace

The FTC Says Keeping Quiet Counts as
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is cracking down on Warner Brothers for using social influencers to promote games without disclosing it. Native advertising is becoming increasingly common and very successful, but the FTC has ruled that not disclosing to the public that the content produced by the social influencers is sponsored, is illegal. The FTC says that what you don’t know, does in fact hurt you, and lying to consumers will end up costing more than it is worth. Warner Brothers is the third company to be punished for this crime this in 2016.


Retailers look to buy Pokémon Characters
The developer of Pokemon Go, Niantic, has announced that the game will feature sponsored locations. Businesses who are locations of Pokemon in the game are already using signs to try to capitalize on the increased foot traffic. Soon brands and retailers will be able to purchase their spot in the game, so that they too can generate more foot traffic from gamers.

Is your Newsletter Open Rate Accurate?
As visits to homepages become harder and harder to cultivate, the growing practice has been email newsletters. However, many companies may not be aware of the inaccuracies of their newsletter software’s data reports. Many providers, such as MailChimp, can only accurately track how many emails were opened if files are under certain size, which means as soon as companies add Gifs or Instagram pictures their Open Rate becomes inaccurate. Beware, other things that can affect the open rate calculations include, offline reading, getting blocked and getting moved to spam.

UberMedia finds the “Optimal GeoSpace”
UberMedia is introducing “Optimal GeoSpace,” a program aiming to determine the best areas for businesses. The Optimal GeoSpaces are determined by shopping foot-traffic at various locations and different times throughout the day. The program will also factor in where the shoppers likely were in the hours before visiting a specific location. The data points will be continually analyzed and adjusted to define the Optimal GeoSpace.

Week In Marketing: Olympic Ads, Fundraising Tool, Search and Shopping, Snapchat Audience, Chipotle Recovery

An Olympic Shift in Advertising Regulations
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) changed the rules about official advertising for the upcoming 2016 Rio Olympics, allowing more brands to take advantage of the games. howardmerrell blog olympicsPreviously, only official sponsors like McDonalds and Visa could feature Olympic athletes in ads, and athletes couldn’t tweet about non-official sponsors. With the recent rule change, athletes can be in basic advertisements that don’t use Olympic intellectual property, like the terms “Olympics,” “Rio,” “2016,” and “gold.”

Facebook Launches Fundraising Tool for Users
In the coming weeks, Facebook users will be able to create fundraising pages for verified nonprofits in order to start campaigns or donate directly to the charity. The feature was created several months ago for the organization pages, but it is now available for individual users to raise money for their favorite organizations. Fundraiser posts will allow users to donate directly through their newsfeed and to share amongst their friends.

Pinterest Focuses on Search and Shopping
In preparation for an upcoming IPO, Pinterest is updating its advertising strategy for keyword searches and audience-based offerings. The update will allow advertisers to target more specific audiences and take advantage of a search product with more than two billion monthly searches. Pinterest will offer keyword-tailored searches to advertisers, similar to Google, and the company will allow marketers to buy specific audiences, similar to Facebook. Advertisers can capitalize on unbranded consumers looking simply for new ideas.

Parents and Marketers are Using Snapchat
According to comScore, 38 percent of US smartphone users ages 25-34 and 14 percent of those 35 and older, are using Snapchat. About 68 percent of users 18-24 use Snapchat. While teens can find this trend bizarre, the older generation is bringing the app into the mainstream. Whether it is parents checking in on their kids, or professionals trying a new marketing tool, Snapchat is surging in popularity.

It’s a Love Story for Chipotle
Chipotle released their latest animated film to promote their new loyalty program, Chiptopia. “A Love Story,” the company’s third short original animation focuses on two competing children and their rival lemonade and juice stands. The film is being released months after two separate E.coli outbreaks and 60 reported cases from some of the restaurant’s locations. Chiptopia is part of a marketing campaign to recover consumer trust after the safety scare, and the film follows that message, promoting love and healthy food.

Week In Marketing: False Advertising, Featured Events, Celebrity Influencers, Content Performance, Dashboards

false advertising-Friedlogic

VW’s Settlement Resolves False Ad Claims
Volkswagen’s false ad claims about its “clean diesel” vehicles will end up costing the company almost $15 billion. The settlement agreement deems that the company will have to buy the cars back from consumers, or fix them to meet standards, as well as give consumers an extra $10,000 in compensation. They are also responsible for fines, and will be making billions of dollars in payments to fund projects for clean fuel. The moral of the story is that violating consumer protection and other laws will always cost more than it’s worth.

Featured Events are In
For businesses that look to users to share their content and spread their messages on Facebook, a new solution has arrived. Facebook has created Live Events. Ten cities will have the Featured Events displayed on users’ upcoming events. The events chosen will be those that are deemed to be fun and local. Only public events are eligible to be chosen, and paying for advertising will not increase the odds of selection.

What are Celebrity Influencers Worth?
The right celebrity partnership can be worth it. Today the connection between celebrity talent and users/consumers is a different type of connection. Since much of the connection is built on social media, it is purely between the user and celebrity, the media is not interfering. There is no middle man or gate keeper. However, it might be smarter to pay for performance rather than pay the usual per post fee. It can also be effective to use middle-tier celebrities with a strong following of motivated users.

Measuring the True Performance of Content
It is anticipated that this year marketers will increase content production by 70%. But are they looking at the right data points to tell how their content is doing? Rather than simply looking at likes, shares and page visits to see how content is doing, looking into the users’ interactions with the content will give a better picture of how successful it is. Studies have shown that 59% of links that are shared on social media were never even clicked. So, marketers should pay attention to the time the users spend on the content, the time of engagement, the conversion rates, and judge your influencers based on the engagement they bring you rather than the views to ensure that the content is actually producing results.

New Twitter Dashboard for Businesses Users
Twitter is looking to capture the attention of small- and medium-sized businesses with its new Twitter Dashboard. This dashboard will allow them to schedule tweets, get content suggestions and view analytics and customized feeds through which they can engage with consumers. These customized feeds allow brand managers to look at tweets about their organization in a concise list. Twitter is hoping that its new tools will make it more appealing to businesses.

Week In Marketing: Ad Effectiveness by City, Video Ads, Color in Marketing, New Google Features, Twitter Videos

HM Blog Charlotte Which U.S. Cities Are Ignoring Your Ads?
A recent study in 100 cities across the nation looked click-through rates of millions of impressions. That data was then turned into a ‘click-through index’. Six of the 10 cities least likely to click through were in California. Charlotte, NC ranked 12th most likely to click through, and as a state North Carolina ranks 18th on the most likely to click list. Mississippi is the state with the highest click-through index (most likely), and Utah is the state with the lowest index (least likely).

YouTube helps small-scale marketers with video ads
YouTube is launching a new app, YouTube Director. This app offers free templates, music options and editing software that will help small businesses create ads. YouTube also unveiled another service that uses a company’s logo, screenshots and pictures to create ads. And they are saying in certain cities YouTube will provide businesses with approved filmmakers in exchange for the company’s pledge to spend $150 on advertising.

Psychology of Color in Marketing
Consumers make a decision about a product or a brand within 90 second, and a large factor in that snap judgement is color. Colors evoke many different emotions, and color targeted packaging and ads have been successful in the past. Not to mention the colors that don’t match the product often drive conversation. Colors evoke a wide range of emotions, and if marketers know their target market well, then they can figure out which colors to use in order to strike the optimal emotions.

Google launches AdSense Labs for publishers to test new features
Google launched AdSense Labs earlier this week. This new section will allow publishers to test new features as they become available. This option will be placed under the Optimization Tab, and new tests will be added as they are created. The first two features available for testing are Show Fewer Ads and Inline Ads.

Twitter’s Video Push
Twitter will soon launch a new section of its app, which will be called Watch Mode — a section totally devoted to videos. Now, when users click on a video on Twitter, which will trigger the Watch Mode section and other videos will be suggested. This is reminiscent of the change Facebook made last year. Videos can now be up to 140 seconds, which is an option that will now also be available on Vine. In conjunction with this, Twitter will also launch a new app called Engage, so video creators can track the analytics.

Week In Marketing: Emojis for Marketing, Measuring Store Visits, LinkedIn Acquisition, Targeting with Pinterest and Snapchat


Twitter lets Brands Target ads Based on emojis
Twitter is starting to treat emojis like keywords. That’s right, Twitter is now letting brands target Twitter users based on the emojis they tweet. This includes all tweets with emojis that users interact with by tweeting, retweeting, liking or sharing. However, brands are currently only allowed to target one emoji at a time, and not combinations or sequences of emojis.

Facebook Attempts to Measure Store Visits
Facebook is using the maps already programmed onto users phones to tell brands how many people they actually think visited their store due to an ad. This will also enable users to click on the in-ad maps and get directions to the store as well as see the hours and phone number. Facebook will also use the information from people who share their location with the app to track the number of users who actually visit the store. Advertisers will be able to see this information in real time, as well as view stats for the past day, week, or 28 days.

What Does the Acquisition Of LinkedIn Mean For B2B Marketers?
Microsoft bought LinkedIn. The deal seems to look good for both parties, and B2B marketers too. This merger seems promising for marketers looking to run ads on Bing or in Outlook. B2B marketers can also keep their eyes peeled for new opportunities with Lookalike Audiences. They should also see better display and retargeting for Bing Ads, as well improved segmenting and data cleaning.

Snapchat Opens Ad Floodgates
Snapchat Partners” has launched. This new tool will allow marketers and ad tech providers to connect and create custom buying and management tools. It also lets marketers partner with creative agencies to create stimulating ads. Snapchat will now be placing ads between some of their users’ “Stories”, which will be displayed across the screen with full sound and the option to skip. Marketers will also have the option to add other actions when users swipe up on their ads, such as, longer videos, directing them to a website or article or prompting users to buy an app.

Pinterest Allows Marketers to Target Users by Email Address or Device ID
Companies can use email addresses and mobile IDs to target customers from Pinterest. This means the opportunity to directly target consumers. For example, it could be used to reach consumers who may have put an item in their shopping cart, but that haven’t purchased the product yet.

Week In Marketing: They, Long-form Writing, No Real Marketing, Promoted Pins, Personalized Marketing, Viewability Data


The Word of the Year
The American Dialect Society declared ‘they’, used as a gender-neutral, third-person, singular pronoun, the word of the year. This use of the word they is becoming the favorite when choosing a pronoun for which the gender is not known. The culture shift towards gender neutral language is even changing some military language, such as riflemen to rifle technician. So, using the pronoun they is the best bet at not offending anyone.

Long-form writing gets more shares
Studies have shown that long-form articles get just about as much attention as short-form articles. It also showed that while posting a story Facebook gets it more traffic, people accessing stories on Twitter spend more time on the content. The study also revealed that while both long and short-form have relatively short life-spans, long-form articles receive more shares on Facebook than short-form articles.

Success!…With No Real Marketing
A “Saved by the Bell” themed restaurant, sold three months’ worth of reservations in minutes, with what one of its owners calls “no real marketing”. They set up a free Facebook event page that ended up going viral. After that, they did everything as slow and as simply as they could. They waited until all the details were confirmed and customers were absolutely itching for more information, before creating a website or Instagram account. They said they took a whole new approach to promoting, and completely let “the brand speak for itself.”

Promoted Pins are Effective for Pinterest
Pinterest will now measure the impact of Promoted Pin Campaigns on in-store sales. A study using Oracle software reported that “Promoted Pins drive 5x more incremental in-store sales per impression.”

Personalized Marketing
Blueshift is offering a new Personalization Studio. They say that this personalization platform is moving away from the standard, pre-chosen cookie-cutter options that have always been offered with these services. Now, marketers with have the ability to craft templates for emails, display ads on the web, mobile notifications and other channels. The new platform is making personalizing for a segment of a target market, or even a single user, easier and even possible to do without bothering the IT guy.

Viewability Data
Active View technology will become available for all in-stream inventory on YouTube. The program provides viewability data on a per-campaign basis. Active View will also be available for TrueView purchased either with Google AdWords or DoubleClick Bid Manager.