In the Office

Week In Marketing: NFL Fan Cans, Twitter Ads, Band 2, Virtual Reality, and Tumbler Update

1. Bud Light Introduces NFL Fan Cans
As the individualized packaging craze continues, Bud Light is back at it. Out of 32 NFL teams, Bud Light sponsors 28 teams. individualizedPackaging Bud Light is promoting each team through the new individualized cans that all have a particular team-related tagline. Bud Light is successfully making a personal connection with its consumers.

2. Twitter Increases Mobile-Friendly Promoted Ads
Marketers using the Twitter platform can now target audiences outside of just the Twitter app. Through the Twitter Audience Platform, users can now “retweet” or “favorite” ads and videos without even being on the Twitter app. Multiple apps outside of Twitter are on the Twitter Audience Platform (previously the Twitter Publishing Network).

3. Microsoft to Introduce Band 2 in October
After the reveal of the Apple Watch and an increase in sales on FitBit trackers, Microsoft is taking round two with its watch, the Band. With available connection to Windows Phone, iOS and Android, Microsoft provides an option to many users outside of the general Microsoft realm. Band 2 is rumored to release in October alongside the Surface Pro 4, Microsoft’s computer-like tablet.

4. American Express Starts “You Vs. Sharapova”
Brands have recently been toying with Virtual Reality technology, a new and upcoming technology that is getting closer and closer to feeling “real.” With the upcoming U.S. Open, American Express is marketing a virtual reality experience to tennis fans. In the new experience, U.S. Open attendees can “play” Maria Sharapova in “You Vnms. Sharapova.”

5. Tumblr Releases New iOs Update
This past week, Tumblr released a new iOS update. Although, no one is entirely sure what it entails. The copy of the Tumblr iOS update is a long, humorous text that focuses on putting pressure on other apps to have a better copy of its updates. Consistently, Tumblr is the fun and creative app that targets the humorous nature of its users.

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Week In Marketing: Male Millennials, Periscope, Failed Ad, Twitter Meltdown and Gender Branding

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1. Miller Lite Targets Male Millennials On Instagram
Instagram has opened up ads to more companies, and Miller Lite has been waiting for it. Miller Lite is marketing to male millennials after seeing a shift from Facebook to Instagram as the most popular social network for its target group. Miller Lite is using existing hashtags and movements, such as #typography and #thedailytype, as well as its own new ads to engage male millennials in the re-emerging, trendy interest in typography.

2. Periscope Hits 10 Million Users Mark
Four months after the livestreaming app’s debut, Periscope announced this week that it hit the 10 million mark on users. The app’s users are watching 21 million minutes a day on the app, which equates to 40 years worth of footage every 24 hours. There is competition in livestreaming apps but due to Periscope’s affiliation with Twitter, it has pulled ahead and currently has the largest user base.

3. Bic Attempts to Celebrate Women’s Day
A controversial past in its relationship with women, Bic tried to patch it up earlier this week. In an attempt to celebrate Women’s Day in South Africa, the company’s celebratory ad encouraged women to “look like a girl” and “think like a man.” After realizing the plan backfired, Bic apologized on Facebook to women everywhere.

4. Tinder Has A Twitter Meltdown
After an article released in Vanity Fair about the negativity surrounding Tinder, Tinder attempted to strike back in the form of 31 tweets. While mentioning both the journalist and Vanity Fair itself, Tinder’s social media team challenged the statistics and surveys mentioned in the article. Tinder ended its string of tweets with #GenerationTinder. Vanity Fair has yet to respond.

5. Target’s Toy Section Goes Gender Neutral
As consumers shift towards political correctness, Target took a leap to do the same earlier this week. In a blog post, Target announced that it would no longer affiliate certain products with gender in areas such as toys, entertainment and home. The change will involve removing aisle signs related to gender in these departments. Some of Target’s customer base has pushed for this change while others protest it.

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Week in Marketing: Braille Watch, Twitter’s News Tab, Millennial Marketing, Mobile Moments and Swaying PowerPoint

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1. South Korean Startup Turns Text to Braille
Visually impaired smartphone users currently rely heavily on text-to-voice automation in order to use their digital devices. Dot, a South Korean tech startup, hopes to change that. Their goal is to provide low-priced, high quality technology to aid the 285 million visually impaired people around the globe. The Dot device straps around a user’s wrist like a watch and uses a magnetic, movable braille interface. Right now, its targeted price is under 300 dollars when pre-orders start this year. Your move, Apple Watch.

2. Twitter’s Getting a News Tab
Tired of seeing your friend’s funny pet video retweets mixed in with the top stories on your News Feed? Twitter hears you. This week, they debuted a separate news tab so that these headlines will be easier to locate. This could also serve as a new way for brands to reach their target audiences and provide them with a more strategic outlet to respond to news stories.

3. MillerCoors Targets Millennials
Brewing company MillerCoors and digital media company Woven wanted a new and effective way to reach a millennial audience. Their approach? A web series called “Human” that features everything from watchmakers and surfers to motorcyclists and “master penmen”. The first three episodes have already acquired almost three million views from Woven’s website and MillerCoors’ social media channels, a strong move for their partnership.

4. New York Times Gets Timely with Mobile Moments
Users of the New York Times mobile app were complaining that random pop-up and banner advertisements interrupted their morning news readings. The NYT is re-designing their mobile format to include more native advertising content. They’re also giving these ads a new name: Mobile Moments. The Moments are customized to air during the seven times of day that are most likely to engage readers, including early morning, lunchtime and right before bed.

5. Sway: The New PowerPoint?
Microsoft’s newest tool seems a bit too much like their familiar slideshow generator at first glance. Unlike PowerPoint, however, Sway will design a format all on its own after users send in any pre-created content. Sway is also intended for easy access on any screen, allowing users to develop presentations on their mobile or tablet devices. With an established reputation in corporate environments, PowerPoint isn’t going to go away any time soon, but Sway can create a strong following in its own niche, one that includes community groups and more informal gatherings.

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Week In Marketing: New Campaigns, Brand Videos, Online Forums, SnapChat Advertising

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1. Is YouTube the new matchmaker?
VidCon had more than 21,000 attendants this year, meaning endless opportunities for the 100+ brands that sponsored the event. YouTube invited its top creative partners to spend a few minutes with 12 different brands and the results could mean major creative partnerships. So for example, YouTube star Bethany Mota was paired with Proactiv. LaurDIY was paired with Purina. The idea was to get creative conversations flowing and to pair YouTube stars with brands that might have similar values, potentially resulting in new campaigns down the road. Tinder who?

2. Move over, YouTube. FaceBook’s videos might have more potential to go viral
Chubbies, the e-commerce site that specializes in shorts, bathing suits and shirts, is making its mark as a brand that dishes out viral-worthy content. As Chubbies targets young guys who love hanging out on the weekends with their friends, social media is the obvious choice for sharing content. Over the past few months, however, they have shifted their videos from YouTube to Facebook. The bottom line is that Facebook has helped the brand accumulate more than 12 million views over the past three months whereas YouTube videos don’t get nearly the same amount of attention. The same video posted on both sites gained over 11,000 views on Facebook and around 300 views on YouTube. There’s really no competition.

3. SnapChat’s Discover Feature Evolves
SnapChat is in its early phases of advertising and its Discover feature is evolving as users do. With the Discover feature, publishers can share up to 20 stories a day allowing room for advertising in-between. SnapChat has recently pushed the feature to its Stories page to gain viewership and its latest change is replacing Warner Music Group and Yahoo. Buzzfeed and iHeartRadio will take their spots, joining People, Daily Mail, Comedy Central, National Geographic, Vice, ESPN, Food Network and Cosmopolitan.

4. JCPenney stands up to bullies in their New Campaign
JCPenney’s latest advertising campaign “Bend the Trend” seeks to promote fashion related compliments that uplift customers. Their goal is to generate positive energy around their company and teenagers. They plan to use YouTube stars such as the Merrell Twins, Josh Tryhane, Sierra Furtado, Paulina Cerrilina, the PrimroseMakeup girls and Hunter March.

5. Target’s Trophy Controversy
Target sells a woman’s t-shirt with the word “trophy” written on the front that has recently caused uproar in online forums. Some take offense to the word, saying it belittles women to mere objects. Others don’t see the problem with the t-shirt or simply don’t care. However, that hasn’t stopped the almost 15,000 people who have signed a petition to have to shirt removed from Target on Change.org. Despite these efforts, Target representatives assert the shirt is just a “fun wink” as they receive positive responses from their guests. Do you think the shirt should be removed?

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Week In Marketing: Music Festivals, Twitter Ads, TrueView Ads, and Brand Ambassadors

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1. How Marketers are Utilizing Music Festivals to Engage Millennials Bud Light is rolling out what it calls its “most immersive digital toolkit” ever. The brand will provide concertgoers exclusive deals such as fast passes, backstage tours, downloads, photos with artists and free swag. Bud Light is one of many brands stepping up their engagement with younger consumers year after year. Sephora had a beauty patio at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival and Malibu Rum brought a freestanding beach house to New York’s FarmBorough. These amenities are key to gaining millennial consumers as upping their engagement.

2. Heineken’s City Guides Give Consumers Insider Recommendations New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and Miami are experiencing a new wave of brand ambassadors. Heineken partnered with in-the-know insiders in each city to develop local restaurant and bar recommendations in a printed city guide. Heineken logos will be printed throughout the guide.

3. Is Twitter Making Room for More Advertisement Opportunities?
Twitter has removed users’ backgrounds from home pages and profiles pages. Representatives from the social media platform confirmed this is no glitch. While some users are unhappy a neutral gray screen has replaced their custom-made backgrounds, others are curious if this is a step toward more room for advertising. Twitter has yet to comment on that speculation.

4. YouTube’s TrueView Ads Welcome 360-Degree Views
In an effort to better engage mobile users, YouTube rolled out 360-degree ads on its pre-roll video ads that users have the option to skip. Users will be able to tilt their mobile phones and see different angles of the 360-degree advertisement. The first company to take advantage of this for TrueView advertisements is Bud Light. Their “Up for Whatever” campaign is utilizing the new feature for better storytelling, giving users the opportunity to feel as if they are in the ad.

5. EA Introduces First Female Star for their FIFA Video Game
With the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team in the headlines recently for their World Cup domination, EA is following suit recognizing their talents. Alex Morgan will be the first female soccer star to appear on the cover of the FIFA 16 video game alongside Lionel Messi, the world’s top male soccer player. The Canadian edition of the game will also feature Christine Sinclair, captain of the Canadian women’s team. This is a huge step in recognizing female athletes in the gaming world.

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Twitter’s E-Commerce Features Continue to Grow

Instagram and Pinterest recently revealed their integration of purchasing features on their platforms. Now, Twitter has announced that, in addition to the “buy-now” button, brands will be able to develop their own e-commerce pages with pricing and other details.

twitter marketingTwitter said, “Every month, millions of people Tweet about what they love: products they buy, places they visit, books they’re reading, or vacations they’re planning … So today we’re beginning to test two ways to make it easier for you to discover rich and relevant content about products and places on Twitter.” In other words, there are already millions of product-related Tweets (which are like mini product reviews) floating out in the Twitterverse. What Twitter is proposing is the creation of individual product pages that will display a collection of tweets and retweets from anyone who uses the product-oriented hashtag. This will create one place where users can easily find lots of aggregated information about a product.

Along with the introduction of product pages, there will be product collections. These collections can be created by celebrities or brands to showcase a combination of products that they would like consumers to view as an ensemble. For example, Twitter’s Swim & Sun Ready collection page showcases tweets about bathing suits that, when clicked, lead directly back to the individual product page for that swimsuit.

AdWeek says that this will give brands even more of an incentive to purchase promoted tweets. One drawback, though, is that it often takes multiple clicks to reach the actual point of purchase. Even though these new pages seem like they will help drive sales, they might not if customers don’t make it to the buy button. And if people use these pages to simply educate themselves on a product, the effects on sales might be too difficult to measure for advertisers.

With these changes come some questions. AdWeek asks, will these “collection-style” pages even be worth visiting? This largely depends on each individual brand’s dedication to developing these pages and populating them with content that is relevant to shoppers and Twitter users.

Another question inevitably arises: what’s next? As we have seen, social media is not stopping with buttons. Twitter is further blurring the distinction between e-commerce sites and social media platforms. Who is going to make the next move, and what new features will they come up with? Share your predictions in the comments below.

Tweets to be Featured in Google Search

google search marketingGoogle announced that they are partnering with Twitter to feature tweets in Google’s search results. The Search Engine Results Page will feature real-time content from Twitter that is relevant to a user’s Google search. For example, if you are looking for more information about the NBA Playoffs, the Google SERP will show you what the Twitter community is sharing in real-time. When tapping on the Tweet in Google, it will take you directly to Twitter to explore more #NBAPlayoffs content. And Tweet relevancy and recency seem to be the priority so far. In tests, tweets were seen on the SERP page from users with small followings and/or low activity on Twitter.

So what’s significant about this new feature?

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The Latest Endorsement Guides

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Are you leveraging social media for professional use?

If you answered yes, then you may want to familiarize yourself with the Federal Trade Commission’s newly updated Endorsement Guides.

The document answers questions people (advertisers, advertising/PR agencies, bloggers, etc.) are asking about the FTC’s Endorsement Guides, including information about disclosing material connections between advertisers and endorsers.

The guidance is now available in the form of the FTC’s recently updated FAQ entitled, “What People Are Asking”. The FAQ covers: Product Placements, Social Media Contests, Online Review Program, Intermediaries, Affiliate or Network Marketing, Expert Endorsements, Endorsements by Individuals, Testimonials and Soliciting Endorsements.

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Week In Marketing: Social Media Complaints, Presidential Race, Advertising and Technology, Iconic Magazine Covers

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1. True: US Brand managers are ignoring the majority of complaints on Twitter and Facebook
Twitter and Facebook can be effective tools for addressing questions about a brand’s product or services. According to a new study by Socialbreakers, US brand managers are not take advantage of these opportunities. The study revealed that 80 percent of questions posed to United States companies on Twitter are ignored. That’s a 20 percent higher rate than on Facebook, where brand managers are more likely to answer customers’ questions. Socialbreakers arrived at the number after studying 6.5 million tweets and 1.4 million Facebook posts across 50,000 brands.

2. Caitlyn Jenner Cover becomes instantly Iconic
Vanity Fair made headlines this month with the release of its July 2015 cover, featuring a photograph of Caitlyn Jenner shot. Its image became a viral sensation. How does it compare with other “iconic” magazine covers like the Esquire cover showing Muhammad Ali as Saint Sebastian, or Rolling Stone’s Boston Bomber cover? The explosion of social media, magazine covers have a wider impact than ever before. Yet, in an age where print is being constantly subsumed by digital, the impact of a cover like “Call me Caitlyn” proves that the magazine still holds an important place in the media landscape, regardless of whether it’s being consumed on a newsstand or in an Instagram feed.

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Week in Marketing: #SaveOurSwirled, Tweet Ordering, Lifestyle Branding

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1. Ben & Jerry’s Uses a New Ice Cream Flavor to Promote Climate Activism
Ben & Jerry’s created a new flavor called “Save Our Swirled” – the acronym spelling “SOS” – to raise awareness of the upcoming global climate talks in Paris in December. Ben & Jerry’s has partnered with the activist group Avaaz, as well as made changes internally to increase energy efficiency and shrink their carbon footprint.

2. Twitter Ordering is Made Possible by Domino’s
By tweeting a pizza emoji to the Domino’s twitter account, you can have a pizza sent to your house. The Twitter ordering system works by accessing customer profiles found in Domino’s Easy Order system. Domino’s said this will be a permanent ordering feature.

3. Hillary Clinton Creates “Pansuit Tee” to be “More Relatable”
Hillary Clinton has shown that she is comfortable poking fun at herself. Her campaign store is now selling an “Everyday Pantsuit Tee,” inspired by her reputation of frequently wearing pantsuits. It seems that this is an effort to soften her brand image. But because the proceeds of the t-shirt sales are benefiting her campaign, many wonder if it will have any effect on voting.

4. Scion’s Music Label = Lifestyle Branding?
Scion’s music label, Scion AV, works with more than 1,500 artists in an effort to give a consistent voice and style to the Scion brand. Even though it is part of Scion’s marketing efforts, Scion AV functions as a normal record label, with all rights belonging to artists. They support up-and-coming talent through the creation of albums, music videos, films, live events, and more.

5. Liam Neeson Named Most-Likeable Celebrity Endorser
A Neilson study named the ten most-liked celebrity endorsers and overall ten most marketable celebrity endorsers for the first quarter of 2015. Liam Neeson made it on the top of both of those lists. Awareness, likability, and influence were some of the characteristics used to determine this list.

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