Thursday, March 05, 2015

Instagram's new clickable 'Carousel' ad format

A New Way for Brands to Tell Stories on Instagram from Instagram on Vimeo.

This is pretty huge news, I think:  Instagram is launching a new ad unit, where advertisers can show multiple pics (slide from left to right), plus - crucially - a clickable link.

Until now Instagram has only allowed one clickable link, in the profile page, to try to deter spam accounts and comment spammers.  The new ad unit allows a clickable link to a web page - you can see how this could be very effective for advertisers.

This is likely to be US first, and then rolled out elsewhere later.

More here

Plus - Pinterest is also looking at a 'Carousel' ad feature.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Stock Photos with Vince Vaughn and others for Unfinished Business

This is inspired!  To promote the film Unfinished Business, Fox has partnered with Getty's iStock photo library to produce some stock photos, featuring the cast.

Four pics will be released each week, for one week only, free for any one to use for editorial purposes (but you need to create and iStock account to get them without the watermark)

Pretty much guaranteed to go viral too, just as these 'stock photo' tumblrs have shown.

Very creative!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Brands react to #TheDress

Today everyone (clearly not everyone...) is talking about The Dress.  Sparked off by a Buzzfeed article on a debate on Tumblr about the colour of a dress (nearly 22m views at time of writing, in less than 24 hours, with 6 follow-up articles), it's a debate about the colours of a two colour dress.

Essentially, the colours you see are determined by your screen brightness and your eyes, but somehow the story went viral, driven by celebs like Taylor Swift commenting.  It's helped distract us from Jihadi John, the story that is on the front page of all UK newspapers, anyway.

Here are how some brands have tried to hijack the #TheDress hashtag:

(See times for approximate order of posting)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lady Gaga's American Horror Story Hotel Twitter Video

Lady Gaga announced a new album 45 minutes ago via Twitter - and her tweet (below) has already had 23,000 retweets.

As a note of contrast this is what she did back on  New Year's Eve 2010.  Twitter, like so much else, is now all about the video

This is the tweet from over 4 years ago - back then you had to add a pic through Twitpic...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Facebook's UK TV Ads

Facebook's first three UK TV ads.

I like them, but they feel American in all but voice-over - they could be clips from Lena Dunham's show Girls, but with a different cast

 Flashback - the first American TV ad aka 'Chairs' from 2012

Friday, February 20, 2015

Honda - Faster

Great new ads from Honda -

Watch this...

(& follow the link at the end)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Star Wars for Pancake Day

40m views for this video on Facebook, according to the view counter...

Love from Land Rover

A lovely 3 minute film from Land Rover for Valentine's Day

Monday, February 09, 2015

Using Beacons for Retargeting

This is a nice (& pretty basic) example of using beacons for retargeting, from Swedish newspaper publisher Aftonbladet, and Uniliver brand Knorr soup.

A food truck in Stockholm served Knorr, and could eat it then and there, or take a sample back home.

People who visited the truck, and had the Aftonbladet app on their phone (& had bluetooth enabled, presumably) could be retargeted later on the Aftonbladet app with a coupon from Knorr.

Pretty basic, as I say, but I think we'll see a lot more of this, especially as Apple now turns on Bluetooth by default, and Facebook is experimenting with beacons.

More info here

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

The Four Horsemen

An excellent, punchy presentation from Professor Scott Galloway at the DLD15 Conference.

He lays out in 15 minutes major issues for Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple

Spoilers -

Amazon - Going to struggle as a pure-play ecommerce company - will buy into a retail chain (this is already happening)
Facebook - He loves it
Google - Under attack from twin threats of mobile and social
Apple - He loves it

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

McDonald's Super Bowl Twitter Stunt

McDonalds seem to have won the Super Bowl on Twitter this year with a classic 'why didn't I think of that?' stunt -

Their Super Bowl ad used the theme 'Lovin' - showing people paying in-store with making a loving gesture ('The price is that you call your mom and say you love her')

What they did next was brilliant:

They tweeted during each ad break, letting people win the other Super Bowl brands' products by RT-ing their tweets - a Mercedes, a Victoria's Secret gift card, a wheelbarrow full of Doritos...

Not all of the products were given away in such a literal way - the tweet for the 50 Shades of Grey trailer for example was a ride in a helicopter (rather than a BDSM session)

(UK readers will recognise that this is something that has been done on Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway - game show contestants win all the products in a TV ad break)

Given the engagement and plaudits McDonalds has received for this I'm sure they'll do it again - maybe it will become a new Super bowl tradition?

Full story here  (& it seems that McDonalds had 1.2m RTs over the course of the night)

In other McDonalds news, they've been auctioning a small number of bottles of Big Mac Sauce in Australia for charity - and bids have reached over £10,000

Friday, January 30, 2015

On the Farm with The Internet of Things

A good, non-flashy example of The Internet of Things at work, on a farm, from Ofcom.  I like this because it shows a practical use, and you can imagine it making a real difference to how farming works.

"What is it?
Fertilizer, fodder and water distributed across the farm in the right quantities, in the right places, and at the right time.

How does it work?
In the future low-cost wirelessly connected machine-to-machine (M2M) sensors are likely to be sown into fields to measure moisture at different depths below ground. This information will be beamed wirelessly to a central control system, which sends water to the crops that need it and at a rate that best permeates the ground with minimum waste.

After harvest, grain stores need to be cooled to preserve cereals and minimise any insect activity. M2M communications would also be used to monitor and control the storage conditions of these crops, reducing energy costs, improving food quality and reducing wastage.

What are the benefits?
Better tasting, more nutritious crops produced with less water, fertiliser, pesticides and energy.

With a growing population, there is an increasing demand to improve the productivity of farmland while also protecting the environment. Studies show that M2M irrigation systems can produce water savings of 70%, reducing the need for fertilizers and pesticides and lowering the environmental impacts of farming. Not only that, smart irrigation techniques produced sweeter fruit with higher vitamin C levels.

Emerging today and mainstream in 10 years."

More examples here
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