Monthly Archives: April 2013

Budweiser's 'Buddy Cup' Will Get You Facebook Friends While You're Drunk

Budweiser has developed the ultimate social media drinking receptacle — cups that link drinkers on Facebook when they “chin-chin” them together.
Launched in Brazil by Agencia Africa and the design studio Bolha, the cups will be used at Budweiser-sponsored events (for now). A QR code on the bottom of each cup allows it to be linked to its holder’s Facebook through their cell phone. Scan the code, and let the drunken Friending begin.
While Adweek calls it “the dumbest high-tech brand innovation yet,” the cup does come with a catchy little commercial. And though it is unlikely to be implemented on a mass-produced scale, it shows that Bud is at least thinking about social media-driven branding.
Sergio Gordilho, Agencia Africa’s chief creative officer, said that “innovation is in Budweiser’s DNA. Its platforms are constantly surprising customers with the best there is … the ‘Buddy Cup’ is another idea bringing the brand even closer to its customers and opening new levels of interaction for them.”
Is this the red Solo cup of the future? Probably not. But it’s a good move from a brand that wants to remain relevant to a young, socially-connected crowd. Even if the only way most of us will experience the Buddy Cup is through this video:

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AOL's Plan To Steal TV Ad Dollars Is Totally Working

AOL just got its online video programming included in Mediaocean, the software platform that media buyers use to plan TV budgets, Ad Age reports.
We suggested last year that AOL’s long-term vision for its ad sales operations was to syphon off some of the $50 billion currently going into traditional TV budgets.
This looks like part of that plan. Ad Age says:
It’s super-technical and back-office, but when media planners allocate money, they use [Mediaocean] software, and [AOL video chief Ran] Harnevo believes the move will allow advertisers to move TV dollars to video elsewhere seamlessly, if they choose to do so. That, combined with Nielsen online campaign ratings, will mean TV can be compared to digital video on the apples-to-apples basis of reach and frequency, rather than web metrics like views or time spent.
The plan is paying off financially for AOL. Total revenues were $1.4 billion last year, up 8%. Ad revenues are now 65% of all AOL’s revenues, up from 53% in 2010.
There’s only been one hitch along the way: The departure of former ad chief Ned Brody for Yahoo!. CEO Tim Armstrong is temporarily filling those duties.
Here’s the breakdown (below). Note that the real growth is in AOL’s third-party network ad business. Here’s an example of one of its recent video syndication deals.

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Facebook Ad Boss: Clicks And Engagement Are Not As Important As Exposure (FB, GOOG)

Facebook Ad Products Director Gokul Rajaram spoke on a panel today at TechCrunch Disrupt about the state of digital advertising.
He was joined by Twitter Senior Director of Product Revenue Kevin Weil and Google VP of Display Advertising Products Neal Mohan.
They all agreed that ads these days need to be cross-platform and work well on PCs, tablets, and even wearable devices like Google Glass. But they had different ideas of how to measure the success of a digital marketing campaign.
Ads these days are measured by impressions (how many ads served up), clicks (how many people click), and conversions (how many people buy). Those are good as far as they go, Google’s Mohan said, but specifically measuring what brands care about is still a huge obstacle. 
Facebook’s Rajaram suggests that companies should focus less on engagement and clicks, and more on how people are being exposed to ads because “there’s really no correlation between clicks and whether people actually convert.”
Studies have shown that even if people don’t click on ads, just seeing the ad will influence a future purchase, similar to way ads work on television. This is called “demand-generation,” which aims to plant ideas in your head and doesn’t intend to elicit an immediate response.
Rajaram went on to say that digital advertising just doesn’t work very well.
“For the last decade, the model has been broken,” Rajaram said. “We need to move towards a more sophisticated, multi-touch model and figure out how to accrue value at each touch point.”
SEE ALSO: Twitter Opens Ads To Everyone In The U.S.

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Who Are The Most Creative People In Social Media Marketing?

We’re currently compiling our annual ranking of the most creative people in social media marketing.
And we want your help.
Creativity in social media marketing is completely different than traditional media. The media-agnostic idea — rather than the words or visuals — is the key. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and all the others all have distinct advantages over TV and print. But there are disadvantages, too. Solving that problem is the key to unlocking social media for brands.
So, you tell us who’s really killing it in social media marketing. Nominees can be agency execs or client-side marketers.
We will rank the nominees based on their creativity and innovation, weighting the list in favor of executives at large companies, or agencies who have big corporate clients (it’s easy to be creative at a startup; less so at a multinational packaged goods company).
Here are the criteria. Nominations that fail to follow these criteria will be downgraded in our review process, in order to punish lazy, self-serving or otherwise fluffy nominations.

Email Laura Stampler,, by Monday, May 6. 
Send the name of your nominee(s), his or her company and job title, and why he or she is the most creative in the field.
Give specific, detailed examples of actual work they have done. We like using visuals, so try to include images illustrating their work.
Send us a photo of the nominee that we have permission to publish.
NOMINATE A COMPETITOR. It’s important that we have the best of the best, so we need to know who the competition is. This is a requirement! This means another creative individual in the social media marketing world who doesn’t work at your company. Nominations will be kept confidential. Emails that do not contain a competitor will be downgraded in our ranking.

We want to know who’s dominating the industry; now is the time to let us know.
SEE ALSO: The 30 Most Creative People In Mobile Advertising

Budweiser Is Still Trying To Prove Beer Isn't Watered Down In New Ads

Budweiser’s new ads, which focus on the people who physically brew the Bud and the integrity with which it’s made, looks like a continued effort to fight the perception that its beers are watered down.
In February, beer drinkers across the U.S. filed lawsuits against the company totaling $5 million that claimed since merging with InBev in 2008, Anheuser-Busch increasingly added water to its beers to reduce costs.
Peter Kraemer, Vice President of Brewing and Supply, responded to the claims, saying “Our beers are in full compliance with all alcohol labeling laws. We proudly adhere to the highest standards in brewing our beers.” Independent NPR- and CNN-conducted tests proved Kraemer right — all the beers tested measured within 0.3% alcohol by volume of the content advertised by the company.
Still, Budweiser has a perception problem, which is one reason for new ads which focus on personalized brewing process.
The Anomaly-created commercials, which start airing today, open with the question “Do you know who brewed your beer?” They then introduce some of Budweiser’s brewmasters from around the country, friendly-looking people who say things like “We work hard every day to make your Budweiser the perfect Budweiser,” and “I am passionate about Budweiser flavor.”
Kraemer also makes a cameo as a fifth generation brew master.
The spots builds on A-B InBev’s ‘Track Your Bud’ campaign, a clever online tool that shows customers where and how their beer was brewed. 
A-B InBev is also suing former employee James Clark, the original whistleblower of the watering-down scandal, to try to fix its negative public perception. A-B says Clark “improperly used and misrepresented our confidential information to instigate these lawsuits.”
InBev is currently facing demand issues in North America — a drop in domestic US beer shipments saw demand in the first three months of 2013 falling 5.1%, down from 1.2% growth last year.
Will these spots help the company’s turnaround?

SEE ALSO: Beer Company Slammed On Facebook For ‘Homophobic’ Billboard >

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H&M Subtly Used A Plus-Sized Model For Its Swimsuit Collection

H&M decided to use plus-sized model Jennie Runk to be the face and body of its new beachwear collection.
Click here for more photos>
But what makes H&M’s decision so laudable is how casually it handled breaking fashion norms. There was no press release or loud declaration on its website.
It just so happened that when consumers clicked on the “new beachwear” section on the retailer’s website home page, they were greeted by images of a six foot tall woman with curvy proportions you’re more likely to see in a normal setting rather than on a runway.
“Models whose bodies differ from the straight-size standard should be visible in fashion, outside of the stigmatizing magazine “Size” issues and the dedicated “Plus” categories, which retailers always seem to bury,” Jezebel’s Jenna Sauers wrote. “Why shouldn’t Jennie Runk, and other women like her, get [to] be on the homepage, too?”
This quiet integration seems to be H&M’s style. 
The Swedish retailer began using mannequins with size 12 bodies in its lingerie departments in March. But even though H&M did so quietly, critics loudly complained once they noticed the figures, saying that the company was promoting obesity.
Although looking at Runk’s photos, she looks anything but unhealthy, which only emphasizes the bizarre norms that the fashion industry has created.
Consumers visiting H&M’s homepage were greeted with this invitation to click through its new beachwear collection.

At first it was hard to tell that Jennie Runk wasn’t your “typical” model.

She has curves like most average, healthy looking women.

Twitter Ads Are Now Available To Everyone In The U.S.

Twitter is opening up its ad platform to everyone in the U.S., Kevin Weil, senior director of product for revenue at Twitter, announced at TechCrunch Disrupt today.
Twitter ads were previously invite-only, but now any brand, business, or individual can advertise on the platform either through Promoted Accounts or Promoted Tweets. 
You can sign up for Twitter ads here.
SEE ALSO: FIRST LOOK: Cool Stuff Inside Twitter’s New Advertising Interface

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Beer Company Slammed On Facebook For 'Homophobic' Billboard

A new billboard from New Zealand’s Tui beer has sparked outrage on the company’s Facebook page for being “disgusting,” “homophobic,” “creepy,” and an overall “disgrace.”
Tui marketing manager William Papesch explained in a statement that “given the recent passing of the Same Sex Marriage Bill in Parliament,” the beer maker thought it was a good idea to make a billboard that reads, “Dad’s new husband seems nice. Yeah right.”
‘‘Our intention … was to highlight the common situation or uncertainty experienced when someone’s parent remarries,” Papesch continued. “This ‘Yeah Right’ line is a topical spin at the age-old situation of a parent’s new partner.’’
To which many critics are saying, “Yeah right.”
Although BuzzFeed notes that Tui probably didn’t mean any harm, the provocative “Yeah right” tagline has run for ages and been paired with other controversial statements like “Let’s take a moment this Christmas to think about Christ,” and many were still offended.
While the company’s Facebook page might say it is “for fans who LOVE all things Tui,” fans were posting comments that showed a little more hate:

To which Tui began responding:

BII REPORT: Inside The Massive Mobile Advertising Ecosystem

We are in the post-PC era, and soon billions of consumers will be carrying around Internet-connected mobile devices for up to 16 hours a day. Mobile audiences have exploded as a result.
Mobile advertising should be a bonanza, similar to online advertising a decade ago. However, it has been a bit slow off the ground, and its growth trajectory is not clear cut.
In a recent report from BI Intelligence on the mobile advertising ecosystem, we explain the complexities and fractures, and examine the central and dynamic roles played by mobile ad networks, demand side platforms, mobile ad exchanges, real-time bidding, agencies, brands, and new companies hoping to upend the traditional banner ad.
Access The Full Report And Data By Signing Up For A Free Trial Today >>
Here’s the dynamics surrounding the mobile advertising ecosystem:

Mobile advertising is relatively tiny: U.S. mobile ad revenue was $1.2 billion last year, a tiny fraction of overall U.S. ad spend. And most “mobile ads” were simply search and display ads viewed on mobile.  According to BI Intelligence estimates, mobile advertising is on track to hit $3.2 billion this year. 
Why? Mobile CPMS are low, and ads are oftentimes intrusive. Ad spending has therefore not caught up with time spent on mobile. These will remain significant challenges to mobile ads.
Also, the mobile ad ecosystem is very complex: The mobile ad ecosystem is not as strictly delineated as the desktop ecosystem. In mobile advertising, the rules of the road change with different combinations of device, wireless operator, and operating system.
And there are few shared protocols or standards: Mobile lacks the technical consensus that enables ad targeting, delivery, and measurement to work fairly seamlessly across the desktop world. As the mobile ad industry matures it will likely become more streamlined and simple, but for now there are innumerable actors interacting with one another and attempting to find a niche.
The display ad category presents a dynamic and complicated future: Google dominated the paid search category, which accounted for 62 percent of mobile global ad spend last year. But, mobile ad networks, demand side platforms, mobile ad exchanges are all part of a dynamic ecosystem that is constantly evolving and trying to grow non-search mobile related advertising. New companies are also testing out and finding some success with mobile native ad formats. 

In full, the report:

If Brands Hate Web Ad Trading Desks So Much Why Are They Throwing Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars At Them?

If advertisers hate agency trading desks so much — with their alleged non-transparent pricing, and their alleged self-dealing arbitrage practices — then why are they increasing the ad budgets they give them?
Trading desk revenue is up at WPP’s Xaxis, according to AdExchanger:
Xaxis grew its revenue by 28% during the first quarter, said Pivotal Research Analyst Brian Wieser in a research note. WPP had previously stated the business had 2012 media billings of $270 million and a headcount of 200.
AdExchanger earlier reported that revenue is up at Interpublic’s Cadreon desk, too:
First, pushback or no, Cadreon’s global annual revenue is substantial – in the realm of $100 million, a source tells AdExchanger. Last year, Cadreon grew about 28% in North America and 150% internationally.
We previously noted that several clients — Procter & Gamble, Ford, Citibank, Unilever, Kimberly-Clark, and AT&T — had pulled their budgets from agency trading desks.
The criticism of agencies is that they buy the web advertising media upfront with their own money. They then slice and dice it, according to data they’ve gathered themselves, making it more targetable and thus more valuable. the media is then sold at a premium to clients. Clients don’t know what the original price was — and thus, nor do they know what the agency’s markup is.
But it seems that while the dissidents may be shouting louder, the clients are actually voting with their wallets.
SEE ALSO: AppNexus CEO Admits Original Web Ad Prices Are Sometimes Not Revealed
SEE ALSO: Ford, P&G And Others In Full-Scale Revolt Against Ad Price ‘Arbitrage’

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