Monthly Archives: May 2013

Victoria’s Secret Viral Music Videos

Victoria’s Secret creates a series of music videos for summer.

It’s been quite a popular series, with the Rihanna video above garnering over 200,000 views alone.  The series has captured nearly 2 million views.  And of course, there should be a fair amount of residual.  About the Rihanna video, the V.S. website says, “The fourth and final installment in the Angels & Artists swim video series sizzles with Erin Heatherton, Behati Prinsloo, and a sultry soundtrack from Rihanna. Featuring ‘Stay’ feat. Mikky Ekko, and new arrivals from the Swim 2013 Collection available online, in catalogue and at over 650 Victoria’s Secret stores.”  And by most accounts, it has been a swimsuit and fashion marketing success.
The “Angels & Artists” Series (LINK) to date has featured videos by Bruno Mars, Maroon 5, Justin Bieber and Rihanna.
From May, 2013. Click for Victoria’s Secret Swim pages…

Yelp To Business Owners: Stop Accusing Us Of 'Extortion' (YELP)

Yelp has been the subject of a new crop of stories from business owners claiming they are being shaken down to become advertisers.
Last month, LA Times columnist Sandy Banks reported on a sign she saw at a local restaurant: “Stop the Bully. Boycott Yelp,” it read.
That lead to an outpouring of reader comments from business owners who complained that “good reviews routinely were hidden and bad ones displayed” until they became paid Yelp advertisers.
We also recently reported on restaurant manager Ed Wells who told us that bad reviews started pouring in after he refused to advertise on Yelp.
That’s nothing short of extortion and it’s an old accusation. It even led to a flurry of lawsuits in 2011 which the courts ultimately dismissed.
But the stories persist. Yesterday, the Washington Post followed up with a video news report on Yelp.
So today Yelp’s top PR honcho, Vince Sollitto, fired back with a blog post denying claims of “extortion” and daring people to use a Google search to “see for yourself.”
Here’s his explanation of why these accusations won’t quit:
“Ironically, it stems from Yelp’s efforts to protect consumers from those who are constantly trying to game the system. Yelp uses automated software to showcase the most helpful and reliable reviews from among the millions submitted. Those that don’t make the grade — about 20 percent — are posted to a separate “Filtered Review” page. So, in trying to prevent unethical wrongdoing on Yelp, Yelp gets accused of the same.”
He also admitted that the algorithm isn’t perfect.
“One downside of having automated software screen more than 39 million reviews is that some perfectly legitimate reviews are inevitably caught in the filter. This is the price we have to pay given the reality of efforts to mislead consumers.”
Given the ongoing stories from business owners, Yelp is struggling to shake off this perception.
SEE ALSO: AWESOME PLACES TO WORK: These Startups Have Better Perks Than Free Food Or Beers On Tap

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What Jif Peanut Butter Had To Say About GIF's Official Pronunciation

Earlier this week, Graphics Interchange Format (also known as GIF) creator Steve Wilhite gave the final word on the proper pronunciation of the word.
“The Oxford English Dictionary accepts both pronunciations,” Wilhite told The New York Times. “They are wrong. It is a soft ‘G,’ pronounced ‘jif.’ End of story.”
Like any social media savvy brand, Jif peanut butter tried to jump into the conversation with a relevant tweet:
Which of course linked to a GIF:

This is just like that time Red Vines immediately posted a six-second video following the launch of Vine.

While it is a clever brand opportunity, not everyone loved the tweet. Ad agency R/GA tweeted its dismay:

Why Social Media Advertising Is Set To Explode

It’s not difficult to understand the lure of social media advertising.
Social networks like Facebook and Twitter are daily destinations for millions of consumers. Increasingly, their ad products offer targeting according to specific demographics, social connections, interests, and habits. 
As brands look across a fractured media landscape, where few digital properties offer any scale, social networks offer them an interesting proposition. 
In a new report from BI Intelligence, we analyze the state of social media advertising and where it is heading, offering a comprehensive guide and examination of the advertising ecosystems on Facebook and Twitter, offer a primer on Tumblr as an emerging ad medium, and detail how mobile is an important part of this story as mobile-friendly as native ad formats fuel growth in the market.
Access The Full Report And Data By Signing Up For A Free Trial Today >>
Here’s an overview of some major players in the mobile advertising ecosystem:

Social media advertising offers a potentially unique advertising opportunity massive: As brands look across a fractured media landscape, social networks offer them an interesting proposition. Social networks have scale –  enormous user bases and deep databases. And they have high engagement and desirable demographics – Americans were spending an average of 12 hours per month on social networks as of July 2012, with 18-24 year olds averaging 20 hours. 
Even conservative estimates predict huge growth: BIA/Kelsey recently came out with a study that offers one view – forecasting $11 billion of social ad spend in 2017, up from $4.7 billion last year. Social media advertising is a young and growing market and, so far, it only represents 1% to 10% of ad budgets for a wide majority of advertisers. There’s significant opportunity for that share to grow.  
Increased mobile usage will be a huge growth driver: Both Twitter and Facebook have passed the 50% mobile usage mark and, given the continued growth of mobile devices, it will only rise. Mobile accounted for 11% of Facebook’s ad revenue last year even though it didn’t release mobile ads until the tail end of the second quarter. By the fourth quarter, it was up to 23%. And now, Twitter is reporting that its mobile ad revenue now regularly outpaces its desktop ad revenue.
As in-stream advertising, easily transferable across devices, drive the change: According to social ad optimization platform TBG, Facebook’s mobile ads have the highest click-through rates by a substantial margin. Furthermore, native in-stream ads are perfectly transferable across devices, whereas display ads can have issues on a smaller screen. The BIA/Kelsey prediction calls for mobile to account for only $2.2 billion of that in 2017 – a 20% market share. It seems highly unlikely that mobile will account for only 20% of the social ad market come 2017, especially as usage habits continue to change.

The report is full of charts and data that can be easily downloaded and put to use. 
In full, the report includes:

You Are Less Beautiful Than You Think

In April 15, 2013 Dove launched a 3-minute video entitled “Dove Real Beauty Sketches.”
The video achieved instant popularity and has been watched millions of times — a successful viral campaign which has been widely talked about.
In the video, a small group of women are asked to describe their faces to a person whom they cannot see. The person is a forensic artist who is there to draw pictures of the women based on their verbal descriptions. A curtain separates the artist and the women, and they never see each other.
Before all this, each woman is asked to socialize with a stranger, who later separately describes the woman to the forensic artist. In the end, the women are shown the two drawings, one based on their own description, the other based on the stranger’s description.
Much to their amazement and delight, the women realize that the drawings based on strangers’ descriptions depict much more beautiful women. The video ends: “You are more beautiful than you think.”
The idea is quite appealing. Perhaps too many women are unhappy with their looks. It would be a big relief if we all suddenly realized, like Christian Andersen’s ugly duckling, that we are in fact beautiful.
However, what Dove is suggesting is not actually true. The evidence from psychological research suggests instead that we tend to think of our appearance in ways that are more flattering than are warranted.
This seems to be part of a broader human tendency to see ourselves through rose colored glasses. Most of us think that we are better than we actually are — not just physically, but in every way.
The most direct evidence that the Dove commercial is misleading comes from the work of Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago and Erin Whitchurch of the University of Virginia. In a series of studies, Epley and Whitchurch showed that we see ourselves as better looking than we actually are.
The researchers took pictures of study participants and, using a computerized procedure, produced more attractive and less attractive versions of those pictures. Participants were told that they would be presented with a series of images including their original picture and images modified from that picture.
They were then asked to identify the unmodified picture. They tended to select an attractively enhanced one.
Epley and Whitchurch showed that people display this bias for themselves but not for strangers. The same morphing procedure was applied to a picture of a stranger, whom the study participant met three weeks earlier during an unrelated study. Participants tended to select the unmodified picture of the stranger.
People tend to say that an attractively enhanced picture is their own, but Epley and Whitchurch wanted to be sure that people truly believe what they say. People recognize objects more quickly when those objects match their mental representations. Therefore, if people truly believe that an attractively enhanced picture is their own, they should recognize that picture more quickly, which is exactly what the researchers found.
Inflated perceptions of one’s physical appearance is a manifestation of a general phenomenon psychologists call “self-enhancement.” Researchers have shown that people overestimate the likelihood that they would engage in a desirable behavior, but are remarkably accurate when predicting the behavior of a stranger.
For example, people overestimate the amount of money they would donate to charity while accurately predicting others’ donations. Similarly, people overestimate their likelihood to vote in an upcoming presidential election, while accurately predicting others’ likelihood to vote.
Most people believe that they are above average, a statistical impossibility. Theabove average effects, as they are called, are common. For example, 93 percent ofdrivers rate themselves as better than the median driver. Of college professors, 94 percent say that they do above-average work. People are unrealistically optimistic about their own health risks compared with those of other people.
For example, people think that they are less susceptible to the flu than others. Stock pickers think the stocks they buy are more likely to end up winners than those of the average investor. If you think that self-enhancement biases exist in other people and they do not apply to you, you are not alone. Most people state that they are more likely than others to provide accurate self-assessments.
Why do we have positively enhanced self-views?
The adaptive nature of self-enhancement might be the answer. Conveying the information that one has desirable characteristics is beneficial in a social environment. People may try to deceive others about their characteristics, but deception has two main disadvantages.
First, it is cognitively taxing because the deceiver has to hold two conflicting representations of reality in mind: the true state of affairs and the deception. The resulting cognitive load reduces performance in other cognitive functions. Second, people are good at detecting deception and they show strong negative emotional reactions toward deceivers.
Since in self-enhancement people truly believe that they have desirable characteristics, they can promote themselves without having to lie. Self-enhancement also boosts confidence. Researchers have shown that confidence plays a role in determining whom people choose as leaders and romantic partners. Confident people are believed more and their advice is more likely to be followed.
Dove’s premise is wrong. But thinking we are more beautiful than we really are may not be such a bad thing.
Are you a scientist who specializes in neuroscience, cognitive science, or psychology? And have you read a recent peer-reviewed paper that you would like to write about? Please send suggestions to Mind Matters editor Gareth Cook, a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist at the Boston Globe. He can be reached at garethideas AT or Twitter @garethideas.

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What Abercrombie & Fitch Ads Would Look Like With Plus-Size Models (ANF)

Earlier this month, Business Insider reported on Abercrombie & Fitch CEO’s Mike Jeffries refusal to market or sell clothes for women who need XL or above sizes.
“We want to market to cool, good-looking people. We don’t market to anyone other than that,” Jeffries said.
The fashion retailer’s definition of “cool and good-looking” does not include plus-sized women since the brand refuses to manufacture women’s clothing in XL and XXL.
In America today 67% of women are considered plus-sized, and one of them has decided to speak up.
The Militant Baker, a voluptuous blogger known as, Jes, has created an “Attractive & Fat” image campaign which features her modeling – sometimes topless – in Abercrombie-style clothing with a slim male counterpart.
Along with the images, she has posted a letter to Jeffries in response to the CEO’s comments and his apology shortly thereafter.
Jes wrote to the CEO: 
Never in our culture do we see sexy photo shoots that pair short, fat, unconventional models with not short, not fat, professional models. To put it in your words: “unpopular kids” with “cool kids”. It’s socially acceptable for same to be paired with same, but never are contrasting bodies positively mixed in the world of advertisement. The juxtaposition of uncommonly paired bodies is visually jarring, and, even though I wish it didn’t, it causes viewers to feel uncomfortable. This is largely attributed to companies like yours that perpetuate the thought that fat women are not beautiful.
Here’s a selection of the images she posted. We are just as curious as Jes as to Mike Jeffires’ response.

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Samsung's New Ad Campaign: Men Are Idiots

Samsung‘s latest hardware ad campaigns seem to revolve around a similar message: Guys are complete idiots. We’re talking slow, sloppy, ‘it’s surprising they remembered to put on their pants this morning’ dumb.
Earlier this month, The Viral Factory started promoting an ad made by Possible for the Samsung Series 9 — a computer monitor — in which a man thinks that his stuffed dog is, in fact, real. (Watch the spot below.) He simply doesn’t understand why ladies on benches don’t want to pet his “dog” or why Buddy refuses to pee on walks.
That is until he drags his leashed dog to a store window housing Series 9 monitors that play videos of golden retriever puppies on a loop. Shock, horror, betrayal, and then the voice-over that says, “Having the real thing is an awesome thing.”
The next hardware spot (watch below) opens with a caveman-like husband watching cavemen on TV as he farts, grunts, and eats fried chicken. The ad is for Samsung’s Evolution Kit, which turns televisions into smart TVs. The man’s neglected wife imagines what it would be like if she could plug the Evolution Kit on her husband. He essentially turns into Suzy Homemaker with the ability to juggle eggs pre-baking, rock the baby to sleep, and finish the ironing without breaking a sweat.
Adweek notes that the agency is undetermined, “CHI & Partners, global agency for Samsung TVs, says it wasn’t them.”
72andSunny created an ingenious and niche campaign for Samsung phones. Apple-bashing has become a sport, not just a marketing platform.
But Samsung’s ad strategy for its televisions and computer hardware is handled by different agencies and is still finding its way.
Although the “Evolutionary Husband?” spot seems to resonate with fans at almost 10 million views in just a week, other marketing attempts have been less successful.
Who can forget Samsung’s horrible storage device ad in 2012 that reimagined slow computers as cute puppies that were brutally beaten and killed by frustrated masters. Yes, really. The ad has been pulled but you can see a breakdown with images here.
We’ll see if the “guys are dumb” niche sticks.
Here’s the ad where the guy doesn’t get that his dog isn’t real:

Here’s the ad where the guy doesn’t get basic human interaction:

SEE ALSO: How Prada Grew Its Brand Value Faster Than Any Other Last Year >

How Dove's 'Real Beauty Sketches' Became The Most Viral Video Ad Of All Time

Just one month after its release, Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” has garnered more than 114 million total views, making it the most viral ad video of all time. (See video below.)
The short film used an FBI-trained sketch artist to draw women first based on their own self-perception and then based on that of a stranger. The stranger’s descriptions were regularly more stereotypically attractive and similar to what the subjects actually looked like — hammering in Dove’s point that women are often overly critical of their appearances and don’t see their true beauty.
In spite of some criticism, the video’s self-esteem boosting message clearly resonated with a massive audience. It was uploaded in 25 different languages to 33 of Dove’s YouTube channels and has been viewed in more than 110 countries.
But how did it reach that extreme level of virality?
Of course the simplest answer is that it elicited a strong emotional response from viewers.
Dove published survey data asserting, “Over half (54%) of women globally agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic, which equates to a staggering 672 million women around the world.”
David Waterhouse, the global head of content and PR at viral tracker Unruly Media agrees.
“I think what made this campaign perform particularly strongly is the content, which elicited the intense emotional responses of ‘warmth, ‘happiness’ and ‘knowledge’ from its target demographic — one of the key factors behind a video’s sharing success,” he told Business Insider. “But, more importantly, we are really seeing social motivations behind sharing becoming a lot more important. Brands have to give people a reason to share the video.”
A video really soars when consumers don’t just want to watch it on YouTube, but they also want to share it with their friends. That’s why good content is a key starting point.
According to Unruly’s data, the video was shared 3.74 million times, which makes it the third most shared video of all time. And it even has a better share-to-view ratio (one share for every 30 views) than Evian’s “Roller Babies” ad, the previous record holder (one share for every 30 views).
“Roller Babies” has been shared 3.6 million times on Facebook, 117,900 times on Twitter, and 1,800 blog posts.
But what really stands out is the Dove campaign’s fast momentum starting the day of its launch.
“The pace of sharing for this campaign is also unprecedented,” Waterhouse said. “In its first two weeks it attracted an incredible 3.17 million shares — that’s more than any other ad has managed in the same period, including VW’s  ‘The Force,’ [TNT’s] ‘Dramatic Surprise,’ and ‘Dumb Ways To Die,’ the first, second and fourth most shared ads of all time respectively.”
Here’s a graph of Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” share statistics in its first month:
Roll Out Strategy
The client also did some careful media planning. 
Dove Skin VP Fernando Machado told BI that the video first launched in four key markets: the U.S., Canada, Brazil, and Australia. It was then rolled out abroad, and uploaded in 25 languages and seen in 110 countries.
“The brand partnered with YouTube and Unruly to facilitate the distribution and seeding strategy,” Machado said. “PR served as a key channel, generating initial placements with media such as the Today Show, Mashable, Huffington Post and Channel 7 Morning Show in Australia. The film was distributed to top media around the world and was quickly shared by women, men, media and even other brands.”
This lead to 4 billion PR and blogger media impressions and counting.

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The Cable Business Is Finally, Really Getting Killed By The Internet

After years of premature declarations of the death of pay TV, it looks like it’s actually starting to happen.
In the last twelve months pay TV — cable, satellite, and fiber — lost 80,000 subscribers, according to Leichtman Research Group, via Janko Roettgers at GigaOm. This is the first time the pay TV business lost subscribers like this.
Bruce Leichtman, head of Leichtman Research, attributes some of the losses to Internet video services.
“First-time ever annual industry-wide losses reflect a combination of a saturated market, an increased focus from providers on acquiring higher-value subscribers, and some consumers opting for a lower-cost mixture of over-the-air TV, Netflix and other over-the-top viewing options.”
Roettgers says this is particularly noteworthy because Leichtman has been a cord-cutting skeptic.
While cable isn’t going to suddenly drop dead, it sure looks like Netflix, Amazon, and broadcast TV are providing a solid alternative to paying ~$60 a month for cable television.

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This Is What Twitter's New Groupon-Style Ad Product Looks Like (GRPN)

Twitter started testing a new “lead-generation” ad product today, and it looks a lot like a Groupon-style daily deal product.
The ad unit comes in one of Twitter’s Cards, the expandable display unit that allows users to show a photo.
Advertisers can offer Twitter users discounts or deals in the unit, and anyone who wants to claim it can do so with the click of a button. The unit automatically forwards the user’s Twitter ID and email to the advertiser, who then fulfills the deal.
Here’s what its going to look like:

Twitter has tested the unit with New Relic (@newrelic), Full Sail (@fullsail) and Priceline (@priceline), and now plans to roll the thing out to small and medium sized businesses. “Marketers regularly talk to us about their goals, and for many it boils down to one major theme: generating leads, and ultimately driving purchases,” said Mitali Pattnaik Twitter’s product manager/revenue in a blog post.

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