Twitter Will Now Serve Ads To Non-Users

The biggest limitation to social ads is the ability to reach out to the people who have an account on the specific platform.

Research has shown that many people end up on Twitter without having an account or being logged in at that moment. That is because they follow link – or embedded tweets – found on news sites or blogs, or after a simple Google search.

To close this gap, Twitter will expand its ad offering to target people who are logged out of the platform AND non-users. With this change, Twitter hopes to be able to target another 500 million people every month.

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Read more here.

Why It’s Hot

This is a hot news article because of the new ability to expand Twitter advertising reach, impressions and eyeballs on the marketing message. This is the first step for other social media platforms to harness a larger audience outside of the platform.

 

Businesses Can Now Add Facebook Messenger To Their Websites

Facebook, especially for some of our clients, is a main hub where many businesses interact and communicate with fans and customers. In addition to brand love and specific marketing messages, Facebook also is home to customer service inquires.

According to WeRSocialMedia, instead of having to send people to their Facebook Page, businesses can talk to customers through their websites, using Facebook Messenger.

Read more here.

Why It’s Hot

Any business can simply add a messaging box to its website and people can talk directly to the brand on Messenger. So, businesses can keep customers on their site and customers can communicate directly with them while they have a question.

The biggest win for this news and what makes it better than other chat options is that all communication is saved on both sides and the conversations can continue cross-device. For small businesses this is incredibly important, as a small business owner could answer while out and about, or a customer can simply use Messenger as his/her mode of communication with a business.

Lastly, Facebook is also allowing integration of events with the Pages Facebook Plugin. Changes to events will appear on the event’s website etc. People who are interested in an event, don’t have to find the event on Facebook anymore. They can be updated, and show interest in the event, from the website itself.

The 20 Most Viral Ads of 2015

As we draw closer to the end of 2015, we’re inevitably going to see round ups of the best and worst lists for the year and predictions for the future! Numbers 1 and 2 on the list are included below.

Read more on AdWeek.

Why It’s Hot

2015 was a highly emotional year for ads. Google Android’s “Friends Furever” was a compilation of funny clips from the Internet which had more than 6.4 million shares on Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere since it was launched in February.

According to AdWeek, “total sharing of the top 20 ads is up almost 40 percent compared to 2014, with 40.2 million shares compared to 29 million last year.”

Kit Kat Launches Massaging Billboards

According to an article in Adweek, Kit Kat launches a new type of out of home ad in Colombia.

“… these were no ordinary out-of-home ads. According to JWT, tiny motors in the signs “activated a system that transferred pleasant vibrations to the lower and upper back of the user. All you had to do was lean against the billboard, and it would give you a quick and comforting massage.”

“The idea was to give stressed-out commuters “a break,” which, of course, ties in with KitKat’s familiar taglines, which include “Give me a break” and “Have a break, have a KitKat.” The billboards were geolocated on Google Maps, with Twitter and Facebook support, to drum up interest.”

Read more here.

Why It’s Hot

This is a new, interesting idea and a fun twist on a traditional out of home ad. We’re always keeping an eye out and brainstorming ways to take a digital experience into the real world.

Instagram Announced Boomerang

Instagram announced another standalong app to use with its platform today called, Boomerang. While it’s not groundbreaking, it illustrates the next standalone app added to the mix from Instagram which currently includes Hyperlapse and Layout.

The timing of this release is interesting as well since Facebook recently announced 7-second looping profile pictures. Simple to use, the app can enhance your creativity on the platform. Although it’s so simple to use, it can easily be forgotten. It will be interesting to see how it grows over the next few months and how brands will embrace the app to mirror consumer trends and actions. boomerang

Read more about it here on TechCrunch.

Why It’s Hot

It’s important to keep a pulse on the latest apps in the marketplace especially when a behometh like Facebook/Instagram launches one.

According to TechCrunch, “Instagram seems to be having better luck with its standalone app strategy than its parent company.” Unlike Facebook, “Instagram instead treats standalone apps as external creative tools that feed content directly back into the main app.”

Facebook Announces “Empathy” Button

Earlier this week Facebook announced that they were developing an additional button to the famous “Like.” According to TechCrunch, Facebook isn’t necessarily creating a “Dislike” button despite rumors, they are creating a way for users to show empathy.

According to Mark Zuckerburg, “We didn’t want to just build a Dislike button because we don’t want to turn Facebook into a forum where people are voting up or down on people’s posts. That doesn’t seem like the kind of community we want to create.”

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Why It’s Hot

This is a feature that has been rumored for a long time on the platform. Although the button likely won’t be “dislike” it could be a “sorry” or something that will allow users to feel empathy so they can feel more comfortable showing support for someone expressing bad news.

Leveraging Micro-Influencers on Instagram

Natural-products brand, Tom’s of Maine, is working to engage micro-influencers on Instagram to build their following on the platform. These influencers have a modest following of ~1,000 – 5,000 followers but regularly engage a very high percentage of them around the niche topic of earth-friendly products.

So far, Tom’s has built its community of Instagram users about 8% in two weeks to 1,000, with a goal of doubling the number this year, Ms. Burns said. Engagement rates have also been stronger than on Facebook and Twitter, she said.

What seems to work so far are posts of products being used (selfies of people brushing their teeth with Tom’s for example) and photos of Tom’s employees taking advantage of a benefit that gives them 5% of their paid time to use volunteering for community organizations.

Basically, members of the Tom’s Instagram community “unlock rewards” over time as they complete a variety of actions, such as sharing brand photos, with the plan being to tailor the rewards to groups of users – such as new moms – as the community grows.

Instagram has more than 300 million members who share more than 70 million photos daily. A Forrester study last year found Instagram delivers more than 58 times as much engagement per follower than Facebook and 120 times more per follower than Twitter.

The article in AdAge also references a Shareable study from the first quarter that found Instagram accounted for 1.9 million engagement actions (likes, shares, comments, etc.) per brand among the 100,000 tracked in the U.S. — more than double the total number for Facebook and Twitter combined.

 

Read more from AdAge here.

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Why is this Hot

We’re always looking for ways to leverage the Instagram community for our brands and clients. This latest case study showcases the power of influencers who might have a small following, but have created a niche audience for themselves, can become brand advocates and help spread the brand message further among their network.

Facebook will let you buy products from retailers’ Pages

The social network is testing a shopping experience that allows users to buy items directly from business’ Facebook pages.

On mobile, the shopping features will appear in a new “shopping” section on the page, as pictured in the mockup image, below, while on desktop the shopping section will appear as a separate tab on the page in the same area where the Timeline, About, Photos and other tabs are currently located.

In the shopping section, companies will show off products in a format that appears to be similar to the way photos are laid out. If you want to buy one of the products, the retailers will be able to choose whether the actual transaction will take place within Facebook or whether you’ll be redirected to the company’s website.

Read more from Mashable here.

original-2038-1437000185-11-640x452Why It’s Hot

The news comes as other social platforms are looking to increase engagement — and, eventually, revenue — with native shopping experiences. Pinterest rolled out buyable pins earlier this year, and Google announced Wednesday it would be experimenting with a “buy” button in its search results.

Meanwhile Facebook has been increasingly experimenting with payments and shopping features. The company added peer-to-peer payments in Messenger earlier this year, and rolled out a business version of Facebook Messenger that allows customers to interact with businesses, including retailers. Recent reports have suggested the social network is also in the midst of testing a shopping assistant feature for Messenger.

 

Driving Fan Acquisition & Boosting Engagement on Instagram Through UGC

This week, I wanted to share a Whitepaper from one of our partners, EngageSciences, titled “6 Ways to Use Instagram for Brand Marketing.”

The whitepaper has many interesting facts around related to e-commerce and native advertising. For example, only 55% of prestige brands link from their websites to their Instagram profile, and even fewer (14%) feature Instagram photos on their own websites. When websites feature compelling content from Instagram, there is a 300% increase in “dwell time” on pages and an 11% increase in web traffic with sites that feature social content and interactive applications.

The most interesting metrics are related to UGC below.

 

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Why It’s Hot

There is no denying the power of UGC for brands.The whitepaper concludes that authentic, yet persuasive Instagram photos within e-commerce experiences are key along with shoppable links and “buy now” CTAs will help brands to monetize UGC to not only increase engagement but impact sales as well.

With that said, some brands are understandably apprehensive of leveraging this content on websites or branded social channels. EngageSciences points out that there are steps that should be taken to ensure the brand is appropriately protected, including requesting rights and tracking all rights requests along with an audited history of approvals.

 

 

12 Best Facebook Marketing Campaigns of 2015

Facebook just announced its 12 best Facebook marketing campaigns.

According to AdWeek, “This year marked the fourth Facebook Awards, which are timed to coincide with the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity—starting next week—where the ad world assembles to honor its top creative work.”

This year, award entries came from twice as many countries—more than 160—as last year, according to the company.It also was the first year Facebook included winners with Instagram ad campaigns, and video was a core piece of the ad mix, as well.

Not surprisingly, the Ice Bucket Challenge was the top winner, followed by P&G’s #LikeAGirl campaign, and other campaigns that we’ve seen come up in past Hot Sauce entries.

Read more here.

Why It’s Hot

It’s important to keep an eye on what campaigns are winning awards in the industry and also consider the criteria that made them successful. According to  Mark D’Arcy, chief creative officer of the Facebook Creative Shop, the biggest components in the winning campaigns were video and mobile.

 

Periscope Live Feeds from Around the World

According to Mashable.com, Periscope, the live video streaming app was just updated to make it “possible to jump in and out of live streams across the globe.”

You can hop from Paris where you can watch people at the Eiffel Tower to a restaurant in Brazil by browsing the map for these locations and pop into people’s streams at your leisure.

“The app is now at version 1.1 and has support for 29 languages. The update also lets you replay streams instantly, without having to wait for the video to upload. Another new feature lets you tweet a link to streams you’re watching.”

Read more here.

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Why It’s Hot

While this is a big update for Periscope, the article notes that the app is still pretty bare. Users can search for people to follow, but can’t search for streams by hashtag, for example, despite the acquisition by Twitter.

“Periscope was launched just as competing live-stream app Meerkat was picking up steam. Meerkat was hyped to be the next breakout app until Periscope launched and took off quickly.”

Brands such as Spotify and Mountain Dew have already jumped on the Periscope bandwagon.

 

Speak to an ESL student in Brazil, Get a Free Pizza

CNA Language schools have done it again!  The language school effectively connects Brazilian students with native English speakers in the United States through technology and an app “Hello Pizza.” Customers who call to order pizza from California can opt into the program and their call will be re-routed to a student in Brazil. The longer the customer and student make small talk (to enhance the student’s practice time and experience) the more of a discount on the price of the pizza the customer gets. If they spend enough time chatting, the customer could get their pizza order for free!

This time last year, I wrote another Hot Sauce about how CNA was making real connections for students in Brazil who were learning English with senior citizen partners in Chicago via Skype.

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Read more here.

Why It’s Hot

We’re always interested in interesting campaigns that highlight bringing ESL students together to practice their skills in real-life situations. We fell in love with the campaign they ran last year via Skype and this video really caught our eye.

Shed the Monster and Hop on your Bike

Introducing  “Shed the Monster,” a spot dedicated to the transformational power of riding your bike for enthusiast organization People for Bikes.

Why It’s Hot

It’s relatable! How many times do we all get a little frustrated during the day and need something to do to “blow off steam”? For those of us in the Northeast, the weather has really turned around so what better way to get from point A to B than to hop on a bike. I thought this spot was well done and got me to follow People For Bikes on social media.

Donate to the Protection of Pandas with Every Panda Emoji

Now you can help protect endangered species with a simple tweet with an emoji.

According to PSFK, “Wieden+Kennedy have launched a global social campaign with WWF, built on Twitter, that aims to support the organization’s work protecting endangered species and their habitats. Created with technical partner Cohaesus, the campaign encourages Twitter users to tweet one of 17 #EndangeredEmoji, leveraging the cute icons and the social network for a good cause.”

With this emoji-based fundraising campaign, WWF is seeking to translate their popularity into vital funds for its work. Run by the official @WWF Twitter account and a dedicated website, #EndangeredEmoji asks Twitter users to retweet a WWF image featuring the 17 emoji in order to sign up and take part. Then, for every emoji of an endangered animal they use in a tweet, WWF will add the local currency equivalent of 10p to a voluntary monthly donation. At the end of each month, users will receive a summary of their Endangered Emoji use and can then choose how much they would like to donate to the organization.

Read more here and here.

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Why It’s Hot

It’s a new, interesting campaign that is for a good cause, combining user habits of using emojis on Twitter and in text with a donation component that is convenient and fun.

 

Samsung Celebrates Mother’s Day By Featuring Your Mom’s Texting Style

There is no shortage of tear jerker ads that celebrate how wonderful mom is. While, Dad is typically the infamous “goofy” one of the family. Samsung is taking a different approach this year.

Read more here.

Why It’s Hot

It’s funny and it’s relevant to the season. Instead of following the lead of other brands to create sappy spots honoring mom, Samsung took a fun approach that is relatable for so many!

Google Joins the Hunt for the Loch Ness Monster With Underwater Street View

Last year Google explored the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. This year, they’re traveling to Scotland to help in the centuries-long search for Nessie, the Loch Ness monster.

Read more here.

 

Why It’s Hot

I love the idea of thinking outside the box and highlighting Google Maps core capabilities and marrying it with something fun to drive buzz and awareness about the brand.

LinkedIn Acquires Online Education Platform Lynda.com

As we think about expanding onto other social media platforms for our clients, we’ve been focused in on LinkedIn and their capabilities in recent months. So when this news about LinkedIn acquiring Lynda.com, an online education platform, was announced we found it very interesting as they make a move to boost their content offerings for users.

According to Adweek, “Through Lynda.com, people can watch videos and receive training in areas such as design, web, photography, business, 3D + animation and video. The deal was reportedly worth $1.5 billion.”

Read more here.

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Why It’s Hot

The marriage between LinkedIn with its huge database of professional around the world, and Lynda.com seems to be a natural fit for the two websites by giving access to skills-based courses to allow professionals to close the “skills gap.” Both platforms believe in providing relevant content and knowledge to those who need to improve their skills in specific areas in order to move their career forward.

Clark Shoes Launches WhatsApp Campaign

We’ve been keeping an eye on What’s App for a while now, more so after Facebook acquired the app in October 2014.

According to WerSM.com, “not only do the stats show that messaging apps are a key player when it comes to user engagement, it’s also where users are most active.”

The brand utilized the app for their latest campaign “recounting the story of its famous desert boots series. The campaign, called “From Rats to Rudeboys”, will invite users to communicate directly with three personalities that are deeply associated with Clarks legendary shoes throughout the course of years.”

The three personalities that take part in this initiative. “All three pioneers, prominent members of the subcultures that brought Clark’s desert boots to spotlight, have their story to share, which is deeply knit with Clark’s history and values.”

Users that will add them on their WhatsApp will get to see will see images, playlists, videos and messages.

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Why It’s Hot

Again, we’ve been keeping an eye on messaging apps and as marketers we’re always thinking of fun ways to launch a campaign on a new platform. We think: How can our brands utilize this? Does it make sense for them? Who is the audience and why will they care? This case study from Clarks showcases how one brand jumped onto WhatsApp to further educate their consumer on their brand history.

Starbucks #RaceTogether Firestorm

Starbucks recently came under attack for its #RaceTogether hashtag.

According to this Adweek article, Starbucks is encouraging its baristas to write the words “Race Together” on cups to get customers talking about racial issues. The idea started internally when about 2,000 Starbuckians attended a forum to talk about Ferguson, Mo., but surely no one foresaw the shit storm that would erupt when it went public.

The controversy earlier this week when Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz unveiled the new initiative to help spark a dialogue on race. According to CNN.com, “Schultz even took out full-page ads in The New York Times and USA Today touting this effort.”

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Why Its Hot

While brands typically try to leverage timely topics and relate to consumers through current events, a topic as inflamatory as race is extremely difficult to boil down to just a hashtag. The campaign has received a lot of negative backlash online, but moreover it will be interesting to see how these types of conversations will actually manifest in real life. As this Entrepreneur article points out, “it is difficult to imagine that employees across the board have the training – or patience – necessary to orchestrate these discussions.”

 

 

The North Face brings the outdoors to you via virtual reality

Digiday recently published an article about the North Face and their initiatives elevating the in-store experience for consumers.

There are adrenaline junkies that thrive in the outdoors. And then there are the rest of us couch potatoes, for whom walking two blocks seems like an accomplishment. It is this group that might rejoice at The North Face’s latest campaign, which transports customers to Yosemite National Park as they shop comfortably in the company’s retail stores.

The outdoor apparel company has collaborated with cinematic VR company Jaunt to give viewers an immersive tour of California’s Yosemite National Park and the Moab desert in Utah, where they can trek the landscapes and rock climb alongside athletes Cedar Wright and Sam Elias.

Using Google Cardboard, the experience places viewers in the great outdoors, with the ability to look around in any direction, recreating the experience of actually being there. The footage was shot with Jaunt’s proprietary 360 degree, stereoscopic 3D cameras and advanced 3D sound-field microphones. Camp4 Collective, a group of athletes and filmmakers, also worked on location with The North Face and Jaunt to produce the content.

Read more here.

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Why It’s Hot

Brands are bringing technology into the in-store experience. According to the Digiday article, “As for The North Face, the virtual reality campaign is only one among the several projects that it is developing to elevate the overall in-store experience across its retail outlets. The brand has been experimenting with beacons and recently introduced iPads to some of its stores, to offer product review videos to customers while they shop. Oliver also mentioned how the retailer’s Palo Alto shop was its “real world digital shop,” although he declined to elaborate at this point.”

 

 

With 1.7 Million New Users a Day, Will This App Be the Next to Take America by Storm? Line’s revenue-generating model has brands queuing up

Line, which has 181 million monthly active users worldwide, has yet to truly market its mobile app in the United States. But the Japan-based messaging platform has already built up 25 million American users while its rapid global growth has attracted big brands and celebrities according to AdWeek.

While four-year-old Line is a chat app similar to WhatsApp, its recent growth appears to be more about emojis and stickers. The millennial-focused mobile platform has 46,000 playful, often cartoon-like images that are concocted by a vast network of artists and sold, e-commerce-style, in revenue-sharing agreements with the creators.

Consumers pay $1.99 for a pack of the digital depictions. Packs come with anywhere between 20 and 40 stickers and emojis, said Jeanie Han, CEO of the burgeoning tech player, which saw annual revenue climb year-over-year by 126 percent to $656 million in 2014.

In addition to chat stickers/emojis, Line offers free voice messaging, games, videos, photos, a PayPal-like transactional feature and other bells and whistles.

Here are some other numbers that Line shared:

  • It gains 1.7 million new users every day.
  • While there are 181 million monthly active users, more than 560 million people have actually downloaded the app.
  • Thirteen billion messages are sent daily.
  • It offers 40,00 stickers and 6,000 emojis.

Read more here.

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Why It’s Hot

As digital marketers, it’s important for us to keep a finger on the pulse of the latest trends, platforms and news in the space. This is an important new app that we should keep an eye on and consider as part of our social and digital mix for our clients.

Canon Launches Project Imagination to Invite UGC

Canon is aiming to make consumers feel like professional photographers, in the wake of mobile photography and UGC explosion, with their latest campaign, Project Imagination: The Trailer contest. According to this Adweek article, the brand is encouraging consumers to submit a 60-second film trailer or vignette of their life from now through April 29.

“This is the third year of the campaign, which has added an online editing tool that lets consumers customize their videos with voiceovers, music and titles. Hollywood producer Ron Howard and actor Josh Hutcherson will then select one spot to inspire a short film. The idea is that the small, everyday aspects of life can lead to some of the world’s most interesting stories.”

The clips will be judged on various criteria including: originality, creative characters and storytelling and must fit into one of six categories: comedy, drama, children/family, action/adventure, suspense/thriller, and sci-fi.

Photography tips and resources can be found on Canon’s microsite.

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Why It’s Hot

We’re always talking about fun, new ways to solicit UGC from our audiences in social media and this campaign is a great example of how a brand can inspire consumers in a fun and creative way. While a video clip is typically a harder ask because it requires more time and effort, the payoff of being selected by an industry legend, Ron Howard, is exciting for hardcore fans. Will be interesting to see the winners.

Brands Now Discover How Relevant their Facebook Ads Really Are

According to AdAge this week, “Facebook will tell advertisers how relevant the social network has judged their ads to be. Advertisers will be able to monitor their scores and tweak less relevant ads to become more relevant, potentially boosting the ad’s performance and lowering its price.”

Facebook determines an ad’s relevance on a scale from 1 to 10 (with 10 being highly relevant to its target audience) by measuring how positively or negatively its target audience may respond to it. Positive measurements include video views, shares and clicks, and negative measurements include the number of times people click to hide an ad or report it as spam. Facebook will start scoring an ad’s relevance after it has been served 500 times and will update the relevance score as more people come across it.

An interesting thing to note is that “How Facebook scores an ad’s relevance can vary, depending on the objective set by the advertiser when placing the ad buy with Facebook.” Therefore, an ad created to push app downloads will prioritize measurements like click-to-install rates when judging its relevance.

Read more here and here.

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Why It’s Hot

As a digital agency, this type of update from Facebook is extremely relevant for us and our clients to keep in mind from setting up Facebook ad buys to creating content that will be impactful and considering the action that we want users to take after seeing the ad. When writing briefs and kicking off social projects, we consider three factors of the desired response we are looking to solicit from consumers: Think, Feel and Do. This tool can help us gauge their reactions to an ad before even wasting time and resources by serving it to them. It will be interesting to see how this turns Facebook ad business around.

Gap Rolls out Instagram Mini-series

According to this FastCompany article, “Gap is going from dressing normal to getting weird. For its upcoming Spring campaign, the brand has launched a 12-part “microseries” on Instagram video, starring Jenny Slate, co-creator and voice of Marcel the Shell and star of Obvious Child, and actor Paul Dano, called “Spring is Weird.””

Each episode of this Instagram soap opera is 15-seconds long and will roll out weekly, starting this week. The story will, according to the brand, chronicle “the burgeoning romance between Slate and Dano, as they navigate chance encounters, first dates and moody spring weather in the hope of finding their perfect fit. As they grapple with what is real and what is social “content,” they begin to suspect that their lives may not be theirs alone.”

Why It’s Hot

Marketers are continuing to think of new ways to deliver mico-content to consumers leveraging primarily mobile platforms like Instagram to do so. This idea of a “series” or episodes is also interesting because it encourages consumers to continually visit the brand’s account to see more. This puts a lot of pressure on the brand to continually develop quick, engaging and fun content. This first episode was done well and makes me excited to see more from the brand throughout the story.

Play with a Puppy Brought to you by Uber

Every year football enthusiasts gather around the TV to watch the best teams faceoff in the biggest game of the year – the Super Bowl. In recent years, another live event has become a popular TV-watching experience – The Puppy Bowl! The event, hosted by Animal Planet, is an exciting opportunity for animal enthusiasts to tune in to catch adorable puppies playing and “facing off” against each other for the chance to be “top dog”!

To celebrate this past Wednesday, Uber, a rideshare company, delivered puppies to offices located in 10 different markets around the country. In the DC metro area, for example, workers could play with some furry friends for 15 minutes for a donation of $30. Customers simply selected the “PUPPIES” option on their Uber app and entered in the “DCpuppies” promo code during the hours of 11 – 3pm on Wednesday. All puppies were available for adoption through local animal shelters so if someone connected with a dog and wanted to learn more, an adoption could be made.

Read more herehere and here.

Why It’s Hot

Because who doesn’t love puppies? Moreover, this was an interesting philanthropic endeavor for the company which has been under serious rape allegations, rider safety concerns and negative media scrutiny recently. It appears that they continue to try to turn the tides of public perception.

The Puppy Bowl idea is timely and different, while bringing together various local nonprofits and connecting a digital app experience with a real life one.

A similar event last year featuring kittens was a success in New York City.

As mentioned, DC was just one of 10 cities in which the “Puppy Bowl on Demand” feature took place this past Wednesday. As noted in Business Insider, the offering was to Uber’s smaller markets such as Denver, Phoenix and Dallas.

Recently, a competitor Lyft has been making strategic moves to go head-to-head with Uber in terms of market share in cities across the country. For example, they just announced offering service in Philadelphia. Uber will need to continue to be on the offensive in order to continue to dominate the market.

Paying it Forward on E-commerce

Now you can pay it forward to a lucky stranger with a gift while making online purchases at a retail store. It’s easy to do with the concept app called “Pay it Forward.”

According to the article in Digiday, a widget simply appears at checkout offering a list of gifts consumers can bestow on a random visitor coming to the site next. “The next buyer is then notified of their gift and encouraged to pay it forward themselves. Ideally, the Pay Gifts Forward program will result in a truly virtuous cycle of do-gooderism — while, oh by the way, adding to retailers’ bottom lines.”

Whit Hiler, the creative behind the idea, is hosting the concept app on his website Kentucky for Kentucky, which celebrates anything related to the state. Soon Shopify, a retail app store, will sell the app for $10 a month where other retailers can purchase and use it.

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Why It’s Hot

The idea of Paying it Forward is typically seen in brick and mortar stores like Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts where those who want to make a stranger smile may buy a cup of coffee for the person behind them in line. This app concept a new innovative idea that takes it a step further and puts it online.

It reminded me a little of what Amazon has been doing for nonprofits with http://smile.amazon.com/ that donates 5% of your purchase to your chosen charity. While this is giving a product to a stranger, I really like the idea of fusing doing good with e-commerce in this way. It’s a great upsell for companies to increase their online revenue while making consumers feel that they’re doing good.

Golden Globes are L’Oreal’s Super Bowl

This Sunday, the Golden Globes will air on TV featuring A-list celebrities and the who’s who in the movie, fashion and music industries. To capitalize on the event, beauty brand L’Oreal is setting up a real-time social media war room to create branded gifs throughout the night of hot trends and ideas.

To execute the “shoppable social commerce center,” the brand and its agency partners will be working with a handful of style influencers and models to create social content during the event. The new twist to the real-time war room is that each piece of content will include ecommerce links to shop the featured looks from the evening.

LOreal

Read more here.

Why It’s Hot

This article piqued my interest because of my past work in the beauty industry, but moreover because it exemplifies a strategic approach to a milestone event for the brand. Combining real-time social media efforts with a direct tie to conversion, plus integrated paid media support, along with 3 new TV ads that will air during the program.

According to the AdWeek article, “while social media war rooms have become standard fare during live events like the Super Bowl, L’Oreal’s social play is an interesting twist for fashion and beauty-minded advertisers.” It will be interesting to see how their social media audience receives this approach – whether its with open arms and a cheer or a shrug and swipe of a finger down their newsfeed.

Dominican Families Awarded Free Trips by Jet Blue

JetBlue has been spreading its brand mission to “inspire humanity” especially around the holidays. As part of this initiative, the airline surprised 28 people by sending them to the Dominican Republic on a free trip to visit their families. The program ” Un Sabor de Casa” serves as a new way for the brand to engage customers through “surprise and delight” tactics.

Read more here.

Why It’s Hot

We talk a lot about digital experiences and connecting with consumers online, however sometimes high-impact experiences can only be done offline. An airline has the perfect opportunity to aware consumers with memories that can then be shared online with others to spread the news. The interesting part for me was the direct marketing to the Latino community to build brand affinity.

Takeoff Mode App Eases Airplane Anxiety

Flying can be stressful for most people. Earlier this year, airlines lifted the restriction of using mobile devices during takeoff, and a Japanese airline, ANA, wasted no time in filling the need to allow anxious flyers to distract themselves. The company created an interactive app solely focused on helping travelers relax during their trip.

The Takeoff Mode app is a simple puzzle game with a relaxing music playing in the background. A study found that flyers find the most stressful part of a plane ride to be during takeoff, so the company swiftly acted to fill that gap.

Read more here.

Why It’s Hot

The idea of creating an app to fit a specific consumer need is not groundbreaking, however the interesting aspect of this app is twofold. One, the company filled a need that was uncovered through research and two, was timely enough to execute on it after a law was lifted.

 

Amazon + Snapchat = Black Friday Deals

The holidays are quickly approaching and Thanksgiving is next week! Brands are in the throes of offering deals and bolstering sales as we near the biggest shopping day of the year – Black Friday.

Amazon.com has teamed up with Snapchat to offer 10 second deals for users with the goal of bolstering sales.The launch was announced via Instagram to the brand’s 94k+ fans.

snapchat_Amazon

According to CNET, “Consumers are spending more time and money on mobile, and Amazon is trying to keep those dollars in its network by reaching out to social media followers.”

Why It’s Hot

Instagram and Snapchat both have large, primarily mobile audiences. This holiday campaign for Amazon will be an interesting test as they explore the thread between mobile, social media and ecommerce.