Snickers Tries to Prevent National Catastrophes with ‘Hungerithm’

In Australia, Snickers is teaming up with 7-Eleven to decrease the price of Snickers bars when people are in a bad mood. Using a tool that gauges the mood of the internet, they adjust the price of the candy bar in real time. It was created by Clemenger BBDO and analyzes 14,000 posts a day to determine when the general population is in a bad mood, and can drive a decrease of up to 82% off. The discount is updated 140+ times a day, depends on how bad of a mood everyone is.

Once the mood is low, you can access a coupon for the reduced Snickers on your phone, and find your nearest 7-Eleven.

Why it’s Hot:

This execution fits in perfectly with “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” and merges online and offline in a way that most brands are striving for.

Additionally, the mood targeting tool they’ve built is very robust and helps them be a bigger part of culture. They potentially turn a negative online conversation about a news event into a conversation about $.50 Snickers.

And did I mention, they’re hinting at expansion outside of Australia? It may help us deal with the election.

Source: AdWeek

Instagram Becoming More Business Friendly

Instagram is beginning to test new profiles for businesses, the first prototypes were shared a few days ago and have 3 key new features:

  1. A “Contact” button, which means they’ll no longer have to put email addresses in their profile.
  2. A linkable location tag- when users hit “Contact” it also opens up an option to get directions to the business. This feature gives businesses more room to describe their business in their 150 Instagram bio, rather than putting in their address.
  3. Account categorization through tags which show up underneath their username. Again, this gives them more room to be authentic in their bio.

Instagram BusinessIMG_5424

Why It’s Hot: This is a small step in Instagram becoming a big brand friendly platform like Facebook. Here’s to hoping analytics come with it too.

When Memes Takeover

Did anyone witness the NCAA Championship game this past Monday? And yes, I meant “witness.” History was made.

With 4 seconds left, UNC hit an improbable 3 point shot to tie the game, only to have their dreams shattered with a 3-point buzzer beater by Villanova to take the championship.

And what made the win even better was the historic role of memes. Yes, memes. Two memes destined to be together.

First, the Jordan cry faceScreen Shot 2016-04-07 at 6.40.43 PM

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and yes…it wasScreen Shot 2016-04-07 at 6.41.32 PM

And then, there is the “Crying Piccolo Girl” who was caught on camera as Villanova’s Championship hopes were shattered last year when Villanova lost to NC State. Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 6.45.52 PM

Two memes, destined to meet in the final. A picture perfect ending only made better by the memes. Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 6.48.06 PM

Why It’s Hot:

This was a huge moment that was only made better by Twitter and the meme culture the internet has created. Everyone was able to share in the experience of not only a dramatic game ending, but a shared laguage around it.

Personalized Experiences at SXSW: IBM vs. Kodak

We all love personalized experiences and both Kodak and IBM created activations to capitalize on this at SXSW. IBM had the Cognitive Studio located in the heart of downtown. Through a 5 minute check in and an RFID chip, IBM was able to deliver a personalized experience throughout the house to each guest. At the bar, checking in let the bartender know what drink you were in the mood for, and checking in with a computer, told you which Twitter influencer you were most like and what qualities you displayed; all powered by Watson. They included a nod from one of their earlier SXSW activations with Watson made tacos (previously they had a food truck for which Watson generated the recipes. The personalized content and immediate gratification (ie sharable content) made it worth waiting on line for and posting about.

Kodak offered a personalized experience as a way to launch their Moments app but it’s design only served one person at a time and required a 12 minute interview, those who didn’t have time to wait an hour for 5 people to experience it were left to observe a stranger’s experience; interesting, but not necessarily worth posting about. The experience made it unclear how the app works and how it would play a role in our lives. The videos of each persons experience was highly produced, and therefore not available to be shared immediately, meaning they missed out on some buzz. 


Why It’s Hot: Many brands can offer personalized experiences but it’s important to remember that scale is key, especially at SXSW. Additionally, the role of the product should be clear and simple. At the IBM house, how Watson was involved was clear every step of the way, with signage and many IBM representatives ready to share their knowledge with you. For Kodak, the role of the product was unclear, it seemed to be tied in to the general idea, but the value wasn’t clearly communicated.

You have 11 seconds

Qwipit is a new tool that’s giving everyone the ability to edit any video down to the most important moments, into 11 second clips (just 3 seconds longer than our average attention span).

Qwipit’s goal is to create video clips that capture the moment that will continue to live in our minds and the videos can be shared across all social platforms. It’s format is reminiscent of Apple’s new photos or Boomerang’s ability to capture a few seconds around a moment. It’s an interesting medium that yes, is a video, but feels like something straight out of Harry Potter.


Why It’s Hot: It seems like they’re positioning it as a tool for news outlets or bloggers, it’s the kind of tool that is great for creating polished content quickly, but not necessarily a tool for heavily edited content.

I’ll be interested to see if users across social platforms use this tool organically, PSFK claims this is a social network, but I’m not sure I’m convinced.

Source: PSFK

Foursquare regaining relevance…in a new way

Adweek recently reported on Foursquare’s new game-changing new tool that helps companies measure the effectiveness of their digital ads in driving foot traffic. They introduced a new tool Attribution Powered, which collects data from users who volunteered to have their location-sharing feature always on. With this, they were able to track people who had seen a digital ad and see if they then visited a brick and mortar store. They would them compare this information to a group of people who hadn’t seen the ad, as a control group. They would also like to expand into reporting the success of television advertising as well.

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Why It’s Hot:

Foursquare seems to have found a new revenue stream that doesn’t focus on gaining users and operating as a social platform, as it originally had. This seems like a good decision by Foursquare since there haven’t been any significant product changes since Swarm, and it would appear usage is on the decline.

Is Twitter losing because of their lack of diversity?

Twitter hasn’t been doing so hot (In case you missed it CNN Money reports it’s losing customers and stock value)

Since Black users over index on Twitter they may do well to take a look at what Blavity contributor, Esther Kuforiji, wrote in “3 Ways Twitter Can Make ‘Moments’ Matter”, outlined below.

  1. Curate a more relevant experience. Kuforiji suggests more curated and relevant sections of “Moments” as a way to further the usage for a wider range of people. She points out many people use Twitter as a way to keep up on technology, or local politics, which aren’t currently available.
  2. Tap into the creators. Like many other platforms, Twitter is driven by influencers and creators specific to their channel. She points out that there are handles that host Twitter chats on a regular basis, and Twitter Moments can be leveraged to provide a recap or summary.
  3. Continue telling the story. Kuforiji praised Twitters use of Moments to recap the Democatic debate but critiqued the simple list format it often defaults to, claiming the Moments tab is best used as a recap of a particular event.


Why It’s Hot:

The tech industry as a whole is struggling to achieve diversity in it’s work force, but Twitter especially has had some high profile issues with it. The only black Engineer in a leadership position, Leslie Miley, left the company last fall due to the way the company approached diversity and inclusion, and in December, they hired a new head of Diversity and Inclusion, a white male.

The black community has over indexed in Twitter use and has even created it’s own community within the platform dubbed “Black Twitter”, but the growth within this community has evened out in more recent years, with 27% of Black adult internet users on Twitter as of last year, which is about the same as it was in 2013. Meanwhile, White and Hispanic usage has grown by 6-7% points.

Has Twitter missed an opportunity by not leaning into the black community and identifying leadership that would help them tap into one of their biggest user bases?

Snapchat Keeps Developing for Advertisers

Snapchat ran it’s first app install ad yesterday with an ad for Cookie Jam running in the iHeartRadio discover story. The ad was a shorter version of a 30 second spot with Ken Jeong.
The experience is seamless, a simple swipe down takes you right to the app install page within the Apple App Store. To achieve the seamless user experience, Snapchat basically built a downloads center into the app. You can easily return to the Snapchat Discover experience by hitting “Cancel”. Today the iHeartRadio story is running an app install ad for Nike, check it out.
They’re also developing an API that will help brands measure and target their campaigns, giving brands more data and learnings from their ads.
Why It’s Hot:
This new direct CTA format is continuing to push Snapchat into social media advertising. This ad format is something that is already being used across all the major social media platforms so it will be interesting to compare the performance of the Snapchat app install ad against them.
Source: AdWeek

2016, the year messaging apps take over?

Chris Messina, the Developer Experience Lead at Uber, recently published a blog post on Medium titled “2016 Will Be the Year of Conversational Commerce”

What is conversational commerce you ask? Basically, this will be the year brands learn how to integrate with messaging apps, a space brands and services haven’t had a place in before. He used Uber’s recent integration with Facebook Messenger as a prime example:

He brings attention to the Business Intelligence study that found Messaging apps are now bigger than social networks. Meaning, brands need to be there.

Big 4 messaging apps 2

Why It’s Hot:

The messenger space has been something brands have been slow to take on…and rightfully so, do consumers actually want us there? But with the growth in numbers and use, there will likely be a flood of brands rushing to be a part of the messaging platforms. How do we make sure brands are engaging in an authentic and valuable way?

It seems most appropriate for brands and services that have a large customer service component. Everlane, a clothing company in California, is using it to communicate delivery confirmations and tracking numbers, however it’s still obvious that you’re only speaking to a computer and customer service still goes through email, so there’s no apparent consumer benefit from the integration. It will be interesting to continue to see what brands come up with.


Social Media Platforms Exploring their Roles in Presidential Debates

On Sunday, NBC partnered with YouTube to host the third Democratic Debate in South Carolina. This isn’t the first debate of this election to include a partnership with a social media platform, as the previous Democratic Debates were hosted by CBS News and Twitter, as well as CNN and Facebook.

In 2012, YouTube brought us the first live streaming of the Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates on YouTube through ABC News’ YouTube Channel. While streaming, they also included commentary from other partners such as BuzzFeed, the Wall Street Journal, and Univision.

For this debate, it appeared they tried to integrate further with questions from their pre-filmed questions from their YouTube stars and Google Trends search data was shared before commercial breaks to inform viewers as to what people were searching for, as it related to the debate. As of Monday at noon, the debate had received 1.5 million views on YouTube, but YouTube’s role was largely criticized.

The Google Trends data fell flat in how it was shared, as a slide before and after commercial breaks, and it seemed to only draw attention to the fact that Twitter was not a part of their Google empire, as it would have been a much more natural fit.

The questions by YouTube stars were forced as well, and fit only as a plug for YouTube itself. At one point, they aired a cartoon to explain climate change in a lead up to a question, which many critiqued on Twitter (again, a more natural fit).



Why It’s Hot: 

Every social media platform is trying to push to own real time and live streaming is getting bigger by the second. This effort by YouTube is an attempt to further it’s position in that space, but their integrations seemed a bit forced.

As all the major platforms push to be an outlet where people can be connected to real events in real time, it’s vital they consider the strengths of their platform and how people naturally use them, rather than half hearted integrations that only show they don’t fully grasp how their service is valuable to consumers.

The Sacramento Kings Want You to Post More Selfies (At Their Games)

The Sacramento Kings are using technology and data to build Golden 1 Center, a new stadium designed to change how fans in the arena and at home experience the game. Their goal is to create the fastest and most connected indoor sports and entertainment venue in the world.

Features of the new event include:

  • A better network that allows for 500,000 Snapchats per second or 225,000 Instagram posts per second (17,000 times faster than the average home Internet connection).
  • Reminders of which friends will be there and a map of where they are sitting.
  • Intuitive directions to open parking spaces and shortest wait times for concessions.
  • A venue that is 100% solar powered and designed to conserve water. 90% of the food and beverages sold there will come from local sources.

Sacramento Kings

Why It’s Hot:

The Sacramento Kings released a press release outlining their goals for Golden 1 Center and used social posts as a metric to illustrate how fast their internet will be. This recognizes the importance of social media at a live event, showing it will soon become critical for live events to support our devices, rather than just a “nice to have.” Because did it really happen if you didn’t post about it?

The owner of the Kings, Vivek Ranadivé, posted to The Cauldron and went in detail about how this will be built to be a sustainable venue. This is a step in the right direction for a big brand taking into account their impact on the environment, although at this point everything about the Golden 1 Center right now appears to be the product of a press release. It will be interesting to see how the user experience and environmental impact pan out once it opens in October 2016.