The newest Snapchat Challenger, Courtesy of Yahoo

Yahoo released a new app on Thursday, Livetext, to compete with other chatting app/services such as Snapchat, FaceTime, and Messenger. What differentiates Yahoo’s offering from the rest of the pack is that its service allows you to transmit live video while sending messages, without audio. The idea is to allow users to share an intimate experience that video conferencing can do in a streamlined manner that is quick like an instant message, but less involved then video conferencing.

Why It’s Hot

With Livetext, Yahoo is hoping to create a new niche in the mobile communications market that is already packed with competitors. Given the widespread usage of these types of services, there’s definitely a strong demand for apps that allow users to communicate in new ways other than just texting, calling, or video chatting. However,  only time will tell whether people buy into the idea of video texting without sound, and whether or not advertisers can benefit from the new communication system.

Read more about it here


Hacking’s Newest Warfront: Your Car

On Wednesday, July 22, Wired Magazine published findings from a staged incident in which hackers were able to disable a Jeep SUV remotely using their computers.



Why it’s Hot

The car industry has been dealing with increased attention towards potential cyber threats to cars. With increases in technology such as web connectivity, consumers should become more aware of the challenges car makers face, and car makers will likely have to be more transparent about their efforts to combat threats such as these. 


Creative or Creepy? Airbnb’s New Ad Campaign

Airbnb introduced a new campaign titled “Is Mankind”.


The campaign concept comprises the ideas of community and kindness, specifically the “kindness of man”. Quoting from Airbnb’s press release, the objective of the campaign is the following: “We hope it inspires you to look around the world and see it as a child again. To feel safe and loved and like adventure is waiting around every corner”.


Why’s it Hot

With a valuation of over $20 Billion Airbnb is now one of the biggest brands in the hotel industry, and sharing economy. While it has had ambitious campaign previously, Airbnb’s new campaign targets “community” and “kindness”. These themes have become core themes of other powerful brands such as Starbucks ‘Race Together”. As with Starbucks, it appears that early reactions to Airbnb are mixed, citing a powerful idea but a creepy execution.


For more: read here

Amazon, Advertising’s Newest Marketing Medium

This past week, Amazon rolled out shipping boxes that looked different from the trAmazon packagingaditional brown boxes.

Media experts say this is a new area of growth potential for Amazon, who provides costly free shipping services for its Amazon Prime users. With that being said, they also view the potential of putting ads on the box as a fine line between providing a new source of revenue for Amazon without overwhelming the boxes with so many advertisements that potential brands don’t see the benefit anymore.


Whys it’s hot

Amazon has been very proactive in terms of the expanding services they have been providing to consumers as well as features to enhance these services (such as Prime Day, which claims to be bigger than Black Friday (read here for more). Free shipping is one of the ‘must have” features in the eyes of Amazon Prime users. This offering is costly for Amazon, and by coming up with new ways to make revenue such as embracing ad’s on the boxes, they can continue to offer and enhance their services. This is particularly important for Amazon right now as promising competitors such as threaten to steal market share


For more advertising on Amazon box’s, read about it here






I’d Like to Buy the World Diabetes

Many consider the Coca Cola “Hilltop” ad to be one of the most famous ads in the history of advertising, so famous in fact that it was used in a very well-known show’s finale (no spoilers). Here is the original . The photo below is a clip from the same ad.

Coca Cola Hilltop Ad screengrab

On Tuesday, June 23, 2015, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a nonprofit education and advocacy organization CSPITV (What is CSPI) released a dark parody of the ad called “Change the Tune”. Specifically, the same jingle was used as a backdrop for a PSA about the unhealthy consequences of soda drinking such as tooth decay and diabetes.

Here’s the parody.

Why it’s Hot

The idea of ‘changing the tune” seems to be a relevant theme for a growing number of consumer product categories, reflecting a new consumer-based trend towards health conscious eating and lifestyle choices. This ad represents a small, but direct attack on one of the most iconic brands that, for many, don’t fit this contemporary lifestyle (Coca Cola). Perhaps brands will have to increasingly factor in this increasing vocal minority when considering the message they want to send to consumers whom are increasingly concerned about their lifestyle choices.

You can read more about this topic here.


Snapping to you from McDonald’s!

Snapchat has a new source of revenue, via the geofilters that have become very popular to use amongst users. Those using the app in the past few months have likely noticed the availability of unique filters based on their geographic location at the time they send the photo or the video. Here are some examples of these filters.

Now, Snapchat is offering brands/corporations opportunities to design their own location-based filters, for a cost. McDonald’s is the first company to embrace this new marketing opportunity.

mcdonalds snapchat geofilter

Why’s it hot?

With 65 million active users, one of the biggest questions regarding Snapchat relates to how it can connect advertisers to users without scaring them away from the app. Using filters to make this connection is arguably the most creative and least intrusive way that in a way, that feels like a natural extension of the geotag feature. One possible shortcoming of this idea is that it arguably offers minimal exposure for corporations that don’t operate in a strictly “physical location”.


For more about this, check out this link.


UberDrive: The next Angry Birds?

Uber came out with UberDrive, a game designed emulate the typical experience within the Uber app for Uber drivers using the regular Uber app (complete with accepting rides, choosing routes, surge pricing, etc). The app will be available in the iTunes store, although is primarily meant for those in the San Francisco area where they are testing the potential benefits of the app as a means of recruiting potential new employees.

Uber DRive Pic 2 Uber Drive

Why its Hot

Not only can Uber benefit from some light-hearted publicity with the release of a game, in contrast to it’s string of some not-so-light-hearted publicity, (see here) but it also represents an innovate way to reach out to potential new employees. While it started as merely a passion project, nobody should discount Uber’s trend-setting potential with an idea like this.

For more about this, read this link.