What is Twitter good for?

This past Wednesday, Kanye West had his most recent Twitter tweetstorm rant. This time, directed to Wiz Khalifa.

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For the past few weeks, there have been countless think pieces on what Twitter must do to save itself. Twitter, as a company, has a lot of challenges ahead of itself, but if you want to ask the question what Twitter is good for – this is it. This Kanye West tweetstorm was a cultural moment that took the internet by storm. A moment that could’ve only happened on  Twitter.

To fully embrace Twitter, as a platform, you have to be in-the-moment. So much of the content on Twitter is off-the-cuff commentary, live reactions, people from around the world coming together over one single topic to share love, humor, information and sometimes even hate.

The beauty of the true real-time nature of Twitter is that if you didn’t watch Kanye’s rant in real-time, you missed out. And you missed out on a moment that blew up beyond Twitter and into the wider culture.

Boomerang From Instagram

Today, the Facebook-owned company launched Boomerang, an iPhone and Android app that lets users make mini-social videos that endlessly loop.

As part of the photo-sharing app’s larger video push, Boomerang makes it possible to create videos that play forward and backward in either portrait or landscape mode that can then be shared on Instagram.

Snickers Found Amusing Fails All Over NYC and Put These Stickers Next to Them

An innovative new out-of-home campaign for Snickers, in which the candy brand found goofy mistakes all around New York City—and put stickers next to them that read, “You make mistakes when you’re hungry.”

The fails are curious and amusing in their own right, of course, which is what makes this idea work so well. Adding a little snarky sticker caps them off perfectly. It helps that Snickers has had affection for people’s mistakes for a long, long time.

The campaign extended to social media, as the brand encouraged fans to share any #hungrymistakes they found or had made themselves.

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Why It’s Hot

Snickers took a popular trend, posting real life fails on social and the internet, and made it work for them. This out-of-home campaign is smart, simple and relevant for all audiences.

How addicted are we to our phones?

Wallet? Check. Keys? Check. Phone? Check.Our mobile phones have become our trusty sidekicks, accompanying us anywhere and everywhere — they’re almost like security blankets.

And the numbers surrounding mobile use are, unsurprisingly, daunting. As of January 2014, 90% of adults in the U.S. had cellphones, including a whopping 98% of 18-29-year-olds, the most robust contingent of smartphone users. These stats become even more significant when you consider just how we use our phones as a society, and the ways this has grown.

Check out the infographics below to see how our mobile addiction breaks down, from how much we use our phones, to what exactly we’re using them for, to where we’re using them.

Overall Mobile Phone Usage

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How We Use Our Mobile Phones

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Where We Use Our Mobile Phones

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Why It’s Hot

As marketers, it’s important to know where your audience is, on what device, when they’re using those devices, where they’re using those devices, etc. A keen understanding of what consumers are doing on their phones can allow you to position ads in a hyper-targeted manner, reaching the right people at the right time in the right place.

 

 

How Old Navy is winning at YouTube

For Old Navy, YouTube is a way to show a funnier, looser side of the brand rather than going for the hard sell.

Its strategy revolves around TV ad outtakes starring spokeswomen Amy Poehler and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Both TV campaigns turned the women into slightly deranged, Old Navy-obsessed versions of themselves. On YouTube, however, the brand’s posted outtake clips to its channel, letting their spokeswomen shine, without promoting products.

This approach has helped Old Navy amass a strong YouTube following for a retailer, with more than 17,000 subscribers. (Comparably, Gap has 6,000, Kohl’s has 13,000, Banana Republic has 2,000 and T.J. Maxx has a little over 1,000.)

Why It’s Hot

You don’t need to double up on the hard sell. Broadcast requires a TV spot to do a lot: include some humor, strike a little urgency, and ultimately sell a product. Old Navy realized they could let their spokeswomen really shine while continuing the conversation and entertaining people online with the great footage they got on set from outtakes.

This approach to video content online allows a brand to build an affinity with consumers, giving them a channel to watch something that’s purely entertaining and fun, beyond talking about the clothing. Consumers are more likely to spend their time online watching engaging content rather than straightforward advertisements.

Snickers Got YouTubers to Post Terrible Videos as If They Recorded Them Hungry

Another fun take on the brand’s “You’re Not You” 5-year old campaign, Snickers got video bloggers all over the world to post intentionally bad videos—pretending they recorded them while they were hungry, and thus weren’t themselves.

The “You’re Not YouTube” campaign launched simultaneously in 8 countries and included 13 popular “how-to” video bloggers on YouTube. In each video, the host is obviously not themselves and presents themselves in a way that is completely out of the ordinary of what their subscribers would expect.

For example, the US based video blogger, Jessica Harlow, who is typically very put together, shares a video that gives subscribers a “how-to” on how to let yourself go.

Why It’s Hot

There’s no better way to reach an audience and give a campaign a fresh look than by working with influencers. Across platforms and media types, influencers are dynamic content creators that truly know how to engage their audience – especially younger consumers. Not only did Snickers recognize their campaign needed a refresh to appeal to younger consumers, but adding international influencers added a layer of global reach that was a strong extension of the campaign.

Bud Light Partners with Tinder to Promote Whatever, USA

Bud Light is transforming another town into Whatever, USA, and this year, the brand is choosing the next set of random beer drinkers to inhabit its party town like many millennials choose their next date—on Tinder.

Users of the dating app who are 21 and older can match with Bud Light for a chance to win a weekend trip to the next Whatever, USA. “There’s a lot of synergies between the Tinder audience and the audience we’re looking for,” said Hugh Cullman, director of marketing for Bud Light.

Bud Light will select about 1,000 beer drinkers—fans can enter the contest on Tinder, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram—to attend this year’s celebration, which is slated for the last weekend of May. The exact location of Whatever, USA has not yet been determined, though Bud Light has whittled the possibilities down to five finalists.

Why It’s Hot

The partnership between Bud Light and Tinder marks the first time the dating app has used native video. The two brands worked together for six months to create spots designed specifically for Tinder’s platform. By using Tinder, which has 26 million matches a day worldwide, Bud Light can connect with millennials spontaneously, which embodies the spirit of the #UpForWhatever campaign.

A-B InBev Tricks Brooklynites Into Drinking Budweiser

As A-B continues its continued campaign targeting craft beer fans, Budweiser headed to Brooklyn during Restaurant Week and orchestrated a little stunt to get people to actually drink Bud—and even rave about it.

Hip, young Millennials were invited to sneak peek a new bar, weeks prior to its opening. When there, they were asked to sample a smooth, crisp, golden lager. The bartender played into the craft beer trend and highlighted how the lager had been aged over beechwood and the brewer’s recipe hadn’t changed for 139 years.

Why Its Hot

A-B InBev’s pro-macro beer Super Bowl spot was meant to ruffle a few feathers and get people talking. Budweiser has seen declines in sales in recent years as consumer tastes for more premium beers gains popularity. Craft beer production was up 42% last year, and for the first time ever, craft brews accounted for more than 10% of all beer sales in the US.

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Craft brewing is still a niche, but a fast growing one that is beginning to take market share from Budweiser, transforming Bud into a beer without a “purpose” and in desperate need for a new positioning to entice young beer drinkers.

#DressGate2015

Early Thursday evening BuzzFeed published a post that aggregated a Tumblr post of a dress in which the color of the dress was in dispute. Basically, some people saw white and gold  and other saw black and blue… and the Internet collectively lost it.

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Every publisher – from Time to Cosmo to CNN to local news channels – were sharing the BuzzFeed post and joining the debate. Slate even put up a live blog. The debate continued throughout the night: friendships were tested, relationships destroyed, brands and celebrities weighed in and scientific… and unscientific theories were shared to explain why some people saw white and gold and others black and blue. Four of the top Twitter Trends Thursday night were occupied by dress-related hashtags: #thedress, #dressgate, #whiteandgold.

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The BuzzFeed post was shared 16 million times just five-odd hours after it was posted, and BuzzFeed said a record 670,000 people were on the site at the same time. Of that number, 500,000 of the people were visiting on mobile devices, and half of those visitors were reading the post about the dress.

Why It’s Hot

The dress is a single meme that trended so powerfully so quickly, but it does represent a larger trend of explosive-but-short viral lifespans that has been visible for some time now. This meme more than anything really underlines the differences between Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. It went viral on Tumblr Wednesday, on Twitter Thursday, and will probably hang around Facebook for the rest of the week. This seems to be the new Viral Cycle.

Buffalo Wild Wings Turns Your Tweets (Emojis Included) Into Fun NFL Sportscasts

Buffalo Wild Wings is not a Super Bowl advertiser but has a clever plan to chime in on social chatter during the game. Last week, the brand started asking its Twitter followers to tweet about the NFL playoff games with the hashtag #BWWPostGame for the chance to be featured in a series of social videos that are posted to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Buffalo Wild Wings will create three videos during the NFL postseason for the divisional conference championship and Super Bowl (you can watch the first one, released Monday, below).

Why It’s Hot

As of Wednesday night, the video had been viewed 261,200 times across Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. On Facebook alone, the video had more than 260,000 views, showing how the social network is encroaching on YouTube’s territory.

McDonald’s Refreshes ‘I’m Lovin’ It’

McDonald’s pushes global harmony hard in its new brand campaign, which refreshes the long-running “I’m lovin’ it” tagline by putting more focus on the lovin’. The spot is called “Archenemies,” and features pop-culture foes suddenly finding peace.

McDonald’s has never really leaned that hard into the idea of love— often focusing on the “I’m” and “it” parts of the line instead of the “lovin’ ” part. But the brand thinks the time is right for a shift.

“We recognize, and our customers do too, all the negativity that surrounds daily life and we are choosing to celebrate lovin’ more,” it says in a statement. “McDonald’s is in a unique position to use its scale to bring back the positivity with more uplifting content and conversations in the lovin’ spirit.”

The brand feels like it’s on to something here. The refresh will include new uniforms, new packaging, new signage in restaurants and a new focus on being more responsive in social media—which is in line with the transparency campaign it’s been running lately.

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Why It’s Hot

McDonald’s, a brand that still doesn’t allow fans to post on their Facebook timeline, is finally taking a step back and understanding the importance of transparency, authenticity and actually listening to what its consumers are saying. The fast-food chain is moving from a philosophy of billion-served to billion-heard,  in order to evolve with customers. As the brand is experiencing a difficult time – declines in sales and facing a new type of more ecologically minded customer – can this brand transformation be its saving grace? It sounds like the brand has a few tricks up its sleeve, especially with a return to the Super Bowl with a 60-second commercial that “will reveal a big idea.” Only time will tell if the fast food chain can turn “lovin'” into sales.

BMW’s Snapchat-Inspired Campaign to Attract Young Drivers

Today’s ever sought out younger consumers are known for having seconds-long attention spans—but that’s fine for BMW, which only needs five seconds. The automaker is launching a social campaign and website dubbed Snowchat, which will let users share pictures that last only seconds, just like a Snapchat message.

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The site features an image of a BMW windshield covered in snow, which users can wipe away to make designs with the swipe of a finger across a touchscreen or the click of a mouse. Then, the virtual artwork can be shared via Facebook, Twitter or e-mail. Once the image is shared, it disappears five seconds after it’s opened. BMW hopes that since the messages vanish quickly, people will send more than one to their friends, similar to how millennials use their favorite mobile messaging apps.

The site promotes the X4 SUV, which is aimed at a younger consumer than BMW’s average driver. BMW’s social push isn’t solely geared toward moving cars off lots, partly because millennials don’t have the money to buy luxury vehicles—yet. “We are trying to open our arms wider than just car enthusiasts and BMW fans,” Renner said. “We’re trying to invite people into the brand and let us be a part of their daily lives for the holidays.”

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Why It’s Hot

Although not many Millennials can afford a BMW, the brand is taking the right approach by placing an emphasis on building a relationship with these consumers now. The younger audience appreciate a brand that “gets” them and with such a high value purchase and the audience’s propensity to research prior to buying, BMW is setting themselves up to be top of mind when that day comes for Millennials. Of course, Millennials are keen to stick with a brand that provides a high quality product, however, second to that is a brand that is transparent, authentic and understands the younger consumer’s mindset. 

Tumblr’s Top 20 Sponsored Posts of 2014

Since Tumblr first introduced in-stream sponsored posts in Spring 2013, more than 300 paid advertisers have gotten on board. The brand publishers contribute to an ecosystem of content creators and users who have posted more than 98.4 billion items, at an average rate of 83.3 million posts a day.

And, for marketers that want to get their messages in front of millennial eyeballs, it seems like it makes sense to advertise on the Yahoo-owned microblogging platform. According to comScore, Tumblr was the No. 1 social destination when it came to the amount of time spent on desktop in October. The average user spent 14 minutes per visit on its pages, while people who visited runner-up Facebook only spent 12 minutes.

AT&T had the most popular sponsored brand post of the year. Its simple image, a text message bubble that reads “when you know what you want call me,” collected more than 448,250 notes. The phrase was contributed by a young man on Tumblr: when asked why he though it was so successful, he explained that its something that everyone experiences.

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Check out the rest of the list here.

Why It’s Hot

If 2014 wasn’t Tumblr’s year, 2015 certainly will be. Although Tumblr doesn’t have as many monthly users as some of the other social networks, it is becoming increasinginly more valuable to brands: Tumblr users are young, and they’re incredibly engaged. The active user base is quickly growing, presenting a unique opportunity for brands to connect with this highly sought-after audience. But, just like any other social platform, it’s imperative for a brand to play to the platforms strengths, native features and user behavior to be successful. The brands on the top 20 list are there because their content is directed towards this specific audience. This list is another example of how necessary it is for brands to understand their audience on their active platforms to break through the clutter and truly resonate with consumers.

Netflix Picked an Interesting Time for This Tweet About Above-the-Law Cops

As Twitter was erupting this afternoon with outrage over a grand jury’s decision not to indict the NYPD officer whose chokehold killed Eric Garner, Netflix made a rather odd marketing decision.

The streaming service posted a Peaky Blinders promo featuring hard-boiled Irish cop Chester Campbell, played by Sam Neill. The tweet message—”Just because you’re law enforcement doesn’t mean you’re law abiding.”—seemed especially topical when paired with the photo’s quote, “God help those who stand in our way.”

While the tweet didn’t spark much real anger at Netflix, it did draw a mixed reaction from those who felt the company was siding (intentionally or not) with protesters and others who felt it was simply insensitive.

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Why It’s Hot

 Time and time again, brands fail to stay abreast of current events and find themselves part of conversations they didn’t intend to be. It’s a rookie mistake that can compromise the way a brand is perceived in the industry and the social community and a reminder to others that it is imperative to research trending hashtags, current events, and keep a point of view of “How will the social community react to this tweet?” whenever publishing content. It’s not about how great the Social Media Manager thinks the tweet will perform, it’s about how the audience will react.

Yo, McDonald’s: Give Us Fried Ice Cream

A group of fast-food enthusiasts are pinging the chain restaurant en masse to put a new pie on the menu.

The McFried Ice Cream Pie Campaign has simple aims, and has chosen simple means for achieving them: in order to petition McDonald’s to combine two of its current dessert offerings, campaigners want supporters to use the effectively mono-functional app Yo to make their voices (or chirpy, pre-recorded simulacrum of them) heard.

To garner interest in the Yo petition, the group has also put together a number of posters and a short video (below).

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The campaign’s manifesto reads as such:

The Fried Apple Pie and the Vanilla Cone are easily two of the most nostalgic items on the McDonald’s menu. Now imagine them together as one perfect, dreamy dessert. Can you taste it? No, you can’t. Not yet. We aim to change that. Let’s get the pie to the people. Stand with us and help unite these two favorites once and for all.

Why It’s Hot

To date, the relatively new and pseudo-popular app Yo has been through its paces in a handful of ways. Among other indicators of its mixed — if highly publicized — reception, Yo has already inspired two spoof apps. An app that seems to have relatively no purpose (one can argue that Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and even Facebook at one point seemed to add no true value to our lives), Yo is finding its home among users in unique and thought-provoking ways.

Subway Wants Women to Eat Right So They’ll Be Sexier in Their Sexy Halloween Costumes

Ladies, bikini season may be over, but Subway wants to remind you that sexy Halloween costume season is still nigh.

In a somewhat awkward spot built around the idea of modeling your “sassy” and “foxy” outfits for co-workers over lunch (as one does), the chain ends on the note, “Whatever you’re staying fit for, start at Subway.”

I guess in a world where Sexy Olaf is a sell-out Halloween sensation, this is the Subway ad we deserve.

Why It’s Hot

Take this spot for what it is, unoriginal and lazy. A bold approach to Halloween, Subway. This spot could be found insulting by many women, who already have an issue with the fact that the expectations for women’s Halloween costumes is to be “sexy.” The underlying message to say fit is respectable, but the execution is less than desirable.

Ricky Gervais Crashes Your Favorite Netflix Shows

Despite winning only seven of the 31 Emmys its shows were nominated for, Netflix still found a clever way to cash in on the popularity of its original programs during Monday’s telecast.

The streaming service rolled out a new ad featuring Ricky Gervais (himself a star of the Netflix original Derek) traipsing into lead roles on shows like Orange Is the New Black, House of Cards and Lilyhammer. The spot capitalizes on user’s tendency to binge watch it’s shows.

“You know when you’re watching your favorite Netflix show,” Gervais wonders, “and after five straight episodes, you want to be in it?”

Why It’s Hot

What makes this spot so great is how relevant it is to the target audience. It’s sufficient to say that a majority of Netflix’s streaming users are well aware of how easy it is to begin a show, Netflix original or not, and become completely submerged in the characters and plot so much so that leaving the couch before finishing the series is completely out of the question. The brilliance of Ricky Gervais brings this cultural phenomenon to life and drives home the thought that Netflix gets its audience.

Read more here

McDonald’s Gets Super-Sized Backlash With Instagram Ads

McDonald’s recently ran a number of sponsored ads on Instagram to promote the Bacon Clubhouse burger that was launched earlier this year to appeal to millennials and make up for slipping sales. These marketing efforts seem to be falling flat though with a swarm of backlash against the burger chain’s ad.

“While we are unable to provide specific details about our media strategies, we are always looking to engage with our guests and fans in fun and relevant ways in social media. Instagram allows us to share compelling and entertaining photos about our brand, food and more in unexpected and innovative ways,” said David Martinelli, digital marketing manager at McDonald’s.

One such ad appeared on Monday morning. The post had 45,347 “likes” and 1,941 comments, many of which were negative from users who were ticked off by seeing a McDonald’s ad in their newsfeeds.

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Why It’s Hot

Actively, and successfully, engaging the Millennial audience is more than being present on the social platforms they frequent and throwing “text-talk” into copy or jumping on the next red-hot trend. This audience is difficult as they have the highest BS radar of all – they know when they’re being marketed to and more importantly, they see right through a brand’s attempt at being “hip” and take personal offense to intrusive brands in their personal social network feeds.  As a result, it comes as no surprise that McDonald’s was faced with negative sentiment towards their new Instagram ads and it implies the brand’s lack of understanding of this audience. The platform’s popularity with the younger audience is a direct result of an unfiltered feed, free of ads, and it’s clear this audience is still resistant to this forthcoming change in their photo streams.

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Old Navy Aims to Lessen Reliance on TV to Engage Millennials

Old Navy is looking to online video this back-to-school season as CMO Ivan Wicksteed works to steer the retailer away from its reliance on TV.

At the center of that effort is an online music video for an original song called, “Unlimited,” which plays on the anxieties of the first day of school. The online video aims to build on Old Navy’s success with a recent series of TV spots starring Amy Poehler, whose outtakes went viral on YouTube. Ms. Poehler is also slated to appear in TV ads during the back-to-school season.

“We’re trying to produce content that lives outside of TV,” said Mr. Wicksteed. “It’s more organic content that people want to watch.”

Though Old Navy’s ads typically focus on moms throughout the year, the retailer turns its attention to kids during the back-to-school season. “If you want to talk to this audience, you have to engage them using media that they interact with.”

Why It’s Hot

As the rise in second-screen viewing continues, big brands are looking for ways to extend their television into digital and social. Old Navy is attempting to do just that, especially with a campaign focused on Millennials – the center of the second-screen viewing trend. The question is, with Millennials displaying such short attention spans, is a 4 minute video the right path or should Old Navy take a look at Taco Bell and employ more guerrilla-style social tactics.

Read more here. 

Samsung Trolls iPhone Users… Again

Has Samsung taken it too far? The company’s latest ad for the Galaxy S5 pokes fun at Apple and its customers for a product that hasn’t even launched yet: the larger iPhone 6 models.

In the ad, titled Screen Envy, one friend (with an iPhone) asks another (with the Samsung Galaxy) if he’s heard about the rumor that Apple will put out an iPhone with a larger screen. That’s when the narrator interjects with a condescending voice over.

Why It’s Hot

Apple-bashing has become something of a pastime for Samsung’s marketing team. The company has criticized Apple in ads again and again and again over the years. But the question has to be asked, has Samsung become lazy? Is this messaging still getting through to those considering switching phones or has it become redundant and tired? And, at what point does the objective of this strategy (Samsung > Apple) get lost on viewers and turn the brand into a voice of arrogance?

Read more here

Snapchat Adds Location-Based Filters

Snapchat just added a collection of geo-filters to its popular app, allowing users to add fun labels and drawings based on their location. The new art and labels are specific to certain cities and destinations. For example, if you’re snapping a shot at Disneyland, you’ll be able to swipe right to see art related to the amusement park.

The feature officially launched on Tuesday, but Snapchat has been quietly testing geo-location filters for awhile. Users must enable location services for the feature to work, which means Snapchat isn’t storing your location data.

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Why It’s Hot

The news of geo-location filters comes a few days after Snapchat users received a surprise collection of curated snaps from Brazil during the final games of the FIFA World Cup. The previous use of live event stories with EDC Vegas required users to manually “add” the EDC Live event to view, but the Rio Live account appeared automatically under contacts for all users to enjoy.

As other companies try to compete with Snapchat by adding similar features (FB Messenger, iOS8 iMessage, etc), Snapchat’s new geo-location features allow the company to hold onto its unique appeal. Geo-location offerings add new dimensions to the once photo-only messaging app and create new ways in which users and brands interaction with one another.

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Pity the “Wall Huggers”

Samsung’s latest installment in it’s “The Next Big Thing Is Here” campaign slams iPhone battery life. The spot shows frazzled, unhappy iPhone-carrying travelers sitting on airport floors, hunched around wall outlets, waiting for their handsets to charge making viewers feel as though they should’ve bought the Samsung Galaxy S5 with ultra power-saving mode and interchangeable battery.

Why It’s Hot

Samsung’s anti-Apple strategy seemed a little condescending at first, but then the scrappy approach began to earn some merit as viewers learned to appreciate the subtle knocks at their competitor without stepping over the line; iPhone users were able to laugh at themselves. As the ads continue, is it getting to a point when Samsung is making viewers feel naive for buying another brand’s products? When focusing an ad campaign on taking hits at a competitors weaknesses it’s imperative brands leave viewers thinking about their product, not feeling patronized.

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Newcastle Brown Ale Imagines How Things Might Have Gone

Last year, Newcastle launched the holiday “Independence Eve” (July 3rd) as an excuse to sell beer… and of course, the last day of British rule over America. This year, the brewer has brought in Stephen Merchant for a monologue denouncing the insanity that is American celebrations every Fourth of July. Merchant urges viewers to think of how differently things would have been if the British had won the war.

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Why It’s Hot

July 4th is one of the biggest beer-selling holidays in America. Many popular brands will unveil new packaging to pay tribute to the red, white and blue. Newcastle Brown Ale has no interest in the 4th, they’re more concerned with the 3rd of July. As a British brewer and probably not the first beer on tap at a July 4th celebration, Newcastle Brown Ale has taken a cheeky approach to the holiday by choosing to own “Independence Eve.”

Read more here

Snapchat Offers Brands Customized Photo Filters

Snapchat might be giving brands another reason to sign up for its service — customizable photo filters. The photo-messaging app seems to have been testing this new feature that allows brands to add their logo to images or videos they send out to friends.

Although a Snapchat spokesperson declined to comment on the new photo filters, it seems plausible that the app may be considering using this customizable logos feature to attract more top brands to the service while giving itself more credibility as a marketing platform.

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Why It’s Hot

Combining the possibility of brand logos with the platform’s other new feature, Our Story, this seems like a possible revenue opportunity for Snapchat. As Snapchat unveils Our Story at EDC in Vegas this weekend, the highlight reel of a live-event paired with additional branding makes sense and could stand to entice more conservative brands to include Snapchat into their real-time marketing efforts.

Read more here

 

Volvo Tells Millennials It’s Okay to Look Back

Millennials have been called the largest and most influential generation of consumers ever. The generation of people now 18 to 34 years old represents an estimated $1.3 trillion in spending. In the U.S., by 2030, Millennials will likely outnumber baby boomers 78 million to 56 million—and they are forming lifelong shopping preferences and habits now.

This group is known to identify with brands more personally than others – making it imperative that companies cultivate and foster a relationship with these individuals to ensure life-long brand advocacy. Recognizing that the first Millennials are reaching peak buying power, some companies are seeking to resonate with this audience by playing up the feeling of nostalgia in campaigns.

Volvo’s new spot manipulates their millennial target into feeling reminiscent of the days they spent growing up in the third row of a Volvo station wagon. The voice over drives the spot home stating, “And really, who wants to look backwards, when you can look forward?”

Possibly one of the best examples of brand positioning towards the Millennial crowd through nostalgia is Microsoft’s Internet Explorer spot “Child of the 90s.” Although this became a viral sensation, reviews were mixed if it was successful in winning back a generation now loyal to Firefox and Chrome.

Why It’s Hot

As a quintessential Millennial and a marketer, Volvo’s spot strikes a cord, but will I’m not yet convinced it has the legs to encourage fellow Millennials to go out and purchase a Volvo. My generation is unpredictable, we value authenticity and we have a BS-radar more keen than others leaving it up to debate how best to capture our ever-fleeting attention. Brands must find an original approach when relating to young consumers, and although Volvo’s forward-and-backward metaphor is pseudo-philosophy, it got me thinking that maybe nostalgia is the right first step to grab and keep a brand top of mind.

Read more here. 

Tinder: Snapchat for Dating

Tinder is about to become more like Snapchat with the introduction of their newest feature: Moments. Moments allows users to share photos that expire in 24 hours (sounds familiar) with old and new matches. After taking a photo inside the Matches section, the app pushes it out to all matches, and recipients can either like or ignore it.

Tinder says that sharing “Moments” will give users the opportunity to show a different side of themselves beyond their profile and add a layer of connecting with potential maters.

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Why It’s Hot

Tinder has been a hot topic since the app’s initial release back in September 2012. Moments is one of the most notable updates to the app in it’s 20 month history and is poised to change the “Tinder Game” indefinitely. It’s safe to assume that this update will lead to active Tinder users creating more connections with potential mates, however, it’s doubtful these connections will be as “meaningful” as the app believes they will be. Not only does Moments have implications for users, but what does this evolution say about social networking platforms and apps as each continues to incorporate their adaptation of one another’s best features creating a melting pot of the same app? Are apps really positioning themselves to win the race or will all the similarities have a negative effect on user adoption?

Read more here. 

Prepare for a Summer of Slurpee Selfies Courtesy of 7-Eleven’s Mustache Straws

7-Eleven is now offering its Slurpees with hipsterlicious mustache straws and cups shaped like Mason jars.

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The four stache styles include a British upper-lip, a hirsute handlebar, a Ron Swanson special, and the Hulk Hogan. The entire promotion seems perfectly geared for social sharing with Instagram and Facebook. You should expect to see more of these sort of photo-friendly promotions tailor-made for the selfie crowd.

According to ABC news, the straw sales have already surpassed expectations, and it’s only the start of Slurpee season. Get your summer sippin’ on before they’re all gone.

5-29-2014 5-44-09 PM

Why It’s Hot

In the summer (or any time, really) a 7-Eleven Slurpee is a simple treat and something worth sharing. 7-Eleven has taken this simple notion and turned it into something that’s worth sharing – socially. The new mustache straws capitalize on the ever-popular selfie trend by positioning the brand at the center of the conversation. Browsing through the feed of Instagram photos hashtagged #slurpee and seeing the fun others are having with their mustache straws definitely creates a craving for a Slurpee and leaves you wondering whether or not you can pull off the Hulk Hogan stache.

Read more here. 

Kingsford Charcoal says #GetOffYourGas

The traditional charcoal grill is being challenged by the high-tech features of today’s newest gas grills. Kingsford Charcoal dismisses this threat with their new ad, “The Social Grill.”

The ad centers around a fictional new gas grill called the X4 Platinum complete with voice-activation, #selfie taking abilities and photo sharing. The owner fumbles with the machine with his neighbor’s overlooking in judgmental amusement.

Read more here. 

Why It’s Hot

Sometimes you can’t beat tradition and sometimes technology makes our lives a little more difficult. Kingsford Charcoal knows it’s audience and knows what they want and is confident that technology fads will come and go, but grilling is forever.

 

Foursquare’s Swarm App

Foursquare’s new app, Swarm, was released on Thursday. The Swarm app chisels off the check-in and proximity features of the main app and places them in a sparse, focus-driven new home.

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Swarm is constantly pinging your location even when you don’t have the app open giving the ability to tell your friends what you’re up to at a neighborhood level location. This is very much the bones of the ‘check-in’ aspects of Foursquare, writ bold and bright across a small set of features that centers around a chart that shows you how close your friends are to you right now on a scale from ‘right here’ at 500 feet to ‘in the area’ of 20 miles. Swarm is about serendipitous meet ups via passive or explicit location sharing coupled with a planning feature that lets you create gatherings using Foursquare’s friend network and database of places.

It will be interesting to see if Foursquare will be able to gain confidence in location to the near-perfect point, and if so it could even offer quiet, automatic check-ins to specific places, not just neighborhoods. And once that happens users will get all of the benefits of checking in (logging, diary, a friendly digital wave to your friends) without having to actively remember to do it.

Read more here. 

Why It’s Hot

There’s a fundamental shift in the way that we use apps underway, and the symptoms are all over the map. From a deeper, more thoughtful approach to push notifications to the breaking apart of large, unwieldy apps into smaller more focused components – apps are evolving with the user. What makes Swarm significant is the underlying mechanics of the possibility of transforming the check-in from an action specifically taken by a user to a passive update. Every app has been fighting to be on a user’s home screen, but Swarm’s success could lead a trend in apps that don’t need to be on a user’s home screen to add value, they don’t even need to be open.

 

Snapchat Settles Charges With F.T.C. That It Deceived Users

The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday said Snapchat had agreed to settle charges that the company was deceiving users about the ephemeral nature of the photos and video messages sent through its service. The messages were significantly less private than the company had said, the commission said.

In marketing the service, Snapchat has said that its messages “disappear forever.” But in its complaint, the commission said the messages, often called snaps, can be saved in several ways. The commission said that users can save a message by using a third-party app, for example, or employ simple workarounds that allow users to take a screenshot of messages without detection.

“While we were focused on building, some things didn’t get the attention they could have,” the company said in a statement.

Read more here.

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Why It’s Hot

There’s another start up, app, technology, platform, etc every week. And they’re all developed and headed by CEOs younger and younger. Can we be surprised that basic functions are being over looked to market the hot new thing? Start ups need to be held accountable for their products and services and consumers from day 1.