Samsung claims unbreakable phone screen. Challenge accepted.

Samsung has developed a U.S. military-grade unbreakable phone screen….(about 10 years too late).

The days of having to strain your eyes looking through your jacked-up Galaxy screen seem to be over.


Here’s the proof:

Why it’s Hot

While other phone makers have been spending R&D dollars to make stronger and harder screen glass, Samsung zags and develops something flexible. Well played, Samsung.

Study Proves That Display Ads Precede Many Search Clicks

It’s tempting to credit a sale to the last thing a customer saw or heard before it happened, even though the reason is often far more complex. Even direct marketers with full access to their sales data aren’t immune to this tendency, called the “last-click attribution” fallacy in digital marketing analytics.

But now Facebook’s Atlas ad serving and analytics unit has some proof it can share from one of the biggest direct marketers – Guthy-Renker’s Proactiv – that just because someone completed a sale after clicking a search ad, the search ad doesn’t necessarily deserve all the credit.

By tracking the digital “path to purchase” through anonymized monitoring of Facebook users’ online activity, Atlas found that 16% of the online buyers clicked on search ads after first being served an online display ad.


Why It’s Hot

This research illustrates how an ad doesn’t have to produce an immediate click or conversion to prove that it’s working. These results can help us and our clients to effectively measure display advertising beyond last click attribution.


Meaningful Connections in Social Meida (Nissan)- via Media Week


In a day and age in the digital world where some brands are throwing ad dollars at the wall and hoping for something to stick, Nissan is being discerning.  They are actually engaging strategy in their social and digital media capabilities, a practice many agencies leave out of their scope of work and leave in the hands of digital teams, which leave social to only be the executor’s, and not strategists. Nicola Kemp of Media Week UK comments that “sport and social media are such obvious partners that it is all too easy to declare the future of sports sponsorship will be played out primarily within the realms of 140 characters.”  This is the type of social and digital strategy that is built in a planning period and not when only executing.  In regards to Nissan, they are focusing their digital media efforts on large sponsorship’s (similar to an old OOH campaign from the 90’s, but layered with deeper analysis and data from today’s digital transparency.), less venues, larger audiences with targeting and live touch points with memorable experiences for consumers OOH & digitally.

Why It’s Hot

Large auto clients, as well as many other publicly traded companies (such as our clients) are shifting their trend of spending media budgets within agencies towards live events with highly targeted audiences.  Years ago this was the same spend that was utilized at large scale and investment with substantial OOH sponsorship’s, however it lacked the targeting.

In the end, you only buy a car every 5-6 years (1-3 years for most single males 25-34 and 3-6 years for single females 25-34- Comscore March 2014*), so by the time you have reached the consumer they have already had ample time to make up their mind and cemented their own opinion.  To prevent being left out Nissan hopes to be part of the long term conversation and have meaningful social and digital campaigns with targeted live events.  “You need to be part of what people enjoy and you have to be meaningful.”  Nissan will attempt this with live events surrounding sports such as their World Cup campaign’s this past year that focused on their Hispanic audience (hyper targeted demo and geo and behavioral).

The Goal is: Less, bigger and live

Time Likely To Be the Next Digital Currency

Next month, the London-based paper [the Financial Times] will roll out ad rates based on time rather than impressions, charging some advertisers by the number of hours their ads appear in front of targeted groups of readers. The measurement — cost per hour, or CPH — shatters a decades-old media pricing model that values volume above all else.

Nearly half of online display ads are never seen, according to ComScore. It was against this backdrop that the Financial Times started looking at the viewability of its ads and, eventually, attention metrics.

According to a Financial Times analysis, readers who saw an ad for at least five seconds experienced, on average, 79% greater brand recall. In addition, across the study, it saw an average uplift across brand measures like familiarity, association and consideration of 62% when readers were exposed to an ad for that long

There’s also the question of whether more time on a screen would do an advertiser any good. Readers are more or less trained to ignore banner advertising, a phenomenon called “banner blindness.” A 2013 study by Infolinks, which helps publishers and brands make their ads more noticeable, found that only 14% of respondents recalled the last display ad they saw and the company or product it promoted.


Why It’s Hot

Cost per hour or cost per 30 seconds could soon be the next standard form of buying digital ads, replacing the decades-old pricing model of cost per thousand impressions (CPM). If and when this happens it will have a huge impact on the way ads are made, bought, sold, and evaluated. While it seems like the industry is heading in that direction, there will be opposition from many players who benefit from view-based models. As an agency we’ll have to be sure we are well-informed of the pros/cons of this pricing model so that we can make the best choices for our clients.


Watch Yourself: Facebook to Mine User Browser History to Serve Ads

In a move that will only add to the creepiness factor of display advertising, Facebook announced that the company will now be mine users’ browser data to retarget based on web behavior. But while the company has already allowed retargeting through the use of certain tracking software, the move is considered a major expansion of Facebook’s data usage to target users. Facebook will capture sites that use tracking pixels as well as data transmitted by those that have login states with Facebook code installed on the back-end.

Critics bash Facebook for not complying with “Do Not Track” browser standards. Facebook is trying to hide behind claims that ‘no industry standard exists’ for anti-tracking opt-out’. The service will participate in the AdChoice program, however, allowing users to opt out of behavioral targeting by adjusting settings within the ad served.

And while the company is taking major steps to encroach on users’ personal data, it’s not all bad. Facebook also interested more robust privacy controls, along with “ad preferences” settings to filter out unwanted ads.

Below: Mystikal celebrates Facebook’s announcement by shouting from the rooftops that he’s watching… but also warning users to revisit their privacy settings.

Why It’s Hot

We all use Facebook, and we know that most folks don’t understand the extent to which marketers can leverage personal data to serve “smarter” ads. But like Mama always says, just because you “can” doesn’t mean you “should.” Facebook is testing whether what is technologically feasible goes too far towards benefiting advertisers and exploiting users.

Source: AdAge

L’Oreal Targets Ads Based on Hair Color in Online Photos

The ad-targeting technology from “in-image ad platform” GumGum earlier this month began placing ads for L’Oreal Freia and Preference Ombre products within photos across its network of 1,000 news and entertainment sites from such publishers as Tribune Co., New York Times Co., and E.W. Scripps Co. Different products are featured based on the hair color of the women in the photos.

The Ombre lineup, expanded earlier this year, was the product of a brand research and innovation team that had noticed a trend toward celebrities using highlights from the jawline down to the ends. Clients also include car companies targeting photos of cars or movie studios, such as Paramount, which targeted photos of Katy Perry to promote her film “Part of Me.”

“Photos drive more page views than any other content,” accounting for 65% to 70% of views for a typical news property, Mr. Tanz said. While GumGum may sound like a niche player, he said its ads reach 70 million unique visitors monthly, according to ComScore

The technology looks for appropriate images and then inserts relevant ads.

Why It’s Hot

Incredibly innovative use of Google data to leverage consumer mindset and interest based on what they are looking at, to align product perfectly.  Opens the door to asking the question for other marketers–can all ad content be matched to photographs being viewed?  Active wear for athletic/fitness products?  Smoking cessation for people who are smoking? Weight reduction for overweight individuals?  Does this enhance contextual placement based on copy–could be.  The question is how and where.


Hulu Reveals New Ad Platforms

Hulu announced three interesting new ad innovations at the Hulu Upfront event in New York City last week:

1. The “in-stream purchase unit” which lets its viewers order food from Pizza Hut during commercial breaks, without needing to leave the current screen they’re watching. This will be rolled out later in the year with Pizza Hut as the company’s partner. The ad unit will enable Hulu’s customers to order food for pick-up or delivery without veering away from the Hulu page. The ad makes it easier for viewers to order food, as well as enables advertisers to target their preferred market at the right time.

2. Cross platform interactive ads, which will launch in partnership with Corona in the summer. These aim to make interactive ads available across different platforms, including mobile and living room viewing devices.

3. Hulu 360 ad, which Hulu simply describes as being able to identify which mobile platform the viewer is on and going beyond traditional video ads to deliver a “groundbreaking viewing experience” powered by 360 design company Immersive Media.




Why It’s Hot:

It’s always interesting to see innovations in digital advertising. What Hulu has done is innovative from a user experience and technology standpoint. I’m curious to see will how other types of advertisers can take advantage of in-stream purchasing — can it apply to a range or purchases? Or is it all about immediate gratification?

Additionally, we’ve had a number of conversations here about technology and laziness — is ordering pizza from your commercial too much?

Weather Channel Ad Platform Leverages Weather Forecast Data to Serve Smarter Ads

The Weather Channel (TWC) is touting that its Weather FX ad-serving platform can intelligently predict correlations between consumer demand and weather conditions, like rainfall and temperature, to serve ads during points of heightened relevance.


While marketers have long suggested the relationship between ad performance and seasonal changes, TWC is showing how weather variability of individual days can impact the bottom line for brands. Piloting a study in major cities across the U.S., TWC believes that the Weather FX platform has the power to tap real-time user data and measure expected performance against forecasts to show when ads for certain products will be most effective.  The brand pilots takes into account geographic preferences, too–for instance users in Atlanta crave more ice cream on cooler summer days than those with extreme heat.

Why It’s Hot

TWC is showing that there are many nuanced conditions that can impact ad performance in big ways. As brands have access to even more consumer data, we will soon see that leveraging environmental conditions as an element of geo-targeting to serve ads at more effective times, even as they vary for identified sub-populations within a target audience. Content and relevance are important, but so to is the biological impact to changes in the environment.


Native Advertising: Modern “Advertorial” on Steroids

AOL & MillerCoors sign $5MM “Native” Ad Deal

Miller inks 5MM native deal with AOL

Forget banners, pre-rolls or anything that looks like “advertising.” Brands want ownership of “editorial”, and with big bucks at stake, publishers are playing along. AOL will produce about 350 pieces of original content, including 100 videos, for Miller, before eoy. Each piece will appeal to male millennials, and plug Miller Lite, Coors Lite, Blue Moon, or Redd’s Apple Ale. The editorial content, dubbed the “Brew Pub Newsroom,” will span AOL properties: Huffington Post, Huff Post Live and

MillerCoors is hardly the only brand testing publishers’ willingness to blur those lines that have traditionally separated editorial and advertising. Ford just committed a reported $10 million to sponsor a video series, “This Built America,” by AOL.

Why It’s Hot

While not a totally new idea, even in the form described (big money, multi-media), marketer interest is increasing. We’re doing more content integration and distribution work than a year ago and this is likely to evolve to include more content sourcing and original content development in the future. Native advertising programs are a far cry from media buys. They require team collaboration throughout. Strategy, creative, media, project management and account services, must be intimately involved from inception through proposal development, negotiation, definition of roles/responsibilities, client presentation and so on. It’s exciting and presents huge opportunities for creativity…and team-bonding!

Source: iMedia Connection, Gavin O’Malley, Mar 18 2014




Turn Any Camera Into a Strategic Advertiser

A new technology created by IMRSV is out to turn any camera into an intelligent sensor. Using a standard webcam and the Cara Player software allows you to transform existing screens into displays that react to audiences in real world. Yes Mr. Yakamoto, adaptive advertising is here. Advertising can adapt based on the audience in real-time based on gender, age and weather.

Learn more here:


Why It’s Hot

Every advertiser dreams of being able to tailor ads for the specific person consuming them. The potential this technology has for digital and mobile marketing is endless, and the analytics can help create more effective strategies for the future. It may not be Minority Report, but it is getting close.