burger king’s “ai” TV campaign…


Burger King revealed several new TV spots that say they were “created by artificial intelligence”.

Via AdAge – “The brand’s statement claims that BK “decided to use high-end computing resources and big data to train an artificial neural network with advanced pattern recognition capabilities by analyzing thousands of fast-food commercials and competitive reports from industry research.” Burger King goes so far as to say that more than 300 commercials were created and tested in focus groups and says the ads will be the first ones created by an A.I. to air on national TV.”

But in reality, Burger King says it’s actually work done by real creatives, mocking the excitement around technology like AI.

According to BK, “we need to avoid getting lost in the sea of technology innovation and buzzwords and forget what really matters. And that’s the idea,” Marcelo Pascoa, Burger King’s global head of brand marketing, tells Ad Age in an emailed statement complete with the word “idea” in all caps. “Artificial intelligence is not a substitute for a great creative idea coming from a real person.”

Why it’s hot:

Is Burger King right here?

The spots they have created feel they could have been generated by even some primitive artificial intelligence. Japan’s “AI Creative Director” was more than a year ago, and its work was actually not far off from what you’d expect from a real creative. There seems to be a point missing here that AI is not meant to replace people, but to help people. Attempting to make a joke about the enthusiasm around technology, it seems Burger King might have actually shown us a glimpse at advertising’s future.

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it’s just an ad…BUT WHY IS IT JUST AN AD?!?!

Amazon revealed its Alexa Super Bowl spot this week, and as you can see above, the premise is – imagine what it would be like if you were speaking to various celebrities instead of what at this point is a borderline monotone, virtually personality-less Alexa. There’s the anthemic 90-second version above, plus 30-second editions focused on specific personalities like you see below.

Why It’s Hot:

In a world where we’ll inevitably rely on speaking to digital assistants, why wouldn’t Amazon, Google, or any others give you the ability to choose your assistant’s voice and personality? And, why didn’t Amazon do it as part of this campaign? We’ve seen it in concept videos, but is this more than just an ad? Having GPS directions read to you by Arnold Schwarzenegger is one thing, but a true assistant you can interact with is a much different scenario. When can we expect this eminently possible future?

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TV & Digital Measurement Methods Moving Closer Together

TV advertising has never been as predictable, provable and performance-oriented  as new digital channels like display, video, search and social have become for marketers, but the times, they are a changin’.

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The rise of digital media, which is measurable to the nth degree, is creating a desire for the same accountability from all media. Historically, TV’s performance has been assessed primarily by MMAs (media mix analyses), which required months of data accumulation, followed by weeks of analysis, only to determine a channel ROI, or daypart ROI, at its most granular. However, with connected TV penetration increasing and more and more TV inventory being reserved for addressable advertising, new methods of measuring and optimizing with much greater granularity, are becoming feasible. Soon, discussions about the performance of TV schedules may sound quite similar to discussions about digital media performance.

Why It’s Hot: For nearly two decades, digital media performance recaps have  included metrics that are common to offline media (reach and frequency, GRPs/TRPs and channel ROI), along with metrics that facilitated optimization at the most granular levels (e.g., revenue per site/placement/target criteria/message). First, digital metrics required education, then clients became comfortable with them and now, they are desired….even demanded, of all channels. After years of trying to bridge two worlds, those worlds are converging, and we have the know-how to continue to thrive; to lead discussions about channel roles and performance.

Snickers to Run First-Ever Live Super Bowl Ad

Snickers, a Super Bowl favorite, will be running the first ever live ad during the 2017 Super Bowl. The teaser (below) announces this and highlights the involvement of Star Wars and Girls actor Adam Driver.

Why It’s Hot

Anyone who has opened their Facebook or Instagram feed lately has undoubtedly seen that live streaming content is everywhere. Users, brands and publications/news outlets alike are getting in on live content trend and taking advantage of all the benefits of live content in their viewers news feeds. In many cases across social platforms, live and/or raw video content is even preferred to some of the more highly produced video content we see from brands and publications. Yet this is a bold (albeit inevitable) move for a brand in that it is the first live ad to be aired on TV, let alone in the biggest TV night of the year. If done successfully, this will undoubtedly be the spark that leads to more and more brands experimenting with live content across channels.

AOL-Owned Millennial Pairs With Rentrak To Offer TV Ad Retargeting

TVtoMobile After an initial wave of integration, Millennial Media, the mobile ad platform AOL acquired in September for $240 million, rolled out its first ad product under new ownership – TV Commercial Retargeting.
The new ad product is backed by a partnership with Rentrak, which aggregates set-top box data across 25 million households, tapping into data sets from various cable and satellite providers.

Millennial Media will be able to link Rentrak’s TV commercial viewership data with its own mobile user data anonymously through Millennial’s data management platform to surface a mobile video ad. Advertisers can then add a rich media element, such as click-to-purchase an ecommerce item or locate a nearby store.

Why It’s Hot

While TV commercial retargeting isn’t a brand new idea (we’re already running a similar program with Latuda), it’s interesting because of Millennial and AOL’s access to Verizon’s mobile data. This could allow Verizon to utilize its customer data in a way that could rival Facebook and Google’s powerful deterministic audience data.

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Turn your TV into a Smart Touch Display

If you grew up when I did, then the first TV you probably had at home was a major piece of furniture or probably sat deep in an enormous entertainment center that rivaled the family car in size and weight.

Innovations on the good ol’ family television have moved from fat to flat, to 3D to 4K to curved panel over the years. But what all of those evolutions have shared are a heightened price tag for a whole new device. An Indiegogo campaign that launched yesterday is hoping to bring some crazy new functionality to your existing TV by way of a $99 device that adds touch controls and other smart features to your TV.

The Touchjet WAVE allows you to control your television with your finger, a stylus or your smartphone, while also letting you download a host of apps directly to your TV.

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TechCrunch met up with the team from Touchjet to try out the device, and while it was just a prototype, it was clear that the WAVE had a ton of potential uses for users looking to upgrade their existing TVs.

The device works much like those novelty laser keyboards in that it pretty simply puts a laser overlay on your TV that matches your touch input to the onscreen experience.

Why Its Hot:
OK I get the functionality, but “why?” It’s clear that Touchjet isn’t aiming for everyone with its touch capability but it definitely also sees touch input as the feature that really sets it apart.

This feature isn’t going to be the new way you control your TV (I’d definitely still rather be on the couch), but it does seem like a fun way to play Fruit Ninja with the family or a cool method of flipping through a presentation at work.

As a marketer, I would love to see this technology advancing to enable us to potentially ‘swipe’ past ads that aren’t relevant – much like we can skip music tracks on Pandora, or people on tinder (is that how it works single people?).

The other thing to remember is that the pre-order price $99 isn’t just for touch capability, you’re also buying an Android-based hard drive that upgrades your TV and allows a host of apps that you can control from your smartphone, as well.

At the time of writing (Thursday 8/13), the WAVE had just blown past its $100K 1st day goal.

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Connected TV Penetration at 56%

Leichtman Research Group says 56% of all U.S. homes have at least one television set connected to the Internet from a smart TV, video game set-top box, blu-ray player, and/or an Internet-connected TV-video device, such as Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, or Amazon Fire TV. This is up from 44% in 2013, and 24% in 2010. 52% of households have a subscription video on-demand service from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and/or Hulu Plus.

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Some 33% of adults on a daily basis, and 58% weekly, watch video on non-TV devices — home computers, mobile phones, iPads, tablets, and eReaders. This is up from 27% daily, and 53% weekly two years ago.

Why It’s Hot: We currently leverage connected data sets (assignment of unique user IDs to all devices used/owned) to understand how people are reached by our TV commercials and to use digital video channels to provide a more optimal video experience to those people; e.g., delivering more exposure to those who are under-reached, exposing those who have been viewing our competitors’ commercials, et al. However, TV still dominates in terms of penetration and offers almost no control over message delivery (e.g., targeting, frequency management). As more HHs convert to connected TVs and as viewing shifts from linear TV to on-demand, subscription-based TV, marketers will have much more control over message delivery and theoretically, will deliver an experience that is better for the consumer (no more message bombardment caused by marketers who are trying to attain 1% more reach) and for business.

How TV Ads Drive Digital Impact

Google is stepping up its efforts to help TV advertisers understand the precise impact their ads have online, announcing a new partnership with Rentrak to expediently show marketers how their ads impact minute-by-minute Google searches, down to the spot level.

The company is upgrading its TV Attribution product—which measures the digital impact of ads on television and radio.  The technology has now integrated Google search query data to help advertisers understand exactly how consumers are interacting with its brands online.

“Ahead of the upcoming upfronts, we really want TV advertisers to understand how consumers are making decisions about their brands in the moments that matter, not only when they see their ads, but how they engage with their brands online,” said Dave Barney, Google product manager. “Whether that drives a website visit, or engaging with the brand through search, or in some other way.”

While a Nielsen study found that 87 percent of consumers engage with a second screen while watching TV, Barney noted that traditional TV measurement techniques “describe what aired, but don’t describe how effective the ads are.”

Why It’s Hot

“For the first time ever, advertisers have the ability to see how search queries on Google are being influenced by their TV ads, in real time,” said Barney. (The data is aggregated Google search query data; advertisers don’t have access to individual search information.) This can help a brand refine its SEO and paid search strategy, as the product’s insights explain how consumers are searching online in response to a TV ad. The Google search data can also show how TV ads drive more generic category searches, which often drives consumers to a competitor instead.

While website data accounts for people who responded to a TV ad and eventually ended up on the product’s website, it fails to include those consumers who search for the product, but never click through to the website.  This could be a very interesting way to learn more.

Source: http://www.adweek.com/news/television/how-tv-ads-drive-digital-impact-164434

USA Network Makes Programmatic Changes to Target Millennials

USA Network this week announced a reworking of its strategy to reach mainstream millennial viewers after finding that their audience has shifted to be more millennial than previously believed. As a result, the NBC Universal-owned property is replacing its slate of half-hour comedies with new dramatic series and extending its partnership with WWE.

The network is betting big on upcoming hacker thriller Mr. Robot (screencap above) out of its 14 new shows currently in development. USA will also air additional content from WWE including a rebooted reality competition series and the classic SmackDown program.

In addition to programmatic changes, the network is experimenting with different ad offerings as well to include digital programming and other non-traditional TV platforms such as video-on-demand, services more popular with millennials.

Read more via Adweek.

Why It’s Hot: USA Network is well aware of its target and changes in its audience’s demographics, and is making changes in order to keep its audience engaged. Apart from feeding the mainstream with more drama series and popular wrestling programs, USA and WWE anticipate increased interest from advertisers. With WWE’s 460 million social media followers, both enterprises hope to attract big advertising dollars with the new, additional programs.

As marketers, understanding the audience is key. The only way to give consumers what they want and to effectively convey a message to them is to understand them.

While consumers tune in to TV often, they mentally tune out, quickly

On average, television holds a consumer’s attention only 39% of the time — a rate that pales in comparison to the attention rates that laptops (70%), tablets (76%) and smartphones (77%) command. That’s according to a new report from Nielsen and YuMe, a digital video ad tech firm that commissioned the study.

nielsen attn to tv

Over a two-month period, Nielsen and YuMe conducted in-lab observations on 200 consumers in Las Vegas. The consumers were told to engage with any of the devices (TV, smartphone, tablet and laptop) as they would at home for 20 minutes, and their actions were recorded. Nielsen and YuMe ended their experiment with 50 hours of video footage, and they claim the footage was then analyzed “second-by-second” to measure consumer attentiveness. The full study will be released later this week.

Why It’s Hot: Many marketers’ channel plans continue to be television dominant, even as consumers continue to shift viewing time toward other screens. Studies like this are proving that, in addition to the purchasing efficiency of digital video (particularly for longer spots), this developing channel does a better job of capturing consumers’ attention with programming as well as advertising. While digital video doesn’t offer the penetration of TV yet, and therefore isn’t a replacement, it has demonstrated that it can produce better returns for many marketers.

#LikeABoy Backlash Only Proves the Point that #LikeAGirl Makes

During Super Bowl XLIX, feminine care brand Always caused a bit of a ruckus among Internet haters with its #LikeAGirl campaign. The campaign, which aired its first spot in June of last year, uses “real people” to act out how girls run, jump, punch and kick. The aim is to female empowerment, meant to draw attention to the crippling social atmosphere that tells us doing something “like a girl” is to do it badly, weakly and ultimately inferior to how a boy would do it.

Now, you might think a message that promotes women would be universally lauded. And by most accounts it was. Always cut through football’s male-oriented culture with a positive, eye-opening message and inspired movement where few women’s brands play. Always was right brand, in the right moment, with the right message. Women loved it, helping push the hashtag to trend by sharing powerful content about strength and femininity.

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But that didn’t sit right with the meninists of the world.

Following the spots airing during the big game, anti-feminist oafs galvanized to mount a virulent reaction against the ad. Dubbed #LikeABoy, the response took many shapes. From misunderstanding that the #LikeAGirl message was an attack of men, not promoting gender equality…

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…to flat out sexism rooted in patriarchy, ignorance and hate not even worth sharing on this platform.

What these  “men’s rights” advocates miss is critical point: they as part of the patriarchy are the majority, and part of the problem. #LikeAGirl isn’t a campaign to establish female superiority; it’s a movement to identify that our language and culture (and through their use, we) are degrading women by associating women with the lesser. It’s no different than the negativity around the term “gay” (i.e. “Yo that’s gay!” to mean “bad”).

Fortunately, women and feminist allies showed they were up for the fight. When #LikeABoy began to gain steam, this vocal group took over the hashtag to point out its stupidity and misunderstanding of how gender inequality works.

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And yes, men “who get it” got in on the action and show their support:

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Why It’s Hot

Always took a bold step forward for women everywhere with #LikeAGirl. The spot got people talking, good and bad. And the power of the women’s rights movement shows that brands who speak to and empower under-served communities online can do more than with brownie points. what’s funny out of all this is that the Always brand didn’t get caught in the fight, their audience did. And their audience fought back. Scrolling through the top tweets in #LikeABoy are evidence of that.

Source: Huffington Post

YouTube to Produce its Own Super Bowl Halftime Show

As part of a broad initiative to promote advertisements on YouTube, YouTube will be holding a halftime show during the Super Bowl with its top stars. The program will be just like the “real” halftime show, with musical guests, stunt, and commercials. It might seem like a stretch for YouTube to compete with the SuperBowl, but more than 60 million people subscribe to the channels of the stars participating in the program. Some of those stars are even featured on billboards in major U.S. cities.

Aside from raising interest in YouTube stars and also giving YouTube fans what they want, the program aims to demonstrate value of advertising on YouTube to top brands. As Freddie Wong, popular YouTube star, puts it. ““YouTube is the place where people go to consume advertisements willingly.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read more about YouTube’s halftime show on Bloomberg.

Why It’s Hot | As we move further away from paid TV and more consumers adopt OTT services, it will be interesting to watch what happens to viewership and second-screen engagement during live events. Many analysts agree that live events are a big part of what keeps people subscribed to paid TV, so while YouTube might be trying to acknowledge changing viewing behaviors, perhaps the largest live event of the year isn’t the best time to test a new program. That being said, many watch the Super Bowl just for the commercials, and since YouTube is the place to go to view those commercials, it could be a winning situation to capture and engage that influx in traffic.

 

Your Phone Can Soon Be a Universal Remote Control

Pronto and Peel are combining to be a central remote app to turn your phone into a personalized controller. Set to launch in the United States at the 2015 CES show in Las Vegas, the project consists of two parts: Pronto and Peel.

  • Pronto is a palm-sized device that sits in your entertainment center and allows centralized control of every component. For decades, it has allowed consumers to control complex entertainment systems with a single remote instead of the cluster of controls that come with their TV, set-top box, DVD, Blu-ray and sound system.
  • Peel was founded to connecting users with personalized entertainment recommendations via social media. Their new app, connects smart phones to the Pronto via Bluetooth and infra red to create a one-device interface.

Functions of the Pronto/Peel pairing go beyond the standard channel flipping and volume control of most remotes. A representative sampling of advanced features includes:

  • Setting favorite channels, genres and shows for personalized recommendations
  • Checking the cable TV guide without turning on the TV set
  • Reminder alarms set for when favorite shows will air
  • Viewing social media buzz about selected programs
  • Simultaneous checking of cable, streaming and on-air real time options
  • Customizable interface to make it as intuitive as possible

The Pronto with Peel final product is set for optimal connection with over 3,000 entertainment brands including all major TV models from LG, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba. For families with more than one television or entertainment center, a second Pronto allows setting the app for multiple locations each with their own specifications.

Source: PSFK

 

Why It’s Hot:

This is technology that makes sense — it seems like it had to only be a matter of time before you could control your TV with your phone! It also shows the merging of parts of our lives into one and opens up interesting possibilities for cross-device/multi-screen marketing.

tumblr Focuses on TV Shows to Compel Marketing Dollars

With Yahoo’s investors still questioning the success of their tumblr acquisition, Yahoo is hoping that tumblr’s partnerships with popular TV shows such as “The Voice” will help drive its growth. Yahoo is apparently struggling to get return on its investment of tumblr, as the social platform is not a priority for brands spending marketing dollars.

To combat that, tumblr is focusing its efforts where it can make the biggest impact. Seeing as tumblr has a highly engaged and creative audience, who not only blogs about TV content, but also continues to create new posts about the TV content after its showing, the social platform is partnering with popular TV shows to capitalize on that audience tendency.

As the New York Times explains,

David Karp, Tumblr’s founder and chief executive, says that in an era when people watch television on demand or binge-watch on streaming services like Netflix, Tumblr makes a logical partner for the TV networks. “They have a tremendous reach,” Mr. Karp said of the broadcasters, “but they are limited to the 60-minute spot and then the show goes dark. That is a bummer. This is an opportunity for them to bring their remarkable content to their fans 24/7.”

An examples of one of these successful partnerships was mentioned in Hot Sauce previously: AMC Drama to Become First Show Ever to Premiere on tumblr

Why It’s Hot | Going beyond social media marketing, tumblr is thinking of the future by focusing on partnerships with TV shows. Their particularly intense and time-committed users and fans will be an advantage as audiences increasingly watch TV programs on their own schedules and via OTT services. Furthermore, tumblr understands that marketing is not just about impressions and awareness. It’s about engagement. Through their focus on partners with whose content their audience will most engage, it seems tumblr is creating an opportunity to truly showcase their worth for Yahoo’s investors.

Digital, TV buying and PRG/RTB

We know this is happening in digital, but as buyer we should be aware of all channels and the trends.  Especially with OOH/activation spill over, TV buying has become inherently digital in terms of execution, reporting and even sometimes buying & planning.  Omnicom was able to harness PRG/RTB for its TV buying for its clients and stretch the dollar, while also finding their integral engaged audience for their clients messaging.  This has allowed for a great earnings call as seen by their CEO own analysis of this trend.  “Mr. Wren said 1.5% of total organic growth stemmed from the company’s programmatic buying business, which is included in the holding company’s media operations, and cautioned analysts to expect programmatic buying to be less than 2% of Omnicom’s revenue this year.”

Programmatic Ad Tech Dominates Omnicom Earnings Call

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Media post October 2013 via Magna*

Why it’s Hot

Display is not dead, it has changed and in many ways into a dynamically activatable and sociable medium.  Consumers are more willing to digest this medium with the right targeting and timing, while simultaneously allowing agencies to benefit on the margins and models’ of RTB/PRG.  IPG and Omnicom have competed for decades, and we will continue to rise above and prove that we too have strong earnings, and better educated clients.  IPG and MRM//McCann will continue to push the limits and embrace new tech to bolster creativity, improve performance and integrate to a new level of success.

 

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.

More Science, Less Fear: New Campaign Offers Optimism in Otherwise Grim Space

We’ve all seen those commercials that showcase real patients talking about their illnesses and the treatments they’ve received. While those ads help show the reality behind what many medical centers actually do and the human element involved, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center opted for a different approach in their latest campaign.

Abandoning the popular model of hospital advertising, MSK (and agency Pereira & O’Dell New York) introduced a campaign that uses words and bright colors to address the fears surrounding cancer while highlighting advancements in care and research. The tagline also captures that optimism: “More science. Less fear.”

Watch the commercial and read more about the campaign on Adweek.

Why It’s Hot | Firstly, it was important for me to share this effort from MSK, as their technology and teams of expert oncologists are directly responsible for saving my mother’s life. Beyond my personal investment in telling others about their incredible services, this campaign is still interesting from a marketing perspective.

Hospital advertising has become much more widespread in the past few years, and in a space where ads can so easily feel offensive or insensitive, most medical centers focus their ads on the patients they care for. Though MSK has become synonymous with leadership in cancer treatment, they still wanted to differentiate themselves in this space.

Focusing on understanding while sharing information about scientific advancements, works together to send messages of hope and optimism to many. As many of our clients also work to help people living with terrible illnesses, perhaps we can be mindful of this approach.

WWE Uses Valuable Commercial Spots for CRM, Instead of Promotions

After attending this week’s Monday Night Raw event, it was clear to me that a piece of WWE‘s extensive marketing presence needed to be shared on Hot Sauce.

During WWE’s Monday Night Raw televised [live] program, the WWE aired an extended-length commercial thanking fans for supporting the WWE. The commercial highlights all the technology and work that goes into producing each show, but finishes by noting that it would all be nothing without the fans. It was a surprising spot that has been really moving to the TV audience each week, and to the in-house audience at the event.

Why It’s Hot | The WWE continues to earn much buzz around their marketing, and this moving CRM commercial is no different. The idea of using a commercial spot – where viewers expect to see advertising – as a means of thanking customers is quite thought-provoking. Most brands use TV primarily for awareness and acquisition, but the spending of money that could be used to promote any number of WWE’s programs or superstars, instead of showing viewers how appreciated they are, is an unexpected and invaluable form of CRM. The commercial truly furthers the feeling for WWE fans that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves.

Perhaps we should be thinking outside the realm of typical rewards and personalized direct mail for our clients’ CRM. Perhaps we can expand into unexpected placements and tactics to really resonate with specific customers.