3 World Cup Digital Marketing Campaigns That Scored

The FIFA World Cup is not only the world's biggest sporting competition, but it's one of the biggest events in the marketing calendar. Every four years, the biggest brands think up new ways to engage with customers on digital platforms. This time around, marketers didn't take their eyes off the ball. Here are three of the best marketing campaigns and social media posts from the 2018 World Cup.

1. Nike

Nike's tailored-made their Risk Anything campaign for the 2014 World Cup. It was so successful, the sportswear brand brought it back for this year's competition. The omnichannel campaign, which spans television, radio, print media and online advertising, features the world's most famous soccer players in risky situations on and off the pitch.

The hashtag #RiskEverything started trending back in early June before the World Cup kicked off. Since then, the campaign has generated 6 billion impressions across various channels and more than 240 million views on YouTube and other video platforms, making Nike the most-watched marketer in the World Cup.

Why does this campaign work so brilliantly? Aside from all the star power -- soccer superstars Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Gerard Pique have all appeared in the campaign -- Nike resonates with soccer fans by creating emotionally-charged narratives. Risk Everything features soccer players overcoming the biggest challenges in the beautiful game.

Perhaps Nike will bring this ever-popular campaign back for the World Cup in 2022.

2. Coca-Cola

For a fresh take on World Cup marketing, look no further than Coca-Cola, who created a campaign that tugged at the collective heartstrings of soccer fans around the world. After Iceland's surprise performance in this year's tournament -- the country, with its tiny population of 330,000, managed to make the group stages -- Coca-Cola thought the time was right to celebrate the team's achievements, so they asked goalkeeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson to direct and star in a slick new ad.

The promo, which aired throughout the World Cup, quickly generated social media buzz and has been watched more than a million times on YouTube alone. Like Nike, Coca-Cola creates an emotional connection with its audience and spins a narrative of overcoming the impossible.

"Coke has helped to pump up the Icelandic side though, with a magnificent advert," says Irish media company Buzz.ie. "They've put a twist on the infamous 'Viking Clap' which made the Iceland fans famous in France. Using snowboarders, fishermen, welders and, of course, the team."

3. Aldi

British retailer Aldi stole the spotlight when it announced it was closing its 700 stores early on Sun. June 15, 2018, if the England national football team made it to this year's World Cup final. The reason? Employees wouldn't have to work and could watch the game from home. The company posted the news on its Twitter account, and it got everyone talking about the brand's act of kindness.

With more than 3,000 retweets and 10,000 likes, Aldi's tweet made its mark on the British public and, as a result, the retailer increased traffic to its website.

Despite Aldi's promise, their staff did have to turn up to work in the end. England lost 2-1 to Croatia in the semi-final of the competition.

The three companies on this list have moved the marketing goal posts. Utilizing digital platforms like YouTube and social media, Nike, Coca-Cola, and Aldi have created memorable World Cup campaigns and social media posts that increased brand awareness and moved customers through their sales pipelines. These brands definitely scored!


Why Top Creators Aren’t Worried About Facebook’s New Algorithm

The News Feed Change

By now you've probably heard that Facebook is making another change to its precious News Feed. The social networking company announced in January that it would start to prioritize posts from friends and family over those from brands and companies. According to Recode, "The move is designed to encourage people to interact more with the stuff that they actually do see. The thinking is that you're probably more likely to comment and discuss a post shared from a family member than one shared by a business you follow."

Mark Zuckerberg explained that the move came after many users complained that posts from their personal connections were being crowded out by public content from brands, businesses, and media. He also said that the public content you do see will look different. There will be fewer videos and less content, and the stuff that does make it through will be of the sort that encourages interaction.

The change is meant to improve user well-being by helping people connect. Zuckerberg wants people to have fun and feel good about using the social network. In the end, he warned that he expects people will spend less time on Facebook, but the time they do spend will have more value.

The Impact on Business

The change in Facebook's News Feed is going to impact business in three ways. On the one hand, Facebook will no longer provide the same level of traffic as it once did -- and that is going to impact companies that have been using organic marketing. Recode explains, "Facebook is very clearly telling these businesses their content won't spread as far, and many publishers spend lots of time and resources creating stuff intended to do just that." Brands like the New York Post, Newsweek, MSN, and Seeking Alpha have seen big increases in traffic from pursuing a more connective strategy, while bait-type sites are losing out. Point in case, traffic at the once viral Mashable is down nearly 87 percent.

On the other hand, the fewer time people spend on Facebook, the less exposure they will have to ads and sponsored content. Finally, the content that does surpass the new algorithm will be held to a higher quality standard than ever before.

Facebook Pages will still be a part of the Facebook ecosystem but the focus is changing. "The news feed will shift the focus from ranking content that's directly consumed from pages (which will shrink in reach) to content that is shared and talked about among friends (which will grow)," explains Social Media Examiner - and the standards are high.

Ranking Higher

Gone are the days of using engagement bait to get people to comment on your posts. Content that isn't considered "meaningful" could get your Facebook Page demoted in a reader's News Feed. A one-word comment, a share without comment or a "Like" won't count for much either and could work against your interests. Instead, if you want to rank higher in the new Facebook News Feed, you will need to create content that either generates long comments or compiles multiple shares and comments between friends.

Then, there are communities. "Social platforms can and will change the rules whenever they want," Social Media Examiner founder, Mike Stelzner, stated. "If you're not developing deep communities on Facebook, and you're not prepared for change, this could have a huge, negative financial impact." You can work on developing a community around your company's Facebook page by demonstrating how your followers can see your content first, using more live video and focusing on educating your followers about how to do something. Each of these methods will help you increase your ranking.

But, there is another way.

Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups will actually start receiving more distribution in the new News Feed because they do inspire conversation and interaction. Group members are able to benefit from audience participation, sharing ideas and best practices with or without brand involvement. Companies pursuing the "group" strategy can use Facebook's Group Insights to examine group interaction much the same way they can look at page interactions but it goes deeper, showing when group members are most active and who posts most. In turn, you can use this to create a publishing strategy -- and it can be very effective.

More than one billion people use Facebook Groups and around 100 million of them see Groups as an important part of the Facebook experience. Facebook Groups let companies build communities around a specific subject so that they can create engagement around a single topic, product, or lifestyle choice.

Bike brand Peloton is a good example. The company has more than 341,000 likes on its page, but it also has a Facebook Group with over 68,000 members. In the past 30 days, it has generated almost 10,600 posts with more than 1,700 in the past 24 hours. The Instant Pot Community is even more impressive, with over 1.2 million members, given that its Facebook page has just 112,226 members.

Takeaway

With Facebook's new push towards authentic and meaningful interactions amongst users, all organizations will have to embrace new ways of reaching Facebook users organically. Facebook Groups is a perfect way to do this. Not only will Group content enjoy more priority in the new News Feed, but Facebook Groups can and do interact without pushing from the group creator. Build a group for your organization and see what sort of insights you can collect. Over time, you could create a publishing strategy that gives you even more organic reach than you had before the shift.


YouTube Demonetization and Why It Should Worry You

Sometimes what's good on paper doesn't mean it's good in practice. Sometimes it veils something far more nefarious in its intentions.

 

Take YouTube and their recent controversy. In order to combat their definition of 'extremist content', the worldwide video-sharing platform responded to threat of a mass advertising boycott by "implementing 'broader demonetization policies' around 'content that is harassing or attacking people based on their race, religion, gender or similar categories'".

 

Honestly, it's tough to blame them for this approach when "analysts are predicting that Google will lose roughly $750 million as a result of an international ad boycott that kicked off last month, when marketers discovered that their campaigns were running against extremist videos on YouTube."

 

"The latest companies to pull their ads from the video platform include Pepsi, Walmart, Starbucks, FX, General Motors, Dish, JP Morgan, Johnson & Johnson, and Lyft, Variety reports. They join AT&T, Verizon, GSK, and Enterprise Holdings, which pulled their ads earlier this week, citing the same concerns."

 

Sounds great, right? While YouTube is headquartered in America, the hub of equal and free speech, it still exists as a private company, meaning it can ultimately decide which content it wants on its platform. So if they find a video that promotes harassment and just blind hatred, they have the right to 'demonetize' those videos or flat-out remove them.

 

Demonetization is the process of decreasing the money a channel can make off a video once it reaches a certain view count threshold:

 

"While creators can get revenue from ads, individual views don't account for much money until they reach the hundreds of thousands. Making sure your videos can reliably have ads matched with them is essential for creators being able to have long-term revenue."

 

Here's a list of things that may result in demonetization, according to YouTube's new policy:

 

  1. Sexually suggestive content, including partial nudity and sexual humor
  2. Violence, including display of serious injury and events related to violent extremism
  3. Inappropriate language, including harassment, swearing and vulgar language
  4. Promotion of drugs and regulated substances, including selling, use, and abuse of such items
  5. Controversial or sensitive subjects and events, including subjects related to war, political conflicts, natural disasters and tragedies, even if graphic imagery is not shown.

 

How idealistic. Unfortunately, I, as you should as well, have two major issues with this. For one, most of it is completely subjective, and two, it's vague. The fifth point, in fact, is absurd in how broad it's defined:

 

"Guidelines that contain something as broad as 'subjects related to political conflicts' do not provide creators with useful information. It makes it sound as if YouTube is no longer going to monetize channels that cover current events, which of course is not the case."

 

And in the case of subjectivity, who is ultimately deciding what constitutes as hate speech, especially in this day and age where something as simple as challenging a different opinion can be defined as such. If I'm a conservative with millions of subscribers and I have thoughts on illegal immigration, what's to stop enough people with different beliefs and a large following to report me enough times to have my video demonetized.

 

Take for instance the YouTube Heroes program rolled out last September; perhaps one of the greatest attacks on free speech based on subjectivity you'll ever witness on a social media platform:

 

"YouTube heroes gives users the option to flag a video for being inappropriate, and as a result you can get your video demonetized by it becoming age restricted or removed completely, which will add a strike to your channel and possibly lead to it being deleted."

 

 

Oh, but it gets better. And by better, I mean much, much worse. Here's the five-step process:

 

  1. Become a hero
  2. Learn more in seminars
  3. Unlock super tools that allow you to mass flag videos
  4. Get behind the scenes access, contact YouTube staff directly, and try new products first
  5. Top hero perks, basically become a full-time unpaid Google employee.

 

Imagine my shock when I saw comments were disabled on the official video, which currently sits with a Like/Dislike ratio of 30,722:956,895.

 

This is where a huge problem lies. A video can get demonetized simply because it offended the wrong person or people. What offends some may not offend others. This isn't as simple as a hardcore racist saying "I believe Race X is better than Race Y and Race Z is worse than all of them!".  A vast majority of the time it comes down to innocuous beliefs that other people simply don't agree with.

 

But again it isn't as simple as that, either. What it appears to be is an outright attack on YouTube content creators with good intentions. Because this demonetization process isn't just attacking the likes of virulent racists like David Duke. It's going after creators like H3H3 Productions, Philip DeFranco and even Jenna Marbles, who "have all had hundreds of videos no longer qualify for advertising revenue, and other YouTubers are claiming they didn't have a chance to appeal to their demonetization."

 

 

 

"It isn't just large channels that are being affected by these changes -- YouTuber Tim TV, who has been a fulltime YouTuber for about six months, told Kotaku that he saw that his revenue was, 'tanking faster than ever before,' and that he found the changes 'terrifying'".

 

Here's a little background from H3H3's Ethan Klein on just how out of line and lacking in transparency YouTube can be when it rolls out these vague stipulations:

 

 

You heard that right. Even tagging things like 'Suicide', 'Rape', and 'Drugs' can get your video demonetized, not taking any of the context whatsoever into mind. That means someone who tagged 'Suicide' because they wanted to give advice on suicide prevention, or a rape survivor who wanted to tell their story and tagged 'Rape', or a doctor who wanted to give medical advice and tags 'Drugs' would have had their videos demonetized.

 

And the worst part of it all? YouTube didn't even warn the creators. Just read how lacking in foresight this approach was:

 

"In 2012, YouTube began demonetizing videos based on new advertising-friendly guidelines. This was not done by people, but by an algorithm that looked at metadata of videos and other factors to decide whether it was likely to be something as an advertiser wouldn't want to be associated with."

 

But don't worry, because everything is better now, right? Well..

 

"Google currently uses a mixture of automated screening and human moderation to police its video sharing platform and to ensure that ads are only placed against appropriate content."

 

Look, we get it. YouTube is a massive platform with billions of videos from all over the world. Sometimes automation is the only way to keep some things in check that a human can't reach. However, this is a significant issue when YouTubers like Matan Uziel is no longer getting ad revenue on their videos dealing with "women about hardship, including sex trafficking, abuse and racism."

 

Why did it get pulled? Isn't it obvious? One of those automated screeners saw "sexually suggestive content", maybe some "violence", and "controversial or sensitive subjects and events", and was programmed to demonetize the video of a creator with obvious good intentions.

 

But they're not alone:

 

"Dr. Aaron Carroll runs a channel dedicated to healthcare policy and research and discovered this week that 27 of his videos were demonetized and had been for months. It seems likely that the algorithm regularly flagged a program discussing prescription drug costs, the opioid epidemic, and treatments for diabetes because it thought those videos were celebrating illegal drug use."

 

How is that for a precedent set by YouTube? If you dare used your large following to discuss the evils of addictive drugs or tell the stories of abused victims, no ad revenue for you. Oh, and like Ethan explained in the video, they wouldn't tell you about it, either. You wouldn't get notified and your video wouldn't even become age restricted. Your video would just be demonetized.

 

Fortunately, this policy changed last fall. YouTube now:

 

  1. Lets you know when a video has been demonetized
  2. Shows a notice next to demonetized videos
  3. Allows you to request a manual review of demonetized videos
  4. Re-monetizes videos that the review finds to be not in violation of YouTube's ad-friendly policy.

 

It's a great gesture sure. But why did it take four years to correct, and why were channels not even notified in the first place?

 

It was a shoot first, ask questions second policy. By thinking they're doing the right thing and acquiescing to the demands of their advertisers (Not surprising considering YouTube operates at a loss), they negatively affect innocent YouTube content creators who treat the platform as a full-time job and livelihood.

 

As YouTuber Arin 'Egoraptor' Hanson' said, "he wanted YouTube to 'be more clear about what advertisers are opposed to having their ads displayed on. What can creators do specifically to make their content more advertiser friendly?'"

 

But to really get into the meat of YouTube and its advertisers' intentions with subjective censorship and constant threats of demonetization for ThoughtCrime, I don't think we can go anywhere until we explore what I have dubbed The PewDiePie Situation.

 

For those who don't know, PewDiePie is basically the face of YouTube. He has over 54 million subscribers, and his videos are basically him talking into a webcam talking about one thing or another. His audience is mostly made up of the younger generation, mainly middle and high school kids.

 

But about a month ago, PewDiePie was attacked, seemingly at random, by the Wall Street Journal who took some out-of-context jokes and videos and decided to go on a character assassination spree.

 

"According to the Journal's analysis, over the last six months the YouTuber posted nine videos that included either anti-semitic jokes or Nazi imagery, including one, posted on January 11th, that featured two men holding a banner that stated: 'Death to All Jews'. Another video, posted January 22nd, featured a man dressed as Jesus saying, "Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong."

 

The entire premise was based on Fiverr, a company that asks buyers to pay just $5 to do absurd things, like having two people dressed in traditional native garb to hold up a sign that says 'Death to All Jews', or having a man dress as Jesus and saying "Hitler did absolutely nothing wrong." PewDiePie was convinced they wouldn't do it because of how insane the statements were, but they actually did it.

 

Out-of-touch, narrative-driven journalists who worked for traditional outlets discovered the videos and went on a crusade to take down the evil PewDiePie empire. They went through his videos, chopped up more out of context clips in his videos, and said, "See! See! Look how evil he is! How can parents let their children watch this?"

 

PewDiePie was not contacted by the WSJ to defend himself for their first hit piece.

 

As a result of this attack, PewDiePie actually lost out on a partnership with Disney's Maker Studios. Also as a result of this attack, PewDiePie's 50 million+ subscribers realized traditional media outlets are using out of context video clips to defame the character of a YouTuber who had exhibited zero anti-semitic or racist tendencies in the past.

 

The Wall Street Journal, worth noting, has 2.1 million subscribers. It was also voted as one of the least cool brands by 18-24 year olds.

 

And isn't it just ironic that the author of the original hit piece of PewDiePie was written by Ben Fritz, who composed a tweet in 2009 stating: "Just attended my first chanukah party. Had no idea jews were so adept at frying." Here's another in 2015 talking about having a "hard on purely for the Nazis" and one more stating "well obviously I'm not counting jokes about black people. Those are just funny."

 

So what's the meaning of this? Why is the Wall Street Journal of all publications going after YouTube's most popular YouTuber? Well, I did some research into the WSJ and have a theory, but let me preface it with this response from PewDiePie on the whole ordeal:

 

"Old-school media does not like internet personalities because they are scared of us. We have so much influence and such a large voice, and I don't think they understand that. The story was an attack towards me by the media to try and discredit me, decrease my influence."

 

While I would like to personally cite and specifically quote the Wall Street Journal's findings and rebuttals, I can't because I need to pay for a subscription. It's exemplary of how a bitter, dying, and desperate publication from the old guard is lashing out and attacking the new; latching onto a statement or joke that could be misconstrued as racist or anti-semitic, which is basically a death sentence to someone working in the public eye, and selling that to uninformed users.

 

In perfect media collaboration, the Washington Post, Vox (who had the slimy audacity to, once again, use an out of context clip of PewDiePie raising his arm and equating it to a Nazi salute as their cover image for the article), Wired, and Salon were all quick to jump on the "Is PewDiePie a Nazi/Alt-Righter/Racist?" bandwagon.

 

YouTube content creators, people like PewDiePie, H3H3, and Philip DeFranco, are independent and don't answer to anyone other than what appeals to their subscribers. They don't answer to advertisers, high-profile donors, boards of directors, executives, or producers. These are people armed simply with a webcam, a microphone, and a platform reaching tens of millions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BBmu_kFHrs

 

To the traditional media, this isn't just terrifying, it's a threat to their information monopoly.

 

Independent media, courtesy of the unbridled internet and social media platforms like Twitter and YouTube, have been on the rise and have shaken traditional media to its core. Distrust in these institutions is sewn as more and more people realize they're not getting the full story, while independent media, free of influence, is providing a perspective that's never discussed.

 

How do you attack these independents when they don't have a higher power that they answer to? It's simple. You hit them where it really hurts: Their ad revenue, their character through out-of-context clips, enlisting critics with opposing beliefs, employing other mainstream outlets to join your crusade, broad and extremely vague definitions of 'extremism', and using the platform they post on to crackdown on them.

 

But this isn't just an attack on popular YouTubers. It's an attack on counter-narratives and content creators not shackled by the constraining chains of producers, boards of directors, and advertisers.

 

So it's only natural that these dying publications in their death throes, like a cornered animal, are lashing out at its threats. Like YouTubers with over 50 million subscribers, or simply any YouTuber who is developing a following strong enough to take eyes off traditional outlets that are pushing a narrative delivered from on high.

 

Remember: "Whoever controls the media, controls the mind." There is nothing more integral to controlling the whims of the masses than the control of information. There should be nothing surprising that in the age of "fake news" a popular YouTuber is getting randomly attacked, advertisers are threatening boycotts, and traditional media outlets are doing their best to defame independent sources of info.

 

The only question that remains now is, just how long do the traditional media outlets think they have left?


4 Surprising Social Media Insights We've Made over the Past Week

One social media week has come and gone, one social media week of insights has come and is now here for your viewing pleasure!

 

Rejoice!

 

miami-heat-champagne-celebration-chris-bosh

 

We've done some extra special research for you, dear reader, today as we delve into four trends we've noticed, complete with plenty of evidence, that are currently shaping the future of social media.

 

You may be surprised to learn that....

 

1. Video is taking over

 

In our recent posts about Facebook brands doing it right, we mentioned the great work Samsung Mobile is doing by crafting social media posts that are fun, interactive and engaging to the user.

 

With nearly 41 million likes, Samsung Mobile has the ninth-most Facebook page likes among brands, trailing only the likes of McDonalds, Disney and Red Bull, but ahead of other giant corporations such as Oreo, KFC, and Starbucks.

 

What Samsung is doing that has vaulted them to the peak of social media is their content, namely the short videos they somehow churn out almost every day. These videos last between 15 and 30 seconds, but are usually intense, thought-provoking, and highlight features of their phones, without making the video too sales-y.

 

Check out their Facebook page if you want to see these videos for yourself. They all receive at least 1,000 likes, around 100 shares, and hundreds of comments, as well.

 

Samsung isn't the only brand on social media to employ this content strategy. In fact, there are plenty of other brands doing the same thing, such as McDonalds and General Electric.

 

They're doing this because video on Facebook and its newfound popularity. How popular? This popular:

 

"In September 2014, Facebook announced that its platform was generating more a billion views per day. Just months prior in June, the social giant revealed that for the first time ever, it had served more views than YouTube."

 

That's right. Facebook is beating out YouTube, the website whose content is dependent solely on videos, in video views.

 

And brands have taken notice, even incorporating sponsorships and partnerships (Samsung with the Tour de France and McDonalds with Minions). They're able to pump out these well-produced, creative videos on a near daily basis because more attention is being invested by those company's marketing departments.

 

Which leads me to my next point...

 

2. Facebook has become a legitimate advertising platform

 

Organic reach is dead, and brands killed it.

 

Prior to this recent flurry that has featured brands flocking to social media and mingling with their online audience, it was possible to make a stable social media living off of organic reach alone. Without spending a dime, you could create content that would get out to your audience and possibly more, simply because there wasn't a lot of competition that existed at the time.

 

In fact, it's causing a shift:

 

"The drop in organic reach has been apocalyptic for many businesses. This will force some businesses to reconsider Facebook as a viable channel and enable a migration to less noisy venues."

 

Now that you have innovative, bigger companies with even bigger pockets, social media has become pay-to-play.

 

According to Shoutlet.com:

 

"There's going to be a big shift in social media in filtering content from users and brands. Brands organic reach has declined significantly, while content is estimated to grow by 600% by 2020. Social media is no longer free and to see any results you'll have to 'pay-to-play'. "

 

Further to the point, the marketing budget towards social media is rising every day:

 

"28% of marketers have reduced their advertising budget to fund more digital marketing."

 

and furthermore:

 

"Social network ad spending is expected to hit $23.68 billion worldwide in 2015--an increase of 33.5% from 2014. Another forecast from the Social Times points out that Facebook's CPC rose roughly 8% between 2013 and 2014. The right time to venture into social media is now because, over time, this channel is only going to get more competitive."

 

Here's some advice: Don't even bother venturing into social media, especially on Facebook, and promoting your brand unless you're willing to spend. Now that there are corporations willing to invest their marketing budget into social media, smaller brands and pages can't compete with minuscule budgets or none at all.

 

But not all hope is lost....

 

3. Pinterest is becoming a lot more masculine and, therefore, more popular

 

For those who don't know, Pinterest is another social media network, but it differs in that it allows users to create their own Pin-boards, which feature all of the products, places, or people a user enjoys looking at. People can create all sorts of different Pin-boards that divert into varying categories, from DIY to a Christmas list.

 

That ringing you just heard in your ears is the bell telling you, "Wake up! This is an untapped source of advertising!"

 

Sure enough, Pinterest has made a name for itself as a network that makes people want to shop. Check out this revealing find:

 

"Pinterest users were bouncing from Pinterest to company websites at a rate almost seven times higher than they were in 2001. In fact, the Shareaholic study reports that 5% of all traffic to the 300,000 websites came from Pinterest."

 

and this one:

 

"Pinterest is second only to Facebook in the amount on traffic it drives to websites."

 

Really? What else?

 

"Pinterest has recently become the fastest-growing channel, surpassing Instagram."

 

Go on.....

 

"eMarketer predicts steady growth for years to come, reaching a total audience of 60 million in 2019; Pinterest's 24% growth will outshine Facebook's 9.2%."

 

Can you be any more enticing?

 

"The number of Pinterest users more than doubled in the second half of 2014....in the last six months of 2014, active users increased by 111%, and members increased by 57%."

 

THERE'S GOLD IN THEM THAR HILLS. GRAB YOUR PICKAXE, WHATEVER THEY NAMED PEOPLE IN THE 1870S, BECAUSE WE'RE GOING AFTER SWEET, SWEET PINTEREST ADVERTISING MONEY."

 

Of course, there is a catch, and it involves Pinterest's demographic. There's a reason why Pinterest is so successful at bouncing users from their page to a shopping website:

 

"Pinterest's audience, on the other hand, is dominated by women in their 30s with young families--a group that does the majority of the shopping. Pinterest draws this demographic because it conveniently delivers information on a range of products and services women need for their families."

 

And that's where the problem lies: Pinterest, at the moment, is too much of a niche community that serves only one demographic, which are young moms. This works out well for certain companies that pander to that demographic, but most advertisers would rather target an eclectic array of users and a much greater audience.

 

But not all is lost as far as advertising on Pinterest goes:

 

"In a November 2014 Business Insider interview, Pinterest head of engineering Michael Lopp claims the platform has doubled the number of men signing up in the past year, and that its male audience is experiencing faster growth than its female audience. Further, the gender split in emerging markets like China and India is closer to 50/50."

 

Get in while you can. Seriously.

 

And speaking of buying things off the internet...

 

4. The world is mobile

 

Are you somewhere in public? Look around you right now. What percentage of the people are looking down at their smartphones? Now look in a nearby window and use it as a mirror. What are you doing reading this in public? Jesus, dude, socialize!

 

OK, fine, you can keep listening since you, like so many people, are perfectly content not being sociable and contributing to the incredible lack of empathy that has stained society today.

 

BUT ANYWAY!

 

That little device that has consumed us and turned us into emotionless husks asking the closest person next to you, "HEY, DID YOU READ THAT ARTICLE ABOUT THE CAT THAT JUMPED OFF A 10-STORY BUILDING" is also becoming utilized as one of the most important tools in the social media battleground.

 

Mainly, it's being looked at as a tool you can use to buy with:

 

"Mobile payments are early today, but will soon skyrocket. In late 2013, just 6% of US adults said they had made a payment in a store by scanning or tapping their smartphone at a payment terminal. It will go up to 8% this year. Nearly 15% of Starbucks customers already pay with their phones. And, 60% of consumers use their smartphones to pay because of loyalty benefits."

 

Brands are getting innovative with mobile. Smartly, they're taking advantage of people already using their mobile as an extension of their arm. Without having to put their phone away to rifle through their wallet, brands, mainly Starbucks, allow their customers to never have to put their phone down!

 

Sad? Yes. Savvy? Oh yeah.

 

Dependence on mobile is especially huge on social media:

 

"31% of all traffic to the top 10 digital properties was mobile-only visitation....More than half of all social networks will occur on smartphones and tablets."

 

How do you make your content reflect better on mobile devices? When it comes to advertising, the shorter the copy, the better, especially on a website like LinkedIn. While you're allowed a maximum of 500 words in some cases for copy, mobile devices will only show the first 150 words before it cuts out.

 

Therefore, you're better off creating a 150-word piece of copy, rather than utilizing the full 500 words because of the great utilization of mobile devices to browse social networks.

 

With all of this information, remember to always stay updated with trends, otherwise you could be investing your time and money into a channel or practice thats popularity has already come and gone.


What the NFL Can Learn from the NBA On Social Media

About a week ago, I, along with millions of other people, were treated by the NBA's official Facebook account with a behind-the-scenes look at reigning MVP Stephen Curry taking shots before the game.

 

 

Not only was I able to indulge in this pull-back-the-curtain moment, but I was able to control my view, too! Fans pay thousands of dollars, and arrive hours before tip-off, to see a player of Curry's caliber practice and here I have a front-row seat for free!

 

The NBA just gets it. Most importantly, they know how to connect with milennials. The NBA has the youngest audience among all American sports leagues with the average fan being 37-years-old. The NFL fan by comparison is 47-years-old, while the MLB fan is 51.

 

Reaching out through the right platforms is also key for the NBA, who is a major employer of Snapchat and Vine to peddle out clips:

 

"A cursory search on Vine shows that just under 100,000 videos have been posted with the tag NBA, while fewer than 50,000 have been posted with the tag NFL, and fewer than 15,ooo with the tag MLB."

 

They also connect through fashion, as explained by ESPN's Darren Rovell:

 

"Young basketball stars today are ingrained in culture and fashions and life in a way that the stars from other sports here are not," said Darren Rovell, who covers the business of sports for ESPN. "People talk about Russell Westbrook's glasses and Dwyane Wade's shoes. When you look at the numbers in terms of most Twitter and Instagram followers, the NBA blows other sports away."

It's no wonder why the NBA is even being predicted to overtake the NFL, in terms of popularity. They have a message they want to convey and they won't allow copyright restrictions from spreading that message globally.

 

If the fans want NBA all the time on any outlet, why not give it to them? Why deprive fans of your product when all they want is more of it? It would be like making a great sandwich and only offering tiny bites when you can easily just give each of your fans a whole sandwich.

 

Thus, you get awesome controllable videos like the one above featuring Curry.

 

As an avid NBA fan, there's nothing that can appeal to me more than even more basketball on top of the basketball I already watch.

 

The NBA is extremely gracious in its content availability, far more than any other league. They see widespread use of game clips by the media and fans of the game not as copyright infringement, but as an opportunity to spread its influence. This runs contrary to the vice-like grip the NFL and MLB have on clips of their games, which are generally kept close to the chest.

 

The NFL, in fact, is so strict that it actually issued a cap on the amount of video clips its teams can provide on Facebook or Twitter during games. As a result, you get clips mocking the practice like this one:

 

 

The NFL has since walked back on its policy to fine teams for using game clips. Nevertheless, it goes to show just how little the league values social media as an outlet to create a larger following for its sport.

 

Just compare their Twitter followings. Despite the NFL being the country's biggest sport, it has 4 million less followers than the NBA. The MLB and NHL lag far behind with 6.68 million and 5.51 million followers, respectively. This isn't due simply to demographics, but to the NBA having a liberal clip-sharing policy.

 

The difference is even more substantial on YouTube, the ultimate catchall for video clips. While the MLB and NHL both flounder with less than a million subscribers, and the NFL musters only 1.8 million, the NBA boasts a staggering 7.4 million followers.

 

Plus, I can find channels that exclusively make videos using NBA content. For example, the channel 'FreeDawkins' regularly creates individual player highlights from games night in and night out. So while I was busy watching the Miami Heat, I can wait a few hours and check out 'Dawkins' for highlight videos of other players who played that night:

 

 

While 'FreeDawkins' has had their channel shut down before (They were originally just known by 'Dawkins'), the NBA isn't cracking down on it heavily. No such channels exist for the NFL, MLB or NHL. It would be impossible to find an independent account that would exclusively give me highlights of a certain player I want to see.

 

The NBA embraces its the participation of their fans and their love for the sport. It's the country's fastest growing sport because it ran full steam ahead into the social media era populated by milennials who want their highlights and info fast and concise. They didn't purposely restrict their presence as other leagues did.

 

And maybe the NFL is comfortable with their standing, despite losing viewers. It's not surprising from the league that issues penalties and fines for players that want to celebrate touchdowns or any other accomplishment. Their outlook has long been an authoritarian one with widespread control of its players' actions and now the potential media outlets it's product can be promoted on.

 

There isn't a better time for the NFL to start embracing social media, either. Like the NBA, the NFL is facing a shortage of recognizable names that even the most casual viewer can identify. Basketball has already lost Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett, and will soon lose the likes of Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony likely within the next five years.

 

So rather than wait it out, it builds up the personalities, aura, and names of its new league faces (Anthony Davis, Stephen Curry, Karl Anthony-Towns, etc.) through outlets such as YouTube, Snapchat, and Vine.

 

The NFL is facing a similar issue. Peyton Manning has retired. Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton's teams are in shambles. Tom Brady is 39 years old. Ben Roethlisberger is considering retirement. Household names that casual viewers can easily identify are disappearing. While there are studs like Odell Beckham, Jr. and Ezekiel Elliott that will keep interest in the individual, it's a stark difference from the likes of Brady or Manning that anybody could recognize.

 

This would be the perfect time for the NFL to allow independent viewers of the game to create channels to showcase these players. If I wanted to tell a friend about a rising star in the NBA, for instance, I can easily find highlight video after highlight video of games that show just how skilled that player is. You may not know a rookie like Karl Anthony-Towns, but you might want to know more after watching this well put together highlight video of a 47-point outing:

 

 

It would be difficult to do the same with the NFL. I would have to go directly to their YouTube channel and hope they're as detailed in their highlights as a channel like 'Dawkins' is with NBA games.

 

In fact, I did the same with the NFL, searching for rookie Ezekiel Elliott's best game, and found one highlight video. If you're surprised it was made by the official NFL account, you haven't been paying attention. That video has 111,000 views.

 

The video posted above has 74,000 views, but take note that Towns is playing in Minnesota, while Elliott plays in Dallas, and isn't hyped up by mainstream outlets like ESPN nearly as much.

 

The onus of building up player personalities and legends is squarely on the shoulders of the NFL, while the NBA raises few qualms on allowing its fans to distribute its product without proper licensing. As a result you get channels like 'Dawkins', which has nearly half of the subscribers the NFL has on YouTube.

 

And that's after having their channel taken down on a number of occasions.

 

But this isn't to say the NFL is completely tone deaf because they do put out quality content. Here's a video by the Seahawks using a 360 cam to showcase their players running out of the tunnel:

 

 

So the NFL and its teams has embraced some features of the social media era. But will it ever loosen the reins it has on its product, or will it allow its game to be seen a wider scale?

 

Tell us what you think on our Facebook page.


The Best and Worst Marketing Campaigns of 2016

The Best of the Best

Donald Trump: MAGA

 

 

He fought the media

 

He fought the Clintons.

 

He fought his own party.

 

He even fought himself.

 

Regardless of the barriers, Donald Trump managed to make one of the most unprecedented Presidential runs in American history; an anti-establishment (or so he proclaims) outsider infiltrating the exclusive world of politics, running on a platform that catered to the disenfranchised and conjured internal revolution.

 

Think of Trump outside of his beliefs and consider what he accomplished. Despite the outrageous, often intolerant statements, he has made, none of it mattered to half of American voters. In fact, they were actually enamored with the personality traits he got criticized for.

 

Unlike his opponent, Trump spoke to those who were the most desperate and willing to listen to new ideas, rather than in an echo chamber of elites and loyal hardliners. He seized on the opportunity of those who felt wronged. It’s even obvious in his slogan – Make America Great Again – that he’s speaking to people who feel the country is on a downward slope.

 

The message, much like his rhetoric, was simple and devoid of the vague platitudes politicians use as a crutch. From his supporters' perspective, he was a refreshing dose of honesty from someone outside of Washington that may actually represent their interests.

 

When he wasn't filling stadiums, he was taking to his much-discussed Twitter account.

 

His Twitter utilization should be the envy of every marketer. He even continues to use it, disrupting the 'President --> Media --> Masses' tradition by transmitting his thoughts directly to the people.

 

Had more pundits been paying attention, maybe they would have noticed the numbers he was pulling in:

 

“An average Hillary tweet over the course of November received 3,742 retweets and 8,559 likes, while an average Trump tweet garnered an average of 13,641 retweets and 32,838 likes.”

 

A simple ‘MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN’ tweet received 53,000 retweets and 110,000 likes. Hillary’s top tweet in the same period was a picture of her with Beyonce. That received 26,000 retweets. Even her best tweet of the campaign overall was a reply to Trump.

 

It was the message that mattered. It was clear that Reagan-inspired slogan, as opposed to the cliché ‘Stronger Together’ of his opponent, resonated more with the voters in battleground states that could flip an election.

 

Royal Caribbean: 360 Degrees of Entertainment

 

There is no movement bigger in digital marketing right now than perspective. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be witnessing significant investments made in virtual and augmented reality technology. The idea is not just to play a game or watch a video, but to actually be in the game and be a part of the video.

 

As a result, you get clips of a girl playing a VR video game being visibly frightened because of just how realistic the game play is:

 

 

Or you get Pokemon Go, an augmented reality mobile game that capitalized on milennials’ yearning for nostalgia.

 

Virtual reality has yet to be fully adopted by brands, most likely due to the expenses and current day limitations, but they have adopted another innovation: 360 view.

 

This is best exemplified by Royal Caribbean. The cruise line's marketing team masterfully wielded the opportunity to offer users a new perspective.

 

One from the top of their ship:

 

 

And another in the front row of one of their shows:

 

 

You can read my full write-up on the ads and their allure of exclusivity here.

 

Dunkirk

 

You will find trailers few and far between that can outdo the heart stopping, eerily silent trailer that was Dunkirk.

 

 

Seriously, did Christopher Nolan himself direct it? The disturbing ambiguity of a clothed solider walking into the open ocean, bodies shrouded under windswept sands as others look on, and the piercing siren of a Stuka Dive Bomber growing louder over hundreds of helpless, cowering soldiers before fading to abrupt blackness?

 

I’m in.

 

Apple: Shot with iPhone 6

 

What social media has become most notable for is vaulting otherwise regular people to immediate internet stardom. It began with musicians on MySpace, today it’s YouTubers and Instagrammers. Many of them had achieved no fame beforehand and simply gained it by reacting to an existing video or playing a video game.

 

Apple decided to take advantage of this explosion in narcism propped up by social media. By keying into the demographics of people who love to showcase where they are, what they're doing, and who they’re with, all Apple asked was, “Rather than taking those pictures and just posting them to Instagram, why not send it to us, instead?

 

And make sure they’re taken with an iPhone6!”

 

The ads are obviously entertaining and appealing, but they also showcase the iPhone 6’s camera quality. If you go to YouTube and search ‘shot with iPhone 6’, the front page is cluttered with videos boasting over 20,000 views each. This one submitted by Apple even has over a million:

 

 

Kim Kardashian Debuts Emojis, Wins Again

 

I might become public enemy number one after this blog is published for touting Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian as marketing geniuses, but it had to be said.

 

Kim, who lacks any sort of singing, dancing, acting talent, proved just how loyal her following was when she debuted her branded custom emoji keyboard.

 

The $1.99 app, with emojis mainly consisting of her physical assets and material luxuries, was “generating $1 million in gross income per minute at its peak.”

 

 

Much in the same vein as Trump, if you live in an echo chamber of likeminded individuals, you have no idea how these people are popular. You watch CNN or MSNBC and are convinced nobody likes Trump. You read comments below a post on about Kim on Yahoo and are convinced nobody likes her, either.

 

But when you step back and realize you’re not in their intended demographic, you realize that people absolutely buy into both. They’re just not the type of people you associate with, since you obviously have different interests.

 

The Worst of the Worst

 

Bud Light

 

I already wrote extensively on how badly Bud Light missed the mark with its ‘Party’ campaign starring Seth Rogen and Amy Schumer.

 

 

It turns out that a politically-driven, left-leaning ad campaign geared towards milennials, while completely ignoring the base white conservative audience, wasn’t a great idea.

 

So it shouldn’t be surprising when the campaign was wrapped up a few weeks ahead of schedule. The news came on the heels of the "company cutting its revenue forecast for the year in response to a disappointing third quarter [Between July 1st and September 30th] that saw declines in Bud Light sales.”

 

While I included it in the linked article, I feel I have to reiterate this point: “Sales of Bud Light declined during the openings of the NFL and NCAA football seasons, the Olympics, the height of barbeque season, and the end of the MLB season.”

 

It was a bold, yet mystifying move by Anheuser-Busch’s marketing team. But if their goal was to reach out to other audiences, then they succeeded. Their spokesman boasted of “positive signs in brand health evolution, driven by milennials and Hispanics.”

 

The main issue is why they would launch a campaign knowing it would alienate their fanbase. Does this go back to the previous point about echo chambers? Did a bunch of ad executives with similar beliefs and no understanding of their core base convince themselves this would work? Surely they can't be this out of touch?

 

Regardless of their intentions, Bud Light succeeded magnificently as one of the worst sustained ad campaigns of the year.

 

A mattress company I refuse to name

 

Mentioning their name would only bring attention to their business, but I truly have to give these mattress store employees credit.

 

 

They turned what would have been nothing more than a poorly produced mattress ad that would be seen by tens of people at best, into a viral sensation that sits at 9.3 million views.

 

Then again, the store closed immediately after the video got out and Americans, you know, didn’t take kindly to their country’s greatest atrocity being used as the butt of a bad joke.

 

It re-opened a few days after closing, but the damage had been done. Why brands continue to insist on trying to capitalize on tragedies is beyond me, but maybe we can get some insight from these next winners:

 

Urban Outfitter

 

Surprise, surprise, Urban Outfitters is back at it again with the tasteless outfits.

 

What else could they touch on? They’ve riffed on dead Kent State protestors, Jesus, depression and anorexia, Lord Ganesh, Native Americans, and Jews, so what other group of people and their tragedies could they possibly exploit?

 

Well, they went the Holocaust angle yet again (If you’re going to be offensive, at least be original), but this time targeting gays. Tell us if you see a comparison:

 

 

 

Considering this is a trend of Urban Outfitters, it would be naïve to think these are accidents, even though they keep assuming that they have no idea what we are seeing or talking about.

 

Another job well done. Looking forward to the glove collection with a stitching of a nail in each palm. No, it definitely does not look like a crucifixion. Why would you even think that?

 

DJ Khaled's Catchphrases (When used by brands)

 

Hey, remember DJ Khaled? Remember major keys, watering plants, keys to success, and supposedly getting lost on a jet ski in the dark?

 

 

The Miami-based DJ paraded himself as a brand on his Snapchat. Each day, followers were greeted with tips on living a successful life and Khaled’s daily life of a celebrity living in South Florida.

 

Like Kim and Trump, DJ Khaled was yet another celebrity that had mass appeal, yet outsiders wondered exactly who he was and why people kept spouting off about “Major keys” and “Walking the pathway to more success”.

 

Again, these are elite level marketers that know how to brand. They may be invested in different industries, but they all place their primary focus on branding. Through repeatable catchphrases ("Make America Great Again!"), mastery of their preferred social media outlet(s), media manipulation, ubiquity, and/or using their assets to their advantage (This), the three have been able to develop cult followings that have left outsiders perplexed.

 

The Khaled craze was fun for a month. Unfortunately, because trends rule the marketing world, brands had to capitalize on his success. The results were uninspired tweets that desperately pandered to milennials:

 

 

 

 

 

It’s one thing for a restaurant to try it, but is it necessary for MasterCard to get in on the act?

 

Strategies like this always remind me of Steve Buscemi’s 30 Rock character going undercover as a high school student:

 

 

And speaking of obvious pandering and lacking creative thought...

 

Hillary Clinton: Stronger Together

 

 

I promise you I’m not a Russian hacker. I’m just one of the millions of Americans who listened to Hillary Clinton and saw an out-of-touch politician painfully doing whatever it took to connect with the youth of today.

 

She tried it in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. (Trump was the first Republican to win Iowa since George Bush in 2004, and just the second overall since 1988.)

 

She did whatever what you want to call this on Ellen's show. (Hillary won 55% of the millennial vote, down 5% from Barack Obama in 2012.)

 

She tried to connect with black people through the power of hot sauce. (16% of black males with a college degree voted for Trump. Overall, Clinton won the black vote 88% to 8%. Obama had an 87-point edge in 2012 and a 91-point edge in 2008.)

 

She celebrated a Cinco de Mayo rally with a mariachi band. (She won Hispanics by a 36-point margin. By comparison, Obama won by 44 in 2012. Over 30% of Hispanic males voted Trump. Also, just imagine for a moment if Trump were the one who brought out a mariachi band to a Cinco de Mayo rally.)

 

Oblivious. Manufactured. Out of touch.

 

 

Her campaign failed to deliver any sort of notable enthusiasm and spent more time criticizing Trump than talking up any policies. She was a cardboard cutout of every run-of-the-mill politician, minus the appeal that even she couldn’t fake. Any attempts to feign a likable personality backfired and rightfully so.

 

I’ve seen car dealership ads at 3AM with more authenticity.

 

Unlike Trump's campaign, no matter your opinion on it, her campaign's branding attempt was poor and completely missed the mark. It took a cue from Bud Light by abandoning its base to pander to other groups; its figurehead couldn't conjure any excitement; transparency was forced; and the overall message was cliche and tired.

 

In the spot they're in now, any other brand would step back and reevaluate their approach.

 

Instead, it's everybody else's fault but the message and the face. I think we can safely say the 2020 Democratic presidential run will be just as removed from reality as this one.


Making the Case for Social Media

There’s no debating it: Social media, and the digital medium as a whole, has emerged as a substitute to traditional advertising practices for brands of all sizes.

 

Add in the growing number of those cutting the cord and you have even more incentive to advertise predominantly online.

 

Almost all major brands have realized this, resulting in portions of their marketing budgets from common mediums, such as television and radio, being deviated to build a social media presence.

 

Smaller brands have also taken advantage of the medium’s cost-effective advertising, but have seen their reach taper off in recent years due to heavy spending from larger brands:

 

"The State of Retailing Online 2016, an annual study conducted by NRF and Forrester Research, found that 92 percent of retailers are investing in social media marketing to some degree and looking for ways to update content to stay on trends.

About 55 percent of retailers surveyed also said they are increasing their online merchandising budgets, a portion of which is clearly earmarked for social media activities that engage consumers to promote two way interactions."

 

Regardless, social media’s ubiquitous platform provides small and medium-sized businesses with exposure they would have never dreamed of. In a survey of over 7,500 local businesses that purchased local ads in 2016, Borell, the organization behind the survey, found that "local businesses have ramped up their use of social media to help drive business and generate new customers."

 

As much as it seems that every person you know has a social media account, you may be surprised to learn that social media is only gaining users. While Twitter is pulling up the rear with only a 3.15% increase between the 3rd quarters of 2015 and ’16, Facebook experienced a 13.6% increase in the same period and LinkedIn a 15.2% increase.

 

Instagram witnessed a 20% increase between September 2015 and June 2016. All of this may seem like a boom, but it also muddies up the landscape because there are so many platforms to post on. It’s up to the brand to do the research on where the audience is.

 

Unsurprisingly, "Facebook was the number one choice for local advertisers with 96% responding they have  Facebook page. Twitter was a distant second at 51%, and LinkedIn came in at 41%."

 

screen-shot-2016-12-01-at-12-47-55-pm

 

It can be daunting to a newbie. You need to ask yourself a few questions before stepping up to the task:

 

Which social media platform is best for me work on?

 

How much money should I invest?

 

What type of posts should I make?

 

How often should I post?

 

The greatest issue with starting out on social media is the idea that it’s easy. Failure and frustration is a common characteristic among new businesses starting out on social media because they believe it’s as simple as making a sales-y pitch, attaching an image, and sending the post out.

 

It doesn’t work like that, at least not anymore. Strategies need to be put in place. Budgets need to be created. Research into best practices needs to be done. Basically, an entire comprehensive rundown of your social media plans should be resolved before you even begin posting.

 

Now, does this mean you should keep a rigid schedule? No. While you should have prepared copy to pitch your product, you should also have a free-flowing schedule that allows for transparency into your business.

 

Or, to make things even easier, a brand can simply hire a digital marketing agency that specializes in social media strategy, copywriting, implementation, and moderation.

 

Social media is simply too valuable a resource to waste. Without the proper funds and research invested, an inexperienced brand is doomed.

 

Experts in the field are a necessity; an expert at crafting concise copy that delivers an impactful message, an expert at graphic design that can create appealing images; an expert at website design that can make a landing page that converts; an expert at moderation that knows just what to say to disgruntled commenters; and an expert at SEO that can identify the right keywords, among others.

 

It takes a village to raise a brand on social media. Going at it alone and without the tools and people necessary to help it succeed are only going to hamper your efforts.

 

Interested in raising your social media standing or looking to start out? Visit our Facebook for more info, email us at ask@one12th.io or visit: https://one12th.io/contact-modern/


Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade’s Move to YouTube Sets a New Precedent

For the first time in its 64-year history, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be visually broadcasted on a medium other than NBC.

 

In fact, you can watch it without even turning on the TV at all. In an unprecedented medium transition, the annual event that solidifies the beginning of the holiday season will be live on YouTube and available to see in 360 degrees.

 

 

“Under the terms of the package, Verizon will stream the parade with five cameras placed along the route capable of beaming 360-degree views to users, and festoon the view with pop-up graphics offering facts about the proceedings.”

 

The parade will stream from Verizon’s YouTube account.

 

Hardcore viewers of the Macy’s Day Parade—Yes, they exist—will receive an early Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa gift with the choice to watch the parade from five different angles. It’s a huge difference from the NBC perspective, where viewers were allowed to see only what NBC shows them.

 

The traditional option of watching on NBC will still be available, but this pivot to embracing the digital medium could signify more to come. The Super Bowl and Olympics are already available via live-stream, so this is nothing new.

 

However, it does open up an entirely new audience. Sports fans have long been acquainted with the availability of games online, which is partly why an event as significant as the Super Bowl was brought online to watch.

 

The Macy’s Day Parade, which is mainly watched by families with young kids, is the first major non-sporting event to earn the TV-to-YouTube treatment. Unlike major sporting events that were moved to the digital medium, on top of already being available on cable, this event doesn’t have a core fanbase that’s already reliant on the Internet to watch many of its games.

 

Access to YouTube is easy, but the tradition of gathering the family together to watch the Macy’s Day Parade on NBC may play a large part in whether or not the move succeeds. It’s far more likely to believe the family would rather huddle around the big screen, rather than their laptop.

 

Plus, it may just be too much. It’s early in the morning and many families like to have the Parade on in the background while they prepare for Thanksgiving dinner. Sure there will be those extreme viewers who want to get a look at everything from their new vantage points, but many enjoy the simplicity and ambiance of turning on NBC and glancing from time to time.

 

Of course, there are far more practical, financially stimulating reasons behind the move, according to Variety:

 

“The new means of watching an old TV institution arrives as Madison Avenue is seeking different ways to partner with the industry overall.

 

While traditional TV commercials thrive, marketers are placing new emphasis on devising content that dovetails with the programming that attracted viewers in the first place, rather than interrupting a show with messages routinely viewed as something on an annoyance.”

 

Commercials are a point we have yet to consider that may significantly benefit the event on YouTube. Excluding the Super Bowl, nobody’s watching an event for the commercials. A commercial-less experience on YouTube could compel people to make a switch.

 

It certainly works for platforms like Netflix, where episode after episode can be watched without a single commercial or stoppage.

 

However, at least in the case of the Parade, it all comes back to convenience and tradition. Turning on the TV Thanksgiving morning, putting on NBC, and watching the Parade, no matter in what capacity, is an American tradition that has persisted for decades.

 

Placing it on YouTube and implementing the 360 feature is great for novelty, but it’s just that: a novelty. It’ll be fun to use for a short time. You’ll get your fill of the five vantage points, but that’s not how people are going to watch the majority of the Parade.

 

I’ll use my own personal experience as an example. Even though I’ve never been particularly interested in the Parade, my mom has always made a big deal of it, loves it because of the tradition, and I can always bet that when I wake up an hour after it started, it’ll be on.

 

She watches it as I imagine millions of moms across America do: in the background and glancing at it from time to time while she prepares her contributions to Thanksgiving.

 

A demographic I do expect to take full advantage of it’s availability on YouTube, and its 360 feature, are the young children of those moms; otherwise known as the kids who you give an iPad to in order to distract them.

 

Needless to say, an interactive video that allows kids to watch their favorite cartoon characters float by from a bunch of different angles for 3 hours is a great solution to keep them out of the kitchen.

 

And this just may be the generation to either eliminate cable altogether or to make it seriously reevaluate its approach to reaching viewers.

 

With a steadily increasing number of people cutting the cord, the idea of watching major events like the Macy’s Day Parade may one day end up becoming more popular online. It isn’t that far-fetched of an idea when you consider what’s available on TV is also available online, but faster, with less commercials, and with more immediate information.

 

ESPN has become the biggest victim of this trend, with “ESPN subscribers declining at a rate of about 4% over the previous year versus a rate of about 2% last year.”

 

The declines are in part because of the lower quality of the channel (namely SportsCenter), and the availability and easy accessibility of games online, as well as all the stats and info needed to become an educated fan of the game.

 

Remember what I said about convenience? Rather than waste time with the filler on SportsCenter, fans would rather just watch their team's full highlight videos online.

 

But even with the availability of Netflix and Hulu, and major events dipping their toes into the burgeoning waters of the Internet, a full cutting of the cord and transition is still far out of reach.

 

At least until the iPad generation takes the place of the ‘Mom cooking Thanksgiving dinner’ generation.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!


You Have to See Royal Caribbean’s New 360 Ads

Advertising can feel like an arms’ race at times. With the biggest and most financially stable brands employing bold new technologies to promote their message, it only leads to other brands, or marketing agencies, finding newer, more innovative ways to spread their message.

 

Think about it in terms of two world superpowers jockeying for position as the world’s most super superpower. One country makes a gun that shoots four bullets at the same time, so the other makes one that can shoot eight. The other country then makes a rocket that can wipe out five cities, but that’s followed up by their rival making a rocket that can wipe out ten cities.

 

The two will go back-and-forth, back-and-forth until they either use those weapons against each other, or one collapses from the mammoth amount of funds they are pouring into their warfare budget.

 

Finally! I have successfully analogized the Cold War to digital marketing! I didn’t think it was possible, but 2016 has proven the impossible to be possible, hasn’t it?

 

Now let’s bring it back to advertising. Companies are compelled, and are faced with more and more pressure, to give their online audience a customer experience that nearly equates to having the product in your hands or using the service.

 

At any sporting event, you want to create the best fan experience. With any video game, you want to create the best gamer experience. With any car, you want to create the best driver experience. Advertising and instilling brand loyalty is focused on providing those unforgettable experiences that are as close to the real thing as possible.

 

People want to feel like their part of the moment, but sometimes they need the moment brought to them. A cruise line, for example, can only show so many of its past customers smiling and playing on a beach before the advertising market is overloaded with bronzed families and couples.

 

They need to try something new that will separate itself from the competition; that can put people on the ship without actually being on the cruise. I’m talking about the full experience here. No more stock images and film of happy white people on a beach.

 

Enter Royal Caribbean.

 

 

In stunning 2160s quality, you are granted a first-row, interactive seat to explore an exclusive show on Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas cruise ship.

 

Thanks to the 360 feature, however, I have access to watch the show, to look up and gaze upon the immensity of the ship, and to observe the audience around me.

 

Their initial video to start the 360 On campaign literally places you on top of the ship, while a spokesman offers you directions on where to look and what happens there:

 

 

The exclusivity here is a huge plus. It’s one thing to offer viewers a 360 view from the front row of an event, like in the first video, but it’s another to offer them a view from somewhere they’d never get a view from.

 

Think about it like this: A video from the ground watching the Northern Lights is cool and can be done by anybody in the right area. But a video of the Northern Lights from the inside of a plane gives a much better view and is rarely seen.

 

Naturally, you’d want to see the Northern Lights from the plane not just because of the view, but also because of the exclusivity behind it.

 

So it’s safe to assume people would prefer the view we’re getting from the top of the ship, where we can get a true gauge of the immensity of the ship and how many services it provides. Rather than a traditional shot-by-shot look, I can easily see the two swimming pools, jacuzzi, a central park area, and the island we are visiting with my 360 view.

 

The style of advertising works mostly as a novelty than it does as an advertisement, and that’s exactly what it intends to do. I know for a fact I will remember this video, as opposed to any billboard I see on my drive home or any commercial on TV of those same happy white people drinking out of coconuts on a beach.

 

It’s not because of the content. Any cruise line can tell you about their pools or the island they’re visiting. This ad works better than others because of the newness and access of the medium we’re using to consume our advertising.

 

In fact, I can actually specifically recall looking at my first Facebook Canvas ad. Once again, it wasn’t the content that enthralled me, it was the tool I was using. I had the same reaction to an interactive M&M’s ad, which I wrote a blog about because it fascinated me so much.

 

Because technology evolves, every other industry has to evolve with it or face the consequences of becoming obsolete. The goal of advertising has always been connecting with their audience on an emotional level, and what better way than to almost literally have them as the center of attention with full control in your advertisement.

 

Royal Caribbean’s ad will no doubt force advertisers to reconsider their strategies, perform research into the latest trends and technologies, and then create ads that are somehow more immersive to satisfy their customer’s growing desire for a more interactive advertising experience.

 

This is the new age of advertising, at least in the digital medium. However, specifically because it’s in the digital medium may continue to force marketing agencies to allocate even more money to digital, rather than to television or radio.

 

The ads you see on TV may actually decline in quality because of the versatility of advertising in the digital medium. So rather than going through the process of hiring actors and all that comes with shooting a commercial and buying ad space, ad execs may just use the latest technology, such as the 360 On feature, turn it on, and place it on YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter for free.

 

They’ll of course have to spend money on boosting, but it’s still far cheaper than the finances that go into an ad for TV audiences.

 

It’ll be intriguing to see where social media advertisers with the resources to afford tools like the 360 feature move from here. The status quo will only persist for so much longer before new technology comes along to replace it, because the technology of today will always beget the technology of tomorrow.


The Twitter Saga of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

If the election were to be decided based on their overall Twitter klout and influence, it’s safe to say that Donald Trump—I’m using his own words here—would schlong Hillary Clinton.

 

The gap between the two is YUGE. Even though Trump has a four-year head-start, joining March 2009 while Hillary’s Twitter wasn’t activated until April 2013, the engagement generated remains overwhelmingly in the Republican challenger’s favor.

 

Trump holds a 13 million follower to 10.2 million follower edge over Clinton. He’s also posted over 20,000 more times (33,900 to be exact to Hillary’s 9,715), but has also only followed 41 people, while Clinton follows 758.

 

Trump’s Twitter success shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

 

Even before his nomination, Trump was a polarizing figure on Twitter, drawing heaps of attention for his politically charged, often ignorant, brain droppings about Barack Obama’s policies. You couldn’t help but be enthralled as the reality show billionaire lamented about the dangers of wind power and a global warming hoax perpetrated by China.

 

Now that he has the validation of the people, winning the GOP nomination and now moving onto something much bigger, his rhetoric is as dangerous, yet restrained, as ever.

 

And the people love it.

 

From both sides, they can’t get enough of it. This election isn’t a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It’s a choice between Donald Trump and not Donald Trump. Clinton and her lack of charisma, as well as her burgeoning history of rampant corruption in and out of politics, has only garnered attention through FBI investigations, Spirit Cooking, and leaked emails. Trump, meanwhile, has been a prominent daily figure throughout mainstream media.

 

Hillary’s campaign even seems to admit it, judging by the primarily negative ads focused on Trump leading up to the election.

 

The enthusiasm around her is minimal, while the energy around her opponent is staggering. Despite boasting a net worth as much as any former President, Trump has taken on the role of a Populist candidate, connecting with the American people and deriding the same Wall Street fat-cats, bankers, and politicians he used to rub elbows with.

 

Just think of Bernie Sanders, only on the other side of the spectrum.

 

Populist candidates speak to the disenfranchised and those who either felt they have no voice or have lost it altogether. Trump’s version of it is largely cultural and shrouds itself in the type of flag-waving, America-first Nationalism that so many GOP voters feel is being threatened by politicians who, they claim, send precious jobs overseas, ignore problems at home, and focus more on policing the world.

 

Here’s a good explanation from a Newsweek article on the subject:

 

“The disconnect between party elites and their populist constituencies is, instead, of a piece with a mounting sense that all the institutions presiding over our shaky mood of consensus—from the financial sector to the higher-education establishment to the mainstream media – are crumbling….You don’t have to sign on with the Trump and Sanders crusaders in all their particulars to see that in today’s money-driven, elite-dominated political scene, more and more ordinary voters feel legitimately left out – and fed up.”

 

Trump’s nomination has basically reinvented the GOP. “This is how populism has come to double as a synonym for modern cultural conservatism. Historian Richard Hofstadter famously branded the Gilded Age agrarian uprising as a precursor to McCarthyism: an outpouring of economic resentments that gave aggrieved farmers license to scapegoat any and all available elites – Jewish bankers, British titans of industry, American robber barons – for their declining cultural influence.”

 

Immigration, in case you haven’t been paying attention, has also been part of this scapegoating, with Trump “tapping into the protectionist outlook of America’s older labor movement, which historically supports restrictions on immigration because of its downward pull on wages.”

 

So despite all of his flaws and inexperience, Trump has carved himself out not just a following, but a movement. Speak on whatever you may think of him, the fact that he’s come this far in the race to run the country, and essentially the world, is a clear response to a broken system that the people no longer believe in.

 

And, no, it’s not because 40% of the country is racist/sexist/insert dismissive epithet here. It’s because 40% of the country feels they have a candidate that can shake up a do-nothing government and lessen its focus on globalism.

 

Whether or not you enjoy living under a broken system should decide where your vote goes, but I digress.

 

All of the points mentioned above speak to why Trump has absolutely crushed Clinton, in terms of influence on Twitter. He’s a wild card that has divided the people between a ‘He’s absolutely right’ and ‘He’s absolutely wrong’ margin, but he’s also ramped up the energy on both sides.

 

The reactions are the result of frustration bubbling over and those content with the status quo that has emerged.

 

Think of the mood of citizens and their reaction to a ruling political party as a pendulum. When it starts to swing too far right for too long, the people demand it to be more left. When it starts to swing too far left for too long, the people demand it to be more right. The ravenous responses from both sides over the past few months are coming from those who thought left-leaning policies for eight years were either God’s gift or Satan’s special delivery.

 

Trump’s candid responses, with the addition of overwhelming negative coverage from media outlets, have only stoked the flames of approval and contempt for his run. Who knew that openly and constantly comparing a candidate to some of history’s greatest monsters would attract unhinged supporters and opponents?

 

It shows on Twitter, how simple posts from Trump can garner twice the retweets and likes of almost all of Clinton’s tweets. Funny, too, when you consider that no one else runs Donald’s Twitter but him, while Clinton’s is run by a team of staffers that sends proposed tweets through a hierarchy of decision-makers before reaching posted status.

 

According to the numbers from November alone, Hillary’s team of staffers and celebrity endorsements are no match for Trump.

 

Beyonce, Katy Perry, LeBron James, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, James Taylor, Jay-Z, Chance the Rapper, J. Cole, Shonda Rhimes, Will Ferrell, Joe Biden, Jen Carlos, Representative John Lewis, Big Sean and Mark Cuban have all been name-dropped (Remember: this is just 7 days in November) directly by Hillary’s account.

 

A tweet featuring a picture of Beyonce with the copy “I’m with her!” along with her ‘@’ received 26,000 retweets. Trump has seven tweets that have received more retweets, none with the help of one of the world’s most recognized celebrities.

 

Trump’s most engaged with tweet in November reads “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” with no picture. This tweet received 53,000 retweets and 110,000 likes.

 

Trump, once again, effectively proves that it’s the message that matters most to the people, rather than endorsements from beautiful, talented millionaires who are disconnected from the daily realities of their fans. Clinton’s team has yet to realize this, as they continue to recruit celebrities of every race and gender to put on free shows and get mentioned in her tweets.

 

Two of Hillary’s five best tweets are celebrity endorsements. Two others are a reply to a Trump tweet and a negative ad against Trump. Only one of the top five is focused on Clinton, and it’s a summary of her entire life. In fact, if you go through most of Hillary’s top tweets they’re all either endorsements or celeb-focused.

 

Here’s a rundown of the top 15:

 

#6: Trump criticism

 

#7: Pandering to Cubs’ fans on World Series win

 

#8: Trump criticism

 

#9: Another smarmy reply to a Trump tweet

 

#10: Trump criticism

 

#11: Trump criticism

 

#12: Michelle Obama endorsement

 

#13: Pleading for RT’s

 

#14: Trump criticism

 

#15: Trump criticism

 

Trump is guilty of much of the same. While his top tweet is his campaign slogan, the next two tweets are heavy on ‘Crooked Hillary’ mentions. Let’s take a look at the top 15 after the top 3:

 

#4: Asking to vote for Trump

 

#5: Prayers to cops who were shot

 

#6: Clinton criticism

 

#7: Clinton criticism

 

#8: Clinton criticism

 

#9: Clinton criticism

 

#10: Clinton criticism

 

#11: Clinton criticism

 

#12: Clinton criticism

 

#13: Thanks to Reno for a rally

 

#14: Campaign slogan

 

#15: Citing polls where he’s leading

 

Criticism of each other has been the norm, since neither really has anything good to say about themselves; one is a corrupt globalist, while the other is an inexperienced gasbag.

 

After going through each November tweet, we found that Trump has a 1.83 ratio of content between himself and Clinton. Hillary’s is slightly higher at 1.94. So when it comes to disparaging their opponent, both look to be in prime form, although Hillary seems to be relying far more heavily on her opponent and endorsements to move the dial.

 

Most surprising in my research was the frequency of tweets of each candidate. Here I was led to believe that Trump was a tweeting maniac who would shipwreck his campaign in one of his flurries. Little did I know that he only sent out (not including retweets) 68 tweets.

 

In the same amount of time, Hillary (and her team) sent out 171 tweets.

 

This next telling stat isn’t because of the heavy frequency of Clinton’s tweets (over 24 per day), but because of whom the candidates are themselves. Clinton hardly projects charisma and enthusiasm, while her opponent’s campaign relies heavily on both factors, adding in a healthy dose of polarizing language that pits supporters and opponents on opposite sides.

 

So it should be no surprise that an average Hillary tweet over the course of November received 3,742 retweets and 8,559 likes, while an average Trump tweet garnered an average of 13,641 retweets and 32,838 likes.

 

All those staffers supporting Hillary’s Twitter account, yet it takes one old man with a penchant for making America great again to generate nearly four times the amount of retweets and likes on an average tweet.

 

Some may argue that Twitter’s main demographics are more likely to lean towards Trump, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

 

According to a 2015 study, the highest percentage of adults that use Twitter are in the 18-29-age bracket.

 

Twitter is also made up mostly of people who live in urban areas, graduated college, and makes over $50,000. This doesn’t sound like the average Trump supporter you were thinking of I bet.

 

But don’t allow their performance on Twitter to influence you, even though one candidate comes across as a dud in desperate need of celebrity endorsements and her opponent’s rhetoric for any sort of traction.

 

Instead, do independent research, study each candidate’s policies, consider the ramifications and consequences of their actions in an international setting, and look into what traditional media doesn’t tell you.

 

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Happy voting!