Weekly Roundup: Facebook Reactions, Snapchat Tutorial, LinkedIn’s TV Campaign, And More


If you don’t know what that greeting means then you missed the Internet this past week. Which means you may have also missed the Mobile World Congress and the 10,000th Republican Debate. But ALSO these things happened:

  • You can passive aggressively express emotions on Facebook now
  • If you were thinking if only this ad on Facebook would get bigger and take over my screen – dreams do come true
  • The best Snapchat tutorial comes from a 13 year old
  • LinkedIn turned it up with a new TV campaign at Sunday’s Academy Awards (GO LEO!)
  • Mexico is using Periscope in the most amazing way
  • Google is making your search a LOT faster

Have a wonderful week!


Now You Can Create & Send Videos Privately Via DM

Shortly after enabling users to search for and send GIFs in tweets and direct messages, Twitter introduced the ability to capture and share videos in direct messages. The move brings Twitter closer to video-heavy messaging apps like Snapchat. >>Read More


Facebook Officially Launches Canvas Ads That Load Full-Screen Rich Media Pages In-App

Facebook wants to give advertisers an immersive way to reach people without making them leave the social network. So, it introduced Canvas, a full-screen ad experience built for bringing brands and products to life on mobile. When users click a Facebook News Feed ad connected to Canvas, it opens a full-screen, rich media page inside of Facebook rather than forcing users to wait for a mobile website to load. Canvas removes constraints that low-power mobile sites put on content. Facebook Canvas allows interactive elements like animations, carousels, product catalogs, tilt-to-view images, and videos. Canvases appear linked to from News Feed ads on iOS and Android, and Facebook is evaluating how to expand this to other versions and apps such as Instagram.  Facebook for Business

And those emoticons finally launched. More here.


Snapchat Enlists Nielsen to Track Ad Campaigns

Specifically, Snapchat will be able to provide brands and agencies with Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings, which can track how many people a given ad campaign reaches. Meanwhile, Snapchat ad tech partners Innovid and Sizmek will each supply ad tags that allow more detailed tracking of how many times individual ads are delivered in campaigns. (source: WSJ)  

Also the funniest thing we read all week about Snapchat courtesy of Elsbitch and Bitchamen Hoeson. Seriously read this or risk being a NARP.


LinkedIn Debuted Its First TV Commercial During the Oscars

The 30-second spot debuted during the Academy Awards telecast on Sunday. It’s an inspirational ad bouncing off a finding by NASA that 3 million LinkedIn users qualify to be astronauts. BBDO San Francisco handled the creative for the ad, which is expected to air also during “Shark Tank” and “Fresh Off The Boat.” (Ad Age)


BuzzFeed Creates Its First All-Video App 

BuzzFeed launched a new mobile app, BuzzFeed Video, so viewers can watch all their videos in one place. Until now, this content has been exclusive to Facebook and YouTube. There are two sections to the app, one for individual trending videos and the other for shows you are subscribing to. BuzzFeed also plans to use their own native player in order to collect more data about user activity and more flexibility to deliver a customized user experience.


Pinterest Launches Updates To Rich Pins With Recipes And Movie Data

In order to enhance the user experience, Pinterest has launched updates to its movie and recipe Rich Pins to continue gathering helpful data within each pin. A Rich Pin is a pin that includes extra information right on the Pin itself. The movie pins will add information such as: rating, cast members, and [http://Must-watch Movies]movie reviews. Because 90% of Pinners are saving food and drink recipes, these pins will be enhanced with cooking times, serving sizes, and ingredients.

Only 17% of the Fortune 500 Are Active on Pinterest 

Although many Fortune 500 companies are active on Facebook and Twitter, why do so many forgo Pinterest? (Study)


Tumblr Has a New CTO: Brian Murphy From the New York Times

Tumblr has hired Brian Murphy, former VP of engineering at the New York Times, as the company’s new chief technology officer. Read More


YouTube is Launching a New Tool That Lets Filmmakers Blur Out Any Object

YouTube is launching a custom blurring tool today that will let filmmakers blur out any object in their videos. Read More


Mexico City Officials Are Shaming Litterbugs and Parking Hogs on Periscope, and People Love It

Mexico City police have failed to keep the capital’s unruly residents from invading streets and sidewalks with their illegally parked cars, security details, and trash. So officials are resorting to the shaming power of social media. Read More

Google+ (Well, Google)

Google Joins Race to Speed Up Mobile Delivery of News Articles

When you conduct a Google search on your smartphone for a newsy topic — say, “Donald Trump” — the results starting on Wednesday will include a horizontal carousel of news articles, each with a little lightning bolt icon and the letters AMP at the bottom. Click on any one of the articles, and it will come up immediately, with no wait. The fast-loading format is the latest effort by online publications to solve a problem that is the bane of smartphone users everywhere: Most mobile web pages take too long to load.

AMP achieves its remarkable speeds in two ways. First, it requires web developers to use a narrow set of web technologies to create pages. Second, it serves pages from its own servers, at least when you visit an AMP page via a Google search. Sites that follow these specifications to the letter will receive special treatment from Google.  That sounds great for publishers who have decided to build AMP sites, but there’s a catch: if readers decide to share a link to an AMP page they’ve clicked on through a Google search, the link points to Google.com (for example, google.com/amp/yoursite.com/yourpage/amp), not to your site. With its AMP search results, Google is amassing content on its own servers and keeping readers on Google. (Source: New York Times and Wired)

Also: Why Google AMP Is So Much Faster in Three Dramatic Charts

Compiled by our West Region strategists including Melanie TaylorCameron JoyeLaura GrahamKate Acker, Austin DeArmanPam Franklinand Lauren Wesche.

Weekly Roundup: Most Pinteresting Man, Podcast Resurgence, Sports on Facebook, and More

In a week filled with new planets (well one), Sarah Palin‘s return to the headlines and more famous men passing away, social networks continue to make news. Some highlights:

  • The Most Pinteresting Man in the World exists and is winning
  • The Podcast resurgence continues
  • You can follow sports on Facebook now
  • How many videos have 1B views on YouTube? One more was added this week.
  • The Clinton campaign has embraced content marketing

Industry News: Podcasts

Podcast Pioneers: Where Audiences Choose to Listen to the Ads

Call it the MailChimp (or Kimp?) effect. A little over a year ago, Serial, a true crime story told in tantalizing weekly installments, captivated listeners with over 100 million downloads. More surprisingly, so did its advertising  with sponsor MailChimp riding its coat tails to gain cult status as it accrued memes, trending hashtags, t-shirts, even a remix. Podcasts are transforming advertising, and podcast producers have become pioneers in creating a different commercial model, where audiences are choosing to not skip the ads, but in some cases rewind to hear them again. With 46 million Americans listening to podcasts each month, podcasters are now evolving the commercial offering even further. Some have taken to developing entire shows that place the advertiser at the center, like Panolpy, which recently co-produced a fictional sci-fi podcast “The Message” with a division of GE, amassing over 1 million listeners. Source: AdAge


Facebook Takes on Twitter & ESPN With New Sports Feature

Until now, the one major advantage that Twitter has had over Facebook is its ability to capture people’s attention during live events. Meet Facebook Sports Stadium, a new hub on Facebook that will aggregate all the Facebook buzz about live sporting events in one place. Fans can follow games, get live stats, see what their friends are saying, and view expert commentary from journalists, the leagues, and the teams. With this new tool, Facebook is making a more concerted effort to convince advertisers that Facebook is a valuable resource for targeting sports fans on game day. For now, Facebook is only launching the tool for football fans, but it plans to expand to basketball, soccer, and other sports soon. – Facebook Newsroom


Global Disruptions Demonstrate True Twitter Additions

During coding updates on the site last week, Twitter users experienced mass disruptions for about six hours while the platform was down. Because Twitter is an important news source and a popular sounding board, the shutdowns disrupted global conversation. When other technology and media companies have faced similar problems in the past, people have often turned to Twitter to vent their frustrations — an outlet unavailable this time because the platform itself was the cause of the problem. Read more about how Twitter users handled the blackout here and here.

Bonus: Twitter summarizes how brands built buzz on the platform for #CES2016. >>Read More


Is Snapchat at a mainstream tipping point?

During the second half of 2015, Snapchat managed to reach 15 percent of the U.S. adult population, so if historical data is an indicator, Snapchat is about to reach a tipping point. (Source: AdWeek). This graph from eMarketer also shows how Snapchat is the hottest target for new ad spend in 2016 among platforms (new dollars, not overall spend).


Adele’s ‘Hello’ Joins the 1 Billion Club on YouTube

There are now 17 videos in the 1 billion club — and seven of those reached the milestone in the past year, YouTube said. Read More

YouTube Figures Out How to Supercharge Super Bowl Ads Even More

YouTube once again launched its AdBlitz platform, which gives Super Bowl advertisers a way to display their multi-million dollar television spots online before game day. Read More

You Can Now Loop YouTube Videos Directly Without Any Third-Party Software

A handy feature has quietly been added to YouTube without any major fanfare from the Google-owned video service. The new tool allows viewers to set videos to loop on the desktop version of the site. In the past, the lack of an auto-repeat function meant that in order to loop a YouTube video, users would have to download a third-party extension. Read More


Google Introduces Real-Time Ad Product in Time for Super Bowl 50 

Google announced it is expanding beta testing on a new ad product timed to Super Bowl 50 that will allow marketers to serve ads in real-time in response to relevant TV moments. Participating marketers will need to pre-plan the content they want to run as part of Google’s new offering. But the product will allow for dynamic insertion in real-time, as the moment is happening or just after it occurred. The ads will live on YouTube as well as sites and apps on Google’s display ad network. Wix.com, which has purchased traditional commercial time on CBS during its broadcast of the Super Bowl, will be one of the first marketers to use the product, with plans to air a real-time ad during the Super Bowl on Feb. 7. Source: Advertising Age


LinkedIn is once again driving big traffic to publishers 

The social network has had a schizophrenic relationship with publishers. At one point, it was a small but reliable referral source, then it turned off the traffic hose.  Now, LinkedIn is getting back in publishers’ good graces by significantly ramping up the amount of traffic it sends out. Publishers, like the Financial Times, which has seen a 300% increase in LinkedIn referral traffic over the past month, say that the changes are a result of a series of tweaks made to Pulse, LinkedIn’s news aggregation app. Sending out more traffic should help LinkedIn mend its relationship with publishers, which saw their traffic from the platform plunge by up to 44 percent last year. Source: Digiday


Clinton media campaign follows BuzzFeed model 

The Democratic front-runner [barely] has a staff of dozens producing original content — including bylined news stories and professional video — all managed by an audience development team, a model similar to digital news pioneers BuzzFeed or Vox. A blog, called the ‘Feed,’ anchored by five full-time writers, pumps out articles, interactive trivia quizzes, GIFs of Clinton’s late-night-show appearances … ‘They seem to be trying to mimic a publisher,’ said Michael Wertheim … a former strategy director at Upworthy. President Obama’s team was the undisputed powerhouse of the 2008 and 2012 cycles. Now his digital mastermind, Teddy Goff, is helming Clinton’s efforts, but, Goff says, succeeding in 2016 is far more challenging. Source:USA Today 


10 Cool Things to Do on Pinterest for Business

Leverage the visual aspects of Pinterest for your brand. Small biz trends recommends a few tips such as verifying your business account ( a frequently missed step) and measure pin success with analytics. Read the full list here.

Pinterest’s Most Famous Man has 2 Million Followers–Here’s how He uses the Site

It’s no secret that Pinterest is dominated by females, but a 45 year-old father and architect’s page has garnered some attention. Josh Draper was recently voted “The Most Pinteresting Man in the World”  Check out his page here: Tech Insider

Compiled by our West Region strategists including Melanie TaylorCameron JoyeLaura GrahamLindsey MillsKate Acker, Toby PhillipsAustin DeArmanPam Franklinand Lauren Wesche.

Weekly Roundup: Facebook Messenger, Twitter Share Count, Instagram Year In Review, and More

Last week social was dominated by San Bernardino as it should be, but the social platforms continued to innovate as Mark Zuckerberg and his wife donated the vast majority of their fortune to the future. Some highlights:

  • Twitter is nervous about their share counts
  • Facebook chat via messenger is a HUGE deal for businesses
  • Pinterest’s buy buttons might NOT be all that
  • Everyone is trying Periscope (for good reason)

Have a great week!


Facebook now lets you chat with businesses via Messenger on their website

Facebook wants to make it easier for businesses to interact with customers right from their own websites. An update to the Page Plug-in lets businesses add a message box and event information to their page. The new messaging function does pretty much exactly what you expect. Customers can send messages directly from their Facebook inbox and they’ll show up via Facebook Messenger or the desktop chat interface. In a similar vein, Facebook is adding events integration to the Page Plugin. That means that any modifications you make to an event on your Facebook Page will automatically be shown on your website, including allowing customers to subscribe to and be notified about any upcoming events. – The Next Web


Why Does Removing the Share Count Matter?

Twitter has removed the ability to track share counts on the platform, and some people are more upset about this then the morphing of Favorite Stars to Like Hearts. The move interferes with publishers to gauge content relevance, websites are removing Twitter share buttons as an option (in a time when Twitter is already fighting to demonstrate relevance), and some are predicting a decrease in the actual amount of content being shared on Twitter. >>Read More

Plus: 5 Holiday Trends You’ll See On Twitter This Year


And the winner is….

Instagram released its annual Year In Review data on Thursday, giving us a peak behind the curtain and revealing the most liked posts for 2015. Taylor Swift had the highest increase in followers (73%, bringing her follower total up to 56.8 million), while Kendall Jenner scored the top spot for most liked post (3.2 million). The most used hashtag was #love – for the third year in a row.

Speaking of love, #Instagrambabies is now a thing. BabyCenter’s 2015 list of top baby names included an interesting new set of names: Lux, Juno, Reyes, Ludwig, Amaro, Valencia and Willow. Sound familiar? They should, since these are some of the most popular Instagram filters. Unsurprisingly, “X-Pro II” didn’t make the cut. Maybe next year.


Seeing Red

YouTube announced its new subscription service, YouTube Red, back in October. On Wednesday, the WSJ reported that YouTube is negotiating with several networks and Hollywood studios to obtain streaming rights to TV series and movies that would live on the new platform. Some are calling it a genius Trojan Horse move for YouTube, since so many millennial users having grown up with the platform as their primary video source. Netflix and Hulu – watch your back.


Snapchat’s first breaking news event covers San Bernardino mass shooting

Snapchat made its debut appearance into the field of live news coverage on Wednesday, December 2nd. As the tragic mass shooting in San Bernardino, California was unfolding, Snapchat created the “California Shooting” live story. Images and videos from the scene were a added while the story was still breaking online and on TV across the nation. Digital Trends.


Google Turns Image Search Into Pinterest With New “Collections” Feature

Will Pinterest have new competition? Google’s latest update features a new search engine that offers a user-friendly way to save images to “collections” to reference them at a later time. The search engine suggests saving hairstyles to show your stylist or christmas decorating ideas. Sound familiar? The update is only available to mobile users in the United States and will work with all browsers. Tech Crunch


Holiday Shopping Is Chilly for ‘Buy’ Buttons at Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest

With all the hype surrounding Pinterest’s buyable pins, the social platform is blaming their lack of success on the early launch. Only time will tell if the 10,000 merchants invested in this program will see a return on their investment.

If Pinterest is your go-to for cleaning hacks, you might want to read this first before you wreck your floors, drapes, or table! Good House Keeping


Big Brands Don’t Mind Live Periscope Stumbles to Reach Millennials

Despite being glitchy at times, big brands such as Royal Caribbean, BMW and Benefit are going ahead with plans to use live-streaming video to attract some of the most finicky consumers, young millennials who ignore many traditional and online ads. Read More


WordPress.com Reboots From Scratch to Take on Medium

Big moves are coming to WordPress.com as the CEO responsible for powering 25 percent of the world’s websites unveils an open sourcing of the company’s code and API endpoints. The new WordPress.com back-end interface looks to be taking Medium head-on. Read More

Compiled by our West Region strategists including Melanie TaylorCameron JoyeLaura GrahamLindsey MillsKate Acker, Toby PhillipsAustin DeArmanPam Franklinand Lauren Wesche.

Weekly Roundup: Snapchat’s New Ts&Cs, YouTube Red Free Trial, Google AdWords Turns 15, and More

Last week was mostly spent discussing a flip phone in Adele’s new video. Why? What does it mean? Are we going to ditch our iPhones? And there was a pretty serious SXSW backlash around gamers and digital harassment in video games and canceling planned panels in fear of violence. But when the money started moving they reconsidered. Good move (more below). And social platforms didn’t sit still either:

  • Did you hit ‘accept’ really fast on Snapchat? Warning.
  • Facebook is making sure you see ads no matter what flip phone you are using
  • You can get YouTube Red for FREE (no trick, just treat!)

Have a great week!


New terms and conditions and video filters (you choose what is more important)

Snapchat released a few things last week. (1) New terms and conditions that included this: You grant Snapchat a worldwide, perpetual, royalty-free, sublicensable, and transferable license to host, store, use, display, reproduce, modify, adapt, edit, publish, create derivative works from, publicly perform, broadcast, distribute, syndicate, promote, exhibit, and publicly display that content in any form and in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed). Be afraid. Source. (2) A month after Snapchat debuted its new Lenses feature, the company is expanding its video feature set with what it calls “Speed Modifiers,” allowing users to add slow-motion, rewind, and fast-forward filters to their videos. Rather than puke rainbows, users will now be adding something closer to special effects to their Snaps. Rejoice. Source.


ICYMI: Twitter Debuts the Brand Hub

Twitter has new analytics tools it says will provide marketers with additional insight into brand conversations, audiences and trends. The Twitter Brand Hub, unveiled on Monday, is meant to give brands a “360-degree, real-time view” of their initiatives on the platform. But don’t expect access just yet. Twitter is only opening the hub to “big brand” partners, but should be opening it up to all brands later this year. And when it does, expect to be able to track metrics like share of voice much easier than before. >>Read More


VSCO and #MyStory

Last week, Instagram released Boomerang (for gifs). Well now, VSCO, the photographer’s platform, has released DSCO, which allows users to create short, looping GIFs that can be shared to VSCO profiles along with FB, TW, Tumblr, and IG. #Drama

In addition, a new campaign, #MyStory, encourages women to share their stories about what  makes them unique and show that IG is more about visual storytelling than selfies and food photos.


More Red

YouTube Red, the new paid subscription service, was announced last week and content creators are getting nervous because YouTube is launching a 30-day free trial for new Red users. YouTube has now assured video makers that they will still get paid even when YouTube Red users aren’t paying…

Adele broke every record except Psy’s when ‘Hello’ hit 100 million YouTube views in five days…Psy hit it in four. The Denver office will take credit for at least 20 of those views. Key Takeaway: Use a flip phone in your next music video to attract more views.


Pinterest Loses “Pin” Trademark Battles In U.S. and UK

Pinterest has been fighting to to have the word “pin” trademarked and they were unsuccessful. Travel startup Pintrips and Mobile directory Free118 won the fights in the U.S. and UK. Pinterest is not letting these setbacks stop them. They are in the middle of a case in Europe over a region-wide trademark on the word “pin”. Source

14 Halloween Pinterest Fails That Are Terrifying in All the Wrong Ways

If you need a good laugh. Click here


BuzzFeed and Vox Media Threaten to Bail on SXSW Unless Canceled Panels Are Reinstated

BuzzFeed and Vox Media are causing a bit of drama for the SXSW festival. They have threatened to pull out of the festival if conference organizers don’t reinstate their two panels. One of the panels is said to be related to harassment in the video gaming industry.



Google AdWords Turns 15

AdWords, a funky auction system for selling Internet ads that transformed a scrappy search engine called Google into a $400 billion-plus behemoth, is 15 years old. Happy birthday, AdWords! To celebrate, Google put out an infographic on some of the milestones of search ads. Back in 2000, only 350 advertisers were signed up with AdWords when it launched, paying prices at 1.5 cents, 1.2 cents and one shiny penny per impression to run ads next to keywords. Want to see what was hot (or not) back in 2001? Google can help with that.Source


You Can Now Follow Tumblr Searches on Your Dashboard 

Tumblr’s latest feature allows you to follow specific Tumblr searches, just like a blog. For example, if you’re searching for Drake Memes you can save that search and it will appear on your main dashboard page. The more dancing Drake the better. Read more


You Can’t Escape Facebook Ads, Even on Crappy Connections

If you thought you could escape Facebook ads because you were on a slower connection or lower-power device, think again. Facebook has developed the new slideshow ad option—”To make video ads easier to create and possible to watch on every device and connection speed,” the Facebook for Business team said in a blog post. The new lightweight video ads are built from a series of three to seven still images—pulled from an existing video, branded photo shoot, or a set of stock photos—that run for five to 15 seconds. With a small file size (not to mention reduced production cost and time), slideshow ads can be viewed on the most basic devices and the slowest connections. – Source

Compiled by our West Region strategists including Melanie TaylorCameron JoyeLaura GrahamLindsey MillsKate Acker, and Lauren Wesche.

Weekly Roundup: Instagram landscapes, YouTube gaming, and Google antitrust


We survived the longest August EVER – at least in terms of Mondays and Fridays – and good news, the Internet did too. Despite Donald Trump, Kanye West and the Chinese economy. Social platforms continue to evolve per usual. Some highlights:

  • Instagram breaks out of it’s square – no matter how much you might like it
  • YouTube is moving past Minecraft player videos into true gaming
  • Google is so not antitrust-worthy

Have a great week and a better holiday weekend!




Instagram has FINALLY given us the ability to post landscape and portraits rather than just squares…but that’ll change you’re whole portfolio presentation, won’t it?! Not to fear, everybody’s doing it. And there are new filters to help uniformity.  No more tyranny of the square.

Implications: Creative freedom, more professional profiles/portfolios for photographers to display their expertise, and video quality will increase when importing full scale videos filmed on your phone.



Twitch is about to meet its match with YouTube gaming making interactive gaming more accessible. On top of video, music, and content, the digital giant has now presented a Netflix-style gaming solution. The first problem: organization. It’s hard to browse and discover new games without sifting through hundreds of games in categorical order. This is a clear problem that will likely be addressed quickly.

Side-learning: Don’t be a cofounder of a major digital site and violate an NDA with KimYe.


Yahoo Announces New Tumblr Sharing Tools And Native Video Ads For Developers

Tumblr In-App Sharing is basically a Tumblr share button, but for mobile apps rather than websites. Users can now share the photos and collages that they’ve created in PicsArt, directly from the app into Tumblr. Read More


Google Finally Responds to Europe’s Antitrust Charges

This week, Google made it clear it would not back down against the anti-trust charges slapped on it by EU regulators earlier this year. The EU says Google uses its no. 1 status in online search to undermine competitors in related businesses. Example: if you Google something, it might not rank Amazon shopping ads very high in its results. Google officially responded for the first time, saying the “conclusions are wrong as a matter of fact, law and economics.” This is one of the biggest anti-trust cases in years. If Google loses, it could have to pay billions in fines and change how it does business. Don’t expect a resolution any time soon. This case will likely drag on for years.


The Perks BuzzFeed and WPP Will Get Partnering With Each Other 

GroupM (WPP’s media buying arm) and BuzzFeed announced a one-year partnership. This union is a match made in heaven and no agency has had access to this much data before. BuzzFeed looks to gain insights on how branded content spreads through digital networks and messaging. BuzzFeed will also benefit from WPP’s extensive client list and continue to expand their audience. Read More.


Facebook Periscope Competitor, Live, Should Be Widely Available Soon

Facebook’s version of the real-time video streaming app will no longer be exclusive to celebrities. However, only verified profiles will be able to utilize the app. Fans will be able to leave their real-time comments. [Sucks to be a commoner.]


Snapchat Is Adding Three New Publishers But Won’t Cut Old Ones

The newest publishers to Snapchat’s Discover section are: Mashable, IGN (A Gaming Publication) and Tastemade (A Food and Travel Network). Not cutting any previous publishers makes sense for one very simple reason: revenue. With a total of 15 publishers, Snapchat will continue to make profit selling ad space. Read on. Speaking of that ad space… According to DigiDay  Snapchat is charging brands for video ads viewed less than a second.

Compiled by our West Region strategists including Melanie TaylorCameron JoyeToby PhillipsLaura Graham,Austin DeArmanLindsey MillsKate Acker, Pam Franklin, and Lauren Wesche.

Programmatic Buying: What It Means for Digital Marketers

Programmatic. You may have heard it in a digital planning meeting, seen it in a media plan or nodded your head when brought up in conversation, all without really understanding it. I’ll be the first to raise my hand and admit I was guilty of all of the above.

That changed this summer when I participated in a six-week digital marketing and professional development training at Google called Squared. As a cohort of trainees, our final project was to host a Hangout that answered:

“If the future is programmatic,
then what is our role as marketers?”

By definition, programmatic means using technology and audience insights to automatically buy and run a campaign in real time, reaching the right user online with the right message.

What does programmatic really mean?

As we know, there are nearly a trillion websites on the Internet with space (inventory) to house advertisements (display ads). Back when this number was much smaller, publishers sold inventory directly to advertisers. Today, that would be impossible to execute manually, which is where programmatic buying comes into play.

How is programmatic executed?

Instead of each publisher being in charge of its own inventory, an Ad Exchange houses a conglomerate of online inventory. Advertisers, agencies and ad networks looking to purchase inventory work with a DSP (Demand Side Platform), which facilitates the purchase through the Ad Exchange. Much like paid search, DSPs automatically buy online inventory based on set brand KPIs with extensive targeting capabilities. This way of buying, programmatically, allows marketers to reach their target audience no matter where they may be online. The list of targeting capabilities includes:

  • Demographics
  • Geography
  • Interests
  • Behaviors
  • Time of Day
  • Weather
  • Device

For example, let’s say a cruise brand wants to reach people online who live in Chicago and like to travel. An ideal time to advertise to these people may likely be when it’s raining and during their commute home. Programmatic buying allows this cruise brand to get as specific as reaching people -living in Chicago, -interested in travel, -are on a mobile device, -when it’s raining, -from 5-7 p.m. and target them with a display ad. Therefore, programmatic focuses less on inventory and more on reaching the right consumer wherever they’re consuming content online.

Why is programmatic beneficial to marketers?

Even with this new way of buying display ads, there’s still a huge desire to be in control of where they run online. As marketers, we need to switch our thinking to be less worried about which websites our ads appear on and care more about reaching the right audience. When we buy programmatically, we can be assured that our message will hit the right consumer. It also opens doors to a whole new variety of ads that move beyond traditional displays. Here’s a great example of how Nike used programmatic to engage fans with a custom social card when Nike athletes scored goals during soccer matches.

As we move into a programmatic mindset, we’ll have to become better data scientists and better storytellers of how data is communicated. If the future is programmatic, then I predict that it will become channel agnostic. TV, print and digital out of home will all be bought programmatically and geotargeting during culturally relevant events will be even more essential to brands.

Google Cardboard and Experiential Communications


Google Cardboard is the newest innovation in virtual reality. We decided to try it out for ourselves, and before we knew it, we were standing in front of the Eiffel Tower and then in the streets of Tokyo! All without leaving our New York City office.


What you should know about Google Cardboard

The most recent version of Google Cardboard was introduced in May 2015 at the Google I/O conference and is compatible with most smartphones including iPhone and Android. As of May 29th, 2015 there have been 1–5 million downloads of the app.

Google doesn’t actually make the cardboard viewer product. They give you instructions on how to make it, and you can buy the different parts. You can also buy the cardboard viewer from other vendors such as Amazon for $25.00 or from Google Cardboard’s website for $19.95. The idea is that it is easily accessible for everyone.

Google has put out a virtual reality app that you can use with the cardboard viewer called the Google Cardboard app. Within the app there are four options: Explorer, Exhibit, Urban Hike, and Kaleidoscope. Explorer takes you to different museums. Exhibit allows to view different objects in virtual reality 3D. Urban Hike allows you to explore different cities around the world. Finally, Kaleidoscope is an amped up, 3D version of the traditional kaleidoscope.

There are other virtual reality apps that can be used with the Cardboard. Google has put out Cardboard SDK, which allows programmers to create their own Cardboard compatible VR apps.

Google Cardboard has connected with two other products. The first is Jump, a Google designed virtual reality camera, which is actually made up of 16 GoPro cameras. The second is Tango VR, a Google product in the making. It is the technology that allows a tablet or smart phone to accurately locate the user without GPS or Wi-Fi for this virtual experience.

Benefits for brands

  1. Brands can develop their own apps that are compatible with Google Cardboard. These apps would be an alternative to the traditional IOS and Android apps.
  2. Virtual reality is an expanding market. K Zero stated that the VR market could reach $7 billion by 2018. Brands can use Google Cardboard to become a part of the VR market and the cutting edge. For example, Merrell set up a virtual reality booth at the Sundance movie festival to allow people to virtually hike up a mountain. The movie Interstellar created a VR app to engage potential movie goers. British Columbia also set up a VR experience to promote tourism.
  3. Google Cardboard is allowing more people to access virtual reality and it is an alternative way for brands to expand and increase their reach or targeted audience.
  4. Google Cardboard allows users to understand brands’ products and allows brands to understand their users. Several other car companies such as Ford and Audi have used VR to allow users to virtually experience driving their cars and to give feedback on their driving experiences.
  5. Google Cardboard give brands the chance to capture complete attention, a rarity in today’s world of multi-tasking and constant distractions, such as competing advertising and instant communication. For example, car shopping is difficult, because it is time consuming. Volvo uses the Cardboard for their customers to virtually get inside the vehicles they’re looking at.

Google Cardboard Volvo

Only time will tell the full extent of the impact of virtual reality, but for now Google Cardboard is a major milestone for the VR industry, and an exciting possibility for brands and marketers alike. Here’s to looking towards the future.

Mobilegeddon and Adapting to a Mobile-Centric Consumer Base

A few weeks ago, Mobilegeddon was the cause of much panic. Google’s update to its mobile search algorithm had many worried that the change would affect their website searchability, bringing about lasting effects on their businesses.

Now that the change has taken place and the initial excitement has passed, we took a look at the opportunities the updates present for brands in the longer term.

Social@Ogilvy Briefing: Mobilegeddon…or is it? from Social@Ogilvy

What impact, if any, has Mobilegeddon had on your website? Tell us in the comments below.

Social Digest – Is it too late to change the name?

Welcome back to Social Digest, the fortnightly round up of all things social, straight from Social@Ogilvy London. This week hear about Instagram, brand fails, and the new trailer for Ant Man (and, unfortunately for Paul Rudd, it seems it is too late to change the name). Enjoy!




  • Instagram now dominates Twitter on engagement, not just users
  • A teen’s eye view of social media. While it’s an insightful post, it is just a window into one teen’s opinion and usage habits. For more perspectives, click onto the comments on the right hand side

In other news…


  • Virgin Trains saves this poor man from a loo roll predicament, via Twitter
  • Congrats Pepsi, this week you made it onto the (still fairly short) list of YouTube pre-roll ads I didn’t skip past
  • Redditors smelled a rat when Nissan & Renault’s CEO conducted an AMA (Ask Me Anything)
  • In a move towards a more tailored stream, Twitter rolls out a ‘while you were away’ recap feature
  • Get your brand’s social profiles into the first page of Google’s results
  • Google’s customisable phone, Project Ara, is coming to Puerto Rico this year

Just for fun




Worth a Watch



GIF of the Fortnight

“I dare you to throw that onto the ice”

[Can’t see this GIF?]

Cheers, see you in two weeks,


PS Am I the only one who thinks this is a bit of an eggs-aggeration?

PPS I saw Birdman yesterday – believe the hype, it’s great.


@biz987  || @socialogilvy

Social Digest – It’s Shia LaBeouf!

Welcome back to Social Digest, the fortnightly round up of all things social, straight from Social@Ogilvy London. Enjoy!





In other news…


  • Tesco tries to reduce the Christmas gift panic buying with Secret Scan-ta
  • Google launches YouTube music streaming service: Music Key
  • The accidental tweet from Twitter’s CFO reveals the company’s biggest problem


Just for fun


  • First that monkey photographer and now this


Worth a Watch




GIF of the Fortnight

To infinity and beyond!




Cheers, see you in two weeks,

@biz987  || @socialogilvy