Speaking of agency dismay with things, it appears you are also dismayed with Apple and Amazon
because they won't share the data you need to make an informed decision about whether or not to spend your ad dollars with them. But it's really no surprise. Unlike many other entities, neither Apple
or Amazon needs to depend on ad dollars, as this is not their primary source of income. Currently, Apple's ad revenue is $257 million compared to its total revenue of $171 billion. Amazon takes in
$614 million in ad revenue compared to overall revenue of $75 billion. Is it any wonder why they don't really want to work all that hard for your business?
Well, here's some big news. Okay -- so hey, it's not Nike, but come on, Reebok! Yes, San Francisco's Venables Bell & Partners has snagged the Reebok account as global agency for the brand. Of winning the account, VBP EVP Will McGinness said: "Reebok represents exactly the kind of opportunity that excites us most: an iconic brand led by a brave client with a genuine desire to challenge category conventions. Throughout the pitch we truly lived, ate and sweat the fitness lifestyle of the Reebok consumer. We share our client's belief in Reebok's potential and look forward to accomplishing great things together." Rock on, VBP!
So when and how do two ad guys become a hardware store? When it's Mattias Gunneras and Andrew Zolty from digital agency Poke -- two guys who invented a gadget for a bakery that when activated would tweet the availability of fresh baked goods. The two have extended that hardware dabble into a full-blown business called Breakfast. At Breakfast -- a top-10 most innovative company, according to Fast Company -- they have set out to integrate the Internet into the real world. They've built a system that connects the bicycle data of a cross-country biker to Twitter. They worked on that Conan O'Brien blimp people could check into as it crossed the country. They developed Instaprint, a wall-mounted printer that prints Instagram images with a given hashtag. They continue to innovate, most recently with B-Line, a rotary phone-like device connected to each of the firm's three partners that they sent out to their top brand prospects.
Oh, you agencies. Always jumping on the latest trend. Now social media is a bit past the trend stage but four or five years in with upwards of 87% of you, according to STRATA, implementing social media programs for clients, it's disheartening that just 54% of you indicate you would implement more social media programs if the value were more obvious. Have we really not yet figured out how to make social media work for brands? Or, as many a naysayer is wont to say, maybe it's just never going to work and we should all just go back to buying more TV ads.
For the past day or so, it seems impossible to escape from a Google News alert that isn't filled with that story about popular Indian celebrity Aishwarya Rai, who appeared in an ad for Kalyan
Jewellers elegantly dressed with a dark-skinned child holding an umbrella over her head. Many have called the ad racist.
An open letter from a consortium of feminist, child and human rights groups says the ad appears to "be representing aristocracy from a bygone era -- bejewelled, poised and relaxing while an obviously underage slave-child, very dark and emaciated, struggles to hold an oversize umbrella over your head."
The letter, which shares several examples of 17th- and 18th-century images that would now be considered racist, continues: "We wish to convey our dismay at the concept of this advertisement, and that you have, perhaps unthinkingly, associated with such a regressive portrayal of a child to sell a product...we, therefore, urge you to do the right thing -- cease to associate yourself with this offensive image by ensuring that further use of this advertisement is stopped."
In response, a statement from Aishwarya pretty much shirks any responsibility and blames the creative agency for the debacle. The statement read: "On the onset we would like to thank you on drawing our attention to the observation of the perception of the advertisement. Here is an attachment (picture of Aishwarya without the child holding the umbrella) of the shot taken by somebody during the shoot. The final layout of the ad is entirely the prerogative of the creative team for a brand. However shall forward your article as a viewpoint that can be taken into consideration by the creative team of professionals working on the brand visual communication. Thank you once again."
Kalyan Jewellers has pulled the ad.
On Wednesday at the LSA|15 Conference in Los Angeles, the Local Search Association announced the winners of its second annual Ad to Action Awards competition. LSA received 91 entries across 10
categories and the winners were revealed on the main stage at the event.
The competition focused on celebrating the most innovative "local" marketing products or solutions that facilitate consumer actions such as calls, clicks, store visits, etc. The winners demonstrated the greatest potential for driving local consumer engagement and best addressed current market needs.
The judging panel -- made up of 18 companies including Twitter, Foursquare, Yahoo, MapQuest, xAd and more -- evaluated these products and solutions. Each judge reviewed a subset of entries and no judge reviewed any entries where there was a potential conflict of interest.
In the Platforms and Services category, Chicago-based Rise Interactive, which likes to refer to itself as an "interactive investment management firm," won the top spot. And we can see why. Any agency that can spin the fact that they buy online advertising into "interactive investment management form" is worthy of praise.
For, oh, at least the past 7-10 years, every prognosticator has gleefully been promising "this is the year of mobile!" to the point where it's become a joke. Now, certainly, mobile has matured and
has become a viable medium for many things including advertising. But AKQA CCO Rei Inamoto isn't completely convinced.
In an interview with The Drum, Inamoto said, “To an extent I think the promise of mobile in relation to marketing has been exaggerated. The biggest misconception about mobile and the biggest mistake that advertisers make about mobile is to treat it like an advertising channel. Instead we should use it as a way to provide service not to provide a message.”
And, being the smart guy that he is, he's right. Rather than forcing old models (*cough* ...banners) through mobile devices, brands should embrace new services. Many have. Love them or hate them, Inamoto cites Uber as a brand that's fully embraced mobile, not as an advertising medium per se but, rather, as a platform for doing business.
So, yes, mobile has finally arrived. But my hope for the medium is that we can skip past all the missteps we took forcing old advertising models onto the internet and treat mobile very differently and more effectively. Like the personal service it has become. Not a pipe through which to shove ads.
In an audit of the 1,000 posts that BuzzFeed deleted from its site, three were deleted because advertisers complained. Yes, it's true. Don't like what someone writes about you? All you have to do
is bitch a little and get it removed.
In 2013, BuzzFeed published a post about an Axe body spray ad that was, it seems, not very positive. The brand's agency at the time didn't like what they read, complained and it was removed. Also is 2013, the publication chided Microsoft about its Internet Explorer browser. According to BuzzFeed Editor in Chief Ben Smith, the post was deleted because its author "had worked on a Microsoft ad campaign, and BuzzFeed's chief revenue officer complained about the post to me."
A third post, published in January 2014, which discussed what brands had planned on Twitter for the Super Bowl was pulled because it was critical of what Pepsi had planned and -- oops, the brand's Twitter account was handled by BuzzFeed staff at the time. Of that decision, Smith said: "We'd never previously considered the case of an editor that would be writing about an ad that was produced by our creative team, but we decided it was inappropriate and deleted the post." Really?
Remember when advertising and editorial where separate entities? Yeah, neither do I. We've all been pummeled so hard with native advertising bullshit over the past few years that it's practically become -- much like the banner before it -- invisible. Not to mention the over-the-top, incessant use of ridiculously sensationalistic clickbait headlines that achieved nothing but to quicken the tactic's invisibility.