SXSW: A Clever Targeted Ad

Being in Austin for SXSW means getting target with a ton of ads… Usually not great ones.

However, this PizzaDrone.info ad caught my eye. What happened after the click was even better… though disappointing for someone who wants to see a marriage of two of his favorite things.

  
And after the click…

  

The Next Creative Battleground: Video Captions?

With Facebook’s move to auto-displaying captions on videos in the Feed, the creative has a new place to flex their muscles – good old fashioned text.

The latest creative use of subtitles comes from Dos Equis as they bid farewell to “The Most Interesting Man in the World” as he presumably is bound to become “The Most Interesting Man in the Galaxy” or something else… That isn’t the point. The point is Dos Equis is using their captions in Facebook’s caption on default land of the Feed to drive people clicking to expand or unmuting: 

  
    
 
Now, admittedly, this isn’t the most ingenious use of captioning to drive home a point, but it’s a start. 

Hotels.com used their “Captain Obvious” character and their own captions to create a fun experience with sound off a while back, but now that Facebook allows the uploading of .SRT files for on-video captions, that means a similar experience for uses across videos.

Fun story about .SRT files + Facebook – they’re finicky. We just ran a global video campaign with 50+ .SRT language caption files – hard work but the campaign was awesome and a ton of fun.

When will Twitter jump on board the no sound + caption train? Has to be soon, right? 

Why We Should All be Rooting for Twitter

Everyone hates the Patriots. OK, not everyone, but a lot of people. They don t hate them because they’re bad, though, they hate them because they’re the best. It sucks watching Tom Brady somehow find a way (Excelt for losing to Denver tonight!) time and time again. We all want to root for the underdogs… we want to get behind those scrappy teams that don’t have all the flash and glitz. The teams that we grew up on that are fighting.

That’s how I think of Twitter.

 I sent my first Tweet from a classroom computer at the School of Visual Concepts where Clay McDaniel and Andy Boyer taught me more than I’d known before about the world of social marketing. After that class, I told myself I’d be doing that as part of my job… I started working for Clay and Andy 5 months later (and then returned to teach that same class for three years).

  
Facebook is, by all accounts, the leader in today’s Internet – and don’t get me wrong, I like Facebook a hell of a lot more than I like the Patriots – and they earned it. They took down MySpace. They grew even as Google was biting at their heels and making plays. 

Twitter, though, came up at roughly the same time and, for all intents and purposes, had the same chances Facebook had to be the biggest on the block, but they didn’t – for a number of reasons.

But instead of LOLing at Twitter’s continued attempts to keep growing and to make products that bring more value to its user base, we should be cheering them on. Twitter, after all, is still where many go for “breaking” information. It’s where you can learn about a trending topic in an unfiltered feed of people you follow – sans algorithm.

Facebook probably wouldn’t be the Facebook it is today without Twitter. Their pushing and competing between 2010 – 2014 brought us more advancements and features in the mobile world than we’d seen the previous 10 years before that. Competition in the social space is just as important as competition in the world economy — it keeps innovation flowing.
The people I’ve worked with at Twitter are incredibly smart and laser focused on users and the brands that help make Twitter what it is.

Is it weird I miss this guy? #failwhale

A photo posted by Ron Schott (@ronschott) on Jan 23, 2016 at 10:44pm PST

//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js

I made a joke the othe night about missing the #FailWhale — and I was only slightly kidding. The days when you’d get a #FailWhale were exciting because Twitter was growing so quickly and so many people were engaged around a single topic (usually) that the servers literally couldn’t keep up. It was kind of fun. I’m also a fan of the Robot who’s arm fell off.

As an advertiser, Twitter’s ability to target real-time conversations has always been an incredible draw for me. They’ve innovated quickly to bring new formats which aren’t just exciting for brands, but engaging and interesting for users. With the addition of Periscope, Twitter has an opportunity to tap into real-time conversations and situations that can put anyone from anywhere in the middle of the action.

So, I’m excited for what @jack and the team have in store. I’ve always been a fan, but I think more people have an incredible opportunity to see how awesome Twitter really can be.

Let’s root for the underdog.

Disclaimer: This post and the entirety of this blog are my personal opinions. Content included in no way is the opinion of my employer, Microsoft. I was not and will not be compensated for this post. I also like Facebook and Instagram — even YouTube… They just aren’t getting slammed right now. 

Advertisers’ Notes: Facebook Launches Sports Stadium in Bid to Win Live Sports Convo Battle Royale

  
Twitter gets a lot of credit for being the place for “live” social commentary, whether it’s about moments in time (elections, etc.) or sporting events. However, Facebook has been really keen the past few years to tell advertisers they have a much larger volume ofnconversation around events… the only problem is that Facebook’s security features and the nature of the algorithmically-curated News Feed mean that users are rarely seeing conversations about an event from outside their friend circle.

Facebook is taking a step toward creating a space to watch, participate in, and curate conversations around events — starting with the launch of Sports Stadium

With 650 million sports fans, Facebook is the world’s largest stadium. People already turn to Facebook to celebrate, commiserate, and talk trash with their friends and other fans. – Facebook Sports Stadium Press Release 


The What

Users will be able to see stats, clips, expert commentary, and posts from other fans in the experience, which is launching for “American Football” now.

The So What?

While this is relegated to sports right now, it’s easy to see how Facebook could easily port these moments-based conversation extravaganzas to things like the Academy Awards, political debates, and national events/holidays. 

Why Should Advertisers Care?

These new experiences provide the future opportunity for sponsorship of events (think Red Bull having Stadium-like events for their Soap Box Derby thing), ad inclusion via sponsored content within the experiences (think stats brought to you by Bing), and through more traditional display-type ads within the experience (think Click Here to Win an iPad).

Instagram Carousel Ads in the Wild

While I’m stoked that I got served this ad from Amazon, sadly it was a bit of a wasted impression – I’m already a Prime member. Might want to get some do-not-serve list info in there.

A couple thoughts on the unit itself:

  • Pretty slick. The swipe functionality is intuitive.
  • The content beyond the ‘Learn More” is good. Looks to be fairly customizable.
  • This might be a bug, but the ‘Learn More’ shows on the first image when you first see it in the feed, then when you swipe to the second image, it goes away. Then if you swipe back to the first its gone. It always shows up on the third image, though. Could have some impact on clicks to the ‘Learn More’ content.

On the Amazon ad:

  • Really great imagery
  • Great info
  • Great CTA
  • This should be the standard other advertisers strive to hit
  • One weird thing: Whatever is on the screen is barely visible. Is this on purpose? What is that even? Photo storage?

   
     

Audi Uses Snapchat for Latest Social Campaign

It may be filled with selfies and slightly NSFW content, but brands are starting to dip their toes in the Snapchat water… or, in Audi’s case, they’re taking a flying leap off the diving board and doing a cannon ball.

Their latest use of the ephemeral, image-and-video app is called:

20140701-185216-67936503.jpg

Here’s the full snap:

Audi’s use is pretty great. Brands like Taco Bell and Nordstrom are playing with Snapchat, but this is perhaps one of the better campaigns/contests I’ve seen.

A Weekend of Flappy Bird, Quantified

waste

I spent most of my free time during the weekend (when I wasn’t relaxing by watching TV, out with friends, or walking around the city) playing Flappy Bird. Yes, the game that used to be (until it was removed by its seemingly money-hating creator) at the top of the iTunes charts captured me. I was hooked. I figured I had to do something with the new addiction, otherwise I’d just be wasting time… so, I decided to start recording my progress.

Between Saturday morning and Sunday before I went to sleep, I played Flappy Bird 77 times – with definitely varying success. I did a couple trials and found that it took about 10 seconds (on average) to clear five of the obstacles. Using that, I figured that my 77 tries at Flappy Bird dominance, averaging a score of 17.85 meant that I spent roughly 45 minutes tapping my phone over the weekend – I actually was fearing it would be much, much more.

Here’s a run-down:

high schore

  • High Score: 70
  • Average Score: 17.85
  • Time Spent: 45 minutes

Being a curious, data-obsessed person, I started looking at the variables that surely (because there’s no way I was that random) had to have been causing the wide swing in scores. You can have a yellow bird, red bird, or blue bird. You can also fly at night or in the daytime. That gives us 6 different combinations. The thing is, there was no correlation between any of those any my scores – so yes, I am really that random with my performance.

Flappy Bird Color

Yellow birds were the most-prevalent, but not by much.

Time of DayFlappy Birds definitely like to come out during the day.

What Did I Learn?

Nothing, honestly, except that I am not very good at this game. It was, however, interesting to see the advertisements change as I went along. When I first started playing Flappy Bird last week, the ads were something that you’d see plastered across most games – Poker, Dating, etc. However, as time wore on and the game got more popular, I started to get ads for Google Maps, other more “sophisticated” apps, and even one that kept popping up for Givenchy. You know an app’s gotten on someone’s radar when luxury brands are advertising their app on it, potentially diluting their brand a bit.

givenchy bird