Instagram confirms UK ads are on their way

Instagram is in the process of rolling out sponsored content and advertising alongside its regular content to UK users, according to a BBC report.

The adverts, which have already been launched in the US, will aim to be “as natural to Instagram as the photos and videos [users] enjoy from brands who are already using Instagram”, according to a spokesperson.

Unsurprisingly, reaction from the social community has been somewhat negative. Yet the photo-based social...

By James Bourne, 18 September 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Brands, Social Media.

Evian teams up with Mr Men to create ‘Mr Glug’ brand character

Water brand Evian has teamed up with Sanrio, the Mr Men and Little Miss parent company, to create a brand new Mr Man character – ‘Mr Glug’.

“Mr Glug is a very active fellow indeed,” begins the copy. “His favourite sports include water skiing and roller blading.

“All that exercise makes him very thirsty and the thirstier he gets, the more the colour drains out of him,” it continues. “When this happens, Mr Glug must drink water so that his colour comes...

By James Bourne, 18 September 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Community, JustForFun.

will.i.am launches eyewear brand, asks for “dedication and passion”

Musician, entrepreneur and general techie will.i.am has today unveiled his eyewear brand, ill.i Optics, with a promotional video and campaign as part of the launch.

The product, created in conjunction with Australian designer George Gorrow, features a video where will.i.am is sat at a recording desk, yet cuts to various eyewear paraphernalia – will.i.am’s personal collection, spanning 20 years.

“I see a gap in the world of eyewear, and this is my instalment of what I feel is missing,”...

By James Bourne, 16 September 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Branding, Brands, Community.

Want users to pay for content? Work harder, publishers told

A new set of research data released by CloudSense has revealed that the trend for users accessing free news content is inexorable – and concludes publishers need to do more to monetise their content.

The research, which gauged the views of 4000 UK and US consumers, found some interesting differences. Even though far more US consumers are prepared to subscribe to content (24% compared to 7% UK), the overall trend is the same worldwide: users are reluctant to pay.

Of course, this has been a problem for...

By James Bourne, 15 September 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Content.

TalkTalk unveils latest billboard campaign for TV offering

Telecoms provider TalkTalk has unleashed its latest billboard campaign specifically targeting its TV packages – with a more than apparent nod to rivals Virgin Media.

The billboards are being rolled across almost 20 sites in London, including a six sheet banner at Euston Station. The campaign will be seen from Elephant & Castle, Edgware Road, and Waterloo Bridge among others.

This campaign follows ‘The Mission’, a TV campaign “in which five household objects embarked on an odyssey...

By James Bourne, 15 September 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Brands.

Are mobile ads starting to do their job for brands? New research says yes

More mobile shoppers are clicking on ads, according to the latest study from call management provider Telmetrics.

One in three consumers see mobile ads as helpful and informative, according to the report, which represents a spike of 76% from this time last year.

The researchers argue this boils down to different types of content working on mobile today. More than half of mobile shoppers share ads on social media, particularly the youngest age demographic of 18-34 year olds, while there’s been a 40% in...

By James Bourne, 11 September 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Consumers, Mobile.

Got an iPhone? You’re most likely to be a Brad Pitt fan, according to data

There’s a famous scene in UK sitcom Only Fools and Horses where Del tries to convince Rodney the less than exquisite goods in the Trotters’ garage are worth selling: a pile of Showaddywaddy records, a tyre for a Triumph Herald, and an artificial limb.

“Well let’s find a one-legged Showaddywaddy freak and flog ‘em to him!” Rodney replies. “And if he turns up in a Triumph Herald, we’ve had a result!”

Why did this scene come to mind at MarketingTech HQ? The latest...

By James Bourne, 10 September 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Branding, Consumers.

Microsoft reskins MSN for mobile, cloud branding ethos

Microsoft has announced it is to rebrand MSN, bringing the service forward as a new site featuring Bing apps such as News, Sports and Travel.

The new MSN moves into preview mode today – or it should do, as at the time of writing you get a nasty parsing error – with a glut of new features, including the dubiously named ‘services stripe’, linking back to Office, Outlook and OneDrive.

Looking at screenshots of the new MSN (top) compared with the current version (bottom),...

By James Bourne, 08 September 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Branding, Brands.

RNIB launches ‘audio logo’ campaign, invites musicians to take part

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has announced a revamp of its branding, with an innovative ‘audio logo’ being mooted to use across all of the charity’s communications.

According to a press release, the audio logo “will need to reflect the organisation’s human, positive and can-do values in just a few seconds.”

“Blind people are at the heart of everything we do, so it makes absolute sense that we have an audio logo as well as a visual one,”...

By James Bourne, 01 September 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Branding, Brands, Design.

Bombardier vows to restart its consumer marketing after Rik Mayall’s death

Real ale brand Bombardier Beer has revealed it is to restart its consumer marketing push, nearly three months after the death of actor Rik Mayall.

Mayall, who passed away in June at the age of 56, had played Bombardier’s brand character, William Charles Bedford, since 2011. Since then Bombardier has continued its B2B and trade publication marketing campaigns, but had stopped posting on its Twitter as a mark of respect to the late star.

Yet a statement released by Bombardier from Mayall’s family...

By James Bourne, 27 August 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Branding, Brands, Consumers.

Samsung gets one up on competitors with Galaxy S5 Ice Bucket Challenge

If you’re getting a little jaded of celebrities, friends and co-workers voluntarily dousing themselves in ice water, albeit for a very good cause, here’s a novel twist on it from Samsung.

The Samsung Galaxy S5 has officially taken the Ice Bucket Challenge, raising awareness for ALS, or motor neurone disease, and nominated the iPhone, the HTC One and the Nokia Lumia to go next.

It’s worth noting that

By James Bourne, 22 August 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, JustForFun, Social Media.

Here’s the deal: no ads on the ‘net, but it’ll cost you. Erm, cost me?

Adverts on the Internet are like mothers in law: you can’t live with them, and you can’t live without them. But what if you could have an ad-free browsing experience? The only catch is you’d have to pay something in the region of £140 a year.

Yet according to survey data released by social bods Ebuzzing, a whopping 98% of UK web users said they wouldn’t pay the hypothetical ad tax.

The survey, which polled 1400 consumers, found that users were between a rock and a hard place,...

By James Bourne, 21 August 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Brands, Strategy.

Why honesty is an all important policy for brands in the digital world

Four out of five consumers are more likely to “respect” an honest company, according to survey data of over 2000 consumers published today by Intent HQ.

This means being upfront and honest about how a user’s personal data is being used - and according to the social data analysts at Intent, it’s a key point for brands to unlock consumers’ trust, as an honest customer will reward your endeavour.

This comes from such basic best practices as adding social logins to your brand’s...

By James Bourne, 18 August 2014, 1 comment. Categories: Branding, Brands.

PC World’s Surface 2 fruit machine screen stunt pulls in the crowds

Shopping just got a little bit more fun. Patrons who visit the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent are being given the opportunity to win a Microsoft Surface 2 tablet by chancing their arm on a one-armed bandit – with overwhelming engagement levels the result.

The promotion, for Curry’s PC World, was put together by retail marketing bods NexusEngage, and offered passing customers a gamble based on the feature they liked most about the Microsoft slab. Match four in a row on the fruit machine, and...

By James Bourne, 15 August 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Brands, Consumers.

Malibu steps it up for latest ‘Best Summer Ever’ mobile ad campaign

Rum brand Malibu has launched its latest mobile ad campaign, interacting with users under the banner of ‘Best Summer Ever’.

The campaign, which enlists the help of agencies Havas Media and Millennial Media, utilises Millennial’s Video Ticker and Video Toggle ad units to create personalised campaigns for men and women in the UK aged 18 to 34, providing time and location-based data.

Using Video Toggle, three different videos can be played at any one time, giving consumers multiple content...

By James Bourne, 31 July 2014, 1 comment. Categories: Advertising, Brands.

Twitter cites World Cup engagement as key factor in “strong” Q2 results

Twitter has released its second quarter financials, with a quarterly net loss of $145m (£85m) but revenue of $312m (£184m) to an adjusted EBITDA of $54m (£31m).

Describing the numbers as “strong”, CEO Dick Costolo said: “Our strong financial and operating results for the second quarter show the continued momentum of our business.

“We remain focused on driving increased user growth and engagement, and by developing new product experiences, like the one we built around...

By James Bourne, 30 July 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Social Media, Twitter.

UK consumers: We’ll give brands our most private details...but don’t be naughty with it

Research from Webtrends published today claims that more than half of Britons are not concerned amount the about of data they share with brands, with a third admitting they’d give up their data if they were offered rewards to go with it.

58% overall said they didn’t mind brands getting their intimate data, with 18-24 year olds, not surprisingly, the most likely to share (68%). 64% of 25-34 year olds were okay with giving companies their info.

In what may seem like a depressing indictment of UK...

By James Bourne, 25 July 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Consumers.

Pegasystems CEO Alan Trefler: New era of customers represents serious test for brands

“A lot of companies across the globe are going to die over the next few years, and not because of macroeconomic stress, but because there is an entire emerging generation of customers who hate doing business with them.”

The opening line of Build for Change, written by Pegasystems CEO Alan Trefler, is pretty strong stuff. Trefler’s view is simple: enterprises need to reorganise their customer engagement strategy, or they’ll not be long for this world.

Why is this? Two words: generation...

By James Bourne, 24 July 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Interview.

Bebo co-founder sends cease and desist to Airbnb after logo revamp

Michael Birch, the co-founder of recently revived social network Bebo, has sent a cease and desist document to apartment and rental firm Airbnb after claiming its widely discussed logo redesign is in breach of Bebo’s ‘genital marketing’ trademark.

The new Airbnb logo was unveiled last week in a blog post entitled ‘Belong Anywhere’, with the logo attempting to signify several things, the key one being a sense of human connection and belonging:

Picture credit:...

By James Bourne, 23 July 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Brands, Design, Social Media.

New study aims to challenge “outdated” method of ranking brands in social

A new study released by Intent HQ aims to turn the tables on evaluating how brand strength is calculated through social – yet still comes up with predominantly the usual suspects in the highest echelons.

Google topped the charts as the most social brand with a perfect score of 100, followed by Twitter (86.41), and then a big gap to Instagram (53.74) and Apple (52.38) in third and fourth. Yet there were some left field suggestions which made the top 20; NASA (#5), TED (#11), Whole Foods (#13), Etsy (#19)...

By James Bourne, 23 July 2014, 0 comments. Categories: Branding, Brands, Research.