Instagram “now rivals Google+ and Pinterest in brand adoption”, says report

The photo-sharing social network Instagram has sky-rocketed in terms of major brand interest and is the “fastest-growing of the top social networks”, according to research from Simply Measured.

Whilst only 40% of the biggest brands – taken from the Interbrand 2013 Top 100 Brands study – used Instagram last year, that number has risen to 71% today.

65% of top brands have an active account, compared to 42% last year; more than half (57%) post at least one photo per week, compared to 28%...

By James Bourne, 06 November 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Campaigns, Social Media Marketing.

BlackBerry CEO steps down, Fairfax takeover bid collapses

BlackBerry has abandoned its plan to sell up to Fairfax Financial Holdings, the Canadian manufacturer’s biggest shareholder.

The “world leader in the mobile communications market”, as described in a press release issued earlier today, announced an investment of $1bn from Fairfax – who have agreed to supply $250m – and other investors.

CEO Thorsten Heins is also to step down, being replaced by former Sybase CEO John S. Chen on an interim basis. The investment deal is expected to...

By James Bourne, 04 November 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Branding, Campaigns.

Ashton Kutcher announced as new Lenovo product engineer

Hiring a celebrity hasn’t been an uncommon habit for tech companies looking to get a push on their rivals with a latest release; and Lenovo is no different, signing up Ashton Kutcher as a product engineer at the hardware manufacturer.

Kutcher joins a stellar cast of celebs who have been taken on by tech companies, including Alicia Keys, Will.i.am, and Lady Gaga.

Those three pop stars of course represented BlackBerry, Intel and Polaroid respectively. Yet according to Kutcher, the partnership with Lenovo...

By James Bourne, 30 October 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Campaigns.

Forrester open letter claims Facebook is “failing marketers”

Updated Oct 30: “Mr Zuckerberg, Facebook is failing marketers.” So begins a scathing open letter from Forrester Research vice president and principal analyst Nate Elliot, attacking the social network for not giving companies better return on their advertising investment.

The letter, published on the official Forrester blog, details a series of reasons as to why the Palo Alto company is letting marketers down.

Primarily,...

By James Bourne, 29 October 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Advertising Technology, Campaigns.

BlackBerry publishes open letter saying “you can count on us”

Ailing BlackBerry has published an open letter to customers advocating that they can still “continue to count” on the Canadian manufacturer.

The letter, which appears on 30 newspapers in nine countries, tries to allay fears about the company’s short term future and states that BlackBerry has “substantial cash on hand” and a “balance sheet that is debt free”.

The recent stories about BlackBerry have been less than encouraging. The news that the company was to be acquired by Fairfax...

By James Bourne, 15 October 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Advertising Technology.

Study reveals how eating popcorn nullifies effect of cinema advertising

A new research paper from Cologne University has revealed that cinemagoers who ate popcorn were less likely to feel the effects of advertising than their comrades.

This isn’t to say, however, that advertisers would much prefer movie lovers to eat crisps, chocolate or ice-cream.

The theory, according to the researchers, was that the brain’s “inner speech” – the subconscious act of pronouncing a new name – is disrupted by chewing.

The cinemagoers in the test were divided into...

How Microsoft’s ‘Bing It On’ campaign could help Google’s brand in the long run

It’s a strange argument. Microsoft launches a campaign to show people the benefits of its Bing search engine, yet if the campaign succeeds, it may be of benefit to both Redmond and its bitter search rival Google. But how?

Microsoft has today launched bingiton.com, a site which compares the search pages of Bing and Google and asks users to rate the best results.

The contest lasts five rounds, with users told to select which results suited their needs, with a third ‘draw’...

By James Bourne, 10 October 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Campaigns, Search Marketing.

Chrysler announces Ron Burgundy as spokesman for latest ad campaign

Fictional news anchor Ron Burgundy has been unveiled as the new star of Chrysler’s latest advertising campaign, promoting the American car manufacturer’s Dodge Durango range.

The series of adverts were released earlier this week on the official Dodge YouTube channel.

Burgundy, played of course by Will Ferrell, lends his talent to the campaign after a contra deal between Paramount Pictures and Chrysler, with each advert containing a promotion for the new Anchorman film, “Anchorman 2: The...

By James Bourne, 09 October 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Advertising Technology, Campaigns, Video & Audio Marketing.

Emailvision is dead, long live SmartFocus: Cloud marketer changes brand name

Emailvision, the cloud-based marketing platform and CRM provider, is now SmartFocus after the company changed its name effective this morning.

“Our new site reflects our new identity and helps our customers and prospects understand how we can help them deliver real-time personalized marketing to all of their customers,” the revamped company website explains.

Why the change? Put simply, the previous name didn’t offer enough insight into what the company was doing.

Brad Wilson,...

Push notifications – the good, the bad and the ugly

“A young life snuffed out at the hands of an unfit owner. You’ll pay for this on judgement day.”

So the My Pet app abruptly tells its users if they sufficiently neglect their animal friends, having given warnings such as “You are so horrible...you are the worst owner I’ve ever had.”

The concept isn’t a new one, going back to the days of Tamagotchis. But that’s not the problem.

It’s easy to put two and two together to work out the age of the average My Pet...

By James Bourne, 04 October 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Social Media Marketing.

Harrods, John Lewis and Aldi top retail charts for social skills

When it comes to retail Harrods, John Lewis and Alti are the brands to beat in terms of social media compatibility, according to the latest research from RadiumOne.

The research split the companies into luxury brands, high street brands and supermarkets, with the three winners coming top of their respective categories.

Quality of engagement is better than quantity of numbers, according to the RadiumOne study.

Harrods was ranked at the top of the luxury brands section because it gained over 10 million likes...

By James Bourne, 03 October 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Campaigns, Social Media Marketing.

YouGov survey notes how Ryanair can improve “macho and abrupt” brand image

A report from polling body YouGov has explained how Ryanair can go on its word and improve its “abrupt culture”, as chief executive Michael O’Neill explained it to shareholders last week.

This comes after the airline was voted the worst brand for customer satisfaction by Which? Magazine, which assessed 100 of the UK’s largest companies.

O’Neill told shareholders at the company’s AGM that he was overseeing a revamp of its customer service, including setting up a new team to...

By James Bourne, 01 October 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Branding, Campaigns, Publishing.

WeBuyAnyCar.com launches toy car site in response to prank letter

WeBuyAnyCar.com has launched a toy car site and pledged to give £1000 to charity in response to a hoax letter from a prankster where the company rejected an offer to buy a child’s toy car.

The letter was devised by Jamie Jones, who used the pseudonym ‘Adam Jennings’ to provide a corporate reply to himself for offering the Tike car, and amassed over 30,000 retweets after being posted on the micro-blogging site on September 28.

“We’ve been kind enough to return your photo on...

By James Bourne, 01 October 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Campaigns.

Apple world’s most valuable brand, replaces Coca-Cola

Apple has been named the world’s most valuable brand by Interbrand, bringing to an end Coca-Cola’s 13 year unbroken stay at the top of the chart.

The soft drinks manufacturer finished 2013’s result in third position, with Google claiming the silver medal. IBM and Microsoft rounded off the top five.

A relative lack of growth in brand value was what did for Coca-Cola according to Interbrand, the beverage supplier attaining a growth of just 2% compared to Apple’s 28% and Google’s...

By James Bourne, 30 September 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Branding, Campaigns.

Pinterest starts testing ads: Is no social platform safe?

Social network Pinterest has launched an advertising platform, in a tentative attempt to monetise the site’s 46 million users.

It’s a familiar story; as each nascent social site gets market share and a strong user base, the ad network isn’t too far away. Pinterest’s proposed model will follow in the footsteps of Facebook and Twitter – in other words, no banner advertising.

According to CEO and co-founder Ben Silbermann, writing

By James Bourne, 23 September 2013, 1 comment. Categories: Advertising, Social Media Marketing.

YouTube to introduce offline video consumption

YouTube has announced a move to bring offline video watching capability to its mobile apps.

Perhaps unfairly buried amidst the iOS 7 release launch, the news will come as a boon to those whose mobile YouTube experience has ever been interrupted by a lost connection.

In an announcement posted on the YouTube Creators blog, the team looked at it from the perspective of getting more viewers to content.

“Your fans’...

By James Bourne, 19 September 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Advertising Technology, Video & Audio Marketing.

Netflix alters its ‘Long Term View’ again as Hulu unveils BBC deal

The past couple of days have held a few interesting developments in TV consumption, with Netflix changing the wording of its company vision statement, and Hulu announcing a programme share deal with BBC North America.

The change to Netflix’s Long Term View wasn’t announced by the TV streaming provider, yet was picked up on by analysts who note a more confident approach to Netflix’s business operations in the statement.

“Over the coming decades and...

By James Bourne, 18 September 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Commerce, Video & Audio Marketing.

McDonald’s changes packaging, brings in QR codes globally

McDonald’s has launched its revamped packaging for takeaway bags and plastic cups to restaurants worldwide.

The redesign was put together by UK and Chicago-based design agency Boxer and launched in the US in January, and bears a passing resemblance to US fast food competitor Chipotle.

This now means that the QR code, which MarketingTech originally reported on back in February, will also be a more integrated part of...

By James Bourne, 17 September 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising Technology, Campaigns.

IBM launches Digital Marketing Network, aims to improve CMO performance

IBM has launched the Digital Marketing Network, a piece of software in the cloud which aims to improve CMO performance and give them real-time access to company data.

With a recent survey from the tech giant indicating that $83bn of sales globally slips through each year because of poor customer experience, this new offering, part of IBM’s Smarter Commerce initiative, will help to shore up some of these gaps.

Among the services offered include syndicated real-time analytics to the likes of Google...

By James Bourne, 13 September 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Advertising, Commerce, Data-driven marketing.

Why Twitter’s IPO announcement has come at a perfect time

It’s been a long time in the works, but Twitter has finally announced that it is to float on the stock market as it prepares its IPO.

As is the way of these things, the news was announced in a tweet from the microblogging platform, whose intention to float comes just over a year after fellow social network Facebook went public.

Twitter wrote last night: “We’ve confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO. This tweet does not...

By James Bourne, 13 September 2013, 0 comments. Categories: Branding, Mergers and acquisitions, Social Media Marketing.