Amazon tops the most-watched video ads of the week

The number one spot on the list of most-viewed video ads for the week goes to Amazon with a series of ads featuring the company’s Echo products.

One clip features a father coaching his daughter through cooking a meal for her upcoming date after botching the original recipe. Another shows the relationship between a father and daughter, ending with her listening to her dad’s playlist while feeling homesick after moving away to start college.

The campaign uses heartwarming and inspirational moments to show how Echo products can keep you connected to your loved ones, regardless of the distance.

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Watch 'Vision,' the first Bernie Sanders 2020 campaign ad

On today’s “CBS This Morning,” Bernie Sanders dismissed former Starbucks CEO Starbucks Howard Schultzwho recently announced he’s considering a run for presidentas, basically, a know-nothing billionaire whose main qualification for the highest office in the land is that he can buy a lot of TV ads (watch the segment here). No word yet on Sanders’ TV-ad plan as he launches his own White House bid, but he’s already out of the gate this morning with a stirring, nearly two-minute ad released on social media that ticks off key elements of his platform, including universal healthcare, free college tuition, combating climate change, campaign finance reform and more.

Along the way, we hear the U.S. Senator from Vermont in voice-over delivering stentorian soundbites from the campaign trail, such as “Nobody in America who works 40 hours a week should be living in poverty” and “Jobs and education, not jails and incarceration.”

Two major employersAmazon and Disneyget name-checked in the ad, as news coverage is cited that credits Sanders with succcessfully pressuring them to raise wages.

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Walmart takes online ad sales in house, dealing huge blow to WPP unit

Walmart is taking website ad sales and related analytics work handled by WPP’s Triad in house, affecting hundreds of jobs and eliminating the bulk of work for a business WPP acquired less than three years ago.

Triad has told employees it will enforce non-compete clauses of their contracts, even to prevent them moving to Walmart Media Group, which is taking over the ad operations, according to people familiar with the matter. Walmart is expected to add hundreds of employees as part of the move, these people say. The transition from Triad to Walmart is expected to last until at least May.

A Walmart spokeswoman confirmed the account move but declined to comment on the non-compete issue. A Triad spokesman declined to comment.

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Overcoming the 'curse of knowledge' when marketing to employees: B-to-B CMO Spotlight

Once solely the domain of the HR department, employee communications are increasingly being routed through the chief marketing officer’s office. A number of factors are driving this change, including the need to improve retention rates in the face of record unemployment, a recognition that a strong culture can make or break the customer experience and that employees can be deployed as persuasive brand advocates.

To better understand the ins and outs of employee communications, I spoke with Bob Armour, the CMO of Jellyvision, a software company that helps employers market their benefit programs to employees. And while benefits are still the domain of HR, the lessons Armour shares are applicable to allemployee engagement requires a focused strategy, multi-touch and multi-channel campaigns, clear metrics all enhanced by user-friendly tech.

Why is it so hard for companies to communicate effectively to their employees?

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McDonald's franchisees dump on delivery

McDelivery on UberEats

Delivery is a high priority for McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook, and a big worry for franchisees.

Easterbrook expects a rapidly expanding delivery partnership with UberEats to drive sales growth. Franchisees grumble that delivery costs put more pressure on their tight profit margins.

“Our margins do not allow for the commissions that Uber is taking nor the added rent and service fees McDonald’s is enjoying,” a newly formed organization representing most U.S. franchisees told members last month in an email obtained by Crain’s. “Delivery is a growing segment of our business and it will one day cannibalize our on premise restaurant sales. If we allow this to occur under the current arrangement, our net cashflow will go down.”

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Watch Bernie Sanders trash Howard Schultz as a know-nothing billionaire who can afford a lot of TV ads

On today’s “CBS This Morning,” newly declared presidential candidate Bernie Sanders wasted no time dismissing one of his potential competitors: former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who recently announced he’s considering a run for president. At the 3:31 mark in the segment above, when “CBS This Morning” co-host John Dickerson brings up Schultz, Sanders immediately shifts into cranky-old-man mode as he paints Schultz as a know-nothing rich dude whose main qualification is that he can afford a lot of advertising:

Why are you quoting Howard Schultz? Because he’s a billionaire. There are a lot of people I know personally who work hard for a living, who make forty, fifty thousand dollars a year, who know a lot more about politics than, with all due respect, does Mr. Schultz. But because we have a corrupt political system, anybody who’s a billionaire, who can throw a lot of TV ads on television, suddenly becomes very, very credible.

First day on the campaign trail for Bernie and the gloves are already off? (By the way, watch the full segment from the start for his thoughts on the current occupant of the Oval Office.) This is going to get interesting fast, folks. Stay tuned to Ad Age’s recurring coverage of politics from a marketing perspectivewhich we’re starting up again right about nowat

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List Hygiene Webinar: Q&A

Our recent Ask the Experts webinar on list hygiene attracted a lot of great questions! Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to answer them all, so let’s dig into the some of them right now:

If you’re using a real-time validation service on an email sign up form, is it wise to also use CAPTCHA?
Real-time validation is a great way to verify that an email address is a real, functioning mailbox. However, implementing CAPTCHA will add an extra layer of protection against bots signing up for your email program.

What are some good email validation services? And is it better to put validation on the entry points (web forms, etc.) or validate after acquisition?
Validation at point-of-signup is a best practice for web forms in order to prevent any bad addresses from getting on your list, right off the bat. If you acquire addresses via other methods that don’t allow for instant validation (such as trade shows or conferences), be sure to validate your addresses prior to mailing them.

Return Path partners with BriteVerify, an industry leader when it comes to list validation. BriteVerify will help you reduce invalid signups, clean bad addresses off your list, and reduce your bounce rate—which will, in turn, improve your sending reputation, and your delivery to the inbox.

Can you offer any advice on email appending?
The general recommendation for email appending is simply not to do it. Data obtained from these services is often incorrect our outdated. If you can’t avoid an e-append, be sure to validate the email addresses before adding them to your list.

How long should you wait until removing someone entirely from your list after trying re-engagement efforts? Also, at what point of unengagement should we put them in a re-engagement campaign?
When to send a re-engagement series varies by vertical and the specific sender. In order to know what the appropriate thresholds are for you, you should gain an understanding of your subscriber lifecycle. We recommend using our Lifecycle Metrics Benchmark as a baseline to help inform you of how your subscribers engage with your email over time and help pinpoint when they start to disengage.

After attempting a re-engagement campaign, you should remove the unengaged subscriber within a couple of weeks. Continuing to send to them will put you at risk for receiving complaints from them; eventually, these inactive addresses could turn into spam traps.

 How often is necessary that we use a list scrubbing service?
It’s a good idea to use these services whenever you are adding large quantities of new names to your list. For example, if you collected a lot of addresses at an in-person event or acquired many names during a special promotion, you will want to mitigate the risk of sending to them by validating the addresses first.

If your acquisition stays pretty steady throughout the year, consider performing a list cleanse every several months. Unengaged addresses can become spam traps in as little as 6 months of inactivity, so routine list scrubbing can prevent these older names from hurting your sending reputation.

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Karl Lagerfeld, who ruled Chanel design for decades, dies

Karl Lagerfeld at the Fendi Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2017-2018 show as part of Haute Couture Paris Fashion Week on July 5, 2017 in Paris.

Karl Lagerfeld, the German fashion designer who helped set the industry standard for five decades with collections that dressed celebrities such as Princess Diana and actress Keira Knightley, has died. He was 85 years old.

The creative director at closely held Chanel for more than 35 years, Lagerfeld was among the fashion trade’s most prolific couturiers, producing outfits for the Paris-based luxury-goods maker, for Italy’s Fendi SpA and for his own labelall at the same time. Recognizable for his high-collared shirts, white ponytail, dark sunglasses and black fingerless gloves, Lagerfeld had a client list that featured stars of the stage and screen, including actresses Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett and the singer Pharrell Williams.

Lagerfeld “was ahead of his time, which widely contributed to the Houseof Chanel’s success throughout the world,” Chanel CEO Alain Wertheimer said in a statement. “Not only have I lost a friend, but we have all lost an extraordinary creative mind.”

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Here’s How Successful Writers Get the Creative Juices Flowing

When people think about art, their minds tend to circle around things like painting, drawing, sculpting, or photography. But writing is just as much a creative art form. And as a content writer, you have to make sure your creative juices are constantly flowing.

Is Creativity Really That Elusive?

As a content writer, your livelihood depends on your ability to capture creativity and turn it into well-crafted sentences that satisfy your clients and motivate your readers to action. And with all of the pressure to constantly produce content, creativity can seem rather elusive at times. But is this just a figment of our imaginations?

We often reserve the notion of “creativity” for famous people and titans of industries – such as Steve Jobs, Eli Whitney, Walt Whitman, Mark Zuckerberg, or Ludwig Beethoven.

“Such people always seem to be far beyond the reach of the ordinary,” Dr. Srini Pillay writes. “Their inventions and creations appear to be inspired from a world beyond the reality that we know, and their creative talents seem mysterious, to say the least. Some may even opine that these people are born with a special creative ability.”

But if you study the actual data, you’ll come to realize that genes only account for 10 percent of personal creativity. Research shows that the rest of it is learned or acquired.

Though it isn’t always easy to come by, you can find creativity in the midst of any day, experience, project, or challenge. Some days you’ll just have to work a little harder to find it.

6 Ways to Enhance Creativity

We all have our own unique ways of writing, so sometimes it’s helpful to learn from what others do. Here are some of the different strategies and techniques content writers use to enhance creativity on a day-to-day basis. Take a look:

1. Improve Your Mood

Your mood will, to a degree, dictate your overall level of creativity and happiness – two factors that are integral to success as a content writer. In order to improve your mood and spearhead your success, Nu Skin suggests doing five things each day:

  • Adopt an attitude of gratitude by writing down three to five things you’re thankful for.
  • Write down one positive experience that you’ve had within the last 24 hours and reflect on it any time you need a pick-me-up.
  • Perform at least one physical activity or exercise routine.
  • Spend a minimum of two minutes meditating and focusing on breathing.
  • Engage in one random act of kindness to a friend or stranger.

2. Be Okay With Some Chaos

“Most people try to organize their days as much as possible. But there is reason to believe that too much organization will rob you of your creativity,” Dr. Pillay says. “Rather, start by saving an hour of your day for non-planned activities.”

It’s best to have a loose schedule with some free time built into it where you can pick and choose what to do. This gives you a blend of structure and freedom, which is where creativity is maximized.

3. Keep a Wheel Book

In Henriette Anne Klauser’s book Write it Down, Make it Happen, she advocates for keeping a Wheel Book. A Wheel Book is simply a small notebook that you keep with you at all times. You use it to jot down thoughts, ideas, reminders, inspirations, or anything that comes to your mind. You then review it on a regular basis.

As you review your Wheel Book, you’ll begin to see things in a new light, connect original ideas, and change the way you think. It really is helpful.

4. Change Up Your Environment

Your physical writing environment will have a significant impact on your overall level of creativity. If you’re working in the same boring office with four white walls, a door, and a cheap desk, don’t be surprised when your creativity wanes.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to regularly change up your environment. Thanks to things like WiFi, hotspots, and cellular data, you can work almost anywhere – in your car, at a coffee shop, or even on a trail in the woods. Take advantage of these opportunities.

5. Interact With Others

It’s easy for writers to get caught up in insolation. But regardless of whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, you need to interact with others on a daily basis. Doing so will force you to see things from other perspectives. Whether it’s an early morning chat on the phone, lunch with a friend, or a mid-afternoon break with a coworker, making time for human interaction will spur creativity.

6. Try Something New

As human beings, we face a natural tendency to repeat things that make us feel comfortable. It’s why we love routines. There’s something comforting about doing the same things in the same order with the exact same results. But this sort of repetitive behavior will also force you into ruts – where creativity doesn’t exist.

There’s tremendous value in doing something different. In terms of writing, you shouldn’t be afraid to mix things up a bit. Try semi-weird things like:

  • Writing with your eyes closed the entire time. (You can come back and clean up the mistakes.)
  • Writing while loudly playing classical music out of your speakers.
  • Writing an entire blog post in third-person only.

The more you mix things up, the less likely it is that you’ll end up a creativity-stifling rut. You’ll also realize that you have infinite potential inside of your brain – it just needs some prompting to flow out.

Don’t Lose Focus

It’s easy to let a lack of creativity push you into a struggle with writer’s block. But writer’s block is nothing more than a brief period of time where you lack inspiration and unique thought. If you prioritize creativity during every minute of every day – rather than just when you think you need it – you’ll discover that periods of writer’s block are fewer and further between.

Hopefully this article has given you some inspiration for ways you can keep your creative juices flowing. What tips or techniques would you add?

Get even more creative by reading our eBooks on content curation!

The post Here’s How Successful Writers Get the Creative Juices Flowing appeared first on Blog.

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Procter & Gamble goes nationwide with its Tide laundry service

Tide is going after urban millennial and Gen Z consumerswho often have little love or capacity for doing laundryby expanding its pickup-and-delivery laundry service nationally and making one of the biggest direct-to-consumer plays ever for a Procter & Gamble Co. brand.

Tide plans to double pickup locations to more than 2,000 nationally by next year after having run its wash-dry-and-fold service in recent years in Chicago, Washington, Nashville, Dallas, Philadelphia and Denver. The expansion will come unfold through adding new cities (including its hometown Cincinnati) and more drop-off locations in existing ones says Sundar Raman, vice president of P&G North American Fabric Care.

Drop-off locations include Tide Dry Cleaners stores, apartment buildings and lockers in retail stores and other locations. Tide Cleaners also encompasses Tide University operations on several U.S. campuses.

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