FUTURISM'S ALEX KLOKUS TALKS GRAVITY BLANKET & MORE!

BY GEOFFREY COLON AND JILLIAN LAKS

In this episode of Future Boutique, Microsoft’s Geoffrey Colon and Jillian Laks speak with Futurism CEO Alex Klokus to talk about their Gravity Blanket success and feature length film Trust Machine.

PODCAST: MOVIDIAM CREATIVE LEADERS

BY MOVIDIAM

GLOW Media’s COO and CEO Howie Kleinberg and Pete Levin share the creative structure from the point of view of a technologically powered creative agency such as GLOW and how their client longevity is just as important to them as longevity of their internal team.

GE, GIANT SPOON, AND NYT'S "LISTEN TO THE WORLD"

BY SARA JERDE, ADWEEK

You’ll listen to, not read this week’s issue of The New York Times Magazine.

With a sponsorship with GE, The New York Times Magazine’s “Voyages issue” will feature stories told through audio that correspond with full images without captions in the magazine.

“We have really just reinvented how you work your way through a magazine and the kind of experience you have,” said Jake Silverstein, editor of The New York Times Magazine.

Click here or on the image to read the rest of this story on Adweek.

GSTV PARTNERS UP WITH CHEDDAR

BY: ALEX WEPRIN, MEDIAPOST

Cheddar, the “post-cable” news network, is making the jump to the gas pump. The company will now provide content to GSTV, which programs content to screens at more than 18,000 gas station pumps across the country.

Under the terms of the deal, Cheddar will provide new segments to GSTV. The segments will be about 20 seconds long and focus on topics like technology and entrepreneurship. They will rotate in and out a couple of times per day to keep them fresh.

Click here or on the image to read the rest of this story on MediaPost.

BIG SPACESHIP'S VICTOR PINEIRO SHARES INSIGHT

BY TANYA DUA, BUSINESS INSIDER

With more than 400 million users lapping up content on Instagram Stories daily, the format has become hard to ignore for advertisers. And now they're getting savvier about using the nascent platform, hoping to avoid burning their media budgets on lousy ads.

The likes of Cisco, Smirnoff, Budweiser, and Benefit Cosmetics are using Instagram Stories as a testing ground for ads. Specifically, they have been publishing organic Instagram Stories or making small bets on sponsored ads, seeing which ones users respond to, and then dialing up the dollars on the most effective ads.

Click here or on the image to read the rest of this story on Business Insider.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP: HOW MARKETERS CAN REACH PRO ESPORTS

BY SEAN LYNAM, ADWEEK

From soccer star Dele Alli celebrating his Russia World Cup goal by rocking the “Ride the Pony” Fortnite dance move before a vast global TV audience to J.D. Martinez and George Springer performing favorite Fortnite dances on pre-game video at the MLB All-Star game, there has been an unprecedented mash-up of gaming, esports and traditional sports recently. Many sports fans are getting a first taste of the esports hype.

As Fortnite’s tentacles reach across traditional sports, esports has gone from underground gaming to media mainstream. Its stunning growth throws up an unprecedented set of marketing challenges for esports marketers. 

Click here or on the image to read the rest of this story on Adweek.

AGENCIES IN SMALLER CITIES OFFER INSIGHT TO BRANDS

BY ERIK OSTER, ADWEEK

For generations, the prevailing view in advertising held that a world outside the major metro hubs of New York, Chicago and later Los Angeles didn’t exist—or at least didn’t matter.

But as the industry settles firmly into its digital age, a new generation is flocking to smaller cities like Austin, Texas, Omaha, Neb., and Knoxville, Tenn., offering greater opportunities for career advancement, work-life balance and a lower cost of living. With shrinking advertising budgets and clients questioning whether agencies in large cities can speak to the average American, agencies in smaller cities can often work for less while offering valuable perspective on consumers.

Click here or on the image to read the rest of this story on Adweek.

HAYSTACK TV RAISES $2M IN FUNDING

BY JANKO ROETTGERS, VARIETY

Bay Area-based online video startup Haystack TV has raised a new $2 million round of funding to build out its news streaming service for cord cutters and other smart TV users. Vestel Ventures, AltaIR Capital, SVLinks and Stanford StartX all participated in the funding round.

Haystack launched in 2014 with apps for Android and iOS that aggregated news videos from YouTube, with the goal of building a CNN-like personalized news experience for cord cutters. Fast forward 4 years, and Haystack has shifted much of its focus to smart TVs, explained cofounder Ish Harshawat during a recent interview with Variety. “Turns out the best place to show TV news is on TV,” he quipped.

Click here or on the image to read the rest of this story on Variety.

THOUGHT LEADERSHIP: CHRIS DENNY TALKS WEIRD WINE

BY CHRIS DENNY, WINE INDUSTRY ADVISOR

If you’ve ever struggled to help your creative stand out, to craft a unique and authentic brand voice, only to realize it could be true of a dozen other wine brands – it’s possible you’re focused on the wrong person.

It’s natural for us as marketers and creatives to draw inspiration from the world around us, to find commonality with ourselves and our audiences. But when it comes to wine, this can be a dangerous path to follow.

Click here or on the image to read the rest of this story on WINE INDUSTRY ADVISOR.

TOMBRAS GROUP TAKES ON NEW HIGHWAY SAFETY CAMPAIGN

BY THE DRUM, AGENCY SPY, LITTLE BLACK BOOK

This is the first narrative from the White House/NHTSA on the subject of drugged driving. In context of the wider national and international conversations (Canada) on marijuana legalization, this is the only public messaging from the US govt. to date.

The new safety campaign will, for the first time, build on national efforts to combat the emerging trend of drug-impaired driving with campaign messaging: 'If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. Drive High, Get a DUI.'

GIANT SPOONS CREATES PUPPET SPEAKEASY 'THE INKHOLE'

BY THE DRUM, WORKING NOT WORKING

Last time we checked in on everything agency Giant Spoon, they had just returned from SXSW having created an impossibly immersive Westworld experience. The news coverage consensus branded it as “the greatest activation ever.” But Giant Spoon has no interest in resting on such laurels. They recently doubled down and built The InkHole in Los Angeles, a seedy pop-up tattoo parlor and speakeasy ripe with degenerate puppets engaging in all modes of adult behavior. The IRL experience was part of an extensive marketing campaign to fluff audiences for STX Entertainment's new film The HappyTime Murders, starring Melissa McCarthy, Jim Henson's beloved muppets, and a hard R rating.

WORKINPROGRESS AND KIT KAT INTRODUCE GREEN TEA MATCHA

BY OLIVER MCTEER, CAMPAIGN US

A 360 degrees YouTube campaign by Kit Kat has had a video completion rate more than double the platform’s average ad.

"Zen Break," created in partnership with WorkInProgress, delivered a 35 percent lift in consideration and 100 percent lift in ad recall. It's garnered more than six million views.

The campaign pushed Kit Kat’s new Matcha Green Tea bar. The product enjoyed huge success in Asia, prompting Nestle Canada to bring the product to its own market.

Click here or on the image to read the rest of this story on Campaign US. 

BAILEY LAUERMAN GIVES POV ON WALMART'S STREAMING SERVICES

BY KELLY MERTESDORF, SMARTBRIEF

When does a trend become a "thing" with tangible implications both for consumers and businesses? Usually, when a mainstream mega-player from beyond a category vertical takes notice and plunges into the market – as is the case with Walmart's reported plans to take on the likes of Amazon and Netflix and enter the booming streaming media market.

Two years ago, Walmart launched a movies-only streaming service under the clunky name Vudu Movies On Us but is unclear whether the rumored $8-per-month new rival service to Netflix and Amazon will appear under the Vudu brand or not. While the logic behind the move is clear, success is by no means a given – particularly if Walmart tries too hard to emulate Netflix and Hulu. Much will depend on Walmart's ability to capitalize on its appeal to the heartland and turn those customers into an audience.

Click here or on the image to read the rest of this story on SmartBrief.

REDPEPPER TEACHES ROBOT TO FIND WALDO

BY ERIK OSTER, ADWEEK

Even artificial intelligence can’t resist Where’s Waldo.

Nashville and Atlanta-based agency redpepper programmed a robot to find the ubiquitous-yet-elusive stripe-clad bespectacled world traveler.

Using AutoML, it took approximately a week for Matt Reed, creative technologist at redpepper’s innovation lab, to program the “There’s Waldo” robot to scan pages and find Waldo. According to a press release, Reed had never used the program before the project.

Click here or on the image to read the rest of this story on Adweek.

 

CO-FOUNDER ZACH BLUME SHARES PORTAL A BEGINNINGS

By Zach Blume, Ad Age

If I knew then what I know now, I'd tell myself, "Breaking through takes time – it's a function of willpower and perseverance."

At Portal A, we're lucky to work with some of the biggest brands and most exciting talent in the world to create videos that are seen by millions of viewers. We have a team of 50 amazing employees based in our offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles. And we've become one of the leading branded and original content companies in the digital space.

Click here or on the image to read the rest of this story on Ad Age. 

 

FILM MARKETERS GET CREATIVE TO WIN CINEMAGOERS

BY BEN LONDESBROUGH, CAMPAIGN

Film marketing used to be a fairly simple proposition, at least for the consumer. A trip to the cinema would involve strolling past new posters on your way into the screen, followed by 20 minutes of trailers for upcoming releases. Occasionally you’d catch other bits of the junket in the form of press interviews, television ads, outdoor campaigns or merchandising, but depending on your level of interest, these could be ignored.

But how audiences consume cinema has changed dramatically over the last 10 years, and with it, film marketing has had to evolve. Jodie Fullagar, the managing director of M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment, says that the film industry is facing a major challenge from the dominance of streaming services, boom in home entertainment, and greater choice in high-quality content from the likes of Netflix.

Click here or on the image to read the rest of this story on Campaign.

HP AND GIANT SPOON LAUNCH VIDEO SERIES FOR GAMERS

BY KERRY FLYNN, DIGIDAY

HP has been entrenched in esports through its products for gamers such as PCs with powerful graphics cards, comfortable keyboards and fast-response mice. But recently, the hardware maker has expanded its esports investments by creating long-form video content for gamers.

On Aug. 1, OMEN by HP, the company’s gaming division, launched a video titled “Good Game, Well Played” that profiles top competitive gamers. In the first episode, available on YouTube and on Facebook Watch, competitive League of Legends player Vincent Wang, also known as Biofrost, talks with esports reporter Travis Gafford about his personal and professional life and separately talks gameplay with Amine Issa, co-creator of performance improvement platform Mobalytics.

Click here or on the image to read the rest of this story on Digiday.

WHITE WINE EMOJI CAMPAIGN LAUNCHES

BY MUSE, ADWEEK, ADAGE, SF EGOTIST

Kendall-Jackson, along with their agency, The Engine is Red, has announced efforts to generate support for the creation of the White Wine Emoji. They’ve actually submitted a proposal for the creation of a White Wine Emoji to the Unicode Consortium.

“This campaign is an expression the deep love of wine and wine culture that is shared by Kendall-Jackson and the many wineries we’re partnering with,” said Chris Denny, co-founder and president, The Engine is Red. “This is a fun way for them to connect with their tribe, millions of people out there who are craving the white wine emoji.”

 

 

AGENCY EXPERTS WEIGH IN ON THE PERFECT CLIENT BRIEF

BY OLIVER MCATEER, CAMPAIGN US

The perfect client brief is a clear statement of the business problem that needs solving. The perfect client brief is in-person. The perfect client brief is co-written. The perfect client brief has a numerical KPI. The perfect client brief is small. The perfect client brief is more than just a piece of paper.

The perfect client brief is all of these. And about one hundred other things.

Click here or on the image to read the rest of this story on CampaignUS.

GIANT SPOONS INSIGHT INTO BRANDED VOICE INTEGRATIONS

BY MORGAN KEE, SMARTBRIEF

The voice assistant landscape is rapidly evolving this year, with new products, features and studies unveiled every week. But until now, we haven't seen new ad opportunities - just baked-in spots transposed from podcast and radio. Overlooked amidst the Mark Zuckerberg Facebook hearings on Capitol Hill, revelations from Google and Amazon in April showed these two tech giants are finally tip-toeing into unique ways for brands to integrate with Alexa and Google Assistant.

It’s been a long road to get here. A year ago, a startup called VoiceLabs launched the first ad network for Alexa, rolling up 1,300 Skills (apps) and connecting them with brands like ESPN, Wendy’s and Progressive. The vision was to facilitate interactive ads, such as hyping up a basketball game happening that night and then asking if you’d like a reminder to tune in.

Click here or on the image to read the rest of this story on SmartBrief.