F1 unveils first global marketing campaign

With the new Formula One season starting next weekend, the racing brand is hoping to shift brand perceptions and build a new identity centred around its fans.

As it gears up for the 2018 Grand Prix season opener on 25 March, Formula One has launched its first ever global marketing campaign with the aim of challenging the sport’s perceptions by showing “what F1 really feels like” through the eyes of its fans.

The multi-platform campaign, created by Wieden+Kennedy London, kicks off in Melbourne on 16 March with new imagery and a new tagline: ‘Engineered Insanity’.

With a big outdoor push – including in-airport and in-city posters and hand-painted murals – the campaign will roll out across key Grand Prix destinations in China, France, Germany and the USA as the season unfolds.

It will also run on a number of digital and social platforms, with Formula One releasing a 60-second film featuring six superfans across its own social channels today. It hopes the film will “shine a spotlight on the innovation, endurance and elemental nature of the sport” by putting fans at the “visceral heart of the action” – i.e. what it’s like to be behind the wheel.

“If we think about the audience we want to reach, and getting to a new audience, it’s about creating content that’s going to resonate and engage with them on their level,” Formula One’s marketing director, Ellie Norman, tells Marketing Week.

“So there will be lots of animated gifs, short video formats that we’ll be pushing out to give people a feel for the campaign, and then they can hopefully discover the longer format on our pages and social channels or website.”

In the short-term, Formula One will be tracking engagement, video views, reach and re-sharing. Longer term, Norman says that will be measured against its core brand statements: increase interest, better knowledge and deeper engagement with F1 as a sport.

It fits in with Formula One’s long-term strategy to shift brand perception and build a new identity centred around its fans.

Speaking to Marketing Week at Mobile World Congress last month, Norman said: “Previously, we definitely had a logo but we didn’t have an identity. What we did have was a series of perceptions that we are working hard to change.

“For us this is a real step-change from the sport as it was in the past, which fans definitely felt wasn’t there to serve them. Every decision we are making is about how it serves the fan, so if it doesn’t serve the fan, it doesn’t serve Formula One.”

Last month Formula One announced its biggest investment in digital to date with the launch of F1 TV, an over-the-top live subscription service that will allow fans to watch ad-free live streams of each race, while on-board cameras will show live content from the driver’s point of view.

Over the next year, Formula One also plans on creating further fan-centred activations at the races, at fan festivals and across its social platforms.

Source: marketingweek.com; 16 Mar 2018

Google introduces AdSense Auto Ads

Google is bringing more AI into its ad business with the introduction of a new ad unit for AdSense. The new release aims to use the power of machine learning to try and optimise ad placement.

The new Auto Ads uses machine learning to “read” webpages and work out what the most appropriate places to put ads might be, and how many ads should be run. Publishers can activate the feature by adding a single line of code to their pages.

The service first appeared in a quiet, limited beta in in the second quarter of 2017. Google claims that publishers taking part in the beta saw an average revenue lift of 10%, and revenue increases ranging from 5% to 15%.


AdSense is already a fairly automated service, but so far it has been up to web publishers where they want ads to be placed. Google has then selected the ads based on analysis of the page that matches the content to relevant ads.

The service is incredibly important to Google’s parent Alphabet, accounting for a whopping $27 billion of its $32 billion ad revenue in Q4 2017.

Auto Ads takes the responsibility for ad placement away from web publishers. Google claims that the service will only show ads when they are likely to perform well and provide a good user experience. The use of AI to work out where to place ads based on how they are likely to perform is an interesting development.

AI will also estimate how many ads should be on your page to increase revenue. Whether this leads to web publishers logging on to site to find it filled with ads. This post seems to indicate to that some beta testers were not exactly elated at the number of ads that appeared on their sites. It will be interesting to see if the AI can balance revenue with user experience.

Source: marketingtechnews.net; 22 Feb 2018

Microsoft launches Custom Vision and Bing Entity Search

A series of AI offerings from Microsoft target advertisers beginning digital transformations

Microsoft launches Custom Vision and Bing Entity Search

With Amazon, Google, and IBM as competitors in cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence (AI), Microsoft is moving to triple down on what it sees as its strengths.

The company has announced advances in several tools that fall under a ‘Cognitive Services’ rubric, including Custom Vision Service, the Face API, and Bing Entity Search.

In a company blog post, Joseph Sirosh, corporate VP of AI at Microsoft, said that Cognitive Services are defined as “a collection of cloud-hosted APIs that let developers easily add AI capabilities for vision, speech, language, knowledge and search into applications, across devices and platforms such as iOS, Android and Windows.”

The purpose of the announcement is to extend reach, offering these tools to data scientists, developers, and advertisers interested to delve into AI with an existing Microsoft ecosystem. Businesses interested in introducing intuitive digital business models need not engage in myriad testing phases in order to find the best fit AI, and can instead rely on Cognitive Services, according to the company.

Custom Vision Service, which has moved from free preview to paid preview, allows advertisers to train a classifier with their own data, while exporting their own models in order to embed them into active applications, testing them in real time regardless of device operating systems.

A functionality that is well known to anyone using Facebook or Snapchat or an Android or iOS device, the Face API helps identify specific people, allowing developers working with advertisers with legacy systems around Microsoft to create groups of facial datasets in the millions.

Microsoft says that unlike existing variations, the Face API is scalable and not limited to a handful of faces.

Also available now is the Bing Entity Search API, which allows advertisers to embed search results from Bing into any application, going so far as retrieving results within an image or a site. Utilizing latent semantic indexing, the API can offer advertisers context on people, places, things, and local businesses, including TV shows, games, books, and movies.

“A social media app could augment users’ photos with information about the locations of each photo,” said Sirosh. “A news app could provide entity snapshots for entities in the article.”

Advertisers can include location information in photos that appear in social media stories as well.

Source; campaignasia.com; 5 Mar 2018

Reliance Big TV offer: 500 channels free for 5 yrs, HD ones for 1 year

The effectively free offer on Reliance Big TV DTH is valid starting today, March 1, 2018

Anil Ambani-owned direct-to-home service provider Reliance Big TV is now offering free access to up to 500 channels at a zero effective cost, along with one year of free subscription to premium channels.

To avail of the Reliance Big TV set-top box at effectively zero cost, you need to book the DTH from the company’s official portal by paying a booking amount of Rs 499. Another sum of Rs 1,500 needs to be paid once the DTH is delivered, for installation and other services.

However, the total sum of Rs 2,000 is refundable after successful completion of three years in the form of recharge.

According to terms and conditions of the offer, you need to do a monthly recharge of Rs 300 from second year onwards for two consecutive years. At the end of three years, the company would refund a sum of Rs 2,000 in the form of recharge.

The offer comes bundled with free access to up to 500 free-to-air channels for five years and one year of free subscription to paid channels.

“Today, Reliance Big TV is going to mark the beginning of a new dawn in the way Indians have been accessing entertainment on their TV sets. Starting from today, entertainment comes effectively free of cost, with the latest offer by Reliance Big TV. Now every Indian household can enjoy home entertainment & students can have free of cost access to education content with HD HEVC set Top box,” said Vijender Singh, Director, Reliance Big TV in a statement.

Source: business-standard.com; 1 Mar 2018

CES a Reminder of How Far TV Tech Has Come

As the industry gears up to attend CES this week in Las Vegas, I’m reminded of an invention that enthralled the conference 20 years ago: Web TV. The device promised a new era of entertainment, where television and the internet would converge to give consumers the best of both. They could channel surf and web surf, all while sitting in the comfort of their living room.

But despite the promise of a new, interactive entertainment experience and technology that was state of the art for its time, Web TV never really took off. The hardware was clunky—imagine the old low-definition TV’s of the past, sitting on a set-top box with a keyboard and a modem. The software was slow and hard to navigate. And though there were great things to watch on television, there wasn’t much to do online; no one really wanted to check their email on their TV.

Web TV never really took off, but 20 years later, we’re finally fulfilling the vision of bringing hardware, software and fantastic content together to create an unrivalled living room experience.

Start with the hardware. The latest TV’s are as thin as picture frames and look like art, with high-end displays that render the world into sharp, brilliant relief. They’re also smart from the start, internet-enabled and able to connect wirelessly to your home network. Connected TV sales have grown ten percent in just the last year. If your TV isn’t connected, set-top boxes like Roku, smart sticks like Chromecast, and gaming consoles like XBox One X can unlock incredible libraries of entertainment on nearly any TV. And the latest smart speakers from Google and Apple let you ditch the remote entirely and navigate with the sound of your voice.

As for software, it’s now as important as hardware. TV apps can give you features and experiences you could have never dreamed of before. At YouTube, we’ve worked hard to build an experience that works on every screen. When YouTube first launched, it was something you only watched at work or on your computer; now it’s second nature for people to watch it on their phones or in their living rooms. In fact, TV is actually our fastest-growing screen at 70% year-over-year. Two out of three YouTube users say they watch YouTube on a TV screen, and watch time of YouTube on living room devices now tops over 100 million hours per day.

And that leads to the third point—online video has exploded, creating a golden age of content we couldn’t have imagined 20 years ago. Today, you can seamlessly switch from watching live sports on a national network, to the latest Netflix original series, to your favourite music video, to doing Yoga with Adriene—a YouTube yogi with nearly 3 million subscribers. All that choice can be daunting, but recommendation algorithms are getting better and better at surfacing content you’ll want to watch—over 70 percent of time people spend watching YouTube is driven by our recommendations.

These developments have all led us to a watershed moment, fully realizing the potential of what an internet-enabled TV experience can be. But it also frees us up to push past this moment and unleash a new wave of TV innovation. It means we can embrace new formats like 4K and HDR video because platforms like YouTube have so much of that content to enjoy. It means we can create more social experiences, whether connecting fans with their favourite stars through comments, posts or live chats; or connecting them to each other through cowatching experiences that allow people in different places to enjoy the same content at the same time.
And with new over-the-top services like YouTube TV, Sling TV and DirecTV Now, we can undergo the biggest change of all: enjoying live TV without the commitments that come with cable. Cable TV revolutionized the television experience, breaking us out of a three-channel world and ushering us into a golden age for the medium. But today consumers can finally get everything they love about TV, without the fees and annual contracts that come with cable.

In fact, they can get even more. YouTube TV offers unparalleled features and powerful experiences that aren’t constrained by the cable box, like an unlimited cloud DVR, personalized recommendations and an experience that works just as well on any screen. It’s no wonder cord-cutting grew by 11 percent over the last year and is expected to jump even higher next year.

When we at YouTube think about the future of TV, this is what we see—a future marked by greater choice, better quality content, smarter recommendations, more social experiences and fewer commitments. As I head to Vegas for CES this year, I’m betting it won’t take another 20 years.

The author, Neal Mohan is the chief product officer at YouTube.

Source: variety.com; 7 Jan 2018

Five Surprising Facts About China’s Internet Users

As China enters the Year of the Dog, the latest data from China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) shows how the country’s digital landscape has changed over the past 12 months. Here are five surprising facts about digital usage in China.

No. 1: There Is Room for Much, Much More Growth

The number of internet users is growing quickly, but the market is nowhere close to saturated.

During 2017, China added 40.7 million new internet users, bringing the total to 772.0 million. That’s the largest single internet market in the world by far, but still represents just 55.8% of China’s population. So there is plenty of room to grow.

What’s stopping people from accessing the internet? Two obstacles cited by CNNIC are computer illiteracy and the inability to type in Pinyin (the romanized version of Chinese).

Emerging technologies like voice recognition could play an important role in bringing the internet to the rest of the population.

No. 2: It’s a Mobile Market

By the end of 2017, 752.7 million internet users in China accessed the web on their mobile devices, representing 97.5% of all internet users in the country. That compares with 95.1% a year prior.

Other access methods trailed far behind, the CNNIC data showed: For instance, barely half (53.0%) of all internet users went online via desktop. For laptops, the level was 35.8%. And for tablets, it was 27.1%.

No. 3: Rural and Unconnected

At 2017’s end, rural internet users made up 27.0% of all of internet users in China, the CNNIC found. However, 42.7% of the country’s population resides in the countryside, based on data from the National Bureau of Statistics China.

In effect, rural areas are China’s biggest untapped internet market.

No. 4: Internet Time Is Growing Rapidly

People in China are spending an unprecedented amount of time online. In 2017, average weekly time spent reached 27 hours, up about 36 minutes from a year ago—the fastest that measure has grown in three years.

Growth drivers are about what you might expect: video-on-demand (VOD), live streaming, social networks and online shopping.

No. 5: The Online/Offline Blur

In a country where mobile payments are far more common than in the US and other markets, online-to-offline (O2O) activity has soared.

Food ordering, ride hailing (taxi or private car) and travel purchases all saw rapid growth. The latest CNNIC data showed that 44.5% of China’s internet users ordered food online in 2017, an increase of 64.6% vs. 2016.

Source: emarketer.com; 26 Feb 2018

F1 makes biggest ever investment in digital as it looks to serve fans better

F1’s marketing boss admits it hasn’t served fans as well as it could have in the past, but hopes a new TV app will bring them closer to the brand.

Formula One is making its biggest investment in digital to date with the launch of an over-the-top live subscription service, as it looks to change brand perceptions and serve its fans better.

F1 TV will launch across 40 markets – including Germany, France and the USA but not in the UK – next month, in time for the upcoming Formula One season. It will allow fans to watch ad-free live streams of each race, while on-board cameras will show live content from the driver’s point of view.

Speaking to Marketing Week at Mobile World Congress on Tuesday (27 February), Formula One’s marketing director, Ellie Norman, said 2018 is about “launching the brand” – and F1 TV will play a pivotal role in opening up the business to new digital opportunities.

“Previously, we definitely had a logo but we didn’t have an identity,” Norman said. “What we did have was a series of perceptions that we are working hard to change.”

Norman, who joined Formula One last August, said her main focus this year is building Formula One an identity with fans “at the heart”.

“For us this is a real step-change from the sport as it was in the past, which fans definitely felt wasn’t there to serve them,” Norman said.

“Every decision we are making is about how it serves the fan, so if it doesn’t serve the fan, it doesn’t serve Formula One.”

The app will launch without any advertising, but Norman said Formula One is open to conversations “if there is a relevance there” to improve the customer experience.

Alongside F1 TV, Norman said ‘fan festivals’ will also be key to bringing people closer to the sport.

Following a successful launch in London last summer, another four events are lined up this year in Shanghai, Marseilles, Berlin and Miami.

“It’s an opportunity for us to take some of those core elements of Formula One but to take them into city centres; to an audience that has never engaged with, or been to a Formula One race before,” Norman explained. “The ambition is to increase that number to 15 in 2019.”

Source: marketingweek.com; 28 Feb 2018

Twitter begins bot purge

Twitter has enforced a swift crackdown against fake followers and accounts, angering some influencers while taking the industry closer to a world without vanity metrics.

In a move that many see as long overdue, Twitter has initiated a crackdown against bots by making changes to its application programming interface (API) that will impact services that allow advertisers and agencies to share content across multiple accounts.

In the announcement by Yoel Roth, the head of API policy at Twitter, the changes were positioned as an important step towards ensuring that non-public service announcements are wary of malicious activity, the likes of which take place on Twitter.

“As a sole exception to this rule, applications that broadcast or share weather, emergency, or other public service announcements of broad community interest (for example, earthquake or tsunami alerts) are permitted to post this content across multiple accounts who have authorized an app,” wrote Roth.

For advertisers and agencies that rely on content distribution services that control several hundred accounts for the purposes of retweeting and liking tweets, this is a problem. However, such business have until the 23rd of March to make the changes that will comply with the new policy.

Meanwhile, many Twitter users have been complaining about the loss of followers or about their accounts being temporarily suspended using the hashtags #TwitterLockout or #TwitterPurge.

Services like Twitter Audit can estimate what percentage of an account’s followers are fake.

Source: campaignasia.com; 22 Feb 2018

Advertisers turn to PMPs on mobile amid ongoing brand safety concerns

Private marketplaces (PMP) are a more and more effective way for publishers to monetize their inventory using programmatic technologies, as advertisers increasingly embrace automation but also seek assurances over where such technologies will place their ads.

These are the findings contained in the latest Quarterly Mobile Index (QMI) study from PubMatic, which found that mobile ad impressions monetized via PMPs rose by 37% year-over-year in Q4 2017, representing the eighth consecutive period of such growth.

As a result, mobile PMP inventory prices were at a 155% premium, compared to those paid for the average mobile impression available on an open exchange throughout 2017, according to PubMatic, with researchers concluding that more supply-control equates to more profit for publishers.

Separate studies by the IAB demonstrate how mobile now represents over half of all digital ad spend from 2016 onwards, with the market valued at circa $40bn per year in the US alone, and programmatic a strong driver of that growth.

However, in spite of the clear benefits of incorporating such technologies into their online advertising strategies, such as cost and workflow efficiencies, many tier-one marketers have been left red-faced by repeated high profile examples of brand safety blunders in recent years.

Some have championed PMPs as a hybrid solution for advertisers with such concerns, as such an offering typically sees premium media owners invite their highest-spending advertisers to have first option on its higher quality inventory in a bidding scenario.

Rajeev Goel, PubMatic chief executive officer, said the findings represent “a shift toward supply chain integrity and quality” as advertisers increasingly seek the efficiencies posed by automated technologies.

“We expect this trend towards quality and programmatic direct to continue in 2018 as advertisers increasingly demand higher standards for transacting,” he said, adding that publishers also need to be provided with “greater visibility and control.”

To take advantage of this trend, last year PubMatic inked a deal with AnyClip giving it “preferred partner” status whereby it would take responsibility for the monetization of in-stream and out-steam ad formats for the online video resource.

Elsewhere in the study, it highlights the emergence of header bidding as a means for publishers to monetize their inventory, with researchers commenting that it has “moved into the mainstream” as of Q4 2017.

Mobile web experienced 121% year-over-year growth in header bidding impression volume in Q4 2017, more closely aligning with desktop inventory, which experienced an 81% year-over-year impression growth rate over the same period.

As publishers deepened their header bidding expertise, the popularity of hybrid solutions offering both client- and server-side integrations, such as PubMatic’s OpenWrap, rose from 13.6% to 20.7% adoption rate between September and December 2017, according to the company.

Further findings contained in PubMatic’s latest QMI report, based on insights gleaned from over 10 trillion monthly bid requests, can be downloaded for free here.

Source: thedrum.com; 20 Feb 2018

Why the GDPR Is Actually a Good Thing for Brands

Putting an end to data gossip

In less than four months, the European Union data regulator will begin enforcing the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to strengthen the security and protection of EU residents’ personal data. Companies that don’t comply with the GDPR not only risk losing their customers’ trust, but they could also face fines of €20 million or 4 percent of global annual revenue.

Like many regulations, the GDPR is not an easy to understand or practical manual for how brands should go about protecting their customers’ data. Therefore, figuring out how to interpret it and making changes across your organization to adhere to the regulation will be an expensive undertaking on its own. The IAPP and EY predict that Fortune’s Global 500 companies will spend a combined $7.8 billion working to achieve GDPR compliance.

With more questions than answers, I’ve found that the complexities and costs associated with the GDPR tend to overshadow the many benefits for businesses across the globe.

Here’s why I think the GDPR is a good thing for brands:

It will cut the ‘data gossip’

Consumers expect the brands they buy from to adhere to strict standards around protecting personal data. They also expect brands to obtain consent for collecting their data in the first place. According to a recent study from Accenture, “87 percent of consumers believe it is important for companies to safeguard the privacy of their information.”

The GDPR will promote responsible use of data that aligns the law with customer expectations. Specifically, the GDPR requires that businesses be more transparent about how they collect and use data. This means the standard for valid consent will be far higher, and it will be difficult to rely on third-party consent.

As a consequence, marketing departments will likely need to reduce their reliance on third-party data. Third-party data is user or behavioural information that companies purchase rather than collect themselves. It is often aggregated from multiple websites and segmented based on user interests, demographics, shopping behaviours and more.

This data is often collected with questionable consent and shared across companies without explicit consumer permission. That’s why I call the act of companies sharing third-party data with each other “data gossip.”

If you’ve ever received an email promotion from a company you never shared your email address with, you’ve experienced data gossip. Your customers wouldn’t tolerate their grocer telling their banker what they just purchased, and data gossip is no different. Moving away from third-party data will improve customer trust, which in turn will boost your brand’s reputation.

Brands will have to personalize without compromising trust

Reducing third-party data usage doesn’t come without its challenges, however. Third-party data is often used to personalize customer experiences, and customers increasingly expect this. The Accenture study mentioned above found that “58 percent of consumers would switch half or more of their spending to a provider that excels at personalizing experiences without compromising trust.”

Many companies purchase third-party data to personalize their websites or show ads to a specific audience based on previous behaviour. The problem for these companies is the last part: “without compromising trust.”

How can your company deliver on respectful, private and personalized experiences? The answer is by activating your own first-party data. First-party data is data on how your customers use your products or services. This includes information on which products a customer views or purchases from you, how often they visit your website or mobile app and even your CRM data.

First-party data is valuable for showing customers that you’re attentive to their needs, showcasing products that fit their interests, or removing irrelevant content. It also has many advantages over third-party data.

First-party data is not usually shared with other brands, which is beneficial for both your customers and your business. It’s typically more accurate than third-party data, as well, because it reflects actual customer behaviour from your own channels (web, mobile, in-store, etc.).

Companies must ensure they always use first-party data in line with the principles of the GDPR: transparency, accuracy, fairness, minimization, purpose limitation and security. I believe the GDPR will accelerate trends leading away from third-party data and toward the ethical use of first-party data to deliver helpful, respectful customer experiences.

As a result, I think the GDPR is good for brands—even with its complexities.

Peter Reinhardt is an aerospace engineer turned CEO and co-founder of Segment, a customer data platform.

Source: adweek.com; 22 Feb 2018