Micro-Moments Now: Why you should be the adviser consumers are searching for

We live in a world with an abundance of choices, a plethora of brands, and a million and one ways to get things done. We’re all hungry for advice.

When we’re deciding on a big purchase or making a weighty decision—like which refrigerator to buy, career to pursue, or mortgage lender to choose—it’s natural that we’d not only consult friends and family, but also the wealth of digital information out there. These are big decisions, after all.

But mobile has changed things. With unfettered access to information at our fingertips at all times, we’re now accustomed to turning to a device for quick, useful advice, across a much wider range of topics. To inform any decision, we only have to turn to our phones. That means today’s consumer defines what’s high versus low consideration for herself, so marketers across categories have the chance to influence these curious and investigative shoppers with helpful advice.

No decision is too small

Nobody wants to get an unfavourable mortgage or buy a lemon while car shopping. Nobody wants to buy a crummy face cream, umbrella, or pocket tee either. Whether it’s value, style, or quality we care about, nowadays anything we’re considering buying—no matter the category or price—can be, and is likely to be, researched on mobile first. We can turn to our phones to get the answers we need to make the right decision and buy the right thing.

At Google, we see this clearly in search data. Not only have mobile searches for “best” have grown over 80% in the past two years, but searches for “best” have shown higher growth among “low-consideration” products than “high-consideration” products. In other words, we’re all becoming research-obsessed, even about the small stuff.

Think about a product you use every day: your toothbrush. Maybe you don’t give it much consideration, but plenty of people do. Mobile searches for “best toothbrush” have grown more than 100% over the past two years.

And this is not a trend limited to dental hygiene. Some other categories that show growing “best” searches on mobile include:

Best umbrellas (over 140%)
Best travel accessories (over 110%)
Best deodorants (over 60%)

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This is a really exciting shift if you’re a marketer working within a traditionally “low-consideration” category. It’s now possible to reimagine your marketing’s role in helping consumers make decisions.

Advice is not one-size fits all

When it comes to seeking advice, what I want to know isn’t necessarily what you want to know. Luckily with search, people can get really specific and still have confidence that they’ll get useful information.

Take shoes, for example. Yes, people want to learn about the best ones—and in some very personal and particular ways. Below is just a sampling of specific mobile searches that have been growing in this category.

Best running shoes for flat feet
Best shoes for nurses
Best trail running shoes
Best shoes for plantar fasciitis

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The personal nature of advice-seeking also means that sometimes it’s product decisions we’re after, and sometimes it’s more lifestyle related. For example, we’ve seen huge mobile growth rates both for “best anti-aging skin care products” and for “best skin care routine for ‘30s,” things that people previously rarely searched. Explore search data for your own category. What is the range of things that people want to know?

There’s still no substitute for first-hand experience

We’ve always turned to other people to help us make decisions. And now more than ever, we tap into the expertise of others by searching online for product reviews and ratings, photos, and blogs. Others’ first-hand experiences help guide our product choices. We want to hear what others think and see their experiences—the good and the bad.

Searches for product reviews have been gaining traction for years. Still, in the past two years, mobile searches for “product reviews” have grown over 35%. Not only that, but people are increasingly turning to mobile video to watch reviews. In the past two years, videos with the word “review” in the title had more than 50,000 years worth of watch time on mobile alone.

And back to those toothbrushes. Are people seeking reviews even for that basic item? Absolutely. Mobile searches for “toothbrush reviews” have more than doubled over the past two years.

Make your brand an adviser

Google’s research shows that people are turning to mobile and actively searching for advice across categories, even for the small stuff. By making your brand easily discoverable and understanding when and where people are searching for guidance, you can ensure you’re there with the right advice whenever people need you. We, as marketers, can be allies in the process, bringing real information and tips, nurturing potential customers.

Source: thinkwithgoogle.com; Aug 2017

Consumers Have More Time Thanks to Technology, and Marketers Have More Opportunities to Fill It

Trends like ride sharing and IoT have seemed to lengthen the day


The day is now apparently 30 percent longer than it used to be.

Recently, I was taking an Uber while speaking to a colleague on the phone and simultaneously switching between Instagram, news headlines and texting a partner in Singapore on WhatsApp. Ten years ago, these activities did not and could not coexist; today, I can do them all simultaneously.

Most individuals love to think that time is scarce. There are only 24 hours in a day, right? Well, maybe not.

In Activate’s Tech and Media Outlook 2016, there is an interesting statistic derived from data at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Nielsen and other leading sources suggesting that the average U.S. employed adult’s daily activity is equivalent to 31 hours and 28 minutes. In other words, the day is now apparently 30 percent longer than it used to be—and this will only continue to increase with the rapidly advancing trends of Internet of Things, the normalization of the “sharing economy,” autonomous vehicles, wearables, automation and artificial intelligence.

Time is a fascinating component of humanity: It must be used every day and is a resource one cannot hoard. But what if you challenged the notion that time is actually finite and scarce and instead began to look at the potential for its emerging abundance due to these trends? The winners in this scenario will be those marketers who can fill this new time—these new opportunities—in meaningful ways. More time does not equal less busy.

In 1955, Cyril Parkinson wrote an essay in which he stated, “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.” This notion, which is known as Parkinson’s Law, is simple human nature. The same can be said about how we live our lives outside of work as well.

Mobile devices are the easiest way to grasp the notion of maximizing time as they provide a more frictionless way to read more books, to listen to more music, to send more emails, and to speak to more friends during moments that were previously not as convenient. Similarly, the rise in autonomous and shared vehicles provides consumers with time to enjoy more of what they want while giving smart brands and marketers opportunities to engage more deeply with them. For example, to Google, these self-driving vehicles are merely an accessory to one’s mobile device and enable more searches.

But what about other industries that may not be so obvious? In August 2016, Morgan Stanley published a piece of research titled Shared Autonomous Mobility: Potential Growth Opportunity for Beverage and Restaurant Firms.

Recognizing the serious social, public health and safety implications of such a study, Morgan Stanley noted that the introduction of ride-sharing services has also coincided with the reduction of DUI arrests in certain cities in the U.S. San Diego, for example, a city with one of the highest DUIs per capita, saw a 14 percent decrease in arrests between 2011 and 2013 when Uber began its operations. Conversely, the study also points out that when the city of Austin, Texas, temporarily banned Uber, there was a reduction in alcohol sales.

From a consumer and public safety perspective, the implications of the sharing economy in this instance are immense. And the impact for brands and marketers in it is real as well.

At the time of this study, the total global alcohol market was roughly $1.5 trillion. It was calculated that the incremental growth opportunities presented from shared mobility increased the total addressable marketplace by over $31 billion in 10 years based on a +1 increase in drink consumption per month. This is immense growth for a change in behaviour that would otherwise be barely noticeable.

But this does not only occur in the sharing economy. Advances in IoT, wearables, automation and AI will all continue to increase the ease of multitasking for consumers—while the world will continue to recalibrate to these new norms with the perception that nothing feels different and everyone continues to believe they are stressed for time.

Marketing only succeeds in these extra moments when it can provide increased value or native utility to the consumer’s expectation. In his book The End of Advertising, Andrew Essex articulates this as the need to move away from producing “the thing that interrupts the thing.”

This is why Taco Bell’s Cinco de Mayo lens on Snapchat was viewed 224 million times in one day last year; why consumers have such an affinity toward Citi Bike in New York City; or why SSGA’s Fearless Girl has had over 2.3 billion social media impressions.

“Time is money” is an adage that Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, and, in an era of time abundance, the marketers who navigate this moment properly will be the true winners.

Keith Grossman is the global CRO at Bloomberg Media and has been part of two teams that have previously won Adweek Project Isaac Awards.

Source: adweek.com; 11 Sep 2017

Millennials mostly watch TV after it’s aired

Older people still watch more live TV, but that’s changing.

Millennials don’t watch live TV most of the time. People aged 18-34 spend 55 percent of their video-watching time consuming content after it has already aired on live TV, according to a new study from the Consumer Technology Association. Only 45 percent of that time is spent with live television.

Of the video millennials do watch, 35 percent comes from streaming services like Netflix or on-demand video from a pay TV. They spend 20 percent of their viewing time watching recorded shows off their DVR.

The switch to time-shifted TV puts further pressure on TV networks that are struggling to make their shows attractive to advertisers and retain audiences — audiences that are increasingly seeking out entertainment elsewhere, such as on Snapchat and Facebook. That’s one of the key reasons why advertisers still pay a lot of money to be next to sports content like the NFL despite its flattening audience: Sports still compel people to watch live.

People older than 35 do spend a majority of their viewing time, or 66 percent, with live TV.

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But even so, live TV has been losing ground across all demographics. The share of consumers who watch live TV at least once a week, according to the CTA study, has shrunk from 92 percent in 2014 to 80 percent in 2017.

That viewing time has been supplanted by an increase in TV watching through paid and free websites as well as network websites and apps.

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Source: recode.net; 9 Sep 2017

Touchscreens Turn You Into a More Impulsive Shopper

Psychology has plenty of advice for how to be a better shopper: Don’t rely on retail therapy to lift your mood. Think of spending like a diet, and plan when you’re going to cheat. Buy experiences over stuff — but only sometimes, because stuff can make you happy, too.

Here’s one more nugget of wisdom to add to the list: Not all methods of online shopping are created equal. According to a new study in the September issue of the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, the device we use may affect our ability to prioritize needs over more frivolous wants — and if you want to avoid overspending or shopping regret, it may be wise to limit your virtual browsing to your computer and stay away from the apps.

In the study, researchers from the University of British Columbia surveyed 99 people and found that they behaved more “rationally” when shopping at a desktop computer compared to a touchscreen device (in this case, an iPod Touch). In one experiment, for instance, participants using the touchscreen indicated that they were more likely to make a “hedonic” purchase, like a restaurant gift card, than they were to buy a more useful item like a grocery store gift card; for desktop users, the opposite was true. In another experiment, the study subjects took a test to measure their thinking style on a scale from experiential (a more freewheeling, impulsive thought process) to rational (careful, analytical). In general, those using the touchscreen were higher on the former way of thinking, and those on the desktop on the latter.
Part of the discrepancy, the researchers note, likely stems from the fact that touchscreens are just more fun to use: “When a consumer uses a touchscreen device, the novelty and fun generated by finger movements create experiential and affective feelings, in alignment with the playfulness and emotional nature of hedonic products,” they wrote.

“When participants are on their touchscreen device they lean towards a way of thinking where pleasurable products — things we don’t usually need — seem more interesting, and so they are more likely to make the purchase,” explains lead study author Ying Zhu, a marketing professor at UBC. “Whereas on a desktop they think in a more rational way — it might be because they associate their desktop device with logic and work.”

This isn’t the first study to support the idea that touch can influence consumer behaviour. Rather, it “adds to years of research that shows us that when people physically touch a product in a store, they are much more likely to purchase that product,” says Natasha Sharma, a Toronto-based psychotherapist and doctoral candidate in psychology at the University of Toronto. “This is because touch releases emotion, and gives us a sense of connection to an item.”

Sharma also suggests that for those of us who tend to be more impulsive shoppers already, choosing to make all purchases in person may be the best option of all.

“In a store, we have to make an effort to find items, carry them to a checkout counter, pull out our wallet, and pay, and all of those steps give our brain time to be less emotionally driven and impulsive,” she says. “With the element of touch playing a role now, I would recommend that people more at risk may want to remove shopping apps, for instance, or just stick with cash and debit purchases in brick-and-mortar stores.”

Source: thecut.com; 25 Aug 2017

68% of APAC residents believe there is a problem with fake news on digital platforms

“Fake news” is one of the buzz phrases of 2017. First coined during the US presidential election last year, the term has taken on a life of its own and is now part of common parlance for many broadcasters, commentators and consumers alike.

New research by YouGov, reveals that the majority of APAC residents do believe that “fake news” is a problem. However, it also shows that what the problem is exactly is far harder to define.

TV is the most trusted source of news content

The study found that consumers view TV as the most trusted source for news, with three quarters of those polled (75%) placing either a little or a lot of trust in TV. This is followed by radio (trusted by 70%) and newspapers (68%), while digital is the least trusted source for news (60%).

Yet consumers also accept that these sources can be responsible for spreading “fake news”. Despite reporting high levels of trust in TV, nearly half (47%) of respondents believe there is a problem with fake news on TV. A similar number report concerns over “fake news” in newspaper content (49%) and radio (41%). However, concern about “fake news” surges to more than two-thirds (68%) of respondents when it comes to digital content.


Just one in eight people place “a lot” of trust in news that friends and family share online

Social media is a key site for news content, with more than a third of APAC residents (37%) sharing online news content on social media at least once a day. This is even higher in Thailand (54%), Vietnam (50%), Indonesia (44%) and the Philippines (40%).

While the majority of respondents (58%) say they trust news that friends and family share on social media, just 13% of those polled place “a lot” of trust in news that friends and family share online. Australians are the least trusting, with 7% of people not placing any trust in content that their friends and family share. This is more than double the regional average of 3%.

Over half of APAC respondent think more negatively of a brand that was found to be advertising on a platform that contains fake news

Consumers are cautious over the content they see online and more than half (56%) have conducted independent research to check the validity of a news story. Yet despite recognising the problem of “fake news”, consumers can be unaccepting when brands become tied up with the issue; a majority of respondents (54%) would think more negatively of a brand that was found to be advertising on a platform that contains fake news. Furthermore, two thirds of APAC residents (66%) would trust a brand less if it was found to be advertising on a platform that contains fake news.

54% of respondents would no longer make purchases from a brand found to be promoting fake or misleading content

The survey also shows how brand scandals are able to influence consumer behaviour, as well as opinion. For instance, if consumers were to find out that a brand had been promoting fake or misleading content, a majority of consumers would no longer make purchases from this brand (54%), choose a different brand in future (51%) or tell family and/or friends about it (51%). Furthermore, three in ten consumers (29%) would share this information on social media and a quarter of consumers (26%) would delete the brand’s app from their phone.

 

Source: au.yougov.com; 21 Aug 2017

Voice assistants, search and the future of advertising

Over the past few years, voice activated search has come a long way.

When Apple first integrated its voice assistant, Siri, into the iPhone 4S in 2011, it was considered more of a gimmick than anything else. Six years on, and a report by ClickZ and Marin Software reveals that 7% of marketers now mark voice search and digital assistants as top priorities in their marketing plans.

Interestingly, 4% of marketers reviewed in the same report also stated that they would be prioritising ‘smart hubs’ in 2017.

Since the launch of Amazon’s Alexa, so called ‘smart hubs’ have grown in popularity with consumers. Even more so, there is now a demand from consumers to have these as part of their ‘connected’ homes.

As AI technology gets smarter and smarter, it’s evident that we are shifting into a voice led revolution. ComScore said that by 2020, 50% of all searches will be voice searches and Google’s recent statistics show that 83% of people surveyed agreed that voice search will make it easier to search for things anytime they want.

Speaking to a machine may have felt unnatural and futuristic only a few years ago, but consumers are now embracing the revolution. Smart hubs have championed the growing possibilities of search, and they have now become genuine channels for daily activities, as consumers are excited and impressed by the speed and efficiency with which these devices can help them complete day-to-day tasks.

With this in mind, it’s clear that there is potential for advertisers and brand marketers to make use of voice assistants.

The opportunity for marketers and advertisers

In terms of search functionality, marketers need to be aware of the varying capabilities of each smart hub on the market, as each one works slightly differently and is powered by a different search engine. With each brand’s product portfolio continuously growing, this becomes even more of a challenge.

Amazon’s Echo, which has been on the market the longest, operates with Bing, whereas Google Home relies on Google to answer questions. Apple’s highly anticipated HomePod, due out in December, will have Siri integrated into the device.

The efficiencies of each search engine vary, and for marketers, these characteristics are crucial in deciding how their brands can attract the right attention.

Understandably, we need to remember that marketers are still testing the waters on how smart hubs can be implemented in marketing plans in the most seamless way. After all, as these voice assistants become part of a consumer’s connected home – and at the centre of the family – it’s natural that consumers may be slightly reticent when it comes to inviting advertisers and brands into this personal space.

This was certainly the case for Google, who was immediately hit with criticism after playing what sounded like an advert for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast film, during Google Home’s ‘What’s My Day Like?’ feature.

Similarly, there was disdain after Amazon introduced sponsored audio messages before and after conversations with Alexa. It’s inevitable that there will eventually be paid opportunities on voice assistants, but they need to be able to integrate these messages in a way that doesn’t interfere with the user experience.

How brands and marketers are tapping in

Voice assistants are now part of the omnichannel consumer experience. If used correctly, they are an effective – and natural – conduit between consumer and brand.

Although Burger King’s ‘Whopper’ TV advert caused a stir by hijacking Google Home devices by prompting the speaker to search for the definition of the Whopper burger, it won a Grand Prix at this year’s Cannes Lions, and also helped the brand win overall Creative Marketer of the Year.

This nifty hack was hailed ‘the best abuse of technology’ for generating a direct response between consumer and company, and sparked conversation and awareness around the brand and campaign.

This was clearly a stunt ad, and not a long-term use of the voice activated technology. However, its success highlights the opportunities available to advertisers – and interest from consumers – in engaging with this technology.

Could this be a sign that the future of advertising and marketing is heading in the direction of voice search?

So, what could the future look like? At mporium, we know that many marketers have mastered search-based advertising, and are reaping the rewards. Soon, we could see brands bidding for the top spots on voice-activated results.

We may even see brands collaborating with the technology companies to integrate special offers that would be delivered via voice assistants, or suggest alternative solutions to specific queries.

What the future holds remains to be seen. However, it’s clear that as the technology behind voice activated search undeniably progresses, marketers will find a way to adapt to this new search reality that presents itself in the form of voice assistants.

Source: marketingtechnews.net; 4 Sep 2017

Shorter Ads Are Taking Over Digital, Right? Not So Fast, Says Pandora

For audio, brands may need a mix of long and short form

While shorter ads have been all the rage on digital platforms recently, that narrative appears to be a little more nuanced with Pandora.

In recent weeks, the music streaming service has been testing audio ad format length, comparing 30-second recipients to listeners who heard 10-second ads. Both groups received ads from the same advertiser, looking to convey a similar message. Initial results have shown that the 30-second audio ads spiked recall by 25 percent, while the 10-second format lifted recall by 12 percent. At the same time, the 25-to-35-year-old demo saw a bump in ad recall of 13.3 percent for 10-second audio ads. In one test, the company said that 10-second audio ads drove 13.5 percent more time spent (82 seconds on average) on an advertiser’s landing page compared to 30-second ads.

Orkin and ZipRecruiter were among the brands involved in the tests, which showed that shorter isn’t necessarily better. With the results in mind, Lizzie Widhelm, Pandora’s svp of ad product strategy, suggested that a mix of 10- and 30-second audio ads was the way to go.

“Personalization is at the core of our platform,” she said. “Just as no two Pandora stations or playlists are alike, the same can be said for our listeners and their behaviours. Given this reality, we have an opportunity to optimize for a diverse set of variables for our advertisers including the ideal spot lengths for each listener, when the right times are to make those interruptions, and of course the ability to re-target ads from the same brand.”

Widhelm added, “We also think there may be an effective blend of shorter and longer length audio ads that can help with message breakthrough and alleviate potential creative fatigue. For example: leading with a punchy, 10-second message to capture attention, then following up in the next ad break with a 30-second ad once interest is piqued to convey the full message, or articulate a particular call-to-action, may help drive desired outcomes. Tests to verify this will be conducted in the coming months.”

How does the platform exec expect media buyers to respond to the initial findings?

“This is a time for reflection and experimentation in the industry,” she answered. “We often receive audio creative that is repurposed from the AM/FM [radio] world where the message isn’t personalized because the terrestrial radio approach to advertising is one-to-many. Within personalized listening environments like Pandora, where the user is persistently logged-in, and we are with them throughout the various activities in their days, there are so many variables that brands should consider.”

Meanwhile, six-second video ads are a topic du jour for brand marketers. The format has built up buzz since Google threw its stake in the ground when the best examples of its six-second hackathon were highlighted at Sundance in January. Then in June, Fox announced it was on board with six-second video ads. And, at the end of last month, Facebook revealed it was working on its six-second ad game during its second-quarter earnings call. Now, brands and agencies are starting to state their motives for getting out in front of the movement. A few weeks ago, Michelin started testing the snack-sized clips on YouTube, the Google-owned video platform that calls them bumper ads.

“The format allows us to continue on our quest to reach a younger demographic,” said Candace Cluck, director of consumer experience for Michelin North America, suggesting that such spots could be ideal for reaching millennials and Gen Z consumers with shorter attention spans. “What’s so unique about this format is the way you distribute it. You have to think about these six-second videos in succession. It’s a frequency play.”

But what’s going to be the frequency for digital radio? We’ll keep tabs with Pandora—and competitors Spotify, iHeartRadio, etc.—to find out.

Source: adweek.com; 24 August 2017

The Next Generation of Emoji Will Be Based on Your Facial Expressions

There’s no faking your feelings with these social icons.

An app called Polygram uses AI to automatically capture your responses to friends’ photos and videos.

A new app is trying to make it simpler to help you react to photos and videos that your friends post online—it’s using AI to capture your facial expressions and automatically translate them into a range of emoji faces.

Polygram, which is free and available only for the iPhone for now, is a social app that lets you share things like photos, videos, and messages. Unlike on, say, Facebook, though, where you have a small range of pre-set reactions to choose from beyond clicking a little thumbs-up icon, Polygram uses a neural network that runs locally on the phone to figure out if you’re smiling, frowning, bored, embarrassed, surprised, and more.

Marcin Kmiec, one of Polygram’s cofounders, says the app’s AI works by capturing your face with the front-facing camera on the phone and analysing sequences of images as quickly as possible, rather than just looking at specific points on the face like your pupils and nose. This is done directly on the phone, using the iPhone’s graphics processing unit, he says.

When you look at a post in the app (for now the posts seem to consist of a suspicious amount of luxury vacation spots, fancy cars, and women in tight clothing), you see a small yellow emoji on the bottom of the display, its expression changing along with your real one. There’s a slight delay—20 milliseconds, which is just barely noticeable—between what you’re expressing on your face and what shows up in the app. The app records your response (or responses, if your expression changes a few times) in a little log of emoji on the side of the screen, along with those of others who’ve already looked at the same post.

The app is clearly meant to appeal to those who really care about how they’re perceived on social media: users can see a tally of the emoji reactions to each photo or video they post to the app, as well as details about who looked at the post, how long they looked at it, and where they’re located. This might be helpful for some mega-users, but could turn off those who are more wary about how their activity is tracked, even when it’s anonymized.

And, as many app makers know, it’s hard to succeed in social media; for every Instagram or Snapchat there are countless ones that fail to catch on. (Remember Secret? Or Path? Or Yik Yak? Or Google+?) Polygram’s founders say they’re concentrating on using the technology in their own app for now, but they also think it could be useful in other kinds of apps, like telemedicine, where it could be used to gauge a patient’s reaction to a doctor or nurse, for instance. Eventually, they say, they may release software tools that let other developers come up with their own applications for the technology.

Source: technologyreview.com; 28 August 2017

Facebook and Apple Are About to Take AR Mainstream. Here’s How Marketers Are Gearing Up

The UN, Ikea and the PGA Tour hone their augmented-reality chops

Apple’s ARKit platform at launch will be used by major brands like Ikea.

This past weekend in New York, the United Nations created a Facebook Live filter for World Humanitarian Day that let users overlay their real-time clips with augmented reality, particularly scrolling copy that told stories about civilians who have been affected by conflict. In Times Square, AR-enhanced videos aired on one of the iconic, commercial intersection’s large billboards. The endeavour was powered by Facebook’s 4-month-old AR system, dubbed Camera Effects Studio, which is getting the attention of brand marketers.

“For us, Facebook is an amazing platform to develop AR on because people are inherently using it already,” said Craig Elimeliah, managing director of creative technology at VML, the UN’s agency. “It includes Instagram as well. It includes Live and regular camera—so the sheer scale is unbelievable.”

While AR is still exploratory territory for marketers and media companies, its pixelated push to the mainstream has gotten a series of boosts this year from some of the biggest digital players. Snapchat—with its wacky filters and other virtual overlays—has continued to be popular among teens (even if Wall Street doesn’t like its pace). Apple, which has long been seen as a potential AR game changer due to the popularity of its iPhone and iPad, seems primed to give AR the turbocharge it needs to attract older demographics. When the Cupertino, Calif.-based company releases its iOS 11 mobile operating system in September, hundreds of millions of Apple-device owners will have augmented reality at their fingertips with a set of features called ARKit.

“Apple and Facebook will make augmented reality an everyday reality,” said David Deal, a digital marketing consultant. “We’ll see plenty of hit and miss with AR as we did when Apple opened up the iPhone to app developers, but ultimately both Apple and Facebook are in the best position to steamroll Snapchat with AR.”

Ikea, which will be one of the first major brands on Apple’s AR platform at launch, is developing an app that allows customers to see what furniture and other household items would look like in a three-dimensional view inside their homes. Ikea also plans to introduce new products in the AR app before they hit store shelves.

An AR visit to a Japanese-Canadian internment camp aims to inspire empathy. Jam3

Other brands and their agency partners are working on prototypes and developing spatial storytelling by layering detailed imagery, pertinent information and other brand-centric assets into physical spaces. For instance, PGA Tour has tapped Possible Mobile to develop an immersive rendering of 3-D golf course models in ARKit that should go live in the next six months. It would seem the initiative is generally driven by the sport of golf’s recent problems courting millennials. But Luis Goicouria, svp of digital platforms and media strategy at PGA Tour, contended that the 3-D experience is being built for all demographics.

“It really isn’t a gimmick designed to appeal to a single age group,” Goicouria said. “Apple is notable because their installed base is so large and the platform so consistent that it allows us to bring something to a large group very quickly, and that gives us immediate feedback from our fans on what is working.”

Apple’s ARKit should be ripe for innovative storytelling. With that in mind, Toronto-based digital production firm Jam3 is using the platform to create a historical and educational narrative app called East of the Rockies in collaboration with Joy Kogawa, an author and former internee at a Japanese-Canadian internment camp. The experiential app will illuminate aspects of detainee life in three chapters on the user’s smartphone screen, with each new episode triggered as users virtually “walk around” the environment and get close to different locations. “[It will] create a lot of empathy in ways that I didn’t think was possible in a digital medium,” noted Jason Legge, producer at Jam3.

The possibilities will only become more self-evident as augmented reality grows. The number of users is expected to jump by 36 percent between now and 2020, when 54.4 million Americans will regularly engage with AR, according to eMarketer.

Source: adweek.com; 20 August 2017

How Instagram and Snapchat Are Benefiting From Facebook’s Declining Teen and Tween Numbers

Teens and young adults are drifting away from Facebook.

eMarketer released its latest forecast on U.S. mobile and internet usage, and the research company sees double-digit gains for Instagram and Snapchat in 2017, while the opposite is true for the parent company of the former.

According to eMarketer, although monthly Facebook users will rise 2.4 percent in 2017, the 12-17 age group will slide by 3.4 percent, marking the second consecutive year of decline for that age group (it fell 1.2 percent in 2016).

Facebook users under 12 and between 18 and 24 will also see slower growth, according to eMarketer.

As for Snapchat, eMarketer sees 2017 user growth of 25.8 percent in the U.S., higher than its previous forecasts, with users between 18 and 24 rising by 19.2 percent.

Snapchat will overtake Facebook and Instagram in the 12-17 and 18-24 age groups for the first time, according to eMarketer, with its share of U.S. social network users surging to 40.8 percent.

Emarketer also upped its 2017 user growth projection for Instagram to 23.8 percent in the U.S., saying users under 12 will jump 19 percent, and 12- to 17-year-old users will go up 8.8 percent.

In the U.K., eMarketer projected a 34.8 percent jump in monthly users for Instagram, with Snapchat climbing 20.2 percent and Twitter’s slight gain in that country edging that of Facebook.

eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Oscar Orozco said of Facebook’s declines in teens and tweens, “We see teens and tweens migrating to Snapchat and Instagram. Both platforms have found success with this demographic since they are more aligned with how they communicate—that is, using visual content. Outside of those who have already left, teens and tweens remaining on Facebook seem to be less engaged—logging in less frequently and spending less time on the platform. At the same time, we now have “Facebook-nevers”—children aging into the tween demographic who appear to be overlooking Facebook altogether, yet still engaging with Facebook-owned Instagram.

Source: adweek.com; 21 August 2017