State Farm Is Targeting Location-Based Ads at Gas Stations

18,000 locations are getting equipped with digital screens

If you regularly fill your tank at a gas station, chances are you’ve spent a few minutes standing idly by your car. Now, advertisers want to serve you ads while you wait.

State Farm is running video ads on digital screens built into the pumps at 18,000 national gas stations as part of a partnership between Gas Station TV and payment company Verifone. The screens loop through a four- to five-minute segment featuring content from ESPN, CNN and Bloomberg that run alongside short national and local commercials from brands like State Farm. Each station’s screens can be customized to pull in either local or national content.

“State Farm has an interest in reaching the driving public,” said Edward Gold, advertising director at State Farm. “While we can do that on television and online video, when you have somebody who is actually driving a car, experiencing their car, taking care of their car and therefore thinking about their car, it’s a great opportunity for us.”

GSTV and Verifone claim their network of digital screens reaches one in three adults and 75 million unique monthly viewers. According to David Leider, president and CEO of Gas Station TV, 69 percent of that audience is between the ages of 18 and 49, a group of cord-cutting consumers who are increasingly watching video in ways other than linear TV. “We like to say that the audience is tied to that screen with a rubber hose for about five minutes—it’s a very captive, locked-down audience,” Leider said.

State Farm bought ads through GSTV in 2015 and ran a study through Lieberman Research in which 48 percent of respondents recalled seeing a State Farm ad, and 69 percent said they’d consider the company the next time they shopped for insurance.

State Farm’s Gold said the new work is part of a bigger plan to beef up the brand’s location-based advertising efforts, which also include piloting sponsored promos in online community platform Nextdoor.

“Local advertising is always something that we do, but then our ability to target people whether we know that they’re in a specific area—let’s say the northern suburb of Chicago—might be a little better market for us than the downtown area of Chicago,” Gold said. “Then when you start looking at location-based advertising opportunities, even from where the cell phone is at, and how we can target someone who has been standing on an auto dealership lot for five minutes, which means they’re either getting their car fixed or they’re shopping for a new car, we’re definitely getting more into very specific location-based opportunities.”

Source:; 19 Apr 2017

How video storytelling and mobile have transformed Shell’s corporate marketing

Shell’s global corporate marketing has shifted entirely from one dominated by traditional media (i.e. TV and print advertising) and brand messages to one dominated by digital media and video-led storytelling.

And the stories it tells are no longer about Shell the company, they’re about the alternative energy start-ups it helps.

Malena Cutuli Group Head of Integrated Brand Communications & Capability at Shell talked to Andy Favell for ClickZ at Mobile World Congress 2017’s Modern Marketing Summit:

“Six years ago, when I joined the company, Shell’s global corporate marketing was 80% traditional communications and now we are doing 85% digital and content creation and 15% traditional. And that is for countries where digital is not easy to find, such as in Africa.”
The Shell corporate marketing team hasn’t run a TV ad for four years, with the exception of in China, where the last TV ad ran two years ago.

That doesn’t mean you won’t see a Shell ad on TV. TV advertising is still used by the retail marketing team (which is separate to Malena Cutuli’s brand communications group), to help sell Shell’s products – but you won’t see TV ads about Shell the company.

Click here for full report

Source:, 20 Mar 2017

Amazon Raises Ad Stakes With Video Advertising

With little fanfare, Amazon Video Ads (AVA) rolled out this week to advertisers working with the Amazon Media Group (AMG).

The new out-stream video advertising product allows advertisers to run an autoplay feature in videos as shoppers browse on the Amazon platform across desktop, tablets and smartphones. The ads are muted by default. With a click, site visitors can choose to view the ads in full-screen mode and listen to them.

Amazon engineers developed the video ads to follow Media Rating Council (MRC) and Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) standards, which means that at least 50% of the advertisement must remain in view for 2 consecutive seconds. The autoplay feature starts only when the ad is in view, and it automatically pauses when the ad goes out of view.

The company reports that based on early tests, the video ad and placement performs best in the first five seconds of play, with the optimal length of the video advertisement at 15 seconds or less. It’s all about driving down the cost of video views across the marketplace.

While Amazon Video Ads are not available today for placement outside of the marketplace, building out a network isn’t beyond the realm of possibilities. The company has been running Google Shopping Ads.

Amazon Video Ads are being offered in a variety of countries such as the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, and Spain.

The expansion of Amazon’s advertising platform and cloud services through Amazon Web Services (AWS) has helped founder Jeff Bezos and company catch the attention of executives at some of the largest and most successful advertising holding companies, agencies and brands. Making good business decisions has made his pockets a little deeper, enabling the billionaire to expand his empire. In fact, Forbes reports that Bezos added $20 billion to his net worth over 14 months through December 2016 — the largest gain of anyone in the world.

Source:, 10 Mar 2017

Dynamic emails lead to 18pc higher click rates on mobile: report

While standard email campaigns have become stale, kinetic email marketing optimized for mobile devices and with interactive elements can enhance click rates by almost 20 percent, according to a new report from Experian.

The report looked at the difference between static emails and more kinetic, interactive email marketing to gauge how much more effective the latter is than the former. The data found that kinetic emails performed significantly better than static in terms click rates and engagements from consumers.

“Kinetic email opens up a new approach to how we interact with our mobile inbox, and it is starting to show some real results,” said Yara Lutz, senior vice president of client success for Experian Cross-Channel Marketing. “It’s best to roll out simple techniques to start, in order to introduce the experience and continue to build upon it throughout your program.”

Kinetic email

In the modern age, even as consumers are becoming more and more reliant on mobile devices and remaining connected to their digital lives at all times, email marketing has slowly fallen by the wayside compared to social media advertising and native advertising.

Where once email marketing served as one of the best ways to connect with customers on a digital level, it now is often overlooked as a marketing opportunity in favour of other strategies.

Part of this has to do with the static nature of emails. Most emails come in plain text or HTML format, with occasional images and links.

But this is not the only way email marketing has to be. Many brands should be more aware of the possibilities of kinetic email, or email that is more dynamic and interactive.

Some brands have already taken advantage of this strategy, adding interactive elements that play best on mobile devices and mimic app-like behaviour.

Experian took a look at the data behind kinetic email to get a better handle on how much it affects customer engagement.

The data unsurprisingly showed that kinetic email had significantly better returns on engagement than static email.

Kinetic emails had an 18 percent higher click rate and a 10 percent higher open rate than standard email marketing messages.

Additionally, average revenue-per-email increased 8 cents from 6 cents in the previous quarter for brands that began using kinetic emails.

Dynamic and interactive

This strategy of offering kinetic emails with dynamic, interactive content is especially well suited to mobile devices.

While brands have long been able to format emails to look good on mobile, it is only now through kinetic email that they are beginning to take full advantage of what mobile can do for email marketing.

This is important given that 56 percent of total email opens in Q4 of 2016 were on mobile devices.

Some of the brands who have taken full advantage of the powers of kinetic email include Sephora, which used a dynamic email quiz, optimized for use on mobile devices, to recommend products to its customers.

Elsewhere, Vivino saw an increase in app opens thanks to an AI-based email campaign that automatically generated dynamic newsletters.


Vivino saw app opens rise after a kinetic email campaign

These campaigns show the data Experian mined in practice, exemplifying how dynamic and interactive emails optimized for the mobile device can have a positive impact on email marketing.

“Email has been going through an evolution for several years now, as mobile has become a dominant force within the space,” Ms. Lutz said. “We’ve already seen a shift in how marketers approach all types of campaigns and cater to the possibilities that mobile can provide.

“What started with designers optimizing campaigns to be responsive and updating content to be geared toward the mobile open, has advanced into new opportunities where users can interact with their emails mimicking an in-app experience. As devices become smarter, we can only expect the same with email as we tag along for the ride.”

Source:, 14 Mar 2017

Making your marketing organization agile: A step-by-step guide

Everyone wants to be “agile” these days. Here’s how successful companies put together the teams and the capabilities to actually make it happen at scale.

An international bank recently decided it wanted to see how customers would respond to a new email offer. They pulled together a mailing list, cleaned it up, iterated on copy and design, and checked with legal several times to get the needed approvals. Eight weeks later, they were ready to go.

In a world where people decide whether to abandon a web page after three seconds and Quicken Loans gives an answer to online mortgage applicants in less than ten minutes, eight weeks for an email test pushes a company to the boundaries of irrelevance. For many large incumbents, however, such a glacial pace is the norm.

We’ve all heard how digital technology allows marketers to engage in innovative new ways to meet customers’ needs far more effectively. But taking advantage of the new possibilities enabled by digital requires incumbents’ marketing organizations to become much nimbler and have a bias for action. In other words, they have to become agile.

Agile, in the marketing context, means using data and analytics to continuously source promising opportunities or solutions to problems in real time, deploying tests quickly, evaluating the results, and rapidly iterating. At scale, a high-functioning agile marketing organization can run hundreds of campaigns simultaneously and multiple new ideas every week.

The truth is, many marketing organizations think they’re working in an agile way because they’ve adopted some agility principles, such as test and learn or reliance on cross-functional teams. But when you look below the surface, you quickly find they’re only partly agile, and they therefore only reap partial benefits. For example, marketing often doesn’t have the support of the legal department, IT, or finance, so approvals, back-end dependencies, or spend allocations are slow. Or their agency and technology partners aren’t aligned on the need for speed and can’t move quickly enough. Simply put: if you’re not agile all the way, then you’re not agile.

For companies competing in this era of disruption, this is a problem. In many companies, revenues in the segment offerings and product lines that use agile techniques have grown by as much as a factor of four. And even the most digitally savvy marketing organizations, where one typically sees limited room for improvement, have experienced revenue uplift of 20 to 40 percent. Agile also increases speed: marketing organizations that formerly took multiple weeks or even months to get a good idea translated into an offer fielded to customers find that after they adopt agile marketing practices, they can do it in less than two weeks.

Making your marketing organization agile isn’t a simple matter, but we have found a practical and effective way to get there.

Click here for the full article

Source:; Nov 2016

Latest IBM Global CMO Study unveiled

The IBM BusinessConnect2016 event in March this year at One World Hotel saw the launch of the latest version of the IBM Global CMO Study.

Presented by IBM Malaysia Marketing Director Eric Wong at a special luncheon for CMOs, IBM BusinessConnect2016 drew over 200 high-powered C-suite executives and featured more than 20 speakers and panellists.

This year’s theme, ‘A New Era of Thinking’ built upon the insights gained from conversations with 5247 C-level leaders who participated in IBM’s Global C-Suite Study.

A total of 723 CMOs in more than 50 countries took part in CMO Study.

Apart from the CMO Study findings, IBM also discussed the market realities impacting marketers, cognitive commerce, engaging customers with powerful mobile app experiences, brand experiences across all channels and the API Economy.

In an earlier presentation, Brett Nulf from IBM Mobile First Platform/Cloud Asia Pacific listed some interesting data on mobile usage in Malaysia:

– 1.4 phones per person
– 50% are Smartphones
– 67% use Mobile Internet
– 35% access Internet purely from mobile phone
– 3.1 hours a day spent online
– 42% made purchases from phone

Eric also shared his vision about the future CMO’s team which he declared will consist of new skill-set players like Customer Data Analysts, Customer Experience Managers, Customer Experience Designers, Channel Owners, Creative Managers, Marketing Operations Managers.

Click here to view copy of the study

Source:; 24 Mar 2016

The future of petrol retail branding

Forty years ago the petrol filling station was an iconic landmark.


Post-war romantic visions of futuristic architecture were played out on the forecourt.


During the 1970s, these iconic stations were replaced by bland, generic formats owned largely by the major oil companies.
Architecture and service was rationalised and standardised across the world. In most regions, attended service was removed and customers were left to fill the car themselves.

More recently, the oil majors have stepped back from retail sites, focusing on franchising the forecourt operation to independents and the shop offer to well-known grocery brands.

At the same time supermarkets have taken significant market share by offering cheap fuel next to grocery shopping.


But retail has moved on…


While petrol retail has become bland and uniform, nearly every other retail experience, from banking to supermarkets to buying cars, has been revolutionised.

Shopping for fuel is one of the few experiences still termed as a ‘distress purchase’.

So what’s the future for the filling station?

Read more

Source: Circle Brands, UK  (May 2010)