Thursday, 26 September, 2013


THE GUARDIAN: Angry Birds ToonsTV channel hits 1bn views and adds third-party content

Seven months after launching within the company’s Angry Birds games, Rovio’s ToonsTV videos channel has passed 1bn total views.  The Finnish company is working on a second series of its Angry Birds Toons cartoon that will debut in 2014, as well as spin-offs for its pig characters, and the pink bird Stella. However, it’s also going to start distributing videos from other companies.

BUSINESS INSIDER: Mobile ad spending has doubled since 2011

Marketers are spending more than twice as much on mobile this year than in 2011 as they work to close the gap between how much of their budgets is allocated to mobile and how much media is consumed on such devices, according to a new Interactive Advertising Bureau survey.  Among the 300 U.S. organizations surveyed, IAB estimated the average mobile ad budget was $242,750 in 2013, more than double the budget two years ago.

MASHABLE: YouTube adds background music library for your videos

The perfect soundtrack can really make a video come together, so YouTube is making it much easier to pick an audio backdrop for your footage.  YouTube launched an audio library this week, featuring more than 150 royalty-free instrumental tracks to choose from. The video manager feature allows you to peruse options based on mood, genre (from rock to classical), instrument and duration.

AD WEEK ASIA: Print Ads Just Can’t Keep Up With the Porsche 911

Fred & Farid Shanghai have created a nice, fun, simple campaign for Porsche China. And kudos to the client for agreeing to lose the beauty shots of the vehicle almost entirely.


Thursday, 19 September, 2013


BRAND REPUBLIC: Virgin Mobile rolls out YouTube campaign controlled by blinking

Twenty five different YouTube spots have been created for a Virgin Mobile campaign that allows the viewer to switch between each one by blinking.  Virgin Mobile claims the technology for the BlinkWashing campaign, which ties in with a user’s webcam, has never been used before and is a method of delivering advertising that gives the consumer “complete control”. Ad agency Mother New York created the campaign for Virgin Mobile US.

AD WEEK: Volkswagen breaks out no. 2 pencil for great homage to A-ha’s ‘Take on Me’

In a semi-obscure but fantastic source material for ads: A-ha’s famous video for “Take on Me” has inspired a fun new Volkswagen spot by Deutsch LA.  The spot, directed by David Shane, is a combination of stills, animated sequences and live action, just like the original video. And like the original, it was rotoscoped – meaning they filmed the actors and the cars and then animated the results.  The automaker must have figured enough of the target market was soaking up MTV in the mid-1980s to make this worthwhile.

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST: China online video advertising market gets a boost from smart TVs

With mainlanders taking to online videos on internet-enabled screens, ad spending in the segment is tipped to top US$2b this year.  The growing demand for internet-linked “smart” television on the mainland is poised to help drive greater advertising spending in the country’s online video market, analysts say.  “Consumers on the mainland are increasingly spending more time watching online videos. Smart TVs are now providing them with a better online viewing experience, which is encouraging marketers to spend more advertising money on this media segment,” Wang Xiaofeng, a Beijing-based analyst at Forrester Research, said yesterday.

Monday, 16 September, 2013


 AD WEEK: Meet Japan’s most popular ad family

The father is a human in a dog’s body (for reasons “you’re too young to understand,” he once barked at his daughter), the son is a black American, and their maid is an alien incarnation of Tommy Lee Jones. They are “The White Family,” a staple of telecom Softbank’s marketing, and they have become the most popular recurring commercial characters in Japan for six years. The family is made up of a father (Otosan), a son (Kojiro), a mom (Masako) and a daughter (Aya). The sprawling series of more than 130 spots, credited with vaulting SoftBank from industry newcomer to one of Japan’s top mobile providers, have even featured cameos from Quentin Tarantino, Tommy Lee Jones and a real Japanese astronaut filming his appearances in space.

ABC News: Twitter flies from obscurity to the height of fame

When Twitter started seven years ago as an obscure medium it was dismissed by critics. But it quickly matured into a worldwide messaging service used by everyone from heads of state to revolutionaries to companies trying to hawk products.  Now, Twitter is taking the next critical step in its evolution – selling stock to the public. It promises to be one of the most hyped and scrutinized initial public offerings since Facebook’s Wall Street debut in May 2012. To be successful, the company will need to become an advertising behemoth and prove that the same service that has already helped change the course of history can also make money. Twitter quietly slipped out news of its plan to go public in a tweet on Thursday afternoon.

CAMPAIGN: Samsung bests Apple in iPhone launch week

LONDON – Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 has bested last week’s launch of the iPhone 5S and 5C devices, the former ranking seven places above the latter, according to video-sharing figures from Unruly.  The Samsung ad, created in-house, was the third most-shared ad last week with 231,000 shares across Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere.  Meanwhile, Apple’s ad promoting the features of its newly-launched iPhone 5S, also created in-house, was shared just 25,500 times and placed last in the chart.  The ad features Apple’s chief designer, Sir Jonathon Ive, talking about the device’s fingerprint security functionality.  Sharing of the two smartphone ads supports recent research suggesting Apple’s ads are underperforming against its competitors in the viral video space.

 BUSINESS DAY LIVE: GOtv goes big across Africa

GOtv, MultiChoice’s nascent digital terrestrial television (DTT) service, has proven popular with viewers across Africa, bagging thousands of subscribers just two years after it first launched in Zambia.  “The service has managed to attract more than 400,000 paying subscribers to date and is growing at a rapid pace,” said Nico Meyer, CEO of MultiChoice Africa. “It is still early days and we believe this will pick up as we expand our network in existing countries and launch in new markets.”  The service provides options to viewers hungry for more content but who are put off by the cost of satellite dishes and installation.

Tuesday, 10 September, 2013


SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST: Facebook to spur more digital advertising in Hong Kong

With HK firmly under its sway, Facebook aims to build on its success in the tech savvy city with targeted pitches, especially on mobile devices.  Facebook, which has more than 1 million active advertisers worldwide, aims to step up development of online and mobile marketing campaigns in Hong Kong, where it estimates more than 60 per cent of the population access the social network each month.  Jayne Leung Yau-mui, pictured, the director for North Asia at Facebook, said: “We see a lot of opportunities to work with advertisers in Hong Kong. Mobile is a big trend.”  That optimism stems from Facebook’s strong market penetration in the city, which made it the biggest social network used in Hong Kong. Its internal estimates show about 4.3 million active monthly users as of June 30, of which about 3.5 million accessed the social network on their smartphones and media tablets.

WALL STREET JOURNAL: Japan stocks already chasing Olympic gold

TOKYO – For financial markets, 2020 is a long time from now, but the awarding of the Olympic Games is expected to give an immediate boost to Japan’s stock market.  Aside from the extra economic boost for Japan’s capital and the benefits for the construction and property sectors, traders say there is a broader, psychological impact for an economy starting to show signs of traction.

The Tokyo organizers say they plan to build 22 of 37 venues for US$3.11 billion – including a new 80,000 seat national stadium. A waterfront Olympic Village will cost $956 million.  “Looking at past examples individual shares that will benefit from the Olympics such as construction, real estate, advertising agencies, hotels, security services will likely rise in the next three months on the back of the Olympics,” Nomura Securities chief strategist Hiromichi Tamura said.

AD AGE: Meet the 71-year-old ad agency intern

DALLAS – In a business that’s obsessed with hiring the hottest young talent boasting digital experience, most shops would probably balk. But 71-year-old Doug McKinlay – an ad professor at Brigham Young University and former agency owner – convinced The Richards Group in Dallas to take him on for a summer internship.  “The industry is moving at Mach One, and academia isn’t moving nearly that fast,” Mr. McKinlay said, comparing the pace of changes to advertising curriculum to “the speed of a receding glacier.”

“The only way for me to find out whether we were doing the best job at training our students wasn’t more research – it was about going to an agency,” he said.

BRAND REPUBLIC: Cast of Toy Story star in Sky broadband ad

LONDON – Sky has roped in the cast of Disney-Pixar’s ‘Toy Story’ for a TV ad promoting the broadcaster’s broadband service.  The 50-second animated spot features the cast from the ‘Toy Story’ films, including Woody and Buzz Lightyear, the latter character voiced by Tim Allen.  In the ad, the toys are all using the internet when the router blows up after being overloaded. The characters panic until the ‘Toy Story’ aliens point up and murmur the answer their problems – Sky.  The new ad, which was created by Disney-Pixar in collaboration with WCRS and Sky, also coincides with a new ‘Toy Story’ TV special, which airs in the UK and Ireland on Sky Movies Disney in October. The ad airs today across Sky and terrestrial channels, and will be backed by print and outdoor executions.

Tuesday, 3 September, 2013


BRAND REPUBLIC: Bartle Bogle Hegarty pulls Barclays spot featuring paedophile

Bartle Bogle Hegarty has been forced to withdraw and re-edit its Barclays “thank you” spot after it emerged that one of the extras in the ad was a convicted paedophile.  The 90-second ad promotes Barclays sponsorship of the Premier League and features real fans supporting their teams.  The Sun on Sunday reported that one of the fans, who is seen sat among children, has convictions for possessing child abuse images.  BBH pulled the spot and is running a re-edited version, from which the extra has been removed.  MD of BBH London Charlie Rudd said: “Usually when looking for talent to use in commercials, we hire actors via casting agencies where full checks are employed.  “In this instance, to ensure authenticity, we recruited 400 real football fans for the crowd scenes alongside professional actors.”

THE NEW YORK TIMES: New ad organization to promote cross-cultural marketing

Five big names on Madison Avenue are joining forces to start an organization devoted to promoting what is known as cross-cultural marketing: pitches directed at a general market whose demographic makeup is becoming much more diverse.  The organization, called the Cross Cultural Marketing and Communications Association, is being started by the American Association of Advertising Agencies; Draftfcb, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies; PepsiCo; and two divisions of WPP, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and the Millward Brown research company.

AD WEEK: Ad agencies prefer LinkedIn to SlideShare

When hunting for new business, agency leaders have embraced the use of social media platforms, but only the most established hubs.  In a new poll from RSW/US 46 per cent of 300 agency honchos described LinkedIn as the “most important” social media vehicle for generating new business leads, well above blogging (24 per cent), Facebook and Twitter (both at 14 per cent) and Google (just 2 per cent). The same poll, though, found that only 21 per cent use SlideShare – which has been around almost as long as LinkedIn – to market their agencies to prospective clients.  “It’s more top of mind. It’s a little bit more corporate,” explained Mark Sneider, president of RSW/US, a Cincinnati-based new business consultancy.  Also, LinkedIn “requires the least amount of effort to maintain and use effectively,” Sneider said.