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Verizon: The New Media Giant

A media giant has been born.

Yesterday, Verizon announced its acquisition of Yahoo for $4.83 billion, gaining access to Yahoo’s brands, technology, and 1 billion users.

This is not the first time a company has set its sights on buying Yahoo. In 2008, Microsoft made the internet company a $44.6 billion offer, which was turned down. As this drastic change in price tag illustrates, Yahoo has struggled to maintain its position as an industry titan in recent years. Despite CEO Marissa Mayer’s best efforts to turn the company around, Yahoo has been unable to keep its stock and street cred from plummeting.

Verizon, on the other hand, has been on its way up. In May of last year, it announced a similar acquisition of AOL for $4.4 billion. Verizon’s aim was to marry its expansive network with AOL’s advertising technology and expertise. Verizon was also eager to tap into AOL’s growing engagement with mobile and video advertising.

Now that Verizon has purchased Yahoo, it can close the gap between its own advertising efforts and those of the industry’s leaders: Facebook and Google. Whereas Verizon once lagged behind in technology, platforms, and usership, it can now harness the power of both AOL and Yahoo’s assets.

Some of the assets now included under Verizon’s umbrella include:

  1. ONE by AOL: an all-in-one platform that allows both publishers and advertisers to run and track digital media campaigns. As described on the ONE website, “The ONE by AOL suite offers Media Planning, Audience Management, Creative Optimization, Analytics and Attribution, as well as our market-leading display, video and TV DSPs. All of this connected through shared technology, data and insights.” For Verizon, ownership of this technology means increased appeal as a one-stop shop for advertisers.
  2. Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Mobile: With Yahoo Mail’s 225 million active users and Yahoo Mobile’s 600 million users, Verizon now has the potential to track and target an expansive user base.
  3. Tumblr: A popular social media site for millennials, Tumblr is a valuable asset to Verizon in that it opens up opportunities to advertise to a younger audience. Sites like Yahoo Sports and Yahoo News also offer advertising potential, Yahoo News alone reaching 83 million people a month.
  4. Verizon Wireless Network: As noted by BBC News, Verizon itself has an extensive user base. As on of the top mobile networks in the US, Verizon has “a wealth of data from smartphone users that it could mine.”

The merger of AOL technology with Yahoo’s advertising potential makes Verizon a force to be reckoned with. Like Facebook and Google, which utilize their built-in user data and ever-evolving advertising technologies to market to advertisers, Verizon now has a data and tech goldmine of its own. It’s an exciting time for businesses who are looking to step up their digital marketing games. Increased competition between advertising platforms means advancements will start churning out even faster. In the coming years, all platforms will have to meet the increasing demand for mobile and video advertising formats, as the world turns away from static advertisements and towards rich media.

The combined brainpower of Verizon, AOL, and Yahoo means the potential for groundbreaking advancements within the advertising world. Google and Facebook, look out: there’s a new giant to wrestle with.

Image Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-35479175

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Video Ad Campaign Hall of Fame: Our Blades Are F***ing Great

Becoming an instant billionaire? Sounds f***ing great.

Yesterday, Fortune announced that Dollar Shave Club, a startup that ships razors directly to subscribers’ homes each month, sold to Unilever for a whopping $1 billion.

The Dollar Shave Club brand exploded into the public consciousness in 2012, when the company released what can only be described as an exercise in absurdist advertising.

The video ad—which features Dollar Shave Club Founder Mike Dubin, a man in a bear suit, and the f-bomb—has almost 23 million views on YouTube. The success of Dollar Shave Club and their Little-Ad-That-Could confirms what great advertisers have been saying all along: advertising and playing it safe have no business being together.

As David Ogilvy, described by some as the Father of Advertising, famously said: “Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of immortals.”

Dollar Shave Club certainly hit it out of the park. Dubin, who has a background in improv comedy, explained that he wrote the ad in an attempt to stand out from brands that take themselves too seriously.

He said, “The world is filled with bad commercials and people who are marketing too hard. I think what we wanted to do is not take ourselves too seriously, and deliver an irreverent smart tone.”

This irreverence has certainly inspired copycats. The Dollar Beard Club, which claims to be the manlier alternative to the Dollar Shave Club, piggybacked off of Dubin’s great idea and gained quite a following of their own.

2 million views? Not too shabby.

There is something to be learned from both the Dollar Beard and Dollar Shave Clubs. First, if you see a strategy that works for someone else, try it out: there is a chance it will work for you too. There is no shame in learning from the success of others.

Finally, take risks. Be irreverent. Dust off that old sense of humor and try it on, even if it’s a bit strange and you’re worried it will weird people out.

If you’re feeling exceptionally brave, you could even try to float some puns. It seems to have worked for the Dollar Shave Club.

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Each Thursday, the Viddyad team will choose a new commercial to add to our Video Ad Campaign Hall of Fame. If you have any nominees (video advertisements that made you laugh, made you cry, stood the test of time, or made you go “WHOA”) let us know! Comment below or shoot us an email at social@viddyad.com.

Image Source: http://bit.ly/2a29PLr

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The Top 5 Social Media Campaigns of All Time

Businesses of all sizes from everywhere in the world have been attempting to crack the code to a successful viral marketing campaign. While it may seem like social media has only become a key factor in the viral campaign industry over the last several years, social media campaigns date as far back to 1999 with the movie The Blair Witch Project.

We’ve compiled our own list of the Top 5 Social Media Campaigns of All Time. Maybe you can pick up a few tips from these successful marketing strategies:

1. The Blair Witch Project

 

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There may not have been Facebook and Twitter in the summer of 1999 when The Blair Witch Project was released, but these marketers made one of the first ever attempts at a viral marketing campaign. They were able to generate a big buzz for a small budget movie by posting fake newspaper clippings about the disappearance of the movie’s characters on web sites and message boards. Were the events depicted in the movie based on a true story? We will never know.

This campaign sparked interests in the film months before its release, and led to box office earnings of $29 million during its first week alone.

2. Old Spice Spokesman

While the Old Spice slogan “Smell like a man, man” and its TV commercials are successful marketing campaigns on their own, the grooming products company hit gold with their interactive viral social media campaign. Spokesperson Isaiah Mustafa was already popular from their commercials, but Old Spice took it to a new level by interacting with fans via web videos in 2010. Fans submitted questions to Mustafa via Twitter, and the Old Spice spokesman responded to these questions with over 180 web videos. He responded via video to one Twitter user @Alyssa_Milano four times and even sent her flowers.

Talk about increasing audience engagement, am I right?!

3. ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Perhaps one of the most engaging social media campaigns of its time, the ALS Association generated 70 billion video views and raised $220 million in the summer of 2014. The association raised awareness for ALS by having people dump buckets of ice on their heads and post a video of it on social media, challenging other friends to do the same and donate to the cause. Celebrities from all over got on board with the campaign and posted hilarious videos of themselves participating in the challenge. Amongst the most popular celebrity Ice Bucket Challenges were Justin Bieber, Bill Gates, and Kim Kardashian on the Ellen Degeneres show.

The ALS Association spent no money on promoting this campaign, and was awarded the Facebook for Good award in the Facebook Awards.

4. Always #LikeAGirl

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Another 2015 Facebook Awards winner for their viral campaign was the Always #LikeAGirl campaign which raised awareness and confronted gender norms. Their videos called for a change in perceptions of what it means to “act like a girl.” As these videos went viral all over social media, and especially on Facebook, they generated a lot of feedback from their audience and social media users. The feminine hygiene brand increased the emotional connection with their audience and boosted purchase intent. The #LikeAGirl video became the most watched video in Procter & Gamble history with 76 million views.

5. World Wildlife Fund #LastSelfie

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And finally a viral social media campaign from 2016, the WWF’s #LastSelfie Snapchat campaign brings awareness to animal species at risk for extinction. The idea behind their campaign was to show audiences that endangered species are disappearing in the world just like selfies disappear from Snapchat in 10 seconds. These vibrant images capturing different endangered animals grab your attention, along with their sad but brutally honest captions that this could be their “last selfie.” The WWF took something everyday like a selfie and used it as a call to action, raising awareness for animal species in danger of going extinct all over the world.

All of these viral campaigns have one thing in common: they thought outside of the box. To create a viral social media campaign, you need to get away from ‘the norm’ and get creative outside of your comfort zone!

 

Photo sources: 

http://www.smcubedconsulting.com/tag/social-marketing/
http://www.mediapoondi.com/
http://www.imcthoughts.com/
http://www.site-seeker.com/

Get creative with your viral social media campaign and make a video ad at www.viddyad.com

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Video Ad Campaign Hall of Fame: Generic Brand Video

An old adage tells us that laughter is the best medicine. It’s also the best relief during tense discussions, the best way to appear friendlier than you actually are, and the best way to seem cool even after you trip in front of a bunch of people.

Most importantly, laughter is the best way to build an emotional connection with others. Funny video advertisements have the ability to generate warm feelings and a sense of camaraderie between advertiser and viewer. Advertisements that make people laugh tend to be tweeted, retweeted, replayed and remembered.

One such advertisement is Dissolve’s “This is a Generic Brand Video,” which won the 2015 Shorty Award for Best in B2B (business to business). The Shorty Awards honor the most influential voices in social media, which is a pretty big deal considering how important social media has become in the life of the modern consumer.

“This is a Generic Brand Video” pokes fun at formulaic brand advertisements, which have a predictability and absurdity that may not be apparent upon first viewing, but which nevertheless seem familiar when Dissolve points them out:

 

Dissolve’s video is a good reference point for advertisers who want to see what to do and what NOT to do. The use of cliches and the lack of sincerity or logic in advertising, which Dissolve is making fun of, should be avoided at all costs. Viewers are smart and tend to notice when an advertisement is disingenuous. When making an advertisement, companies should stick to what’s true, and not just what they think viewers want to hear.

When making a video ad, consider using Dissolve’s tactic of sharp humor. This video is impactful because it doesn’t insult viewers’ intelligence; in fact, it makes it seem like Dissolve and viewers are in on a joke together. Most interestingly, the use of humor covers up the fact that the video is itself an advertisement. Through this video, Dissolve is able to gain brand recognition, free publicity, and hits to their website, all while giving viewers a good time.

 

Each Thursday, the Viddyad team will choose a new commercial to add to our Video Ad Campaign Hall of Fame. If you have any nominees (video advertisements that made you laugh, made you cry, stood the test of time, or made you go “WHOA”) let us know! Comment below or shoot us an email at social@viddyad.com.

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Why Design is Important

From the color of your landing page to the shape of your logo, design has the ability to evoke different emotions from your audience and consumers.

When it comes to content marketing, it doesn’t matter how great your copy is or what cool thing you’re posting on social media if the design isn’t there. Putting the right amount of time and thought into design for your content marketing (and for everything) is what will make or break the message you want to convey.

In order to connect with your audience and relay your intended message, it’s necessary to understand the key principles of design and the psychology behind it.

Different perceptions and human emotions can be evoked from your audience based on the shape, color, and font that is chosen for your design. This can make all the difference when creating a brand logo or even an advertisement. When choosing a design for anything, you must consider what emotions you want your company to be associated with because every aspect of design can alter and influence how your brand is perceived.

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For example, the color red correlates with feelings of excitement and love, while the color blue signifies trust and dependability. And as for shapes, circles and ovals convey positive emotional messages and a sense of community and friendship. Straight lines like squares and triangles, on the other hand, suggest strength, stability and efficiency.

Keeping these principles in mind is especially important when, according to Hubspot, 93% of purchasing judgements are made on visual perceptions. The goal of design is to both communicate your intended message and establish a strong emotional connection with your audience.

Viddyad’s lead designer Daryl Fitzsimons says that within the context of a business, design can be broken down into 2  areas,  how something looks, and (perhaps more importantly) how something works. Which, he believes, is often overlooked.

Business and design need to work in tandem, Daryl says. It is essential that any online business have a well thought out design strategy in place, and one that aligns with the company’s vision and values.

Design is intertwined with the user’s overall engagement and experience with a product. It directly influences whether or not a customer chooses to buy a product, subscribe to a newsletter or engage with a brand. Good design for business should focus on the customer and the target audience.

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Overall, design should never be mistakenly confused for mere aesthetics or mere surface decoration. It involves research, exploration, iterating and developing solutions that can and will be experienced by one’s audience.

 

 

Implement your great design with a video ad at www.viddyad.com

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