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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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Video Ad Campaign Hall of Fame: The Marlboro Man

In 1851, the journalist John B.L. Soule penned the phrase, “Go West, Young Man, Go West.” In doing so, he captured the promise of the rugged West and sold it to the young men of the nation. Since the Western expansion, the West has remained a symbol of freedom, individualism, and manliness. This symbol has been drilled into the American consciousness, making it the perfect archetype for American advertisers to draw from.

In 1954, Leo Burnett, a titan in the advertising world, did just that. Using the image of the cowboy, the simple phrase “Come to where the flavor is”, and the romanticized vision of the American West, Burnett’s ad agency was able to turn Marlboro cigarettes into the epitome of masculinity.

Before Leo Burnett revolutionized the Marlboro brand, Marlboros were seen as feminine cigarettes. The official tagline of the brand was “Mild as May.” The cigarettes were slender and filtered—attributes Marlboro used to appeal to young women. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that the brand decided to shift gears and target the population with more disposable income to spend on cigarettes: young men.


According to Jay Conrad Levinson, who worked on the Marlboro campaign with Leo Burnett, the key to the campaign’s success was patience. In his book Guerrilla Marketing, Levinson reveals that the Marlboro man wasn’t an instant hit. It took time for consumers to adjust to the new direction of the brand, and to overcome their deep-seated beliefs that the brand was for women. It took months for the Marlboro Man campaign to produce results.

The Marlboro Man campaign was launched in the days before the Public Health Service declared the correlation between smoking and lung cancer. This was also before marketing a product as “masculine” or “feminine” made the American public cringe. Today, it’s illegal to air tobacco advertisements on TV. It’s also difficult to market a product as “feminine” without backlash—unless you want to incur the wrath of Ellen Degeneres.

Times have changed since the Marlboro campaign. Even so, there are lessons to be learned from it.

1. Use archetypes to your advantage. Archetypes, or universal symbols, may convey your message better than words ever could. For example, water is a common symbol for rebirth in ancient and religious stories. This Clean and Clear video ad uses the water archetype, and its connotation with rebirth, to its advantage. The visual of water splashing over this woman’s face leads viewers to unconsciously associate the Clean and Clear product with rebirth and transformation: a powerful message for a skin care product.


2. Make like Jay Conrad Levinson and have patience. Creating a recognizable brand isn’t fast or easy. Neither is re-branding. Ad campaigns take stamina and a willingness to keep the message consistent, even if it takes months to see any progress. The Marlboro Man wasn’t built overnight.

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.