Emotional fuel at SXSW

Brand activations at SXSW, considered by some the Super Bowl of experiential marketing, have shown yet again why experiential, once viewed as an ancillary piece of a client's marketing mix, has become the core. Experiential marketing literally brings a brand's personality, values and attitude to life, and there's no better place to do that than in Austin, Texas, a city that is fiercely proud of being weird. Experiential marketing creates more brand advocates than any other marketing method. It creates increased engagement and has longer ROI than other advertising mediums. According to Shaz Smilansky, who penned "Experiential Marketing: A Practical Guide to Interactive Brand Experiences," people who undergo a live experience are likely to tell around 17 other people about a positive experience. When you do the math on the 167,800+ attendees, you can take that to the bank. This year there were the expected big spectaculars but also more Continue reading "Emotional fuel at SXSW"

Pinterest expands shopping ads for retailers

Retailers will soon find a wider selection of ads available to them on Pinterest. The visual search company is expanding its "Shopping Ads" feature, which was tested with a handful of retailers last year. The ads, which consumers see in their Pinterest search feeds, will now be available to hundreds of other brands after a successful pilot, Pinterest executives say. "It goes back to the core mission of helping people find and discover new products that they would love to buy," says Jon Alferness, who joined San Francisco-based Pinterest as senior VP of ads and commerce last year from Google. He says that as an automated advertising product, Pinterest's "shopping ads" take away a lot of the legwork for brands used to managing their own campaigns and advertising based on performance. Retailers can upload their product catalogs and showcase products in contexta couch in a decorated living room, for example, Continue reading "Pinterest expands shopping ads for retailers"

Why USA Today snagged a team of ex-video game developers to lure new readers

USA Today Network, a group of more than 100 Gannett-owned publications including USA Today, is set to roll out its first augmented reality app, focused on the 30 rocket launches slated for Cape Canaveral, Florida, this year. The app, dubbed 321Launch, will use AR tech to show launches from SpaceX's Falcon 9 and the United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rockets. Users in New York, for example, will see a rocket against their own sky on their phones' screens, complemented by information such as predicted flight patterns. The app can also present live video of launches in a more traditional way. There are no ads yet in the app, which comes out March 29, but the company intends to offer sponsorships in the future. Continue reading at AdAge.com

Hearst’s Troy Young on Publishing Amid Chaos: ‘Facebook Doesn’t Owe Me Anything’

Subscribe to us on iTunes, check us out on Spotify and hear us on Stitcher, Google Play and iHeartRadio too. This is our RSS feed. Tell a friend! It's been five years since Troy Young came to Hearst to build out the magazine company's digital division. Today as the global president of digital for a media empire that includes Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Elle, Good Housekeeping, Town & Countrythe list goes onYoung is redefining what it means to be in a 130-year-old publisher with its roots in print. In this episode of Ad Lib, Young discusses the pressures digital has placed on print publishing, consolidation in the media space and our current era of distribution instability, especially as Facebook switches up its algorithm and Snapchat pushes through brand defacing redesigns. Continue reading at AdAge.com

New Generation of Apps Enhance, Not Overshadow, Real Life

As society lurches between glowing screens, it's increasingly clear that living life is living with a device in your face. Luckily, a new generation of apps enhance, not overshadow, inherently analog experiences with just a soupon of technology. Think of them as on-screen prompts to get back in touch with your meat suit. Lines This collection of time-saver apps from TouringPlans (search for the apps via the developer) helps you orchestrate a family park vacation by factoring in school calendars, economic indicators and other data to tell you the best times to visitor avoiddestination parks. The apps (e.g., Disney World Lines) can then customize your itinerary, direct you to the rides where lines are shortest (gleaned from historical data from more than 140,000 annual subscribers) and more. Intentionally lo-fi-looking to save battery life and work within the congested parks, Lines can save up to four hours of waiting Continue reading "New Generation of Apps Enhance, Not Overshadow, Real Life"

Remotely Entertaining SXSW: The Future of Weed Marketing

The U.S. legal cannabis industry is headed for an all-time highand weed companies aren't the only brands that have new territory to explore. Faith Popcorn, futurist and founder of Faith Popcorn's BrainReserve, talked with us about what brands are asking when it comes to the future of pot, and what smart brands should be doing in this space. "There's going to be as many strains and ways to look at marijuana as there are wine," Popcorn says. "There's the upscale ones, the 'Herms of marijuana,' then the 'people's marijuana.'" Continue reading at AdAge.com

Macy’s Is Out to Get You — One Way or Another

Macy's has some spring in its step this season as it pushes out a new TV campaign and tests a digital initiative on Instagram. This week, the department store chain debuted "Find the Remarkable You," with a 90-second commercial that touches on female empowerment and self-improvement. In addition, Macy's is hosting a "Live Share" video with style tips on Instagram Wednesday evening with fashion influencer Wendy Nguyen of Wendy's Look Book. The new marketing comes at a time when Macy's is beginning to see a sales uptick after years of struggle. Last month, the brand reported fourth-quarter sales of $8.7 billion, a 1.8 percent rise over the year-earlier period, along with a comparable sales increase of 1.3 percent. And a new marketing strategy, which pushes fewer promotions, more fashion and an improved loyalty program for repeat shoppers, appears to be paying off, according to Macy's Chief Executive Continue reading "Macy’s Is Out to Get You — One Way or Another"