Snapchat To Sell Branded Selfie Lenses

What Happened
Snapchat is reportedly considering monetizing one of its most recent additions to the app – the selfie lenses, which let users add fun special-effect overlays to their selfies. The popular messaging app is said to be pitching brands sponsored selfie lenses for as much as $750,000 for one day. Similarly, Snapchat recently launched Sponsored Geofilters, allowing brands like McDonald’s to offer customers near one of its stores a unique branded filter to use on their snaps.

What Brands Need To Do
Sponsored lenses represent a new kind of native advertising that is more interactive and engaging than traditional ads. While the Sponsored Geofilters can feel a bit tacked on to the photos, the Sponsored Lenses overlay on the sender’s face, making them unique and intimate. For Snapchat, this is potentially a new revenue stream, and another great native ad units for advertisers and brands to buy to reach young millennial consumers.


Source: TechCrunch

Snapchat Gets NFL, Burberry, And Goldman Sachs On Board

What Happened
Snapchat is having a good week as it welcomes three new brands on board. The popular messaging app just signed the National Football League as a formal partner to bring photos and videos from games into its Live Stories feature. As part of this one-year deal, Snapchat will create a story for each game leading to this year’s Super Bowl, sell ads in these stories, and split revenue with NFL. Besides helping NFL reach younger audiences, Snapchat is also hosting a runway show for Burberry to launch new clothing lines via Live Stories. Moreover, Goldman Sachs is turning to Snapchat’s Campus Stories channel to target college students with short video ads.

What Brands Should Do
From sports to fashion to banking, Snapchat’s new partners come from diverse industry verticals, which demonstrates its versatility as an emerging media channel. Brands that seek to reach mobile consumers, especially those in younger generations, need to consider putting their content on Snapchat.


Source: AdWeek

Brand Tweets To Appear In Desktop Google Search Results, Too

What Happened
Three months after incorporating tweets on search results for US users on mobile devices, Google has finally incorporated tweets into its search results on the desktop as well. Tweets from certified and active brand accounts are now showing up in a “carousel unit” fairly high on the first page of relevant search results, but reportedly there’s no advertising component to this new feature yet. Nevertheless, Twitter is best at real-time content, and Google stands to improve its search results by adding some borrowed timeliness to keep its results fresh.

What Brands Can Do
This move will no doubt further help expand the reach of branded tweets, and if your brand hasn’t been active on social media channels, now isthe time to get the self-serve PR machine started. With the recent rise of social commerce, complete with “buy buttons,” such incorporation also shows potential for extending such ecommerce opportunities into new digital contexts, something that all retail brands should explore.


Source: Marketing Land

What Facebook’s New “Secret Videos” Means For Brands

What Happened
Earlier today, Facebook unveiled a series of new video publisher tools as it gears up to compete with YouTube for brands’ attention and ad dollars. Besides some standard additions that focuses on video customizations and library management, Facebook also added an option for brands to upload “secret videos” to their pages, which are only viewable to people with the direct links to such videos. We expect the exclusivity of the content and its artificial scarcity to increase engagement amongst the target demographics.

What Brands Should Do
If your brand produces videos for content marketing purposes, It may be time to consider trying out Facebook as it continues to build out its video ad platform. “Secret videos,” for example, give brands a way to share branded content privately with a selective audience, or simply embed it somewhere else without having it show up on the brand pages. Coupled with the vast demographic and behavioral data that Facebook processes on its users, these new video publisher tools could make it as a more targeted and effective alternative to YouTube for brands and marketers alike.


Source: The Next Web

Fast Forward: How You Can Leverage Live-Streaming To Reach A Wider Audience

Your guide to tech-driven changes in the media landscape by IPG Media Lab. A fast read for you and a forward for your clients and team.

  • New features from Meerkat make live-streaming collaborative and more interactive
  • Brands can sponsor others’ streams or have celebs “Cameo” in their own stream to increase reach
  • Storage option makes evergreen content possible

What Meerkat Announced
Meerkat has announced a new update that brings several interesting new features to its apps. Besides Facebook log-in and a cloud-based streaming storage, the highlight of the update comes as a new “Cameo” feature that allows live-stream hosts to invite another Meerkat user to take over their stream for up to one minute.


What Brands That Produce Video Content Need To Do
Brands that produce monetizable content and brands that produce video for content marketing can capitalize on this change. The new features change the type of content suitable for Meerkat in a big way. Meerkat is now making it easy for brands to get involved in streams with a wide reach as a Cameo, e.g., by buying time on an influencer’s stream. Also, brands can leverage a Cameo from a celebrity to reach a bigger audience, spice up their live streams and generate buzz, as that celeb brings their audience with them, either live or for evergreen content.

Several marketers have already begun using the new feature, including The Weather Channel, TMZ, Fox, CW, Mastercard, and YouTube star Michelle Phan. Even scripted and serialized content are possible on Meerkat now and the long term storage options will create opportunities to build an audience over time.

Market Impact
Locked in a tight race with Periscope, Meerkat has been actively branching out to new territories to differentiate itself from its Twitter-owned rival. In recent weeks, it has expanded to Android, as well as forging partnerships with cable networks like Discovery and CMT to diversify its content. This update shows Meerkat’s continued efforts in differentiation, and it looks like it is ahead of Periscope, for now at least.

For More Information
Please contact Engagement Director Samantha Holland ([email protected]) at the IPG Media Lab if you would like more detail or to schedule a visit to the Lab.

For previous editions of Fast Forward, please visit Please reply with any constructive criticism or feedback. We want these to be as useful as possible for you and your clients, and your feedback will help us immensely.


Images courtesy of Meerkat

Lab’s Take On Cannes Lions Festival 2015

Last week, selected members of the Lab descended into Cannes, France to attend the ad industry’s annual Mediterranean celebration. More so than the years past, we felt a strong presence of tech startups and ad technology. Much like how brands are flocking to Austin every year and co-opting the SXSW festivals, more and more ad tech companies are now travelling to Cannes to get in direct contact with the numerous brands in attendance.

The same observation was echoed by Philip Thomas, CEO of Lions Festivals, in his interview with AdAge. “Startups have not been to Cannes before in any numbers,” he commented, “The early adopters are here and I think they’ll go back and spread the word.”

The increasing presence of tech startups was most evident near the Palais, where, for the first time in Cannes history, festival organizers set up a designated “yacht row” for tech startups and established digital media agencies to rent out yachts for client entertainment and meetings. In some cases, the costs of renting the yachts were shared among multiple startups within similar product categories, which made the tech scene in Cannes less adjunct and more organized this year, according to the observation of a Lab member.

Moreover, the ad tech companies did not just come to shake hands with clients. This year, their involvement also seems more legitimate by working with known consulting groups, as well as some big-name brands. Unilever, for example, hosted a two-day Lions Innovation event where 50 top-notch tech startups were selected to meet and demo their business to brands and agencies, which includes the Lab. Bank of America also inked a deal with Pinterest to promote its brand-sponsored Vice videos on its social platform to reach the campaign’s target audience of millennials.

All in all, the Cannes festival has evolved into a full-fledge industry event where all players come together, be it brands, agencies, or tech startups. From what the Lab members experienced first-hand, technology is undeniably at the center of conversation this year, which the New York Times seconded with a report titled Cannes Lions Festival Shifts Focus Toward Ad Technology”. It seems safe to conclude that Cannes is quickly becoming the SXSW for ad tech, and all players in this space need to be aware.



New Apple Pay Feature Allows Brands To Push Offers Via iAd

Read original story on: 9to5Mac

At the WWDC event last week, Apple Pay received a major update that added support for rewards and loyalty programs. Now, new reports claim that with the new Wallet app in iOS 9,  revamped from the old Passbook app, Apple will allow brands to send out customized offers through its mobile ad platform iAd.

As Apple noted on its blog, The Offers feature will allow marketers to push out personalized brand messages that can also be “triggered with updates specific to a store location via iBeacon”, or alternatively targeting users by age, gender, location, or “specify custom demographics using their own data”.

If Apple could smoothly integrate this new feature into Apple Pay without being too intrusive, it would be of great use for brands and marketers alike, as it can reach loyal customers with specific messages that reflect their preferences and interests, or help acquire new customers by presenting a location-sensitive value offer at moments that matter. We see great potential in this new feature, as Apple sure loves that it offers advertisers more reasons to jump on iAd, where it takes a 30% cut of the ad sales.

Facebook Tests New Feature To Facilitate Customer-Business Contact

Read original story on: TechCrunch

As a follow-up to its initiative to get consumers to communicate directly with businesses on its Messenger app, Facebook is now testing a new feature called “Saved Replies,” which will allow brand Page owners to use customizable canned messages when communicating with their customers over Facebook.

While this new feature could certainly help handling large volume of customer requests, brands also need to be mindful of its implementation so as not to appear robotic and perfunctory. This is only the latest in Facebook’s considerable efforts to make its platforms more brand-friendly, and we expect more useful features to pop up.

Facebook To Prioritize Real People’s Posts Over Brands

Read original story on: TechCrunch

Facebook introduced an update to its news feed algorithm that will prioritize posts from real people over those by brand pages and publishers. For some brands, reach stats and click-through rates on Facebook reportedly went down almost immediately after the changes were implemented on Tuesday; however, it is still too early to tell exactly how much impact this new tweak will impact brands’ efforts on Facebook in the long term. As competition for limited attention grows, brands have to work harder to produce entertaining quality content that people want to see in their feed.

SXSW 2015: The Six Most-Talked About Digital Brand Activations

As our time here at the legendary interactive festival winds down, here is a look back at the 10 most talked-about brand activations:

  1. Studio uses Tinder to promote Ex Machina
    Some festival-goers using Tinder were matched with Ava, a 25-year-old Tinder bot created to promote Alex Garland’s sci-fi thriller Ex Machina, which premiered at SXSW.
  1. Meerkat breaks out
    FOMO is never higher than during SXSW, making this live-streaming app the perfect way to instantly drop in on celebrities, founders, and brands during the festival.
  1. Mophie uses St. Bernards to search and rescue owners with near-dead devices
    Through a partnership with the St. Bernard Rescue Foundation, nine full-size dogs and three puppies were used to deliver Mophie chargers—stored inside brandy barrel necklaces—to attendees in dire need of a charge.
  1. Lyft integrates One Touch PayPal into its interface
    As part of a promotional campaign during SXSW, riders who paid with PayPal received a $5 discount on their first ten rides as well as a chance to hitch a ride in a Ferrari 458 Italia, 1963 Bentley, Tesla Model S, or another noteworthy ride.
  1. Game of Thrones allows attendees to create digital art
    GoT encouraged attendees step on a stage, grab a (wooden) sword, and then go nuts on digital targets.
  1. USA Networks leverages beacons at SXSW for the “Mr. Robot” premiere
    The network created custom beacon alerts at various locations through the official SXSW app, rewarding festival-goers with free food and drinks, courtesy of “Mr. Robot.”