How Brands Showed Support For Pride Month

June is Pride Month, and brands around America are eager to show their support. From donating to LGBTQ+ charities to hiding rainbow easter eggs in apps, here’s how brands are recognizing the anniversary month of the Stonewall Riots.

Big Brands Put Up Big Money

Several companies are choosing to donate their own money in celebration of Pride Month, including AT&T, which has donated one million dollars to The Trevor Project, a LGBTQ+ crisis intervention charity, the largest single donation in the organization’s history.

“We’re so incredibly grateful for AT&T’s generous support of The Trevor Project’s life-saving work,” said Amit Paley, CEO and executive director of The Trevor Project, in a press release for AT&T. “Now more than ever, it is critical for companies committed to inclusion to stand with LGBTQ youth and let young people everywhere know that they should be proud of who they are and that they are never alone.”

Vodka brand Stoli is also making monetary contributions to queer causes, giving a “sizable donation” to the Harvey Milk Foundation in exchange for the rights to use the gay rights activist’s likeness on special edition vodka bottles. The company has been auctioning off several of the bottles at fundraising events, earning the foundation another $10,000, and commissioned the bottle’s designer to paint a mural in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood, near the Harvey Milk Plaza.

Inclusion In Gaming

The video game consumer culture has long had issues of toxicity toward its female and queer segments, but various brands are taking steps toward making their spaces safer.

Twitch has announced a substantive effort to promote LGBTQ+ livestreamers, posting a link to a new creator on Twitch’s homepage every day. Additionally, the company is fundraising for the Human Rights Campaign, working with the It Gets Better project, livestreaming the San Francisco Pride Parade and a host of other, small efforts.

Esports team Los Angeles Valiant, for its part, is partnering with the You Can Play Project to provide diversity and inclusion training for its players, as well as filming a PSA informing others in the community of the You Can Play initiative.

“For too long, the esports industry has been unfairly characterized as a toxic, unwelcoming environment,” said LA Valiant CEO Noah Whinston in a statement to AListDaily.

Brands Hop On The Pride Parade Bandwagon

The main events for Pride Month, regional Pride parades, offer brands an easy chance to come out in support of LGBTQ+ rights, and an easier way to get quick brand exposure from news coverage and social sharing.

“Through our annual Pride + Joy campaign, Macy’s joins community equality celebrations nationwide with in-store special events and support for local charity partners,” said Kristyn Doar-Page, Macy’s vice president of diversity and inclusion, in a statement.

Joining Macy’s in contributing to Pride parades are JetBlue and PVH, parent company to Calvin Klein and Speedo.

“I am incredibly proud that our PVH family around the world is once again coming together in support of the LGBTQ community to celebrate Pride,” said Emanuel Chirico, chairman and CEO of PVH.

Macy’s, PVH and Gap are additionally selling limited-edition Pride-themed merchandise, and the latter two are going so far as to donate portions of the proceeds to the Human Rights Campaign and the UN’s Free and Equal campaign, respectively.

Riot Games, the developer behind League of Legends, made a show of its support by participating in the LA Pride Parade and sharing messages on social media.

Tech Firms Make Gestures

Apple started Pride Month off early, releasing a Pride-themed rainbow background for the Apple Watch that users can opt into for the month of June.

“The new watch face features a black background with rainbow stripes appearing vertically,” Fortune reports.

Spotify, not to be outdone, has added a rainbow easter egg to its desktop app. When users turn their volume up to maximum, the volume bar turns rainbow colors and displays various volume-themed messages, such as “Loud and Proud” and “Live At Full Volume.”

Duolingo has opted to highlight its inclusivity efforts, posting pictures of some of its language exercises that acknowledge the existence of LGBTQ+ people on Twitter.

On June 23, Intel launched 300 drones above its Folsom, California campus in an elaborate Pride-themed light show. The drones formed pictures to illustrate Intel’s support of the community including a rainbow flag, same-sex symbols and a unicorn.

Pinterest Streamlines Desktop Saves; Instagram Stories Get Musical

This week in social media news, Pinterest streamlines desktop saves, Instagram adds Music stickers, Instant Articles show promise, Verizon shutters Go90, Facebook patents get creepy and Americans believe social networks are politically biased.

In other news, Facebook fosters conversations around Stories, Instagram slims down for Mexico, Instagram releases an IGTV handbook, LinkedIn adds QR codes, Facebook lets you see which ads are running, a study reveals potentially deceptive privacy practices and Twitter vows ad transparency.

Also, Instagram debuts video chat, Google imitates Pinterest, Facebook loosens the reigns on cryptocurrency ads and helps fight spoilers. Twitter pledges to fight spam and abuse, Canadian news on Facebook gets a fact-checker, Facebook launches a business magazine and confirms time management tools, Snapchat catches up to the revenue share model and YouTube boasts new features to keep its high earners motivated.

Pinterest Adds One-Click Desktop Saving

What used to take three clicks has been reduced to one with Pinterest’s latest desktop site update. Hovering over a Pin will overlay a drop-down menu of a user’s boards and try to predict which one the user will want to save it to. After selecting a board and “Save,” the process is technically two clicks if Pinterest doesn’t predict correctly, but it’s still more streamlined than the old process, which takes the user to a new screen.

Music Stickers Add Soundtrack To Instagram Stories

Instagram continues its integration with music with a new feature added to Stories on Thursday. Users can now add music to their Stories from a curated list and place the sticker wherever they want so that a section of the song plays at the desired time. Instagram users on iOS can also select a song before recording, allowing for lip sync videos, a dramatic soundtrack to the action, etc.

In March, parent company Facebook announced deals with several record labels including Warner Music Group. In May, Instagram added integration with Spotify so that users can share songs directly into their feeds.

Facebook Touts Early ‘Instant Article’ Subscription Response

Publishers like The Washington Post have partnered with Facebook to test a feature that allows users access to a certain amount of articles before presenting a subscription paywall. Publishers control the number of free articles a user can view before subscribing, as well as the cost to do so.

Facebook says the Instant Article test has so far yielded “promising results,” claiming that people in the test group were 17 percent more likely to subscribe to the publications directly from Facebook than from standard web links.

Instant Articles will roll out to Latin America in the coming weeks and eventually become available to publishers worldwide.

Do Social Networks Censor Political Views? Most Americans Say ‘Yes’

Pew Research has released a study on Thursday that asked respondents whether social media sites like Facebook and Twitter censor political views. Respondents from Democratic and Republican voters agreed, although at different levels, that social media sites do, in fact, censor opposing viewpoints to their own—72 percent agreed with this statement.

Republicans and those who lean Republican tend to distrust large entities with a disproportionate amount of control, so it’s not surprising that 85 percent in this group thought that the platforms intentionally censored political viewpoints. To be fair, both former and current employees have admitted such practices in favor of liberal news before new policies were enacted.

Even Democrats and those who lean Democrat agreed, with 62 percent believing that certain political views are being deliberately hidden or removed. There is a lack of overall trust for big tech companies, with only 28 percent of all 4,600 Americans surveyed believing they would do what is right most or all of the time.

Say Goodbye To Verizon’s Go90 App

Following the acquisition of Oath, Verizon is discontinuing its Go90 app, a multimedia platform available to anyone that launched in 2015. According to Verizon, the problem with Go90 was its inability to achieve scaled distribution.

“Verizon will focus on building its digital-first brands at scale in sports, finance, news and entertainment for today’s mobile consumers and tomorrow’s 5G applications,” a Verizon spokesperson said in a statement.

The app will officially be discontinued on July 31.

Facebook Wants To Listen To Your TV And Read Your Emotions

Several patents have been filed by Facebook over the years that range from tracking your daily routine to predicting life changes and observing your TV viewing habits. Facebook claims these ideas are meant to anticipate future technology, but they all mirror the company’s present-day habit of monitoring and collecting user data to sell.

One such patent reported by The New York Times would use hidden signals embedded in a TV program to turn on and record microphones in a user’s environment. Another, reported by Mashable, would read a user’s facial expression and pick an appropriate “selfie mask” to overlay in augmented reality.

“Most of the technology outlined in these patents has not been included in any of our products, and never will be,” Allen Lo, a Facebook vice president and deputy general counsel, and the company’s head of intellectual property told The New York Times.

Business will often filed patents simply to be the first to do so, but in light of Facebook’s public scrutiny, the timing of these reports isn’t a fortutious one.

Facebook Stories Adds Group Chat And Reactions

Facebook users can now respond to Stories with digital stickers and emoji “reactions” such as “like,” “love” and “sad.” Users can also reply to a Story and add other people to that reply, creating a group chat thread in Facebook Messenger. Messenger replies can be checked without leaving the Story, as well.

Facebook’s attempt to copy and paste the success of Snapchat’s Stories feature hasn’t resulted in the massive user adoption it hoped for. As of May, the company reported 150 million Facebook Stories DAU, compared to 300 million DAU on Instagram Stories. By comparison, Snapchat—which first popularized the disappearing message format—reported just 191 million DAU in the first quarter of 2018.

Instagram Lite App Rolls Out In Mexico

In an attempt to reach emerging markets, Instagram has quietly launched a streamlined version of its Android app in Mexico on Wednesday. Instagram Lite takes up just 573 Kilobytes of storage space, compared to the regular 30 Megabytes.

Despite its smaller size, Instagram Lite supports many of the same features as the regular Instagram app, including Stories, filters, Instagram Feed and the Explore tab. According to the app listing in Google Play, messaging functionality will be added soon. The app does not include access to Instagram’s new IGTV.

IGTV Handbook Outlines Best Practices For Creators

Fresh off its IGTV announcement, Instagram has released a handbook that provides tips, guidelines and accessories to help creators produce the best videos they can for the platform. Since IGTV is a vertical video format, the handbook provides step-by-step instructions for framing the shot, lighting, video quality and editing.

“This an exciting opportunity for you to get closer to your fans, explore your creativity, grow your audience and build your brand,” says the handbook.

LinkedIn QR Codes Speed Up On-The-Go Connections

Imagine you’re at a conference or business meeting and you want to connect with a professional on LinkedIn. Rather than manually search for that contact later based on their business card, LinkedIn has added a QR code feature that instantly pulls up someone’s profile. This QR code can be printed and added to brochures, business cards, event lanyards, etc. or added to an email signature.

Users can scan someone’s QR code with the LinkedIn app on both iOS and Android, after which they will be taken to that person’s profile. Users can access their own QR codes through the iOS app, with the feature coming to Android soon, per LinkedIn. The code can be shared online through iMessage, email and other apps.

Google And Facebook Are Deceptive By Design, Study Says

We all know that Google and Facebook—the largest ad sellers in the world—collect data, but are their products designed to trick users into surrendering privacy? “Deceptive by Design,” by watchdog group The Norwegian Consumer Council Biased says “yes.” Despite GDPR compliance, privacy settings are difficult to navigate and use scare tactics to trick users into agreeing to share data, the group concludes.

Privacy options are disabled by default, the study found, and users are given warnings about turning data sharing off, such as not being able to mute ads or find out if someone is being impersonated on Facebook. Facebook will even add a fake red dot behind the privacy settings pop-up, making users believe they have a notification waiting for them, even if it’s not true. This adds a sense of urgency so that users will breeze through the four option selection process Facebook prefers instead of navigating 13 steps to opt out.

Twitter Introduces Ad Transparency Center

Internet users who want to learn more about an ad served on Twitter can now visit the site’s Ad Transparency Center. Anyone, even non-Twitter users, can search for the advertiser’s handle to view all ad campaigns that have run within the last seven days with that identity.

For political ads, users will be able to view the advertiser’s billing information, ad spend and impression data per Tweet as well as demographic targeting data for the ads being served. Foreign nationals are banned from purchasing political ads on Twitter. The Ads Transparency Center will include all advertisers on Twitter globally, but only US federal election campaigning ads that fall under the company’s new policy will be shown at this stage.

“We are doing our due diligence to get this right and will have more updates to come,” wrote Bruce Falk, Twitter’s general manager of revenue product and engineering. “We stay committed to iterating and improving our work in this space, and doing what’s right for our community.”

Users Can Now View All Active Ads On Facebook And Affiliates

During a press event on Thursday, Facebook said it will allow users to view all active ads on a Facebook page that are running across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and partner networks. The ads will be visible through “Info and Ads,” a new section in Pages. Users will be able to see them all and flag those seemed inappropriate, even if the ads were not targeted to them personally.

“We believe really deeply in transparency because we believe it leads to changes in behavior,” COO Sheryl Sandberg said. “It will hold us accountable. It will hold advertisers accountable.”

Instagram Launches Video Chat And Topic Channels

Instagram users can now video chat with up to four friends at a time from their direct inbox. During the conversation, users can minimize the video window to continue browsing and posting in the app as usual. New settings allow control over who can initiate a video chat to prevent unwanted notifications.

New Topic Channels sort channels by both topic and hashtag, allowing users to personalize their recommendations as well as discover new accounts to follow. Users can mute topics, as well, if they’re not interested and unmute them at any time to add them back to the mix.

Instagram has also partnered with Ariana Grande, Buzzfeed, Liza Koshy, Baby Ariel and NBA to offer custom camera effects. The new effects are available immediately if the user is already a follower, or they can “try them on” before committing to a channel. Instagram says that new camera effects are coming soon.

Google Tests Pinterest-Like Image Search Results

As Pinterest’s Eric Edge said, personalization is at the very core of social, and a number of platforms have taken that to heart with new features this week. Google has begun testing a new look on desktop that arranges image search results vertically instead of horizontally and adding short captions. The results appear more like Pinterest and allow users to click on them for more information. When a user clicks on the desired image, related images are displayed underneath along with seller information, if applicable.

Pinterest continues to inspire the way Google handles discovery. Last year, a dynamic information feature was added to mobile searches and Google Goggles will pull up information about an object or place based on a photo.

Facebook Users Can Now ‘Snooze’ Certain Keywords

Online users who want to avoid spoilers to their favorite TV show, the latest movie or even topics they’re tired of seeing can now “snooze” them in the News Feed. Snoozing a keyword will keep posts containing it from appearing in a user’s newsfeed for 30 days.

“We hope that with additional options to help tailor your News Feed experience, you’ll be able to spend more time focusing on the things that matter,” said Facebook.

Google Unveils New Advertising Marketplace

On July 10, Google will officially unveil three main pillars as part of its new consolidated ad offerings—Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform and Google Ad Manager. The rebranding means that DoubleClick and AdWords will no longer be separate entities. Google said that these new offerings will focus primarily on consumer privacy.

“This is just the beginning of the next chapter in our platforms story, said Google. “We’re committed to building solutions that help you achieve your marketing goals while meeting consumers’ high expectations for privacy, transparency and control.”

Facebook Adds Exception For Cryptocurrency Ads

Zuckerberg’s social media giant is reportedly working on its own cryptocurrency to be traded between users. This might be why Facebook has partially rolled back its ban on certain cryptocurrency ads. Beginning Wednesday, Facebook updated it policy to allow ads that promote cryptocurrency and related content from pre-approved advertisers. The site will continue to prohibit ads that promote binary options and initial coin offerings.

Facebook, as with Google, banned cryptocurrency ads on its platform due to a large amount of fraud surrounding the new technology. Some advertisers have gotten around these policies by purposely misspelling titles like “Bitc0in,” but Facebook hopes to reign in this activity so that only verified advertisers are allowed. Those who want to post such ads must fill out an application, along with licenses, whether they are traded on a public stock exchange, etc.

Agence France-Press (AFP) Will Fact-Check Canadian News On Facebook

Facebook has partnered Agence France-Presse (AFP) to evaluate news stories in Canada for accuracy. The partnership will run evaluate news stories in Canada in both English and French, defining them as being true, false or offering inaccurate or misleading information. Launched this week, the third-party fact checking will run at least until after the next federal election in October 2019, while covering news on upcoming votes in Quebec, New Brunswick and Alberta.

Twitter Enacts New Spam And Abuse Policies

It’s no secret that any public forum online where you can remain anonymous and hide behind a computer screen is a breeding ground for hateful speech and trolls. Twitter has been called out a number of times for either not enforcing its anti-abuse policies or banning accounts based on political bias. On Tuesday, Twitter announced new initiatives to reign in this behavior and “improve the health” of conversations on its platform.

Twitter can now make an account “read only” if it is suspected of being spam or intentionally abusive. Freezing the account will still allow users to view posts, but they are not able to engage with or follow. Later this year, new Twitter account sign-ups will be required to confirm either an email address or phone number to verify identity. in the meantime, existing accounts that appear “spammy” will be audited for signs of automated sign-up activity.

“But we know there’s still a lot of work to be done,” writes Twitter. “Inauthentic accounts, spam, and malicious automation disrupt everyone’s experience on Twitter, and we will never be done with our efforts to identify and prevent attempts to manipulate conversations on our platform.”

Facebook Grounds Internet-beaming Drone Idea

Beaming internet to those without access is a novel idea but proved harder than companies initially thought. Last year, Google shuttered its Titan program last year and now Facebook is re-thinking its approach. The company successfully flew two successful test flights but has decided to hand off this area to the aerospace industry. Facebook has decided not to design or build its own aircrafts and close the facility in Bridgewater.

Facebook isn’t abandoning the idea altogether. It will continue to work with partners like Airbus on HAPS connectivity and other technologies like flight control computers and high-density batteries. The company will also push for policies to get more spectrum for HAPS and participating in a number of aviation advisory boards and rule-making committees in the US and internationally.

Facebook Releases Business Magazine, ‘Grow’

One of the largest digital platforms in the world is turning to print with Grow, a “thought leadership platform that shines a light on people, companies and trends challenging the status quo.” Facebook calls Grow a marketing program that includes print, digital and events in the UK, France, Italy, Germany and Sweden. A new partnership with Founders Forum and Vanity Fair launches later this year. The print version is available only in the UK and northern Europe.

The first issue seems to cater to businesses that want to reach finicky millennials, with stories like “The Millennial Whisperer,” featuring Oscar Olsson, the tattooed, bearded creative director of H&M’s new fashion label. Other topics in this issue include making legacy alcohol brands artisanal, selling natural products and subscription boxes, among others. Grow was designed to keep businesses ahead of the curve, said Facebook.

Instagram And Facebook Develop Time Management Tools

Spending a lot of time on social media? Facebook has developed tools called “Your Time on Facebook” and “Your Time on Instagram” that would tell users how long they spend on each platform. The unreleased feature was discovered inside the apps’ code and confirmed by TechCrunch. Users will have the option to be locked out of the app after a predetermined amount of time.

“Understanding how time online impacts people is important, and it’s the responsibility of all companies to be honest about this,” Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom told TechCrunch. “We want to be part of the solution. I take that responsibility seriously.”

Snapchat Tests Revenue Sharing With Creators

Social media creators may soon be able to earn ad revenue from their posts on Snapchat, the company announced. During its VidCon keynote on Thursday, Snapchat said that it has begun testing a revenue share model. Although the company would not reveal additional details, Snap’s head of talent partnerships Lauren Gallo said that her main focuses for the creator community are growth, discoverability, analytics and monetization.

After telling creators for years that “Snapchat is for friends, not creators,” the social network has taken a new, hands-on approach to foster talent and by extension, revenue. As early as last summer, the company began inviting its most popular creators to visit its headquarters to talk strategy and give them free stuff. Last month, Snap, Inc. hosted its first Creators Summit and soon after announced Yellow, an incubator program for mobile content creators.

The monetization model is also in sync with Snap’s new publisher model, removing licensing fees in favor of revenue sharing.

YouTube Adds New Revenue Tools For Top Creators

Also during VidCon, YouTube boasted how much money its top earners are making from the platform. The number of creators earning five figures a year has increased 35 percent, YouTube claims, and the number of creators earning six figures is up by 40 percent. Aside from ad revenue share, YouTube is adding new features to help creators earn more revenue from their audiences.

One new feature is called Premiereswhich turns new videos into a live event. The feature will allow creators to build hype around new content by automatically creating a public landing page. At the scheduled date and time, subscribers will be able to watch the pre-recorded video live while chatting with the creator and other fans. Super Chat (paying to have chat comments highlighted) and Channel Memberships are now available on traditional YouTube uploads, including Premieres.

Creators can now sell merchandise directly from their YouTube channels through a partnership with TeeSpring, with other partners to be added in the future. This will be available to all eligible US-based channels with over 10,000 subscribers.


Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, June 29. Have a news tip? We’re looking for changes to and news surrounding social media platforms as they relate to marketing. Let us know at


Bud Light Offering California Soccer Fans Free Beer If Mexico Beats Brazil

Bud Light is betting big that Mexico can beat Brazil in Monday’s World Cup match by offering to help pay for celebratory beers in California. The announcement came in early June, and the company has been reiterating its commitment and support on Twitter as El Tri progressed through the tournament, particularly after South Korea’s surprise victory against Germany on Wednesday, which allowed Mexico to advance to the Round of 16.

Mexico has not been able to advance past the Round of 16 in the tournament since 1994, and Mexican soccer fans have dubbed the defeat “curse of the fifth.” Bud Light hasn’t released the full details of the deal yet for fear of “jinxing” El Tri, but Californian fans can expect to learn more about receiving a celebratory beer after the match against the Seleção.

According to a statement, the state of California was selected for this giveaway because, “California is awesome and we know that El Tri has a huge fan base there. In fact, during the last World Cup, Californians issued twice as many social posts about Team Mexico than any other state.”

This isn’t the first time Bud Light has given away free beers to dedicated sports fans, but it’s certainly the biggest giveaway of its kind to date. Earlier this year, the company’s fictional “Dilly Dilly” king offered a similar deal to the City of Philadelphia, where fans would receive a free beer if the Eagles won the Super Bowl. The company handed out free bottles of Bud Light at the Eagles victory parade.

Study Reveals How World Cup Ads Impact Behavior

Digital experience management company Instart announced the results of its 2018 World Cup Ad Performance Study on Wednesday, which surveys over 1,000 adults living in the US and UK, comparing how fans from each country feel about the World Cup, how they’re watching it and how advertising impacted them. As it turns out, 60 percent of Americans watching the games, are doing so live, compared to 81 percent of Britons watching the games. Even though there were significantly more Brits watching live matches than Americans—with many on both sides of the pond streaming matches while at work and even in the bedroom—all audiences were impacted by advertising.

According to the study, 65 percent of surveyed Americans said that they were likely to be impacted commercials while only 52 percent of British fans said the same. World Cup ads drove about 28 percent of Americans to brand websites while others got a case of the munchies, with 23 percent reporting that the ads led them to buy fast food and 16 percent got thirsty for beer, but no specific brands are indicated. Additionally, 37 percent of Americans report watching at least 60 seconds of an ad when they appear on TV or online compared to 32 percent of Brits.

Also, perhaps unsurprisingly, when it comes driving consumer purchase behavior, David Beckham scores the highest. Instart found that 29 percent of surveyed soccer fans said that renowned soccer start would likely convince them to buy a product. By comparison, soccer celebrity Cristiano Ronaldo got 19 percent of the vote and Lionel Messi received 14 percent.

As for what ad characteristics attract the most attention during the World Cup, repetition wins at 60 percent, followed by creativity (25 percent) and sex appeal (23 percent). However, the study also warns that approximately 18 percent of Americans will tune out online ads after one online ad, while 25 percent stop paying attention after two. UK viewers reported less tolerance for online ads, with 31 percent stating that they tuned out after one and 21 percent saying two was their limit.

Although the 2026 World Cup will be hosted in the United States, many Americans aren’t holding out much hope that their team even qualify, much less win, within the next decade. However, US consumers do have their top picks for the 2026 World Cup sponsors, which are Amazon, Apple and Microsoft.

“.. we wanted to know what fans on both sides of the Atlantic were expecting from the World Cup,” said Instart CMO Daniel Druker in a statement. “World Cup fans made it clear that they appreciate and will engage with high-quality, targeted digital ads—and if you really want to get their attention, you’ll score big with David Beckham.”

History Channel Partners With Ad-Supported OTT Xumo To Expand Reach

Originally published at VideoInk.

Linear viewing on traditional cable and satellite outlets is—surprise—on the decline. With an increasing amount of consumers cutting the cord for OTT options, networks have started to partner with “skinny bundle” providers in an attempt to stay relevant. Most networks have teamed up with companies like YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV and Sling, where their content is offered via a smaller, more affordable package.

Following this trend, the History Channel has made its content available on most pay OTTs including Philo, DirecTV Now and Fubo. But now the network is taking it a step further by offering its content on the free OTT service Xumo, which is home to over 100 channels.

Through a partnership with Xumo, History is bringing select award-winning short-form content to the platform that includes Minute MarvelsHistory Flashback and Bet You Didn’t Know. The new channel will also feature highlights and short-form scene lifts from some of the networks most popular series such as The Curse of Oak Island, Forged in Fire, Alone, Pawn Stars and American Pickers.

The choice to launch the channel with only short-form content is likely an attempt to appeal to younger generations that are used to consuming short two to five-minute video clips on social media (though, in recent months, many social platforms like Facebook and Instagram have pushed further into long-form content).

Xumo’s new History channel, which can be found on channel 350, provides a new means of discovery for the 23-year-old network, which, like most, is trying to stay relevant in a digital world. The lean-back experience provided by the OTT sets up a perfect opportunity for History to be found by consumers that are channel surfing through Xumo’s collection of content, which hopefully leads them to download the History Go app, subscribe to any of the networks social pages, or pay for a “Skinny Bundle” that carries the content. The new distribution outlet also presents a way for History to breathe life back into old content by placing it in front of consumers who may be unfamiliar with the network’s programming.

“We are excited to launch on Xumo as we continue our push to serve History fans on all their favorite platforms,” said Mark Garner, SVP, Distribution and Digital Content Licensing, A+E Networks (History’s parent organization). “We are confident that History’s unique brand of factual entertainment will be a hit with the growing Xumo audience.”

The Evolution Of Brand Trust Measurement

Earlier this year, Starbucks went through a major brand trust crisis. When a Philadelphia Starbucks manager called the police on two African-American men waiting for a business meeting, leading to a chain reaction of arrests and protests, it had big consequences. Starbucks overhauled their store rules in reaction to the manager’s actions, differences in patron treatment at the chain’s many locations came to light, and customers lost faith in the brand.

The buying public lost faith in the trust of the brand to do it’s intended service, successfully. In an unambiguous sense, this is the definition of brand trust. But, finding a metric or measurement to accurately convey trust in a brand is an inexact science and one that still relies much on direct customer feedback.

According to YouGov, a polling organization, Starbucks’ workplace reputation and purchase consideration scores dropped substantially. Purchase consideration scores, which measure customer intent to make a purchase, dropped from 28 percent in April to 24 percent at the end of May. The brand’s workplace reputation—that is, its reputation as a good place to work—dropped from 17 percent to approximately 4 percent.

Metrics such as YouGov’s are one of the many ways brand trust is measured. Pollsters like YouGov quantify trust, prejudices and shopping habits the public has with particular brands. Brand trust can also be measured by analyzing social media content, by tracking consumer habits, and through internal organizational tracking.

Brand Trust & PR Crises

For instance, United Airlines went through a perfect storm of brand trust crises over the past five years. Their merger with Continental Airlines led to employee strife, labor union difficulties and consumer dissatisfaction; a series of well-documented PR nightmares such as the dragging of an overbooked passenger off a plane led to declining brand trust among customers.

United uses both internal metrics like customer surveys and external metrics—like brand-related conversations on social media—to understand brand trust. Overtures to United employees, customers, and the general public are also helping to improve, or at least stabilize the airline’s brand perceptions. In 2016, United ranked fifth among traditional carriers on the J.D. Power North American Airline Satisfaction Survey; the brand still ranks #5 in J.D. Power’s 2018 survey—but sometimes, stabilizing brand trust is just as important as increasing it.

Because brand trust is the closest thing to a quantitative methodology for understanding how people feel about a brand, brand trust, well… matters. When organizations rank particularly poorly for brand trust, it’s a sign they need to take drastic steps to rebuild that relationship. Two examples of that are Domino’s Pizza’s public 2009 admission that they were neglecting taste in their product following years of losing market share to competitors, and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s public letter in 2014 that repudiated much of the company’s prior strategy and promised to change their internal working culture.

Understanding Brand Trust

Certain brands have done particularly great jobs of encouraging brand trust: Amazon’s customer-friendly policies encourage brand trust despite their often cutthroat business practices, supermarket chains like Trader Joe’s and Wegman’s encourage active customer fan bases, and luxury automakers such as Tesla and Maserati court customers and turn their cars into markers of identity.

The methods of understanding brand trust are relatively similar across companies and organizations. Surveys of customers, vendors, employees, or the public can gauge various measures of satisfaction or dissatisfaction. Externally, brands (or their agencies) can mine social media posts, emoji usage or online reviews to quickly gain insight into how they are perceived.

Brand trust isn’t a new concept at all; brands have been conducting market research and surveys for decades to understand how they are perceived. However, interest in brand trust metrics spiked in the 2010s when easy analysis of social media posts and quick email-based polling became easier.

Brand Trust and External Perceptions

Many brands exist in a sealed, relatively hermetic world. Inside organizations, of course, employees often drink the internal Kool-Aid and have an artificially rosy view of their company and product. This is why it’s so important to look to the outside in order to understand brand trust.

There are a variety of different quantitative and qualitative methods for determining brand trust—brands can rely on external vendors, crunch numbers internally, or find the right mix of the two for their organization. Using sentiment analysis APIs on social media data, for instance, or tracking hits and classifying them on Google News can go a long way towards understanding brand sentiment.

Brand trust metrics, however, aren’t perfect. Sending customers email surveys only attracts answers from a subset of respondents with enough time or interest in completing a full survey and social media only offers an incomplete picture. Happy customers are far less likely to post positive reviews on Yelp or Amazon than unhappy customers, and negative mentions of brands on Twitter largely outnumber positive ones. With that said, brand trust at least offers a window into how brands are perceived—and that’s better than nothing.

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Google Reveals New Consolidated Ad Platforms Focused On Privacy

Google has unveiled a new, consolidated marketplace for digital advertisers that focus on consumer privacy, marketing insights and tools to help small businesses.

Three main pillars—Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform and Google Ad Manager are scheduled to roll out next month. The company will reveal more information about its new products during a live stream on July 10.

This news marks the end of an era as infamous brand names like AdWords and DoubleClick are retired and merged into a one-stop advertising destination. Privacy, Google said, is the company’s top priority when offering these marketing tools.

“Consumers are also more aware of how they’re being marketed to and how their data is being used—and they want more control,” Brad Bender, vice president of display and video advertising said in a blog post.

Google has been vocal about its plans to comply with GDPR, including new privacy policies and user controls but still managed to get sued on the first day of GDPR enforcement. Despite mounting pressure from consumers and advertisers alike, Google claims that its consolidated marketing offerings have been in the works for a while.

“The decision to evolve the names was not related to exogenous factors […] as we have been actively working to evolve the brands,” Dan Taylor, managing director of global display and programmatic at Google said in a press conference.

As part of the rebranding, DoubleClick Search will be renamed Search Ads 360. Display and Video 360 Search Ads 360 will combine display ad products from DoubleClick Bid Manager, Campaign Manager, Studio and Audience Center.

Google’s advertising tools have largely been aimed at large businesses, but the company made a dedicated microsite for small businesses, too. An option in Google Ads called Smart Campaigns will let companies use a form to create an ad then set goals like website traffic or phone calls.

“This is just the beginning of the next chapter in our platforms story, said Google. “We’re committed to building solutions that help you achieve your marketing goals while meeting consumers’ high expectations for privacy, transparency and control.”

Roku Launches Targeted Ad-Sales Marketplace With Fox, Turner And Viacom On Board

Roku launched the Audience Marketplace on Wednesday, introducing a new way for advertising buyers and sellers to effectively target US audiences on the OTT platform. Media giants including Fox, Turner and Viacom are expected to participate and advertisers can take advantage of the marketplace using programmatic or traditional direct selling methods.

The Audience Marketplace leverages Roku’s first-party data and technology such as the Roku Ad Insights Measurement suite, created in partnership with Nielsen, so that publishers can sell targeted audiences to advertisers. Roku also said that marketers will benefit from the ability to more precisely message viewers across the TV streaming platform. By extending its advanced targeting capabilities to major publishers, Roku is looking to enhance the advertising flow through its platform while helping “publishers make their offering more compelling in an increasingly programmatic, data-driven TV advertising market.”

In a statement, Turner’s VP of ad innovation and programmatic solutions Larry Allen said: “Over-the-top distribution has been a key audience driver for Turner’s portfolio of premium content, with Roku being one of the preeminent partner platforms. Participating in Roku’s Audience Marketplace gives us access to rich insights and enhanced audience targeting capabilities, extending the ability for ad buyers to reach and engage with streaming viewing audiences that are critical to grow their business.”

The Roku platform boasts extensive insights on millions of OTT streamers, with the ability to precisely target specific segments at a household level. In April 2017, Nielsen found that Roku delivers 10.2 percent incremental reach over linear TV among adults aged 18-34.

Smirnoff Ice Will Pay You To Extend Fourth Of July Celebrations

Independence Day is often celebrated with fireworks, barbecues and parties with friends and family, but this year, July 4th falls on Wednesday—right in the middle of the work week. Calling the poor timing of this national holiday “Un-American,” Smirnoff Ice is offering to pay for 100 people to take a few extra days off in a contest that marks both 242 years of independence and the limited-time return of its “patriotic” Red, White & Berry flavor.

Using the tagline, “Dear America, Tell Your Boss You’re Taking A 4th Of July 5 Day Weekend,” Smirnoff Ice will pay for people to take July 5th and 6th off, which comes out to $500 per person, regardless of what their daily income is and whether or not they actually go on vacation. All contestants have to do is comment on the related posts on the @SmirnoffUS Facebook and Instagram pages, describing how they’d celebrate a five-day weekend, to be entered into a random drawing.

Part of the joke is that Smirnoff brand was founded in Moscow and owned by UK beverage giant Diageo, but its US products are all made locally. Smirnoff has poked fun at this fact before, and given how the contest has drawn over 2,500 comments on Facebook and more than 10,000 views on Instagram, consumers appear to accept Smirnoff Ice as an American-made beverage.

“Smirnoff Ice is a brand that encourages people to have fun, so when we heard that the Fourth of July was on a Wednesday this year, we knew that is so not fun and may prevent many hard-working Americans from celebrating. We had to do something about it,” Smirnoff Ice brand director Krista Kiisk told AListDaily. “That’s why we’re giving 100 Americans the chance to extend their holiday to a five-day weekend by paying them to take July 5th and 6th off and celebrate with friends and family.”

To get the word out, Kiisk said that Smirnoff Ice took out a full-page print ad in Sunday’s New York Times in addition to its social campaigns and running homepage takeovers of the New York Times mobile and this week. The beverage brand is also working with influencers to spread the word about the contest.

“Our goal is to ensure as many people as possible know about this opportunity and enter for the chance to be paid by Smirnoff Ice to take July 5th and 6th off to celebrate all things [America] the way she was meant to be celebrated,” said Kiisk,

Kiisk goes on to describe the extended vacation contest as a “perfect fit” for the brand’s emphasis on having fun and being made in America. “After all, what holiday is more fun and American than the [Fourth] of July?” she concludes.

The contest ends on July 1 when the company picks 100 winners. Smirnoff’s parent company Diageo also owns alcoholic beverage brands Johnnie Walker, Captain Morgan, Guinness and others.