‘Jurassic World’, Facebook Bring AR Experience Into Stores And Homes

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom rocked theaters with a massive marketing campaign for the movie when it launched in June, and now Universal Pictures Home Entertainment is looking to repeat some of that dino-sized enthusiasm with the at-home release. The company partnered with Facebook Messenger to create in-store and at-home augmented reality experience timed with the release of its Blu-ray/DVD edition.

Participating retailers across 18 countries will begin showcasing special Fallen Kingdom displays that include instructions for how to activate the AR feature. Scanning a QR code will launch the Facebook Messenger camera, bringing fans up-close and personal with the movie’s dinosaurs. In the US, over 17,000 retail stores and grocery chains will participate in the campaign.

According to an announcement, this is “the largest retail effort of its kind for both partners,” in addition to being the first integrated AR experience done through Facebook Messenger.

The displays will be shown in stores for a limited time, but fans can bring the experience home with them if they purchase the movie. Each box contains an insert that is activated using the Facebook Messenger camera. Doing so brings up a baby version of the film’s signature Velociraptor, Blue. Baby Blue can be placed virtually anywhere, and users can take photos and videos of the dinosaur acting playfully, curiously or aggressively in the environment.

Although this is the largest campaign Facebook has partnered to do, its AR platform has been used to bring characters into the real world before. Last summer, it partnered with Clash of Clans developer Supercell to celebrate the game’s anniversary with a similar AR experience.

More Brands Are Turning To In-Game Advertising

Although there are benefits to advertising through mobile games like higher completion rates for rewarded videos and captive audiences, brands have been relatively slow to adopt it.

Reasons for this has been largely attributed to two factors, the first being that many still believe that the gaming audience is comprised largely of teenage boys, which limits the demographic appeal. The second is that there is significant fragmentation in the marketplace, so marketers who know the benefits of in-game ads might not know where to find this inventory. However, that’s starting to change.

Changing Perspectives, Offering Solutions

Currently, about 79 percent of smartphone users play games, and the 2017 Tapjoy report shows that 63 percent of mobile gamers are women, with all age ranges well represented along with a broad scope of economic levels.

Entertainment brands such as movie and TV studios are the largest categories to take advantage of in-game ads, followed by consumer-packaged goods, quick service restaurants, automotive, healthcare, finance brands and utility apps. However, the majority of ad dollars are still being spent on verticals such as social media and video.

To raise the profile of in-game ads as a viable ad inventory, Unity Technologies announced a partnership with Google that integrated the search giant’s Universal App Campaigns—AI-driven app advertising campaigns across all Google platforms—into the Unity game development engine. With it, Google advertisers are provided with direct access to Unity’s global inventory, while game developers gain a wider range of advertisers.

Game Apps Lead The Monetization Charge

Lexi Sydow, market insights manager at App Annie, told AList that in July 2018, more than half of the top 50 iOS games monetized through in-app ads compared to 12 percent of non-gaming apps in the US. Essentially, mobile games monetize in-app ads four times more often than non-gaming apps.

“Games tend to be early adopters on mobile and many have seen strong success monetizing through in-app ads,” Sydow explained. “In-app advertising can be a particularly successful pathway for monetization in apps, which is especially true for emerging markets where consumers may have less propensity to purchase through the app store in the form of paid downloads, in-app purchases or in-app subscriptions.”

About 36 percent of the top 500 apps on Google Play and Apple’s App Store, which aren’t limited to games, currently monetize with Facebook Audience Network, which serves ads to third-party apps and mobile websites in addition to its Instant Games platform.

Alvin Bowles, vice president and global publisher of sales and operations at Facebook told AList that, “Nearly 80 percent of interstitial ad impressions on gaming apps on Audience Network come from non-gaming advertisers.”

The platform also recently launched its own playable ad format, which promotes games on the Facebook News Feed.

Banking On Engagement

Emily McInerney, VP of marketing at Tapjoy added that in-game app ad inventory tends to look different from traditional digital ad inventory because the majority of them are value-exchange ads. Instead of using display ads or pre-rolls, games usually integrate ads into the playing experience with opt-in ads that provide rewards.

“In-game ads that are based on the value exchange automatically tie engagement to conversion by delivering the conversions that advertisers seek most, whether completed video views or any type of marketing action, such as a purchase, subscription, survey completion, etc. We’ve even found that many consumers become so interested in the advertising content and offer that they will convert beyond the initial advertising action,” McInerney explained.

For instance, viewers may click on an interactive end card at the end of a video ad even when there is no reward offered because they’re interested in what the ad is promoting. McInerney said that this is “the ideal way to turn attention and engagement into conversion, and it works more effectively in the in-game environment than anywhere else.”

One of the most effective campaigns Tapjoy ran this year was for Nickelodeon in promoting its Kids’ Choice Sports awards. The campaign featured an interactive “catch-and-fall” mini-game as a video end card, which drove traffic to Nickelodeon’s landing page. The trailers saw a 91 percent completion rate.

According to Unity, top-performing in-app formats include targeted video, which has completion rates reaching the 90 percent range, playable ads (mini-games) and augmented reality ads. Unity has also seen playable ads being effective for themselves, too, with completion rates of 30-35 percent for an AR ad format, which is notable for an experience that requires active involvement.

Mobile Gaming Evolves Its Content Marketing Approach

A recent study from Liftoff found that more money is spent on gaming than any other form of entertainment, driven largely by free-to-play titles that offer in-app purchases (IAP) and in-game ads. But to stand out in a heavily saturated market, developers rely heavily on influencers, social word-of-mouth marketing and targeted rewarded videos in addition to key placement on app stores to acquire users. That trend is growing, and it will likely continue as the foundation for mobile game marketing for the foreseeable future. However, some companies are experimenting with other channels to acquire and engage with users, particularly when it comes to content marketing.

“I think the big shift is that a year ago, everything was performance and classic user acquisition driven. Now people need to find us on always-on media, and we’re seeing a trend of going back to some traditional forms of media in addition to your Facebook and Google buy,” Philip Hickey, EVP of brand and marketing at Seriously Digital Entertainment, told AList.

Seriously makes the Best Fiends mobile game franchise, but it transitioned into being an all-around media company last year starting with a series of animated digital shorts that are tied to in-game events. This form of content marketing, which will soon be joined by branded consumer products, continues to boost engagement with the game while encouraging audience loyalty.

According to Hickey, the mobile gaming space is starting to see fewer new titles this year. With more publishers treating their games as services, there has been increasing investment in features, engagement and retention. For this, the company also produces a digital program called “The Best Best Fiends Show,” which lets audiences know what’s new with the game and the brand overall. Each episode usually concludes with a contest and community-driven content such as shout-outs to players.

Hickey said more people have been updating their games to the latest version since the show began, which he describes as one of the best indicators of its success. Each of Seriously’s videos can be viewed from within the game in addition to YouTube, which makes it easier for players to return to playing.

For Seriously, content marketing plays a critical role in brand engagement by giving its community the opportunity to talk about their experiences. At the same time, it still relies on influencers and social media to acquire new users. However, the company is also experimenting with different channels, including radio, television, podcasts and OTT services.

“One of the keys is having a mix of media that works together and hopefully adds impressions, and that eventually brings down the cost of each acquisition by being in multiple places,” said Hickey. “It’s not as easy as doing direct, classic user acquisition, but I think the value of having all these channels and being able to reach a wide audience is well worth figuring it out. Our hope is that every one of those channels will work to some degree and we’ll be able to use them as always on marketing channels to supplement everything we do.”

Aurora Berg, co-founder and COO of the Megacool GIF sharing platform, told AList that micro-influencers are beginning to have a major impact on mobile gaming through user-generated content. In the past, sharing content from a mobile game was a difficult process, but that’s changing as devices become more powerful. Mobile gaming is taking cues from the PC gaming space, which grew significantly over the past year thanks largely to content sharing coupled with the popularity of the battle royale genre.

As a case study, Megacool was integrated into the ZeptoLab game CATS so that users could share their game footage using messenger applications such as iMessage and Whatsapp. Each GIF they shared linked to the game, which encouraged friends to join. The result was an 80 percent increase in user content activity, which led to 1.7x higher conversion rate compared to organic users. These new users also spent 2.3x more than organic users, while the game’s 14-day retention rate was 65 percent higher.

“When friends play new games because their friends are already there, retention is much higher, and with it, monetization increases,” Berg explained.

Getting one or two friends to join through recommendations has worked for services such as Spotify, which similarly lets its users share song clips on social media that link back to the platform. But game publishers can better leverage user-generated content by incentivizing its creation. For example, CATS offers users special in-game rewards for every five friends that sign up, which encourages its players to share more content with a larger group of people. Sharing content also has the added benefit of giving new users a preview of the game before they sign up, unlike CGI-based trailers.

Additionally, more games are finding ways to leverage cross-media content. Tencent purchased a stake in Playerunkown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) developer Bluehole earlier this year. At around the same time, it acquired a minority stake in Skydance Media. It then brought the two together in August by hosting a Mission Impossible: Fallout-themed event in PUBG Mobile, with a deep collaboration that switched out the game’s background music with the movie’s while offering themed parachutes, outfits and other in-game rewards.

Hickey said that, in the end, the upside lies in the positive brand conversation with the consumers, “Part of the future of content marketing is treating it as something you want it to evolve into, treating it big and letting the community know that they can be involved in both the content and interaction. That content leads to a great conversation, which makes our game and brand better.”

New York Media Festival Returns To Manhattan with 15+ Events And 200+ Speakers, October 4-5

New York Media Festival, an innovative two-day event for the digital, games, music, television and video industries, will take place Thursday, October 4, through Friday, October 5, 2018. The Festival provides an intimate environment for deal-making, partnership building and networking for executives, brands, investors, content creators and technology startups.

The Festival hosts more than 200 top speakers who highlight innovations, trends and best practices in their respective industries.

CONFIRMED SPEAKERS

Keynotes And Fireside Chats:

NY Games Conference
Nick Earl, CEO and president, Glu Mobile
Simon Sim, president, Netmarble US
Dr. Songyee Yoon, president, NCSOFT West
Interviewed by: Mike Vorhaus, president, Magid Advisors

Digital Music Forum
Shahendra Ohneswere, SVP content development, Columbia Records

Future Of Television
David Gandler, CEO & co-founder, FuboTV

Rights Tech Summit
Merck Mercuriadis, CEO, Hipgnosis Music Ltd.
Nile Rodgers, Grammy-winning composer, producer and guitarist /co-founder, CHIC

Panelists And Presenters
Marcie Allen, president, MAC Presents
Sheryl Allen, director, next big sound, Pandora
Jon Bahr, VP, creator services, CD Baby
Allen Bargfrede, managing partner, PDX Media Partners
Jonathan Barzilay, chief operating officer, PBS
David Beck, EVP, corporate strategy and operations, Turner
Noah Becker, president, AdRev
Dwayne Benefield, VP & GM, PS Vue, PlayStation
Virginie Berger, CEO, Armonia Online
David Berkowitz, head of marketing, Storyhunter
Dae Bogan, CEO, TuneRegistry
Hale Boggs, chairman, Manatt Venture Fund
Susan Borst, vice president, mobile, IAB
Jordan Bromley, partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips
Jeff Bronikowski, SVP, business development, head of innovation & emerging tech, Warner Music Group
Josh Brooks, SVP, brand strategy & marketing, Jam City
Alex Bulkin, co-founder & chief alchemist, CoinFund
Ina Burke, vice president, original content, iHeartMedia
Tom Christie, chief operating officer, Showtime Networks
Cédric Cobban, president and founder, PeerTracks Inc.
Jeff Clyburn, managing director, Mass Appeal Records
Richard Conlon, chief external affairs officer, SoundExchange
Emma Cooper, global president, nonfiction, Pulse Films
Russ Crupnick, managing partner, MusicWatch
Jarrod Dicker, CEO, Po.et
Domenic DiMeglio, SVP of distribution and operations, digital media, CBS Interactive
Colin Dixon, chief analyst & founder, nScreenMedia
Chris Donohue, senior director, strategic alliances, AMD
Craig Donato, chief business officer, Roblox
Bernarda Duarte, director, content acquisition, Roku
Matt Edelman, chief commercial officer, Super League Gaming
Ahmed Elgammal, CEO, Artrendex
Lori Feldman, EVP of strategic marketing, Warner Bros. Records
Tim Fields, CEO, Kabam
Kristen Finney, EVP, EMEA, television distribution, 20th Century Fox
Chuck Fletcher, chief technology officer, Barbarian
Taishi Fukuyama, co-founder & COO, Amadeus Code
Seth Geiger, president, SmithGeiger LLC
Sean Gibbons, SVP product and UX, SiriusXM
Michael Gold, co-founder and CEO, Holojam
Allison Goldberg, group managing director & senior vice president, Time Warner Investments
Eric Goldberg, managing director, Crossover Technologies
Harold Goldberg, founder, The New York Videogame Critics Circle
Jesse Grushack, co-founder, UJO
Nader Hamda, CEO, Ozobot
Rick Heitzmann, founder & managing director, FirstMark Capital
Brian Anthony Hernandez, senior editor of music & culture, ONE37pm.com
Gabrielle Heyman, head of global brand partners, Zynga
Ian Howe, CEO, Skybound Games
Rick Howe, the iTV doctor, Interactive TV Today
Grace James, vice president, marketing, Atlantic Records
Mike Jbara, CEO, MQA
Jesse Kirshbaum, CEO, Nue
Todd Klein, partner, Revolution
Paul Kontonis, CMO, WHOSAY
Keith Kupferschmid, president, Copyright Alliance
John Lasker, vice president of digital media programming, ESPN
Damon Lau, head of esports, United Talent Agency
Craig Levine, global chief strategy officer, ESL
Jason Lipshutz, editorial director, Billboard
Mitch Liu, CEO and co-founder, Theta
Stephanie Llamas, head of XR, SuperData Research
Amir Lotan, creative director and head of production, FTX Games
Jennifer MacArthur, SVP, global marketing and strategic partnerships, Treeti
Jim Mahoney, general manager, US, MERLIN
Damian Manning, founder, CEO, Hifi
Brandon Martinez, VP, Live Nation video network, Live Nation Entertainment
Paul Martino, general partner, Bullpen Capital
Curt Marvis, CEO & co-founder, QYOU Media
Nari Matsuura, partner, Massarsky Consulting
Richard McBeath, VP, marketing, Masterworks.io
Ben McEwen, commercial director, ICE (London)
Andrew McInnes, founder, TMWRK
Vaughn McKenzie-Landell, CEO and co-founder,  JAAK
Marty Moe, president, Vox Media
Soniya Monga, global agency partnerships, Snap
Eugene Mopsik, CEO, American Society for Collective Rights Licensing
Dan Murray, president, Skybound Interactive
Vida Myslon, senior director, brand sales and marketing, Electronic Arts
Jacob Pace, CEO, Flighthouse
Sahil Patel, senior reporter, Digiday
Mario Pena, product manager,  Safe Creative
Cheryl M. Potts, founder & CEO, Cleerkut
Jennifer Prenner, global head of marketing, growth & engagement, Amazon Fire TV
Erick Opeka, executive vice president, digital networks, Cinedigm
William Quigley, CEO, WAX and OPSkins
Jon Radoff, CEO, Disruptor Beam
Shane Rahmani, EVP & GM, Electus Digital Networks
Jeff Ratner, chief media officer, iCrossing
Benji Rogers, chief strategy officer, Dot Blockchain Media
Raymond Roker, vice president, AEG Studios
John Rosso, president, market development, Triton Digital
Scott Ryan, global VP music, Gracenote
Zihla Salinas, CEO, Trailer Park Group
Seth Schachner, managing director, Strat Americas
Fabrice Sergent, co-founder and managing partner, BandsinTown
Evan Shapiro, founder, eshapTV
Ned Sherman, counsel & director, Manatt Digital / founder, Digital Media Wire
Jeff Shultz, chief business officer, Pluto TV
Julie Shumaker, VP, business development, Unity Technologies
Lee Simpson, head of TV & entertainment, ustwo
Howie Singer, special technology advisor, Universal Music Group
Jason Sklar, managing director, Shamrock Capital
Jonathan Skogmo, CEO, Jukin Media
Pete Soldinger, senior director of strategy, Fullscreen
Todd Spangler, New York digital editor, Variety
Bart Spriester, VP and general manager of the video platform, Comcast Technology Solutions
Christopher Sprigman, professor, New York University School of Law
Brad Spychalski, creative strategy lead, Pinterest
Sarah Stringer, SVP, head of innovation, Carat USA
Jonathan Stringfield, global head of business marketing, measurement, and insights, Activision Blizzard
Christy Tanner, executive vice president and general manager, CBS News Digital
Erin Taylor, CEO, Musiconomi
Daniel Tibbets, president & GM, El Rey Network
Rasty Turek, CEO, Pex
Benoit Vatere, CEO & co-founder, Mammoth Media
Christoffer Wallin, Founder & CEO, Pindify
Matthew Wang, managing director / deputy COO, U.S. Investment Banking, Evercore
Andy Weissman, managing partner, USV
Megan West, VP, content relations, Soundcloud
Mark Willis, co-founder and chief design officer, Texel
Dick Wingate, principal, DEV Advisors
Matthew Yazge, head of brand partnerships, music & film, Nielsen Entertainment

Support for the 2018 New York Media Festival is provided by TribalScale, Tivo, Sheppard Mullin, Jukin Media, Jam City, Digital ReLab, Manatt, SoundExchange, Variety, WITI, IAEL, NYWIFT, AListDaily, MEA, XLive, EventBrowse, All That Matters, IGDA, Parks Associates, NATPE, Canadian Music Week, Fusicology and G.A.N.G.

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About NYME

The New York Media Festival (NYME) is an event designed to bring together experienced influencers and digital leaders to learn more about their respective fields and to network across New York City. The 2-day event includes industry leadership lunches, conferences, summits and open houses for the gaming, video and music industries. NYME’s founding team includes seasoned conference and event producers Ned and Tinzar Sherman. Over the past 15 years, the team has produced more than 200 events including some of the biggest and most impactful entertainment, tech and digital industry conferences, concerts, launch parties, intimate VIP dinners and networking events. Click here for more information.

Nielsen Acquires SuperData, Expands Video Game Data Offerings

Digital games market intelligence provider SuperData has been acquired by Nielsen Holdings, the companies announced Wednesday, allowing Nielsen clients access to additional insights about gamer behavior, video games and esports.

The acquisition of SuperData continues Nielsen’s ongoing efforts to gather marketing intelligence on the $109 billion video game industry. Nielsen already has its own divisions—Nielsen Games and the newly added Nielsen Esports—that report this information. However, according to the press release, the addition of SuperData will allow Nielsen to offer greater access to global market intelligence around digital video gaming use, sales, and audiences.

“SuperData’s measurement of digital game sales is definitely that compliments what our Nielsen Games business currently offers our clients,” Nicole Pike, managing director of Nielsen Esports told AList. “Even though we may be working in some of the same areas, there are a lot of unique data sets and types of analogies and products that we each have. It’s a good combination of products that compliment each other. Services may have some overlap but at the end of the day, are just going to bring more and different types of intelligence to our clients under one roof.”

Nielsen has shown growing interest in the gaming community over the last few years, partnering with Activision-Blizzard in April to provide metrics across several esports tournaments for Overwatch and Call of Duty. The partnership will expand to other titles in 2019. Nielsen Games tracks consumer behavior in terms of console and mobile gaming that analyzes purchase funnels, software, brand affinity and sales opportunities.

SuperData, meanwhile, offers the spending of over 160 million paying digital gamers worldwide. The company offers revenue data for all platforms including VR, console, mobile and PC, releasing reports on a monthly and yearly basis.

Pike noted that Nielsen and Superdata have clients in common and could gain access to new ones through this acquisition.

“Depending on the client, we’re going to see different opportunities to integrate the businesses together or offer products across both entities,” said Pike. “It’s going to look a little different depending on [which client] you’re talking about, but we see opportunities for our clients to take advantage of [the acquisition.”

Going forward, SuperData will be known as “SuperData, a Nielsen company.”

Killer Content Marketing: Our Top Picks So Far In 2018

Content marketing gives brands a way to entertain, engage and inspire consumers, associating themselves with a feeling rather than a disruptive ad. This year, we have already seen some great examples of content marketing—here are five campaigns that stand out.

HBO—Silicon Valley VR: Inside The Hacker Hostel

To coincide with the show’s Season 5 premiere, HBO launched a fully-interactive VR experience called Silicon Valley: Inside the Hacker Hostel. HTC Vive owners can explore a faithful, 3D recreation of the show’s famous home and workplace, interacting with 750 items.

Video challenges from the show’s characters Dinesh and Gilfoyle send users on missions ranging from destroying old hard drives to solving a code crisis.

Campaign Takeaway: Let Fans Play In Your World

VR experiences are nothing new for the entertainment industry, but these activations are typically “look only.” Inside the Hacker Hostel embodies the humor and lore of Silicon Valley not only in appearance but in what it allows fans to do—letting users feel like part of an inside joke while making their own memories associated with the brand.

Mercedes-Benz—Bertha Benz: The First Driver

Legacy automotive brand Mercedes-Benz launched the first branded video on Instagram’s new IGTV with Bertha Benz: The First Driver. The black and white short film was shot and edited to accommodate IGTV’s vertical format and runs a little over two minutes in length.

The branded content tells the story of Bertha Benz, wife and partner of Mercedez-Benz founder Karl Benz. When her husband invented the first automobile in 1888, he didn’t think it was ready but Bertha did. Without telling him—and with a helpful push from her two sons—Bertha took off for a 60 mile test run.

Campaign Takeaway: Share Your Brand Story

Brands, especially massive corporations, can appear to consumers as some unfeeling entity that exists only to generate profits. Telling Bertha’s story not only honors her legacy but highlights the struggles she overcame that would ultimately set the automotive industry in motion. Humanizing a brand through storytelling allows consumers to see it as an imperfect but ambitious entity with hopes and dreams, just like them.

IKEA—Matcher’s Keepers

It’s no secret that friends, roommates and couples often can’t agree on home furnishings, especially while navigating the maze that is IKEA. The Scandinavian assemble-it-yourself brand made light of this common problem and quite literally made a game out of it called Matcher’s Keepers.

Hosted by lifestyle blogger Caroline Solomon, the three-part series debuted on YouTube in March to promote the IKEA Places AR app. Contestants were challenged to finally agree on a furniture selection by previewing it in the app. If they successfully agreed on their choice of couch, lap or desk, contestants won the real-life item to take home.

Campaign Takeaway: Seeing Is Believing

The beauty of augmented reality is that it closes the imagination gap. Once a consumer has visualized an item in their home, the chance of buyer’s remorse lessens. Matcher’s Keepers engaged consumers by acknowledging the challenges of furniture shopping, offering a solution and inviting viewers to try IKEA Places for themselves.

Estrella Damm—La Vida Nuestra (Our Life)

Alcohol marketing is known for its idealistic depictions of life—commercials filled with good-looking people laughing and having fun without a care in the world. Spanish beer brand Estrella Damm continues this tradition with its branded short film but isn’t afraid to show life’s harder bits first.

La Vida Nuestra is a 16-minute film starring Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) as a suave, easy-going TV character that guides Antón (Álvaro Cervantes) through his past mistakes so that he can move on. Ordering or serving up Estrella beer happens frequently through La Vida Nuestra, but the condensation-dripping bottles take a back seat to a message of allowing yourself to enjoy life while celebrating when others do, too.

Campaign Takeaway: Embody A Philosophy (And Celebrities Don’t Hurt)

Rather than drown his sorrows in beer or show only the happy parts, this short film offers another solution to the main character and by extension, the audience—acknowledge your choices, let go of your regrets and give yourself permission to enjoy life. Offering this sage advice lets audiences know that the Estrella brand not only understands life’s hardship but cares about its customers’ happiness.

McDonald’s—The Sauce

When McDonald’s got an unexpected shoutout on the wildly popular cartoon Rick and Morty, the brand saw an opportunity. For a limited time, the restaurant would offer Szechuan dipping sauce and everything would be great . . . or so they thought. There wasn’t enough sauce to quench fans’ thirst for Szechuan and McDonald’s saw itself in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons, i.e. riots and angry customers.

To make amends, McDonald’s launched a three-part podcast called The Sauce that explains what happened and why the brand is taking fan disappointment seriously.

Campaign Takeaway: When Failure Happens (And It Will), Own Up To It

McDonald’s isn’t the first brand to make a public apology about a campaign that missed the mark or failed to meet customer expectations, and they will definitely not be the last. In its moment of frustration, the quick service restaurant decided to apologize in a sincere and creative way. The Sauce takes an empathic and transparent approach to the corporate apology, humanizing the mishap and lettings fans know that they will try to do better next time.

Honorable Mentions:
  • Pepsi—Uncle Drew: Despite not showing Pepsi all that much, Uncle Drew is essentially a full-length branded film that managed to hold its own at the box office.
  • Procter and Gamble—The Words Matter: One Voice Can Make a Difference: This documentary tells the story of how the brand became one of the first Fortune 500 companies to include “sexual orientation” to its equal opportunity employment policy.
  • Campari—The Legend of Red Hand: The Italian aperitif brand used its signature red color to create an air of mystery around its cocktails in this short film delivered in the style of a box office thriller.

Any campaigns we missed? Give us a shout @alistdaily.

NickSplat Channel Launches On VRV With Nostalgia-Driven Marketing

Nostalgia marketing is in full swing at OTT service VRV as it announces the on-demand debut of NickSplat. Nickelodeon’s ’90s show line-up is going on the road with a series of experiential pop-ups designed to recreate audiences’ TV childhood.

Nickelodeon has partnered with VRV (pronounced “verve”) to bring its NickSplat TV line-up to OTT for the first time. VRV is a fan-focused video aggregation platform from Ellation that offers SVOD channels such as Crunchyroll, Funimation, Rooster Teeth, Shudder and now NickSplat.

The new NickSplat channel will feature selections from the ’90s and early 2000s including Are You Afraid of the Dark?, CatDog, Clarissa Explains It All, Doug and Rocko’s Modern Life. VRV will be the exclusive channel at launch and continue to be exclusive for “most of the content,” Ellation revealed.

With this news, fans are being invited to put “adulting” on hold. VRV is relying heavily on nostalgia with an experiential marketing activation in Santa Monica from September 8-9. Dubbed “Childhooding Zone,” the pop-up will feature a stocked breakfast cereal bar, inflatable furniture, ’90s décor and of course, a place to eat cereal and watch NickSplat. The activation will feature a giant cereal bowl that visitors can swim and pose in for social media.

“This is definitely one of the largest scale marketing campaigns we’ve done to date in terms of budget and time,” Elizabeth Moothart, senior director of marketing at Ellation told AList. “Pretty much anyone in this target range of late 20s to early 30s has been exposed to these [NickSplat] shows before, so [the channel] is one of our broadest reaching types of content. Because of that, we really want to use the NickSplat brand and use these shows to drive awareness to VRV.”

Moothart explained that they will work with social media influencers to drive awareness for the events, as well as encourage use of the official hashtag #ChildhoodingWithVRV on social media.

After its appearance in Santa Monica, the Childhooding Zone will travel across the country, where it will be installed outside of New York Comic Con. Nickelodeon isn’t the only one delving into new territory with this partnership. This activation will mark the first time Ellation has created a dedicated, stand-alone event outside of an existing event or partnered with marketing delivery service Fooji.

“We wanted to create a place that physically embodied a fan’s childhood and deliver that nostalgia in an impactful way,” Moothart said.

Those who use the #ChildhoodingWithVRV hashtag, use a TV emoji and list their favorite NickSplat show will have a ’90s-themed box of snacks delivered to them. The boxes will include snacks like AirHeads, Gushers and Teddy Grahams in addition to codes for VRV Premium and “other goodies.”

“We wanted to go for places that were high traffic among our target demographic and also by aligning with NYCC, we can do some pretty interesting things there, too,” said Moothart. “We can tell people who are at our activation inside Comic Con to also come to this one, which will be off-site just outside the venue. It gives us a lot of opportunities to overlap with other things that our partners and Crunchroll are doing as well.”

The marketing campaign for NickSplat purposely sticks to those who grew up with the content, Moothart explained.

“We’re not trying to introduce NickSplat to a new audience and we’re not marketing to children, even though the shows were originally created for children,” said Moothart. “This is all about nostalgia. We want fans of the show to remind themselves of their childhood, reminisce about the shows that they love and rewatch this content that they’ve already watched.”

Digital, TV Drive Growth For National Advertising Market In July

The national advertising market experienced growth of 10 percent in July according to data provided by Standard Media Index. Digital continues to dominate in terms of advertising spend, as marketers poured 17 percent more into the platform last month.

After declining for April, May and June, National TV finally experienced growth of three percent, excluding the World Cup. Within that category, cable TV rose five percent YoY while broadcast fell one percent in terms of ad revenue.

In July, the Upfront market grew five percent, while the Scatter market grew one percent. Standard Media Index attributes the growth of National TV ad spend to an increase in the number of 30-second spots. There was also a reduction in unpaid spots, also known as makegoods or ADU.

“The decline in ADUs is a positive sign for the industry, indicating that programs are delivering the expected audience figures this month,” said James Fennessy, CEO of Standard Media Index in a statement.

Revenue growth for televised sporting events was due entirely to soccer. Ad revenue for the sporting category dropped six percent if you don’t count the World Cup, but increased 20 percent if you do. Compared to the last match in 2014, however, in-game revenue dropped 29 percent.

News programming continues to be a draw for advertising dollars, especially MSNBC. The network grew an impressive 44 percent YoY in July. Broadcast news experienced the first YoY gains in 2018.

If you noticed a lot more “possible side effects” scrolling across your TV set last month, that’s because prescription pharmaceuticals increased TV ad spend by 26 percent and 37 percent across all platforms.

Quick service restaurants opened their wallets to reach more audiences in July, increasing ad spend across all categories by 51 percent and 19 percent on TV.

Out-of-home ad spend grew a modest one percent in July, while radio remained flat and print dropped 18 percent for the month.

BrewDog Launches Branded Streaming Video Service

The beer business has had a tough time engaging with younger audiences, but Scottish brewery BrewDog may have come up with a solution by launching an SVOD platform that’s dedicated to beer and its lifestyle.

BrewDog craft brewery co-founders James Watt and Martin Dickie began The BrewDog Network after their show Brew Dogs was canceled on the Esquire Network.

“Just as Netflix has pioneered mainstream streaming services, The BrewDog Network will be the first globally-recognized, passion-focused platform,” Watt said in a statement. “We believe craft beer can be the inspiration for the most popular content on the internet–maybe even more popular than videos of cats falling off walls or celebrity sex tapes.”

The BrewDog Network features 14 shows that cover craft beer, cocktails, food, travel, comedy and more. Watts and Dickie return with The BrewDog Show, which is a reinvention of the duo’s previous TV program where the two tour the world to drink beer and provide entertainment. Upcoming programs include Four Sheets featuring comedian Zane Lamprey—inspired by his previous show, Three Sheets—and Are You Smarter Than a Drunk Person, a game show where average people compete against inebriated MENSA members.

Other programs include Brown Bag Wine Tasting with William Shatner and The Nerdy Bartender featuring Canadian Actress Stacey Roy, who creates cocktails based on movies, comic books and other aspects of geeky pop-culture.

In a statement, BrewDog described the platform as “a genuine move to take the video-on-demand revolution to a new level. Driven by true passion and enthusiasm, we are doing exactly what we did with craft beer; raising standards and eyebrows in equal measure.”

To mark the launch of the service, the brewery created a specialty craft beer called Small Screen Hero, which is available both online and at global BrewDog locations.

The BrewDog Network launched worldwide on August 27 with both iOS and Android apps, and even though a Roku device can be found in its promotional imagery, the service has not yet announced any official partnerships with connected devices. The SVOD service costs $4.99 a month, which—as the company points out—is less than the cost of a pint of beer.

New York Public Library Launches ‘Insta Novels’ Campaign On Instagram Stories

Although the New York Public Library mainly services its namesake city, it is also a recognizable global brand that is dedicated to the promotion of literacy. As part of this mission, the library has launched an Instagram campaign that brings classic books to the social platform for book lovers everywhere to enjoy in a new way.

“Insta Novels” uses Instagram’s Stories feature to present entire books such as Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland (presented in two parts) to social media using animation and music with others including The Metamorphosis and The Yellow Wallpaper.

“We’re always looking for ways to inspire people to read more, using unlikely places to reach new audiences,” Richert Schnorr, director of digital media at the New York Public Library, told AList. “For a while, Instagram was seen as a younger platform, but I think that is changing dramatically. Our social media base has a lot of New York people, but it’s also national and global.”

Schnorr explained that the NYPL is always looking to find new ways to engage with both local and global audiences and that this campaign perfectly serves the goal of inspiring reading and lifelong learning. The campaign also encourages audiences to download the library’s SimplyE app, which lets readers borrow books from anywhere using a library card.

Although the library engages with users across multiple platforms to spread awareness of its booklists and core services, Instagram is a particularly good fit because of the institution’s visual nature, which includes iconic architecture in the heart of New York City. There’s also the benefit of upending expectations by using a fast photo sharing platform for a contemplative campaign that celebrates the written word.

Users can then decide to follow the library on social media, and perhaps discover that the institution has more to offer than books. The library also has a regular podcast and education classes.

“A campaign like this is exactly what the New York Public Library wants to be known for,” said Schnorr. “We are proud to be thinking in innovative ways, partnering with the best of the best, and always being centered around reading—inspiring reading and a lifelong learning. So, this is exactly the kind of campaign that we’ve hoped for.”