Holler’s Branded Stickers Generate Millions Of Views For Snickers

Snickers reaps the sweet fruit of its first sticker messaging campaign, launched in partnership with messaging tech company Holler (formerly Emogi). The campaign resulted in over 42 million views from tens of thousands of participants who included the branded, animated images and stickers within their messages across multiple platforms. 

According to the Holler case study, with the help of branded stickers, the candy brand was able to turn 61,318 consumers into brand advocates, and the creative content received a total of 42,888,113 impressions.

Per Holler, the most successful sticker, was “Excited,” driving the highest level of impressions and engagement. And in terms of demographic, the campaign reached the 25-34 age group the most, while the 35-44 demographic showed the most active engagement with the content. 

It’s not just cute fun at play here. According to consumer research, it’s not surprising that content and stickers that provoke feelings of excitement lead to higher engagement. Holler is using data, indicating that people who are excited are more likely to make purchases, to inform their business strategy and brand partnerships. 

AList shares Snicker' First Messaging Campaign

“By targeting people at a time when we know they are more likely to be influenced by a Snickers message, this allows us to deliver Intelligent Reach through a tailored message based on their online signals, and deliver Intelligent Conversion by providing a compelling offer when they are most susceptible. Given our findings that light buyers are even more susceptible to purchase when in an excited mood state, if we can identify and target these buyers we can use digital implementation to improve brand penetration,” Holler said in the report. 

Gary Arora, Global LaunchPad Lead, Mars Incorporated said in a press release, “Working with Holler is one of our first forays into the messaging space, which we’re very excited to dig into further. We saw incredible results from our first campaign, garnering 42 million views and converting 61,000 brand advocates across the platform. We are thrilled to be part of our customer conversations in an authentic way, and at the perfect moment in time. When folks are talking about needing an afternoon pick me up, Snickers will be there.”  

Although the partnership with Holler was Snickers’ first messaging initiative, the company has been relying on mobile technology and social media in general in its marketing efforts. For example, Snickers recently launched its debut micro-gifting campaign which allows fans to send a personalized message and gift redeemable for a Snickers bar at Walmart stores nationwide. 

EMarketer: US Cord-cutting Households Will Soon Catch Up To Traditional Pay-TV

The number of cord-cutting households continues its upward climb in the US and may soon match—then overtake—households with traditional paid-TV subscriptions, eMarketer predicts. If the analyst firm is correct, nearly 25 percent of households in the US will drop traditional TV by 2022.

According to the latest pay-TV forecast from eMarketer, cord-cutting households will jump 19.2 percent in 2019 to 40.2 million this year, while pay-TV households drop 4.2 percent to 86.5 million. Satellite providers will see the largest decline in subscriptions this year, eMarketer predicts, dropping 7.1 percent.

US consumers are not only subscribing to fewer traditional pay-TV but watching less of it when they do. EMarketer cited its April 2019 forecast in which US TV time would drop three percent in 2019 to an average of three hours and 40 minutes. While this decline is felt across all age groups, it is especially true among viewers 17 and younger, who will watch an estimated 10 percent less traditional TV this year.

Viewer losses to traditional TV providers may be a self-perpetuating problem, according to eMarketer forecasting analyst Eric Haggstrom. 

“As viewing time and the number of TV households drop, networks will have to sell ads at higher prices to account for lost viewership,” Haggstrom said. This, combined with rising programming costs, are making it more difficult for cable, satellite and telco providers to turn a profit on subscriptions, he explained.

“It seems that they are willing to lose customers rather than retain them with unprofitable deals,” said Haggstrom, noting that consumers are forced to pay higher prices for internet in order to raise profit margins.

Subscribers often drop services when prices rise and promotional deals don’t get renewed, and thus the cycle begins again.

Several traditional TV providers have responded by offering their own OTT programming including Disney, ESPN, HBO, Showtime and STARZ, but price point may still cause hurdles for consumers looking for the best deal.

A March 2019 report by Hub Research found that 36 percent of respondents would drop an existing OTT service before subscribing to another one and 24 percent said they already had “too many.”

EMarketer’s observations are aligned with a 2018 study by Magid, which found that eight percent of pay-TV subscribers were “extremely likely” to cancel and not get another one in the subsequent 12 months. By comparison, this number was six percent in 2017 and 5.7 percent in 2016.


Kmart Australia Launches AR Campaign, Taps Country’s Growing Interest In Tech

Kmart Australia launched a mobile augmented reality (AR) ad campaign that lets consumers see its furniture and home decor products in real-life context. The campaign taps into Australia’s growing interest in the technology, as well as the retailer’s pursuit of digital engagement.

The mobile ad campaign, created by OmniVirt and launched August 1, is being served programmatically across a number of websites including Buzzfeed and Apartment Therapy. Selecting the display ad allows consumers to virtually place 3D rendered merchandise into their environment using their mobile device’s front-facing camera. No app download is required.

The budget retailer campaign continues a trend of brands using augmented reality to close the “imagination gap” between visualizing a product and purchase. Similar campaigns and dedicated apps have been employed by IKEA, The Home Depot, Pottery Barn, Overstock and Lowe’s, among others.

Kmart Australia, a subsidiary of Wesfarmers, unrelated to the US chains, reported an eight percent revenue increase in 2018 and “strong performances” in the sale of home merchandise. The brand attributed this growth to its expanded online channels and 10 new retail locations opened throughout the year.

“With more new stores opening across Australia and New Zealand, the growth of our online business and expansion into new markets, we are on a mission to improve the Kmart shopping experience for all our customers, who are at the heart of everything we do,” the company stated In a June 2019 job post for a head of digital marketing.

In a sign that it’s a digital-first road ahead for the brand, one of the key responsibilities listed in the job posts is the expectation to “transition the marketing model to fully embrace digital engagement with [Kmart Australia] customers.”

The Australian government has invested time and resources into the development of AR, VR and 3D web technologies through a dedicated laboratory. In March 2018, Australia’s federal research agency—Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)—announced The Immersive Environments Lab dedicated to this purpose.

The country has also attracted global technology brands in recent years with Alibaba, Dialog, Square and Cybergym establishing regional headquarters in Victoria.

In 2018, Magnify World Expo was held in Melbourne for the first time as part of the Victorian Government Digital Innovation Festival. AR and VR are expected to become a $150 billion market across all industry sectors, according to Magnify World head of innovation Matt Coleman.

“We think there’s going to be around a $1.6 billion AU ($1 billion USD) revenue opportunity for new companies and corporates in the Australian market over the next two years,” Coleman told ZDNet. “It’s much bigger than everybody thinks.”


AI-Powered Machines Will Now Write Marketing Copy At JPMorgan Chase

Chase announced a five-year deal with artificial intelligence (AI) leader Persado to power its creative marketing capabilities after a pilot saw a boost, as high as a 450 percent increase, in click-through rates in messages created by Persado’s Message Machine versus human copywriters.

The bank began the pilot in 2016 with Persado’s secret weapon—the Message Machine—a platform of advanced marketing language, including more than one million tagged and scored words and phrases. The tool successfully redrafted marketing messages in Chase’s Card and Mortgage business using data science and AI, transforming them into more personalized and compelling messages to individual customers. 

Chase plans to scale its artificial intelligence efforts, widen the use of data-driven messages and create enterprise-wide omnichannel personalization in 2020.

“Machine learning is the path to more humanity in marketing. Persado’s technology is incredibly promising. It rewrote copy and headlines that a marketer, using subjective judgment and their experience, likely wouldn’t have. And they worked. We think this is just the beginning. We hope to use Persado not just in marketing, but in our internal communications to make things more relevant to employees, as well as in our customer service prompts,” said Kristin Lemkau, CMO of JPMorgan Chase in a press release.

The day Chase announced news of its Persao partnership, Lemkau also tweeted: “I’m super passionate about this. CMOs need to skill up in AI and tech if they’re going to drive growth. Our partnership with Persado is a big one to help make marketing smarter AND more customer focused.”
In 2018, the bank released a strategic update report pledging to adopt a long-term digital strategy that would allow a digital account opening process with the aim of ridding customers’ need for a branch visit. Chase’s active digital customer base has 48 million users and 32 million users in its mobile customer base, as reported by The Financial Brand. The company currently operates a traditional mobile app, Chase Mobile, Finn, a mobile-only bank meant for millennials, JPM Mobile, a digital wealth management app and ChasePay, a digital wallet.

Will We Miss Instagram Likes When They’re Gone? One Expert Thinks Better Campaign Measurement Lies Ahead

As Instagram rolled out a test to “Hide Likes” across Canada, Japan, Italy, Ireland, Brazil, New Zealand and Australia, the world paused and, well, panicked.

The effect it will have on users’ posting habits is yet to be understood, but it’s clear that brands and influencers, who monetize their content mostly in relation to the number of likes, comments and views they receive on social media, will have to adapt to this change the most.  

While Instagram wants users “to focus on the photos and videos [others] share, not how many likes [they] get,” marketers are trying to wrap their heads around the initiative. To help them understand what hiding likes really means for influencer marketing, AList reached out to an influencer marketing agency MediaKix and sought the advice of the agency’s vice president and general manager, Zoe Marans. 

The Challenge 

According to a MediaKix survey, Instagram is seen as a crucial element in the marketing strategy machine, with 89 percent of marketers finding the social media giant important to their influencer marketing strategy, and over 73 percent saying that Instagram “Stories” and posts are the most effective content formats in their strategy. 

However, as the platform transforms the way in which it reflects content performance, these numbers may shift. In fact, “Instagram’s change may pose a challenge among the influencer marketing industry on how to price sponsored posts and stories because there won’t be a public metric to standardize pricing against. This may lead to more negotiation room as brands and influencers find new ways to work together, share messaging and determine the effectiveness of ad spend,” Marans said. 

The Benefits 

It is important to note, though, that besides calling for quick adaptation from marketers, “Hide Likes” might have unintended positive consequences and help solve important social media marketing problems, such as bots and fake followers. Per Marans, because vanity metrics will no longer be the only factor determining content performance, eventually, both marketers and influencers will be encouraged to value other behavioral metrics, such as video completion and audio on/off. The change might also inspire influencers to concentrate more on quality content and not on the content they believe will gain the most likes, views and comments. 

“This will also put a bigger emphasis on transparency as brands will rely on influencers to share first-party analytics to better understand the audience they’re reaching and how sponsored content is performing. With tracking ROI being one of the biggest challenges marketers face according to the survey, this new change on Instagram may initially exacerbate marketers’ frustration if they’re accustomed to measuring performance on reach and engagement, however it may make measuring ROI easier in the long run as performance shifts to actionable metrics such as clicks and sales,” Marans said. 

The Strategy 

In terms of strategy, the agency is forecasting that if “Hide Likes” does indeed roll out globally, marketers will need to pay more attention to Stories, IGTV and Instagram Shopping, as these content formats provide actionable metrics in the form of swipe ups and purchases, which will still allow brands to track performance metrics as well as calculate ROI. 

The Future 

Marans said MediaKix predicts that Instagram’s parent company, Facebook, might be next in line to give “remove likes” a try, as “younger users are competing to get likes to boost self-esteem.”  

But despite the unease around hiding likes on social media platforms, the future of influencer marketing still seems to be bright, as Business Insider Intelligence recently estimated–again basing their estimations on Mediakix’s data–the influencer marketing industry to be worth up to $15 billion by 2022. 

For The First Time Ever, US Consumers Will Spend More Time On Their Smartphones Than Watching TV

According to eMarketer’s “2019 Mobile Marketing Trends Roundup,” this year, for the first time in history, US consumers will spend more time using their mobile devices than watching TV. Not surprisingly, smartphones dominate as the device of choice.

Smartphones will lead as the source of media consumption by consumers, claims the report. However, the analysts from eMarketer forecast that their use will plateau by 2020. The researchers explain that the anxiety around the overuse of mobile devices is increasing, and that anxiety is expected to impact the number of hours that consumers spend with their devices.

The average US adult, this year, will spend 3 hours and 43 minutes on mobile devices, which is slightly more than 3 hours 35 minutes spent on TV. Also, US consumers will spend 2 hours 55 minutes on smartphones, which makes a 9-minute increase from 2018. 

“We’ve expected that mobile would overtake TV for a while, but seeing it happen is still surprising. As recently as 2014, the average US adult watched nearly 2 hours more TV than they spent on their phones,” said Yoram Wurmser, eMarketer principal analyst.

While smartphones continue to conquer the world, tablets are certainly losing in the battle. In 2017, daily time spent by an average US adult on a tablet was 1 hour 11 and this year it dipped to 1 hour 8 minutes. The researchers also predict this trend to continue through 2021. 

Consumers spend a good chunk of their time using apps rather than web browsers, typically, spending 2 hours 57 minutes in apps compared to as few as 26 minutes on a mobile browser, the roundup informs (to maximize app user lifetime, the researchers recommend to “leverage deep linking, encourage social sharing and drive new referrals and offer discounts”).  

The most popular activity among consumers within apps is tuning in to digital audio. According to Wurmser, “Digital audio apps continue to add minutes because people are streaming more music on their phones, and podcasts have taken off in popularity in the past few years.” The trend is followed by scrolling through feeds and chatting in social media platforms. 

Per the analysts, companies like Google and Apple have introduced screen time controls, but how useful they are in ultimately changing behavior is yet to be revealed. So what are some things that marketers can do today to maximize their advertising on mobile devices? One of the key strategies is understanding personalization. As pointed out by the roundup sponsor, Branch, “From desktop to mobile web to apps to tablets, users now have more connected devices than ever. Brands that can’t respond to their users’ needs for personalization across devices will lose loyalty–and revenue.” 

TIME Magazine Puts Sponsored Content On Moon Landing Issue Cover; Launches AR-VR App

TIME Magazine launched an app combining augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), called Time Immersive app to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing. To promote the app, the magazine’s most recent cover shows an illustrated homage to the original 1968 cover of astronauts from different nations racing to the moon—this time adding space startups to the mix. 

An unexpected message also appears: “Brought to you by Jimmy Dean,” is printed in small type on the cover, marking the first time since 2014 that TIME put sponsored content on the magazine’s cover. Additionally, the ad on the underside of the front cover flap reads, “Celebrating 50 years of quality sausage.” 

In 2014, TIME broke industry taboo when it ran Verizon Wireless ads on the cover of TIME and Sports Illustrated, AdAge reported. The Verizon logo and the words “For best results use Verizon. See P. 23,” appeared on the TIME cover that highlighted saving premature babies. TIME’s recent decision to run an ad front-and-center on its cover, however, could mean more sponsored covers are in its future.

The first app experience, also sponsored by Jimmy Dean, “Landing on the Moon,” allows viewers to “experience a scientifically and historically accurate cinematic recreation of the Apollo 11 landing in photo-real 3D on any tabletop at home.” The activation will include spatial sound design and a voice-over by TIME’s Jeffrey Kluger. The magazine is also giving fans a teaser of the 3D experience as a mobile web AR experience. 

TIME’s app launch coincides with Jimmy Dean’s 50th anniversary which might explain the cover’s ad tie-in. The sausage brand is commemorating its milestone with an interactive timeline of the brand’s history on its website and two short video spots posted to its Twitter. One of the 15-second spots shows the celebratory scene that unfolded in the space control room when Apollo 11 landed. The camera then zooms in on one of the flight controllers who’s seen enjoying a Jimmy Dean sausage, and the spot ends with the narrator voicing, “50 years ago, something extraordinary happened: Jimmy Dean sausage first landed on our plates. Houston, we have a better breakfast.” 

Earlier this year, TIME announced two forthcoming immersive projects. “The March” will give audiences the chance to experience the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in a room-scale interactive VR. The second initiative, called “The ISS Experience,” will be an immersive documentary series filmed around the International Space Station. 

Wendy’s Brings Baconfest To Twitch

With a knack for inserting itself in some of the most unexpected corners of pop culture, Wendy’s keeps surprising fans. This time, the brand returned to Twitch to live-stream its digital avatar while playing Fortnite to promote the launch of Baconfest, a celebration of its Baconator sandwiches. Wendy’s gave out free Baconator sandwiches to the first 1,000 viewers who made any Wendy’s purchase through DoorDash. The Baconator video garnered a little over 2,000 views.

The Baconator-Twitch stunt reflects the brand’s attempt to extend its reach beyond Twitter, where it’s seen the most success and has 3.24 million followers. In another recent campaign, “Keeping Fortnite Fresh,” the Wendy’s avatar destroyed every freezer in the in-game burger establishment, Durrr Burger, as a rebellion against frozen beef. The initiative led to a 119 percent increase of mentions of Wendy’s across all its social media platforms. With just 27,000 followers on Twitch, Wendy’s has gotten a slow, but steady start on marketing to younger audiences who prefer streaming platforms over traditional television.

As part of Baconfest, Wendy’s is also marketing its Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger. Fans who use the code, “BACONFEST,” will receive an exclusive DoorDash deal that consists of a free Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger and free delivery when they spend $10 or more.

The self-professed “number one seller of bacon cheeseburgers across the fast-food industry,” Wendy’s teased Baconfest with a 15-second video spot published to the brand’s Twitter. The spot showcases Wendy’s various bacon items in a club full of bacon lovers, dancing to tracks played by a DJ who has a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger for a head. 


Yet another bacon tie-in is being used to encourage fans to use the brand’s mobile app. Between July 16-August 25, those who use the Wendy’s app to order, will receive free Baconator Fries with any purchase. 

Chatbots Gain Traction But Trust Is Low, Study Finds

It’s no surprise that consumers crave a highly personalized shopping experience, want the highest caliber of customer service and they also want problems resolved quickly. What remains elusive is how marketers should approach interactions with customers today given the rise of chatbots and other automated technology that promises faster resolutions and reduced operational costs. A survey from Drift and Survey Monkey Audience, the “2019 State of Conversational Marketing Report,” explores how and if brands should leverage chatbots in their conversational marketing strategies.

A follow-up to Drift’s “2018 State of Chatbots Report,” the report surveyed over 1,000 US consumers to analyze peoples’ preferred method of communication with brands. To start, 46 percent of millennials said they want chatbots to provide answers to their simple questions. Additionally, 44 percent expect an immediate response (within five seconds) from chatbots and face-to-face conversations. 

Similarly, when asked about the most convenient channel for speaking with brands, 40 percent said chatbots are the best at delivering 24/7 service, with online chat coming in second at 32 percent. Additionally, those who owned 10 or more connected devices said they were more likely to trust chatbots to handle important tasks, such as scheduling a meeting or resolving a complaint. Comparatively, those who own three or less connected devices were almost less than half as likely to trust chatbots to take care of those same tasks.

Though convenient and gaining traction, chatbots may not be a magic bullet for brands to improve customer service. In fact, the survey found that buyers are twice as likely to say that they have a better customer experience when speaking with a live human. 

Another reason companies may not be as fast to incorporate chatbots is that email, smartphone apps and telephone are still the dominant ways people want to talk to brands. It may come as a surprise to many that 33 percent of respondents said they used email more frequently this year compared to last year. When asked how they’ve communicated with organizations in the past 12 months, 65 percent said email—and that number has grown from 60 percent last year. 

Consumers surveyed also cited problems with other traditional online experiences. For example, when asked which online frustrations they’ve experienced in the last month, 34 percent answered “Can’t get answers to simple questions,” and 30 percent said, “Site is hard to navigate.” 

As customers become increasingly comfortable interacting with chatbots, marketers can’t afford to entirely shun traditional forms of communication. Rather, their focus should be the use of chatbots to complement their human and phone customer services. Tailoring the channel to the purpose of the interaction is essential. To fully meet customers’ needs while also personalizing their experience, know the difference between delivering fast, straightforward communication and a more complex customer service experience that requires the human touch.

38 Million US Consumers Expected To Shop Via Smart Speaker By 2021

More than four in 10 US smart speaker users are expected to use their devices to make purchases, according to a forecast from eMarketer. This year, the number of consumers who shop via smart speaker is set to rise 31.6 percent to 31 million consumers, and another 11.8 percent to 34.7 million in 2020 and 38 million by 2021. EMarketer defines shopping as “browsing, researching products, and adding things to a shopping cart.”

The smart speaker market shows no signs of slowing down. In a June 2019 survey, Bizrate Insights found that 21 percent of US smart speaker owners said they purchased entertained via their smart speaker. Comparatively, 11 percent said the same in October 2018. Additionally, 14 percent of those surveyed said they made a repeat purchase product in June 2019, compared with 11 percent in October 2018.

This year, 21 million people will make at least one purchase on a smart speaker. Per eMarketer, the majority of these smart speaker purchases will comprise electronic media, namely music and movies.

Increased adoption of the smart speaker doesn’t mean that consumers are going to start utilizing the device as their preferred shopping method, though. Among smart speaker owners who asked for product recommendations, the number declined from 18 percent in October 2018 to 15 percent in June 2019.

In 2018, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) reported that 70 million households will own a smart speaker by 2022. The IAB expects there will be over 870 billion voice assistant-enabled devices in the US by that same year. 

“Although smart display speakers like the Google Home Hub and Amazon Echo Show are growing in popularity, they still make up a small share of the market, so the main hindrance to buying through smart speakers—the inability to view products—will remain relevant. In addition, many smart speaker users are simply uninterested in using their devices for anything other than the tried-and-true functions with which they were meant to assist: news and weather updates, playing music and asking basic questions,” said eMarketer senior forecasting analyst, Jaimie Chung.