Sony Partnership Lets Viewers Shop Directly From Smart TVs

Sony smart TV viewers can now use their remote control, mobile device or voice commands to interact and purchase directly from the television.

Sony has partnered with Connekt to add t-commerce to its smart TVs and Blu-ray disc players. Viewers can shop products from “hundreds” of brands and retailers that include Macy’s, Best Buy and Fanatics, directly from the ShopTV app located in their smart TV’s app store. In the future, this partnership will expand to allow purchasing directly from a show broadcast and enable voice commands.

Unlike traditional commercials or banner ads, t-commerce (shopping through a smart TV) allows brands to reach audiences while they are already engaged.

According to Nielsen, a third of homes in the US own at least one internet-enabled TV. Homes with connected-TV devices skew younger (more than half are under the age of 45), more affluent and are more likely to have children. Adding T-Commerce to a smart TV would grant advertisers access to millions of homes without having to pick up a second device.

A recently published report by Connekt states that over 75 percent of consumers would buy products directly from their TV if given the opportunity. Of those, over 70 percent were interested in using their voice to purchase products through the television.

Since the launch of its ShopTV app, Connekt has partnered with LG, Sony, Hisense, Verizon and Roku, with plans to compile its own consumer data research. The brand partnered with Verance earlier this year to develop enhanced ads.

Other tech brands are investing in the idea of shopping directly from a TV screen. Samsung, for example, has been testing the t-commerce waters since October with its Checkout shopping portal. In Portugal, smart TV viewers can order sushi, pizza and wine through their screens, thanks to a partnership with local cloud-based platform yubuy.

Nielsen: OTT Subscriptions Driven By Familiar Content, Specific Shows

Nielsen has released its quarterly MediaTech Trender survey that tracks consumer perceptions of emerging devices and services. Among the findings, Nielsen reveals a close relationship between smart speakers and smartphones, as well as common motivations for streaming content.

The survey included Q1 responses from 2,000 US consumers aged 13 and above. Participants were asked about their relationship with technology in terms of preferences, motivations and habits.

Nielsen delivered some good news for social networks like Facebook and Twitter that have invested heavily in video. Over half of adult smartphone users said they viewed video from inside a social network site or app at least once a day, while just under half of tablet users said the same. These numbers jumped among younger adults between the ages of 18-34—72 percent said they watched video in this way on a smartphone and 57 percent on a tablet.

Streaming content is more readily viewed by all age groups if it hosts existing shows they’ve watched or listened to before. This is especially true among consumers between the ages of 18-34 (64 percent) and 35-49 (62 percent). Among persons aged 50-64, this behavior was only slightly less common at 59 percent.

That’s not to say that adults aren’t willing to explore new content. Just under half of all adults said they subscribing to video streaming services to gain access to video content they like and 42 percent said that they sign up for a specific program.

When it comes to smart speakers, non-white consumers are leading the way. Compared to the national average of 43 percent, Asian American, Black and Hispanic consumers have displayed more interest in using or subscribing to a streaming service at 55, 52 and 45 percent, respectively.

Consumers aren’t just buying one smart speaker, either. In fact, four out of 10 respondents own more than one, with the living room being the most popular location. These devices get put to work, with 90 percent of users saying they use smart speakers to listen to music at least once a week.

Just over half of consumers sync their smart speakers to a smartphone, with audio streaming and shopping apps being the most popular.

“Consumers are not only incredibly tech savvy—they’re voraciously plugged in,” says Peter Katsingris, SVP of audience insights at Nielsen. “With so many choices of media to consume and innovative products being introduced into the marketplace, gauging consumer sentiment towards them is crucial in understanding not only what’s ‘now’ but also what’s ‘next.’”

Report: PlayStation Tops Online/Offline Sentiment For Consumer Electronics

Engagement Labs has released its TotalSocial ranking of consumer electronics brands for 2018, revealing that PlayStation climbed to the number one spot for positive consumer conversations. Parent company Sony also made the top ten, rising five spots over last year.

Social conversations about a brand are vital for awareness and gauging sentiment. Engagement Labs found that nearly 30 percent of electronics purchases are explained by consumer conversations, and more than half of the impact comes from face-to-face and voice-to-voice conversation.

“It’s counter-intuitive but also true that offline conversation is extremely important to technology brands,” said Ed Keller, CEO of Engagement Labs.

In addition to a number of exclusive video game titles, PlayStation has benefited from conversations both online and off about Fortnite. Further buzz was generated by a PS4/Fortnite bundle kit released in August.

“In consumer electronics, social performance sometimes is driven by having the hottest or newest toy, as we are seeing with Playstation’s Fortnite game,” observed Keller. “But it also helps to have widespread adoption and use, which are key to the social success of Kindle, Samsung, and Bose.”

Kindle rose one spot from last year to take second place, followed by Samsung, which also rose one position. Bose rose five spots in the last six months and is now sitting pretty at number five, just under Apple. Following the release of its new noise-canceling headphones, Bose experienced a rise in both online and offline sentiment, along with online brand sharing on social media.

Apple tumbled out of the top spot to land at number four. Engagement Labs admits, however, that the company’s brands collectively dominate consumer conversation.

“If all of Apple’s brands were combined into a single score, the parent brand—which recently became the first publicly traded company to reach $1 trillion in value—would easily dominate the number one position,” says the report.

Nintendo didn’t fare as well in the last six months, dropping three spots to number 10 on the TotalSocial ranking. Engagement Labs attributed this to a lackluster E3 performance that took its toll on online and offline influence.

The biggest drop was experienced by Asus, however, plummeting 17 spots to number 22.

The top 10 TotalSocial Consumer Electronic Brands Are:

  • PlayStation
  • Kindle
  • Samsung
  • Apple
  • Bose
  • Xbox
  • Sony
  • Roku
  • Nintendo
  • LG

Soulmates.AI Releases Latest a.EMVI Monthly Report

Soulmates.AI proudly announces its latest a.EMVI (Earned Media Value Index) Monthly Report to help brands, agencies and others in the marketing industry see the latest trends in earned media value.

The a.EMVI takes on one of the most elusive questions of modern-day marketing: How valuable are my efforts on social media? Our Index is the industry standard for judging the earned media value of the likes, comments and shares from on social media platforms. The Index provides actual dollar values for interactions and engagements on social media, providing baselines value for the industry to use for comparison and reporting.

While these baseline values (based on our full cross-section of research) are available for each social media network, this month we are highlighting the financial industry and using our Vertical values, which are available as a premium. These values are based on isolated, industry-specific research to offer the most precise reporting available.

The monthly report spotlights the industry’s earned media frontrunners in total Earned Media Value. This invaluable tool gives a monetary value to the monthly efforts of earned media from these brands:

  • Prudential Financial leads by a far margin with $28,390.98
  • Citigroup comes next with their total value being at $12,680.99
  • JP Morgan follows up with $7,971.27
  • State Farm Insurance comes in closely behind with its value at $7187.56
  • The Travelers Companies completes the leaderboard with $4,581.22
  • The total earned media value of just the leaders $60,812.22

The report also provides a breakdown of which brands are the most influential on each major social platform.

  • Instagram has a for JP Morgan, which brings in $2,371.98
  • Facebook creates huge value for Prudential Financial, earning $9832.03
  • Twitter also shows how influential Prudential Financial is, reaching $18,547.51
  • YouTube provides a small but impactful platform for State Farm Insurance which is earning $524.08

The a.EMVI Monthly Report offers just a glimpse at the utility of the a.EMVI. For more details on using the a.EMVI to help track your social media and gain the exceptional insight it brings, sign up for our monthly newsletter so you won’t miss our trend reports.

To learn more about our methodology, check out our complimentary white paper here.

If you would like to bring the power of a.EMVI to your company or platform, contact us at: info@soulmates.ai to get a list of our dashboard and API options.

About Soulmates.AI:
A part of a.network, Soulmates.AI helps companies gain a deep and actionable understanding of social speech and expression so they can build relationships between creators, companies and consumers. We are scientists, technologists and marketers who want to fix advertising and make it truly beneficial for all. Learn more at: soulmates.ai.

Kayak Launches AR Bag Measurement Tool To Ease Travel Anxiety

Kayak is using augmented reality to help travelers measure their luggage. The new bag measurement tool will tell users whether a bag is likely a carry-on or if it should be checked.

Anyone who has been asked to check a bag after they already boarded a flight knows the pain and embarrassment of not having the right-sized luggage. Kayak is addressing this common problem with technology that adds novelty to the “carry it on vs. check it” deliberation.

“There are a lot of AR applications that are fun but this one was designed to be truly useful for travelers,” Kayak chief technology officer Giorgos Zacharia said in a press release.

Kayak’s new AR bag measurement tool, added on Tuesday, is currently available only to iOS users. It was developed during the company’s “SWAT Week,” an annual engineering competition that challenges employees to rapidly design and develop new ideas.

Users can access the tool from the Kayak mobile app. Once opened, users will be prompted to scan the floor to help calibrate measurements, then move the camera around the bag. The AR tool captures the bag’s exact measurements, then recommends whether it qualifies as a carry-on or not.

If the bag is deemed too large for a carry-on, the app automatically compares check baggage fee policies so users know what to expect.

The AR tool continues a trend of Kayak’s try-it-before-you-buy-it-with-technology strategy. In June, Kayak launched a VR app for Google Daydream that lets travelers “visit” a location before booking. The app launched with 360-degree views of Venice and Kathmandu, inviting users to explore the locations with onscreen information or an audio tour.

Kayak continues to invest in technology so it can stand out in the growing travel industry. The brand uses AI to assist its customers through Facebook Messenger, Google and Alexa and says it will continue to invest in a variety of technologies.

Casual Connect Asia 2018 Coming To The Greater Bay Area, Shenzhen, China This November

Casual Connect Asia 2018
Location: OCT Creative Exhibition Center (OCT Design Museum)
Date: Nov. 12-14, 2018
Attendees: 1,200 gaming professionals
Speakers: 150 executives and experts
Indie Prize Showcase: 120 games

Organized by CGA with the support of host partner iDreamSky, Casual Connect is coming to the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area China with its annual Asian event. At Casual Connect Asia 2018, you’ll have unlimited access to the meeting system to network with games industry professionals like yourself. All attendees get access to three days of lectures, official networking parties, and 120 of the world’s best indie games with developers. The venue will also feature a large expo area where you can talk one-on-one with industry-leading companies.

“China is now the world’s biggest game market. Being co-host of Casual Connect China, our intention is to build the bridge for the international game industry to learn more about Chinese culture and bring in more high-quality content for the Chinese market,” said Michael Chen, CEO of iDreamSky.

For Developers

More than 1,500 developers apply to Indie Prize during the year and judges from throughout the games industry select the most promising games to participate at international Indie Prize showcases during Casual Connect conferences. Submit your game for the international Indie Prize Asia 2018 scholarship program before Sep 10, more details are in the submission form. Join industry leaders as an established developer with developer showcase or support this great event as a sponsor with 50 percent off Gold, Silver and Bronze.

For Funding Publishers

Sign up for a Publishers Pitch and review 40 of the world’s best indie games during a three-hour pitch on Nov. 12. Get more exposure at the expo area with a booth or meeting table with 50 percent off Gold, Silver or Bronze sponsorship packages.

New Delegation Package

CGA has recently launched a new program that will make it simpler for government and non-profit organizations or just a group of up to 10 developers to join Casual Connect with a special delegation package rate.

* * *

Casual Connect brings together the most talented and knowledgeable experts in the gaming field to further the industry with the best learning and networking opportunities for gaming professionals since 2005, four times every year. See the full schedule of Casual Connect events for 2018 here.

For any questions please contact Yuliya Moshkaryova at yuliya@cga.global or on Facebook.

Report: Marketers, Agencies Disagree On Media Buy Priorities

ID Comms has released its 2018 Global Media Trading Report—the seventh and final study as wave one in the 7Ts Global Research Project. The two-year study examines media behaviors of successful marketers across the world in seven “Ts”: Transparency, Talent, Training, Terms, Thinking, Technology and Trading.

When it comes to media trading, marketers agreed that while it’s easy to purchase cheaply, it’s more challenging to buy well. Cost-focused behavior, the respondents added, is somewhat led by media auditors and client requests for lower prices. Media trading must balance quality and price but the quality is more important, marketers said in the report. A majority of respondents—88 percent—agreed that advertisers who treat media as a quality buy rather than a commodity buy are at an advantage.

“We need to go from treating media as a commodity to be much more of a quality buy because agencies were just being incentivized to buy cheap media,” Stéphane Bérubé, CMO for Western Europe at L’Oréal, said in the report.

The disconnect between advertiser and agency priorities is apparent in ID Comms’ findings, particularly in what each group classified as the most indicator of successful media trading.

A majority of respondents classified “business results/ROI” as the most important indicator of successful media trading in 2018. However, 68 percent who did so were made of advertisers, compared to 32 percent of agency respondents.

The importance of financial transparency was especially disparate, with 91 percent naming it a top measurement of success compared to only nine percent from agencies.

Different opinions were also found between respondents in charge of procurement and marketers, especially when it comes to whether a media plan dictates the buy or vice versa.

Overall, participating marketing professionals agreed that traditional media auditing is less relevant in an age of digital auctions and hiring the best talent is a challenge shared by all.

Conducted over a two-week period in January and February, ID Comms received 130 responses from marketing, media and procurement professionals located in Europe (75 percent), the US (15 percent) and the remainder in other areas of the world.

Samsung Celebrates Issa Rae’s Emmy Nod With ‘Made It’ Campaign

Samsung will debut a new ad called “Made It” during the 2018 Primetime Emmy Awards that celebrates the achievements of its spokeswoman, Emmy-nominated actress Issa Rae.

The ad highlights Samsung’s products during the creative process while subtly promoting the Samsung Galaxy Note9.

“Made It” follows Rae’s seven-year journey from uploading her first episode of Awkward Black Girl on YouTube to watching it go viral, signing her first contract, appearing on magazine covers and onto the set of her hit HBO series Insecure. The spot features every moment of the journey being aided by technology, i.e. Rae’s Samsung phone, ending with a Galaxy Note9.

“Issa is proof that with the right technology in hand, brilliant minds are forces to be reckoned with,” said Jesse Coulter, chief creative officer for Samsung Electronics America.

Rae, along with other creators including Taiki Waititi, starred in a March spot called “Make It Yours.” This new ad, Samsung explained, is a spiritual successor.

Samsung says its goal is not only to celebrate Rae’s Emmy nomination but to “inspire makers at large.”

The technology brand references a “Do What You Can’t” spirit, encouraging creators to get out there and try regardless of the consequences, saying “make it until you make it.”

A behind-the-scenes look at the new spot appeared on Samsung’s website and the video itself debuted on YouTube Monday morning. Within its first few hours, “Made It” had been viewed over 11,000 times.

Samsung reported a drop in profits for the second quarter, citing slow sales of the Samsung Galaxy S9. To combat a “challenging” second half of the year, the company said it would respond through the early introduction of the Galaxy Note and competitive mid- and low-end models with new features.

While the “Made It” spot highlights the benefits of technology for creative consumers, Samsung may experience even more challenges in the years to come. The company is being sued for a Note9 that allegedly exploded in a woman’s purse, resurrecting the PR nightmare of exploding Note7 units.

Marketing Science Trends Changing The Game

For the world at large 1961 was a big year. Yuri Gagarin became the first human to travel into space, the US established the Peace Corps and Disney released its first live-action musical film, “Babes in Toyland.” Yet among these accomplishments, one event should stand out to marketers in particular: the introduction of the term “marketing science.”

Marketing science is the use of data, analytics and scientific processes to fuel marketing decisions, combining quantitative metrics with a qualitative, human-powered approach to marketing. The term was first established in 1961 through the founding of the Marketing Science Institute, a nonprofit that funds academic research in the field.

Since that time, marketing science has evolved to incorporate new technologies and practical uses, such as pulling data from social speech to understand consumer interests and using browser history to map out a clear customer journey. With these insights at their fingertips, marketers can more accurately target consumers and build more personalized messaging at scale.

Still, the question remains: How will marketing science continue to grow, especially now that technologies are advancing at a rapid rate and data is more accessible than ever before?

Here are three marketing science innovations that are expected to change the game for marketers going forward.

Location Intelligence

Location intelligence, gathered from geocodes in mobile and desktop devices, can help brands better understand consumers’ interests and behaviors based on their current and past locations. They can then use these insights to more precisely target users as they research products and make their purchasing decisions. For example, if a restaurant brand sees that a consumer leaves home during dinner time, the brand can target them with an ad for their establishment.

Take location data provider Skyhook Wireless. The company used location intelligence to gather unique insights into the behaviors of Patriots and Falcons fans during Super Bowl LI. They found clear distinctions in dining, shopping, and even gasoline preferences for each fan group. For instance, Falcons fans ate at Arby’s and fueled up at BP and Shell. Meanwhile, Patriots fans got their grub at Chipotle and Dunkin’ Donuts and pumped gas at ExxonMobil. With these insights, brands can build fan-targeted ad campaigns and increase engagement.

Location intelligence is growing. Spending on this strategy is expected to reach $16.34 billion by 2021—nearly doubling from $8.20 billion in 2016. In fact, at the end of 2017 three location data providers (CARTO, Blis and Factual) announced third-party integrations with advertising and analytics platforms—all within one week.

Image Source: Dresner Advisory Services 2018 Location Intelligence Market Study

Breaking interest down by industry, Dresner Advisory Services’ 2018 Location Intelligence Market Study found that manufacturing and retail companies are most eager to gather intelligence at the province and state levels, financial and government organizations want to gather intelligence by postal code and telecommunications companies are focused on country-based insights.

Location intelligence can provide value for brands across industries, whether they want to connect offline behavior with online behavior or send targeted messaging at just the right place and time.

Motion Targeting

What if you could gauge when someone is driving a car, stopped at a light, lying down, on an exercise bike at the gym, or walking in a hurry—based just on their mobile device?

That’s where motion targeting comes into play.

It’s no secret that mobile usage is on the rise. There are over 4.5 billion mobile phone users across the world and many are actually addicted to their mobile devices. According to comScore, the average person spends almost three hours each day on mobile.

Image Source: comScore

As a result, marketers are increasing their mobile ad spend at a rapid rate: Mobile ad spend is expected to surpass TV ad spend this year and drive 75 percent of all digital ad spend. The problem is that without precise targeting based on consumer behaviors, a great deal of those mobile budgets could go to waste.

Consider this. Brands may send targeted ads to mobile users, but what if mobile users aren’t actually on their phones when the ad arrives? They could be targeting devices when they’re idle on the table. It would be more efficient and cost-effective to activate ads when a user picks up their phone, goes for a walk or is already active on their device.

Motion sensor technology can determine when a device is in motion, opening up a whole new world of data for marketers and fleshing out an even more comprehensive picture of each customer. If brands can know when someone is viewing their ad in real time and where they are (using location intelligence), they can gauge the best times to deliver ads and follow up with retargeted messaging.

For example, motion-based analytics company Velocity provides this capacity.

“Velocity uses motion sensors in smartphones to identify a user’s movement and gauge the type of activity they might be engaged in,” an announcement stated. “Using this real-time data, the firm can determine if a user is standing in a line, lying on a couch, a passenger in a car or train, or any number of other activities, enabling advertisers to reach their targets at precisely the right moment of receptivity.”

Publishers have already begun selling ads based on time spent on page, and they can determine whether a reader is idle or not based on mouse and keyboard movements. Marketers must now take a similar approach to gathering mobile data if they want to spend and target more efficiently.

Personality Marketing

You’d think personality would be too arbitrary or subjective to measure. It’s not as concrete a data point as age, location or interests. But new technology enables marketers to analyze nuances in social speech, which can be direct indicators of personality.

From these social cues, brands can extract actionable insights into consumers’ personalities and preferences. They can then cluster and target users based on their personality type. For example, if social speech indicates that a customer is compulsive, the brand can push an expiring coupon to that user and trigger a purchase.

Brands across the world are beginning to use personality marketing to build more engaging campaigns and drive measurable results. Just look at New Balance. The shoe brand launched targeted ads to consumers who exhibited pre-set emotional receptivity signals. As a result, their campaign drove a 135 percent increase in awareness.

The Future Of Marketing Science

“Marketing” and “science” may seem like polar opposites. One is associated with the Don Draper era of whiskey-fueled, off-the-cuff campaign slogans and the other with hard facts, test results and sterilized laboratories.

But the truth is that they go hand-in-hand, each feeding the other to get to the heart of what people want and how they behave.

As Byron Sharp, Professor of Marketing Science at the University of South Australia, said: “This idea that marketing can’t be science, as if marketing can’t work in the real world … It’s an important part of the real world so we can study it just like physicists, geologists and anyone else by simply getting out of our ivory towers.”

In fact, he believes that science is crucial to creativity. Once marketers truly understand their customers based on data, they can use that data to build more innovative and engaging ads. And yet we’re only just seeing the beginning of this approach unfold. As new technologies emerge—such as location intelligence, motion sensors and personality targeting—marketing science should continue to grow as a discipline and change the industry in unprecedented ways.

Verizon Hosts IPhone XS Giveaway With AR Snapchat Game

For three days, Verizon is hosting an AR Snapchat game, giving players a chance to win the new iPhone XS. “Score the Phone” is a play on words that lets you create a track out of music loops collected from the environment.

Verizon is taking advantage of the hype surrounding Apple’s conference this week by offering Snapchat users a chance to win one of the new phones. From September 14-16, Snapchat users can play a game called “Score the Phone,” collecting augmented reality representations of music loops.

Once a user has opened the game, it encourages them to look around their environment to find music loops. Represented by different colors and animation, each virtual music loop represents a genre of music like Dance, Hip-Hop, Electronica, Dub, etc. They were designed to create an interactive representation of both the genre and song from which they were pulled. Tracks include music from SZA, Daya, Borns and more.

Users can preview and collect three of the music loops and a “super loop” to create their own unique mixes. The mix can be named and submitted for a chance to win one of 150 iPhone XS smartphones from Verizon.

Integrating music into the game makes sense—Verizon is currently offering six free months of Apple Music to its unlimited data plan customers as part of a new relationship between the two brands.

“This first-of-its-kind offer is just the first step in an exclusive partnership with Apple,” Angie Klein, the carrier’s VP of marketing, said in a press release.

Verizon has invested heavily in building its 5G network and plans to roll out the service in three to four US cities next month. The brand is enticing customers to sign up by offering a free Chromecast or AppleTV, as well as three months of YouTube TV.