Brands are drawing viewers in for more than just the Superbowl

Superbowl season is an exciting time for many. It’s the football championship of the year where the best teams of the season face each other in a head to head battle of the fittest. Though there are some fans that tune in for another reason. Ads, Superbowl ads tend to be the cream of the crop. Businesses take advantage of the large viewership to reach millions of football and marketing fans.

Big brands tend to make a big showing every year with clever ads that seem to be fighting to outdo each other. Some examples of great Superbowl ads are “It’s a Tide Ad” from Tide (2018), The Force from Volkswagen (2011), and Doritos Time Machine (2014). Seemingly more than in the past brands are building anticipation through serialized ad placements that will culminate at the Superbowl.  

“It’s a Tide Ad” from Tide (2018)

From 2015 to the 2019 Superbowl viewership decreased by over 16 million. Despite the drop, According to Business Insider, Fox is charging brands 5.6 million for the ad placement. Many brands are already running teaser ads. 

The death of Mr. Peanut

Though Planter released the Planter’s Road Trip creating an expectation for a big reveal during the Superbowl, it’s likely some will tune in just to find out the next installment in the advertising saga.  

In Planter’s initial ad, Mr. Peanut sacrificed himself in order to save the other passengers. The ad set to air during the Championship game will focus on the aftermath of the nut/man hybrid’s death.  

The Force from Volkswagen (2011)

Some ads to watch out for:

Superbowl 2020 is destined to be another year filled with great football as well as some great ads. Enjoying the competition between the best of the best ads yet again will be a highlight of the game undoubtedly.  

The Force from Volkswagen (2011)


Starbucks has been consistent with its annual sustainability reports, this time, they went far and beyond with a decade long plan. 

In celebration of its 50th anniversary (in 2021) the coffee peddler wants to continue in its efforts to decrease its environment. Starbucks just announced its goal to reduce harmful elements it causes to the environment.

The company is expecting a lesser green-house gas emission and waste it releases in landfills by 2030. Aside from that, Starbucks has also committed to conserve and restore the water it uses for operations and coffee production to 50% by the year 2030.

Starbucks worked with C.A.F.E and Conservation International for the last two decades to source 99% of its coffee through ethically responsible growers. Starbucks notes that through this commitment the coffee company has cut its previous carbon footprint in half when compared to what emissions were. 

Chief executive officer Kevin Johnson stated, “By embracing a longer-term economic, equitable and planetary value for our company, we will create greater value for all stakeholders.”

Starbucks and its sustainability records

Starbucks has been upfront with its sustainability goals but its been facing some difficulties every since they began imposing the said goals for its company. Starbucks imposed a deadline for itself to decrease its use of single-use cups in serving its coffees and other drinks.

In 2008, the company announced that 25% of drinks would be served in reusable cups by 2015. This goal has been dropped to 5% after a few years. 

Despite efforts, 5% dropped further to 1.3%. According to reports, Starbucks only serves 1.3% of its drinks via reusable. These stats only prove that the company is still looking for ways on how to address its packaging problems. Aside from failing in that regard, Starbucks also failed to buy renewable energy from companies based in the U.S. and Canda. Not deterred by failures, Starbucks keep on their fight for sustainability. 

Starbucks addresses the challenge 

One of the company’s shareholder groups, As You Sow, proposed that customers pay for a single-use cup every time they purchase from any Starbucks location. The coffee shop has locations in more than 70 countries, and this could make a global impact. The group also encouraged the company to include in its packaging reuse and recycle movement.

Starbucks tested this commitment in the U.K in 2018 and found out that imposing a 5 cent fee on disposable cups has increased the use of reusable containers in hot coffee from 2.2% to 5.8%. The result pushed the company to conduct more research on how to engage their customers in using reusable cups.

From a marketing standpoint, the fact that a company as big as Starbucks taking incremental steps to improve their environmental impact reflects really well on a company that sends paper and plastics out with most customer purchases. Starbucks’ commitment despite setbacks sets a great example for other fast dining chains. Additionally, this creates goodwill with customers, many of whom are environmentally conscious.  

The biometrics payment method is coming to Amazon sooner than you think. 

Amazon is reportedly developing a new payment method that allows the palm-scanning system and authorizing customers’ purchases with just a scan of their hands. The customers’ data are linked to their account information to enable payment. Despite the rumors and news, the company hasn’t released any comment about the news just yet. 

The palm scanners payment system

Amazon engineers developed the payment tech in private and used its employees to serve as testers of the scanners last September at its NYC office. The company made ‘checkout terminals’ and allowed consumers to pay with credit card information linked to their hands.

Shoppers insert their cards to the terminals to establish a connection to their bank information. When connection and linking have been established, users can just scan their palm prints to their terminals to pay for their purchase. It’s a new and innovative method in terms of cashless payment. Amazon is also tracking users and collects their other data including where, when, and how much users are spending. 

This biometric and palm-swiping method is still at its early stages however, this isn’t the first time for Amazon to invest in cardless and cashless purchasing. They’re already done this for their Amazon Go and allowed their shoppers to make a purchase using their app. It’s been reported last year that Amazon is intending to expand it to its supermarkets. There’s also the Amazon Pay, the digital wallet that customers can use to make purchases for online merchants that aren’t owned by Amazon. 

Palm scanners set privacy at risk

The Wall Street Journal emphasized in its report that impending privacy issues that may come with this biometric type of payment. Numerous consumer advocates warned about the palm-scanning payment method as a way of stealing personal information that leads to identity theft, which could be dangerous. Amazon is quick on its feet and has collaborated with credit card companies to protect customer information. 

Other tech companies that developed and deployed similar tech solutions for over years now. Apple’s older models for iPhones and iPads include fingerprint sensors. Other businesses use facial recognition and biometric system by their irises or voices

Amidst the issue, Amazon pursues the use of this payment method as it speeds up the process of customer check-out. The new payment solution is far more time-efficient compared to the traditional credit card payment. The palm-scanning method is a promising tech that brings convenience to the retail industry. 

Another player is coming to the streaming service industry with NBC Universal’s Peacock. 

NBCUniversal announced its new streaming service coming this April 15. The company introduced the service called “Peacock” along with other information such as price, the types of shows, both the original and that classics, that are made available on the platform on the release date. The company also shared the upcoming shows on the platform. 

Peacock will have two tiers – the Peacock Free and Peacock Premium. These options give users the opportunity to experience the streaming service in a broader sense. Subscribers can watch and stream the shows via mobile devices, smart TVs, and web. 

Peacock Free and Premium features

Peacock free is an ad-supported and free option with over 7,500 hours of program-running. This option is expected to have next-day access to popular shows, movies, sports programs such as the Olympics, selected episodes from Peacock’s original series and more. 

Peacock Premium is free for Comcast and Cox subscribers and will cost $4.99/month for customers connected in mobile and web devices. This bundle covers a total of 15,000 hours of shows and movie content. Subscribers can choose to upgrade their accounts to a hassle-free and ad-free experience for an additional $5/month. Along with the base cost of $4.99/month, an upgraded version will cost $9.99/month. 

Many successful brands are in full supports for the launch of Peacock. Brands include Eli Lilly and Company, State Farm, Target, and Unilever. These companies are expected to bring in millions of Return on Investment for the first year of Peacock’s operation. 

What’s in Peacock for marketers?

Steve Burke, the  Chairman of NBCUniversal expresses his excitement as their company shows off the new future of entertainment. Burke is confident that the company’s new streaming service will contribute to the already established approach of the streaming service industry. 

Stressing out that the company has one of the most sought-after media brands in the world, coupled with that is their impressive track record in ad sales, Burke is hopeful for this current project. Peacock will then become another streaming service that marketers can use to provide value to their customers. 

Matt Straus, the Chairman of Peacock also announced that the service goes far beyond movies and televisions. Peacock is a way to bring in varied tastes in the streaming industry. It won’t only have movies that users can watch, it will also deliver contents form daily news to nighttime entertainment. 

Peacock will be available for Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Flex customers this coming April and will be available for all by July.

Shoppers can now check out items directly from the search bar! 

Google has released yet another feature that allows users to browse and shop for products on various links at once. The new feature is incorporated in Search Results making it easier to shop for brands in multiple stores with a single click.

Google’s Shopping feature

When the users search for a particular brand, Google collects information across the web that matches the user’s keyword. The result page will then show a new section that highlights popular products that users can choose from. The products are from various stores and brands. 

Filters are available so that users can specify their search according to style, department, and size. Images shown are also interactive where product information such as price and the location of stores can be viewed. Users only need to tap on the images. To ensure the quality of products, users can read product feedbacks. 

The only downside to this is in the purchasing process. Users need to go to where the physical stores are located to buy the products they picked. 

How it is made possible

Denise Ho, Google Shopping’s group product manager, explained in a blog how the new feature works. More than a million online shops are organized in a systematic approach. The search engine also updates the data regularly. Brands and marketers are not charged when they are features in theGoogle Search Index. 

Google organizes products for over a million online shops into a systematic approach and updates the data ina regular manner. The participating brands and marketers are not charged to be featured in the Google search index. The company also provides a guide for retailers to learn what type of products are allowed to appear in the new clothing shopping feature.

What’s in it for marketers?

Google encourages marketers to set up their product feed in Google Merchant Center and apply structured data markup to product pages appropriately in order to be featured in the popular product section. 

This new shopping search feature is expected to generate traffic for businesses. The traffic will increase the revenue for featured brands. Ho further added that Google is excited to release the new tool and expand the said feature to have more categories and more indexed products. 

The new features include the ability to invite connections to follow managed Pages, stream LinkedIn Live straight from the Pages, and new posting options. 

Just last year, LinkedIn rolled out features for its Company Pages with goals of staying engaged with their employees. LinkedIn is once again launching three new features for its Pages to help businesses interact with their customer, potential clients, and employees more. 

LinkedIn announced the changes last Wednesday and will be available for over 50 million organizations around the globe. Using these new tools, businesses can be engaged with their community in a more personal way. 

Invite to Follow

This new feature allows Business Page Admin to invite first-degree profiles to follow their Page to help the business grow its audiences. Although the admins are limited to send 50 invites per day, with ‘Invite to Follow’, brands increase their chance to reach relevant followers. 

LinkedIn commits to provide over 660 million members the best experience around its platform, including an option for any profile to opting out of receiving invites notification.

Stream using LinkedIn Live

LinkedIn adds streaming services to its Pages giving marketers the ability to broadcast real-time video to their community. Since its beta release last February, the live-video service is getting more reactions and comments compared to the standard video posted on the platform. 

With live streaming, businesses are not limited to share the values behind their brands. It also enables them to have a direct conversation with their followers on a diverse range of topics, attracting members to dive-in fostering engagement between them. LinkedIn also introduced a private testing capability that allowed brands to test out their streams prior to going live.

LinkedIn will also release a “stream targeting” feature with third-party tools to allow brands to reach out to the right audiences on a global scale. Video creators can also rehearse their dialogues and whatnot before going live. 

Post as a Page or member

Another LinkedIn update allows Page Admin to post as an individual or an organization. With the new toggle switch on the homepage, Admins can post, update, and promote brands directly on their homepage.

The new features are programmed to help businesses to foster and build a relationship between their members and their potential followers. It is also more interactive now with the new live streaming and “Invite” services, making it a stress-free job for Page Admins.

The cloud solution, BrightCove, has managed to integrate multiple channels in a single click. 

BrightCove, a video marketing tool, just made it possible for brands to create video campaigns in multiple channels with just a click. This cloud-based tool new marketing solution has several features including video optimization as well as thumbnail codes for email distribution.

What’s in it for marketers?

The Brightcove campaign is an all-in-one application that allows marketers to create and publish video campaigns with insightful data. This tool gives marketers the analytic options to analyze the difference between one business’ video content and another.  

Using Brightcove Campaign, marketers and brands are able to create, maintain, and optimize their video campaigns. It efficiently integrates all the metrics into one app to make it easier for marketers to produce videos with impressive results. 

Brightcove campaign features 

Brightcove Campaign enables integration from various platforms including Eloqua, Marketo, SalesForce, and Hubspot. There’s also Google and Google Analytics integration. The following are key features of BrightCove Campaign:

  • Adobe analytics
  • Google analytics 
  • Sharing on social platforms
  • The ability to make customized thumbnails
  • Easier video analysis using Google Chrome extension
  • Marketing integration with four of the marketing leaders
  • Single-click publishing capabilities, and more

Feedback from executives 

Airstream’s marketing manager and customer experience manager, Adam Grillot, shared how Brightcove Campaign proved to be effective for their company. They used the tool to create video campaigns easily. The integration helped them link their marketing technologies to improve their content marketing performance. The metrics in the BrightCove Campaign also enabled them to understand their audiences more. 

Mimi Rosenheim, DemanBase’s senior director also shared the same sentiment. Rosenheim said that being able to tag their video assets, being able to check how their video campaigns are performing in real-time, and the ability to compare their videos with the industry’s standard made it possible for them to assess their campaigns. 

Video campaigns are now a huge player in the advertising industry and will continue to grow as a prominent aspect of social content.  

People respond to video content and video campaigns are more effective in spreading brand awareness across an audience. BrightCove developed this new solution using feedback from their customers. Throughout the development of the project, the company worked closely with generation marketers to ensure seamless integration from across platforms. 

LinkedIn sees more growth than expected

Influencers and entrepreneurs have been proclaiming the organic reach of LinkedIn and it shows through the projected growth of the platform. eMarketer recently published statistics in which they projected by the end of 2020 there will be 62.1 million US LinkedIn users.  

LinkedIn has made many enhancements recently to increase its functionality and utilities. For instance, in the latter half of the year, LinkedIn improved its Sales Navigator and added the functionality for connection of b2b sales stacks. In addition, the platform made the search for business contacts and experts within a field easier. 

The platform was started in 2003 and has grown into a that has 260 million users who log in each month. LinkedIn is one of the best options to make connections with peers within an industry, continue a line of conversation, and stay updated on industry trends. In 2016 LinkedIn noted that a large number of users were millennials, the first generation of people who grew up on the internet. In 2016, 87 million millennials were on the platform, and with the recent growth the platform this number could be subject to an increase.  

Over the next few years, eMarketer estimates that LinkedIn will see growth on into 2023, though the growth won’t be as vast as in 2019 and the scale will trend downwards. Despite this, estimations for growth in 2021 are trending for a rise to 64.7 million LinkedIn users.  

eMarketer’s principal analyst Jillian Ryan stated, “LinkedIn continues to innovate its platform and offerings for both users and advertisers.” This seems to be true as the platform continues to improve and find ways to better serve its users. Earlier last year LinkedIn updated its algorithm which promoted better organic reach of posts. 

While some have stated that LinkedIn’s algorithm change is losing its effectiveness Hootsuite has shared a comprehensive list of methods to increase reach. The list included factors like delivering value to your audience, posting in a steady fashion while also changing up the content, engaging with the audience, and grow your audience.  

Adapting to the constantly changing trends is one of the best ways businesses and brands can capture the attention of their audience and LinkedIn is continuing to make business connections easier.  

Walmart rolls out robots to 650 additional stores in the US by the end of summer. 

Walmart is adding to its robot army to better compete with online retailers. The new Bossa Nova devices are about six ft tall, they move in the stores’ aisles freely and send out signals to employees when certain products are out of stock. 

The first robots were spotted back in 2016 and people were both amazed by the technology used in the robots. 

The moving robots became part of the automated workforce of Walmart and their tasks aren’t only limited to checking products, they also unload trucks, clean the floors, and collect online grocery orders. 

Efficient shelf-scanning devices 

With this years’ additional robots, Walmart will have amassed a total of 1,000 robots with 15 cameras in each Bossa Nova device capable of doing manual labor and solving problems that usually cost trillions of dollars annually. 

The robots are part of the company’s plan to reduce costs and improve their stores’ overall performance in terms of using technology in their stores. It’s also Walmart’s strategy of battling it out with its biggest competitor, Amazon. Walmart said that the use of robots has significantly decreased the labor time when checking products and stocks. Shelf-scanning usually took two weeks but with the robots, they are able to scan products twice a day. 

Walmart’s senior president, John Crecelius said that this innovation has sped up their entire cycle. Creccelous did not disclose other information but he did share that the devices have improved their metrics. Up to date, the robots are recorded to have traveled 50,000 miles, have scanned millions of aisles, and checked about 500 million products. 

Cost-reduction due to automated shelf-scanners

Ragan Dickens, the director of corporate communications for Walmart said that the robots have allowed their associates to focus on the sales aspects of their works such as serving the customers and addressing areas that needed human knowledge. The robots have become assistants to the associates and helped the staff do their job more efficiently. 

What does this mean for you?

Walmart is in no way laying off their people to accommodate the robots. The company is redeploying the employees to more meaningful jobs instead of petty roles such as counting products or checking the shelves. 

Marketers and brands are now looking out for more options on how to reduce costs and increase their revenue. Many are looking into investing in technology to improve their marketing strategies. 

The Traffic Source Insights was announced in November and now video content creators can see how it functions. 

Facebook announced in a blog post they are in the final stages of developing a new analytics tool to get a better understanding of how your audience is taking in your video content. The insights tool has been dubbed the Traffic Source Insight which will be an add-on to the Retention Insights under the Creator’s Studio section. The new feature will allow video creators to monitor and track the performance of their every uploaded video.

Traffic Source Insight will be released as a full user-based feature in the next few months after its launch. Facebook also included some tips on how creators can take advantage of this new feature at the time of its release. 

Four categories 

The Traffic Source Insights will give creators a more arranged overview of their metrics that are separated into four categories: followers, shares, recommended, and paid. 

The following is the preview of the four (4) parts of the new Traffic Source Insights

  • Followers –  Facebook points out that newly published videos can be viewed by the creator’s followers or likers in different locations such as News Feed, Facebook Watch, and their page itself. The ‘Followers’ category summarizes all the views of the said videos no matter where it came from.
  • Shares – videos can be shared when users view the video content and pass it on friends or a Page they have followed. ‘Shares’ is your marketing strategy in extending audiences beyond your target market. It is your digital ‘word-of-mouth’ type of advertising.
  • Recommendations – this category shows all of the views from users who have not yet like or follow a publisher’s Page when it is even featured in News Feed, Facebook Watch, and the “Up next” videos in the search result bar. This insight is also an additional game plan to engage users with your video content. 
  • Paid – this section of Traffic Source Insights shows the all the users who viewed a posted video boosted by the publisher, centered in organic video distribution. 

Facebook encourages all publishers and content creators to review their Creator Studio insights to get more ‘personal’ with their strategy in brand promotion and awareness. 

Optimize and build a home base

Facebook also suggests that creators need to publish regular videos in order to build rapport with their followers. Frequent posting of at least 1-2 videos per day helps publishers to reach more viewers and gain them. Videos are also effective if they are just in a duration of  3 minutes. 

Platforms tend to be flooded with content and differing strategies, making it difficult to make an impact. Adding more video content to your social media can really boost engagement and with this upcoming insights tool, it will be easier to navigate what content really connects with your audience.