This is issue no. 106 of 180. The last issue saw a 😔 39.72% open rate with 9.38% going to this article on the future of luxury brands and how each is getting there.
As you my notice, this issue is brand and media heavy. Some interesting things are happening that will influence many of our jobs in the coming years. Media, eCommerce, and ad spend are all shifting at once. One interesting statistic to consider: sports were 14% of live TV in 2005 and 93% of live TV in 2015. Live sports attract the largest advertisers. Those largest spenders: credit card companies (being disrupted by mobile payment systems), CPG companies (being disrupted by Amazon / Jet.com / VC-backed brands), and car companies (being disrupted by Uber / Lyft / Didi / Tesla).
NBC Olympics has reported an increase in ad spend (and a - likely - decrease in ROA) by those incumbent credit card, CPG, and car companies. These companies will not be able to maintain this level or style of spend by 2018's Winter Olympics. The challengers in each of those categories are building direct-to-consumer models based upon the continued adoption of eCommerce.
BRAND: After years of deliberation, argument, and negotiation, Hyundai has launched the new Genesis brand after announcing the brand in November 2015. Erwin Raphael was appointed head of Genesis in March 2016. The new Genesis brand goes public in September, 2016. That is quick! In reality, the new Genesis brand is not a big deal. The brand will have only six vehicles by 2021 and will not a competitor to the dozens of models offered by Mercedes-Benz , BMW and Lexus . But wait, that is wrong. Genesis is a big deal! Genesis is the only luxury car brand launched after 1990 that has a deep pockets major manufacturer behind it.
MEDIA: FloSports today announced it has received $21.2 million in new funding to accelerate the online sports network’s growth into new sports and expand its existing verticals. DCM Ventures and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI) led the financing, with participation from World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Discovery Communications and existing investor Causeway Media Partners. “We want to partner with world-class investors who share our vision to transform sports media,” FloSports co-founder and CEO Martin Floreani said. “It’s exciting that visionaries in the media and OTT space have backed us to achieve this goal.
MEDIA: As quoted by Mike Clear of DigitasLBi, “People don’t like being sold to. It’s a discomforting experience, so the challenge for content marketers is to make sure the entertainment value of the content outweighs the discomfort.” This is where the distinction between branded content and native advertising seeps in. While native advertising is more focused on lead-generation and sales, branded content is all about storytelling – in short, giving customers the information and insights that they want to look through before making their purchasing decision.
MEDIA: Twitter is reported to be close to a deal that will get its app on Apple's (AAPL, Tech30) TV product. Twitter's stock surged nearly 7% Monday after The New York Times wrote about the talks. Now why does Twitter on a TV make sense? It's not because people need or want to read Donald Trump's latest insults (or my inane rambling) on their 55-inch flat screen. It's because of sports. Remember that Twitter also owns the livestreaming app Periscope. Twitter recently signed a deal with the NFL that will allow it to livestream 10 Thursday Night Football games starting this season.
BRAND: Online retailer Needs & Wants Studios has collaborated with a Toronto architecture student to transform a shipping container into a mobile boutique that serves as the brand's first physical store (+ slideshow). Measuring eight by 20 feet (2.4 by six metres), the showroom and retail space made its debut in a forested area in The Kingsway, an affluent neighbourhood in Toronto. Needs & Wants Studios conceived the shop design with founder Sean Brown's friend Marco Lee, who recently graduated from Toronto's Ryerson University.
ECOMMERCE: eCommerce software maker Shopify (NYSE:SHOP) also posted outstanding growth in the second quarter. The company saw a 93 percent increase in revenue to $86.6 million as demand for its services grew among merchants of all sizes. Shopify announced that its merchants will be among the first to be able to accept Android Pay and Apple Pay for online orders on mobile later this year. Using these mobile wallets, merchant’s customers will be able to quickly and securely check out by just tapping the Pay button and scanning their fingerprints.
DNVB: But I can't stop admiring his shoes — a pair of fuzzy gray sneakers. "They're really awesome. I don't wear socks anymore," Brandt, a cofounder of Nootrobox, says as he flexes his feet to show off his treads. "'Cause it's just like wearing a sock." Allbirds' debut sneaker, the $95 "Wool Runner," has been called the world's most comfortable shoe by venture capitalists and startup founders — as well as the company itself.
ECOMMERCE: This is the current state of commerce. Gen-Xers may be split between retail shopping and online shopping but majority of Millennials are digital shoppers. The generation after Millennials have access to digital products from the day they are born. I have personally seen 1.5–2 year old kids swiping on an iPad to watch their favorite shows and play games. This is the current state of commerce and things. Embrace it.
ADTECH: Anyone that generates revenue through in-app advertising stands to benefit from brand adoption. Greater campaign diversity means more opportunities for granular optimization in the major markets. That said, complexity brings with it the need to iterate tech and strategy in order to navigate market trends, cut through the vanity metrics, and stay two-steps ahead of the competition. And while the biggest names in the industry are betting on the massive arrival of brand interest, it’s not here yet.
MEDIA: In TV Advertising’s Surprising Strength — And Inevitable Fall I noted that TV’s biggest advertisers were all (unsurprisingly) predicated on scale and serving the mass market; the list was dominated by industries like consumer packaged goods, telecoms, automobiles, retailers, and credit card companies. Those same industries dominate Olympic advertising; according to Kantar Media the top ten Olympic advertisers include General Motors and BMW (automobiles), P&G (CPG), AT&T (telecoms), and Visa (credit cards).
MEDIA: Snapchat is buying a recommendation and search app, which could bolster its messaging and search features. The terms of the deal are unusual. Vurb, which is five years old, originally had companies like Google in its sights as it tried to build a better mobile search experience. The app allows users to search for places or things to do and then take an action without leaving the app. The company raised around $10 million, led by Redpoint Ventures. But it never took off. The deal—75% stock and 25% cash—is in the closing stages.
INNOVATION: Airbnb Inc. is pressing ahead with plans to expand into new travel services including restaurant reservations and city tours, transforming the company from a single-minded home-rental service to a multipurpose trip planner. The company is testing a standalone mobile app for finding and organizing travel plans, highlighting the importance of the initiative to the company. A test version of the software is called Airbnb Trips, according to an Android app listing on the Google Play Store.