Online Advertising - Apple Box Studios

Online Advertising

Successful content marketing isn’t always just about the content. Sometimes the marketing aspect needs to take center stage. Paid advertising is becoming one of the most cost-effective ways to get your online content in front of your targeted audience. Paid advertising strategies can increase your readership, generate leads, and increase brand awareness — all in the specific audience you want to reach.

SECTION 1 – PAY PER CLICKS

How PPC Ads Work:

PPC implements purchase opportunities wherever users may be surfing. It does this by offering financial incentives (in the form of a percentage of revenue) to affiliated partner sites. The affiliates provide purchase-point click-through to the merchant like Google for example. It is a pay-for-performance model: If an affiliate does not generate sales, it represents no cost to the merchant.

When a keyword query matches an advertiser’s keyword list, or when a content site displays relevant content, PPC ads will display an advertisement. These advertisements are called sponsored links or sponsored ads and will appear anywhere on a website (beneath, above, middle, right or left). Pay-per-click ads, are triggered by a searcher typing in a keyword phrase into a search engine. The ad only shows based on the keyword that was typed into the search box.

Strengths

Pay-per-click ads have the ability to be more tightly targeted because you are able to choose when your ad is shown based on the keyword phrase that was typed into the search engine.

  • Cost effective – requires little investment or time to set up, making its use realistic for any size of business. As the cost of the advertising is controlled by how much companies are prepared to bid, in some places PPC is very cost-effective until competition increases.
  • Measurable – Conversion rates from PPC leads can be measured if some tracking code is added to a site, so that you are able to calculate the cost per sale and conversion rate that pay-per-click is giving you.
  • Immediate – You are usually able to set up a PPC campaign immediately. All the major pay-per-click tools also allow you to control your budget and bid levels online, which means that you can easily alter your activity and spend in line with business objectives such as market penetration, sales promotions and catering for seasonal variations.

How Sustainable is PPC?

Pay-per-click is very much like traditional advertising in that as soon as you stop investing in it, you will lose any benefits immediately. In some areas the marketplace for keywords has become very competitive and will become more so, as new business start to use the medium, meaning that over time it may become less cost effective.

How to Avoid Click Fraud

  1. Target: Try to utilize geographical tools as much as possible. For example, don’t target the entire United States if you are just trying to get new customers at a local hair salon. Instead, target either only that local area for an extremely targeted campaign, or target the city in which the local area is found in.
  2. Check the IP Addresses: When you look at the IP addresses that are clicking on your pay per click ads, they should ALL be different. You want to avoid wasting your PPC budget, which can sometimes mean pausing your account and taking further action.
  3. Monitor: You should be monitoring your pay per click campaigns on a daily basis and keep an eye out for any irregular spikes in click.


SECTION 2 – GOOGLE

Contact:

Dilon Page
Agency Adwords Account Strategist for Acquisition | Google Agency Team
P: (855) 800-4732 Extension: 771-9235 [dilon.p@google.com]

Google Ads

Google ads aren’t one-size-fits-all. There’s a range of available ad types, from placing a text ad next to search results to reaching web-browsing customers on the Display Network and even advertising on YouTube.

AdWords with Search

AdWords is Google’s advertising system in which advertisers bid on certain keywords in order for their clickable ads to appear in Google’s search results. It is based on a bidding system and there are different bidding strategies that you can set.

  1. Cost-per-click, or CPC bid for driving traffic to your website
  2. Cost-Per-Impressions, or CPM bid if you want to increase awareness of your brand. Only available for Display Network campaigns only
  3. Cost-per-acquisition, or CPA bid if you are interested in conversions/like purchases/sign ups

Why AdWords?

AdWords is Google’s advertising system in which advertisers bid on certain keywords in order for their clickable ads to appear in Google’s search results. It is based on a bidding system and there are different bidding strategies that you can set.

  • You can target specific locations by using geo-targeting and attract potential customers by adding contact info to your ad
  • Can add contact info and mobile users can call you with just a click of a button
  • If you sell products online, you can use AdWords to generate more orders
  • You can have your ad link directly to any page or contact form

Using AdWords with Search Works

  1. Write ad – 35 words max
  2. Choose keywords – words or phrases you choose that can trigger your ad to show on search and other sites
  3. Set adjustable bid – decide budget and cost per click (no max or minimum for cost per click).
    • Google determines your ads’ quality score (which ads appear in which positions) based on keyword relevancy, CTR, landing page, performance and ad relevancy
  4. People search on Google – users use keywords to search for specific products and services
  5. They see the ad – If the keywords you’ve chosen match what people search for, your ad appears next to
    or above Google search results, in sections marked “Sponsored Links”
  6. Track and measure progress
    • Link your AdWords account to Google’s free Analytics tool
      • Can see Analytics data from inside AdWords account
      • Analytics automatically tags your AdWords campaigns for detailed tracking – enable the auto tagging option when you link your AdWords and Analytics accounts.
  7. Pause, change, or end ad anytime
    • Video ads must be hosted on YouTube
  8. Only pay when someone clicks on your ad
    • What you’re charged (your actual CPM cost-per-thousand impressions is often less than your max. The most you’ll pay is what’s minimally required to hold your ad position and any ad formats shown with your ad, such as site

The Google Display Network

The Google Display Network is another ad type. It is a gigantic network of websites that have Google AdSense enabled (Google-owned properties like YouTube, Gmail and Google Maps and more than one million web, video, gaming, and mobile display partners like nytimes.com). Your chosen keywords can show up on these placements when Google matches your keywords to websites. The Display Network allows advertising in a variety of formats and sizes with text ads, static animated image ads, rich media and video ads.

Spanning beyond 2 million websites, the Google Display Network reaches over 90% of internet users in the US

  1. Text Ads
    • Same as an ad on Google Search
    • Includes a headline, two lines of text (35 characters each) and a URL
  2. Image Ads
    • These ads let you include relevant images, customized layouts, and background colors
  3. Rich Media Ads
    • Image ads that have interactive elements, animations, or other aspects that can change depending on who is looking at the ad and how they interact with the ad like an ad with a carousel of products
  4. Video Ads
    • You can place your ads in videos on YouTube specifically, or videos on any publisher site within the Google Display Network

Why Display Advertising?

  • The Google Display Network has a wide scale of large sites and hundreds of thousands of niche sites
  • The Display Network delivers measurable performance for both branding and direct display clients; maximizing their results
  • A key driver of the success is Google’s ability to place ads against relevant content, which enables advertisers to find and connect with the engaged audiences
  • Keyword contextual targeting, along with other targeting technologies available on the Google Display Network such as placement targeting and audience targeting, allows advertisers to build and target to custom networks and to find and connect with the right customers more effectively and more often

The Display Network also has three key features:

  1. The Placement Performance Report, which provides site-level performance metrics and gives increased transparency.
  2. Conversion Optimizer, which predicts which clicks are likely to be valuable.
  3. Conversion Tracking tool, which shows you what happens after a customer clicks on your ads.

Adwords for Video on YouTube

AdWords for video is a campaign management tool specifically designed to help you build online video campaigns more quickly. With Adwords for video, you can use templates unique to Adwords for video and YouTube’s TrueView formats. TrueView video ads are a family of ad formats where you pay only when viewers choose to watch your ad not when an impression is served, which enables people to watch more ads they find interesting.

  • Only TrueView video formats are supported (cannot include text, image, or other video formats), as well as CPV pricing
  • Video ads must be hosted on YouTube

Why YouTube?

YouTube is the number one online video destination, so TrueView ads have the potential to reach one of the biggest audiences in the world and across all devices. You are able to zero in on the right audience based on who they are, where they’re located, and what they’re interested in. YouTube’s free Analytics tool also helps you understand who’s watching your ads and how they’re interacting with them.

Using AdWords for Video

  1. After creating new campaign, select your cost-per-view bid
    • Demographic: Reach people by their age or gender
    • Viewing content (topics): Reach people based on general web content categories
    • User interested in (interests): Reach people based on more specific interests
  2. Opt in to all possible TrueView video formats
  3. Add ad attributes (text, display, URLS, ad name, customize images)
  4. Create a call-to-action overlay for your YouTube video
    • If you link your YouTube and AdWords accounts, you’ll have the option to create a call-to-action overlay when you first create a video ad with AdWords for video
    • The call-to-action overlay will only appear within the video when it is seen on YouTube
    • You can also add one to an existing video by clicking Add call-to-action overlay under the video name on the Videos tab
  5. Visit the Analytics tab in your YouTube account to learn more about your viewers.
    • You can tell which videos your customers are watching and for how long.

Strategies for an Effective Google Adwords Campaign

  1. Consistent keyword focus lowers cost and increases quality site traffic
    • Match your keywords in a Google AdWords to the subsequent landing page to make Google assign your website a higher Quality Score
  2. Change default settings because what Google perceives as a successful ad may not necessarily match your business objectives
    • Google sets defaults for many fields like geographical area set to United States and ad rotation is set to “show better performing ad more often”
    • It’s recommended to change to Manual bidding for clicks
  3. Test your ad from multiple dimensions to find the combination that maximizes its effectiveness
    • Maximizing the return of each dollar you spend is a smart way to reduce marketing cost
    • Google Ads Dashboard allows you to create multiple ad campaigns in a matter of seconds. Using different campaigns, you can test the exact same keyword phrases targeted at different locations to determine which area are your products or services “hotter”
    • Let your ad run uninterrupted during the experimental stage and then target criteria that yield high lead conversion rates or other business goals

My Client Center for Managing Adwords Campaigns

My Client Center is Google’s tool for advertisers and third parties that allows managing multiple AdWords accounts quickly and easily from a single location.

  • View relevant information for all linked accounts in one dashboard
  • Monitor your accounts and track performance, find accounts, manage budgets, and add accounts to the dashboard

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free service offered by Google that generates detailed stats about any website’s traffic and traffic sources and measures conversions and sales. The product is aimed at marketers as opposed to webmasters and technologists and has the following features:

  • Advertising and Campaign Performance with ad reports, campaign measurement, cost data import, mobile ads measurement, remarketing, and SEO
  • Analysis and Testing with Advanced Segments, annotations, content experiments, custom reports, dashboards, and real-time reporting
  • Audience Characteristics and Behavior with audience data and reporting, browser/OS, custom dimensions, flow visualization, map overlay, mobile traffic, social reports, and traffic sources
  • Cross-device and cross-platform measurement
  • Data collection and management with API, filters, and user permissions
  • Mobile Apps Only info with app profiles, specific app metrics and dimensions, crash and exception reporting, Google play integration
  • Product Integrations with AdSense, AdWords, Google Display Network, Google Tag Manager, Google+, and Wildfire
  • Sales and Conversions with comparison tools, data-driven attribution, ecommerce reporting, goal flows, multi-channel funnels
  • Site and App Performance that alerts with event tracking, in-page analytics, site search and site-speed analysis

Google’s Panda 4.2

Google Panda is a change to Google’s search results ranking algorithm. The change aims to lower the rank of “low-quality sites” or “thin sites” and return higher-quality sites near the top of the search results. Two key things Google Panda 4.2 updates focuses on and how to take advantage of them for your business:

  1. Panda Emphasizes Fresh, Quality Content
    • Update emphasizes the need to post frequent, high-quality content to your website, and not just regularly changing your product pages.
    • Need to have a plan in place to regularly publish fresh, quality content
    • Ensure your site has a blog that allows you to post content. Create a process for generating, posting, and sharing new content on a regular basis. Make sure the content you post is unique, custom, relevant, and stands out to both search engines and consumers.
    • How-to articles, lists, videos, and more related to your business and post them to a business blog on your website
  2. Modern Websites
    • Today’s SEO refers to the entire user experience
      • Intuitive website structure and navigation
      • A mobile-optimized site
      • User-friendly content and metadata (impacts how effective site is at getting indexed by search engines and found by target audience)

Google Media Tools for Content Marketing

Google Media Tools is a gateway to specific tools that can help support the storytelling process from end to end. It brings together a mix of free and paid services that currently includes 27 digital tools. These tools – all existing Google services – support everything from live online video streaming via Hangouts on Air, to location-based data visualizations through the Google Maps API.

  1. More-efficient information gathering
    • The first tab in Google Media Tools directs you to a section of the site that provides quick and easy link access to all of Google’s search tools. From this section, you can easily navigate to tools like Advanced Search and Google Trends.
    • A new feature that should be considered as having a lot of potential for content marketers can be found in Google Consumer Surveys.This is an affordable option for quickly gathering accurate market research and insights in the form of consumer surveys. Users complete survey questions in order to access high quality content around the web, and content publishers get paid as their users answer. Google automatically aggregates and analyzes responses through a simple online interface. While it’s not free, the creative pricing model does make it a potential solution for brands that wish to add the credibility of primary consumer research to their content
  2. Easier Access to Data Visualizations
    • Google Media Tools offers Google Maps Engine and is available in lite and pro versions, this engine provides content marketers with the opportunity to create detailed maps with a variety of layers that can be embedded on websites, blogs, and other online properties. It’s highly flexible, and maps can be customized to serve all different types of needs.
    • For more advanced users who are more comfortable with the platform, the suite also includes easy access to Google Earth, an extensive database of satellite and terrain imagery, 3D imagery, and models.
  3. Google Plus Hangouts
    • Video already has a high value, thanks to the shift in content over recent years on the web. Google Hangouts is one more platform to engage.
    • Google Hangouts on Air allow you to broadcast your video chat to the world. You can go live on YouTube and your site and record your chat as well.
    • People can watch two ways. The first is through the live broadcast, streamed to them. The second is at a later time, once you have published it elsewhere.
    • You can make a Q&A Session as well. This can be done on Air, or regular Hangouts. You can get together a panel of people, open up a call for questions from an audience beforehand, and hold an informative Q&A session with anyone.

Google+

Google+ is a social networking service from Google. It has established itself as the second-largest social media site in the world and has a monthly active user base of 235 million. Google allows more transparency in who the user shares with and how they interact. It also integrates all Google services and displays a new Google+ menu bar on the other Google services when the user is logged into a Google account.

  • Circles
    Circles is just a way of setting up personalized social circles, whether they are centered around work or personal activities. Google+ allows personalization in sharing with smaller groups. Users can also make public feeds visible to everyone and open to comments from other Google+ users.
  • Huddle
    Huddle is a group chat for phones. Rather than individually sending SMS messages, Huddle can pool them together to make a group chat which is still private to outside viewers unlike Twitter.
  • Hangouts
    Hangouts is video chat and instant messaging. Hangouts also allow group chats with text or video for up to ten users.
  • Sparks
    Sparks is a suggestion engine that finds interesting Web items based on your interests. The user can pick from categories of interest and share items they find with others in their stream.
  • Instant Uploads
    An uploading app for your phone’s camera. It instantly uploads any photos or videos to a private album that can be selectively shared with friends.
  • Check-ins
    Google+ allows location check-in from the user’s phone.

Commentary:

Google’s specific angle focuses on creating circles to distinguish connections. The four standard circles are friends, family, acquaintances and those you’re following. Now, Communities and Collections are added features. Links from Google+ once ranked higher than FB and Twitter, however we shouldn’t give up on Google+ just yet as it has recently been redesigned and is expected to make a comeback.


SECTION 3 – ONLINE ADVERTISING NETWORKS

An online ad network is a company that represents many websites and allows buyers to reach their audiences by connecting advertisers to the websites wanting to host advertisements.

Google Display Network

  • Create all types of ads – text, image, interactive and video ads.
  • Place those ads on websites that are relevant to what you’re selling.
  • Show those ads to the people that are likely to be most interested.
  • Manage and track your budget, campaigns and results as you go.

There are helpful solution links based on advertiser needs, including:

  • New Advertiser
  • Experienced Advertiser
  • Global Advertiser
  • Publisher
  • Google Partners

Adsterra Network

  • 10 billion impressions per month
  • 20 million active campaigns
  • Over 190 countries

Commentary:

Google Display Network ads are those that are displayed on other sites. This network should not be confused with Google Adwords. which allows advertisers to display ads at appropriate times depending on when prospects are actively searching for their products or services.


SECTION 4 – INTERNET RADIO

“And marketers are taking notice. It may be the least flashy of digital channels, but more than a century after the introduction of broadcast radio, audio is hotter than ever”.
-Ad Age Content Strategy Studio

Importance of Digital Audio in Marketing

Advertising Age and The Trade Desk commissioned an online research study in June 2016, conducted by the Advantage Business Research firm. Their findings based on 523 respondents of the survey included in the Ad Age Content Strategy Studio’s “Programmatic and the rise of digital audio” September 2016 edition. Here are some important highlights.

“Audio—unlike display and video—doesn’t depend on our undivided attention to make an impression. Audio makes it possible to deliver impressions without fearing overcrowded pages, ad blockers, adjacent browser tabs or even fraudsters.”

  • 600-900 million monthly global listeners
  • 1 billion global streaming listeners
  • 91% choose ad-supported channels

Audio is streamed across many environments and devices and can be accessed during most activities.

“From an advertising perspective, these ‘earbud moments’ offer an amazing opportunity for marketers to talk to listeners in an organic way during a relevant time of day using relevant data. It’s one of the most valuable formats around.”
-Jeremy Randol, VP, Programmatic Sales Strategy, Pandora


SECTION 5 – ITUNES RADIO

iTunes Radio began as a free, ad-supported service available to all iTunes users, that is designed to create a unified, music discovery experience. As of the beginning of 2016 iTunes Radio users were officially prompted to sign up and pay for Apple Music. It is available on all devices running on iOS, as well as on Mac, PC and Apple TV. iTunes Radio offers more than 250 DJ-curated and genre-focused stations – from Hard Rock to Doo Wop. The stations evolve based on the music the user plays and downloads on iTunes. So the more iTunes Radio and iTunes is used, the more iTunes Radio knows the user’s taste. Users are able to skip tracks, customize stations similar to Pandora (can click the star to Play More Like This or Never Play This Song), and purchase the station’s songs from the iTunes Store. Users can also search through their history of previous songs. Users can subscribe to iTunes match for $24.99 a year to listen to iTunes Radio ad free


SECTION 6 – APPLE MUSIC

Apple Music was launched early in 2016 as a beginning to enter the world of streaming This music streaming service includes a global radio with orginal shows that are hosted by worldwide artists and DJs. Members can listen to past programs on demand and choose from a wide range of music-only, curated stations specific to mood and genre. In order to become a member, the monthly individual fee is $9.99, a family plan for up to 6 people is $14.99, and a college student membership is $4.99. If a member had iTunes, Apple Music allows for their music library to be accessed. Apple Music can be synced to an Apple Watch from a paired iPhone and it is possible to stream from anywhere as the library is in iCloud. Downloading is unlimited and members can download as much music as allowed by device storage. Siri can add, play or find tracks for listeners. Although there is no free version of Apple Music, listeners are allowed 3 months of free streaming. Beats1 radio is included in these 3 months. Its social networking feature, Apple Music Connect not only can members show what they’re listening to, Apple expects artists to network and have their own pages within the service.

Growth

  • Over 30 million songs within its first year
  • Over 17 million paying subscribers
  • Available in over 110 countries

Commentary

iTunes Radio was a music discovery service that attracted users who liked to own their music instead of stream their music. Although it’s still around, Spotify is the top contender as it has gained an extensive audience and as it matures, Apple Music may one day catch up and surpass them.


SECTION 7 – TIDAL

Tidal is the first-ever artist-owned music service by Jay Z and 16 music megastars. It is the only major service that intends to make sure artists are compensated appropriately for their work. The owners want Tidal to be the example of luxury audio for those that really appreciate music.

Its features include

:

  • High Fidelity Sound Quality (one-of-a-kind)
  • High Definition Music Videos
  • Curated Editorial
  • Stories behind the music
  • Offline mode
  • Favorites
  • It costs $9.99 for a standard subscription, and $19.99 for hi-fi.  There is a 50% off student discount.
  • Approximately 500,000 subscribers

Special characteristics:

  • Timed exclusivity from artists- streaming of product only on Tidal vs: Spotify or Apple Music
  • Concert ticket give aways to subscribers
  • First place where tickets are sold for certain concerts
  • High-fidelity, when paird with the right equipment—one of the only places to listen to high quality

Tidal For Brands

Tidal does not currently offer a free, ad-supported tier. However, this may soon become an option, especially if it is purchased by Apple.


SECTION 8 – SPOTIFY

Spotify is a commercial music streaming service providing digital rights management-restricted content from record labels including Sony, EMI, Warner Music Group and Universal. Music can be browsed or searched by artist, album, genre playlist, or record label. Spotify is a social site, which means users can share music on Spotify, Facebook, Twitter, and blogs via email. Users are also able to follow other people. On mobile, users can listen to artists, albums and playlists in shuffle mode or can choose a ready-made playlist to suit their mood. On a tablet and computer, users can play any song, any time. Spotify also offers a premium version for $9.99 a month, which is audio ad free.

Growth

  • More than 40 million paying subscribers
  • Nearly 100 million active users in the US right now
  • More than 30 million songs
  • More than 20,000 songs added per day
  • Available in 58 markets around the world

Demographic Targeting

Spotify has decreased piracy by using demographic targeting to market affordable and legal all-you-can listen to and more— music options. Artists who have opted out of the streaming service as well as streaming service exclusives may be enough to tempt some users to retreat to piracy. Once the most inclined to pirate music, young professionals are the services’ highest users. As firstparty age and gender data is collected, Spotify receives internal knowledge of user preference and how to successfully continue to target listeners. Now working with data management platform, Krux, Spotify utilizes their cross-device ID management to target using ad messages for their clients.

Spotify targets its audience through:

  • Age & gender
  • Geography & language
  • Behavioral segments

Apple Music vs. Spotify

  1. Apple Music has recently approached the halfway mark to Spotify’s number of users.
  2. Apple offers student and family plans for memberships at a more cost efficient rate.
  3. Apple Music offers a 24-hour Beats 1 radio with more playlist options, Spotify’s playlists are curated
  4. Apple does not have a free ad-based tier, which is more conducive to artist profitability
  5. Apple is available in more countries

Commentary

A few years ago, Spotify stepped over iTunes in reeling in all of the millennials who wanted to stream music, not buy and were likely students. Now, as streaming has become more mainstream, Apple decided to unleash Apple Music. Essentially, these streaming services are treated like an iTunes library in that you can listen to exactly what you want, when you want and they come with massive libraries. The reasons for which Spotify and Apple Music have made such an impact are in their ability to target users, remain affordable and match songs to each listener based on their preferences.


SECTION 9 -VR/AI MARKETING

Virtually, there is a new marketing world consisting of artificial intelligence and virtual reality. 2015 brought advances in marketing technology that previously existed in extreme forms in science fiction movies. Virtual reality has served as an avenue for campaigning, while artificial intelligence platforms have given brands enhanced ability to personalize targeting. While still in early stages, ever-evolving intelligence assistant features are impacting consumer behavior and brand marketing strategies.

Virtual reality allows for content experiences where users are immersed in messaging. Since ads intend to generate user emotion, there is a stronger likelihood of producing behavioral change, turning users into consumers. Beyond the need for effective storytelling, brands are focusing on how to give their products a relevant appeal to audiences in a way that they are not being told to make a purchase, but in a way that audiences can convince themselves to make a purchase because the company has catered to their specific needs. This is no longer limited to re-targeting customers through ad placement on social media sites, but putting algorithms in effect to “learn” who the user is and market to individuals. Artificial, or assisted intelligence is making this possible and it can be said that AI is a marketing aid and AR is a marketing tool. The marketer entices consumers to interact with the platform, which then learns about the needs of billions of potential consumers, ultimately providing the users with a personalized product, and voilà! ROI.

VR

As companies battle it out to release the most innovative software and gadgets, marketers should be diving into the immense realm of opportunity to impact consumers. Using VR for brand campaigns has become “a thing.”

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook bought Oculus, the virtual reality headset and called it the platform of the future. In time, this $600 device can bring much potential for brands thanks to Zuckerberg’s new software that includes the virtual reality web browser. Facebook wants Oculus or Google’s Daydream View to become consumers. Noah Mallin, head of social at MEC North America said, “A big-box store could jumpstart its e-commerce business. It could recreate an in-store experience, so it’s as if you are shopping but it’s all happening virtually.” Facebook is building a social hangout spot in virtual reality in which people can play games such as chess. The virtual chill sessions are for up to 8 people, however when more people get involved the experiences could get even more interesting. “You could have a conference in virtual reality as brand,” Mr. Mallin said. Currently there are one million people using virtual reality, mostly gamers.

…transport your users into your brand’s world”
– virtualsky.com

How Brands Have Used Virtual Reality in Marketing

Marriott used Oculus Rift technology to create the Teleporter, a 4D virtual journey as a part of its “Travel Brilliantly” campaign. This was intended to connect the hospitality chain with next-gen travelers. Users can teleport to different locations throughout the world and experience travel and new sights. “Marriott Hotels paired up with creative studio Framestore and agency Relevent to create 3-D, 360 live-action video and photos and mix them with computer-generated imagery and elements such as mist, rumbling and wind.” -source: adage.com

The hotel brand encourages users to share their pictures, opinions and personal experiences with the hashtag #GetTeleported. Travelers are asked to participate through submitting ideas focusing on improving travel for the future. A notable example of positive outcome from the experiment is the healthy food vending machine in the Marriott Chicago O’Hare Airport Hotel as a result of traveler participation. “Our goal is to really make sure people see the flagship brand as being innovative, “said Michael Dail, VP of Marriott Hotels Brand Marketing. The individual brands under Marriott International target different clientele under separate campaigns.

Volvo provided prospects with the opportunity to virtually test drive its XC90. VolvoReality was created using the low-cost Google Cardboard virtual reality platform and could be watched as a video on a smartphone. The concept for an immersive experience was formed as a solution to the XC90 not arriving to showrooms within a convenient time-frame.

JCPenney’s VR is a branding strategy, intending to attract families and young people to the store. Released during the holidays, the retailer implemented reindeer, elves and snowmen in the virtual journey to the North Pole, “Twas the Flight Before Christmas”. An Oculus headset was used for this VR experience. Gift cards and coupons were awarded to participants returning from the North Pole as the direct sales component.

Brands Need to Consider

Relevance. Depending on your goals, use different strategies that will work for YOUR brand and target audience. Gaming companies have an almost natural association with 360-degree video, augmented reality and virtual reality, most other companies have to search for their own unique methods of incorporating the new technology into their campaigns. It is also important to note what your consumers expect from you as a brand, and how to appeal to them.

“Companies are looking at how you could do standardized ad insertion into VR environments”
-Noah Mallin

Strategy. Plan an effective story to get the most of marketing through virtual reality. Which device will you use? There are cheaper headsets such as Google Cardboard, Daydream View and Samsung Gear that can provide the experience using a mobile device, and there are higher-tech headsets such as Oculus. Or perhaps you may want to experiment first with 360-degree video in hand with YouTube and Facebook before diving into VR. A 360-degree video would cost anywhere from $150,000 to $1 million, whereas VR’s starting point can go over $500,000. What are your VR goals? Work with VR professionals to make them happen, VR cannot be approached in the same way as TV or digital. Not only to create engaging content, but to prevent audience nausea at the end of the experience.

Dramamine’s strategy:

Targeting VR users to get them to purchase the product that would make their VR experience nausea-free in the end. In the commercial spot, 5 motion sickness sufferers were prompted to take a dose of Dramamine prior to being suspended in the air with a VR headset on. The participants experienced roller coasters, race car driving and other activities that would make any prone person completely motion sick. Each participant noticeably had a very fun experience and did not feel negative effects by the end of the commercial.

Headgear options for brand audience

  • Google Cardboard is marketed as the affordable way of experiencing virtual reality. Users can select from a variety of headset styles and build the cardboard device.
  • SAMSUNG Gear $99 headset that works seamlessly with Galaxy smartphones
  • Oculus high-tech headset and Touch controller with 360-degree motion
  • Google Daydream View $79 headset in which the front opens for users to slide in Google’s Pixel phone or any Daydream-compatible phones from Android partners. The first to come with a remote and is designed to make gaming and scrolling through the interface much easier. The Pixel phone starts at $649 and combines information from all of the user’s apps. With the inclusion of a virtual assistant, you can ask it to make dinner reservations, look up show times and calculate the driving distance between the points of interest.

VR ad platforms

  • VirtualSKY- “Virtual Reality Advertising, Targeting, & Delivery at Scale” Brands can advertise through virtual reality headsets as well as smartphones.
    • ExperienceAD
      • 10-30 second, 360 degrees
      • Occur at natural breaks in VR content, such as in-between game levels
    • SponsorAD
      • 5-10 second, 360 degrees
      • Play upon launching VR content
    • Immersive ADS
      • 720 degrees of sight & sound
  • Immersv- “The Leading Mobile VR AD Network”
  • Retinad Analytics- “Demystify your VR experience”
  • Vertebrae- “The Native Advertising Platform for Virtual Reality”
    • 3D interactive ad insertion
    • 360 degrees
    • Branded Image Backgrounds
    • Virtual Brand Rooms
    • Custom VR Mini-Games
    • Content Sponsorships

Artificial Intelligence Marketing

“IDC predicts that global spending on cognitive systems will reach $31.3 billion by 2019.”-Ad Age

Intelligent personal assistance is taking form in the world of advertising. Brands have initiated partnerships with platforms such as IBM’s “Watson” and Amazon’s “Alexa” to create targeted marketing experiences that cater to consumer uniqueness. Not only can AI marketing potentially give brands stronger audience appeal, they can provide more robust analytics based on consumer behavior. While there is much discrepancy about whether to refer to cognitive systems as artificial intelligence, intelligent assistants, or as IBM refers to it, augmented intelligence; the systems are without a doubt, re-shaping the marketing arena and already influencing healthcare, education, transportation, meal and clothing choices.

See how some brands are using AI:

Campbell Soup Company
Brand Strategy: meal suggestions & recipes
Brand Objective: to get people to buy more products from all Campbell brands including Swanson, Pace, Prego and Pepperidge Farm
Platform: Amazon Echo aka “Alexa”
How it works: When you aren’t sure what to cook, just ask “Alexa.” She will tailor a response by factoring in the weather, date/time, as well as your personal preferences. If you need a recipe, Alexa will be more than happy to suggest any from Campbell’s Kitchen, the extensive consumer goods portal. Whether the weather means casserole or tacos, Alexa will guide you in all things Campbell’s!
Sesame Street
Brand Strategy: individualized learning. The television show managed to provide children with information in a single way, now Sesame Street wishes to help educate children from the point of view that not every child learns the same.
Brand Objective: The company will strive to come up with latest learning tools to bring to market. Potentially.
Platform: IBM’s “Watson”
How it works: This is anticipated. Watson’s wide body of information gives it the ability to study its user, adapt to their needs and provide personalized teaching methods.
North Face
Brand Strategy: shopping help
Brand Objective: sell brand clothing
Platform: IBM’s “Watson”
How it works: Watson’s corpus of knowledge helps it identify a perfect clothing article match for the consumer.

Virtual assistance is rooted in “deep learning” which is how companies teach computers a variety of skills, including how to adapt to new information.