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Latest news from The Drum

Master baiters: The rise (and fall?) of click baiting
Posted on Wednesday July 01, 2015

It's been dubbed the '21st century headline'. Our online news feeds are littered with it. Even the Independent is doing it. That’s right, I’m talking about clickbait.

Following on from prolific 'baiters' like the Mail Online, Upworthy and other, less reputable, publications, the Independent has brought its clickbaiting A-game of late as it tries to gain traction in an increasingly competitive digital environment.

In the unlikely case you don't have a clue what click baiting is, it's basically a term to describe all those open ended, ‘you’ll never guess what happened’ headlines you see on your social media timelines.

If, like me, you have been clicking to find out the answer behind Kim Jong-un’s weight gain or what exactly JK Rowling said about Draco Malfoy that would make me feel really old, you too have been pulled in by clickbait, don’t be ashamed, it gets to the best of us.

It uses sensationalist words and frequently deceptive statements, crafted to make you desperate to know more. It compels you to click and subsequently makes you feel a little bit dirty (and more than often, disappointed) once you have.

Clickbait has obvious advantages for publishers: more traffic to your site or content, leading to more advertising revenue and better SEO. But marketers need to consider the negative consequences of attracting readers with bait.

While baiters may see a bump in traffic now, this is unlikely to last in the long term. More and more people now consume their news via social platforms, most notably Facebook. Last year, Facebook came out against the clickbaiters, stating it didn’t want its users to suffer at the hands of spammy stories that "drown out content from friends and pages that people really care about".

According to Facebook, 80 per cent of its users say they prefer headlines that help them decide whether an article is worth reading and as such, the platform’s algorithm penalises the headlines that don’t. This is particularly relevant now that Facebook hosts native video content; a lot of clickbait directs users to videos, something Facebook would much rather its users watch in their News Feeds.

Larger publishers like the Indy will suffer less from Facebook clickbait penalisation than its smaller counterparts. The real hit for the publication will come from loss of credibility; to me, some of the baits feel like the publishing equivalent of David Cameron’s “Call me Dave”. It’s unnatural  –  not expected from a quality newspaper.

Publishers’ reputations are built on their integrity and clickbaiting has long been associated with the way into poor content. The Independent may be doing itself some favours in web traffic numbers right now, but in the long term, is its aim really to become the next Mail Online or Upworthy? I know there’s an argument for ‘adapt or die’, but surely not if you have to lose your identity along the way.

And, from a purely observational point of view, it seems like those bemoaning the baiting by far outweigh the occasional fan sharing one of ‘those’ links. The existence of publications like ClickHole confirms the growing awareness of the tactics, if nothing else.

For now, the Independent continues to try to draw readers towards its ‘snackable’ online content, whilst users try and stop themselves from clicking, and subsequently sigh with disappointment after watching a video they’ve seen already on one of their social channels.

Putting personal opinion aside, I wait with ‘baited’ breath to discover whether this change in tactic will prove to be a master stroke by the Independent, following in the Mail Online’s footsteps by appealing to a non-traditional audience or finding itself alienating just about everyone.

Alex Cole is an account director at We Are Social 

CNN looks to tempt luxury advertisers as CNN Style portal launches
Posted on Wednesday July 01, 2015

CNN is hoping to snare a stream of luxury advertisers with the launch of a dedicated Style portal which went live today (1 July). 

CNN Style will span international and US digital editions of CNN.com, CNN Arabic and CNN en Espanol and will target CNN's traditionally upscale audience, which includes 40 per cent of luxury consumers across Europe according to recent Ipsos research. 

Content will run across the worlds of fashion, design, architecture, art, autos and luxury and will be headed by newly appointed CNN Style editor George Webster alongside Fiona Sinclair Scott from Vice Media. 

Andrew Demaria, vice president and managing editor, CNN Digital called CNN Style an "essential destination" for all facets of style.

“This is a cosmopolitan home for a broad range of content – whether it’s exclusive insight into the mind of a visionary from the arts, architecture or design worlds, an interactive on the must-have luxury watch or behind-the-scenes videos from the biggest fashion shows," he said. 

Throughout July, CNN Style will be guest edited by Polish-American architect Daniel Libeskind. As guest editor, Libeskind has commissioned a series of pieces about architecture to be published during July, given an exclusive video interview to CNN Style and written about the interplay of architecture and emotion.   

CNN has already worked to build up its portfolio of luxury advertisers; Cartier currently sponsors the media compay's CNN Ones to Watch series and last year Gucci sponsored its Elite Escapes themed week. 

 

US Ad of the Week: Craftsman ‘Dad’s Motorcycle Story’
Posted on Wednesday July 01, 2015

Just ahead of Father’s Day, Craftsman took the term ‘father figure’ quite literally and released a playful spot that features actual father action figures.

Voted by US Creative Department readers as Ad of the Week, the spot was created by Havas Chicago.

As a dad tells his son the story of one wild night he had back in 1982, figures are used to re-enact moments such as when he claims he scared off a pack of wolves with a flaming torch.

At the end, the ad prompts viewers with: “This Father’s Day, buy dad a tool worth bragging about.”

If you’d like to vote for next week’s winner, visit our US Creative Department here. The ad that receives the most votes will be named ‘US Ad of the Week’ next Wednesday.

Credits:

Chief Creative Officer: Jason Peterson
Creative Director: Shelby Georgis
Director: Chris Hainey
Copywriter: Zack Carlstrom & Justin Miller
Art Director: Mike Pearson & Rachel Bottlinger
Additional Credits: Account Director: Marisa Scime
Program Manager: Erica Johnson
Producer: Lauren Shawe
Published: May 2015

Government dismisses claims it has dropped scheme to curb junk mail
Posted on Wednesday July 01, 2015

The Government has dismissed allegations it has axed its long-gestating scheme to curb junk mail.

In response to allegations in The Times, the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has confirmed that the door stop preference service it is developing with the Department of the Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) is still underway. The service, a website that will allow users to opt out of having junk mail posted through their doors, was due to go live in 2012.

The Times claimed that differences between Defra and the DMA had halted its development. It referenced documents obtained through freedom of information requests to show that the site had actually been built but did not go live.

The DMA has since clarified the site’s development, which it led, was at no cost to the public and added that it was vital the project had the backing of all involved organisations before moving forward.

In a statement Defra said: “We recognise the impact unaddressed mail has on householders and the environment. Through voluntary deals with industry we are working to ensure printed advertisements and magazines are greener, distributed in a manner which minimises waste and promotes household recycling. We would also encourage people to use existing ‘opt-out’ services operated by the Direct Marketing Association and the Royal Mail to help avoid unwanted mail.”

The revamped scheme would have allowed people to opt out of both addressed and unaddressed nuisance mail directly from the site, whereas currently they can only opt out of addressed junk mail. Additionally, people needed to send requests by posts to both Defra and the DMA in order to register, which lasts for two years.

An estimated 12 billion items of junk mail are posted each year, equating to wood from five million trees.

 

Kleenex's latest heart-tugging ad tells story of dog and owner who are both wheelchair-bound
Posted on Wednesday July 01, 2015

Kleenex’s latest ad in its series of mini-documentaries tells the real-life story of a dog and his owner who are both wheelchair bound.

'Unlucky Best Friends' tells the story of a dog named Chance who, unable to walk after being hit by a car, is adopted by wheelchair bound husband Mike and his wife Stacey Williams. Chance is soon able to walk thanks to the help of a wheelchair and can be seen happily playing with Mike. The couple narrate over the ad describing why they gave the unwanted dog a chance.

The video is part of the company’s new Time for Change ad campaign which aims to document touching real-life stories of people showing meaningful gestures of care.

It is the third ad in the campaign which also includes the story of an ex-solider suffering PTSD who attributes his survival to a fellow veteran, and multiple amputee, recognising he was in trouble and reaching out to him over Facebook. It then shows the two finally meeting face-to-face after Kleenex paid for the travel costs.

The second video in the series tells the story of a mother who, needing a kidney transplant, uses Facebook to ask for help and receives a response from a fellow mother.

The campaign includes a partnership with Facebook which targets users’ demographics, stated interests and time of day. As part of the partnership, Facebook is cited as the reason that many of the people were able to help one another.

The full ad is available to view above.

Alan Sugar tries to sell himself as the man to host Apprentice USA
Posted on Wednesday July 01, 2015

Sir Alan Sugar has shown an interest in the Apprentice USA role after NBC dumped long-time host Donald Trump.

Sugar, who presents the BBC’s incarnation of the show in the UK, announced his intention to lead host the NBC slot in a tweet.

The Apprentice USA role, which was recently vacated after NBC fired Donald Trump for comments in which he dubbed Mexican immigrants as “rapers” and drug dealers, is up for grabs and Sugar has it in his sights.

The admission was made following a tweet from Andrew Bloch, founder and group managing director of Frank PR.

Sugar’s Twitter nemesis Piers Morgan, who flopped in America after making a very public cry for gun control, even plaudited the idea.

 

 

World Surf League catches perfect wave with digital-first strategy
Posted on Wednesday July 01, 2015

While other niche sports leagues have focused efforts on securing TV deals, the World Surf League (WSL) has done the opposite - with great success. 

Since Paul Speaker took over as CEO of WSL a little more than two years ago, he has forged partnerships with Samsung, Jeep, Tag Heuer, Oi and GoPro (along with all major surf apparel companies) and the league's digital-first strategy has led to massive streaming numbers.

According to a New York Times from February, “an average of more than 6.2 million people tuned in live to watch the Billabong Pipe Masters… Those numbers exceeded the American television audience for the final game of the 2014 Stanley Cup hockey finals.” The event was streamed entirely on YouTube.

Later this year, the WSL is set to open WSL Studios in order to elevate the production value of live events and to create originals. Speaker, an NFL league office vet, is looking to model WSL Studios on the ahead-of-its-time NFL Studios.

With Snapchat and Periscope, creating engaging video content now is cheap; creating high quality video content, though, is a different story. Making this type of investment is a testament to the encouraging numbers the league has enjoyed the past two years, and it is also a show of confidence in the league’s potential.

For more on the World Surf League’s winning digital strategy, Found Remote chatted with Speaker: 

Found Remote: You told the New York Times in February that "live streaming is our bread and butter." Based on your success live streaming, would you even consider a linear partnership at this point?

Speaker: At the core of our business model, we strive to be fan-centric. As such, all options for bringing the world's best surfing to the largest audience possible are up for consideration. At the WSL, we have a blend of partnerships across both digital and linear platforms as well as social. The surfing audience has always been an early adopter of technology and, out of necessity, the sport has innovated in, and largely at the vanguard of, the digital space - pioneering global digital webcasts as early as the 1990s. This audience characteristic has become more apparent than ever in the millions that tune in for our live webcasts via WorldSurfLeague.com. The excellence demonstrated in the core digital arena of our business has fostered a number of top-of-class linear partnerships including ABC/ESPN in the US, FUEL TV in Australia, Globo in Brazil and many others. In point of fact, 22 million people tuned in on Globo alone to watch Filipe Toledo claim the Oi Rio Pro in May. We consider ourselves privileged to be championing the cutting edge of surfing and have modeled our business approach to suit - an approach that welcomes fans through digital, linear and social platforms.

FR: What is the potential for Meerkat and Periscope, and even streaming via GoPros, to change the way surfing - and sports, in general - is broadcast?

Speaker: Like all sport and entertainment properties, the WSL is having significant internal and external discussions regarding emerging technology and the rapidly-changing consumer and content atmosphere. How do we provide the best product and experience to our fans while improving relationships with our commercial and media partners? Surfing is very much community-focused and the League views all mechanisms of the sport through the lens of the fan when making strategic decisions. Whenever possible, the WSL strives to incorporate user-generated content into our platform - whether it be broadcast, website or social. The reason behind this is two-fold: 1) we strive to provide a comprehensive look at the world's best surfers and the community that supports it, and 2) surfing is a phenomenon that transcends traditional sport and entertainment properties and exists as a way of life for people - we, at the WSL, are tremendously honored to champion the best surfing on the planet and we believe we have a responsibility to engage in dialogue with the surfing fan base. From a content perspective, this season we've been experimenting with a number of different platforms in delivering our fans unique and engaging experiences. Recently, on International Surfing Day (ISD) on June 20, our Social Media Team ran a Periscope activation at Trestles in Southern California with four-time WSL Champion Lisa Andersen, 2015 rookie Keanu Asing and local star Nathan Yeomans in which they shot footage from the water and answered questions. Bringing the fans 'into the lineup' with the world's best surfers is just one example of how the WSL is scratching the surface with emerging technology.

FR: It seems clear that surfing fans would find WSL content no matter where it is or how it is hosted. Why partner with, and more importantly, share revenue with, YouTube?

Speaker: The acquisition of the sport in 2013 was game-changing in a number of ways - one of the most significant was the convergence of the formerly disparate events (and event mechanisms such as broadcast, marketing, sponsorship, etc.) under a singular umbrella. This allowed us to not only invest in a top-of-class entertainment product for our fans, but to provide a consistent one throughout the year - something that had never been offered before. Webcasting/Broadcasting one of the most dynamic sports on the planet from some of the most exotic and remote locales in the world to a truly global audience presents a number of challenges. In 2014, we partnered with YouTube to help us achieve this and remain great partners. Moving into this season, the WSL has succeeded in developing its own LIVE player to accommodate our ever-growing audience as well as a robust international stable of commercial partners.

FR: Live streaming is relatively cheap, but with WSL Studios you will begin investing in documentaries and original programming. What indicated to you that there was strong enough demand for this type of content, which is expensive to produce?

Speaker: Our primary directive upon acquisition of the sport was to invest in the live product. Surfing, as a business, has seen juggernaut growth in recent years. Complementing the evolution out of the water has been the performances of the world's best surfers in the water. The caliber of athlete at the elite level, advances in equipment technology and the growing value of succeeding on the Championship Tour have charged the performance atmosphere like never before. The world's best surfing is happening in real time in the live arena of the WSL and performance barriers are being broken at every event. It was absolutely imperative to us that we focus on bringing this to the audience in the best possible way as soon as we could.

The benefit we have at the WSL is that we own all our own production resources and have them on-site at the most desirable locations on the planet throughout the season. This allows us to efficiently develop content for not only our live product, but shoulder programming and partner content as well. It has been tremendously successful thus far and we look forward to expanding in this arena with the full build-out of the Santa Monica studio in the near future.

FR: How difficult have the conversations been with media buyers in trying to convince them that your online audience is even more engaged and more "premium" than a similar demo on linear TV?

Speaker: All conversations with both media and commercial partners have been extraordinarily positive. The WSL has successfully integrated a number of new partners in Samsung, Jeep, Tag Heuer, Oi and GoPro to complement the continued support of core brands like Quiksilver, Rip Curl, Billabong, Hurley, etc. The League, between men, women and big wave products, is firing on all cylinders.

The centralized and premium audience delivered by the WSL through multiple platforms (digital, linear and social), the fan-focused approach of the League and the in-water performances of the world's best surfers have created a tremendously welcoming environment for the organization and our passion and enthusiasm has been similarly matched by virtually every door we open. Surfing is unique. As an organization, we strive to be unique as well, in our focus on our fans, our servicing of athletes and in our relationships with our partners.

There's never been a more exciting time for professional surfing.

 

Donna Karan steps down as the brand's chief designer
Posted on Wednesday July 01, 2015

Donna Karan has stepped down as chief designer from her eponymous fashion line. 

Karan will continue to serve as an advisor to Donna Karan International, which was bought by French powerhouse LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton in 2001. She will now commit more time to her Urban Zen line, which centers on wellness and artisanal goods, according to the New York Times. 

The fashion company will now reorganize its teams and has suspended the main Donna Karan line in the interim. A successor has not been announced. 

Karan said in a statement, “LVMH and I have made this decision after much soul-searching. I have arrived at a point in my life where I need to spend more time to pursue my Urban Zen commitment to its fullest potential and follow my vision of philanthropy and commerce.”

Donna Karan will not show at New York Fashion Week this coming September. 

Cannes Lions 2015 – social insights: The top tweets and trends from this year's festival
Posted on Wednesday July 01, 2015

There was of course a lot of talk about data at Cannes this year. We talked about it ourselves. At a session titled Scientists v Poets, Chris Clarke, our chief creative officer, international and Dan Hughes, SVP, international head of strategy and analysis, looked at the role of creativity in the age of data and argued that the most compelling narratives come from a combination of data and storytelling.

To illustrate this point, we turned the lens on Cannes itself – encouraging our data team to extract the data from the advertising world’s foremost creative festival to see what stories would emerge. And of course, there were some great ones.

Take Periscope for example. 12 months ago we could only have dreamt of being able to see in real time inside the hallowed halls of the Palais. This year it was hard to move for people Periscoping – as reflected in the fact that the real-time video sharing tool emerged as a major Cannes Lions success story, being the sixth most popular destination link for tweets sent with the Cannes Lions hashtag (behind the likes of Instagram, YouTube and Vine).

There is also the unlikely story of Abraham Lincoln stealing Kim Kardashian’s Twitter crown. Who could have dreamt before the festival that the bearded ex-president would deliver more re-tweets than the internet’s favourite reality TV star? Unlikely as it seems, a quote from Lincoln (delivered by @Ogilvy) delivered 17,577 retweets compared to Kim’s most popular effort - “Just landed in Cannes! Love that my mom and Kylie are here too!” – which generated a mere 1,447 retweets.

Looking deeper into the data, other stories emerge. We can see for example that men continue to dominate activity around Cannes with 41 per cent of tweets coming from men’s accounts and 28 per cent from those of women (the additional 31 per cent came from a range of accounts including brands, agencies and media).

Job title information also reveals interesting stories. According to Twitter biography information, people who tweet about the festival are most likely to describe themselves as founders, followed by CEOs (second), creative directors (third), students (fourth) and marketers (fifth).

And what study of Cannes would be complete without an assessment of its finest watering holes? When comparing the top three Cannes venues, we found that the Carlton Hotel emerged as the most tweeted about social venue at Cannes Lions 2015. The Carlton gained 64.8 per cent of all tweets, the Gutter Bar logged 17.8 per cent and the Hotel Majestic managed 17.4 per cent.

And last but by no means least, another interesting story to emerge involved this very publication. Our analysis found that The Drum was the most linked-to UK news outlet on Twitter during Cannes Lions 2015. We found that some 1.34 per cent of all tweets featuring a link to a secondary source and referencing the #canneslions hashtag linked to The Drum’s website.

Only US-based AdWeek performed better in the media outlet category with an impressive 2.75 per cent. Campaign (1.10 per cent), AdAge (1.05 per cent) and The Next Web (1.02 per cent) filled out the top five. The South African site Bizcommunity was sixth followed by Marketing (seventh), the Guardian (eighth) and the Wall Street Journal (ninth).

So what does all this data mean? Lots of things. Most of all though, if we are to use data better, as an industry we need to be better at listening. This is a lesson that everyone who went to Cannes may do well to heed.

Ashley Kenerson is head of data at DigitasLBi. See the full study with these and other stats.

Facebook has changed its logo – and it’s not your fault you missed it
Posted on Wednesday July 01, 2015

Facebook has quietly refreshed its brand logo with a number of minor changes to the typeface.

Although the brand’s leading ‘F’ icon remains unchanged, the fully-written Facebook logo has been updated. The design was developed in-house at the social network with the help of Eric Olson of Process Type Foundry.

On the subtle changes, Brand New quotes Josh Higgins, Facebook creative director, as saying: “When Facebook’s logo was first created in 2005, the company was just getting started and we wanted the logo to feel grown up and to be taken seriously.

“Now that we are established, we set out to modernise the logo to make it feel more friendly and approachable. While we explored many directions, ultimately we decided that we only needed an update, and not a full redesign."

Higgins concluded: “We worked with Eric Olsen - whose typeface Klavika was used in the original logo - and developed a custom typeface to reflect where we are now and where we are headed.”

Brands as widely visible as Facebook have to tread carefully when it comes to such endeavours, likely learning from the backlash Spotify recently endured after it slightly changed its logo to bring it thematically in-line with the app’s user interface.