Happy Friday! For readers in the US hopefully a quiet Friday ahead (if you’re not already out).
One big thing
Catching up with colleagues this week there were a few jokes about sketches, that is the crude drawings that form the backbone of bringing a concept to life. They may be crude but effective. Effective communication, this is a literal drawing of what I want.
In a multimedia, digital world, the need for effective communication is ever more pressing. When it comes to content, this can mean going back to basics. No need for a flashy interactive experience. Use words, or images and tell a story. If this wild twitter thread is any indication, you don’t need it.
Notable stories this week
- Branded content production costs are growing.
- The walled gardens are eating up programmatic, here’s how they do it. People don’t realize that ads served outside of the walled gardens can originate from them and in turn, eat up margins. Give this a read.
- An interview with Ryan Harwood of Gallery Media Group on how brands can’t do enough content.
- Ads are coming to WhatsApp next year.
- Apple proposes a privacy-preserving methodology for collecting conversion data. The proposal is that the browser holds the ‘conversion event’ and then releases it to the attribution partner on a time delay and anonymized fashion. Give it a read, or two, to fully comprehend. I’m into it. It certainly is a framework that works well for content.
- LinkedIn to provide ad transparency.
- Brian O’Kelley calls for a breakup of Google.
- AdZerk the independent ad server for custom environments touts 70% YOY growth.
- Not related to content but internet culture right now, a computer infected with 6 infamous viruses has passed $1m at auction. “The laptop is a Samsung netbook that’s been air gapped, meaning it isn’t connected to the internet and thus is unlikely to spread the viruses.“ View the auction live here.
- Medium is looking for publishers which may fit their model.
- Refinery29 aims to raise $20 million in debt to invest in its originals and events business.
Campaign of the week
- Mercedes Benz shining the light on gender stereotypes by telling the story of Ewy Rosqvist, the first female driver to win the Grand Prix. In celebration they’ve partnered with Matchbox to release a car for young girls. See below and the short film on Ewy here.
- Hypebeast’s Streetwear report in partnership with Strategy&, a PWC agency. In depth, smart and great positioning.
- Submit your own and view the best campaigns of 2019.
- “A successful content strategy is a long game. Just like in any relationship, affinity and trust are built through repeated, reliable and consistent micro gestures. By aggregating these “marginal gains,” brands create a narrative, and those that build a narrative — about fitness or wellness or travel or work — get to own the market for it.” –Ana Andjelic, Brand Strategist
Datapoints of note
- Fullscreen proves that social branded content drives purchases, Consumers exposed to the branded posts bought the advertised product at a 1.5 – 5.2% higher rate than control audiences. And, the group of people that had not only seen the posts but also engaged with them (liked, commented, shared, etc.) bought the advertised product at a 58% higher rate than those who were exposed but didn’t engage.
- Native display makes up 63% of total display spend.
- Medium has between 200k-400k subscribers paying $50 per year.
- Nielsen estimates that Americans watch as much tv as they did 16 years ago but they’ve now doubled their media diet to include just as much digital consumption as tv.
- Netflix will spend $15b on programming this year.
- Facebook revamped 2.2 billion fake accounts in Q1 2019.
- JW Insights – 5/29, New York, New York
Measurement and intelligence for content-first brands.
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