Ben Young
Ben Young
July 12, 2019

One big thing
The concept of ‘creator-first’ strategies was mentioned in the new Twitter ArtHouse announcement. And it’s not the first time I’ve heard of this. Rather than focusing on the outlet, focus on the talent behind the content.

With influencers, that is obvious and direct. For most other content brands create, it’s not. Is there a future where branded content creators are as in demand as hot TV directors? I’d say so. But not quite yet.

Notable stories this week

  • Polar is scaling branded content across local for USA Today. Measured by Nudge 😉
  • Pressboard announces Boost, their tool to promote press mentions. They’ve separated church and state so that it doesn’t create conflict of interest. You can only promote mentions that have your brand in it so people don’t promote negative stories about competitors. A novel solution – that helps brands and drives views for pubs.
  • Facebook has been upping the game on its branded content offerings.
  • Netflix won’t be felled by recession, bond markets, debt or cash losses. A smart and insightful piece from Matthew Ball.
  • Snapchat taps Serena Williams and Arnold Schwarzenegger to make new streaming TV shows.
  • Firefox is running a test to ensure their privacy restrictions don’t harm Google’s search ads (their primary source of revenue).
  • Microsoft launches Windows 1.11 app to celebrate Stranger Things. As is every other brand.
  • The Luma Q2 report is out, worth a download and weekend read.
  • LinkedIn is adding smarter on platform retargeting options.
  • Twitter announces a new creative team “Twitter ArtHouse” for brands producing video content on platform. The outtake, content created for the platform outperforms repurposed content by 33% in audience response…
  • AllDef is closing down.
  • [From us] Sharethrough named top performing exchange when it comes to driving quality traffic.


Campaign of the week

  • Destination Canada on WaPo on how to plan a luxurious getaway in the country with the most lakes in the world. A nicely executed and visually eye-catching piece.
  • WeWork is partnering with FiveThirtyEight to tell the story of the American business landscape (whilst of course highlighting their locations).
  • Nike, never stop winning, celebrating the USWNT win.
  • Submit your own and view the best campaigns of 2019.

Branded content by Destination Canada on WaPo

Smartest commentary

  • [On IBM Watson Marketing] “Realistically, there’s not a single vendor that can offer every single question from a marketer,” he said. “Others treat themselves as the center of the universe. Marketers just don’t see vendors in that light. We actively ingest Salesforce CRM, Adobe analytics. We truly want to be an open ecosystem. We’re hearing from marketers that’s what they want.”Mark Simpson, CEO, IBM Watson Marketing
  • “Don’t let the data push you around. If content is the journalistic story, then data is the leads and clues. Your overarching human intelligence will then turn this into something that will light fires, make people notice, capture hearts and minds and forge change in attitudes or behaviours. “Matt Potter, Chief Content Office, John Brown Media Group

Datapoints of note

  • Facebook’s flagship shows under 2m views per episode. Snap has multiple shows with 25m+ unique views.
  • [On Twitter] The platform and GroupM found that video content optimized for Twitter drives 33% more emotional engagement than non-optimized spots, while a Magna/IPG Media Lab sponsored study found that users spend 24% more time with Creator ads.



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