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Advertising and Media

  • How to increase your advertising ROI with Programmatic buying

    Programmatic buying is a relatively new concept in South Africa and it uses highly advanced technology -- both of which can make it seem intimidating. If you are a marketer who has mainly operated outside of digital -- planning a programmatic ad buying budget probably feels very overwhelming. The reality is, programmatic buying allows more control over your advertising campaign than most traditional platforms. Media buying and selling is fast-paced and being able to make decisions in real-time can give your brand a competitive edge. Simply put, programmatic buying enables brands to utilise audience insights and technology to tailor messages to...

  • YouTube reportedly ditching long, unskippable ads

    YouTube's in-video advertising will undergo a transformation in the coming months, this according to a new report by Campaign. The report suggests that the Google-owned video powerhouse is looking at a new advertising strategy, and will ditch its 30-second unskippable ad format looking instead to more user-friendly, bite-sized ad snippets. The company has "decided to stop supporting 30-second unskippable ads as of 2018 and focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers," according to a Google spokesman quoted by Campaign. According to a new report, YouTube will be ditching longer advertisements on its platform in favour of more...

  • South Africa, you can now Shazam this fragrance using Bluetooth technology

    You can Shazam a song, sure, but what about a fragrance? The music recognition service has now partnered with fragrance brand Azzaro to let users do just that -- let fragrance-shoppers Shazam a scent. From tomorrow, South Africans will be able to use the service to detect Azzaro Wanted's scent using Bluetooth beacon technology. The press release claims that spraying the fragrance, and tapping the Shazam button will allow "their phone will automatically identity the fragrance and offer them a unique page of Azzaro ‘Wanted’ content". Unfortunately, the app doesn't detect the fragrance itself, but rather the Bluetooth beacon. Nevertheless, the spritz...

  • McDonald’s reengineers the straw for the sake of a milkshake

    When McDonald's isn't making quick and easy to eat food, the company also hires engineers to design straws. "No, seriously." The multi-national food giant published a short clip to YouTube this week, highlighting the lengths it took to design a brand new straw for its Shamrock Shake beverage. The straw, which is a limited edition item, has been designed to better fuse the two elements of the shake -- chocolate and mint -- to ensure drinkers get the correct flavour profile. Two engineering firms, namely JACE and NK Labs, took up the challenge, probably because there wasn't much else to do in...

  • Facebook’s ad tracking system now updates in milliseconds

    Facebook announced Friday that it would be providing marketers with in-depth analysis on the ads they pay for. Over the course of the year, the company intends to detail to buyers the milliseconds an ad is on screen -- that is the milliseconds 50% of an ad was on screen, and the milliseconds 100% of an ad was on screen. The company also intends to offer buyers more choice in how they pay for ads. The three new options are completed-view buying, two-second buying and sound-on buying. Completed-view will allow advertisers to pay for video ads that have been viewed in...

  • WorldStarHipHop founder Lee O’Denat dies at 43

    The WorldStarHipHop website grew from a place for music to a viral video phenomenon in the mid 2000s. In fact, its influence is still keenly being felt, as the website successfully transitioned to the social media era, covering African American and pop culture in general. Unfortunately, the website is left a little poorer this week with the news that founder Lee O'Denat died on Monday as a result of a heart attack. The news was first reported by TMZ overnight and confirmed by the hip-hop website in a statement across its social media accounts. "With profound sadness, WorldStarHipHop and its employees, state that Lee...

  • CIA goes public with huge online declassified database

    Everyone's favourite intelligence agency, the CIA, has today made 50 years' worth of its research archive available online. This includes the late batch of data from the past 25 years. The agency is required to release declassified files every quarter century, thanks to the Federal Records Act. Previously only accessible via a public terminal system in Maryland, the CIA has migrated the entire archive to the web, allowing practically everyone with a browser and internet connection to access them. Even you, Mr. Snowden. Dubbed CREST, the CIA's archive totals close to 12-million pages of declassified files including around 930 000 documents. And...

  • Chelsea Manning: WikiLeaks whistleblower to be released in May

    US President Barack Obama has commuted military whistleblower and Wikileaks source Chelsea Manning's prison sentence, marking the most notable commutation of his administration. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison after exposing potential war crimes and human rights abuses in the USA's war with Iraq. Arguably the most high-profile leak was 'Collateral Murder', being video footage of US Apache helicopter pilots gunning down war correspondents and other civilians. Manning's appellate lawyers Nancy Hollander and Vince Ward welcomed the news of her commutation. "Ms Manning is the longest serving whistleblower in the history of the United States," the two said in a statement...

  • Instagram Stories will soon get full-screen video ads

    If you're one of the 150-million people who use Instagram's Stories feature, you're in for a new surprise this year. Thanks to the feature's popularity, the company will soon feed advertising shorts into various users' Stories. These won't link to any site or app, but will also be easily skippable thanks to a close button in the clip's top right corner. The ads will span between five and 15 seconds in length. The company explained that now seems to be the perfect time to monetise the feature, as around "70% of Instagrammers" follow a business on the network. Users will soon see...

  • Webfluential: influencer firm to shutter agency operations

    Influencer marketing company Webfluential has confirmed that it will be shutting down its local agency operations, Memeburn has learnt. The news comes after Webfluential announced that it would be "increasing its local partnerships" in 2017. The company said that it would be offering a self-service platform for brands to manage campaigns. It added that for more complex campaigns, it has recruited "strategic partners". Webfluential also said that its existing account managers would be working from within these partners. However, a source has contacted Memeburn to dispute the claims. "As for their account managers that will be 'working from within the partners', they have told their whole...

  • Real-time interaction management: how can it benefit you?

    The ability to interact with consumers in real time was once the stuff of science fiction. Having the capability to see what customers are doing on a site or in an app at any given moment, or having a timestamp on when an email was opened (or deleted), is fairly technical but fascinating stuff. The technology to reach out and actually connect in real-time with consumers offers an even greater opportunity above and beyond delayed analytics for effective sales. This real-time interaction has the power to make a sale where one may have been abandoned in the past. So what is...

  • The one thing digital marketers don’t use enough

    There's a lot of room for interpretation in digital marketing, but there's one thing you absolutely cannot and should not leave out of your strategy: A/B split testing. A/B testing is the answer to all of your marketing woes and can quickly and effectively transform everything from content creation to web design. The Value of A/B Testing While you've certainly heard the term dozens of times, don't be ashamed if you find yourself asking, "What is A/B testing?". If you've never done split testing on your own, then you may be intimidated by the idea. However, with the right tools and understanding the...

  • Pornhub’s ‘Horny Little Christmas’ ad is more SFW than expected

    We've written quite a bit about Pornhub in the past, but not because of the actual site's content. Its Insights blog sheds some gloriously detailed analytics and statistics for the wider internet to gawk at. But when the site isn't curating numbers or building graphs, it's making hilarious advertisements for YouTube. This particular gem is a bit of a misleading one. It tells the story of a group of ordinary people scattered throughout a town all seemingly set to spend Christmas night alone, when suddenly Santa appears. What happens next is, well... surprisingly safe for work. The ad is ultimately punting the...

  • BS Detector: an add-on to detect fake news websites

    Fake news websites have enjoyed a surge in popularity thanks to social media, but truly exploded thanks to the US election. But how do you avoid being duped by them? Well, aside from following our tips and avoiding these websites, you can try using a browser add-on dubbed BS Detector. The extension, available on Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Safari and Microsoft Edge, simply alerts users to unreliable news sources. And it works across most webpages, such as Facebook or a general news/opinion article. "A browser extension for both Chrome and Mozilla-based browsers, BS Detector searches links on a given webpage for references...

  • After Trump win, internet to get Canadian mirror (kind of)

    The US election has forced tech companies and other entities to look closely at their operations, owing to the imminent Trump administration coming into power. At least one pivotal entity, the non-profit Internet Archive, has taken to creating an insurance policy in Canada, in the form of a mirror. The Internet Archive is behind the landmark Wayback Machine, a service which charts the internet's history and has already saved billions of URLs. The Wayback Machine sees between 300 million and 750 million webpages being saved every week, capturing old articles and forgotten websites. In other words, creating a mirror won't be a trivial task...