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Ads & Marketing

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • Google wants to make annoying mobile interstitials a thing of the past

    Google has announced that it will soon revamp its mobile search functionality to better aid users on their journey through the web. This improvement comes in two major forms. Firstly, the company announced that it will shed its "mobile-friendly" label from websites altogether, thanks to the steady growth of mobile web traffic. The company notes that it found "85% of all pages in the mobile search results now meet this criteria". The removal of the label serves to reduce clutter, but will remain as a ranking signal. Secondly, and perhaps the change with the the biggest update, is its treatment of websites...

  • Kansas City Diaries: the 3 new rules for social video

    Kansas City Diaries is an exclusive article series by Natalie Pool as she goes undercover at VML’s global agency headquarters in Kansas City, USA, to find out how organic search, Snapchat and other technologies are changing the advertising and marketing industry. Just when you get comfortable with social video, the rules change. Here are three that aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Don’t sacrifice quality for speed “There is an expectation of the quality of work a brand puts out,” says Director of Integrated Production, Scott Stone, who heads up VML’s internal production team, Vault. “Regardless of the channel it goes on, video should...

  • South Africa’s Quirk rebrands as Mirum

    One of South Africa's largest digital agencies, WPP-owned Quirk, has today announced that it is rebranding to Mirum. The move comes after the company joined the New York-based J. Walter Thompson Company chain, alongside Lebanese agency Cleartag and UK agency HeathWallace. These three companies will form the base of Mirum's Middle East and African operations. The rebrand also sees a shuffle in management. Quirk founder and long-term CEO Rob Stokes -- who Memeburn understands resigned from Quirk two months ago* -- takes on a role as chairperson in the newly-branded agency. Current Quirk MD James McKay will operate as Mirum's local CEO,...

  • Kansas City Diaries: the art of organic search

    Kansas City Diaries is an exclusive article series by Natalie Pool as she goes undercover at VML's global agency headquarters in Kansas City, USA, to find out how organic search, Snapchat and other technologies are changing the advertising and marketing industry. At the heart of many digital agencies is a Paid Search department. But how many agencies and brands give Organic Search the love and attention it deserves? Not that many in South Africa, is almost certainly the right answer. VML’s headquarters in Kansas City is one such company whose Organic Search team is growing and slowly taking over the world...

  • Are South African brands ready for augmented reality?

    Although augmented reality (AR) technology is not new, it is only now beginning to gain the attention of media and marketing professionals. The big question remains: Are South African CMOs ready to include AR into their brand strategies? AR has moved away from its early days when it was reliant on expensive, specialised hardware. The rapid adoption of smartphones and even faster evolution of their AR capabilities means that AR is now well within reach of the average South African. However, CMOs who choose to go the AR route without integrating it into their holistic brand delivery strategy will miss out...