• BURN MEDIA
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

Ads & Marketing

  • Sanlam debuts SA’s first WhatsApp drama in novel marketing campaign

    We've seen social media used extensively as the vehicle for performance art, but what about less image-heavy services like WhatsApp? Arriving via a clever marketing campaign by Sanlam, South African drama series Uk’shona Kwelanga (or The Death of Langa) is set to debut on the Facebook-owned chat app next month. Yes, a drama series made exclusively for WhatsApp. According to the press release, the show "tells the tale of a South African family struggling to deal with the emotional and financial ramifications of loss while planning their father's funeral". The screenplay is penned by Bongi Ndaba (previous head writer of Generations) while a...

  • McDonald’s ‘Dad’ ad trends on YouTube again after global backlash

    When Pepsi suggested that its product could solve the world's problems with the help of Kendall Jenner, you might've thought it would be the most ridiculed brand of the year. But nope. McDonald's just joined that competition. The global fast food company this week pulled an advertisement it first aired on 12 May, featuring a boy and his mother chatting about the former's dead father. Although the ad is well filmed, adequately paced and genuinely touching, McDonald's too makes the mistake Pepsi made, suggesting that a Happy Meal (or in this case, a filet-o-fish) can help you forget about dead loved...

  • WordPress debuts new TV ads in limited trial run

    Content publishing platform WordPress has this week debuted its first television advertisements. This is the first push in the company's larger marketing budget for 2017. WordPress co-founder and CEO of Automattic Matt Mullenweg noted that the company will be increasing its public advertising, presumably to compete against the likes of Wix and Squarespace. On his personal blog, he also explained that the company still has "lots to learn" in the television advertising space. "There is lots to learn and much to follow, but we have our first TV ads up in six markets to test. Each shares a story of a business...

  • Facebook knows when teens are vulnerable, then targets them with ads

    "Don't be evil" is a common phrase uttered by Google executives, but we can't help but think Facebook should perhaps adopt it too. A 23-page document, which sheds some light on Facebook's more sinister algorithm and advertising practices, was leaked Monday and obtained by online paper The Australian (paywall). Later picked up by news.com.au, the document reveals how Facebook Australia and New Zealand employed the hive of user data it gathers to help advertisers better promote campaigns. And no, it's not just talking about age, location or preference in pizza toppings. The document notes that the social network can target teenagers as...

  • Google doesn’t want you using adblockers, so its building its own

    Google's wildly popular Chrome browser could soon feature its own adblocker, according to sources quoted by the WSJ. "People familiar with the company's plans" suggest that this adblocker, built by Google itself, won't function entirely like uBlock or AdBlock Plus which allows users to block all ads on demand. Instead, it will filter ads that don't meet Google's specific criteria. The criteria, outlined in the Initial Better Ads Standards, deem around 12 current advertising systems and techniques to be unsuitable and downright annoying for users. Pre-content pop-ups, ads that just won't stop playing or shutting up, or ads that stick to...

  • Burger King’s ‘Connected Whopper’ ad is genius, but Google doesn’t agree

    Burger King just couldn't let Pepsi and United steal all the attention this week, could it? The fast food chain published an advertisement this week, touting the "fresh ingredients" included in its Whopper burger. Sounds fair right? Sure. But as the employee notes in the ad itself, 15 seconds is hardly enough time to sell a product. Burger King solved this by using seven sneaky but utterly brilliant words: "Okay Google, what is the Whopper burger?" This short line activated any Google Home devices within earshot of the ad, and read aloud the Wikipedia page for the burger. Some people labeled the ad intrusive...

  • Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi ad has gone viral for all the wrong reasons

    Update, 6 April, 10.00am: Pepsi has since issued an apology and removed the advert from circulation. pic.twitter.com/I21nQl68cY — Pepsi™ (@pepsi) April 5, 2017 Many believed the apology to Kendall Jenner -- rather than activists at large -- to be a misstep. @pepsi @KendallJenner Apology to Kendall = ridiculous. Like screenwriter apologizing to actor for being in bad movie after reading script. — Sidaya "Sid" (@SidayaSherwood) April 5, 2017 @pepsi In your next apology, I suggest you apologize to victims of police brutality and those who *actually* protest such atrocities... — Brandy Reese (@blreese) April 5, 2017 Jenner has not yet issued a statement. Original article: Pepsi has long been known...

  • Marvel’s The Defenders’ clever trailer is a video marketing treasure hunt

    Netflix seems to be loving clue-riddled trailers, and no one is complaining. In the latest teaser for the upcoming Marvel's The Defenders series, viewers are allowed their first look at Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist together and working as a team. And this isn't all Netflix has gifted. In the teaser, the gang wait in an elevator before Jessica Jones realises a CCTV camera is watching them. She immediately destroys it. But hidden in the seemingly innocuous teaser are two clues to the new series. Marvel's The Defenders' first trailer is a smart bit of video marketing The first is a...

  • Periscope live streams will now feature YouTube-like ads

    After news broke this week that Twitter is mulling a possible paid tier of TweetDeck, the company this week announced a new advertising format for Periscope. The social network will begin to show pre-roll advertisements on the live broadcasting service videos similar to YouTube's pre-video ads. This means that users wanting to watch a clip on Twitter's video streaming service will need to sit through an advertisement first. "Today, we’re introducing a new opportunity for publishers and creators to monetize their content, and for brands to advertise against it, with pre-roll ads on Periscope video within Twitter," the company announced. "Pre-roll ads...

  • Facebook’s new feature will turn it into a digital shopping mall

    In its never-ending quest to connect the world and make loads of cash doing it, Facebook has today announced a new shopping advertising format dubbed Collection that will helps brands showcase products on mobile. And yes, only mobile. "Mobile has reshaped how people discover, learn and ultimately buy from businesses," the company writes in an update. "People are also watching more videos on mobile, and shoppers want to see products as they exist in the real world—but they also expect fast-loading, seamless experiences when they discover and buy on mobile." The company's solution to this is to allow brands to tell their own...

  • Artificial intelligence: how is AI changing marketing?

    2017 is set to be the year of artificial intelligence (AI). With companies such as Amazon Web Services offering AI on tap -- including image recognition and natural language understanding -- an increasing number of machine learning powered services will be finding their way to the consumer. Those involved in marketing and retail might have already seen offerings filter through, with the following pointing the way the AI winds are blowing. Elementary, my dear In the world of AI, Watson is one of the best-known names out there. Built by IBM, this computer system is able to learn from massive amounts of...

  • The Bookmarks 2017: here are the winners

    In case you weren't anywhere near Twitter or Sandton last night, the 2017 and ninth edition of The Bookmarks took place last night. The IAB Bookmark Awards (as it is more formally known) is known in the digital industry for "rewarding excellence in digital and recognising the powerful impact interactive has on the overall marketing mix". You could call it the SAMAs of the digital industry. "South Africa’s top talent and most memorable campaigns were recognised, illustrating how far the digital industry has come and laying the path for future innovation," IAB writes in a press release. So, who won? Memeburn and Creative Spark...

  • Lancewood cheeses Facebook Messenger bots to bring you novel recipes

    Humans have been sending other humans emoji for thousands of years now, so it's only right that the system should be used by brands. Speaking of which, South African cheese brand Lancewood has announced a nifty little marketing campaign relating to its Ultimate Braai Master partnership. Dubbed Lancewood Emoji Meals, the company's using a Facebook Messenger bot and your choice of emoji to receive related recipes featuring one of the company's products. "By sending a food Emoji to LANCEWOOD®’s Facebook page via private message, the Bot instantly responds with a recipe or tip related to the Emoji. As an example, Clarissa...

  • 13% of South Africans use ad-blocking – study

    A new report by Effective Measure has found that 13% of South Africans use ad-blocking software. The study saw 2987 respondents being surveyed from December 2016 to January 2017, Effective Measure wrote in an emailed release to Memeburn. As for the reasons why people use ad-blockers? Well, there aren't any surprises here... "The report reveals that the top reasons why ad blockers are used by consumers are because of the disruptive, annoying and overwhelming number of advertisements. Security and speed were also common concerns." How does South Africa's figure compare to ad-blocker usage in the USA and Australia? Well, 26% of people...

  • 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...