Our Take: This Week in the News

culture Posted on Jul 17, 2018

Prioritizing the Year in Social

With the summer nearly halfway through, we think it’s a good time to take stock of the social landscape and how it’s evolved into 2018. Accordingly, the team has been appreciating the discussion among our peers in this digital roundtable about social priorities at Forbes.

Social's in an interesting place, in that it’s been around long enough to mature through multiple generations, yet many brands still cling to traditional marketing outlooks and struggle to leverage social media effectively. We found ourselves agreeing with the general consensus that it’s well past time to focus on digital venues and related community-building.

In our own house discussions, the social team has particularly highlighted the need to spark engagement with compelling next-generation storytelling, then use that momentum to build the sort of community equity that drives long-term value. We’re looking forward to finding new ways to create genuine audience connections through tech and video, like our Deep Eddy Vodka campaign.

Facebook Preps Holiday AR

Continuing our game-planning for the rest of the year, we’re excited about Facebook’s rollout of a bevy of new AR features that it plans to continue building out in preparation for next season’s holiday advertising. The platform is currently testing in-feed AR ads with a few trial brands, and we can’t wait to get our hands on the new tools once they’re ready.

In the meantime, we’ll be busying ourselves with the concurrently announced Video Creation Kit, which aims to make it even easier for brands to create mobile-friendly ads and other video assets. We expect this to be a great way to add some nimble energy to campaigns, and will be keeping our eyes on opportunities to leverage the new tools for our brands.

The Blockchain Rollout Accelerates

Though 2017 was the Year of Blockchain where pre-release hype is concerned, it’s taken a bit of time for product offerings to ramp up to speed. A year later, the media team has been monitoring the continued rollout of those promised products, and we’re excited by what we’re seeing.

Ad buying is the area with the most established momentum currently, since the New York Interactive Advertising Exchange has been in full operation for most of the year and continues to grab attention for its NASDAQ-style approach to the field.

Comcast has been aiming for similar disruption with its Blockchain Insights Platform for ad management and strategy, and since the effort is in partnership with NBC Universal and Disney, we’re expecting it to become a notable player by year’s end.

There’s also a lot of energy in the start-up end of the sector, with adChain—a verification and anti-fraud suite—recently getting a $3 million funding boost toward its development.

Taken altogether, we think this is a great sign of blockchain’s core strength so far: data leveraging, verification, and flexibility. We’ll definitely be monitoring developments to see how blockchain might produce even more tools to optimize ad creation and spending activity as the year comes to a close.

The Importance of Professional Communities

And finally, the programming team has enjoyed Jenny Wong’s recent appearance at the PHP UK Conference 2018, where she takes a deep (and often hilarious) dive into the world of intra-industry socializing and collaboration. With more programming-oriented events popping up every month around the world, we’re loving the new air of camaraderie in the field, and are looking forward to finding new ways to contribute to our own professional communities going forward.