Brands Brief: Apple’s Focus on Augmented Reality Offers New Tools for Brands

Top Stories

  • Companies looking for new ways to market to younger consumers are likely to take notice of Apple’s new twist on augmented reality called Animoji, which lets users create animated emoji messages that reflect their actual facial expressions and voices. (Adweek)
  • AT&T Inc. is extending its offer of free HBO access to users of its cheapest unlimited data plan. Starting Friday, new and existing customers on the $60-per-month Unlimited Choice plan will get HBO at no additional cost, and for another $10 per month they can get access to AT&T’s DirecTV Now online video package of about 60 cable channels, which usually retails for $35. (Fortune)
  • The British unit of the global public relations agency Bell Pottinger was put into administration, a form of creditor protection, after its clients deserted it over a racially charged political campaign it ran in South Africa. (Reuters)

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Events Calendar (All Times Local)

American Marketing Association annual conference 7:30 a.m.
Digital Summit Detroit 8:30 a.m.
PAC workshop on working with Trump administration 10 a.m.
ANA webinar on valued content programs 1 p.m.
Confluence Conference 7:30 a.m.
PRSA workshop on virtual reality storytelling technologies 8 a.m.
Agents of Change Digital Marketing Conference 8 a.m.
PAC workshop on building a political involvement program 1:30 p.m.
Agents of Change Digital Marketing Conference 7:30 a.m.
Confluence Conference 8 a.m.

This Is the Future of Brand Reputation Tracking

See how Morning Consult Brand Intelligence is changing the way media, marketing and communications executives are managing brand reputation.


Anna Kendrick Pitches Hulu in TV Ad Campaign
Todd Spangler, Variety

Hulu has looped in “Pitch Perfect” star Anna Kendrick to be its new pitchwoman. The subscription internet TV service is reintroducing itself to viewers who may not be aware that Hulu now offers live TV in addition to on-demand content — with Kendrick serving as its first celebrity spokesperson in five years.

Nespresso focuses on its farmers rather than George Clooney for latest campaign
Leonie Roderick, Marketing Week

Nespresso is launching its first ever above the line campaign around its sustainability efforts, as the brand insists it is not an “opportunistic” campaign but a long-term strategy. ‘The choices we make’ campaign, which launches today (12 September) and was created by JWT, features a 60-second TV film and will also run across digital and print media.

Amazon highlights new Thursday Night Football package with Bears and Packers docu-style ad
Kyle O’Brien, The Drum

To help get customers excited about watching Thursday Night Football on Amazon, a campaign was created focused on the literal side of who will be playing, starting with the Bears and Packers streaming live September 28 on Amazon.

How Wonderful Pistachios’ new football-focused campaign is evolving the brand’s social strategy
Ilyse Liffreing, Digiday

Wonderful Pistachios launched its largest football-related campaign to date on Sept 10. “Put a Smile in Your Snackface” is a series of short, darkly comedic spots for social and TV that feature Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews describing people who are leading unfortunate lives, but can also manage smiles after eating Wonderful Pistachios.

Inside NASCAR’s 2017 ‘Playoff Driver Stories’ Ad Campaign
Maury Brown, Forbes

With the 16 drivers set for the NASCAR playoffs that will occur over the next 10 weeks, the sanctioning body for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship has rolled out a new multi-platform ad campaign featuring unscripted driver stories as well as related creatives from Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota.

How SSPs use deceptive price floors to squeeze ad buyers
Ross Benes, Digiday

Header bidding is unloading a symphony of destruction on ad tech, and supply-side platforms are adjusting by jacking up their price floors in hidden ways. Rather than setting price floors as a flat fee upfront, some SSPs are setting high price floors after their bids come in as a way to squeeze out more money from ad buyers who believe they are bidding into a second-price auction, which is where the second-highest bid determines the price the impression gets sold for.

Media and Entertainment

AT&T Expands Free HBO Offer to More Customers
Aaron Pressman, Fortune

AT&T expanded its free HBO offer to customers on its cheapest unlimited data plan just ahead of Apple’s new iPhone announcements on Tuesday. The added attraction on AT&T’s $60-per-month Unlimited Choice plan comes as the wireless market is likely to get a lot more competitive in the next few weeks with the carriers battling to woo each other’s customers with deals on Apple’s latest phones.

TV Ratings: ‘Sunday Night Football’ Returns Up, ‘The Orville’ Opens Solid
Kate Stanhope, The Hollywood Reporter

The Dallas Cowboys-New York Giants game drew an impressive 8.0 rating among in the demo. After a major delay due to Hurricane Irma, Nielsen finally issued ratings midday Tuesday for Sunday’s primetime offerings.

Comcast’s X1 set-top box gets a YouTube app with voice control
Lizzie Plaugic, The Verge

This past winter, Comcast announced that its set-top box, Xfinity X1, would be getting an integrated YouTube app later in the year. Today, the app launches for customers in the US, who will be able to control YouTube with the X1’s voice remote.

UK cites Fox News as hurdle to Rupert Murdoch’s Sky deal
David Bond, Financial Times

Concerns over broadcasting standards at Fox News have prompted the UK culture secretary to widen the scope of an investigation into 21st Century Fox’s bid to seize full control of Sky, plunging Rupert Murdoch’s £11.7bn takeover into fresh uncertainty.

Nina Garcia Will Run Elle
Matthew Schneier, The New York Times

Nina Garcia will be the next editor of Elle magazine, Hearst announced Tuesday morning. Until now the creative director of Marie Claire magazine, Ms. Garcia has a name and a tart take on style known to millions in her capacity as a longtime judge on “Project Runway.”

Social Media and Technology

Facebook brings its Canvas ad format to Instagram Stories
Anthony Ha, TechCrunch

Instagram is announcing several new features for advertisers today. The biggest is probably the expansion of the Canvas ad format to Instagram Stories (which supposedly reach 250 million people daily).

Facebook’s Revamped Ads Manager Will Include Features From Power Editor
David Cohen, Adweek

The social network announced Tuesday that starting this week, it will roll out an updated Ads Manager interface, which advertisers will see where they previously accessed Ads Manager or Power Editor, and the new interface will include Power Editor’s ad creating and editing features.

Facebook is spending millions on original shows, but its users prefer the silly viral videos
Ashley Rodriguez, Quartz

Facebook is spending lavishly on TV-like originals for its new Watch platform to show publishers what’s possible on the platform. But, so far, users are still gravitating toward the kind of short, viral clips that have been on Facebook for ages.

Twitter Names Facebook Vet As Head of Content Partnerships
Andrew Wallenstein, Variety

Kay Madati, executive VP of digital media at BET, is headed over to Twitter as its new head of content partnerships. He is stepping into a new role broader than the position held by Ross Hoffman, who stepped down from his post leading the media team in May after seven years at the company.

PR and Marketing

Apple’s New Animojis Are the Latest Sign That Brands Need to Embrace Augmented Reality
Christopher Heine, Adweek

The tech giant is pushing AR marketing to the forefront.

Bell Pottinger’s British business folds after South Africa scandal
Kate Holton, Reuters

Bell Pottinger’s British arm collapsed on Tuesday after the global public relations agency ran a racially-charged political campaign in South Africa that prompted a client exodus.

Allstate’s Chief Marketing Officer Sanjay Gupta Steps Down After 5 Years
Patrick Coffee, Adweek

America’s largest publicly held insurance company has abruptly parted ways with its marketing chief. Sanjay Gupta, the former Ally Financial executive who had been chief marketing officer at Allstate for the past five years, is no longer in that role as of today.

Hilton reorganizes comms teams, hires Disney’s Craig Dezern as head of brand comms
Sean Czarnecki, PR Week

The hotel giant is consolidating its teams to reflect the ambitions of a global brand that wants to resonate in local markets.

Tim Sutton to become CEO of EMEA at Weber Shandwick
Danny Rogers, PR Week

Weber Shandwick, the world’s second biggest PR consultancy, has handed Tim Sutton the role of CEO for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Pirch, the Chain Cited as a Retail Savior, Will Shut Most Stores
Lindsey Rupp, Bloomberg

Pirch, a high-end appliance and kitchen chain that’s been lauded for its innovative retail experiences, is planning to shutter most of its locations as it overhauls operations. The business, known for its in-store chefs and try-before-you-buy ethos, is refocusing on its profitable stores in California, a representative said in an emailed statement.

Givenchy launches new ecommerce platform
Simon Gwynn, Campaign

French fashion house Givenchy has created a new site ahead of the launch of the first ready-to-wear collection from new artistic director Clare Waight Keller. Visitors to the site, created by R/GA London, are greeted with images from Keller’s first campaign for Givenchy, “Transformation seduction”, shot by photographer Steven Meisel.

Issa Rae Is the New Face of CoverGirl
Ashley Weatherford, The Cut

Issa Rae catapulted into stardom with her web series, Awkward, but now an easy, breezy partnership is headed her way. CoverGirl announced today that Rae has joined the makeup company as its latest brand ambassador.

End of an era: Amazon’s 1-click buying patent finally expires
Shareen Pathak, Digiday

Get your pointer fingers ready: Amazon’s one-click buying process, patented by the Seattle-based company back in the heady days of 1999, expired on Tuesday. And retailers, which until now have either had to not use one-click buying or pay Amazon licensing fees to do so, might be looking to capitalize.

Opinions, Editorials, Perspectives and Research

eMarketer Lowers US TV Ad Spend Estimate as Cord-Cutting Accelerates

This year, US TV ad investment will expand just 0.5% to $71.65 billion, a figure down from the $72.72 billion predicted in our Q1 forecast for 2017. As a result, TV’s share of total media ad spending in the US will drop to 34.9%, and is expected to fall below 30% by 2021.

4 Consumer Trends That Are Revolutionizing Content Consumption
Giselle Abramovich, Adobe

Digital, mobile, social, and emerging technologies, such as virtual reality and voice, have sparked a marked shift in consumer behavior, particularly among the under 35 crew. New research from Adobe Digital Insights has bubbled up four important consumer behaviors that M&E companies are advised to factor into their plans.

Why movie marketing and distribution need to change to keep up with digital rivals
Ben Johnson, The Drum

More product, more competition, higher cost, lower engagement. No one in their right mind thinks that making a movie and launching it commercially is easy, but the rate and speed at which that difficulty is growing is terrifying.

How Calculated Was Vans’ Newfound Chicness?
Dhani Mau, Fashionista

From Adidas Stan Smiths to (maybe) New Balance 990s, it seems that every season, fashion collectively decides to resurrect another classic, old-school sneaker with which to accessorize both their on- and off-duty outfits. And one brand that has enjoyed a notably long run in this trend cycle is Vans.

Lessons from L’Oréal: the rewards and responsibilities of brand diversity strategy
Matthew Waksman, Campaign

As L’Oréal find themselves at the centre of a racism storm with the influencer they hired to increase their relevance now actively campaigning against them, it makes us think about the key things brands need to be aware of when thinking about their diversity strategy.