Brands Brief: Digital Ad Spending Climbed to Record High in Q3

Top Stories

  • Digital ad spending climbed to a record high in the third quarter of 2016, with U.S. advertisers spending $17.6 billion — a 20 percent increase from the same period in 2015. (Marketing Land)
  • A&E cancelled its docu-series on the Ku Klux Klan, citing ethical concerns after finding out some KKK members were paid by “third-party producers” for their participation. The move follows public backlash against the network’s initial plan to broadcast the program. (Deadline)
  • Kathy Chen, Twitter Inc.’s managing director for China, said she’s leaving the company, after less than a year in her role. The move continues a string of high-level departures at the social media firm. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • While Americans are optimistic about 2017, they are still concerned about the state of the nation’s political atmosphere, according to a recent poll. (Morning Consult)

Chart Review

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

No events scheduled
No events scheduled
Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas 8 a.m.
Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas 7 a.m.


Advertising and Marketing

Amazon says 2016 holiday season ‘best-ever’
Sruthi Ramakrishnan, Reuters Inc said it had its best-ever holiday season, shipping more than one billion items worldwide through its Prime membership program. The Amazon Echo home assistant and its smaller version, Echo Dot, topped the best-sellers list, the company said.

The top 10 most-viewed ads on YouTube in 2016
Hannah Roberts, Business Insider

Here’s the official list from Google of the most-viewed YouTube ads in 2016. The number one spot, Mobile Strike’s Super Bowl commercial featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger, racked up more than 100 million views.

Advertising’s Moral Struggle: Is Online Reach Worth the Hurt?
Sapna Maheshwari, The New York Times

Advertising on the internet has never been easier. Data and automation increasingly allow companies large and small to reach millions of people every month, and to tailor ads to specific groups based on their browsing habits or demographics.

Alibaba Enlists Brands to Help Snuff Out Knockoffs
Liza Lin, The Wall Street Journal

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., facing U.S. criticism over the presence of counterfeit and pirated goods on its online shopping platforms, said it would establish an advisory board of brands and trade associations to help protect intellectual property. An Alibaba spokesman said Friday that the company would work with representatives from international brands and smaller enterprises in the U.S. and elsewhere to help stamp out sellers of knockoff goods.

Snapchat’s New Targeting Tools Could Help Improve Ad Results
Garett Sloane, Advertising Age

Snapchat is making upgrades to its ad technology so that advertisers can better target their messages, and perhaps increase the amount of time people spend with their ads. The messaging app recently introduced what it calls “goal-based bidding,” which gives advertisers more options when buying through its ad platform.

Samsung, Hyundai Motor see growing uncertainties in 2017
Youkyung Lee, The Associated Press

Chiefs of Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor said Monday their businesses would face increased uncertainties due to growing protectionism. Samsung Vice Chair Kwon Oh-hyun urged employees in a new year’s speech to reform the company by strengthening quality control as growth slows in its key markets and trade protectionism increases uncertainties in the economy and politics.

How Hotel Companies Launch a New Brand
Andrea Petersen, The Wall Street Journal

Baltimore—Hotel company executive Alan Fuerstman is standing in a mahogany- and brass-adorned model hotel room here debating whether guests staying in outposts of his new brand, Pendry, should be provided slippers in their rooms. Slippers or no slippers? Turndown service or no? Bathtub or shower only? These are just a few of the decisions that need to be made when launching a new hotel brand.

Gwen Stefani For Revlon: New Global Ambassador For Makeup Brand
Dory Larrabee, Hollywood Life

Gwen Stefani and her iconic red lip revealed that she is the new global brand ambassador for Revlon in an Instagram video posted on January 2. Congrats, Gwen Stefani! Revlon posted a video on their Instagram on January 2, writing: “Starting 2017 with a whole lot of love — and an announcement you don’t want to miss. #RevlonXGwen #ChooseLove.”

Media and Entertainment

Alibaba entertainment affiliate to invest over $7.2 billion over next three years
Cate Cadell, Reuters

Alibaba Digital Media and Entertainment Group, the entertainment affiliate of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, plans to invest more than 50 billion yuan ($7.2 billion) over the next three years, the affiliate’s chief executive said. In an internal email seen by Reuters and confirmed by an Alibaba group spokeswoman, the affiliate’s new CEO Yu Yongfu pledged to invest in content, saying “he didn’t come to play.”

ESPN Taps Lil Jon for NBA Saturday Primetime Campaign
Zach Frydenlund, Complex

It’s 2017, which means that season two of ESPN’s NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC is almost here. In fact, the games officially return on Jan. 21 with a matchup between the world champion Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs.

Social Media and Technology

Twitter China Chief Kathy Chen Departs
Eva Dou, The Wall Street Journal

Twitter Inc.’s controversial China chief has departed after only eight months, the latest executive to leave amid a global reorganization. A stream of executives has left the company since it announced layoffs in October amid continued losses.

Twitter Says It Inflated Video Ad Views, Refunded Clients
Sarah Frier, Bloomberg News

Twitter Inc. discovered a software bug that overstated how often video ads were viewed on Android phones, the latest snafu to shake faith in the measurement of digital advertising. The company issued refunds to some clients who ran video ads on the Twitter Android app from Nov. 7 to Dec. 12.

Forbes launches a Snapchat popup channel on Discover
Lucia Moses, Digiday

Forbes is using Snapchat to reveal part of its “30 under 30” list of influential entrepreneurs, marking the first time the publisher is releasing one of its major franchises on a social network ahead of its own property. Yesterday Forbes published about half the 30 names, including Margot Robbie, Simone Biles and Von Miller, on a popup channel on Snapchat’s Discover section.

Google and Chrysler use Android to revamp the in-car touchscreen
Jordan Golson, The Verge

Google and Fiat Chrysler (FCA) have worked together to build a new infotainment system on top of Android, the companies announced ahead of the beginning of CES today. The project combines FCA’s UConnect infotainment system with Android 7.0 Nougat.

Is Trump’s Twitter future @realDonaldTrump or @POTUS? Probably both
Tom Kludt, CNN

Donald Trump’s tweets have provided fodder for his adversaries, fuel for his supporters and — at times — frustration for a news media still not quite sure how to cover this president-elect. And his new top spokesman says you can expect a lot more of them, possibly from multiple fronts.

PR and Communications

A&E Cancels KKK Docu-Series Citing Ethical Violations
Ross A. Lincoln, Deadline

Following a week of outrage over the upcoming Ku Klux Klan docu-series that has already prompted a change to the show’s title, A&E has cancelled Escaping The KKK, citing serious ethical concerns. The network disclosed today that “third-party producers” had paid for access to at least some of the people who participated in the docuseries, which was billed as an in-depth look inside America’s oldest hate group.

Parents Peeved Their Kids’ Hatchimals Are Cursing Up A Storm
David Moye, The Huffington Post

The Christmas season’s hottest toy may also have the foulest mouth. As you may have heard, Hatchimals, a Furby-like toy featuring bird-like creatures that hatch from eggs, were the rage with kids.

Corporate Social Responsibility

How Your Company Can Meaningfully Improve Diversity In 2017
Cale Guthrie Weissman, Fast Company

In recent years, many companies have been emphasizing their dedication to diversity. But what does that really mean? If we look at Silicon Valley, whose diversity numbers continue to be shaky, saying doesn’t necessarily mean doing.

Opinions, Editorials, Perspectives and Research

Report: US advertisers spent $17.6 billion on digital ads in Q3
Greg Sterling, Marketing Land

According to IAB data out today, US advertisers spent $17.6 billion on digital ads in Q3. The trade organization said this was “the highest third quarter for digital advertising spending on record, and represents a 20 percent increase over the same time period in 2015.”

New Year, New Worries: How Americans Feel About 2017
Laura Nichols, Morning Consult

Seventy-two percent of people said they are feeling hopeful about 2017, and 50 percent said they’re anxious, according to a new Morning Consult poll. People are putting a lot of stock in leaving behind 2016, too – 51 percent of people said they’re excited about 2017, compared to 23 percent who said they’re sad and 19 percent who feel angry about the new year.

10 Digital Media and Marketing Predictions for 2017
Kimberlee Morrison, Adweek

2016 has been a year of shifts in social media, technology and digital marketing. Influencer marketing went mainstream, the internet became all about video and every digital marketer is looking for a way to connect business outcomes to their social media efforts.

Some keys to getting your brand known in new markets
Mike Hoffman, Star Tribune

First, know what you mean by brand. Many entrepreneurial online companies endeavor to define their brand by their look, their logo, if they have one, or the appearance of their website landing page.