Amazon lost $5 billion in value after a sort-of accurate Trump tweet

All it took was 137 characters at 6:12 a.m. for Amazon’s valuation to drop more than $5 billion on Wednesday. Amazon is doing great damage to tax paying retailers. Towns, cities and states throughout the U.S. are being hurt – many jobs being lost! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 16, 2017 It wasn’t much of a … Continue reading “Amazon lost $5 billion in value after a sort-of accurate Trump tweet”

All it took was 137 characters at 6:12 a.m. for Amazon’s valuation to drop more than $5 billion on Wednesday.

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Sheryl Crow Wants You To Stop Ignoring Your Family And Start Singing Karaoke

The singer-songwriter is promoting an unusual music streaming box with a feature that lets you belt out your favorites in your living room.

When she’s not soaking up the sun or otherwise trying to have some fun, Sheryl Crow can reliably be found in one place: at home in Nashville, where she spends her days in the studio writing new songs and by night, unwinding at home with her two kids. But compared to the house the multi-Grammy-winning, lifelong musician was raised in, Crow’s place is a world apart: It’s way quieter.

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Mr. Mercedes Bot Lets You Chat With Killer

Daily Brief: “Organic Facebook reach has become awfully tricky the past few years as the company has worked to better match users with relevant content. To get more than even a small percentage of followers to see page posts these days, brands generally have to pay for it, though there is at least one realm within the social network where the give-and-take remains unfettered by algorithms and other mysterious things that would digitally divide us: Facebook Messenger.

“People are still using social but moving away from writing on each other’s walls,” said Anna-Lucy Terry, director of audience development for the Mistress agency. “The WhatsApps and the Facebook Messengers are overtaking the social platforms, and the ways in which people share information and talk to brands.”

Mistress recently developed a Facebook Messenger campaign for Audience network’s new thriller Mr. Mercedes that shows what can be done with the technology: A chat-bot experience that uses artificial intelligence to let users talk one-on-one with the show’s sadistic serial killer, Brady. It’s a fun and unique way for a viewer to engage with the show, but even better, once that viewer is hooked, it’s a direct and unfettered way for the show to engage back.”

See the full article in the Daily Brief here.

10 tips for writing simply — from our summer interns

Last Friday marked the end of another summer intern program at Siegel+Gale. While it’s always sad to see them go, we’re delighted that this year’s interns left us with 10 simple tips on how to implement our philosophy—simple is smart—in our writing.

“If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” – Blaise Pascal

Reel in your audience
The average person reads about 20% of the words on a page. Your headline and introduction should pull the reader in and keep their attention.

Pave the path to simple
Know what you aim to say before you try to say it. Spotify CMO Seth Farbman recommends “[prioritizing] simplicity as an outcome.”

Say less, show more
A short and descriptive sentence is worth more than a thousand boring words. And it’s a lot easier to read.

Precision creates simplicity
Find the exact word that conveys your meaning, instead of settling for many unspecific words. You aren’t cheating by using a thesaurus. It can help you find a shorter, more compelling phrase.

Write like you talk
You’re not a robot and neither is your reader. Write conversationally by using contractions and pronouns. It’s more engaging for the reader, and the writer.

Go beyond the paragraph
Formatting helps you simplify and prioritize information. Bullets and headlines highlight what’s important while visually breaking up the content so your reader has an easier time deciding what to read.

Why > What
Why our clients do something is much more important to their audiences than what our clients do. By tying actions to outcomes, you show that your ideas are purposeful.

Stay active
Passive voice leads to confusing, long-winded sentences. Keep your writing punchy and clear by always using the active voice.

Put the reader first
When you’re an expert on a topic, there’s a lot you could say. Think first about the reader to determine what’s most relevant to them.

Study up
Nobel Prize wining physicist Richard Feynman believed that if you can’t explain a topic simply, you don’t know it well enough. We happen to agree!

The post 10 tips for writing simply — from our summer interns appeared first on Siegel+Gale: Brand Consulting, Experience, Strategy, and Design.

ANA Pushes $50 Million Digital Media Pilot to Combat ‘Ad-Tech Tax’

After years of complaining about digital media fraud, brand safety and other problems, the Association of National Advertisers hopes to do something about it, starting a six-month pilot with what it hopes will be 35 marketers and more than $50 million in spending for 30 premium online publishers.

The goals include better measuring how much money ad-tech and other “middle players” are siphoning out of the digital media marketplace between advertisers and publishers.

Only 30 to 40 cents of every digital media dollar are estimated to actually reach publishers and result in an ad showing up, ANA CEO Bob Liodice said in a statement. The ad-tech companies that charge fees along the way argue that they add value by, for example, finding the right audiences or the best ad inventory. But the ANA sees much of those fees as a drag on marketers’ return, to say nothing of ad fraud that is hard to detect in all the complexity.

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Not Even Twitter Knows When Brands Should Stop Tweeting

You could take America’s temperature on Twitter, and sometimes it’s just too hot for marketing.

This week, for example, is proving to be a risky time for brands to use Twitter to share a silly meme, playfully “clap back” at a customer or riff on a made-up holiday. The platform has been filled with outrage and terrible news since white nationalists and supremacists clashed violently last Saturday with opponents in Charlottesville, Virginia, and President Donald Trump blamed “many sides.”

Of course, it’s hard for brands to know exactly when to steer clear. Even Twitter can get it wrong. Just look at how Twitter’s marketing team asked users on Tuesday how they’re spending “National Relaxation Day.”

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Marketer’s Brief: Hyundai’s New Pitch Is ‘Google, Start My Car’

Amazon’s private label small but surging

Amazon’s private-label program has been rising on the list of worries for marketers particularly the idea that Alexa will automatically steer orders to them. A new report by online sales tracking firm 1010data shows reason for concern but also how far Amazon has to go before its private labels pose threats akin to those of Walmart or even Kroger Co. Amazon Basics, the biggest private label, topped sales of $200 million in the first half, up 56% year over year. But compare that to Walmart and Kroger private labels such as Great Value and Private Selections, which are multi-billion-dollar brands, though the retailers don’t provide precise numbers. Most Amazon private-label sales are in electronics, led by Echo, whose sales double year over year, according to 1010data.

Very superstitious

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Cloudflare And Squarespace Terminate Hate Sites In Another Tech About-Face

For Cloudflare, long steadfast in its neutrality, the decision about one site was simple, said the CEO: “the people behind the Daily Stormer are assholes and I’d had enough.”

Squarespace and Cloudflare are the latest digital platforms to shift their approach to right-wing websites in the wake of violence in Charlottesville.

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Apple Plans $1 Billion Investment in TV Shows and Films

Apple plans to spend about $1 billion on original programming in the next 12 months, intensifying efforts to compete with Amazon and Netflix in video streaming, according to people familiar with the plan.

A new Los Angeles-based team, led by former Sony TV executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who were hired in June, will produce and buy television shows and films for Apple Music and other future video streaming products, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are private. The Wall Street Journal reported the new budget earlier Wednesday. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

Apple has accelerated its push into video over the past year as it seeks to double revenue by 2020 from its services business, which includes products such as Apple Music and the App Store. It released the reality shows “Planet of the Apps” in June and “Carpool Karaoke” earlier this month. Executive Jimmy Iovine told Bloomberg News in April that Apple would release as many as 10 original shows by the end of the year.

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