With Nick Bell out, publishers lose a longtime Snapchat ally


Nick Bell, Snapchat’s media matchmaker, is leaving the company, a departure that will be felt throughout the publishing world that worked closely with the executive. Bell was one of the early members of Snapchat’s team of rising stars, joining the company five years ago when it needed to develop a new business model for media on mobile devices.

Bell was the vice president of content at Snapchat, but more than the title he was the face of the company for the publishers and studios that wanted to create inside the app. Bell was seen as one of CEO Evan Spiegel’s top lieutenants, and able to advocate for media partners trying to tap into Snapchat’s young audience.

Snapchat has been reshuffling its decks of late, and just lost Imran Khan as chief strategy officer. Khan left officially this month, and is set to launch his own mobile e-commerce venture.

Continue reading at AdAge.com

Why drugs (not the fun kind) are making it rain at your favorite sitcom


If you were among the 12.6 million viewers who tuned in for the Nov. 1 episode of CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory,” you may have noticed a brief commercial that aired at about the midway point. Featuring a determined-looking middle-aged woman who hops out of a cab that’s been stymied by afternoon Brooklyn traffic, the 15-second spot is for Eli Lilly’s new cancer drug, Verzenio.

Within the context of the episode’s rapid-fire jokes about Amish barn-raisings, toddlers wearing soiled diapers on their heads and the perils of academic grant allocations, the Verzenio ad is somewhat jarring. “Metastatic breast cancer is trying to stop mebut not today,” the actress intones as she rushes to collect her granddaughter from school. The short spot ends with a call to action, prompting interested viewers to seek out additional information about the drug at TreatMBC.com, which redirects to Lilly’s Verzenio page.

If an ad touting a compound designed to treat advanced-stage breast cancer seems somewhat out of place amid the quips and groaners supplied by “The Big Bang Theory,” Verzenio is hardly an outlier. Among the pharmaceutical products that have bought time this season in TV’s most-watched comedy are the rheumatoid arthritis drugs Enbrel and Xeljanz; Lyrica, a remedy prescribed for the treatment of neuropathy; and Trulicity, a once-weekly dose designed to combat type 2 diabetes.

Continue reading at AdAge.com

Watch the newest ads on TV from Nissan, T-Mobile, Macy’s and more


Every weekday we bring you the Ad Age/iSpot Hot Spots, new TV commercials tracked by iSpot.tv, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention and conversion analytics from more than eight million smart TVs. The ads here ran on national TV for the first time over the weekend.

A few highlights: Tim Tebow and Marcus Mariota face off in a “nice-valry” at the Nissan Heisman House. Macy’s wants you to “Believe in the wonder of giving,” per the tagline of its latest holiday-shopping-themed ad. And timed to Veterans Day, T-Mobile calls attention to its military discount program.

Continue reading at AdAge.com

Changing Careers at 31

Last year, at the age of 30, I decided to follow my dream and switch careers into advertising. After many years of analyzing commercials for fun, and quoting lines from What Women Want, I beat my chest and enrolled in the account planning boot camp with The Portfolio Center at Miami Ad School in Atlanta.

During that first weekend, when it was my turn to introduce myself to our instructors, I began to rattle off a list of education, jobs, and activities spanning 12 years. I cut that intro short when I saw one instructor with his head in his hands, pulling at his own face.

“You’ve just done so much!” he exclaimed, overwhelmed. “And it’s a very, very good thing. People with the most life experience make the best planners.”

They say that becoming a great planner requires life experiences that you just can’t get in college, so I’m officially testing the adage. I came into this profession lugging experience from 39 jobs and social roles, big and small. Thirty-nine is not hyperbole – believe me, I’ve counted.

I’ve been an airline ticket agent, a HuffPost blogger, a Southern pageant queen, an initiated African priestess (which I still am), a personal chef, a university lecturer, an international NGO journalist, a motivational speaker, and a sales associate at Nordstrom – to name just a few. I’ve worked for a cutting-edge Silicon Valley A.I. startup and a flailing nonprofit. I earned my MBA and used to moonlight as an open-mic singer. I’m an avid dog mom and community facilitator. I have treated my life as a lab and myself as the test specimen. I’ve explored the world and her people through work and change, and finally felt at home when I learned that there was a word for endlessly curious and critical people like me: planners.

But despite career experiences that could fill an almanac, for now, it all mostly remains latent resource. I’m in a humbling phase in my career, taking into account new learning curves and trying to figure out where and how all the best parts of me fit. The truth is that it’s nearly impossible to activate a decade of experience within a new industry when you’re only six months in. I’ve slowly accepted the fact that no one has created this expectation for me but myself. Then comes the added grace that, in fact, I’m six months into an entirely new life.

I relocated for this role. New career. New company. New city. New apartment. New furniture. New hairstylist. New commute. New climate. New doctors. But while I moved to Texas, my heart snuck out from behind my ribs and planted its flag in Atlanta, Georgia, remaining instead with my partner and our goofball of a dog. How does one exist with the body and heart 800 miles apart? With Facebook Messenger video and flight sales. Want to know to keep your relationship spicy from so far away? Words with Friends, hands down.

Crafting a new foundation while standing in the middle of it requires inviolable patience. So while I dream of dropping the mic at the end of a winning new business pitch, I first have to master writing briefs and new client jargon. The Richards Group is a mighty ship, grand and well-oiled. The good fortune we’ve built follows the tried-and-true formula of building wealth: consistency + time. I must mold this model into my likeness, taking the time that I need to build new rigor, making conscious, intentional, and well-informed decisions. We overestimate what we can do in one year but often underestimate what we can do in ten.

I accept that, at times, an intern may have more industry knowledge than I do. I accept help from an experienced planner who also happens to be seven years my junior. I’m willing to breathe and take a walk when I struggle to focus, because at age 31, this is my first dedicated office job. I wave at Stan (and he always waves back) and promise to “go have fun.” I bribe new colleagues with coffee in exchange for their life story and professional insights. I appreciate my boss for helping me integrate the best of my foreign skills within this new environment. I contribute in any way that presents itself, by way of random research or hugs (because I’m still a mixture of Southern auntie and hippie).

And I acknowledge that I’m not the first person to switch paths and pursue something new. As one planning group head (and former successful lawyer) told me, “It’s incredibly humbling to change careers at the top of your game and feel new all over again. But most certainly, one day your experiences will catch up with you, and you will grow exponentially.”

I’ve got Miracle-Gro in my shoes, y’all. And I’m not going anywhere but up.

The post Changing Careers at 31 appeared first on The Richards Group.

5 Things I Learned At Web Summit 2018

Nearly 70,000 people poured into Lisbon this year to attend #WebSummit2018, setting a new record. An action packed three days, with countless talks, debates and keynote speeches across a dozen stages meant that there was an incredible amount to listen and learn from, including insights from our own CEO, Barri Rafferty (pictured below). Here are my five most interesting learnings from the conference.

barri rafferty at websummit

1. 38 percent of people would rather give up sex for a year than give up their mobile phone.
We live in a mobile-first world and brands who embrace a mobile-first view of their marketing efforts have the opportunity to be richly rewarded. However, this does not mean a full pivot away from other forms of marketing (such as TV advertising), but instead, ensuring that the potential of mobile marketing (whether through social media, programmatic mobile advertising or creating mobile experiences and websites) is harvested and top of mind.

2. 500 million people a day watch at least one video on Facebook.
Creating video for social media can be a powerful way to reach and engage a target audience; that is, if you know how to navigate the world of social video. Simply using traditional video formats (a 2 to 3 minute piece of content with audio, in a 16:9 aspect ratio) will deliver underwhelming results. Instead, video content must be created with a social first mind-set, with a focus on fast ideas, not just fast edits.

3. 2018 has been a watershed year for purpose-led marketing.
More and more brands are seeking to define their purpose, and to activate marketing campaigns based on taking a stand. The undeniable “big bang” moment of this in 2018 has been Nike’s collaboration with Colin Kaepernick in the US; but this is really underscoring the rise of a huge trend in brand-led communications that will continue for the foreseeable future. However, how brands balance this against the backdrop of a “post-truth” world means the journey will not be a straightforward one for many.

4. The most powerful influencers don’t need brand collaborations to monetise.
Patreon is a service that enables fans of influencers to pay an ongoing contribution, based on a subscription model, direct to their chosen content creator. On average, over 70 percent of supporters are still paying their monthly subscription (which on average, totals $7 a month) after one year, indicating that the model is “sticky” enough to continue to proliferate. Influencers with solid Patreon audiences are assured of a fixed income, meaning that they no longer need to seek brand partnerships to be financially viable. How this develops on both the influencer and the brand side, will be an interesting thing to watch out for in 2019 and beyond.

5. Technology moves fast. Government and policy moves slow. This has to change.
For years, one of tech’s mantras has been “move fast and break things.” According to Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, that era must now end. Instead, tech companies need to think about the impact of their technology on society and be considerate with their actions, especially when dealing with hot issues like machine learning, facial recognition software and encryption. Meanwhile, government and regulators like the EU must move quicker, and start to better understand the modern world, and come together quickly to build a framework that enables and protects the safety of their citizens, and the shared values of democracy and freedom. This, perhaps more than anything spoken about at WebSummit in 2018, is the issue of tomorrow that we need to start answering today.

The post 5 Things I Learned At Web Summit 2018 appeared first on Ketchum.

One Club names 10 women as ‘Next Creative Leaders’; Goodby promotes two to ECD


The One Club for Creativity recognized 10 women as its 2018 “Next Creative Leaders,” announced last week at the 3% Conference in Chicago. The honor is a partnership between One Club on 3% to celebrate the women destined to be among the creative leaders of the future.

This year’s winners are Lizzie Wilson (of “Fearless Girl” fame, associate creative director at McCann New York; Copywriter Nedal Ahmed, Associate Creative Director Julie Matheny and Copywriter Mietta McFarlane of Droga5; Copywriter Lama Bawadi of Leo Burnett Beirut; Art Director Maddy Kramer of Saatchi & Saatchi NY; Associate Creative Director Krystle Mullin of RPA; Art Director Evelina Rnnung of Forsman & Bodenfors; Art Director Jessica Shriftman of Wieden & Kennedy New York; and Digital Creative Head Gayatri Sriram of FCBUlka.

Continue reading at AdAge.com

Trumpy Bear makes a splash on Fox News (and trends on Twitter)


“Trumpy Bear” is a trending topic on Twitter this morning because various TV viewers spotted an ad for the stuffed animal on Fox News and took to social media to wonder if it was some kind of a joke.

It’s not. Or, as Ad Age wrote a little over a year ago (“Trumpy Bear is now backed by a national TV ad campaign”) when Trumpy Bear ads first started airing on TV, “if it’s a joke, it’s an expensive joke.” We cited iSpot.tv data showing that the bear, which debuted in infomercial form on YouTube in July 2017, got commercial airtime on, initially, four networks: Animal Planet, Discovery, Grit TV and INSP (the “family entertainment programming” channel owned by Inspiration Ministries). The campaign then expanded to 10 networks, including Outdoor Channel and the American Heroes Channel. “The type of shows it’s been airing onincluding reruns of ‘Cops,’ ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ and ‘Bonanza’suggests that Trumpy Bear is not meant to be taken as a joke by its targeted TV viewing audience,” we wrote.

The latest data from iSpot shows that the Trumpy Bear campaign has aired on and off throughout the year, with an extended dormant period over the summer. Since Nov. 1, it mostly has been airing under the radar (of the media-industrial complex, at least) on the American Heroes Channel, INSP and Velocity. And once again the type of shows selected for the campaign suggests an irony-free target audience; iSpot’s list of top shows for the Trumpy Bear ad this month include “Manhant: Kill or Capture,” “Project Nazi: The Blueprints of Evil,” “Hitler” and, no kidding, “How the World Ends.”

Continue reading at AdAge.com

Amazing Marvel comic book covers from the Golden Age of Stan Lee

Lee created or co-created a stable of superhero characters that drove the comics industry for decades and continues to drive Hollywood profits today.

To celebrate the life and work of Stan Lee, the Marvel Comics pioneer who passed away at the age of 95 today, we rounded up some classic covers from the early years of the brand. Lee did some of his most influential and enduring work in the 1960s, creating or co-creating a stable of superhero characters that drove the comics industry for decades and continues to drive Hollywood profits today. Lee’s fingerprints are on everyone from Spider-Man and Black Panther to the the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, and the Hulk.

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