‘Fake President’ Trump Is a ‘Disgrace to the Office,’ Says Chicago Sun-Times

Ad Age “Media Guy” columnist Simon Dumenco’s media roundup for the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 16:

It’s no exaggeration to say the media is collectively in shock in the wake of President Donald Trump’s Tuesday Trump Tower press conference. Social media too (#ImpeachTrump was a top 10 trending topic on Twitter much of last night). Anyway, let’s get started …

1. A helpful guide from CNN’s Gregory Krieg: “The 14 most shocking comments from Trump’s Charlottesville news conference,” including:

Continue reading at AdAge.com

How Travel Brands Can Benefit from Social, AI and Chatbots

In this post, GlobalWebIndex‘s Senior Trends Analyst, Katie Young discusses how travel brands can get the most out of Chatbots, social media and AI.

Aside from the obvious digitalisation of the travel industry and the switch to online booking, we’re seeing some big developments shake up how the travel business engage and transact with their customers. Social media, AI and Chatbots are just some of the things having an impact, and brands and marketers need to take notice to stay ahead of the game.

Capitalise on user-generated content on social
Recommendations have always had a huge impact in travel, but whereas before they were passed along in person, today they’re also all over social – and they have the potential to affect travel decisions at every stage. Our data shows that over 40% of those who plan to buy a holiday in the next six months research brands/products on social media, while a similar proportion say that reviews/recommendations from other consumers affect their likelihood of buying something.

The good news for brands is that there’s a great deal of user-generated content to capitalise on. Most vacationers are willing to post holiday snaps and share their experiences across social – whether that’s saying how much they enjoyed an excursion, or complaining about flight delays on Twitter. Especially on the inspirational social networks like Instagram and Pinterest, a great deal of users like to show off their holidays – platforms that are often the go-to for those seeking inspiration for their next holiday destination. Norwegian Cruise Lines is one brand that has recognised the potential of user-generated content with its branded hashtag #cruiselikeanorweigan, which cruisers have used nearly 30,000 times on Instagram.

Improve customer service with chatbots
But beyond the inspirational images and storytelling, there should be no forgetting the importance of customer service – especially given that 3 in 10 Vacationers would promote a brand online if they thought its customer service was great. Social is now a key touchpoint for those looking to contact brands and consumers are increasingly looking for more centralised ways to do so. The savviest travel brands are progressively seizing the potential of chatbots on social to get closer to their customers and answer their questions instantly. Expedia and KLM were among the first travel brands to experiment with a Facebook Messenger bot last year, but there’s some brands taking this beyond simple customer service too. SnapTravel, for instance, allows users to message their basic travel information to their Messenger bot, which will then respond with various hotel options. In less than a year, SnapTravel has seen $1 million worth of hotel bookings as a result of its bot development.

Shorten the path to purchase
While many travel brands are yet to offer the ability to pay for flights and hotels directly on social platforms, it’s easy to see how chatbots could seriously change this. And some travel brands are opting for other inventive ways to shorten the path to purchase. Hillside Beach Club in Turkey, for instance, now allows potential guests to request a booking through Instagram by posting a comment with a ‘summer emoji’ on one of its images – with staff then contacting the user to complete the booking. More generally, offering the ability to buy directly through social media is definitely a consideration for brands: our data shows that Vacation Buyers are more likely than average to value ‘buy’ buttons.

This combination of social, AI and bots is changing the rules for the travel industry. AI, in particular, has some big potential for travel brands. Its ability to predict the best ad spaces, help travel companies create highly-tailored offers, and potential to make chatbots even more smarter is set to revolutionise travel marketing as we know it. And should chatbots move more into the transactional space, it’s not hard to see how social itself could soon become a full-service marketing solution.

The post How Travel Brands Can Benefit from Social, AI and Chatbots appeared first on We Are Social UK.

The Best Times to Post on Social Media (According to 20 Studies) [Infographic]

There’s always an inherent risk to ‘best times to post’ reports – with the most critical being that generic best times don’t relate to your specific audience and their habits. The only true way to know what times are best for you to post is to study your own analytics, test different post times, then study again, till you find what works.

But that said, there is still value in using generic best times as a guide, particularly as a means to narrow your test pool. This is particularly relevant when starting out – if you start with the generic best times, you may be closer to finding your optimum posting time in the beginning, which can help deliver better results faster, while you’re testing.

The team at CoSchedule also recognize that finding the mythical ‘best’ time for all can be challenging – so rather than coming up with a single survey report, they’ve actually collated the results of 20 ‘best times’ guides in order to formulate a more comprehensive, inclusive report on best posting times.

best times info.png

Everyone was quitting Trump’s manufacturing council, so he shut it down

Can’t say we didn’t see this coming. President Trump tweeted today that he’s ending his American Manufacturing Council and Strategic and Policy Forum. The move comes after a number of CEOs this week quit the council over Trump’s refusal to explicitly denounce white supremacist groups. Trump did denounce such groups in a prepared speech on Monday, … Continue reading “Everyone was quitting Trump’s manufacturing council, so he shut it down”

Can’t say we didn’t see this coming. President Trump tweeted today that he’s ending his American Manufacturing Council and Strategic and Policy Forum. The move comes after a number of CEOs this week quit the council over Trump’s refusal to explicitly denounce white supremacist groups. Trump did denounce such groups in a prepared speech on Monday, but at an off-the-cuff press conference on Tuesday, he doubled and tripled down on his argument that “many sides” were to blame for this weekend’s violence and unrest in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Read Full Story

A New, Weird Way: Revolutionary Films to Inspire Creative Thinking

I’ve been a film geek for as long as I can remember. I grew up in front of the big screen and even studied film in college. I’m absolutely fascinated by how, when, and where a film has made an impact to the types of stories that are told.

One of my favorite quotes about film comes from legendary filmmaker Tim Burton: “It’s good as an artist to always remember to see things in a new, weird way.” And that’s exactly what filmmakers have been doing for the last 100 years.

But seeing things in a “new, weird way” isn’t something only filmmakers do. In fact, it’s something we as advertisers do every day: We find new ways of interpreting our clients’ brands in light of what’s happening around us, so we can continue to keep their brands fresh and relevant in the minds of consumers.

For us in brand management, it’s our job to provide support for our teams to create good, strong work. And if you ever need to inspire creative thinking on your own teams, consider taking a lesson from these five revolutionary films that saw things in a new, weird way.

The Jazz Singer (1927)

Early on, film consisted of only moving images, no sound. But that all changed on December 30, 1927, when The Jazz Singer – the first feature film with sound, otherwise known as a “talkie” – came out. In the filmmakers’ quest to add a new layer to the cinematic experience, The Jazz Singer encourages us to challenge our teams to explore untraditional ways to use sight, sound, and motion. We take our senses for granted as tools to help us tell compelling stories, but how would our work change if we challenged those assumptions?

Check out these white line GIFs where designers placed two white lines on a 2D GIF to give it the illusion of a 3D clip. This simple design technique demonstrates how challenging the role your senses play in a creative concept can lead to unexpected and engaging results, and can help your creative break through the clutter.

Psycho (1960)

Director Alfred Hitchcock pioneered a new camera technique called “subjective camera movement” in his terrifying film Psycho, which forces the audience to see from a specific character’s point of view. This technique has become a staple in the horror and thriller movie genres due to its clever way of involving the audience in the story. With that in mind, to foster creative thinking, the film Psycho reminds us to consider a different point of view. Whether that’s changing your surroundings or sitting down with a teammate to understand their role in the creative process, use the world around you to inspire new ways of thinking.

At The Richards Group, we switch places with people in different disciplines to shake up our thought process while we simultaneously gain an appreciation for the job our teammates do each and every day.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Though it had only a $60,000 budget, The Blair Witch Project became the most profitable film (percentage-wise) of all time, grossing $250 million worldwide by using inexpensive consumer camera equipment and creating a website to help the film reach audiences across the globe. The takeaway here is clear: Encourage your teams to embrace limitations. Don’t let a short production timeline or limited budget be the reason you don’t do something – have it be the reason you do something.

Here’s an example of some great work from our very own Mott’s team that used scrappy thinking to bring a brand-new website to life in a little under a week.

Memento (2000)

In this film told completely out of chronological order, Christopher Nolan’s editing style broke every editing convention previously established in Hollywood narrative storytelling, and he was rewarded for it with Academy Award nominations for Best Film Editing and Best Original Screenplay. Why not take a note from Memento and know the rules so you can break them. Challenge what is accepted as true, so that you and your team are constantly thinking of new ways to communicate your clients’ brands in a whole new way.

In 2015, REI made a conscious decision to break one of the most traditional rules in the retail space by closing their doors on Black Friday with their #OptOutside campaign, and they have been rewarded and praised by their consumers ever since.

Avatar (2009)

Director James Cameron had a specific vision for Avatar but found that the technology he needed to tell the story the way he wanted to didn’t exist just yet. Tired of waiting for technology to catch up, he took matters into his own hands and invented two new types of 3D film cameras specifically for the film, thus cementing his place in film history as an innovator in the 3D film space. Avatar teaches us to operate on this inspiring principal: Explore and build something new. When you remove the limitations of current technology, it’s exciting to think about what ideas your team will create next.

In 2010, our Home Depot team paired with Click Here Labs to launch the industry’s very first personalized video gift card, using technology purposefully to boost gift card sales.

Keep it weird.

Next time you and your team are feeling stuck, consider taking a lesson from film history to see things in a new, weird way. And remember, the takeaways from these films are just the tip of the iceberg. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how you choose to change your perspective or shake up your creative process. What really matters is that when you’re faced with a challenge, you remember that seeing things in a new, weird way is always an option.

The post A New, Weird Way: Revolutionary Films to Inspire Creative Thinking appeared first on The Richards Group.