GSK’s Speichert: Marketers Are Missing Digital Fundamentals


Marc Speichert has looked at digital marketing from both sides now — or maybe three.

The former chief marketing officer at beauty giant L’Oreal turned heads three years ago by moving to Google to consult with brands across industries. Now he’s back in packaged goods in a new role as chief digital officer of GSK Consumer Healthcare, marketer of such brands as Sensodyne, Theraflu, Flonase, Alli and Boost. That comes after a stint last year in a similar role at Swiss luxury manufacturer/retailer Richemont.

Being an alum isn’t making him soft on Google: GSK is among companies that recently paused advertising there over brand-safety issues. It illustrates how the marketer role he returns to is different than what left. Spending is up, and with that comes increased expectations.

Continue reading at AdAge.com

We Are Unlimited Gains Creative Firepower With Ari Weiss’ First Hire


DDB Global Chief Creative Officer Ari Weiss has made his first creative hire since joining the Omnicom agency in February: Toygar Bazarkaya, known for his creative work at Havas and BBDO, will become the first chief creative officer of the dedicated McDonald’s agency We Are Unlimited as of May 15.

“Toygar is the type of creative who does really brilliant work consistently for really big clients, and that’s rare,” said Weiss. “He understands what it takes to really drive a brand forward versus doing fun, creative work that just speaks to the industry.”

Which is crucial to Bazarkaya, who told Ad Age that creativity should be used “as a multiplier.”

Continue reading at AdAge.com

Watching The David S. Pumpkins Episode of “SNL” Is Just Painful Now

Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon where, while falling asleep, one experiences terrifying hallucinations, along with an inability to move. I’ve never personally endured this physiological punishment, but over the weekend I did re-watch the penultimate pre-election Saturday Night Live, which aired in place of a new episode, and it’s pretty much the same deal.

It’s heartbreaking to look back, knowing what we know now, as America’s flagship political satire machine takes a snapshot of that moment. To watch the Tom Hanks-hosted episode now is to feel trapped without motor function, no way to tell everybody involved that they will regret this. No way to tell Kate McKinnon that in a few short weeks, she’ll be back on this stage singing “Hallelujah” in somber elegy. No way to tell them all that the future they don’t seem to bother to fear anymore is even worse than they probably imagined.

The fact that the instant classic David S. Pumpkins sketch holds up remarkably well is little balm from the mental trauma of watching the cold open debate sketch again–which feels like a relic from an alternate timeline.

Could this certainty really have been the prevailing sentiment at the time? Did we all really assume that the Access Hollywood tape had defanged Donald Trump for keeps and election night itself was just a formality? Those attitudes are on full display in the opening gambit, a rehashing of the third and final presidential debate. (It was the one in which Trump called Clinton a “nasty woman,” prompting an immediate change in countless Twitter handles.)

While there are some sharp jabs at the way Clinton deflects questions about her emails to bring the conversation back to Trump’s many glaring deficiencies, overall the vibe here is a premature victory lap. Kate McKinnon smiles and mugs like she can’t believe her luck at how outlandish and unpresidential her opponent behaves, and the degree to which this whole thing is in the bag. We at home are supposed to laugh in recognition, soaking as we were in the national mood at the time.

“Now we have to turn to the big story of the week,”Tom Hanks as moderator Chris Wallace says at one point. “Mr. Trump, it’s becoming very clear: you’re probably going to lose.”

“Correct,” Baldwin as Trump admits.

If it seems impossibly naive now for the show to double down so hard on its forecast, though, it’s important to keep in mind that the Comey letter had not happened yet, announcing the FBI’s ultimately fruitless, yet devastating investigation of Clinton. For all the writers knew, the next couple weeks would be a sweat-free trot across the finish line.

The good news for anyone rewatching this episode in 2017 is that the opening sketch is by far the most difficult part to watch. The bad news is that the opening monologue that immediately follows it is almost as painful.

Tom Hanks has gradually developed a reputation as America’s Dad, and his monologue here takes that honor literally. The venerable star speaks to all of America in a father-son style chat aimed at healing the divide wrought by the most contentious election in modern times. The writers take a funny and thoughtful approach to this gimmick–“Remember when you went through that Depression? This is nothing!”–and Hanks, the consummate pro delivers the hell out of it. The only problem is that the speech feels even more sure of the eventual outcome of the election that the cold open did. Everything about the speech seems designed to reassure everyone on both sides, after the fact, that we can indeed heal from this narrowly averted apocalypse. The reassuring, reconciliatory tone doesn’t exactly play so well now, six months into that apocalypse.

There’s only one more politically tinged sketch in this episode, however, and as retroactively tone deaf as the preceding ones were, “Black Jeopardy” remains insightful, funny, and fearless.

Saturday Night Live had used Black Jeopardy a few times before, in the wake of its newly diverse writing staff. This time, the writers set out on what may have sounded on paper like an impossible mission: to find the common ground between MAGA hatted Trumpers and certain aspects of black culture. They succeeded to a highly improbable degree, finding the overlapping parts on the Venn diagram where, say, both groups distrust the government. Even now, after many of us have read Trumpgrets stories, and been asked to empathize with the president’s newly disenchanted flock, the sketch continues to be illuminating. It also retains its punch in the end, when both sides realizes the Venn Diagram does not stretch to cover the concept of Black Lives Mattering.

Of course, the most brutal part of this episode to watch now, is what’s out there beyond the frame, unknown at the time. While the world of late-October 2016 was about to turn its attention back on the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton, puncturing the giddy smugness that occasionally mars this show, Donald Trump’s campaign was also under federal investigation for possibly colluding with a foreign government. Not being able to reach through space and time to let Tom Hanks in on that little secret feels like being trapped in a nightmare, unable to move.

Watching The David S. Pumpkins Episode of “SNL” Is Just Painful Now

Sleep paralysis is a phenomenon where, while falling asleep, one experiences terrifying hallucinations, along with an inability to move. I’ve never personally endured this physiological punishment, but over the weekend I did re-watch the penultimate pre-election Saturday Night Live, which aired in place of a new episode, and it’s pretty much the same deal.

It’s heartbreaking to look back, knowing what we know now, as America’s flagship political satire machine takes a snapshot of that moment. To watch the Tom Hanks-hosted episode now is to feel trapped without motor function, no way to tell everybody involved that they will regret this. No way to tell Kate McKinnon that in a few short weeks, she’ll be back on this stage singing “Hallelujah” in somber elegy. No way to tell them all that the future they don’t seem to bother to fear anymore is even worse than they probably imagined.

The fact that the instant classic David S. Pumpkins sketch holds up remarkably well is little balm from the mental trauma of watching the cold open debate sketch again–which feels like a relic from an alternate timeline.

Could this certainty really have been the prevailing sentiment at the time? Did we all really assume that the Access Hollywood tape had defanged Donald Trump for keeps and election night itself was just a formality? Those attitudes are on full display in the opening gambit, a rehashing of the third and final presidential debate. (It was the one in which Trump called Clinton a “nasty woman,” prompting an immediate change in countless Twitter handles.)

While there are some sharp jabs at the way Clinton deflects questions about her emails to bring the conversation back to Trump’s many glaring deficiencies, overall the vibe here is a premature victory lap. Kate McKinnon smiles and mugs like she can’t believe her luck at how outlandish and unpresidential her opponent behaves, and the degree to which this whole thing is in the bag. We at home are supposed to laugh in recognition, soaking as we were in the national mood at the time.

“Now we have to turn to the big story of the week,”Tom Hanks as moderator Chris Wallace says at one point. “Mr. Trump, it’s becoming very clear: you’re probably going to lose.”

“Correct,” Baldwin as Trump admits.

If it seems impossibly naive now for the show to double down so hard on its forecast, though, it’s important to keep in mind that the Comey letter had not happened yet, announcing the FBI’s ultimately fruitless, yet devastating investigation of Clinton. For all the writers knew, the next couple weeks would be a sweat-free trot across the finish line.

The good news for anyone rewatching this episode in 2017 is that the opening sketch is by far the most difficult part to watch. The bad news is that the opening monologue that immediately follows it is almost as painful.

Tom Hanks has gradually developed a reputation as America’s Dad, and his monologue here takes that honor literally. The venerable star speaks to all of America in a father-son style chat aimed at healing the divide wrought by the most contentious election in modern times. The writers take a funny and thoughtful approach to this gimmick–“Remember when you went through that Depression? This is nothing!”–and Hanks, the consummate pro delivers the hell out of it. The only problem is that the speech feels even more sure of the eventual outcome of the election that the cold open did. Everything about the speech seems designed to reassure everyone on both sides, after the fact, that we can indeed heal from this narrowly averted apocalypse. The reassuring, reconciliatory tone doesn’t exactly play so well now, six months into that apocalypse.

There’s only one more politically tinged sketch in this episode, however, and as retroactively tone deaf as the preceding ones were, “Black Jeopardy” remains insightful, funny, and fearless.

Saturday Night Live had used Black Jeopardy a few times before, in the wake of its newly diverse writing staff. This time, the writers set out on what may have sounded on paper like an impossible mission: to find the common ground between MAGA hatted Trumpers and certain aspects of black culture. They succeeded to a highly improbable degree, finding the overlapping parts on the Venn diagram where, say, both groups distrust the government. Even now, after many of us have read Trumpgrets stories, and been asked to empathize with the president’s newly disenchanted flock, the sketch continues to be illuminating. It also retains its punch in the end, when both sides realizes the Venn Diagram does not stretch to cover the concept of Black Lives Mattering.

Of course, the most brutal part of this episode to watch now, is what’s out there beyond the frame, unknown at the time. While the world of late-October 2016 was about to turn its attention back on the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton, puncturing the giddy smugness that occasionally mars this show, Donald Trump’s campaign was also under federal investigation for possibly colluding with a foreign government. Not being able to reach through space and time to let Tom Hanks in on that little secret feels like being trapped in a nightmare, unable to move.

The Best Part Of Netflix’s “Girlboss” Has Nothing To Do With Business

As the cheeky disclaimer reads at the beginning of each episode, Netflix’s new show Girlboss is “a loose retelling of true events” pertaining to Nasty Gal entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso’s life…”real loose.”

However many degrees removed from reality Girlboss is, Amoruso’s come-up is surely an exception to the typically narcissistic proclamation of, “someone should really make a TV show about my life!” Amoruso went from dumpster diving and stealing to creating a wildly popular eBay store selling vintage clothes, which she later spun into the fully-fledged business Nasty Gal and her best-selling memoir #GIRLBOSS. Netflix was aiming to channel all of that into an equally successful series with Amoruso as one of the executive producers.

However, the ironic thing is, what makes Girlboss interesting has little to do with why we know Amoruso at all, i.e. creating Nasty Gal.

Let’s just rip the Band-Aid off: Girlboss is a chore to watch at times. The caricature of Amoruso, played by Britt Robertson, bounces between having exhaustingly sassy pluck and a woeful disregard for common sense business acumen. It’s almost as if you’re rooting for her to fail. Of course, there exists the story arc of Sophia learning to grow up through the frequent missteps any entrepreneur may have in growing a business. But where Girlboss fails to drum up any interest there, it’s brilliant in its methods of storytelling, namely in episode 10.

Girlboss isn’t precious with linear or conventional structures. There’s an episode told through ellipses of time, counting down to a very important delivery Sophia has to make. And part of the finale builds to a scene where sporadic editing of a conversation between two characters so accurately illustrates the complexities of being in and falling out of love. But the standout episode by far is “Vintage Fashion Forum,” where online messaging is personified to hilarious and devastating ends.

Sophia’s eBay store Nasty Gal Vintage is at the peak of its popularity with her loyal following and at the peak of resentment with a group of vintage clothing sellers who have taken to starting a forum to air out their grievances of how Sophia is making a mockery of their trade and siphoning their profits. In what could’ve have been told through montages of computer screens displaying rapid-fire typing of vitriolic comments, the internet forum drama takes human form in a roundtable discussion.

There’s the relentless self-promoter dropping links to their own site, the proverbial shouter who refuses to learn how to use the caps-lock key, and there’s even a cameo from an internet troll who storms the forum to alert everyone how ugly they are. Episode 10’s approach to bringing digital aspects to life is refreshingly inventive and, as proved toward the end of the episode, malleable tone. The comedy of errors in the forum is only an opening act to the the climax of the episode that is a one-on-one fight between Sophia and her best friend Annie.

After making it known that she would like to work full-time with Sophia on building her company and being rebuffed because, as Sophia says, “Nasty Gal is my thing” the two square off online which is represented as them sitting across from each other in a stark white room saying what they’re typing. What this scene depicts so well is how flat text on a screen can bely true emotions. The “digital” version of Sophia is coldly resolute in her perception that Nasty Gal is hers and hers alone while Sophia IRL is a quaking and crying wreck at the thought of losing her best friend.

It’s a surprisingly powerful scene that falls in line with the rich emotional texture Girlboss is actually capable of. Both Robertson and the show itself are at their best when dealing with the intricacies of relationships across family, friends, and significant others, as well as how those storylines are told. Perhaps the main plot of Nasty Gal’s inception felt weaker in comparison to its tangential events because it’s only just half of the company’s story. The show ends with Sophia opening Nasty Gal’s own website after being kicked off of eBay, and within just a few hours, she completely sells out her stock. If season one’s intent was to set the stage for Nasty Gal’s ascent in online retail, season two could redeem itself, in regards to making business interesting, by focusing on Amoruso eventually stepping down as CEO and Nasty Gal’s descent into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Google Sees Another Chance to Get Programmatic TV Right


Google is adding the ability to buy TV commercial inventory through its ad technology, representing a kind of rerun for the company that has tried to break into the medium before.

Today Google announced its plans for programmatic TV buying through which advertisers can reach TV audiences as part of their digital video ad buys through its ad tech platform.

It’s the first time TV space will be able to be bought through Google’s pipes in this way, but it’s unclear which networks and what inventory will be available and how many households it will reach.

Continue reading at AdAge.com

Business is becoming increasingly digitalised and more international

Florian Haller, CEO of the Serviceplan Group, in an Interview with Marketing Review St. Gallen on how the agency group is positioned and on current developments in marketing. He was interviewed by Sven Reinecke, Director of the Institute for Marketing at the University of St. Gallen and Friedrich M. Kirn, CEO of MIM Marken Institut […]

Der Beitrag Business is becoming increasingly digitalised and more international erschien zuerst auf Serviceplan Blog.

Uber’s Working On Sky Taxis

Flying cars still seem like one of those futuristic technologies that only exists for now in the realm of science fiction and old episodes of The Jetsons. But Uber is taking the technology seriously and this week it takes another step forward with a summit meeting that lays out its vision.

In October, the ride-hailing giant published a 97-page white paper laying out all the challenges for setting up an urban flying taxi system to link with its on-demand car service. Since then, it’s hired NASA veteran Mark Moore as director of aviation engineering for its Uber Elevate initiative. Moore headed the space agency’s research on electric propulsion, autonomous control, and personal craft until February.

On Tuesday, Uber is convening its three-day Uber Elevate Summit in Dallas to lay out its plans for urban air travel. Given that the San Francisco-based company is flying everyone out to the Texan city, there’s a good chance that Dallas will be one of the cities with which Uber has promised to announce “collaborations.”

“What were looking at is, in the next several years, being able to bring experimental aircraft into and test them in the relevant environment of the city,” says Moore.

Uber will provide a live stream of the event from the conference home page, beginning Tuesday at 9 a.m. Eastern time.

Uber will also announce the companies that will supply these electric taxi planes. Note the word “planes.” Several companies, such as Germany’s E-Volo and China’s EHang, have introduced electric copters—known as VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) craft that look a bit like upscale toy drones. (EHang, in fact is, a drone maker). But that’s not the way Uber is going, says Moore. (Dubai’s transport agency will start a flying taxi program using EHang’s copters this summer.)


Related link: Airbus Is About To Build A Self-Flying Robo-Taxi


Instead, Uber plans to use electric VTOL planes that briefly tilt their wings and propellers up to take off vertically like drones, then tilt them forward to fly forward. Such planes—as well as electric propeller systems—were being developed by Moore before he left NASA. He isn’t saying yet what companies will make planes for Uber, but Airbus provides a good example with its Vahana autonomous electric plane, announced in February and set for flight tests in the fall.

What other craft might Uber fly? Also in attendance at the conference will be Slovenian electric plane maker Pipistrel and German “electric jet startup” Lilium (it actually uses small, high-speed propellers). Big aviation players such as Embraer and Bell Helicopter will also attend.

Airbus Vahana concept. [Image: courtesy of Airbus]

Keeping Quiet

Noise is one major reason why Uber is going with planes instead of helicopters or oversize quadcopter drones like EHang’s. “One of the reasons helicopters haven’t gained traction in cities as a transportation solution is because they are so noisy,” says Moore. “They have a [low-pitched] noise characteristic that just travels forever, and it’s quite annoying.”

Brien Seeley, founder of the Sustainable Aviation Foundation, agrees. I spoke with him over the weekend at the organization’s 2017 SA Symposium. “Ladies and gentlemen, if you think you are going to come into to a quite residential, serene community and land close by the houses, with a noisy [helicopter] rotor downwash vehicle, you’re crazy,” he says. (Seeley isn’t affiliated with Uber.)

Moore claims the sound from Uber’s planes will be higher-pitched, as well, blending into the hum of car traffic in cities rather than rumbling on over a longer distance and rattling windows.

Switching from piston engines or turbines to electric motors cuts down noise, but what really makes a difference is that plane propellers can spin slower. Moore gives an example of a plane’s propeller tips slicing through the air at half the speed of a helicopter’s. Based on the physics of flight, that makes the plane propeller as much as 32 times quieter. “That’s where the magic happens,” says Moore.

In case you’re wondering why, it’s in part because helicopter blades are essentially spinning wings. The faster air flows over a wing the more lift it generates. As a blade swings forward toward the front of a helicopter, it’s moving in the same direction the helicopter is traveling. Airflow speed is a combination of how fast the rotor is turning, plus how fast the helicopter is moving forward. It’s kind of like walking up an escalator that’s already heading up. As the same blade spins toward the back, it’s heading in the opposite direction the helicopter is flying—like trying to walk down that same “up” escalator—hitting the air more slowly and generating a lot less lift. Adjusting the tilt of the blades and spinning the rotors very fast are the tricks helicopters use to even out lift, but faster-spinning rotors make more noise.


Related link: Here’s Why South America Is Getting Helicopter Ride-Sharing Before The U.S.


Outsiders say Uber may be understating the noise challenge. “Noise is going to be a big issue, that I don’t think anyone’s addressing appropriately,” says Tyler MacCready, the CEO of Apium, which is developing swarm technologies so that craft like drones and sky taxis can fly in tight formation. “And that’s one that even Uber in their Elevate report—they say hey, don’t worry this is going to be quiet. That’s wrong,” says MacCready.

Brien Seeley reckons that the sound of a plane or helicopter has to be below 50 decibels, about the volume of a conversation at home, at a distance of 40 meters from its landing area at a small airport. (Here’s a good decibel guide to the noise level of different real-life sounds.) Otherwise either the noise will annoy neighbors or the airport will have to be too big to create a buffer. About VTOL, Seeley says that, “It’s appealing because of its perceived small landing pad; however, again, its noise signature will dictate the true acreage and thereby its proximity.” He’s proposed an XPrize competition to develop air taxis that meet the 50-dB at 40 meters target, which he calls a “Herculean challenge.”

Uber talks about putting its mini-airports, called vertiports (complete with fast battery charging), on top of buildings to minimize the noise. “You would think so,” says Seeley, “but those people going out of the skyscrapers want to go to their suburban McMansions, whose serene community won’t allow them to land there.” Dallas, for instance, is a very flat city.

The type of craft is very important to noise, says Seeley. He agrees that planes are better than helicopters, but the type of plane matters. A tilt-wing craft is essentially a helicopter when it’s taking off. Also, Moore is a longtime advocate and developer of what’s called distributed electric propulsion—spreading a bunch of small motors and propellers across the airplane wing. One of Moore’s last projects at NASA was the X-57, a research plane with 14 electric motors and propellers. Covering the wing in small propellers is more efficient than using a few large props, but it’s generally a lot noisier, as they have to spin faster. Perhaps this won’t be as noisy as a helicopter, but it could still be too loud.

“The great spectrum that pushes and pulls against itself is, extremely tiny little rotors, and 30 of them, all blowing; and they’re screaming like banshees,” Seeley says, “or one extremely large [propeller], slow-turning like a Danish windmill that moves the same amount of air silently.”

Sky Gridlock?

Even if robo-taxi planes are virtually silent, how will people feel about a sky full of them? “You’re never going to blacken the skies,” says Moore. “It’s never going to look like Star Wars.” Even with a thousand air taxis per city, Moore says someone would see only “a couple aircraft” when they look up. Others tend to agree, saying that the promised reduction in street traffic will be worth it. “There’s a lot more room in the sky. I think we’re way off from the day when the skies get too crowded,” says Tyler MacCready. (He recommends using systems like his to help aircraft fly in tight formation so that traffic is kept to minimal areas.)

One reason the skies will stay clear, says Moore, is because Uber will use planes and not helicopters. To keep noise manageable, electric choppers would have to fly slower—around 50 miles per hour. (E-Volo projects a max speed of 100 kilometers per hour, about 62 mph. EHang lists an average cruising speed of 60km/hour, about 37mph.) Moore says that Uber’s taxis will fly at around 150mph. “So they get to where they’re going very quickly. They don’t stay up there,” he says.

The Bigger Lesson From Facebook’s New Bereavement Leave Policy

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s world came to a sudden halt when her husband, Dave Goldberg, died suddenly, at age 47, during a spring 2015 trip to Mexico. In the months that followed, the self-assured author of Lean In found herself lost in grief, adrift from the life she and Goldberg had built.

“[My self-confidence] just kind of crumbled in every area,” she tells Time magazine in this month’s cover story. “I didn’t think I could be a good friend. I didn’t feel like I could do my job.”

But now she has come roaring back—to her daily work at Facebook and to her place of influence in the broader corporate landscape. Her new book, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy comes out today. And in February, she announced changes to Facebook’s bereavement leave policy.

“Starting today, Facebook employees will have up to 20 days paid leave to grieve an immediate family member, up to 10 days to grieve an extended family member, and will be able to take up to six weeks of paid leave to care for a sick relative,” she wrote in a Facebook post.

Advocates, including organizations like Family Values @ Work, expressed hope that Facebook’s shift in policy would prompt other companies to follow suit. (As of March 2016, just 13% of private-sector employees have access to paid family leave, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

But Jim Santucci, executive director of Kara—the Palo Alto, Calif.-based grief counseling organization that Sandberg turned to for support following Goldberg’s death—argues that policy changes are not enough. To better serve grieving employees, companies need to “develop a compassionate culture.”

“When things do happen, there [should be] a sense of, ‘we need to support the person,’” Santucci says. He adds: “It starts at the top.”

Of course, there is a place for corporate procedure. “There are some very practical things that organizations can do so that there’s a sense of what they can do to support [the employee] and what the organization can do to support itself,” he says. For example, developing a protocol for handling emails sent to an employee who has died. “How does that make people feel, to see that person on the cc list?”

But Santucci cautions against relying on policy without addressing culture. In his estimation, Sandberg’s example of vulnerability has done as much for other Facebook employees staring down grief as her decision to double Facebook’s pre-approved days of paid leave. Sandberg’s leadership, he says, has normalized facets of grief that an organization might otherwise avoid: “It’s okay to be sad, and it’s okay to acknowledge that someone is sad. These are things that we should talk about.”

Providing resources like counseling through a group like Kara is another option. Founded in the 1970s, Kara offers grieving families the option to participate in group meetings or one-on-one counseling. Trained volunteers lead the sessions, often opening with a ritual. Santucci, who lost his young daughter nearly a decade ago, leads a group for parents. To start each meeting, parents light a candle for their child, and then the group observes a moment of silence. “My child died: Why do I need to live? What meaning is there? It provides a really safe space for people to talk about what they’re thinking and feeling,” he says.

Kara, which supports itself through donations, hosted Sandberg as the keynote speaker at its 40th anniversary benefit over the weekend. “Generations prior to me—they didn’t talk about this kind of stuff,” Santucci says. He’s hopeful that Sandberg’s book and example will help organizations, and society more broadly, better handle grief. “We should be able to help each other and build resilience. But it’s slow.”

Fans of China’s Teen Stars Are Crowdsourcing Big Ad Buys To Prove Their Devotion


When Chinese boy band singer Karry Wang turned 17 a few months ago, fans congratulated him by buying ads. Lots of ads. They booked time on 11 giant screens in Times Square in New York. In China, they put his face on a helicopter and on a light rail train. They bought outdoor ads in Paris, Seoul, Beijing, Taipei and Reykjavik.

Altogether, fans probably spent over $15 million on Wang, the lead singer in Chinese boy band TFBoys, said Ruey Ku, a Publicis Media exec in Shanghai. And that was not an isolated case.

For Chinese fans, buying out-of-home ads has become a common way of showing devotion for their favorite stars — a media-savvy, big-budget twist on the teenage tradition of taping posters over your bed. Chinese fans finance ad campaigns on crowdsourcing platforms, by selling T-shirts or making coffee-table books of photos shot by fans. Often, there’s a charity element too. Fans have planted trees, donated to animal shelters and given music lessons to schoolchildren, choosing causes they hope will please the stars they love.

Continue reading at AdAge.com