1. Google and Amazon Super Bowl Ads
Both tech giants are in the lineup for this Sunday’s Super Bowl. Google announced Thursday it will run two ads, but hasn’t revealed any of the creative details yet. This will be the third year for Google’s parent company, Alphabet, to run a Super Bowl ad. Two weeks ago, Amazon released teaser videos of celebrities Harrison Ford, Forest Whitaker, Ilana Glazer, Abbi Jacobson, and the Kelly Brothers, beta-testing new Alexa features. Alexa says,
“Warning, The Amazon Beta Test Program works with celebrities like Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer to try out untested technology such as smart bubbles, enhanced party mode, and subaquatic waveform resonance. What could possibly go wrong? To see official test critics, tune in to the big game on February 3rd.”
In addition, the company just released the spot titled, “Not Everything Makes the Cut,” which will air during the Super Bowl. Making fun of Alexa, it explores far out expansions of AI that ultimately fail. Amazon will also run an ad promoting its Prime Streaming Service and original upcoming series “Hanna.” AdAge provides a run-down of all the ads that have been released. The game airs at 6:30 p.m. Sunday on CBS.
2. Digital Media Publishers Form Alliance
BuzzFeed, Vice, and Group Nine are teaming up as leading digital media publishers to solve the question, how to measure the value of online video. They will join Tubular Labs, a social video analytics firm, to form the Global Video Measurement Alliance (GVMA). Measuring video has proven difficult as advertisers have trouble quantifying what a view is worth on different platforms like YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. “We want advertisers to understand the value of content that gets consumed by people wherever they want to consume it,” says Edwin Wong, senior vice president of research and insight at BuzzFeed. The alliance hopes to set a standard for video metrics around the world.
What about recent layoffs at BuzzFeed? Last week, BuzzFeed laid off 15% of its staff, and other media companies like HuffPost and Verizon Media have been cutting their workforce as well. These digital media companies struggle to make a profit when competing with advertising giants Google and Facebook. Now, they’re teaming up to fight for more advertisers. According to Tubular Labs, the vision is that “ultimately, the GVMA will set the standard for trusted intelligence around the world, so advertisers are certain their dollars are being spent well, so brands know they’re reaching the right people, and so media publishers can be sure they’re creating the best content possible.”
3. Marketers Respond to Polar Vortex
Earlier this week, a cold spell known as a polar vortex hit the Midwest and has kept people inside and businesses closed for days. Even Hamilton performances have been canceled, or as one Twitter user writes, “Brrrrrr kills Hamilton again.”
Brrrrrr kills Hamilton again. https://t.co/gB2vnNmMbm
— Andrew Conneen (@aconneen) January 30, 2019
Marketers are taking advantage of these chilling conditions, such as Lyft offering free Relief Rides to warming shelters in impacted cities. Many more companies have responded on social media. McDonald’s and Potbelly tweeted, reminding people that they can order food from their safe, warm homes. Florida’s tourism industry is taking advantage of the situation to post pictures of their sunny, warm state.
Not today, #PolarVortex. #LoveFL pic.twitter.com/wbhOI1CMI9
— VISIT FLORIDA (@VISITFLORIDA) January 30, 2019
Even the Cleveland Indians told Twitter users they’d lick the foul pole if they got a million retweets.
If we get 1,000,000 RTs, we'll lick the foul pole.
No, we're not warm yet.
Yes, we will do it. pic.twitter.com/aiykd0UpQV
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) January 30, 2019
At least brands can have a little fun in the midst of miserable conditions.