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Vox Media Rolls Out ‘Explainer’ Format to Brands

Vox Media announced a new division dedicated to creating its well-known explainer videos on behalf of brands.

Vox gained fame quickly when it launched in 2014 due to its simple walk-throughs for curious topics like Here’s what happens to your knuckles when you crack themThis plane could cross the Atlantic in 3.5 hours. Why did it fail? or The rise of ISIS explained in 6 minutes

Vox is now offering up the same format to brands and has a few pilot partners in SpotifyNFL Fantasy Football and Ben & Jerry’s.

Explainer Studio is growing quickly due to demand from advertisers, said Armando Turco, general manager for Vox Creative, the company’s branded content division.

“Branded content is a part of—if not the holistic solution for—a good majority of the deals that we do,” Mr. Turco said.

Vox Media, which includes sites like The Verge, Recode SB Nation, Eater, and others, says people spend an average of three minutes and 20 seconds on branded Explainer videos.

Oculus Announces $200 Headset

by Ben Shapiro

Oculus, Facebook’s VR subsidiary, announced last week the release of Oculus Go, “the first modern virtual reality headset that doesn’t require a powerful PC or a smartphone.” With a price tag of only $200, the Oculus Go represents Oculus’ first concerted effort to bring VR to the mainstream.

As shown by an IBB Consulting survey of nearly 3,200 U.S. online consumer adults in which only 16% of respondents expressed an interest in virtual reality, VR is far from the everyday consumer product that some of the media hype makes it out to be. Put this into the context of Mark Zuckerberg’s publicly stated goal of getting 1 billion people into VR in the near future and the already uphill battle to bring VR to the everyday consumer becomes even more apparent.

Oculus also launched the first global campaign to promote the VR headset, inviting consumers to “Step Into Rift” with a spot that highlights the immersive gaming experience the Oculus Rift offers.

Fast Food Twitter Jabs Heat Up

by Melissa Santiago

Wendy’s has received a lot of earned media lately—especially about chicken nuggets. A simple Tweet that they opted to interact with is now the most Retweeted Tweet in history unseating an Ellen DeGeneres Tweet from 2014. Wendy’s has also tried to start a Twitter beef by taking a jab at McDonald’s about frozen hamburger.

This time, Wendy’s is on the receiving end of Twitter snark.

To promote a new product that Wendy’s recently removed from their menu, Burger King decided to amplify the voice of those most vocal about the removal of spicy nuggets by putting paid media dollars behind the Tweets of people complaining to Wendy’s. Coupled with strategically placed billboards, Burger King managed to spice up the conversation about nuggets by using complaints towards Wendy’s to its own paid-media advantage.

See AdWeek article here.