The Sunnier Side of the Office – January 19, 2016

c27839ad-d983-4adb-bd1a-704c68b0dfa8Apple Pulls Direct Sales Support for iAd
Last week, it was reported that iAd, Apple’s ‘premium’ advertising platform, had direct sales support revoked by its parent company. For many in the know, the writing has been on the wall for iAd, who never quite fit into the ‘Apple culture,’ with Business Insider saying “fitting advertising within Apple has been like trying to fit a square peg through a round hole.”

With no official comment from Apple, the real reason is unknown. However, in the recent past Tim Cook has made clear his fears about the growing influence of Facebook and Google (who’s ad businesses control over 50% of all mobile advertising NBD), saying “our privacy is being attacked on multiple fronts… Successful companies have built their businesses by lulling customers into complacency about their personal information…. We think that’s wrong.” Whether it is right or wrong, it certainly would have helped their ad business, which the BI article refers to as “one of Apple’s very rare flops.” To which I say, have you ever tried AppleWorks?

3f5c756f-f941-4f3d-a89d-af87db6fd5ecCollege Football Playoff’s Championship Game Fails to Live Up to Expectations
To be clear, the championship game failed to live up to the expectations of ESPN and its advertisers, who bought airtime at a $1 million – $1.3 million asking price. The game itself was quite exciting actually, and that’s coming from someone who’s knowledge of football comes solely from the movie Little Giants. It’s a pity, then, that viewership dropped 23% compared to last year. While ratings guarantees are not made public, it’s likely that ESPN will have to make good for lost viewers, as they had to do for games earlier in the playoff to the tune of $20 million.

Anyway you slice it, it doesn’t spell good news for ESPN or television viewing in general, which is increasingly threatened by online content. While college football viewership may be declining, ESPN started hedging some new bets when they unveiled a new eSports operation last Thursday. 

0015a106-b12a-4695-bd39-7109d5f6dae0Family TV Viewing Undervalued, According to Facial Recognition Technology
A new study from MediaHub, Mullen & Lowe’s media arm, revealed that people are far more engaged with TV programming and commercials when they watch in groups. While many struggle to find a way to quantify audience engagement, many media groups, like MediaHub, are turning to facial recognition tech to measure and collect human reactions to television. The tests found, among other things, that people are less engaged with 30 second spots than 15 second spots and when they are by themselves.

The tech uses Microsoft Kinect Sensor to see which TV sets are turned on, what programming is being shown, and how many people actually have eyes on the set. Here is an analysis of the American Music Awards, from TVision, a company that has been utilizing the technology. It’s not clear who has signed for these studies or if they’re aware that they’re living in a Philip K Dick novel. Either way, it’s worth keeping an eye on the rise of facial recognition technology as it becomes more utilized by marketers.

724db501-0cd6-4a63-a291-a02a90e324f4Media Partner of the Week: PopularPays

Thanks to, we’re now 100% on board with PopularPays, the one-stop platform for activating Instagram”s most influential ‘grammers. The YCombinator-backed startup allows brands to tap into the creative talents-and massive followings-of the top Instagram influencers (over 1,000+ Instagrammers with 50K followers each). Early brands like Nike have seen incredible results through the platform with one campaign driving 1.4MM impressions and 43K likes. How does it work? A brand simply sends out a brief to the platform’s 26K+ influencers who then apply with their idea. The brand then evaluates responses/selects influencers based on profile, follower count, and feed aesthetic. Selected influencers submit their photos + captions for the brand to choose from allowing 100% creative control before the post is set live. PopPays streamlines the influencer activation process with technology versus buying on a talent agency model. The brand then retains full rights to the photos posted to re-use at their discretion.

This Week in Social:


Global Brands Honor David Bowie
The news of David Bowie’s passing brought an outpouring of grief and personal stories from family, friends, and fans all over the world. A
s they are wont to do, brands jumped into the conversation. Many were tied to the man in some way and tried to be respectful. But of course, there’s always one obligatory tone-deaf response; thank you, Crocs!