The Sunnier Side of the Office – June 6, 2016

unnamedNBA Finals on ABC Breaks Records
Live sports showed its strength again last week in Game 1 of the NBA Finals by bringing in huge ratings for ABC. Thursday night’s matchup between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors live-plus-same-day ratings data averaged 19.2 million viewers and an 11.1 HH rating – the biggest numbers since ABC began broadcasting the Finals in 2003.

The stage was primed for big numbers with Warriors coming off the best NBA in history, an epic down 3-comeback against the OKC Thunder in the Western Conference Finals and a Finals rematch against a strong Cavs team featuring Lebron James’ 6th straight NBA Finals appearance (Wow).

Warriors making it look easy so far and lead the series 2-0. They play in Cleveland Wednesday at 6pm PST.

unnamed-1Twitter Adding a Carousel Unit of their Own
As Twitter looks for new ways to compete with Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and others, they are taking a page from Facebook/Instagram by testing a new unit for brands called Promoted Tweet Carousel. The execution will allow marketers to feature content in multiple formats including photos, videos and text as well as content from creators when brands have their approval.

Hopefully for Twitter the new units will perform well compared to other promoted units. Instagram’s internal survey reports a 58% lift in conversion when using carousel. But Twitter needs something entirely unique to their platform to truly stand out.

It has also recently been speculated that Twitter & Yahoo are in talks for a merger. Yuck.

unnamedStairway to Heaven Going to Copyright Court
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant are going to court to defend the legendary 8th grade slow dance song, Stairway to Heaven. The case, originally filed two years ago, proposes that parts of the song, specifically the opening in which acoustic guitar plays arpeggiated chords in descending patterns, were copied from “Taurus” an instrumental tune by the band Spirit. The plaintiff says members of Led Zeppelin heard Spirit’s song when they met early in their touring careers, a claim Led Zeppelin denies.

The case could have significant implications for copyright infringement and how creative inspiration plays out in court. I think we all know Stairway to Heaven to too awesome to be a copy.

unnamedMedia Partner of the Week: xAd

Human behavior is inherently unpredictable, influenced by life circumstances, impulse, and technology. Location based-marketing platform xAd aims to take out the guesswork by focusing on location to predict consumer intent. Utilizing location data generated by any of 100,000 apps and websites, xAd’s Footprint tool provides real-time consumer location verification. Paired with xAd Blueprints, which maps out the physical boundaries of 100 million businesses and points of interest, it allows for more accurate targeting, measurement, and insights. All this information provides a meaningful indication of what the consumer is thinking and enables an accurate prediction of their behavior. xAd’s platform allows brands to precisely target customers and serve them ads that are more likely to influence their immediate behavior.

unnamed-1tronc: the digital rebirth of print media?

Last Thursday, Tribune Publishing (parent company of well respected print news outlets, The Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times) announced a rebranding and name change. The bold new name: tronc, which is a word-mashup that stands for Tribune Online Content.

According to the Tribune’s press release, it is now:

“a content curation and monetization company focused on creating and distributing premium, verified content across all channels. tronc, or tribune online content, captures the essence of the Company’s mission.”

Almost immediately after the announcement, tronc was trending on Twitter where the community united to unleash a flurry of hilarious, relentless, and single-minded criticism of not only the rebrand, but its new name. To add insult to injury, a day after the news of the rebrand, the news surfaced that no one had bothered to secure @tronc on Twitter. This seems like a bit of a misstep for a company whose name litterally contains the words “online content”; however, later that evening that mistake had been righted.

Even the press release itself was not immune from ridicule, as the Washington Post, referred to it as the, “worst press release in the history of journalism.” Not to editorialize here, but ouch.

According to the press release, tronc common stock will begin trading as a Nasdaq-listed security under the new ticker symbol “TRNC” on June 20.