1. From T-Mobile, Unilever Prank to KFC, here’s what hit the news around the world

From T-Mobile, Unilever Prank to KFC, here’s what hit the news around the world

The app will help a phone’s camera to activate and transform any targeted magenta surface into a virtual portal through which exclusive Gorillaz content, artwork and videos can be viewed.

Published: May 2, 2017 2:15 AM
Deutsche TeleKom, T-Mobile, Gorillaz, Telekom Electronic Beats, The Lenz app, AR application, KFC, Zinger burger, KFC marketing campaign, Suave Believer, Jen Bremner, Unilever, mobile internet usage in China, Blocking ads The app will help a phone’s camera to activate and transform any targeted magenta surface into a virtual portal through which exclusive Gorillaz content, artwork and videos can be viewed.

T-Mobile and Gorillaz team up for an AR gig

Deutsche TeleKom, which owns the brand T-Mobile, has tied up with British virtual brand Gorillaz for its music project. Under the Telekom Electronic Beats programme, the European telco has launched The Lenz app. The app will help a phone’s camera to activate and transform any targeted magenta surface into a virtual portal through which exclusive Gorillaz content, artwork and videos can be viewed. To enable the app, magenta, the colour associated with the brand, was painted across various surfaces such as an abandoned building, Potter’s Field Park, an underground pass and even some London taxis.

“This innovative AR application will allow users to experience a whole new dimension of the band, including a look inside the Gorillaz house — home to band members Murdoc Niccals, Russel Hobbs, 2D and Noodle, as well as exclusive video content. Over the coming weeks more and more content will be made available for fans to unlock, as Telekom’s technology allows them to get closer to the band than ever before,” informs the statement from the company.

Wolfgang Kampbartold, VP — international marketing communications at Deutsche Telekom, said, “Innovative new AR applications allow us to blend one dimension with another to create something entirely new and never seen before, allowing fans to experience a level of depth and discovery previously unimaginable.” Saatchi & Saatchi’s London office has worked on the concept with an aim to attract tech-savvy millennial consumers.

KFC aims to reach space

Starting with a teaser campaign to a full-blown marketing gimmick aimed at sending its iconic Zinger burger into space, KFC has roped in actor Rob Lowe as the latest Colonel Sanders. In the 90-second spot, Lowe features as a mission commander addressing a press conference saying that the time is apt to “push crispy chicken to new heights”. In an ad conceptualised by Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, the colonel asks if “you can actually launch KFC’s world-famous Zinger sandwich into space”, while assuring viewers that the burger will actually be sent into space, and it has to work because the brand’s “entire marketing campaign depends on it”. The rousing address is met with applause from the US audience.

“My grandfather was the head of the Ohio chapter of the National Restaurant Association in the 1960s and took me to meet Colonel Harland Sanders when I was a kid,” the actor said in a statement, adding, “It was a big deal. I thought this would be a nice homage to both Colonel Sanders and to my grandfather.”

The product, which according to KFC’s US president and chief concept officer Kevin Hochman, a bestseller in 120 countries, launched in the US market recently. Prior to Lowe, KFC had roped in Billy Zane in January this year to launch Georgia Gold Chicken. However, in the campaign, he stepped out of Colonel Sanders’ iconic white suit and wore a gold one to match the new menu item. Other actors that have previously played the role of Colonel include Henderson Forsythe, Jim Gaffigan among others.

Unilever plays a ‘suave’ prank

It is widely said that ‘never judge a book by its cover’ but the phrase hardly has any believers, especially when it comes to beauty products. To bring back the thought, Unilever recently went undercover with its ‘cheap’ drugstore hair care brand — Suave. Calling it Evaus, the product in minimalist packaging was sent to few millennial beauty influencers and had them try it for two weeks.

Post two weeks, they were called to a studio in New York City where its true identity was revealed. The social experiment from Vice’s digital agency Carrot for Suave Professionals was then released to convince women to not fall into the trap of buying only expensive products, and rather become a #SuaveBeliever.

The experiment was to prove to young millennial women that price, label and packaging were not necessarily indicative of quality. Research from the brand shows that 92% of millennial women say they would buy a lower-priced hair care product as long as quality was not sacrificed, and seven in 10 women feel that premium brands are more trustworthy than value brands even as nine in 10 like purchasing value brands to get the most bang for their buck. “We are asking women to look past the label and reconsider Suave,” said Jen Bremner, director of marketing, Unilever.

China’s usage of mobile internet continues to grow

In 2017, adults in China will be spending an average of one hour and 38 minutes with their smartphones, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast. The mobile internet is capturing a growing share of daily time that adults in China spend on major media, informs the study. It further states that the reason of growing adoption is the availability of cheaper smartphones which has led to deeper engagement with devices.

“As attention continues to migrate from offline to online formats and from desktop to mobile devices, advertising dollars, too, will shift,” said Shellen Shum, senior forecasting analyst at eMarketer, adding, “Coupled with improvements in targeting and measurability, digital and mobile ad formats will continue to fare better than their counterparts in traditional media.”

The study estimates that by 2019, adults will spend an average of two hours and nine minutes with their smartphones per day. eMarketer forecasts that digital will account for 54.2% of total daily media time this year, while 40.6% of media time will be spent with TV, 2.1% with print and 3.1% with radio. Radio is the only traditional media format that will not see a decline in time spent this year.

The study has also reduced estimates for time spent on print media as adults increasingly get their news from online platforms. Shum further said that TV will continue to suffer losses at the hands of digital video in China. “We expect online video platforms like iQiyi, Youku Tudou and  Tencent Video to take viewership from traditional TV. This is thanks to the quality of original content produced by the various providers and the on-demand nature of these services,” Shum said.

Blocking ads: the new mantra

It seems the race towards ad blocking is about to get more serious. Reportedly, digital giant Google is considering to introduce an ad blocking feature in its Chrome browser. Coalition for Better Ads (CBA) that includes Google, Microsoft, P&G, Unilever, GroupM, Facebook, Thomson Reuters, The Washington Post, Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Association of National Advertisers is also considering the move towards ad block. Google has not yet revealed the blueprint for its ad blocking feature.

In March this year, CBA had released a research that revealed that consumers do not like autoplay video ads with sound and pop-up ads. CBA is in the midst of drawing a roadmap, even as experts doubt how it will differentiate between good formats and bad creatives, and monetising on digital platforms. The final decision is set to come out by September this year. Even as advertisers try to acquire consumers and look at their interest, monetising on digital medium might become more difficult if ad blocking is adopted at large scale.

– Compiled by Ananya Saha

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