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Published: August 29, 2017 2:58:37 AM

Gambling addiction charity GambleAware has warned that children below 12 years of age are being exposed to huge volumes of gambling ads in the post 9pm slot on TV

GambleAware, gambling firms, Facebook, Malcolm Turnbull, KitKat chocolate bars, California , Warby Parker According to Nielsen, companies offering sports betting, bingo, online casino games and poker spent 118.5 mn pounds on TV spots in 2015, compared with 81.2 mn pounds in 2012 in the UK alone.

Saving kids from gambling ads

Gambling addiction charity GambleAware has warned that children below 12 years of age are being exposed to huge volumes of gambling ads in the post 9pm slot on TV. It further says that betting promotions need to be counter-balanced with ads promoting its risks as well. Sensing the negative impact of gambling promotion in Australia during televised sport events, PM Malcolm Turnbull had announced a ban on them during live sport before 8.30pm. He had announced, “Parents all around Australia will be delighted when they know that during football matches and cricket matches, live sporting events before 8.30pm, there will be no more gambling ads.” The ban included on-screen promotions and sponsorships during the matches.

According to Nielsen, companies offering sports betting, bingo, online casino games and poker spent 118.5 mn pounds on TV spots in 2015, compared with 81.2 mn pounds in 2012 in the UK alone. The gambling industry ad spend hit 312 mn pounds in 2016. Gambling firms are bombarding children with adverts in a bid to attract new customers.

“There has been a 160% increase in ad spend for gambling since 2011,” noted a Deakin study done earlier this year. TV networks are opposed to the ban on gambling advertising during matches, which could not only cost them over $135 million according to data from SMI and Nielsen, but also send these advertisers to digital platforms like Facebook.

KitKat’s Breakout lands in a soup

Nestlé has been accused of infringing trademark, copyright violation and unfair competition by Atari. Atari is the firm that famously developed and published an arcade game, Breakout in the year 1975 where the player makes the ball fly and touch the blocks above the paddle. Nestlé’s ad begins with four actors — two young, two middle-aged — sitting on a couch playing a video game called Breakout. The difference being that the bricks are replaced with long, rectangular bricks made of KitKat chocolate bars.

The lawsuit filed in a California Federal court said, “Nestlé decided that it would, without Atari’s authorisation, leverage Breakout and the special place it holds among nostalgic baby boomers, generation X, and even today’s millennial and post-millennial gamers in order to maximise the reach of worldwide, multi-platform ads for Nestlé KitKat bars.” The iPhone version of the game has been downloaded more than two million times across the world since its 2008 release.

The lawsuit also mentions that “in 2016, KitKat unveiled a new ad for its ubiquitous KitKat chocolate bars”. Nestlé in a statement said, “This is a UK TV advert that ran in 2016. The ad no longer runs and we have no current plans to rerun it…we are aware of the lawsuit in the US and will defend ourselves strongly against these allegations.”

Tencent eyes AI

Tencent Holdings posted robust revenues for the quarter ending June 2017 with profits soaring 70% y-o-y. The company also announced its plan to increase its investment in artificial intelligence (AI). “We have also been increasing our investment in cloud services and AI technologies, which will enable us to serve our users and business partners even better into the future,” Ma Huateng, chairman and CEO, Tencent said. The company views AI as an essential capability that benefits its businesses by enhancing its overall user experience, sharpening its targeting technology and empowering its ecosystem partners.

“Our in-house engineers have recently made breakthroughs in several areas including Go Chess AI, face recognition and medical imaging,” said the financial report. For Tencent, AI is supposed to be a strategic initiative and the company claims to make long-term investments to strengthen its competence in machine learning, computer vision, speech recognition and natural language processing.

“Given the intensifying competitive nature of the industry, we expect our investment in new initiatives such as payment, cloud services and AI to increase, enabling us to serve our users and business partners even better into the future,” stated the report.

Successful licensed drama serials and self-commissioned variety shows boosted user engagement and advertising revenue for its video platform during the quarter. Its payment business also saw an increased adoption of Weixin Payment for offline transactions. Its online games revenues increased by 39%, primarily driven by revenue growth from its smartphone games while revenues from social networks revenues increased by 51%. Online advertising revenues increased by 55% for Q2 2017 on y-o-y basis and media ad revenues grew by 48%. The increase mainly reflected higher traffic for Tencent Video services and news feed ads for its news products. Social and others ad revenues grew by 61%.

The CEO added, “During the second quarter of 2017, we delivered strong revenue growth from multiple businesses, which enabled us to reinvest in innovations and new technologies in an increasingly competitive industry.”

When brands shone during eclipse

While the sun decided to get eclipsed on August 21, many brands decided to create their digital communication signifying the event. Samsung created a print, social and outdoor campaign that features its new Galaxy S6 eclipsing the sun, accompanied by the line Next is all Others Eclipsed. Beer brand Corona capitalised on the event by bringing out an Instagram guide that helped one to turn its 12-pack box into a pinhole camera, through which the solar eclipse could be viewed. It also held a Corona Eclipse party in Nashville, US. Warby Parker also had a campaign in a similar vein, which was reportedly sold out of its specialty specs. Apart from counting down to the event through its website, the retailer also taught people how to make their own eyewear to watch the eclipse safely.

Volvo designed a custom eclipse viewer for 2018 XC60’s moonroof. “The development of the XC60 Panoramic Moonroof Eclipse Viewer gives those in the eclipse’s path a unique way to experience this historic event in both comfort and safety,” Bob Jacobs, vice president of marketing, product and brand communications at Volvo US, said in an official statement. Taking the advantage of the eclipse was another automobile manufacturer — Mitsubishi— which live-streamed the eclipse from Salem, Oregon, to promote its car 2018 Eclipse Cross.

McDonald’s offered its customers a chance to grab a pair of glasses with their burger in Oregon. The QSR was a certified vendor by NASA and the American Astronomical Society.

Dunkin’ Donuts unveiled an app called Moonchkins, to enable people to watch the eclipse through their phones whenever pointed at the sky, no matter where they were. Krispy Kreme sold chocolate-glazed doughnuts on August 21. The athletic apparel shop Nike curated a collection of black shoes, sweatshirts, shorts and accessories to match with the solar eclipse. “On August 21, take your look from day to night to day again in all black,” said the brand on its website.

Amtrak, the passenger train service, took riders from Chicago on a round-trip to see the eclipse in southern Illinois and also provided patrons with free viewing glasses. The #OreoEclipse campaign saw the production of the first-ever translucent cover wrap of The Sun newspaper.

Virginia gets a new slogan

The Charlottesville Virginia incident has inspired the 1969 slogan of Virginia is for Lovers to now read Virginia is for Everyone. Created 40 years ago by The Martin Agency (formerly Martin and Woltz), the state slogan was called ‘one of the most iconic ad campaigns in the past 50 years’ by Advertising Age. In 2009, it was acknowledged as one of the top 10 tourism marketing campaigns of all time by Forbes.com. The new slogan began as a sign outside The Martin Agency’s office, and was subsequently picked up by the Virginia Tourism Corporation. It was promoted on the Tourism Board’s Instagram page with an aim to communicate a positive image of the state. The advertising agency also added the hashtag #standforlove to emphasise that Virginia is a place that welcomes all visitors despite the widely circulated images of torch-wielding white supremacists and violent clashes between protesters and counter-protesters.

Compiled by Ananya Saha

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