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Is Uber’s new look good business or bad branding?

Uber’s rebranding has met with a wave of derision from the business, marketing and technology worlds.

Uber1

The Twitter community has lamented the loss the brand’s distinctive ‘U’ and the lack of obvious references to its core business of moving people from A to B.

Above all, the micromanagement of the two-year process by Uber CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick – an engineer by trade – has commentators questioning his priorities.

Unfavourable comparisons are made with the light-touch rebrands of Google and Facebook which kept colours and references that consumers are familiar with.

The year ahead for programmatic

The programmatic ecosystem has seen substantial growth over the past few years.

Programmatic

It has moved from being a cheap solution and now grants access to guaranteed premium inventory.

However, with the number of brands adopting programmatic methods, there is now a greater chance for issues such as poor user experience and poor advertising quality.

However, there are now stronger data protection regulations in place which can combat these issues. With this in mind, there are a few trends I expect to see over the coming year.

As marketers try to gain more control over automated ads, we will see a greater focus on what they actually want from automated solutions.

Movie producers should use personalised video to get punters into the cinema in 2016

Last year marked a record year for cinema ticket sales in the UK and Ireland, jumping 11 per cent from 2012, the previous record year, with five films making more at the box office than the biggest success of 2014.

StarWars

With the likes of Spectre and the new Star Wars release in the same year it’s hardly surprising.

But the film industry can’t spend too long patting itself on the back and supping champagne.

The fact that this bumper year was driven by so many blockbusters won’t be lost on the film studios who arguably don’t have so many ‘bankers’ releasing in 2016.

The Daily Poke: Pod prescription

Some of the best discoveries happen by accident. That’s certainly true for New York based HiLine Coffee.

coffee

So how did founder Gene Kakaulin accidentally discover that filling used Nespresso pods with freshly ground premium coffee would taste even better than the original?

The honest answer is he ran out of Nespresso pods at home and had to get creative or risk leaving his wife uncaffeinated (a risk he obviously wasn’t willing to take).

How to appease ad-verse customers

As ad blocking rises, it’s become a big problem for brands and marketers alike – and one that’s not going to disappear overnight.

AdBlocker

But while many in the industry are worried that we’re facing the end of ad-supported content, ad blockers can signal an opportunity for marketers to step up and revitalise the ad-supported online experience with better content, to deliver better results.

After all, content isn’t free to produce and brands have every right to monetise it. But equally consumers have the right to avoid bad ad experiences.

Here are three methods that could help brands improve the viewing experience for today’s ad-verse consumers.

DOOH shares the same DNA as online and mobile

Back when this all began in 2005, and the first run of screens launched on the London Underground, DOOH stakeholders were keen to see the premium ad-revenues rolling in for this new turbo-charged Outdoor offering.

GoogleOutside

Many in the industry thought DOOH would boost Outdoor’s overall market share by deflecting existing budgets away from display and mobile advertising, and this could explain our relative antipathy in the beginning.

Fast forward to 2015 and the mood couldn’t be more different.

We in DOOH now sit comfortably alongside digital and mobile, courting some sort of harmonious digital threeway for clients, inviting them to sample our wares collectively.

Super Bowl 50: How to amplify your advertising beyond the big event

Super Bowl 50 is almost upon us and the advertising industry and consumers alike are indulging in brand’s campaigns ahead of the event.

snickers super bowl 2016 marilyn monroe willem dafoe

Many brands have launched teasers for the sporting occasion. Already, we’ve seen Pokémon kicking off its 20th anniversary celebrations with their first ever Super Bowl ad and Marilyn Monroe and Willem Dafoe starring in Snickers’ campaign (pictured).

Advertising is key during Super Bowl, with last years’ game breaking TV records, but what can brands do to amplify their advertising strategy around the event?

Using narrative to engage your audience: three steps to successful brand storytelling

Everybody loves a great story.

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The distinctive style of Hemingway, the mean-spirited wit of Wilde or the romantic scripts of Shakespeare – storytelling has always been a cherished British pastime.

As the UK celebrates National Storytelling Week, we explore how the age-old practice has moved beyond bedtime reads and into the marketing plans of branding experts hoping to breathe some literary delight into their marketing campaigns.

Already, there is a rich history of inspiring and powerful storytelling in the design and advertising industries.

Sponsored: Why turning off the lights shows OLED’s true colours

This article is sponsored by LG.

screen

One night, the inhabitants of Reykjavik turned out the lights across the city.

With the light pollution from the street lights and homes removed, the colours of the Aurora Borealis were revealed in the sky.

By removing excess light from an image, its true colours are revealed.

LG is using the same principles to change the way we watch television – thanks to OLED displays.

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The Social Election… that wasn’t

Like no UK election before it, the 2015 General Election was positioned as The Social Election.

Election graph

But the noise being made inside the online space simply did not correspond directly or representatively with the demographics or party affiliations of those entering the voting booths.

It’s not so much that people were saying one thing online and then doing another thing on voting day, rather it’s that the conversations taking place online were extremely one-sided.