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How to effectively use UGC to build brand trust and resonance

(Thinkstock/Sohel Parvez Haque)

(Thinkstock/Sohel Parvez Haque)

Big brands can’t get enough of research on millennial marketing. Why? Because this demographic loves to buy products. In fact, it is estimated that they spend $600bn (£395.5bn) a year and are predicted to have the biggest combined purchasing power in history.

One of the most important insights that brands can leverage is the fact that 50% of millennials trust their peers when it comes to recommendations, typically in the form of user-generated content (UGC). This could be a product review, a photo, or even a “like.” And while the concept of word-of-mouth advertising is nothing new, the UGC voice is growing steadily louder and brands need to listen up.

How ad blocking could be the saviour of the advertising industry



Apple’s introduction of ad blocking software into its latest iOS update last month has pushed the industry into overdrive as commentators from across the web share their opinion on why the public is becoming a community of digital thieves.

Suddenly, a morally righteous advertising industry is on the defensive – empowered ad blocking consumers are being branded as the reason why publishers are losing revenue and why adverts have had to become more aggressive.

But solving this ethical dilemma isn’t quite so simple. Just days after the launch of bestselling iOS ad blocker Peace, creator Marco Arment – who also founded blogging platform Tumblr – withdrew it, claiming its exponential success ‘just doesn’t feel good’.

Vlog: Brands and digital at London Fashion Week 2015



Carla Buzasi, global chief content officer at WGSN, spoke to The Wall about three digital activations during this year’s London Fashion Week that were successful, including Burberry, Topshop and Hunter Originals.

Burberry previews SS16 collection on Snapchat

“They’ve always been leaders in the digital field and very experimental,” Buzasi explained ahead of talking about some of the brands that have successfully been activating at LFW via digital.

The Daily Poke: Taking the dash out of dashboard

Taking the dashAs any parent will tell you, kids possess impressive persuasive powers. So much so that Volkswagen felt they had the skills needed to get folks to reconsider the need for speed and encourage them to drive responsibly.

Four New Zealand families were given VW Golfs with magic dashboards and speed dials – designed using their children’s drawings. The result was that a third of participants reduced their speeding in 100km zones by 50%, driving more like superheroes rather than speeding villains.

Via. GDR Insight

Infographic: The value of paid social

WEB_social_mediaThere are more than two billion people on social media. That’s two billion-plus people who your brand could be reaching. However, being a successful brand on social isn’t as easy as it looks.

People want to see content that is useful, memorable, relevant to them and, most of all, engaging. Brands that want to earn their audience’s attention are increasingly looking to paid social to get their message in front of potential fans, customers and advocates.

In the mood for messaging

(Richard Shotton)

(Richard Shotton)

Over the last few months numerous brands have tried to harness the power of emojis. Highlights include McDonald’s, which created a series of witty ads written solely in the picture characters, and Domino’s, which allowed hungry shoppers to order by simply tweeting them a pizza emoji.

Brand interest has been piqued by the popularity of emojis amongst consumers, especially millennials. A survey conducted by Bangor University revealed that 29% of adults use emojis in at least half of their texts, instant messaging and social media posts.

The pace of change is stunning. Internal data from Instagram has shown that in mid-2011 only 1% of global comments on the social media site used emojis; by 2015 this figure had grown to 40%, and 48% in the UK. The growth has been fuelled by the introduction of emoji keyboards on iOS and Android, in 2011 and 2013 respectively.

Device detection: A solution to ad blockers?

(Flickr/Bridget AMES)

(Flickr/Bridget AMES)

What strikes me most about the reaction to Apple’s decision to allow iPhone and iPad Safari browsers to block advertising via third-party software extensions is its reason for doing so. According to the BBC an Apple spokeswoman claimed the decision was made “for an improved mobile browsing experience.” Some users support this view with one such comment from Peter Steinberger“Ad blocking on iOS 9 makes such a big difference in page load times, it’s not even funny”.

Ad blocking is a far more complicated issue than simply giving iOS 9 users increased flexibility. David Frew, senior programmes manager for the Internet Advertising Bureau trade body, said: “Ad blocking is a threat to the whole advertising industry.” The bigger picture could drive a number of damaging effects.

The Daily Poke: Scratchbottle

ScratchbottleYou may already be aware of the self-expressive, artistic power of beer. Yet some of the big brewers have lost sight of their product’s magical properties, causing drinkers of today to become enticed by small craft breweries.

The Daily Poke: Decisions, decisions…

Decisions decisionsAre you guilty of using Facebook to badger your mates for the green light of approval? You are not alone. In a world full of choices, you want to feel like you’ve spent your hard-earned dosh on the right option. 
But now you can leave your nearest and dearest alone. Viennese entrepreneurs Philip Holley and Peter Buchroithner have created an app for assertiveness. 
It’s pretty simple stuff really. Dvel crowdsources decisiveness. You take two pictures of the things you’re torn between and upload them. In a set amount of time, users vote for what they think you should go for, and ta-da – decision made!
Dvel isn’t alone, there are plenty other apps of the same ilk making social media a much more practical method of decision-making. Khloe Kardashian’s mobile messaging app Begrouped allows you to do something other than send pictures of cats to your pals. You can ask functional yes/no questions, polls and other useful things that help with decisions and plans. 
Now to Google which app to try…

Via. LSN Global

The year VR began to grow up

WEB_virtual_reality_headsetAs the recent Oculus Connect 2 conference in LA highlighted, 2015 is shaping up to be the year that virtual reality (VR) began to grow up. Despite the lack of a major hardware release, it really feels like a much more mature industry.

The biggest announcement at OC2 was the $99 GearVR, which is compatible with Samsung’s entire high-end smartphone range. Beyond anything else, this will get VR into the hands of potentially millions of consumers in 2016. Oculus has made some very smart moves with content for the GearVR, of which Minecraft and Netflix are the highlights.