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Archive for March, 2017


Brand Extension: AmazonFresh

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Amazon’s Latest Brand Extension Puts Groceries Straight to the Trunk of Your Car

Google Advertising

Amazon has been practicing brand extensions since they expanded their inventory from books a decade ago. Never failing to create unique strategies to retain and grow their customer base, Amazon has recently announced its entrance into the e-grocery world. The launch of AmazonFresh Pickup, lets customers place their grocery order online, drive to an AmazonFresh location, and have someone place the order straight into their trunk. Amazon claims that orders can be completed in as little as 15 minutes. According to the company, AmazonFresh Pickup gives consumers thousands of options to choose from, ranging from basic everyday items, such as bread, milk, and toilet paper to expensive, top-choice cuts of meat.

AmazonFresh will be free for Amazon Prime members once testing is complete, but currently, the beta launch is currently only available for employees in the Seattle area. Last December, Amazon announced a similar brick-and-mortar store idea called AmazonGo, which would give customers the ability to enter the store, grab desired items, and leave without having to interact with a cashier, as items will be scanned automatically and then charged to their respective account via an app. However, Amazon has yet to unveil this idea to the public.

Amazon has been toying with numerous ways of reinventing traditional grocery shopping habits, and AmazonFresh is the newest example of the company’s innovative strategies. Trends are suggesting that physical grocery stores are becoming replaced by e-grocery marketplaces , such as those soon offered by Amazon. Similar to banks and electronic retailers, grocery shopping is becoming an amalgamation of physical and online entities. Walmart is another company getting in on the online grocery store market, as they recently announced an online shopping and in-store pickup option similar to that offered by AmazonFresh. While it has yet to be determined who will run the e-grocery sector, it is certain that online grocery stores will shift consumer habits away from brick-and-mortar stores.

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Advertising Update: Carl’s Jr. Changes Their Message

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Google Advertising

Carl’s Jr., notoriously known for overtly sexual advertisements, has adopted a new approach to advertising strategies. In its new ads, the younger, more provocative Carl Hardee Jr. has been replaced by a charming and more senior Carl Hardee Sr., who is not one for provocative, bikini-clad women. The new strategy is vastly different from previous ads, where millennial playboy Hardee Jr. has previously been known for flaunting his flashy lifestyle and using naked women and sex appeal to appeal to consumers, a tactic Carl’s Jr. has relied on to sell burgers for over 15 years.

Advertising Evolution

The new ad featuring Carl Hardee Sr., played by actor-musician Charles Esten from Nashville, addresses the shortcomings of the previous advertising strategies from the get-go. Booting his sex-obsessed millennial son from the company, Hardee Sr. aims to take back the business and bring back to the focus to fresh, juicy hamburger patties and away from scantily-clad women in bikinis. “It was time to evolve,” says Jason Norcross, executive creative director, and partner at the advertising agency 72andSunny . “Some of the product attributes got lost because people were too busy ogling girls.” Along with its new, less controversial ads, the company has also introduced a new tagline: “Pioneers of the great American burger.”

Although Carl’s Jr. is changing its narrative, execs know that there’s no use in ignoring the contentious tactics of the past. New ads feature previous stars like Genevieve Morton, Emily Sears, Elena Belle, and Charlotte McKinney, however strictly as works of art and cardboard cutouts. The target audience has remained consistent – younger, burger-hungry men – but Norcross states that the company is looking to be a competitor among more cheaply-priced rivals, such as The Habit and Shake Shack. The new campaign will focus strictly on “food, not boobs,” a much-desired change from its past campaigns.

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Google Advertising: An Ad Misplacement Mistake

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Google Advertising

Recently, Google was called out for accidentally placing advertisements beside inappropriate and offensive content. In response, Google has announced its “three-pronged” solution to combatting ad misplacement by focusing more closely on policies, enforcement, and controls. Matt Brittin, president of business for Google and operations for EMEA, said earlier this week that Google is focusing on how to solve issues regarding ads being positioned beside inappropriate content. The new plan involves reworking existing policies which define what is considered to be “safe” for advertisers by revising definitions of hateful or malicious content, as well as enforcing regulations regarding content removal and giving advertisers more authority over brand safety matters.

Pulling Back From Google Advertising

In light of recent events, Marks & Spencer, HSBC, and Royal Bank of Scotland are just a few companies who have decided to remove their advertisements from Google . An investigation conducted by The Times (UK) revealed that advertisements from these organizations, as well as those from publicly-backed groups such as BBC and Transport for London, were found to have been running next to videos on YouTube which promoted hateful content such as anti-Semitism and the defense of rape apologies. Just weeks earlier, Google had been accused of being one of the many big companies that supported terrorist propaganda as well as pornography on YouTube. As Will Coombe, of Sharpe Digital points out, “Really, it’s a PR domino effect. As one company gets in the headlines for pulling their Google Ads, many will and have followed suit.”

As a result, advertising’s largest holding groups, including GroupM and Havas, have cautioned Google advertising to implement stricter standards regarding ad content and placement. Havas Group has announced it has halted all budgets which run through YouTube and Google Display Network until it is sure that adequate safeguards have been put into place. “Our position will remain until we are confident in the YouTube platform and Google Display Network’s ability to deliver the standards we and our clients expect,” says Paul Frampton, Havas’ chief executive and country manager.

Although Matt Brittin apologized on behalf of Google advertising, he stated the severity of the matter was relatively low, implying that not many people had seen the ads at all. Without a doubt, the company faces a variety of issues regarding its ad content placement. Only time will tell if the company’s new strategies to combat misplaced ads will be effective in the long run.

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Advertising on Amazon’s Echo and Dot

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

It seems that Amazon’s Echo is now getting into the advertising game. At the end of January, Amazon announced it would soon be adding paid advertising to its Echo and Dot devices. The announcement sent a wave of excitement through the advertising industry because Amazon has already sold 5 million devices since its original launch date. But how does voice shopping work? And how is Amazon planning to use these ads to interact with their users?

Advertising & Voice Shopping

To order anything through Alexa, you must have an Amazon Prime membership. This alone could also boost the number of Amazon Prime members, or at the very least recruit temporary members through the free 30-day trial. By enacting a voice purchase request, Prime customers can verbally order any items sold by Amazon, and can even ask Alexa to look through past order history and Amazon’s choice catalogs to find corresponding items. If the product is available for purchase, Alexa will let you know the name of the item and its price and Alexa will ask if you wish to continue with the purchase. As soon as you say, “Yes,” Amazon will complete your request, and your order will be on its way.

How Amazon Will Utilize Paid Voice Search Advertising

There are many speculations on how Amazon will be implementing voice search ads that focus on the promotion of related products. For instance, if you say to Alexa, “Buy more Charmin,” the advertiser may be able to buy a brief ad that replies, “Did you know that a 12- pack of Cottonelle is only $20.99?” These ads are intended not to interrupt the customer’s shopping but to inform him or her of alternative product options. However, there have been concerns about paid voice ads and customers’ rights. Will Alexa let consumers know that what they’re hearing is a paid advertisement? Without verbal announcement, Amazon customers might not be able to tell if Alexa is promoting a paid advertisement or not. If not implemented in the right way, paid voice search may reduce consumers’ trust in Amazon. No one is sure what these paid ads will look like, but in order to be successful they must be clearly identified, appropriate, and provide valuable information for customers.

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