Hulu Is Targeting Living Room Viewers With New Interactive Advertising Deals

May 4, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Hulu spent much of last year improving the quality of its content and striking big deals for new and acquired series like Casual, Difficult People, The Mindy Project, 11.22.63 and all nine seasons of Seinfeld. This year, the streaming service is focusing on improving the experience of watching that content, especially in the comfort of viewers' own homes. Hulu's subscriber base has grown more than 30 percent from last year, and will reach 12 million U.S. subscribers by this month. "Hulu is TV, and the fact that 70 percent of our viewing happens in a living room environment just reinforces that idea to the market," said Peter Naylor, svp of advertising sales with Hulu. That's why many of the company's big announcements at Wednesday morning's NewFronts event at the Theater at Madison Square Garden center around initiatives relating to what Naylor calls the "living room," but refer to any viewing via connected TV devices like Roku, Apple TV, PlayStation or smart TVs. Hulu has teamed with interactive advertising company BrightLine to bring interactive advertising to connected TV devices for the first time. Havas Media will be the exclusive charter agency for the new ads, which debut on Hulu this summer. It will allow viewers to interact with the creative itself much as they would on a computer or mobile device. They can click on the ad and be taken to a site or page with details about a particular brand

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IMAX Strikes 10-Theater Deal With Shanghai Bestar

May 3, 2016  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Shanghai Bestar Cinemas Management has signed a deal to open 10 IMAX theaters in China.

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Korea Box Office: Unprecedented Opening Gives ‘Civil War’ $29 Million Win

May 2, 2016  |  Variety  |  No Comments

“Captain America: Civil War” opened on unprecedented 1,989 screens, giving it a $29 million win at the Korean box office.

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Snapchat Led the Way With Vertical Video. Will Virool Make It the New Standard?

May 2, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Not so long ago, it was taboo to turn horizontal video on its head, as marketers grappled with doing more for mobile than merely refitting TV spots for smaller screens. But today, vertical video, once seen as a Snapchat anomaly, is gaining traction and providing publishers and advertisers with perhaps another way to win over the ever-growing mobile audience—with some 163.7 million Americans owning smartphones by the end of this year, per eMarketer. Virool, a programmatic video distribution company, is planning a vertical video ad unit called Vertical Reveal. Using a portion of the $12 million in venture capital it recently raised, the San Francisco-based firm is betting on a format that, as Virool CEO Alex Debelov and many others have noted, best matches up with how we hold our mobile devices day-to-day. "We're excited because in the last 18 months, Snapchat has been a lone wolf in this fight, but we now have the opportunity to really make this the new standard," he said. "So our vision is that over the next year, this will become something you will see everywhere, and that will provide a much better advertiser and user experience." One of the first brands to sign on with Virool is DJI, a Chinese drone manufacturer that also recently started making handheld cameras. It will start running ads in the next few weeks, as Virool ramps up its vertical debut for the second quarter. Meanwhile, a European rollout is planned to coincide with the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in June. "We need to be in front of [users] in some way that's not intrusive—it isn't a banner, it isn't boring," said Gabe Chan, global director of digital brands at DJI. "So vertical video seems like a very logical choice to us and to any advertiser in digital marketing now." Rubicon Project will be the exclusive programmatic platform for Virool's new unit. "From everything that I'm seeing, we believe that there will be a lot of momentum behind this unit because of the way everyone is consuming and how marketers really want to capture that experience," said John Peragine, head of video at Rubicon Project

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Editor’s Note: Video Is the Latest Battlefront in the Struggle for Consumers’ Attention

May 2, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In pulling together our annual Video Issue this year, which we publish on the first day of the fifth annual Digital Content NewFronts , I had to gut check our coverage plan several times as news hit during the weeks just before deadline that altered and elevated digital video's place in the media and marketing landscape. Facebook, for example, continues to shape the future. Video is definitely a priority for the social giant, and Facebook Live video content is being created by a wide array of publishers, including Adweek, and viewed there at growing pace and volume. And at its F8 conference earlier this month, Facebook dropped a considerable amount of new innovation into the marketplace that will have a material effect on video and pretty much every modern media form. I'm still noodling over the mashup of Messenger, brands and chatbots. Is it AI-powered marketing at scale?

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‘A Melody to Remember’ Wins Audience Award at Udine

May 1, 2016  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Lee Han's "A Melody to Remember" scooped the audience award at the 18th edition of the Far East Film Festival, which unspooled April 22-30 in Udine, Italy.

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Film Review: ‘Inside Men’

April 30, 2016  |  Variety  |  No Comments

In "Inside Men," a smashing political revenge thriller with more double-crossings than "Infernal Affairs," a prosecutor allies himself with a gangster to topple a corrupt cabal.

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Tribeca Film Review: ‘Don’t Look Down’

April 30, 2016  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Unseen footage of Richard Branson’s daredevil hot air balloon trans-oceanic flights offer genuine thrills, but “Don’t Look Down” plays like a rah-rah promo for the adventurous businessman.

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Home Depot’s CMO Trish Mueller Resigns After 5 Years in the Top Marketing Role

April 29, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Trish Mueller has stepped down as chief marketing officer at Home Depot after nearly seven years with the Atlanta-based company. Director of corporate communications Stephen Holmes confirmed to Adweek today that Mueller announced her resignation approximately two weeks ago and that she has been replaced by president of online operations Kevin Hofmann, who will hold both titles. In a statement, Mueller said, "It was an honor and a privilege to work at The Home Depot as CMO for the past 5 years!" She added, "For now, I have decided to take some time off to consider what's next, but I will always 'bleed orange' and be grateful for working for, in my opinion, the best retailer in America." Mueller became vice president of advertising at Home Depot in 2009 after serving as svp of marketing and advertising at Sports Authority. She was promoted to CMO in 2011. Earlier in her career, she held similar positions at retailers including Montgomery Ward, ShopNBC and American Signature-Value City. She has also been an independent director on the board of Dave & Buster's since 2015. Hofmann joined the chain in 2006 as a vice president leading its technology teams with a focus on ecommerce, supply-chain transformation and international operations. He was later promoted to vp of Home Depot's installation division before being promoted again to lead all aspects of its online business in 2013. He previously spent a decade at GE in various leadership positions handling technology, social networking, business intelligence, renewable energy and other corporate functions after working for eight years in research, manufacturing and technology with Dow Chemical.

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Target and Lancome Produce Snapchat’s First Ecommerce Ads

April 29, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After slowly testing more interactive ads in recent months, Snapchat is open for ecommerce. Lancome and Target started running shoppable ads today within Cosmopolitan's Discover channel—the hub of the app where media brands publish daily stories. Like Discover's other ads, Lancome and Target's promos appear between Cosmo's articles and videos, each with a 10-second call-to-action instructing viewers to "swipe up" for more. Copy on Target's ad reads, "New products every week." Swiping down on the screen pulls up a loading page with Target's mobile site where people can shop the products featured in the ad—like plant stands and water bottles. Lancome's ad promotes a lip product called Juicy Shaker. Similar to Target's ad, people can shop the beauty company's site without leaving Snapchat. While creative on Snapchat is still relatively limited—ads, just like content, are capped at 10 seconds—Snapchat has experimented over the past few months with similar ads that ask consumers to 'swipe up" for more content. In November, Activision tested the first longer-length video on the platform, and a number of advertisers— particularly entertainment brands —have run similar campaigns since then. Then in February, mobile game Cookie Jam became the first advertiser to run app-install ads . Shortly afterward, shopping app Spring and ticketing company Gametime ran app-based campaigns, indicating that ecommerce ads may be coming soon. Last month, AT&T tested another type of swipeable ad with an article attached that's akin to a piece of branded content. It's been a busy week for Snapchat. On Thursday, the app announced users watch 10 billion videos every day, and 60 percent of its daily active users create content every day. The messaging app also inked a deal with NBC to broadcast clips from the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio

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