Ford’s VR App Lets You Experience Life as a Race Car Driver

August 18, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Virtual reality makes a lot of sense for auto brands—after all, what better way to show off your car's features than to put consumers in the virtual driver's seat? But Ford took its virtual reality experience to the next level with its new VR app that launches today and lets users immerse themselves in stories related to the brand. The first such story is a behind-the-scenes look at 24 Hours of Le Mans, a daylong sports car race in France that driver Joey Hand won this year in his Ford -sponsored GT race car. Hand narrates the driving experience, which also shows the pit crew's work during the race and a view from the Ferris wheel at the track. "A lot of automotive manufacturers are just sticking a VR camera in a car. We wanted this to have more of a story arc to it, and pushed it to an experience where people felt like they went to this race in France," said Erich Joiner, founder of Tool of North America, the production company that created the video. On Tuesday, Ford announced its plans to release a driverless car for ride-sharing services in 2021; the VR app lets consumers experience Ford's product innovations like this one in a new way, said Lisa Schoder, Ford's digital marketing manager. "We wanted to approach VR from a storytelling perspective and bring to life the innovations and the spirit of the brand. It's giving someone an experience that they may never have otherwise had," she said. The next VR story, which will launch in September, features more racing content, and future stories will show scenes from the studios and labs working on Ford's latest technology. Users with their push notifications turned on will get updates when new content goes live and will be able to share the content on social media.

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Ad of the Day: A Dangerous Disco Ball Ends Up With the Perfect People, Thanks to Letgo

August 17, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

We've all been guilty of going to great lengths to hang on to items with sentimental value, but a new ad for marketplace app Letgo reminds us there's always a better home out there. The spot, "Disco Ball," from Crispin Porter + Bogusky Miami, keeps up the app's marketing approach of creating ads in the style of big-budget Hollywood action films (see below in case you missed the earlier spots). This time around, the director is Craig Gillespie, best known for 2007's Lars and the Real Girl and 2011's reboot of Fright Night. While the previous ads took place mostly in one location, this time we watch as two women weave through epic car crashes—likely of their own creation—while debating the merits of keeping a massive disco ball. Luckily, the right group of friends comes along to help.

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3 Brands Using Facebook in Particularly Effective Ways During the Rio Games

August 17, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Thanks to the explosive growth of platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, the 2016 Rio Games are widely assumed to be the most social ever. And they're also easily the most mobile. Marcos Angelini, the head of Facebook's office in Brazil, said that during the opening ceremony alone, 52 million people had about 110 million interactions on the platform, while another 21 million had 62 million actions on Instagram. (Brazil was the most active country, with about 13 percent of all Brazilian users engaged during the opening ceremony.) All of these interactions provide for a "massive" audience, which Angelini—who spent the past 21 years at Unilever before joining Facebook—said is being thoroughly utilized by brands during the Olympics. Because Facebook is a "natural repository" for sharing stories, Angelini said the Olympics have been an easy pitch for advertisers. (According to Facebook, at least 80 percent of users are connected to at least one business on the platform.) "The world is watching," he said. "We believe we have a very, very important responsibility in making sure that the world watches, that it's engaged with the athletes and the whole organization." On the first day of the games, the top three countries talking about brand sponsors on Facebook were the U.S., Brazil and Mexico.

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Instagram Debuts an Events Feature That Curates User-Generated Videos

August 17, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Instagram is taking another step today in what is turning into a full-blown Snapchat blitz. The Facebook-owned video- and photo-sharing platform announced it's rolling out an Events video channel on its Explore page that curates user-generated videos from major events like concerts and sports. Like the rest of Explore, the feature is personalized for each user based on the photos and videos they like and who they follow. So far, the updates are only available in the U.S., but Instagram says it plans to bring the feature to the rest of the world soon. Here's how it works: Clicking on a video from Adele's concert in Phoenix, for example, lets users swipe down to scroll through other videos taken at the same show. Another video curated today shows footage from the Rio Olympics featuring track and field athletes. It's not the first time Instagram has tried its hand at curated videos. As Fortune points out, it created a hand-picked list of videos for Halloween last year. Earlier this month, Instagram debuted its Stories feature that lets users take photos and 10-second videos that disappear after 24 hours. (Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom told Techcrunch that Snapchat deserves "all the credit" for making the format popular.) Instagram has also been trying out live filters similar to Snapchat's. Marcos Angeli, head of Facebook's office in Brazil, told Adweek the filters have been quickly adopted in the beta markets of Brazil and Canada during the Olympics.

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Here Are the 10 Buzziest Social Media Moments From U.S. Olympians This Past Week

August 15, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Each week for the Olympics, data and analytics platform ListenFirst is providing Adweek with exclusive analysis of which members of Team USA are getting the most traction on social media. Last week , the heat of 10 was led by gymnast Simone Biles, followed by soccer player Alex Morgan and tennis star Serena Williams. However, during the second week, a few different athletes rose to the top, with gymnast Aly Raisman vaulting to the top spot. Biles remained in the top three, sliding from first to second, while Michael Phelps climbed (or swam) from sixth to third. The rankings are based on each person's digital engagement rating (DER). The rating—based on data from Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter, Wikipedia and YouTube—is a raw aggregate of daily engagements based on owned, earned and organic behavior by consumers. Here are the top 10 for the week of Aug. 8 to Aug

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Here’s How Olympic Advertisers Are Divvying Up Spend Across Digital and TV

August 15, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

According to data from MediaRadar, 482 advertisers have run TV ads during the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, with 349 of those brands also running digital display advertising. MediaRadar used data from NBC and aggregated stats from 6,000 websites to crunch numbers from Aug. 1 through Aug. 15. For digital ad buys, the company measures factors like ad type, location, density on the page, media format and frequency to create a metric dubbed a Digital Placement Score. The metric is intended to help compare spend across differing ad sizes and shapes that individual websites and publishers often offer. Video and native ad campaigns, for example, score higher than standard display or banner campaigns. In terms of quantity, DirecTV leads with a total of 19 digital and TV campaigns, with a big chunk of digital dollars supporting the DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket streaming initiative. The media buy for DirecTV NFL Sunday Ticket includes ads on 30 websites—giving the brand a score of 4,315—while another ad buy for a separate campaign across 45 websites yielded a score of 1,495

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Olympic Roundup: U.S. Reaches 1,000th Summer Olympics Gold

August 14, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Saturday Michael Phelps finished his last competition at the Summer Olympics in Rio—and his career—with a gold medal, and Simone Manuel gave the U.S. its 1,000th Summer Olympic gold medal. The U.S. is still on top in the medals race. Here's what marketers need to know about the last 24 hours of the Olympics: American Women's Medley Relay Wins 1,000th Summer Olympic Gold Medal for U.S. Simone Manuel won the gold medal for a 4x100-meter medley relay Saturday after taking a silver medal in the 50-meter freestyle. The gold medal marked the United States' 1000th Summer Olympic gold. (NBC Olympics) Here's the total medal leaderboard as it stood going into Sunday, according to NBC Olympics: United States: 60 China: 41 Great Britain: 30 Japan: 24 Ruussia: 23 Michael Phelps Helps U.S. to 4x100-Meter Medley Relay Win in Final Rio Race In the last Olympics competition of his career—the 4x100-meter medley relay—Michael Phelps won the gold, giving him 23 career gold medals. "It turned out pretty cool. It's just a perfect way to finish," he said. (ESPN) Jamaica's Elaine Thompson Is the Fastest Woman in the World Elaine Thompson of Jamaica became the unofficial fastest woman in the world Saturday after winning the women's 100 meters

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Olympic Roundup: Michael Phelps ‘Not Coming Back in 4 Years’

August 13, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Friday Michael Phelps put an end to any speculation that he will return to the Olympic games in four years, and Katie Ledecky smashed her own world record for the 800-meter freestyle. The U.S. remained on top of the medal count (now 50) again on Friday. Here's what marketers need to know about the last 24 hours of the Olympics: Michael Phelps on Olympic Future: 'I Am Not Coming Back in Four Years' Ryan Lochte speculated that competitor Michael Phelps will be returning to the pool at the Olympic games in four years. However, Phelps himself confirmed that he is in fact retiring. (USA Today) Here's the total medal leaderboard as it stood going into Saturday, according to NBC Olympics: Leaderboard United States: 50 China: 37 Japan: 24 Great Britain: 22 Russia: 22 Ledecky Defends 800-Meter Free Title, Crushes Her Own World Record Michael Phelps isn't the only swimmer who made news at the Olympics on Friday

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Stephen Colbert Will Host a Live Election-Night Comedy Special for Showtime—Probably

August 11, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Stephen Colbert's resurgence this political season will continue on election night, Nov. 8, as the comedian hosts a live comedy special for Showtime. We think. David Nevins, president and CEO of Showtime Networks, made the "half announcement" today at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour. "I think it's going to happen," Nevins said. "Stephen wants to do it. I want to do it. The studio wants to do it.

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