Posts Tagged ‘internet’

Q&A: PopSugar’s Lisa Sugar on Expansion, Partnerships and What Sets Brands Apart

September 6, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In 2005, Lisa Sugar started blogging about celebrities as a side project while working as a media planner at Goodby, Silverstein and Partners in San Francisco. Eleven years later, her blog, PopSugar, has expanded into a massive lifestyle media company with numerous content verticals, international sites and an ecommerce division. Sugar shares the story behind her company's growth and some of the lessons she learned along the way in her new book, Live Your Happy: Work Hard, Play Nice, and Build Your Dream Life, due out Sept. 20. Adweek spoke with Sugar about running a content company, the importance of standing out and who else in the business world is doing it right. Adweek: What made you decide to write a book in the first place? Lisa Sugar: We've been always giving advice in a variety of areas, whether it's fashion and beauty or fitness, but career is one that [the audience] keeps coming back for. So I felt now I've had 10 years of wisdom and expertise of growing the company, it was a good time to share our story about what we did to build PopSugar as well as practical advice that you could take away whether you were someone in college trying to figure all this stuff out, in your late 20s about to make a career change, or a mom coming back to work. We felt the book kind of could talk to all those types of audiences. When you first decided to go out on your own and make PopSugar into a full-time career, what's one piece of advice you wish someone had given you? Picking one thing out would be really hard, but persistence is one thing—just not giving up whether one person came to the site that day or a hundred people came to the site that day, and to keep on trying to figure out what it was that people were relating to and how to get creative about bringing people back.

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With Verizon Deal, Yahoo and AOL Are Finally Together

July 25, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Yahoo's long, winding and rocky road has finally come to its conclusion. Verizon announced this morning that it has acquired Yahoo's operating business for roughly $4.83 billion, which had long been expected ever since Yahoo put its core business up for sale. The deal, which is subject to usual regulatory and shareholder approvals, is expected to close early next year. When it does, it will finally wed Yahoo with AOL, which Verizon bought last year. "Just over a year ago we acquired AOL to enhance our strategy of providing a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers," said Verizon chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam, in announcing the deal.

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Google Wants to Give You Better Control Over the Personalized Ads You See

July 1, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Google is changing the way it stores the information it collects while also giving users the ability to update their privacy settings. The search engine giant is introducing a feature that lets users opt in to a new way of storing info that over time could lead to ads that are more personalized for individuals. The company is already collecting massive amounts of information about each user's search activity, Gmail messages and YouTube views, but according to a source, the update will change what information is associated with a user's account instead of having data for each Google product stored separately. According to the source, the feature is rolling out in the coming weeks and will ask users if they want to opt in. If they don't, the user's privacy settings will remain the same.

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Iggy Pop Has Some Totally Insane (and Some Actually Pretty Cool) Ideas for Advertisers

June 23, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

CANNES, France—Note to Deutsch: Iggy Pop has some ideas for your Volkswagen advertising. But you're going to have to keep a very open mind. The punk legend had an entertaining chat with Grey chairman and chief creative officer Nils Leonard on the main stage in the Palais at Cannes Lions here Wednesday. (It was the latest installment of the annual Grey Music Seminar.) And it included a surprising amount of Iggy-as-creative-director, weighing in on advertising, which he clearly treats with a fair amount of skepticism even as he has no problem making a buck now and then off endorsements himself. "I don't know much about advertising, other than I've done six or eight fairly major ads as a subject," he said. "Volkswagen has had problems lately because they were naughty. They lied about the omissions, blah blah blah. And I thought, you know, when I was in college, there was a wonderful spontaneous gesture that swept the colleges all over America. Kids would try to see how many people they could get into a Volkswagen Beetle. A revival of that—something that's just fun—would be probably worth 25 corporate mea culpas." So far so good. But Iggy wants to spice it up a little. "You could do it naked on the internet!" he exclaimed, chuckling to himself as he brightened to the idea. "Have different kinds of people. How many tall people? How many short people? How many Armenians could you fit in a Volkswagen? People would forget about the emissions! Or maybe cover a Volkswagen with a sign on it that says, 'Naughty.' And have women in bondage gear whipping it. Punish that Volkswagen! Maybe a giant robocop comes in. Elicit sympathy for the Volkswagen! I'll bet people wouldn't 'Skip Ad'! " The reference to Armenians was an amusing callback to an earlier back-and-forth with Leonard about Kim Kardashian, whom Pop defended—mildly—as an inspiration to other young Armenian women, and a somewhat alternative vision of beauty amid the current Western ideal. "She's got a big old Armenian butt, and little Armenian legs, and is a nice-looking Armenian beauty," Pop said

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Why Big Brands Are Suddenly Getting Cozy With Reddit

June 20, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Just six months ago, Reddit—whose famous slogan is "The front page of the internet"—was a dangerous place for marketers because of its reputation as a pool of trolling and harassment. Now, the viral-minded site is trying to flip the narrative and draw in advertisers with new ad targeting and buying technology and an in-house studio that specializes in creating custom content. And heavy-hitter brands including Coca-Cola, eBay and Procter & Gamble have all come on board in recent months. "What makes Reddit distinct from an advertising perspective are the same qualities that make it distinct in organic spaces," explained Zubair Jandali, vp of sales at Reddit. "We have 70,000 active communities—few places on the web have audiences that are as passionate as ours." Data backs up Jandali's claim. The publisher's traffic hit 51.4 million monthly users in May, up from 28.4 million a year before, according to comScore. It's the kind of stat that seemingly flies in the face of accusations that Reddit's audience is too niche—and sometimes too cruel—for brands to take seriously. But the goal is simple: capitalize on the massive momentum around native advertising with a specialized team to create content, much like the in-house agencies that have made big-name publishers including The New York Times, The Atlantic and Vox Media leaders in the space

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New Microsite Lets You See How Degas Would Have Painted Your Garden

June 18, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The impressionism movement in painting ended 124 years ago. Even so, wouldn't it be cool if you could see how Degas or Van Gogh would have painted your front yard—or, for that matter, your kid or your pet? Well, a new microsite lets you find out. To promote its current exhibition of impressionist paintings, the New York Botanical Garden recently launched a site called Impressify . It features an easy-to-use tool that allows visitors to upload any photograph and, by manipulating three filters, transform it into an impressionist "painting." Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies , the digital feature is the work of Brooklyn-based agency Madwell . "The brief was to create something that'll make people engage with the exhibit and share content—and it couldn't be hard to use," said creative director Chris Sojka. "So we thought, 'What if we could digitize impressionism in a social context, with your content?' It was the perfect thing to do." It is, certainly, a fun thing to do. Three dials allow visitors to control the focus and the thickness of the virtual brush strokes, so you can give your photos the misty feel of Monet, a blunt and heavy Van Gogh treatment, or anything in between. The feature also allows users to download the finished product as a jpeg or GIF and share it on social media. (The hashtag #GardensOnCanvas furnishes a subtle plug for the NYBG.) The landscape paintings currently on display at the garden (which has, naturally, also grown the corresponding flowers) are all by American impressionists—notably John Singer Sargent and Childe Hassam—but the gauzy, dappled style is unmistakably French feeling. One of the challenges facing Madwell's designers was how to recreate the textured, three-dimensional style of the physical paintings in a digital setting. So the designers programmed the brush strokes to undulate slightly to achieve a 3D effect. While the feature's obvious purpose is to raise awareness of the beauty of art and flowers, Sojka is well aware that many people will use Impressify on selfies and pics of their kids or pets. "It gets ridiculous," he admits.

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How It Feels to Go Viral, Then Watch Your Content Get Stolen All Over the Internet

April 4, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

On a Tuesday morning in December, I uploaded my late-night talk show's 449th video to YouTube, then went about my day. By the afternoon, I was thinking this one—a mockumentary called "Instagram Husband" created for our Springfield, Missouri-based show, The Mystery Hour —might be different. The next day, when it hit 1 million views, I knew it was different. And by the time the next week rolled around, I didn't know which way was up anymore. When I came up with the idea for "Instagram Husband," I had a vague sense it had the chance to go viral, because when I shared the idea with people they enthusiastically related. I thought people I know would share it, the team that helped create it would share it, fans of my show would share it, and it would be a nice little feather in the cap. I never would have guessed just how big it would become. It's hard to accurately describe the feeling of going viral for the first time. The best I can come up with is that it's like you're dropped into the ocean with stray planks of wood, nails and a hammer. As you're frantically treading water, you're also trying to figure out how to build your boat at the same time. I'm proud that we built The Mystery Hour slowly from underground hit, to television, to syndication with good, live crowds—all in Springfield. The operative word here is "slowly." We slowly built things in a nice stair-step fashion. Then, with one video, I was getting calls and emails from press around the world and from people in the entertainment industry in New York and Los Angeles

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Hillary Clinton Will Be on This Wednesday’s Episode of Broad City

March 12, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

If you've been wondering when Hillary Clinton will appear on Broad City, the answer is Wednesday, March 16. That revelation came at South by Southwest Interactive on Saturday morning during a keynote by the show's stars, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. "You know that meme of Hillary Clinton texting? It's us. Every time," joked Glazer while explaining the logistics of getting the presidential hopeful to appear on the third season of the show. The women were able to get Clinton on board with the help of the Broad City's executive producer Amy Poehler, who has famously portrayed Clinton on Saturday Night Live.

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YouTube Debuts First Original Content but Won’t Say How Many Subscribed to Service

February 10, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

YouTube Red launched last October , but the paid version of the popular video platform is getting its close-up today, debuting its first four original shows. As with any new subscription service in its early days, YouTube would not share specifics on subscriber numbers. Though, one of its most influential creators, Hank Green, ran an informal Twitter poll Monday to gauge how many people were actually paying $10 a month for ad-free content and YouTube's music service—and the numbers weren't promising. Are you a paying YouTube Red user? — Hank Green (@hankgreen) February 8, 2016 Green followed up that tweet with one today showing how Red is affecting the bottom line of existing channels: If you would like to check to see how YouTube Red is affecting your channel earnings, I have created a spreadsheet: https://t.co/eUuUUxQ4OZ — Hank Green (@hankgreen) February 10, 2016 Unlike bigger subscription services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, YouTube isn't banking on how many subscribers it can sign up.

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Yahoo Shutters Screen, Scales Back Original Series

January 4, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Just four days into 2016, Yahoo is making good on a plans announced at the end of 2015. The struggling tech giant has shut down Yahoo Screen, a 5-year-old digital video platform that housed its original series, its first livestream of an NFL game, and old episodes of Saturday Night Live. The remaining video properties on Yahoo Screen will be moved to the company's digital magazines, so like-minded content will exist side by side. "At Yahoo, we're constantly reviewing and iterating on our products as we strive to create the best user experience," said a Yahoo rep. "With that in mind, video content from Yahoo as well as our partners has been transitioned from Yahoo Screen to our Digital Magazine properties so users can discover complementary content in one place." The shutdown of Yahoo Screen, first reported by Variety, comes after a year in which the tech giant attempted to break into original content with the revival of NBC sitcom Community, the NBA-themed series Sin City Saints, and sci-fi comedy Other Space (from Ghostbusters director Paul Feig). It's a blow to the tumultuous tenure of CEO Marissa Mayer, for whom original video had been a priority. Despite the three original series, as well as a licensing deal with Viacom for Comedy Central shows and the entire catalogue of Saturday Night Live, Yahoo simply couldn't compete with streaming giants Netflix, Amazon Prime and even Hulu. Yahoo's originals contributed to a $42 million write down for the company last year. CFO Ken Goldman admitted at the time he "couldn't see a way to make money over time" on pricey original series

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