Looks so Real it must be Photoshopped

The contradictory title speaks volumes in France where they have recently enforced a law that requires photos that have been photoshopped, edited or retouched in any way MUST be labelled so. It would also require models to received a note from their doctors, saying that they are not dangerously thin before even being considered for a job. They enacted the law back in 2015, as an effort to combat anorexia and other forms of body dysmorphia; which became an increasingly prevalent issue in today’s society.

As of October 2nd this year, any company or brand that do not comply with these laws will be fined $44,100 or 30% of the cost of the advertising. Some would say it is a fitting price to pay for not complying with the law but I would argue that it is not enough, given the multitude of edited images we are bombarded with every day. Our obsession with looking perfect and seeming perfect has now affected how we interact on social media, where 57% of Australian women surveyed by the Syndey Morning Herald admit they have retouched their photos.

Good Effort

Australia has only tried but not in the same way France’s health minister has. Australia, back in 2010, had only suggested a voluntary “code of conduct” in the fashion industry to refrain from retouching photos. A far cry from the achievement that France can boast about today. How shameful it is that a progressive country like ours, compels 75% of women to feel ‘unattractive’, ‘ugly’ or ‘too fat’. Not only are we behind in technological advances and educational-revamping but we are now, falling behind in being socially responsible. It is not enough Australia, and guess who is paying for the short-comings of our health minister; you guessed it – every single one of us.

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17j5QzF3kqE
Body Evolution: Model Before and After Photoshop

Here is a hypothetical scenario:

What would happen if Australia also enforced a law like this?

We would soon then see that all advertisement campaigns, celebrity social media accounts and digital media to be covered with red flags labelled “retouched photo”. I wonder how much liberation there will be when that happens. We are already living a post-body mindset era, where plus-size models like Ashley Graham and Iskra are seen on runways that originally saw 0 sized models. It is time that Australia caught up.

The pinnacle Question

But again we are here to discuss the effects of such legislation on our practices as digital marketers. Which industries would be heavily affected by this change besides the fashion industry and what kind of marketing implications would we need to consider before posting a photo of our products online?

One of my many answers to this question: FOOD. The number of times I have gone to buy food from somewhere and it looks nothing like the advertisement or menu item that I saw. Looking at you McDonalds, Hungry Jacks and KFC.


Snapchat’s Potential: Revisited

In a past blog-post, I had written about Snapchat’s unexplored potential; I described how digital and content marketers, could really use the social media platform for their advertising campaigns and generate huge profits if they are seeking to target Millennials as their primary market. However, it wasn’t fully viable because there were many content restrictions on Snapchat adverts and limited support for creatives to use their platform.

Well this year, after Snapchat’s financial trouble with their IPOs and struggling to compete with Instagram stories, they finally released (on June 12th) a self-service platform for all marketers, allowing many SMB’s and big corporations to buy ads and track their campaigns.

This encourages more organic content creation, which can now be consumed by Snapchatters. It also gives businesses more control over how long their campaigns go for, what specific call-to-action strategies they want to use and it presents brands with real-time statistics of CTRs (click through rates) and views. It also boasts 50% lower CPI (cost-per-install) than other platforms which is why it has attracted many brands so far. 

This is a 9-minute video, of how to use SnapAds, if anyone is keen to try it!
source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4aTaKjsW30

Rivalry: Insta vs. Snap

As Snapchat continues to grow, the question is whether they can compete with Facebook and it’s minion – Instagram, as they both reach the same demographic of consumers.

That is a thought that has been on Snapchats mind for a while and that is why they are introducing Snapchat Certified Partners. This is an initiative that takes advertising agencies, social media consultants and content creators to undergo a two-day training program that results in all its participants become fluent in Snapchat Ad Language. It is a similar program to Facebook’s agency program Blueprint.

snapchat vs instagram
source: http://blog.creamglobal.com/.a/6a00e5506f08e8883401b7c899abb0970b-pi

But what about the results? 

Snapchat had propelled Peak Labs’ “Brain Training” app to accumulate 1.7 million downloads in two months! When you think of promoting your service or product on a social media platform, it seems like Snapchat is offering to become your number one solution.

Research from Snapchat themselves has suggested how many of their consumers are often persuaded by their peers. But commissioned research from Sparkler found that 60% of Snaps occur between close friends, who are 3 times more influential than celebrities when it comes to making purchase decisions. While 95% of us are more likely to trust a brand recommendation from our friends.

So my question to you, first as a consumer: Have you ever bought a product, downloaded an app, or shared a recommendation to a friend through Snapchat?

And secondly, as a digital marketer: What is your perspective on Snapchat’s new revamped advertising tech? Is it worthy of your time and money?



Interactive Advertisements: TV and Streaming

Do you remember that scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, starring the handsome Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka? Now, do you also remember the scene with his teleportation-television invention?

Maybe this will jog your memory…. (unless you have never watched this movie, then you HAVE to watch it now)

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcyyDYucIXk

You could say Willy Wonka predicted the future.

HBO has released a television series that allows the audience to look into the mind of the characters and view the storylines from their perspective. The show and app, both respectively titled, MOSAIC combines the use of personal devices and old-school television to deliver a more meaningful experience to their customers. The app will be released and free to download this November, letting audiences in America create their own journeys in a fixed-storyline and in some cases, create different conclusions of the same narrative.

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Km_u51OE3VA

However, HBO is not the first to introduce interactive television programs. Entertainment Company Netflix was on this bandwagon since three years ago. Netflix has launched their interactive programs in June this year in America with children’s shows such as “Puss in the Book” and “Buddy Thunderstruck”; experimenting the attractiveness of the innovation on children first.

Kids think everything is interactive! – Carla Fischer

But how is this the…FUTURE?

Interactivity and convenience are two emerging trends in today’s learning economy and as digital marketers, we need to be ready for the future that innovations such as this bring. As mentioned in the Verge article, kids are growing up and expecting to have interactive experiences within their environment.

With this new technology available and the slow death of advertisements on television, perhaps we need to look to interactive ads in the future? Perhaps we could be headed into a future where we can buy the clothes we see on an ad (e.g. Boohoo) and buy right there and then. One swipe away from retail heaven.

yasss honey

My question is, how would we incorporate advertisements, campaigns and other promotions in a digital environment when most entertainment platforms allow you to skip ads or show none at all? Can we possibly create interactive content where consumers would take the time to watch/interact with it?

Let me know in the comments below!






Disney movies changed FOREVER?

Welcome back to part two of the emotional marketing series. I kicked it off last week with an exploration into why emotional marketing is important and the increased use of VR within marketing campaigns, which you can read here. 

This week we will be exploring AEI…




Artificial emotional intelligence or as it’s known among IT scholars, affective computing, will revolutionise the way we live. Why?

With this tech, Disney could be able to change the ending of Beauty and The Beast in real time by simply assessing how each audience member reacts to certain scenes.

Imagine a world where Woody stays with Al (creepy toy collector) in Toy Story 2 and never goes back to Andy.

source: https://media.giphy.com/media/RgjV1x4VRGC4g/source.gif
source: https://media.giphy.com/media/fnwS4A9h4UYH6/giphy.gif

Goodbye childhood.

According to Josh Walker, more brands are increasingly taking note of this new technology that can scan our faces, read our emotions and predict our behaviour by our moods.

Although out of sarcasm, I talked about Google and Snapchat using social media to recreate George Orwell’s nineteen-eighty-four (coincidentally in the year of Disney remakes), it turns out we are probably already living in a surveillanced society.

With AEI tech being patented within the algorithms of Facebook and used for research within Disney movies; brands such as Audi, BMW and Heineken are also using AEI to their advantage.

Realeyes an emotion-tracking software allows companies to scan our faces as we watch those brand’s advertisements, particularly online, to effectively determine which advertisement generated the most amount of sales.

All well and good for future marketers like us to be able to use emotion-tracking software to create better content.

But how far is too far? 

In May 2017, Facebook was granted access for a patent that allows them to scan our typing behaviour so that they can analyse how we feel and then line our news feeds with advertisements that are associated with these emotions.

I personally don’t want Facebook to detect that I am having a quarter-life crisis and bombard me with fitness trials and local ice-cream deals. I will get fat and purchase the trials, and my money will be sucked into the vast vortex of useless, unused gym subscriptions. Whose fault is it? Facebook. It’s Facebook’s fault.

Can AEI be used for good?

I loved the way AEI has been used to capture the emotions of audiences while watching The Revenant, allowing marketers to see which parts the audience enjoyed and therefore they were able to strategically market those points.

the revenant AEI
source: https://www-lsnglobal-com.ezproxy.lib.monash.edu.au/opinion/article/21634/how-are-brands-tracking-emotions-to-improve-their-content

My question to you this week is how do you see the future of emotion-tracking software/AEI being applied to our daily lives and whether you would be comfortable with this change?

Let me know in the comments below and thank you for staying tuned for another week of emotional marketing. Stay woke out there!

Snapchat’s UnSnapped Potential

I know in the past two weeks everyone has been talking about Snapchat and the ways in which they are trying to introduce new ways to advertise on their platform. What interests me, however, is why Snapchat is fast-becoming the gold rush of the millennial age.

Yes. It is true that Snapchat, in terms of growth, are not doing so well. In fact, they missed their Q1 financial target by $158 million and took a net loss of more than $2.2 million. After the release of their Q2 financial report, you can see Snapchat has had another $2.6 million loss due to the failing of their shares. However, what was also interesting was that Snapchat reported an increase of 21% (173 million) in daily active users of their app, which is more than what Instagram can boast.

So the question is, if Snapchat users are increasing every quarter why are they dropping money like it’s hot?

source: https://forbusiness.snapchat.com/blog/why-shoppers-snap-when-they-shop

Well, the answer is that Snapchat holds too much control over what advertisers and companies can do on their app – talk about Kim Jung Un. Snapchat is a great platform full of untapped potential and great in many ways to reach into the mindsets of users under 25. Since we spend more time on Snapchat than we do sitting on the toilet, this is the platform worth a lot of time and effort to the right company.

We are so easily influenced by what we see our friends doing, buying, eating, drinking that Snapchatters are 55% more likely to buy things we don’t actually need than non-Snapchatters (those who don’t snap on the daily). It is also where the “early-adopters” are highly concentrated, as the platform compromises of millennials who actively try new things for the sake of it.

When you take all these things into consideration, from a marketer’s perspective this is where the gold is. While Snapchat shouldn’t free up their control to let advertisers do whatever they want (#YOLO, is that still a thing?), they should, however, allow more freedom for content creation to companies. This young audience Snapchat possesses, marketers just can’t reach through TV advertising, Facebook ads and Instagram altogether.

source: https://forbusiness.snapchat.com/blog/meet-audience-you-wont-find-on-tv

If Snapchat is where it’s at, then shouldn’t we let the rest get in on it too? Or from a consumer point of view, are you done with ads altogether? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


featured image source:
Dynamic Snapchat Logo/Icon

The Long Tail vs. Streaming

This week I researched about the Long Tail phenomenon and found some interesting dilemmas between Streaming algorithms and the long tail categories.

The Long Tail was a concept that came into fruition in 2004 (I know, its ancient!), written by Chris Anderson who was Editor-in-Chief for Wired magazine at the time of publish. It basically said, there is more entertainment out there in terms of niche and non-mainstream content than there is mainstream, or “popular hits”. Chris asserts that businesses like Amazon and iTunes (in 2004) were making just as much money off ‘Black-Eyed Peas’ albums as 100 non-mainstream bands because there was an audience for everything.

 A hit and a miss are on equal economic footing…Suddenly, popularity no longer has a monopoly on profitability. – Chris Anderson, Wired, 2004

Connecting marketing to the digital

Well, all amazon or iTunes had to do was track a consumer’s latest search or purchase which can help any business suggest products that are similar – creating more traffic within their business, and helping their consumers stay longer. In the eyes of the customer, Amazon looks pretty helpful in suggesting ‘No Doubt’ if you liked ‘Black-Eyed Peas’.

The Age of Streaming

However, 2004 was a millennium ago, and I doubt Chris could see the rise of streaming services such as Spotify, SoundCloud, and recently Jay-Z’s curated TIDAL. This has affected the way musicians market themselves now, especially those who are in the niche music categories. Music has seen the decline of physical CDs, records and digital downloads, as more and more consumers are switching to streaming services which derive their profit from subscriptions. This has seen the likes of Ed Sheeran making $400,000 from Spotify streams and Beyoncé making her partner millions as her full album Lemonade can only be exclusively streamed on TIDAL.

Revenue Distribution of Artists
source: https://musicindustryblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/04/the-death-of-the-long-tail/

But what happens to the little guys?

Bands like The Orwells and other alternatives of the music industry are now relying heavily on licensing their music to companies, movie productions and Netflix shows just to make enough money to keep going. Streaming has made it impossibly hard for small musicians to get streaming time, since the algorithm loops through all the popular songs before getting to the depths of the long tail. As small artists struggle to make a living, big artists gain LOTS of money from the algorithm of Spotify and Apple Music.
How can we help the little guys get a piece of the pie too?

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

featured image source:


Digital Marketing

The 21st century has seen all kinds of technology come into play with the marketing medium and there is nothing better than to use such technology to boost our abilities. We can now use tech such as AR, VR and facial recognition software to reach a whole new digitally savvy audience and create more meaningful, interactive experiences for consumers. But it makes us question; is it safe for consumers?

Is it nineteen-eighty four?

1984 george orwell
source: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/10/b4/fb/10b4fb5c903178cbcaefdee0912362d8.jpg

I want to bring us back to the mind of George Orwell, who brought us the dystopian society of over surveillance and punishment to those who don’t conform. While this is not our society (as of yet), there are many digital innovations out there infringing on our privacy rights.

Would you like an example of a corporate giant who WAS spying on our personal lives as of late?

Google. Until recently Google has been scanning our emails, looking through our personal memes, and ASOS newsletters to determine what kind of product advertisements would appeal to us. Then they would lace the sides of our mailboxes with ads that we see, but don’t really buy into.

Let’s take a moment to applaud Google for no longer scanning our emails… even though they never disclosed this information to us in the first place. Is this a win or a lose? Don’t worry you’re not the only one confused.

Snapchat has launched their SnapMaps this year and while this looks like a cool gimmick, one that advertisers should look out for, it is a massive invasion of our privacy. But it is delineated from Google’s actions, as Snapchat actually asks it’s consumers if we want them to track our locations. Therefore because we voluntarily accept this in their contracts, we are then accountable for the consequences that happen afterwards.

How are these related to digital marketing?

Well, Google scanning our emails as a technique to target audiences more efficiently is an example of digital marketing in the process. However, now that they are not doing that, I guess they will use other methods of lining our mailboxes with advertisements. And Snapchat’s SnapMaps is a great way to use geo-tagging to boost your social media following and engage with millennials to get your business on the map.

So in a generation where our personal devices have consumed our lives, where does the line of privacy start or end? Are there any scary thoughts you have about these digital marketing tactics?

Let me know in the comments below, and remember to stay woke!