Anyone with kids aged 8-15 will know about Roblox, the platform that allows players to interact with friends in user-created 3-D digital worlds, and how it has become the go-to entertainment and social network choice for this age group. We have been following the progress of Roblox for a couple of years as it has grown the user base (average daily active users of 42.1 million, up 79% year over year Jan-Mar 2021), time spent on site (hours engaged jumped 18% to 3.2 billion) and revenue (adjusted revenue jumped 161% to $652.3 million). After the company's recent IPO, it now has a market value of US$51 billion.
One of the key reasons for the success of Roblox is that it is built as a community first platform, Roblox provides the platform and tools for creators to build their own games and environments, with over one third of revenue from the platform going to creators, much higher than most other social platforms. Prof Galloway provides an interesting perspective on the Roblox Flywheel (at 5 mins).
The social media aspect comes in because users can multi-play with friends and interact in real-time through speech or messaging within games and from different or remote places, while online safety and parental controls have always been a huge part of the success of Roblox as a platform primarily for kids. There are now over 18 million 'experiences' to choose from on the platform with users sampling on average 20 different gaming experiences per month.
Also, the Roblox social-media tentacles spread into mainstream social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and predominantly YouTube, with YouTubers such as Ssundee having 17.4 million subscribers on YouTube and regularly getting video views of over 5 million per video playing Roblox games.
Roblox is not only driving revenue from in-game purchases but is also now ramping up brand partnerships. As this article from DigiDay explains "From Nike to Disney, Warner Bros. to Gucci, some of the world’s largest advertisers are already trying to reach Roblox’s audiences, which historically has had a very young demographic though that is changing. "
Roblox, is definitely on the growth path with a new generation of audiences and certainly one platform we are keeping a close eye on their progress.
Snap recently had their partner summit and announced a number of developments including next generation spectacles, rolling out more business profiles, ecommerce features, new AR features and Snap Map features.
It's interesting to see Snap continuing to stick to their strategy of providing a real alternative for younger audiences within the social media space, defining themselves as something very different to Instagram, Facebook and YouTube in terms of technology and usability - and don't forget, they're a camera company!
A great move from Facebook to help prevent the spread of misinformation and ensure people actually know what they are sharing before they hit the share button. It will be interesting to see how this affects content sharing and engagement on the platform.
When brands embark on integrated digital campaigns there’s usually an abundance of enthusiasm.
But as Keir Maher, managing partner of indie agency Now We Collide, explains, there’s also the tendency to overlook the devil in the detail.
Here are half a dozen ideas to help avoid these pitfalls
The recent democratisation of technology is a pretty good thing. One advantage is that you don’t have to be at the top end of town to make something memorable. Nor do you require a budget that brings tears to a CMO’s eyes.
There is a flipside to this scenario however. The pencil has been around for thousands of years, but that doesn’t mean we can all write a New York Times best seller. The same principle applies to putting together a brilliant digitally integrated content campaign.
Which is why it’s timely to address a few common issues we’ve encountered when businesses take the plunge and dive into digital content.
If we build it, they will come. Right? One thing I have observed often in this media landscape is the notion that creating supply will inevitably result in demand. This assumption is usually incorrect, especially when content is just blasted out into the wilderness.
Every day businesses are wasting staff time and pumping big dollars into video campaigns for negligible returns. In one forgettable case I witnessed, hundreds of high quality videos sat on a YouTube channel with 100 subscribers, no views, and no distribution strategy.
It’s important to really consider the value exchange your content is providing and then how it is best distributed to reach the right audience.
If you’re going to chop down a tree, sharpen your axe first It’s a highly complex ecosystem we work in today - and one that calls for a well-rounded strategy before making any serious investment.
Some good advice here is to sit down and map out exactly what you want to get out of your campaign. It’s important to define where your customers are, and develop a content strategy that reports back to the goals of your business.
Additionally, there is sometimes a gulf between what businesses want to do and their capability to do it. If there’s a place you want to play but it’s not your forte, look into who else can help.
Be choosy and employ local knowledge On countless occasions I’ve heard a variant of this story: “We’ve been burnt working with an agency before and my CEO needs proof this will work.”
If you’re working for a brand, then it pays to interrogate the strategy any agency presents you with before signing on the dotted line. Beware of shiny new objects and ensure the goals of your business are mapped out and can be met.
There’s also a definite advantage to sticking with local expertise. A big global name agency might bring reassurance (and maybe a shelf crammed with awards), but you are more likely to enjoy a closer relationship and some genuine TLC from a local partner.
Do sweat the small stuff Before publishing content anywhere, it’s vitally important to ensure it is fit for purpose and platform specific. It still surprises me that in 2021 well known brands with large budgets are taking a one size fits all approach.
Facebook and YouTube, for example, are common choices for campaigns thanks to their scale. Both these platforms can reach millions of Aussies each week. But the composition of these broad audiences, plus the way they view, interact and share, varies greatly.
Taking a piece of content and posting it on these platforms does not guarantee views, interactions and - most importantly - planned business outcomes. So take the time to consider the nature of your content and the appropriateness of channels, platforms and audiences to host it.
The campaign is live … now what? The euphoria that comes with the launch of a campaign can give way to complacency. Content is routinely launched into the ether without a proper examination of who’s looking (remember the 300 videos for 100 YouTube subscribers).
Which is why businesses need to carefully measure each channel post launch. It is not hard to do - the beauty of digital and social content is the ability to test, learn and then change tack when necessary.
So when you see the budget line titled ‘ongoing analysis’ – don’t cut it. It is crucial to amp up the elements that are working and lose the things that aren’t mission critical.
Don’t be scared of difficult conversations Difficult conversations around on-going performance are often the result of poor planning. But on other occasions they arise as a consequence of breaking new ground or simply because of unforeseen circumstances.
Many businesses obfuscate or actively avoid these discussions, but that’s extremely shortsighted. Difficult conversations bring pain points into the open and identify problems and unearth new opportunities. So never hesitate to discuss what is working, what is achieving KPIs, and what isn’t - in a transparent fashion.
Having open dialogue across all teams and embracing the data and outcomes which are both positive and negative leads to constant improvement.
It’s my belief that plenty of Australian businesses are currently missing a trick with their digital content. Investing in the expertise of a trusted partner and putting the time in before, during and after a campaign can make all the difference.
Independent creative agency Now We Collide has announced a string of new promotions and hires after a steady year of growth following new business wins and expanding remits with existing clients.
Current senior creative producer and strategist Naomi Young has been promoted to client services director and will work alongside CEO and managing partner Keir Maher in managing client relationships and steering positive business outcomes for Now We Collide clients.
“What has continued to excite me about Now We Collide is that we are an agency with a clear and unique proposition, combining the smarts and clever thinking of a digitally-minded creative agency with production mastery," Young says.
"I am excited to be taking on this newly created role which enables us to maintain the forward-thinking and strategy-led approach that serves our clients in the best way possible.”
Young is a multi-disciplined advertising account director and producer with over 10 years experience in strategy, coordinating integrated campaigns and achieving outstanding business outcomes for clients such as Facebook and Goodman Group.
Young will be supported by a new producer and account management team featuring new hires Sally Muul and Amy Watson.
Muul joins from DDB where she was account manager and Watson joins from Chello where she was leading production as a producer and account manager.
The agency has also invested in new creative roles with current senior art director Kurt Toohey being promoted to creative director with ongoing support from chief creative officer and managing partner Ryan Bodger.
Over the last 18 months, Kurt has successfully led design, art and creative direction on a number of campaigns and projects including above the line campaigns for ESPN, Facebook, Universal Pictures and Obela.
The creative team also expands with the addition of art director Kate O’Donnell who previously worked as art director and designer at Archibald Williams.
“While 2020 threw up unexpected challenges for everyone in the industry, we achieved solid growth because we were able to adapt quickly, transform strategies and deepen client relationships," Maher says.
"Diversifying and strengthening our creative and client management teams gives us the perfect platform to continue achieving the best outcomes for our clients in 2021.
“I believe we’ve truly rounded out our incredibly talented leadership team with the promotions of both Naomi and Kurt, and the addition of Kate, and look forward to working with this great group of creatives on many exciting projects to come.”
In the lead up to Super Bowl LV, sports streaming service Kayo and ESPN have launched an AR-driven campaign that will take NFL fans behind the scenes of quarterbacks Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson’s stories of success.
Created by Now We Collide the interactive out-of-home (OOH) ads aim to drive emotional engagement and interest in the Super Bowl. Leading the OOH component are two street murals designed by sports artist Lee Olson and painted by graffiti artist Reubszz.
Scanning the QR codes on the OOH ads will reveal the video content featuring the quarterbacks. Digital and social is also supporting the campaign.
The films were created by building on Now We Collide’s experience working with ESPN on weekly content initiative and campaigns since 2016. The mobile-first strategy behind the campaign was selected in recognition of the viewing behaviour of Australian NFL fans.
Carl Burgmann, head of social for Kayo, said: “This year, for Super Bowl 55, we wanted to try something new and appeal to sports fans at all levels, to connect them with the moments, stories and legends of Super Bowl.”
Ryan Bodger, chief creative officer of Now We Collide, added: “This campaign is really exciting for us, marrying AR tech to heighten the storytelling experience to give fans an intimate moment with the superstars of the NFL, bringing their unbelievable achievements to life in an exciting new way.
“We know people emotionally connect with and share inspirational stories – especially in sports. When you see these films you can’t help but feel an emotional connection to the players and the game itself, whether you are an NFL fan or not.”
Brady, in his tenth Super Bowl and first for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, will take on Mahomes, the defending champion quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, in this year’s blockbuster.
ESPN marketing manager for Australia and New Zealand, Mark Porter, said: “The Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events on the planet. Beyond the half-time show and the spectacle that surrounds Super Bowl, there are some incredible stories that people may not know. We wanted to share these incredible Super Bowl moments and remind sports fans what makes this event so great.”
The Super Bowl will air live in Australia on ESPN and Kayo from 10:30 AEDT on 8 February.
ESPN Mark Porter – Marketing Manager
Kayo Carl Burgmann – Head of Social Ashley Streeting – Paid Social Specialist Stephanie Lukin – Senior Brand Marketing Manager
Now We Collide Executive Producer – Keir Maher Executive Creative Director – Ryan Bodger Creative Director – Kurt Toohey Project Producer – Amy Watson Shoot Producer – Sally Muul Films Director & Editor – Sarah Peisley Special Content Director – Simon Morehead Copywriter – John Kerswell Story Writers – Sarah Peisley / Ryan Bodger Art Director / Designer – Lee Olsen / Kate O'Donnell Mural Artist – Reubszz Director of Photography – Pat Harris Sound – James Martel
Facebook Australia has teamed up with local independent creative agency Now We Collide to launch a new digitally integrated campaign to drive awareness of Facebook tools for Australian small businesses.
The ‘Keep going. Keep growing.’ campaign shares the growth stories of three Australian small businesses: Native Australian food revolution Warndu in South Australia, Sydney-based Aussie Mobile Vets, and Sydney fitness community Flow Athletic.
The series of video ads and supporting digital media created by Now We Collide share how each of these businesses has adopted Facebook tools to grow and prosper through 2020. The campaign forms part of Facebook’s ongoing global initiative to support small businesses.
Now We Collide has been working with Facebook Australia as appointed creative agency and production partner since 2018, helping to deliver data and insight led creative across a raft of campaigns and initiatives.
Commenting on the campaign, Facebook ANZ Marketing Manager Regan Houlihan said, “Navigating 2020 has been extremely difficult for many small businesses around the world and in particular, in Australia. With this campaign, we wanted to shine a light on some of the positive outcomes we’ve seen small businesses achieve using Facebook tools.
“Now We Collide are a hugely collaborative partner, providing the creative and production expertise to bring this campaign to life in a unique and meaningful way. They’ve helped us remain agile with our marketing efforts, finding new ways of working during the pandemic.”
Keir Maher, Lead Strategist and CEO at Now We Collide, added: “For over two years now we’ve been immersed in the Facebook business, bringing our own unique blend of strategic, adaptive, and digitally-led thinking to each and every project.
“This campaign is no exception, we worked closely with the Facebook team from strategy all the way through to production, helping them communicate their support of local small businesses clearly and authentically.”
Credits: Facebook Alexandra Sloane - ANZ Marketing Director Regan Houlihan - ANZ Marketing Manager Amelia Gilbert - AU Marketing Executive
Now We Collide Ryan Bodger: Creative Director Keir Maher: Strategy Amy Watson: Producer Edward Copestick: Director (Warndu / Aussie Mobile Vets) Selina Miles: Director (Flow Athletic) Kurt Toohey: Art Director John Kerswell: Copywriter Josh Flavell: Director of Photography (Aussie Mobile Vets/Flow Athletic) Miles Rowland: Director of Photography (Warndu) Mark Parry: Editor
Dilmah is devoted to sustainable and ethical production of their tea and this, along with their dedication to quality and taste, provided the creative platform to engage Australians across social media.
The development of the campaign began through extensive market research in partnership with Dilmah to identify the addressable market, the competitive set, tea lovers and specifically the audience who share Dilmah’s values. Our social media strategy was to focus on capturing new customers here in Australia, by driving awareness with the principles, purpose and quality of Dilmah.
To elevate brand awareness and increase purchase consideration, we combined striking imagery, punchy copy lines and visually enticing video footage that quickly attracted the attention of consumers to encourage higher brand recall. The campaign tagline of 'Just the good stuff' served to encapsulate both the brand purpose and the tea ingredients in a colloquial relevant way to resonate with Aussies. Interactive stories on Instagram prompted engagement from the audience to select their tea of choice using polls.
We used our research and strategic insights to build consumer profiles for detailed targeting of ads and content across Facebook and Instagram specifically. We then aligned this with multiple creative executions to a/b test and optimise creative performance and metrics such as video completion, engagement rates and cost efficiencies.
The creative premise throughout was to show the genuine Dilmah story and purpose, how they approach ethical production and sustainability. This starts with their agriculture, all the way through to their packaging. This was our focal point for the campaign to capture the authenticity of the company's culture behind their quality products.
With nearly half of the world’s population having a smartphone in their pocket, the mass consumption of pocket-sized video grown. With that, vertical video has gone from an awkward aspect ratio to a mainstream media style practically overnight. Research has shown that we hold our phones vertical 94% of the time, while mobile has become the preferred device to watch short-form video.
Facebook, Instagram and YouTube have embraced vertical video formats in recent years. The newer generation of social media apps, like Snapchat and Tik Tok, use vertical video almost exclusively. There is now even a vertical film festival for creators pushing new boundaries, and Samsung launched a television recently that can rotate from horizontal to portrait for what they call millennial or gen z minded audiences.
Vertical video (also known as “portrait mode” video) comes in a few shapes and sizes, but generally, it means a video with an aspect ratio of 9:16. The aspect ratio describes the relationship of video width to video height. In vertical videos, the video is taller than it is wide.
In short, this means vertical video provides more pixel ‘real estate’ to deliver a message, and this is of particular interest for brand and advertising.
Traditional 16:9 video (left) 4:5 video (middle) and 9:16 vertical video (right)
How are brands using it?
While Facebook hosts a variety of aspect ratios, it has fully embraced the format primarily due to increased engagement rates with mobile viewers. When Facebook A/B tested vertical video against square ratio video using the same creative, video length, targeting, budget and bid, they discovered that vertical resulted in brand lift 70% of the time. Viewers even reported an increase in ad recall of between 3 and 9%.
What’s even more interesting is how it changes how we watch video ads. In the Facebook test, 70% of video watch time, including video ads, was with the sound turned on. Typically Facebook mobile viewers prefer muted video. However, full-screen vertical is engaging enough to encourage audio. And Facebook isn’t alone in their findings.
An independent test by Annenberg Media found that vertical video reached more people on Facebook than both square and horizontal formats and increased engagement.
In another recent study by Buffer & Animoto, they found vertical video advertising out-performed all other social formats considerably providing better bang for the buck.
So, long or short?
In a recent study from Social Bakers, they found the first 30s of long vids were completed 16.4% of the time and horizontal ones 13.4%, compared to 14.9% and 12.5% for medium-length videos.
Videos shorter than 30 seconds were completed by far the most often (29.9% for vertical and 22.2% for horizontal). Across the board, vertical performed better than horizontal videos.
Now We Collide embraced vertical in a recent project for Facebook Australia and used these insights to develop a marketing strategy that was vertical video first. We used stories, a vertical video format across Facebook and Instagram, to build awareness and drive traffic to the Facebook Gift Guide, showcasing the significant economic impact of Facebook on small businesses in Australia.
The creative strategy was designed to maximise the full-frame vertical with set design, art direction and camera setup all designed for the portrait format. “It is a great example of how clever vertical content can be effective in connecting with an audience to drive a business objective,” says Ryan Bodger Chief Creative Officer, Now We Collide.
Vertical Video Advertising is one of the biggest opportunities for brands and business in 2020 and beyond. Now We Collide offer consultation to determine how it could help your brand grow. Please contact us to find out more firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Ryan Bodger, Chief Creative Officer at Now We Collide, an independent creative agency based in Sydney, Australia. We use insights, strategy and clever, creative thinking to produce contagious advertising campaigns and content for today's connected brands and consumers.
There's been a noticeable rise in chatter around the push by 'Big Tech' to keep users inside their own platforms and ecosystems as more and more internet searches end without a click. So what is the role of great content and strategy within these environments?
It's interesting to see that now more than 50% of Google searches end without a click. Google search provides on-page content such as Wikipedia synopsis, shopping options, movie times, maps and directions etc. And they are all displayed within the first page of search without the need to click. The change has been gradual and subtle. Of course, when it comes to video, Google will promote YouTube as the one place they are happy for you to click-out to.
It's incredible to look at the most recent 'Internet Minute' chart for 2019, there are actually more YouTube videos watched in a minute than Google search queries made.
How will great content provide meaning, sales and loyalty?
All this is making the challenge for companies and their brands even greater. How can they still provide meaning, sales and loyalty in a constantly shifting online environment? Will clicks to websites and 'owned channels' become a thing of the past as online behaviour begins to change?
For sure! So ensuring a well planned and executed creative content strategy which performs specific marketing functions and ultimately delivers on business objectives becomes ever more important.
Written by Keir Maher, CEO at Now We Collide, an independent creative agency based in Sydney, Australia. We use insights, strategy and clever, creative thinking to produce contagious advertising campaigns and content for today's connected brands and consumers.
With the sheer amount of podcasts out there, we thought we'd share three of our favourite content marketing podcasts with you.
This Old Marketing
The Content Marketing Institute has brought back their regular podcast. It's a fantastic resource for anyone in marketing, advertising, content production, media or social media. Joe Polizzi and Robert Rose originally coined the term 'content marketing'. They described it as the ability for brands to generate and produce their own content to fuel brand storytelling and marketing objectives. They discuss the latest developments in the world of content marketing and also provide opinion, insights, strategy and case studies. It's worth checking out.
Face 2 Face
Face 2 Face is a homegrown Australian podcast. Each episode discovers how Aussie marketers and creatives like Spotify, Volkswagen, Kathmandu and Telstra are using digital and social media platforms to succeed in a connected world.
The Now We Collide team led creative development, as well as design and production of the integrated campaign materials including video, email, digital and print assets. We collaborated with Facebook, Wooshkaa and Clear Hayes to develop the podcast series. Since it's launch it has become the number 1 business podcast in Australia. With in-depth interviews with some of our industries leading brands, along with real-life insights, the series is well worth a listen. (Well, of course, we would say that 😉
Behind the Numbers
The eMarketer Behind The Numbers podcast is great for getting a quick hit of the latest global news and trends from the world of digital media and digital marketing. Because they cover all the big stories and emerging trends using eMarketers research and data pedigree. And episodes feature global leaders in their field to provide strategic insights and opinion on the implications of emerging trends and developments for business.
Written by Keir Maher, CEO at Now We Collide, an independent creative agency based in Sydney, Australia. We use insights, strategy and clever, creative thinking to produce contagious advertising campaigns and content for today's connected brands and consumers.
YouTube has made another big move into 'social video' launching a new Stories feature for creators with over 10k subscribers. Following the huge success of Instagram Stories (er…sorry, Snap) it was only a matter of time before the YouTube team launched their version.
Using FashionByAlly, who has nearly 1 million YouTube subscribers, as an example of how stories can be created and shared. It will be interesting to see the options this will present to brands and businesses both natively and through advertising.
Facebook Watch is now offering in-stream commercials and with the growth of Instagram Stories and IGTV, YouTube clearly sees the threat to their revenue. It will be fascinating to see how this one plays out.
The power of YouTube to attract new eyeballs
An eye-opening article from the team at Venture Beat highlights the power of YouTube for attracting new eyeballs in emerging markets. In India, this means YouTube reaches 245 million unique active viewers each month and a further 74 million in Indonesia. That's phenomenal numbers. It shows how digital video is becoming a regular part of the lives of audiences in emerging markets. It presents challenges for both incumbents and new entrants like Netflix alike, who see these markets as the future of their growth - read the full story here.
A TV commercial worth watching
Not only the traditional ad-world but the wider public alike was a-buzz recently with the anticipated launch of John Lewis 2018 Christmas TV commercial. It proves that when 'advertising' is done well it can entertain instead of annoy. The TV commercial already has 10 million+ views on YouTube. Hats off to John Lewis and the team for investing over the long term. For all the nerds out there, check out the 'Making of The Boy and The Piano' TV commercial.
Vertical video campaigns have been growing in popularity for a number of years along with the rise of in-app video viewing and mobile sharing. Snapchat was no doubt one of the pioneers of the format and they have continued to stick with it, while Facebook and Instagram have joined in with 'Stories' and Instagram's latest product IGTV. This is primarily being driven by the growing number of consumers now using their phones for their daily video consumption. The VideoInk provides an interesting look into Vertical Networks, launched by Elisabeth Murdoch with a focus on producing short-form video for mobile devices, and their "data-driven content strategy".
Talking of mobile video reports that Tesla is adding Atari games to the in-car display have been followed up with confirmation they are poised to bring in-car video to their next software update via an Elon Musk Tweet claiming that video playback will be available with "version 10" of Tesla's car software.
An interesting article from Variety on the journey Netflix has undertaken from DVD postal distribution company to the world's leading OTT entertainment company - "Netflix’s original-content push took off in earnest on Feb. 1, 2013, with the debut of “House of Cards.” Five years later, the streaming service has grown to the point where it is projected this year to deliver more than 80 new feature films (original and acquired) and an astounding 700 new TV series."
The campaign which caught our eye this week if the Smirnoff US campaign developed by 72andSunny with clever use of the media as the message using Ted Danson and a dash of humour to call attention to YouTube's 6-second bumper formats. It feels like Smirnoff missed a trick by not integrating the campaign across any other channels with no thought for extension across their website or other social channels.
Written by Keir Maher, CEO at Now We Collide, an independent creative agency based in Sydney, Australia. We use insights, strategy and clever, creative thinking to produce contagious advertising campaigns and content for today's connected brands and consumers.
Spotify and Samsung announced a new partnership whereby the music-streaming leader would become the new "go-to music service provider" for Samsung devices. Interestingly, Apple recently overtook Spotify as the number 1 music streaming service in the US and this obviously presents a challenge for Spotify. At the same time, YouTube launched its revamped YouTube Music App offering 1-month free trial and then an ongoing subscription for $11.99 per month. Samsung has been using Google Play as the default music partner on all devices, until now. In this sense, the partnership makes a lot of sense, particularly as Spotify tries to increase its presence in Asia. Samsung is the largest maker of mobile devices with 30.7% of the global mobile market, with Apple second at 19.4%.
A new AR experience
UK AR company Blippar has also launched a version of their AR experience which can map urban and indoor environments to within 1cm, providing a user with overlaid maps, navigation or other AR components for the mapped territory, or the application components can be embedded into other apps. The company suggests a wide range of potential environments for this platform, including retail stores, supermarkets, airports, shopping malls or stadiums. Use cases include AR menus floating in front of restaurants in shopping malls, reviews or product info hovering over products on shelves, treasure hunts or a virtual guide for tourists.
More and more startups are emerging offering decentralized social platforms -- often using blockchain technology. The main purpose of these new platforms is to reward users and content creators and not only the platform owners. Angel List has highlighted what they see as the 2 most promising - Steemit and Sapien. Built off the Steem blockchain, Steemit is a Reddit-esque social platform that as of now boasts nearly 800,000 registered users. Steemit’s version of upvotes, however, are tokens that hold real market value. Users—not advertisers—are rewarded for engagement. Sapien is a social news network built on the Ethereum blockchain that already has thousands of active users. The platform features a global reputation system, a reward system for users, and a marketplace for creators. While Facebook isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, these new decentralized social media platforms are growing—and fast.
Some of what we're reading, listening, watching this week...enjoy!
heard of NewTV? Well they just raised a cool US$1bn to fund their plans
to create a new short form video content platform, a kind of
next-generation Netflix, with original content. NewTV is aiming to
launch by the end of 2019, with a premium lineup of original,
short-form series comprising episodes of 10 minutes each. The brainchild
of ex Pixar exec Jeffrey Katzenberg has attracted investment from
Disney, NBCUniversal, AT&T and more. Read Jeffrey Katzenberg’s ‘NewTV’ Startup Closes $1 Billion, All Major Studios Among Investors
the same time as OTT's are planning short-form narrative content
development, social media networks are taking an aim at longer form
video. eMarketer and
their podcast series 'Behind The Numbers' explore how long-form video
is spreading across social media in this week's episode. With key moves
by Facebook's Watch, Instagram's IGTV, YouTube Premium (previously
YouTube Red (RIP)) and Twitter this episode is a great update on all the
key developments and moves being made and how video content strategy is
leading to advertisers. With some marketers placing pre-roll and
mid-roll ads in social shows, there is great potential but the audiences
are small and the current measurement capabilities are limited. Listen to eMarketer social-networks-get-serious-about-tv-style-programming
A weekly round up of what we're reading and watching - enjoy!
haven't given up on video just yet. TheVideoInk reports that Twitter is
adding to it's video offering in an effort to bolster it's video
credentials. Live and on-demand video deals have remained a major focus
for Twitter and has in part led to half of all Twitter revenue coming
from video. Read the full article - Even Without a Dedicated Live Stream Team, Twitter is Still All About Video.
released new figures showing the shift from PayTV towards OTT and other
cord-cutting services has continued to gather speed in the US
accelerating beyond most forecasts. The latest figures show the number
of cord-cutters—adults who have ever cancelled pay TV service and
continue without it—will climb 32.8% this year to 33.0 million. Read the
full article - Exodus from Pay TV Accelerates Despite OTT Partnerships.
Facebook Australia launched their latest thought leadership video and podcast series, Face 2 Face. The
series discovers how industry leaders from KPMG, TBWA Melbourne, Optus,
Velocity Frequent Flyer, Host/Havas, Guzman y Gomez, AFL and Initiative
are building brands in the digital age. The series uncovers key
insights for how brands should be adapting for mobile, how has
creativity changed, how to build a brand on mobile, and how marketers
can engage customers in a meaningful way. Watch the full video series here.
recent report from Marketing Land shows that Instagram ad spend has
grown 177%, outpacing Facebook growth, while YouTube advertisers spent
nearly triple what they did last year! Instagram audience growth also
continued, helped by Stories, and they'll be counting on this continuing
with the recent launch of IGTV.
The biggest news though was that YouTube ad impressions rose 225
percent, and CPMs fell by 11 percent. Phones and tablets accounted for
79 percent of YouTube ad spend during the second quarter of this year —
up from 71 percent a year ago. Read the full article - Facebook takes a back seat to Instagram as ad spend on the Facebook-owned app grows 177%.
It sounds like a no brainer but now Google has provided a direct relationship between search on Google and video delivery on YouTube for advertisers. At the recent Search Marketing Expo - SMX, Google announced a number of updates to YouTube which provide greater evidence of their focus on video. It's now at the heart of internet search and way to connect brands, products and services to audiences (and that means customers).
Allowing advertisers to reach (and if done correctly, engage) people on YouTube who have recently searched on Google, the new innovation called "custom intent audiences" harnesses Google's vast amount of search information and is currently only available within the AdWords experience. By fusing the data collected in search with audience information and search terms on YouTube, custom intent audiences can be "an effective way to move undecided customers to action using the persuasive power of video." according to the Google announcement.
This presents a really interesting opportunity for brands to develop an integrated digital strategy using the power of video to build brand and/or product awareness, brand affinity and product features and benefits in an engaging way. Used in the right way it is clear that this can complement and increase the performance of SEM and digital marketing campaigns. Particularly in hyper-competitive categories such as travel, finance, auto, e-commerce and beyond, a well-thought-out strategy to connect with audiences based on historical search behaviour across Google to deliver relevant and timely video content could significantly drive enhanced outcomes for not only awareness and brand building but also customer acquisition.
Google highlights a case study of online investment company Betterment who used custom intent audiences to reach YouTube viewers who recently searched for financial keywords on Google. The brand increased its return on ad spend 6X compared to previous YouTube campaigns and saw a 245% increase in searches on Google.com, including their brand term: "Betterment".
Social media content has the power to assist with SEO
Of course, Google would like everything to stay within their ecosystem but in reality, the power of social media content to also assist with SEO, customer engagement and acquisition means that a multi-channel social video content strategy would also contribute significantly to overall results and maximise the ROI of video content. This also provides a way for savvy marketers to prove direct results of an integrated digital marketing strategy with video at the heart.
One issue this also highlights is the need for specialist video content experts with a deeper knowledge and understanding of not only the different platforms available but also how video and content creative needs to be optimised for these platforms and the different opportunities to maximise ROI within them. It also highlights the need for multi-disciplinary teams to work collaboratively, in this case, the SEM specialists working alongside video & content strategy and creative as part of a wider digital content strategy. It will be interesting to see which brands take full advantage of this new feature as Google starts to roll it out globally.
only prediction for 2018 is that more change is inevitable and to be
prepared for the unexpected - aside from that we thought we'd share one
of our favourite commentators - Proff Scott Galloway from L2Inc - and let him put his neck on the chopping block on our behalf - enjoy.
We loved collaborating with UPI Australia and our tech partners
ShareRoot to develop this integrated video led campaign with social at
the heart for the release of The Secret Life of Pets. Hats off to the team at UPI for being brave enough to unleash the power of UGC
- which, when planned and executed correctly, can deliver serious
return on investment. The campaign proved such a success, including
delivering a huge box-office return, the guys over at Marketing Magazine have published our campaign case study.
YouTube recently announced it is looking to
faze out annotated end frames on videos and has introduced YouTube End
Cards as a feature. Previously reserved for a select number of
publishers and creators, the key benefit of End Screens is that they
work across both mobile and desktop, whereas predecessor annotations
work only on desktop. This is a step YouTube had to take given half of all YouTube users now access YouTube video on mobile.
what are they? End Screens are overlays appearing at the end of videos
which encourage viewers to take an action before the video completes,
such as get more information, click to view another video, visit a
website, subscribe to the channel and more. End Screens can appear in
the last 5-20 seconds of a video, and desktop viewers can hover over
them for more information while mobile audiences just need to tap on the
thumbnails. YouTube has restricted use to up to four End Screens, as
long as the video has a 16:9 aspect ratio.
This makes End Screens a valuable feature for brands and publishers who take advantage of this important new feature.
brands and publishers create quality videos that convince viewers to
watch more content via the use of compelling End Screens, they can
expect to see increased retention and watch time across their channels,
thanks to the YouTube algorithm. Over time, this tactic can also
increase overall video completion and watch time metrics notwithstanding
the fact that the video creative still needs to do the main job of
attracting and keeping viewers.
viewing across mobile being so high, the ability to encourage channel
subscription and additional calls-to-action such as product purchase or
visiting a specific (verified) website across both mobile and desktop
traffic is significant.
switch to End Cards does create a potential headache for
existing publishers who have annotated end frames and want to switch to
End Screens as the formatting is different and the placement
restrictions of the thumbnails means previous end frames and
calls-to-action are unlikely to match up and will need re-formatting.
Ongoing though, it is clear that any brand or publisher uploading video to their YouTube channel will now need to consider:
How videos created can best utilise the updated End Screens format.
How to time video end frames to make the most use of the 5-20 seconds available on End Screens.
Check performance and metrics of end screens to see those performing best, be prepared to modify based on audience behaviour.
As the world's second biggest search engine and with the seemingly unstoppable rise of video consumption on mobile,
a YouTube strategy is now near essential for most brands and
publishers. With End Screens, brands and publishers can improve the
experience on YouTube for mobile audiences, increase watch times, and
drive specific actions from viewers. As such, brands and publishers
should start using End Screens as soon as possible so they can reap the
benefits of the feature sooner rather than later.
We used to say seeing is believing.Now we have to say ‘experiencing is believing’.
It seems about 1 in 5 briefs we work on at the moment have a VR video component as brands and agencies look to explore the possibilities of the immersive and engaging world of 360 video and virtual reality.
The next 18 months will be a telling time. Let's see how audiences transition from standard video viewing to embrace VR and invest in a personal headset, closing themselves off from the real world to engage with the most immersive form of video content.
For anyone that has put on the Samsung Gear VR, Vive or Oculus, there is usually a wow moment when you realise just how immersive and engaging the VR video world can be. One thing is for certain we are just at the beginning of where the technology will lead us. It will be exciting to see what other AR/VR players like Magic Leap, Sony and Microsoft can bring to the table.
We know that premium publishers and tech giants are getting on board with big investments. Google is working on a VR version of Chrome. NBC and Samsung broadcasted the summer Olympics in VR. Hulu, Crackle, Jaunt, and Within already have dedicated apps, or “theatres,” where viewers can consume massive amounts of VR content.
The NBA (National Basketball Association) has also started creating longer form VR experiences with its mind-blowing VR production ‘Follow My Lead’ which tells the story of the 2016 NBA finals, taking audiences behind the scenes for an experience like no other.
Content innovation can lead to commercial investment
Now more than ever we are seeing significant brand dollars being spent on VR experiences that prove that content innovation can lead to commercial investment, leaving audiences feeling inspired by the bravery and courage of a brand to do something different in the VR space.
A great example of a brand investing in VR
One thing we know for sure is that when you are inside a VR experience you are the most captive audience a brand can have and the experience you create needs to be compelling. There is no other form of media right now that is as immersive as a branded VR video experience and brands need to take advantage.
Greenlight Insights released results this week from its survey of 1,300 adults that found the majority of consumers, 71% of them, feel that VR makes brands seem “forward-thinking and modern.” However, there’s even better news for brands’ bottom lines: 53% of respondents said they’d be more likely to purchase from a brand that uses VR than from one that doesn’t.
“We’re seeing specific VR activities have unique emotional footprints, offering fascinating insights for those who are considering their VR strategies,” Steve Marshall, SVP of Research and Consulting for Greenlight VR, said in a statement announcing the findings.
What is the perfect branded VR video experience?
It comes down to the brand objectives and how people will contextually be viewing the experience. When people are in groups with one person viewing a VR experience the viewer doesn’t want to feel trapped inside for too long (4-5mins max). They will want to share or talk about their experience soon after. When a viewer is alone with VR, the sky’s the limit, a viewer will stay engaged for longer and want to stay immersed.
‘Virtual reality by definition intensifies the impression of reality. All the viewer’s senses are heightened including sight, sound, and motion; content that delivers fully immersive experiences will be in high demand.’
Content that delivers a fully immersive experience will be in high demand
This potential for VR storytelling will take branded entertainment to a whole new level. Imagine Apple showcasing its VR capable iPhone 8 (yet to be released) where viewers can take part in a Mars landing and film the experience in first person using features on the iPhone 8. Viewers could zoom into the phone to play with a realistic, 360-degree model of the device or even watch a video shot with that new device, thereby zooming into an entirely new storyline set on Mars.
The Production Value
There are a number of aspects when considering the production value of producing VR or 360 video content.
VR is not the same as 360 Video.
While the two can be packaged up as a VR experience, there is a difference between the two. 360 video is effectively filming a real-world environment with a 360 camera, which can be produced in 2D using a whole range of cameras from consumer to prosumer or in stereoscopic 3D using more high-end professional-grade equipment.
Once captured 360 videos can have 3d, overlay graphic elements or interactive hotspots added to make the experience more engaging. A great example of a mixed live-action 360 video shoot and 3D environment can be seen here with Google Spotlight Story Help.
Help uses a mix of studio, 3D and real-world 360 videos. This is, of course, a pretty amazing experience best viewed in VR and not desktop. VR environments, games and stories that are completely virtual are created in 3D and compiled using software like Unity 3D or Unreal Engine.
2D vs 3D
If done right, VR created as a 3D experience is always going to be more compelling. 2D is a great way to create a high-resolution experience and keep production costs down. Poorly implemented 3D and 360 video footage can cause a great deal of discomfort to the viewer including headaches, eye strain or nausea. With a 2D video, you’re getting more resolution out of the device because you’re not having to stack the left and right channels (or top and bottom channels) within the phone’s limited resolution. Oculus CTO John Carmack explains, “People that are resolution-picky will probably prefer monoscopic videos, which can have twice the resolution of stereo videos. The stereo effect may not be worth anything to you if you can't get past the blurring.”
How To Get Views?
Virtual reality viewing roughly falls into 3 categories. First are desktop and mobile video player with no headset (think Facebook or YouTube 360 native players). Next are expensive headsets tethered to a computer, aimed mostly at gamers, like the Oculus Rift or the HTC Vive. Finally, there are mobile viewing experiences that combine with a smartphone, like Samsung's Gear VR or Google's Cardboard.
Marketers need to think about how and when audiences will be viewing their content and ensure they are driving people to experience branded VR through a quality headset. This should be coupled with the distribution of content to key VR publishers for optimal reach across platforms and devices. As with any type of video content distribution and seeding, a strategy is paramount.
GIVE ONE AUSSIE PET THE CHANCE TO APPEAR IN A GLOBAL ANIMATED FEATURE FILM!
Pictures Australia and Channel 7 Sunrise have kicked off a massive 4
week promotion for the upcoming animated film THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS.
a unique and unprecedented promotion, the pair has joined forces with
the film’s production company Illumination Entertainment to exclusively
give one Australian pet the chance to be animated and featured in THE
SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2.
It’s no secret or surprise that Australia
has a deep and abiding love for pets. More than 63% of Australian
households own a pet and more than 83% of Australians have owned a pet
at some point in their life*.
“The promotion taps into
Australia’s love of pets and extraordinary interest in pet content, both
viewing and sharing. As a country of proud pet owners, we love showing
off our furry companions. Now, thanks to The Secret Life of Pets, we’re
giving owners the ultimate prize with the chance to immortalise their
pet on the big screen,” says Universal Pictures Australia Marketing
Director, Suzanne Stretton-Brown.
with partner video content agency Now We Collide & UGC technology
firm ShareRoot, the competition has been designed to maximise social
To win the money-can’t-buy prize,
entrants are required to submit a photo or video showcasing their pet’s
star quality. People can enter a video or photo of their pet at the
dedicated website or via social with the hashtag #secretlifeofmypet on
Instagram or Twitter.
submissions will be aggregated and then showcased in a gallery on the
competition website. The best 5 entries as voted by a Channel 7 Sunrise
judging panel will go into a voting phase where Australia will vote for
their favourite Australian pet.
We are set
to receive a huge amount of UGC content through this campaign that will
be used to extend and amplify the film release here in Australia. We’re
expecting to see UGC video content drive a big proportion of entries.
Says Now We Collides’ Head of Content Strategy Keir Maher.
project is incredibly exciting as it’s one of the most unique and
innovative uses of UGC we’ve ever seen. It’s watershed moment for UGC
marketing,” CEO and co-founder of UGC marketing technology firm
The Secret Life of Pets
opens in Australian cinemas on September 8 but has already broken box
office records around the world. In the U.S, the film became the
biggest opening ever for an original film, animated or otherwise.
Entries for the SECRETLIFEOFMYPET competition close at midnight on Thursday September 1st. The Top 5 finalists will go into public voting from Monday September 5th where the pet with the most votes by midnight Friday September 9th will be awarded the major prize.
* (2013) Pet Ownership in Australia Summary, Animal Health Alliance
Here at Now We Collide we work with brands looking to engage with customers and build a broader fan base with meaningful and relevant content. Mobile video campaigns are often a great way to do this. Because we are consuming more and more video online via mobile through Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other big native video players and publishers.
Mobile-First Video Campaign Best Practices
Here are the 5 summarised steps from a recent study from Comscore:
Hook the viewer quickly: You've got two or three seconds to grab the viewers attention before they scroll by.
Come in close: Engaging the viewer demands special video editing. Use close-ups, quick cuts, interesting imagery and strong point-of-view angles.
Go big: On-screen text showing product info needs to be clear and large enough to read on a tiny mobile screen.
The silent treatment: Viewers probably have their devices on mute. Therefore you need to develop creative content that works well with no sound too.
Tell them what to do: Include a simple call to action. Use the same message in the text around the native video ad unit to reinforce your message.
“Native mobile video campaigns not only work but can be especially effective when following creative best practices,” says Andrew Lipsman, vice president of marketing and insights at ComScore.
“It’s important for brands to make an impression quickly and engage with the consumer on a more visual level to drive campaign success.”
In conclusion, this is all true for native video formats, but of course the same can be said for mobile video campaigns too. They are good rules to follow no matter what video content you are producing. What do you think? Feel free to leave your comments below.
Now We Collide partnered with ESPN to develop a new video led brand campaign. It was a move to cement the growing interest in U.S. and international sports among a younger Aussie male audience.
Watch this short documentary about how it all came together.
The video content created merges pivotal sporting moments from the world of NBA, American Football and X Games with murals drawn by graffiti artist Sofles. The time-lapsed amalgamation of sports and street art created a social buzz among the 18 to 34-year-old demographic and prompted them to share the content across their networks.
The brand campaign that became shareable
ESPN Marketing Manager, John Webb told Mumbrella “It’s one thing to make a great TV commercial that we can run on our own platforms but we wanted to build a brand campaign that will become shareable, that strikes gold and potentially goes viral.” he said. The video quickly became the most viewed and shared across ESPN Aust/NZ social networks drawing massive social reach and advocacy.
“We wanted to design a brand campaign that goes beyond our hardcore fan base and hit those casual fans who are on the fringes who we want to bring into the network."
“Using Now We Collide and Sofles was the perfect way to design something that we could use on Instagram and Facebook and hit the demographic that we are congregating on those platforms.” - John Webb.
360 video is quickly moving from niche to mainstream. YouTube and Facebook are taking it to the masses and it's catching on. Because 360 video is so immersive, it allows the viewer to explore outside the frame and experience each story in a different way. That could be different every time they view it.
You may have noticed that YouTube has added 360 videos as the main navigation in their Channels list. And Facebook has teamed up with the little company they bought for $2bn last year, Oculus Rift, to introduce 360 videos to the Facebook Newsfeed.
With the growing popularity of virtual reality (VR), the demand for 360 video production is also on the rise.
So if you are a marketer looking to create an experiential brand to engage your audience or you want to tap into the potential of VR for employee training for a global team, then now might be a good time to get the ball rolling on 360 video production.