Cash, credit payments up to $50 going to early buyers during three month period
In a release from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) earlier today, the agency announced that Sony Computer Entertainment America would be paying out settlements to those that were misled by a PlayStation Vita advertising campaign that started before the handheld console released in February 2012. Under the settlement, Sony will pay out $25 in cash or $50 in merchandise credit for select games and services. But what sort of impact will this cause for Sony? Electronista dives into the numbers to look at the potential $28.7 million the company will need to pay out.
Advertising promised 'game changing' features in ads, Sony never delivered
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Sony Computer Entertainment America reached a settlement today over advertising promises that were made for the PlayStation Vita leading up to its launch in February 2012. According to the FTC, Sony and advertising agency Deutsch LA promised "game changing" features in a 2011 ad campaign that misled consumers.
Continues series of ads with Fallon and Timberlake
Apple has premiered a pair of new iPhone 6 ads (below), continuing a series starring the voices of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake. The first, "Gamers," depicts the pair playing the MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) title Vainglory, used in some previous Apple marketing as well. The ad touts the speed of the A8 processor in the 6 and 6 Plus.
iPhone buyers likely grabbing 'vital' apps
App Store downloads surged to a record 7.8 million per day average for the top 200 free iOS apps in October, says mobile marketing firm Fiksu. That represented a 42 percent increase from September, and a 39 percent jump year-over-year. The firm says it expects the trend to continue into the holiday season. It appears to have been kickstarted by sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which first launched on September 19, but which has been been gradually rolling out to more and more countries.
Rumor claims free Prime Instant Video-style service launching early next year
Amazon customers wanting to experience Prime Instant Video may soon be able to view some content without subscribing to the Prime delivery service. The retailer will reportedly be launching an advertising-supported video streaming to its online services roster early next year, allowing viewers to watch a selection of movies and TV shows for free.
Imgur, The Onion among initial partners
Google has launched a new service called Contributor, allowing people to pay to remove ads from participating websites. At the service's portal, visitors can pick which sites they want to contribute to, and whether to donate $1, $2, or $3 per month. Once a subscription is active, visiting those sites will display thank-you messages and/or pixel patterns in place of the ads.
Should bring iAd in line with other mobile ad platforms
Apple is partnering with a company called Rubicon Project on bringing "programmatic" -- also known as automated -- options to iAd, according to a now-pulled (but still cached) press release. In it, Rubicon says that advertisers wanting iAd spots will be able to place them through Rubicon's automation platform, rather than having to negotiate directly with iAd's sales team. This should not only speed up the process, but potentially enable bidding on placements in apps via auctions.
Company working on improving appeal of service to clients
The iAd network is now available in another 70 countries, bringing the total up to 95, according to an Apple announcement to developers. The company hasn't identified which regions are new except for Australia, but says the remainder are spread across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The change should increase the potential reach of existing iAd campaigns and enable new ones.
Advertising-free subscriptions for YouTube may surface in the future
YouTube's music subscription service "Music Key" is still in development, CEO Susan Wojcicki has confirmed, though it may not be the only subscription option the service will provide its users. A monthly payment to remove pre-roll and other forms of advertising from YouTube is being considered, but other subscription schemes are apparently being considered.
CryptoWall 2.0 ransomware discovered being pushed by malicious advertisements
A new ransomware attack has been taking place, infecting victims by spreading malware via advertising networks on major sites, a report claims. Appearing on a number of high-profile websites, the malicious advertising pushed the CryptoWall 2.0 ransomware using Flash exploits, encrypting the victim's local storage and demanding a fee to decrypt it before a payment deadline elapses.
Many Apple partners missing compatible terminals
The lion's share of early Apple Pay transactions will probably be in-app, rather than made at retail stores, admits Apple's Senior VP of Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue. Over the weekend, Cue spoke with the Wall Street Journal about the service, which launches today. In fact, many of Apple's merchant partners have yet to receive point-of-sale terminals compatible with Apple Pay, but the company is expecting them to upgrade within the next year.
Continued growth in overseas ad markets driving Google growth
Google today reported consolidated revenues of $16.52 billion for the quarter that ended September 30, an increase of 20 percent compared to the third quarter of 2013. In the third quarter of 2014, total acquisition costs totaled $3.35 billion, or 23 percent of advertising revenues. Cost-per-click continues to decline, but continued growth, especially in non-US markets, has far more than offset this price decrease.
Apple pitching tech to advertisers as an alternative to cookies
Something quietly introduced alongside iOS 8 has been the ability for advertisers to retarget iAds based on in-app browsing actions, a new report says. Apple is, in fact, said to be pitching this to advertisers as a way of circumventing the absence of mobile cookie tracking in iOS. In a given example, someone who adds a pair of shoes to a cart in a retailer's iPhone shopping app -- but decides not to buy them -- may later see an ad for that same pair of shoes from the same retailer, even in another app on his or her iPad. Tapping that ad might redirect the person to their abandoned checkout page and add the shoes back to it.
Estimated 500 Bluetooth beacons installed as part of city-approved trial
A marketing firm has littered New York City with marketing beacons, a report has discovered. Hidden within phone booths in Manhattan, approximately 500 of the Bluetooth beacons have been installed, with the devices able to help retailers and advertisers track the movements of smartphones owned by passers by, as well as potentially pushing marketing messages to devices.
Compensation rules added for Twitch, Steam to add a level of transparency
Valve's Steam platform and the game streaming site Twitch are adding some rules when it comes to the endorsements and recommendations of games. Both companies are now adding transparency for areas of generated content, hoping to bring an end to the blurred line that sits between paid advertisements, endorsements, or reviews.
Emphasizes main draw of new models
Apple is running a new print ad in magazines like Rolling Stone, in which the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are presented at "actual sizes," as stated in a tagline. The ad is otherwise minimalist, with logos and a small paragraph of text against a stark white background. "Stunning Retina HD display. Amazing new iSight camera. Powerful 64-bit A8 processor. The most advanced iOS yet. All in an ultraslim design. The new iPhones are bigger than bigger," the paragraph reads.
Google Now adds flight price monitor card shown after Google Flight searches
Google Now has added a new card to its roster, warning users of changes in flight prices. Spotted by Android Police, the card will automatically appear if a flight is searched for via Google Flight Search, though apparently not when using other fare comparison sites, with the card advising of any rise or fall in cost. It is unknown how far the feature has rolled out, nor if it picks up relevant data from standard Google searches or Gmail.
Band met with Apple in April, manager says
Apple "stole" the concept behind its "Perspective" ad -- used to introduce yesterday's press event -- from OK Go, says band manager Andy Gershon. The Apple video features a camera tracking around a white room where shapes turn into text when seen from the right angle. OK Go, though, released a video in June for the song "The Writing's On the Wall," based on the same concept. More importantly, Gershon notes that the band met with Apple in April to pitch the concept as a potential collaboration.
Sponsored sessions provide advertising-free Spotify for 30 minutes
Spotify will soon be showing video-based advertising to listeners of its free service. The streaming music company has revealed it will start airing the videos to its free users shortly, with both desktop and mobile app users set to see the clips, though marketers will have a few options for how their advertizing efforts get utilized by the service.
In-image advertising service shutting down, payouts still coming by end of September
Yahoo made another pickup in the advertising sector last week, acquiring the in-imaging advertising company Luminate. The advertising company announced the acquisition on its webpage, noting that services would be winding down effective September 3, with any reminding earnings or balances remaining to be returned by the end of September.
One of Apple's earliest efforts in current theme
Apple's "Misunderstood" iPhone ad, aired during the holidays last year, has been awarded a 2014 Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Commercial. The spot was produced with the help of TBWA/Media Arts Lab and Park Pictures, and features a boy who appears to be ignoring friends and family in favor of his iPhone, but is really shooting and editing a special video (said to be based on a true story). It beat out efforts on behalf of corporations like GE, Nike, and Budweiser.
Microsites focus on practical uses of apps
Apple has added two new microsites for its "Your Verse" iPad marketing campaign. The first highlights Chinese electropop band Yaoband, which uses iPads for sampling, recording, and performance. Apple mentions the use of apps like iMaschine and Logic Remote.
Ties to Nike and Apple retail head Angela Ahrendts
Apple has hired on Musa Tariq, formerly a social media director at Nike and before that Burberry, reports say. Tariq has also confirmed the switch on his Twitter account. At Apple, his new position is stated to be "digital marketing director."
Phone's marketing campaign winds down
Over the weekend, Apple began airing a new TV ad (below) for the iPhone 5s, dubbed "Dreams." The spot continues Apple's recent theme of highlighting different real-world uses for its products, although in this case the uses are even more diverse. In one segment, for example, students are shown capturing weather data, while in others a fire department responds to emergency calls, and a veterinarian examines a horse.
Replacement ads state that a site has been reported, branded with force logo
The City of London Police is taking a new approach when it comes to curbing piracy. The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) recently started replacing advertising banners on websites involved with copyright infringement, warning users that the site is known to authorities. The move is aimed at cutting off revenue streams on sites promoting intellectual property (IP) theft, even when the ads are legitimate.
Deal rumored to be worth at least $300 million, could rapidly grow Yahoo's mobile business
Yahoo could be looking for aggressive growth in its mobile platforms, as reports from Recode and TechCrunch indicate that the search company is acquiring mobile analytic and advertising startup Flurry. While official news of the deal has yet to be announced, sources say that the news is expected to come in later today.
Reach extending to Fire phone on July 25th
Amazon's Mobile Ads API supports iOS devices as of today, the company has announced. The change means that developers will be able to use banner and interstitial ads from Amazon's network on iPhones and iPads, in addition to the Android and Fire OS devices already supported. Support for the Fire phone is due on July 25th, the same day that product launches.
Company is 'not satisfied,' with results, declining display ad revenue to blame
Yahoo posted its second quarter 2014 results yesterday, indicating shrinking revenues from the same quarter in the previous year. The quarter, which ended on March 31, saw a decline in revenue due to disappointing results from display ad revenue. CEO Marissa Mayer realizes that there is still work to do in some areas, as the company looks toward a "unified approach" to advertising.
Beats' Jimmy Iovine said to be important to new marketing efforts
Apple may be on the verge of completely separating from its long-time ad partner, TBWA's Media Arts Lab, says the New York Post. Citing industry rumors, the paper suggests that Apple's entire external advertising account is "up for grabs," and that Beats CEO Jimmy Iovine -- soon to become an executive at Apple, following Beats' acquisition -- will also be used to help revive Apple marketing efforts. "Apple bought Beats for a lot of reasons," comments one anonymous ad agency executive. "They think they're marketing geniuses. It is safe to assume Beats would be part of an assessment of all [Apple] partners."
Regulator recognizes game can be played for free, but it's 'severely limited'
It appears that regulators are catching onto the idea that Electronic Art's (EA) Dungeon Keeper mobile game isn't really what could be considered a "free-to-play" game. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), an independent regulator of ads in the UK, ruled this week that ads promoting the game as free-to-play must not appear in the future.
Highlights disparities in battery life
Samsung has released a new TV ad (below) for the Galaxy S5, comparing it against the iPhone in terms of battery life. iPhone owners are depicted as "wall huggers," forced to constantly hunt for outlets at spaces like airports due to only being able to go a few hours on a charge. On the other side of the coin the ad touts the S5's removable battery, and its "ultra power saving mode," which disables non-essential functions and can allow the phone to run for a full day with just 10 percent power left.
Minimalist product shots dropped
Apple has started replacing the wall graphics at its retail stores, photos reveal. Until now, Apple Stores have typically used minimalist product shots set against white backgrounds. The new images feature people modeling products in different scenarios, much like Apple's recent TV ads.
Continues 'Powerful' series of Apple ads
Apple has begun airing a new TV ad for the iPhone, dubbed "Parenthood." Accordingly the spot's script features a number of scenarios in which iPhone apps help parents. Some of the highlighted titles include Withings WithBaby, MyTeeth, DRAWNIMAL, Pet Manager PRO, WeMo, and Nike+ Running.
Company recruiting from TBWA, other ad firms
Apple is not only producing its own TV ads but "madly building" an internal ad agency, according to Ad Age. The company is reportedly telling new hires that the agency will eventually have some 1,000 workers. To staff the division Apple is said to be recruiting high-profile people from the industry, including executives from long-time Apple partner TBWA, as hinted at previously by Bloomberg.
Could make iTunes more appealing to marketers
Apple is planning several changes to improve the success of iTunes Radio, according to ad buyers reached by The Information. The first is the addition locally-targeted ads, something reportedly happening later this year. The company may also begin promoting iTunes with "house ads" on its iAd network.
Agreement integrates Accuen into MoPub for further ad reach, buying
Social media company Twitter has made a move to strengthen its ad division with a $240 million agreement with Omnicom Media Group. The two-year deal will see Omnicom's programmatic ad-buying unit, Accuen, integrated with Twitter's MoPub ad exchange. Twitter had purchased MoPub in September for $350 million in a move to strengthen its advertising arm.
Producer projects can be uploaded to Workbench
Apple has updated iAd Producer, the tool used to create ads for the iAd network. Version 4.2 lets advertisers generate fullscreen iPhone banners for the first time, and also upload projects to iAd Workbench, the tool used to start and manage campaigns. Other improvements are minor; the only one detailed, in fact, is the ability to reorganize folders in the Assets sidebar.
Refrigerators, thermostats, glasses could see ads served by Google in future
In a 2013 filing uncovered by the Wall Street Journal, Google stated that it could possibly be extending ad service to devices outside of smartphones and computers in the future. The letter, which covered the topic of mobile revenue disclosure, gave a hint that Google may be evolving ads to grow along with the changing definition of mobile devices.
Google Glass, partnerships among cited reasons
Google has replaced Apple as the world's top brand, according to market research firm Millward Brown. In the company's latest annual Top BrandZ report, Google's brand value surged 40 percent to $158.84 billion. "Google has been extremely innovative this year with Google Glass, investments in artificial intelligence and a range of partnerships," writes Benoit Tranzer, the head of Millward Brown France. "All these activities send a very strong signal to consumers about the essence of Google."
Magazine style ads to appeal to text-based advertisors, websites
Google announced today that it is bringing a new type of ad to AdSense that plays to a better design for customers who use the service, but have so far distanced themselves from text-based ads. The magazine ads are an effort by Google to make text ads more appealing to AdSense users, who have set their preferences to display-only ads for design considerations.
Google Helpouts and illegal ad-blocking being investigated
The Competition Commission of India has launched a new probe against Google's business practices. A chain of remote technology support firms launched the complaint, alleging that the company illicitly blocked advertising it paid for on the service, and has a "vague and unclear" user safety policy leading to "abuse of dominance by Google."
Executive spent 18 years at Apple
Apple's long-time VP of worldwide corporate communications -- Katie Cotton -- is retiring, the company confirms. Cotton has worked at Apple for some 18 years; company spokesman Steve Dowling explains that she "has wanted to spend time with her children for some time now." Cotton herself says that the departure is "hard" for her, since "Apple is a part of my heart and soul."
May signal attempt to compete with Samsung
Apple has posted a new job opening for a "buzz marketing manager," notes the Houston Chronicle's Dwight Silverman. "This new Buzz Marketing role is primarily responsible for constant and compelling exposure of Apple products with high-profile users, especially those in film and television," the listing explains. This suggests that Apple wants its products seen in the hands of more celebrities, regardless of whether or not they would normally be fans.
Company says almost half of US stores powered by renewable energy
Apple today embarked on a new campaign to advertise its environmental protection efforts. The company's CEO, Tim Cook, narrates a video simply titled "Better" (below), in which he talks about initiatives such as renewable energy for datacenters, and efforts to use recyclable materials in products and reduce the amount of packaging Apple products come in. The company's VP for environmental concerns, Lisa Jackson, has meanwhile given an interview to Wired on the topic.
Public assumed to be worried about Apple's prospects
Samsung decided to launch its "Next Big Thing" campaign -- parodying Apple -- in the wake of the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, according to an email trail exposed during the ongoing Apple v. Samsung patent trial. Samsung America's VP of US sales, Mike Pennington, described Jobs' death as "the best opportunity" to run a campaign targeting Apple, since people would be worried about whether Apple could continue to come up with great ideas minus Jobs' influence. "Sorry to continue to push this issue, but I have seen this far too long and I know this is our best opportunity to attack iPhone," Pennington is quoted as saying.
Internet ads exceeded TV dollars by $2.7 billion in 2013
US Internet advertising revenues for 2013 hit an all-time high of $42.8 billion, exceeding broadcast television advertising revenues of $40.1 billion. The full-year results mark the first time that Internet ad spending has eclipsed television commercial sales. Of particular note is mobile advertising -- for the third year in a row, mobile achieved triple-digit growth year-over-year, rising to $7.1 billion during 2013, a 110 percent boost from the prior year total of $3.4 billion.
Apple says move in keeping with official policies
UK-based streaming service Bloom.fm has been banned from advertising on Apple's iAd network due to it being competition with iTunes Radio, according to Bloom PR representatives. Until recently, Bloom was spending £2,000 per month on iAd spots. In rejecting the advertising, Apple is quoted as telling Bloom that it constituted "a competitive service to iTunes Radio and it is against Apple policy."
New hires won't impact existing relationships, unrelated to 2012 dispute
According to venerable industry trade magazine Ad Age, Apple is again expanding and diversifying its advertising firms and staff. The iPhone maker is said to be adding as many as four digital-advertising agencies to its roster, presumably in an effort to beef up its mobile and online advertising efforts. Apple will continue its longstanding relationship with TBWA/Media Arts Lab as its main partner, despite some now well-publicized spats in late 2012 and early 2013.
Tries to bounce back from successful Samsung efforts
The gap between Apple and Samsung's US advertising budgets narrowed during 2013, according to new data from Kantar Media. Apple's budget is said to have increased 5 percent year-over-year to $351 million. Samsung, conversely, actually cut its spending by 10 percent, but still ended spending more with a budget of $363 million. Most of Apple's cash is said to have gone toward TV commercials.
Marketing head rejected suggestions company needed scrutiny
In a series of early 2013 emails, Apple's marketing lead Phil Schiller delivered angry words to long-time Apple advertising partner TBWAChiatDay, and specifically its Apple-dedicated Media Arts Lab, according to documents exposed through the ongoing Apple v. Samsung trial. As was mentioned in court, Schiller was upset with a Wall Street Journal piece arguing that Apple had "lost its cool" to Samsung. He forwarded the story to TBWA, simply commenting that "we have a lot of work to do to turn this around."