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Breaking News in Advertising, Media and Technology

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    Every plastic bottle in your bathroom dreams of a better life.

    At least, they do in Keep America Beautiful's new recycling ads from Pereira & O'Dell. The next phrase of the "I Want To Be Recycled" campaign launches today, and shows bathroom bottles looking forward to future experiences that are way more fulfilling that getting your grubby body clean.

    The two 30-second spots below, created in partnership with The Ad Council and sponsor Unilever, personify products' dream of being recycled into something new by being told through first-person POVs.



    The campaign is based on new research that says that nearly half of Americans (45 percent) aren't recycling their bathroom products. It also suggests 52 percent of people don't know which bathroom items can be recycled, and 47 percent don't have a recycling bin in their bathroom.

    The "I Want To Be Recycled" campaign, launched in 2013, has gotten nearly $68 million in donated air time and media space, and ranks as the second most supported Ad Council campaign by network cable TV.


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    Agencies like to trumpet their account wins in breathless emails, but here's a press release that plays things closer to the vest. It seems Catch New York has been hired by Vans for an "extra super top secret project." Reportedly. Allegedly. Possibly.

    See the release below.

    Pictured above are agency co-founder and managing partner Joe Perello, partner and CCO Doug Spitzer and co-founder and managing partner Arie Kovant.

    At least, that's supposedly them.


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    By now, you've probably seen Fox and Getty's wonderful promotion for the movie Unfinished Business, with Vince Vaughn, Dave Franco and Tom Wilkinson posing for boringly clever stock photos.

    Well, it turns out the images were Photoshopped from real stock photos. We've done you a solid by pairing the originals with the spoofs and turning them into GIFs. 

    Sorry in advance if we've shattered the illusion of Vince Vaughn ever sitting in an office. 

    Credit for all the original photos: Global Stock/iStock by Getty Images


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    A bizarre campaign won Best of Show at last Friday's Addy Award ceremony in Lexington, Ky. And so, fittingly, its creators made a bizarre acceptance speech to go with it.

    The winning campaign was actually a product—Kentucky Fried Chicken Bone Gold Necklaces, made with real KFC chicken bones. They were produced by Kentucky for Kentucky, a group led by local agency execs Whit Hiler and Griffin VanMeter that does unofficial tourism work for the state.



    Hiler and VanMeter were unable to make the Addys ceremony, but they did send in an acceptance speech via the video above (made by Ian Friley), which apparently got quite the reaction from attendees. Hiler does most of the talking.

    Check out an Instagram video from the show below, along with the case study video for the Kentucky Fried Chicken Bone Gold Necklaces.
     

     

    #AAFLexington with the @WeAreBullhorn crew

    A video posted by Adam Kuhn (@theadamkuhn) on


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    We've seen plenty of ad campaigns that have handcrafted elements meant to evoke some handcrafted aspect of the product. (Patron tequila's ads from 2013 were particularly lovely.) But Deutsch New York takes things up a notch in this beautiful work for Jägermeister.

    The agency got artists Olivia Knapp, Yeahhh! Studios and DKNG Studios to create three unique wooden works of art corresponding to the brand's three pillars—heritage, ingredients and process. Each piece was constructed in 56 separate parts that fit together like a puzzle—representing the 56 different ingredients (roots, fruits, herbs and spices) that go into Jägermeister.

    The artwork, weighing up to 250 pounds, were then photographed for use as ads—out-of-home, painted wallscapes, rich media, print, mobile and social media. The campaign is called "56 Parts. Best as One."

    Check out a ton of the art below.

     
    —"Cheers" by Yeaaah Studio

     
    —"Fount" by Olivia Knapp

     
    —"The Process" by DKNG

    CREDITS
    Client: Jägermeister, Sidney Frank Importing Co.
    Agency: Deutsch, New York:
    Chief Creative Officer: Kerry Keenan
    Executive Creative Director: Menno Kluin
    Associate Creative Directors: Sean Lee, Luke Hughett
    Copywriter: Brian Alexander
    Art Director: Katrina Mustakas
    Design, Typography: Juan Carlos Pagan, Brian Gartside
    Interactive Design Director: Aliza Adam
    Interactive Designer: Alex Miller
    Experience Design: Anna Farrell
    Art Buyer: Ali Asplund
    Director of Creative Operations: John Bongiovanni
    Senior Studio Artist: Tom Eberhart
    Print Producer: Melissa Betancur
    Retouching: James Cullinane
    Director of Integrated Production: Joe Calabrese
    Director of Digital Production: Suzanne Molinaro
    Digital Producers: Josh Deitel, Katie Miller
    Digital Developer: Patrick Batey
    Senior Motion Designer: Matthew Severin
    Motion Designers: John McLaughlin, Aaron Epstein
    Director of Photography: Owen Levelle
    Producer: Joe Pernice
    Editors: Bryan Reisberg, Chris Pensiero
    Assistant Editor: Drew Bolton
    Senior Project Manager: Marea Grossman
    Production Company: Remote Control Productions
    Photographers: Andrew Myers, Adam Coleman (BTS)
    Photo Assistants: Scott Burry, Landon Speers
    Digital Tech: Adrien Potier
    Fabrication Company: Bednark Studios
    Artists: Olivia Knapp, DKNG Studios, Yeaaah! Studio
    Additional Deutsch Credits:
    Executive Vice President, Group Account Director: Talia Handler
    Account Directors: Kristen Rincavage, Michelle Ziff


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    Pornhub is nothing if not savvy with its marketing, as seen in previous stunts like crowdsourcing a safe-for-work ad campaign and going big with a (short-lived) Times Square billboard. Now, the world's most mainstream porn site is getting into the hotness of the moment—wearable tech—with something called the Wankband. Yep, that's what it's called.

    Who knows if it will ever be made—they say it's in beta testing, which they spell "beata testing." And they are collecting email addresses from people who might want to own it eventually. (I'm sure those addresses will be used for no other reasons.)

    Here's the promo, which has well over 2 million YouTube views already:



    And here's how Pornhub is pitching it.

    At Pornhub, we're concerned about the amount of energy consumed by our users while enjoying the millions of hours of content we provide on our site. That's why we've decided to pitch in to help save the environment by creating a revolutionary wearable tech device. Find out more about the Wankband and how you can create dirty energy at www.thewankband.com and sign up to become a Be(a)ta tester so you can find out how this amazing invention can help you save the planet.


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    Here's an interesting use of facial recognition technology on billboards—to do something a little more inspiring than target you with the right products.

    To coincide with International Women's Day this Sunday, London agency WCRS teamed up with Women's Aid and Ocean Outdoor to create some remarkable digital billboards about domestic violence. They use facial recognition to recognize when people are paying attention to the image of a bruised woman. As more people look at the ad, her bruises and cuts heal faster, communicating the benefit of not turning a blind eye to the problem.

    The campaign premieres today at Canary Wharf, but it's actually already won an Interactive Award in Ocean's annual Art of Outdoor competition 2014. The video below is the case study made for those awards—with a different image, as you can see.



    The new images are mockups of how the current campaign will look.

    More images and credits below.



    CREDITS
    Client: Women's Aid
    Agency: WCRS
    Creative Director: Ross Neil
    Creative Technology: Dino Burbidge
    Creatives: Mike Whiteside, Ben Robinson
    Agency Producer: Sam Child
    Account Handling: Torie Wilkinson, Katherine Morris
    Planning: Stuart Williams
    Photography: Rankin
    Media: Ocean Outdoor
    Postproduction: Smoke & Mirrors


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    Air France embarks on a lavish flight of fantasy in this trippy 45-second global commercial by BETC Paris.

    Directed by film collective We Are From LA (which also directed Pharrell's "24 Hours of Happy" video, as well as Evian's "Baby & Me," also by BETC), the action takes place inside an oversized, ludicrously stylized airplane cabin where legroom is absolutely no problem.

    Colorful images of French culture and taste play across the screen. We're treated to ballerinas, the Tour de France, a high-fashion photo shoot, pastries, young lovers and more. Most of the performers ride swings dangling from the ceiling for some reason. (And you thought the Delta guy enjoyed being on a plane.)

    The visuals are a tad confusing but also riveting. You keep watching in an attempt to figure out what the hell's going on. The happy-synth soundtrack by American duo Glass Candy, though a bit cloying for my taste, fits the shenanigans to a T.



    The spot—the carrier's first global ad since 2011—represents an expansion of its "France is in the air" initiative, launched last year amid much fanfare and generally praised for its creativity and flair. On arrival, the campaign's vibe was playfully retro, evoking the past glories of transatlantic travel.

    Here, the impressionistic dream journey might strike some as too ethereal. But I award points for avoiding category clichés and chancing an unexpected departure.

    CREDITS
    Client: Air France
    Agency: BETC Paris


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    You thought the dust had settled on #TheDress. But today, The Salvation Army in South Africa released what just might be the most harrowing take on the viral phenomenon—in the form of a domestic abuse PSA.

    "Why is it so hard to see black and blue?" reads the headline.

    Copy reads: "The only illusion is if you think it was her choice. One in 6 women are victims of abuse. Stop abuse against women."

    Agency: Ireland Davenport.

    Click the image below to enlarge:


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    Love was in the air this week, as three of the five spots on this week list are romance-themed (though one has a seriously unromantic twist ending). The other two, for Geico and Skoda, played cleverly with the format of online video. Check out all five ads below, and vote for your favorite.


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    It's not just dudes in the Chicago ad scene. But promos for the city's American Advertising Awards show, happening next Wednesday, certainly seem to think everyone has a penis.

    "Who measured up?" says the headline on the ad below, as we see men and women all lined up at urinals. See, they're all sneaking a peek at each other's privates—a metaphor for gauging each other's creative worth as though it were their penis size.



    In an industry with a famous lack of female creative directors, you'd have to expect some backlash against something like this. And indeed, a number of women have complained on Twitter that the campaign is disrespectful.

    Copywriter Susan Morris wrote a scathing blog post about the campaign that's been circulating in the community. "The Chicago Advertising Federation is one of America's oldest and largest ad organizations," she writes. "On its Board of Directors, 12 men and 16 women. Apparently all of them think this ad is funny. I don't."

    We reached out to the Chicago Ad Federation, whose executive director, Patrick Farrey, strongly defended the campaign.

    "Great advertising is almost always risk-taking, if not occasionally irreverent," he tells us in a statement. "There is no doubt that the promotional campaign for the 2015 CAF American Advertising Awards competition pushed the envelope. Our intent was not to offend anyone, but rather to inspire the Chicago ad community to submit their best work into our long-standing, highly respected competition."

    He adds: "This campaign did exactly what good advertising is supposed to do—get noticed, start a dialogue, raise awareness and generate sales. The Chicago Advertising Federation received a record number of competition entries this year!"

    What's your take on the campaign? Does it actually measure up?


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    There's lot of marketing around International Women's Day this Sunday. And now, London agency adam&eveDDB has joined in with a symbolic gesture—changing its name to eve&adamDDB for a couple of days.

    They even changed the signage outside their building as you can see below.
     

    Adweek responsive video player used on /video.

     


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    Kraft has changed how it defines consumers who eat Velveeta, from age and gender (millennial males) to mindset (fun people who like to indulge). As such, new ads for Velveeta Shells & Cheese feature a broadly appealing pair of prospectors from the 19th century instead of a cool dude who sells remote-control helicopters at a mall.

    In one TV ad breaking today, the bearded prospectors, one older and one younger, marvel at the "liquid gold" they're eating, and the young one asks the oldster how he found it. Then what looks like a campfire conversation in the woods pulls back to reveal a whole different scene entirely.



    Future spots will find humor in the odd placement of frontiersmen in a modern supermarket. The campaign also includes online ads, social media marketing and a new wrinkle for the brand, radio spots, said Tiphanie Maronta, a senior brand manager at Kraft.

    The ads are the first for Velveeta from Crispin Porter + Bogusky, which inherited the brand from Wieden + Kennedy in an agency consolidation late last year. 


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    Add Microsoft to the list of companies touting support for young girls who like science and engineering.

    The tech giant celebrated International Women's Day on Sunday, and Women's History Month generally, with a moving spot from m:united that starts with great footage of girls talking about why they love science, and what they've accomplished with it—then taking a turn into the familiar, heartbreaking theme that inventing is actually for boys.

    It's noteworthy that one interviewee blames commercials for reinforcing the stereotype (even if the inclusion of that point in an ad comes across as a bit of a humblebrag from the brand). In fact, the importance of the overall message makes it a little frustrating that it includes details like a smarmily named email address recruiting2027@microsoft.com that girls should apparently use to contact the company (aimed at all the job-hunting 10-year-olds, assuming they have to finish high school and college first?).



    Shots of the girls, meanwhile, receiving encouraging letters from Microsoft also come across as a little meager and clumsy. It would be more compelling if Microsoft would stay out of its own way and just focus on the bigger theme. Or if it has to grandstand about the good it's doing, then make the gift more substantial—e.g., devote resources to helping these girls cultivate their interests, and talk about that.

    To be fair, the video's YouTube description does link to DigiGirlz, a tech careers program Microsoft runs for high school girls, and importantly, a note to the email address above returns a form letter that promises further contact from a woman working at the company, and includes links to other programs, including Girls Who Code, which Microsoft sponsors.

    In other words, while it's a good start that the brand is telling girls that STEM careers are viable and desirable, it's worth remembering the whole concept is also corporate imaging aimed at ameliorating a more immediate, significant blemish for the company (which, as of October, reported a tech workforce that was about 17 percent women) and the industry as a whole. (Apple was at 20 percent, and Google 17 percent.) Plus, there was that whole debacle with Microsoft's CEO promoting, then quickly backpedaling on, the absurd idea that women shouldn't ask for raises.

    In fact, in perhaps the ad's most telling moment, one of the girls basically tells Microsoft to get real, she's just a kid—but, yeah OK, maybe someday she'll work for them. And while ultimately she concedes it's cool they even wrote her a letter, you can almost hear the creative team prompting her to say so. Plus, it probably really is nice to get some supportive words from Microsoft, but seriously … it's not like it's Apple.

    CREDITS
    Client: Microsoft
    Agency: m:united
    Global Executive Creative Officer: Andy Azula
    Global Executive Creative Officer: John Mescall
    Executive Creative Director: Priti Kapur
    Senior Vice President, Group Creative Director: Daniela Vojta
    Director of Creative Technology: David Cliff
    Director of Integrated Production: Aaron Kovan
    Executive Producer: Carolyn Johnson
    Interactive Producer: Rick Segal
    Music Producer: Michael Ladman
    President: John Dunleavy
    Managing Director: Kevin Nelson                                                                                  
    Group Account Director: Jason Kolinsky
    Account Supervisor: Nayeli Valentinez
    Director: Noah David Smith @ Helicopter Pictures
    Editor: Aaron Langley @ Cosmo Street
    Audio Mix: Paul Weiss @ Sonic Union
    Music: "First (master)"
    Composer: Matt Abeysekera @ SCORE A SCORE


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    Never underestimate people's power not to give a damn about what's right in front of them.

    We've seen this time and again in outdoor ad stunts, and this latest one from AMV BBDO in London is quite amusing to watch. It's a PSA for Cancer Research U.K., which wanted to communicate that British people are missing the first signs of cancer. Well, no wonder they ignore small lumps in their bodies when they just walk right past weird giant lumps growing in the real world.



    Model makers Artem built the lumps.

    "The road lumps had to match the paving bricks of the street used for the shoot, and be distorted in such a way that made it appear as if a 'tumor' was growing in the road," the company says. "The lumps had to be light enough to carry on and off set, but durable enough for a van to go over them; one of the lumps was reinforced in fiberglass to allow for a road sweeper to go over it."

    CREDITS
    Client: Cancer Research U.K.
    Agency: AMV BBDO, London
    Creative Directors: Mike Crowe, Rob Messeter
    Copywriter: Charlotte Adorjan
    Art Director: Michael Jones
    Agency Planners: Emily Harlock, Sarah Sternberg
    Account: Gareth Collins, Emily Atkinson, Ally Humpherys
    Agency Producer: Sophie Horner
    Media Agency: Mediacom
    Media Planner: Lucy Mitchell
    Production Company: Rogue
    Producer: Maddy Easton
    Director: Sam Cadman
    Sound: Gary Turnball / Grand Central Recording Studios
    Postproduction: Joseph Tang / The Mill
    Editor: Kev Palmer / TenThree
    Model Makers: Artem
    Music: The Sound Works


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    These four brief ads from Jung von Mott illustrate, in real time, just how quickly the Mercedes-AMG GT S accelerates from 0 to its top speed of 310 kilometers per hour (roughly 193 miles per hour).

    The German spots are designed to be viewed sequentially, running between other commercials in traditional TV ad blocks for maximum interruptive effect. By the end of the first spot, which lasts 3.8 seconds, the car is moving at 100 kph. By the end of the second, it's doing 200 kph. It hits 310 kph during the fourth spot.

    (Just toolin' down the Autobahn to pick up some milk at the local Edeka market.Supergeil!)



    The whole thing lasts less than 20 seconds, and the copy—displayed one word at a time on screen—flies by awfully fast. Honda and Hyundai took similar zippy routes recently, so I guess the speed-reading trend is in high gear until the next car-commercial gimmick comes down the pike.

    Frankly, following such rapid text makes me kind of dizzy. Advertisers, feel free to slam on the brakes anytime. Via Ads of the World.


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    Everyone loves to complain about the weatherman messing up the forecast, but Toyota decided to actually do something about it.

    At least, that's the premise of this new reality-style ad for the automaker's Aygo model (sold in Europe). In the two-minute spot, three television forecasters are given special versions of the car to drive, with a sunroof rigged to stay closed when he or she predicts rain, and open when he or she expects it to shine—regardless of what actually comes out of the skies.

    Cue obvious footage of one weather anchor cursing as a small mountain of snow dumps onto her head (did she not see it, or did the rules bar her from sweeping it off before she got in?), and another hilariously pleading for mercy as he gets drenched in a downpour.



    It's all framed as an experiment, if tongue in cheek, so the results aren't surprising— the world's favorite rhetorical punching bags get the weather right some of the time. And as with most documentary marketing, it should probably be taken with more than one grain of salt.

    In other words, Toyota isn't exactly taking much of a risk by piling on. But it's fun enough to watch, in a revenge-schadenfreude kind of way. For all those times you got caught in a thunderstorm without an umbrella, sit back and grab some popcorn, because it sure beats blaming the atmosphere.

    Agency: Del Campo Saatchi and Saatchi Spain.


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    For a product Apple hopes will be revolutionary, the first TV commercial for the Apple Watch, unveiled today, had an instantly recognizable style. And no wonder—it's a style that's gained no small measure of equity since the advent of the iPhone in 2007. And the ads continue to look and sound great.



    The formula is simple: Device against white background, turning in space to show the physical design, cycling through apps on screen to show functionality, all set to an energetic, catchy tune—in this case, the Holychild track "Running Behind." (It's like doing a super-fancy product demo, and understandably so—products that haven't existed before need fairly basic marketing to explain them.)

    This spot gets to do a few more things—show off the bands as jewelry, for example. And it's quite clever that, thanks to some handclaps, the device gets a round of applause right out of the gate. "The watch is coming," says the copy at the end, quickly dissing all rivals.

    But otherwise it's business as usual, if gorgeously so.


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    Cute-Crazed. Selfie-Obsessed. Bad Happy. These are just three of the names of Mentos' new branded emoticons, or "ementicons," which will soon be available for the mint brand's socially savvy fans to use. Mentos isn't alone. As communication on mobile devices has become more image-based—through the use of emoticons, emojis and stickers—brands like Ikea, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Comedy Central and others have created their own branded emoticons to engage audiences in a new way.

    There are nearly 2 billion smartphone users worldwide, according to eMarketer data. Given the size and scope of this connected audience, "It's a no-brainer that brands would explore this," said Thomas Ordahl, chief strategy officer for Landor. "It will create new opportunities to communicate and relate to people that are important for you to engage as a brand."

    For Mentos, the 10 ementicons, which are available through a new keyboard in the messaging app Ultratext, were a way to play off the freshness attribute of the brand by refreshing the already available emojis. 

    Ikea's Swedish meatballs were included in the brand's 100 emoticons.

    "We've seen messaging, emoticon and emoji use skyrocket across platforms globally," said Ben Shaw, strategy director for BBH in London, Mentos' agency. "Creating branded emoticons, or social stickers, allows Mentos to participate in a space that can be difficult for brands to penetrate."

    In mid-February Ikea and Coca-Cola both launched branded emoticons. Ikea launched 100 emoticons, including its Swedish meatballs. Coca-Cola in Puerto Rico created 30 emoticons that the brand dubbed "emoticoke."

    "In general you could say emoticons offer a great way for brands to—potentially on a global scale—become part of the everyday conversations of people," said Mark Ogertschnig, an Ikea spokesman. 

    GE's Emoji Periodic Table of Experiments

    The list of brands looking for new ways to penetrate this space keeps growing. For the premiere of Broad City's second season in January, Comedy Central partnered with the platform Snaps to create a Broad City-themed emoticon keyboard. For a science event in late 2014, General Electric developed the Emoji Periodic Table of Experiments for Snapchat users. In December, AT&T made an interactive holiday site where users could create personalized emoticons to sing carols.

    According to Swyft Media, 41.5 billion messages and 6 billion emoticons or stickers are sent around the world every day on mobile messaging apps. "When we offer mobile app users the imagery of their favorite brands, they don't see it as advertising," noted Evan Wray, co-founder of Swyft Media. "They see it as self-expression." 

    Broad City's emoticons derive from the show's jokes.

    But brands looking to take advantage of this trend need to understand the difference between emojis and emoticons or stickers. The emoji keyboard, which now comes standard on many smartphones, is comprised of various emojis approved by the Unicode Consortium. Brands looking to create their own emoticons and stickers have to make their own apps or partner with messaging apps like Kik, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to have their branded emoticons available for consumer use.

    Taco Bell recently lobbied the Unicode Consortium to add a taco emoji to its keyboard. The brand circulated a Change.org petition that's secured 30,000 signatures. So why not create its own emoticons or stickers instead of waiting for the Unicode Consortium to add a taco emoji? "We didn't go create our own app because people use the emojis natively already," explained Taco Bell rep Ashley Sioson. "We want it to be a natural tie-in to how the user already uses emojis."


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    Earlier this winter I joined several hundred investors at Helsinki's annual Slush event, which started in 2008 as a cozy gathering of Nordic entrepreneurs and has since grown into a leading conference of its kind in Europe, drawing 14,000 participants and, this year, a keynote from Chinese vice premier Wang Yang.

    It's impossible to spend time in Finland without considering the importance of mobile—Nokia is headquartered there, of course, as are Rovio and the more recent gaming juggernaut Supercell. From a global perspective, to say that mobile devices are disrupting the digital media landscape grossly understates the case. We are witnessing a major shift in how billions of people connect to the Internet, consume media and interact with each other. More time is spent in mobile apps than on all of the Web, and the smartphone industry already dwarfs the PC sector.

    Indeed, mobile modes of consumption are ubiquitous across many cultures; just one train ride in New York, Beijing, or Berlin will quickly prove that, when it comes to staring at and touching small screens, we're all pretty much the same.

    To date, the most common way to gauge the impact of this phenomenon has been to measure the amount of media consumed by device type—hours of YouTube videos watched, Pandora stations streamed—as well as the corresponding mobile revenue of certain media properties like Facebook.

    Less noted, but equally significant, are the changes being wrought by mobile modes of production. When it comes to media or content, many people still consider the smartphone to be the younger, peskier cousin of the desktop, inheriting all of its innovations of the past two decades, while still stubbornly resisting large-scale advertising. In fact, the opposite is true. These days, mobile often leads the charge, with smartphones and tablets serving as the test bed for experimentation in user experience. And mobile innovations are now often driving change on desktops. Here are four examples to consider.

    Website architecture and design: The dominance of the Visual Web as a design metaphor is reflected in every major website redesign of the past year—from MarthaStewart.com to Weather.com—and owes its rise to the mobile camera. Never before in history has it been so easy to create and share high-resolution photos, and it is no accident that websites become less text-heavy and more image-rich at the same time high-quality images became easier and cheaper to create.

    Additionally, many media properties are finally embracing responsive design and some, like Quartz, are bringing mobile idioms—single-column scrolls with Twitter card types of functionality—into the architecture of their desktop sites.

    Native advertising: They say every new medium borrows the advertising formats of the past. That has certainly been true in mobile advertising, as anyone who has ever mistakenly clicked on a scrunched, illegible, resized 320x50 banner can attest. But as it became clear that ad adjacencies were often nonexistent on small screens, Facebook, Twitter and others created noninterruptive in-feed units, growing their mobile revenue famously in the process. Some desktop sites, like Quartz and BuzzFeed, now avoid standard IAB placements altogether in favor of units integrated within content. And a new AdTech cottage industry of native advertising platforms has arisen, including standouts like TripleLift and AdsNative.

    Push media: When Oracle's Responsys group acquired mobile push notification company Push IO last year, it noted that "while push notifications are primarily delivered over mobile devices today … marketers will soon deliver push notifications through Web browsers, gaming devices and entertainment systems." Push notifications are the newest channel under the categories of direct marketing and CRM. According to the founders at Roost, a recent graduate of the Y Combinator accelerator program, Web push is clearly superior to both email and SMS, with higher opt-in rates, lower price points and more sophisticated analytics.

    Survey data: Not necessarily the sexiest area of media, surveys and panels have nonetheless formed the backbone of major media research companies such as Nielsen and SurveyMonkey. But in a world in which the average person consults his or her smartphone 150 times per day, there is diminishing patience for the long-form survey. Startups like Wedgies and Polar (now part of Google) bring a BuzzFeed-like sensibility to an old format, turning surveys into interactive content and capturing massive amounts of user data in the process.

    Over the coming years, as an additional 1 billion people come online through smartphones, digital will come to mean mobile, and mobile will continue to drive innovation in ways we've only begun to imagine.

    Josh Engroff (@jengroff) is managing partner of kbs+ Ventures and chief digital media officer at The Media Kitchen.  


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