Category: What We’re Hooked On

What We’re Hooked On: New iPhones, Whatever USA, #NotBroken, Tinder for Marketers and More

TGIF! In terms of widespread conversation about different events, this week was busy. Apple announced two new iPhones and its entry into wearable technology with the Apple Watch, Honey Maid took another stab at highlighting today’s wholesome families, Bud Light’s Whatever USA finally came to life and America remembered the 13th anniversary of 9/11. Here’s what we’re hooked on (and why).

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What We’re Hooked On: Snapchat Pitch Deck, Twitter Ads, Pinterest Messaging and More

We think it’s important to keep up with the ever-changing world of marketing so we can help deliver the most innovative ideas and campaigns for our clients. Check out what we’re hooked on this week!

Snapchat’s Pitch Deck

Snapchat has more than 30 million users who send 700 million photos and videos a day. This incredibly strong engagement and user base has led the company to a $10 billion valuation. Many brands are embracing the app: 16 Handles offers Snapchat coupons, and brands like Nissan, Mondelez’s Sour Patch Kids is one of many brands hiring Vine star Logan Paul to take over accounts and media outlets like Mashable, The Verge and MTV are just a few of many names using Snapchat to share behind-the-scenes Snaps. Digiday shared Snapchat’s pitch deck this week, highlighting the whos, whats, whens, wheres, whys and hows for businesses using Snapchat.


Why we’re hooked:

When Snapchat announced “Our Story” earlier this year, it opened the door for event sponsors to include content in an event story or increase engagement and awareness around a specific event. Combine this with Geofilters and all the ways brands are already experimenting with how to make the most of marketing with Snapchat, this deck justifies the potential for brands.

Twitter Accounts Your Friends Follow

Most Facebook users are probably familiar with a feature on Facebook that shows a post from an account you don’t follow, but your friends do. This idea of “suggested pages” is apparently spreading to Twitter, too. Users reported seeing accounts they don’t follow popping up on their feeds, but Twitter has not confirmed anything

Why we’re hooked:

For brands, this could be a great addition as it raises awareness of your account to a wider audience and could lead to more likes and engagement. However, this is a tricky move, because a Twitter feed is all about who the user chooses to follow. If it’s not an ad, and it’s not an account you follow…will people be happy it’s there?

Speaking of Twitter Ads…

In other Twitter news, the social network announced objective-based campaigns, reports and pricing this week. For example, brands can select what they want most from a campaign: followers, website clicks or conversions, tweet engagements, Twitter leads or app installs or engagements.

Why we’re hooked:

The ability to tell Twitter exactly what you want out of a campaign, pay only for those results and have more targeted performance metrics and analytics is great news for brands. In today’s world of big data, words like “cost per conversion,” “objective-based pricing” and “track conversions” are king.

Not to keep talking about Twitter, but…

Old Navy showed off a vending machine that dispenses free flip-flops in exchange for tweets. Called “Tweet for Your Feet,” the machines were placed in 36 high-traffic spots and required users to complete a fill-in-the-blank message. (“The best place to wear flip-flops is: _______”) The campaign supported Old Navy’s second-biggest promotion of the year, the $1 flip-flop sale.


Why we’re hooked:

We love experiential, and we love social media. The “tweet for a prize” idea isn’t new, but it’s still a creative way to engage users, draw attention to a promotion and utilize social to spread the word.

Tinder Puppy Love

Uber is a transportation service, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great idea to start delivering Christmas trees or delivering kittens for National Cat Day. Tinder is following Uber’s lead by steering slightly off path and using the matching service for pet adoption instead of romantic interests. Tinderers who swipe yes to one of the puppy pics receive a message with a link to a nonprofit that rescued the dog, and they’ll get information on adoption and volunteering.

Why we’re hooked:

This adds a whole new level of value to Tinder’s location-based matching service, and it’s a beneficial feature, delivering impact to a local community.

Pinterest Messaging

Up until now, Pinterest users could send pins to each other, but they could never actually engage in a conversation about them. A new update introduces messaging to make pinning even more addicting, fun and collaborative by being able to message someone directly in Pinterest.

Why we’re hooked:

Facebook just moved Messenger to a completely separate app from Facebook, Instagram announced Instagram Direct, Twitter is working on improving Direct Messaging and Snapchat added Chat. We’re sensing a theme here. Beyond the overall trend in social media for easier group and one-on-one messaging, this makes Pinterest an even better platform for planning events, creating conversation around specific projects and sharing in general.


What We’re Hooked On: Bolt, TD Bank’s New ATM and Twitter Interactions

The world of marketing is constantly evolving as brands get more creative with new technology, platforms and ideas. Every company wants its “Oreo moment” or come up with the next big thing. We think it’s important to keep up with the latest and greatest happenings in the industry, beyond buzzwords. Here’s what we’re hooked on this week.


This week we met Bolt, Instagram’s “one-tap” messaging app that launched in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa (65 percent of Instagram’s users are overseas). Unlike Snapchat, Bolt puts friend icons and send buttons on the same screen, and users can store up to 20 friends.


Why we’re hooked:

Will this compete with Snapchat or other popular applications like Taptalk? As different messaging services become more popular. Brands and marketers have to understand how to cater content to those preferences.

ATM: Automated Thanking Machines

It’s easy to love brands that surprise us and go above and beyond for customers, which is exactly what TD Bank recently did in five Canada locations to reward selected customers. The video below showcases the different prizes unsuspecting customers received when using a TD ATM.

Why we’re hooked:

“The best marketing doesn’t look like marketing.” TD’s message is that it values its customers, and the “random act of kindness” nature of this campaign is what makes it a viral hit. As a marketer, it’s tough to predict whether a campaign or promotion will go viral or not (and whether the money is worth it!), but for TD, this was definitely worth the risk.

Twitter Interactions

Twitter launched a redesign late last year, moving the favorite, retweet and reply icons directly into a user’s Twitter feed, rather than going into an individual tweet to perform any of those actions. Data from ad tech firm Socialbakers shows that move had a huge impact on Twitter engagement and interactions – the average number of interactions per month jumped from 17,098 in June 2013 to 27,653 in June 2014.

Why we’re hooked:

Interactions like retweets, favorites and replies are one of the key metrics for measuring a post or account’s reach. Increased engagement means increased reach and visibility for brands, which falls in line with Twitter’s transformation for advertisers as it rolls out new features like embedded “buy now” buttons.


What We’re Hooked On: Potato Salad, LeBron James, Privatize & More

Every day, brands keep an eye out for real-time marketing opportunities while simultaneously rolling out innovative campaigns to reach audiences in creative ways. We too are keeping an eye on what’s happening in the industry and staying updated on the latest news, trends and viral content of the week. Here’s what we’re hooked on!

Potato Salad

Zack Danger Brown posted a simple Kickstarter campaign to make potato salad. Is goal? $10. This week, Brown was pleasantly surprised to see he met his goal — and exceeded it by $60,900. The campaign reached more than $70,000 in contributions, although due to unverified funds it backed down to about $46,000 by the end of this week. With 21 days to go, the campaign has been updated with new donor levels and rewards (ie; pledge of $20 or more gets backers a potato-salad themed haiku, their names carved into a potato that will be used in the potato salad, a signed jar of mayonnaise, the potato salad recipe and more.).

Why we’re hooked:

The Internet is a great place. When has anyone ever raised $70,000 to make potato salad before? It also just shows the power of the Internet and viral content. An idea can be simple – it just has to be the right one.

Facebook Mood Manipulator

You may remember Facebook’s psychological experiment that was recently revealed, uncovering manipulation of almost 700,000 users’ emotions based on positive or negative content. Brooklyn artist and programmer Lauren McCarthy developed a Google Chrome extension that lets users manually set how they’re feeling, taking Facebook’s little experiment into their own hands.

Why we’re hooked:

The beauty of technology and taking control of data to impact the type of content you see, and therefore, how you feel. Why should Facebook get to decide your mood?


If you’ve ever wanted to tweet private links to multiple people before, your wish has been granted with Privatize, a tool that enables private links tweeted publicly. It only allows people who are mentioned in a tweet to open a link, so if someone else tries to click on the link, they’ll be directed to the Privatize homepage.

Why we’re hooked:

First is the obvious opportunity for anybody looking for some privacy functionality on Twitter. This service also opens up doors for selective content sharing – think social media contests, targeted engagement and the like. Pretty cool.

LeBron James Returns to Cleveland

Chances are, if you were online in general at any point today you saw updates about LeBron James’ return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. He announced the move via an essay on Sports Illustrated, and the Internet went crazy, with references to burning (and unburning) jerseys, bandwagon fans and homecomings.

Why we’re hooked:

LeBron James is one of the (the?) best basketball players in the world, and this news is something that everyone seems to be talking about. With that said, this is a great example of brands trying to hop on major events with real-time marketing…and some are just in it without thinking through their messaging, goals or purpose. Check out some of the contenders.

LinkedIn Connected for iPhone

LinkedIn added to its apps with LinkedIn Connected for iPhone, which is focused on strengthening relationship with existing contacts. It will send reminders about birthdays, anniversaries and job changes, and will also push out notifications with pre-meeting content and information. This is an updated version of LinkedIn Contacts, which is now redesigned and refocused on keeping tabs on their professional networks.

Why we’re hooked:

LinkedIn may not be Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat, but it’s still a strong social network with a big user base – more than 300 million registered users. The company is turning to mobile and contextual content to make networking and communicating easier.

What We’re Hooked On: Facebook’s Experiment and Video Ads, Advertising on Twitter

Happy Fourth of July weekend! While many may be out already enjoying preliminary BBQs, warming up the sparkler action and going to the beach figuring out what Arthur’s plan is, this week was still a good one in terms of marketing news! Here’s what we’re hooked on.


Facebook’s psychological experiment

Facebook did not start the week off on the right foot. A recent report revealed Facebook experimented with almost 690,000 Facebook users in 2012 to manipulate their emotions – it wanted to see if negative posts would fuel negative emotions, and vice versa for positive content. The trouble is that users had no idea this experiment was happening.

Why we’re hooked:

First and foremost, people are upset because Facebook was toying with their emotions. It raises ethical questions. But it’s also important to note the findings too – it’s not very surprising that content on a News Feed can alter someone’s mood (FOMO is a real thing), but this speaks volumes on the power of social media, digital content and how users interact online.

Facebook Buys LiveRail

Facebook apologized for the experiment, but it kind of feels like a “Sorry not sorry” move. In other news, Facebook acquired video ad platform LiveRail to boost video advertising online and on mobile. LiveRail delivers video ads to websites and apps for Major League Baseball, ABC Family, A+E Networks, Dailymotion and more.

Why we’re hooked:

Video and images is the name of the game today with digital and social advertising. LiveRail connects marketers to publishers on the Web, so this is definitely Facebook pushing its ad efforts forward. Expect to see improved video ads on Facebook in the future — and don’t be surprised if your mood changes after seeing them.

Twitter Shopping

Another week, another round of Twitter news! In the world of ecommerce, Twitter started showing some “Buy now” buttons appearing in tweets. Along the same lines, Twitter acquired TapCommerce this week, a mobile ad tech company.

Why we’re hooked:

Twitter is in the midst of a transition to integrating commerce more seamlessly into social media, and TapCommerce brings more robust capabilities and tools for advertising on the app.

What We’re Hooked On: Facebook Teens, Google I/O, Ikea’s Instagram Website and and More

Understanding consumer behavior, technology innovations and platform capabilities is critical to becoming a more effective marketer. There are so many campaigns, announcements and viral stories each week that it seems hard to keep up, but don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. From the Internet giants Facebook, Google and Yahoo to Ikea’s creative spin on Instagram, here’s what we’re hooked on this week!

Facebook and Teens

Facebook has gone through its ups and downs over the years, but one of the biggest challenges for the social network seems to be maintaining its younger user base. “Teens are fleeing Facebook,” “Parents are on Facebook” and “Facebook’s audience is dwindling” are not uncommon phrases heard over the past few years. But, the big news this week was that the teens aren’t going anywhere – nearly 80 percent of U.S. teens still use Facebook and are more active on Facebook than any other social networking site.

Forrester Research released a report this week that found almost half of U.S. teens and tweens (ages 12-17) use Facebook more than they did a year ago, and 28 percent of respondents are on Facebook “all the time.”

Why we’re hooked:

Facebook is cool again! From tweens to grandparents, its user base offers the best of all worlds for brands. The platform is also growing in terms of content sharing and is constantly tweaking its news feed algorithm and ad platform. It’s impressive how long Facebook has held on and dominated the social media sphere, despite competition like Twitter, Snapchat and Pinterest – it owns Instagram and is acquiring WhatsApp – and dwindling attention spans of today’s connected generation.


Google I/O

Google hosted its annual developers conference this week, which ran almost three hours long and included interruptions from protesters. The gist of what was announced: Android L, Android Auto, Android TV, Android Wear and Android One. Aka….Android everywhere.

Why we’re hooked:

Google is bringing Android beyond phones and tablets to watches, televisions, cars and more. With more than one billion active Android users, it’s a big community that marketers, brands and developers need to be able to serve. Plus, these announcements support the shift toward almost everything in our lives getting connected – how will smart cars, TVs, cities, homes and watches impact marketing and how brands reach consumers?


Retweet with Comment

Retweet /riˈtwēt/: repost or forward a message posted by another user on Twitter.

Today, there are basically three options to retweet on Twitter:

  • Retweet so that the tweet/user show up on your own timeline
  • Add your own commentary and including the original tweet, whether that be through the “Quote tweet” feature or RT
  • Tweak the original tweet to add your comments and using MT (modified tweet)

One challenge is adding your own comments to a tweet but not having enough character space – a tweet can only be 140 characters total, as we know. Twitter is reportedly experimenting with a new feature called “Retweet with comment” that would better allow users to participate in a conversation while providing context. This would replace the “Quote tweet” option.

Why we’re hooked:

It’s a huge improvement to manually trying to edit an original tweet just to add a few characters of comments. This keeps conversations in context and enhances content sharing on Twitter.



Ikea created a website on Instagram! Kind of. To promote its IKEA PS, a 34-item designer collection, Ikea decided to put a creative spin on how Instagram is used. You can’t include any [clickable] links in Instagram descriptions, but Ikea took advantage of the tagging feature by creating an interconnected experience with separate Instagram accounts for different parts of the collection.

IKEA PS 2014 Instagram Website from Instinct on Vimeo.

Why we’re hooked:

This is such a creative spin on how to use Instagram, and we love hearing innovative ways brands are taking available platforms to the next level. Instead of focusing on and accepting Instagram’s lack of linking capabilities, Ikea identified how it could use what was available in its favor.


Yahoo Motion Ads

Yahoo announced Motion Ads in March this year, enabling brands to advertise with a little more rich media. This week, the company is claiming these ads are leading to higher sales and increased positive brand association – Kraft featured a steaming grilled cheese sandwich and saw 24 percent more click-through engagement than a standard video ad. Yahoo says people who saw the ad were 77 percent more likely to search for Kraft-related keywords.


Why we’re hooked:

It’s no coincidence that online platforms are taking advantage of rich media. Twitter just rolled out support for GIFs last week, a form of media that has completely taken over the Internet. Video, stop motion and GIFs are all improvements to the static photo, increasing engagement, encouraging creativity and making the Web a more interactive place.

What We’re Hooked On: Yo, Our Story, Facebook Slingshot, Twitter GIFs and More

The world of marketing is constantly changing. Add in the “always on” mentality of social media, digital platforms and technology today, and brands are challenged to keep up with available capabilities and consumer behavior. Here’s what we’re hooked on this week!



If you’ve been waiting for an app that allows you to simply send a message, “Yo” to your friends, then your prayers have been answered! It seems ridiculous, but this has been the week of Yo. Plot twist: Investors have contributed more than $1 million toward the app.


Why we’re hooked: Besides the obvious buzz Yo has created this week, Or Arbel, former iOS designer at the company, explains that it’s much more than just sending a simple “Yo.” His vision is context-based messaging – adding a user “WorldCup” on Yo and receiving a “Yo” every time a goal is scored, or embedding it in a blog and get notified when a new story has published. Does your significant other bug you about not texting you thoughout the day? Now you can just “Yo” them. With $1 million in investments, the team must be on to something.

Snapchat Our Story

Snapchat introduced “Stories” back in October last year, and today more than 50 percent of Snapchat users view friends’ Stories, which are available for replay for 24 hours instead of instantly disappearing. This week the company introduced “Our Story,” which expands the capabilities of Stories, makes snaps public and focuses them around specific events.

The feature is kicking off this week at the Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC) in Las Vegas. All users have to do is add the account “EDCLive” to their Snapchat contacts list, and they’ll be able to add snaps to “Our EDC Story” and view snaps from other users. Snapchat uses location services to make sure users are actually at the event, and it will be providing free Wi-Fi so users don’t have to worry about their data plan while snapping. Snapchat will also monitor the story for length and illegal or inappropriate snaps.

Why we’re hooked: The feature is similar to the appeal of Twitter; bringing people together around an event to share and interact with others. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook have all been tweaking their ad platforms for brands, and Snapchat doesn’t seem to be an exception – it has several employees working on business and marketing partnerships, and recently hired a vice president of monetization. Our Story opens the door for event sponsors to include ads in an event story, for example, or increase engagement and awareness around a specific event.

Facebook Slingshot

In what seems like Facebook’s third strike to create a Snapchat copycat, Facebook introduced Slingshot this week – a messaging service similar to Snapchat but requires users to reply to unlock an unread message, focusing on not just telling and sharing stories, but asking others about theirs.

Why we’re hooked: It’s important for brands to keep up with the latest services, apps and capabilities available to consumers. Understanding how these social networks are competing with each other and ultimately winning over consumers means more insight into their behavior and interests. Snapchat seems to have a strong hold on Facebook’s diminishing younger user base, and Facebook continues to attempt to give them a credible alternative. How much time people spend in an app or on a site is an important metric for marketers. It’s also interesting to see how this compares to Snapchat – many brands have embraced Snapchat to increase engagement and offer behind-the-scenes access to their audiences, but Slingshot requires some engagement back.


Twitter Acquired SnappyTV

Many marketers today are no doubt familiar with the idea of the “second screen” – one of Twitter’s biggest advantages is to become a hub for insane engagement around real-time events or news.  After working together over the years, Twitter is acquiring SnappyTV, a live video platform, to boost its Twitter Amplify program, which is Twitter’s partnership program to extend the two-screen viewing experience and lets partners promote television clips on Twitter.

Why we’re hooked: Twitter wants to become a true social TV service and attract more television ad revenue. In March this year, Twitter acquired two other companies to support this effort – Mesagraph and SecondSync. This acquisition expands offerings for live media partners.

Twitter’s GIFt

Twitter finally supports GIFs now! The media form that has completely taken over the Internet and become almost a signature part of BuzzFeed content can now be seen on or the iOS and Android Twitter apps.  The GIFs will show up similar to Vines, where users have to press play in order to view them.

Starting today, you can share and view animated GIFs on, Android and iPhone. — Twitter Support (@Support) June 18, 2014

Why we’re hooked: Social media platforms continue to become more media friendly, supporting the idea that imagery and multimedia are huge draws for user engagement. It also offers yet another opportunity for brands to express creativity – check out how some rejoiced at the news.

University of Starbucks 

Just kidding – Starbucks didn’t really launch a university this week. But it did announce a free online education program for any of its 135,000 U.S. employees with Arizona State University.


Why we’re hooked: Starbucks has made a name for itself as a trendsetter, with mobile payments, technology and other digital integration to enhance the customer experience. Starbucks approaches the traditionally low-wage service industry in unconventional ways, like providing health insurance and stock options for all employees, part-time and full-time. It thinks this move will lower attrition, increase performance and attract and retain better people – will other brands follow suit?