Hooked On: Facebook Reactions, Passive WiFi, AutoTrack from Google




New Facebook Reactions Available Globally

Facebook just rolled out a new set of “reaction” buttons to let you express yourself. In addition to the existing “Like” button, you can now “Love,” “Haha,” “Wow,” “Sad,” and “Angry” your friends’ posts. This new feature has been a long time coming and was likely spurred by Facebook users’ countless requests for a “Dislike” button to use when a “Like” or comment was not appropriate. It allows people to simply and quickly express common reactions on posts within their News Feed. To add a reaction, users have to hold down the “Like” button on mobile or hover over the “Like” button on desktop to view and select one of the new reaction options. In testing, the “Love” reaction was the most used. Facebook will count these reactions in the same way it counts “Likes” in regards to the News Feed algorithm. The reactions will also be dynamic, possibly changing with global events to cater to common reactions. This update is just one of many this year, including the capabilities to post cinemagraph profile photos and send personalized birthday video posts to friends.

Why We’re Hooked: The reactions allow for a broad spectrum of expression and Facebook will be watching closely to see how these are being used in order to glean insights and evolve the feature. This change also likely means that the new data will become available to advertisers and targeting Facebook Ads based on reaction button use could become a reality. Advertisers would be able to produce different ads to garner reactions from different reaction button users, those who use “Haha” versus “Wow,” for example, and then deploy the ads to their respective target audiences. Brands are already embracing the new feature to create relevant messaging. Chevrolet took advantage of the launch with an online commercial insisting that a “Like” is too commonplace, and it’s time to “Love” the new Malibu, courtesy of the new reaction buttons. Of course the ad was posted to Facebook, garnering many a “Like,” “Love,” “Wow,” “Haha,” and “Angry” of its own. View the ad here.



Passive Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi consumes a lot of energy from our devices, which in turn drains battery life on “smart” phones, watches and gadgets alike. A group of researchers from the University of Washington may have solved that problem with their “passive Wi-Fi” invention, which uses 10,000 times less power to wirelessly connect to the Internet. Even in comparison to Bluetooth Low Energy connections, it still uses 1,000 times less power and is 11 times faster.

Why We’re Hooked: The implications of such low-energy Wi-Fi could possibly eliminate the need for batteries altogether and would certainly lower costs. The Internet of Things, an increasingly popular and important trend, would be hugely affected by the possibility of passive Wi-Fi by making it easier and more cost effective to implement connectivity within everyday objects to make them “smart”. Though not officially available, the discovery has garnered attention by MIT Technology Review as one of the 10 breakthrough technologies of 2016 and early tests are being performed by company Jeeva Wireless with hopes to bring passive Wi-Fi to the market.




Google Launches Autotrack

Autotrack is a library of plugins for analytics.js, designed to give sites common tracking features automatically. The library makes it easy to use the entire library as-is or individually enable certain plugins.

Why We’re Hooked: As sites become more complex and less traditional, Autotrack helps developers track relevant data with a minimal learning curve. Per the Google Analytics Blog Post,

“The web has changed a lot since the early days of Google Analytics… With sites like this, it’s possible to track the majority of relevant user interactions with a single, one-size-fits-all JavaScript tracking snippet.”

Tracking common data that has traditionally required code customization and manual entry can now happen automatically. The bottom line: It’s becoming less complicated and less technical for developers to track relevant data, which saves time and ultimately money.

Art Basel: Gran Centenario Angels on Earth Event in Miami

GNF worked with Gran Centenario® Tequila to conceptualize, coordinate and create artwork for their second spectacular Angels on Earth event, hosted by famed artist Domingo Zapata during Art Basel in Miami.

Domingo Zapata painted two sets of Gran Centenario signature Angel Wings exclusively for the event held at WALL Lounge in the W South Beach Hotel. These stunning original works of art were showcased as the focal point of the star-studded bash. A silent auction for the wings raised over $10,000 to benefit the Miami Children’s Hospital.

Guests enjoyed beautiful artwork as they sipped on Gran Centenario signature cocktails and mingled with real-life Gran Centenario Angels.

In case you missed it, check out the first Angels on Earth event: Gran Centenario Angels on Earth Event – Los Angeles


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Gran Centenario Tequila’s Angels On Earth Event


GNF ideated, managed and executed Gran Centenario’s Angels On Earth event hosted by Christina Milian. It kicked off this week amidst sensational views at the Sunset Tower Hotel in Los Angeles to honor the next chapter of “Angels in Training,” whose selflessness and virtuous service have improved the local Latino community.

Gran Centenario’s signature Angel Wings were transformed into works of art by celebrities and local Latino artists.

We worked with “Angel In Training” Kathy Gallegos and her Los Angeles-based gallery, Avenue 50 Studio, to showcase up-and-coming local Latino artists at this one-of-a-kind event. Celebrities who participated and unleashed their creativity to customize a set of wings include Christina Milian and Adam Lambert. Real-life Gran Centenario Angels modeled some of the wings and an auction was held for the exclusive artwork. All proceeds will be donated to organizations that support the local Latino community to further enforce Gran Centenario’s Mexican heritage and commitment to Latino community improvement.

The event garnered tons of media attention with a segment on E! and star-studded appearances by Maria Menounos, Adam Rodriguez, Chris Zylka, Alexis Knapp and more!

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Stranahan’s Sampling Program

GNF hit the road with Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey for a sampling program that brought the branded trailer to a different bar every Thursday night in Denver, CO.

What better way to deliver the “straight Rocky Mountain whiskey” than by using a traditional Airstream Trailer to bring the purest, freshest ingredients from the top of the Colorado Rockies to on-premise locations. They amped up the tour with a sports radio broadcast from the trailer every night. The tour was a hit, with consumers engaging with the brand and giving rave reviews after tasting the product.

Visitors of note that stopped by the trailer to hang out include MLB players Jason Hirsch, pitcher for the Colorado Rockies and Houston Astros; and Daniel Schlereth, pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Detroit Tigers, and Colorado Rockies; and NFL player Bo Scaife, tight end for the Tennessee Titans, Cincinnati Bengals and New England Patriots.


What We’re Hooked On: Microsoft’s Universal Apps, ABC Family Rebrand, Twitter’s Moments Tab, Got Milk? Campaign & Facebook’s Ad Publisher Scoring


Microsoft’s Universal Apps

In alignment with the brand’s strategy to focus on mobile software and the cloud, Microsoft has announced a new set of devices that will utilize “universal apps” on its new operating system. Universal apps require only minor tweaks to allow them to run across the company’s new smartphones, tablets, fitness trackers and laptops. This means way less time and work for developers who have, in the past, shied away from building Microsoft apps due to the small audience.

Why we’re hooked: The implications of universal apps may help the company increase its share in the Apple- and Android-dominated app store market by appealing to more developers willing to create these apps. Microsoft hopes more available apps will mean more device sales.

ABC Family to Relaunch as Freeform

ABC Family is undertaking a huge rebranding effort and changing its name to Freeform in the process. They are dropping the “family” from their name and programming to focus on 14-34 year olds, a group the network has dubbed “becomers”. They are said to be a group experiencing a multitude of “firsts” in their lives, from first kiss to first child. The re-launch will take place in January, in tandem with season premieres of its most popular shows, and ABC Family is asking fans to submit their photo or video interpretations of “Freeform” for a chance to be featured in the launch campaign.

Why we’re hooked: The network was founded in 2001 and the name and branding have remained, for the most part, steady. Whereas ABC Family has had some difficulty appealing to advertisers in the past, that should change – especially since users will be actively involved in Freeform’s launch. The new “becomer” target is at a stage in life where they’re starting to develop brand affinities, so advertisers should want to take advantage of the re-launch to forge an emotional connection with consumers.


Twitter’s Moments Tab

In an effort to attract new users, Twitter has released the Moments tab, which pulls the most relevant content regarding popular current events and groups it all for easy browsing. It’s curated by editors with a mix of text, photo and video.

Why we’re hooked: This new addition makes Twitter more approachable and appealing for new users, who have found the jargon and site functionality confusing in the past. The learning curve has virtually stalled user growth, so Moments could be a huge push in the right direction for Twitter. People will be watching, especially as Jack Dorsey steps up again as CEO.


Image Courtesy of GotMilk.com

Milk’s Best Friend

The traditional and iconic “Got Milk?” ads have undergone a major facelift. Enter the “Food Loves Milk” campaign, which focuses on milk as the perfect pair for virtually anything – ranging  from sweet to spicy, to late-night snack experiments and even peanut butter and bacon sandwiches. The site, gotmilk.com, has also been redesigned to align with the new look and feel.

Why we’re hooked: Though it is one of the most well-known and recognizable campaigns, “Got Milk?” has not been refreshed in quite some time. The new look breathes new life into the campaign. It does not make milk the focal point, but instead, focuses on milk as an enhancer for your favorite flavors. The campaign also pairs with chefs to bring some legitimacy to the pairing suggestions in the eyes of the consumer.


Facebook’s Ad Publisher Report Cards

App publishers in Facebook’s ad network will be getting what they call Advertiser Outcome Scores on a scale from 1 to 13 to see how well they’re performing in relation to advertising objectives. Though Facebook has used the info internally, this is the first time they’re sharing it with the publishers. So, publishers can see their scores and optimize their effectiveness.

Why we’re hooked: This puts control in the app publishers’ hands. If they aren’t working to improve their scores, publishers know that they may get fewer ads served by Facebook. The scores are extremely specific, with details down to the page and placement within different levels of the app experience. Ad publishers can even see how they stack up against the competition. This latest push is pushing the industry away from equating a higher number of clicks as a measure of success and focuses instead on how advertising objectives are achieved.

Sun, Surf and Sampling in SoCal with WANU

Equipped with an awesome cooler bike and 3 wheeled coolers, GNF’s WANU Brand Ambassadors handed out 10,000 sample bottles of WANU in sunny Southern California. Derived from the combination of WAter + NUtrition, each bottle of WANU offers refreshing fruit flavors, vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber with no sugar or artificial sweeteners. WANU’s clean hydration let consumers at Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach celebrate healthy living one sip at a time. SoCal sand and surf coupled with low-cal WANU water made for one refreshingly beautiful weekend.

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Dew Tour Gets Sweeter with Mike and Ike

GNF got extreme at Dew Tour this year from August 14-16 with a sweet activation for Mike and Ike’s sponsorship. The celebrated sports event took place in Los Angeles, the heart of the skateboard industry. Visitors got to enjoy delicious samples of Mike and Ike candy when they stopped by the branded tent. We sweetened the deal with a “Spin and Win” wheel where every participant won awesome gear like Mike and Ike candy and branded ear buds, wireless speakers, or even fuzzy slippers! One of the awesome attractions was a photo-op designed by GNF where consumers could take pictures of themselves bursting out of a larger-than-life cutout of the classic Mike and Ike box. To top it all off, we organized the “Snap, Share & Win” sweepstakes, asking users to snap a pic with the giant Mike and Ike box and tag it with #MIDewTourEntry for a chance to win a skate deck signed by all winners of the 2015 Chicago Dew Tour. The event was an epic success, with long lines of people waiting for their turn to participate. Now, that’s sweet!


Color Me Awesome with Alcatel

To demonstrate the awesome and interconnected features of the Alcatel OneTouch Watch and IDOL™ 3 Smartphone, GNF created a unique experience in Minnesota at The Color Run, the single largest event series in the world.

Color Runners were given a unique opportunity to borrow the Alcatel OneTouch Watch during the run to track key stats like steps, heart rate, and calories burned. Certificates listing the data from their run were given to the borrowers, many of whom just had to have the smartwatch for themselves and purchased their own at the booth that day.

GNF designed and displayed three IDOL™ 3 kiosk stations to show off the unique benefits of Alcatel’s unlocked smartphone and demonstrate how the smartwatch could connect and communicate with the IDOL™ 3. Consumers interacted with the devices firsthand to “unlock” the features for themselves. We created a sweeps where visitors could collect a stamp at each of the kiosk stations, present the stamped card, and get a chance to win an IDOL™ 3 Smartphone. Using the exclusive “Unlock App” created by GNF for the promotion, participants had to guess the secret code that would “unlock” the prize box. Two lucky winners cracked the code and went home with a free IDOL™ 3 Smartphone! They celebrated in clouds of colored dust.


What We’re Hooked On: Freightliner’s Record-Breaking Marketing, Facebook Video Ads, Kleenex Ad, & Amazon’s
New Patent


Freightliner’s Record-Breaking Marketing Feat

Photo Courtesy of Eventmarketer.com
Photo Courtesy of Eventmarketer.com

Freightliner broke the Guinness World Record for highest light output projection when it turned the Hoover Dam into a projection screen to announce the launch of its new Inspiration Truck. Media members and other influencers were present for the spectacular 420,000-square-foot display that took viewers through the history of Freightliner and outlined important milestones. After the show came the arrival of the new, fully autonomous driving tractor-trailer – the first ever to be licensed to drive on public roads. The Inspiration Truck drove in from the mountains above.

Why We’re Hooked: As a symbol of ingenuity itself, the Hoover Dam was the perfect place to host this monumental debut – connecting the location with core brand values in this never-before-seen stunt. The display shows that brands are constantly innovating. They are searching for new ways to make a larger impact and creating meaningful connections using the new technologies that are being invented every day.

Facebook’s Video Ad Pricing

Facebook Video Ads
Image Courtesy of Digiday.com

Facebook announced that it would be changing the way it charges for video ads by giving marketers the option of paying once the ad is viewed for more than 10 seconds. Prior to the change, advertisers were charged immediately once the video came into view on the users’ screens, which could lead to being charged for ads that the user quickly scrolled past. However, the new option isn’t perfect. Due to the electronic auction structure of ad buying on Facebook, advertisers who opt for the 10-second alternative could actually end up paying more.

Why We’re Hooked: The change comes after complaints by marketers. Ramping up video advertising to keep up with industry demands is inevitable for Facebook and keeps them in the game as other platforms, like Twitter, offer similar options for advertisers to choose from.

Facebook has been busy. Here’s some more Video Ad news…

Ad-Supported Video Testing – Facebook to Share Revenue with Creators

Facebook Video Ad Mobile Testing
Image Courtesy of Socialmediasatisfied.com

The company is testing a way to serve up related videos from advertisers with the users original video selection in the form of a suggested videos feed on iPhones. As the selected video is played in a window overlay, people can scroll down and click to watch related videos. If one of the selected related videos is an ad, Facebook will make money from that advertiser and share that money with the original video’s creators. As of now, they plan to keep 45% of the money and share 55% of the money with the original video’s creators – a split consistent with YouTube’s standards. It is still undetermined how video completion will factor into the money that gets shared with creators, though.

Why We’re Hooked: The proposed structure puts the power to choose which ads to watch – if any – in the users hands. This is yet another example that shows Facebook is devoting its time and energy into video ad solutions as a means to keep pace with business leaders, like YouTube, while creating its own unique approach.

Kleenex Ad is a Tear-Jerker

Video Courtesy of Youtube.com/Kleenex
Better grab a box of tissues before viewing this video ad by Kleenex, starring Chance, the wheelchair-bound dog. After being hit by a car, a local shelter rescued the puppy and gave him a second “chance”. The ad documents the inspirational story of the dog along with his adoptive owner, who’s also in a wheelchair, to prove that anything is possible. The “Someone Needs One” campaign, reminds users that Kleenex is there to dry their tears.

Why We’re Hooked: The ad has sparked up tons of conversation around the web, causing people to unexpectedly share personal stories about their special-needs pets who’ve gotten second chances. The success and positive word-of-mouth reinforces that social remains a strong sharing tool for brands, even amidst copious amounts of content and algorithm updates that may have unfavorable implications for brands.

Amazon’s New Patent? We’re All Ears.

Image Courtesy of Pocketnow.com

A new patent by Amazon may mean ear recognition technology for future cell phones. Ears are uniquely made up of different curves and points, which can help determine identity and could enable future Amazon Fire phones to be thumbs-free. The technology detects a user’s ear and captures photos to verify identity. Customizable preferences, like volume, ringtones and even buttons, will be automatically loaded on the device based on the user.

Why We’re Hooked: Though we know of fingerprint scanners, passcodes, and even facial recognition technologies that unlock phones, ear recognition has not been done before. We’re anxious to see if and how Amazon will use this technology in the future.

Maestro Dobel Tequila Rocks Out at Bonnaroo Music Festival with The Piano Bar

GNF hit the open road this summer to join Maestro Dobel® Tequila at Bonnaroo, the out-of-this-world summer music festival in Manchester, Tennessee. Boasting 150 artists, 700 acres, and countless memories, Maestro Dobel set up its one-of-a-kind Piano Bar at what has become one of the largest annual music festivals.

Any of Bonnaroo’s 85,000 visitors could stop by The Piano Bar in the artist hospitality area during the four-day festival for some fun, sun, and – most importantly – tequila. Visitors had opportunities to get cool giveaways and sip on delicious cocktails featuring Maestro Dobel Tequila, all while being entertained with piano music by Adam Weiner of Low Cut Connie.

With Adam on the keys, entertaining the crowds and having fun with the artists, it’s no surprise that The Piano Bar was a huge success. In fact, we’re taking The Piano Bar setup around the country to other huge music festivals like Lollapalooza, Outside Lands, and Austin City Limits. So, if you’re planning on attending any of those festivals, make sure to keep an eye out for the tent; you won’t want to miss this!

Check out these photos from the event:
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