There’s a greasy feel to this week’s digital news, with a couple of fast food stories to start.
Other morsels of interest include AR adverts, some stock market joy, smart speakers and some masterly marketing from Nike.
Do you want fries with that?
Wendy’s gives a man his nuggs
Yep, that tweet from Carter Wilkerson (see below) seems to have finally borne fruit (or nuggs). As it became the most retweeted tweet of all time (c. 3.4m RTs), surpassing Ellen’s group Oscar selfie, Wendy’s has decided to stump up the nuggets, despite Carter being 15m retweets shy of the rather tongue-in-cheek target set.
What’s more, the fast food outlet is donating $100,000 to The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption in Wilkerson’s name.
HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS pic.twitter.com/4SrfHmEMo3
— Carter Wilkerson (@carterjwm) April 6, 2017
Pizza Hut fires agency for incredibly insensitive Facebook post
The back story here involves a video of a hunger-striking Palestinian activist, Marwan Barghouti, in an Israeli prison, which the prison service claims shows him eating a chocolate bar (a claim refuted by Palestinians who say the video is faked).
Now, any normal agency creative wouldn’t see this story as reactive marketing fodder, but that’s what Pizza Hut’s unnamed agency did, adding a pizza box to a still from the image and suggesting Barghouti eat pizza instead (see the results below).
Pizza Hut has ‘terminated’ its relationship with the agency and is now facing a Palestinian boycott.
— Maha Hussaini (@MahaGaza) May 9, 2017
Blippar previews AR ads
Storied UK unicorn Blippar seems to be pivoting once more, with the launch of augmented reality ads.
The video below shows how the tech would work, with 360-degree AR experiences launching in browser at the click of an ad. GroupM will be a launch partner for the ads.
Nike pulls off the biggest marketing stunt since Red Bull Stratos
If any of you were on social media last Friday night/Saturday morning (May 6) you will probably have seen mention of #Breaking2 or even watched some of the livestream.
This ‘moonshot’ by Nike was an attempt to break the mythic two-hour mark over the marathon distance. The attempt took place at Monza race track (fewer curves to negotiate than a standard route), with elite pacers dropping in and out of the race (not allowed in standard competition) and motorbikes delivering drinks to the runners (also not allowed in competition).
Crucially though, the main event, the factor that Nike was hoping would seem crucial in breaking the barrier, was the Zoom Vaporfly Elite shoe, which will be available to buy soon.
Eliud Kipchoge from Kenya had withdrawn from the London marathon to concentrate on his preparation for the Nike stunt/record attempt, and he very nearly did it, recording a time of 2hrs 25 seconds. That’s two and a half minutes quicker than the official world record.
The event was so well conceived and so well covered by the media that it sets a new standard for sports marketing.
Tesco launches on Google Home in the UK
This might not seem like a big deal but it does put paid to some of the suggestions that these smart speakers represent walled gardens when it comes to commerce (admittedly, the Echo does encourage Amazon shopping).
However, setup isn’t that easy, with Google Home owners having to set up an IFTTT recipe developed by Tesco, and ensure Google Assistant and Tesco accounts are connected to IFTTT.
When that’s done though, you’ll be able to ask your Google Home to “add milk to your Tesco basket” or “buy more eggs”.
A Tesco Labs blog post about the tech says that “If you already shop with Tesco regularly we’ll do our best to bias those search results towards the products that you’d normally choose, so that IFTTT will add your favourites/usuals for you – not just the first result.”
It continues, “Another feature we’ve added alongside this is around existing orders. If you already have a slot booked then IFTTT will amend the existing order and if you don’t it will just add it to your basket.”
Sounds pretty cool to me.
JD.com turns a surprise profit thanks to mobile commerce
JD.com, Chinese pureplay ecommerce platform, has had its first profitable quarter since going public two years ago.
Orders were up 39% on Q1 2016. The proportion of total orders placed through smartphones hit 81%, more than doubling since the same quarter last year.
Net profits rose to Rmb239m ($35m), from a loss of Rmb910m ($133m) in Q1 2016. A Bloomberg poll had forecast a similar loss in this quarter, so the results are somewhat of a surprise.
Snap shares fall after missing targets
For the first time since IPO, Snap reported its quarterly results on Wednesday, missing revenue targets and showing slower user growth than expected. Consequently, shares fell 20% on Thursday.
As widely reported, there are fears that Facebook and Instagram’s own Snapchat-esque features are slowing growth at Snap.
Here of those revenue and user numbers:
- Revenue of $150m, $8m down on expected.
- Global daily active users – 166m, 1.3m down on expected.
Dove’s personalised ‘body shape’ bottles are ridiculed
Dove has released a range of body-shaped bottles as part of its “Real Beauty” campaign, to predictable social media titters and mild outrage.
The idea is that each female consumer would have their own ‘personal’ bottle, which matched their body shape. Dove said ”Each bottle evokes the shapes, sizes, curves and edges that combine to make every woman their very own limited edition.”
Ruth Mortimer tears down the campaign over on Marketing Week. Twitter users have also seen the funnier side.
— Jack Thunder, M.D. (@condiricenbeans) May 9, 2017
Amazon Echo Show brings a screen to the smart speaker
Amazon has released yet another member of the Echo family, to join the Echo Look (for selfies), Dot and the original smart speaker. The Echo Show comes with a screen, notably allowing video calling and more detailed information to be presented on screen.
Bola Awoniyi examines what this might mean for FMCG brands in the long run.
It’s been a big week for smart speakers, with Microsoft also entering the fray with its Invoke speaker, made by Harman Kardon. It’s very similar to the Echo, but also allows for Skype calls.
Apple is worth more than $800bn
Apple becomes the first company with a market cap higher than $800bn. In the FT, Eric Platt and Nicole Bullock examine Apple’s importance to the stock market, showing how its sway is not unusual, but mirrors the dominance of Exxon Mobil, Microsoft, GE, IBM and AT&T in year gone by.
Facebook translation AI
Facebook has revealed its machine learning approach to translation, which will be slightly more accurate than Google’s own system, but will reportedly learn much quicker, due to its strategy of analysing whole sentences. Wired reports the translation functionality will be rolled out soon, and forms part of the social network’s attempts to build sophisticated chatbots.