Yes, yes, we’ll be talking about Pokémon.

But also Amazon’s new programmatic creative video ads, ASOS’ one-hour delivery, Nissan’s autonomous cars and much more.

Here’s your five minute update on the week’s digital news.

Amazon testing programmatic creative with video ads

Amazon has been testing personalised video ads, created automatically using graphics templates to combine imagery and text.

Graeme Smith, MD of Amazon’s software development centre in Edinburgh told the BBC ”…potentially anywhere you can see a video is potentially somewhere you could consider running personalised video ads, right across the internet.”

Retargeting by retailers often involves slideshow style dynamic content – it will be interesting to see how sophisticated these Amazon video ads are in comparison.

Amazon Prime Day was big

Prime Day on 12th July, Amazon’s second annual sales event designed as summer’s answer to Black Friday, was the retailer’s “biggest day ever”, reports the FT.

Global orders were up 60% on last year’s Prime Day. No figures were given by Amazon, though Prime Day was declared its busiest day of the year.

Sales included 90,000 TVs and more than 215,000 rice cookers. 2015’s inaugural Prime Day, you might remember, was a bit more of a mixed bag.

prime day

ASOS introduces one-hour delivery slot

DPD has helped ASOS offer a one-hour delivery slot. Nifty.

With so many ecommerce businesses looking at same day delivery in the wake of Prime, this increased flexibility on a named day is another way to nail convenience.

one hour slot 

Pokémon GO - where do we start?

This week has seen the augmented reality game take the press by storm.

Daily checks are needed to understand number of downloads (7.5m in the US as of early this week) and the impact on Nintendo stock.

On Thursday, the app was released in the UK (users no longer have to engineer a US workaround).

Interesting developments include proposed advertising within the game, with brands able to sponsor PokeStops.

There has been some criticism of the game, including the ‘appearance’ of Pokémon in inappropriate locations (e.g. Auschwitz), as well as its request to access all of a user’s Google account data (since fixed).

You might like:

pokemon go

Chatbots fail ‘new Turing test’

The Winograd Schema Challenge is a new and tougher Turing test, which chatbots must ace to show they are capable of common sense understanding.

Here’s an example question from the test:

The trophy would not fit in the brown suitcase because it was too big (small). What was too big (small)?

  • Answer 0: the trophy
  • Answer 1: the suitcase

MIT Tech Review reports that the programs entered into the challenge were only a little better than random at choosing the correct meaning of sentences.

The best of the bunch scored 48%, with 45% possible at random. 90% accuracy is required to take home the $25k prize.

It was notable that Google and Facebook didn’t enter – perhaps there is still a little way to go?

Nissan launches semi-autonomous driving

Two weeks after a driver died in a crash whilst his Tesla car was on autopilot, Nissan has launched ProPILOT, a similar semi-autonomous function.

Pushing a button on the steering wheel will keep a vehicle a fixed distance from the car in front, without any input from the driver.

The driver is still required to have their hands on the wheel, and Nissan EVP Hideyuki Sakamoto told Reuters ”These functions are meant to support drivers, and are not meant as self-driving capabilities”.

ProPILOThits the market next month in the Nissan Serena minivan.


Marie Claire to retail on the high street and online

Marie Claire will open a beauty store in London at Tottenham Court Walk.

The magazine has created a new brand, ‘Fabled by Marie Claire’, which will also sell online and deliver through Ocado.

Woz to headline Festival of Marketing

Apple co-founder and inventor of the PC Steve Wozniak will headline day one of the Festival of Marketing in October in London. See the site for tickets.


EU continues to pursue Google over competition law

The EU Commission has launched a third anti-trust proceeding against Google.

Critique of Google Shopping and Android is now followed by criticism of Google’s third party site search product (Adsense for search), which doesn’t allow ads from Google competitors. 

Phrasee one of the first to receive VC funding post-Brexit

Finally, a bit of a shout out to Econsultancy blog favourite Parry Malm (see his virally good articles about email here).

Phrasee, Parry’s startup closed a £1m funding round this week, one of the first to do so post-Brexit vote.

As we wait to see the impact on Britain’s tech and startup scene, this is some cause for optimism at least.