Sunnier Side of the Office

2017: Year of the ‘Perilous Pivot To Video’

The lede of a story from Digiday this morning: “Suffice it to say, it’s been a terrible year for digital media companies that once dreamed of disrupting the content world, but now find themselves becoming glorified production shops at the whims of the platforms.” Well then.

That may sound harsh, but several factors have made 2017 a particularly difficult one for media companies, especially as the promise that video content was a panacea for ailing publishers didn’t exactly prove to be true.

More from Digiday: “It’s nearly impossible to build a big media business if you’re only making money through advertising; the pivot to video is costly and will fail for most companies that don’t know how to produce anything but short videos for Facebook; and consumer revenue requires building a brand that people care about, which is tougher to do when your content only appears in other people’s news feeds. “

When you have some time, take a look at Digiday’s recap of 2017 and how the pivot to video has affected the media and advertising world.

“Brand Safety 101″

By Coltin Chapman

Another big issue from 2017 was Brand safety, which came under a microscope as advertisers found their ads alongside some questionable content. (We wrote about this a couple weeks ago.) But by being conscious of where their ads appear, advertisers can avoid the risk of having their brands displayed next to harmful content. This harmful material varies from fake news to adult content, and regardless of what it is, it can all be damaging and tarnish a brand’s image. By implementing a secure brand-image strategy, marketers diminish the risk of running an ad next to a potentially hazardous topic.

Integral Ad Science (IAS) prevents brands from being displayed next to hazardous material. These tools work by categorizing content that may not be fit for a brand’s image. By using evidence-based models, data scientists are able to collect data from scanned pages and create brand-safety solutions. Using this data, services like IAS are able to provide their clients with detailed lists of potentially harmful websites. Based on these lists, pre-bid targeting options can be available to advertisers, guaranteeing brand-safe impressions even before their campaign has begun. Along with pre-bid solutions, whitelisting and blacklisting also allow advertisers to choose specific domains on which to display on or avoid entirely.

To learn more about brand safety and potential go here.

Broetry in Motion

Here’s a fun one. If you’ve been on LinkedIn recently, surely you’ve seen posts that resemble a poem in format. They’re often posted by self-identified social media mavens, growth hackers and other types of startup evangelists. They often have an inspirational tone showcasing a can-do attitude — an entrepreneurial call to arms. This format has become wildly popular on LinkedIn, but what is the name of this burgeoning art form, you ask? I introduce to thee: Broetry.

BuzzFeed’s Alex Kantrowitz and Ryan Mac dug deep into broetry lore, its origin, and even came away with some best practices for how to write a popular post. For one, it’s good old-fashioned copywriting techniques similar to what you’ll see employed on sites like ViralNova and Upworthy. But, BuzzFeed says, “there are other good broetry practices. Do not put links in the status body, said multiple broets, noting that LinkedIn seems to penalize attempts to take people off platform.”

Go here to learn more about this nascent writing style.

Genies: Will Avatars Make Teens Care About News?

By Melissa Santiago

There’s a strange new app that launched last Friday called Genies. It has users create avatars of themselves and once the avatar passes an unclear “approval” process that requires a user to link their Genie to an Instagram account, the Genies will reenact news headlines starring your avatar.

Techcrunch also reported a few questionable news “headlines” that appeared while they were testing the app including, one that “parodied the important NFL protests of racism and police brutality, featuring students ‘taking a knee’ to get out of a pop quiz.”

The founder, Akash Nigam, told Techcrunch, “if God forbid, Donald Trump bombs North Korea, you’ll see your Genie riding a nuke to North Korea.”

This hasn’t deterred several large investments firms from investing in the app as along with several high profile investors ranging from YouTube star-turned-musician, Shawn Mendes, to professional athlete Russell Westbrook.

You can create your own Genie here.