From Square Eyes to iPads – Kids are spending more time online than ever

New research from Childwise, as part of their Monitor Report into media use and purchasing amongst children, has shown that children between the ages of 7 and 16 years are now spending 3 hours online each day, with time for 15 and 16 year olds rising to 4.8 hours. In contrast, young people are now spending 2.1 hours in front of the TV, an average of 50 minutes less than 2000. In addition, 60% of this TV is digital, watched via a phone, tablet or laptop.

It’s clear generation Z (as they are now known) are fully embracing the digital opportunities available to them through a variety of different devices. Less than a quarter of individuals between 15 and 16 now watch TV as it is broadcast, preferring the versatility and freedom available through on-demand services. New services like Netflix or Amazon Prime have started to trump more conventional channels, with 50 of respondents saying they had watched a programme on Netflix in the last week, more popular than both ITV1 and BBC1.

Tablets have catapulted themselves into becoming the most popular device type owned by youngsters, with 67% now owning the device. This is the first time that tablets have become the most popular type of computer, beating both laptops and desktops. This transformation is being recognised by both hardware and software companies. Amazon recently released their infant-brand Kindle Fires, while Microsoft has released their own Minecraft Education Edition. Generation Z are both engaged and adept with technology, and are exploring devices in ways no generation has done before; consuming content at unprecedented rates.

Hack to the Future: LoopMe Holds Its First Hackathon

LoopMe’s very first Hackathon, The Data Science Challenge, took place last week and we’ve certainly raised the bar high.

We invited top Data Science talent from across Dnepropetrovsk and Kiev, and they came out in force to LoopMe’s Ukraine office. The 14 data scientists spent five hours hacking, attempting to outperform the others and be crowned winner.

The event offered a unique opportunity to experiment and try out ideas on a real-world ad targeting data-set and used data collected from LoopMe’s real-time targeting engine to improve response rates to targeted mobile adverts.

After helping themselves to refreshments, the data scientists had the opportunity to get the feel of the LoopMe office and experience what it was like to work in the midst of the LoopMe innovation team.

Getting down to business, the hackathon was extremely tight, with the competitor leader changing from one minute to the next, as they battled to deliver the best possible results.

Finally it was all over, and the winners received their prizes, with the top five competitors invited to interview for the position of Data Scientist & Analyst in the LoopMe innovation team.

We really enjoyed the event and hope everyone had a fantastic time. Watch this space for our next Innovation event.

Video of the Week: Cementing a Place in Marketing History

In terms of amusing, engaging, or fun advertising opportunities, you wouldn’t expect concrete to be top of the list. But, as it turns out, nothing is set in stone in this industry, and this fantastic Indian advert featuring the Great Khali really nails the understated comedy that comes with such a product. No doubt it will lay the foundations for many hilarious construction-based adverts in the future, though we wouldn’t build our hopes up too much. Even so, for this week, the Great Khali and Ambuja are cementing their place in marketing history.

Superbowl Adverts: A Touchdown for Mobile?

Looking through some of the 2015 Superbowl adverts, a clear pattern emerges – mobile is a hot topic. From Kim Kardashian appealing for us not to waste our data right through to God running out of battery, creative agencies are finding ways to integrate mobiles into adverts in new and often hilarious ways. Remember Liam Neeson playing Clash of Clans while waiting to pick up his scone?

The first SuperBowl advert featuring a mobile phone dates back to 2000 – an ‘exciting’ 30 seconds featuring a woman in an airport, trading stocks on a moving walkway. Though probably unintentional, Microsoft’s use of mobile foreshadowed a slow trend towards using mobile phones in adverts and promos.

It’s an unsurprising trend – 81% of smartphone users in the US say they keep their phone near them “almost all the time during waking hours.” Marketeers always smell an opportunity to use relatable ideas and products, and mobile is near the top of the list.

Take, for example, 2015’s ‘One Upped’ Campaign from T-Mobile. Sarah Silverman and Chelsea Handler have a fantastic time trying to show who has the best tech – competing with one another (as we are all prone to do from time to time!) as they brag about their phones’ capabilities. The comedy here lies to a certain extent in how relatable the premise is – we all feel a certain swell of pride when our phones have signal but others don’t.

If there was one ad to rule them all in Superbowl 2015, however, it was Kate Upton’s appearance in Game of War’s unforgettable fantasy battle advert. After a captivating 30 seconds of suggestive battle gear and bath-dipping, users were prompted to download the Game of War app for free. And it worked – Game of War soared up 95 places on the App Store chart in the 24 hours after the ad first aired.  Mobile games splashed the cash in UA projects last year, and in 2016 this may be repeated. What’s interesting about these ads is that none of the games in the ads were new releases – they’d all been around for months before the Superbowl itself. That said, February is suitably distant from Christmas that the novelty of holiday purchases may have worn off and gamers may be ready to try new apps – apps suggested to them during Superbowl breaks. It’s an entirely new system of thought, but an exciting one for advertisers.

The Superbowl has become a prestige ad slot, and mobile being at the heart of this advertising goliath is a sign of things to come – while traditional brands (the likes of Doritos, Budweiser and the vast hordes of car models) enjoy the creative opportunities available to them; the new appearance of mobile brands shows that advertisers are thinking beyond the screen and at the devices in the hands of users. It’ll be exciting to see what comes in 2016!

Video of the Week: Axe Does A U-Turn

In terms of rebrands, Axe has done quite a spectacular one – turning from their testosterone-fueled, sexually-charged, stereotypically-masculine campaigns to something a lot more versatile, flexible, and fundamentally, relevant. It’s a bold move for the group, but certainly an important one. ‘Find Your Magic’ is all-encompassing, embracing men regardless of interest, image, or identity. It aligns Axe with a modern masculine ideal that is much more prevalent in premium and ‘cutting-edge’ brands.

Check the ad out for yourselves above!


‘Mobile Video (Advertising) Will Eat the World) – A Response

‘Mobile Video (Advertising) Will Eat the World’

The lastest article in Forbes to examine the mobile video advertising space outlines an appealing prospect for the industry. Video formats are providing exciting and flexible opportunities for brandswhich go above and beyond the capabilities of standard display ads. Research released this week has shown that the standard banner is now a declining ad unit, with agencies leaning towards the benefits of mobile video.

The general pull of mobile is being felt more keenly than ever as we move in 2016. Research from the IAB suggests 79% of respondents to their CMO & Mobile study are actively integrating mobile into their marketing strategies for 2016.

Investment in mobile goes even further, 50% of marketers are now buying mobile programmatically, reflecting an active understanding and capacity for innovation within the mobile space. This can only mean far greater understanding and further engagement with mobile advertising in the future.

The idea ‘mobile video advertising is eating the world’ certainly gives advertisers a lot to chew on. As Salz states in her article, the use of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning delivers ‘laser-targeted’ ads that use data to ensure the right ad is seen by the right user. It’s an exciting prospect for advertisers – knowing content will only be seen by people who are actively interested in receiving it.

Progress in data and algorithms may lead some to concern that creative endeavors are being sidelined – this could not be further from the truth. Machine learning and high quality creative content can work in harmony, delivering consumers advertising which is enjoyable and interactive. Using video as well as HTML5 to create ads that can vibrate, swipe, shake, rock, and respond to 3D motion are just a few of the latest ideas to be launched, and creatives have a vibrant new format to work with, safe in the knowledge that their work is reaching consumers.

Mobile video advertising is making gains across the advertising industry, and, coupled with the huge leaps and bounds in data and artificial intelligence, is signaling a new and vibrant era for marketers.

What will be the big hits for mobile in 2016?

As we move into 2016, a range of both problems and opportunities face the mobile advertising industry. CEO Stephen Upstone looks into some of the key themes from last year and reflects on what is to come over the next 12 months.

2015 saw an unprecedented rise in ad-blocking, with around a third of users now using ad-blocking technology. In 2016 expect to see ad-tech providers, agencies and publishers looking to halt the tide by adopting advertising formats which complement the user experience. We’ll see a trend for more engaging formats overlaid with data to ensure users are targeted with advertising which is relevant to their interests.

Mobile video advertising has been on the rise throughout 2015 but next year it’s going to become a far more creative medium, with advertisers beginning to produce more dedicated mobile video content, such as portrait video, rather than repurposing TV spots. Native video was a big feature of 2015 and as companies move towards offering all video formats, brands will be able to plan mobile video holistically, pushing more spend into the medium.

Data has become a fundamental part of all advertising campaigns, but next year will be about advertisers making their data work harder for them. Artificial Intelligence engines which optimise campaigns towards key performance goals, maximising efficiency and reducing wasted impressions, are going to rise to the fore as advertisers seek to deliver the most effective campaigns possible.

Ad-blocking, artificial intelligence and mobile video are likely to be three topics that will grab headlines over the next 12 months. What remains key, however, is that advertisers remain diligent and flexible – ready to confront any new challenges while also adapting to any fresh opportunities that will inevitably present themselves in 2016.