KFC Colonel Sanders is back, America! After 20-year hiatus (video)

Colonel Sanders is back, America! He’s back to make sure his Kentucky Fried Chicken is still as delicious as it ever was. And he made this commercial about it.

Nestle may ditch ad agency Vivaki, wants full ownership of programmatic trading “The future is about owning the technology”

Verizon’s recent $4.4 billion purchase of AOL primarily for its programmatic advertising technology and expertise sent shockwaves through the digital marketing world. As expected, more brands including Nestle are jumping on the bandwagon and pushing for their own data management platform and programmatic technology. According to The Drum, Nestle’s argument is that they would like 100% control and ownership of their programmatic trading future, currently operated by third-party ad agencies the brand employs. “When an agency owns stuff it’s hard to get rid of them. Some of these agencies are like Japanese knotweed – they do everything for you. So my question to myself is always ‘can I leave tomorrow? What can I take with me if I want to do that?’ said Nestle’s digital lead Gawain Owen, in a statement. “Everyone needs to change. Agencies need to change their ways of working. Network agencies are key to our business. We work with VivaKi and they do an amazing job for us – whether it is buying traditional or digital media – but they all need to look at how they are structured. They are very good at buying TV, but they don’t own the TV company, so when you translate that to programmatic, they have fantastic teams, but the future is about owning the technology. There will come a time when clients will own the technology.”

Marriott Hotels links with Hollywood for original branded content fusing digital marketing and storytelling

A seamless way to infuse marketing and the art of storytelling is through the use of branded entertainment, also known as branded content or native advertising. As part of their Travel Brilliantly marketing campaign, Marriott Hotels on Tuesday launched its first in a series of original digital content in the form of a 20-minute short film titled ‘French Kiss,’ starring Tyler Ritter (son of the late John Ritter) and Margot Luciarte. The film follows an international business traveler (Ritter) on a trip to Paris who meets a beautiful young Parisian woman (Luciarte) who shows him the beauty of the city through her eyes. “The idea that Marriott is now able to bring creators in like us for content to speak to people all over the world is a new way of marketing and advertising without making that content an advertisement itself,” said producer Kim Moses (Runner, Ghostwhisperer) in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. Marriott will release a slate of originals including webisodes that will be distributed online, in Marriott rooms worldwide, and in select theaters. French Kiss debuted on YouTube on May 19th and has been viewed nearly 700,000 times. Click here for the film’s official microsite.

Spotify adds video content, branded entertainment

As video content and original programming continues to rise with content marketers and brands – with no sign of slowing down, Spotify announced Wednesday that it has relaunched its music streaming service to include video and original branded programming. The service will now offer video clips and original content from a range of content partners, filmmakers, and recording artists including Disney, ABC, Starbucks, NBC, ESPN, BBC News, Comedy Central, MTV, Amy Poehller, and Tyler the Creator, among others. “We’re bringing you a deeper, richer, more immersive Spotify experience,” Daniel Ek, Spotify founder and CEO, said in a statement. “We want Spotify to help soundtrack your life by offering an even wider world of entertainment with an awesome mix of the best music, podcasts and video delivered to you throughout your day.”

Popular dating app Tinder partners with 20th Century FOX on Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham movie ‘Spy’ (video)

Tinder and 20th Century Fox have partnered to give Tinder users advanced access to special screenings of ‘Spy,’ an upcoming 2015 American action comedy film written and directed by Paul Feig. The film stars Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose Byrne, Miranda Hart, Bobby Cannavale, Allison Janney, and Jude Law. Distributed by 20th Century Fox and produced by Feigco Entertainment and Chernin Entertainment, the film is scheduled for a June 5, 2015 release. The exclusive Tinder sneak peek dubbed ‘The Spy Who Swiped Me’ was offered to Tinder users in 50 markets, on Thursday, May 14 – weeks before the film’s nationwide release on June 5. Check the video below.

Drive more potential customers to your website with Twitter ‘Website Card’ programmatic ad unit

For businesses who may be interested in driving more potential customers to their website, Twitter’s ‘Website Card’ ad unit is one of many desirable programmatic mobile advertising strategies to consider. Website Card allows you to better promote your site on Twitter to your followers or target new potential customers by adding an image, related content and a strong call to action button to your tweet. See example Website Card ad tweet below. Click here for more information on how Website Card could impact your business.

Tinder just got a whole lot better with Instagram integration, designed to weed out spammers, bot profiles, and non-human activities (video)

Mobile dating app Tinder just got a whole lot better with Instagram (video and photo) integration, designed to weed out spammers, bot profiles, and non-human activities. Check the ad.

Financial Times unveils ‘cost per hour’ advertising model, betting on time-based ads

Leading business news site ‘The Financial Times’ (FT.com) on Monday confirmed that it is launching a new time-based digital advertising model ‘cost per hour’ CPH, where advertisers pay only when an ad is seen for more than five seconds of ‘active’ time with 100% viewability. It’s the latest bet by FT on the emerging world of time-based advertising. It’s also the latest sign of interest from big companies including BP, IBM, and iShares in the areas of using time to measure value. “For the nearly three decades of commercial internet history, advertising has derived its value from one measure: how many people click on an ad. Low viewability scores and questions about advertising placement and fraud have increased the need for better measurement and transparency to demonstrate the actual outcome an advertiser is seeking.” said FT’s advertising sales director Dominic Good in a statement. “While CPM (cost per thousand) values every impression the same, CPH uses time to measure value. The FT has shown through extensive testing that brand familiarity and recollection among readers increases significantly the longer an ad is in view. Adverts seen for five seconds or more on FT.com show up to 50% higher brand recall and familiarity than ads that are visible for a shorter period of time.”

A look at Pinterest’s new motion-based mobile advertising format (video)

Cinematic Pins are a new motion-based mobile ad format on Pinterest. When a user scrolls, the image moves, and when a user stops, the image stops. This enables enhanced storytelling for brands while giving users control. So good move for Pinterest or distracting?

Was Starbucks justified in firing a Barista after vulgar mobile video goes viral (video)?

Last week in Queens, New York, the actions of a Starbucks barista (watch video) quickly became a global PR issue for the coffee giant. A spokesperson for Starbucks confirmed to the media that the employee has been fired and that Starbucks has reached out to the customer to “make things right.” But was termination a justifiable way of handling the crisis without conducting a thorough investigation? A short viral video, captured on a smartphone, doesn’t tell the full story of what really happened. Cause and effect, readers. There’s the barista’s story, the customer’s story, the cellphone video, and the truth. What really triggered the outburst remains unknown. If Starbucks truly valued their “partners” a/k/a employees (who they selected, interviewed, screened, and hired over other candidates), the company, at worst, could have suspended the barista indefinitely pending the results of an investigation into the matter. Outright termination due to public outcry without due process was a bit excessive in my opinion. To be clear, I am not defending the actions of the employee but I also know that the customer isn’t always right (and believe we all can agree on this). What do you think? Was Starbucks justified in their handling of the crisis or could they have handled it better? Comment.