Flip back through articles, columns, tweets and other prognostications from marketing pundits over the past decade plus, and you’ll see a common theme: it’s going to be a big year for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

And finally, that time has come. Well, sort of…

While we’ve been teased and tantalized about the potential of these awesome technologies, the time finally seems just about right for their proliferation — at least for one of the two platforms. That’s the reality of new marketing technologies; once they reach a critical mass of brand and consumer buy-in, legal challenges naturally emerge as we explore their full potential.

In the case of these perception-altering platforms, it’s VR that’s experienced a downshift … Continue Reading

Perform a quick Google news search for “digital advertising” and it’s quickly apparent that transparency — or a perceived lack thereof — is an issue that runs rampant in the industry. In other words, how does the math calculating impressions, clicks and other key metrics add up behind the screen? Perform the same search engine query for “blockchain,” the basis of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, and it’s equally obvious that transparency is among the biggest boons for the decentralized and mutually-verifiable digital ledger.

The upshot? It’s only natural that blockchain emerges as a disruptive force for digital advertising. In fact, this strategic synergy, albeit a bit complicated at times, is already underway. This shared chapter was recently chronicled by my … Continue Reading

Most professionals can look back to a time in their careers when a selfless individual provided them with guidance, encouragement, or advice. Usually, it was someone more experienced, who had seen and done much more than they had, who provided the needed direction. That small sacrifice, that gift of time and talent, ultimately had a profound impact on their professional journey.

Unfortunately, many people don’t have such a person in their lives. For marginalized members of society, including those dealing with homelessness or addiction, learning the basic skills necessary to find and retain a job is a formidable challenge, especially without help navigating topics like resume building, financial planning, and public speaking.

This is where San Francisco-based Code Tenderloin is … Continue Reading

When marketers think about wearable technology, they might feel like the runner who has just crested a hill in a Fitbit commercial: winded, but energized. Winded, because wearables are emerging at a time when marketers have barely had a chance to catch their breath after getting up to speed on mobile (and before that, social, and before that, display advertising), but also energized, because of the great possibilities that wearable technology promises.

Of course, before advertisers can begin to think about marketing wearable technology, consumers have to embrace it, which brings us back to Fitbit. The household brand has been making its popular fitness trackers for nearly a decade, and launched its first global ad campaign in 2014 with Argonaut … Continue Reading

In the last few years, Intel’s advertising has become a lot less inward-focused. For decades, the company’s “Intel Inside” campaign directed consumers’ attention to the chips that Intel puts inside electronic devices. While that campaign (with its instantly recognizable bong-bong-bong jingle) helped make the company what it is today, Intel hasn’t been content to rest on its success. This is a company with innovation in its DNA, after all.

With new CMO Steve Fund at the helm, Intel has added an outward looking element to its Intel Inside message. The company’s latest marketing push is focused outward, highlighting the shuttle launches, solar-powered car races, animated dragons, high-tech garments, and other wonders that Intel technology brings to life. The initial video … Continue Reading

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, but what about video? Whoever is behind the famous aphorism never crunched the numbers on video, but you’d have to think that the words-to-video conversion rate would be very large. After all, video advertisements are known to have tremendous advantages, even over those that use pictures. Video ads are more likely to be discovered (search engines love video content), shared (consumers share video at high rates), and acted upon (according to Amazon and eBay, video ads accompanying product descriptions increases the chance of a purchase by as much as 35%) than other formats. All of which helps explain why people are watching so much video these days.

According to data gathered by … Continue Reading

Winemaking is a timeless craft—or so you might think. If you do, one visit to a Jackson Family Wines facility powered by Tesla batteries and you’ll soon realize that wineries are certainly keeping up with the times.

One of the country’s largest family-owned wineries, Jackson Family Wines has been innovating in all kinds of ways as it carries on the family’s winemaking legacy (including production of the popular Kendall-Jackson brand). It has shown both foresight and ingenuity in adapting to climate change, which has begun to affect the California landscape on which the company grows its grapes. In some cases, it has implemented low-tech solutions that farmers of yore would recognize: using owls and falcons instead of pesticides to control … Continue Reading

As mentioned, at BAA I gave a presentation on the interplay of marketing and advertising law to activate brands. Today I will share with you the second installment of this three-part series…

Which generation are the real entrepreneurs of today? Is it America’s largest generation – the millennials? How about the boomers?

It’s really Generation Z – those born between 1996 and 2010 – children aged 6 to 20. In a recent survey of Gen Z, their top career choice was to be a serial entrepreneur. This generation’s new business tools are social and digital media with video content creation.  They use real time information to determine pricing and engage in e-commerce. And they do it all from the comfort … Continue Reading

Developing — and keeping — trust has never been more important for advertisers. With consumers being bombarded by a dizzying variety of messages and choices, trustworthiness has emerged as an important differentiator between brands.

In other words, as Richard Eyre, CBE, chairman of the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB UK) would put it, trust is now a key disruptor for advertising. At the 2014 IAB Engage conference, Eyre told advertisers that trust is their most important tool for relating to customers. The main job for today’s brands and agencies, he said, is to secure trust — and hold onto it.

As for what kinds of advertising consumers trust, online seems to be winning out over more traditional formats, though … Continue Reading

Digital media has opened up exciting new worlds for the advertising industry. It has given advertisers the ability to reach audiences in new places, on new devices, in more engaging ways, and in more targeted fashion than ever before. No doubt about it: these are all good things.

But the advent of digital media has also given the industry a whole new set of concerns about trust. This is a topic I’ve been talking about a lot lately, and for good reason. The advertising industry simply isn’t viable without trust. To begin with, consumers must be able to trust the content of advertisements they read, see, and hear. This is the “trust” issue that advertising lawyers like myself have traditionally … Continue Reading