Things of Internet: Ads you won't wanna skip

Things of Internet
Things of Internet: Ads you won't wanna skip
By Deepak / Chuck • Issue #54 • View online
Before we start, two announcements:
New batch of the NoFaff Sessions: I’ll be starting a new batch of my digital marketing basics course in end July. ₹6000 + GST. 9 live sessions. Loads of examples and references. Ideal for anyone looking to learn about the world of digital, especially folks in mainline :) You also get Things of Internet free for life. All details here.
I’ve got a new podcast: I’m thrilled to announce Getting Meta! It’s a podcast on productivity, mental models and stuff, where I speak to some very smart Indian achievers to eke out habits. The feed is here, and this Friday, an episode with Amit Varma drops. Next week, Rohan Joshi. I’m super-kicked about this, and I hope you like it too. Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Web player
Okay, enough plugging my own stuff now. Let’s get down to what you subscribed to this newsletter for. Pre-roll ads. Ah, the bane of YouTube. You know when you just want to watch that epic Opeth performance at Red Rocks Arena, or that Ryan Giggs goal just again… And ad. Ugh. Seriously. Those YouTube ads have such bad timing.
But once in a while, comes along an ad that doesn’t just make you watch, but maybe even enjoy and re-watch the whole thing!
While YouTube has been encouraging marketers to do shorter “bumper” ads for a while now, there is another strategy - just be clever about the whole thing. Co-opt the frustrated viewer. Use the ad space for its uniqueness, rather than use a TVC here. Today I share some examples of kickass YouTube pre-roll ads.

Skip when you think the bacon's done!
Ah man, that’s genius. More about it here.
Vimeo Record: video messaging for teams Vimeo Create: quick and easy video-maker
Vimeo Record: video messaging for teams Vimeo Create: quick and easy video-maker
Of course Burger King started it all...
Back in 2014, the perpetual trolls of the fast food world came out with a stunning set of “aarrrrgh I hate YouTube ads” YouTube ads. Still fresh. 
Burger King: Preroll
Burger King: Preroll
At home, CouponDunia did something similar.
Or how about this ad by a VW, a car so automatic it even skips the ad for you?
Automatic Skip Ad    Volkswagen    AlmapBBDO
Automatic Skip Ad Volkswagen AlmapBBDO
GEICO, the insurance company, is known for its wacko ads
Especially this series of loooooooooooong pre-roll ads, but where the message is delivered in 15 seconds. So what to do about the rest of the ad? Well… See for yourselves. This campaign is legend.
UNSKIPPABLE  FAMILY LONG FORM 01 - GEICO  Cannes Lions 2015
UNSKIPPABLE FAMILY LONG FORM 01 - GEICO Cannes Lions 2015
(one more from the same campaign)
And finally, this hard-hitting message by Cadbury
The full ad, here. A campaign tackling adult loneliness. And that message in 3 seconds.
As you can see, YouTube ads - yes, those derided things - can be used cleverly and elicit a smile, and even a click!
The reads & recommendations section
  • The anti-trust against Big Tech is picking up drama steam. While several reforms are passing, a federal court dismissed two cases against Facebook. This war is just getting started, expect lots of drama along the way. For those for whom all this is too complicated to follow, I don’t blame you - just wait for the inevitable movie. The Big F also crossed a trillion in market cap. Remember, it started life as a dorm project to rate fellow Harvardians’ hotness. Ah, 21st century tech.
  • And speaking of regulation, the unclear ecommerce rules in India leaves more questions than answers.
  • This week, Instagram announced ad rev-share with publishers, and hinted at stories just for ‘subscribers’. This is a very interesting moment in tech history and its shift from reliance on pure advertising, as I spoke about last week.
  • A 2-minute recap of all those platforms in the creator economy. It’s boom time out there.
  • Big Tech really wants to get onto your wrist.
  • There’s a new spate of apps that delay the photo ‘developing’ after you take one with your phone. What does this mean?
  • Musician Lorde won’t be releasing her new album on CD - signalling another blow to a format most likely to be collateral damage, between the ubiquity of streaming and the resurgence of vinyl. The physical format she’s releasing it on, though, is pretty interesting, and you should check it out.
  • Facebook develops new method to reverse-engineer deepfakes - that’s amazing.
  • I came across Apna - pretty much the LinkedIn+Naukri for blue-collar jobs. What a great idea. I hope it’s of use to some of you looking to hire!
  • Facebook (as in, the social networking site, not the company) is pretty much dead.
  • Another week, another thought-provoking piece on CRED by The Ken.
  • Remember last week, when I said all platforms are trying to be like each other? Well, I first came across this article echoing that, and then a reader of this newsletter (thanks!) tagged me on this.
Suumit Shah
Flipkart has entered in the territory of Meesho by launching Shopsy!

Meesho has entered in the territory of Flipkart/Amazon by doing TV commercials (shifting focus from social commerce to marketplace/aggregator)

Everyone is doing everything!

Exciting days ahead it seems 👁
  • Finally, this isn’t digital at all, but thoroughly fascinating: The world’s only handwritten newspaper is 91 years old and sells for 75 paise. It’s an Urdu paper and is from Chennai. (I love that The Hindu writes about a paper called The Musalman!)
Rant of the week: Unilever's D2C website
Did you know Unilever has its own e-commerce store, in an apparent bid to go D2C? Check out TheUShop. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s a hastily-put together project. Shoddy visual appeal and zero branding apart, why would I want to even buy from here? Even if I were a Unilever loyalist, these are products I often want to buy along with other items like groceries. I might be completely wrong - their scale and media power could make this a worthwhile investment for them, but to me, it seems a poor attempt to play catch-up.
Another attempt I’ve seen like this: Tata Coffee’s Sonnets website. Just compare this with ANY young roastery in terms of language, visuals and we-know-our-coffee-ness, and you’ll see the stark difference. You can almost see the Powerpoint that started with a competition landscape, a SWOT analysis and then this site. And don’t even get me started on that Instagram.
If you run a D2C company, keep building your brand and <3 your customers, and you should be safe while these sharks circle around.
See you next week!
Again, if anyone fancies learning digital marketing from me, do reply to this. :)
See you next week with more things from the internet!
Chuck
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Deepak / Chuck
By Deepak / Chuck

A weekly newsletter with some cool digital stuff. Something a brand did, a nice new app feature, something from the world of entertainment, an occasional editorial... Ideal for those who are in marketing, or simply love the internet and trivia. Every issue also includes something from the archives. It'll be insightful / useful / fun. Hopefully all three!

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