What makes Volkswagen a challenger brand in Malaysia?- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Volkswagen has managed to carve out space for itself in the cluttered automotive category in Malaysia. By consistently challenging the category norms and upholding an attitude and corresponding behaviors that are distinctly its own, Volkswagen has managed to create an alternative aspirational space of their own. And that is what makes them an Enlightened Zagger.
Enlightened Zagger is one of the 10 challenger types that PHD Media and eatbigfish have identified by drawing on the insights and experiences of today’s challengers disrupting the status quo, presented in their thought leadership publication, Overthrow II – 10 strategies from the new wave of challengers. The book features some of the most interesting examples from the new wave of challenger brands across the globe, like Oatly, BrewDog, Copa90, Tony’s Chocolonely, Mailchimp and Xiaomi. The book looks at their respective stories and how their unique strategies place them under different challenger types such as Real and Human, Local Hero, Next Generation, Dramatic Disruptor and Feisty Underdog, among others.
Enlightened Zagger brands unabashedly challenge existing norms and trends. They are unafraid to create a distinct stance compared to the rest of the category and amplify the differences in everything they do – something that Volkswagen has showcased time and again in Malaysia.
Volkswagen has fearlessly challenged the dominance of the market leaders and, in partnership with PHD Media, has consistently ventured into marketing and communication territories previously left untouched by other auto brands in Malaysia, leading to a slew of market-first and category-first initiatives.
It took ingenuity and courage for an auto brand to ride the eCommerce wave in Malaysia and become part of Lazada’s tentpole sale event, 12.12. When the first VW Beetle was sold during the sale in 2017, it was the first car ever to be sold on an e-commerce platform in Malaysia. The campaign was a hit, with 12 Beetles sold on Lazada within 20 minutes. It was only natural to repeat the exercise the following year but to take it to a new level with a live telecast sale on TV in partnership with Lazada. And for this year’s 12.12, Volkswagen went a step further still, by becoming one of the first auto brands in APAC to set up shop on Instagram. They created an exclusive temporary online store in partnership with Shopify on Instagram for only 24 hours, to sell 12 VW Beetles and 12 VW Polos with special deals.
“Pushing boundaries has always been in our DNA. It started with the ‘Think Small’ campaign, which continues to be an inspiration to the Volkswagen team, including PHD. We will constantly push to challenge the status quo, not as underdogs but as trailblazers,” said Isabela Pascu, the head of marketing at VW Malaysia.
That Volkswagen dares to be bold was also amply displayed during the ‘Mission Hijack’ campaign. Volkswagen partnered with the three biggest automotive publishers in the market, Mudah, Carlist and Carbase to ‘hijack’ the key research moments of car purchase intenders, blending data intelligence with creativity to deliver organically tailored communications to the visitors of these partner sites.
Volkswagen has even managed to reinvent the auto category’s standard advertising use of Facebook and YouTube. Volkswagen was the first auto brand in Malaysia to use dynamic ads on Facebook to retarget purchase intenders, automatically customizing each ad to display the exact model a person had shown interest in. The constant endeavour to push the boundaries of Facebook advertising has led to Facebook itself rating VW Malaysia as the most inventive of all Volkswagen markets in the world.
At a time when the potential of video advertising was being limited only to storytelling, VW became one of the first auto brands to use YouTube for Action, using the platform to story-tell and generate leads in one go.
When Google launched the much-awaited search gallery ads earlier this year, VW was the first auto brand in the country to be a part of the initiative. The fact that VW was part of an exclusive list of advertisers in Malaysia who were whitelisted to use gallery ads is a testament to Volkswagen’s openness and confidence to pursue the unconventional.
“At PHD, we are vigilant about developing opportunities to make leaps in creativity and innovation, to provide industry-first and industry-leading ideas, which deliver better results for Volkswagen Malaysia together with our partners. This resulted in consistently being the first in the category to use innovative solutions in our campaigns,” said Daler Kendzhaev, business director at PHD Malaysia.
Volkswagen’s Enlightened Zagger spirit has also garnered ample recognition from the industry. Earlier this year, Volkswagen garnered five awards during Dragons of Malaysia 2018 for the Lazada initiative and ‘Mission Hijack’ campaign, which speaks for the effectiveness of these bold ideas.
The exciting challenger story of Volkswagen in Malaysia is going to continue, with a fresh set of ideas and initiatives that will be rolling out soon.
Kiron Kesav is the general manager of strategy and platforms at PHD Malaysia

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Ridgeway to deliver new ecommerce website for probiotics brand OptiBac- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Ridgeway has launched a new ecommerce website for OptiBac Probiotics, the UK’s most popular probiotics brand.
The new website, launched in November 2019, improves the customer journey, will drive increased conversion and repeat purchases, and enables the OptiBac Probiotics team to deliver more effective marketing communications.
The site is built in the Kentico EMS platform, which will give the marketing and ecommerce teams enhanced control via the flexible CMS to create and edit content, add new products and run promotions.
OptiBac Probiotics has an increasing international focus and the new website will play a key role in delivering stronger sales both at home and abroad. Optibac have initially launched the UK site before rolling out one consistent brand experience globally.
With 60% of current visitors using a mobile device, the new website will deliver an improved customer journey with a focus on the mobile experience to increase mobile purchases. The new site will also support a wider range of carrier services, giving the customer more flexibility, as well as the functionality to allow customers to track their orders with the aim of reducing order-related calls to the customer services team.
The new website will support the cross-sell and up-sell of products by recommending related products to customers based on the products in their basket. In future development phases, the OptiBac Probiotics team plan to utilise the Kentico EMS functionality to explore content personalisation, marketing automation and lead nurturing to deliver a more tailored ecommerce experience for their customers.
OptiBac Probiotics selected Ridgeway because of its award-winning delivery of a number of ecommerce projects for leading brands including Twinings and Krispy Kreme using the Kentico platform. Kentico will offer OptiBac Probiotics the scalability and flexibility it requires for future development and functionality, future-proofing their investment.
The OptiBac Probiotics team are excited about the new opportunities and flexibility the new site will offer and are looking forward to a long-term partnership with Ridgeway. Claire Blake, digital manager for OptiBac Probiotics commented:
“Having worked with Ridgeway previously, I know it is a digital agency that I can trust to deliver a website which will meet our business needs and provide a smooth and enjoyable experience for the customer. I am looking forward to all the new opportunities our new website will provide.”

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My Special Aflac Duck: how a brand mascot helped support children with cancer- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Carol Cone On Purpose and Sproutel won in the ‘technology’ category at The Marketing Awards US 2019 with its ‘My Special Aflac Duck’ campaign. With this year’s event currently open for entries, the agency reveals the challenges faced and the strategies used to deliver this successful project.
The challenge
In 2016, the mascot of insurance firm Aflac – a white duck – had widespread recognition, but very few were familiar with Aflac’s specific products, which include cancer insurance.
Cancer is hard to face, and childhood cancer doesn’t get the attention or funding it deserves. Aflac had spent 22 years channeling most of its $122m+ in charitable donations to a childhood cancer center in Atlanta. The company wanted to enhance its perceived connection to the cancer cause. It also wanted to infuse deeper meaning into its iconic duck and build an association with its desired brand attributes of innovation and care.
Compounding the challenge, issues surrounding childhood cancer are hard to face, making it difficult to garner attention or build a movement around the cause.
Key objectives for the campaign included:
• Evolve and expand Aflac’s commitment to childhood cancers.
• Spark a national movement to increase awareness and fundraising for the issue.
• Enhance Aflac’s reputation and evolve Aflac’s brand, positioning it as a ‘caring innovator’.
• Concretely align the brand with the social issue.
• Measurably ease the social-emotional burden on children and families facing cancer treatments.

The strategy
CCOP research revealed that the disease landscape had changed: more focus and funds are needed for the hardest-to-treat forms of childhood cancer, with even greater need to support children during treatment, which averages 1,000 days.
Our data-driven purpose-related marketing strategy was to create an uplifting and unexpected idea to spark a new national conversation about childhood cancer. Pinpointing the critical emerging need to provide childhood cancer patients and their families with greater social and emotional support, we developed a highly emotional breakthrough idea: My Special Aflac Duck (MSAD), a social robot designed to comfort children during cancer treatments.
To bring the concept to life, CCOP tapped R&D firm Sproutel. With 4 patents pending, MSAD associates Aflac’s iconic mascot with the company’s aspirational brand attributes of innovation and care.
My Special Aflac Duck is grounded in the insight that children are often scared, lonely and isolated during their years-long cancer treatment. They told us they want to more easily express their feelings and needs, and experts said they would benefit from greater coping skills such as deep breathing and visualization.
It was a risk to use Aflac’s beloved mascot in such an unexpected way, considering a brand can contribute up to 50% of enterprise value, according to the Marketing Accountability Standards Board. For the first time in Aflac’s history, we linked the mascot with a social mission, turning a brand icon into a true brand ambassador.
The development team pursued an 18-month user-centered, empathy-driven design process with 100+ patients and caregivers at The Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a U.S. News and World Report top-rated facility.
With three motors and removable skin for washing, MSAD features lifelike movement (nuzzling, breathing, moving to music), emotions (tap an emoji card to the duck and it acts out the feeling), and a mixed-reality app, using purposeful play to help kids cope with cancer by caring for their duck.
To further advance the under-resourced pediatric cancer cause, which receives just 4% of NIH funding, we positioned MSAD as part of the new Aflac Childhood Cancer Campaign, which integrates Aflac’s long-term commitment to childhood cancer research and treatment with fundraising and awareness efforts. This is providing an ongoing platform with emotional resonance and national relevance.
Best of all: Aflac is donating a My Special Aflac Duck to any child who has cancer, anywhere in the U.S., at no cost to families or hospitals.

The campaign
However innovative and authentic, a product could seem like a gimmick to promote Aflac’s brand. We overcame this by communicating the company’s 22-year commitment to the cause, creating a new long-term Aflac Childhood Cancer Campaign, and forming an Advisory Council of respected external experts to guide the program’s strategy.
To deliver meaningful social benefits, the technology needed to meet a difficult use case. The team employed a child-centric empathy-driven R&D process with children undergoing cancer treatments. This uncovered unanticipated challenges, like children’s desire for a cuddly plush in a sterile environment. To address sanitary needs, the team developed a patent-pending removable, washable skin – one of several firsts.
In unveiling MSAD, we had to be clear that this was not a toy, but a tool for use in a hospital setting. We reinforced this by launching not at the toy show, but at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show where MSAD won three Best in Show awards.
To support the direct-to-hospital fulfilment model, we needed awareness and support from the medical community. We built this through round-table discussions and demos at medical conferences throughout 2018, and by forging a relationship with the Association of Child Life Professionals, Children’s Miracle Network, and others.
Almost every design consideration and assumption Sproutel had at the outset of the project was dramatically evolved based on input from ethnographic research with children, doctors, parents, etc.
From approval to release, it took more than 18 months to develop and manufacture MSAD – so keeping Aflac’s senior leaders excited was critical to continuing momentum and funding. We addressed this with monthly video updates and live demos, which resulted in a personal funding commitment from Aflac’s CEO.

The results
A 2018 study at CHOA tested the feasibility and acceptability of MSAD on distress in children undergoing a multiple-day hospital stay. The study showed that MSAD served as a distraction for children and a way to communicate emotions for both the patient and parents, decreasing a child’s perceived distress by 50%.
My Special Aflac Duck dominated the buzz at CES 2018, earning 2.5 billion impressions in 5 days and generating demand for the duck at events from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley.
As more consumers demand brands stand for something beyond profit, Aflac’s commitment and thoughtful application of technology (and use of its mascot) was viewed as authentic, innovative, and meaningful. Inc. said this “is a wonderful demonstration that businesses can take the very face of a brand and reinvent it into something that has a larger purpose”.
Aflac’s CEO won CR Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the Responsible CEO of the Year Awards in 2018, a testament to Aflac’s long-term commitment to giving back, buoyed by their renewed, innovative commitment with MSAD.
While not a broad-based consumer program, My Special Aflac Duck will have direct reach to 16,000 children, their families, and caregivers each year. Without a formal marketing program, we surpassed distribution goals by 25% and demand continues to grow. In a feasibility study at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta 76% of parents said they believe MSAD would work to distract children in the hospital, and 82% would recommend MSAD to others. One parent said of the duck: “Anything that puts a smile on [my child’s] face puts a smile on mine.”
In addition:
• 2,006+ ducks distributed since September, exceeding Q4 goal of 1,500 by more than 25%.
• Initial reach: 37 states, 70 hospitals; 37% COG hospitals out of 190.
• Due to the momentum of demand, Aflac ordered an additional 10,000 to the original 10,000 which they expect to be donated by the end of 2019.
• At CES, three Best in Show awards, including Tech for a Better World; Best Unexpected Product, and Medgaget Best Medical Device.
“This is absolutely one of the most rewarding projects of my career. It was a bit of a risk: bringing the one thing you couldn’t buy to the largest consumer electronics show in the world left people scratching their heads at first, until they saw the results. Personally, I was blown away by the attention we received when people thought it was a toy, but when they found out what its purpose was, I saw jaded reporters who had seen it all actually weep. It has been a privilege to be involved and there is nothing more touching than seeing a child engage with their very own My Special Aflac Duck.” – Catherine Hernandez-Blades, Chief Brand & Communications Officer, Aflac
This project as a winner at Tempemail Marketing Awards US 2019. To register your interest in 2020’s event, click here.

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Vodafone appoints Anne Stilling as global brand and media boss- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Vodafone has promoted Anne Stilling to global director of brand and media, filling the role left vacant by Sara Martins de Oliveira.
Having spearheaded the brand’s move towards an in-house digital media model, Oliveira left Vodafone in 2019 due to a family relocation.
Tempemail understands that Stilling has now taken on the top marketing role and will be based in the UK.
Vodafone did not comment on the news.
Stilling is a Vodafone veteran, having steered the telecoms giant’s brand and media strategy in the German market since 2009. Before joining the business, she cut her teeth in FMCG marketing at Kraft, overseeing brands such as Jacobs Coffee, Coffee Hag, Coffee Onko, Kaba and Kraft Lunchables.
The exec’s appointment comes amid a period of change for the brand’s marketing department, which has been experimenting with in-housing and working with agencies in a more “flexible” way.
After backtracking on an initial plan to in-house digital media buying, Oliveira took the leap in summer 2018. Since then, Vodafone has built internal teams which now serve 11 of its 25 markets. Biddable media, including search and social, is now run within the company’s own walls.
Stilling’s predecessor also switched up Vodafone’s agency roster before her departure, appointing Dentsu Aegis’ Carat to handle the remainder of its $400m media operations.
Oliveira then brought Anomaly on board as the firm’s global creative agency, tasking the shop with ensuring Vodafone’s global work had a positive and social impact.
In the UK, the brand continues to work with WPP’s Team Red led out of Ogilvy.
Speaking at Tempemail’s 2020 Predictions event earlier this month, Maria Koutsoudakis, Vodafone’s UK brand and marketing director, said the group’s (ongoing) in-housing journey had led to a more “blended” way of working between its own talent and that of its creative and media agencies.
“We’ve built flexibility into the model, but we’ve only been able to do that because WPP has our commitment,” she said.
“If you don’t have that commitment with your agency, then everything is based on the last transaction, then it’s really hard to ebb and flow. But having that broader commitment [has allowed] us to create that bespoke team that we need in Vodafone depending on the job to be done.”

Tempemail , Tempmail Temp email addressess (10 minutes emails)– When you want to create account on some forum or social media, like Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, TikTok you have to enter information about your e-mail box to get an activation link. Unfortunately, after registration, this social media sends you dozens of messages with useless information, which you are not interested in. To avoid that, visit this Temp mail generator: tempemail.co and you will have a Temp mail disposable address and end up on a bunch of spam lists. This email will expire after 10 minute so you can call this Temp mail 10 minute email. Our service is free! Let’s enjoy!

New York Knicks appoint creative agency in bid to boost brand among fans- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The New York Knicks have hired Brooklyn-based agency Translation to bolster the team’s brand positioning and connection to its fanbase, which is in the midst of witnessing its team’s losing streak.
Translation, which is owned by the veteran music exec Steve Stoute, plans to develop campaigns and brand programs for the team, inspired by its history, alumni, fanbase and home of Madison Square Garden.
Meanwhile, Stoute himself has signed as a special adviser to the Knicks’ executive team.
“We are going to bring new, creative ideas and produce content that encapsulates Madison Square Garden and the Knicks, building upon their vast reputations in order to further connect with fans,” he said.
Translation lands into the franchise with experience gleaned from brands such as the NFL, NBA and Nike. The shop previously carried out similar work for rival team the Brooklyn Nets, who hired Translation as agency of record in ahead of the 2017-18 season.
The work was accredited for helping make the Nets ‘cool’ again.
“Our goal is to not only build a Knicks team that is successful on the court for the long-term – we also want to continue forging a deeper connection between our incredibly loyal fans and our team,” said Andy Lustgarten, president of the Madison Square Garden Company.
“We look forward to working with Translation to create powerful marketing and advertising platforms that excite the Knicks community and bring us together.”
The Knicks franchise is known for resonating with consumers.
According to the NBA, it is the most valuable team in the country with a net worth of $4bn, while attendance at Madison Square Garden still averages 18,880 fans a game, per figures from ESPN.
However, a recent string of losses has seen the team come under fire from sports pundits and fans. The Knicks haven’t had made the playoffs since the 2012-13 season.

Tempemail , Tempmail Temp email addressess (10 minutes emails)– When you want to create account on some forum or social media, like Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, TikTok you have to enter information about your e-mail box to get an activation link. Unfortunately, after registration, this social media sends you dozens of messages with useless information, which you are not interested in. To avoid that, visit this Temp mail generator: tempemail.co and you will have a Temp mail disposable address and end up on a bunch of spam lists. This email will expire after 10 minute so you can call this Temp mail 10 minute email. Our service is free! Let’s enjoy!

Vodafone UK brand boss: in-housing has made our agencies indispensable- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

When Vodafone decided to in-house some elements of its media buying last year, the move drew inevitable questions about whether the network was paving the way for an agency cull. Far from it, the business has spent the past 18 months scaling up its global digital capabilities with “phenomenal” results, mapping out a fresh way to work with existing – and newly appointed – agencies in the process.
Maria Koutsoudakis, Vodafone’s UK brand and marketing director tells Tempemail that the (ongoing) journey has led to a more “blended” way of working between its own talent and that of its creative and media agencies. She was speaking on a panel at Tempemail’s Predictions 2020 breakfast event, earlier this week.
Since summer 2018, Vodafone Group has been running most of its digital media buying in-house. It now has internal teams serving 11 of its 25 markets, working across biddable media, including search and social.
Last summer, the brand appointed Dentsu Aegis’ Carat to handle the remainder of its media operations, displacing Wavemaker. In the same period, it brought Anomaly on board as its global creative agency, tasking the shop with ensuring its global work had a positive and social impact.
In the UK, the brand continues to work with WPP’s Team Red led out of Ogilvy UK. Koutsoudakis, who joined the brand from M&S in 2019 , has already been working closely with the agency to rejig the brand’s positioning in the market – ditching longtime ambassador Martin Freeman.
Getting the ‘ebb and flow’ right
Koutsoudakis admits that in-housing digital media has been a learning curve. As for creative, the brand is also experimenting with fresh ways of collaborating with both its media and ad partners. So agency relationships, according to her, have actually never been more important.
“It’s a blend and we’re looking at [how to do the same] thing from a creative perspective. We’ve really leant into the WPP family, we’re committed to that relationship… and within that we ebb and flow.”
Although Vodafone UK’s core relationship is with Ogilvy, Koutsoudakis says the current Team Red structure allows her to “pull in and out” the talent she needs to work across the brand’s creative briefs.
“We’ve built flexibility into the model, but we’ve only been able to do that because WPP has our commitment,” she adds.
“If you don’t have that commitment with your agency, then everything is based on the last transaction, then it’s really hard to ebb and flow. But having that broader commitment allows us to create that bespoke team that we need in Vodafone depending on the job to be done.”
Vodafone isn’t the only brand “blending” in-house and agencies. Arla and Renault and even Unilever, P&G and RBS marketers are all experimenting with various iterations of an internal model. A study by the Association of Tempemail Advertisers (ANA) in the US in 2018 suggested some 78% of marketers had an internal set-up, a rise from 58% in 2013 and from 42% in 2008.
‘Blending the model’
For Koutsoudakis, though some elements of digital in-housing are working better than others at this early stage.
“For me PPC is working phenomenally well,” she says, explaining that Vodafone initially replicated its legacy agency model by enlisting separate talent to work across strategy and buying in PPC, but that has since changed.
“Now strategy is buying. There’s one person on my team now that does our search strategy. He thinks it, he does it and it’s executed much quicker [because] there’s no longer a handover.”
When it comes to social, though, things aren’t quite yet sitting at the same level.
“On social, we haven’t quite got to that same efficiency because you’ve got that creative integration, so [we need to ask] where does the creative come in? So we’re working our way through that.
“But on that front, we’re looking at working really closely with some of the Ogilvy team to actually come and be co-located with us, because that agility needs to exist every day.
“So we’re blending the model, working with the team to do that and so far they’re amiable because we’ve made that bigger commitment to them.”
‘Sleepless nights’ over talent
Vodafone’s in-housing push was spearheaded by its now-departed global brand and media boss Sara Martins de Oliveira, for whom it is still seeking out a replacement.
While the brand is also likely to bulk up its internal team over the coming year, it’s also facing another challenge in the talent arena on top of its hunt for a global lead.
As advertisers continue to experiment with in-housing, finding and keeping talent is a top priority. According to media consultancy ID Comms, one-in-five (19%) chief marketing officers have stated a need for greater internal talent investment in 2019.
While the early results from in-housing are pleasing for her brand, one thing that is giving Koutsoudakis “sleepless nights” is how to nurture, and holding on to, media talent with Vodafone’s walls.
She observes: “When you try to bring in people who are media-focused and you only have three or four roles within the organisation that you can offer them, then at some stage they’re going to run out of road… so what worries me is retention.”
There’s a similar issue with in-house creatives who at the moment “like the fact they partner with Team Red and get inspiration.
“There will be bits that come in, bits that come out and it will be constantly evolving based on where the business goes, and where marketing goes.”

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YouTube’s UK boss: ‘Brand safety is no longer top of the list for advertisers’- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

In wake of another ‘brand safety crisis’, which this week revealed how advertisers were inadvertently funding climate denial videos on YouTube, the platform’s UK managing director has spoken out on why brand bosses have not resorted to pulling spend in the same way they might have in years past and the changes it’s now making.
Last week, a study from research firm Avaaz found that ads from major brands including Samsung, Warner Bros, L’Oréal and Danone had appeared next to a host of climate denial videos. The findings suggested that 16% of the top 100 related videos for the search term ‘global warming’ contained misinformation. The top ten videos had averaged one million views each.
It was a scathing report, and it was covered everywhere from the Guardian and Time Magazine to trade publications, including Tempemail. The headlines would be familiar to many of those same advertisers stung in 2017 when The Times ran a front-page exposé on how advertisers were inadvertently funding terrorism, and then paedophilia, when their ads ran next to illegal content that had slipped through the YouTube vetting net.
But the response from budget-holders this week has been considerably different to the way they reacted two years ago.
L’Oréal, for example, was quick to issue a statement to say it was actively working with YouTube to remove the ads from the videos that promoted climate misinformation – but, crucially, it wasn’t pulling spend altogether.
Speaking to Tempemail, YouTube’s UK managing director Ben McOwen Wilson suggests the feedback from brands to this issue has shown how far the platform has come in dealing with problematic content.
“We’re being clear on what our policies are, and then removing content that breaches those policies, and aiming to remove it before it gets any views – that is our goal. And we’re definitely progressing there,” he says, referring to its latest Transparency Report which boasted that Google caught 84% of content that violated its policies, and of that number the vast majority of videos (85%) were taken down before anyone had seen them.
But some policy areas are easier to define, and therefore police, than others. Videos promoting terrorism or exploiting children are illegal and obviously fall into the former bracket. Content around the climate change debate, on the other hand, is trickier to manage.
“The areas where it’s always been hard is where there is context or subtle nuance that is needed to determine if something’s one side or the other of a policy line,” McOwen Wilson continues.
“And that’s where being very open and transparent with our advertising partners – whether they’re brands or agencies – has been really helpful in them understanding that even if YouTube finds itself in a position where somebody feels we’re not doing something they would appreciate with their brand, that they understand the system that we’ve got in place and ideally they will understand ‘okay, why is it you’re not catching it’,” he says, suggesting this is why he’s not seen the backlash and pulled spend from brands as he did in 2017.
Currently, Google does not have a stance on climate change denial videos, though it does have a policy around videos that contain obvious misinformation, such as ‘flat earth’ content.
This includes a ‘classifier’, launched in in the second half of 2019, which actively seeks out videos that contain information that is misleading and ensures it’s not served to people as recommended viewing. This system effectively buries offending videos among the 500 hours of content that’s uploaded to YouTube every minute. Videos targeted by this tool aren’t content Google would remove altogether, but if someone did want to find a film about flat earth, it means they’d need to carefully search for it.
When it comes to climate change topics, advertisers have a choice about what their content appears adjacent to and can manually block their ads from running next to certain genres.
“So that’s the area of failing,” says McOwen Wilson. “It’s an area where, in 2020, there will be some discussion with government. And I said this very publicly last year that I welcome that discussion as the YouTube managing director and, more than that, as British citizen […] because that’s where the debate has reached, society and the open Internet needs to decide where we want to draw some lines.
“The debate that we find ourselves in is where should there be clear lines beyond laws that currently exist? Because the laws that currently exist will also apply to us online, but where are the other areas where you want clear lines drawn? And what are those around?”
Contrary to the belief that Google is shying away from making those decisions itself, McOwen Wilson stresses the company knows that, for business, any uncertainty around monetising climate change videos is “worse than knowing what the rules are” – but it doesn’t believe in setting those rules without wider consultation from other industries.
“And, certainly in the conversations that I have, not just with economic regulators and elected officials or brands or our content creators, people do recognise first and foremost, the value that openness brings as being far greater than the downsides,” he adds.
‘Brand safety is not the biggest thing marketers are interested in’
But McOwen Wilson says that beyond this latest challenge, YouTube has seen a shift in how advertisers approach the problem of brand safety.
Many brands have bolstered their internal knowledge with hires like ‘brand safety officers’ and ‘chief media officers’ while others have improved their own processes rather than relying on agencies and platforms to keep them safe, like Diageo which set up a Trusted Marketplace programme in wake of 2017 to better control where its online ads go (the drinks maker is now tentatively testing a return to YouTube).
Google doesn’t break out the performance of the video platform’s advertising business, but the company stated in its third-quarter earnings that it saw a 17% increase overall in ad revenue to $33.9bn, largely driven mobile search and YouTube. Meanwhile, a survey from GumGum and Digiday last year revealed that though brand safety is a concern, only 60% of ad industry professionals would say it’s “serious”, down from 90% in 2017.
McOwen Wilson believes YouTube has won advertisers around over the past two years and the policies and protections it’s put in place – from AI moderation systems to increasing the number of humans on hand to intervene – have made a considerable improvement to the trust brands place in it.
“Certainly, with brands and with agencies, the topic of brand safety is nowhere near the top of the list for them at the moment with us,” he claims. “It is a hygiene factor that they demand three years ago that we needed to raise our game to deal with and they are reasonably happy that we have made progress.
“Critically, we continue to update them on what it is that we have done and not just, ‘oh, look, it’s all gone away’ but that what’s going away is the result of us really, really thinking how we can bring all of our tech, all of our policy thinking, and then increase staffing to bear to make sure that – not just from a brand’s point of view, but actually from a user’s point of view – that the content that you see and are exposed to on the platform is appropriate.”
However, many brands are determined to keep the pressure on.
This week, at the Davos summit in Switzerland, global advertisers including Mars, P&G, Adidas, Lego and Unilever outlined a plan to suffocate harmful content online by ensuring those spreading it have “no access” to advertiser dollars.
A three-pronged strategy has been set to prevent media investments from fuelling the spread of content that “inflict damage on society” on YouTube and Facebook.
Facebook today (23 January) has been criticsed for the spread of conspiracy and climate change denial content linked to the devestating fires in Australia. A BuzzFeed News investigation found that far-right, fringe and conspiratorial pages were seeing unusual success by spreading content that misdirected blame away from climate change. In repsonse, Facebook said it was focused on “removing content and accounts that violate our policies, reducing the distribution of misleading content, and informing people when they do come across misleading content” without specific mention of where climate change denial fits in its policies.
Facing the same issues as Google and Facebook, after convening at Davos this group of advertisers must now reach a consensus on what harmful content is and whether climate change denial will be a topic they deem of big enough concern to push the platforms into demonetizing it altogether.
This is the first article that will appear in Tempemail following its conversation with YouTube’s Ben McOwen Wilson. A second will run next week, outlining his plans for the platform in 2020 as his role shifts from managing Europe to the UK market.

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Brand advertising is broken. Here’s why.- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

It’s one of the most famous quotes in advertising history. Over a hundred years ago, department store mogul John Wanamaker stated: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, I just don’t know which half.”
Tempemail, in partnership with Wistia, has surveyed 235 people working in advertising (either for brands or agencies) to find out if this statement still rings true today. Has the promise of more attributable, efficient advertising spend actually been realized? Or are most of us still spending with care and abandon, hoping for success?
Marketers are spending more and more on digital advertising in order to increase brand salience and brand affinity, including $30bn spent on digital video alone in the US this past year. And according to our data from the survey, three-quarters of brands advertise because advertising is “an established and useful tactic” to achieve brand growth, not because it’s been proven to work.
In fact, more than half of the companies advertising on the big media platforms, such as Facebook and Google, don’t know whether the views they are getting for their online videos are from real people or bots.
Rather worryingly, the research detailed in this report, carried out by Tempemail for Wistia, shows that the way marketers and agencies think about brand advertising has failed to keep up with the changing world.
While advertisers have a wider variety or channels through which to build awareness of their brand than ever before, they’re still using traditional or basic online techniques to measure their success. Furthermore, despite a wholesale shift the in the way ads are distributed, the way in which businesses measure brand advertising hasn’t changed much at all. This disconnect is masking profound ineffectiveness, which both media agencies and tech giants alike are discouraged to be honest about.
According to Wistia’s brand marketing strategist, Phil Nottingham: “That businesses are spending so much money with no clear idea what value they are getting in return is a clear indication that dramatic change is on the horizon. Google and Facebook will hope that their promise of directly attributable means of direct customer acquisition will capture more and more of the budget, but there is an open question about where businesses that really care about ‘brand’ should allocate their marketing dollars.”
Our report suggests brand advertising is broken and that advertisers need to find another way to build their brands. It shows it’s time to find a better way to look at the current advertising environment and the differing attitudes of brands and agencies, especially around issues such as measurement and trust. It also reveals how marketers desperately need to work harder to understand how views differ between the US and EMEA, between B2B and B2C brands, and between small companies and larger ones.
With these startling and depressing results, it is finally time to consider that perhaps there is a better way to build a brand than spending money on advertising.
Fill in the form below to download the report for free.

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Starbucks hires first sustainability chief from Levi’s in environmental brand pivot- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Levi’s long-term vice-president of sustainability has departed to become Starbucks’ first chief sustainability officer, joining the coffee maker as it commits to maintain “brand relevance” with plant-based menus and a shift to reusable packaging.
Michael Kobori had worked for Levi’s for 22 years, taking up the top sustainability job in 2007.
He joins Seattle-based Starbucks as the brand makes bold announcements regarding its position of sustainability. Previously, the company has been singled out by environmental groups for its use of single-use cups and its lack of recycling facilities at its stores.
The brand’s chief executive, Kevin Johnson, set out his decade-long environmental vision today (21 January) in an open letter to stakeholders. He wrote how the company has earmarked 2030 as the year it becomes “resource positive” – storing more carbon than it emits and providing more freshwater than it uses.
Areas of turnaround will include “migrating toward a more environmentally friendly menu” featuring more plant-based options and shifting from single-use to reusable packaging.
The company also promised to develop more eco-friendly stores and invest in ways to better manage waste.
Johnson stressed to shareholders that the changes will be implemented with revenues in mind.
“… I want to reemphasize that the journey we undertake is not only the right one for Starbucks responsibility as a corporate citizen of the world but is also fundamental to our brand relevance and, therefore, our overall business results,” he said.
“As such, we remain committed to our long-term, double-digit EPS growth model and will continue to deliver targeted financial results by prioritizing the right investments across our partners, customers and planet in support of our “Growth at Scale” agenda.”
However, Starbucks has missed targets before.
Back in 2008 it aimed to serve 25% of its drinks in reusable cups by 2015. However it U-turned on the goal in 2011, reducing the figure to 5% by 2015.
“What we learned was that … our results underperformed our high expectations and underscored the need for a different approach,” said Johnson today, adding the company will now conduct research in order to better understand consumer behavior and incentives regarding the use of reusable continaters.
Starbucks and Levi’s did not immediately respond to Tempemail’s request for comment.

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Bloomberg Green creates news brand focused on climate change coverage- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Bloomberg Media is the latest publisher to acknowledge a growing hunger for strong green coverage across the globe. It is committing significant resources to climate change news, analysis, and solutions.
Bloomberg Green is a new website that rallies around a global, interactive climate data dashboard, a daily email newsletter, a podcast, and a magazine. The brand will be integrated across new TicToc successor QuickTake by Bloomberg, as well as Bloomberg Television, Bloomberg TV+, Bloomberg Radio, and Bloomberg Live events. It will also live across BloombergGreen.com and on the Bloomberg Terminal.
Bloomberg Green will center on the business, science, and technology of climate change, with an emphasis on delivery data-driven visuals and analysis.
Justin B Smith, chief executive officer of Bloomberg Media, said: “The climate change era is upon us and Bloomberg Green will be the first global business media brand wholly dedicated to this essential story.
He said the brand will, “like the climate story itself,” span the entire globe.
John Micklethwait, Bloomberg editor-in-chief is position the brand to be the guide for investors, politicians, chief executives, scientists and “clever readers everywhere.”
“Our hope is that it will bring clarity and data where there is currently fog and fear ⁠— just as Bloomberg has brought light to other once opaque subjects.”
Aaron Rutkoff has been appointed as the editor of Bloomberg Green.
The data dashboard looks to set display live data points around tree loss, air pollution, carbon-free energy and more. These data sets will be integrated with a daily newletter which will also feature relevant news stories.

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