Channel Roundup: I Choose You!

July 29, 2016

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Pokémon Go… and Going and Going

Much to nobody’s surprise, It didn’t take long for the most viral mobile app of all time to start including advertising within the game. Niantic (the developers of Pokémon Go) says that soon, marketers will be allowed to pay for sponsored locations within the game, charging them on a pay-per-visit model not unlike the traditional pay-per-click that digital marketers are used to.

Not that Niantic necessarily needs the money. Within two weeks of its launch, the “free” game (it offers in-app purchases) has generated approximately $35 million in revenue, at a pace of about $1.6 million each day.

And while you would expect Nintendo, the creator of the Pocket Monsters, to be rolling in the dough, their poké-success was short lived. While their stocks nearly doubled after the app’s initial launch, things took a turn for the worst when Wall Street found out that Nintendo’s profits from the game would be limited. They pulled an “oh, nevermind” on Nintendo, causing the company’s stocks to take their biggest nosedive since 1990.

So who else is cashing in on the Poké-madness? Well, Apple, for starters. Since the launch of the game, Apple’s shares have gained about 5% in market value (roughly $25 billion), and they’re predicted to turn a profit on the game in the field of a cool $3 billion.

Brands and retailers are also seeing stars, or rather, dollar signs, from the game. While the aforementioned debut of in-app ads is still in the works, companies have found ways to work around the lack of in-app mobile advertising while still capitalizing on it.

For starters, brick-and-mortar establishments from museums to pizza shops have seen an uptick in foot traffic of aspiring Pokémon trainers, all thanks to lure modules or simply announcing the various Pokémon available for catching close by.

Other brands are getting more creative. For example, Stonyfield Yogurt is using geotargeting to serve ads to players who happen to be at certain PokéStops that are near a store that carries their products. While the ads aren’t within the game, they can be served to players on, say, messaging apps or their weather apps that are checked while playing.

The list doesn’t stop there. Malls are using the app to revive the shopping mall experience, auto body shops are using the dangers of playing Pokémon Go and driving as a tagline for billboards and telco companies are at each other’s throats (surprise!) using Pokémon Go incentives to lure customers.

Some people are going as far as to say that Pokémon Go could change the advertising model as we know it. How’s that for the power of entertainment?

“But The UK Let Us Do It!”

While Americans may still be dreaming of their Prime goods falling from the sky, it may be a more immediate reality for our friends across the pond.

If you read the news and care about what’s going on in the tech world, you may be overwhelmed by the slew of “Amazon has partnered with [insert organization here]” headlines that have populated inboxes around the world.

Well here’s another one for you. Amazon announced this week that it will be partnering with the British government (yes, you read that right) to get to do something that the US government has repeatedly shot down: drone delivery.

Bezos proved that nobody’s got time to wait around on the FAA to decide whether or not new drone technologies can or can’t be tested. He made true to his word and moved Amazon’s drone testing outside of the United States.

Meanwhile, Slurpee aficionados in Reno, Nevada are one step close to having their dreams come true.

While Amazon’s been gridlocked with the FAA for drone delivery, 7-Eleven made its first drone delivery of Slurpees, candy, donuts, coffee and a chicken sandwich to a lucky customer in a matter of minutes thanks to a partnership with a drone delivery start-up called Flirtey.

Companies like Google and Walmart have also started to experiment with autonomous delivery.  While 7-Eleven’s delivery was only a test run, the drone delivery landscape is getting closer and closer to becoming the way of the future.

Introducing… Expanded Text Ads on Google, Finally

In May, Google unveiled the new 30-30-80 format for its text ads that give retailers a total of 50% more advertising space to work with in their text ads. This week, the new ad format finally went live to the public and will be the sole source of text ad on Google after October 26th.

Retailers, take that as your warning to start revamping and optimizing your ad copy before you’re scrambling to keep up with the holidays AND a new ad strategy.

The new text ads mark the first major change to text ads in nearly 15 years.

A lifetime in the digital world really. It was due time for a facelift, with mobile being the main protagonist to the change (of course). Google’s mobile-first strategy began with the elimination of right side ads, making way for the bigger, better text ads that display better on a mobile screen.

Which makes it an appropriate coincidence that this week, Apple has officially sold 1 billion iPhones. That’s a lot of blue bubbles.