🗞️ A Massive Week For Marketing News

Big news from every big player, and much more.

In today’s edition:

  • The Definitive State of Ecomm 2024

  • TikTok Launches IG Competitor

  • The War On Data Privacy Wages On

& More. But first, a word from today’s sponsor! 👇

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Hello again,

Strap yourselves in - we have an absolutely massive edition of the Playbook for you today. It’s possible it gets cut off in some email readers, so make sure to expand the email to read the full edition if this is the case.

While I have no major personal updates for you today, a new podcast/interview with Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, caught my attention. He covers everything you need to know about algos, reach, etc. This interview is very interesting, so I wanted to share it with everyone here.

Enjoy!

Happy learning,
Cory Dobbin

2024 STATE OF ECOMM, FROM META

While this was shared a few weeks ago, I think it’s still incredibly important. So much so, that I’m willing to put it at the top of the Round Up! Given the recent slump in performance that many advertisers are experiencing on Meta in the past week or so (see this post from David Herrmann about a recent Shops bug), I think it’s important to remind ourselves that there are many factors that may be industry-wide affecting performance, not just your own setup. Of course, this isn’t a ‘solution’ to any of these problems, but knowing is half the battle. Check out Sean’s fantastic summary of the state of Ecomm today.

BYTEDANCE’S IG CLONE GOES LIVE

ByteDance has launched Whee, a new photo-sharing social media platform intended to compete with Instagram. Designed to share photos only with close friends, Whee emphasizes authenticity and real-life moments. The app includes features such as a built-in camera with filters, messaging, friend requests, and an archive for memories. Available on iOS, where it's ranked #53 in social networking, and Android, with over 10,000 downloads, Whee aims to capture a more intimate social sharing experience compared to other platforms. The public’s willingness to change their go-to apps is pretty low, so it will be interesting to see if they can make this work.

Note: After writing this, I decided to take a look today to download it and can no longer find it on neither the Play store nor the Apple store. Not sure why this would be, but it appears it’s been at least temporarily removed in certain regions.

IG TESTS UNSKIPPABLE ADS

Instagram is testing unskippable ads, known as "ad breaks," which prevent users from scrolling until they watch the ad. These ads last a few seconds and are designed to increase exposure for advertisers. This move aims to drive value for advertisers but has sparked backlash among users who find the forced viewing disruptive. The tests are currently limited, and Meta has not confirmed if they will become a permanent feature. This approach is similar to YouTube's unskippable ads, which have historically led to increased use of ad blockers​. It will be interesting to see how this affects Reels/Stories watch-time.

TIKTOK LAUNCHES A POWERFUL NEW CREATIVE TOOL

TikTok has launched Symphony, an AI-powered creative suite for enhancing content creation. This suite includes tools for script writing, video production, and multilingual dubbing. It also features Unified Lift for comprehensive performance metrics and Interactive Add-Ons for dynamic ad elements. Symphony aims to streamline creative processes and improve customization for global audiences, providing a centralized hub for brands to access creators, partners, and insights. Check out the workflow gif on the landing page below for a quick rundown on how this can become a very useful tool in your creative process.

THE AD WORLD UNITES AGAINST APPLE’S WEB ERASER

A coalition of advertising and media trade groups in France is opposing Apple's upcoming Web Eraser feature, which will launch with the new iOS update. Web Eraser allows Safari users to remove unwanted content, including ads, from websites and remembers these preferences for future visits. The coalition, which includes around 800 advertisers, agencies, and publishers, argues that this feature could harm online publishers and disrupt the advertising ecosystem by reducing ad visibility and revenue. They have expressed their concerns to Apple CEO Tim Cook, highlighting the potential negative impact on online business models and jobs in France. They also question the legality of rolling out such a feature in the EU without assessing its broader implications. It’s very clear that Apple has been weaponizing user privacy to further monopolize the data and advertising industry, so hopefully this leads to some kind of suitable resolution.

PAYPAL LAUNCHES AD BIZ USING CUSTOMER DATA

PayPal is launching a new advertising business using user data from its vast network of transactions. This new venture will use transaction data from PayPal's 400 million users to create targeted ads. The platform, creatively named PayPal Ads, aims to enhance advertising effectiveness for merchants and provide consumers with relevant product suggestions, positioning PayPal as a significant player in digital advertising. While I do personally think that more data and attribution is only a good thing, there are likely ethical debates to be had around using payment processing data gathered for years without people knowing it.

SPAIN BREAKS UP WITH META… FOR NOW

Spain has banned Meta from launching new election-related features on Facebook and Instagram due to privacy concerns. These features were intended to gather data on voters ahead of the upcoming European elections. The Spanish data protection authority fears that the data collection methods could infringe on users' privacy rights. This decision highlights ongoing tensions between tech companies' data practices and regulatory bodies' efforts to protect user privacy​.

It’s interesting that they aren’t doing the same for Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc., but hating Meta is so in, so I’m not surprised. If you advertise in Spain on Meta, it might be wise to scale back spending a bit or at least keep a close eye on performance.

  • A HANDFUL OF LINKEDIN UPDATES: LinkedIn gets a whole suite of new updates that should help engaging with others a whole lot easier.

  • GA4 DATA EXPORT TO SHEETS: Google Analytics 4 now has a direct integration with Google Sheets, allowing you to seamlessly export chart data to sheets for further analysis.

  • META REMOVES CTA SPLIT TESTING: With Dynamic Creative changing to Flexible Ad Formats, Meta made the decision to not migrate the option to split test CTA buttons. Why? Nobody knows. Just another tool in the kit gone.

  • TIKTOK TESTINGS ORGANIC LINKS: According to this post, it appears TikTok is testing embedding links into organic, non-promoted posts, which would be huge for creators.

  • THREADS DESKTOP IS GREAT: Threads finally introduced their desktop browser, which is what you’d expect - a useable, comprehensive version of Threads on web. Took them long enough.

  • THREADS API IS FINALLY HERE: Yes, you read that right. The Threads API is finally here, which means post scheduling and more. Social media managers the world over rejoice.

  • DAVID BECKHAM IS THE NEW FACE OF ALIEXPRESS. WAIT… WHAT?: I don’t understand the connection here, or why he’d do it (outside of money), but it happened.

  • TIKTOK CANT DIVEST: Bytedance tells the US that they literally can not divest from TikTok, so the ultimatum given to them was not acceptable.

  • HILARIOUS NEW STUDY SHOWS PEOPLE DON’T CARE ABOUT THEIR DATA: Most people will say they care about their online data being shared, but they can’t say why, and certainly don’t have information on what is collected, how it’s used etc. To demonstrate that people only care about their data when they’re told to (cough, Apple), a study was done that showed 78% of people were willing to trade their personal online data for only a cup of coffee. Amazing.

  • BRAVE BROWSER LAUNCHES ADS. WAIT… WHAT?: Yes, Brave, the browser that pitches itself as being free from advertising and tracking, has officially fully launched its ad platform. What a world.

  • GET PAID FOR YOUR FEEDBACK: Don’t forget, today’s sponsor Wynter will pay you for your professional feedback when you join as a research consultant. It’s a low-commitment, and high return investment for your time.

WATCH EVERY CANNES LIONS WINNER HERE

As you may have heard, Cannes Lions 2024 just happened, with a number of Grand Prix winners being announced. To see all of these amazing winning ads, head to the link below for the round up from The Drum!

TOYOTA AND THE OLYMPICS ARE FRIENDS OFF

Toyota is ending its £470 million sponsorship deal with the Olympic Games due to dissatisfaction with the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) use of funds. Toyota criticized the IOC for not effectively supporting athletes and promoting sports. The company had signed the sponsorship deal in 2015 and has now decided to seek alternative ways to support the sporting industry, though it still hopes to maintain its contract with the International Paralympic Committee.

HEINZ — PICKLE KETCHUP OOH

Heinz launches pickle-flavoured ketchup accompanied by a suite of OOH ads that, honestly, hit the mark for me. Yes, I did just get a taste. Mission accomplished!

POPPI LIES AND PAYS THE PRICE

A lawsuit filed against VNGR Beverage LLC, the maker of Poppi prebiotic soda, claims that the product is not as healthy as advertised. The plaintiff alleges that the soda contains only 2 grams of prebiotics per can, which is insufficient to offer significant gut health benefits without consuming excessive sugar. The lawsuit also cites potential adverse effects from the type of prebiotic used. Poppi has responded by defending its product and mission to innovate healthier soda alternatives, emphasizing its popularity and consumer enjoyment. It was only a matter of time before this happened, given the bold claims, and hopefully this leads to swift action against others as well.

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