Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.
This week’s My Five is by Ali.
A long time ago, I overheard an account exec mulling over the advertising industry, which went along the lines of, “I don’t get this above the line, below the line advertising thing – who drew the bl##dy line anyway?” Indeed the lines are extremely blurred today and despite a post-Brexit wobble, the Carat Adspend Report (September) forecasts a positive outlook for the advertising industry as a whole in the UK for the remainder of 2016 and into 2017: 5.4% and 4.6% respectively. This is primarily driven by the digital economy, which now accounts for a 53.6% share of all spend this year and is set to maintain pace in 2017.
Digital is the only way for organisations to maintain a real time relationship with their target audience and so the investment is undoubtedly justified. (You might have guessed I’d say that.)
But in a world where too many organisations follow the herd, I respect the company that goes out of its way to be a little different. Econsultancy’s humourous and sometimes poignant compilation of great print ads shows that a picture really can say a thousand words and that good print ads still live on.
You wait a while then two new social networks hit you right between the eyes in just one week.
The first is Nextdoor – ‘the private social network for your neighbourhood’. It is a US based company that has adapted the model for the UK. Apparently we Brits not longer feel connected to our communities and we don’t know our neighbours. The site and app is designed to build a greater sense of community and help us organise street parties, find babysitters, tradesmen and lost pets. I hope this takes off but I do wonder whether, having myself used the power of Facebook to find and return a neighbour’s absconded polecat that, the majority of people will already have groups set up on existing social media sites for exactly this purpose. (For sharing local information I mean rather than returning missing mammals per se.)
The second organisation to announce the launch of a social network this week is YouTube. The channel has given selected creators a new way to engage with their viewers via a Community feed. It’s still in beta and the number of creators is currently limited but feedback so far in generally quite good.
This week Google criticised new draft EU plans that would make it responsible for policing web content. The proposals, designed to ensure copyright owners get their fair share of income, has suggested that Internet companies would need to take ‘appropriate and proportionate measures to ensure protection’ of copyrighted works.
Google’s Caroline Atkinson, VP of global policy at Google said:
“Today’s proposal suggests that works including text, video, images and more must be filtered by online services. This would effectively turn the internet into a place where everything uploaded to the web must be cleared by lawyers before it can find an audience.”
The legislation has not yet been passed so Google’s lobbyists will be busy ensuring that members of the European Parliament vote against the idea. And again it feels like all news leads back to Brexit – if Article 50 is not triggered in the UK, we might not need to care. Of course, the legislation will still impact in Europe though.
In just four short months, Instragram user Lil Miquela has amassed a following of 80,000. Not bad given she might not even be real. The internet has been awash with discussion about whether she is indeed flesh and blood or a fake tech-created persona. In fact many of the 80,000 have simply been drawn to her account to make their own mind up.
And to conclude, the mighty Great British Bake Off has been a much-discussed topic of conversation this week at Browser Media. Would Mel and Sue stay? (And now we know.) Isn’t Mary Berry BBC through and through? Will the puns get out of hand on Channel 4? Can three challenges be fitted into 45 minutes to account for ad breaks? Will the product promotion be too much to bear?
And then the Huffington Post compiled this round up of the best tweets on the matter which cheered us all up no end. This is my favourite:
Bake Off leaving BBC is like your dad leaving mum. You still get to see him but in a flat above a Dominos with deckchairs instead of a sofa.
— Rhys James (@rhysjamesy) 12 September 2016