• Microsoft says no to VR gaming on Xbox

    Back in March 2017, Microsoft announced at the Game Developer’s Conference that it would bring mixed reality experiences to its Xbox consoles in 2018. It’s walking back that promise, as it wants to focus on MR for PCs instead. Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz at E3 last week, Microsoft Chief Marketing Officer Mike Nichols said, “We don’t have any plans specific to Xbox consoles in virtual reality or mixed reality.” That’s a shame, because one of the big draws to
  • Singapore's advertising economy set to become the only Asia Pacific market to shrink in 2018

    Singapore’s advertising economy is expected to shrink by 2.2% in 2018, with export weakness, lethargic gross domestic product, US and EU policy uncertainty all contributing to weak consumer confidence, tight credit and slowdowns in spend.
    The city-state is the only Asia Pacific market expected to experience declines this year, with China advertising spending increasing by 10.3% this year, faster than previous expectations, Japan growing by 2.8% in 2018, as double-digit digital growth offse
  • Microsoft relaunches its news app to take on Google and Apple’s offerings

    Remember MSN.com? It’s still around – and Microsoft is trying to bring it back by relaunching its mobile apps with a new moniker. Available for Android and iOS, Microsoft News brings you stories from the company’s MSN News effort, that’s been online for several years – with a modern interface that should be familiar to folks who’ve tried Apple News and Google News. The service brings curated news from more than 1,000 publishers and 3,000 brands. Microsoft say
  • Sorry Instagram, I don’t want a vertical YouTube

    At first glance, a YouTube competitor that lives within Instagram seems like a smart idea. It’s not. Or, it might be. I don’t know. The move makes a lot of sense. Facebook-owned Instagram, according to a recent Pew Research survey, is trailing only YouTube in use among teens. Some 85 percent of Americans aged 13 to 17 say they use YouTube, with Instagram coming in second at 72 percent. Snapchat is hot on Instagram’s heels at 69 percent. To win the arms race for teen attention,
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  • IGTV is Instagram’s answer to YouTube

    Instagram is making a play for YouTube’s video throne with the launch of IGTV, a new app where users can upload videos longer than one minute. The app, revealed at an event today by Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, hosts videos up to one hour in length. Anyone can upload videos, either from the dedicated app or from Instagram itself. Everything is mobile-oriented, meaning videos are in portrait mode. Rumors about it have been passed along for weeks, culminating in a report from the Wall
  • Autopilot Buddy is, hands down, the most evil gadget of 2018

    The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) recently cracked down on the makers of a device called the Autopilot Buddy, a gadget that allows people to trick Tesla cars into thinking the driver has their hands on the steering wheel. Autopilot Buddy is a fantastic example of a heartless piece of technology that tries to capitalize on consumers’ ignorance. Not everyone is tech-savvy, and being able to afford a Tesla doesn’t imply a general understanding of what artifi
  • Swiss consultancy Luxoft acquires Seattle-based design firm Smashing Ideas

    Luxoft Holding, a Swiss-based a global IT service provider, today (June 20) announced the acquisition of Smashing Ideas, a Seattle-based design and innovation agency.  
    Smashing Ideas, owned by book publisher Penguin Random House, has consulted brands across product design and development. Penguin Random House had owned the firm since 2011.
    Luxoft said in a statement that the acquisition bolsters Luxoft’s digital research, strategy and design capabilities. Luxoft’s lines of
  • Instagram celebrates its 1 billion user mark with launch of YouTube rival IGTV

    Instagram today marked reaching one billion users with the launch of a recently rumored long-form video service called IGTV.
    Users can access IGTV via the original Instagram app, but also through a standalone app starting next week. Content on IGTV has a time-limit of an hour, and during a conference on Instagram Live, the Facebook-owned platform has already piloted the new service with influencers and creators.
    Another unique feature of this app: it has been formatted so that all vide
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  • Would you pay to join a Group? Facebook takes subscriptions for a spin

    After launching Facebook Watch subscriptions, Facebook is also testing a paid subscription for Groups. The tool would allow Group administrators to charge for exclusive content, while a portion of the group remains free, Facebook says.
    The post Would you pay to join a Group? Facebook takes subscriptions for a spin appeared first on Digital Trends.
  • Unique ways dropouts and non-STEM majors can compete for technical jobs

    I recently wrote a 80-page guide to how to get a programming job without a degree, curated from my experience helping students do just that at Springboard, a leading data science bootcamp. This excerpt is a part where I focus on unique ways non-STEM students and dropouts looking for programming jobs should differentiate themselves. As somebody who has had to perhaps beat a non-traditional path through to programming jobs, you’ll need to do things that are slightly different and a little b
  • Facebook is testing paid subscription options for private groups

    Facebook today announced a pilot program that would allow group administrators to charge members for exclusive content. In a blog post, the company revealed the test would include a small number of groups in the parenting and homemaking niches — including college planning, meal prep, and home cleaning. According to Sara Mueller, who started a cleaning group called Declutter My Home: Since I started Declutter My Home, it’s been motivating and fulfilling to help others get on the path
  • Instagram’s IGTV is a new Stories-like home for vertical long-form videos

    After Facebook Watch, Instagram is launching its own video portal, but it looks nothing like the usual online video viewer. Instead, Instagram IGTV is mobile-first, which means vertical video and a Stories-like interface.
    The post Instagram’s IGTV is a new Stories-like home for vertical long-form videos appeared first on Digital Trends.
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  • CryptoKitties sudden lack of popularity is a bad omen for blockchain businesses

    Everything happens quickly in the cryptocurrency world. Last December, Bitcoin’s value reached an all-time high of about $20,00, around the same time people were spending millions on CryptoKitties. BTC’s value, now, rests at $6,700. And those cats? They’re dying of neglect. When the blockchain-based game CryptoKitties launched last December there were plenty of people in the cryptocurrency community who hated it. But its overnight success made it apparent that the haters
  • Loupedeck’s new photography console fixes all the problems with the original

    When I reviewed the Loupedeck earlier this year, I was surprised to find it cut down my photo editing time nearly in half – I actually timed it. A chunky slab full of knobs and buttons, it adds an intuitive tactile element to the normally grueling process of editing hundreds of photos. Problem was, it felt cheap. Even though it was effective, it didn’t  feel great to use, particular due to flimsy buttons. That’s no longer an issue. The new Loupedeck+ addresses all of my b
  • HBO debuts Westworld Alexa gaming voice skill for fans of the show

    HBO is debuting its first full-scale voice skill with 'Westworld: The Maze,' an immersive gaming skill for fans of the show, leading up to the season finale.
    Available on Alexa-enabled devices starting today (June 20) 'Westworld: The Maze' brings Westworld’s layered story mapping to voice, where users are led on a three-tiered quest for consciousness. 
    In the game, users play an unnamed Westworld host and are guided through three 'choose-your-own-adventure' style levels with over
  • Americans believe that 40 percent of the news is fake

    A new survey conducted by the Gallup/Knight Foundation found that overall, Americans believe that 39 percent of the news they see, hear, or read is misinformation. They're even more skeptical of social media.
    The post Americans believe that 40 percent of the news is fake appeared first on Digital Trends.
  • US Creative Work of the Week: spokes-mermaid pushes algae-based supplements

    New wellness brand, iWi, recently introduced its omega-3 supplements with its first-ever national advertising campaign, ‘Healthy Me, Healthy We’, and the accompanying TV spot features a spokes-mermaid whose dedication to sea-based plant nutrition is as strong as her tail.
    The campaign, from creative agency Something Massive, works to highlight iWi’s aim to produce high-value nutrition that improves individual health without harming the environment. The company uses the qui
  • How technology has made the World Cup seem unnatural

    You may have noticed something different in the 2018 World Cup. For the first time ever, the Virtual Assistant Referee (VAR) system is being used to help make decisions during games. And already we are seeing it cause controversy. It’s no surprise that VAR has caused debate, considering the furor that surrounded VAR in the English FA Cup and the Bundesliga. But although VAR receives huge attention, we should not forget that it is only the most visible example of the digitalization of foot
  • Facebook climbs a mountain of suck with new autoplaying Messenger ads

    Facebook is testing autoplaying video ads inside of Messenger, and holy crap this is a bad idea. The context: Facebook confirmed to Quartz yesterday it was rolling out the ads next Monday to a small group of users. While a spokesperson insisted the user would be “in control” of their ad experience, that basically means you can hide and report ads of your choosing. You can’t opt out of it. Stefanos Loukakos, Messenger’s head of ad business, told Recode he’
  • Burger King Russia cuts promo rewarding women impregnated by World Cup stars with Whoppers

    The Russian corporate account for Burger King has backtracked after running a social media campaign offering free Whoppers and a monetary reward to women who managed to get impregnated by footballers. Despite Russia currently tallying the most goals at the World Cup so far, the campaign was built to increase the footballing "genes" of the nation.
    The Guardian reports that the promotion offered women 3m Russian roubles (£35k) and all the whoppers they can handle in a lifetime if they c
  • Singaporean influencer sparks brand safety concerns after being exposed for editing stock photos

    Two days after FMCG giant Unilever called for more improvement in the integrity, transparency and measurement of influencer marketing, a Singaporean influencer has sparked brand safety concerns after being called out for misusing stock photos.
    An exposé by local website Mothership.SG after a tip-off, found that well-known local photographer Daryl Aiden Yow had lifted photos off stock iamges from websites and claimed them as his own on his Instagram page. He was found to have use
  • Alibaba’s CMO on why it’s ramping up its pitch to brands with a Kantar-powered insights tool

    E-commerce giant Alibaba upping its charm offensive on advertisers through a partnership with Kantar that will see it pool its own behavioural and brand insights with the research firm’s data.
    Speaking to The Drum, chief marketing officer Chris Tung said the partnership came amid a “clear demand” from advertisers to “quantify and qualify” progress and effectiveness.
    The collaboration was announced on Wednesday (20 June) at Cannes Lions. Tung said it will bring toget
  • For one week only, Brasso is the official sponsor of the British Creative Industries

    The British Creative Industry has landed its first ever sponsor in Brasso as the brand eyes the coveted title of polish of choice for the many Cannes Lions awards that will be making their way back to offices in the British Isles.
    The playful tie-up with the Department for International Trade (DIT) saw it launch a campaign in the South of France, playfully nodding to the haul of silverware the UK is expected to bring home again this year.
    The partnership is brief, lasting only this wee
  • Condom brand Jontex creates an edible candy wrapper to promote safe sex

    Educating the population about condom usage in Brazil takes persistence and overcoming preconceived notions. To wit, there's a common saying that “sex with a condom is like eating candy with the wrapper on” – an old perception that slows the STD prevention investments made by brands and government. 
    To counteract this common saying, as well as highlighting the benefits of the new Jontex Real Feel – a latex free condom
  • Tether taps ex-FBI director’s law firm for yet another phony ‘audit’

    It appears controversial cryptocurrency issuer Tether (USDT) is yet again trying to prove its legitimacy to the larger blockchain community. The company has hired a law firm co-founded by former FBI director Louis Freeh to look into its financial situation. “Earlier this year Tether engaged Freeh, Sporkin & Sullivan LLP (FSS) to review bank account documentation and to perform a randomized inspection of the numbers of Tethers in circulation and the corresponding currency reserves,&rdq
  • Unlock the secrets to Facebook ads that actually work, for less than $10

    You can start turning some of that promotional power your way with the training in the Facebook Ads and Facebook Marketing Mastery course, available now for less than you spent on lunch — only $9.99 from TNW Deals.
  • How to make the most of YouTube on a tight budget

    Pretty much every brand we work with understands the effectiveness of YouTube in driving awareness, but there’s definitely a common view among smaller businesses that it’s expensive and time-consuming to do effectively. They are mistaken.
    At my own agency, Return, our campaign for Robinsons Brewery, for example, recently won YouTube Works for Brands award for Best Use of YouTube on a Small Budget. The campaign was delivered on a four-figure budget - including ad spend - was turned ar
  • What’s UI? What’s UX? This bootcamp shows how they can make you some good money

    If you don’t know the difference between UI (user interface) and UX (user experience), there's is asymbiotic relationship. You can learn the elements that drive both disciplines with the training in the UI and UX Design Bootcamp, on sale now for $39 (an over 90 percent savings) from TNW Deals.
  • The Mouse Strikes Back: Disney counters Comcast’s offer for Fox with $71bn cash-stock bid

    Disney today (June 20) announced a counter-offer to acquire 21st Century Fox totaling $71bn in cash and stocks.
    This bid came as a response to a bid made by Comcast weeks before to purchase the media group in a $65bn, all cash. Disney had initially made the first call for the Murdoch-owned company at a bid of $58.7bn back in December 2017.
    Disney stated in an amended merger agreement: “Disney would acquire those businesses on substantially the same terms, except that, among other things, D
  • Amsterdam Airport now has a Bitcoin ATM

    The main international airport of the Netherlands will now let you convert those “leftover euros” at the end of your Eurotrip to cryptocurrency. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol announced today that it has installed a “Bitcoin ATM” to let passengers convert euro to Bitcoin and Ethereum. The ATM is installed for a six-month trial period — to gauge demand for the service among passengers. Schiphol says that it is the first European airport to offer such service to tra
  • Ikea finds practical use for its cardboard box waste in helping kids create toys

    Furniture retailer Ikea uses a good amount of cardboard in packaging its make-it-at-home goods. With a new movement and app, Ikea is putting those boxes to use – as toys for kids.
    Finding new and human ways to connect and empower the next generation to play is one of the ways that Ikea says it hopes to change the world, and bringing extra life to cardboard that would otherwise end up in the recycling bins is part of that push. It’s an idea that came about quickly, and was revealed at
  • US Creative Works: featuring Apple, McGarryBowen, Onion Labs and more

    Welcome to The Drum's US Creative Works, supported by Workfront. Dedicated to showing the best creative work in North and South America, we give our readers the chance to decide which work features as our 'Creative Work of the Week'.
    Scroll through the latest work, then click through to the Creative Works site and see what stands out. For project information, creative credits and more, click on the project to expand to full screen and click on the stars to vote.
    To submit work for our
  • Instagram has Launched a New Long-Form Video Content App Called 'IGTV'

    Instagram has launched a new, long-form video app, with a focus on influencer-generated content.
  • Snickers calls people 'jerks' then apologizes in introduction of new flavors

    Snickers is taking its 'You're Not You When You're Hungry' platform to a new level, with a surly print ad that calls its customers 'jerks'. The resulting 'apology' then promotes the candy bar maker's new flavors.
    The campaign, created by BBDO New York, is being rolled out in two installments. The first, which debuted last week, is a print ad that includes a message that was clearly delivered while someone was hungry – "Try New Espresso Snickers, Jerk!"
    Phase two, which runs
  • Unilever now wants to purge the music industry of stereotypes

    Unilever’s ‘Unstereotype’ initiative has already has seen it vow to stamp out gender stereotypes in its own advertising and work with the likes of Cartoon Network to purge them from what kids watch on TV. Now it wants to do the same to the music industry with the help of Simon Fuller – the pop mastermind behind the Spice Girls.
    The FMGC giant unveiled the latest element of its ‘Unstereotyping’ initiative at the Cannes Lions festival today (20 Ju
  • The evolution of ‘woke’ emoji

    Some eight years ago, a collection of expressive little icons — emoji 😎 — showed up in our smart devices and now it’s hard to imagine life without them. Everyone uses them — teenagers, adults, corporations and even large institutions like the EU. Emoji aren’t just silly icons for adding flair to our online conversations. Some argue that emoji is a “lingua franca” — a bridging language that allows us to communicate acros
  • These AI-powered insoles turn your shoes into a gross, sweaty running coach

    Running is one of the world’s most popular physical activities, but, unlike other sports, the average participant is rarely coached. If you play football, squash, hockey, or train a martial art, the chances are you’ve had or have lessons. But running? I know folks who have completed multiple marathons, but have never even spoken with a coach. This is where Runvi comes in. The device – which has reached its funding goal on Kickstarter – aims to be an AI-running coach by a
  • The United Nations is courting Cannes rosé drinkers for cash, creatives and an integrated ad campaign

    The United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) has debuted a teaser for its upcoming cinema ad – a study from Sir John Hegarty on the repercussions of early death. But the decision to launch at Cannes Lions wasn’t wholly based on creativity: the organisation is systematically targeting those splashing the cash at the Carlton in order to establish serious partnerships.
    The ad, from Hegarty’s The Garage, is dubbed ‘Feed our Future’ and is poised to launch i
  • Ebiquity claims marketers can generate $45bn in profit through better media optimization

    A study published today (June 20) asserts that better allocation of marketing spend could result in approximately $45bn more profit globally for brands each year.
    Ebiquity came to the conclusion after analyzing the “profit impact” of 2,500 ad campaigns (representing $375bn in media spend) over three years in a bid to better understand how marketers can optimize their ad campaigns, plus demonstrate how their ad spend helps their organization generate revenue.
    The findings of the study
  • Guardian, News UK and Telegraph create shared ad network The Ozone Project

    Three of the UK's biggest media titles have pooled their resources to create a digital ad network that they think will avoid the pitfalls of current offerings while better funding their journalism. 
    News UK, The Guardian News and Media and The Telegraph have developed the The Ozone Project, a platform they say will offer brands and advertisers large scale buys across brand safe areas. They are also promising "fraud-free" environments to appeal to marketers keen to ensure their adv
  • EU votes for memes ban and censorship machines — what now?

    The European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs just voted ‘yes’ on highly controversial parts of the EU’s new Copyright Reform. The controversial articles — 11 and 13 — effectively establish link tax, censorship machines, and ban memes. There was heavy resistance to the contested articles from internet activists, lobbyists, and members of European Parliament (MEPs), but all was for nought and the articles passed with a 13:12 and 15:10 majority. .@EP_Legal has a
  • The Drum @ Cannes Lions 2018: six second ads are the future but only as part of the bigger media mix

    Six second ads are the future of advertising but only as part of the bigger picture. A panel of industry experts on ‘The 6 Second Impact’ panel at Cannes Lions 2018, in association with Taboola, all agree that while this format is certainly a big part of advertising in the years to come, it’s only a small part of the media mix everyone should be considering.
    GSK vice president of Family Nutrition Sara Bland, Taboola CEO Adam Singolda and FCB Brasil chief cre
  • JD.com takes record $24.7bn in sales during annual 6.18 shopping festival

    JD.com, China’s second largest e-commerce company, made $24.7bn in sales during its annual 6.18 shopping festival, a record high for the company.
    The sales figure puts it just behind the $25.3 bn in gross merchandise volume that e-commerce rival Alibaba collected in its annual 11.11 Singles Day sales.
    The 18-day shopping event was the first to feature JD’s ‘boundaryless retail’ experience which combines online, offline and virtual shopping.
    The event incorporated pop-up s
  • Google launches its own Android podcast app to cash in on medium's growth

    Google is muscling in on the podcast market with the launch of its own Android podcast app, Google Podcasts.
    After a false start with a standalone service, “podcatcher” for Android, which was axed in 2012, users have had to access podcasts either through Google Play Music or third-party apps. 
    Now, Google has boldly predicted that with the release of a native first-party Android app it  “could as much as double worldwide listenership of podcasts overall."
    According to
  • Veg Power initiative goes from strength to strength with support from ifour

    The Veg Power initiative has released a new celebrity recipe book, designed by Tunbridge Wells based creative agency ifour, following the success of crowdfunding efforts to create a ‘veg ad fund’.
    Veg Power was created by Peas Please, a collaboration between the Food Foundation, Nourish Scotland, Food Cardiff and the WWF to market vegetables at an equivalent level to the promotion of junk food.
    The artwork for the Veg Power campaign was created by Drum Network member ifour after resp
  • Tech in the North East: Best new startups in 2018

    These four startups have got off to a storming start in 2018
  • Imperative Training appoints CTI Digital to deliver life-saving results

    First aid experts Imperative Training has appointed CTI Digital to support and develop the firm’s website.
    The Manchester based agency has been tasked with improving the existing Magento platform for the emergency care providers, consolidating on the company’s presence as the largest independent first aid training provider in the UK. CTI will be charged with maintaining the existing Magento website for Defibshop, undertaking a ‘health-check’ audit and identifying key focu
  • Infographic reveals secrets of E3 social chat

    Following the recent E3, the biggest convention in the gaming calendar, entertainment marketing agency Think Jam tasked their social analytics team to monitor social conversation on Twitter, to learn which games publishers were most talked about, which games resonated highly and which markets had the largest share of voice. The key findings are presented below as an infographic. 
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