Virtuous, not tedious: 3 times audiences were made to care about the environment

Environment post: three times audiences were meant to care

The environment and climate change are BIG topics. But something being important is no guarantee that people will find it interesting: backing up your hard drive, flossing your teeth, doing cardio do not a great story make. And neither, sadly, does the damage we are doing to our environment. A 2016 study by the Yale program on Climate Change Communication found that for the most part, Americans care about the topic, but don’t really talk about it, partially because they don’t hear about it much. Part of the problem might be that in most cases, everybody agrees: unlike political topics, or conversations revolving around gender, talking about our planet doesn’t risk upsetting anyone. So can anybody say something interesting about...

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On-demand webinar: How to identify micro-influencers who speak to your audience

Identifying micro-influencers and segmenting your audience webinar

Cutting through the noise in order to reach your target on social media can seem daunting. Not only is it challenging to segment your audience into the right subgroups, but finding the right influencer that can help you deliver your message to the right people is becoming increasingly difficult. While the world of influencers is becoming heavily saturated, micro-influencers, generally defined as individuals with between 1000 and 10,000 followers on a social media platform, who speak to a specific audience on a specific niche, are key to individual brand strategies because they both exemplify and influence the behaviour of a typical member of a segment of your audience. This makes micro-influencer panels ideal for product planning and testing content. But...

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Finding an edge on social media: from Japanese traders to flight deal hounds

Finding an edge on social media: from Japanese traders to flight deal hounds

Everybody’s online, and more and more, everyone has access to the same information. So when something is scarce –a cheap flight fare, an opportunity to cash in on a stock market spike, or an online deal– you can count on a crowd to swoop in and try and snag it   Just like stock traders on Wall Street (or these days, crypto-traders on Telegram), in this competitive environment, people are looking for ways to get an edge that may help them beat the crowd. This might be being the first to hear scoops, or getting to the front of the queue for the cheapest flights.   We scoured different industries to try and find some of these influencers that have...

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Why is it so hard to analyze social media images at scale?

Social Media images

It’s not just Instagram and Snapchat. Inexorably, visuals are taking over feeds that used to be text-based, like Twitter or the Facebook News Feed. So much that logging on to Twitter and not seeing images turns each post into a riddle. Yet at the global level, we still don’t really understand how, or why, most images spread. While analytical tools that parse and understand text are widespread and effective, machines often still struggle to identify what is depicted in images, much less understand the layers of meaning these images acquire in the context of social media conversations. As online conversations become more and more visual, brands and agencies are also very inclined to intercept, understand, and participate in these conversations...

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Binaries are no longer the norm, so how should your campaign talk about gender?

Gender in advertising blog post

Over the past year, the global, collective conversation about gender equality has shifted. On social media, #MeToo dominated the end of last year and now gave way to #TimesUp. Mainstream media also caught on, with Time Magazine picking the Silence Breakers as person of the year, while in the cities around the world just this last weekend, hundreds of thousands gathered for Women’s Marches in support of equality.     Even in Adland, something seems to be changing. This year – following on from the deluge of complaints triggered by Protein World’s infamous ‘beach body ready’ campaign in 2015 – the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority banned the use of harmful gender stereotyping in advertising, such as instances where a woman...

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Marketers invented Blue Monday, and it worked. But what can they learn from its continued success?

Blue Monday

Nobody likes Mondays. And nobody likes Mondays in January. That’s how in 2005 Dr Cliff Arnall came up with a ‘formula’ for the combination of the bad weather, debt from being in the middle of two pay days, time since Christmas, failed new year’s resolutions, and general low motivation, ‘proving’ that the third Monday in January was the worst day of the year: Blue Monday.   The confusing ‘formula’ for Blue Monday   The formula – which has been labeled “scientifically ridiculous”–  was created to promote a travel service, implying this would be the best day to book a holiday to cheer yourself up. The idea has since been taken on by countless marketers. But is this actually the most...

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Did the retail industry win the holiday season social media brand battle?

Holiday season brand battle

Each year, brands spend enormous amounts on Christmas advertising, with many holiday season campaigns being a brand’s biggest or only campaign of the year. As the cold light of the new year dawns, most of these campaigns are immediately forgotten. But there’s a lot of holiday marketing can teach us to inform our new year’s resolutions, particularly in the realm of social campaigns. The battle to have the best Christmas advert among the biggest stores is well-documented every year, but with always-on social coverage, it’s a case of maintaining a presence during the festive period. We decided to compare some of the brands whose business goals revolve around holiday shopping with some non-retail brands, in order to see how taking...

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How mattress companies should use social data and behavioral insights to get more people into bed

Mattresses post about getting a good night's sleep

Made a resolution to get to bed earlier this year? You’re not alone – sleep is set to be a big lifestyle topic for 2018. Yes, you heard us right, sleep. With blue-light emitting screens and busier-than-ever lifestyles destroying the quality of our shut-eye, ‘clean sleeping’ is fast becoming the new clean eating (thanks to, of course, Goop), and ‘sleep vacations’ are the latest type of holiday, a kind of detox for the sleep-deprived.   Taking a quick look at Google searches, sleep has slowly been trending upwards over the last few years, with spikes every New Year as everybody resolves to sleep better. So how can we actually do that?   Enter the mattress-in-a-box The tools we use for getting...

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What’s your score? How Uber’s rating system inspires emotional engagement

Uber ratings judge with gavel

Online ratings systems are an undeniable ego-rub. Consumers rating one another is nothing new and reviews of individuals have been a staple feature on sites such as Amazon and eBay for years. However, Uber’s scores out of five – for both drivers and riders, based on face-to-face interactions – are taking the rating system outside of the shopping context and into the wider world of pop culture. From cropping up in Tinder and Twitter bios to saving you in an awkward dinner party scenario, an Uber rating is a relatable reference. This Bloomberg article even invites Uber users with the rating 4.7 and below to seek an assessment of their behaviour from friends and family, suggesting their rating reveals something deeper about who...

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Guest post: why should you be tracking a social media campaign?

Zeal guest post: things to consider before tracking a social media campaign

This month we have a guest post from one of Pulsar’s clients, Zeal – an award-winning full service digital and creative agency, on the importance of tracking social media campaigns correctly. They share seven things to keep front of mind before starting any social media campaign: Social media campaigns are a cheap method of driving awareness and targeting your market interests in a much more precise way than a scatter-gun advertising campaign. But, like anything, they will take up your time and effort, so it’s vital to create a campaign that both gets you the results, and targets existing audiences as well as opening you up to new ones. For a social media campaign to actually be effective, it needs to be properly tracked, so you can show the worth of...

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