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Tech Fix: I Tried to Make My Dog an Instagram Celebrity. I Failed.

Last spring, I started an Instagram account that featured my dog, Max, trying to eat my home-cooked meals. I was confident it would be an overnight sensation.Foodies and corgi lovers, after all, are two of the biggest audiences on the photo-sharing site. Combining the two, I jokingly told my colleagues, would be my ticket to early retirement (or, at the very least, some free kibble).I did all the homework. I heeded advice posted on the web from internet-famous dog owners and social media mavens: Find a shtick, publish your posts at strategic times, craft funny captions and engage with your audience. I even invited a professional photographer…

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Marketing Through Smart Speakers? Brands Don’t Need to Be Asked Twice

Heading into last year’s holidays, marketers at HBO were eagerly experimenting with how to use technology like augmented reality and virtual reality to promote their shows. But then, celebrating with their families across the country, they watched as everyone from children to elderly aunts unwrapped smart speakers from Google and Amazon and started barking orders.When they got back to work, the marketers had a new priority: Figure out how HBO, whose product lives on screens, could create a space for itself in the world of voice.“We saw, partly because Amazon discounted the devices so deeply, that they exploded,” said Sabrina Caluori, HBO’s senior vice president of digital…

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‘No Morals’: Advertisers React to Facebook Report

Advertisers are the financial engine of Facebook, but lately the relationship had gotten rocky.It got rockier on Thursday.Several top marketers were openly critical of the tech giant, a day after The New York Times published an investigation detailing how Facebook’s top executives — Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg — made the company’s growth a priority while ignoring and hiding warning signs over how its data and power were being exploited to disrupt elections and spread toxic content. The article also spotlighted a lobbying campaign overseen by Ms. Sandberg, who also oversees advertising, that sought to shift public anger to Facebook’s critics and rival tech firms.The revelations may…

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The Instagrammers Next Door, Plugging Brands for Peanuts (or Shampoo)

By now you have probably heard of influencers, that group of internet-famous people who have more than a million social media followers and can make big money by plugging various brands. And you may have even heard of microinfluencers, who do the same thing for a still sizable but somewhat smaller social media audience — from the tens to low hundreds of thousands.Now get ready for the nanoinfluencers.That is the term (“nanos” for short) used by companies to describe people who have as few as 1,000 followers and are willing to advertise products on social media.Their lack of fame is one of the qualities that make them…

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Your Kid’s Apps Are Crammed With Ads

ImageSiblings, ages four and one, and their tablet. A study found that 95 percent of commonly downloaded apps marketed to be played by children ages 5 and under contain at least one type of advertising.CreditMark Makela/Corbis, via Getty ImagesMany developers market apps for children as being educational. So Jenny Radesky, a pediatrician who wrote the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines for children and media, wanted to check that out. “One of my big concerns about why apps might not be educational was because of the presence of distracting features such as banner ads that sit along the top of the screen and which contain stimuli that are…

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Strategies: Netflix’s Audience Is Multiplying. But So Is Its Debt.

Netflix, the streaming-video juggernaut, is growing with astonishing speed. And if you ignore the fact that it borrows billions to finance that growth, the company is a classic success story.Its ability to expand its global audience is truly impressive. The latest numbers show that Netflix gained more than six million paid subscribers around the world in the three months through September. That’s about 66,000 more paid subscribers every day, bringing its total to more than 130 million.Netflix’s extraordinary growth has disrupted the media landscape and entranced the stock market. As my colleague, Edmund Lee, has written, Netflix’s challenge has helped to motivate, if not entirely provoke, a…

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Google Is Teaching Children How to Act Online. Is It the Best Role Model?

Google is on a mission to teach children how to be safe online. That is the message behind “Be Internet Awesome,” a so-called digital-citizenship education program that the technology giant developed for schools.The lessons include a cartoon game branded with Google’s logo and blue, red, yellow and green color palette. The game is meant to help students from third grade through sixth guard against schemers, hackers and other bad actors. Google plans to reach five million schoolchildren with the program this year and has teamed up with the National Parent Teacher Association to offer related workshops to parents.A Google Interland Success Badge.Published OnOct. 23, 2018Among other things,…

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A Penthouse Made for Instagram

AdvertisementSpotless walls, a “millennial pink” sofa, and a spa-style bathtub that’s waiting to be filled with flowers. And every inch of its 2,400 square feet is free from the clutter of everyday life.ImageThe living room area of Village Marketing’s penthouse photo studio in SoHo that has been crafted for influencers.CreditCreditAmy Lombard for The New York TimesSept. 30, 2018This penthouse apartment in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood is awash in natural light, with high ceilings, gleaming hardwood floors and a rooftop deck. The living room area includes a sofa in the rosy hue known as millennial pink, the kitchen comes equipped with a floor-to-ceiling wine fridge, and the library nook…

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Advertising: Role Models Tell Girls That STEM’s for Them in New Campaign

Bonnie Ross, head of Microsoft’s Halo game studio, says, “You have the power to bring new worlds to life.” Maya Gupta, a Google research scientist, advises, “Don’t just solve the problem, write the code.” And Lisa Seacat DeLuca, a distinguished engineer at IBM, suggests, “If you can imagine it, it’s possible.”They are among the women featured in a public service campaign, debuting Monday, that encourages girls ages 11 to 15 to get involved in science, technology, engineering and math.The “She Can STEM” campaign was put together by the Advertising Council in collaboration with General Electric, Google, IBM, Microsoft and Verizon.The companies advised the Ad Council and the…

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Amazon Sets Its Sights on the $88 Billion Online Ad Market

Last year, the jeans maker Levi Strauss & Company shifted some of its advertising spending away from YouTube to Amazon, where it sharply increased its use of display ads, according to a May report by Gartner L2. In doing so, Levi’s increased the brand’s visibility in Google searches, driving shoppers to an Amazon page with Levi’s merchandise, the research firm said.In an emailed statement, a spokeswoman for Levi’s said the company had increased its marketing investment across all channels, including television, traditional digital and newer digital platforms, including Amazon.For some brands, the increased spending is most likely directly linked to increased competition on Amazon’s platform from Amazon…

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