The Figaro Digital Digest: August 2019

by Caroline Barrow Figaro Digital

Did last month fly by for anyone else? As September is upon us, brands have been using summertime fun to create memorable campaigns. Check out all the hottest news below.


The Latest Social News

Facebook Wants To Integrate Instagram DMs Into Messenger

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget Facebook owns Instagram, but then we’re all suddenly reminded by this fact when the social media giant expresses a desire to change the platform. According to Bloomberg, Facebook is considering merging all of its major properties, starting with plans to integrate Instagram DMs into Facebook Messenger.

As an attempt to whittle away Instagram’s perceived autonomy, the Messenger integration will reduce the distinction between both platforms. Under a process which Mark Zuckerberg calls “inoperability”, Facebook wants users to be able to chat cross-platform.

So, in future, if you’re scrolling down Instagram and you suddenly get a message from your mum, don’t be too surprised.

Facebook has declined to comment, but this sort of change does fall in line with the company’s controversial decisions of late.

Twitter Makes A Personalised Ad “Mistake”

Twitter has come out and admitted it had made a “mistake” and accidentally used user data to personalise advertisements on the platform.

How the mistake came about is unknown, but Twitter shared personal data, such as country codes, with advertisers under certain cases where people interacted with an ad. Additionally, Twitter said that ads may have been shown to users based on inferences made about them without permission.

Now rectified, Twitter was apologetic in a statement:

“You trust us to follow your choices and we failed here. We’re sorry this happened, and are taking steps to make sure we don’t make a mistake like this again.”

How did this mistake come about? Watch this space to find out, especially if you rely on Twitter advertising.


The Latest Google News

Google Photos Now Lets Users Search Photos For Text

A new Google Lens capability allows users to search their photos for text to copy into notes, documents or forms. Interestingly, the capability allows users to text search their catalogue of photos to get results.

For example, if you’re looking for a photo of your Wi-Fi code from your router, you can search “WiFi code” and Google Lens, hypothetically, will search an entire library to bring up that photo.

The progress is an exciting step, and this is further proof that image search is going to be more important in the future.

Google Hangouts No Longer Shutting Down In October

Earlier this year, Google announced that its Hangouts feature would be shutting down for business users in October. Now, it looks like Hangouts is getting a second chance as Google has extended its shutdown date to June 2020.

Google is still going on with splitting Hangouts into two new services: the Slack-inspired Hangouts Chat, and Hangouts Meet for Skype-style video calls. The October deadline looked a bit too tight for businesses, but perhaps this extension means Google is having second thoughts.


The Latest Brand News

Co-op Goes Environmental With #ItsWhatWeDo

Co-op has had a bit of a pivot with its marketing strategy, shifting focus to environmental concerns. Alongside a video, the supermarket chain is focusing on its compostable carrier bag in conjunction with its #ItsWhatWeDo hashtag.

Focusing on putting pressure on the UK government to roll out food collections and accept the company’s compostable bags, the combination of video and social posts is getting traction. The campaign has seen positive response on social, but with the success of environmentally-conscious campaigns this year, this looks to be a good, long-term move for the brand.

Gillette Stands By Its #MeToo Campaigns

Six months ago, Gillette split its customer base with a series of controversial #MeToo advertisements. However, instead of buckling under consumer pressure, the shaving brand has doubled-down on its initial vision, stating that it was a “price worth paying”.

CEO and President Gary Coombe saw the move as “a necessity” to win back the millennial market. His statement implied that social justice would be a mainstay in future campaigns, mostly due to how it was previously alienating the millennial market:

“The worst thing during through that period was, we also lost connection with the millennial generation. Gillette quickly became the brand of the millennial generation’s dads.”

Whether this will pay off depends on how the younger market adapts, but subscription-based models are proving to be a bit too competitive for the shaving giant.


Our Favourite Campaign of the Month

Vans Iterates Again With ‘Spirit of DIY’

The undying reputation and ever-presence of Vans is not only due to the shoe’s now-legendary status, but its ability to constantly iterate on its design and brand messaging to stay relevant.

The brand’s latest campaign, ‘The Spirit of DIY’, focuses heavily on punk culture, following around an international set of outcasts: California-based hardcore band Culture Abuse, Brazilian artist Eduardo Andrade, punk group Skate Society Soweto in South Africa and the equally left-field group the Diders in China.

“The campaign speaks to a universal idea of creative expression and shows how it’s manifested by Vans family around the world,” said Jamie Reilly, Vans’ Vice-President of global creative.

“Skate Society Soweto, The Diders, Revolback, and Culture Abuse all embody the true meaning of Do It Yourself as they build their own communities and their own scenes. We’re honoured to help tell their stories.”

By using campaigns such as this so consistently, the brand will always hold on to its image as a counter-cultural and independent staple, despite being one of the biggest shoe brands, well, ever.


Get the Latest News

Please take a look at more of our articles for the latest news updates, guides, and opinion pieces, or discover our digital marketing events for more in-depth learning.