Between the New Year’s hangover and Blue Monday, January can be tough for marketers, and even tougher on our wallets. However, as the new decade wrangles with its first month, lots of activity has occurred in the world of marketing, digital, and social media to set the foundation for the coming year.
From Veganuary to wholesale policy changes, discover how the world of digital kicked off 2020 below.
The Latest Social News
ASA bans Southern Comfort’s Instagram ad
The UK ASA has banned two influencer ads for the alcoholic drink Southern Comfort. The beverage company used two influencers last year, one of which was only 22 years old when the advert was posted.
Interestingly, during the ruling, the ASA stated that while one of the two influencers was 25 years old, they would be upholding the ban as said influencer “appeared young in the image and seemed to be under 25 years old”.
The ban has sent a fresh reminder to the influencer marketing world that it needs to be careful who it uses.
Pentagon bans TikTok usage amongst US Army and Navy staff
While TikTok has cemented a spot as the fastest-growing social media app on the market, its tensions with the United States has led to the Pentagon banning its use on government-owned devices amongst US Army and Navy staff.
The Beijing-based company that owns TikTok, ByteDance, is right in the firing line of US foreign policy as it is named as a security risk.
While the app is enamouring the younger generation, it could be hamstrung by foreign policy.
Twitter to introduce the ability to prevent tweet replies
In a further move to allow users to tailor their online experience, Twitter will be introducing the ability to prevent replies to tweets.
In a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show, Suzanne Xie, Twitter’s Director of Product Management, stated that there will be four options to choose from on a per-tweet basis:
- Global – anyone can reply.
- Group – only people who follow can reply, as well as those mentioned in the tweet.
- Panel – only people mentioned can reply.
- Statement – replies are switched off.
Twitter thrives on contrasting public discourse, so this change could have mixed results.
The Latest Google News
Google attains eSports streaming rights to several games
Google has been in a head-to-head battle with Amazon’s Twitch over the future of a $10 billion industry: video game streaming. Right now, Twitch is blowing YouTube out of the water, but Google is placing the foundations for a more competitive future.
As part of a deal with publisher Activision, Google has attained to rights to stream all competitive tournaments for Call of Duty, Overwatch, Hearthstone and World of Warcraft.
Previously, these highly-viewed events were streamed on Twitch, but now, YouTube’s streaming service will be the only place to watch these for years.
For those unfamiliar, it would be akin to Google attaining the rights to Premier League football, for example.
In simple terms, it’s an ambitious move that may see Google stake a significant claim on another digital platform.
Google begins charging government entities for user data
Google faces a large number of requests for user data from law enforcement and government entities. Now, the search engine has begun charging for subpoenas, wiretaps, and search warrants that use its data.
A spokesperson for Google said the fees were simply there to make up costs of complying with these legal warrants.
This is a significant change in Google’s data policy, and may herald a future where data will be even more precious and monetised than it is now.
The Latest Brand News
Netflix (finally) dethrones Aldi as UK’s top brand
Unbelievably, Aldi has had a six-year stint as the UK’s favourite brand. Now, there’s a new ruler of the UK: Netflix.
The streaming giant has hit it out of the park in recent years with some of the most popular exclusive programmes, and a catalogue full of favourites.
Netflix topped YouGov’s list for 2019 with 21.4 in customer satisfaction, while Aldi missed out on 19.8. Lidl found itself in third, with Greggs and Spotify being the new entries.
Peugeot sponsors Sky Comedy to prove it’s not “boring”
In 2020, Peugeot is trying to rid itself of the “boring” tag, so it has taken the opportunity to sponsor Sky’s latest TV channel: Sky Comedy.
The channel, which will broadcast some of the best shows from HBO, NBC, and Showtime, will be a year-long deal with Sky Media, delivering a partnership that moves across TV, video-on-demand, and Sky Go.
The sponsorship will be a part of an ongoing strategy on both TV and digital to rid the brand of its safe and predictable reputation.
Our Favourite Campaign of the Month
Seasonality can be unreliable in marketing, but Veganuary has emerged as a phenomenon on par with some of the year’s biggest seasonal events.
The non-profit organisation simply encourages people around the world to attempt veganism for just one month, but it has had a large effect on the profits of other companies.
While the movement hasn’t done anything especially different this year, the way it became intertwined with a greater awareness of plant-based diets has caused a seismic shift for many brands.
Previously, the thought of KFC, Greggs or McDonald’s offering vegan alternatives would be the stuff of ridicule; now, however, brands are clamouring to catch the plant-based wave.
Greggs managed to propel to its most successful year off the publicity of a £1 vegan sausage roll – Veganuary is now marketing magic dust when it comes to food brands.
Never mind campaign of the month, could this already be the campaign of the year?