1. Your friends are selling you something. Last week, Facebook rolled out new advertising products that boost the social quotient of ads by drawing attention to friends who “like” certain brands. On the heels of that announcement, Nielsen released a study comparing social ads to non-social ads on the popular network, tracking 79 campaigns over six months. It found a justification for Facebook’s new marketing focus: Campaigns that called out a friend’s connection with a brand showed a 55-per-cent greater lift in recall than regular ads. The findings are “justification for marketers’ efforts to create more social connection points with their consumers,” the report states.
2. A new trend will emerge at fashion week in Toronto next week, and it won’t be on the catwalk: An event sponsor will become its broadcaster as well. Maybelline, which is sponsoring Toronto’s fashion week for the first time, launched a YouTube channel on Wednesday that will offer live feeds of the runway shows. The channel is similar to one that Maybelline launched at last year’s fashion week in New York, and repeated at the New York shows this year. The cosmetics manufacturer is hoping to ensure its sponsorship dollars do not get lost in the clamour of World MasterCard Fashion Week, and also push its brand by aiming to bring fashion to the masses. But it is also part of a larger strategy by Maybelline’s parent company, L’Oréal SA, which is expanding its digital marketing. L’Oréal increased its overall digital advertising spending by 45 per cent in 2011.
3. Coors Light is making Canadians its guinea pigs for the first line extension – that is, selling new products under a well-known name – in the brand’s history. A new flavoured beer, Coors Light Iced T, will go on sale at the beginning of April with full national distribution within the month, and will be brewed and sold only in Canada, where Molson Coors Brewing Co. executives believe there is a bigger appetite for flavoured beers. Expansion to the U.S. market is being considered. The introduction of flavoured beers – Carling Citrus Zest, on offer for a limited time in the U.K., is another – is meant to spur sales as the company cuts costs. It is also designed to woo consumers of mixed drinks, spritzers and other alcoholic beverages back to beer.
4. Canadians’ media consumption is a full-time job. We spend, on average, 47.5 hours a week accessing content from the Internet, television, video games, radio, magazines and newspapers combined, according to research from Microsoft Advertising in partnership with Rogers Communications Inc. And our focus is fragmenting, presenting a challenge to advertisers: as of this summer, 26.7 per cent of Canadians aged 18 to 34 envision watching their favourite shows on computers or mobile devices instead of on TV. As families watch television, nearly nine out of 10 are also using another device such as a laptop, smartphone or tablet. The research released on Thursday surveyed more than 1,500 French and English speakers across Canada in November and December.