Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.
This week’s My Five is by Ali.
1. Google clamps down on secondary ticketing sites
Sites such as Viagogo and StubHub make their money by claiming to be official sellers of music and theatre tickets when in fact they are resellers and sell at much inflated prices. In many cases, tickets are still available from the original retailer. Ed Sheeran, amongst other performers, recently took umbrage at the situation.
However from next year, things will change.
Google will require these resellers to make it clear to consumers that they could be selling tickets at values higher than face value.
The company will also require these resellers to be certified by the search engine giant before being allowed to use its AdWords platform.
These changes will also prevent fraudsters from setting up temporary websites, selling fake tickets, and then disappearing with the takings.
Often Google is accused of doing anything to generate additional ad revenue – especially when it comes to AdWords, so it’s satisfying to see the search engine doing the right thing and trying to protect concert and theatre goers. The move, however, isn’t entirely altruistic as MPs put pressure on the search engine over three months ago and accused it of profiting from the process.
2. Christmas isn’t Christmas without Love Actually
It’s become one of those modern day traditions that Christmas doesn’t really feel like Christmas unless you’ve seen Love Actually – admittedly few of us probably plan when we’re going to watch it – it’s just one of those films that’s on television so regularly over the holidays that you can pretty much catch the whole thing in several instalments.
Netflix has apparently been badgered every year by the film’s fans (and our ever-growing need for everything on demand) but never had the right to broadcast it… that was until now.
In a heart-warming and amusing video, the company tweaked the iconic scene in which Mark (Andrew Lincoln) tells Julia (Keira Knightley) that he loves her using cards.
The video was released on Twitter and has got us feeling ready for some turkey and mince pies.
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) November 19, 2017
3. Zurich launches selfie app to promote life insurance
Protection insurance is a tricky product to sell to young people who believe themselves to be invincible. Those without responsibilities or dependents don’t see the need for it and many of those who should have life insurance, see it as a bit of a luxury and have seemingly better things on which to spend their hard earned income.
Zurich has this week launched a clever app that aims to engage with this group: the selfie app provides a quote for life insurance by guessing the age of the person in the photograph. After uploading the image, the quote is prepared almost instantaneously meaning the company can convey the message that life insurance really isn’t as expensive as many people think.
Whilst I’m probably on the wrong side of 40 to really be in their target group, from a marketing perspective I love the idea, and was also happily flattered that it took 15 years off my age (although that might not be so useful for the quote itself). I presumed this might be the case for everyone but others in the office reported it did the opposite and aged them! Nevertheless, I think this campaign will be winning insurance awards in the next year or so.
4.Fast food outlet joins holiday silly season
The silly sales season has started but fast food outlets remain on the periphery as many of us buy online to cash in on the best deals, and let’s face it – it’s going to take a little more than simply offering us a small percentage off what is already a fairly cheap meal to restore good karma to our bank balances.
However, KFC have found a way to engage with their target audience: the chain has just launched an ‘Internet Escape Pod’. This 7 foot tent structure, draped with a rather disconcerting blow up Colonel Sanders, has been designed to block internet signals allowing the user to get back to the wholesome American tradition of eating fried chicken interacting with friends in person.
The company is promoting the product ahead of Cyber Monday and positions it as ‘a magic force field designed to disrupt the internet coming to and from your device’.
The tent is available on the company’s vaguely new home and lifestyle online shop, which stocks all manner of branded items such as socks featuring a drumstick pattern and a necklace that reads ‘fingerlickingood’.
With a hefty price tag of £10,000 (much reduced, the company adds, in the spirit of the season), it would surely be a lot cheaper to simply turn off your device than buy the tent. However, my kids would love it and it is a brilliant piece of marketing that has got people talking and writing about the retailer at a time when fast food is less likely to get a look in.
5. Bears out shopping caught on camera in North Lake Tahoe, California
And finally, if your inbox isn’t bulging at the seams with Black Friday deals then congratulations on planning ahead and unsubscribing to all of those unwanted newsletters and promotional emails.
These little fellas weren’t keen on shopping online either so they popped out to inspect the best deals themselves.