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 Will.
1. Twitter bans political advertising
Earlier this week Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced via a series of tweets that the platform will be banning all political ads globally.
We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. Why? A few reasons…?
— jack ??? (@jack) October 30, 2019
The decision comes off the back of Facebook facing various problems with regards to the same issue: Joe Bidden’s 2020 presidential campaign had become the target of ads placed by Donald Trump’s reelection campaign. The new policy from Twitter is formed on the basis that political messages should earn reach as individuals choose to follow an account, whereas paying for reach removes this decision and forces the message on users.
It is interesting to compare Twitter’s new stance to Facebook’s where candidates are allowed to promote their posts and claims made by politicians aren’t fact checked. On Tuesday Facebook’s director of policy management wrote “We shouldn’t become the gatekeeper of truth on candidate ads” when referring to checking statements made in political ads made on the social network.
2. Care robots
The needs of the UK’s ageing population could soon be met by new autonomous and robotic technology that has been designed to make ethical and legal considerations. The government has launched the UK’s biggest research programme aimed to make safe and trustworthy autonomous systems for public use. With an investment for £34million, the research is looking to develop robots to aid the elderly with tasks such as delivering food, helping them take medication at the correct time, and even helping them after a fall.
It’s expected that more than one in seven people in the UK will be over the age of 75 by 2040, and these ‘care robots’ will help to ease the strain on the adult social care sector.
3. Frightening ads
This Thursday was Halloween and officially the end of ‘spooky season’ – meaning it’s time for brands to start forcing Christmas down our throats. But before we move on to the most wonderful time of the year, let’s have a look back at some of the best Halloween themed ads from this year. I wouldn’t get your hopes up, they’re a little disappointing.
Where better to start than Burger King, the brand who can’t help but jump on every bandwagon or holiday in someway. They went the extra mile this year and didn’t just run a Halloween themed ad campaign, they also released a new limited menu item, The Ghost Whopper, in selected stores across the US. What’s so special about this burger I hear you cry? Not much. It’s just a regular Whopper with a white bun. To accompany the ‘new’ burger, BK released a video where they enlisted a psychic medium to carry out a “spirit taste test”, which allowed ghosts to review the burger. Check it out below:
Skittles released their first Halloween themed advert in over five years, so, therefore, you’d expect it to be excellent. Unfortunately, it’s not (in my opinion). It’s weird, a little disturbing, and rather annoying. Watch it here:
Finally, we are seeing more and more companies make the most of Snapchat lens for promotions at key times throughout the year. A couple of examples of brands who made the most of the social media platform this Halloween are Cadbury and TikTok, both of which were looking to engage with customers via Snapchat.
4. Google Ads announces new lead form extension beta
This week, Google Ads announced a new beta called ‘lead form extensions’. If you’re running lead form extensions, customers who are searching for your brand on Google and click your ad are able to take action more quickly and easily, directly from SERPs.
If a user is signed in to their Google account, they can tap a call to action such as “Apply Now” within your search ad, which will reveal a pre-populated form including all their contact details. By doing this, users are able to interact and connect with your brand just seconds after their initial search.
The below gif displays exactly how the process will work:
So I may have slightly cheated on this one as this actually started last week, but in today’s world, it’s rare to find such a wholesome story so it’s going in – my My Five, my rules!
On Thursday last week, YouTube superstar MrBeast, real name Jimmy Donaldson, announced the #TeamTrees initiative with the aim of raising $20 million by the end of 2020 to support the Arbor Day Foundation. For every $1 donated, one tree will be planted to help fight climate change. MrBeast is known for his generosity on his YouTube channel and he celebrates hitting YouTube milestones by giving back to his subscribers; he gave his 3 millionth subscriber 3 million pennies. With that in mind, he asked his followers what he should do when he hits 20 million subscribers and the idea of planting 20 million trees was born.
As of Thursday, 31st October , the fundraising efforts are just shy of $11 million with a number of celebrities and high profile individuals backing the initiative. The #TeamTrees website has a leaderboard style list of everyone who has donated and the top donators, currently Tobi Lutke (Shopify CEO) who has donated $1,000,001, just piping Elon Musk’s donation of $1 million.
It’s great to see a social media influencer use their following to help make a positive impact on the world, instead of just filling their own pockets (I’m sure he has done that in the process).
To find out more and get involved visit https://teamtrees.org/