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Social Media Week 2014: Art, Science, YouTube – and the Emerging Talent Tracker

"When you try and just sell on YouTube, people start to ignore you. Authenticity is the name of the game." – Michael Fasciano, Associate Director at DigitasLBi

Yesterday, as part of Social Media Week New York, DigitasLBi hosted a live-streamed panel about YouTube rising stars and the technology we use to find the best emerging talent. At NewFront 2013, DigitasLBi announced an exclusive partnership with Outrigger Media to develop an industry-first measurement product, the Emerging Talent Tracker (ETT), which identifies up-and-coming creative talent on YouTube. The ETT tracks YouTube data across engagement, reach, and influence for the top 100k YouTube channels  - helping our clients find undervalued YouTube talent for partnerships.

Yesterday’s event featured YouTube hair and makeup stars ItsMyRayeRaye, HeyFranHey, and Taren Guy. These YouTube power-users are experts on creating engaging content, building a dedicated audience, and what appeals to viewers.  Alongside these talented stars, moderator Sahil Patel, editor of VideoInk, and Michael Fasciano, Associate Director of Social.Content at DigitasLBi, helped contribute an industry point of view to the thought-provoking discussion. 

With over 14.8B YouTube views in the beauty category to date (700M+ monthly), YouTube has provided endless possibilities for influencers to connect with fans, show off new techniques, and work with brands to promote products in an authentic way. “With YouTube, it’s about connecting with your followers. It almost feels like a family,” said Taren Guy. “It’s where the conversation starts. It might continue elsewhere, on Twitter, Instagram, Vine – but this is where the first connection happens.”  

After hearing from Raye, Taren, and Fran,  Sahil and Michael invited Pauline Malcolm from Maker Studios and Mike Henry from Outrigger Media onto the panel to give insight into the business of YouTube influencers. They discussed the inherent perks of the platform, as well as how brands can best use YouTube influencers for their programs and initiatives. “How can you not do something on YouTube? That’s where your audience is,” said Mike Henry, CEO of Outrigger Media.

After the panel wrapped, DigitasLBi’s very own YouTube star Benjamin White closed the event with a live hip-hop performance of one of his original tracks.

See video from the event here:

Written by Jeff Borsuk, Senior Account Executive, Social.Content, DigitasLBi


Relevance Has a Deadline: Our New Real-Time Marketing Whitepaper with Newscred

Real-time marketing has the power to support and drive the long-term narrative of any brand. It’s not just about accumulating likes on Facebook, retweets on Twitter, or views on YouTube. It’s about engaging with your customers and adding value to their lives at every touch point.

That said, in its present state, most agency and brand internal infrastructure, as well as external processes, are unequal to the tasks required of RTM. After all, when a period TV series from the 1960’s closely resembles most of today’s agency and client staff models, it might be time for a change.

DigitasLBi partnered with content marketing platform Newscred to explore the ins-and-outs of RTM, and what marketers should do differently, with a focus on:

- How to set up your real-time marketing team, and the new skillsets/talent involved
- The new agency-client relationship
- Turning real-time campaigns into long-term success

"The people who are successful in this space are all in. They have media attached to it, a production budget, and a dedicated team focused on it. You need to have that in place to be successful.“ - Anne-Marie Kline, SVP, Social Content / Managing Director, BrandLIVE, DigitasLBi

Featuring interviews with six of our executives and case studies from across the industry, you can download the whitepaper for free on Newscred's website; plus see excerpts and additional insights in Ad Age and


Post-CES 2014: Wearable Tech: A Deeper Level of Engagement

Wearable tech took off at CES 2014. DigitasLBi’s Tony Bailey, Vice-President/Group Director, Technology Capability Lead, Chicago & San Francisco, explains why brands need to pay attention to one of the hottest categories in electronics.

Just 1 year ago, there's no way anyone would have convinced me that in 2014 I'd be wearing a plastic bracelet every day. In fact this time last year, the full scope of the Lance Armstrong scandal was just becoming clear, and the ubiquitous yellow bracelet had all but disappeared. Now here I am, the owner of two different brands of fitness trackers, evaluating them based on the experience of the app and the amount of meaningful information they can provide.

The wearables buzz was ubiquitous at CES 2014. Everyone from Intel to LG to established players like Fitbit and Jawbone were talking about their new wearable devices. The explosion has been enabled by new standards such as Bluetooth Low Energy, which allow for continuous data exchange with mobile phones that minimize battery drain.  It was also clear that more and more vendors have solved one of the biggest hurdles, the style aspect of the device.  

But beyond aesthetics, the device needs to bring value.  Survival of the category, like with any new technology, will depend on its ability to change the way we behave.  Counting steps to encourage us to get out of our office chair more often is just the first step in a long journey.  Smart watches like the Pebble, the Toq and the yet unannounced "iWatch" are about more than Time & Temperature and seeing who is calling.  

These watches can be a filter to the countless notifications that inundate us.  They’re an intimate spot where a consumer can choose what information s/he is going to receive—and odds are, corporate email is not going to be one of them.  But the signals that bring a smile will be: an Instagram like, a Snapchat message or maybe even a favorite retailer's promotion, to name a few.  For those select apps that break through to the wearable category, the reward is going to be a deeper level of engagement.

This is all unexplored territory, but it's definitely a space where any brand with an app needs to be paying close attention.


Post-CES 2014: The “Internet of Things” and Creating Meaningful Connections 

According to a Gartner study, by 2020 the “Internet of Things” will create an additional $1.9 trillion for the economy, and 30 billion things will be connected as every product more than $100 will be ‘smart’. 

DigitasLBi’s Tony Bailey, Vice-President/Group Director, Technology Capability Lead, Chicago & San Francisco, takes a closer look at this important trend coming out of CES 2014.

If there was one omnipresent theme on the main floor of CES, it was the "Internet of Things", a well-worn phrase that has come to represent the notion that machines are talking to each other and sharing data over the Internet.  There was a smart watch from Samsung that could unlock your BMW.  A suite of appliances from LG that had their own social networking app to let you know when the dryer cycle is done.  There was also a sump pump that could send a text message when the battery backup is low.  And then there were the dozens upon dozens of wearable devices from fitness trackers to toddler GPS units.

Behind these billions of sensors that will be deployed and gathering positions, measuring temperatures, calculating speeds, and protecting your basement from flooding, will be fascinating amounts of data.  What makes it so special is that it's intimate, it's contextual and it can drive extremely relevant and personal insights.  The opportunity is to use this data for more than determining the right display banner to show, the opportunity is to create more meaningful connections all around us.

How often do you pause when entering a search query to Google -- to see if it has the right (or a rather humorous) result?  This is one example of taking localized data from people around you, combined with known personal attributes, to make a prediction in just one category.

Now imagine that applied to just a few of the 100+ times a day the average person uses their mobile phone.  When these myriad data points are brought together in the right way, the insights will leave consumers with an increasing number of products and services that will surprise and delight thanks to the observations of these “Things”


CES 2014: Streamlined Connectivity, Curved Technology, and More

Couldn't make it to CES last week? We've got you covered. Check out some of the notable themes, trends, and announcements from the world’s largest technology and electronics conference. Here are a few of standouts from our floor tours of the Convention Center. 

Streamlined Connectivity

Brands are focused on the empowered consumer, allowing individuals to have more control and interactivity with their devices than ever before. Today, there are more things connected to the Internet than people in the world. And this is one trend that’ll just keep growing; according to a Gartner study, the “Internet of things” will create an additional $1.9 trillion for the economy by 2020, with over 30 billion individuals connected.

It’s been widely known that ubiquitous connection is inevitable; now, the focus shifts to simplifying that user experience, when connecting to others (social), and across devices (synch).

Companies like Whirlpool, Samsung, and LG displayed connected home control technologies, allowing users to converse directly with household appliances and electronics. Whirlpool’s Smart Appliances employ “6th Sense Live™” tech, allowing users to manage, monitor, and control households remotely via mobile. And each connected home featured synchronized lights, alarms, and appliances, operated with the press of one button or a single text.

In the same vein, Cisco displayed its “Internet of Everything,” or IoE, which connects the consumer experience, simplifying the path to purchase with synchronized sensors, devices, and objects.  

Smart On the Road

In case the above examples weren’t streamlined enough, Google launched the Android-based Open Automotive Alliance with GM, Audi, Honda, Hyundai, and chipmaker Nvidia, with the first connected car slated to launch this year. The Alliance’s goal is to “bring the best of Android into the automobile in a safe and seamless way,” allowing mobile apps to shift into car mode.

Pandora also debuted in-car advertising, with brands like Taco Bell, BP, and State Farm targeting drivers listening to Pandora’s new personalized radio service. Taco Bell CMO Chris Brandt said, “We’ve already been able to reach fans by Pandora via their mobile devices, and now the latest in-car platform will allow us to reach them in their car during mealtime moments when our message is most relevant.” Cue the rush-hour cravings.

Little Chip, Mega Power

More and more companies are focusing on bringing desktop-level power to tablets and smartphones. Intel displayed the 64-bit chip, a desktop-class processor designed for tablets and mobile, and Qualcomm showed the world’s first wireless chipset. Qualcomm’s “Gimbel” platform provides context-aware alerts, offers and directions via Bluetooth beacons, moving one step ahead of the user.

The tiny-but-powerful theme also fuels the expanding—and aesthetically improved—wearable category, which spans smartwatches like the Pebble Steel and MetaWatch; eyeglasses like Google Glass and Sony Smart Eye Glass, and health and fitness monitors like FitBit and Jawbone. Intel also displayed the smart charging bowl, allowing users to drop all wearables in one place to recharge.

Bigger, Better—and Curvier

Bigger was better in television design, where companies like Samsung and LG introduced the new curved television, which offers Ultra HD, or 4K, content, with higher quality and clarity than ever before. And Lenovo introduced its new 4K monitors, with an unprecedented resolution of 3840 x 2160 (over 8 million pixels)—giving whole new meaning to the close-up

The smartphone also got curvier, boasting improved sound, hold, and flexibility. It’s important to note that brands are observing the human form, and reacting with optimized shape and size for the human hand, eye, and ear.

To see more about what debuted, check out these pieces for comprehensive “best-of” lists:

Mashable's Best of Tech:

Tech Radar's Best of Multi-categories:

The Verge's Keynote Highlights:

Fast Company's 12 of the Best Ideas from CES 2014:

*Note: GM, Lenovo, Taco Bell, and Whirlpool are DigitasLBi clients

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