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AMPLIFIED INSIGHTS

Our industry is ever-changing – that’s nothing new. But as we face unprecedented challenges during this time, we’re sharing our perspective on how to successfully navigate the marketing landscape.

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Ice Cream & Donuts

Hey Brands - These Summer Food + Beverage Days Are Popular!

Since January 2019, The AMP Agency SEO team has been tracking the top three most searched queries, as reported by Google Trends, on a daily basis. Over this time, we noticed that national days of celebration have been popular drivers of search behavior. Some of these national days have been dedicated to food or beverages. Because we have been recording and tracking these phrases over the last 2+ years, we’ve gotten a taste of what national days may be popular in the future.

The Intersection of Relationships and Empathy in PR and Influencer Marketing

The Intersection of Relationships and Empathy in PR and Influencer Marketing The nature of the job for public relations professional and influencer is to inform, drive and capitalize upon trends and insights, but the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the tumultuous political landscape in 2020 resulted in a re-evaluation of how we approach important conversations and relationships with media contacts, influencer partners and all of their respective audiences, and that is bleeding into how we march forward in 2021.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of March 15, 2021

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social media platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn.

Google Search Trends Insights February 2021

In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for February 2021.

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AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of March 8, 2021

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social media platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn.

Predicting the 2020 Console War Winner With Google Trends

Console wars were back in late 2020 with the release of the next gen systems. Although one console was the clear winner, both Xbox Series X and PS5 saw record numbers for units sold. We looked to Google search trends to see which console would come out on top. As we continuously look at search trends throughout the year, we noticed that one console stood out over the other. We wanted to see if we could use this data to predict which console would sell more units.

Google Search Trends Insights January 2021 - AMP Agency

In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for January 2021.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of February 22, 2021

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social media platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn. IS CLUBHOUSE THE NEXT BIG SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM FOR BRANDS?

Top 10 Takeaways From The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer

2021 Edelman Trust Barometer Reveals Brand Leaders Expected to Take Lead on Social Issues Each year, global communications firm Edelman releases its Trust Barometer — a survey-driven report of how trusted governments, NGOs, businesses, and media are around the world. The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer draws on survey responses from 33,000 individuals in 28 countries. It reveals insights about both the general population (ages 18+) and informed public (college-educated, ages 25-64, in the top 25% of household income in their country’s age group). This year’s Edelman Trust Barometer notably uncovers a growing distrust of government in the U.S. and China, and increased expectations for business leaders.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of February 15, 2021

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social media platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn.

What Do Capricorns Hate?

What Do Capricorns Hate? The Burning (with hatred) Questions We Google About the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac For Valentines Day 2021 we decided to explore the top "hate" queries associated with every astrological sign according to their Google search volume. Since we're SEOs and not astrologers, in addition to our search intelligence insights we'll also include the top image associated with every query. Also make sure to check out our companion piece to this article, The Most Loved Zodiac Sign, Search Listening, and Why I’m Glad I’m not a Gemini, for more Zodiac search volume fun! What Do Capricorns Hate "What do Capricorns hate" was tied with "Scorpio hates" for the position of most searched “sign” + “hate” query. According to the highest ranking image for this query, Capricorns dislike it when negative and critical people are discouraging and disparaging to others. They understandably dislike self-important people along with moochers, liars, flakes, and gossips. Capricorns can easily tell the difference between clever and obnoxious behavior and dislike the latter. There were eight instances where Google showed search volume for a sign plus the word “hates”. We thought it would be interesting to share the most common “hates” queries by MSV along with some other bonus insights.

Most Loved Zodiac Signs Based On Search

The Most Loved Zodiac Sign, Search Intelligence, and Why I’m Glad I’m not a Gemini Self-understanding has become more important than ever. In a tumultuous world we search for meaning anywhere we can scrounge it up, trying to make sense of why we are the way we are. That’s why it’s no surprise that nearly ? of Americans said they believed in astrology in a 2017 Pew Research survey, and why it’s recently enjoyed a surge of popularity especially among younger generations. We can only imagine the number would be higher if it included the amount of semi-believers and recent quarantine hobbyists. Almost all of us know our zodiac sign and the traits we supposedly have, and a solid chunk of us take it seriously. And for the true believers, the new believers, and those in denial, the best place to search for meaning is the same: Google.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of February 8, 2021

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social media platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of February 1, 2021

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social media platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of January 25, 2021

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social media platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn.

Google Search Trends Insights December 2020

In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for December 2020.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of Dec. 21, 2020

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of Dec. 14, 2020

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn.

Google Search Trends Insights November 2020

In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for November 2020.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of Dec. 7, 2020

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn.

AMP Agency Named Media Agency For Sunbrella

In partnership with our sister company Adlucent, a performance digital agency, AMP Agency is excited to share we have been named media agency for Sunbrella?, a performance fabric company whose products are used by consumers, designers and architects. Adlucent will support the media program by providing performance marketing services powered by their purpose-built platform, Deep Search?.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of Nov. 23, 2020

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn.

Google Search Trends Insights October 2020

In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for October 2020.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of Nov. 16, 2020

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn.

Search Intelligence: Predicting Election Outcomes With Search Insights

A part of AMP’s Search Intelligence service is monitoring and analyzing changes in monthly keyword data such as estimated impressions and average monthly search volume to uncover insights about an audience or category. If you’re familiar with our Google Search Trends Insights series, you’ll know we’re already fans of using Google Trends to work out what’s weighing most heavily on the American mind.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of Nov. 2, 2020

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn.

Google Search Trends Insights September 2020

In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for September 2020.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of Oct. 26, 2020

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of Oct. 19, 2020

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn.

Digital Sports Activations In The COVID Era And Beyond

Whistles blow (then are quickly sanitized), sneakers screech an ex-ballroom-parquet, and broadcasters emphatically argue a holding call from thousands of miles away, but sports are back.

AMPlifier - Social Media Industry Update - Week of Oct. 12, 2020

Welcome to the AMPlifier – a spotlight on the latest and greatest industry updates. Whether you want to learn more about this week’s marketing trends, the newest updates to your favorite social platforms, or simply what meme is currently taking the internet by storm, then read on. You never know what you might learn.

Ken Blake Joins AMP Agency as VP of Analytics

We’re excited to announce that Ken Blake has joined the AMP team as the new VP of Analytics. In his new position, Blake will help elevate the analytic footprint of the agency while working with notable clients, such as Zillow. 

Google Search Trends Insights August 2020

In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for August 2020.

NETA Digital Marketing Webinar Recap

Our own Samantha Thu, Media Director, recently led a webinar for The National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA), a professional association representing 277 member public broadcasting stations in 46 states, the Virgin Islands and the District of Columbia. NETA provides leadership, general audience content, educational services, professional development and trusted financial management services, including human resources and benefits administration, to individual public media licensees, their affinity groups and public media as a whole.

How To Create Voice Marketing Strategy For Brands

Many brands are beginning to look at how they can express their brands through voice apps. With the maturing of voice to text technology and the growing prevalence of voice activated devices in our homes and pockets, the time is now to create a voice marketing strategy. In this article, we discuss the steps a brand can take to best express itself through a voice experience and explore some real-world examples. 

Tackling Unexpected Marketing Situations With Everyday Tools

Marketers have many reasons for getting into advertising. Maybe it’s a fascination with brands or love for creativity. For me, it’s my passion for diving into culture and understanding what motivates people. It doesn’t hurt that my job as a Strategist is incredibly variable and fun. On any given day I could be interviewing men about their relationship with their beards or researching snack food super fans. Even when I worked in the more serious pharmaceutical space, I enjoyed tracking patients' journeys and uncovering their concerns when it came to their health. 

Doug Grumet Featured In Retail Digital Ad Spending Report

AMP Agency’s SVP of Media & Analytics, Doug Grumet participated in providing insights for eMarketer’s recently published Retail Services Digital Ad Spending 2020 report. The report looks at trends in Digital Ad spend in the financial service industry. 

Doug Grumet Featured In Financial Services Digital Ad Spending Report

AMP Agency’s SVP of Media & Analytics, Doug Grumet participated in providing insights for eMarketer’s recently published Financial Services Digital Ad Spending 2020 report. The report looks at trends in Digital Ad spend in the financial service industry. 

MITX FutureX Summit - Summer 2020 Recap

Recapping MITX’s FutureX Summit 2020 continues to be a year unlike any other, forcing brands and companies to reexamine their own values and make sharp pivots in the face of public demands.

Google Search Trends Insights July 2020

In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for July 2020.

What DTCs Are Missing As They Open Physical Stores

Benjamin Y. Seldin,  Strategy Director In the years leading up to the current pandemic, Casper, the bedding brand, was in the midst of opening 200 stores across North America. It was among a number of direct-to-consumer companies (“DTCs”) opening physical stores at a rapid pace. While these brands are likely now reconsidering expansion plans, this trend will not disappear. DTCs experience awareness and a surge in online sales in markets where they open a physical location.

Google Search Trends Insights June 2020

In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for June 2020.

Google Search Trends Insights May 2020

In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for May 2020.

COVID-Driven Habit Shifts Provide Marketing Opportunities

The entire US market is going through a routine-shifting life event due to COVID-19, creating space for smart marketers to meet new consumer needs in unexpected industries.

Hack Your Creativity: How Marketers Can Get Creative In Uninspiring Times

A marketer’s job is fueled by creativity. Whether you’re an Account Manager finding a unique way to distribute an annual budget, a Strategist hunting for an insight, or a Project Manager designing a plan for an omnichannel campaign, we are constantly leveraging creativity to come up with unique solutions for our clients.

Creation in the Time of Quarantine

Making adjustments during a shoot is nothing new. Weather occasionally doesn’t permit. Scripts require rewrites. Talent informs you that being in front of a camera makes them uncomfortable and visibly sweaty. One time, years ago, we couldn’t find a sound guy because he had wandered off into the woods collecting bird calls. Creative teams pride themselves on rolling with such punches, parrying potential knock out blows in order to capture what’s been painstakingly storyboarded.
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Hey Listen - We Made a Voice App

After months of staying home and not seeing another human being for days on end, it got kind of lonely for me. So with the help of a conversational experience software partner, I built something to keep me sane under the guise of my agency’s first foray into the world of voice activated technology. Well, that’s not exactly what happened.

What You Need to Know About Marketing to Generation Z

There's a new wave of influential consumers on the horizon, and now is the time to pay attention. This past month, our media team attended the Her Campus GenZology Summit where we learned how marketers can connect with Generation Z, an emerging demographic of rapidly evolving consumers.

How to Evaluate if Influencer Marketing is Right for Your Brand Right Now

Anna Tremblay, Senior Manager PR & Influencer Relations Jennifer Carroll, Director PR & Media Relations May 27, 2o2o As our world continues to face lots of change, each level of the marketing funnel is changing and influencer marketing is no different.

The Absence Of Sports Effects On Advertising

Guy Rancourt, VP of Media May 14, 2020 I miss sports – both personally and professionally – and I know I’m not alone. Those sentiments are echoed in conversations almost as frequently as you hear people say they miss seeing friends or just going out to eat.

Google Search Trends Insights April 2020

In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for April 2020.

Creating Brand Experiences While Social Distancing

Luis Infante, Creative Director April 30, 2020 The rise of experiential design over the last decade has sent ripples across the marketing landscape. We have just begun to scratch the surface of what it is and what it can achieve.

Consumers Expectations For Brand Leadership Has Changed

Jacob Steinfield, Assistant Account Executive May 7, 2020 An acronym soup for breakfast: COVID, WCS, and KPIs It does not look like our distancing days are going to go anywhere soon, but even when mobility comes back – and we rise dramatically from the couch – consumer relationships with brands will have been transformed.

Content Production During Quarantine: How Brands Can Keep Creating, No Studio Required

John Degray, Associate Creative Director Liz Furze, Associate Creative Director April 30, 2020 High-quality digital content has become a core pillar of marketing for modern brands. It’s how you reach new audiences, engage with your existing fans, hone your message, and express your brand’s unique values and personality.

5 Tips To Pivot Your Media Plan During COVID-19

Sascha Lock, VP of Media April 23, 2020   Nowadays, we’re concerned about many things: financial preparedness, getting sick, having enough toilet paper. For those working in marketing and advertising, we’re also concerned about things like shifting and rebuilding our media plans for resilience during COVID-19, an upcoming recession, and in times of volatility.

Marketing Land Reports SEO Focus In Downturn

Marketing Land recently released an article discussing a recent survey by Conductor. The survey argued the importance of SEO during an economic downturn and had respondents from a wide range of industries including retail, healthcare and travel. Check out some of the key findings from the article below. 

Use Community Management To Connect To Your Audience

Marketing is a multifaceted field filled with strategies, creative executions and everything in between. While all of this is important to the success of a brand, it’s also crucial that every brand maintains strong relationships with consumers – especially during uncertain times such as these.

3 Tips To Tailor Your Social Content and Strategy

To be completely candid, life is weird right now. We’re all living at a greater distance from one another than usual, and we’re spending more time in digital spaces than real ones. Needless to say, our sense of normalcy is shifting – which means our approaches to social should shift, too.

How COVID-19 Will Change The Video Ecosystem

Guy Rancourt, VP of Media April 23, 2020 As we all continue to adjust to the new normal, it’s fair to speculate on what the future holds for the video landscape. It’s no surprise that with most of the country confined to their homes that media consumption is up across the board – especially in linear TV and OTT. But what will these changes mean long term?

eMarketer: COVID-19 Will Cause Change In Grocery eCommerce

eMarketer recently published an article that discussed a potential shift in consumer behavior that may change how consumers shop for groceries. Check out some key findings below or go read the full article here. 

Ad Age Tracks Marketers’ Coronavirus Response

As COVID-19 continues to cause a major disruption for marketers, it can be difficult to stay up to date on the latest news and industry updates. Lucky for us, Ad Age is continuously tracking and updating their list of marketers’ response to COVID-19. 

Google Search Trends Insights March 2020

John Krochune, VP of SEO April 23, 2020 In our continuing series of examining Google Search Trends to gain insights into the top keywords queried in the USA, we present our findings for March 2020.

Campaign US: Mobile Apps Spend Surges During Pandemic

Digital marketing and traditional media ad spend has taken a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, one thing that has seen a surge in consumer spend during this time is mobile apps. Check out some of the key insights and findings from a recent Campaign US article. 

eMarketer: Attitudes Towards COVID-19 Vary Among Age Groups

eMarketer recently published an article where they compiled rapid-response polls from different sources that looked at how individual’s attitudes toward the Coronavirus vary among age groups

We Are Zillow’s Digital Agency - AMP Agency

It’s Official: We’re Zillow’s Digital Agency

Defined by Defiance: How AMP Agency Embodied Naughty this Holiday Season

The holiday season means something different to everybody. For some, it’s about snowball fights with friends and baking cookies with grandma. For others, it’s all about celebrating traditions and spending time with family. And for us at AMP, the holidays are when we as an agency get to show appreciation for our wonderful clients with a gift of our very own creation. 
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AMP Agency Makes Adweek 100 Fastest Growing Agencies List

This week,  Adweek debuted its first-ever Adweek 100: Fastest Growing Agencies list. We’re excited to share that AMP made it! Comprised of organizations from around the world, this select list celebrates agencies of all sizes who have achieved significant financial growth over the past three years and whose industry presence is on the rise. Doug Zanger, Adweek senior editor for creativity and agencies, shared, “We are thrilled to be presenting this honor to a wide range of successful agencies covering 21 different disciplines. From full-service to performance, creative consultancies to experiential, we see a very bright future for agencies and this award is a testament to these award winners’ drive and dedication to the industry.”  
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Most Important Takeaways from HubSpot’s INBOUND 2019

HubSpot’s INBOUND 2019 conference has come and gone, and the event has grown in size with over 26,000 marketers, salespeople, and customer success professionals flocking to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center for a week of learning and inspiration. This year’s INBOUND featured spotlight sessions from industry leaders Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Redditt, Sal Khan, founder and CEO of Khan Academy, and of course HubSpot co-founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah among several others.
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Intel To Invest $100m In Retail Tech Anchored By IoT, Data-Led Platform

Intel is planning to invest over $100 million in the retail industry over the next five years and at the heart of that is the Intel Responsive Retail Platform (RRP), an IoT solution that will take retail to the next era of highly efficient and personalized shopping. Through RFID, video, radio and other sensors, it will enable easy, holistic integration, help to deliver a 360-degree viewpoint of retail from the store floor through the supply chain, and deliver real-time, actionable insights.
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Will 2017 Be The Year We Hail a Flying Uber?

Picture this: a well-dressed man enters the elevator of his high-rise condo, but instead of going down, he heads up to the roof. There, he hops inside his autonomous Uber aircraft and whizzes across town to the rooftop of his office building. The charge? $179, give-or-take surge pricing.
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How Inventors and Ad Agencies Are Starting to Shape the Internet of Things’ Next Phase

All awkwardness aside, the Internet of Things is finally entering an age of adolescence. While much of the original consumer-grade hype has focused on turning lights on and off and tracking fitness, the next few years will see an inventive wave of maturity—and advertisers seem keen to play a part.
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Use Design Thinking to Build Commitment to a New Idea

The logic we use to understand the world as it is can hinder us when we seek to understand the world as it could be. Anyone who comes up with new ideas for a living will recognize the challenges this truism presents. It means that to get organizational support for something new, you need to pay as close attention to how the new idea is created, shared, and brought to life as to the new idea itself.
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Five Things CMOs Want in 2017

According to Hugh Kennedy of Ad Age, brands’ chief marketing officers will be looking to agencies to mix measurement with creative in 2017 and use these tools to prove ROI for marketing spend. In addition, taking a broader look at brand stories and understanding how to demonstrate brand relevance based on consumer needs will be priorities for success.
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Tinder on TV is Your New Favorite Party Game

Tinder just announced the launch of its app on Apple TV, which means you can now bring your swiping to an Apple TV screen and enjoy it with friends. It's the dating site's first move away from mobile devices in an effort to make the app a more collaborative experience. And by 'collaborative', we mean PARTY.
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Amazon Unveils Futuristic Checkout-Free Grocery Store

Amazon announced today through a video posted online that it’s testing a grocery store in hometown Seattle that has no checkout process, much less checkout lines. The store, dubbed Amazon Go, requires customers to launch a QR-code based app, which they scan upon walking into the site. The retailer’s “Just Walk Out” technology detects when products are removed from or returned to shelves, keeps track of them in a virtual cart, and totals the cost when customers depart the store.
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Can This ‘Spotify for News’ Convince People to Pay for Journalism?

Ever since the paywall model for online journalism was introduced about five years ago, news consumers have spent just as much time figuring out how to avoid paying for content as they have paying for it. But what if you only had to shell out a measly quarter to read one article instead of paying an expensive monthly subscription fee?
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While We Weren’t Looking, Snapchat Revolutionized Social Networks

Snap Inc. is having a productive autumn. A couple of weeks ago, Snap filed confidential documents for a coming stock offering that could value the firm at $30 billion, which would make it one of the largest initial public offerings in recent years. Around the same time, it began selling Spectacles, sunglasses that can record video clips, which have become one of the most sought-after gadgets of the season. And yet, even when it’s grabbing headlines, it often seems as if Snap gets little respect.
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How Apple Could Succeed Where Google Stumbled With Smart Glasses

While we’ve long heard about smart glasses -- including, but certainly not limited to, Google’s early but ill-fated foray -– it’s the reported smart glasses in development from Apple that have the potential to finally go mainstream.
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11 Exciting New Materials Designers Should Watch

Andrew Dent, vice president of library and materials research at Material ConneXion, is like a sommelier. Presiding over the world's largest library of materials, his job is to listen to the requirements of his clients and come up with an innovative material that suits their needs. His level of obsession in this field is such that he makes Apple's Jonathan Ive, a fellow Brit, seem like he's never done his homework. Here, he identifies a handful of the cutting-edge materials that he thinks will be important to designers over the next few years.
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Why VR Arcades Could Be Virtual Reality’s Salvation

While different forms of VR arcades have been around since the late ‘90s, it hasn’t been until recently that new virtual reality gaming centers have been gaining massive popularity around the world, first in China, then in other parts of Asia and soon widespread in Europe and North America. Earlier this week, the senior vice president of HTC’s virtual reality efforts announced initiatives meant to make it easier for people to open these arcades as small businesses.
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Inside Magic Leap, the Secretive $4.5 Billion Startup Changing Computing Forever

Magic Leap has operated in extreme secrecy since it was founded in 2011. Only a few people got to see its technology, even fewer knew how it worked, and all of them were buried under so many nondisclosure agreements that they could barely admit the company existed. But now the company is coming out of the shadows. In a rare interview Abovitz says Magic Leap has spent a billion dollars perfecting a prototype and has begun constructing manufacturing lines in Florida, ahead of a release of a consumer version of its technology.
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And Then Advertising Got Weird: What is Oddvertising?

Just before the original dot-com bubble burst all over the economy, some marketers started pushing the edges of advertising. Most were startups and brands trying to grab attention with unconventional work, but what emerged was something even more unusual in tone. Eager to reach younger audiences with discretionary income, the ads became more risky and offbeat, as marketers grew fascinated with exploring how weird they can get before crossing a line. And more than a decade later, we’re still defining that line.
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Has This Black Mirror Episode Predicted the Future of Video Games?

An American tourist is lured to a British game development studio to test a new augmented-reality horror game that engages directly with each player’s brain via a biorobotic implant. The AI program mines the character’s darkest fears and manifests them into the real-world as photorealistic graphics. Inevitably, terror and mental breakdown follow. The idea of a video game that can analyze a player’s personality and change accordingly may seem like the stuff of outlandish sci-fi, but it isn’t. This could well be where game design is heading.
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Girl Scout Cookie-Flavored Cereal is Heading to a Grocery Store Near You

If you’ve ever needed an excuse to eat cookies for breakfast, your wait is over: Girl Scouts is releasing Thin Mint and Caramel Crunch flavored cereal in January.
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Snapchat’s Created the First Ever ‘Welcomed’ Ads – and It's Making a Killing

Advertising has had a long history of being much-maligned. Nobody likes ads, we just put up with them. We recognize that they prey on our insecurities but, by virtue of both their prominence and ubiquity, can’t escape them. Well, one company appears to agree that its public ads do belong to you, and are yours to take and re-use.
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Unilever's Global Marketing Chief on Busting Gender Stereotypes in Advertising

Brands are increasingly addressing the issue of gender stereotypes. In June, Unilever launched #Unstereotype, an initiative that aims to level the playing field in terms of how gender is portrayed in advertising. Unilever's past efforts in that regard include the long-running Dove "Real Beauty" campaign and Axe's "Find Your Magic" campaign. Adweek caught up with Aline Santos, svp of global marketing for Unilever, to talk about how Unilever is putting its plans into action.
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Meet Nintendo Switch, the System Formerly Known As 'NX'

Nintendo's next major step in gaming is a mystery no more. Today, the hardware formerly known as "NX" — and now officially dubbed Switch — has debuted, and here it is. Switch is a transforming console/handheld hybrid that can be pulled apart into a portable gaming system. It's powerful enough to run The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and also features its own, detachable micro-controllers for more party-like settings.
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Meet the Woman Who Could Turn Jet.com Into the Digital Era's Ultimate Challenger Brand

For the past year and a half, Liza Landsman has taken on a massive challenge: overseeing marketing, branding and analytics as chief customer officer of ecommerce startup Jet.com as it attempts to compete with the retail Goliath that is Amazon. Landsman is building the Jet brand around the promise of making shopping fun through a gamified process that aims to shake up the way people shop for everything online: from household products to books, music, appliances, electronics and groceries.
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Google Flights Will Now Help You Avoid Sudden Price Increases

Seemingly random price changes can be one of the most frustrating parts of booking a flight. Now, Google is making it easier to know when prices will change so you can get a better deal on airfare. The company is updating its airline search tool with new features that will predict fare changes and notify you about price changes for flights you're interested in. 
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Boys Can Wear Makeup, Too

Covergirl just announced its first male spokesperson, 17-year-old James Charles. This is a big deal for Covergirl, for the makeup industry, for society, for progress, but perhaps it’s the biggest deal for boys, who are also affected by the gender normative social order so many of us ladies are fighting against.
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Publishers Become Retailers in the Market For Survival

Today’s publishers are no longer just producers of newspapers and magazines. Faced with dwindling circulation combined with insufficient revenues from online advertising, many publishers have added other strings to their bows – from membership clubs to global events – in order to survive. One area many are investing in is e-commerce. Condé Nast has just launched Style.com, an e-commerce business that’s arguably one of its most significant ventures.
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Bots Are the New Apps, Only They Suck (For Now)

So far, bots — like live video, distributed content teams, virtual reality, augmented reality, AI and a dozen other doodads — might be the future, but they’re not the present. While news publishers have hastily assembled bots to pump their content onto platforms like Facebook Messenger, Line and Kik, the results have been underwhelming. 
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How to Target Moments of Need in the New Travel Landscape

The immediate, highly personalized interactions of technology brands like Amazon, Apple and Facebook have set a new benchmark for customer expectations across all industries. What happens when consumers unknowingly transpose the elevated expectations of technology brands onto travel brands? What are the new, unmet needs of consumers?
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More Evidence Cars Will Never Be Sexy Again

Not that long ago, cars were unequivocal symbols of personal power. But now cars are increasingly uncool. For one part, they’re a major source of carbon emissions, and thereby a principal cause of global warming. For another part, they’re expensive to own and operate, especially in big cities. Now vehicles are becoming a commodity and a service. What’s less sexy than a car a bunch of other people have also recently occupied?
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Snapchat Spectacles and the Future of Wearables

Late last week Snapchat somewhat unexpectedly unveiled a wearable. Of course this isn’t the first company to release video-recording glasses: back in 2013 Google released Google Glass. Glass was a failure for all the obvious reasons: they were extremely expensive and hard to use, and they were ugly. These problems, though, paled in the face of a much more fundamental issue: what was the point?
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Walmart, Lowe's, and Whole Foods are Banking on This to Compete With Amazon

The rise of automation in the fast-food industry has made headlines in recent months, as chains such as Panera and McDonald's have heavily invested in tech that threatens to eventually replace human workers. Now the grocery and retail industry is looking to get in on automation as well. Walmart recently patented a system of self-driving shopping carts with mini robots that can complete a long list of duties once reserved for human employees.
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Researchers Use Wireless Signals to Recognize Emotions

One of these days, the walls may know when you’re happy, sad, stressed or angry by using an experimental device unveiled yesterday by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that uses wireless signals to recognize emotions through subtle changes in breathing and heartbeat.
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China’s LeEco Raises $1.08B to Build Its Electric Sports Car

The Chinese market for electric vehicles is as hot as the US market, and the latest indicator is a $1.08 billion raise from China’s LeEco, a Beijing-based web video company that’s targeting Tesla with its own electric sports car plans. LeEco’s big raise should help it accelerate its EV plans, which so far include the LeSEE, a concept sedan design intended to be completely autonomous
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How Fitbit Is Staying a Step Ahead in the Race for Wearables

Fitbit is updating its product mix with new features and offerings, and venturing into fresh advertising streams like this year's Super Bowl spot, Fitbit's first. Later this fall, the brand will be a first-time sponsor of the TCS New York City Marathon; it's also unveiling a new Adventures app to support the effort. In addition, Fitbit is switching up its marketing strategy by moving more creative in-house and searching for a new media agency.
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How FX Became TV's Best, Most Reliable Network

Netflix has the higher profile and bigger catalog of current series, but is far less consistent both across the lineup and within most individual shows. FX hasn't been immune to failure in recent years, but the creative batting average has been absurdly high. Point blank: FX is on as hot a streak as any outfit in the TV business at the moment.
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