On Wednesday, Figliulo & Partners (F&P), the so-called “Brand Agency for the Information Age,” today announced its acquisition of Hungry.

Founded in 2014 by Brady Donnelly and headquartered in New York, Hungry is a full-service digital and technology agency.

From the official release:

Hungry’s overall goal was and continues to be to create best-in-class digital products and experiences with purpose and widespread potential. Donnelly, who previously served as Hungry’s Founder and Managing Director, remains Managing Director of Hungry and becomes Head of Product within F&P, as part of the agency’s leadership team. The staff of 12 from Hungry will remain intact and join F&P’s 55 full-time staff members in the agency’s New York office.

“My goal for F&P is to continue future-proofing our offering so that we’re always one step ahead of the curve,” said Mark Figliulo, Founder and CEO of F&P. “Culturally, Hungry and F&P are a great fit and bring the best talent together under one roof. We will continue to set the bar for brand storytelling in today’s world.”

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The following is a guest contributed post from Paul Kontonis, CMO of WHOSAY

To put a fine point on it, the era of advertising and brand storytelling — the way we’ve traditionally known it, anyway — has gone by the wayside.

Mastercard Chief Marketing & Communications Offer Raja Rajamannar explained the shift in those words at October’s Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Masters of Marketing Conference in Orlando.

As he detailed, consumer behavior and media consumption has become a conflict between the advertiser and the audience. Consumers are demanding uninterrupted experiences with media, and they’re going to great lengths to get them. As of 2016, there were 200 million daily active users of ad-blocking software. And the figure’s only gone up since then at a double-digit rate per quarter.

Meanwhile, Netflix streams over a billion hours of content per week and all of that is ad-free and the number is climbing there, too.

“When consumers are telling you so loudly, ‘I don’t want your stupid ads! I care about my experience,’ holding on to the old paradigm and saying, ‘let’s put an advertisement… I think it’s a little obsolete,” said Rajamannar at ANA. “… the way to reach consumer and engage them is through experiences. And what we’re actually finding, that’s hugely beneficial for us, is to engage consumers, make them our brand ambassadors and what we call a storymaking.”

“So I keep saying storytelling is dead, it’s all about storymaking in the future.”

In part, that “storymaking” Rajamannar refers to finds itself exploring digital means to engage consumers. Influencers, augmented reality, virtual reality, chatbots — all of these are employed by Mastercard to interact with consumers in new and unique ways that refuse to interrupt established media consumption.

There is no shortage of screens available to look away from advertising, so this forces brands to rethink how to connect and engage. Emotional connections are proven to elicit reactions from consumers. And a personal link to a brand needs more than a interruptive and non-creative ad that marketers used without a second thought.

Brands shouldn’t force themselves into only one method, either.

Consumers’ affinity for a certain influencer or celebrity on a personal level hands marketers an opportunity to connect directly in their social media feed. Instead of asking audiences to look up from the phone, brands are looking at them directly from the device via an influencer campaign. They’re not disrupting what consumers are viewing. Rather, they’re inviting them to live their own brand experience through the trusted relationship they already have with the influencer.

Brand lenses on platforms like Snapchat and Instagram allow for users to interact with content on their own terms. Whether it’s a movie like Jigsaw, a sports drink like Gatorade, or a beloved show like “Stranger Things,” these properties are making ad buys that don’t shove a 30-second spot in viewers’ faces. They’re giving consumers the means to play (in a sense) with the brand and then genuinely share that experience.

Voice-activated speakers set their own stage for brand experiences, too. Savvy marketers make it easy for consumers to tell Google Home or Amazon Alexa that THEIR brand is the prefered purchase — or in the case of a retailer like Target, method of purchase. The process quickly becomes rote for the consumer and they’re hooked because of how simple it is. That experience is the “storymaking” Rajamannar referred to.

The customer has always been right and now that applies to the way brands connect with them as well. If they don’t want traditional ads, then stop trying to force them to watch. Your traditional storytelling may be dead. However, there’s nothing stopping marketers from giving consumers the tools to tell an impactful, positive story about their brand.

The post Storytelling is Dead: Reach Consumers Through Experiences appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

Speedcast International Limited — a provider of highly reliable, fully managed, remote communication and IT solutions — announced ahead of the weekend the release of CrewReach, a new global prepaid mobile SIM card designed with crew members in mind.
Powered by a Multi-IMSI global network, CrewReach provides cost-effective access to 4G and 3G data.

“Weeks and months at sea without being connected to family and friends can lead to feelings of isolation and depression for the thousands of commercial maritime sailors who are responsible for the transportation of goods around the globe,” said Dan Rooney, commercial maritime product director, Speedcast. “CrewReach provides cost-effective prepaid mobile data access to terrestrial mobile networks, enabling crew to reach out via social apps and reducing isolation from their families and friends. CrewReach also gives subscribers a limited amount of free access to the popular chat apps WhatsApp® and WeChat®, making social connectivity even more cost-effective.”

CrewReach is available for all unlocked smartphones and is managed via a mobile app (available for iOS and Android devices).

“The mobile app puts subscribers in complete control of their spending, showing data costs in each country and the amount of data consumed. Sailors can purchase additional credit either via a credit card or prepaid voucher,” a provided statement reads.

For more information about Speedcast or CrewReach, click here.

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Mobile-MarketingIn case you missed it, here are some of the top stories in mobile marketing and advertising we’ve been following this week.

The State of Influencer Marketing: What Every Brand Needs to Know [Infographic]
Analysis of recent surveys, research reports, and academic papers show influencer marketing has become increasingly popular throughout the past year. However, many marketers are still unclear on how to use it to their advantage. Readers will learn the latest facts and figures on influencer marketing and discover what tactics are the most successful.

ScreenShop Poised to Take mCommerce By Storm
ScreenShop, touted as being the first mobile app to seamlessly convert any screenshot on your phone into a digital fashion store, just announced its worldwide launch.

Adobe Advertising Cloud, adsquare Aim To Enrich Premium Mobile Video Inventory
MMW was privy to an advance look this week at the big news from adsquare — the mobile-first data exchange.

Adform Debuts Programmatic Digital Out-of-Home Ad Buying in the U.S.
Adform, one of the world’s leading independent advertising technology platform companies, announced last week at the 2017 Video Everywhere Summit that it has entered into a partnership with Hivestack to enable programmatic buying of DOOH inventory from Adform Demand Side Platform (DSP) in the United States.

Sizmek Partners with DoubleVerify, comScore and Integral Ad Science
MMW learned this week that Sizmek Inc., the largest independent buy-side advertising platform delivering impressions that inspire, has secured partnerships with DoubleVerify, comScore and Integral Ad Science (IAS) to grant advertisers greater “workflow efficiency for HTML5 video measurement.”

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The post Mobile Marketing: Here’s What Happened This Week appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.

MMW was privy to an advance look this week at the big news from adsquare — the mobile-first data exchange.

The company has just announced a new partnership with Adobe Advertising Cloud, the leading independent software platform that enables brands and agencies to plan, buy, measure and optimize their global advertising.

The integration gives advertisers and agencies access to premium ad inventory across all formats and devices for multichannel campaigns. Bringing together mobile video and rich audience data, the partnership allows marketers to create more effective branding campaigns.

The integration will be available to all adsquare and Adobe Advertising Cloud clients across EMEA and the US.

With mobile video advertising now accounting to a third of the revenue for top mobile publishers – according to a recent survey – advertisers’ attention is shifting focus to this channel. But to offer a great environment for more effective branding campaigns, marketers still need rich audience and contextual data. Thanks to the integration, existing clients of Adobe Advertising Cloud can now benefit from the adsquare offering and leverage advanced mobile audience data across channels and multiple screens for precise targeting at the right mobile moment.

“adsquare’s mobile-first data exchange allows advertisers to navigate the increasingly fragmented customer journey, using rich data in targeting consumers of the greatest impact,” says Ted Smith, US VP of Sales for adsquare said about the partnership. “Joining forces with Adobe Advertising Cloud, one of the leading platforms for mobile video, we address the industry demand to identify, reach and engage users at moments of most relevance.“

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