It’s Official: We’re Zillow’s Digital Agency If you’ve ever gone apartment hunting or simply enjoy scoping out homes on the market, then you probably have some familiarity with Zillow. As the leading online real estate and rental marketplace, Zillow is transforming how people buy, sell and rent homes by creating virtually seamless real estate transactions for today's on-demand customer. With such prominence in the real estate category, we couldn’t be more excited to announce that we’ve been named Zillow’s digital agency. The Pitch Before the Partnership This opportunity to work with Zillow was by no means a casual one. We had to earn it by proving our agency’s capabilities. So, we participated in a four-month-long competitive pitch process managed by Mercer Island Group, a business management consultancy based in Washington. An abundance of hard work undoubtedly went into those four months, but in the end it all paid off. “The AMP Agency team is the right digital agency at this critical point in time for the Zillow Group,” noted Robin Boehler, founding partner of Mercer Island Group. “They bring exceptional technical expertise, strong strategy and creative capabilities, and are the perfect culture fit for this innovative market leading client.” Rolling into Our New Role This new partnership comes at a time when Zillow is evolving from a search-and-find platform to an end-to-end real estate transaction company. That’s why as we work to support Zillow in this digital transformation, our efforts at AMP will be focused on customer experience strategy, design and personalization. “Zillow has committed to dramatically expanding their business and creating innovative customer offerings going forward, which is why we sensed a natural fit early in the process of earning this account,” says Gary Colen, Chief Executive Officer at AMP Agency. “It is an exciting time to be working with Zillow as we support their formidable business goals.” Now, the Hard Work Begins With our partnership in place and Zillow’s business goals top-of-mind, we’re ready to help Zillow transform the way people buy, sell and rent homes. “Zillow is in the midst of a significant, transformative chapter in our company’s history as we move to make it easier for people to buy, sell, rent and finance homes,” says Aimee Johnson, Chief Marketing Officer at Zillow Group. “The customer is our North Star and the AMP team has a proven track record of delivering creative and meaningful customer experiences, all while working in complex and evolving conditions. We’re excited about what our new partnership can achieve, together.” https://www.adweek.com/agencyspy/zillow-sends-digital-to-amp-agency/162572/ https://lbbonline.com/news/zillow-names-amp-agency-as-digital-agency/ https://adage.com/article/agency-brief/tbwaworldhealths-social-media-stories-reveal-disturbing-healthcare-discrimination-against-black/2241461 https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/347761/zillow-taps-amp-to-handle-digital-duties.html
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. It really has become quite the tradition – using our agency’s creative capabilities to craft something our clients can truly enjoy. If you don’t believe us, just take a look at what we made for our clients in 2018. We feel these custom-made gifts are a great way for us to connect with clients during the holidays in a way that reflects who we are at AMP. But with any good tradition, there comes a time when things need to be shaken up. That’s why instead of crafting a creatively thoughtful gift this year, we decided to do something different; something a smidge outside the box; something a bit, well, naughty. This past holiday, AMP rebranded coal as the hottest gift of the season and sent it to some of our clients on the East Coast. WHEN THINGS WENT “BAD” It all began in the heat of summer. It was mid-July, temperatures were high, and our Boston creative team thought “hey – let’s talk winter.” Because in an agency setting, timing is everything, especially when it comes to the creative process. As a team, we needed to give ourselves enough opportunity to ideate on something people would not only enjoy, but that would stick out to them amongst other gifts they’d receive. That’s why in order to get things right, the first of many brainstorming sessions started five months ahead of the holiday season. During that first brainstorming session, COAL was one of the very first concepts we came up with – although we didn’t envision the luxury branding, bold copy and seamless UX design that came out of this project right from the get-go. We simply liked the idea of elevating something from bad to badass, and we felt that a lump of coal could be a cool place to start. Since we didn’t just want to go with our first thought, so we continued to think up as many festive ideas as we could for our holiday gift. There was talk of Mrs. Claus taking over the season, mention of making a festive video game, and some serious consideration for custom-branded hot sauce. Yet after compiling our ideas into a list as long as Santa’s, COAL still remained at the very top. So we rolled with it. CHISELING AWAY With our concept in place, we knew we needed to capture the essence of COAL in a shareable format. So after lengthy discussions about what COAL truly means and days spent deciphering exactly how we wanted to bring this experience to life, we were ready to begin crafting a brand that would encourage people to “Embody Naughty” at every possible touchpoint. Building out the COAL brand began with pinning first, second and third drafts of logo exploration on a wall for full-scale critiques. From there, we sourced artists in France to craft our COAL resin cubes, tracked down decadent chocolates our clients could devour, built an eCommerce web experience from scratch, captured the look of COAL in black and white photography, and designed the perfect packaging to tie everything together. As everything came to life, we also shot an anthem video that could live on our eCommerce site and across social. Written, directed, filmed and produced entirely in-house, our COAL video took a total of four days to film, but those days were scattered throughout many late nights and lunch breaks. Once final video edits were made and the last caption for the @coal_by_amp Instagram was written, everything was ready to be sent to clients and shared with the world. THE OUTCOME By mid-December, our website was launched, our Instagram was live, and our clients were given the hottest gift of the holiday season as a token of our appreciation. Our full list of deliverables included an anthem video, an “eComm” microsite, a faux Instagram page, and a mailed COAL branded package containing a designed COAL card, a resin coal paperweight, high-end chocolates with an AMP-branded ribbon, and a nice bottle of wine with a black label. All in all, we’re quite proud of this project. Not only was COAL a unique way for us to express our appreciation for our clients, but it illustrates that when you work in a creative environment, sometimes, it’s good to be defiant. Want to score yourself a spot on the naughty list? Check out all COAL has to offer here.
The Strategy team at AMP is on a mission to better understand marketers’ most sought-after consumer segments. Each week, individuals from these segments take over @AMP_Agency Instagram stories to give us a peek into their world as part of our digital ethnography series, “Through Their Eyes.” Throughout June and July, we focused on millennials who are in the midst of planning their weddings and saw the world from the perspective of Jillian from Allentown, PA, Casey from Chicago, and Haley and John from Boston. As marketers, we frequently consider how to reach and resonate with our audiences during times of pivotal life moments. This month, we decided to focus on the time leading up to what is often considered to be the “most important day of your life” – your wedding day. How are engaged millennials posting on their Instagram Stories during this time? What do they consider to be the elements of their day worth showcasing? Keep reading to find out. The way to the heart is still through the stomach Yes, learning to co-manage meal routines is integral to cohabitating (see our earlier Grocery Diaries reflection for more here), but our participants’ Stories also reminded us that sharing meals together is still the perfect setting for creating memories as a couple. Food is especially important to Haley and John, as they met at culinary school, and their Stories showed the small ways in which food helps them “play house” as a couple and demonstrate their care for one another: John made Haley breakfast, while Haley texted John a photo of the quiche she was making for him in turn later that day. Food also plays a role beyond the day-to-day drudgery, as we saw Jillian and her fiancé’s spread at a taco date night, as well as Casey and her fiancé posing at the dinner table during their friend’s wedding reception. The New York Times understands the hecticness of this time in fiancés’ lives and the power of food to force a couple to slow down and enjoy each other – in their robust How to Plan a Wedding guide, they even go so far as to instruct the reader to take a break from wedding plan and go on a date. There’s opportunity for brands in relevant industries like food, restaurant, and grocery to remind millennials at the wedding planning stage that they deserve a break. Food is love: (L to R) John cooks Haley breakfast, Jillian enjoys date night, and Casey poses at the dinner table during her friend’s wedding reception. Everyone else in their life is getting married and having babies too While culture likes to romanticize weddings as a time to completely celebrate oneself and one’s partner, in reality this time is extra stressful because fiancés aren’t just planning their own affairs – they’re spending considerable time and money attending and participating in their millennial friends’ similar milestones and events. While the average wedding in 2019 cost almost $39,000, nearly 20% of millennials say they’ve also spent $1,000+ to attend a friend’s wedding. In fact, our soon-to-be-Mrs. Casey, chose to take over our Story on a day when she was a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding. We followed as she got ready (in matching wedding tribe tees), put on her bridesmaid dress, and enjoyed the beautiful venue. While it was undoubtedly a day filled with love and memories, we were reminded that in an already financially-stressful time, wedding expenses go beyond those for a bride and groom’s own big day. While financial tools like Ellevest for wealth management or The Knot for wedding planning help fiancés save for a wedding and keep an event budget, brands like these could expand their offerings by helping millennials also account for the money they need to save in order to participate in friends’ celebrations in the same time period. While planning their own weddings, brides and grooms may also be participating in – and budgeting for – friends’ marital events. Every fun wedding extra, like Bride Tribe t-shirts, should be factored into budgets for brides, grooms, and members of the wedding party. “I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it!” At the end of the day, our Millennial Fiancés warmed our hearts. (And maybe that’s because of the prolific use of heart emojis, gifs, and stickers they used on their Stories.) By following the days of Jillian, Casey, and Haley and John, one couldn’t help but sense the wave of positive energy that comes over an engaged couple during this exciting time in their lives. And while the “big” moments, like Jillian’s wedding band shopping, surely set off a surge of emotion, Instagram Stories also continues to be an arena for sharing all the “small” details that might make a fiancé smile when spending the day with the one they love, like Jillian taking her partner to the site of her childhood summer camp, or Haley driving John to work. When brands speak with millennials, who are likely in the midst of major life events, they shouldn’t forget utilizing imagery and copy that also celebrates everyday life and the small moments that make it all worth it. Don’t forget the small stuff: While Instagram is of course ideal for posting about big milestones, like Jillian’s wedding band shopping (L), you can also feel couples’ excitement as they experience “regular” days with their partner.
Our own Doug Grumet, SVP of Media & Analytics, was recently interviewed for eMarketer’s latest report on Digital Ad Spending by Industry by Ross Benes. The report analyzes digital ad spending from three countries and details fascinating findings, like that US digital ad spending will reach $129.34 billion in 2019, up 19.1% from last year. Doug spoke with Ross in depth about the shifting media landscape of the largest industries and how AMP Agency is adapting with the trends to drive greater efficiency and a stronger customer experience. In the report, Doug shares, “Our retail and CPG clients are very active in mobile. The rationale there is around bridging the offline and online worlds. Can I leverage mobile as a retailer or as a CPG brand to either push brick-and-mortar or pull people into the ecommerce funnel?” Check out the full report from eMarketer here: https://www.emarketer.com/content/digital-ad-spending-by-industry-2019
Our own Sara Whiteleather, VP of Media, was recently interviewed for eMarketer's latest report on Global Digital Ad Spending by Jasmine Enberg. The report details fascinating findings, like the fact that for the first time, digital will account for >50% of total global media ad spending. Sara spoke with Jasmine in depth about the shifting media landscape and AMP Agency’s focus on driving greater efficiency and a stronger customer experience through the convergence of digital and traditional channels. In the report, Sara shares, “Brands are continuing to break down the traditional marketing silos and think about customer experience first and foremost. That applies to traditional vs. digital and paid vs. owned. They’re thinking holistically about how to reach consumers across all the different touchpoints in the full marketing ecosystem.” Check out the full report from eMarketer here: https://www.emarketer.com/content/us-digital-ad-spending-2019
The advertising-supported model online is broken, and is threatening the whole online content experience with it. It’s no easy task to either make money online as a publisher or to advertise your product in a world where attention is so fleeting and divided. But the current system of ad-supported web content isn’t working for readers and viewers. It needs to be reset. The alternative is elusive.
The new Instagram tests are essentially an extension of Facebook's ad experiments in live video, where it has been serving mid-roll ads into broadcasts. Facebook has been tinkering with these mid-roll video ads as a way to make money from streaming. Now with options available on both platforms, publishers have more opportunities to test the viability of the format as a marketing investment. New year, new ads.
Facebook wants to show more ads to people who watch its videos and start making money for the people who supply it with those videos. Industry sources say the social network is going to start testing a new “mid-roll” ad format, which will give video publishers the chance to insert ads into their clips after people have watched them for at least 20 seconds. Emphasizing time spent vs. impressions
Love it or hate it, Mountain Dew created a viral sensation during last year's Super Bowl with its ad featuring the slightly creepy but nonetheless fascinating Puppy Monkey Baby. And now, Ken Bone, who became an internet sensation during the 2016 election season, just threw his hat in the ring to be the brand's new Super Bowl pitchman. Working his 15 minutes of fame.
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. Tinkering with the future.