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People Can Now Block Alcohol or Parenting Ads on Facebook to Avoid Stirring Painful Memories

For the first time, Facebook users can now proactively block ads related to a specific topic. Ad preferences have allowed people to say what topics they would like to see -- areas that are most relevant to their interests. Hiding ads is just one update in a series of changes to ad preferences that Facebook is making, including changing the look of its ad preferences page in an effort to make it easier to navigate. More power to the people.

  • December 16, 2016

Happy Brands Will Always Win in 2017

2016 has delivered a series of political and social curveballs and that’s why ads like John Lewis’ Buster the Boxer have been so warmly received. We’ve seen a distinct shift from the 'sadvertising' of 2015 to this year’s positive campaigns. Featuring a little girl and her pet dog, and following criticism that last year’s ad was too much of a tearjerker, the ad capitalizes on the happiness, comfort and fantasy that is traditionally associated with Christmas. Spread the cheer.

  • December 15, 2016

The 10 Best Ads of 2016

It's been an undeniably rough year, but at least we had some brilliant advertising along the way to inspire, amuse and delight us. Adweek's picks for the 10 best ads of 2016 are an extremely varied collection, from comedy to drama and everything in between. And they represent many of the year's cultural touch points. The year's best work.

  • December 12, 2016

Ikea Renames Products For New SEO-Focused Retail Therapy Campaign

Ikea is frequently cited as a master of branding, marketing and advertising, and it has a portfolio of campaigns and creative to justify the compliment. The latest: the company's Retail Therapy website, which is part of its Where Life Happens campaign. The website takes a clever SEO-focused approach to promoting some of Ikea's wares. Slightly gimmicky, slightly cute.

  • December 12, 2016

PepsiCo's Next 'Global Big Bet' is a New Premium Water Brand

PepsiCo is introducing a premium bottled water brand called Lifewtr that appears aimed at Coca-Cola's Smartwater. Debuting in February, PepsiCo's product is "pH balanced with electrolytes added for taste," according to a press release issued today. PepsiCo will seek to differentiate Lifewtr via its packaging. The label, which the marketer described as "the brand's biggest equity" and where the brand name appears in all-caps, will feature rotating designs created by emerging artists. The worth of water.

Advertisers are Cooling on Snapchat Live Stories

Viewership for Live Stories has been flat, at best, for more than a year. In June 2015, a Snapchat executive told Recode that Live Stories averaged 20 million viewers within a 24-hour window. This year, the company has told advertisers that Live Stories average 10 to 20 million viewers per day, with multiple buyers confirming that in most cases daily viewership for Live Stories has gone down — especially since Snapchat pushed Live Stories and Discover content lower down the Stories page. Live stories, dead stories.

5 Charts: Forecasting the 2017 Global Ad Market

Recent reports indicate that China’s advertising growth will continue to outpace other large international markets and that digital ad spend will finally usurp TV ad spend next year. Researchers also predict that mobile will take up nearly all of the global advertising growth and that social video will be a major driver of mobile’s growth. 'Tis the season for planning.

How AI Will Create the Perfect Ad for Every Individual

The advertising industry has made huge strides in targeting, but there's one more big step to take to make ads truly relevant: We need to adapt each creative message so it is interactive and personalized to every single individual. The key to achieving what may be the holy grail of advertising is a thriving branch of artificial intelligence known as deep learning. It uses algorithms to mimic neural networks' capabilities to recognize and act on abstract patterns. Closer than you may think.

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Discounts - but Strong Holiday Sales Could Come at Cost

In the weeks leading up to and including the Black Friday shopping weekend, retailers across the board went deeper with discounts than last year, a strategy expected to intensify as the season continues. And this year, the season may also feel a little longer: There are four Saturdays this month before Christmas, giving marketers another opportunity for sales. Santa Claus is coming to town.

Can You Figure Out the Mystery Inside This Remarkable Ad About High School Love?

At the outset, we meet Evan, a high school kid who can't wait for summer break. He's so bored that he begins etching words into a table in the library. The next day, he finds that someone has written back to him on the table—and there ensues a back-and-forth that's pretty captivating. Perhaps too captivating.  A message deeper than sketches.

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