Is it Time to Rethink Mobile Advertising?


With over 300 million downloads, AdBlock Plus has become the most downloaded browser extension ever. But with the shift away from desktop browsing, it was only a matter of time before AdBlock Plus had to come up with mobile options. While there has been an Android-compatible option for some time now (even if it is not featured in the Google Play store), the Cologne-based software company finally announced this week that an iPhone app has been in development and will be released this year. While exact details have not been outlined, this is huge news for the digital marketing world and businesses planning on advertising digitally.

Due to the logistics of mobile browsing, the app will probably come in the form of a mobile browser. This means that AdBlock Plus will not only be drawing away precious advertising revenue from Google (last year comprising 89.5% of their total revenue), but will also compete directly with Google’s own Chrome browser application. The impact of AdBlock Plus’ iPhone app on digital advertising is not limited to Google, however. This expansion into the mobile realm will inevitably effect all businesses that advertise digitally.

AdBlock Plus aims to filter out “intrusive” advertising on behalf of the user, so that means businesses advertising digitally will want to think about whether their advertising comes across as intrusive to consumers. Overlays and popups tend to draw the most ire, and will become more difficult to get in front of a viewer in the age of the AdBlock Plus browser. Instead, we predict that the shift to native and integrative advertising will be accelerated. Creative advertising that adds value to the content that consumers are looking for–instead of distracting away from that content– will be what is noticed.

What Sparks Our Fire: Following technology that could change the mobile advertising landscape.

Round Up: The Best of Earth Day

shutterstock_120772705More people than ever are sharing content digitally and we love that brands are joining the conversation.  Brands and influencers across the digital world did not disappoint with creative funny posts in honor of the 45th annual Earth Day celebration.

Here our some of our #earthday favorites:

IHOP posted this silly video showing syrup raining down on the Earth and the creation of pancake trees. Could we imagine? No, IHOP, we can only dream!googledoodleearthday We’ve come to expect the best from Google Doodles, and today’s was no exception. With a beautiful image featuring outer space, animals, and planet Earth itself, users found they could take a quiz to find out what animal they would be, if they clicked on the doodle. (We were all Giant Squids)Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 2.21.02 PM McDonald‘s tweeted with the popular “#HugATree” hashtag, but also included an image of Ronald McDonald hugging a tree.

Like IHOP, Domino‘s posted a funny video to their Twitter account. The video shows the Earth’s continents as pizza, and the tweet reminds consumers that Earth is “the only planet with pizza,” giving everyone a good reason to treat it right.

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Lastly, Billy Ray Cyrus posted a picture of his dog Leo. Leo doesn’t have anything really to do with Earth Day, but we are suckers for cute pet pics.

What Sparks Our Fire: Creative posts amplifying a positive message – Happy Earth Day Everyone!

#Mobileggedon Is Here


All day, the internet has been abuzz with talk about #mobileggedon.  Don’t worry, it’s not as apocalyptic it sounds, the hashtag simply refers to Google‘s changes in mobile ranking policy. We want to make sure our friends and clients are aware of what these changes are and how they will impact businesses everywhere.

In response to the shift away from desktop to mobile devices, Google announced in late February that it would be making changes to it’s mobile ranking algorithm in order to become more mobile-friendly. Starting today, websites that are optimized for mobile will be given priority in search results, when the user searches from their phone. This means that websites must either have a responsive design or have a second mobile version of their website, in order to maintain their mobile rank.

We make a point to always recommend responsive and mobile-friendly design to our clients, because we understand how this can add value to their brand in the long run. And with Google’s incredible reach, we believe #mobileggedon will usher in the widespread adoption of mobile-friendly best practices.

You can check if your website is optimized for this change here: Mobile-Friendly Test

What Sparks Our Fire: The shift of policies to match consumer behavior

Improving Twitter’s Direct Messenger Feature


Facebook has made it clear that direct messaging is a priority, through great investments in developing a smoother direct messaging experience with it’s own messenger service, on Instagram, and through the acquisition of messaging giant WhatsApp. Twitter‘s under-developed direct messaging capability has been identified by multiple sources as one of it’s greatest weaknesses, but they’re finally doing something about it.

Twitter announced a new feature that can potentially change the way that users and brands utilize the platform. Traditionally Twitter has been a forum for sharing information publicly. Twitter’s initial foray into the world of direct messaging required users to be following one another. Now, Twitter has introduced a feature that will allow users to receive messages from users they are not following. This feature is opt-in only, allowing users to choose if they like to utilize it (and potentially receive messages from anonymous accounts).

This development will change the way mega-twitter users and brands interact with their followers. It is a nearly impossible task for big brands to be following all of their followers– and now, they don’t have to. Users, who previously may not have been interested in tweeting @ brands on their feeds will be able to privately connect with them. This new form of messaging will allow brands to make a personal connection with a user who has direct interest in the brand.

What Sparks Our Fire: A new way for brands to connect with a captivated audience

Probably The Best Beer Ad In The World

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Last week, Carlsberg UK, the UK-arm of the Danish brewery, delighted Britons with “probably the best poster in the world.” This poster– no ordinary poster, of course– had a built-in tap that gave out free beer to passersby in London’s trendy Shoreditch neighborhood.

This ad is similar to a recent Coke Zero advertisement at the NCAA Final Four competition in Indianapolis. There, a billboard with a 4,500-foot straw pumped Coke Zero into nearby fountain spouts.

In both cases, the advertisements gave consumers a chance to sample the brands while showcasing their respective billboards. This effectively combines recent ideas around “activations” with “traditional advertising.”

What Sparks Our Fire: New ideas that create not-so-traditional advertising