Facebook Is Testing Mid-Roll Video Ads In Facebook Live – Facebook has started running tests of mid-roll video ads inside live video broadcasts from top publishing partners, the company confirmed Monday. These are Facebook’s first ads that get served directly inside videos on the social network. “We’re running a small test where a group of publishers have the option to insert a short ad break in their Facebook Live videos,” Facebook said in an e-mail. – AdAge

Instagram’s New Stories Are A Near-Perfect Copy Of Snapchat Stories – In a bold expansion designed to capture more of its users’ everyday photos and videos, Instagram today introduced “stories,” a secondary feed of ephemeral content that is available for only 24 hours from the time of posting. The feature is nearly identical to the central feed in Snapchat, which is also called Stories and which helped supercharge the company’s growth rate after it was introduced in 2013. Encouraging users to post more frequently — and more candidly — about their lives, Instagram’s introduction of stories could fundamentally change the nature of an app that has 300 million daily users. – The Verge

Snapchat Used To Spook Advertisers. Not Anymore. – How Snapchat got its ad business on track is a case study of a fast-growing start-up overcoming growing pains and persuading companies to try untested ways to reach consumers. When Snapchat opened itself up to advertisers more than a year ago, many initially griped that the company needed to lower its ad prices. Some were mystified about how to reach the right audience with the ads, since Snapchat did not provide traditional ad-targeting tools. Most of all, brands wondered how Snapchat could be effective when the ads — like Snapchat messages — disappeared. In the last 15 months, Snapchat has moved to respond. It introduced new ad formats. It dangled its attractive user base — the service now claims 150 million daily users, including nearly half the country’s population from ages 18 to 34 to lure advertisers. Most importantly, Snapchat has persuaded brands like Tiffany & Company, Kraft Foods and Burger King that its ads let them interact playfully with this young audience. – New York Times

What Brands And Normals Should Know About Google’s New “My Activity” Pages – Google’s new “My Activity” page, where users can now view their entire internet history, represents another step toward the perfectly personalized ad. It is Google’s latest move to catch up to Facebook in the one area it has held back, using highly personal information for the most accurate marketing messages. Google made a My Activity page for its users of Android phones, YouTube and search to see all the information it stockpiles on them. And it is giving the users the option to say they want super-specific ads customized just for them based on that data. Google has been moving to incorporate more of its unique insights into advertising and has gradually developed interest-based ads and customer e-mail matching capabilities, when brands bring contact lists to Google for advanced ad targeting. – Digiday 

The Financial Times Gets Clever with Ad-Blockers – Both publishers and advertisers alike fear new tools that enable consumers to block ad content on the web. Many sites are aware of when an ad blocker is present and can restrict content for users employing one. The Financial Times however, took their approach to a new level by employing a feature that eliminates a percentage of words in its’ articles, meant to symbolize the percentage of the company’s revenue that comes from advertising.- AdAge



Brandi Smith
Brandi Smith
Senior Social-Digital Strategist

A strategic communications professional with 10+ years of experience, Brandi has managed a plethora of award-winning public relations and social media campaigns on behalf of CPG brands. With an emphasis on consumer lifestyle, food, beverage and fashion clients, Brandi specializes in leading the integrated planning and execution of brand management strategies designed to generate both consumer awareness and engagement. Throughout her career, Brandi has served clients such as Kellogg’s, Kimberly-Clark, Jim Beam and White Wave Foods while employed at Ketchum.

After living in Chicago for a number of years, Brandi returned to her hometown of Pittsburgh. She holds a B.S. in Public Relations with a second concentration in Sport Management from West Virginia University.