Watson Helps IBM In Otherwise Gloomy Quarter; Pokémon Go And McDonald’s Announce Sponsorship

valuableintelligenceHere’s today’s AdExchanger.com news round-up… Want it by email? Sign-up here.

Programmatic By IBM

Despite an overall gloomy second quarter, IBM told investors its “strategic imperatives,” which include cloud computing, advertising, data analytics and its Watson AI platform, grew 12% this year to hit $8.3 billion. That’s 38% of overall revenue. IBM is fighting hard to make up for the business that’s evaporating in legacy IT infrastructure, and it’s actually doing a decent job, with Ad Age reporting that Watson’s programmatic application is picking up steam.  


After Reddit users found a McDonald’s logo embedded in the code for Pokemon Go, the fast-food chain and game creator Niantic unveiled the game’s first “sponsored locations” with McDonald’s in Japan. Since Pokémon Go launched less than two weeks ago, Nintendo (which owns a third of the franchise and half of Niantic) has more than doubled its market cap, surpassing Sony. McDonald’s Japanese stock has surged since rumors of its deal were published last week, and it’s up big again on the formal announcement. More at TechCrunch. The game’s Japan launch is today. More in AdExchanger.

Can’t Quit It

The digital ad industry can’t crack its ad fraud problem, writes The Financial Times. Advertisers stand to lose $50 billion to online ad fraud by 2025, according to research from the World Federation of Advertisers, which mostly blames actors in the ecosystem. “They are either ignorant of the fraud or they are an accomplice to it,” said Mikko Kotila of botlab.io. But it’s not all finger-pointing. Bots are tough to detect, especially when their data trails are meshed with those of real humans. While advertisers, vendors and even lawmakers tackle the issue Related in AdExchanger: Senators have asked the FTC to investigate the issue.

Monetizing Foot Traffic

Zenreach entered the digital ad space with $50 million in funding and Peter Thiel as a board member. Its CRM product promises to close the offline-to-online loop for local retailers through Wi-Fi hotspots that automatically build customer lists from logged-in users. Small merchants can target new, repeat, loyal and “lost” customers through personalized messaging. The idea is that customers who are worried about burning through their cellular data will be eager to hook up to free Wi-Fi, giving local businesses the opportunity to build out CRM capabilities from store visits. More.

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