It’s Watson’s Time To Shine In Marketing; Frito-Lay Goes For Personalization

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IBM Garçon

The Weather Co. will run a Campbell’s Soup campaign using technology from its new parent, IBM. Ads will prompt viewers to say the ingredients they have, and will respond with recipes and meal suggestions. “We really believe that this is the new frontier in advertising,” said Jeremy Steinberg, IBM’s global head of sales for The Weather Co. “Watson listens, thinks, responds. … It can just do a lot of that processing much faster than we can.” More at Adweek.

Your Frito Vote!

“We always try to engage with consumers,” Frito-Lay North America CMO Jennifer Saenz told AdExchanger while in New York for Advertising Week. Saenz manages the entire PepsiCo snacks portfolio, and the brand touted a new campaign tied to the election. The goal: getting out the vote. Consumers choose between Nacho Cheese Doritos (which come in a red bag) or Cool Ranch (blue bag). Don’t like either? Then get a silver bag labeled “No Choice” and filled with … cardboard. She said personalized messaging is a big part of Dorito’s marketing. And while technology has aided Frito-Lay’s push toward personalization, the company is restless to find better tools. “They have to be cost-effective and time-efficient,” Saenz said. “Those are challenges because it’s fairly new making sure all those tools are in place and working as well as they could be. We’ll be refining those for a long time to come. We’re still refining TV.”

Hunting For A Home

The Twitter birds are still whispering about an acquisition, this time pointing to Disney as a potential suitor, reports Bloomberg News. The rumors have been great for Twitter’s stock price (up from about $18.50 last Thursday to almost $24 in late trading Tuesday), but also underscore the social network’s ongoing identity crisis. There’s no specific trait driving momentum for a sale. Salesforce liked Twitter for its consumer sentiment scoring (a kind of live, always-on survey panel), while Disney could squeeze value out of Twitter as a video distribution hedge against cord-cutters. More.

Build The Wall

Business Insider will erect a paywall for a small, randomly selected group of readers to test a potential subscription offering. It’ll be similar to new policies at The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times, where readers are given 10 or so free stories a month with prompts to subscribe before a paywall is activate. Ad-block users will also start hitting a Business Insider paywall unless they subscribe to or whitelist the site. CEO Henry Blodget tells Ad Age he’s long sought a reliable revenue stream aside from advertising. The company has a pricey subscription offering driven by research, but that’s a narrow B2B play. More.

Border Control

The New York Times wants to double its digital business in the next five years, but that’s impossible without international expansion, writes Jessica Davies for Digiday. The Times has a global presence, but to crack overseas cultural barriers it will need to offer country-specific editions, non-English language products and international subscription growth. “The international edition does not yet transcend those limitations,” said Douglas McCabe, CEO of Enders Analysis. So far, only 15% of subscription revenue is from foreign shores. More.

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