Wishbone has 5 million monthly active users who create 2 million polls per month and cast 55 million votes per day. It’s a 91% female audience that falls right into the 13- to-25-year-old target demo that most marketers are at a loss to reach.
And these users actually do enjoy branded content if it’s presented in the right way – consider the fact that a Taco Bell campaign promoting its new breakfast menu on Wishbone saw two million engagements.
“We’re building the next Viacom,” Phan declared.
But perhaps the point is that there isn’t a “next Viacom.”
The future – really the present – is increasingly about “audience engagement that is intimate and new, user experience that is incredibly human,” said Sam Olstein, GE’s global director of innovation. “But there is also more noise for consumers to shift through. The bar between what is good and what isn’t good is only going to continue to widen.”
None of the apps on stage had anything to say about traditional ad formats, other than that they’re terrible.
“We need to reinvent advertising on a mobile device because, basically, it really sucks,” said Tobi Bauckhage, CEO and co-founder of pop culture entertainment publisher Moviepilot.
In the case of Musical.ly, a lip-syncing and video-sharing app, that means creating campaigns that feel custom to the platform – like encouraging users to upload videos of themselves lip-syncing to Jason Derulo’s new song for a chance to meet the artist in person.
For live game-streaming platform Twitch, that means quirky partnerships like the one with Old Spice, where the brand dropped a man off in the forest and let the Twitch community control his movements for three days, effectively making him into a real-life video game character.
And for smart jewelry company Ringly, which produces Bluetooth-enabled notification rings and bracelets, that means partnerships with the likes of Mastercard that allow customers to make contact-less payments with their baubles.
For the big brands looking to partner with apps and startups, the watchword is “new.” But it’s also about not forgetting what came before, just for the sake of trying to stay on the bleeding edge.
“We like to be there early as explorers in new platforms,” said GE vice chair Beth Comstock. “We have a high premium on whatever is next and new, but we can’t give up on what’s still working.”