The Webrepublican Nr. 35, January 2017

08 Jan 2017 / by Simon Wüthrich / Webrepublic / Comments

Huge growth in search engine advertising on mobile, IKEA renames products after family issues, a truly smart Snapchat filter, the impressive story behind Google’s AI; 1269 subscribers, a projected open rate of 43.6% and 3 minutes 20 seconds of reading time. That’s Webrepublican no. 35.



The Webrepublican 35


  • We decided not to send gifts to our customers for Christmas 2016. Instead, we supported an NGO. Find out more at (password: xmas16).
  • Welcome on board Johannes (SEO), Shiyu Piao (SEA China), Gabriel (SEA) and Rajan (HR).
  • Incidentally, we currently have 7 vacancies.

Newsletter 35 Welcome Image


Mobile first is passé now that mobile is the standard. Now, IAB’s figures show how digital media spending has evolved against this backdrop. While advertising revenue for search engine advertising on desktop declined for the first time in the US (-12% to USD 8.9 bn.), mobile SEA exploded (+105% to USD 7.4 bn.). The figures also show that search engine advertising continues to grow (+20% to USD 16.3 bn.), now making up around half of all digital advertising revenue.


IKEA is one of those brands that just keeps on surprising us with witty new campaigns. Who doesn't remember Knut? Or their response to Kanye West’s attempts to collaborate with them?. In December, the furniture store renamed some of its products to match search queries based on everyday problems. For example, this product is the result for “how to get children to share”. The campaign is effective across the board: it’s oriented towards the specific search behavior of a clearly defined target group (young families), to demonstrate a convincing understanding of their needs and concerns and offer witty but practical solutions.

IKEA: How to get children to share


What does it mean for us when mobile devices stop being a luxury and start becoming a necessity? Benedict Evans believes that the developments we've seen in connection with the victory of mobile will also shake up other fields – specifically, retail and the automotive industry. Mobile is eating the world gains a radical and far-reaching significance. Evans’ half-hour video presentation is a must-watch – not because he offers any concrete tips, but because, as marketers, we work in an industry with a mind-blowing pace of innovation. Evans’ ideas can help us ask the right questions if we want to reflect on the challenges we’ll face in 2017 and beyond.


Uber is launching a new Snapchat filter that’s both witty and technologically advanced. Anyone traveling with Uber in the US can inform their friends of their estimated arrival time via Snapchat. These filters should be very popular with their target group, as they’re both witty and useful. They may also serve as an inspiration and benchmark for other brands on the lookout for smart ways to use Snapchat.


Facebook is in the news once again thanks to issues with tracking. The problems may not be serious, but they nonetheless demonstrate that Facebook still has room for improvement when it comes to reliability. And the more significance Facebook gains as a platform for entertainment, information and e-commerce, the more important reliable tools for reporting and analysis become. As pressure from the advertising industry will only increase, we assume that Facebook is already hard at work on solutions to these problems.


What’s behind the impressive developments in artificial intelligence at Google – and particularly at Google Translate? This story is a must-read if only for its historical depth and remarkable details: did you know, for example, that an astonishingly small team was responsible for the initial development, or that Google Translate has over 500 million active users per month and translates 140 billion words a day?


What gadgets will industry giants and startups bless us with in 2017? All will be revealed at CES in Las Vegas. For marketers, it's not just a question of fun toys. Voice search is already a hot topic within the industry, and will also be a key theme of the fair. The same is true of AR and VR: while these technologies are currently in the Trough of Disillusionment in the Gartner Hype Cycle and will only reach the Plateau of Productivity in another 5 to 10 years, they may produce important marketing platforms, and CES could show us in which direction they’re headed.


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