Morning Update: Air NZ flights full of Hobbits; Facebook plays favourites with Autoplay video feature; The most shared ads of 2013

This is our Morning Update, rounding up international media and marketing news from while you were sleeping.

AdWeek: Air New Zealand Once Again Says Its Flights Are Full of Hobbits and Dwarves

There is one good reason to visit New Zealand (not counting you already happened to be in Australia so why not swing by). It’s because you wish you lived in The Lord of the Rings instead of in the real world.

Just ask Air New Zealand, which appears to have conceded this in its latest Middle-earth-themed video—not its first. The new spot urges you to pack your bags with golden baubles and helmets and shields, then board a giant eagle-winged aircraft piloted by bearded dwarves.”

AdWeek: Facebook Plays Favorites With Autoplay Video Feature

“Experimenting with new ways to display video in the News Feed, Facebook is also apparently playing favorites in deciding what content gets enhanced features like autoplay.

A sneak peek at the new video autoplay function, which is being tested by select users, shows that Facebook videos shared by friends will play automatically, but videos from sites like YouTube are displayed more subtly.”

The Guardian: Andy Coulson’s ‘do his phone’ email show to jury in phone-hacking trial

“The jury in the phone hacking trial have been shown an email from former News of the World editor Andy Coulson in which he allegedly instructed “Do his phone” in relation to a story of claiming Calum Best was to become a father.”

Mashable: The Most-Shared Ads of 2013

“Did you see that Dove ad pop up in your Facebook feed this year? How about the Geico camel one?

The odds are good that you crossed digital paths with at least one of these ads. While views are often seen as the prime metric for viral videos, Unruly, the firm that compiled this year’s list of the most-shared ads, sees shares as a better metric. “

Ad Age: From Print to Web: The Magazine Ads That Best Drove Readers to Websites

“Nearly a century of research has shown how print-magazine ads can best grab readers’ attention: the optimal mix of colors, compelling copy, uncluttered formats and other graphical techniques. But how well can print compel consumers to actions that help drive purchases — like visiting websites?

The latest data from GfK MRI Starch Advertising Research show that ads for a wide range of product categories, from cosmetics to cruises, were effective in prompting consumers to visit websites”

The Guardian: Mail Online targets  £60m revenues in 2014

“Mail Online has set a target of making more than £60m in revenues in 2014, with executives saying it is close to more than offsetting revenue declines at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday.”
“Google has launched Newsstand, a Flipboard-like personalised reading experience for Android phones and tablets. Newsstand allows readers to subscribe to free and paid-for websites, newspapers and magazines. The new marketplace replaces Currents, Google’s existing app, and integrates paywalled sites.”
“Twitter launched TV conversation targeting on Thursday, a feature that lets brands and networks promote tweets to users who engage in specific shows, even if the brand isn’t running a TV ad during the program.”

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