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Morning Update: Homer Simpson saves business with Youtube; BBC’s clever crime trailer; Facebook starts brand streaming

AdWeek: Homer Simpson Buys YouTube Ads for His Small Business, Mr. Plow

In a rare collaboration, YouTube is rolling out a new commercial starring the characters from The Simpsons, in which Homer is seen using YouTube video ads to boost his snow-plow business, Mr. Plow.

Ad agency Camp + King helped to craft the spot, which starts off by featuring footage from the original episode. But when Homer’s business falls on hard times, Lisa Simpson jumps on YouTube and signs him up for the TrueView advertising program. The point, on which Google elaborates in a new blog post, is that YouTube isn’t just for big-budget marketers—it can help small and medium-size businesses as well.

The Verge: Facebook starts letting brands live stream

Facebook is expanding its live streaming service by rolling it out to verified Pages. The continued growth of Facebook Live follows the company’s confirmation that it believes videos will ultimately take over the platform. Although it was relatively late to the streaming game — Meerkat and Periscope launched months earlier — Facebook’s built-in user base allows brands to reach billions of people. The social media platform suggests Page owners can use the live streaming for a variety of supplemental content, including back stage happenings and Q&As.

Creativity: Luther, Sherlock and Dr. Watson Team Up to Solve Huge Case in BBC’s Clever Trailer

Did the BBC really get Benedict Cumberbatch, Idris Elba, Martin Freeman and Gillian Anderson to make a one-minute ad together? The answer is no, but this trailer for BBC crime dramas makes it look as though they did.

The film cleverly pieces together existing footage and audio to create a story in which Cumberbatch and Watson (Sherlock and Dr. Watson), Elba (Luther) and Anderson (DCI Stella Gibson in The Fall) all appear to be meeting up at a derelict warehouse to solve a treacherous crime. It’s not just a mash-up, but purports to be a real-story, which ends suitably on a cliffhanger.

Campaign: Nissan reveals secret of Chris Hoy’s success in pre Star Wars cinema ad

Nissan has teamed up with six-time Olympic gold medallist Chris Hoy for a “futuristic mockumentary”, to air before the new Star Wars film.

“Hoybot” was created by TBWA, and “exposes” the secret to Chris Hoy’s success – he’s actually a robot. The sci-fi, thriller-style ad shows Hoy driving for Nissan and revealing the inner workings of his robotic skeleton.

The ad will air before Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which opens in cinemas today.

AdAge: Unemployed Gamblers From Oregon? Report Profiles Web Bots

Reid Tatoris, co-founder of digital security company Are You a Human, doesn’t like the term “ad fraud” when it comes to describing bots. “I think ‘ad waste’ is better,” he said.

According to AYAH, about 58% of all internet traffic recorded in its report came from bots.

But, he said, “the majority of bot traffic is doing something else on the Internet other than ad fraud. Bots are out there for reasons unrelated to advertising and some of them are good.”

Mumbrella Asia: Singapore Airlines ‘brings you festive cheer’ in Christmas video ballad

Singapore Airlines has launched a short video to wish its customers a merry Christmas.

“It’s the end of the year and Christmas draws near. Singapore Airlines brings you festive cheer,” begins the two-minute animated video, told in the form of a Christmas ballad.

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