Lyft buys Halo Cars for digital car-top advertising

autoblog | February 23, 2020

Lyft has bought U.S.-based startup Halo Cars, which allows drivers to make money through digital advertisements displayed on top of their vehicles. The deal, first reported by Axios, was confirmed by the ride-hailing company on Friday. Lyft did not comment on the financing of the deal. Halo Cars was founded in 2018 and has operations in U.S. markets such as New York and Chicago. Lyft and larger rival Uber, both based in San Francisco, are pursuing different roads in search of profitability, with Uber pouring money into side businesses which have so far lost money and Lyft focusing solely on moving people around. With operations only in the United States and some Canadian cities, Lyft said earlier this month its active rider customer base in the fourth quarter grew to 22.9 million from 22.3 million the previous quarter. That compares with Uber's global 111 million active platform users in the same period.

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While there certainly is scarcity in quality-assured video advertising environments, especially compared to the long-tail of video content, there is a clear and present opportunity to invest the right proportion of marketing dollars towards brand-safe video content where users are engaged. This is the premium video opportunity.


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Postclick Raises $20 Million Funding Round, Launches the Future of Digital Advertising Conversion

Postclick | April 12, 2022

Postclick will use the funding to support the company’s evolution from an agency model to a full technology-led SaaS solution that will continually develop new innovations as an advanced partner to the marketing industry. The funds will also advance Postclick’s machine learning and artificial intelligence offerings, as well as deepen the company’s penetration into vertical markets. Until now, Postclick was available to limited customers and by invitation only. With this additional funding and pilot customer feedback, the Advertising Conversion Cloud™ is now openly available. By implementing the platform, marketers across industries can now drastically cut down on wasted ad spending and increase conversion moments. “In the past decade, marketers wasted $870 billion on digital ad clicks that didn’t convert,” said Mark Mckenna, CEO, Postclick. “In the past decade, marketers wasted $870 billion on digital ad clicks that didn’t convert,” said Mark Mckenna, CEO, Postclick. “So far, marketers have only scratched the surface of optimizing digital journeys to create better conversion experiences. Our evolution from an agency model to a tech-enabled solution enables us to increase conversion rates and return on advertising spend for our clients at a much greater scale.” Capabilities being introduced on the Postclick Advertising Conversion Cloud™ include: Strategic Expertise: CRO experts complete a deep dive into the client’s brand and current campaigns. They build out an initial “core experience” based on the brand guidelines, audience segments and conversion storytelling, which kicks-off the cycle of automated experimentation and optimization. Scalable Creation: Based on a vast data set of over 20 billion data points from landing pages and conversion events over the last decade, the Postclick Advertising Conversion Cloud™ applies machine learning to make layout and content recommendations for landing pages based on clients’ industry and use case. Postclick’s machine learning capabilities dramatically speeds up landing page production and accuracy for conversion moments, enabling the expert conversion team to achieve strong ad-to-page relevance quickly. Experimentation: The AI-driven platform generates different landing page variations based on clients’ core experiences, then uses a Multi-Armed-Bandit testing methodology to dynamically scale traffic to the winning variations. The page with the lowest conversion rates is replaced by a new variation and a new testing cluster is formed. The winning variation continues to be updated based on real-time data and ongoing experimentation. Continual Optimization: The Postclick Advertising Conversion Cloud™ is constantly running experiments on clients’ core experiences, using machine learning to continually optimize pages and ad spend for the strongest possible conversion rate. Each testing phase builds on the last, using network-wide insights to inform future experiments. Network-Wide Learnings: Machine learning tracks every test 
and result across the entire platform, spanning multiple industries, consumer bases and conversion goals. Clients benefit from machine learning tests and experiments across the platform. This enables an entire community of marketers to improve their results based on a continuous stream of real-time conversion data. Postclick’s proprietary platform, the Advertising Conversion Cloud™, was built from a Series A fund raise and now contains data from millions of custom landing page experiences and billions of ad clicks. Postclick’s Advertising Conversion Cloud™ technology delivers the future of digital advertising success by using data-driven UX, modular component libraries and insight from conversion rate experts to drive infinite optimization. As a result, marketers can now leverage the science of conversion data and the power of AI to effortlessly create high-performing post-click experiences at scale. “The Postclick team is partnering with marketers to take back their share of the billions wasted on non-converting digital ad clicks,” said Hunter Sunrise, SVP, Marketing, Postclick. “Our clients are among the most innovative brands in the industry, and are enjoying increased conversions and a boost in customer acquisitions, all while lowering their cost-per-conversion.” Demand for post-click solutions continues to grow as forward-thinking companies turn to Postclick’s platform, including BetterHelp, HUM Nutrition, theSkimm, and Liquid Death. About Postclick Postclick is the world’s leading solution for digital advertising conversions, creating optimized, scalable digital experiences that increase Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS). Combining personalization, optimization, machine learning, and human insight, Postclick guarantees higher conversions for marketers. Check out postclick.com for more information.

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Sam's Club Celebrates Big Game Ad Debut with Yard Line Membership Deal

Sams_Club | February 14, 2022

Sam's Club, which made its ad debut in football's biggest game of the year, is capping off its game day VIP campaign with a $8 membership deal that's redeemable in club from Feb. 14, 2022, through Feb. 17, 2022. The offer is available for new members and is based on where the football was placed at the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter of the game, just before the warehouse retailer's ad aired. The limited-time offer gives potential new members a $37 savings. "We work hard to win our members loyalty every day with the strategy to treat them like VIPs, which you see reflected in our game day ad," said Ciara Anfield, Chief Member Officer, Sam's Club. "Our participation in this year's game is giving us an opportunity to celebrate one of the many perks of being a Sam's Club member while opening the door to invite others to be part of the club with a membership offer that's hard to pass up." Sam's Club's game day social media activation included more than $245,000 in VIP-worthy prizes, including a $25,000 shopping spree at Sam's Club; a luxury vehicle via the Sam's Club Auto Buying Program powered by TrueCar; fuel for 50 years** at Sam's Club's Fuel Stations; and a $50,000 VIP trip through Sam's Club's Travel and Entertainment Services. Each VIP prize package was accompanied by a Plus membership to Sam's Club for 50 years. Visit the Sam's Club newsroom for additional information. About Sam's Club Sam's Club®, a division of Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT), is a leading membership warehouse club offering superior products, savings and services to millions of members in nearly 600 clubs in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Now in its 39th year, Sam's Club continues to redefine warehouse shopping with its highly curated assortment of high-quality fresh food and Member's Mark items, in addition to market leading technologies and services like Scan & Go, Curbside Pickup and home delivery service in select markets. To learn more about Sam's Club, visit the Sam's Club Newsroom, shop at samsclub.com, and interact with Sam's Club on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok.

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Nextdoor Empowers Small Businesses With the Launch of New Nextdoor Ads

Nextdoor | April 13, 2022

Today, Nextdoor (NYSE: KIND) announced Nextdoor Ads, an easy-to-use expansion of Nextdoor’s proprietary self-serve campaign management platform, designed to help small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) advertise on Nextdoor. By providing a guided experience for creating and managing effective ads on Nextdoor, Nextdoor Ads empowers SMBs to build stronger brands with local audiences, turn neighbors into customers, and grow their business through advertising on the neighborhood network. “Neighborhoods are one of the most important communities in our lives and when local businesses thrive, neighborhoods thrive,” said Kiran Prasad, Head of Product at Nextdoor. “Small businesses need a simple solution to reach customers in their local area at scale. On Nextdoor, small businesses are a trusted and core member of an active valued community – it’s where they can engage neighbors when and where it matters most, and ultimately grow their business.” The launch of Nextdoor Ads supports the company’s broader product strategy of building an active valued community where neighbors, businesses, and public services can trust and depend on each other to exchange valuable information, goods, and services. From home services to restaurants, SMBs can leverage this platform to reach active, local customers. “Nextdoor has helped me grow my business exponentially and about 50-60 percent of my customers are through Nextdoor,” said small business owner, Bill Evans, of Flowing Current Electric based in Clayton, NC. “Running a small business keeps me quite busy, so being able to easily create an ad once and having that ad yield so many new customers has been amazing.” Nextdoor is a powerful platform for SMBs looking to grow locally. Nearly 1 in 3 U.S. households are already on Nextdoor and these neighbors are motivated to support local businesses. Pre-pandemic, 88% of neighbors* frequented a local business at least once a week. Now, 72% of U.S. adults** are making it more of a priority to support local businesses compared to before the pandemic. Nextdoor neighbors also love to spread the word — they’ve already shared over 55 million local business recommendations on the Nextdoor platform. Nextdoor not only connects businesses with this active audience of neighbors, but also helps them build trusted relationships with a uniquely engaged local audience and grow their word-of-mouth reputation. "Small businesses are at the center of thriving neighborhoods. We are excited to deliver an ads solution suite for small businesses that removes the barrier to entry in campaign management, enables ad creation in just a few steps, and reaches neighbors in their immediate neighborhood and beyond," said Heidi Andersen, Head of Revenue at Nextdoor. "Small businesses are at the center of thriving neighborhoods. We are excited to deliver an ads solution suite for small businesses that removes the barrier to entry in campaign management, enables ad creation in just a few steps, and reaches neighbors in their immediate neighborhood and beyond," said Heidi Andersen, Head of Revenue at Nextdoor. "The majority of neighbors that visit Nextdoor at least once a month do not regularly use other social networks. With Nextdoor Ads, small businesses can increase sales and reach real people in the neighborhoods that matter to them."*** Nextdoor Ads is slated to fully launch in the U.S. in the coming weeks, enabling SMBs to quickly and easily create advertising campaigns to engage with their neighbors and grow their businesses on Nextdoor. To start advertising, SMB users with a free Nextdoor business account can login to select their goal, build their ad, choose their target audience, set their daily budget and ad duration, and publish. Campaigns can be launched in just a few clicks, delivering their brand and message directly to targeted neighbors and neighborhoods. SMBs can then easily track campaign performance from their Nextdoor Ads dashboard. Nextdoor provides a user-friendly ads platform and is also home to a multitude of marketing resources to aid SMBs in variety of business sectors including: Home & Garden Real Estate Professional Services Food and Beverage Retail Medical and Dental Personal Care and Beauty Health and Wellness Pet Care Services Family Care Services Today, Nextdoor is the neighborhood network, delivering scale with 69 million neighbors globally as of the end of Q4 2021. The expansion of Nextdoor's campaign management platform with the launch of Nextdoor Ads will provide businesses of all sizes, including SMBs, with access to the same ad inventory on Nextdoor. For more information on Nextdoor Ads for SMBs, visit https://business.nextdoor.com/en-us/small-business/product/ads. *Figure from Nextdoor survey conducted in February 2020. Total sample size was more than 2,000 Nextdoor users in the US. **Figure from YouGov Plc on behalf of Nextdoor. Total sample size was 14,904 adults (of whom 2,469 were US adults). Fieldwork was undertaken between August 31, 2021 – September 17, 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US Adults (aged 18+). ***According to the Q4 2021 U.S. data from GWI, 76% of neighbors who visit Nextdoor at least once per month don’t visit Snap, 69% don’t visit TikTok, and 58% don’t visit Twitter. About Nextdoor Nextdoor (NYSE: KIND) is where you connect to the neighborhoods that matter to you so you can belong. Kindness is core to our purpose: to cultivate a kinder world where everyone has a neighborhood they can rely on. Neighbors around the world turn to Nextdoor daily to receive trusted information, give and get help, get things done, and build real-world connections with those nearby — neighbors, businesses, and public services. We believe connecting with others is a universal human need. That truth, and the reality that neighborhoods are among the most important communities in our lives, have been guiding principles for Nextdoor since the beginning. Today, neighbors rely on Nextdoor in more than 285,000 neighborhoods around the world, including the United States (nearly 1 in 3 U.S. households), the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, and Canada, with many more to come. Nextdoor is based in San Francisco. For additional information and images: nextdoor.com/newsroom.

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Maryland approves the first state tax on digital ads from Facebook, Google

Facebook | February 16, 2021

Maryland has approved the country's first tax on the revenue brought in from digital advertisements placed by companies like Facebook, Google, and Amazon. On Friday, the State Senate voted to override the governor's veto of the measure following a similar vote from the House of Delegates, The New York Times reports. The measure is expected to generate as much as $250 million in its first year. There do appear to be legal risks to the measure, which will likely face stiff challenges in court over how much governments can tax social media and technology giants. Both opponents and analysts cautioned that the bill could run afoul of both the First Amendment and federal regulations preventing discriminatory taxes on internet companies, The Washington Post reported in January. The Maryland tax specifically applies to digital ads that are displayed within the state. It's also levied based on the ad sales that a company generates. Companies that make at least $100 million to $1 billion a year will be taxed at a 2.5% rate. Companies that make more than $15 billion — which includes Facebook and google — will face a 10% tax on digital ad revenue. In addition to Silicon Valley lobbyists, other opponents of the bill include Maryland Republicans, local media outlets, and telecom companies. Those opponents say that the cost of the bill could be passed along to small businesses that buy advertising. But state governments, which have been hurting during the pandemic, see similar bills as a way to refill the coffers. Legislators in Connecticut and Indiana have already introduced similar measures to tax social media giants. The tax legislation is just part of a growing debate about the dominance and power of technology giants. In the U.S., companies like Facebook and Google are facing multiple antitrust lawsuits. Antitrust legislation introduced at the federal level could target those companies, as well as Apple. The measures in the U.S. also follow in the footsteps of governments in Europe, which have introduced both new restrictions and new taxes on American and other technology giants. Although antitrust laws and regulations could spillover and affect Apple, the Cupertino tech giant doesn't rely on advertising revenue. Instead, the bulk of the money it makes comes from sales of hardware and services.

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While there certainly is scarcity in quality-assured video advertising environments, especially compared to the long-tail of video content, there is a clear and present opportunity to invest the right proportion of marketing dollars towards brand-safe video content where users are engaged. This is the premium video opportunity.

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