July in Review
By Mike Cloppse, Senior Manager of Creative Services
Staying ahead and knowing what’s next is vital for sustained success. Here’s how our experts are thinking about July’s Big Picture events, Industry news, Innovative thinking, and Inspirational stories.
Meta’s “text-based conversation app” Threads launched on July 5 and has positioned itself as a Twitter alternative rather than a Twitter killer, at least for the time being.
A First: Unlike previous Twitter competitors, Threads enabled users to bring along their existing online community on Instagram into the new app. Importantly, the app still offered users the opportunity to decide who came with them and who didn’t. In short, Meta offered users a truly unique selling proposition: reset your social graph in a familiar yet fresh app.
Twitter Killer? Not according to Instagram head Adam Mosseri. “The goal isn’t to replace Twitter,” according to Mosseri, rather Threads will focus on fun and entertainment instead of “politics and hard news.” This has meant users primarily interact with individuals within their existing network. So, while Twitter has established itself as a real-time breaking news and current events platform, Threads lacks a similar ecosystem for real-time news dissemination, albeit by design.
“Threads’ recent drop in user engagement is unsurprising given its record-breaking launch. What’s more interesting is how engagement will track over time without the platform promoting the trending topics and real-time reactions that text-based platforms are typically known for.”
– Lauren Cole, Director, Social Media
In late July, Elon Musk renamed Twitter, X, introducing the change with a new logo in select spots within the platform and in several tweets.
Timely: The re-brand followed the launch of Meta’s Threads and has helped Twitter (X) regain buzz. The hope is that if users are engaging and responding on the app, X may regain some of the advertising revenue the app has lost since Musk’s takeover.
Only the Beginning: Users should prepare to say goodbye to what makes Twitter, Twitter. Musk has tweeted that we need to rethink the entire platform and, “in months to come, we will add comprehensive communications and the ability to conduct your entire financial world,” Musk continues, “The Twitter name does not make sense in that context, so we must bid adieu to the bird.”
What’s Next: Not only is X an ode to Musk’s X.com (now PayPal) which he founded in 1999, but it’s the next chapter of his plan to combine all the ideas he’s had since into one universe with one letter: X.
“Changing Twitter’s iconic logo and name to a forgettable ‘X’ seems like a desperate move to get media attention. The recent removal of the new illuminated sign in San Francisco serves as a metaphor for Musk’s penchant for self-inflicted struggles.”
– Kristin Detterline, Athena Brand Director
On July 21st, the White House announced the Biden administration had reached a voluntary agreement with seven companies on sharing, testing, and developing new AI Technology.
Who & What: OpenAI, Alphabet, Meta, Amazon, Inflection, and Anthropic made a commitment to conduct testing on systems before their release and to share information on minimizing risks and investing in cybersecurity. The seven companies also committed to developing a “watermark” system for all AI-generated content, focusing on user privacy, ensuring systems are free of bias, and working on solutions for scientific problems like climate change and cancer.
What’s Next: There isn’t an exact plan for how the White House will or can hold the companies accountable to these commitments. Accordingly, White House officials have emphasized the need for legislation. Meanwhile, new AI breakthroughs continue to be a daily occurrence.
“It’s gotten increasingly difficult to distinguish between AI- and human-generated content online. Now more than ever, it is imperative for the Biden administration to work proactively with AI pioneers to create safeguards that grant consumers the information they need to safely and confidently share content.”
– Ian Woodruff, Manager
A 366ft by 516ft sphere with ~580,000 sq ft of LED screen is Las Vegas’ newest (and brightest) spectacle.
More than a Billboard: The Sphere at the Venetian Resort is “a 360-degree canvas for brand storytelling that will be seen around the world,” says Madison Square Garden Sports COO David Hopkinson. The NBA was the first brand to use the Sphere, promoting its Summer League with a larger-than-life basketball.
More than Advertising: Come September 29th, the Exosphere is open for entertainment with shows and sporting events planned for later this year. This sphere was built for immersive experiences with 16K LED interior screen, ~17,600 seats, and 160K speakers around the bowl.
“OOH advertising has proven effective and reliable over time, but the Sphere brings OOH to the next level with a new, immersive and buzz-worthy spectacle. What will be interesting to see if they can fill this type of arena each and every day.”
– Mike Cloppse, Senior Manager of Creative Services