3 Key Takeaways from ad:tech Sydney 2017

Countless thought leaders took the stage at ad:tech Sydney 2017 to school us on the latest and greatest, but what were the overall pervading themes?

1) "marketing is pollution" - attention is the new currency.

2) the human attention span has dropped to 8 seconds, lower than a goldfish. Ignore this to your marketing peril.

3) Brands are breaking through the idiom of "right person, right ad, right ad, right product, right time". They are now looking to drive "an unfair share of culture".

Nimbull's session on "Future Tech & Trends Shaping Search" has received some very positive feedback since the conference on Wednesday. We showcased a series of speculative technology including robotics, VR, aerial connectivity, holograms, short wave infra red and more. Most interestingly, for every person excited by emerging tech like this, there is one concerned for privacy, obesity and a range of other societal implications. It fuelled a healthy debate during the Q&A at the end of the presentation.

Here's Nimbull's presentation deck from the day:

Here's some images and video of Michael Verghios, Digital Marketing Director at Nimbull in action!

You're about to over-count conversions! "Converted Clicks going away" for Adwords.

The "converted clicks" column is going away in the Adwords interface. 

Advertisers are advised to work with their Google rep or agency to make necessary changes ASAP. 

It requires systematically going through your Adwords account, to change the counting methodology from "every" to "one" where appropriate, so that the "conversions" column will act as the old "converted clicks" column did. 

"Converted clicks" will disappear from the interface around March 16, so you will need to add in the "conversions" column (and associated metrics columns) on March 16 to get meaningful data.

Here are more details:


Why would Google do this?

1) decluttering the interface

2) indirectly, Google will also achieve a "perceived" performance boost for many non savvy advertisers. It is unlikely small advertisers will realise this change, therefore may start counting "lead forms submissions" even if they came from the same person twice. 

Spread the word fast and send onto your fellow Adwords users !

The Low Cost Smart Home is About to Explode

You probably know that guy. The one who for years has showed off about having Sonos playing music in every room, and double claps to open his blinds. Even if you haven't been to his house, he'll fill you with stories about a garage door that opens up 2 mins before you arrive. Of course, his main aim in all this is not really a betterment to his life's function, but a trophy to point to when front yard fountains became a home wear faux pas. Achieving these things up until now carried major costs running into the tens of thousands and countless hours of setup. More importantly, it involved putting trust into an ecosystem of products with no strong consumer facing brands.

Enter 2017, and the big players are finally showing their cards. Release schedules have been cautious e.g Amazon has held back releases outside of the US for up to a year after the US release date. With first iterations either recently launching or launching in q2, q3 or q4, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple are now in the race. These companies are already pivotal in our lives - they are our computers, our phones, how we shop, how we play. Home automation releases by these companies demand the consumers time to look, and create FOMO aka every marketers dream, the fear of missing out. With the volume of IOT devices growing exponentially, this supply surge will only bring down the costs of light bulbs, fans (and Internet connected rice cookers!) etc  

So the next time "that guy" tries to tell you his $1100 FIBARO Home Center 2 Controller is so amazing, you can smugly say your Amazon Echo Dot 2 only cost 50 bucks, all the cool kids have one, it learns everyday and will probably do way more very shortly! 

Here's the other hot developments about to take the home automation market AND your home by storm: 

Name: Amazon Echo

US Release Date: June 23, 2015

Available in Australia?: No

The Amazon Echo, a voice-activated home audio speaker system that integrates a personal voice assistant named Alexa with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. Consensus online is that it is currently beating Google Home on build quality and overall functionality, but this is expected with over 1 year release in the US.  

Name: Amazon Echo Dot 2

US Release Date: October 20, 2016

Available in Australia?: No

Nicknamed "the hockey puck", The Amzon Echo Dot (2nd Generation) is a hands-free, voice-controlled device that uses Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, provide information and much more. Its does just about everything the standard ECHO does, but you need to tether it to your home speakers via bluetooth or jack. At only $50, it sure to shake up the market in an absolutely massive way. 

Name: Google Home

US Release Date: November 4, 2016

Available in Australia?: No

Google Home is a Wi-Fi speaker that also works as a smart-home control centre that can be used to playback entertainment throughout your entire house, effortlessly manage every-day tasks and much more. It looks kinda like an air freshener, but lots of people really love it! Its currently in such an early iteration that even commands like "OK GOOGLE, TELL ME MY APPOINTMENTS FOR THE DAY" are not supported (at time of writing), but this will change very fast. Of course, being internet connected, these devices learn and improve seamlessly. Online consensus is that its big strength right now is how "conversational" it is. You can ask it a series of questions, and it has great context by assessing previous ones. Google will be putting massive resource behind this upcoming cash cow, so look out for some amazing features on the horizon.  

Name: Microsoft HomeHub


US Release Date: Not yet released

Available in Australia?: No

Microsoft is planning to build a HomeHub software which is designed to run on Windows 10 PCs, but can work on any Windows 10 machine. Pen and ink support are also part of the plan. There is some information on windowscentral.com, but its very early days. It describes having a "guest profile" on a home laptop which can be given commands from the lock screen, and have special access features to understand who's calendar they are allowed to read from (could be awkward for any 17 year old hiding a party from their parents!). The major differentiator is that its purely a software play. This is a great advantage as its already in everyone's homes, and people are getting more familiar with CORTANA, the voice assistant. All you need is an internet connected light bulb as a Christmas gift and away you go. Features will be released in Q2, Q3 and Q4 of this year as part of Windows 10 functionality.

Name: Apple HomeKit


US Release Date: September 17, 2014

Available in Australia?: Yes

Apple HomeKit technology provides an easy and secure way to control HomeKit-enabled devices like the Withings Home Plus using Siri on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.


US Release Date:  November 25, 2016

Available in Australia?: No

Here come the Chinese! Don't let is funny name fool you. The LingLong DingDong is the latest smart home voice control to hit the market, with the company promising that it can communicate in various dialects of Chinese.

Who’s Doing it Well? Advertising Using VR

As leading advertisers and agencies of the world pontificate about future tech and trends, only a handful have gone "all in" with concerted campaigns. Virtual Reality advertising tops the list of these aspirational mediums. Rapid consumer adoption, improvements to VR technology, as well as an escalating battle of acquisitions, keeps the goal posts shifting. Still, some advertisers are breaking real ground and winning hearts and wallets in the process. So whether you want a be a busy bee flying through a Mexican field, or a shopper walking through a department store in another continent, here's some of the pioneering advertisers who are seeing real success from early adoption of VR advertising.

Advertiser: MYER / EBAY


Project name


ebay Virtual Reality Departmental Store


Iconic Australian retailer & Australia’s largest marketplace, Myer & Ebay have joined forces to provide a glimpse into the future of shopping by creating the world’s first Virtual Reality (VR) Department Store. Throughout the VR experience, Australian customers can browse more than 12,500 Myer products. Each product can be selected and added to cart using eBay Sight Search™. As we move from keyword text, to voice search, and now sight search, advertisers are presented with more input signals to harness at that perfect moment in the consumer journey.

When you enter the virtual store, several categories of retail items are shown: women's clothing, electronics and others. Users select areas of interest, and the experience is built around the choices. As you move through, selecting or rejecting items, the store's algorithm should further adapt to what it thinks users might like. 

If you want to take a closer look at a watch or clothes, 100s of the top products are viewable in 3D, with the remaining 12,500 in 2D. Instead of having hand controllers, users select items using only sight! The company has created "eBay Sight Search," which allows items to be chosen by holding your gaze on them for a number of seconds. 

Items can be added to the basket in the same fashion, but to check out, users have to take off the headset and return to the eBay app to put through the payment. 


SO What VR Technology is required by the consumer to engage in the campaign?


Consumers have to download the eBay VR Department Store app on their smart phone, and insert their phone into the shopticals with the app open, to start their virtual shopping experience.


How effective was it?

The Virtual Reality Department Store connects to the existing eBay.com.au API, which allows Myer’s product range, pricing and stock information to be updated in real time, a first for virtual reality experiences globally.


How could it improve with FURTHER adoption of VR?

Leaving the app to checkout is a particularly awkward feature, which when improved will enable a much better experience. At the moment, you can select, add it your cart, and then you're thrown to the eBay app to check out. Maybe a triple blink means "buy"!


More Info On This Campaign


Advertiser: Boursin Sensorium


Project name

Boursin Sensorium Virtual Reality Experience

Boursin VR


Sometime ago, Boursin Sensorium, a popular French cheese brand realised that while the brand was an authority in the market, its engagement rate with their audience was pretty low.

Boursin wanted to target its everyday young audience to create a kind of experience that would tell them about the ecstasy of indulging in Boursin’s cheese. So, in the year 2015, the brand collaborated with "BEcause Brand Experience" and "Hammerhead" to launch a unique marketing campaign.

The objective of this campaign was to trigger sensory engagement. For this, the brand adopted the method of the experiential road show under which it incorporated flavor sampling with virtual reality.


SO What VR Technology is required by the consumer to engage in the campaign?

With the use of Oculus Rift and CGI Animation, the consumers were taken inside a virtual fridge to help them immerse in the taste of each ingredient. Each move was enhanced by a corresponding sound effect.

Hammerhead used Unreal Engine 4 to make the virtual fridge. It also played around with the scale of objects giving them lifelike size.

The same technology was used to make the 360-degree video that was then made available to viewers who could watch the experience on any browser, smartphone, Google Cardboard or similar VR headset.


How effective was it?

The participants of the campaign were sent personalized videos of their reactions to the VR experience. These six-second clips being small were widely shared across social media with the hashtag #BoursinSensorium.

A special photo booth was set up where people clicked their pics with the virtual fridge and its contents. The result was that the brand reached around 5 million people and its video got over 80K+ video views. For its innovative idea, the campaign garnered a lot of attention and also won several awards.


How could it improve with FURTHER adoption of VR?

Although it was brand’s first attempt at incorporating Virtual Reality in its flavor sampling, the campaign did really well.

For the next time around, the brand can always use high-resolution graphics to enhance the individual’s experience because real life images are more impactful.

The aim of the brand was to set up an “experiential” road show. If we carefully observe the ad, there is a bit of disconnection between the slice’s movement and its corresponding sound. Disconnection takes away the illusion of the reality VR attempts to create. To a user who was experiencing it all in store, the disconnection is avoidable but to a viewer sitting at home, it’s quite noticeable.


More Info On This Campaign



Advertiser:THE VERGE/Michelle Obama


Project name

Michelle Obama 360

Michelle Obama is the "cool” First lady. What sets her apart is her ability to connect with people both offline and online. This is one of the reasons why the Obama's are popular; they are accessible and welcoming.

While everyone knows that the First Lady is fluent with social media platforms, she wanted to expand her connection and tell people what it is that makes her successful. She collaborated with The Verge and came up with the Michelle Obama 360-degree interview campaign.

The objective of the campaign was to show how the First Lady uses social media platforms to promote her causes. 

It was one of the very first VR experiences using an Info-graphic.


SO What VR Technology is required by the consumer to engage in the campaign?


The main motive was to educate people about the important social causes the First lady had been working on and how people can engage and participate in them.

The campaign required compelling storytelling. The after effects animation helped give context to Michelle's words. As Michelle herself said, for the content to be engaging, it should be "authentic". The videos within the info-graphic substantiated every thing she was saying.


How effective was it?

Michelle's words reached millions of people - it had great media coverage, boosting reach. 

How could it improve with FURTHER adoption of VR?

This campaign is one of the best VR campaigns seen so far as it also used info-graphics for better understanding of stats. It struck a chord both in terms of presentation and content.

But what it lacked was the sensory engagement. A VR campaign stands out because of its ability to trigger instant reaction from the viewer. While Michelle Obama 360 degree interview campaign attempted to "educate" people, it did not trigger a reaction of being overwhelmed by the process.  

A possible improvement could be to also show the videos on full screen using high resolution images and sound. Similar to concert videos, Obama's powerful words would have created a sense in the viewers that they are actually present. 

More Info On This Campaign



Advertiser name : Patron/FirstBorn


Project name

The Art of Patron

the art of patron


“The Art of Patron”  - The VR video is the collaborative effort between Patron and creative agency Firstborn. The Art of Patron turns the audience into a busy flying bee! The video was intended to take you on a virtual tour to Patrons Hacienda Headquarter in Mexico and sunny tequila field, all through a bee’s field of view!

It was shot using a specialized, custom-built drone which was fitted with seven Go-pros and operated by a licensed drone pilot due to the complicated nature of the shoot.

The live-action shoot captures the tour in and around the Hacienda distillery. The team designed a way for everyone to view what was being shot in real time, and preview it in an approximated VR space before moving on to the next set up. Binaural (3D) audio was also recorded throughout the shoot so that the collected sound from all directions would ensure an experience natural to human hearing.


SO What VR Technology is required by the consumer to engage in the campaign?

Use of VR headsets is required. For those at home, Firstborn created a custom interactive player that can be controlled via computer mouse or an iPad’s gyroscope.


How effective was it?

Reach was achieved for the bartenders, mixologists, servers, key influencers and buyers - the folks who are buying the end product that ultimately gets into consumers’ hands. The experience also earned over 145M impressions. 


How could it improve with FURTHER adoption of VR?

This was shot in 4k. When anyone looks at it on a 4k monitor and then runs it through Oculus it looks grainy. The video itself is higher resolution than most of the hardware can handle. Thankfully with Oculus’ recent release, the technology supports higher resolution video. 


More Info On This Campaign


Top Retweets of #CES2017 So Far!

Everybody knows the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in the first week of every year is the best cheat sheet you'll ever get for the hottest Tech trends on the horizon. Given the type of crowd walking around CES Las Vegas 2017, activity on Twitter is an excellent predictor of what the masses are getting excited about. With Day 2 kicking off, here's what's hot so far. 

The most retweeted tweets containing #CES2017


  1. The most important upgrade out of #CES2017 . #SpiderManHomecoming
  2. Nerf this! Amazing D.Va @PlayOverwatch custom rig at the @CORSAIR #CES2017 booth!
  3. Retweet for your chance to win a pack of 5 Sharetapes! Share mixtapes IRL with with NFC enabled Sharetapes! #CES2017
  4. Welcome to #MBCES! The Electric Intelligence Concept Car, the next step for electric drive technology. Making an appearance at #CES2017.
  5. Experience the full gameplay trailer from tonight's @nvidia #CES2017 keynote: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcidXF1pk4c …
  6. I'm sorry @PanasonicUSA did you say disappearing clear TV? Wait for it... wait for it... #CES2017
  7. The future of driving is autonomous. @BMW and Intel partner to create the car of tomorrow. #CES2017
  8. Because the world needs more film. #EktachromeIsBack http://htl.li/asYN307ISXi #CES2017 #KodakCES2017
  9. This is @Razer's new triple-display gaming laptop, Project Valerie. More details here: http://www.ign.com/articles/2017/01/05/ces-2017-razer-introduces-insane-triple-monitor-gaming-laptop … #CES2017
  10. Didn't exist in 2006: iPhone iPad Kindle 4G Uber Airbnb Android Oculus Spotify Nest Stripe Square Instagram Snapchat WhatsApp #CES2017


Here's a closer look at what general themes are exciting the masses


  1. Celebrity Endorsements

I guess the star appeal of a Hollywood celebrity can overpower even the shiniest new tech toy. Spider-Man Homecoming, Presented by Marvel Studios. 


2. Advanced Gaming

Full Game-play Trailer by Mass Effect. High quality graphics! Experience the effects at #CES2017

3. Intelligent Cars

Electric Intelligence Concept Cars by Mercedes Benz, the next step for electric drive technology.

4. HD TV with a Twist

High Resolution Clear TV!

5. New Form Gaming Displays

The evolution of PC gaming continues. Razor has new gaming laptops with triple display. Experience the Razer's gaming abilities at #CES2017

"Trump Opens White House To Homeless" - GOOG & FB Harden Fake News Ad Policies

Weeks after the race for the White House is over, the Internet is still abuzz about how "fake news" sites may have influenced the US election.

Zuckerberg himself was found quickly back-pedaling post election after accusations fake news in Facebook newsfeeds was responsible for a Trump victory. You know its kinda serious when the POTUS starts complaining - President Obama openly criticized the spread of fake news on Facebook during a news conference in Berlin recently. 

With public discourse on the matter showing little sign of slowing, both Google and Facebook have made a quick reactionary move to harden their ad policies.

 “The goal of search is to provide the most relevant and useful results for our users. In this case, we clearly didn’t get it right, but we are continually working to improve our algorithms,” Andrea Faville, a Google spokeswoman, said in a statement.

The new mechanism on Facebook is to be based both on automated and human reviews that would decide what news is fake. 

Google will limit the ability of Fake News sites to participate in Google Adsense, which will be a major blow to the distribution and online revenue of the fake news business model.

Here's a closer look at some of the top Fake News Sites, and some of their ludicrous (and often HILLARious) claims made over the 18 month lead up to Nov 8.

EMPIRE NEWS - empirenews.net

Empire News Trends.PNG
Trump Says When He Wins Election He’ll Continue Living In Trump Tower, Open White House To Area Homeless
CONFIRMED: Hillary Wore Secret Ear-Piece During Debate

WORLD NEWS DAILY REPORT- worldnewsdailyreport.com


NATIONAL REPORT- nationalreport.net

Trump: Ben Carson Perfect For HUD Because ‘It Has The Word Urban In It’
Jon Stewart Selected to be Hillary Clinton’s Running Mate in 2016

THE NEWS NERD- www.thenewsnerd.com

Donald Trump Says Bill Gates Has Agreed to be his Vice President

14 Billion Dollars. 24 Hours. One Company. How?

China's Single's Day sales were three times more than the US's Cyber Monday and Black Friday combined in 2015! Let that sink in for a moment... 

Its not going anywhere either. Thanks to the relics of China's one child policy, there will be 30 million more men than women in China by 2020. Single's Day is here to stay!

Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba just made 14 Billion Dollars in 24 hours! It's rivalry with JingDong on the day fuels massive discounts - a big win for Chinese consumers. Delivery men around China struggle, some delivering over 150 parcels in a single day, and working between 5 am and Midnight.



Single's Day sales are expected to top 20 billion in 2016, surpassing Valentines Day in the US for the first time.


So what IS Single's Day and when did it start?

It started in 93 by Students of Nanjing University, and snowballed into a national and then international phenomenon. Aligning with the Chinese love for numerology, the 4 number 1s in 11/11 are chosen to celebrate single hood.


How did eCommerce explode for Singles Day?

Alibaba sites and its run of deals during the period have been a major driver of eCommerce ramping up over the years. Estimated sales in Alibaba's sites Tmall and Taobao are at US$5.8 billion in 2013, US$9.3 billion in 2014, and over US$14.3 billion in 2015.


What are the other largest GLOBAL ecommerce shopping Days of the Year?


- Diwali 

A recent Paypal survey found up to 75% of Indian consumers intend to shop online to avoid crowds and buy from home.


- Christmas, especially Nov 25 to Dec 18

Santa traded in that workshop and sleigh for a nice Dell XPS laptop and Paypal account!


- Chinese New Year

The weeks leading up to the Chinese New Year are a heavy shopping season in China, and online shopping escalates as a greater percentage of commerce moves online.


- Japan’s Bonus Season

Japan always projects higher consumer spending in months when summer bonuses are given out. 90-five per cent of Japan's residents surveyed in 2012 said they expected to receive a bonus that summer.


- Back to School Season

This is a big time for consumer electronic and other general supplies, especially in western countries like the US.


Its that time of year again. Dust off those old Christmas campaigns, and don't forget all the digital developments of 2016 this Christmas.

1) AdWords Price Extensions

Why not show off your holiday pricing with this little known ad extension and stand out from your competitors.

2) Christmas Keywords

While keywords like "Christmas gift" may be expensive and competitive, combining them with demographics or product offerings may be very useful e.g. "Christmas present male 30 years old", "travel Christmas present" or "beauty present".

3) Updating Display Ads and website with a Christmas message.

Don't have the resources? You'll be surprised how cheaply a site like 99designs.com can build you some web assets.

4) Ramping up before the 18th.

Countless studies show eCommerce shoppers in particular will be very conscious of shipping dates and not be so keen to order shipped items less than one week before Xmas.

5) Google Site links with Xmas offer.

Don't waste the opportunity to take more search engine real estate off your competitors and direct people to Christmas Sale pages.

6) Front loading budget to the best part of the month

Make sure you combine both Google trends data and your own GA data to assess when conversion rates spike and plateau, to flight digital budget perfectly.

7) Learning from Last year

Everything from champion ad copy to negative keyword and site harvests. Don't pass on the opportunity to mine last years data to make this years campaign fire. You only get one chance a year!

8) Offline Sales and Online Sales are JUST SALES

No silos here. People's smart phones are essentially like shop assistants in store these days. Stores are even more packed during holiday periods meaning this phenomenon just intensifies. Make sure your digital coverage facilitates all parts of the purchase funnel. Make sure you enable all cross device metrics possible, including "all conversions" in AdWords.

9) Ramping up mobile

- for when people are out and about, especially in countries where Christmas is in summer months. We're not asking you to geek out and write a Script that changes max bids and device bid multipliers according to rain or heat (or are we?).

10) Gmail Ads

Why not serve ads to people who have mentioned a particular present or wish list in their Gmail email over the last 30 days?

11) Remarketing is Key

Xmas brings about more research and more conversion. No other period is so important to get back in front of consumers with the right Xmas based remarketing message. You may even increase your targeting frequency to something more aggressive like 3 per user per day.

12) Boost Reporting Frequency

Throw out that monthly reporting. Your most important conversion period of the year deserves weekly deep dive reporting to respond to competitor’s moves.

13) Anticipate Staff Intensity

Many organisations receive far more leave requests in the weeks leading up to Christmas, especially in the countries where it's hotter. Ensure staff coverage so you don't take your foot off the pedal on your digital marketing efforts in this pivotal period.

14) Boost Responsiveness on the CRM side of Social Media

The Christmas period will result in shorter research periods and quicker consumer decisions. Your Facebook page in particular may become a destination for many pre sales questions, and a failure to answer quickly may just be a flick pass to your more Nimbull competitors (see what i did there? hehe). This is very important in the popular consumer electronics category, where pre purchase questions are commonplace.

15) Reviews, Reviews, Reviews

There's never a better time to show off positive reviews than Christmas, where a quick 5 star review could be all that's needed to get a perspective buyer to pull the trigger. AdWords review extensions, as well as attracting reviews on "Google My Business" pages and Facebook pages are key here.

Contact us about how to hack your Christmas Digital Campaigns today.

7 Amazing Things That Could Come From Microsoft's LinkedIn Acquisition

Well it kinda came out of nowhere, but we think its great!

Here are 7 amazing things that could come from Microsoft's LinkedIn acquisition.

1) Outlook.com powers clunky LinkedIn mail. LinkedIn mail is known to be clunky with errors on various devices, and bare unfamiliar features like "enter to send". Bringing in the smarts of outlook.com could add familiarity and cut development costs.


2) LinkedIn Pulse (customised newsfeed) can help direct people to Microsoft office products to fulfil tasks.  


3) Bing can replace LinkedIn's inferior search process. How many times have you been introduced to someone, only to never find them on LinkedIn because there are 20 John Watsons in your area. Bing's superior search technology can power LinkedIn to make finding people easier. Bing can also now serve LinkedIn pulse results within its search engine in realtime, especially for professionals perusing its news section.


4) LinkedIn video, powered by Skype. Often the most logical next step after an initial email with a new LinkedIn contact is a video call. Today this means leaving the LinkedIn platform to hit a Google hangout or Skype call. Skype can now power LinkedIn video calls.  


5) LinkedIn PPC Ads can be improved. Microsoft is now a legitimate player in the social space. This will open countless opportunities for them in the online advertising space. LinkedIn's platform has been criticised for high CPCs and low returns. Microsoft can bring additional 1st and 3rd party data to make LinkedIn Ads work much harder and get great results. Also, opting in to LinkedIn ads on its expanded network can now include Microsoft sites at better rates and more targeted control. 

6) Middle fingers up to the Goo - Sure Google owns YouTube, the worlds second biggest search engine, but it lacks a more general purpose social channel that incorporates all rich formats e.g image, text, video, articles etc. Microsoft now owns LinkedIn which happily accommodates all formats, opening media distribution opportunities. It's an important feather in any web giants cap. Bet the Goo wished that Google Plus thing would have worked out a bit better. 

7) Microsoft now own Lynda (training platform) through its LinkedIn acquisition. This could not be a more perfect marriage between training and Microsofts office suite which is the main avenue for rehearsal of concepts taught. Just one more method of steering people away from the free Google Docs products.