In brief: April Fool's in the UK, Pac-Man in Google Maps

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In other news: The hazards of livestreaming ... Viewable ads fare better ... Rubicon buys Chango ... Verizon lets users toss their "supercookies" ... Chinese Millennials find thirst for baiju.

From the Campaign family:

April Fool's Day in the UK. (Campaign UK) Haven't gotten enough tomfoolery here in the US? The UK hosted its own seasonal spoofs, including a BMW mouthguard and driverless delivery by Domino's.

Google gamifies maps for April Fool's. (Direct Marketing News) Google seems to have a knack for producing emotive, spontaneous, and intensely viral marketing moments; a talent the tech titan flaunted Tuesday with the silent inclusion of a Pac-Man mode in its Google Maps property, not unlike what the company did last year with Maps and Pokemon. It shows the latent potential of gamification as a marketing tactic when infused with highly emotional connectors such as nostalgia or novelty.

Selling baiju to a new generation in China. (Campaign Asia-Pacific) The traditional Chinese liquor had experienced a slump in recent decades, but Nielsen reports that younger drinkers are discovering a taste for it. The key insight is that future growth of the baijiu market is relying on mass market consumption, and brand positioning will have to go from being a "national liquor that appears at formal Chinese-style banquets" to one that is more accessible.

Around the Web:

Rubicon buys Chango for $122 million. (New York Times) Rubicon Project, which went public last April and had about $125 million in revenue last year, aims to become a centralized, automated exchange for buying and selling ads. With the acquisition, Rubicon, which is based in Los Angeles, is looking to build its premium ad marketplace through Chango’s so-called intent marketing technology, which delivers ads based on a consumer’s intent — implicit or explicit — to buy a particular product or service.

Verizon lets users opt out of tracking program. (Fortune) Verizon customers can now opt out of a controversial advertising program that uses so-called "supercookies." Like more traditional Internet cookies, supercookies track users’ online behavior to serve them up targeted advertisements, but unlike regular cookies, supercookies are impossible for users to delete. Verizon promised a way to opt out of the program after privacy and consumer advocates said supercookies were too invasive.

Report finds viewable ads beat half-visible ones. (VentureBeat) A new report released today from ad management firm Sizmek examines trends relating to the IAB Viewability standard. The study finds that ads with greater interactivity are more likely to be viewable, that ads for mobile are more viewable than ads for computers, and that ads sold directly to publishers are more viewable than ones sold through automated platforms.

Four legal issues brands need to understand before livestreaming on Periscope or Meerkat. (Adweek) The live-streaming video apps have everyone talking but present brands even greater challenges, legal and otherwise, when compared to merely tweeting or posting Instagram photos. Industry observers advise caution with this new type of high-wire marketing.

April Fool's in Japan: Burger King perfume. (Japan Today) Burger King Japan’s perfume smells like a flame-grilled burger patty and is named "Flame Grilled Fragrance." The perfume, which came with a Whopper and was limited to 1,000 units, cost 5,000 yen ($42) and was only available in Japan on Wednesday.


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