Gen Z use their phones a lot, but are relieved when they are taken away. So how do marketers reach this age group if they have a love/hate relationship with their smartphones?

By MediaStreet Staff Writers

Members of Generation Z are relieved when placed in a situation where they are unable to access their smartphones for several weeks. This is according to a new study conducted by Screen Education, a non-profit organisation that addresses smartphone addiction.

The study involved participants aged from 12 to 16, who spent 2-4 weeks at Camp Livingston during the summer of 2017.  Because Camp Livingston does not permit its campers to bring smartphones with them, they are an ideal group for conducting research about refraining from smartphone use.

According to Michael Mercier, President of Screen Education, “Many children said they have become overwhelmed by their smartphones. They no longer can keep up with all their notifications, and they are burdened by the ‘drama’ they encounter through social media via their smartphones. Consequently, they were relieved to be separated from their smartphones because it eliminated that stress.”

This relief was reflected in a survey conducted with the campers after they had returned home.  The campers were asked the extent to which they experienced feelings of gladness and frustration from being without their phones. “A large number − 92% − experienced gladness, while only 41% felt any frustration. We had expected the opposite,” said Mercier.

When asked what their experience would have been like if they had been allowed to bring their phones to camp, campers revealed just how severe smartphone addiction is among their age group. “They almost unanimously admitted they would have spent the entire time on their phones,” recounts Max Yamson, Executive Director of Camp Livingston. “They said they would not have formed deep relationships with the staff and fellow campers, would not have connected with their surroundings and nature on the same level, and would not have engaged as much in recreational activities.”

According to Yamson, “The study shows that the campers were glad to have left their phones behind so that they could experience a deeper level of engagement.”

“The research also revealed a stunning insight,” said Mercier. “Many campers discussed the experience of face-to-face communication as though it were a novel one. They exhibited a sense of discovery at learning that face-to-face communication is far superior to screen communication when it comes to building friendships and getting to know other people.”

Yamson added, “One camper said that in four short weeks she got to know her friends at camp better than she knows some of her friends at home – because she mostly communicates with her friends at home through screens.”

Other key findings include:

  • 92% said it was beneficial to have gone without their phones while at camp
  • 83% considered having gone without their phones for several weeks to be an important life experience
  • 35% were successful at curbing their smartphone use after leaving camp
  • 17% tried to influence a friend to spend less time on their phone after leaving camp

The researchers plan to follow this study up with additional research during the summer of 2018.


Marketers trying to catch the attention of this demographic may need to think carefully about how they approach mobile advertising for this generation of digital natives. It’s another day in the life of modern media.


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This handy app can help you create ads with impact but with very little effort.

By MediaStreet Staff Writers

An app called Plotaverse helps marketers to create great ads without the dreaded and costly content creation process. Quickly bypassing established app giants, the young startup’s iOS app made the list of Facebook’s top 10 mobile apps.

The photo app’s animation features allow businesses of any calibre to create impactful ads fast and on a budget. More or less, you can choose from many artistically appealling gifs and put your message over them. The artwork on the site is truly eye-catching.

But how did Plotaverse’s 8 months old mobile app manage to disrupt visual advertising, going up against 8 billion video views a day on Facebook alone?

Images animated with Plotaverse, formerly known as Plotagraph, are the key to its success. The app ads movement to any single still photo. This creates ads that stand out in saturated media feeds.


Brands like Coca Cola, Wella, Chevrolet and Red Bull were seen boosting their brand with captivating Plotagraphs. There is no need for video, multiple photos or video editing skills to turn a photograph into a Plotagraph. Users of any skill level can quickly animate and post uniquely moving images to their business and social page.

On Instagram and Facebook, Plotagraphs have proven to attract up to 5 times the amount of views and engagement than surrounding images.

Every day, 4.5 million business pages on Facebook are trying to cut through 1.32 billion daily active users according to WordStream. As expected, Adobe’s titan apps, Photoshop Express and Spark Post head Facebook’s list of Photo Enhancing apps. But the tiny startup’s photo animation app has unexpectedly spearheaded the looping content industry.

To check it out, click here


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It could be sending the wrong message to your intended audience.

By MediaStreet Staff Writers

An academic study has found that women wearing heavy makeup are less likely to be perceived as leaders. Of course, it depends on what you are selling and to whom. But if you want your model to portray leadership, then stay away from the make-up kit.

The research from Abertay University found that women wearing heavy makeup were less likely to be thought of as good leaders. The study was led by Dr Christopher Watkins of Abertay’s Division of Psychology, and published today in Perception journal. It revealed that the amount of makeup a woman is wearing can have a negative impact on perceptions of her leadership ability.

Study participants were asked to view a series of images featuring the same woman without cosmetics and with makeup applied for a “social night out”.

Computer software was used to manipulate the faces and the amount of makeup was also manipulated in the face images.

Each participant completed a face perception task where they judged sixteen face-pairs, indicating how much better a leader they felt their chosen face to be compared to the other face.

It was found that both men and women evaluated women more negatively as a leader if the image suggested she was wearing a lot of makeup.

Dr Watkins said, “This research follows previous work in this area, which suggests that wearing makeup enhances how dominant a woman looks. While the previous findings suggest that we are inclined to show some deference to a woman with a good looking face, our new research suggests that makeup does not enhance a woman’s dominance by benefitting how we evaluate her in a leadership role.”

The study was carried out by Abertay graduates Esther James and Shauny Jenkins and used a measurement scale common in face perception research, which calculates the first-impressions of the participant group as a whole, working out an average verdict.

Dr Watkins has carried out previous high-profile studies including work looking at how women remember the faces potential love rivals and the role of traits related to dominance in our choice of allies, colleagues and friends.

To view the full study click here.

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Facebook is now the most popular places that advertisers are putting their video ads, even beating YouTube.

By MediaStreet Staff Writers

Top marketers know that digital video is one of the most powerful tools to increase consumer engagement and brand loyalty. In fact, according to a new study from Clinch, brand marketers are ramping up their production of digital videos with an emphasis on creating campaigns specifically for Facebook and YouTube.

The study found that 78 percent of marketers plan to increase their production of video ads in 2018, while only 43 percent of marketers plan to increase their production of static banner ads this year.

Social is Video

When it comes to digital video campaigns, Facebook reigns supreme, representing 46 percent of all video ads produced. When adding Facebook-owned Instagram into the mix, this number leaps to 74 percent. YouTube comes in a close second at 41 percent.

Says Oz Etzioni, CEO of Clinch, “It’s no secret that Facebook and YouTube dominate the digital media landscape and we don’t expect this to slow down, particularly with the Facebook algorithm change which requires brands to pay in order to be seen. In 2018 brands will increase spend and leverage the rich data that these platforms provide. However, the data and platform are just two pieces of the puzzle. Creative is the critical third piece. If brands aren’t uniquely tailoring their creative specifically for each platform and by audience, opportunities will be missed and ROI will be lowered.”

Nearly three quarters of marketers are adopting online video from their TV commercials. 44 percent indicated that they don’t shorten commercials for each platform’s suggested length. While TV ads remain a critical source of video content, the user experience of each social platform is very different than traditional TV. For example, TV ads are 15 to 30 seconds long but Facebook and YouTube recommend six-second videos.

Etzioni continued, “We were really surprised to learn that marketers were taking a one size fits all approach to video. In 2018, marketers will awaken to the fact that investment in creative will increase ROI and personalisation at scale, and will become the norm for digital video as it has become for static ads.”

Defining Social Personalisation

While 50 percent of respondents say they personalise their video campaigns, brands can be doing a lot more. Those that are personalising their creatives based on data are seeing big results. Nearly 90 percent of respondents who have customised Facebook or YouTube video ads reported seeing benefits. Furthermore, 70 percent of those who customise said that they have seen improvements in their key performance indicators (KPIs).

According to Etzioni, in the next few months, the definition of personalisation will change. “Rather than creating a handful of versions – one for men, one for women, one for the East Coast and one for the West Coast, we expect brands to be using data insights to personalise at scale. This means hundreds if not thousands of versions of videos where the message and creative is tailored to their specific needs and interests. This will create a more meaningful experience for the consumer and transform video campaigns from simply brand awareness to direct response opportunities,”

The full report, “How Leading Brand Marketers are Using Personalised Video to Drive Sales,” is available for download here.



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According to scientists, mobile device habits stem from a healthy human need to socialise, which is rooted in evolution.

By MediaStreet Staff Writers

A new study of dysfunctional use of smart technology finds that the most addictive smartphone functions all share a common theme: they tap into the human desire to connect with other people. The findings, published in Frontiers in Psychology, suggest that smartphone addiction could be hyper-social, not anti-social.

“There is a lot of panic surrounding this topic,” says Professor Samuel Veissière, from the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University, Canada. “We’re trying to offer some good news and show that it is our desire for human interaction that is addictive – and there are fairly simple solutions to deal with this.”

We all know people who, seemingly incapable of living without the bright screen of their phone for more than a few minutes, are constantly texting and checking out what friends are up to on social media.

These are examples of what many consider to be the antisocial behaviour brought on by smartphone addiction, a phenomenon that has garnered media attention in the past few months and led investors and consumers to demand that tech giants address this problem.

But what if we were looking at things the wrong way? Could smartphone addiction be hyper-social, not anti-social?

Professor Veissière, a cognitive anthropologist who studies the evolution of cognition and culture, explains that the desire to watch and monitor others – but also to be seen and monitored by others – runs deep in our evolutionary past. Humans evolved to be a uniquely social species and require constant input from others to seek a guide for culturally appropriate behaviour. This is also a way for them to find meaning, goals, and a sense of identity.

Together with Moriah Stendel, also from McGill’s Department of Psychiatry, Professor Veissière reviewed current literature on dysfunctional use of smart technology through an evolutionary lens. The researchers found that the most addictive smartphone functions all shared a common theme: they tap into the human desire to connect with other people.

Healthy urges can become unhealthy addictions

While smartphones harness a normal and healthy need for sociality, Professor Veissière agrees that the pace and scale of hyper-connectivity pushes the brain’s reward system to run on overdrive, which can lead to unhealthy addictions.

“In post-industrial environments where foods are abundant and readily available, our cravings for fat and sugar sculpted by distant evolutionary pressures can easily go into insatiable overdrive and lead to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The pro-social needs and rewards of smartphone use as a means to connect can similarly be hijacked to produce a manic theatre of hyper-social monitoring,” the authors write in their paper.

Turning off push notifications and setting up appropriate times to check your phone can go a long way to regain control over smartphone addiction. Research suggests that workplace policies “that prohibit evening and weekend emails” are also important.

“Rather than start regulating the tech companies or the use of these devices, we need to start having a conversation about the appropriate way to use smartphones,” concludes Professor Veissière.


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Whether your customer decides to call it quits overtly, or silently goes away, this study will tell you what to do to stop others ditching you in the same way.

By MediaStreet Staff Writers

Companies invest billions each year in expensive customer service programs, sales forces, and sophisticated discounting programs such as Groupon. This is all to lure and retain customers, but they are shocked to realise that “churn” remains one of their biggest and most expensive challenges. (Your churn rate is how many people are leaving you over a specific period.)

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According to a new study, customers have a tendency to send clear signals before they “break up” with a company. But to catch it before it happens, you have to know what to be monitoring, and the key to any relationship remains effective communication.

The study was co-authored by Eva Ascarza and Oded Netzer of Columbia Business School, and Bruce G.S. Hardie of London Business School. It is unique in that it is one of the first to analyse “hybrid” settings, where customer could leave the service either by cancelling their account/unsubscribing or by stopping to interact with the service. As a result, firms operating in these settings, face two different types of churners: “overt churners,” who inform the firm about their disengagement with a company; and “silent churners” who tend to fade away more quietly simply by not making repeat purchases.

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The authors analysed customer behaviour in two different (hybrid) contexts: a daily deal website and a performing arts organisation. They separated overt churners from silent churners to understand and predict both types of churn and then explore possible levers to better manage the customer base.

“We have consistently found that overt churners tend to interact more, rather than less with a firm prior to disengaging with that firm,” said the authors. “This means that they will open emails they receive and read communications from a company, but it can be a mistake to assume that simply because a customer is engaged, he or she is satisfied and will not leave.” In turn, the research found that while overt churners may engage with the firm by opening emails and reading them, they rarely click on links in the emails, which suggests that the content is not perceived as valuable to them.

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“We have found that once a customer transitions into the “silently gone” state, the firm is highly unlikely to reengage the customer using previously used communication methods,” said the authors. “However, a more proactive and customised communication reduces the possibility that certain customers will leave silently”.

So there you have it. The trick is to intervene before they leave you to nurse your broken heart.


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It’s all about the reviews, so make sure yours are good.

By MediaStreet Staff Writers

More than three quarters of travellers use review sites such as Yelp and Trip Advisor to conduct research prior to booking services.

This is according to a survey conducted by The GO Group, an international ground transportation provider.

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The respondents were asked about site usage for accommodations, activities, events and ground transportation.

When asked about use of sites for hotels and other accommodations, 13% of respondents said they always check sites; 31% said they do so frequently, 34% said sometimes and 22% said never.

Fifteen percent said they always check sites for reviews about tours and activities; 25% and 34% said they do so frequently and sometimes, respectively. The results for checking on attractions and venues were similar were about the same.

Fewer people use review sites for ground transportation. Only 10% percent said always they did so; 23% said frequently and 40% replied sometimes.

The survey also asked how many people post on review sites. Just three percent said they always posted on the sites, nine percent do so frequently; 40% post sometimes and 26 % responded they have never posted on a review site.

“In addition to or even in lieu of obtaining information and referrals from close friends and family, more people are opting to use content generated by strangers as a guide for booking travel experiences, says John McCarthy, president, GO Group. “As reliance on online review sites continues to grow, it behooves all of us in the travel-related industries industry to regularly review and respond to posts, and monitor them for potential customer services issues.”

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The GO Group LLC is the nation’s largest airport transportation provider, offering shared rides, private vehicles, sedans, charters and tours, serving some 90 airports in North America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe and transporting more than 13 million passengers per year.

This study shows just how much babysitting and care you need to put into your online reviews. Like you don’t already have enough to do!

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Social media preferences differ by generation, but most users spend their time consuming – not creating – content on social media apps.

More than half of millennials (53%) say they check Snapchat daily, which is three times more than Generation Xers (18%) and eight times more than baby boomers (7%), according to new data from The Manifest.

Baby boomers prefer Facebook over Snapchat, and they check Facebook more than millennials. More than 9 out of 10 of baby boomers (93%) open the Facebook app at least once a day, compared to 85% of millennials.

The findings indicate that preferences for certain social media apps differ by age group. However, Facebook’s overall dominance – with nearly 90% of all social media app users saying they check it at least once a day – demonstrates how Facebook made its platform appealing to a variety of users.

“Facebook invested considerable resources over the last 10 plus years in making an experience where everyone can find value in the platform,” said Josh Krakauer, founder and CEO of Sculpt, a social media marketing agency.

In contrast, Snapchat’s emphasis on short-lived content and the camera as a communication tool attracts younger users, and millennials in particular, who want a more personalised and unfiltered social media experience.

Snapchat appeals to younger generations who are used to getting the specific information they want, when they want it. Older social media app users may be more comfortable consuming content television-style, where what you see and when you see it is partially decided for you.

“As Facebook has catered to everyone in the world, Snapchat has doubled down as being a place that still feels raw, unfiltered and personal,” Krakauer said.

What Are Smartphone Users Doing on Social Media Apps?

While users spend a lot of time on social media apps, they don’t often publish content. The largest percentage of respondents (36%) say they most commonly use the “like” or “favourite” features on social media apps.

This finding correlates to the “90-9-1” rule of internet content, say experts. “[The rule] says that 90% of the time we just consume content, 9% of the time we interact with content, and only 1% of the time we actually share something,” said Sheana Ahlqvist, lead UX researcher at PhD Insights, a user research agency.

Simply liking or favouriting content on social media is a relatively seamless behaviour, requiring little motivation. The easier an online action is, the more likely a user is to complete it.

“The liking and favouriting is like saying ‘bless you,'” said Alex Levin, co-founder of L+R, a Brooklyn-based creative agency. “You can do it in an action that isn’t offensive.”

In addition to exploring app user behaviour, the survey helps businesses interested in building an app learn from the success of social media apps.


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The new study highlights that the huge economic impact is just “tip of the iceberg” with independent creators.

By MediaStreet Staff Writers

So here it is, another study from the USA about the power of the new economy. While it doesn’t feature what Europeans are doing, we can use the information to see just how fast the new creative economy is moving. Put it this way: that horse has bolted.

The new report released by the Re:Create Coalition finds that 14.8 million independent, American creators earned a baseline of almost $6 billion from posting their music, videos, art, crafts and other works online in 2016. The research is only a snapshot of the entire New Creative Economy, analysing just some of the biggest online platforms: Amazon Publishing, eBay, Etsy, Instagram, Shapeways, Tumblr, Twitch, WordPress and YouTube.

Despite the study being conducted in the USA, YouTube’s top earner is British. Daniel Middleton (DanTDM) brought in $16.5 million in 2017 alone. 26-year-old Dan, otherwise known as TheDiamondMinecart, posts daily reviews and gameplay videos plus some other silliness that kids love.

“Before the internet, a creator was forced to rely on traditional gatekeepers like movie studios and the recording industry to be successful. Today, anyone with a creative idea and a wifi signal can be successful and make money on the internet, reaching millions of people around the globe almost instantly,” said Re:Create Executive Director Joshua Lamel. “This analysis is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding the full economic impact of the New Creative Economy. However, its findings demonstrate that millions of Americans rely on the balanced copyright policies that support internet platforms like YouTube, Instagram and Etsy in order to earn billions of dollars from their creative work.”

Selena Gomez is the number one person on Instagram, with close to 70 million followers, more than any other celebrity.

Said study author Dr. Robert Shapiro, “The development of this multi-million user network and multi-billion dollar ecosystem for independent new creators reflects the power of the internet. Even with these highly conservative estimates, this study demonstrates the economic power of the new creative economy and its enormous potential for continued growth.”

For each platform, only a single component of how users can earn income was studied, due to limited public data and insufficient information. Independent creators earn billions of dollars each year online through website ads, sponsorship/influencer compensation, social media traffic, direct sales and other methods, but this study analysed only one revenue-sharing model per platform.

For the full report is here.


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If you are marketing anything in the tourism game, this is what you need to know.

By MediaStreet Staff Writers

For those that are lucky enough to get away on holiday or go on an extended travel stint, we can predict what actvities you might be doing after a new study has been published by Hotels.com

The company have used a data-crunching bot to track what people are hashtagging the most on their sojourns. More than five million brags globally were analysed using a combination of Tweet data, Instagram posts and travel keywords and destinations mentioned on other social media. So here are the results.

Worldwide travellers are all about the culture: they enjoy musing around museums (300,000 brags), old-town charm (170,000 brags) and a spot of sunshine (130,000 brags), but they can also be found in floating restaurants, erotic museums and night markets.


  1. Museum
  2. Rooftop bar
  3. Old Town
  4. Modern Art
  5. Opera
  6. Sunshine
  7. Olympic Games
  8. Cathedral
  9. Gallery
  10. Ballet

This travel bragging trend echoes the findings from the recent Hotels.com Mobile Travel Tracker report, which revealed that one in six travellers search social media before their trip to plan the photos they’ll take. And 56% of people surveyed admit to spending more than an hour a day on their smartphones while on holiday.

While travellers naturally brag about taking in the tourist hotspots and cultural offerings, more people than ever are sharing foodie ‘grams, shopping stories and luxe posts.

You’re never more than an Insta-scroll away from #FoodPorn and the brag lists are brimming with culinary treats. Cakes in Stockholm and curry in Toronto spice up the brag lists, and New York steak and pizza both made the cut. Perhaps more surprisingly, enchiladas proved twice as popular as modern art in Mexico City, ice cream scooped 10% of all San Francisco brags and Jumbo Kingdom floating restaurant in Hong Kong took second place in the Hong Kong chart with more than 20,000 brags.

Shop ’til you drop
Shopping is a must-do for most travellers. Those visiting Paris brag more about the Rue Vieille du Temple, famous for its boutiques, than Le Louvre! Other top shop-spots included Bal Harbour in Miami, the Harbour City mall in Hong Kong, vintage shops in Melbourne and the stylish Cecile Copenhagen fashion brand made the Danish capital’s top 10.

Five-star luxury
When travellers check into a posh, luxury hotel they naturally want the world to know. The stunning 5-star Ritz Carlton in San Francisco topped the city’s brag list, the Four Seasons in Singapore proved brag-worthy and the Park Hyatt came in at number one in Seoul – most likely for its awe-inspiring rooftop pool.

Scott Ludwig at Hotels.com said, “Bragging about your travel experiences on social media has become the norm – if you didn’t get social kudos out of it, it didn’t happen!”

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