Brands embrace Eurovision

So as one pageant in Britain ends, another begins, with the Eurovision song contest semi-finals kicking off in Liverpool on Tuesday. Whether you consider it a cringeworthy affair or the World Cup of music, it is one of the most-watched shows on the planet, with 180 million people expected to tune in.

Viewers may watch expecting to hear some cheesy songs but these days the sponsors are big cheeses, too – including the cream cheese maker Philadelphia – as the business world embraces Eurovision’s inclusive message and the spending might of that huge fanbase.

This year, the Christmas favourite Baileys also wants to be on your radar if you are planning a “Eurosoiree”. The brand has inked a three-year deal with Eurovision and enlisted the 2014 winner, Conchita Wurst, as a brand ambassador.


Meta Expands Reels Monetization to More Creators

Meta’s updating its monetization program for Reels creators, which will now see creators paid based on the performance of their content, as opposed to the ads shown alongside their clips.

Meta’s Reels ads program, which it first launched last year, will also now be expanded to thousands more users, as Meta continues to develop new models to ensure that its top stars get paid, which will ideally keep them posting their Reels content to its apps.

As explained by Meta:

“Last year, we began testing Ads on Facebook Reels as a way for creators to earn money for creating and sharing engaging public reels. We’re now testing a new payout model that pays creators based on the performance of their public reels, not the earnings of ads on their reels. This means creators can focus on creating engaging content while we optimize the ad experience for advertisers and people.”


Meta Shares New Insights into the Projected Economic Impacts of the Metaverse

The jury is still out on whether Meta’s bet on the metaverse will pay off, and whether Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of a VR-led re-imaging of how we all interact will become a reality, and transform digital connection as we know it.

But Meta remains committed to the project, investing $13 billion into VR development last year, which it’s on track to surpass again in 2022, despite the concerns of Meta shareholders.

The potential indicators are there, when you consider evolving technologies, and how youngsters already interact in metaverse-like spaces via gaming apps (Roblox, Minecraft, etc.) But VR remains an uncertain bet.


Amazon pursues in-game shopping with Amazon Anywhere

Looking to bolster smooth in-app purchases, Amazon has debuted Amazon Anywhere, a new shopping tool that allows users to make purchases within games and apps, the retailer announced on Tuesday. The tool is launching within Peridot, an augmented reality adventure pet game.

Amazon Anywhere enables shoppers to see relevant products, for example Peridot-branded merchandise, within a selected game or app, and access product details, images, prices, estimated delivery date and other information. Shoppers can buy their desired items without leaving the game, once they connect their Amazon account to the chosen app.


Google starts testing generative AI in search, ads included

Google is testing generative artificial intelligence (AI) in search, heralding big changes to the platform’s user experience, e-commerce features and advertising, per a blog post. The announcement was also shared at the Google I/O developer conference.  

AI is meant to take some of the “heavy lifting” out of search, answering not only the initial user query in detail but also offering follow-up suggestions and links while preserving context from question to question. Google said that ads will appear in dedicated slots in AI-generated responses, similar to how they surface in conventional search today. 

On the shopping front, Google’s AI-powered search draws on a Google Shopping Graph with over 35 billion product listings to present recent reviews, ratings, prices and product images that can inform purchasing decisions. Google is pushing to keep pace with competitors that have gotten an early lead with generative AI but whose search products are not as widely adopted. 


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