It wasn’t too long ago when revolutions were being organised on WhatsApp

Today’s most exciting articles and insights on brands, marketing and technology.

Coffee Break is a daily digest curated by me, Aliyar, to challenge your thinking and broaden your perspective. These hand-picked articles cover everything from emerging trends in marketing, consumer behaviour, retail, public policy, strategy and technology.

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Google provides deeper audience engagement data to publishers as a part of the Google News Initiative. The initiative is designed to help publishers monetize their content better. But Complex took this one step further and solely focused on improving their e-commerce conversions resulting in a 300% increase in conversion rates. [Digiday]


Industry 4.0, IoT and the rollout of 5G are driving further wearable technology adoption in the manufacturing sectors. One excellent example of a use case for AR is from Vestas Wind Systems.

They’ve been using the technology to ramp up its new modular wind turbine technology despite its highly skilled engineers not traveling. Simultaneously, they’re using wearable technology to facilitate knowledge transfer and deliver step-by-step technical instructions to the field. [Techradar]


With a price tag of over 5 million dollars for a 3-minute spot airing an ad during the super bowl is costly. Plus there’s the added risk of public backlash supporting a large public gathering during a pandemic with no end in sight. Brands like Dove, Hyundai, Coke and Microsoft that made a regular appearance won’t be airing an ad this year.

Pepsi and Budweiser are going ahead with their spots, but even their overall investment is much smaller than previous years. [Advertising Age]


Since 2019 it’s been illegal to advertise e-cigarettes to anyone under 21, but vape sellers on TikTok seem to have missed memo. Videos are often set up to upbeat music clearly targeting teenagers promoting unauthorised flavours. And you can get your vape delivered disguised as fuzzy slippers. Take that, you pesky parents. [TechCrunch]


Sporting goods brands, retailers and manufacturers closed in the red last year. As in fashion retail, China was an exception where the industry grew by 16,5% from 2015 to 2019 (CAGR). Unsurprisingly, bicycle and digitally-enabled fitness equipment manufacturers outperformed the industry.

This year consumer demand is expected to be driven by athleisure wear, bringing a healthy lifestyle within reach of all and offering remote exercising in a community setting. [McKinsey]


Facebook News is now available in the UK a little over a year after its launch in the US. Working with Upday, which also provides news aggregation on Samsung devices, Facebook promises to deliver news from more diverse sources while also personalizing the content based on user activity.

Facebook and Google have been under a lot of pressure to start paying news publishers for their content, and this update means more revenue for the struggling news publishers. Facebook’s confirmed that France and Germany are next on the list. [TechCrunch]


After the 2016 election inference fiasco, Facebook launched a searchable ad library of all ads running on Facebook and Instagram in 2019.

Now Facebook will open give academic researchers access to all ads campaigns related to political and social issues including creatives, targeting and pricing.

This new data set won’t be available on the public Ad Library. [TechCrunch]


It wasn’t too long ago when revolutions were being organised on WhatsApp. But just last week people are leaving the app in droves after Facebook changed its privacy policy.

Now Signal is filling the gap left by WhatsApp and they have ambitious growth objectives of their own.

Now people working for Signal are sounding the alarm that the app’s lack of content moderation policies, and no interest in improving them, can hurt encryption technologies' reputation. [The Verge]


Every day I curate the news, moves and developments that are reshaping the business of marketing. If you found today’s articles useful, please share it with a friend or two.

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