Disney Want to Sell You Ads Right in the Feels

We don't know much about Disney's forthcoming "mood and emotions" ad tech, but could it be impactful?

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Disney Bulks Up Its Digital Ad Offerings

Disney this week teased a new contextual ad product called Magic Words. This will analyze scenes and visuals across Disney's content library to align ad messages with the mood and emotions of the content. There wasn’t a lot of information on this, other than it’ll be available to beta partners soon and will be broadly released by the end of the year.

Image Source: Disney

The news came at the company’s fourth annual Tech & Data Showcase yesterday, where they also introduced a unified advertising platform combining Hulu and Disney+ placements. This will be accessible by March.

There’s also Gateway Shop, Disney's first shoppable ad format for streaming. This feature lets viewers transfer products they see on-screen to a secondary device, such as a smartphone or tablet, without disrupting their viewing. This builds upon their previous GatewayGo format, which used email, push notifications, and QR codes.

They also announced some better streaming measurement by collaborating with Innovid and Lucid Impact Measurement, which should give advertisers more insights into ad recall, consideration, purchase intent, and brand favorability.

Finally, Disney is expanding its self-service and automation offerings in advertising. Their Disney Campaign Manager, used by over 4,200 brands, will see a global expansion. And, ad inventory for Disney+ and ESPN+ will soon be available for self-service in the U.S.

Netflix Update

So that’s Disney, how’s its archnemesis Netflix doing?

Their ad-supported tier has seen a significant increase in monthly active users, now totaling 18 million globally.

This marks a considerable growth from the 15 million active users reported in November during the one-year anniversary of the streaming plan. The increase in usage is evident, with memberships rising by nearly 70% quarter over quarter in October. Notably, about 30% of all new sign-ups in countries offering the ad-supported plan are opting for this tier.

Image Source: Netflix

In the upcoming months, Netflix plans to introduce new ad formats, including pause ads, which will be rolled out globally. These ads only show up after the viewer has been inactive for five seconds.

Netflix also recently increased the prices for its ad-free plans while keeping the ad-supported plan prices unchanged. In comparison, as we reported yesterday, Amazon Prime Video is putting all its users on the ad-supported plan, with an option to go ad-free for an additional fee.

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Meta’s New Rules for AI Content

Meta is now enforcing rules for advertisers running social, electoral, or political ads, requiring them to disclose if these ads contain digitally created or altered images, videos, or audio.

This policy addresses the growing use of AI in political campaigns, highlighted by U.S. Presidential candidate Ron DeSantis's use of AI-generated imagery and voice simulations in his campaign.

Platforms like YouTube and TikTok have also introduced similar measures for AI-generated content. Advertisers on Meta must now check a box indicating any digital alterations in their ads.

Meta's strategy includes a pre-election blackout period for political ads, established in past elections, allowing time to debunk false claims. Non-compliance with these disclosure rules could lead to ad removal or platform bans. Additionally, advertisers can retroactively apply the new AI disclosure tag to existing campaigns.

WhatsApp Enhances Sticker Tool

WhatsApp has introduced a sticker-making feature for iOS users. This lets you transform photos into stickers — much the way you can do that in iOS’s own Messages app now — and modify existing stickers without relying on third-party applications or manual image importing.

The process is straightforward: you tap the sticker tray, select the 'create sticker' option, and choose a photo to customize. You can then apply various edits, including text, drawings, or additional stickers.

The feature extends to editing previously made stickers as well. You just long-press a chosen sticker in the tray and select the 'edit sticker' option to make further customizations. Notably, any custom sticker created or edited will be automatically saved in your sticker tray for future use.

This new capability was initially only available on WhatsApp Web, but it’s now being released for iOS 17+ devices. However, WhatsApp has not specified a timeline for when Android users will receive this.

Shocker: Superbowl Ads Are Still Expensive

The upcoming Super Bowl, set for February 11 on CBS, is as much about the high-profile ads as the game itself.

CBS has priced 30-second ad spots between $6.5 million and $7 million, nearly selling out its inventory by early November, with 90% gone by late August.

This year's broadcast will also be on Paramount+, NFL's mobile app, and TelevisaUnivision for a Spanish-language version, with Nickelodeon offering a kid-friendly alternative.

Apple Music is sponsoring the halftime show featuring Usher, with other big names like BMW, M&Ms, TurboTax, and Pringles joining in. Expect celebrity appearances, including Rob Gronkowski for FanDuel and Ice Spice for Starry.

First-time advertisers include Drumstick, Etsy, Nerds, and a Martin Scorsese-directed Squarespace ad.

Notably, automakers Ford, GM, and Stellantis, as well as Anheuser Busch, are said to be absent this year.

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