Even though the birth of Facebook Live occurred last April, the brand has successfully preserved the feature’s spot in the limelight.

Over the past several months, the world has watched countless brands, bloggers and celebrities use it to creatively advertise products and reach new audiences. Whether it’s through cooking tutorials, a glimpse behind the scenes or a Q&A with an influencer, Facebook Live has certainly become an industry favorite.

Weelicious Live Facebook

In September, Cercone Brown organized a Facebook Live tour with blogger Natalie Thomas from Nat’s Next Adventure and Garnet Hill of their Mobile Boutique in New York City. Natalie gave viewers an insider’s peek into the unique boutique.

Garnet Hill Live

Not Just For The Professionals

It seems that even though similar apps such as Snapchat and Instagram Stories have experienced great success, the masses have yet to heavily engage with Facebook Live. The brand is attempting to change this by encouraging people like you – the everyday person – to get involved.

The brand has launched a campaign that is based on showcasing user-generated content and demonstrating how to go live.


While the tutorial ads feature statements like, “How to go live if you’ve got a hidden talent that you’re ready to make not-so-hidden” or “How to go Live when you have something to say and you just need to say it loud”.


The set-up for going Live is simple and encourages a spur-of-the-moment call to action. Facebook claims that they want to make the world more open and connected through the Live feature … if only people would begin to engage with it.

Controversy was sparked last year when Target went gender neutral with some of its products; with it came an important conversation amongst brands about the potential pitfalls of playing into gender stereotypes.

Many consider gender to exist on a spectrum rather than a male-female binary, causing brands to realize that consumers are more complex than gender stereotypes might suggest. The result: brands that are more inclusive of all gender identities.

At Cercone Brown, we’re calling this a “Marketing to Humans” revolution.


THINX, a brand that sells underwear specifically for a person’s menstrual cycle, is challenging gender norms with its “People with Periods” campaign. The ad features a transgender man, suggesting that females aren’t the only ones who would benefit from their products.





Many high-end fashion lines strut androgynous – gender-neutral – clothing on the runway, however, ZARA is one of the first clothing brands to make this look mainstream with their “Ungendered” collection.






Makeup isn’t just for ladies anymore. Covergirl has introduced 17-year-old social media darling James Charles as their first ever CoverBOY.

Meet James Here






Veritas Genetics

We at Cercone Brown are joining this movement to remove gender stereotypes from marketing, particularly through our work with Veritas Genetics – a whole genome sequencing startup that also markets tests for breast, ovarian, and other cancers by testing for BRCA mutation.



A mutation on the BRCA chromosome can increase the risk for breast cancer in both men and women. Among our many objectives is to build awareness that both women and men are at risk for breast cancer.




There is still a long way to go until marketing is truly intersectional and representative of all identities, but these brands are helping lead the march towards progress.

The advertising world figured out long ago that consumers are hungry for media, and with that insatiable demand comes expectation for instant gratification. People want their media yesterday, especially music.


Though music streaming platforms have spiked in popularity, they remain an untapped market for advertisers … aside from the usual digital ads.

Users of the free options are familiar (and maybe annoyed) with advertisements interrupting their favorite tunes. The platforms have provided ways around that, and many users think paying a small monthly fee is worth it to not have to listen to ads.


It’s time to get more creative when it comes to targeting audio audiences.

Luckily, there is no shortage of users still choosing their free, ad-filled options. Between Spotify, Google Play, Apple Music or Amazon Unlimited, there are a plethora of platforms for consumers to choose from and for advertisers to pitch their products. Currently, 45 million people use the free Spotify service monthly.


Today, digital audio ads are more popular than ads on AM/FM, which makes it the perfect platform to reach audiences across multiple devices­!

Companies like Coca-Cola offered listeners 30 minutes of ad-free music if they watch their video.

Reebok created their own Spotify playlist called “Reebok FitList” which marketed their brand without many consumers even being aware.


Following Coca-Cola and Reebok’s lead can be beneficial for a wide range of industries, with the use of incentives and discreet placement.

Targeting consumers by interrupting their music streaming is not the way to capture hearts for your brand. Don’t be afraid get creative with how you tap into the audio audience!

Video progression

The conversation between consumers and advertisers is constantly changing. There has been a clear transition from “traditional” media towards social media advertising and it’s not difficult to notice the surge of this movement when scrolling through your social feeds.

The Trend in Digital Video

Dynamic visuals and videos break through the constant clutter in your newsfeed and the creative use of short video advertising is proven to grab your attention. In fact, Business Insider reported that in 2016 digital video will reach 5 billion in ad revenue. Videos are sparking people’s interest, and marketers are taking advantage of it.


An example of a digital advertisement found on Facebook.

Facebook understands the value of video advertising and is fully on board. Infiltrating your newsfeed with muted video advertisements, the challenge of silent advertisements is now top of mind.

As quoted in the New York Times “For a lot of our clients, Facebook is a very important platform, so thinking about how it’s going to play out there without sound is coming into the discussion earlier and earlier in the process,” said Neel Williams, a creative director at the Martin Agency, which has also repurposed TV Chips Ahoy commercials for Facebook.


An infographic explaining the dramatic increase in social media advertising. 

It’s almost like taking a step back in time. Instead of having the trendiest indie song playing in the background to get your attention, it is now the quick flashy graphics with captions.

According to emarketer, YouTube, Google and Facebook digital video content is receiving a higher rate of viewership along with clicks per minute or CPM than its competitors.


A graph displaying what brands lead in digital video advertising.


Facebook accumulating the most clicks per minute.













The surge in social media advertising is increasing at alarming rate and is estimated to increase 194% and possibly reach 15 Billion dollars by 2018.


What Does This Mean For Advertising Agencies?

Well the good news is this has opened up a whole new realm of possibilities for digital creative work.

Each platform will need it’s own unique strategy. The viewer expectations when watching a YouTube video is that there will be sound, emphasizing the importance of music and dialogue. Similarly, when a viewer is scrolling through, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram strong visual imagery will be their main focus and sound becomes second priority.

This also raises an interesting question when it comes to TV advertising. Most of us don’t enjoy sitting through a 30-sec ad spot on TV and therefore it is likely we wouldn’t want to while at our computers either, especially when it’s when we’re scrolling through our favorite social channel. Keeping the consumer in mind while creating engaging, digital video content is key.

“The most important factor is where the consumer’s focus is,” Mr. Williams, of the Martin Agency, said. “You can have the most epic TV spot that is a visual feast, packed with the best, most well-written voice-over, read by the most famous person, but if you’re not paying attention to it, then it doesn’t matter.” — The New York Times.

The rapidly changing advertising world is both exciting and daunting. Grabbing a viewer’s attention has never been more desired in the oversaturated advertising world. Ad agencies must get smarter when it comes to creative, engaging video content if they want to win over their target audience online.