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The Story On Stories: Snapchat Vs. Instagram

August 16, 2016 Leave a comment

Blog Post-FB vs Twitter v2

I have written previous articles about how marketers should be testing, learning and quickly iterating on platforms like Snapchat and Instagram to tell their brand stories. And recently, Mary Meeker helped drive home the point about the relevance of such social platform in her 2016 annual Internet Trends report. As a refresher:

The report showed how smartphones are increasingly used to combine several powerful storytelling tools via camera+storytelling+creativity+messaging, combined with social sharing network effect. Meeker mentioned that she and her team believe Snapchathas a “perfect trifecta” for this, especially given their daily video growth rate.

Marketers such as Wal-Mart, Sony Pictures, Ford and Dick’s Sporting Goods are just a few that have jumped into Snapchat to leverage massively engaged audiences with cool filters, storytelling and ads. An insight not to miss is that all these Snapchatters (and Instagrammers) are sending geo-specific signals each time they share. For brick-and-mortar retailers, this geo-location is a massively untapped opportunity to reach customers during a store visit and when purchase consideration is happening.

Given the combination of geo-location and marketers’ quest to reach customers in store, attribute traffic and conversion, it’s no wonder marketers are finally embracing Snapchat and Instagram in new ways. And also why Instagram’s launching of “Stories” should not surprise anyone.

Silicon Valley has a long history of companies copying each other. Steve Jobs famously saw GUI at Xerox Parc and that inspired the Mac. Many say he stole it. As Apple’s Bud Tribble is noted for saying: “If you take something and make it your own…it’s your design and that is the dividing line between copying and stealing.” That concept is part of Apple’s DNA and certainly many other tech companies in the valley. Kevin Systrom, Instagram CEO/founder, hasn’t run from the obvious copying of Snapchat. In fact, he said “they [Snapchat] deserve all the credit”. In my opinion Instagram has innovated by making the “Stories” feature much more seamless and intuitive vs. Snapchat. Snapchat will almost certainly refine their UX. But the Instagram feature and better UX is just the tip of the spear.

Instagram is owned by Facebook and has a uniquely strong capability to tap into mobile “storytelling” to augment data (especially geo-data) to fortify cross-device insights with Facebook Insights (think purchase data). This combination can be an incredibly powerful for tool for marketers. As marketers, we have become better at understanding our data streams and applying smart strategies and tactics to drive engagement and purchase. Search and social have been a proving ground for following intentions all the way to purchase. As search evolves outside of “traditional” search into platforms such as Instagram (note no search available on Snapchat), marketers will have more ammunition to target audiences and truly track path to purchase while giving attribution to the right events.

I love both Snapchat and Instagram, but the amazing cross-device, geo-targeting and massive network effect of Instagram+Facebook is why I’m betting on Instagram in the long game.

As marketers, you should already be well underway in testing and learning with these platforms and have deft understanding of your first-party data and how it can be combined with the ever increasing rich data set derived from helping consumers tell their stories. Holiday 2016 should be your best season ever with all the tools you have at your disposal. Are you ready?

Reposted from my published artciles on Mediapost and Medium

What Was Old Is New Again: Pokémon Is Back!

I never played Pokémon when I was young and never really understood what the craze was about. And while I’m not among the millions in the United States who have downloaded the Pokémon Go app, I love what Pokémon Go represents for the brand and enthusiasts. What started as a simple game from Nintendo over 20 years ago and gained a lot of followers among kids and tweens worldwide has now revived the brand with a location-based, augmented reality app. And unless you live under a rock, you will have no doubt seen the news across nearly every media outlet. Pokémon Go has made national headlines across the world in the last week.

For those who aren’t familiar with Pokemon Go is, here’s a short overview:

Once a user downloads Pokémon Go to their smartphone, they are prompted to turn on location services. Once location services are on, users will see a location-aware map with other players in the real world where they can go out and look for Pokémon characters. Once they get to a specified place, players point their phone camera to “find” Pokémon in the real world in an augmented reality-playing environment. Players then shoot a ball to capture the Pokémon and collect awards.

Why all the fuss over a “kids” game that now has a smartphone app? For starters, the app, which just launched a week ago has over 11 million daily active users. In the app world, that is rocket ship growth that any app or media property would love to have in a year, let alone a week! To provide some context, according to data from SensorTower, Pokémon Go is already bigger than the dating app Tinder, as big as Snapchat and Google Maps and about to overtake Twitter. And Pokémon Go players are spending an average of 43 minutes per day using the app. That daily usage rate outpaces WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat and FB Messenger! The cherry on the top is that it’s not just kids and tweens playing this game, it’s a lot of adults and new users to the Pokémon franchise.

As any marketer that has launched an app will tell you, two of the biggest success metrics for apps are downloads and daily active users (DAUs) or monthly active users (MAUs). Achieving download goals are hard enough. Many marketers spend millions of dollars just to drive downloads; it’s not uncommon for costs to hit $20 per download. The bigger challenge is getting users to actually keep using an app after download and that is where the vast majority of apps fail unless they have a high utility value (e.g., Tinder, WhatsApp, Messenger, etc.). Pokémon Go daily users are spending 40+ minutes each day!

Again, to provide some perspective, below is a chart from SensorTower showing Daily Usage Time of Pokémon Go vs. Social Media Apps.

Pokémon Go news stories have been making the nightly news across all the network and cable news channels about the craze and how app users are having fun in droves as well as some questionable issues arising from playing an augmented reality game in public spaces. I was nearly shamed for not playing the game by a fellow UberPool rider earlier this week, while she was looking to snag another Pokémon in the Uber. And while I’m not playing (yet), I can think of myriad ways marketers can engage and follow the lead of the Pokémon Go augmented reality app.

On a basic level, brands with location-based presence can engage with promotions. Outdoor apparel brands could leverage the location-based aspect to engage with players in parks and resorts around the globe. QSR brands could offer a limited-time experience to help drive short-term traffic and sales goals. Marketers looking for more ideas need only to listen to what Pokémon Go players are saying on across social channels about how they are engaging with the game and what types of experiences they are creating. Smart marketers will listen and respond from the plethora of ideas being shared in the community.

While I have never been a Pokémon fan, this augmented reality app has been a great way to re-introduce adults and kids to a great brand franchise in a smart and meaningful way with a technology (augmented reality) that the average consumer has had little experience with until last week. Perhaps we’re at a tipping point for the “general release” of augmented reality for the masses.

Goooal! What We Can Learn From The Most-watched Soccer Match In U.S. History

My latest article from Mediapost – Marketing:Entertainment 

“Many people say I’m the best women’s soccer player in the world. I don’t think so. And because of that, someday I just might be.”

Mia Hamm, 1999 U.S. Women’s World Cup Team

I like that quote from Mia Hamm, one of the standout players from the 1999 U.S. Women’s World Cup champion team. Mia’s quote reflects a consistent theme of how the current U.S. women’s soccer team approaches playing — on and off the field. And just one of the many reason they are champions, in a sea of doubters.

Sunday’s Women’s World Cup championship’s stunning 5-2 win over Japan was a trill to watch. I was streaming in from my car en route from Seattle to San Francisco. It set records on and off the field. By the numbers, more than 26 million viewers tuned in to watch the match. Viewership peaked at 30.1 million from 8:30 to 8:45. Carli Lloyd’s impressive hat trick during the game was matched in the broadcast world with three amazing goals; the match bested the recent NBA Final viewership (13.9 million), the NHL Stanley Cup Final (7.6 million) and becoming the most-watched soccer event in the U.S. television history. The icing on the cake, for Fox Sports Go app, was a record-setting 232,000 concurrent streams. Very impressive numbers, to be sure.


Given all the growth of U.S. youth soccer programs, especially girls leagues, women’s collegiate soccer, you would think the U.S. Women’s World Cup games would have been an attractive venue for marketers to reach their key audiences. Guess again.

Monday morning stats about the match should now silence the doubters about women’s sports being a big draw. Even the doubters should have seen this as an ideal entry point to test the waters with a minimal investment. So, I’m baffled that more marketers didn’t find ways to engage and reach what was certainly a key audience. Fox raked in an estimated $17 million on advertising revenue, a tiny number when you consider the $529 million ESPN made from advertising/sponsorship revenue from last year’s tournament in Brazil.

Granted, the men’s World Cup has been around longer. Fox aired 16 matches live (a new record for Women’s World Cup Soccer in the U.S.) and I counted ads from at least 15 brands, from QSR, auto, insurance, CPG and alcohol beverage companies. While there were more advertisers and revenue than in previous years, it was still a missed opportunity. Also puzzling was the noticeably absent traditional sports apparel brands that are typically sponsors. All day I dreamt about seeing them show up in the match somewhere. Hats off to non-traditional brands like Clorox and Tampax for stepping up. I think they will do well from their investment.

A lot of marketers rely on reports and historical data to help determine where to put their sponsorship dollars. Perhaps the brands that didn’t show up relied on these reports too much vs. considering market conditions, and the hyper growth of women’s soccer (even girls youth leagues). I’m guessing the reports suggested sticking with proven sports franchises for proven returns. Data is a great tool but it’s not the only one in the toolbox.

There have always been a lot of doubters about women’s sports, including the high-performance world of Women’s World Cup. And nearly every time, the women have something to prove and they do. Hopefully, this year was a wake-up call for brands that have been on the sidelines. As marketers, our goal is to connect with audiences in meaningful ways. The highly passionate women’s sports fans offer a great opportunity for many marketers to connect and tell their story in a meaningful way. How will you find a way to engage with this audience? I would love to hear your thoughts, feel free to comment on this article or find me @dougchavez on Twitter.

Categories: Uncategorized

Some good pictures

January 5, 2014 1 comment

Was just looking through some pictures from 2013 and thought I would post a few favorites from around San Francisco. Lots more from my travels this year – more on that later.   To the photos!

Doug chavez, mission cycling,NYE Mission Cycling ride to Alpine Dam and the Seven Sisters

photo (3)Getting ready to board Louis Vuitton marker boat during Americas Cup

doug chavez, pixlee, sharon goldstein, jeff chenSome quality time with some of the Pixlee team

Doug Chavez, David Armano,At the Chief Digital Officer Conference in Silicon Valley with David Armano

Doug Chavez,With friends at Muir Woods during the government shutdown

doug chavez, minnie ingersollCelebrating Minnie Ingersoll’s big news!

Tom Rothman, Doug Chavez,Spending the day on the Americas Cup race course with Tom Rothman

Folks We’re Screwed – Election 2012

November 7, 2012 90 comments


I haven’t written anything here in a long while but I felt compelled to put up a post this evening about the Presidential Election.  If you didn’t vote, you can’t complain about my post. If you voted, then fire away.  This is a point-of-view on the state of our country. Not my words but i totally agree.

Over five thousand years ago, Moses said to the children of Israel ,
Pick up your shovels, mount your asses and camels, and I will lead
you to the Promised Land.”

Nearly 75 years ago, (when Welfare was introduced) Roosevelt said,
“Lay down your shovels, sit on your asses, and light up a Camel, this
is the Promised Land.”

Today, Congress has stolen your shovel, taxed your asses, raised the
price of Camels and mortgaged the Promised Land!

I was so depressed last night thinking about Health Care Plans, the
economy, the wars, lost jobs, savings, Social Security, retirement
funds, etc …. I called a Suicide Hotline.

I had to press 1 for English.

I was connected to a call center in Pakistan . I told them I was
suicidal. They got excited and asked if I could drive a truck.

Folks, we’re screwed.


Categories: Uncategorized

Vienna – World’s Best City to Live – Again

November 29, 2011 29 comments

For those of you that know me, you know that I love going to Vienna.  Aside from having the coolest tram (designed by Porsche) it’s just a very beautiful, friendly and scenic city. And it’s ranked #1 again as the worlds best city to live in.  Check out the article from CNN.

And on of my Favorite places in Vienna, Fischerbräu, picture from one my Flickr Vienna Sets

Categories: Uncategorized

Black Friday Boasts $816 Million, Up 26 Percent vs. Year Ago

November 28, 2011 17 comments


Black Friday was up 26% over last year.  Let’s see what Cyber Monday brings for etailers this year!  And there was even some pepper spraying to keep things lively.



comScore reported U.S. retail e-commerce spending for the first 25 days of the November – December 2011 holiday season.


For the holiday season-to-date, $12.7 billion has been spent online, marking a 15-percent increase versus the corresponding days last year.


Black Friday (November 25) saw $816 million in online sales, making it the heaviest online spending day to date in 2011 and representing a 26-percent increase versus Black Friday 2010. Thanksgiving Day (November 24), while traditionally a lighter day for online holiday spending, achieved a strong 18-percent increase to $479 million.


The full version of the press release is available at:

Categories: Uncategorized

Olympic Medal Count Methodology

August 13, 2008 39 comments

The other day I was looking at Yahoo! and Google front pages to compare what they are doing with their logos for the Summer Olympics in Beijing. Hats off to Google for starting this trend that all the portals are now doing. I happen to think that Yahoo!’s Olympic landing page is the best overall.

Of the three sites (NBC, Google, Yahoo!) I’ve been checking and comparing on a regular basis, Google is the only US portal that has China listed first in the medal standings. The US has more overall medals but Google is listing China at the top of their list. IMHO this medal count methodology would seem to fit well with Google’s “all or nothing” approach to things in the Google centric world of all or nothing. What do you think? Granted their source for the medal count is the Beijing Summer Olympics website – built and hosted in China by the Beijing Olympic Committee which I’m sure has no bias to the Chinese team. Perhaps their medal count methodology is from the same school that determines age for the Chinese women gymnasts.

This Bud’s for EU

July 15, 2008 2 comments

With a nod to Auggie Busch and his new bosses, last night at Monaghan’s our trivia team name was “This Bud’s for EU”, after trivia I heard that the Drudge Report used the same line – great minds think alike. At least for our This Bud’s for EU trivia team conquered all comers.

Although I was a wee lass in the 80’s, I have vivid memories of the news stories about the Japanese buying up hallmark US properties, media companies and golf courses amidst that period of the dollar and economy being weak. But IMHO, A-B could have held off inBev, if they had only kept up with the market trends in their business of mass distribution. I don’t believe the weak dollar and the economy is fully to blame.

For the past several years there has been been a lot of consolidation in the global brewing business. Take for example, Miller – that Champagne of beers. Miller, while HQ’d in Millwaukee Wisconson is owned by SAB Miller, the South African brew master of brands such as Grolsch, Peroni, Hoegaarden, Pilsner Urquell and everybody’s favorite – Olde English 800 Malt Liquor. Molsen bought Coors..and the list goes on. If A-B had flexed its muscle and cash reserves, they could have bought more beer brands and built a better defense. The soda business is much the same – just ask friendly folks at Coca-Cola. In these businesses where locked up distribution and globalized brands is everything, you either go big or go home.

I’m less concerned about inBev making drastic changes to the A-B brands that people in the US and other countries love (for their Americana kitsch) and more concerned about the lack of having any US brewer with scale. A-B gobbled up many of the craft brewers years ago, so they are now part of inBev. Heck, even little north woods Leinenkugel up in Chippewa Falls, Wisconson is part of inBev.

And being the self serving adman that I am – just thinking about the branding possibilities for that yet to be named brewer have me thirsting for some great ad work down the road. I wonder if DDB is thinking about this yet?

In the meantime I’ll continue to have a Bud every once-in-a-while as well as a Stella. And BTW did you know that in the UK and Europe that Stella is commonly referred to as “wife beater“, as in you belly up to the bar and order a wife beater and you will without question get a Stella. I found this out while going to lunch in London a couple of years back. As part of this deal, I sure hope domestic violence won’t be on the rise.

Who will become the last American brewer to step up the the plate and speak for American brewing? Anyone have thoughts/suggestions – I would love to hear from you.

Bill O’Reilly gone wild – producer’s cut

Like many of you, I saw the great outtake of the typically sanguine Bill O’Reilly going beserk on his crew for a teleprompter snafu. What you may not have seen is this producers cut of the snafu. Hey, Bill, take a deep breath and relax…this is the no spin zone.

The original video is here

Categories: News, Politics, Uncategorized
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