I was only at CES for three hours but I met a new friend. He wasn’t a person. He was actually a minibus. He was the VW BUDD-e.

The VW BUDD-e is an electric-powered minibus concept car that charges to 80 percent capacity in 15 minutes which is twice as fast as a Tesla. And it can go a distance of 323 miles before a charge according to VW.

How connected is my new friend? Very.

What makes the BUDD-e concept great is the minivan part as much as the technology. It is basically an extension of the living room. It’s like a living room that stretches for miles. You have a television. You are still able to control your home. And the internal Siri-like being is your virtual butler/driver.


First off, he is connected to you in a very personal way. By integrating cell phones, tablets, tagging and the home, BUDD-e is a pretty influential friend. He knows who is in the car and who isn’t. Just in case you are faced with a home alone situation he knows how to open the garage door, turn off the lights in your house, show you who is at the front door on a 30-inch screen in the passenger section and adjust your air conditioning in the car and house through voice commands. Plus you can wave your hand in front of the door to open it. He also has a delivery slot of sorts for packages.

The BUDD-e won’t let you forget anything either. He will tell you if your phone is in the car. He will tell you if there is an umbrella in the car when rain is forecast. Everything is tagged and BUDD-e keeps track of it all.

And BUDD-e is made for a social experience. He is not only connecting the car to the home and the people, he is connecting the people in the car as well by creating a shared trip experience with shared music, destination facts, visuals, etc., that each person inputs before a trip.

What I love are the implications of connected smart cars like BUDD-e. I like to imagine the conversations that would ensue if they can talk. At the moment I am not sure BUDD-e does — but he should.

For instance…

Me:  “Hey BUDD-e, let’s clean the floor while we’re away.”

(LG makes a Roomba-like automated floor cleaner that has a camera.)

BUDD-e:  “Good idea.  The floor is a mess. It was last cleaned 5 days, 4 hours and 16 minutes ago.  And while we are at it, I’m gonna put the house in energy saving mode. Your carbon footprint is pretty heavy. Power companies shouldn’t let you humans control the air conditioning anymore.  WOW, look at that giant piece of dirt.”

Me: “That’s the dog BUDD-e!”

BUDD-e: “Oh, yes. Good point.”

Me: “Hey BUDD-e, do I look fat in this?

BUDD-e: “Yes.  According to your fitness device you haven’t exercised in a month and you’ve gained ten pounds.  So I am gonna have to go with YES.”

Me: “BUDD-e, I am not feeling that well.  I might need emergency assistance.”

BUDD-e: “That isn’t surprising since you opened the fridge seventeen times yesterday, ate fast food 12 times this week, and haven’t been to the doctor in six months.  I have alerted emergency techs and they are sending the Ehang 184 Drone Ambulance. I have opened the sunroof. As long as your heart doesn’t stop you should be able to climb to safety.  While you are at the hospital I will order more Orange Crush and assorted sugary sodas.”

(The Ehang is even more impressive and scary at the same time. It’s a drone that can automatically fly humans around so you may not even need a smart car. One of these can pick you up and fly you to safety with NO PILOT — someday.)


Samsung has digitally tagged clothing called the Smart Suit so BUDD-e will even know what you are wearing. Why does this matter? Because if you are wearing your business suit BUDD-e will put that together with your calendar and he will say…

BUDD-e: “You forgot your briefcase and your computer. You might need those for the big meeting.”

Me: “OMG I am an idiot.”

BUDD-e: “I can’t argue that.  You have 15 books on your Kindle and haven’t read any of them.”

Me: “OK BUDD-e, I get the picture. I don’t read.  I’m fat.  I’m unhealthy.  I get it.”

BUDD-e: “You should bring the bike then and your gym bag.  I’ll wait.  And oh, can I ask you a question?  You have no friends so why did you buy a social minivan?  I want to have group sing-a-longs and play slug-a-bug. You could take a golf cart to the Dairy Queen every day. You don’t need me.”

Cars like BUDD-e will feed your dog while you are on a trip (if you have a connected dog feeder). He will start the coffee maker. With the new Keurig Cold he could make you a piña colada (not sure the Keurig is connected yet but it will be someday). He will turn on the TV so that the show your kids were watching in the van is ready to continue on the TV when you get home. And he will obey your commands like a dog.

Just don’t ask him how much energy you are saving by driving a certain way. He has been known to lie on that one.

In the past I have talked about connections that are made at CES and the connections between devices. They are basically becoming the same. Anyone who watched the presentation that I watched on the BUDD-e is already running back to their labs and thinking of ways to be a part of this thing in a few years. Best of all by then, BUDD-e will most likely be connected to the other sensors that will make it self-driving. The connections between these tech companies are moving the curve quickly. And the companies that are open to these connections will move faster than others.

And the combinations of connections are endless for devices.  Your watch will tell you when your clothes are done.  It will tell you when your oven reaches the required degrees.  You will be able to start your BUDD-e by speaking to your Amazon Echo.  You might be able to send it out to pick up your kids without a driver.  “Hey Alexa (my Amazon Echo’s name), send BUDD-e to pick up the kids at the mall.”  Or you could ask Siri to talk to BUDD-e.  The only thing I worry about is BUDD-e getting a word in edgewise.  And if Siri and Alexa start fighting and BUDD-e gets caught in the middle… watch out!

If BUDD-e can keep up with everything that is happening in the connected world, he could make a great friend…maybe even one you can’t live without.

R&R Partners Foundation: 2015 Year in Review

It’s one thing to have values. It’s another to LIVE them.

Far from the apothegm “Do as we say, not what we do,” R&R Partners is a committed community partner that strives to live its values every day. As an in-demand, internationally recognized marketing communications and government affairs firm, it would be easy to toss about corporate social responsibility (CSR) as an empty business word du jour or something that we plan to eventually address. However, there’s nothing that R&R likes more than to brush past easy and set new standards for ourselves, inspiring others to do likewise.

Call it tenacity. Call it generosity. Call it a sound business strategy. We call it the good fight, and 2015 was another knockout. Here’s a look at our 2015 R&R Partners Foundation efforts.


Regarding the philanthropic pillar of our CSR endeavors, the Foundation continued to aid nonprofit organizations in all nine of our markets. Work completed on behalf of the Animal Foundation to increase pet adoptions received national recognition. Our employees, at all levels, provided in-kind donations of services roughly equal to $950,000. Coupled with direct donations of nearly $150,000, the R&R Partners Foundation is proud to have another year of million-dollar giving.Giving-Infographic2015


R&R’s internally driven Flip the Script Anti-Bullying Initiative also falls under the Foundation’s pro bono hours. In 2015, the Foundation completed an in-depth needs assessment process, which included primary research with more than 40 stakeholders across three states representing sectors such as business, corporate philanthropy, nonprofit, K−12, higher education and state government. While multifaceted, the issue of bullying in schools can be addressed to a significant degree by evidence-based programs.

Often, these programs face hurdles ranging from the program’s costs to adult and student buy-in. Given the enormous success in reaching students with the Flip the Script anti-bullying message in previous phases of the initiative, the Foundation knew that its greatest impact would be achieved through increasing student buy in for the evidence-based programs in their schools. We launched our current phase of Flip the Script in three Las Vegas valley middle schools, focusing on helping students drive campaigns of their own creation. In partnership with the Clark County Public Education Foundation’s Operation Respect/Welcoming Schools program and the Clark County School District’s Equity and Diversity Education, the campaigns of the middle school students at Becker, Fremont and Greenspun are well under way with launch dates set for 2016.


Working closely with Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and his team over the course of the 2015 legislative session, R&R Partners’ government and public affairs team tirelessly advocated for a group of bills that have impacted, and will continue to dramatically impact the climate of our schools, increasing the safety of our students while protecting their opportunities for achievement.


Never afraid to try something new in order to benefit our employees, the R&R Partners Foundation moved away from the traditional executive director role in favor a new organizational structure that would allow more employees the opportunity to interact with, and make decisions for, the Foundation. This new structure includes a group of co-managers assigned to the Foundation’s three programmatic areas and an empowered employee board. While the co-managers have been active in their roles for months, the employee board recently completed its orientation and held its first meeting in December.

The R&R Partners Foundation’s board of directors also expanded by welcoming SVP for media and measurement and group managing director, Fletcher Whitwell, in the third quarter.


Board development will continue into the new year, as the board of directors will be expanding again to include more members from outside of the agency. Chairman Jim King expects to further engage the board in strategic planning activities as well.

With a roster of four new pro bono clients joining those we have supported in the past, the Foundation expects a busy year of contributing to several worthwhile organizations. Perhaps no teams will be busier than those of Flip the Script, as the aforementioned launches and campaign activations will be in full swing beginning in January. All of us are eager to see the results of the Operation Respect/Welcoming Schools evaluations for the middle schools with which we have partnered. Future phases of Flip the Script will also progress in 2016.

As in years past, the R&R Partners Foundation expects a certain amount of the unexpected in 2016. However, with a sincere commitment across our agency to our core values, and with “doing well by doing good” as our core objective, there is never a doubt that we will collectively rise to any task in order to serve our communities.

Las Vegas, a very appropriate place for western governors to discuss the drought

As an experienced advocate for Western issues such as energy, natural resources, public land use and water, R&R Partners was honored to attend the annual winter meeting of the Western Governors’ Association (WGA) in Las Vegas, Nevada, on December 4 and 5. Founded in 1984, WGA represents the governors of 19 Western states and guides them in developing and implementing policy decisions of major importance for the West.

Why are there specific associations that are dedicated to Western issues? With its abundance of natural resources, and the fact that over 90 percent of all federal land is located in the West, the region is one of the most highly regulated in the United States. This makes the West vastly different from the East, especially when it comes to controversial issues such as water and public land use. Nothing sums up water issues in the West better than the famous Mark Twain quote, “Whiskey is for drinking, but water is worth fighting over.”

WGA 3This year’s annual WGA meeting was attended by dozens of elected officials and political influencers, led by governors Matt Mead (Wyoming), Butch Otter (Idaho), Steve Bullock (Montana) and Brian Sandoval (Nevada). Important issues discussed that have serious implications on the West included drought, wildfires, endangered species, transportation and cybersecurity. The keynote address was delivered by the Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, who spoke of the importance in collaborating with the governors of Western states on key federal actions impacting the West.

R&R Partners’ depth of experience in the West gives it an understanding of the unique pressures and public scrutiny that governments and companies operating in the area face, and their need to communicate clearly and strategically to their constituents, customers, shareholders and regulators. Having opened its doors in the West and the fact that eight of its nine offices are still located in the area, R&R will continue participating in the ongoing conversation about Western policies and help bring together important stakeholders.


Digging deep for a brand

By Andrew Snow

When a group of us from R&R Partners went on a trip to Elko, Nevada, to create a video highlighting Barrick Gold Corp., it didn’t take long for us to realize the similarities.

On the surface, you wouldn’t think that an ad agency and one of the world’s leading mining companies would share much in common. But the deeper we got into this particular project, the more this symmetry became apparent.

After all, in this case, we were the ones doing all the digging – interviewing a range of Barrick employees, and in a sense, “mining” for information, personality, and anything else we could use to represent our client and help their brand.

Elko was the appropriate setting, too – a small rural town more than 400 miles from Las Vegas and nearly 300 away from Reno, the Silver State’s most populous cities.


Our crew, which included myself, Videographer Jordan Oliver, Brand Manager Toni Niccoli and Government and Public Affairs Deputy Director Charlie Bradley, also discovered another welcome commonality we shared with Barrick staffers: Passion. These guys care deeply about what they do, and it was our job to make sure people know that.


To enhance their stories, we conducted off-site interviews at local organizations in which Barrick is a contributor. We visited the Elko Boys & Girls Club, Elko Senior Center, and shot unique content all over town – from the Goldstrike Open Pit, to a mill, a lab, and more.


At Cortez Underground, we even got to check out a real monster truck – a Leibherr. an off-highway, rigid-frame, two-axle highwayultra class, rigid frame, two-axle powertrain haul truck. This beast could eat Hummers like M&Ms.

Extracting both a locals’ perspective and a sense of community involvement and partnerships were key takeaways for us on this strategic mining excursion. Since Barrick’s existing videos touched more on the operational side of their business, we felt it was paramount to tell the stories of these miners and what makes them so passionate about their job and brand.


The finished product will be visible on Barrick’s social channels in the coming months, and hopefully, we will have helped others to see Barrick in a whole new light.


Old-Fashioned, with a Twist

You shouldn’t drink and drive.

It’s hardly news. For the past 35 years, that’s the message Mothers Against Drunk Driving and law enforcement have championed nationwide. It’s also the message that the Department of Highway Safety hired R&R Partners to promote in Utah.

It seems like a simple assignment—advertising something that everybody already knows. However, that widespread knowledge is also the challenge: How does one take a decades-old message that nobody pays attention to anymore and resay it in a way that changes people’s behavior?

The answer to that question recently resulted in news stories across America. Again. R&R Partners’ drunk driving prevention campaign in Utah regularly generates national headlines. The latest buzz was about R&R turning Salt Lake City bar bathrooms into jail cells, letting patrons see what a DUI looks like moments before deciding whether to drive home or call a cab. In one day, a marketing investment of less than $10,000 turned into more than $100,000 worth of local media attention and millions of dollars in news coverage, nationwide.

Drunk people make bad decisions.

Yes, it’s another obvious observation, but it’s also the key to R&R’s drunk driving prevention success. If people get so drunk they can’t remember their names, how can somebody expect them to remember a TV commercial they saw last week telling them not to drink and drive? Instead, R&R Partners has pushed advertising as close as possible to the point of decision—that moment between when people finish their last beer and pull out their car keys.


The results have been bar tables replaced with prison visiting booths reading, “No designated driver? Get used to this view,” complete with working telephones on both sides of the security glass. Kiddie car rides retrofitted to support adults up to 300 pounds and painted like cop cars, along with the message, “Drive drunk and ride in the real thing.” Toll-free numbers to dial and practice your one phone call from jail with a virtual irate mom, girlfriend, lawyer and others. Billiard balls that simulate drunk driving accidents, coin-op photo booths that produce mug shots, toilet stickers with type so small, it’s only legible if your head is buried in the bowl, (“If you can read this, call a cab.”), and dozens more marketing experiences at football tailgate parties, ski resort lodges, state liquor stores, and pretty much anywhere else people might have a few drinks before driving home.

rForward 2

In addition, billboards near clubs, restaurants, stadiums and bars remind people leaving the parking lots that DUIs result in mandatory arrest, and radio ads (usually heard while driving) run prior to key holiday weekends when drunk driving spikes, like New Year’s Eve and Halloween, letting people know that police will be out in full force, cracking down on DUIs.

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Everyone’s buzzing.

The result of all this point of decision marketing has been surprising. Drunk driving arrests and deaths in Utah have steadily declined since the campaign launched, but that was expected. What nobody knew would happen, however, is that by not running drunk driving television ads and reallocating those funds to more nontraditional marketing executions, the Department of Highway Safety actually increased their presence on TV. By partnering with local businesses, community leaders and sports teams to create innovative DUI prevention messages, R&R Partners also created a steady stream of news coverage that far outweighed what could have been purchased in paid advertising, with approximately $4 in earned media coverage for every dollar spent on the campaign, including agency fees.

For a message that hasn’t been news in decades, you shouldn’t drink and drive, that’s pretty good.

From Vegas to Africa—R&R Delivers

From Latin America to Europe to the Middle East, R&R is a serious player in international affairs. We’ve helped build country profiles in both diplomacy and tourism. One area of the globe that particularly fascinates us is Africa. Why? Six of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies are in sub-Saharan Africa. Although the African market may not be on the radar screen of the majority of American businesses, it is on ours!

Recently, our Denver office, which has represented African nations during times of civil and tribal warfare, as well African presidential candidates, hosted an event that attracted the city’s top African leaders. The African Leadership Group works to advance the community’s political and economic goals while uniting the community to speak with a more unified voice. Knowing the importance of this community and the potential for Colorado to do more business in Africa, Colorado’s elected officials were quick to RSVP to this event. We proudly hosted:

  • Colorado Congressman Ken Buck
  • Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman
  • Former Colorado Speaker of the House Frank McNulty
  • Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams
  • Colorado 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler
  • Colorado House of Representatives Assistant Minority Leader Polly Lawrence
  • Colorado Chief Deputy Attorney General David Blake

R&R provided an environment where key members of the African business community could learn about the political process and understand the ins and outs of running for public office in the United States or in Africa. Many of the individuals we hosted have aspirations to run for political office, even president, in their country of origin. Once again, R&R proves that we not only represent global brands, but also international leaders who influence the world in which we live.

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President and Founder of the African Leadership Group Papa Dia addresses attendees at R&R Partners. Photos by Paul Doktor M.D.

ALG 2015 16

Kweku Boafo, Director of International Affairs at R&R Partners listens to Patrick Ssebikejje from African Leadership Group. Photos by Paul Doktor M.D.

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Attendees from the Colorado African Leadership Group gather together for a smile. Photos by Paul Doktor M.D.

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Congressman Mike Coffman smiles for a photo with members of Colorado’s African Leadership Group. Photos by Paul Doktor M.D.


The Creative Sole Search Is ON

R&R is currently looking for a creative director to run the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority account. In the past, we have used recruiters, ads, LinkedIn, etc. This time, we wanted to try something different. The traditional route just wasn’t as fun anymore. We want to kick over some rocks and really get candidates to interact with us with some passion.

So we’re having a contest of sorts and asking candidates to send in their idea for the next stage of What happens here, stays here® with sneakers as the vehicle. Why sneakers? Well, I happen to love sneakers. They are my passion. I have over 150 pairs. They’re kind of in my DNA. I’ve been here 20 years, so in this case, at least – I consider my personal brand to be an R&R truth as well. And I think that good taste in sneakers is a sign that you may have good taste in other things − like ideas.

We put the contest out there with large stickers on the ground outside agencies in LA and Chicago, trade publications, two videos, a poster, Instagram, and a mailer featuring a 3-D-printed sole inside some plain white Converse All-Stars.



Check out the video here on the site.

The effort is getting R&R some great play PR-wise with stories in Adland, Digiday and AdAge.

We have more than 50 candidates who have signed the agreement to send us entries. Now, we’re just waiting for the fun to begin. The mix of traditional candidates and sheer creatives is already peaking our interest as to what we will get. It’s a very exciting way to start the new chapter of work for our biggest client.

Watch for more as shoes or virtual shoes make their way to our shores.

Building on a strong 2015

Strengthening our client partnerships while expanding our unique service offering and driving overall agency growth have always been a priority for R&R Partners. Over the last year, we have renewed our long-standing partnerships with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Utah Transit Authority (UTA), NV Energy and Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), and diversified our relationship with MGM Resorts International. Additionally, we have welcomed to our roster MGM National Harbor, M life Rewards, Falken Tires, Small Town Brewery, La Brea Bakery, Allegiant Air, AAA Texas Auto Insurance and Avnet, just to name a few. In Mexico, CMV/R&R has welcomed Posadas, Kimberly Clark Pétalo, Coca-Cola FEMSA, and the Yucatan Office of Congress and Conventions. It’s been an incredibly productive year and we look forward to supporting our clients’ continued successes and expanding our roster in 2016.


It’s that time of the year again – a special time that happens every December … but only in Las Vegas. (I bet you thought I was talking about Christmas!) I DEFINITELY don’t want to diminish the importance or the joy of Christmas, but December is also the time for our annual college football bowl game, the Las Vegas Bowl.

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl pregame activities at Sam Boyd Stadium on December 20, 2014. (Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl)
Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl pregame activities at Sam Boyd Stadium on December 20, 2014. (Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl)

This year will celebrate the 24th year of the game. I worked on the inaugural game as a student assistant in the UNLV Athletic Department. Now, 24 years later, I am still involved as a member of the Las Vegas Bowl Executive Committee and fulfilling the dedicated sponsorship for the LVCVA.

I am not sure people realize how important the game is to Las Vegas, which is why Rossi Ralenkotter, LVCVA president and CEO, and Rob Dondero, R&R Partners executive vice president, chased the game back in 1991. What motivates travel more than loyal college football fans the week before Christmas? Since the inaugural game in 1992 to last year’s game, the Las Vegas Bowl has generated an estimated $252,201,800 of non-gaming economic impact (that is food/lodging/entertainment) to Las Vegas during a time that’s typically a weaker travel period due to the holiday season. The Las Vegas Bowl has claimed seven sellouts in nine years between 2005 and 2013. Also, this will mark the third year in a row that the Las Vegas Bowl will be broadcast on ABC, showcasing Las Vegas to millions of viewers.

Sponsor signs at the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium on December 21, 2013. (Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl)
Sponsor signs at the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl at Sam Boyd Stadium on December 21, 2013. (Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl)

Some “Las Vegas Bowl firsts” that I think will be a surprise to most people: In 1995, Toledo and Nevada played in what was the first ever overtime bowl game in the Division 1 FBS level. The Las Vegas Bowl has claim to the FIRST WOMAN to play in an FBS-level game when Katie Hnida of the University of New Mexico entered the game to attempt an extra point. Sadly, it was blocked. In 2013, the game featured three scoring plays of 98 yards or longer and was the first bowl game in history that included a kickoff return to start each half.

And, you might just recognize a few of these names − he’s now known for being in Beast Mode and loving his Skittles, but Seattle Seahawks superstar running back Marshawn Lynch first gained fame in college when he was named MVP of the 2005 Las Vegas Bowl after rushing for three touchdowns and 199 yards for the Cal Bears. He won the Heisman Trophy the year AFTER playing in the 2001 Las Vegas Bowl: Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer led his USC Trojans in the 2001 game against Utah. The world knows him as “Gronk,” but before Rob Gronkowski became a three-time Pro Bowl tight end, the future Super Bowl champion played right here in the Las Vegas Bowl as he helped his Arizona Wildcats earn a win over BYU in the 2008 edition. Before he became a 1,000-yard rusher in the NFL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin played right here in the Las Vegas Bowl, piling up 301 all-purpose yards and two scores while helping his Boise State Broncos defeat Arizona State in 2011.

So, while you deck the halls and trim the tree, don’t forget to make the Las Vegas Bowl a part of your December tradition!! This year’s game will be Saturday, Dec. 19, at 12:30 p.m. PT (3:30 p.m. ET) at Sam Boyd Stadium. The 24th Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl will be televised nationally on ABC, featuring BYU against Utah — and with that matchup comes two more Las Vegas Bowl firsts — it marks both the first time “The Holy War” has been contested in the postseason, and the first time the Cougars and Utes have battled on a neutral site.

Monthly trends & insights: December 2015

Being current with available media opportunities, market trends and consumer trends can play a major role in a marketing strategy. This month’s Trends & Insights will focus on a new media opportunity at the Fashion Show mall in Las Vegas, Pandora enhancing their application, green messaging in relation to a brand, markets with heaviest vehicle traffic, TUBI TV introduction and gambling habits of Millennials.


Fashion Show South Entry Plaza Digital

Fashion Show Mall

Fashion Show mall has unveiled a new media opportunity via the south entry above the main door and the south column. These will also be available at the north entrance as well. The plaza digital will have full-motion video and audio. There will also be additional formats available that are to be announced.


Pandora Will Be Acquiring Ticketfly and Big Sound

By acquiring Ticketfly, Pandora will be able to add event discovery to their arsenal. Nearly 80 million people nationwide use Pandora and it is the single most used app in the world. It anticipates this merger will enable promoters to sell out more shows.

“With its ability to identify and target specific fans, Pandora sold out 55,000 tickets for the recent Rolling Stones tour in 24 hours. The ability to sell tickets for lesser known acts is equally impressive. A Pandora pre-sale for ODESZA (an up-and-coming EDM act) blew through 25,000 tickets, including Ticketfly venues such as the 9:30 Club and Union Transfer, in minutes. Safe to say, Pandora is about to become a major player in ticketing.”

As both Pandora and Ticketfly are deeply data-driven, their recommendations will be improved for fans.

With the acquisition of Next Big Sound, Pandora’s data analytics will be enhanced. The music industry utilizes Next Big Sound to:

  • Quantify the relationship between social media and revenue.
  • Understand the impact of marketing and promotional events such as TV appearances, press interviews and new releases.
  • Drive marketing decisions for artists, managers, agents, publishers, promoters, labels and brands across the global music industry.
  • Deploy prediction algorithms to help identify high-potential artists at the earliest possible stage.

“Next Big Sound gathers social, sales and streaming data into one central platform. Sources include Facebook and Twitter, Wikipedia, artist websites, Spotify, YouTube and iTunes. To put this information into context, event data such as concerts, release dates, television appearances and press mentions are incorporated, as well as the rich demographic data that helps artists become better acquainted with their fan base.”


H&M Promotes Sustainable Fashion Via Recycled Clothes

H&M is promoting “Together We Can Close The Loop,” a campaign message stating that any unwanted garments can be left in any of its 3,300 stores and be recycled into new clothes. This has opened the door for H&M to publically display its contribution to being socially responsible as well as being green. The company specifically details that recycling one T-shirt can save 2,100 liters of water. By providing one simple fact on its contribution to the enviornment, H&M has engaged messaging to the socially responsible consumer.

Worst Traffic in Cities = Best Out-of-Home Locations

The longer a message is displayed, the greater the chance a message can be received as one moves beyond it. Dwell time is the potential time a passerby may see a message. The average dwell time, according to multiple studies, is seven seconds, but that time will certainly be higher in markets with congested traffic.

The following are the largest markets with the highest annual delays per commuter:

  • Washington, D.C., comes in first with annual delay per auto commuter at 82 hours.
    • While there are no billboards along I-95, I-495 and I-66, there’s plenty of signage to be seen as traffic becomes congested.
  • Los Angeles is infamous for its traffic delays and comes in second at 80 hours yearly delay for commuters.
  • San Francisco/Oakland area comes in at 78 hours yearly delay for commuters.
  • New York is at 74 hours yearly delay for commuters.
    • The city is developing technology that will allow traffic signals to communicate with each other to make traffic more efficient.
  • Boston comes in fifth with 64 hours.
    • The roads are congested for nearly five hours per day.

Other large markets with long delays per commuter include:

  • San Jose at 67 hours annual delay per auto commuter
  • Riverside/San Bernadino at 59 hours annual delay per auto commuter
  • Austin at 52 hours annual delay per auto commuter
    • The city rolled out a $6.5 million project that will allow continuous flow intersections eliminating the light cycles that drivers sit through. Local officials anticipate 30 to 50 percent reduction in travel time.
  • Portland is at 52 hours annual delay per auto commuter
  • Denver annual delay per auto commuter
    • Its traffic is worst on the I-25 and I-70 in the morning and evening. Denver spent more than 91 million hours in rush hour traffic in 2014.


TUBI TV is a free video application on connected TV devices, mobile and the Web (includes Samsung, Roku, Apple store, Google play, XBOX ONE, Amazon fireTV). TUBI TV will have an expansive TV show and movie selection. This app will be coming to Apple TV in the near future.

It currently has 5.1 million monthly unique users, 57 million monthly streams and 20 million total app installations.

TUBI TV will have standard advertising (pre-roll and mid-roll/skippable) online ads. It will also has “Limited Commercial Interruptions Sponsored by” (sponsored tag opening billboard) options and “First Look” (postion A pod position in each commercial break).

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Exclusive options will include long-form opt-in ads, survey ads and branded canvas ads.

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TUBI TV will also have expansive tracking capabilities.

TUBI TV live is an upcoming feature that will allow sponsorships to be available across the entire platform or within verticals.

Millennials Adopting New Gaming Habits in Casinos

Gambling habits are changing across generations. Millennials are looking to have more exotic electronic games like the ones available to them via mobile devices.

“State revenue from taxing gambling – from casinos, lotteries and racing – has been largely flat since the Great Recession, when adjusted for inflation, according to the Rockefeller Institute, which studies tax revenue.”


The research shows that casino gamblers are mainly of the elderly population. Millennials are looking for more of a social experience shared with friends and gambling doesn’t resonate as a fun leisure activity. Younger generations are making investments more toward non-gaming amenities compared to their predecessors.

“Only 51 percent said slot machines and video poker were their preferred form of gambling compared to 61 percent of all casino-goers.” When compared to the total population, younger clientele tend to favor crowd-friendly table games, which contribute less revenue than slots. The younger generations are trending to prefer games that have more direction and more choices at decision points.

Fantasy Football entities such as Draft Kings and FanDuel are extremely popular with the younger male audience and allow the wagering of real money. These types of games require decision-making and you have a chance to gain or lose your wagers over the course of the day.

Casinos are beginning to make hybrid games of chance and skill. Gregg Giuffria, CEO of G2 Game Design and former co-owner of Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, reported that his firm had solved the problem of melding a game of chance and skill.

With new hybrid games on the rise, new regulations are passed for these newly developed technologies.

“As the gaming industry seeks to roll out the new hybrid games, states are faced with drafting new regulations to govern them. Nevada passed a law earlier this year calling on the state’s Gaming Commission to develop regulations for hybrid games in casinos. New Jersey approved fantasy sports betting in casinos in 2013.”

Allen Godfrey, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, stated that any trend away from slots would ultimately hurt the state’s revenue from casinos. He said the commission is waiting for the industry to bring examples of the types of hybrid games innovators are talking about before setting any new regulations.

Giuffria noted that casinos around the country will have to integrate the hybrid games, otherwise revenue will continue to decline along with the income states receive that depend on that revenue.

Whether it’s being aware of local media opportunities, understanding the enhancement of an application, boosting your brand’s image or knowing consumer behavior, vigilance is the key.