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Yes, the job market (finally) seems to be turning around. At least according to the Fed. But that doesn't mean there aren't still plenty of marketing organizations and agencies out there still trying to cut costs and simultaneously boost revenue. Which means, day in and day out, a lot of marketers are looking to justify the existence of their jobs.

The 5 most dangerous job titles in marketing

Some marketers have a harder time than others when doing this. A lot of that has to do with their job titles and a lack of understanding of such titles within the C-suite.

There are articles out there that discuss the ways in which many current industry roles will soon be wholly irrelevant or drastically different. This isn't one of them. In this article, rather than discuss job roles and titles that are becoming irrelevant, we'll look at the ones that are often lumped into the "nice to have but not essential" bucket. The following list has a lot less to do with the true value behind certain job titles and far more to do with how expendable such positions might appear in the eyes of executives who are being pressed to make hard cuts.

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Amobee announced the launch of its proprietary, new video viewability and brand safety technology that will allow Amobee to determine if an ad would be viewable prior to serving the ad.

BFG Communications announced Richard Leslie as the agency's chief strategy officer.

BlueConic, a provider of user-driven marketing in the cloud, announced that global luxury tea brand Tea Forté has selected the company's user-driven marketing platform to grow its business through improved customer interactions.

BrandFire has partnered with Universal Aid for Children Ukraine to completely rebuild the non-profit's concept and brand, for free.

CrownPeak announced the first open, multi-tenant cloud CMS with at DAM that empowers enterprises to centrally manage digital assets -- regardless of the source content's location.

Genesis Media, announced its partnership with MediaShift, a next-generation digital advertising technology company that monetizes WiFi networks.

Havas Worldwide New York announced the appointment of Sami Viitamäki as executive director of digital.

Informate Mobile Intelligence, a mobile measurement firm that tracks consumer use and consumption of content, advertising and in-app activity on smart phones and tablets, announced Will Hodgman as its new CEO.

Integral Ad Science, a global provider of actionable advertising intelligence for buyers and sellers of digital media, announced that it is entering the Japanese market, providing brand safety measurements through a strategic partnership with Yahoo! JAPAN.

Lippincott, a global brand strategy and design agency, announced the addition of Cory Cruser as partner and the newest addition to the firm's growing Experience Innovation practice, based in the New York office.

MediaMath, developers of the TerminalOne Marketing Operating SystemTM, announced the acquisition of Rare Crowds, a technology company building innovative solutions to find marketer-defined target audiences across display, mobile, video, and social.

Sennheiser, a headphone manufacturer, plans to open experiential pop-up stores in New York City and San Francisco for the holiday season.

Signal, the global leader in real-time, cross-channel marketing technology, announced that Ana Milicevic, digital media executive, has joined the company as senior vice president to help clients drive ROI from their data-driven initiatives.

Struck, a creative agency, announced the promotion of executive creative director Matt Anderson to CEO.

Telerik announced the latest release of its Kendo UI suite, enhancing its popular HTML5 and JavaScript framework.

Vevo, the world's leading all-premium music video and entertainment platform, announced that president and CEO Rio Caraeff will leave the company at the end of 2014 to pursue other opportunities. Vevo has also appointed Stacy Moscatelli to lead Vevo's consumer marketing and branding initiatives.

Vlocity, an industry cloud company, announced that Vlocity Communications 2.0 is now available.

Editor's note: We list the companies and people alphabetically. Our bimonthly column is always looking for announcements, so please email them to agata@imediaconnection.com.

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Modern marketers have a wealth of data available at their fingertips. The opening of the data floodgates on the one hand, was the answer to their predecessors' prayers: access to information on their target consumers and the media used to reach them. On the other hand, big data has created a conundrum: what to do with the information now available. Making data actionable is a challenge, particularly as the marketing community adjusts to its use. But it can be done, and with a much simpler process than you may think.

It might seem overwhelming to try to make data more "digestible," especially with the wealth of information available. But the method of identifying the most beneficial data and deciding how to use it can be simplified, putting you in a position to make decisions, take action and achieve your marketing goals. Data analysis can seem very "in the weeds." These steps can help you carve a path through them, turning rows of numbers into meaningful, actionable solutions.

Ask important questions

Data, big or small, can be intimidating. To break its perception as vast and overwhelming, it is helpful to start with basic questions: Who? What? When? Where? How? The answers to those questions help to develop follow up questions. For example, if the original question is: "When do potato chip eaters eat?" and you find that they like afternoon and evening snacks, probe further. "What are they doing online right before those times? Can we target them? How should we speak to them when we target them? What will they respond to?" Asking important questions helps sift through the information available and uncover the most important pieces.

Look for what's different and surprising

Data is a tricky beast to tame simply because of its unpredictability. Sometimes data will confirm beliefs, and other times it presents something surprising. Don't be afraid of the surprises. Embracing these anomalies will help identify key insights.

Create a story

Every one of us processes data every day for decision making without even realizing it. But in our everyday lives, data tends to manifest in forms of observations rather than numbers, making it easier to process. Our daily activities are driven by the information we've captured around us. Take for example your laundry routine. After a year of living in your building, you've noticed that the laundry room is empty on Friday nights. If you need to do laundry, Friday is probably a good day to do it. The data in this example (i.e., fewer people do laundry on Fridays), is made actionable by the storyline developed around it. If data is presented as a story, it's much easier to understand and "digest" than if it's in a long spreadsheet.

Present the data interestingly

Pictures help to tell stories. Likewise, charts and graphs help to tell the story concealed in each data set. But to have the most impact, you have to take care that the chart conveys the story well. A bar chart could be fascinating, confusing, or boring depending on the story you're trying to tell. The visual display is equally as important as the data itself. Choose the visualization that best presents the data story. Sometimes it's an icon. Sometimes it's a graph. Sometimes it's the written word.

Today's marketers have a wealth of opportunity at their hands, powered by the vast amounts of data available. And while weeding through the information may seem daunting and overwhelming, it can be transformed by using a simple process that magnifies what's important and makes numbers in a spreadsheet much more comprehensible. Examining data through the lens of a story, asking questions, identifying what's unique and then piecing it all together will not only help make it more digestible, but much easier to act upon.

Rachel DiCola is senior director, research and consumer insight at Gamut.

On Twitter? Follow DiCola at @RachelDiCola and iMedia at @iMediaTweet.

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Unless you live under a rock, you know that Taylor Swift is kind of a big deal. Not since Eminem's global domination of "The Eminem Show" in 2002 has a music artist sold more copies of a record in its first week. That's more than a decade of declining music sales and album profits turned on its head with the release of "1989," Swift's new album. In its first week, "1989" sold 1.27 million units and is now going into its third straight week as a Billboard No. 1 record. This is unheard of in today's music industry. "1989" is a record-breaking release, in an era where declining record sales, a downturn in iTunes purchases, and a competitive streaming market all but wrote off the Platinum-selling record altogether. Music writer and former Billboard magazine editor Bill Werde summed it up perfectly: "She is defying retail gravity."

But for many fans of Swift, this doesn't come as a surprise. She's been quietly building up to this moment with a career that has consistently delivered her brand directly to audiences for more than a decade.

For any digital marketer, there is a lot to Swift's approach that can inspire the direction for your brands. Here are six tips to consider.

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All year long you've been keenly aware of the importance of the last six weeks on your calendar. You probably skipped Labor Day barbecues so you could finalize your holiday marketing campaigns. You know that procrastinating, even to mid-September, can put your professional reputation and your company's profits at risk.

Anywhere between 20 and 40 percent of yearly sales for small and mid-sized retailers take place within the last two months of the year.

If the stakes seem to get higher every year, it's not just your imagination. Retail sales are expected to rise 4.1 percent to a projected $616.9 billion this holiday season, according to Deloitte. As more shoppers make purchases online -- up from 51 percent last year to an expected 56 percent this year -- the ability for online retailers to reach their target audience is getting more challenging. Adding to the challenge is the fact that digital interactions now influence roughly $345 billion of total retail store sales. 

The margin of error on your holiday campaigns continues to get thinner. It doesn't matter how many campaigns you've managed, how meticulous you are about details, or how amazing the campaigns are -- anything can go awry. This is why you have back-up plans for creative as well as the specific marketing channels you'll use.

But when you're in the midst of midnight madness, a Cyber Monday lunch hour special, or Thanksgiving previews, it's easy to overlook the critical indicators that signal when it's time to activate Plan B. Especially when you consider the deluge of data you're receiving across all of your marketing channels. Even if you have alerts in place and have set caps on retargeting or key word searches. For example, there's always a nagging feeling that perhaps you should stick to the original plan.

If you do have Plan B ready to go, are you prepared to execute it? How will you know if it's the better choice?

Below are three often overlooked yet critical factors to consider that will help you determine when it's time to pull the trigger. None of them should stand alone as a definitive go/no go decision maker -- they all contribute to the bigger picture. Rather, they're dimensions that should be included in your campaign analysis to support or refute decisions this holiday shopping season as well as part of next year's planning.

Year-over-year cross-channel performance, as well as real time analysis of current activities

Everyone knows that tracking YOY performance is table stakes. Yet real time and cross-channel comparisons are also critical to making split second decisions. Past and present data enables you to understand how the campaigns are currently performing compared to last year at the same time.

Also, a single channel, like affiliate, may not be delivering your expected results, but if you combine it with another channel, such as search, the picture may quickly change. Running a few what-if scenarios and A/B testing on various combinations to identify shortcuts on the path to purchase can wind up saving you time, money and headaches.

Expansion of your analysis and measurement of mobile and tablet shopping behavior

While the stats on mobile and tablet usage show that they will soon overtake the desktop, be mindful of the specific actions that consumers take on these devices. For example, many shoppers use mobile devices for comparison shopping, showrooming, webrooming, and getting directions/store hours as opposed to solely executing purchases. This doesn't mean a mobile touch point won't influence or drive a sale, but it does mean a broader scope should be considered when analyzing and executing mobile campaigns. 

Setting alerts for outliers while being mindful that they are truly outliers before making any decisions

Specifically, take note of extreme action in any direction. It could be a one-off purchase or it could give insight into an audience that you may not have originally considered targeting. Remember: One is unique, three is a trend.

Above all, you want to avoid a knee-jerk reaction to any single slice of data. Fast starts can burn out quickly and late bloomers have been known to deliver big in the home stretch.

Tyler Sander is VP of sales at Datorama.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

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There are approximately 28 million small businesses in the U.S. alone, many of which have likely not even scratched the surface of effectively using digital marketing to drive in-store activity.

The recent shift to real-time buying (RTB) and the growth of programmatic marketing has changed the way we buy digital advertising. With traditional forms of digital advertising, marketers had to pay large sums of money upfront in order to reach their target audience for a given campaign. In this situation, the challenge for small businesses was that they didn't have access to the sizable budgets of large advertisers. However, because of the influx of data being captured around web and opportunities afforded by programmatic marketing, companies no longer have to put large sums of money upfront to reach their desired audiences. Today, businesses of all sizes can leverage audience data, digitally enabled devices, and online marketing to reach customers. All of these strategies will help small businesses capitalize on Small Business Saturday (November 29) in a similar way to how large retailers use search data and digital advertising to promote Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales to in-market shoppers.

Digital marketing helps get people into stores
According to Google's 2014 Local Reach study, four out of five consumers search online to find local information and four in five consumers want ads customized to their local surroundings. Influencing customers along their path to purchase requires getting in front of them at the right time and with the right messaging. SMBs have multiple digital channels at their fingertips, including Search Engine Marketing (SEM), data-driven display advertising such as site and search retargeting, mobile advertising and social media. All of these channels now allow you to integrate relevant audience data such as geographic, on-site activity and search behaviors, which can be very effective for SMBs. For example, SEM and mobile advertising play big roles in influencing the consumers on digital devices, which ultimately assists in driving them to visit a brick and mortar store. If a consumer conducted an online search for "car repair," you can serve them a relevant ad on their mobile device for a promotion from their nearby car repair store.

Small businesses should take advantage of geo-fencing, which allows them to reach consumers within a very specific location with advertising messages local stores. The beauty of real-time advertising and geo-based marketing is that you can customize ad messages based on a set of data points, which enables marketers to make their ads hyper relevant to their desired audience.

Understand which tactics to try and when
First, retailers must define what products and promotions are part of their Small Business Saturday strategy and create marketing messages and ads that can be used across desktop and mobile devices.

Second, advertisers must understand what data is available and work with advertising technology partners using multiple data elements, including search intent, to reach and influence customers. A majority of SMBs want to drive in-store traffic, which will require hyper local advertising efforts. In order to take full advantage of this strategy, you must define your desired goal and then look at how digital channels such as SEM, Facebook advertising, mobile targeting, etc., can assist you in your prospecting and customer retention efforts.

Third, businesses want to be where their customers are, which includes online. In order to cast a wider net across your target audience you should leverage mobile and laptop/desktop advertising (people that searched for keywords relevant to your store or what you offer), and layer in hyper-local advertising so you can reach consumers within a very specific set of parameters.

Timing is everything when it comes to getting in front of your customers. In order to make digital marketing work, you need to leverage it as a way to reach consumers early in the purchase cycle, before they make their buying decisions. Additionally, local and intent data elements are vital for connecting small businesses with relevant audiences. Your marketing efforts simply won't work if you don't have the right data strategy in place.

The world of digital marketing and available data is only going to get bigger, which means SMBs will have more and more opportunities to tap digital strategies as larger businesses do. However, this also means that smaller businesses will have to increase their digital presence, which might include creating or improving their online site, Facebook page, local review pages, etc. Consumers rely on information available to them on the web, and if you want to have a seat at the marketing table, digital has to be part of your business, beyond just advertising efforts.

James Green  is CEO of Magnetic.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

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I think we've all realized the death of Facebook is a long way off, despite many articles in recent years, and months, stating the contrary.

What it's set to do, I believe, is change its focus as we move into 2015. The reason why? Research reveals less young people -- those in their teens and early twenties -- are logging on.

Facebook has struggled to compete with the likes of social apps such as Kik and Snapchat, which are attracting a younger audience, as these challenger social media platforms give people more control over their content. This is something that Facebook has struggled to do, particularly as it tries to balance monetization of the site to advertisers with its offering to its users.

As a result, I expect post-education young professionals -- 22- to 35-year-olds -- to follow the lead of the younger generation and increasingly embrace the benefits of greater control by moving away and spending time on other networks that put them in the driving seat. These include anonymous networks, such as mobile app Secret, as people experiment with different forms of social sharing.

So what's Facebook's new role?

I anticipate Facebook becoming an aggregator of content from multiple different apps and networks. This is because of the mass market breakthrough of wearables like the Apple Watch in 2015 and the growth of apps that run everything from our diets to our training programs. This, in turn, increases the content pressure on the Facebook newsfeed, decreasing its value as a place to connect with friends. Facebook will struggle to aggregate life information of users in a consumable format, balancing the real estate it has for ads and the content pressure on the newsfeed.

Also, there's an increasing trend online for niche, which will continue into 2015. This is due to an increase in social apps and wearables that will focus on niche areas of our lives, such as exercise and diets. These will continue to expand in number and adoption. Actually, Facebook is investigating creating its own health tracking and monitoring platforms and apps, and looking at setting up a money transfer service via Facebook Messenger. Brands will start to take advantage of the huge wealth of user-generated content that emanates from these apps.

One thing that wouldn't surprise me is if Facebook tries to buy Tinder in 2015. Why wouldn't it? Facebook needs the youth market, and this is one of the most sure-fire ways to get it. Integrated status changes and Tinder could bring another realm to dating, particularly as the social aggregation features of Facebook would give you a much broader glimpse into someone's life to help find a match.

When it comes to rumors, a big one is that Facebook is developing an app that will allow its users anonymity. This could help bring back the younger demographic. Watch this space.

In fact, you can't argue that Facebook has not made efforts to keep up with what's happening in the social media marketplace. They have made two genius moves in purchasing WhatsApp and Instagram. WhatsApp's growth curve means it is set to outstrip Facebook in daily active users and in the video battle, Instagram Hyperlapse trumps Vine and takes a big chunk out of YouTube. I expect more brands to successfully engage with consumers via Instagram in 2015 using both images and short form video.

There's plenty of life in Facebook yet, but in the long term, it'll likely lose the younger demographic and with it a "social" focus. Where it's set to be valuable is in becoming an aggregator of all this new social content. It would take an amazing development from Facebook to build up their younger demographic user base. Though, with Facebook, you can never say never. My bet is social experiences and tools will continue to splinter and Facebook will counter this by continuing to be an aggressive acquirer of new networks and apps, furthering its dominant position as the social login service across the social web, whilst experimenting with becoming an aggregator of this content.

Richard Jones is the CEO of EngageSciences.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

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If there's one phrase creative directors and their teams hear again and again, from both internal and external clients, it is this: "Just work your design magic."

Clients often have no idea what the creatives in the organization actually do. To the uninitiated, it seems like new logos can appear at the wave of a Photoshop magic wand, and brilliant new slogans drop out of the ceiling tiles fully formed, right onto writers' desks.

The creative director is left in an unenviable position. He has to simultaneously manage clients, who don't understand what it takes to pull together an integrated, multi-channel marketing campaign, and a team of creatives, who spend more time chasing down proofs and attending status meetings than actually doing creative work. In essence, he's stuck playing the part of the great and powerful Oz, perpetuating the "design magic" myth with clients while trying to keep up with what's really happening behind the curtain.

In reality, this is the opposite of the ideal transparency and visibility that would make everyone more productive. You don't have to travel to the other side of the rainbow to live in a world where creative directors actually direct creative work, instead of sitting in meetings and reporting on the status of projects. A world where designers and writers spend more time designing and writing, and less time emailing and tracking tasks. And where clients have a clear understanding of where their projects are so they can stop scheduling status update meetings and sending panicked emails.

Here are four tips to pull back the "creative curtain" and achieve increased transparency in your organization.

See the visibility problem

When creative directors are managing an overworked, understaffed team, it's tempting to blame inadequate project-management tools and skills. The first problem to address, however, is low or no visibility.

Work requests (and revision requests) can come in via email, sticky note, hallway conversation, or printed proofs marked up with that clichéd red pen. Different tracking tools and methodologies are showing up in every corner of the team, from creative director to coordinator. Collaboration is only happening in lengthy meetings that don't always include the right people at the right time.

In a nutshell: There's no easy way to see what's going on and who's working on what without holding another meeting. And if you can't see what the problems are, how can you address them?

What you can do today: Admit you have a visibility problem. Believe that increased transparency is the first step toward increased productivity, and start taking baby steps (er, munchkin steps) to get your team on board.

Establish clear protocols for project requests

Creative teams have work requests coming in from all different departments, at all hours of the day, in all sorts of ways -- most often by email. But, according to a 2014 AtTask survey about workplace inefficiencies, 63 percent ranked overflowing email inboxes among the top four, and the average worker spends 25 percent of each work day on email-related tasks.

Does that sound like a good place to collect project requests from clients? Not when you want to inspire energy and enthusiasm on the part of your creatives.

What you can do today: Email might be the bane of our existence, but it's still the primary communication and collaboration tool used in offices today. Harness its power by establishing clear, company-wide email protocols. This could include requiring that all requestors submit their requests via one specific email address (e.g., requests@acme.com) and include their deadlines right in the subject line. However you choose to use email, make sure you set strict rules and limits around its usage.

Stop the spreadsheet madness

While 82 percent of companies use Excel spreadsheets to manage their work, most creative teams have a hate-hate relationship with them. No, the spreadsheet is not a natural habitat for creative types -- for accountants, yes, but for designers and writers, no.

Spreadsheets are cumbersome and confusing, and they have a tendency to take on a life of their own, growing to the point that they cannot be deciphered without an in-person orientation from someone who knows the secret handshake. You can also never be sure that they're 100 percent up-to-date. If you have to send an email to determine if the spreadsheet is accurate before you can begin your work, the spreadsheet is not doing its job.

What you can do today: Try some more collaborative applications, such as Google Spreadsheets, a more transparent alternative. This cloud-based tool allows multiple people to access and update information simultaneously without having to email back-and-forth. You have the ability to subscribe to certain columns or sections, and you can get email notifications when changes are made. You can also add comments for your colleagues in specific cells, which they can reply to and "resolve" with a click of a button. (A record is kept of all resolved comments.) And the "revision history" function, while a bit clunky, makes it possible to see who made what changes and when, and even revert to past versions if necessary.

Use digital proofing

If you're still managing feedback or approvals with printed assets in file folders and red pens, you are not alone -- 44 percent of in-house creative teams are not taking advantage of digital proofing. But you are making everyone's lives much more difficult than they need to be.

With digital proofing tools, you can collect everyone's feedback in one place. Clients will be able to see what else has been said to minimize duplicated or contradictory comments, and they can all view and provide feedback at the same time. You can also ensure that everyone is proofing the most recent version of an asset, as well as easily compare versions side by side.

What you can do today: Start researching digital proofing solutions to find one that suits your organizations' needs -- and there are tons of them. Studies show that a single proofing solution can give you 56 percent faster speed-to-market of your projects, 59 percent less time spent managing proofs, and a 29 percent reduction in number of revisions.

Munchkin steps

In an ideal world, all communication connected to a single task or project would be collected and visible in one place -- including project requests, updates, comments, questions, and even digital proofing. There are cloud-based work-management tools that are capable of all of this and more. Implementing such a tool should meet the ultimate goal of eliminating the challenges we've covered here. Until you get to that point, the small steps outlined here can increase transparency in your organization starting today, freeing both clients and creative types from email overload and spreadsheet prison. No crystal ball required.

Joe Staples is CMO at AtTask.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

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October was a slow month for branded video. Following a big September where electronics brands battled to win the smartphone wars, viewership in October decreased by 44 percent to 212.5 million views from 381.6 million views the month prior. The number of campaigns that were released in October also decreased, from 145 in September to 134.

Brands often capitalize on events -- like electronics brands did with Apple's product announcement in September -- to drive viewership around their campaigns. There was no shortage of events for brands to build on in October, among them the World Series, the beginning of the NBA season, and Halloween. Yet, viewership was still down in October. The question is why?

October happens to be one of a few months where we tend to see a sizeable decrease in viewership following a very big viewership month. And October, along with February, May, and July, follow a trend. All of these months follow a month with some major advertising event: February came on the heels of Super Bowl pre-launches in January; May followed April, a big release month for CPG brands; July was eclipsed by record-breaking World Cup viewership in June; and October followed September's smartphone wars. Brands invest so heavily around these big "events" that they often pull back the following month.

While viewership may decrease in these months, however, these lower viewership months can often be incredibly interesting. With no one vertical dominating the month, there was room for any number of brands, big or small, to steal the spotlight. October, as a result, was a bit of a grab bag of branded video.

Google, Samsung, and Nike, respectively, took the top three spots on the iMedia Brands in Video chart. Those three brands have made the chart almost every month this year, so it wasn't much of a shock for them to come up on top.

What was a surprise, however, were the two auto brands that made the chart -- and for the first time, no less.

Peugeot

First is the French automaker, Peugeot, which took the No. 7 spot with 13 million views in October. All of the brand's viewership was the result of one campaign, "The Legend Returns," a reimaging of the brand's 1984 campaign, "The Legend."

"The Legend" was an advertising film that promoted its 205 GTi. It starred a James Bond-esque character and had everything you would want from a 007 movie -- starting with a helicopter chase and ending with a sort of Bond girl, with some action-packed driving over snowy mountains and explosions in between.

For the launch of the 208 GTi, 30 years later, Peugeot decided to remake the ad, with a digital twist. The first few seconds of the new ad are taken from the original film reel, which was digitized, but the rest of the video, from the point where the 205 GTi is overtaken by the 208 GTi, was reworked, joining original footage with 3-D animation.

The distribution strategy for "The Legend Returns," created by BETC Paris, was also focused on digital. The spot was first released in October on the internet before hitting cinemas in November and TV in December.

"The Legend Returns" is Peugeot's most-viewed campaign to date. It owes much of this success to the nostalgia it invokes in those who remember the 1984 campaign.

One of the biggest deciders as to whether a branded video succeeds or not often comes down to whether or not it connects with viewers on an emotional level. Emotion is what drives us all to take action -- be it re-watching the ad, telling a friend about it, or sharing it on Facebook. Nostalgia is one of the most powerful emotions out there, but difficult to tap in to in any real kind of way. Peugeot manages to do that by tapping into its own history.

Lincoln

The second new auto brand on the chart was Lincoln, which grabbed the No. 8 spot in October.

Lincoln's success was also a result of a single campaign, "Matthew McConaughey and the MKC," which promotes the MKC, a new SUV to the market. In this series of ads, McConaughey muses on why he likes driving a Lincoln, spouts clichés about driving, and faces off against a 1,800-pound bull named Ol' Cyrus.

While the campaign drove 12.7 million views for the brand in October, it has now generated more than 22 million views. Much of the viewership, 72 percent of views to be exact, came from parodies of the ads and other user-generated content.

The most popular of the parodies were those aired on "Saturday Night Live," in which Jim Carrey played McConaughey. He poked fun at the actor's willingness to appear in a car commercial, even after winning an Oscar, as well as Lincoln's image as a slow-moving vehicle made for an older crowd. Ellen, Conan, and "South Park" have all riffed on the Oscar-winner's turn as a brand spokesman as well.

True success of branded video is often not only dependent on views of a brand's original content, but also the videos it inspires. User-generated content signals how much the original content has captured viewers' attention. When a brand's content is being spoofed, and when those parodies start to drive their own buzz and coverage, then a brand has created a cultural moment with its content.

But there is a fine line between a brand benefitting from the exposure of a parody and being the butt of a joke. Fortunately for Lincoln, it seems to have benefitted from the teasing.

The company announced its best sales for the month of October since 2007, with Lincoln's overall sales increasing by 25 percent, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Even more telling of the campaign's success is that 25 percent (or 2,197) of the 8,883 vehicles sold in October were MKCs.

Mallory Russell is content editor at Visible Measures.

iMedia's Top 10 Brands in Video chart, powered by Visible Measures, focuses on aggregated brand view counts across related social video ad campaigns. Each brand and campaign is measured on a True Reach basis, which includes viewership of both brand-syndicated and audience-driven video clips. The data are compiled using the patented Visible Measures platform, a constantly growing repository of analytic data on close to 400 million videos tracked across more than 300 online video destinations.

Note: This analysis does not include Visible Measures' paid-placement (e.g., overlays; pre-, mid-, and post-roll) performance data or video views on private sites. This chart does not include movie trailers, video game campaigns, TV show, or media network promotions. View counts are incremental by month.

Learn more here.

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This was the first year the marketing and advertising industries have truly explored a variety of mobile technologies and strategies to engage with consumers. If we jump in our DeLorean and venture back to 2012, we would see a few brands experimenting with augmented reality, but mostly doing the same thing, just in different ways. Technologies such as iBeacon and other powerful location solutions, in-depth and real-time analytics platforms, and advanced coding techniques have given rise to a do-anything mobile world.

This year's mobile standouts reached outside the standard playbooks to utilize well-chosen partnerships, iBeacon, and other technologies at a truly functional level.

Nissan Rogue

Ads don't have a history of being particularly interactive. Maybe they lead to an interactive experience, but Nissan didn't wait for a click-through to engage the consumer. A viewer of the ad was able to interact with an ad video in-stream via tappable video hot-spots. By tapping on a hot-spot, the consumer was able to reveal features of the 2014 Nissan Rogue.

Nivea Sun Kids

For Nivea Sun Kids in Brazil, protection was a primary message. Nivea found a way to take that message beyond sunscreen. They helped families keep tabs on how far their children ventured from them while on the beach. A consumer was prompted to download the Nivea app via a print ad, tear the bracelet out of the print ad, pair it with the app and place the bracelet on the child's wrist and then identify the distance the child could go before the app alert was sent. With radar, it was possible to see if the parents were getting nearer or further from their children. The results were pretty astounding. Nivea Sun Kids had the top sales in its segment, with a 62 percent increase in Rio de Janeiro. Eight of every 10 people impacted by the ad downloaded the app.

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