JPMorgan’s marketing chief says Amazon is a real challenger to Facebook and Google in digital advertising

Kristin Lemkau

Amazon is sharpening its assault on the ad business, and big-name advertisers are starting to take notice.

With product and search ads on Amazon.com, and its data on shoppers being used to run display ads all over the web, the Seattle-based e-commerce giant is increasingly becoming top of mind for advertisers. In fact, its ad business is already worth over $2 billion. 

“I think that they are a force to be reckoned with, they are excellent with everything they do,” said Kristin Lemkau, chief marketing officer at JPMorgan Chase. “You have to do business with Amazon.”

Lemkau, speaking at the Association of National Advertisers’ Masters of Marketing Conference on Thursday, said she sees Amazon as a potential challenger to the Facebook-Google duopoly in the digital advertising space.

“They take customer obsession seriously,” she said. “And I think they feel like the first big, emerging advertiser that can be grouped with Facebook and Google.”

“They have a search engine, a programmatic stack, premium content and one of the top five apps,” she told Business Insider in an interview later. “And they are the biggest consumer company in the world today.”

Lemkau also addressed the issue of brand safety, which has been foremost on the minds of marketers over the past year. JPMorgan Chase, in particular, has been vocal about the issue of branded content appearing next to inappropriate or violent content online.

It stopped working with YouTube earlier this year, for example, when the platform was in the thick of its brand safety controversy, and also pulled its ads from NBC in June, ahead of an interview Megyn Kelly did with controversial guest, Alex Jones. 

“Performance is important, but at the time, we didn’t care about the performance,” she told ANA chief Bob Liodice. “We were putting a stake in the ground that we were not going to support fake news.”

She also mentioned how before the company decided to crack down on fake news, its ads were running on 400,000 plus websites, but getting clicks from merely 12,000. JPMorgan Chase then restricted those sites to just 5,000, and is currently on its way to limiting its display ads to about 10,000 approved sites.

“We cull it all the time, but this is something incumbent on brands themselves to figure out.”

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    This little-known Silicon Valley neighborhood is suddenly one of the hottest housing markets in America — take a look

    serra the dalles sunnyvale neighborhood homes 9676

    Lots of people working in Silicon Valley can’t afford to buy a home there.

    As a housing shortage in the San Francisco Bay Area continues to drive prices sky-high, some homebuyers are turning their attention to a micro-neighborhood called Serra, located between the headquarters of Google and Apple. It’s also known by its main drag, The Dalles.

    This southwest corner of the town of Sunnyvale offers relatively affordable houses, proximity to major tech companies, and a small-town suburban feel. Still, Serra has flown under the radar, in part because few people know it exists. Google Maps doesn’t even recognize the name.

    Earlier this year, real-estate site Redfin named Serra the third hottest neighborhood of 2017The site based the ranking on increases in internet traffic to listings in specific neighborhoods. Serra homes typically sell in under two weeks at 106% of the listing price.

    Here’s what life is like in the neighborhood.

    SEE ALSO: Inside the most expensive zip code in Silicon Valley, where tech moguls like Eric Schmidt and Paul Allen have their mansions

    I had my doubts about Serra, also known as “The Dalles,” according to Redfin, before setting out for the new most desirable neighborhood in Sunnyvale. Did it really exist?

    Based on my preliminary Google searches, Serra looked like a realtor’s attempt to rebrand an existing neighborhood with a pleasant-sounding moniker in order to lure prospective buyers — like New York’s made-up SoHa. None of my colleagues in San Francisco had ever heard of it.

    Google Maps confirmed my suspicion. Searches for Serra and The Dalles turned up only Serra Park, the neighborhood park, and The Dalles, the street that bisects the area.

    A map on Redfin provided some clarity. Serra spans about two square miles.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider


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      We tried an elusive ‘scrambled egg’ product that’s been in development for 4 years — here’s the verdict

      _DSC7295 hc

      For food startup Hampton Creek, the egg is ground zero.

      The San Francisco-based company’s mission is to transform the way we eat by replacing the animal products in our food with ingredients that can be made from plants.

      It all began with a product called “Beyond Eggs,” a pea-based egg-replacement that can be used for baking but not eaten alone. Hampton Creek CEO Josh Tetrick, a long-time vegan, portrayed the product as the first of a long line of products that would eventually turn our food system — which he calls “completely broken” — upside down.

      “We’re trying to take the animal totally out of the equation,” Tetrick told NPR in 2013.

      Tetrick is right that our food system isn’t sustainable — producing a half-pound of beef results in roughly 7 and a half pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, or the equivalent of driving nearly 10 miles. Producing the same amount of potatoes, on the other hand, requires about a tenth of that CO2. Decreasing the amount of meat Americans consume could make a big difference for the planet.

      Hampton Creek’s message has resonated with consumers. Three years after the company was founded, it raised more than $120 million. Since debuting the pea-based “Beyond Eggs” in 2013, the company has released a line-up of plant-based alternatives to foods that rely on animal products, including cookies, dressings, and a popular eggless mayonnaise that’s sold in stores like Wal-Mart and Whole Foods. 

      In 2015, Hampton Creek was named a “Technology Pioneer” by the World Economic Forum; that same year, its revenues grew 350%. Its products are now served in 2,300 public schools and 400 universities, as well as stadiums and even the US Senate.

      But Hampton Creek still hasn’t cracked the eggless egg — at least not one that can be cooked and eaten on its own.

      Peas are the centerpiece of “Just Mayo”, while the company’s “Just Cookies and “Just Dough” feature sorghum. But neither of those ingredients have yielded a stand-alone egg substitute. Various test versions of an eggless scrambled egg product, which Tetrick said might eventually be called “Just Scramble,” have repeatedly failed to hit the mark. Alice Park, a science writer for TIME, wrote in 2014 that one version of the scramble tasted more like tofu than eggs.

      But Hampton Creek has kept at it. Their latest version of the scramble (which is not yet on the market) is made with mung beans; Tetrick and other staff members have taken to simply calling it “Jack” or “the magic bean.”

      On a recent tour of the company’s headquarters, we gave it a taste. Ben Roche, one of the company’s heads of product development, poured some of the yellowish liquid into a frying pan. 

      _DSC7275 hc

      After a few minutes, the scramble began to look, well, like scramble. Along the bottom of the pan, a soft layer of what looked like perfectly-beaten eggs began to solidify, and as Roche stirred, the mixture started to take on a more defined shape. Again, it all looked like typical egg behavior.

      _DSC7282 hc

      Roche scooped the finished product into a small bowl for me and sprinkled it with a bit of sea salt. The product certainly looked like eggs — it had the texture and the characteristic pastel-yellow color, and it was steaming like a hot plate of scrambled eggs normally would.

      I shoved a forkful of the scramble into my mouth. It didn’t taste like eggs. But it wasn’t bad, either.

      _DSC7287 hc

      Next, Joshua Hyman, Hampton Creek’s other head of product development, introduced me to the company’s latest iteration of the eggless egg: patties. These don’t have an official name yet, but Hyman told me envisions them being sold in schools and universities much like their egg replacement product.

      Hyman slid what looked like an egg sandwich towards me — the egg patty (which is the same as the scramble, but formed into a patty shape) was inside a toasted bialy smeared with a light dusting of “Just Mayo”.

      _DSC7289 hc

      I tried a small bite of the sandwich — which had preemptively been cut into quarters as though in acknowledgement of my skepticism — and was blown away. The texture was perfect and the taste was distinctly egg. It didn’t seem like it could be the same product, but perhaps all the “Just Scramble” needed was a bit of crispiness and a smidge of creamy pea protein. As we talked, I ate three more pieces. Running out of time, I put the fourth in a bag to take home.

      _DSC7295 hc

      Hyman told me that he envisions the patties being sold as an alternative to the scrambled eggs that normally go in foods like egg sandwiches and breakfast burritos.

      In addition to the scramble and patties, the company is testing out a reduced-fat version of their original mayo product and a caramel-flavored ice cream. Tetrick also told me they’re “close” to producing lab-grown meat, something the company has been rumored to be working on for years. The product will likely be chicken, according to Tetrick.

      “Right now if a really great burger was a 10 and a McDonald’s burger was a 6, this is a 4. We’re not there yet,” he said.

      SEE ALSO: The healthiest things you can order at 15 of your favorite fast food chains

      DON’T MISS: An eggless mayo startup is out to beat Hampton Creek — here’s the verdict

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        Google’s new headphones have a universal translator feature for 40 languages — and I got to try it (GOOG, GOOGL)

        pixel buds

        On Wednesday, Google unveiled the Pixel Buds, a $159 pair of wireless earbuds designed to work with its new Pixel 2 smartphones.

        The Pixel Buds will release in November, between the launches for the Pixel 2 (October) and the larger Pixel 2 XL (December).

        The coolest part of the Pixel Buds is the ability to use them as a universal translator. It’s like something out of “Star Trek” — at its November launch, you’ll be able to use the Pixel Buds to have a conversation across 40 languages. 

        All you need is the Pixel Buds ($159) and the Pixel 2 smartphone (starting at $649). The other person doesn’t need a phone, earbuds, or any kind of gadgetry at all. 

        I had the chance to try this feature out. And it works! Mostly. 

        Here’s how you’ll use the Pixel Buds as a universal translator. 

        It’s actually a feature of the existing Google Translate app. To get started, just load it up on your Pixel 2 phone. From there, choose the language you understand, and the language you need to translate. An introductory message pops up on the screen once you begin: It basically explains to the other person that you’re using an app, and how it works. 

        Now, the magic happens. In my demo, I tried out my mediocre Spanish on a Google spokesperson wearing Pixel Buds, so I’ll use that as my example. 

        He spoke English into the Pixel Buds, asking “hi, how are you?” The Pixel 2 phone spoke, out loud, the equivalent Spanish phrase: “¿hola, como estas?” This text was also displayed on the screen, which is good, because the demo area was noisy. 

        google translate pixel buds pixel 2

        That noisy room also led to the demo’s biggest glitch: When I went to answer in Spanish — “muy bien, y tu?” — the Pixel 2’s microphone didn’t pick me up clearly. In theory, my conversation partner should have heard “very well, and you?” Instead, all the app heard, and translated, was “William?” Bummer. 

        I’m willing to cut Google some slack, here — the room was cacophonous with the sounds of my fellow tech reporters playing around with all of Google’s new gadgets. In my own experiences with Google Translate, it’s pretty solid at recognizing language, so I trust that it would work as well here. Still, be aware that it might not work in a noisy bar.

        Google is being very clear that this is a test. For now, this feature is limited to the Google Pixel Buds headphones and the Pixel 2 smartphone, as Google works the kinks out. Still, it’s another sign of how Google is turning its considerable edge in artificial intelligence into futuristic, but very real products that make a difference today. 

        SEE ALSO: Google is using its biggest advantage as a weapon to embarrass Apple

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          A 31-year-old’s ‘death from overwork’ causes Japan to rethink work-life balance

          japanese man

          In Japanese the word is karoshi, or “death from overwork.”

          The latest victim to be announced as a case of karoshi is 31-year-old Miwa Sado, who worked for the Japanese news network NHK and reportedly logged 159 overtime hours in one month before she died of heart failure in July 2013. She had taken just two days off the prior month, the Guardian reports.

          Japan’s government has been trying desperately over the past several years to change the cultural attitudes toward work. In early 2016, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe launched a “work style reform” panel seeking to make time off more alluring for Japanese workers. 

          Though the results have been mixed, some private companies have started to make changes.

          Japanese ad agency Dentsu, for its part, now requires people to take at least five days off every six months. It also shuts the lights off every night at 10 p.m. as an incentive for people to head home.

          The move came in response to the death of Matsuri Takahashi, a 24-year-old employee who committed suicide on Christmas Day 2015, after logging 105 hours of overtime in one month. At work Takahashi tried to maintain appearances, but on Twitter she spoke the truth. “It’s 4 a.m. My body’s trembling,” she reportedly said in one post. “I’m going to die. I’m so tired.” 

          Dentsu President and CEO, Tadashi Ishii, announced his resignation in March 2016.

          Other companies have opted to shift their allowable overtime hours to the morning. The trading house Itochu Corp. opens its doors at 5 a.m. for anyone who wants to avoid staying late at the office. Employees who show up early get treated to a light breakfast and earn the same extra wages they would have gotten at the end of the day.

          But as Abe’s reform signals, the country has larger issues related to overtime that it must address for the sake of public health.

          A 2016 report examining karoshi cases and their cause of death found that more than 20% of people in a survey of 10,000 Japanese workers said they worked at least 80 hours of overtime a month. In the US, 16.4% of people work an average of 49 hours or longer each week. In Japan, more than 20% do, according to the report. Half of all respondents said they don’t take paid vacations.

          As per the report, many of the overwork deaths were caused by suicide, heart failure, heart attack, or stroke — all of which can be brought on by excessive stress.

          Other companies have gotten creative with how they encourage people to work less. At the Tokyo-based nursing care business Saint-Works, employees wear purple capes that display the time they should leave the office — an effort to erase all doubt when the day is over.

          According to the South China Morning Post, people at the company are working half as many overtime hours since 2012, while profits continue to grow year-over-year.

          The research into productivity suggests other firms would see similar gains if they required people to work less. After a certain threshold, extra time spent on tasks doesn’t equate to extra output. As Sachio Ichinose told the SCMP, the extra hours make people more burned out.

          “New ideas do not pop up after meetings are extended an extra two to three hours,” he said. “Work becomes productive when it is balanced out with your private life.”

          If the new measures are successful, both employers and their workers will come to take that sentiment to heart.

          SEE ALSO: ‘This is death to the family': Japan’s fertility crisis is creating economic and social woes never seen before

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