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OMR Best of: 2019 Edition

Bot beaters, car-bound karaoke, a hair-tie empire and opened-mouth food chewers headline the best articles of the year

Before we train our sights firmly on 2020, we’re taking one final look back at what went down in 2019. We welcomed 50K of you to the OMR Festival 2019 in Hamburg in May, we launched a brand new international newsletter (don’t forget to subscribe in the box at the bottom of the page 😉 ) and we kept watch of and reported on the happenings from around the digital marketing universe. Today, we’re highlighting the peak performing articles from the past 365 days, reliving the more bizarre moments in the online marketing universe (people. chewing. food. on. Youtube.) and reflecting on the potential game-changers. Happy Reading!

Number 10: Food ASMR

I like food. Cooking it, eating it, celebrating it—I’m gonna go ahead and say I am not alone. However, there’s a limit to my passion for food. And that limit is this year’s number 10: Food ASMR. Standing for autonomous sensory meridian response, food ASMR is nothing less than people pitch-perfect recordings of people chewing food loudly into a mic for purposes of relaxation. Bon appetit or time to toss your cookies?

Number 9: Elon Musk’s marketing masterpiece

When real-life Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, aka Elon Musk unveiled his latest big boy toy, the Cybertruck, this past November disaster struck. Or was it “disaster” struck? There are (credible) theories that the Cybertruck fail wasn’t a fail at all, but an intentional ploy to memebait the internets into free publicity—and USD 25 million in revenue.

Number 8: Hangovers to hairties

Parties are fun. The night of. Not much good comes from the morning after. Unless you are Sophie Trelles Tvede. In that case, you take hangover induced insights and transform them into an international hair-tie empire. This episode of the OMR Podcast lays out the improbable Invisibobble story and proves once and for all, it’s good to occasionally let your hair down.

Number 7: Shoppable ads

As consumers, we love—make that LOVE— convenience. The quicker, the faster, the more streamlined the process, the more we seem to like it. One of the last eCommerce frontiers is ads that are fully integrated into shops to provide in-ad shopping through so-called shoppable ads. The nascent format is one of the current trends that could absolutely change eCommerce as we know it. We took a look at the current state of shoppable ads, the big players and what potential the format holds.

Number 6: Car Karaoke

We all have hobbies and dreams, something that, given a couple of breaks here or there, we could have been famous for. For Uwe Baltner, that something was singing. On his daily commute to his 9-to-5, Uwe would let out his inner rockstar and sing along to popular songs. Add Instagram to the mix and, eventually, you count Rihanna as a fan. Easy as Sunday morning.

Number 5: Amazon adopts the drop

We’ve discussed the “drop” as a marketing strategy at length in the past (here and here, for example). Now, they say that imitation is the greatest sign of flattery. If the imitator is also the undisputed king of all things internets, then you can probably bet you’re on to something.

Number 4: Alibaba Singles’ Day

In the West, it’s all about Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And why wouldn’t it be: those two shopping events combine for massive revenue figures generated online (USD 14.1b in 2018 and USD 16.8b in 2019). As impressive as those numbers are, they do not compare to the biggest 1-day sales event in the world, Singles’ Day. Part gala, part FOMO leveraging and 100% engrained in the psyche of Chinese consumers, Alibaba’s flagship event generated more revenue on 1 day in 2019 (USD 38b) than the past 2 Black Fridays and Cyber Mondays combined.

Number 3: Amazon attacks merchant margins

Look, if you are a merchant on Amazon and think that Bezos’ juggernaut is on your side, I can’t help you. We’ve covered their “>aggressive tactics in the past, piggybacking off of users’ search requests to promote their own in-house products. Back in February, we noticed that Amazon had doubled down on the practice, which figures to slash merchant revenues even further by hijacking their promoted posts.

Number 2: Politicians porn marketing

In times of shrinking organic growth possibilities, getting the most bang for your advertising buck is hard. The market is flooded and CPMs on traditional platforms are skyrocketing continuously. So, where do you go for, um, maximum exposure? PORN SITES! From politicians to food delivery services and more, serious brands are beginning to embrace pornographic platforms as viable advertising and marketing channels.

Number 1: Bonkers beat bots

For the number 1 article of 2019, we’re going back to the drop. The strategy is so effective in creating artificial shortages that fans will do anything to get their hands on the hottest kicks and threads from their favorite brands. That includes using bots, which, through by attempting to order a product multiple times per second, can cause websites to crash. Nothing you can do, right? Wrong! Just ask Frankfurt-based skate shop Bonkers, who devised an ingenious strategy to beat the bots.

Further reading on this topic