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Brands welcome royal baby – Government underselling digital companies – Twitter aims for TV viewers

Brands react to royal birth

If there's one story that's been impossible to ignore this week, it's the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's baby boy.

Brands around the world have been poised for some time to capitalise on the new prince's birth, and the official announcement on Tuesday sparked a wave of newspaper front pages, ads and tweets.

Many news organisations made special reference to the event, with The Sun temporarily changing its masthead to read 'The Son'.

Supermarkets also took advantage, with Tesco and the Co-op particularly keen to promote their champagne brands. In a similar vein, individual champagne retailer Mumm ran a special ad with the slogan 'From one Mumm to another'.

Coca Cola also unveiled a new version of their current 'Share a drink with...' campaign depicting bottles for 'Wills' and 'Kate'.

As always it was social media efforts that provoked the most mixed response. Oreo's image of a cookie next to a bottle of milk on a regal cushion delighted and upset fans in equal measure, in a stark contrast to their universally well-received Superbowl effort back in February.

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Government underestimates UK digital companies

A report commissioned by Google from the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) suggests government figures on the number of digital companies in the UK are inaccurate.

Around 187,600 companies are classified by the government as 'digital', but NIESR's calculations suggest a 40 per cent increase to 270,000. It says the government's method for defining the companies is "outdated" and "basic", and highlighted several examples of businesses that had been wrongly categorised.

For example, under the government system some firms that provide a range of digital services are inadvertently placed into categories such as "other publishing" and "business support".

The main concerned outlined by NIESR is that these companies could miss out on investment opportunities from organisations who use government stats to source potential partners.

In response, the Office for National Statistics said it was confident its methods were a reliable way of measuring the size and nature of the economy in line with similar processes used in other countries.

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Twitter ads to target TV viewers

Companies will soon be able to entice potential customers using two channels simultaneously, as Twitter introduces TV ad targeting in the US.

Essentially, this process starts with a company running its regular television advertising during the commercial breaks of popular shows. This is where Twitter comes in, as it will help these brands home in on people who are likely to have seen this ad.

It does this by highlighting users who are tweeting about the show or using its official hashtag, and companies can then use promoted tweets to ensure their advertising appears for a second time in quick succession.

As users will know, promoted tweets always appear at the top of your news feed, and brands are capitalising on this with text ads, links and Vine video content.

Studies commissioned by Twitter suggest that this approach helps enforce 95 per cent greater "message association" and 58 per cent "higher purchase intent" when compared with TV advertising alone.

It is not yet clear if or when this will be made available to UK advertisers, but with a successful US beta test already completed it is likely to be implemented in the near future, particularly as the UK saw a rise in digital ad spending in 2012.

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Written by James Riches

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