Exclusive: How a Fake Product Announcement Created A Viral Marketing Campaign For Protecting The Environment

Earlier this year, a startup company called Treepex announced that it was taking pre-orders for an ingenious product that cleaned the air that one breathes. The company claimed that its flagship offering – shown for months on the website www.treepex.com, but moved at the moment that this article was published to try.treepex.com – was the “first ever device that transforms polluted air into fresh oxygen.”

Millions of people watched Treepex’s product-introduction video, and thousands publicly raised questions about the offering, discussing on various social platforms whether or not the device was real, and whether it would really improve one’s health if used in heavily polluted cities. The firm’s founders did many media interviews as well.

Today, however, in an exclusive interview with me, Treepex founder, Bacho Khachidze, who is based in the country of Georgia, finally revealed the truth about both the Treepex company and its flagship offering:

The Treepex device does not exist. In fact, it is Treepex’s mission to make sure that the device never needs to exist.

As explained in the video below, Treepex is really in the business of planting trees around the world. Trees, of course, utilize photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide (and water) into oxygen (and sugar) – performing a task vital to keeping the Earth habitable by humans and the many other animals that rely on oxygen for their survival. Pollution and logging, however, have undermined the natural balance – bringing consequences such as accelerated climate change, increased respiratory ailments, and other ecological, biological, and sociological problems.

Treepex’s “product announcement” was designed to raise awareness about the negative impact of pollution on human health, as well as of the positive impact that trees have in cleaning the air for us. It made millions of people ponder whether they would be healthier if they breathed better air. But, at least of today, there is simply no substitute for nature’s method of restoring oxygen to our air via the billions of trees and other plants on our planet; as a society, we must better appreciate their importance in our ecosystem, and the understand that it is our responsibility to maintain and deliver a healthy Earth to generations to come. In that regard, we must also remember that nature does not care about politics, budgets, or unscientific theories.

Treepex’s “product announcement video” appears to have ignited many discussions about trees and their role in our lives, and conversations on related environmental topics are sure to continue for years to come. In the meantime, Treepex offers people the ability to plant trees in several locations around the globe – as such, it truly “transforms polluted air into fresh oxygen” the way nature intended.

Tech

App Annie's new product offers insight into consumer trends in China

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The pioneer of mobile app analytics, App Annie, on Tuesday said it has begun tracking Android app usage in China, a landmark for understanding consumer behavior in the world’s top smartphone market, which increasingly sets the pace for global trends.

App Annie said it was now able to offer real-time statistics on mobile application usage in China by tracking hundreds of thousands of Android users there, both through its own apps and with additional data supplied by external partners. Statistical methods are used to identify general trends, it said.

“It’s crucial to provide an accurate picture to app publishers and brand (marketers) of what’s happening in China but also what’s happening globally in terms of app usage,” said Bertrand Schmitt, chief executive and co-founder of App Annie.

App Annie, which tracks mobile software downloads, counts 94 of the world’s top 100 app publishers as customers. They use the service to monitor the performance of their own apps against rivals. Major advertising brands such as McDonald‘s, Nike, Citibank and AstraZeneca also use App Annie to target customers with their own apps.

The company said its new China Android monitoring service can track usage metrics on 5,000 top apps such as active users, which apps are used together and data usage, both for app makers looking to track their performance versus rivals there or brand marketers looking to target advertising spending within apps.

China accounted for 60 percent of the world’s $ 1.3 billion total app spending including ecommerce, paid app store downloads and in-app advertising in 2016, according to App Annie.

Four of the world’s most played mobile games come from China, while Tencent’s WeChat ranks No. 3 globally among messaging apps behind Facebook’s WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

App Annie was founded in Beijing in 2010 to measure the growth of the nascent smartphone apps market. It has tracked app usage on Apple iOS since its early days in China and expanded to cover Apple and Android users globally since then.

But the explosion of smartphones in China since 2012 thanks to Android phones, which now outnumber Apple users by 6 to 1 in a market with more than 700 million phone users, has been guesswork because of a lack of independent data on the market.

“When you look at mobile usage behavior and attitudes, China is really leading. The Chinese market is definitely ahead of the curve,” said Forrester mobile analyst Thomas Husson. “It was more or less a black box, so you need some clarity as to what’s going on, in aggregate, in the world’s biggest market.”

Dozens of mobile app analytics firms compete worldwide, including big software names such as Adobe, Facebook, Google and IBM and more focused players such as Apmetrix, Localytics, SimilarWeb and Taplytics. But only App Annie so far offers an integrated global view, including China.

App Annie is now headquartered in San Francisco and has $ 150 million in funding from venture investors including Sequoia Capital and IDG Capital Partners. Two-fifths of its 500 employees and most of its engineering staff are based in China.

Reporting by Eric Auchard; Editing by Adrian Croft

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Tech

Adobe gets creative with new data visualization product

VB INSIGHT:

Adobe is a strong and active player in the marketing tech landscape. We’ve studied their solutions in market across marketing clouds, mobile analytics and acquisition tools, and marketing automation tools at VB Insight. Frankly, with so many digital marketing solutions across so many areas — audience targeting, campaign management, social media, etc. — the company has to have a sturdy analytics platform integrating those disparate, but related marketing functions. Today, the company is introducing Analysis Workspace in Adobe Analytics, a reporting and data visualization tool to better help companies communicate what’s happening across all of these channels.

Data analytics is really tricky for most companies. But it’s a critical means to an end. You can’t have great marketing — social marketing, online advertising, even customer service — without great analytics. And since marketing is increasingly becoming wildly data dependent while taking on more responsibility for the overall customer experience, the use of data analytics across any organization simply needs to proliferate.

Except there’s one big, hairy problem there.

From VentureBeat

Most companies don’t have the skills in house to make sense of all the data. McKinsey is projecting that by 2018, demand for data scientists may be as much as 60 percent greater than the supply. Suffice it to say, companies are struggling to fill this gap with adequate data talent.

In our own recent report on marketing analytics, we asked over one thousand marketers two questions on this topic:

  • How effective is your marketing organization at generating insight?
  • How effective is your greater organization — outside of marketing — at translating that insight into action?

Unfortunately, for most marketers, this confidence level falls somewhere between “somewhat” and “not very” effective.

Adobe is hoping its new visualization product, now available to all customers using Adobe Analytics suite, will mind that gap and help companies create better dashboards with broad business appeal — stitching together disparate data sources into a single view that makes sense for multiple lines of business — to more than just data analysts.

In a demo of the Analysis Workspace product yesterday, I saw a dashboard that’s flexible, can be built by non-data analysts, and could meet endless marketing insight functions for a business.

Above: Sample Adobe Analysis Workspace

Analysis Workspace — Highlights:

  • Simple, Photoshop-inspired Workflows: Analysis Workspace lets users simply drag and drop dimensions, metrics and segments to create any type of report.
  • Intuitive Data Visualizations: After dragging relevant components into an Analysis Workspace table, visualizations are applied to the table data set in real time. These visualizations can be easily manipulated, allowing users to resize, rename and swap between different charts and graphs with interactive elements — while introducing new sharing functions to better communicate insights.

Marketing dashboards are a dime a dozen. With over 800 tools in market supporting marketing data analytics, and plans for companies of all sizes to massively increase spend on analytics, one can’t overstate the importance of making sense of all this data. Adobe is hoping its latest product will help the non-data scientist come up to speed with marketing data.

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