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The Future Of Pinterest? Bringing Ideas To Life Beyond The Screen

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Pinterest is on a mission to make 2017 the “Year of Do.” That means helping brands take pinners from ideas to action.

On the heels of a $150 million funding round, Pinterest wants brands to start using its platform in ways that help consumers tap inspiration from the real world.

At SMWLA, Nancy Jeng, Creative Strategist a Pinterest, said that Pinterest has internally dubbed 2017 the “Year of Do”—meaning that the social discovery platform is doubling down on strategies and products that help pinners move from inspiration to action. This theme has clear undertones when it comes to Pinterest’s efforts in driving commerce for advertisers.

Taking pins from ideas to action

In her workshop-style session, Jeng shared examples of some of Pinterest’s most creative work on behalf of brands. The campaigns underlined Pinterest’s aspirations to have a more prominent seat at the table when it comes to creative ideation at major brands. In other words, marketers can start thinking about Pinterest beyond things like Promoted Pins.

For example, a recent campaign from Airbnb showcases the ability for Pinterest to help move consumers from awareness to consideration and then purchase. Jeng shared a series of ad placements: The first was an elegant branded video designed to invoke emotion around family vacation. The second placement directed pinners to specific category pages (e.g. top family trips in the Northeast) and then a third placement revealed specific listings.

A second example: FOX is promoting its new show, “The F Word with Gordon Ramsay,” by bringing to life the show’s concept within Pinterest. Since the show is all about democratizing the kitchen for families, Pinterest will be featuring how-to content, starring Ramsay himself, in parallel to the contents of the show.

Another example from Coca-Cola took a creative spin on the traditional “surprise and delight” branded video. The brand identified a pinner with a particularly quirky tailgate board, and then surprised her by bringing all of her imaginative ideas to life. A fourth campaign proved that not all Pinterest campaigns need to be serious: Domino’s recently used the platform to promote its Domino’s Wedding Registry, and targeted millennial wedding pinners on the platform.

Turning data into content

Pinterest has also began to leverage its treasure trove of trendspotting data to inform content pieces around what’s up and coming among the community. Trending so far in 2017, Jeng shared some newly released insights, including the fact that newsboy hats are making a big comeback, wrist bandanas are trending up and Cuban food and travel are becoming more popular, perhaps due to relaxed travel restrictions between the U.S. and Cuba.

These reports, beyond functioning as entertaining and valuable marketing fodder, can also be used to inform creative. For example, when Pinterest identified that a certain type of tie-dye, Shibori, was on the cusp of trending, they partnered with Michaels to create kits promoting the DIY activity, essentially helping the brand get ahead of a major trend.

Jeng also shared a campaign for Starbucks that demonstrated how tapping into its API can be leveraged for creative work. Within this campaign, consumers answered a series of questions about their coffee preferences. From there, Pinterest used the data to generate custom boards tailored to the pinners unique tastes.

Forging the future of visual search

Pinterest Lens, released in beta in February 2017, reveals a great deal about Pinterest’s aspirations to own visual search—and more broadly, helping move consumers from inspiration to action. The tool allows pinners to layer the Pinterest experience onto the real world. For example, a pinner might see a pair of shoes they like, scan them and instantly get outfit ideas to complete the look.

In terms of other updates in the product pipeline, Jeng announced that autoplay video ads would be coming to the platform later this fall. While Pinterest started out as a place to share static images, she reiterated that pinners are craving more video content. Additionally, she shared that Pinterest is building out its measurement tools for marketers and a new way to buy Promoted Pins, unlocking opportunities for even more partners. Snapchat announced a similar update earlier this year.

Look out for Pinterest’s future product moves in moving pinners to action. “Our goal is not to keep people on the platform for the sake of getting eyeballs,” said Jeng “We want to push to partner pages whenever possible.”

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