The Warc Blog

The Warc Blog

Four key themes from MEC's Music Week
Posted by: MEC

This post is by Mark Knight, strategy director at MEC.

MEC Access hosted a week-long programme that explored the multifaceted and ever-evolving opportunities that music presents to brands.

In the past ten years, the music industry has changed immeasurably, with declining physical sales, the growth of streaming models and the coming of age of mobile. Around 39% of the music industry's revenue now comes from digital channels and the number of paying subscribers to subscription services rose to 28 million in 2013, up 40% on 2012 (IFPI Digital Music Report 2014). These changes have resulted in greater and more varied brand partner involvement, as music rights holders look to exploit their rights, promote their artists and make up for the shortfall left by declining sales incomes.


Subjects: Marketing

21 November 2014 16:13

What is ad fraud and how are we taking the battle to the bots?
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Ari Levenfeld, Senior Director of Privacy and Inventory Quality at Rocket Fuel.

It has been forecasted that ad fraud in 2014 will cost brands £6.5 billion ($11 billion), according to the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB). This represents a 22 percent increase in the level of fraud seen in 2013 and means that between 25-50% of digital ad spend could be wasted on ads that are never viewed by humans (Association of National Advertisers).

With the global digital ad spend expected to be worth $121 billion in 2014, it is little wonder that more and more criminals are realising the money-making potential the online advertising world has to offer.


Subjects: Advertising

20 November 2014 17:18

Six guiding principles for digital advertising
Posted by: Catherine Gardner, Relationship Manager, Warc
Catherine Gardner

This post is based on a webinar Warc hosted in partnership with comScore. The full webinar is available to view here.

Are you getting the most from our digital advertising? Given the continual developments in techniques and measurement of online advertising it can be difficult to benchmark success. On November 18 Paul Goode, svp regional marketing at comScore, brought some clarity to the conversation. Drawing on years of in depth global research, comScore has produced six guiding principles that help shed light on the state of the industry and enable more effective planning and improved results.

There's a brief overview of the six lessons learned below, for more in-depth findings watch Paul's webinar.


Subjects: Digital, Advertising

20 November 2014 11:05

How to change the world
Posted by: James Hurman, Founder, Previously Unavailable
James Hurman

In 2010 in Stockholm, an innovative speed camera system was trialled for the first time. It quickly proved to be extremely effective in changing driver behaviour for the better. Much more so than normal speed cameras. The results were published and spread virally, amazing everybody who saw them. Then, after just three days, the speed camera was taken down and put away. It was never used, anywhere in the world, ever again.

That speed camera was part of a Volkswagen campaign by DDB Stockholm called The Fun Theory'. They gamified staircases, litter cans and bottle bins to show how easy it was to change people's behaviour by making chore-ish experiences more fun.

The 'speed camera lottery' was the best bit of the campaign. They took a speed camera and modified it, so that it took a photo of every car that passed, rather than just the speeding ones. Those exceeding the speed limit were fined, just like normal. But those travelling at or below the speed limit were each given a chance to win the money collected from the speeders. They rewarded good behaviour rather than just punishing bad behaviour. And average speed fell 22% to well beneath the speed limit.


Subjects: Marketing, Consumers

19 November 2014 14:09

Price is in the eye of the beholder
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Richard Shotton, Head of Insight at ZenithOptimedia.

Recent work by psychologists such as Daniel Kahneman has revealed many insights into how our minds work. Kahneman has popularised the idea that rather than being rational calculating machines we respond to the dizzying amount of information around us by relying on a series of mental short-cuts, or in his terms heuristics. Many of these short-cuts are prone to biases.

One of the most interesting biases is that we struggle to judge scale in an absolute sense. Instead we make relative judgements: we term an item as large or small by comparing it to other items around us.


Subjects: Consumers, Marketing

18 November 2014 17:22

TV adspend forecast to pass £5.0bn for the first time in 2014
Posted by: Suzy Young, Data Editor, Warc
Suzy Young

Advertising expenditure on TV is expected to reach £5.0bn for the first time in 2014, according to the latest data from the Advertising Association/Warc Expenditure Report. Our annual forecast for the TV ad sector – including spot, sponsorship and broadcaster VOD – has been raised to 7.8% growth for the year, taking total spend to £5,003m. We anticipate further growth of 6.6% in 2015, equating to spend of £5,335m.

This uplift in the forecast stems from better than anticipated growth for TV spot advertising expenditure. Spot adspend had a very strong Q2 2014, rising 10.7% compared with the same period in 2013 to £1,118m. The sector benefited from the football World Cup and slightly outperformed our previous July forecast (+10.5%).


Subjects: Data

17 November 2014 17:21

#MontyThePenguin Vs #ChristmasIsForSharing: The battle of the British Christmas Ads
Posted by: Emily Barley, Editorial Assistant, Warc
Emily Barley

The big debate is on. Has John Lewis done it again with #MontyThePenguin? Or might Sainsbury's have pulled it out of the bag?

John Lewis has done so well with its Christmas ads in the past that people have begun to anticipate its launch. This year was the turn of a cute little penguin in search of love – lovely, but perhaps not quite as powerful as previous campaigns.


Subjects: Advertising, Brands, Marketing

14 November 2014 16:22

'Owning' an equity, repositioning strategies, m-health, reaching millennials and music mnemonics: Highlights from Warc Prize Asia 2014
Posted by: Lena Roland, Knowledge Officer, Warc
Lena Roland

The Warc Prize for Asian Strategy went live on last night. Warc subscribers can browse all 176 of them here. The awards recognise the best strategic thinking in the region - campaigns that demonstrate interesting and original ideas that help a brand meet its objectives. Hindustan Unilever won the Grand Prix award while The Akanksha Foundation, NetEase, a Chinese news portal Pampers, and Gillette were awarded Gold.

I’ve dug a little deeper into the 176 case studies to showcase several campaigns that stood out - perhaps for their innovative use of media, or for successfully overcoming difficult marketing challenges.


Subjects: Awards, Marketing, Advertising

14 November 2014 14:06

'Advertising in a Free Society' revisited
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post by Christopher Snowdon, director of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs, was originally published on that organisation's blog.

The economist Julian Simon once wrote that 'the economic study of advertising is not deserving of great attention', ruefully adding that 'this is not a congenial point at which to arrive after spending several years working on the subject'. Few economists dedicate as much time to advertising as Simon. Most ignore it altogether because its impact on a nation's economy, though broadly beneficial, is not seen as being terribly important from their perspective. Advertising is certainly important to businesses because it helps decide how much of a given market is taken by each firm, but it does not typically increase the size of the market itself.

This fundamental point is often missed by the critics of advertising who see it as a powerful and malign force that enables businesses to exert control over the hapless public. The most common complaint is that clever marketing manipulates people into buying products that they do not really want while encouraging a culture of rampant consumerism. Some want advertising heavily restricted or even banned.


Subjects: Advertising

14 November 2014 10:13

The impact of cross device conversions
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Richard Hocking, EMEA Director of Performance Marketing & Mobile Development at Starcom MediaVest Group.

With the increased emergence of new technology within the household, UK homes now possess on average 10 connectable devices, as a result cross screen planning, activation and tracking has quickly become a necessity for agencies and brands.

However, stitching together the customer journey across smartphone, tablet and desktop, each with their own tracking nuances, is no easy job. Historically the key method of tracking users online has been via the cookie – which functions across desktop, but is relatively useless across mobile devices; both mobile applications and Apple's Safari browser are cookieless environments.


Subjects: Digital, Advertising

13 November 2014 14:52


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