The Warc Blog

The Warc Blog

The Power of Partnerships
Posted by: Lena Roland, Knowledge Officer, Warc
Lena Roland

As Warc’s Knowledge Officer I’ve observed some notable trends that stood out in the marcomms industry in 2014 and that will continue to play an important role in brand communications in 2015. I’ll be publishing a series of blogs covering these hot topics over the next few weeks. The first looks at powerful partnerships.

Partnerships are hot! The right collaboration can have a powerful effect on marketing strategy. Aligning with experts can enhance a brand's credibility; the right collaboration can expose a brand to new audiences; what's more, a clever partnership can support that all-important shopper-marketing strategy.

I've dug deep into the Warc archive to showcase a selection of case studies from 2014 that have implemented such strategies to great effect.


Subjects: Marketing, Advertising, Brands

27 January 2015 10:41

Recruitment advertising: On the up
Posted by: James McDonald, Research Analyst, Warc
James McDonald

UK recruitment adspend has now shown year-on-year growth in the last four quarters, and is expected to post continuous growth throughout the forecast period to end-Q3 2016, according to the latest data from the Advertising Association/Warc Expenditure Report.

The Report estimates annual growth in recruitment adspend of 3.9% last year, with total spend of approximately £528m, while a further increase – of 4.8% – is forecast this year. Prior to the last four quarters of growth, the sector had registered a decline in 21 of the previous 23 quarters.

(Click image to enlarge)


Subjects: Data

26 January 2015 09:36

A record year for UK adspend: Where's the money going?
Posted by: James McDonald, Research Analyst, Warc
James McDonald

UK advertising expenditure is forecast to total £19.6bn in 2015, according to the latest data from the Advertising Association/Warc Expenditure Report, released this week. This is comfortably the largest total ever recorded, and represents a 5.7% annual increase from 2014. Receipts for 2014 are expected to total approximately £18.5bn, following growth of 5.8% from 2013. These rises also represent the best consecutive growth period since the millennium.

The largest medium for adspend – since surpassing TV in 2011 – is internet, with pure play digital revenues of £7.0bn forecast this year. The pure play figure excludes digital revenues from magazines and newsbrands as well as those from broadcaster VoD, however it does include mobile revenues, which have risen significantly over the last five years.

In 2015, one in every three pounds spent on internet advertising will be specifically for mobile, up from 1/20 in 2011. Furthermore, annual mobile display and search revenues are each expected to surpass £1bn for the first time this year.


Subjects: Data, Advertising

23 January 2015 09:31

Don't interrupt people, involve them: Why marketing needs to become more democratic
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is part of the WFA's Project Reconnect, and is written by Simon Kemp, Regional Managing Partner for We Are Social in Asia

The more people are involved in something, the more they engage with it.

This is true in marketing too, and the organisations that succeed in actively involving their audiences and consumers in the creation and development of their brands are best placed to succeed in the long term.

It's perhaps little surprise, then, that 'participation' was one of the 'New 4Ps' that we discovered in our recent research for Project Reconnect (the other Ps were People, Purpose, and Principles).

So what does Participation mean for your brand?


Subjects: Marketing, Consumers

22 January 2015 16:42

IJMR Landmark Paper: ‘Messages from the spiral of silence’
Posted by: Peter Mouncey, Editor-In-Chief, IJMR
Peter Mouncey

As we enter 2015, electioneering in the UK has already started, up front of May's general election. Is this going to be a difficult time for the pollsters, especially following on from their perceived performance in predicting the outcome of last September's referendum in Scotland on independence?

All the signs point to a complex situation, with the possible annihilation of the Liberals; the rise of UKIP; the increasing support for the SNP in Scotland, possibly causing Labour a lot of grief; the role of the Green vote. Forecasting the likely outcome looks to be more problematic than has been the case for many years.

One issue that was discussed in the context of the polls conducted leading up to the referendum vote in Scotland last autumn was the impact of the 'spiral of silence' which may have contributed towards the 'no' vote having been understated in the polls. So, what exactly is the 'spiral of silence' effect, and are there ways in which pollsters can try to account for its influence when predicting voting intentions?


Subjects: Consumers, Data

21 January 2015 12:03

Sex, Lies and Survey Data
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

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

Much of advertising research is based on listening to what consumers say and then adapting campaigns accordingly. It seems a logical enough approach. However, it's based on the premise that what consumers say and what they do are aligned. Unfortunately there's a growing body of evidence that shows that the two things are often at odds.

Take sex. When heterosexual men and women are asked about the number of partners they have slept with the numbers vary dramatically. A 2013 Lancet study of 15,000 adults found that UK women admit to sleeping with an average of eight partners compared to twelve for men. The scale of the difference is not logically consistent. The most plausible explanation is that men feel a cultural pressure to exaggerate their exploits whilst women feel a corresponding pressure to play it down. Surveys, therefore, tell us more about what people feel they should say than the absolute truth.


Subjects: Consumers, Data

21 January 2015 10:36

The smart outdoors: Why Digital Out of Home is the space to watch in 2015
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Sarah Villegas, Exterion Media's Head of Marketing and Business Development.

The potential for Digital Out of Home advertising (DOOH) is huge and there is unanimous agreement across the industry that its adoption is at a tipping point. Nearly a quarter of Outdoor spend is now digital1. The total inventory of DOOH sites in the UK is set to grow more than 40 percent between now and 2020, according to Kinetic Worldwide. The same study says that, while digital already accounts for around 22 percent of the outdoor market's annual £1bn sales, by 2020 that proportion will rise to 35 percent. In fact, one in every three pounds in OOH will be on digital in 2015 according to Posterscope.

Why? Because digital is no longer just a luminescent board attached to a landmark. The outdoor world is getting smarter and more engaging. Forbes journalist Glen Martin sums it up neatly: "the urban environment is evolving rapidly, and a model is emerging that is more efficient, more functional, more – connected."


Subjects: Media, Digital, Advertising

20 January 2015 12:53

The Dunning-Kruger Peak of Advertising
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Eaon Pritchard, Planning Director at Red Jelly, Australia.

You may be familiar with the case of one McArthur Wheeler.

Wheeler was a man who, in 1995, proceeded to rob two banks in Pittsburg, in broad daylight, using no other method to avoid detection other than covering his face with lemon juice.

As lemon juice is usable as invisible ink, Wheeler was certain that it would render his own face invisible, and therefore prevent his face from being recorded by the surveillance cameras.


Subjects: Advertising

19 January 2015 08:48

12 campaigns that show 'sharing' works
Posted by: David Tiltman, Head of Content, Warc
David Tiltman

James Hurman, Admap columnist and founder of Previously Unavailable, has just posted his annual 'Cases for Creativity' essay. And he draws some interesting conclusions about what is 'working' in marketing.

In 'Cases for Creativity', posted on the Gunn Report, James identifies campaigns in the previous year that have won both Cannes Gold and Effie Gold.

This year there are 12 – listed below. The case studies for eight of these are already on Warc (follow the links to read the full cases).

Based on these cases, James described 2014 as 'The year of share'. "Effectiveness continues to defy media categorisation – but the one thing this diverse group of ideas do have in common is that people saw fit to share them," he commented.


Subjects: Marketing, Advertising

15 January 2015 14:37

A tale of two pizza joints
Posted by: James Hurman, Founder, Previously Unavailable
James Hurman

When I was a kid I remember being taken to Pizza Hut. It had the restaurant with the funny shaped roof and the red gingham tablecloths. It was a treat - a large pizza was about $30 and in the 1980s that was a lot of money. I remember loving it. You got spinning tops and little red pencils to play the games on the paper place mat. There were happy waitresses gliding around and a low light ambience that made it feel like stepping into another world. And the pizza was pretty much the most delicious thing I ever got to eat.

Now, when you google 'Pizza Hut' here in New Zealand, the first thing that comes up is an ad that says ' - The Home of $5 Pizzas'. That's right, for just £2.50 you can buy a large Hawaiian Pizza Hut pizza. And not on special - that's the regular price, every night of the week.

Today there are no iconic roofs, no spinning tops, no happy waitresses and no gingham tablecloths. There aren't even tables. Every Pizza Hut in New Zealand is pickup or delivery only. They're tiny, cheaply fitted holes in the wall, sparsely staffed with bored-looking people making shitty $5 pizzas.


Subjects: Brands, Marketing

13 January 2015 15:08


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