The Warc Blog

The Warc Blog

It all begins with a brief
Posted by: Faris Yakob, Co-founder, Genius Steals
Faris Yakob
In August I delivered a Warc webinar entitled 'Beyond boring briefs: How to inspire great work' and it garnered the most attention and follow-up requests of any that we've done together. Lots of people seem to agree that briefs have become boring. Planners feel as if they are endlessly writing the same briefs, filling out the same forms, regardless of which agency, client or project they are working on.

Subjects: Advertising, Consumers, Media

24 October 2016 10:53

TV Trends: The Missing NFL Viewers
Posted by: Brian Wieser, Senior Research Analyst, Pivotal Research Group
Brian Wieser

There has been a significant amount of attention placed on the decline in NFL viewing this season. While there are many theories as to what has driven this outcome, we have reviewed data from Nielsen covering the first five weeks of the season to look at various sources of decline. Most importantly, we note that while total NFL game viewing is down by -14.6% per person this year vs. last, college football game viewing is essentially flat, and total viewing of TV from all sources is slightly up. This indicates that the decline is specific to the NFL.

Within viewing for the league’s games, we can further identify that declines are more pronounced among people in Blue Collar homes vs. people in White Collar homes, among people in lower income homes vs. higher income homes, and among homes with White heads of household vs. Black heads of household. However, we emphasize that most of the noticeable differences in segment-level declines we looked at are relatively marginal, typically not more than a few percentage points.


Subjects: Data, Media

20 October 2016 17:05

From AR to VR to MR
Posted by: Brian Carruthers, News Editor, Warc
Brian Carruthers

It may soon be time to add another acronym to your collection as mixed reality (MR) heaves into view. As part of Innovation Week, the week-long event being run by OMD UK, Arthur Tindsley and Frazer Hurrell, creative technologists at AOL's Partner Studio in London, demonstrated Microsoft's HoloLens and outlined how it differs from augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) options.


Subjects: Media, Consumers

20 October 2016 14:52

Four data lessons from history
Posted by: Richard Shotton, Head of Insight, ZenithOptimedia
Richard Shotton

The trade press overflows with interesting predictions about the future of advertising.

But there's a problem.

Experts, marketing or otherwise, have an awful record of predictions. Philip Tetlock, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, ran a 20-year study that analysed 82,361 forecasts from 284 experts. He found that their predictions were as likely to be wrong, as right. In his memorable phrase, the average pundit fared no better than 'a dart-throwing monkey'.

It's not just that these marketing predictions misguide us. There's also an opportunity cost. Our fixation with the future crowds out an interest in the past. Yet there is value in looking backwards to people who grappled with similar problem to ours.

So let's take a look at one current problem, turning data into insights, and look back to what we can learn from the 1940s. In particular, the experience of one man: Abraham Wald.


Subjects: Data, Marketing, Media

18 October 2016 10:57

Life in Flow – Tap Science for Better Creative
Posted by: Dan Machen, Director of Innovation, HeyHuman
Dan Machen

As the world around us changes at an incredible pace, you don't need to be a marketing genius to see that the relationships between people and brands are, changing. There has been an explosion in digital messaging, which has led to reduced attention, recall and emotional engagement. Where people once leant in to brand stories, it's now increasingly a case of talk to the hand.

At HeyHuman, we believe that this mind-set requires us to embrace science to a greater to degree as per the recent WARC article 'Creative Agencies Need to Tap Science'. But how can we do this?


Subjects: Advertising, Data

14 October 2016 17:02

Are social media and gaming good for us?
Posted by: Joseph Clift, Product Manager, Warc
Joseph Clift

It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves as we scroll through yet another smug status update or toss our phone across the room because we didn't match a row of colourful candy: is all this digital distraction actually good for us? One thing’s for sure: digital media has been blamed for a lot of society’s ills. And that’s despite its massive - and increasing - global popularity, with one piece of research showing that we touch our phones an average of 2,500 times daily, with 80% of our time spent on just five apps.

Two of digital's most-popular by-products, social media and gaming, were put under the microscope by a series of speakers at Unfolded, an event organised by London-based creative agency Fold7 and held yesterday night. First up was Professor Robin Dunbar, an Oxford academic and creator of Dunbar's Number, which suggests that humans can comfortably maintain only 150 stable relationships. Then came Helen Lewis, deputy editor of political magazine The New Statesman and inventor of another social metric: Lewis' law holds that "the comments on any article about feminism justify feminism". Also speaking were Martin Talks, founder of Digital Detoxing - a company that takes participants on activity holidays on the proviso they leave their devices behind - and cyber psychologist Berni Good, an academic expert on gaming.


Subjects: Media

14 October 2016 14:22

Dark social is less murky with a big enough idea
Posted by: Nigel Hollis, Chief Global Analyst, Millward Brown
Nigel Hollis

With a world of information and entertainment at our fingertips, expectations of immediacy are higher than ever – but so too is the desire to connect with others. Social media is a powerful force for brand building, and one which is destined to become even more important in future.


Subjects: Data, Consumers, Marketing

11 October 2016 16:57

The Uberisation of FMCG
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This is a guest blog from Alison Martin, Director, Kantar Worldpanel

It might not be as sexy as virtual reality or robots but, at this year's CES, grocery e-commerce has been the trend that's grabbed the interest of many marketers.

While by no means a mature market – Latin America and large parts of Asia need to address issues of infrastructure before it can thrive, and it has yet to make a serious impact in the US – it is fast becoming a going concern in an otherwise stagnant industry. Online FMCG sales continue to grow, up by 15% globally in 2016, and, by 2025, is projected to command a 9% value share of global spend on groceries.


Subjects: Digital, Consumers

11 October 2016 09:39

Posted by: Michael Corcoran, Head of Social & Content, eightytwenty
Michael Corcoran

It's time to unveil who was behind @Offical_Rule40 #RioBot.

As the symbolic torch was lit at Rio 2016, opportunities were being extinguished for brands to activate around this 'prestigious' global sports gathering.

Sitting at home watching the build-up to the opening ceremony, some colleagues and I were chatting and sharing some Rio messages through Whatsapp from Irish brands infringing on the International Olympics Guidelines on the use of official terms; In particular, Rule 40.


Subjects: Media, Digital

06 October 2016 12:37

Olympic sponsorship evaluation: a steward's enquiry
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

A response to: Nissan is an Olympics brand winner

This guest blog is written by Richard Reid, who manages iris SPORT's consultancy and data offering in APAC.

The Olympic Games have closed for another four years and as is customary with all global sporting events, the marketing industry is rushing to award medals to sponsors, ambush marketers, and extended partners alike. The consensus seems to be that Nissan has taken gold this time, receiving praise for leveraging a multi-channel strategy to drive visibility and social engagement.


Subjects: Data, Brands

06 October 2016 09:20


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