Les Binet and Sarah Carter get a little bit angry about some of the nonsense they hear around them… like the mantra that 'mine is different'.
A few years ago, we were working on a leading financial services brand. Our main client contact there was a smart data analyst who prided himself on his intimate knowledge of the brand and its millions of users. The brand had started to show signs of stalling and our analyst client was charged with finding out why, with our help. We started looking at a number of key measures and asked him what was happening to the brand's market share over time. 'Oh we don't track that. This is finance – it isn't baked beans you know' was the reply. But when we did a simple exercise to construct brand share and compare it with share of voice over time, we could immediately start to see what was causing the brand's problems. And in fact, the pattern our simple analysis revealed was entirely to be expected from what research has consistently proven is common to all markets.
It seems that implicit is the new black – everybody’s talking about it, at least in the small but feverish world of advertising research. But is it a new idea and how useful is it anyway?
The idea of the implicit mind has been around for quite a while - probably since the 1970s, but received a huge boost in the 1990s with the advent of cognitive neuroscience - particularly through the work of neuroscientists like Antonio Damasio and Joseph Le Doux, with its emphasis on unconscious, emotional response. And more recently, of course, there’s been behavioural economics - particularly the work of Daniel Kahneman, who talks about fast effortless and unreflective thinking (System 1) vs. the effortful, reflective and conscious kind (System 2). Kahneman’s key point is that whereas System 1 is automatic, System 2 is not.
Running newspaper ads and connecting with mums have traditionally been core components of the marketing playbook. As a result of the digital revolution, however, each of these areas has undergone a transformation, aptly demonstrated by two presentations at IAB UK’s Brand Forum, held in London on August 8th 2013.
Hamish White, head of engineering platforms at News UK, discussed the development of Sun+, the new online presence of Britain’s most-popular tabloid newspaper, The Sun. White said that Sun+ will help the title break with its reputation – hitherto somewhat sleazy – and reinvent itself as a “family-friendly entertainment brand”, while also becoming a profitable newspaper for the digital age.
Some eagle-eyed subscribers might have noticed that we've made a few changes to the Topics section of warc.com. Our Topic Pages – which provide short cuts to latest Warc cases, articles and news on a specific marketing topic or theme – now have a new look, and have hopefully become a lot easier and more convenient to use.
So, what exactly has changed? Read on to find out.
We recently added over 100 Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lions case studies to warc.com, showcasing campaigns from a myriad of sectors and markets.
The Lions' winners and accompanying shortlist always - and rightly - get the most attention. But that's not to say there aren't some really interesting campaigns deeper into the list of entries.
So here is our pick of campaigns - mostly from the longtail of entrants - chosen for their originality and/or plain good thinking in areas such as social good, co-creation and content marketing.
It's not exhaustive, and we'd urge you to explore this great collection of Creative Effectiveness cases yourself - and drop us a comment if you think there are any gems we've missed.
We're very pleased to have published over 100 entries in the Creative Effectiveness category at the Cannes Lions this year – including the Grand Prix, which went to Heineken and W+K Amsterdam for its global 'Legendary Journey' campaign. An impressive result for the Dutch duo, since the number of entries for the category, which is open only to those Lions winners from the previous year that are able to prove the continuing business results of their campaign, had risen 30% from 2012.
As Shelley Lazarus, head of the jury and chairman of Ogilvy & Mather, told reporters in Cannes: "The campaign was consistent in all the markets - and that was pretty hard to do." And the jury members who I caught up with after the awards announcement – Bridget Angear, head of planning at AMV BBDO, DDB Sydney planning partner Russ Mitchinson, Millward Brown CEO and incoming IMAX Corporation CMO Eileen Campbell, and Orlando Hooper-Greenhill, JWT's head of global planning – echoed this sentiment. It was, they suggested, the impressive execution from market to market and the global scale of the idea that ultimately swung it for Heineken.
Increasingly, marketers are coming to recognise the importance of the implicit mind. It’s where the vast majority of our 'thinking' about brands takes place - way below the level of our conscious awareness (explicit mind) - and comprises our emotions as well as all manner of automatic processes and mental shortcuts, such as heuristics. But how to reach it? Should we be looking to the costly and sometimes invasive methods of neuromarketing (particularly fMRI and EEG) or are there other indirect approaches that might yield more meaningful results?
Consumers ’ decisions may appear both conscious and rational (because that ’s what respondents tell us), yet they are driven by unconscious implicit processes. This neither makes them zombies nor irrational, but means that many of the low-level decisions they make from day to day (such as choosing brands) are often merely explicit manifestations of the implicit mind – what Kahneman calls fast ‘system 1 ’ thinking as opposed to the more effortful and rationalised processes of ‘system 2 ’ .
Can brands be a force for social good? This simple question seems set to become a major talking point at this year's Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. We at Warc are celebrating our 2013 Admap Prize winners, who discussed this very topic, with an event on the Croisette on Wednesday. And executives from Coca-Cola today took to the stage at the Palais des Festivals with a convincing argument that their firm has not only made doing good a key aim, but has been responding to social causes for decades.
The soft drinks giant is planning to sharpen its focus on the issue as part of its ongoing Content 2020 marketing platform, Ivan Pollard, Coca-Cola's vice president for global connections, told the audience. "We believe that doing good work - work that does good - is as important as work that does good business," he said. "It's a huge creative opportunity. Our powerful position gives us the opportunity to create significant positive change in the world."
Yesterday evening I attended an event to launch new research by the IPA, the UK ad agency trade body – in association with Thinkbox, which represents the UK commercial TV sector –examining the differences between emotional and rational campaigns and their short and long-term effects on marketing strategy. The report, by Les Binet, Head of Effectiveness from adam&eveDDB, and Peter Field, a marketing consultant for the IPA, is an update on their landmark 2007 effectiveness study, Marketing in the Era of Accountability.
This latest research, ‘The Long and the Short of it: Balancing the short and long-term effects of marketing’, draws on 996 advertising effectiveness case studies, from 700 brands, across 83 sectors, spanning over 30 years of IPA Effectiveness data. And the authors found there is a recipe for advertising effectiveness, but the choice of ingredients will determine whether a brand achieves short-term or long-term effects.
Following the recent North America Effies Awards in New York City, Warc has published 45 winning case studies showcasing great thinking and brilliant results.
Here we've chosen some of our highlights, selected because we feel they are especially interesting - either because the client faced a particularly tough challenge, such as reaching dual audiences, or because the campaign demonstrates how to implement a specific strategy, such as harnessing brand advocates.