The Warc Blog

The Warc Blog

Mad Men needn't be mad at social
Posted by: MEC

In this blog, MEC's Ed Kitchingman suggests that Social media hasn't set the ad industry back, nor is it a poor misguided cast-off. Brands that get it right, benefit from campaigns with greater reach, engagement and creativity

Ian Leslie wrote a much-praised piece last year in the Financial Times on 'How the Mad Men lost the plot'. the article critiqued the ad industry and its previous obsession with digital. It's a good read and makes some great points.


Subjects: Digital, Advertising, Media

08 February 2016 10:10

Saturation point: Desktop internet adspend to decline this year
Posted by: James McDonald, Research Analyst, Warc
James McDonald

UK advertising expenditure for desktop internet is estimated to have grown 2.6% year-on-year to £5.7bn in 2015, well behind the headline internet growth rate of 13.5%, according to the latest results from the AA/Warc UK Expenditure Report, released this week.

Further, on current trends, spend on desktop ads is forecast to begin demonstrating annual declines from the second half of this year, culminating in year-on-year growth of -0.1% for 2016 as a whole. Instead it will be the other two contributors to the gross total, mobile and tablet, which drive internet growth in the coming quarters.


Subjects: Advertising, Data

05 February 2016 09:48

Why native advertising is at a crossroads
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog
This guest blog is written by Nick Brown, CEO of Avid Media

Native advertising has reached a crossroads. The rapid rise in its popularity over the last few years has brought us to the point at which we are at today; a ridiculously cluttered and confusing marketplace. Native is in a mess and it's no wonder marketers don't know its place or future.

I can't say I was wholly surprised by the findings of a recent survey from Trusted Media Brands Inc (TBMI), implying that fewer marketers plan on using native this year when compared to 2015 (45% versus 50%).


Subjects: Media, Brands, Advertising

19 January 2016 10:40

A collaborative process – are agencies and ad tech companies working together harmoniously?
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog
This guest post is by Marius Smyth, Managing Director EMEA, AdRoll

Ad tech has become integral to agencies' need to future proof, but agencies must continue to adapt their traditional models and fully embrace what technology has to offer, if they are to keep pace with client expectations, according to the buyers, managers, directors and business owners AdRoll surveyed for its report ‘Welcome to the Era of Mad Tech'.


Subjects: Advertising, Digital

15 January 2016 15:45

Highlights from DMA Echo Awards: Happy hounds, selling virtual cars, drinkable ads and stunt marketing
Posted by: Lena Roland, Knowledge Officer, Warc
Lena Roland

The DMA International ECHO Awards 2015 went live on last week. The awards are given to campaigns that have the power to change business. Each winner has the perfect combination of visionary strategy, compelling creative and breakthrough results. There were 64 case studies in total. Here are my highlights.


Subjects: Awards, Advertising, Media

14 January 2016 16:56

Point of View: Keep it small and simple
Posted by: Gareth Kay, Co-founder, Chapter
Gareth Kay

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I took my daughter to visit the Computer History Museum, just around the corner from the Googleplex in Mountain View. It's a terrific museum that gives real context to the massive change we've seen in technology and our everyday lives over the past 50 years.

One of the highlights of the museum is the ability to learn about some of the 'forgotten' heroes of the computer age. One of these was Seymour Cray, the inventor of the CRAY-1, which between 1976 and 1982 was the fastest supercomputer in the world. It looked like the future then and, in many ways, still does now. Seymour was the archetype of the 'wacky inventor' who had a passion, among other things, for building underground tunnels in his home and had some ingenious ideas inspired by the most unusual things for how to make computers work faster.


Subjects: Advertising, Marketing

14 January 2016 13:02

#DCS2016: Why the term 'content marketing' could soon disappear
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This guest blog is written by Matt Smith, a web editor at the Business Reporter.

Terms like "content marketing" and "brand content" could soon disappear to make way for clearer, more specific phrases, according to an industry expert.

Speaking to Business Reporter ahead of The Digital Content Summit 2016, BOBCM founder Justin Kirby said new phrases would better describe specific work in the sector.


Subjects: Advertising, Marketing, Consumers

12 January 2016 11:46

This Year Next Year UK forecast
Posted by: MEC

In this blog GroupM’s Adam Smith examines the ad forecast for 2016 and explains some of the reasons why UK ad investment could be outrunning GDP growth for five years in a row.

Aggregate demand in the UK looks well-set for the year ahead, although still dependant on the consumer as opposed to the smaller components of investment, government and exports. 74% of the working age population is employed, the highest rate ever recorded, and the working population numbers a record at 31 million. Workers’ real wages are rising and almost restored to their 2008 peak. Energy prices and property wealth are also consumer tailwinds. The headwinds seem to be abating, chiefly the China slowdown, uncertainty about what the government will cut, and immediate interest rate rises. Even the Eurozone is perking up thanks to QE, cheap energy, and a more competitive euro.


Subjects: Data, Advertising, Media

12 January 2016 09:50

Social networks and TV
Posted by: MEC

In the fast-moving world of social platforms, Facebook and Twitter are now part of the establishment and using TV advertising to fend off new and innovative rivals.

This post is by Gearóid Godson, MEC.

Facebook's 'the friends' campaign has been on our tV screens as well as billboards sincemarch of this year. I'm sure you've all seen it. At first glance, it is the TV aspect of this campaign that seems a bit of an anomaly on the advertising ecosystem – one of the main pillars of the 'new' media sphere falling back on one of the oldest advertising mediums to get its message out to the public.

What does Facebook have to gain from the ads?

The latest GlobalWebIndex data shows that 78.4% of UK adults have a Facebook account – a figure that is close to saturation point. At this stage, any growth in this figure is likely to be minimal. So if growth isn't the main focus, what is? Well, when we look at the 'active usage' figures, we can start to see the reasoning behind Facebook's investment.


Subjects: Media, Advertising

28 December 2015 12:46

The global adspend outlook
Posted by: James McDonald, Research Analyst, Warc
James McDonald

We estimate global advertising spend (based on 12 major markets) increased by 2.2% in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms in 2015. This is mildly below our previous expectations in July (-0.1pp). A further rise, of 4.4%, is forecast next year.

After allowing for inflation, real adspend growth is expected to be 1.1% this year and 2.3% in 2016.

When measured using PPPs, the 12 markets studied in our International Ad Forecast account for just over two-thirds of global advertising expenditure, so act as a sufficient bellwether for the state of the industry at large. Many are considered mature, and therefore offer trend insights that will evolve in emerging markets over the coming years.

One such pattern is the shift in ad budgets from so called ‘traditional’ media to digital channels. This is epitomised by the rise of advertising via the internet, mainly under the umbrella forms of search and display, but increasingly among the macro formats of video, social and native. Further, mobile is now seen to be acting as a key driver of total online growth.


Subjects: Data, Advertising, Media

22 December 2015 16:17


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