Christmas isn't just the busiest sales period for the UK's retailers, it's also the time when they unveil their biggest, brightest and most expensive-to-make ads. And, according to Toby Harrison and Les Binet of adam&eveDDB, the festive period has become British adland's equivalent of the Super Bowl in the US. "It feels like Christmas advertising is where it's hot now," Binet said. "It's the area where everyone wants to compete." To Harrison, "it's become almost an arms race among advertisers – not necessarily to deliver amazing sales, but to deliver on their own brand ambition to 'win at Christmas'."
And they should know. The agency has made many of the past few years' most memorable Christmas ads – most famously for department store chain John Lewis. These TV-led campaigns took the 2012 IPA Effectiveness Awards Grand Prix, having generated over £250m of incremental profit for the client over the years.
As the office winds down ready for Christmas – we're on a skeleton staff next week – here's the latest set of #WarcFavourites2014.
1. V/Line Guilt Trips
Jess said: " I think it was a clever strategy to use guilt and social media to publically shame people for not visiting home enough, something that everyone can relate to, in a light hearted way and get such a good result for the brand. And the two sheilas in the hairdressers always make me laugh – total pros at guilt trips."
Last week we released our International Ad Forecast for December, outlining expectations for advertising expenditure in 12 key markets across 2014 and 2015. We anticipate growth in global adspend of 4.8% in 2015, a downgrade of 0.5pp since our last forecast in June. This follows expected growth of 5.5% in 2014, which is on a par with our previous outlook.
There are a number of reasons for the revision to next year's growth expectations, but chief among them are a variety of risks to the economic growth within our key markets, including stagnation in the eurozone, an economic slowdown in parts of Asia, and continued tensions surrounding Ukraine.
The 2015 outlook for all our key markets – with the exception of India and the UK – has been downgraded from June. However, all 12 markets are predicted to record an increase in overall advertising expenditure next year at current prices, although in real terms – after factoring in inflation – only half of these will demonstrate growth.
Last week we started sharing our favourite Warc content from this year – each piece chosen by a member of the Warc team. We've carried on this week, with five more great pieces making the cut.
We'd like to know which pieces stood out for you this year too – share them on Twitter with the hashtag #WarcFavourites2014.
1. The Programmatic Primer
Stephanie thought this webinar – based on a report of the same name – was great: "My favorite webinar was definitely The Programmatic Primer. Ted managed to explain it so well and in such an interesting way.".
Earlier this week, we announced the results of this year's Warc Prize for Innovation at an event in London. We set up the prize to recognise standout examples of innovation in advertising, and the (deserved) Grand Prix winner was 'Clever Buoy', from M&C Saatchi Sydney for Optus, a telecom brand.
For the campaign, the agency helped create an ocean buoy that warned of shark attacks that was informed by Optus data – a dramatic demonstration of the value of the client's service that eventually reached 19m people on social media. And, when I spoke to him after the prizegiving, M&C Saatchi's chief digital officer Christian Purser pointed out that the campaign was a good example of how ad people can innovate to solve client problems. "It's a state of mind, it's about doing new things," he added. "Innovation is simply about seeing the world in a different way."
This post is by Leon Gurevich, Commercial Director, EMEA at OpenX.
Programmatic is both the present and future of digital advertising, and the next phase of its development is set to transform the online advertising landscape once again. It is the biggest and newest innovation in advertising, helping to fuel the web economy, and connects consumers with compelling products and services.
More than a quarter (28%) of the UK online display market was managed programmatically in 2013; this looks set to increase to 47% by the end of 2014. The benefits of programmatic – including ever more precise audience targeting and measurably effective ROI – support the prediction that the vast majority of ad spend will ultimately be traded through sophisticated technology rather than by traditional and time-consuming manual processes.
This post is by Andy Mitchell, European MD at Brightroll.
According to the IAB UK's recently released Digital Ad Spend Report – done in conjunction with PwC – mobile video advertising has grown 196% over the past two years to £63.9m. This makes it the fastest growing digital ad format, accounting for £1 in every £5 spent on Internet and mobile display ads. As automated buying also grows to keep pace with the explosion of ads on the format, there are two key benefits that mobile programmatic can bring for brands.
The pace of change in consumer behaviour does not wait for the advertising community to catch up with it. As brands' target audiences move en masse towards mobile devices, every advertiser's programmatic campaign must include a strong mobile element – brands simply cannot afford to ignore the areas where their audiences are paying increasing amounts of attention. This attention is now split across multiple screens and a single programmatic campaign can target and optimize against desired audiences in a holistic and unified fashion.
With reference to Kantar Media's recent study, MEC's Matthew Knowles analyses the extent to which the popularity of TV shows are reflected in the volume of viewers' tweets.
TV has always been fodder for conversations. Once upon a time, programmes were the mainstay of those water cooler moments or the journey to school – they probably still are, but for some there is no waiting until work or the school bell, their opinions and those of others must be sought and shared there and then.
Kantar Media's recent study into that relationship (A Year in the Life of TV & Twitter in the UK – published September 24th 2014) has brought about several intriguing observations, all of which highlight the fact that people love to talk about television online, with around 40% of all peak time UK Twitter traffic related to TV.
This post is by Paul Lyonette, UK Country Manager at YuMe.
Building strong consumer relationships is key to a brand's success. Persuading consumers that a brand is worthy of their attention – and loyalty – is one of the main purposes of advertising, but this can be a lengthy process that involves numerous touch points. Therefore, brands need to ensure they are targeting relevant consumers and not wasting their marketing budget on the wrong audience.
Today this is more relevant than ever as content is consumed across a wide spectrum of platforms and devices, which creates a fragmented audience that can be challenging to reach. Device switching is now a way of life with more than 60% of online UK adults using at least two devices to access digital content each day, and 40% start an activity on one device and complete it on another. Our own research in conjunction with Nielsen found that households own on average 4.4 devices, with teenagers owning on average 3.2 devices. This further highlights the challenges faced by marketers who need to better understand the channels through which to engage their intended audience.
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.