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

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

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

Enough of the pop psychology
Posted by: Darika Ahrens Grapevine Consulting
Darika Ahrens

Recently, I attended the Future Foundation's Trending2015 Conference. One of the marketing trends they've identified for 2015 is 'Surprise Marketing'. They played a video from the North Face's 'Climb or Die' campaign in Korea to demonstrate. (The name says it all.)

Individual shoppers were in a side room off the store. Suddenly, the floor starts to disappear. The shopper is forced to climb a nearby climbing wall. While gripping on for dear life, a jacket descends from the ceiling. It hangs suspended in the middle of the room. A screen appears telling them they have 30 seconds to get the jacket. Cue teen skater music circa 1999 and high jinks. The video ends with slow-motion shots of shoppers leaping from the walls to grab their prize and land on the crash mat below.

There are two possible reactions to that video: 1) Cool! Wish I'd been there. And 2) If I'd been there, I would've kicked off. In fact, you immediately start wondering how many shoppers refused to play ball. The video shows one guy, with an annoyed look, opting out early on. That's assuming they weren't actors.


Subjects: Marketing, Advertising

09 January 2015 09:58

Don't overlook the power of Christmas outdoor advertising
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Simon Harrington, Exterion Media's Marketing Director.

At this time of year, Christmas TV advertising is often the number one priority for many marketers, with big brands investing heavily to ensure their ads are the most compelling out there.

However, it's not the only way to reach and engage a mass audience during the festive period. Studies have found that 72% of consumers recall outdoor ads, compared with 77% for television and 64% for online. So Out Of Home (OOH) advertising shouldn't be overlooked at any time of year, but particularly not at Christmas. Below I've listed the key ways for brands to harness the power of OOH to reach both existing and new audiences.


Subjects: Advertising

24 December 2014 12:27

adam&eveDDB on how to win at Christmas
Posted by: Joseph Clift, Digital Product Manager, Warc
Joseph Clift

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.


Subjects: Advertising, Consumers

19 December 2014 11:24

Guilt Trips, Newcastle Brown, #SeriouslySocial and Toyota Tundra - More WarcFavourites2014
Posted by: Emily Barley, Editorial Assistant, Warc
Emily Barley

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."


Subjects: Marketing, Advertising

19 December 2014 10:13

Warc cuts 2015 adspend growth forecast to 4.8%
Posted by: James McDonald, Research Analyst, Warc
James McDonald

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.


Subjects: Data, Advertising

18 December 2014 09:53


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