The Warc Blog

The Warc Blog

Brazil beyond the stereotypes
Posted by: Joseph Clift, Digital Product Manager, Warc
Joseph Clift

Ask anybody about what comes to mind when they think about Brazil, and it's likely they'll reel off a long list including great beaches, beautiful people and – with the recent World Cup still in people's minds – football. But, of course, such stereotypes do not tell the full story about this vast, diverse and increasingly influential nation.

In an attempt to broaden the conversation, brand consultancy Flamingo organised an event in London this week featuring three expert speakers: each of whom tackled a big Brazilian stereotype.

Warc subscribers can read a full report from the event, featuring all of the key statistics and campaign creative, but below are the highlights from the briefing.


Subjects: Marketing, Advertising, Brands

24 July 2014 12:19

Six international brand launches that worked
Posted by: Lena Roland, Knowledge Officer, Warc
Lena Roland

A survey, conducted by the the Association of National Advertisers, (ANA) found only 21% of marketing leaders were satisfied with the performance of their global marketing strategy and just 22% were satisfied with how their global marketing is co-ordinated. The task of managing and executing a multi-market brand launch is a formidable one but the ANA had this advice for brands up for the challenge:

  • Use a fixed brand positioning
  • Focus on universal truths
  • Tell a powerful story
  • Find the right organisation structure
  • Be open to ideas from local offices around the world


Subjects: Marketing, Brands, Advertising

22 July 2014 11:26

6 brands that are building social movements
Posted by: Lena Roland, Knowledge Officer, Warc
Lena Roland

The growth of purpose-driven marketing is prompting more brands to align with a social movement or a particular cause. Such movements seek to improve individuals' lives, often putting education and empowerment at the heart of the strategy.

Bridget Angear, head of planning at AMV outlines 10 ways to start a movement, her tips include: finding an enemy to take a stand against, build a noble purpose that essentially helps to make the world a better place and ‘build around sparks’ i.e. leverage existing events to gather momentum.

Echoing Angear’s view, Chris Thomas, chairman and chief executive officer of BBDO/Proximity in Asia, advises that a successful brand movement stems from motivation, which leads to ‘agitation’, which then leads to ‘explosion’. Thomas recommends advertisers consider the following:

  • What is the role of the brand?
  • What movement is right for your brand?
  • What is the noble purpose you wish your brand to pursue?
  • How would you achieve agitation and explosion for your brand?


Subjects: Marketing, Brands

16 July 2014 09:12

Is your innovation delivering the results you want?
Posted by: Brand Learning, The Capable Marketer,
Brand Learning

Clients often come to us saying their innovation is not having the impact they want: they need more ideas, or fewer bigger ideas, or they need to get them out in to the marketplace much more quickly. When we dig in to their Innovation Value Chain1 we frequently diagnose that the obstacle is not where they first thought.

Innovation Value Chain © Brand Learning


Subjects: Marketing, Brands, Data

15 July 2014 10:28

Five great challenger brand launches
Posted by: Lena Roland, Knowledge Officer, Warc
Lena Roland

US research suggests that launching a new supermarket product typically costs $30 million to $50 million. The risks are high: around 70% of all new brands fail within three years.

The odds may be stacked against you but a review of best practice on Warc suggests there are several things brands should keep in mind:

  • Does the product or service address an unmet consumer need or customer pain-point?
  • What is the brand differentiator? Is it relevant, does it provide utility or convenience?
  • Simplicity: from natural ingredients to minimal packaging, simplicity can be a smart strategy
  • Think about strategic partnerships which can give credos (and reach) to the brand
  • Can the brand support the local community?
  • Do not neglect customer service which can be used as a form of marketing to drive word of mouth

So what examples do we have on Warc of brands that got it right? Here are five pieces we’ve pulled out that can help swing the odds back in your favour…


Subjects: Marketing, Brands, Advertising

08 July 2014 09:50

Game of Thrones vs. True Blood
Posted by: MEC

This blog by Rebecca Newman, Research Executive at MEC, explained how, using Media Z, MEC examined the audience perceptions of the popular US drama series Game of Thrones and True Blood.

Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama TV series, which is an adaptation of A Song of Ice and Fire by George Martin. The series explores the issues of social hierarchy, religion, loyalty, corruption, civil war, crime and punishment. It has built up quite a following within the UK drawing 1.45 million viewers during its most recenlty aired episode (12th May 2014, DDS). The hit show airs on Sky Atlantic and on Sky1 and is in its fourth season.


Subjects: Consumers, Brands

30 June 2014 16:38

Cannes Lions 2014: The future of planning
Posted by: Joseph Clift, Digital Product Manager, Warc
Joseph Clift

What's the future of planning? A large question and – as Martin Weigel, head of planning at Wieden + Kennedy in Amsterdam pointed out in a Warc session at the Cannes Lions today – a question that makes a "large assumption". (You can also read all about our other Warc sessions, on the link between creativity and effectiveness, and exploring some of the world's smartest campaigns.)

Account planning has a near 50-year history – a fact many marketers forget. And, said Weigel, "what we also forget is that planning has its origins in a truly radical point of view" After all, it was due to planners being "fed up" with a lack of access to data and old-style techniques. But, today, planning has become "domesticated – the puppy dog of account management".


Subjects: Advertising, Brands

19 June 2014 11:33

Cannes Lions 2014: The story behind four of the world's smartest campaigns
Posted by: Joseph Clift, Digital Product Manager, Warc
Joseph Clift

In yesterday's Warc session at the Palais des Festivals, part of the 2014 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, we learned from a panel of planners about the ever-strengthening link between creativity and effectiveness in the ad industry. Today, we applied this theory to some practical examples – by telling the story of four of the world's smartest campaigns.

Lee Maicon, vp for insights at digital agency 360i, was on hand to discuss 'Daily Twist', for the Mondelez-owned Oreo cookie snack brand, while Amal El Masri, CSO of JWT in the Middle East and Africa discussed 'Fakka' for telecoms firm Vodafone. Also presenting were BBDO Guerrero CEO Tony Harris, who talked about 'It's More Fun in the Philippines' for the Filipino tourism organisation, and Hristos Varouhas of Whybin/TBWA, the man behind 'Car Creation' for insurance brand NMRA. The thing that unites all four of these campaigns is strong strategy and great business results – proof for which is in the multiple international effectiveness and strategy awards each has won.

So what were the secrets behind these campaigns? Read on to find out.


Subjects: Marketing, Advertising, Brands

18 June 2014 17:22

Cannes Lions 2014: 3 top research learnings to boost digital engagement
Posted by: Joseph Clift, Digital Product Manager, Warc
Joseph Clift

In news that will come as no surprise to anyone who has attended an ad industry event in the last 20 years, one of the most-discussed topics at the 2014 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is how agencies and clients should best respond to consumers' changing digital behaviours. A fresh take on the topic came in an event organised by our very own Admap magazine in Cannes yesterday afternoon – which showcased and discussed brand-new digital advertising research from Google, the tech giant, ad agency network Ogilvy & Mather and market research firm TNS.

The standout finding – that consumers are 1.5 times more likely to choose brands that engage them on their passions and interests than items that simply urge them to buy the product being advertised – makes sense. But the wide-ranging discussion of the issues raised held at Google Beach, just off the Croisette, teased out many more pertinent issues that serve as a salutary warning to brands that hope to thrive in the digital age.


Subjects: Digital, Brands

17 June 2014 10:04

Can Market Research Compete with Machine Intelligence?
Posted by: Edward Appleton, Senior European Consumer Insights Manager, Avery Dennison
Edward Appleton

Last week I was working on a web-usability research project. Looking at the pros and cons of the various methodological approaches, I was struck, shocked even, by the cost differences between DIY, unmoderated software driven solutions and the consultative lab-based approaches.

The usability software products invariably offered scale – the ability to talk to larger numbers of users – flexibility, speed, all at a very low cost point. A $1.000 would buy quite a lot of raw recorded user experience data. Compare that with a lab-based, moderated qualitative approach: 8 to 10 in-person sessions could easily cost many times that amount.

"Data" versus "insights" – that seemed to me the dichotomy, with data immensely cheap or even free, in abundance, "insights" appearing extremely expensive by comparison.


Subjects: Consumers, Marketing, Brands

15 June 2014 17:34


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