The Warc Blog

The Warc Blog

Point of view: Trust and social media
 
Posted by: Edward Bell, CEO, FCB Greater China
 
Edward Bell

We just don't trust like we used to, it seems. According to a recent study, two-thirds of the world's countries fall into the 'distruster' category. A separate study from last year indicated that only 3% of Americans, British, Italians, Swedes, French and Italians say that 'business businesses are very honest'.

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Subjects: Brands, Consumers

02 February 2016 10:01

When purpose becomes a problem
 
Posted by: Guest blog
 
Guest blog

This is a guest post by Wiemer Snijders, consultant on marketing, branding, and advertising effectiveness at The Commercial Works.

There is a new buzz phrase in the boardroom, and it is 'purposeful positioning'.

Purposeful positioning is a perfect example of how some people just can't resist the temptation to flog a dead horse, which in this case is the idea that people need to care about brands.

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Subjects: Brands, Consumers

01 February 2016 10:11

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%).

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Subjects: Media, Brands, Advertising

19 January 2016 10:40

The 'customer service myth'
 
Posted by: Faris Yakob, Co-founder, Genius Steals
 
Faris Yakob

'Customer service' is a misnomer. Serving customers is what companies do but the 'customer service department' is problem resolution. How companies deal with irate customers is an important part of their brand.

Remember in 2008 when Dave Carroll's guitar was broken on a United Airlines flight? They denied responsibility until, after nine months of employees showing 'complete indifference', Carroll released a song about it on YouTube which got millions of views. Only then did United Airlines apologise.

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Subjects: Consumers, Brands, Marketing

07 January 2016 16:13

How social will affect the way brands do business in 2016
 
Posted by: Guest blog
 
Guest blog

This post is by Mobbie Nazir, Chief Strategy Officer, We Are Social

Predicting the future is a dream as old as history, from consulting the Oracle at Delphi in ancient Greece to the work of Nostradamus in Medieval France. This fascination has persisted into the modern day, which is littered with visions of the 21st century that never came true - but that doesn't stop people and organisations from trying to see what's around the next corner.

Today, we make forecasts all the time - from predicting traffic flows to the demand for turkeys at Christmas. Traditionally, these predictions have been based on what people have already done - but now with the wealth of real-time data available at our fingertips, we're starting to see models of prediction of how people are "about to act".

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Subjects: Digital, Brands, Media

04 January 2016 09:45

What would aliens learn from our advertising industry?
 
Posted by: Eaon Pritchard, Strategic planning consultant, Australia
 
Eaon Pritchard

In this post Eaon Pritchard argues that if the advertising industry is ‘on the verge of irrelevance’ it is because of our misguided obsession with technology over ideas.

If some band of galaxy-wandering aliens should indeed stumble upon this planet earth, our species has one thing worthy of their attention and study.

And it’s not our science and technology, as you might immediately imagine.

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Subjects: Advertising, Marketing, Brands

18 December 2015 10:36

Does consistency matter?
 
Posted by: Edward Bell, CEO, FCB Greater China
 
Edward Bell

When I was back in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago, I saw a new Victoria Bitter beer ad on TV. Only that it wasn't. It was the exact same idea, music, storyline and voice-over that ran for decades until the 1990s, when new management thought they could do better and messed with the recipe. Despite 20 years of trying with a dozen different directions, they couldn't improve on the magic of the original blue collar anthem and have literally rerun the idea from 40 years ago. Seeing this, I was reminded how much 'consistency' used to matter and how it seems to matter less now. Or is it, as some say, an 'advertising idea' that is no longer relevant?

Asia has always struggled with consistency. Li-Ning, the only Chinese sports brand that owes its origins to an actual sportsperson, has dithered terribly over the years. It has had eight different taglines in ten years since it 'got serious about branding' in 2002. Tsingtao is another very conspicuous missed opportunity. Revolving doors in marketing management have not had an enduring, anchoring idea to channel each leader's new vision. As a result, Tsingtao is not much more than a bland, but familiar, face in China, and outside of China, is little more than a cliché for sale in Chinese restaurants. Thinking about Asia's own biggest brands – Panasonic, Canon, LG, Samsung – with the exception of Sony, you're really pressed to attach any idea or sense of self to any of them.

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Subjects: Advertising, Brands

17 December 2015 14:57

Licensing trends for 2016: Film will lead the way
 
Posted by: Guest blog
 
Guest blog

This post is by Kelvyn Gardner, Managing Director of the Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association.

2015 has seen a continued expansion of the ever-growing licensing industry. Our recent figures showed that $13.4 billion was made in royalty revenues and $241.5 billion in retail sales last year from licensing and this is set to continue to increase well in to the new year.

So with 2015 coming to an end, what are the top five things we are expecting to see in the licensing industry in 2016?

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Subjects: Brands

14 December 2015 09:34

The experience gap
 
Posted by: Gareth Kay, Co-founder, Chapter
 
Gareth Kay

A couple of months ago, I wrote about the need for marketers and their partners to close the increasingly widening gap between commercial need and creative solution by stopping specialising ourselves into irrelevance. This month I want to focus on the other gap that I see driving a wedge between what we do and its effectiveness: the gap between us and real, visceral customer understanding and empathy.

Ten years ago, Bain published a report entitled Closing the Delivery Gap. In it was a damning piece of evidence: 80% of CEOs believed their companies delivered a superior customer experience, yet only 8% of their customers felt the same way. A staggering tenfold difference. And things aren't getting any better. Two years ago, Forrester published research that showed that when it came to delivering better customer experience innovations, 58% looked at what competitors in their category were doing, 72% looked at what companies outside their category were doing, 62% utilised technological advancement, and 53% looked for customer empathy. So, to close a gap with their customers, the last place companies are looking is to better understand their customer. Nearly one in two companies didn't even bother looking there. This is, to steal Ted Levitt's phrase from 50 years ago, marketing myopia.

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Subjects: Brands

08 December 2015 16:11

To brand or not to brand? Is that a question?
 
Posted by: Eaon Pritchard, Strategic planning consultant, Australia
 
Eaon Pritchard

In 1934, the young Rosser Reeves left his small town home in Danville, Virginia for the bright lights of New York City, following his dream of working as an advertising copywriter.

Within a few years he had landed a plum job at the Ted Bates Advertising Agency and by 1950 he was vice-president and head of copy, rising to chairman of the board in 1955.

Then in 1961 he published his first book 'Reality of Advertising', a large portion of which was devoted to Reeves' principal legacy (and the 'secret' to the phenomenal success of Bates in the 50's), the Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

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Subjects: Brands

30 November 2015 15:22

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