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.
This post introduces Warc's new article series 'New Perspectives on Indian Youth'.
India is a young country, both demographically and economically. More than half the population of 1.2 billion is under the age of 25 and if one stretches the definition of young to 35 that encompasses two thirds of the total population. The contrast with other Asian countries is stark: by 2020, the average age of an Indian will be 29 years, compared to 37 for China and 48 for Japan.
As several of our contributors to this series note, India in its current incarnation was born in 1991, when the then prime minister PV Narasimha Rao initiated reforms to liberalise the country's sclerotic economy, opening it up to trade and investment and dismantling state monopolies, a process that continues today.
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.
In 2010 in Stockholm, an innovative speed camera system was trialled for the first time. It quickly proved to be extremely effective in changing driver behaviour for the better. Much more so than normal speed cameras. The results were published and spread virally, amazing everybody who saw them. Then, after just three days, the speed camera was taken down and put away. It was never used, anywhere in the world, ever again.
That speed camera was part of a Volkswagen campaign by DDB Stockholm called The Fun Theory'. They gamified staircases, litter cans and bottle bins to show how easy it was to change people's behaviour by making chore-ish experiences more fun.
The 'speed camera lottery' was the best bit of the campaign. They took a speed camera and modified it, so that it took a photo of every car that passed, rather than just the speeding ones. Those exceeding the speed limit were fined, just like normal. But those travelling at or below the speed limit were each given a chance to win the money collected from the speeders. They rewarded good behaviour rather than just punishing bad behaviour. And average speed fell 22% to well beneath the speed limit.
This post is by Richard Shotton, Head of Insight at ZenithOptimedia.
Recent work by psychologists such as Daniel Kahneman has revealed many insights into how our minds work. Kahneman has popularised the idea that rather than being rational calculating machines we respond to the dizzying amount of information around us by relying on a series of mental short-cuts, or in his terms heuristics. Many of these short-cuts are prone to biases.
One of the most interesting biases is that we struggle to judge scale in an absolute sense. Instead we make relative judgements: we term an item as large or small by comparing it to other items around us.
The customer journey and path to purchase has changed from a linear process to a more convoluted route, a change that can be largely attributed to digital technology. Digital and mobile technology means that consumers are ‘always on’ and have the ability to shop and buy, anytime and anywhere. Thus these channels are critical engagement platforms in the customer journey.
Unprecedented changes in the retail and customer landscapes are creating big challenges for Sales teams. Who would have thought at the turn of the century that by 2014 the world’s largest retailer would have no physical stores? Whatever industry you are in the customer landscape and expectations are changing fast.
From pricing competitiveness to cost optimisation, omniformat strategies to store utilisation - everything is being turned on its head in the pursuit of shopper loyalty and growth. In Pharma, there is growing complexity in the web of stakeholders that Sales teams need to work with to secure product availability and drive sales.
Given the scale of these changes, sales teams are having to accelerate capability building in key areas such as route to market, trading terms, eCommerce strategy, ways of working with customers, data analytics, salesforce effectiveness and the use of technology to drive efficiencies.
Amidst all the new content we've recently added (like Esomar Congress papers, Jay Chiat case studies and the shortlisted cases to our own Innovation Prize) here are my must-read picks – five stimulating, enlightening articles on topics as diverse as hybrid consumers, total video and winning boardroom-backing for brand investment.
The Brand in the Boardroom
What's it about and why is it interesting?
In Warc Editorial, we are huge fans of the Atticus Awards – clever thinking from across the WPP network on all kinds of topics. The Grand Prix winner from Ogilvy RED is lengthy but provides extremely useful instruction for valuing brands and demonstrating the real commercial benefit of marketing – essential reading for any marketer fighting for investment. As well as introducing the different methods of brand valuation, Ogilvy & Mather go beyond them to highlight the necessary principles and the steps that should be followed when valuing brands. As well as defending and increasing marketing budgets, brand valuation can also help decide where to allocate budgets, determine brand strategy development and develop brand benchmarking.
It’s obvious to us that the best route to sustained growth is by motivating more customers to spend more with your company. Mergers & acquisitions and improving operational efficiency can also deliver growth, but are inevitably limited over time – so sustained growth requires selling more products and services to customers: by creating superior customer value.
The trick comes in how you manage it. Do you offer people the most technically amazing products and services in the market? Do you tailor your products for the needs of your intermediaries to create strong routes to market? Do you drive operational efficiency to delight customers with reliability, speed and price? Do you innovate to tap into emerging customer behaviours? The priorities will differ depending on where you sit in the organisation. I’m sure you can pick out the different leanings of technical, operations, finance, sales and marketing teams. And all could argue they are customer-centred.
Earlier in this series we introduced our point of view on how organisations need to evolve their communications capabilities to deliver growth through a meaningful, mutually beneficial customer experience and 4 key principles for customer engagement:
In this final instalment, we will look at the role of content and how to continually measure and evolve your customer engagement.