The Warc Blog

The Warc Blog

'Low interest' categories
 
Posted by: Mythbuster, Les Binet and Sarah Carter, DDB
 
Mythbuster

We had a briefing for a new campaign the other day. It was for a financial product, and it started with an explanation of how it worked. The briefing concluded with 'this is, of course, a very low interest category'.

This is a familiar phrase to any of us who work on finance brands or utilities – the classic 'low interest' categories. And it is often assumed these are 'rational' purchases, implying others are more emotional and 'high interest'. In our opinion, those assumptions are flawed.

We may spend our days understanding the fine details of our clients' products, monitoring closely the competition and advertising, but if we've any sense, we'll realise that ordinary people don't care much about any of that stuff. As far as they're concerned, almost all purchases are low interest.

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Subjects: Marketing

16 April 2015 09:36

In Vloggers We Trust
 
Posted by: Guest blog
 
Guest blog

This post is by Ian Samuel, Managing Director Brand Solutions at Rightster.

In its tenth anniversary year, the reach and popularity of YouTube as a media channel has arguably never been greater. The channel has matured considerably in this time and even created its own stars: vloggers with subscriber bases whose circulation figures exceed established daily newspapers. These viewers are highly engaged and tend to consist of millennials, digital natives and many brands' core youth target audiences. It's no surprise then, that many brands have followed these audiences to YouTube and engaged with popular vloggers to collaborate on branded campaigns.

However, a small number of these have not been conducted with the kind of transparency expected in branded promotions. In turn, this has caught the attention of the ASA which has called for more regulation of this energetic and exciting channel, and led to an industry debate around this emerging and powerful engagement method.

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Subjects: Digital, Marketing

15 April 2015 09:29

Lessons brands can learn from the phenomenon of the superstar DJ: The four strategies behind their success
 
Posted by: Guest blog
 
Guest blog

this post is by Matthew Kershaw, Group Marketing Director at Ministry of Sound.

Those of us who lived through the 90s will know that the electronic dance music scene was once a far cry from what it is today. Back then, around the time that the Ministry of Sound opened its doors, DJs had a relatively small following of discerning ravers.

But today, DJs are superseding even pop stars; they dominate charts and festival line-ups, gossip magazines and radio playlists. They are hard to ignore.

During Advertising Week Europe (AWE) panel, In the Mix: What Brands Can Learn from Superstar DJs, Reggae legend David Rodigan noted that, in the past, the DJs main role was to fill the gap before the band got on stage. However, success stories such as Calvin Harris have utterly revolutionized this role; he reportedly earned $66 million in 2014. But how exactly have this new breed of celebrity made its way to the top? And what can brands learn from DJs' rise to fame?

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Subjects: Marketing, Brands

10 April 2015 11:04

Account Planning School of the Web 2015: The task
 
Posted by: Advertising [Planning] School On The Web
 
Advertising [Planning] School On The Web

Warc has again teamed up with the APSOTW – the Advertising Planning School On The Web.

This excellent initiative, run by a team of senior planners from across the world, poses challenges for up-and-coming planners and marketers. It's a chance to show off your ideas in front of a seriously, seriously senior line-up of judges.

We're lending a hand by carrying and promoting their challenges here on the Warc Blog and hopefully highlighting some of the ideas that come out of them.

You can view the previous challenges we helped out with here, and read an introduction to this latest challenge here.

Now, over to Rob Campbell for details of the new assignment…

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Subjects: Marketing

10 April 2015 10:36

Stunt marketing, mobile-first strategies and incentive marketing: Highlights from DMA UK Awards (2014)
 
Posted by: Lena Roland, Knowledge Officer, Warc
 
Lena Roland

The DMA UK Awards 2014 were recently published on warc.com. The Direct Marketing Association recognises campaigns that demonstrate how brilliant strategic thought and creative ideas drive outstanding results. There were 61 case studies in total, which Warc subscribers can view here but if you're short on time then I highly recommend the following.

Crimestoppers UK: Putpockets

Crimestoppers, the UK’s biggest crime fighting charity, wanted to raise awareness about pickpocketing. Taking direct marketing to a whole new level, the campaign took a stunt marketing approach by placing leaflets shaped like commonly stolen items in people’s bags and pockets, doing so without their knowledge. The tactic showed in a very practical and personal way how easily someone could be a victim of pickpocketing.

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Subjects: Awards, Marketing, Advertising

07 April 2015 16:28

The rise of ambient
 
Posted by: Lena Roland, Knowledge Officer, Warc
 
Lena Roland

Recently, I've been looking at some prominent trends in marketing. I've explored the power of partnerships and the increasing use of 'occasion marketing' strategies. This week I turn my attention to the world of media and note the rise of ambient.

But what exactly is ambient media? One definition offered by the Chartered Institute of Marketing points out that ambient was originally known as ‘fringe media’, but now it consists of “communications platforms that surround us in everyday life - from petrol pump advertising to advertising projected onto buildings to advertising on theatre tickets, cricket pitches or even pay slips”.

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Subjects: Marketing, Media, Advertising

01 April 2015 10:02

Marketing gets personal
 
Posted by: MEC
 
MEC

This post is by Kathryn Saxon, research group consultant director at MEC.

Personalisation is a priority for marketers in 2015, though we still have some time to go until consumers fully embrace it.

Personalisation was ranked as the most important digital priority for 2015 by marketers, according to the Adobe 'digital roadblock' survey of marketers. This comes as no surprise when taking into consideration the strong commercial case for personalisation. Separate research carried out by Econsultancy, in association with Adobe, revealed that, on average, businesses personalising the customer experience reported a 14% uplift in sales. Of course, levels of personalisation vary by channel, with email leading the way. 88% of companies surveyed by Econsultancy personalised their email channel, while 44% personalised their website and 23% claimed to personalise their offline channels. Lower down still is search engine marketing at 20% and mobile at 15%. Clearly, personalisation is not so omnichannel at the moment, yet 38% of organisations agreed that omnichannel personalisation will become a reality in 2015. With personalisation so high on the agenda for businesses what is the consumer response?

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Subjects: Marketing

27 March 2015 15:46

Welcome to the Age of Big
 
Posted by: Waqar Riaz, Cheil Worldwide
 
Waqar Riaz

Imagine someone persuaded Ferdinand Magellan and his crew to abandon the Great Big Victoria in exchange for 271 canoes to help them successfully cross the Pacific. Without a doubt, the agent selling the canoes would have made a very profitable deal, however, it is almost guaranteed that Mr Magellan and his crew would never ever be in the list of those who crossed the Pacific (though probably the first ones to successfully accomplish mass sinking of 271 canoes).

In this new richer and bigger world the words selling, persuading and advocating small ideas sound no different to me.

When I hear that Big Ideas are dead and small ideas are ‘in’, I feel genuinely depressed.

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Subjects: Brands, Marketing, Data

26 March 2015 16:06

Nine, that's a magic number
 
Posted by: Richard Shotton, Head of Insight, ZenithOptimedia
 
Richard Shotton

"Nine, that's a magic number" or so De La Soul might have sang if they were marketers rather than a New York hip-hop trio. An increasing body of marketing evidence shows that consumers, rather than being rational decision makers, are prey to a number of biases. One of the most interesting biases revolves around the positive impact of prices ending in nine, known as charm prices. For retailers this should be a reason to be cheerful as it means sales can be encouraged with less need for margin destroying price cuts.

At ZenithOptimedia we have run experiments amongst 650 consumers across 6 products, from TVs to bread. For each product we asked about value perceptions. The twist was that we had discrete cells of consumers. Some consumers saw prices ending in 99p, the other groups saw the same good as just one or two pence more expensive. Despite the minor variations in price consumers were 9% more likely to think a brand was good value when the price ended in 9p – this occurred even though the difference in prices was c1%.

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Subjects: Marketing, Consumers

17 March 2015 12:28

The art of not selling
 
Posted by: James Hurman, Founder, Previously Unavailable
 
James Hurman

A few years ago, at Colenso BBDO in Auckland, we got a call from Levi's. It was the head of marketing in San Francisco. He introduced himself to our receptionist. She was having a busy moment, heard him say 'Levi's', and put him through to Levi, one of our creatives. Levi came running into the office where I was sitting with our MD and ECD and told us there was a guy from Levi's on the phone wanting to talk to us. He handed us the phone.

The guy from Levi's said he'd seen our work, he loved it, and that he wanted us to make an online film for his new women's product line. He didn't have much money, but he wanted something amazing. And he said that we could do anything we wanted. Excepting doing something illegal or grossly offensive, we would have the decision on what work we made. He wanted our judgment on what was great and what would be seen and shared by his customers.

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Subjects: Marketing, Brands

12 March 2015 09:56

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