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.
For five years, every digital and marketing conference you went to had the same slide circulating. You know the one. The one with the crown image. And the text 'Content is King'. Well it's the slide that will not die. It's had a reboot. Now, everywhere I go it reads 'Context is King'.
It's a no-brainer that if you get the context right, your messaging will be better. More powerful. More engaging. It'll probably sell more stuff too. But most discussions on context focus on the promise of context. Instead of how you get there.
Marketers are already sold on the importance of context. The commuter who gets a coffee voucher as they walk past the coffee shop on their way in to work. Smart devices that will tell you when you're getting a cold so you can stock up on medicine.
Earlier this week, we announced the results of this year's Warc Prize for Innovation at an event in London. We set up the prize to recognise standout examples of innovation in advertising, and the (deserved) Grand Prix winner was 'Clever Buoy', from M&C Saatchi Sydney for Optus, a telecom brand.
For the campaign, the agency helped create an ocean buoy that warned of shark attacks that was informed by Optus data – a dramatic demonstration of the value of the client's service that eventually reached 19m people on social media. And, when I spoke to him after the prizegiving, M&C Saatchi's chief digital officer Christian Purser pointed out that the campaign was a good example of how ad people can innovate to solve client problems. "It's a state of mind, it's about doing new things," he added. "Innovation is simply about seeing the world in a different way."
Four years ago, my friend Peter Field came to New Zealand. He was here to talk about his research on creativity, and he mostly spoke to our agency and clients about creativity's ability to supercharge the effectiveness of good strategy. But something that he quickly touched on in an early slide kept coming back to me in the years that followed.
He made a point that seems obvious and unremarkable: that if you increase your sales by 10%, a small amount of that extra money trickles down as profit (once all the business costs associated with producing that extra 10% are accounted for). But if you increase your price by 10%, all of that money flows directly to the bottom line.
When he'd looked at the campaigns that had created large profit growth, the majority were campaigns that'd somehow impacted price sensitivity and allowed the price to increase. He showed that the biggest chance marketing has of contributing real value to an organisation is by enabling the price to rise (while of course maintaining sales).
On Monday we started sharing our #WarcFavourites2014.
All the pieces have been selected by people who work at Warc because they stood out in some way – an interesting idea, eye-catching campaign or something we noticed clients really loved.
We will be sharing a Warc favourite every weekday in December, and we want to hear from you too! We'd for you to share your favourites on Twitter including the hashtag #WarcFavourites2014 and tweeting @WarcEditors.
Here's another look at this week's:
Recently, we were asked to help an ailing brand. After dominating its category for decades alongside a very similar competitor, recently the brand lost the top spot to its rival. What had gone wrong?
We immediately noticed something striking. Yes, our brand had lost market share to its doppelgänger. But more surprisingly, for years, both brands had been losing market share to a host of smaller competitors which now accounted for a bigger share of the market than either 'market leader'.
Further analysis suggested an explanation. The two big brands had followed identical marketing strategies. In an effort to increase RoI and efficiency, each had reduced marketing expenditure. Each had cut emotional brand advertising in favour of harder selling stuff focused on 'new news'. Each had replaced expensive broadcast media with cheaper digital channels, tighter targeting allowing both brands to reduce 'wastage'.
This post is by Mark Knight, strategy director at MEC.
MEC Access hosted a week-long programme that explored the multifaceted and ever-evolving opportunities that music presents to brands.
In the past ten years, the music industry has changed immeasurably, with declining physical sales, the growth of streaming models and the coming of age of mobile. Around 39% of the music industry's revenue now comes from digital channels and the number of paying subscribers to subscription services rose to 28 million in 2013, up 40% on 2012 (IFPI Digital Music Report 2014). These changes have resulted in greater and more varied brand partner involvement, as music rights holders look to exploit their rights, promote their artists and make up for the shortfall left by declining sales incomes.
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.