The Warc Blog

The Warc Blog

It all begins with a brief
Posted by: Faris Yakob, Co-founder, Genius Steals
Faris Yakob
In August I delivered a Warc webinar entitled 'Beyond boring briefs: How to inspire great work' and it garnered the most attention and follow-up requests of any that we've done together. Lots of people seem to agree that briefs have become boring. Planners feel as if they are endlessly writing the same briefs, filling out the same forms, regardless of which agency, client or project they are working on.

Subjects: Advertising, Consumers, Media

24 October 2016 10:53

TV Trends: The Missing NFL Viewers
Posted by: Brian Wieser, Senior Research Analyst, Pivotal Research Group
Brian Wieser

There has been a significant amount of attention placed on the decline in NFL viewing this season. While there are many theories as to what has driven this outcome, we have reviewed data from Nielsen covering the first five weeks of the season to look at various sources of decline. Most importantly, we note that while total NFL game viewing is down by -14.6% per person this year vs. last, college football game viewing is essentially flat, and total viewing of TV from all sources is slightly up. This indicates that the decline is specific to the NFL.

Within viewing for the league’s games, we can further identify that declines are more pronounced among people in Blue Collar homes vs. people in White Collar homes, among people in lower income homes vs. higher income homes, and among homes with White heads of household vs. Black heads of household. However, we emphasize that most of the noticeable differences in segment-level declines we looked at are relatively marginal, typically not more than a few percentage points.


Subjects: Data, Media

20 October 2016 17:05

From AR to VR to MR
Posted by: Brian Carruthers, News Editor, Warc
Brian Carruthers

It may soon be time to add another acronym to your collection as mixed reality (MR) heaves into view. As part of Innovation Week, the week-long event being run by OMD UK, Arthur Tindsley and Frazer Hurrell, creative technologists at AOL's Partner Studio in London, demonstrated Microsoft's HoloLens and outlined how it differs from augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) options.


Subjects: Media, Consumers

20 October 2016 14:52

Four data lessons from history
Posted by: Richard Shotton, Head of Insight, ZenithOptimedia
Richard Shotton

The trade press overflows with interesting predictions about the future of advertising.

But there's a problem.

Experts, marketing or otherwise, have an awful record of predictions. Philip Tetlock, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, ran a 20-year study that analysed 82,361 forecasts from 284 experts. He found that their predictions were as likely to be wrong, as right. In his memorable phrase, the average pundit fared no better than 'a dart-throwing monkey'.

It's not just that these marketing predictions misguide us. There's also an opportunity cost. Our fixation with the future crowds out an interest in the past. Yet there is value in looking backwards to people who grappled with similar problem to ours.

So let's take a look at one current problem, turning data into insights, and look back to what we can learn from the 1940s. In particular, the experience of one man: Abraham Wald.


Subjects: Data, Marketing, Media

18 October 2016 10:57

Are social media and gaming good for us?
Posted by: Joseph Clift, Product Manager, Warc
Joseph Clift

It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves as we scroll through yet another smug status update or toss our phone across the room because we didn't match a row of colourful candy: is all this digital distraction actually good for us? One thing’s for sure: digital media has been blamed for a lot of society’s ills. And that’s despite its massive - and increasing - global popularity, with one piece of research showing that we touch our phones an average of 2,500 times daily, with 80% of our time spent on just five apps.

Two of digital's most-popular by-products, social media and gaming, were put under the microscope by a series of speakers at Unfolded, an event organised by London-based creative agency Fold7 and held yesterday night. First up was Professor Robin Dunbar, an Oxford academic and creator of Dunbar's Number, which suggests that humans can comfortably maintain only 150 stable relationships. Then came Helen Lewis, deputy editor of political magazine The New Statesman and inventor of another social metric: Lewis' law holds that "the comments on any article about feminism justify feminism". Also speaking were Martin Talks, founder of Digital Detoxing - a company that takes participants on activity holidays on the proviso they leave their devices behind - and cyber psychologist Berni Good, an academic expert on gaming.


Subjects: Media

14 October 2016 14:22

Posted by: Michael Corcoran, Head of Social & Content, eightytwenty
Michael Corcoran

It's time to unveil who was behind @Offical_Rule40 #RioBot.

As the symbolic torch was lit at Rio 2016, opportunities were being extinguished for brands to activate around this 'prestigious' global sports gathering.

Sitting at home watching the build-up to the opening ceremony, some colleagues and I were chatting and sharing some Rio messages through Whatsapp from Irish brands infringing on the International Olympics Guidelines on the use of official terms; In particular, Rule 40.


Subjects: Media, Digital

06 October 2016 12:37

A good walk spoiled: The problem with moral licensing
Posted by: Richard Shotton, Head of Insight, ZenithOptimedia
Richard Shotton

"All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking." Or so said the half-crazed philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche. Brian Wansink took that one step further and conceived a great advertising thought while getting others to go walking.

Wansink, professor of psychology at Cornell University, recruited 56 subjects to walk a mile route. Half were told to test an MP3 player as they walked, stopping off at six places along the route to monitor sound quality. The other half were told the walk was exercise, and asked to monitor energy levels at the same set places. After the walk they returned their results, collected payment and were told they were free to go. Before they left they were invited to an all-you-can eat buffet the university had laid on.


Subjects: Marketing, Consumers, Media

03 October 2016 14:36

The marketing world doesn't get friendship
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This guest blog is written by Hannah Fisher, a planner at iris Worldwide

One of the things I observe on a regular basis is how incredibly important friendship is to many of the adults I know. It's not uncommon for our friends to be closer to us than our family, to see more of our personal highs and lows.

But friendship isn't something marketers tend to examine very often in their day-to-day work. If you browse through the research portals we subscribe to, most mentions of 'friends' or 'friendship' are solely about social media behaviours and campaigns. I would argue that our industry doesn't understand the nature of friendship as deeply as it should.


Subjects: Consumers, Media

27 September 2016 14:44

How John Keats invented VR
Posted by: Malcolm White, Co-founder, Krow Communications
Malcolm White

OK, that's not strictly true. Actually, it's not true at all. But it made you want to read on, didn't it? Or perhaps not?

According to surveys, if you're a regular reader of poetry then you're in a tiny minority, so perhaps name-checking the writer of such masterpieces as 'Ode on a Grecian Urn', 'To Autumn' and 'Ode to a Nightingale' wasn't much of a hook for you?


Subjects: Media, Advertising

23 September 2016 11:24

Moment marketing is where the magic is
Posted by: Lucy Aitken, Case Study Editor, Warc
Lucy Aitken

On the eve of the deadline for the Warc Media Awards, Lucy Aitken, Case Study Editor, Warc, considers how moment marketing could make an impact on this year's entries

The deadline for entries for the Warc Media Awards approaches and entries are starting to arrive. Already, there's a body of evidence showing how smarter comms planning helps campaigns be more effective, from a car brand that successfully used CRM data to help convert online forms into test drives to an IT brand that boosted lead generation through an effective partnership.


Subjects: Awards, Media, Advertising

14 September 2016 12:25


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