The Warc Blog

The Warc Blog

Circulation to certification - more than a name change
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Jerry Wright, secretary, and Pedro Silva, president, of IFABC.

The decision we have made to replace the 'circulation' in our name to 'certification', after over 50 years, is not just a trivial one and a bid to keep our well-known acronym the same, though that factor is not to be ignored. Our name change is more than that, but reflects the evolution of media business models worldwide and more appropriately points to an increasingly digital future.

The old institution of the ABCs – Audit Bureaux of Circulation – which the media industry has come to know, love and maybe even fear a little, was no longer fit for purpose. The term 'circulation' has become archaic and synonymous with our print-bound past. It simply does not reflect how the explosion of digital media consumption worldwide has irrevocably shifted or the way that publishers have recognised they must not just engage, but, so much more crucially amidst ongoing economic pressure, make money from new channels.


Subjects: Media, Digital

24 November 2015 15:50

Highlights from the Warc Prize for Connection Strategy: Channel attribution, partnerships, social listening, and reaching 'media dark' consumers
Posted by: Lena Roland, Knowledge Officer, Warc
Lena Roland

The Warc Prize for Connection Strategy Awards went live on last week. These awards focus on channel ideas that deliver brand advantage. It is a global case study competition that looks for excellence in connection strategy, channel analysis and measurement. Coca-Cola, the soft drinks giant, won the Grand Prix. I've dug a little deeper to highlight a selection of content that I found particularly noteworthy.


Subjects: Media, Marketing, Awards

04 November 2015 13:05

Charting a path though the viewability maze
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Dominic Finney, MD at FaR Partners (a Theorem Digital company), who looks at why viewability has become such a contentious issue in the marketplace and why further development of standards and greater consistency of measurement across vendors is vital.

Marketers are spending more on digital advertising than ever before, with the global digital ad spend expected to hit $171 billion this year, yet there are growing concerns amongst the media industry that viewability standards and consistency across measurement tools are not sufficient to accurately monitor whether consumers have viewed adverts, which will ultimately put trust on the line.

The topic of viewability metrics is dividing the industry. Google has just announced changes to its display ad network that will ensure advertisers only pay for ads that are 100% viewable. Some have seen this as its first step to combat ad blockers, whilst others see it as the giant pushing for a more credible measurement. Google, however, hasn't mentioned ad blockers or defined what 100% viewable means.


Subjects: Digital, Media

27 October 2015 10:03

My kingdom for your attention: Why brands need to move away from attention-seeking social media strategies
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Anjali Puri, Global Head of TNS Qualitative

Marketers have the opportunity to address one of the fundamental tensions created by technology, but it requires shifting focus from an attention-seeking, eyeball-counting agenda to one that makes people the recipients of attention.

When we talk with consumers about what makes them engage with brands online, we find an increasing desire to humanise the entities they are interacting with – more than anything else, consumers warm to brands that listen, respond and interact with them in the manner of real people. Take this comment about Kleenex, a brand that has managed its social media strategy in a brilliantly people-centric way.


Subjects: Consumers, Media

22 October 2015 15:24

A new way to make ads
Posted by: Darika Ahrens LDN Stock
Darika Ahrens

If you look online for the term 'MailKimp', you'll be let in on one of the web's current in-jokes. The word is a mispronunciation of the email marketing company MailChimp. It cropped up in one of the ads in the smash hit podcast Serial last year.

The first season of the Serial podcast investigates the story of an old murder. It's told through a mixture of interviews and commentary. So when the show's producer, Dana Chivvis, made the MailChimp ad for the show, she created it in their interview style. It was when approaching people on the streets of New York to talk about MailChimp that comedy gold was born. One interviewee didn't know how to pronounce chimp and flubs it as "Kimp? Keemp? Qimp?" It was one of those random moments in internet culture that has gone viral. Spawning memes, parodies and articles (like this one). And it almost didn't happen.


Subjects: Digital, Marketing, Media

13 October 2015 10:08

UX: The missing ingredient
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Sam Smith, Head of UX at Potato .

If campaign planning were a party (and when is it not?), you could say that User Experience (UX) specialists are the Cinderellas at the ball. Their expertise may not always be at the top of marketers' campaign checklists, but considered UX and well-crafted design input can nevertheless prove transformative to the success of a digital marketing project. At Potato we design and build complex webapps for a range of clients, including Google, with diverse user-bases to consider for each one. UX has frequently been at the heart of those builds' successes.

UX designers come from a variety of backgrounds and areas of expertise, including such diverse specialisms as interface and interaction design, data visualisation, information design or writing micro-copy. This depth of knowledge is essential when you consider the many components that comprise a good user experience. For instance, if an app offers the user many services, good UX will ensure that those options are obvious, simple to understand, and that they will do what the user expects. These types of relatively subtle executional points are crucial to creating user engagement with your brand that can spell the difference between retaining users and creating advocates, or turning your audience off the brand altogether.


Subjects: Digital, Media

30 September 2015 17:16

Ofcom's Communications Market Report 2015
Posted by: MEC

The annual report on the UK's media habits reveals a steady increase in the use of video-on-demand services, smartphones and mobile online behaviour through 4G.

This post is by Victoria Stevens, Consumer Insights Director at MEC.

Ofcom's Communications Market Report is an annual account of media consumption, technology adoption and digital proficiency in the UK. Highlights of the latest edition are:

Traditional TV viewing is in decline

In 2014, the average number of minutes of broadcast television watched on a television set fell 4.9% year on year. Viewing diminished across all age groups with significant proportional declines among children aged 4-15 (-12.4%), adults aged 25-34 (-8.8%) and 35-44 (-8.0%). Among the over-65s, viewing dropped the least – this age group still spends 82% of their viewing time watching traditional TV.


Subjects: Media, Data

05 September 2015 17:26

Three reasons your business needs responsive web design
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Rhys John, digital marketing executive at Thomas Design.

With higher and higher percentages of the population viewing websites and other forms of media on tablets, phones or netbooks, responsive web design is becoming more of a norm for businesses with an online presence. Making it difficult for customers to view your website on different devices could be more costly than you might anticipate – with design costs far less than the potential loss of business.

Here are the three main reasons to get a responsively designed website:


Subjects: Digital, Marketing, Media

03 July 2015 11:47

Warc prize for Social Strategy winners show how social is evolving
Posted by: Guest blog
Guest blog

This post is by Mobbie Nazir, chief strategy officer at We Are Social.

I recently had the pleasure of being one of the judges for the second ever Warc Prize for Social Strategy, whose winners were announced earlier this morning. The award is focused on recognising social ideas that drive business results and, as such, is a fantastic showcase of best practice within the marketing industry.

It was clear from looking at the 32-strong shortlist just how much social communications have evolved and continue to do so. We're seeing more longer term, strategic use of social to build brands, or create a meaningful role for brands in people's lives. We saw the most effective brands and organisations shift their mindset from focusing on social platforms, to using social insights to create integrated ideas that people naturally want to share, talk about, and get involved with. And, from the more mature, large-scale efforts to the clever, low budget activations – all were working towards delivering real business value, not just likes and shares.


Subjects: Awards, Digital, Media

15 June 2015 15:23

The changing focus of Facebook
Posted by: MEC

With a decline in active users, Facebook has turned its attention to other areas such as video, messaging and offering internet access to impoverished countries.

This post is by Robbie Edge, social media manager at MEC.

Facebook has been the giant of social media for some time and while that shows no immediate sign of changing, a decline in active users of the site has prompted it to pursue several new avenues.

One of those is video, a content type traditionally viewed as an under performer on the platform in comparison with imagery, but one that is increasingly becoming a core part of Facebook's ad strategy. Currently, Facebook video is reported to get roughly three billion views a day, 65% of which originate from mobile devices, with 53% driven by sharing. While three billion is a big number, YouTube was gaining 4 billion views each day back in 2012, so Facebook still has a way to go if it really wants to become more of a threat. The platform has, however, experienced an increase in video output from its top brands, celebrities and media companies after some big changes made in 2014 – such as newsfeed autoplay as well as deeper analytics. More content marketers have begun uploading video directly to Facebook, particularly for small- to medium-sized enterprises who posted twice the number of videos directly to Facebook in 2014 than they did in 2013.


Subjects: Digital, Media

01 June 2015 09:36


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