Millennials want control and freedom

18 December 2014
LONDON: Achieving control of finance, career and social life in order to take advantage of freedoms and opportunities are key to the happiness of Millennials and brands should engage with them on that basis, a new global report has argued.

Based on a poll of 5,800 participants in ten countries, media agency network ZenithOptimedia said global consumers aged 18 to 34 have a "fundamentally different approach" to achieving happiness compared to previous generations.

Disinclined to adopt the "free spirit" attitudes of the Baby Boomer generation, Millennials seek to gain much more control over their lives to obtain happiness.

Health and wellbeing, financial stability, career, following a dream and pursuing a passion, as well as formal education, are the most important areas Millennials seek to control.

Once in place, Millennials then feel they have the freedom to pursue their passions and they regard "meaningful experiences" and social interaction to be more important than the ownership of material goods – unlike older generations.

This is why social media has become so important for this generation, the report stated, because "it is their primary platform for sharing stories and creative expression".

Understanding how and why Millennials want to live more fulfilled lives has important implications for brands, argued Linda Tan, strategic insights director at ZenithOptimedia.

"Brands that can help Millennials achieve happiness stand the best chance of securing long-lasting and profitable relationships with this important consumer group," she said.

"While Millennials might seem a very care-free audience, obsessed with social media and celebrities, scratch below the surface and you will discover very savvy, discerning and astute consumers," she added.

The global survey questioned Millennials in Argentina, Australia, China, France, Mexico, Russia, Spain, the UAE, the UK and the US while also drawing on the opinions of the company's own staff from that generation.

Data sourced from ZenithOptimedia; additional content by Warc staff

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European web use grows steadily

18 December 2014
BRUSSELS: The number of Europeans aged 16 to 74 who access the internet every day has doubled since 2006, but usage varies considerably across the region's diverse nations, new official data has revealed.

According to Eurostat, the European Union's statistical office, nearly two-thirds (65%) of citizens in the 28-member bloc used the internet daily in 2014, up from less than a third (31%) in 2006.

Over the same period, the proportion of people who have never used the internet fell from 43% in 2006 to less than a fifth (18%) in 2014, but stark differences remain between poorer countries and the more advanced economies of northern Europe.

People who have never used the internet, either at home or at work, accounted for just 3% of the population of Denmark in 2014, followed by Luxembourg (4%), the Netherlands (5%), Finland, Sweden and the UK (all 6%).

But this compared with Romania (39%), Bulgaria (37%), Greece (33%) and, in perhaps a surprise finding, Italy (32%).

The share of daily internet users among the population of the EU28 ranged in 2014 from 32% in Romania to 87% in Luxembourg, Denmark (85%), Sweden (83%) and the UK (81%).

Daily users also accounted for a huge 94% in Iceland and 89% in Norway, although both countries are not members of the EU.

Coinciding with the uptake of the internet in the region, the report also confirmed that cloud technology has secured widespread adoption, especially in Denmark (42%) and the UK (38%).

Spread across the full 28 member states, over a fifth (21%) of the population used cloud services to store files in 2014, although only 11% used paid-for services.

Cloud services appealed largely because they can be used from several devices or locations as well as the ease with which files can be shared with other people (59%).

Protection against data loss was cited by over half (55%) while 44% liked its larger memory space. Over a fifth (22%) wanted access to music, films or TV.

The importance of the internet for the EU's growth prospects was underlined earlier this month with new research from the Boston Consulting Group, which analysed the market in the EU's five largest economies – Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Spain.

It said the mobile internet economy generates €92bn each year to the economies of the EU5, produces a consumer benefit, or surplus, of about €770bn and has created no less than 250,000 jobs.

Data sourced from Eurostat, BCG; additional content by Warc staff

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Apple is top wearable device brand

18 December 2014
NEW YORK: Apple is by some margin the preferred brand for US wearable device buyers, according to a new survey that also confirmed the influence of brand trust on the decision-making process.

An online poll of more than 2,000 American adults conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, the research firm, established that 70% of likely buyers agree that they will only buy a brand that they trust and that a seamless connection across devices is essential.

Apple is the brand of choice for 62%, followed by fellow tech giants Google (44%) and Samsung (43%). But Fitbit, the activity tracker specialist, is ranked fourth (31%) and Nike, the sports brand, is sixth (27%).

Sony (28%), Amazon (26%), HP (24%) and Microsoft (23%) also feature on the rankings.

Of the nearly one-fifth (18%) of US consumers who are ready to buy wearable devices, style is as important as functionality. Almost seven in ten (69%) agree that colour, shape and size matter when shopping for a wearable device.

When asked what type of wearable tech would stimulate their interest, over half are drawn to fitness monitors and smart watches (56% and 55% respectively), followed by jewellery (44%), smart glasses (40%) and contact lenses (36%).

Ipsos also said that it's significant that many consumers will purchase despite 45% of likely buyers having concerns about privacy and 42% fearing potential health risks.

Coupled with the finding that only a fifth (21%) of non-owners understand how wearables may benefit their lives, Ipsos MediaCT vice president Julia Roland urged brands to improve their communication.

"Brands in the wearable market would benefit from educating consumers about product capabilities and personal relevance," she said.

"Our research shows that the opportunities are there. But to convince consumers that these devices are worth the price tag, the benefits and use cases need to be clearly highlighted in product marketing and communications."

This latest study follows research earlier this month from Forrester, which predicted that the number of people in the US and Europe using a wearable device will triple in 2015, although Americans are more open to the new technology.


Data sourced from Ipsos, Reuters; additional content by Warc staff

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Brands should 'flip' conventions

18 December 2014
BOCA RATON, FL: Brands aiming to stand out from the crowd could benefit from trying to "flip" category conventions, a leading professor at Harvard Business School has argued.

Youngme Moon, the Donald K. David Professor of Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean for Strategy and Innovation at Harvard Business School, discussed this subject at The Market Research Event.

And she reported that pioneering companies like Google, IKEA and Mini generally share one thing in common. (For more, including more detailed insights into this strategy, read Warc's exclusive report: Why brands need to "flip the fundamentals".)

"They have figured out how to flip on the fundamental; how to take a fundamental assumption about their category, something that everyone else in the category assumes to be true, and flip it upside down," said Moon.

Successfully challenging widely-held assumptions in their industries helped these organisations achieve differentiation.

The launch of the Mini Cooper in America provided a paradigmatic example of this process in action, as the auto marque made the comparatively small size of its cars a true marketing strength.

"It took what was considered to be a weakness and transformed it into a strength. Indeed, it took what was considered to be a weakness and filled it with pride," said Moon.

"It flipped the fundamental … When the folks at Mini Cooper were preparing to launch, they agonised over their 'size problem'."

Pursuing such a strategy, however, requires a willingness to take a bold step which is not guaranteed to work.

"At the end of the day, to be different is to be alone. It is to be doing something that nobody else in your category is doing and that is a really scary thing for a business to do. And it is a really scary thing for an individual to champion," Moon said.

Data sourced from Warc

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Young Indians seek a balanced life

18 December 2014
MUMBAI: Young Indians are committed to succeeding through hard work but their definition of success is moving beyond from simple material acquisition to include meaningful work, according to a leading industry figure.

As part of Warc's New perspectives on Indian youth series, Madhukar Sabnavis, vice chairman and country head, discovery and planning, Ogilvy & Mather India Board, outlines ten trends that marketers need to consider when targeting a millennial generation that has grown up since the country embraced economic liberalisation back in 1991.

This age group understands that true achievement requires perseverance, Sabnavis says, highlighting the fact that biographies and 'how to' books tend to top the bestseller lists.

Where people previously sought short cuts to fame and success, for example, they are now more likely to have taken on board Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 hour rule which states that to become proficient at anything requires 10,000 hours of practice.

Sabnavis further notes an interesting nugget from one of those short cuts, the TV reality show. These now routinely praise the hard work of all the participants rather than focusing on the winners, while judges will reassure close losers they will get there if only they continue practising.

Economic development over the last 23 years has produced a couple of generations of well-off Indians who already have some experience of the material things life has to offer. Today's youth are less exercised by having more of the same than by making a difference and achieving recognition.

More MBAs are opting for entrepreneurial ventures, Sabnavis notes, either on their own or with start-ups, with the aim of "finding joy" rather than just big salaries and company labels.

Joy, of course, comes in many forms and in a society riven with conflicts this generation is keen to find a balance, "a harmony in thinking", in those areas that threaten to destabilise their lives.

The battle between the traditional and the modern need not be an either/or choice but an acceptable compromise: an arranged love marriage, for example.

India's millennials have grown up more exposed to Western culture than their predecessors and have taken on board some of the attitudes one might associate with their peers, such as being more socially sensitive and aware of inequalities or welcoming the unvarnished truth.

At the same time, they are under more pressure than ever to make the right choices and have fewer people they can confide in.

Facebook may help them stay connected with friends and make new connections but "depth has given way to width", Sabnavis observes. "Together alone is an apt description of their state."


Data sourced from Warc

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Women drive Asian online shopping

18 December 2014
GUANGZHOU: Almost half (49%) of Asian women, including 69% of mainland Chinese, agree or strongly agree that they prefer the experience of shopping online than in a physical store, according to a survey of five key regional markets.

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and Vipshop, a Chinese online discount retailer for brands, questioned 5,500 female shoppers in Greater China, India, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.

Their joint report discovered that nearly two-thirds (63%) of respondents browse the internet at least once a day for goods and services, and their favourite purchases are clothes and accessories (nearly 90%), cosmetics (83%) and groceries (almost 80%).

They are motivated mostly by price (62%) and time-saving (60%), but also feel they can rely on e-retailers to have the products they want to buy (59%) and they appreciate the range of choice that online shopping can offer (56%).

In addition, they regard quality (83%), price (83%), genuine products (82%) and convenience (77%) as the top four factors that determine their choice of retailer.

While clothing and cosmetics as leading purchases may not come as much of a surprise, the survey also showed that Asian women are important decision-makers for other categories, such as electronics and travel services.

"Women are controlling spending in a variety of categories where you would expect them to, such as clothing and accessories, cosmetics and groceries," said Laurel West, EIU's director for Asia.

"But they also have an increasing influence in bigger ticket items such as electronics," she added. "Many brands are realising this and making efforts to better understand what is important to female consumers."

Interestingly, the report also found that a majority of Asian women (62%) are buying for themselves most of the time when online – and this rises to three-quarters (74%) of mainland Chinese.

This finding prompted the report to state: "At least on the internet, many Asian women do not seem to be living up to the stereotype of selfless, family-focused individuals."

However, in terms of brand communications, the report found over half (54%) still respond positively to messages that address them as mothers, wives or girlfriends.

Data sourced from Vipshop, EIU, Yahoo Finance; additional content by Warc staff

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Brazil lowers spend on luxury goods

18 December 2014
NEW YORK: Brazil, once regarded as a prime emerging market for luxury brands, now represents a "difficult climate" because of its faltering economy and inflationary pressures, according to a leading market analyst.

Speaking to Luxury Daily, Gustavo Gomez, the director of research and methodology at New York-based consultancy Envirosell, warned that falling wages during the current slowdown has led to a psychological need among people to save money.

But he said luxury brands could take heart by concentrating on their quality and by using effective segmentation.

"While Rio might be struggling, São Paulo might be booming," he explained. "Luxury brands need to look at results at the city, neighbourhood and even store level to make strategic growth decisions. There is still a wealthy segment; growth just needs to be targeted."

His observations come as a new survey of 2,000 Brazilian consumers by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found 72% intend to reduce their discretionary spend.

With the country's economic growth forecast to amount to just 1% this year, Brazilians want to reduce their debt and are cutting back on loans for everything except cars.

Average spending on clothing and shoes, for example, is down 10% because consumers are using less credit to make purchases in the category.

Brands should rethink their pricing structures, BCG advised, as well gain a clearer understanding about specific locations where wages are improving.

"Given the slowdown in spending, companies must be prepared for more intense competition," said Olavo Cunha, a partner in BCG's São Paulo office.

"They'll have to adjust their cost structures, improve their innovation capabilities, rethink the value they deliver, and focus on the product categories with the greatest growth potential," he added.

However, Gomez appeared to disagree that discounting offered the best route forward.

"Luxury brands need to reinforce their quality," he said. "In slow economic times, consumers want items that last. They are seeking value and not necessarily price reductions."

Data sourced from Luxury Daily; additional content by Warc staff

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Chinese brands grow digital ad share

17 December 2014
BEIJING/NEW YORK: Google dominates global spending on digital ads while Facebook has the fastest growth among the major players, but both face a growing challenge from Alibaba and Baidu, the latest estimates from eMarketer have revealed.

Out of the $146bn expected to be spent on digital advertising in 2014, Chinese search giant Baidu and ecommerce firm Alibaba are forecast to be the third and fourth largest digital ad sellers in the world with market shares of 4.68% and 4.66% respectively.

While this is way behind the 31.1% share taken by Google, the two Chinese companies recorded the highest market share gains since last year apart from second-placed Facebook, which grew its global market share by two percentaqe points to 7.75%, and social network Twitter, which grew 71% year-on-year to take 0.84% overall share.

When combined with the 0.83% market share secured by Tencent and the 0.38% by Sina, the online media group, that means these four leading Chinese companies will account for 10.55% of all digital adspend this year.

Alibaba and Baidu's influence is even larger in the global mobile internet ad market, eMarketer said, where Alibaba is forecast to increase its market share from 1.6% in 2013 to 6.2% in 2014.

Meanwhile, Baidu will nearly double its mobile adspend share from 2.6% to 5.1%, although Google and Facebook are set to continue their leadership of the $40.2bn global mobile ad market.

Facebook is forecast to grow its share of mobile from 16.6% in 2013 to 18.4% this year while Google, at 40.5%, will remain by far the largest player despite seeing its market share drop sharply from nearly half (46.6%) in 2013.

Returning to the overall digital adspend projections, eMarketer also noted that Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL – three of the largest original digital ad sellers – have each lost market share.

Microsoft's global share fell from 2.84% in 2013 to 2.72% this year, Yahoo fell from 2.83% to 2.36%, while AOL's share decreased from 0.93% to 0.81%.

Data sourced from eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff

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UK shoppers turn to social networks

17 December 2014
LONDON: Although traditional search engines and e-retail sites remain the most popular online sources for Christmas gift ideas in the UK, social networks are gaining ground, according to new research.

A poll of 1,000 UK adults by Searchmetrics, a search optimisation platform, found 61% search Amazon for information about possible gifts while 50% also use Google and more than a third (38%) check eBay.

But almost a quarter (23%) of UK online shoppers are turning to Facebook where they can discuss products and ideas with their friends as well as receive purchase recommendations.

Pinterest, the virtual pin-board social network, and micro-blogging site Twitter are also used as a research source by 7% of UK online shoppers, the study found.

Marcus Tober, chief technology officer and founder of Searchmetrics, said the findings highlighted how social networks are increasingly playing a role in product purchasing decisions in the UK.

"One of the benefits of looking for product ideas on social networks is that you get to see feedback and preferences from other consumers, as well as participate in online discussions about products with a range of people, including your own friends and followers," he said.

"And, of course, purchase recommendations from other shoppers – especially friends – can be very powerful," he added.

The survey also found that nearly a third (32%) of UK consumers regard online shopping at Christmas to be less stressful  than the traditional way of shopping, and over a quarter (28%) prefer to use the internet to avoid queues and crowds.

And, in another interesting finding for retailers, 6% say they intend to buy Christmas gifts online after Christmas itself in order to benefit from discounts in the New Year sales. In all, 2% are likely to buy gifts on Christmas Day.

In a final piece of advice to retailers, Tober said: "They should use a variety of methods to promote their products at Christmas – and also throughout the year.

"They should be trying to increase their visibility in Google searches, as well as building a strong presence on social networks such as Facebook.

"And even if they are not present on marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay, they need to be checking these sites to see what their competitors are doing."

Data sourced from RealWire, Searchmetrics; additional content by Warc staff

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Retargeting grabs digital ad budgets

17 December 2014
SAN FRANCISCO: Nearly three-quarters (71%) of US marketers spent 10% to 50% of their digital ad budgets on retargeting in 2014, a new industry survey has shown.

This is a significant rise since last year, when 53% invested in retargeting, and comes as the proportion of marketers now spending over half their digital ad budget on retargeting has doubled from 7% to 14% in 2014, Marketing Land reported.

These are among the key findings of a poll of 1,000 US marketers commissioned by AdRoll, the retargeting platform, which also analysed campaign data from 11,000 of its advertisers in the US, including 3.7bn ad impressions.

More than 90% of respondents said retargeting performed equal or better than search, email and other display campaigns, and they said they used the technique for a variety of reasons.

Retargeting was used by 70% for brand awareness, followed by social engagement (60%) and customer retention and driving sales (58%).

Over half (54%) of B2B marketers said insights into customer behaviour was their most important campaign success metric, while a similar proportion (57%) of B2C marketers thought total conversions was the number one campaign success metric.

High ROI and Return on Advertising Spending was an important consideration for both B2C marketers (44%) and their B2B colleagues (43%).

Over half (54%) of all marketers said social was "the hottest topic in retargeting", followed by mobile retargeting (20%) and data-driven marketing (11%).

Underlining the importance of mobile, AdRoll's analysis of its clients' campaign data found they acquired 1.05x more impressions, 1.23x more clicks and 1.08x more conversions when they added mobile to their Facebook and web retargeting mix.

Adam Berke, AdRoll president and CMO, summed up the report by saying: "Retargeting has become a must-have advertising channel for marketers with performance objectives. It solves a clear business problem by helping brands stay engaged with customers who demonstrate intent to purchase."

Data sourced from AdRoll, PR Newswire, Marketing Land; additional content by Warc staff

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Consumers embrace mobile payments

17 December 2014
BIRMINGHAM: Almost half (47%) of mobile phone users in the UK would like to use their device to pay for goods and services, which equates to more than 23m people being interested in making mobile payments, a new survey has revealed.

According to the results of a poll of 1,000 UK adults by Oxygen8, the integrated mobile solutions provider, 5.3m people in the UK (11%) would stop using their credit and debit cards if they could pay with their mobile phone.

A further 17.9m people (36%) would like to use both cards and mobile phones as payment options. Taken together, the report said this meant 23m Britons would be interested in using their mobile device "to purchase anything, anywhere".

Using a mobile phone to purchase a product from eBay was the most popular transaction carried out by 25% of respondents, while 14% used their mobile device to pay bills.

The purchase of clothes and groceries via an app was conducted by 10% and 9% respectively, although women and young people aged 25 to 34 were the most active for buying clothes while men were twice as likely to buy groceries via an app.

British men were also much more likely to buy a coffee via an app because they made up 70% of the 1.54m UK consumers who used the Starbucks app.

With so many mobile users in the UK already accustomed to using their devices to buy goods and services, they are likely to respond well to the convenience mobile offers, according to Kevin Dawson, head of payments at Oxygen8.

"Not only will mobile payments provide a new and simplistic opportunity for consumers, the planned groundbreaking developments will open up new payments opportunities for companies wanting to make their own products and services more accessible to their customers," he told Retail Times.

Euromonitor International, the research firm, predicted earlier this year that the increasing sophistication of mobile banking apps and their rapid uptake by consumers could soon take mobile payments mainstream.

It estimated that UK consumers, on a per capita basis, will spend $824 via mobile payments in 2014, with almost 80% coming from purchases made on tablets.

Data sourced from Oxygen8, Retail Times, Euromonitor; additional content by Warc staff

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Price gap opens between Canada and US

17 December 2014
TORONTO: Consumers in Canada are paying significantly more than their American counterparts for tablets and other high-demand electronic devices, new cross-border analysis has established.

According to GfK, the market research firm, a comparison of advertised prices for electronic goods in the first 11 days of December 2014 showed Canadian shoppers paid a premium for most electronic goods during the holiday season.

Furthermore, this trend has been consistent throughout the year while the only key category that registered cheaper prices than in the US was for printers and multifunction devices.

GfK's comprehensive list of Canada versus USA price comparisons showed all (100%) tablets on sale over the period had better prices in the US, delivering an average 20.5% saving for American consumers.

Similarly, 88% of TVs were cheaper in the US, averaging 27.7% savings, as were four-fifths (80%) of wearable technology and home theatre systems, averaging savings of 13.4% and 7.6% respectively.

Just over half (55%) of digital cameras had better prices in the US, although only 18% of printers and multifunction devices were cheaper in the US than in Canada.

Coming just a week after the Canadian government announced a Price Transparency Act aimed at narrowing the price gap between goods sold in the two countries, GfK said Canadians have been paying more on a consistent basis.

"These cross-border pricing discrepancies are consistent with trends we have seen throughout 2014," said James Kennedy, country manager Canada at GfK.

"Canadian consumers continue to pay more than US consumers on high-demand electronic goods, whether it is holiday season or the middle of summer," he added.

For example, the premium Canadians pay for TVs has nearly doubled since 2011, rising from 13.2% to 24.4% in 2014, although the premium for digital cameras has dropped from the 10.4% they paid three years ago.

Under the new legislation, Canada's Commissioner of Competition will be empowered to investigate alleged cases of price discrimination and will be able to force retailers to disclose details about how they decided on their pricing structures.

They may be required to provide evidence to show that their price differences are justified and the findings can be reported back to the public.

Data sourced from GfK, CTV; additional content by Warc staff

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Mobile will 'take off' in Asia in 2015

17 December 2014
SINGAPORE: The mobile market in Asia-Pacific will continue to record strong growth in 2015 when over half of consumer transactions are expected to be conducted on mobile, according to a leading analyst from the region.

"The conditions couldn't be better for strong mobility growth in the Asia-Pacific region in the coming year," said Ian Song, a research manager with the International Data Corporation, in comments to IT Wire.

"We're seeing the perfect storm of strong consumer transition to mobility for every facet of their lives, as well as enterprises treating mobility as a strategic initiative."

Coupled with the likelihood of more business enterprises looking to use m-commerce as a driver of growth, Song predicted the regional market will grow rapidly.

But he also cautioned that brands and vendors would have to take account of the sheer diversity of the region and remember that "success in mobility in the region requires a very Asia-Pacific mindset".

IDC expects m-commerce in the region to grow from $16.6bn in 2013 to almost $67bn in 2018, driven in part by mobile payment options, such as those offered by ApplePay, Alipay in China, and paytm and Freecharge in India.

The company also expects that simple wearables, especially fitness devices, will find a lucrative new market and will begin to become widely adopted next year.

However, the market for Mobile Enterprise Application Platform (MEAP) solutions, is expected to continue to struggle in Asia-Pacific as consumers increasingly buy off-the-shelf mobile business apps from existing vendors.

Data sourced from IT Wire; additional content by Warc staff

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Insights drive Under Armour

17 December 2014
BOCA RATON, FL: Building a network of in-house advocates and using innovative techniques to present research are among the ways Under Armour's consumer insights team has enhanced its status within the company.

Cassie Lopez, senior manager/consumer insight at Under Armour, discussed this subject at The Market Research Event (TMRE), a conference held by the Institute for International Research (IIR).

And she reported that the organisation's insights function, which was established approximately five years ago, faced a "daunting task" when it came to making an impact at the sporting apparel and accessories firm.

"This is a brand that was founded around people who were the consumers themselves," she said. (For more, including further tips for researchers, read Warc's exclusive report: How consumer insights strengthened Under Armour.)

Given Under Armour's executives possessed strong personal knowledge about their sector, with many having played sports professionally, the brand had typically relied "on gut" in creating or disrupting categories.

The task for Lopez and the company's insights department was to "build buzz" surrounding their work and "change the language" around the business to reflect the new lens being used to understand the consumer.

One part of that process involved fostering in-house advocacy, and a major component of this strategy was helping key leaders tackle pressing problems.

Footwear and marketing were among the units which the insights function prioritised, as they both had an extremely significant role at the firm.

"It's all about building these ambassadors that are going to start championing consumer insights, and if you create wins with them, it's really going to start to help," Lopez said.

Another important aspect of Under Armour's approach has been to present its research in ways best-suited to an internal audience, including designers and very creative professionals.

That has incorporated illustrating its findings with a coffee-table book and demonstrating a segmentation exercise with a physical installation showing the preferred type of room.

Data sourced from Warc

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Dual-screening ad tactics evolve

16 December 2014
LONDON: New technology developments mean that advertisers have the ability to reach even those dual screeners who are engaged in second-device activity unrelated to what's happening on TV.

A number of adtech businesses have developed listening technology that enables second-screen advertising synching and insights company Millward Brown expects this to take off in the coming year.

Automatic content recognition technology detects the audio files of commercials as they air and then sends a message to a demand side platform to buy up all of the available inventory in that 30-second window to create the 'synching' effect.

While that clearly involves a degree of media efficiency and the ability to hit consumers with multiple messages, Duncan Southgate, global brand director/digital at Millward Brown, pointed out it could be a lot more.

"It's also a new storytelling opportunity that allows brands to add extra value for people who just watched their TV spot," he said. "We expect it to grow rapidly in 2015."

The effectiveness of this technology was highlighted by one provider at a recent London conference. Fiona Smith, country manager at WyWy, claimed that the use of its LiveSync product by automaker Nissan had led to a 96% increase in brand awareness, compared to a 55% uplift on standalone TV.

Further, its SiteSync product, which creates a bespoke landing page directly correlated to an ad, has been shown to more than double conversion rates.

Hyundai is using the two together and has reported a 50% uplift in site visits and a near fivefold increase in conversions for a mere 1.5% additional spend.

Millward Brown suggested that second-screen synching also offered complementary brands the chance to cross-promote products, with for example, viewers of a TV ad for vodka subsequently seeing an ad for a suitable mixer drink on their digital device.

Another possibility was the opportunity to hijack competitor ads by running targeted digital counter-claims at the same time as a competitor's TV ad.

"Synching technology seems likely to have broad appeal across categories from financial services to FMCG and looks set to become a standard part of the marketing toolkit for smart advertisers," Millward Brown concluded.

Data sourced from Millward Brown, Vnet; additional content by Warc staff

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Humorous ads gain edge with placing

16 December 2014
LONDON: Humour sells, but how funny an ad is perceived to be is not simply down to the creative but also to media placement, according to a leading industry figure.

More than 20 years ago research by University of Houston psychologists showed that the same piece of creative is regarded as funnier when seen by the viewer in a group setting: ads watched in a group of three were found to be 20% funnier than those watched alone.

Writing in MediaTel about the social nature of humour, Richard Shotton, head of insight at media agency ZenithOptimedia, also cited more recent work from Millward Brown, which ran the same creative on TV only in one region and cinema only in another. Some 61% of those seeing the cinema ad said they "enjoyed the humour" compared to 52% of the TV viewers.

"The perception of funniness can be boosted through channel selection or implementational tactics," Shotton stated.

So, for example, it makes sense to run humorous ads in cinemas as they will be consumed by much larger groups.

Similarly, a useful tactic is to identify those TV genres which tend not to be watched in isolation – films, documentaries and news are around twice as likely to be viewed in groups.

Comedy Central's Power of Laughter research, which won an award at this autumns' ESOMAR Congress in Nice, took a different angle to analysing the impact of humour.

This used facial coding in a domestic setting to measure actual rather than reported behaviour. The study established that funny content creates a "halo effect" for the ads which follow it, with increased ad attention and engagement.

Further, the halo effect continues throughout the ad break and does not cease after the first ad. The results are even more impressive when an ad is also humorous.

Across all markets, there was an average +57% uplift in positive engagement throughout the advertisement sequence for those who had watched the funny content compared to those who saw the serious clips.

"Presenting your message within a format that is both entertaining and consistent with your brand, together with placing it in a conducive environment, can lead to higher engagement," the authors concluded.

Data sourced from MediaTel, ESOMAR; additional content by Warc staff

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McDonald's searches for Millennial bait

16 December 2014
NEW YORK: McDonald's has joined the swelling ranks of brands looking for new ways to engage with Millennials, a search that has taken on greater urgency in the wake of recent poor results.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the burger giant has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to both agencies and media owners. The three-pronged thrust of the RFP combines a hunt for a "big idea" that "generates significant support for a charity" and at the same time "engages Millennials to support this charity by speaking directly to their philanthropic priorities and leveraging their behaviours and habits".

And any resulting partnership should also help improve "the brand perceptions of McDonald's as a good corporate citizen".

A week ago McDonald's reported like for like sales down 2.2% around the world and down 4.6% in the US market, a situation it attributed to "strong competitive activity".

And leading the competition is Chipotle which, Vox stated bluntly, "is killing McDonald's", in the US at least.

Apart from its rapid rate of growth – it opened 132 new restaurants in the year to September while like-for-like sales were up 17% – Chipotle is notable for its stance on sustainability, which has informed both its business model and its marketing.

That sense of purpose is an idea that has been picked up by other brands in the food industry which see millennials leading a reappraisal of how consumers relate to brands.

Mark Addicks, svp/cmo of General Mills, whose brands include Old El Paso and Food Should Taste Good, told a recent conference that this younger generation "think about the brands they are going to affiliate with, the brands they are going to care about, how they are going to engage, the causes that they are going to engage in, how they are going to participate and – more importantly – the values they are going to live by."

It is a theme highlighted in Warc's Toolkit 2015, which observes that Millennials' access to information means they know more about the products and services they buy (and the companies behind them) than any previous generation. As a result they have high expectations of companies and gravitate towards those that combine purpose with profit.



Data sourced from Wall Street Journal, Vox; additional content by Warc staff

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Filipinos adopt multiscreening habits

16 December 2014
MANILA: Digital consumers in the Philippines are increasingly using more than one screen and video ads are proving an effective means of promoting product search and purchase, research has shown.

The Nielsen Cross-Platform report, which looks at digital video consumption by internet users across screens, found that 96% of online Filipinos used two screens simultaneously and 80% had used three at the same time.

"The swift integration of connected devices into the lives of consumers is instrumental in the shift in the consumption of media, which includes multi-screening as a prevalent behaviour," said Stuart Jamieson, managing director of Nielsen Philippines, in remarks reported by Marketing Interactive.

He added that this was opening up major new opportunities for brands to connect with consumers.

Viewing online video, for example, is now a common pastime for digital consumers in the Philippines, with 85% watching online videos at least weekly, and more than seven in ten report watching TV content and movies via online sources.

They are also responding in large number to advertising they see there, although the choice of device can make a significant difference to their reactions.

The bigger screens of laptops and PCs are, not surprisingly, the most popular device used to view video on demand (89%). And fully 89% of digital consumers using these devices went on to search for an item seen within online video advertising, while 62% made a purchase as a result, according to Nielsen.

Viewing on mobile devices produced lower, albeit still respectable, figures: 67% were moved to search for an item after watching a video ad, while 49% completed a purchase.

Nielsen cautioned that the explosion in online media consumption was not replacing traditional media, with both TV viewership and radio listening having edged upwards over the course of the past year, while newspaper readership remained stable.

"People are using traditional media in union with the new media," Jamieson explained, whether that was accessing content online related to what was being watched on TV or accessing something else altogether.

"Dual screening behaviour is fragmented and thus, it has become increasingly more important to understand how people behave across different media," he concluded.

Data sourced from Marketing Interactive; additional content by Warc staff

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US males are biggest smartphone shoppers

16 December 2014
NEW YORK: Younger American men are significantly more likely than any other demographic to use their smartphones to make purchases rather than just carry out research, according to a new survey.

The study from the Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB) Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence and Precision Market Insights from Verizon, entitled Holiday Shopping in a Cross-Screen World, was based on a poll of 2,013 adults, including 1,176 smartphone owners.

It found that three-quarters (76%) of male smartphone users aged 18 to 34 made a purchase via smartphone in a typical month compared to 59% of females in the same age group. In the population at large the gender divide was not quite so marked at 56% men, 45% women.

Millennial men were also the biggest spenders on mobile, with 39% spending $51 or more via smartphone in an average month, compared to 27% of overall survey participants.

During the current holiday almost two thirds of smartphone owners plan on utilising their device in some shopping capacity and those shopping this way will be hoping primarily to save money (51% of respondents) and time (36%).

The report further found that while holiday-themed ads were definitely having an impact generally – 92% had seen some prior to Thanksgiving across a full range of media channels – this was limited when it came to mobile, with just 29% saying they had specifically seen holiday-related ads on their phones during the same time period.

As well as shopping via mobile, many people will also be shopping for mobiles and giving them as gifts. The study highlighted holiday opportunities here for advertisers.

"Conventional wisdom has held that consumers may not be as receptive to advertising messages during the week between Christmas and New Year's, but with nearly one in five American smartphone users planning to spend 'New Device Week' learning about and accessorising newly received devices, advertisers have a unique opportunity to connect with an audience that is engaged and primed to make a purchase," said Colson Hillier, Vice President, Precision Market Insights.

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff

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Boost for Hindi web

16 December 2014
NEW DELHI: The lives of global advertisers seeking to reach India's fast-growing online audience may just have got a little easier with Google's introduction of a new ad product designed for consumers whose first language is Hindi.

Rajan Anandan, vice president and managing director of Google India, recently noted that most of India's English-speaking population was already online and that there were 500m Hindi speakers coming online who needed to be better served with content in their own language.

To that end, Google has partnered with publishers and technology businesses in the Indian Language Internet Alliance (ILIA) to accelerate this development, with the aim of having 300m Indian language speakers become highly engaged internet users by 2017.

It's not an entirely altruistic move as Google's launch of Hindi Ads will enable advertisers to build campaigns reaching Hindi language sites on the Google Display Network using text, image, rich media, and video display ad formats.

"We hope that this launch will give a boost to the growth of the Hindi web and will encourage the creation of a whole new wave of online Hindi content that will not only be useful to the burgeoning Hindi internet audience, but also make it easy for advertisers to market to this very important consumer base," said Dushyant Khare head of partner business solutions - India & Southeast Asia, Google.

Google's commitment to furthering the cause of the Hindi language has also included the introduction of Voice Search in Hindi and a website – www.hindiweb.com – that acts as a repository to discover the best Hindi content across websites, apps, videos and blogs for Hindi-speaking internet users.

The internet giant has been involved in similar initiatives elsewhere, most notably in the Middle East, where its Arab Web Days project has inspired users and businesses to collaborate and create online Arabic content.

Newspapers in India have also been producing more regional papers in local languages with a focus on local affairs, partly to exploit growing literacy outside metropolitan India and partly as these have been seen as less at risk from the growth of the internet than their English-language counterparts. The shelf life of that particular assumption is getting shorter.


Data sourced from IIFL; additional content by Warc staff

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Motrin escapes the 'me too' trap

16 December 2014
BOCA RATON, FL: Motrin, the pain-relief line owned by Johnson & Johnson, has leveraged fundamental "human insights" to effectively escape the trap of being a "me too" brand.

Ryan Helzerman, associate director/global strategic insights at McNeil Consumer Healthcare – a unit of Johnson & Johnson – discussed this topic at The Market Research Event, a conference held by the Institute for International Research (IIR).

And he reported that a sea of sameness has long characterized the pain-relief category, due in large part to a strict set of regulatory limitations. (For more, including how the brand identified the right insights, read Warc's exclusive report: Motrin provides relief for me-too brands.)

The difficulty of delivering breakthrough innovation in a mature industry, coupled with the speed at which rivals can duplicate any such activity, only builds on that issue.

Overall, the result of these problems is a market segment where shoppers are faced with a lot of similar offerings on store shelves.

"Whether you're Advil, whether you're Motrin Migraine, whether you're the blue ibuprofen store brand or whether you're the orange ibuprofen store brand, the active ingredients, strengths, dosings and indications all look very similar," said Helzerman.

"Anyone can say they relieve pain. We can all say we're fast. We can all say we're strong. We can all say we're long-lasting," he continued.

Motrin, though, wanted to change that situation, and stand out from the pack by tapping "human insights" based around pain depriving consumers of valuable time.

"The human insight is frankly nothing new," admitted Helzerman.

What is new, however, is leveraging this notion in a way that truly resonates with Motrin's target customer.

"It's a specific articulation and it's the marrying [of that] with the pain insight that makes this powerful," Helzerman said.

Data sourced from Warc

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Media costs rise in emerging markets

15 December 2014
LONDON: Advertising costs are expected to rise significantly in China, India and Russia over the next year, with outdoor seeing some of the greatest increases according to Warc's latest Media Inflation Forecast.

The study covers eleven key markets – Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, the UK and the US – and is based on a poll of four global media agencies regarding whether media prices, in terms of the cost of reaching 1,000 adults, are likely to rise or fall. (Warc subscribers can view detailed figures here.)

Television costs are rising fastest in China and India, where the prices of a 30-second spot increased by 16% and 15% respectively in 2014, and will continue to move sharply upwards in 2015, at 15% and 14%.

For the rest, TV inflation in 2014 is running at between 0% (Italy) and 8% (UK) and that spread will narrow slightly in 2015 to between 2% (Japan) and 8% (Russia).

Outdoor costs are shooting up in Russia, with a 23% increase in 2014 followed by an 18% rise in 2015. Other emerging markets are following a similar if slightly less dramatic pattern: the price of a standard billboard in 2014 rose 15% in China and 16% in India, figures which are projected to be repeated in 2015.

These rates of increase stand in stark contrast to the situation in developed countries where the US reported the biggest rise in 2014, and that was just 2%; in Spain the cost actually fell by -1%. In 2015, however, the spread will become greater, from 0% in Japan to 5% in the US.

A similar gulf is evident in the media inflation figures for standard 468 by 60 internet display ads. Costs per thousand are falling or growing only slowly in the more developed countries, from -2% in Australia in 2014 to 3% in Spain, and a forecast -3% in Australia in 2015 to 4% in Spain.

The greatest increases are once again coming in China and India, up 13% and 10% respectively in 2014 and expected to rise 12% and 10% in 2015. Russia stands somewhere in the middle with figures of 7% for 2014 and 6% for 2015.

Print inflation is most pronounced in China, where figures of 14% for newspapers and 10% for magazines in 2014 will be followed by 11% and 9% respectively in 2015. No other market is expected to see double digit inflation in either year, with newspaper costs falling in the US and several European countries.

Data sourced from Warc

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Click-and-collect saves retail parks

15 December 2014
LONDON: The growth of online shopping has the paradoxical potential to save failing retail parks according to new research.

An analysis of more than 1,500 UK shopping locations by the Local Data Company found an increasing polarisation between those retail parks that were doing well and those that were performing poorly and suggested that parks had been more badly affected by online shopping than the high street.

A major issue for the older out-of-town parks has been the decline or disappearance of some of their best tenants – big box stores selling electrical goods, home entertainment items and domestic white goods – much of whose custom has migrated to the web.

These retailers have been "caught like rabbits in the headlights", Matthew Hopkinson, director of the Local Data Company, told the Financial Times.

The impact has been especially hard on smaller parks, which have found themselves in a spiral of decline. Hopkinson noted the knock-on effects when retailers shutting up shop were not replaced and footfall declined.

"Retailers stuck on these parks will not be spending money refitting their stores, making them a less attractive destination for consumers," he said. "At some stage, you are going to reach the point of no return."

Larger parks were faring better, particularly those anchored by high street retailers offering click-and-collect services. Local Data Company also found that those hosting fashion brands and places to eat and drink performed better.

One retail park owner confirmed the analysis. Andrew Jones, chief executive of LondonMetric, argued that the convenience of click-and-collect was a major benefit.

"Retailers are already having problems with internet delivery this Christmas," he said. "Click and collect gives you near-instant gratification, and unlike the high street you can park outside at surface level, and it's free."

The demise of general stores such as Woolworth has been exploited on the high street by a new wave of discount retailers like Poundland and B&M which have taken over large empty shops.

These outlets are now moving out into what Hopkinson termed "value retail parks" which he said had become a "destination for bargain hunting".


Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff

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Facebook adds more features

15 December 2014
SAN FRANCISCO: Brands that use Facebook Pages as part of their engagement and sales strategy will soon be able to add a new call-to-action button to the mix, the social network has announced.

"Designed to bring a business's most important objective to the forefront of its Facebook presence, call-to-action buttons link to any destination on or off Facebook that aligns with a business's goals," the company said in a blogpost.

There will be seven call-to-action options that Page admins can choose from – Book Now, Contact Us, Use App, Play Game, Shop Now, Sign Up and Watch Video – and any one of them can appear at the top of the Page, just to the left of the Like button.

Facebook said the new feature will roll out in the US over the next few weeks and then go worldwide in 2015.

It added that online retailer Dollar Shave Club had been testing the call-to-action buttons on its Page and was pleased with the results.

"Over the course of a three-week test, the Sign Up call-to-action button delivered a 2.5x higher conversion rate versus other comparable social placements aimed to drive new user acquisition," said Brian Kim, director of acquisition at Dollar Shave Club, in a testimonial.

To allay concerns raised by VentureBeat that users might face the potential risk of being taken to malicious links on other sites, Facebook said it will monitor these links in the same way it tracks current ones by using its "Site Integrity" technology.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also raised the possibility of adding another button for users to express sentiments other than simply liking.

"A lot of times people share things on Facebook that are sad moments in their lives," he told a Q&A session at the company's California headquarters. "Often people tell us that they don't feel comfortable pressing 'like' because 'like' isn't the appropriate sentiment."

But he ruled out having a 'dislike' button. "That's not something that we think is good for the world," he said.

Data sourced from Facebook, VentureBeat, BBC; additional content by Warc staff

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Chinese brands lack long-term view

15 December 2014
BEIJING: Many Chinese brands are ignoring the importance of purpose-based marketing, according to a leading industry figure who says they are too focused on achieving quick returns when they venture overseas.

Doreen Wang, global head of BrandZ, the Millward Brown-owned brand equity database, told China Daily that while many Chinese firms wanted to expand into overseas markets and become leading global enterprises, "few realise the significance of bringing more purpose-based societal benefits to their consumers".

Achieving brand dominance on the global stage requires them to build their brands, she advised, and that means more than just raising awareness by, for example, putting an ad in New York's Times Square.

Marketers need to consider how they can "make the brand meaningful to its users, spiritually and mentally, so that consumers recognize your products and are willing to buy".

But Chinese brands face an uphill struggle in the US, where BrandZ research shows that only 6% of consumers can name a Chinese brand.

In part that may be because relatively few have made the effort to crack that market, as the huge domestic market is quite big enough for most to deal with.

Some have opted to instead explore other developing markets, such as Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa. "The US and some European countries are markets of commanding heights for Chinese firms," said Wang. "Few Chinese brands consider the US as the strategic market, and that's part of the reason for the poor recognition of Chinese brands in the country."

A few, including computer technology business Lenovo and home appliance manufacturer Haier, do see the US as a potentially lucrative market, but even these "financial powerhouses", Wang noted, "are still unable to make their brand well known and accepted".

She held up Alibaba as an example for Chinese firms: by affirming its entrepreneurial purpose, helping small and medium enterprises realise their dreams, it had turned itself into a successful global brand.

"Many Chinese firms do have the great products and potential to ascend to the top of the global markets, but many just don't know how to compete and how to penetrate in an efficient way," Wang said. "It takes time, but the outlook is still optimistic."

Data sourced from China Daily; additional content by Warc staff

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MillerCoors tackles light beer decline

15 December 2014
BOCA RATON, FL: MillerCoors, the brewing group, is taking a nuanced approach to countering the decline in light beer sales, mixing big marketing initiatives with activities to maintain top-of-mind presence for its brands.

Brittnye Dougherty, director/brand and consumer insights at MillerCoors, discussed some of the challenges facing light beer at The Market Research Event, an event held by the Institute for International Research (IIR).

"It's a mature segment, it's the largest segment in beer and - unfortunately for us - it's declining," she said. (For more, including why researching rival brands is important, read Warc's exclusive report: Advertising in a declining category: insights from MillerCoors.)

Figures from Impact Databank suggest light beer sales fell by 3.5% to 98.4m barrels in 2013. It also forecast a further decline of 4.9m barrels by the close of 2015, taking the segment to its lowest volumes in a decade.

Such unfavourable trends were largely replicated by the entire beer market, where demand - excluding non-alcoholic beers - dipped by 1.5% to 195m barrels, whereas wine and spirits both grew by more than 40%.

Within the beer sector itself, craft beers are posing an increasingly tough challenge to established brands, with sales rising by 18% over the period to July 2014, according to the Brewers' Association.

In response, MillerCoors has run eye-catching campaigns such as releasing limited-edition versions of the iconic Miller Lite can from the 1970s for a tie-up with the movie Anchorman 2, a move then extended to bottles and taps.

Moving beyond generic messaging and tapping "unique, ownable core equities", Dougherty reported, remains the ideal.

"That seems very intuitive … but when you have relevance issues, I think there's a tendency sometimes to put those equities in the backseat, hold a mirror up to your consumers and do some shared values lifestyle advertising."

Alongside these programs, however, it is important for Miller Lite to ensure it is at the forefront of customer thinking at the day-to-day level, given many shoppers now have a more functional relationship with light beer.

"Light beer KPIs have really been showing increased vulnerability over time, and this is particularly true for us in terms of imagery," said Dougherty.

"So we're all about making sure that we're maintaining consumer imagery, maintaining top-of-mind awareness, maintaining consideration and loyalty."

Data sourced from Warc

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Cable TV faces 'cord cutting' threat

15 December 2014
SEATTLE: American TV viewers are increasingly turning to the internet as their preferred gateway for content and channels in a trend that has implications for traditional cable providers, a new industry report has revealed.

According to Marchex, a mobile advertising technology company that studied data from 1.1 million consumer phone calls to leading cable providers across the US, the way Americans pay for TV programmes is changing significantly.

The Marchex Institute, the company's data and insights arm, found over a quarter (26%) of new customers only wanted TV via the internet compared with 22% who asked for cable only.

This suggests that Americans are increasingly looking to "cut the cord" with cable providers in order to stream their favourite TV shows over the internet, the study concluded.

Furthermore, nearly 40% asked providers about opting for specific channels, suggesting more TV viewers now want flexible packages that allow them to cherrypick content.

Of those consumers, nearly half (47%) wanted premium channels, especially HBO, while sports fans were five times more likely to ask for ESPN than Fox Sports (20% versus 4%).

Interestingly, in a finding that should provide a degree of comfort for cable providers, the report found the sports category to be "critical" in leaving fans largely unable to "cut the cord".

Chen Zhao, director of analytics at the Marchex Institute, warned cable providers that they need to adapt because change is crucial to their future success.

"Cable companies are coming face-to-face with the threat of disruption," she said. "Our data shows that providers need to start addressing pressing consumer demands; otherwise, they risk losing real market share when people decide to cut the cord for good."

She went on to tell Business Insider: "it's clear that consumers want very specific things from their cable providers — and, at the most fundamental level, they increasingly just want a reliable internet connection to serve as a gateway to their own channels and choices."


Data sourced from Marchex, Business Insider; additional content by Warc staff

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Indian women are confident in ads

15 December 2014
MUMBAI: The depiction of women in Indian advertising has moved from homely mothers to confident multi-taskers, with marketers increasingly regarding them as an educated, financially independent group that needs to be targeted in its own right.

A report from IAA and Hansa Research, Changing Trends in Portrayal of Women in Indian Advertising, surveyed almost 100 senior professionals in advertising and marketing to assess gender stereotyping and the impact of communications that challenged this.

The most popular description of the portrayal of women was energetic (94%), followed by multitasking (93%), modern (87%) and self-confident (86%).

A gender divide was evident, however, as female professionals strongly believed the portrayal to be more about the energetic and multitasking aspects, while the male professionals thought the portrayal was modern and self-confident.

And opinions were split on whether these depictions reflected women's status in wider society, although more leaned towards no than yes. But all accepted that they had changed and that this was a welcome development.

Further, they all expected this change would be sustainable in the long run, as women gained more financial independence and as society itself changed.

Among the campaigns they felt had been especially good at showing women positively was one from jewellery maker Tanishq. This used a bridal story to tackle a number of taboos, first by showing a confident, dark-skinned bride rather than the usual fair, demure choice, and, second, by showing her daughter to indicate she was remarrying, as divorced women are never seen this way.

Another was for Bournvita, where mothers were shown helping their child prepare for various challenges and focusing on the role of inculcating good habits. One of the films forming part of this, Race, also produced one of the highest returns on investment of any Mondelez campaign anywhere.  

So, publicly at least, India's advertising professionals are in the progressive camp. But they will have to guard against a repeat of the infamous ads produced by JWT staff for the Ford Figo in early 2013.

These were never, the agency stressed, intended for paid publication but when a cartoon image appeared online of three women bound and gagged in the back of a car driven by then Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, the backlash was global.



Data sourced from Indiatelevision.com, New York Times, additional content by Warc staff

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Agility, purpose and innovation in 2015

12 December 2014
LONDON: Next year's successful brands will need to combine agility, purpose and innovation, according to a new Warc report.

These are the overarching themes of the Toolkit 2015 report, produced in association with Deloitte, which highlights the areas that will concern marketers around the world in the course of the coming 12 months.

The need for short-term agility, however, does not sit easily with long-term brand building and marketers do not have the luxury of an either/or choice but will have to find a way to manage both.

For some, the answer has been to develop data-driven initiatives. New Zealand's Westpac Bank, for instance, brought together data and communications to create a single customer view that integrated multichannel customer interactions.

On the agency side, some have moved into product development, as exemplified by McCann Melbourne's work with Australian train company V/Line on Guilt Trips.

Both these examples illustrate the growing interest in 'purpose' – namely, what the brand is there to achieve. "It may be," the Toolkit suggests, "that 'purpose' becomes the way marketers keep an eye on the long term as well as the short."

Purpose is also something of a key concern for Millennials, a group whose media consumption habits – more online, more mobile, more fragmented and more on-demand – differ widely from older generations.

Marketers will have to adopt new media strategies to reach this crucial demographic, but their task will not be made any easier by the constant flow of new products and technologies and the new ad products that follow.

The need to keep abreast of developments and to always assess one's approach was clear during the past year when the likes of Facebook and Twitter regularly tweaked algorithms and ad formats.

But innovation is not restricted to social. One of the big challenges in programmatic will be to move on from discussions about targeting and cost to creative quality. The Toolkit highlights Kellogg as a company that has found this makes a significant difference on ads purchased programmatically and has accordingly realigned creative and media strategies.

The year ahead will also see more marketers taking advantage of innovative research techniques such as neuromarketing as costs fall and as they start to pay more attention to the emotional impact of their marketing initiatives.

Finally, the online-offline debate is becoming increasingly irrelevant as online retailers open physical stores and as offline retailers explore the possibilities of new technologies such as beacons.

Data sourced from Warc

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UK internet economy booms

12 December 2014
LONDON: The UK's internet economy is one of the strongest in the world, according to new figures from regulator Ofcom, but the popularity of social networking sites has dipped sharply in the past year.

The International Communications Market Report 2014, which examines take-up, availability, price and use of communications services across the world's major countries – including the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia, the US, China and Japan – found that the UK had the highest e-commerce spending among the major nations surveyed.

Consumers paid almost £2,000 on average online for goods last year. This was significantly more than the second-highest market, Australia, where people spent £1,356 per head.

Further two-fifths (40%) of advertising spending in the UK was online, more than any of the other countries analysed.

This state of affairs has been made possible in part by the high level of superfast broadband coverage, to which nearly 8 in 10 UK homes have access. "The internet has never been more important to the lives of people in this country, and the demand for better connections keeps rising," said Ed Richards, Ofcom chief executive.

The report also highlighted some significant shifts in how consumers are using the internet, with the proportion accessing weekly what might be termed 'traditional' social networking sites falling from 65% in September 2013 to 56% in October 2014.

The same trend was observed to a lesser extent in the US, Japan and China, and Ofcom attributed this development to the rise of other social media which do not involve networks of connections, such as online video sites and instant messaging.

But the French, Italians and Spanish all said they were doing more social networking this year than last.

In any case, social networks remain the most popular internet activity for smartphone users. Among all those who access the internet on their phone in the UK, 64% use social networks, ahead of the next most popular activity of reading online news (44%).

Data sourced from Ofcom; additional content by Warc staff

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Instagram acquisition pays off

12 December 2014
NEW YORK: Instagram, the photo-sharing app, has gained 100m new users in the past nine months, putting it ahead of Twitter for the first time while keeping a younger demographic within the orbit of its owner, Facebook.

"Instagram can engage generations of people that may not be on Facebook yet," CEO Kevin Systrom told the Wall Street Journal. It has also proved a draw for younger Facebook users who are spending more time on newer mobile apps.

"Mark [Zuckerberg] is very good at understanding that you have to have multiple offerings," Systrom observed, with messaging app WhatsApp and virtual reality headset Oculus Rift, having been added to the Facebook stable during 2014.

But in the long term, the real value of Instagram to its owner was going to be in the advertising space where it needed to become profitable.

"We're doing advertising in a fairly unique way," said Systrom. "It's brand advertising – we're seeing a lot of resonance with advertisers because of that."

Instagram only started selling advertising around six months ago, and while no hard figures were available, he said the results so far were promising.

"We've told everyone we're taking it slow on purpose because we don't want to alienate the community that is so important to Instagram's growth," he explained. So campaigns have to have high-quality imagery that fits with the Instagram aesthetic.

"It's far more important for us to continue the growth worldwide than it is for us to over-monetise it too quickly," he added.

Systrom also made clear that he regarded the competition as being television and news rather than other tech businesses. "Instagram is all about connecting people around the world with real-time information," he said. "I think about how we're competing for dollars not with Twitter and Google in the long run, not even Snapchat; I'm thinking print and TV."

At a conference earlier this year, Jim Squires, Instagram's director/market operations, outlined how traditional media were an inspiration for the app, as he advised advertisers: "Think about what you're doing in other mediums like TV, or magazines, or even other digital mediums, where it is true brand [advertising] and you want that broad reach."


Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff

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Quality print attracts advertising

12 December 2014
NEW YORK: Listicles can only take a publisher so far, and ultimately quality will win out over quantity, especially in the print medium, according to a leading industry figure.

"The relative value of print to certain clients in a digitally discursive age – it has to be quality print – is increasing," stated Robert Thomson, global chief executive of News Corp, publisher of the Wall Street Journal and the Times, in remarks reported by The Australian.

He told an audience at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference there were signs that advertisers were having second thoughts about the effectiveness of digital advertising and pointed to a trend for tech advertisers to invest in print ads with the Wall Street Journal.

"The preconception would be tech is a digital play," he said. "Well, tech people know more about digital than anyone and are advertising in print."

Thomson also took the opportunity to have a swipe at the current preponderance of listicles. "There is so much rubbish that is passed off as journalism," he said. "There's a numerical limit to numerical headlines like '17 Ways to Keep Your Cat Happy'."

He argued that advertisers would increasingly ask themselves if they wanted to be seen next to these types of stories and described Buzzfeed, the market leader in this field, as "a really strange place".

This type of "so-called journalism" was in fact, he suggested, simply a phase. "When you look at how trends evolve, people freeze a frame at a time of exponential evolution and you just get things wrong," he said.

Thomson expected that "over a period, instead of this quantification of content, you will see a greater emphasis on quality".

"We're going to invest in digital nous and we're going to trust audiences and advertisers will want intensity and affinity with quality and not guilt by association," he said.

A similar point was made in a Carat blog by Ella Dolphin, group publishing director at Hearst Magazines UK, who noted that "click-bait or the one-hit-wonder stuff … is starting to wear thin".

Her pitch was for more branded content in the safety of a magazine environment rather than risking "the Wild West" of beauty bloggers and vloggers.

Data sourced from The Australian, Huffington Post; additional content by Warc staff

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Agencies at risk from media owners

12 December 2014
SHANGHAI: The media world has changed so completely that the traditional role of agencies is in danger of being usurped by media owners, according to a leading industry figure.

Richard Lee, CMO for PepsiCo and Tingyi Asahi Beverages in China, told Thoughtful China that agencies faced a threat from major internet businesses such as Tencent and YouKu which "have the capacity and capability to do one-stop shopping for brands".

He explained: "You can brief them about your brand positioning and your needs and they come back with a creative idea. And they have the means to produce them [ads] and even to place them."

And with so many people possessing mobile phones, taking pictures and passing them around to friends, "theoretically every single person can be a director, can be an advertising agency even".

Part of the problem, he argued, was that the creative teams in agencies were proficient – "well most of them are" – in the field of traditional TV advertising but they were less well versed in dealing with new digital areas such as social media.

Brands themselves had to take charge in social, he said. "Brands have to step up and have a clear point of view, a clear perspective on what the brand is doing with consumers and also with communities … Brands have to take a leadership role, they cannot delegate to agencies."

He saw the agency role changing to what he described as a "3C model", where they acted as consultant, curator and co-ordinator for a brand.

He added a fourth C – compensation – which he said also needed to change, "from a fixed retainer fee to a flexible structure based on performance". And he suggested exploring alternative models such as profit sharing, an approach he indicated that digital platforms were open to.

He further advocated streamlining both global agencies and brands, as the sheer size of many meant that "no-one is articulating a clear point of view of what the brand should be".

Data sourced from Thoughtful China; additional content by Warc staff

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Tata Motors plans drive on youth

12 December 2014
NEW DELHI: Tata Motors is planning to make its mark in the passenger vehicle segment with an aggressive drive to recruit younger buyers, a leading executive has said.

Mayank Pareek, the newly-appointed president of the company's passenger vehicle business, outlined the need for a new strategy to the Economic Times, as almost half the country's population was born after 1990. They had a different ethos to an older generation and did not necessarily retain that group's goodwill towards the brand as "they have not seen what Tata Motors is".

He has accelerated product development, with two products a year aimed at the younger market, "with extremely exciting design cues, high on performance and continuity with connectivity".

With the products in place, Pareek is now focused on starting "a big youth connect programme … to catch the pulse of the youth."

To this end he envisages "[going] to all the places where these 20-25, 25-30 kids are: corporate campuses, Tidal Park at Gurgaon, IT parks in Pune."

And as well as being physically present, "we want to be big on social media … engage them in conversation as we go along, do crowd sourcing, pick their brains, make them partner in your growth".

In the future he thought he could also "take on some of these kids as our brand ambassadors".

Targeting youth forms part of Pareek's wider marketing approach, which he explained was based around segmented marketing. Because of the diverse nature of the country, he argued that marketers too often took a scattergun approach when in fact "sniper fire works very well ... but the trick is to identify the right target".

The other major strand is to expand the number of dealerships. "A customer won't travel 100km to buy a car from you," he pointed out. "You have to be close to the customer. When you are close, you also understand their requirements better and it helps you to serve them better."

Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff

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Mcommerce is one third of ecommerce

11 December 2014
LONDON: Mobile accounts for almost one third of global ecommerce transactions, according to a new report which argues that consumers have long since moved beyond using the device just for research.

The study, State of Mobile Commerce Q4 2014, from performance marketing technology business Criteo is based on an analysis of individual transaction-level data from more than 3,000 ecommerce, retail and travel advertisers globally. Overall, some 30% of ecommerce transactions are now conducted via mobile.

Japan and Korea are the most advanced in this regard, with figures of 49% and 45% respectively. At the other end of the scale are the emerging markets of Russia (20%) and Brazil (10%).

The UK is the leader in western markets, with 41% of transactions from mobiles. The rest are below the global average, led by Spain on 28%, followed by the US (27%), Germany (26%), Netherlands (24%), Italy (24%) and France (20%).

The UK also ranked as one of the most successful countries in the west when it came to conversion rates. With the US operating as a benchmark on 100, the UK scored 123 with Germany on 136.

Japan (202) and Korea (161) were again far ahead of the rest, helped the report said, by the fact that advertisers there have been delivering transactional mobile websites for longer.

Another significant difference between Asia and the West was that the former much preferred to shop via smartphone while for the latter tablets and smartphones were running roughly equal in many markets or, in the case of the UK, tablets were significantly ahead.

Jonathan Wolf, chief product officer at Criteo, said that a lack of information about mobile commerce had led many marketers to underestimate the opportunity it presented.

"Mobile is now about purchasing not just researching," he said, adding that "there are huge opportunities for ecommerce businesses to capture increasing sales via mobile devices, particularly in the retail and travel industries."

For the future he expected that mobile would soon come to account for 50% of all transactions. "Retailers better optimise mobile sites for conversion," he warned.

Data source from Criterio; additional content by Warc staff

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Consumer confidence low across Europe

11 December 2014
LONDON: The bloom of consumer confidence seen across Europe in the spring and summer has long gone, with latest data from a tracker survey charting a decline into negative territory for most of the region.

YouGov's EuroTrack survey, which tracks economic sentiment across seven European nations, asks people in each if they expect their country's economy to get better or worse over the next 12 months. 

Taken as a net score (subtracting the percentage who expect the economy to get worse from those who expect it to get better), economic optimism in most countries generally rose at the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014, but has fallen since then.

The Nordic countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland) averaged together reached +4 in April, but have since fallen back to -22.

Germany may be Europe's economic powerhouse in terms of its regional GDP share, but economic optimism is lacking, having peaked at +5 in February before sliding deep into negative territory at -24.

During the lifetime of this tracker, France has never managed to return a positive net score, its high of -41 coming in August 2013, although it came close to matching that in April 2014 with a net score of -46. The current figure of -56 was the lowest of any nation.

The UK hit a high of +25 in July, but had slipped back down to +1 in November. It was the only territory to register a positive net score, but this marked a sharp decline in confidence in the space of only a few months.

Elsewhere, the seventh quarterly iteration of ad agency JWT's Austerity Index highlighted a gender gap in how UK consumers viewed the performance of the economy.

Thus, for example, 28% of women felt the UK economy was in a recovery, compared to 41% of men. And 58% of women were dissatisfied with the government's measures to manage the economy, versus 47% of men.

At a more personal level, 46% of women and 38% of men had less than £50 in their bank accounts at the end of the month, while 77% of women and 69% of men had made a financial sacrifice to make ends meet.


Data sourced from YouGov, JWT; additional content by Warc staff

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Mondelez incubator delivers results

11 December 2014
SYDNEY: Initial results from the Mobile Futures initiative launched back in May by Mondelez have exceeded the hopes of the snack foods giant, with some of the pilots reporting conversion rates of up to 50%.

Five of its brands, including Cadbury Dairy Milk, Marvellous Creations, Cadbury Favourites, Philadelphia cream cheese and belVita breakfast biscuits, partnered with five start-ups for a 90-day program to develop and scale mobile solutions to business problems.

Anthony Ho, head of marketing services for Mondelēz, told Ad News that the conversion rates he was seeing from the pilots were much higher than those for traditional marketing activity and had "surpassed expectations".

One of the issues addressed was that of location-based marketing. BelVita worked with Proximiti on a services platform that delivered personalised content to direct the path to purchase. This achieved click-through rates of 32% and 43% redemption rates of an offer.

A related development, championed by Cadbury Favourites and SkyFii, focused on the use of wifi to engage with people on mobile devices in stores, better understand consumer behaviour and measure purchase conversion. While no specific figures were released, Ad News reported that SkyFii are in talks about how this can be used by Cadbury's brands across Southeast Asia.

Taking sampling into the digital age, Cadbury Marvellous Creations and MyShout came up with a mobile app to gift chocolate bars to friends. The target click through rate was exceeded and an overall claim rate of 11.7% reported.

A new take on content marketing came from Philadelphia and Issue, which, after just 23 days, launched a mini-magazine for mobile and tablet readers, which reached 75,000 people.

Flagship brand Cadbury Daily Milk paired with Snaploader to explore how image recognition and an augmented reality app could bring the brand's range of flavours to life. This got more than 1,100 downloads in the first week.

Data sourced from Ad News; additional content by Warc staff

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Millennial males lead the pack

11 December 2014
NEW YORK: Millennial males are at the vanguard of the digital revolution, and savvy marketers are proving these consumers can be reached with suitably tailored communications.

New research from Nielsen identified this group as spending more time with online video, streaming music services and social media than any other demographic.

Brought up in a digital environment, they are also more likely than older age groups to learn about what companies are doing via social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter or blogs.

During a 30-day period in the last quarter of 2014, seven in ten millennial males engaged in social networking, compared to 38% of older men.

A further 56% downloaded games, while 57% downloaded apps and 51% used a games console, compared with 24%, 36% and 23% for non-millennial men respectively.

Millennial males are a contradictory mix of trusting and cynical. They're more likely than others to trust the information they learn about a company through social media than information offered elsewhere, and they're not so concerned about the amount of personal information those companies are capturing.

But when it comes to advertising, edgy and sarcastic humour resonates highly with them. They also identify with "normal" guys in extreme or exaggerated situations.

Marketers can take advantage of such insights, said Nielsen, to significantly improve their campaigns with suitably tailored messaging. One example comes from the computers and electronics category, where 76% of all impressions aiming to reach millennial males do so successfully, compared with 57% for campaigns aiming to reach the general millennial population.

That success evidently translates into spending, as the average millennial man shops five times a year for electronics, spending around $77 on each trip.

Nielsen also reported that, overall, millennial males spend an average of $2,200 a year in retail, with the key categories being, in addition to electronics, mass merchandisers, home improvement, digital apparel/merchandise and apparel.


Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff

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UGG taps new approach to insights

11 December 2014
BOCA RATON, FL: UGG, the footwear brand, has benefitted from using "aspirational segmentation" which seeks to understand consumers' future wants and needs, rather than simply their current ones.

Tim Twichell, director/consumer insights at Deckers Brands - which owns UGG - discussed its approach to gathering insights at The Market Research Event, an event held by the Institute for International Research (IIR).

"Segmentation is empowering: it allows you to see all of your different audiences … and understand how they're different," he said.

"In the case of UGG, there are people who use the same exact product for very different reasons. And why they buy is very different, and understanding that is important." (For more, see Warc's report: UGG's battle to embrace the value of market research.)

However, given that the firm's designers are generally working on goods that will not be on store shelves for more than a year, addressing their current preferences is of limited usefulness.

By contrast, an "aspirational segmentation" promises to supply future-facing insights by asking customers what they want next, about their ideal products and lifestyle, and how contributors perceived their fashion sense.

That type of model is often employed in the technology space, and attempts to anticipate the ways distinct groups of consumers might react to various possible scenarios, outcomes and products.

UGG developed five different "personas" - including "fashion mavens" and "creative artists" - which could help inform its strategy going forward.

The research process incorporated qualitative and quantitative elements, and even asked select participants to highlight objects and products they liked on Pinterest, the social media platform.

"It was pinning stuff that you are interested in regardless of whether it was in your house or not, which gave us a lot of fodder for this," said Twichell.

In presenting the findings, the company used physical installations containing everything from furniture to art and wine to help bring these segments to life for designers and brand teams.

"They don't want PowerPoint presentations," said Twichell.

Data sourced from Warc

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Indian e-discounts drying up

11 December 2014
NEW DELHI: As Indian consumers chased bargains during another online shopping event, industry figures suggested that prices would soon be a less important factor in the country's ecommerce boom.

The three-day Great Online Shopping Festival (GOSF), promoted by Google, kicked off yesterday with 450 vendors featured, up from 250 last year, and most anticipating sales three times their daily average. More than 5m potential shoppers had registered at the GOSF site ahead of its start.

Nitin Bawankule, director for ecommerce and online classifieds at Google India, told the Financial Express that convenience and choice were now more important reasons than discounts for shoppers to buy online.

That is just as well for the ecommerce companies which have been rapidly built scale with a variety of price-cutting offers and promotions, a business model that is now starting to evolve as they turn their focus to profitability.

'Overall, I would say discounts have to stabilise,' Praveen Sinha, co-founder of fashion portal Jabong, told the Economic Times. 'But I would say that there will be always some discounts there for ecommerce companies as we have the advantage of scale and we don't have the real-estate and overhead costs associated with that of offline retailers.'

In a virtuous circle, one of the most sought-after products during such events are mobile phones, which in turn help drive more online shopping. Google, for example, is using the GOSF to launch its Nexus 6 smartphone.

Bawankule argued that the GOSF could be regarded as setting the trend for the coming year in ecommerce. In 2013, he explained that 45% of users had come from mobile phones. 'At that time the ecommerce players were getting less than 20% of the transactions through mobile phones, so we told the merchants to develop their mobile platforms like apps,' he said. And now ecommerce firms typically see 45% of users coming on mobile platforms.

Data sourced from Economic Times, Financial Express; additional content by Warc staff

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The best customer service is a mix

11 December 2014
NEW YORK: With customer service being identified as an important means of retaining loyalty, marketers should consider extending ideas of customer personas into their own service departments.

Aspect, a supplier of customer engagement solutions, surveyed 627 customer-service decision-makers at senior management level, and conducted qualitative research with a further 17 executives to establish five distinct customer service personas.

These included "The Traditionalist", or someone who is not a big fan of technology and rejects self-service tools in favour of a more personal approach. Just 5% of companies represented by this view strongly agreed that they put more effort into marketing to new customers than they do caring for existing ones.

"The Honcho" is all about management: every member of this group reported that leadership was involved in customer service strategy. But while this persona claims to value the use of technology, they are in fact least likely to use it.

At the other extreme is "The Selfie", who has adopted technology and believe they use it well, although customers might suggest otherwise. That level of self-confidence means most do not expect their company's customer service measures to change much in the medium term.

"The Casualist" lacks just about everything – technology, leadership, metrics and respect for those doing the frontline job. And many people will have experienced "The Stickler", who is big on rules and procedures but does not actually appreciate the customers themselves.

"While there's something to be said for the Traditionalist's dedication to customer care, in their quest to build long lasting relationships through person-to-person interactions, they miss the mark in understanding how technology can help them better serve their customers," Joe Gagnon, svp/general manager Cloud Solutions at Aspect, told Forbes.

Not only were the missing out on efficiencies, they were also in danger of alienating the increasingly important customer segment of millennials.

"The new definition of exceptional customer service is the perfect mix of agent and technology with a healthy dose of self-service," he added.

Data sourced from Aspect, Forbes; additional content by Warc staff

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Warc cuts 2015 adspend forecast

10 December 2014
LONDON: Global advertising spend will increase by 4.8% in 2015 according to Warc's latest International Ad Forecast which has downgraded forecasts for all countries considered except India and the UK.

The total market, which covers 12 countries, has been revised downwards by 0.5 percentage points from Warc's June forecast thanks to a combination of factors, including risks to global economic growth presented by further stagnation in the eurozone, slowing growth in parts of Asia and tension surrounding Ukraine.

The last of these is a contributing factor in the reappraisal of the Russian market, which had started 2014 brightly with the Sochi Winter Olympics. Economic difficulties have since grown on the back of political uncertainty, the falling price of oil and a devalued ruble. The forecast for 2015 has been slashed by 7.2 percentage points to just 2.0%. When considered at constant 2005 prices that equates to a 4.1% decline.

The biggest increases in adspend in 2015 are predicted to come in India (15.1%) and China (10.5%). For the latter, however, there has been a cut of 0.5 percentage points in Warc's forecast, while the former has been revised upwards by 1.6 percentage points on the back of an optimistic economic outlook following this year's general election.

Brazil, the last member of the BRIC community, has also experienced deteriorating economic conditions, and adspend there is now forecast to grow at 3.7% in 2015, a reduction of 4.3 percentage points on the June figure.

The UK is expected to be the third fastest growing market at 6.9%, unchanged from earlier forecasts. Those for the remaining seven countries considered have all been revised downwards slightly, from -0.1 percentage points in the case of the US to -1.0 in the case of Australia.

Looking to the long term, the shift in spend away from traditional channels and towards internet continues. Internet will account for over a third of global adspend next year, up from 9.2% in 2006. By contrast, spend across print media more than halved. Only TV has remained strong over the decade [for traditional media], and is set to remain the largest adspend channel in 2015, taking a global share of 37.1%, up from 35.7% in 2006.

Suzy Young, Data and Journals Director at Warc, commented: "The outlook for adspend is mixed in 2015, with some markets predicted to see significant growth – while growth in others remains muted. Most advertising dollars will still be spent in mature markets – high annual growth rates in emerging markets notwithstanding. For example, while the Indian ad market is expected to grow rapidly, at an estimated US$6.2bn it will still only achieve a 1.5% market share."

Data sourced from Warc

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Research sector is 'resilient'

10 December 2014
LONDON: The winners of this year's MRS Awards demonstrate the research industry's strength and adaptability according to the chief executive of the Market Research Society.

Speaking at an event in London Jane Frost said the awards were "a testament to the resilience of the research sector" and she observed companies "emerging stronger than ever out of the recession".

"Research itself is also evolving with new and innovative agencies, technologies and methodologies bursting onto the scene," she added. "The new techniques demonstrated clearly show how adaptable the sector is and the levels of innovation and creativity is abundant."

The winner of the Grand Prix for Greatest Impact was illustrative of her point. Pharmaceuticals company Amgen and Ipsos MORI undertook "groundbreaking work" with Cultures of secrecy and hiding: A global syndicated ethnographic investigation into patients living with Psoriasis.

This used video recorded by the patients themselves in order to understand the condition, rather than the usual research approach for this patient group which relies on physicians' experiences. An abundance of feedback and support for the project within the paper helped make the submission stand out to the judges.

The Award for Advertising & Media Research went to Channel 4 for 4oD Demographic Targeting. The broadcaster and its partner MTM showed how big data and survey research could come together to revolutionise online advertising.

Using trial ads, 4oD was able to demonstrate that its new targeted product was worth its higher price, while achieving efficiency gains and proving that relevance increases the effectiveness of advertising.

PepsiCo picked up the Award for New Consumer Insights for its use of sustainable research methods to understand how the Brazilian emerging middle classes felt about its advertising and its brand.

Using real-time experience tracking it found that retail touchpoints were far more engaging than TV advertising and changed its marketing emphasis accordingly.

In other groups, Flamingo won the award for Best Agency (with turnover over £20 million), while Nunwood was judged to be the Best Agency with a turnover under £20 million. The Guardian News & Media took the award for Best In-House team.

Warc subscribers can read the winning case studies and finalists here.


Data sourced from MRS; additional content by Warc staff

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Bot fraud quantified

10 December 2014
NEW YORK: A study of bot fraud in the digital advertising industry has found that almost one quarter of video ad impressions and more than half of third party sourced traffic is fraudulent.

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and fraud detection specialist White Ops analysed 181 campaigns from 36 ANA member companies, which were tagged to identify bot fraud – where criminals collect payments from advertisers for non-human impressions. A total of 5.5bn impressions in 3m domains was measured over 60 days in line with industry spending patterns.

"This study confirmed some prior assumptions and fears, but it is not about sowing distrust or policing ecosystem partners," said Michael Tiffany, White Ops CEO. "It's about stopping outright criminal theft." The sums involved are expected to be $6.3bn in 2015.

Video ads were especially at risk, with 23% of video ad impressions attributable to bots compared to just 11% of display ad impressions. This is in part because bot operators are attracted by the higher CPMs available.

The research also found that programmatic display bot traffic averaged 17% and that bot fraud for retargeted ads was 19%.

A particular danger for publishers is buying sourced traffic from a third party as a means to drive additional unique visitors to their site: the bot fraud rate on that sourced traffic was 52%.

Nor could advertisers rely on a publisher's status - the report said that reputation "is no longer a reliable benchmark to predict bot traffic level".

Having highlighted the scale of the problem, Bob Liodice, President and CEO of the ANA stated that "this report identifies specific practices marketers, agencies and publishers can immediately implement to combat fraud and the fraudsters that perpetrate it".

So, for example, one recommendation is to advertise during waking hours, as bot fraud peaks between midnight and 7am, the time when botnet controllers hijack everyday consumers' identities and home machines to conduct ad fraud.

The other 16 recommendations include demanding transparency for sourced traffic, including language on non-human traffic in terms and conditions and announcing your anti-fraud policy to all external partners.

Liodice added that the ANA was committed to the creation of a trustworthy supply chain and invited the entire ecosystem "to collaborate and invest the necessary resources to reinvigorate trust and confidence" in it.

Data sourced from ANA; additional content by Warc staff

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Streaming disrupts linear TV

10 December 2014
NEW YORK: Streaming services such as Netflix are taking audiences from traditional TV and also threatening its business model, according to industry figures.

"The growth of streaming is seen at this point to be the major disruptive force in the media landscape today," according to David Poltrack, chief research officer at CBS.

The New York Times reported his remarks to a recent media and communications conference, where Poltrack outlined new research that showed households with Netflix were watching significantly less traditional television than those homes without it.

Different interpretations, however, were put on the data. Poltrack's view was that while Netflix was competing with TV for viewers, it also offered a new revenue source for licensed content, while the syndication of past shows could also help build an audience for new programming.

"Wouldn't you prefer that your competition relied on old episodes of your programs as opposed to new content from someone else?" he asked. "You have to look at the big picture. Yes, Netflix is a formidable competitor. But they're a valued partner as well."

Not everyone was convinced by this argument. Television viewing has dropped 3% this season and television's share of the total ad market is set to be overtaken by digital in the next couple of years.

"The ratings have just disappeared," said Todd Juenger, a media analyst with Bernstein Research. "You have audiences leaving ad-supported television for non-ad-supported television, and I don't think that they are coming back."

For Netflix, chief content officer Ted Sarandos suggested that TV companies change their business models instead of wringing their hands about a clear trend of people wanting to be able to watch programs on demand or multiple episodes in one sitting.

"If you want to fix the economics of ad-supported television, you have to fix the product," he said. That could mean, for example, cable operators investing in technologies that enable advertisers to insert up-to-date commercials when people are watching TV episodes weeks after they are first broadcast.

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by Warc staff

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Kraft taps agile, addressable marketing

10 December 2014
ORLANDO: Kraft, the food group, believes that adopting "agile and addressable" marketing will help brands thrive in the face of changes in both the media and consumer environment.

Deanie Elsner, evp/cmo of Kraft Foods Group, discussed this topic while speaking at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2014 Masters of Marketing conference.

Having for decades provided a textbook example of how mass-marketing should work, Kraft Foods rapidly recognized that the "spray-and-pray" model of communications was fading into obsolescence.

In its place, according to Elsner, a model is developing where "agile and addressable marketing becomes the new norm." (For more, including case studies, read Warc's exclusive report: Media-agnostic Kraft Foods embraces agile, addressable marketing.)

She went on to outline precisely what this approach entails in practice during a keynote session at the ANA conference.

"It's the right message to the right person at the right moment to drive purchase; it's moving from broad-based, demographically-defined consumers in a medium to individuals, agnostic to the medium," said Elsner.

The main components of this idea involve drawing on big data – especially first-party facts and figures – alongside creating an infrastructure to translate that information into usable insights and generating content.

Kraft – which manufactures brands including Jell-O, Velveeta cheese, Grey Poupon mustard and Planters peanuts – has tested agile and addressable marketing over the last 18 months.

Based on this experience, Elsner revealed that the results had been extremely positive for the company thus far, prompting a wider roll out of this model.

"It's huge double-digit to multiples more effective for us, which is exactly why we're doing it, because we've got to increase the returns on our spend," she said.

"You will see us launch this across our entire company starting in January. And it works."

Data sourced from Warc

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Fairfax joins mobile charge

10 December 2014
SYDNEY: Fairfax Media, one of Australia's leading media companies, is preparing to take major steps into mobile as it focuses on new, high-impact ad formats for that channel.

"It won't be long before we're a mobile-first company," commercial director Tom Armstrong told Ad News, as he stressed the importance of getting the ad formats right.

"It's a huge area of focus for us," he said, adding that "the small banner ads that we've seen to date just aren't really getting any traction … once you get those native formats and those high impact ads, I think you'll see a lot more brands moving into that space."

Other publishers have already moved heavily into native advertising, with, for example, Forbes Media setting up BrandVoice, a premium offering for marketers that allows them to access content creation tools and run their content alongside editorial and user content.

Chief revenue officer Mark Howard told a recent Singapore conference how it was enabling brands to achieve a significant lift in metrics such as favourability, purchase intent and trust.

At the same conference, Mashable's chief strategy officer Adam Ostrow placed the emphasis on winning in the social feed, where brands are competing with friends, families and celebrities as much as other products.

Fairfax is following the Forbes model, launching a brand solutions division to work with editorial and advertisers to explore opportunities across the publishers' core verticals.

"Most marketers today are really trying to understand culture and how their brands play a part in that as opposed to just trying to badge it," remarked Armstrong, who held up Red Bull, Mastercard and Coca-Cola as the current best exponents of this trend.

Creating good content isn't easy, he observed, but that was where publishers could help. "People who do this for a living can really help them [brands] – that's our core expertise."

Data sourced from Ad News; additional content by Warc staff

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Ecommerce boosts Indian luxury market

10 December 2014
HYDERABAD: Ecommerce is expanding the Indian luxury market, as online access and competitive pricing bring hitherto unattainable brands and products within the reach of consumers in the country's lower-tier cities.

Online fashion sales have been one of the drivers of Indian ecommerce, with the sector witnessing some consolidation this year as the major players have acquired, or are seeking to acquire, rivals. Now, niche players are targeting the top end of the market with designer labels and premium products.

"There are two reasons why these e-commerce players will be successful in India," according to Sushmita Balasubramaniam, vice-president at market researcher IMRB International Retail.

"The first is that the Indian luxury consumers come from the tier two and three cities," she told the Economic Times. "Also, the ecommerce facilities will bring better prices to the consumers; this will be seen as one of the advantages of shopping online."

Different models are emerging, with some players opting to develop their own portals, and others to open bricks-and-mortar stores in tandem.

"Tying up with a marketplace model will not work for us though we were approached by a few players," said Nakul Bajaj, founder and CEO at Darveys.com, a portal which retails around 60 high-end accessory brands.

"We retail the products at heavily discounted prices as we tie up with international boutiques that are authorised dealers of the luxury labels and hold inventory which they would like to sell," he explained.

While price is always going to be most important for some consumers, others value service, and it this group that Stylista, a retailer of limited edition designer pieces, is going after.

"We will roll out our brick-and-mortar stores by mid-2015 where customers can try on pieces, meet designers and request customised fit on a product," said co-founder and CEO Avnish Chhabria. Orders, however, will have to be placed online.

Sunjay Guleria, the co-founder of Exclusively.in, originally set up to cater to the overseas Indian market, has ambitions in a different direction. "We would like to become the equivalent of an online mall for luxury products," he said.

Balasubramaniam observed that platforms could focus on differentiation or design, but in the end if they could not offer the touch and feel experience that many shoppers wanted, then "a discernible price advantage will help in compensating for that loss".

Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff

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