Who are the real digital natives?

19 September 2014
LONDON: So-called digital natives are no more likely than other age groups to participate in a variety of key digital behaviours, according to new research.

An analysis of Kantar Media's TGI Clickstream – an in-depth study of consumer offline and online behaviour and characteristics – indicated that the widely-held assumption that 15-24 year olds lead the way in digital adoption, behaviour and spending is wide of the mark.

For example, just less than 30% of this age group have paid to download an app, similar to the proportion of 35-44 year olds who have done so, while the older age group is also significantly more likely to have bought a range of products or services online.

The study suggested that factors such as economic clout and cultural characteristics – a combination that Kantar dubbed Social DNA – are far better predictors of digital behaviour than age.

Thus when it comes to buying holidays or travel online, TGI Clickstream revealed that Digital Natives were actually 22% less likely to do so than the average internet user. Conversely, adults aged 35-64 with high Social DNA (meaning large amounts of cultural and economic capital) were 65% more likely than the average internet user to make such purchases online.

Nor was this simply a consequence of an older age group enjoying higher financial clout. Those 35-64 year olds showing a strong bias towards high cultural (not economic) capital were still 43% more likely to buy holidays and travel online than the average internet user.

The same pattern was evident when looking at online purchase of various goods and services. Digital Natives were only 8% more likely than the average internet user to buy music or videos online, whereas 35-64 year olds with high Social DNA were 52% more likely than the average to do so.

Anne Benoist, Director, TGI Insights and Integration, Kantar Media, warned that marketers were in danger of seeing little return on their targeting efforts if they simply assumed young adults were the most valuable digital consumers.

"To truly identify and leverage those consumers who are most engaged with digital and particularly lucrative in a digital environment, it is necessary to get away from notions of age and instead consider the key drivers dictating how consumers make decisions," she said.

Data sourced from Kantar Media; additional content by Warc staff

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Colour impacts mobile ad performance

19 September 2014
TEL AVIV: Marketers have yet another variable to consider when creating mobile ads, as a new study indicates a relation between engagement rates, colour and income.

When mobile ad network Todacell found performance gaps in its multinational campaigns it set out to understand the reasons, running a series of mathematical and computational algorithms as it analysed the most common mobile ad targeting parameters such as geography, device, operating system and connection type.

None of these were able to explain why ads had performed differently, but Todacell did find a direct correlation between a country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita and the performance of mobile display ads in relation to the colors used in the ad's creative.

In particular, mobile ad creative with bright, multi-coloured images performed better in lower GDP per capita countries such as Kenya, India, Burma and Nicaragua and worse in higher GDP per capita countries including the US, Denmark, Qatar and Singapore.

Conversely, mobile ad creative with minimalist or muted colours performed better in higher GDP countries and worse in emerging, lower GDP countries.

Both types of ads performed equally well in countries in the middle of the GDP per capita range, such as Argentina, Russia, Poland and Brazil.

"Mobile display ads that succeed in Cleveland should also succeed in Copenhagen, but probably won't succeed in Casablanca or Cairo", noted Todacell.

A further discovery was that ad performance was also affected by the number of shades or grades of the specific colours used. Thus, consumers engaged more with a mobile display ad if at least one or two of the colours (usually the ad's background) appeared in several shades or grades of that colour than with ads having one shade of each colour, regardless of the country's GDP per capita.

"These results aren't driven exclusively by income but also by culture," said Amir Goldstein, Todacell CEO. "Even in lower income areas in high GDP countries, the mobile ads with the minimalist / muted colours performed better than the ones with brighter colours. We saw the same in affluent areas of lower GDP per capita countries."

Todacell claimed that matching ads to GDP per capita could increase CTRs by up to 150% and ROI by up to 50%.

Earlier this year, research around digital auto advertising also established colour as a potentially important factor in a campaign. Those with a white or black background achieved fewer clicks but more conversions.


Data sourced from Todacell; additional content by Warc staff

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Owned media in measurement spat

19 September 2014
SYDNEY: As brand owners move more of their spending into owned media, leading Australian media agency executives have questioned the value of existing expenditure data which relates only to paid media.

Mat Baxter, head of the UM media agency, argued that if one relied solely on figures from the Standard Media Index (SMI) – which collates media agency spend data to build a picture of the overall market – the impression left was of a market in decline, "but the truth is that the market in terms of overall spend has never been more buoyant".

"SMI has relevance," he told Ad News, "but it is half the picture, the measure of health of paid media only, not a proxy for industry or marketing health."

Earlier this year a report from PwC and the Australian Marketing Institute highlighted the fact that two thirds of marketers were shifting their spend towards owned media, while one quarter planned to allocate between 20% and 30% of their budget building their own media channels.

"You have to question the long-term viability of these current measures," said Baxter, who claimed that his staff's time was split more or less evenly between paid media and work on "things that don't fall into traditional media".

Fellow media agency boss Ian Perrin of ZenithOptimedia, agreed that SMI was "a blunt measure" but took a more nuanced view of developments. He pointed out that certain categories – banking, insurance, automotive – had close direct relationships with customers and could therefore "afford to spend less on traditional paid advertising by activating these relationships", an option not so readily available to others.

"There are other factors at play as well," he added, "most noticeably business and consumer confidence as a result of the budget."

But no-one has yet come up with a satisfactory solution to assessing the value of owned media and Baxter himself could only offer the idea of a regular survey of CMOs asking whether they were spending more in owned during the most recent quarter.

Whatever the figures one puts on owned media, Robin Bonn, of content agency Seven argued in Marketer Leader that paid and owned media complemented each other. Marketers should be looking to better integrate the two, he said, offering a four-stage approach: tell the brand's story, continually deliver content, optimise distribution, and work with specialist agencies.

Data sourced from Ad News; additional content by Warc staff

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India's luxury brands look to mass media

19 September 2014
NEW DELHI: Luxury brands in India are experimenting with the use of mass media, including upmarket cinemas and high-definition TV channels, to reach a larger set of potential consumers.

According to Gautam Dutta, chief operating officer at film exhibitor PVR, the share that luxury brands now contribute to the company's income from advertising stands at 20% and growing, up from almost nothing a few years ago.

He listed luxury carmakers and watch brands, luxury real estate projects and fashion brands among the advertisers who were running campaigns in its more swanky outlets. "The guy who can pay Rs 1,500 for a movie ticket is a discerning audience and the right target for these companies and brands," he told the Economic Times.

It was a sentiment that chic jewellery designer Nirav Modi agreed with. "Everyone watches films in India," he said, making it a great way to reach a wider audience. "But what you show and where has to be chosen wisely," he cautioned.

Where once luxury brands might have restricted themselves to the pages of luxury magazines or airport billboards, some have gone so far as to embrace television. Forest Essentials, for example, a cosmetics brand that markets itself as luxury Ayurveda, is sponsoring three programmes on high-definition TV channels for its next campaign.

"It is possible to break down the kind of audience we want to reach out to rather than addressing a large crowd," said Samrath Bedi, executive director of Forest Essentials. He argued that the variety of quality content now available on TV meant the medium could offer the right value to luxury brands.

And The Collective, a multi-brand retail store chain selling premium and luxury merchandise, is considering putting out ads through digital video recorders. "It is just a thought at the moment, but would be an interesting way to target the consumer who is not aware about the brand," said marketing head Amit Pandey.

"The view is that a lot of wastage happens on mass media, but with so much new money in India, there is a huge opportunity to tap the new consumers," he added.

This trend is being driven in part by the spread of wealth beyond the major cities. As the Financial Express reported, non-metro regions account for around 45% of growth opportunities for luxury brands. And these new markets are also leading an increasing number of brands to localise their products or even customise them for occasions such as weddings.


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

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US millennials like Chinese brands

19 September 2014
CHICAGO: Chinese brands have a "tangible opportunity" to establish themselves in the US market, a new study has claimed, as millennials are open-minded to products from overseas, ranking China ahead of neighbouring Mexico or tech/car exporter Korea.

Monogram Group, a branding agency advising Chinese manufacturers on building US brands, surveyed more than five hundred 21-32 year olds, testing their attitudes and buying patterns as regards China and Chinese brands.

While most (96%) preferred to buy US goods, China featured strongly among countries this group would buy from, with 61% willing to buy items originating there. This was just behind Germany and Japan (both 67%), both of which have a long history of making high quality products.

In fact, 58% of respondents said they would likely buy a Chinese branded product in the next three years.

When asked specifically about their thoughts on purchasing goods from China, a majority (84%) said they were willing to buy such products. And twice as many would think about buying brands they recognised (28%) as compared to ones they didn't (13%).

"The major takeaway from this report is that the popularity of Chinese products exceeds those from other major markets, and the willingness to buy is even stronger if the brand is recognised," said Scott Markman, Monogram president.

"Our research demonstrates with proper brand development, broad online/offline distribution and service/warranty support on par with established global brands, Chinese brands have a tangible opportunity to gain a foothold in the US market in the near future," he added.

This was especially true in certain categories, notably office products, electronics and light bulbs, where more than 50% of respondents indicated a willingness to purchase even though their awareness of brands in these categories was negligible. Lenovo (51%) and Haier (22%) had the highest awareness levels.

Set against these optimistic prospects for Chinese brands, however, was the continuing perception that Chinese products are low quality and low price. Some 47% held this view, compared to just 26% who thought they were good value products.

Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff

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NFL sponsors under microscope

19 September 2014
NEW YORK: A raft of allegations of domestic violence by NFL players – four have been in the headlines this week – has left brands questioning their associations with the sport, with teams and with individuals.

The latest incident to surface involves Arizona Cardinals number two running back Jonathan Dwyer, who is being held on charges of aggravated assault.

For now, most advertisers have simply condemned the players' conduct and given assurances they will monitor the situation. Indra Nooyi, the head of PepsiCo, issued a statement in which she said she was "deeply disturbed that the repugnant behaviour of a few players and the NFL's acknowledged mishandling of these issues, is casting a cloud over the integrity of the league".

PepsiCo's Gatorade sports drink is handed out to players at games, while the company also has NFL marketing rights for other brands in its portfolio, including Pepsi-Cola and Lay's.

Nike, which supplies jerseys to all 32 NFL teams, is one of the few brands to have taken any direct action, scrapping or suspending deals with two of the players involved.

The Wall Street Journal quoted one major advertiser as saying, "Obviously, we don't condone violence against women, but how is it the right thing to do for our shareholders to pull out of the NFL?"

All brands are facing the same dilemma in a fragmented media landscape where sports are one of the few areas guaranteed to bring in a large live TV audience. "In a world where you can't get a big audience anymore, where the hell are you going to go?" asked the advertiser.

WSJ columnist Jason Gay noted how the NFL had successfully turned a five-month season into a year-long obsession and thought itself invulnerable to criticism. But now "all the overlooked hypocrisies are up for review. Parties that have long benefited from the league's largesse – politicians, sponsors, media surrogates – are experiencing epiphanies of doubt".

Possibly one of the league's biggest challenges will be holding onto female viewers – and by extension the advertisers targeting them – who now account for 45% of the audience. A failure to deal with issues around domestic violence could lead to many women turning off, sports business analysts have said.

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

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Jones New York changes with the times

19 September 2014
TORONTO: Jones New York, the fashion brand, is aiming to serve women who are now "expected to do it all" – a goal reflecting its decades of experience in meeting evolving customer needs.

Carrie Kirkman, the president of Jones Apparel Group Canada – a subsidiary of the iconic Jones Group – discussed this subject at a recent conference.

"Women have changed the world. From the halls of power to the executive suite, they've earned their seat at the head of the table," she said.

"But they haven't traded in any of their traditional roles." (For more, including more details of how the firm keeps pace with its customers, read Warc's exclusive report: How Jones New York fine tunes its brand, decade by decade.)

Today, Kirkman asserted, "women are doing more than ever: supporting families, balancing complex lives, keeping up with the busy lifestyle."

Were this task not challenging enough on its own terms, she added, "They're expected to do it all with style and ease."

With a history spanning more than four decades, Jones New York began its journey by offering style at accessible prices to an increasingly empowered audience in the 1970s.

During the 1980s, its audience continued to progress professionally – as shown by power suits and pinstripe – and the focus moved to tailored suits for career-focused clients.

Providing an "expensive look for less" was one priority in the 1990s, while organics and bright colours were central in the 2000s, as the valid work-wear options expanded further.

In summing up the main trend for the 2010s, Kirkman pointed to "the empowerment of women everywhere."

And that means Jones has been required to respond again. "The brand idea has continued to evolve and it is really about today," she asserted.

"It's classic, accessible, and trusted because today's working woman deserves good quality for a value and a fit that works for her."

Data sourced from Warc

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Sony wins Grand Prix at Euro Effies

18 September 2014
BRUSSELS: A campaign to promote the Sony Playstation PS4 has won the top award at the 2014 EACA Euro Effies, with Audi, Evian and Unilever among the other big name brands to be recognised.

In addition to the Grand Prix award for Sony, a total of six Golds, ten Silvers and seven Bronzes were awarded at the gala event in Brussels, which rewarded marketing communications campaigns that achieved success in two or more European markets.

Warc subscribers can view all the winning entries.

The campaign for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, created by agencies OMD and 180 Amsterdam, set out to position the PS4 Playstation as the "next generation" console of choice for gamers in France, Spain and the UK.

Unlike previous models, the PS4 was positioned as being for gaming only and focused on digital, with increased activity nearer the launch that included TV and cinema. European sales increased 20% and the PS4 became market leader in the UK.

Unilever, the FMCG multinational, was awarded Gold for a successful campaign to promote its Axe Apollo male grooming product in German-language countries.

Other Gold winners included Evian, the French mineral water brand, German automaker Audi, SSE Riga Alumni Association – the Latvian branch of the Stockholm School of Economics – Hornbach Baumarkt, the German DIY brand, and Expedia, the online travel agent.

Evian was recognised for connecting the brand with youth and had digital consumers particularly in mind, Audi promoted its A3 Sportback marque by appealing to a fast-paced generation of young males, while SSE Riga Alumni Association concentrated on social media to increase engagement and donations.

Hornbach Baumarkt launched a limited edition hammer that created such demand that they were all sold out within just three days in Germany and Austria.

And Expedia, the final Gold winner, used an emotional "travel yourself interesting" campaign to meet the dual challenge of increased competition in the UK while at the same time building brand awareness in France.

Silvers were awarded to Atlantic Grupa, Philips Personal Care, Unilever, Kia Motors Europe, Audi, Procter & Gamble, BMW, Vodafone, Coca-Cola and Lexus Europe.

Meanwhile, Bronzes were taken by Opel, Universal Music, Daimler, GlaxoSmithKline, Procter & Gamble, Ford Europe and Beiersdorf, the personal care company.

Warc subscribers can view all the Gold, Silver and Bronze-winning entries.

Data sourced from Warc

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Europe leads marketing confidence

18 September 2014
LONDON: Marketing confidence in Europe outpaced the global average and every other region in September to record its highest ever value of 60.2 points, according to the latest Warc Global Marketing Index (GMI).

Europe's headline GMI figure, which assesses marketers' expectations in three key areas – trading conditions, marketing budgets and staffing levels – increased 4.2 points from August. This also represented a year-on-year rise of 5.3 points.

Warc's GMI is a unique monthly indicator of the state of the global marketing industry which tracks conditions among marketers within their organisation and region. A reading of 50 indicates no change while 60+ indicates rapid growth.

Globally, September's headline GMI measure recorded an index value of 56.4 (+2.0 points since August) while it was 56.0 in the Americas (+0.8 points) and 54.5 in Asia Pacific (+2.7 points).

Turning to the three components of the GMI, European marketers expressed the most confidence about general trading conditions, as the index recorded its highest ever regional monthly value of 64.8 (+3.8 points).

While trading conditions in the rest of the world could not match those in Europe, the respective indices for the Americas (58.0) and Asia Pacific (55.9) also signalled steady improvement in September.

Europe also recorded the highest component reading for marketing budgets. The index in Europe was 58.7 (+3.2 points), equalling its previous record high value in December 2013.

Asia Pacific also recorded a significant index rise of 3.6 points to 51.8, signalling net budget growth for the region once again after a dip in August.

The index for marketing budgets dipped 2.9 points in the Americas to 51.3, causing the global average to record flat growth and a value of 53.3 in September.

However, the third component of the GMI showed that staffing levels remained the strongest in the Americas (58.8), followed by Europe (57.0) and Asia Pacific (55.9). The global average was 56.8.

Commenting on the findings, Suzy Young, data and journals director at Warc, said: "The headline GMI rose by 2 points in September, following four successive months of reduced growth." This would send "a positive signal to the wider global economy", she added.

Data sourced from Warc

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Americans see a connected future

18 September 2014
SANTA CLARA, CA: The great majority of US consumers believe that new technology and mobile connectivity will transform their domestic and working lives by 2025, but they're concerned about the security implications, a new survey has found.

The Safeguarding the Future of Digital America in 2025 report was released by McAfee, the computer security firm, and based its findings on responses from more than 1,500 US adults aged 21 to 65.

Within just 11 years, more than three-quarters (77%) of Americans expect smart watches will be the most common device while 70% believe wearable devices will be used, with the added ability to send health updates directly to a doctor.

A similar proportion (72%) think connected kitchen appliances will be an everyday household item and 60% anticipate their refrigerator will add food automatically to a running grocery list when a product runs low.

A significant majority (84%) expect their home security systems to be connected to their mobile device and more than half anticipate their home will have the facility to speak or read to them.

American consumers also expect major changes in the workplace in just over a decade, and the report warned these developments could affect cyber-security.

About a third (29%) of respondents expect they will be working from a home office, 60% think artificial intelligence and robotics will assist them in their jobs, while 69% expect they will be able to access work data via facial or voice recognition.

"It is vital that Americans recognise that the world of work will be dramatically different within a decade, in changing workplaces, the role of robots, and the importance of online reputation," said Gary Davis, McAfee's head of consumer security.

"We will all need to be very careful to ensure that our online activities boost rather than detract from our professional reputations," he added.

Reinforcing this view, the survey also found that 68% of US consumers are worried about the state cybersecurity will be in by 2025 and 64% are particularly concerned about identify theft, fraud and financial theft.

More than three-quarters (77%) fear their families could fall victim to hackers while 46% believe families will be affected by cyberbullies.

"As concerns about security rise, we will likely shift in the ways in which we provide authentication," noted Ross Dawson, a leading futurist, who said this may include voice, eye, or facial recognition.

The McAfee survey was published a week after research firm Gartner forecast that a typical family home could contain several hundred smart devices by 2022.

Data sourced from McAfee, Gartner; additional content by Warc staff

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China faces auto 'brand migration'

18 September 2014
BEIJING: Three-quarters of Chinese car owners, representing a huge market of 90m vehicles, are prepared to switch brands and they are focusing on just a few marques that have built a good reputation for reliability, a new survey has revealed.

According to a poll of 2,400 Chinese car owners by the Boston Consulting Group's Center for Consumer and Customer Insight, nearly 85% of those owning Chinese auto brands say they plan to switch.

But foreign brands can also expect to be affected because 70% of consumers owning foreign "volume" cars – defined as costing between $13,000 and $41,000 – intend to switch, while 57% of foreign premium car owners plan to do the same.

This "great brand migration" will affect every segment of China's auto market, the report warned, and securing customer loyalty will be essential.

Marco Gerrits, the head of BCG's automotive sector in Greater China, said that many automakers had focused on winning over first-time buyers, but now both Chinese and foreign brands should not take their gains for granted.

"These findings suggest that the next great battle in China's car market will be waged over customer loyalty," he predicted.

But a handful of foreign brands – all of them German – stand to benefit from this customer loyalty volatility.

Among those consumers who plan to trade up their Chinese-built volume car to a foreign volume brand, 40% say they intend to buy a Volkswagen model.

And nearly 90% of those who own a foreign volume brand car say they are likely to buy an Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz.

"The stakes are particularly high in China because it tends to be a winner-take-all market," said Donald Zhang, a BCG project leader and co-author of the report.

"Chinese car buyers seem to be converging on a handful of brands that have solid reputations for being safe choices," he added.

Data sourced from BCG; additional content by Warc staff

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A third of shoppers use mobile in-store

18 September 2014
BOSTON: More than one-third (34%) of American shoppers carry out retail-related activities on their mobile device when they're in a store, according to a new report.

Of those that use their mobile device in-store, almost a quarter (23%) go on to use a social network while, more importantly, over half (54%) use their social networks for product or brand discovery as well as feedback rather than just for socialising.

Specifically, shoppers use a social network in-store for discovery (39%), socialising (29%), entertainment (17%) and peer feedback (15%).

These are the key findings in the Getting Mobile Right report from Millward Brown Digital, the digital solutions provider, which claims that its study highlights the "key mobile business questions that should be top of mind for marketers".

"Consumers have a different type of relationship with their mobile devices – it's an inherently more personal experience," explained Stephen DiMarco, president of Millward Brown Digital.

"Therefore, mobile changes the dynamics of relationships that consumers have with brands," he said.

Mobile shoppers are also active users of apps, the report said. Almost half (46%) use both apps and browsers with almost three-quarters (72%) relying on no more than five apps installed on their devices.

The report went on to state that the average mobile advertising campaign is two to four times more effective than PC-based online campaigns with regard to brand awareness, brand favourability and purchase intent.

In order to make the most of this, Millward Brown advised advertisers that the most effective mobile display ads feature consistent branding, use a simple colour palette, and concentrate on a focused message with a perceived value to the consumer.

Mobile ads should "intrigue consumers by starting a story but not telling the whole story", the report said, and they work best when they combine video with an interactive layer while using clear messages to secure an emotional response.

Data sourced from Millward Brown Digital; additional content by Warc staff

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Loblaw's marketing gets personal

18 September 2014
TORONTO: Loblaw, Canada's biggest food retailer, is tapping into customer data to identify its most valuable shoppers and target them with tailored deals and marketing messages, helping it achieve "mass customisation".

Uwe Stueckmann, the svp/marketing for Loblaw Companies Ltd, discussed this aspect of the organisation's strategy at a recent conference.

And he reported that mass-marketing model, which effectively treats every customer in the exactly the same way, is out-of-date.

"That logic is simply no longer relevant in today's day and age, and our customer expects more than that from us," said Stueckmann. (For more, including details of Loblaw's pioneering private-label strategy, read Warc's exclusive report: Loblaw's Canadian power strike: mass customisation for generics.)

"Our best customers expect more than that from us. And our best customers deserve more than that," he said.

Some 13m consumers across Canada visit one of the company's stores – which operate under various banners – each week.

Drilling down into the data provided as its clientele complete transactions has allowed Loblaw to make much smarter decisions regarding how to reach out to its most valuable patrons.

"They swipe cards when they pay for their purchase, and that generates a data stream that we can use to be much more intelligent about identifying those customers that are worth more to us," said Stueckmann.

Having done so, Loblaw can then decide which marketing messages or promotions, for example, would be most relevant to these individuals.

"Ultimately," he continued, "the data leads to the notion of mass customisation – changing up the unit of advertising or the unit of marketing from a brand in a market to a brand and a customer."

To aid this process, Loblaw unveiled the PC Plus loyalty program in May 2013. This platform supplies personalised offers to shoppers via a mobile app.

With over 6m members signed up to the initiative to date, this tool has greatly assisted the company's mission to move towards one-to-one marketing.

Data sourced from Warc

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Strong growth for Indian E&M sector

18 September 2014
NEW DELHI: India's entertainment and media (E&M) sector is on course for delivering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15% between 2013 and 2018, which will value it at Rs 227,000 crore by 2018, a new industry report has forecast.

The India Entertainment and Media Outlook 2014 report, a joint study by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and PwC, the international consultancy, said the market was worth Rs 112,044 crore in 2013 and grew 19% over the previous year.

Television, the largest segment, recorded year-on-year growth of about 15% on the back of subscription revenues, but the internet was the fastest growing segment.

Internet access recorded annual growth of 47% while internet advertising grew 26%, the report said, while noting that internet access has already overtaken the print segment to be the second-largest segment for overall E&M sector revenues.

Internet advertising is expected to become the third-largest segment by 2018, accounting for about 16% of total E&M advertising revenues, although TV and print are expected to remain the largest segments for advertising revenues.

The film segment is also forecast to deliver a solid CAGR of 12% over the forecast period as it increases revenues from the sale of cable and satellite rights while increasing takings from the box office both in India and abroad.

Smita Jha, leader of entertainment and media practice at PwC India advised industry practitioners to focus on their customers as much as new technology.

"Digital success does not just necessarily mean better, improved technology. It means applying a digital mindset to build the right behaviours among industry stakeholders," she said

"This includes getting ever closer to the customer – across the entire organisation, and in everything it does."

Data sourced from CII-PwC; additional content by Warc staff

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Olympics depress US quarterly adspend

17 September 2014
NEW YORK: Total advertising expenditure in the US grew by just 0.7% to $35.6bn in Q2 2014, compared with growth of 5.7% in the first quarter, the latest industry data from Kantar Media has revealed.

Kantar said Olympic advertisers reduced their adspend in Q2 by more than 4% year-over-year, although three major sporting events helped to boost TV adspend by 5%.

"The slow growth rate of ad spending in Q2 is payback for the surfeit of money in Q1 that was pulled forward to fund Olympics budgets," said Jon Swallen, chief research officer at Kantar Media North America in comments reported by Advertising Age.

In another headline finding, Kantar said Procter & Gamble, the FMCG multinational and the biggest advertiser in the country, cut its adspend by 17.4% to $1.32bn in the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2013.

P&G cut spending by almost one-third during Q2, although Kantar noted that the company had an atypically high volume of adspend in Q2 2013.

Indeed, no fewer than four out of the five largest advertisers in the US cut their spending during the first half of the year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Joining P&G, were telecoms giant AT&T (-9.4% to $917.6m), Comcast, the broadcasting and cable firm (-1.2% to $772.4m), and L'Oreal, the French cosmetics group (-9% to $727.9m).

However, General Motors substantially increased its adspend in the first half by 22.6% to make it the second-largest advertiser in the US at $928.8m.

Other major spenders included Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company (+25.1% to $711.8m), Verizon Communications (+11.4% to $694.1m), Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate (+20.1% to $674.5m) and automakers Toyota (+5.5% to $599.8m) and Fiat (+14.2% to $588.5m).

Overall, the top 100 advertisers increased their adspend by 2.9% in the first half of the year, although the Wall Street Journal emphasised that Kantar's figures covered only traditional media and online display.

Therefore, digital video, paid search and other digital categories may not have been included, it said.

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

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Data informs future PR, not past

17 September 2014
LONDON: Far more senior marketers use PR and social media data to plan future campaigns than to measure the outcome of past ones, a new survey has revealed.

Based on the responses of 100 global marketing practitioners, PR agency Hotwire said over half (51%) reported that their principal use of data is to inform future plans and strategies compared to 28% who use it to analyse the success of past campaigns.

Timed to coincide with the launch of the first Measurement Week organised by the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC), the survey also found only a very small minority (5%) feel their organisation is equipped to extract meaningful insights from the data.

Brendon Craigie, CEO of Hotwire, said measurement should be "at the heart of every campaign", but that measurement on its own is not enough.

"Marketers are now waking up to the real benefits of data – not simply using it reactively to measure performance, but gaining invaluable insight at the planning stage to ensure campaign success from the outset – and then all the way through to completion," he said.

Younger marketers are the most active users of data for planning, the survey found, with nearly two-thirds (65%) of those aged under 34 using data mostly for planning future campaigns.

This age group is also the most trusting of data that comes from their own department (71%) and are also the most likely to embrace a 24/7 approach to media consumption (59%) compared to an average of 53% of marketing professionals.

The survey also revealed that marketers have a relatively sceptical approach towards data from their own department.

Only half (51%) completely trust data from their own department, which the report said is a sign that marketers recognise there is a fine balance between capturing data and placing it in the context of their own experience.

"Data should inform but not drive strategy and it cannot replace creativity and experience," Craigie said.

Data sourced from Hotwire; additional content by Warc staff

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US firms face privacy backlash

17 September 2014
SAN FRANCISCO: Major players in the US technology sector run the risk of alienating consumers and regulators in other countries if they fail to tackle rising concerns over privacy, several leading executives have argued.

On the one hand, a backlash against the surveillance of internet and telephone communications by the American government has deepened suspicions of companies based in the country.

Moreover, the enormous influence that a small number of large US corporations hold over business and culture is the source of considerable disquiet.

Peter Thiel, a well-known investor and a director of Facebook, the world's biggest social network, thus sounded a note of warning while speaking to the Financial Times.

"Silicon Valley is quite oblivious to the degree to which this crescendo of concern is building up in Europe. It's an extremely important thing and Silicon Valley is underestimating it badly," he said.

Having been the subject of various privacy controversies in the past, Facebook is one firm now seeking to respond to differing priorities in specific geographies.

"We certainly don't think there's a one-size-fits-all. Facebook would like to be more sensitive to more local concerns," Thiel said.

Google, the search giant, has also come under pressure in the European Union about the "right to be forgotten", where individuals can ask that some links are removed from its pages.

Eric Schmidt, Google's chairman, revealed the dramatic shift in political opinion relating to US technology enterprises had been unexpected. "I was surprised it turned this quickly," he said.

But he also disputed the idea these organisations are not receptive to such changes in sentiment. "It's easy to blame the tech companies for being insufficiently sensitive – we are way sensitive, trust me."

Elsewhere, Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com – a leader in the tech solutions and cloud computing categories – agreed consumer internet firms had "paid a terrible price" for enforcing a US-led perspective overseas.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a think tank, has even suggested American businesses in the cloud-computing space may lose $22bn to $35bn in the next three years due to worries over surveillance.

"A lot of people have been caught off-guard," said Aaron Levie, CEO of Box, a cloud-based storage system. "I don't think it was what many people thought about as they built these companies and technologies."

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff

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Brands focus on big charity partners

17 September 2014
LONDON: The value and size of partnerships between brands and charities have increased since last year as both sectors placed more emphasis on long-term and strategic campaigns, a new report has found.

According to C&E Advisory, a cross-sector consultancy, the number of corporate and charity partnerships worth more than £10m a year increased by 12% in 2014.

Meanwhile, the number of partnerships worth £1m or less a year was down 14% on the year before, Marketing Week reported.

Based on the responses of 130 brands and charities, the report said 73% of corporate brands have put greater emphasis on long-term stability and impact – a view shared by 71% of charities.

Together, a full 90% were confident that their strategic relationships were meeting their objectives and delivering value.

"This reflects the greater understanding both sides gradually have of the potential for partnerships as organisations engage in multi-lateral agreements over longer timescales – leveraging resources to achieve mutually agreed goals in ways beyond funding," the report said.

Of the corporate charity partnerships most admired by respondents, M&S and Oxfam topped the list with 11.1% support.

The "Shwopping" sustainable shopping campaign run by the UK retailer and the Oxford-based international NGO successfully encouraged customers to donate 4m garments worth £3.2m, Civil Society reported. (For more, including discussion of the campaign at the IEG sponsorship event earlier this year, read Warc's exclusive report.)

Respondents also praised two other partnerships – the association between MacMillan Cancer Support and Boots, the privately-owned pharmacy chain, as well as the one between GlaxoSmithkline, the pharmaceutical giant, and Save the Children.

And in a sign of how much value these organisations placed on these cross-sector partnerships, all respondents confirmed that investment will increase over the next three years.

Manny Amadi, chief executive of C&E, said these partnerships were maturing as both sectors recognised their value.

"No longer just a question of seeking funding or enhancing reputation, partnerships between corporations and NGOs are becoming increasingly important to the business models and strategic aims of both sectors," he said.

Data sourced from Marketing Week, Civil Society; additional content by Warc staff

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Health worries China's growing rich

17 September 2014
SHANGHAI: The number of millionaires and "super-rich" in China increased by about 4% in 2013, according to a new report which also detailed their health concerns and what they do to remedy them.

According to the Hurun Research Institute, the number of Chinese with a personal wealth of Rmb10m, or $1.6m, rose by 40,000 to 1.09m last year while the number of people worth Rmb100m, or $16m, increased by 2,500 to 67,000, CNBC reported.

However, more than half of these high net worth individuals (HNWIs) believe that lack of sleep and working overtime are their biggest health problems, leading to conditions like insomnia, headaches and fatigue.

These worries mean four-fifths (81%) exercise to keep fit and a similar proportion (80%) have an annual check-up, which 14% conduct every six months.

Three-quarters (75%) say they pay attention to what they eat, 60% do not smoke, and 40% claim that they don't drink alcohol, the report said.

Chinese HNWIs use both Chinese and Western medicine – vitamins are the most popular, at nearly 90%, followed by ginseng (56%), cod liver oil (45%), and gelatin (44%), while 37% are willing to go to foreign hospitals for treatment.

"There is a clear trend amongst the Chinese millionaire class towards exercise, eating more carefully and generally taking better care of their bodies," said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman of the Hurun Report.

Despite this healthy trend, the report also showed that nearly 60% of Chinese HNWIs work overtime, 40% stay up late and have eating disorders, while 40% drink excessively.

Elsewhere, the report estimated that the number of Chinese worth Rmb10m could reach 1.21m people over the next three years, while the super-rich may number 73,000.

Shanghai has the fastest growth, having created 12,000 millionaires in 2013, although Beijing and Guangdong have the highest number – at 192,000 and 180,000 respectively – followed by Shanghai with 159,000.

Almost half (47%) of these Chinese HNWIs say they plan to move abroad within the next five years, a separate report from Barclays Wealth has claimed.

Based on a survey of 2,000 wealthy individuals in 17 countries, Barclays Wealth said about 30% of its Chinese respondents named Hong Kong as their preferred destination, followed by Canada, the South China Morning Post reported.

Almost a quarter (23%) of Singaporean HNWIs plan to relocate within five years, the survey found, followed by one-fifth (20%) of British respondents. But only 6% of American HNWIs and 5% of their Indian counterparts intend to do the same.

Data sourced from Hurun Report, CNBC, South China Morning Post; additional content by Warc staff

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Retailers should embrace digital

17 September 2014
SYDNEY: Free shipping is the most effective way to meet customer satisfaction, according to 400 Australian retailers questioned in a recent report that also recommended they improve their mobile and digital options.

According to a joint study from the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and ChannelAdvisor, the ecommerce solutions provider, almost two-thirds (65%) of survey respondents had offered free shipping in the past 12 months.

They viewed it as their most effective online sales tool, Marketing Magazine reported, but the report suggested their mobile advertising needed to catch up.

Even though nearly half reported that at least 20% of the traffic to their retail websites came from mobile, less than 5% of their advertising budget was spent on targeting this source.

Nearly half of those surveyed viewed social media channels as a "gateway" for attracting a new generation of customers, but only just over a third (36%) saw social media as a way to drive conversations.

However, over three-quarters (77%) viewed social media as a means of increasing brand awareness with 93% citing Facebook as the most effective social channel.

The report also examined retailers' approach to international and third-party opportunities and it found 33% sold on international websites while half sold on third-party marketplaces, such as eBay (41%).

With Australians spending an estimated $15.6bn each year online, ARA executive director Russell Zimmermann appreciated that retailers faced many challenges, but urged them to make better use of planning and measurement.

"Retailers often answered 'I don't know' when asked questions about where their sales or webstore traffic originated, or how much they were spending on advertising," he said.

"Ecommerce is, and will continue to be, a core part of retail, and retailers must continually learn how to operate efficiently and effectively in this new world," he added.

Data sourced from Marketing Magazine; additional content by Warc staff

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Unique culture drives ROI for Zappos

17 September 2014
LAS VEGAS: Zappos, the online shoe retailer, believes that clearly articulating and effectively activating a corporate culture can yield a tangible return on investment for brands.

Jon Wolske, a culture evangelist at Zappos, discussed this subject during the Marketers First Virtual Event, a conference run by marketing-technology company Marketo.

"We use the word 'investment' when we talk about our experience: free shipping, free returns, 24-hour staff," he said. (For more, including details of how the firm activates it culture, read Warc's exclusive report: Zappos puts service first, and reaps the rewards.)

"The return for us, really, is creating loyal customers, not simply selling a lot more shoes. In the end, the result will be selling more shoes, but the focus is: 'Let's live our brand – a brand that's focused on service'."

More specifically, he reported that the firm's in-house ethos has been broken down into ten core principles, ranging from "deliver 'wow' through service" and "be humble" to "create fun and a little weirdness".

"Nothing in the culture or the core values of Zappos mentions 'shoes' or being an online retailer," Wolske said. "We do talk about service, because we are a service company."

As with any other item of expenditure, however, this investment in best-in-class service must be shown to provide a measurable payoff.

One metric which helps the firm prove this fact is the knowledge that on the typical day, at least 75% of Zappos' customers are repeat buyers. "So we haven't had to work to get them back on the website with marketing," said Wolske.

"We know that when people are shopping with Zappos, they are getting a great experience, and they want that experience again."

Satmetrix, the customer-experience software provider, has also stated that Zappos' Net Promoter Score – a reading that takes the number of brand advocates and subtracts the amount of "detractors" – stands at 60 points.

This indicates that a majority of customers are spreading positive buzz about the firm. In the retail category, Zappos only falls behind parent-company Amazon (64 points) on this metric.

Such statistics, Wolske suggested, show that superior service can help reach new customers. "Those experiences drive word-of-mouth marketing," he said.

Data sourced from Warc

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Netflix shakes up European OTT market

16 September 2014
PARIS: Netflix, the US-based OTT video streaming service, is expanding across Europe, with yesterday's launch in France the first of several across the continent.

The move marks a development that is expected to boost the OTT video market to around $4.6bn this year.

Competitors are scrambling to address the challenge – pay-TV operator Canal Plus has already established its own streaming video services, for example, while cable operator Numericable is offering subscribers free access to hundreds of TV series.

Telcoms operators, meanwhile, have proved reluctant to let Netflix offer its service via their set-top boxes, the most common way in France for people to watch TV, although Bouygues Telecom has said it will start doing so from November.

Rodolphe Belmer, managing director of Canal Plus, thought that if Netflix could not deliver content to televisions via set-top box then it would face an uphill battle to persuade consumers to watch online via computer, a habit most French viewers have yet to acquire.

He also expected that as US content was already so widely available on TV – around 50% of content aired on French TV is estimated to come from the US, despite France's claims to "cultural exception" – there would be little demand for yet more.

But he acknowledged to the Financial Times that "we know that there is always appetite for the new kid on the block and Netflix will be a tough competitor".

A recent study from Boston-based Strategy Analytics suggested that revenue in the European OTT video market was set to grow 44% in 2014. SVOD (subscription video on demand) was predicted to double in Western Europe, led by Netflix. Ad-supported video was also growing, but at a much slower rate of 32%.

"The success or failure of OTT video services is heavily dependent on the quality of their content library," observed Leika Kawasaki, a digital media analyst at Strategy Analytics. Netflix is addressing this area by filming an original series – a political thriller set in Marseilles – aimed at attracting a French audience.

Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO, has set a target of a minimum of 10% of households subscribing within two to five years. "The first year, we will focus on our brand," he said. "Whether we recruit many or few subscribers, the bottom line is that we have a good reputation among consumers."


Data sourced from Reuters, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Strategy Analytics, Journal du Net; additional content by Warc staff

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Content enables purpose

16 September 2014
COLOGNE: Brands are not in the publishing business and those who believe that 'content is king' are missing the point, a leading industry executive has argued.

"Content is an enabler to what is king," said Tom Buday, global head of marketing at Nestlé, in an address at the recent Dmexco conference in Cologne. For him that was selling brands and products that enhanced the quality of consumers' lives.

He explained that the business had plenty of metrics to help optimise its various brand content but that was only one step in the path to achieving the real goal and content was "critically important" in helping brands to reach it.

Producing effective and engaging content, however, required marketers to think about consumers as people first and foremost, not as media audiences, a term which had nothing to do with people's real lives, CMO reported.

Buday offered snack brand KitKat as an example. "Its role is to bring a smile to people's breaks," he said. "When that's your mission, you realise that thinking about people as communications or media audiences is counter-productive."

Message quality was also vital in other areas, being the biggest driver of ROI on brand spend. "And it's become more important than ever," he said, "because poor quality is punished harder and good rewarded more due to social media."

It's also a significant challenge for a business the size of Nestlé which produces around 1,500 pieces of content every single day across hundreds of platforms. But, said Buday, it also means that "every day we're learning stuff, about engagement, about brand and business impact".

Nestlé then captures that learning in a usable format and spreads it as fast as possible around its global operations. "That's the way we win," said Buday, of the practice that forms one of the central planks of the company's philosophy of "Brand building the Nestlé way".

Earlier this year, Pete Blackshaw, Nestlé's global head/digital and social media, explained how that framework had been applied to leveraging digital and social media to build brands. 

"To some extent, the value [and] the ROI you get from any such [digital] initiative is heavily dependent on the degree to which you can share the knowledge and collaborate with your employees," he said. "That's the ROI equation. These initiatives are as good as the sharing."


Data sourced from CMO, Dmexco; additional content by Warc staff

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TV ad share falls below half in China

16 September 2014
SHANGHAI: Television's share of advertising expenditure in China is predicted to drop below 50% for the first time this year, continuing the downwards trend of recent years.

Forecasts from media agency GroupM showed that television will take 46.8% of adspend in 2014 and 43% in 2015, down from 50.3% in 2013 and 54% in 2012.

But the total amount spent on TV is expected to edge upwards this year – by around 2.0%, as GroupM said the overall market would grow by 9.8% during 2014 to reach RMB 473bn (US$ 77bn). It anticipates even faster growth in the total market in 2015, of 11% to RMB 525bn, although growth in TV spend will remain low.

Apart from the internet, the share of all the major media was projected to decline in 2014: radio from 2.9% to 2.7%, newspapers from 9.5% to 8.0%, magazines from 2.2% to 1.9% and outdoor from 9.6% to 9.2%.

Actual spending was falling at newspapers and magazines, but growing at radio and outdoor, helped by increased car ownership in the case of the former and wider digitisation for the latter.

Online advertising, however, was going from strength to strength, its share up from 25.5% to 31.4% in 2014 and a predicted 37.5% in 2015, and spending growing by around one third each year.

"The internet continues to play an increasingly important role in China and the biggest revolution currently underway on the internet is the shift to mobile," said Andrew Carter, president of trading and knowledge, GroupM China.

"Traffic to social networks, online video sites, and search are all beginning to cross the 50% mark," he added, and he expected that brands would react by diverting more adspend into cross-screen mobile search and mobile video campaigns, at the same time as spending more on hero app ad buys and in-app ad networks.

GroupM also noted that ecommerce search ads contributed the largest share of internet advertising spend, as brands recognised the power e-commerce sites exerted as a 'medium' in their own right while also being driving traffic and sales to their online flagship shops.

Release end-July, Warc's Consensus Ad Forecast, a weighted average of industry forecasts, found advertising expenditure in China will grow 11.1% and 10.3% in 2014 and 2015 respectively. TV adspend is expected to grow 5.0% this year, while digital will grow some 30.0%.


Data sourced from GroupM; additional content by Warc staff

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CEOs focus on customer

16 September 2014
NEW YORK: Chief executive officers in the US are intending to make their businesses more customer-focused over the next few years, with many preparing to involve themselves closely in the process, a new survey has shown.

KPMG, the management consulting firm, polled 400 CEOs for its report, Setting the course for growth, asking them to rank their organisational priorities and found that "interacting more with clients and customers" came top.

While most planned to delegate this responsibility – 44% had charged their senior leadership with investing more time with customers and 55% were training junior staff earlier to better interact with clients and customers – some 19% of CEOs surveyed indicated that they personally were going to spend significantly more face time with their customers.

"In this era of digitally savvy customers and clients, the idea of being more customer-centric has taken on a new meaning," said Alton Adams, KPMG's national lead partner, Customer Strategy and Growth, who noted that consumers were now well-informed thanks to the internet.

"They have higher expectations for the entire customer experience including product features and performance as well as post-sales service and support," he said. "Companies will need to work harder than ever to make the customer feel 'special'."

After customer interaction, the next priorities were, in order, "promoting and advancing the brand," "fostering innovation" and "focusing on regulatory matters".

Alongside these priorities CEOs also expressed their concern about the fast-changing environment in which they now operated. Almost three quarters (72%) of respondents worried about whether their products and services would still be relevant in three years' time.

Beyond that there were widespread anxieties over the competition (90% feared losing business to rivals) and new entrants (59% were apprehensive about new players disrupting their business model).

"New technologies are changing the way all companies go to market," said Adams "To sustain and increase relevancy of their company's product and services, CEOs need to shepherd the adoption of technologies to better understand customer needs (data and analytics) and the implementation of technologies (digital and mobile) to meet those needs."


Data sourced from PR Newswire, KPMG; additional content by Warc staff

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Marketers tap online quizzes

16 September 2014
NEW YORK: Marketers are able to glean valuable information about consumers from the plethora of quizzes that social media and internet users complete and forward to their friends.

Specialist companies develop psychometric-type questionnaires that promise to tell the user at the end which US president they most resemble, or what actor would play them in the movie of their life, or how they would die in Game of Thrones. The data gathered can then be repackaged for advertisers.

"We collect information about demographics, intent, interests, and personality," Jacob Wright, head of strategy at online ad company VisualDNA, told the Wall Street Journal. "These can predict what people might be interested in buying or hearing about."

That information can then be linked to data in users' cookies and sold on to advertisers, agencies and adtech companies.

"It's a tool for advertisers to understand us better masquerading as a tool for us to understand ourselves better," Aram Sinnreich, a media professor at Rutgers University, told Marketplace.

Elaborating on the theme, he explained that by completing a quiz about Game of Thrones, HBO now knew not only that he watched the series but also that his preferred drink was white wine, that his last meal was a steak, that his biggest fear was failure and that his idea of heaven was a tropical beach.

"That's the brilliance of this plan," he said. "Instead of us reluctantly agreeing to give marketers information about ourselves, we are emphatically proclaiming to marketers who we are and then demanding that our friends do the same."

Popular news site Buzzfeed runs numerous quizzes and claims not to collect answers for ad purposes, but, according to managing editorial director Summer Anne Burton, it is "looking at how to use the things that we've learned" for the benefit of companies wanting to buy into quizzes.

"So they can have their own shareable pieces of content that go viral and that are really associated with their brand," she said.

Econsultancy noted that quizzes can drive huge amounts of traffic, generate leads and increase sales. "Personal connection is a big part of the reason why quizzes are so popular, but it takes a special set of tools to make the connection real," it advised.


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

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Intrusive mobile ads tackled

16 September 2014
JAKARTA: Two leading industry bodies in Indonesia are calling for an end to intrusive mobile advertising by some of the country's telecoms operators and are petitioning consumers to add their voice to the opposition.

The Indonesian E-Commerce Association (Idea) and Indonesian Digital Association (IDA) said they had been lobbying two leading telcos, XL Axiata and Telkomsel, for the past year about their practice of running interstitial and off-deck ads on publishers' mobile sites without their consent.

Now they have lost patience with the telcos' alleged failure to act and, on behalf of 60 publisher members, have begun a public campaign to stop them from inserting the ads which they say publishers have not agreed to and have no responsibility for but for which they are nonetheless being blamed by users.

The two associations described the telcos' actions as "hijacking for monetary benefit" and added that they were concerned there were no procedures that allowed consumers to opt out of receiving such ads.

"We are really disappointed with the negligence from operators towards this issue," said Daniel Tumiwa, chairman of Idea, who hoped that users and other site owners could come together to resist the intrusions.

"We are still quite optimistic about finding a mutual solution, if only every stakeholder shows their willingness for constructive discussion," he added.

Even if the telcos accede to their demands, users may soon find that advertisers have developed a new way to annoy them. Mumbrella Asia reported the launch of a technology that claims to evade ad blocking software by placing ads halfway through online videos, much in the manner of a traditional TV ad break, and then hiding the fast-forward function to make it more difficult for users to avoid watching them.


Data sourced from Mumbrella Asia; additional content by Warc staff

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How Alex and Ani finds new marketing tech

16 September 2014
NEW YORK: Alex and Ani, the accessories chain, has benefited from using a "follow the money" approach to help it identify the latest and most attractive marketing technologies.

Ryan Bonifacio, the firm's vp/digital strategy, discussed how it learns about emerging tools, systems and services that could drive its company's progress while speaking at a recent conference.

One tactic employed by the organisations is to keep track of where major tech investment companies like Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital and Battery Ventures are directing their funds.

Pursuing this activity helped Alex and Ani earmark beacons – small pieces of hardware capable of engaging in two-way communications with smartphones – well ahead of the vast majority of its rivals.

"We did it because we've got a 'follow the money' strategy when it comes to identifying emerging technologies," said Bonifacio. (For more, including more details of how the firm identifies promising new technologies, read Warc's exclusive report: How retailer Alex and Ani picks winning marketing-tech tools.)

"'Follow the money' as in: look at where … all the big names of Silicon Valley are allocating money into those companies directly."

This policy not only assists Alex and Ani in staying on top of the latest trends; it also guides Alex and Ani in delineating which providers might be suitable to work with.

For the beacon programme, it partnered with Swirl Networks – a specialist in this type of marketing programme – having drawn up an appropriate shortlist of potential vendors.

"I assigned it to one of the team members on my crew and he came up with a series of vendors," said Bonifacio.

"We looked at another follow-the-money strategy: which vendors were getting the most money from other investors. So we came up with a couple of names."

Data sourced from Warc

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AMV BBDO, Unilever top EMEA rankings

15 September 2014
LONDON: AMV BBDO has been named the top creative agency in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, while Unilever is the number one advertiser, according to new data from Warc.

The rankings are based on the Warc 100 database, which tracks winners of effectiveness and strategy awards from around the world each year.

When filtering results to campaigns from EMEA only, UK agencies topped all of the agency charts. AMV BBDO was top in the creative agencies category, scoring 103.4 points to second-ranked JWT Cairo's 101.6. Both the number one media agency (OMD UK) and digital agency (OgilvyOne London) are also based in London.

To compile the rankings, Warc tracked more than 1,700 winners in 75 different competitions, assigning points based on the awards won (for example, Gold, Silver or Bronze), then weighting those points based on the competition's rigour and prestige in the global industry.

Unilever, headquartered in the UK and the Netherlands, was the number one EMEA advertiser, on 211.3 points ahead of Heineken on 176.1.

Three of the top five brands in EMEA are headquartered in the region, with Vodafone (UK) in first, Unilever-owned Dove (Netherlands/UK) 3rd and Heineken (Netherlands) 4th. US-owned McDonald's and Sprite came 3rd and 5th, respectively.

BBDO Worldwide was the top agency network across EMEA, beating Ogilvy & Mather into second place (473.8 points to 401.8). But WPP was the top holding company for the region on 1450.3 points, with Omnicom Group on 1352.3.

Further discussion and analysis of the regional rankings are available here.

Turning to the global rankings, BBDO Worldwide and Omnicom were top agency network and holding company respectively. Meanwhile, the global brand and advertiser rankings were topped by Coca-Cola and Unilever.

In July, Warc released the Warc 100, a ranking of the world's 100 smartest marketing campaigns, which was topped by 'Vodafone Fakka', a campaign for Vodafone by JWT Cairo.

Data sourced from Warc

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Smartphone adoption will triple by 2020

15 September 2014
LONDON: The number of smartphones in the world will triple to six billion over the next six years and the device will account for two-thirds of the global mobile market, a new report has forecast.

These are the headline findings in the "Smartphone forecasts and assumptions, 2007-2020" study by GSMA Intelligence, the research division of GSMA, the global association of mobile operators.

It predicted that smartphone connections will grow threefold from its current level of two billion, and will make up two-thirds of the nine billion mobile connections in place by 2020.

Much of this growth will be driven by demand in the developing world, which already accounts for two-thirds of all smartphones and is forecast to account for four-fifths of all global smartphone connections by that date.

Asia-Pacific currently accounts for about half of worldwide smartphone connections, but the market still has plenty of room to grow.

Smartphone adoption in the region currently stands at below 40%, the report said, compared to many developed markets where smartphone penetration is approaching the "ceiling" of up to 80%, at which point growth tends to slow.

China, at 629.2m, tops the report's global list of smartphone connections, followed by the US (196.8m), Brazil (141.8m), India (111m), Indonesia (95m), Russia (83.9m) and Japan (66.1m).

Despite having much smaller populations compared with these countries, the UK and France still have 45.4m and 43.5m respectively, while Germany has 48.5m.

The top five countries with the highest smartphone adoption rates (as a percentage of total connections) are Qatar, the UAE, Finland, South Korea and Norway.

And Sub-Saharan Africa, currently with the lowest smartphone adoption rate of 15%, is expected to become the fastest-growing region over the next six years as affordable devices become more available and mobile broadband networks extend their reach.

Hyunmi Yang, chief strategy officer at GSMA, expected smartphones to be the driving force of mobile industry growth over the next six years and said "lifestyle" brands stand to gain as the industry evolves.

"In the hands of consumers, these devices are improving living standards and changing lives, especially in developing markets, while contributing to growing economies by stimulating entrepreneurship," she said.

"As the industry evolves, smartphones are becoming lifestyle hubs that are creating opportunities for mobile industry players in vertical markets such as financial services, healthcare, home automation and transport."

Data sourced from GSMA; additional content by Warc staff

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Advertisers shift spend to video

15 September 2014
LONDON: Spending on digital video in Europe increased 42% over the past year and over half (52%) of agencies have shifted adspend from their broadcast budgets to video, a new industry report has revealed.

The "European State of the Video Industry Report" by Adap.tv, the programmatic video platform owned by AOL, also found 48% of agencies have shifted adspend from display, 33% from print, and 10% from search, The Drum reported.

Based on the responses of 175 ad buyers and publishers, the report went on to disclose that agencies in Europe expect their digital video budgets to increase by a third next year.

Although publishers said selling directly to brands is still the most common way inventory is sold, the report predicted that the proportion of agencies buying from a private video ad marketplace will increase by 81% in the next 12 months.

"DSPs [demand side platforms] may dominate as a buying channel for European ad agencies, but private marketplaces came in a surprising second," the report said.

"One possible reason is rapid agency adoption, with 57% of respondents reporting that they are currently buying video in this type of environment," it continued. "This also explains why European agencies aren't going publisher direct with the same frequency as other programmatic channels."

Ad viewability emerged as the top concern for more than two-thirds (67%) of European agencies, while ad verification and ad fraud were cited by 57%.

Data-driven video buying was a key issue for agencies, the report found, because a full 90% said they used data to target video in their ad buying and a quarter (24%) used data-driven practices to plan and buy TV.

"They appear to enjoy a close working relationship with their brand clients to facilitate targeting as well, as 68% of them use first-party data to target," the report said.

"Because only a quarter of agencies (26%) are using second-party data to target their advertising, client data sharing is more common than is sharing user data with media partners," it added.

Data sourced from The Drum; additional content by Warc staff

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eBay outlines mobile ad plans

15 September 2014
SAN JOSE, CA: EBay is planning to launch an advertising network for its mobile app, which will offer advertisers access to its huge database of users' shopping activity, the ecommerce firm has announced.

"Now, for the first time, we're giving you the opportunity to connect with eBay users throughout their entire shopping journey," eBay said in a statement on its website.

"eBay mobile advertising will be a native experience, beautifully integrated into the eBay app," it continued, adding that it generated $20bn in mobile commerce in 2013 and that its app was downloaded 260m times around the world.

The company said it tracks more than 290m hours of shopping activity each month and that its app has about 4.6m daily visitors, who spend three times longer on the app than its nearest rival, which it declined to name.

Advertisers will be able to place ads across multiple mobile devices, eBay said, and it is working with Florida-based Triad Retail Media to place them.

The new advertising network on smartphones and tablets will be available in Q4 2014, according to Stephen Howard-Sarin, eBay's head of display advertising, in an interview with Re/code.

He said the new mobile ads will be capable of playing video or leading shoppers to download an advertiser's own app, and they will be designed so that they weave into the grid of products displayed in the app's feed of product listings.

As eBay seeks to position itself as a significant player in the global mobile advertising market, a series of recent reports have highlighted its rapid growth.

For example, global mobile advertising revenues almost doubled in 2013 to $19.3bn, according to a report last month from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

Mobile display recorded the highest growth at 123.4 % while mobile search rose 92%, the IAB said, leading it to say that mobile had become "a vital part of the marketing media mix".

Data sourced from eBay, Re/code, IAB; additional content by Warc staff

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Walmart Canada ups shopper effort

15 September 2014
TORONTO: Walmart Canada, the retailer, is ramping up its focus on digital shopper marketing, a move which necessarily reflects the changing habits of consumers.

Drew Cashmore, Walmart Canada's senior director/digital and shopper marketing, discussed this topic at a recent conference. And he reported that the mainstays of the discipline were typically highly analogue in form.

"Shopper marketing has been around for years, but in a traditional sense … with coupons and flyers," he said. (For more, including details of how the firm has driven digital change, read Warc's exclusive report: Walmart Canada builds a digital shopper-marketing experience.)

"One of the challenges we have when we're building digital programs is that vendors understand flyers. Vendors understand couponing. They understand deals. And so does the consumer."

Cashmore emphasised that tactics like circulars and discount vouchers are still extremely effective, and would thus remain a key component within the mix.

But as social media, mobile apps and similar technologies exert an increasingly profound influence on consumer behaviour and choices, a range of digital tools must be incorporated into campaigns as well.

"We needed to reframe the conversation," said Cashmore. "The reality is that the consumer has shifted, and we are at risk of not being successful in the future if we don't shift with them."

As part of this process, Walmart Canada reimagined its online presence, refining its web platform over the course of various iterations to ensure both corporate and customer requirements were fully served.

Enhancing its online offering, however, is only one element of a far broader attempt by the company to understand its audience, wherever they come into contact with the Walmart brand.

"We're trying to understand the consumer behaviours, not just online, but across the entire online/offline experience … [We need to learn] how we can talk to the consumers in a very efficient way," Cashmore said.

Although "we're not yet at the final stage" of the integrated programme, he added, "what we do know is that it will likely be a shift in overall brand dollars towards more … shopper-marketing initiatives".

Data sourced from Warc

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Alibaba and Facebook seek new markets

15 September 2014
TIANJIN/NEW YORK: As Chinese ecommerce leader Alibaba readies for a record IPO on Wall Street, Facebook, the world's largest social networking site, is still looking to establish a significant presence in China.

The contrasting fortunes of the two titans of the digital world were highlighted when Vaughan Smith, Facebook vice president, told a conference in Tianjin that consumers in China were keen to access the site. "When I'm in China, I often get asked," he said. "They all come to me and say, 'Hey, when is Facebook going to come to China?'"

The answer is not any time soon, as was made clear to local media at the same conference by Lu Wei, minister of China's Cyberspace Administration, Bloomberg reported.

Facebook's presence in China is currently limited to a sales operation helping Chinese companies to tap into overseas audiences, although it has also bought mobile messaging app WhatsApp, which faces no restrictions. Other US-based social media sites are also blocked, including Google, YouTube and Twitter.

Alibaba, meanwhile, faces no such limitations in the US where its IPO is expected to raise in excess of $21bn and value the business at around $160bn, roughly on a par with Amazon.

The South China Morning Post noted that Alibaba is using its Chinese heritage to accelerate its global expansion, by appealing to the millions of people of Chinese descent spread around the world.

"If Alibaba's strategy is to follow the Chinese diaspora, it's a smart strategy because you don't have to build a brand from scratch," said Niraj Dawar, a professor of marketing at the Ivey Business School in Canada.

But to be a global player, he added, it would eventually have to serve non-Chinese markets. One way it might achieve this is by developing its customer review system, in the way its rival eBay has done.

"A consumer in Iowa is wary of buying products from some smaller mom and pop store in Wuhan, so how do you connect those two directly?" asked Dawar. "The question is can Alibaba fill that gap … through a reputation score system and monitoring of suppliers."

Data sourced from Bloomberg, South China Morning Post; additional content by Warc staff

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Kabbadi surprises sports broadcaster

15 September 2014
NEW DELHI: Star India, the country's leading sports broadcaster, knew it was taking a risk when it switched part of its budget away from cricket to cover kabbadi, the contact sport, but it now says the game has achieved unexpectedly high ratings and engagement figures.

For many years the broadcaster has spent most of its budget – over 90% – on cricket but this year has diverted around 30% to other sports, primarily football, with the summer World Cup in mind, and kabbadi.

The recently concluded five-week-long Pro Kabbadi League (PKL) had already generated a warm response from sponsors and has sparked a similar reaction among viewers.

"Except for cricket, there is no game that has been able to get the kind of viewers and engagement levels as kabaddi," according to Sanjay Gupta, chief operating officer, Star TV India. "It was really a surprise," he told the Business Standard, adding that it "could be the game we were looking for".

To put his remarks in context, the India Premier League achieves an average television viewership rating (TVR) of 4 plus. The 2014 FIFA World Cup achieved a TVR of around 0.7, but PKL was more than twice that at 1.6.

And even when kabbadi went head-to-head with international cricket during the recent India-England series, it was the PKL that gained more TVRs.

Gupta reported engagement levels of up to 10 or 11 minutes per half hour of programming, which, again, was the highest it had found after cricket, which regularly registers 15 to 16 minutes.

And while it was assumed that kabbadi would have more appeal to viewers in rural areas and smaller towns, in the event the larger share of the audience was in the major cities where it was especially popular among 18 to 30-year-olds.

Part of Star's strategy is to attract new non-cricket viewers who can increase the share of total TV viewership taken by sports, which currently stands at just 4% (and cricket alone is 3.5%). "If PKL grows, it can add 1% to the share," Gupta thought.

He has ambitious plans to make that happen, with a 26-week tournament next year and a Kabaddi World Cup as the game is played in 36 nations.

Data sourced from Business Standard; additional content by Warc staff

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O&M, PepsiCo top Americas rankings

15 September 2014
LONDON: Ogilvy & Mather New York has been named the top creative agency in the Americas, while PepsiCo is the top advertiser and Samsung Galaxy the number one brand, according to new data from Warc.

The rankings are based on the Warc 100 database, which tracks winners of effectiveness and strategy awards from around the world each year.

When filtering results to campaigns from the Americas region, Ogilvy & Mather New York came out on top, scoring 95.1 points. BBDO New York was second on 86.2 and 72andSunny third on 80.7 points. Ogilvy & Mather São Paulo was top creative agency in Latin America, appearing 6th in the overall Americas rankings.

To compile the rankings, Warc tracked more than 1,700 winners in 75 different competitions, assigning points based on the awards won (for example, Gold, Silver or Bronze), then weighting those points based on the competition's rigour and prestige in the global industry.

Samsung Galaxy was number one in the brand rankings in the Americas, beating Oreo into second place by 89.4 points to 76.7. While Unilever was the top-ranked advertiser globally, in the Americas it was the US-headquartered PepsiCo that finished in first place, scoring 188.1 points to second-placed Mondelez International's 169.

The top media agency in the Americas, as well as worldwide, was Starcom MediaVest Group Chicago, while the digital agency rankings were topped by Digitas New York.

WPP topped the holding companies list in the Americas (1182.6 points to Omnicom's 1137.7), and Ogilvy & Mather the agency networks (363.5 points, narrowly ahead of BBDO Worldwide on 361.4).

Further discussion and analysis of the regional rankings are available here.

Turning to the global rankings, BBDO Worldwide and Omnicom were top agency network and holding company respectively. Meanwhile, the global brand and advertiser rankings were topped by Coca-Cola and Unilever.

In July, Warc released the Warc 100, a ranking of the world's 100 smartest marketing campaigns, which was topped by 'Vodafone Fakka', a campaign for Vodafone by JWT Cairo.

Data sourced from Warc

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Colenso, Unilever top APAC rankings

15 September 2014
LONDON: Colenso BBDO, OMD Hong Kong and Unilever are among the top marketing organisations in the Asia-Pacific region, according to new data from Warc.

The rankings are based on the Warc 100 database, which tracks winners of effectiveness and strategy awards from around the world each year.

When filtering results to campaigns from APAC only, Colenso BBDO, based in New Zealand, scored 115.2 points to top the creative agencies list, ahead of WHYBIN\TBWA Sydney on 91.9. BBDO China was in third for the region on 85.1 points.

To compile the rankings, Warc tracked more than 1,700 winners in 75 different competitions, assigning points based on the awards won (for example, Gold, Silver or Bronze), then weighting those points based on the competition's rigour and prestige in the global industry.

Elsewhere, Unilever was the top-ranked advertiser for APAC, scoring 194.5 points, ahead of The Coca Cola Company on 177.8. All of the top five advertisers for Asia-Pacific are headquartered outside of the region.

In the raniking for individual brands, with Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Vodafone took the top three places in the APAC.

Omnicom Group led the holding companies list, beating WPP by almost 200 points. But, among agency networks, Ogilvy & Mather was ranked number one by a single point (398.8 to 397.6).

OMD Hong Kong was the number one media agency in APAC, while Colenso/Proximity New Zealand topped the digital agencies, both in APAC and globally.

Further discussion and analysis of the regional rankings are available here.

Turning to the global rankings, BBDO Worldwide and Omnicom were top agency network and holding company respectively. Meanwhile, the global brand and advertiser rankings were topped by Coca-Cola and Unilever.

In July, Warc released the Warc 100, a ranking of the world's 100 smartest marketing campaigns, which was topped by 'Vodafone Fakka', a campaign for Vodafone by JWT Cairo.


Data sourced from Warc

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Coke, Unilever top global brand rankings

12 September 2014
LONDON: Coca-Cola and Unilever have been named by Warc as the smartest brand and advertiser of the year, according to new rankings based on the Warc 100 database.

FMCG giant Unilever scored 550.7 points on the advertiser rankings, with PepsiCo second on 431.3 and The Coca-Cola Company third on 407.5. Scores are derived from the companies' performance in effectiveness and strategy awards around the world over the previous year.

Rounding out the top five on the advertisers list were Mondelez International (284.7) and Procter & Gamble (271.9).

Turning to the rankings for individual brands, Coca-Cola was the clear winner on 274.0 points, with McDonald's and Vodafone second and third on 233.8 and 220.6 points respectively.

To compile the rankings, Warc tracked more than 1700 winners in 75 different competitions. It assigned points based on the awards won (for example, Gold, Silver or Bronze), then weighted those points based on the competition's rigour and prestige in the global industry.

Louise Ainsworth, CEO of Warc, said: “These rankings show which companies are really using marketing communications to build their businesses. The Warc 100 allows client-side marketers to benchmark the performance of their marketing activity, and to see which companies are able to link creativity with business performance.”

Warc has also announced its rankings of top agencies, networks and holding companies. Colenso BBDO in New Zealand was the number one creative agency, with BBDO Worldwide and Omnicom finishing first on the agency network and holding companies rankings respectively.

Earlier in the year, Warc announced its inaugural Warc 100, ranking the 100 smartest marketing campaigns of the past year. This ranking was topped by 'Vodafone Fakka', a campaign from JWT Cairo for telecoms firm Vodafone.

Both the number one brand and advertiser were well represented on the Warc 100 campaigns list. For Unilever, the star performer was 9th-ranked 'Real Beauty Sketches', developed by Ogilvy & Mather São Paulo for Dove, its personal care brand. Also on the top 20, in 16th, was 'Help a Child Reach Five', a community initiative launched in India by Lowe Lintas, SapientNitro and PHD for Lifebuoy, a soap brand.

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola's flagship global 'Share a Coke' initiative, developed by Ogilvy & Mather Sydney, was the brand's top Warc 100 campaign, ranked 20th.

Data sourced from Warc

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Neuromarketing edges into mainstream

12 September 2014
LONDON: Marketers' views on neuromarketing are evolving rapidly, as they no longer regard it as an interesting novelty and are increasingly likely to see it as a must-use research option.

"The single most transformative trend for neuromarketing is the accelerating shift of studies away from the science lab and into the home," writes neuromarketing specialist Thom Noble in the latest issue of Admap.

Long gone are men and women in white coats attaching electrodes to a willing participant's head. Advances in digital technology mean that techniques such as eye-tracking, facial coding, implicit reaction-speed testing and voice decoding can now be carried out on PCs, tablets and smartphones.

Those same developments also mean that neuromarketing has become scalable, costs have fallen and studies can be turned around quickly.

Noble observed that "those who previously baulked at the high cost of pilot projects can now take their initial, tentative steps into the neuro-sphere with outlays of less than $3,000", while results can be fed back within as little as 24 hours.

But he conceded that "expediency often comes at a cost". New-style methodologies tend to be less robust than lab or central location studies, while concerns remain about both the quality of data collection and the data integrity itself.

One outcome of this has been an increase in demand for multi-modal solutions, whether running studies in parallel or bringing various techniques together in a single study.

For the latter Noble offered the example of a new wave TV ad copy solution which combined moment-by-moment EEG and facial coding, implicit reaction-response plus a self-report survey.

While testing ad copy has long been a staple for neuromarketers, the industry is now branching out into a wide range of new areas, from shopper marketing to brand extensions.

Noble highlighted the work being done on multisensory projects as a particularly exciting field, which had "potentially huge value in unlocking reactions to flavour, aroma and tactile stimulus".

As a practitioner in this industry he was obviously pleased that it was gaining wider recognition but he sounded a note of caution. The growing number of new suppliers meant the industry had to develop standards and vendor accreditation. And on the agency side, he thought there were too few neuro-literate planners and marketers.

Data sourced from Admap

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Multiple devices drive TV fandom

12 September 2014
NEW YORK: TV viewers who use multiple screens and sources show a preference for live TV and stronger network loyalty than those who restrict themselves to one screen, according to new research.

Media giant Viacom surveyed 1,500 viewers aged 13 to 44 and carried out in-depth interviews with people on Boston and Chicago for its report titled Getting With the Program: TV's Funnels, Paths and Hurdles, as it explored how audiences discover, watch and become fans of TV shows.

The study showed that around eight in ten viewers (79%) said having more ways of accessing shows helped them try more programs and a similar proportion (78%) indicated that they would not have become fans of some shows if they couldn't watch in multiple ways.

Multi-screen viewership was also linked to a stronger preference for live TV and network loyalty. Twice as many multi-screeners as single-screeners said it was important that they watched their favourite shows live (47% v 23%), while 45% of multi-screeners were loyal to a few networks compared to just 28% of single-screeners.

"What we're seeing is that the myriad of sources and devices has taken fandom to new heights, making TV a bigger part of our audiences' lives than ever before," said Colleen Fahey Rush, evp and chief research officer, Viacom Media Networks.

The research identified a five-stage process in the journey to fandom which it dubbed the TV viewing funnel. This started with discovery, most often by word of mouth or by TV promos, leading on to research, involving initial viewing and discussions with family and friends, then selection of device to view on, followed by fandom and sharing.

Within this funnel, Viacom reported that audiences were dedicating more time to the discovery and research stages, which in turn was driving greater fandom and sharing.

Compared to a few years ago, for example, 73% become interested in new shows more quickly, while 81% watched a greater variety of shows and 61% agreed that TV was now a bigger part of their social life.

Looking five years ahead, most respondents expected that they would have even more options for where, how and what to watch TV (84%) and that they would be watching a greater variety of programs (83%).

Data sourced from Business Wire; additional content by Warc staff

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Ad fraud rife in Australia

12 September 2014
SYDNEY: Digital ad fraud is rife in Australia and could be costing the industry up to $560m a year according to leading executives.

An Ad Tech meeting in Sydney, reported by Ad News, heard that digital ad fraud was widespread, with estimates ranging between 6% and 14% of the total market.

Sam Smith, head of TubeMogul Australia, stated that there was "inventory that we know is 100% fraud that is traded in this market" and that this activity was the biggest threat the online advertising industry faced.

A major issue for him was the fact that clients continued to trade in traffic they knew to be fake. "We need to get more clients to investigate," he argued. "We have to get better as an industry at getting inventory out of the system when we know it is fraudulent."

But it was not just the clients that were a problem. Stephen Dolan, head of Integral Ad Science Asia Pacific, reported that publishers had been known to collude with fraudsters. He cited an example from the wider Asian market where a botnet operator had worked with a publisher, writing a script that subverted a $5.5m campaign for a major advertiser.

Some 95% of traffic was found to be bots. "And it was the client that figured it out and bought in the investigators and auditors – and went after the agencies first."

Dolan added that ad fraud was a logical business opportunity. "If you were thinking about a business to get into with a low cost base that needed a couple of engineers and fairly low overheads, ad fraud would rank highly on the list," he observed.

As well as bots, ad stacking and URL masking were highlighted as major challenges. Mitch Waters, head of AdapTV, was especially concerned about the last of these, describing syndication of iframes – used to display a web page within a web page – as the "scariest" thing he'd seen.

Dubious URLs were able to hide under legitimate ones and so appear in ad exchanges and demand-side platforms. "That can happen every day without people really taking any notice, because it is not this 'big thing' that gets blown out of the water," he said, "but it is my biggest fear."

Data sourced from Ad News; additional content by Warc staff

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Shutterstock ties data to content

12 September 2014
NEW YORK: Shutterstock, the fast-growing platform for stock photos and video, is tapping the surge in demand for this content among brands and publishers by using a "super-analytical" approach to understanding its audience.

Jon Oringer, Shutterstock's founder/ceo/chairman, discussed some highlights of the company's current strategy, and how it addresses changing customer needs, while speaking at a recent conference.

He reported that gathering data relating to what visitors to Shutterstock.com view, click, search and download - along with tracking their path to finding the right image or clip - is essential to enhancing its service.

"We collect all the data we possibly can and store it. We never know what we're going to need," he said. (For more, including further details of the comapny's strategy, read Warc's exclusive report: Shutterstock taps into an internet marketing phenomenon.)

Every 24 hours, Shutterstock accrues a terabyte of behavioural data - equivalent in size to over 470 hours of broadcast-quality video. And this material extends all the way down to the 40 million images sold via its site.

"A lot of … images give us a ton of metadata that drives all the [search engine optimisation], drives our international search algorithms, and drives the looks and feel of the website also. So we're constantly making improvements to all this stuff."

Such a "super-analytical" approach, he continued, is also employed when assessing the impact of the company's own communications.

"We do a lot of marketing. From the very beginning, it's all marketing. We started with Google – with Google Adwords – then ramped up," he said. "Today, we spend tens of millions of dollars a year on marketing."

By carefully scrutinising its output, the firm has gained vital knowledge about essential subjects like customer acquisition.

To take just one example, the organisation has learned that for every photo customer that is attracted by paid-for media, two arrive through free channels, a figure rising to four when discussing video.

Data sourced from Warc

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Tiger moms relax. A little

12 September 2014
SHANGHAI: Mothers in China today are not the 'tiger moms' of old but nor have they completely shaken off that stereotype according to leading industry figures.

Jing Daily's Thoughtful China slot talked to a number of marketers and agencies working in this area and found a changing culture around motherhood as the current generation was less focused on academic achievement, although that remained important, and more open to encouraging their children to be happy.

As Vijayanand Sinha, regional vp/laundry, North Asia at Unilever, explained: China's moms are making "more time for relaxation and possibly more all-around development of children".

"China is a beacon of change," he stated, adding that "working with Chinese moms is a mirror to the rest of Asia ten years later".

The generational shift was emphasised by Li Yuhong, associate planning director at JWT Shanghai. "They're much more Westernised, more pragmatic, more hedonistic, and they want their baby really to be happy," she said.

But the competitive world they lived in was never far away. "The tension is still there – which is how to protect the childhood joy and the pressure toward achievement." 

Jacob Johansen, head of international projects at consulting agency Mensch, noted a tendency for western brands to stereotype Chinese mothers. 

"Being a mother is not necessarily a target audience that is unified," he said. "Mothers are as diversified and different as any other target audience" and he advised brands to spend some time refining their particular audience.

He also stressed the need to avoid making unsubstantiated claims, and cited the case of infant formula. Most brands in this market were almost identical, he said, often being made in the same factories. But they claimed different, sometimes irrational, benefits, which he suggested was a dangerous approach given the social media landscape.

"If you can't differentiate your product on rational, functional benefits," he said, "you need to create something else around the brand which people can relate to and which is still true." 

His recent work had involved basing a new infant formula brand solely on emotional values, in this case about education and child care. "Not many brands do this right now," Johansen said, "But it means you have to dig a little bit deeper than we as communicators sometimes do."


Data sourced from Jing Daily; additional content by Warc staff

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BBDO tops rankings of world's smartest agencies

12 September 2014
LONDON: Colenso BBDO has been named the world's smartest creative agency in new rankings released by Warc, with BBDO Worldwide and Omnicom also topping the agency networks and holding companies lists respectively.

The BBDO-owned shop, based in Auckland, scored 115.2 points on the new rankings, edging out AMV BBDO (103.4 points) and JWT Cairo (101.6). Ogilvy & Mather New York was in fourth with 95.1 points, making it the top-ranked creative agency in the Americas. Whybin\TBWA Sydney was fifth on 91.9.

These rankings are based on the Warc 100 database, which tracks winners of effectiveness and strategy awards from around the world each year. To compile the rankings, Warc tracked more than 1700 winners in 75 different competitions, assigning points based on the awards won (for example, Gold, Silver or Bronze), then weighting those points based on the competition's rigour and prestige in the global industry.

Warc has also released global rankings of agency networks and holding companies. BBDO Worldwide scored 1232.9 points to become the number one agency network. Ogilvy & Mather (1164.1) was second, with DDB (743.9) third.

Omnicom Group narrowly topped the holding companies rankings, on 3520.4 points to WPP's 3480.9. Publicis Groupe and Interpublic were third and fourth, scoring 1889.6 and 1731.2 points respectively.

"These rankings showcase the agencies that are really making a difference to their clients' businesses," said David Tiltman, head of content at Warc. "By focusing on effectiveness and strategic thinking, the Warc 100 offers a new benchmark for agency performance, based on real campaign results."

In July, Warc released the Warc 100, a ranking of the world's 100 smartest marketing campaigns, which was topped by 'Vodafone Fakka', a campaign for Vodafone by JWT Cairo. Colenso BBDO had three campaigns within the top 100: 'Feel Tip Top', a social media-led campaign for Tip Top, a food brand; the 'V Motion Project' for drink V Energy; and the 'Beyond the Wall' for Mountain Dew, which invited graffiti artists to decorate spaces on Google Street View.

In the media agency rankings, Starcom MediaVest Group Chicago was the clear winner on 118.7 points, with OMD UK in second on 71.5. Colenso/Proximity New Zealand was the top digital agency (96.3 points), ahead of Digitas New York on 86.7.

In the coming days Warc will be announcing further rankings from the Warc 100 database, including the world's top brands and top advertisers.


Data sourced from Warc

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BBDO tops ranking of world's smartest agencies

11 September 2014
LONDON: Colenso BBDO has been named the world's smartest creative agency in new rankings released today by Warc, with BBDO Worldwide and Omnicom also topping the agency networks and holding companies lists respectively.

The BBDO-owned shop, based in Auckland, scored 115.2 points on the new rankings, edging out AMV BBDO (103.4 points) and JWT Cairo (101.6). Ogilvy & Mather New York was in fourth with 95.1 points, making it the top-ranked creative agency in the Americas. Whybin\TBWA Sydney was fifth on 91.9.

These rankings are based on the Warc 100 database, which tracks winners of effectiveness and strategy awards from around the world each year. To compile the rankings, Warc tracked more than 1700 winners in 75 different competitions, assigning points based on the awards won (for example, Gold, Silver or Bronze), then weighting those points based on the competition's rigour and prestige in the global industry.

Warc has also released global rankings of agency networks and holding companies. BBDO Worldwide scored 1232.9 points to become the number one agency network. Ogilvy & Mather (1164.1) was second, with DDB (743.9) third.

Omnicom Group narrowly topped the holding companies rankings, on 3520.4 points to WPP's 3480.9. Publicis Groupe and Interpublic were third and fourth, scoring 1889.6 and 1731.2 points respectively.

“These rankings showcase the agencies that are really making a difference to their clients' businesses,” said David Tiltman, head of content at Warc. “By focusing on effectiveness and strategic thinking, the Warc 100 offers a new benchmark for agency performance, based on real campaign results.”

In July, Warc released the Warc 100, a ranking of the world's 100 smartest marketing campaigns, which was topped by 'Vodafone Fakka', a campaign for Vodafone by JWT Cairo. Colenso BBDO had three campaigns within the top 100: ‘Feel Tip Top', a social media-led campaign for Tip Top, a food brand; the ‘V Motion Project' for drink V Energy; and the ‘Beyond the Wall' for Mountain Dew, which invited graffiti artists to decorate spaces on Google Street View.

In the media agency rankings, Starcom MediaVest Group Chicago was the clear winner on 118.7 points, with OMD UK in second on 71.5. Colenso/Proximity New Zealand was the top digital agency (96.3 points), ahead of Digitas New York on 86.7.

In the coming days Warc will be announcing further rankings from the Warc 100 database, including the world's top brands and top advertisers.


Data sourced from Warc

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Global adspend up 5% this year

11 September 2014
LONDON: Global advertising expenditure will rise faster than expected during 2014, as revised forecasts from media network Carat show growing optimism in the major regions.

Based on data received from 59 markets across the Americas, Asia Pacific and EMEA, Carat is now predicting that adspend will grow at 5% this year, up from March's projection of 4.8%, while the figure for 2015 remains unchanged on 5%.

Upwards revisions came in the leading advertising markets of North America, up from 4.3% to 4.9%, and Western Europe, up from 1.8% to 2.7%. Other regions were downgraded, although Latin America, on 12.1%, and Asia Pacific, on 5.4%, still outperformed the global figure. Only Central & Eastern Europe, down from 5% to 3.5% – and that largely due to a halving of growth in Russia because of the political situation there – could be seen as experiencing difficulties.

Even within the growing regions there are some sharp differences. The US, for example, continues to show strong on-going market growth, with levels of advertising spend now expected to increase 4.9% in 2014 (up from 4.3%). But Canada will slip back from 3.8% growth to 3.3%.

In Western Europe, the UK is leading the charge, with adspend predicted to rise 7.5% in 2014, up from the earlier figure of 5%. Other markets are largely unchanged apart from France which dipped from +0.8% to -0.9%.

By media, digital outperformed previous predictions for 2014 with year-on-year growth forecast at +16.1%. Digital will also increase its total share of spend, reaching 20.5% in 2014 and 22.6% next year, when it will outpace the combined Magazines and Newspaper global share for the first time.

The steady decline in print is expected to continue, while all other mediums are predicted to achieve year-on-year growths of approximately 3%-5% in 2014 and 2015.

Jerry Buhlmann, CEO of Dentsu Aegis Network, said the data showed "positive momentum building across the industry". On the detail of the report, he noted that digital continued to provide the headlines but added that "the components within this dominant media now provide the interesting chapters, with the opportunities in mobile leading the debate".

Warc's Consensus Ad Forecast, a weighted average of industry forecasts including those from Carat, finds that adspend is expected to rise 5.8% in 2014, and a further 5% in 2015. Digital is expected to be the largest driver for growth, with expenditure rising 16.4% and 15.1% in 2014 and 2015 respectively.


Data sourced from Carat; additional content by Warc staff

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Marketers welcome Apple launches

11 September 2014
CUPERTINO, CA: Bigger smartphone screens, an elegant smart watch and mobile payment: marketers have generally reacted positively to the much anticipated launch of new Apple products this week and are already exploring how to incorporate them into their campaigns.

Most obviously, the larger screens of iPhone 6 models – 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches compared to the iPhone 5's 4 inches – offer significantly improved opportunities for digital advertising, especially video.

Jason Kint, CEO of trade group the Online Publishers Association, told Digiday that it was difficult for marketers to produce a meaningful advertising experience on a small screen. "Larger screens are an opportunity for brand marketers to be part of the experience," he said.

The Apple Watch, with its HealthKit fitness-monitoring app, is likely to prove an attractive option for brands operating within the health and fitness categories, but marketers face the challenge of producing material for such a personal device that users do not find intrusive. And in any case, Apple is refusing advertisers access to data from HealthKit.

"The question to ask ourselves is not a media-specific question, but rather: How does the watch integrate into the broader ecosystem of Apple products to make life easier from a technology perspective?" Mark Yackanich, CEO of ad company Genesis Media, told Ad Exchanger. "And from there, there are a lot of interesting things you can do."

That ecosystem has expanded to include the Apple Pay mobile payment service, which uses Near Field Communication (NFC) to enable payment by phone or watch, and which some observers regarded as "the biggest game changer of the day".

More marketers will have the ability to "own the entire purchase funnel", noted Forbes, from initial ad to final purchase. "Apple Pay gives brands the ability to close the marketing loop, all on one device," said Will Kassoy, CEO of mobile video ad firm AdColony. "It's true end-to-end marketing on mobile."

And iPhone users are already more interested in this service than most. Experian Marketing Services noted that its latest Simmons Connect study found that 31% of adult iPhone owners would likely use such a service compared to just 23% of Android owners, and it expected the launch of Apple Pay would result in a significant boost to mobile payments.

It also addressed the fact that larger screens and NFC have been standard features of Android devices for some time, observing that one fifth of iPhone owners saw their phone as an expression of who they were, compared to 16% of Android phone owners. Consequently, many preferred to wait for an Apple-sourced solution rather than turn their back on a brand with which they identified.

Data sourced from Digiday, AdExchanger, Forbes, Experian; additional content by Warc staff

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Kraft favours content marketing

11 September 2014
NEW YORK: Content marketing has proved to be four times more effective than advertising for Kraft Foods, according to a leading executive.

Julie Fleischer, director of data, content and media, told the Content Marketing World conference in Cleveland that the food giant's content marketing generated the equivalent of 1.1bn ad impressions every year and achieved an ROI four times that of targeted advertising.

This is a very recent development, however, as she explained it had only been in the past two years, since the firm's global snack brands had been spun off into Mondelez International, that it had started to think of content in a similar manner to paid advertising.

By that she meant that any content put out had to be worth promoting, Advertising Age reported. She argued that too many marketers regarded content distribution as effectively free thanks to the growth of social media and that had in turn led to the devaluing of content as low quality material was published too frequently.

"It's not about putting something out every day to be part of the conversation," said Fleischer, adding: "If you wouldn't spend money behind it, then why do it?"

That approach she likened to "shouting into the wind without making a sound" and asked how many people were "guilty of being slaves to a calendar or posting cadence".

For her the beauty of content marketing was that it worked as an encouragement to engage: "It's not intrusive and invites the consumer in."

But for all the success Kraft had with content it was not neglecting advertising. "Relevant content programmed strategically with your advertising makes your advertising work harder for you," Fleischer noted.

She also advised paying close attention to trends and reacting quickly – Kraft did this on Pinterest using promoted pins, for example – and using data to push content towards individuals rather than segments.

A white paper from NewsCred, published on Warc, highlighted the three key aspects of content marketing: strategy, design and delivery.

Strategy requires marketers to define campaign goals, map what interests the audience and remain authentic. Strong design ensures storytelling and consistency across platforms and content. And delivery is vital to ensure content does not get lost: real-time delivery is one way to ensure reach, along with providing utility.

Data sourced from Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff

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Mobile ads surge in India

11 September 2014
NEW DELHI: Further confirmation of India's burgeoning mobile market has come from a leading mobile advertising platform which reported the number of delivered impressions had risen 260% in the year to July.

Opera Mediaworks also noted an "aggressive transformation" of the marketplace in a special edition of its State of Mobile Advertising Report, as people switched from feature phones to smartphones, led by Android devices with iOS struggling to make inroads.

"The biggest trend that we identified was really about future opportunity," Mahi de Silva, ceo/Opera Mediaworks, told the Economic Times, as he pointed to the finding that users shifting to smartphones showed above average interest, for India, in certain categories, including news & information, arts & entertainment, and business, finance & investing.

"Given the high monetisation we've seen from these categories on a global level, it's clear that both advertisers and publishers that can deliver rich user experiences on mobile sites and apps in those categories are going to be successful in India as well," he said.

But feature phones are still the main phone type and simple banner ads dominate the Indian market, with only 3.2% of impressions being rich-media creative. That small proportion already produces some 26% of revenue, however, showing the huge potential that exists.

Mobile advertising in India is dominated by games and mobile devices, which together account for almost half (48.2%) of all impressions. Classified ads for items like cars and bicycles make up around one fifth.

As with the rest of the world, the report found that social sites were most widely used by advertisers in India.

Globally, music, video & media, news & information and arts & entertainment sites were the next most popular, but a different picture was evident in India where app stores, gaming and education sites led the way.

As regards mobile users, around one fifth were classified as frequent users, accessing the mobile web almost every day and these received over 60% of all impressions served.

Data sourced from Opera Mediaworks, Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff

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Digital innovation wins Chinese shoppers

11 September 2014
TIANJIN: Spending by lower income Chinese consumers is set to double between 2013 and 2020, according to a new analysis which sees significant opportunities for those brands that can create value through digital innovation.

Accenture, the consulting firm, said that Chinese urban consumers in the low- and middle- income segments represented 70% of nationwide urban consumers and accounted for nearly two thirds of all mass urban consumer expenditure. These groups had spent around $2 trillion in 2013 and were projected to be spending in the region of $4 trillion by 2020.

"Online shopping is popular among lower-income Chinese consumers in small and medium-sized cities, as they can shop as conveniently as the high-end consumers in China's biggest cities", said Gianfranco Casati, Accenture's Group Chief Executive for Growth Markets.

This trend was being driven by the falling price of mobile devices which was leading to their increased penetration and in turn removing the barrier that had previously existed as these consumers had been unable to access physical stores.

"Successfully capturing these opportunities requires companies to place digital at the heart of their strategies, and understand and embrace the demands of the different segments of China's digital consumer," Casati added.

The lower-end segment, for example, tends to be both frugal and concerned with quality while being less brand aware or brand loyal. 

Gong Li, chairman of Accenture Greater China, also warned businesses of the practical difficulties they faced looking for growth here, including a lack of business infrastructure and logistics to deliver products and services and the difficulty of generating scale and efficiency in scattered smaller cities near rural areas.

Accenture highlighted four key actions companies should take, starting by putting consumer insights at the core of business processes and refocusing sales platforms towards digital channels.

Personalising and improving the customer experience will help build loyalty, it said, while an omnichannel digital approach would connect businesses externally to customers and internally across business units.

Finally, companies needed to fully understand the new consumer market ecosystem based on big data and m-commerce platforms. That way they would be able to keep up with the growing customer demand for services, while using customer data and insights to create innovative business models.


Data sourced from Accenture; additional content by Warc staff

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Bonobos seeks to disrupt fashion retail

11 September 2014
NEW YORK: "Digitally-built brands" have the potential to disrupt the online and offline retail sectors by taking control of the entire customer experience, the chief executive of Bonobos, the apparel group, has argued.

Andy Dunn, the ceo/co-founder/chairman of Bonobos, discussed the evolution of the retail category at a recent conference. One major shift, he suggested, is how operators with digital roots are now changing the game.

"The future is not only digital, but it is digitally-built brands," he said. (For more, including details of the other trends outlined by Dunn, read Warc's exclusive report: Three trends reshaping retail: insights from Bonobos.)

"And it is going to be a massive disruption to traditionally-built brands, and it's going to be a massive disruption to traditionally-built, third-party branded sellers."

Drilling down further into this proposition, he predicted that more online companies will become merchants, designers and "vertically-integrated firms" all in one – repeating a pattern previously seen in physical retail.

"We had seen this movie before," said Dunn. "Third-party branded selling moves to vertically-integrated selling in the same way that it did in the offline world."

As a demonstration, he pointed to chains like Gap, which in the 1980s kickstarted a transformation in retail by making clothes and selling them in its stores, giving it complete control over the customer experience.

This form of "vertical integration" also gave rise to fast-fashion experts Zara, Uniqlo and H&M, as well as furniture groups IKEA and West Elm, and Trader Joe's in the grocery sector.

"It occurred to me that the same thing that happened in brick-and-mortar retail was going to happen on the internet," Dunn said.

Zappos served as a forerunner of this shift in the digital arena by building a service-led online business for shoes, and has since been joined by players like eyewear specialist Warby Parker and male-grooming brand Harry's.

The success of these companies, Dunn maintained, helps support his views about the potential impact of digital-first enterprises.

"I feel more confident in this, because I see it happening," he said. "Everywhere I look … people are building brands with digital at the core. So I think this is the future."

Data sourced from Warc

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Adblocking goes mainstream

10 September 2014
COLOGNE: Nearly 5% of all internet users now employ adblocking software, according to a new report which suggests it has become mainstream following a surge in installations over the past 12 months.

Adblocking Goes Mainstream, a joint study from PageFair, a provider of adblock solutions to publishers, and Adobe, said the number of people who utilised this software had risen 69% in the year to June to hit a total of 144m active users.

Usage reached a peak among 18-29 year olds in the US, 41% of whom claimed to use adblock software. Overall more than one quarter of US users (27.6%) said they employed adblock software when browsing.

Similarly high figures were seen in Poland, Sweden, Denmark and Greece, where an average 24% of the online population had used adblocking software in the second quarter of 2014.

While adblocking is currently most evident in western markets, other countries are catching up – PageFair pointed to Japan and China as examples where adblock usage is growing fast.

These users are not totally opposed to advertising, however, often being more concerned with specific formats – the study found they were particularly ill-disposed towards ads that intruded on their ability to consume intended content. But over 60% of adblockers were at least partially receptive to viewing text, still-images and skippable pre-roll ads.

Speaking to the Guardian, PageFair CEO Sean Blanchfield described adblocking software as "the Napster of the advertising industry". This rejection of "aggressive advertising" meant, he said, that "the only sustainable response is to listen to these users and offer a cleaner advertising experience."

He highlighted the finding that the use of adblocking was especially widespread among millennials. "You can basically see a large cohort of adblockers growing up – as adblockers. And this isn't good news for the advertising industry, or publishers," he observed.

"The thing about advertising is that the end user isn't part of that contract; the contract is between the publisher and the advertiser," he added. "And the end user who installs Adblock really isn't mindful of the fact that they're impacting the revenue of the publisher."

PageFair itself allows publishers to display acceptable ads to their adblock visitors and claims to have an opt-out rate of less than 1% and a CTR comparable with regular advertising.

Data sourced from Pagefair, The Guardian; additional content by Warc staff

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Consistent innovation success possible

10 September 2014
LONDON: Around three quarters of all new product launches fail within a year but a new study claims marketers can turn those into successes by changing their approach to innovation.

The Nielsen Breakthrough Innovation Report – based on an analysis of 12,000 FMCG product launches across western Europe since 2011 – revealed that two thirds of new products did not shift even 10,000 units, while three in four failed to retain a retailer listing beyond their first year.

The research business said, however, that it was possible for marketers to "predictably and consistently overturn historical high failure rates to achieve 85% success" by building a passionate culture around innovation.

"Innovation success is never just a remarkable coincidence," said Johan Sjöstrand, managing director of Nielsen's innovation practice in Europe. "It's about deliberate attempts to disrupt all aspects of the innovation process and challenge everyday norms, such as consumer attitudes, long-standing beliefs, launch mechanics, organisational behaviour and disciplines."

The study identified four principles common to every breakthrough innovation success. These started with making the right choice of innovation to pursue by walking in the shoes of the consumer to uncover key demand-driven insights.

After that it is necessary to have the right organisational framework and processes in place to shape the chosen innovation into a market-ready offer that has relevance, differentiation and superiority.

The activation strategy must then include creative marketing that is original and which tells the story of the innovation. Finally, the organisation has to be together behind the project, from top to bottom.

"The absence of any one of these four components – no matter how good the other three – severely limits the possibility of breakthrough success," Sjöstrand stated.

From the 12,000 launches analysed, Nielsen was able to announce just seven Breakthrough Innovation Winners which had met its criteria for this title.

Foster's Gold, Magnum Infinity, Milka Choco Supreme, Mullerlight Greek-style Yogurt, Lucozade Energy Pink Lemonade, Oral-B Pro-Expert All-Around Protection and Sodebo Salade et Compagnie had all delivered a new proposition, generated a minimum of £10m in first-year sales, and maintained at least 85% of year-one sales in year two.

The full report will be available from Nielsen.com later this month.


Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff

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Media agencies criticised on arbitrage

10 September 2014
SINGAPORE: Media agencies need to think long term and be more transparent about the amount of money they make on programmatic deals or risk losing business, a leading industry figure has said.

"Programmatic buying is at a crossroads, and media agencies can choose one of two paths," Pete Mitchell, global media innovations director for Mondelez International told Mumbrella Asia.

He was critical of the short-term revenue path, "where media agencies charge us [clients] for additional services such as machine-based buying of digital advertising, and there's an undisclosed margin within that".

Mitchell conceded that some direct response advertisers might currently accept this situation since they had benefited hugely from the from the reductions in cost-per-conversion enabled by programmatic, "but media agencies can't do this [arbitrage] over the long term, when all media buying is done by machines, and expect clients to accept it".

Only last week a report from the World Federation of Advertisers found that two thirds of leading marketers thought the practice of arbitrage was unacceptable.

Media agencies, said Mitchell, needed to "grow up" and consider their longer-term relationships with clients.

"If media agencies say to us [the client]: 'We'll make a bigger margin out of you from programmatic than we do for other media channels, because we have the technology and we're making products and services for you that you don't have, but we'll disclose what the margin is – that's fine," he said.

He expected that being upfront about those margins would help agencies to retain and grow business as more money was diverted into programmatic.

Ultimately, he argued, clients were paying for data, not the buying cycle. "Soon all media buying will be machine-based, and there will be no value in buying, only in thought and strategy," he said.

"Putting data together to create a thought-provoking communications plan – that's what we should be paying for. The margin on buying should be zero."

Data sourced from Mumbrella; additional content by Warc staff

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Brands can be helpers not heroes

10 September 2014
PHILADELPHIA, PENN: Brands need to take consumer mood into account in their marketing as new research shows people who feel they lack control over parts of their lives prefer a brand that can work with them to achieve their goals.

A paper in in the Journal of Consumer Research – Doing It the Hard Way: How Low Control Drives Preferences for High-Effort Products and Services – argued that it was not always the case that consumers wanted easy, high-tech routes to success.

Wharton marketing professor Keisha Cutright explained to Knowledge@Wharton that she her colleague, Adriana Samper of Arizona University, had sought to understand what types of products people liked to buy when they were pursuing different aims. They were particularly interested in whether consumers chose the brand that claimed to make things easy for them or the one that promised to help but expected hard work from the purchaser as well.

"We find when people feel low control over different aspects of their lives, they actually want the brand that is more of the helper, not the hero," she said. "People want to feel as if they have to put in the work, because this gives them a sense of empowerment, it makes them feel as if eventually, they can actually control outcomes in their lives again."

Marketers might want to consider this in their advertising, Cutright suggested, putting less emphasis on ease of use and product benefits and more on the consumer's role in achieving the desired outcome, an idea that could apply to everything from sporting goods to cleaning products.

"We all try to reassert control in different ways, ways that we may not expect and ways that don't necessarily always seem logical or rational to others," she noted. "But, it's our way of establishing control in life."

Giving people a prop, such as a brand, could spur them to put in the required effort. "They've got Nike by their side, right? Now they have a chance to say, "Let me put in this hard work; I know I can do it. I have support here, and now I can feel empowered." So, they're not as likely to give up as what we've seen in prior research."

Data sourced from Knowledge@Wharton; additional content by Warc staff

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LEGO balances digital and physical

10 September 2014
NEW YORK: LEGO, the world's biggest toymaker by sales, is seeking to find the right balance between digital engagement and physical building as it aims to connect with consumers.

The firm overtook Mattel to assume the position as the largest player in its sector globally during the first half of this year, as revenues rose by 11% to $2.03bn.

With major successes such as "The LEGO Movie" – which had grossed $468m worldwide by 21 August – and a burgeoning slate of digital assets at its disposal, the company is flourishing across different channels.

But according to Justin Tripp, LEGO's vp/channel development, identifying the optimum combination of digital and physical is a key objective.

"We don't want to drive children to spend their whole day in front of the screen," he told delegates on a webinar held by the Direct Marketing Association. (For more, including the company's approach to measurement, read Warc's exclusive report: LEGO builds for the multimedia future.)

"I'm a parent myself: it annoys me to see my children just constantly looking at the screen. So, if we do want to go that way, it's kind of a double-edged sword: we've really got to tread lightly on how we actually engage digitally, but also encourage physical building."

One way the Danish enterprise is achieving this goal is by introducing LEGO Fusion, a line where users build sets on a special platform, and photograph their creations with a smartphone to import them into a virtual game.

"You can create your own world, you can build a product, you can take a photo of that product, and then that gets uploaded into your world and it becomes part of your ... race track if it's a racing game you're playing or part of your community if you're trying to build a civilization," said Tripp.

Similarly, while "The LEGO Movie" combined a range of spin-offs, including online and video games, the brand's physical roots were an essential component of the mix – right down to the film's plotline.

This example helps illustrate a broader truth about the company's future: bricks remain at the heart of its business, with digital clicks adding an extra layer and level of excitement to the customer experience.

"We're really trying to adopt that, but at the same time we have to be cognizant that our product delivers so much from a physical building experience," said Tripp.

"Allowing a kid the creativity and the imagination with a physical building experience is vital to us. And if we can take that to an online experience as well, then absolutely that's something we're going to focus on in the future."

Data sourced from Warc

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Digital fuels increase in media time

10 September 2014
NEW YORK: The growth of digital video is driving an increase in overall media consumption across all US age groups new research has shown.

The Cross-Platform Report Q2 2014, from researcher Nielsen, revealed that even as viewers were cutting back on television viewing they were more than making up for those lost minutes with the time spent on digital.

Some of the fastest digital growth was coming from the older age groups, with daily online video viewing times up 80% year on year among 35-49 year olds to around 26 minutes. An older group of 50-64 year olds registered a 60% rise to about 19 minutes.

The increase was lowest for 18-34 year olds, at 53%, but on 35 minutes daily they are already further down the digital route.

Distinct ethnic differences emerged, with young black and Asian consumers significantly more likely to spend time on digital video, at 48 minutes and 51 minutes respectively.

Daily TV viewing times dipped by six minutes among 50-64 year olds to 6 hours 12 minutes, by four minutes among 35-49 year olds to 4 hours and 57 minutes, and by five minutes among 18-34 year olds to 4 hours 17 minutes.

"This continuing shift should be embraced as an opportunity," declared Dounia Turrill, svp/Insights Nielsen. "It's not about winners and losers, it's about the opportunity to iterate and redefine the rules of the game," she added.

Much of the shift appears to be taking place via smartphones, as the report noted a 33% increase in the average time spent on these devices, from 1 hour 4 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes.

"Consumers have become accustomed to controlling the wide array of content at their fingertips," said Turrill. "The overarching data suggests that the growth of media consumption is and will continue to be in digital for all consumers.

"We can surmise that having tasted the freedom of choice, the American consumer will not go back to old ways," she concluded.

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff

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J&J India targets undeveloped categories

10 September 2014
NEW DELHI: Johnson & Johnson, the personal care products business, regards categories such as face care and women's sanitary products as having significant growth potential in India and is seeking to engage with consumers in these markets.

Ganesh Bangalore, General Manager Marketing (Consumer) at Johnson & Johnson India, told [Impact] that penetration of sanitary napkins in the country stood at an "abysmal" 15%, thanks to a combination of a lack of awareness, access and affordability.

J&J's Stayfree brand had accordingly undertaken several initiatives aimed at educating women in lower tier cities and rural areas about these matters.

Project Jyot, for example, was training village women in one area to instruct other women and girls about menstruation and sanitary hygiene, while a tie up with Unicef, Women for Change, saw the brand donate one percent of its half-yearly sales to help educate adolescent girls in Bihar and Jharkhand.

"This initiative has so far helped over one million girls across India to access sanitary napkins and has empowered them to live a healthy and hygienic life," said Bangalore.

Within that, J&J has also developed a scheme to bridge the gap between India's extremes of wealth and poverty. The 'Support a Woman' programme enables women from privileged backgrounds to help underprivileged women fight anaemia, he explained, by providing medical check-ups, haemoglobin estimation tests and iron–folic acid and calcium tablets for a period of three months.

He welcomed the entry of more brands into this category, a development he expected would only increase awareness about the need for better hygiene and which would drive category growth of around 20% a year for the next five years.

The face wash category was forecast to grow almost as fast, at 15% a year, and J&J was using a consumer engagement strategy here too. Its Clean & Clear brand focused on being present on teen platforms and delivering relevant content, whether that was by exploiting the selfie trend or crowdsourcing ideas for TV commercials.

J&J's latest campaign for the brand sees it encouraging teenage girls to celebrate what makes them different and get their friends to join a 'movement'.

Data sourced from [Impact]; additional content by Warc staff

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