Coke and Unilever top Warc 100 rankings

27 February 2015
LONDON: Coca-Cola and Unilever have been named the world's best brand and advertiser respectively, according to new results from the Warc 100, which tracks annual performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions.

The US beverage brand was a clear winner on the brand rankings, scoring 387 points. McDonald's came in second place on 190 points, ahead of Mercedes-Benz on 173.

Meanwhile, on the advertiser rankings, Unilever finished in first place globally on 785 points. FMCG rival Procter & Gamble was second on 576 points, while the Coca-Cola Company was third on 455.

The Warc 100 is an annual list of the world's best campaigns, agencies and brands, based on their performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions in the previous calendar year. To compile this year's rankings, Warc tracked more than 2,200 winning campaigns from 87 different competitions.

Elsewhere on the rankings, this year's number one was 'Kan Khajura Tesan', a campaign for Hindustan Unilever developed by Lowe Lintas and PHD in India. Lowe Lintas was also ranked the top creative agency in the world, scoring 213 points, with AMV BBDO second on 191 points.

Commenting on the rankings, Priya Nair, Executive Director, Homecare, at Hindustan Unilever, said: "Kan Khajura Tesan is a great example of creating branded content using an unconventional medium. It has allowed us to build a platform that creates a two way connection between brands and consumers. We are only at the beginning of our journey with building mobile as a marketing medium."

BBDO Worldwide was the clear winner on the agency network rankings, with 1236 points versus second-placed Ogilvy & Mather's 1027 points. Among holding companies, WPP (4008 points) was ranked number one, ahead of Omnicom Group (3943).

Starcom MediaVest Group Chicago was named top media agency, while 360i New York was top digital agency.

You can read full 2015 results from the Warc 100 on our microsite. Warc subscribers can also read the full case studies for the winning campaigns, including 'Kan Khajura Tesan', which was ranked number one campaign of the year.

Data sourced from Warc

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TV viewing dips in UK

27 February 2015
LONDON: The average daily amount of time UK viewers spent watching TV dipped by around ten minutes in 2014 as the heaviest users of the medium reined in their habit, according to new figures.

Data from the Broadcasters' Audience Research Board (BARB) showed that viewers watched a total of 3 hours 41 minutes of TV every day on a TV set – either live or on playback or on-demand within seven days of broadcast.

Separate data from Thinkbox, the marketing body for TV broadcasters was based on figures supplied by broadcasters themselves. This revealed that 3 minutes 30 seconds of TV was consumed via devices such as tablets, smartphones and laptops – mostly on-demand but some via live streaming.

In all, there was a decline of 10 minutes 30 seconds, attributable entirely to a drop in TV set viewing. It fell 4.7% while viewing on other screens grew 17%.

Despite that, TV sets continue to be the UK's screen of choice by some distance: in 2014, 98.4% of all TV was watched on a TV set and most of that took place in the living room.

Putting this into a longer term perspective, TV set viewing was only 0.4% less in 2014 than it was 10 years ago, Thinkbox said. And reach remained high at 94.2% a week in 2014.

That last figure was slight down on 2013 (94.6%), which was explained by the fact that those who were watching the most watched a bit less: the number of viewers who watched over 4 hours a day in 2014 fell by 7.2% compared with 2013.

Most viewing continues to be live – 88% in 2014 compared to 89% in 2013 – with the level of non-live viewing (i.e. playback and VOD within 7 days on a TV set) settling around the 15-20% mark.

But as viewing increasingly takes place outside those seven days – the measurement on which TV advertising is traded – BARB also measured viewing that had taken place between eight and 28 days after broadcast. A more nuanced picture emerged, with the 4.7% decline noted above being reduced to 3.4%.

Younger people watched 7.1% less TV in 2014 but it remains the dominant medium and, crucially for advertisers, commercial TV accounted for three quarters (74.8%) of the viewing of 16-34 year olds.

That was above the national average of 65.8%, meaning that the average person watched 2 hours 25 minutes of commercial TV a day, including 45 ads – seven more than ten years ago.

Data sourced from Thinkbox; additional content by Warc staff

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Opacity hinders programmatic

27 February 2015
LONDON: Three quarters of marketers are planning to increase their programmatic brand spend in the next six to 12 months but they are holding off major investments amid ongoing concerns about financial transparency.

A new survey from programmatic specialist Infectious Media polled 30 senior marketers at leading brands across Europe and found that brand marketers were now well aware of the benefits of programmatic advertising, with the opportunity to increase sales seen as the biggest advantage by 75% of marketers, followed by the ability to personalise ad messages and to make use of CRM data (both cited by 65%).

But it also revealed some major barriers to the future growth of programmatic ad spend, chief of which was the "lack of transparency of financials" – an issue for two thirds (65%) of respondents.

"The IAB forecast programmatic would account for nearly half of display advertising last year, so imagine how high it could be in 2015 if transparency wasn't an issue," said Martin Kelly, founder and CEO of Infectious Media.

The complexity of the ecosystem (55%) and lack of appropriate measurements (50%) were the next most significant obstacles to increasing programmatic spend, while a lack of trust in the agency relationship and a lack of transparency of delivery were both cited by 45% of marketers.

Issues around brand safety and abuse of data were mentioned by only 25% of respondents.

While these senior marketers may be aware of programmatic's benefits there were several areas about which they felt the need to become better informed, most notably around how to form a programmatic strategy (85%).

They also wanted to know more about the players in the ecosystem (65%) and how other businesses have been successful using programmatic (55%).

Warc's Programmatic Primer can provide them with an overview, while Toolkit 2015 offers the latest thinking and case studies.

"Brands are struggling to build a programmatic advertising strategy that fits into a wider media mix and marketing plan", said Kelly. "It's up to us as an industry to provide the guidance they need to overcome this challenge."

Data sourced from Infectious Media; additional content by Warc staff

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Affluent millennials redefine luxury

27 February 2015
NEW YORK: Over the next decade luxury brands will have to rethink their marketing approach as the millennial generation moves into its peak earning years, according to a new report which anticipates a spending boom in 2026.

In Millennials on Road to Affluence: Mapping a Path to the Next Luxury Generation, Unity Marketing says that this age group is set to become the main customer for marketers "at the high-end and low-end of the market and everywhere in between".

And those same marketers are going to have to "learn a new bag of tricks" to appeal to their very different tastes, attitudes and perceptions.

"They will need to understand that millennials are going to be as different from their parent's generation [the baby boomers] as the baby boomers were from their World War II/Swing generation parents," Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing, told Luxury Daily.

She added that "millennials will define luxury in a brand new style and express luxury in brand new ways".

Older millennials are already entering their peak earning period, but Unity Marketing suggested another ten years would pass before their numbers reached the critical mass that would spark a consumer boom.

And at that point they would not be following the conspicuous consumption path of their parents.

Danziger explained that Unity's research had established that millennials on the road to affluence had middle-class tastes rather than luxury ones when it came to possessions like homes and cars.

"What they did aspire to was a lifestyle that gave them time to express their personal passions," she said.

That meant eschewing long working hours and adopting a more modest lifestyle in order to gain time "to goof off and play with family and friends and plenty of vacations".

Brands are no longer regarded as status symbols to be aspired to. Instead, said Danziger, marketers "need instead to focus on inspiration … inspiring their customers to desire their brands as the best-of-the-best and quality that will last and be a true classic".

Warc's Toolkit 2015 also highlighted the role of millennials in the year ahead, noting that even though they were among the most-researched generation ever, many marketers still struggled to find the right way to engage them.

The reverse also holds true, as this generation is the most clued up about the brands it is buying and has high expectations of them.


Data sourced from Luxury Week; additional content by Warc staff

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US TV ad revenue slides

27 February 2015
NEW YORK: Media investment agency Magna Global says 2015 will be a worse year for TV advertising in the US than it had previously forecast as spend continues to leak to digital.

In August 2014 it was predicting a decline of 0.9% but it has now revised this to a more significant decrease of 2.9%, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"TV will get a smaller piece of the pie than we previously thought based on our analysis of what happened in 2014," said Vincent Letang, Magna Global's director of global forecasting.

Stripping out events like the Winter Olympics, US ad revenues grew 1.6% in 2014, in part because of an economic slowdown in the first quarter. On the same basis, TV ad revenues fell 0.4%.

Magna Global pointed to ratings declines as one factor at work in TV's poor showing. Letang added that the continued growth of digital media was no longer capable of being fuelled by diverting money from print and radio, so TV budgets were now having to contribute.

Further, some advertising categories with a traditional focus on television had increased their digital investment in 2014 and were expected to carry on doing so in 2015.

Digital media spending rose 15% to $49bn in 2014 to take a 30% share of total ad expenditure and Magna Global predicted that digital and television would have equal shares worth $68bn by 2016.

It also observed the effects of "digital deflation" on US ad growth generally, as digital investment leads to productivity gains and a focus on channelling subsequent budget savings into optimisation rather than further investment.

That was a factor in Magna Global cutting the projected growth of media owners' ad revenues in the coming year from 4.9% to 2015.

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

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Mobile advertising surges in Australia

27 February 2015
SYDNEY: Mobile advertising expenditure in Australia more than doubled during 2014, according to new figures from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

The trade body's Online Advertising Expenditure Report for the quarter ending 31 December 2014, compiled by PricewaterhouseCoopers, showed that mobile was by far the fastest growing category as it grew 118% to reach a total of A$762m, or around 17% of all online advertising.

Overall expenditure for the calendar year across all categories reached A$4.6bn, a 16% increase on 2013, although fourth quarter spending was slower, up 7.1% year-on-year to A$1.2bn.

Video also emerged as a category that was starting to take off, increasing 52% over the year to reach A$237m.

But with a value of A$2.3bn, search and directories remained the single biggest category, accounting for half the total expenditure. Its annual rate of growth, however, slowed to 8%, half that of the overall industry.

General display took almost one third (30%) of online advertising expenditure. At $1.4bn, this was a 25% rise on 2013.

There was a similar rise in Classifieds, the final category, where spending amounted to A$0.9bn. This performance was, the IAB noted, better than the global average.

"While we are delighted about the sustained and robust growth of online advertising, we are most pleased that the proportion of expenditure in specific categories is aligning to category shares in the advertising market as a whole," said Alice Manners, CEO of IAB Australia.

"This signifies that advertisers are seeing digital categories as being a comparable investment to their traditional counterparts."

Retail took a 10.9% share of the total display market in the fourth quarter, its biggest share ever and bringing it in line with the retail category's 9.9% share of the total advertising market, AdNews reported.

The finance and computers and communications categories were also becoming more closely aligned with general market advertising spend.

Data sourced from IAB Australia, Ad News; additional content by Warc staff

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China's consumers look beyond price

27 February 2015
SHANGHAI: Price has often been regarded as a key factor in the purchasing decisions of Chinese consumers, but a study has shown that quality is now a major factor for many.

Marketing company Epsilon surveyed 1,000 people, exploring Chinese consumers' definitions of brand loyalty and their loyalty motivations. It found that good quality products/services were the top loyalty motivator, cited by 36%, just ahead of value for money on 35%.

Quality was seen as being particularly important in financial services (40%) and ecommerce (40%), even more so than in luxury (39%).

Good customer services/support were valued by 30% of respondents while brand popularity was an influence for 26%. And despite the boom in ecommerce, a convenient location remained a factor for 24%.

The traditional trappings of loyalty programs were not especially important – things like member-only privileges and rewards for repeat purchase were cited by only 24% and 22% respectively.

In China, said the study, the return on loyalty investment is high: loyalists across sectors were 19% more likely to visit their preferred brands more often and spend more on their favourite brands.

They were also more generous with their private information and more likely to refer products and services to friends.

Among the brands achieving the highest levels of loyalty were Apple and Samsung. The former was highlighted as an example of a brand being adept at integrating online and offline touch points to deliver a seamless customer service experience.

Vivien Deng, China country leader at Epsilon, told Campaign Asia-Pacific, that consumers were especially impressed with the Apple Genius Bar, where in-store employees with extensive product knowledge can offer face-to-face technical support and troubleshoot hardware problems.

They experienced, she said, a level of respect and must-do service attitude that continued to elude retail staff in other sectors.

Separately, Alexander Jutkowitz, chief global strategist at Hill & Knowlton Strategies, has argued that the Apple example signals the decline of the chief marketing officer and the rise of the chief loyalty officer.

Customers return to brands like Apple, he said because "being a loyal fan of the brand reassures them that they are succeeding in being a certain kind of person".

Building loyalty, he added, is hard work that requires brands not just to value their customers but to like them enough to have a conversation every day.

Data sourced from Campaign Asia-Pacific, China Money Network, BRW; additional content by Warc staff

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Lowe, BBDO, WPP top Warc 100

26 February 2015
LONDON: Lowe Lintas, BBDO Worldwide and WPP have been named the best creative agency, network and holding company of the year respectively, according to new results from the Warc 100, which tracks annual performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions.

The Mumbai-based number one creative agency scored 213 points, with AMV BBDO second on 191 points and Colenso BBDO third on 148 points. Lowe Lintas also had the Warc 100's top-ranked campaign this year, with its 'Kan Khajura Tesan' initiative for Hindustan Unilever.

Rounding out the top five were Ogilvy & Mather New York (136 points) and Grey London (131 points).

Joseph George, CEO of Lowe Lintas India, added: "Warc is an organisation we hold in very high regard. And so this recognition is both extremely satisfying and spurring."

Elsewhere, BBDO Worldwide was the clear winner on the agency network rankings, with 1,236 points versus second-placed Ogilvy & Mather's 1,027 points. Among holding companies, WPP (4,008 points) was ranked number one, ahead of Omnicom Group (3,943) Publicis Groupe (2,552) and Interpublic Group (2535).

Andrew Robertson, President and CEO of BBDO Worldwide, said: "We believe the best work works best. Our goal is to be, and to be seen to be, the network that produces the most creative work that works best for its clients.

"The best proxy we have for measuring our performance against other agencies in effectiveness and the quality of our thinking is award schemes like those that are tracked by Warc. For us, it's very, very important. We aim to win it every year."

Starcom MediaVest Group Chicago was named top media agency, with PHD Mumbai in second place. 360i New York was top digital agency, with R/GA New York in second.

The Warc 100 is an annual list of the world's best campaigns, agencies and brands, based on their performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions in the previous calendar year. To compile this year's rankings, Warc tracked more than 2,200 winning campaigns from 87 different competitions.

You can read full 2015 results from the Warc 100 on our microsite. Warc subscribers can also read the full case studies for the winning campaigns, including 'Kan Khajura Tesan', which was ranked number one campaign of the year.

Data sourced from Warc

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Customer service goes digital

26 February 2015
GLOBAL: Marketers need to adopt their customer service strategies to the new digital reality within the next two years or face losing business a study has said.

Research published by Dimension Data in its annual Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report – 901 organisations in 72 countries around the world participated – reveals that non-voice traffic (digital) is set to rise in 87% of contact centres over the next 24 months, while voice traffic (talking to a customer centre agent on the telephone) will drop in 42% of contact centres during the same period.

By the end of 2016, customers will be using up to seven different digital channels, in addition to the telephone.

"This represents the biggest change in the contact centre business in 30 years, and has profound implications for the way organisations deploy technology to deliver and manage customer service," said Adam Foster, Dimension Data's Group Executive – Communications.

But he stressed that the changes under way did not spell the end for contact centres and the people employed there.

"That's definitely not the case," he stated. "The reality is that their scope has been broadened, and the types of interactions that are happening via the telephone where an agent is required, are becoming more complex and more critical."

Recognising this, Telecom brand O2 trained "Gurus" – knowledgeable and tech-passionate people – to deal with interactions in-store and in contact centres, and while they were hugely successful in delivering a differentiated customer service, they proved costly and had limited reach.

But they did provide the foundation for a move into online video content that offered customers simple and clear instructions on how to deal with a range of common problems and so help reduce churn while increasing acquisition.

Around 74% of contact centres surveyed by Dimension Data predicted that the overall number of transactions would increase, largely fuelled by digital, but the report also said this trend was having a negative impact on customer satisfaction.

Three quarters of businesses recognised that service was a differentiator, but customer satisfaction had fallen for the fourth year in a row.

"Because voice is often the channel of last resort, this is where the moment of truth really happens," Foster observed. 

"If agents can't resolve the customer's call, it will reflect badly on the organisation, and could lead to the search for an alternative supplier."


Data sourced from Business Wire; additional content by Warc staff

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Google is most popular brand

26 February 2015
KANSAS CITY, MO: Google is the brand people talk about most online, but Disney is the one that generates the most love according to a new study.

Infegy, a provider of social media intelligence technology, analysed more than 800 brands and drew on billions of online conversations from last year in compiling The World's 50 Most Popular Brands of 2014.

Google, the internet giant, claimed the top spot for the second year in a row thanks to volume of conversations, positive sentiment and overall passion for the brand.

Entertainment brand Disney was ranked sixth overall but with an overwhelming 86% positive conversations it led in positive brand sentiment.

At the other end of that spectrum were broadcast networks CNN – which registered the most negative brand sentiment: 52% negative, 41% positive, and 7% mixed feelings – and Fox, where the equivalent figures were 52%, 42% and 6%.

Social media sites Twitter and Facebook took second and third spots overall, with Tumblr in fifth and YouTube in ninth.

Tech firm Apple rose to fourth place, thanks to a peak of chatter in September and October when the iPhone 6 was launched; but total conversations were down 32% compared to 2013, said Infegy.

Tech firm Microsoft, carmaker BMW and sportswear brand Nike rounded out the top ten.

The biggest overall gain came from restaurant chain Chipotle which moved up ten places to number 30, while carmaker Chevrolet saw the biggest decline, dropping 13 spots to number 46.

There were five newcomers to the list, led by Flappy Bird, the only game present, while FitBit saw the highest purchase intent at 36%, highlighting the emerging trend of wearable tech and how important fitness integration is for these devices.

"As the popularity of online and social brands gains momentum, this report shows how the world is changing and how a new generation is interacting with and responding to brands," said Justin Graves, CEO and founder of Infegy.

"Marketers will need to make adjustments to their campaigns and initiatives in order to strategically reach consumers in a positive and engaging manner," he added.

Data sourced from Infegy, Business Wire; additional content by Warc staff

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Ad control extends to mobile

26 February 2015
NEW YORK: US consumers now have the option to opt out of tracking by advertisers or to restrict which ones can contact them on apps and the mobile web with the Digital Advertising Alliance's (DAA) introduction of two new tools.

AppChoices and the DAA Consumer Choice Page for Mobile Web will supplement AdChoices, the self-regulatory organisation's existing scheme for desktops that allows users to control which, if any advertisers, can collect data for use in interest-based advertising.

"The DAA's ubiquitous icon signals a set of safeguards to the consumer," said Lou Mastria, DAA Executive Director, "among them easy-to-use choice mechanisms which give consumers control over data collection and use in the evolving world of the mobile internet and across mobile apps – just as the icon helps deliver access to those same protections on desktops."

While cookies track users on desktops, Mastria explained the in-app technology would rely on Ad-IDs instead. "In the app world it's slightly different but the technology does hold up," he said.

A poll for the DAA last year indicated that seven in ten consumers wanted tools available that provide them transparency and choice over data collection wherever and however they accessed the internet. And nearly as many wanted to pick and choose which companies bring them relevant offers.

"Bringing greater transparency to all digital venues will both build consumer trust and enhance the efficacy of online interest-based advertising," said Randall Rothenberg, IAB president and CEO.

A fine sentiment, but Advertising Age questioned whether people would actually download the app, which the DAA intends to market through its AdChoices button.

This is served on ads 1 trillion times a month globally, but the magazine wondered how many people even noticed those ads – concerns around fraud and viewability are widespread – and if they did see them, how many registered the AdChoices button or even knew what it meant.

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

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Asians are impatient online shoppers

26 February 2015
SINAGPORE: Slow-loading web pages are a frustration for many online shoppers but especially annoying for those in Asia, research has shown.

A global study by Dyn, the internet performance business, surveyed more than 1,400 consumers across 11 countries in North America, EMEA and APAC to understand their shopping preferences, what they are expecting and experiencing.

This found that slow websites and security concerns were the two key factors that affected the potential revenues of ecommerce players, with consumers across Asia-Pacific especially sensitive to these issues.

Few consumers – just 12% globally, falling to 6% in Malaysia – were prepared to wait for slow-performing sites to co-operate, but there were some striking differences in attitude thereafter.

European and American consumers were far more likely to go back and try again later, while the inclination of Asian consumers was to find an alternative place to shop. That was the reaction of more than 60% of respondents in China, Hong Kong, India and Malaysia.

What exactly constitutes "slow" turns out to be around three seconds: that was the maximum time 80% of Chinese respondents were prepared to wait, with more than half those people expecting sites to respond in one or two seconds.

Slow sites also have a greater impact than the immediate shopping experience, as more than 85% of all consumers surveyed agreed that the speed and quality of a website's performance affected their trust in a company.

"Retailers and ecommerce companies are losing sales and the potential of life-long customers because of poor performing websites," the report warned.

And increasingly those websites need to be optimised for mobile, particularly in China and India. The survey revealed that while 40% of consumers globally made at least one quarter of their purchases on their mobile devices, that rose to almost 80% in China and 65% in India.

"The Indian online shopper is maturing fast and has expectations at par with global consumers," Martin Ryan, vice president and managing director of Dyn, told Digital Market Asia

"Ecommerce businesses need to live up to these expectations."


Data sourced from Dyn, Digital Market Asia; additional content by Warc staff

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Foreign brands most trusted in India

26 February 2015
Only three Indian brands – Tata, Bajaj and Godrej – feature in the top ten most trusted brands in India according to a new report, as Korea's LG tops the list.

The Brand Trust Report, India Study, compiled by brand intelligence business TRA was based on research conducted among 2,373 'influencer' respondents across 16 cities.

TRA noted that LG, the Korean consumer electronics brand, had shown "a consistent trust legacy" over the years. Its leading position was, said CEO N. Chandramouli, "a result of the brand's tireless focus on providing consumer value".

Not only that, "they have understood the Indian mindset very well and have connected to consumers".

Soon Kwan, managing director of LG Electronics India, agreed: "Localisation goes hand in hand with global flagship products," he said, adding that "Trust is the most important factor behind the success of any consumer brand in the world".

Samsung Mobiles, the Korean phone brand, ranked second, rising 377 places from last year, with Sony, the Japanese consumer electronics business, dropping one place to third.

The leading Indian brands were all conglomerates. In fourth place, Tata was the most trusted Indian brand, down one place from, 2014, while Bajaj, in sixth place, had jumped 40 places and Godrej, in ninth place, had risen seven places.

Finnish phone brand Nokia, now owned by Microsoft, has had its troubles elsewhere in recent years, but it remains a trusted brand in India, steady in fifth place.

Rounding out the top ten were Japanese automaker Honda in seventh, up one place, and two US tech businesses – Dell in eighth, up 46 places, and Hewlett Packard in tenth, down four places.

Overall, the report included 1,000 brands across 270 categories, with food & beverage being the best represented (185 brands), followed by FMCG (150 brands).

Category leaders included Amul (food & beverage), Colgate (FMCG), LIC (banking, finance, savings and insurance), Bata (personal accessories) and KFC (retail).

Data sourced from TRA; additional content by Warc staff

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BBDO, Starcom, 360i top Warc 100

26 February 2015
LONDON: BBDO Worldwide, Starcom MediaVest Group Chicago and 360i New York have been named the year's best agency network, media agency and digital agency respectively in new results from the Warc 100, which tracks annual performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions.

BBDO Worldwide was the clear winner on the agency network rankings, with 1,236 points versus second-placed Ogilvy & Mather's 1,027 points.

Commenting on the rankings, Andrew Robertson, President and CEO of BBDO Worldwide, said: "The best proxy we have for measuring our performance against other agencies in effectiveness and the quality of our thinking is award schemes like those that are tracked by Warc. For us, it's very very important. We aim to win it every year."

Elsewhere, Starcom MediaVest Group Chicago was named top media agency, with PHD Mumbai in second place. 360i New York was top digital agency, with R/GA New York in second.

Among holding companies, WPP (4,008 points) was ranked number one, ahead of Omnicom Group (3,943) Publicis Groupe (2,552) and Interpublic Group (2,535).

On the creative agency rankings, Lowe Lintas Mumbai was number one, scoring 213 points, with AMV BBDO second on 191 points and Colenso BBDO third on 148 points. Ogilvy & Mather New York was the top-ranked US creative agency, in fourth place on 136 points.

The Warc 100 is an annual list of the world's best campaigns, agencies and brands, based on their performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions in the previous calendar year. To compile this year's rankings, Warc tracked more than 2,200 winning campaigns from 87 different competitions.

Joseph George, CEO of Lowe Lintas India, the number one ranked creative agency, added: "Warc is an organisation we hold in very high regard. And so this recognition is both extremely satisfying and spurring."

You can read full 2015 results from the Warc 100 on our microsite. Warc subscribers can also read the full case studies for the winning campaigns, including 'Kan Khajura Tesan', which was ranked number one campaign of the year.


Data sourced from Warc

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Lowe Lintas tops Warc 100 agency rankings

26 February 2015
LONDON: Lowe Lintas India has been named the best creative agency of the year in new results from the Warc 100, which tracks annual performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions.

The Mumbai-based number one creative agency scored 213 points, with AMV BBDO second on 191 points and Colenso BBDO third on 148 points. Lowe Lintas also had the Warc 100's top-ranked campaign this year, with its 'Kan Khajura Tesan' initiative for Hindustan Unilever.

Other Asia-Pacific agencies making the top 10 were McCann Melbourne (sixth, 126 points) and Ogilvy & Mather Mumbai (seventh, 106 points).

The Warc 100 is an annual list of the world's best campaigns, agencies and brands, based on their performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions in the previous calendar year. To compile this year's rankings, Warc tracked more than 2,200 winning campaigns from 87 different competitions.

Commenting on the news, Joseph George, CEO, Lowe Lintas India, said: "We have had a terrific run on creative effectiveness this year across the globe; and all the accolades have further reinforced our belief in the type of work we want to do and believe in."

Elsewhere on the rankings, BBDO Worldwide was the clear winner among agency networks, with 1,236 points versus second-placed Ogilvy & Mather's 1,027 points. Among holding companies, WPP (4,008 points) was ranked number one, ahead of Omnicom Group (3,943) Publicis Groupe (2,552) and Interpublic Group (2,535).

Starcom MediaVest Group Chicago was named top media agency, with PHD Mumbai in second place. 360i New York was top digital agency, with R/GA New York in second.

Andrew Robertson, President and CEO of BBDO Worldwide, said: "The best proxy we have for measuring our performance against other agencies in effectiveness and the quality of our thinking is award schemes like those that are tracked by Warc. For us, it's very very important. We aim to win it every year."

You can read full 2015 results from the Warc 100 on our microsite. Warc subscribers can also read the full case studies for the winning campaigns, including 'Kan Khajura Tesan', which was ranked number one campaign of the year.


Data sourced from Warc

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Warc 100 names best marketing campaign

25 February 2015
LONDON: 'Kan Khajura Tesan', developed by Lowe Lintas and PHD for Hindustan Unilever, has been named the top marketing campaign in the world by the Warc 100, while the US, UK and Australia have been ranked as the top marketing countries.

The number one-ranked campaign reached 'media dark' rural Indian populations with an always-on mobile media channel. It scored 121 points to become the clear winner of the Warc 100 campaign rankings this year.

Priya Nair, Executive Director, Homecare, at Hindustan Unilever, said: "Kan Khajura Tesan is a great example of creating branded content using an unconventional medium. It has allowed us to build a platform that creates a two-way connection between brands and consumers."

In second place was 'Real Beauty Sketches', by Ogilvy & Mather Sao Paulo and PHD for Dove, on 89 points, while Ogilvy & Mather London was third, on 78 points, for the Expedia campaign 'Travel Yourself Interesting'.

The Warc 100 is an annual list of the world's best campaigns, agencies and brands, based on their performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions in the previous calendar year. To compile this year's rankings, Warc tracked more than 2,200 winning campaigns from 87 different competitions. 

On the country rankings, the US came out ahead, scoring 3076 points across the year to the second-placed UK's 1646 points. Asia-Pacific nations rounded out the top five, with Australia third (1201), India fourth (791) and China fifth (778).

Michael Wall, Global CEO, Lowe and Partners, added: "It's especially rewarding that our creative effectiveness recognition for our key client Unilever is for work where we have used the power of our creativity to effect positive change." 

Commenting on the campaign rankings, Mike Cooper, CEO of PHD Worldwide, said: "It's an honour to see that the top two most effective campaigns in the world over the past 12 months are both for work that PHD has carried out for Unilever."

Louise Ainsworth, CEO of Warc, added: "These rankings reflect an incredible body of work from across the globe - congratulations to the clients and the agencies who made it happen." 

You can read full 2015 results from the Warc 100 on our microsite. Warc subscribers can also read the full case studies for the winning campaigns, including 'Kan Khajura Tesan'.


Data sourced from Warc

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Shopper marketing moves to total retail

25 February 2015
LONDON: Omnichannel is already yesterday's story and retailers now need to think in terms of 'total retail', bringing together a strong central brand supported by a consistent customer experience and a genuinely integrated back office.

The rapid evolution of shopper behaviour is addressed in Warc's Toolkit 2015, a guide to six major marketing trends for the year ahead, produced in association with Deloitte. This highlights the trends – from the rise of click-and-collect to "boomerooming" – that are making the shopper journey ever more complex.

The omnichannel strategy has been largely about a focus on logistics and delivery mechanisms to ensure the same products are available both online and off line. But the total retail concept moves beyond that to offer a truly unified approach.

Only a couple of years ago retailers were worried about showrooming, where people checked products out in-store before buying them cheaper online. Then came webrooming, where the reverse procedure took place.

Consumers are now as likely to be "boomerooming" – researching online, then visiting a physical store to touch and check out a product, before going back online to purchase it at the lowest price. And quite possibly returning to a store to collect it.

The nuanced relationship between digital and physical is further illustrated by online brands opening offline stores to meet that need to offer an experiential presence, while bricks-and-mortar stores are experimenting with beacon technology and location-based marketing.

The path to purchase of digitally enabled consumers is far from linear, according to Tom Jefferies, Senior Manager, Customer Advisory Practice, Deloitte Digital. "Businesses should dramatically change the way they think, measure, and invest in order to integrate retail and provide a frictionless 'total retail' experience," he advises.

That means "new, more agile, operating models in which ideas and approaches can fail fast or be scaled quickly, proving their business worth as they go".

A fundamental part of any total retail strategy, he says, will be establishing the processes, people and technology needed to make this possible.

Warc subscribers can read the full Toolkit report at www.warc.com/toolkit2015. Non-subscribers can download a sample of this chapter here.




Data sourced from Warc

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Programmatic TV a step nearer

25 February 2015
NEW YORK: A new consortium of 15 cable networks aims to advance the cause of programmatic buying in television and help media investment group Magna Global achieve its aim of automating half its buying in 2015.

Digiday reported that while the networks were small individually they reached specific audiences such as Hispanics, African-Americans and young people that are hard for advertisers to pinpoint elsewhere.

Todd Gordon, evp/ Magna Marketplace for Magna Global, explained that the consortium would move beyond simple demographics to use consumer behaviour data, such as purchase history, to target ads and employ technology to serve them while applying a performance metric.

He conceded that this process did not include the use of real-time bidding, but argued that as long as the first three elements were present "you don't have to be that strict about what we call programmatic".

Not that real-time bidding is a necessary part of programmatic, as the practice has evolved to include private exchanges and other forms of trading that are not done in real time.

Just "using data to ID audience segments in a linear environment is a big step forward," Gordon said. "This can bring more value to these audiences that could be overlooked because they're small."

And this approach could also help serve ads to non-typical viewers: "Beer drinkers who don't watch sports," Gordon suggested. "There's plenty of them out there."

Separately, Randy Cooke, vp/programmatic TV at video advertising platform SpotXchange, explained to Beet.tv how programmatic was opening up new opportunities for both TV operators and content owners to fully monetise every audience they had.

"A TV-everywhere opportunity requires an audience-everywhere supply-side solution for content providers and TV operators," he said.

On the issue of real-time bidding, he was of the opinion that "we can increasingly get to something very similar to real time, certainly with more insightful decisioning closer to the ad airing".

What programmatic could do immediately, he argued, was help with optimisation and "streamlining what is a very archaic process relative to how other media are transacted".

He expected the year ahead would be pivotal: "We're at a confluence where measurement, data and inspiration are coming together in an automated fashion."

Data sourced from Digiday, Beet.tv; additional content by Warc staff

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Oscars ceremony disappoints

25 February 2015
LOS ANGELES: The recent Academy Awards ceremony remains the top-rated entertainment telecast in the US, although viewing figures were 16% down on the previous year and the number of tweets almost halved.

The organisers had hoped to repeat the success of 2014 when 43.7m people tuned in, according to figures from Nielsen, but in the event only 36.6m did so.

Last month there was much comment about the Super Bowl commanding $4.5m for a 30-second slot, and while $1.95m for an Oscars slot was cheaper up front, it worked out rather more expensive in terms of viewers reached: one ad dollar at the Super Bowl reached 25.4 viewers, the Oscar equivalent was 18.7.

Nor was the excitement of last year's selfie posted on Twitter by host Ellen de Generes repeated, as the number of tweets fell 47% from 11.6m to 5.9m.

Without such a "meme-producing moment", said Marketing Land, "brands had to generate their own viral energy".

Among those successfully doing so were Dove and Lego, the former with a campaign – #SpeakBeautiful – against negative comments about women's body image, the latter with an Oscar statue made of Lego which it handed out to people coming off the stage.

Google was also active with a real-time marketing campaign. The internet giant reported that past search trends showed that during awards shows interest in the winners lasts only around 15 minutes, or the time it takes for the next award to be announced.

So it promoted links to buy and stream winning films just moments after the stars had accepted their awards. It declined to say, however, how many movie sales it had generated this way.

Observers put forward a number of explanations for this year's poor viewing figures, including a lacklustre performance by the show's host and a lack of major box office hits among the nominees.

Data sourced from Variety, International Business Times, Marketing Land, Ad Week; additional content by Warc staff

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Cricket wins boost Indian adspend

25 February 2015
MUMBAI: Indian advertisers who were lukewarm about spending during the Cricket World Cup are rethinking their stance in the light of the Indian team's early victories.

Some were deterred by the team's pre-tournament performances, by the timings of the games in New Zealand and by what they regarded as the high rates being charged by broadcasters.

But with wins over major rivals Pakistan and South Africa, and as many as 300m tuning in to watch, attitudes are shifting.

"Suddenly, there is a possibility that India will go a long way in the tournament," said Nandini Dias, chief executive officer at media agency Lodestar UM.

"We are already getting feelers from brands who now want to invest in the World Cup," he told the Economic Times. And Star India, which owns the broadcasting rights, confirmed that more brands were coming on board after witnessing India's early wins.

Some, however, are prepared to wait it out further: one media planner said Coca-Cola was considering advertising if India reached the final stages of the tournament.

Others see opportunities to increase their current level of activation or to change the channels they are using.

For carmaker Hyundai, Rakesh Srivastava, svp/sales and marketing, explained that the brand was pleased with the engagement levels it had achieved with younger consumers. "We would like to further enhance our engagement and these wins act as a stimulus," he added.

And at digital agency Gozoop, CEO Ahmed Naqvi had observed clients making tactical shifts to capitalise on the Indian team's performance. "Some brands of ours such as Mad Over Donuts are even taking one of their offline campaigns online to increase engagement after these two wins," he said.

Star has also been pushing the competition with a series of ads which are specific to each game India plays and the sporting history between it and the opposition, incorporating real-time feedback and reactions to the campaign as it develops the next stage.


Data sourced from Economic Times, Business Standard; additional content by Warc staff

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Brighter future for Korean ad industry

25 February 2015
TOKYO/SEOUL: Advertising expenditure in Japan grew almost 3% in 2014 while that in South Korea was flat but expected to pick up again in 2015, according to new statistics.

Cheil Worldwide attributed the mere 0.6% increase in Korean adspend, to $9.1bn, in part to the impact of the Sewol ferry disaster in which 304 people died, rocking Korean society and institutions. Consumer spending fell and marketers cut back, with terrestrial TV most affected as advertising declined 8% in the aftermath.

And a hoped-for summer boost from the FIFA World Cup failed to materialise as the national team was knocked out in the early stages.

Some structural shifts were also observable, as more Koreans turned away from broadcast TV to IPTV and video on demand. The IPTV ad market increased by as much as 67% according to Cheil.

Shifts were taking place in digital as well: the landline internet ad market shrank by 6.8% to $1.8bn, the first time it had ever recorded a fall. But the widespread use of smartphones fuelled significant growth in the mobile ad market, which rose 82.4% to $796m.

Mobile is predicted to continue to grow at the more modest rate of 20% in 2015, while terrestrial television is expected to show some recovery, increasing 3.4%.

In Japan, advertising expenditure rose 2.9% in 2014 to $58.3bn, according to figures from Dentsu. There was a surge at the start of the year when the Winter Olympics took place and as consumers rushed to buy before the April rise in consumption tax.

Internet advertising saw the greatest increase, thanks to mobile and video, up 12.1% to break the 1,000bn yen barrier for the first time.

Among traditional media, television registered a 2.8% increase, thanks in part to an accounting change which means that satellite media-related advertising is now included alongside spending on terrestrial television.

Newspapers were down 1.8% while magazines were unchanged and radio was up 2.3%.

Data sourced from Cheil Worldwide, Business Wire; additional content by Warc staff

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US tops Warc 100 rankings

25 February 2015
LONDON/WASHINGTON: The US is the leading market when it comes to developing smart marketing strategy, according to this year's Warc 100, which tracks annual performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions.

On the country rankings, the US scored 3,076 points across the year to the second-placed UK's 1,646 points. Asia-Pacific nations rounded out the top five, with Australia third (1,201), India fourth (791) and China fifth (778). 

Canada was sixth on the global rankings, with 626 points. 

The Warc 100 is an annual list of the world's best campaigns, agencies and brands, based on their performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions in the previous calendar year. To compile this year's rankings, Warc tracked more than 2,200 winning campagins from 87 different competitions.

The ranking of the best 100 campaigns of the year was topped by 'Kan Khajura Tesan', developed by Lowe Lintas and PHD for Hindustan Unilever. The campaign reached 'media dark' rural Indian populations with an always-on mobile media channel, and scored 121 points. 

In second place was 'Real Beauty Sketches', by Ogilvy & Mather Sao Paulo and PHD for Dove, on 89 points, while Ogilvy & Mather London was third, on 78 points, for the Expedia campaign 'Travel Yourself Interesting'.

The top-ranked US campaign was 'Beautiful Hair, Whatever the Weather', from Leo Burnett/Arc for Pantene.

Louise Ainsworth, CEO of Warc, said: "These rankings reflect an incredible body of work from across the globe - congratulations to the clients and the agencies who made it happen. Together these campaigns form an inspirational set of case studies, from which brands and agencies everywhere can learn."

You can read full 2015 results from the Warc 100 on our microsite. Warc subscribers can also read the full case studies for the winning campaigns, including 'Kan Khajura Tesan'.


Data sourced from Warc

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HUL mobile campaign tops Warc 100

25 February 2015
LONDON: 'Kan Khajura Tesan', developed by Lowe Lintas and PHD for Hindustan Unilever, has been named the top marketing campaign in the world, according to the annual Warc 100 ranking.

The campaign, which reached 'media dark' rural Indian populations with an always-on mobile media channel, scored 121 points, well ahead of any other campaign on the Warc 100 campaigns rankings.

Priya Nair, Executive Director, Homecare, at Hindustan Unilever, said: "Kan Khajura Tesan is a great example of creating branded content using an unconventional medium. It has allowed us to build a platform that creates a two-way connection between brands and consumers." 

The Warc 100 is an annual list of the world's best campaigns, agencies and brands, based on their performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions in the previous calendar year. To compile this year's rankings, Warc tracked more than 2,200 winning campaigns from 87 different competitions.

The campaign in second place was 'Real Beauty Sketches', by Ogilvy & Mather Sao Paulo and PHD for Dove, on 89 points, while Ogilvy & Mather London was third, on 78 points, for the Expedia campaign 'Travel Yourself Interesting'.

Commenting on the rankings, Joseph George, CEO, Lowe Lintas India, said: "Warc is an organisation we hold in very high regard. And so this recognition is both extremely satisfying and spurring." 

Mike Cooper, CEO of PHD Worldwide, added: "It's an honour to see that the top two most effective campaigns in the world over the past 12 months are both for work that PHD has carried out for Unilever.

"Both 'Kan Khajura Tesan' for Hindustan Unilever from PHD in India and 'Real Beauty Sketches' for Dove from PHD International are examples of how creativity and innovation are at the heart of effective and strategic communications planning." 

On the country rankings, the US came out on top, with US-based campaigns scoring 3,076 points across the year, ahead of the second-placed UK's 1,646 points. Asia-Pacific nations rounded out the top five, with Australia third (1,201), India fourth (791) and China fifth (778). 

Louise Ainsworth, CEO of Warc, said: "These rankings reflect an incredible body of work from across the globe - congratulations to the clients and the agencies who made it happen. Together these campaigns form an inspirational set of case studies, from which brands and agencies everywhere can learn." 

Read full 2015 results from the Warc 100 on the microsite. Warc subscribers can also read the full case studies for the winning campaigns, including 'Kan Khajura Tesan'.


Data sourced from Warc

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Yesterday's Warc News

24 February 2015
We're sorry if you were unable to enjoy yesterday's Warc News as you would usually do. We experienced technical problems which took us offline for part of the day. Everything is now fully restored and running as usual, including the stories you may have missed.

If you'd like to catch up on yesterday's news, you can do so here.


Data sourced from Warc

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Online behaviour moves in-store

24 February 2015
GLOBAL: Shoppers are taking some of their online behavior into bricks-and-mortar stores by using their phones to compare prices, according to a new global study.

Market research firm GfK interviewed more than 25,000 mobile phone users aged 15 or older in 23 countries either online or face-to-face in the summer of 2014. The countries included Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the UK, Ukraine and the US.

Overall, it found that the leading behaviours in-store were comparing prices and contacting a friend or family member for advice (at 40%), followed by taking pictures of products that they might buy (at 36%).

Globally, men were more likely than women (42% v 37%) to use their phones inside a store to compare prices on a regular basis. And the most active age group was shoppers aged 20-29, with nearly half (49%) saying they regularly do this, just ahead of 15-19 year olds and 30-39 year olds, both at 45%.

"Having a close and real-time eye on the pricing of online competitors and reacting quickly are now key success factors for physical retailers, as well as online ones," said Adrian Hobbs, managing director for online Pricing Intelligence at GfK.

Shoppers in South Korea (59%), China (54%) and Turkey (53%) were the most likely to compare prices in-store on their mobile phones. At the other end of the spectrum were shoppers in Ukraine (11%), South Africa (15%) and India (17%).

GfK noted that "sales staff and the physical shopping experience face a significant new external influence in-store", with word of mouth and advice from the shopper's own circle increasingly present at the very moment of making the purchase decision.

Globally, men (39%) and women (40%) were almost equally likely to use their mobile phones inside a store to contact a friend or family member for advice.

Young adults again led the way here, with 48% of 20-29 year olds doing so on regularly, closely followed by teenagers (47%) and then 30-39 year olds (50%).

Looking at individual countries, shoppers in Mexico (55%), Poland (53%) and Turkey (52%) were most likely to exhibit his behavior, while those in Japan (16%), Indonesia (21%) and Germany (24%) were least likely to.

Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff

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Asda rebrand could spark rival action

24 February 2015
LONDON: UK supermarket chain Asda is refreshing the brand with a new logo and slogan which mirror those of parent group Walmart and which could have a knock-on effect among its rivals, according to observers.

Much of the focus of Walmart's engagement with Asda – it bought the business in 1999 – has been behind the scenes, in driving down costs. More recently, however, it has imported US innovations such as Black Friday.

Asda chief executive Andy Clarke said the branding changes would be rolled out over the next two years and would "boost connectivity with Walmart".

"This isn't about trying to bring in another type of customer or to change Asda, which is still very much a loved British brand, into Walmart," he added. It was simply that the timing made sense now as the brand had been untouched for more than a decade.

"Walmart has learned the hard way in Germany and South Korea that using its brand in foreign markets isn't always a recipe for success," explained Bryan Roberts, insights director at Kantar Retail.

"Asda is a brand worth keeping," he told Marketing Week. "What 'Save Money, Live Better' [the Asda/Walmart slogan] does do is shift the focus away from price and attract a more aspirational customer."

But that can also bring with it the danger of alienating core working class customers, observed Natalie Berg of insight provider Planet Retail.

And she also pointed out that the new slogan was very similar to an existing one being used by a rival. Discounter Aldi's catchline is 'Spend a little, live a lot' and Berg thought Asda could end up muddling customers with a lack of brand clarity.

On the subject of catchlines, Roberts remarked that Tesco's slogan – 'Every little helps' – was now very old and no longer resonated as much with consumers, especially in the wake of the chain's recent difficulties.

"This [Asda rebrand] will probably kick start them into action," he said.


Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff

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Measurement issues hit TV

24 February 2015
NEW YORK: Falling TV audiences have turned the spotlight on measurement companies, with some broadcasters accusing them of failing to keep up with changing viewing habits.

The Financial Times noted that falling ratings had been a feature of recent financial results. Viacom saw viewership fall 18% in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to an assessment by analysts MoffettNathanson, while at children's network Nickleodeon audiences were down 17% and at MTV 14%.

Viacom argues, however, that people are still watching its content, just in different ways than before – young people don't always turn on a television but may watch via smartphones or a games console.

Measurement company Nielsen has become a target for the ire of it and others, who say it should be measuring those other media.

Philippe Dauman, Viacom CEO has spoken of the "far-reaching shifts taking place" in the industry and of how "inadequate measurement" has undermined "innovation".

His approach has been to reduce dependence on Nielsen ratings and to increase digital inventory, with more targeted ads that are inserted when shows are watched on demand, and to sell more sponsorships, with the aim of having these sources account for half of ad sales within three years.

David Zaslav, chief executive of cable programmer Discovery Communications, was also critical of Nielsen. "There's no question that it's under-measuring," he said. "I think they will fix it over time, but it's a problem."

He illustrated just how important this could be with a reference to Norway, where a new measurement system has led to TV viewing figures turning around from double-digit decreases to a 15% increase.

"Anybody that watches anything, whether you watch it in a bar, you watch it at your vacation house, whether you watch it on your iPad, it counts," he said.

It is not only the (current) inability to pick up digital viewers that is an issue. Megan Clarken, evp/global digital products at Nielsen admitted that some time-shifted viewing was not captured as the C3 metric only counts what is viewed within three days of a show being aired.

She also contended that the broadcasters were being hit by the "competing landscape on the digital side with digital pure plays producing content" – as series on Netflix and Amazon Prime have been proving popular.

But Nielsen is planning to introduce a digital ratings system this year. "We think it's important that the ratings we provide are reflective of what's going on in the environment," Clarken said.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff

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India ad forecast doubled

24 February 2015
MUMBAI: Advertising expenditure in India is predicted to grow in 2015 at almost twice the previously projected rate, thanks to increased consumer confidence and high-profile sporting events like the Cricket World Cup.

The Pitch Madison Media Advertising Outlook report for 2015 forecast a 9.6% increase in spending during the year ahead, compared to an earlier figure of 5.6%. In terms of actual spending the market is expected to grow by over Rs 3,500 crore to reach Rs 40,658 crore.

Unveiling the report, Sam Balsara, chairman and managing director of the Madison World comms agency, highlighted the industry's "spectacular growth" of 27.5% over two years.

Last year's 16.4% advance was due in large part to political spending – in addition to the national elections there were five state elections – and heavy investment by ecommerce players.

While there will be no comparable boost from election spending this year – there are only assembly elections in three states – ecommerce firms show no signs of reducing their spending, while the Cricket World Cup is expected to earn revenue of almost Rs 1,000 crore, or almost one third of the expected growth.

Print remains the largest advertising sector, accounting for 41.2% of the total market in 2014.

Much of its growth of 16% last year was driven by election spending, however, and 2015 growth will be a more modest 5.3%. Consequently its market share will dip to 39.6%.

With a 2014 share of 38.2%, television is the second largest advertising medium and growth here is set to slow from 14% in 2014 to 9.5% in 2015, although market share will remain steady.

The report noted the development of geo-targeting on TV and new channel launches, which will provide new advertising opportunities.

Digital is the third largest sector and, growing fast, its share is projected to increase from 10.7% in 2014 to 12.6% in 2015. Growth is being driven less by search (+26%) than by display (+33%) where video, social and mobile formats are gaining traction.

The remaining media all saw spending increase sufficiently to maintain their smaller market shares – outdoor spending at around 6%, radio on 3.5% and cinema on 0.5%.

Balsara had some advice for advertisers, including the need to focus on effectiveness as well as efficiency and at the same time to experiment.


Data sourced from Pitch; additional content by Warc staff

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NY Times readies for mobile future

24 February 2015
PHOENIX, AZ: Smartphones are set to be the arena where the "war will be won" for publications like the New York Times, according to Mark Thompson, president/ceo of the news title's parent company.

Thompson – who heads the New York Times Company – discussed this topic at the Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB) 2015 Annual Leadership Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.

"The war will be won for us on the smartphone. And we'd suspected it two years ago but now we're certain," he said. (For more, including details about how the news title is adapting for handheld devices, read Warc's exclusive report: Goodbye to print: Mobile is the future of the NY Times.)

While laptops and tablets "certainly won't go away", he continued, devices such as Apple's iPhone look set to be the major battleground in the growing fight for consumer attention, Thompson predicted.

"The Times moved unique users over to desktop and laptop users last summer, and those trends are only going one way. Cracking the code on smartphone is critical."

As seeming confirmation of this idea, Dean Baquet, executive editor of the New York Times, recently issued a memo that eliminated traditional pitches made for the front page of the print edition.

Instead, editors from each desk will pitch pieces for new-media prominence, with the top items receiving "the very best play on all our digital platforms – web, mobile, social and others yet to come."

Such a shift was one of several small procedural changes "intended to ensure that our digital platforms are much less tethered to print deadlines," Baquet wrote.

"This new system will, in particular, give us more flexibility in targeting readers on mobile (which now receives more than half of our traffic) and on platforms like Facebook (where we are rolling out new strategies for presenting our journalism).

"In short, our goal is to further elevate the primacy of our digital platforms in the daily life of the newsroom."

During his keynote at the IAB conference, Thompson warned delegates that brands in every industry face a similar imperative to ensure their communications and content make the necessary impact.

"When we use smartphones, our session times are short and directed. We're not browsing; we're hunting. Adjacency and visibility have a valid [role], of course. But to the man or woman in a hurry and looking at a pretty small screen, it's a limited mark," he said.

"If the payload – the thing that the marketer wants to say" – is so dull that it misses the key moment of engagement, then consumers "will click it into oblivion in one heartless thumb swipe," he added.

Data sourced from Warc/Politico; additional content by Warc staff

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Bud's 'Lost Dog' doesn't deliver

24 February 2015
NEW YORK: Budweiser's Super Bowl ad featuring a lost puppy may have provoked a strong emotional response from viewers but a new analysis shows it scored poorly on personal relevance and added little value to the brand.

Market research consultancy TNS analysed 2.6m Super Bowl tweets, including over half a million that mentioned ads specifically, over several days before and after Super Bowl Sunday. The firm also interviewed TV viewers to gauge the memorability and long-term impact of the ads.

The results tallied with the views of others that the 'Lost Dog' commercial – which featured a puppy getting lost and being threatened by a wolf before being saved by his friends, the Budweiser Clydesdales – was the winner on the night.

It was voted top, for example, by USA TODAY'S Ad Meter's consumer panel of 6,703 voters, and by viewers on Hulu's AdZone, while TiVo also reported it was the most engaging Super Bowl spot among its viewers. And it was widely shared online, with more than 2.1m posts across Twitter, Facebook and blogs.

TNS found the beer brand enjoyed a 26% share of ad mentions online, compared to just 9.8% of its nearest rival, GoDaddy. It also won the battle for retweets, with 69% of all mentions of the ad falling into this category, easily positioning Budweiser's ad as a viral phenomenon online.

A further 17% of the ad's mentions were within conversations between users and 13% came from unprompted, isolated tweets about the ad.

So, a resounding success, on the surface at least. But when TNS undertook a deeper analysis it discovered that immediate emotional impact was no guarantee of longer term brand success.

"Many brands can only long for the level of online penetration they [Budweiser] enjoyed," said Bob Burgoyne, global product development director/Social, at TNS.

But he noted that the product itself only featured towards the end of the spot, "making the beer barely noticeable among the puppies".

Other ads might not have achieved such online traction – and here he pointed to the examples of McDonald's 'Pay with lovin'' and Microsoft's 'Estella's Brilliant Bus' campaign – but were, Burgoyne said, "examples of campaigns more closely aligned with viewers' personal values and goals, better leveraging the opportunity to resonate with consumers and maximising return on investment".

Data sourced from TNS, Time, USA Today; additional content by Warc staff

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Digital hong bao rockets

24 February 2015
BEIJING: The tradition of giving red envelopes of cash during Chinese New Year has fast-forwarded into the digital age, as more than 1bn were exchanged digitally on one social media site this year, highlighting the growth of online payment in the country.

In 2014, when they were first launched, WeChat users sent 20m hong bao to each other; in 2015 the figure was 1.01bn, the messaging app has revealed.

The individual amounts were small, as the total value amounted to 1bn yuan. Alibaba users appeared more generous, as it reported 240m packets sent via Alipay with a value of 4bn yuan.

Part of the appeal is in the way the tradition has been gamified, according to South China Morning Post, which explained how WeChat users could distribute virtual red packets to groups of online friends – when a graphic appears in the middle of a conversation stream whoever is quick enough to click on it can get the money.

And when that approach is also taken by a leading TV show, then the stage is set for a transformation of the tradition.

The annual Spring Festival Gala show this year used WeChat to give away $80m provided by corporate sponsors for digital hong bao. Viewers had to use the WeChat Shake feature on their phones – normally deployed to find fellow users of the messaging app nearby – at certain times to have a chance of winning some cash.

According to Tencent, there were a total of 11 billion shakes during the show, with a peak of 810m shakes per minute.

Opinions appear divided on this development, some arguing that traditions are successfully adapting to modern, digital behaviours.

Others are disappointed that family is being ignored by people staring at their mobile phones in the hope of winning some money.

As Tech In Asia pointed out, however, the sums typically being gifted digitally are small and those being dispensed in physical envelopes between family members are likely to be significantly greater.


Data sourced from South China Morning Post, Tech In Asia; additional content by Warc staff

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LinkedIn launches B2B ad network

23 February 2015
GLOBAL: LinkedIn has launched a global display advertising network that will enable B2B marketers to track its 347m registered user base and generate new business leads.

Although the social network for professionals has served ads on its own platform for some time, its new initiative will allow B2B brands to place ads across various other platforms too, Marketing Week reported.

Trials have included the involvement of brands, such as tech giants Lenovo and Samsung, and the development follows LinkedIn's $175m acquisition of Bizo, a B2B digital marking firm, in August last year.

The service is underpinned by two main products. LinkedIn's Lead Accelerator promises to improve the understanding brands can gain from visits to their websites by using tracking pixels and cookies.

LinkedIn says that most brand websites only know about 5% of their visitors and that the new service will improve that gap.

Meanwhile, LinkedIn's Network Display will use targeting insights technology to retarget visitors to third party websites and on its own platform.

"The service allows brands to reach the 95% of unknown visitors to a brand website," said Joshua Graff, senior director of LinkedIn EMEA.

"By placing a pixel on brand websites we can send messages to unknown users, that ultimately allows us to analyse them and target the right people," he explained.

"This is part of our long term strategy to connect the world's professionals," he added, in reference to the company's aim to increase its share of a global B2B ad market estimated to be worth $50bn.

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff

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Mobile banking takes off in UK

23 February 2015
LONDON: The extent to which British consumers are embracing the burgeoning mobile payments market has been reinforced by a recent survey which shows that almost half (43%) now use a smartphone banking app.

Just over a third (34%) use a banking app at least once a week, and 17% at least once a day, while almost a fifth (19%) would like to use their smartphone as their only banking touchpoint.

These are key findings from a survey conducted by Adaptive Lab, the digital innovation agency, which questioned more than 400 adults about their experience of the smartphone banking apps offered by five of the UK's leading banks.

As reported by Mobile Industry Review, the research confirmed that UK banks "have come a long way" in terms of embracing mobile banking but that they need to do more to overcome limitations in "functionality" and "usability".

None of the banking apps scored more than 75% on either measure – functionality being defined as how many banking tasks can be done with the apps, and usability as "how fast, easy and pleasant the app is to use and to understand".

This matters, the report said, because consumers are strongly influenced by the functionality of smartphone banking apps.

Inadequate functionality deters 25% of consumers who don't currently use banking apps from adopting them. By comparison, concerns about security puts off just 18%.

Kat Matfield, service design and product manager at Adaptive Lab, said the UK's leading banks – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest and Santander – had "considerable room for improvement".

"If consumers are going to be able to manage and monitor their finances entirely from their smartphones, banks will have to make more functionality available on their apps and focus on improving the user experience," she said.

For example, over half (52%) of consumers would like to add new payees via their banking app yet only 20% of the apps reviewed offer that function.

With the study confirming the popularity of mobile payments in the UK, a separate development in the US may help to accelerate the trend there.

Samsung, the Korean technology giant, last week acquired US mobile wallet startup LoopPay in a move that analysts see as a challenge to Apple Pay, the iPhone mobile payments system that Apple launched in late 2014.

LoopPay's smart technology allows retailers to use their existing magnetic-stripe readers to change into contactless payment receivers.

Data sourced from Mobile Industry Review, Reuters; additional content by Warc staff

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Yahoo lures mobile app makers

23 February 2015
SAN FRANCISCO: As part of its declared aim of becoming a mobile-first company, tech giant Yahoo has announced a new suite of tools for app developers to help them advertise, measure and increase the reach of their mobile apps.

Unveiled last week at its first mobile developer conference in San Francisco, the suite includes five distinct products that bring together existing Yahoo features with those of Flurry, the mobile analytics platform it acquired last year.

The full mobile developer suite includes Flurry Analytics, Yahoo App Publishing, Yahoo App Marketing, Yahoo Search in Apps and Flurry Pulse.

By bringing the features together, the company wants to provide app developers with effective monetisation tools while also increasing the reach of Yahoo search and ads, Mashable reported.

It plans, in effect, to become a one-stop shop for app makers in its bid to become a larger player in a rapidly growing mobile market.

According to Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer, mobile is no longer a "hobby" for the company and revenue from mobile ads increased to $254m in the last quarter.

The new Flurry Analytics tool will provide developers with insights into how their apps are used while Flurry Pulse will allow developers to share their data with partners in a secure way.

Yahoo App Publishing will enable developers to integrate native ads into different app feeds, Yahoo App Marketing also uses Gemini to help developers target new users, while Yahoo Search in Apps is an integrated search tool for mobile apps.

Flurry currently has 200,000 app developers on its platform with 630,000 apps reaching 1.6bn devices and, according to the New York Times, Yahoo says that developers who include its ads in their apps will keep 60% of the revenue.

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

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'Anglosphere' brands make gains

23 February 2015
SHANGHAI: A number of American and British luxury brands are challenging the traditional dominance enjoyed by their continental European rivals in China, according to a recent report.

In an examination of how UK and US luxury brands fared in this month's Hurun Report from the Hurun Research Institute, Jing Daily noted that US jewellery brand Tiffany and UK fashion label Burberry did particularly well.

For the first time, Tiffany was included among Chinese consumers' top three jewellery brands, behind Bulgari and Cartier, and it was also named as the number one US luxury brand for Chinese high-net-worth individuals.

Burberry was ranked third in the Hurun list of top fashion labels for women, behind Chanel and Dior of France, and was placed among the top five fashion labels for men. Separately, tech giant Apple was named as the top global brand for gift-giving.

Amid signs that Chinese consumers are beginning to shift their preferences, Hurun attributed the rise of these "Anglosphere" brands to their digital marketing efforts as well as the greater exposure Chinese travellers gain from going abroad.

For example, the UK made it onto the survey's list of the top 10 travel destinations for China's wealthy this year and is their number one destination of choice for education.

This means it would be to the advantage of Western luxury brands if they targeted Chinese consumers before they travelled, according to Hurun Report chairman Rupert Hoogewerf.

"With seven out of 10 purchases of luxury now being made outside of China, this makes influencing the luxury Chinese consumer in their home country before they travel of paramount importance," he said.

Data sourced from Jing Daily; additional content by Warc staff

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Cable TV networks cram in more ads

23 February 2015
NEW YORK: Driven by a need to prop up revenues, several leading cable TV networks have taken to squeezing more ads into programming – even by speeding up a show's dialogue – but critics say the practice is misguided.

TBS, for example, aired The Wizard of Oz last November with voices that were slightly speeded up and it also employed the technique with reruns of the sitcom Seinfeld and other shows, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Its sister network TNT and Viacom's TV Land also have done the same with reruns of various shows.

Industry insiders have conceded that the purpose is to achieve a higher volume of ads as cable networks deal with declining ratings while meeting audience guarantees made to advertisers.

"It is a way to keep the revenue from going down as much as the ratings," said an unnamed senior executive at a major cable network. "The only way we can do it is to double down and stretch the unit load a little more."

However, some brand advertisers and agencies have expressed concern that the practice could prove counter-productive.

They fear it could reduce the effectiveness of their spots and encourage more TV viewers to switch to ad-free streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon.

"It is important for us to consider the effect this is having on the viewer experience," said Jackie Kulesza, executive vp and director of video at Starcom USA. "We want to ensure our message is seen by receptive viewers."

Echoing her concerns, Chris Geraci, Omnicom Media Group's president of national broadcast, said: "They are trying to deal with a problem in a way that is making the problem bigger."

"It has gotten completely out of control," agreed an unnamed head of distribution at a major TV studio. "I'm concerned when you look at the performance being diminished and hurt by their running the shows that way."

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

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How Target keeps its ads green

23 February 2015
DANA POINT, CA: Target, the retailer, has extended its commitment to sustainability through to the production of TV ads - thus showing it is possible for brands to reduce waste and still deliver impactful spots.

John Lick, the company's executive producer/broadcast, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2015 Brand Masters Conference in Dana Point, California.

And Lick - who is also co-chair of the ANA's Production Management Committee - asserted that reducing its environmental impact was a crucial objective for the Minneapolis-based chain.

"Target's a leader in retail sustainability. So it's only natural that our production practices should follow suit," he said. (For more, including results of this effort to date, read Warc's exclusive report: Target finds B2B brand purpose in TV production.)

"The only question was how to do it in a global, consistent and affordable way" - all while consistently producing "really fun Target TV commercials," Lick continued.

"There's no reason why we can't craft wonderful TV commercials without sacrificing the planet … or our bottom line."

In progressing this vision, it has allied with EcoSet Consulting, a Los Angeles-based company that partners with organisations involved in advertising, television and feature-film production.

To date, Target has worked with EcoSet on approximately 175 shoots and has slashed the amount of waste from the retailer's advertising shoots

"With EcoSet," according to Lick, "we've gotten it down to zero waste."

And "zero waste", he reported, means at least 90% of material is kept out of landfill - either through being recycled or donated to operators such as community groups, non-profits and theatres.

Continued Lick: "At Target, belief in civic responsibility has been in our DNA practically from day one. It starts with our ongoing commitment to give $4m a week to the communities in which we do business.

"And it carries forward into our stores, from the way we build them to the products we put on the shelves."

Data sourced from Warc

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Godrej revamps strategy in India

23 February 2015
MUMBAI: Rural India is to receive particular attention from Godrej Consumer Products Ltd (GCPL) as the Indian FMCG giant restructures its operations with the aim of doubling domestic revenues in the next five years.

GCPL is to make its domestic business an independent profit centre separate from its international operations and it plans to grow its homegrown sales from an estimated Rs 4,500 crore at the end of 2015 to Rs 10,000 crore by 2020, Livemint reported.

In addition, the company has overhauled its entire go-to-market strategy and is using technology and analytics across its sales and marketing functions to boost profits and adapt to changing consumer behaviour.

Rural India accounted for just 15% of GCPL's overall revenues in 2012, but the company wants to increase the proportion to over a third (35%) in the next three years. It hopes to do so on the back of its OneRural programme, which is being launched next month.

"The target with OneRural is to have rural account for 35% of overall revenues in the next three years," said Sunil Kataria, who takes over as the head of operations in India and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation.

With a current reach of nearly 60,000 villages, Kataria said GCPL wants to expand its revenue base by appealing to what it calls the "progressive rural customer", who behaves like an urban consumer but lives in the top 35,000 villages in the country.

Also under consideration are specific product launches for the rural market and ways to improve its service frequency to once a month in the top 10,000 villages.

But the company's focus is not exclusively on the rural market because it wants to increase its penetration in urban markets too.

GCPL says it will do so by using new technology to improve productivity, improve its distribution partnerships and split its portfolio into two lines among its front-end sales staff.

Another key part of its strategy for the urban market includes segmenting high-growth channels, such as cosmetics and pharmacies, the company explained, in order to deepen its reach.

Data sourced from Livemint; additional content by Warc staff

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Molson wins CASSIES Grand Prix

20 February 2015
TORONTO: A campaign featuring a beer fridge that could only be opened using a Canadian passport, developed by the Rethink agency for Molson Coors, has taken top honours at the 2015 CASSIES.

The annual CASSIES are Canada's only advertising industry awards to recognise business effectiveness based on rigorous published cases. All the winning case studies can be read by Warc subscribers.

In addition to the Grand Prix, nine Golds were awarded, alongside 19 Silvers and 24 Bronzes. The winners included 25 brands and 26 agencies.

The Grand Prix-winning campaign for premium beer Molson Canadian was built on the insight that Canadian pride expresses itself most vocally when Canadians are away from home, competing in international competitions and on Canada Day.

The key creative element was a series of online videos involving a beer fridge which was sent on a journey around Europe but which could only be opened by people with a Canadian passport. Back home it was modified to only open to the sound of the national anthem being sung correctly.

The Beer Fridge campaign gained share in a declining segment and category while generating over $6m in incremental revenue.

Among the Gold award winners was American Express, the financial service provider, which boosted monthly applications with its 'Cloud 10' platform. This sought to restore the brand's association with premium travel experiences by identifying and alleviating the pain points that visitors experienced at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

Quick service restaurant Boston Pizza broke away from the category norms to target dads. Its 'Here to Make You happy' campaign ran for 11 quarters and generated annual growth at twice the targeted rate.

Canadian Tire addressed a neglected winter driving issue, showing that one of its car batteries could not only last a severe winter but could even power a vehicle made entirely of ice that was also fully driveable. Sales of the particular battery subsequently rose 70%.

Other brands winning Golds included mayonnaise brand Hellmann's, furniture retailer IKEA, cleaning brand Mr Clean, airline Westjet and video game developer Ubisoft. An anti-gun campaign also won a Gold.

The most successful agency in terms of the number of awards received was TAXI Canada. It took six for campaigns for Boston Pizza, Canadian Tire, Koodo Mobile and Kraft Dinner.

Data sourced from CASSIES; additional content by Warc staff

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Lazy brands stereotype girls

20 February 2015
LONDON: Marketers need to up their game when developing communications aimed at young girls, as stereotypes about pink and princesses are far from attractive to all under-10s and become less so as they get older new research has shown.

For its Little Miss Understood report, The Pineapple Lounge, an agency specialising in research on children, surveyed 1,070 girls across the UK aged 8-14, revealing their likes, dislikes and what they want from the brands that target them.

This found that 27% of 8-10 year olds disliked princesses and anything pink, rising to 38% of 11-12 year olds and 39% of 13-14 year olds.

And while 41% of all girls expressed an interest in celebrities, far more (59%) were interested in video games.

Nor was their choice of role models what the stereotype would suggest: 7% chose singer Miley Cyrus, while 40% opted for Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill.

"I think some industries can become quite complacent when it comes to targeting and marketing to girls and go for the lowest common denominator, like pink, glitz and the allure of fame," Emma Worrollo, managing director of The Pineapple Lounge, told Marketing Week.

"That is not to say that that is not interesting or appealing," she added, "but there are other emotional prompts or angles that engage girls beyond that stereotypical imagery."

Fun features prominently among those: half the girls in the survey said they wanted brands to help them have fun.

Brands that allowed them to be themselves were attractive for 44% while they were also likely to engage with brands that gave them confidence (39%) and asked for their opinion (38%).

The onset of puberty, not surprisingly, brought some changes in attitude – in particular, there was a drop in confidence.

Some 62% of 8-10 year olds felt confident about their future but this fell to 55% among 13-14 year olds. Similar declines were evident when asked whether they were happy about life (85% down to 74%) and if they felt equal to boys (73% down to 63%).

"There is a huge question mark over why there is that rapid decline when they get to the 13-to-14 age group and what we can do as an industry to hand-hold, guide and support during that time," said Worrollo

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff

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Digital boosts outdoor

20 February 2015
LONDON: A strong fourth quarter and increased digital inventory helped push the UK's out-of-home advertising sector over the £1bn mark for the first time in 2014, latest figures show.

The Outdoor Media Centre (OMC), the trade association for outdoor media owners, said that revenues were up 6.1% in the last quarter of the year, to reach £300m, while over the year as a whole, growth came in at 3%.

The increasing number of digital sites now available was an important factor in this performance according to the OMC, as it reported that digital out-of-home accounted for more than 28% of total revenues in 2014.

"The market is benefiting from the investment in digital, but also the rampant inflation levels in TV," said Mark Craze, the recently appointed OMC chairman.

The organisation listed the top 10 outdoor advertisers in the last quarter of 2014 as Asda Stores, BSkyB, KFC, O2 UK, Sony Mobile, TalkTalk, TSB Bank, 20th Century Fox, Vodafone and Warner Bros.

Google also made extensive use of outdoor during the quarter, MediaTel reported, as it promoted campaigns for search, YouTube and Android.

The top spending categories during the quarter were banking and technology, while retail also showed significant growth. Of the latter, Craze observed that this was "clearly a result of press advertising losing share which is moving onto digital screens".

While outdoor is doing well, the outlook for the trade body itself is less certain. Last month JCDecaux, the UK's biggest outdoor media owner, pulled out of the organisation, reportedly because it felt it wasn't getting a satisfactory return on its major investment.

Naren Patel, then chairman of the OMC, was confident the organisation had a future. "[JCDecaux] might be a big player but they are only one voice; they only had one vote on matters," he said.

"You have to look at organisations like Thinkbox [TV] and Newsworks [newspapers]," he added. "These are trade bodies that are doing great work and the rest of us believe that having a great trade body helps grow the medium."

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

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Oscars 2015: eWOM key for films

20 February 2015
NEW YORK: With the 2015 Academy Awards set to be held on Sunday, a new study in the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR) has demonstrated that pre-release online word of mouth can be a "strong predictor" of a film's performance on its opening weekend.

The paper – entitled E-Word of Mouth: Early Predictor Of Audience Engagement – How Pre-Release 'E-WOM' Drives Box-Office Outcomes of Movies – analysed 62 movies, which recorded average box-office earnings of $20.7m on their first weekend.

In examining the role of electronic word of mouth, the authors – C. Samuel Craig and William H. Greene from NYU's Stern School of Business and Anthony Versaci from AIG – addressed two specific factors: awareness and intention to view.

The first variable involved combining the number of times a trailer for each film was played back on selected websites with the amount of related comments it received.

"Someone who viewed the trailer for a film was considered to be aware of the film, as was someone who posted a comment," the authors wrote.

In determining the "intentions" metric, they looked at the percentage of people indicating they intended to see a movie through votes cast on Fandango's digital platform.

"This variable is expressed in terms of the percentage of individuals who 'Can't Wait' to see a new release. It reflects affect and is a proxy for intention to go and see a particular film," Craig, Greene and Versaci said.

And their results suggested that "pre-release awareness and intentions are strong predictors of how well a film is going to do on its opening weekend."

In determining how to drive this kind of activity, they found that "star power" and a film's rating from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) are not "significantly related" to awareness, but other factors were.

"Whether a film was a sequel had an influence on awareness, with sequels generating greater buzz. Neither 'star power' nor MPAA rating was significantly related to awareness," the authors reported.

Assessing the intention to see a particular film – "potentially a more critical variable" – equally showed that big-budget pictures, sequels and action films all performed better in generating pre-release online chatter.

Data sourced from Journal of Advertising Research; additional content by Warc staff

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M-commerce set for take-off

20 February 2015
SAN JOSE, CA: Mobile commerce is growing at nearly three times the rate of overall ecommerce, with consumers in the United Arab Emirates, China and Turkey leading the way, according to new research.

Digital payment firm PayPal and researcher Ipsos surveyed more than 17,500 consumers in 22 countries to gain insights into mobile shopping habits and the barriers to growth.

They found that while the amounts spent via smartphone and tablet remained a small proportion of the total online spend, at 9% and 5% respectively, the prevalence of mobile shopping was significant.

One third of online shoppers surveyed reported having purchased something via smartphone in the preceding 12 months, and 20% had done so using a tablet.

This surge in smartphone commerce was being driven by young adults: a global average of 59% of smartphone shoppers are between 18 and 34 years old compared to 44% of total online shoppers.

"We are on the cusp of the mobile-first era," said Anuj Nayar, senior director of global initiatives for PayPal, as he revealed that mobile had accounted for more than 20% of the company's payment volume in 2014, up from less than 1% in 2010.

Leading the way are China, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. In China, more than two thirds (68%) of online shoppers had used a smartphone to make a purchase in the past 12 months, while more than half (57% and 53% respectively) had done so in the UAE and Turkey.

These three also dominated when considering the proportion of online spending done via smartphone. Emirati online shoppers attributed on average 24% of their online spend to smartphone purchases, followed by Chinese consumers on 21% and Turks on 19%.

Screen size emerged as one of the major factors hindering mobile commerce. One third (34%) of those who had not shopped via smartphone in the preceding 12 months cited this as a reason. And even among those who had done so, the same proportion said the small screen was a reason for not doing so more often.

Nayar expected this would change as a trend to larger screen sizes – witness the popularity of the latest, larger iPhones – coupled with streamlined digital payment options would make it "more intuitive for customers to pay with their mobile phone".

Data sourced from PayPal; additional content by Warc staff

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Indian marketers turn to social

20 February 2015
NEW DELHI: An increasing number of marketers in India are turning to social media and most are spending a significant proportion of their budgets on the channel, a new report has suggested.

The Social Media Marketing India Trends Study, from consulting firm EY, looked at how India's top social and digital savvy brands have been using social media platforms and how they go about tracking the performance of their social media initiatives.

Overall, 90% of those surveyed – up from 78% in 2013 – said they intended to devote up to 15% of their annual marketing budget in the coming year exclusively to social media, the Business Standard reported.

Almost one quarter (23%) indicated that they were already spending more than Rs 10 lakh per annum in this channel; 14% had spent Rs 1-2 crore on social media in 2014.

The study also noted the proportion of brands spending in excess of Rs 2 crore had declined from 17.1% in 2013 to 14.3% in 2014 and suggested brands were being cautious on the returns and were optimising expenditure.

"Companies and brands have significantly increased their social media spends even as they find it challenging to measure the effectiveness of their social media engagements," the report stated.

The metrics they were using included conversions (80%), leads generated (47%), RoI (31%) and sales (21%).

Commenting on the study, Dinesh Mishra, EY Partner and Customer Practice Leader (India), Advisory Services, said: "It is our observation that while brands have invested financially and in processes, there is a need for holistic customer engagement and strong community building strategies through the use of social media."

This was already on the agenda for many of those surveyed, as they planned to introduce social CRM and social commerce as priority items on their social media agenda.

Less than half were currently integrating social media data with CRM systems, but EY noted that as brands began to collate data from various touch points and to get a single view of the customer, they would be better able to establish how individual consumers preferred to be engaged with.

Data sourced from EY, Business Standard; additional content by Warc staff

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C-stores drive Chinese retail

20 February 2015
BEIJING: Convenience stores now form the largest part of modern retail in China and are set to drive growth in a flat market a study has said.

A report from market researcher Kantar Worldpanel highlighted the benefits of this channel for large retail groups: it requires less investment, has shorter lead times and meets the demands of consumers for convenience and proximity.

International giants are consequently diversifying their portfolios, with Carrefour, for example, opening its first ever neighbourhood store in the country.

The development has not taken place evenly across the country, however, being concentrated in the southern, coastal areas. Guangdong and the Yangtze River Delta region were identified as two hot spots of network distribution and maturity, Xinhua reported.

Convenience store numbers have almost doubled over the past six years, from around 13,567 in 2008 to 26,345 by the end of 2014, the report said.

And over the past year the channel has generated an estimated 40.8 billion yuan ($6.7 billion) in sales, representing an average growth rate of 14.8% over the past six years.

Overall, modern trade – including hypermarkets, supermarkets, mini-markets as well as convenience stores – now accounts for 42% of FMCG sales in National Urban China, according to Kantar.

Some 96% of the population use modern trade but its overall growth rate has slowed in the past year, from 8.6% in 2013 to 5.1% in 2014.

While convenience store sales are growing comfortably faster than modern trade generally this is still less than half the rate of ecommerce, which grew 34% in 2014.

Kantar expected that lower tier cities would be the key driver for China's growth in 2015 and beyond. Modern trade remains small in these locations, with many shoppers attracted to the choice available online.

It advised that "building economy of scale by region is critical to establish a strong growth map".

Data sourced from Xinhua, Kantar Worldpanel; additional content by Warc staff

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UK app revenues soar

19 February 2015
LONDON: App revenues are growing around six times as fast as downloads in the UK, as consumers with smartphones seek news and entertainment while on the move.

The Financial Times reported research commissioned from App Annie, the app measurement specialist, which showed the number of downloads had risen 5% during 2014, but the revenues being generated were up 30%.

While games are the most popular app, more and more people are using media apps for reading newspapers, watching TV or listening to music.

For example, among the top ten non-gaming apps, by revenue, were three broadsheet newspapers: the Guardian, Times and Telegraph.

The FT has also recently noted a rise in news industry apps that are introducing new ways to pay for content, whether buying individual articles or a single subscription for a number of magazines.

"Media apps do particularly well in the UK as well as apps that help stream video, TV and music," said Olivier Bernard, European vice-president of App Annie. "But there are starting to be more retailers using apps well, such as Just Eat, Tesco and Adidas."

Figures from another app research business, VisionMobile, suggest that the UK app economy could be worth as much as £31bn by 2025.

The market is "still near the beginning in terms of how mobile computing will change things", according to Mark Wilcox, senior analyst at VisionMobile.

"There's phenomenal growth still to come for the app economy," he said, noting that the long-term presence of the research and development centres of major smartphone manufacturers had produced a depth of mobile experience in the talent pool.

This view stands in contrast to a report from Deloitte last summer which stated that the UK app market had reached saturation level, as fewer people were downloading apps.


Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff

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Brands leverage London Fashion Week

19 February 2015
LONDON: Leading retail brands are looking to digital to leverage London Fashion Week, which starts tomorrow, combining it with the possibilities now offered by digital out of home.

Fashion retailer Topshop has created an ambitious combination which will see it team with microblogging site Twitter to identify trends as they appear, with relevant hashtags and images subsequently featuring on ads which will appear on digital billboards in six cities around the country.

People seeing these can then tweet @Topshop using one of the hashtags to receive a curated list of Topshop styles that fit the trend and which can be purchased straight away, The Drum reported.

It will also be using Vine as a vital part of its social strategy, with models using a Vine booth to share looks before taking to the catwalk.

Sheena Sauvaire, global marketing and communications director at Topshop, was excited by the developments which were helping to "democratise" London Fashion Week.

"The idea of live advertising is just beginning," she said, adding that "this will be a first example of real-time shop-able billboards."

Topshop has been something of an innovator at London Fashion Week, running a live Facebook feed from a catwalk show back in 2012, with a facility for viewers to order and customise the garments they saw and liked.

Hunter, the upmarket bootmaker, will be following this example, live streaming its show across nine outdoor screens in UK cities as well as globally on the brand's Facebook and Twitter profiles and website.

It will also take over the WiFi landing page at each of the WiFi enabled screens nationwide to drive consumers to its mobile responsive e-commerce site.

Luxury brand Burberry, meanwhile, has partnered with Japanese messaging app Line to live-stream its womenswear show and, said CEO Christopher Bailey, "build a very personal relationship with audiences in Japan".


Data sourced from The Drum; additional content by Warc staff

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Babies boost online shopping

19 February 2015
CINCINNATI: Multichannel grocery shopping is surging across the globe, with the birth of a new child being a primary driver of an increased propensity to buy online, according to a new study.

The Multichannel Grocery Shopping report, from customer data firm dunnhumby, was based on the behaviour of 7m shoppers in 14 countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas.

This found that across established, emerging and nascent markets, baby food and baby care products appeared in the top three sales categories. Further, baby milk was by far the leading product for new online shoppers, indexing at almost twice the rate as the second most popular product among new shoppers, water.

Online performance was also affected by how a brand's audience matched the typical online shopper – generally younger, affluent consumers with young children – as well as brands' understanding and response to the path to purchase in their category, including how consumers use search, search terms and favourites.

"Across the globe, there's a marked increase in multichannel grocery shopping, particularly among time- and sleep-starved parents who benefit most from being able to shop any time, without leaving home," noted Julian Highley, Global Director of Customer Knowledge at dunnhumby.

"Baby food and baby care products not only appear in the top three categories, but these are clearly important gateway products for new online shoppers," he added.

Not surprisingly, emerging and nascent markets are seeing the most growth with 97% and 89% year-on-year growth respectively, but even established markets have grown by more than 30%, the report said.

Overall the top three categories – including frozen meat and canned food as well as baby food and baby care – had an average annual online growth rate of 21%.

dunnhumby also highlighted some significant cultural differences, as the US lagged behind other markets in online grocery.

For example, US shoppers are very cautious about buying new household products for the first time online: just 8% would consider doing so compared to 36% in China.

Data sourced from Business Wire; additional content by Warc staff

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Facebook enters viewability debate

19 February 2015
MENLO PARK, CA: Social networking giant Facebook has said it only charges for ads that are viewable, although its definition of what constitutes viewable is not the same as the one the Media Rating Council is pushing as an industry standard.

"Our general view is marketers shouldn't ever pay for impressions that are never seen by users," Brad Smallwood, Facebook's vice president of marketing science, told CMO Today.

This was simple common sense, as he made clear to Ad Exchanger: "If an ad isn't being viewed by a person in some way, then there's no opportunity to create any value for the advertiser. It's a no-brainer."

But where the MRC defines a viewable ad as one where at least half of it can be seen on screen for at least one second, Facebook takes a less rigorous approach, classifying an ad as visible the moment any part of it appears on screen.

"As soon as an ad comes into view it starts creating value for the advertiser," Smallwood stated.

"Some people say they just ignore advertising, but even the act of ignoring advertising can still create value for an advertiser," he added. "That's the rationale behind our using the moment of viewing as the measure."

Not all advertisers may agree – Unilever, for example, insists on 100% viewability – but Facebook said it was working with the MRC and a consortium of advertisers and agencies to "develop more robust standards for viewable impressions".

Imperfect though it may be, some advertisers have welcomed Facebook's stance. "Adherence to viewable impressions is one of the reasons we count Facebook as a primary media partner," said Brandon Rhoten, vp/digital & social media at restaurant chain Wendy's.

"They're willing to hold themselves to a standard we can both agree is acceptable," he told Ad Exchanger, "and they're actually trying to get ad dollars from our TV budget rather than our digital budget."

Smallwood argued that the industry's focus on what percentage of an ad should be visible or how long a video needed to play had been unhelpful.

"Let's agree that impressions need to be viewable and then we'll deal with the second issue, which will be more about creating guidelines than creating an accounting mechanism."


Data sourced from Facebook, Ad Exchanger, Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff

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Chinese New Year tourists head overseas

19 February 2015
TAIPEI/CHRISTCHURCH: A traditional time for tourism, more than half of people travelling for Chinese New Year are expected to head overseas, bringing a significant economic boost to many markets.

A report conducted jointly by the China Tourism Academy and the Shanghai-based travel website Ctrip.com said that 60% of those with travel plans other than heading to a traditional family reunion intended to go abroad, with Thailand, South Korea, Japan and the US the most popular destinations.

There are several factors at work, aside from the simple desire to travel, WantChinaTimes noted. These include the easing of travel regulations by foreign countries keen to attract high-spending tourists.

Better exchange rates are also bringing some destinations within reach of more people: a weakened euro, for example, means some Chinese tourists will now be able to visit Paris.

People from Beijing and Shanghai were reported to be the top spenders on overseas trips, with average expenses of more than 5,000 yuan ($800) per person, followed by residents of Hangzhou.

The scale of the exodus has been brought into sharp focus in New Zealand, which is currently hosting a six-week-long, high-profile sporting event in the ICC Cricket World Cup.

With some 14 nations taking part, the tourism sector expects a total of 30,000 overseas visitors to arrive, The Press reported. But up to 40,000 Chinese tourists are anticipated during the Chinese New Year holiday period.

Graham Budd, chief executive of Destination Queenstown, said that Chinese visitors were second only to Australians and could even overtake them in the future.

"They are jet boating and skydiving, exploring and doing Lord of the Rings tours, they're doing wine tours, you name it," he said.

The South Island destination is proving particularly popular with Chinese tourists: their numbers have increased 395% between 2010 and 2014 while over the same period the numbers visiting New Zealand have doubled.

Data sourced from WantChinaTimes, The Press; additional content by Warc staff

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India's youth embrace change

19 February 2015
NEW DELHI: India's youth are "change champions" and brands need to take account of their concerns if they are to win in the long run according to a new study.

PR firm Genesis Burson-Marsteller conducted a series of brainstorming sessions across India with consumers from the millennial and Generation X age groups for its report TR:OUTH: Trends for Indian Youth 2015 and identified ten trends that marketers should consider in the year ahead.

The pervasiveness of new technology with its capacity to connect and to feed an insatiable appetite for information, entertainment and instant gratification is at the heart of many of the trends highlighted by the report.

Putting it into a wider context, Elaine Cameron, head of Burson-Marsteller's Future Perspective Trend Analysis Group, explained to Exchange4Media: "Expanding global markets, greater connectivity, rich cultural urban environments are making the Indian youth increasingly driven, committed to improving themselves, and impatient about experiencing life."

And she singled out as a key trend youth's role as change champions who no longer unquestioningly accepted the status quo but who were able and willing to share their enthusiasm and knowledge to create new solutions to shared problems.

Consequently, the report said, "Many will be happy to advocate for brands that are socially responsible and produce responsible products and services".

As Deepshikha Dharmaraj, Chief Marketing and Growth Officer, Genesis Burson-Marsteller, observed: "They no longer limit themselves to impressive and lofty platitudes. They act in a manner that leaves a deep impression among the public at large."

There is also a greater obsession with the self than older generations have shown, whether that is making a statement through what they buy or seeking to better themselves, as well as the constant self-promotion through social media.

Amidst all this, however, the study noted that "Being Indian and buying Indian continues to be cool".

The findings echo some of the themes Warc drew attention to in its recent New Perspectives on Indian Youth series, a collection of essays by Indian advertising professionals.

In Harish v Harry, Suman Srivastava of Marketing Unplugged was more nuanced on youth's embrace of change, pointing out that not all young people love change equally.

His research had found a 60:40 split between broad pro-change and anti-change groups among the 15-24 age group.

Data sourced from Genesis Burson-Marsteller, Exchange4Media; additional content by Warc staff

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Movie tie-up delivers for USPS

19 February 2015
MIAMI, FL: The United States Postal Service (USPS) has demonstrated how an official tie-up with the right movie can deliver powerful benefits for brands – as well as the power of welcoming ideas from external sources.

Nagisa Manabe, chief marketing and sales officer at USPS, discussed this subject during a session at a recent conference.

And she explained that a formal affiliation with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, released by Sony Pictures last year, had a tangible impact in tackling negative brand perceptions for USPS.

One problem, Manabe reported, is that despite serving consumers come rain or shine – and even now delivering packages from Amazon at weekends – it often receives low favourability ratings.

"But the truth is the United States Postal Service (USPS) is an extraordinary organisation with tremendous amounts of technology that help to drive all of the things we do," she said. (For more, including how this tie-up was activated, read Warc's exclusive report: United States Postal Service summons superhero to rescue brand.)

"We process 170bn pieces of mail and packages every year and we do that flawlessly."

Faced with such a challenge, the task for Manabe and her team involves shifting attitudes concerning the organisation, which is frequently regarded as an "old stodgy institution".

Instead, it wants to be perceived as "not just the carrier you love, but actually a technology-driven, reliable company".

Tapping into the heroic figure of Spider-Man met a lot of the criteria that might assist USPS in changing the consumer mindset.

It also, Manabe admitted, showed precisely why "one of the biggest tasks for marketers is to listen when someone smart comes up with a good idea" – whatever the source.

"Sony Pictures reached out to us through Universal McCann, and actually said, 'Hey, you have an interesting story to tell. Maybe we could tell the story together'," she said.

"[Universal McCann] pitched the idea to us and it was brilliant – down to the red, white and blue of Spider-Man and the red, white and blue of the Postal Service."

Data sourced from Warc

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