EU brands not OK on CX

2 October 2015
EUROPE: No major European brands merited an "excellent" rating on customer experience in a survey by Forrester, with consumers regarding most of them as simply "average" or "poor".

The research company surveyed 13,451 consumers across three EU countries – France, Germany and the UK – asking them about their experience with 203 large European brands.

In the UK, 87% of the brands were rated average or poor, while in Germany 84% fell into this category and in France the figure was 55%, The Drum reported.

And while a very few were able to claim a "good" rating in the UK (12%) and in Germany (14%), none could in France where all were average, poor or very poor. Nowhere was a brand at the top level of "excellent".

The leading brands in the UK were Nationwide Building Society, M&S Bank, and American Express. In France, MAIF, Yves Rocher and Credit Mutuel led, while in Germany ING-DiBA, DKB and DocMorris were at the top.

"Financial services firms hold the lead in all three markets," noted Joana van den Brink-Quintanilha, an analyst at Forrester.

"Credit card companies and banks seized the top eight slots in the UK. In Germany, financial services firms pocketed the top two slots, and in France, seven insurers are among the top 13 brands."

But he added that these firms had no room for satisfaction as retailers such as Marks & Spencer were moving into their territory with some success.

Adam Powers, chief experience officer at Bartle Bogle Hegarty London, observed that financial services businesses were trading largely in the intangible "and therefore the customer experience is everything".

"The banking sector appears to be one that broadly understood this earliest, so they are ahead of the game," he told Advertising Age.

In contrast, internet and TV service providers are among the worst as regards customer experience, which Forrester put down to a lack of competition inducing complacency.

Data sourced from The Drum, Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff


Convenience trend hits promotions

2 October 2015
LONDON: Consumers are using promotions less frequently than before and the proportion not using any at all has doubled in the past four years, according to a new study which suggests changing shopping behaviour may be a factor.

Research company fast.MAP surveyed 1,028 consumers for its 2015 Marketing Gap report and found that their use of all types of promotions had fallen over the past four years, while 16% said they had not used any, up from 8% in 2012.

David Cole, managing director at fast.MAP, highlighted the trend away from a single large weekly shop at a supermarket and towards more frequent trips to local stores as one reason for this development.

"It has almost certainly contributed to the year-on-year decline," he told Marketing Week. "Also, it is becoming increasingly difficult to engage consumers' interest across all media channels."

Tim Eales, UK director of strategic insight at market research business IRI, made a similar point earlier this year in Admap, when he pointed out that smaller shopping trips tend not to work with the sort of 3-for-2 deals that have been a promotional staple for some years.

Reward/loyalty schemes remain the most popular promotional tactic, according to fast.MAP, with 53% of respondents having used these during the past 12 months, followed by price discounts (42%).

Traditional printed coupons of various sorts continue to be more widely used than digital ones.

Printed coupons consumers had received were most used (35%), then came coupons from a previously bought pack (29%). Some 27% had used coupons printed from the internet or an email, but this was down from 49% in 2012.

Printed coupons from other sources such as magazines (27%) and printed coupons dropped through the door (17%) also retained a degree of popularity.

But coupons downloaded from a coupon website were used by just 16% of respondents and those accessed through a mobile phone by only 8%.

The study also reported that supermarket promotional mailings are more likely to be opened straight away than those from any other industry sector: 37% of respondents indicated this was their reaction, while only 5% thought to do this with communications from loan companies.

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff


L'Oreal taps digital influencers

2 October 2015
MIAMI: L'Oréal, the beauty specialist, is tapping a select group of digital influencers to help supplement the traditional star power which more mainstream celebrities inject into its marketing.

Maya Kosovalic, head/media and digital communication, L'Oréal Travel Retail Americas, discussed this subject at the 2015 Festival of Media Latin America in Miami.

And she drilled down into how some offerings in the firm's portfolio – like Lancôme cosmetics and fragrances by Yves Saint Laurent – are partnering with online fashion-and-beauty mavens to spread the word in new ways.

Examples include Caroline de Maigret, the Parisian model, music producer and author, as well as Lisa Eldridge, the renowned make-up artist with a large YouTube following, and Chiara Ferragni, a popular blogger.

Although "not as many" shoppers know these fashionistas when they are measured against A-list celebrities, that does not lessen their potential impact – largely as their fan base is highly relevant for L'Oréal's marketers.

"These women are very influential within their demographic, within their target market and with their followers," said Kosovalic. (For more, including tips to find the right digital ambassador for a brand, read Warc's exclusive report: How L'Oréal taps digital influencers.)

Big names like Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett and Julia Roberts, she continued, undoubtedly provide significant benefits for the organisation's products.

"These women are iconic, and they're recognised the world over," said Kosovalic. "And they very eloquently embody the brand values, and tell our brand stories, in pristinely-edited 15-to-30-second TV spots that are seen the world over."

But if the air of mystery projected by these actresses is an asset on the big screen, it is less useful on tablets, laptops and smartphones, where L'Oréal is competing for attention with a near-limitless array of content.

"These women are also so iconic that they are untouchable," Kosovalic said. "They shy away from proximity media. In fact, all of these women don't have an Instagram account.

"While celebrity endorsements are still very dominant on the big screen, how can brands better address the fact that customers are spending more time on the small screen? So, in come the goddesses of the small screen."

Data sourced from Warc


Mobile network blocks ads

2 October 2015
JAMAICA: Digicel has become the first mobile operator to block ads at a network level, taking what the chairman described as a stand against the "unacceptable" business tactics of leading internet firms.

"Companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook talk a great game and take a lot of credit when it comes to pushing the idea of broadband for all, but they put no money in," said Denis O'Brien, in remarks reported by the Financial Times.

"Instead they unashamedly trade off the efforts and investments of network operators like Digicel to make money for themselves," he continued.

"That's unacceptable, and we as a network operator are taking a stand against them to force them to put their hands in their pockets."

Digicel is working with Shine, an Israeli start-up, to block advertisements on its networks in Jamaica and will roll out the technology to its other markets across the Caribbean, Central America and the South Pacific – where it has a total of 13.6m subscribers – in coming months.

If internet companies want to unblock their ads, they will have to contribute towards the costs of the mobile telecoms infrastructure required to deliver them, Digicel said.

It claims that ads use as much as 10% of a customer's data plan and said that getting rid of them would not only save users money but give them a better experience.

The FT reported back in May that at least one European wireless carrier had installed the blocking software in its data centres with the intention of turning it on later in the year.

At that time an executive at the unnamed carrier explained that customers would be able to opt in to an advertising-free service and gain benefits including faster loading of web pages, a reduced risk of malware being introduced and greater privacy as user data would not be collected.

Figures from Warc's Adspend Database show approximately US$27.9bn was spent on mobile advertising worldwide in 2014.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff


Social media matures

2 October 2015
NEW YORK: The median age of social media users on top sites ranges between 30 and 44 new research has found, meaning marketers can no longer simply assume they're reaching a particular demographic when advertising there.

The findings come from GfK MRI's Survey of the American Consumer, which is derived from continuous surveys of approximately 25,000 US adults annually.

The youngest social site was Instagram where the median age was 30, the oldest LinkedIn at 44.

At the largest site, Facebook users are getting older: the median age of users has increased from 29 in 2009 to 40 today.

YouTube (38), Google+ (42) and Pinterest (38) also tend to have an older age profile while Twitter (32) more resembles Instagram.

In fact, millennials represent 70% of Instagram and 61% of Twitter users.

"These results clearly show that many of the social media applications are becoming mainstream, which bodes well for the long term viability of those companies," said Florian Kahlert, Managing Director of GfK MRI.

"At the same time, this growing acceptance raises the bar for media planners (and inventory sellers), because just adding social media sites to a plan without other sophisticated targeting no longer automatically increases your younger or savvy target groups."

Most sites display some degree of gender bias. Across the seven major social and photo/video sharing sites, men outnumber women among users in just three: LinkedIn (55% of users versus 45%), Twitter (54% to 46%) and YouTube (51% to 49%).

Women are the majority of users of Facebook (57% versus 43%), Google+ (53% to 47%), Instagram (60% to 40%) and, most notably, Pinterest (81% to 19%).

The study also showed that LinkedIn has the highest median household income (approximately $112,500) and the highest education levels among the top social sites.

And in terms of education, two-thirds (65%) of LinkedIn users fall into the "graduated college plus" category, compared to 29% of all adults. Pinterest users rank second in education level, with 41% registering as "graduated college plus".

Data sourced from GfK MRI; additional content by Warc staff


Blog: Asian marketers need to be mobile-first

2 October 2015
When cities in Asia start creating separate pedestrian lanes for people staring at their smartphones, we know we are truly in the age of the mobile-first generation, says Facebook's Reynold D'Silva. Marketers and brands need to join consumers there.



Brands experiment with 'danmu'

2 October 2015
SHANGHAI: Brands in China are starting to experiment with the "danmu" format, which has emerged as a popular way for Millennials to watch online video.

This format allows viewers to add their own text commentary to what's on screen, with other viewers then seeing these messages cover the screen to the extent that it can sometimes be hard to actually see what one is supposed to be watching.

What was previously a solitary viewing experience becomes what Advertising Age described as "a communal exercise in humor and snark" and as this primarily involves people in their teens and twenties it has caught the attention of advertisers, including Coca-Cola and Reckitt Benckiser.

Coca-Cola's water brand Ice Dew Chun Yue used the platform to ask people what aspects of the anime/manga/gaming world they wished were real and then acted on the responses, attracting 4,000 people to a live event in Shanghai.

Mark Kong, group creative director of Amber Communications, explained that the aim had been for millennials to "believe our brand is really talking to them, knows their feelings and thoughts and believes in their fantasies and what they believe in".

"It was so unbelievable to them that a big company like Coca-Cola would do something like this, seriously, for them," he said.

Durex, Reckitt Benckiser's condom brand, has posted absurdist videos in which almost nothing happens, leaving space for comments, of which it received 20,000. And shaver brand Braun has uploaded humorous man-in-the-street interviews.

"You have to be very open-minded and accepting, not to focus on the positive or negative of what people say about you – the key thing is they are talking about you," said Sharon Ho, business director of BBDO Proximity in Shanghai.

"If you want to talk to this group of consumers, you cannot control them. If you want to stay in touch with them, let them express themselves. If there's a rule, it's that."

Data sourced from Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff


Social sharing drives mobile video

2 October 2015
NEW DELHI: Social sharing is the main driver of the growth of mobile video in India, according to a new study which also highlights the importance of messaging apps in this behaviour.

Vuclip, the mobile video-on-demand (MVOD) service for emerging markets, surveyed almost 5,000 mobile video viewers across India, the Middle East and Southeast Asia and found that the use of instant messaging platforms and social networks for mobile video sharing is increasing.

Whatsapp was the top choice for Indians wanting to share mobile videos, Exchange4Media reported: just over half (51%) used this platform, compared to the 45% who opted for Facebook. A minority also used Google+ (15%) and emails (14%), while a mere 9% used Twitter.

This points to video sharing becoming a more personalised affair as people shift towards one-to-one services.

In terms of frequency of sharing video, one in five (21%) did this at least once a week while 14% did so at least once a month.

The study further found that consumers in India applied three broad criteria for sharing, with video quality by far the most important, being cited by 62% of respondents.

Quality of content and celebrity appeal were less vital, being mentioned by 25% and 24% respectively.

Despite the emphasis on video quality, user-generated content – preferably funny videos – was most widely shared (23%), followed by professionally created music video content (21%).

Comedy clips were shared by 15% and movie trailers by 12%; personal videos and sports clips were shared by just 6%.

Arun Prakash, COO at Vuclip, said that consumers responded to a combination of premium content and a high-quality viewing experience.

"This has been the key driver for the tremendous organic growth and consumer-driven adoption of mobile videos in the emerging markets that we operate in," he said.

Data sourced from Exchange4Media; additional content by Warc staff


Digital enhances WOM in Malaysia

2 October 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Some 86% of Malaysian consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations, with digital formats offering further opportunities for brands, a recent survey has revealed.

A Nielsen study found there are significant opportunities for brands to integrate the power of personal recommendations with path to purchase by using digital channels.

With an internet penetration rate of 66%, Malaysia is one of the most connected countries in South East Asia. Ecommerce is taking off, with 37% of Malaysians shopping online within the last month, according to statistics from We Are Social.

Craig Johnson, Nielsen's head of reach solutions for Southeast Asia, North Asia and Pacific, told Marketing that brands who master "online word-of-mouth" marketing techniques can gain quicker and viral reach.

Social media in particular can add a new element to the power of word of mouth and personal recommendations.

Malaysians spend almost three and a half hours every day on social media, with 90% of users connecting via their mobile phone. As Malaysia's smartphone uptake grows, mobile web traffic has increased to 40% of all time spent online – up 58% in the last 12 months alone.

For KFC Malaysia, a campaign for Zinger burgers that encouraged participants to share their experience on social media drew 1.2m views online and 75,328 more fans were won over to KFC Malaysia's Facebook page. 
An investment into their social properties saw their number of fans rise from 200,000 to 32m, making their page one of the most successful KFC social properties globally and the most popular Facebook page in Malaysia.

The study also indicated that Malaysians are more receptive to brand advertising, particularly traditional channels, despite more brands becoming active in the digital space. TV remains the channel with most reach in Malaysia – between 85 and 90%. More than six in 10 Malaysian consumers indicated their trust in ads published/broadcasted in newspaper (68%), magazines (64%), television (63%) and radio (62%).

Data sourced from Marketing, We Are Social; additional content by Warc staff


Social boosts local: comScore chief

1 October 2015
NEW YORK: Social media is a "cost-effective" way for brands to localise their marketing, but proving the payback from such efforts needs further work, according to Gian Fulgoni, the co-founder/chairman emeritus of comScore.

Writing in the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR), Fulgoni reviewed 33 finalist case studies submitted by firms around the world to the Warc Prize for Social Strategy 2015 – a competition he sat on the judging panel for.

"In an age of globalisation, it's important that marketers think global but act local. And social can be used in a very cost-effective manner as a key part of the local marketing approach," he reported.

On the downside, the comScore leader observed, "Specific isolation on business results – especially organic efforts – needs further development.

"It's clear … that some of the metrics being used to evaluate organic social marketing are overstated."

The competition's Grand Prix winner was a program developed by three Campbell Ewald strategists for the U.S. Navy.

And, Fulgoni noted, "It's impressive to see the creative applications of social and how it can be used to amplify the impact of traditional media."

He also cited three other entrants for their distinguished and imaginative use of digital media: Chobani yoghurt's #PlainInspiring, Oscar Mayer's Wake Up and Smell the Bacon and Check One Two's #FeelingNuts initiative.

In his How Brands Using Social Media Ignite Marketing and Drive Growth contribution to JAR, Fulgoni added that this channel can be a valuable tool to capture an emerging audience often overlooked by brand stewards.

"My takeaway was that some marketers somehow ignore millennials – or, at a minimum, fail to realise how different their behavior and communication patterns are – until it's almost too late.

"With disaster at hand, some of the marketers in the Warc group of 33 finalists came up with imaginatively creative ways in which to establish the relevance of the brand among this important demo segment.

"It's especially impressive to see the creative applications of social and how it can be used to amplify the impact of traditional media. I would venture to say that social can bring marketing creativity to life, especially even in those instances where media budgets are limited or non-existent."

Data sourced from JAR; additional content by Warc staff


VW in 'self-serve' option for UK drivers

1 October 2015
LONDON: Volkswagen has announced that 1.2m vehicles in the UK could be affected by the software used to rig diesel emissions tests and is setting up a "self-serve" process for owners to see if their car is one.

While the Volkswagen marque is the one most implicated, with more than 500,000 vehicles involved, the automaker's UK division said that 390,000 Audis, 130,000 Skodas and about 75,000 Seat cars would also need to be checked, the Financial Times reported.

Recent research by Rocket Fuel, an online marketing technology company, found that Volkswagen and Audi have – or had – particularly strong brand loyalty in the UK.

After analysing 270m advertising impressions across 43 automotive campaigns and surveying 329 UK car buyers, it concluded that Audi buyers were the most loyal, with 61% having previously owned the same brand.

Volkswagen came fourth in this ranking, on 41%, behind Mercedes-Benz (56%) and Alfa Romeo (51%).

Further, 28% of Volkswagen drivers cited brand as the most important factor in their decision to buy the car in the first place.

Only drivers of Alfra Romeos (36%), Audi (35%), Mazda (33%), and Honda (31%) were more brand conscious.

As Volkswagen sets out to contain the reputational damage it has sustained and to rebuild trust, it will need to rethink its marketing strategy, something that General Motors had to do when coping with bankruptcy following the financial crisis of 2008.

Its Reinvention campaign successfully conveyed the message that the business was listening to its customers and acting on its mission to put the customer first, make the substantial changes necessary to be viable, and to provide consumers with high quality products.

That required a co-ordinated research approach to deliver consumer insights at the right time and to build an accumulation of learnings that informed communications and enabled General Motors to emerge from bankruptcy within 40 days.

Data sourced from Financial Times, Rocket Fuel; additional content by Warc staff


S African shoppers seek new experiences

1 October 2015
JOHANNESBURG: South African shoppers are looking for a new experience from shopping malls, according to research which suggests they are moving away from large formulaic stores and favouring smaller niche outlets.

This is the conclusion reached by Clur Research International, a consultancy operating in the retail property sector, which has analysed consumer behaviour at prime retail sites using RetailLive, a proprietary interpretive early warning system for shopping centres.

"This crucial trend has implications for flexibility, sizing, mix, design, rentals and retail classifications," said Belinda Clur, MD of Clur Research International. "All of these need careful consideration in order to drive market share and profitability."

Previous research by Clur has indicated that up to 25% of South Africa's final consumption expenditure of households may be driven by shopping centre spend, BizCommunity reported.

The changing face of South Africa's malls was also apparent in a survey of 1,025 consumers, undertaken by real estate advisor CBRE and Broll Property Group, which highlighted that the choice of retail offerings was far from being the only factor in choosing a shopping destination.

Half of shoppers saw stopping for something to eat and drink as an important part of the experience, and 24% indicated that the choice of food and drink on offer was an important element when choosing where to go.

Cleanliness, security, price of products and availability of coffee shops and free Wi-Fi were other factors.

Clur's research identified seven trends of relevance to South Africa's shopping centres, including a rejection of replication, a desire for convenience, the growth of "personal branding" and luxury, and the development of malls as a "third place" outside of home and work.

Data sourced from BizCommunity, eProp; additional content by Warc staff


Scroll speed is 'viewability baseline'

1 October 2015
NEW YORK: The viewability of digital ads ought to be considered in relative terms, based on how fast a person typically scrolls down on their smartphone, rather than an absolute measure such as two seconds, according to Facebook.

"We've been studying this phenomenon of time spent on ads and the impact on how well an ad campaign works for a long time," Graham Mudd, director of ad product marketing at the social media giant, said in an interview at Advertising Week in New York, reported by Digiday.

He reported two findings. "One is that value is created the moment an impression is made.

"But the second thing is that value increases as you spend more time with ads. There is clearly a relationship between how much attention someone gives an ad and their likelihood to remember it."

While neither of those things might be thought revolutionary, he went on to explain that "the interesting thing is that people have hugely individualized ways of consuming content".

So, people in their teens "consume content two and a half times faster than people in their 60s", which is why Facebook has turned its attention to devising a relative approach to viewability and brand awareness optimization.

Thus, if someone is a "slow-scroller" and consumes content slowly, then that becomes a baseline, he said.

"And for a given ad campaign, if they're spending twice as long looking at that ad as they typically look at ads, then that signals to us that this must be relevant and we go and look for more people like that and use all the data we have about people, their profiles, to go find audiences."

Ad Week described this "a more precise take on data targeting for branding-minded marketers" than what Facebook has previously offered.

"With everyone talking about ad viewability, brands should find this interesting," said Mudd.

Data sourced from Digiday, Ad Week; additional content by Warc staff


Aussie bloggers bag brand rewards

1 October 2015
BRISBANE: Two thirds of Australian bloggers work with brands on sponsored content and many report that these posts work just as well as their regular ones.

The finding comes from a study by communications consultancy BBS Communications Group. The 2015 Blogger Survey Report polled 75 Australian bloggers working across several different genres – travel, lifestyle, fashion and beauty – to establish how they engaged with consumer brands, businesses and the PR industry, as well as their key interests, goals and motivations.

Of those posting sponsored content, almost half indicated that such material performed on a par with their own work.

One in three also said they had generated content based on an idea pitched by a PR person, whether by email, phone or press release.

The report noted that posts with pictures, tutorials or recipes, and free resources were typically among the most viewed and shared and advised marketers to consider offering these when pitching a sponsored post.

Amanda Firth, BBS head of digital media, said there was "a real opportunity for both brands and bloggers to work together to create content that resonates with blog readers".

"Some of Australia's most popular bloggers boast hundreds of thousands of readers, so it's not surprising that brands are increasingly engaging with the blogosphere and creating mutually beneficial partnerships," she told Mumbrella.

The benefits to bloggers include compensation, with seven in ten receiving some form of reward for their blogging.

Four in ten reported getting income from sponsored posts while a similar proportion accepted free products, meals or experiences from brands.

Most bloggers are not in it for the money, however: just three in ten cited generating an income as their main reason for blogging. The majority simply enjoyed having a creative outlet (61%) or being able to focus on a topic they were passionate about (57%).

Firth recommended that marketers take note of this last point. "It's essential that brands understand their interests and tailor content opportunities so they are relevant to the blogger…and his or her readership."

Data sourced from BBS Communications, Mumbrella; additional content by Warc staff


Private label threat to top CPG brands

1 October 2015
ST PETERSBURG, FL: Sales volumes and market shares for the top 100 CPG brands in the US have fallen over the past year, according to a new study which also reports a significant shift to private label.

The 2015 Mid-Year Performance Review, from marketing consultancy Catalina, looked at the sales and loyalty performance of the Top 100 Brands from a sample of the Catalina network that spans 26,000 food, drug and mass retailers.

It found that revenues for the Top 100 brands within its network declined slightly, by 0.8%, during the 52 weeks ending June 30, 2015. But over the same period, dollar sales for all brands and categories had risen 6%

Overall, 62 of the Top 100 brands had seen falling revenues, with an average decline of 4.4 %, while the 38 brands which had gained saw average growth of 5.5%.

Even growth was no guarantee of maintaining market share: 90 of the Top 100 had lost share within their category, including 28 that had increased sales.

Those gaining had performed below the category average of 7.2% growth, but that was a narrow difference compared to those in decline, where category growth of 5.4% had significantly widened the gap.

Catalina also established that among gainers the biggest factor in increasing sales volume had been increased consumption per shopper; among decliners, in contrast, brand shifting was the leading cause of their weakened performance.

When Catalina looked more closely at brand shifting, it found that private labels had benefited most. Its Brand Shifting Interaction Index indicated that, in 12 of 14 categories, the Top 100 brands exchanged volume with private labels 58% more than would be expected, based on fair share.

The extent to which brand loyalty has been downgraded in consumer thinking was demonstrated by the finding that 55% of previously highly loyal shoppers had either reduced their loyalty or completely defected.

Data sourced from Catalina; additional content by Warc staff


Regional languages boost effectiveness

1 October 2015
MUMBAI: India's marketers need to consider producing creative in languages other than Hindi and English as these can be much more effective in certain categories, a leading industry figure has said.

According to Manav Sethi, group head/marketing at AskMe, an online search firm expanding into ecommerce, "categories like Classifieds and Deals is where we have seen humongous uptake when we do regional language creatives".

He told Exchange4Media that digital creative in regional languages is done in-house, and reported that "we have seen a huge uptake in the CTR of these creatives".

The company's TV commercials are also created internally with a master creative being pushed out in four languages – Tamil, Kannada, Telgu and Malayalam – and translated into more as the need arises.

"For example, when we did a campaign to promote Next Day Delivery, we did the campaign in six different languages for different states," Sethi said.

He maintained that the non-Hindi and non-English speaking demographic was becoming increasingly important. "If you consider all consumer insights from both search and transactions, the consumption is skewing towards non-Hindi and non-English audiences," he explained.

But while audiences might prefer to get communications in their regional language, "in the end they will be using English as the language to interact with us on our website or app", he noted.

And that creates problems for many people, which is why AskMe continues to have a voice channel that can be used by those consumers who cannot use English on digital platforms. "We get unique consumer insights" from this, said Sethi.

English is in fact the preferred language of communication for less than 1% of the Indian population, while nearly 60% speak a language other than Hindi – reasons for Google's recent announcement of plans to enable Android users to use 11 Indian languages on its search engine.

Sandeep Nulkar, founder of BITS Private Ltd, a Pune-based translation and localization consultancy, told the Times of India that inquiries for translating content into regional languages had increased by more than 30% in the last six years.

"We foresee more and more e-tailers, food serving operators and those into specialized services turning to regional Indian languages to expand their business," he said.

Data sourced from Exchange4Media, Times of India; additional content by Warc staff


Social, smartphones drive Vietnam youth

1 October 2015
HO CHI MINH CITY: Facebook is the number one channel for Vietnamese youth seeking information about brands, recent research has revealed, as social media becomes the country's top smartphone activity.

A study by OMD and Epinion, reported in Campaign Asia-Pacific, investigated the social media and mobile phone habits of 13 -21 year olds in Vietnam.

Recommendations from friends shared on Facebook was the top source of brand information for 64% of young Vietnamese consumers. Facebook content from brands they followed were an important source of information for 52% of those surveyed.

Since the loosening of a government ban, Facebook has become the most popular social network in Vietnam with more than 30m users, up from 8.5m three years ago. Facebook Messenger is second most popular.

Social media is the number one activity for more than 80% of mobile phone users under 25 according to the Smartphone Usage in Vietnam report released by DI Marketing. Statistics from We Are Social estimate that more than 26m Vietnamese consumers across all demographics are now using their phone to access social media.

Vietnam's rapid modernization has built a generation of digital natives, making it the third-fastest-growing smartphone market in the world and the fastest in Asia, according to eMarketer, with 24.3% audience growth forecast for 2015.

It projects that the number of smartphone users in Vietnam could grow to 35.2m by 2019, up from 20.7m this year.

Nine in 10 Vietnamese internet users now use a smartphone, and one-third of all time online is via a mobile phone, up from nearly zero in 2010.

Brands are beginning to see the positive effects: Vietnamese government agencies forecast the market for e-commerce will generate revenue of $4bn this year compared with $700m in 2012.

Data sourced from Campaign Asia-Pacific, VietnamNet, eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff


Ice Bucket Challenge takes top MIXX award

30 September 2015
NEW YORK: A campaign for a non-profit health organisation that became a viral marketing phenomenon last night took the Best In Show prize at the IAB MIXX Awards.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, devised by the body dedicated to the fight against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, saw hundreds of thousands of participants – including many celebrities – post recordings on social media of a bucket of ice being poured over them, helping to raise millions of dollars.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau's MIXX Awards recognize the year's best interactive marketing, with winning work ultimately serving to educate the marketplace about what works and why in digital marketing, as well as to inspire the community by pointing to future trends and where the industry is heading.

Michael Lebowitz, founder and CEO of Big Spaceship, served as the 2015 IAB MIXX Awards jury chair. "This year's winners reached audiences in new and powerful ways," he said.

"All of us on the judging panel were impressed by the way each of the campaigns took full advantage of digital's interactive capabilities, while also showcasing a keen understanding of the core human need for great storytelling."

A total of 32 Golds, 27 Silvers and 31 Bronzes were handed out across 31 categories at an event in New York.

"The winners of the 2015 IAB MIXX Awards demonstrate how imagination and technology can be woven together to move hearts and minds," said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. "This work represents the finest in digital marketing the world over, and will surely influence the next generation of marketing campaigns."

The IAB has also published What Works & Why: IAB Global Insights Report 2015, which explores case studies of 24 award-winning campaigns from around the world and which focuses on the theme of "The Allure of Authenticity and Creativity" in interactive advertising.

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff


Trust in traditional advertising dips

30 September 2015
LONDON: Most ad formats are less trusted now by UK consumers than they were two years ago, with, paradoxically, the few registering an increase in trust being the ones that have been least well regarded, according to new research.

Nielsen's latest biennial Global Survey of Trust in Advertising polled 30,000 online respondents in 60 countries and found that, in the UK, 13 of the 19 ad formats considered had seen a decline in trust since 2013, while three had seen no change.

Trust in ads on social networks, however, had edged upwards one point, while that in text ads on mobile phones was up two points and ads on mobile devices up three points.

These three were also at the bottom of the list of most-trusted ad formats, with only around one third of respondents expressing any confidence in them. Text ads on mobile phones (27%) scored worst, while ads on mobile devices (33%) and ads on social networks (34%) were only slightly better.

Those figures contrasted sharply with the most-trusted format: personal recommendation – trusted to some degree by 81% of UK respondents – is by far the most trusted form of advertising or communication, with the credibility gap widening between it and other formats.

It now stands alone as the only format trusted by more than 60% of UK respondents, Nielsen noted, an accolade which was shared by five formats just two years ago.

"Consumer opinions online" (58%) is now the second most trusted format (up from fourth two years ago), followed by "emails signed up for" and TV ads (both 56%).

The format hit by the biggest decline in trust has been editorial content (down eight points to 54%) and the IAB has just published a set of guidelines to help the marketing industry provide more transparency to consumers around digital advertorials. These include the use of prominent visual cues and appropriate labelling.

Other formats that consumers were rapidly losing faith in were emails they had signed up for (down seven points to 56%) and newspaper and radio ads (both down six points to 50% and 51% respectively).

Online video ads (35%) and online banner ads (34%) have a lower trust rating than traditional ad formats, but their credibility has held up over the last two years.

Terrie Brennan, evp/marketing effectiveness for Europe, Nielsen noted that "about a third of online advertising campaigns don't work", as they fail to generate awareness or drive any lift in purchase intent and suggested that "a mix of both offline and online channels usually offers the best ROI".

Data sourced from Nielsen, IAB; additional content by Warc staff


Spanish open to mobile ads

30 September 2015
MADRID: Spanish consumers are generally not averse to mobile advertising, with half having clicked on an ad and 70% of those reporting themselves satisfied with the experience, new research has shown.

The Seventh Annual Survey of Mobile Marketing, produced by IAB Spain in association with Repsol, polled 1,193 consumers aged 18 to 55 and found a surge in smartphone internet use, with users connecting for an average of 3 hours and 23 minutes a day, almost one hour more than 12 months earlier.

Tablet use, however, had declined by 15 minutes to 1 hour and 41 minute daily.

Consequently, the smartphone is now the leading internet connection device, being used by 85% of respondents every day compared to 67% using a PC and 45% a tablet.

Greater use of the smartphone to access the internet means greater exposure to mobile ads and the sectors that proved of most interest to consumers were technology, travel, movies & series, fashion, music, restaurants, and video games.

They were clicking on these ads primarily to go to a brand's website or in order to receive a discount on a purchase.

The survey also revealed that nine out of ten smartphone owners used their device as part of the purchasing process: finding product information (81%), price (78%) and opinions (72%) were the main activities.

More than half also used it to geotag a store (54%) or to scan QR codes/barcodes (53%).

Further, six out of ten had used mobile payment, mainly for the ease of use (41%) although around one in five reported doing so after a Google search (23%) or having seen the option in an app (19%).

The products and services most commonly purchased via mobile were travel (38%), leisure (38%), fashion (34%), technology (33%), culture (24%), beauty (17%), banking (17%) and household products (12%).

Data sourced from IAB Spain; additional content by Warc staff


Adblocking hits mcommerce

30 September 2015
NEW YORK: Adblocking apps used on iPhones are hitting more than just the ads, as broken links and non-functioning shopping carts have been reported on retailers' ecommerce sites and, in extreme cases, the entire site has not loaded.

Sites for Walmart, Sears and Lululemon are among those said to be affected. "Potentially [this news is] enormous," said Scott Allan, head of marketing at Pure Oxygen Labs.

"The ad tech ecosystem has been built on the idea that implementing technologies related to personalization and retargeting is incredibly easy," he explained to Luxury Daily. "Retailers have built their site operations and analytics around these easy-to-use javascript and cookie-based technologies."

But that could be about to change, he said. "In one fell swoop the ad blockers are wiping out the investment retailers have made in personalization and retargeting over the last several years.

"Even if the site can function properly with an ad blocker enabled, there's still a potential for a huge negative impact on sales," Allan added. "Marketing departments will also have less data to work with in making merchandising decisions."

He reported that when he had used the Crystal ad-blocker, the Macy's site had worked properly "but the banners for complementary products are removed". And a similar effect was evident on the Sears' site.

"Best-case scenario is that shoppers using ad blockers may click through fewer products as a result of personalized and complementary selling and ultimately the impact may be lower average order value," he said. 

The issue is especially pressing as the important holiday shopping season is fast approaching and Allan stressed that, at the very least, retailers should ensure their site is visible and that shoppers can check out.

"Then it's a matter of understanding what technologies are making the site vulnerable to a disruptive user experience when an ad-blocker is enabled and trying to mitigate that."

He also posited an alternative scenario where people realised what they were missing by using an adblocking app.

"Many consumers have gotten used to relevant, personalized content and may not want to give up that experience for something more generic," he said.

Data sourced from Luxury Daily; additional content by Warc staff


Nestle Purina targets social 'lurkers'

30 September 2015
NEW YORK: Nestlé Purina, the pet food group, is seeking to understand social media "lurkers" – users who are interested in its content but do not actively engage – to ensure its marketing achieves the greatest possible impact.

Lisa Keller, manager/editor of Nestlé Purina North America's social media community management team, discussed this subject on a webinar organised by Social Media Today.

And while she argued that social listening is important for brands – especially in areas such as strategy creation, community management and reporting – it has a flaw that marketers must be aware of.

"One caveat to all of this is that you also need to remember what we call the 'silent majority' in social media," said Keller. (For more, including research tips, read Warc's exclusive report: Nestlé Purina targets social-media "lurkers".)

As evidence, she pointed to figures from customer-intelligence firm Vision Critical showing that "enthusiasts" typically comprise 29% of a brand's social audience, but generate some 85% of relevant posts and updates.

"So there have been many studies … that show that only around 30% of your community are actually creating your content – and that the majority of your social users are something actually called 'lurkers', and are simply consuming your content and other people's content," said Keller.

This trend – "a small set of users that are the ones creating most of the content" – is common across interactive platforms, and poses a significant challenge for marketers.

"For brands, it's important to try and avoid only creating content for those few people speaking up in your communities, as you may miss what the rest of your community may respond to [and] that could help your brand's bottom line."

Using research tools capable of establishing the impact of social marketing on this broader audience, suggested Keller, is essential in truly determining effectiveness.

"So, for instance, you may create content featuring your brand's product that does not 'go viral'. But you can see that it did move the needle for your brand on awareness or actual product sales offline," she said.

"A consumer may have seen that post or tweet and then remembered your brand or purchased your product as measured by these studies … but they may not have engaged with the post at all, because they may not be one of those users who likes to actually create content or take action with the actual channel."

Data sourced from Warc


Heineken takes top honours at Smarties

30 September 2015
GLOBAL: A campaign for Heineken by R/GA London, which utilised social listening to provide real-time entertainment recommendations to consumers, took the Best in Show award at the 2015 Global Smarties Awards run by the Mobile Marketing Association.

The brewer's @WhereNext campaign was built around the insight that its urban, millennial, male audience are creatures of habit who don't often explore the cities they live in. So it sought to provide such consumers in 15 cities around the world with guidance about places and venues close to them at the time of their online search, based on social listening data.

"Heineken's @WhereNext campaign incorporated pioneering use of technology, personalization, immersive brand experience, and real-time context," said Sheryl Daija, Chief Strategy Officer, MMA.

A total of 33 campaigns won awards, with, in addition to the Best in Show, 11 Golds, 11 Silvers and 10 Bronzes being handed out, while Industry Awards also went to five companies seen as trailblazers and disruptors.

The full list of winners can be seen here and Warc subscribers can also read all the winning papers.

R/GA picked up two more Golds for its work in North America, with Volvo Cars North America and Owlet Baby Care.

Mindshare's Asian operations won two Golds – in Vietnam for a campaign for Unilever's Sunsilk Shampoo, and in China for a campaign for fruit company Zespri.

Other Gold winners included Reckitt Benckiser's condom brand Durex, oral hygiene brand Colgate Palmolive India, automaker Audi, Unilever's deodorant brand Axe Black, Norwegian fashion brand KappAhl, Russian ice-cream brand Inmarko and Singapore Red Cross.

"As mobile technology and capabilities advance, the creativity, innovation and impressive results in mobile marketing set the stage for a future of what's possible," Diaja said.

Data sourced from MMA; additional content by Warc staff


Blog: Reframing the language of ads

30 September 2015
Psychologically, the removal of a negative is much more motivating than the addition of a corresponding positive, notes Rory Sutherland. And yet the language of marketing is usually about the accretion of positive attributes, rather than the reduction of negatives.



Digital payments a game-changer in APAC

30 September 2015
SHANGHAI: Taps and swipes are replacing coins and notes at an accelerating pace in Asia-Pacific markets, nowhere more so than in China where purchase behaviour is changing quickly as consumers adapt to the latest technology.

An ecommerce white paper from MasterCard, the payments business, highlights some of the challenges facing merchants across Asia Pacific in such a fast-moving environment, including the need to embrace digital payment options that offer consumers a seamless check-out experience.

"With digital payments being progressively integrated on mobile phones, there will be less need to subscribe to a range of digital wallets," it said, pointing out that there are more than 20 in India alone.

At the same time, it noted that major digital players like Apple, Samsung and Android are using existing payment networks, integrated into their card-on-file systems while a new payment technology like MasterPass is enabling all parties – consumers, issuers and merchants – to leapfrog to a secure digital payment network.

And in China messaging apps are leading the charge. More than 100m consumers – one in every five users – uses WeChat's in-app payment system, which allows users to a link their credit card to pay for a variety of services.

According to a new World Federation of Advertisers study, 85% of marketers in China are now using mobile messaging platforms such as WeChat as their central marketing channel, up from just 21% a year ago. The same study reported an exponential 305% growth in brand uptake of these apps, reflecting their status among Chinese consumers.

WeChat, for example, offers extended functionality – via apps within the app – which makes it central to the everyday lives of users. They can order taxis or food, translate street signs, check in for flights, book appointments, pay bills and enjoy multimedia content without leaving WeChat.

For brands, the uptake of WeChat as a key outreach tool is also providing an opportunity to access and track valuable consumer data about spending habits.

A recent ESOMAR paper noted that all messaging platforms have large communities which can potentially be tapped into by research providers for market research interactions. But, it added, WeChat "is ideally suited in how it is structured so that brands and service providers can use WeChat as a channel to offer communications and services to its subscribers".

Data sourced from MasterCard, World Federation of Advertisers, ESOMAR; additional content by Warc staff


Twitter steps up India TV links

30 September 2015
MUMBAI: Twitter, the microblogging site, is seeking to put itself at the heart of the content strategies of India's broadcasters, a leading executive has said.

"There is a content play which can happen in a very big way on Twitter beyond just marketing," Viral Jani, head/television strategy & partnerships at Twitter India, told Exchange4Media,

He observed that there had been a surge in hashtag conversations since English-language news channels had begun giving a hashtag to each news story.

"It is almost like integrating at a DNA level," he said. "That is the real magic and that is something that we want to replicate across the board."

In fact, Twitter is aiming to establish an interdependent relationship with broadcasters. "We want Twitter to be the core of their content strategy when creating their shows," Jani explained.

"We have seen that a lot of shows that have benefitted from Twitter in India and globally and we believe that there is a huge appetite in India and probably in the next few months we will see a lot of interaction around this," he added.

This period coincides with a rush of reality TV shows, an area where Jani saw "huge scope" and promised "deep level engagement on Twitter".

He also revealed that the social networking site was looking to leverage its video-streaming app.

"We will see some very interesting Periscope integrations coming up in a couple of weeks from now," he said. "I can't reveal names right now but there are some big-ticket celebrities that we want to bring in on Periscope and some interesting buzz around that."

Some broadcasters are already using Periscope to engage with audiences for their shows: viewers of CNN IBN and IBN7, for example, can engage in real-time with anchors and journalists this way.

The reason for a closer relationship with broadcasters is, of course, financial. "My main objective is to get great content on Twitter and advertising will follow after that," said Jani.

Data sourced from Exchange4Media; additional content by Warc staff


Facebook offers new TV ad tools

29 September 2015
GLOBAL: Facebook is rolling out four new upgrades to improve the buying, planning and measurement capabilities of its advertising suite, particularly for TV advertisers.

Announced to coincide with the Advertising Week event in New York, the social media giant said in a blog post that it is introducing target rating points (TRP) buying as a metric for advertisers to plan, buy and measure video ads on Facebook.

"Marketers can plan a campaign across TV and Facebook with a total TRP target in mind, and they can buy a share of those TRPs directly with Facebook," the company said.

"Then, Nielsen's Digital Ad Ratings measurement system can verify Facebook's in-target TRP delivery, and Nielsen's Total Ad Ratings system can verify the TRP delivery for Facebook and television combined."

Facebook said research firm Nielsen had studied 42 US campaigns and found a 19% increase in targeted reach when TV and Facebook ads were combined versus TV alone. This rose to 37% among millennials, the company stated.

While the new TRP Buying tool was the main focus of its announcement, Facebook also wanted advertisers to be aware of three other developments.

A new brand optimisation tool is being made available to help advertisers find the audiences most likely to recall their ads.

Facebook is also teaming up with Millward Brown Digital to enable advertisers to conduct mobile polling in campaigns that use Facebook and Instagram.

Finally, video will now be available in Facebook's carousel ad format for the first time and the company believes that will give advertisers more options for compelling storytelling within a user's news feed.

In a statement to Adweek, Graham Mudd, Facebook's ad product marketing director, said: "TV ad campaigns supplemented by Facebook advertising provide an ideal combination for marketers to both reach large audiences and build their brands.

"Now we're making it even easier to extend and augment TV campaigns through the introduction of TRP Buying, so advertisers can plan, buy and measure Facebook ads using the same guarantees and Nielsen verification they're used to with TV."

Data sourced from Facebook, Adweek; additional content by Warc staff


VW loses $10bn of its brand value

29 September 2015
LONDON: The crisis engulfing Volkswagen following revelations that the German automaker used software to cheat emission tests has knocked $10bn off its brand value, according to the latest estimates.

Brand Finance, the global brand valuation and strategy consultancy, said the company's brand value prior to the scandal stood at $31bn, meaning it has lost a third of its brand value since the scandal erupted.

Volkswagen was previously rated as the third most valuable auto brand in the world after Toyota and BMW and was on an upwards trajectory, having gained $4bn in brand value since 2014.

All of that is now in decline, Brand Finance warned, while adding that further revelations could mean Volkswagen faces a crisis on an unprecedented scale.

"The developments of the last few days will undoubtedly send this trend into reverse, resulting in $10bn in lost brand value," said David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance.

"The apparent ease with which the company's activities were uncovered makes it all the more astonishing that VW was willing to endanger its most valued asset."

Since the release of the Brand Finance report, further pressure piled on the company with news that German prosecutors have launched a fraud investigation against former chief executive, Martin Winterkorn, the BBC reported.

Furthermore, reports in the German media over the weekend suggested that some of Volkswagen's own staff and one of its suppliers had warned years ago about the illegal use of "defeat devices".

With the company's reputation on the line, Brand Finance's David Haigh pointed to the problems faced by Toyota after its reputation was damaged following a series of recalls over mechanical issues from 2009 to 2011.

He said Toyota's brand value fell from a peak of $27.3bn in 2010 to $24.5bn in 2012 and it did not exceed its previous peak until 2014, when its brand value was $34.9bn.

Haigh warned that the outlook for Volkswagen could be a lot worse because "the cost of recalls and fines could be far more significant than those Toyota faced, whilst the apparently deliberate nature of VW's actions compounds the impact on its credibility".

Even "the very future of the VW brand is in doubt", Haigh warned, adding that any hope of recovery will come down to it investigating the source of the alleged nefarious activity and then to communicate its findings clearly to avoid contagion.

Data sourced from Brand Finance, BBC; additional content by Warc staff


Aldi will launch online challenge

29 September 2015
LONDON: Aldi, the German discount supermarket chain, is stepping up its challenge to its larger established rivals with plans to launch an online service next year.

The no-frills retailer said it will sell wine by the case online and follow that with sales of special non-food items. It also will offer home delivery and collection from third-party locations, the Guardian reported.

By offering an online service, Aldi effectively will obtain national coverage and its wine promotion could attract more affluent, middle-class shoppers, a key demographic in the fiercely competitive UK supermarket sector.

"Our launch online is another exciting chapter in our story," said Matthew Barnes, chief executive of Aldi UK. "This will enable us to introduce the Aldi brand and some of our best-selling, best quality and best value products to thousands more customers across the UK."

The announcement came as Aldi reported UK sales of £6.9bn in the year to December 2014, up more than 30% on the £5.3bn it reported for the previous year.

It said it was on course to open 65 more stores this year, up from 54 in 2014, with plans to increase its portfolio to 1,000 stores by 2022.

Catherine Shuttleworth, chief executive of retail marketing agency Savvy, said Aldi was being sensible to start with wine and non-food categories because they will be more profitable than a full grocery home delivery service. Wine is also more likely to draw in affluent shoppers, she told Internet Retailing.

"This is Aldi's time," she said. "The retailer continues to demonstrate an instinctive connection with the mood of the nation and is ideally positioned to serve the changing UK shopper.

"Its move online, we believe, is another reason why the retailer will continue to outpace the market over the next five to 10 years."

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


Unlocking the marketing power of Twitter

29 September 2015
NEW YORK: New research published in the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR) has provided some insight into the drivers that marketers need to recognise if Twitter is to be more than a passing brand fancy.

In the most recent issue of JAR, Theo Araujo, Peter Neijens and Rens Vliegenthart - all from the University of Amsterdam - investigate a step beyond a simple Twitter post to demonstrate how specific cues can influence the retweeting of brand messages.

In "What Motivates Consumers to Re-Tweet Brand Content? The Impact of Information, Emotion, and Traceability on Pass-Along Behavior", the authors dug down into the data generated by nearly 20,000 brand-focused tweets compiled over three years.

And even as digital marketing at large - and Twitter, specifically - continues to evolve, their analysis pointed to a set of conclusions with immediate relevance.

Firstly, they learned that Twitter users are especially interested in messages which are "rich in informational content".

Pass-along behaviour is also highly dependent on utilitarian factors: "Informational cues were predictors of higher levels of retweeting, particularly product details and links to a brand's website, social network sites, and photos or videos," the study argued.

Emotional triggers have a key underlying role, too. "Although emotional cues did not influence retweeting on their own, they reinforced the effects of informational cues and traceability cues [hashtags] when combined in the same message."

The three University of Amsterdam scholars did offer one caveat to those who presume that social media is a post-and-profit exercise: "Twitter users, however, are not motivated by all kinds of brand information. A message simply about the brand, containing brand cues, will not more likely be retweeted by users.

"In this study, only messages that specifically contained information about products from the brand were associated with higher levels of retweeting, indicating that consumers have a high level of expectation about the brand message's content."

Their conclusion: "Twitter users especially are interested in messages that are rich in informational content."

Data sourced from Warc


Mobile is best ad channel for students

29 September 2015
NEW YORK: Mobile is the most effective medium for advertisers seeking to reach American college students aged 17 to 25, new research has revealed.

According to a study from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and research firm Qriously, these young adults – a mixture of Gen Z and millennials – are more likely than the average smartphone user to say they see relevant ads on their mobile.

The study involved 1,018 smartphone users aged 17 to 25 and their responses were compared with 1,096 smartphone users whose age reflected the general population of the US.

Whereas older smartphone users said they tended to view relevant ads more on TV (28.4%) than mobile (22.2%), the choice of medium reversed for the younger respondents. For them, mobile (27.9%) was more important than TV (21.9%).

This was especially the case for male college students, nearly a third (32.5%) of whom cited mobile as the medium with the most relevant ads compared to just 19% who felt the same about TV.

Female college students were more balanced with an equal number saying mobile and TV were the source of relevant ads.

More than half (55%) of young respondents said they have acted in response to seeing a relevant ad on their mobile device, a higher proportion than typical smartphone owners (49%).

When they notice a relevant ad, students indicated they were much more likely than other smartphone users to screenshot ads (13% versus 7%) and to search for information (13% v. 9.5%), but there were less likely to tap a mobile ad (12% v. 16%).

In addition, students were significantly more likely to choose a brand based on its social media presence (16% v. 10%) and the opinion of friends (13% v. 9%).

"Today's college students are leading mobile first lives – and will surely take their mobile-first mindset with them into the world after graduation," said Anna Bager, IAB's svp and general manager of mobile and video.

"Gen Z and the young millennials on campus now are tomorrow's next set of primary consumers and it is apparent that marketers and agencies need to reach this coveted audience on mobile screens."

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff


Chinese marketers shift mobile focus

29 September 2015
SHANGHAI/BRUSSELS: Nearly half (48%) of marketers in China believe mobile is poised to become a cross-purpose marketing and sales channel, according to a new survey from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA).

Working with Shanghai-based CollabCentral Consulting, the WFA polled 20 major marketers in China that represent brands with a collective global marketing budget of about $30bn.

Although four-fifths (82%) said they currently focus on using mobile as a brand awareness channel, instead of ecommerce or driving offline sales, only 26% expected mobile to continue to be used solely for awareness in a year's time.

"Clear vision leads to action and this shift in recent months amongst the marketing community of China to leverage mobile as a business driver, beyond marketing and communication, is a great signal to start acting upon," said Nishta Mehta, founder of CollabCentral Consulting.

With marketers increasingly giving thought as to how best to leverage online to offline (O2O) sales, the survey respondents pointed to a number of barriers standing in their way, including insufficient technical know-how.

Roughly a third (32%) described themselves as "low" in terms of O2O technical sophistication while more than half (52%) said their skills were at a "mid" level.

Almost three-quarters (74%) identified a lack of integration between departments as a key barrier while 68% cited the failure of some retailers to integrate mobile technology into the offline world.

"Closer and faster collaboration between retailers, marketers and companies such as Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent is needed," advised Matt Green, WFA's senior global marketing manager.

In another key finding, the study revealed that Chinese marketers are increasingly using popular mobile messaging apps in their campaigns.

Their use of apps like WeChat has grown 305% since 2014 while 85% have used mobile messaging as their key marketing communication platform over the past 12 months, up from just 21% in 2014.

Data sourced from World Federation of Advertisers; additional content by Warc staff


Sport embraces second-screening

29 September 2015
MELBOURNE: Fans of Australian rules football who intend to watch the AFL Grand Final this weekend will be able to engage with the event interactively after the Australian Football League (AFL) created a new second-screen app.

The Explore AFL platform allows fans at AFL events across Melbourne to access content, ranging from videos to vouchers, and the initiative taps into a growing trend of second-screening in Australia.

Using location data, the app will enable the AFL to connect with supporters with push messaging on the week of its most watched match, Mumbrella reported.

"We are entering a new age of how we engage and interact with fans during Toyota AFL Grand Final Week," said Peter Campbell, general manager of AFL Media.

"The ability to manage all content remotely, whilst updating content and information as it happens is another great extension of the event experience," he added.

It comes a week after Fox Sports Australia launched an app to engage second-screening fans by providing on-demand matches, live scores and exclusive features pushed straight to their mobile device. The app even notifies users if their team is in a close match.

Australia's attachment to second-screening, especially among younger consumers, was underlined in a recent report by Vision Critical for the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Australia.

It revealed that more than 88% of 25-34 year-olds in the country use another device simultaneously while watching TV, rising to 94% of those aged 18 to 24.

The same applied to about three-quarters (77%) of adults aged 35 to 44, 73% of 45-54 year-olds and 62% of older consumers aged 55 to 64.

Elsewhere, the research found 62% of smartphone owners used their devices while watching TV, falling to just under half of tablet users and 36% of users of laptops or personal computers.

Data sourced from Mumbrella, Rapid TV News, eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff


Rugby grows in popularity worldwide

28 September 2015
LONDON: Marketers are well aware of the opportunities presented by the large number of fans who follow the major rugby-playing nations, but new analysis points to a surge of interest among the sport's less dominant countries.

According to research firm Repucom, the level of interest in rugby has risen significantly in Italy, Spain, Thailand, India, Malaysia and the USA – and says this growing fan base will interest the sport's marketing strategists.

Repucom compared the interest levels of fans prior to the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups from 16 countries with teams currently outside of World Rugby's Top 10 rankings.

Interest in Italy soared 11 percentage points ahead of this year's tournament, taking the proportion of Italians who said they were interested in the World Cup to 18% compared to just 7% in 2011.

Similarly, 17% of Malaysians said they are interested, up four percentage points from 13% in 2011, even though the Malaysian team is ranked just 57th in the world.

Meanwhile, interest in Spain has doubled over the past four years from just 6% identifying themselves as fans in 2011 to 12% in 2015.

There has been an uplift in Thailand, too, where interest levels have reached 15%, up five percentage points since 2011, despite the Thai team's 74th-placed world ranking.

Even in cricket-loving India, the proportion of people saying they were interested in rugby rose to 5% from just 1% in 2011, while interest in the USA has grown to 12%.

Although the findings covered global attitudes prior to the current World Cup, the tournament has been electrified by the performance of some of sport's smaller nations – most especially Japan's shock victory over mighty South Africa the weekend before last.

Mike Wragg, global head of market research at Repucom, suggested this could boost the sport's profile in emergent rugby nations and hasten commercial opportunities.

"Japan's win over South Africa on the tournament's opening weekend shone a spotlight on the game's emerging teams and, potentially, regions and markets for commercial growth of rugby itself," he said. "Through this new data, we can see that trend actually take shape."

Data sourced from Repucom; additional content by Warc staff


Sport can sway cord-cutters to return

28 September 2015
STAMFORD, CT: Pay-TV providers who have been coping with the growing trend of "cord-cutting" may be encouraged by a new survey, which suggests sports content could encourage former subscribers to return.

Research firm Frank N. Magid Associates polled more than 2,880 pay-TV and 317 broadband-only viewers in the US for the ONE World Sports network.

Among respondents who have cut the pay-TV cord in the last two years and yet might consider returning, nearly two-fifths (39%) cite sports channels as a reason to return, the survey established.

The popularity of sport in the US is also confirmed in the survey with nearly 9-in-10 (88%) of sports fans saying they watch sports on a TV set, with broadcast networks leading (73%), followed by cable sports networks (62%) and general entertainment networks (60%).

An increasing number of sports fans are going online, the report confirmed, with more than a third (37%) of respondents saying they often watch streamed sport online while nearly three-fifths (57%) say they watch sports online in some way.

In terms of device, these viewers typically prefer larger digital screens, such as computers (37%) and over-the-top video to a TV (26%), although tablets and smartphones are each used by a quarter (25%).

"Sports remains the most DVR-proof form of video content," said Alexander Brown, president and CEO of ONE World Sports.

"The excitement, immediacy and community around sports contests demand live viewing, whether that viewing takes place via an antenna, or a pay-TV provider, or via a live web stream.

"Whatever the format, the findings support that people want to watch sports live, and on the best – typically largest and most crisp – available screen."

The survey went on to reveal that a quarter of all broadband-only consumers cut the cord within the last two years – with millennials making up the majority (52%) of these consumers – but about half (51%) of all cord-cutters have done so for more than five years.

"Since the majority of cord-cutters are millennials, this response supports our view that younger Americans are not only increasingly multicultural, but are ready to embrace global TV content such as sports from around the world," said Brown.

Data sourced from ONE World Sports, PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff


Retailers prepare for unified commerce

28 September 2015
BOSTON: Nearly four-fifths (78%) of leading North American retailers expect to have a unified commerce platform, or a seamless customer experience across channels, up and running within the next five years, a new report has revealed.

Unified commerce tracks consumers' interactions across all channels, both physical and online, and is designed to enhance the customer experience through personalisation and effective use of data.

According to the 2015 E-Commerce Survey conducted by Boston Retail Partners, it appears that a significant majority of top retailers in the region recognise that such a platform is crucial and are taking steps to implement one in the near future.

As the industry adapts to heightened consumer expectations, the survey confirmed the trend with 43% of retailers saying that providing a consistent brand experience across channels is one of their top priorities.

A similar proportion (45%) regard mobile websites as their most important ecommerce capability while a full 85% anticipate their ecommerce revenue to increase next year.

In addition, almost two-thirds (63%) of retailers plan to accept Apple Pay within two years in recognition that flexible payment options and security are essential.

Commenting on the report, Brian Brunk, principal at Boston Retail Partners, said: "Retailers realise that that they can no longer operate from within silos, and the convergence of digital and physical commerce is now a retail imperative.

"Unified commerce transcends channels and enables store associates to personalise the experience to a customer based on her digital footprint.

"It is encouraging to see that so many retailers have implemented or will implement a unified commerce platform within the next five years.”

However, he told Luxury Daily that some retailers are still missing out on opportunities to boost sales by improving their personalised service.

Product reviews, for example, are underused on retail ecommerce sites. Citing a survey by UPS, he said 73% of consumers found product reviews to be influential, but the survey by Boston Retail Partners indicates that 39% of retailers still do not offer them on their websites.

"Guided selling represents another great opportunity for immersive customer engagement and a brand distinguishing experience," he said.

Data sourced from Boston Retail Partners, Luxury Daily; additional content by Warc staff


H&M sees bright future in China

28 September 2015
BEIJING/STOCKHOLM: Swedish retailer H&M does not share global concerns about the state of the Chinese economy and is planning to roll out hundreds of new stores while also targeting China's upper-middle class.

The world's second-largest clothing retailer plans to open another 240 stores around the world in the fourth quarter and most of them are expected to be located in China and the US.

H&M already has 299 stores in China, but it sees room for growth having seen its revenue in the country grow 11% in the third-quarter, chief executive Karl-Johan Persson told the Wall Street Journal.

"We have a positive long-term view on China; our position there is strong, as is our profitability," he said.

"As far as the overall Chinese market goes, in the third quarter we have heard that there has been a slight slowdown from a very strong sales pace increase to somewhat calmer levels," he added.

Another draw for H&M is that apparel sales in China are expected to remain buoyant, according to consultants PwC, which forecast that overall clothing sales will reach nearly $80bn this year.

Part of H&M's strategy is to target the country's growing upper-middle class and it plans to open more stores that sell its premium brand, Cos. This includes a flagship store in the heart of Beijing's top shopping district.

"We invest in the long term and I am not worried about China currently," Persson said earlier this month in an interview with The Times of India.

He went on to tell the newspaper that, despite the company's interests in China, H&M is excited about the opportunities presented by the Indian market, where it will open its first store in October.

"We enter markets irrespective of size and potential. Our aim is to provide something fantastic to the consumer," he said. "India is probably the most interesting market in the world where we are not present yet. We have huge hopes."

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal, Times of India; additional content by Warc staff


APAC social customer care at new high

28 September 2015
SINGAPORE: Brands in the Asia-Pacific region that use Facebook as a platform for consumer engagement are achieving record levels of responsiveness to customer queries, according to new research.

Socialbakers, a social media analytics company, measured the extent to which brands across the region use Facebook for customer service purposes and revealed a marked improvement since last year.

Describing Asia-Pacific social customer care to be at an all-time high, Socialbakers noted that more than four-in-five (82%) APAC brands responded to all questions posed to them in Q2 2015 compared with an average of 67% in Q2 2014.

These brands are also responding within a much shorter timeframe, the report said, averaging 30 hours, down from 50 hours a year ago. Despite a high volume of questions, the top performing brands do so in ten minutes on average.

Bangladeshi brands, at 94%, remain the top responders to customer queries on Facebook, followed by brands from Australia (86%), Indonesia (84%), New Zealand (82%) and Thailand and Singapore (80% each).

With a response rate of 84% in Q2 2015, Indonesian brands improved the most since the same period last year, when just 56% of customer queries were answered, and the report described this growth as "exponential".

Telecom brands are the most engaged with their customers on Facebook with a response rate of 95%, the report added, but other high-achieving sectors include finance (83%) and airlines (77%). FMCG food, retail food and retail all score 76%.

Telkomsel, an Indonesian telecom brand, is identified as the most responsive brand in the region for the second quarter running.

The company has nearly 1.3m Facebook fans, who asked more than 36,000 questions in Q2 2015, and Telkomsel managed to answer nearly all of them (99.6%) with an average response time of just 11 minutes.

Commenting on the company's philosophy, Andri Wibawanto, vp of customer care management at Telkomsel, said: "Investing in social customer care has helped us to solve customer enquiries faster and more effectively than before, and we are now delivering better service for a greater number of customers at a lower cost."

Data sourced from Socialbakers; additional content by Warc staff


IAB chief seeks mobile progress

28 September 2015
RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA: Mobile measurement must improve so the channel does not become a "black hole" for determining ad viewability, according to Randall Rothenberg, president/CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

Speaking at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2015 Digital & Social Media Conference, Rothenberg argued mobile is one of the "biggest" viewability challenges - a subject also likely to feature at the IAB's 2015 MIXX conference in New York this week.

More specifically, while 67% of impressions are now consistently viewable, Rothenberg reminded the ANA assembly that this means "close to a third are not”.

He continued: "There are real big reasons for that. And one of the biggest is that mobile viewable [impressions] do not exist." (For more, including further problems related to measurement, read Warc's exclusive report: IAB opens MIXX with call for viewability.)

"As more and more consumers shift their digital consumption onto mobile devices - and more and more advertising follows - it stands to reason that more and more of those advertising impressions are not going to be viewable, because the standard does not exist yet."

However, Rothenberg expressed optimism that the industry can develop appropriate technologies to assist in the maturation of the mobile marketplace.

"Non-viewable is a technical problem. We are committed, committed, committed to making mobile measurement make sense," he said.

The IAB has already partnered with the ANA and American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's) on the "Making Measurement Make Sense" program, which seeks to enhance digital standards in this area.

And Rothenberg suggested a commitment to resolving the adverse situation on mobile is an important part of the wider agenda.

"[Marketers need] to be able to follow their consumers. That is the primary need in their lives. They can't follow them into black holes that have no standards. That have no best practices," he said.

"We need to make mobile measurement consistent with the way all other measurement works."

Data sourced from Warc


Ignorance no obstacle to programmatic

25 September 2015
GLOBAL: More and more advertising money is being poured into programmatic buying but a majority of advertisers understand little or nothing about how it works, a new study claims.

A collaborative research project led by Circle Research, in association with AppNexus, Warc, DDMAlliance, IAB Singapore and IAB Australia, surveyed more than 1,200 advertising professionals across three continents. Respondents were working in agencies, publishers and ad tech companies and collectively responsible for more than $100bn of advertising spend annually.

The resulting report – Reaching full potential: Examining attitudes towards programmatic across the global advertising ecosystem – said that nearly half of the ecosystem (44%) understands little or nothing about how programmatic works. This was particularly true of advertisers (63%), although there were also significant levels of ignorance among agencies (48%) and publishers (47%).

Even more astonishing, said the report, is that the lack of knowledge about programmatic runs concurrent with a high usage of it (67%).

And that figure may even be an underestimate. While less than half of advertisers (47%) and two-thirds of advertising agencies (64%) said they used programmatic, nearly all media buying agencies were doing so (92%).

"If the advertisers and agencies who claim not to be using programmatic are running campaigns via media buying agencies, could it be that their ads are being placed programmatically – and they simply don't know it?" the report asked.

This lack of understanding as to how programmatic works was cited by respondents as the most important challenge to overcome before advertisers can effectively adopt and wield the technology (47%).

That's because a lack of understanding reduces overall trust within the system while also making it harder to address everyday operational issues, such as meeting training needs or internal reporting.

There are also "phantom barriers" conjured up by sheer incomprehension – around one third of advertisers who have not yet adopted programmatic believe that a lack of budget is restraining them, even though programmatic is not a channel but a technology.

While it may require a reallocation of resources it doesn't need a separate budget, the report noted.

Data sourced from AppNexus; additional content by Warc staff


Marketers lack confidence in KPIs

25 September 2015
LONDON: Most marketers in the UK find it more difficult to measure the impact of branding than direct response and many lack confidence in the KPIs they are using, research has shown.

A study by Visual IQ – Branding Measurement in Today's Accountable World: A Tale of Two Marketers – surveyed more than 500 brand marketers across the US and UK and discovered a relative lack of accountability and confidence when it comes to measuring branding metrics such as "engagement".

Specifically, 71% of UK-based brand marketers said that branding metrics were very or extremely important to campaign measurement and optimisation.

But only one in five (20%) rated their organisation as being very good at measuring which combination of digital channels and tactics would produce the greatest lift in branding metrics.

When asked what obstacles they face when it comes to measuring brand performance, more than half (51%) of marketers said they lacked advanced measurement tools and/or methodologies, while 37% were unable to calculate a single engagement score metric.

"As branding initiatives don't necessarily result in conversion, measuring their success has always been far more tricky than with direct response tactics, as it's harder to link to real business outcomes" explained Vanessa Tadier, general manager/Europe, Visual IQ.

"The industry has significant work to do in addressing the challenge of accurately measuring the impact of branding initiatives," she added.

A failure to do so may have major implications for a brand, according to Les Binet and Peter Field, who have warned of the dangers of focusing on short-term effectiveness, something that is more likely with the range of measurements now available to direct response.

There has always been a tension between the short and long term, they wrote in Market Leader, "but it is now becoming a major threat", thanks to big data and quarterly reporting by public companies, and may even undermine a brand's long-term business success.

A long-term brand-building approach will take time to deliver its full benefits – longer than six months – but it will drive year-on-year efficiency improvements, they stated.

Data sourced from Visual IQ, Market Leader; additional content by Warc staff


Local languages vital for brands

25 September 2015
GLOBAL: Only 5% of the world's languages are represented online and this constitutes an obstacle to internet take-up in emerging markets and an opportunity for brands that can address this failing.

A report from the UN this week highlighted the fact that more than half (57%) of the world's people remain offline, with billions in the developing world unable to take advantage of broadband internet connections.

The internet is accessible to only 35% in developing countries, while in the 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) over 90% of people are without any kind of internet connectivity, the report said.

The lowest levels of internet access are mostly found in sub-Saharan Africa: the internet is available to less than 2% of the populations in Guinea, Somalia, Burundi and Eritrea.

“We have reached a transition point in the growth of the internet," the report said.

Technical issues are clearly one issue hindering access for those living in remoter areas. But the UN also suggested that “overcoming the internet's language barriers will be a key determinant in helping drive demand for – and access to – internet services and content".

According to Marco Veremis, CEO Upstream, a mobile agency, consumers in growth markets such as Nigeria, Vietnam, India and Brazil prefer content in their local language.

“Brands looking to break into these markets can easily build trust with their target market simply by ensuring their content is available in local languages," he told Net Imperative.“A simple point but one which has so far been overlooked when offering digital services," he added.

At least 80% of all content on the internet is in one of ten languages, according to the World Bank: English, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, German, Arabic, French, Russian, and Korean.

Data sourced from UN, World Bank, Net Imperative; additional content by Warc staff


The dangers of comparative advertising

25 September 2015
NEW YORK: Even though a brand may feel empowered by its category leadership, comparative advertising may not work to the product's advantage, according to a new study in the Journal of Advertising Research.

In The Effectiveness of Comparative Versus Non-Comparative Advertising: Do 'Strictly' Comparative Ads Hurt Credibility of Non-Professional Service Brands?, Dr. Fred Beard, professor of advertising in the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma, examines the practice of presumed brand building that crosses both legacy and interactive media.

By assessing the real-market achievements of major advertisers, Beard found, "the potential for negative outcomes of [comparative advertising] are a very real possibility when prominent brands choose to go head to head using strictly comparative advertising campaigns."

Balancing that learning, however, is the notion that target-audience age should be every bit as much of a factor as comparative claims.

Dr. Beard's analysis of comparative advertisements between two auto-industry brands (Ford and Chevrolet), for instance, uncovered a significant interaction between age and advertisement type.

"Younger subjects responded similarly to the non-comparative and comparative treatments across four of the five advertising outcomes," he reported.

"Older subjects responded significantly more favorably toward the non-comparative treatment than the younger ones did."

The University of Oklahoma professor concludes: "Prominent brand advertisers should be wary about using strictly comparative advertising, even that which could be considered low in negativity, and especially if older consumers are the target audience.

"The possibility that services consumers follow a fourth hierarchy-of-effects process –feel/do/learn – further suggests how serious negative affective and conative consumer responses might be for services advertisers especially.

"The role that comparative – versus non-comparative – advertising may play in helping to shape consumer attitudes and perceptions of the value of a purchase likely is similar for both traditional services and manufactured goods."

Additionally, Dr. Beard noted, "Although in this study there was no attempt to measure backlash, the low believability and other negative responses to the comparative treatment are consistent with how the concept has been measured in the political-advertising literature."

Data sourced from Warc


Tourism video ads boost hotel bookings

25 September 2015
REDWOOD CITY, CA: Travellers who watch a tourism video ad to completion are 23 times more likely to book a hotel in the destination city advertised, new research claims.

Rocket Fuel, a programmatic marketing platform provider, reached this conclusion after analysing data from a recent US regional tourism ad campaign and from a hotel advertiser that had partnered with Rocket Fuel at the same time.

The likelihood to book increased with the video completion rate and was highest for consumers who were both exposed to display ads and watched to completion one or more video ads.

While the above figures are impressive, even being exposed to tourism display or video ads – without viewing to completion – meant that travellers were six times more likely to book a hotel in the destination city those who hadn't seen them.

And consumers who saw only display ads for the tourism campaign were still more than three times more likely to book a hotel in the destination city.

"Billions are spent digitally in the highly competitive travel market, yet video is underutilised, mainly due to perceived costs," said Chris Lorenzoni, Rocket Fuel's director of category strategy for travel.

But, he added, "an investment in programmatic video ads, in tandem with display, can drive real results".

Hotels generally face a major challenge in identifying whether ads shape choice, since consumers are also likely to be using search engines, user reviews and price-comparison sites as well.

Choice Hotels addressed this by building a holistic marketing-mix model that incorporated these factors and also pulled together ROI figures in a directly comparable fashion.

One unexpected finding was that the business was over-serving ads to certain users, so a frequency cap was implemented in order to boost efficiency.

At the same time it set standards for display formats and began to make accurate comparisons about the ROI delivered by different publishers and so was able to allocate spending accordingly.

Data sourced from Rocket Fuel; additional content by Warc staff


China's luxury brands eye Hong Kong

25 September 2015
HONG KONG: Falling rents in Hong Kong's prime shopping districts are attracting a new wave of Chinese luxury brands to the city, even as mall space on the mainland continues to grow.

Jeweller Lao Feng Xiang, for example, has almost 3,000 stores across mainland China, but has only recently opened two locations in Hong Kong. "This year is the best time to enter Hong Kong, an opportunity that we have waited for years," marketing manager Wang Ensheng told Bloomberg.

"The fact that Lao Feng Xiang opened stores in Hong Kong boosted our reputation," he added. "Mainland consumers know that we are now a player in this international jewellery hub."

Tom Gaffney, head of retail at property agent Jones Lang LaSalle, reported working with 12 Chinese businesses to open stores in Hong Kong, up from six last year and three the year before. He described the trend as "a form of marketing".

Chinese tourists view a mainland brand with a store in Hong Kong or overseas as having better quality, he explained. They then carry the perception home and remain loyal customers back in China.

On the mainland, meanwhile, developers are building shopping malls faster than they can fill them with retailers as the economy slows and the ecommerce sector continues to grow.

This was highlighted in a report from Moody's, the ratings agency, reported by the South China Morning Post.

"In cities where mall space is abundant, vacancy rates have risen substantially," according to Marie Lam, Moody's associate managing director. "Demand for mall space from retailers in China is not catching up with supply."

On some estimates there will be around 5,000 malls across the country by the end of 2015 and not all will be successful, as, despite the numbers, there are relatively few experienced developers.

Figures from property agency Jones Lang LaSalle suggest most have built only one or two, and the implication is that the intent has been to sell them on rather than actually operate them.

Those ambitions, however, are up against a booming ecommerce sector. Online retail sales were up 48.7% in the first half of the year, according to the China e-Business Research Centre, while the economy overall grew at 7%.

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


Blog: Time to be less human

25 September 2015
Marketers spend too much time worrying about a brand's "personality" or "tone". Forget the anthropomorphising, says Gareth Kay, and focus instead on making brands more useful to consumers.



Fall TV season fails to impress

25 September 2015
NEW YORK: Television's role in the advertising mix is coming under close scrutiny now the figures are in for the first two nights of the fall season and show viewing figures down by up to 20% in a key demographic.

According to ratings firm Nielsen, PUT (people using television) levels during prime-time for the first two nights among 18-49 year olds were down 10% on the same period last year.

And at the younger end of the spectrum the figures were much worse: among 18-24 year olds, viewing was down 20%, a figure that rose to 24% for men in that age group.

New programmes didn't attract the hoped-for numbers while "every returning Tuesday night drama suffered double-digit ratings declines", Advertising Age reported.

"What you can't do on the one hand is say, 'Television is dead,' because there's a huge demand," Rob Norman, chief digital officer of media agency GroupM, told the New York Times. "On the other hand, you can't say 'Everything is OK, television is fine'," he added.

Viewing behaviour has been shifting as people move away from live television to using on-demand and streaming services. That is especially true of scripted dramas, but some have such an appeal that viewing can't be delayed, such as Empire, a Fox series.

"Empire has resonated," said Lia Silkworth, an executive at Tapestry, part of Starcom Mediavest Group's multicultural division. "As an agency, we know that there's going to be a lot of live viewing. People aren't going to want to miss out on being able to talk about what they saw."

Consequently, thirty-second slots on the show are reported to be selling for $0.5m, putting it on a par with live sporting events.

"We have high expectations for how it's going to perform," said Gary Newman, co-CEO and co-chairman of Fox Television Group in remarks reported by Ad Week.

At the same time he conceded that "nothing remains a phenomenon for that long".

Data sourced from Advertising Age, New York Times, Ad Week; additional content by Warc staff


Global adspend forecasts cut

24 September 2015
GLOBAL: Expectations for global adspend growth have diminished since January, with the latest Consensus Ad Forecast from Warc for this year and next down 1.3 and 1.4 percentage points respectively.

Warc's Consensus Ad Forecast is based on a weighted average of adspend predictions at current prices, for 13 countries, from ad agencies, media monitoring companies, analysts, Warc's own team and other industry bodies.

A 3.8% rise is now predicted for 2015 rather than the 5.1% projected at the start of the year. And in 2016, growth has been revised down from 6.0% to 4.6%.

India is expected to see the strongest annual rise in adspend this year, by 13.4%, although this marks a minor downgrade of 0.2pp from January. The largest single downgrade was for Russia, by a substantial 15.0pp. Analysts now forecast a 13.6% contraction in the country's ad market following economic hardship brought about by the low price of oil and decreased consumer spending.

The remaining BRIC markets, China (+7.8%) and Brazil (+5.6%), have also seen downward revisions since January – of 2.5pp and 1.5pp respectively – owing to challenging economic conditions.

"The latest consensus results demonstrate just how quickly economic tides can turn, especially among emerging markets," noted James McDonald, research analyst at Warc.

"Yet despite the more challenging conditions, adspend growth is still widely anticipated this year and next, a fact which demonstrates the robust nature of the advertising industry at large," he added.

The world's largest advertising market has seen a downgrade in growth expectations this year, by over half a percent (0.6pp) to 2.9%, as the TV sector in the US performed less strongly than expected.

In Europe, Spain registered the largest upward revision – 2.3pp to 6.8% – while the UK saw a more modest upgrade of 0.8pp to 6.5% after a strong start to the year.

All media, barring newspapers and magazines, are predicted to record year-on-year growth in 2015, with internet expected to see the greatest adspend rise, up 17.1% after a +1.1pp revision.

"It is interesting to note that, despite more muted expectations for other media, experts have actually raised their forecasts for online adspend growth over the course of this year," said McDonald.

"With over US$130bn spent on digital ads worldwide last year, 17.1% growth in 2015 would highlight marketers' increasing regard for the medium, with the adoption of mobile and video formats, in particular, growing exponentially."

Data sourced from Warc


Spotify positions as radio add-on

24 September 2015
LONDON: Spotify, the music streaming service, believes it can become an effective "add-on" to radio, increasing reach and bringing more money into the medium, according to one of its executives.

"What we're looking to do is to grow radio's overall share," David Cooper, director of sales at Spotify's UK operations, told Marketing Week.

He likened Spotify's approach to that of YouTube. "Rather than go in and try and take away money from the likes of Channel 4, they want to increase the overall share of money that's invested in the medium," he said. "That's really where we're coming from."

The latest Advertising Association/Warc Expenditure Report found radio adspend in the UK rose 8.2% to £122m in the first quarter, with growth of 4.3% to around £600m forecast for the year as a whole.

Cooper's remarks came on the back of a new study, carried out for Spotify by TNS and taking in more than 20,000 respondents in ten European countries.

This showed that, within the 15-34 age group, the service achieved an incremental reach of between 14% and 21% for various commercial radio stations.

And these extra listeners may be more receptive to brands, as another of the study's findings was that people are more likely to pay attention while listening on Spotify than they do to commercial radio.

"The brands that do well fully engage with our platform and go beyond straight advertising," explained Cooper, citing as an example Jack Daniels which "has done various events with us that were very well rounded".

"Brands that are our big audio spenders understand the power of going straight to people's earphones," he declared.

Music streaming is now a $1bn industry according to figures released this week by the Recording Industry Association of America. In the past year, revenue from paid subscriptions to services like Spotify grew 25% to $478m, while revenue from free services like Pandora grew 22% to $550m.

Download sales dipped 4% to $1.3bn while CD sales were down 17% to $748m, the Telegraph reported.

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


'Engaged time' gets a boost

24 September 2015
NEW YORK: The Financial Times is aiming to significantly increase the proportion of digital ads it sells on the basis of time-spent, following a trial which demonstrated that brand consideration was more than 50% higher for such campaigns.

The business newspaper has so far run a total of 17 campaigns across 13 clients, who only pay if their ad is in view for five seconds or longer; these have contributed an incremental $2.2m in revenue.

Digiday reported the findings of an internal analysis of six ad campaigns bought on a cost-per-hour basis: these scored 58% higher in brand consideration than the same ads when seen for less than five seconds. Ad recall rose 79% and brand awareness 71%.

"It reinforces our thinking that the longer time you spend with a message, the more impactful it's going to be," said Brendan Spain, US commercial director at the FT.

"One of the main learnings is, if marketers have something important to say on a digital platform to an engaged audience, focusing on impressions isn't the best way to deliver that message," he added.

Cost-per-hour currently represents 7% of impressions served by the FT, but Spain is aiming to boost that to 30% in 2016.

There are several major obstacles to overcome, however, before the idea of engaged time gains wider acceptance.

One is simply that click-through rates maintain a stubborn hold on marketers' thinking, as they continue to be a common KPI despite being increasingly discredited as a measure of online effectiveness.

Another is a legacy of that thinking. "The hurdle we all have to clear is the buying process … rewiring the whole process that's been set up around CPM," said Marc Guldimann, CEO of ad tech company Sled, explaining that the big agency holding companies all have "monolithic systems" in place.

Or, as Spain put it: "There's not a place on the spreadsheet for cost per hour."

Their emphasis was on 100% viewability rather than how long an ad was in view, he said, although he also noted that clients were more open to the idea than agencies.

Data sourced from Digiday; additional content by Warc staff


Sustainability edges up shopper agenda

24 September 2015
PHILADELPHIA: Sustainability is creeping up the US shopper agenda thanks to an improved economy and a reduced unemployment rate a new survey has claimed.

The latest Tork Green Business Survey, commissioned by hygiene solutions provider SCA, polled more than 2,000 US adults and found that 78% said they purchased sustainable products and services, up from 75% in 2014.

Mike Kapalko, sustainability marketing manager for SCA's North American away-from-home professional hygiene business, said the year-on-year results signalled a broader trend as the percentage of consumers who indicated that they did not purchase green products decreased every year.

"Sustainable purchasing habits are not a result of the same people purchasing more, but rather a new group of people buying these products for the first time," he said.

"There is a groundswell of Americans who do not consider sustainability to be a fad, but rather a new paradigm of purchasing," he added.

Certainly there was a hard core of just over one quarter of respondents who said they knew how to determine if a "green" claim/statement was true based on their own research.

Some 38% thought green products and services were now the new normal and "a required expectation". A similar proportion felt green products and services were only just getting started, while a mere 12% thought they were a passing fad.

And many people appeared ready to back up their opinions with hard cash. Nearly half (46%) of respondents indicated they were prepared to spend more on purchases if they could be guaranteed ethical and responsible manufacturing practices.

This rose to 61% among millennials and to 53% among respondents with a child at home.

The motivation for buying green products was primarily to protect the environment. Almost half (49%) of those surveyed cited this as the main reason, although a quarter of millennials pointed to personal health benefits.

Data sourced from SCA; additional content by Warc staff


Decathlon takes digital approach in SEA

24 September 2015
SINGAPORE: Decathlon, the sports goods retailer, is benefiting from its digital-first expansion into Southeast Asia, gathering customer data that has enabled it to refine its approach across all areas of its business.

Clarence Chew, head of marketing for Decathlon SEA, told Campaign Asia-Pacific how this strategy had resulted in some unexpected findings when the French retailer launched in Singapore, leading to an adjustment of inventory.

"At first we forecast that our hiking brand would be number one, as it is in so many markets around the world," he said. "But it's not, mainly because there's nowhere to hike in Singapore, so many hiking enthusiasts travel out of the country."

It turns out that what Singapore consumers want most are scooters – these have been the top-selling product for the past two years.

That also reflects Decathlon's positioning, as its customers are not hardcore sports enthusiasts.

"We're about the everyday person, the student, the construction worker, the domestic worker, the office administrator," explained Chew. "We want to make it affordable for them to enjoy and practise sports."

And acquiring those customers through quality and price is the preferred strategy, for the next year at least, he added.

The digital-only approach has been complemented by a focus on digital marketing, but it has avoided what Chew described as "in-your-face" campaigns.

"Consumers have the power to choose," he said, "so we aim to create something that allows them to choose us instead."

Rather than simply exhort them to buy a scooter, for example, Decathlon approaches the subject obliquely, asking "How are you getting to work today?" or "What if your 15-minute walk could be cut?"

The physical world has not been ignored in its marketing efforts, as Decathlon has also partnered with various organisations, such as the Singapore Sports Council and the Singapore Health Promotion Board, for on-the-ground events.

It also offers an experiential space where customers can try out products before buying them online, and a new flagship store is set to open later this year, its location informed by data gathered from online shoppers.

Data sourced from Campaign Asia Pacific; additional content by Warc staff


China's 'Internet Plus' spurs O2O boom

24 September 2015
BEIJING: China's new policy to connect rural villages is continuing the booming online-to-offline (O2O) opportunity for brands across the country according to industry experts.

The Chinese government unveiled its Internet Plus policy six months ago, aiming to integrate cloud computing, mobile, infrastructure and manufacturing into traditional business and stimulate economic growth.

As a result, remote communities have gained access to a new range of products for the first time – so-called "Taobao villages" – and the last mile must now be considered as the first mile, suggested Jane Linbaden, CEO China Group at digital marketing agency Isobar.

"Many consumers get to know a new brand through the e-commerce portal, through commerce engagement, or through the commercial transaction opportunity rather than through the traditional brand-building silo," she told an audience at the recent ClickZ Live event in Shanghai.

"It is no longer about having brand and commerce separately," she added, pointing out that many Chinese consumers were already doing O2O – buying movie tickets and food for example – "so you better start leveraging that medium".

China's hyper-connected social media landscape means consumers are not only buying products instantly, but are exploring online and sharing with friends the best way to use their purchase.

A World Federation of Advertisers survey of leading China brand marketers revealed that in the next year, they expect to increase their use of mobile beyond marketing into sales.

"Digital is really the fabric of the whole journey, and it's no longer about digital for a campaign but digital as a feeler, and having those feelers right across the business," said Linbaden.

There are significant commercial opportunities for brands, as has been demonstrated by Nature's Beauty, a nutritional supplements expert with 40 years of history in the US but almost none in China.

A successful O2O campaign gained 19.3bn impressions and 10.1m online participants. Brand awareness increased by 14%, traffic to the official e-store increased by 200% and year-on-year sales growth was 52%.

Data sourced from ClickZ; additional content by Warc staff


Indian women go mobile

24 September 2015
MUMBAI: Just 20% of smartphone users in India are women and they use the device in different ways to men, studies have shown.

Recent panel-based research by Nielsen indicated that women spend 125 minutes a day on these devices, 13 minutes less than men.

And where men are engaged with gaming, catching up on news and addressing their banking needs, women are more likely to be chatting in messaging apps and social media, while they also spend 30% more time on music-streaming apps and 10% more time with video-streaming apps, Media Business Asia reported.

A new study from the FCB Ulka agency, WomanMood, reinforced some of these findings.

Based on series of workshops and in-home interactions, it found that women's mobile phone usage was "functional" but added that "WhatsApp is really their playing field – it's all about instant chat, jokes, videos and group chats", the Economic Times reported.

The use of shopping apps by women smartphone users has risen sharply in the past year, according to Nielsen. In 2014 38% of women smartphone owners used these (compared to 43% of men) but a year later this had jumped to 59% (56% for men).

And their time spent on it amounted to 119 minutes per month compared to 103 minutes for men.

The popularity of shopping apps was, however, calculated on the basis of final transaction made. WomanMood noted that clothes, footwear and cosmetics were often searched and compared by younger women; it may be that rather more virtual window shopping is taking place.

Another factor here is that several ecommerce players in India have become app-only platforms and have sought to incentivise consumers to make the shift from the website with various deals only available on purchases made through via app.

The WomanMood study was not limited to Indian women's use of technology, exploring other areas such as money matters, health and grooming, worries and societal personas.

A picture emerged of a person with a pivotal role in the household but who is also more than just a wife and mother, and brands need to consider this in their marketing.

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


Heineken refreshes multicultural take

24 September 2015
NEW YORK: Heineken, the brewing group, is tapping a "shift in mentality" as it tries to engage consumers more effectively than ever before with its multicultural marketing efforts.

Edwin Hincapie, Heineken USA's multicultural commercial marketing manager – and who oversees its shopper marketing efforts aimed at these shoppers – discussed this topic at MediaPost's recent Engage: Hispanics event.

"Within Heineken, multicultural is a shift in mentality," he said. (For more, including practical examples, read Warc's exclusive report: Heineken refreshes its approach to Hispanic marketing.)

"What we're trying to implement now is that multicultural really is at the beginning when we're talking about a brief or an agency, or we're talking about a program. We have to be part of the team.

"And it has to be rooted. It's not, 'Wait until it's done and then let's do the Spanish translation' or 'Hey, we have this program: how do you make it come to life?'"

This shift, he stated, resulted to an extent from the learning that brand Heineken's global positioning – which is based around "men of the world" – was not always making the desired impact among multicultural consumers.

"What we saw as the 'man of the world' – our overall global target – really didn't come to life in the US, especially for the multiculturals," said Hincapie.

And he drilled down into the example of how Hispanic shoppers reacted to this messaging as a means of illustrating his point.

"Where we were talking Barcelona, Amsterdam, Spain, Moscow, etc., I would say a 'man of the world' for the Hispanic market is Miami, Chicago, LA [and] Houston," he said.

"It's the guy who knows what's going on in those markets, it's not such a global mentality."

And this kind of granular understanding can help Heineken's portfolio of brands in connecting with their various target audiences.

"We can't force brands to be what they're not, and we really have to understand what those brands represent for the Hispanic market. So for us, it's really rooted from the beginning, and starting almost from scratch," Hincapie said.

"It means more than just 'Hispanic'. We can't just say, 'It's Hispanic marketing' ... We have to look at it from: what is the right segment for the right brand, at the right time, in the right channel.

"Otherwise, we're just going to throw stuff away."

Data sourced from Warc


PepsiCo seeks to 'co-create' tech

23 September 2015
NEW YORK: PepsiCo, the food and beverage giant, is seeking to move beyond simply being an early adopter of new technology and experiences, and is instead seeking to "co-create" these efforts in a bid to engage millennials.

Carlos Saavedra, senior director/culture strategy and innovation of Creator – a unit within PepsiCo charged with tracking cutting-edge developments in culture – discussed this topic at MediaPost's Engage: Millennials event.

"There's one major fundamental shift that we're making at PepsiCo," he said. (For more, including details of this idea in practice, read Warc's exclusive report: How PepsiCo keeps ahead of millennial culture.)

"Today, we're really great at being early adopters of new technology. So when something comes on-board … we hopped on that, and we started figuring out how to engage with that."

But while rapidly embracing these emerging tools – say, livestreaming apps like Meerkat or Periscope – is appealing for marketers, it increasingly does not mean that their brands stand out from the crowd.

"At the same time, all of our competitors were doing the same thing, so we really had no competitive advantage by being an early adopter," Saavedra said. "So for us, we have to shift to co-creation."

Co-creation generally involves helping the company "get further up the innovation pipeline" and "understand what's coming" – partly to ensure "it's really more applicable and more meaningful for our brands".

A key part of Creator's mission thus requires partnering with artists and entrepreneurs who are building the latest tech and experiences.

"We're a catalyst group on a mission to explore the edges of culture and innovate and co-create new and interesting experiences," said Saavedra.

One main source of impetus behind this move, he continued, is that experiences represent "the new social currency" for millennials, who often value them more highly than material goods.

As a related trend, technology is evolving at a faster pace than ever before, and giving brands the ability to "hyper-personalise" their output at scale.

"For us, we really need to adapt faster to win the hearts, likes and shares of consumers," Saavedra said.

Data sourced from Warc


Banks target 'new' digital native

23 September 2015
LONDON: Banks are focusing on the wrong places in their attempts to stay relevant to a shifting customer base that is driven by technology and need to rethink their business models and value propositions a new study says.

A report from investment firm Anthemis Group and business innovation firm Claro Partners – based on their international Always In Beta research project – suggested that banks should be looking at digital natives but stressed that this demographic is no longer shaped by age and geography as much as by technology and structural trends.

"While many financial institutions are starting to focus on youth and millennials, the needs of the entire customer base are shifting, and banks need to develop new value propositions that align with and support the lifestyles of digital natives," argued Aldo de Jong, co-founder of Claro.

A digital native customer could be a 25-year-old graduate student or a 50-year-old entrepreneur but whatever their age they would have fundamentally different expectations from banking customers of the past, the report said.

In fact, they lack three qualities that are central to most traditional financial services products – predictable life paths, financial stability, and long term consumer loyalty.

That gives rise to several points of misalignment between banks and digital native customers.

So, for example, banks expect their institutional authority to equate with trust, but digital natives develop trust based on shared interest and their network.

And while banks emphasise products that help customers plan their future, digital natives want offers that help prepare them for an uncertain future.

Further, banks encourage delegation of financial decision-making, while digital natives want to be empowered to make their own financial decisions.

And where banks like to provide customers with raw information, digital natives want information overlaid with meaning and context.

"Banks are seeing their market share declining at the hands of small digital financial services startups that are made by and for digital natives," said Nadeem Shaikh, founder and CEO of Anthemis.

"The financial services industry has misunderstood the size and nature of the impact technology has had on customers," he added.

Data sourced from Anthemis; additional content by Warc staff


Muslim digital economy grows

23 September 2015
DUBAI: Muslim consumers worldwide contributed US$107bn to the global digital economy of nearly US$2 trillion in 2014, and their spending will grow faster than the rest of the digital economy by 2020, according to a new study.

The Digital Islamic Economy Report, from information firm Thomson Reuters and DinarStandard, a growth strategy researcher, said that the Islamic digital economy was growing at a compound annual growth rate of 17%, outstripping that of the total global digital economy by two percentage points. 

The report found more than 2,000 Islamic lifestyle services were being provided across websites and mobile platforms worldwide. The most popular categories included news & insights (used by 21% of consumers), followed by retail sales and media & entertainment.

Five more categories were highlighted as offering substantial business opportunities, including: the sharing economy; social commerce; retail ecommerce; food transportation & logistics; and Islamic finance investment products.

And online fashion retail was identified as the most successful business model, with e-stores Modanisa and SefaMerve among the top five Islamic consumer websites.

Islamic apps were also popular, with Muslim Pro – featuring a prayer calendar, the Koran and a compass that always indicates the direction of Mecca – ranking highest in terms of downloads.

Productivity and education apps, as well as apps for Halal food ratings and modest fashion also featured prominently on the Digital Islamic Consumer Services leader board.

One area where an Islamic-specific approach was less fruitful, however, was in social media services customised for Muslims. This was especially true of services pertaining to news & insights, which typically rely on revenue support from online advertising.

"The report essentially shows how vital Islamic digital economy has become to the everyday lives of Muslims across the world, and points towards specific areas of growth and business potential,” said Nadim Najjar, managing director of Thomson Reuters, Middle East and North Africa.

Data sourced from Thomson Reuters; additional content by Warc staff


VW faces reputation meltdown

23 September 2015
NEW YORK/SEOUL: The ripples continue to spread from Volkswagen's weekend admission that the carmaker had rigged diesel emissions tests in the US, as more countries announce investigations and drivers face the recall of vehicles being driven illegally.

Michael Horn, Volkswagen's US chief executive, said at an event in New York on Monday that the company had "totally screwed up" and promised to make amends.

Sales of affected versions of the relevant models have already been suspended in the United States and Canada, Reuters reported, while Germany has ordered an examination of all VW's diesel cars and South Korea – where VW is among the best-selling foreign brands – has said it will carry out emissions tests on several models, including the VW Jetta and Golf and the Audi A3.

"If South Korean authorities find problems in VW diesel cars, the probe could be expanded to all German diesel cars," said an official at the environment ministry. But Daimler and BMW have said the accusations against VW did not apply to them.

"Volkswagen's brand value is expected [to] be hit by this issue as its strong diesel engine technology has been the backbone of its brand recognition," Yim Eun-young, an analyst at Samsung Securities, told the Financial Times.

The FT noted that most of the world outside Europe is averse to diesel engines because of their production of nitrous oxide, a pollutant that causes smog, respiratory illness and increased death from heart and lung disease and said that VW's apparent "blithe disregard for the effect on US health" was one reason for the response of stock markets – VW shares fell 20% on Monday.

Volkswagen – the world's biggest carmaker by sales – is facing possible criminal charges and penalties of up to $18bn in the US, based on fines per vehicle, with the cost of the recall on top of that, although The Economist thought that such a harsh penalty was unlikely. "Perhaps the most damage will be done to VW's reputation," it said.

And not just Volkswagen, as German media reaction was that the deception was, in Handelsblatt's words "a disaster for the entire German automotive industry".

Data sourced from Reuters, Financial Times, Economist, Handelsblatt; additional content by Warc staff


China's millennials lead luxury spending

23 September 2015
HONG KONG: Chinese millennials expect to spend almost twice as much on luxury items in the next year as the average for their age group in Asia-Pacific, new research has shown.

MasterCard, the payments company, surveyed 2,272 millennials across 14 Asia Pacific markets and found that a typical millennial from China intended to spend US$4,362 on luxury goods, compared to the region's average of US$2,584.

South Korean millennials ranked second in the spending stakes but an anticipated outlay of US$2,638 put them far behind their (mainland) Chinese peers; Hong Kong millennials came in third on the regional average of US$2,584, Inside Retail Asia reported.

Tech items such as smartphones or tablets ranked high on the list of priorities of Asia Pacific millennials, with 25% planning to buy such a device in the next 12 months; 17% cited designer clothes and jewellery.

There were some distinct differences in brand preferences, MasterCard reported. More than half millennial shoppers in China, Vietnam, South Korea and Hong Kong preferred Western brands, for reasons of quality, value for money and brand loyalty.

But half of this age group in India would rather buy local. The "Make in India" program launched last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi – in a campaign designed by Wieden+Kennedy – may be a factor here.

And a majority (61%) of Indonesian millennials preferred local brands. An Esomar paper noted how younger Indonesians were able to negotiate a balance between global influences and staying true to their cultural roots. "There are many examples of global trends being modified or localised in Indonesia," it said.

Bricks and mortar stores remain the overwhelming favourite place to buy luxury goods. Almost two thirds (64%) of respondents preferred this option while only 9% chose local ecommerce sites and 4% overseas sites.

And just over half of Chinese millennials were likely to buy a luxury item in-store while travelling overseas, more than twice the regional average.

Data sourced from Inside Retail Asia; additional content by Warc staff


Blog: Deals are China's 'new normal'

23 September 2015
Financial flippancy is past in China and deal-shopping is the new normal, says Edward Bell, chief executive of FCB Greater China. And brands need to show why they're worth the money.



Skol is LatAm's most valuable brand

23 September 2015
MEXICO CITY: Beer brands feature strongly in the upper reaches of a ranking of the most valuable brands in Latin America with Skol topping the list.

The latest BrandZ Top 50 Most Valuable Latin American Brands, from WPP and Millward Brown, shows the beer sector claiming five of the top ten positions and contributing 29% of total brand value of the Top 50.

Skol, a Brazilian brand owned by AB InBev, edged out Corona, a Mexican brand also owned by AB InBev, for the number one spot. Its brand value rose 20% to £8,500m, while Corona's increased just 6% to $8,476m.

AB InBev also claimed eighth and tenth places with Brazilian brand Brahma (up 17% to $4,185m) and Mexican brand Modelo (up 4% to $3,604m). Sandwiched between these two was Colombian brand Aguila (up 3% to $3,672m).

Mexican comms providers took third and sixth places: the value of Telcel grew 16% to $6,174m, while that of Televisa advanced 22% to $4,423m.

Financial institutions featured in fourth and seventh positions, Brazil's Bradesco being the strongest (up 25% to $5,202m), ahead of Brazil's Itaú (up 28% to £4,315m).

Chilean retailer Falabella in fifth spot (down 23% to $4,709m) rounded out the top ten.

The experience of the brewing giants was instructive. Premium international brands – such as Budweiser, Heineken and Stella Artois – were making an impression but the most value and scale was seen by local brands in the middle class and low-end consumer groups.

Multinational ownership via companies such as AB InBev and SAB Miller has enabled brands to combine very precise segmentation and targeting, said Millward Brown, while the value of local traditions and a place in the local culture also proved strong.

"What we are seeing in this year's BrandZ listing is the power of a strong brand proposition that delivers meaningful difference to consumers," said Gonzalo Fuentes, CEO LatAm for Millward Brown.

"Given the economic circumstances in many markets that means creating strong emotional connections that resonate with the growing middle class as well as low income families," he added. "Such an approach is essential if companies want to grow great brands."

Data sourced from Millward Brown; additional content by Warc staff


Digital, mobile surge in Indonesia

23 September 2015
JAKARTA: Spending on digital and mobile advertising in Indonesia is set to take off over the next five years, making it the second-fastest-growing ad market in the world, new forecasts suggest.

According to figures from researcher eMarketer, advertisers will spend $11.39bn this year in Indonesia across all media, a 16.0% increase over 2014. In 2016, total media ad spending will grow by another 16.0% and double digit increases are expected every year out to 2019. Only Argentina will grow faster.

Digital adspend, however, will outpace traditional media – it is growing more than four times as fast – and this will help push its share of the total ad market from 7.3% in 2015 to 25.1% by 2019.

And within that, mobile is the driving force, with its share of digital advertising expenditure predicted to jump from 17% in 2015 to 60% by 2019. When considered as a share of total media adspend, its share rises from 1.2% to 15.0% over the same period.

More than 54m Indonesians access the internet via a smartphone, according to data released by We Are Social. Half of all online activity in Indonesia is done on mobile, and an estimated 93% of the country's internet users have mobile-access capability. Laptops and desktops account for 45% of activity and tablet take up just 4%.

The average user also spends some three hours a day on mobile social media and an Esomar paper noted how this was a factor in changing Indonesian society, which is no longer so collective and conformist as people find an outlet for individual expression.

The authors reported that a divide between "adaptationist" and "individualist" was also evident in attitudes to brands and advertising, with the latter more willing to try new products and to see brand choice as reflecting their own personality.

Data sourced from eMarketer, Tech in Asia; additional content by Warc staff


Reckitt Benckiser slams price controls

23 September 2015
NEW DELHI: India's price controls on products such as aspirin and condoms are holding back investment in promotional activities, the chief executive of Reckitt Benckiser has claimed.

Rakesh Kapoor told the Financial Times that the business made little or no money on such products. "Companies that do not make money do not invest behind those brands," he stated.

An example was Dispirin. "We make no money on Disprin," he said. "As a result of price control, there is no motivation for anyone to talk about the goodness of aspirin and how it can be used to improve health outcomes, whether it is to bring cardiac benefits or everyday benefits of relief from pain."

Reckitt has faced similar problems from a price cap on condoms – set at around half what it had been charging for its Durex brand – and recently went to court in an attempt to get it overturned.

There was a mixed outcome: while the court ruled that the cap should be set aside it reaffirmed that condoms could be classed as drugs rather than devices and so included on a list of "essential medicines" with prices increases limited to a maximum 10% a year.

But that was still a constraint, according to Reckitt. "Manufacturers should be encouraged to actually promote safe sex, particularly in a fast-growing country such as India," Kapoor maintained.

But promotional efforts are not limited just by price controls – public sentiment is a sensitive issue for makers of such products as one manufacturer recently discovered.

A television ad sparked controversy with several public figures calling for an ad featuring actress Sunny Leone to be banned. Following a complaint that they were promoting obscenity in society, police interviewed the actress, the manufacturer and the advertising agency.

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