Messaging apps threaten social

8 July 2015
GLOBAL: Three quarters of internet users globally are now using mobile instant messaging services, according to a new report which suggests that these are increasingly the location for conversations that once took place on Facebook.

For its Q2 Mobile Messaging Report, researcher GlobalWebIndex polled 47,622 internet users aged 16-64 in 33 countries and established that the number using messaging apps had increased 39% over the past three years.

Hundreds of millions are still sending SMS and MMS messages, it said, "but they are no longer the default go-to choices they once were". In fact SMS usage had dropped by 11% and that of MMS by 17%.

Even "traditional" social networks like Facebook are affected, as many of the conversations and behaviours that used to take place here "are being absorbed by the likes of Snapchat, WhatsApp and WeChat".

GlobalWebIndex noted that Facebook's WhatsApp and Messenger had been knocked off the top spot in eight of the 33 countries surveyed, with the heaviest losses occurring in the APAC region.

LINE was the fastest growing app last year, the research found, displacing WhatsApp and Messenger in three of the countries surveyed; it is the leader in its home market of Japan, as well as in Taiwan and Thailand.

Other APAC markets also have particular favourites, with Kakao Talk the clear number one in South Korea, WeChat dominant in China and Zalo popular in Vietnam. And while Blackberry has fallen out of favour around much of the world, BBM is still ahead in Indonesia.

In general, however, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp dominate outside of China. And while WhatsApp has the biggest registered audience, Facebook Messenger is the most popular app as it actively engages a greater number of users on a regular basis.

Snapchat has the youngest audience, with 84% of users being under 35. It is now more popular than Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp among US teens, GlobalWebIndex reported.

And of all the social networks, "Instagrammers" were found to be the most likely to use chat apps.

Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff


FMCG brands must address online shopping

8 July 2015
GLOBAL: Online FMCG sales grew 28% in 2014, according to a new report which identifies a need for retailers and brands to prioritise their ecommerce strategies accordingly if they are to capitalise on the evident opportunities.

The study by researcher Kantar Worldpanel – Accelerating the growth of e-commerce – is based on in-depth analysis of the purchasing habits of 100,000 shoppers in ten of the biggest online FMCG markets and forecasts that global FMCG online sales will hit $130bn by the end of 2025.

"There is enormous headroom for growth," the report said, as it predicted that, over the next decade, online FMCG shopping would grow to account for 30% of all FMCG purchases in South Korea, by far the highest level anywhere. In China, the figure will be 15%, while in the UK and France Kantar Worldpanel predicted a 10% share.

Already, around six in ten South Korean households buy FMCG products online at least once a year, while the equivalent figure for the UK, France and Spain is about one in four.

"For brands, the urgency lies in getting on the shopping list," stressed Stéphane Roger, global shopper & retail director at Kantar Worldpanel.

"Our data shows that 55% of online shoppers use the same shopping list from one purchase to the next, giving first movers a big advantage."

The benefits of moving early are equally applicable to retailers. "Tesco in the UK and France's E.Leclerc both enjoy an online market share double that of their offline counterparts," he noted.

"Simply put: the market is remarkably unkind to latecomers."

Roger added that in the 12 months since the previous edition of the report many major brands, including Unilever and Procter & Gamble, had undergone some restructuring with future ecommerce in mind.

"It seems that for these global leaders, the talk is fast turning into action," he said.

The typical online shopper is one that many FMCG brands and retailers will prize: middle to upper class with young children and, in the case of the UK at least, spending four times as much per online trip as they do in store.

Data sourced from Kantar Worldpanel; additional content by Warc staff


Watching TV is punishment for kids

8 July 2015
NEW YORK: More than half of US children prefer to watch video content on a mobile device, to the extent that parents, when disciplining them, will often remove the device but still let them watch a television set.

It is, said Advertising Age, "a sort of Pavlovian response that equates TV with punishment".

A study by Miner & Co Studio included in-home ethnographies and a survey fielded among 800 moms and dads of children between the ages of 2 and 12, living in the US and watching at least some video content on a tablet and/or smartphone.

This found that 57% of parents said their child would rather watch video content on a device other than the TV.

The top reason for this was simply that they could take it anywhere, although they also liked to use the touch screen, and enjoyed the fact it was easier to use and gave them a sense of independence.

"We used to use the term 'platform agnostic', but that conveys the sense that you don't care one way or the other which platform you're using," Robert Miner, CEO of the eponymous consultancy, told Advertising Age.

"With kids, that pretty obviously is not the case. So, I like to say that we're 'platform polygamists'. All platforms are basically sister wives now."

Just over half of parents (56%) said it wasn't unusual for their children to be watching different content on different devices at the same time. TV may be not so much the second as the third screen for some children.

Curiously, 39% of parents also reported that their children sometimes viewed the same content on different devices, simultaneously.

Faced with this dedication to their mobile devices, half of parents said they sometimes took away tablets and smartphones as a form of punishment and the child "just watches TV instead".

Not even the offer of dessert is enough to tear them away from their devices for a few minutes. Four in ten parents said their offspring would choose the tablet; just one in three thought the dessert would be an attractive option.

These trends clearly have implications for a range of businesses – TV networks, cable and satellite companies, streaming services and content creators – but the exact nature of these is difficult to say with any exactness.

"It's like a cartographer writing 'here be dragons' on the uncharted part of the Medieval map," observed Miner.

Data sourced from Miner & Co Studio, Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff


Nike, Fox emerge as World Cup winners

8 July 2015
NEW YORK: The USA team beat Japan to win the Women's World Cup, but off the pitch Nike and Fox have also emerged as winners, the former gaining significant social media attention, the latter record viewing figures.

A total of 25.4m people watched Sunday's final on Fox, which the New York Post noted was a record for any soccer game – men's or women's – that had been shown on English-language television.

And when another 1.3m watching on Spanish-language station Telemundo were added, the final total of 26.7m was just ahead of the number that watched last year's men's World Cup final in Brazil.

It helped of course that the game was played in Vancouver, so enabling it to be shown in a prime time slot. But Fox executives were still surprised at the figures, which exceeded those for crucial World Series baseball games and the deciding game of the NBA finals.

"No question, I underestimated where this would be," said Mike Mulvihill, svp/ programming and research at Fox Sports, who was expecting maybe 19m viewers.

"It's one of the most pleasant surprises we've ever had," he told the New York Times.

Ed Desser, a sports television consultant, sounded a note of caution. "It was a very interesting event that took place at a good time of day in the right hemisphere, and there were good story lines," he said.

"But you won't see a material difference in the sports business off this event. Next week things will be back to normal."

In the battle of the brands, official World Cup sponsor adidas lost out to rival Nike, sponsor of the USA women's team, MediaPost reported. Nike gained 121% more mentions via digital channels than adidas according to research by digital marketing firm Amobee Brand Intelligence.

And other official FIFA sponsors were well down the social talking agenda: Coca-Cola attracted 16% as many World Cup mentions as Nike, and Visa 13%.

Chevrolet, also a USA team sponsor, was unable to cash in to the same extent as Nike, featuring in only 17% as many digital conversations.

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


WWE learns from Netflix

8 July 2015
NEW YORK: World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has developed a major new revenue stream by creating a direct-to-consumer online video service that is intended to become like "Netflix, but for wrestling".

George Barrios, WWE's chief strategy/financial officer, discussed this subject at the INMA World Congress 2015 in New York.

And he reported that WWE Network – its over-the-top video service, which is available on 14 digital platforms including Microsoft's Xbox and Apple TV – had taken a leaf from Netflix's playbook.

For $9.99 a month, subscribers can view WWE's live events, alongside a broad slate of original content and thousands of hours of on-demand archive material.

As WWE fans are twice as likely to subscribe to services like Netflix as the general population, many were already familiar with the specifics of online streaming.

"We thank those guys all the time ... because they really did the spade work in making this easy and making it normal for everyone," said Barrios. (For more, including details the strategic insights leveraged by the brand, read Warc's exclusive report: WWE flexes its digital muscles.)

Having attracted over a million subscribers since launching in early 2014, this "big bet" for WWE has certainly paid off.

"In 13 months, we took it from zero to our second-largest business and by far our fastest-growing business," said Barrios.

And WWE Network has also further expanded the organisation's already extensive portfolio of operations, which spans everything from pay TV to action figures.

"I always tell people that the archetype is like a mini-Disney," said Barrios. "We create intellectual property – whether it's stars or TV shows – and then we monetise it across a variety of platforms: advertising, licensing to television networks, consumer products ... [and] live events.

"If there's a platform in media and entertainment, we're on it, and we're monetising."

Data sourced from Warc


Blog: Cannes Lions scratch a niche

8 July 2015
Modern marketing audiences have seen it all before, and understand it all better than ever, according to Ben Essen, head of planning at iris, who argues that they are willing and able to explore cultural ideas outside the obvious.



VW pushes consumer experience

8 July 2015
NEW DELHI: Volkswagen India is seeking to address some misconceptions that have arisen about the brand by placing greater emphasis on the experience of its consumers, a leading executive has said.

"We have got this perception of either being expensive or not being good at service purely by word of mouth," said Kamal Basu, head/marketing & PR for Volkswagen Passenger Cars in India.

"We are trying to make the experience more engaging and better for the customer, so they go and through the same channel, talk about how that perception is not true," he explained to Impact.

One reason for this view of the brand, he suggested, was that the cost of a service might be lower for its rivals but these were carried out more often: "the difference is that they do it thrice and we do it once".

As part of its commitment to customer satisfaction, Basu added that customer services managers had been installed across its dealerships which were now being evaluated on this metric.

"We have mandated that they need to move up on the scores of customer service," he stated. "But perceptions will take time to change."

Basu also outlined the firm's media strategy, which relies heavily on print on a day-to-day basis – "for sustenance" – while television is used four or five times a year for launches and building brand image and consumes up to 40% of the budget.

Another 25% goes on digital while maybe 10% is devoted to below-the-line activities.

Basu professed himself "disappointed" at the level of innovation Volkswagen had achieved in digital, especially when compared to its work in the print medium, where it famously developed an audible newspaper ad when launching its Vento model and ran a campaign with a car-shaped hole in a newspaper for the launch of the Polo.

"The big ideas around innovations in the digital space are still some time away," he said, adding that "We plan to experiment boldly and hopefully something will click."

Data sourced from Impact; additional content by Warc staff


Tablet market booms in Vietnam

8 July 2015
HO CHI MINH CITY: The tablet market in Vietnam is growing fast thanks to the increased availability of low-priced models, new figures have shown.

According to researcher GfK there has been double-digit growth in sales of entry level tablets during the first five months of the year, Inside Retail Asia reported.

"Over three in every four media tablets sold so far in 2015 cost less than US$300, as compared to just one in two in 2014, signifying a strong shift in market trends towards the low-end segment," said Tran Khoa Van, managing director of GfK in Vietnam.

"The result of more media tablets being sold at lower prices brought about a shrinkage in the total market value in spite of strong consumer demand for the gadget," he added

In fact, the value of the tablet market has contracted by around 5% as a result of the shift to cheaper products.

The share of the market accounted for by top-end tablets (those costing over US$500) has halved in a year, from 29% to 14%; the share taken by mid-range ones (costing US$300-500) has seen a similar decline, from 22% to 11%.

GfK indicated that the average price of a tablet has fallen by some 30% in the past year.

"Price erosion is a natural progression of a tech product's lifecycle," remarked Van, "and the average price of media tablets will definitely be drifting down further from the low of US$250 reported in the latest tracked month of May."

Not unconnected with the falling price is the growing popularity of smaller screen tablets. Seven in ten (71%) purchased this year were less than 7.9 inches, up from 62% last year.

The increased volume of sales, however, bodes well for the potential of ecommerce, Inside Retail Asia noted. By the end of the year, GfK expected that 1.9m units would be sold, with an additional boost coming in third quarter back-to-school promotions.

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


UK consumers seek live entertainment

7 July 2015
LONDON: Britons are spending increasing amounts on live entertainment, with the greatest growth coming in Scotland, according to latest figures.

Barclaycard, the credit card business which sponsored the recent British Summer Time music festival in London's Hyde Park attended by some 300,000 people over two weekends, said that spending in the year to date was up 8.5% from 2014.

And, while the rate of increased spending by Londoners was slightly higher than the national average, at 11%, this rise was eclipsed by the growth in spending among Scots, who were found to be spending 42% more on live entertainment per person than the average.

The figures are a turnaround from the same period in 2014, when spending on live entertainment dipped 2% in the first five months of the year compared with 2013.

Barclaycard also suggested that consumers were going out more often but spending less each time. The average transaction in 2015 so far comes in at £37.62, down on the £40.37 figure registered at this point in 2014.

Festival Insights, an industry publication, has said that most festival goers will spend between £50 and £100, while the proportion spending £100- £150 over a festival weekend has declined from 22% to 19% in recent years.

At major festivals, however, expenditure is significantly higher – one estimate put the average spend for each visitor to the Glastonbury music festival at £425.

Katherine Whitton, chief marketing officer at Barclaycard, observed that the nation was seeing a rise in spending power and said "people are keen to indulge their love affair with live music and entertainment".

"The impressive growth so far this year shows no sign of slowing down, and we expect live entertainment to ride the wave of the economic recovery over the coming months."

Data sourced from Music Instrument Professional, Daily Telegraph; additional content by Warc staff


NME joins free trend

7 July 2015
LONDON: The NME, a venerable UK music magazine, is ending its paid-for model and embracing free distribution, a move that is expected to see its circulation multiply 20-fold and offer brands new opportunities to reach its youthful readership.

Known in full as the New Musical Express, the title plans to begin circulating 300,000 free copies in strategic locations such as tube stations and university campuses, as well as selected retail stores. Its current paid circulation stands at around 15,000.

It is a well-trodden path in the UK, with the likes of London's Evening Standard newspaper and listings magazine Time Out having already embraced the free-distribution model.

"Every media brand is on a journey into a digital future," observed Mike Williams, the NME's editor, in remarks reported by The Drum.

"With this transformation we'll be bigger, stronger and more influential than ever before."

The changes are not limited to ending the NME's cover price, either. The repositioning will also see coverage expanded into other areas such as film, gaming and technology, while its digital output will include more video and a greater social media presence.

Commentators were divided on whether the shift would rescue the 63-year-old media brand.

Mark Mulligan, music and media analyst at MIDiA Research, told Marketing Week that the move addressed two "mega trends": consumers being reluctant to pay for content, and music being less central to today's youth culture than for previous generations.

"People define themselves by a broader range of lifestyle attributes than in previous decades," he said. "The success story of digital content is YouTube which is all things to all people even though it has music at its core. NME hopes to plot a similar course."

An alternative view came from Richard Armstrong of content marketing agency Kameleon, who cautioned against the assumption that a wider readership was necessarily better than a smaller, engaged audience.

But he also expects there will be more opportunities for sponsored content that could even attract some brands to move into music-related content for the first time.

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


Marketers misunderstand viral concept

7 July 2015
SYDNEY: Many marketers are labouring under the mistaken impression that viral videos are about spreading from "one to many" on the strength of the creative when in fact distribution is the most important factor, according to one academic.

Dr Karen Nelson-Field from the Centre for Digital Video Intelligence at the University of South Australia went so far as to say that "viral is perhaps one of the most grossly misused words in marketing today".

Speaking at a launch event for Unruly Media's shareability algorithm, reported by Ad News, she outlined the reason that most videos fail to go viral is simply because "the share rate is a lot less than you think".

While marketers frequently make much play of how often content is shared, she said her own research suggested that average share rate for videos is 24-to-one, i.e. typically 24 people will have to view a piece of content to achieve a single share.

"When your ratio is less than one-to-one, the reality is that the diffusion curve is negative not positive," Nelson-Field stated. And that means that the role of distribution plays a vital role in determining whether content will be widely shared.

"If you start with a small viewing base it will also decay small," she explained. "So if you've got 100 people and it's 24-to-one, your burnout is going to happen fairly quickly; but if you start with a thousand people, even if the ratio is the same, you'll still gain more shares."

She added that the word "viral" meant that marketers sometimes imagined the sharing process was somehow akin to a biological epidemic.

"But it's not a biological disease where all of a sudden I sneeze on you and then 20 people are sick," she said.

If distribution is the key to going viral, certain types of creative can also lift the sharing rate, particularly very emotional content. Nelson-Field scotched the idea that the use of cats and babies had any impact in this regard.

Her final take was that "distribution is king and content is queen".

Data sourced from Ad News; additional content by Warc staff


Neuroscience links messages to purchase

7 July 2015
NEW YORK: Psychophysiology – the study of the relationship between the mind and body – could help brands establish when and how ads spur consumers to purchase, according to a paper in the latest issue of the Journal of Advertising Research(JAR).

A team of authors that included Myriam Martínez-Fiestas (ESAN, Graduate School of Business, Peru) as well as María Isabel Viedma del Jesus, Juan Sánchez-Fernández and Francisco J. Montoro-Rios (all from Spain's University of Granada) investigated this subject.

More specifically, they addressed whether (and how) a message activates a consumer's defensive motivational system (resulting in inaction) or their appetitive motivational system (inspiring positive physical action).

The findings, their research proposed, offer evidence as to what type of messages are better at provoking the emotions which increase the potential of such campaigns to elicit positive changes in behaviour.

In reaching their conclusions, the authors analysed the emotions produced in response to different advertising messages designed with a combination of differentiated elements.

And, in a marketing ecosystem where non-neurological return on investment has become a critical part of every piece of work, the study also offers means that allow for the improved measurement of campaign results.

The paper – entitled, A Psychophysiological Approach for Measuring Response to Messaging: How Consumers Emotionally Process Green Advertising – appears as part of a four-part special "How Does Neuroscience work in Advertising?" section of JAR.

Also included in this section were considerations on the reliability of new neuromarketing tools, the way visual processing can affect sponsorship programs and the use of eye tracking in determining audience attention to competing editorial and advertising content.

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


Networks turn to Facebook

7 July 2015
NEW YORK: Sampling TV shows online is something networks have done via YouTube as they seek to attract audiences but a new trend sees them moving the practice onto Facebook.

Digiday highlighted the examples of Amazon ("a new breed of TV network") and HBO in making whole episodes of certain series available for free on Facebook.

"Networks need to evolve at a pace that will find consumers as quickly as their behaviours change," said Jim Marsh, vp/digital and social media at HBO.

"Digital sampling is an effective way for us to introduce our programming to our current and potential subscribers. Ultimately we're trying to create new fans."

Among the potential subscribers are 10m households that currently do not take cable or satellite TV but which may be tempted into adopting the OTT channels now widely offered.

He added that Facebook's recent changes to its video capabilities meant it was now possible "to leverage the massive reach of their platform".

One of the reasons for that, explained James Nail, a principal analyst at Forrester Research, is that it is better at surfacing content.

"The thing that [Facebook] offers that YouTube doesn't is an [algorithmic] feed that people check in on multiple times a day," said Nail. "YouTube, it's still, 'Gee, I've got to go to YouTube and search for stuff and maybe I'll stumble on to something new'."

Early results suggest the approach is paying off. HBO uploaded the first episode of a new series, Ballers, two weeks ago to the Facebook page of one of the lead actors and has already garnered some 5.5m views.

"The digital video ecosystem is so interconnected that there is no single best way to get exposure," said Marsh. "It's important that we work closely with all of our partners to reach people on multiple fronts."

Data sourced from Digiday; additional content by Warc staff


Top 200 advertisers 'spend smart'

7 July 2015
NEW YORK: Total ad spending by the top 200 advertisers in the US grew at the slowest rate in five years in 2014, as a new analysis shows measured-media spending falling while other forms of marketing grew.

The Leading National Advertisers report produced by Advertising Age said that measured-media spending – based on Kantar Media data covering traditional media and internet display advertising – fell by 1.8% over the year while that on other forms of marketing – estimates by the Ad Age Datacenter of spending on other digital advertising formats along with promotions, experiential and direct marketing – increased 6.5%.

Total spending amounted to $137.8bn, a 2.2% increase on 2013 and the slowest rate of increase since spending rebounded in 2010 following the global financial crisis.

The report found that spending had been reduced across all media bar broadcast TV and cable TV networks.

And the measured medium showing the greatest decline was internet display advertising which had fallen 13.3% on the previous year.

But "the story is not that marketers are pulling back – they are spending smarter," said Advertising Age.

And it quoted the comments of Jon Moeller, chief financial officer at Procter & Gamble, who said at an investor conference last month: "In general, digital media delivers a higher return on investment than TV or print."

The study further noted that the share of spending taken by unmeasured media was growing, up from 45.8% on 2013 to 47.8% in 2014, one implication being that other forms of digital advertising than display are gaining ground.

Overall, the top 200 advertisers accounted for just over half (50.9%) of US measured-media ad spending in 2014.

These were significantly over-represented in TV spending, under-represented in other measured media.

So, for example, the top 200 made up almost 80% of all broadcast network TV advertising and very nearly two thirds of cable TV network advertising. But they accounted for just 25.3% of spending in newspapers, 41.9% of spending in magazines and 40.6% of internet display expenditure.

Warc's International Ad Forecast, which sources Magna Global for US data, found total US advertising expenditure rose 1.4% in 2014. The all-media growth was spurred by a 15.6% increase in digital adspend.

Data sourced from Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff


Indian women OK with app-only shopping

7 July 2015
NEW DELHI: As India's ecommerce shifts increasingly towards app-only stores new research has revealed a significant divide in the attitudes of men and women to online shopping.

An online survey by CashKaro, a cashback and coupons website, found that half (51%) of female respondents were not much bothered one way or another about this shift, the actual shopping experience being more important than the particular platform.

Some 30% of men held the same "doesn't-affect-me" view but 56% said they disagreed with the move to apps, implying a preference for browser-based shopping.

Overall, there was little genuine enthusiasm for the trend, although among the positive advocates for change men (14%) showed greater interest than women (5%).

More evidence of a gender divide came in the volume and value of online transactions being made. While men made more transactions overall, the value of those made by women was significantly higher.

The average spend by women was put at between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000, or roughly twice as much as that of men, at between Rs 2,000 and Rs 5,000.

And women were more likely to be spending those sums on themselves – retail therapy, Pitch suggested. Some 45% of their online shopping was primarily for themselves, with 25% earmarked for their spouses, 20% for children and 10% for friends and family.

In contrast, most of men's online shopping (42%) was aimed at their spouses, with just 30% on themselves. Children (10%) came behind friends and family (18%) in the pecking order.

Payment methods also differed, with the research showing women still preferring cash on delivery (41%) over the use of debit or credit cards (21% and 10% respectively).

Men are twice as likely to use plastic, with 43% opting for debit cards and 17% for credit cards. Cash was favoured by just 26%.

Both sexes, however, are increasing their use of mobile wallets, with women further advanced in this regard (19% v 14%).

Data sourced from Pitch; additional content by Warc staff


Video ads gain confidence of agencies

6 July 2015
LONDON: More than half (57%) of UK agencies say online video ads are as effective or more effective than TV and two-thirds (65%) expect mobile video to account for the largest increase in their digital budgets, a new report has revealed.

BrightRoll, Yahoo's programmatic video platform, conducted a survey of 70 industry practitioners in November 2014, aggregated the data, and found a significant increase in the attention being paid to video.

Just 29% of agencies say video advertising is less effective than TV while a quarter (25%) report that a video ad component was included in the majority of their request for proposals (RFPs) last year.

With just 4.5% saying in 2011 that their RFPs included a video ad component, BrightRoll calculated that represented an increase of 456% in only three years.

Agency respondents also have growing confidence in programmatic with the proportion planning to dedicate a majority of their digital video budget to the technology more than doubling to 18.8% in a year (up from 9.2% in 2013).

Two-thirds (65%) of respondents agree that mobile video is where they expect the largest increase in digital media spend and a full 92% say they are likely to dedicate budget to tablet video.

CTR (8%) remains relevant for agencies, but its importance is declining as they rate completed views (31%) and brand lift (28%) as the two metrics that matter the most.

Targeting is the most valuable aspect of digital video for agencies, the report said, and this capability is cited by 44% of respondents, followed by reach (33%), price relative to TV, and ad unit format (10% each).

Taken together, BrightRoll concluded that confidence in the effectiveness of online video advertising is growing to the point where "digital video is becoming mainstream".

Data sourced from BrightRoll; additional content by Warc staff


Complaints soar over nuisance calls

6 July 2015
LONDON: A record 180,188 complaints were made about nuisance calls and texts last year, according to new figures from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

The UK privacy watchdog said the number of complaints rose 11.4% from the previous year as households found themselves bombarded with marketing communications.

"Most concerns related to accident claims, green energy deals, payday loans and lifestyle calls. Live calls generate significantly more concerns than automated calls and spam texts," the report said.

The ICO said it had levied five fines totalling £386,000 regarding these calls and texts. It also issued eight enforcement notices while another 31 firms were "monitored".

Christopher Graham, the Information Commissioner, said a change in the law meant the ICO would be able to punish more "merchants of menace" in the future.

"The job of pinning civil monetary penalties on nuisance phone callers and text spammers was made easier when the Government removed the requirement to prove substantial damage or distress before we could issue a fine.

"We were anyway tackling a record number of complaints under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), but the change in the law will help us to nail more of these merchants of menace."

However, the consumer advocacy group Which? warned that the number of complaints was likely to be the "tip of the iceberg" and called on the ICO to use its new powers to full effect.

Richard Lloyd, executive director of Which?, said: "Regulators, Government and industry must work harder to cut off unwanted calls and texts that annoy millions of us every day.

"The ICO must use its new powers to full effect and hit hard any company breaking cold-calling rules. We also want to see senior executives personally held to account if their company makes unlawful calls."

On a more positive note, the ICO said it had received fewer data protection concerns in 2014.

It said the number of complaints fell to 14,268, partly because of its work to reduce the number of ineligible concerns, and that it had significantly improved the time taken to deal with them.

Data sourced from ICO, Telegraph; additional content by Warc staff


YouTube unfazed by Facebook

6 July 2015
SAN FRANCISCO: The increasing challenge posed by Facebook and other rivals to YouTube's command of online video advertising has been played down by the company's head of content and business operations.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Robert Kyncl said YouTube and its rivals would have plenty of space in which to grow as advertisers continue to shift their budgets to video.

With online video becoming mainstream, Kyncl said of Facebook's bid to earn more advertising revenue from the channel that "it will be a decade before we bump into each other".

Although speaking before Facebook's announcement last week that it will share ad revenue with video creators who use its site, Kyncl's confidence stemmed from a belief that content creators will always want to gain maximum exposure.

"If you're a content creator you want to publish on as many platforms as you can," he said. "Exclusivity is virtually impossible to pull off."

As YouTube continues with its tried-and-tested "pre-roll" video ad format, Facebook launched a "Suggested Videos" feed which, when clicked, intersperses video content with ads.

"Within suggested videos, we are running a monetisation test where we will show feed-style video ads and share revenue with a group of media companies and video creators," Facebook said in a statement.

Facebook plans to share up to 55% of ad revenue with selected video creators – the same split as offered by YouTube – although the exact share is reportedly based on how much time users spend watching videos.

But it is not clear yet whether that means users will have to watch the full ad, a creator's full video, or both, for a creator to make the maximum money.

Data sourced from Financial Times, BBC, Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff


The New Yorker adapts online

6 July 2015
NEW YORK: The New Yorker, the weekly magazine published by Condé Nast, has boosted its online readership and subscription levels by adapting the model underpinning its digital paywall.

Monica Ray, Condé Nast's evp/consumer marketing, discussed this subject at the INMA World Congress in New York.

She reported that The New Yorker's metred system - which was launched last year, and lets users access six articles of their choosing for free each month - has helped the site surpass a total of 12 million unique visitors.

After clicking on a fourth article, visitors receive a reminder that they are half way through their monthly allowance; upon trying to view a seventh, a "full barrier" indicates a payment is now required.

"In our research, we found that people got that at some point you're going to have to pay for the content. They did not have to be reminded incessantly about paying for the content," Ray said. (For more, including more detailed results, read Warc's exclusive report: How The New Yorker turned the page on digital.)

Rather than representing a simple demand for money, the reminders also draw on The New Yorker's rich visual history and distinct tone of voice.

"We worked hard to bring our brand sensibility - and some of the humour and whimsy of The New Yorker - into that subscription process," said Ray.

"So we have used cartoons from the print magazine, from the archives, to make those offers a little less of a sting."

Under this system, subscription numbers rose by over 50% during the holiday period last year and more than 80% in the opening quarter of 2015.

Its previous paywall - introduced in 2001, when the brand first established an online presence - had restricted access to between 60% and 70% of content from each week's issue, largely as chosen by the editors.

The main drawback of this approach was that it limited both The New Yorker's visibility on search engines and curtailed social sharing. Over the longer term, though, it did help the brand avoid the mistakes of others.

"In the early days of the internet, I don't know what Kool-Aid everybody was drinking, but, boy, was everyone excited to give our wonderful content away for free," said Ray.

Data sourced from Warc


Shopping trends slow FMCG growth

6 July 2015
SHANGHAI: FMCG brands in China continued to see declining market growth in most categories in 2014, but average price growth of 5.4% offered them a more positive outlook, a new report has shown.

According to Kantar Worldpanel, the consumer insights firm, and management consultancy Bain & Company, overall market growth across 26 categories in four sectors slowed to 4.4% in Q1 2015 after a high of 12% in 2011-2012.

Now in its fourth year, the joint report studied the shopping behaviour of 40,000 Chinese households and also noted that international brands are losing ground to domestic rivals.

Local brands gained share in 18 out of 26 categories in 2014, growing on average by 10% to take about 70% of the market.

Meanwhile, foreign brands grew by just 3%, their third consecutive year of declining share, and made gains in only eight categories, including beer and chocolate.

Despite the somewhat discouraging slowdown in volume growth, higher average prices in 2014 partially offset this trend with the study showing average prices rose by 5.4%, more than twice the inflation rate of 2.5%.

Premium goods, especially health-related products, fared well, but commoditised categories like soft drinks and fabric softener saw price growth lower than the inflation rate.

Not surprisingly, the study confirmed that the trend towards online shopping continued last year. Online sales increased by 34% and accounted for 3.3% of all FMCG goods sold.

"Consumers' shifting shopping habits, the expansion of online channels and pricing dynamics have put the brakes on FMCG company growth in China once again," said Jason Yu, China general manager of Kantar Worldpanel.

"These trends are forcing brands to quickly understand the changes in the market and successfully adapt to the 'new normal' they face."

The report went on to recommend that brands target lower-tier cities where there is faster growth potential and to ensure their product categories lend themselves to adding a price premium.

Prioritising a digital strategy is a must considering how many consumers are shopping online, and brands should make the most of growth in smaller sized stores.

Data sourced from Kantar Worldpanel; additional content by Warc staff


Asia retailers must cater to Gen Z

6 July 2015
HONG KONG: Online shopping has now become the preferred method of purchasing in certain Asian markets and retailers will need to be proactive to meet this trend, especially when catering for influential "Generation Z" consumers, a recent report has advised.

In its study, How We Like to Shop Online, global property consultancy CBRE found half of consumers in Asia-Pacific still visit physical stores, but a higher proportion go shopping online in China, India and South Korea.

Three-quarters (76%) of Chinese consumers use the internet as their most commonly used method for making purchases, the report said, while a similar pattern is happening in South Korea (73%), India (68%) and Taiwan (55%).

There are two key motivations behind this behaviour - convenience and pricing - and CBRE reported that 63% of Asian consumers identify pricing as the deciding factor for shopping online, World Property Journal reported.

The convenience of being able to compare products without having to physically visit individual stores is another important reason why consumers turn to the internet to go shopping.

The report said this trend is more prominent in emerging markets such as Vietnam (64%), China (61%) and India (58%) where quality shops are often located far from each other.

Joel Stephen, senior director and head of retailer representation at CBRE Asia, advised retailers to review their regional pricing strategy, particularly in China and South Korea, where more than two-thirds of consumers identify lower prices and better offers as the main reason to shop online.

"With 56% of Asia Pacific consumers using their desktop or laptop to check prices of products online, price transparency is an important aspect for retailers to consider," he said.

CBRE went on to highlight Generation Z consumers as an age group that retailers must accommodate because these tech-savvy consumers, aged roughly 18 to 24 years-old, will play an influential role in the regional retail market in the coming years.

"Landlords and retailers need to be more digital-savvy, keeping pace with the latest trends in smartphone applications and social media so they can build a stronger relationship with consumers, especially those from Generation Z," Stephen said.

Data sourced from CBRE, World Property Journal; additional content by Warc staff


New streaming tax hits consumers

6 July 2015
CHICAGO: Consumers in Chicago who use Netflix, Amazon Web Services and other streaming or database platforms will now have to pay a "cloud tax" of 9% after city officials introduced new rules.

Faced with declining municipal revenue from traditional high street stores, Chicago has sought a new source of income by extending existing tax laws to encompass "electronically delivered amusements" and "non-possessory computer leases".

In effect, the tax targets streaming services and online databases within the city limits and has raised concerns about the impact on consumers and the extra complications that service providers could face, The Verge reported.

There are also worries that thousands of other jurisdictions could follow Chicago's lead, creating complexities around compliance and accounting practices.

For example, it raises the possibility of restrictive methods like IP tracking being used to identify and locate subscribers who fall under the new tax.

Netflix has confirmed that it is already making arrangements to add the tax to the cost charged to its customers in Chicago while other companies, such as Lexis-Nexis and Spotify, may follow suit.

Michael Wynne, a partner with law firm Reed Smith, said the new tax may violate the Federal Telecommunications Act and the Internet Tax Freedom Act 1998, although he recognised the financial pressures faced by the Chicago authorities.

"There's no question that the city needs revenue and I can see where things are escaping the old tax base," he said.

"I think the objectionable part is that, instead of drafting new laws for that, we're simply stretching the old laws to fit," he added.

The development, coming just before Independence Day, is a rare piece of bad news for Netflix which has been buoyed recently by a number of upbeat industry reports.

FBR Capital Markets recently predicted that Netflix's audience would soon surpass the total viewership of broadcast channels, such as NBC, ABC and CBS.

Separately, a study from consumer insights firm iModerate found that 40% of households now subscribe to a streaming service and that Netflix is by far their favourite choice.

Data sourced from The Verge, BRG, iModerate; additional content by Warc staff


Final countdown for Warc Connection Prize

3 July 2015
LONDON: Senior executives from AOL, Initiative and ZenithOptimedia are among the final selection of judges for the Warc Prize for Connection Strategy, a new competition to find the best examples of channel thinking that delivers brand advantage.

There are just two weeks left to enter the prize, which carries a $10,000 prize fund.

The competition, which is free to enter, will look at the strategy, analytics and measurement powering modern media investment. The focus is on new ways of connecting with consumers, and how those connections are being planned and measured by forward-thinking marketers.

Mark Kaline,senior media & digital marketing leader at media owner AOL, Mainak Mazumdar, chief science officer at adtech business Simulmedia and Brett Leece, chief data officer at Initiative, one of the Interpublic Group's three worldwide media networks, and are among those joining senior client- and agency-side figures previously announced.

So too will be Sherrill Mane, svp/research, analytics and measurement at the IAB, Demian Brink, director of analytics at The Martin Agency, and Richard Shotton, head of insight at ZenithOptimedia, The full list of judges is available on the Prize website.

"True cross-channel measurement and planning remains the major challenge when choosing how to invest your marketing budget," said Aaron Fetters, director of the Kellogg Company's Insights and Analytics Solutions Center and chair of the judging panel.

“I will be looking for great examples of thinking that transcend touchpoints such as television or online and demonstrate a true consumer experience," he added.

Warc will name Gold, Silver and Bronze winners for the highest-scoring cases in four geographic categories, and award a $5,000 Grand Prix to the best paper in the competition.

There will also be five $1,000 Special Awards covering the following areas: commercial impact, POE, attribution, context and low-budget.

Full details on all the Awards along with the entry kit, entry form, and tips on writing a great strategy case study, can be found on the Prize website. The deadline for entries is Friday 17th July.

Data sourced from Warc


Family-friendly women's football attracts brands

3 July 2015
LONDON: Women's football is the fourth-biggest participation sport in the UK and brands are increasingly tapping into a family-friendly sport that is gaining increased media coverage.

The current FIFA Women's World Cup has attracted a lot of coverage, not least as the England team progressed to semi-finals and only lost a final place in the last moments of the game.

Marketing reported viewing figures of 1.6m for a game that was broadcast after midnight and said the national team had "re-inspired a nation and altered the landscape of women's football beyond recognition".

The adam&eveDDB agency is currently working with the Football Association on a campaign, #wecanplay, to tackle negative images of women playing football.

"[We aim] to make football the second-biggest participation sport in England, behind men's football, by 2018," Russell James, the FA's head of marketing, told Marketing.

Advertisers have taken note with major brands like Adidas and Continental Tyres sponsoring the World Cup and the England Women's team respectively.

"This delivers us to an important audience, namely families, and allows us to talk about our premium brand so that we are top of mind during the purchasing decision for tyres," explained Guy Frobisher, UK marketing director for Continental Tyres.

James also highlighted the "family-friendly atmosphere" of women's football which, he suggested "presents a huge opportunity for brands".

Mat Goff, adam&eveDDB's managing director, saw an opportunity for brands to take a long view. "Brands getting involved in women's football have a chance to get in early and help to shape and create the way fans enjoy, watch and share their experiences," he said.

"As the sport gets bigger, the players will become higher profile, which will create a whole new raft of well-known sporting heroes for the brands to associate themselves with."

"When we go past the tipping point - it feels like the time is now - and female football stars become as mainstream as their male counterparts and are being emulated in playgrounds, there are rich sponsorship opportunities," he argued.

Data sourced from Marketing; additional content by Warc staff


Brazil leads LatAm digital trends

3 July 2015
NEW YORK: Mobile and programmatic are strong emerging trends in digital marketing in Brazil according to an industry figure.

Users in Latin America are very highly engaged with mobile, Maren Lau, CMO at IMS Internet Media Services, a digital marketing and communications company with ten offices across the region, told eMarketer.

And she highlighted geolocation as being especially "hot" at the moment. "If you go to Brazil, you see that the taxi drivers and everyone else are using geolocation platforms," she said. "In Mexico as well, it is very popular."

Part of the reason is the investment that Brazil made ahead of last year's World Cup in things like 4G infrastructure and wifi in stadiums. "These kinds of capabilities … really provide a context [where] mobile can thrive," Lau noted.

And consumers are responding in a manner that is making Latin America is a mobile-first region. "As digital consumers grow, they're starting to use mobile and may not even have a computer," said Lau – upgrading from a feature phone to a smartphone means they don't have to invest in a desktop or a laptop.

This new type of digital consumer is also open to engaging with brands and receiving information from them, Lau reported, "as long as it's relevant".

Brazil's economy has hit a difficult patch, which has been reflected in falling advertising expenditure, but Lau said the share of digital was continuing to grow, with advertisers and agencies showing particular interest in programmatic.

"Programmatic is certainly a trend or a development in digital advertising overall," she said. "I see it gaining traction in Brazil first, then in other areas of Latin America. The reasons behind it are very similar to why programmatic is growing in the US –wanting to optimize your ROI and reach audiences."

But a lack of available digital inventory is holding up its progress. "And what is available is not yet piped into major programmatic platforms. So there's still a lot of work that needs to be done."

She observed that most advertisers continued to take a traditional approach – buying a demographic via a certain media – but as they became more comfortable with the idea of buying an audience, then "programmatic offers a huge advantage and provides tremendous value".

Data sourced from eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff


Reckitt Benckiser looks to mcommerce

3 July 2015
GURGAON: Reckitt Benckiser, the consumer goods business, anticipates that in future almost one third of its sales in India will come via mobile commerce, a leading executive has said.

Nitish Kapoor, regional director at Reckitt Benckiser South Asia, made the remarks in conversation with the editor-in-chief of Businessworld at the launch of the latter's Marketing Whitebook.

Kapoor noted that currently ecommerce accounted for maybe only 0.5% of all FMCG sales in India, a proportion that was predicted to grow to anywhere between 3% and 5% over the next five years, Exchange4Media reported.

"China moved from this level to 15% in less than seven years," he said. "For us, we can see up to 30% of our business coming from m-commerce, not e-commerce."

He was less concerned about the price points of individual products online than the fact that Reckitt Benckiser had a wide portfolio of products available across the household products, health and hygiene categories.

Typical prices might range anywhere between Rs 100 and Rs 500, but, he added, "we launched a product that was priced at Rs. 3000 ($47), and 90% of our sales – multiples of Rs. 10 crore – are coming from online".

His approach to spending on digital advertising was similarly pragmatic. When deciding where to allocate resources, "it primarily depends on the product categories, reach, cost and effectiveness.

"For example, 100% of our spends for Durex are on digital," he explained. "This is because we believe we have a very narrow audience to focus on, and we can achieve high effectiveness by the digital route."

And, of course, digital will only become more significant in the years ahead, as prime minister Narendra Modi emphasised earlier this week when launching Digital India Week. He spoke of his dream of "a digital India where high-speed digital highways unite the nation" as he sought to avoid a divide between digital haves and have-nots.

While his focus is on the use of digital to improve governance, health and education, the investment in infrastructure and high-speed broadband that will be necessary to turn dream into reality will ultimately benefit brands as well.

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


Aussies dislike targeted socmed ads

3 July 2015
SYDNEY: The majority of Australians are comfortable with social media monitoring to detect possible terrorist activity but only one third as many like the idea of targeted advertising on social media.

Part of a global study covering 12 countries, the Unisys Security Insights: Australia social media monitoring report from the global IT firm surveyed 1,210 adult Australians and found that while 79% accepted the need for organisations to check social media for purposes such as the detection of terrorist activity, just 27% were happy about the idea of specific individuals being identified for targeted advertising or offers.

Younger Australians aged 18-24 years, however, were the most comfortable with social media monitoring for targeted advertising and offers, B&T reported.

Two other Asia-Pacific countries were also studied and while the results from New Zealand were broadly similar to those of Australia, it was clear that the views of Malaysian consumers were very different, in at least some respects.

A significantly smaller proportion (59%) were comfortable with monitoring social media for terrorist activity, but they were twice as likely (60%) to welcome the idea of targeted advertising.

Across the other purposes suggested as reasons for monitoring social media – identifying issues of public concern, tracking sentiment about how an organisation is performing, and evaluating job candidates for positions of trust – there was broad agreement across all three countries.

The study observed a shift in attitudes as consumers became increasingly aware of the power of big data analytics. Where once they had felt able to enjoy a sense of anonymity because of the sheer effort involved in sifting social networking data, that was no longer the case thanks to improved technology.

In the Observer, columnist John Naughton recently argued that it was wrong to assume that people put up with companies “spying" on them because they ended up getting a good deal out of it – in terms of “free" internet services.

He cited US research which suggests consumers are not really engaged in a trade-off but are rather resigned to giving up their data, seeing it as inevitable and feeling powerless to stop it.

Data sourced from Unisys, B&T, The Observer; additional content by Warc staff


Blog: This girl can?

3 July 2015
What's the best approach to sports marketing to Chinese women? Edward Bell examines the different approaches taken by global leaders adidas and Nike and by challenger brands like Under Armour and New Balance.



Brands distance themselves from Trump

3 July 2015
NEW YORK: He may be a billionaire and a US presidential candidate, but many brands have concluded that the nation's Hispanic community is more valuable to them than any potential association with Donald Trump.

Macy's, the department store chain, has joined a growing list of brands that have ended their relationship with "The Donald" following his comments about Mexicans when he announced his intention to seek the Republican presidential nomination.

Most would-be politicians might think it wise to avoid alienating almost one fifth of the electorate before the end of their first campaign speech, but following Trump's derogatory remarks about Mexican immigrants to the US, no amount of subsequent back-peddling was likely to rescue the situation. "Some, I assume, are good people," he said at the time.

Later he went on ABC News to explain: "I love the Mexican people, I have great respect for Mexico."

But consistency has not been a watchword in how the Trump brand has handled the PR disaster. When Macy's said it was ending its ties to Trump, he accused it of supporting illegal immigration and added that it had been his decision to end the relationship.

And in comments that will surely have upset another large ethnic minority, he said that he had never been happy that the Trump menswear collection sold at Macy's was made in China, MediaPost reported.

The first brand to sever ties was Univision, the Hispanic TV network owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. Trump promptly replied that he was suing Univision for $500m in damages.

Another network, NBCUniversal, which has worked with Trump on the Miss Universe pageant and Trump's own reality television series, The Apprentice, also ended its relationship with him.

The billionaire advised that "their contract violating closure of Miss Universe/Miss USA will be determined in court".

While Trump struggles to extricate his candidacy from this mire, marketers have long known the importance of the Hispanic community, which is predicted to make up almost one third of the population by 2060.

Nielsen data, for example, shows they spend at least $10 more per visit than the total market (Hispanic and Non-Hispanic combined) on all forms of consumer packaged goods.

And brands have extensively researched Hispanic consumers and their media habits, finding they are more likely to share content and engage with brands online than the general population.

Data sourced from ABC News Radio, MediaPost; additional content by Warc staff


Brands can grow only with trust

2 July 2015
LONDON: Although there is evidence that consumers are more willing to exchange personal data and are more aware of its value, it is vital that brands retain their trust, a new report has argued.

Trust is by far the most important consideration for consumers when deciding whether to share their information and brands will not grow without winning it, according to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).

Working with analytics firm Acxiom and the Future Foundation, a consumer trends research firm, the DMA received responses from 1,000 UK consumers.

A full 39% rank trust in an organisation as their top consideration, a far higher proportion than freebies (10%) or discounted offers (6%).

While the report is the latest in a long line of surveys that have emphasised the importance of trust for effective brand engagement, the DMA survey also suggests consumers have become more accustomed to data-sharing. It seems they have become savvy about its value, too.

The proportion of consumers who expect to exchange information when making a purchase has risen to 73% from 65% in 2012 while more than half (55%) accept that the exchange of data can make free products available.

Of particular note for brands, the report identified a growing "consumer capitalist" mindset whereby consumers have an increasingly sophisticated understanding of the value of their data.

Those who see their data as their own to trade has increased from 40% to 52% over the past three years, which suggests consumers may be open to offers from brands while they also seek to secure a good deal.

Chris Combemale, CEO of the DMA, said these shifts in attitude suggest consumers are more interested in creating "a progressive culture of data exchange".

"Brands need to capitalise on these positive trends and take the lead by nurturing the growing pragmatism and helping create a culture of data exchange that will benefit all," he said.

"Without trust, brands will not grow. They must look at the way they deal with consumers and their data, and take their privacy concerns seriously."

Data sourced from DMA; additional content by Warc staff


Mars does not seek to be loved

2 July 2015
GLASGOW/LONDON: Mars, the international food and drinks business, does not believe that its marketing strategy should be driven by a need for consumers to "love" the brand, the company's global CMO has said.

Instead, Mars seeks to engage consumers by taking a more realistic approach to the relationships people develop with brands and with each other.

Speaking to The Drum, Bruce McColl drew parallels with people's normal social and family lives when there often is not the time to make real connections.

If that is the case with personal relationships, then it should apply even more for brands, which therefore should accept the situation and focus on how that particular insight can support strategy and creative.

"For most people out there buying our brands they don't love us; we just have to accept that," he said. "It goes against some of the popular stuff out there, [but] it's hard enough to have relationships with real people.

"If you think about the people in your life, your family and friends, how much time do you have to really connect with them? To ask consumers en masse to have that kind of relationship with brands is one step too far."

He said Maris is trying to generate ideas that resonate with consumers at a more human level and then use technology to get across the message.

A recent campaign for Snickers, for example, used the tagline "You're Not You When You're Hungry", a simple insight that could be used in engaging ads.

Reaching consumers through individualised messaging is also an important element of the company's strategy and McColl saw a significant role for programmatic.

"The big change that's happening now is the way people are shopping and when you think about tailoring, or starting to merge how you communicate with how people buy, then programmatic and the ability to individualise messages there start to get very exciting," he said.

Data sourced from The Drum; additional content by Warc staff


90% of TV viewers like to binge

2 July 2015
SAN JOSE, CA: Binge-watching TV, or watching more than three episodes of a series a day, is enjoyed by a full 92% of viewers but it seems it can also induce lost sleep and even sadness, a new survey has revealed.

According to TiVo's latest Binge Viewing Survey – a poll of almost 12,500 consumers and 30,000 of its own subscribers – the activity is gaining in popularity at the same time as its image improves.

Just two years ago, 53% of respondents viewed binge-viewing in a negative light but this has now fallen to under a third (30%).

Such is the demand for wanting to catch up with their favourite shows that almost a third (31%) of respondents report losing sleep thanks to binge-watching while 37% has spent an entire weekend bingeing on a show.

The digital video recording company also revealed that over half (52%) experience feeling sad when they get to the end of bingeing a series.

Turning to what viewers enjoy watching the most, TiVo reported that two-thirds (66%) like to use Netflix and watch its original content, such as "House of Cards" and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt".

TV viewing is evolving rapidly as streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, release more original programming and TiVo said it expected this trend to continue.

As for their motivations for binge-viewing, the survey found 28% simply want to catch up on TV while 17% do so because they had learned about a show after several episodes had already aired.

The findings also reveal that almost a third (32%) deliberately put off watching an entire season of a show until they can watch the whole season at once.

Finally, 61% say they binge on three or more episodes of the same show in one day because they fell behind while 39% believe some shows are better when watched back-to-back.

Data sourced from TiVo; additional content by Warc staff


China is two-speed consumer market

2 July 2015
BEIJING: China is a two-speed consumer economy with optimistic, "high-speed" households expected to generate 90% of new consumption by 2020 while "low-speed" consumers are less willing to spend, a new report has said.

These high-speed households, consisting mostly of the urban middle-class, currently number 81m people and generate $1.7tr of the $3.2tr in total urban consumption, but their numbers will swell to 142m by 2020 when they will account for $3.8tr of the $5.6bn in total urban consumption.

Crucially, they are expected to power consumer spending in the years ahead, according to The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) China Center for Consumer and Customer Insight's annual survey of consumer sentiment.

The report said that households with income growth exceeding 5% in the past year are twice as likely to spend more in the coming year than households with slower income growth.

Also, the average affluent household expects nearly 11% income growth while the average aspirant household – those with lower incomes – expects just 6%.

This five percentage point difference, given the vast disparity in income levels between these two groups of consumers, translates into a 20-fold difference in actual earnings, BCG said.

It is also expected that total spending by less affluent urban consumers, or "low-speed" households, will grow by just 3% a year from 2015 to 2020.

Taken together, there are "vast implications" for consumer-facing companies, BCG advised, because a mass approach to such a huge market simply will not work.

It said companies will need to adopt a multichannel approach because high-speed consumers are digitally savvy and active online shoppers.

Demographic and geographic changes over the next five years also will require companies to broaden their physical distribution channels if they want to reach these high value consumers.

Of today's 81m high-speed households, 46m are located in lower-tier cities, but it is expected there will be 84m of them in lower-tier cities by 2020.

BCG went on to predict that, by then, companies will need a presence in 615 cities in order to reach 80% of these high-speed households.

"By focusing on the high-speed parts of the Chinese consumer economy, companies can avoid getting stuck in the slow lane," the report concluded.

Data sourced from BCG; additional content by Warc staff


Auto brand loyalty at a 10-year high

2 July 2015
SOUTHFIELD, MI: More than half (52.8%) of US car buyers kept to the same brand when buying a new vehicle in the first quarter of 2015, the highest loyalty rate for a decade, according to analysis of recent car sales.

IHS Automotive, a market intelligence provider for the industry, attributed the increase in loyalty to there being more models on the market as well as a 62% rise in the rate of vehicle leasing over the past 10 years.

Improved new vehicle quality was also a factor as were the discontinuation of some well-known brands during the economic downturn, good finance options and effective marketing.

"The increased number of different models within brands makes it easier for households that may need a different type of vehicle to maintain their loyalty," explained Tom Libby, manager of automotive loyalty and industry analysis at IHS Automotive.

"In addition, the increased popularity of leasing since the downturn has helped significantly as lessees are consistently more brand loyal compared to retail owners."

Several leading brands benefitted from these industry trends with all them experiencing high loyalty rates. They included: Chevrolet, GMC, Infiniti, Jeep, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru and Volvo.

The number of different car models sold in the US increased 12% since 2005 and the wider choice has increased the probability that new purchasers will remain loyal to a particular brand.

Furthermore, the number of brands has decreased since the recession, so former owners of discontinued brands, such as Pontiac, Mercury or Saturn, are now returning to market and being forced to switch to a surviving brand.

Manufacturers and marketers are well aware that retaining customer loyalty is more cost effective than having to win over new customers, the report said.

But it warned: "It is critical that they also continue their conquesting activities in order to compensate for the normal churn in their customer base." Most brands lost more customers than they kept in 2014, the report pointed out.

Good product, marketing and financing will be even more important in the battle to win new customers and the report advised brands to concentrate on understanding the ownership life cycle – being able to predict who will return to market and when.

Data sourced from IHS Automotive; additional content by Warc staff


Emojis deliver for 1-800-Flowers

2 July 2015
NEW YORK: Emojis have helped 1-800-Flowers, the flower and gourmet food delivery firm, engage mobile consumers in a way which reflects its core brand "mission".

Amit Shah, the company's svp/online marketing, mobile and social, drilled down into this subject at the Mobile Media Summit Upfront, an event held during Internet Week 2015 in New York City.

More specifically, he discussed a pack of mobile "stickers" that was released by the brand, and which could be used on various apps, in the run up to Mother's Day this year.

"The thing that we were trying to do is get very close to our mission," he said. (For more, including further details about this campaign, read Warc's exclusive report: Emojis deliver brand benefits for 1-800-Flowers.)

"What we wanted to do was consistent with our mission, which is helping people express themselves, and send and deliver smiles.

"We wanted to come up with something that really captured Mother's Day and allowed people to have this expression outside of sending a physical gift as well."

Such a strategy, he suggested, was the result of careful consideration from 1-800-Flowers regarding the various communications options currently fighting for supremacy on the "contested space" of mobile.

"Within that contested space, if you think about it, messaging definitely has aggregated the audience at scale. And we are talking about hundreds of millions of people," said Shah.

"So when we started really thinking about how should we really understand these mediums of expression which are establishing themselves as … this currency in this new evolving media, we were drawn to messaging."

Having decided upon messaging apps, emojis represented a natural space for 1-800-Flowers – which specialises in providing small moments of happiness – to play.

"Within messaging, I think a really interesting thing to note is that emojis are not expression-light but expression-heavy," Shah said.

"What that really means is that people are now using this medium to go a little bit deeper and [be a] little more bit more interpretive about how they exchange communications."

Data sourced from Warc


Deadline extended for Warc Asia Prize

2 July 2015
SINGAPORE: The deadline for the Warc Prize for Asian Strategy has been extended to 30 July.

Now in its fifth year, the free-to-enter Prize is Asia's leading showcase for smart strategic thinking in marketing, with a $10,000 prize fund for winning papers. Further details, including entry kit and entry form, can be found on the Prize website,

BV Pradeep, Unilever's global vice president of consumer & market insight and chair of the judging panel, has highlighted the areas where he will be looking for new thinking, including changing consumer behaviour, brand experiences, mobile, ecommerce and research.

"There's opportunities for path-breaking work you could see today that will be the new rules of tomorrow," he said. "I'm looking forward to seeing people writing these rules today and saying 'I'm leaving a legacy behind for tomorrow's marketing'. I'm very excited to see that happening in Asia."

Warc will award Gold, Silver and Bronze awards to the best examples of strategic thinking in marketing in four categories: East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Multimarket for campaigns running in three or more markets.

The best overall paper will win the $5,000 Grand Prix. The 2014 Grand Prix winner – 'Kan Khajura Tesan', a mobile phone service developed by from Lowe Lintas in Mumbai and PHD India – went on to be named the world's best campaign in the annual Warc 100 rankings.

In addition, Warc will award five $1,000 Special Awards for excellence in specific areas which reflect industry feedback on key strategic challenges in Asia.

These include the Market Pioneer Award for creating a new category or market, the Channel Thinking Award for achieving brand objectives using an innovative channel strategy, the Local Hero Award for a challenger Asian brand taking on larger competitors, the Asia First Award for an insight or innovation that the rest of the world can learn from, and the Research Excellence Award for smart use of research.

The Prize will be judged by a group of senior client-side marketers and agency-side strategy experts. Details of the judging panel can also be found on the Prize website.

The deadline for entries is 30 July 2015, and the winner will be announced in November. All cases that win an award will be showcased in the Asia Strategy Report, a study of smart strategic thinking in the region published after the competition has ended.

Data sourced from Warc


UK consumer confidence at 15-year high

1 July 2015
LONDON: British consumer confidence is at its highest level since at least early 2000 and this could translate into a busy time for retailers, a new poll has shown.

According to research firm GfK, its UK Consumer Confidence Index jumped six points in June to register an overall score of +7 with all five measures used to calculate the Index also seeing increases.

Most encouraging for retailers is the sharp increase in the number of consumers agreeing that "now is a good time to make a major purchase", such as electrical goods or furniture.

GfK's Major Purchase Index leaped 14 points this month to +16 compared to negative sentiment for the same period last year.

"We're seeing a dramatic uptick in confidence this month, a real post-election bounce that's put a spring in the step of consumers across the UK," said Joe Staton, head of market dynamics at GfK.

"Across all key measures we're reporting higher levels of financial optimism for both our own personal situation and for the general economy as a whole for the coming 12 months," he added.

Buoyed by near zero inflation, as well as rising employment and wages, UK consumers are significantly more upbeat than they were this time last year.

GfK's measure for expectations for the general economic situation over the next 12 months rose four points to +4 in June, while the measure for the general economic situation over the last 12 months increased three points to +4, or seven points higher than in June 2014.

Meanwhile, its measure covering changes in personal finances over the last 12 months rose five points to +4, or 13 points higher than in June 2014. Its index for personal finance over the next 12 months rose two points to +5.

The survey coincided with the release of official data that provided further good news about the UK economy, which grew more than expected in the first quarter.

The Office for National Statistics said GDP grew by 0.4% between January and March rather than 0.3% as it had previously calculated.

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


15% of UK consumers block ads

1 July 2015
LONDON: As ad blocking becomes a growing issue for both publishers and online advertisers, a new survey has found that 15% of UK internet users, especially young men, have installed ad blocking software.

However, many of those who have signed up to the technology remain open to receiving ads, although that depends on their source and relevancy.

Only half (52%) want to block all ads, according to more than 2,000 UK adults questioned by YouGov for the Internet Advertising Bureau UK, while 12% just want to block certain content and 11% seek to avoid ads from certain websites.

Ads are most likely to be blocked if they interfere with a user's experience and nearly three-quarters (73%) say they're motivated to block ads if they are interruptive.

Interstitial and transitional ads are not directly referenced, but the survey results make clear that online consumers do not want to be interrupted.

More than half (55%) are also motivated to block ads if they are "annoying", such as pop-ups, while 54% do so because they think ads slow down web browsing. Irrelevant ads put off another half (46%).

Men (22%) are much more likely than women (9%) to block ads and youth is also a factor with over a third (34%) of respondents aged 18 to 24 being willing to block ads compared with about a fifth (19%) of 25-34 year-olds.

The survey also explored attitudes about the interdependency between advertising and the provision of free content.

Surprisingly, only 44% of respondents are aware that most websites are free because they are supported by advertising, yet only 10% are less likely to block ads after being told.

Two-thirds (66%) would prefer to access free content with no ads, only a fifth (21%) prefers free content in return for receiving ads, while just 3% would pay for ad-free content.

This finding prompted Guy Phillipson, CEO of the IAB UK, to observe that many consumers "want to have their cake and eat it".

"The bottom line is that if the web didn't have ads, most sites could only exist by charging subscriptions," he said.

Data sourced from IAB UK; additional content by Warc staff


Lenovo boss sees consumerist future

1 July 2015
HONG KONG: China's rapidly expanding middle class and the Chinese government's push to develop a consumer-led economy offer huge opportunities, the chairman of Legend Holdings has said.

Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Liu Chuanzhi outlined plans for his privately-owned conglomerate to expand its portfolio to meet an ever-growing appetite for better consumer products and services.

Legend, which is perhaps best-known as the parent company of tech vendor Lenovo, also spans a wide range of business areas from real estate to healthcare and energy. It is also a decade since Lenovo's ground-breaking acquisition of IBM's personal computer business in 2005.

Liu said that with more and more Chinese experiencing popular goods and services when travelling abroad, this would spur similar demand at home.

His next focus, he said, would be on any business, in China or overseas, that can help Chinese people "eat, dress, live and travel better".

"We currently focus more on consumer-related businesses as I feel the Chinese government is very serious about how to get its people to spend so we can boost domestic consumption, which is really important to national economic growth," he said.

To that end, Legend is investing in China Auto Rental, the country's top car rental service provider, as well as Didi Kuaidi, a Chinese taxi-booking app sometimes compared to Uber, the controversial US cab service.

Innovation is the key to success when seeking to appeal to Chinese consumers, he said, just as transparency is vital for Chinese brands hoping to expand overseas and win over international consumers in their own markets.

"For Legend, I think we should dare to try more new things," said 71-year-old Liu. "For China as a country, innovation is all about trying new things too."

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


Neuroscience studies sponsorship effectiveness

1 July 2015
NEW YORK: A paper in the latest issue of the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR) offers a new way to examine the marketing efficacy of sponsorship programs.

Visual-imagery theory represents the starting point for a paper written by Angeline G. Close (University of Texas at Austin), Russell Lacey (Xavier University) and T. Bettina Cornwell (University of Oregon).

With all the action on the field of play, they ask, how effective are programs that try to not just to grab consumers but also engage them as enthusiasts for a service or brand?

The study then uses the tools of neuroscience to dig down into the principal dilemma posed by any sort of sponsorship initiative: are consumers making the connection between the event and the sponsor?

"Individual differences in visual processing and need for cognition played significant roles in how an attendee perceived the sponsor's products," the authors reveal by way of an answer.

Furthermore, they offer, the overall results of their study "showed how attendees who rated the event as 'higher quality' had a higher attitude toward the sponsor's products that were showcased at the tournament.

"That relationship was moderated by visual-processing style; that is, attendees who were visual processors showed an especially strong link from event quality to enhanced attitude."

The article was entitled "Visual Processing and Need for Cognition Can Enhance Event-Sponsorship Outcomes – How Sporting Event Sponsorships Benefit from the Way Attendees Process Them".

It appeared within a four-part special "How Does Neuroscience Work in Advertising?" section in JAR alongside a consideration on the reliability of new neuromarketing tools, a psychophysiological approach for measuring response to messaging and the use of eye tracking in determining audience attention to competing editorial and advertising content.

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


Fifth of US grocery shopping is online

1 July 2015
LOUISVILLE, CO: Online grocery shopping in the USA is continuing to grow in popularity, as confirmed by a new survey of US consumers that reveals 54% increased their online activity by an average of 29% over the past year.

Door to Door Organics, a Colorado-based online grocery service, polled 1,100 US adults in the first week of April 2015 and found only 4% had decreased the amount of grocery shopping they carried out online.

It remained the same for 42% of consumers and, taken together, it meant that the online option accounted for just under a fifth (19%) of all grocery shopping last year.

This online trend is being driven partly by the pressure of modern-day living and its impact on consumers' spare time, causing them to place a premium on time-saving convenience.

Survey respondents indicated they had an average of only 82 minutes of free time a day and spent an average of 69 minutes each week shopping for groceries. They valued one hour of their time to be worth $56 per hour.

The convenience of online shopping went some way to meeting their desire to save time but, encouragingly for brick-and-mortar retailers, the survey also showed consumers relied on multiple options to carry out their weekly shop.

Only 13% of respondents said a single outlet, whether online or a physical store, met their weekly grocery shopping needs.

About one-third (34%) shopped at two stores once a week and a full 53% shopped at three or more grocery stores each week, including both online and brick-and-mortar retailers.

Commenting on the report, Chad Arnold, the CEO of Door to Door Organics, advised retailers to ensure they meet this growing desire for convenience.

"It's becoming increasingly harder for consumers to find a 'one-stop shop' that meets all their grocery shopping needs," he said.

"Today's grocery shopper appreciates variety, wants to have easy access to all kinds of produce and products, but also values convenience based on being busier than ever.

"This is one of the primary reasons why consumers are making online grocery shopping a more regular part of their week, and I don't expect that trend to turn downward anytime soon."

Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff


Blog: Brands and the Women's World Cup

1 July 2015
Men's football tends to hog the headlines. But, says Luca Massaro of WePlay, a growing interest in women's sport means the FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada has become a major point of engagement for fans and brands this summer.



HUL creates new consumer clusters

1 July 2015
MUMBAI: Hindustan Unilever (HUL), the largest FMCG group in India, has been re-organised so that it can better serve and engage with the country's diverse base of consumers, the company's chairman has announced.

Speaking at HUL's 82nd Annual General Meeting, Harish Manwani outlined a strategy, called "Winning in Many Indias", under which its four sales branches have been segmented into 14 consumer clusters.

"This model brings us closer to our local consumers and provides us with a more granular understanding of consumers and competitors," he said, in comments reported by the Economic Times.

"It helps us serve our diverse consumer base in more differentiated and relevant ways across the country," he continued.

"This is essential for the long term growth of the company and also fulfils our commitment to contribute to India's growth and development in an inclusive and sustainable manner."

By bringing its distribution capabilities and presence closer to the consumers it serves, HUL's new model is designed to underpin its strategic aim of becoming the market leader in most of the categories it competes in.

However, the company also sees opportunities in less-developed parts of rural India and regards ecommerce and mobile technologies, supported by effective marketing, as levers for the growth in this market.

India is the third largest country in the world for internet usage, Manwani said, so HUL is using mobile technologies "to reach parts of rural India that are still in the media dark".

Citing the company's Kan Khajura Tesan mobile radio initiative, Manwani said HUL had broadcast more than 700m minutes of entertainment over the last 15 months and that its brand messages had been heard 425m times.

Its well-publicised sustainability initiative provides another opportunity to reach out to consumers, both rural and urban, while serving a larger purpose.

Data sourced from the Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff


UK programmatic spend surges

30 June 2015
LONDON: Almost half of UK online display ads were bought through programmatic technologies in 2014, amounting to just under £1bn in spending according to a new study.

Research for the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK was based on detailed submissions from 31 companies and supplemented by a further 27 in-depth interviews and group discussions with industry participants.

This revealed that of the £2.13bn spent on display ads across the internet and mobile in 2014, 45% (£960m) was traded programmatically – up from 28% in 2013.

The biggest losers from this shift in spending were the ad networks, whose share plummeted from 22% in 2013 to just 6% in 2014.

Direct sales between publishers and buyers remained the biggest single way in which digital display advertising was traded, although its share slipped back from 51% to 49%.

"Programmatic's role in digital ad buying has grown from virtually zero to nearly half of all transactions in just five years," noted Tim Elkington, IAB UK chief strategy officer.

"However, the impact on mobile has been even greater due to its more fragmented ecosystem providing a ripe breeding ground for intermediaries."

Programmatic's share of mobile ad sales had nearly doubled from 37% to 64% in the same period, while that of video ads reached 18%. Most of the balance was again accounted for by direct sales – 30% in the case of mobile, 79% for video – with ad networks taking only a small single-digit share.

Elkington added that programmatic was no longer just a direct-response tool. "Its increasing role in video ads – a branding medium like TV – shows programmatic is on advertising's top table," he stated.

"Consequently, due to the rise in mobile and video ad spend, we estimate around 70-80% of all digital spend will be programmatic by 2018."

Martin Kelly, CEO and co-founder of programmatic buying company Infectious Media, placed the shift to programmatic in a wider context, as he explained to Marketing Week that advertisers were unhappy with agency trading desks.

"The increase in [programmatic] spend has largely been a straightforward divert from the ad networks, with most advertisers still missing out on the advantages programmatic can offer. This is why we are seeing the [current] deluge of global media pitches."

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


Wimbledon sponsors miss the spot

30 June 2015
LONDON: The UK public is really only interested in tennis for two weeks a year during the current Wimbledon tournament and is likely to remain largely indifferent to the marketing efforts of many brands that have associated themselves with the sport, a new analysis suggests.

Marketing Week utilised researcher YouGov's Profiles and BrandIndex tools to assess the fit of sponsoring brands with the typical tennis fan and reported that while some long-standing supporters of the tournament saw an uplift in brand metrics, "newer recruits … may find it difficult to raise awareness and brand perceptions".

In 2014, for example, the BrandIndex score – a daily measure of brand perception among the public – for soft drinks brand Robinsons moved steadily upwards during the course of the event, rising from 29.4 to 34.2

Robinsons, however, has been sponsoring Wimbledon for 80 years and has just extended its tie-up for another five years.

"At Wimbledon we have always valued the importance of long-term relationships and our partnership with Robinsons has become one of the enduring memories of the British summer", said Mick Desmond, commercial director at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club.

Stella Artois, in contrast, came on board for the first time in 2014, having previously sponsored the Queen's Club Championships event that effectively acts as a warm-up for Wimbledon. Despite this, its BrandIndex score started at 17.4 and ended at 16.8.

Marketing Week also noted a divergence between the profiles of Robinsons' consumers – typically a middle-aged mother in the C2DE bracket – and those of Wimbledon fans, who are mostly ABC1 older women (60+) with significantly higher disposable income.

But it said that Robinsons' lengthy association with the event means it can overcome such differences, something a newer sponsor such as Stella Artois may find difficult, not least as Stella drinkers tend to be more interested in football and boxing.

Such disparities suggest that the newer brands are seeking to use their involvement to change consumer perceptions and to reach beyond their existing consumer base.

But this will take time to come to fruition, said Marketing Week, especially given that there are relatively few branding opportunities at the event itself and that no court-side advertising opportunities are permitted.

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff


Marketers seek second-party data

30 June 2015
NEW YORK: Second-party data is an effective, if under-utilised, source of information for marketers but one industry figure has observed that situation beginning to change.

"Choosing between first-party and third-party data has been a constant dilemma forcing marketers to compromise between data quality and scale," Mike Sands, CEO at marketing technology firm Signal, wrote in Ad Exchanger.

"Now I'm seeing the conversation shift to second-party data, which is essentially someone else's first-party data."

A recent report by Signal and Econsultancy – The Promise of First-Party Data, based on responses from 300 senior marketers at companies with at least $100m in revenues – highlighted that the fact that brands' owned, first-party data is the shortest and best path to superior results.

Third party data, while plentiful, is often based on inferences about intended behaviours rather than facts derived through first-hand customer relationships, Sands noted.

But there are areas where second-party data can be shared to mutual advantage. For example, an airline and hotel chain could work together to target the same business travellers with the benefit of both data sets.

Sands pointed out that second-party data could help marketers address the challenge of developing an overview of customers across devices and channels and so target marketing activities more appropriately and create more personalised brand experiences.

Signal's study showed that 77% of the highest-performing marketers regularly used second-party data, versus only 48% of their counterparts.

And 60% of marketers planned to increase their use of second-party data, a clear indication they are increasingly aware of the value in sharing such data.

Quite apart from making better marketing possible, Sands added, "second-party data can help brands monetise their data.

"Brands can add a revenue stream by sharing anonymized data with trusted partners."

Data sourced from Ad Exchanger, Econsultancy; additional content by Warc staff


Holiday Inn targets 'lookalikes'

30 June 2015
NEW YORK: Holiday Inn, the hotel chain owned by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), boosted several core brand metrics by targeting "lookalike" web users who shared characteristics with its most attractive customers.

Phil Maves, director/audience delivery at TNS North America – the WPP-owned research provider which worked on the "lookalike" program with IHG – discussed this topic at the Market Research in the Mobile World conference.

He outlined how the firm began with a research panel of 10,000 prospective patrons and whittled them down to the 2,200 shoppers that were willing to increase their spending with Holiday Inn.

"It's two audiences, really, in one," he said. (For more, including details about the methodology and results, read Warc's exclusive report: How "lookalike" consumers boosted Holiday Inn.)

"It's that core of people who … already buy your brand. They like it, they're happy with it and they're willing to buy more in the future."There's also that 'conquest' audience: that acquisition group of people who don't currently buy it, but they have a favourable view of the brand and they're willing to buy it in the future."

Having identified these attractive prospects, TNS allied with data experts at KBM Group – which is also part of WPP Group – to earmark 15m online consumers who shared their specific habits and characteristics.

Mindshare, which belongs to the same holding company and is IHG's media shop, then purchased highly targeted inventory aimed solely at this cohort.

"There's generally been a gulf between market research and media buying. We wanted to bridge that gap," said Maves.

"It's not about taking a radical leap into the unknown: it's more pivoting and saying, 'What else can we do with this data to reach audiences online?'"

While attempting to reach "lookalike" shoppers is a common strategy, Maves argued the bespoke research underpinning the efforts for Holiday Inn was vital.

"Media buying agencies are dealing with lookalike models all the time," he said. "The difference being that we're starting with the research."

Data sourced from Warc


US adspend dips in Q1

30 June 2015
NEW YORK: Total US advertising expenditure fell 4% to $37.4bn in the first quarter new data has shown, with spending by the ten largest advertisers declining even more steeply.

Jon Swallen, chief research officer at Kantar Media North America, advised that the figures were skewed by comparisons to last year and the $600m of incremental spend that had been generated by the Sochi Olympics.

"Excluding the impact of special events, core ad spending measured by Kantar Media was down about 2% in the period," he said.

"Even after taking into account assumptions about the growth of spend on other unmonitored media, it has been a relatively slow start for the ad market in 2015."

The other unmonitored media no longer includes paid search, which Kantar Media included in its analysis for the first time. Ad spending here, which reflects text ads on the Google and Bing search engines, rose 7%.

Kantar continues, however, to exclude two fast-growing ad formats – video and mobile – from its figures for online display advertising which declined 8.7%, in part because consumers are shifting usage to mobile.

Overall, 16 of the 21 individual media types monitored by Kantar Media had lower ad spending in the first quarter.

Spending on network TV was down 9.2%, but was flat if the effect of the Winter Olympics was removed. Spot TV fell 6.8% and Syndication expenditures 4.9%.

Cable was one of the few growing areas, along with Spanish-language TV. The former rose 4.1%, aided by an increase in the amount of available paid ad time as networks packed more spots into programming to help offset lower audience ratings.

Spending by the ten largest advertisers declined 10.6% to $3.7bn in the quarter, and among the top one hundred – a diversified group accounting for two-fifths of all measured ad expenditures – budgets fell 6.6%.

The decline was especially pronounced at Procter & Gamble, the world's largest advertiser, where a 24.5% decrease was registered in investments in TV, online display and print media. This, said Kantar, was "consistent with recent company statements about shifts in their advertising budgets".

Data sourced from Business Wire; additional content by Warc staff


WOM vital for Chinese tourists

30 June 2015
SHANGHAI: Half of mainland Chinese travellers rely on their close personal contacts for information when looking for travel advice before turning to the internet to make travel bookings a survey has found.

For its Consumer Travel Tracker study, researcher GfK polled 1,000 Chinese respondents who had made a travel booking in the last three months and discovered that 52% talked to friends, family and colleagues in the first instance to get travel-related information.

This was the highest of all touchpoints, with search websites and online travel agent websites close behind with both of these on 51%.

"Even with the proliferation and growing consumer dependency on the internet for all kinds of information, the local norm of seeking information via word of mouth still prevails here," said Lawrence Liew, North Asia Director for Travel & Hospitality at GfK.

"However, the growing influence of the internet cannot be avoided, as the other top sources of travel information are still online touch points," he added.

While almost two thirds of all bookings are made online, this figure varied depending on the destination involved.

Traditional travel agencies retained a competitive edge when it came to Asian countries, while travellers were more likely to use online channels if travelling to Europe.

Asia is still the widely preferred option, however, with 78% of respondents confirming their travel plans to countries in this region. The top three destinations were Thailand, South Korea and Hong Kong (14% each), followed by Japan (11%) and Singapore (8%).

One in ten (10%) have booked holidays in Europe, while 6% have chosen to visit North America.

And while independent travel is growing, packaged trips still make up the great majority of online purchases. Fully 86% of respondents had bought this sort of holiday, while 55% said they had booked air tickets and 49% accommodation.

GfK also put the average trip spending for each traveller at RMB 15,000, equivalent to around half the average monthly household income.

Data sourced from GfK; additional content by Warc staff


India's 'click farms' under spotlight

30 June 2015
MUMBAI: Indian 'click farms' are offering US and UK companies deals to boost their internet traffic and social media presence as part of a market that one expert estimates is growing at 20% a year.

An investigation by The Times of London found that interested parties could pay just $1 to generate 1,000 clicks or 1,000 or more Twitter followers or Facebook 'likes'.

One such entrepreneur explained that his "social media optimisation" operation could produce 1,000 Facebook 'likes' within a week. "It will take double the time for 2,000 and so on. Once the numbers increase, it will get faster. YouTube views are easier. I can give 3,000-4,000 per day."

The Times described a typical set-up where a few people in a small room clicked away on laptops to increase the popularity of paying clients.

Other operators have a more sophisticated approach. Australia's ABC News has reported on Indian IT professionals running automated click farms businesses on the side that can earn them the equivalent of a month's salary in just three days.

The market for false internet traffic may be worth $600m a year, according to David Sendroff, chief executive of US ad fraud detection specialist Forensiq. And he says it is growing at 20% annually.

"These click farms are generally coming out of places where labour is very cheap — India, Vietnam, Bangladesh. The real victims are the advertisers who end up buying space," Sendroff said.

Celebrities can make thousands of dollars for tweeting out a single endorsement and several have been accused of falsely inflating their social worth as a way to get more money from advertisers.

Search engines also consider social media influence, so increasing likes and followers has the potential to boost rankings in search engine results.

Data sourced from The Times, ABC; additional content by Warc staff