Originality essential to social success

9 October 2015
LONDON: Originality is far more important to the overall success of a social media campaign than other factors like utility and incentives, according to a new Warc report.

Seriously Social, an analysis of social-driven case studies by marketing consultant Peter Field, indicates that creativity has become an essential driver of organic social reach while also boosting paid reach.

In the report, Field analyses shortlisted case studies from the 2015 Warc Prize for Social Strategy, a global competition that rewards smart social and earned media thinking that leads to business results. The competition defines social strategy as any activity designed to generate participation, conversation, sharing or advocacy.

He identifies two currencies for social success: the innate "sharing power" of the social idea and the money required to deliver reach.

Fully 83% of case study authors felt that the originality of the idea was most important to success; some 42% cited utility and 38% a worthwhile cause or experiential element.

Offers and prizes were bottom of the list. "While this tactic is often cited by brands as a preferred strategy for social, it does not drive long-term effects and value for the brand," Field noted.

The second, literal, currency is investment in paid social, since changes in social media algorithms have restricted brands' ability to achieve exposure without paying for reach.

In 2015, the average budget of shortlisted campaigns had increased almost 40% from the average budget in 2014.

One consequence of this trend has been a shift in the timescales marketers are working to as they need to demonstrate returns from social investment.

Field reported there is now a greater short-term focus, which "has seen a reduced emphasis on using long-term measures of brand equity, and reduced usage of emotions, storytelling and consumer-generated content in the campaigns".

All this points to an emphasis on short-term sales rather than longer-term brand building.

Peter Field will be discussing his takeaways from this in-depth analysis of the world's most effective social media campaigns in a webinar on Wednesday 28th October at 4pm GMT (11am EDT). More details are available on the webinar registration page.

Data sourced from Warc


Brands miss football opportunities

9 October 2015
LONDON: Advertisers are missing out on opportunities to reach football fans through video, new research suggests, as brands generate only 11% of all online football-related video content watched daily.

There are a total of 100m such videos viewed every day according to Tubular Labs, a video analytics firm, with most being done by football gamers sharing content around virtual football games (40%). Footage of top players in action made up just 22% of views, Marketing Week reported.

The research also showed that branded football content got 22% more views than the average online video category.

"Engagement rates are exceptionally high for football videos," said Denis Crushell, vp/EMEA at Tubular Labs, who told a Google event that brands could use these to reach a highly engaged audience with greater flexibility than a TV advert.

One of the best examples of this approach is Turkish Airlines, which deployed Lionel Messi alongside basketball player Kobe Bryant in ads that were among the fastest-spreading commercials on YouTube: the Selfie Shootout, for example, got 77m views in one week and increased global brand recall by 9%.

There are also opportunities for brands to tap into user-generated content, according to Tom Thirlwall, chief executive of Bigballs, a digital studio that owns YouTube football channel Copa90.

"There is so much richness outside the game that is not even being touched on yet," he said. And brands don't have to get into negotiations with rights holders either.

The general approach of brands has been to align themselves with teams or players or tournaments, not always with favourable results.

When the England team departed early from last year's FIFA World Cup, brands faced a decision on whether to pull ads featuring the players. Sponsors of the England rugby team now face a similar scenario.

As well as missing opportunities in video, a report earlier this year suggested that brands are wasting almost one third of their spending on shirt sponsorship through a failure to engage with fans.

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


Advanced TV moves up advertising agenda

9 October 2015
NEW YORK: Most advertisers have already leveraged some form of advanced TV in their marketing efforts and most expect it will become a significant advertising platform within five years, a new report says.

A survey of 255 brand and agency decision-makers by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and its Digital Video Center of Excellence, found that 78% had used advanced TV, which includes non-traditional television consumption methods such as time-shifting on DVRs, VOD and interactive television, as well as enhanced cross-device viewing experiences like TV everywhere and over-the-top (OTT) viewing.

Around seven in ten (72%) saw its importance increasing and the same proportion (70%) expected to be spending more on the medium within the next 12 months; the current median budget allocation for advanced TV is a modest $1.4m.

Funding will likely come from two main sources: TV budgets (68%) will be raided as will expanded or experimental ad budgets (54%).

Respondents identified several benefits, including better targeting capabilities (51%), the ability to reach consumers anytime on any device (38%), improved ROI (37%) and the ability to personalise or localise messages (35%).

And those were reflected in the advanced TV ad formats slated for increased use. Some 38% of respondents anticipated using addressable advertising, up from the current figure of 28%; equivalent figures for second screen ads were 35%, up from 23%, and interactive tags 30%, up from 21%.

"Advanced TV advertising provides a captivating digital forum to reach consumers," said Anna Bager, svp & general manager/mobile and video, IAB.

"In the coming years, a growing percentage of advertising dollars will be directed towards advanced TV and other digital video advertising, as marketers and agencies are able to embrace this new medium's blending of traditional television with digital attributes," she added.

A degree of education may be required before that can happen, however, as there remains some confusion about the medium.

Nearly three out of five surveyed weren't sure about the differences between advanced TV and connected TV; a lack of understanding of the advanced TV technical process was also cited (35%).

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff


Native advertising nears limits

9 October 2015
NEW YORK: Advertising executives remain positive about native advertising according to a new study which also suggests the format may be nearing its limits in terms of share of ad spending.

Advertiser Perceptions Inc (API) surveyed 312 ad executives earlier this year and recorded a net optimism figure of 51 (being the difference between the percentage planning to increase spending on the format over the coming 12 months and that intending to decrease it).

That was down five points from a similar 2014 survey, MediaPost reported. It added that while native advertising's share of total digital spending by these executives had risen from 18% to 22% over the same period, it could be "reaching a point of saturation".

Social media platforms are a favoured channel, with 70% of those respondents using the format buying space there, and that proportion is expected to edge upwards to 73% next year.

Programmatic is also playing an ever greater role in placing those ads. Just over one quarter (26%) currently buy native advertising this way, a proportion set to rise to 34% in 2016.

The survey revealed some distinct differences in attitudes between clients and agencies. Half of agency executives, for example, reported that they were already buying native ads programmatically, but just one third (34%) of clients were doing so.

Agency executives were also rather more bullish on the future prospects for the format, with 57% anticipating they would increase spending in the coming 12 months, compared to 49% of clients.

Jimmy Maymann, chief executive of the Huffington Post, has described native as "the new black", but, speaking at a conference earlier this year, he too saw an upper limit on native advertising.

One-fifth of the content on the Huffington Post site is now native advertising, a figure that's rising, but can only go so high before it becomes counter-productive.

"It will never be 50-50 because that would be a terrible user experience, and users would obviously go somewhere else," Maymann said.

Data sourced from MediaPost; additional content by Warc staff


Voice vital to Asian mobile

9 October 2015
HO CHI MINH CITY: The use of voice search is growing in Vietnam, a development that is likely to be replicated across Asia and which brands and advertisers will have to factor into their marketing plans.

Balazs Molnar, head of search marketing at Google Southeast Asia, reported a "significant increase" in voice searches in Vietnam. And with the increase in mobile internet users – smartphone adoption has jumped from 36% to 55% in the past year – further growth is expected.

"In many Asian languages it's harder for people to type using a small keyboard," he told Campaign Asia-Pacific, pointing in particular to character-based languages such as Mandarin or languages with a lot of diacritical markers like Vietnamese.

"People find it easier to speak rather than type on their phones," he said.

Products and services are already being integrated with Google's voice API, so that users can, for example, send messages via WhatsApp without having to type anything. Instead they can just speak: "OK Google, send Johnny a WhastApp message saying I'll be late".

Google has made voice search the centre of its first-ever advertising campaign in Vietnam, which features four young scooter enthusiasts – the Scooterists – and shows their real-life uses of the application.

"They represent today's searcher – from asking the basics to the big questions about life that we don't even know yet," explained Nguyen Phuong Anh, head of marketing at Google Vietnam, as she outlined the campaign concept – "doing what you love starts with a question".

Writing in Admap last year, Matthew Maltby, head of thought leadership in Google's Performance Ads Marketing group, reflected that in twenty years search had gone from being non-existent to being ever-present with voice search being the next step.

"Brand marketers who can grasp and use search, will be there for their customers' and potential customers' moments of need, building brand love and driving sales," he said.

Data sourced from


Blog: the Adblocalypse

9 October 2015
Consumers reading a magazine don't expect to be followed across other magazines, into shops and have their purchases shared. Faris Yakob says the appetites of ad tech need to be moderated and balance restored to the value exchange of advertising.



Tech powers Aussie OOH

9 October 2015
SYDNEY: Two leading Australian out-of-home networks have this week introduced digital street furniture offering a variety of technologies far removed from the standard billboard, ranging from voice recognition to beacons.

The latter is included in the 270 screens Adshel is launching, along with dynamic messaging, real-time capabilities and contextual relevance. The former is built into Ooh!Media's Excite network, which currently consists of just 50 panels in retail centres but with plans for 300 more.

The Excite network also boasts wifi, high-definition web cameras and gesture control.

Brendan Cook, Ooh!Media chief executive, told Ad News that the company now regarded itself as a location-based company rather than an OOH one, explaining that "OOH is in a prime spot in the connected world that we live in".

"We are mobile as a society," he said. "The fact that we can combine the power of everyone's connectivity in their pocket with the physical becomes the great strength of OOH."

His rival is thinking along similar lines: OOH is "essentially location-based communication", according to David Roddick, Adshel's chief revenue officer.

"It's very much in the moment," he said. "The more you can reflect that moment, the more effective your communication is going to be."

Earlier this year an ARF paper argued that premium digital out-of-home media also has a valuable priming capability that makes people more receptive to other ad formats, particularly mobile

In addition, research undertaken by Neuro-Insight for Ocean Outdoor found that full-motion digital OOH could deliver an experience comparable to television.

But that message isn't necessarily being taken on board by all in the advertising industry, according to Roddick, who suggested that "sometimes the information about what we are capable of doing as a medium isn't getting through to the agencies and the strategists and the clients themselves".

"There is definitely an education job to be done in each of those elements in the value chain," he said.

"And it's absolutely imperative for us because we didn't put this in the ground to just be a fancy scroller."

Data sourced from Ad News; additional content by Warc staff


Brands can build Malaysian identity

9 October 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians believe brands have an important role to play in promoting a sense of Malaysian national unity, according to a new study.

A survey by BBDO investigated consumer behaviour and the idea of a national Malaysian identity among 18-35 year olds in Kuala Lumpur, Klang and Kuching and found that young Malaysians wanted to see their favourite brands reflect the country's multiculturalism and also promote resilience and tolerance.

Malaysia's diverse racial and religious mix have all contributed to the work-in-progress of Malaysian identity – often seen as more of a 'mosaic' than a 'melting pot'. Though two thirds of participants identified themselves as Malaysians before a particular ethnic group, respondents were still conscious of how religion and ethnicity create a fragmented sense of national identity.

But 76% of respondents believed brands can play an important role by appealing to common Malaysian traits, and are enthusiastic about ads and brands that emphasize this.

"In Malaysia, brands not only have the opportunity to support a common national identity but actually help build, solidify and cement one," said Anirban Ganguly, Head of Innovation and Strategy at BBDO Malaysia.

It was also revealed that religious and ethnic sentiments influence buying habits. Young Muslim women in particular are becoming a powerful demographic in Malaysia, offering brands lucrative opportunities in halal-certified food, fashion and more esoteric areas such as breathable nail polish.

The low-hanging fruit for brands to communicate on a national level is to leverage common assets that appeal across various demographics. Sports and food can garner national appeal, but film, celebrities and music can be more subjective, with data suggesting Malaysians are more likely to prefer entertainment targeted at their own ethnic group.

Data sourced from Marketing, Campaign Brief Asia; additional content by Warc staff


Mobile leads first half digital ad surge

8 October 2015
LONDON: UK advertisers spent a record £3.98bn on digital advertising in the first half of 2015, according to a new report, driven by a surge in mobile advertising revenues.

Figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau UK Digital Adspend report, conducted by consulting firm PwC, show that total digital ad spend was up 13.4% in the first six months of the year with mobile accounting for most of this.

Ad spend on mobiles increased 51% to £1.08bn over the period; the actual increase of £370m year-on-year accounted for 79% of the rise in digital ad revenues.

Over a quarter (27%) of all digital advertising spend now comes from mobile, compared to 20% a year ago. Mobile accounts for 39% of display spend, 43% of video spend, 63% of social media spend and 74% of native/content ad spend.

"Mobile is unquestionably the engine of digital growth," said Dan Bunyan, Senior Manager at PwC. "However, there's plenty of room to grow, as mobile accounts for 40% of internet time but only 27% of ad spend. Marketers are realising this is out-of-kilter, hence mobile is likely to continue gaining share at pace."

Despite concerns about the possible impact of ad blocking, the IAB reported that display advertising revenues had grown at more than twice the overall digital rate (27.5%) to hit £1.31bn. This represented 33% of total digital ad spend, its largest-ever share.

Within that, video ad spend was up 56% to £292m, accounting for 22% of display revenue, while native/content grew 50% to £325m, taking a 25% share.

Paid-for search marketing still takes over half of all digital ad spend, increasing 8.4% to £2.07bn in the first half, while classifieds, including recruitment, property and automotive listings, grew 6.6% to £547m, accounting for 14% of digital ad spend.

"It's clear to see the UK digital advertising industry is maintaining its strong revenue growth at a much greater rate than the overall economy," said Tim Elkington, Chief Strategy Officer, IAB UK.

"The fact remains, as consumers spend more time on connected devices, advertisers must increasingly direct their attention and budgets there," he stated.

The latest figures from Warc's Adspend Database, which tracks advertising expenditure in 90 markets across eight major media, show that the UK leads all other European markets in terms of mobile adspend, while it also ranks third globally, behind only the US and China.

Data sourced from IAB UK; additional content by Warc staff


Programmatic faces threats

8 October 2015
LONDON: Opaque trading desk practices, an addiction to jargon and the ad blocking revolution threaten the growth of programmatic advertising, a panel of experts has suggested.

Speaking at an event organised by Mediatel, the online media information source, members of the panel said that automated buying faces many serious challenges, despite its recent rapid advances. (For more, including discussion of publishers' walled gardens, waste and future predictions for the sector, read Warc's exclusive report: Seven big issues shaping the programmatic sector.)

Media agency trading desks came under fire, with only Sacha Bunatyan, COO of Amnet UK, a programmatic network owned by Dentsu Aegis, broadly positive on their impact. "We now have the pipes in place to get better value for our clients," she said.

But Brian Jacobs, Founder Director at Enreach, pointed out that many clients "don't trust" trading desks. "They think something's up," he added. "I think that trading desks will evolve... they can do a great deal to add value for clients. But that's very different to driving value for agency holding companies. They are profitable as silos. But the game is up."

Fellow panellist Bob Wootton, Director of Media and Advertising at ISBA, a client trade body, suggested that ad blocking would prove a particular headache for the sector.

According to research issued by PageFair and Adobe earlier in 2015, almost 200m people worldwide have installed an ad blocker to their desktop web browser, a 41% annual increase.

More concerning still for advertisers is the influx of mobile ad blocking solutions, including those permitted by iOS9, the latest iteration of Apple's mobile operating system.

"People are blocking ads on mobile because they can't get around them on such a small screen," said Wootton.

Meanwhile, Bunatyan talked of a "broken trust" with consumers that needs to be rebuilt, while her fellow panellist Phil Macauley, EU Managing Director of Quantcast, an audience measurement company, suggested that "we need to push things through at a legal level" if ad blocker usage is to decline.

The sometimes confusing acronyms and jargon beloved by many in the programmatic sector were also criticised by Wootton.

Few outside the ad tech space know their DSPs from their PMPs – including those who actually spend ad dollars. Clients understand attribution, not tech, Wootton said. "They're not interested [in talking about tech]. Just like you're not interested in how they make their chocolate bars."

Rupert Staines, managing director of RadiumOne, a digital insights provider, also raised this as an issue. "We are drowning in techno-babble," he said. "Clients don't get it – they don't care."

Data sourced from Warc


Moving from B2B to H2H

8 October 2015
LONDON/NEW YORK: B2B marketers need to ditch the B2B emphasis in their advertising and instead think in terms of H2H, or human-to-human, a leading industry figure has said.

Writing in the current issue of Admap, Devra Prywes, vp/marketing and insight at Unruly in New York, argues for a shift away from the dry, technical approach that often characterises this sector.

Online video, she suggests, can "humanise" B2B content marketing by creating an emotional connection with buyers.

"B2B decision makers are people, consumers in their own right, and approaching B2B video campaigns as you would consumer campaigns will help your ads stand out from the cluttered video ecosystem to gain attention, engagement and advocacy," she writes.

"And, possibly, even become a viral hit." The epitome of this approach is the much-viewed, much-shared and Cannes Grand Prix-winning Volvo Trucks Epic Split video featuring actor Jean-Claude Van Damme.

This was actually only one of a series of stunts designed to showcase various aspects of the product in ways that would grab the attention of both the target group and a wider audience.

A business purchase decision maker has to have a firm understanding of the products and services available to support and improve their business. "If a B2B marketer can make this process less tedious, it's a welcome respite," says Prywes.

Video, which combines moving images, music and storytelling, is the best way of achieving this; online video adds interactivity and measurability.

B2B audiences are already highly engaged, Prywes points out, reporting that Unruly's B2B campaigns show an average interaction rate of 7.51% against an average of 5.21% for all ads. Click-through rates are also two-and-a-half times higher.

B2B marketers have it in their hands to "make the mundane magnificent", says Prywes, by producing informative ads that people actually enjoy watching, while improving metrics such as brand favourability and purchase intent.

Data sourced from Admap


Burger King taps digital benefit

8 October 2015
MIAMI: Marketers should exploit the instant measurability of digital to pursue more calculated risks on behalf of their brands, according to a leading executive from Burger King.

Fernando Machado, Burger King's svp/global brand management, discussed this subject at the Festival of Media Latin America in Miami.

And he reported that digital channels uniquely allow marketers to conduct low-cost experiments – and then put paid-media support behind the efforts gaining significant traction with consumers.

"I think we need to try different things, and not be afraid of trying. And then, when things work, then you put money [behind it]," said Machado. (For more, including details of the Big King campaign in Brazil, read Warc's exclusive report: Twenty million tattoo views burns the Big Mac in Brazil.)

"We live in a new era: it's not just TV anymore, where you had to prove everything, and then do the ROI. I know that the thing works, not because I did research, but because it did work."

One example of this idea in practice was an online video helping launch the Big King in Brazil – a clip that featured consumers with Big Mac tattoos having them converted into images of Burger King's competing sandwich.

While admitting such content may not be to everyone's taste, Machado suggested that material of this kind can supplement more functional TV ads – and, in the right context, yield deeper emotional engagement.

"I think that the risk is do the same-old, same old," he said. "I don't have to sink my money into media on that before I know it works. My media budget is much higher than my production budget.

"I think risk is to produce a 30-second TV spot that sucks. Because then we need to buy the media two or three months in advance, and we only know if it works a month later.

"Here, I know it in two hours if it's working or not, and then I can double up on the media money. The production money is really much smaller than the media."

Perhaps the greatest challenge facing brand custodians in this area, he continued, is convincing senior managers to take a chance, however moderate in form.

"It definitely takes some time on the client-side, to give the internal critic the energy and belief that doing things like this pay off, some times in the long term," said Machado.

Data sourced from Warc


China luxury sector moves online

8 October 2015
BEIJING: China's luxury consumers are increasingly comfortable purchasing online with almost half buying products this way according to a new report.

China's Connected Consumers, a study from consulting firm KPMG, in association with online retailer Mei.com and social media platform Weibo, was based on responses from 10,150 luxury consumers. This found that 45% of respondents said they bought more than half of their luxury items through online options.

This shift has been accompanied by a willingness to spend more. The average spend on a single purchase has risen 28% to RMB 2,300 from RMB 1,800 a year ago.

But a more dramatic vote of confidence in online luxury retail came in the maximum amount respondents were ready to commit: RMB 4,200 for a single purchase was more than double the RMB 1,900 KPMG had registered in a similar 2014 survey.

For all that, ecommerce remains a small part of the total luxury market in China – KPMG estimated its share to be somewhere between 5% and 10% but said it was "growing at tremendous speed" compared to the total market.

The main drivers for this growth continue to be pricing and better deals, although other factors are becoming more important.

Product origin, especially those from the US or Europe, has risen up KPMG's ranking of drivers, as has uniqueness, as buyers look to differentiate themselves with items not available in stores. Online retail facilitates both these.

Thibault Villet, co-founder and CEO of Mei.com, observed that Chinese customers preferred to buy on platforms such as Tmall rather than from a brand website.

"Brands' own websites provide reliable and accurate information, as well as authentic products, but usually trigger very low conversion rates," he said, adding that next year Mei.com planned to open the first e-commerce market place dedicated to luxury goods.

Data sourced from KPMG; additional content by Warc staff


One in five are 'cord-nevers'

8 October 2015
CAMBRIDGE, MA: One in five US adults are "cord-nevers" – people who have never had a cable subscription – and that proportion will rise to one in three among Millennials by 2025, a new study has predicted.

A survey of 32,000 US adults by Forrester Research found that 76% currently subscribed to cable; and among the 24% who didn't, just 6% were classed as "cord cutters" who had ended their subscription, while 18% had never had one, Ad Week reported.

This year is something of a turning point, noted Forrester analyst James McQuivey, as the proportion of cord-nevers passes that of cord-cutters, a development he described as "the next stage of evolution in TV viewing".

CMOs must experiment on these groups now, he advised, in order to learn how to serve them later.

Older viewers remain committed to cable, however, with 80% of those over the age of 32 subscribing in 2015, with 15% being cord-nevers and 5% cord-cutters. The equivalent figures for 18-31 year olds show 65% subscribing, 25% being cord-nevers and 10% cord-cutters.

Forrester expected that in ten years' time just 50% of the younger age group would still have a cable subscription while 35% would never have had one and 15% would have cut the cord.

"Rather than inherit TV viewing expectations from a prior era and then consciously reject them, as cord cutters have done, these cord-never viewers have simply bypassed prior assumptions, exhibiting nearly the exact set of behaviors that cord cutters have pieced together for themselves over the past decade of viewing," McQuivey said.

In terms of viewing time, cord-nevers watch almost twice as much streaming video as those with cable, at around eight hours a week compared to the latter group's 4.6 hours. Cord-cutters, however, are the most enthusiastic viewers, on 10.2 hours.

Earlier this year research firm SNL Kagan reported that pay-TV operators in the US had lost 625,000 video subscribers in the second quarter, which was the largest quarterly drop on record.

It's a trend that will not be reversed, given the growing number of options open to viewers. In response, networks like HBO and CBS have already launched standalone, online streaming services.

Data sourced from Ad Week; additional content by Warc staff


Aussies prefer digital finance

8 October 2015
SYDNEY: More than three quarters of Australians access financial services from their smartphone or tablet every month, making the country a key target market for fin-tech disruption.

Mobile online transactions are also soaring, as every month around 9m Australians are using e-commerce portals or shopping sites on their smartphone and 5m on their tablet, according to data from the Mobile Ratings Report from digital trade body IAB Australia and market research firm Nielsen.

Australia ranks fourth globally for the highest number of non-cash payments per person and top in Asia-Pacific, a recent report by consultancy Capgemini and bank RBS said. On average, Australians do more than 300 non-cash transactions each year.

And the number of non-cash payments in Australia is growing at around 7% every year, spurred by 'contactless' payments by card and phone for small purchase amounts.

In fact, research by Paypal claims that a quarter of Australians now refuse to shop at cash-only businesses, with more than half saying they find cash-only outlets inconvenient in a tap-and-go world.

Australians are also using their mobiles to search for financial information, with Commonwealth Bank, Paypal and Telstra ranked among the most visited sites from smartphones.

The IAB/Nielsen survey found that 12.5m Australians accessed the internet from smartphones and 7.4m via tablets. As of mid 2015, Australians spend just over 33 hours per person per month spent browsing or using apps.

According to the IAB PWC Online Advertising Expenditure Report issued in May 2015, close to one-third of all display digital advertising dollars in Australia was spent on mobile advertising in the March quarter of 2015.

Data sourced from IAB Australia, Sydney Morning Herald; additional content by Warc staff


India tops Warc Asia Prize shortlist

8 October 2015
SINGAPORE: A total of 39 entries have been shortlisted for the 2015 Warc Prize for Asian Strategy, with more than half of these coming from India.

Now in its fifth year, the Prize received more than 130 entries from across the region. The shortlist came from eight markets and from a mix of major networks and local independents, with budgets ranging from under £500,000 to more than £20m.

With 21 case studies, entries from India made up over   half the shortlist. China/Hong Kong and Singapore each supplied four entries and the Philippines three.

The full shortlist can be viewed on the Prize website, where Warc subscribers can also read the shortlisted papers.

"This shortlist shows the best of Asian strategy," said David Tiltman, Warc's Head of Content.

"What struck me was the variety of work – from small but smart ideas to major brand-building work across multiple markets. What unites these entries is fresh thinking that delivers real results."

The winners will be announced at an event in Mumbai on 29th October when a cash prize of $5,000 will be awarded to the Grand Prix winner for the most insightful marketing strategy in the region, plus five further Special Awards of $1,000 each.

The judging panel, made up of senior client-side marketers and agency-side strategy experts and chaired by BV Pradeep, Unilever's global vice president of consumer & market insight, is currently deciding which entries will be awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze awards, and which will take home the cash prizes.

All cases that win an award will be showcased in the Asia Strategy Report, a study of smart strategic thinking in the region published later this year.

Data sourced from Warc


Distribution key to B2B content

7 October 2015
LONDON: Creating timely, relevant content is a given for B2B marketers but it is only half the battle, a leading industry figure has argued.

"At least as much effort should be going into your distribution strategy as your content itself," according to Philip Trippenbach, digital strategist and planner at Edelman in London.

Writing in the current issue of Admap, the focus of which is B2B content marketing, he notes that customers are coming to businesses later and later in the purchase funnel while their media use is "fragmenting use into individual shards of personal web".

Marketers need to get good content to the top of key minds and get their message across with power and elegance, says Trippenbach. And he outlines a four-stage approach which takes in intelligence and analytics as well as content and delivery strategies.

Intelligence is essential to creating a content strategy – an understanding of customer interests will inform subsequent content creation. That in turn will need to be relevant to brand values and business goals and delivered in a format that will penetrate the media habits of the target audience.

"Ideally, content delivery channel is determined strategically across the full spectrum of communication modes," Trippenbach says.

So, paid, earned, owned and social media each have a role to play and when all four of these are properly integrated and deployed, "the result is that the people you need to reach see your content every time they go online, authentically embedded in their online experience".

Marketers also have to recognise that much of the online content people are consuming is determined by algorithms, so Trippenbach suggests they develop an understanding of the principles under which these systems operate.

In the fourth stage, accurately tracking and measuring how that content is performing enables marketers to both report effectively and to optimise further iterations as a campaign progresses.

"Bring it all together and you have powerful, emotionally engaging content, developed based on a genuine understanding of what your audience is thinking about," says Trippenbach.

"Best of all, it will be delivered to your key audiences through their personal web. With the right analytics in place, this content can be adjusted and tracked to reflect the evolving media environment."

Data sourced from Admap


Mars prioritises data ownership

7 October 2015
GLASGOW: Mars, the confectionery business, is placing greater emphasis on owning data and is considering setting up its own data management platform (DMP) to facilitate this, a leading executive has said.

"We need to understand why managing and keeping your own data is important," Dan Burdett, global brand director for Snickers, told The Drum.

"In the past, we, along with other companies, have fallen into the trap of allowing the data and information to be held by third parties," he said, a practice that had not been conducive to getting full value from the information.

Third parties, he suggested, "give you the bits of information that they're keen for you to see … while keeping the bits that they think are better for themselves".

It's a problem faced by many FMCG brands which don't own their own purchase channels and, in the case of snacks, are often bought on impulse.

As Derek Luddem, Mondelez area media manager for the UK, Ireland and Nordics, explained to Warc last year: "Where you own the point of [digital] consumer purchase then you can profile all those people who are actually buying."

Mars' own data, however, will not supply answers to all the questions to which it seeks answers, so it will continue to work with third-party data from businesses such as Facebook and Google to develop nuanced audience segmentations.

It may even take the process a step further and share its own audience insights with selected third parties. "We don't have a DMP but it's something we're looking at," said Burdett.

Mars has no shortage of data but problems arise in trying to make sense of it, interrogating it in different ways to generate insights.

"I think you can only interrogate that data in all those different ways if you have a proper data management platform in place," he said "And I think we need to set that up."

Data sourced from The Drum; additional content by Warc staff


More marketers personalise packaging

7 October 2015
NEW YORK: Marketers have noted the success of Coca-Cola's long-running Share A Coke campaign, with more food and drinks brands exploring how they can exploit packaging to connect with consumers.

The customised cans, with people's names replacing the soft drinks giant's logo, have been available in markets from Morocco to Mexico and have been credited with boosting sales by 2.5% while gaining more than one billion impressions on social media.

Beer brand Bud Light is running a variant on the idea with NFL team-themed cans for football supporters.

"Consumers – and more specifically millennials – love a customized, personalized experience, and leveraging packaging is the best way to tap into [that]", Alex Lambrecht, the brand's vice president, told Advertising Week.

Brian Rafferty, global director of research insights for branding firm Siegel+Gale, agreed that such an approach appealed to this group. "It makes people feel like the brand is more about them than about the brand," he said.

But Bud Light is hardly the first beer brand to go down this particular route. For the past two years Corona Extra has produced limited edition bottles featuring boxers and is now inviting fans to have their say on which fighters will be highlighted next.

Snickers' take on the trend works as an extension of its own long-running You're Not You When You're Hungry campaign. Like Coca-Cola the confectionery brand has swapped its logo on packaging, introducing 21 different moods associated with hunger, such as "cranky" or "sleepy".

"The goal was to take the magic of our [campaign] in-store and allow consumers to interact with it in a way that is truly ownable," explained Allison Miazga-Bedrick, Snickers brand director.

Personalisation is also the theme of the 2106 Admap Prize, announced yesterday. There is a $5,000 cash prize to the best essay addressing the subject "How should marketing adapt to the era of personalisation?"

Full details about the competition, which is free to enter, are available on the Admap Prize website. The closing date for entry is January 31, 2016.

Data sourced from Ad Week; additional content by Warc staff


Instant messaging passes social media

7 October 2015
HONG KONG: Globally, more people are now using instant messaging platforms every day than are using social networking sites, according to new research from TNS, and this trend is being led strongly by Asia.

The findings come from the market researcher's Connected Life study of over 60,000 internet users worldwide, which reported that popularity of instant messaging (IM) has soared over the past year, with a 12% uplift in daily usage as more people opt for closed messaging platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Viber.

More than half (55%) of global internet users are on IM platforms daily, compared to the 48% using a social networking site, and the figure is even higher in emerging 'mobile-first' markets.

In Asia, daily IM usage jumps to 77% in Malaysia, 76% in Singapore, 74% in Thailand, 73% in Hong Kong and 69% in both China and Taiwan; developed countries are lagging behind with just 39% in the UK and 35% in the US using IM platforms on a daily basis.

"Apps like Snapchat, WeChat, Line and WhatsApp are sweeping up new users every day, particularly younger consumers who want to share experiences with a smaller, specific group, rather than using public, mainstream platforms like Facebook or Twitter," said Joseph Webb, Global Director of Connected Life.

But that hasn't stopped social platforms continuing to grow, as TNS registered a 6% uplift in daily usage. Almost one third of global internet users (30%) say they use Facebook every day.

Newer platforms attract smaller audiences, but these tend to be more active, TNS reported. For example, 40% of Vine users and 44% of Snapchat users said they watched branded content on those platforms every week.

Webb urged brands using IM platforms to "share limited content that is genuinely relevant and valuable" and cited a recent breakfast promotion campaign Starbucks ran in WeChat as "a brilliant example".

This triggered a morning alarm and rewarded customers with a half-price breakfast if they arrived at the store within the hour.

Data sourced from TNS; additional content by Warc staff


Under Armour wins Jay Chiat Grand Prix

7 October 2015
NEW YORK: A campaign for Under Armour created by Droga5 has won the Grand Prix at the 2015 Jay Chiat Awards for Strategic Excellence.

It was presented yesterday at the 4A's Strategy Festival in New York. A shortlist of 35 entries in six categories was whittled down by the judges to include five Golds, seven Silvers and ten Bronzes, with Honorable Mentions for a further 13 campaigns.

Warc subscribers can read the winning case studies here.

Under Armour's I Will What I Want – which also took a Gold in the National category – set out to change the widespread perception among the public that it was a male sportswear brand, successfully turning it into a symbol of female athletic aspiration. (For further insights from Droga5 and the Chiat judges, read Warc's exclusive report: How Droga5 helped Under Armour win with female athletes.)

It looked at how women approach fitness and what it means to be a woman in the twenty-first century and translated this into a creative idea that connected the brand's performance values to the true stories of women today achieving success on their own terms.

The campaign put the brand at the heart of a cultural conversation, achieving a complete turnaround in connecting with its new target and a 28% sales increase.

Among the other winners, the Global Campaign Gold went to World Gallery, created by TBWA Media Arts Lab for the Apple iPhone 6.

Prestige, Procter & Gamble's beauty segment that includes prestige fragrances and the SK-II brand, took Gold in the Media category with Smell My Neck, devised by Starcom MediaVest Group.

Soft drinks giant Pepsi was honoured in the Product Service/Creation category for Dew Bottle Tool, created by Sancho BBDO/Direktor Films.

In the Non-profit category, Doctors of the World took a Gold for More Than A Costume, devised by Publicis NY. No Gold was awarded in the Regional category.

Data sourced from Jay Chiat; additional content by Warc staff


Young Malaysians are especially bored

7 October 2015
SINGAPORE: Young people often complain about being bored but more 12-24 year olds in Malaysia are bored than anywhere else in the world according to a new study.

MTV, the youth channel, surveyed 15,330 respondents in this age group across 26 markets, including six Asia Pacific countries – Australia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore – as well as carrying out qualitative face-to-face interviews in several cities, including Kuala Lumpur.

Mumbrella reported the finding that 83% of young Malaysians are bored, with around seven in ten claiming to suffer from ennui daily or several times a week.

Neighbouring Singapore also has a high proportion of jaded youth, with 78% experiencing high levels of boredom.

But across the Malacca Strait, Indonesia contains some of the world's least bored young people – just 53% there said they felt bored.

In a digitally connected world it seems extraordinary that boredom could be so widespread, especially when the study also highlighted the fact that media and entertainment – social media, music, films, YouTube clips – is the top way to alleviate the condition.

But, paradoxically, it appears that having constant internet access via connected devices leads to an overabundance of choice and this may actually be fuelling boredom.

Indeed, more respondents rated browsing the web as boring (40%) than they did school (39%) or work (33%).

Sixty percent also said they resented being bored, so much so that significant proportions would rather be feeling anxious (58%) or suffering from acne (53%). But boredom was still preferable to having no money, failing or being embarrassed.

"We thought boredom might barely exist for youth," said Kerry Taylor, international head of MTV, who said the survey results had come as a surprise.

She added that "insights like these reinforce the importance of cross-platform initiatives that unleash our audience's creativity and inspire them by tapping into what they're passionate about".

Boredom appears to be a solitary problem as most young people (95%) are least bored when with their friends. A similarly high proportion thought humour a good way to beat boredom, with creativity (85%) and curiosity (81%) also rating highly.

Data sourced from Mumbrella; additional content by Warc staff


Admap Prize 2016 launched

6 October 2015
LONDON: Admap, Warc's flagship magazine dedicated to thought leadership, today launches the Admap Prize 2016, offering a $5,000 cash prize to the best essay discussing how marketing can react to the trend towards personalisation.

The competition is free to enter and seeks to encourage and reward excellence in strategic thinking in brand communications.

Full details on the subject – "How should marketing adapt to the era of personalisation?" – as well as details about how to submit entries are available on the Admap Prize website. The closing date for entry is January 31, 2016.

Admap editor Colin Grimshaw remarked that personalisation had been a buzz topic in Cannes this year. "It is potentially the greatest opportunity for brands, and potentially changes everything for brand owners and agencies," he said.

For the former it may involve a new approach to how products and services are developed. Coca-Cola, for example, has offered personalised named cans and even enabled people to mix their own drinks through its Freestyle machines.

Research agencies will have to reconsider traditional notions of segmentation and demographics. Ann Lewnes, CMO, Adobe, has even suggested that "personalisation is really modern-day segmentation".

For creative agencies, effective personalisation could be a way to counter the growth of ad blocking.

Media agencies are already using personalisation in digital retargeting and mobile messaging, and there are also moves towards a more personalised approach to TV advertising.

But, Grimshaw added, the drive to personalisation also needs to recognise that great experiences are shared, and the traditional ways of building a mass audience through a shared cultural identity should not be devalued.

A distinguished panel of thought leaders from both the agency and client side will judge the entries and they include Marc Mathieu, chief marketing officer at Samsung Electronics America, and Ben Malbon, former planner and now marketing director at Google.

In addition to the $5,000 cash prize, essays awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze will be published in a special edition of Admap magazine and on warc.com.

Kantar will sponsor the Admap Prize for the fourth consecutive year.

Data sourced from Warc


Ad blocking could spur innovation

6 October 2015
NEW YORK: Worries about the impact of ad blocking on mobile may be overstated but continuing anxieties are likely to result in advertisers exploring new ways of getting their message across, industry figures have said.

A recent report suggested that "there has been no appreciable impact in the number of ads being delivered on iOS devices since ad blocking has been available in iOS 9", according to Dave Zinman, chief operating officer at RadiumOne.

He told Mobile Marketer there would need to be "a long term, sustained interest on the part of consumers to install ad blocking in order to have an appreciable impact".

Another factor is that mobile web advertising is most at risk but three quarters of mobile spending is on in-app ads, and Zinman noted that some verticals interacting with consumers primarily via apps – such as gaming and high-value media properties – stood to benefit from any downturn in web inventory.

Separately, Greg Portell, a partner in the communications, media and technology practice at consultants A.T. Kearney, thought that concerns over ad blocking would "encourage experimentation a bit more than normal".

He expected that sponsored content, such as branded and native, would see most activity. Location-based targeting is another area ripe for development.

"The ability to communicate meaningful content in the right context transcends ad blocking," he said. "The mobile aspect enhances the content by delivering it at the right time."

In the longer term there could be positives to take from ad blocking if marketers can apply themselves to finding effective new ways to reach consumers on mobile.

"Advertisers with deeper pockets and a more strategic view will seek opportunities which are less likely to be affected by ad blocking," said Damon Ragusa, CEO of ThinkVine, a provider of marketing optimisation software.

"The most strategic marketers will revisit their content, targeting, and media strategies, and challenge themselves to offer more relevant and rewarding audience experiences; in other words, they will focus on earning their audience," he said.

Data sourced from Mobile Marketer; additional content by Warc staff


LSMs 'not actionable information'

6 October 2015
JOHANNESBURG: Many South African marketers don't properly understand the Living Standards Measure (LSM) segmentation and are using it incorrectly, according to a leading industry figure.

Peter du Toit, CEO of market insights agency Brands Laduma, told BizCommunity that "LSMs are not actionable information", or at least not as a standalone measure.

He felt that marketers found it easier to simply assume that LSMs were "an equivalent measure of income, race or even the willingness to spend", when in fact they needed to be combined with various other datasets – such as language or life stage – to create meaningful segmentations of South African consumers.

This, he suggested, was particularly true when trying to reach township consumers, who tend to be bracketed as "poor but aspirational". Du Toit pointed out, however, that aspiration in the townships doesn't differ from aspiration anywhere else in the country.

"Township residents aren't a demographic, and they are certainly not an LSM bracket," he said, so "just about any kind of 'spray and pray' media campaign aimed at township residents is an example of doing it wrong".

Making assumptions based on incomplete data often served only to alienate the target audience, he said. "It is only by having a conversation every day with people you are researching that you can reliably say that you know who they are".

He noted that it was becoming easier to reach township residents via digital channels as more and more people were using Android devices.

"Social media activation is definitely becoming more of a possibility," he said, "but we still think that understanding and using township networks is more important."

He explained that townships have extensive networks and links built around a variety of organisations and suggested that "companies should be reaching into township communities to be able to affect the decision-making and conversations about them right where they happen".

Data sourced from BizCommunity; additional content by Warc staff


Number of OTT users growing slowly

6 October 2015
NEW YORK: The number of users of over-the-top (OTT) video in the US is growing only slowly with seven in ten internet users already using such services.

During 2015, according to new figures from researcher eMarketer, a total of 181m people in the US will watch video content streamed over the internet, a 4.6% increase on the previous year.

And growth will be even slower in each of the next four years as the total climbs to almost 200m in 2019.

Currently 69.7% of internet users are watching OTT material, a proportion that will edge upwards to 70.4% in 2016 and reach 72.1% three years later.

Nor will that time span see a surge in the percentage of digital video viewers turning to OTT services, as nine in ten already watch video content this way, mostly via YouTube.

This platform will reach 170.7m monthly video viewers in 2015, according to eMarketer estimates – that's 94.3% of all OTT video service users.

Other leading OTT services, such as Amazon, Hulu and Neflix, have lower penetration and, consequently, much faster growth.

A recent survey by Zogby Analytics found that not only were more and more Americans opting to use these alternative OTT platforms but a majority no longer expected cable or satellite TV to be widely used in five years' time.

The number of users of Netflix, for example, is projected by eMarketer to jump 20.4% this year to 114.3m. Growth at Amazon and Hulu is more modest but at 16.2% and 13.5% respectively they still boast significant numbers of users (65.2m and 59.9m).

Netflix penetration of OTT video service users is also well ahead of its rivals. It currently stands at 63.2% compared to Amazon's 36.0% and Hulu's 33.1%.

That lead will be maintained in coming years: by 2019, Netflix penetration will be 71.7%, while that of Amazon will be 44.4% and that of Hulu 41.2%.

Data sourced from eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff


Indian TV optimistic on festive season

6 October 2015
MUMBAI: India's television broadcasters are expecting ad revenues to grow by up to 25% over the coming festive season, led by spending in the ecommerce, automobile and handset categories.

Exchange4Media spoke to a number of top broadcast executives and found them optimistic about the outlook for the next few months, with the activity in certain sectors being accompanied by an extended festive period and increased advertising rates.

"The industry, overall, is expected to increase ad spends by 10-15% during the festive season," said Ashwin Padmanabhan, COO, Reliance Broadcast Network. "The prime time ad spots for TV are expected to increase by about 20–25%," he added.

Similarly, Ashish Sehgal, chief sales officer, ZEEL, anticipated 25% growth in ad revenues, while Rohit Gupta, president, MSM, predicted an increase of between 20% and 30% across the network's channels.

One chief revenue officer pointed out that the longer three-month season was a factor and added that ecommerce businesses were not only increasing their spending but planning it better.

There was widespread agreement that ecommerce would likely contribute the most to TV advertising revenues, although thereafter opinions diverged.

"I think ecommerce followed by automobile will be the two big spenders in this festive period," said the revenue head from Times Network. "This would be followed by the handset category. We will also see a lot of festive spends from the telecom brands this year." At Reliance, it was ecommerce followed by FMCG and consumer durables.

Anuj Poddar, evp/project head regional channels for Colors Marathi and Colors Gujarati, also saw ecommerce and FMCG spending on the rise, the latter "both in terms of each player spending more, and more of them getting active". And he added jewellery and films to the list of categories he thought would be spending more.

Another reason for the rise in festive revenues for broadcasters is the lift in ad rates: Poddar reported an average hike of 30% to 35% in September "and despite that we are running full (inventory)".

Others were less ambitious, with a 10% to 15% increase in rates appearing more likely.

Warc's latest Media Inflation forecast, calculated using a survey of four global media agencies, expects the price of an Indian TV spot to rise 11% for 2015 as a whole, and a further 13% over the course of 2016.

Warc's International Ad Forecast put Indian TV ad revenue at US$2.2bn in 2014, with an average growth rate of +8.1% expected this year and next.

Data sourced from Exchange4Media; additional content by Warc staff


Rugby tops Aussie rules in ratings

6 October 2015
SYDNEY: Fears that Sunday's all-Queensland encounter in the National Rugby League (NRL) grand final would hit viewing figures proved exaggerated as the game attracted more viewers than the previous day's Australian Football League (AFL) grand final.

On a big sporting weekend in Australia – which included the Rugby [Union] World Cup clash between Australia and England – the NRL final gained a national audience of 3.667m compared to the AFL's 3.523m, Mumbrella reported.

And at its peak, 4.4m were watching the NRL final, the result of which was in doubt until the final kick. Viewership of a rather more one-sided AFL final topped out at 3.9m.

When looking at the figures for the five city metros, however, the lack of a Sydney team clearly had an effect on the numbers viewing the NRL game: 2.437m watched it compared to the 2.635m watching the AFL final.

According to Ashley Earnshaw, Carat Sydney's head of investment, sport is a key driver of audience on free-to-air TV.

"Event TV such as live sport finals doesn't get any bigger and is still the strength of the linear TV set," he told Ad News.

But, he also put the weekend's events in context, pointing out that, in the US, the Superbowl draws nearly a third of the US population while less than one fifth of Australians watched the NRL final.

Despite that, a captive audience is a big draw for advertisers, who can expect to pay a huge premium if buying airtime on a spot basis.

"The in-game breaks are so premium they're generally reserved for sponsors/partners only and even they are booked in across a four-hour window," Earnshaw explained. "You can also only gain access to the Grand Final if you buy a package across the season."

An assessment of social media activity around the games found that the NRL came out on top there as well, with a reported 106,000 peak mentions against the AFL's 92,000.

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


Sustainable brands sought in Singapore

6 October 2015
SINGAPORE: Sustainability is on the agenda for brands as Singaporean consumers push back against South East Asia's continued haze crisis.

For the past forty years, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia have been annually enveloped by choking haze from seasonal 'burn-offs' in rural Indonesia to clear forests for palm oil planting.

As the 2015 season stretches into its fifth week, Singaporean consumers are looking toward brands that avoid unsustainably harvested palm oil.

Research suggests that Singaporeans are increasingly likely to consider sustainability when making purchase decisions. In a survey conducted among 1,271 Singaporean consumers in June, furniture company IKEA found that more than half indicated that they planned to buy food that is sustainably sourced in future.

Local non-governmental organisations such as World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-Singapore) and the Singapore Environment Council (SEC) are seeking to capitalise on a more 'green' shopper, urging consumers to support companies with a sustainable, environmentally friendly approach to production.

WWF-Singapore's "We Breathe What We Buy" campaign urges consumers and businesses to fight the haze by pledging to avoid products that use palm oil and support WWF's efforts to educate companies about sustainable palm oil harvesting methods.

The ongoing campaign aims to collect 50,000 pledges from consumers to support companies that go "haze-free" including TV spots, online video and outdoor. Billboards look from a distance like lipstick, pizza or toothpaste, but upon closer examination reveal burning forests.

3M has donated thousands of air filtration masks to be given away to people who take the WWF pledge.

Unilever Vice President for Procurement, Biswaranjan Sen, reiterated in comments to Singapore's TODAY newspaper that Singaporean consumers are equally concerned about the effects of climate change.

"If you went out to speak to Singaporeans or Indonesians in Jakarta, our experience is that consumers are concerned about climate change and want to see corporates do the right thing," he said.

Sports brands have in the past used the haze crisis as a marketing opportunity, with Adidas, for example, giving away daily free gym passes to Singaporeans based on that day's Pollution Score Index.

Nike took a more direct approach in Jakarta, "hacking" the city to inspire people to get involved in a 10km run that took over high-traffic areas.

Data sourced from Marketing, TODAY; additional content by Warc staff


Apple is best global brand

5 October 2015
NEW YORK: Tech businesses dominate Interbrand's latest Best Global Brands report with Apple taking the number one spot and Google, Microsoft and Samsung also featuring in the top ten.

Interbrand's rankings are based on its assessment of the financial performance of branded products or services, the role the brand plays in influencing consumer choice and the strength the brand has to command a premium price, or secure earnings for the company.

On these measures Apple has leapt ahead in the past year following the launch of the iPhone6. Its brand value has increased 43% to $170.3bn, stretching its lead over second-placed Google, whose brand value rose a more modest 12% to $120.3bn.

In fifth spot, Microsoft's value had risen 11% to $67.6bn, while that of seventh-placed Samsung had hardly changed on $45.3bn.

Soft drinks business Coca-Cola was the highest ranked non-tech brand, in third place. Its brand value as calculated by Interbrand was $78.4bn, down 4% on 2014.

In fifth place was business services company IBM, whose value had dropped 10% to $65.1bn.

Toyota flew the flag for the automotive sector in sixth place: its $49bn valuation was 16% up on the previous year.

GE, the conglomerate, was in eighth place, valued at $42.3bn, down 7% on 2014, while restaurant chain McDonald's took ninth spot, its valuation falling 6% to $39.8bn.

All the above had featured in Interbrand's 2014 top ten and the only new entrant this year was online retailing giant Amazon, which came in tenth with a sharply increased valuation of $37.9bn – 29% up on the previous year.

While tech brands dominated the upper reaches of the list, Interbrand also observed a resurgence among traditional and heritage brands as they connected with customers in different ways to remain relevant.

This included "an old favourite" making a first appearance in the top 100: Mini, the auto brand now owned by BMW, appeared in 98th spot with a valuation of $4.2bn.

Other new entrants to the top 100 included toy brand Lego (82nd, $5.4bn), financial services business PayPal (97th, $4.3bn), Champagne brand Moët & Chandon (99th, $4.1bn) and Chinese tech business Lenovo (100th, $4.1bn).

China's representation on the list is increasing, which Interbrand noted was symbolic of the continuing shift in China away from a manufacturing-based economy to the development of innovative local brands.

Data sourced from Interbrand; additional content by Warc staff


Difficult weekend for sports sponsors

5 October 2015
LONDON/ZURICH: Football sports sponsors have flexed their muscles to demand the departure of FIFA president Sepp Blatter while rugby sponsors are counting the cost of the early exit of the England team from the World Cup.

On Friday night, Coca-Cola made an unprecedented intervention into the corruption scandal that has engulfed football's global governing body.

"For the benefit of the game, the Coca-Cola Company is calling for FIFA president Joseph Blatter to step down immediately so that a credible and sustainable reform process can begin in earnest," the company said in a statement.

"Every day that passes, the image and reputation of FIFA continues to tarnish. FIFA needs comprehensive and urgent reform, and that can only be accomplished through a truly independent approach," it added.

Three other leading sponsors – McDonald's, Visa and Budweiser – expressed similar sentiments in what appeared to be a co-ordinated strategy aimed at protecting their multi-billion dollar investment in the sport. Adidas and Kia declined to take part, the Guardian reported.

Rugby sponsors, meanwhile, had more familiar problems to deal with as England lost to Australia in the Rugby World Cup meaning the host nation will no longer play a part in the competition.

Tournament sponsors are expected to be relatively unaffected. "Their campaigns are non-partisan, multi-territory, and designed to evolve with the tournament" explained Tim Crow, CEO at sponsorship innovators Synergy.

Not so for those which have backed individual teams, such as O2 which sponsors England. "In an instant O2's campaign becomes a signifier for England's failure," he told Marketing.

The team had earlier lost to Wales and Tim Collins, co-managing director at sports marketing consultancy Octagon, said that "O2's Make them Giants and #weartherose campaigns will cease immediately only to reappear on social media in bastardised versions cleverly reconstructed by smug Welsh fans".

He expected that O2 would have contingency plans in place "but that won't hide the financial impact of not being able to capitalise on the pointy end of the tournament".

"For brands aligned to England … the opportunity to activate is virtually over," he said.

Data sourced from Guardian, Marketing; additional content by Warc staff


Marketing activity growth slows

5 October 2015
LONDON: Global marketing activity continues to grow, albeit at a slowing pace, and the generally optimistic headline figure for September's Global Marketing Index (GMI) disguises some very different regional and media outlooks.

At 55.0, last month's headline Index was only marginally down on August's 55.1 – where a reading of 50 indicates no change and 60+ suggests rapid growth.

Compiled by World Economics, the GMI provides a unique monthly indicator of the state of the global marketing industry because it tracks current conditions for marketers as well as their expectations for budgets and staffing levels.

All regions experienced growth, with Europe continuing to perform most strongly: its headline Index was up from 56.4 to 57.5. Asia-Pacific dipped from 54.3 to 54.1 while the Americas fell dropped from 54.5 to 52.8.

The aggregated America's GMI value, however, hid a rising trend in marketing activity in North America, balanced by falling marketing spending in South America, caused primarily by falling economic activity in Brazil.

Europe also led the way in the marketing budgets index, which was up 0.5 percentage points to 55.0, while that of Asia-Pacific was down marginally to 51.4.

Once again the Americas brought up the rear with an Index of 48.3 and once again the experiences of North and South America were very different.

Looking at particular media, digital and mobile recorded global Index values of 74.0 and 71.3 respectively, indicating high growth. Both were up on their August values and both grew strongly across all regions.

Television, in contrast, registered an Index of 46.4, indicating a fall in the value of resources spent on the medium. Europe bucked the trend, however, with a slight increase to 51.7, a figure that stood in stark contrast to the 39.0 recorded in the Americas.

"Traditional media continue to suffer as a result of the expansion of digital and mobile, but TV in the Americas hit its lowest recorded level," noted Ed Jones, World Economics Chief Executive.

"This does not augur well for the future of the medium in other regions," he added.

Data sourced from World Economics; additional content by Warc staff


Experiential taps passions

5 October 2015
NEW YORK: Experiential marketing taps consumer passions in the true sense of the word and offers a possible way around the growing practice of ad blocking, a leading industry figure has suggested.

Lucien Boyer, global president and CEO of Havas Sports & Entertainment, described it as "the logic of immersion".

Whether it was football, movies or music, "[f]or those two hours you are away from your normal life. It's the moment you've been waiting for all week long, where you forget – it's that intense engagement," he told Ad Exchanger.

And through experiential marketing, brands could help fans get better access to those passions, perhaps by getting them backstage at a concert or telling them a previously unheard story.

"If you do it properly, it creates a long-lasting, sincere relationship with your target audience," he stated.

And a relationship like that could be vital to brands in a world cluttered by advertising.

"People aren't ready to be imposed upon by things that they are not interested in, which is why they are doing ad blocking," said Boyer. "Especially for the younger generation – they're not going to pay attention at all if you don't start with something they like."

But becoming a participant in people's conversations doesn't come easy. "You need to bring something to the game that is enhancing the experience of the fan," he explained.

The rewards for brands come in a number of ways including access to valuable data.

Boyer noted how many people were unhappy with the idea of brands searching through private data, "[b]ut when it comes to passions, they are very open  ... That's because when you are in your passion, you are yourself, and you're sincerer".

And if the data collected is meaningful it can provide a competitive edge, allowing brands to adapt the way they communicate services and products.

"This is a way to profile consumers," said Boyer. "And it's not about doing branded entertainment on the side. This should be in mainstream advertising."

Data sourced from Ad Exchanger; additional content by Warc staff


How marketing fits into gaming

5 October 2015
NEW YORK: Of all new media, gaming may be among the least explored and least understood, but a new study in the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR) offers advice for brands both in this sector and beyond.

In the September issue of JAR, Frank Alpert (University of Queensland Business School, Australia) and M. Kim Saxton (Indiana University's Kelley School of Business) assess whether video-game marketers should produce multiple messages for different target segments for the same product.

They begin with the presumption that gaming is a magnet for younger consumers. But, the authors insist, younger cohorts come in a variety of sizes and shapes, all of which have disparate interests that cannot be easily grouped under one heading.

In fact, the marketing researchers write, such audiences almost demand a separate sample set, in that they are under constant siege with a variety of messages from media that have absolutely no impact on product decisions for older audiences.

Can Multiple New-Product Messages Attract Different Consumer Segments? Gaming Advertisements' Interaction with Targets Affects Brand Attitudes and Purchase Intentions investigates, specifically, "whether video-game marketers should leverage different messages for different target segments for the same product".

Alpert and Saxton use gaming media to dig down into a concern that brand stewards share about both new and legacy media: when trying to engage a prospective consumer, is the marketer best advised to use a single, consistent message? Or does leveraging a variety of appeals increase the overall appeal?

The gaming study demonstrated that "purchase intentions were enhanced when a segment saw its dedicated advertisement after seeing the other segment's advertisements. Further, this enhancement happened not only from internal processes but also because the advertisements interacted."

For marketers, the paper concludes, the implication is clear: "The safest recommendation might then be to seek broad exposure of primary segment advertisement, then narrow exposure of secondary segment advertisement while carefully developing the secondary advertisement to be acceptable to the primary segment."

Data sourced from Warc


APAC cautious on Facebook's TRP plan

5 October 2015
SYDNEY: Agencies and advertisers in Asia are choosing to remain cautious as Facebook makes a play for more ad dollars and positions itself as a complementary mobile channel to TV.

The social media giant has partnered with Nielsen to launch a new advertising product, Target Rating Points Buying, which will allow buyers to integrate and measure campaigns across both television and Facebook.

Facebook confirmed to Campaign Asia-Pacific that the new product will initially be available in Australia only, with no current plans to roll it out across wider Asia.

Brands can plan a campaign with Target Rating Points in mind as they usually would, then allocate and buy those TRPs directly with Facebook.

Options for video GRP buying have been available in in parts of Asia since early 2013 when TubeMogul, ComScore and Nielsen launched measurement platforms bringing TV planning tools into the online space.

In markets that consume a lot of video, such as Singapore, a roll out could definitely affect traditional TV budgets, said Giles Henderson, Director – Media and Channels at VML Qais. Digital video and social media has greater penetration in Singapore than TV advertising, numbers which could prompt brands to rethink their strategy in the South East Asian market if the product was launched there.

Derek Laney, head of product marketing for Salesforce in Asia-Pacific, was skeptical. "Reality is, brands aren't going to just transfer their above-the-line budgets straight to digital and try to do the exact same thing and try to blanket Facebook with 'try my product' messages," he told Campaign Asia-Pacific.

Asia is the fastest growing region for Facebook, with the number of users in the area grew 21% over the year to June 2015.

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


Indian online retail outpaces physical

5 October 2015
KOLKATA: The online retail sector in India is growing between four and six times as fast as other more traditional retail formats as shoppers flock to online marketplaces, a study has claimed.

A report by property consultant Colliers International and researcher Frost & Sullivan said that online retail grew 40% in 2013-14, compared to the 10-12% registered by organised physical retail and the 6-7% recorded by bricks-and-mortar retail.

And while e-tailing is still relatively new to India and so growing from a low base, it is having a profound impact on the country's retail sector as leading physical retail brands adopt an omnichannel approach and smaller neighbourhood stores get co-opted into the distribution chain for online purchases.

"Retail across channels has the potential to grow over the next two decades," according to Rakesh Biyani, joint managing director, Future Retail.

"Any retailer that will create an omnichannel retail presence will most likely get a bigger share of the growth in consumption," he told the Business Standard.

A separate report from consulting firm TechSci Research suggested that the Indian ecommerce market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 36% over the next five years, driven by increased penetration of smartphones and continuing significant discounts from the leading ecommerce players who are battling for market share.

Karan Chechi, research director with TechSci Research, observed that a young workforce had little time to indulge in traditional shopping habits and this further increased the potential for online shopping.

TechSci Research also noted that improvements in the payment structure were making a difference. "Consumers in India are gradually shifting towards [the] online space and are shedding their belief of [the] online shopping medium being unsafe," the firm said.

In this context, Colliers International and Frost & Sullivan pinpointed the offer of cash on delivery as a "game changer" for e-tailing.

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


EU brands not OK on CX

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Convenience trend hits promotions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff


L'Oreal taps digital influencers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Warc


Mobile network blocks ads

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff


Social media matures

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from GfK MRI; additional content by Warc staff


Blog: Asian marketers need to be mobile-first

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



Brands experiment with 'danmu'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff


Social sharing drives mobile video

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Exchange4Media; additional content by Warc staff


Digital enhances WOM in Malaysia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Social boosts local: comScore chief

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from JAR; additional content by Warc staff


VW in 'self-serve' option for UK drivers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


S African shoppers seek new experiences

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Scroll speed is 'viewability baseline'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Aussie bloggers bag brand rewards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Private label threat to top CPG brands

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Catalina; additional content by Warc staff


Regional languages boost effectiveness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Social, smartphones drive Vietnam youth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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