UK programmatic spend surges

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wimbledon sponsors miss the spot

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff


Marketers seek second-party data

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Holiday Inn targets 'lookalikes'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Warc


US adspend dips in Q1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Business Wire; additional content by Warc staff


WOM vital for Chinese tourists

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from GfK; additional content by Warc staff


India's 'click farms' under spotlight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Data can help create empathy

29 June 2015
CANNES: There is a tension between data and creativity, but its capacity to create greater empathy through personalisation should inspire marketers, according to an Admap and Kantar panel held at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

An event celebrating the 2015 Admap Prize explored the intersection of data and creativity with Marc Mathieu, a member of the judging panel.

The Admap Prize is an essay competition which rewards excellence in strategic thinking. This year's question was along a similar theme to the panel: "Does Big Data inspire or hinder creative thinking?"

"Data has the ability to 'de-average' advertising," said Mathieu. "It offers personalisation."

He also argued for the human element of data. "If you go to the Uber website, you don't see data – you see people. Imagine the typical cab experience these days – it's not really human. With Uber, you know the driver's name and he knows yours. Tech allows for more empathy."

Mathieu observed a new value exchange around data. "It's not about Big Data, it's about personal data. And as an industry, we need to embrace that. It's not our data."

"Brands don't get built in the way they used to. The Googles and Apples of this world are the biggest brands. And we bring these brands into our life in 'micro moments' when we need them – because they know and anticipate what we need."

"We need to be powered with an understanding of them that could not be touched without technology and data."

"If we use it in a way to target people and sell them something, that will backfire. If we use it intelligently, it will change the way that marketing is done."

This year's Admap Prize was won by Ben Essen, head of planning at Iris Worldwide, who argued in his essay that the term Big Data reinforces the creativity-hindering idea that more data can give us more certainty.

Data sourced from Warc


Digital, mobile shift emphasised

29 June 2015
GLOBAL: Digital and mobile continue to be the focus of marketing budgets according to the latest Global Marketing Index (GMI) which shows no end to the downward trajectory of traditional media.

The headline GMI registered an average 55.3 points in May – where a reading of 50 indicates no change and 60+ suggests rapid growth. This was a slight decline on the previous two months but still a clear sign that marketers across the world experienced increased business activity.

There were modest variances across the regions, with Asia-Pacific's index of 54.7 representing a 1.3 point decline on the previous month. Europe slipped back 0.2 points to 55.7 while the Americas edged up 0.6 points to 55.8. These figures are based on a three month moving average to mitigate abnormal seasonal variations.

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 trading conditions, marketing budgets and staffing levels.

The key most significant finding of the June survey was that the allocation of marketing budgets assigned to TV continued falling, for the seventh month in a row, with an index value of 46.8, below the 50.0 'no change' level.

TV's falling share has been particularly severe in the Americas with an index value registered of only 40.1. The last month of TV growth in this region was recorded 12 months ago. TV expenditure also declined in the Asia-Pacific region with an index recorded of 45.0.

This decline was mirrored by falls in the marketing budgets allocated to OOH (48.5), radio (41.2) and press (33.8).

In contrast, internet media saw their share of marketing budgets growing rapidly in June, with an index value of 77.1 for digital and 73.9 for mobile. Very strong growth was experienced across all regions in these media.

"The Headline Global Marketing Index reading for June indicates that marketing activity is still growing across the world and in all regions," said Ed Jones, World Economics chief executive.

"Marketing budgets are still expanding and spending on mobile and digital media continue to take a rapidly growing share, while other media are declining."

Data sourced from World Economics; additional content by Warc staff


Kellogg to boost mobile spend

29 June 2015
NEW YORK: Kellogg, the food group, is planning to boost its expenditure on mobile in reflection of changing shopper habits.

Christian Thompson, the company's senior director/shopper insights, discussed this subject at the 2015 Market Research in the Mobile World conference in New York.

"First off, we're thinking about our investment in mobile," he reported. (For more, including further shopper insights, read Warc's exclusive report: Research leads Kellogg into a mobile future.)

With its research showing that wireless devices have an increasingly important role on the path to purchase, the owner of Fruit Loops, MorningStar Farms and Pringles is now adapting to the evolving consumer landscape.

"Today, we invest in some areas of mobile usage. But it [has been] pretty minimal," Thompson told the MRMW delegates.

"Now we're shifting our dollars, and our marketing dollars, over from the traditional-side of things – on the TV commercials, and the feel-good things about Fruit Loops, and all that good stuff – into mobile, but in a strategic way."

The company's spending priorities will incorporate, in the first instance, products that frequently prompt its clientele to "interact on mobile".

Similarly, the Battle Creek, Michigan-based firm will look to categories where significant numbers of customers are "willing to participate" in this way – examples of which include meat-replacement products.

Discovering the retailers that "play really well in the mobile shopping arena" has been another central element of the organisation's mobile-focused research.

Chains that provide free WiFi, for example, tend to see higher levels of in-store engagement than their counterparts failing to offer such a service.

Added Thompson, "We're going to shift those retail dollars over to that. Now, it's not going to be all of them. But it is a sizeable shift in our aspect when it comes to our dollars." 

Data sourced from Warc


Google addresses accidental clicks

29 June 2015
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA: Google is looking to "maximize click quality" on mobile ads by blocking certain types of inadvertent clicking that lead to frustration for consumers and to increased costs for advertisers.

"Even as smartphone and tablet screen sizes get bigger, it can be hard for our fingers to keep up," said Pasha Nahass, Google mobile display ads product manager, in a blog post. "It's still so easy to click when you mean to swipe or to tap on a link or ad you didn't mean to."

A survey of 1,000 smartphone users by consulting firm PwC last autumn showed that almost half (49%) had clicked on a mobile ad by accident.

The same study revealed that 9% had clicked on an ad intentionally but had not viewed it all, while just 6% had clicked on an ad intentionally and subsequently interacted with the brand; 37% said they had never clicked on a mobile ad.

"As we continue to enhance our display ad formats to make them more engaging, we also strive to maximize click quality," Nahass added.

The latest improvements mean that smartphone users will have to click on the central part of the image to get to an advertiser's site or app. Google said it had identified the border area as being particularly prone to accidental clicks during scrolling.

There will also be a slight delay before ads become clickable, a period long enough, Google said, to give users time to assess the ad's content and to eliminate accidental clicks by people who hadn't expected to see an ad.

A third refinement will means that when users see in-app interstitial ads they will not be able to click the app icon of an install ad because of its proximity to the 'ad close' button. Instead, users will have to click on the call-to-action button to go to the app store page and install the app.

Not only should these steps reduce costs to advertisers as they will have to pay for fewer unintended clicks, but conversion rates should also increase. Google reported a 15% average conversion rate lift on ads that have included these updates.

Data sourced from Google, AdWeek; additional content by Warc staff


Asia is a unique app market

29 June 2015
ASIA: The mobile app economy in Asia grew 77% last year, according to a new study which described this level of growth as "astounding" given it was starting from an already large base.

Flurry Analytics, the mobile analytics specialist, focused its attention on Asia where it tracks 610m monthly active devices and found that the surge in app sessions in the 12 months to April 2015 was being driven by three categories in particular.

Shopping & Lifestyle saw a 278% increase in session year on year, followed by News & Reading (+134%) and Utilities and Productivity (+89%). 

These are all consumer categories that provide a clue about the growing purchasing power and sophistication in the region, Chris Klotzbach, head of product marketing noted in a blog post.

Users in Asia have started to adapt their app usage for purposes beyond the traditional gaming and entertainment functions, he added. The Messaging & Social (+42%), Music, Media & Entertainment (+40%) and Games (+25%) categories were still growing, albeit at a much slower rate than before.

Games still led in one respect, however, as some 25% of mobile app time is spent in these activities. Shopping & Lifestyle was in second place (19%) followed by Utilities and Productivity (17%).

When Flurry carried out an analysis on engagement by gender, it found that Asia was unique, especially in the Photography, Lifestyle & Shopping, and Personalization categories.

While the majority of Asia's photography app users were women (81%), men were 1.9 times more likely to use photography apps than men in the rest of the world.

Women similarly dominated the Shopping & Lifestyle category in terms of use, but were also 1.4 times more likely to shop in mobile apps compared to women globally.

Finally, personalisation app users worldwide are heavily skewed towards men (81%) but this is not the case in Asia where usage is split more or less evenly (51% v 49%).

This means that women in Asia were 2.7 times likely than the global female average to use personalisation apps.

Data sourced from Flurry Analytics; additional content by Warc staff


Labelling costs beer brands

29 June 2015
NEW YORK: Anheuser-Busch InBev has agreed to adjust the labelling on its Beck's beer brand following the settlement of a class-action lawsuit which will also see the world's largest brewer refunding drinkers who mistakenly thought they were consuming imported beer.

Originally brewed in Bremen, Germany, production for the US market moved to St Louis in 2012 but the packaging continued to highlight its German ancestry with phrases such as 'originated in Bremen' and 'German quality' which, it was alleged, gave consumers a false impression of where the beer had been made.

"We believe our labelling, packaging and marketing of Beck's have always been truthful, transparent and in compliance with all legal requirements," said Jorn Socquet, vp/marketing at Anheuser-Busch.

He added that a compromise had been reached, under which the Made in the USA label will be made more prominent on bottles and boxes.

It is not the first time the brewer has run into such problems, as a similar case last year, also heard in a Miami court, argued that it had misrepresented to consumers that Kirin Ichiban and Kirin Light beers were brewed in and imported from Japan when in fact they were produced in the USA but priced as a premium imported beer.

The Wall Street Journal highlighted the price differentials involved: true imported brands can cost 20% more than overseas brands now brewed in the US, and these in turn can command a 15% premium over domestic beers.

Other overseas brands, including Foster's (Australia), Red Stripe (Jamaica), also play on their heritage while being brewed in the US. Japanese brand Sapporo has taken a different tack, being brewed in Canada and so allowing cans and bottles sold in the US to be legitimately labelled as imported.

The distinction could be potentially expensive for Anheuser-Busch. It will have to pay around $3.5m in legal fees while Beck's drinkers who can produce valid receipts can claim a refund of up to $50; even those without receipts can claim up to $12.

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


HUL opens up Kan Khajura Tesan

29 June 2015
MUMBAI: Hindustan Unilever (HUL) has indicated it will allow external advertisers to use Kan Khajura Tesan, the successful and award-winning channel it has developed to promote its brands across remoter parts of India.

"In the journey of taking Kan Khajura Tesan forward as an ever growing marketing platform we are now opening it up for brands beyond HUL's own," a company spokesman told the Economic Times.

"This will allow the platform to grow and help marketers reach out to media-dark consumers who were difficult to reach before."

The platform essentially operates as a radio station for mobile: in villages where traditional media are non-existent or unreliable, mobile owners can, via a missed call, access an entertainment channel which also carries ads for HUL brands such as Lux or Fair & Lovely.

Since its launch in October 2013, Kan Khajura Tesan has gained 35m subscribers across India, supplied 900m minutes of consumer engagement in media-dark regions and enabled ads for HUL products to be heard 45m times. Refinements to the station mean it can also now push personalised content as dictated by user preferences.

Kan Khajura Tesan was named the best marketing strategy in the world in this year's Warc 100 and at last week's Cannes festival it won a Bronze Lion in the Creative Effectiveness Awards.

At a Cannes panel session hosted by Warc, Anaheeta Goenka, executive director at Lowe Lintas + Partners which co-created the campaign, explained that as the target audience had to dial a number on their phones to access the channel, getting people to remember this number was the sole focus of the campaign's advertising.

"The challenge to us was to use popular culture to make the number unique and sticky," she said. "So we created a character – the 'Kan Khajura', an insect – with the number spelled out on its body. And the character went everywhere."

Kan Khajura Tesan is already the biggest radio station in Bihar and with non-HUL brands being permitted to use it the FMCG giant is emerging as a de facto media owner.

Details of which brands will be airing ads and the deals on offer are yet to be revealed. The spokesman only said that "the nature of the tie-ups will be on a case-to-case basis as per the requirement of the partnering brands".

Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff


Memorability key for top-awarded cases

26 June 2015
CANNES: Campaigns that go on to win strategy and effectiveness awards tend to aim for memorability above all else, according to a panel session hosted by Warc at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

The session celebrated campaigns ranked highly in the Warc 100, the annual ranking of the world's top campaigns based on their performance across 87 effectiveness and strategy awards. It discussed research on the Warc 100 that showed that the top-ranked campaigns tend to feature more media channels than the norm, use storytelling and link online and offline media effectively.

Anaheeta Goenka, executive director at Lowe Lintas + Partners, discussed Kan Khajura Tesan, which was ranked the number one campaign this year. This work, for the agency's Hindustan Unilever client, created a new entertainment channel via users' feature phones.

As the target audience, media-dark people in rural India, had to dial a number on their phones to access the channel, getting people to remember this number was the sole focus of the campaign's advertising. Lowe achieved this through a cartoon mascot, a catchy jingle and colourful creative.

"The challenge to us was to use popular culture to make the number unique and sticky," she added. "So we created a character – the 'Kan Khajura', an insect – with the number spelled out on its body. And the character went everywhere."

Goenka added: "Being culturally relevant really helped us. In our over-crowded content space, too many people aim to create an impact. But what's really effective is being memorable."

Also ranked high in the Warc 100 this year was Ship My Pants, created by FCB Chicago for Kmart, a US retailer.

While the target audience and media used were very different, the agency's head of planning John Kenny explained that memorability was also the key aim for the campaign.

Research on what Kmart shoppers liked to share on Facebook showed a love for bawdy humour – very different to fans of rivals such as Target and Wal-Mart. So FCB created a "gloriously stupid" strategy based on potty humour, Kenny told the audience.

"It was not about changing attitudes," he added. "It's to get them to go to Kmart. The challenge with store to home is that everyone had forgotten about it. So a huge part of the campaign was about making it memorable."

The full Warc 100 results for this year are available to all, as is a sample of our Warc 100 analysis discussed in Cannes.

Data sourced from Warc


Brands play 'incredible role' in culture

26 June 2015
LONDON: As 135,000 people trek to a Somerset farm for the weekend, the UK's summer festival season has officially started and brands have an important role to play in making this a success.

The Glastonbury festival is now far removed from its alternative roots when 1,500 people paid £1 (plus free milk) to see T.Rex play. This year's festival-goers will have shelled out £225 for the opportunity to see hundreds of acts on a multitude of stages along with the chance to hear the Dalai Lama give a talk.

And the participation of brands such as The Guardian, EE and Orange helps make the creation of a temporary town in the English countryside possible.

Metallica headlined the main stage at Glastonbury last year and drummer Lars Ulrich was in Cannes this week to explain how the band has changed its attitude towards working with brands. Where once it was "no f***ing way", he said that "we're definitely open to it now", Billboard reported.

One example of the band's new win-win thinking came when it teamed up with Coke Zero to play a gig in Antarctica. Similarly, DJ David Guetta says that if collaborations are approached in the right manner then a synergy can be achieved that benefits both sides.

"I believe we've come to a stage where brands are the number one content and experience producers," he told The Drum. "So, when I work with a brand, it gives me a platform to offer my fans something unique: either a crazy piece of content or an unbelievable experience."

And while "brands can play an incredible role in culture", he cautioned against them expecting the artist to be a salesman: "both parties have to meet half-way – they have to imagine a story that puts the consumer at the very centre. That's the only way to make it authentic for both the brand and the talent at the same time."

A report last year from music agency Frukt – Brands & Bands: The Value Exchange – also emphasised the need for artists not to see brand tie-ups as simply a paycheck. Its survey pointed to brand partnerships becoming "an integral part of an artist's overall career trajectory".

Data sourced from The Drum, Billboard, Frukat; additional content by Warc staff


Cautious eye cast on neuromarketing

26 June 2015
NEW YORK: Even as the practice of neuroscience in marketing brings more tools to brand stewards worldwide, the certainty that such services will provide reliable value is still in doubt, according to a report in the latest issue of the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR).

Duane Varan and Steven Bellman (Murdoch University/Audience Labs), Annie Lang (Indiana University/The Media School), Patrick Barwise (London Business School) and René Weber (University of California, Santa Barbara) discussed this idea in a Viewpoint piece in JAR.

"New neuromarketing methods that potentially can predict advertising effectiveness face a daunting process," the authors write.

"Vendors in this evolving industry offer a confusing range of often proprietary differences in methodology."

And, in case anyone is uncertain about their findings, the authors' language gets stronger and more specific.

"There is no common truth, no single scientific reality exposed as a result of these new methods," they assert.

"Waves of interest in 'pure' measures of advertising response have come and gone in the past, many times for the same reason: though grand claims were made, they could not be replicated by other researchers.

"To prevent this happening with this new wave of neuro measures, vendors will have to show that they have sufficient confidence in their measures that they are willing to let others test them independently.

"Neuro vendors should compete like opinion-poll vendors: on the quality of their data, not the uniqueness of their measures."

The article – "How Reliable Are Neuromarketers' Measures of Advertising Effectiveness? Data from Ongoing Research Holds No Common Truth among Vendors" – appears as part of the four-part "How Does Neuroscience work in Advertising?" section of JAR.

This also includes considerations on psychophysiological approaches for measuring consumer response to messaging, the way visual processing can affect sponsorship programs and the use of eye tracking in determining audience attention to competing editorial and advertising content.

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


Retailers fail to prepare in China

26 June 2015
SHANGHAI: Many foreign brands have attributed a decline in their sales in China to the government crackdown on corruption when in reality they have simply failed to understand how the market operates, according to an industry expert.

In a new report, "No one said that it would be easy: How to crack the China Retail Market", CR Retail, a Shanghai-based retail consultancy, analysed the strategies adopted by international brands entering the Chinese market.

"A number of retailers continually blame the anti-graft measures for the slowdown however it is CR Retail's view that these are only partly responsible," said managing director James Rogers.

"We see the issues starting a lot earlier with the retailers failing to grasp the complexities and challenges involved with opening there," he told Inside Retail Asia.

Part of the problem is a failure to see beyond the huge numbers that seem to promise success – a total population of 1.4bn and 160 cities with a population of over 1m – and to carry out due diligence.

Many new entrants believed, said Rogers, that "a retailer can just open a store similar to what they operate in other markets and the consumers will come flooding in – often this couldn't be further from the truth".

He highlighted 15 questions that retailers should be asking themselves, including the basic one of establishing if the brand would actually travel, as well as identifying a target audience and asking whether it was ready.

"When speaking with retailers it is astounding how many new entrants have not thought of some of these issues," said Rogers.

He advised that brands shouldn't think that Chinese consumers would simply adapt their own styles and tastes for the brand. "The brands that have been and will continue to be successful are the brands that understand the consumer and adapt for them," he told Red Luxury.

In addition to opening stores in the right locations, that means picking a way through a complicated ecommerce environment and fully appreciating the role digital plays in China.

Patience and a long-term strategy are essential, Rogers added. "While becoming spoilt for choice, the consumer is still learning. Rome wasn't built in a day and nor will a retailer's China business."

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


Millennials now biggest US age group

26 June 2015
WASHINGTON: Millennials are now the single biggest age group in the US and are far more diverse than any other generation according to new data from the US Census Bureau.

It estimated that, as of 1 July 2014, the number of Americans born between 1982 and 2000 stood at 83.1m – more than a quarter of the total population – and 44.2% of these came from a minority race or ethnic group.

The shifts under way were further emphasised in the finding that the under-five age group was now "majority-minority", as 50.2% were part of a minority race or ethnic group.

That same "majority-minority" tag could also be applied to five states: Hawaii (77.0%), the District of Columbia (64.2%), California (61.5%), New Mexico (61.1%) and Texas (56.5%).

Overall the major groups within this classification are growing. The Hispanic population was the largest, totalling 55.4m in July 2014, up 2.1% on a year earlier.

The African-American population was 45.7m, a 1.3% increase, and Asian-Americans numbered 20.3m, a 3.2% increase.

The numbers of the smaller groups have also swelled: the American Indian and Alaska Native population was up 1.4% to 6.5m while that of Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders rose 2.3% to 1.5m.

The slowest-growing group was the nation's non-Hispanic, white population which edged up 0.5% to 197.9m.

Unsurprisingly, the least diverse age group is the oldest. There are now some 46.2m over-65s – a group that also includes the oldest four years of the Baby Boomer generation – of whom only 21.7% are from a minority.

The oldest states were Florida and Maine, the youngest Alaska and Utah. And in contrast to most states, five experienced a decline in median age between 1 July 2013 and 1 July 2014: North Dakota, Hawaii, Montana, Wyoming and Iowa.

Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff


Blog: Don't worry about the rough edges

26 June 2015
Brands don't need to be perfect, says ZenithOptimedia's Richard Shotton. The 'pratfall effect' shows that admitting some flaws can make them more attractive to consumers.



Maggi takes $200m hit to brand value

26 June 2015
NEW DELHI: As Nestlé India battles to contain the fallout of a major food scare, a consultancy firm has estimated that Maggi, the brand at the centre of it, will lose some $200m in brand value.

Following the government's decision to ban Maggi noodles after it found high lead levels in samples, Brand Finance, which specialises in valuing brands and intangible assets, knocked that figure off its previous valuation of £2.4bn, the Financial Express reported.

That sum ranked Maggi as the 23rd most valuable food brand in the world. Last year, Maggi was also ranked the second most-trusted food brand in India, behind Coca-Cola's Maaza fruit drink, by market researcher Nielsen.

Nestlé chief executive Paul Bulcke said the company's reputation had taken a bashing "because it's a big brand and that (ban) made a lot of waves" as he continued to insist the brand is safe.

Nestlé India is contesting the ban even as it is in the process of destroying 27,000 tonnes of the product. "One can have facts on one's side but it's the perception that counts," said Bulcke. "We have to work on that. We have to reconnect with consumers."

Nestlé's troubles have not been restricted to Maggi noodles, as earlier this month there were also reports that live larvae had been found in infant milk powder.

Live Mint highlighted the difficulties international brands face in India, with fragmented supply and retail chains where one slip-up can adversely affect global reputation.

McDonald's, for example, applies elaborate hygiene standards to workers at its plants and carries out more than 100 checks on its products but can still be put at risk from the practices of the many small, often illiterate, farmers it uses as suppliers.

"There are thousands of farmers you need to reach out to, each with maybe an acre, two acres of land," according to Vikram Ogale, in charge of supply chain and quality assurance for McDonald's India.

"Think of a situation where you have 1,000 farmers have to educate them, convince them," he said.

McDonald's says it can trace all its ingredients, not a claim that many can make as suppliers frequently sub-contract orders.

Live Mint also reported that one in five food samples tested by the government is found to be contaminated, adulterated or mislabelled.

Data sourced from Financial Express, Live Mint; additional content by Warc staff


Warc panel advises on winning Lions

25 June 2015
CANNES: Marketers should write a clear case study, emphasise product and service utility and demonstrate brand purpose if they wish to win Creative Effectiveness Lions in the future, an expert panel organised by Warc has suggested.

As announced yesterday, Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors won the 2015 Creative Effectiveness Lions Grand Prix for its work for Volvo Trucks. At the panel, members of the Creative Effectiveness jury praised the campaign's creative idea, global activation and standout results.

Jarek Ziebinski, CEO of Leo Burnett Asia Pacific, said: "It is a fantastic campaign, rooted in one of the basic strategies in advertising: product demo. It's a product demo done in a new way and it's a demonstration of what global brands can do today. It is sustainable effectiveness, created beautifully."

More than that, the value of the Grand Prix winning campaign's clearly written case study also helped its cause, judges participating in the panel said.

"There's an art to writing case studies," said Suresh Nair, CSO at Grey. "And this Grand Prix winner was the most simply written case study of all. It made reading it a pleasure."

Another panellist, Karl Weaver, CEO of Data2Decisions agreed. "Some of the cases were also too dry. It was strings of numbers. Which was disappointing, as lots of the campaigns were really exciting and brought about social change."

Purpose was another major theme picked up by the panel when discussing this year's Creative Effectiveness Lions entries.

"We had a lot of debate about pro bono cases versus brand cases," Nair said. "It's not just for commercial interest. This was brands doing work that really affected how people are living their lives. It's not just pro bono – it was a happy coincidence. It is something we want to see more of in future years."

Meanwhile, Chris Brown, CEO at DDB New York, suggested that the media trends highlighted by the entries showed the way ahead for creative agencies.

"As a creative business, we need to make things work across paid, owned and earned channels," he said. "That's a challenge about the types of people we employ.

He also emphasised brand utility as a major trend. "We can start to build agencies around product and performance in order to give clients what they want," he said."Things are much more multifaceted than they were recently."

Warc will be publishing its annual analysis of the Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lions next month, examining trends within the shortlisted campaigns and wider entries in areas such as media mix, business objectives and creative approach (read analysis of the 2014 campaigns here).

Meantime, Warc subscribers can view the majority of the 2015 Creative Effectiveness Lions here.

Data sourced from Warc


Mobile affects family relationships

25 June 2015
AMSTERDAM: More than half of children say their parents spend too much time checking their mobile phones and around one third can feel unimportant as a result according to a new study.

AVG Technologies, an online security business, surveyed a total of 6,117 parents and children (aged 8-13) across nine markets – Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, New Zealand, the UK and the US – and found that mobile phones were winning the battle for parental attention.

Some 54% of children felt their parents checked their devices too often. And their biggest grievance, when given a list of possible bad device habits, was that their parents allowed themselves to be distracted by their device during conversations (36%), something that made a third (32%) of the complainants feel unimportant.

On the other side of the fence, just over half (52%) of parents were conscious that they were checking their devices too often and around one quarter (28%) worried they were setting a bad example to their offspring.

"With our kids picking up mobile devices at an increasingly younger age, it is really important that we set good habits within the home, early on," said Tony Anscombe, senior security evangelist at AVG Technologies.

"It can be hard to step away from your device at home," he acknowledged, "but with a quarter of parents telling us that they wished their child used their device less, they need to lead by example and consider how their behaviour might be making their child feel."

Across the countries surveyed, Brazilian parents emerged as having the most problematic relationships: 87% of children there said their parents used mobile devices too much and 56% would confiscate a parent's device if they could.

Data sourced from AVG Technologies; additional content by Warc staff


Mobile apps top conversion rates

25 June 2015
NEW YORK: Mobile apps generate almost half of all mobile transactions for some of the largest ecommerce players who have made their app experience a priority, due to much higher conversion rates than mobile browser or desktop.

That is one of the findings of the Q2 2015 State of Mobile Commerce Report from Criteo, a performance marketing technology company which analysed 1.4bn ecommerce transactions worth $160bn across 3,000 online retail and travel businesses.

In retail, consumers using apps converted at a rate three times higher than those using a mobile browser, while in travel the conversion rate was almost two times greater.

As well as the growing importance of apps, the study found that some 40% of ecommerce transactions involved more than one device; smartphones, desktops and tablets were used in a variety of combinations to research and make purchasing decisions.

"The customer purchase journey has become increasingly complex as consumers have stopped using a single device to make their purchases," said Jonathan Wolf, chief product officer at Criteo.

"Delivering an engaging app experience and connecting seamlessly with consumers across multiple devices are key to capturing ecommerce sales in this new world," he added.

Globally, mobile is set to account for 40% of all ecommerce transactions by the end of 2015.

The figure for the US currently stands at 30% and Criteo expected that to increase to 33% by the year end. For top-quartile retailers, however, mobile is already at 40%.

Most retail categories have seen mobile grow in importance, notably health & beauty. Leading the way are fashion & luxury, followed by travel; only sporting goods saw a decline in the share of transactions taking place on mobile.

If the importance of mobile needed to be stressed further, evidence came in the conversion rates reported from mobile-optimised sites, which were more than twice that of non-optimised site, at 3.4% against 1.6%.

In fact, optimised sites had a better conversion funnel at all stages of purchase, with more products viewed per user (2.9 v2.3) and a higher add-to-basket rate (12.0% v 8.2%).

Wolf described the continued speed of growth in mobile as "astounding" and warned that "marketers' ability to leverage new technologies to accurately identify and reach consumers wherever they are is going to become critical".

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


AOL targets mobile video space

25 June 2015
NEW YORK/CANNES: Mobile video will be a key feature of the global media technology company that has been officially ushered into being with the completion of Verizon's $4.4bn takeover of AOL.

"Our vision is to provide customers with a premium digital experience based on a global multiscreen platform," Marni Walden, Verizon evp & president/product innovation, told analysts and journalists in a conference call where she unveiled a new mobile video service, due to be launched this summer.

Few details were forthcoming beyond the fact it will feature live content around music and sport, emerging content and on-demand content.

In Cannes, AOL chief marketing officer Allie Kline told The Drum that a combined Verizon/AOL business was well-placed to take on the leading content and digital advertising platforms.

She pointed out that AOL had been investing in platforms and automation and in premium original content "and we would like to be the first to bring those things together".

Kline argued that neither Netflix nor Amazon offered much for brands to tap into, while Google didn't have a great deal of premium video content, "so we think we can really shoot the gap in between those two".

She also predicted a shake-out of the industry over the next 18 months. "Either I'm a premium content provider or an ads provider – or both. Anything on the fringe with an arbitrage model of just repping other people's inventory is going to fall by the wayside."

Ad blockers, she suggested, will be a "massive catalyst" in this process and could lead to more publishers adopting subscription-based models. But on the other hand, adblocking could also "turn into an attribution opportunity for tech companies" as it refocused the viewability debate on effectiveness.

"Viewability is the measure of whether someone has seen an ad but that is like table stakes – of course they should see my ad," she said. "What I really want to know is how impactful my ad is and whether it will really drive results."

Data sourced from USA Today, The Drum; additional content by Warc staff


Playboy's 'safe for work' digital play

25 June 2015
NEW YORK: Adopting a "safe for work" strategy helped Playboy, the men's entertainment and lifestyle publisher, quadrupled traffic levels to its website in just four months.

While speaking at the ClickZ Live conference in New York, Robin Zucker – Playboy's svp/digital marketing – discussed how its audience had exploded following a digital relaunch late last year.

"It's really thanks to [being] PG-13 – safe for work," she said. (For more, including how the firm has adapted this strategy on social media, read Warc's exclusive report: Playboy's "safe for work" online reinvention.)

Such a significant increase, Zucker added, followed a period when the site had shifted away from the brand's core purpose.

"The company was taken private about four years ago, and in the process dramatically downsized, which also included licensing the website," she said.

"They licensed it to a company that was actually upselling to 'girl galleries' – which is the technical term for 'nude women'.

"So it just wasn't on-brand from the perspective that nudity is in our DNA, but it was a very different approach to it."

Reformulating this strategy to more fully reflect Playboy's heritage as an entertainment and lifestyle bible for men, however, effectively reversed its fortunes

"Part of my coming on board was figuring out: well, we need to develop an audience," said Zucker. "And we should really look at whether having a third party run our website for such a brand makes sense.

"And we came to the conclusion – with the support of the board – that it did not."

Having taken control of the website, the firm has made sure that nudity is not a feature of its digital platform – a revival then brought to life by a thoroughgoing content marketing program.

"Content is near and dear to our heart," Zucker said. "We're a really fortunate brand, in that we have a team of content people that are producing at least 20 pieces of content a day."

"It starts with our shareable stories," she continued. "It's the men's playbook. So it's everything entertainment. It's nightlife. It's style. It's girls. It's sex. It's culture."

Data sourced from Warc


SE Asian consumers open to new products

25 June 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Consumers in Southeast Asia are more open to trying new products than anywhere else in the world according to a new study.

Market researcher Nielsen polled 30,000 online respondents in 60 countries for its Global New Product Innovation Survey as it explored consumer attitudes and sentiments about the drivers behind new product purchase intent. In this study a new product was defined simply as any item a consumer had never bought previously.

On this score, Asian consumers are amongst the most adventurous, the Star reported, with 69% in Asia Pacific claiming to have bought a new product during their most recent grocery shopping trip, compared to 57% globally.

That figure rose to 73% when narrowed to Southeast Asia, well ahead of other emerging markets like Africa/Middle East (57%) and Latin America (56%).

In comparison, consumers in Europe (44%) and North America (31%) were relatively set in their ways.

"Consumers throughout South-East Asia have a strong appetite for innovation and they are increasingly demanding and expecting better choice," said Johan Vrancken, head of Nielsen's innovation practice in South-East Asia, North Asia and Pacific.

"But success can be hard to come by," he added. "Brand competition is intense and shelves are crowded so knowing the channels which are most effective in delivering new product information is crucial."

In the case of Malaysian consumers, word of mouth was the top influence (58%), followed by television (46%) and seeing a product in-store (42%). Internet search and social media postings were also cited by 40% of Malaysian survey respondents.

Brand recognition is an important factor, the survey revealed, as 63% of Malaysians preferred to buy new products from brands they were already familiar with, compared to 59% globally. A similar proportion said they liked it when manufacturers offered new product options.

Affordability, cited by 34%, is the main consideration for these consumers when buying a new product for the first time, just ahead of personal recommendation (32%) and family suitability (31%).

Data sourced from Marketing Interactive, The Star; additional content by Warc staff


Velfie craze hits India

25 June 2015
NEW DELHI: After the selfie comes the velfie, or video selfie, with brands already tapping into the potential of a new generation of apps to engage with consumers.

One such, #velfie, was launched just ten weeks ago by Mobi First Media, and some leading brands have experimented with the possibilities for embracing user-generated content via this channel.

Automaker Datsun recently ran a short campaign to celebrate the brand's first birthday and invited people to share velfies, either with their cars or lip-synching to the Datsun happy birthday song. In return, Datsun celebrated some of its customers' birthdays.

"If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a thousand pictures," Idi Srinivas Murthy, svp/marketing at online marketplace Snapdeal, told Live Mint.

"It is easier to build relationships with consumers by interacting with them on social media, and velfies are emerging as a good way for customers to engage with the brand," he added.

The ongoing #Snapdealvelfie challenge asks users to download the #velfie app and record a velfie using any song from the Snapdeal sound board before sharing it on social media. At the end of the campaign, two winners will be rewarded with a Google Nexus 5 phone.

Rammohan Sundaram, co-founder of Mobi First Media, said there were clear advantages to brands: "It is much better than just showcasing a pre-roll or a post-roll ad format as the brand uses the platform and makes it its own."

Celebrities are being recruited for velfie campaigns. Abhishek Gupta, co-founder of Pochi Mobile which launched the Frankly velfie app at the start of the year, outlined a campaign around the recent International Day of Yoga.

This "brought together 20 celebrities from different backgrounds who uploaded velfies on the benefits of yoga and users responded in a similar way", he explained.

"Selfies are of the past, velfies are of the present and the future," Sundaram declared. "Velfies enable everyone to be what they otherwise are not, which is to be a film star, singer, actor..."

Data source from Live Mint; additional content by Warc staff


Volvo Trucks wins Cannes Grand Prix

24 June 2015
CANNES: 'Live Test Series', a campaign for Volvo Trucks by the Forsman & Bodenfors agency in Gothenburg, has won the Grand Prix at the 2015 Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lions.

The judges praised the "huge results" that the Live Test Series campaign had achieved. Many people will remember it for Jean Claude van Damme doing the splits between two reversing trucks, but there were five more videos demonstrating various features that significantly boosted brand metrics and sales.

In addition to the Grand Prix, the judges awarded Gold Lions to The Bear and the Hare, a Christmas campaign for UK retailer John Lewis created by Adam&EveDDB in London, and to This is Wholesome, a campaign for Honeymaid graham crackers by Droga5 in New York.

A further four Silver Lions and ten Bronze Lions were awarded by the judges. Warc subscribers can browse most of the 160 entered case studies.

Wendy Clark, president/sparkling brands and strategic marketing, Coca-Cola North America and chair of the judging panel, explained how the judges had whittled down the initial entries to a shortlist of 27.

"Our remit was to find the highest intersection of creativity and effectiveness," she said. "We don't believe those two things should be mutually exclusive."

Describing creativity as a business driver that married the power of art and commerce, Clark said the judges had looked for work that would celebrate that effectively.

"We have found a body of work that the creatives in our industry want to celebrate as much as the strategists in our industry," she declared.

Of the Grand Prix winner, Clark said the judges had seen "a functional story told artfully". And, more importantly, "we saw huge results – qualitative and quantitative – and results on a sustained basis. There was no-one in the room that wished they hadn't done that work. We were all jealous!"

The list of winners was dominated by European entries which accounted for eight of the 17 awarded case studies. The USA followed on five, with Brazil supplying two and Australia and the United Arab Emirates one each.

Data sourced from Cannes Lions; additional content by Warc staff


'Brand promoters' key to social

24 June 2015
GLOBAL: There are three different types of social media users following brands according to new research which suggests marketers should focus their efforts on the small group which follows brands on a regular basis and interacts directly with them.

Social@Ogilvy and SurveyMonkey ran a global, 11-country survey (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, the UK, and US) of more than 5,500 adult social media users and distinguished three types of fan.

It found that social media users across all markets universally engaged with brands, with 84% reporting they "like" or follow a brand or product, a proportion that rose to the mid-nineties in emerging markets like China, Brazil and India.

Six in ten (58%) said they shared both good and bad brand experiences, an activity which made them engaged but not true brand advocates, the report said.

Authentic brand promoters – those respondents who self-identified as extremely likely to recommend brands and products to friends – made up only 19% of all respondents.

Once again, this figure was much higher in some emerging markets, especially Brazil and India, where 42% and 33% of respondents identified themselves as brand promoters.

These promoters scored ahead of sharers on several points, being more likely to follow brands on a regular basis (66% v 52%) and to interact directly with them (52% v 42%). In addition, they were significantly more likely to follow brands in order to be associated with them and their values (39% v 28%).

Further, the report found that friends and followers of promoters also tend to follow brands on social media.

Many promoters (59%) saw their networks regularly mention brands and products, compared to only 47% of sharers. And promoters were much more likely to respond to the interactions their friends had with brands: 35% would purchase a product if it was mentioned by a friend versus just 24% of sharers.

While promoters were most prominent in emerging markets, the report noted some important cultural nuances.

Indonesia, for example, had very few promoters despite 70% of respondents sharing brand experiences, indicating that "the more passive approach of advocacy via social sharing may be more popular in Asian countries".

Data sourced from social@Ogilvy; additional content by Warc staff


Hilton eyes mobile future

24 June 2015
NEW YORK: Hilton Worldwide believes the small – but influential – number of mobile-only customers can help provide brands in the accommodation sector with an extremely valuable "glimpse of the future".

Christine Hight, senior director/customer insights at Hilton Worldwide, discussed this subject at the Market Research in the Mobile World (MRMW) conference.

And she asserted that a distinct set of consumers rely solely on smartphones to engage in activities such as researching and booking rooms, finding their hotel at the start of a trip, reviewing their experiences, and so on.

"It's less than 10% of the population, but we really do believe that this is a glimpse of where the future is going to be," she said. (For more, including further insights into consumer device usage, read Warc's exclusive report: Hilton prepares for the mobile future.)

These early adopters, Hilton Worldwide discovered from its research, possess some common characteristics and preferences.

"What's notable here is that they tended to be somewhat younger, but they [also] were more likely to be business travellers returning to a destination," said Hight.

"What does this tell us? People who are comfortable with a mobile device doing all of the work tend to be replicating activities that they've done before for travel.

"So they're comfortable with where they are going and the activities … They also are much more interested in looking at activities at the destination and booking them".

Accessing loyalty and rewards programs – like HHonors operated by Hilton – tended to be popular with this audience, too, offering particular opportunities for companies in the accommodation space.

Such learnings also indicate the value which brands can accrue from gaining a deeper knowledge of mobile mavens.

"Mobile has transformed our lives, and the lives of people who shop for things, including lodging accommodations," said Hight.

Data sourced from Warc


Millennials prefer video to text

24 June 2015
NEW YORK: Nearly two-thirds of millennials would rather watch a video from a brand than read text, according to a new survey.

Animoto, a cloud-based video creation service, polled 1,051 US adults for its Online and Social Video Marketing Study as it sought to learn about their perception and experiences with video marketing as a promotional medium.

It found that Generation Y was heavily reliant on video in much of their engagement with companies. "Video is no longer optional for brands and businesses looking to market to millennials," it said.

The study revealed that seven in ten millennials were likely to watch a video when shopping online and eight in ten found video helpful when researching a purchase decision online.

And while 62% of this group would rather watch a video than read text, it was also the case that the addition of video increased the likelihood of them reading a newsletter from a company.

"There are 80m millennials in the US alone and their craving for online video as a preferred communication channel is growing" said Brad Jefferson, CEO and co-founder, Animoto.

"Video is an effective way for businesses to share their brand voice and story," he added, pointing out that it is now possible for companies of any size to create professional-grade videos to reach this audience and increase business.

The impact is potentially significant as the survey revealed that millennials were 150% more likely than Baby Boomers to comparison shop with video while in-store, and 146% more likely to watch a video if was available on a company's site while shopping online.

These habits reinforced Animoto's claim that brands should strategically incorporate video into their online presence to assist millennials throughout the purchase cycle.

Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff


Consumers 'tune out' marketers

24 June 2015
SAN MATEO, CA: Consumers are increasingly ignoring the efforts of marketers who fail to tailor communications to them personally a new study has shown.

Marketo, a marketing automation and software business, polled more than 2,200 consumers across the US, UK, France, Germany and Australia, and found that almost two thirds (63%) of respondents were annoyed at how brands continued to rely on a strategy of blasting generic advertising messages repeatedly.

"[Marketers] are talking at us rather than engaging with us, and we, as consumers are beginning to tune them out," Chandar Pattabhiram, group vice president of product and corporate marketing, told MediaPost.

"We demand a level of personalisation across our journey," he added. "As consumers, we're more and more attuned to brands talking to us personally."

Marketo suggested that one way brands could achieve this was to make content more relevant based on consumer behaviour across other channels and interactions.

Its survey showed that more than three quarters (78.6%) of consumers claimed to be more likely to work with a brand's offers if these were directly related to previously interactions with the brand.

"People engage with the brand, and [the marketers] don't connect your engagement history with the brand with all the messages they're sending," Pattabhiram said.

In part that's a consequence of campaigns being designed in silos. "They need to adopt a consistent way of communicating with customers across interaction points based on who they are and what they do – and they need to do it across every step of the journey," Pattabhiram stated.

But achieving that will require some significant changes in how businesses operate. "A lot of marketers still have the mindset of building brand awareness," Pattabhiram explained.

"Organizationally, they have not been [structured] to have a one-to-one experience with customers."

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


Blog: More programmatic research needed

24 June 2015
Clients appear to be increasingly confident about using programmatic, says Graham Wylie of AppNexus. But more research is needed into the issues that affect why and how it is being adopted by agencies, brands and publishers.



Asian middle class doubles

24 June 2015
SINGAPORE: In recent days some major companies have suggested that they have overestimated the advance of the middle class in Africa and Latin America but the numbers in this group are set to almost double in Asia.

Figures reported by Media Business Asia suggest that the proportion of South and Southeast Asia's population fitting Nielsen's definition of middle class – people with enough money to choose what they buy, equating to at least US$16 in daily disposable income – will roughly double between 2012 and 2020.

Some 210m people will have been added to the middle class consumer pool over this period, taking it to 400m and making it the majority across the region, as it will account for 55% of the total population, compared with just 28% in 2012.

The increase is even more dramatic in India, where the middle class is expected to grow 157%, from 210m to 540m. This increased affluence means that the middle classes will make up 39% of India's population in 2020, up from 17% in 2012.

China has already taken major steps towards raising living standards and the 800m-strong middle class there will grow rather more slowly, at just 25%. That still means a total of 1bn people will be classified as middle class by 2020.

Over all three regions, the middle classes will therefore grow 62% in the eight year period to a total of 1.94bn.

The picture elsewhere is not quite so bright, however, as food giant Nestlé recently made clear when announcing a 15% cut in its workforce across 21 African nations

"We thought this would be the next Asia, but we have realised the middle class here in the region is extremely small and it is not really growing," Cornel Krummenacher, chief executive for Nestlé's equatorial Africa region, told the Financial Times.

And SABMiller, the world's second largest brewer has just cut its growth forecasts for Latin America, relating a similar tale.

Randy Ransom, svp/ marketing and innovation in Latin America, told investors that while the middle class had grown, it was "not to the degree that we would have liked, nor to the degree that we had forecasted a few years back".

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


Indonesian women are ecommerce target

24 June 2015
JAKARTA: Indonesia is the launchpad for a new website which is aiming to be the first ecommerce service dedicated to women across Southeast Asia.

Announcing its expansion into this market, Thailand-based venture capitalist Ardent Capital described it as a strategic move, the Jakarta Globe reported.

"We realised that the single largest market in Southeast Asia would be Indonesia by the end of 2015," said Adrian Vanzyl, Ardent chief executive officer. Ardent's own research indicates that the B2C ecommerce market in Indonesia is worth $2.6bn and the total female consumer market some $2.4 trillion.

Other research suggests that 40m women are now online in Indonesia and that, on average, they control two thirds of all purchasing decisions.

The move will see Ardent expand its existing e-commerce business into Indonesia under the brand MOXY, while the Thai business currently operating under the WhatsNew banner will be rebranded under the same name.

Shannon Kalayanamitr, chief marketing officer at WhatsNew Group, said the company wanted to build the first online "everything store" for the female consumer.

"As more women join the workforce in Southeast Asia and increase their purchasing power, MOXY will be there to serve their daily lives," she said. "Each consumer can grow with us, from the teenager putting on lipstick for the first time, to the young adult furnishing their first apartment and raising a child."

To that end, it will offer tips and products related to beauty, fashion, mothers and babies, living, gadgets and 'Muslim style' under the tagline Have It All.

The issue of Muslim style was highlighted at a recent Flamingo breakfast, where director of global insight Harriet Robertson outlined how more Indonesian women have taken to wearing a hijab which has now become a fashion item, attracting a festival to showcase Islamic fashion brands.

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


Social media shift under way

23 June 2015
CANNES: Brands will have to rethink how they use social media during the coming decade, increasing their investment in paid media, addressing the rise of Chinese platforms and moving away from the prevailing culture of self-promotion, a leading industry figure has said.

Speaking at the Cannes Lions Festival, Peter Kim, chief digital officer at Cheil Worldwide, told his audience that popular culture was "reinforcing the idea that being social is actually about self-promotion", Marketing reported.

"We are long overdue for a course correction, which will require brands to stop feeding consumer egos and start working on platforms for social good," he stated.

Some companies are already embracing a marketing trend based around purpose: Dove and John Lewis, for example are often held up as exemplars of purposeful brands, while Unilever CEO Paul Polman has argued that a purpose-driven business can be profitable.

China is another area that brands will have to address, as Kim contrasted the experience of shopping festivals. Tech giant Alibaba alone recorded sales in the 24 hours of Singles Day more than twice the sales of all ecommerce sites in the US on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

Alibaba and its rivals are now expanding into international markets and brands will need to react accordingly.

Kim also emphasised the need for brands to abandon any lingering thoughts of reaching consumers organically on social media. "It's like Facebook offered brands a five-year free trial and now companies will have to pay in order to retain that same level of functionality," he said.

He suggested that organic social media would shift to programmatic, as "it has the ability to let publishers de-clutter sites and get advertising more relevant and be native in a way consumers will accept".

Programmatic and advertising context is the subject of one of the sessions that Warc is running on strategy, planning and effectiveness in the Palais at Cannes tomorrow (Wednesday). Creative Effectiveness judges will share their discussions and explain why the winners stood out, while other sessions will cover learnings from the Warc 100 and the future of strategy.

On Thursday an Admap Prize event at Le Rooftop will see senior marketers and agency staff debating the conflict between data and creativity.

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


Brands must tell better stories

23 June 2015
LONDON: Eight out of ten Britons think brands should be telling stories, but a similar proportion couldn't give a memorable example when asked by a new survey.

Content marketing specialist Headstream polled more than 2,000 UK adults for its Brand Storytelling Report 2015 to discover their feeling towards brand stories on digital channels and found that 79% felt it was a good idea for brands to tell stories as part of their marketing and customer communications.

"Storytelling has become one of the key phrases behind any modern marketing strategy," noted Headstream CEO Stephen Sponder. "It's clear that people want to hear and see more engaging narratives," he told The Drum.

The survey suggested that this is not currently happening: 85% of respondents were unable to give an example of a memorable brand story, although older consumers (55+) were three times more likely to manage to recall one than 18-34 year olds.

Despite that, two thirds (64%) said brands were good at telling stories and most wanted to hear and see stories about people like themselves: just 19% wanted stories involving celebrities compared to the 66% who demanded stories about "regular people".

Humour is a vital ingredient, especially as regards consumers over the age of 35, for whom this stood out as being important, far head of other options such as being inspirational or dramatic. These three elements were more or less equal for 18-24 year olds.

And if people really liked a brand story, the survey found that more than half (55%) were more likely to buy the product in the future, while 44% shared the story and 15% bought the product immediately.

"Customer advocacy should be at the core of all content marketing and storytelling campaigns," Sponder advised.

And he added that the quality of the content could overcome any reservations consumers might have about sponsored content.

The survey showed that 71% of respondents thought it important that brand-created stories were clearly differentiated from editorial stories on online news sites, although most were willing to read or view them anyway; just 8% refused to do so.

"Great content and engaging stories will attract and appeal to consumers irrespective of whether a brand is obviously behind them," said Sponder.

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


Paid social works for Coke

23 June 2015
NEW YORK: Coca-Cola, the soft drinks giant, has seen consumer interest in its sustainability efforts increase significantly since first using paid social to promote its content covering this area.

Tim Goudie, the company's social-media director/sustainability, discussed this topic at the ClickZ Live conference.

"During 2013, we were posting organically, believing that, 'Of course, if we post great content, people are going to fall out of the trees and come running to see our stunning content.' Well, reality check: they didn't," he said. (For more, including how social performs against TV, read Warc's exclusive report: (How Coca-Cola combined social media and sustainability.)

An initial attempt to prove the efficacy of paid social, he revealed, centred upon the organisation's annual sustainability report – and success there opened the door to regularly leveraging that approach from 2014 onwards.

"We take our stories and we push them out through paid social media to what I like to call the 'meat and potatoes' – Twitter, Facebook and YouTube," said Goudie.

"We've been experimenting with LinkedIn for more of a business-to-business key stakeholder discussion."

To secure the maximum impact for its budget, Coca-Cola has ensured its sustainability messaging on social reaches a precise audience.

"Every time we do that, we are not just arbitrarily pushing out: we are targeting," said Goudie.

"So think of something like women's empowerment: we target women, and we target women who are interested in women's education and women's empowerment.

"The reason why is because we want that message to get to the consumer who is actually genuinely interested in it. Why? Because they will help spread and share your story."

Alongside making sure it engages the most relevant audience, the firm has routinely tested different creative executions.

"For every piece of content that we push out, we provide a link back to our Coca-Cola Journey website," added Goudie.

"The idea is very simple. If you're targeting the right people with the right message, they will be interested in that topic, and therefore you have to provide them an opportunity to go back to a destination where they can learn more, they can read more and they can watch a longer video."

Data sourced from Warc


Brand content engages US consumers

23 June 2015
NEW YORK: US consumers are engaging with brand content on social media more often than they did a year ago and are doing so at a faster rate than brands are posting content, a new study has revealed.

Social-analytics firm Shareablee analysed data on content and engagement from 100,000 brands during the first quarter of the year and found that people were engaging with brand content – defined as liking, sharing, favouriting or commenting – 52% more than in the same period of 2014.

Looking at three platforms in particular, average posts per brand on Twitter were up 16% while actions per brand increased 32%, Advertising Age reported.

The results for Facebook were broadly similar, with posts per brand up 16% and actions per brand up 27%.

A more dramatic shift was apparent at Instagram, where brand content was growing slightly faster, with posts per brand up 21%, but consumer engagement in terms of actions per brand had leapt ahead 108%.

Shareablee founder and CEO Tania Yuki reported that video posts were behind much this growth: at 186%, engagement with brand videos had grown more than three times faster than overall engagement levels.

"There's a divide among marketers on whether the right currency metric for social media ought to be engagement or impressions," Yuki said.

Echoing her remarks at an ARF conference last year when she outlined how it made a difference for different verticals to focus on different platforms, she explained how this view could vary depending on the nature of the brand. Thus a "passion brand" in TV, publishing or sports would look more at engagement levels; more utilitarian brands in other sectors tended to focus on reach.

"It would be missing a lot of the juice of social to only think about reach and impressions," she added. "But I do think social will continue to struggle to get a real seat at the table without measuring impressions."

Data sourced from Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff


Data drives Washington Post

23 June 2015
WASHINGTON, DC: In the two years since Amazon boss Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post he has put data at the heart of the newspaper's editorial and commercial approach.

It recently reported a record 52m unique visitors in a single month which was a 65% year-on-year increase; at the same time, pageviews were up 109%. Overall, web traffic has doubled since January 2014.

This shift was attributed to its Clavis project where machine learning algorithms were created to improve the Post's content recommendations. One consequence has been a 95% improvement in the clickthrough rate on Post Recommends links.

The impact of Clavis has not been limited to editorial, however, as Rohan Stevens, programmatic advertising sales head, outlined to

"It's a collaboration between the newsroom and the sales organisation," he said.

"It helps keep our readers on site and engaged and diving deeper into news articles," he explained. And "it also helps our advertisers pinpoint readers down to the topic of interest that they might have, where ads might be focused."

He suggested that this was but one of many examples "where you can see the influence of Jeff Bezos in our engineering culture in the company".

Stevens also reported that video was becoming increasingly important to the Post. "Video is such an amazing growth engine in the digital media space, primarily driven by broadcast dollars that are being moved [into this space]," he said

It was, he added, a great opportunity for publishers to reach an audience that might not be watching broadcast television.

"And it's a really cool opportunity for us to really look at what outstream means to our business and determine its best place in terms of ways for us to monetise outstream video.

"I'm really excited to see where this business goes in future," he said.

Data sourced from, Knight Lab; additional content by Warc staff


'Fast-track Asia' leads ad growth

23 June 2015
LONDON/SINGAPORE: The fastest growth in global adspend over the next few years will come from "fast-track Asia", a group of countries in the region characterised by rapid economic growth and significant levels of inward investment according to a new report.

Latest forecasts from media buying agency Zenith Optimedia highlighted Asia as a driver of worldwide growth in advertising expenditure, with a nine-strong group in the region expanding at 9.1% a year between 2014 and 2017.

And within Fast-Track Asia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam are set to be the star performers as each is projected to increase at double-digit rates over the period.

China alone accounts for two thirds of fast-track Asia spending and as its economy starts to slow, so too will its ad market, Zenith Optimedia noted.

Looking at just the current year, it expected that Fast-Track Asia will grow at 9.4%, more than three times as fast as Western and Central Europe (3.1%) and more than twice the growth rate of North America (3.6%) and Advanced Asia (3.5%), this latter group including Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia.

Japan behaves differently enough from other markets in Asia to be treated separately. The country "remains stuck in its rut of persistent low growth", said Zenith Optimedia, with adspend growth having averaged 2% a year for the last five years; it anticipated that growth would continue at that level between 2014 and 2017.

Only Latin America comes close to challenging Fast-Track Asia in terms of growth. This region is projected to increase at 8.2% in 2015 and 8.3% in 2016, helped by the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, before dropping sharply to 4.3% in 2017.

While Fast-Track Asia is the region driving global adspend, the internet is the medium doing so. And it will overtake television as the leading one by 2017.

"The internet is quickly establishing itself as the dominant advertising medium, and on current trends will overtake television by the end of the decade," according to Steve King, ZenithOptimedia chief executive.

"However, this refers only to traditional television viewed on TV sets," he added. "The amount of time viewers spend watching online video on their laptops, tablets and smartphones is increasing rapidly, and advertisers are shifting their budgets online to follow them".

Warc's own International Ad Forecast is due for publication next month.

Data sourced from Zenith Optimedia; additional content by Warc staff


Car brands must rethink India marketing

23 June 2015
NEW DELHI: Some foreign car brands are overly dependent on sales of their flagship models in India while others have yet to achieve significant awareness, suggesting that a marketing rethink may be necessary.

The Business Standard reported that, in 2014-15, fully 91% of Renault India's domestic sales came from the Duster, a compact SUV model.

Ford India faces a similar, if less stark, reliance on its leading vehicle, as the super-compact EcoSport urban SUV accounted for 71% of sales last year.

Two automakers – Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai – control almost two-thirds of India's passenger car market, and both have a much more balanced sales chart.

According to sector analysts, some companies have found it difficult to move beyond their flagship model because they have not done enough to challenge the existing market leaders.

"For some manufacturers, it was their choice to be a major in a particular segment because that is how one can get started in a market," explained Abdul Majeed, partner and national automotive leader at consulting firm PwC.

"But some of them have been stuck within that segment."

Japanese automakers Toyota and Honda are having some success in rebalancing their portfolios, with their leading models accounting for 44% and 41% of their sales totals last year respectively.

Another Japanese marque, Nissan-owned Datsun, faced a different problem when it launched into India last year, as it had almost no brand awareness.

This figure has now climbed to around 10%, and the firm is optimistic it can double that total in the coming six months.

Guillame Sicard, president of Nissan Motor India, pointed to the 99% awareness levels commanded by market leader Maruti Suzuki as one of the hurdles that new entrants had to overcome.

Despite having built and exported 500,000 cars from India, Nissan has yet to make a serious impact with the Micra, its own flagship model. "We have been a little shy with our advertising," admitted Sicard, who expects this state of affairs to be addressed.

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


Regulator investigates online endorsements

22 June 2015
LONDON: More than half of UK consumers use online reviews before making purchases according to a new report from the UK's Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) which has also announced an investigation into possible misleading practices.

In Online Reviews and Endorsements, the CMA calculated that as much as £23bn a year of consumer spending could be influenced by online reviews.

It estimated that 54% of UK adults used online reviews before making purchases and that 6% turned to blogs or vlogs. Most said that the product or service purchased after reading reviews matched up to their expectations.

But the CMA added that it had also heard about instances of potentially misleading practices, including fake reviews being posted onto review sites, negative reviews not being published and businesses paying for endorsements in blogs and other online articles without this being made clear to consumers.

This last was a particular area of concern – "a number of large companies and media agencies may be requesting unlabelled paid endorsements" – so it was opening an investigation in connection with the potential non-disclosure of paid endorsements.

Inquiries will take "months rather than weeks", Alex Chisholm, CMA chief executive, told the Financial Times, warning that if the companies identified did could not agree on remedies with the CMA the case could end up in court.

Last year the Advertising Standard Authority rapped snack giant Mondelez over the knuckles for failing to ensure vloggers it had recruited as part of an Oreos campaign had made clear to consumers the videos they were watching were in fact ads.

"The blurring of boundaries between content and commerce, so that online copy looks like editorial but is in reality advertising, might appear less obviously wrong than posting a fake review — but still has the potential to be harmful," said Chisholm.

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


Wimbledon tests Periscope

22 June 2015
LONDON: When the annual Wimbledon tennis championship starts next week fans will be able to engage with it on a wider number of platforms than ever before, including Periscope and Snapchat.

Alexandra Willis, the tournament's digital head, explained that "We will be using it [Periscope] in a targeted way to capture unique moments", but added that spectators would be discouraged from using the app.

Apart from the etiquette issues – users could be holding up a phone or tablet and blocking other people's view – one of the conditions of entry is that mobile phones aren't used. And in any case, Willis said, the current quality of Periscope video did not rival that of broadcast.

And as part of a wider push into social media, the Wimbledon digital team will also create content for Snapchat.

"It's all about trying to show Wimbledon to a different audience," Willis told The Drum.

"It's about engaging with a younger generation. We wouldn't want to get to a point where our audience is getting older and we haven't found an entry point to them."

They will be using the more established platforms of Facebook and Twitter as well and will be investing in paid social media for the first time.

"Sometimes if you put a little bit of spend into social media you can rise above the noise," Willis observed.

Wimbledon's efforts to shed a somewhat stuffy image and embrace the digital world will also feature the use of iBeacons, which have been installed at local stations. Fans arriving at these will be sent messages through the app with directions and advice on where to queue.

Other sports are much further advanced in the use of technology to engage with fans. Sport Techie recently highlighted the ways in which analytics are being used both on and off the field.

Many US venues, for example, already have iBeacons and geo-fencing in place and digital teams can now combine their knowledge of fan preferences and behaviours with geo-location and predictive analytics to deliver targeted content to fans in real-time during a game.

Data sourced from The Drum, Sport Techie; additional content by Warc staff


Brands need to close 'sharing gap'

22 June 2015
REDMOND, WA: Brands need to offer consumers clear benefits and transparency over the use of their data in order to close a significant "sharing gap", research from Microsoft has shown.

The tech giant undertook a global survey covering 13 markets and more than 13,000 respondents for its bi-annual Digital Trends report, from which the "Value Me" research was taken.

This revealed a 17-percentage point gap between the types of data consumers consciously shared with brands and the types of data they believed brands collected without their explicit consent.

For many consumers, the data debate centres around privacy and maintaining control of personal information. But that is slowly starting to change, according to Natasha Hritzuk, senior director/global consumer insights at Microsoft.

"We are transitioning from a privacy focus to a sharing focus ... Consumers previously had a lack of understanding on how sharing data could benefit them, but now have a more intuitive and emotive relationship with technology," she explained.

"Consumers are aware of the value of their data and, importantly for marketers, are open to sharing this data with brands provided there is a fair exchange."

The study also revealed the differences in the various types of personal data consumers are willing to share, with basic demographics such as age (63%) topping the list.

Consumers are also open to sharing their purchase history (63%), but draw the line at biometric information, including fingerprints and facial recognition (10%).

"Brands need to continuously reinforce what information is being collected and how it is being used," Hritzuk advised.

"Consumers are much more demanding when it comes to the benefits they derive from brands' use of personal data, but there are huge opportunities for brands willing to meet these demands."

The most desirable benefits included cash rewards (65%) and "significant discounts" (51%). Non-monetary exchanges were further down the list: 29% would exchange their data for more streamlined processes, for example.

Microsoft's research also indicated that advertising is an expected "cost" that consumers prefer to incur instead of a monthly or one-off fee.

One third (33%) would try a new data-powered service and see more ads in return, while around one quarter (27%) would opt to give more information about themselves rather than pay for services.

Data sourced from Microsoft; additional content by Warc staff


Mondelez bullish on ecommerce

22 June 2015
NEW YORK: Mondelez International believes that ecommerce presents huge opportunities for growth, despite most consumer-packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers being slow to embrace this approach.

Bonin Bough, svp/chief media and ecommerce officer at the company – which owns brands like Oreo, Cadbury and Honey Maid – discussed this strategy at Internet Week 2015.

"We came to the realisation that, if we wanted to unlock additional growth … putting media and ecommerce together was such a likely fit," he said. (For more, including four potential business models in this space, read Warc's exclusive report: Ecommerce for CPG brands: insights from Mondelez International.)

And this "fit", he added, results from the fact new media removes the gap between shoppers discovering products or encountering marketing messages on the one hand and the chance to buy goods on the other.

"The beautiful thing about digital is that you can market and close in the exact same space, but you can't really do that in most traditional worlds," said Bough.

"Now, our goal is to figure out not only how to do that in the digital space, but also how to extend that and do that in the traditional [space]: how do we connect with the consumer, then actually close and remarket?"

According to predictions from Mondelez International, online packaged-goods sales could top $3 trillion in the next five years.

During the same period, the internet's share of revenue among these firms is pegged to rise from 2% to approximately 10%.

More broadly, digital should deliver in advance of 50% of category growth going forwards, the organisation forecasts.

"All the staples that are changing the business of digital today, we believe we can try in the CPG space. And we think nobody in the marketplace is doing that," said Bough.

"And nobody has uncovered that because we are treating it just like a channel, not like an entirely new, future digitised mix."

Data sourced from Warc


Publishers consider ad blocking options

22 June 2015
NEW YORK: Viewability and fraudulent traffic are the biggest issues facing digital publishers, but ad blocking is rapidly forcing its way up the agenda, according to a leading industry figure.

David Morris, chief revenue officer at CBS Interactive, told Advertising Age that ad blocking ranged between 5% and 40% at his portfolio of 20 sites. And, in his other role as chairman of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, he said the IAB would be convening a task force later this year to discuss the issue.

Some publishers are appealing to the better nature of their readers, politely asking them to turn off their ad blockers. For example, "Please do us a solid and disable your ad blocker. Thanks for supporting Wired" is the banner message that appears to readers of Wired who run ad blocking software.

This approach doesn't work for most sites according to Sean Blanchfield, CEO of Pagefair, a business which measures how many visitors to a site are blocking ads.

"It takes a lot to get someone to reconsider a default setting, such as AdBlock Plus' default setting of blocking every ad format, everywhere," he told Digiday, adding that the most effective solution is generally to simply prevent users from accessing content unless they turn off ad blockers.

But that is a step too far for Digital Content Next, the trade association for online publishers.

"Blocking the blockers seems like a very short-term, tech-arms-race approach," said CEO Jason Kint. "I've never seen an arms race with consumers end well. It's trial and learning whichever approach is taken."

A third option being explored by startup Sourcepoint is to offer users greater transparency and choice over what they see.

"Content consumers and content creators don't have a transparent transaction that occurs on a regular basis so that each of them knows where they sit in the ecosystem," co-founder Ben Barokas explained to Business Insider.

His solution is to let a publisher allow the user to choose their advertising experience, which could mean, for instance, three ads for three stories, or accepting video ads instead of banners or even taking a survey once a week instead of seeing any ads at all.

Data sourced from Advertising Age, Digiday, Business Insider; additional content by Warc staff


Older online Aussies a prime target

22 June 2015
SYDNEY: The habits and expectations of older Australians are changing according to an analysis which has identified the "New Age Retiree" as a significant consumer group worthy of marketers' attention.

Starts at 60, an online community for the over-60s, worked with property consultancy MacroPlan DiMasi to carry out a survey of more than 3,450 people in this age group and found that many 60-69 year olds exhibited characteristics previously associated with consumers ten years their junior.

"The New Age Retiree (60-69) has more similarities with the 50-59 age group pre-2000 than with traditional retirees," according to Brian Haratsis, chairman of Macroplan.

This particular cohort accounts for 10% of the total Australian population of over 60s; half of them are retired and more than half of those still working want to work until at least the age of 65.

They have few concerns about finance or wellbeing. Fully 95% of respondents considered themselves healthy, and 50% of households earned over A$40,000. Further, only 25% still have a mortgage.

This is at a time when the government has just made changes to the part pension that are expected to benefit lower income pensioners and is facing demands for a wider review of the country's retirement income system.

Most of the survey's respondents are comfortable using technology, with only 6% expressing any reservations about their ability to cope. And around one quarter of this tech-savvy group shops online at least once a month.

The hospitality and travel sectors will also take note of their spending habits, as 70% eat out at least once a month, while 40% eat out at least fortnightly. Overseas travel featured in the plans of 40% for the next 12 months.

"If you line up a 20-30 year old and tell me about their spending power compared with the average 60 year old in our country, you have to ask yourself who is more compelling," argued Rebecca Wilson, founder of Starts at 60.

"I'd pick the cohort in which 75% are not paying a mortgage if it were me," she added.

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


India's ecommerce tweaks ad approach

22 June 2015
MUMBAI: India's ecommerce firms are starting to shift their advertising approach away from an emphasis on pricing to one that involves a greater element of brand building.

Livemint highlighted the development of efforts aimed at building an emotional connection to consumers rather than a basic transactional one.

Santosh Kanekar, former marketing head at drinks giant Diageo India, outlined a three-stage progression in advertising.

First, said Kanekar, come discounts; then, marketers seek to attract consumers via persuasion with a more rational proposition; and, finally, they reach the brand-led approach favoured by the likes of Coca-Cola and Apple.

Ecommerce companies, he said, were largely stuck at the first of these stages and "haven't done much in the next two phases" as yet.

"If you really want to become a top consumer brand, you need to do these two things," he explained. "With these ads, you build real loyalty and become aspirational."

The firms themselves agreed they were moving in this direction. "We've seen a great response to our 'Dil ki deal' campaign which shows the connection we've built with customers," said Idimadakala Srinivas Murthy, svp/marketing at Snapdeal.

"At the same time, we will continue to do periodic sales-driven advertising," he added.

Over at rival Flipkart, Shoumyan Biswas, its head of offline marketing, was equally defensive. "We want to build [a] strong emotional connect[ion] with our customers, both existing and new ones," he said. "Our 'har wish hogi poori' [Now every wish will be fulfilled] goes a long way toward communicating this."

Livemint compared the ad wars raging between Indian ecommerce businesses to previous ones between soft drinks companies and soap manufacturers, but noted how the time-scales involved have changed in the digital age.

"Earlier, you had yearly marketing plans; now you have to do real-time marketing and innovate on the go," said Dheeraj Sinha, chief strategy officer (South and South East Asia), at advertising agency Grey India.

"All large ad plans now have a containment strategy [to respond to rivals' ads]. 'How do you get back the attention?' is part of the thinking now."

Data sourced from Live Mint; additional content by Warc staff