FIFA sponsors 'going nowhere'

29 May 2015
ZURICH: Leading sponsors of FIFA have offered a guarded response to the arrests of several of the global footballing organisation's officials on charges of corruption and the opening of an investigation into how the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded.

The most outspoken reaction came from Visa, the financial services business, which talked of its "profound" disappointment and warned that unless changes were made "we will reassess our sponsorship", PR Week reported.

Adidas, the sportswear company, said it expected from its partners the same high standards of ethics and compliance the brand itself promoted, while fast food operator McDonald's described the news as "concerning" and said it was monitoring the situation.

Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola, reminded observers that it had "repeatedly" expressed concerns about the corruption allegations that have surrounded the organisation's handling of the bidding process for the next two World Cups, and in particular the 2022 tournament due to be held in Qatar.

"We expect FIFA to continue to address these issues thoroughly," it said, echoing its statement last November when FIFA declined to publish the results of an investigation into claims that bribes were made in order to win the right to host the World Cup.

But these companies are unlikely to move beyond words, according to Andrew Zimbalist, a sports economist from Smith College. "The large majority of sponsors will hang in there," he told Sky News. "Most sponsors who were putting money into FIFA knew about FIFA's problems, so this was not new for them."

Zimbalist has also recently published a book, Circus Maximus, which charts the rise of FIFA and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to their current prominence. This, he argues, has been achieved by exploiting television and product sponsorship to turn their competitions into primarily commercial events.

Even if one accepts this position, it is also the case, says Alan Pascoe, former Olympic athlete and head of The Partnership Consultancy, that in sports sponsorship, brands are moving from a transactional relationship to one based on an authentic alignment of values.

Writing in Market Leader, Pascoe said: "The advantage of partnerships in sport is that it is a common language, marketing to people's passions – usually in their own leisure time – creating bespoke and individual engagement with target audiences."

Data sourced from PR Week, Sky News, Guardian; additional content by Warc staff


Sky develops pan-European TV

29 May 2015
MILAN: Sky, the pay TV broadcaster, is moving to develop pan-European television programming with a focus on the arts.

Towards the end of last year Sky completed the acquisitions of Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland to create a group serving 20m customers across five countries: Italy, Germany, Austria, the UK and Ireland.

It has now launched the Sky Arts Production Hub, a commissioning and production centre of excellence based in Milan that will focus on "producing pan-European events that will unite international audiences in a unique celebration of the arts". The first of these events will see it launch a competition to find the best amateur photographer in Europe.

The Hub will also produce a wide slate of arts programming for customers across all Sky territories in addition to content commissioned locally.

"Bringing the three Sky businesses together has opened up the opportunity to create new and exciting content," said Jeremy Darroch, Sky group chief executive, adding that the move "underlines our ambition to invest at scale in even more of our own original content".

The Financial Times noted that the bulk of Sky's annual £4.6bn expenditure on content currently goes on securing broadcast rights to sports events, an area where it is facing rising costs and increased competition.

Against the £4.2bn it recently spent to show 126 matches a season from the English Premier League over the next three years, the €18m allocated to funding its new arts hub is small beer – and part of that will come from the closure of its Sky Arts 2 channel in the UK, although the relaunched Sky Arts channel in the UK and Ireland will see programming investment increased by 10%.

It has been suggested that Sky's move will put it into competition with the likes of Netflix, the streaming service which has invested heavily in original content, but an amateur photographer competition falls some way short of Kevin Spacey's turn in House of Cards.

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


Lenovo bets on innovation

29 May 2015
BEIJING: Lenovo has affirmed its faith in innovation to drive future growth as the technology business unveiled new products and demonstrated breakthrough product concepts at Lenovo Tech World, the company's first global technology event.

"We're going to show the world that innovation still matters," chief executive Yang Yuanqing told the Financial Times.

"This is particularly important in China, where all the players are just focusing on the so-called new business model, to use the content and services to subsidise hardware," he added.

That approach, the FT noted, has seen smartphone maker Xiaomi valued at three times the market capitalisation of Lenovo despite having less than one third of its overall sales.

"We will tell the market and the world that this is not the only thing you should be focusing on," Yang declared. "We should still focus on innovation, we should still focus on technology."

Hardware improvements were naturally on display at the event but Lenovo and its partners, including Intel, Microsoft and Baidu, are also advancing user-centric software solutions, particularly in the areas of alternate input including voice, touchscreen technology and pen.

Lenovo also showed off several concept devices, which pointed to a sci-fi future. The 'Magic View' smartwatch, for example, gets around the problems of the device's small screen by using optical reflection to create a virtual image and allows users to see a virtual display more than 20 times larger than the watch face display.

And a 'Smart Cast' smartphone combines built-in laser projector, infrared motion detector and high-performance algorithms to transform the device into something more akin to a PC.

Users can project a large virtual touch screen onto a table to type with a virtual keyboard and work with specific productivity apps (calculator, drawing, note-taking and even edit in Microsoft PowerPoint).

A third, less obvious, concept was 'Smart Shoes', an Internet of Things product that can track and analyse fitness data including heart beats and caloric consumption while also providing maps and directions to places.

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


Digital markets mature

29 May 2015
RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA: Annual growth in the number of internet users and smartphone owners is slowing and the digital focus is rapidly shifting to mobile and video according to the latest Internet Trends report from Mary Meeker.

Now a partner at venture capitalist firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Meeker delivered her 2015 report at the Code Conference, organised by tech news site Re/code, where she described internet user growth as "solid but slowing" – at 8% in 2014, compared to 10% in 2013 and 11% in 2012.

The performance of smartphones was "strong but slowing", as the 65% rate seen in 2012 fell to 27% in 2013 and 23% in 2014.

The fastest growth in new smartphone subscriptions was in Asia, especially in India (+55%) and China (+21%), while Brazil (+28%) also saw a significant increase, as people began to upgrade from feature phones.

Meeker also observed global data traffic continuing to shift decisively towards mobile and video.

Internet video accounted for 64% of all consumer internet traffic in 2014, up from 62% in 2013 and 57% in 2012. And mobile video accounted for 55% of all mobile data traffic, up from 52% in 2013 and 50% in 2012.

In this context, the Washington Post said that the internet is essentially going to become "a big video pipe", as it reported predictions from IT firm Cisco that in the next five years online video will make up 80% of all internet traffic globally, and 85% in the US.

Currently the average American adult spends 5.6 hours a day on the internet, according to Meeker, with just over half that on mobile.

This "will have profound impact on what we consume", noted TechCrunch, as people move away from fewer longer online sessions to multiple short sessions: "Bite-sized content and experiences are becoming favourable".

The oft-observed gap remains between where consumer spend their time and where advertisers spend their money, with print overindexed and mobile underindexed. 

Meeker quantified this opportunity at $25bn in the US alone, indicating huge potential for businesses that can successfully take advantage.

Data sourced from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, TechCrunch, Washington Post; additional content by Warc staff


Programmatic TV to hit $10bn

29 May 2015
NEW YORK: Programmatic TV buying in the US will grow fourfold between 2015 and 2019, by when it will be worth some $10bn according to a new report from Magna Global.

The strategic global media unit of IPG Mediabrands defined programmatic TV as all spending transacted through a technology platform rather than a traditional insertion order and said this currently accounted for between 2% and 3% of TV budgets but would grow to 4%, worth $2.5bn, in 2015, before picking up speed and surging to 17% of expenditure, worth $10bn, in 2019.

"It's nascent and can only grow from here," Vincent Letang, evp/global forecasting at Magna Global, told Advertising Age.

"TV, and other electronic media such as digital out-of-home, can use some of the technologies and data used by digital media formats to develop programmatic/automated trading, audience buying and advanced targeting," he added.

Most programmatic buying currently takes the form of audience buys but the advent of "household addressable" buys is set to significantly increase spending on ads served through set-top boxes.

Letang observed that household addressability was about to take off: "more MSOs will activate set-top-box-based software to be able to target a larger sample of their subscribers with live linear substitution commercial," he explained.

"All major MSOs have plans to make that happen in the next two years and once the solution is available through most MSOs it will generate more interest from more advertisers, national or local." 

Magna Global has previously stated its intention to automate half its buying in 2015 and earlier this year 15 smaller cable networks came together to create a consortium to help it reach specific audiences such as Hispanics, African-Americans and young people.

More generally, the company noted that "an influx of higher quality inventory" across all platforms was helping boost programmatic ad rates. And spending on programmatic video had risen to almost one third of total digital video spending, a proportion expected to rise to more than two thirds by 2019.

Data sourced from Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff


Blog post: Connecting with the new Indian woman

29 May 2015
The place of women in Indian society is currently undergoing a significant shift. Poonam Kumar, Asia Pacific regional director of brand strategy at TNS, explains why and what this means for brands and advertising



Aussies see Facebook negatively

29 May 2015
SYDNEY: Australian social media users regard the level of advertising on Facebook as having reached saturation level according to a report which also finds they are more likely to see Instagram and Pinterest as positive channels.

The soon-to-be-released Social Media & Digital Advertising – Trends, Rights and Wrongs, from consumer insights business The Korn Group, highlights a growing view that Facebook is a "negative" channel, thanks to the online behaviours of both people and brands, Campaign Brief reported.

This conclusion emerged from group discussions in locations across Sydney and Melbourne with participants reflecting a mix of backgrounds and ages between 18 and 55.

"Facebook has become synonymous with people projecting an idealised version of their life and it is leading users to question their own lives," noted founder and chief executive Neer Korn.

But given the numbers of people using it, most continue to have a presence there, despite the increased levels of abuse being reported.

"The negative comments and trolling have created the overwhelming view that the platform, while seeming necessary and even addictive, has become a negative experience for many people," Korn said.

Brand communications were also contributing to this. "A lot of the communications on social media and digital were seen as interruptive, in your face and disruptive," Korn reported.

"To me it was almost 'anti-branding' because it was the brand getting in your way," he told Ad News. "If you're a brand, you actually don't want to put off your consumer – but that's what a lot of them end up doing."

That was not the case, however, on visual sites such as Instagram and Pinterest. "These sites rely on strong, beautiful imagery and thrive on positive uplifting images that are both inspiring and aspiring for consumers," Korn explained.

"The presence of brands, particularly through postings by celebrities, only adds to this experience and people are happy to follow brands on these channels," he added.

His advice was that brands think seriously about why they are using particular social media and whether their offering is appropriate to that environment.

"There is a need to think more about how to enhance the user experience if brands are to be successful in the social media space."

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


HotelTonight shows power of mobile

29 May 2015
NEW YORK: HotelTonight, an app enabling last-minute hotel bookings, has successfully shown how mobile can offer unique forms of utility to consumers while also encouraging incremental purchase occasions.

Sam Shank, HotelTonight's co-founder/ceo, discussed this subject at TechCrunch's Disrupt NY 2015 conference.

The app – which has been downloaded over 11m times – lets users make reservations at a curated list of hotels for competitive prices. It initially focused on same-day bookings, but has since extended that period to seven days in advance.

"It's about really last-minute. It's about then making last-minute incredibly awesome," said Shank. (For more, including details of the firm's marketing strategy, read Warc's exclusive report: HotelTonight seeks to disrupt the travel disruptors.)

"So: really great deals; really great hotels; almost brain-dead simple – you don't have to read through thousands of hotels and hundreds of thousands of reviews to find the right hotel for you.

"We did all the quality control and curation ahead of time; and then the booking was only three taps and a swipe."

Between 40% and 45% of the company's reservations are attributable to business travellers at present, according to Shank, showing its product can address various possible use cases.

"What we found is: if you build a really good consumer product that solves a problem of great last-minute booking solution, that [also] works for business travellers," he said.

Unlike platforms such as Groupon – which tend to rely on soliciting discounts on advance bookings – HotelTonight's stated aim is assisting accommodation providers in filling rooms that are expected to be unoccupied.

"We thought that we could unlock new use cases … for people that might be out, might be convinced to spend the night, might be convinced to book an incremental hotel stay through our hotel partners," Shank said.

"It wasn't that we wanted to take their same-day bookings … and we've proven that we haven't done that."

From the consumer-side, its service has also offered both greater flexibility as well as heightened predictability, as people looking for a room know there is a strong chance of a desirable destination being available.

"We really never sell out: we always have something. And we typically are going to be the guys that have the last rooms in a particular city," said Shank.

"We, ultimately, feel like we help people be more spontaneous in their lives. That's sort of the motto of HotelTonight – make the world more spontaneous, help people enjoy the serendipity of life."

Data sourced from Warc


Consumer confidence at 9-year high

28 May 2015
LONDON: UK consumer confidence is higher than at any time since the pre-recession days of 2006, while the proportion of those willing to spend money is at its highest on record, according to the latest data from research firm Nielsen.

As reported by the Press Association, Nielsen's UK Consumer Confidence Index hit 97 in the first quarter of 2015, its fifth consecutive quarter of growth and taking it close to the 100 benchmark that separates optimism from pessimism.

The UK has not seen such a high level of consumer confidence since the first quarter of 2006, when sentiment reached 101, and it means the country matches Nielsen's Global Index of 97.

Close to half (45%) of British consumers now feel positive about their job prospects, the highest level for more than seven years, while the proportion of people feeling now is a good time to spend is also up three points to 45%.

Meanwhile, even though the UK has been recording strong economic growth for some time, just over half (51%) still believe the country is in a recession.

But the proportion holding this view has fallen for the eighth consecutive month and 51% is the lowest level since the question first appeared in the UK Index in 2008.

Commenting on the findings, Nielsen UK managing director Steve Smith, said: "Consumer confidence in the UK continues to rise. The UK is one of the fastest growing major economies, unemployment is falling and people are benefiting from zero inflation and lower prices in supermarkets and petrol stations.

"Whilst the majority of people are still cost-cutting – perhaps habitually now – wages, for others, are rising faster than household expenses.

"This is leading to more optimism about their future spending, so we expect to see confidence continue to rise in 2015."

The latest good news about the British economy followed another optimistic report from the Confederation of British Industry, which found retail sales in May reached their highest level in more than 26 years.

The employers' organisation also said sales expectations for the year to June were even more optimistic with 63% of UK retailers expecting sales volumes to grow again.

"Low inflation, which we expect to remain below 1% for the rest of the year, has given household incomes a much-needed boost and greater spending power," said Rain Newton-Smith, director of economics at the CBI.

Data sourced from Press Association, BBC; additional content by Warc staff


Mobile shoppers spend more

28 May 2015
NOTTINGHAM: UK retailers could be missing out on an estimated £6.6bn per year due to underinvestment in their mobile offering, a new report into mobile spending has warned., the discounting portal, and the Centre for Retail Research questioned 1,000 online shoppers in the UK and found 15% now use their mobile as a primary shopping device and also that they are inclined to spend more.

Consumers with a propensity to shop on mobile generally make 47% more transactions and spend 55% more than purely online shoppers, Telemedia reported.

Yet 40% feel the mobile shopping experience could be improved with the biggest annoyances being slow loading pages (64%), websites that freeze (49%) and too many products to sift through (46%).

Concerns about security (43%) and poor payment options (35%) also put off consumers from mobile shopping, leading the report to recommend that retailers improve the mobile experience they offer potential customers.

Retailers themselves expect to lose 22% of sales due to a poor mobile website and a quarter (26%) because of a poor mobile application. Also, a full 17% of retailers have no mobile offering at all.

"A key outtake from our research is the importance of simplicity and a seamless experience," said Claire Davenport, managing director of

"Of customers that use mobile as their primary shopping device, almost half (44%) said they did so because it was convenient. [But] problems like slow loading sites and poor payment options are preventing consumers from getting to the point of purchase.

"An astounding 40% feel mobile retail could be improved – retailers could potentially monetise this group if they improved their offering."

Fortunately, the report found that many retailers do recognise the opportunities on offer with two-thirds (66%) saying investment in mobile retail would help drive sales and another 88% believing mobile could drive more visits in-store.

This matters because £6.6bn is at stake, according to the report's calculation that 51.7m UK adults aged over 16 spend £359.51 a year extra in mobile-oriented stores.

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


eBay plans cost-per-sale ad model

28 May 2015
SAN JOSE, CA: eBay is planning to roll out a new model for advertising on its online marketplace whereby sellers only pay for ads when users make a purchase.

Rather than relying on cost-per-click ads to generate revenue, the new Promoted Listings service will enable sellers to bid for ads based on a flexible percentage of the final purchase price from a sale.

Ads carrying a higher specified percentage will be displayed more prominently on eBay, although the company will also take into account a product's popularity and the seller's reputation, Bloomberg reported.

This new cost-per-sale approach is designed, in part, to appeal to eBay's large base of smaller merchants, who often don't have the means to track the effectiveness of ads.

But it also will help to improve the visibility of eBay's database of products for mobile shoppers, who often find browsing difficult because of the small screen size of their mobile devices.

Starting in June, Promoted Listings will be made available to a selected number of eBay subscribers in the US, UK, Germany and Australia, but the service is likely to be extended later in the year.

Alex Linde, vice president of advertising and monetisation at eBay, said embedding Promoted Listings within a user's search facility would strengthen the company's strategy of developing more mobile-first formats for native commerce.

"We want to match the right product to the right query to the right bid and get all the way down to sale," he said in comments to AdExchanger.

In pursuit of that ambition, he said eBay's chief product officer is currently "reinventing the consumer side of our shopper experience to make it much more browsable and shoppable by considering how brand advertising and seller promotions fit in there".

Data sourced from Bloomberg, AdExchanger; additional content by Warc staff


Facebook 'most effective' for marketers

28 May 2015
LOS ANGELES: Facebook is regarded by marketers as by far the most important social network for helping them grow and market their business, a recent survey has revealed.

That is the opinion of over half (52%) of the 3,720 marketers who participated in the 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, MarketingProfs reported.

Produced by Social Media Examiner, the online magazine, the report sought the opinion of both B2C and B2B marketers, although the former made up the great majority of survey participants (61% versus 39%).

Overall, about a fifth (21%) view LinkedIn as the most effective social platform for marketing their business, but the social network for professionals is much more important for B2B marketers. 41% say it is the most important network they use compared with 30% who opt for Facebook.

Returning to the survey results for all marketers, Twitter ranks third (13%), followed by YouTube and Google+ (both 4%), Pinterest (3%) and Instagram (2%). Social media sites and forums are each seen as the most effective for 1% of marketers.

As well as being seen as most important, Facebook is also the social network most used by marketers to grow their business.

A full 93% of the marketers surveyed say they use Facebook, followed by Twitter (73%), LinkedIn (71%), Google+ (56%), YouTube (55%), Pinterest (45%) and Instagram (36%). Snapchat and Vine, the social sites particularly popular with teenagers, are used by only 2% and 4% respectively.

Increased exposure is seen by 90% as the main benefit of social media marketing, but other important benefits include increased traffic (77%), developing loyalty (69%), providing marketplace insight (68%), generating leads (65%) and improving search rankings (58%).

Finally, some 68% of marketers say they want to improve their knowledge about how to use Facebook effectively, while 62% want to learn more about how to use LinkedIn.

Data sourced from MarketingProfs; additional content by Warc staff


Tinder plays cupid for brands

28 May 2015
NEW YORK: Tinder, the dating app, is leveraging the same kind of data that enables it to pair up users with potential matches to help marketers like 20th Century Fox and Bud Light connect with its members.

Sean Rad, Tinder's co-founder/president, discussed this subject at TechCrunch's Disrupt NY 2015 conference.

The company, he reported, has introduced its first marketing products, which include video ad units and mock profiles that brands can upload – with Bud Light and 20th Century Fox already having tapped such tools.

"We collect a lot of data, and there's a whole team that's continuously looking at different pockets of data we can capture and using that to generate more relevant matches," said Rad. (For more, including examples of early ad campaigns on the app, read Warc's exclusive report: Tinder encourages consumers to "swipe right" for brands.)

"[The] data we use in generating better recommendations: that extends to advertising, our goal being to get you better people recommendations, but also better content recommendations through ads."

Perhaps the best-known aspects of the Tinder experience is the fact its users swipe right on a photo of a nearby match to indicate their interest, and swipe left to move on to the next option.

And, according to Rad, its members have instinctually applied a similar logic when presented with ads, offering the firm a stream of useful information about their preferences.

"The way we designed the system, if you swipe left or right, that's actually a signal we use. Once there's more [of a significant] volume of ads, it will be leveraged more," he said.

"But it's interesting, because we didn't tell our users that's how it works, but instinctually people just figured it out, which was just great to see."

Combining this swiping data with the demographic details that users provide while joining Tinder, and information the company can glean from Facebook – which is linked to the sign-up process – provides another layer of insight, too.

"There's a set of implicit signals that we know about you based on your behaviour and whatnot, and some explicit signals based on information you give us when you sign up," Rad said.

Data sourced from Warc


Google helps Indian SMEs to grow

28 May 2015
NEW DELHI: Google India has announced ambitious plans to help 20m small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in India to get online by 2017 and hopes to win their business with a mobile app designed exclusively for them.

The internet giant sees the "Google My Business" mobile app as being key to the success of the initiative because it will help Indian businesses to create and manage their information across Google platforms for free, in both Hindi and English, the Financial Express reported.

Launched just five months ago, "Google My Business" has already built up 1m business users and is attracting 25,000 new businesses each week, according to Rajan Anandan, vice president and managing director of Google India and South-East Asia.

"SMEs have been central to Google's success globally and have been a strategic focus for us in India," he said. "Our moonshot aim is to get 20m SMEs online in the next three years."

He said India will have over 500m internet users by 2017 and they will need access to all sorts of information in their local languages as well as much better online connectivity to businesses than is currently available.

There are 51m SMEs in India, yet less than 5 to 6 percent have an online presence, so Google wants its new product to plug the information gap, especially as about two-thirds of internet users in India access the internet only through their mobiles.

"Indian SMEs have struggled to build and maintain their online presence. Search experience for local business in India is broken today and we want to fix it by connecting businesses with their customers," said Anandan.

Data sourced from Financial Express, Forbes India; additional content by Warc staff


Chinese m-commerce grows 168%

28 May 2015
SHANGHAI: Mobile shopping in China witnessed 168.3% year-on-year growth in the first quarter of 2015, taking the value of Chinese m-commerce to 362.3bn yuan (US$58.4bn), the latest industry data has shown.

Although this was slightly down from 380.2bn yuan spent in Q4 2014, iResearch Consulting Group, the Chinese technology research firm, said it expected m-commerce to continue to record relatively high growth in the second quarter.

Mobile accounted for nearly half (47.8%) of all online shopping in China in Q1 2015, the report said, an increase of 22% from the same period last year, and it is expected to exceed 50% in terms of volume over the course of the year.

Alibaba's Taobao Wireless platform was by far the largest mobile player, with market share of 84.5%, but this was down slightly from 87.4% a year ago as smaller competitors mounted a challenge to its dominance.

Beijing-based JD, for example, took 5.2% market share in the first quarter, Vip took 2.8%, while other players increased their share from 4.2% in Q4 2014 to 4.6% in Q1 2015.

Some, such as Jumei, China's leading retailer of beauty products, did so by focusing on its overseas shopping business, while traditional enterprises like Dangdang and Amazon "made great efforts" by launching micro shops and delivering holiday promotions via mobile apps.

Separate research by Warc, conducted on behalf of the Mobile Marketing Association Asia Pacific, has found a growing impetus for mobile in the region this year. Of those surveyed, one in three now assign 10% or more of their marketing budgets directly to mobile, up from one in five in 2013.

Further, of the technologies enabled by mobile marketing, those which complement m-commerce, namely location-based marketing and the mobile wallet, have both increased in significance this year, and are expected to grow in adoption come 2020.

The full results from the survey are due to be presented at the MMA Forum 2015, to be held in Singapore in July. 

Data sourced from iResearch Consulting Group; additional content by Warc staff


Apple reclaims most valuable brand title

27 May 2015
LONDON: Apple is once again the world's most valuable brand, as the latest BrandZ rankings show the tech giant resuming the top spot, well ahead of rivals like Google and Microsoft.

The Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands report and rankings, produced by WPP and Millward Brown, uses the views of potential and current buyers of a brand, alongside financial data, to calculate brand value.

The launch of the iPhone 6 has been instrumental in boosting Apple's brand value by an extraordinary 67% in the course of one year to reach $246,992m.

"Apple continues to 'own' its category by innovating and leading the curve in a way that generates real benefits for consumers," said Doreen Wang, Millward Brown's Global Head of BrandZ.

"It meets their rational and emotional needs, and makes life easier in a fun and relevant way," she added. "Apple is clear on what it stands for, and never stops refreshing its message to sustain the difference that makes it so desirable."

Behind Apple, tech brands occupied the next three slots. In second place, Google's brand value increased 9% to $173,652m; Microsoft was third, rising 28% to $115,500m; and IBM was fourth, its value declining 13% to $93,987m.

Technology was in fact the fastest-growing category, up 24% in the last year: tech brands in the Top 100 were worth more than $1 trillion, nearly a third of the value of all brands in the ranking.

The fastest-growing individual brand also came from these ranks, as Facebook registered a 99% advance in brand value.

BrandZ also noted a shift from West to East as the number of Chinese brands in the Top 100 had risen to 14 over the past decade, with a corresponding decline in the number originating in Western Europe.

One example of a Chinese brand making waves was Alibaba, as the ecommerce business was valued at $66.4bn, higher than Amazon or Walmart.

Overall the total brand value of the Top 100 had risen 126% over the past ten years, despite the disruption caused by the global financial crisis. This, suggested David Roth, CEO of WPP EMEA and Asia, was proof that investing in the creation of strong, valuable brands delivered superior returns to shareholders.

"This is a pivotal moment for brand builders," he declared. "We're at the threshold of a new normal, and a changing consumer."

Data sourced from BrandZ; additional content by Warc staff


Ryanair in personalisation push

27 May 2015
DUBLIN: Being nice to customers has helped boost profits at budget airline Ryanair by 66% and the company now plans to turn its attention to its digital marketing and to personalisation in particular.

The airline, which has a long history of poor customer service, has sought to change its image over the past two years after Michael O'Leary, the abrasive CEO, admitted it should probably stop doing things "that unnecessarily piss people off".

The worth of that approach was evident last November when interim profits rose 32%. "If I had known being nice to customers would work so well I would have started many years ago," O'Leary said then.

The company is currently half way through 'Always Getting Better', a three-year turnaround programme. Operations chief Mick Hickey told Marketing magazine that the business was near the end of the first stage of scrapping "those items that hack people off", including excessive baggage charges and the trumpet sound that plays when a plane arrives on time.

The airline has also increased the number of primary airports it serves – "the runway is close to a big city on the map, not just in the minds of Ryanair's marketing department", the FT noted acerbically – to attract more business passengers.

The second stage relates to interacting with customers, including the launch of the My Ryanair apps, "and we'll have a continuous rollout of those products as we go forward", Hickey said.

Chief financial officer Neil Sorahan elaborated on the digital focus. "We spent an extra €25m on marketing last year – that was a step-change and there will be another step-change this year," he said.

"We're trying to get better at personalisation on the app and the mobile and desktop sites," he added.

"As we enhance that, we'll be able to better target passengers with the offers they want – that's the real goal for us."

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


Marketers explore use of branded emoji

27 May 2015
NEW YORK: Marketers looking for a way to exploit the surge in the use of messaging apps are exploring the use of branded emoji.

Ad Exchanger highlighted the work of New York start-up Snaps, which allows advertisers to create, distribute and host free, downloadable keyboards populated with GIFs, stickers and emoji which users can then insert into messages in any messaging app they use.

Already it counts Burger King, Viacom, Kraft and Sony Pictures among its clients. Another is candy brand Trolli which recently rolled out its "TrolliMoji" keyboard in support of its Weirdly Awesome campaign but with plans to continually update it with new emoji and GIF content to keep interest alive.

"Messaging can and should be a way to share and distribute content," explained Snaps CEO Christian Brucculeri.

"In a way, you can think of it like a Facebook page," he added. "You don't run a campaign on your Facebook page and then suddenly stop posting – this is the same."

Separately co-founder Vivian Rosenthal has described it as "advertising from a completely different perspective" since it was non-intrusive and opt-in.

"Fans choose to download the keyboards," she told Digiday. "That choice gives them agency and makes them brand evangelists on their own."

For the future Brucculeri is considering whether to have users register so that keyboards and phone numbers can be linked and users rewarded, while beacon integration could allow advertisers to send targeted offers to people in specific locations.

"Promoji", a combination of promotion and emoji, are also in the offing, described as "easily sharable, visually appealing coupons that users could scan at a point of sale to tie messaging together with offline behaviour".

1-800-Flowers has already dipped its toe into these waters, working with Snaps' rival Swyft Media to make a themed sticker pack available in the run-up to Mother's Day. This was downloaded 225,000 times over three days with images shared 742,000 times.

Users who engaged with the stickers were also given access to a promotion code within the messaging app that could later be used when making flower purchases. "Attribution, behaviour and conversion – it can be an easy loop in messaging," according to Amit Shah, svp/ online, mobile and social media.

"Emoji are the only non-interruptive currency left," he added. "It's not as superficial as it might seem on the surface."

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


Aussies ditch online shopping

27 May 2015
SYDNEY: Almost one third of online shoppers in Australia and New Zealand are abandoning the internet and going back to bricks-and-mortar retailers, according to a new survey which highlights the frustrations they are experiencing in this channel.

Cloud-hosting company Rackspace commissioned a survey of more than 1,000 online shoppers across Australia and New Zealand and found that 45% of respondents had abandoned a purchase after encountering difficulties with a website, while 47% had gone to a different site to purchase the same product.

But 29% of respondents said they had given up on online retailing altogether because of their poor shopping experiences, Mass Retailer reported.

And advertising was the prime culprit: the volume of pop-up ads was cited as the leading irritation by 42% of online shoppers, ahead of other factors such as online service failing to match that in-store (34%) and the time spent in narrowing down the available options (28%).

On that last point, 42% of shoppers reported that online search categories did not match their required criteria, while another 42% said that websites didn't provide options that were specific to their search.

"People shop online due to the convenience it offers, but they are being driven away because they aren't able to navigate through to purchase quickly and easily enough," said Angus Dorney, director and general manager, Rackspace ANZ.

"Retailers should apply the same simple old-fashioned customer service values to their online site, as they would to the physical shop front," he added. "It should be inviting, easy to navigate and helpful."

Dorney also pointed to the average time spent browsing for an item on an online retail site: 15.5 minutes. "That's a massive amount of consumer capture time, as well as spending potential that is being missed by online retailers, simply because of issues on their websites," he observed.

Most of those surveyed (83%) said they valued online shopping for the convenience, but 44% thought traditional retail outlet shopping was quicker if they knew what they were looking for and 43% preferred the service they received in-store.

But showrooming remains an issue. More than one third (36%) said they had chosen an item in a store but then gone online to buy it at a cheaper price.

Data sourced from Mass Retailer; additional content by Warc staff


OOH major influence on mobile behaviour

27 May 2015
SAN DIEGO, CA: Out-of-home (OOH) media are particularly effective in reaching smartphone users shortly before they engage in activities such as mobile shopping, mobile search, and mobile social networking.

These findings emerged from a study by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) which saw 1,837 smartphone users aged 18-64 record, via a smartphone eDiary, their location, mode of transport, media activity, purchase behaviour and emotional context every half hour over a seven-day period.

These efforts revealed that OOH media typically reached panellists in the hour prior to 43% of mobile shopping activity, ahead of TV (27%), AM/FM radio (12%) and print newspapers (3%).

They also reached participants in the hour before 32% of mobile search activity, outpacing TV (26%), AM/FM radio (9%); and print newspapers (2%).

The differences were less marked when it came to social media activity generally and brand-related social media activity specifically.

In the former case OOH media reached panellists in the hour prior to 28% of mobile social media activity, matched by TV (27%) in this instance, but ahead of AM/FM radio (8%) and newspapers (1%).

And for the latter, it reached participants in the hour before 34% of brand-related social media activity, again on par with TV (34%) and ahead of AM/FM radio (15%) and print newspapers (7%).

In all cases, the study reported, OOH media exposure was greater for transit/bulletins/street furniture than for place-based media.

It also found that OOH was more likely than other media to reach smartphone users in the hour prior to QSR visits and mall visits, and in the same half-hour as considering purchases in the automotive, fashion and apparel, and fast food categories.

"These media could potentially influence consumers' purchase decisions in these and presumably other categories," the OOOA argued.

Separately, the organisation reported 20th consecutive quarter of growth in OOH advertising revenues, which rose 4.7% in the first quarter compared to the same period a year earlier.

The fastest-growing advertising categories were government and politics (+11.5%), financial (+10.5%) and media and advertising (+9.4%).

Data sourced from OOOA; additional content by Warc staff


Blog: Hitting the sweet spot for content

27 May 2015
Savvy and cynical consumers make it challenging to produce content that cuts through. But, says Sandra Peat, strategy director at content company ONE TWO FOUR, if you can get it right, it's a fantastic way to build relevance and engagement with an audience by leveraging their interests through credibility and awareness.



Postmates champions on-demand economy

27 May 2015
NEW YORK: Postmates, a delivery company currently working with partners like Chipotle and McDonald's, believes the on-demand economy is now gaining more recognition among major brands.

Bastian Lehmann, Postmates's co-founder/ceo, discussed this subject at the TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2015 conference.

With a fleet incorporating over 10,000 couriers, who carry orders to consumers' doorstep in under an hour, Postmates is active in 26 cities across America and has made in excess of two million deliveries to date.

And the company is also currently handling deliveries for Chipotle, the Mexican restaurant chain, in 67 locations, alongside undertaking a test program for several McDonald's quick-service outlets in New York.

"Larger brands realise that this market of same-day delivery has been created, there is an infrastructure like Postmates in place, and they want to see if they can utilise that same infrastructure," said Lehmann. (For more, including details of the firm's "bottom-up" and "top-down" models, read Warc's exclusive report: How Postmates spreads the word about on-demand delivery.)

Postmates was founded in 2011 and has since expanded its geographic reach, built up its fleet and refined the algorithm which maps out the optimal route for deliveries.

"What's going to happen is that people will understand that the market is now created, and, all of a sudden, it seems, Postmates is a large player in it," said Lehmann.

"For us, it's just continuous work over the last three years. But [for] a lot of people, because they start noticing [the] trends now, Postmates just appears."

While Postmates is one of the leading players in this space, competition may well intensify, with CrunchBase estimating that the industry attracted $1.28bn in investment during the first four months of 2015.

That total surpassed the comparative figure generated throughout all of 2014 –and corporate giants such as Google, Amazon and Uber are also expected to ramp up their own efforts.

Lehmann, however, suggested that Postmates possesses the advantage of already having tackled logistical issues which are essential, and highly complex, components of the on-demand economy.

"I think it is very challenging to build an on-demand logistics platform in the first place," he said.

"The beautiful thing about what we did at Postmates is that we could do it for two or three years when not many people cared about the market."

Data sourced from Warc


IPL 8 the 'best ever'

27 May 2015
MUMBAI: Close games, high quality cricket, packed stadia, record TV ratings and revenues in excess of Rs 1,000 crore for the official broadcaster have made the eighth India Premier League season the most lucrative so far.

"The ratings clearly show that the IPL is getting bigger with each passing season," IPL chairman Rajeev Shukla told India Today. "It was one of the most interesting IPLs with a lot of quality cricket."

"We have been highly successful as the ratings show that even the women viewership has increased this time round," he added.

Figures from rival measurement agencies TAM and BARC backed up his claims. Before the final stages began, TAM data indicated that viewers spent just over 45 minutes per match this year, a 9% increase on IPL 7. And BARC data showed that more people were watching cricket than soap operas for the first time since IPL 2.

There had been concerns that the sheer volume of cricket – IPL 8 followed hard on the heels of the ICC Cricket World Cup – would lead to viewer fatigue but that does not appear to have happened.

Broadcasting advertising revenues have yet to be released but a senior executive at MSM, parent of official broadcaster Sony, told that it would achieve around Rs 1000 crore.

A leading media expert thought that figure was likely to be an underestimate and suggested Rs 1,200 crore would be nearer the mark.

"This is the best IPL Sony has ever had since inception," he said. "They had Rs 1000 crore before the first ball was bowled – more brands associated with them and hence the inventory was packed."

In fact, TAM data suggest that, overall, slightly fewer brands advertised this year across commercial, onscreen, and in-stadia – 214 against 218 in 2014 – but the number of onscreen advertisers rose from 31 to 34 and commercial ad volumes grew 4%.

Fans took to social media, especially Facebook and Twitter, in huge numbers to discuss events on the field. Between April 1 and May 24, Facebook recorded 29m global users having 312m interactions, while Twitter registered more than 350m live impressions between April 8 and May 25.

Data sourced from, Live Mint, Television Post, India Today; additional content by Warc staff


Caution urged on livestreaming

26 May 2015
LONDON: Marketers need to avoid rushing into the use of new livestreaming video apps such as Periscope and Meerkat and carefully consider what it is they are trying to achieve as well as how they might work with a new generation of influencers.

A new Warc Trends Snapshot, Livestreaming apps – the value of Periscope and Meerkat for brands, examines the rapid rise of unedited content broadcasting via mobile and how brands can best address yet another new platform.

In the few months since these two apps debuted several high-profile brands have leapt on board with differing degrees of success.

The invitation extended to consumers from paint manufacturer Glidden to watch paint dry may have been a good one-off joke that worked because of the platform's novelty but, as is often the case in content marketing, drinks brand Red Bull had a rather more pertinent approach which helped reinforce its core proposition.

It was active on Meerkat by March 11, streaming trials from its Double Pipe snowboarding competition in Aspen, Colorado – and eliciting an enthusiastic user response.

And the following month, several automakers, including smart, Jaguar, Nissan and Toyota, were using these apps to launch new vehicles at the New York Auto Show.

Anna Francis, content manager at MySocialAgency, emphasised the need for meticulous planning and rehearsal. "They [brands] shouldn't dive in head first without developing a clear strategy as to how they can benefit from using the platforms," she said.

"They need to take time to decide what content will be streamed, and most importantly, rehearse it, in order to iron out any potential problems that may occur during a live video session with an audience."

Toby Phillips, a digital strategist at Social@Ogilvy, concurred, adding that brands ought to cultivate a consistent "face" or "personality" on these properties, whether that was one spokesperson or a group of employees that invite consumers into a live company event, or even an outside influencer with whom the brand co-produces a livestream.

"We'll see more 'Periscope celebrities' emerge – just like we saw Vine and YouTube influencers get big," Phillips predicted. "On the brand-side, I suspect we'll see a lot of sponsorships of livestreams in conjunction with influencers.

Data sourced from Warc


Brands can harness social complaints

26 May 2015
LONDON: The past year has seen a sharp rise in the number of people in the UK taking to social networks to make complaints with one in four social media users having done so in the past three months, research has shown.

The Institute of Customer Service surveyed 2,195 consumers and carried out 12 in-depth interviews with senior customer service executives for its report 'Service Goes Social: how organisations can deliver customer service through social media'  and reported an eight-fold increase between 2014 and 2015 in the use of platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Google+ to make a complaint.

It further revealed that 12% of consumers used social media platforms to escalate their complaints if those made through traditional channels brought no results.

But the Institute reassured organisations they had no need to fear increased levels of activity on social media: "the data goes on to suggest that two-thirds (64%) of customers describe their interactions as 'a good experience', with just 14% suggesting their experience was less than positive".

Many consumers, it said, like or follow those businesses they buy from and 39% actively gave feedback. Almost one third (31%) also turned to social media to make pre-sales enquiries – effectively using social as a shop window.

"We have reached a point where social media is not just a necessary component of a credible customer service strategy but one which offers powerful insights that drive better innovation, co-creation and collaboration," said Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service.

"To make this a reality, social media needs to be a central part of a coherent, sustained and long-term focus on customer service strategy, something that many organisations are yet to do," she added.

That means, for example, reducing response times, finding ways to ensure round-the-clock service and taking responsibility for dealing with queries in order to avoid any reputational damage from social media failures.

At the same time, they will have to ensure employees are fully trained in how social media works and empower them to make quick decisions, which in turn means ensuring they have a good range of "soft skills", cross-organisational knowledge and the ability to exercise good judgement.

Causon suggested that those organisations that did this would have a competitive advantage over those that were slow to adopt.

"It's all about choice and enabling the consumer to interact with the company in a way that they choose," she said.

Data sourced from The Institute of Customer Service; additional content by Warc staff


US consumers claim ethical response

26 May 2015
NEW YORK: A majority of American consumers say they would take their business elsewhere if a company whose products or service they use was embroiled in a supplier scandal.

Proxima, a procurement services provider and outsourcer, polled more than 1,000 American consumers earlier this year and found that 74% stated they would be unlikely to buy products or services from a company involved in controversial supplier practices.

And they were prepared to take a personal hit: nearly 66% would stop giving such a company their business even if that company was the most convenient and cheapest option, Supply Management reported.

Nor was this attitude restricted to better-off consumers. One in three of those earning less than $35,000 a year indicated they would avoid patronizing a scandal-ridden company.

Further, nearly a third of respondents said they would proactively tell friends and family to stop spending their money with a company involved in controversial supplier practices.

"In recent years, we've seen a tremendous shift as companies are relying more heavily on suppliers for everything from their core offering to the market to back office services," said Jonathan Cooper-Bagnall, evp & commercial director at Proxima.

"With this increased reliance comes increased risk and a requirement to engage suppliers with ethical and responsible track records," he added, arguing that the study showed companies who did not do so were "at risk for significant commercial consequences".

Consumers don't draw a distinction between company and supplier, he said. They "are placing as much blame, if not more, squarely at the feet of the company".

But what consumers say they do is not necessarily the same as what they actually do. And beyond that there is also the issue of the extent of their knowledge.

This was clearly evident two years ago when a clothing factory collapsed in Bangladesh, killing 1,120 people and leading brands, including Walmart and Gap which sourced clothing from that country, became involved in talks about improving fire and safety regulations there.

A Harris Interactive poll at that time showed that over half of Americans (56%) did not look to see where clothing items were manufactured before making purchases.

And while 69% of those polled had heard about the factory collapse, with 92% of those aware it had killed clothing workers, among these consumers, over half (52%) said that the deaths would not affect their purchase decisions one way or the other.

Data sourced from Supply Management; additional content by Warc staff


PepsiCo tackles 'magic' price points

26 May 2015
SINGAPORE: Global brands operating in developing countries can free themselves from the restrictions imposed by "magic price points" by developing a better understanding of the perceived value of their brands to consumers, according to PepsiCo.

As most transactions in these markets are on a cash basis, typically at a small store, brands have tended to focus on so-called "magic price points" linked to coinage availability as a way of growing penetration. The flip side is that brands then fear what will happen to revenues if pack prices are moved to a higher level.

PepsiCo set out to examine how it might optimally link brand equity and pricing strategy and chart a different path from the usual ones adopted to deal with raw material inflation and the discounted prices of rivals such as simply reducing pack size or seeking further supply chain efficiencies.

In Measuring pricing power of a global brand in an Asian market, a paper presented at the recent ESOMAR Asia-Pacific conference and available to Warc subscribers, the authors – Ruchira Jain, vp/consumer strategy & insights at PepsiCo India, Kamal Sen and Venu Gorti, CEO and evp respectively at Singapore's Cogitaas AVA, Singapore, and Don Sexton, Professor of Marketing at Columbia University in the US – outlined a holistic research method that had enabled them to achieve this aim.

Their approach was based on the concept of Customer Value Added, which is essentially the difference between the perceived value of a product or service and its cost per unit.

"This gives a very tractable measure of brand equity," they reported: "namely Perceived Value which is not measured through heuristic scores but statistically based on past purchases by all consumers."

From this they then developed two further metrics: Maximized Consumer Value, the highest value perceived by a brand's most loyal consumer; and Consumer Surplus Factor, a monetary measure of "satisfaction, or surplus, perceived over and above what we pay for it".

This enabled them to answer a number of questions, including whether to raise prices of its largest brands or to raise others in the portfolio, and, within a brand, to consider which SKUs/variants/regions have more pricing power.

The overall conclusion was that "investing in equity pays" in emerging markets.

"In a battle between products that invest in advertising and marketing and those that focus on low cost positioning, we have found that products that consciously build 'brands' tend to build higher consumer value, and thereby do have the license to operate at premium pricing," the authors stated.

Data sourced from ESOMAR


Multiple contexts key to content

26 May 2015
HONG KONG: Context has always been a vital factor in content marketing but marketers face an increasingly difficult task in getting this right at multiple levels in the Asia Pacific region.

"Effective content is a cocktail of geography, platform, industry and device," according to Henry Wood, APAC lead/Studio D at Waggener Edstrom Communications.

His comments came as the communications agency published a new report, Content Matters: The Impact of Brand Storytelling Online in 2015, based on a survey of more than 4,000 consumers in nine markets – Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and South Korea – and covering nine industries.

This found that people across the region – particularly in the Philippines, India and China – were more likely than not to follow a brand on social media, and while most were there primarily for the promotions and discounts, this wasn't true in every case, with subsequent implications for the design of campaigns.

Thus, for example, access to discounts was the main reason to follow a brand in Hong Kong (46%), the Philippines (40%), Indonesia (38%), China (37%), Malaysia (36%), South Korea (35%), Singapore (33%) and Australia (31%). In India, however, discounts (27%) took second place to general news about the brand (29%).

An interest in general news was a consistent feature – only Hong Kongers did not cite it among their top three reasons for following a brand. And few consumers felt the need for exclusive content – this sentiment was at its highest among Malaysian consumers, 20% of whom referred to this.

Other reasons for following a brand included customer service, important in India (23%), Indonesia (22%), Singapore (22%) and South Korea (15%), and general inquiries, mentioned in Hong Kong (24%) and the Philippines (30%). Almost one quarter of those in China and Hong Kong also said they simply loved the brand.

The report further noted that while Facebook and WhatsApp were the dominant networks in the regions, the third most-preferred social network was different in almost every market.

"Singapore consumers are hot for Instagram, Indonesians love to tweet, and China is bonding via WeChat," said Waggener Edstrom.

More differences emerged as regards which channels influenced consumers. In South Korea, for example, regardless of industry, blogs dominated purchasing decisions, while in the Philippines, that role fell to social media.

Data sourced from Waggoner Edstrom Communications; additional content by Warc staff


Sponsorship delivers for Mayo Clinic

26 May 2015
CHICAGO: Mayo Clinic, the medical care and research group, has shown how sponsorship can boost awareness of new products and services by partnering with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx basketball teams.

Evelyn Molloy, who leads Mayo Clinic's marketing strategy/planning for its sports medicine, international and executive health operations, discussed this topic at IEG's 2015 Sponsorship conference.

The firm, she asserted, is moving into the health and wellbeing space via its Sports Medicine arm, which is aiming to ensure people stay at their physical peak all the time, rather than only treating them when ill or injured.

"We know healthcare's changing. And we know that we need to tell our story, in particular, as we're changing people's perceptions of what we can offer them," said Molloy. (For more details, including how this partnership has been activated and results, read Warc's exclusive report: Mayo Clinic boosts its brand health with sponsorship.)

"What we want to do is focus on health and wellbeing, and we want to provide them with performance training solutions – for all ages and abilities, whether you're a youth, 'weekend warrior', elite or professional athlete."

Incorporating prevention as well as cure into the product mix could thus help Mayo Clinic meet a different set of requirements. But to achieve this goal, the organisation had to expand on existing public perceptions.

That is because it was typically recognised as a best-in-class provider of adult care, alongside excelling in complex and "last chance" treatment, not as dealing with day-to-day issues like physical conditioning.

"We knew we needed to extend what Mayo could mean to consumers," said Molloy. "We knew that we would need a partner who created a strong halo effect for us, and who also had a really strong platform around health and wellness."

As Mayo Clinic was tackling these issues, the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx were working on a new training centre in downtown Minneapolis

Signing a multifaceted deal – spanning naming rights for the practice centre to opening an on-site Sports Medicine Centre in October 2014 – gave the medical specialists a unique platform with which to reach potential clients.

"Because we've done it right, because we've done it based on what our interests are based on our business plans and our growth objectives, we've built something that's foundational for both our businesses," said Molloy.

Data sourced from Warc


'Made in America' attracts premium

26 May 2015
NEW YORK: Eight in ten US consumers say they would prefer to buy US-made goods rather than those made overseas, with many prepared to pay a premium for the privilege, but they are not always clear on what the term 'Made in America' actually means.

A survey by Consumer Reports found a widespread perception that US-made products are reliable and produced under better working conditions than elsewhere. And almost nine in ten understood that that buying such products would help keep jobs in the USA and help the national economy.

Additionally, two thirds said they were more likely to shop in a store advertising the fact it sells American products.

And they made a particular effort in certain categories, including food, where 76% said they tried to buy US products; American-made cars and trucks attracted 57% and large appliances 55%.

As more than 60% of those surveyed were prepared to pay a 10% premium for US-made goods, a "Made in America" label has selling power, Consumer Reports noted.

But the picture isn't always clear: famous US brands such as Apple and Cuisinart are made abroad, for example, while foreign automakers have invested in US plants.

Consumer Reports also observed that consumers often don't know what credence to give marketers' claims; 23% of those surveyed professed themselves annoyed that they weren't able to trust "Made in America" labels.

Federal Trade Commission guidelines aren't widely understood, it added, and the picture becomes murkier when products say they have been "assembled" or "designed" in America.

Other things that riled consumers included not being able to find American products (cited by 29%) and big-box stores pushing foreign-made products (39%).

And for all that many were ready to pay a premium for US goods, 56% thought they were expensive. That was the major complaint, although 28% also said US-produced items were technologically challenged.

Data sourced from Consumer Reports; additional content by Warc staff


Tourism drives luxury market

25 May 2015
MILAN: Tourism is a major driver of the luxury market and recent currency fluctuations have had "an immediate impact on touristic flows and spending patterns" according to a new report.

Consulting firm Bain & Company, whose Worldwide Luxury Markets Monitor 2015 Spring Update was produced in association with Fondazione Altagamma, the Italian luxury goods manufacturers' industry foundation, said that this had especially affected Chinese tourism.

Chinese consumers make up more than 30% of global luxury spending and, Bain reported, are largely responsible for the shift  from local consumption to the touristic spending that now accounts for around half of all luxury spending.

This is affected more than ever by currency fluctuations and as the value of the euro declined so spending in Western Europe was up 12-13% in the first quarter of 2015, compared to the 2-3% growth registered at a constant exchange rate. South Korea and Southeast Asia also performed strongly but the US fell below expectations.

Bain highlighted the experience of Japan, where tourism "completely changed the country's market dynamics, requiring new initiatives to serve customers". Chinese consumer spending there already represents up to 20% of total sales.

But luxury does not preclude having an eye for a bargain. Bain said that price awareness and consciousness among consumers had increased significantly, leading to a rise in the off-price luxury market, which now represents more than 30% of total luxury sales.

"Current market dynamics shine a light on how the industry has changed over the last 15 years," said Claudia D'Arpizio, a Bain partner and lead author of the report.

"Pricing, distribution and customer strategy remain at the top of the agenda for luxury companies, but the old models are being called into question.

"In this new environment, brands must undergo a fundamental paradigm shift if they want to win in the years to come."

One example of this, according to Luxury Daily, is that even if many consumers are spending abroad, they still tend to do their research and make their purchasing decision at home.

Consequently luxury brands need to ensure the right level of digital activity of brands, finding an appropriate balance of content, visibility and utility.

Data sourced from Bain & Company, Luxury Daily; additional content by Warc staff


Older viewers turn to SVOD

25 May 2015
LONDON: The use of subscription video on-demand (SVOD) services in the UK is growing as an increasing number of older consumers avail themselves of this platform.

At the same time, younger consumers have turned sharply away from SVOD according to a new report from media research business Decipher.

Its biannual Mediabug study – the most recent is Wave 6 – shows that 30% of UK consumer now use an SVOD service such as Netflix and Amazon Prime at least once a month, a 4% rise over the past six months.

Breaking down the figures, however, reveals that fewer younger consumers are doing so, as the proportion of 16-24 year olds watching content this way dropped from 52% to 40%. For 35-34 year olds the proportion was steady on 45%.

In contrast, older age groups were steadily increasing their use of this platform: the proportion of 35-44 year olds watching via SVOD was up seven percentage points to 38%, while that for the over 55s was up eight points to 15%.

The most dramatic shift came in the 45-54 age range where the proportion using SVOD jumped 15 points to 35%.

The increasing availability of SVOD services on televisions is a major factor in this shift, as Decipher reported a movement away from non-TV devices towards those that enable TV viewing.

Thus it had seen an increase in online VOD share for smart TVs and OTT devices such as Apple TV and Google Chromecast, while PCs in particular were losing share.

"We're seeing a subtle shift in tone when it comes to digital consumption," said Dr. Hamish McPharlin, director of Decipher Media Research.

"With over-35s getting on board with subscription VOD, we can see that it has moved past early adopter behaviour and is gaining mainstream acceptance, and this is driven by SVOD becoming increasingly accessible on the most popular mainstream device: the TV."

Films were found to be the most popular VOD choice, with just over a third of TV VOD viewers accessing films on-demand in the last month.

Data sourced from Decipher; additional content by Warc staff


Adidas advises 'hashtag hierarchy'

25 May 2015
CHICAGO: Brands seeking to create content for major sporting events should focus on issues like tone of voice, scenario planning and establishing a "hashtag hierarchy", according to a leading executive from adidas.

Thomas van Schaik, the firm's global brand director, discussed this topic at IEG's 2015 Sponsorship conference in Chicago, framing his points around the 2014 World Cup, of which adidas was an official partner.

Among the main matters to consider, he suggested, are formulating a unique proposition and tone of voice – and making sure they fit a brand's wider positioning.

Marketers similarly need to decide what "pillars" ought to support their overall strategy, and not try to cover too much ground.

"You can't do everything and mean everything to everybody. You end up meaning nothing," said van Schaik. (For more, including details of the company's online "brazuca" activation, read Warc's exclusive report: How a tweeting ball won the World Cup for adidas.)

In a related task, it is essential to identify the formats that will be used, both by earmarking specific platforms to leverage and addressing technical concerns such as content size and length.

While no sporting contest is entirely predictable, it is also possible to engage in scenario planning before events like the World Cup – for instance, by working out which teams are likely to play one other as the competition progresses.

"On that basis, you have to build your content calendar, and have to ensure that you have content – premium content – to complement each of these scenarios," continued van Schaik.

"Then you have to make sure that you can actually join the right conversations, or make sure that your conversations and your content are searchable, and people can actually find what it is that you're trying to tell."

In pursuing that goal, it is crucial to delineate a "hashtag hierarchy". During the 2014 World Cup, for example, adidas created an account for its brazuca match ball and gained significant traction with the hashtag "ballin".

This label tied in with the broader "all in" tagline employed by the company, and simultaneously reflected the slang term for living the good life.

"The World Cup is a graveyard of branded hashtags, and it is very, very difficult to get a hashtag that actually means something and is a useable tool to a consumer," said van Schaik.

As a result of all this preparation, brands can ready themselves for real-time marketing because, as van Schaik reminded the IEG delegates, "spontaneity requires a lot of planning".

Data sourced from Warc


Mobile video is underpriced

25 May 2015
NEW YORK: Mobile video is currently significantly underpriced, according to the head of the Mobile Marketing Association who advises marketers to look at locking into long-term ad buys at today's prices.

Greg Stuart, CEO of the MMA, told that the organisation's new research had shown that, relative to other media, mobile video was priced at about half of what it should be, as supply outweighed demand.

But that situation will not last for ever and he suggested that marketers might want to buy years of future inventory at existing prices.

"I've talked to publishers and media companies who have that inventory and they're very happy to do that deal," he stated.

The research he referred to was the Smart Mobile Cross Marketing Effectiveness (SMoX) study, the results of which argue that mobile should get "a double digit allocation of the entire media mix (not just digital".

Marketers could significantly increase their overall campaign ROI, without increasing budget, by simply adjusting mobile spend upwards, the MMA claimed.

Stuart pointed out that marketers are currently only spending around 3% of their total budgets on mobile advertising although "SMoX tells them very clearly they need to be at 10% to 15% today".

And when they get good at it, "that will move to 15% to 20%. And as smartphone penetration moves up, it's 20% to 30%".

The big brands already know all this, he added, citing names such as Walmart, Coca-Cola, AT&T and MasterCard.

But with that increased spending comes an urgent need for better measurement metrics.

"The big mistake we made for internet was that we let click-through become the defining measure for everything," Stuart said, "and yet anybody who has any intelligence about this knows that click-through means absolutely nothing for anything – it's the worst measure we could have come up with."

Accordingly the MMA is working to understand the appropriate KPIs for different marketing objectives and different sectors.

"We'll figure all that out … so that marketers are really able to measure the value they get," Stuart declared.

Data sourced from; additional content by Warc staff


YouTube shortens path to purchase

25 May 2015
SAN BRUNO, CA: YouTube, the Google-owned online video platform, is launching a new advertising format which will enable advertisers to buy, almost, from within ads.

TrueView for Shopping links to the technology that powers Google Shopping and allows brands to showcase product details and images within video ads and includes the ability to click to purchase from a brand or retail site.

"One of the things we saw was people going off YouTube and searching on for that product [seen in an ad on YouTube], and then clicking the product listing. In this case we're just reducing the friction," Lane Shackleton, YouTube's senior product manager, explained to Advertising Age.

Neal Mohan, vice-president of brand advertising at Google added that "consumers go to YouTube to be entertained and to find information – there are lots of searches for products and looking for 'How To' videos".

"They are truly engaged which from a marketer perspective is the perfect time to reach the consumer," he told the Financial Times 

Evidence of the potential effectiveness of the new format came from home goods retailer Wayfair, which ran two campaigns targeting the same audience, one using a standard TrueView ad, the other a new shoppable TrueView ad.

The latter delivered three times more revenue, reported Ben Youngs, Wayfair's media manager of TV and online video. "It feels like a huge win," he said. "Having the opportunity to lay additional information on top of our pre-rolls is huge."

The development complements Google's work on a '50', set to be introduced shortly in a move aimed at recovering traffic lost to Amazon.

Consumers using smartphones will be buy products from a search advert without having to check out through a retailer's site, although retailers will continue to own the orders and shipping arrangements.

Data sourced from YouTube, Advertising Age, Financial Times, Search Engine Watch; additional content by Warc staff


Agency focus strays to awards

25 May 2015
SINGAPORE: Agencies are in danger of losing sight of delivering growth for clients as they become distracted by awards, a leading industry figure has claimed.

"Advertising should be about facilitating growth, not awards shows," John Merrifield, chief creative officer at Google Asia Pacific, told an audience at the All That Matters conference which took place in Singapore.

"Creativity should be about having an impact for clients and giving them a larger share of the future – not just doing a one-off campaign, but building a brand properly and making it more meaningful and engaging," he added.

A similar criticism was recently levelled at the industry by the Indian Confederation of NGOs, which claimed that campaigns developed by agencies and brands to help disadvantaged people in India tended to end abruptly at the same time as the advertising awards season finished.

For Merrifield, success was not to be measured in industry gongs. "You should be aiming for an episode of a show like The Simpsons," he stated. "That's the success criteria."

With its sharp critique of American culture the cartoon series has frequently featured spoofs of real brands and advertising techniques and Merrifield argued that creatives, rather than talking to themselves or the ad world, "need to be making a genuine impact on popular culture".

And he was saddened by how the industry's premier festival had developed, arguing that the Cannes Lions, the best known global advertising awards show, no longer fulfilled its original remit. "It used to be a get-together for creatives," he said. "Now it's become a business engine in its own right."

But not everyone is so curmudgeonly about the event. Greg Stuart, CEO of the Mobile Marketing Association, enthused about it to

"It's just a great place to check in and see how powerful this new channel [mobile] has become for communicating to consumers from a creative perspective," he said. "I've got the data, but Cannes is where you get really excited about it."

Data sourced from Mumbrella Asia; additional content by Warc staff


Indian ecommerce gets hyper-local

25 May 2015
NEW DELHI: The competitive world of Indian ecommerce is getting ever more local, as a new breed of start-up partners with neighbourhood stores to deliver products within hours of purchase.

The co-founder of one such business explained that even though more and more Indians were accessing the internet, most of them – almost 90% – had yet to do any online shopping. Possible deterrents include concerns over the quality of products bought this way and worries over aftersales support.

"This is where a hyper-local commerce model comes in and connects local retailers to buyers," Neeraj Jain of Zopper, told the Economic Times. "Consumers know from which nearby shop the product is being delivered from, they can go to same local shop to get their problems resolved and thing are delivered in a few hours," he said.

Zopper is an app that deals in consumer durables and electronics, enabling a consumer looking to search for products and see details of local retailers selling them along with price comparisons. It currently has around 5,000 active retailers in three cities on its platform and is aiming to expand that fivefold, adding another 15 cities during the course of 2015.

Investors are following the trend: Abheek Anand, principal at venture fund Sequoia Capital, described it as one of "disrupt[ing] e-commerce 1.0 by providing consumers with the unprecedented convenience of delivery in minutes, instead of in days".

With such short delivery times the new approach is effectively on-demand, enabled, Anand explained, by "hyper-local logistics technology, a mobile-first consumer experience and local retailer partnerships".

With big money eyeing up this niche sector, the industry giants are also getting involved. Amazon, for example, is trialling Kirana Now, an on-demand delivery service which sources from local mom-and-pop stores and guarantees deliveries within two to four hours.

"We've been leading the way on speed and reach so it was a natural progression to get in to this segment," said Amit Agarwal, Amazon's country head. "The best way was to partner with sellers who were closest to the customers."

Logistics have been a particular issue for leading etailers which have sometimes struggled to fulfil orders and Jain highlighted the "huge" difference in delivery costs involved when an item is supplied locally rather than from a remote warehouse.

Ultimately, Agarwal argued, the "power of execution" would become important and Amazon had advantages that regard.

Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff


Judges named for Warc Connection Strategy Prize

22 May 2015
LONDON: Aaron Fetters, director of the Insights and Analytics Solutions Center at the Kellogg Company, is to chair the judges for the Warc Prize for Connection Strategy – and will be joined on the panel by senior client-side executives, plus media research and channel strategy experts.

"Marketers today are presented with seemingly infinite options of how and where to invest their advertising dollars," said Fetters.

"True cross-channel measurement and planning remains the major challenge when choosing how to invest your marketing budget."

The competition, which is free to enter and carries a $10,000 prize fund, will look at the strategy, analytics and measurement powering modern media investment. The focus is on new ways of connecting with consumers, and how those connections are being planned and measured by forward-thinking marketers.

Smart connection strategies could involve innovative cross-platform or cross-device thinking, channel insights that inform new ways to connect with consumers, exercises in communications architecture, and initiatives covering channel attribution and optimisation or paid/owned/earned strategies.

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

"What insights informed the development of such an experience and what data and analysis was used to establish the roles various channels would play in bringing the experience to life? And of course, what were the results - not just impressions, engagement, time spent etc, but true business impact."

From the media-side, the judging panel will include Artie Bulgrin, svp/global research and analytics at ESPN, Neil Mortensen, director of audiences at ITV, and David F. Poltrack, chief research officer at CBS Corporation.

From the agency-side, the judges include Jed Meyer, global director/research and analytics at Annalect, part of Omnicom Media Group, and Robert Ray, managing director of PHD's Global Strategy Unit.

Other judges include representatives from Starcom MediaVest, UM, Data2Decisions and New York-based Water Cooler Group, with further additions to be announced in the coming weeks.
Details of all the judges named so far, and their biographies, are available on the Prize website, along with the entry kit, entry form and tips on writing a great strategy case study.

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

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

Data sourced from Warc


European online ad market hits €30bn

22 May 2015
BERLIN: The European online advertising market has doubled in five years, according to new figures from IAB Europe which show it grew 11.6% last year to reach a value of €30.7bn

The AdEx Benchmark 2014 report covers 27 European markets and showed that all of these recorded positive growth while 20 achieved double-digit growth.

And without the contribution of online advertising the report said that the overall European advertising market would have declined 1.6% last year.

The strongest growth came in Central and Eastern Europe, which increased 13.8% as it benefitted from improvements in broadband infrastructure and the increase in broadband penetration in these markets, which in turn is brining more addressable audiences online.

But in terms of overall value it is the mature online advertising markets in Western Europe that are generating euros, particularly the big three of the UK, Germany and France which together account for 58.8% of the total.

This, said IAB Europe, was "a direct result of investment in formats and targeting capabilities and developing data strategies in a cross-device environment".

Mobile and video ad spend continued on their strong growth curves and are now a significant proportion of display and search ad spend.

Mobile now accounts for 17.7% of the display market, with a growth rate of 72.5% compared with 2013, while online video advertising also showed strong growth, now representing 15.1% of the display market.

"The rise of mobile and video is a reflection of the investment and innovation of the online advertising industry to meet advertiser needs, not just a reaction to shifts in consumption trends," said Eleni Marouli, a senior analyst at IHS and author of the report.

Display advertising in total outperformed other categories with a growth rate of 15.2% to reach a value of €10.9bn.

Search showed growth slowed to 10.8% but it remains the largest online advertising format in terms of revenue, worth €14.7bn.

The third component, Classifieds and Directories, grew 5.8% to €4.9bn, its slower rate of increase reflecting the challenge from Paid-for-search and Data-driven Display in competition for advertising budgets.

Data sourced from IAB Europe; additional content by Warc staff


Viewability definition insufficient

22 May 2015
CHICAGO: The advertising industry's definition of an online video "view" does not allow enough time for three quarters of viewers to identify the brand or product being sold, according to a new survey.

STRATA, a supplier of media buying and selling software, polled 654 online video watchers aged over 18 and found that just 25% were able to identify a brand or product in a video ad within the two seconds minimum stipulated by the Media Rating Council.

Fully 75% needed at least three seconds to do so and 44% of all respondents reported it took them at least four seconds to recognise the brand or product at hand.

The survey also looked at the issue of ad skipping as 41% of viewers hit "skip this ad" before they recognised a brand or product.

Time was the main factor, with 40% of respondents saying they skipped video ads because they were in a hurry; other reasons for skipping included an ad being run repeatedly (20%), being too long (15%), or not being targeted (12%).

The effectiveness of targeted advertising was mixed as the survey showed that advertisers were more likely to target women correctly than men, and even then the strike rate was not especially high.

Of those that said they were targeted correctly most of the time, 57% were women compared to 43% of men.

Further, 18% of online video ad watchers actually found targeted ads more invasive than non-targeted ones.

Laying aside these reservations, however, targeted advertising can be a good tool to attract viewer attention. One third of respondents said they would voluntarily watch an ad if it was targeted to their interests, but humour and entertainment were the top two tools.

STRATA also found that most respondents (77%) would not pay a premium to avoid online ads, although 19% were prepared to pay up to $5 per month.

And around half of respondents said TV ads and online video ads were equally "annoying", but 36% said online video ads were more annoying.

Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff


Mozilla launches Suggested Tiles

22 May 2015
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA: Mozilla, the organisation behind the Firefox web browser, has unveiled its latest contribution to the debate around advertising and consumer privacy with its Suggested Tiles product.

These promote specific content on the new tab page, which could be from Mozilla itself, publisher content, or advertising, with the relevance based on the user's interests.

In a blog post the company explained: "We define interest categories as a set of URLs that are related to the category. When one of those URLs appears in the user's list of most frequently visited sites, we show the content."

Interest categories will have a minimum of five URLs and all interest categories will be publicly available. IP addresses will be discarded after seven days and no individual data supplied to advertisers.

Firefox users will be able to exercise control over what appears by editing their browsing history or deleting it altogether; they can also opt out of the program.

Last year Mozilla launched Directory Tiles, selling sponsored positions within its desktop browser, which displays nine tiles on opening. At the time this came as something of a surprise, given the company's stance on blocking the third-party cookies which enable advertisers to track online users' visits to the websites on which they advertise.

"We want to show the world that it is possible to do relevant advertising and content recommendations while still respecting users' privacy and giving them control over their data," said Darren Herman, vp/content services, of the latest innovation.

He told MediaPost that the program would be launched in beta soon with around 30 targeting categories, such as news, games, mobile fans, movies and automotive; there will be no categories around tobacco, alcohol or pharmaceuticals.

Herman indicated that Mozilla was also open to the idea of creating custom categories for clients.

Data sourced from Mozilla, MediaPost; additional content by Warc staff


Australians indifferent to wearables

22 May 2015
SYDNEY: Most Australians and New Zealanders have no intention of buying wearable technology, unlike consumers in China and Malaysia where interest is substantially higher a new survey has shown.

Lightspeed GMI, the market research business, interviewed 2,407 consumers in nine Asia Pacific countries – Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Japan – and found that existing owners of wearable tech and those most interested in acquiring it were heavily skewed towards 25-44 year old males.

China and Malaysia recorded the highest ownership figures, with almost one third of those surveyed claiming to be existing users. Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore were some way back at an average of 20% while in Australia and New Zealand the figure was just 11%.

And 62% of Australians said they had no intention of purchasing such devices.

Overall usage at 21% was, as one would expect, a lot lower than awareness at 41%; the remaining 38% had no interest at all.

But around one third of those who owned at least one wearable tech product said their usage had declined since they first purchased it, indicating a novelty factor.

The main reason adduced for purchase was convenience (33.5%). Users could, for example, simply glance at their Apple Watch on their wrist instead of having to pull out their iPhone multiple times a day.

Being fashionable (10.6%) and being seen as high-tech (11.8%) were also factors. "Not many mentioned the actual functions of wearable tech products as the core appeals," noted Jeff Tsui, senior director at Lightspeed GMI APAC.

Offsetting any possible convenience was the need to carry more devices around. As one respondent observed, most wearables didn't do anything his smartphone couldn't. "I am not entirely sure what additional functions I want, but they need to be something innovative, looks good, and desirable that can give me real practical benefits," he said.

Data sourced from Lightspeed GMI; additional content by Warc staff


Indian women lack time for internet

22 May 2015
NEW DELHI: A large digital gender gap exists in India, with almost half of the female population having neither the time nor the inclination to access the internet, a new study has found.

According to Google India, one third of the country's current internet population of 243m are women. And when it surveyed 828 women aged 18 to 55 for its Women & Technology report it discovered that 49% of respondents saw no reason to go online while 43% simply said they weren't interested, The Hindu reported.

Google's past research has shown that more and more Indian women are going online to buy goods ranging from baby care items to beauty products, but clearly a significant proportion have yet to make this move.

The speed of technological change was one inhibiting factor cited by those surveyed. And 42% admitted that, quite apart from a lack of interest, they just did not know how to do things on the internet.

Most of those expressing these views were not in paid employment and they also spoke of not having enough time for any internet activity after managing their households – internet use is seen as a leisure activity by this group rather than as an essential or practical part of daily life.

They also had concerns about being judged by their in-laws if they ended up spending too much time online. Privacy was another issue in large households with shared computers.

Despite all these reservations, Google India found that 46% of younger non-users intended to use the internet soon. And it suggested that "smartphones and internet cafes could be a cheaper and more private way" for some women to go online.

"We are working with various partners to help spread awareness about the benefits of being online amongst women," said Sandeep Menon, Country Head (Marketing), Google India. 

One step it has taken is to produce a film aimed at encouraging "young digital natives to bring their mothers online".

Data sourced from The Hindu; additional content by Warc staff


Emotion, storytelling key to awards wins

21 May 2015
LONDON: Highly-awarded campaigns tend to employ emotion- and storytelling-based creative approaches, and use a higher-than-usual number of media channels and effectiveness metrics, a new analysis of the Warc 100 database has revealed.

The report, Lessons from the World's Best Campaigns, published by Warc today, also found that the best-performing campaigns in effectiveness and strategy competitions overindex in their use of social media and online video.

The Warc 100 is an annual ranking of the world's 100 best marketing campaigns, based on their performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions. For the new report, Warc compared the case studies ranked in the Warc 100 over the past two years to all of the other case studies it published in the equivalent time period.

There was a big overperformance on the Warc 100 for campaigns using emotion as a creative approach. In all, 27% of Warc 100 campaigns did so, versus 18% of the rest. For storytelling, these totals were 20% and 11% respectively.

The analysis found that campaigns from the Warc 100 – the best in the world, as judged in effectiveness and strategy competitions – tend to be 'bigger' than the 'average' campaign, employing an average of 7.4 media touchpoints in the latest year (2015) of results, compared to the 6.5 employed by the other case studies.

In all, 76% of Warc 100 campaigns used social media, versus 71% of the norm. For online video, these totals were 61% versus 43%.

Warc 100 case studies reported an average of 1.5 hard business metrics, versus 1.1 for the others. For soft metrics, these averages were 2.4 and 2.2 respectively.

Warc subscribers can read a full version of the report, featuring case study summaries, videos and full datasets.

Data sourced from Warc


'Push back' on data laws, says Sorrell

21 May 2015
BERLIN: The advertising industry needs to "push back" against international legislators' drive to limit the use of consumer data, WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell said last night.

Speaking at the Interact 2015 conference in Berlin, he said reforms in data protection legislation being debated by the European Commission and national parliaments were "very fashionable", adding that public concerns about digital security and online fraud were often confused with the legitimate use of anonymised data by communications agencies.

"To some extent, I think we as an industry have brought this down upon ourselves," he said, explaining that by advocating opt-outs as a way of giving consumers control over the use of their data, the ad industry had failed to handle the debate as effectively as it should have done.

Now, however, the kind of regulation being discussed would be detrimental to the industry generally and to WPP specifically, harming their ability to target consumers effectively and efficiently – and their ability to give consumers the kind of advertising and content they're likely to want to engage with.

Sorrell said he expected legislators to seek curbs on the way third-party data can be used. "We want as much flexibility as possible in using it," he said. "The odds are, and I'd be prepared to put money on it, legislators being willing to be more active (on data protection). If we think it's wrong, we have to push back on it in a more active way."

The WPP stable includes Xaxis, which describes its expertise as using data and technology to help advertisers and publishers reach and engage with audiences at scale.

A headline at the time Xaxis launched – "Martin Sorrell knows all about you" – was indicative, he suggested, of the confusion surrounding the public debate. "It wasn't true. It's all got mixed up," he told the Berlin audience. "Anonymised data is valuable in terms of targeting advertising, targeting consumers, giving them what they want when they want it. It's not invasive or pilfered or used for other purposes."

Sorrell said the real issue was addressing security, not privacy. "If you managed to remove concerns about security, like Wikileaks, Julian Assange and the NSA, cybercrime and all of that sort of stuff … if we solve the security issue, which may be impossible, we solve the privacy issue."

Data sourced from Warc


Three content types key for brands

21 May 2015
HOLLYWOOD, FL: Brands should base their content strategies around three broad types of material – "hero", "hub" and "housecleaning" – to fully meet consumer needs, a leading executive from Google has suggested.

Kim Larson, global director of Google BrandLab – a unit of the firm seeking to help clients "think digital-first" – discussed this topic at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2015 Media Leadership Conference.

In outlining a new framework that could assist marketers in the content space, she referenced a "hero-and-help" model covering three distinct areas.

"Hero" content was the first piece of the equation, and represents the kind of "big tent-pole content" aiming for broad reach and awareness. (For more, read Warc's exclusive report: The three secrets of video-based digital marketing.)

"[Marketers] probably are going to do less of hero content, and it does cost a lot more money, but it's really important in a marketing-content mix," said Larson.

Alongside this material comes "hub content", which has a lower budget but is released with greater frequency, and is intended to provide the "insistent drumbeat" of engagement.

"It hits consumer needs and finds a passion point," said Larson.

The third category she cited was "housecleaning content", fulfilling a more functional, if no less important, purpose.

"We call it 'help-or-hygiene content', and it does make the cash register ring," said Larson.

An example may be a parent searching Google or YouTube for information on a new style of diaper, and being presented with a video ready to answer their query.

Google BrandLab has previously partnered with players including adidas and Clean & Clear, the teen-focused dermatological line owned by Johnson & Johnson, and which has recently ramped up its online video output.

Data sourced from Warc


Ad networks need to step up security

21 May 2015
DALLAS, TX: Online and mobile ads are major threats to IT security, according to a new report which highlights malvertising and adware among the ongoing challenges the industry needs to address.

In Bad Ads and Zero-Days: Reemerging Threats Challenge Trust in Supply Chains and Best Practices, IT security specialist TrendMicro reported that, on the basis of what it had seen in the first quarter of the year, "cybercriminals and threat actors no longer need to create new channels to reach their victims and targets".

Most of the groundwork has already been laid, it said. Malvertisements – where criminals use ads to drop malware on the computers of unsuspecting visitors to ad-hosting sites – are not a new phenomenon and many users are prepared to deal with them. But "nothing can prepare them for malvertisements laced with zero-day exploits", the report stated.

This combination undermines two security best practices available to users – only visiting trusted sites and keeping applications updated with the latest patches (zero-day exploits such as Trojans and viruses take advantage of computer security holes for which no solution is currently available).

In a recent instance of this, a zero-day Adobe Flash exploit distributed via malvertisements spread BEDEP malware: users who downloaded the BEDEP malware were put at risk of becoming unwilling participants in attackers' botnet operations, as well as becoming fraud victims and downloading other malware, the report explained.

Mobile users are also increasingly exposed through adware, a form of malware where unwanted ads are shown to users. TrendMicro noted that after Google had removed three apps from its store that were found to be adware in disguise, more than 2,000 other apps were found displaying similar behaviour.

Overall, it had recorded more than 5m Android threats so far and predicted a total of 8m by the end of the year.

"Ad networks definitely need to step up their security," it said.

An alternative "best practice" for consumers is to use ad-blocking software. One of the leaders in this field, Adblock Plus, has just launched an ad-blocking browser for Android devices.

Co-founder Tilla Faida said that advertisers had "destroyed the user experience" on mobile with thoughtlessly designed ads as well as "mobile ad networks that are riddled with security holes".

Data sourced from TrendMicro, Adblock Plus; additional content by Warc staff


Aussie businesses lag in social

21 May 2015
SYDNEY: One third of Australians on social media follow brands and businesses but only one third of businesses actually have a presence there and many of those are failing to engage consumers with tangible benefits.

Marketing services company Sensis, polled 800 consumers and 1,100 businesses for its Social Media Report exploring their engagement with social channels and found that 68% of internet users had a social media profile which they mainly used to keep up with friends and family.

And a significant minority (32%) also followed brands and businesses. Further, 20% accessed offers and promotions while 19% conducted research about products and services they wanted to buy.

The report noted that half of those using social media to research products and services had gone on to make a purchase and two thirds of them had made that purchase online.

"It remains paramount for businesses and marketers to establish a connection by engaging with them in a meaningful way," it said.

But only 33% of Australian businesses had a social media presence and most of them were using it to solicit comments and feedback.

"This appeals to consumers to some degree but they tend to be seeking tangible incentives like discounts or coupons," said Sensis and only 25% of SMEs and 30% of large businesses were offering these – "which could be a missed opportunity".

Around one quarter of businesses had used paid advertising – mostly on Facebook – and 69% thought it was effective.

That didn't quite tally with the consumer viewpoint. When it came to advertising and sponsored posts, 32% said they liked seeing sponsored posts from businesses they follow, while 38% didn't mind seeing ads and 42% occasionally clicked on ads to find out more.

"This suggests paid advertising or sponsorship is reasonably effective for targeting consumers of interest although it's likely to be ignored by many," the report said.

Data sourced from Sensis; additional content by Warc staff


Auto industry increases digital spend

21 May 2015
NEW YORK: The automotive industry in the US is set to spend $7.3bn on digital advertising this year, with the greater part of that allocated to direct response according to a new report.

Insights provider eMarketer said that only the retail sector would spend more on digital during the course of 2015, as it forecast auto industry spending would increase 17.3% this year.

Overall, retail will account for 22% of total digital spending of $58.61bn in 2015, compared to 12.5% for auto which has edged ahead of financial services on 12.3%.

For its report series "Digital Ad Spending Benchmarks by Industry" eMarketer analysed hundreds of data sources as well as carrying out in-depth interviews with executives at agencies and brands.

Projecting out to 2019, eMarketer expected that spending by the auto sector would increase faster than average – it posits a compound annual growth rate of 14.2% between 2014 and 2019 – and that its share of digital advertising would increase to 13.2%, when its value would amount to $12.08bn.

Currently 60% of that spending is on direct-response efforts rather than branding, roughly level with sectors such as retail (65%) and financial services (62%). But these three lag behind travel where 72% of digital spending is devoted to direct response.

"The next frontier is convincing marketers that digital is suitable for branding," said Richard Flynn, vice president, category sales director, autos, at AOL.

Digital ad expenditure continues to grow across all industries, but "it is not one-size-fits-all", noted Victoria Petrock, principal analyst at eMarketer.

"Nuances among sectors reflect a variety of trends in the ways each industry approaches its market, targets consumers and closes sales," she said.

"For 2015, mobile, digital video and programmatic buying are the brightest stars in the digital advertising lineup," she added.

Warc's latest International Ad Forecast expects US digital adspend of $56.3bn this year, a 13.6% rise from 2014.

Data sourced from eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff


Young Indians prefer movies to music

21 May 2015
NEW DELHI: Young Indians spend little time buying music or partying, instead preferring movies, malls and eating out.

These findings emerged as part of the research undertaken by the Brand Equity team at the Economic Times for its Most Exciting Brands 2015 report, which surveyed more than 1,200 15-26 year olds belonging to SEC A households across seven cities.

"A whopping 71% have never bought music," the Economic Times reported. And books looked to be heading the same way: 39% had never bought a book, while 27% bought one only every six months or less.

Partying, in the form of going out to pubs and discos, held little appeal for many. Fully 62% said they never indulged in these activities.

Eating out was the top activity for this age group, with 86% snacking and drinking in restaurants and coffee shops at least once a month and 59% doing so at least once a week.

Cinema, too, was an attractive option, with two thirds (68%) going between once a week and once a month. "Bollywood, Tollywood or Kollywood, cinema continues to be the national glue," the Economic Times remarked.

A similar proportion (64%) visited malls on a weekly or monthly basis.

But when looking at how they spent their money rather than their time, a different picture appeared.

Shopping for clothes and accessories attracted the greatest average monthly spend (Rs 1613), followed by partying at pubs and discotheques (Rs 1086) which was just ahead of mall spending (Rs 1067).

Spending on movies (Rs 554) was broadly on a par with books (Rs 516) and music (Rs 526). Eating out came in at Rs 762 and personal grooming at Rs 581.

Of the seven cities covered by the research Pune distinguished itself in several regards, with young people there spending significantly more than the average on eating out (Rs 1315), at malls (Rs 1981), on music (Rs 1354) and on personal grooming (Rs 930).

That is at least in part due to the far higher levels of pocket money respondents in that city received.

But whatever the absolute levels of money involved, 20% of this on average was not spent or was saved in a bank account.

Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff