Online ads 'should not annoy'

7 May 2015
LONDON/NEW YORK: Online ads can work well even with frequent exposures, as users do not necessarily get "fed up" with seeing the same ad multiple times if the creative is good enough.

Dominic Twose and Molly Elmore, both of market research company Millward Brown, cite data showing that online advertising does more than encourage click-throughs, driving metrics such as brand and advertising awareness, message association, brand favourability and purchase intent.

Despite this, online ads are generally seen more negatively by consumers than their offline counterparts. For example, 51% of global smartphone/tablet users had a very/somewhat favourable attitude towards TV and radio ads, but only 36% felt the same way about online display ads.

But when Twose and Elmore compared "irritation" scores for US TV and print ads with online ads, they found that the median scores were broadly similar for each medium: 5% TV, 2% print, 4% online.

And when they explored frequency of exposure to ads they discovered that the likeability of ads was no different at a frequency of 1 than a frequency of 10+. "There are no signs of likeability wearing out," they stated.

At the same time, the authors reported that irritation did not grow with frequency, although they did note that this was not the case if people found the initial exposure annoying.

The question of timing of repetitions was also investigated – should exposures by bunched in a short time period such as a day or spread over a longer period of weeks or months?

Brand metrics generally improved up to a frequency of 10-15, but any more than that in the course of one day saw significantly diminishing returns, while the decline was more gentle if exposures were spread over a week. For multiple exposures over one month (16+), however, brand metrics continued to improve.

"People can tolerate high frequencies of exposure to individual campaigns without becoming fed up with them, as long as they are not intrinsically irritating," the authors concluded.

Accordingly marketers need to develop strong creative that avoids the potential to annoy, while at the same time spreading repeated exposures over a longer period to maximise increases in brand metrics.

Data sourced from Warc

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Sainsbury's will rely on data

7 May 2015
LONDON: Sainsbury's, the UK supermarket chain, is planning to make better use of data to communicate with its customers "in a fundamentally different way" its chief executive has said.

Mike Coupe was speaking as the company reported its first pre-tax loss in ten years, in large part due to a write-down in store value. Rival supermarket Tesco recently took a rather greater hit on such writedowns and announced it would cut the range of products on offer and get back to focusing on the consumer.

Sainsbury's is likewise intending to look at its customers and make greater use of the information it holds on them – Coupe claimed it "knows more about its customers than anyone else", thanks to its Nectar loyalty scheme and online shopping and financial service businesses.

That data can be used, for example, to decide "how we range shops and do a better job than competitors. At the other end of the spectrum we can use it to sell financial services, credit cards, loans.

"This customer knowledge is a great base to boost our business," he declared, and he anticipated it would also help better serve customers on an individual basis.

"We are moving towards communicating with customer on a personalised basis and interacting with them in a fundamentally different way," he stated.

One significant step in that direction will be the joining up of Sainsbury's online portfolio, where Coupe revealed customers struggled with 20 different sign-ons. "We want to focus the customer proposition through a single identity sign-on," he said.

Unlike Tesco, however, Sainsbury's has no plans to reduce the range of products on offer. "Time and time again customers tell us they can buy things in our shops that they can't buy elsewhere," Coupe said.

"One plays with one's ranges at one's peril," he added, citing the supermarket's FreeFrom range – free from wheat gluten and/or dairy – where some products "would be at the tail end" leading to discussions about cutting them.

"But they appeal to customers at the high end of the income spectrum who will usually spend more with us," he said, as well as offering a point of differentiation.

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

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Ad injection 'a significant problem'

7 May 2015
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA: Internet giant Google has highlighted deceptive ad injection as "a significant problem" on the web, with major retailers among those unwittingly paying for traffic to their sites.

Ad injectors are programs that insert new ads, or replace existing ones, into pages visited while browsing the web. Google described them as "yet another symptom of 'unwanted software' – programs that are deceptive, difficult to remove, secretly bundled with other downloads, and have other bad qualities".

It said it had already received more complaints about this than anything else during 2015, having previously set out to quantify the extent of the trouble.

A custom-built ad injection "detector" for Google sites helped it identify instances of ad injection "in the wild" over several months in 2014.

It reported that "ad injection has entrenched itself as a cross-browser monetization platform impacting more than 5% of unique daily IP addresses accessing Google – tens of millions of users around the globe".

A total of more than 50,000 browser extensions and more than 34,000 software applications could take control of users' browsers and inject ads.

More than of 30% of these packages, it said, were "outright malicious" – stealing account credentials, hijacking search queries, and reporting a user's activity to third parties for tracking.

The software responsible for this activity was distributed by a network of perhaps 1,000 affiliates while 25 businesses – Superfish and Jollywallet were named as the most popular – provided "injection libraries"; more than three quarters of injected ads went through just three ad networks, identified as dealtime.com, pricegrabber.com, and bizrate.com.

Brands and publishers both suffered, said Google, the former unwittingly paying for traffic and the latter not being compensated for these ads.

It added that it had removed 192 deceptive Chrome extensions that affected 14m users with ad injection from the Chrome Web Store while updated AdWords policies had made it more difficult to promote unwanted software.

The latter appeared to be having an effect as the number of 'Safe Browsing' warnings that users receive in Chrome after clicking AdWords ads had dropped by more than 95%.

Data sourced from Google; additional content by Warc staff

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Digital marketers must change mentality

7 May 2015
SYDNEY: Many of Australia's marketers are "missing the point" as regards digital, according to a leading CMO Council executive in that country, who says they are stuck in a campaign mentality instead of looking at the overall customer experience.

The comments of Liz Miller, svp/marketing, came as the Council published, in partnership with Adobe, the latest APAC Digital Directions Strategies, Mandates and Challenges report, based on of 648 marketers from across Asia-Pacific, 19% of whom were from Australia.

This revealed how Australian marketers think of digital: for 68%, it was about enabling additional customer touchpoints, while 51% saw it delivering more cost-effective customer acquisition, and 41% said it improved customer loyalty.

Just over one in three said it lifted overall customer experience and responsiveness.

Further, Australian marketers were found to largely rely on single vector or historical metrics to gauge success such as click-through rates (70%), campaign ROI (49%) and response rates (73%).

Miller expressed frustration at this approach, noting that very few were measuring business metrics such as revenue per customer (16%), customer lifetime value (15%), and market-share movements (16%).

"What is really holding us back is this campaign-centred approach where everything goes into a silo and into a neat little bucket-world of digital marketing where you have your website and social and your advertising and SEO," she told Mumbrella.

"What we are failing to connect is how all of these individual points on the journey link back to the customer."

The study showed that those marketers favouring business-oriented metrics had higher levels of confidence in digital (75% v 59%), had less difficulty securing digital investment, and claimed to be growing a profitable business faster (45% v 33%).

Miller pointed to the example of "advanced brands such as Starbuckhttp://cms.warc.com/s". These "see digital as part of the overall customer experience toolbox... they're finding ways to create holistic experiences where customers need and expect them".

Data sourced from CMO Council, Mumbrella; additional content by Warc staff

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Impulse drives Korean m-commerce

7 May 2015
SEOUL: Two thirds of Koreans have shopped via mobile, with many buying on impulse rather than spending significant amounts of time deliberating their purchase, according to new research.

Consulting firm McKinsey noted that every year since 2010, South Korea's mobile-commerce market had more than doubled in value, to the point where it now accounts for almost one third of all Web-based sales.

But it added that achieving success in this channel required more than just an app or an optimised website. "Although all digital channels might share the same backbone infrastructure, such as order management and logistics, m-commerce requires fundamentally different approaches to identifying, reaching, and satisfying consumers," it said.

And a particular feature of m-commerce, its research revealed, is that shoppers are driven more by impulse than price or product features.

This is in part because smaller screens make it more difficult to compare product details. More than half of mobile consumer decision journeys, from considering products to purchasing, lasted just one day, compared with 36% for desktop.

This has "enormous implications" for retailers, said McKinsey, allowing them to, for example, reduce the number of SKUs carried on mobile shopping platforms.

Smaller screens are also a factor in the desire for convenience – cited as a top priority by more than 60% of South Korea's mobile shoppers, compared to 44% of online shoppers – and intuitively easy navigation.

Quick delivery of products was important for many regular mobile shoppers, especially when buying groceries and other staples. At least one retailer now operates a mobile-dedicated warehouse to ensure timely delivery.

The demographic profile of mobile shoppers in Korea leans towards women, who account for 60% of all transactions. And while there has been an assumption that busy working mothers are most likely to take advantage of this channel, it appears not to be the case.

This group spends its time in front of a desktop – full-time housewives and women at home with young children turn out to be most likely to shop on mobile.

A separate survey by the Ticket Monster social commerce site confirmed this general picture, although it also highlighted an increase in women in their 40s buying groceries via mobile.

Retailers also have an opportunity to lock in mobile customers, with coupons and points, as they tend to shop at fewer outlets and to go straight to a particular site or app.

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

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Millennials like original digital video

7 May 2015
NEW YORK: Almost one quarter of the American adult population is turning to original digital video programming at least once a month, and new research shows this is attracting the difficult-to-reach 18-34 year-old audience of cord-cutters.

For the 2015 Original Digital Video Study,published by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), a trade body, a total of 1,900 people were screened for viewing of online video and full interviews then completed with 856 who viewed online video at least once a month.

Overall there has been a 13% increase in the number of American adults watching original digital video programming, a total of some 59m, with 18-34 year-old audience of cord-cutters/cord-nevers accounting for 29% and growing.

The report showed that young cord-cutters/cord-nevers were about twice as likely as other adults to view original digital video.

Further, 53% of cord-cutters and 63% of cord-nevers saw this type of programming as very/somewhat important in their decision not to have pay-TV. 

And, encouragingly for advertisers, a significant proportion (43%) of these viewers were also more likely to regard ads shown during this type of programming to be "more interesting" or "fun".

The study also highlighted the speed of the shift in viewing habits. While the proportion of respondents viewing original digital video on computer has remained steady over the past two years at 72%, it has more than doubled for connected TVs (56%), smartphones (56%) and tablets (48%).

Two-thirds (65%) of those streaming original digital video to connected TVs stated that they typically watched during primetime (8-11pm) and half (53%) said they did so more than a year ago, largely because there was more – and more interesting – content.

Word of mouth was still the most important way people discover original digital video content, cited by 53% of respondents. But the role of social media is growing rapidly: almost twice as many found new programming here compared with two years ago (42% vs. 24% in 2013).

Anna Bager, svp/Mobile and Video, IAB, said original digital video was "at the heart of a sea change across the media landscape.

"Viewers' preferences and behaviours are shifting, and so too will advertising dollars," she added.

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff

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Esurance takes smart risks

7 May 2015
AUSTIN, TX: Esurance, the auto insurance provider, believes it "has to take risks" to effectively compete with major rivals like GEICO and Progressive.

Alan Gellman, Esurance's chief marketing officer, discussed this subject at the 4A's (American Association of Advertising Agencies) Transformation 2015 conference in Austin, Texas.

Given that the auto insurance space contains other huge players including State Farm, Farmers and Liberty Mutual, Esurance – a unit of Allstate, but with just 3,500 staff – must fight hard to stand out.

"It's also an organisation that is not only willing to take risks – it has to take risks. We are competing in a very competitive category," he said. (For more, including the value of agencies to the company, read Warc's exclusive report: Esurance bets on smart risk-taking.)

The financial stakes are high, but so is the need for advertising creativity if the firm is to break through the considerable clutter.

"If we don't take risks, and we don't try different things in a category that didn't exist 15 years ago, we won't be successful," said Gellman.

As such, while the insurance industry often relies on mascots or straightforward educational spots, one of Esurance's commercials for the 2015 Super Bowl was a tongue-in-cheek effort starring Lindsay Lohan.

Riffing on the actress's reputation for not being the safest driver behind the wheel, the company could show why demographic-based pricing wasn't fair for customers as part of its "Sorta You" campaign.

When presented with that proposal by Leo Burnett's Chicago office, Gellman reported, "I laughed really hard at the storyboard, thought it was brilliant and said, 'There's no way.'"

But drilling down further into this idea soon led to a change of heart, reflecting Esurance's emphasis on pursuing calculated risks.

"We talked about it some more, and I said 'You know what? It's big risk to put one of the worst drivers on earth [in a] Super Bowl ad.' But then we realized, 'You know what? It's exactly the right thing to do.'"

Data sourced from Warc

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Context is about more than ad placement

6 May 2015
LONDON/SAN FRANCISCO: Context lies at the juncture of strategy, creative and media, and an iterative process that fosters collaboration between strategists, creatives and the media team is much more likely to create relevancy for customers, a leading industry figure has argued.

Writing in the current issue of Admap, the focus of which is context in advertising, Jim Bosiljevac, group creative director at DDB California in San Francisco, warns against mistaking context for media placement – at its best it is a lot more than that.

But optimising context requires a shift in thinking, away from the linear activities of old where creatives created and media planners bought media.

"An insightful understanding of the audience, a smart creative idea and relevant media placements should feed off each other," according to Bosiljevac.

Context can define the audience more closely and spark ideas for both creative and media placement. A broad demographic description – female, age 35-50, median income – may not help greatly in the search for a connection, "but tell me she's a woman with five kids on a plane to Las Vegas – now I feel like I have something to say to her".

He noted that the creative process is naturally iterative, and suggested planners need to check in regularly and be prepared to change the media plan as the creative idea evolves. At the same time, creatives have to be prepared to share ideas early on.

Creatives also need to consider the broader implications of context. "They need to think about where and when someone might be open to their message and be willing to work towards real-world, tactical solutions."

The media team, meanwhile, should understand that the creative process can be erratic and should forbear from giving helpful advice as to why an idea won't work.

"The process needs to be generative," said Bosiljevac, "so rather than killing the crazy ideas, build on them or offer tweaks so that they do work."

Part of his role, he added, was to "help foster a process that allows for collaboration" between all parties – his own agency, partner agencies, client and media – to leverage context as much as possible.

But context is no substitute for a smart strategic insight and a brilliant creative execution, rather "an additional lever that can be pulled to increase the relevance of a message".

Data sourced from Admap

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Unilever's purpose pays off

6 May 2015
LONDON: FMCG giant Unilever intends to bring more of its brands into its "sustainable living" portfolio as it says the brands already there are growing twice as fast as the rest and are contributing to half of overall business growth.

It defines sustainable living brands as those which can contribute to business growth while reducing the company's environmental footprint and increasing positive social impact.

These include Dove personal care products and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, which are now about to be joined by venerable laundry brands like Omo, Persil and Sunlight as well as skincare brand Vaseline.

"In a volatile world of growing social inequality, rising population, development challenges and climate change, the need for businesses to adapt is clear, as are the benefits and opportunities," declared CEO Paul Polman, in remarks reported by Marketing Week.

"Our experience is that brands whose purpose and products respond to that demand – 'sustainable living brands' – are delivering stronger and faster growth," he added.

The latest moves, announced as part of a four-year review of the company's Sustainable Living Plan first set out in 2010, will see Omo and Persil become involved in the "Preparing Children for Tomorrow" initiative to help children with access to education.

Sunlight will further develop a partnership with Oxfam aimed at cutting the time women in developing countries spend finding and carrying clean water.

And Vaseline is to tie up with Direct Relief, an international NGO, to help heal the skin of people living in vulnerable situations.

The company claimed to have "enhanced the livelihoods of over 1 million people so far", including training 800,000 smallholder farmers and helping 238,000 women gain access to training, support and skills.

The review further revealed that 55% of Unilever's agricultural raw materials are now sourced sustainably and that a target of sending zero non-hazardous waste to landfill across its factory network had been achieved, while it was also "making significant reductions in CO2 from energy and water in manufacturing".

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff

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Digital ad validation limited

6 May 2015
NEW YORK: Targeting is key to digital advertising but only half of companies validate that their display and digital video campaigns actually reach the intended audience new research has shown.

Forbes Insights, in association with Quantcast, polled 304 senior global marketing executives for its report Reaching the Right Audience: How Brands Are Using Audience Targeting in Digital Advertising.

This found that around half of the companies surveyed always validated that their digital campaigns were being put in front of the right audience: 51% for display ad campaigns and 46% for digital video ad campaigns.

On a more positive note, however, 85% expected the frequency with which they validated these campaigns to increase over the next three years.

Audience guarantees, inherited from television buying practices, do not yet have a strong hold but marketers more likely to work with media sellers who offer it.

Half of all companies (53%) reported that between a quarter and a half of their demographic targeted video spend included an audience guarantee, but marketers recognise its importance. Fully 86% of surveyed companies said they were significantly/somewhat more likely to buy video inventory from a media seller that offers audience guarantees.

These trends towards validation and guarantees might have been expected, given the level of investment in audience targeting. Currently, 90% of companies spend at least a quarter of their digital advertising budgets on specific targets, while 43% spend more than half.

Again, most companies (84%) expected that investment would only increase, as they valued the relevance and effectiveness that comes as part of the equation and which have made display and digital video a key component of branding campaigns.

"This report underlines the importance of a strong digital presence," said Bruce Rogers, Chief Insights Officer and head of the CMO Practice for Forbes Media.

"Digital offers advantages over traditional media when it comes to precise targeting and measurability," he added.

But those advantages come with their own set of problems. Some 54% of North American companies and 76% of EMEA companies cited the biggest challenge for audience targeting as identifying the proper personas.

Data sourced from Forbes; additional content by Warc staff

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TV losing relevance says Bacardi

6 May 2015
SYDNEY: Television is losing its attractiveness as an advertising medium according to top executives at drinks company Bacardi, who have indicated an increasing focus on digital and social to reach their target audiences.

When asked if TV was becoming less relevant, Dima Ivanov, global CMO, replied: "I would agree with that and it is proven by the fact how much time the younger generation spend watching any TV program."

He allowed that sport might be an exception, "but I am definitely in the camp of people who think TV is less and less attractive than ever before," he told Mumbrella.

His colleague Denis Brown, managing director of Bacardi Lion Australia, outlined how brand thinking was evolving.

"We are heavy on experiential and getting heavier on digital," he explained. "Our mix is changing and we are moving away from the big TV advert type of idea."

In the Australian context, this will involve working more closely with bartenders, many of whom, he said, were "celebrities in their own right" and who had their own following on social channels.

"There are many cool bars in Sydney that have their own twist on drinks," he said. "It's very engaging trying to collaborate with the bars and staff."

For the future, he expected that some Bacardi brands would be "100% digital" and pointed to how the brand had partnered with chef Jamie Oliver's Drinks Tube platform as one way ahead.

"It was good because people don't search online for Bacardi cocktails," he said. "They search for 'how do you make a daiquiri' and with Jamie's profile around the world, it helps you get on the landing page."

Bacardi is also taking its first steps into programmatic with a limited initial investment of around $200,000.

"It makes logical sense for some of the people we are trying to track and to be more relevant in their lives," said Ivanov. "People are talking about programmatic and we want to head down a more digital path. But it is very much a pilot."

Data sourced from Mumbrella; additional content by Warc staff

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Gender drives app engagement

6 May 2015
MENLO PARK, CA: Gender is a major influence in predicting which users will engage with mobile apps after the install, with cost-per-action (CPA) and conversion rates varying significantly between men and women across some app categories.

Liftoff, a mobile app marketing and retargeting solution, analysed CPA and conversion rates across 22.5m installs and 550m post-install events during the first quarter across six app categories, including dating, finance, shopping, social, travel and utility.

It found that in shopping apps, women far outperformed men, with the cost to acquire a new customer who makes a first-time purchase much lower for women than men.

Females were 32% more likely to purchase, with a much higher install-to-first-purchase rate and significantly lower cost-per-purchase, at $144.50 for women versus $190.70 for men.

Women also outperformed men in social apps, with 36% more females sharing content, resulting in a much lower cost-per-first-time-share of $7.74 for women, versus $10.52 for men.

Financial apps emerged as the men's domain with males costing significantly less to acquire. Cost-per-install (CPI) for men was 15.25% lower than for women, with an even greater disparity in cost per registration at 16.3% less than women.

When it came to dating apps, men preferred to browse, while women took the plunge and bought. And, although attracting those women cost more, the ROI was greater in overall lifetime value.

Over half of men who installed a dating app created an account, compared to just over 40% of women, for a $5.19 registration CPA for men. 

The registration CPA for women was nearly 80% higher at $9.30, but women converted to paying subscribers 6% more than men, making them more valuable in terms of ROI.

"This data is extremely valuable in helping app marketers more accurately plan their budgets and maximise ROI from their mobile advertising campaigns," said Dennis Mink, vp/ marketing at Liftoff.

He argued that most app install campaigns failed to tell the whole story as the focus on installation did not take account of what happened afterwards.

"In order to be truly effective, campaigns must generate engagement in post-install events like registering, booking a room or making a purchase, to generate true ROI," he said.

"Otherwise, you could be paying way too much to acquire low-quality users."


Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff

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Blog: Would your brand pass the Psychopath Test?

6 May 2015
Faris Yakob argues that many brands display the same behaviours as a psychopath – including superficial charm, lying and lack of remorse. That explains why most consumers don't trust corporations.

Warc

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Urban India holds onto its aspirations

6 May 2015
NEW DELHI: Urban Indian households have cut back on grocery spending as they reassess their expenditure in order to find ways of maintaining an aspirational lifestyle.

The Wallet Monitor study from market researcher IMRB International interviewed housewives aged 25 to 55, covering 36,000 households in 190 cities, and found that for most categories the share of expenditure had remained steady from 2013 to 2014.

But the share of household expenditure on food and groceries had declined from 40% to 36%, and that of household products had dipped from 6% to 5%, leaving them with more to spend in other areas.

Much of that was going on education, however, where the share of spending had leapt from 15% to 21%.

At the same time "lifestyle" spending on entertainment and eating out held steady at 4%, as did that on personal care at 5%. This, said Deepa Mathew, group business director at IMRB International, was indicative of their attitude.

"Priorities remained clear," she told Live Mint. "They don't want to compromise on an aspirational lifestyle."

Some consumers reported buying cheaper brands in order to make their budgets go further, and while they continued to eat out and go to the cinema they were doing so less often than before.

The proportion eating out at restaurants at least once a month, for example, fell from 22% in 2013 to 18% in 2014. A similar decline was evident at fast food outlets, where the proportion had fallen from 34% to 30%.

These figures are reflected in the performance of international restaurant brands which have struggled to maintain sales growth and have turned to discounts to attract customers.

In general, expenditure on non-food items has been rising every year as incomes have grown – by 46% between 2010 and 2014 – leaving more to spend after meeting basic needs.

One leading retailer expected that spending on categories such as leisure, services and healthcare would grow faster than that on food and groceries over the next five years.

Data sourced from Live Mint; additional content by Warc staff

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Authenticity key for Carhartt

6 May 2015
CHICAGO: Carhartt, the workwear manufacturer, believes only featuring real "hard-working people" in its marketing is as important for its brand as sports companies using actual athletes as their official ambassadors.

Tony Ambroza, Carhartt's svp/marketing, drilled down into this subject at IEG's 2015 Sponsorship conference in Chicago.

"You don't use a fake athlete to market to athletes," he said. (For more, including details of an unusual brand extension that boosted the firm's position, read Warc's report: Carhartt: from workwear brand to craft brewer.)

"Why on earth would I use a fake worker – who's going to hold the hammer wrong, use the wrong sledgehammer or do something maybe that wouldn't meet certain standards – for the way that we want to tell our stories?"

The traditional Carhartt customer, he asserted, enjoys the "4Bs" – namely, "beef, barbecue, buddies and beer" – and is resistant to disingenuous marketing.

And as a brand focused on construction workers, loggers, welders and other people engaged in the demanding jobs that keep America moving, authenticity is a fundamental part of the organisation's core proposition.

"Our conviction is simple: we believe in hard work. And that belief is what inspires us. It's what drives our creative," Ambroza said.

"We capture the real essence of what our consumer is doing in our beliefs and everything we create."

Such a conviction informs Carhartt's underlying mission, too – that is, becoming the "uniform for any man or woman that chooses to take on any rugged corner of the earth".

And, Ambroza suggested, various trends observable in the wider consumer marketplace have brought Carhartt's ideals back into fashion – both attitudinally and when discussing apparel.

"We talk in a way about our consumer that's reverent. And the beautiful thing that we're learning is more and more people are embracing this," he said.

"People are celebrating the craftsmen. And fortunately Cahartt's been doing it since Hamilton Carhartt founded it."

Data sourced from Warc

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Context requires anthropological input

5 May 2015
LONDON: Media planners placing contextual ads should look beyond established parameters and consider how anthropological learnings can enable them to use their budgets more effectively, an industry figure has said.

Tom Laranjo, managing director at Total Media, argued in Admap that when it comes to contextual advertising – the focus of the current issue – marketers have focused on the "four pillars" of time, location, device and content, but neglected anthropology.

Advertising technology now enables them to deliver better targeted, more relevant content at the right time to receptive consumers, but while this was once regarded as the holy grail for media planners, it is no longer enough.

Brands now need to consider not just when people consume information, but how they use it, the value they assign it, how they share, and more: "We shape our interactions with [digital] to our own preferences," Laranjo noted.

And one lesson media planners can take from this, he advised, is to treat the vogue for multiscreening with caution.

Humans can shift between tasks but can only concentrate on one cognitive function at a time, he said; attempting to genuinely multitask is thus likely to result in reduced focus and ability to remember.

Accordingly, he recommended directing media spend to those areas where the target audience was less distracted. As regards his own work, "We do not leverage tri-screening behaviour unless we can see a benefit," he stated.

The possibilities location offers for contextual ads are clear, but Laranjo cautioned that "not all locations are equal", as people may react differently to the same message depending on where they receive it.

So, for example, it is one thing to be able to deliver a particular ad to a person on their desktop when they're at work, quite another to serve it to their tablet when they're at home.

He cited work on "social capital" to suggest that advertising might be better restricted "to fields that more specifically match the environment to which the content is suited".

That could mean adding geo-fencing to ensure B2B ads, for instance, are only served in certain locations, such as those where people are at work and more likely to be receptive to the message.

Data sourced from Admap

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Power and capacity threats to internet

5 May 2015
LONDON: The debates on net neutrality currently taking place in the US and India could be superseded by new threats highlighted by UK scientists – the power demands being made by the internet and the capacity demands being made on the internet.

"The internet is already consuming at least 8% of Britain's power output, equivalent to the output of three nuclear power stations, and demand is soaring," Andrew Ellis, professor of optical communications at Aston University, told the Sunday Times.

That figure was the bottom end of the range. Data storage and transmission, along with access devices such as PCs and televisions, could be consuming as much as 16% of power output. And consumption is reckoned to be doubling every four years.

"It is growing so fast, currently at an exponential rate, that, in theory, it could be using all the UK power generation by 2035," he added.

A number of implications follow. "We cannot make all that extra power, so we will have to restrict or reduce [internet] access, perhaps by metering consumers so they pay for what they use," Ellis stated.

The internet's capacity is also being called into question, as the boom in online video is eating up existing bandwidth; cables and switches could hit their limits within the next five years.

"It's the first time we have had to worry about optical fibres actually filling up," said Andrew Lord, head of optical access at telco BT.

"We could expand the network by laying more cables" he added, "but the economics of that do not work and it would increase power consumption."

And, rather like the tendency of the UK's newly built roads to rapidly become clogged with traffic rather than relieving it, he expects that new cables would in any case fill within a couple of years of being installed.

Again, the likely solution would involve some form of rationing with users being charged for data usage. "If we don't fix this then in ten years' time the internet could have to cost more," Lord said.

Such developments could render irrelevant current debates around net neutrality and whether website owners should be allowed to pay a premium to ensure fast content delivery and then pass that cost on to their customers, or brands permitted to pay consumers' data charges so they can use their apps for free.

Data sourced from Sunday Times; additional content by Warc staff

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AT&T 'mobilizes' sponsorship

5 May 2015
CHICAGO: AT&T, the telecoms group, is connecting its sponsorship efforts more deeply than ever to its core brand proposition – a trend assisted by the fact mobile phones are now an "endemic" part of live events.

Mark Wright, the company's vp/media and sponsorships, discussed this topic at IEG's 2015 Sponsorship conference in Chicago.

And he reported that the firm's diverse sponsorship initiatives – from the AT&T Stadium in Dallas to the Tribeca Film Festival and an annual PGA TOUR pro-am competition – increasingly make use of its unique slate of assets.

"Your phone and your mobile device is about as endemic to the activity these days as it gets. So we're about mobilising that experience," said Wright. (For more, including details of AT&T's mobile-fuelled tie-up with the Dallas Cowboys, read Warc's exclusive report: AT&T uses mobile to activate stadium sponsorship.)

In line with this heightened "expectation level" among attendees at sporting and cultural events, AT&T believes it can provide truly distinctive opportunities for rights holders.

"It seems like five years ago they didn't even have a device that worked in a professional sports setting or even college. Now, if it doesn't work fast enough or download fast enough, they are disappointed.

"Everyone seems like they have their phone out and they're looking for that next piece of juice in terms of content or a picture that they send to their friends. That, in our minds, makes us a different kind of sponsor.

"It's a real ally with the property … and we're doing the best we can to kind of expand that and give that extra insight and extra piece of content that makes the event even that much more special."

The firm's efforts have included a "digital clubhouse" at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament, a dedicated app for the AT&T Stadium and holding a "hackathon" at the Tribeca Film Festival to explore new modes of storytelling via mobile and wearables.

But whether it's boosting cellular capacity so consumers can send picture messages to friends, upload images on social media or access exclusive content on-site, AT&T knows serving such needs promises to boost its brand.

"We're a part of that, obviously, and we want to make sure that experience is the best it can be," said Wright.

Data sourced from Warc

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Millennials drive US shopper optimism

5 May 2015
CHICAGO: Shopper sentiment in the US surged in the first quarter of 2015, with millennials in particular expressing significantly more optimism than in the previous two quarters, according to new data.

In the latest IRI MarketPulse survey, the information business's Shopper Sentiment Index hit a peak of 138, up from 120 in the final quarter of 2014 (where a score of more than 100 reflects consumers who are less price driven and more loyal to favourite brands).

"Consumers tend to start each new year with a modicum of optimism," said Susan Viamari, IRI's editor of Thought Leadership, but the "substantial spike" in the first three months of 2015, coupled with the fact it covered all age groups and index measures "is cause for optimism among CPG marketers".

IRI highlighted the changing outlook of millennials, whose index score of 131 in Q1 2015 represented a significant turnaround from 114 in Q4 2014 and 92 in Q3 2014.

Overall, IRI reported, one third of millennials felt the economy had improved in the last six months, while 28% expected more improvement in the next six months.

Despite their increased positivity, a quarter of millennials still faced financial difficulties when buying groceries (compared with 20% of the total population) and were thus especially keen on hunting down deals.

Some 26% said they buy more on deal today than a year ago, and among this group, 30% had bought more than half of their most recent shopping basket on promotion.

Between 40% and 50% were visiting couponing sites, retailer websites and manufacturer websites in search of deals.

"CPG marketers should find relief in the continued improvement in shopper attitudes, but sharp withdrawal of value-focused programs would be a mistake," Viamari said.

"Conservative mindsets still prevail and, in the near term, purchase behaviour and loyalty will be strongly influenced by products and programs that meet or exceed consumers' expectations for great quality and strong results at a reasonable price point."


Data sourced from BusinessWire; additional content by Warc staff

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Indian NGOs critical of adland

5 May 2015
NEW DELHI: As the annual Cannes Lions 2015 come into view, the Indian Confederation of NGOs has hit out at the advertising industry's short-term focus on awards.

The organisation contends that there is a tendency for campaigns developed by agencies and brands to help disadvantaged people in India to come to an end around the same time as the advertising awards season finishes.

Accordingly, it has produced a short film aimed at Cannes Lions jury members, in which the voices of disadvantaged communities are heard, the common thread being that many initiatives - from adult literacy to children feeding programmes - only run between March and June.

An open letter to Terry Savage, CEO of Cannes Lions, says: "We spoke to many underprivileged beneficiaries and understood their obvious disappointment at the abrupt discontinuation of many wonderful initiatives, shortly after the ideas win a Lion. Or soon after they don't win one, for that matter."

Disappointment was perhaps too mild a description of the frustration of a man seeking to better himself by learning English and spending several months grappling with the alphabet from A to L, only for classes to be abruptly terminated.

"For every social injustice in this world, there's a copywriter and an art director who are determined to change it," the film's narrator says. "But why change the world for the better for only three months every year?"

The group's solution is not the obvious one of encouraging the relevant parties to extend their campaigns throughout the year, but instead to suggest that Savage increase the number of Cannes Lions festivals from one to four a year to boost the amount of cause-related work agencies undertake.

Mumbrella noted several recent examples of campaigns that might fit this analysis, including one that infused with iodine the bindi dots worn on the foreheads of women in India to help curb disease.

Data sourced from iCONGO, Mumbrella; additional content by Warc staff

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Vietnam modern retail set to boom

5 May 2015
HO CHI MINH CITY: The next three years will see a 40% expansion in the number of supermarkets in Vietnam, thanks to a combination of economic recovery, urbanisation and growing foreign investment.

The modern retail sector currently accounts for between 20% and 25% of consumer spending according to figures from the Vietnam Retailers Association, but this is well below the level seen in neighbouring countries: say, 46% in Thailand, 53% in Malaysia and 64% in China.

The Financial Times noted a recent flurry of activity in modern Vietnamese retail with regional players entering the market or expanding their presence through takeovers or store openings, while local businesses have also been stepping up their activities.

"Existing foreign-invested retailers still account for barely 5% of nationwide retail, but they are the fastest-growing," it said.

Among these are Berli Jucker and Big C from Thailand, Aeon Mall, Family Mart and Ministop from Japan and Lotte Mart from South Korea.

Local conglomerate Vingroup, meanwhile, is planning to open 100 supermarkets and 1,000 convenience stores over the next three to four years.

The Financial Times estimated that, in total, up to 300 new supermarkets could open in that time, "a 40% increase in the existing stock", while the number of convenience stores could treble to 1,500.

And it observed there was huge potential for further expansion, as Thailand, for example, has more than 10,000 convenience stores serving a population that is only three quarters the size of Vietnam's.

The Central Institute of Economic Management (CIEM), meanwhile, forecast that GDP growth would pick up from the 6.03% seen in Q1 2015 to 6.18% in Q2, close to the target rate of 6.2%.

But retailers were more gloomy, as many said that demand was slower than expected during the recent holiday week. VietnamNet reported widespread sales promotion campaigns as they sought to attract shoppers, with the country's leading hypermarket chain Co-op Mart, for example, offering price discounts of 50% on 4,000 essential goods.


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

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Women find video on Facebook

5 May 2015
NEW YORK: Most female consumers in the US watch content on YouTube but few subscribe to branded channels there, while Facebook is fast emerging as their preferred place to discover videos.

These findings came from a survey of 2,456 women by SheSpeaks, a marketing company focused on this audience, which also found fewer than half of those polled subscribed to a branded YouTube channel.

"They are not always finding content that is relevant to them," said Aliza Freud, CEO and founder of SheSpeaks.

However, when they did find it, these women were watching a lot of videos: fully 82% viewed at least one a week, while 33% watched multiple videos every day.

While almost 100% of respondents used YouTube, Facebook was gaining ground, as 83% said this was where they discovered videos. Another 71% also shared them via this platform.

These figures put the social networking giant far ahead of other sourcing and sharing options among women.

Other ways to discover videos included "websites" (54%), word of mouth (49%), blogs (36%), Twitter (27%) and Instagram (21%).

After Facebook, the most popular ways of sharing were email (41%), bringing someone's attention to what's present on one's own screen (37%), Twitter (27%), Instagram (13%) and personal blogs (12%).

As always, humour is an important reason to share: 83% of women were most likely to share funny or cute videos.

Other reasons to share videos were because the content was informative (77%), contained performances of favourite artists (64%), were inspiring or uplifting (54%) or related to current affairs or pop culture (42%).

Laptops were the preferred device for viewing, chosen by 32% of respondents, ahead of desktops (25%), smartphone (25%) and tablet (16%).

Commenting on the findings, Guy Yalif, vp/global marketing at BrightRoll, told AdWeek "savvy marketers that are targeting women are able to leverage tools that let them put data to work – such as ad-effectiveness optimisation and pricing management to efficiently reach women."

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

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Marketing budgets shift from TV

4 May 2015
LONDON: Marketing optimism in April remained high in all of the three regions measured in the latest Global Marketing Index (GMI), but the allocation of budgets to TV has declined for the second successive month.

The headline GMI registered an average 56.5 points in April, where a reading of 50 indicates no change and 60+ suggests rapid growth, in a clear sign that marketers across the world experienced increased business activity.

There were modest variances across the regions, with Asia-Pacific registering the highest headline GMI of 57.7 points, followed by the Americas (56.3) and Europe (55.8). These figures are based on a three month moving average to mitigate abnormal seasonal variations.

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

On the first of these measures, the global trading conditions index stood at 58.6, down 0.9 points from March, but still indicative of strong improvement. Asia-Pacific recorded the highest score of 60.9 in April, followed by Europe (57.7) and the Americas (57.4).

The staffing index, which reflects the number of staff hired compared to the same period last year, registered a value of 58.3 in April. Recruitment was particularly strong in the Americas, where the index registered 59.6, followed by Asia-Pacific (58.4) and Europe (57.5).

The index for global marketing budgets fell a single point to 52.5 in April, the 26th consecutive month of budget growth, but deeper analysis provided evidence that marketers have continued to switch their budgets from TV and other traditional media to digital and mobile.

The index for TV budgets around the world was just 47.5 in April, falling as low as 41.4 in the Americas and 47.1 in Asia-Pacific, with only Europe recording a positive value of 51.7 points.

World Economics raised the possibility that TV advertising could follow traditional media into a "downward spiral", especially as the GMI survey confirmed the continuing rapid growth of mobile and digital budgets, which recorded values of 75.2 and 78.4 respectively.

Ed Jones, chief executive of World Economics, said: "Mobile and digital media continued to gain budget share while expenditure on TV fell as declining viewing suggests it may soon realise the same falling trend in absolute expenditure share experienced by other traditional media."

Data sourced from World Economics, additional content by Warc staff

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UK leads global mobile payments

4 May 2015
AMSTERDAM: As more and more consumers adopt mobile technology for everyday transactions, a new report has shown that over a quarter (27.2%) of global online payments were made via mobile devices in Q1 2015.

That represented a "massive" 39% increase on the same period last year, according to the latest Mobile Payments Index (MPI) compiled by Adyen, the payments technology company.

Adyen's MPI tracked quarterly mobile payment data from internet-based transactions across its global customer base of 3,500 businesses and it found significant rises in activity across the world.

The UK continued to lead the way with 44.4% of online payments coming from mobile, up from 36.9% a year earlier, and smartphones accounted for two-thirds (66%) of all mobile payments in the country.

"The UK's position as the world's number one in mobile payments speaks volumes for the country's payments infrastructure, its highly competitive mobile network landscape and the general population's continued willingness to exploit new payment channels," noted Myles Dawson, UK country manager at Adyen.

But the US also showed "impressive growth" over the quarter, the report said, with 26.7% of online payments being made on mobile, representing an increase of nearly five percentage points over the past six months.

There was a higher proportion of mobile payments made in Europe (28.6%), but growth over the same period was slower in the region at just two percentage points. Meanwhile, Asia broke the 20% threshold for the first time in the quarter.

The MPI also revealed that tablets may be approaching market saturation because the gap between spending on smartphones and tablets widened "dramatically".

Smartphones accounted for 10.9% of online transactions in March 2014, compared with 9.3% for tablets. But by March 2015, smartphones accounted for 16% of online transactions with tablets at 11.5%.

In terms of operating system, Apple was way ahead with 65% market share of online mobile payments in the first quarter.

But this was down from 69.5% last year as Android increased its market share to 34.9%, up from 30.3% a year ago.

Data sourced from Adyen; additional content by Warc

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Online shopping embraced worldwide

4 May 2015
NEW YORK: A quarter of global consumers are already ordering grocery products online for home delivery and over a half (55%) are willing to do so in future, according to an online survey of 30,000 people in 60 countries.

But such enthusiasm for ecommerce does not stop at online delivery, with younger shoppers particularly open to using all forms of ecommerce options, the new research from Nielsen, the research firm, suggested.

Its new global ecommerce survey found 18% of global consumers currently use online or mobile coupons, but about two-thirds (65%) are willing to use them in the future.

Downloading a retailer's loyalty program app on a mobile device to receive information or offers is used by 14% of global respondents, but 63% say they are willing to use one when it is made available.

Over half (57%) are open to using in-store "click and collect" services, although only 12% of global online shoppers currently do so, and another 54% would like to use online subscription services in the future.

Similarly, 58% would like to use a virtual store if the option was available, 64% are open to mobile shopping lists and nearly two-thirds (65%) would be willing to try self-checkout.

"Time-starved consumers want to use technology to make shopping faster, easier and more efficient," said Patrick Dodd, Nielsen's president of global retailer vertical.

"As we've seen with self-checkout, one of the more mature flexible retailing options included in the survey, as more retailers incorporate these options in their in-store and online offerings, adoption rates will likely increase," he added.

And this was another key finding from the survey – consumers are not looking to discard physical stores in favour of an online-only shopping experience.

Brick-and-mortar retailers should be encouraged that the great majority (61%) of global consumers say going to a grocery store is an "enjoyable and engaging experience" while 57% think grocery shopping in a retail store is a fun day out for the family.

Consumers, faced with more shopping choices than ever before, are instead looking for a "blended" experience of in-store digitalisation that delivers the same ease and convenience as online shopping.

"Consumers are no longer shopping entirely online or offline; rather, they're taking a blended approach, using whatever channel best suits their needs," said Dodd.

"The most successful retailers and manufacturers will be at the intersection of the physical and virtual worlds, leveraging technology to satisfy shoppers however, wherever and whenever they want to shop."

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc

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Facebook offers publishers ad revenue

4 May 2015
SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook is reportedly considering new revenue-sharing models with third-party content publishers that would allow them to keep all the revenue from certain ads.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the social media network wants to deliver more content, including video, but needs to improve the experience for mobile users.

Many web publishers put up links to their content on Facebook, through which they drive traffic to their news sites, but trying to open them on a mobile device can be frustrating for users because accessing the link can take about eight seconds.

To get around the problem and to speed things up, sources "familiar with the matter" told the Journal that Facebook is introducing an Instant Articles feature.

In return for using it, publishers will be entitled to keep the revenue from all ads sold through the news sites hosted by Facebook. Where Facebook is the direct seller of an ad, it would keep about 30% of the revenue.

A key advantage for Facebook is that it expects faster-loading content will encourage users to spend more time on the network, although publishers may have concerns about whether they would lose control over placements and data metrics.

That is partly because Facebook would be likely to require publishers to use its own advertising technology products, such as Atlas and LiveRail, rather than Google's.

The sources went on to say that Facebook intends to deliver content from BuzzFeed, The New York Times, National Geographic and others and that the initiative will be rolled out within a matter of weeks.

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

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Brand purpose drives Mizuno

4 May 2015
CHICAGO: Mizuno USA, the sporting goods group, has seen considerable benefits from effectively tapping into its brand purpose - something it had previously found difficult to achieve.

Ahmet Abaci, vp/brand marketing and management at Mizuno USA - the American arm of the Osaka, Japan-based company - discussed this subject at IEG's 2015 Sponsorship conference.

"We believe in the transformative power of sports to make the world a better place," he said when describing the brand's core mission. (For more, including results from the "What if everybody ran?" campaign, read Warc's exclusive report: Making Mizuno fit for (brand) purpose.)

"It's a very high, noble goal. But what's a purpose if it's not going to help us dream big?"

While Mizuno's origins stretch back over a century, Abaci reported that the organisation had faced a consistent challenge in bringing this notion to life.

"Mizuno has had this purpose in its hundred-year history, but we never had a good way - consumer-facing way - to activate it," he said. "Last year, we started to do that."

By drilling down into what its brand stood for, Mizuno USA reached an understanding of what it could do in order to change the world through sport.

"We believe our role is we need to inspire pure love of sports. Why is that so important? Because if people don't see the pure love of sports, we believe they're not going to stick with sports for the lifetime."

Elaborating on how Mizuno USA has activated this idea, he outlined the "What if everybody ran?" campaign, which mixed academic research, online videos and a not-for-profit partnership with Back on My Feet.

The scholarly analysis determined the significant benefits that would indeed occur if all Americans ran, and "snackable" 15-second videos brought these statistics to life in engaging ways.

Back on My Feet is a charity helping homeless people towards independent living, using running as the basis of its programmes. And Mizuno donated a dollar to the organisation for each mile ran by users downloading a special app.

"We were able to really move the needle on our purchase funnel metrics and I think that's because of the word of mouth element, the purpose and the meaning that was built into the campaign," he said.

Data sourced from Warc

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Air New Zealand leads on reputation

4 May 2015
AUCKLAND: Air New Zealand has been named as the most reputable brand in New Zealand, according to new rankings of the country's top corporate firms.

The airliner topped the first annual Colmar Brunton Corporate Reputation Index, which measured companies across four measures – social responsibility, fairness, success and trust.

Leading brands in New Zealand were assessed according to the RepZ model, developed by parent company Millward Brown, the market research agency, combined with feedback from 500 consumers per industry category.

Compared with the global average RepZ score of 100 points, Air New Zealand scored 118 points overall and was also the highest placed for trust (125) and social responsibility (117).

It also came second for success, coming behind US technology giant Apple, while Japanese automaker Toyota topped the category for fairness.

Following Air New Zealand in the top ten, other brands included Z Energy (114 points), Fisher & Paykel, the appliance manufacturer (112), Toyota (111), AA Insurance (110), Apple (107), Meridian, the energy firm (107), Kiwibank (106), New Zealand Post (106) and The Warehouse, the discount retailer (106).

Of particular note, the research found that almost three-quarters (74%) of consumers said they would buy from companies with a RepZ score of 105 or more, but this dropped rapidly to 46% concerning companies that scored 95 or below.

With social media now so ubiquitous, Colmar Brunton chief executive Jacqueline Farman warned that it's essential brands maintain a strong corporate reputation.

"The top 13 companies on the Colmar Brunton Corporate Reputation Index all achieved 'strong' RepZ scores of 105 or more, which would place them in the top 10% of businesses globally," she said. "Corporate reputation is important no matter what industry you operate in, and it has a material effect on your sales."

The survey comes just a week after a separate reputation index from research consultancy AMR ranked Air New Zealand in fifth place in Australia, where it overtook Qantas and Virgin Australia, and coincides with the airline's celebration of its 75th anniversary.

Data sourced from Colmar Brunton, The Australian, National Business Review; additional content by Warc staff

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Godrej sustains its rural strategy

4 May 2015
MUMBAI: Several major Indian FMCG firms have said they will concentrate on cities for growth because of uncertainty about the impact of this year's monsoon season on rural areas, but Godrej Consumer Products (GCPL) will not be one of them.

Instead, the company will maintain its focus on expanding into rural India where it is achieving double-digit growth, GCPL managing director Vivek Gambhir told the Business Standard

He said rural areas accounted for at least 25% of GCPL's overall revenue - a proportion that it aims to increase to 35% in the next few years - and that rural markets grew at 17.4% in the March 2015 quarter versus 9.4% in urban areas.

"While urban sales in the past three quarters have grown faster than rural in the home and personal care category at an industry level, rural sales growth has been ahead of urban sales by 600-800 basis points in this period," he said.

"My sense is it will stay like this for some time. If that is the case, why should I take my attention off the rural map?" he asked.

GCPL's recently-launched OneRural programme underpins its rural growth strategy, which will focus on the top 20,000 villages out of the 60,000 it currently serves. 

These villages will receive more attention from larger sales and support teams, improved logistics and, Gambhir confirmed, increased marketing and promotions.

By continuing its commitment to rural India, GCPL is running against the tide of industry opinion that there could be below-normal rainfall this year that could hit rural markets

These concerns prompted Sunil Duggal, CEO of Dabur India, to say last week that "attention will have to shift to urban areas. Investments in rural markets, notably in distribution and product portfolio expansion, will have to slow down".

Despite uncertainty surrounding official weather forecasts, GCPL remains confident about a recent forecast from Delhi-based Skymet, which predicted rains would be normal this year, at 102% of the long-period average.

"While climatic changes have afflicted parts of India in the past few months, our assessment, based on international weather forecasts, is rainfall will be normal this year," Gambhir said.




Data sourced from Business Standard; additional content from Warc staff

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Outdoor goes missing in UK election

1 May 2015
LONDON: Traditionally a beneficiary of a general election campaign, the UK's outdoor advertising industry appears to have lost out to online as the country's main political parties turn to paid-for advertising on Facebook and YouTube.

In part that is a simply a reflection of how the times have changed since 1979 and Saatchi's famous dole queue poster, 'Labour Isn't Working', for the Conservative Party. And in part it is a consequence of both main parties hiring people who had previously worked as digital advisors to Barack Obama's election campaigns in the US.

And while UK parties are rather less advanced in technology matters they have increasingly focused their attention on how they can use the internet to gain an advantage, harvesting data and using this to target voters more effectively.

The Financial Times, citing information from people within the campaigns, reported there has been "a clear shift towards digital" and that spending on traditional media has fallen from the levels of the 2010 election when the Conservative Party spent almost £7m on posters.

Earlier this year the BBC revealed that the Conservatives were spending more than £100,000 each month on Facebook, a sum that will only have increased as the election neared.

Both the Conservative and Labour parties have utilised online video to sidestep the ban on paid-for political advertising on television, but with less money to spend, Labour has tended to focus more on generating a buzz on social media.

The parties have still unveiled election posters, if not as frequently as in the past, but, The Drum observed, these are now simply "PR stunts orchestrated to tick the boxes of press coverage and social sharing" rather than part of any large-scale outdoor campaign.

"If you live in a key marginal, you're seeing all sorts of communications," noted Johnny Hornby, founder of The&Partnership and who worked on Tony Blair's 1997 election campaign.

"If you don't, the only bits you see are on Sky News or when you pick up a copy of the Times or the Mail and see Danny Alexander and Nick Clegg standing next to an ad van in a miserable car park."

All of which rather dashes the hopes the outdoor industry had held out for the new opportunities offered by digital outdoor.

"The next phase of electioneering will be about programmatic, big data, and one-to-one at scale," said Hornby. "I don't think either of the major parties have got there on that yet," he added.

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

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Adidas focus shifts from product

1 May 2015
LONDON: Adidas, the sportswear brand, is shifting away from product-driven marketing which, according to a leading executive, no longer resonates with young people or marketers themselves.

Stefanie Knoren, director of global brand strategy, told a Forrester forum in London that millennials had different expectations and that reaching them was not simply about advertising but about adding value, Marketing reported.

"It is not just about broadcasting and optimising the shit out of our marketing, that's not going to cut it," she said. "Customers are expecting us to be good global citizens."

In recent years much of the advertising focus of sports footwear businesses such as adidas has typically been on the technical developments that bring greater comfort and allow users to run faster for longer.

All that has changed, Knoren said, with this year's There Will Be Haters campaign, which features global footballing stars such as Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Gareth Bale.

"If you put up a hashtag like #therewillbehaters it is not just enough to talk about new boots," she observed. "People are expecting a conversation around that with you."

Launching the campaign at the start of the year, adidas noted that a great performance delivers "hate" from fans and opponents, particularly on social media, but said the best players used that to fuel their confidence and deliver even greater performances.

Knoren acknowledged that it had been a "bold" move, not least by including Luis Suarez, whose past on-pitch indiscretions have included biting and allegations of racist abuse.

But by putting the brand at the heart of the campaign, she argued that it had been forced to talk to customers directly and authentically about these issues, adding that a shift to conversational marketing had made her feel for the first time that her job had value.

"I always used to be jealous of people that had real jobs, like doctors and lawyers that really help people, and do something good," she remarked. "This is the first time I can feel valuable as a marketer."

Data sourced from Marketing; additional content by Warc staff

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Fight of the century attracts brands

1 May 2015
LAS VEGAS: Tomorrow's "fight of the century" between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao has attracted the attention of brands keen to be part of an event that may generate upwards of $500m.

Mexican beer Tecate, which spent $5.6m to become the presenting sponsor and exclusive beer sponsor, has been running an extensive marketing campaign in Las Vegas, where the fight takes place, for most of the past month.

A significant part of that has been a digital approach, soliciting fans' view and offering chances to win tickets to the fight itself or pay-per-view packages as well as various items of memorabilia.

And during the actual boxing match, Tecate will be featured prominently in the centre ring, around the mat and throughout the arena.

The boxers themselves are set to be "human billboards", according to ESPN, which listed Nike, Cafe Puro and Air Asia among Pacquiao's trunk sponsors.

SB Nation also highlighted Pacquiao's use of social media to promote the various brands he is associated with, from confectionery brand Butterfinger Cups to Organo Gold coffee.

His approach stands in marked contrast to his rival: AdWeek noted that Mayweather does not have a single corporate sponsor, while Pacquaio is expected to make $5m from endorsements.

Mayweather has, however, been wearing Reebok shoes in training although he has no deal with the brand. A Reebok spokesman simply said that "Floyd has been a long-time friend of the brand and he has worn Reebok footwear in the ring for years".

Some brands have found a way to use the fight while avoiding naked commercialism. Pru Life UK, the insurance business, is bringing live viewing of the fight to areas of the Philippines still recovering from the devastation caused by 2013's supertyphoon Yolanda.

Pacquaio, a Congressman in the Philippines as well as a boxer, is a national hero and the Pru campaign has also featured a social element with fans uploading pictures of themselves wearing red bandannas bearing the slogan 'Go Manny'.


Data sourced from PR Newswire, ESPN, SB Nation, AdWeek, Campaign Asia-Pacific; additional content by Warc staff

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Coke outlines sponsorship challenges

1 May 2015
CHICAGO: Sponsorship rights holders need to help their brand partners unlock creativity and embrace real-time marketing to maximise the value of these investments, an executive from The Coca-Cola Company has argued.

Thierry Borra, the firm's director/Olympic Games management, looked beyond Coca-Cola's relationship with the iconic sporting event to address issues of importance to sponsorship efforts in almost any category.

"The reality is that the digital world is a bit of a challenge, because there is a risk of dilution of the value of our rights. It's easier to be hijacked by non-official partners," Borra said at IEG's 2015 Sponsorship conference. (For more, including how the brand's strategy is evolving, read Warc's exclusive report: Coca-Cola's road to Rio 2016.)

In recognition of this fact, he added, rights holders should "step up" their capabilities, especially when it comes to enabling responsive marketing.

"The rights holder needs to be equipped to respond to real time – meaning, how you get approvals. It used to take a week to get approvals," said Borra.

"We need to get approval quickly, because we want to go there in a few seconds. As partners, we want to leverage the emerging capabilities that are there, so rights holders need to adapt themselves to this."

A second issue incorporates supplying more than simple exposure – say, a logo on a football – so that rights holders more effectively "help us create stories," Borra said.

"The reality is, today, there is a challenge, because rights holders have sold most of their rights to access [and] content to broadcasters.

"So there is a need eventually to reinvent the relationship between these parties: between the rights holders, the brands and the broadcasters.

"We need to find another model. Otherwise, I don't know, things will happen. We will have to change, we will have to evolve to stay relevant, because story matters. Content matters."

A similar theme covered by Borra involved identifying the correct balance between assets which brands "rent" – that is, official sponsorship programs that are subject to certain restrictions – and those they "own".

By way of example, Coca-Cola FM – an online entertainment venture active in around a dozen Latin American nations, and over which the brand has complete control – provides more flexibility than most rented properties.

"So the question in the future – as we are looking for story, as we are looking for content – is: how much we are going to balance our portfolio of assets between owning and renting?" said Borra.

Data sourced from Warc

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Aussie agencies, brands lag in mobile

1 May 2015
SYDNEY: Seven in ten of the top websites in Australia are still not optimised for mobile as both brands and agencies are failing to address this fast-growing area, according to a new survey.

Mobile specialist agency Mnet looked at the top 1,000 websites in Australia, covering both enterprise and government sectors, and found more than 70% were not optimised for mobile.

This was despite the fact that some organisations reported that 35% or more of traffic, depending on user demographic, was coming from mobile devices, and their user experience was suffering accordingly.

Google's recent algorithm update is another factor making mobile optimisation more urgent. This latest tweak includes mobile responsiveness as a key ranking criteria – meaning that publishers with non-mobile-optimised websites could see their search performance suffer.

Some sectors were performing worse than others: "Retail in particular trails the rest of the world in sophistication, innovation and addressing consumer needs," Travis Johnson CEO of Mnet told AdNews.

Mobile commerce, in particular, is "growing like a weed", according to the latest State of Mobile Commerce study from performance marketing technology business Criteo. Mobile accounted for 34% of ecommerce globally in the first quarter of 2015 and is expected to reach 40% by the end of the year.

And while the recent Mobile Landscape Study from the IAB reported that mobile advertising had advanced significantly in Australia over the past year, Johnson was skeptical.

"A few [agencies] have added mobile specialists," he said, "however most are simply ticking the box and running a token amount of static mobile banners as part of their overall media schedule.

"Mobile is the last media they choose, the first to be chopped and the one where creative arrives days late. Too often it's an afterthought but should be front-and-centre," he added.

Data sourced from AdNews, Critero; additional content by Warc

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Hispanic media spend grows

1 May 2015
FAIRFAX, VA: Leading US advertisers are allocating an increasing proportion of their spending to Hispanic media according to new research.

AHAA, the voice of Hispanic marketing, analysed the advertising expenditure of the top 500 US marketers and found that they were directing 8.4% of their total spending to dedicated Hispanic efforts, up from 5.5% in 2010.

In value terms that amounted to a 63% increase, from $4.3bn to $7.1bn. On average the top 500 are now spending around $14m each in Hispanic media, compared to $9m five years ago.

This growth was being driven by "best-in-class" marketers, or those which allocate more than 14.2% of their advertising budget to these efforts aimed at bilingual Hispanics: their numbers have more than doubled, from 29 to 68.

This group spent $3.5bn last year, or almost half (47%) the total. On average they were spending $52m each, or more than four times the overall average of the top 500.

A second tier of companies allocates between 6.4% and 14.2% of their budgets to Hispanic marketing. The number of these "leaders" rose from 58 to 94.

The other three levels of advertiser identified by AHAA – "followers" spending 3.6% to 6.3% on Hispanic media, "laggards" spending 1.0% to 3.5% and "on the sidelines" spending less than 1% – all reduced in number as the top two groups grew and accounted for 100% of the expansion of resources earmarked for this consumer group.

AHAA highlighted certain companies, including Nissan, Toyota, Walmart, Target, Lowes, Verizon, AT & T, Ruby Tuesday and Wellpoint, as having upped their investment in media advertising expenditures devoted to Hispanics.

"The lesson of the top marketers in the United States is clear: follow the leader," said Carlos Santiago, president of research at AHAA and president of Santiago Solutions Group.

"With an eye on creating growth in revenue and market share, leading marketers continue to strengthen their efforts in Spanish, while also reaching Hispanics in English media with culturally nuanced messages."


Data sourced from AHAA; additional content by Warc staff

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First BARC figures published

1 May 2015
MUMBAI: After a difficult gestation period India's Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) has finally released its first set of TV measurement data, which the body claimed would "usher in a whole new era of intelligence and analytics".

"With an aim to bring in utmost transparency within the ecosystem, BARC India will certainly be the best solution to report what the nation is actually watching," said Punit Goenka, chairman BARC India.

What they are watching is not so very different from that shown by the previous measurement system, according to the Week 16 figures BARC has published. Star Plus remains the leading Hindi entertainment channel, although its associated channel Life OK has overtaken Zee. And Sony Max, as expected, was in a strong position thanks to its IPL coverage.

"We must not compare the two measurement systems and start judging trends," said Sanjay Gupta, COO Star India. "To me the big news for the industry is that we have a new, robust system of measurement which is capturing the urban viewership landscape meaningfully."

A significant difference from the earlier system is the adoption of the New Consumer Classification System (NCCS), which classifies households based on two variables – the education of the chief wage earner and the ownership of various consumer durables.

This will "enable smarter decision-making processes", according to BARC CEO Partho Dasgupta.

"When you read BARC data you have to understand that it represents present day India in all its realities," he explained. "For example, as per the data we have, 46% of TV-owning households are in NCCS A and B. This is borne out by the consumerism and aspirations we see in India today."

The new system also reflects changing population patterns: "In the TV household universe in our system, Kerala has seven 1 million plus towns versus only one in the erstwhile system based on 2001 census," said Dasgupta.

For now, the system is focused on urban India but within a few months BARC will be adding rural data and that could change the overall picture more dramatically. "The new system might throw up differences that may make people change their strategies in the long term," observed Ashish Bhasin, chairman and CEO, South Asia at Dentsu Aegis Network.

Data sourced from PR Newswire, Economic Times, Live Mint; additional content by Warc staff

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Consumer data valued at £500 a year

30 April 2015
LONDON: UK consumers do not trust advertisers to look after their data but some are willing to sell this information at a price of £500 a year according to a new survey.

A study by Mediabrands Marketing Sciences, a division of media investment business IPG Mediabrands – Privacy vs. Relevancy: The Value Exchange – was based on an online survey of 1,000 UK adults and highlighted some contradictory thinking around privacy and data issues, as respondents were wary of marketers knowing where they were even as they expressed interest in the benefits of location-based marketing.

Overall, however, there was a deep level of distrust: just 1% had faith in advertisers' ability to look after their data. Six in ten said it felt "weird" knowing that companies were tracking them online and a similar proportion worried about those same companies sharing data inappropriately.

But three in ten (27%) said they would be prepared to sell their data and among this group four in ten (41%) felt this information was worth at least £500 a year.

Mostly, however, respondents were ready to settle for discounts and vouchers, rather than cash, in return for supplying personal details such as email and home addresses, mobile number, date of birth as well as products reviews and entertainment preferences.

The report suggested a new era was emerging, characterised by "an increasingly sophisticated value exchange" where consumers were willing to relinquish some level of privacy if they were suitably rewarded.

Apart from the value they placed on their own data, 62% of respondents were interested in receiving advertising messages telling them of special offers nearby. And 59% were interested in give-aways in local places, such as free coffee in a café.

"Marketers have become data hoarders," observed Claire Spencer, Head of Insight, Mediabrands Marketing Sciences, adding that "the evolving dialogue between brand and consumer is increasingly data-centric".

She argued that it was easy to lose sight of the people behind the numbers and that marketers needed "to establish a simple exchange between brand and consumer, one in which boundaries are respected and both parties benefit".

Data sourced from IPG Mediabrands; additional content by Warc staff

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IPA president outlines priorities

30 April 2015
LONDON: The incoming president of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) has set out the priorities for his tenure, which include a values-based agenda for the industry and a new Effectiveness prize.

Tom Knox, who is also chairman at DLKW Lowe, told a lunch event in London yesterday that he had a "strong belief that advertising can be a noble profession and that what we do is fundamentally of great value and good."

And that includes being "good for businesses and the economy, good for consumers and society as a whole and good for our people – the men and women, people who work in the advertising industry."

He acknowledged that the ad industry enjoyed a privileged position as the custodians of consumer behaviour, but said it had a duty to use this knowledge responsibly in order to become a trusted adviser to brands and shoppers.

"It's no longer good enough to say we merely reflect society – can we not set ourselves a higher ambition and realise a more progressive role?" asked Knox.

Accordingly, he intends to draw up a code of conduct for the membership, with the IPA codifying existing best practices and engaging with the wider community to inform this objective.

And in a related move, a new Effectiveness Prize will recognise commercial campaigns demonstrating societal as well as economic value. Knox held up as examples campaigns by Always (Like a Girl), Barclays (Lifeskills) and Dove (Campaign for Real Beauty).

A further development will see the IPA hosting a series of events exploring the importance of brand purpose and how agencies' thinking and creativity has contributed to unlocking those missions, alongside the resultant return on investment and the lessons to be learned.

"In many cases the outputs may be far removed from what has traditionally been called advertising," Knox said.

Data sourced from IPA; additional content by Warc staff

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Nigerians want a more connected life

30 April 2015
LAGOS: Nigerian consumers are upgrading their devices to enable anywhere participation in the online world, with smartphones now among the most-owned items and 84% of these being connected to the internet.

Feature phones and desktops are being replaced by smartphones and laptops according to a report by Ericsson ConsumerLab, Internet Goes Mobile: Nigeria, based on face-to-face interviews with 1,653 people aged 15 to 69 in that country.

This showed that Nigerians wanted to be kept up to date on matters affecting them (66% of the working population) and to be accessible at all times (45%). So messaging and calling, browsing and social networking were the most widely undertaken online activities, closely followed by accessing entertainment, mainly music.

Messaging and calling were near universal mobile activities (97% of internet users), while 94% employed their mobile phones to access social network sites and 93% browsed the internet on these devices. The comparable figures for PCs were 44% for social network sites and 50% for internet browsing.

The desire to remain updated and connected leads to frequent switching of connections in search of the best possible services, whether from wifi to mobile broadband or vice versa. And while location is obviously a major factor in these actions, speed and reliability are also important.

The report pointed out that, provided with consistently good quality connections at all times, irrespective of location, Nigerians would spend more time online and remain connected, unaffected by geographically imposed barriers.

Certainly once they have been exposed to good connectivity and better speed they are more likely to want to improve on that further. For example, 33% of 2G consumers showed a desire to upgrade to 4G, but 47% of 3G users wanted to do so.

Nigerians were also very interested in the future possibilities of remaining connected, as around two thirds expressed interest in connected homes and connected cars.

Data sourced from Ericsson ConsumerLab; additional content by Warc staff

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AOL looks to co-creation

30 April 2015
NEW YORK: AOL and NBCUniversal have announced a content sharing arrangement that will facilitate advertising across screens and open up opportunities for co-creation.

"What our partnership is going to do is bring an audience offering to advertisers in ways they haven't seen before," explained AOL president Bob Lord. "We will be able to help with co-content production as well as distribution to get to audiences in new and unique ways," he told Beet.tv.

"Audiences don't really distinguish whether they're on linear or on digital any more," he added.

The agreement is effectively in two parts, the first based on the sharing of each other's content, while the second involves better targeting of advertising.

Lord outlined how AOL would use its technology "to target the content and then specific advertising around that content".

"We know we can track people across devices and watch their behaviour, so we can actually use that content to understand more of their behaviour and then target ads that are appropriate to that content consumption," he said.

AOL itself is stepping up its own content creation, as Jim Norton, global head of media sales, told Ad Exchanger.

"Last year we produced 80 pieces of original video content, and this year we intend to produce upward of 3,600 pieces," he said. "We're moving from producing and selling a season or a slate of programs into a mode of constantly producing original, premium content year-round."

AOL will also get access to a huge library of NBC Universal material, with clips from entertainment and news programming being streamed on AOL itself and 16 OTT platforms where the AOL On app is available.

"We think the appetite for consumer experiences will continue to shift toward OTT," said Linda Yaccarino, chairwoman of ad sales and client partnerships for NBCUniversal.

Moving beyond the use of existing content – using AOL Originals, for example, to satisfy audiences that NBCUniversal was going after – Lord suggested that the two sides were very interested in co-creation opportunities.

"How can we partner to co-create new content that's not there for their audiences that ultimately advertisers want to get to[?]" he added.

Data sourced from Beet.tv, Ad Exchanger, Business Wire; additional content by Warc staff

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Chinese tourists shop less

30 April 2015
LONDON/BEIJING: Annual spending by Chinese tourists on overseas trips exceeds total household consumption in Indonesia or Turkey according to new figures, but per capita spending is falling.

Estimates from China Confidential, a Financial Times research service, indicated that spending in 2014 by Chinese travellers on outbound trips reached a total of Rmb3.1tn ($498bn), a 9.3% year-on-year increase and more than overall household expenditure in either  Indonesia ($436bn) or Turkey ($442bn).

But the figures, based on based on a survey of 1,288 outbound tourists and 40 travel agencies nationwide, also showed that while more trips were being made – there was a 20.6% increase in outbound trips in 2014 to 117m – per capita spending had fallen 6.2%.

While this was in part attributable to a slowdown in China's economy and the crackdown on corruption which has affected gifting habits, the Financial Times also noted a shift in spending priorities, particularly among the wealthiest tourists (those with a household income exceeding Rmb350,000).

This group reported spending 34.4% less on shopping, preferring to spend more on entertainment (+31.1%) and other goods services such as car rental and excursions (+78.6).

With experiences becoming more important than luxury purchases, the Financial Times anticipated that other sectors, such as hospitality, entertainment and tourism services, would now profit to a much greater extent from Chinese tourism.

The behaviour of some of those tourists has sparked headlines and attracted official intervention. Instances of air rage, for example, can detract from the national image and the government has felt the need to require tour groups of a certain size to include one person able to warn others when they are "acting in an uncivilised manner".

South Korea's Incheon airport has come up against a different problem. More Chinese passengers has meant more shopping for duty-free goods. While this aspect at least is welcome, many of these tourists are delaying flights or even missing them as they wait to pick up their purchases.

And the more they buy, the heavier their luggage and the greater the likelihood it will exceed the cabin weight allowance, leading to further delays as this is then reprocessed as cargo.

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

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Flexibility pays off for Lay's

30 April 2015
CHICAGO: Lay's, the snack brand, has shown the power which can result from reimagining successful campaigns while remaining true to the original insights with its evolving "Do Us a Flavor" program.

Bart LaCount, marketing director for Lay's, discussed this topic at the Brand Activation Association's (BAA) 2015 Brand Activation Annual Showcase (BAASH).

And he reported that the brand, which is owned by Frito-Lay, has consistently adapted its popular "Do Us a Flavor" effort since it was first launched in America.

"We've been running this program for three years now in the US," LaCount said. (For more, including tips for engaging millennials, read Warc's exclusive report: Lay's reimagines marketing the chip.)

"And we're continuing to evolve it. The world we're operating in is rapidly changing –from a consumer standpoint, from a media standpoint – [but we are also] staying true to insights that it was grounded in."

The fundamental basis of this effort rests on a simple, and universal, premise: "Everyone has an idea for a flavor of Lay's."

But as millennials represent the primary target audience, the brand is aware of the need for consistent reinvention to keep pace with their developing preferences and behaviors.

"They're a tough group to connect with," LaCount said. "If we look more broadly with millennials, they are tuning out brands. They are tuning out advertising."

For every "Do Us a Flavor" campaign, Lay's has thus tweaked its formula of asking shoppers to propose new variants of its product and then vote for their favourite with their wallet.

Its innovations have included partnerships with Twitter and YouTube so submissions can be made through these sites, and a tie-up with Uber to deliver free picnics – featuring last year's final two "Do Us a Flavor" ideas – to hungry consumers in New York City.

The campaign's latest instalment has seen Lay's tap into the desire for local produce by requesting ideas inspired by "flavorful towns and cities" across the US – like Apple Valley, Minnesota, and Sandwich, Massachusetts.

Said LaCount: "The US has such a great diversity of flavors. If you think about our millennial target, they love to discover those flavors as they travel around the country."

Data sourced from Warc

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US news goes mobile

30 April 2015
WASHINGTON, DC: The onward march of mobile has been further demonstrated in the finding that 39 of the top 50 digital news websites in the US have more traffic to their sites and associated applications from mobile devices than from desktops.

This statistic emerged from the State of the News Media report, Pew Research Center's analysis of comScore data, which showed that four of the 50 had similar levels of mobile and desktop traffic and just seven had more desktop than mobile.

MSN news, part of the Web portal launched by Microsoft in the mid-1990s, remains heavily reliant on desktop visits, which were nearly four times as many as mobile.

The opposite situation prevailed at newer sites such as EliteDaily.com, UpWorthy.com, BuzzFeed.com and BleacherReport.com where most of the audience arrived via mobile.

Pew also noted that desktop visitors typically spent more time on these sites: this was true for half of the 50 sites, while mobile visitors spent longer on just ten sites, the remaining 15 being equally divided.

Once again newer sites like Vice.com and Gawker.com attracted longer viewing times, but long-established news brands like the Chicago Tribune and the LA Times were also present.

Few readers, however, lingered long. The best mobile performance in this regard came from BleacherReport.com, where the average time spent per visit was 3.5 minutes, compared to an average 2.2 minutes spent by desktop visitors.

Digital and mobile developments were also having an impact in audio news, where online radio and podcasts have been growing.

Pew reported that podcast downloads at NPR were up 41% year on year, while the percentage listening to online radio via mobile devices was rising as that pertaining to desktop listening was falling.

In particular, it highlighted the fact that 35% of cellphone-owning adults had listened to online radio in the car, traditionally a stronghold for AM/FM radio, up from 21% in 2013.

In broadcast media, meanwhile, Pew said that some areas were faring better than others, with local TV seeing marginally increased (+3%) viewership for evening news while network evening news was slightly higher again (+5%).

Cable news was worst hit, with prime-time median viewership down 8% across the three channels – Fox News, MSNBC and CNN.

Data sourced from Pew Research Center; additional content by Warc staff

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Mobile internet use grows in India

30 April 2015
NEW DELHI: Mobile internet use in India is increasing as more users from lower socio-economic groupings go online and as older consumers come to see value in mobile according to a new report.

The findings contained in The Changing Mobile Broadband Landscape, from Ericsson's ConsumerLab, were based on 4,500 face-to-face interviews with smartphone mobile internet users in ten cities and towns, a sample the ICT business estimated represented 127m smartphone users in urban India.

As smartphone prices have fallen over the past two years, the option of using the mobile internet has become possible for many more people. The report indicated that the proportion of users who came from an urban, less educated and low income background had risen from 38% in 2013 to 45% today.

At the same time the age profile of mobile internet users has changed, with more older users coming on board. The proportion of over-50s, for example, has quadrupled from 1% in 2013 to 4% in 2015, while the 31-40 age group has seen a near threefold jump to almost 30% in the same period.

The report suggested the oldest users were driven by a desire to be connected with loved ones in different parts of the country and the world, particularly through emails, chat applications and instant messaging.

"The internet is finally coming of age and is empowering cross-sections of Indian society," said Ajay Gupta, vp/head of strategy and marketing, Ericsson India.

And while social networking and instant messaging remained the most-used services on smartphones, he saw usage of banking, e-commerce, navigation and cloud storage apps and services all increasing.

Convenience and improved experience has made m-commerce services increasingly attractive. For example, among those users not currently using e-commerce services, 58% intended to start doing so in the next six months, while 52% said they were going to pay bills online.

But they may be frustrated by the connection quality and reliability problems reported by around two thirds of those surveyed.

Among those who were not using mobile broadband, affordability and digital literacy appeared the main obstacles to adoption: 88% of those on 2G felt mobile broadband was too expensive, while 53% said mobile broadband added no value.

Data sourced from Ericsson ConsumerLab; additional content by Warc staff

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Warc unveils shortlist for Social Strategy Prize

29 April 2015
LONDON: A total of 32 papers from 11 markets have been shortlisted for the 2015 Warc Prize for Social Strategy, which highlights the smartest social and 'earned' media thinking from across the world.

Campaigns from brands such as Chobani, adidas, Coca-Cola and Newcastle Brown made the shortlist, which represents the highest-scoring entries from the first round of judging. The entire shortlist can be viewed on the Prize website, where Warc subscribers can read the full papers.

"The shortlist represents some of the best social strategy examples in the world," said Shubu Mitra, director of connection planning effectiveness and productivity at Coca-Cola and chair of the judging panel.

"What I like about this competition," he added, "is that it rewards social strategy aligned with the brand's business goal, rather than isolated one-off social media tactics that get an unexpectedly large response – and a lot of business press!"

David Tiltman, Warc's Head of Content, described the shortlist as "essential reading for anyone working on social media campaigns".

"There is a real mix of work here, from focused social media activity to big-budget campaigns with social mechanics at their core," he said. "What they all have in common is that they delivered a business impact."

The shortlisted entries came from 11 different markets around the world, and from a mix of creative agencies, media networks, digital and social specialists. The UK supplied the largest number of shortlisted entries (10), ahead of the US (7) and Australia (5).

Warc will award $5,000 Grand Prix to the best example of a marketing strategy that drives conversation, sharing, participation or advocacy, and can demonstrate a link to credible business results. Warc will also award five Special Awards of $1,000 each, plus Gold, Silver and Bronze awards.

The judging panel, made up of senior client-side marketers and agency-side strategy experts, is currently deciding which entries will be awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze awards, and which will take home the cash prizes. Their picks will be announced in June.

Data sourced from Warc

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Share of wallet grows with brand meaning

29 April 2015
LONDON: Retail and consumer products dominate a list of the UK's "meaningful brands", as new research shows those at the top end of this list can increase their share of wallet by up to seven times those at the lower end.

A study by Havas Media covering 1,000 brands, 300,000 people, 34 countries and 12 industries looked at how purchase choices relate to people's lives, including the impact on collective and personal wellbeing and marketplace factors such as quality and price.

The Meaningful Brands 2015 analysis found that a brand's share of wallet – a metric used to measure the percentage spent with a brand compared to the total annual expenditure within the category – was on average 46% higher for Meaningful Brands and could be as much as seven times larger.

Further, the top Meaningful Brands delivered marketing KPI outcomes that were double that of lower scoring brands.

For every 10% increase in meaningfulness, the study reported, a brand could increase its purchase and repurchase intent by 6% and price premiums by 10.4%.

Havas also suggested that those brands contributing significantly to quality of life achieved stronger business results, earning a "Return on Meaning".

In the UK, retail was the best performing sector in terms of meaningfulness, and retailers took the top five spots in the UK overall.

Online retailer Amazon topped the rankings, followed, in order, by Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Aldi and Sainsburys; Boots and Lidl featured in seventh and eighth places.

The top ten were rounded out by consumer electronics businesses Samsung (6th) and Sony (10th) and online payment brand PayPal (9th).

"It's not enough for brands to focus on building brand equity alone," observed Paul Frampton, CEO, Havas Media. "Business models can't be built on efficiency, scale or quality alone any longer.

"People want to connect their lives to brands that make it possible for us to live well and consume better, and that takes commitment to relationship building."

He argued that this was a factor in helping Amazon ride out the bad press it received over its tax payments, or the lack of them. "People believe Amazon is unique," he explained. "It scores ahead of Ebay on savings, more responsible products and 'making me happier' (alongside price and service factors)."

But with only 7% of brands in Europe being seen to make a positive contribution to people's quality of life, "the opportunity is there for many more to seize".

Data sourced from Havas Media; additional content by Warc staff

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Programmatic gets trust boost

29 April 2015
GLOBAL: Publishers and platforms have welcomed the introduction of a collection of metrics that aims to provide some guarantees about the quality of inventory being bought and sold programmatically.

Digital measurement business comScore is offering publisher clients access to its Trust Profiles which give each client insight as to how their inventory will soon be represented in programmatic trading platforms.

The Trust Profiles include key advertising metrics such as audience and category ranking data, viewability ratings and non-human traffic (NHT) ratings, all of which are consistent with existing comScore metrics used by advertisers and publishers in traditional ad buys.

Announcing the initiative, available in 44 markets around the world, the company said this was only the first stage in a global rollout of the comScore Industry Trust Initiative, first launched in the US at the start of the year, which would bring an independent measure of quality to the programmatic trading world.

The Initiative also aligns with five principles of the US Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) Trustworthy Digital Supply Chain Initiative, which aims to eliminate fraudulent traffic, combat malware, fight internet piracy, promote brand safety and create accountability.

"The growth of programmatic around the world no longer needs to be accompanied by a concern about the quality of inventory that's being bought and sold," said Serge Matta, CEO of comScore.

He maintained that making Trust Profiles available to media sellers around the world would help in "elevating high quality inventory and ensuring that sellers receive fair value for those impressions".

UK industry bodies, including the Association of Online Publishers, supported these "efforts to infuse greater transparency into the buying and selling process".

And Demand-Side Platforms welcomed the independent validation on offer which would give clients greater confidence in programmatic trading and ultimately, said Martin Stockfleth Larsen, CMO at Adform, "instil greater trust in programmatic and digital advertising overall".

In a separate development, comScore has also linked up with Kantar Media to jointly offer cross-media audience measurement to key clients. Spain has been identified as the pilot market with initial findings expected later this year, and other markets to follow.



Data sourced from comScore; additional content by Warc staff

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PR opportunities in digital disruption

29 April 2015
HONG KONG: The distinction between advertising and PR is becoming increasingly blurred, according to a new report which highlights the new terminology of "integrated communications" being used by business leaders in Asia.

PRWeek noted that "the rules are no longer cut and dried about what constitutes advertising and what passes for PR".

Brands now need to present a consistent image across all channels, "and as digital technology disrupts, pulling separate channels closer together, opportunity arises for PR agencies".

FleishmanHillard in Asia, for example, won PRWeek's Asia-Pacific Network of the Year in 2014 and Lynne-Anne Davis, president and senior partner Asia-Pacific, emphasised how the firm had more than doubled revenue from advertising.

Scott Kronick, CEO at Ogilvy APAC, described the convergence trend as a "mash-up" and argued that PR was becoming more attractive from a business standpoint.

In particular, he referred to the way in which briefs were now coming from the chief marketing officer rather than the communications director, a development he attributed in part to the impact of social media.

Another trend observed by Davis was that of local brands developing into regional players and beyond. "Huawei started out as just a project in 2005 and has continued to expand," she said. Today the Chinese telecoms equipment giant is among the agency's top-10 Asia-based clients.

China is clearly a major market – the top-billing agency in the region is BlueFocus, based in Beijing – but Davis was bullish on the prospects for India.

"We saw a big boost in confidence after Narendra Modi took office," she said. "Suddenly India is back on the table for global brands; we could grow revenue as much as 50% in India [in 2015]."

But achieving that level of increase may be constrained by the difficulties agencies face in recruiting suitably skilled people – PRWeek reported this issue came up in nearly every interview it had done with PR leaders in the region.

FleishmanHillard has started to address this by establishing partnerships with universities to nurture talent.

Data sourced from PRWeek; additional content by Warc staff

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Millennial focus for NewFronts

29 April 2015
NEW YORK: The annual NewFronts currently under way in New York have been marked by a rash of announcements around content aimed at millennials, with online publishers from Yahoo to Buzzfeed all touting new developments in this area.

Among the most eye-grabbing was Yahoo's unveiling of 18 new digital video programs aimed at millennials, including a long-form comedy series, The Pursuit, that aspires to be Friends updated for the digital age, Advertising Age reported.

Most of these – 14 out of the 18 – will run on Yahoo's "digital magazines", which cover such topics as food and style.

"These are all items that are really focused on that demographic, and we know that's a really attractive demographic to advertisers that can do a really solid job of making us that must-buy," said Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.

Advertisers can buy a show sponsorship, pre-rolls in 18 category-specific channels or simply purchase Yahoo's audience instead of its content.

Separately, Lauren Weinberg, vp/strategic research & insights at Yahoo, told Beet.tv that more than 90% of consumers in all age groups from 13 to 54 now watch long-form video on digital devices where they preferred shorter ads.

"As more original content comes online, that offers brands unique opportunities for integration and to get creative in ways that might have been more limited when they were on TV," she added.

Meanwhile listicle specialist BuzzFeed revealed that the site now reaches over half of all 18-34 year olds in the US every month, with video its fastest growing business.

Between 60 and 70 pieces of original content are being produced every week to be distributed across social media platforms, where they are generating 1bn monthly views.

"We're thinking about how that model can impact and shape everything from how we think about editorial to advertising," said chief revenue officer Lee Brown.

And he outlined the three main reasons people shared video: identity ("This is so me!"); emotional gift ("This made me LOL and I want to share it"); and information.

"We're taking what our video producers are seeing as they gather data from the … videos they're making each week," he explained. "We then apply those learnings for brands to create compelling, shareable videos."

Data sourced from, Advertising Age, AdWeek, Marketing Land, Beet.tv; additional content by Warc staff

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Sampling remains key for Tang

29 April 2015
DELHI: Rural India may be increasingly digitally connected, but for Tang, the powdered drink brand, sampling and TV remain the most important parts of the media mix to reach consumers in these parts.

Giridhar Ayanur, associate director/Marketing G&C and Powdered Beverage, India, at Mondelēz India Foods, explained to Impact magazine how the brand has "taken up sampling in a huge manner" as it moves into smaller towns and rural areas.

TV commercials illustrate how easy it is, even for children, to reconstitute the drink, but "driving home the taste was one of the biggest challenges for us", he said, hence the shift to sampling.

"We have seen that the more products we sample the greater is its acceptance," he added. Consequently the marketing strategy for the brand now involves sampling across almost all states of north, west and south India, and where that activity might once have lasted for one month in summer, "now we do it for three months".

"We are driving scale on this because our strong belief is that if you taste the product, you will love it," Ayanur declared.

Accordingly, the brand has introduced "Tang Stations" within modern trade stores and people in a Rocket Man costume with a tank of Tang dispensing samples, all backed up with POS material and takeovers of display shelves to increase product visibility.

It is an approach that has proved effective in introducing new flavours: Ayanur reported that acceptance of mango, orange and lemon was high and the new apple flavour being launched this year would be given a similar sampling drive.

This policy has helped it to become a market leader in modern trade, where Ayanur claimed it now has more than a third share of the total space. It has much less presence in traditional trade, "but we are adding share significantly as we go".

Another important factor in the strategy's success has been its rural distribution network covering seven states, which has been vital to the push into rural India.

"We have close to about 500,000 outlets for Tang across the country," noted Ayanur, "which is good for a brand that started four years back."


Data sourced from Impact; additional content by Warc staff

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