D&A spending surges

23 September 2014
STAMFORD, CT: Digital & alternative (D&A) media account for almost one quarter of global advertising and marketing revenues, according to a new study which predicts their share will reach one third in the next four years.

In its report Global Digital & Alternative Media Revenue Forecast 2014-18, researchers PQ Media said that spending on D&A media – it lists 40 such channels ranging from online search and digital outdoor to consumer events and word of mouth – rose 11.9% to $252.12bn in 2013, compared to a 0.8% increase in traditional media revenues to $754.87bn, as the combined total exceeded $1tr for the first time.

Growth is expected to be even higher in 2014, at 13.7%, driven by mobile social media, mobile gaming, online video, online videogames, digital place-based networks, and word-of-mouth marketing. There has also been a boost from the Winter Olympics in Russia at the start of the year and the summer World Cup in Brazil.

Patrick Quinn, CEO, PQ Media, described D&A media revenues as being "supercharged by the mobile juggernaut across various advertising and marketing channels" and noted that major brands were shifting budgets to mobile search, as tablet penetration rose and PC households declined.

Global D&A advertising revenues jumped 14.7% to $102.63bn in 2013, while D&A marketing rose more slowly, by 10%, to $149.52bn, a 41:59 split.

The US was the largest market, growing 12.6% in 2013 to hit $103bn, split 34:66 between advertising and marketing. This was almost five times the size of second-ranked Japan. India was the fastest growing D&A market, up 21.3%. The UK had the highest D&A media share of its total media revenues at 30.6% in 2013, followed by Japan, Canada and Australia, and the US placing seventh with a 26.5% share.

Looking further out, PQ Media projected D&A media revenues to rise at a 14.2% CAGR over the next five years to reach $489.76bn in 2018.

Data sourced from PQ Media; additional content by Warc staff

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Fashion brands use Twitter best

23 September 2014
LONDON: Fashion brands are among the most effective at using Twitter, a new study has revealed.

Social media agency Battenhall analysed the use of social media for brand and corporate communications by companies in the FTSE 100 index and found that the overall number of tweets from this group had risen dramatically in the past year – the cumulative total was up 250%. But it concluded that while some were doing it well, most were "doing a bad job or nothing at all".

The top performers on Twitter were luxury fashion brand Burberry, soft drinks giant Coca-Cola, broadcast network ITV, fashion retailer Marks & Spencer and supermarket Sainsbury's.

Burberry ticked several boxes – it had the most number of followers, at 3.1m, ahead of Coca-Cola on 2.7m – and was the fastest growing in terms of followers, adding more than 1m in the past 12 months.

Others in the top five had far fewer followers, with ITV on just over half a million, although this was double the previous year's figure, Marks & Spencer on 337,000, and Sainsbury's on 291,000.

"Burberry can be seen as a role model for other brands on social media," the report declared, "as it has managed to keep up its reputation offline as well as online across all social media channels."

The study highlighted the separation of Burberry's main Twitter account from its customer service account, an approach it said allowed followers to "enjoy creative tweets and experimentation with new apps", while the brand could also deliver timely content planned around events such as the recently concluded London Fashion Week.

The brand with the greatest influence on Twitter, however, was Marks & Spencer, which scored 83.4 on the Moz system, which measures influence on engagement and follower size and where 100 is the highest score possible.

On this metric, Burberry dropped to third, scoring 80.1, behind Next, another retail fashion brand, on 83.3.

The study also found that 10 companies had no Twitter presence at all, while others, such as mining groups GlencoreXstrata and BHPBilliton, performed poorly. Drew Benvie, managing director of Battenhall, expressed some alarm at this gap.

"We are seeing an increasingly polarised view of UK Plc online, which means many brands are simply not fit for purpose whether it is on their ability to listen to customers or publish financial news," he told the Telegraph.


Data sourced from Battenhall, Daily Telegraph; additional content by Warc staff

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Africa's internet adspend grows

23 September 2014
JOHANNESBURG: Internet advertising is growing fast across Africa, with its share of total expenditure set to double in some major markets over the next four years.

The latest Entertainment and Media Outlook report for the region from consulting firm PwC showed that internet advertising was making the greatest inroads in Nigeria, where its share was forecast to rise from 5.7% in 2014 to 12% in 2018, helped by a predicted CAGR of 32.7% between 2013 and 2018. By the end of that period it will have long overtaken traditional media such as newspapers and radio.

Smaller advances were evident in South Africa, where internet's share was predicted to increase from 4.3% to 7%, although its place in the pecking order will remain behind TV, radio, newspapers and out of home. A CAGR of 22.7% will be driven by search and mobile advertising, the report said, with Google, the most visited site in the country, holding the vast majority of the South African search market.

In the Kenyan market, a CAGR of 31.5% will make it the fastest growing advertising segment, boosting it share from 6% to 8.6%, but it will remain in fifth spot, after TV, radio, newspapers and out of home.

In monetary terms, South Africa remains some way ahead of the others, with current internet adspend standing at around $186m, compared to $59m in Kenya and $56m in Nigeria.

"Growth in the South African entertainment and media industry is largely being driven by the internet and by consumers' love of new technology, in particular mobile technology, such as smartphones and tablets, as well as applications powered by data analytics and cloud services," said Vicki Myburgh, entertainment and media industries leader for PwC South Africa, in remarks reported by The Drum.

She expected that, as in the rest of the world, South Africa's growth was likely to be digital, but added that "we believe that progress in the South African E&M market will be gradual and that there are still plenty of opportunities for 'old' and 'traditional' media yet".

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

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Western brands err on China positioning

23 September 2014
BEIJING: Many Western brands have got their positioning wrong in China, according to a leading industry figure, who argues that they are out of step with the market and too focused on a very small number of middle-class urban consumers.

Breaking down the figures, Chris Baker, managing director of digital agency Totem Media, pointed out that the total commonly given for the number of consumers in the Chinese middle class was between 300m and 400m, based on a household income threshold of just $9,700 a year.

"It's clear that it's not the same middle class as marketers coming from the US or EU are accustomed to," he wrote in Campaign Asia-Pacific. He suggested that these marketers were in reality fighting over an urban audience of around 43m whose household income was $17,000 or more.

Further, there were plenty of brands aiming at consumers at the top end of that segment who made more than $37,000. That amounted to a total of 7.68m, "which is similar in size to Sweden, although still not as affluent on a per-household basis".

Multinationals, said Baker, "appear to be mis-sizing the current opportunity, getting segments wrong and following up with tactics that don't fit the game as well as local competitors". They were ahead of the market in that they had applied a global strategy, affixing themselves to an imagined affluent persona and were now waiting for the market to catch up.

Chinese brands, in contrast, are in step with the market, he said, with products and prices that match the expectations of the growing middle class. Xiaomi, the smartphone manufacturer, was a perfect example of this – it overtook Samsung in Q2 2014 to become the top smartphone vendor in China with a market share of 14%.

"It's unclear whether most global brands are going to be able to penetrate the market much further with prices that are so out of step with the majority of consumers," he said.

While consumers might aspire to such brands they were more likely to be actually buying Chinese products. Overseas brands, he suggested, needed to create products aimed at lower price points and to follow the example of Xiaomi in developing the facility to run online sales and promotions.

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

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Print offers opportunities in India

23 September 2014
NEW DELHI: Advertising in India may be changing fast but print still has an important role to play in reaching certain markets while at the same time grabbing new opportunities offered by the digital revolution.

Sunil Kataria, coo/sales, marketing and SAARC, Godrej Consumer Products Ltd, told Impact magazine that while the digitisation of television was "changing the game" in rural areas, print came into its own in those parts of the country that had an erratic electricity supply. In those places he was also likely to use "a bit of radio and rural activation".

He also felt that as the market became increasingly fragmented that marketers needed to react accordingly. "Regional print gets value here by helping in micro-segmentation," he said, "especially as education has become an important investment in our economy in the last ten years and literacy rates have gone up around 10%."

Additionally, innovation in print could take campaigns in new directions – he cited the launch of Godrej Aer which had involved the production of a fragrant newspaper which delivered a sensory impact alongside the printed ad.

Long-term, however, the shift towards digital media has major implications for traditional print. A recent PwC report noted that in 2013 subscription revenues from internet connections had already overtaken print media revenue from advertising and subscriptions.

By 2018, internet access was predicted to take a 29% share, up from 22% in 2013, while print fell from 20% to 14% over the same period. "Relative shares of traditional media are expected to go down to accommodate growth in newer segments," Smita Jha, leader, entertainment and media practice, at PwC, told Livemint. "However, the individual sizes of these segments will continue to grow."

Print faces a "digital tsunami", according to Aroon Purie, editor in chief of The India Today Group. But he saw plenty of opportunities to transfer content into the new medium. "The future is digital and if you don't invest in that now, you will soon die," he said in remarks reported by Indiantelevision.com

He argued that the print industry needed to become multi-platform and to get into contextual advertising.

Data sourced from [Impact], Livemint, Indiantelevision.com; additional content by Warc staff

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Programmatic benefits publishers

23 September 2014
BOSTON, MA: Publishers are seeing an increase in ad requests and a growing use of high value ad formats via programmatic trading according to a leading mobile advertising marketplace.

Nexage reported that programmatic spend through its Nexage Marketplace was up 227% year on year and said publishers grew ad requests 192% while video inventory had surged ahead by 516%.

It attributed these stellar growth figures to three key trends, including a "massive shift" to mobile, the adoption of programmatic as the core trading model and an increase in brand spending in the premium segment.

For those publishers using private exchanges the returns were even better, as Nexage, which numbers Fox News and Mail Online among its clients, said they had experienced revenue growth of 718% during 2014.

"Premium publishers, agencies and advertisers are certainly rallying around mobile programmatic," said Ernie Cormier, CEO and president of Nexage. "But mobile programmatic is not simply a broad trend, it is a strategy designed to drive their businesses forward; a strategy geared to get results. And results drive action."

While few doubt that programmatic is the future for digital advertising, there are some questions over who exactly will be carrying it out. Sir Martin Sorrell, head of WPP, recently dismissed the trend for brand owners to bring programmatic buying in-house.

"It's a temporary phenomenon," he told CMO Today. "Our view is after a year or two it will change."

He suggested that ad buying was not a core competency for most organisations, never mind understanding and implementing complex advertising technologies. "I question whether [clients] will be able to apply technology successfully," he said,

But brand owners have opted for this route in part because of media agencies' reluctance to be transparent about the money they make on programmatic deals. Pete Mitchell, global media innovations director for Mondelez International, recently argued that programmatic was at a crossroads, where agencies could either charge clients an undisclosed margin and risk losing business or be upfront about it and build a long-term relationship.

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

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Sport Chek tackles digital disruption

23 September 2014
TORONTO: Sport Chek, the Canadian sporting goods retailer, is actively seeking to address the "value chain chaos" which could potentially result from making effective use of digital marketing.

Duncan Fulton, svp/communications and corporate affairs at Canadian Tire Corp – the owner of Sport Chek – discussed this theme at a recent conference.

"Most of Canada's companies are not properly equipped to be making decisions on digital, because we don't understand the implications," he said.

When outlining the specific implications that might come from leveraging digital, Fulton cited the example of increasing bicycle sales through the heightened targeting offered by new media.

"So, here's what's going to happen," he asserted. "We're going to sell 6,000 bikes instead of 4,000 bikes." (For more details, including how the flyer can be transformed for the digital age, read Warc's exclusive report: Sport Chek and the supply-chain downside of digital growth.)

One major problem, however, is that Sport Chek's orders have to be placed months in advance, meaning that the company will not be able to easily meet this spike in demand.

And that fact could have a knock-on impact for customer satisfaction ratings, as "they're going to come in looking for a bike" and it may be out of stock.

Even the option of waiting out the current purchase cycle and ordering more bicycles next year does not fully resolve the broader issue, according to Fulton.

"Guess what's going to happen?" he said to the DX3 audience. "We're going to show up at the distribution centre where we've been storing bikes for 30 years."

And at this point, the company will face the challenge of identifying precisely where to store the additional inventory.

Such an example, Fulton reported, is illustrative of the "entire value chain chaos" that can result simply "because we marketed one bike digitally."

Extrapolating that trend across a whole product portfolio indicates the shift now facing businesses, both in Canada and beyond. "Digital is disrupting everything," is how Fulton described this situation.

Data sourced from Warc

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Global adspend forecast to grow 5.3%

22 September 2014
LONDON: Global advertising expenditure is on track to grow 5.3% to $523bn in 2014, up from 3.9% in 2013, and will continue to record strong growth over the next couple of years, a new report has forecast.

According to the latest Advertising Expenditure Forecasts from media agency ZenithOptimedia, adspend growth is expected to continue at 5.3% in 2015 and then rise to 5.9% in 2016 on the back of rapid developments in digital advertising.

As technology helps to make internet adverting cheaper and more effective, the medium is expected to grow 17.1% this year and to account for almost a quarter (23.6%) of global advertising budgets.

That would exceed the combined budgets of newspapers and magazines (22.7%) for the first time.

Internet advertising will continue its growth trajectory over the next two years, the report said, and it is forecast that it will account for 28.3% of global adspend by 2016, or just 9.9 percentage points behind TV.

"Internet advertising is expanding rapidly as new technology makes it easier for advertisers to reach the right people at the right time with the right message, at an efficient price," explained Steve King, global CEO of ZenithOptimedia.

"The spread of ever more sophisticated mobile devices will help this expansion continue, sustaining steady growth in global adspend for the next few years," he added.

Reinforcing his comments, the report confirmed that mobile internet advertising is by far the fastest growing advertising segment.

Mobile advertising is expected to grow 67% this year – or seven times faster than desktop internet – and to account for a fifth (20%) of all internet advertising.

Its share of internet adspend is set to continue growing to 25% in 2015 and then up to 30% in 2016. That would mean mobile advertising will grow by $35bn between 2013 and 2016.

Warc's Consensus Ad Forecast, a weighted average of industry forecasts, including those from Zenith, finds adspend is expected to rise 5.8% in 2014, and a further 5% in 2015.

Digital is expected to be the largest driver for growth, with expenditure rising 16.4% and 15.1% in 2014 and 2015 respectively.

Data sourced from ZenithOptimedia; additional content by Warc staff

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Code of marketing to kids is enhanced

22 September 2014
BRUSSELS: Eleven of the world's top food and beverage brands, including Coca-Cola and McDonald's, have outlined a package of measures to enhance responsible marketing to children, the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) has announced.

As members of the International Food & Beverage Alliance (IFBA), their CEOs have sent a joint letter to Dr Margaret Chan, the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), to restate their commitments on health and wellness.

Recognising that greater effort must be made to achieve global health goals, they went on to outline what new action they will be taking to promote healthy lifestyles, improve consumer information, and strengthen responsible marketing to children.

The companies concerned include Coca-Cola, Ferrero, General Mills, Grupo Bimbo, Kellogg, Mars, McDonald's, Mondelēz International, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever.

Already committed to a policy of only advertising to children under 12 years of age products that meet specific nutrition criteria on TV, in print and online, the CEOs said they will expand this approach to cover almost all media.

The new policy will cover radio, cinema, direct marketing, mobile, SMS, interactive games, DVD/CD-ROM and product placement.

Furthermore, when marketing to children under 12, all marketing techniques – such as licensed characters, movie tie-ins and the use of celebrities – will have to comply with "better-for-you" nutritional criteria.

A third key change is that the companies will seek to harmonise nutrition criteria, on a regional or national basis, to provide a strict common standard, as they have done in the European Union, the US and a number of other countries.

"The major food and beverage companies have strict controls in place on how they communicate with younger audiences," said Stephan Loerke, managing director of the WFA.

"This latest strengthening of the IFBA global policy demonstrates the extent to which IFBA members are taking their responsibilities seriously when it comes to marketing to children," he added.

The development comes amid mounting official concern that brands and advertisers should do more to tackle obesity and other related problems.

For example, Public Health England, a UK government agency, recently launched an investigation into the promotion of fizzy drinks, and other products considered to be unhealthy, and said it would consider the case for tighter controls on advertising.

Data sourced from WFA, IFBA; additional content by Warc staff

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Crowds encourage mobile engagement

22 September 2014
NEW YORK: Consumers travelling on packed subway trains are about twice as likely to make a mobile purchase compared to those on non-crowded trains, a new academic study has revealed.

The report, called "Mobile Crowdsensing", was conducted by researchers from the New York University Stern School of Business, Temple University and Sichuan University in Chengdu, China.

The researchers worked with an unnamed major Asian telecom provider, which monitored users in transit while texting them promotions.

The telecom provider's data also pinpointed how many mobile users were on a train at any given time, and the research showed that users responded more to mobile promotions as the number of passengers increased.

Specifically, the research found purchase rates measured 2.1% when a train had a density of two people per square metre, but this rose to 4.3% when the crowd density increased to five people per square metre.

This increased engagement with mobile devices was consistent during peak and off-peak times as well as on weekdays and weekends.

Professor Anindya Ghose, co-director of Stern's Center for Business Analytics, said this type of "mobile immersion" was caused by a psychological need to cope with the loss of personal space on crowded trains and that the findings could be of benefit for marketers.

"Our research suggests that crowding on trains is a unique marketing environment in which mobile promotions are seen as welcome relief," he said.

However, he told the Wall Street Journal that the effectiveness of mobile ads could decline if commuters found themselves packed-in "like sardines", as they often can be on trains in cities like Tokyo.

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

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Some online retailers fail anti-spam law

22 September 2014
SEATTLE: One-in-ten of the top online retailers in North America are still violating laws introduced to protect consumers from unwanted emails, a new audit of 200 companies has warned.

Even though the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 was introduced over a decade ago, 10% of online retailers failed ten best practice measurements promoted by the Online Trust Alliance (OTA), a non-profit organisation, which conducted its review in July.

They also failed to meet the requirements of Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), the OTA said.

OTA assessed ecommerce firms on whether they used a clear and conspicuous opt-out link, if they had unsubscribe text that is easy to read and visible, and if they immediately removed users from a subscription list once they opted out, among other benchmarks.

"Despite CAN-SPAM taking effect 10 years ago, it is disappointing that a number of the world's biggest online retailers have yet to get things right," said Craig Spiezle, executive director and president of OTA.

"On the positive side, the vast majority of email marketers are doing their part to distance themselves from spammers and thus fortify their customer relationships. Now is the time for others to follow their leadership," he added.

These positives included another 10% of ecommerce brands achieving perfect scores for best market practice while another 70% passed 8-out-of-10 measurements.

The OTA went on to identify all the online retailers whose email programs passed its audit and gave special recognition to the ones who met all 10 best practices.

These e-retailers included Belk, BodenUSA, Coach, LivingSocial, Staples and 15 others, although OTA did not name the 20 companies that failed.

John Pollack, evp of marketing, sales promotion and ecommerce at Belk, said customer care is one of the company's core values.

"Having an efficient, timely and reliable email unsubscribe process is more than a marketing practice to us," he said. "It is a way to deliver on our customer care commitment and always put the customer first."

Data sourced from OTA; additional content by Warc staff

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Publisher seeks to engage overseas

22 September 2014
SYDNEY: As publishers continue to search after a profitable digital business model, the UK's Guardian newspaper is taking its version overseas, launching in Australia and the US and contemplating moves into India and Africa.

The title recently introduced a membership scheme which it says will allow readers to get closer to the brand and its open journalism philosophy, although at the top level members will pay £60 a month for the privilege. David Pemsel, deputy managing director, said the scheme was not a "pay wall through another means".

In the UK, the Guardian will have a dedicated site next to its London offices where it will hold events and classes. In Australia, it plans to use a series of pop-up events.

"That's about deepening our relationship with our audience but also capturing data and getting people signed up, whether it be to masterclasses or membership," Pemsel told Mumbrella.

"We've got a dating site in the UK which we might roll out beyond the UK as well," he added.

That data is vital to the business model. As Guardian Australia managing director Ian McClelland observed: "If we were competing on an anonymous audience display advertising level they [digital rivals] would be eating our lunch and we'd probably lose that battle against massive sites that use click bait techniques to drive volume."

He explained that the brand was moving towards the use of more data "to do highly targeted campaigns, doing brand partnerships to create integrated campaigns and sponsorship for brands in the language of the Guardian specifically for our audience".

On that point, Pemsel said that content partnerships and native advertising contributed a "considerable" amount of revenue. "Labelling is really important," he stressed. "Being really clear and given our position of trust any form of deception is going to backfire for us and the brand, so we won't go there."

For the future, he observed that the Guardian website saw "big pockets of traffic" from Africa and India and he expected those markets would become a focus.

"In India bizarrely print's growing, and mobile," Pemsel noted. "The desktop browser doesn't really exist at all, so the idea of being able to learn quickly in the mobile space in India is just very interesting."

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

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RBC mixes new tech and human insight

22 September 2014
TORONTO: Drawing on in-depth customer insights helped the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) ensure its mobile wallet service truly met the needs of users, rather than being led solely by the latest technology.

Having launched RBC Wallet in January, the firm has already accrued various learnings which should stand it in good stead as competition in the category grows, not least thanks to the introduction of Apple Pay.

Linda Mantia, its evp/cards and emerging payments, told delegates at a recent conference that a six-month road test of the organisation's mobile wallet with 60 consumers and merchants had proved essential.

"Our goal when it came to mobile was to make commerce easier, safer and more rewarding for our consumer clients and our merchant clients," she said.

"It had to be faster to check out, especially for the quick-service retailers." (For more, including more details of RBC's steps in peer-to-peer payments, read Warc's exclusive report: Canada's RBC shows Apple the way in mobile payments.)

Instead of creating a product in the "hope that it would address the needs" of RBC's clients, the half-year trial aimed to guarantee it would. "We wanted to validate and improve before bringing this to the market," said Mantia.

She continued: "We shared prototypes of our solutions and further potential innovations, and worked together to improve the solutions for our customers – the merchants and the clients – all based on their feedback."

The result – "as far as we know", Mantia conceded – was a new high-water mark in terms of a Canadian financial services provider embedding its customers in this process.

Overall, RBC expects its clients to transact some 350 million times via the full suite of mobile tools in 2014, and it has rolled out the Secure Cloud product to help ensure the safety of these payments.

It has also integrated RBC Wallet with a range of rewards programs to make it as useful to users as possible. "This is a core piece of infrastructure," she said.

Data sourced from Warc

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ATMs benefit India's rural marketers

22 September 2014
NEW DELHI: Marketers seeking to reach India's rural audiences are exploring the opportunities offered by the spread of ATMs into lower tier locations, as third party operators bring cash machines to hitherto inaccessible areas.

The so-called "white label" ATMs not only benefit banks, as might be expected, but a range of brands in other categories – automotive, paint and mobile telecoms – are also using this route to reach potential consumers in locations with a population as low as 5,000.

Tata Communications Payment Solutions is a leader in this field, claiming a 70% share with its Indicash ATMs, and its CEO, Sanjeev Patel, told the Calcutta Telegraph that "we have had a very good experience so far – the reaction from users even in the semi-urban and rural areas has been positive and we are witnessing reasonable number of transactions".

He explained to Pitch magazine that the company's focus was on tier 3 to tier 6 locations. "We go into places that have hitherto not been penetrated by ATMs," he said.

That frequently produces a number of problems as small towns tend to lack a suitable infrastructure, but once Tata has overcome these difficulties new horizons open up for advertisers.

"From a marketer's perspective, we present a reasonably attractive option to expose brands to customers, where there are not many organised media options," said Patel.

Among those options are the front glass of the ATM room, the inside of the room, the ATM wrap and brochure stands.

"The ATMs give both an avenue to gain brand exposure in entirely new locations along with brand engagement through interactive set ups," he said. "It is easy to capture the customer's undivided attention during the time he spends here."

One telecoms advertiser has used exposure in ATMs to generate leads. "We do find potential in this medium as it has an assured footfall by way of walk-ins," a spokesman said. And auto brands have found they can drive visibility in areas where other advertising opportunities are limited.

Tata is aiming to have a total of 15,000 such ATMs in place by 2016, of which two-thirds will be in lower tier sites.

Data sourced from Pitch, Calcutta Telegraph; additional content by Warc staff

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Who are the real digital natives?

19 September 2014
LONDON: So-called digital natives are no more likely than other age groups to participate in a variety of key digital behaviours, according to new research.

An analysis of Kantar Media's TGI Clickstream – an in-depth study of consumer offline and online behaviour and characteristics – indicated that the widely-held assumption that 15-24 year olds lead the way in digital adoption, behaviour and spending is wide of the mark.

For example, just less than 30% of this age group have paid to download an app, similar to the proportion of 35-44 year olds who have done so, while the older age group is also significantly more likely to have bought a range of products or services online.

The study suggested that factors such as economic clout and cultural characteristics – a combination that Kantar dubbed Social DNA – are far better predictors of digital behaviour than age.

Thus when it comes to buying holidays or travel online, TGI Clickstream revealed that Digital Natives were actually 22% less likely to do so than the average internet user. Conversely, adults aged 35-64 with high Social DNA (meaning large amounts of cultural and economic capital) were 65% more likely than the average internet user to make such purchases online.

Nor was this simply a consequence of an older age group enjoying higher financial clout. Those 35-64 year olds showing a strong bias towards high cultural (not economic) capital were still 43% more likely to buy holidays and travel online than the average internet user.

The same pattern was evident when looking at online purchase of various goods and services. Digital Natives were only 8% more likely than the average internet user to buy music or videos online, whereas 35-64 year olds with high Social DNA were 52% more likely than the average to do so.

Anne Benoist, Director, TGI Insights and Integration, Kantar Media, warned that marketers were in danger of seeing little return on their targeting efforts if they simply assumed young adults were the most valuable digital consumers.

"To truly identify and leverage those consumers who are most engaged with digital and particularly lucrative in a digital environment, it is necessary to get away from notions of age and instead consider the key drivers dictating how consumers make decisions," she said.

Data sourced from Kantar Media; additional content by Warc staff

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Colour impacts mobile ad performance

19 September 2014
TEL AVIV: Marketers have yet another variable to consider when creating mobile ads, as a new study indicates a relation between engagement rates, colour and income.

When mobile ad network Todacell found performance gaps in its multinational campaigns it set out to understand the reasons, running a series of mathematical and computational algorithms as it analysed the most common mobile ad targeting parameters such as geography, device, operating system and connection type.

None of these were able to explain why ads had performed differently, but Todacell did find a direct correlation between a country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita and the performance of mobile display ads in relation to the colors used in the ad's creative.

In particular, mobile ad creative with bright, multi-coloured images performed better in lower GDP per capita countries such as Kenya, India, Burma and Nicaragua and worse in higher GDP per capita countries including the US, Denmark, Qatar and Singapore.

Conversely, mobile ad creative with minimalist or muted colours performed better in higher GDP countries and worse in emerging, lower GDP countries.

Both types of ads performed equally well in countries in the middle of the GDP per capita range, such as Argentina, Russia, Poland and Brazil.

"Mobile display ads that succeed in Cleveland should also succeed in Copenhagen, but probably won't succeed in Casablanca or Cairo", noted Todacell.

A further discovery was that ad performance was also affected by the number of shades or grades of the specific colours used. Thus, consumers engaged more with a mobile display ad if at least one or two of the colours (usually the ad's background) appeared in several shades or grades of that colour than with ads having one shade of each colour, regardless of the country's GDP per capita.

"These results aren't driven exclusively by income but also by culture," said Amir Goldstein, Todacell CEO. "Even in lower income areas in high GDP countries, the mobile ads with the minimalist / muted colours performed better than the ones with brighter colours. We saw the same in affluent areas of lower GDP per capita countries."

Todacell claimed that matching ads to GDP per capita could increase CTRs by up to 150% and ROI by up to 50%.

Earlier this year, research around digital auto advertising also established colour as a potentially important factor in a campaign. Those with a white or black background achieved fewer clicks but more conversions.


Data sourced from Todacell; additional content by Warc staff

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Owned media in measurement spat

19 September 2014
SYDNEY: As brand owners move more of their spending into owned media, leading Australian media agency executives have questioned the value of existing expenditure data which relates only to paid media.

Mat Baxter, head of the UM media agency, argued that if one relied solely on figures from the Standard Media Index (SMI) – which collates media agency spend data to build a picture of the overall market – the impression left was of a market in decline, "but the truth is that the market in terms of overall spend has never been more buoyant".

"SMI has relevance," he told Ad News, "but it is half the picture, the measure of health of paid media only, not a proxy for industry or marketing health."

Earlier this year a report from PwC and the Australian Marketing Institute highlighted the fact that two thirds of marketers were shifting their spend towards owned media, while one quarter planned to allocate between 20% and 30% of their budget building their own media channels.

"You have to question the long-term viability of these current measures," said Baxter, who claimed that his staff's time was split more or less evenly between paid media and work on "things that don't fall into traditional media".

Fellow media agency boss Ian Perrin of ZenithOptimedia, agreed that SMI was "a blunt measure" but took a more nuanced view of developments. He pointed out that certain categories – banking, insurance, automotive – had close direct relationships with customers and could therefore "afford to spend less on traditional paid advertising by activating these relationships", an option not so readily available to others.

"There are other factors at play as well," he added, "most noticeably business and consumer confidence as a result of the budget."

But no-one has yet come up with a satisfactory solution to assessing the value of owned media and Baxter himself could only offer the idea of a regular survey of CMOs asking whether they were spending more in owned during the most recent quarter.

Whatever the figures one puts on owned media, Robin Bonn, of content agency Seven argued in Marketer Leader that paid and owned media complemented each other. Marketers should be looking to better integrate the two, he said, offering a four-stage approach: tell the brand's story, continually deliver content, optimise distribution, and work with specialist agencies.

Data sourced from Ad News; additional content by Warc staff

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India's luxury brands look to mass media

19 September 2014
NEW DELHI: Luxury brands in India are experimenting with the use of mass media, including upmarket cinemas and high-definition TV channels, to reach a larger set of potential consumers.

According to Gautam Dutta, chief operating officer at film exhibitor PVR, the share that luxury brands now contribute to the company's income from advertising stands at 20% and growing, up from almost nothing a few years ago.

He listed luxury carmakers and watch brands, luxury real estate projects and fashion brands among the advertisers who were running campaigns in its more swanky outlets. "The guy who can pay Rs 1,500 for a movie ticket is a discerning audience and the right target for these companies and brands," he told the Economic Times.

It was a sentiment that chic jewellery designer Nirav Modi agreed with. "Everyone watches films in India," he said, making it a great way to reach a wider audience. "But what you show and where has to be chosen wisely," he cautioned.

Where once luxury brands might have restricted themselves to the pages of luxury magazines or airport billboards, some have gone so far as to embrace television. Forest Essentials, for example, a cosmetics brand that markets itself as luxury Ayurveda, is sponsoring three programmes on high-definition TV channels for its next campaign.

"It is possible to break down the kind of audience we want to reach out to rather than addressing a large crowd," said Samrath Bedi, executive director of Forest Essentials. He argued that the variety of quality content now available on TV meant the medium could offer the right value to luxury brands.

And The Collective, a multi-brand retail store chain selling premium and luxury merchandise, is considering putting out ads through digital video recorders. "It is just a thought at the moment, but would be an interesting way to target the consumer who is not aware about the brand," said marketing head Amit Pandey.

"The view is that a lot of wastage happens on mass media, but with so much new money in India, there is a huge opportunity to tap the new consumers," he added.

This trend is being driven in part by the spread of wealth beyond the major cities. As the Financial Express reported, non-metro regions account for around 45% of growth opportunities for luxury brands. And these new markets are also leading an increasing number of brands to localise their products or even customise them for occasions such as weddings.


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

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US millennials like Chinese brands

19 September 2014
CHICAGO: Chinese brands have a "tangible opportunity" to establish themselves in the US market, a new study has claimed, as millennials are open-minded to products from overseas, ranking China ahead of neighbouring Mexico or tech/car exporter Korea.

Monogram Group, a branding agency advising Chinese manufacturers on building US brands, surveyed more than five hundred 21-32 year olds, testing their attitudes and buying patterns as regards China and Chinese brands.

While most (96%) preferred to buy US goods, China featured strongly among countries this group would buy from, with 61% willing to buy items originating there. This was just behind Germany and Japan (both 67%), both of which have a long history of making high quality products.

In fact, 58% of respondents said they would likely buy a Chinese branded product in the next three years.

When asked specifically about their thoughts on purchasing goods from China, a majority (84%) said they were willing to buy such products. And twice as many would think about buying brands they recognised (28%) as compared to ones they didn't (13%).

"The major takeaway from this report is that the popularity of Chinese products exceeds those from other major markets, and the willingness to buy is even stronger if the brand is recognised," said Scott Markman, Monogram president.

"Our research demonstrates with proper brand development, broad online/offline distribution and service/warranty support on par with established global brands, Chinese brands have a tangible opportunity to gain a foothold in the US market in the near future," he added.

This was especially true in certain categories, notably office products, electronics and light bulbs, where more than 50% of respondents indicated a willingness to purchase even though their awareness of brands in these categories was negligible. Lenovo (51%) and Haier (22%) had the highest awareness levels.

Set against these optimistic prospects for Chinese brands, however, was the continuing perception that Chinese products are low quality and low price. Some 47% held this view, compared to just 26% who thought they were good value products.

Data sourced from PR Newswire; additional content by Warc staff

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NFL sponsors under microscope

19 September 2014
NEW YORK: A raft of allegations of domestic violence by NFL players – four have been in the headlines this week – has left brands questioning their associations with the sport, with teams and with individuals.

The latest incident to surface involves Arizona Cardinals number two running back Jonathan Dwyer, who is being held on charges of aggravated assault.

For now, most advertisers have simply condemned the players' conduct and given assurances they will monitor the situation. Indra Nooyi, the head of PepsiCo, issued a statement in which she said she was "deeply disturbed that the repugnant behaviour of a few players and the NFL's acknowledged mishandling of these issues, is casting a cloud over the integrity of the league".

PepsiCo's Gatorade sports drink is handed out to players at games, while the company also has NFL marketing rights for other brands in its portfolio, including Pepsi-Cola and Lay's.

Nike, which supplies jerseys to all 32 NFL teams, is one of the few brands to have taken any direct action, scrapping or suspending deals with two of the players involved.

The Wall Street Journal quoted one major advertiser as saying, "Obviously, we don't condone violence against women, but how is it the right thing to do for our shareholders to pull out of the NFL?"

All brands are facing the same dilemma in a fragmented media landscape where sports are one of the few areas guaranteed to bring in a large live TV audience. "In a world where you can't get a big audience anymore, where the hell are you going to go?" asked the advertiser.

WSJ columnist Jason Gay noted how the NFL had successfully turned a five-month season into a year-long obsession and thought itself invulnerable to criticism. But now "all the overlooked hypocrisies are up for review. Parties that have long benefited from the league's largesse – politicians, sponsors, media surrogates – are experiencing epiphanies of doubt".

Possibly one of the league's biggest challenges will be holding onto female viewers – and by extension the advertisers targeting them – who now account for 45% of the audience. A failure to deal with issues around domestic violence could lead to many women turning off, sports business analysts have said.

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

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Jones New York changes with the times

19 September 2014
TORONTO: Jones New York, the fashion brand, is aiming to serve women who are now "expected to do it all" – a goal reflecting its decades of experience in meeting evolving customer needs.

Carrie Kirkman, the president of Jones Apparel Group Canada – a subsidiary of the iconic Jones Group – discussed this subject at a recent conference.

"Women have changed the world. From the halls of power to the executive suite, they've earned their seat at the head of the table," she said.

"But they haven't traded in any of their traditional roles." (For more, including more details of how the firm keeps pace with its customers, read Warc's exclusive report: How Jones New York fine tunes its brand, decade by decade.)

Today, Kirkman asserted, "women are doing more than ever: supporting families, balancing complex lives, keeping up with the busy lifestyle."

Were this task not challenging enough on its own terms, she added, "They're expected to do it all with style and ease."

With a history spanning more than four decades, Jones New York began its journey by offering style at accessible prices to an increasingly empowered audience in the 1970s.

During the 1980s, its audience continued to progress professionally – as shown by power suits and pinstripe – and the focus moved to tailored suits for career-focused clients.

Providing an "expensive look for less" was one priority in the 1990s, while organics and bright colours were central in the 2000s, as the valid work-wear options expanded further.

In summing up the main trend for the 2010s, Kirkman pointed to "the empowerment of women everywhere."

And that means Jones has been required to respond again. "The brand idea has continued to evolve and it is really about today," she asserted.

"It's classic, accessible, and trusted because today's working woman deserves good quality for a value and a fit that works for her."

Data sourced from Warc

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Sony wins Grand Prix at Euro Effies

18 September 2014
BRUSSELS: A campaign to promote the Sony Playstation PS4 has won the top award at the 2014 EACA Euro Effies, with Audi, Evian and Unilever among the other big name brands to be recognised.

In addition to the Grand Prix award for Sony, a total of six Golds, ten Silvers and seven Bronzes were awarded at the gala event in Brussels, which rewarded marketing communications campaigns that achieved success in two or more European markets.

Warc subscribers can view all the winning entries.

The campaign for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, created by agencies OMD and 180 Amsterdam, set out to position the PS4 Playstation as the "next generation" console of choice for gamers in France, Spain and the UK.

Unlike previous models, the PS4 was positioned as being for gaming only and focused on digital, with increased activity nearer the launch that included TV and cinema. European sales increased 20% and the PS4 became market leader in the UK.

Unilever, the FMCG multinational, was awarded Gold for a successful campaign to promote its Axe Apollo male grooming product in German-language countries.

Other Gold winners included Evian, the French mineral water brand, German automaker Audi, SSE Riga Alumni Association – the Latvian branch of the Stockholm School of Economics – Hornbach Baumarkt, the German DIY brand, and Expedia, the online travel agent.

Evian was recognised for connecting the brand with youth and had digital consumers particularly in mind, Audi promoted its A3 Sportback marque by appealing to a fast-paced generation of young males, while SSE Riga Alumni Association concentrated on social media to increase engagement and donations.

Hornbach Baumarkt launched a limited edition hammer that created such demand that they were all sold out within just three days in Germany and Austria.

And Expedia, the final Gold winner, used an emotional "travel yourself interesting" campaign to meet the dual challenge of increased competition in the UK while at the same time building brand awareness in France.

Silvers were awarded to Atlantic Grupa, Philips Personal Care, Unilever, Kia Motors Europe, Audi, Procter & Gamble, BMW, Vodafone, Coca-Cola and Lexus Europe.

Meanwhile, Bronzes were taken by Opel, Universal Music, Daimler, GlaxoSmithKline, Procter & Gamble, Ford Europe and Beiersdorf, the personal care company.

Warc subscribers can view all the Gold, Silver and Bronze-winning entries.

Data sourced from Warc

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Europe leads marketing confidence

18 September 2014
LONDON: Marketing confidence in Europe outpaced the global average and every other region in September to record its highest ever value of 60.2 points, according to the latest Warc Global Marketing Index (GMI).

Europe's headline GMI figure, which assesses marketers' expectations in three key areas – trading conditions, marketing budgets and staffing levels – increased 4.2 points from August. This also represented a year-on-year rise of 5.3 points.

Warc's GMI is a unique monthly indicator of the state of the global marketing industry which tracks conditions among marketers within their organisation and region. A reading of 50 indicates no change while 60+ indicates rapid growth.

Globally, September's headline GMI measure recorded an index value of 56.4 (+2.0 points since August) while it was 56.0 in the Americas (+0.8 points) and 54.5 in Asia Pacific (+2.7 points).

Turning to the three components of the GMI, European marketers expressed the most confidence about general trading conditions, as the index recorded its highest ever regional monthly value of 64.8 (+3.8 points).

While trading conditions in the rest of the world could not match those in Europe, the respective indices for the Americas (58.0) and Asia Pacific (55.9) also signalled steady improvement in September.

Europe also recorded the highest component reading for marketing budgets. The index in Europe was 58.7 (+3.2 points), equalling its previous record high value in December 2013.

Asia Pacific also recorded a significant index rise of 3.6 points to 51.8, signalling net budget growth for the region once again after a dip in August.

The index for marketing budgets dipped 2.9 points in the Americas to 51.3, causing the global average to record flat growth and a value of 53.3 in September.

However, the third component of the GMI showed that staffing levels remained the strongest in the Americas (58.8), followed by Europe (57.0) and Asia Pacific (55.9). The global average was 56.8.

Commenting on the findings, Suzy Young, data and journals director at Warc, said: "The headline GMI rose by 2 points in September, following four successive months of reduced growth." This would send "a positive signal to the wider global economy", she added.

Data sourced from Warc

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Americans see a connected future

18 September 2014
SANTA CLARA, CA: The great majority of US consumers believe that new technology and mobile connectivity will transform their domestic and working lives by 2025, but they're concerned about the security implications, a new survey has found.

The Safeguarding the Future of Digital America in 2025 report was released by McAfee, the computer security firm, and based its findings on responses from more than 1,500 US adults aged 21 to 65.

Within just 11 years, more than three-quarters (77%) of Americans expect smart watches will be the most common device while 70% believe wearable devices will be used, with the added ability to send health updates directly to a doctor.

A similar proportion (72%) think connected kitchen appliances will be an everyday household item and 60% anticipate their refrigerator will add food automatically to a running grocery list when a product runs low.

A significant majority (84%) expect their home security systems to be connected to their mobile device and more than half anticipate their home will have the facility to speak or read to them.

American consumers also expect major changes in the workplace in just over a decade, and the report warned these developments could affect cyber-security.

About a third (29%) of respondents expect they will be working from a home office, 60% think artificial intelligence and robotics will assist them in their jobs, while 69% expect they will be able to access work data via facial or voice recognition.

"It is vital that Americans recognise that the world of work will be dramatically different within a decade, in changing workplaces, the role of robots, and the importance of online reputation," said Gary Davis, McAfee's head of consumer security.

"We will all need to be very careful to ensure that our online activities boost rather than detract from our professional reputations," he added.

Reinforcing this view, the survey also found that 68% of US consumers are worried about the state cybersecurity will be in by 2025 and 64% are particularly concerned about identify theft, fraud and financial theft.

More than three-quarters (77%) fear their families could fall victim to hackers while 46% believe families will be affected by cyberbullies.

"As concerns about security rise, we will likely shift in the ways in which we provide authentication," noted Ross Dawson, a leading futurist, who said this may include voice, eye, or facial recognition.

The McAfee survey was published a week after research firm Gartner forecast that a typical family home could contain several hundred smart devices by 2022.

Data sourced from McAfee, Gartner; additional content by Warc staff

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China faces auto 'brand migration'

18 September 2014
BEIJING: Three-quarters of Chinese car owners, representing a huge market of 90m vehicles, are prepared to switch brands and they are focusing on just a few marques that have built a good reputation for reliability, a new survey has revealed.

According to a poll of 2,400 Chinese car owners by the Boston Consulting Group's Center for Consumer and Customer Insight, nearly 85% of those owning Chinese auto brands say they plan to switch.

But foreign brands can also expect to be affected because 70% of consumers owning foreign "volume" cars – defined as costing between $13,000 and $41,000 – intend to switch, while 57% of foreign premium car owners plan to do the same.

This "great brand migration" will affect every segment of China's auto market, the report warned, and securing customer loyalty will be essential.

Marco Gerrits, the head of BCG's automotive sector in Greater China, said that many automakers had focused on winning over first-time buyers, but now both Chinese and foreign brands should not take their gains for granted.

"These findings suggest that the next great battle in China's car market will be waged over customer loyalty," he predicted.

But a handful of foreign brands – all of them German – stand to benefit from this customer loyalty volatility.

Among those consumers who plan to trade up their Chinese-built volume car to a foreign volume brand, 40% say they intend to buy a Volkswagen model.

And nearly 90% of those who own a foreign volume brand car say they are likely to buy an Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz.

"The stakes are particularly high in China because it tends to be a winner-take-all market," said Donald Zhang, a BCG project leader and co-author of the report.

"Chinese car buyers seem to be converging on a handful of brands that have solid reputations for being safe choices," he added.

Data sourced from BCG; additional content by Warc staff

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A third of shoppers use mobile in-store

18 September 2014
BOSTON: More than one-third (34%) of American shoppers carry out retail-related activities on their mobile device when they're in a store, according to a new report.

Of those that use their mobile device in-store, almost a quarter (23%) go on to use a social network while, more importantly, over half (54%) use their social networks for product or brand discovery as well as feedback rather than just for socialising.

Specifically, shoppers use a social network in-store for discovery (39%), socialising (29%), entertainment (17%) and peer feedback (15%).

These are the key findings in the Getting Mobile Right report from Millward Brown Digital, the digital solutions provider, which claims that its study highlights the "key mobile business questions that should be top of mind for marketers".

"Consumers have a different type of relationship with their mobile devices – it's an inherently more personal experience," explained Stephen DiMarco, president of Millward Brown Digital.

"Therefore, mobile changes the dynamics of relationships that consumers have with brands," he said.

Mobile shoppers are also active users of apps, the report said. Almost half (46%) use both apps and browsers with almost three-quarters (72%) relying on no more than five apps installed on their devices.

The report went on to state that the average mobile advertising campaign is two to four times more effective than PC-based online campaigns with regard to brand awareness, brand favourability and purchase intent.

In order to make the most of this, Millward Brown advised advertisers that the most effective mobile display ads feature consistent branding, use a simple colour palette, and concentrate on a focused message with a perceived value to the consumer.

Mobile ads should "intrigue consumers by starting a story but not telling the whole story", the report said, and they work best when they combine video with an interactive layer while using clear messages to secure an emotional response.

Data sourced from Millward Brown Digital; additional content by Warc staff

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Loblaw's marketing gets personal

18 September 2014
TORONTO: Loblaw, Canada's biggest food retailer, is tapping into customer data to identify its most valuable shoppers and target them with tailored deals and marketing messages, helping it achieve "mass customisation".

Uwe Stueckmann, the svp/marketing for Loblaw Companies Ltd, discussed this aspect of the organisation's strategy at a recent conference.

And he reported that mass-marketing model, which effectively treats every customer in the exactly the same way, is out-of-date.

"That logic is simply no longer relevant in today's day and age, and our customer expects more than that from us," said Stueckmann. (For more, including details of Loblaw's pioneering private-label strategy, read Warc's exclusive report: Loblaw's Canadian power strike: mass customisation for generics.)

"Our best customers expect more than that from us. And our best customers deserve more than that," he said.

Some 13m consumers across Canada visit one of the company's stores – which operate under various banners – each week.

Drilling down into the data provided as its clientele complete transactions has allowed Loblaw to make much smarter decisions regarding how to reach out to its most valuable patrons.

"They swipe cards when they pay for their purchase, and that generates a data stream that we can use to be much more intelligent about identifying those customers that are worth more to us," said Stueckmann.

Having done so, Loblaw can then decide which marketing messages or promotions, for example, would be most relevant to these individuals.

"Ultimately," he continued, "the data leads to the notion of mass customisation – changing up the unit of advertising or the unit of marketing from a brand in a market to a brand and a customer."

To aid this process, Loblaw unveiled the PC Plus loyalty program in May 2013. This platform supplies personalised offers to shoppers via a mobile app.

With over 6m members signed up to the initiative to date, this tool has greatly assisted the company's mission to move towards one-to-one marketing.

Data sourced from Warc

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Strong growth for Indian E&M sector

18 September 2014
NEW DELHI: India's entertainment and media (E&M) sector is on course for delivering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 15% between 2013 and 2018, which will value it at Rs 227,000 crore by 2018, a new industry report has forecast.

The India Entertainment and Media Outlook 2014 report, a joint study by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and PwC, the international consultancy, said the market was worth Rs 112,044 crore in 2013 and grew 19% over the previous year.

Television, the largest segment, recorded year-on-year growth of about 15% on the back of subscription revenues, but the internet was the fastest growing segment.

Internet access recorded annual growth of 47% while internet advertising grew 26%, the report said, while noting that internet access has already overtaken the print segment to be the second-largest segment for overall E&M sector revenues.

Internet advertising is expected to become the third-largest segment by 2018, accounting for about 16% of total E&M advertising revenues, although TV and print are expected to remain the largest segments for advertising revenues.

The film segment is also forecast to deliver a solid CAGR of 12% over the forecast period as it increases revenues from the sale of cable and satellite rights while increasing takings from the box office both in India and abroad.

Smita Jha, leader of entertainment and media practice at PwC India advised industry practitioners to focus on their customers as much as new technology.

"Digital success does not just necessarily mean better, improved technology. It means applying a digital mindset to build the right behaviours among industry stakeholders," she said

"This includes getting ever closer to the customer – across the entire organisation, and in everything it does."

Data sourced from CII-PwC; additional content by Warc staff

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Olympics depress US quarterly adspend

17 September 2014
NEW YORK: Total advertising expenditure in the US grew by just 0.7% to $35.6bn in Q2 2014, compared with growth of 5.7% in the first quarter, the latest industry data from Kantar Media has revealed.

Kantar said Olympic advertisers reduced their adspend in Q2 by more than 4% year-over-year, although three major sporting events helped to boost TV adspend by 5%.

"The slow growth rate of ad spending in Q2 is payback for the surfeit of money in Q1 that was pulled forward to fund Olympics budgets," said Jon Swallen, chief research officer at Kantar Media North America in comments reported by Advertising Age.

In another headline finding, Kantar said Procter & Gamble, the FMCG multinational and the biggest advertiser in the country, cut its adspend by 17.4% to $1.32bn in the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2013.

P&G cut spending by almost one-third during Q2, although Kantar noted that the company had an atypically high volume of adspend in Q2 2013.

Indeed, no fewer than four out of the five largest advertisers in the US cut their spending during the first half of the year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Joining P&G, were telecoms giant AT&T (-9.4% to $917.6m), Comcast, the broadcasting and cable firm (-1.2% to $772.4m), and L'Oreal, the French cosmetics group (-9% to $727.9m).

However, General Motors substantially increased its adspend in the first half by 22.6% to make it the second-largest advertiser in the US at $928.8m.

Other major spenders included Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company (+25.1% to $711.8m), Verizon Communications (+11.4% to $694.1m), Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate (+20.1% to $674.5m) and automakers Toyota (+5.5% to $599.8m) and Fiat (+14.2% to $588.5m).

Overall, the top 100 advertisers increased their adspend by 2.9% in the first half of the year, although the Wall Street Journal emphasised that Kantar's figures covered only traditional media and online display.

Therefore, digital video, paid search and other digital categories may not have been included, it said.

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

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Data informs future PR, not past

17 September 2014
LONDON: Far more senior marketers use PR and social media data to plan future campaigns than to measure the outcome of past ones, a new survey has revealed.

Based on the responses of 100 global marketing practitioners, PR agency Hotwire said over half (51%) reported that their principal use of data is to inform future plans and strategies compared to 28% who use it to analyse the success of past campaigns.

Timed to coincide with the launch of the first Measurement Week organised by the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC), the survey also found only a very small minority (5%) feel their organisation is equipped to extract meaningful insights from the data.

Brendon Craigie, CEO of Hotwire, said measurement should be "at the heart of every campaign", but that measurement on its own is not enough.

"Marketers are now waking up to the real benefits of data – not simply using it reactively to measure performance, but gaining invaluable insight at the planning stage to ensure campaign success from the outset – and then all the way through to completion," he said.

Younger marketers are the most active users of data for planning, the survey found, with nearly two-thirds (65%) of those aged under 34 using data mostly for planning future campaigns.

This age group is also the most trusting of data that comes from their own department (71%) and are also the most likely to embrace a 24/7 approach to media consumption (59%) compared to an average of 53% of marketing professionals.

The survey also revealed that marketers have a relatively sceptical approach towards data from their own department.

Only half (51%) completely trust data from their own department, which the report said is a sign that marketers recognise there is a fine balance between capturing data and placing it in the context of their own experience.

"Data should inform but not drive strategy and it cannot replace creativity and experience," Craigie said.

Data sourced from Hotwire; additional content by Warc staff

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US firms face privacy backlash

17 September 2014
SAN FRANCISCO: Major players in the US technology sector run the risk of alienating consumers and regulators in other countries if they fail to tackle rising concerns over privacy, several leading executives have argued.

On the one hand, a backlash against the surveillance of internet and telephone communications by the American government has deepened suspicions of companies based in the country.

Moreover, the enormous influence that a small number of large US corporations hold over business and culture is the source of considerable disquiet.

Peter Thiel, a well-known investor and a director of Facebook, the world's biggest social network, thus sounded a note of warning while speaking to the Financial Times.

"Silicon Valley is quite oblivious to the degree to which this crescendo of concern is building up in Europe. It's an extremely important thing and Silicon Valley is underestimating it badly," he said.

Having been the subject of various privacy controversies in the past, Facebook is one firm now seeking to respond to differing priorities in specific geographies.

"We certainly don't think there's a one-size-fits-all. Facebook would like to be more sensitive to more local concerns," Thiel said.

Google, the search giant, has also come under pressure in the European Union about the "right to be forgotten", where individuals can ask that some links are removed from its pages.

Eric Schmidt, Google's chairman, revealed the dramatic shift in political opinion relating to US technology enterprises had been unexpected. "I was surprised it turned this quickly," he said.

But he also disputed the idea these organisations are not receptive to such changes in sentiment. "It's easy to blame the tech companies for being insufficiently sensitive – we are way sensitive, trust me."

Elsewhere, Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com – a leader in the tech solutions and cloud computing categories – agreed consumer internet firms had "paid a terrible price" for enforcing a US-led perspective overseas.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a think tank, has even suggested American businesses in the cloud-computing space may lose $22bn to $35bn in the next three years due to worries over surveillance.

"A lot of people have been caught off-guard," said Aaron Levie, CEO of Box, a cloud-based storage system. "I don't think it was what many people thought about as they built these companies and technologies."

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff

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Brands focus on big charity partners

17 September 2014
LONDON: The value and size of partnerships between brands and charities have increased since last year as both sectors placed more emphasis on long-term and strategic campaigns, a new report has found.

According to C&E Advisory, a cross-sector consultancy, the number of corporate and charity partnerships worth more than £10m a year increased by 12% in 2014.

Meanwhile, the number of partnerships worth £1m or less a year was down 14% on the year before, Marketing Week reported.

Based on the responses of 130 brands and charities, the report said 73% of corporate brands have put greater emphasis on long-term stability and impact – a view shared by 71% of charities.

Together, a full 90% were confident that their strategic relationships were meeting their objectives and delivering value.

"This reflects the greater understanding both sides gradually have of the potential for partnerships as organisations engage in multi-lateral agreements over longer timescales – leveraging resources to achieve mutually agreed goals in ways beyond funding," the report said.

Of the corporate charity partnerships most admired by respondents, M&S and Oxfam topped the list with 11.1% support.

The "Shwopping" sustainable shopping campaign run by the UK retailer and the Oxford-based international NGO successfully encouraged customers to donate 4m garments worth £3.2m, Civil Society reported. (For more, including discussion of the campaign at the IEG sponsorship event earlier this year, read Warc's exclusive report.)

Respondents also praised two other partnerships – the association between MacMillan Cancer Support and Boots, the privately-owned pharmacy chain, as well as the one between GlaxoSmithkline, the pharmaceutical giant, and Save the Children.

And in a sign of how much value these organisations placed on these cross-sector partnerships, all respondents confirmed that investment will increase over the next three years.

Manny Amadi, chief executive of C&E, said these partnerships were maturing as both sectors recognised their value.

"No longer just a question of seeking funding or enhancing reputation, partnerships between corporations and NGOs are becoming increasingly important to the business models and strategic aims of both sectors," he said.

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

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Health worries China's growing rich

17 September 2014
SHANGHAI: The number of millionaires and "super-rich" in China increased by about 4% in 2013, according to a new report which also detailed their health concerns and what they do to remedy them.

According to the Hurun Research Institute, the number of Chinese with a personal wealth of Rmb10m, or $1.6m, rose by 40,000 to 1.09m last year while the number of people worth Rmb100m, or $16m, increased by 2,500 to 67,000, CNBC reported.

However, more than half of these high net worth individuals (HNWIs) believe that lack of sleep and working overtime are their biggest health problems, leading to conditions like insomnia, headaches and fatigue.

These worries mean four-fifths (81%) exercise to keep fit and a similar proportion (80%) have an annual check-up, which 14% conduct every six months.

Three-quarters (75%) say they pay attention to what they eat, 60% do not smoke, and 40% claim that they don't drink alcohol, the report said.

Chinese HNWIs use both Chinese and Western medicine – vitamins are the most popular, at nearly 90%, followed by ginseng (56%), cod liver oil (45%), and gelatin (44%), while 37% are willing to go to foreign hospitals for treatment.

"There is a clear trend amongst the Chinese millionaire class towards exercise, eating more carefully and generally taking better care of their bodies," said Rupert Hoogewerf, chairman of the Hurun Report.

Despite this healthy trend, the report also showed that nearly 60% of Chinese HNWIs work overtime, 40% stay up late and have eating disorders, while 40% drink excessively.

Elsewhere, the report estimated that the number of Chinese worth Rmb10m could reach 1.21m people over the next three years, while the super-rich may number 73,000.

Shanghai has the fastest growth, having created 12,000 millionaires in 2013, although Beijing and Guangdong have the highest number – at 192,000 and 180,000 respectively – followed by Shanghai with 159,000.

Almost half (47%) of these Chinese HNWIs say they plan to move abroad within the next five years, a separate report from Barclays Wealth has claimed.

Based on a survey of 2,000 wealthy individuals in 17 countries, Barclays Wealth said about 30% of its Chinese respondents named Hong Kong as their preferred destination, followed by Canada, the South China Morning Post reported.

Almost a quarter (23%) of Singaporean HNWIs plan to relocate within five years, the survey found, followed by one-fifth (20%) of British respondents. But only 6% of American HNWIs and 5% of their Indian counterparts intend to do the same.

Data sourced from Hurun Report, CNBC, South China Morning Post; additional content by Warc staff

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Retailers should embrace digital

17 September 2014
SYDNEY: Free shipping is the most effective way to meet customer satisfaction, according to 400 Australian retailers questioned in a recent report that also recommended they improve their mobile and digital options.

According to a joint study from the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and ChannelAdvisor, the ecommerce solutions provider, almost two-thirds (65%) of survey respondents had offered free shipping in the past 12 months.

They viewed it as their most effective online sales tool, Marketing Magazine reported, but the report suggested their mobile advertising needed to catch up.

Even though nearly half reported that at least 20% of the traffic to their retail websites came from mobile, less than 5% of their advertising budget was spent on targeting this source.

Nearly half of those surveyed viewed social media channels as a "gateway" for attracting a new generation of customers, but only just over a third (36%) saw social media as a way to drive conversations.

However, over three-quarters (77%) viewed social media as a means of increasing brand awareness with 93% citing Facebook as the most effective social channel.

The report also examined retailers' approach to international and third-party opportunities and it found 33% sold on international websites while half sold on third-party marketplaces, such as eBay (41%).

With Australians spending an estimated $15.6bn each year online, ARA executive director Russell Zimmermann appreciated that retailers faced many challenges, but urged them to make better use of planning and measurement.

"Retailers often answered 'I don't know' when asked questions about where their sales or webstore traffic originated, or how much they were spending on advertising," he said.

"Ecommerce is, and will continue to be, a core part of retail, and retailers must continually learn how to operate efficiently and effectively in this new world," he added.

Data sourced from Marketing Magazine; additional content by Warc staff

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Unique culture drives ROI for Zappos

17 September 2014
LAS VEGAS: Zappos, the online shoe retailer, believes that clearly articulating and effectively activating a corporate culture can yield a tangible return on investment for brands.

Jon Wolske, a culture evangelist at Zappos, discussed this subject during the Marketers First Virtual Event, a conference run by marketing-technology company Marketo.

"We use the word 'investment' when we talk about our experience: free shipping, free returns, 24-hour staff," he said. (For more, including details of how the firm activates it culture, read Warc's exclusive report: Zappos puts service first, and reaps the rewards.)

"The return for us, really, is creating loyal customers, not simply selling a lot more shoes. In the end, the result will be selling more shoes, but the focus is: 'Let's live our brand – a brand that's focused on service'."

More specifically, he reported that the firm's in-house ethos has been broken down into ten core principles, ranging from "deliver 'wow' through service" and "be humble" to "create fun and a little weirdness".

"Nothing in the culture or the core values of Zappos mentions 'shoes' or being an online retailer," Wolske said. "We do talk about service, because we are a service company."

As with any other item of expenditure, however, this investment in best-in-class service must be shown to provide a measurable payoff.

One metric which helps the firm prove this fact is the knowledge that on the typical day, at least 75% of Zappos' customers are repeat buyers. "So we haven't had to work to get them back on the website with marketing," said Wolske.

"We know that when people are shopping with Zappos, they are getting a great experience, and they want that experience again."

Satmetrix, the customer-experience software provider, has also stated that Zappos' Net Promoter Score – a reading that takes the number of brand advocates and subtracts the amount of "detractors" – stands at 60 points.

This indicates that a majority of customers are spreading positive buzz about the firm. In the retail category, Zappos only falls behind parent-company Amazon (64 points) on this metric.

Such statistics, Wolske suggested, show that superior service can help reach new customers. "Those experiences drive word-of-mouth marketing," he said.

Data sourced from Warc

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Netflix shakes up European OTT market

16 September 2014
PARIS: Netflix, the US-based OTT video streaming service, is expanding across Europe, with yesterday's launch in France the first of several across the continent.

The move marks a development that is expected to boost the OTT video market to around $4.6bn this year.

Competitors are scrambling to address the challenge – pay-TV operator Canal Plus has already established its own streaming video services, for example, while cable operator Numericable is offering subscribers free access to hundreds of TV series.

Telcoms operators, meanwhile, have proved reluctant to let Netflix offer its service via their set-top boxes, the most common way in France for people to watch TV, although Bouygues Telecom has said it will start doing so from November.

Rodolphe Belmer, managing director of Canal Plus, thought that if Netflix could not deliver content to televisions via set-top box then it would face an uphill battle to persuade consumers to watch online via computer, a habit most French viewers have yet to acquire.

He also expected that as US content was already so widely available on TV – around 50% of content aired on French TV is estimated to come from the US, despite France's claims to "cultural exception" – there would be little demand for yet more.

But he acknowledged to the Financial Times that "we know that there is always appetite for the new kid on the block and Netflix will be a tough competitor".

A recent study from Boston-based Strategy Analytics suggested that revenue in the European OTT video market was set to grow 44% in 2014. SVOD (subscription video on demand) was predicted to double in Western Europe, led by Netflix. Ad-supported video was also growing, but at a much slower rate of 32%.

"The success or failure of OTT video services is heavily dependent on the quality of their content library," observed Leika Kawasaki, a digital media analyst at Strategy Analytics. Netflix is addressing this area by filming an original series – a political thriller set in Marseilles – aimed at attracting a French audience.

Reed Hastings, Netflix CEO, has set a target of a minimum of 10% of households subscribing within two to five years. "The first year, we will focus on our brand," he said. "Whether we recruit many or few subscribers, the bottom line is that we have a good reputation among consumers."


Data sourced from Reuters, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Strategy Analytics, Journal du Net; additional content by Warc staff

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Content enables purpose

16 September 2014
COLOGNE: Brands are not in the publishing business and those who believe that 'content is king' are missing the point, a leading industry executive has argued.

"Content is an enabler to what is king," said Tom Buday, global head of marketing at Nestlé, in an address at the recent Dmexco conference in Cologne. For him that was selling brands and products that enhanced the quality of consumers' lives.

He explained that the business had plenty of metrics to help optimise its various brand content but that was only one step in the path to achieving the real goal and content was "critically important" in helping brands to reach it.

Producing effective and engaging content, however, required marketers to think about consumers as people first and foremost, not as media audiences, a term which had nothing to do with people's real lives, CMO reported.

Buday offered snack brand KitKat as an example. "Its role is to bring a smile to people's breaks," he said. "When that's your mission, you realise that thinking about people as communications or media audiences is counter-productive."

Message quality was also vital in other areas, being the biggest driver of ROI on brand spend. "And it's become more important than ever," he said, "because poor quality is punished harder and good rewarded more due to social media."

It's also a significant challenge for a business the size of Nestlé which produces around 1,500 pieces of content every single day across hundreds of platforms. But, said Buday, it also means that "every day we're learning stuff, about engagement, about brand and business impact".

Nestlé then captures that learning in a usable format and spreads it as fast as possible around its global operations. "That's the way we win," said Buday, of the practice that forms one of the central planks of the company's philosophy of "Brand building the Nestlé way".

Earlier this year, Pete Blackshaw, Nestlé's global head/digital and social media, explained how that framework had been applied to leveraging digital and social media to build brands. 

"To some extent, the value [and] the ROI you get from any such [digital] initiative is heavily dependent on the degree to which you can share the knowledge and collaborate with your employees," he said. "That's the ROI equation. These initiatives are as good as the sharing."


Data sourced from CMO, Dmexco; additional content by Warc staff

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TV ad share falls below half in China

16 September 2014
SHANGHAI: Television's share of advertising expenditure in China is predicted to drop below 50% for the first time this year, continuing the downwards trend of recent years.

Forecasts from media agency GroupM showed that television will take 46.8% of adspend in 2014 and 43% in 2015, down from 50.3% in 2013 and 54% in 2012.

But the total amount spent on TV is expected to edge upwards this year – by around 2.0%, as GroupM said the overall market would grow by 9.8% during 2014 to reach RMB 473bn (US$ 77bn). It anticipates even faster growth in the total market in 2015, of 11% to RMB 525bn, although growth in TV spend will remain low.

Apart from the internet, the share of all the major media was projected to decline in 2014: radio from 2.9% to 2.7%, newspapers from 9.5% to 8.0%, magazines from 2.2% to 1.9% and outdoor from 9.6% to 9.2%.

Actual spending was falling at newspapers and magazines, but growing at radio and outdoor, helped by increased car ownership in the case of the former and wider digitisation for the latter.

Online advertising, however, was going from strength to strength, its share up from 25.5% to 31.4% in 2014 and a predicted 37.5% in 2015, and spending growing by around one third each year.

"The internet continues to play an increasingly important role in China and the biggest revolution currently underway on the internet is the shift to mobile," said Andrew Carter, president of trading and knowledge, GroupM China.

"Traffic to social networks, online video sites, and search are all beginning to cross the 50% mark," he added, and he expected that brands would react by diverting more adspend into cross-screen mobile search and mobile video campaigns, at the same time as spending more on hero app ad buys and in-app ad networks.

GroupM also noted that ecommerce search ads contributed the largest share of internet advertising spend, as brands recognised the power e-commerce sites exerted as a 'medium' in their own right while also being driving traffic and sales to their online flagship shops.

Release end-July, Warc's Consensus Ad Forecast, a weighted average of industry forecasts, found advertising expenditure in China will grow 11.1% and 10.3% in 2014 and 2015 respectively. TV adspend is expected to grow 5.0% this year, while digital will grow some 30.0%.


Data sourced from GroupM; additional content by Warc staff

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CEOs focus on customer

16 September 2014
NEW YORK: Chief executive officers in the US are intending to make their businesses more customer-focused over the next few years, with many preparing to involve themselves closely in the process, a new survey has shown.

KPMG, the management consulting firm, polled 400 CEOs for its report, Setting the course for growth, asking them to rank their organisational priorities and found that "interacting more with clients and customers" came top.

While most planned to delegate this responsibility – 44% had charged their senior leadership with investing more time with customers and 55% were training junior staff earlier to better interact with clients and customers – some 19% of CEOs surveyed indicated that they personally were going to spend significantly more face time with their customers.

"In this era of digitally savvy customers and clients, the idea of being more customer-centric has taken on a new meaning," said Alton Adams, KPMG's national lead partner, Customer Strategy and Growth, who noted that consumers were now well-informed thanks to the internet.

"They have higher expectations for the entire customer experience including product features and performance as well as post-sales service and support," he said. "Companies will need to work harder than ever to make the customer feel 'special'."

After customer interaction, the next priorities were, in order, "promoting and advancing the brand," "fostering innovation" and "focusing on regulatory matters".

Alongside these priorities CEOs also expressed their concern about the fast-changing environment in which they now operated. Almost three quarters (72%) of respondents worried about whether their products and services would still be relevant in three years' time.

Beyond that there were widespread anxieties over the competition (90% feared losing business to rivals) and new entrants (59% were apprehensive about new players disrupting their business model).

"New technologies are changing the way all companies go to market," said Adams "To sustain and increase relevancy of their company's product and services, CEOs need to shepherd the adoption of technologies to better understand customer needs (data and analytics) and the implementation of technologies (digital and mobile) to meet those needs."


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

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Marketers tap online quizzes

16 September 2014
NEW YORK: Marketers are able to glean valuable information about consumers from the plethora of quizzes that social media and internet users complete and forward to their friends.

Specialist companies develop psychometric-type questionnaires that promise to tell the user at the end which US president they most resemble, or what actor would play them in the movie of their life, or how they would die in Game of Thrones. The data gathered can then be repackaged for advertisers.

"We collect information about demographics, intent, interests, and personality," Jacob Wright, head of strategy at online ad company VisualDNA, told the Wall Street Journal. "These can predict what people might be interested in buying or hearing about."

That information can then be linked to data in users' cookies and sold on to advertisers, agencies and adtech companies.

"It's a tool for advertisers to understand us better masquerading as a tool for us to understand ourselves better," Aram Sinnreich, a media professor at Rutgers University, told Marketplace.

Elaborating on the theme, he explained that by completing a quiz about Game of Thrones, HBO now knew not only that he watched the series but also that his preferred drink was white wine, that his last meal was a steak, that his biggest fear was failure and that his idea of heaven was a tropical beach.

"That's the brilliance of this plan," he said. "Instead of us reluctantly agreeing to give marketers information about ourselves, we are emphatically proclaiming to marketers who we are and then demanding that our friends do the same."

Popular news site Buzzfeed runs numerous quizzes and claims not to collect answers for ad purposes, but, according to managing editorial director Summer Anne Burton, it is "looking at how to use the things that we've learned" for the benefit of companies wanting to buy into quizzes.

"So they can have their own shareable pieces of content that go viral and that are really associated with their brand," she said.

Econsultancy noted that quizzes can drive huge amounts of traffic, generate leads and increase sales. "Personal connection is a big part of the reason why quizzes are so popular, but it takes a special set of tools to make the connection real," it advised.


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

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Intrusive mobile ads tackled

16 September 2014
JAKARTA: Two leading industry bodies in Indonesia are calling for an end to intrusive mobile advertising by some of the country's telecoms operators and are petitioning consumers to add their voice to the opposition.

The Indonesian E-Commerce Association (Idea) and Indonesian Digital Association (IDA) said they had been lobbying two leading telcos, XL Axiata and Telkomsel, for the past year about their practice of running interstitial and off-deck ads on publishers' mobile sites without their consent.

Now they have lost patience with the telcos' alleged failure to act and, on behalf of 60 publisher members, have begun a public campaign to stop them from inserting the ads which they say publishers have not agreed to and have no responsibility for but for which they are nonetheless being blamed by users.

The two associations described the telcos' actions as "hijacking for monetary benefit" and added that they were concerned there were no procedures that allowed consumers to opt out of receiving such ads.

"We are really disappointed with the negligence from operators towards this issue," said Daniel Tumiwa, chairman of Idea, who hoped that users and other site owners could come together to resist the intrusions.

"We are still quite optimistic about finding a mutual solution, if only every stakeholder shows their willingness for constructive discussion," he added.

Even if the telcos accede to their demands, users may soon find that advertisers have developed a new way to annoy them. Mumbrella Asia reported the launch of a technology that claims to evade ad blocking software by placing ads halfway through online videos, much in the manner of a traditional TV ad break, and then hiding the fast-forward function to make it more difficult for users to avoid watching them.


Data sourced from Mumbrella Asia; additional content by Warc staff

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How Alex and Ani finds new marketing tech

16 September 2014
NEW YORK: Alex and Ani, the accessories chain, has benefited from using a "follow the money" approach to help it identify the latest and most attractive marketing technologies.

Ryan Bonifacio, the firm's vp/digital strategy, discussed how it learns about emerging tools, systems and services that could drive its company's progress while speaking at a recent conference.

One tactic employed by the organisations is to keep track of where major tech investment companies like Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital and Battery Ventures are directing their funds.

Pursuing this activity helped Alex and Ani earmark beacons – small pieces of hardware capable of engaging in two-way communications with smartphones – well ahead of the vast majority of its rivals.

"We did it because we've got a 'follow the money' strategy when it comes to identifying emerging technologies," said Bonifacio. (For more, including more details of how the firm identifies promising new technologies, read Warc's exclusive report: How retailer Alex and Ani picks winning marketing-tech tools.)

"'Follow the money' as in: look at where … all the big names of Silicon Valley are allocating money into those companies directly."

This policy not only assists Alex and Ani in staying on top of the latest trends; it also guides Alex and Ani in delineating which providers might be suitable to work with.

For the beacon programme, it partnered with Swirl Networks – a specialist in this type of marketing programme – having drawn up an appropriate shortlist of potential vendors.

"I assigned it to one of the team members on my crew and he came up with a series of vendors," said Bonifacio.

"We looked at another follow-the-money strategy: which vendors were getting the most money from other investors. So we came up with a couple of names."

Data sourced from Warc

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AMV BBDO, Unilever top EMEA rankings

15 September 2014
LONDON: AMV BBDO has been named the top creative agency in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, while Unilever is the number one advertiser, according to new data from Warc.

The rankings are based on the Warc 100 database, which tracks winners of effectiveness and strategy awards from around the world each year.

When filtering results to campaigns from EMEA only, UK agencies topped all of the agency charts. AMV BBDO was top in the creative agencies category, scoring 103.4 points to second-ranked JWT Cairo's 101.6. Both the number one media agency (OMD UK) and digital agency (OgilvyOne London) are also based in London.

To compile the rankings, Warc tracked more than 1,700 winners in 75 different competitions, assigning points based on the awards won (for example, Gold, Silver or Bronze), then weighting those points based on the competition's rigour and prestige in the global industry.

Unilever, headquartered in the UK and the Netherlands, was the number one EMEA advertiser, on 211.3 points ahead of Heineken on 176.1.

Three of the top five brands in EMEA are headquartered in the region, with Vodafone (UK) in first, Unilever-owned Dove (Netherlands/UK) 3rd and Heineken (Netherlands) 4th. US-owned McDonald's and Sprite came 3rd and 5th, respectively.

BBDO Worldwide was the top agency network across EMEA, beating Ogilvy & Mather into second place (473.8 points to 401.8). But WPP was the top holding company for the region on 1450.3 points, with Omnicom Group on 1352.3.

Further discussion and analysis of the regional rankings are available here.

Turning to the global rankings, BBDO Worldwide and Omnicom were top agency network and holding company respectively. Meanwhile, the global brand and advertiser rankings were topped by Coca-Cola and Unilever.

In July, Warc released the Warc 100, a ranking of the world's 100 smartest marketing campaigns, which was topped by 'Vodafone Fakka', a campaign for Vodafone by JWT Cairo.

Data sourced from Warc

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Smartphone adoption will triple by 2020

15 September 2014
LONDON: The number of smartphones in the world will triple to six billion over the next six years and the device will account for two-thirds of the global mobile market, a new report has forecast.

These are the headline findings in the "Smartphone forecasts and assumptions, 2007-2020" study by GSMA Intelligence, the research division of GSMA, the global association of mobile operators.

It predicted that smartphone connections will grow threefold from its current level of two billion, and will make up two-thirds of the nine billion mobile connections in place by 2020.

Much of this growth will be driven by demand in the developing world, which already accounts for two-thirds of all smartphones and is forecast to account for four-fifths of all global smartphone connections by that date.

Asia-Pacific currently accounts for about half of worldwide smartphone connections, but the market still has plenty of room to grow.

Smartphone adoption in the region currently stands at below 40%, the report said, compared to many developed markets where smartphone penetration is approaching the "ceiling" of up to 80%, at which point growth tends to slow.

China, at 629.2m, tops the report's global list of smartphone connections, followed by the US (196.8m), Brazil (141.8m), India (111m), Indonesia (95m), Russia (83.9m) and Japan (66.1m).

Despite having much smaller populations compared with these countries, the UK and France still have 45.4m and 43.5m respectively, while Germany has 48.5m.

The top five countries with the highest smartphone adoption rates (as a percentage of total connections) are Qatar, the UAE, Finland, South Korea and Norway.

And Sub-Saharan Africa, currently with the lowest smartphone adoption rate of 15%, is expected to become the fastest-growing region over the next six years as affordable devices become more available and mobile broadband networks extend their reach.

Hyunmi Yang, chief strategy officer at GSMA, expected smartphones to be the driving force of mobile industry growth over the next six years and said "lifestyle" brands stand to gain as the industry evolves.

"In the hands of consumers, these devices are improving living standards and changing lives, especially in developing markets, while contributing to growing economies by stimulating entrepreneurship," she said.

"As the industry evolves, smartphones are becoming lifestyle hubs that are creating opportunities for mobile industry players in vertical markets such as financial services, healthcare, home automation and transport."

Data sourced from GSMA; additional content by Warc staff

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Advertisers shift spend to video

15 September 2014
LONDON: Spending on digital video in Europe increased 42% over the past year and over half (52%) of agencies have shifted adspend from their broadcast budgets to video, a new industry report has revealed.

The "European State of the Video Industry Report" by Adap.tv, the programmatic video platform owned by AOL, also found 48% of agencies have shifted adspend from display, 33% from print, and 10% from search, The Drum reported.

Based on the responses of 175 ad buyers and publishers, the report went on to disclose that agencies in Europe expect their digital video budgets to increase by a third next year.

Although publishers said selling directly to brands is still the most common way inventory is sold, the report predicted that the proportion of agencies buying from a private video ad marketplace will increase by 81% in the next 12 months.

"DSPs [demand side platforms] may dominate as a buying channel for European ad agencies, but private marketplaces came in a surprising second," the report said.

"One possible reason is rapid agency adoption, with 57% of respondents reporting that they are currently buying video in this type of environment," it continued. "This also explains why European agencies aren't going publisher direct with the same frequency as other programmatic channels."

Ad viewability emerged as the top concern for more than two-thirds (67%) of European agencies, while ad verification and ad fraud were cited by 57%.

Data-driven video buying was a key issue for agencies, the report found, because a full 90% said they used data to target video in their ad buying and a quarter (24%) used data-driven practices to plan and buy TV.

"They appear to enjoy a close working relationship with their brand clients to facilitate targeting as well, as 68% of them use first-party data to target," the report said.

"Because only a quarter of agencies (26%) are using second-party data to target their advertising, client data sharing is more common than is sharing user data with media partners," it added.

Data sourced from The Drum; additional content by Warc staff

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eBay outlines mobile ad plans

15 September 2014
SAN JOSE, CA: EBay is planning to launch an advertising network for its mobile app, which will offer advertisers access to its huge database of users' shopping activity, the ecommerce firm has announced.

"Now, for the first time, we're giving you the opportunity to connect with eBay users throughout their entire shopping journey," eBay said in a statement on its website.

"eBay mobile advertising will be a native experience, beautifully integrated into the eBay app," it continued, adding that it generated $20bn in mobile commerce in 2013 and that its app was downloaded 260m times around the world.

The company said it tracks more than 290m hours of shopping activity each month and that its app has about 4.6m daily visitors, who spend three times longer on the app than its nearest rival, which it declined to name.

Advertisers will be able to place ads across multiple mobile devices, eBay said, and it is working with Florida-based Triad Retail Media to place them.

The new advertising network on smartphones and tablets will be available in Q4 2014, according to Stephen Howard-Sarin, eBay's head of display advertising, in an interview with Re/code.

He said the new mobile ads will be capable of playing video or leading shoppers to download an advertiser's own app, and they will be designed so that they weave into the grid of products displayed in the app's feed of product listings.

As eBay seeks to position itself as a significant player in the global mobile advertising market, a series of recent reports have highlighted its rapid growth.

For example, global mobile advertising revenues almost doubled in 2013 to $19.3bn, according to a report last month from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

Mobile display recorded the highest growth at 123.4 % while mobile search rose 92%, the IAB said, leading it to say that mobile had become "a vital part of the marketing media mix".

Data sourced from eBay, Re/code, IAB; additional content by Warc staff

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Walmart Canada ups shopper effort

15 September 2014
TORONTO: Walmart Canada, the retailer, is ramping up its focus on digital shopper marketing, a move which necessarily reflects the changing habits of consumers.

Drew Cashmore, Walmart Canada's senior director/digital and shopper marketing, discussed this topic at a recent conference. And he reported that the mainstays of the discipline were typically highly analogue in form.

"Shopper marketing has been around for years, but in a traditional sense … with coupons and flyers," he said. (For more, including details of how the firm has driven digital change, read Warc's exclusive report: Walmart Canada builds a digital shopper-marketing experience.)

"One of the challenges we have when we're building digital programs is that vendors understand flyers. Vendors understand couponing. They understand deals. And so does the consumer."

Cashmore emphasised that tactics like circulars and discount vouchers are still extremely effective, and would thus remain a key component within the mix.

But as social media, mobile apps and similar technologies exert an increasingly profound influence on consumer behaviour and choices, a range of digital tools must be incorporated into campaigns as well.

"We needed to reframe the conversation," said Cashmore. "The reality is that the consumer has shifted, and we are at risk of not being successful in the future if we don't shift with them."

As part of this process, Walmart Canada reimagined its online presence, refining its web platform over the course of various iterations to ensure both corporate and customer requirements were fully served.

Enhancing its online offering, however, is only one element of a far broader attempt by the company to understand its audience, wherever they come into contact with the Walmart brand.

"We're trying to understand the consumer behaviours, not just online, but across the entire online/offline experience … [We need to learn] how we can talk to the consumers in a very efficient way," Cashmore said.

Although "we're not yet at the final stage" of the integrated programme, he added, "what we do know is that it will likely be a shift in overall brand dollars towards more … shopper-marketing initiatives".

Data sourced from Warc

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Alibaba and Facebook seek new markets

15 September 2014
TIANJIN/NEW YORK: As Chinese ecommerce leader Alibaba readies for a record IPO on Wall Street, Facebook, the world's largest social networking site, is still looking to establish a significant presence in China.

The contrasting fortunes of the two titans of the digital world were highlighted when Vaughan Smith, Facebook vice president, told a conference in Tianjin that consumers in China were keen to access the site. "When I'm in China, I often get asked," he said. "They all come to me and say, 'Hey, when is Facebook going to come to China?'"

The answer is not any time soon, as was made clear to local media at the same conference by Lu Wei, minister of China's Cyberspace Administration, Bloomberg reported.

Facebook's presence in China is currently limited to a sales operation helping Chinese companies to tap into overseas audiences, although it has also bought mobile messaging app WhatsApp, which faces no restrictions. Other US-based social media sites are also blocked, including Google, YouTube and Twitter.

Alibaba, meanwhile, faces no such limitations in the US where its IPO is expected to raise in excess of $21bn and value the business at around $160bn, roughly on a par with Amazon.

The South China Morning Post noted that Alibaba is using its Chinese heritage to accelerate its global expansion, by appealing to the millions of people of Chinese descent spread around the world.

"If Alibaba's strategy is to follow the Chinese diaspora, it's a smart strategy because you don't have to build a brand from scratch," said Niraj Dawar, a professor of marketing at the Ivey Business School in Canada.

But to be a global player, he added, it would eventually have to serve non-Chinese markets. One way it might achieve this is by developing its customer review system, in the way its rival eBay has done.

"A consumer in Iowa is wary of buying products from some smaller mom and pop store in Wuhan, so how do you connect those two directly?" asked Dawar. "The question is can Alibaba fill that gap … through a reputation score system and monitoring of suppliers."

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

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Kabbadi surprises sports broadcaster

15 September 2014
NEW DELHI: Star India, the country's leading sports broadcaster, knew it was taking a risk when it switched part of its budget away from cricket to cover kabbadi, the contact sport, but it now says the game has achieved unexpectedly high ratings and engagement figures.

For many years the broadcaster has spent most of its budget – over 90% – on cricket but this year has diverted around 30% to other sports, primarily football, with the summer World Cup in mind, and kabbadi.

The recently concluded five-week-long Pro Kabbadi League (PKL) had already generated a warm response from sponsors and has sparked a similar reaction among viewers.

"Except for cricket, there is no game that has been able to get the kind of viewers and engagement levels as kabaddi," according to Sanjay Gupta, chief operating officer, Star TV India. "It was really a surprise," he told the Business Standard, adding that it "could be the game we were looking for".

To put his remarks in context, the India Premier League achieves an average television viewership rating (TVR) of 4 plus. The 2014 FIFA World Cup achieved a TVR of around 0.7, but PKL was more than twice that at 1.6.

And even when kabbadi went head-to-head with international cricket during the recent India-England series, it was the PKL that gained more TVRs.

Gupta reported engagement levels of up to 10 or 11 minutes per half hour of programming, which, again, was the highest it had found after cricket, which regularly registers 15 to 16 minutes.

And while it was assumed that kabbadi would have more appeal to viewers in rural areas and smaller towns, in the event the larger share of the audience was in the major cities where it was especially popular among 18 to 30-year-olds.

Part of Star's strategy is to attract new non-cricket viewers who can increase the share of total TV viewership taken by sports, which currently stands at just 4% (and cricket alone is 3.5%). "If PKL grows, it can add 1% to the share," Gupta thought.

He has ambitious plans to make that happen, with a 26-week tournament next year and a Kabaddi World Cup as the game is played in 36 nations.

Data sourced from Business Standard; additional content by Warc staff

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O&M, PepsiCo top Americas rankings

15 September 2014
LONDON: Ogilvy & Mather New York has been named the top creative agency in the Americas, while PepsiCo is the top advertiser and Samsung Galaxy the number one brand, according to new data from Warc.

The rankings are based on the Warc 100 database, which tracks winners of effectiveness and strategy awards from around the world each year.

When filtering results to campaigns from the Americas region, Ogilvy & Mather New York came out on top, scoring 95.1 points. BBDO New York was second on 86.2 and 72andSunny third on 80.7 points. Ogilvy & Mather São Paulo was top creative agency in Latin America, appearing 6th in the overall Americas rankings.

To compile the rankings, Warc tracked more than 1,700 winners in 75 different competitions, assigning points based on the awards won (for example, Gold, Silver or Bronze), then weighting those points based on the competition's rigour and prestige in the global industry.

Samsung Galaxy was number one in the brand rankings in the Americas, beating Oreo into second place by 89.4 points to 76.7. While Unilever was the top-ranked advertiser globally, in the Americas it was the US-headquartered PepsiCo that finished in first place, scoring 188.1 points to second-placed Mondelez International's 169.

The top media agency in the Americas, as well as worldwide, was Starcom MediaVest Group Chicago, while the digital agency rankings were topped by Digitas New York.

WPP topped the holding companies list in the Americas (1182.6 points to Omnicom's 1137.7), and Ogilvy & Mather the agency networks (363.5 points, narrowly ahead of BBDO Worldwide on 361.4).

Further discussion and analysis of the regional rankings are available here.

Turning to the global rankings, BBDO Worldwide and Omnicom were top agency network and holding company respectively. Meanwhile, the global brand and advertiser rankings were topped by Coca-Cola and Unilever.

In July, Warc released the Warc 100, a ranking of the world's 100 smartest marketing campaigns, which was topped by 'Vodafone Fakka', a campaign for Vodafone by JWT Cairo.

Data sourced from Warc

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Colenso, Unilever top APAC rankings

15 September 2014
LONDON: Colenso BBDO, OMD Hong Kong and Unilever are among the top marketing organisations in the Asia-Pacific region, according to new data from Warc.

The rankings are based on the Warc 100 database, which tracks winners of effectiveness and strategy awards from around the world each year.

When filtering results to campaigns from APAC only, Colenso BBDO, based in New Zealand, scored 115.2 points to top the creative agencies list, ahead of WHYBIN\TBWA Sydney on 91.9. BBDO China was in third for the region on 85.1 points.

To compile the rankings, Warc tracked more than 1,700 winners in 75 different competitions, assigning points based on the awards won (for example, Gold, Silver or Bronze), then weighting those points based on the competition's rigour and prestige in the global industry.

Elsewhere, Unilever was the top-ranked advertiser for APAC, scoring 194.5 points, ahead of The Coca Cola Company on 177.8. All of the top five advertisers for Asia-Pacific are headquartered outside of the region.

In the raniking for individual brands, with Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Vodafone took the top three places in the APAC.

Omnicom Group led the holding companies list, beating WPP by almost 200 points. But, among agency networks, Ogilvy & Mather was ranked number one by a single point (398.8 to 397.6).

OMD Hong Kong was the number one media agency in APAC, while Colenso/Proximity New Zealand topped the digital agencies, both in APAC and globally.

Further discussion and analysis of the regional rankings are available here.

Turning to the global rankings, BBDO Worldwide and Omnicom were top agency network and holding company respectively. Meanwhile, the global brand and advertiser rankings were topped by Coca-Cola and Unilever.

In July, Warc released the Warc 100, a ranking of the world's 100 smartest marketing campaigns, which was topped by 'Vodafone Fakka', a campaign for Vodafone by JWT Cairo.


Data sourced from Warc

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