Distribution key to B2B content

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Admap


Mars prioritises data ownership

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from The Drum; additional content by Warc staff


More marketers personalise packaging

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Ad Week; additional content by Warc staff


Instant messaging passes social media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from TNS; additional content by Warc staff


Under Armour wins Jay Chiat Grand Prix

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

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

Warc subscribers can read the winning case studies here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Jay Chiat; additional content by Warc staff


Young Malaysians are especially bored

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Mumbrella; additional content by Warc staff


Admap Prize 2016 launched

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Warc


Ad blocking could spur innovation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Mobile Marketer; additional content by Warc staff


LSMs 'not actionable information'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from BizCommunity; additional content by Warc staff


Number of OTT users growing slowly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff


Indian TV optimistic on festive season

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Exchange4Media; additional content by Warc staff


Rugby tops Aussie rules in ratings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sustainable brands sought in Singapore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Apple is best global brand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Interbrand; additional content by Warc staff


Difficult weekend for sports sponsors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Marketing activity growth slows

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from World Economics; additional content by Warc staff


Experiential taps passions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Ad Exchanger; additional content by Warc staff


How marketing fits into gaming

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Warc


APAC cautious on Facebook's TRP plan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Indian online retail outpaces physical

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


EU brands not OK on CX

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Convenience trend hits promotions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff


L'Oreal taps digital influencers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Warc


Mobile network blocks ads

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff


Social media matures

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from GfK MRI; additional content by Warc staff


Blog: Asian marketers need to be mobile-first

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



Brands experiment with 'danmu'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Advertising Age; additional content by Warc staff


Social sharing drives mobile video

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Exchange4Media; additional content by Warc staff


Digital enhances WOM in Malaysia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Social boosts local: comScore chief

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from JAR; additional content by Warc staff


VW in 'self-serve' option for UK drivers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


S African shoppers seek new experiences

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Scroll speed is 'viewability baseline'

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Aussie bloggers bag brand rewards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Private label threat to top CPG brands

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Data sourced from Catalina; additional content by Warc staff


Regional languages boost effectiveness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Social, smartphones drive Vietnam youth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Ice Bucket Challenge takes top MIXX award

30 September 2015
NEW YORK: A campaign for a non-profit health organisation that became a viral marketing phenomenon last night took the Best In Show prize at the IAB MIXX Awards.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, devised by the body dedicated to the fight against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, saw hundreds of thousands of participants – including many celebrities – post recordings on social media of a bucket of ice being poured over them, helping to raise millions of dollars.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau's MIXX Awards recognize the year's best interactive marketing, with winning work ultimately serving to educate the marketplace about what works and why in digital marketing, as well as to inspire the community by pointing to future trends and where the industry is heading.

Michael Lebowitz, founder and CEO of Big Spaceship, served as the 2015 IAB MIXX Awards jury chair. "This year's winners reached audiences in new and powerful ways," he said.

"All of us on the judging panel were impressed by the way each of the campaigns took full advantage of digital's interactive capabilities, while also showcasing a keen understanding of the core human need for great storytelling."

A total of 32 Golds, 27 Silvers and 31 Bronzes were handed out across 31 categories at an event in New York.

"The winners of the 2015 IAB MIXX Awards demonstrate how imagination and technology can be woven together to move hearts and minds," said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. "This work represents the finest in digital marketing the world over, and will surely influence the next generation of marketing campaigns."

The IAB has also published What Works & Why: IAB Global Insights Report 2015, which explores case studies of 24 award-winning campaigns from around the world and which focuses on the theme of "The Allure of Authenticity and Creativity" in interactive advertising.

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff


Trust in traditional advertising dips

30 September 2015
LONDON: Most ad formats are less trusted now by UK consumers than they were two years ago, with, paradoxically, the few registering an increase in trust being the ones that have been least well regarded, according to new research.

Nielsen's latest biennial Global Survey of Trust in Advertising polled 30,000 online respondents in 60 countries and found that, in the UK, 13 of the 19 ad formats considered had seen a decline in trust since 2013, while three had seen no change.

Trust in ads on social networks, however, had edged upwards one point, while that in text ads on mobile phones was up two points and ads on mobile devices up three points.

These three were also at the bottom of the list of most-trusted ad formats, with only around one third of respondents expressing any confidence in them. Text ads on mobile phones (27%) scored worst, while ads on mobile devices (33%) and ads on social networks (34%) were only slightly better.

Those figures contrasted sharply with the most-trusted format: personal recommendation – trusted to some degree by 81% of UK respondents – is by far the most trusted form of advertising or communication, with the credibility gap widening between it and other formats.

It now stands alone as the only format trusted by more than 60% of UK respondents, Nielsen noted, an accolade which was shared by five formats just two years ago.

"Consumer opinions online" (58%) is now the second most trusted format (up from fourth two years ago), followed by "emails signed up for" and TV ads (both 56%).

The format hit by the biggest decline in trust has been editorial content (down eight points to 54%) and the IAB has just published a set of guidelines to help the marketing industry provide more transparency to consumers around digital advertorials. These include the use of prominent visual cues and appropriate labelling.

Other formats that consumers were rapidly losing faith in were emails they had signed up for (down seven points to 56%) and newspaper and radio ads (both down six points to 50% and 51% respectively).

Online video ads (35%) and online banner ads (34%) have a lower trust rating than traditional ad formats, but their credibility has held up over the last two years.

Terrie Brennan, evp/marketing effectiveness for Europe, Nielsen noted that "about a third of online advertising campaigns don't work", as they fail to generate awareness or drive any lift in purchase intent and suggested that "a mix of both offline and online channels usually offers the best ROI".

Data sourced from Nielsen, IAB; additional content by Warc staff


Spanish open to mobile ads

30 September 2015
MADRID: Spanish consumers are generally not averse to mobile advertising, with half having clicked on an ad and 70% of those reporting themselves satisfied with the experience, new research has shown.

The Seventh Annual Survey of Mobile Marketing, produced by IAB Spain in association with Repsol, polled 1,193 consumers aged 18 to 55 and found a surge in smartphone internet use, with users connecting for an average of 3 hours and 23 minutes a day, almost one hour more than 12 months earlier.

Tablet use, however, had declined by 15 minutes to 1 hour and 41 minute daily.

Consequently, the smartphone is now the leading internet connection device, being used by 85% of respondents every day compared to 67% using a PC and 45% a tablet.

Greater use of the smartphone to access the internet means greater exposure to mobile ads and the sectors that proved of most interest to consumers were technology, travel, movies & series, fashion, music, restaurants, and video games.

They were clicking on these ads primarily to go to a brand's website or in order to receive a discount on a purchase.

The survey also revealed that nine out of ten smartphone owners used their device as part of the purchasing process: finding product information (81%), price (78%) and opinions (72%) were the main activities.

More than half also used it to geotag a store (54%) or to scan QR codes/barcodes (53%).

Further, six out of ten had used mobile payment, mainly for the ease of use (41%) although around one in five reported doing so after a Google search (23%) or having seen the option in an app (19%).

The products and services most commonly purchased via mobile were travel (38%), leisure (38%), fashion (34%), technology (33%), culture (24%), beauty (17%), banking (17%) and household products (12%).

Data sourced from IAB Spain; additional content by Warc staff


Adblocking hits mcommerce

30 September 2015
NEW YORK: Adblocking apps used on iPhones are hitting more than just the ads, as broken links and non-functioning shopping carts have been reported on retailers' ecommerce sites and, in extreme cases, the entire site has not loaded.

Sites for Walmart, Sears and Lululemon are among those said to be affected. "Potentially [this news is] enormous," said Scott Allan, head of marketing at Pure Oxygen Labs.

"The ad tech ecosystem has been built on the idea that implementing technologies related to personalization and retargeting is incredibly easy," he explained to Luxury Daily. "Retailers have built their site operations and analytics around these easy-to-use javascript and cookie-based technologies."

But that could be about to change, he said. "In one fell swoop the ad blockers are wiping out the investment retailers have made in personalization and retargeting over the last several years.

"Even if the site can function properly with an ad blocker enabled, there's still a potential for a huge negative impact on sales," Allan added. "Marketing departments will also have less data to work with in making merchandising decisions."

He reported that when he had used the Crystal ad-blocker, the Macy's site had worked properly "but the banners for complementary products are removed". And a similar effect was evident on the Sears' site.

"Best-case scenario is that shoppers using ad blockers may click through fewer products as a result of personalized and complementary selling and ultimately the impact may be lower average order value," he said. 

The issue is especially pressing as the important holiday shopping season is fast approaching and Allan stressed that, at the very least, retailers should ensure their site is visible and that shoppers can check out.

"Then it's a matter of understanding what technologies are making the site vulnerable to a disruptive user experience when an ad-blocker is enabled and trying to mitigate that."

He also posited an alternative scenario where people realised what they were missing by using an adblocking app.

"Many consumers have gotten used to relevant, personalized content and may not want to give up that experience for something more generic," he said.

Data sourced from Luxury Daily; additional content by Warc staff


Nestle Purina targets social 'lurkers'

30 September 2015
NEW YORK: Nestlé Purina, the pet food group, is seeking to understand social media "lurkers" – users who are interested in its content but do not actively engage – to ensure its marketing achieves the greatest possible impact.

Lisa Keller, manager/editor of Nestlé Purina North America's social media community management team, discussed this subject on a webinar organised by Social Media Today.

And while she argued that social listening is important for brands – especially in areas such as strategy creation, community management and reporting – it has a flaw that marketers must be aware of.

"One caveat to all of this is that you also need to remember what we call the 'silent majority' in social media," said Keller. (For more, including research tips, read Warc's exclusive report: Nestlé Purina targets social-media "lurkers".)

As evidence, she pointed to figures from customer-intelligence firm Vision Critical showing that "enthusiasts" typically comprise 29% of a brand's social audience, but generate some 85% of relevant posts and updates.

"So there have been many studies … that show that only around 30% of your community are actually creating your content – and that the majority of your social users are something actually called 'lurkers', and are simply consuming your content and other people's content," said Keller.

This trend – "a small set of users that are the ones creating most of the content" – is common across interactive platforms, and poses a significant challenge for marketers.

"For brands, it's important to try and avoid only creating content for those few people speaking up in your communities, as you may miss what the rest of your community may respond to [and] that could help your brand's bottom line."

Using research tools capable of establishing the impact of social marketing on this broader audience, suggested Keller, is essential in truly determining effectiveness.

"So, for instance, you may create content featuring your brand's product that does not 'go viral'. But you can see that it did move the needle for your brand on awareness or actual product sales offline," she said.

"A consumer may have seen that post or tweet and then remembered your brand or purchased your product as measured by these studies … but they may not have engaged with the post at all, because they may not be one of those users who likes to actually create content or take action with the actual channel."

Data sourced from Warc


Heineken takes top honours at Smarties

30 September 2015
GLOBAL: A campaign for Heineken by R/GA London, which utilised social listening to provide real-time entertainment recommendations to consumers, took the Best in Show award at the 2015 Global Smarties Awards run by the Mobile Marketing Association.

The brewer's @WhereNext campaign was built around the insight that its urban, millennial, male audience are creatures of habit who don't often explore the cities they live in. So it sought to provide such consumers in 15 cities around the world with guidance about places and venues close to them at the time of their online search, based on social listening data.

"Heineken's @WhereNext campaign incorporated pioneering use of technology, personalization, immersive brand experience, and real-time context," said Sheryl Daija, Chief Strategy Officer, MMA.

A total of 33 campaigns won awards, with, in addition to the Best in Show, 11 Golds, 11 Silvers and 10 Bronzes being handed out, while Industry Awards also went to five companies seen as trailblazers and disruptors.

The full list of winners can be seen here and Warc subscribers can also read all the winning papers.

R/GA picked up two more Golds for its work in North America, with Volvo Cars North America and Owlet Baby Care.

Mindshare's Asian operations won two Golds – in Vietnam for a campaign for Unilever's Sunsilk Shampoo, and in China for a campaign for fruit company Zespri.

Other Gold winners included Reckitt Benckiser's condom brand Durex, oral hygiene brand Colgate Palmolive India, automaker Audi, Unilever's deodorant brand Axe Black, Norwegian fashion brand KappAhl, Russian ice-cream brand Inmarko and Singapore Red Cross.

"As mobile technology and capabilities advance, the creativity, innovation and impressive results in mobile marketing set the stage for a future of what's possible," Diaja said.

Data sourced from MMA; additional content by Warc staff


Blog: Reframing the language of ads

30 September 2015
Psychologically, the removal of a negative is much more motivating than the addition of a corresponding positive, notes Rory Sutherland. And yet the language of marketing is usually about the accretion of positive attributes, rather than the reduction of negatives.



Digital payments a game-changer in APAC

30 September 2015
SHANGHAI: Taps and swipes are replacing coins and notes at an accelerating pace in Asia-Pacific markets, nowhere more so than in China where purchase behaviour is changing quickly as consumers adapt to the latest technology.

An ecommerce white paper from MasterCard, the payments business, highlights some of the challenges facing merchants across Asia Pacific in such a fast-moving environment, including the need to embrace digital payment options that offer consumers a seamless check-out experience.

"With digital payments being progressively integrated on mobile phones, there will be less need to subscribe to a range of digital wallets," it said, pointing out that there are more than 20 in India alone.

At the same time, it noted that major digital players like Apple, Samsung and Android are using existing payment networks, integrated into their card-on-file systems while a new payment technology like MasterPass is enabling all parties – consumers, issuers and merchants – to leapfrog to a secure digital payment network.

And in China messaging apps are leading the charge. More than 100m consumers – one in every five users – uses WeChat's in-app payment system, which allows users to a link their credit card to pay for a variety of services.

According to a new World Federation of Advertisers study, 85% of marketers in China are now using mobile messaging platforms such as WeChat as their central marketing channel, up from just 21% a year ago. The same study reported an exponential 305% growth in brand uptake of these apps, reflecting their status among Chinese consumers.

WeChat, for example, offers extended functionality – via apps within the app – which makes it central to the everyday lives of users. They can order taxis or food, translate street signs, check in for flights, book appointments, pay bills and enjoy multimedia content without leaving WeChat.

For brands, the uptake of WeChat as a key outreach tool is also providing an opportunity to access and track valuable consumer data about spending habits.

A recent ESOMAR paper noted that all messaging platforms have large communities which can potentially be tapped into by research providers for market research interactions. But, it added, WeChat "is ideally suited in how it is structured so that brands and service providers can use WeChat as a channel to offer communications and services to its subscribers".

Data sourced from MasterCard, World Federation of Advertisers, ESOMAR; additional content by Warc staff


Twitter steps up India TV links

30 September 2015
MUMBAI: Twitter, the microblogging site, is seeking to put itself at the heart of the content strategies of India's broadcasters, a leading executive has said.

"There is a content play which can happen in a very big way on Twitter beyond just marketing," Viral Jani, head/television strategy & partnerships at Twitter India, told Exchange4Media,

He observed that there had been a surge in hashtag conversations since English-language news channels had begun giving a hashtag to each news story.

"It is almost like integrating at a DNA level," he said. "That is the real magic and that is something that we want to replicate across the board."

In fact, Twitter is aiming to establish an interdependent relationship with broadcasters. "We want Twitter to be the core of their content strategy when creating their shows," Jani explained.

"We have seen that a lot of shows that have benefitted from Twitter in India and globally and we believe that there is a huge appetite in India and probably in the next few months we will see a lot of interaction around this," he added.

This period coincides with a rush of reality TV shows, an area where Jani saw "huge scope" and promised "deep level engagement on Twitter".

He also revealed that the social networking site was looking to leverage its video-streaming app.

"We will see some very interesting Periscope integrations coming up in a couple of weeks from now," he said. "I can't reveal names right now but there are some big-ticket celebrities that we want to bring in on Periscope and some interesting buzz around that."

Some broadcasters are already using Periscope to engage with audiences for their shows: viewers of CNN IBN and IBN7, for example, can engage in real-time with anchors and journalists this way.

The reason for a closer relationship with broadcasters is, of course, financial. "My main objective is to get great content on Twitter and advertising will follow after that," said Jani.

Data sourced from Exchange4Media; additional content by Warc staff


Facebook offers new TV ad tools

29 September 2015
GLOBAL: Facebook is rolling out four new upgrades to improve the buying, planning and measurement capabilities of its advertising suite, particularly for TV advertisers.

Announced to coincide with the Advertising Week event in New York, the social media giant said in a blog post that it is introducing target rating points (TRP) buying as a metric for advertisers to plan, buy and measure video ads on Facebook.

"Marketers can plan a campaign across TV and Facebook with a total TRP target in mind, and they can buy a share of those TRPs directly with Facebook," the company said.

"Then, Nielsen's Digital Ad Ratings measurement system can verify Facebook's in-target TRP delivery, and Nielsen's Total Ad Ratings system can verify the TRP delivery for Facebook and television combined."

Facebook said research firm Nielsen had studied 42 US campaigns and found a 19% increase in targeted reach when TV and Facebook ads were combined versus TV alone. This rose to 37% among millennials, the company stated.

While the new TRP Buying tool was the main focus of its announcement, Facebook also wanted advertisers to be aware of three other developments.

A new brand optimisation tool is being made available to help advertisers find the audiences most likely to recall their ads.

Facebook is also teaming up with Millward Brown Digital to enable advertisers to conduct mobile polling in campaigns that use Facebook and Instagram.

Finally, video will now be available in Facebook's carousel ad format for the first time and the company believes that will give advertisers more options for compelling storytelling within a user's news feed.

In a statement to Adweek, Graham Mudd, Facebook's ad product marketing director, said: "TV ad campaigns supplemented by Facebook advertising provide an ideal combination for marketers to both reach large audiences and build their brands.

"Now we're making it even easier to extend and augment TV campaigns through the introduction of TRP Buying, so advertisers can plan, buy and measure Facebook ads using the same guarantees and Nielsen verification they're used to with TV."

Data sourced from Facebook, Adweek; additional content by Warc staff


VW loses $10bn of its brand value

29 September 2015
LONDON: The crisis engulfing Volkswagen following revelations that the German automaker used software to cheat emission tests has knocked $10bn off its brand value, according to the latest estimates.

Brand Finance, the global brand valuation and strategy consultancy, said the company's brand value prior to the scandal stood at $31bn, meaning it has lost a third of its brand value since the scandal erupted.

Volkswagen was previously rated as the third most valuable auto brand in the world after Toyota and BMW and was on an upwards trajectory, having gained $4bn in brand value since 2014.

All of that is now in decline, Brand Finance warned, while adding that further revelations could mean Volkswagen faces a crisis on an unprecedented scale.

"The developments of the last few days will undoubtedly send this trend into reverse, resulting in $10bn in lost brand value," said David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance.

"The apparent ease with which the company's activities were uncovered makes it all the more astonishing that VW was willing to endanger its most valued asset."

Since the release of the Brand Finance report, further pressure piled on the company with news that German prosecutors have launched a fraud investigation against former chief executive, Martin Winterkorn, the BBC reported.

Furthermore, reports in the German media over the weekend suggested that some of Volkswagen's own staff and one of its suppliers had warned years ago about the illegal use of "defeat devices".

With the company's reputation on the line, Brand Finance's David Haigh pointed to the problems faced by Toyota after its reputation was damaged following a series of recalls over mechanical issues from 2009 to 2011.

He said Toyota's brand value fell from a peak of $27.3bn in 2010 to $24.5bn in 2012 and it did not exceed its previous peak until 2014, when its brand value was $34.9bn.

Haigh warned that the outlook for Volkswagen could be a lot worse because "the cost of recalls and fines could be far more significant than those Toyota faced, whilst the apparently deliberate nature of VW's actions compounds the impact on its credibility".

Even "the very future of the VW brand is in doubt", Haigh warned, adding that any hope of recovery will come down to it investigating the source of the alleged nefarious activity and then to communicate its findings clearly to avoid contagion.

Data sourced from Brand Finance, BBC; additional content by Warc staff


Aldi will launch online challenge

29 September 2015
LONDON: Aldi, the German discount supermarket chain, is stepping up its challenge to its larger established rivals with plans to launch an online service next year.

The no-frills retailer said it will sell wine by the case online and follow that with sales of special non-food items. It also will offer home delivery and collection from third-party locations, the Guardian reported.

By offering an online service, Aldi effectively will obtain national coverage and its wine promotion could attract more affluent, middle-class shoppers, a key demographic in the fiercely competitive UK supermarket sector.

"Our launch online is another exciting chapter in our story," said Matthew Barnes, chief executive of Aldi UK. "This will enable us to introduce the Aldi brand and some of our best-selling, best quality and best value products to thousands more customers across the UK."

The announcement came as Aldi reported UK sales of £6.9bn in the year to December 2014, up more than 30% on the £5.3bn it reported for the previous year.

It said it was on course to open 65 more stores this year, up from 54 in 2014, with plans to increase its portfolio to 1,000 stores by 2022.

Catherine Shuttleworth, chief executive of retail marketing agency Savvy, said Aldi was being sensible to start with wine and non-food categories because they will be more profitable than a full grocery home delivery service. Wine is also more likely to draw in affluent shoppers, she told Internet Retailing.

"This is Aldi's time," she said. "The retailer continues to demonstrate an instinctive connection with the mood of the nation and is ideally positioned to serve the changing UK shopper.

"Its move online, we believe, is another reason why the retailer will continue to outpace the market over the next five to 10 years."

Data sourced from The Guardian, Internet Retailing; additional content by Warc staff


Unlocking the marketing power of Twitter

29 September 2015
NEW YORK: New research published in the Journal of Advertising Research (JAR) has provided some insight into the drivers that marketers need to recognise if Twitter is to be more than a passing brand fancy.

In the most recent issue of JAR, Theo Araujo, Peter Neijens and Rens Vliegenthart - all from the University of Amsterdam - investigate a step beyond a simple Twitter post to demonstrate how specific cues can influence the retweeting of brand messages.

In "What Motivates Consumers to Re-Tweet Brand Content? The Impact of Information, Emotion, and Traceability on Pass-Along Behavior", the authors dug down into the data generated by nearly 20,000 brand-focused tweets compiled over three years.

And even as digital marketing at large - and Twitter, specifically - continues to evolve, their analysis pointed to a set of conclusions with immediate relevance.

Firstly, they learned that Twitter users are especially interested in messages which are "rich in informational content".

Pass-along behaviour is also highly dependent on utilitarian factors: "Informational cues were predictors of higher levels of retweeting, particularly product details and links to a brand's website, social network sites, and photos or videos," the study argued.

Emotional triggers have a key underlying role, too. "Although emotional cues did not influence retweeting on their own, they reinforced the effects of informational cues and traceability cues [hashtags] when combined in the same message."

The three University of Amsterdam scholars did offer one caveat to those who presume that social media is a post-and-profit exercise: "Twitter users, however, are not motivated by all kinds of brand information. A message simply about the brand, containing brand cues, will not more likely be retweeted by users.

"In this study, only messages that specifically contained information about products from the brand were associated with higher levels of retweeting, indicating that consumers have a high level of expectation about the brand message's content."

Their conclusion: "Twitter users especially are interested in messages that are rich in informational content."

Data sourced from Warc


Mobile is best ad channel for students

29 September 2015
NEW YORK: Mobile is the most effective medium for advertisers seeking to reach American college students aged 17 to 25, new research has revealed.

According to a study from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and research firm Qriously, these young adults – a mixture of Gen Z and millennials – are more likely than the average smartphone user to say they see relevant ads on their mobile.

The study involved 1,018 smartphone users aged 17 to 25 and their responses were compared with 1,096 smartphone users whose age reflected the general population of the US.

Whereas older smartphone users said they tended to view relevant ads more on TV (28.4%) than mobile (22.2%), the choice of medium reversed for the younger respondents. For them, mobile (27.9%) was more important than TV (21.9%).

This was especially the case for male college students, nearly a third (32.5%) of whom cited mobile as the medium with the most relevant ads compared to just 19% who felt the same about TV.

Female college students were more balanced with an equal number saying mobile and TV were the source of relevant ads.

More than half (55%) of young respondents said they have acted in response to seeing a relevant ad on their mobile device, a higher proportion than typical smartphone owners (49%).

When they notice a relevant ad, students indicated they were much more likely than other smartphone users to screenshot ads (13% versus 7%) and to search for information (13% v. 9.5%), but there were less likely to tap a mobile ad (12% v. 16%).

In addition, students were significantly more likely to choose a brand based on its social media presence (16% v. 10%) and the opinion of friends (13% v. 9%).

"Today's college students are leading mobile first lives – and will surely take their mobile-first mindset with them into the world after graduation," said Anna Bager, IAB's svp and general manager of mobile and video.

"Gen Z and the young millennials on campus now are tomorrow's next set of primary consumers and it is apparent that marketers and agencies need to reach this coveted audience on mobile screens."

Data sourced from IAB; additional content by Warc staff


Chinese marketers shift mobile focus

29 September 2015
SHANGHAI/BRUSSELS: Nearly half (48%) of marketers in China believe mobile is poised to become a cross-purpose marketing and sales channel, according to a new survey from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA).

Working with Shanghai-based CollabCentral Consulting, the WFA polled 20 major marketers in China that represent brands with a collective global marketing budget of about $30bn.

Although four-fifths (82%) said they currently focus on using mobile as a brand awareness channel, instead of ecommerce or driving offline sales, only 26% expected mobile to continue to be used solely for awareness in a year's time.

"Clear vision leads to action and this shift in recent months amongst the marketing community of China to leverage mobile as a business driver, beyond marketing and communication, is a great signal to start acting upon," said Nishta Mehta, founder of CollabCentral Consulting.

With marketers increasingly giving thought as to how best to leverage online to offline (O2O) sales, the survey respondents pointed to a number of barriers standing in their way, including insufficient technical know-how.

Roughly a third (32%) described themselves as "low" in terms of O2O technical sophistication while more than half (52%) said their skills were at a "mid" level.

Almost three-quarters (74%) identified a lack of integration between departments as a key barrier while 68% cited the failure of some retailers to integrate mobile technology into the offline world.

"Closer and faster collaboration between retailers, marketers and companies such as Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent is needed," advised Matt Green, WFA's senior global marketing manager.

In another key finding, the study revealed that Chinese marketers are increasingly using popular mobile messaging apps in their campaigns.

Their use of apps like WeChat has grown 305% since 2014 while 85% have used mobile messaging as their key marketing communication platform over the past 12 months, up from just 21% in 2014.

Data sourced from World Federation of Advertisers; additional content by Warc staff


Sport embraces second-screening

29 September 2015
MELBOURNE: Fans of Australian rules football who intend to watch the AFL Grand Final this weekend will be able to engage with the event interactively after the Australian Football League (AFL) created a new second-screen app.

The Explore AFL platform allows fans at AFL events across Melbourne to access content, ranging from videos to vouchers, and the initiative taps into a growing trend of second-screening in Australia.

Using location data, the app will enable the AFL to connect with supporters with push messaging on the week of its most watched match, Mumbrella reported.

"We are entering a new age of how we engage and interact with fans during Toyota AFL Grand Final Week," said Peter Campbell, general manager of AFL Media.

"The ability to manage all content remotely, whilst updating content and information as it happens is another great extension of the event experience," he added.

It comes a week after Fox Sports Australia launched an app to engage second-screening fans by providing on-demand matches, live scores and exclusive features pushed straight to their mobile device. The app even notifies users if their team is in a close match.

Australia's attachment to second-screening, especially among younger consumers, was underlined in a recent report by Vision Critical for the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Australia.

It revealed that more than 88% of 25-34 year-olds in the country use another device simultaneously while watching TV, rising to 94% of those aged 18 to 24.

The same applied to about three-quarters (77%) of adults aged 35 to 44, 73% of 45-54 year-olds and 62% of older consumers aged 55 to 64.

Elsewhere, the research found 62% of smartphone owners used their devices while watching TV, falling to just under half of tablet users and 36% of users of laptops or personal computers.

Data sourced from Mumbrella, Rapid TV News, eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff