Cannes study: Digital strategies mature

3 August 2015
LONDON: Digital-led advertising strategies, particularly those combining video and PR, are increasingly delivering business results for marketers, according to a study of the Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lions.

Warc's analysis of the 2015 Awards found the growing use of campaigns leading with digital media. What's more, digital-led strategies are overindexing among the shortlist and winners lists.

Of the shortlisted and winning entries, 60% used social media as a lead channel (versus 50% of the total pool of entries), while 44% used online video as a lead channel (versus 34% of the total pool of entries). Television was a lead channel for 48% (versus 40% in the total pool).

2015 marked the first year that a truly digital-led campaign won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lions. The 'Live Test Series' campaign from Volvo Trucks involved a series of online films, culminating in 'The Epic Split', which featured Jean Claude van Damme. The campaign led to an increase in consideration and sales.

In the analysis, Tobias Nordstrom, Head of Planning for Forsman & Bodenfors (the agency behind 'Live Test Series') explained how the client had developed a strategy built around online video and PR.

The goal was to reach the web of influencers surrounding the purchasers of commercial trucks; although the target group was very niche, the strategy team concluded that a mainstream campaign was needed to have an impact on their preferences.

"We started off with the thought to use YouTube as our main media. Later on we learned that it's actually two main media – PR and YouTube – collaborating with each other. You need to get views on YouTube for the papers to start writing about it. Then when the papers start writing about it, views increase."

This is the fifth year Warc has produced an analysis of the Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lions. The channel mix has changed considerably over the past five years. The average number of media channels used in entries has increased from 5.2 channels in 2011 to 7.6 in 2015.

Social media, online video and PR have all seen significant growth: 85% of case studies used social media in the 2015 Lions compared with 51.9% in 2011; 64% of entries used public relations, and the same percentage used online video – in both cases more than double the 2011 figures.

Wendy Clark, President, Sparkling Brands & Strategic Marketing for Coca-Cola North America (and this year's Creative Effectiveness Jury President), commented that the widespread use of digital media means that campaigns need to show more than digital metrics to stand out in effectiveness competitions.

"We observed a dominance of social media statistics (views, impressions, etc.) as evidence of business impact in many submissions. In a digital world, increasingly these statistics are non-differentiating. They are, in fact, table stakes of what all work must accomplish as a baseline."

Data sourced from Warc


P&G cuts 40% of its agencies

3 August 2015
CINCINNATI: FMCG giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) has cut the number of agencies it works with by 40% globally, saving $300m in agency and production costs, but much of that sum will be reinvested into other media.

Speaking during an earnings conference call, P&G chief financial officer Jon Moeller said agency spending in Brazil had been cut in half, spending on its hair care brands in the US was down by 20% and that there will be further global savings next year, Advertising Age reported.

$300m amounts to 15% of the company's total spend on its extensive range of agencies and fits into its strategy, announced early this year, that it would seek savings of up to $500m as it shifts more ad dollars to digital, social, video and mobile.

Outgoing chief executive AG Lafley, who will be succeeded by David Taylor in November, confirmed that P&G wants to reallocate media budgets to more digital channels and that some brand media budgets are growing by 10% to 20%.

"It's hard for you to see our investments in communication and media because most of it's being funded by reallocation," he said.

"We're simply shutting down the unproductive non-working dollars and we're converting it to working and we're getting a heck of a lot more out of our digital, mobile, search and social programs."

The initiative comes as P&G continues its divestiture strategy of merging or selling off more than half its brands as it tries to adapt to an increasingly competitive global FMCG market.

The company intends to retain a core portfolio of 65 brands, including Tide detergent and Gillette shaving products, and AG Lafley said the Gillette brand will be revitalised when an improved cartridge is launched in January next year.

The executives were speaking as P&G reported net sales of $17.8bn over the quarter, its sixth successive quarterly fall, although sales were hit mainly because of the strong dollar.

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


Digital challenges TV for ad dollars

3 August 2015
RESTON, VA: Digital advertising is expected to overtake TV to become the top media category in the US in 2016, although the overall TV market is not expected to decline, a new report has forecast.

According to estimates by analytics firm comScore, and seen by CNBC, digital advertising is currently standing at about 80% of the value of TV advertising.

However, comScore calculates that digital will surpass TV next year on its current growth trajectory. US digital adspend amounted to $13.3bn in the first quarter of 2015, a year-on-year increase of 16%.

While accepting that internet will become the largest advertising platform worldwide next year, Warc's International Ad Forecast, released last week, does not align with comScore's findings for the US.

Both pieces of research recognise the $49.5bn of internet adspend in the US last year. However, Warc concludes that TV will remain the largest ad platform in the US by the end of next year, albeit marginally, with adspend approximately $700m higher than internet.

The 2014 internet total referenced by both comScore and Warc uses the IAB definition, incorporating digital revenues for news and magazine brands, as well as radio websites and broadcaster VOD.

Were the latter assigned to TV instead, TV's greater share of the US ad market would sit more comfortably than forecast.

Facebook, which announced that its second quarter revenue jumped 39% to $4.04bn with advertising accounting for $3.83bn of the total, is seen by comScore as the driving force behind the switch to digital advertising.

"It's going to be very interesting to see what happens going forward as Facebook monetises its video feeds more and more," said Gian Fulgoni, co-founder of comScore. "I think there are some tremendous opportunities for them."

According to comScore, mobile and video are the fastest-growing segments of digital advertising. The two channels, along with static banners and some other forms of display ads, secured revenue of £26bn in 2014.

Meanwhile, eMarketer has reported that Facebook will account for 16% of the global mobile ad market this year, second only behind Google. Overall adspend on Facebook is expected to increase by 35% this year to $15.5bn.

Data sourced from CNBC, eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff


Marketers overlook the 'grey pound'

3 August 2015
LONDON: UK consumers aged 55+ currently spend £14.45bn online and are expected to account for two-thirds of all retail activity by 2025, yet just one-in-five (22%) marketers are targeting them, a new study has revealed.

Based on feedback from 1,000 consumers aged 55 and above, digital marketing agency Greenlight established that they have a high degree of digital engagement and many use multiple devices to go online.

Laptops are used the most (66%), closely followed by desktop PCs (59%) and tablets (52%) and about three-quarters (76%) shop online more than once a week.

Their average monthly spend totals £65.09 online compared to £73.52 that they spend in physical stores, although women spend slightly more online (£1.85) than men per month.

As men spend £13.35 more than women per month on the high street, that would suggest women aged over 55 are more open to using technology, Retail Gazette reported.

In addition, the research found that online spend drops by £5.57 as consumers move closer to retirement age (65+), suggesting that older consumers are less trusting in technology.

Books and magazines (76%) are the most popular online purchases for this generation of "digiboomers", followed by clothing and accessories (74%), CDs and DVDs (66%), small appliances and household goods (61%) and consumer electronics (60%).

These consumers like to browse and the top three reasons they give for shopping online are flexibility, ease of product delivery and being able to compare prices.

Also of note for marketers, the study revealed that online recommendations have a strong influence on older shoppers, who conduct their shopping journey online from start to finish.

"Online recommendations greatly influence older online shoppers," advised Andreas Pouros, co-founder and chief operating officer at Greenlight.

"This is just one element that brands should be building into their digital campaigns to make sure the 'grey pound' is spent with them."

He added that the over 55s are more likely than young consumer to read blogs, shopper feedback, news articles and Google reviews.

"Here lies an audience with more disposable cash, which is totally suited to ecommerce, eager to compare products and prices, shop flexibly and have products delivered to their door," he said.

Data sourced from Greenlight, Retail Gazette; additional content by Warc staff


Burger King taps 'storymaking'

3 August 2015
NEW YORK: Burger King, the quick-service restaurant chain, is using "storymaking" - an approach based on participating in existing digital conversations rather than starting new ones - in a bid to engage consumers.

Eric Hirschhorn, the firm's chief marketing officer, discussed this topic at Advertising Age's Digital Conference 2015.

"We talk a lot about storymaking at Burger King. And we talk about these two key principles," he said. (For more, including an example involving Chicken Fries, read Warc's exclusive report: Burger King's recipe for "storymaking".)

The first of these guidelines draws on the notion that it is more difficult to get consumers interested in a brand's story than to facilitate and amplify conversations that have emerged organically.

"We love this idea that the science of storymaking is subject to the same laws of inertia that any other physical object is subject to in the real world," said Hirschhorn.

"It takes great energy to create forward momentum and great counter-energy to stop something that's already moving. And I think that's really true for conversations across social, and wherever it might be."

Given the number of branded hashtags that disappear without trace, or which result in companies receiving ridicule, this approach is also safer for marketers.

"We actually find it to be much more efficient, and less risky as a brand, to insert ourselves into a conversation that already exists, where relevant to our audience and to our guests as our restaurants," Hirschhorn said.

The second principle supporting Burger King's storymaking strategy similarly requires thinking differently about effectively reaching its target customer.

"All great ideas today need to be great media ideas. And that creativity is the business tool that we - collectively, as an industry - chose to use to drive whatever business we are involved in," he said.

"So, all great ideas need to be rooted in a great media idea, where creativity is applied as an amplifier and a multiplier effect on top of that media idea. And then we use our various distribution channels to help us drive our business."

Data sourced from Warc


Digital metrics lag in Singapore

3 August 2015
SINGAPORE: Digital measurement in Singapore has a "long way to go" if it is to catch up with the standards set elsewhere, according to a new study.

IAB Singapore, the trade body, surveyed executives from brands, agencies and publishers in the country, as well as conducting in-depth discussions with several senior marketers.

When asked to assess the current state of digital measurement using a ten-point scale - where ten reflected the situation in the most advanced markets in this field - the average rating from the panel stood at just four points.

Additionally, only 28% of respondents were "happy" with existing practices, while 88% agreed the metrics now in use are either "somewhat effective" or "ineffective".

"Our interviewees felt that the relative infancy of digital marketing in Singapore, coupled with this backdrop of technological innovation, has led to a real lack of understanding and engagement with key digital measurement techniques across the market," the study said.

Numerous further issues were raised by contributors, with two in five complaining there are too many new-media metrics, serving as a disincentive to switch away from tried-and-tested strategies.

Elsewhere, exactly half of the survey cohort found it hard to secure accurate results from their digital tracking, which hinted at problems of "siloed data capture and lack of integration".

Also featured among the "whole host of challenges" cited by industry experts were connecting digital metrics to business objectives, and the absence of common currencies between new and traditional media.

Looking forward, the study asserted that handheld devices are of increasing importance, but simultaneously represent a source of anxiety for practitioners.

"In Singapore, there is clear agreement that the biggest gap that needs addressing in the near future is measurement on mobile," the report stated.

"The challenge of measuring mobile and consumer behavior across devices and touchpoints is a burning issue, as well as the walled gardens and barriers around demonstrating mobile ROI seem to be the likely contributor to why marketing spends on mobile continue to remain disproportionate to consumer time spent."

In tackling these issues, 64% of survey participants wanted benchmarks to provide some wider context for their marketing performance, while the same proportion are "looking for help" to better understand digital measurement.

Data sourced from IAB Singapore; additional content by Warc staff


Marketing to Chinese men evolves

3 August 2015
HONG KONG: Brands seeking to reach Chinese men should be aware that Chinese masculinity is different from its equivalent in the West and also it is evolving rapidly, splitting into myriad sub-groups, according to recent research.

Felicia Schwartz, founder and director of China Insight, a consultancy based in Hong Kong, warned that brands failing to study Chinese men effectively may make mistaken assumptions or implement a strategy based on the wishes of Western men.

She told China Daily that when the country started to reform and open up to the world, initially the Western aspirational model, including "the American dream" was pervasive, but a wider range of models have since appeared.

For example, the speed of China's development means there is a much more accentuated difference between men of varying ages, which is less of an issue in the West.

Furthermore, the sheer size and diversity of the country requires brands to identify whether they want to target men in tier-one cities or a wider audience in lower tier cities and the countryside.

"Chinese masculinities cannot be taken as interchangeable with masculinities in Western countries or reduced to simple stereotypes," agreed Derek Hird, a senior lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Westminster in London.

He recently published a book, co-authored with Song Geng, an associate professor at the University of Hong Kong, which covered Chinese masculinity on TV, in lifestyle magazines, and at work and in the home.

"Businesses often look for a magic bullet that can help them crack the market, such as a straightforward key to understanding Chinese men," he said. "But masculinities are multiple and diverse, so the reality is more complex."

In a bid to overcome such complexity, ad agency Leo Burnett China recently sought to categorise Chinese males aged between 25 and 40.

Sharon Chen, a strategist with the company, explained that this generation of males have the characteristics of niu (cattle), ai (love) and chong (dashing).

Chen said that "niu" refers to everything happening so quickly at this point of history that these men have to work "like cattle" to catch up with others.

"Ai" demonstrates a strong mission to protect their families and uphold their role as loving husbands and fathers.

Finally, "chong" is the recognition that working hard is not good enough and instead they must work with “explosive momentum to keep up with the pace of a fast-moving economy”.

Data sourced from China Daily; additional content by Warc staff


Planning, storytelling key to awards

31 July 2015
LONDON: Careful pre-planning, storytelling and collaboration with other agencies are all key ways of winning effectiveness and strategy awards, a panel of experts have said at a Warc event.

Merry Baskin, founder of brand planning consultancy Baskin Shark, said that setting objectives and benchmarks with the client prior to starting out on the campaign was the key to proving effectiveness – and winning awards. She was speaking at a Warc event that focused on the strategies behind recent award-winning campaigns.

"The media mix changes, the way we gather data changes, but the way we do things doesn't," she added. "You have to have a hypothesis before dealing with the data. Or you'll drown in it."

Fellow panelist Karl Weaver, CEO of Data2Decisions, a marketing effectiveness consultancy, agreed: "You need to plan for it. Some of the best award entries I've worked on have been really well planned.

"Prepare carefully months before entering your case study. And make sure you test your story out with the client and with other people at the agency," he added.

Baskin continued: "You need to use storytelling in the case study. Don't be boring - and use your story persuasively."

The event also marked the launch of Warc's 2015 analysis report on the Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lions, which analysed this year's Lions entries in order to draw conclusions from their media use, creative strategy and other factors that contributed to each campaign.

'Live Test Series', a campaign for Volvo Trucks from creative agency Forsman & Bodenfors, won the Creative Effectiveness Grand Prix.

In the report, Tobias Nordstrom, head of planning at Forsman & Bodenfors, discussed the innovative, digital-first strategy behind the campaign, which used stunt product demonstration videos, seeded on YouTube, to drive $170m in earned media value – and a big sales uplift.

"The scary part was that we didn't use a media agency," Nordstrom said. "We did it all by ourselves. We had an extremely collaborative way of working. I turned the whole team into planners. Everyone needs to think of the strategy. You can't have creatives that don't think planning and planners that don't think creative."

Weaver commented: "There's a challenge both to creatives and to media people in those remarks. But in the end [agencies] should work out what the client wants and work from there."

Baskin added that planners should look to the example of the late Tim Broadbent, one of the world's leading authorities on advertising effectiveness, who died recently. "You should try to follow his legacy. Tim won two IPA Grands Prix - and nobody else has done that.

"You should enter these awards. Getting awards under your belt makes you more commercially responsible," she said.

Data sourced from Warc


Data distrust may harm UK economy

31 July 2015
LONDON: Organisations have been urged once again to be open and transparent about their use of personal data as a new survey reveals the scale of distrust among consumers, which it is feared could hinder business growth in the UK.

A full 94% of UK consumers say they want more control over their personal data, 65% are unsure whether their data is being shared without their consent while 60% admit they are uncomfortable sharing data.

These are some of the key findings in the Trust in Personal Data: A UK Review, a survey of more than 4,000 UK consumers conducted by the Digital Catapult, a national centre reporting to Government to advance the UK's best digital ideas.

More than three-quarters (76%) of respondents are concerned that they have "no control over how data is shared or who it is shared with", causing 14% to refuse to share any personal data at all.

British consumers also appear to have a low opinion about the motivations of businesses and other organisations with nearly four-fifths (79%) believing the main use of their personal data is for economic gain.

Close to a third (30%) say the retail sector is most guilty of using personal data without being clear they are doing so while only 2% trust the telecoms sector.

Interestingly, 44% trust the public sector with their data and a similar proportion (43%) say they would share information only if it is clear it would be used to improve society.

Other people have different motivations and a fifth (21%) report that they would share data for monetary gain while 61% say their information should be worth at least £30 a month.

Taken together, the survey findings prompted the Digital Catapult to warn that the delivery of digital services and business growth in the UK could be hindered unless all parties work together to build trust.

Neil Crockett, CEO at the Digital Catapult, said: "The sharing of personal data is vital to the improvement of digital services and the development of new ones.

"To deliver the best digital services and drive economic growth, we must ensure [consumers] trust businesses to use their information in the right way.

"In doing this we not only create new and more productive citizen and consumer digital solutions, we give the UK a real chance in being a leader in a new wave of digital tools and approaches to solve a global problem."

Data sourced from the Digital Catapult,; additional content by Warc staff


Digital draws $1.5bn of TV adspend

31 July 2015
NEW YORK: That agency adspend is increasingly moving to digital has long been recognised, but new research pinpoints just how much revenue the channel is taking from TV.

According to Standard Media Index (SMI), the data firm that tracks 80% of national US agency spend, digital adspend grew by 16% to $3bn between October 2014 and June 2015.

While $1bn of the total represented digital's organic growth year-on-year, a full $1.5bn was siphoned away from TV budgets, including $1.1bn from national TV and $400m from local and syndicated TV.

In addition, SMI calculated that $350m of print ad dollars and $150m of radio adspend shifted to digital over the period.

"This analysis lifts the veil on the true impact that digital media is having on the wider advertising market," said Scott Grunther, exec vp of media at SMI, in comments reported by Advertising Age. "It's not only a story of shifting share, but of organic growth as well."

Looking further at the state of national TV, SMI said that the scatter market – or air time that is sold closer to the actual programming air date – has clawed back about 35% of the ad revenue lost during the 2014-15 upfront. However, the remainder of the adspend has flowed into digital.

Meanwhile, a separate report covering the digital advertising industry in the US has revealed that 83% of senior client marketers believe agencies have not got sufficient expertise to handle data, digital migration and other multi-channel issues.

After polling 276 marketers in the first half of the year, the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council found only 5% of respondents are more confident in their media partners than they were before.

Consequently, these marketers are looking to apply far more stringent ROI thresholds on their media and agency partners in order to maximise return.

Data sourced from Standard Media Index, Advertising Age, CMO Council; additional content by Warc staff


AT&T seeks better metrics

31 July 2015
NEW YORK: Measurement remains a "lagging competency" for brands compared with the increasingly sophisticated slate of tools available for creating content, a leading executive from AT&T has argued.

David Christopher, AT&T Mobility's chief marketing officer, discussed this subject at Advertising Age's Digital Conference 2015 in New York.

"Measurement is a challenge," he asserted. "I think measurement is a lagging competency in the industry." (For more, including some recommendations for tackling this problem, read Warc's exclusive report: AT&T dials up the measurement debate.)

More specifically, he suggested that the processes and systems used for making content have developed very rapidly. "There's great targeting; there's a lot of sophistication in a lot of these partners," he said.

But the equivalent offerings employed to prove out the results of such efforts have not progressed at a similar pace, meaning marketers frequently struggle to justify their expenditure to senior management.

AT&T - which is one of the biggest advertisers in America, spending $1.6bn in 2014 according to Kantar Media - is determined to resolve this issue.

"We're relentless about trying to understand the efficacy of each dollar we spend," Christopher said.

"We've got to push our partners - the media agencies and our other partners, whether it's Facebook, or Twitter, or Google, or whoever - to really help us understand the return on investment of these dollars.

"A common currency is really critical, or a more common currency … We're sitting here, asking questions, pushing our partners to deliver that for us, because it is so important."

Rigorous and reliable measurement currencies, he further ventured, will benefit the entire industry by encouraging brands to boost their expenditure.

"There's so much opportunity there to get to work on the currencies where marketers like me are much more willing to invest than we are today," he said.

"Even though we are investing heavily, we know that we are still at a relatively nascent stage."

Data sourced from Warc


Asian luxury consumers are diverse

31 July 2015
GLASGOW: However convenient it may be for luxury brand marketers to treat the world as one market, they would achieve more success if they recognise consumers in Asia buy for different reasons than in the West, according to a new study.

Paurav Shukla, professor of luxury brand marketing at Glasgow Caledonian University, led field research that explored the views of 900 luxury consumers in China, India, Indonesia and the UK.

Writing in The Conversation, an independent online academic portal, Prof Shukla emphasised that luxury brands must consider the diversity of individual markets when drawing up their marketing strategies.

Indian luxury consumers, for example, are particularly influenced by what others think of them and consume to achieve societal acceptance, he said.

They use luxury brands to indicate social status, symbolising achievement, wealth and prestige while much of their purchase decisions are rooted in group decisions.

By contrast, Prof Shukla said, Indonesian culture revolves around how you judge yourself, not how others see you. He said consumers will not follow the recommendations of others if their choice is unappealing.

Meanwhile, in China, the research indicated that consumers there place a very high value on the quality that luxury brands represent.

Despite the well-publicised government crackdown on luxury gift-giving, Chinese consumers are willing to pay a premium in order to obtain that quality.

Partly because of the approach being taken by the Chinese authorities over luxury goods, Shukla recommended that brands adopt a subtle approach in their bid to appeal to consumers there.

"Connecting the idea of buying luxury brands with personal identity and pleasure may be the best strategy," he advised.

However, in Indonesia, he said it would be better "to customise the sales pitch to include some emphasis on how a brand could enhance a consumer's sense of self and make them feel good about themselves". A focus on the experiential aspects of buying and using a luxury brand would also help.

Finally, consumers in India – rather like their counterparts in the UK – care more about what others think of their purchases, so effective communications there should highlight a luxury brand's social acceptability as well as its connection to achievement, prestige and wealth.

Data sourced from The Conversation; additional content by Warc staff


Blog: Measuring social media value

31 July 2015
Value creation through social media can be understood with the help of a simple five-step framework, explains Chris Pinner, an analyst at Synergy Sponsorship.

Data sourced from Warc


Convenience drives m-commerce

31 July 2015
SINGAPORE: Nearly half (49.5%) of mobile consumers across Asia Pacific cite convenience as the most compelling reason for shopping on their smartphones, a new survey has revealed.

On-the-move mobility (43.9%) and the growing availability of apps that make it easy to shop online (39.5%) are also important motivators, according to a regional survey of 7,000 consumers by MasterCard, the financial payments group.

The results are based on interviews that took place between October and December 2014, with a minimum of 500 adults in each of the 14 markets surveyed.

Overall, consumers from China (70.1%), India (62.9%) and Taiwan (62.6%) are the most likely to shop using their smartphones.

Perhaps surprisingly, mobile consumers in some of the most advanced economies in the region are less inclined to shop this way.

Only 36.7% of respondents in Singapore made a purchase using a smartphone last year and the proportion drops further in New Zealand (20.7%) and Australia (19.6%).

For Asia Pacific mobile shoppers, the most popular categories are clothing and fashion accessories (27.9%), mobile apps (21.2%) and coupons from deal sites (19.2%).

Approaching half (44.5%) of the respondents say they have conducted price comparisons between online and physical store retailers while a similar proportion (44.2%) have carried out research online prior to making a purchase in-store.

Elsewhere, the survey found that India and Taiwan are leading the region in terms of the biggest growth in mobile shopping.

The proportion of Indians reporting that they have made a purchase using a smartphone grew to 62.9% last year from 30.3% in 2012 while in Taiwan the proportion has grown from 28.2% just three years ago to 62.6% in 2014.

Malaysia also recorded significant growth, up from 25.4% in 2012 to 45.6% in 2014.

"What consumers value the most are convenience, on-the-go mobility and ease of use," said Deborah Heng, group head and general manager at MasterCard Singapore.

"Traditional brick-and-mortar retailers seeking to expand online would be well-placed to capture the ecommerce pie if they develop an online interface optimised for both desktop and mobile.

"This ensures a seamless online shopping experience from browsing to payments, so that shoppers do not abandon their shopping cart due to difficulties at checkout such as page loading errors and difficulties in making payment."

Data sourced from MasterCard; additional content by Warc staff


Sainsbury's, Co-op grow on convenience

30 July 2015
LONDON: Sainsbury's has edged ahead of Asda to become the UK's second-largest supermarket after profiting from its focus on convenience, non-food sales and its strong presence in fast-growing southern England, according to new data.

In a report covering the 12 weeks to 19 July, research firm Kantar Worldpanel said Sainsbury's took 16.5% share of the fiercely competitive UK groceries market despite a fall in sales of -0.3% compared with the same period in 2014.

Sales at Walmart-owned Asda, which has a relatively shallow footprint in the south of the country, declined -2.7% to 16.4%, making it the worst performer among the "Big Four" UK grocery retailers.

The other two, Tesco and Morrisons, saw their sales contract by -0.6% and -0.1% respectfully. With 28.5% market share, Tesco remains by far the largest supermarket chain but the report credited Morrisons (10.9% share) with being the best performer among the Big Four.

Turning to their smaller rivals, the report confirmed that the challenge from German discounters Aldi and Lidl shows little sign of slackening.

Aldi grew by 16.6% to take 5.6% market share while Lidl saw growth of 11.3%, giving it 4.0% share of the market.

Elsewhere, The Co-operative returned to growth for the first time since July 2014 after increasing its sales 1.0% and its market share now stands at 6.3%.

Fraser McKevitt, head of consumer and retail insight at Kantar Worldpanel, attributed the Manchester-based retailer's success to its focus on convenience.

Growth accelerated at Waitrose, where sales increased 3.0% since last year to take its market share to 5.0% and the report said this was due to its "Pick Your Own Offers" initiative.

Finally, sales at Iceland rose 3.0% over the period, which the report said had coincided with its recent "Power of Frozen" advertising campaign.

Overall grocery sales increased by 0.8% compared with a year ago, but the stronger growth rates were recorded by the UK's smaller retailers.

"The continued slow growth of the overall market can be explained by minimal volume growth and lower like-for-like prices, both as a result of cheaper commodity prices and the fierce competition between supermarkets," said McKevitt.

"Comparable groceries are now 1.6% cheaper than a year ago, meaning prices have been falling since September 2014, although they are projected to start rising again by early 2016," he added.

Data sourced from Kantar Worldpanel; additional content by Warc staff


News and info apps inspire loyalty

30 July 2015
SAN FRANCISCO: Although US mobile users habitually access social network apps when they wake up, and entertainment apps before they go to bed, news and information apps secure the most loyalty, a new study has found.

Based on analysis of its audience in the US over a month, mobile ad platform Opera Mediaworks found most users have a variety of "first" and "last" apps each day.

The news and information app category was moderately behind entertainment, games and social media in terms of frequency of use in both the morning and evening, but it had the most consistent first and last app usage.

Despite coming fourth in the morning and evening, that suggests news and information apps secure the most loyalty among users. The category also had the smallest relative change in its audience size over the course of the day.

Sports apps, which were not used enough to be assigned a loyalty score in the report, nonetheless stood out as the only apps where the morning audience was larger than the one in the evening.

In addition to its examination of app usage and loyalty, Opera Mediaworks tracked traffic and advertising across its platform during the second quarter of 2015.

It found that entertainment apps have the largest audience and they display mostly premium banner ads from top brand advertisers and rich-media campaigns.

Even though social networking apps mostly display simple banner ads, the report found they have a slightly higher eCPM [effective cost per thousand impressions].

Gaming apps have the highest rate of eCPM of all the categories, largely because of its large volume of video ads, but gaming app users generate lower impression volumes.

Looking at traffic and revenue share by device, the report said Android maintained its lead over iOS, taking 47.6% of revenue and 63.7% of traffic.

However, although iOS secured just 21.7% of traffic, the platform still generated 47.2% of revenue. This was driven to a large extent by the iPad, which generated revenue of more than 4.4x its share of impressions.

Data sourced from Opera Mediaworks; additional content by Warc staff


Rugby holds the key for ITV

30 July 2015
LONDON: The forthcoming Rugby World Cup is expected to boost advertising revenue at UK broadcaster ITV, its chief executive has said while unveiling better than expected half-year results.

Adam Crozier told analysts that net advertising revenue would be up 6% for the nine months to September and forecast that ad sales would increase by 8% over the third quarter.

ITV's pre-tax profit rose 25% year-on-year to £391m in the first half of 2015, although its audience share fell 4%, prompting Crozier to state that improving viewing figures would be a key focus for the year.

He added that the Rugby World Cup – the world's third-largest sporting event which kicks off in England on September 18 – as well as the Six Nations rugby tournament would help ITV to outperform the market in the second half of the year, Marketing Week reported.

"We're confident that through our acquisitions of the Rugby World Cup and the Six Nations we are providing advertisers with a very attractive platform to a vast ABC1 audience of men," he said.

"The key to the rugby is we know the quality of the games we are getting and they are scheduled at good times," he added, in reference to poor viewing figures for the UEFA Champions League football tournament.

Ian Griffiths, ITV's group finance director, reinforced the message about how important rugby events will be for the broadcaster of Coronation Street and Downton Abbey in the months ahead.

"We feel we were slightly behind in the first half of the year on adspend but we are confident we will be ahead of the market for the full year and that will be driven by the rugby," he said.

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff


Meaningful brands win in Asia

30 July 2015
HONG KONG: Consumers in the Asia-Pacific region are twice as likely (60%) as their global counterparts (28%) to think brands can improve their quality of life while a full 82% say they can trust brands, according to new research.

However, such positivity does not mean APAC consumers are willing to spend more on their favourite brands, according to the Asia-Pacific segment of Havas Media's Meaningful Brands report that has been seen by Campaign Asia.

Globally, "meaningful" brands achieve a 46% lift in consumers' share of wallet compared with lower-performing brands, but the proportion drops to 37% in Asia-Pacific.

Havas polled 36,000 consumers about 304 brands across seven countries in the region – China, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore and Australia.

Among its key findings, the report revealed that many of the top performers in the markets surveyed are brands in the FMCG, pharmaceutical and retail sectors.

Heritage or local bands appear to be favoured over global brands when it comes to "meaningfulness", the report also uncovered.

These include Woolworths in Australia, NTUC Fairprice in Singapore, Aqua in Indonesia, Amul in India, Biogesic in the Philippines, Haier in China and Panasonic in Japan.

Furthermore, there is a clear difference in the attitudes consumers adopt regarding brands in the region's developing markets compared with consumers in Australia, Japan and Singapore.

Havas said that meaningful brands are seen as providers of personal and collective wellbeing in developing Asian markets and this presents opportunities for brands to grow and engage.

Vishnu Mohan, CEO of Havas Media Group, Asia-Pacific, explained that 83% of people in "emerging Asia" trust brands compared to a global average of about 50%.

"What this essentially means is that there is an opportunity for brands to build on the optimistic sentiment of consumers and further cement their relationship," he said.

Indeed, engagement levels in developing Asia are already high, the report found. Whereas people in developed Asia report that they wouldn't care if 89% of brands disappeared, that number falls to 40% in emerging Asian economies.

Data sourced from Campaign Asia; additional content by Warc staff


BBC upbeat over Asia prospects

30 July 2015
SINGAPORE/NEW DELHI: The outlook for BBC Worldwide in Asia is good because it has a secure pipeline of new content as well as format licensing and digital opportunities, according to a senior executive at the UK broadcaster.

David Weiland, EVP for Asia at BBC Worldwide, told Campaign India that the BBC's annual output of new content puts it in a "fairly unique" situation that positions it well to deal with the challenges facing the industry.

Not least, this includes the huge growth of digital channels in the region with many new entrants on the over-the-top (OTT) platform seeking out content that can differentiate them from their competitors.

He said BBC Worldwide, the main commercial arm of the public service broadcaster, has also had a lot of success with production in India where the BBC is "now regarded as one of the go-to production houses for quality entertainment and fiction".

"That taps into our strategy of trying to adapt our content for the local market," he explained. "In the rest of Asia on production, we are more in the format licensing business."

He made clear that linear TV is "nowhere near dead", but noted that OTT is growing massively in Asia and this provides a great opportunity for the BBC to provide content.

"We can supply a wide range of content and OTT being a different channel has an insatiable appetite for volume," he said.

"The volume for OTT services are much greater than a linear channel could ever have. That provides great opportunities and we're talking about having arrangements with different players."

What's more, he continued, even though news is the BBC's best known brand, the corporation makes content across every genre and "that is certainly something that OTT opens up more for us".

Data sourced from Campaign India; additional content by Warc staff


Social listening guides Taco Bell

30 July 2015
NEW YORK: Taco Bell, the quick-service restaurant chain, is drawing on the more than 20 million digital conversations relevant to its brand each year to deepen its consumer understanding.

Tressie Lieberman, the company's vp/innovation and on-demand - and previously its senior director/digital marketing platforms and social engagement - discussed this topic at Advertising Age's Digital Conference 2015.

"At Taco Bell, we have access to 20 million conversations a year," she reported. (For more, read Warc's exclusive report: Taco Bell serves up a new social strategy.)

"So we can really listen to our customers through social media, be inspired by them and connect with them to create real relationships."

This "social journey to really understand where our customers are", Lieberman states, commenced approximately three years ago.

And it has influenced various aspects of the brand's strategy, both big and small. As an example, when Taco Bell noticed many customers uploading pictures of their food before dining, it began reflecting this habit in its own marketing images.

"We wanted it to look as if they were taking that picture themselves," said Lieberman.

Another "golden rule", she noted, has involved varying the content it produces on social, helping keep conversations fresh and engaging - just as friends would.

"People don't want to hear about the same things over and over and over again," Lieberman said.

Perhaps the most important consideration underpinning this process, she reported, is one of the hardest for brand custodians schooled in the traditional marketing fundamentals.

"And that is to stop thinking like a corporation. To stop being a marketer. We threw out the 4Ps" - namely, product, price, place and promotion - "and just started going back to basics," she added.

Rather than concocting a "social persona", the Mexican-inspired chain tries to represent its core values - which include principles such as "shake up the ordinary", as well as being a "rebel" and an "explorer".

"I think the first thing was: just be yourself," Lieberman said. "And I think that works. Be yourself."

Data sourced from Warc


Millennials 'make do' with Walmart

30 July 2015
NEW YORK: While Walmart is the top retail destination for millennials, they tend to shop there for groceries and prefer Target in many key categories, new comparative analysis suggests.

According to Ohio-based Prosper Insights, Walmart has two-and-a-half times as many stores as Target, but it lags behind its rival in millennial customer share relative to its store count.

Writing for Forbes Insights, Pam Goodfellow, the principal analyst at Prosper Insights, revealed that the propensity of millennials to shop at Target, compared to the overall average, outpaces their average tendency to shop at Walmart in 24 out of 25 categories.

This is based on the Net Promoter Score [NPS] metric of customer loyalty and satisfaction developed by Satmetrix Systems, Bain & Company and Fred Reichheld, the brand loyalty specialist.

According to this measurement, millennials – defined in the study as young Americans aged 17 to 33 – scored Walmart below the benchmark in 80% of merchandise groupings.

Overall, millennials rated Walmart with a general NPS of 10% while Target received a score three times higher at 36.3%.

"While Walmart is a top shopping destination for the youngest generation, their affinity for the big discounter is lacking," Goodfellow said.

"In other words, they don't necessarily shop [at] Walmart because they want to; this cash-strapped, financially conservative group does so because they have to," she added.

However, in a move aimed directly at millennials before this research was published, Walmart announced last week that it is greatly expanding its range of baby products for young mothers.

Target is currently winning in this category, so Walmart is fighting back by rolling out special sections at 1,000 stores with products aimed specifically at mothers and expectant mothers.

Data sourced from Forbes Insights, Fortune; additional content by Warc staff


Global music fans welcome brands

29 July 2015
PARIS: Brands can benefit from associating themselves with music because active fans are more likely to buy their products and to recommend brands involved in their passion, according to a new global survey.

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of music fans around the world believe a brand improves its image by associating itself with music while almost two-thirds (62%) say it encourages them to test a brand's products and services.

However, reaching these consumers is not straightforward because there are wide differences across nations and generations about how they engage with music, and brands need to recognise there are eight "logics" underpinning fans' behaviour.

These are some of the key findings from the "Fans.Passions.Brands" study, conducted by Havas Sports & Entertainment, the global brand engagement network.

Written in partnership with the University of Southern California's Annenberg Innovation Lab, the survey covered 18,000 people across 17 countries.

The study applied eight "logics of engagement" to music fans and said the most engaged fans live out their passion mainly through five of them – what it identified as immersion, mastery, advocacy, play and exploration – and, in order to reach them, brands need to recognise national and age differences.

For example, Brazilians are the fans who most strongly engage through the "logic of social connection" (62%), or a feeling of being connected to a community, whereas 89% of Chinese fans engage through the "logic of play", the virtual or real life participation in activities related to music.

Young fans aged 13-17 engage most strongly through the "logic of immersion" (64%), or losing oneself in the emotion of music, while fans aged 35+ engage most through the "logic of exploration" (59%), the discovery of new artists, songs and genres.

"Music is an extremely effective marketing tool for brands looking to connect with people, as long as you can understand this passion and what drives it," said Lucien Boyer, president and global CEO of Havas Sport & Entertainment.

Separately, with so many new formats now available, the study found that 56% of global consumers listen to at least 10 music genres while 36% use at least three different social media networks a day.

It also broke down patterns of behaviour among 1,000 respondents from the UK, Music Week reported.

Generally, British music fans appear to have quite a traditional approach with 73% of them continuing to buy CDs compared to the global average of 67%.

Only 43% of UK fans buy from iTunes, Google Play or other digital services, and just 30% use free streaming sites, like Spotify, compared to the global average of 49%.

Data sourced from Havas, Music Week; additional content by Warc staff


Metrics and privacy hinder mobile ads

29 July 2015
NEW YORK: A fifth (19%) of consumer-facing brands and a quarter (27%) of ad agencies worldwide say mobile advertising is a top priority for their business, yet concerns linger over measurement and privacy, a new survey has revealed.

For its 2015 Global Location Snapshot report, mobile ad platform xAd polled 574 ad agency representatives and brand-side marketers across 11 countries in four key regions – North America, Western Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

It found more than half of both brand marketers and ad agency leaders view mobile marketing as a significant priority, including those who think it is a top priority, but 3-in-10 say trouble over measuring campaign success is their top concern.

Privacy is also a concern for marketers and agencies across the four regions, although it is bigger issue in North America (24%) and Western Europe (22%) than in Latin America (17%), where consumers ignoring ads (21%) is seen as the top challenge.

Another key finding in the report is that nearly 80% of marketers are using location-based targeting, with audience targeting regarded as their main focus in these campaigns.

50% of agencies and 46% brand marketers use audience targeting in location advertising, although proximity targeting is used by 43% of agencies and 37% of brand marketers. Sending location-relevant messages is used by about a third of each.

Globally, two-thirds of marketers believe consumers are either currently engaged with mobile advertising, or will be in the future, and all regions expect mobile adspend to increase over the next year. Most growth is expected to occur in Latin America and Asia Pacific.

With global mobile adspend expected to top $67bn in 2015, according to eMarketer estimates, and location-based marketing on track to grow very quickly, the report said the issues identified as potential obstacles need to be addressed.

"The results of xAd's Global Location Snapshot prove that mobile and location are top of mind for marketers worldwide," the report said.

"They believe consumers are receptive to mobile advertising and plan to grow budgets accordingly. […] The biggest issue impacting location-based mobile advertising growth is the lack of a mobile-first attribution model. Privacy concerns are also prevalent across all regions."

Data sourced from xAd; additional content by Warc staff


HBO reconsiders second screening

29 July 2015
NEW YORK: HBO, the cable network, has enjoyed greater digital success having moved away from "second screening" and focused more on reaching consumers before, between and after their favourite shows.

Sabrina Caluori, the organisation's svp/digital media and marketing, discussed this subject at Advertising Age's Digital Conference 2015.

And she cited efforts including HBO Connect - initially an online platform based around real-time social TV but now shifting towards providing exclusive experiences - as well as a Viewer's Guide for Game of Thrones.

Drawing on its various experiments to date, Caluori reported that "asynchronous" extra content had proved more popular than material to be viewed while shows are on air.

It also tapped research findings which pointed to a fundamental truth about HBO. "We are called 'Home Box Office' for a reason: we deliver cinematic-like experiences," Caluori said. (For more, including detailed examples, read Warc's exclusive report: HBO learns from failure.)

"When you are in the movie theatre, you don't use your phone. You are actually paying attention to the first screen. So why are we trying to distract you on the second screen?"

Just as when watching an engrossing film, fans of HBO's shows - the network learned - were loathed to take their eyes off the primary screen, meaning they generally did not engage with its second-screen content.

"That was a key moment for us where we realised: 'It's not that people didn't like what we were putting out. It's that they don't want to be distracted from the show'," said Caluori.

"If you're watching Game of Thrones and you look down, you might miss your favourite character from the show getting killed.

"This really made us rethink the way we were thinking about second screen and social TV. Really, for us, it was this moment where we felt, 'We lost sight of our true north, of what it means for us as a brand'."

Data sourced from Warc


Personalised goods grow in appeal

29 July 2015
LONDON: As flexible manufacturing and 3D printing offer more opportunities for the personalisation of goods and services, new research has shown that at least a third of consumers welcome the development.

According to a survey of UK consumers conducted by professional services firm Deloitte, 36% are already interested in personalised products or services, but this rises significantly among younger generations.

Close to half (46%) of those aged 25 to 30 would welcome more bespoke offerings from brands, which is a view shared by 40% of 16-24 year-olds.

Of particular note for brands thinking of moving into this area, a full 71% of those who express an interest in personalised products say they would be prepared to pay a premium for them.

Holidays (25%) is the most popular category among consumers who have already made a personalised purchase, followed by clothing (19%) and furniture (18%).

"Businesses have not only developed the capabilities to measure specifically what each individual consumer wants, they are now in a position to link their processes and resources to provide it," said Ben Perkins, Deloitte's head of consumer business research.

"Flexible manufacturing and 3D printing enable mass personalisation at lower costs, allowing manufacturers to rethink their supply chains radically."

He continued: "We believe the low take up so far is down to availability and suggests an advantage for the first mover. Beyond the mass customisation of products, personalisation is already playing an important role across the market from online recommendations to bespoke suite and custom-built bicycles."

Research last year from McKinsey suggested that new technologies, from 3D printing to advanced robotics, could unlock more than $30 trillion in annual value for major brands to exploit, but only if they adopt appropriate innovation models.

The report went on to warn that a very large proportion of brands currently listed on the S&P500 index could find themselves out of business over the next decade unless they adapt and innovate.

Data sourced from Deloitte; additional content by Warc staff


Indians prefer domestic brands

29 July 2015
MUMBAI: In further evidence of the challenge that Indian FMCG brands are mounting against their global counterparts, new rankings show these domestic brands are leading in terms of consumer reach.

According to research firm IMRB Kantar Worldpanel, Indian brands dominate the top 20 of the Indian segment of its Brand Footprint study with four of them taking the top five places, Livemint reported.

Based on their Consumer Reach Point score, a measurement of brand penetration and purchase frequency, several Indian brands improved their rankings this year compared to global FMCG brands.

Parle, the popular biscuit brand, is named as the top FMCG brand in India, although its Consumer Reach Point score fell 16% to 4,219 points.

Clinic Plus, the hair care brand owned by Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) comes in second with 3,350 points, followed by Amul, the milk and dairy products brand from Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd.

Ghari, RSPL Group's detergent brand, comes in fourth while Britannia, the Indian food and biscuit manufacturer, takes fifth place after increasing its Consumer Reach Point score by 12%.

Rounding out the top 10 are Tata (#6), global toothpaste brand Colgate (#7), milk brands Aavin and Nandini (#8 and #9 respectively), followed by Wheel (#10), the detergent brand owned by HUL.

Almost 60% of the top 20 are food brands, with dairy and biscuit brands dominating that segment, while personal care accounts for 25% and 15% are household care brands.

Varun Sinha, group business director at IMRB Kantar Worldpanel, noted that most of the brands in the top 20 are mass-market or mid-market brands and that very few premium brands managed to get into the top 50 because they are "low on penetration".

Commenting on the report, a number of Indian FMCG brand executives attributed their success to the effective use of consumer insights.

Mayank Shah, deputy marketing manager at Parle Products, said: "It is not so much about advertising, marketing or price points. It is our understanding of the Indian consumer—how, when and where he consumes—that helps us do better."

Kannan Sitaram, chief executive of Innovative Foods, agreed: "Local Indian brands in some categories are doing well for the sheer local insights that they have."

Data sourced from Livemint; additional content by Warc staff


Blog: China's new strict ad laws

29 July 2015
The Chinese authorities are clamping down on what they will permit to be advertised, observes Edward Bell, CEO of Shanghai-based agency FCB, and a whole raft of unchecked advertising practises will be outlawed by early September.

Data sourced from Warc


Confidence dips in Southeast Asia

29 July 2015
MANILA/SYDNEY: The Philippines is the only market in Southeast Asia where consumer confidence increased in the second quarter of this year, but overall sentiment in the region remains high, a new survey has confirmed.

The Q2 2015 Consumer Confidence Report from research firm Nielsen measured sentiment among 30,000 internet users in 60 countries and recorded a global score of 96 where 100 is the threshold between positivity and negativity.

Looking at the data for Southeast Asia, Nielsen recorded quarterly declines in Vietnam (104, - 8 points), Indonesia (120, -5), Malaysia (89, -5), Thailand (111, -3) and Singapore (99, -1).

However, consumer confidence in The Philippines jumped seven points to 122, the country's highest level on record, which helped confidence in Asia Pacific to hold steady at 107.

Regan Leggett, Nielsen's client service director for Southeast Asia, North Asia and Pacific, told Mumbrella that optimism remains high across the region, but there have been some signs of vulnerability in certain markets over the last quarter.

"On the one hand we have markets like The Philippines where we're seeing a continued influx of foreign investments and a robust domestic base," he said.

"In comparison, markets such as Vietnam are starting to face headwinds such as declining foreign direct investment and a struggling retail environment."

His colleague, Stuart Jamieson, managing director of Nielsen Philippines, explained that growth in the country is being fuelled by strong consumer spending levels, an upswing in the construction sector and increased revenues from the business outsourcing industry.

"Fast-moving consumer goods sales are up 9.8% January-May 2015 from last year, with growth across all retail channels," he said.

"With an increasingly buoyant consumer confidence, consumer spending continues to get momentum, including discretionary spending particularly on vacations and out-of-home entertainment," Jamieson added.

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


UK adspend posts 8.2% growth

28 July 2015
LONDON: Advertising expenditure in the UK rose an impressive 8.2% in Q1 2015, taking overall adspend during the quarter to a record high of £4.71bn, according to the latest Advertising Association/Warc Expenditure Report.

This was well ahead of 6.2% that was forecast in their previous report in April and reflected strong growth in display advertising as well as a general uplift in confidence about the UK economy.

Regarded as the definitive measure of advertising activity in the UK because it is the only source that uses advertising expenditure gathered from across the entire media landscape, the report also forecast 6.2% growth for the entire year, a positive revision of 0.6pp.

Internet advertising, including mobile, recorded its highest quarterly total on record, rising 12.8% in Q1 to £1.9bn. Mobile spend also grew 50.9% from a year earlier to reach £502m, according to the estimates.

TV spot advertising (+11.5% to £1.2bn), out of home (+9.7% to £229m), radio (+8.2% to £122m) and cinema (+19.6% to £43.6m) saw particularly strong performances over the quarter, but print media continued to decline.

Magazine brands saw adspend dip 3.9% in Q1, including an 8.6% decline for print, although magazine digital spend increased 11.5%.

Regional newsbrands declined 2.3%, driven by a 5.2% fall in print revenues, although their digital revenues increased by 17.6%.

Furthermore, these spending trends are expected to continue throughout the year with internet advertising forecast to deliver 12.6% growth in 2015, including a 43.4% rise in mobile advertising.

TV advertising is forecast to grow 6.9% this year, followed in terms of growth rates by cinema (6.4%), out of home (+6.3%), radio (+4.3%) and direct mail (+1.9%).

Meanwhile, national newsbrand adspend is expected to decline 4.3% in 2015, magazines by 3.3% and regional newsbrands by 3.0%.

Commenting on the report, Advertising Association chief executive Tim Lefroy, said: "Despite uncertainty in Europe and at home prior to the election, these figures come as a welcome boost. Adspend is growing faster here than anywhere in Europe, to the benefit of our digital economy, creative industries and UK plc."

Data sourced from the Advertising Association, Warc


Consumer confidence surges in UK

28 July 2015
LONDON: Consumer confidence in the UK is at a nine-year high, having risen for the sixth consecutive quarter to take the country above the global average for the first time since 2006.

Nielsen's UK Consumer Confidence Index rose from 97 in the first quarter of 2015 to 99 in the second while the global average dropped from 97 to 96.

The research firm, which measures attitudes among 30,000 internet users in 60 countries, also said the UK overtook Germany (97) in Q2 2015 to make it the second most confident nation in Europe behind Denmark (112).

It means that UK consumers are now at their most positive since 2006, when Tony Blair was in his third term as Prime Minister and the UK was enjoying a consumer boom before the global economic crisis struck.

Confidence across Europe remains subdued at just 79 as the region struggles with high unemployment, weak growth and fallout from the Greek economic crisis.

Greece had the largest quarterly decrease in confidence, falling 12 points to 53, while Ukraine (48), which is embroiled in conflict with Russia, recorded the lowest level on the continent.

Steve Smith, managing director of Nielsen UK & Ireland, outlined the underlying factors that helped to make the UK the most confident major economy in Europe.

"Consumers in the UK are feeling ever more confident. Wage inflation is starting to outstrip price inflation for the first time in years, while mortgage rates are at historically low levels and unemployment has generally been falling," he said.

"This positivity is reflected in the cornerstone of household budgets: grocery spending," Smith continued.

"The number of UK consumers switching to cheaper grocery brands in order to save money is at its lowest level (30%) since late 2009. This is an encouraging sign for retailers that consumer purse-strings may be starting to loosen."

Further encouragement comes with the finding that the number of Britons feeling positive about their personal finances increased for the second consecutive quarter to 53%, its highest level for nearly eight years.

Meanwhile, in another lift to the UK's economic prospects, the latest Lloyds Bank Spending Power Report revealed another month-on-month increase in consumer confidence.

Its overall index climbed to a record high of 164 points in June as spending on essential bills fell and discretionary income increased.

Data sourced from Retail Times, Nielsen, Lloyds Bank; additional content by Warc staff


Huge ad revenue growth for Instagram

28 July 2015
NEW YORK: Instagram, the photo- and video-sharing social network owned by Facebook, is forecast to overtake Google and Twitter in terms of US mobile ad revenues by 2017, according to new analysis from eMarketer.

The market research firm calculates that Instagram will generate $595m from global mobile ad revenues this year, but this will rise to $2.81bn by 2017.

That would make Instagram account for more than 10% of Facebook's total global ad revenues – up from 3.7% this year and 7.1% in 2016 – and, with the vast majority of its ad revenue made in the US, that presents a challenge to Google and Twitter.

Instagram is already the second-largest social network in the US after increasing its user base by nearly 60% in 2014 to 64.2m. That took it past Twitter, whose user base in the US grew 12.1% to 48.4m, and Instagram is expected to continue growing to 111.6m users by 2019.

In a sign of how quickly Instagram is expected to grow in the US, eMarketer forecasts that it will have higher net mobile display ad revenues than both its rivals in 2017.

While both Google and Twitter are also expected to increase their US mobile display ad revenues significantly over the next two years, Instagram will grow faster.

Instagram is forecast to earn $570m in net US mobile display ad revenue in 2015, compared with $1.47bn for Google and $1.19bn for Twitter.

But next year Instagram's US mobile revenue is expected to rise to $1.37bn, still behind Google ($1.89bn) and Twitter ($1.72bn), before surpassing them in 2017.

By then, Instagram is projected to make $2.39bn from US mobile ads, edging the social network ahead of Google ($2.38bn) and Twitter ($2.29bn).

"Now that Instagram is opening up, there is a lot of pent-up demand. The rollout of new features over the next several months means that by the end of 2015, Instagram will have a host of new ad products for advertisers large and small," said Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer.

"In particular, Instagram advertisers will be able to use a full slate of Facebook targeting tools, including the popular Custom Audiences feature. That will be a key drawing card."

Data sourced from eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff


Nestlé India rebuilds battered image

28 July 2015
NEW DELHI: Following a food scare centred on its Maggi noodles brand, Nestlé India is taking steps to shore up its reputation with a new advertising and social media campaign.

The FMCG giant also announced that Suresh Narayanan, former head of Nestlé's operations in The Philippines, will replace Etienne Benet following reports that food safety inspectors had found excess traces of lead in the popular Maggi brand.

Since being engulfed in the ensuing scandal for more than a month, Nestlé India is determined to improve its image with consumers and all its stakeholders.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Narayanan said his immediate goal is to rebuild the company's brand "brick-by-brick, consumer-by-consumer and employee-by-employee".

Although Nestlé is challenging a court order to remove Maggi noodles from sale, insisting they are safe to eat, consumer reaction has been strongly negative.

In a bid to win shoppers over, Narayanan confirmed that the company is planning an advertising and social media campaign with the central message that its products are safe.

Nestlé also will engage with all the suppliers, distributors and noodle factory workers who have been left out of work since the scandal erupted.

"Nestlé India is not 'on the brink' and I want to say this with all the emphasis I can muster," he told the Economic Times as part of his media blitz.

"Yes, we face a challenging situation, but I am confident that we will resolve this issue through engagement with all stakeholders," Narayanan added.

Wan Ling Martello, executive vp at Nestlé who is overseeing the transition in India, went on to tell the Economic Times that she thought Narayanan would be "perfect" for the job because of his people skills.

"As the recall process comes to a close, we are looking at rebuilding," she said. "It is very much about how we can take Nestlé India to the next phase of our journey."

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


Loyalty apps work for Starbucks

28 July 2015
SEATTLE, WA: Mobile transactions at Starbucks now account for 20% of all its in-store sales and have boosted footfall by 4%, the global coffee brand's CEO has said.

Speaking as Starbucks revealed an 18% increase in third quarter revenue to $4.9bn, Howard Schultz attributed its success to the different approach he said the company has adopted in comparison with other bricks and mortar stores, reported.

He said there had been a seismic shift in consumer behaviour over recent years, yet many traditional retailers responded to the challenge by simply increasing their digital ad budgets without concentrating on the in-store experience.

"We, on the other hand, took a very different approach," he said. "By further enhancing our already world-class digital technologies through the introduction of capabilities like Mobile Order & Pay and soon to be delivery and expanding our loyalty program, we are driving traffic."

"Mobile Order & Pay" allows customers in the US to pay for their coffee via their devices and Starbucks is rolling out the service to 4,000 locations.

In addition, the "My Starbucks Rewards" loyalty program has grown to 10.4m active members, up 10% from the same quarter a year ago, with 6.2m of them choosing to take out "gold" membership.

"Bringing in new customers and deepening our connection to our existing customers, elevating the Starbucks brand and our customer experience and streamlining our in-store operations are key to our success," Schultz asserted.

And in another development, Starbucks announced that it is teaming up with ride-sharing company Lyft to allow all Lyft drivers to become gold members of the Starbucks loyalty program. It follows a similar offer made to users of the Spotify music service and readers of the New York Times.

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


Clorox engages new audiences

28 July 2015
NEW YORK: Clorox is aiming to reach a wider audience - including dads and "joyful guardians" - as it adapts to changing habits and preferences in the cleaning category.

Erika Lamoreaux, The Clorox Co.'s associate director/digital media, discussed this idea at the Advertising Research Foundation's (ARF) 2015 Audience Measurement conference.

"In history, CPG brands have really focused on a singular demographic," she said. (For more, including results from the firm's consumer analysis, read Warc's exclusive report: Clorox throws legacy sheets to the wind.)

More specifically, most of these brand owners traditionally based their marketing efforts around a certain type - and sometimes idealised - mother.

"She's a mom. She has lily-white sheets in the wind," said Lamoreaux.

Although these customers are still undoubtedly important for Clorox, the company knows it must match evolving attitudes and behaviours. "We've branched out," she continued.

Fathers and younger consumers are two cohorts that the enterprise is more actively attempting to engage.

"We started to talk to dads," Lamoreaux said, with a particular focus around coupons. "We've also focused a little bit on millennials."

In connecting with the latter group, the firm has run a tongue-in-cheek campaign starring TV icon David Hasselhoff, and created cleaning products that are simpler to use.

Another point of focus is "joyful guardians" - a segment comprising 25-54-year-old women who are "increasingly and aggressively reactive to" digital channels.

"Our global insights organisation spends a huge amount of time doing research and in-home visits to find out who this person is," said Lamoreaux.

Data sourced from Warc


Tmall launches $161m campaign

28 July 2015
BEIJING: As the Chinese ecommerce market becomes ever more competitive, Tmall is stepping up its challenge to rivals by launching an online grocery promotional campaign worth Rmb 1bn ($161m).

Aimed at persuading its users in Beijing to take advantage of same-day delivery services, Tmall's campaign follows its partnership with logistics firm Cainiao, a fellow subsidiary of Alibaba Group.

Describing online grocery shopping as "a strategic area of interest", Alibaba said in a statement that Tmall Supermarket will run promotions three times a day up until 31st July.

Beijing internet users are being offered the chance to win so-called "red packets" that they can use to get discounts on their grocery purchases. Also, same-day delivery is being offered to users who place orders before 11am.

"Tmall Supermarket will draw on Alibaba Group's complete ecommerce ecosystem," explained Jeff Zhang, president of Alibaba Group's China Retail Marketplaces.

He said Alibaba's advantages in logistics, strength in online payments, big data and cloud computing would bring consumers "the most convenient and secure online shopping experience for quality products".

Citing research from McKinsey, the management consultancy, Alibaba said 40% of Chinese consumers have used the internet to buy food.

The company also claimed that, in the past year alone, merchandise volumes for Tmall Supermarket in the Beijing area increased more than 700% as 90% of consumers shopped via their mobile phones.

The initiative comes just a few days after Alibaba announced that it is forming a strategic partnership with Unilever to promote the FMCG giant's brands to more Chinese consumers.

The offer to Beijing online shoppers also mirrors activity by rival Amazon, which has been rapidly expanding its same-day delivery service to selected US cities.

Data sourced from Alibaba, Business Wire, CNET; additional content by Warc staff


Google is the world's top brand

27 July 2015
LONDON/NEW YORK: Media giant Google has been named as the world's top brand for the second year running in a new index that is dominated by US brands.

No fewer than eight US brands feature in the top 10 rankings compiled by brand consultancy FutureBrand with the only exceptions being Samsung (#7), the South Korean electronics firm, and SAB Miller (#10), the London-listed global brewer.

Rounding out the top 10 are Apple (#2), Microsoft (#3), Walt Disney (#4), AbbVie, the Chicago-based pharmaceutical group (#5), Gilead Sciences, a biotechnology firm (#6), MasterCard (#8) and Celgane Corp, another biotechnology company (#9).

The FutureBrand 2015 Index is based on the PwC Global Top 100 Companies report, which ranks companies according to their value, and also involves a survey of 3,000 people across 17 markets about 18 attributes attributed to each company. These include authenticity, consistency, innovation, purpose and trust.

While US brands are rewarded at the top of the rankings, Marketing Magazine noted that seven of them feature among the bottom 10, including Union Pacific Corp (#93), JP Morgan Chase (#95), Philip Morris International (#96) and Bank of America (#97).

Only eight British brands feature in the entire rankings and the lowest ranked brand of them all is British American Tobacco (#100).

Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch FMCG giant (#25), fell 16 places since last year's index while pharmaceutical group GSK (#41) dropped 15 places.

Other major UK brands also slipped – telecoms giant Vodafone (#76) fell 28 places, banking group HSBC (#82) was down 14 places while energy company BP (#86) dropped 12.

However, it was better news for pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca (#66), which entered the list for the first time.

Data sourced from FutureBrand, Marketing Magazine; additional content by Warc staff


Ad fraud prompts app suspension

27 July 2015
NEW YORK: Google has suspended a number of apps from its Play store following concerns that they were secretly running ads that could not be seen by users and were defrauding advertisers out of an estimated $1bn a year.

The internet giant took action following a report by fraud detection company Forensiq, which warned that thousands of malicious apps were carrying out ad fraud while also severely using up the battery life of devices, Advertising Age reported.

Once installed, these seemingly harmless apps ran in the background, serving thousands of unseen ads and using up to two gigabytes of data.

After monitoring the mobile ad market for 10 days, Forensiq calculated that 1% of all devices in the US ran a suspect app, rising to up to 3% of devices in Europe and Asia.

More than 5,000 mobile apps on both Apple and Android devices were identified by Forensiq as being suspect and it warned they could be costing advertisers at least $857m a year.

It is difficult for advertisers to keep track of the problem because the malicious apps mimic user behaviour and send back seemingly legitimate data. Even if users reboot their phone, these apps can still load in the background.

According to the report, many of the apps were observed generating traffic through most major ad exchanges and networks, establishing 1,100 connections per minute and communicating with 320 ad networks per hour.

Mike Zaneis, executive vice-president and general counsel at the Interactive Advertising Bureau, described the Forensiq report as "groundbreaking".

"It explores the impact in the mobile space when before the focus was on display advertising," he said. "This is the next frontier for criminals. As the money and ad dollars flow toward the mobile space, criminals are going to go there. They are following the money."

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


Unilever undergoes transformation

27 July 2015
LONDON: Unilever, the FMCG giant known for its famous food brands like Marmite spread and Ben and Jerry's ice cream, is repositioning itself to concentrate more on faster-growing personal care products.

Speaking on a conference call following the announcement of its half-year results, CEO Paul Polman said the company saw great opportunities to increase its premium personal care business, Marketing Week reported.

After acquiring four prestige personal care brands earlier this year, Unilever plans to grow the division into a €1bn business and, while it hasn't ruled out further acquisitions, it plans to focus on R&D and consumer insights to achieve growth.

"We will be a major player in the [prestige] segment," Polman said. "Our personal care business is now the second biggest in the world after L'Oréal and we are on a continuous path to improvement."

Premium personal care is close to accounting for 50% of Unilever's business, he said as he emphasised the importance of innovation to maintain this growth.

Polman said Unilever has stepped up its innovation capabilities in a number of ways and that innovation had delivered 20% more to turnover than in 2013.

Meanwhile, the number of projects using new technologies has risen from 35% to 45% and the company aims to raise the proportion further to 75%.

Unilever's turnover in the first-half of the year was a better-than-expected €27bn, although the maker of Dove soap and Percil detergent reported a 14% drop in pre-tax profits to €3.6bn.

However, last year's profits had been boosted by €1.3bn from disposals of some of its food brands, the Financial Times reported. If that is taken out of the equation, then pre-tax profits rose 13%.

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


Twitter launches event targeting

27 July 2015
SAN FRANCISCO: Brands and advertisers will have a new tool at their disposal when planning their live campaigns, after Twitter announced the launch of a new event targeting feature.

The social network has long been a leading platform for real-time marketing, but now it claims its new three-stage tool will simplify matters for marketers.

Twitter's new feature includes a calendar for highlighting major global events as well as sporting fixtures, holidays, festivals and other significant events in the US, UK, France, Brazil and Japan.

Advertisers will be able to filter the calendar by location, date and type of event so they can align their campaigns to the most suitable events months in advance.

Secondly, an event insights tool will provide audience data from the previous year, helping advertisers to assess what were the most engaging tweets at an event as well giving them access to other metrics, such as audience reach.

The third stage of the process will be event activation, which will help advertisers to create campaigns targeted at chosen events with just one click. Event targeting can be combined with other Twitter targeting features, such as language and gender.

"With event targeting, you can activate around live moments, quickly and easily," said Dinkar Jain, senior product manager at Twitter.

"We'll help you discover and plan for these moments, learn more about the participating audiences through valuable insights, and with one click, create a campaign that delivers the right message to just the right users as the event unfolds."

Ameet Ranadive, Twitter's senior director of revenue products, went on to explain that promoted tweets will be sent only to people who are engaged with a current event.

He told Marketing Land that would enable marketers to reach people at events they possibly missed in previous campaigns.

Meanwhile, users will continue to be protected because the events feature will be subject to Twitter's standard ad targeting rules that limit the number of ads served to a user in a given time.

Data sourced from Twitter; additional content by Warc staff


ESPN backs cross-platform research

27 July 2015
NEW YORK: Brands should seek to balance cross-platform research with big data rather than simply shift their resources away from the former and towards the latter, according to a leading executive from ESPN.

Artie Bulgrin, ESPN's svp/global research and analytics, raised this idea at the Advertising Research Foundation's (ARF) Audience Measurement 2015 conference and explored a similar theme in a recent Warc webinar.

"The concern is that there's a bifurcation in the industry - a separation of interests: one path moving towards data and analytics, and one still focused on measurement," he said. (For more, including results from the organisation's own research, read Warc's exclusive report: ESPN spots disconnect between big data and market research.)

"Is that going to continue, or are we going to going to unify the two to accomplish what we need to do?"

Cross-platform measurement, he argued, had made significant progress in the last few years - not least thanks to offerings like the ESPN-led Project Blueprint - in helping brands acquire deeper audience understanding.

"We started to see shortly after that - later in 2013 and through 2014 - that attention shifted a bit away from cross-platform measurement, which was gaining momentum, into big data," said Bulgrin.

"It's not just a shift of intention; it's a shift in investment that concerns me as somebody who still believes that we need cross-platform measurement."

As an example, he suggested that the rise of programmatic, data-management platforms (DMPs) and services promising increasingly tight targeting has drawn attention away from cross-platform measurement.

"Everybody is building a DMP in this business," said Bulgrin, by way of example.

While not disputing the importance of big data, he recommended that it should be combined with cross-platform measurement, rather than replacing it in a zero-sum game.

That, in large part, is because cross-platform efforts can fulfil a distinctive purpose than big data, from analysing the mix of channels people use to drilling down into the time spent with various media.

Big data may also have some gaps - such as if a consumer has a set-top box or over the top service switched on but their television set switched off - which can be filled with more traditional techniques.

Data sourced from Warc


Indian consumer durables to double

27 July 2015
NEW DELHI: Driven by rising disposable incomes and easier consumer credit, India's consumer electronics and appliances market is on course to be worth $20.6bn by 2020, according to a new industry report.

The Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA), a trade body, and consultancy firm EY calculated that the market would more than double over the next five years, the Economic Times reported.

"The Indian market for consumer electronics and appliances is around $9.7bn and has grown at a CAGR [Compound Annual Growth Rate] of 9.7% over the 2010-2014 period and is poised to reach $20.6bn by 2020," their report said.

Urban areas currently account for about two-thirds (65%) of the Indian consumer durables market, but the report predicted that future growth will be driven by consumers in the countryside as the government steps up its rural electrification programme.

Rising income is another factor that will continue to boost the market and the report estimated that per capita income will be $2,200 in 2019, up from $1,500 in 2013. More retailers offering easier financing options to consumers will also help.

Turning to the growth projections for individual types of product, the report expected set top boxes to grow the fastest because of digitalisation of the country's cabling system.

Air conditioners are expected to grow by up to 7% between 2014 and 2020 while washing machines are forecast to grow even faster at 9% over the same period.

Meanwhile, the LED/LCD TV market is expected to record growth of about 20% while growth for refrigerators until 2020 will be about 10%.

Taken together, the report concluded that India is likely to become the fifth largest consumer durables market in the world by 2025.

Data sourced from the Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff


Foreign travellers flock to Japan

27 July 2015
TOKYO: The number of foreign travellers who visited Japan in the first six months of 2015 has hit a record high of 9.14 million, up 46% from the same period last year, official statistics have revealed.

According to the Japan Tourism Agency (JTA), record numbers are also expected in the peak tourism month of July, as visitors from China and other countries take advantage of the weakened yen, relaxed visa regulations and expanded duty-free shopping options.

JTA commissioner Shigeto Kubo forecast that about 18 million foreign travellers will visit the country this year, up almost five million from the 13.41 million people who visited last year, Japan Times reported.

Despite the current political tensions between Beijing and Tokyo, the number of Chinese tourists visiting Japan more than doubled to 2.2 million in the first half of the year.

Tokyo's shopping districts have become accustomed to Chinese visitors going on shopping sprees known as "explosive buying" when they descend on department stores and snap up a wide range of products.

Following the Chinese, South Koreans made up the second-largest nationality to visit Japan this year. There were 1.82 million visitors from South Korea and another 1.79 million from Taiwan.

Despite concerns about China's economic downturn, JTA's Kubo said he did not think there would be any negative impact on organised tours from the country to Japan.

As well as the shopping opportunities on offer, visitors from across the region may also have other reasons for visiting.

A recent survey of 3,200 consumers in eight Asian nations by J Walter Thompson Asia Pacific revealed great admiration for Japan and Japanese products.

The survey also showed that consumers in ASEAN and India want to visit Japan more than any other country in the world.

Data sourced from Japan Times; additional content by Warc staff


Brand purpose has no single formula

24 July 2015
LONDON: In his bestselling book, Grow, former Procter & Gamble CMO Jim Stengel outlined how the highest-performing companies used the power of brand ideals to drive success, but his case was flawed argue two leading industry figures.

Richard Shotton, head of insight at ZenithOptimedia, and his colleague Aidan O'Callaghan take issue with Stengel's concept that brands with a brand purpose or ideal grow faster than their peers.

Their feature "Debunking Brand Purpose" in the current issue of Admap highlights six main flaws with the thinking behind his highly successful book of 2011 and declare that there is no proof that ideals deliver success.

First, they question the methodology Stengel used to identify the best-performing brands known as the "Stengel 50", which grew by 393% between 2000 and 2011 compared with a -7% loss for the S&P 500 benchmark.

While seemingly compelling, the authors write, the problem is that at least 11 of these 50 brands accounted for only a proportion of its parent company's sales.

Calvin Klein, for example, was one of the Stengel 50 brands, but it accounted for only 43% of owner PVH's sales in 2013.

Another problem with comparing the Stengel 50 with S&P 500 is that it excluded brands listed on European and Asian stock exchanges.

Also, Stengel selected only the most successful brands from Millward Brown's database, prompting Shotton and O'Callaghan to say that "it's not surprising that the most successful brands had performed well financially in previous years".

The fourth serious flaw concerns the definition of a brand ideal because the term is so "malleable" that it can be adapted to fit most brands.

For example, the ideal defined by Stengel to describe Mercedes-Benz was that the luxury German car "exists to epitomise a life of achievement".

However, in poll of 1,000 consumers conducted by the authors to test whether that ideal was a genuine fit, only 10% recognised the descriptive for Mercedes.

Fifthly, Stengel did not compare the best-performing companies with the underperforming ones, yet these could also be said to be defined by ideals.

Smartphone vendor Nokia, for example, witnessed its share price decline by 96%, yet a full 52% of consumers in the authors' poll were able to connect Nokia with the ideal of existing to "connect people with one another and the content that is most important in their lives, anytime, anywhere".

Finally, Shotton and O'Callaghan looked at the stock market price for each relevant brand from January 2011 to December 2014 to test whether their strong performance continued beyond the period covered in the book.

Out of 23 brands monitored, only 12 outperformed their benchmark while the overall performance was 27%, far less than the nearly 400% highlighted in Glow.

"Despite Grow's popularity, there is no proof that ideals deliver success," they declare. "No one has yet uncovered the single secret to sustained business growth nor is anyone likely to. Unfortunately, it won't be long before someone else tries."

Data sourced from Admap


US adspend forecast downgraded

24 July 2015
NEW YORK: Advertising expenditure levels are predicted to rise by 1.4% in the US this year, although that figure marks a downgrade of three percentage points on prior expectations, according to new data from Warc.

Warc's latest International Ad Forecast suggests that adspend in the country should reach $166bn in 2015 at current prices, equating to a 41.9% share of the report's 12 market total. These markets represent some 75% of all adspend tracked by Warc.

The study cited the comparatively weak TV upfronts as one reason behind the downgrade in the US outlook when measured against the previous forecast, which was published in December 2014.

More specifically, advertising returns for television are now anticipated to log a 3.3% decline year on year in 2015, standing at $63.5bn overall.

This follows a record year for TV in 2014, as the Sochi Winter Olympics and mid-term elections helped fuel ad sales.

But according to Magna Global, a unit of Interpublic Group, discounting such "cyclical" events means that underlying TV adspend actually fell in 2014, the first dip since 2009, when the financial crisis was in full swing.

Another factor in the softening outlook for the US market, per Warc's analysis, is a "worse than previously expected print decline", as newspapers and magazines are now due to post a joint decrease of 12.1% in 2015.

The internet, by contrast, is pegged to witness an uptick of 15.7% on an annual basis, as brands continue doubling down on their digital activity.

Such a strong performance will mean this channel further closes the revenue gap on TV - having already overtaken television in countries like Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany and the UK.

TV will retain its lead position in the US next year, with growth of 4.1% taking it to a value of $66.1bn, buoyed by the presidential election and Olympic Games.

On its part, the internet will enjoy a 14.2% expansion to $65.3bn, more than trebling the forecast improvement of 4.1% for the US ad market as a whole.

Warc's International Ad Forecast is published twice a year and provides in-depth figures for 12 major nations. A free sample can be downloaded here.

Data sourced from Warc


Marketing drives growth for Coke

24 July 2015
ATLANTA, GA: US drinks giant Coca-Cola is improving its performance largely because of its increased investment in high quality marketing, the company's CEO has said.

Speaking at a conference call with analysts to announce Coke's second quarter results, Muhtar Kent said revenue growth in North America would not have been achieved without improved marketing, ABC News reported.

Revenue in North America rose 3.5% to $5.92bn following a marketing drive and the introduction of smaller mini-cans that cost more on a per-ounce basis. Meanwhile, total revenue fell 3.3% to $12.16bn, but net income rose 20% to $3.11bn.

Coca-Cola saw a double-digit increase in its advertising spend during the quarter and Kent explained that the increased spend, coupled with stricter cost-controls over budgets, are helping to turn the company around.

Marketing investment in North America, in particular, was a "clear contributing factor" to its strong performance over the quarter, he added.

"It takes some time, anywhere from 12 months to 18 months, to realise the full value in terms of a return on investments. We've found that disciplined and quality marketing investments drive growth better than any other strategy or action," Kent said.

Coca-Cola has been following through a five-point strategy, which it announced earlier this year, to make an extra $1bn in productivity savings by 2016.

The plan involves accelerating growth of its sparkling portfolio, strategically expanding the profitable "still" portfolio, increasing media investments by maximising systems optimisation, making improvements to point of sale and investing in the next generation of leaders.

The company appears to have met these objectives over the quarter, having increased global volumes by 2%, including 5% growth for its still beverages, such as tea and water, but Diet Coke continued to disappoint after declining 7% in volume.

Kent said: "We are executing against our strategic initiatives and remain focused on driving efficiencies through productivity and making disciplined investment decisions to accelerate growth."

Data sourced from ABC News, Seeking Alpha, Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff


Social adspend more than doubles

24 July 2015
LONDON: Global spend on social advertising grew by 114% year-on-year in Q2 2015, more than twice the rate from a year ago, a new industry report has revealed.

This was one of the headline findings in the Kenshoo Digital Marketing Snapshot study, which tracked the 550bn impressions, 9.5bn clicks and $5.5bn in advertiser spend put through the marketing software firm's suite.

Mobile was the key driver of growth with adspend on smartphones and tablets rising 167% year-on-year to account for nearly two-thirds (63%) of all paid social spend, up from 51% last year.

Mobile also accounted for 38% of paid search spending, up from 31% last year, and the report said that the year-on-year increase in paid search spending was fuelled entirely by phone and tablet spending, which rose 71% and 4% respectively.

"Both paid search and social are showing healthy increases in spend and clicks with social obviously showing the much faster growth as it's a far younger market," said Rob Coyne, Kenshoo's managing director for EMEA.

"Existing social advertisers are ramping up spend and getting better results in terms of click volumes despite fewer available impressions, while new social advertisers are also entering the market.

"Mobile has been the key driver of growth in both search and social, with 36% of revenue from advertiser sales now coming from mobile phones, up from 16% last year."

Total clicks from social advertising increased by 129% over the year on top of 64% fewer impressions, leading the report to suggest that marketers are becoming savvy at driving clicks on social ads.

Social advertisers also saw a huge 535% rise in click-through rate (CTR) over the year as they took advantage of changes in the structure and available inventory of paid social publishers.

Data sourced from Kenshoo; additional content by Warc staff


Walmart beefs up online presence

24 July 2015
SHANGHAI: Walmart, the world's largest retailer, has taken over Yihaodian, after buying the remaining 49% stake in the Chinese ecommerce firm it did not already own.

Although Yihaodian is a minor player in China compared with the likes of Alibaba or, Walmart's move to take full control of its venture will help it to target China's rapidly growing online market, Reuters reported.

"With full ownership of Yihaodian, Walmart plans to invest in both accelerating ecommerce and creating a seamless experience for customers across online, mobile and stores," Walmart said in a statement.

Walmart has taken over following the departure earlier this month of Yihaodian co-founders, former chairman Yu Gang and former CEO Liu Junling.

The move comes as Walmart, like many other large Western retailers, experiences lacklustre sales at its physical stores as China goes through an economic downturn.

In addition, international retailers are facing increased competition from Chinese retailers and the growth of ecommerce in the country has made expanding online essential for Walmart.

Neil Ashe, president and CEO of Walmart Global eCommerce said that Yihaodian has "excelled" as one of China's top ecommerce businesses and that Walmart's investment is part of its long-term commitment to grow in the country.

"This local experience, combined with Walmart's global sourcing and our strong local retail presence and supply chain will allow us to deliver low prices on the products customers need in new and exciting ways," he said.

According to a report published earlier this year by research firm Forrester, China is now the world's largest ecommerce market after growing in value to $440bn in 2014.

Alibaba and dominate this space, with market shares of 57% and 21% respectively, as well as having a combined 85% of the mobile market. With its acquisition of Yihaodian, Walmart will be hoping to win a bigger share.

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


Blog: Advertisers obsess about youth

24 July 2015
Real purchasing power lies with older consumers, yet marketers continue to focus on youth and millennials, leading Les Binet and Sarah Carter from communications agency DDB to explore the possible reasons behind this obsession.

Data sourced from Warc


Asians welcome sponsored content

24 July 2015
SHANGHAI: Almost two-thirds (62%) of consumers in Asia would be open to branded content and advertising in return for free access to data, a recent survey has shown.

On Device Research questioned 3,500 people in seven Asian countries on behalf of Syniverse, a technology solutions firm, and also found that nearly half (49%) would be willing to accept coupon offers from sponsors.

Asian consumers are most willing to accept offers, in return for free or reduced cost data, from entertainment businesses (42%), bars, restaurants and café (31%) and travel companies (29%).

In terms of content, consumers are willing to accept sponsored branding or advertising in order to gain free access to websites and mobile internet browsing (43%), social networking services (41%) and web-based video services (38%).

Mary Clark, CMO at Syniverse, said consumers, content providers and mobile service providers have found themselves stuck in a no-win situation when it comes to mobile data usage.

"Consumers want to use more data along with richer mobile engagement, and operators and content providers are missing out on the revenue that this usage could deliver," she said.

Specifically, brands using sponsored mobile data services could unlock $6bn a year by 2019, according to Syniverse and its partners at Strategic Economic Engineering Corp (SEEC).

Sam Brown, founder and CEO of SEEC, said the key to unlocking this potential is for brands and mobile operators to work together to create highly personalised offers that meet individual user expectations.

Clark added: "Sponsored data offers considerable benefits for all involved, enabling content providers to enjoy increased use of their services, providing mobile operators with a new source of revenue, and offering consumers cheaper access to content."

Data sourced from Syniverse; additional content by Warc staff