Brits spend nearly 3 hours a day online

2 September 2015
LONDON: British internet users spend an average of 2 hours and 51 minutes actively going online every day, which equates to about 1 in every 6 of all waking minutes, according to new analysis specifically carried out to help advertisers.

In a bid to provide a definite measurement of the amount of time Britons spend online, the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) joined forces with UK Online Measurement Company (UKOM), the official cross-industry standards body.

Based on the behaviour of 73,000 internet users as well as analysis of thousands of websites and apps, the research broke down the amount of time people spend on different devices and what activities are the most popular across those devices.

Importantly, the research measured only the time that people actively use the internet rather than when users engage in other activities with a web page still open.

Out of the 2 hours 51 minutes Britons spend online each day, 1 hour 16 minutes is spent on PCs/laptops (45%), followed by 1 hour 9 minutes on smartphones (40%) and 26 minutes on tablets (15%), the report said.

The statistics for users of PCs and laptops closely match recent findings from Ofcom, the UK media regulator, although Ofcom reported significantly more time that smartphone users spend online each day (1 hour 54 minutes).

In terms of what activities engage people when they go online, an important finding uncovered by IAB/UKOM is that social media has overtaken entertainment.

If a month's typical internet usage is condensed into an hour, the report calculated that social media accounts for 10 minutes 1 second of internet time, followed by entertainment (7 minutes 28 seconds), games (3 minutes 35 seconds) and instant messaging (2 minutes 33 seconds).

Of particular note to advertisers, the report confirmed that internet users prefer different devices for different activities.

Time spent on mobile devices to access social media, for example, is more than double (21.4%) that of desktops (9.8%) and it's a similar story for games (8.6% versus 2.3%), instant messaging (6.7% vs 0.8%) and news (4.8% vs 2.2%).

By contrast, entertainment accounts for over double the share of desktop internet time (18.5%) than mobile/tablet (8.3%) and email has over six times the share (5% vs 0.8%).

"When trying to reach consumers, advertisers can't afford to think of time online as a homogenous entity," said Scott Fleming, general manager at UKOM.

"The most effective digital ad strategies recognise and take into account how behaviour and mind-set differ dramatically by device," he added.

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

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Contactless transactions surge in UK

2 September 2015
LONDON: The limit for a single contactless card transaction in the UK has been raised from £20 to £30 after new official figures revealed a huge rise in the number of people using the payment method in the UK.

According to the UK Cards Association, the industry body, more contactless payments took place during the first half of 2015 (£2.5bn) than for the whole of 2014 (£2.32bn).

There were more than 69m contactless payment cards in circulation in June 2015, up from 59.7m in January, which meant more than 9.3m contactless cards were issued to consumers in just six months.

Over the same period, the value of contactless transactions rose from £287m in January to £567m in June.

The UK Cards Association said the new £30 limit was being introduced in recognition of the popularity of this "tap and go" technology and as the number of cards in circulation rises.

It also should provide a better match for consumers' purchasing choices because the increase will mean that their average supermarket spend of £25 would now be covered.

The average card spend in pubs, cinemas, dry cleaners, pet shops and gift shops will also fall under the new £30 limit, the trade body said.

Commenting on the announcement, Graham Peacop, CEO of the UK Cards Association, said: "Contactless payments are fast, easy and secure.

"With more contactless cards in wallets than ever before and a growing number of retailers accepting contactless payments, we have seen a huge rise in the number of payments being made.

"The growth in contactless payments shows people want to use contactless cards and increasing the limit gives customers even more opportunities to pay in this way."

Despite the evident growing popularity of the new technology, consumer group Which? last month warned about its susceptibility to fraud after researchers acquired enough data to buy items, including a TV worth £3,000.

However, the UK Cards Association said the amount of fraud on contactless cards was "extremely low", at less than one penny for every £100 spent and 10 times lower than total card fraud losses.

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

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Connected TV adspend will grow

2 September 2015
NEW YORK: Although advertising budgets allocated to connected TV remain modest in the US, nearly half (48%) of advertisers who do use the medium plan to spend more on it next year, according to a new industry report.

Based on responses from 215 client-side marketers, including 51% at director level and above, the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) concluded that spend on connected TV is set to increase.

Its Connected TV Opportunity report was conducted with BrightLine, a company which creates digital ads for connected TV, and it found the budgetary shift to connected TV is likely to come from other TV activity (71%) and digital media (37%).

This industry trend is a response to the growing popularity of connected TV – defined as internet-connected devices that include smart TVs and over-the-top (OTT) devices, such as Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV.

More than half of all US households (56%) currently have a connected TV device, the report said, while viewing on OTT streaming devices grew 380% in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period last year.

Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the ANA, said connected TV offers opportunities for the advertising industry, but a number of barriers are preventing its wider acceptance.

"Connected TV is a great opportunity for the television advertising industry, as it leverages current consumer viewing behaviour and provides digital-like targeting," he said. "But measurement issues need to be addressed to optimise future growth."

Indeed, the lack of reliable measurement metrics and small-scale audience penetration are the two key issues identified in the report as the top barriers preventing advertisers from spending more on connected TV.

Another issue holding back adoption is awareness. Just 43% of respondents said they were very familiar with connected TV while only a fifth (22%) said their company had used connected TV advertising over the past year.

Data sourced from ANA, BrightLine; additional content by Warc staff

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Google Chrome freezes Flash ads

2 September 2015
SAN FRANCISCO: Beginning September 1st 2015, Adobe Flash ads have been frozen on Google's Chrome browser as the internet giant seeks to encourage developers to use HTML5 to improve performance and reduce battery consumption.

The move, which Google Chrome first highlighted in June, means Flash ads will be paused by default so that users will have to click on the link to play them rather than the content playing automatically.

Even though Chrome users who still want Flash content to autoplay as usual will be able to change the default settings, the development raises questions about the future for Flash ads, the Wall Street Journal reported.

"HTML5 is the way forward, and that has become clearer and clearer," said Scott Cunningham, svp of technology and ad operations at the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), which last month issued guidance for public comment.

The IAB wanted to explore how the industry could make the switch to HTML5 and its promise of "rich, immersive digital advertising creative that is cost effective".

Flash is already blocked on Mozilla's Firefox browser over security concerns and Apple does not support the software for its iPhone, but now Amazon is also taking action.

The ecommerce giant announced that, as a direct result of Google Chrome's update, it too would no longer accept Adobe Flash for rendering display ads on its sites.

"This is driven by recent browser setting updates from Google Chrome, and existing browser settings from Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari, that limits Flash display ad capabilities displayed on web pages," Amazon said in a statement.

"This change ensures customers continue to have a positive, consistent experience on Amazon, and that display ads function properly for optimal performance."

Data sourced from Google, Wall Street Journal, IAB, Amazon; additional content by Warc staff

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Thai digital adspend rises 62%

2 September 2015
BANGKOK: Digital adspend in Thailand is expected to grow by 62% this year to 9.8bn baht, a sharp increase on an earlier forecast of 33% to 8.1bn baht, according to the latest data from the Digital Advertising Association Thailand (DAAT)

Prepared in conjunction with research firm TNS Thailand and presented to DAAT's annual conference last week, the findings suggest that spending on Facebook and YouTube will account for the highest share of online adspend.

TNS revised up Facebook's share of digital adspend for 2015 from 16.5% to 21.4%, while also projecting that Google-owned YouTube would account for 16.5%, up from 15.6%, the Bangkok Post reported.

Meanwhile, TNS estimated instant messaging app Line will represent 4.5% of digital advertising, up from the 2.7% it forecast earlier.

The higher-than-expected growth for digital will be driven by the channel's cost efficiency and its growing audience, especially among younger consumers, said DAAT president Siwat Chawareewong.

"In the current economic crisis, brands and digital ad agencies might cut ad budgets for traditional media but not digital media," he told delegates.

Indeed, out of the 17 ad agencies that participated in the research, most reported that they expected their digital adspend to increase 30% in the second half of the year compared with the first half.

"Thailand is truly ready now for ecommerce. The telecommunication infrastructure has been enhanced while online conversation is on the rise," Siwat said in comments reported by The Nation.

"Online payment systems have also been upgraded and are getting well accepted by local buyers, while logistics services are customer-friendly," he added.

Data from Warc's Adspend Database show that digital adspend grew 46.1% to 7.1bn baht in 2014. This translated into US$219m last year, around 0.6% of all digital adspend in the Asia-Pacifc region.

Thailand ranked 9th out of the 13 markets monitored in terms of total online ad expenditure last year.

Data sourced from Bangkok Post, The Nation; additional content by Warc staff

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Hispanic consumers drive WOM

2 September 2015
NEW YORK: Hispanic consumers are more likely to talk about brands than other groups of US shoppers, making them a potentially valuable target for marketers seeking to drive word of mouth.

Ed Keller, chief executive of market-research firm The Keller Fay Group, discussed this topic in a webinar held by the company in conjunction with broadcast network Univision.

And he reported that Americans talk about goods and services fully 2.3 billion times each day, with Hispanic consumers punching above their collective weight on this measure.

"Twenty-one percent of those word-of-mouth brand impressions come from Hispanics," said Keller. (For more, including further insights about this audience, read Warc's exclusive report: How Hispanic consumers drive word of mouth.)

"This is especially impressive when you know that Hispanics only make up about 17% of the population. So they definitely over-index. And it is the demographic group that is most actively engaged in word of mouth."

By way of example, the average Hispanic shopper mentions 83 brands every week, compared with a total of 63 for other demographics.

That figure ticks upwards to 85 for bilingual consumers and 96 for individuals primarily speaking Spanish.

And this trend holds true for millennials, too. More specifically, the Hispanic members of the 18-34-year-old age bracket typically reference 94 products every seven days, beating a norm of 79 for their peers.

Keller Fay's statistics were based on data from 37,000 people gathered in a 12-month period, during which time they had over 370,000 conversations concerning brands.

Drawing on these numbers, Keller suggested that advertising is a particularly influential factor in fuelling word of mouth among Hispanics – as exemplified by brand messages on smartphones.

"Hispanics talk more about ads than non-Hispanics," he said. "Hispanics are highly mobile, so notice that they talk about mobile ads 49% more than non-Hispanics.

"They are also more engaged in word of mouth about TV ads and digital ads, so clearly your paid media has a very significant opportunity to help drive word of mouth."

Data sourced from Warc

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Patriotism aids Indian luxury brands

2 September 2015
NEW DELHI: Even though India's luxury market is booming, driven by a growing middle class and the super-wealthy, India's homegrown luxury brands have found they have to be imaginative to win over domestic consumers.

According to a report by the BBC, India struggles to produce luxury brands capable of matching the appeal of international brands because India's wealthy prefer the status conferred by foreign brands, ranging from Gucci to Burberry.

This also applies to the auto industry where the Jaguar marque appeals because of its British association despite being owned by Tata Group, the Indian conglomerate.

India does have some success in the luxury market, such as the global hotel chains Taj and Oberoi, and Indian firms also dominate the jewellery category, but Indian luxury brands in the main are not flourishing, the report said.

This is despite high levels of disposable income among the country's rich, which has prompted a number of India's luxury brands to work up new strategies.

Appealing to Indian patriotism is one option which has worked for No.3 Clive Road, the boutique tea brand founded by Radhika Chopra.

"Our customer is someone who is proud of a beautifully designed and quality product that is Indian made," Chopra said. "Indians know how to spend money, they just have not been given other options," she added.

Pitching a luxury product at the right price and appealing to Indians' instinct for good value are also key to success, Chopra advised.

"We are much more sensitive to our customers' purchasing power for a local brand, so as we expand we are acknowledging a lower price than comparable companies abroad," she said.

Nikhil Agarwal, chief executive of luxury events firm All Things Nice, agreed that identifying the right price is essential to win over Indian luxury shoppers.

"Even wealthy Indians are conscious about money – nobody throws their money away, it's in the psyche," he said. "Indians like to reduce costs, we're always looking for value for money even when it's luxury."

Data sourced from BBC; additional content by Warc staff

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Digital, mobile are focus of budgets

1 September 2015
LONDON: Global marketing activity is expanding at a steady pace with the focus continuing to be on digital and mobile, according to the latest Global Marketing Index (GMI).

August's headline GMI of 55.1 was little changed from the previous month – a reading of 50 indicates no change and 60+ suggests rapid growth – and with a GMI value of 56.4 points, Europe continued to outpace Asia Pacific, on 54.3, and the Americas, on 54.5.

The last figure, however, disguised the very differing performances of North America and South America: the former's headline GMI of 60.9 showed very strong growth while the latter's GMI of 42.0 highlighted the fact the region is in recession.

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

Looking at marketing budgets by medium, digital advertising registered a high index value of 73.8 globally, with mobile not far behind on 71.0.

Even South America performed strongly in digital with an index value of 61.3, which compared favourably with the 71.5 registered in North America. The same could not be said of mobile, however, where South America's index value stood at just 45.2.

Traditional media saw further decline in August, with the allocation of marketing budgets assigned to TV scoring an index value of 45.3 on a global measure.

South America hit a low of 29.0 but Europe continued to grow, albeit weakly, returning a figure of 52.4. TV budgets in Asia Pacific were seen to be falling, with an index value of 45.3.

World Economics deduced that, at the current rates of growth, digital and mobile should have the largest share of marketing budgets by 2016, after being close to zero at the Millennium.

"The revolution in media allocation caused by the rapid expansion of new media marketing (digital and mobile) is still pushing traditional media budget share downwards as media budgets change shape," said Ed Jones, World Economics chief executive.

Data sourced from World Economics; additional content bty Warc staff

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Heineken increases sports sponsorship

1 September 2015
AMSTERDAM: Heineken, the brewer, has further emphasised its position as a major sports sponsor as Amstel, one of its brands, is returning to football to sponsor the UEFA Europa League for the next three seasons. 

The new deal positions Heineken, the company, as a key player in European club football, since Heineken, the beer brand, is also the sponsor of the UEFA Champions League. That means the two brands are effectively the "beers of choice for midweek football fans" around the world as games are shown on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

Hans Erik, global director of Heineken sponsorship, told Marketing Week that Amstel intended to make its Europa League campaigns "more local and regional".

"The Amstel brand has a lot of history in being European and has strongholds in different markets," he said. And in those where it doesn't have a presence – including Poland and Portugal – Heineken will use local brands to activate the sponsorship.

"As it's positioned locally we will develop sponsorships to target local audiences," he said. "We won't have one campaign – we don't want a one-size-fits-all approach."

Heineken is also a sponsor of this month's Rugby World Cup and Erik explained that "We have different objectives for different sponsorships at Heineken".

Thus rugby offers a more "affluent and younger" audience for the Heineken brand while the Europa League offers a more "national" scale for Amstel.

The football sponsorships are significant – it's claimed that 4.2bn people around the world watch the Champion's League – but the Rugby World Cup will be Heineken's biggest marketing platform of the year, accounting for almost half its budget.

Earlier this year, Tim Ellerton, global sponsorship manager at Heineken, outlined a tournament focus on loyalty rather than brand awareness.

"The challenge today is not how to reach a wide audience, because digital media has made this possible, but how you amplify sponsorship deals to enhance the brand image," he said.

RWC sponsorship will reach fewer markets than that the Champion's League, "but in those markets such as the UK, New Zealand and Australia it will be one of the biggest marketing assets that we work from", he said.

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff

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Employee advocacy boosts Reebok

1 September 2015
NEW YORK: Reebok, the sporting-apparel group, has successfully harnessed employee advocacy to spread the word about its refreshed brand positioning on social media.

Ben Blakesley, the firm's senior manager/global social media, discussed this subject on a webinar organised by SocialChorus.

He joined the company in February 2014, the same month that it unveiled a new positioning based around targeting fitness enthusiasts across America, rather than placing a sole emphasis on elite-level athletes.

And he found that his colleagues embodied this commitment to exercise as a way of life, thus making them the ideal ambassadors for Reebok's refreshed purpose.

"Nearly 80% of our workforce is part of our target demographic – the millennial generation that is out there doing the things that we talk about every day," said Blakesley. (For more, including further ways the brand is prompting employee advocacy, read Warc's exclusive report: Reebok employees … just do it.)

Its staff not only enjoy staying in shape, but also share their passion on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. "That's an amazing thing – that they are doing these things anyway," said Blakesley.

"For me, the challenge is less, 'How am I going to get people to share them doing physical activity on social media?', but, 'How do I bring it closer to the brand and tie it into our brand mission?'"

In achieving this goal, Reebok has used employee "takeovers" on Instagram and asked staff to submit material that might potentially be shared on Reebok's official channels.

Both tactics play into a widespread desire to be a "mini-celebrity", as their output will be seen by all of the brand's followers on the relevant social platform.

"Everybody who is sharing on social media loves to see all of those likes show up on their pictures. So that's one of the ways that we incentivise people with a low- or no-cost reward," Blakesley said.

A special hashtag, "#fitasscompany", also allows employees to express their enthusiasm for exercise on their personal posts.

"We always ask people to be very forward about their involvement with the brand and that they're an employee of the brand. I think that's a key component, also. We're not trying to fool anyone," said Blakesley.

Data sourced from Warc

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Publishers fear mobile ad blocking

1 September 2015
NEW YORK: The imminent launch of a new Apple mobile operating system, which is expected to give users access to ad-blocking facilities, is focusing the minds of publishers who fear they will soon be taking a financial hit.

"The ad-blocking problem is real and growing, and ad blocking on iOS is only going to accelerate it," Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next, a digital publishers' association, told the Wall Street Journal.

And Sean Blanchfield, chief executive of PageFair, a provider of ad-block solutions to publishers, concurred. "Apple is going to create a massive consumer appetite for blocking ads," he stated.

A joint report from Pagefair and Adobe recently described ad blocking as a "viral phenomenon" that posed an existential threat to the future of free content on the web.

It said that 198m people were using adblockers in June 2015 and suggested that ad blocking globally would lead to lost revenues of $21.8bn in 2015, rising to $41.4bn in 2016.

That figure could be an underestimate if millions of iPhone and iPad users take advantage of iOS 9 and install apps that prevent ads from appearing in its Safari browser.

Crucially, Apple will not be allowing ad blocking within apps, because ads inside apps do not affect mobile performance in the same way they do on in a browser. The developer of one iOS 9 ad-blocking app reported that it could reduce browser page load times by 70% or more.

When commentator John Naughton visited the popular Mail Online site he reported finding a total of 31 third-party trackers and cited separate research showing that actual content on a page of one well-known tech site amounted to 8kB while surrounding ads ran to 6MB.

"There's no doubt online advertising is ruining the web experience for many users," he said.

Dean Murphy, developer of the Crystal ad-blocking app, said his creation was exactly the kind of app Apple wanted when it went looking for Safari extensions. "I can't think of any other use for it other than blocking adverts, JavaScript and cookies," he told AdExchanger.

The Wall Street Journal noted that Apple already has a business serving ads inside apps and that the new operating system would include an Apple News app hosting articles from major news publishers. Apple is likely to get a share of any revenue from ads accompanying those articles.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal, Ad Exchanger, The Observer; additional content by Warc staff

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Vietnam leads SE Asian smartphone rush

1 September 2015
SINGAPORE: Vietnam is the fastest growing smartphone market in South East Asia, where sales topped $8bn in the first half of the year according to new figures.

Data from market researcher GfK indicated that, overall, some 39.8m smartphones were sold in the region, up from 36.6m in the corresponding period of 2104.

Sales volumes in Vietnam rose 27% in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period a year earlier to reach to total of 6m, making it the third largest smartphone market in the region, Inside Retail Asia reported.

Thailand was the second-fastest growing market, up 13% to a total of 6.6m, a figure which also put in second place in terms of market size. The Philippines was the third fastest-growing market, up 10%.

Indonesia, however, remains the largest market in terms of volume, with 14.9m units shifted in six months.

Sales growth was sluggish in the mature markets of Singapore and in Malaysia, where consumers have cut back on their spending since the introduction of a general sales tax.

GfK has also started tracking the mobile handset market in Myanmar and reported that 3m units had been sold in the first half, with most of these being smartphones (89%).

"The availability of a wide range of lower price options nowadays have made it possible and much more affordable for price-sensitive consumers in these developing markets to switch over and own their first smartphone," said Gerard Tan, GfK account director for technology.

He pointed out that in the first half of 2013 just 15% of smartphones sold in the region had cost under $100, a proportion that has now climbed to 35%.

Indonesia, he added, was the country with the most number of entry level smartphone brands and consumers in the region.

This transformation is being almost entirely driven by Chinese brands, which now account for around 25% of the region's market compared to 4% in 2013.

"The perception of Chinese brands has been elevated considerably as a result of their heightened marketing campaigns and the opening up of dedicated showrooms and retail counters," Tan said.

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

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Snapdeal critical of app-only approach

1 September 2015
MUMBAI: As India's ecommerce businesses gear up for the all-important festive retail season, the head of Snapdeal has described Myntra's shift to an app-only platform as "the dumbest and most consumer-unfriendly idea ever".

Speaking to the Economic Times, Biswarup Gupta said that the notion merited a conversation a few years down the line when PCs were contributing less than now. "Even then, it is a conversation still – it's not a yes or no situation," he added.

This conviction arose out of his assertion that Snapdeal's fashion business had been helped by online fashion retailer Myntra's decision earlier this year to close down its desktop website as well as its mobile one.

A survey of Snapdeal customers at that time had found that while only 20-30% used the desktop site, 80% wanted it to remain. "We're not going to go against consumers' wishes," said Gupta.

He pointed out that "25% of all discovery for orders that are eventually placed on mobile come from the PC – people start browsing on the PC and start buying on the mobile".

If you want to get 300 million ecommerce buyers on your platform, he added, "You have to offer all choices – all choices in terms of all screens and all payment methods".

The sector's trade association agrees: Nasir Jamal, secretary general of the eCommerce Association of India, recently said: "We think app is the way to go but it shouldn't be the only medium."

With Myntra's owner Flipkart following the same app-only path, Gupta was confident that Snapdeal would become India's largest ecommerce firm this financial year, in terms of gross merchandise value.

"Whatever number they [Flipkart] are saying they will be at, I can guarantee that we will be ahead of them," he declared.

Gupta also revealed that the company had spent nine months planning for Diwali following last year's problems with order fulfilment, including investing in a partnership with a logistics company.

He expected that demand this year would be higher than in 2014, "but we've set our bar even higher … This Diwali our plans are mega".

Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff

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Have brands been conning consumers?

31 August 2015
LONDON: The rise of discount supermarkets and the success of own-label raises many questions for brands, not least how they can cope with what appears to be a shift in the psyche of UK consumers.

Own-label accounted for 51.3% of UK grocery shopping in 2014, its highest share in a decade according to Kantar data published in Marketing.

And, with fast-growing German discounters Aldi and Lidl selling few recognised brands but often producing close replicas, the pressure on mainstream brands is growing.

"Everyone should be scared of Aldi and Lidl," according to Vhari Russell, founder of the Food Marketing Expert. "They have reduced SKUs so as a shopper you don't have to choose between five tubes of tomato paste. And their branding is very clever and similar [to brands]."

The last point is particularly important, argued retail consultant Kate Jones. "Consumers want brands and getting something that looks very much like the brand at an acceptable quality for a much better price is a no brainer for so many consumers," she stated.

"If Lidl and Aldi can make an almost indistinguishable product, have brands been conning us for years?" she asked.

It's a message that Aldi first started pushing four years ago when it launched a campaign with the strapline "Like brands, only cheaper. That effectively kick-started its rise in the sector where it now (August 2015) claims a 5.6% share.

Rival retailer Lidl has also been ramping up its advertising expenditure to highlight the quality and taste of its own products. Marketing recently reported that its TV spend had risen 408% in the first half of the year and was now greater than any of its rivals, and more than double that of market leader Tesco.

In this atmosphere, brands will have to work harder, with Jones maintaining that those with "honesty, meaning and a story" will fare best.

"The retail market is fast moving," she added, "and although own label may feel like it is getting the upper hand today, brands will and can fight back because no one is more expert at making a brand than the brand owner."

Data sourced from Marketing; additional content by Warc staff

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Newspapers join forces for ad campaign

31 August 2015
LONDON: The UK's six leading national newspaper groups are combining forces to launch an advertising campaign across their 18 titles which aims to remind people of the unique role newspapers play for advertisers, readers and society.

The eight-week campaign, which launches on September 2, will appear on digital platforms as well as in the papers, and a series of six ads will highlight the level of attention and influence that newspaper brands still command.

For example, one ad shows a picture of two news presenters resting their hands on some newspapers beneath the headline: "The front page news on TV every night? Ours."

And a 40-second film, Media Butterflies, develops the idea that it is hard to find any audience today that gives you its undivided attention as they are all "surfing, scrolling and skipping". By contrast newspaper readers are: "receptive, engaged and absorbed".

The campaign also emphasises the spending power of newspaper readers and makes the point that more 18-24 year olds turn to news brands, not the TV, for their news.

"Technology and the arrival of tech organisations has transformed the way all of us find information, which means the important role newspaper brands play can sometimes be overlooked," said Rufus Olins, chief executive of Newsworks, the marketing body for national newspapers and the organisation behind the campaign.

"We felt it was time to remind people about the job they do and extraordinary influence they have over people's opinions and decision-making," he added.

Alfredo Marcantonio, a partner at HHM which created the campaign, claimed that national newspapers are now "more widely read than they were in Fleet Street's heyday".

"Not only this, but people are faithful regardless of format," he said. "They'd no more change their newspaper than their football team."

Digital revenues and audiences continue to grow for publishers, but the newspapers themselves remain the biggest source of ad revenue. Advertisers spent £1.37bn in national news brands last year, according to the latest AA/Warc figures, including £214m on digital platforms.

Data sourced from Newsworks; additional content by Warc staff

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Brands could tap mobile PPV

31 August 2015
NEW YORK: The development of mobile pay-per-view (PPV) could open up new global avenues for marketers while at the same time bringing incremental revenues to the content providers involved.

"Mobile PPV is a complete newborn and we're waiting for it to start kicking and screaming," Mazen Alawar, director of marketing at live streaming specialist Hang w/, told Mobile Marketer. "I think this allows [pay-per-view providers] to go direct to consumer the way nothing else does."

Sporting events are an obvious candidate for mobile PPV, as some of these are already made available on PPV basis via cable. And with more consumers shunning cable bundles of programming there are opportunities for cable networks to claw back viewers.

The NBA has already taken steps to offer consumers single-game options on mobile devices, rather than requiring the less-committed fan to buy a package for all games. Consequently it is getting access to and profiting from viewers it would otherwise have missed.

"Mobile pay per view gives providers an opportunity to dramatically improve footprint, not just because of ubiquity of mobile devices but because of their omnipresence," said Sastry Rachakonda, CEO of iQuanti, New York.

"People do not have to be at home in front of their televisions to get pay-per-view, which dramatically increases the opportunity."

The other major opportunity he saw came from the ability to go global instantly. "For example, Chinese soccer fans would be able to view the English Premier League on their mobiles, on a pay-per-view mode, at $0.95 per match," he suggested.

"Given the global popularity of LeBron James, we can see that as a huge opportunity for the NBA," he added.

Earlier this year the NBA signed a deal with Chinese internet giant Tencent to show live games – NBA games attract an estimated 100m fans in the country – on its various platforms.

Alawar further pointed out that brands could bypass media houses; they could also, he suggested, "facilitate consumer content by offering free access to loyal customers".

Data sourced from Mobile Marketer; additional content by Warc staff

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Black Monday fears recede

31 August 2015
HONG KONG: One week on from "Black Monday", Chinese markets are showing signs of recovery and many analysts are positive about the economy, as consumers haven't stopped spending.

The Shanghai Composite Index was up 4.82% on Friday, following a 5.34% increase the previous day. And Mark Williams, chief Asia economist at Capital Economics, dismissed the overreaction of investors, Xinhua reported.

"The collapse of the equity bubble tells us next to nothing about the state of China's economy," Williams said, adding that relatively few Chinese people had invested in stocks.

It was a view shared by Nicholas Lardy, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, who observed that a focus on weaknesses in China's industrial sector missed the bigger picture of China's overall economic performance.

He pointed out that the service sector has been the biggest driver of China's economic growth for the last three years as households spent on entertainment, travel, health and education.

Consumer confidence may be shaken, however, and brands may need to reconsider their positioning as the devaluation of the yuan has made foreign products more expensive.

"People are still spending but they are more careful about how they spend, with more focus on features and functions, after-sales support and how products fit in their life," according to Ben Cavender, an analyst at China Market Research Group in Shanghai.

The Financial Times cited Samsonite as a case in point: after several years in the doldrums, the suitcase maker shifted its emphasis away from luxury items to more affordable products and posted an annualised 28% increase in sales in the first half of 2015.

"Most consumer companies see that consumers in China are becoming smarter, they want to buy goods with better value," said Ramesh Tainwala, Samsonite's chief executive. "That trend was already starting over the last two years and will only continue."

Businesses will be monitoring their sales carefully in the next few months for any possible consequences of the stock market crash.

"We know that the Chinese consumer changes very quickly," Colin Currie, head of Adidas China, told the Wall Street Journal. "As a brand and a business, we have to watch these changes."

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

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Brazil household consumption falls

31 August 2015
SAO PAULO: On top of the news that consumer confidence in Brazil has fallen to its lowest level ever, a new study says that household consumption declined 7.5% in the first half of the year.

Last week the country's main consumer confidence index, produced by the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV), stood at 80.6 points, down from 82 points in July – this on a 1-to-200-point range, with 100 considered an indicator of neutral sentiment.

This was the lowest reading since FGV started compiling the index in 2005 and the organisation's economists said it reflected Brazilians' fears about the economic situation, including inflationary pressures, interest rate increases and job security.

Inflation has reached 9.6% on some counts and, as a study from Kantar Worldpanel demonstrated, is affecting consumer shopping behaviour.

The research firm reported a 7.5% fall in Brazilian household consumption in the first half of 2015 compared to the same period a year earlier and said the average price of shopping basket items had risen 8.5%.

But where previously consumers had coped by shopping less often and buying more on each trip, now they are not only shopping less often but buying less per trip.

"We see clearly that Brazilian families can no longer maintain their buying patterns," said Christine Pereira, commercial director at Kantar Worldpanel, noting "an intense rationalisation in purchasing decisions".

In keeping with these trends, the one sales channel to show first half growth – of 18% – was the atacarejo, a self-service wholesale-retail hybrid.

Interestingly, Kantar Worldpanel's study also found that some added-value product categories – such as salad dressing and frozen potato – were showing double-digit growth.

Pereira put forward two reasons for this development. One was convenience and practicality "given a lifestyle that provides less time for household activities".

The other was a greater domestic focus. "With the crisis, fewer families are eating out and are bringing occasions and special meals back home, " she said.

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

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NYPD builds trust via social media

31 August 2015
NEW YORK: The New York Police Department (NYPD) is ramping up its use of social media to rebuild trust with the communities it serves and become more responsive to citizens' everyday concerns.

Zachary Tumin, the NYPD's deputy commissioner/strategic initiatives, discussed this topic on a webcast held by Direct Marketing News.

More specifically, he stated that the organisation has dramatically expanded its presence on Twitter. One illustration of this involved establishing accounts, led by individual commanders, for all of its 123 precincts.

The department has also, via a partnership with crowdsourcing platform IdeaScale, set about creating online communities for each of these areas so residents can raise, and vote on, issues facing their neighbourhood.

"We know that social operates in the moment, and the New York Police Department prides itself on turning on a dime in the moment," said Tumin. (For more, including further examples of how this strategy is being implemented, read Warc's exclusive report: How the NYPD captures attention on social media.)

"You combine those two – citizen in-the-moment insight and the NYPD's ability to turn on a dime – and you get a very powerful combination."

Elaborating on this theme, he suggested that "re-empowering" commanders to connect directly with New Yorkers through social media can help the NYPD improve its standing among sceptical citizens.

"Social breaks down the barriers. The New York Police Department has had many, many issues over the past several years. We're keenly aware of them," said Tumin.

"Our job here is to help build trust and restore confidence in police and policing."

A related benefit of leveraging platforms such as IdeaScale and Twitter lies in tackling the everyday "quality of life" concerns – like graffiti or speeding traffic – which are of interest in "hyper-local" geographies.

"We think when we take action, we need to let people know, 'You've spoken; we've heard; we've taken action,'" Tumin said.

"This is the ability to show citizens that if they invest their good effort in working with us on these platforms it will pay back in highly-responsive policing."

Data sourced from Warc

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Boost for marketers to rural India

31 August 2015
MUMBAI: Rural India is set to gain a place on the media radar with the launch of a new service that aims to not only track television channel availability and claimed viewership in non-urban areas but also details of consumer durable preferences and ownership.

Chrome Rural Track, a monthly report from media advisory and consultancy firm Chrome DM, will eventually cover 105,000 villages.

These are categorised into four strata based on population density, including reaching down to villages with fewer than 5,000 people.

IndianTelevision.com reported that this task would involve a "massive infrastructure of field staff and tele-callers, with knowledge of 22 languages", but Pankaj Krishna, Chrome DM CEO and founder, said this was necessary given the size and "social-cultural complexity" of India's rural landscape.

"Consumption patterns, consumer preferences and purchasing power of rural areas are significantly different from that of the cities," he said. "If we further dissect the data, there are radical differences in consumer behaviour within individual villages."

Early data released by Chrome Rural Track shows some significant differences between states as regards how people receive television.

Thus, 99.6% of rural households in Punjab & Haryana and 99.1% in Kerala get television through cable, while high figures were also reported for those in Gujurat (85.4%) and Maharashtra (70.3%).

Direct-to-home was a much more popular option in Himachal Pradesh (82.2%), Madhya Pradesh (66.2%) and Uttar Pradesh & Bihar (62.4%).

"With television being the main tool to communicate with consumers, it is critical that the brands have a refined knowledge [of] television viewing," stated Monica Tata, a member of Chrome DM's advisory board.

While television is undoubtedly important, marketers cannot afford to neglect the rise of the second screen, according to Gurpreet Wasi of IMRB.

Penetration of mobile phones is around 80% and this has driven connectivity and awareness of mainstream trends and brands, making rural consumers more aspirational than before.

"Regional servicing of markets is critical in the context of product design, distribution and communications," she advised.

Data sourced from IndianTelevision.com; additional content by Warc staff

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CMOs focus on customer journey

28 August 2015
NEW YORK: Chief marketing officers are shifting their budgets away from individual channels and placing greater emphasis on the entire customer journey, a new study has found.

The CMO Club, in partnership with IBM, conducted research among 100 of the world's top marketers – with budgets of $1bn or more – for its report Marketing is a (Buyer) Journey, Not a Destination and stated that marketing was becoming less about the funnel and more about the journey as budgets were increasingly spread over the whole cycle.

At the same time, customer retention and advocacy were increasing in importance as the marketing focus moved away from simple customer acquisition.

"CMOs can no longer afford to dedicate a majority of their budget to customer acquisition and allocate market spend by channel," the study said. "Marketing focused solely on awareness and/or the purchase funnel is obsolete."

They are instead investing across the entire customer journey and doing so more or less evenly at every stage: "discover" took 20% of budgets in the study, with "learn" on 16% ,"try" on 16%, "buy" on 21%, "use" on 13% and "advocate" on 14%.

Social and online channels were described as "multi-tasker mediums" across all stages. And while there is a clear momentum towards digital, traditional channels remain important: spending across buying stages was roughly evenly divided between them (52% traditional, 38% digital).

The top budgeted areas were content (13%), followed by advertising (12%), digital online, events and digital websites (all on 11%).

Some 57% CMOs surveyed expected their marketing budgets to increase over the next two to three years and planned to increase spending across every stage of the buyer journey by an average 50%.

Pete Krainik, CEO and founder of The CMO Club, professed himself excited by these findings. "Marketing dollars are in a seismic shift from channel to journey with feedback metrics that allow for rapid experimentation across campaigns and tactics," he said.

Data sourced from CMO Club, MarketWatch; additional content by Warc staff

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Dell champions 'global-friendly' ethos

28 August 2015
NEW YORK: Brands seeking to translate content into other languages might benefit from training their marketers to be more "global-friendly", a leading executive from Dell has argued.

Wayne Bourland, the technology company's director/global localization, discussed this topic on a webinar organised by Brand2Global.

His department works with 100 teams around the world, ensuring that Dell's marketing and ecommerce content is effectively translated into 28 different languages.

Some of the common challenges, he revealed, include capturing the essence of a US brand positioning in nations where it is not a good cultural fit, as well as dealing with copy which references American rules and regulations.

"We spend a little bit of time working with our upstream teams on how to be global-friendly," he said. (For more, including budget tips, read Warc's exclusive report: Making marketing work overseas: translation tips from Dell.)

"But, to be absolutely honest with you, I think we do a pretty bad job of doing that, primarily because we're supporting a hundred different teams that are creating marketing content all over the world [and] a lot of different ad agencies.

"We don't really have the ability to get into those teams as much as we would like, and in front of those teams as much as we would like, to influence the creative process … It needs to happen."

The problem, he suggested, partly results from the fact that members of in-house or agency teams often don't "have a good understanding" of other countries.

"Think about: you're a 25-year-old coming out of college, you've got your marketing degree and now you're writing this content for this large enterprise," said Bourland.

"You may not know really anything about the world outside the United States."

More broadly, he asserted that many brand custodians do not understand what is required to translate content so it matches the original engagement effect.

"You've got all of that time and dollars invested in creating that source English, and then you dump it all through the translation process," he said.

"And you think that two or three days later, you're going to get it back in 28 languages … and it's going to look just as brilliant as the stuff that came out of the ad agency. That's the wrong expectation."

Data sourced from Warc

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Consumers want free online news

28 August 2015
LONDON: UK consumers want their online news to be free at the point of consumption, a survey finding reinforced by data which highlights the fact that the slowest growing newsbrands are those operating paywalls.

A poll of 1,055 adults for The News Hub, an open journalism platform, found near-unanimous support for online news to be free: 96% of respondents agreed there should be no charges to access news websites.

At the same time, new data from NRS PADD (National Readership Survey Print And Digital Data) showed that over the 12 months from July 2014 to July 2015 the fastest growing readerships among UK news brands were at those which did not charge for access.

The Daily Mirror's monthly readership figures doubled (+101%) over the period with much of this coming via mobile, while the Guardian was not far behind, with a 98.5% increase, followed by the Telegraph on +92.6%.

The Times, in contrast, registered a +5.5% increase, while sister paper the Sun managed +6.9%. Both of these titles owned by Rupert Murdoch's News UK operate paywalls.

More generally, reported Newsworks, the data showed that newsbrands reached nearly 20m people across the UK every day (38%), 34m people (66%) each week and just under 40m people (76%) each month across print and PC.

Adding in estimates for mobile lifted the monthly figure to 46m, or around nine in ten (89%) of the potential newsreading population.

Another indication of how the news industry is changing came in the finding that 35.3m people (68%) are still reading newspapers on a monthly basis, but newsbrands reach 36.3m people (70%) across digital platforms alone every month.

Newsbrands remain an excellent medium for reaching a high-income audience, Newsorks noted, with 94% of ABC1s reading a newsbrand each month and 97% of chief income earners with over £70,000 of net annual income. Newsbrands also reach 32m main shoppers (89%) every month.

Young people were the biggest consumers of newsbrands across all platforms with 96% of 15-24 year olds accessing newsbrands each month.

Advertising spend on digital newsbrands reached a record-high £387m last year, according to the AA/Warc Expenditure Report. Digital ad revenues for newsbrands are expected to top half a billion pounds next year.


Data sourced from BusinessWire, Newsworks; additional content by Warc staff

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Android preferred for mobile email

28 August 2015
LONDON: Email open and click rates across Europe are growing significantly faster on Android devices than iOS ones, new research has shown.

SendGrid, an email delivery platform, collected data on ten billion emails sent across its database of 200,000 companies during two ten-day periods in 2014 and 2015 and found that email open rates on Android devices were growing almost nine times faster than those on iOS devices.

Email opens on an Android device rose by an average of 68% across the EU, compared to 8% growth for iPhone.

In the UK, Android open and click rates grew year-on-year by 23%, while the growth was much more significant in Bulgaria (+364%), Poland (+309%) and Luxembourg (+178%).

Overall, 22 of the 28 EU member states saw an increase in Android email usage, significantly overtaking Apple devices for user engagements in year-on-year growth.

In the UK, the iPhone accounted for almost a quarter (24%) of email opens and clicks, but this was an 8% decrease on 2014. Bigger declines were seen in Slovakia (-38%), Luxembourg (-21%) and the Netherlands (-14%).

The iPad saw a more significant decline of 15% year-on-year across Europe. The greatest declines came in the Czech Republic where open rates fell by 52% year on year, closely followed by Latvia and Greece (both falling by 49%). The UK was one of the few exceptions – open rates on the Apple tablet increased by 5%.

Overall, iPhone and iPad email use in Europe was relatively stagnant, with an average growth of only 1% between 2014 and 2015.

Aaron Beach, SendGrid's senior data scientist, noted that it was 33 years since the first corporate email had been sent and it remained the 'de facto' business communications tool of the modern era, even in the mobile era.

Smartphones had now become the dominant platform for sending and receiving corporate email, he said. "Our data indicates that tablet usage just hasn't taken off in the same meaningful way," he added.

Data sourced from SendGrid; additional content by Warc staff

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Vertical video swells completion rates

28 August 2015
NEW YORK: Mobile video ad campaigns shot vertically can deliver a significant increase in completion rates according to adtech firm Celtra.

One such campaign for Audi, designed around the car marque's involvement in the Le Mans race, achieved a 36% completion rate, which Celtra reported was 80% higher than its automotive benchmark.

"We believe that this is the form that will eventually get the most traction on mobile devices because of the way that consumption of content works on mobile and the way users are using and interacting with content," Mihael Mikek, CEO and co-founder of Celtra, told Mobile Marketer.

"Snapchat proved this with their success," he added. "Right now, a number of other companies are trying to develop and catch up."

Earlier this year, Snapchat, the photo-sharing app, reported that vertical ads were viewed to the end nine times more frequently than horizontal ones and advised content producers to simply turn their cameras on their side to frame shots as they will appear on phones.

More recently, it teamed up with WPP Group, the advertising holding company, and the Daily Mail, the news title, to create Truffle Pig, a content agency that will test new marketing formats – especially vertical video.

The advent of video streaming apps such as Meerkat and Periscope have reinforced the need for marketers to have a vertical perspective for mobile devices.

The Audi campaign, however, was actually taken from a TV ad and cropped to fit in portrait mode while also being shortened from 30 to eight seconds.

Mikek reported that Celtra currently has 20 brands lined up to run vertical video ads using its technology and expects the trend to be embraced across the industry.

"Going forward, vertical video will be one of the main focuses," Mikek said. "In the next few months, we'll see many more brands doing it."

And the use of vertical video is not restricted to mobile. 

In a Warc Trends Snapshot on vertical video, Sergio Claudio, vp/digital innovation and strategy at RockOrange, explained that such material usually displays well on Facebook, and can be employed in skyscraper and 300 x 600 ad units on desktop, providing the "same amount of real estate" as on mobile.


Data sourced from Mobile Marketer; additional content by Warc staff

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Aussie marketers tackle adtech issues

28 August 2015
SYDNEY: Australia's advertising and marketing industry is increasingly concerned with issues around digital advertising technology according to a new report which also highlights several areas where further education is required.

In The State of the Market: Marketing and Advertising Technology study, for which IAB Australia surveyed 200 respondents, brand safety, ad fraud detection and viewability emerged as areas of particular interest, B&T reported.

But while 76% of respondents were already using ad viewability tracking technology, only half of agencies (48%) had invested in brand safety technology, while a similar proportion of publishers (52%) were not using ad fraud detection.

The study further found that agencies, clients and publishers were all looking to taking advantage of a broad range of tools and technologies in the areas of analytics and measurement.

Relatively few were yet using attribution modelling, data visualisation and content personalisation technologies, although many indicated an intention to start doing so within the next six months.

Up to 15% of clients or marketers, for example, signalled their intent to use mobile analytics or marketing tools, while 10% of clients, marketers and agencies planned to use video analytics. Attribution modelling was a priority for 29% of publishers.

One potential obstacle the survey discovered, however, is that the self-declared understanding of these various technologies was not great.

Clients listed attribution modelling, platforms and data visualisation as their priority areas for education and information. Agencies covered added ad fraud detection to this list while publishers were focused on mobile analytics, ad viewability tracking and ad fraud detection.

"As more and more consumers are using mobile and engaging with online video, marketers and advertisers are acknowledging they need to better analyse and use a range of tools to understand and serve their customers," said Alice Manners, CEO of IAB Australia.

"The industry has expressed a clear hunger for greater accountability and a growing sophistication in their needs so we will continue to work towards supporting their needs," she added.

Data sourced from B&T; additional content by Warc staff

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Clarity ahead for India's TV ratings

28 August 2015
MUMBAI: The long-running debate around India's TV ratings has taken a new, and decisive, turn as the two main protagonists have pooled their resources in a new company to gather all relevant data.

BARC India, the television rating company formed by broadcasters, agencies and advertisers, and TAM India, the television audience measurement company owned by Nielsen and Kantar, are forming a separate meter company which will manage all 34,000 television meters which the two organisations currently operate.

The new business – in which BARC has a 51% stake, TAM 49% – will carry out field work and supply raw data to BARC which will analyse the findings and supply a television rating which will be the sole trading currency for the industry.

This development means an end to the TAM television ratings, the accuracy of which had been disputed by broadcasters, although TAM India will continue to provide non-TV ratings services.

"This partnership is a big step forward and in this era of cooperation, we welcome this move forward as a joint industry body," said Punit Goenka, chairman of BARC India.

"The technology and methodological prowess of BARC, combined with the extra meters and the field force will definitely help the industry progress," he added.

Six months ago, the two sides were at loggerheads as LV Krishnan, CEO of TAM Media Research, condemned the "shameful" behaviour of industry bodies which had advised members to end their arrangements with TAM and subscribe instead to BARC.

The tone now, however, is very different, with Eric Salama, CEO of Kantar, stating: "We are happy to cooperate with BARC India to be able to provide clarity and a large single sample for the industry and to keep India as a key market for us."

And Steve Hasker, global president, Nielsen, said the new venture "draws strengths from both BARC India and TAM India" and would offer "great coverage and representation".

The Indian TV advertising market was worth US$2.2bn last year and is expected to grow at an average rate of 8.1% this year and next, according to the latest data from Warc's International Ad Forecast.

Further, Warc's Media Inflation Forecast, which draws consensus from three major ad agencies on the price of marketing via different media, finds that the cost of a 30 second TV spot in India is likely to rise 10% this year.


Data sourced from IndianTelevision.com, Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff

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Warc launches 2016 Innovation Prize

27 August 2015
LONDON: Warc is today launching the Warc Prize for Innovation 2016, a global search for effective innovation in marketing with a $10,000 cash prize fund.

Now in its fourth year, the competition is free to enter and open to all forms of marketing and communications. Entrants must submit a case study of marketing innovation that delivered meaningful results for a brand.

The work should have been in-market at any time between January 1 2014 and November 30 2015. Full entry details are available at the Prize website.

Innovation can be hard to define, beyond a sense that it marks a break from what went before, and entrants are asked to explain why their strategies should merit being described as innovative.

Nigel Jones, global chief strategy Officer at FCB, judged the 2014 Prize and noted that the industry's definition of innovation was broadening.

"When I first came into the industry, innovation was about new insights and new compositions, and new ways of talking to the audience. Increasingly, that's not true. Innovation is now about utility and what you're going to do with the product or use the product for.”

The competition will name Gold, Silver and Bronze award winners. The Grand Prix, for the best overall paper, will win $5,000.

In addition there are five $1,000 Special Awards, which will be awarded to the best examples of specific types of innovation: product or service innovation, channel innovation, category innovation, co-created innovation and innovation in a not-profit-campaign.

All winning entries will be published and promoted in the Warc Innovation Casebook 2016, Warc's annual report on the world's freshest communication ideas.

The last iteration of the Innovation Prize was won by Clever Buoy, a shark detector campaign for Australian mobile provider Optus. This case study plus useful tips about how to impress the judges, is available on the Prize website, while further information about previous winning cases and their common themes can be found in previous editions of the Innovation Casebook.

A jury of senior marketers for some of the world's biggest brands, plus agency-side experts from around the world, will be announced in the coming months.

Data sourced from Warc

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Brands should build experiences

27 August 2015
LONDON: Marketers seeking to build brand experiences and consumer engagement are being offered a way to bridge the digital and physical environments by the creators of an augmented reality app.

The Traces app sends content to a location rather than a device; the recipient has to be in the right location at the right time to unlock the content – which can be anything from a photo to a video or audio clip – via a digital marker left by the sender and which is revealed in the smartphone's camera view

This twist to location-based marketing has already been used by GoPro, the action camera brand: at SXSW earlier this year it created mobile scavenger hunts around Austin, offering GoPro products and exclusive access to SXSW events to the winners.

And Oxfam, the aid and development charity, recently launched a campaign which employs Traces to deliver messages to people passing its shops and to solicit donations.

Neuroscientist Beau Lotto, founder of Traces, told Marketing that "A lot of my research is on perception, how the brain makes sense of other people – it has to physically engage with the world and the people it cares about."

"What I'm arguing for is the space between," he said, "to have content not on your phone but in the world itself."

So rather than simply clicking on a mobile device, "Traces requires the brain to embark on a journey of discovery, generating dopamine and fostering empathy between connections".

Brands, Lotto suggested, could use this to create experiences and reward people for being in a certain location: "the effort to get a Trace boosts its value".

The brain loves experiences, he explained. "People will spend more money for experiences than objects, and their significance lasts longer."

Lotto further argued that for brands to succeed in digital they had to learn to give.

"We have brands that are close to us, like musicians, and we'll go further for those than for anything else," he said. "And in going further, we feel closer to the brand by having made that effort."

Data sourced from Marketing, Third Sector, Business Wire; additional content by Warc staff

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Mobile gap persists for publishers

27 August 2015
NEW YORK: US publishers report that more than half of visits to their digital properties are coming from mobile devices but that these are contributing less than one fifth of digital ad revenues.

That's the case at the The Wall Street Journal Digital Network and a similar gap is evident at the New York Times Co. "[Mobile revenues] are definitely lagging audience. No question," Meredith Kopit Levien, the latter's chief revenue officer, told the Wall Street Journal.

Where mobile accounts for perhaps 20% of digital ad revenue at the Wall Street Journal sites, that figure is around 15% at those of the New York Times.

Targeting is a major issue, since the tracking infrastructure that has been developed over many years is set up for desktops and doesn't work at all well on mobile.

Andy Blau, Time Inc.'s group general manager, highlighted the difficulties: "We need to be able to help advertisers differentiate between people interested in buying mid-priced cars or expensive cars," he explained.

Unfortunately for publishers anxious to recoup print advertising losses, Facebook and Google are rather more adept at making such distinctions and are soaking up the greater part of mobile advertising dollars.

While some publishers have chosen to jump on the Facebook bandwagon, using its Instant Articles program to publish stories directly to the site, others are exploring alternative approaches.

The New York Times, for example, is to trial a new ad product that divides a day into seven parts and enables marketers to target messages to users in these particular "moments".

The mobile gap was also remarked on by Travis Johnson, global mobile head at IPG Mediabrands. "Consumers are so much more in this space than the advertisers are," he told Beet.tv.

"We've got clients … seeing upwards of 50% of their site traffic come through from mobile devices, and they're dedicating 1% of their spend towards driving people there," he said.

"They're not optimising their assets and making the most of that," he added.

He suggested the gap arose since mobile was still a new space for IT, marketing and sales teams.

"It's almost a new piece of infrastructure to get all your assets aligned," he said. "It's taking a lot of clients quite some time."

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal, Beet.tv; additional content by Warc staff

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Vloggers are a missed opportunity

27 August 2015
NEW YORK: Vloggers are significantly more likely than TV or movie stars to influence millennial purchase intent but brands have yet to fully exploit the opportunities they offer a report has said.

Think tank L2 highlighted the relative influences of these sources in its latest Intelligence Report, on the subject of video. YouTube vloggers had a 62%-63% influence on young adults and teens compared to the 46%-49% exercised by TV and movie stars.

It pointed out that an average popular beauty vlogger video achieved some 438,770 video views and contrasted this with the monthly circulation of some leading magazine titles aimed at a similar demographic.

Thus, for example, Cosmopolitan sells 289,044 copies, while Marie Claire shifts 202,127 and Vogue 200,032.

Overall, beauty vloggers registered more than 700m video views every month, with popular channels attracting 15 times more views and 108 times more subscribers than those belonging to beauty and hair care brands.

But even those brands attempting to leverage partnerships with vloggers often "underutilised this advantage", the report said.

Some 17% of beauty and hair care brands posted content featuring vloggers on their social properties during the final quarter of 2014, but half of these same brands then failed to take advantage of the vloggers' huge audiences on their own YouTube channels.

L2 cited Clean & Clear as an example: the teen skincare brand had featured two popular YouTube vloggers – MayBaby and MamaMiaMakeup – on its brand channel, where video views could reach maybe 17,000, during this period.

But neither vlogger had mentioned the brand in their own videos which typically attract 1.5m views in the case of MayBaby and 371,000 in the case of MamaMiaMakeup.

Sponsoring product placement in videos by popular vloggers could be a better strategy L2 suggested.

This is an area where brands need to tread carefully and ensure transparency. In the UK, vloggers have recently been issued with new guidelines stressing the need to clearly identify when they are promoting a product.

Data sourced from L2; additional content by Warc staff

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SE Asia leads in mobile marketing

27 August 2015
SINGAPORE: The Asia Pacific region is leading the way in the shift to mobile-first business, with marketers in South East Asia particularly focused on mobile as an effective form of customer engagement.

That's the conclusion of a new study by Adobe Digital Index – Best of the Best Benchmark 2015 – which compared the overall average versus the top 20% websites as rated on six key performance indicators across eight regions: South East Asia (including Singapore, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia), Australia and New Zealand, India, South Korea, Hong Kong, China, Japan and the US.

The indicators included smartphone and tablet traffic; stick rate (defined as the percentage of visits that last more than one page); visits-per-visitor; time spent; conversion rate; and click-through-rate.

South East Asia saw double-digit increases year-over-year in their share of smartphone visits, with an 18% increase for best of the best websites and 11% increase for average websites.

Loyal return visitors were more prominent in the region than the US, both from average websites and best of the best websites, which, Adobe Digital Index pointed out, equates to higher loyalty and reduced acquisition costs.

Time spent on websites is the best metric for site engagement and the best of the best websites were 22% higher than the average; all countries in Asia Pacific fared better than the US.

"The best digital marketers in South East Asia are delivering strong results in some key performance areas,” said Tamara Gaffney, Director, Adobe Digital Index.

"Not only did we see the gaps increase for smartphone visits between the best of the best websites and the average websites, we congruently saw the "best of the best” are also moving away from the average in terms of stick rate, indicating the direct correlation between mobile capability and consumer engagement.”

But click-through rates were weak in South East Asia, showing a lack of alignment between consumer intent and advertising execution. Similarly some of the weakest conversion rates were also in the region.

"The data is telling us that delivering seamless experiences across devices is the key to acquisition and engagement,” Gaffney concluded.

Data sourced from Adobe Digital Index; additional content by Warc staff

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Brands refine mela tactics

27 August 2015
NEW DELHI: With the world's largest religious gathering happening over the next three weeks, brands have an opportunity to reach millions of Indian consumers in a very different context from usual.

The Kumbh Mela starting in Nasik on Saturday is only the biggest of many melas taking place over the next few months where brands can explore new and inventive ways of getting their message across to rural consumers.

"There is always a prestige attached to participating in big melas," according to Deepak Oberoi, CEO of experiential marketing business RC&M.

"The local media do stories on the best stalls and it gives a brand so much added publicity without spending a thing," he told the Economic Times.

At the last Kumbh Mela, for example, Hindustan Unilever (HUL) set up 50 handwashing stations to promote its Lifebuoy soap. But what was really newsworthy was the tactic of imprinting the message "Did you wash your hands with Lifebuoy?" on fresh roti breads served by 100 local restaurants.

HUL also brought a novel strategy for its 3 Roses tea brand to the recent Maha Pushkaram in Andhra Pradesh. Some 250 tea stalls were given 3,000 special cups on which a brand logo and message appeared when it was filled with hot liquid.

"The cup transforms a mundane moment into a magical one," explained Shiva Krishnamurthy, general manager & category head/tea. 

"There was a unanimous 'wow' around the 'magic' effect – many even wanted to take the cup home with them," he added.

While novelty and inventiveness may grab people's attention, basic utility is also welcome at such gatherings.

"At the Maha Kumbh 2013, people were camping out," said George Angelo, executive director of sales at FMCG business Dabur. "Odomos is the only protection against mosquitos that works both outdoors and indoors – we distributed it extensively in sachets."

But according to Dalveer Singh, head of experiential marketing, APAC, Dialogue Factory, "The people who have used melas in the best way are local brands".

He drew attention to the "ganji baniyan guys" who "use a call to attention with small rhymes in local language and make an appeal to the entire family". Major brands, he suggested could usefully treat local vendors as a source of insights.


Data sourced from Economic Times; additional content by Warc staff

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Coke's content model fizzes with Mad Men

26 August 2015
RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA: Coca-Cola is using storytelling to deeply engage shoppers – an approach which was epitomised following the appearance of its flagship brand in the finale of the Mad Men series on AMC.

Douglas Busk, Coca-Cola's global group director/digital communications and social media, discussed this topic at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2015 Digital & Social Media Conference.

He said that Coca-Cola Journey, its official website, helped the Atlanta-based firm reach core stakeholders "in the same way they engage us, which is through storytelling." (For more, including further details of Coke's content strategy, read Warc's exclusive report: Coke's behind-the-scenes Journey with Mad Men.)

And the fact Mad Men's final episode closed with Coke's iconic Hilltop ad handed Coca-Cola its greatest chance to leverage fans' interest in the long-running series, in which its brands had regularly featured.

"We simply wanted to provide the real story behind the show, and the characters as depicted, including 'Hilltop' … if only to ensure that the facts were top of the fold," said Busk.

As soon as the last instalment of Don Draper's story finished on the West Coast, the organisation thus had a selection of material ready on Coca-Cola Journey, its official website.

More specifically, the firm refreshed an article about the making of the "Hilltop" spot which it had originally uploaded a few years earlier, alongside introducing a companion piece on the "Unbottled" blog.

"We were aware that 'Hilltop' was going to be featured. We didn't know how. We simply delivered a copy of the ad to the producers," said Busk.

By providing an authoritative – and engaging – take on the subject, however, Coca-Cola was able to connect with Mad Men fans while also making a significant impression in the media.

"The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and dozens of others publications not only mentioned Journey, but they didn't refer to some anonymous [Coca-Cola] person," said Busk.

"They all linked directly to our Journey pieces as official points of record. So it wasn't pushed through the filter of: 'This is what some company shill is telling you.'"

Data sourced from Warc

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African affluents are heavy media users

26 August 2015
DAR ES SALAAM: Affluent Africans are heavy media users, consuming almost five hours a day, with digital fast gaining ground on television.

Nanzala Mwaura, director of client relations at Ipsos SSA, used the findings of a survey by the research organisation – which covered 3.4m affluents in South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana and Morocco – to profile a typical African Affluent for an audience at the All Africa Media Research Conference currently taking place in Dar es Salaam.

They spend just over two hours a day watching television, The MediaOnline reported, while the internet occupies around one and a half hours and print, in the form of newspapers and magazines, about one hour.

The penetration of international television was highest in Uganda and lowest in South Africa.

"Affluent lives and lifestyles have become intertwined with media in general and digital media in particular," Mwaura explained.

Almost all (98%) of this group owned a smartphone and a PC or laptop, while six in ten (62%) owned a tablet; the same proportion (60%) owned all three devices.

Social media has proved a real draw, with 94% of African Affluents having visited a site in the past 30 days.

Mwaura went on to describe African Affluents as "clever, connected, shopaholics".

Ipsos's research found that 88% of them were prepared to pay extra for quality and 90% of them preferred to buy well-known brands.

Most were armed with credit cards (80%) to facilitate their shopping, and among these one third possessed a gold or platinum card.

Luxury brands hoping to tap into this market, however, may have to play a long game. BusinessDay recently reported that Diamond Walk, a new upmarket mall in Johannesburg, often had more security guards than shoppers and quoted a wealth manager as saying brands might have to sustain losses for up to ten years.

Separate research has detailed the cities where the wealthiest Africans live, with the highest concentration found in Johannesburg, home to 23,400 millionaires.

Lagos had less than half that number (9,100), followed by Nairobi (6,200), Luanda (4,900) and Accra (2,250).

Data sourced from The MediaOnline; BusinessDay Live, AFK Insider; additional content by Warc staff

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German social users guard privacy

26 August 2015
BERLIN: The great majority of German social media users avoid posting personal information on social media, while one third never comment on products or services a survey has said.

Bitkom polled 1,013 internet users over the age of 14 years, including 703 active users of social networks, and found that fully 85% consciously refrained from posting information that disclosed certain personal details.

And 43% indicated their participation in networks was not under their real name.

"Most social network users are very careful with personal information and opinions," said Susanne Dehmel, managing director/trust and security, Bitkom.

"They decide what content they will share with other members of the network depending on the situation and content involved."

According to the survey, 41% declined to make any comments on religious content while 37% avoided expressing a view on political issues.

Family privacy was another issue for a significant proportion of respondents: 39% would not post pictures of their children.

Brands' efforts to engage consumers via this platform also run into a wall as one third said they did not comment on products or services.

Almost two thirds were ready, however, to give up information about their sexual orientation, and 45% to add information to photos in which they saw themselves.

A separate Bitkom survey of social media use and television revealed that more than a quarter of social media users (27%) also used sites like Facebook or Twitter, or communities like Couchfunk, to follow TV-related content.

Most do so passively, simply reading what others have written, but almost one in ten (9%) actively participate in discussions.

"The exchange with the community gives the viewer the feeling of sitting together with others in a room and watching TV," observed Timm Lutter of Bitkom, adding that some programmes aired opinions and survey results from social media.

Data sourced from Bitkom; additional content by Warc staff

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Mobile users prefer ads to sharing

26 August 2015
NEW YORK: Mobile consumers are far more likely to click on an ad than on a button inviting them to share branded content via social media, new research has claimed.

"We analysed over 61m mobile sessions and found that only 0.2% of mobile users do any social sharing," said Haresh Kumar, vp/marketing at Moovweb, a mobile experience optimisation business.

In fact, mobile consumers were 11.5 times more likely to click on an advertisement than a social sharing button, Mobile Marketer reported.

"This has deep marketing implications," Kumar noted, "since mobile device traffic is, on average, over 60%."

There are practical reasons for the reluctance to share, as users have to log in first. A single tap on a mobile ad is far easier than laboriously typing out a username and password.

One possible tactic to counter this obstacle would be to add a strong call to action with an incentive, such as a discount or a sweepstakes entry.

"Social sharing has evolved, specifically as it pertains to shopping priorities," said Kumar, explaining that while consumers are increasingly happy to shop on mobile devices, they are not ready to share their purchases with their networks.

"Social is likely the channel of influence during discovery and preference phase," he said. "Social is not top of mind when a consumer is in the moment and making a purchase."

The research showed that Facebook had the highest social sharing button engagement, followed closely by Pinterest. Twitter was third but mobile users were three times more likely to share posts on Facebook.

Kumar advised that while a multiplicity of social sharing buttons could work on desktop, "on mobile it might make sense to limit [them] to a few".

Data sourced from Nobile Marketer; additional content by Warc staff

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Aussies engage with loyalty schemes

26 August 2015
SYDNEY: Australian consumers are more active in loyalty programs than ever before, with a significant proportion buying items they don't need just to earn rewards, a new study has found.

A total of 1,367 consumers who were members of at least one loyalty program – and 84% of Australians fall into this category – were surveyed by by strategic loyalty consultancy Directivity and retention agency Citrus.

The subsequent For Love or Money report stated that 59% of members were active in all of their programs – the average number of memberships was 3.8 – and that this represented a 31% incremental increase from a similar 2013 survey.

They were also spending more: 82% of respondents indicated that they tended to buy more from those companies whose loyalty programs they were members of, a slight increase on the 80% figure of 2013.

And 16% confessed they even bought things they didn't need in order to earn rewards, a figure that jumped to 26% for men under 45.

"If you do the maths, that's a reasonable additional spend that goes straight to the bottom line," observed Adam Posner, report co-author and CEO of Directivity.

"Loyalty programs are a real business imperative for driving brand loyalty and profitability," he said. "While consumers are telling us they're more selective with their programs, they're also more active and engaged."

One reason for that is that brands are keeping their programs simple and fewer people are dropping out.

The research also revealed that consumers are slow to embrace new technology: two thirds (67%) of members preferred a traditional loyalty card while only 10% would choose a mobile app to interact with a program.

"We found this one of the most surprising findings of all," said Peter Noble, report co-author and CEO of Citrus. "It goes to show that getting the card into a person's wallet or purse is a critical piece of brand real estate and connection."

The report also revealed that members would like some form of acknowledgement for interacting with brands: 53% wanted to be rewarded for answering surveys and 46% for opening emails.

Data sourced from The Loyalty Point; additional content by Warc staff

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Personalisation boosts email open rates

26 August 2015
WALTHAM, MASS: Sending more personalised email campaigns can result in open rates being lifted by nearly 150% a new study has claimed.

This was one of the conclusions reached by Constant Contact, an online marketing specialist, from an analysis of the more than 100bn customer emails it has sent over the past two years.

Campaigns sent to 35 subscribers or fewer, suggesting more personalised content, saw the best open rates of 55%, a figure that dwarfed the average open rate of 22%.

Campaigns sent to more than 7,500 subscribers, on the other hand, suggest low personalisation levels and these averaged an open rate of 14%.

Jesse Harriott, chief analytics officer at Constant Contact, claimed this was "conclusive proof that personalising the emails you send, so that you're speaking directly to specific interests and wants of a subscriber, not only strengthens the relationship with subscribers, it results in better campaign performance".

"Small businesses tend to be great at developing authentic customer relationships," he added, "and this data underscores the marketing value of those relationships."

Another finding was that the subscriber domain was also a factor influencing open rates. Campaigns sent to Comcast Cable, Verizon Wireless, and Cox Communications email addresses had the highest open rates out of any domain name, with AOL, Hotmail, and Yahoo! bringing up the rear.

The study further confirmed that mobile devices now make up a majority of email opens.

Just over half (51%) of all emails are now opened on either a smartphone or tablet, according to the study – 39% on a smartphone and 12% on a tablet.

Harriott added that three quarters of subscribers would delete emails if unable to read them on their mobile device.

"Small businesses must have a mobile-first mindset when it comes to their email marketing," he declared.

Data sourced from Business Wire; additional content by Warc staff

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Programmatic video surges in SE Asia

26 August 2015
SINGAPORE: Advertisers across Southeast Asia are upping their investment in programmatic video, with mobile in particular registering a surge in the second quarter of the year according to a new report.

A quarterly report from Tubemogul examined four markets in the region – Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines – and revealed a 20% increase in mobile video programmatic auctions compared to the first quarter.

"The data reflects an evolution in buying attitudes where advertisers are now planning their media buys holistically across desktop and mobile screens," said Susan Salop, VP/Asia, TubeMogul.

"We are witnessing a shift by advertisers in Southeast Asia to diversify their video campaigns and reach audiences whenever and wherever they access video content," she added.

All four markets had seen the average number of daily auctions increase quarter-on-quarter, Mumbrella reported. The fastest growing market was Singapore, which registered a 28% increase to 2.9m; the greatest absolute rise came in Indonesia, where almost 14m daily auctions took place, up from 11.5m in the first quarter.

Not only was the quantity of programmatic mobile inventory growing but its quality was improving. This, Salop noted, had led to more stable pricing compared to the "wild fluctuations" that had been seen in previous quarters.

She added that advertisers were now realising that video completion rates on portable devices were high because of strong user engagement.

Advertisers are moving beyond simply buying video at scale and are now assessing the engagement metrics that mobile video can provide, she said.

Desktop pre-roll inventory had also grown impressively, with Singapore recording an eight-fold increase while Indonesia leapt 17 times.

"We have moved past the question of whether there is enough scale and inventory in Southeast Asia for brands and agencies to buy digital video programmatically," stated Salop.

"The data shows that advertisers who want to plan and optimise their video advertising media buys across screens can do it today."

Data sourced from Mumbrella, Digital Market Asia; additional content by Warc staff

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Coke puts fizz into online content

25 August 2015
RANCHO PALOS VERDES, CA: Coca-Cola, the soft drinks giant, is using an "A-to-B-to-C" content model to ensure its official website tells engaging stories which its marketing cannot, or does not, focus on.

Douglas Busk, Coca-Cola's global group director/digital communications and social media, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2015 Digital & Social Media Conference.

"If you're seeing a paid ad for us on the Super Bowl or the World Cup, that's 'A-to-B' content," he said. (For more, including further details of its approach to content, read Warc's exclusive report: Coca-Cola's Journey to online publishing platform.)

"That's our traditional mechanism that Coca-Cola has done so well with. We have paid, earned and shared for over 129 years."

But Coca-Cola Journey, the organisation's magazine-like official website, fulfils a distinctive purpose for the firm.

"We also have our own opportunity to tell another story that goes deeper. And that's 'A-to-B-to-C' content," said Busk.

Such material may span anything from details of product innovations to outlining what its sweeteners are made of and details covering its corporate social responsibility programs.

This output all tells stories in Coca-Cola's own voice, and without relying on press releases or other techniques which have usually been employed to push out news, stories and company updates.

"We tell the stories of the [Coca-Cola] people and the processes that pull back the curtain on the company," said Busk.

Often, this task involves answering questions which "nag at our consumers' - and even our critics' - minds", he revealed.

"Most frequently," continued Busk, "we find that the intriguing stories that have spreadability and virality, are, in fact, exactly those that our marketing teams aren't necessarily focused on.

"We need to be able to tell stories that our marketers can't, shouldn't, wouldn't or, frankly, don't," he added.

Data sourced from Warc

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Brands see benefits of music videos

25 August 2015
LONDON: Opportunities for product placement and reaching younger audiences are encouraging an increasing number of brands to use music videos as an essential component of their campaigns.

For UK online retailer Very, targeting consumers on YouTube has proved highly effective, to such an extent that the company's marketing director believes music videos will become the future of marketing.

"We know that our target customer over indexes on YouTube in order to watch music videos so taking fashion to that space is a no brainer and a big win for us," said Kenyatte Nelson in comments to Marketing Week.

"Music is a universal language and allows us to approach our customers in a less commercial and a more engaging way. There aren't many brands truly investing in this space, but they will – it will become the future of marketing," he added.

But it is not just music videos that offer opportunities, he said, pointing to the popular US TV show "Scandal", which he suggested is watched as much for the outfits worn by the lead characters as for the plotline.

"The main character Olivia Pope always wears a beautiful coat, it could be a Burberry or a Calvin Klein. It is a running joke that this thing sells out the next day," he said.

Product placement is also being made easier with the inventive use of modern technology, according to James Cornish, UK sales director of video-hosting service Vevo.

He cited MirriAd, a Universal-backed native advertising platform which can integrate brands messages into music videos, and said Vevo worked with MirriAd to insert billboards and branding into the Minions computer-animated movie.

Another advantage of online video is its ability to engage younger audience and its longevity, said music analyst Mark Mulligan.

"What's key to brands getting into music videos is longevity," he said. "If you advertise on television, it's time sensitive. However if a brand places an advert or product placement within a music video, it will still be seen two years from now and still in big numbers."

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff

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Twitter users are loyal TV fans

25 August 2015
NEW YORK: TV networks and advertisers have opportunities to maximise earned media and build loyalty among viewers who use Twitter over the course of a programme's season, according to a new report.

Research firm Nielsen sought to establish whether these "social TV authors" are limited to the same group who comment on Twitter each week or if other viewers join in during the course of a programme's season.

Based on analysis of 113 programme seasons, from premiere to finale, covering September 2014 to May 2015, Nielsen Social uncovered three key insights for marketers.

It found that new social TV authors regularly join conversations about programmes; loyal authors are valuable for more than just their social allegiance; and big programme moments inspire more fans to participate.

After finding that an average of 10 times as many authors tweet about a programme in total across a season compared with the number of authors who contribute in an average week, the report concluded that "new voices jump into the conversation throughout the season".

Nielsen suggested that provides an opportunity for networks and advertisers to convert new authors into loyal programme authors, perhaps through on-screen calls to action or paid social campaigns.

There is also value for networks and advertisers in engaging loyal programme authors because, for the top loyal programmes, more than a fifth of authors tweet about three or more episodes during a season.

ABC's "Scandal" has the top programme loyalty on Twitter, at 24%, followed by AMC's "The Walking Dead" (23%), Fox's "Empire" (22%), ABC's "How To Get Away With Murder" (22%) and FX's "Sons of Anarchy" (21%).

Finally, the study found there are big moments within a season when larger groups of authors jump into the conversation.

On average, 25% of all programme authors tweet about premieres and 16% tweet about finales while, between these two groups combined, 38% tweet during those two moments.

With a full 25% of authors tweeting about premieres, Nielsen said premieres could be a critical point at the beginning of a season to maximise "early buzz and foster loyalty for ensuing episodes".

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff

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Instagram influences creative work

25 August 2015
NEW YORK: As a growing number of brands use Instagram as an advertising channel for their campaigns, the natural visual style of the photo-sharing app is causing many creatives to adapt their work to make it fit well with the medium.

As reported by Adweek, design teams are beginning to see the benefit of moving away from over-lit and over-edited photos to a more "authentic" look and this approach increasingly is being used for campaigns.

One example was a campaign organised by agency Deutsch LA for Taco Bell, the fast-food chain, in which the photography focused on post-purchase moments, such as friends eating tacos together on the beach, to give the images a more "honest feel".

Nathan Iverson, evp and design director at Deutsch LA, said: "We kind of call it 'perfectly imperfect'. People will call you out pretty easily if your food looks overly propped or overly perfect, because that's not how it is."

He added that Instagram is not necessarily inventing anything new, but is allowing designers to tap into old photographic techniques to "give life back to photographs that not everybody had access to".

For Alex Nassour, an art director at North Carolina agency McKinney, Instagram is also encouraging creatives around the world to embrace new trends.

"Now Instagram especially is responsible for speeding up the rate that we try to push aesthetics and try new things," he said.

Meanwhile, Chris Corley, group creative director at VML in Kansas City, said advertising has to adapt to Instagram and so agencies are starting to hire photographers who are respected on the platform to shoot for both digital and print.

With authenticity becoming a "huge part" of the evolution of photography, he expected that an increasing number of campaigns, including print, will move away from looking too overproduced and instead seek to offer a more first-person view.

Data sourced from Adweek; additional content by Warc staff

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China remains top for grocery sales

25 August 2015
BEIJING/LONDON: Despite global stock market jitters about the state of the Chinese economy, grocery sales in the country are forecast to increase by a third between now and 2020, according to a new industry report.

With sales of $1,119bn in 2015, China is already the largest grocery market in the world, but rapid development in medium tier cities will drive sales up to $1,491bn in five years' time, the UK-based Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) has said.

China's rapid adoption of smartphones and other devices will also drive "explosive growth" in online grocery shopping, which the IGD expected will triple in size by 2020.

IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch said these developments in China will offer many more opportunities for retailers and Western brands.

"China will maintain its position as the world's biggest grocery market for the foreseeable future," she said. "Although the Chinese growth rate is slowing, it's still very impressive, particularly in tier three and four cities."

India and some other Asian countries are also expected to record rapid growth over the next five years, again supported by their expanding populations and the growth of online shopping options.

The grocery sector in India is forecast to increase by 79% to $901bn in 2020, by which date Indonesia's grocery market is expected to be worth $351bn, or nearly as much as the UK's ($352bn).

The Philippines is expected to record 60% growth to $160bn, but growth will be much lower in the mature Japanese market which is expected to grow by only 6% over the next five years to $485bn.

Meanwhile, Nigeria is forecast to generate the fastest growth of the 15 largest markets covered in the report, with grocery sales expected to increase by 85% to $306bn.

By 2020, the US will remain the second largest grocery market in the world with sales of $1,305bn, the report predicted, but its growth rate of 21% will be lower than in China, India and many other emerging markets.

Data sourced from IGD; additional content by Warc staff

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Nigerian ecommerce faces hurdles

25 August 2015
LAGOS: Trust and convenience are the drivers behind the huge growth of ecommerce in Nigeria, but high internet costs and poor infrastructure are limiting its potential, one of the country's leading digital innovators has said.

Speaking to the Daily Times, Raphael Afaedor said there had been significant progress over the last few years, but ecommerce growth is being hindered by longstanding problems with poor roads, telecommunication networks and an unsteady power supply.

Afaedor is well-placed to speak with authority because he is the former co-founder of Jumia, Nigeria's largest online retailer, and currently the co-founder and CEO of rival online marketplace, Supermart.ng.

"It will be a welcome development if the government can make strategic plans and policies to check these infrastructures and ensure that they are in place in order to aid not just ecommerce business but businesses generally," he said, while recognising that the security situation has to be its top priority.

In the meantime, he called on all organisations to think creatively and work around these infrastructure challenges to ensure they deliver for their customers.

There are great opportunities for those businesses able to do so because Nigerians have become much more trusting about the ecommerce option.

Nigerian consumers gained confidence in ecommerce ventures because they were able to pay on delivery, he said, but increasing numbers are now willing to pay in advance.

"At Supermart.ng, for instance, there is a system in place that customers can trust to deliver their groceries to them within three hours without any hitch so they pay online before deliver, not after delivery," he said.

This growing consumer confidence in ecommerce, as well as the convenience that online shopping offers, has helped the sector to grow at an estimated 25% a year.

He went on to point to a recent report from the Ministry of Communications Technology that disclosed ecommerce in Nigeria was worth just $35m in 2012, but it is now valued at $550m and has the potential of $13bn if it is harnessed well.

Data sourced from Daily Times; additional content by Warc staff

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Google India: Mobile overtakes desktop

25 August 2015
MUMBAI: Search queries on Google that come from mobile devices in India have now surpassed desktop queries, the internet giant's country marketing director has revealed.

Although Sandeep Menon did not disclose the exact figure, he confirmed that mobile search is now "more than 50%", up from less than 25% in the second half of 2013. The share of mobile and desktop was equal last year, Business Standard reported.

Menon attributed the rapid growth of mobile queries in India to the sheer number of new mobile internet users going online each month, which Google estimates at about six million.

With rival Facebook having already reported that its mobile traffic in India was higher than traffic from desktop, there will be implications for advertisers, said Hareesh Tibrewala, joint CEO of digital ad firm Social Wavelength.

"It means advertisers have to come up with more content for mobiles too as the advertisement spending is expected to go up," he said.

As the trend to mobile gathers momentum, Google also aims to win over new and existing Indian customers with a range of new features that it showcased at its Google House event at the end of last week.

For example, Google has been developing a voice search function that does not require users to type out their request and it has been optimised for English in a Hindi accent as well as in Hindi.

Also on display was a new instant translation feature in Google Translate that was launched recently in Hindi. Users can receive instant translations by opening the app and then pointing their device at text.

Google India also announced at the event that its YouTube subsidiary has partnered with Whistling Woods International, the renowned film school, to set up a new YouTube Space in Mumbai.

Data sourced from Business Standard, Udaipur Kiran; additional content by Warc staff

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