It being holiday season, I decided to do some reading in the transport & tourism section on Warc.
Brands are embracing an emphasis on context: Uber, for instance, has found out how to talk to drivers in Hong Kong, literally, and get them talking. Similarly, the UK's tourism agency took to Weibo with great success among its affluent target audience.
Though the sun is out, consumers are still glued to their mobiles: Booking.com has found almost a third of their bookings take place on smartphones. Indonesian marketers, in particular, have heeded this trend, with mobile adspend increasing 200% this year. Here are some of the things I learned this week.
Paul Wilson, Managing Partner, Strategy, Starcom MediaVest Group, is on the judging panel for the Effective Use of Tech category at the Warc Media Awards.
Warc's Lucy Aitken interviewed him earlier this month.
What is your take on the role of comms planning versus creative planning?
Where you talk to people and how you engage with them is becoming more important because increasingly, people can opt out of advertising completely.
Here at the Warc offices, we often gaze across the chasm at editorial – with their glasses and dual-monitors – and wonder what they actually do all day.
So, looking at Warc this last week, it was refreshing to see agencies confront their own chasm and bring strategy and creative together for each to consider the other’s purpose. And how Barbie has adopted a positioning that turned the all-American girl into a modern, cosmopolitan woman, leveraging the influence that comes with 99% global awareness.
The eternal quest of every brand is to be able to meaningfully differentiate itself from a competitive set. To connect with consumers in a way that resonates and thus ultimately drives them to opt for their brand above all others. Needless to say that as a process it epitomises the saying "easier said than done".
This week the story of Sprite appeared in the press. In their most recent campaign effort to stand out as a brand "celebrating those with the guts to tell it like it is," they became 'that guy' on a night out who is memorable for all the wrong reasons.
When someone says that, what are they asking? They're asking for permission to enquire about something you may not be comfortable talking about because it's private. It's not something you would normally share publicly, hence the need for permission. (Especially if you are British.)
What makes something personal? Uniquely yours, concerning your private life (is that still a thing?), your emotions, desires, hopes, dreams, relationships, secrets. This is an interesting inversion, since the root of the word - persona - literally means 'mask': the kind worn in Graeco-Roman drama.
Here are the results of the latest assignment from A[P]SOTW – Advertising [Planning] School On The Web.
This initiative is run by a team of senior planners from across the world. They post challenges for up-and-coming planners and marketers – or, in fact, anyone with an interest in smart ideas and communications – and have the entries judged by a heavyweight group of marketers and strategy experts.
An early indication that a campaign will appear on Warc one day as an effectiveness paper is when it is fervently shared at launch. Channel 4's 'We're the Superhumans' Rio Paralympics 2016 trailer, created in-house, was the broadcaster's most shared ad to date and shows, among other amazing acts, a man flying a plane with his feet.
Total UK advertising expenditure is forecast to rise 4.2% this year, with the growth rate easing to +3.8% in 2017, according to the latest results from the AA/Warc Expenditure Report, released this week.
The latest projections follow the 4.3% growth recorded during the first quarter of 2016, when total UK adspend amounted to £5,007m. This was the first time more than £5bn was spent during a first quarter period.
Doping casts a shadow over the Olympics. Excitement about record breaking performances will be tempered by doubts about whether they were chemically fuelled. But this uncertainty about who is cheating led Matthew Dunn, a psychologist at the University of Sydney, to create an ingenious experiment.
In 2011, Dunn asked 974 elite athletes to estimate the prevalence of drug taking in their sport. He found recent drug users estimated 45% of their competitors also cheated, whereas non-users put the figure at just 12%. The athletes couldn't help but project their behaviour onto others.
We take great pride as an industry in our ability to solve problems. It's how we tend to frame our capabilities to clients. It's how we describe what we do to our non-industry friends. It's how we award (and reward) ourselves across strategy and creative awards.
Yet, when you think about it, problem solving is a horrible way to think about what any of us do. It is reactive.