The Warc Blog

Our risky obsession with shiny new tech

Posted by: John Ounpuu, Co-Founder, Modern Craft

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About 2,500 year ago, Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu observed that "tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat". I often wonder what he'd think of modern marketing.

Consider—Facebook's newly announced virtual reality browser for Oculus has marketers buzzing. The notion that a brand might reach VR users through a website instead of a standalone app is undeniably fresh and compelling.

25 November 2016, 10:17
One year on from our 2016 trends, how did we do?

Posted by: David Tiltman, Head of Content, Warc

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We’re getting ready to launch Toolkit 2017, our guide to six trends we think will have an impact on marketing in the year ahead.

This will be the sixth year we have run a Toolkit. The report, which we’ll be running once again in association with Deloitte Digital, draws on Warc’s best practice papers, articles, case studies and research to pull out some key lessons for marketers.

22 November 2016, 10:23
Invent brand innovation

Posted by: Gareth Kay, Co-founder, Chapter

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Brands, their marketing and those who advise them tend to live at two polar extremes of the world and oscillate wildly between them. The first state is where we paint a grand vision of the future, steal a load of ideas from Minority Report, greatly overestimate the long-term impact of change and highly inflate the brand's role in the brave new world.

A far more dangerous state, however, is the world we spend most of our time in. A world of managing the day-to-day. Of mistaking tactics for strategy. And a world that is frightfully devoid of imagination. It's the world of brand management. Its very name denotes a cautious and incrementalist approach while its actions often trap brands in their present rather than give them the conviction and inspiration to shape their own brighter future. Our approach to managing brands comes with an inbuilt myopia and laziness that limits their very potential.

21 November 2016, 16:43
A call for collaboration: setting the standards for global ad quality

Posted by: Paul Nasse, Commercial Director, Integral Ad Science

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With programmatic ad spend expected to reach £2.5bn in 2016, factors such as brand safety, ad fraud, and viewability are ongoing concerns for the digital advertising industry. The debate around media quality in both programmatic and publisher direct environments has gained momentum, reaching a climax with the announcement of the Coalition for Better Ads in September 2016.

The consortium – which aims to establish a set of global standards – is the first example of major players including P&G, Facebook and Google, actively joining forces in an attempt to maintain ad quality, while protecting revenues. But will this be enough? 

15 November 2016, 17:24
Three ways brands can tackle mobile ad fraud

Posted by: Guest blog

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This is a guest blog from Lisa Menaldo, UK Managing Director, Sublime Skinz

"Fraud ultimately follows dollars," Scott Knoll, Chief Executive and President of Integral Ad Science, rightly explained at this year's dmexco conference.

26 October 2016, 15:19
It all begins with a brief

Posted by: Faris Yakob, Co-founder, Genius Steals

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In August I delivered a Warc webinar entitled 'Beyond boring briefs: How to inspire great work' and it garnered the most attention and follow-up requests of any that we've done together. Lots of people seem to agree that briefs have become boring. Planners feel as if they are endlessly writing the same briefs, filling out the same forms, regardless of which agency, client or project they are working on.

Looking back in time and across agencies and geographies, we found a great deal of similarity. At the emergence of planning in the USA at Chiat/Day in the late 1980s, we can see the modern form of the brief emerge and solidify: a problem to be solved by advertising, consumers to target with messaging, a single thought, reasons to believe it, and some sense of the brand. My partner, Rosie, uncovered an internal memo written by Jane Newman at Chiat/Day that explains the problem with this sea of sameness: we are in the differentiation business, yet we fail to differentiate. The agency adopted account planning for a reason: "To achieve our creative philosophy of relevant distinctiveness, we've also applied that same creativity to how we structure ourselves both internally and dealing with clients." But what was heresy became orthodoxy and in many advertising agencies around the world, the structures and briefs are identical.

24 October 2016, 10:53
Life in Flow – Tap Science for Better Creative

Posted by: Dan Machen, Director of Innovation, HeyHuman

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As the world around us changes at an incredible pace, you don't need to be a marketing genius to see that the relationships between people and brands are, changing. There has been an explosion in digital messaging, which has led to reduced attention, recall and emotional engagement. Where people once leant in to brand stories, it's now increasingly a case of talk to the hand.

At HeyHuman, we believe that this mind-set requires us to embrace science to a greater to degree as per the recent WARC article 'Creative Agencies Need to Tap Science'. But how can we do this?

14 October 2016, 17:02
How John Keats invented VR

Posted by: Malcolm White, Co-founder, Krow Communications

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OK, that's not strictly true. Actually, it's not true at all. But it made you want to read on, didn't it? Or perhaps not?

According to surveys, if you're a regular reader of poetry then you're in a tiny minority, so perhaps name-checking the writer of such masterpieces as 'Ode on a Grecian Urn', 'To Autumn' and 'Ode to a Nightingale' wasn't much of a hook for you?

23 September 2016, 11:24
Moment marketing is where the magic is

Posted by: Lucy Aitken, Case Study Editor, Warc

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On the eve of the deadline for the Warc Media Awards, Lucy Aitken, Case Study Editor, Warc, considers how moment marketing could make an impact on this year's entries

The deadline for entries for the Warc Media Awards approaches and entries are starting to arrive. Already, there's a body of evidence showing how smarter comms planning helps campaigns be more effective, from a car brand that successfully used CRM data to help convert online forms into test drives to an IT brand that boosted lead generation through an effective partnership.

14 September 2016, 12:25
Why we should welcome Google's ban on Interstitials

Posted by: Guest blog

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This guest blog is by Scott Curtis, European Mobile Strategy & Development Director, Starcom

Google's quest to continue its dominance of our digital spend continues with its latest efforts to protect the web. Its most recent announcement is to penalise pages that contain annoying 'intrusive' interstitials with site-ranking algorithms.

13 September 2016, 15:21
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