The Warc Blog

Invent brand innovation

Posted by: Gareth Kay, Co-founder, Chapter

Blog author

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
Olympic sponsorship evaluation: a steward's enquiry

Posted by: Guest blog

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A response to: Nissan is an Olympics brand winner

This guest blog is written by Richard Reid, who manages iris SPORT's consultancy and data offering in APAC.

06 October 2016, 09:20
Lunchbox: What we know about snacking from Euromonitor, Bear snacks, Chiquita, and Mondelez

Posted by: Nicola Tillin, Commercial Director, EMEA, Warc

Blog author

It's back to school week and my Facebook feed has filled up with photos of my friends' kids in their new uniforms, lunchboxes packed, posing for the traditional first day back at school photo. 

It got me thinking about what kids have in their lunchboxes in comparison to what I remember taking, so I did a bit of research on what Warc had on the subject of snacking – and here are some of the things I learnt from the Warc.com database:

08 September 2016, 09:47
Heineken's Ron Amram: Why sponsorship is more than a media buy

Posted by: Lucy Aitken, Case Study Editor, Warc

Blog author

Ron Amram, Vice President of Media at Heineken USA, is chair of the judging panel for the Effective use of partnerships and sponsorships in the Warc Media Awards. A serially decorated marketer, Amram has led the Heineken team to 20 Cannes Lions awards.

Warc's Lucy Aitken spoke to him about how sponsorship goes beyond a media buy, leveraging passion points, and getting his brand into 'non-American football.'

17 August 2016, 16:27
Casual Introduction to [data] Planning

Posted by: Waqar Riaz, , Cheil Worldwide

Blog author

In general, when talking about the significant increase in structured and unstructured human data and the technologies capturing it, we can take two angles; we can debate over why marketing should use it OR we can try to understand how marketing should use it to deliver sustainable value for brands and agencies.

Today, we see a lot of notes on why marketing should use data. We read that DMPs can help save and make us millions of dollars through frequency capping, retargeting and suppressions. We find that building advanced and ad-hoc segmentations by integrating offline and online data, we can achieve the ideal marketing mix to drive higher ROI. We discover that real-time and targeted re-marketing can help us with cross-sell and up-sell opportunities through every step of the customer lifecycle. We learn that by automating and optimising marketing campaigns we can deliver personalised experiences and increase conversions. We discover that by integrating 1st, 2nd & 3rd party data, we can transform our marketing to spill gold every second. 

11 August 2016, 16:20
The balancing act of 'stand out' advertising: Being refreshingly honest rather than plain brutal

Posted by: Katie Sterling, Client Services Manager, Warc

Blog author

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.

10 August 2016, 14:55
Five of the best… 2016 Olympic Ads

Posted by: Lucy Aitken, Case Study Editor, Warc

Blog author

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.



 A fitting sequel to Channel 4's 2012 Superhumans campaign, it's part of a wider initiative by the broadcaster to encourage advertisers to use more disabled talent in their communications.

It premiered on Facebook where it generated the most organic video views and overall reach from a single post on Channel 4's Facebook page this year. On YouTube it's currently attracted more than 3 million views. Not since Sport England's This Girl Can campaign has an ad fizzed with such a positive mission.

'The Anthem' by Samsung is a truly creative enterprise which breaks the category norm for consumer electronics. It stitches together an international anthem from countries' individual anthems and enlists Olympic athletes and fans to sing it. In tumultuous times, the effect is stirring.



 Samsung states in an official release that the ad: 'strives to break down barriers of geographic borders and to unite the world.' Let's be serious: one ad can't do that. But 'Anthem' at least provides a dose of much-needed optimism, helping Samsung to differentiate in a category that is not exactly renowned for rousing anthems. Through Leo Burnett Chicago and Sydney, it's attracted 24.5 million YouTube views since 21 July.

Speaking of differentiating, Gillette's 'Perfect Isn't Pretty' flies in the face of regular razor advertising. Targeting Gillette's heartland of casual male sports fans aged 18-34, it's an exercise in 'matching the equities of the Games with those of Gillette,' according to Grey New York.



 It's a realistic and gritty tale of how four athletes - Neymar Jr., Ashton Eaton, Ning Zetao, and Andy Tennant - reached Olympic standard. A remix of 'Unstoppable' by Sia fits the mood. Grey New York describes its 'darker tone and style' as 'atypical for Gillette.' To date, it's attracted more than 26 million YouTube views.

Still in personal care, Unilever-owned Dove has highlighted the chasm between the performance of female gymnasts and their representation in the media. 'My Beauty, My Say' sees Dove using digital interactive billboards in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto, to stream live commentary to demonstrate how often the onus is on athletes' appearance as opposed to their performance. Via Razorfish, this highlights the pressures felt by female athletes while at the same time reinforcing Dove's Real Beauty credentials. It's a smart approach for Unilever which is up against P&G's mighty Thank You, Mom effort, now in its second Games.

Finally, if you haven't yet seen Gatorade's incredible The Boy Who Learned To Fly about Usain Bolt stop what you're doing and devote seven minutes to it. The sports drink category tends to be characterised by scientific talk about how the hi-tech business of hydration enhances performance through isotonic refreshment, etc. etc.



This beautiful film, made by Moonbot Studios, is a different entity altogether: an animation of the life of Usain Bolt which has so far generated 4.5 million views on YouTube. Listen carefully and you can hear the trophy cupboard at TBWA\Chiat\Day in Los Angeles being cleared to make way for all the awards it will no doubt win.

03 August 2016, 15:52
Point of view: Stop problem solving

Posted by: Gareth Kay, Co-founder, Chapter

Blog author

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. It firmly places us in a pigeonhole as a contractor, with all the issues of commoditisation of which we are too well aware. It limits our influence and potential in the world and in our clients' organisations. It focuses on our superpower of distillation rather than our other, arguably more valuable, superpower: the commercial value we create through expansive, imaginative thinking that can lead not just to more effective solutions but to new opportunities for our clients. We need to stop taking briefs at face value. Far too often we accept the same old briefs - raise awareness, change perception, etc. - at face value. We solve the same problems - problems that far too often have far too little potential impact on the real commercial problem. The first job to be done on any assignment is to look for the best problem to solve. I'd argue that our value truly lies in being problem finders, not problem solvers. So, how do we get better at problem finding?

21 July 2016, 09:41
Blood, sweat and brands

Posted by: Guest blog

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This guest post is written by Maria Vardy, Brand Comms MD at Jaywing

Successful brands are harder working brands

19 July 2016, 15:45
#TogetherStronger

Posted by: Sam Peña-Taylor, Editorial Assistant, Warc

Blog author

Welsh people don't often get much to cheer about. And yet we do - often. It's a small country, but a noisy one.

When it comes to football, there has been precious little to shout about since 1958, when a certain Pelé put a hole in our hopes in the knockout stage. Prior to that, the team's campaign had been consistent, though far from glorious. Three low-scoring draws resulted in a play-off against Hungary, fresh from thrashing Mexico 4-0 just two days earlier. A narrow victory saw us through, but not for long.

06 July 2016, 15:39
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