One year on from our 2016 trends, how did we do?
David Tiltman, Head of Content, Warc
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.
A call for collaboration: setting the standards for global ad quality
Paul Nasse, Commercial Director, Integral Ad Science
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?
Edward Bell, CEO, FCB Greater China
As we've all no doubt heard by now, China is retooling its economy. In a case of 'what got you here won't get you there', declining global demand for manufactured goods combined with a desire to climb up the IP food chain has meant that China has hitched its wagon to the innovation train. But how committed are they?
Regardless of what is to come, some large strides in this direction have been made already. Where intercity travel used to take days in old rattlers, China today has the world's most extensive high-speed rail network. Today's China produces 100 million graduates a year who are unfamiliar with the hardships of their parents. The so-called 'workshop to the world' now submits more patent applications than any other country, has committed 2.5% of GDP to science and innovation and RMB 6.5 billion purely for student entrepreneurship, as a counter to the Silicon Valley effect.
Time to move beyond #unstereotype
J. Walker Smith, Executive Chairman, Kantar Futures
With Unilever starting to see positive results from its much publicised new purposeful approach, Kantar Futures executive chairman J Walker Smith says it's time for brands to set rather than simply follow this new agenda.
Unilever's shift in tactics towards advertising with purpose seems to be working. According to the company's executive vice president of global marketing Aline Santos, speaking at Advertising Week in New York in October, pursuing the #unstereotype initiative to end female stereotyping has produced ads that are "more relevant to consumers and connect more deeply with consumers."
It all begins with a brief
Faris Yakob, Co-founder, Genius Steals
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.
TV Trends: The Missing NFL Viewers
Brian Wieser, Senior Research Analyst, Pivotal Research Group
The NFL is arguably the most important media property for television networks, for advertisers and MVPDs alike. On a live + 3-day basis, NFL games accounted for 8.6% of all TV viewing during the first five weeks of this season, and a significantly higher share of the viewing for networks with rights to air its games, including CBS, Disney’s ESPN, Fox, NBC and the NFL Network.
With higher-than-average pricing for ad inventory, the programming is disproportionately important beyond those viewing shares in terms of ad revenue, which marketers prize because of the still-relatively high ratings (and thus efficient spending given the limited unintended audience duplication vs. aggregating similar volumes of gross ratings points from buying a greater number of units on lesser-rated programs). Networks’ affiliate sales efforts and the health of the market for retransmission consent holds up in part because of the value of the programming to consumers, who are in turn generally willing to pay relatively more to their MVPDs for access to that programming as well.
OMD Innovation Week: From AR to VR to MR
Brian Carruthers, News Editor, Warc
It may soon be time to add another acronym to your collection as mixed reality (MR) heaves into view. As part of Innovation Week, the week-long event being run by OMD UK, Arthur Tindsley and Frazer Hurrell, creative technologists at AOL's Partner Studio in London, demonstrated Microsoft's HoloLens and outlined how it differs from augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) options.
Virtual reality, as offered by the likes of Samsung Gear and Oculus Rift, is completely immersive and excludes the outside world. That leads to potential accidents as users forget that a table isn't real and go to lean on it only to fall on the floor. Plus they're tethered to a powerful PC that runs the applications. HTC Vive and Google Cardboard offer a different sort of VR experience using mobile.
Are social media and gaming good for us?
Joseph Clift, Product Manager, Warc
It’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves as we scroll through yet another smug status update or toss our phone across the room because we didn't match a row of colourful candy: is all this digital distraction actually good for us? One thing’s for sure: digital media has been blamed for a lot of society’s ills. And that’s despite its massive - and increasing - global popularity, with one piece of research showing that we touch our phones an average of 2,500 times daily, with 80% of our time spent on just five apps.
Two of digital's most-popular by-products, social media and gaming, were put under the microscope by a series of speakers at Unfolded, an event organised by London-based creative agency Fold7 and held yesterday night. First up was Professor Robin Dunbar, an Oxford academic and creator of Dunbar's Number, which suggests that humans can comfortably maintain only 150 stable relationships. Then came Helen Lewis, deputy editor of political magazine The New Statesman and inventor of another social metric: Lewis' law holds that "the comments on any article about feminism justify feminism". Also speaking were Martin Talks, founder of Digital Detoxing - a company that takes participants on activity holidays on the proviso they leave their devices behind - and cyber psychologist Berni Good, an academic expert on gaming.