The Warc Blog

More from the IAB Annual Leadership Conference 2010

Posted by: Katherine Mawhinney-Kam, Designer and Production Editor, Warc

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As I previously posted, Geoffrey Precourt has been at the IAB Leadership Conference this week and he's written two more reports, available for free on

If you missed the first two reports, you can find them here.

26 February 2010, 16:52
Planning ‘Identifying the Change’

Posted by: Waqar Riaz, , Cheil Worldwide

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Of course, the ‘prosumer’ challenge faced by brands today demands a change of thinking from client’s as well as from the agency’s side.  It is fundamental for brands to change the way they plan and execute their processes. This makes the job of a Planner more interesting and even more challenging, as the planner of the future has to be an expert thinker of every link between the Brand, Audience and the Agency.

Russell Marsh, Group Digital Strategy Director at Rapp London while explaining the role of a planner of tomorrow says, ‘The planners of the future now have too many options to plan all of the possibilities and so now have to find ways to use data and probability to map the future – The future is going to look more like the stock market with automated systems and traders predicting market changes based on data rather than a paper plan based on 6 month old insights’. On the other hand Lorna Hawtin, ‘Disruption Director’ at TBWA, while discussing the future of advertising agency business models replied, ‘I think planners have a massive role to play in creation of value’. Jim Carroll, Chairman of BBH London carefully explains the hardships of past in a blog post on BBH Labs, ‘I think we knew fundamentally that most events were precipitated by complex systemic pressures and relationships. But our limited power to disentangle the many elements in one system reduced us to characterising most strategic problems in rather monochrome ways’.

26 February 2010, 13:18
Stretching without stretch marks

Posted by: Anupama Wagh-Koppar, Head - Customer Segmentation, TataTele Services

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, co-operate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” said Robert Heinlein. But that … is only true for human beings.

To extend wisely without going on an ego trip is a challenge many a marketer faces. Especially, today when the single most agenda for any business is growth, not just organic growth but leapfrog growth.

26 February 2010, 11:20
Techxperience the world!

Posted by: Anupama Wagh-Koppar, Head - Customer Segmentation, TataTele Services

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Brands deliver experiences and do so within a context. As the context changes, so does an experience. This paper discusses a thought called experience marinating and the shift of ‘experience’ to ‘Texperience’ a term coined to express how technology impacts the environment and as a result the experience. The impact of this shift on value systems and change required in marketers approach to deliver Brand messages.

Technology is driving ‘people’ to newer, better, bigger experiences in life on an everyday basis. Technology is not just being an enabler it is beginning to define existence. Rapid technological development and convergence of technologies makes it possible to give more in less: less size- multiple functions in a little package, less time – from punching a button to clicking to just touching.

26 February 2010, 11:10
The rise of the machines - trends in online display ads

Posted by: Joseph Clift, Product Manager, Warc

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Online display ads don't tend to be a big part of the typical web user's browsing experience. However, they're a lot more important for media buyers and publishers - not least because, over recent years, the automated ad networks that have achieved primacy have driven down CPM rates across the board.

Representatives from both the buy side and the sell side discussed - and disagreed on - how the ads should be monetised, at an AOP event in London which I attended yesterday. Ahead of my full report of the event, up on soon, here are a few points from the presentations that stood out for me.

24 February 2010, 18:15
Are agencies interested in having a relationship with brands and people or just sex?

Posted by: Waqar Riaz, , Cheil Worldwide

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Apparently, most o f the times the answer seems to be the latter, and it all makes sense for the agencies. It’s quick, pleasurable, and without any long-term commitment or responsibilities. On the other hand, having a relationship means something, as relationships demand going through tough times to get to the good times . They seek understanding and love – relationships are connections beyond reason. 
Without a doubt, agencies are realising the shift of control to the people. However, instead of actually understanding this new state-of-mind of the people, brands and agencies have started to use it as another selling technique. Unfortunately, they don’t understand that the customer has all grown up – they know how unkindly communications have betrayed and ripped them off in the past. They can actually  spot the difference between advertising slogans ‘positioned on you’  and companies actually working for them.

It’s quite funny, when brands and agencies start  to communicate as though the customer is a baby who will listen to them no matter what they say. Times have changed, people have changed and it’s important for our attitudes as marketers to change too. It’s not enough to communicate pleasing statements to the people unless we don’t mean them. Because, you know what? People know about mass manipulation.

Recently, I have been observing some rather depressing advertising examples. Every other brand holding the ply card showing ‘you (customer) are the king’.

For example, the recent campaign by Yahoo, focusing on the fact ‘You’. The $100 Million campaign  as described by Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz is something like this, ‘What we want to do is show (people) what the new Yahoo is about so they come (to the site) all the time’. All this powered by the unique advertising bullets expressed in the form of images and taglines “It’s time to get personal” and “The new Yahoo lets you do it your way every day.” “The Internet is under new management. Yours,” “Now the Internet has a personality. Yours.” The television film heaves with images of dancers, Dalmatians, soccer and kids blowing bubbles, and highlights Yahoo’s array of services and customization options.

In further explaining the campaign’s philosophy Carol Bartz adds, ‘Yahoo is an asset to our users out there, and Yahoo wants to be a tremendous asset to all of you,” she said. “The ‘You’ is also you.”

24 February 2010, 10:59
IAB Annual Leadership Conference 2010

Posted by: Katherine Mawhinney-Kam, Designer and Production Editor, Warc

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Geoffrey Precourt, Warc's US Editor, has been at the IAB Leadership Conference in Carlsbad, California this week. His reports are up on now and you can read two of them for free:

For all reports from the conference and other pieces by Geoffrey, visit

24 February 2010, 09:23
The End of the Word As We Know It

Posted by: Eugene Yiga, Knowledge Manager, Synovate Laboratories

Blog author Alas, poor grammar! Gone are the days you adorned many a beautiful letter and graced many a loving tête-à-tête. Technology and her creative destruction have made life about communicating in bits and bytes with the every possible distraction along for the ride. Epic fail.

Yes, much has changed over the years. That’s why so many of us find it challenging (and sometimes impossible) to read yesteryear’s unedited works of Shakespeare, Chaucer, &c. We just don’t talk like that. Perhaps a hundred or even a thousand years from now, society will feel the same way when they look back on us. And with toddlers toting iPods at an age when they should be making up their own songs, they might look back on lyrics like “Have a baby by me, baby…be a millionaire” as our creative peak.

What concerns me about the unabashed abuse of language texts and tweets unleash is that this evolution is not quite what we’ve experienced so far. This seems to be more about busy lives and attention spans at an all-time low making abbreviation the way to go. Even though we can spell just fine, we opt for shortcuts (and make-believe words like “tradigital” or “masstige”) to get the message across because we don’t have the time or inclination to care.

Unfortunately, all that does is dilute the power of language to convey the nuances it’s designed to. We’re moving dangerously close to the Orwellian world of doublespeak, so much so that we’ll soon be unable to express all the things we’d like because the only phrase that comes to mind is “ROFLMAO” or “kewl”. Next, it’ll be back to clicks and grunts.

Do you hear that? I think another dictionary just lost its wings. Epic fail.
23 February 2010, 08:30
MAP 2010 speaker posts coming soon

Posted by: James Aitchison, Director, Warc

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Ahead of our Monitoring Advertising Performance conference on 10th March, we're inviting speakers to write preview posts here on the Warc Blog.

If you're going to the event, it should be a useful way of getting an idea of some key themes ahead of the day itself. And if you're not going (please note that MAP 2010 is now sold out, but there is a waiting list), you'll have even more reasons to book up early for next year.

22 February 2010, 13:21
DBA Design Effectiveness Awards to launch

Posted by: Joseph Clift, Product Manager, Warc

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Here are a couple more awards dates for your diary.

The annual DBA Design Effectiveness Awards is to launch its call for entries later this week (details here). To win, agencies will need to demonstrate both aesthetic appeal and clear commercial returns for clients; as the DBA says on its website, it's after "the fur coat and the knickers"!

22 February 2010, 12:26

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