The Warc Blog

H&M basketball shoe assignment: the results

Posted by: Advertising [Planning] School On The Web

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The results of the latest assignment from A[P]SOTW – or the Advertising [Planning] School On The Web – are in.

This excellent 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. Warc teamed up with the School a few months ago to help promote the challenges.

18 December 2012, 21:23
Lucky thirteen: Trends for 2013

Posted by: Robert Passikoff, President, Brand Keys, Inc

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The New Year, 2013, approaches. And as everyone knows, the number thirteen has lots of symbolism. For the religious among us there were the 13 guests at the Last Supper and the 13 tribes of Israel. Scientists know the Universe is governed by 13 fundamental constants of physics, and the relationship between the volume of the Earth and the Sun is 1310. For shoppers there’s added value of 13 items that comprise a “baker’s dozen.” Anthropologists study the 13 skies of the Aztecs.

But for those marketers and brand managers who want to look beyond the horizon, luckily our validated predictive loyalty and engagement metrics have identified 13 critical trends for 2013:

18 December 2012, 14:41
Look left

Posted by: Brand Learning

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A friend recently asked me for some thoughts on a new camera he was about to rush out and buy. I was delighted to be asked. I duly gave him my 'highly valued' opinion, forwarded a link to a trusted website where I'd read a review of a different model which he subsequently bought – job done! And then the nagging doubt set in. Was my recommendation made on a deep enough understanding of his needs and the job the camera needed to do….?

14 December 2012, 16:26
HSBC: the World's Local Bank... for money laundering and rogue nations.

Posted by: Robert Passikoff, President, Brand Keys, Inc

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You can't have missed the now-familiar HSBC ad campaign, posted at every airport in the world for a long, long time. HSBC spent years positioning itself as the "world's local bank." They did it via a campaign that featured series of similar visuals and single-word observations, which were designed to indicate that HSBC understood the subtleties of cultural differences and were fully invested in understanding multiple perspectives.

HSBC also understood the subtleties of – and were, apparently, fully invested in – money laundering for drug kingpins and terror cells, while ignoring U.S. sanctions established against rogue nations. HSBC's US unit managed to position the brand in this way by accepting $7 billion of dollars from Mexican drug cartels, conducting 25,000 Iranian transactions totaling over $19 billion in just one week, and helping Saudi banks with terror financing for groups like al-Qaeda. All of which, if you hadn't already surmised, is patently illegal. The bank knew it was illegal too, so the question right about now is, how are you feeling about the HSBC brand?

14 December 2012, 13:09
What is the viagra of virality?

Posted by: David Penn, Managing Director, Conquest

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We all know that virality is the advertisers' Holy Grail, as marketers look for new ways to subvert the constraints of the traditional media model – because getting your idea across for nothing is always nice!

At its simplest, Virality is about sharing; it's about people sharing (talking about) an idea or object) which then becomes a social object. But what is it that transforms things and ideas into social or viral objects?

14 December 2012, 11:48
Next Gen Research: A client-side perspective from EMI

Posted by: Joseph Clift, Product Manager, Warc

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Traditionally, the New Year is a time for new beginnings. And, fittingly, it's the adoption of new techniques and practices that will be the main theme of Warc's Next Generation Research conference, which takes place in London on January 17th.

Providing a client-side perspective on the day will be Peter Roxburgh, VP for consumer insights at EMI. When I caught up with him at the global record label's London offices earlier this week, Roxburgh offered a strikingly different definition of next gen MR to my previous interviewee, BrainJuicer's John Kearon.

11 December 2012, 11:52
New on warc.com: Influence, mobile and more

Posted by: James Aitchison, Director, Warc

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Latest content highlights on warc.com include an in-depth look at achieving influence, how brand owners are embracing mobile and insights on engaging consumers at both ends of the age spectrum.

To receive content updates like this by monthly email, visit: Your Warc > Email Alerts.

07 December 2012, 17:48
Next Gen Research: New techniques, neuro nonsense and the return of the Hidden Persuaders

Posted by: Joseph Clift, Product Manager, Warc

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It's no coincidence that Next Generation Research is both the theme of Warc's next conference and one of the marketing industry's most pressing issues. How can clients adapt to, and adopt, the ever-increasing repertoire of new MR techniques available to them? And how can research practitioners best convince clients that these new techniques are worth their investment? Hopefully delegates at the one-day conference, which takes place in London on January 17th 2013, will get some answers to these crucial questions.

One man certainly not short of opinions on the state of the research industry is the conference's chairman, John Kearon, founder and "chief juicer" of MR agency BrainJuicer. When we met in London last week, Kearon offered his own broad definition of next generation research: new techniques that "reflect the way human beings actually behave". But, he added, the marketing industry has yet to truly take these techniques on, and is all the poorer for this timidity.

30 November 2012, 15:28
Results of 'Black Friday' and the correct meaning of 'Cyber Monday'

Posted by: Robert Passikoff, President, Brand Keys, Inc

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Black Friday, the day following Thanksgiving in the US, has traditionally been the start of the holiday shopping season. The name originated in Philadelphia, to describe heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicular traffic, when many folks took off the day after Thanksgiving as an extended holiday and used it to shop. That was back in the 1960s. By the mid-70s it spread to other large cities as a retail event. Another explanation was given the increase store traffic that particular Friday, it was the point when retailer ledger entries got made – not in red ink, representing losses – but in black ink, indicating profits. Get it? Black Friday!

But in recent years, lack of any real retail differentiation – not to mention the Internet, although we will be mentioning it later – forced retailers to do something to ensnare shoppers. In the absence of real merchandise differentiation and the presence of universal low-lower-lowest pricing strategies, retailers started to open earlier on Friday, the logic being if you got the shopper first, they wouldn't shop someplace else. Or wouldn't shop as much someplace else. Most opened at 8:00 AM. Some opened at 6:00 AM. But in 2008 some moved openings to 4:00 AM. Then 2:00 AM. Last year Macy's, Target, Kohl's, and Best Buy opened at midnight. This year Wal-Mart opened at 8:00 PM on Thursday. But most had already begun sales on Wednesday, which kind of waters down the concept. And the effect.

27 November 2012, 17:12
Consumers wait for deals, retailers wait for 6%

Posted by: Robert Passikoff, President, Brand Keys, Inc

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Just because retailers began advertising and decorating stores for the holidays well before Halloween doesn't mean consumers are shopping earlier. Yes, some have been, having learned tighter inventory controls increased chances that if they wait too long, products might not be there. But that's only 24% of shoppers. For the rest, 40% indicated that they'd begin shopping this month, with a third of consumers waiting for the traditional Thanksgiving Black Friday, and Cyber Monday sales. Thirty-six percent (36%) of shoppers are waiting till December, with 9% indicating they'll actually wait until the last 2 weeks of December. So much for all that early-earlier-earliest holiday advertising!

Interviews with 16,200 consumers last month about holiday spending revealed a 6% increase over last year. That's double last year, or an $870 average holiday spend. But higher spend comes wrapped with higher consumer expectations. The retail equation moved from 'price-value' to 'value-for-dollar' a while ago, but the retail brand (and what it stands for) still remains a surrogate for added value, and if managed and marketed properly by retailers will result in a larger piece of the holiday pie for them.

15 November 2012, 11:16
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