The Warc Blog

Advertising: Orwell was wrong

Posted by: Richard Shotton, Deputy Head of Evidence, Manning Gottlieb OMD

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2015 marks the 65th anniversary of George Orwell's death. By the time he died he was living on the remote island of Jura, isolated from a consumerist society that he saw as plagued with problems. For Orwell, advertising was to blame for many of these issues since it inflamed consumer desires for materialistic goods. As he so memorably stated: "Advertising is the rattling of a stick in the swill bucket of society".

Unfortunately, it seems that Orwell is not alone in this view. In a study conducted by ZenithOptimedia amongst 452 students, only 24 per cent thought advertising benefited society. But was Orwell's opinion justified or an example of groundless moralising? Cyril Connolly, after all, wrote of Orwell "He couldn't blow his nose without moralising on the conditions of the handkerchief industry".

30 March 2015, 16:14
Marketing gets personal

Posted by: MEC

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This post is by Kathryn Saxon, research group consultant director at MEC.

Personalisation is a priority for marketers in 2015, though we still have some time to go until consumers fully embrace it.

27 March 2015, 15:46
Welcome to the Age of Big

Posted by: Waqar Riaz, , Cheil Worldwide

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Imagine someone persuaded Ferdinand Magellan and his crew to abandon the Great Big Victoria in exchange for 271 canoes to help them successfully cross the Pacific. Without a doubt, the agent selling the canoes would have made a very profitable deal, however, it is almost guaranteed that Mr Magellan and his crew would never ever be in the list of those who crossed the Pacific (though probably the first ones to successfully accomplish mass sinking of 271 canoes).

In this new richer and bigger world the words selling, persuading and advocating small ideas sound no different to me.

26 March 2015, 16:06
The development of tablet devices

Posted by: MEC

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This post is by Jo Coombes, Senior Research Executive at MEC.

Despite slowing sales, tablet devices will continue to increase penetration and with more models emerging, the iPad's dominance will be challenged.

24 March 2015, 10:28
We need to talk about Edward

Posted by: Neil Dawson, Chief Strategy Officer, Europe, SapientNitro

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In the wake of Edward Snowden's revelations, the debate about mass surveillance, government secrecy and the appropriate balance between national security and information privacy raged on at South By Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas.

"Hiding In Plain Sight: Anonymizing the Internet" was one such discussion – and the alluring title, combined with promotional imagery featuring the iconic "V for Vendetta" mask, attracted a full house.

20 March 2015, 20:08
YouTube: Popularity does not equal Profitability

Posted by: Guest blog

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This post is by Paul Kasamias, Head of Biddable Media at Starcom MediaVest Group.

After Google acquired YouTube in 2006, the world's foremost video site has gone from strength to strength, bringing in $4b in revenue in 2014. With numbers like these, it may be a surprise to learn the video site has always been a loss-making business for Google.

18 March 2015, 09:24
Nine, that's a magic number

Posted by: Richard Shotton, Deputy Head of Evidence, Manning Gottlieb OMD

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"Nine, that's a magic number" or so De La Soul might have sang if they were marketers rather than a New York hip-hop trio. An increasing body of marketing evidence shows that consumers, rather than being rational decision makers, are prey to a number of biases. One of the most interesting biases revolves around the positive impact of prices ending in nine, known as charm prices. For retailers this should be a reason to be cheerful as it means sales can be encouraged with less need for margin destroying price cuts.

At ZenithOptimedia we have run experiments amongst 650 consumers across 6 products, from TVs to bread. For each product we asked about value perceptions. The twist was that we had discrete cells of consumers. Some consumers saw prices ending in 99p, the other groups saw the same good as just one or two pence more expensive. Despite the minor variations in price consumers were 9% more likely to think a brand was good value when the price ended in 9p – this occurred even though the difference in prices was c1%.

17 March 2015, 12:28
Agencies on agencies: A roadmap for the future

Posted by: Guest blog

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This post is by Matt Green, senior marketing communications manager at the WFA.

For much of the year, the WFA's MEDIAMFORUM features clients talking about how they manage or plan to manage their agencies in order to secure better results and an improved relationship.

13 March 2015, 12:29
The art of not selling

Posted by: James Hurman, Founder, Previously Unavailable

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A few years ago, at Colenso BBDO in Auckland, we got a call from Levi's. It was the head of marketing in San Francisco. He introduced himself to our receptionist. She was having a busy moment, heard him say 'Levi's', and put him through to Levi, one of our creatives. Levi came running into the office where I was sitting with our MD and ECD and told us there was a guy from Levi's on the phone wanting to talk to us. He handed us the phone.

The guy from Levi's said he'd seen our work, he loved it, and that he wanted us to make an online film for his new women's product line. He didn't have much money, but he wanted something amazing. And he said that we could do anything we wanted. Excepting doing something illegal or grossly offensive, we would have the decision on what work we made. He wanted our judgment on what was great and what would be seen and shared by his customers.

12 March 2015, 09:56
The rise of the online video stars

Posted by: MEC

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This post is by Millie Thakker, a graduate at MEC.

As more of us carry the technology to create videos wherever we go, it is no surprise that online video will become the fastest-growing form of advertising.

11 March 2015, 11:53
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