The Warc Blog

Is Singles' Day good for brands?

Posted by: Edward Bell, CEO, FCB Greater China

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Arguably the most public face of China's e-marketing juggernaut is Singles' Day. One can't help but be in awe of the sheer scale of it: 278 million orders for 30,000 brands offering everything from smartphones to smart-looking underwear were placed in the 24-hour window, resulting in over US$ 14 billion changing hands. And it's speeding up like a rocket. This year's dollar volume was 60% greater than the year before and it was the same the year before that. And given the runaway success of it, e-comm titan Alibaba, which first commercialised this celebration of singledom, plans to use the Singles' Day concept to spearhead Alibaba's globalisation strategy. Within a year or two, this China-born shopping frenzy may become another commercialised global date like Valentine's Day – but on a whole different scale.

But what is interesting about all of the commentary about Singles' Day is that it tends to be from Alibaba's perspective -the retailer. But what does it mean for the brands? Are they as happy as Alibaba seems to be? Is Singles' Day a happy marriage for both the retailer and the brand?

30 March 2016, 15:25
The cult of branding

Posted by: Faris Yakob, Co-founder, Genius Steals

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Just recently we were walking down the street in La Paz, Bolivia and saw one of the frequent parades coming our way, so we ducked into a coffee shop to watch. As I stared out of the window at the phalanxes of military marching by, my wife Rosie drew my attention to the back of the menu, and I was, for a second, speechless. Here is what it said (in English and Spanish):

Mission: Provide exceptional service, with high-quality products and the best team of associates.

29 March 2016, 09:19
IAB Europe survey: what is driving or preventing programmatic investment?

Posted by: Guest blog

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This post is by Marie-Clare Puffett – Business Programmes Manager, IAB Europe

Programmatic advertising has been at the centre of discussions and events across the advertising industry. From Advertising Week in London and Interact in Berlin to the Festival of Creativity in Cannes, it has never been far from the headlines.

24 March 2016, 12:02
All that is solid melts into thin air

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

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Although more than a hundred years ago, the summer of 1914 has many similarities with now. In particular, it was a time of rapid technological change. The wireless telegraph, invented in 1896, had transformed communications - messages that once took days to convey could be transmitted instantaneously.

But that speed had a cost.

23 March 2016, 12:59
Mobile ad investment mirrors consumption habits

Posted by: James McDonald, Senior Data Analyst, Warc

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Our preliminary estimate for global mobile advertising spend in 2015 stands at $48bn, around 30% of all internet adspend that year. Incredibly, mobile's share has more than doubled in just two years; a key indicator of the medium's meteoric rise.

Mobile's contribution is expected to grow further throughout the forecast period. Spend of $90bn on mobile-specific formats will account for approximately 44% of all online ad investment next year.

22 March 2016, 17:18
Highlights from the 2016 ARF Ogilvy Awards: Targeting the 91%, stopping violence, and changing the national conversation

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

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"As far as I know," David Ogilvy said, "I’m the only creative genius who started his career in research."

The ARF David Ogilvy Awards celebrate the extraordinary and creative use of research in powering effective advertising. Following the ceremony on Wednesday night in NYC, the 17 case studies are now live for Warc subscribers to browse here. These winners have proved a keen understanding of the part research plays in crafting ideas that resonate with people. If you’re pressed for time, we recommend that you start with these.

17 March 2016, 12:29
Learnings from the UK's best campaigns

Posted by: Joseph Clift, Product Manager, Warc

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Use a “soft launch” for a new strategy. Aim to get a real, human insight to inform the creative. And deploy cutting-edge tech to get your message out there. Those are the big learnings from the best-performing UK campaigns of the year.

Warc invited the teams behind ‘Holiday Spam’ (for Three, the telecoms brand), ‘This Girl Can’ (for government body Sport England) and ‘Raising Eyebrows and Subscriptions’ (for The Economist, the current affairs magazine) to discuss their work at an event in London this week. We think these campaigns are Britain's best, as they were ranked top in the UK on this year’s Warc 100: our annual rankings of the world’s best marketing campaigns and companies, according to performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions.

17 March 2016, 09:11
Is Self Brand Overlap the Secret of Brand Love?

Posted by: David Penn, Managing Director, Conquest

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For some years now, marketers have grappled with the challenge of how to explain 'brand love' – that intangible sense of attachment that makes Coke 'taste better' than Pepsi and may even lead us to overlook a product's shortcomings (think Apple). The 'roots' of brand love have generally been sought in the irrational, in emotions, yet this creates circularity: we love brands that create emotion; emotion creates loved brands, and so on…

Could it be, however, that the explanation lies in the relationship between our self and brands such that loved brands are those that somehow become subsumed in our personality? In other words, is a loved brand one that becomes part of us?

16 March 2016, 09:51
Resolutions for a revolution

Posted by: Faris Yakob, Co-founder, Genius Steals

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The world turns and we get a moment, like the two-faced Roman god Janus, to look at the past and to the future, and consider: what did we do that we want to do more of? What do we want less of? Individually, as an agency, and in the industry?

The turn of a new year is an opportunity to consider the year behind and the year ahead, focusing on what was fun, interesting and profitable, and what inspired us. We can then set some objectives, some aspirations, and think about how we will structure our year around these areas of focus.

16 March 2016, 09:17
In Praise of Small

Posted by: Gareth Kay, Co-founder, Chapter

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Just over three years ago I wrote a piece in this magazine arguing that it was time for us to stop thinking big and start acting small instead. My argument rested primarily on how acting small made it more likely that brands and their partners could experiment their way to success and also shifted the natural bias from one of thinking to one of doing. Three years later, it seems little has really changed. By and large we are still paralysed by the fallacy of the primacy of 'big' – the big idea, the big insight, the big launch – and this has probably only been heightened by fundamental misunderstandings about what disruption truly is and what technology really means. So, this month I wanted to return to the power of small and offer three new reasons why I believe it is a more fruitful path for brands to follow.

The first reason why small matters is a simple one: it allows us to break the paralysis of big. Not only are 'big' ideas by definition a rarer beast in the world, but the very baggage that comes with the descriptor is enough to bring any company to a grinding halt. Throughout my career, I've seen that the 'bigger' the mythology an idea takes on, the more unlikely it is to make it into the world. Not only are they more difficult to 'birth' (we all know the pains that come when given the brief for a 'transformational idea') but they raise disproportionate levels of attention inside an organisation. And with that comes more chances of ideas dying, or at least having their interesting edges smoothed off, by the misuse of research and the attentions (and ensuing pushback) from different groups inside the organisation. Big ideas are born more often than not with a target on their back.

15 March 2016, 17:21

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