A trust re-building exercise
Gareth Kay, Co-founder, Chapter
The year 2016 is likely to be remembered for two political events that sent shockwaves around the world: Brexit and the election of Donald Trump as president. These events yet again brought into question the reliability of polls (from how they drew their sample to the return of the 'shy voter' first seen when John Major was elected as prime minister), but more importantly highlighted again the erosion of trust in the institutions that previously were the bedrock of society. For example, the latest Gallup data from September 2016 showed that only one in three Americans had a great deal or fair amount of trust in the media.
When I started in the industry two decades ago, the first thinking was being developed to define a bigger opportunity for brands in a world where we were seeing the first signs of erosion of trust in the political and cultural institutions that defined us. The belief was that there was an opportunity for brands to become the new institution of trust in people's lives. It spawned thinking like Chiat/Day's 'Total Role in Life' and in many ways informed the rise of purpose-driven branding. This thinking in its purest sense had the opportunity to create a much more honest relationship between companies and people. But unfortunately, this has not played out. As the data from the Havas Meaningful Brands study shows, most people around the world wouldn't care if three out of four brands disappeared tomorrow. So, perhaps it's time to re-examine why brands not only failed to fill this trust void but are in long-term decline. After all, they are failing to fulfil their most fundamental purpose: to be a mark of trust.
Tom Goodwin's six content considerations for 2017
Lena Roland, Commissioning Editor, Best Practice, Warc
Tom Goodwin, Head of Innovation at Zenith, speaking at a recent NewsCred event, noted that as the media and technological landscape evolves, consumers are no longer actively searching out content; in a "post-digital age", he said, content will increasingly come to consumers. There are "huge threats and huge opportunities" in this environment, he added.
He advised that marketers should be mindful not to get carried away with the latest tech, observing that many marketers, and indeed consumers, are guilty of "fetishising technology too much". The marketing solution is simple: "put people first".
Visual engagement: A reminder of viewability’s roles and responsibilities
Sebastian Schindler, Insight Manager, InSkin Media
The danger with the current focus on viewability is that it has become a means unto itself – a target by which to measure success. However, while viewability measurement has an important role to play, it is primarily a measure of trading efficiency rather than an indicator of campaign effectiveness.
We conducted a major study with eye-tracking specialists Sticky and panel management company Research Now to better understand the role of viewability (the opportunity to see an ad) in the lifecycle of an ad exposure, alongside visual engagement (the likelihood that someone looks at it) and branding impact (what lasting impression it made). Around 4,000 surveys and 700 eye-tracking sessions enabled us to derive four important findings.
The paradox of buying influence
Faris Yakob, Co-founder, Genius Steals
Influencer marketing is somehow both buzzword of the moment and The Next Big Thing. As adblocking grows, two-thirds of marketers intend to increase their influencer investment in 2017, according to eMarketer. Brands are throwing money at influencers and agencies have even opened studios to help them create content.
Mercedes-Benz announced a collaboration with influencers called 'MB Photo Pass' with this Möbius strip of strategy: "The more people who want the car, the more exclusive it becomes. And social helps draw more young consumers to Mercedes-Benz."
Marketing morality: Brand engagement and celebrity deaths
Dave Trolle, Head of Online Marketing, Summit
An alarming number of celebrities passed away during 2016, with the loss of each hitting fans hard. December alone saw the loss of a music icon and movie legend: pop prince George Michael, and beloved Star Wars princess, Carrie Fisher along with her mother, Debbie Reynolds.
In the days following the death of a much-loved celebrity, their name often becomes a hot topic online. The public uses social media to express grief, thought pieces and eulogizing articles are published, sales of artists' work skyrockets and Google searches for celebrities' names spike.
2016 trends one year on – what happened next?
Dan Calladine, Head of Media Features, Carat Global
Each year we at Carat write a trends presentation, looking at the themes we expect to become more prevalent and mainstream in the year to come. You can find this year's presentation here, and listen to a webinar on the key trends for 2017 on 11th January.
It's also an opportunity to look back at what we predicted the year before, and how those themes have developed.
How behavioural science can make those New Year's Resolutions stick
Crawford Hollingworth, Founder, The Behavioural Architects
How are you getting on with your New Year's Resolutions? A few days in and are you still on track? Or do you reckon that by February those good intentions will be just that - good intentions.
You won't be alone in this as most of us struggle with a well-known phenomenon in behavioural science called the intention-behaviour gap - where people have strong, good intentions to do something but never actually get around to doing it, or start, but don't manage to sustain it and give up.