The Warc Blog

Keep the human in the machine: Brands that got tech right in 2016

Posted by: Dan Machen, Director of Innovation, HeyHuman

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By Dan Machen, Director of Innovation, and Neil Davidson, Managing Director, HeyHuman

When CES started 50 years ago, there were just three categories on display - TVs, Radios and Gramophones. Now there are 15 billion connected devices across hundreds of categories. In 4 years' time, 5 billion people will be internet connected via smartphone. We are reaching a technological saturation point.

28 February 2017, 00:00
Learn from products

Posted by: Gareth Kay, Co-founder, Chapter

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I'm writing this article as my company, Chapter, celebrates its second anniversary. We may be 0.0001% complete on our mission, but it feels a big milestone, as around one in two businesses fail during this time period.

Now, undoubtedly a big reason for us achieving this is a combination of serendipity and luck, but I'm increasingly convinced that a big factor in our early resilience has been our relentless pursuit of breaking down the walls that exist between the worlds of product and marketing. We're firm believers that the best products bake marketing directly into the experience. Lots has been written about this. But we're also firm believers that marketing - and to be more precise, marketing communications - has a lot to learn from the world of product. What follows are the three things we've learned from the world of product over the past couple of years that have probably influenced us the most.

27 February 2017, 00:00
What Facebook’s video app means

Posted by: Dan Calladine, Head of Media Features, Carat Global

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The news that Facebook is developing an app that will let its users easily watch video from the site on their smart TVs should not come as much of a surprise. Last year, Mark Zuckerberg said that he expected the site to be mostly video within five years, and it has been steadily increasing the amount of video that we see in our feeds for quite a while. It has also developed new video products, including live video, and is even paying advertising money to encourage users to share their live moments.

The app, revealed by the WSJ last month, and confirmed by Facebook earlier this month is a natural extension to this. It will make it easy for people to connect their smart TVs to Facebook, or allow them to connect through devices like Amazon's Fire Stick. In the UK, over 30% of households have a smart TV, and if you include cheaper devices like Chromecast that make older TVs smart, it's probably closer to 40%.

24 February 2017, 00:00
When a medium isn't

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

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Ev Williams is in large part responsible for the social web. He co-founded Blogger and helped popularise the idea before selling it to Google. He co-founded the 'micro-blogging' product that spun out as Twitter, and became the CEO there before founding Medium. Medium feels like Blogger for the modern web, with a peerless content management system that renders copy beautifully across any device.

All of which is to say that Ev has the kind of experience of building and running web-based media technology companies that is very hard to equal. And he thinks something is rotten in the state of it:

22 February 2017, 00:00
The Ticker Tape Parade: When private agencies became public companies

Posted by: 4A's

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When did the "business of advertising" become the "advertising business"—a profession subject to shareholder value, stock-market fluctuations, and the success/failure of quarterly earnings reports?

In celebration of its 100th anniversary, the 4A's (American Association of Advertising Agencies) is taking a look to the past even as it prepared for the future with its Transformation 2017 annual conference. The esteemed trade organization has a rich repository of information that provides a full understanding of the industry it represents as well.

21 February 2017, 00:00
Geolocation gets an IQ boost

Posted by: Greg Isbister, CEO, Blis

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Unless you were working in the highest levels of government during Cold War, you wouldn't have known much about geolocation until the 1990s, when you got a GPS for your car.

It wasn't until the 2000s and smartphone technology that we began leading the earliest efforts in location-based advertising. We launched projects across New York, London, and Sydney to give people free access to Wi-Fi on their phones and enable advertisers to buy impressions based on consumers' locations.

16 February 2017, 12:00
Bursting the London bubble?

Posted by: Mark Broughton-Foxall, Strategy & Planning Partner, Life

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Planning in the creative space has a long history – and its one we should revisit. In 1964, Stephen King, dissatisfied with the workings of both the media and marketing departments within his agency, developed a new system of working which concentrated on combining consumer research and insights to create more effective, creative advertising.

Planning has always been about making sure marketing is rooted in insight to ensure it creates the desired consequence by resonating with consumers. This hasn't changed. The Planner's role is to be the voice of the audience (consumer, shopper, HCP, B2B). The only way you can do it is by immersing yourself in the lives of people … and that means people outside of the M25. Yes, London is a big, dynamic and unique city – but it only represents 13.5% of the UK population – that's a huge majority that don't live in the bubble of London.

15 February 2017, 11:00
'The end of statistics?'

Posted by: Peter Mouncey, Editor-In-Chief, IJMR

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A very thought provoking article with this title was published in the Guardian in the Journal section on 19th January by William Davies . Davies provides a very detailed analysis of the current crisis facing statistics, and the growing lack of trust in them as a source of truth, especially in the political sphere. Statistics are suffering a decline in authority, as are the experts who analyse them in the 'post-truth' world. As Davies states:

'Either the state continues to make claims that it believes to be valid and is accused by sceptics of propaganda, or else, politicians and officials are confined to saying what feels plausible and intuitively true, but may ultimate be inaccurate. Either way, politics becomes mired in accusations of lies and cover ups'.

15 February 2017, 10:00
How technology is impacting communications plans: Learnings from the real world

Posted by: Paul Wilson, Director of Strategy, EMEA, Starcom

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Paul Wilson was a Warc Media Awards judge on the Effective Use of Tech category.

There is no doubt that technology is changing the world of communications. And hundreds of blogs and opinion pieces will tell you about the latest trends and what we are going to see in the future. But they can often be theoretical and talk of what might happen is often very different from what actually happens.

14 February 2017, 10:00
Why machine learning might be the saviour of advertising

Posted by: Daryn Mason, Senior Director, CX Applications, Oracle Cloud

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Advertisers have come up against a wall. The use of ad blockers is on the rise as consumers look to control how much interruptive advertising they receive online and over social media. eMarketer predicted that more than one quarter of US internet users will be using an ad blocker by the end of 2016.

People may not welcome what they see as an endless barrage of messaging, but that doesn't mean they want to block everything. They just want relevant communications. In the UK, for instance, the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) found that more than half of consumers would turn ad blocking off to receive the content they want.

13 February 2017, 12:00

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