The enduring importance of TV in the marketing mix is shown by research done for Facebook by Nielsen. The study was ostensibly commissioned to show how Facebook delivers incremental reach of video content versus TV-only campaigns. However, a more interesting angle is the far superior reach of TV, especially for old farts like me, as Claudio Marcus pointed out here.
I share some below highlights form the research, that analysed the reach relationship between Facebook and TV on 25 campaigns across 2014 and 2015 that ran on both platforms.
1. Facebook has good reach for 18-34's, not 50+
The graph below shows the reach of Facebook alone by age. Not surprisingly, the data shows reach is highest with 18-24 and 25-34 year olds where the numbers are impressive. There is much lower reach of 13-17 year olds, who are not supposed to use Facebook, and who anyway think that Snapchat is cooler and 'more their media'.
However, check out those lower figures for people aged 35-49 and especially 50+. Owing to the ageing population, this group account for 35% of the population, over 40% of consumer expenditure and a whacking great 75% of the wealth, according to this report. That means that Facebook can is NOT reaching 71% of the wealth in the country (75% of wealth from 50+ x 95% of 50+ not reached by Facebook)
2. TV's reach remains way bigger
Now, what happens when we look at the incremental effect of adding TV? The red bars below show dual reach of TV and Facebook; the green bars show the extra people that TV reaches; these people watch TV but don't use Facebook. TV increases reach by between +46% (for 18-24's) up to +1,520% for 50+. This shows that the predicted demise of TV as a channel is a long, long way off. Especially if you want to reach that 40% of expenditure and 75% of wealth the 50+ group account for.
Today I got an email about a fascinating talk called “The Power of Sound: Making Every Second Count.” The talk was given by award-winning composer Joel Beckman at the Promax UK 2016 Conference, ‘The New Normal’. This hit a nerve with me, as I have long been a believer in the power of "sonic branding".
Below I share some highlights from Joel's talk that show why you should be creating amplifying and reinforcing sonic properties for your brand.
1. New media are wired for sound
We live in a digital world where most media are now 'wried for sound'. Think YouTube, Facebook and Instagram video for example. This creates more opportunities than ever before to harness the potential of sound to create distinctiveness for your brand.
2. Sound works fast
Sound efficiently and quickly engages people, something that is important in today's busy world where attention spans are shrinking. Joel explains how sound actually works faster than any other form of stimulus. Different types of sound can instantly trigger different emotions. A string quartet are generally romantic, warm and expansive. A trumpet fanfare is rousing, heroic and powerful.
3. Sound 'activates' your brand
Joel quoted research from Leicester University showing that brand advertising using sound or music fitting with the brand had 96% higher recall than advertising with no sound, or the wrong type of sound. For example, windscreen repair company Autoglass have used a musical slogan for many years: "Autoglass repair, Autoglass replace." This is used in the UK but also in France, where it is "Careless répare, Careless replace."
And sonic devices do more than just prompt recall, they also work as a key to trigger brand meaning. For example, when you here a few notes of the James Bond theme tune a whole set of associations and emotions come flooding into your brain in an instant.
4. Reinforce and amplify your sonic properties
As with all brand properties, the challenge with sonic devices is to use them consistently over time to create memory structure. One example is the start-up sound of the Mac computer, which has been used for many years as part of a distinctive experience. Joel describes this sound as being almost a "religious experience". See below on the blog for a video with the evolution of this property. Joel was surprised to hear that Apple plans to ditch the sound on the new MacBook Pro range, and predicted that Apple will make a U-turn on their decision.
In conclusion, sound can play an important role in creating engaging content that triggers memories and emotional connections.
Below is a nice mind-map summary of the talk, that can watch in full here.
This is the second of two posts sharing highlights from our 10th annual research project: "Rebooting brand strategy for a digital age". Last week we addressed the fundamental issue about how brand strategy is being neglected given the focus on digital and social media. In this post, we look at three key was to carry out this rebooting, with brand examples for each. These findings were published in a recent Campaign article here.
Search for truth
The most important success factor for brand positioning in the digital age remains deep consumer insight. This insight needs to be “holistic”, exploring the role of brands in consumers’ lives and popular culture, not just in their product categories. Digital technology can help generate the right insight, with data mining and social listening identified as the most useful techniques. However, marketing directors suggested that these complement rather than replace direct, real-life contact with consumers. As with branding in general, the challenge is to re-boot the insight process, blending the best of new, digitally enabled techniques with tried and tested ones.
Pot Noodle used this insight approach to revitalize their brand. Social listening revealed that the brand was stuck in the past: a quick solution for those too lazy to cook a proper meal. The previous major campaign in 2011, "Why try harder?", reinforced this image, featuring a transvestite footballers' wife living a lazy life of leisure. Back in the laid back 2000's this felt pretty cutting edge, in today's era of student loans and start-ups, less so.
When the team got out and spent time talking with students, initial feedback confirmed this negative brand image; most of them denied using the brand at all. However, poking around in the same students’ cupboards revealed that the brand was in fact being used by them, although reluctantly. The product was a convenient, tasty time-saver but the brand’s image was a barrier to use. The new ‘You Can Make It’ positioning broke this tension, making the brand more aspirational for today’s ambitious and go-getting millennial consumer. The new campaign has delivered double-digit growth and dramatically improved levels of awareness, brand equity and social engagement.
Our research suggested that a clear sense of purpose about the broader role a brand plays in peoples’ lives and society is increasingly important. This reflects in part the growing desire and ability of connected consumers to learn about the companies behind the brands they buy.
Axe recently sharpened and refreshed its brand purpose, to ensure the brand remains progressive and provocative for today’s young men, as part of a move away from the brand’s ‘babes in bikinis’ image. Research with 3,500 men across 10 countries showed that they feel pressured by masculine stereotypes, with only 15% agreeing that they are attractive. On the other hand, nine out of ten women find men most attractive when they are themselves. This led to a to a brand purpose of “Helping guys to celebrate their individuality and be as attractive as they can be” and a new campaign, ‘Find Your Magic’.
Brand purpose should be authentic and integrated into the brand experience, rather than “bolted” on as an afterthought. In the case of Lynx, alongside a new grooming range and a distinctive new advertising campaign the brand has become the official partner of CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). This charity works to reduce suicide rates in the UK, as it’s the single biggest killer of men under 45.
Brand positioning needs to be simpler and easier to understand, with one marketing director suggesting that “We are constructing long stories for a hashtag generation!”A final crafting process by a small team, not a committee, can help sharpen and simplify the positioning. Visuals can then provide extra inspiration, with alternatives to complex brand pyramids including brand magazines, brand story videos and even turning the positioning into a movie poster.
These simpler, clearer and more visual positioning outputs can form the basis of an inspiring creative brief. Here, our research highlighted the balancing act required for today’s digital age. There remains a need for a unifying big brand idea to orchestrate the larger number of agencies delivering the brand. On the other hand, clear guidance is also needed on how to adapt the message and tonality for different connection points, including social media.
A good example of a brand pulling off this balancing act is the recent re-launch of Purdey’s, the Britvic owned adult soft drink. There was a fear that the strength of the new brand ambassador, Idris Elba, would dominate and detract from the strategic objective. An old fashioned positioning document wasn't considered suitable. A combination of video, impactful visuals and personal briefings was used instead. This seamlessly integrated campaign that resulted has driven +30% sales growth.
In conclusion, the key to creating growth today is not to overlook brand strategy, but rather to “reboot” it, by searching for deep insight and using this to create and bring to life a purposeful and inspiring positioning.
Post by Jon Goldstone, Managing Partner, Global based in London
In a Campaign column published today, I look at how start-ups are having an increasingly disruptive influence on what was once a very stable food and drink industry. In many categories news brands are driving category growth, breaking category marketing conventions to challenge once-dominant brand . Think Fever-Tree in drinks mixers, Propercorn in popcorn, Pip & Nut in peanut butter and a myriad of craft beer brands. Big companies such as Unilever and Nestlé are responding by launching start-up accelerators.
Three big shifts have created the conditions for disruption: i. a channel shift away from traditional supermarkets, ii. a media shift away from traditional media to include low-cost digital media choices and iii. a consumer shift away from brands that are perceived as being processed or artificial.
However, it’s not that easy, or we would all be doing it! For every Fever-Tree, there are dozens of start-up food and drink brands that fail. Below I suggest five secrets for start-up success, drawing on my experience as Unilever's VP of Marketing for foods and the brandgym work we have done on hundreds of food and drink projects.
Peanut butter is a good example. The category is surprisingly large, the incumbent brand (Sun-Pat) has been relatively dormant, the consumer sees nuts as being an important part of a healthy, natural diet and the retailer wants to jazz up the category. Bingo!
Shortcuts are easy, especially when working with third-party suppliers and in a hurry. It is very tempting to take "off the shelf" solutions that are often no better than the current own-brand offering. However, ensuring you have a great product "sausage" is important to complement the emotional "sizzle" of s start-up brand. The quality of Propercorn’s product is fantastic and makes the incumbent, Butterkist, look very ordinary.
Many start-up brands are starting to look like they use the same design agency and are conforming to a new "Food 2.0" convention. The real successes do their own thing and are inspired by a founder’s story and vision that are authentic and compelling. Innocent is an old example, but still a good one in terms of creating a whole set of distinctive assets to bring the brand to life, including the Innocent Foundation (that gives 10% of profits to good causes), the Big Knit wooly hat promotion (to raise money for old people at Winter) and the use of 'packvertising' to tell the brand story via packaging.
Category leaders are typically owned by big businesses and so move quite slowly, including figuring out how to use social/digital channels. Start-ups have the edge on speed, and can lead in digital channels to make the competition appear slow and anachronistic. A great example is the tea category. Almost all of the category growth is being driven by brands such as Clipper, Pukka and Teapots, which invest in smart digital marketing to help them sell more stuff – a sharp contrast to the campaigns from PG Tips and Tetley.
Many food and drink start-ups think they will only start making money when they achieve scale. But the definition of scale is often ambiguous and, even when defined, often not achieved. It is possible to 'follow the money' from the start. On the income side, a great product and distinctive proposition should allow you to command a significant price premium. On the cost side, keep the supply chain super simple, minimise overheads and use cost-effective marketing that makes the most of digital/social channels. Finally, it’s critical to negotiate trade margins as competitively as possible – once they are set, they are unlikely to come down.
There is no denying that the world of food and drink is changing just as quickly as most other industry sectors. Wherever you stand, it is critical to understand the shifts and respond to them. The only certainty in this period of rapid change is that those who stand still will lose.
This is the first of two posts sharing highlights from our 10th annual research project: "Rebooting brand strategy for a digital age". Here, we address two fundamental questions. First, what is the importance of brand strategy in a world transformed by digital and social channels? Second, how does brand positioning needs to evolve to be fit for purpose in a digital age?
A clear brand strategy remains key for success ...
The enduring importance of brand strategy in today's digital age was confirmed, with almost all our marketing directors (91%) agreeing that the key to effective digital marketing was a clear brand positioning. Even though the routes to the consumer have changed dramatically in recent years, the fundamentals of brand strategy remain vital for success. “If you really start from your brand vision to make choices, results can be incredible,” observed one marketing director.
... but brand strategy gets overlooked
New channels have opened up exciting new ways to engage with the ever more connected consumer. However, a focus on new digital channels means that brand strategy “often gets overlooked” according to 60%+ of those surveyed. “For many people digital is the lifeboat of marketing thinking,” observed one marketing director. Professor Mark Ritson went even further in a recent column, saying "In the last few years, marketing seems to be devolving into a tactical pursuit, devoid of strategic thinking.”
Social media usage is still about following trends
There remains a need for more rigorous and data-based use of social media. “Keeping up with latest trends” remains the main driver of social media usage, four years after our study “Can Social Media Show you the Money?” (62% today vs. 60% in our 2012 survey). Marginally more companies are basing social media usage on “Tangible evidence” (23% vs. 19%), but they remain in the minority.
Brand strategy needs rebooting
Having confirmed that a clear brand strategy is key to effective marketing in the digital world, how does brand vision and positioning need to evolve? The majority of our survey (85%) suggest change is needed, but most (62%) recommend fine-tuning rather than radical change. We call this “rebooting brand strategy”. The top priorities from the study are i. deeper insight into culture and life, ii. creating a more purposeful positioning and iii. bringing positioning to life in a simpler, more visual way as the basis for an inspiring creative brief.
In conclusion, brand strategy remains important in today's digital age but needs rebooting to remain relevant. In the next post we will look in more detail about how to reboot brand strategy, brought to life with brand examples.
About the research
The research was carried out via a global quantitative survey of over 100 senior marketing professionals, covering a range of different sectors. We also did in-depth interviews with 20 marketing directors, from companies including Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and Costa Coffee.
The latest bit of cartoon genius from Tom Fishburne brings to life nicely a key theme from our latest research project: 'Rebooting brand strategy for a digital age'. We recommend the need for digital to drive the business as a whole. We, like Tom, use the quote from Diageo CEO Ivan Menezes: the challenge is "Not about digital marketing, but rather marketing in a digital world".
Below are few key points from Tom's post.
1. Follow the money
As Tom's cartoon shows, too much work on digital and social media is today is still about following fads and fashion, not on driving profitable growth as the data from our research below shows. We need to remember that the sole purpose of all marketing is to SMS (sell more stuff).
I'm with Tom when he says that creating senior-management roles focused on digital "treats it as a silo, distinct from the rest of the business. It can be heavy on hype and light on substance." The risk is that the digital team work are separated from the day-to-day business, and that everyone else thinks its not their job to innovate and renovate using digital.
3. Use digital to grow the core
The real priority should rather be "for everyone in an organisation to figure out how to do what they do better with digital technology," as Tom says. He illustrates this point with a story from a healthcare company The recently-appointed 'Chief Digital Officer' visited Google and ended up cruising around in a smart car; fun but not following the money. In contrast, "his clinician colleagues were meeting with a software vendor about streaming patients' vital signs to their smart devices," in order to improve the customer and patient experience.
In conclusion, we should avoid treating digital transformation as a task separate from the core business, as this "can blind us from seeing the opportunities directly in front of us". Rather, digital technology is an opportunity to reboot each part of our businesses.
Oh dear. Watching the eagerly awaiting John Lewis Xmas ad online today was like unwrapping a present on Xmas day and being disappointed to find an ugly scarf instead of a shiny new iPhone.
The new ad features a dad building a trampoline for his daughter on Xmas eve which is then used by a couple of creepy foxes and a badger. On Xmas morning, before the girl can get on the trampoline, she is beaten to it by Boxer the pet dog who has, we assume, been shown how to trampoline by the nocturnal animals.
You can watch it below on the blog, or here.
Below I explain why I think the brand has lost the magic of its previous Xmas ads.
[For non UK readers, John Lewis is a UK retailer whose Xmas advert has become something of an event, with a build up of anticipation before it is premiered].
1. Losing the plot story
The clever thing about John Lewis Xmas ads up to 2015 has been that even though they look fresh, there has been complete consistency in terms of the story. The end lines varied slightly from year to year (see below), but the story was always "Give a little more love this Christmas, by shopping at John Lewis for your gifts". The focus on the joy of giving makes the brand distinctive versus other Xmas communication that tends to focus on the receiver of the gift.
But what the hell happened this year? The effort put into choosing and preparing the gift is much less involving : the dad struggling with the nightmare of building a trampoline. And the pleasure of receiving the gift is also much less, as the dog beats the little girl to the bloody trampoline!
Compare this with last year's ad where a little girl gives the man on the moon a telescope. Or 2014 when the little boy gets his imaginary penguin friend a playmate - see below.
2. Consistent execution
In terms of execution the ads look different. But look closer and there's was a lot of consistency from 2010 to 2015. The commercials have a similar narrative structure, with a focus on the gift giver, building up to a climatic and tear-jerking "reveal" at the end. Importantly, the focus is on the product/gift and the giver as joint heros. So we have emotional "sizzle" but also some product "sausage": Second, the music is different, but the style of music is similar. All three songs use slowed down, accoustic cover versions. Third, the ads all have an emotional pull on the heartstings, with an "Ah" factor.
Again, this year's ad falls down, with the execution much weaker in my view.
To make things worse, we have a couple of creepy foxes that if our garden is anything to go buy, would leave a rather nasty and smelly present on the trampoline.
3. Adding freshness
There has been plenty of freshness to keep viewers anticipating what this year's ad will be like, and rewarding them when they discover it. From 2010 to 2015 we had a different leading character, a new song and sometimes a change in execution style. Last year it was the imaginary man on the moon, the year before was a make-believe penguin and the year before that we had an animated bear.
And this is perhaps where John Lewis has lost the plot. They have tried to inject more freshness than normal, with the real-life dad hurting his thumb putting up the trampoline and the slapstick humour of a trampolining dog. But in doing so, they've screwed up the magic recipe in my book.
In conclusion, after being a beacon of fresh consistency, John Lewis has over-done the freshness and in doing so produced a weaker commercial.
To have fun watching all their previous Xmas ads, click here.
And the spoof version of this year's ad below.
"The advertising industry is hopeless at assessing the media habits of the rest of the UK." This is the damning finding from research by IPSOS for Thinkbox, as reported here. "We’re generally educated, upmarket, London-centric and time-poor and this shows through in our lifestyles – particularly media." The problem is that ad agency folk tend to project their own behaviour onto the general public, including a massive over-estimation of the importance of social and digital media.
Below I look at the fascinating findings from the study and the implications for marketing.
1. Ad people are social and digital media addicts
Ad people are at "hopeless social media and subscription VoD (video on demand) addicts", according to the study. Past 3 months consumption of social and digital media is much higher than the general population:
2. Ad people have a distorted view of real peoples' habits
One apparent results of addend's love of social and digital media is that they have a totally screwed up view of how normal folk consume media. Ad people estimate that ‘normal’ people spend a whopping 37% of their viewing time watching TV on a device other than a TV (e.g. on a phone or iPad). Guess what the real number is, based on a mix of BARB and broadcaster data?
Ad people are wrong by a factor of 18!
"Yes, but my teenage son/daughter NEVER watches TV!", I hear you protest. "They ONLY watch TV on their iPad". Well, if that's the case, they are different from most young people. Over 80% of 15-24's still use a TV to watch programmes. And whilst thier use of other devices is, as expected, relatively high, it still lags behind using a TV set.
The risk of having such a distorted view of media habits is that the importance of digital and social media is over-played. As Mark Ritson recently commented here, these results help explain why "Marketers are so obsessed with digital communications and so down on what they refer to as 'traditional' media like TV and Radio."
3. TV's impact advantage
TV advertising remains by a long shot the most impactful form of media, according to the study. It sticks in our brains better to 'create memory structure', being 6 x more memorable than the next best competitor And it is more effective at creating 'brand fame'. It is also the medium most likely to drive emotion, make people laugh and drive conversation. And this pattern is mirrored for 15-24 year olds.
Interestingly, the importance of live TV is increasing over time. According to the report, "The public appreciate watching TV on the same day as it is broadcast feels like more of an event. There is a real sense of anticipation around their most-watched programmes."
In conclusion, the Thinkbox report should be a real wake-up call for brand and agency teams, especially the younger, urban 'digital natives'. Most people live very different lives and have very different media habits, which need taking into account when planning marketing and communication. The solution is not about digital marketing replacing 'conventional' marketing, but rather complementing and amplifying it.
Post by Group Managing Partner, David Nichols.
I was in Cape Town last week with fellow brandgym parter David Taylor and we managed to blag an early table at The Shortmarket Club, a hot new restaurant with a cool bar. Needing to stay fresh for the mega worksop we had the next day, we asked what 'mocktails' (non-alcoholic cocktails) they had available. In one of those ‘this must be an ad’ moments, the smiling, white coated barman asked: “Have you tried ‘The Duchess’? It’s a virgin G&T.” My instant reaction was ‘where’s the hidden camera?’, but on trying the drink and seeing the brand, I had another thought: this is the holy grail, a credible, delicious, well branded adult soft drink!
Check it out yourself at www.theduchess.co.za
Again and again the large incumbent businesses who spend millions on innovation simply can’t. It takes the fresh unencumbered thinking of a total newcomer to crack the new opportunity. We think The Duchess has made an excellent start. Can they capitalise on a great brand and turn it into a great business? We’ll have to wait and see.
We're on the phone now trying to oeder a few cases to ship to London....