Another picture capturing the scale of digital. The latest Single day in China was a huge success — $31bn sales in one day. And the parcel delivery people struggle to keep up; many offices don’t have space for all the deliveries and they pile up outside. Remember this is essentially a marketing invention.
Our own marketing construct in the UK are the Christmas TV ads. The defining moment is the new John Lewis ad launched yesterday, but the big success so far has been the Iceland ad — which was ‘banned’ from TV. There is a view that these big campaigns are losing their shine. With 2.5 m views on YouTube last night and 5000 comments they still have pulling power.
But it’s time to shatter a Christmas myth. These are not TV ads. Most are modern digital campaigns.
Iceland is a 90 second ad that has been seen by millions of people across social media and almost 5m views on YouTube. I saw somewhere that Iceland claim the controversy wasn’t planned and they had £500k for airtime. I am not sure i believe this and that sort of budget doesn’t go far on TV with a 90 second ad.
It’s a smart strategy and close to that of John Lewis. The launch of their ad was trailed on Twitter and PR’d to all the newspapers and the 2 minutes 20 second ad was first available on YouTube. So you have millions of people watching the ad of their own volition on digital. For free. When you plot the reach curve that’s a good start, even before the media spend kicks in. And i expect much of that media will be for cut down ads that deliver frequency.
It’s a perfectly valid modern media strategy. But by using the term TV people can miss just how much things are changing.
ITV have announced they expect their revenue to fall in Q4; TV spend is forecast to fall by 1.4% whilst digital is up by almost 12%. The changes in TV are captured by US data showing traditional TV ratings amongst 18–49s were down 22% year on year.
Things can be equally hard for the new players and Defy has gone from being the hotshop to being out of business in no time at all. And despite all the hype over OTT Facebook are pulling back on their ad sales for connected TV.
But OTT is going to be huge and the investment in the back end continues. TV UX specialist Massive — a UK firm — has been bought by Deltare for $127m.
Despite all the headlines, we haven’t seen much reaction to privacy from the general public. But with Apple seizing it as an issue to differentiate itself from Google and Facebook, it’s not going away. So this research showing just how differently Apple and Google behave with smartphones is fascinating.
As the infographic shows Google has a voracious appetite for data, making 6 times as many information requests each hour on an Android device as Apple does with an iPhone. The difference is even more marked when the phones are inactive, with Android request 10 times more than iPhones.
But the big news is that on iPhones Google makes 3 times as many requests every hour as Apple does. The research suggests this is largely due to the use of Chrome as a browser. I believe Tim Cook will want to regulate that at some point.
Googles’ top analytics guru has a good post on privacy — with links on how to check what is being collected on you
In retail big brands are accepting they have to learn to live with Amazon. Nike made the move onto the platform fairly recently and are seeing the effect already — sales are down. But that’s good as it’s the grey imports and fakes that are gone.
Now Apple and Amazon have agreed a partnership and most Apple products are now on Amazon, from Apple rather than resellers. But Apple homepods are not included so they don’t clash with Echos.
The other end of ecommerce is things like Depop where we see the young exercise their entrepreneurial skills buying and selling fashion. This is a good look at Depop. And amongst the traders on here you can probably find some excellent nano influencers — people with small followings who are now getting attention from brands priced out by more famous influencers.
Back in the real world smart brands are letting customers use their own devices to interact instore. More and more people are using QR codes in store and Walmart have a new app that uses AR when customers check prices. We don’t really believe that tech installed in stores ever gets used that well, so finding a way to let people use their own devices makes sense.
Twitch is a big deal that gets overlooked by non gamers. As we have mentioned in previous weeks there is so much potential here and this analysis of why Amazon bought Twitch ( for almost $1bn) is a good read.
Gaming is huge in China and Western firms watch carefully to le,arn from this market — the casual games on wechat are very influential having gained huge user bases attracting older audiences. But the Chinese authorities are cracking down and firms like Tencent are keen to diversify their revenues
Reshaping the UK market
Whilst the duopoly hoovers up much of the continued growth in digital media, the traditional media business are getting better at competing.
Our friends at Global have been a key player in bringing digital to audio with Dax and now look likely to have the same effect on out of home following their audacious swoop for some of the UKs top OOH firms.
Removing the friction from buying makes sense in radio OOH and in news. So a new initiative from the news publishers is to be applauded; The Telegraph, Guardian, News UK and Reach (owners of the Mirror, Express and Star) can now all be bought from Ozone — a new sales operation. With a bigger reach in the UK than Facebook this is smart move. And with a single DMP and one tech stack they can offer advertisers a great opportunity. The one area that needs attention is the ad formats — some innovation beyond MPUs and banners would be good.
By coincidence a client mentioned they had been approached to buy bargain ads in the Guardian. Some little agency is offering banners on the Guardian for 28 days for just £595. Dig into it and they are run of site banners, bought programmatically. No mention of audience, reach or anything that might measure the value. No wonder some clients still think digital is the wild west.
This is a great interview with the head of content at Snap — lots to learn. Slight undermined by the fact he has now resigned.
McKinsey on GenZ and CPG. Quite interesting
Lots happening with Voice but as this piece points out we haven’t seen it reach its potential yet. The ecology is developing and initiatives like Blueprints will help people make more of their assistants, but we have yet to see a brand make the most of these devices.
The Facebook video device Portal is getting more apps and can now run YouTube videos. It’s interesting how the various services coexist as sometimes these apps are ‘unofficial’. Facebook say they will soon have Google Assistant on the device and having both Google and Amazon would make it quite attractive. But why would Google or Amazon agree to that?
Like many new technologies bots were flavour of the month for a while and many people made poor use of them. Now less fashionable we are seeing really good use cases being developed as AI is used.
Booking.com spends $1billion dollars a quarter on Google search ads. All done direct. One of our core beliefs is that harvesting intent is better business that creating demand.
As legal teams at clients realise the potential consequence of GDPR breaches they are keen to pass the parcel to their agencies. We saw this talked about a lot as GDPR was coming in and now it’s forming part of RFPs. For an agency to take on this risk they need fat insurance policies and those are expensive. So the obvious thing is to try and pass the liability to media owners.
Another brand extolling the virtues of inhousing — Pharma giant Bayer plans to take all digital media in house in the next two years.
More good stuff from VC Andrew Chen — how to build a growth team. Looking at how much of growth tactics are outside the remit (and skills) of an agency shows why inhousing is gaining traction
Fix friend Paul Armstrong who runs the great breakfast events, has a wonderful full day event coming up. The TBD conference has great speakers lined up from Google, Uber, Lego and many more. He has kindly offered a 50% discount to Fix readers if they use the code TBDCONF50
This interview with ex News Corp and Fox CEO Peter Chernin on the future of entertainment is a must watch. He nails the key opportunity that digital needs to crack; discovery. It’s a problem in entertainment and just about every other sector.
“I’m a big believer in try[ing] to think about where consumers are being underserved.… I think there’s one huge chokepoint in the whole thing right now, which is curation, recommendation. I think there is so much stuff out there and I think consumers are wildly underserved…. It’s not money that’s the scarce commodity in that sense, because Netflix is a great bargain. It’s time. It’s how do you figure out what is worth my two hours tonight?”
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