Christmas Retailers: winners and losers

Christmas Retailers: winners and losers

In January, the British Retail Consortium declared 2018 the worst Christmas since the financial crash in 2008. Sales were flat, with year-on-year growth sitting at 0%. In-store sales were down while online growth slowed. Consumer spending overall was up just 1.8%, the lowest rate since March 2016. That has led to profit warnings, disappointing sales and in the worst instance HMV going into administration for the second time. But all in all it could have been much worse. And amid the darkness there have been a few glimmering beacons of hope, largely thanks to last minute Christmas shopping and online sales. High street hope Let’s start with the bright spots on the high street. Like-for-like sales at John Lewis were up 1% after the department store stuck to its usual blockbuster spot and splashed lots of dosh on a 140-second ad about Elton John (The Boy & The Piano by Adam&EveDDB). The main campaign video racked up 50 million views on social media – 16% more than last year’s Moz the Monster campaign.  Heavy discounting around Black Friday and in the run-up to Christmas no doubt played its part in the sales uplift, which simultaneously led to John Lewis issuing a profit warning for the year ahead as it is forced to price match due to its ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ price promise. Commercial over emotional Marks & Spencer, with its “unashamedly commercial” approach, had the opposite outcome, with like-for-like sales across food, and clothing and home down 2.1% and 2.4% respectively but no warning on profit. In spite of the sales dip, it claims the product focus paid off and that customers “responded...
AVoD to pick up speed in 2019

AVoD to pick up speed in 2019

Advertising-funded video-on-demand (AVoD) – think Now TV, Hulu and Sony’s Crackle, as well as growing interest from Amazon – is still very young compared to other media. But, advertisers are fast beginning to see its future potential. Subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) services like Netflix have been garnering plenty of attention as they colonise global living rooms. But, competition is also starting to heat up in for online video ad spend. So much so that it is outpacing other media with spend set to double to $47bn by 2023 worldwide, according to Warc. The expected $23.8bn in brand investment that AVoD will receive this year equates to a 5.2% share of global ad spend, which is increasing year on year. And as a percentage of total over-the-top (OTT) spend (an estimated $68.7bn in 2018, according to Digital TV Research), AVoD will account for 34.7%. “Consumers’ voracious appetite for video content anywhere, on any device, has been propelled by SVoD services such as Netflix. But it is AVoD platforms which present the opportunity for advertisers to marry rich consumer data with pinpoint targeting during engaging content. This is why AT&T and Amazon are exploring moves into the AVoD sector next year, with the ultimate aim of taking the lion’s share of a market expected to be worth $47bn by 2023.” James McDonald, data editor, Warc. AVoD platforms present the opportunity for advertisers to marry rich consumer data with pinpoint targeting during engaging content. Indeed, Amazon kick-started speculation in the summer when it posted a job ad looking for a UK-based executive to lead an ad-funded free-to-air TV offering. An ad-funded platform, Pluto...
The Most Complained About TV Shows of 2018

The Most Complained About TV Shows of 2018

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Celebrity Big Brother was the television programme that Ofcom received the most complaints about in 2018. Over the year, they received a total of almost 56,000 complaints about programmes from viewers and listeners. Together, the top ten most complained about television shows prompted more than 47,000 complaints, making up 86% of the year’s total. Channel 5’s Celebrity Big Brother attracted the most complaints in 2018, with 27,602. Most of these were about an allegation of physical abuse made by Roxanne Pallett against Ryan Thomas. Second on the list was an episode of ITV’s Loose Women. This prompted 7,912 complaints, most of which were about an interview with guest Kim Woodburn. ITV reality shows Love Island and The X Factor also featured in the top 10 (ranked 4th and 10th respectively), along with storylines on Coronation Street (5th) and Emmerdale (6th) which prompted hundreds of viewers to get in touch with Ofcom. Good Morning Britain (7th), This Morning (8th), Sky News (3rd) and I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here (9th) complete the rankings. Ofcom launched 137 investigations into TV and radio programmes in 2018. Of those, 129 were concluded this year. They found the broadcasting rules were broken in 80 cases; 33 cases were found to have not broken the rules; and 16 cases were resolved – which means in those cases Ofcom’s concerns were satisfied by the broadcaster. The top ten in full: Celebrity Big Brother: 27,602Loose Women: 8,002Sky News: 4,251Love Island: 4,192Coronation Street: 1,098Emmerdale: 759Good Morning Britain: 548This Morning: 402I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!: 335The X Factor: 286 Sources...
5 Marketing Trends for 2019

5 Marketing Trends for 2019

We can’t believe it’s 2019 already! What are some trends we expect to see this year?  1. Authenticity is everything The world is beginning to sort the fake influencers from credible, authentic sources. Influencers aren’t going anywhere, but brands that continue to do well will be the ones who work with influencers to ensure trustworthy outputs. 2. Voice is growing There are now over 45,000 skills on Alexa, an indication of how voice is continuing to grow. Brands will move from gimmicks to finding ways of adding real value through voice. By 2020, it’s predicted that every major brand will have a voice strategy in their marketing plans. 3. Are chatbots the answer for customer service?  Chatbots are a form of software that acts as a bridge between customer and customer service agents. They are already used extensively on Facebook for tasks ranging from providing weather reports to automating customer support functions. Their effectiveness in 2019 is likely to improve. 4. Gen Z are growing up Gen Z (people born between the mid-1990s and early 2000s) are getting older, meaning they are entering the workforce and beginning to possess buying power. This generation is seeking authenticity and socially responsible businesses. 5. Rebuilding trust in social media While social media platforms continue to grow, consumer confidence is shaky. Users are wary of information they find on social media and younger users are not tolerant of marketing which appears un-authentic. So, are you ready for 2019? If you’re ready to get your 2019 marketing plan into action, then give our team a call on 02921 320 200 or email at info@themediaangel.co.uk....
How banning Iceland’s advert boosted their brand

How banning Iceland’s advert boosted their brand

For many brands, their Christmas advert is the pinnacle of the advertising calendar. If that advert was banned from television it would be sensible to assume it’d be a devastating blow to a brand’s Christmas campaign. However, Iceland have managed to use their advert’s ban to their advantage.  On November 9th, Iceland tweeted “You won’t see our Christmas advert on TV this year, because it was banned. But we want to share Rang-tan’s story with you… Will you help us share the story?”  You may have seen their advert before, it was released by Greenpeace a few months ago. But Iceland have used it to highlight their stance on palm oil.  The advert was blocked by ClearCast for being “overtly political.” An advertising disaster? Not for Iceland.  Their original tweet has 90,215 re-tweets, 95,206 likes and 5,100 comments.  It has been shared by James Corden, Stephen Fry, Bill Bailey and Paloma Faith. James Corden’s single tweet was viewed 13 million times.  The story has been covered by The Guardian, the New York Times and the Telegraph.  A petition to get ClearCast to reconsider their judgement has over 590,000 signatures.  The video of the advert on YouTube has received over 3 million views. Their 2017 advert only drew 97,000 views by comparison.   People have commented that Iceland knew the ad would be banned but marketing director Neil Hayes has denied this.  “There’s some compensation is the fact that it’s gained a bit of momentum and people are watching it on social media. But I would still have loved to put it on primetime TV as our main ad,” Neil Hayes What...
The countdown has begun!

The countdown has begun!

It’s that time of year when the Christmas advert competition begins to heat up, and here are some of the contestants so far. Aldi – Kevin the Carrot 2018’s Aldi Christmas advert sees the return of Kevin the Carrot, but this year he’s driving a truck that looks a lot like the iconic Coca-Cola lorry. The advert ends on a cliffhanger (literally), and it looks we’ll have to wait for a second advert will reveal Kevin’s fate. While we think Kevin is a sweet character, the use of the Coca-Cola truck seems as odd choice. Argos – Christmas Fool Another brand employing a character for their festive advert is Argos. Their gremlin-like creature causes chaos around the house, until the Argos delivery man shows up and splats him. We can all relate to the carnage the character causes, and Argos’ same-day delivery is definitely appealing! Amazon – Can you Feel It? This ad features singing boxes, similar to a style they used earlier in the year. We think the singing boxes don’t feel very festive to us, perhaps because the song isn’t a Christmas classic? What do you think? Tesco – However you do Christmas Another brand sticking to a similar style is Tesco with their “Food Love Stories” campaign. It features families saying what Christmas means to them; chocolate, sprouts, staying in, going out etc… Similar to the Amazon advert, we think Tesco could have done more than using a tried and tested style.  Debenhams – Do a bit of Debenhams There’s no better feeling than when you’ve really nailed your gift choice! The Debenhams advert taps into...