31 July - Taking the Temperature of the Nation | Our Industry Insights
Posted 17 July 2020.
Julie Bramley, Insights Director has been gathering and curating the most useful and relevant research and insights from around the country and globe as a resource for you to refer to. The resources are here to help you move forward through the Covid-19 recession. Read on for Julie’s top picks and comments.
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Yesterday I was very fortunate to be asked along to a think tank type session with a group of marketers to discuss the relevancy of marketing departments – it was provocative, mentally stimulating and totally fabulous. We plan to meet again so watch this space for updates. I hope your week has gone well, hang in there, it’s only four weeks until spring.
Orlando Wood has made a charming video for Cannes explaining his left-brain, right-brain theories. Filmed around the River Thames in Bray and Maidenhead in Berkshire, this great piece of work manages to be both relaxing and educational, with Wood putting his theories into practice. As System 1’s website says “it’s safe to say you’ve never seen an effectiveness video like this one before.”
This article by Tom Roach, Executive Strategy Director and Head of Effectiveness at adam&eveDDB, got a thumbs-up from Mark Ritson and is well worth a read. Roach doesn’t so much directly contradict Field & Binet’s work, but rather refines it for the real world. He says, “Brands should be aiming to create long-term communications engineered for immediate success. Long-term growth always has its roots in the short term. The two are connected, influence each other, and if you get the two working perfectly in harmony together, you’ll achieve the strongest, most sustainable growth possible.”
From an insights perspective, most interesting are his comments on measuring the long-term growth potential of campaigns in the short term. “Share of Google search” is emerging as a strong contender and work being done by Millward Brown, Google and Les Binet looks promising. Roach says, “Further research is needed, but monitoring a brand’s share of search could also help narrow the divide that exists in marketing between ‘brand’ and ‘performance’ marketers: it could be a rare example of a metric nearly everyone can get behind.”
Ideal for a wet Sunday afternoon when you have time on your hands… Mark Ritson’s “Monster” describes the talents required to be a great marketer. He uses movie extracts to bring this entertaining presentation to life.
Decoding Decision, Making Sense of the Messy Middle, which provides new understanding about the complex customer journey, is the latest work from the Insights team at Google UK. “This report is about the mental processes that have been activated by the abundance of the web. It’s about how consumers deal with scale and complexity using cognitive biases encoded deep in our pre-digital history.” The full report is 98 pages, so you’ll need a bit of time to read it, but key points include:
The messy middle refer to two mental modes – exploration; an expansive activity and evaluation; a reductive activity. According to Google, whatever a person is doing, across a huge array of online sources, such as search engines, social media, aggregatorsand review websites, they can be classified into one of these two mental modes.
Google has also identified six cognitive biases that influence why we choose one product or service over another:
1. Category heuristics: Short descriptions of key product specifications can simplify purchase decisions.
2. Power of now: The longer you have to wait for a product, the weaker the proposition becomes.
3. Social proof: Recommendations and reviews from others can be very persuasive.
4. Scarcity bias: As stock or availability of a product decreases, the more desirable it becomes.
5. Authority bias: Being swayed by an expert or trusted source.
6. Power of free: A free gift with a purchase, even if unrelated, can be a powerful motivator.
The IPA’s latest efforts look very handy. Divided by topic, these easy, succinct downloadables provide research and evidence to demonstrate how effectively advertising grows brands and pays back financially. You’ll need to register your name and then you get automatic access. So easy!
It’s been said that “biology is becoming the technology of the 21st century” and, as health becomes more personalised, the convergence of these two trends has seen the release of some pretty sophisticated new gadgets designed to help us achieve our health goals. Cassandra’s latest report highlights this new offering:
Lumen is taking metabolism measurement mainstream. Providing information that was once only available to elite athletes, this high-tech, hand-held gadget can read carbon dioxide concentration from just a few breaths. This information tells the user whether their body is burning carbs, fats or a mix of both. It then acts as a nutritionist, suggesting meal plans and foods to best fuel workouts, allowing for improved metabolic flexibility and fat-burning. Designed by two doctors in physiology, this data-driven device is all about science and strategy, and helps make the weight-loss process as personalised as possible.
Have we lost our sense of humour, asks Rory Sutherland? I bloody hope not. Humour enriches our lives in the best of times, and is essential during a global pandemic. You’ll see a link to Sutherland’s video from Cannes Un-Canned below. In other news, I’ve obtained three new clients for my husband’s fashion business and have asked to be referred to as “employee of the month” at all times; however, contrary to any rumours you may hear, I am still looking for a job or contract work.
Sutherland reflects on the important role humour plays in advertising and within agency company culture. He says they were always pranking each other years ago – behaviour that today, he adds, would more likely lead to a session with HR.
It reminds me of the time I returned to News Works (then known as NAB) after my honeymoon, to find the entire office empty of people and with everything seemingly packed up. The only thing on my desk was a letter stating that NAB had ceased to exist. I wandered around the deserted office in disbelief, slowly absorbing the fact it must be true. Suddenly, my mischievous colleagues came out of hiding, shrieking with laughter, to tell me the whole thing had been an elaborate joke! I still can’t believe the lengths they went to.
Following the same theme, here’s a link to Tom Fishburne’s video session from Marketing Week’s The Lowdown, which covers how humour can be an act of empathy and how brands and teams can use humour (with examples).
Why is advertising still not inclusive, asks the Geena Davis Institute? This study examines representations of gender, race/ethnicity, LGBTQ+, disability, age and body size in Cannes Lions ads from 2006-2019, with a focus on new findings from 2019. This is the first public report to analyse all six key identity groups in film-based advertising. The results show we’re still not representative in many cases.
Interestingly, at the start of the year I was working on a big trade research piece that looked at how women 50+ were represented in advertising. It wasn’t encouraging: 45% of New Zealand women 50-64 feel advertisers aren’t interested in speaking to them, increasing to 61% among those 65+. More than three in four New Zealand women agree advertisers should focus on their customers’ values, not their age, but 90% of the briefs in market target people 54 and younger. There’s some work to be done here and I welcome your feedback.
Canvas8’s behavioural analysts have distilled 15 hours of Nudgestock talks into seven actionable learnings, alongside examples of brands already applying them.
Going global Globalwebindex’s fifth global report, based on fieldwork June 29-July 2 with a New Zealand sample of 518 people, provides lots of trended New Zealand statistics on optimism, financial circumstances, delayed purchases, travel, media behaviours and attitudes to advertising. Of note, more New Zealanders now believe Covid-19 will last six months or longer in our country; now at 69% up from 52% in the last survey wave. Our levels of optimism have dropped slightly to 73% but we’re still far more positive about our situation compared to global responses. Two in every three New Zealanders say Covid-19 has had a small to no impact on their personal or household finances, and this has improved since the first wave. There’s a bit of delayed spend going on, but much of this is tied to travel.
Updated to include Covid-19 commentary, this trend report by Mintel identifies three key opportunities for the global food, drink and food service industries to act upon in the next 10 years. Firstly, they believe consumers will reward companies that show leadership and demonstrable change on environmental issues, ethical business practices and public health, among other important causes – also those that fuel the new era of conscious consumption. Consumers will be looking for eco-friendly packaging and products, while also seeking guidance on how to make their diets more sustainable. Secondly, personalisation in diet and health regimes, which include brain and emotional health, will continue to grow as consumers are able to gain more in-depth knowledge about their biology. And thirdly, what Mintel is naming High Tech Harvests explores how science will interlace with the food supply chain to boost yields and combat climate change. Alex Beckett, Associate Director, Mintel Food & Drink, says: “Celebrating the sustainable, health and cost benefits of lab-grown food will be crucial in educating consumers about such nature-identical alternatives. But the industry will be compelled to elevate the role of nature, and humans, in the storytelling of these new, modern solutions.”
With cool new terminology, such as Calm Commerce, Desynchronised Society and Equitable Resilience, this paper by WGSN, a global authority on consumer and design trends, is worth a look. It was presented at Cannes recently and you can view the video on demand here.
And download the white paper presentation here.
Yesterday marked three months since Bauer Media closed and to date there is still no news about where some of New Zealand’s most beloved magazine brands will land. On 17 June, Bauer’s entire Australia-New Zealand operations were acquired by Mercury Capital, but the New Zealand assets remain for sale. Three months is a long time to wait if you’re a subscriber of a weekly title and even longer for the former editorial teams. Hopefully, there will be some sort of resolution soon.
This week I urge you to click through to view some of the highlights from Cannes unCanned – and take a look at the excellent work by Kantar in their latest offering.
Take it easy out there.
I hope some of you managed to watch something from Cannes. Thankfully, there will be unlimited access to the videos now, so pop along to the site to watch on demand.
Bringing it home with Kantar
As you will recall, Kantar did a stellar job in lockdown collecting consumer sentiment every week for 13 weeks, along with seven waves of qual research. Now they’ve brought all their learnings together to create “How your brand and customer strategies should evolve to account for Covid-19”. It’s far more exciting than it sounds, trust me. Kantar covers how our values and behaviours have changed and the implications for brands and customer experience. Within each of the behaviours – which include cooking at home, flexible working, buying local, online shopping, sustainable living and living online – there are guides on how the values play out; there are also cool tables that cover habits, cultural factors and trade-offs by what fuels the behaviour and what hinders it.
I was very excited to see James Hurman’s new collaboration with Peter Field. Launched at Cannes unCanned, this excellent paper provides a new creative effectiveness ladder, which steps through six main types of effects that impact commercial success, and is based on extensive analysis of past Cannes Lions winners. It’s excellent and will be used as a judging framework for all future Creative Effectiveness Lions. I hope some of it can be used for our own Effies next year. It looks pretty straightforward and might encourage the use of more research metrics and the inclusion of more commercial results. It was discovered along the way that a campaign’s marketing effectiveness is heavily influenced by the creative commitment. This looks as though it would be fairly easy to replicate for this market and is based on media budget, duration of campaign and the number of media channels used. Check the video link here
Jones Lang LaSalle has produced an excellent update if you’re needing something for clients. It covers both New Zealand and Australia and deep dives into what economic recovery looks like in each market as well as reporting on capital markets and office, retail and industrial & logistics sectors as we move towards the next normal.
Learnings from Les
You’ve already seen the first short video from Adam & Eve DDB’s group head of effectiveness Les Binet, in this series on marketing through a pandemic. Now the others are available. They’re not all as relevant as the first, given our very fortunate situation in New Zealand, but episode four covers the role of advertising – and Binet says the downturn provides great media buying opportunities and potentially cheaper share of voice.
Episode 1: Learning from History
Episode 2: Marketing in a pandemic
Episode 3: From pandemic to recession
Episode 4: The role of advertising
Chaz Wigley (Chairman of BBH Asia) reflects on his favourite campaigns from BBH in Asia over the past 20 years as he prepares to depart Singapore and the agency for his return to the UK.
Please share your valued insights and go in to win a bottle of champagne!
Media Reactions is Kantar’s new thought leadership campaign that will launch in September. It will be informed, in part, by an online survey with hundreds of senior marketing leaders around the world representing brands, agencies and media companies.
Please join hundreds of other marketing leaders from brands, creative and media agencies, and media companies in sharing your perspective by participating in this year’s “Media Reactions” study. The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete and all responses will be kept anonymous and confidential. Survey participants will also receive free, exclusive access to additional bonus data and insights not included in the final study when it is released later this year.
For six years, Kantar has examined the state of the industry to understand the challenges in creating cohesive, integrated marketing that reaches consumers and impacts growth. For 2020 their global “Getting Media Right” survey has been refreshed and rebranded as “Media Reactions” and reflects the latest trending topics including the impact of COVID-19 and trust in media, inequity in advertising and the continued development of AI. The data from this survey will be combined with that of a similar consumer survey to create a holistic view of the industry and actionable insights for growth.
Please complete the survey by no later than Friday, July 10.
Link within HERE
A sense of humour, I believe, is imperative in most situations. Yesterday was no different, when my daughter and I hit the road selling my husband’s in-season fashion range for the first time and called in to see a small fashion retailer client. Her opening line was, “It’s not really my style and I don’t like the range.” Having worked in media, I thought, “I’ve dealt with tougher crowds than this,” and ploughed on. She eventually gave us a small order. Fortunately, she’s not our typical client and business is picking up. Paymark results also reflect this, with the latest stats (June 14) showing retail performing at 1% above the same time last year. And talking retail, isn’t Auckland downtown’s Commercial Bay looking great?
There’s nothing like a global pandemic to give us all a new appreciation of life and each other. It was great seeing everyone at the unofficial Beacons after-party last week. Nothing beats talking to people face to face. A special shout-out to Nick Vile from oOh!media, who not only won Best Sales Team, but also bought us all drinks and made a group of ex-Bauer peeps feel very welcome and not at all weird for being there. I heard that for every drink you consumed, you now have to book a campaign with them…
In this short video, Les Binet, Adam & Eve DDB’s group head of effectiveness, gives advice to marketers on how this crisis differs from past economic crashes and what else we can learn from history.
This year Ogilvy’s Nudgestock festival went viral, global and free. Thousands tuned in last Friday night (our time) and you can watch it now at your leisure – all 12 hours of it! Featuring speakers such as Rory Sutherland, and psychology and behavioural economics experts like Cass Sunstein, Dan Ariely, Dr Laurie Santos, Adam Ferrier and BJ Fogg, there’s bound to be something to pique your interest. The festival started by streaming speakers in Australia and slowly worked across the globe to finish in the UK. I watched the first couple of hours and a highlight was the very entertaining Bri Williams, one of Australia’s leading experts in behavioural influence, whose segment “Lazy, Scared and Overwhelmed” was easy to digest, fun and informative.
Details on the line-up. Check it out to help navigate through the hours of video segments.
If you’ve never been to the Cannes Lions Festival, this is your opportunity to attend, albeit without the French Riviera, cocktails and networking. However, it’s free this year and streaming on a device near you. Speakers include Sir Martin Sorrell, David Droga, Sherilyn Shackell, Fernando Machado and Cindy Gallop.
Sessions include “The Power of Personalisation”, “The Next Normal”, “Agile Marketing: Driving Growth in an Age of Uncertainty”, “The Brand is Back” and “There’s Never Been a Better Time to Blow Shit Up: How to Re-Make Advertising”. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Register here and if you miss out, it will be available to watch later.
This case study details how a Czech Republic-based HR company, with more than 300 product lines, conducted an extensive customer journey mapping process. It stemmed from research the company conducted that led them to the decision to stop thinking their customer was a one-product customer. This article outlines their process and key learnings.
Prior to Covid-19, YoungShand was well underway with its Marketing Challenges Project, which aims to better understand the significant issues marketing teams are facing in New Zealand. They had already conducted interviews with 21 senior marketing people when we went into lockdown – so like all good researchers they checked back in with their participants to see if they wanted to revise their points. And they did, when it came to the critical importance of strategy, digital and timeliness. These are their overall findings, compiled in a well thought-through, easy to digest document.
The impact of the coronavirus has had devasting and wide-reaching impact across the world. Individuals, governments, and businesses have been striving to figure out the best way to protect themselves, their families, their citizens, and their employees. Conducted across 36 global markets with responses from 700 clients, this study is a comprehensive look into the ramifications that COVID-19 will have on the marketing plans for global clients, specifically delving into the impact on marketing investment and priority initiatives for 2020.
What’s New in New Zealand? A Look at Life After Lockdown’ is a photo journal that does just that, it looks at what life is like after lockdown in New Zealand. Its purpose is two-fold. They are trying our best to help brands and clients make sense of what is going on in the heads of New Zealanders. They are also trying to give the rest of the world a glimpse into what a Post-Covid world looks like, from a country that is one of the closest in the world to getting there.
It’s been a fortunate week for us all in terms of insights, with the release of BBH’s “How to emerge well” and the amazing “Guide to marketing in the Covid-19 recession” from WARC. These two pieces are both must-reads and, more importantly, provide usable templates and great
thought-starters for marketers and planners. Take it easy out there and best of luck for the Beacons next week. I will be cheering you on from the virtual sidelines.
I can’t say enough about WARC’s latest efforts. It has everything a marketer needs right now – it’s concise, logical, clever and well-sourced. Collated by some of the best minds in the business, this guide offers lessons from previous recessions; it explains why this recession is so
different and how this impacts advertising and comms; it lays out the 10 actions to take right now, and opportunities for growth, based on emerging trends.
Just released, this new briefing by BBH titled Brands Post Covid: How to Emerge Well, is excellent. Skip past the first two sections, Where Are We Now and Everyone’s Emotions, and head straight to Post-Covid Brands followed by Category Propositions. Here you’ll find different future prediction models from Forbes and McKinsey followed by some new customer and brand journey maps, which BBH has constructed from multiple data sources to help navigate the way forward. They also cover how consumers and brands might change, and how brands pivoted in 2008 and other crises. They present a brand needs-wheel, where they ask: what needs can you own to give your brand a clear role, and what new occasions can your brand lean into? You can then reimagine your brand touchpoints, explore the advantages of direct to consumer and then discover trends to plan for. A great thought-starter.
Jane Kendall is the executive strategy director from T Brand Studio at the New York Times and in this interview with Adweek’s senior editor, Nicole Ortiz, she discusses moving both fast and slow when dealing with brand communications. One of her mantras, she says, is: “Great brands resolve paradox.” She talks about the tension that exists between freedom and the sense of security and safety. She believes consumers need emotional support now from places they’ve never needed support before. She is passionate about creating honest, strong connections between brands and people. I like her.
More talented ex-Bauer staff are taking the opportunity to reinvent themselves. Design & Type is a collective of formidably experienced writers, designers, illustrators and content creators. Together, they have a wealth of experience and an arsenal of skills. Just for fun – of the D&T collective members – who do you think:
• wasaccosted by a machete-wielding private security guard when attempting to interview a P-addicted, multi-millionaire property developer at his burned-out mansion?
• spent their early childhood on a remote army base in rural Thailand during the Vietnam War?
• introduced Paul Holmes to his portrait photographer (just back from shooting Puff Daddy and Beyoncé in NYC), to whom Holmes handed his coat, asked to pay the parking meter and asked, “Where’s the photographer?”?
• at an 80s TV One party was chatted up by singer and Andy Warhol muse Nico, but only because (he found out later) the druggie star had picked him as the most likely one in the room to be “holding” (he wasn’t)?
• visited the Playboy Mansion in Beverly Hills and met Hugh Hefner wearing only satin running shorts (Hef, that is)?
All will be revealed when you give them a brief!
I was a bit slow on the uptake here, as I haven’t been on top of Nielsen’s activity, but I’m in the loop now. As expected, the lockdown and subsequent periods have seen an increase in print media consumption across the board. Nielsen cleverly split their Q1 2020 sample into two periods, pre-lockdown (23 Jan-25 March n= 2557) and during lockdown Level 4 (26 March-17 April n= 530) followed by a Q2 dip (23 April-10 May n= 596), which incorporated level 3. They expect to follow this up with two more dips in coming weeks. It would be good to see all media consumption across these periods to put it into context. But here’s the outtake for print in the meantime:
• Newspapers - 51% of New Zealanders are reading the printed version of daily newspapers in an average week, up 21% from Q1. Heavy newspaper usage is up by +50% to 30% while the combined online news sites and print audiences have soared to 92%, an increase of +23% from the first quarter of the year.
• Magazines –Despite not being deemed an essential service and Bauer closing during this time, magazine readership increased during lockdown, reaching 72% of the population with time spent reading peaking after lockdown at an average of 70 minutes per issue, an increase of 75% from Q1 20.
These guys don’t muck around, releasing their fourth global report, based on fieldwork that just ended last week (May 19-26, n=554 for NZ). It’s worth picking out stats from the report, particularly in the areas of domestic travel, retail, optimism, advertising and alcohol consumption, in which New Zealand has excelled. This time they have even included us in some of the trended data.
“You can’t spend your way out of this one” – Sir Martin Sorrell on the “shape” of the Covid-19 recession
The S4 Capital boss talks to WARC’s head of content about the impact of Covid-19 on the advertising industry and the possible outline of recovery.
I’m not sure if I’d call myself a “sophisticated marketer”, but don’t let the name stop you browsing through LinkedIn’s latest efforts in the current issue of their digital magazine. There are actually some fantastic things in here, including: 23 free resources, B2B marketing, advertising in a recession, the new sales landscape – also, five marketing books are reviewed. And thanks to the 23 free resources, I now click through to a live safari tour in Africa at 4.30pm each day.
The Drum’s Can-Do Festival will celebrate positive energy, innovation and creative thinking with an overall theme of “Creative Disruption”. Many trends have been accelerated by the pandemic, but they represent just as many opportunities as they do threats. The festival will
cover big topics, such as health, education, society, entertainment, finance and media. Pre-register here
Keep checking out MarketingWeek’s The Lowdown. There are lots of interesting sessions running this week, which will be available to watch either live or next week.
For those who are fans of McKinsey & Company, you can binge-read their First 100 Insights – helpfully presented in four thematic collections: the path to the new normal, safeguarding lives and livelihoods, getting back to work and jumpstarting the recovery.
Register for their new live events here
After dropping in April to levels similar to that of mid-2008, consumer confidence has rallied slightly to 97.3 for May. Although we haven’t seen a number like this since 2009, it’s at least moving in the right direction. The bounce is similar to what we’ve seen in Australia as fiscal and
monetary policy measures ease the immediate pressure. Worth a read, but you would be best to have a stiff gin alongside.
Released quite early in the pandemic, these 10 emerging consumer trends have been tracked by Trendwatching for some time and offer signals for what people will value and their priorities in a post-coronavirus world. Always good for creating new “trend” language, they also include how the trend can be applied to your business.
Remember this? January 5th, 2020
Scrolling through my photos yesterday I came across this one taken at Bland Bay, Northland, on January 5 this year, when smoke from the devastating Australian bush fires caused the skies above us to turn orange. Holiday-makers at the campsite across the road from us retreated to their tents and an eerie silence eveloped the normally busy bay. If we had known the challenges ahead, would we have been so spooked? And even in our wildest sci-fi dreams, could we have imagined this global pandemic that has touched all our lives – from Wall Street to Wanaka….
Check out my latest picks for the week.
The clever David Mattin, Global Head of Trends & Insights, launched Trendwatching – as a weekly newsletter – in January 2020, interestingly. This week, his “New World, Same Humans”, asks: “What will you build in this new world?” He’s identified three shifts for the post-pandemic landscape: the anticipated arrival of a spate of new tools and platforms emerging to connect us locally; virtual worlds becoming domains of meaningful experience; and continued upheavals expected in the workplace, with automation expected to drive more change and the acceleration of new forms of work.
Now that we appear to have Covid-19 under control in New Zealand, we all need to dig deep to face tough economic conditions. Dentsu Aegis has done another stellar job putting together its latest report focused on just this. First, it covers off consumer sentiment and behaviour, followed by best practice for surviving a recession. Great work, guys.
Written by Christophe Castagnera, Head of Connected Experiences at Imagination, this short article published on the IPA website asks how businesses and brands are going to rethink experiences on a strategic level. It has some interesting links, including Imagination’s first global study of experiences conducted in 2018 and 2019, which “revealed that experiences are not a marketing channel, but rather an entire ecosystem of places, spaces, communication channels and activities that connect brands with people on a deeper level”. He believes there are opportunities for a more targeted approach that will benefit both brands and consumers.
The main reason I loved working at Bauer Media was the people. It was full of incredibly driven, smart, innovative people like ex-editors Kelly Bertrand, Emma Clifton, Nicky Dewe and Alice O’Connell, who have launched a new digital site called Capsule. In the wake of the shock closedown of Bauer NZ, they say: “After a few weeks of tears, too many carbs and so much wine that the neighbours judged us on recycling day, we all realised what we wanted to do - write. So Capsule was born, a site for the savvy, strong, intelligent and stylish woman who wants to know what’s happening, what’s trending, what’s new, and what’s worth talking about.” I like it so much I’ve already asked for their rate-card.
Every week for the past 11 weeks Kantar has gauged the attitudes of Kiwis to the Covid-19 situation and delivered us insights. Their latest efforts show New Zealanders wanting to prioritise local goods and services, striving for an improved work-life balance, and 44% are looking forward to travelling internationally again post-Covid-19. [Read more here, see attached.] This is Kantar’s last weekly update. Although they will continue to monitor New Zealanders’ sentiments, behaviours and attitudes, they are now focusing their efforts on hosting a webinar that draws all of their learnings from the past three months, both globally and locally, to understand how Covid-19 will change the relationship between brands and their customers. Not to be missed. Good job, Kantar!
Kantar New Zealand webinar – How should brand and customer strategies evolve in response to Covid-19? 10am – 11:30am. Thursday 25th June. If you would like to register for this event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Mobile data based on the movements of a 70,000-strong Kiwi user panel shows audience activity is rapidly surging back to normal with visitation to retail stores and malls getting back to pre-Covid levels. This is backed by Paymark, showing many retail categories recording YoY growth in till takings. Key consumer sentiment shows Kiwis wanting to re-connect with friends and family and rewarding themselves with a little retail therapy or going out to a restaurant or bar.
With only a few movie theatres able to open under Level 2 in New Zealand, the industry must be hurting. Mark Ritson has this week dedicated his column in MarketingWeek.com to his thoughts on the impact of Covid-19 on the industry and what it would mean to lose the magical experience of watching a film on a big screen. None of this is helped by the phenomenal success of the simultaneous release, in early April, to theatres and (home) digital rental market of the kids’ movie, Trolls 2. It has proven to be the highest grossing VOD title in the history of American cinema.
In response to the pandemic, 20 major film festivals from around the world are coming together for 10 days (from 29 May) of curated films streamed on YouTube for free. All viewers will be able to make donations to the World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
The innovative teams at TrendWatching and Business of Purpose have created a very searchable platform full of Covid-19-related innovations from around the world.
Every week this cool newsletter arrives from TBWA telling me about the latest trends and innovations by brands in response to Covid-19. This week it included Bose’s new campaign for their noise cancelling headphones, called Dear Neighbour, and Nike’s new inspirational film Never Too Far Down to mark the return of competitive sport. Click below to sign up.
A new report from GlobalWebIndex provides insights about the divergent attitudes between frequent travellers and the general population from various parts of the world.
I thought I was well traveled in New Zealand, but a recent post highlighting special local deals caught my eye to reveal something previously unknown to me. Unfortunately, the Koha climb deal is now booked out, but this still looks like an incredible experience.
Who knew that life without a job, during a global pandemic, could be so rich and fulfilling? No lying around watching Netflix for me! As well as curating this newsletter for the Comms Council, which I’m enjoying immensely, I’ve been working on my husband’s wholesale fashion manufacturing business with my daughter, a creative, who’s also ex-Bauer. There’s been a new website created, a clear B2B strategy put in place and last week, Georgia and I were at the Auckland Domain doing a fashion shoot and creating content. Most enjoyable.
This week I was very happy to see my 17-year-old son head back to school at Western Springs College. Unlike some, he hasn’t exactly “thrived” in lockdown and has produced one paragraph during the past four weeks (I kid you not). Fortunately, the school was one step ahead in predicting different responses from students. I was most inspired by principal Ivan Davis’ email last week assuring students that “they must not feel judged or feel that it’s too late to be able to do well this year… The time it will take for children and some staff to reconnect and relax will be different for everyone. Wellbeing needs to be addressed before learning will happen.” With these thoughts in mind, go easy out there, my friends.
It’s always good to present different views. Martin Lindstrom, of the well-known book buy-ology: Truth + Lies about Why We Buy – based on a huge neuro-marketing study that looked into the brains of 2000 volunteers while they were exposed to ads, logos, commercials, brands and products – has just produced a short version “for a Coronavirus World”. In stark contrast to Mark Ritson’s comments this week about the only long-term impact of Covid-19 being recessionary, Lindstrom believes things will never be the same. (I think it’s important to remember that he is American, and their experience of the virus has, unfortunately, been quite different to ours.)
He believes our amygdala (the part of our brain that processes emotions) has been activated into overdrive and we’re all living in a permanent cloud of fear. Apparently, the amygdala has one unique skill – it overrides anything and everything – like an emergency breaker switch. Excessive toilet paper buying is a symptom, so we haven’t been completely immune in New Zealand. As a result of Covid-19-charged behaviours, says Lindstrom, we’re psychologically exhausted. He predicts we’ll get fat, divorced, question our purpose in life and re-evaluate everything. The perceived value of money will change, which will express itself in a variety of ways: a rebound bucket list; more risky sports and adventures; parties, holidays and quality time with friends and family. He says the virus has taught us something about “the efficiency of a 100% digital lifestyle; but as appealing as it first seemed, something was missing. We need that something – our craving for a physical sense of belonging, a desire for human connection – at any price.”
In terms of brand he believes now is the moment to build your brand. He says you have the opportunity to make a lifelong impact on your customers, good or bad. Post-recovery, we’re going to find ourselves in a new online environment and, thanks to our amygdalas, we’ll have whole new routines. Finally, he says: “You won’t be remembered for wins or losses, but for how you were there for your employees and customers.”
Peter Field’s good work can be found in many places at the moment. This link, to a recent webinar by System 1, also includes the clever Orlando Wood on “How to advertise: advice for brands today”.Some of Field’s advice for advertisers during a recession:
- Going dark carries high risk of share loss and greater price sensitivity.
- Short-term promotional strategies lead to dependency and profit loss.
- Innovation is a better short-term strategy.
- Maintained or increased marketing spend brings short-term hit to profitability during recession but much stronger growth to profitability in recovery.
- Be guided by the SOV/SOM rule: maintain positive ESOV (maybe possible with reduced spend).
In 2008/09 many high-profile successes were driven by emotional “feel good” brand campaigns. Lessons from the past reviewed; focus on the long-term if you can; defend your share of voice; seize your market opportunity; demonstrate humanity and generosity.
Then Wood talks through findings from System 1’s new ad testing, which calls for more right brain thinking for advertising during Covid-19. He says:
1. This is a time of heightened empathy, of shared experience, of alertness and vigilance.
2. Do I need to create new work? Not necessarily: pre-existing brand work will most likely still connect today as well as it did. In fact, revisiting work from the past can be very successful.
3. But won’t new ads connect better? Yes, but there’s huge variability by brand. Some perform much better, some much worse than pre-existing work – on both emotional response and brand recognition.
4. What if I do need to create new work?
- Show life, generosity and how you can help. People, place, community, humour, spontaneity and lived time are enormously valued today.
- Remain distinctive. Draw on your existing campaign, make use of your existing assets or characters.
- Avoid mechanistic advertising that is empty of life, didactic, distant, highly rhythmic, reliant on on-screen words or voiceover, focused on things rather than people. Avoid the cliché.
Antony Young hosted a webinar on Tuesday this week with Tony Alexander (best known for his 25-year stint as chief economist at BNZ). For those of you who haven’t come across Antony Young, he’s spent 20 years running agencies in London, New York and China and is now ensconced in the Horowhenua on a blueberry farm. These days he wears many hats – he’s a founding partner of the Digital Café in Wellington and is chair of the Horowhenua NZ Trust, supporting the economic development of businesses in his local area. It was in this role that he hosted the webinar, where Alexander discusses his views on the current economic climate and what lies ahead for New Zealand. In this half-hour session, Tony reminds us that we’re not going through a banking or fiscal crisis; he provides context around key economic metrics and predictions on how the recession will play out in house prices, retail, travel, tourism, hospitality and the rural sector. Worth a listen – realistic, informative and quite uplifting. Thanks for organising, Antony!
Yes, you read it correctly. Cronkshaw Fold Farms, Rossendale, Lancashire has found a new niche. Their response to Covid-19 was to rent out their goats for important business video calls. “Be real,” they say. “Will anyone even notice if a scape-goat joins the call”? It costs only £5 and all currencies are accepted to have one of their team join the first 10 minutes of your Zoom meeting. Sounds like a plan.
I’ve just spent an hour watching a Zoom webinar with Mark Ritson – not my typical Thursday night, but hey, what’s normal these days? And speaking of which, he’s of the opinion we’re going to snap back into our previous existences eventually. In the meantime, I’m slowly accepting the “new normal”. I’m cringing as I write these words; as some of you already know, it’s my least favourite phrase. However, it’s neatly explained by Devi Sridhar, a public health expert at the University of Edinburgh, in the Canvas8 report below. He says: “The pandemic is not a hurricane or a wildfire. It is not comparable to Pearl Harbour or 9/11. Such disasters are confined in time and space. The SARS-CoV-2 virus will linger through the year and across the world. Everyone wants to know when this will end. That’s not the right question. The right question is: ‘How do we continue?’” The report includes a piece on the rising expectations for closure – and I realise now this is what I’m struggling with the most. The lack of closure. At least there’s a wealth of interesting research and commentary to read and digest while we figure out “how to continue”. My best picks below.
David Farrar has sourced some detailed numbers, which show New Zealand’s performance in comparison to other OECD countries, and the results are pretty bloody fantastic.
The IPA asked UK-based creatives for their thoughts and best ideas and responses to the outbreak. The result, I found, was extremely uplifting and reminded me why I love advertising. The piercingly succinct ideation and creativity is inspiring. Worth a look – loads of examples included.
This article by Marc Nohr (Group CEO Miroma Agencies/chair of the IPA – Commercial Leadership Group) provides guiding principles to help us weather Covid-19’s impact on the advertising industry. It also highlights the positives we should hold on to as we look to the future. Nohr says: “The entrepreneur in me knows crises force significant change; and change can be positive. We will come out of this. The pendulum will swing back. But first comes the hard graft.”
A shout-out to my good friend David Thomason, who sent me this excellent article by Mark Di Somma, a business and brand strategist. From a New Zealand lens, Di Somma looks at how the current global health crisis has generated huge changes in how we think about everyday life. Along the way, this new age of lockdown has also introduced important, new separations into how we view aspects of our economy and, indeed, the wider global trading environment.