Christmas ads have become a bit of an event in themselves. No longer do consumers wait for the Coca Cola Christmas truck to grace their screens to mark the official start of Christmas, but a host of other brands have earnt themselves a bit of a name in bringing in the festive season. And this year has served up quite a few Christmas crackers.
Check out our pick of the top 7 festive ad offerings of 2015 so far…
‘Man on the Moon’
Brand: John Lewis Agency: Adam&Eve/DDB No of video views: 13,391,765*
One of the most eagerly anticipated Christmas ads of the year, British retailer John Lewis tells the story of a young girl determined to bring Christmas to a lonely old man living on the moon.
With Halloween now behind us, British retailer John Lewis sure knows how to get us in the Christmas spirit and what better way to mark the start of the festive season than unveiling its 2015 Christmas ad this morning (November 6).
In fact, it has become quite the tradition now as consumers around the world eagerly await this day every year (in fact, I even heard one say that they get more excited about the John Lewis Christmas ad than Christmas itself!)
And this year’s offering certainly doesn’t disappoint. Taking the key elements that have proven so successful in its past campaigns – tapping into customer emotions, centring on the connection between two characters and linking perfectly with the message to ‘Show someone they’re loved this Christmas’.
It’s not only in the West where social media advertising revenues are growing rapidly. In the Asia-Pacific region they’re rocketing. In fact, China is fast catching up with the market leader, the US, with eMarketer predicting revenues of $3.4 billion for 2015, almost doubling to $6.1 billion by 2017. To add some context, this represents around 12.5% of all digital ad spend in the country.
But China is not alone in its hunger for social advertising. The Asia-Pacific region overall is performing well, with eMarketer forecasting 2015 revenues to reach $7.4 billion, a huge 43% jump from 2014.
This is great news for publishers and social media channels, as well as for advertisers who can tap into this increasingly socially active audience. It also has the potential to push the already fast-growing programmatic sector through the roof. But there’s just one problem, and it’s quite a significant one – language.
The simple fact is that the majority of programmatic advertisers use contextual – or at least text-based – data for targeting ads. And very few data partners offer global reach in terms of languages and dialects. This can cause complexities and create barriers for brands looking to target global online and social audiences with their advertising.
Lie-flat business class seats. First class compartments with en-suite showers. Gourmet meals. Bottomless champagne. Most airlines know that business travelers are essential to their bottom line. Therefore, most brands make smart investments in cabin comfort in order to stay competitive. But is it smarter to also reach out to a wider section of customers, even those who rarely (if ever) pay for a seat? Since airlines usually operate under thin profit margins, marketing teams must think creatively. Appealing to the culture of a particular customer through savvy social media engagement is one way to promote a brand.
Take Air France as an example. In a whimsical campaign earlier this summer, Air France reached out to its youngest flyers so they could help the airline promote a new partnership. The French flag carrier asked kids to draw pictures on a theme devised to celebrate the release of Mark Osborne’s film The Little Prince—a story based on the 1943 novella of the same name by the famous French writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
The theme titled, “draw me The Little Prince and an airplane,” let children submit their artwork to Air France in exchange for the chance to win prizes. The airline then promoted its new cadre of young artists by posting their artwork in response to customer questions on the Air France Twitter account.
There’s no doubt that Instagram has fast become the shiny new kid on the advertising block and eMarketer’s latest forecast predicts that the image-centric social media platform is projected to rake in $595m in worldwide mobile ad revenues this year, before soaring to a whopping $2.81bn by 2017.
That’s pretty impressive growth considering Instagram only introduced its ad offering a year and a half ago. And with a raft of advertising products already launched and new features set to roll out over the next few months, it’s an exciting proposition for brands; particularly when you consider it has 300 million monthly active users and accounts for a large chunk of the 1.8 billion photos uploaded every day across social media.
A large part of Instagram’s success comes down to keeping advertisers on side by taking considerable steps to ensure that inappropriate image or video content doesn’t slip through the cracks. Last year, the Facebook-owned company inked separate deals with media holding companies Omnicom and Publicis Groupe for innovative partnerships to help build the infrastructure and tools to control the advertising process on the site.
Other visual sites should take a leaf out of Instagram’s book and step up their game by ensuring they have the necessary tools in place by giving brands visual protection against appearing alongside or in amongst ‘dodgy’ content – which could be something sexually suggestive, inappropriate or even violent as well as allow brands to ‘visually target’ ads alongside visual content.
There is a treasure trove of untapped marketing potential in travel user generated content (UGC) for both publishers and advertisers. The key to accessing it is effective classification. When classified in the right way, travel UGC presents publishers with a golden monetisation opportunity, while making it easier for brands to target their advertising.
No longer do holidaymakers wait until they return home to develop the snaps they’ve taken on their disposable cameras, now they post them in real-time via their mobile or laptop straight to their favourite social media channels. In fact, a new infographic released this week from Stackla [see more below] highlighted that, as of June 2015, more than 47 million #travel photos have been posted to Instagram alone.
The good news for brands is that 40% of millennials rely specifically on this sort of content to inform their future travel plans.
Herein lies the advertising opportunity. If this content can be accurately classified, it can be sold to brands as a key advertising opportunity, allowing them to target their ads to the subject of the image. Up until recently, only contextual data could be used to classify a picture based on the text around it. But this can be hit and miss, creating the danger of ads being placed alongside inappropriate images.
Secret deodorant’s “Like A Girl” video was watched 85 million times around the world. Is this just a strike of social media luck for Procter & Gamble – the world’s largest advertiser with a spend of $8.6 billion for 300 brands? Or is it part of a new global strategy, led from the top down?
In an interview with Forbes, Marc Pritchard, Procter & Gamble’s Global Brand Officer, shared with contributor Avi Dan why the company has decided to make a quick, massive shift to a “digital first” business model.
Here are 7 highlights:
1. ”It’s because of work like that (Like A Girl) I am so bullish on the future of marketing and the tremendous value it creates. It’s a different mindset (…). Take a brilliant brand idea and express it across the vast array of media, to paint a masterpiece that connects with consumers and builds sales and profits.”
2. “For shareholders, (digital technology) provides above-average returns on our investment. This is why P&G is quickly shifting to a digital-first approach to building brands.”
3. “The media created by digital technology is where consumers are spending their time. Around the world, up to half of people’s media viewing time is spent on digital, with about a third of that on mobile.”
4. “The use of digital technology for creativity is at an inflection point, one of the most important moments we have ever seen in the history of advertising.”
5. “We have the capacity to reach people in more ways than we ever dreamed possible, and make brands a presence in people’s lives throughout their days.”
6. “When you enter the digital world and social media, consumers can quickly sniff out when you are not authentic.”
7. ”I (tell) our people to look beyond the obsession of technology and turn our attention to what really matters – the consumer experience.”
Right Brain, Left Brain sums up the dichotomy of a media business that’s constantly battling with the challenge of delivering a profit and discovering new ways to communicate to consumers. The Cream editorial team combined with a dream team of industry pioneers from around the world share their expert opinions.