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How Steven Werley Overhauled his Sales Funnel to Double His Close Rate and Shorten His Profit Cycle
By PWDAdmin | |

Read about how Steven Werley, a DM Certified Partner, expanded the way he did business and doubled his close rate. Learn about the changes that Steven made, and how those very same changes could help you grow too.

The post How Steven Werley Overhauled his Sales Funnel to Double His Close Rate and Shorten His Profit Cycle appeared first on DigitalMarketer.



Local advertising – from bottom of the barrel to community hero
By PWDAdmin | |

As the coronavirus continues to reshape our home lives, Nextdoor's Paps Shaikh says it's time for marketers to reappraise the power of local advertising.

It has never been more critical to connect with customers right where they are. We are now all living more locally as consumer behaviour and mood has shifted so dramatically and so quickly. So how do advertisers and media planners successfully respond to this change?

Media planning is out of step and out of time. Often denigrated as the bottom of the barrel – due to antiquated ways to activate along this channel – local advertising should be the hero part of a marketing strategy. This is particularly true as the pandemic spikes postcode by postcode, putting community advertising to the forefront of any media campaign.

Think globally – but act locally

Advertisers and agencies must turn conventional thinking on its head. Often the approach is to buy ad space from premium publishers to deliver targeted and tailored messages and engage audiences at scale.

Scale is of course critical but in the post-Covid world, communicating with real people with their interests at heart, in a truly authentic way is even more important than it should always have been.

Relevance not reach should be the new mantra.

People are both living and working at home and as a result of the pandemic they have become even more aware of the importance of being more community minded. This fundamental shift in human behaviour will become entrenched in our society.

It’s therefore important for advertisers to think globally and act locally. This may have been a business cliche before, but now it is business-critical thinking. When the UK went into lockdown, we saw how companies pivoted to help communities; from BrewDog producing hand sanitiser for the local NHS to Lush offering the public free handwashing facilities.

Mass consumer behaviour doesn’t change that often but when it does, brands can’t afford to be caught out. The pandemic is one of those times and brands that continue to plough a global path without noticing their customers' dramatic refocus on their local communities will increasingly be out of tune and out of step.

Rebranding local

In fact, local advertising is due a digital rebrand. It has always been powerful, but it has often been the overlooked part of the plan. Now it should be front and centre, particularly as marketers look to communicate with purpose and place, as consumers increasingly shop locally. A recent survey with our members showed 63% of consumers will frequent local businesses more often.

A better term, perhaps, is community advertising: encompassing so much more than the drab local press campaigns of the past.

Community platforms have been an enabler for neighbours to offer time and support to each other and find those who need help. For example, those who are vulnerable and may be isolating have been able to enlist the help of their neighbours with tasks such as taking the dog for the walk or picking up shopping and medication.

Low mileage car insurance provider, By Miles, is a great example of a brand which tailored its messaging at a local level and is reaping in the rewards. With many people working from home and therefore driving less, demand for fairer and more flexible car insurance increased significantly. By making changes to the tone and messaging of its ads, it was able to communicate with consumers who were using their cars in different ways than they were before lockdown began.

It is as affordable as it is effective – which is so important in straitened times as marketing budgets were slashed to their lowest levels in a 20-year history during Q2 2020 according to the IPA Bellwether report.

Leveraging local

As and when marketing spend and confidence returns, it's time to reconsider where the ad dollars go.

Now businesses and brands need to flex. They should be asking: does the media plan solve the business problem on a local level and what is the unique creative messaging for a particular region or area?

Local has always been important but underloved and underinvested in. The brands that will succeed in the future will be those that believe community matters and leverage the unrivalled power of local.

The pandemic is an event we’ve never in our lifetime experienced before, but its impact will last and the human behavioural shifts it has engendered are already starting to catch brands out. Those that understand the move to local and stop paying mere lip service to the value of local communities and what it means to their customers will be the ones to reap the rewards..

Paps Shaikh is commercial director EMEA at the neighbourhood social networking service Nextdoor



What’s new in Google Shopping?
By PWDAdmin | |

Google is rolling out a series of new features ahead of the holiday season, making it easier for consumers to find the perfect products – and easier for retailers to sell more goods.

With the majority of UK shoppers saying they will spend the same or more this Christmas and more of this shopping taking place online this year, making full use of these new features could be crucial for retailers in need of some Christmas cheer.


Google starts highlighting promotions in product listings

Merchant Promotions is a Google Shopping feature that you can set up in Merchant Center to offer discounts, free gifts and free or discounted delivery. This feature is now available to all retailers in the UK and Google wants to help your promotions make a bigger impact this holiday season by highlighting them in your product listings.

 Image: vl-labels.png

Google is adding labels to product listings featuring items on sale and annotations in bold text to make promotions more obvious to users as they scroll through product feeds. The idea is to make your deals easier to understand and your PLAs easier to distinguish from other listings – especially when users are faced with a reel of similar-looking products like the example above.

Highlighted promotions can show across the following Google surfaces:

For more information on Merchant Promotions, you can find Google’s participation criteria and policies here.


Data-driven attribution now available to more

In mid-October, Google announced that it was expanding data-driven attribution to more advertisers ahead of the holiday season.

“Data-driven attribution (DDA) is a type of attribution model that uses Google’s machine learning to determine how much credit to assign to each ad interaction along the consumer journey… It continuously analyzes unique conversion patterns, comparing the paths of customers who completed a desired action against those who did not, to determine the most effective touchpoints for each business.”

The thing with data-driven attribution is, you need a certain amount of data in order for Google to build an accurate model. However, as Google’s machine learning systems become more intelligent, the search giant is able to lower the data requirements for eligibility and open up DDA to more advertisers.

            Image: vl-attribution.png

“With this change, each conversion action in your Google Ads account that has at least 3,000 ad interactions and at least 300 conversions within 30 days will be eligible for DDA.”

Google says it is now able to “do more with less data”, meaning the lower eligibility requirements have no impact on the quality of its outcomes. You can find out more about data-driven attribution and eligibility on the official Google Ads Help page.


Google helps consumers find the best price

On the consumer side of Shopping Campaigns, Google is helping users find the best prices with a new ’typical price across the web’ visualisation.

            Image: vl-price.png

When users click on a specific product listing in Google Shopping, they can scroll past the buying options to see how the price of the item compares to other retailers selling the same product across the web.

“Starting today, you can quickly see whether the price offered for an item is high, low or typical, compared to other prices from across the web and in nearby stores. Just search on Google and hop over to the Shopping tab. Then, select your favourite product to land on the Shopping product page, where you’ll find these new price insights.”

Users can also compare pricing and purchasing options from the same page, including details for in-store and curbside pickup options.

            Image: vl-compare.png

Given the current uncertainty leading into this year’s Christmas shopping season, Google is taking steps to help retailers ease consumer concerns about buying from physical retail locations.

Joint research from Klarna and Retail Economics finds that 37% of British consumers say they will avoid shopping in physical locations “as much as possible”, meaning retailers need to explore all of the digital alternatives this year – particularly strategies that bridge the online-offline divide in a safe and reassuring way.

Consumers this year can also track prices and receive notifications for future deals by using the Track Price feature in Google Shopping.

            Image: track.png

As long as users are signed into their Google Account, all they need to do is tap the Track Price switch and they’ll receive notifications as soon as any new deals are available.

            Image: vl-notification.png

Now is the time to get your Google Shopping campaigns in order

If you look at the official ONS figures for internet share of purchases compared to previous years, it’s obvious that online sales are the key strategy for overcoming Covid-19’s devastating impact on the retail sector this year.

            Image: vl-percentage.png

Google is doing what it can to help retailers sell more products and capitalise on the increase in online sales, as a result of the outbreak. And, with free product listings now available in Google Shopping, every retailer can make the online transition. Meanwhile, established retailers have more tools than ever to showcase their products during the most important shopping period of the year.


Matt McCullough is a PPC specialist at Vertical Leap.



Episode 128: How To Automate Your Marketing For Higher Returns with CEO of Sixth Division Brad Martineau
By PWDAdmin | |

In this episode, Elise Darma talks about the Four Seasons of Business, how to get engagement on your posts, and how to sell in the DMs.

The post Episode 128: How To Automate Your Marketing For Higher Returns with CEO of Sixth Division Brad Martineau appeared first on DigitalMarketer.



How Covid-19 will reshape peak shopping in Asia this golden quarter
By PWDAdmin | |

With many retailers have had to close their physical shops and rely only on online for a significant portion of 2020, the fourth, and so-called ‘golden’, the quarter will be more important than ever to recoup lost sales, says Stuart McLennan, the senior vice president of Asia Pacific at Rakuten Advertising.

Upcoming peak dates such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day will be critical to help brands on the road to recovery.

The good news is that indications suggest consumers still plan to spend big over the peak shopping season. 43% of retailers expect traffic levels to exceed pre-coronavirus levels during the 2020 peak shopping period. Over 70% of shoppers do not plan to decrease spending at all this year and 73% of holiday shoppers will purchase primarily online, regardless of a potential return to lockdown.

That said, the impact of Covid-19 will be felt. Here are the key consumer trends we have seen from our recent research and network data that retailers should use to build their strategies and drive revenue in this year’s unique golden quarter.

Social commerce is on the rise

As people have adapted to the pandemic, they have changed how they shop. Asian consumers are engaging with brands on social media more than ever, before making a purchase. This channel continues to increasingly inspire shoppers throughout the purchase journey.

Of people making online purchases, consumers in Asia prefer to engage with brands through social media and mobile or chat applications, with Facebook being the most popular platform - notably in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Malaysia – followed by Instagram and YouTube. In China, WeChat and Weibo continue to dominate the social media landscape.

This provides a prime opportunity to introduce a brand to new customers at the start of the journey and also retain a strong connection with existing shoppers. Furthermore, brands can better understand customer behaviour and work to optimise the consumer experience, no matter which platform they choose.

Personalisation for heightened consumer engagement

Touches of personalisation go a long way in sealing a brand in a consumer’s mind. With more time spent online, consumers are discovering content creators and brands they might not have noticed previously. In an effort to increase conversion, brands can use this opportunity to add a touch of personalisation in their marketing by sending out a customised email or video to customers thanking them for their order.

Video content is not only a channel for showcasing brand messaging, but is ideal for marketing on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Over 50% of consumers in Southeast Asia have increased their usage of VOD services such as Netflix and Rakuten Viki, and almost half of these are first-time users who will continue to use VOD services post-pandemic.

When considering personalisation as part of a digital marketing strategy, audience segmentation is key. Advertisers should consider creating a plan for each publisher partner based on their audience’s interests and demographics. This will ensure brands deliver personalised, dynamic messages to target the right customers at the right time.

Discounts are still king in Asia

While it is important for retailers to continue to invest in technology to improve reach and engagement, sales and discounts still reign in Asia. This trend remains even more pronounced as consumers continue to be more cautious about their spending as they come out of lockdown. It has been revealed that over 60% of consumers in Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore subscribe to regular brand newsletters to receive coupons and updates about promotions.

For brands, cashback and rewards sites will be influential platforms to incentivise shoppers to make a purchase. In fashion, voucher and coupon publishers have been particularly effective in driving conversions.

‘Dynamic commissioning’, where retailers increase cashback on products or categories with higher margins, higher price points, or based on seasonal trends, can be used to stimulate purchases. For publishers, many advertisers offer a higher commission for new customers to encourage acquisition or a flat rate to ensure loyal customers are rewarded.

‘Voucher code commissioning’ also lets advertisers track the effectiveness of particular partnerships. Advertisers can use exclusive codes to boost conversions while ensuring commission is only paid to the publishers with active campaigns.

Many advertisers are also using AI tools to provide publishers with the ability to serve personalised ads and discounts based on past shopping behaviours. Using a tailored approach to communicating value will further encourage brand engagement.

Continual optimisation during and beyond the golden quarter

Alongside optimism about spending over the golden quarter, 54% of global consumers have said there will be no change to their spend for key shopping dates in early 2021, such as Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day.

With shopping behaviour continually shifting as the pandemic evolves, being able to make smarter content decisions in real-time will remain imperative.

Brands can utilise Affiliate Consumer Graph for campaigns in Q4 and into 2021 to gather unique insights based on consumers’ browsing and shopping behaviour. They can then strengthen their campaigns based on this information. This means brands can create more personalised experiences that are relevant to the consumer’s mindset and target them based on their purchase history.

Ultimately, the road to recovery is likely to have twists and turns. Performance across the 2020 peak shopping period should be used by brands to build strategies for 2021. It will be crucial that retailers continue to closely monitor shopping behaviour throughout the year so they are ready to continually adapt.

Stuart McLennan is the senior vice president of Asia Pacific at Rakuten Advertising



Influencer names former 4C Insights exec Kirsty Brice as global marketing director
By PWDAdmin | |

Influencer has named Kirsty Brice as its new global marketing director . Brice’s appointment will drive growth across Europe, and lead the company's expansion in the U.S. The company has announced plans to continue to build out its senior management team and expand further globally.

With over 17 years of extensive industry experience, working in the marketing, advertising and digital ad-tech industry across EMEA and global markets, Brice brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the role. Brice most recently held the role of director of EMEA marketing at 4C Insights, where she led the companies EMEA marketing strategies focussed around both their agency and brand partners. She was also responsible for amplifying their official marketing partnerships with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Snap, Google and Linkedin.

Brice has also previously worked as a director of EMEA marketing at Exponential and marketing and communication manager at TapJoy. Prior to this, Brice worked as a digital marketing and business development manager at The Wall Street Journal and senior marketing executive at the BBC. She has proven knowledge in digital strategy, social media management and budget planning, and these skills will prove invaluable as Influencer continues its process of global expansion.

Working closely with Influencer’s marketing director Hester Bates and co-founders CEO Ben Jeffries and CVO Caspar Lee, Brice will play an instrumental role in the launch of Influencer in new markets around the world, as well as cementing Influencer’s position as a leader and industry educator in the UK market. Brice will also work closely alongside Influencer’s commercial director Jason Surroop, to build partnerships with brands and agencies with long term business goals in mind, prioritising strategic partnerships and relationships, to enable this global expansion.

Commenting on Brice’s appointment, CEO Ben Jeffries said: “I am incredibly proud to have Kirsty join the team; her proven track record in elevating brand recognition and reputation will be key to the business’ global expansion and overall success. We are committed to hiring only the best talent in the industry, and I believe that is what we have done through Kirsty’s appointment. I am very excited for her future here at Influencer.”

Marketing director Hester Bates also added: “Kirsty will help us lead as educators within the influencer marketing space, as well as building the marketing team to cater to global needs, as the business continues to progress during this critical period of growth. I cannot wait to work alongside her, and see how she will play a huge part in propelling Influencer along the strong growth trajectory we’re currently on.”

Influencer’s technology was launched in 2017 by award-winning entrepreneurs, 24-year-old Ben Jeffries who leads the company as CEO, and 26-year-old world-renowned YouTuber and creator Caspar Lee, as chief visionary officer (CVO). Backed by some of the world’s largest creators, Influencer is already working with many leading global brands including Alibaba, PepsiCo, Ocado, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks, Pernod Ricard and Barclays, to name a few.



Pivoting your strategy for Black Friday and beyond during lockdown 2.0
By PWDAdmin | |

Black Friday this year has become a very different event due to Lockdown 2.0. Every omnichannel retailer will be switching their Black Friday event online and starting it earlier than they had perhaps anticipated. For some retailers Black Friday could be make or break.

It is likely that the transition from Black Friday to Christmas will be seamless and that promotional savings may remain in place rather than get switched off. So that 30% you save today will probably stay in place until stock runs out.

Virtual queuing

We Brits are known for our love of queuing and it seems this applies whether real or virtual. A poll conducted by Opinion for U-Switch found that 24% of online shoppers would be prepared to wait in a virtual queue for 65 minutes in order to save £200. This may be possible if you are working from home but not for all, in particular key workers. Therefore, when the doors do reopen again, retailers must make the most of every shopper that enters their door and make it easy for them to shop, maybe even opening 24/7.

21 days to go

For those who don't trade online, with no e-commerce solution in-place, the 21 days between 3 December and Christmas Eve are going to be more like the ‘Sale of The Century’. With the potential for so much new stock going stale, the focus will be on clearing the rails in fashion retail. Think of all those Christmas jumpers on rails in Primark not being worn.

Meanwhile we are likely to also see significant discounting in all those aisles in department and consumer electronics stores that were all forced to close their doors. Having well-trained staff on hand to help close sales for higher ticket items will be crucial with shoppers likely to be highly ‘purpose driven’ when shops do reopen, particularly with stories of a potential further lockdown as the price of relaxing measures over December.

For all retailers the need to optimise sales on each and every of those 21 days is imperative and can be done through the complete engagement by brands with retailers to provide an immersive solution for all consumers, in a socially distanced manner of course.

Daniel Todaro is managing director at Gekko.



Digital sustainability: Manifesto’s journey towards lasting digital impact with the Climate Group
By PWDAdmin | |

It is currently very difficult to find data-led evidence and best practice on how to approach a sustainable website build. This makes life challenging for those trying to create positive change by lessening the environmental impact of our digital spaces.

With this in mind, Manifesto is sharing its journey towards best practices around digital impact. In sharing the lessons we are learning and the challenges we face along the way, we hope our network can be inspired to join us in creating a digital industry that is more conscious of its impact on our environment.

The series starts with the website build we did for the Climate Group.


Who is the Climate Group?

The Climate Group is an international non-profit organisation. Its mission is to accelerate climate action, the end goal being to limit global heating to no more than 1.5°C in global warming. To do this, the non-profit brings together powerful networks, both across business and governments, to shift global markets and policies.


Why has the Climate Group partnered with Manifesto?

The Climate Group partnered with Manifesto as its sustainable build partner. It wanted to deliver a consolidated, evolvable and user-centred web presence. That way, it would be better positioned to engage its diverse global audiences, as well as drive rapid climate action and positive change. To achieve this strategy, Manifesto brought the websites around the group’s various initiatives together under one CMS, with a multisite for the RE100 initiative.

From the start, this project was set up with a focus on limiting its environmental impact. It was also supported by an environmental lead, who was assigned to the core team. Their aim was to enable the team, through what knowledge they had already gained, to question usual approaches and invite creative and technical solutions to the environmental challenges posed.


What’s the aim of this series?

We want to share our approach, research and explorations during the Climate Group website build so that other agencies can approach these sorts of projects with more resources to support them.

We’ve found that through our experiences so far, decisions around digital sustainability aren’t always black and white. And with exciting developments come difficult questions and situations. That’s why it’s important these discussions are shared in order to understand the variety of options available for future projects. Because there’s no one size fits all.

Importantly, we want to show that this stuff really isn’t rocket science either. Most of what we’ve done is best practices pulled from other disciplines. We’ve then brought these various practices together to create something essentially greater than the sum of its parts. Since the go-live of the site in November 2020, we project that the RE100 site emissions will drop 91% and the Climate Group site is projected to drop 60%.

It’s with this approach that we want to create a shift in thinking so that these questions become routine in building websites. That responsibility falls to our industry – the ones creating the websites. And, most importantly, we want to be open with our approach so that others can build on and improve it further.


What do we hope to achieve?

The point of this series is not to dictate to our network in order to create a world where the individual consumer is browsing less – although we can’t deny what a massive impact that would have. The focus here is instead on changing habits at the cause – and in this case, it’s those in charge of creating the websites.

“When it comes to sustainability, we don’t see ourselves competing with one another, but competing for the future. If we don’t bring about change quickly, there won’t be a future to speak of.” Tim Brown, Allbirds’ co-founder at The Climate Group.

For that reason, we need to come from a place of vulnerability, to be open and transparent in order to learn. We want to help support agencies who are facing the same sustainability questions. And we should aspire to regain some of the internet’s lost credibility and trust in the process.

Ultimately, we’re here to promote a sustainable approach to all website builds.


What does success look like?

Firstly, we wanted to create a sustainable website for the Climate Group that others can take inspiration from.

Secondly, we wanted to create a place you can turn to that offers new knowledge and shared resource, because we still want to learn from others too.

And finally, we want to provide a place where you can ask questions about sustainable website builds.

Keep an eye out for the first in our short series, Digital Sustainability: Design Elements.


Neil Clark, environmental lead at Manifesto.



Reality or escapism? Addressing the C-word in this year’s Christmas ads
By PWDAdmin | |

Advertisers are facing a big dilemma this festive season: acknowledge the reality of 2020's Covid Christmas, or whisk viewers off to a pandemic-free alternative universe. To figure out how to deal with the other C-word, we asked strategist and Harbour partner Kevin Chesters to dive into this year's Christmas creative and tell us who did it best...

Merry Christmas everybody. A bit like policemen getting younger or the fireworks starting in August, it does seem that the Christmas ad season starts a little earlier every year. Even a year like this one.

There seems to be two very clear approaches when it comes to Christmas ads this year – to Covid or not to Covid? It’s a case of “how do we deal with the C-word?”

Do we take the virus and its inevitable impact on our family festivities head on and reference the (baby) bejesus out of it? Or do we simply plough on regardless and pretend that a virus-shaped Grinch in 2020 won’t be stealing the more ‘normal’ aspects of our traditional traditions?

The majority of ads from the usual suspects seem to fall acutely into one camp or the other. Some have dived headlong into the Zoom-filled, socially distanced, technology enhanced (or limiting) Christmas that will be inevitable (whatever “Boris” and his assembled average acolytes might be trying to convince us). The rest have glossed over the effects of the pandemic of our 2020 Noel and gone down the route of Christmas past. I am not going to make any sort of judgement as to which I think is the right way to go. OK, I am. But not yet.

There has been an absolute deluge of research in Q4 as to what should be the way to go - and as usual the results are entirely contradictory! Some of the data seems to suggest that people want to see blockbusters and a big dollop of Christmas normal as an antidote to 2020 mope. Other research seems to point to consumers wanting brands to be more realistic and reflective of the times and so acknowledging the Covid context for Christmas. Like all research I think you have to treat it like fireworks – all very lovely but unhelpful (or potentially seriously fatal) if you put it in the wrong hands. I have a clear POV on what I think is best for people but again I’ll come to that later.

I have to confess that I was dreading the Christmas ad postbag. I was convinced that there would be a stocking full of “now more than ever” and a big pile of “in these unprecedented times” under my Christmas advertising tree. But I have, not for the first time in my life, been proved very (very) wrong. I happen to think that this year’s crop of Christmas advertising is, collectively, the strongest for some years. Perhaps my old mate, Joe Staples, was right when he wrote for Chrysler a few years back “the hottest fires forge the strongest steel”.

I really don’t want to come across like old Mr Grace in ‘Are you being Served’ (one for the millennials there) when he used to say “You’ve all done very well” - but I would start any discussion about 2020 Christmas work by saying that anyone who gets anything out in 2020 needs a massive pat on the back. It’s been a cowpat of a year, properly shit. We’ve all had to deal with a ridiculous lot of crap – personal and professional. Everyone, client and agency, has had to adapt to a mad way of working but it’s affected production people probably more than anyone. So, I think some of the more blockbustery work – Amazon being a good example – deserves some proper plaudits.

So I’m not going to criticise anyone (despite it being a bit tempting in some cases) – I think just getting work out there at Christmas 2020 is a triumph of our industry’s adaptability, positivity, grit and ingenuity. Everyone have a mince pie – YOU’VE ALL DONE VERY WELL.

But what’s the best approach? Escapism or Reality? Which C-word leads to the best work?

Science will say that escapism is good for us. There is a Santa’s sack full of research to show the positive impacts of escapism on our overall health. A peer reviewed study in Turkey in 2014 showed that distraction and escapism can even have incredible impacts on our response to physical pain and recovery. But by far and away the most work in this area has been done in the field of the positive impact of escapism on our mental health and wellbeing. We don’t need reminding that many aspects of 2020 have been a bit rubbish – I think we’ve all noticed. So, is it best that we have a lovely, snow-topped, figgie-pudding-soaked journey in Christmas normality via our ads?

No Christmas ad discussion is credible without starting – and probably ending – with John Lewis. Now, full disclosure here, John Lewis is a much valued and very well-liked client of ours at Harbour. But I’m going to leave that to one side. Bevo and Brinn have simply served us up something great – as per. There’s a healthy dose of the Spiderverse about the production (and what’s not to like about that?). The sentiment is great, the message is necessary and the execution is everything you’d expect from adam&eveDDB. [Read the story of its making here.]

Video of Christmas 2020 Ad | Give A Little Love by John Lewis & Partners and Waitrose & Partners

John Lewis has written its own rules and established its own universe for judging its work at Christmas. Its latest ad would be great any year, but this year I think it’s a triumph. And I also think you can’t judge John Lewis at Christmas against anyone other than John Lewis. But in terms of the escapist camp, I think this one is up there. Only beaten by…

McDonald's. This ad is lovely. It’s made me cry four (FOUR) times. There is so much to like about this little journey into distraction from reality. For starters (like a lot of work this year) it avoids the more annoying parts of Covid production impact by going down the animation route. It tells a wonderful human story, and like so many McDpnald's ads from the last 20 years it does it with skill, charm, patience and pathos. This is my second favourite ad on the 2020 Christmas sleigh. Honourable mention for me in escapism camp also goes to the brilliant Burberry film which just made my heart sing.

Show me entity :: 34779

So, who did reality well? Quite a few actually. But only a few really nailed it. Zalando took it head on ‘We will hug again” and I think did it well. Amazon really embraced it and I think just for production ambition alone I’d give it an extra satsuma in itsChristmas ad stocking. The story is also well told and I think it is charming without ever being too heavy-handedly mawkish. Top stuff from Lucky Generals.

Video of The show must go on

But who do I think deserves the star on top of the Christmas ad tree? Well, I happen to think that bravery should always get rewarded. This is why I am probably leaning towards people acknowledging the C-word rather than avoiding it. And I think one retailer absolutely walked the fine line between reality & escapism with the skill of Santa’s elf of the month.

It’s not easy to be funny when it comes to a pandemic. It would be very easy to offend or miss the mark. So with that said, Tesco has absolutely nailed it. A lovely insight to start with – indulge the planner in me – that in a year where it’s all been a bit of a challenge then we shouldn’t have a naughty list. A film full of references to the year – home schooling, loo roll hoarding, self-haircuts, travel bans and Captain Tom – but done with wit and great writing. I also want to call out whoever was in charge of the casting on this – you absolutely smashed it.

Video of No Naughty List | Tesco Christmas #TescoNoNaughtyList

This made me laugh, and it made me feel a bit wistful too. It does both reality and escapism, it does Covid and Christmas. I am actually in awe of how carefully this campaign treads the line between comedy and Covid. The print is also wondrous too – “These are unprecedented pies” – so I’m definitely giving Tesco an extra big dollop of congratulatory brandy butter for its advertising pudding. All that AND Britney????!!! My eggnog cup runneth over.

Tesco Unprecedented Pies

There’s a line in Game of Thrones that came back to me when I was thinking about just how skilfully Tesco has done this. Bran asks his dad "Can a man still be brave if he's afraid?" and his dad replies "That is the only time a man can be brave". It would be really easy for advertisers to dial it back this Christmas. No one would blame anyone if they didn’t embrace or acknowledge the hardest bits of 2020. Yet Tesco has embraced them without wallowing in them and referenced them without seeming to underplay them. Tesco has even joked about them with deft balance.

I was asked by The Drum for my opinion on what I thought was the best approach – reality or escapism? Covid or Christmas? Like a fat bloke at a buffet, an indecisive tombola winner or a spoilt kid with a box of Black Magic, I’m going to say that the answer is both. You can have it all. Be brave enough to acknowledge what we’ve been through but talented enough to navigate through it without layering it on with a trowel.

I hope everyone has a nice Christmas no matter where or how they celebrate it. God knows we’ve all deserved it after the last six months. And the Christmas ad postbag showed me that we’re still an industry full of smart, skilled, adaptable and resilient folks. And that bodes really well for recovery in 2021 and hopefully slightly less “unprecedented times”. I’m looking forward to hopefully the most boring year of my life!



The DigitalMarketer Team is STUFFED with Gratitude This Thanksgiving
By PWDAdmin | |

To celebrate thanksgiving, we gathered together all of the things that the DM team is thankful for.

The post The DigitalMarketer Team is STUFFED with Gratitude This Thanksgiving appeared first on DigitalMarketer.



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