News in the Ads #1

This post marks the first of my weekly 5 point summaries of key events, statistics, indeed you-name-it occurring in the advertising industry that are of interest to me. I intend to write these weekly to gain a sense of trends over time (for example the digital expansion), major changes and shake-ups in the industry. This should hopefully give me an opportunity to analyse and understand consumer behaviour and agency performance in more depth, largely thanks to reports by Campaign (the obvious must-read for an “ad grad”), Brand Republic, Creative Review and other magazines. So mucho gratias to them.

1) Warc cuts global adspend forecast to 3.2%
Marketing intelligence service Warc has reduced its global adspend growth forecast from 4.6% to 3.2%.

-> A sign of the unstable economic times ahead? Suggests that firms have less money to invest in marketing and are cautious and careful about how they spend it.

2) Facebook Lets Expectant Parents Add Unborn Children to Friends & Family.
Expectant parents can announce the good news to their Facebook friends via a brand new Facebook family member status option.

Facebook’s 750 million users can reveal their soon-to-be bundles of joy by updating the “Friends and Family” section of their profiles to include an “Expected: Child.” Parents can also choose to add a photo, the name of the unborn child and a due date.

-> One step too far? I cannot imagine anyone I know using this ‘update’, but this emphasises facebook’s increasing presence as a family networking tool and a rise in the sharing of personal (and arguably private) information. Furthermore, this could cause a highly difficult situation should complications arise during the pregnancy and ‘friends’ (those hundreds of facebook ones) are publicly alerted.

3) 2012, the year of… the Andrex puppy’s 40th birthday
Kimberly-Clark is planning a major promotional push for its Andrex toilet tissue brand in 2012 to mark the 40th anniversary of the Andrex Labrador puppy brand icon and the 70th birthday of the brand itself.

-> aww 40 years of Andrex puppies and while I’ll never quite get the link from puppy to toilet paper, I will always associate the brand with that sugary-sweet dog. The brand are making its loyalty scheme “puppy points” core to the anniversary, in addition to vamping up the puppies’ facebook fan page as a form of engaging their audience further with the brand. JWT continue with their tv advertising- although to my surprise and sadness, using CGI replacement puppies instead.

4) Twitter receives ‘significant’ investment to accelerate overseas expansion
Twitter is planning to “aggressively innovate” and accelerate its international expansion, having received a “significant” round of funding led by Digital Sky Technologies (DST), the Russia-based venture capitalist firm.

-> More tweets (think a staggering 200 million a day)! Twitter’s team has grown from 250 to 600 in the past 12 months as Twitter plans to expand globally, following a $800 million investment package. This growth follows an increase in the number of apps and also languages available on Twitter (11) to suggest that it is accessible to more users. It is now valued at $8bn.

5) Cinema admissions down 2.4% in 2010
Cinema admissions fell by 2.4% last year, according to the BFI’s annual yearbook, but sales house DCM claims receipts are expected to bounce back this year.

-> Despite an increase in box office sales, admissions to UK cinemas dropped in 2010- but why? Arguably, an increasing number of people are choosing to watch films at home or online, with only the popularity of 3D films attracting people to the cinema. However this situation is expected to improve as a result of big upcoming releases in 2011. My main question and concern is why tickets have to be so expensive- as an £8 student ticket in most London cinemas is a massive deterrent.

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