A turbulent 2016 has almost gone in a flash and with it we’ve lost some absolute legends, been on a political rollercoaster and seen how even though TV is somewhat our constant, it continues to change as ever. With Christmas in touching distance, we’ve taken a look at the festive line up ahead and a roundup of the crazy year that was 2016.
This year’s X Factor has fallen even further behind rival Strictly Come Dancing in the ratings battle – the 2016 finale struggled to reach 8m viewers, down a hefty 15% compared to last year’s finale. It’s the worst audience on record for the X Factor, ever. Earlier this year, ITV agreed to renew the show until 2019 – after 12 years of the same predictable format, maybe they should let X Factor rest up and make way for The Voice which debuts in January on ITV.
Great British Bake Off jumps ship
It was the hottest topic in the TV industry when BBC confirmed they weren’t renewing their contract with GBBO after Channel 4 paid a whopping £75m in a three-year deal. There was uproar and rumours as Mary Berry threw in the tea-towel, quickly followed by presenters Mel and Sue. For the Paul Hollywood fans amongst us, the only presenter left has confirmed the search for new bakers has begun – hooray! Before the show heads to its new home on Channel 4 in 2017, the old Bake Off team will be on BBC One for one final time on Christmas Day with a festive special. I’ll be tuning in for sure.
Planet Earth II rocks
The almighty Attenborough restored faith with another series of the natural history show which not only has incredible never-before-seen footage, but also a powerful conversational message that makes for perfect Sunday night viewing. It has become one of the few ‘feel good’ moments of 2016 – a weekly instalment of delight that has attracted more than 12 million viewers every week. Now the most-watched natural history programme for 15 years, Attenborough is still on top form at the ripe old age of 90. Not only that, the producer of the show has hinted that the BBC could return with a third instalment…
*Keep everything crossed*!
Christmas TV adverts return
Every year in the lead up to Christmas, big brands get their big guns out and release their festive TV commercials (albeit somewhat prematurely in Oct/Nov) to the world and they spread like wildfire on social media and the like. So many are a cause for conversation and controversy but this year feels like a slight step change from previous years. A shift from emotion to animation seems to be the focus of many brands – maybe it’s the pick-me-up we need after a heavy year of ups and downs. From a trampoline-loving dog to a carrot called Kevin and an all-singing-all-dancing James Cordon voice-over, my fav has to be an unexpected entry from Heathrow Airport with a heartwarming story of Coming Home For Christmas which I think rivals giants John Lewis and M&S.
The Guardian has rounded up its top 50 TV shows of 2016, with Planet Earth II sitting at number one.
Think about your favourite brands for a moment. What is it about them that you love? Their catchy jingle, emotive animal-based marketing, or their exceptionally-executed social strategy? In a marketing world filled with tough competition for consumer attention, brands are at risk of becoming lost unless they are able to differentiate themselves.
With more and more brands clinging onto their heritage as a form of consumer engagement, are we simply going to be left drowning in a sea of nostalgic storytelling? I’d say that depends on how they utilise it. Heritage can certainly be used to a brand’s advantage – take the Nationwide ‘by your side’ advert, where a Nationwide ‘hero’ delivers a lost scarf that is years old – signifying the high street bank being ‘there’ for the customer through more than one generation. It tugs on the old heart strings, and is a pleasant watch, but is it really enough to solidify a brand in positive consumer light?
A study published in the International Journal of Marketing suggests so, explaining how significant the effects of brand heritage are on the perceived economic, functional, affective and social values of a brand. Put simply, they suggest that brand heritage matters in the eyes of the consumer, not just for the loyalty/trust factor, but emotionally too. The full published article can be read here.
It seems the bank scene is rife for heritage storytelling, as we’ve also got the newest of Lloyds bank’s ‘For Your Next Step’ ads, where this time we follow the iconic black horse through some of life’s key milestones, to a stunning piano cover of Madness’ ‘Mad World’ (and as an avid pianist it scores high in my books) – so is that enough to get me thinking about the nostalgia of the brand? Short answer is yes, but I’m not sure it means I’m rushing to switch.
The trap that brands may fall into is focusing too heavily on their heritage without being relevant to the modern-day consumer. Many brands have heritage, but it takes a strategic campaign to harness the heritage alongside appealing to the wants and needs of consumers today. Hovis is famous for its 1973 Ridley Scott-directed ad, featuring the beautifully cobbled Gold Hill in Shaftesbury where we watch a young chap riding up and down the hill as he brings home the bread. “As good today as it’s always been” is the tagline, which doesn’t feature in their latest spot, but is certainly reimagined among the core themes from the original. The latest ‘Good Inside’ ad features three adventure-hungry kids (led by a girl – it is the 21st Century after all) racing away from a house which is trying to trap them in, Transformers style. The tagline here includes “don’t get stuck indoors … pack a sandwich, and go on”. So what’s great about it? The ad has moved with the times yet held its heritage, appealing to both those who remember the original boy on a bike, and those seeing it in all its advertising glory for the first time. Bravo.
As the published study above states, consumers are searching for products with authenticity, and ‘genuine history’ is a key factor in their decision-making process, especially as the global market is so easily within reach. Heritage brands who readjust their identity to keep up with present and future consumer behaviours, but stick with their core values, are sure to fare well in a constantly changing marketplace.
What was I saying about a sea of nostalgic storytelling? Life jackets at the ready.
Having sufficiently scratched the travel itch after a hefty 19-month stint travelling and working abroad, over the past month I’ve not only been adjusting to cold weather again, but back to the reality of my Leeds life (which has been in hibernation mode while I’ve been away!) With a list as long as my arm of things to sort; House. Car. Phone… to name a few, internet connection and TV subscription were high on my list (priorities!).
Being a bit of a TV geek, I’ll shamelessly admit to streaming and keeping up with Corrie whilst living in Australia and now most evenings after work are spent binging on all things TV and popular culture. TV has always been part of my social maintenance and now more so than ever.
2015 saw TV advertising revenue in the UK hit the £5billion mark for the first time, so not only is it important to our social acceptance and understanding of what everyone’s talking about the next day in the office, but it continues to be ‘king of the castle’ in the advertising world.
Even the evolution of Christmas TV ads has escalated in the last couple of years with the race to be the first (mainly retail) brand to market and of course, make the nation cry. It has become an annual event and part of our popular culture in the lead up to the festive season in the UK, in which our reactions, criticisms and parodies then usually spread like wildfire over social media.
Australian TV leaves a lot to be desired. I’ve had many a cringe-worthy moment watching ads and feeling like we need more than an in-your-face salesman or a beautiful model to persuade us into buying something. It’s made me reflect on how much TV in the UK has progressed and how we’ve leveraged off emotions and ‘real-life’.
TV plays a huge part in people’s social bread and butter and acts as a platform for shared common ground, with talkability like no other. We can’t get enough of what opinionated strangers on Gogglebox really think of the country’s biggest TV programmes. But why? The importance and need to connect socially is something Thinkbox have recently focused on in their 2015 ‘The truth about youth’ study explaining how physical and more recently, virtual social maintenance, are fundamental human needs. I mean, nobody wants to experience ‘FOMO’ do they?
Although the way we watch TV is changing and becoming ever so increasingly fragmented, its need to fulfil our social upkeep is apparent more than ever.
‘Tis the season for puns, puddings and presents; a time for overeating and undersleeping, and a time for brands to fight for our festive attention. Yep, it’s Christmas. As we sit, snug as a bug, in front of an open fire, we watch our favourite brands play out on the TV screen with their attempts at capturing our hearts (and our Christmas budget). Here are the ads that stood out for us…
It might be what we like to think would happen on Christmas Eve; gathering around the piano while your dad plays and you all sing along. In reality, Christmas Eve is probably spent doing a mad rush of last minute shopping and then frantically chopping veg until midnight until you finally get some shut eye before the madness begins all over again. However, the sentiment is there and it’s a heart-warming scene nonetheless.
Now this is an ad we can all relate to, whether it’s receiving another pair of socks or a soap on a rope, putting on our ‘gift face’ is something we are all accustomed to at Christmas time. The Harvey Nichols version sees a woman having to battle her way through opening a series of gifts that she clearly doesn’t like, hence, ‘gift face’. It’s a welcome break from the glass case of emotion we seem to get trapped in each Christmas, typically in the form of penguins or pensioner moonwalkers.
Probably the most emotional Christmas advert to date (for most shared Christmas ad, see here…), the Christmas ad for the Spanish Lottery is certainly a tearjerker. You’d be forgiven for thinking it was a Pixar short, with its crisp animation and absence of dialogue, but its storytelling sentiment is nothing short of magical. Give it a watch if you haven’t already, and maybe have a funny cat video on standby for afterwards.
This year, Lidl has introduced its #SchoolOfChristmas, teaching us everything from pet costume design (with a less than willing ‘Stanley the Boxer’ dog) to Father Christmas acting and fairy light untangling. Their series of short videos express a childlike charm that we’ve all come to love at Christmas. Lidl unveiled the festivities way back in November, before most of us had even thought about saying ’twas’ or ’tis’. But another thing that makes this a great campaign is its support online in the form of a Christmas page onsite. It’s crammed full of Christmas cooking advice, DIY decorating tips and you can even create your own personalised video greeting from Santa. Ho ho ho!
This may be self-described as a “charming tale”, and in the end, I’d probably agree. But up until that point, watching Mog make a mess of everything simply stresses me out and has me muttering “SAKE Mog”. But then again, I guess that is Christmas after all.
Designed on the basis of Christmas being a time to go ‘all out’, Asda’s campaign displays a true flash of personality with the right level of Christmas indulgence, fun and festivity. Tied together with the hashtag #BecauseitsChristmas, the series of short ads represent the extra effort we go to each year to celebrate Christmas with our family and friends. My personal favourite is the ad with the slow motion dogs dressed in Christmas jumpers running towards each other to the sound of Celine Dion’s ‘I’m your lady’. I mean if that’s not Christmas then I don’t know what is.
From all of us at Boutique, we wish you a cracking Christmas and an absolutely smashing New Year.
See you in 2016!
We are thrilled to be able to talk about our latest piece of work now it’s been announced! Ebuyer.com is to launch its first major TV sponsorship campaign in the form of ‘Weekends on Dave’.
The deal with Dave and its +1 repeat partner, Dave JaVu, is set to run from January 2015 for a full year and the campaign is named ‘Big on Tech’ – with creative thanks to über-talented team at Über agency. Writer and artist, Rufus Jones, provides the voice for small toy characters who will be seen interacting with a range of full-size electronic items throughout the campaign.
Ebuyer is a perfect match for us. We’re a local, ambitious business with big plans, so we’re delighted to be activating some exciting, characterful and original media strategies for this Yorkshire-based company. The Dave sponsorship is a perfect match between two witty brands, and it’s a great next step in the development of their marketing strategy.
We look forward to hearing what you think when it hits your screens in the new year!
Ofcom’s Communications Market Place Report in 2013 identified that UK media audiences have become ‘multitaskers’. They suggested there are two types of multitasking when consuming media: Stacking and Meshing. This focuses mainly on television viewing habits, and our client data from 2014 has suggested that this multitasking is now impacting greatly on the customer response process.
Check out our PDF on Stacking and Meshing: Stacking & Meshing
Let us know what you think by tweeting @BoutiqueMC!
With a worldwide audience of approximately 100 million people, the Super Bowl is not simply a game of American Football, but a huge money-maker. The multiple breaks throughout the game make it the perfect business opportunity, and each year corporations spend more and more cash on advertising their product to a huge audience.
If the advert doesn’t make a big statement, it’ll just get lost in the shuffle. Spots cost up to $4m, so it is essential that the commercial is intelligent, innovative, and memorable. Companies strive to create content that people are going to want to discuss, and if their audience is left disappointed, a huge amount of money has been wasted.
Here are our favourites from this year…
Which was your favourite Super Bowl ad? Tweet us @boutiquemc and let us know!
Preston Baker are a Yorkshire-based estate agency chain, founded by cousins Ian Preston and James Baker. After becoming independent in 2011, their business has expanded to six branches, with offices in York, Leeds, Selby and Doncaster.
This is the first time that Preston Baker have appeared on TV. Creative work was done by our partners Beautiful Minds, and production by MOTUS. The campaign breaks on Thursday 30th January for four weeks. These will be commercials of 10 and 30 seconds length, promoting the Preston Baker ‘VIP Service’ via the YTV Emley Moor transmitter.
This campaign is supported by bound-in inserts in city editions of the Sunday Times Magazine and the Mail on Sunday’s You magazine. There will also be a geo-targeted online campaign to specific MOSAIC groups, following our full analysis of their existing customer base. Future plans include Cinema, Video on Demand and SMS/MMS messaging, making this a fully integrated and targeted campaign. Watch the full advert here.
Zone Outdoor, our outdoor specialist partners, recently undertook an out of home proximity study to identify the affect proximity campaigns have on footfall.
The study looked at proximity at 2 levels; footfall for local retail, town centre campaigns and vehicular which focused on out of two retail.
It covered a range of areas from motors to furniture retailers, fashion to fast food.
The initial findings backed up some age old statistics we already pretty much knew; People are willing to travel the furthest for cars(23 miles) and furniture (15 miles) whilst they wont travel for fast food (3 miles), banking (4 miles) and groceries(5 miles).
These figures can almost double when looking outside of London and in more rural areas….probably because there is less choice!
There aren’t any Eureka moments in this but it is valuable in supporting our claims that local outdoor does drive footfall and ultimately sales.
Looking more closely the study identified the distance of a message to the ability to transfer this into a sale. Following on from the first stage findings, there is a very clear link between the price a person would pay and the distance they would travel. Food and drink (bakeries etc.) need to be within 50 metres to create footfall perfumes and make-up still drove footfall from 150m. Perhaps it is not price but desirability that drives footfall? It is logical that people will be more prepared to shop around for clothes rather than fast food.
In addition to these findings there were clear differences in the purchasing process for ‘planned’ purchases versus ‘impulse’. It doesn’t come as any surprise that men are more responsive to ‘impulse’ purchase products whilst fashion comes into this impulse category for females….a very definitive planned purchase for men!
Clearly, the messaging is also important. Whilst there are optimum distances for the full range of products, the strength of the offering will play a huge part in the likely responses and that isn’t really covered in this report. Further the tactics of the campaign will have a huge impact on the response a proximity campaign is likely to achieve.
The study proved our hypotheses and showed that proximity does have an influence on driving footfall and demonstrates how consumers purchasing habits differ. Whilst it doesn’t consider all the other options such as creative, offers etc. it is good to be able to prove what media planners have known for a long time. Proximity works.
We look after a vast range of clients at Boutique Media. From market leaders to smaller, challenger brands. We work very closely with all clients to ensure they receive a positive ROI on every campaign. Being a small privately owned business we understand value not just price meaning we work hard to find the right solution. Memory Foam warehouse recently invested in a national TV campaign to drive online sales and grow their business.
The results are confidential but it’s fair to say they will be back on very soon!