Monthly Archives: December 2013

2014 Is the Year of Sport

Image

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for the year of sport that will be 2014. It’s any marketer’s dream and brings boundless opportunities for brands, whether officially or unofficially linked to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. It will be the year of sporting endeavour, which some may argue can only be made possible with the support of partners, sponsors and suppliers; but is there a return beyond the cache of being associated with the event? I’d argue a lot. After all, there is the index-linked effect on sales, which can’t be ignored, as well as the value of a brand’s stock and overall stature in today’s economic climate. The blue chips of this world are index-linked to our livelihoods, through the people they employ and effect on the local economy, regardless of whether we are consumers of their products or not. We simply cannot escape the loop.

P&G, Visa, Longines, Omega, Toshiba, Panasonic, VW, Emirates, Ford, Sony, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are just some of the great and good that make these events possible. London 2012 secured 80% of its £700m target from sponsors and Sochi 2014 is predicted to have raised the same amount from sponsors. These sporting events really do light up the eyes of brands who know the positive effect a global event can have on their brand equity, recall and awareness.

Those who argue that Coca-Cola or McDonald’s shouldn’t take part in such gigs have every right to expose the ironic discrepancy in dubious health benefits of their products against a landscape of sport and genuine health. However, as demonstrated by Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight with James Quincey, President of Coca-Cola Europe, this argument is weak. Most nations would certainly fight against a Nanny State where consumer lifestyle choices are controlled. I agree we shouldn’t glamorise smoking and alcohol above-the-line, but when it comes to what we eat, who has the right to tell us to stop?

Like it or not, these brands are the ones with the resources to prop up good causes and keep major sporting events alive through sponsorship. As consumers, we have the choice to decide for ourselves what is good for us to eat. A brand has the moral obligation of encouraging a healthy lifestyle for both mind and body, but is it acceptable for a brand to be told that it cannot be a sponsor because of its relevance to the event in question? Without the exposure which sponsorship allows these brands to develop, thousands of employees worldwide face the risk of losing their jobs because a dictate stated we can no longer drink sugary beverages or that sugary beverage brands cannot support good causes. The worst case scenario is that the stock market declines on the back of poor trading statements and share prices fall to affect the economy. Brands are vital to general wellbeing in our economy and societies, which finishes with our consumption.

Let’s remember what makes a brand great. It is how we, the consumers, perceive it. You may not like every brand, but there will always be others that do. Every brand has the right to be philanthropic and give back no matter how evil you may consider them to be. The reality is that we need these global brands as much as the global events they sponsor which serve to inspire us, our children, our nations and create a bubble where for several weeks of the year, the world unites around one event. I still have fond memories of the electricity running through the UK during the Olympics last year. It was infectious and generated a unique sense of national pride in all, facilitated perhaps in part by these brands supporting and creating a buzz through ATL. You have the choice to buy or not to buy – that is your democratic right – but let’s allow those brands who want to spend their invaluable money on these events to do just that. Through our choices, we control the consequences.

Read the full article at http://www.brandingmagazine.com/2013/12/19/2014-year-sport/

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

YouTube ad revenue surge: Industry reaction from Gekko

Image

A report from eMarketer has estimated YouTube’s 2013 ad revenue will shoot up by 51.4 per cent to $5.6bn, signalling the massive appeal of online video content for advertisers and marketers. 

Increased mobile activity along with the explosion of Smart TVs with YouTube connectivity has afforded YouTube incredible opportunities to create a valid revenue stream via advertising. Every LCD/LED on the market today offers connectivity, and if they don’t, just take a look at the integration of YouTube on Apple devices right through to Apple TV. Streaming is now also the norm, with adults and young people alike viewing video content they’ve searched for or have been sent to view.

Although advertising opportunities for brands on YouTube are plentiful, caution is certainly required. Banners are accepted and are either ignored or absorbed subconsciously. Furthermore, if users have to view an advert before viewing a brand’s video content, this becomes dangerous territory. Power to you, YouTube.

Daniel Todaro, Gekko

Read the full article at http://www.thedrum.com/news/2013/12/12/youtube-ad-revenue-surge-industry-reaction-carat-ebuzzing-gekko-iprospect-mec

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Can Anything Be Done To Save The Ailing PC Sector?

pcblog
Following what was described as the longest decline in history back in the summer, PC shipments are now at a five year low – and it shows no signs of abating, despite the traditionally fruitful festive period impending.

Steve Jobs, sitting on stage at a conference in 2007 with Gates, first raised the idea of a “post-PC” era, a time when the traditional PC would no longer be the centre of a user’s universe. Instead, more mobile, function-specific devices would come into play, and would make computers much more personal than the PC. The proposal of a post-PC era was certainly in the interests of Apple, but the vision would quickly come to fruition with the iPhone kicking a smartphone revolution; one that would also include such vendors as Samsung and HTC, as well as bringing Google’s Android operating system to the fore.

Flash-forward to Christmas 2013 and fewer consumers have a new PC on their wish-list this year?  Gartner research shows the desktop and laptop market in Western Europe is declining even faster than expected and would likely continue to do so. The UK has been hit especially hard, making for particularly grim reading following a brutal 2012. But should this be a surprise?

Well, we can point to frugality as one reason, with consumers and businesses unwilling to trade in and upgrade their current PCs until absolutely necessary (with Windows 8 no doubt having an impact on this decision), but tablets and smartphones are taking huge chunks out of PC market share.

This is evidenced in no clearer detail than the contrasting fortunes of Lenovo and Acer in recent weeks. Lenovo, the world’s biggest PC maker, has been focusing on mobile devices amid a slowing global PC market. The result? A 36% jump in profits. Meanwhile Acer, the world’s fourth largest computer manufacturer and has been hit by further losses.

Ofcom’s Communications Market Report points to how that is playing out in terms of usage. When consumers are active users of smartphones (now at 51% penetration in the UK) and tablets (now double the penetration of 2012 at 24%, 56% of which is iPad), those consumers are swaying away from using desktop PCs and laptops. Our smaller, less expensive and Internet-friendly alternatives are taking over. It’s perhaps too soon for this Christmas now, but brands in this space need to adapt quickly.

With new brands entering the tablet market all the time, trying to grab a slice of the fortunes (Tesco’s Hudl the latest in a long line), it has driven a tremendous level of choice and value to the consumer; enabling it to become a cost-effective option for the vast majority of consumers.

Moreover, the connectedness provided by our smartphones and tablets also mean that we’re using our PCs significantly less. Whether it be shopping, banking, socialising or e-mail, the strain is now spread across three of four devices and with less functions to be relied upon, the PC upgrade more often than not will be bottom of the priority list. With lower usage means a longer product life too.

However, despite the market shrinkage, I believe there is still a place for PCs in people’s lives. But they have to quickly find and define a new purpose. If e-mail, shopping, banking and even TV-streaming are to be handled by tablets, then in addition to the latter, photography, gaming and design can be the new points of emphasis. Likewise, how can manufacturers tailor their offering to their business audience?

The critical issue when looking at the dip in shipments is that the lost unit sales are largely at the lower end of the PC market. Cheap, commodity-spec, throw-away boxes powered by low-end chips have been made obsolete by tablets. Rather than attempting to be as multi-purpose as possible should PC manufacturers look to consolidate function and emphasise value within USPs.

PCs may never regain the market share they once enjoyed, but there is still plenty of space for them to exist in a complementary role —more portable, more energy-efficient and in a range of new form factors. Whether targeting businesses or the consumer, the PC remains an integrated part of the user’s wider digital consumption habits, becoming the hub of your digital life which tablets and smartphones complement as satellite devices.

By Daniel Todaro, MD, Gekko

read the full article at http://www.techbubbles.co.uk/blog/can-anything-be-done-to-save-the-ailing-pc-sector/

Tagged , , , , , , ,