Latest Posts

Digital ad spend hits a record high, with 2014 set to rocket

MobileholdingphoneThe Digital Britain conference returned to Manchester last week, for the unveiling of the latest IAB/PwC 2013 digital ad spend report. A packed and lively event, demonstrating the growth and energy in the industry, and an energy that goes beyond London.

The methodology that drives the report is essentially revenue submissions from over 100 key players in the digital space, publishers, intermediaries and buyers. Critically, as some major players don’t submit (Facebook), and others don’t segment between their different business models, such as display vs search (Google), the model is then also checked against an advisory board, made up of the agency trading groups that influence the majority of advertiser dollars that flow through the industry.

In case you missed it, here are the key take-outs: Read More »

Infographic: Web design past to present

Web design infographicWeb design has come a long way from the very first website which was published by Tim Berners-Lee in 1991, who marked the beginning of the digital revolution. The fellows at digital agency Aptitude decided to take a stroll down memory lane, pointing out the defining moments in web design that have shaped modern-day sites. Read More »

A guide to Twitter sentiment analysis

TwitterLaptop1640Sentiment analysis tools mine text captured in reviews, blogging and micro-blogging streams to extract subjective information, which can then be used to manage service, increase sales or develop propositions.  Social media data is rich and interesting, full of fascinating observations that, if we can harness them, will deliver insights the like of which has never been seen before.  But as with any large sets of data or analysis, it’s easy to draw all kinds of incorrect conclusions; context and objectives are everything.

Warm and engaging communication isn’t about cold hard numbers, but using the numbers to make sure you’re investing precious resources in the right places, at the right time is all-important. And that requires analytical rigour. With that in mind, here are some top tips designed to help marketers understand how good sentiment analysis of social media data works, and how to make the most of the data that has genuine, actionable meaning for brands. Read More »

Charity campaigns that made us think this week

ShareForDogsThere’s a growing whiff of social activism in the air and it’s coming from the third sector. Charities from across the globe have shown creative and thought-provoking thinking this week – and in some very different ways.

Let’s start with the light and fluffy – it is Friday, after all. New Zealand creative agency Colenso BBDO has identified a self-coined ‘slacktivism’ trend when it comes to charitable causes, referring to people who believe sharing a link or liking a post on social media will have real world impact. Read More »

Is there a future for television branding?

BBC2When Lambie-Nairn was developing the infamous “2″ identity for BBC Two in the 1990s, little did it know that it was inventing a whole new way of branding television channels. 

Following this groundbreaking work, the agency went on to create the equally pioneering Channel 4 identity in the ’80s, which in turn gave birth to a million look-alike 3D computer-generated channel logos flying around the screen. This was another game changer. Read More »

Trending brand videos: An epic sing song and cats reacting to cats

Lion KingWaiting for your flight to get moving and take-off can sometimes be a bit of a boring affair, but not on this Aussie flight to Sydney!

Here are the top trending brand videos from this week:
Read More »

Categories are great for awards… but not real life

BRda judgingSpring is the air, and the industry award season is in full swing.  Across London, agencies are scrambling to write up their best work, begging for deadline extensions like students who’ve pissed away a whole term in the union bar and left their coursework to the last minute.

When the shortlists get revealed, though, all that hard work seems worthwhile. Today, I’m off to join my fellow judges to compile the shortlist for the Brand Republic Digital Awards. Working through the longlist ahead of the judging, two things struck me about our industry. Read More »

How big data and personalisation will make the future of brand communications U-shaped

PersonalisationAs brands and brand marketers look to gain an edge on each other by engendering a meaningful, two-way dialogue with consumers, there can be no doubt that mass digitalisation, big data and personalisation are drivers for significant change. Brand marketers are striving to innovate at any available opportunity leading to a scenario where data scientists are desperately extracting insights and channelling them into mass market, personalised digital communications.

With this in mind, it is essential for marketers to spot the impact of digitalisation on the landscape of brand communications and set a long-term strategy for its implementation. With big data still in its relative infancy and personalisation often interpreted as a crude method of marketing, inspiration can be drawn from other industries where the mass adoption of digital has had a polarising effect. Read More »

Vine’s private messaging – what does it mean for marketers and brands?

Vine messagingVine have announced that it will be competing with the likes of Snapchat and Instagram as it unveiled the platform’s new private messaging functionality, which allows users to send a looping six-second Vine to anyone in their address book – even if they aren’t on Vine.

The announcement was made on the Vine Blog, acknowledging the need for the platform to evolve. Read More »

Charisma aside, is social media a bit anti-social and anti-self?


A few years ago now, pre Snapchat and Instagram, but around the time Facebook started getting some seriously punchy valuations, I started talking about how digital brands might just be the most evolved version of the brand form. Why? My thinking was, and still is, that brands like Facebook and Twitter are so crazy-successful because they are examples of brands at their most charismatic. ‘Charismatic’ because their focus is on how they can make us feel good about ourselves.

“How can you have charisma? Be more concerned about making others feel good about themselves than about making them feel good about you.”

Dan Reiland, Author & Executive Pastor of 12Stone Church, Lawrenceville, Georgia Read More »