MediAvataar's News Desk
Randall Rothenberg, President/CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), credits 2010 as the start of the direct-to-consumer brand revolution.
That was the year Warby Parker was founded. But while a few direct-to-consumer brands have become relatively famous – like Dollar Shave Club which was acquired by Unilever for $1 billion – most remain largely unknown. What will the future bring?
Of course, the answer to the question will direct-to-consumer brands be winners depends on your definition of winning. I suspect Michael Dubin, founder of Dollar Shave Club, regards the sale of his company as a win, allowing him to focus on growing the brand without the stress of running out of money.
And many direct-to-consumer brand founders might be very happy to take the profits from a much smaller business. But if venture capital funded then the pressure will be on to grow, grow, grow. But is that possible, or even desirable? Perhaps in these fragmented days most direct-to-consumer brands would be better off – more profitable – focusing on people who really value what they have to offer.
Today there are a host of small, direct-to-consumer brands. Many people have never even heard of the most popular ones. For instance, according to BrandZ in 2017 just under one in three people in the U.S. had not heard of Dollar Shave Club. And, even if they have heard of them a lot of people have yet to appreciate why the direct-to-consumer distribution model is relevant to them. Perceptions that Dollar Shave Club is meaningful lag what would be expected given familiarity with the brand.
In the traditional world of indirect sales a lack of general awareness and meaning would be a big problem. Without growing awareness the brand was unlikely to grow further. But the modern brand has the internet on its side; people can search for products proactively rather than have to seek out named brands and their friends will pass on the word about the latest cool brand they found. Kantar Millward Brown’s data shows that brands that are perceived to be shaking things up are much more likely to be talked about in social media.
However, if a brand really wants to outgrow its digital niche my sneaking suspicion is that at some point it is going to need to resort to advertising. Brands like Google, Amazon and now Tesla have been lauded for being publicized by word of mouth alone. But what happens when the brand becomes familiar or tries to extend to a new category in which it is not the trend setter? They advertise.
I also wonder if the direct-to-consumer model itself is going to be relevant to many beyond the younger, urban crowd and very specific categories where home delivery on a regular basis makes eminent sense. Personally I struggle with the idea of juggling multiple subscription relationships and managing the flow of product to match my needs. But what do you think? Is there a finite limit on the relevance of the direct-to-consumer model or is it really the future for all?
Written by Nigel Hollis,Executive Vice President and Chief Global Analyst at Kantar Millward Brown
Mary Meeker has delivered her annual Internet Trends report, a behemoth 294 slide presentation encompassing the impact of social, technological and economic factors on consumers’ online behavior in the last 12 months.
This year’s report includes significant focus on eCommerce trends; below are the ten key takeaways for brands and agencies.
The “privacy paradox”
Data improves engagement and experience, which drives growth, so it logically follows that internet companies are using data to make their services better, which in turn prompts further data collection. However, consumers are increasingly cognisant of how they do and don’t want their personal data used by brands, and regulatory scrutiny is on the rise, as exemplified by the EU’s recent GDPR implementation. Internet companies need to understand the unintended consequences of their products, says Meeker, while regulators need to understand the unintended consequences of their intervention, especially as GDPR comes into force.
Transformation in eCommerce continues to accelerate
Ecommerce now accounts for 13 per cent of all retail in the USA. Amazon’s share gains also continue, now making up 28 per cent of eCommerce sales in 2018 compared to 20 per cent five years ago. (As far as physical retail is concerned, Meeker has identified a deceleration in long-term sales growth.) While searches through Google and Amazon are still where most customers begin their journey, social media is also empowering product discovery and purchases; 55% of consumers in the UK bought a product online after social media discovery, either in that moment or coming back later. Product and price discovery are also being enabled by video and social content such as YouTube reviews and commissioned creative on Taobao. Meeker notes that social media is also helping to drive growth for emerging direct-to-consumer retail brands.
Digital payments overtake in-store
60 per cent of transactions are now made digitally, through an array of methods including mobile payment, in-app purchase, QR codes, and smart home devices. Friction against digital payments is easing in markets like China, thanks to an increase in easy-to-use checkouts and reliable fraud prevention. In fact, China is leading adoption of mobile payments, having reached over 500 million active mobile payment users in 2017.
$7 billion to be made in mobile advertising
Advertisers are continuing to shift advertising dollars towards mobile. However, advertisers are still over-allocating spend on print, TV and desktop; people spent 29 per cent of their time on mobile, and yet only 26 per cent of ad dollars are reserved for mobile. According to Meeker, this 3 per cent gap represents a $7 billion opportunity.
Platforms must be accountable to both brands and users
Brand safety remains a top priority following a year of programmatic incidents and data breaches; advertisers and consumers alike are demanding accountability from platforms. And for the most part, platforms are responding to this demand with new content initiatives; Google’s YouTube has removed 8 million videos and demonetised a further 2 million for misleading tagging, while Facebook has removed a staggering 583 million fake accounts. Both are hiring content moderators to ensure that their algorithms work in conjunction with human accountability.
Alibaba to branch out of China
Online retail giant Alibaba is building an ecommerce ecosystem all of its own in China; its ‘New Retail’ vision is digitising the nation’s entire retail infrastructure. And there are plans afoot to extend the platform far beyond China; organisations in Pakistan, India, Singapore and Indonesia have invested in Alibaba’s marketplace and payment technologies.
New ad spend metrics are emerging
The rising competition for top ad placement has reduced ROI. The customer acquisition cost is rising, however, so is the importance that brands place on customer lifetime value; 27 per cent of global respondents consider it to be the most important ad spending optimisation metric.
Technology empowers earning potential
Making ends meet is increasingly difficult; household debt is at its highest level ever and is still rising, while personal savings rates are falling. Ecommerce has helped consumers save money by offering lower prices, and we are now seeing that same technology help consumers find savings in the physical world. For instance, Airbnb provides income opportunities and lower accommodation prices, and Uber offers a cost-effective alternative to owning and taxing a vehicle.
Evolving technology and consumer expectations will disrupt healthcare
Technology has enabled retailers to give consumers access to lower prices, greater choice, and increased convenience. Meeker expects these trends to impact healthcare; it is likely we will see healthcare organisations offering a greater degree of convenience, digitised transactions, and on-demand services that are more in keeping with the new consumer experience.
AI will power ad campaigns — but the ‘privacy paradox’ still applies
AI is fully expected to underpin a larger number of companies’ customer offerings as it becomes a larger area of enterprise spending. However, there is also the concern that as AI’s role in advertising grows, it will come into conflict with new regulations and concerns surrounding privacy which may limit the volumes of data required to fuel AI-powered, personalised campaigns.
And one more thing…
Amazon’s advertising business is one to watch; their ad revenues surpassed $4 billion in 2017, an improvement of 42 per cent on the previous year. Meanwhile, Google is expanding into ecommerce with the new Google Home Ordering platform. It will be interesting to see how these two giants perform as they infringe on each other’s territory.
We’ve been partnering with music companies around the world to bring music to more experiences on Facebook. We’re announcing new ways for people to express themselves with music in their posts, including a new feature, Lip Sync Live.
Share Videos With Music On Facebook
From weddings and holidays to everyday celebrations, the special moments in life are often ones we associate with music. Together with the music industry, we are working to enable people around the world to include music in their videos on Facebook, opening up more options for creativity and sharing memories with friends and family. We’re testing this in several markets now and look forward to making it available more broadly soon.
Lip Sync Live
We’re starting to roll out Lip Sync Live, which lets you lip sync to songs from forever favorites like “Welcome to The Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses to new hits like “Havana” by Camila Cabello. With Lip Sync Live, you can express yourself with music from a variety of genres in real time. So whether you prefer songs like “Happier” by Ed Sheeran or “God’s Plan” by Drake, Lip Sync Live lets you bring friends and family into spontaneous musical moments.
To try it out, choose the Lip Sync Live option when starting your Live video. After selecting a song from the song list, you can also add a description and customize your video with masks or a background.
When broadcasting with Lip Sync Live, friends will see the artist and song highlighted on the video and can tap to follow the artist on Facebook.
Stay Tuned For More
We’re exploring more ways to bring music to Facebook. In the coming months, we’ll start testing options for adding the music you love to Facebook Stories. We’re looking forward to continuing to work with the music industry to create new ways for people to connect and express themselves through music across our family of apps.
Written By Tamara Hrivnak, Head of Music Business Development & Partnerships, and Fred Beteille, Head of Product, Music & Rights at Facebook
The VIVO IPL Finale on May 27th 2018 recorded a viewership growth of 34% with 52.9 mn average impressions on the Star TV Network*. The match had the highest ever reach of 211 Mn1 across screens, in the history of the tournament.
VIVO IPL 2018 : Grand Finale
A fitting Grand Finale positioned as the “World’s Toughest Final” between Chennai Super Kings and Sun Risers Hyderabad was broadcast in the biggest ever production with 11 live feeds – in 8 language across the Star TV network and Hotstar.
Grand Finale: Television viewership
The Grand Finale on television was watched by a historic 160 million fans across Star TV network (not including DD) versus last year’s figure of 121 million recording a 32% growth in reach. This is the highest television reach recorded for any match in the history of the tournament.The grand finale viewership on television recorded a 34% growth in Urban+Rural 2+ with 52.9 Mn average half hourly impressions and 45% in Urban 2+ average impressions versus last year.
VIVO IPL 2018: Total Tournament (Television Viewership)
The television viewership for the tournament as measured by average half hourly time-weighted impressions is 1.4 billion impressions (U+R 2+) with a growth of 15%. The viewership growth in Urban audiences is 26%.
The total television viewership for the tournament as measured by gross impressions is 9.985 billion impressions with a growth of 19% across Urban + Rural and 30% in Urban Audiences.
Vivo IPL: Total Audience Viewership for the tournament.
Overall viewership of the tournament across all platforms TV (In-Home & Out-of-Home) and Digital in Urban + Rural Audiences at 11.3 billion gross impressions 1 is 29%* higher than the comparable number of matches last year. Within this, TV viewership is 9.985 billion gross impressions, + 19% growth v/s year ago and Digital viewership at 1.3 billion gross impressions is 3.5X of last year.
Vivo IPL: Total Audience Reach for the tournament.
The total audience reach for the tournament across screens is 769 million fans (this is a total aggregate number). This includes a TV reach of 567 million (for total content aired on IPL including live matches on the Star TV network) and a Hotstar platform reach of 202 million
Vivo IPL: Highest Engagement in its 11th Season!
The tournament has registered the highest engagement ever in its 11th year. This is testimony to the strength of the tournament and the broadcast presentation scoring with fans.
TOI’s City Supplements celebrate cities of India with a series of unique City Anthems
The Times of India launches an engaging brand campaign for TOI’s metro supplements (TIMS) esp. Bombay Times, Delhi Times, Gurgaon Times, Chennai Times, Bangalore Times and Calcutta Times titled ‘Flirt with your City’. The campaign aims to communicate its strengthened content and reinforce its positioning as the one-stop-destination for all news and gossip of city’s bustling social life and everything related to city’s popular (pop) culture. Over last few months, the brand has amplified its hyperlocal news coverage, youthful visual narratives, impactful content pointers and has brought in more exhaustive coverage across the content pillars of cinema, celebrities, food, fitness, fashion, campus, relationships, music related topics. Conceptualized by JWT India, the brand campaign is set to communicate the spicier, buzzier, trendier content proposition to its readers.
The insight for this campaign comes from a simple observation- we are in a relationship with the city we choose to live in; sustained by many shared interests, shared progress and shared quality of life. But, over time city-dwellers get happy in their cocoons and self-imposed geographic confines, that inhibit their enjoyment of the city they live in. We resign to tried and tested outlets of entertainment, that restricts our exploration of the city’s pop-culture. It is time to re-kindle this romance with the city by updating our readers about the emerging daily hub for all that city-buzz, from waterholes to hunger zones, for party animals and artists and activists and everything that makes your city your city. And, because every relationship needs thrill to thrive and shared values to sustain, TOI’s metro supplements (TIMS) urge you to ‘Flirt with your city’.
A city is not all about the chaos, hustle-bustle. It’s about discovering unknown facets, dive deeper into its culture, food, rituals, places, conversations and more. The films are the quirky re-telling of each city. What is it that makes one so uniquely different from the other? This is a story of pride, idiosyncrasies and how it is expressed and told through the campaign #FlirtWithYourCity. The ambition for this campaign is to create a dynamic anthem for each city driven by its unique pop-culture with the TOI’s Metro Supplements (TIMS) at the centre of it all.
The narrative of the campaign uses Rap as the soundscape that draws from the rituals of each city, sounds of the city surroundings and edgy lyrics as the film wears a city avatar. The campaign is launched as a series of short films that portray their respective city’s nuances and showcases many celebrated names for their respective city like Deepika Padukone, Katrina Kaif, Vijendra Singh, Prosenjit Chatterjee, Rituparna Sengupta, Abir Chatterjee, Shruti Haasan, R Madhavan, Kiccha Sudeep, Aindrita Ray, Danish Sait, Sanjeev Kapoor and many others. The film has been conceptualized by JWT India, and created by Rawshark Films. The foot-tapping music is created by Dhruv Ghanekar, which brings together the soul and quirk of each city.
Commenting on the launch, Sanjeev Bhargava, Director, Brand TOI said, “TOI’s Metro Supplements (TIMS) creates affinity in a hyper local way like no other media - building conversations, highlighting happenings and hangouts, bringing alive engaging platforms and collaborations, all leading up to your City’s pop culture. Through its evolved content, the brand encourages motivates and excites the readers to explore their own city like never before! TIMS as a supplement brings its readers just that-right from fashion to culture to the popular to the unexplored. It helps you flirt with your city. Our product Bombay Times, Delhi Times, Gurgaon Times, Chennai Times, Bangalore Times, Calcutta Times and other supplements captures this social buzz like no other media. From the latest cinema review to newest cuisine in the town, from latest gig update to best fitness regime for you, from the newest earworm music to hottest celebrity gossip, our newspaper keeps one updated on the trending topics in and around the city. Our ‘Flirt with your City’ campaign is built around this key thought. So, pick up the newspaper, and stay updated with the social chatter of the city. Plan your weekdays and weekends, go out and explore the city. We have packed more fun, color, youthfulness in the paper and strengthened the content around movies, food, fitness, fashion, campus and music. With more engaging content, new exciting IPs and integrated activities, we intend to bring readers closer to their respective city, and reinforce the thought that it is one-stop shop of everything one needs to stay connect with the buzz in the city.”
Senthil Kumar, Chief Creative Officer, JWT India commented, “To bring the TOI’s Metro Supplements (TIMS) essence to life, we have created a face-off, a musical city versus city rap battle between different cities, where people, icons, characters, rappers and even objects of each city are extolling the values of their city, the city as seen through the Times. The name of the city itself becomes an audio device. For example, Kolkata is not just Kolkata, it’s also Goal-Kata, as football is the most popular religion here. The local music and local lingo leela is the vocal veins of this film, a binding factor, replete with city specific instrumentation and lyrics. It’s your City’s Daily Rap versus Another City’s Daily Rap. The visual style is mixed media brought alive from various elements of the city. It is an amalgamation of the slice of life, Stop Motion Animation, Hyper-Lapse captures, 2D Flash Animation, Compositing within Times Newspaper and Traditional Cell Animation and of course Times Newspaper headlines and snapshots from a day in the life of your city. The ambition for this campaign is to create a dynamic anthem for each city driven by its unique pop-culture with the City Times at the center of it all.”