How eye-tracking can reveal the true value of media

The missing link in your marketing mix

Can marketing and communications ever live in harmony?

Advertising evolution: The World Cup

The role and impact of music in advertising

TV remains the most effective way to advertise

Issue No.16: Q3 2014

“Advertisers are being pushed toward

programmatic, but don’t like the

relative lack of measurable metrics

and are suspicious of the motivations

of the supply-side providers.”




Programmatic media trading:

how can advertisers get

maximum benefit?

This year’s buzzword in the advertising media is ‘programmatic’:

otherwise known as automated media trading. Media agencies,

vendors and supply-chain players all want to encourage advertisers

to adopt programmatic buying and thereby enjoy supposedly

enhanced targeting, greater effectiveness, and improved cost.

Agencies aim to persuade

advertisers, and especially

branded goods clients, to move

budget into online from the

offline media trading market.

Offline, clients know what they

get for their money in terms of audience

delivery, media performance, and financial

visibility. They also verify these KPIs with

independent providers of measurement and

audit services to ensure budgets are well


However, this is not currently the case in the

digital market, and the lack of transparency

in online is increasingly hard to defend.

Advertisers are being pushed toward

programmatic, but don’t like the relative lack

of measurable metrics and are suspicious of

the motivations of the supply-side providers.

This is particularly ironic given that online

media potentially allows activity to be

precisely tracked at an impression level for

Nick Manning

is President,

International at


everyone individually. It’s the gift that keeps on

giving for advertisers, with precise targeting of

messaging, personalization, and relevance all

possible through the smart use of technology.

Advertisers frequently report that they are

pressurized into investing more through

agencies’ programmatic trading desks but,

when they ask searching but perfectly normal

questions about the detail of performance

and money, they encounter resistance and


Trading desk activity often sits as a single line

on the media plan, with no detail of where

the inventory will go. After the event, there

is comparatively little reporting of actual

performance, such as whether the advertising

was seen by its intended audience, for how

long, whether delivery has achieved target,

and where the conversion from impressions to

action actually took place.

It can be credibly argued that the main

reason why advertiser transparency hasn’t

already become standard is because of

vested commercial interests. Currently too

much of an advertiser’s budget is eroded

by undisclosed margins. This situation is

detrimental to the industry as a whole;

advertisers’ budgets have been less effective

than they should have been, while media

owners have received less revenue to invest in

advertising properties.

To redress the balance in their favor – and,

after all, it’s brands’ investment and ROI we’re

talking about here – advertisers need to take

control of the programmatic agenda, and do so


A contract that requires complete

transparency should contain the three key

elements detailed below, for the measurement

of performance and value in online channels,

with the right clauses to safeguard data

ownership, access, and financial transparency.

1.Measurement of performance

and value

The golden rules of advertising should apply in

online channels just as much as offline media;

it is crucial to target the right people, with the

right message, at the right time, and at the right

level of exposure.

However, digital media is still traded crudely,

with impressions and CPMs as the common

currency, and this is detrimental to the inherent

potential of the channels.

Programmatic trading and real-time bidding

– where inventory is auctioned in fractions

View more insights at blog.ebiquity.com


“To redress the

balance in their

favor – and, after

all, it’s brands’

investment and ROI

we’re talking about

here – advertisers

need to take control

of the programmatic

agenda, and do so


of a second – really do hold out the promise

of data-derived targeting and greater cost

efficiencies, but they rely on the quality of the

data being used for the bidding process. This

can be lacking if prior performance is based on

basic metrics, inadequate attribution and low

viewability scores.

For advertisers to be confident that their digital

trading – whether programmatic or not – is

correctly optimized, they need to ensure that:

• The data used in the trading process are

accurate and relevant, and in particular that

the right viewability KPIs have been used to

identify the most productive inventory.

• The correct attribution methodology is

in place to identify the right inventory,

eliminating false attribution by applying

relevant visibility scores and the right

cookie windows.

• The right data are sourced to ensure that

the targeting profile is measured accurately

to take account of demography, personal

attributes, and behavior, allowing for the

dual use of devices, for example.

Based on getting these factors right,

advertisers should only then determine

whether programmatic buying is the right

route, which sort to employ, and whether realtime

bidding has a role to play. Programmatic

buying without the right data is no advance on

more traditional types of trading.

2.Data control, ownership, and


At the heart of the most powerful marketing

today lies the Data Management Platform

(DMP), a data repository used for storing

customer data derived from online behavior,

including website visits, to build profiles of

each individual.

These data are used to target individuals with

targeted messages. The DMP is essential for

modern marketing, as it can be used for any

digitally delivered channel, including e-mail,

social, and mobile. It lies at the heart of the

programmatic market, as it drives the whole

targeting and bidding process based on prior

history, with continuous dynamic updating.

It is important that advertisers have full

control over their data, are able to access

their data freely, and maintain integrity and

confidentiality. To maintain ownership and

control, advertisers should contractually

guarantee ownership and free access, and, if

necessary, employ an independent DMP to

ensure that this happens.

3. Financial visibility

Advertisers often do not know where their

money is going, or how much is being paid in

fees, commissions, and mark-ups. Many have

been contractually excluded from finding

out. The issue of ‘arbitrage’ – agencies buying

wholesale inventory and marking-up to the

client – has led many advertisers to consider

appointing independent trading desks to

gain greater control and visibility where little

currently exists.

The answer is to apply contractual terms

that cover the whole ecosystem, including

associated parties and subcontractors,

with full and free access to all money flows,

including rebates and other benefits, as well as

the margin on wholesale inventory.

‘Programmatic’ will doubtless be next year’s

buzzword too, as advertisers dip their toes in

the water of automated media trading and the

practice spreads to TV and other channels.

Advertisers must seek independent advice and

systems that open up the black box of current

market practices, with strong contractual


Meanwhile, let the programmatic buyer





The eyes have it

Martin Radford, Director at Ebiquity, and Mike Follett, MD of attention

technology company Lumen Research, consider how eye-tracking

can reveal the true value of media.

The more attention people pay to

a subject, the deeper they encode

it, the better they recall it, and the

more likely they are to act upon it.

Many ads, however, suffer from

attention deficit disorder. They

don’t get the attention brand owners pay for.

The reality is that just because people have the

opportunity to see an ad on TV, in a newspaper,

or on a website, it doesn’t mean they’ll see it

– still less that they truly have seen it. And yet,

media owners and buyers act as if OTS was the

same as S: that everybody sees every ad that

they could.

This assumption builds deep-seated

inefficiencies into the media market, warping

investment decision-making and undermining

our understanding of how advertising works.

The evidence shows that what matters is

attention – and attention is what needs to be


Recent innovations in eye-tracking show

which ads actually get noticed – and how brand

owners can optimize ROI. But the technique

goes further and suggests the possibility of a

future economics of attention which could

revolutionize media planning and buying and

deliver greatly enhanced value to clients.

The units of currency in eye-tracking are Stand

Out (percentage of people who actually look

at an ad, even once; this can also be known

as salience) and Dwell Time (average time

people look at an ad). Stand Out matters

because it’s critical to capture potential buyers’

attention if you’re going to communicate

with (and sell to) them; Dwell Time matters

because it correlates strongly with prompted




Rate Card Cost


Salience 84%












Research shows that all media are not the

same – even within the same medium. The

chief driver of ‘ad blindness’ is the size of the ad

– bigger ads are harder to ignore than smaller

ads. As the chart shows, full-page ads are

viewed at least once by 84% of readers (which

still means 16% ignore them entirely). Halfpage

ads achieve 75% Stand Out on average,

and 25x4s get 67%.

But attentional reality does not reflect how

these ads are priced. Rate cards relate more to



real estate than impact. A half-page ad gives

you half the space of a full-page ad, and costs

you half as much, but delivers you 90% of the

salience. In fact, half-page ads and 25x4s are

astonishing bargains, punching far above their

weight. Smart media buyers will see the pricing

gap and take advantage of this arbitrage

opportunity – before media owners adjust

pricing accordingly.

Studying how we pay attention will show us

how attention pays. In the future, it’s possible

that attention metrics will be reflected in the

fees clients pay for evidence-based, valuedriven

media planning. Stand Out and Dwell

Time could supplant GRPs as the currency

with which media is traded.

Martin Radford

is UK Media Business

Director at Ebiquity

Mike Follett

is MD of Lumen


View more insights at blog.ebiquity.com



In 2013, digital advertising

spend reached over $119

billion worldwide 1

The missing link in

your marketing mix

In 2013, global spend on digital marketing topped $119 billion – an

astonishing number, but one that will undoubtedly rise again this

year. The variety of options available to help today’s marketer to

reach customers continues to grow fast, too. As a result, brands are

increasingly putting significant resources behind reach and acquisition

efforts, in an attempt to beat the competition and create new, loyal

customers for their business.

With so much money on the

line, it has also become

business-critical for

marketers to measure

ROI and squeeze as much

as possible from every

dollar spent to acquire a customer. All of the

investments made in search, display, and

social are under increased scrutiny with each

organization trying to find the silver bullet to

deliver the highest possible level of conversion

from these channels.

With the focus on conversion comes a

heightened challenge of understanding

attribution over time for each of the different

digital touchpoints with which a customer

may come into contact. While technology

continues to innovate for this business

challenge, the advertising industry and client

community has yet to reach consistent

maturity in this space. The ideal state for

organizations is to build effective attribution

models and use them to design the optimal

marketing mix for their digital investments.

While digital marketing spend increases year

on year, a fatal flaw continues to present

itself within the marketing plans of most

organizations around the world. In 2013, for

every $100 spent on digital marketing, $95

was invested on reach and acquisition, with

only $5 allocated to conversion optimization.

This breakdown of spend shines the light on

the fatal flaw:

An organization can have the perfect

marketing mix model for its digital investments

but, without an optimized customer

experience in its owned media channels, it

will never realize the anticipated ROI from its


Reach and acquisition efforts are ‘top of funnel’

contributions. The actual conversion events

for the funnel are typically found in the owned

digital channels (websites, mobile apps, social

pages, and so forth), or else in the offline

world. The steps between the top of the funnel

and the conversion event are also typically

found in the owned digital channels. While a

customer may interact with several marketing

campaigns prior to a conversion, each of those

campaigns is attempting to lead customers

down a path within owned channels. However,

only $5 out of every $100 currently being

spent is being deployed to optimize owned

channels to meet customer expectations and


While it is absolutely critical to optimize

reach and acquisition, it is just as important to

optimize the user experience in your owned

channels. Lack of transparency is a major issue

in advertising these days, yet organizations

are throwing 95% of the budget into what

equates to a cloudy medium, subject to agency

manipulation and margins. Marketers can

control the experience in their owned channels

and also have the ability to own the data being

collected in these channels. They operate

the current and sustained misallocation of

resources at their peril.

Owning and extracting actionable insights

from the user experience data gives marketers

an incredible amount of power as this process

enables them to create unique, personalized

experiences for their customers based upon

genuine, historical, or real-time interactions.

For this reason alone, it would make sense

for marketers to spend a little more time and

money on optimizing the true conversion path

of their business. All too often, we see so many


And for every

$100 businesses

spent on digital marketing,

just $5 of that went towards

conversion optimization 2

Social Media, Mobile, Website, Online Store, etc...

“An organization can

have the perfect

marketing mix

model for its digital

investments but,

without an optimized

customer experience

in its owned media

channels, it will

never realize the

anticipated ROI from

its investments.”

opportunities to

capitalize on lowhanging

fruit that

are passed up in lieu of

an increased investment

at the top of the funnel.

The path to ROI does not solely lie within

an organization’s ability to reach as many

customers as possible. The old adage states:

You can lead a horse to water, but you

can’t make it drink. If marketers focus on

identifying and testing different versions of

the underperforming areas of owned media

channels, they can at least make the water

appear refreshing to the horse and entice it to

take a drink once it arrives at the source.


Reach &




Bill Bruno is CEO

of Stratigent, part of

Ebiquity plc

Includes: Search, Display,

Mobile, Digital Video, Lead

Generation, Rich Media,

Sponsorship, etc...

Includes: Purchases,

Contact Requests,


Appointments, Sign-Ups,


1 eMarketer, 1010736 www.eMarketer.com 2 Adobe 2013 Digital Marketing Optimization Survey

View more insights at blog.ebiquity.com

Infographic data supplied by Lauren Gelecke, Marketing Manager at Stratigent, part of Ebiquity plc


This article is taken from a complete supplement researched and

written by Helen Dunne for Ebiquity’s Reputation practice, to be

published later this year. The supplement features interviews

and case histories with companies including: 3, Aviva, Barclays,

Debenhams, Heineken, Home Retail Group, Hotels4U

(Thomas Cook), O2, Regus, and TSB.


To register your interest in receiving a soft or printed

copy of the supplement, please e-mail


Can marketing and

communications ever

live in harmony?

Helen Dunne, Editor of CorpComms magazine, has spent the

past two months talking to the heads of comms and marketing at

leading UK and global businesses.

In this first overview of her research,

Helen reveals that the reality of

integrated marcomms is perhaps rather

closer than many have suspected.

“The trouble with marketing and

communications is that it is a little like

Americans and the British,” comments one

director of communications at a FTSE 100

organization. “They are separated by a

common language.”

It is a view shared by many communications

professionals. They see the role of a marketer

as nebulous, worrying about branding, taglines,

and ‘fluffy stuff,’ while their work is more

hard-hitting, defending corporate reputations

against a 24/7 barrage of media, stakeholder,

and government scrutiny.

Marketers, on the other hand, often find it

hard to grasp the necessity for corporate

communicators and PR teams. After all, their

objectives are clearly defined; they are there

to lift sales, boost bookings, or drive traffic

to websites, generating a real return on their

investments. To them, PR represents a huge

cost – often carved from their budgets – with a

seemingly impossible-to-calculate return.

“We are realists,” says one comms director.

“Marketers have a cheerleading mentality.

Everything they say is amazing and they have

this huge belief in what they do. Their world is

black and white. Our world is a bit grey.”

“We think they don’t know what we do,”

admits another. “Too often marketing sees

comms as a sub-set, who just sit there and

bang out press releases.” Or spin, as some

marketers still describe it.

But the tide is turning. “I absolutely think that

we have to work together,” says Nicola Green,

Director of Communications at O2. “Nothing

is more powerful than a campaign that is joined

up. We shouldn’t be afraid of marketing. We

have a role to play around the table.”

Nigel Prideaux, Director of Communications

at insurance group Aviva, agrees. “This is my

first in-house role and one of the reasons for

me coming here was because communications

is part of a strong marketing department.

“We are one team. We work hand-in-hand

with marketing. We are a customer-facing

brand with 31 million customers; the customer

is front and center of everything we do.

The customer is the source of our success.

We need to build a strong, consistent, and

coordinated reputation, and marketing and

communications must talk as one to achieve


Some of the wariness between the two

disciplines is historic. Some relates to

structural issues within organizations, such

as when divisions set up dedicated marketing

teams who fail to liaise outside their realm –

even with other marketers to check they are

not duplicating efforts – or to invite opinions

from their counterparts in communications.

“Silos are and can be dangerous,” says Jeremy

Beadles, Corporate Relations Director at

Heineken. “I don’t see how unaligned working

can be beneficial. We have similar business

objectives; they are not exactly the same, and

nor should they be. But overall I have got to

ensure that we hit our numbers just as much as

the marketing director does. And if our targets

aren’t in conflict, then we should be aligned

and cascaded.”

“Comms is valued,” says one marketer. “But it

is not seen as powerful.”

“Marketing wants everybody to work to the

same brief,” says Green, “but we always have

to do the reputational piece to bring balance.

We have to work collaboratively. Comms can

be the forgotten piece. They come to us when

all the messages are done. That just doesn’t

work. We need to be brought in right at the

start. They want to sell stuff but we have a role

in helping them do that.”

“The big difference is that, with marketing,

nobody really challenges what you say. You can

buy a billboard and say what you like, but the

same is not true for communications people,”

explains Alistair Smith, Managing Director,

Corporate Communications – Group, at

Barclays. “Comms people have a responsibility

for corporate reputation, and everything we do

and say is mediated through other people. It is

an intensely competitive field.”

Social media is starting to change the dynamics

of the relationship. In many organizations, it

is the communications team that manages

the Twitter and Facebook accounts. As one

PR executive says: “If we didn’t control these,


ules for better integration

between corporate

communications and


Karen Prichard is

Head of In-depth

Earned Media

Analysis at Ebiquity

we would have marketing trying to push any

product that isn’t selling in the stores to our

followers. We effectively operate as a quality

control system. We control the message.”

But these channels also offer another

opportunity for PR to prove their value by

demonstrating the power of the networks

they have created and nurtured. When Nick

Sharples ran communications at Sony Europe,

the company once sold one million euros’

worth of refurbished computers over Twitter.

“It was the communications team who did

that,” he explains.

“It was not sales or marketing. It was because

we had set up a Twitter page and engaged with

followers over time. We were able to sell more

to them. If we had just set up a Twitter account,

without gaining followers, then this would not

have been possible. For us, it provided a clear

return on investment.”

Comms and marketing may be separated by

a common language. But what many in both

disciplines have discovered – and often in realtime

– is that our 24/7, social world has forced

the two to work together toward a common

goal of more effective, more impactful, more

measurable communication.

Helen Dunne is the

Editor of CorpComms


Social media is increasingly blurring the

lines of accountability and responsibility for

brand communication between corporate

communications and marketing. It is our

experience at Ebiquity that, for these

two functions to work in a successfully

integrated and aligned fashion, it is essential

that leadership and team members of both

commit to a clear and consistent set of

principles for collaboration. These should

cover ways of working, measurement,

culture, mutual respect, and a continuous

process of test and refine.

Based on this experience, our observation

and interrogation of client best practice, and

the realities of theory in practice identified

by CorpComms magazine’s Helen Dunne

in her research project for Ebiquity, we have

identified the following, ten-point framework

for successful integrated communications.

1. Work together right from the start –

don’t bring in the other discipline at the

point of launch.

2. Agree and align KPIs, using simple,

understandable, and meaningful

performance metrics, such as effective

delivery of aligned messages through

paid as well as earned and owned media.

3. Understand, accept, and appreciate

the different – and complementary –

impacts that the different roles have

on the business and the business of


4. Create a common lexicon. Understand,

for instance, what each means by media,

media auditing, media analysis, channels,

and coverage. They are not always the


5. Don’t work in silos and ensure corporate

communications and marketing teams

are physically co-located, working

together on projects in multidisciplinary

teams. Use physical geography to foster


6. Demonstrate the value of your function

to the business in a way that has meaning

to the C-suite. C-suite endorsement of

the integrated approach goes a long way

toward making this way of working the

new normal.

7. Ensure lines of communication between

corporate communications and

marketing are kept open at all times. It

may sound basic, but instituting a regular

meeting between both groups is a critical

starting point.

8. Agree who controls which parts of social

– work out what social can and should

do for your organization, and plan social

outreach with precision.

9. Be prepared to be always ‘on’ – always

available for proactive and reactive

commentary – particularly because of

social. The social revolution has made

comms and marketing truly 24/7.

10. Don’t try to control everything that

happens, particularly in social. Be

prepared to be the start of a branded

communication, but let it take on its own

life as your customers and consumers

turn an owned media channel into a

shared one.

By adopting these simple, tried-and-tested

principles, corporate communications and

marketing should not just lead a respectful

coexistence; they will have joined together

the strengths of their respective disciplines

and made the integrated whole considerably

more impactful and effective than the two

functions working independently.

Social media is often accused of making life

more complicated. In the case of genuinely

integrated comms, it has truly been the

catalyst for enhanced performance across all

dimensions of communication.

View more insights at blog.ebiquity.com



The World Cup: the

beautiful game in

the global spotlight

For the best part of a century, the

World Cup has given nations

the chance to battle it out for

world supremacy – safely – via

the most popular game on

the planet. The competition

harnesses teamwork, physical skill, and honest

graft, while tapping into supporters’ deeprooted

tribalism. In recent years the finals

have also created a battleground for brands,

where official sponsors show their support

and appreciation for the game while nonsponsoring

brands attempt to muscle in on the

action. As the world’s attention turns to Brazil

2014, we’ve taken a look at some of the most

poignant, impactful, and effective World Cup

campaigns from the last 16 years to assess

what works best when it comes to commercial

communication around the final stages of the


Nike: Airport (1998)

Although never an official World Cup sponsor

and never likely to be, Nike’s 1998 campaign

captures everything that makes the beautiful

game beautiful. The World Cup itself is not

mentioned explicitly for legal rights issues,

but the now iconic ad sees the Brazilian team

play football across an airport, with all their

legendary skill and panache. The ballet-like

movements of the players and the tropical

soundtrack create a festival feeling of

enjoyment and fun around the game. Nike also

shows a respect for history, with a brief cameo

from the just-retired Eric Cantona.

adidas: Footballitis (2002)

Keen to emphasize its role as an official

World Cup sponsor, adidas ran a light-hearted

promotion in 2002. This multi-country,

multiple execution campaign featured leading

international footballers apparently suffering

from footballitis, a new disease which makes

them believe they are always playing football.

The brand’s heavyweight support behind its

World Cup sponsorship was associated with

a 24% sales increase in North America and its

first ever sales in Asia, the home of the 2002



Old Lions


Although not an official

sponsor, Carlsberg had

great success in the UK

with this campaign featuring

retired England legends getting

together to play in a pub team. The

ad included an all-star line-up and, by harking

back to an era before the glam and cash of the

modern game, presented football as a more

authentic and noble pursuit. The emotive and

nostalgic elements of the three-minute ad

had a powerful effect on male drinkers in the

UK. The brand’s www.oldlions.co.uk website

received almost half a million hits during the

four-week tournament, and Carlsberg outsold

market-leader Carling by three million pints.

Bavaria Beer: Bavaria Girls (2010)

Carlsberg is by no means the only alcohol

brand to try to steal some of the limelight from


Watch the

featured ads at




In 2010, Bavaria

Beer launched an ambush

marketing campaign which

saw a group of female Dutch

supporters remove their outer

clothing to reveal orangecolored

(but unbranded)

Bavaria Beer dresses at a

Netherlands World Cup game.

The situation escalated to the

point where FIFA officials ejected

the supporters from the ground,

having two arrested in the process,

while ITV pundit Robbie Earle lost his

job for misappropriation of guest tickets in

connection with the promotion. Charges were

filed against Bavaria Beer, although by then

awareness had already been raised and the

global coverage given to the incident helped

fuel a 41% rise in sales for the brand in its home



and a second,

more tongue-incheek


which saw David

Beckham and Snoop

Dogg take on roles in the

‘Star Wars’ universe.

Nike countered by launching

‘Write the Future’: a campaign

Best of 2014

Although new activity around the 2014

Brazil finals tournament is being released in

a steady stream as Response goes to press

and it is hard to pick a clear winner quite yet,

adidas has released a bold effort in its role

as official sponsor. One of the brand’s latest

ads introduces the world to Brazuca, the

official ball of the World Cup, using a novel

focus on the ball itself rather than just on star

players, to celebrate the roots of the game

Ambush marketing in action at Holland vs Denmark,

Soccer City, Johannesburg

Brand Rivalries: adidas vs Nike


2010 was also the year in which perhaps the

greatest World Cup rivalry – between adidas

and Nike – reached its peak … so far. adidas

ran two large-scale campaigns: one featuring

more typical World Cup-related imagery and

artistic direction to promote its F50 football

that many consider to be the best ever World

Cup ad. Indeed, its popularity saw Nike’s

number of Facebook fans double within

a week of launch. Rather than stay within

the realms of football, the ad challenged

consumers’ perceptions of history and destiny,

where players were shown to be capable of

rewriting the future based on good or bad

performances. Notable scenes included

a Wayne Rooney of the future morphing

between working as a lowly groundsman and

being knighted by the Queen thanks to his

performance on the pitch. Nike’s distinctively

emotive approach – identifying football as an

agent of social change – saw the brand win

the social media battle. At the time, Marketing

Week reported that Nike had the highest share

of online pre-World Cup buzz, scoring 30%

compared with adidas’ 14%.

and the passion of those who play it. The

battle between Coke and Pepsi is also hotting

up, with Coca-Cola also preferring to focus

on fans while Pepsi uses a more traditional,

celebrity-filled strategy.

As advertising rivalries intensify, the battles off

the pitch threaten to become as important as

those undertaken by the teams – at least in the

marketing community. World Cup executions

frequently focus on the passion behind

the game, but to distinguish themselves

from competitors they also play on themes

including teamwork, nostalgia, and success.

With rival brands attempting to attain World

Cup dominance and non-sponsor brands

threatening the role of official partners, this

year’s tournament looks set to be every bit as

intense on our screens, tablets, and phones as

on the pitch.

Martin Broad is

a Senior Insight Analyst

at Ebiquity

View more insights at blog.ebiquity.com



The role and impact of

music in advertising


arlier this spring, WARC

reported the findings of a

study from North Carolina

State University on how the

emotional themes of songs

can help ads to resonate with

consumers. In analyzing the words and themes

of every No. 1 hit on Billboard’s Hot 100 from

1960-2009, this new research showed that

the emotional message of lyrics can drive

advertising impact and recall. The study did

for lyrics what psychologists have shown

repeatedly about the power of melody in

advertising – that there needs to be a clear fit

between an ad’s soundtrack and the message

or product it is intended to promote. Impactful

use of music requires creatives, planners, and

clients to work in partnership to choose the

right track.

The academic literature shows that the right

song or musical soundtrack in an ad can:

increase attention, making an ad more likely to

be noticed, viewed, and understood; enhance

enjoyment and emotional response; aid

memorability and recall; induce positive mood;

forge positive associations between brands

and well-loved tunes through the processes of

classic conditioning; enhance key messages;

influence intention and likelihood to buy; and,

the Holy Grail of commercial communication,

demonstrably increase sales.

For evolutionary reasons, the brain encodes

emotional memories more deeply, and

Jenny Naish

is a Senior Analyst at


memories formed with a relevant, resonant

musical component are stored as emotional

memories. This means that ads with suitable

music are more likely to be remembered and

acted upon.

“The right song or

musical soundtrack

to an ad can

increase attention,

enhance emotional

response, influence

intention to buy,

and demonstrably

increase sales.”

The use of music in advertising was developed

in the 1920s and 1930s by FMCG advertisers

including P&G, who pioneered linking brand

names to distinctive musical and dramatic

themes (from which came the phenomenon

and term ‘soap opera’).

The first 30 years of post-war TV advertising

on both sides of the Atlantic featured jingles,

specially composed songs, and musical stings,

as the cost of licensing original music in

copyright was prohibitive. British consumers

in the 1970s grew up on a diet of brand songs

– many of them corny at this distance, from ‘A

Finger of Fudge’ to ‘Do the Shake ‘n’ Vac,’ and

‘Only The Crumbliest Flakiest Chocolate’ to

‘I’m a Secret Lemonade Drinker’ – every one

a mindworm.

Copyright-free classical music was also

used increasingly, either as a momentous

soundtrack (as in the case of Old Spice,

and its iconic use of ‘O Fortuna’ from Carl

Orff’s Carmina Burana) or as the base for a

witty ditty (as in Frank Muir’s unforgettable

‘Everyone’s a Fruit & Nut Case’ and its endline

“We make it up as we go along, you know?!”).

Coca-Cola pioneered the use of original music

in TV and cinema advertising, with the 1971

emotional story of connectedness, ‘I’d Like To

Teach The World To Sing,’ by the New Seekers.

By the late 1980s, when licensing costs

started to fall, the use of contemporary music

increased rapidly so that, today, an estimated

90% of international TV ads feature a musical


And, yet, in the 1980s and 1990s, bands and

artistes whose music featured in advertising

were often accused of selling out. When the

Rolling Stones’ ‘Start Me Up’ fronted Microsoft

advertising for the launch of Windows 95,

many music critics opined as if popular culture

was on the very verge of collapse. But, today,

ads gain credibility by being associated with

music, and bands no longer lose kudos by being

associated with ads. Indeed, bands can often

be broken – or their reputations significantly

enhanced – by the exposure that their music

featuring in TVCs can bring. The career of

Edwin Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes was

given a helping hand by the appearance of their

song ‘Home’ in the Peugeot 2008 ‘Crossover’

ad, which led to the song’s re-release and

significant additional airplay, sales, and new

fans. Ads have now become a serious source

of revenue and exposure for musicians.

This is increasingly instantaneous, with ads

encouraging consumers to Shazam and

download as they view.


Indeed, one of the fundamental benefits of

choosing the right music for brand advertising

is the built-in talkability factor that track

can bring to a commercial. Perhaps the best

exponent of this in the UK is the department

store chain, John Lewis. According to

Marketing Director Andy Street, the brand’s

annual showpiece festive ads have the

declared intention of ‘owning Christmas,’ with

each year’s commercial as eagerly anticipated

by the marketing community as Santa is by

children. And these ads have an increasingly

complex, multichannel relationship with their

musical soundtracks.

music to focus attention, facilitate brand and

message recall, improve attitudes to brands,

and influence purchase behavior.

With music from ads present at every

touchpoint – TVCs, mobile, downloads,

experiential – getting the music right has never

been more important or mutually beneficial

to brands and artistes. In just the same way as

it did in movies before it, music has become

an integral part of branded entertainment

through advertising films shown on TV, in

cinema, and – increasingly – online.

“One of the

fundamental benefits

of choosing the right

music for brand

advertising is the

built-in talkability

factor that track

can bring to a


‘The Bear & The Hare’, adam&eveDDB’s Christmas

2013 ad for John Lewis

The 2013 execution ‘The Bear & The Hare’

featured Keane’s 2004 track ‘Somewhere

Only We Know’ re-recorded for the ad by Lily

Allen. The song didn’t only feature as the

soundtrack to the original cartoon by

adam&eveDDB. It was also released

as a multi-format single, and download

and CD sales took the song to No. 1

where it stayed for some weeks, providing

countless opportunities for radio DJs and

media columnists to talk about (and talk up)

the campaign and the retailer.

And this wasn’t a one-off. Lily Allen’s No. 1

success repeated the feat of the 2012

campaign, from which Gabrielle Aplin’s

cover of Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s

‘The Power of Love’ also topped the charts

in support of ‘The Journey’ ad, featuring

two snowmen.

adam&eveDDB are pioneers in both the

practice of choosing the right music for

ads and the theory. They’ve spent the

past two years researching the impact of

music in advertising in partnership with the

psychology department at Goldsmith’s.

Their experimental research – featuring ads

with and without music – has shown suitable

View more insights at blog.ebiquity.com



TV remains the most

effective way to advertise

Despite the recession and rapid advent of social platforms on

smartphones and tablets, TV has retained its dominance as the most

effective way to advertise, delivering more profit than any other form

of commercial communication. TV advertising has become more

efficient in the last three years, generating significantly more online

interaction, as the trend toward multi-screening grows.


hese are the principal findings of

a new study commissioned by

Thinkbox, the marketing body

for commercial TV in the UK, and

conducted by Ebiquity’s Marketing

Performance Optimization practice.

It was showcased at Thinkbox’s ‘Payback 4:

Pathways to Profit’ event in London in May 2014.

The study is an econometric analysis of more than

4500 ad campaigns across 10 advertising sectors

between 2008 and 2014. It compared, on a like-forlike

basis, the sales and profit impact of five forms of

advertising: TV (linear spot and sponsorship), radio,

press, online display, and outdoor.

In the period 2011-14, TV gave an average ROI of

£1.79 for each £1 invested, up from £1.70 in

2008-11. TV has consistently delivered the

highest ROI of any form of advertising in the last

seven years, despite the twin opposing forces

of technological and media proliferation on the

one hand and economic recession on the other:

factors long predicted to diminish the impact of TV


Reasons for TV’s increasing effectiveness include:

‘multi-screening’ viewers being able to act instantly

on what they see; advertisers’ more sophisticated

understanding of how to employ multiple TV ad

opportunities and integrate them with other media;

a golden age of TV content, creating a higher quality

environment for advertisers; and the recent and

sustained fall in cost of TV advertising.

“TV advertising

has become

more efficient

in the last three

years, generating

significantly more

online interaction,

as the trend toward



Optimum TV investment – The optimum share of

advertising budgets that should be spent on TV for

brands in both the finance and retail sectors is 60%.

For FMCG, this proportion should be significantly

higher, and for many brands this represents

an opportunity to increase investment in TV


TV’s ‘halo effect’ boosts other forms of

advertising – TV advertising creates a ‘halo’

effect across a brand or range of goods. 37% of TV

advertising’s effect is achieved on products not

directly advertised. So if a finance brand advertises

a current account on TV, the campaign is likely to

boost sales of other products, such as mortgages or


Multi-screening viewers boost branded search –

TV advertising consistently makes other elements

of campaigns work harder. TV’s effects have been

shown for all accompanying media, but one of the

most pronounced effects is on branded search.

The volume of branded searches sparked by TV

advertising has increased by 33% (relative) per

rating point during 2011-14 compared with


Press and radio are next best at generating sales

– TV consistently outperforms all other media

in generating sales and is, on average, twice as

effective per equivalent exposure as the next best

performing medium. Press advertising delivers

52% of the sales uplift TV creates, radio 27%, online

display (excluding Video On Demand) 13%, and

outdoor 11%.


“Investment in TV

is forecast to grow

again in 2014,

boosted by the

World Cup in Brazil.”

Theory in practice: Arla makes best use of TV as

part of an integrated approach to advertising

A rosy future – short and medium


Total TV advertising revenue in the UK increased

by 3.5% in 2013 to reach a new record high of

£4.63 billion, according to full year revenue figures

from UK commercial TV broadcasters. This is

the fourth consecutive year that TV ad revenue

has grown in the UK, demonstrating that the

economy is showing more than just green shoots.

Investment in TV is forecast to grow again in

2014, boosted by the World Cup in Brazil. The

Advertising Association and WARC predict TV ad

revenue will grow by 6% in 2014.

Dr Nick Pugh is


Business Director at


Compared with the scale and reach of retail

and financial services, it is notoriously difficult

for FMCG brands to deliver meaningful,

sustainable improvements in ROI. This is

why the approach to using TV taken by

dairy powerhouse Arla stands out. For

its Lurpak and Anchor butter brands and

Cravendale branded milk proposition, Arla

has developed integrated, multilayered

communications strategies, with TV central

to all communication. This includes use of TV

sponsorship and VOD, supported by great

creative (including ‘Good Food Deserves,’

‘Taste Like Home,’ and ‘Thumbcats’), and

evidence-based improvements in media

planning and buying.

From 2011-14, Lurpak and Anchor grew 19%

against category growth of 10%, delivering a

market-leading net gain of 9% in a saturated

market at 99% penetration. NPD has been

instrumental in growing sales, with Lurpak’s

Cooks Range and new Anchor baking products

justifying additional shelf space in retail by

selling incremental units. Cravendale, likewise,

has grown 3% by value against a category

dropping by 9% in the past three years.

This performance is even more impressive

against the backdrop of the ‘milk wars’ – with

discounters (Lidl, Aldi) and then the major

multiples looking to drive footfall by slashing

the price of (unbranded) milk and effectively

further commoditizing the marketplace.

Arla has enhanced ROI for all three brands over

the same three-year period – 30% for Lurpak,

37% for Anchor, and 38% for Cravendale.

Improvements have been delivered for media

effectiveness and efficiency, ensuring that all

three brands use the right creative with the

right weight and seasonality.

Arla’s Stuart Ibberson says: “We always start

from each brand’s target audience. TV is a

central pillar to our campaigns. No other

medium has the scale or reach of TV. We

use other, specific media to amplify TV, but

with TV at the heart of everything we do,

that’s proved to be the best way to get to

our target audience. And that’s how, working

with Ebiquity’s Marketing Performance

Optimization team, we’ve consistently

outperformed both the category and the


View more insights at blog.ebiquity.com

Ebiquity are independent marketing

performance specialists. We enable

brands across the world to make better

informed decisions to improve their

brands and business performance across

integrated communications channels.

Market Intelligence

Monitoring and insight to provide the competitor

intelligence necessary for effective comms planning.

Media Value Measurement

Research and analytics to improve the impact of activity

on core performance metrics.

Marketing Performance Optimization

Research, analytics, and platforms to improve the impact

of activity on core performance metrics.

To subscribe to the online version of Response, e-mail us at response@ebiquity.com

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