The Lowdown - July 2022

In this month's edition we report on economic headwinds impacting purchase behaviours, consider the potential for advertising on SVOD, learn P&G's 3 creative marketing principles and which source of news consumers still trust...Read on!


"It's The Economy, Stupid" - Consumers Feel The Pinch

It's hard to get away from stories in the media surrounding the ongoing cost of living crisis and so it's not surprising that the economy is now first and foremost amongst consumer concerns (as reflected by YouGov's tracker on the most important issues facing the country):

Source: 'The most important issues facing the country' YouGov weekly tracker

McKinsey & Company's recent survey illustrates how squeezed disposable income is already affecting consumers' purchase behaviours, switching brands and retailers:

Source: McKinsey & Company's 'European consumer sentiment survey: How current events are shaping UK consumer behaviour'

There are of course nuances in how different target segments are responding. As an example, the latest research by IPA TouchPoints 2022 (reported by The Media Leader) suggests that women and young people in particular are feeling the strain most acutely, with those "able to cope on their current salary" falling from the beginning of the year.

With price and value very clearly in focus, consumers are shopping around, trading down (from private to own label products) and using new shopping methods (e.g. pick up from store) to reduce expenditure. With consumers feeling the pinch, brands need to demonstrate their value or risk being cut.


A 4th Wave? (of Media not Covid)

Themap's article, 'Media's fourth wave could mean an advertising renaissance', comments on how issues like the cost of living crisis, intense subscription service competition and market saturation is forcing subscription services to consider advertising as part of their business model. This could mean new possibilities for brands and their media planners to capitalise on advertising audience growth:

To be clear, no-one should expect the majority of paid media businesses to simply switch off subscriptions, to lurch back to advertising alone. Subscription remains a hugely valuable model for a large number of premium content businesses. So this fourth wave will be less binary than those before it. For media owners, the emerging rediscovery of advertisers is likely to be additive, rather than substitutive.

Advertising via subscriptions platforms would allow access to otherwise hard to reach, high-spending audiences. It could also make viewers more accepting (particularly in the current wallet-pinching climate) of other ad-supported video on demand platforms (e.g. Pluto) providing new ways of reaching audiences.

Covid lockdowns saw enormous growth and uptake in video subscription services. Now, the next wave of change is being watched with great anticipation by the advertising community due to the fresh audience opportunities it could present!


Podcasts On The Radar Of Younger Audiences

Campaign recently reported on the interesting insights uncovered by Acast and Nielsen's latest podcast research:

  • 45% of current podcast listeners started using the format in the last 12 months

  • 53% of 18-34s were new listeners

  • 37% listened to podcasts every day

  • 62% have engaged directly with a company following an ad

  • 71% listened to all/most of downloaded episodes

As Acast's Director of Sales UK, Leo Goldingham notes:

“We trust our favourite podcasters to entertain and inform us — just as much as we trust them to recommend brands and products we’ll enjoy.... Podcasts have become an integral part of thousands of brands’ marketing strategies but, together with Nielsen, our research shows there are still huge opportunities for advertisers to reach untapped audiences.”

As audio listening continues to fragment. the intimacy that podcasts represent is an interesting prospect for brands, especially vs hard to reach, younger audiences engaging with them more regularly.


P&G's 3 Creative Marketing Principles

Procter & Gamble has long been respected for its marketing rigour so we were intrigued to read in WARC, that they believe they can effectively drive sales growth and make a difference to society by following 3 creative marketing principles. Speaking at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2022, P&G's Chief Brand Officer, Marc Pritchard said:

“It’s creativity that makes markets bigger; that inspires innovation to attract more people to markets; that advances economic inclusion, where more people benefit through higher incomes, increased wealth, and more purchasing power”

Marc's 3 stated principles were:

  1. Creativity must reflect people's lives and make their day a little better

  2. Shout about how good your product is (performance matters)

  3. Use creative partnerships to build trust within a diverse range of audiences

Interesting to hear how he keeps his brands head and shoulders above the rest!


Trust Declining Across UK News Media

As reported by the PressGazette, new research suggests that no news brand has seen an increase in trust since 2018, with the biggest drops seen in The Times, The Telegraph and the BBC:

Source: PressGazette analysis of annual data from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

Trust in broadcast news media has also declined over the last 5 years, but less dramatically. Despite its eroded trust, BBC News, and its commercial counterparts at ITV News and Channel 4 News, are still top of the UK news brands pile.

Source: PressGazette analysis of annual data from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism

Perhaps most worryingly, the research also found that 46% of all British people claim to avoid reading the news at all...


Hot Off The Press!

And finally, we have a little news of our own...We have moved offices!

So please don't come looking for us in Fitzrovia as we are no longer there...

But do pop in and say hi at our swanky new Bankside office on Southwark Street!


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