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The Lowdown - November 2021

In this month's Lowdown we bring you an eclectic mix of RAJAR results, Meta and the metaverse, potato milk and Marcus Radishford....read on!


And the radio results are in...

As reported on Radio Today, after a year and a half hiatus, the latest RAJAR results are out for Q3 2021. A new methodology is being used to collect the data (to provide more stability and security for the future) so it's not possible to make direct comparisons with data pre-pandemic.

The key results from the RAJAR results show that 89% of the population tune into radio every week and an average listener tunes into 20.4 hours of live radio . 74% of the population tune into digital radio (DAB, DTV, Online or App) each week and 48% of voice activated speaker users claim to listen to radio weekly and 20% daily. The majority of listening is at home (65%), followed by in transport (21%) and 14% at work.

Total Global Radio (Heart, Capital, Smooth) continued to secure the listening share top spot (21.4%), followed by Bauer Radio (KISS, Magic, Absolute, Hits Radio). New DAB stations such as Times Radio grew their listener base by over 637,000. Capital DANCE grew by over 287,000 and Boom Radio by 233,000.

As reported in Mediatel, BBC stations performed well with Radio 2 recording 14.6m weekly listeners (despite losing Graham Norton), Radio 4 attracted 11.2m and BBC Radio 1, 8.2m.

There were no curve balls from this latest data so it will be interesting to see what changes materialise over the next few surveys.


No one thinks it’s perfect, but it’s a great step in the right direction.

So says Tony Mattson, head of strategy at Havas Media UK in relation to the IPA's launch of the carbon calculator (as quoted in The Drum). The COP26 climate conference has certainly opened up the conversation within the advertising industry on the topic of climate change and how it can actively challenge the status quo and reduce carbon emissions for brands. Although carbon calculators do exist (e.g. AdGreen's carbon calculator and The IPA's Media Climate Calculator), there is consensus that it is still early days for these systems and they provide a more general gauge versus in-depth insight. However, discussions are getting louder. Better systems will hopefully ensure that they form part of the planning process versus being only used for ad hoc briefs.

Our agency intends to drive improvements in this area, and this is already underway with our active involvement in the Advertising Association's Ad Net Zero. We will continue to bring you further updates in this area.


TV booming

To say that the TV market has been volatile would be a massive understatement. Indeed, as we reported in last month's Lowdown, the TV market was predicted to finish 2021 well ahead of 2019, and has been helped along by advertisers kicking off their Christmas activity earlier.

Indeed, as reported in Mediatel, ITV has announced that it is on track to record it's highest ad revenue in 66 years. Total advertising revenue (TAR) for 2021 was up 30% for the 9 months to the end of September. ITV predicts that October will be up 17%, November up 12% and December up by 5-10%.

ITV also announced a couple of new initiatives - a new multi-year carriage relationship with Virgin (full integration of the ITV Hub platform on existing Virgin Media set top boxes) and new IP products, plus a partnership with Sky to increase addressable advertising inventory.

More so than normal, it is necessary to get activity locked in early to avoid disappointment!


It's all about potato milk, dinner parties and 'climatarian' diets....

Waitrose's latest Food & Drink Report (2021/22), has outlined 6 trends for 2022:

  1. A nation of homebodies - we are in love with our homes and cooking

  2. Intimate dinner parties - it's all about quality, not quantity

  3. 5:2 Veg diet - 5 days veggie, 2 days meat

  4. Outdoor living - invested heavily in this area and now enjoying it

  5. Regenerating our planet - greater awareness, want more action

  6. Social eating - TikTok and Instagram used for food inspiration

Unsurprisingly, products that are using less CO2 in their production are becoming more popular, which is leading to a trend in 'climatarianism'. One such product is potato milk - invented in Sweden by a company called Veg of Lund (as reported in The I) and will be one to watch in 2022. Watch this space!


Meta is here

Back in August's Lowdown, we announced Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg's intention to build a metaverse. Roll on 3 months and we now have Meta - the new holding company of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus. The rebrand has certainly had its critics, with US Senator Ed Markey (as quoted in The Guardian) not mincing his words:

“Facebook wants us to start calling it Meta, but we’re just going to keep calling it what it is, a threat to privacy, democracy, and children,”

Despite its critics, there's no denying that Meta has big plans for the future and it's firmly rooted in the metaverse. As noted in the BBC's article, 'Apparently, it's the next big thing. What is the metaverse', there is more buzz about the metaverse now, as wealthy investors and big tech firms are keen to keep pace with the technology (i.e. they don't want to get left behind) and advancements in VR gaming and connectivity is much improved. Facebook has acknowledged that it sees the metaverse idea will take another 10 to 15 years, so it is still early days but they intend to hire 10,000 people in Europe to develop the 'metaverse', so they certainly mean business.


Going Cookie-less causing more pain than gain?

Performance Marketing World's recent article focuses on a recent report by Lotame that found two fifths (42%) of marketers say the loss of cookies will reduce revenue and 57% think this will be between 10-25%. AS Christ Hogg, MD EMEA at Lotame says:

“The industry knows change is coming… Google’s 2023 deadline gives marketers and publishers some breathing space but it’s imperative not to take this time for granted. Open discussions and rigorous testing with a variety of providers — from authenticated to probabilistic – are an essential part of this journey. Only then can marketers and publishers really develop optimal, privacy-first identity portfolios to meet their full-funnel strategies in a post-cookie world.”

Talk to us at M.i. about how we can help mitigate the cookie issue with your brand.


It would be rude not to....

....mention CHRISTMAS! As predicted advertisers have gone early and in-tune with that, consumers are consuming Christmas content too. In an article for Mediatel, The Ozone Project has seen two trends:

  1. Consumers are getting in early (as well as advertisers) and consumption patterns show that at the beginning of October, the Christmas audience was already 116% greater than it was at the start of November 2020.

  2. Brands are staying in longer - seasonally driven categories are going into market in October and staying in until the end of January. These categories include tech, video gaming, home decor and style & fashion editorial

The Christmas ads are out and already saturating our TV Screens...here are a few goodies:

Deliveroo, positioning food as the must-have gift this Christmas: excellent quote - 'No one ever said "did you keep the receipt for a bucket of chicken"

Disney, a poignant and contemporary view of the many iterations of Christmas

Aldi, an animation featuring Marcus Radishford


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