It’s been a busy week in the marketing world, here’s what has caught our eye!
High street chain Greggs has apologised after the baby Jesus was replaced with a sausage roll in promotional pictures for its £24 advent calendar. The marketing campaign, including both the calendar and promotional pictures, was created by London agency Taylor Herring. The £24 calendar does not contain any treats behind its doors. Instead there are tokens which can be redeemed inside any of the 1,700 Greggs stores across the UK, with the chain saying the limited-edition calendar is actually worth between £35 and £60.
Commercial broadcasters have renewed their attacks on YouTube and Facebook with a new study highlighting the power of television advertising compared with the tech giants. Research commissioned by Thinkbox, an industry group backed by ITV, Channel 4, Sky and others, found that television advertising generates £4.20 in profit for every £1 spent. That compares with £2.35 for online video and and 84p for online display advertising. Print was the second most efficient advertising medium, adding £2.43 to the bottom line for every £1 spent. The study was carried out and audited independently by marketing analysts at Ebiquity and Gain Theory, based on 2,000 advertising campaigns.
Growth in marketing budgets has stalled in 2017, with spend hitting a plateau this year after three years of growth. According to a survey of 353 marketing executives in the US and UK at companies with more than $250m in annual revenue, budgets fell from 12.1% of company revenue in 2016 to 11.3% in 2017 – a return to 2015 levels. And CMOs are not confident growth will return next year. Just 15% say they expect a significant increase in 2018, while a third expect budgets to be be cut or frozen. The research comes amid an increasing focus on marketing and effectiveness, as well as difficult economic conditions. The big agency holding groups have warned that brands, particularly in FMCG, are spending less on advertising.
Social media users have, on average, seven accounts at any one time, a new report has shown. The study reports that, across all age groups, 98% of web users polled use at least one social network. On average, they have 7.6 active accounts and, unsurprisingly, young people (16-34 years old) tend to have more accounts (8.7 on average) than over 55s (4.6), although older users are still highly active on social media. Globally, the highest number of accounts per user can be found in Latin America (8.8) and in Asia (8.1). According to the report, each web user spends an average two hours and 15 minutes per day on social networks and online messaging platforms.
A new facial recognition app from British start-up Yoti could be trialled in two supermarkets, following a deal with self-service till maker NCR. It would enable shops to check the age of customers buying restricted products such as alcohol and knives, without human intervention. The free-to-consumer app works by pairing a selfie with an official document such as a passport. The data is encrypted, and Yoti says that it has no access to it. In a statement, Yoti said two UK supermarkets had won approval to try the ID system in 2018.