P&G, Netflix & Trump: 5 things that mattered this week

From P&G calling on the industry to clean up the media supply chain to brands reacting to Trump, here are this week’s five most important marketing stories.

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P&G calls on industry to ‘clean up the media supply chain’

Last weekend, Procter & Gamble’s chief brand officer Marc Pritchard delivered what Marketing Week columnist Mark Ritson said was “the biggest marketing speech for 20 years”.

He called on the industry to increase transparency around media buying and viewability and criticised the “murky” supply chain.

“We have a media supply chain that is murky at best and fraudulent at worst. We need to clean it up, and invest the time and money we save into better advertising to drive growth,” he explained.

In order to do that, P&G will adopt the Media Ratings Council (MRC)-validated viewability standard, implement accredited third-party verification, create transparent agency contracts and prevent ad fraud by teaming up with the Trustworthy Accountability Group. All of its media suppliers and agencies are expected to do the same, or P&G will take its business elsewhere.

The ad industry has reacted positively to the speech, as they hope the initiative will help build “irresistible pressure” that will change the industry for the better.

Netflix and YouTube enter top 10 best brands list for first time

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It’s that time of year again – YouGov BrandIndex has released its annual list of the UK’s top brands. This time around, online streaming platforms YouTube and Netflix have firmly placed themselves in the top 10 for the first time.

Netflix and YouTube took sixth and ninth position respectively with buzz scores of 11 and 9.9, while BBC iPlayer maintained its position on the list with a score of 11.8.

The ranking is based on YouGov’s BrandIndex buzz scores across a 52-week period. These are a measure of the public’s perception of a brand based on whether they have heard good or bad things about a brand.

Netflix’s entry into the top 10 follows its original content push. It has released popular series including The Crown, Stranger Things and Orange is the New Black, as it focuses on its establishing itself as a content producer, not just a streaming service.

Sport England reveals new ‘This Girl Can’ campaign

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Many people will remember Sport England’s hugely successful ‘This Girl Can’ campaign, which launched back in 2015 and aimed to encourage women to get active. Two years on, it is back with a bang.

The campaign is being in launched in stages, with the out-of-home posters released last week and the digital activity starting on Monday (30 January). The new TV ad is set to hit British airwaves on 24 February.

This Girl Can’s campaign manager Kate Dale admitted she felt noticeably nervous about launching a second iteration.

“It’s easy to surprise and delight people when you’ve got no expectations. This time around, however, we are allowed to be a bit bolder, by showing the lines and cellulite in a stronger way than we would have felt able to do last time,” she tells Marketing Week.

While the previous campaign targeted women aged between 14 and 40, Sport England is now keen to target women well into their 60s, with the new ad including two women who are over 60.

“14 to 60 is one hell of a demographic. Last time, we wanted to target teenagers and their mums, now it’s relevant to their mum and grandmother. [The campaign] looks to go right across generations and still resonate,” explains Dale.

60% of content created by brands is ‘just clutter’

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Some 60% of the content created by the world’s leading 1,500 brands is “just clutter” that has little impact on consumers’ lives or business results. That is the harsh conclusion of a new report by media agency Havas.

For the first time this year, The ‘Meaningful Brands’ study looked at the role of content and whether it has value or not. This is in response to the growing importance of content and the customer experience, and as media agencies try to figure out their role in this changing landscape.

The study, which questioned 375,000 people across 33 countries, found that 84% expect brands to produce content. This can range from digital content such as podcasts or a web series to experiential events. Yet 60% said the content brands currently create is “poor, irrelevant or fails to deliver”.

There is a big benefit to getting content right. Havas found a 71% correlation between content effectiveness and a brand’s impact on consumers’ personal wellbeing. That is important because the greater impact a brand has on personal wellbeing, the more meaningful a brand becomes and the better business results it achieves.

The risk and rewards of brands taking on Trump

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It’s been a hell of a 12 days since Trump took office. Trump’s executive order to suspend the US refugee admissions system for 120 days and to ban all entry of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries has already been met with widespread anger.

And it didn’t take long for brands to get involved. Starbucks, for example, has announced plans to hire 10,000 refugees over the next five years across the 75 countries it operates in. Airbnb, meanwhile, has offered free accommodation to those impacted by the travel ban, while Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, says the ecommerce giant’s legal and lobbying teams will also help fight the ban.

But is it right for brands to get involved with politics? Brand Finance’s Haigh advises: “Most brands will have a broad customer base across all political persuasions, so perhaps an apolitical stance is advisable.”

Yet, he also acknowledges many won’t have any choice bar fighting Trump publically. “Brands in some sectors such as tech will be damaged by Trump’s actions in a very direct, practical way, even beyond brand concerns such as limited availability of labour. So for some they will feel it essential to vocally oppose him.”

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