Letters: 26 July 2012

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Mobile gaming offers brands a playground of opportunity

Highly accessible, mobile-specific games such as Words with Friends or Draw Something have certainly bridged a gap between console addicts and those who barely know what an Xbox is (MWlinks.co.uk/mobilegaming).

The rise of the casual gamer – many of whom play on a smartphone – means that the platform has now engulfed the majority of the population, which offers brands a literal playground of opportunity

From branded virtual goods and integrated ads, to games that combine digital and real-world incentives, companies are quite rightly keen to get a piece of the gaming action.

However, casual-social games can backfire. Therefore, brands that decide to enter the mobile gaming market must ensure that they understand their target audience.

To avoid detracting from gameplay, brands and their associated values must make sense within the context of the game and match seamlessly

Peter Veash, managing director, The BIO Agency

Smart TV marketers need to offer a personal ad service

Your analysis of Alan Sugar’s web TV venture YouView (MWlinks.co.uk/YouViewGuide) raised a number of valid points on what this internet-connected TV service may mean for the broadcasting industry.

The idea of targeting by individual rather than by mass audience – as with normal TV – is an interesting concept. Allowing users to opt-in and give consent to brands to use their personal data means broadcasters can build in-depth user profiles that can then be used by advertisers and marketers for personalised targeting.

As a result, it seems like this would be a win-win situation for all parties involved – consumers receive more relevant ads and advertisers get better value from the data gleaned. But is it really that simple?

Research by Responsys and Econsultancy would suggest not. One third of marketers believe that personalised advertisements on smart TVs are not significant or impactful to the future of display advertising.

With ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 all shareholders in the service, YouView will need to convince advertisers of its value and demonstrate return on investment. Buy-in from marketers will be essential for YouView to succeed, but it looks like some brands are unconvinced so far.

Simon Robinson, senior director marketing and alliances EMEA, Responsys

Planning key to promotions development

Ian Hodgson is right in his assertion that the potential of promotional merchandise is often hindered “because of a lack of planning and unrealistic timeframes for development” (Debate, MW 12 July).

Product should be a key part of any campaign concept because when its inclusion is a last-minute affair the emphasis may turn to what can be achieved and delivered in the time available, rather than the development of the optimal creative solution.

Our recent research showed that spend by senior marketers on merchandise has increased in the last year and this upward trend is set to continue given its widely recognised ability to increase brand awareness and create loyalty.

It also showed that practicality, relevance to the brand and attractiveness to the target audience are key factors to consider when selecting the most effective item of merchandise.

Brands that understand this and allow the time to develop the right product for their campaign will reap long lasting benefits.

Stephen Barker, director, British Promotional Merchandise Association

Service failures unforgivable

The recent outages from O2, NatWest and Amazon are perfect demonstrations of why consumer-facing companies operating in today’s online, on-demand, cloud-based world need to look urgently at technologies that are completely fault-tolerant and provide a continuous service come what may.

This is particularly important given the growing trend of consumers switching suppliers based on their delivery performance over cost or function.
The telephone companies achieved this 40 years ago. Why can’t cloud providers?

John Paterson, CEO, Really Simple Systems

Relationship building will develop trust

One of the key challenges for brands in today’s increasingly online world is building a personal relationship with their customers.

Consumers now expect one-to-one relationships with brands and online channels readily allow this.

But trust is essential to the success and longevity of any brand, as consumers will only freely provide information if they have belief in the company that is receiving it.

This is why brands need to view concerns about online privacy and security as an opportunity to build more intimate relationships with individual customers.

The brand/consumer relationship has changed forever and if anything they are much better friends.

Pietro Leone, CEO, G2 EMEA

Web comment
Mark Ritson hit a few nerves with his column positing that flawed sponsors seek out flawed sponsorship vehicles. Read the column at MWlinks.co.uk/ SponsorshipRitson and see comment extracts below.

Roger and Rolex made for each other

Federer isn’t the most enigmatic man in sport. As well as Rolex, he elects to endorse Lindt and Gillette, brands that don’t exactly position him as a young and “exciting” individual (despite the fact he is only 30). But does that really matter? The “superior” qualities of Federer and Rolex make them a great brand match.


Brands, like people, do flock together and create a social personality. I think Fed is an awesome tennis player, but I would not want to go for a drink with him. Rolex should be respected for its reputation, but it is only generally affordable by older, wealthier, ostentatious men and I would not want to go to the pub with one of them either.

Rolex is at fault, not Fed (just take the money, Rog).

Nick Eggleton

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