Monthly Review -June

During lockdown we ran a weekly review of the key articles and webinars defining the future of the industry for Marketeers at work and those furloughed. Given feedback, we were asked to do a monthly Round-up of thought leadership pieces. For June, we’ve chosen four key articles, a webinar and podcast that if you missed them and have some time, are well worth a catchup.

This week is the Adforum Worldwide Virtual Summit, where a covey of 105 pitch consultants are virtually listening to how holding companies are working with humanity and creativity – reacting to society changes, addressing diversity and prioritising ways of working. Our summary for that will be in our July Round-Up. With Black Lives Matter protests taking place across the globe, tragedies in Reading and Glasgow, further micro-lockdowns returning, Hong Kong in political turmoil – June 2020 has been memorable for different reasons.

  1. First up, we pick the lead article by Paul Blow that appeared in last week’s Economist. The advertising business is becoming less cyclical—and more concentrated. As ever more marketing drifts online, the digital giants’ conquest of adland looks unstoppable. It’s a well rounded view of the industry and a good balanced read.

Here is the link:

  1. Secondly, we came across this splendid podcast by the Propeller group, titled the Dog ‘N’ Bone – (a tasty one to chew on) The first episode launched this week with James Murphy and Craig Inglis – it’s a discussion on the relationship they built to create the legendary series of John Lewis ads. Whilst John Lewis was early on fairly anti-marketing, they embarked on a journey in 2008 and in 2010 achieved amazing cut through with the ad ‘Always a woman’ – the rest of the 10 year Christmas story is legendary.

Here is the podcast link:

  1. Thirdly, there’s a space for Sir Martin Sorrell who tells us to ‘go where the growth is’. In this provocative conversation, SMS outlines the future of marketing and advertising and how the holy trinity of first party data, digital content, and programmatic advertising will supercharge the next wave of growth. Sir Martin discusses the true meaning of faster, better, cheaper and how to deliver on that promise through a new-era, tech-led advertising and marketing services model. He firmly sees post Covid as the time for independent agencies, as the HoldCos’, in his opinion, are no longer fit for purpose.

Here is the link:

  1. Fourthly, Covid-19 continues to have an impact on businesses. MDC questioned whether social issues would take a back seat to Covid-19.  In an unforeseen twist, Covid-19 has taken the backseat to social issues in America. The weekly MDC webinar series, has 17 weeks of research through the Harris Poll they have now produced Marketing’s Role in Restarting the Economy – fear is trumping desire to return to normal in the US.

Here is the link:

  1. Fifthly, during lockdown we saw some of the biggest food brands going towards DTC for the first time and as lockdown emerges other brands like airlines will head for a more DTC route to improve margin. The coronavirus pandemic has been a catalyst for some of the world’s biggest brands to open online stores serving products direct to consumers’ homes. Here’s how they have done it. And with the likes of Kraft Heinz dipping in this direction, it’s likely to continue.

Here is the link:

  1. Sixthly, we conclude with a series of short videos created by Les Binet, the effectiveness chief of A&E DDB. He has produced four quite insightful videos for brands through lockdown as well as writing for WARC, and they discuss some key points for the future post lockdown.

Here is the link to the first of the four episodes:

Having been on Zoom calls with Pitch consultants and holding company agencies all this week. It’s interesting to see whom have taken the learnings of this webinar on board. Agencies have to become super-smart at pitching virtually and Zoom allows dovetailing and interactive polls. If you are still cooped up in your broom cupboard under the stairs – it’s time to come out and learn from this gem. ‘Perfect the first 7 seconds of your presentation’ - we highly recommend Bill McGowan’s technique of ‘embedded storytelling’. People decide:- your gravitas, credibility, trustworthiness, and whether you’re worth listening to in the first 7 seconds – you need to be clear, concise, persuasive and memorable.

Time for the Work: Creativity has been relentless through lockdown, though creative production is becoming more interesting and complex. There’s quite a glut of sentimental messages in the market, most brands will have to take a much more practical approach for Christmas. We’ve picked an ‘Ad of the Month’ created for Reckitt Benckiser for Durex, ‘Let’s not go back to normal’ made by Havas London during lockdown.,normal%20wasn’t%20good%20enough.

Media: And we pick an article on the furore of Facebook advertising. With so many brands pulling their allegiance what impact will this have on Facebook, and how long is it set to last?  Top advertisers here in the UK only represent 6% of Facebook revenue, advertisers that can’t afford TV will still spend with Facebook.,halted%20advertising%20on%20the%20platform.

Back to Henley: Alongside our consulting projects, we have been helping Henley retailers get back on their feet. Assisting with a comprehensive High street recovery program, weekly zoom calls starting with 28 retailers, guiding opening programmes, distancing and communicating to a wider audience. We sadly have no regatta or festivals this year, no client outings, but Henley is open for business.

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Customers have gotten used to the quick pace of communication and now demand that brands evolve at the same speed. This has massive implications for brands, as they must accelerate their online customer experience and ecommerce capabilities exponentially. We decided to keep our message above clear and simple. Consumers are relying on online and contactless experiences more than ever, which is creating a surge in digital signals.

And finally: Now that we have some senses of normality returning, we are here to help you with your agency rosters, reviews, benchmarking and marketing performance. It will be great to catch up soon.

Kind regards,


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