Tag: brands

Marketing commandments to regain consumers’ trust in 2019

For several years, consumers’ feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for the future have been compounded by fears for the effects of human behaviour on the environment. This feeling of uncertainty, which has, in fact, become quite normal and is referred to as the ‘’#neveralnormal’’, is reflected in consumers’ lack of trust in established institutions and brands. As we all have seen in the newspapers, familiar brands are experiencing difficulties, with many household names going into administration, and a downturn in Europe’s share of the Top 250 global retailer’s revenues since 2006.

Economic uncertainty, political tension, environmental change and the 4th industrial revolution have been the main forces of dramatic change. The Gilets Jaunes/French Yellow Vests protests in France, the arrival of a populist government in Italy and Brexit in the UK all reflect deep-seated political and economic discontent.

With further political upheaval expected in 2019, consumers’ crisis of trust is deepening, and leading to greater emotional involvement and action.

This brings us to a set of marketing “commandments” to meet the new consumer’s expectations.


To retain consumer trust, brands must be mindful of the context for their adverts. If they are placed next to unethical content, they stand the risk of being accused of being linked too or even funding that content, and consumer trust will inevitably be affected.

Content-wise, brands have been accused of condoning “fake” news by running their adverts next to it and inadvertently financing it at the same time. It has been argued that advertisers are unaware of what content their adverts in fact support, but Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, suggests that this is a weak excuse, calling it, in fact, a “moral failure”:

The third element “contacts” shows that the number of times an advert is run also impacts trust. In 2017, Forbes showed that the average consumer is exposed to up to 10,000 brand messages a day.

OMD Latvia conducted an online bespoke quantitative study to illustrate this point at the Mi:t&Links. Conference FALSE THINKING conference in Riga, March the 8th.

63% of 18-75 years old living in Latvia claim seeing the ad too many times reduces Trust in Advertising


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect in May 2018, underlines the importance of consumer trust, giving consumers more control over their data at the same time as offering reassurance that these are in safe hands. In 2018, IBM ran a study, which showed that 73% of people were concerned about their privacy on internet sites and 65% did not trust social media companies to handle personal data responsibly. GDPR could be regarded as a simple compliance issue, but it could also be seen as a catalyst for businesses to implement new business models with consumer trust at their core.

With the advent of AI and fast developing technology, like 5G, transparency has become particularly important owing to the potential misuse of an increasing amount of new data that are intended to provide a more personal approach, as well as delivering the ultimate in modern living standards in our homes. If data is handled badly, consumer trust will inevitably be lost. The downside of GDPR, however, is that data protection is couched in legal terms that laymen find difficult to understand, highlighting a need for simplification.


One example of a lack of authenticity took place in September 2018 when renowned social media influencer Scarlett Dixon was paid to promote Listerine on her Instagram page.  Whilst she highlighted that the post was an ad, she was highly criticised for the content being completely staged. After all, who wakes up with perfect make up and hair, balloons next to their bed and Listerine on their bedside table?

Instead of relying on celebrities to bump up their sales, brands are now turning to nano-influencers: everyday consumers who tell small communities of friends about their favourite products, thus creating trusted content for brands. Kate Edwards, the COO of the social marketing technology startup, Heartbeat, explains how it works, “Brands have always known that word-of-mouth marketing works well, but it hasn’t been until now that we’ve had the technology to activate this channel in a scalable, cost-effective way. That’s why brands are moving away from influencers and celebrities, and more toward recognising the voices of everyday consumers.” In addition, CGI avatars are beginning to replace human influencers. Examples include the virtual models, Lil Miquela and Shudu, who engage with their fans just like any human influencer would, maintaining transparency and building trust.


Brands should see themselves as individuals with moral values. For instance, in October 2017, Corona came out in support of its native country, Mexico, following a devastating earthquake. It re-branded three million beer cans as “Mexico Extra” and donated the proceeds to reconstruction projects. It also encouraged involvement with relief projects through its website mexicoextra.com.


As social media gives louder voices to extreme views, brands are asked more and more to standout for a point of view.

Taking inspiration from the Me Too Movement, in January 2019 the shaving brand Gillette launched a new ad campaign which features a nearly 2-minute-long video drawing inspiration from the Me Too movement by tackling issues like sexual harassment, bullying and toxic masculinity. Reactions on social media have been mixed. There are many people praising the video for encouraging all men to do the right thing. However, it also has many people threatening to boycott the company, accusing them of lumping men into one group, painting a bad picture for men all over the world.

Another example of a brand assuming a moral stance was when Nike chose Kaepernick to front their 30th anniversary poster. The well-known footballer had brought attention to police brutality against African-Americans by kneeling down during the national anthem and refusing to “show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour”.  Nike came out in support of his decision to stand up for his personal beliefs.


As we all know, marketing is moving from “mass to me”. At OMD, we believe that every interaction a consumer has with a brand represents an opportunity to create a valuable relationship, with “empathy”, the backbone of trust, being key.

As planners who design end-to-end consumer experience to create valued relationships between brands and their consumers, we at OMD try to anticipate consumer needs through a deep understanding of our audiences, their untapped needs and desires, exploring ways in which a brand can use communications and media to fulfil them.


OMD predicts that in the future we will increasingly see engineered empathy as a key driver of success. As consumers are feeling more comfortable with AI and robots, they will be expecting emotional interactions from brands through AI. Empathetic services that help deliver human-like interactions in all contexts, by adapting to the customer’s real time emotional state, will be always welcomed by consumers.

But until then…get the principles right: Be credible, transparent, reliable and consumer first seem to be some of the main key drivers of consumers’ trust. And then…be aware of the trust corrode-rs that advertising is in control of and follow, if appropriate, the above suggested commandments.

A clearer view of the post converge (TV) landscape

It has been a significant couple of weeks for our understanding of the developing TV landscape. The convergence of TV and Internet technologies has been spoken of as some kind of future event for the past 15 years or so. Now, more than ever, we can understand it as something that has happened and will continue to develop.

The over the top global TV platforms continue to scale.


Netflix announced a global partnership with Liberty Global giving access to a further 30m homes worldwide driving growth beyond the current 29m subscriptions outside the USA. Additionally, RBC Capital Markets reported that 42% of UK internet users used Netflix to watch TV/Movie content in the past 12 months, compared to 54% for YouTube and 62% for the BBC iPlayer.

In terms of high-profile content, Amazon announced a launch date of November 18 for ‘The Grand Tour’ maybe the most prominent global reach show to date for an OTT platform.  Twitter streamed their first live NFL Thursday night football match between the NY Jets and Buffalo Bills. In the VR space, the first VR Emmy went to the Oculus Story Studio. We are now witnessing premium content propositions, in virtually every genre, being made available through these new platforms being launched every few weeks.

On the other side of the convergence coin, the traditional broadcasters and platforms have been taking advantage of new technology led opportunities. At IBC in Amsterdam, Sky recently discussed the launch of Sky Go UK inventory sold via the Videology platform on a programmatic basis enabling brands to access content such as live English Premier League outside of traditional broadcast.

At IBC a range of new TV screens were launched that go beyond 4K into High Dynamic Range, Wide Colour Gamut and Ultra HD. Content in these cutting edge formats is more likely to be initially delivered over IP rather than broadcast.

It is not just a zero-sum game, these platforms drive each other.


Nielsen in the US report that increased viewing of related content on YouTube drives viewing of a TV show. Consumers are happy to bounce between platforms, especially on the same device, to create a more personalised experience. Measurement of this behaviour is now a global scale challenge requiring new methodologies for TV measurement, in-store attribution and cross-device targeting.

We can now see a path to better monetisation of video impacts delivered over IP. No longer are they something that is hard to measure, scale and trade. Consumers have taken to new platforms and formats, especially younger and more affluent consumers. Global platforms are creating and distributing some of the most high profile and sought after inventory. Brands can now also access that high-quality content through a range of new buying mechanisms.

Convergence has positive impacts on TV, we just need to frame the opportunity a little differently.

This was very much the focus of discussion amongst the media and advertising community at IBC. It is now especially relevant to have a deep understanding of many audience segments. Through conditional insight, testing different hypotheses and experimental design, we can recognise brand differentiators through value creation mechanisms. A clear measurement framework that operates across devices, platforms and approaches is now the most critical challenge to deliver on the opportunity of the post convergence TV/AV landscape.

OMD @ Arab Luxury World 2016

Arab Luxury World, the region’s largest conference on the business of luxury, took place on 1-2 June, 2016. OMD was present throughout the event with speakers participating in numerous panels and seminars. Here, we bring you all the insights and driving themes from this year’s edition.

Luxury across generations in the Arab world

What are Arab Millennials looking for when it comes to luxury and how do they differ from Generation X? This was the focus of a private break-out session hosted by OMD, featuring key insights from our research study on the subject. Maya Bou Ajram, OMD’s Senior Director-Planning on the LVMH portfolio, presented the findings and then introduced a panel discussion with marketing leads from Infiniti and Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons. “We wanted to understand key differences across generations – how they differ in terms of consumption, motivation, influence and media triggers – and ultimately learn how we can better influence desire for luxury,” said Ajram about the study. “Millennials do make more emotional purchases while Gen X is driven by a need to replenish or enhance their existing collection. Millennials are about aspiring to be who they are while Gen X are validating who they are.”

Effective data management

The conference featured a panel discussion on the effective use of CRM and omni-channel planning to develop smooth customer journeys. OMD’s Head of Analytics, Walid Hadid, was one of the speakers and he opened the discussion by describing the transformation of data across the decades, from slow-moving data collected in a notebook in the ’60s to the rapidly changing data we collect from digital platforms today. “Social engagement with content changes massively and rapidly. The role of us as marketers today is to decipher that data and link it together in order to allow brands, and particularly luxury brands, to compete more effectively in a crowded marketplace,” said Hadid.

Digital trends for luxury

This year’s digital strategy panel featured Stanislas Brunais, OMD’s Head of Performance Marketing, who explained how digital now acts as the first touch point in the purchase journey for luxury consumers. Francesca Ciaudano, Deputy General Manager Marketing & Public Relations at Infiniti Middle East, further emphasised that 96% of consumers start their search online, hence the importance of adopting a multi-channel approach in today’s environment. Jean-Pierre La Calvez, Head of Global Alliances, Partnerships and Customer Marketing at HP Inc. added to this, stating that technology impacts the whole value chain today, including product creation, supply chain management and consumer engagement. “Luxury brands have prided themselves on personal relationships and technology enables that personalization on digital,” audiences heard.

The rise of influencers in the region

Given the massive rise of influencers in this region, the conference featured a dedicated panel to discuss the value and ROI generated from this channel as well as best practices. OMD’s Senior Director, Maya Bou Ajram, was one of the panellists and shared key insights from regional campaigns she has executed for brands such as Sephora. “It’s not about the number of followers an influencer has but rather, it’s about marrying brand values with that of the influencer,” stated Ajram. “The influencer should reflect exactly who I am as a brand. Authenticity is key and brands should not force content on influencers; this is something we struggle with in luxury. Instead, we need to share our DNA and co-create content with them.”

Originally posted at http://uaeblog.omd-mena.com/omd-insights/omd-arab-luxury-world-2016/

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