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Monday July 4
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 (and the audio version is here) 
newTV
 
In this week's deep dive on newTV we looked at Netflix and their ad plans but also how they seem to be moving away from bingeing. This chart on churn suggests they following the data; by the end of April, 23 percent of Americans who signed up for Netflix had dropped the service within a month
 
They report their next figures in 3 weeks time.
 
The adtech world sees a great opportunity with connected TV. This talk from the recent ATS event in London has some good insight ATS London 2022 – The Next Episode: CTV Growth Beyond 2022
 
Whilst everyone in streaming likes to think of themselves as tech businesses, you just have to scratch the surface to see Hollywood is still a major influence. It is changing and evolving and the merger of the two biggest talent agencies will help drive innovation
 
The speculation at Disney looks to stop as they renew the CEO's contract for 3 years. Some stability will help the business deal with the challenges it faces     
 
Merchant
 
More and more people climbing on the Merchant Media bandwagon. Deliveroo are working with Criteo to launch their own ad platform, focused on FMCG. The opportunity to distribute samples as deliveries are made seems a great idea. Given the range of partners Deliveroo have now in grocery, they should do well. 
 
Another good session from the ATS event was this talk on Harnessing the power of retail media? With speakers from Agencies Brands and Tech it’s a good discussion and the brand person calls out the challenge over logistics - is the right product in stock at the right time?
 
The turmoil in Fast Last Mile continues. Managing minimum wage staff is a challenge when times are good, but when times are bad… This piece looks at issues at Getir, with staff complaining about the culture and the headline is Insiders believe Getir has a zero chance of making profit.
 
But as we keep saying it's an oversupplied market and with weak players exiting, there will be one or two survivors, if not winners. Probably the best placed to survive is GoPuff and we have seen impressive figures showing sales are healthy. They are seeing increases in customer numbers but crucially also increases in the monthly sales per customer. (The data company producing the figures is now owned by Bloomberg so I guess we can have some confidence in the data.)
 
We came across a fascinating new initiative from Amazon in our latest Good TikTok Creative newsletter. They're running TikTok ads promoting their try before you buyservice. You choose up to six items, have them shipped to you and you have 7 days to decide whether to keep them or not. You then check out and return things you don't want and only get charged for those that you do.
 
It's an interesting idea but goes against the collective learnings of DTC businesses in that the big problem with clothing, in particular, is people buy online then wear or Instagram the garment, then send it back. So the economics of online fashion revolve around the returns.
 
Amazon have been trying to make fashion work for ages and maybe they see this novel approach as their way in.
 
But it's interesting to consider how the returns are going to work. Many DTC brands and retailers no longer ask people to send returns back, because it's such a hassle to deal with them. Amazon do this as well. They find it more profitable to just refund the buyer and tell them to dispose of the item themselves. But of course they don't want to shout about this in case it encourages shady behaviour.
 
More troubles facing Amazon in this fascinating look at the preponderance of Chinese merchants in the US and how search on the site is no longer that usable. We see similar issues in Europe. Being hampered by your own success in attracting so many sellers is a problem that gives their rivals a boost.
 
eBay have announced a live shopping platform for collectables. Our friends at Neustreet have looked at how eBay are leveraging their heritage in this space and are bringing it right up to date.
 
web3
 
Brands are really interested in web3 and the metaverse. As well as being the hot topic in Cannes, the NYC NFT event last week saw many brands attend. One of the Media Monks shares smart thinking on hopeful scepticism and has good advice on how brands can get involved.
 
The WSJ coverage of the New York events has plenty of hype but also measured thinking from smart people who see the opportunity;
 
“At the end of the day…I think you’re going [to] see a lot of standout use cases from the people that were treating these like lifetime projects and real businesses—not just a way to generate some quick capital,” he said. “The future is incredibly bright.
 
But the sceptics are out in force. One said I cannot stop watching videos of Web3 boosters failing to explain the usefulness of the technology. I realize this is petty, but the videos are deeply cathartic.
 
And Bloomberg ran a piece entitled You Can Give People What They Want. Or You Can Give Them Web3
 
Probably the best response is from Packy McCormick of Not Boring who both lists current examples and articulates the potential really well, whilst reminding us we are still so early.
 
When I was using Gopher, Telnet, Archie et al and writing papers about the Information SuperHighway a million years ago, I had no idea that GAFA would change the world. Nor that people would spend all their time on TikTok and all their money on Shein.
 
But we knew these new tools would evolve and solve problems. Along came the web and the rest is history.
 
Are these new web3 tools better than web2 tech? Generally no. But they will evolve.
 
Watching the people building with these new tools gives us hints of the potential. The Metaverse Market map from CBInsights is a sort of Luma scape of web3. NewZoo have a report showing the 500 companies building the metaverse. Lots of game developers are broadening their skills with Fortnite Creators building branded worlds.
 
Big platforms are looking for ways to embrace web3; Shopify is letting merchants use NFTs for their customers to unlock special products, perks and experiences. Instagram is testing Digital Collectibles: designed to help people Showcase their NFTs on Instagram. Even Squarespace is launching a new tool to mint and sell NFTs
 
This ubiquity will build interest and drive adoption. Just look at all the projects around sports - The NBA were first out of the blocks with TopShot and now working with Niantic on a AR location game called NBA All World
 
Less globally revered Crawley Town are launching an NFT-only third kit as part of plans to revolutionise the Club - but maybe it’s not quite right? There are a number of initiates around fans controlling a club through buying NFTs, but it all seems hype. The Bundesliga enables fan control without the expense of NFTs - but within all this hype there is some real opportunity to strengthen the bond between a sports club and its fans.
 
One of the tenets of web3 is that we will decentralise the web. Not so sure Meta is on board with that, as they rebrand Pay as their wallet play
  
Creative
 
A study from Amazon Ads and Omnicom reminds us of the importance of creative. The study found that 73% of consumers think ads are more enjoyable to view when they feel personally relevant. So true and something we advocate with all clients. The piece has good advice too;
 
“A customer-centric approach to developing creative is one that goes beyond outcomes from past campaigns to also encompass scaled creative insights, specifically those related to particular creative elements,” explains Heather Kehrberg, Director of Global Creative Success at Amazon Ads. “It then utilizes experimentation to determine what resonates and performs best.”
 
P&G termed creativity a superpower at a Cannes talk by CMO Mark Pritchard - and WARC shared their 3 principles for Creative Marketing
 
WARC also released an updated version of their Anatomy of Effectiveness study at Cannes Lions, saying there is a crisis in creative effectiveness'. Fix friend Anastasia Leng of Creative X summed the issue up “The marketing and advertising industry has a significant blindspot when it comes to ROI: the creative.
 
Some do get it - here a L’Oreal marketer talks about the Transforming the Creative Process - managing thousands of ads over 35 brands and using data to really inform creative.
  
Social
 
TikTok is seeing great success in building its ad business but what they really want is e-commerce. In Cannes their business lead Blake Chandlee talked about their ambitions in this space - collapsing the distance between discovery and purchase - and about how brands are embracing creativity.
 
This Bloomberg piece puts some figures on their business revenue. This year is expected to triple to $12 billion and their ambition for e-commerce is $23 billion. To some extent, this is driven by the success of sibling app Douyin doing $26 billion in e-commerce in the first year.
 
They will be helped by a newly announced set of Creative Partners. This guide showcases the partners and how to use them. Most partners will be familiar as many are Facebook and Snap Marketing Partners too. Interesting to consider what the role is for Creative Agencies.
 
Another story on the work culture at TikTok - this time in the US. Time zones and 996 are not a great combination.
 
Snap have an interesting new feature - a subscription aimed at Power Users. For $3.99 subscribers get some cosmetic features but also tools to better connect with friends - to see who rewatched a post and the ability to designate one friend as BFF and move their chats to the top. Given how powerful Top Friends was on My Space this could take off. It reinforces the Snap position as product innovators - how long before it gets copied?
 
And whilst we share lots on TikTok creative, this thread on TikTok media thinkingmay be helpful.
 
AR
 
Lots of great AR work around fashion - and with researches showing it drives sales too, this could the category that takes off first.
 
Other sectors are experimenting too and this new Lens from Historic Royal Palacesfor the Jubilee #TowerSuperbloom event is good.
 
Researchers think Economic Uncertainties Dampen Outlook for Virtual and Augmented Devices, But Long-Term Potential Remains Strong. But until Apple release their Glasses I don’t think forecasts can be that robust.
 
adtech
 
This report on the key commercial, operational and strategic considerations facing the digital publishing industry is good. As you would expect cookies and subscriptions are key issues but Creative is right there too;
 
High-impact creative remains popular, as do groundbreaking executions which resonate with their target audience. Custom solutions which seamlessly integrate into content are becoming seen by clients as the more effective consumer conversation. 
 
This resonates with conversations around our friends at Responsive Ads - who now have a showcase highlighting many of the super high impact ads they produce for Conde Nast and others. Let me know if you are interested in learning more.
 
This is interesting thinking on the evolution of adtech - Display Programmatic 2.0.
 
And our friends at Fospha have shared a great report on the State of eCommerce Advertising - it draws on their client work for leading brands and answers many of the hot topics; How well is Meta really working? Which channels have the highest ROAS? How accurate is the data in your ad platform? Essential reading.
 
plus+
 
Latest UK Rankings from Comscore - Snap has a higher reach than TikTok but half the duration
 
Find the smartest technologist in the company and make them CEO’ - McKinsey interviews Marc Andreessen
 
92 percent of consumers use voice to search the web – 40 percent on a regular basis | Mobile Marketing Magazine Really? The data comes from Europe’s leading full service voice agency
 
The New York Times Investor day presentation ( PDF)

Finally.... for the Art lovers - a proud dad moment - do go visit my sons exhibition

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