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Straight Talk with Nigel Hollis

Nigel Hollis Executive Vice President and Chief Global Analyst, Millward Brown

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Monday, March 2, 2015

The Anatomy of Humbug explores how we think advertising works

The subtitle of Paul Feldwick’s book, ‘The Anatomy of Humbug’, is ‘How to Think Differently About Advertising’. The book lives up to its purpose by examining the history of advertising and the different paradigms that have guided its practice from the early 1900s to today. In the process you may come to find that your beliefs about how advertising works are actually rooted in ideas which are nearly one hundred years old.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Store experience and innovation power Uniqlo’s success

Uniqlo’s growth trajectory has been amazing, taking it from a small family clothing business into a global brand with over 1400 stores in 16 markets. In last year’s BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands Ranking Uniqlo’s brand value grew 58%; double that of the apparel category as a whole. So what lies behind the brand’s evident success?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Difference powers Apple’s iPhone success

Apple’s phenomenal earnings have been powered in large part by the iPhone, a product that has been in existence for less than ten years. Much as I hate using Apple as an example – because everyone does – the entry of the iPhone tells us a lot about how premium brands grow. They start by being perceived as different, and then that difference becomes salient and meaningful to more and more people.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

One thing that LinkNow pre-testing will not fix

Recently Millward Brown launched LinkNow, an on-demand pre-testing system designed to address client demand for fast, cost effective pre-testing. LinkNow automates the research process and can deliver results in as little as 6 hours; however, I fear there are some things that automation cannot fix.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Are big ideas and agile marketing contradictory?

Sue Elms, Head of Global Brands, sent me a link to an item in WARC’s newsletter titled, “Sainsbury's turns to agile marketing”, and asked whether big ideas and agile marketing compete, and which will be most important in future. My belief is the two should be complementary, but that demands a clear idea of the brand’s purpose and objectives.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Research helps boost sales for Diageo’s Smithwick’s beer

Millward Brown Ireland recently won The Marketing Society’s Research Excellence Award for the creative development research that helped bring Diageo Ireland’s Smithwick’s beer-making red squirrel to life. After seven years off air, the new campaign helped the 300-year-old brand add drinkers, and increase volume sales and share.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The golden rules of video ad length

In December, Daren Poole, Millward Brown’s Global Link Director, published an article titled, “The optimal TV ad length.” The title proves a little inaccurate, since Daren also reviews principles for digital video as well and many of the basic TV principles apply just as well to digital. This post takes a quick look at some of the key learnings from the article.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

What can I say about Apple? I was wrong.

In spite of my pessimism about the brand’s fortunes, Apple just had the most profitable quarter of any company ever. Greg Kamparak at TechCrunch calculates that Apple makes $8.3 million per hour and calls the earnings, “Absolutely. Insane.” I have to agree. And, for now, I will say for the record that I was wrong. Damn you Apple.