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Straight Talk with Nigel Hollis

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

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

How do you know if your campaign is different enough?

I was listening to the radio the other day, when I heard an interesting interview with Lindsey Stirling of ‘dubstep violin’ fame. What caught my attention was what Stirling had to say about YouTube’s role in her success. Without YouTube, she said, she would never have been successful, because everyone she contacted in the music industry thought her music was too different. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Mini can’t buy my love (and that is a good thing too)

Last week WARC featured a news item titled, “'Brand love' drives MINI forward”. The article quoting, Lee Nadler, marketing communications manager for MINI USA, suggests that Mini is outspent ten-to-one by other car brands, and so needs to be really smart with how it spends its media dollars. The solution? Tap into the passion of the Mini fan base.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The local touch helps the Transformers’ brand succeed in China

So according to AdAge "Transformers: Age of Extinction" beat out Avatar to become the highest-ever grossing film at the Chinese box office, earning more than in the USA. Personally, I suspect there is no comparison between the two – I might watch Transformers on a plane one day – but I do feel vindicated by the movie’s success.

Why? Well, a few weeks ago I wrote about how Peroni had leveraged images of Italy’s ‘Golden Age’ to become successful in the UK...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Millward Brown goes clubbing at Cannes?

Apparently, Ogilvy South Africa had commented that allowing Millward Brown to talk at Cannes was like letting a seal hunter into a PETA conference. However, no baby seals or creative were harmed during the presentation given by Daren Poole and Duncan Southgate.

In fact, the presentation titled "From 60 Seconds to 6 seconds & 6 minutes" prompted BBDO Guerrero Chief Executive Tony Harris to write that...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fragmented media must not lead to fragmented brands

Following Millward Brown Digital's DCMO Summit, I wrote about Rob Norman's presentation in which he likened the media world to Humpty Dumpty: the old media model is broken into pieces and it cannot be put back together again. In my post, I proposed that brands needed to leverage a coherent brand idea and use consistent brand cues to ensure that their story was not fragmented as a result.

This is a theme that I returned to in an interview following the Summit, and I would like to expand on...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Growing sales and commanding a price premium

A couple of weeks ago Millward Brown held a webinar titled 'The Secrets of Brand Growth'. We concluded that the key to unlocking your brand's growth potential is to truly understand how people see your brand today, and what might make it meaningfully different in future. If you missed the webinar, and are interested in hearing it, you can find a recording here.

During the course of the webinar...

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Helping to unleash brand-led growth

You may have heard that Millward Brown Optimor and EffectiveBrands recently combined to form Millward Brown Vermeer (if not you can find out more here). If you are wondering why, then look no further than the recent Harvard Business Review article titled, "The Ultimate Marketing Machine" written by Marc de Swaan Arons, Frank van den Driest (founders of EffectiveBrands) and Keith Weed, chief marketing and communication officer at Unilever.

The article summarizes the findings from Marketing2020, a study of marketing leadership comprising in-depth interviews with...

Monday, July 7, 2014

How Peroni uses images of Italy’s “Golden Age” to justify a price premium

I am always intrigued by examples of brands that mean one thing at home and another abroad. When I wrote my book, The Global Brand, one of my basic themes was that brands do not need to be exactly the same in every country. In fact, going abroad may offer the opportunity to reposition your brand in a way that it could never achieve at home.

One such example is Peroni Nastro Azzuro. In its homeland of Italy, Peroni is a mass-market brand, perceived to be cheaper than the average. Nastro Azzuro is Peroni's upmarket brand...