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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, November 19, 2014

A leaner P&G seeks higher returns to marketing investment

Commentary from P&G’s bi-annual investor conference gives some fascinating insights into the thinking behind the actions of the world’s biggest advertiser. After slashing its internal marketing ranks by a third in the last two years, P&G is now seeking to boost the effectiveness of its marketing spend and redeploy "non-working" costs in its $13 billion marketing budget.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

UK retailer Sainsbury’s hits back at Monty the Penguin with powerful story telling

Once again Facebook brought me the latest news from Blighty. UK retailer Sainsbury’s has brought us a very different take on Christmas advertising compared to John Lewis’s Monty the Penguin. Recognizing that the centenary of the start of the First World War has huge meaning for many Brits, Sainsbury’s has brought to life one of the true stories of humanity from the Great War.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Optimize behavior to boost short-term sales, change attitudes to grow long-term

Recently, Stephen Quinn, Chief Marketing Officer at Wal-Mart in the U.S., revealed how the powerhouse retailer has been boosting sales based on correlations between weather and in-store sales. The relationships identified seem likely to stand the test of time, but I can’t help reflecting on the fact that marketing is about changing relationships, not just optimizing them.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Will Monty the penguin boost sales for retailer John Lewis?

Have you seen U.K. retailer John Lewis’s latest Christmas ad featuring a cute little penguin?  I first came across the penguin on Facebook when a friend posted the video asking, “How good is this?” and stating, “They always get it just right.” Apparently the press agrees. Since then Monty has shown up in AdAge, the WARC newsletter and Brandchannel.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Beer brand Leffe taps into contemporary food trends to grow

I have been working on an analysis looking at what might predict long-term market share growth. One of the brands that has grown strongly in France between 2008 and 2013 according to our BrandZ data is the beer brand Leffe. Not knowing that much about the brand I Googled it and found a brand rooted in history, but that has succeeded in part by associating itself with contemporary food trends.

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Putting some perspective on Twitter’s $716 million in car sales

Last week I saw an article in AdAge titled, “Twitter Marketing Drives $716 Million in Car Sales”

That sounds a lot I thought, finally some proof that it is worth investing in social media. Then the analyst in me caught up with my human inability to put big numbers in perspective. A little research found me thinking that the article’s sub-title was the real story.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Re-targeting fails to get its timing right

For advertising to be effective, so says the old adage, you have to reach the right people with the right message at the right time. Unfortunately, when it comes to retargeting it seems that a lot of display ads could be failing to get their timing right.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Building brands for lazy brains

My colleague, Sarah Walker, Global Neuroscience Practice Director at Millward Brown, has been sharing her thoughts on the latest learning about how people make decisions and the implications for brands and consumer research. My basic conclusion from what she has written on our intranet is that marketers need to think long and hard about how to avoid making people think about their brand choices.

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