John BullThe English are said to have a richer appreciation of irony than most other races except perhaps the French – but then that nation’s spécialité du préférénce is cynicism!

Let’s not squabble about national partialities. However you look at it,  there’s there’s a splendid incongruity about the fact that glitzy, modish online brands last year spend a cool £180m [€206.6m; $279m] to promote their offerings on dowdy, old-fashioned British TV.

Difficult to know who’ll milk this succulent anomaly with the most glee: Britain’s TV marketing body Thinkbox – or the local chapter of the IAB. The former will claim the data is evidence of the efficacy of its medium; the latter will hype it as proof of the growing supremacy of the online platform.

According to data churned out by Nielsen Media Research on Thinkbox’s behalf, online brands’ TV spend increased from £10m in 2004 to £180m in 2009.

TVsetOldThe trade body, accustomed as it is to being caught on the back foot vis-a-vis revenue trends, claims the growth in spend by cyber-traders is evidence that TV can help generate online traffic – basing this assumption on Nielsen’s finding that 94% of people claimed to have gone online as a direct result of something they saw on TV.

MoonWink is unaware of the spin applied by the IAB to this latest TV spend data but the body will almost certainly select whatever convenient figures are supplied by its bean-counting valet Pricewaterhousecoopers.

Meantime, the research suggests that the effectiveness of TV in driving online traffic has been boosted by simultaneous web-browsing and TV viewing, claiming that some 54% of online consumers go online at the same time as watching TV.

C’mon guys, pull the other leg! The TShoppingCartV may still be switched-on (probably in another room) but don’t push credulity over the brink!

Still, the main point is this: whichever medium might the most efficacious – the TV/web combo appears to shift product. Which is the only true name of adland’s game.

Wasn’t it in 1955 when commercial TV first hit the UK that the term ‘cross-media campaigns’ first came into being?

Nah! As any meeja studies student will tell you, it became common currency around 1785 when some pushy genius started sticking handbills on walls to coincide with the birth of The Times of London!


YahooRight now Yahoo needs all the help it can get in its battle against the seemingly omniscient Googliath! And here’s help with a capital H!

Carol Bartz’s little helper is none other than UK retail loyalty card scheme Nectar which boasts some 16.8 million members who busily collect points by shopping at thousands of participating outlets – both cyber and concrete-located. Consumers then redeem the points they accrue with purchases at participating shops and websites.

A highly profitable carousel!

More than 50% of UK households collect Nectar points whilst shopping for groceries, vacations, paying household bills, buying auto fuel and even eating out. Collectors also earn points every time they shop online via Nectar eStores at over 220 leading online retailers.Crosshairs

All of which enables Nectar to amass one helluvva lot of valuable data on shoppers’ age, sex, socio-economic status and purchase/ brand preferences.

Just the kind of data, in fact, that Yahoo needs to woo advertisers away from Googliath.

To which noble end the duo have signed an exclusive deal to combine their databases for customers who opt into the joint venture.

Nectar’s historical data can highlight shoppers who may have bought a rival’s product or were loyal customers in the past. They can then be matched to their Yahoo log-ins – without revealing personally identifiable information – and shown more relevant ads across Yahoo’s sites.

The results will then be monitored using Nectar’s database, providing a “return on investment” metric – a rare and highly desirable advertising Holy Grail.

Rah-rahs Yahoo’s UK managing director Mark Rabe: “For the first time UK advertisers will have a simple way to track offline sales from online advertising campaigns.”

TheKissHarmonizes David Buckingham, commercial director at Nectar’s insight and communication division: “It allows FMCG [fast- moving consumer goods] brands to serve up highly targeted adverts online to an extremely relevant audience. We can prove to them what the effect of the advertising was.”

This blog predicts that the UK is serving as a neat little test-bed for the partnership prior to a stateside rollout – maybe in 2011.

The infrastructure is already in place, given that Nectar’s parent, Groupe Aeroplan owns Aeroplan, Canada’s premier loyalty program as well as Carlson Marketing, an international loyalty marketing services and events provider headquartered in the US.

More on this at MarketingTomorrow.com.

Given that almost four months have elapsed since MoonWink’s last posting, you probably assumed  he spent his Scottish holiday [see below] in the wee village of Brigadoon – you know, the one they made the Hollywood musical about back in 1954 with Gene Kelly, Van Johnson and Cyd Charisse?

Yep, that’s the one, the magical Caledonian village that appears for just one day every hundred years.

Well, it’s not quite a century since you and I last touched base – but it sure as hell seems like it! For the past several months MoonWink has been up to his eyes in an exciting new online project which he hopes will enrich him in his declining years.

It might even indirectly enrich you, revered reader, if you earn your daily crust at the marketing and media coalface.

Take a squint at MarketingTomorrow.com and see what you think.

PS: Absolutely no viruses, trojans, phishing or other horrors therein. Guaranteed!


ScotsmanHi from Bonnie Scotland where your fearless marketing commentator is busy sampling malt whisky and trudging the (damp but glorious)  ridges of Torridon. Back at the adland coalface Monday October 19.

Until then – Slainte!

Illinois's thataway ...

Illinois's thataway ...

The deafening drone heard in the vicinity of Three Lakes Drive, Northfield, Illinois is not a squadron of cruising B-52 Stratofortresses, but several thousand boomerangs hurled by a legion of angry Aussies at the global headquarters of Kraft Foods, the planet’s second-largest food company.

Over a distance of more than nine thousand miles the Antipodean message, chanted to the accompaniment of a massed band of didgeridoos, came across loud and clear:  “Mess with Vegemite at your peril!”

According to a report in today’s Wall Street Journal, the uprising began Saturday when  Kraft’s down-under subsidiary announced the rebranding of the salty spread, a national icon beloved by millions of otherwise rational Australians.

Rebranding heresy!

Rebranding heresy!

And to rub the sodium chloride well and truly into the open wound inflicted on the nation’s psyche, Kraft compounded its heresy by rebranding the concoction – wait for it – Vegemite iSnack 2.0 !!!

Moreover, as if to underscore marketers’ besotted adulation of all things digital, the new branding was arrived at courtesy of an online poll!

Aussies were already in defensive mode after the product’s reformulation in July – the first since it was launched down under in 1923. To the sub-continent’s horror and disbelief, the sacred yeasty recipe on which the nation’s taste-buds had been honed for eighty-six years was adulterated with … cream cheese!

Already in über-sensitive mode after losing The Ashes – a biennial cricket series against England earlier this summer – disconsolate Australians saw the rebranding of this national icon as the final straw.

Cowering in his bunker, Kraft’s local spokesman Simon Talbot admitted: “The new name has simply not resonated with Australians. Particularly the modern technical aspects associated with it.”

The company will hold another contest in which Australians and New Zealanders can vote for another name for the new Vegemite flavor.

MoonWink’s suggestion? ‘DigiBlunder’.

Ball: was he first to blink?

Ball: was he first to blink?

Tony Ball, one-time Clan Murdoch enforcer and erstwhile ceo of NewsCorp’s UK satellite fiefdom BSkyB, has pulled out of his protracted job negotiations with Britain’s largest commercial broadcaster ITV plc, according to a report on the BBC’s website today.

Ball was tipped by this blog as ITV’s choice for the ceo’s hotseat six weeks before it emerged publicly that he had entered into i-dotting and t-crossing negotiations with ITV’s board and major shareholders.

Having set this weekend as the deadline to agree terms, Roller-Ball won the day vis-a-vis the number of trailing zeros that would have adorned annual paycheck.

But he was seemingly the first to blink in his stare-out with ITV honchos over his demand to veto the company’s choHeadtoHeadice of a new chairman – former Reed Elsevier ceo Sir Crispin Davis, currently languishing in the publishing giant’s departure lounge.

As the BBC commented with exquisite delicacy: “Many will understand why ITV’s board felt it inappropriate that a chief executive should have a veto on who should have the role of holding the very same chief executive to account.”

The moneymen were mildly miffed at the news, with ITV shares slipping 1.2 pence to 45.3 pence.

Staff morale, however, is believed to have soared!