20 Apr 2016


The quarterly survey of marketing budgets, the IPA bellwether, was recently released. Companies that are registering an increase in spend are only doing so by 3%. The report also shows a drop in financial prospects this quarter, it is reaching the lowest level since the start of 2013, down from a 7% increase in 2015 to a -6.5% decrease in Q1 of 2016.

Our MD Joe recently shared some of his enviable wisdom on the predictions and what they mean. “Brands need to focus on the quality of the content they produce to get more bang for their buck.” It seems an obvious point to make, but so often we see brands fall short and waste millions in media spend because there campaigns weren’t innovative or engaging enough. Because of this more and more people are using ad blockers.

Joe continues saying, “although a high value media spend can drive brand engagement, powerful content can reach millions organically. Social platforms like Facebook and Instagram offer the opportunity for brands to build and push out potent pieces of content that can create a real buzz and go viral in a matter of minutes, but only if people feel compelled to share”.

In summary Joe said that, “brands need to start thinking of brilliant content first, and ad spend second, if they want to make the most of their budget this year.” For example our latest film “Can you make it to the end?”, part of our campaign “To Much Information”, for the National Autistic Society has been viewed over 50 million times and shared by over 1 million people. The paid media spend for the campaign was minimal, but the money we did spend was done so in a savvy way. For example we had features on the front page of the Guardian including an a quiz which got people to interact with campaign. Why’s this savvy? Well interactive content like this is not affected by ad blockers, people click on it through choice.

Once a brand has developed their captivating and sharable campaign concepts they’re far better spending more of their paid media budget on PR. Getting the campaign pieces onto content aggregators that have a strong number of organic visitors will only increase their exposure and engagement. Then again, if the idea is good enough they shouldn’t need to spend money to do this.