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The100: Budget insights, shorter briefs and knickerbocker glories

Everything changes?  

BBH labs have analysed consumer behaviours, beliefs and attitudes to see if ‘change’ is really true

Change is to marketers what lightbulbs are to moths. We fixate upon emerging behaviours, fetishise the latest platforms, and fantasise about ‘new normals’. The world as understood through agency decks is a place of constant upheaval. There is a simple reason for this obsession. Change sells. 

Whilst we tend to cherry pick those graphs that show great growth or seismic decline, the reality is most things pretty much stay the same. 

We’re ignoring the dullest, yet often most useful, data: the numbers that haven’t moved in decades. Flat charts don’t sell. They instil no urgency. But they are bankers. They indicate an unchanging truth about the consumer or market. And that is something you can build a brand upon.

Hilariously, one thing that has changed is attitudes to TV advertising.  27.5% thought TV ads were annoying in 2000. That has increased to 51% in 2020. Wonder why that is… ?


Marketing Week published an interesting piece on how marketers can produce quality insight on a slim budget

Apparently market research is at a crossroads. Understanding the consumer is more important than ever (surprise!) as behaviours evolve in a post-Covid world, but at the same time, cost pressures are driving budget cuts across the industry (surprise!).

PepsiCo’s vice-president of insight and analytics across Europe, Monica Tenorio, said that:

…insights is about connecting the dots and understanding the “why”. Therefore, the most important thing to think about when devising an insight strategy is not the research methods you are going to use, but the question you are going to answer. If you have the wrong question then whatever you do, expensive or cheap, it’s not going to work”

She added: 

We don’t need a million dollar budget to produce a phenomenal, effective TV ad, and I think it is similar for the insights function and the work we do

Hopefully not one of those annoying TV ads mentioned above.   


I love this:

h/t @thetenzer


The Waitrose Food & Drink report is out. It’s based on a survey of 2000 people, not all exclusively Waitrose shoppers apparently. It’s your glimpse into a subsection of society. 

But I have a few questions/observations about the report:

  • What is the demographic and financial background of those surveyed?
  • There are lots of references to ‘searches for’ rather than ‘purchases of’. Did these searches lead to purchase? If not, should it count as a trend? 
  • If you’re ever pitching to Waitrose, be sure to mention TikTok. It’s mentioned only 23 times in the 9 page report, with one whole page dedicated to it. Great. But my occasional Waitrose shopping parents have never heard of tok tik. 

Other interesting stats to save you the trouble:

  • Searches on rocketed for yum yums (317%), knickerbocker glory recipes (171%).
  • 44% of Londoners are planning to re-embrace the dinner party. I haven’t met any of these people yet. Wrong circles, perhaps. 

Said it all

Via @mulegirl

Never forget

Definitely not in the 51% of annoying TV ads are those from VW over the years. This vid is the story of them. And it is an exceptionally valuable way to spend 18 mins.   

For me, the really interesting thing was how they got the tone of voice so right.

Bob Levison (copywriter for the VW ads) had a method for how you speak in an ad, in terms of getting the right tone of voice:

…he put at the top of the copy “Dear Charlie” – then wrote the copy as if he was talking to his best friend – and at the bottom wrote “yours sincerely and best” –  and all he ever did was obliterare those two parts and that’s how he got the copy, the tone of voice. 


I wonder what type of briefs Bob received? Was it (the other legend called) Bob’s 3 word brief? A cracking read:

In an environment like advertising, where strategic insight is usually a cruel joke, a great creative idea is usually the best advertising strategy.

Kidz [reissue]

After the last edition’s hammering of generational categories, there’s now this: according to the NYT, 37 yr olds are afraid of the 23 yr olds that work for them

Relight my fire 

Marie Le Conte writes about how she does not want to work anymore. Another in the ever growing fields of great pieces on what this recent period of our lives has done to some of us. 

Could it be magic?

The wisdom of kids is often profound. Here’s a wonderful thread on life mantras from 6 yr olds

The people who don’t talk, still have something to say.

Go Emma.