What We’re Saying

MCCP 5 of the fortnight

23 May 2024

Shrinkflation notices, coming to a store near you?

Political leaders in France and the US have been publicly critical of companies for making products smaller while maintaining the existing price, but South Korea’s government is one of the first to legislate against it:

  • The Korea Fair Trade Commission has said implementing such shrinkflation measures while not informing consumers constitutes an “unfair transaction” as consumers are forced to bear indirect price increases.
  • It will now require producers that downsize products to put notices on packages, websites, or at stores for the three months following the change, Reuters reports. Failure to do so will incur fines.

From the French Revolution to the Arab Spring, high food prices are a trigger for social unrest. Only last month, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol announced food subsidies and cut tariffs on food imports as high prices and living costs resulted in his party suffering defeat in parliamentary elections.

Food and household goods brands, already having to tread carefully around the “woke” debate, may come under more pressure from politicians with one eye on their approval ratings.

At MCCP we continually hear from audiences of all ages how they are feeling the pinch, now more than ever brands need to articulate their value proposition. Consumers’ willingness to accept price increases or reductions in portion size is substantially moderated by brand strategies and category context.

The effect is more pronounced for brands with lower-than-average perceived quality and price, and in more complex product categories with higher purchase frequency. Brand advertising substantially reduces the net long-term price sensitivity for the brand, allowing it to raise prices without much demand decrease.

 

It’s me, hi, I’m the problem (advertising), it’s me!

At its heart advertising and marketing’s primary function is to create consumer demand through engaging, and creative content.

While the industry was quick to take a proactive stance on climate change and sustainability, a new report from AdGreen UK shows that while the industry may be able to ‘talk the talk’, there’s a way to go before it can credibly claim to ‘walk the walk’!

AdGreen’s carbon tracking found there was a 1.5 tCO2e (metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent) increase in emissions in the average project size, compared to 2022, jumping to 6.2 tCO2e and the average project size for productions with a budget over £50,000 per shoot day rose to 13.9 tCO2e, from 12.8 tCO2e.

However, now that industry emissions are being tracked, the problem areas that need to be addressed are revealing themselves. Travel and transport accounts for 72.1% of emissions from agency projects. Air travel alone accounts for 60.2% as the industry flies to novel and unique locations to create relevant and creative content for consumers.

Change will not happen overnight, but it is important to recognise and understand the industry’s contribution to the climate crisis. At MCCP, our internal “Team Green” have been making changes throughout our office and introducing processes helping to reduce our carbon impact. We are also proud to be the insight and strategy partner of Custodian, who pioneering a service to help brands track the carbon impact of all their marketing activity. 

 

Linear TV’s last assets under threat?

Netflix will stream the NFL’s marquee Christmas Day games as part of a three-season deal – its first move into major live sport properties – representing a significant shift in the streaming giant’s sport strategy.

Big appointment viewing occasions are an important conduit for new subscribers, but now armed with a growing advertising tier, Netflix is looking at this as an opportunity across all of its business.

Earlier this year, Netflix announced a long-term deal with WWE to bring the wrestling series’ flagship weekly program, Raw, to the service. Success in both arenas could pave the way for much more live sport on Netflix.

On sport, however, it has always played a different game from other streamers who bid for rights alongside the traditional networks – and as viewers flocked to their platforms. Netflix has been more interested in the narratives around sport and has made some incredibly successful documentaries out of them.

But live events have been creeping into view on Netflix: in November 2022, it live streamed its first comedy special, seen at the time as an experiment with the technology. A year later it broadcast a novelty golf competition and was gearing up to show live tennis.

At MCCP we frequently speak with younger audiences who tell us that traditional ‘appointment TV’ is becoming less relevant to them. They want their entertainment on their terms. Right time. Right place. Right platform. Right now! The recent GAAGO controversy may contradict this but watch your screens!

 

5 Key trends in travel in 2024

At MCCP we have been uncovering a lot of insight in international travel, here is some of the key trends for this year:

  • Climate change is affecting the way people plan their holidays, with rising temperatures likely to reduce demand for travel to hotter destinations in the long term.
  • The growing importance of hybrid work arrangements in talent acquisition and emphasis on work-life balance among employees have created the conditions for blended business and leisure travel to thrive.
  • Popular travel destinations are receiving more visitors than they can handle, negatively impacting the environment, infrastructure, local communities, and overall visitor experience.
  • Consumers are finding ways to cut travel expenses to cope with the heightened cost of living, but they will still indulge in small luxuries for their holidays.
  • Demand for sustainable travel is on the rise, but consumers feel there are obstacles to incorporating more sustainable practices into their trips.

 

A picture says 1000 words, but a sound makes a lasting connection

Alcohol brands craft quality products with impressive and engaging visual identities, but a recent study has found that the alcohol sector lacks sonic assets. With licensing becoming increasingly expensive and the prevalence of generic stock music, there’s a strong case to be made for alcohol brands to start investing in their own, unique, aural signatures.

The study reviewed the top 5 brands in each sector by market share and found that the strongest preforming brand overall, still only owned 27% of the music they used in external communications. Furthermore, the study also revealed the inconsistent application of sonic assets across the different sectors: Beer accounted for 50% of the 10 best performing brands, but the champagne sub-category was found to use “stock music” or “no music” in 90% of their external marketing.

MCCP have also championed long-term brand building and recognise that sound plays in this. Echoic (short term hearing) memory lasts longer than iconic memory, which is the ultra-short memory of visual imagery. Where a sound might linger in your echoic memory for up to four seconds, your ability to store visual information lasts for just a few hundred milliseconds which means distinct, sonic assets can play a crucial role in driving salience and generating long-term consumer connections.

 

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