Weekly Focus Europe: H&M Brings Scented Posters to the London Underground; Customers Call for Real-Time Updates on the Security of Their Personal Records After Data Breaches

In this edition of Weekly Focus Europe: H&M Brings Scented Posters to the London Underground; Customers Call for Real-Time Updates on the Security of Their Personal Records After Data Breaches; and Ad Spend Increases on Black Friday & Cyber Monday – and It’s a Global Phenomenon.

H&M Brings Scented Posters to the London Underground

Christmas has landed in Oxford Circus Tube station, thanks to H&M, the first fashion brand to deploy scented posters on the Transport for London (TfL) network, in partnership with Zenith and Exterion Media, the UK’s leading transport media owner.

The two-week campaign, showcasing H&M’s holiday collection and the season’s party pieces, takes millions of customers on an immersive multisensory experience as they travel through the station’s exit corridors to the high street. The activation on the unique creative space called ‘5 Ways’ utilises five corridors displaying festive, social scenes and the familiar scent of Christmas spiced fruit.

Taking the campaign to the high street, H&M’s campaign creative can also be found across London buses. The out-of-home (OOH) campaign was planned and booked by Zenith Media and Posterscope.

Lisa Snow, business director at Zenith, said: “Every year, Christmas is a cluttered space for brands. We know that to cut through the noise, brands needs to create relevant, memorable, and immersive consumer experiences – and the scented ‘5 Ways’ media activation does exactly that.”

Julia Edgington, head of creative solutions at Exterion Media, added: “It’s great to see brands like H&M experimenting with our scented posters – in this case, to enhance the commute with some festive cheer. Whereas our previous clients have used scent to communicate a specific brand attribute, H&M are cleverly using scent to create an emotional bond with their audience; in this case the familiar scent of being with loved ones at Christmas. The use of scent in advertising has been proven to create a stronger emotional response in audiences; and we’re working hard to continually identify new high-impact opportunities across our estates that utilise the power of multisensory messaging.”

Chris Reader, head of commercial media at Transport for London, concludes: “It’s fantastic to see a brand like H&M using our advertising estate to bring a bit of unexpected fun with an innovative campaign to customers using Oxford Circus Tube station. Advertising provides vital funds that we invest in modernising the transport network for the benefit of all of our customers.”

Customers Call for Real-Time Updates on the Security of Their Personal Records After Data Breaches

The Marriott International Group data breach exposed the records of 500 million of their customers. This data breach has left Marriott International customers around the world concerned about the safety of their personal information, including their passport details and account information.

To keep customers up to date, the company has set up a website to give affected customers more information. It will also offer customers in the U.S. and some other countries a year-long subscription to a fraud-detecting service.

In the last six months, over 4.5 billion customer records were compromised in 945 data breaches the world over. In light of these data breaches, it is imperative to ensure customers are constantly aware of the status of their personal information and what the next steps they should take are. Next-generation technologies, such as automation and artificial intelligence (AI), can speed up this dissemination of information, says Global technology provider Teleperformance Digital Integrated Business Services.

Bhupender Singh, CEO of Teleperformance Digital Integrated Business Services, comments: “When companies suffer from data breaches, transparency is key. It’s important to put yourself in the shoes of the customer, especially when their passport information and account details could have been exposed to malicious actors. In today’s digital age, this may lead to customer’s dissatisfaction being aired on social media, leading to further bad press for the company as well as loyal customers looking for alternate service providers.

“An omnichannel approach must be taken here, with information being disseminated across the different customer touchpoints to ensure full visibility for customers, including the next steps to mitigate damage, in case their personal information has been exposed. Additionally, by focusing on boosting back-office operational efficiency, front-line staff will be able to attend to a higher volume of customer enquiries. Not only can automation reduce the time of calculating payable compensation by 60%, but it can also ensure that customer complaint handling is accurate. This, in turn, can mitigate customer dissatisfaction and alleviate customer concerns.”

Teleperformance Digital Integrated Business Service has been recently ranked as a top-level travel domain business service provider by a leading global analyst and advisory firm.

Ad Spend Increases on Black Friday & Cyber Monday – and It’s a Global Phenomenon

The holiday season is upon us; and it’s always fun to analyse the aggregate performance of our advertisers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Each year when Marin ‘reads the tea leaves’, some existing trends are reinforced, while a new pattern jumps out at them; 2018 is no exception.

More clicks, higher spend

As expected, there is a marked jump in clicks and spend on paid search in the U.S. this holiday season. Clicks and ad spend were up 53% and 81%, respectively, on Black Friday this year when indexed off the monthly pre-holiday average. Cyber Monday also posted 40% growth in clicks and 105% growth in ad spend for the U.S. market.

CPCs rise up

Marin also observed a large gulf between click (40%) and spend (105%) growth on Cyber Monday this year, which means CPCs have increased. A combination of greater click volume with increased competition means higher CPCs for advertisers. If conversion rates increase accordingly, then advertisers can justify this higher spend.

Black Friday & Cyber Monday go global

Although both events originated in the U.S., data from Marin’s ad management platform shows that advertisers in the United Kingdom and Europe are rallying around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, too. While the U.S. leads in overall ad spend for Black Friday (81%) and Cyber Monday (105%), the UK runs a close second, followed by Europe.

What better indication that the shopping season is now global than robust ad spend growth across all three regions in 2018. 

For more in-depth analysis of trends across search, social, and e-commerce channels this year, check out Marin’s Q3 2018 Digital Advertising Benchmark Report.