My Five #334

Sweet stats, fake meats, and TikTok’s growing appeal. Throw in a frosty Simon Cowell and you’ve got yourself a My Five.

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Five things worth sharing from the last week or so brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.

This week’s My Five is by Matt.

1. Most people are using voice search

Voice search is one of the hottest topics in SEO right now. It has been for some time, actually. Much like ‘the year of the mobile’, which has lasted about a century, voice search has been slowly gaining traction for several years but has only recently achieved public attention due to increased adoption of voice-enabled technology, such as smart speakers and digital assistants.

A new study from Microsoft on consumer adoption of voice technology in 2019 has revealed some interesting stats around voice search, namely, that it is now officially more common than not for people to have used voice search and voice commands through a digital assistant; 72% of survey respondents reported using voice search through a digital assistant, and over half of respondents have used voice skills and actions with their smart voice search through a smart home speaker.

You can download the full report here.

2. Shamburgers

In what might be the most 2019 thing of 2019, under new food labelling rules approved by the EU parliament’s agriculture committee, terms such as “burger”, “sausage” and “steak” could be banned for products that do not contain meat.

Consequently, veggie burgers could soon be rebranded “veggie discs” and veggie sausages renamed “veggie tubes”, should the proposal be voted into effect next month.

This has not gone down well with vegan and vegetarian communities.

The Independent reports;

“Some MEPs believe the plan bears the fingerprints of Europe’s powerful meat lobby, keen to protect its profits and crush a trend towards veganism and vegetarianism among young people.”

If you’re thinking, ‘you only included that quote so you could say powerful meat lobby’, you’d be absolutely correct.

The Vegan Society described the proposal as “time wasting”, suggesting such changes would cause “widespread administrative chaos”. The charity has gone so far as to legally challenge the plans in a formal letter to EU officials, on the grounds of breaching fundamental human rights of vegans.

Chief executive of The Vegan Society, Mr George Gill said, “These proposals have little to do with consumer protection and instead are motivated by economic concerns of the meat industry.

“We are calling on EU officials to reject these irrational measures for vegan meat alternatives to be banned from using the qualified conventional terms everyone has been using for decades.”

3. UK digital ad spend hits £13.4bn

Figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PwC’s annual digital ad spend study show UK advertisers spent £13.4bn on digital ads last year – a 15% increase over 2017.

The study also found that ad spend on smartphones accounted for 51% of digital media spend in 2018, surpassing desktop ad spend for the first time ever.

Display ad spend specifically was up 22% year-on-year, growing faster than paid search spend, which increased by 14%.

Along with mobile, video was found to be a driving force behind digital ad spend, accounting for 44% of the total display market at £2.31bn. Meanwhile, banner ad spend clocked in at £1.19bn.

Further details of the report can be found here.

4. TikTok’s big influence

According to marketing analysts, big brands including Sony, Fifa, Calvin Klein, Huawei and Coca Cola are flocking to the lip-syncing app, TikTok to take advantage of cut-price influencer marketing opportunities.

TikTok might not have the mass appeal of Instagram or YouTube, but with 500m global users (4m in the UK), the Chinese social network is a way for corporations to reach potentially millions of young and impressionable users for a fraction of what it would cost on bigger or more established sites.

Global social media marketing agency, Social Chain, estimates that an Instagram influencer with between a million and 2.5m followers could make between £8,000 and £10,000 for a sponsored post. Whereas on TikTok, a similar post could cost just £500 to £800. More here (£)

5. Chilly reception for Barclaycard & Simon Cowell

Most television advertising is so terrible that I’m not even convinced there is such a thing as a good advert anymore. There are terrible ads, and there are ads that don’t make you want to hurt things. Good TV ads, however, do not exist.

Case in point, may I present the Barclaycard “Repayment Calculator”, featuring what appears to be a robot version of Simon Cowell.

Bad product; tick.

Bad concept; tick.

Bad execution; tick.

If you can find me a crapper advert from 2019 so far, I’d love to see it.


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