Dear Distinguished Subscribers,

Welcome to the first edition of Stuffed in 2021! The year when everything is going to be totally different. With 2020 firmly in the past we can finally go for that longed-for pint, rejoice in the company of our loved ones and… oh wait not quite, so close but not quite. It’s time to do our bit and stay at home again, and we are right there with you so let’s get through this with some weekly doses of Stuffed.

In this week’s Stuffed, the BBC comes to the rescue with curriculum-based programmes for children at home this lockdown and Plusnet have found an inventive way to quite literally put 2020 behind us. And finally, we’re looking at how the digital landscape in America proves the value in political advertising spends. If you haven’t already done so, you can subscribe to Stuffed here.

Happy reading and stay safe everyone.

From your friends at Goodstuff.

STUFFED WITH CULTURE

With the national lockdown once again forcing the closure of all non-essential shops, Walmart’s collaboration with TikTok on the platform’s first shoppable live-stream may serve as serious inspo for UK retailers looking to capitalize on the demand for online retail therapy. A move that shows TikTok’s intentions to solidify their e-commerce credentials, it also shows how retailers are increasingly looking for ways to engage consumers with new, fun techniques that streamline the path to purchase. In a Covid world, the activation holds even greater significance, giving retailers a presence even if their physical stores are closed. Off the back of the successful launch of the shoppable reality series ‘Making the Cut’, 2021 may be the year this type of digital ‘retailtainment’ truly takes off.

Speaking of lockdown, parents face the daunting prospect of home-schooling for the second time, and with concerns that many without access to remote learning are missing out, the BBC announced that they will be repurposing their usual day-time TV broadcasts, showing much needed educational content instead. Offering curriculum-based programmes on both CBBC and BBC Two every day for two hours, we applaud the initiative and hope it helps as many in need as possible.

In a bid to find a deeper sense of connection amid our socially distanced world, it’s no surprise that Brits have flocked to social media as a lifeline to contact those they can no longer see in person. Hoping to capitalise on this, as well as the intimate nature of voice connections which was recently proven to lead to stronger social bonds, Twitter is beta-testing Spaces – an audio-based chat room feature. A launch that was strengthened by the acquisition of podcast app Breaker, we look forward to seeing Twitter’s audio proposition evolve over the next year.

STUFFED WITH CREATIVITY

Elkjøp creates the VAR Discount

Scandinavian electronics brand Elkjøp turned football’s VAR into something worth cheering about. Every time the referee mimed the TV symbol, a discount was available for buying a TV at the online retailer to bring e-commerce to live sport without being a sponsor.

The Black Country Living Museum is making TikTok history

COVID-19 has drastically affected attractions, so this Dudley museum turned to TikTok to stay relevant and present with virtual visitors. The museum, a tribute to Victorian era industrial life, is currently the top museum on the platform by merging history with the modern-day fun of TikTok.

13th Street creates advertising with real depth

To promote the show ‘Trauma’, 13th Street productions utilised underground media to give commuters the ability to watch the brand-new show on the go and with real-life immersion. The drama, based on a woman held captive in a basement, unfolds the deeper you travel underground.

Plusnet puts 2020 behind us

Many brands had their own way of waving farewell to 2020, but Plusnet took a different (more literal) approach by using reversed roadside media that was only readable in your rear-view mirror. An ingenious way of using traditional media that quite literally puts 2020 behind you.

STUFFED WITH COMMS

Out-of-Home latest trends

Despite heightened restrictions, there are still a significant amount of people spending time outside their home for shopping, exercise and of course professions considered critical to the economy. Journeys by car are around 60% of normal levels according to Apple data with arterial routes and residential areas providing the best opportunities for advertisers. City centres and associated transport systems including the Underground and Rail remain significantly reduced with audience levels around 20-30% of normal. Despite the challenges, a number of high profile campaigns have launched as agile brands continue to invest in the channel. We particularly like the current Plusnet campaign that features revered copy legible in your rear-view mirror and our own Cazoo campaign utilising RTB programmatic to enable added agility and real-time targeting. And whilst much planning focus is on the Spring and beyond, significant audiences and value are available for brands willing to utilise data to locate and connect with consumers as they move about.

Political Advertising in America – A Gold Mine for Digital Publishers
It goes without saying that the United States is more politicised than at any other time in its modern life, even before this week’s shocking events on the Capitol. One large consequence is vast increases in political spend providing a gold mine of personal data for publishers. Meredith Corporation, a large US publisher, saw a 2200% increase in political spend in 2020, spawning 1,000 new audience segments. Meredith are actively using this data to inform non-political advertising.

Such laissez-faire attitudes to political advertising (and data) are characteristically American. However, here in the UK there has been a much-publicised shift to political advertising online in recent years, being much harder to track and audit. This has a lasting impact for UK advertisers, as publishers build a rich understanding of a user’s likes and dislikes that can be valuable for other categories. As Meredith’s SVP for digital not-so-subtly states, “[data from political advertising] will have benefits in this industry for years to come because we are understanding audiences at a much deeper level.”

Thanks for tuning in to the first Issue of 2021, we’ll see you next week.