February 1, 2023

Cuppa 1: Could iOS 14.5 signal a return to creativity for brands?

Shope Delano
VP Marketing

Welcome to the first issue of Cuppa, a quick-fire newsletter for internet-first brand builders. Filled with analysis on the art, science and culture of building breakout brands in a digital age, it's quick enough to read over a cuppa. (Or something stronger, if you need it. No judgement). To get it direct to your inbox every other Monday, subscribe here.


The next frontier in above-the-line: Netflix?

Bridgerton and The Queens Gambit generated 84 and 65 million household views each, and a few million more organic tweets, memes, and TikTok's. People want to be entertained, so why aren't more brands being…entertaining?

Beauty brands launch entertainment studio’s

Confident that they can finesse distribution without a streaming platform, Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble and Neutrogena, are all launching in-house film studios focused on original programming.

IKEA says nothing can replace a good night's sleep

That's not to say traditional above-the-line is dead in the water. IKEA produced a series of posters that took products that are meant to imitate the effects of a good night's sleep - energy drinks, anti ageing creams, supplements - and filled them with IKEA bedding. It's brilliant.


iOS 14.5 could signal a return to creativity

Here's a thought experiment. Name your top 3 TV adverts of all time. Now, name your top 3 digital adverts of all time.
It's a struggle to do the latter, right? And here lies the issue. The focus on 'bottom-of-the-funnel' performance has stripped digital advertising of any hard-hitting creativity. It's all pretty forgettable. With a shift to ‘opt-in' tracking, brands will be forced to reduce their reliance on optimisation, and deepen their abilities to be memorable, tell stories, and capture emotions,  all on a small screen.
Whilst it feels like it, the loss of device and browser level data isn't a terrible thing. Device ID and cookie-based attribution, as scientific as it seems, is based on sweeping assumptions that only ends up inflating 'new customer' numbers in advertising dashboards. A decent chunk of conversions that are attributed to an ad, are conversions that would've happened organically anyway, without the ad. Meanwhile, tonnes of brand value (consideration and awareness) generated from advertising is ignored with a cookie-based approach.
With this iOS update, brands will be pushed to link 1st-party data to aggregate datasets, and with that, focus more on the customer behaviours that are truly driving incremental value. What do you think?

Successful apparel brands look surprisingly like CPG

Parade is a US-based digital native brand that went from 0 to eight figures in annual revenue in 18 months. Through a smart product mix (and a deep focus on community) they managed to generate “CPG-like loyalty”.

Data isn't just for promotions. It should feed into the brand too.

Data should support creativity as much as it does optimisation. Blindly doubling down on bottom-of-funnel promotional messaging, without paying mind to the long-term (i.e. the quality of new customers being acquired or brand perception) is a dangerous game.

Driving a 253% leap in half-year profits through incrementality

A shrewd reminder that the future of retail is digital-first, ASOS saw revenues climb by 24% to nearly £2bn in the last 6 months. The question incrementality asks is “How many of those conversions would have happened anyway, without any advertising spend?"

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iOS 14.5 could signal a return to creativity.


Vacation Inc secures 100,000 signups in week 1

If you're looking for a textbook example of building an immersive brand world look no further than the Vacation Inc launch. Through selling the nostalgic dream of an 80's-style overindulgent summer, they secured 100's of organic tweets, and 100,000 signups in their first week.

The alternative universe that is LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a weird and wonderful place of humble brags, workfluencers, and rockstar recruiters that remind us to “live, laugh, and take fridays off”. It's an ecosystem in and of itself, and the rules of engagement are drastically different to instagram, or twitter.

What TikTok best practice looks like for brands

“We should probably be on TikTok" are the 6 golden words of modern marketing. With it's more egalitarian algorithm, it's rich territory for brands looking to diversify their marketing. There are 100's of smart ways to get started that don't involve starting a new dance challenge. (Though, that's a pretty great idea too.)

To read Cuppa over your cuppa, every other Monday, subscribe here.

Shope Delano
VP Marketing
charlie oscar