Get in touch with our team
Feature image for 13.02.2024


7 min read

Impression Picks – Digital marketing roundup for February 2024

This article was updated on: 25.03.2024

Welcome to February’s edition of Impression Picks! This digital marketing roundup serves as some food for thought for you from Impression’s experts and the wider marketing community. Each month, we will highlight an interesting article, insight and campaign of the month.

This month features thoughts from our strategy team, including; Strategy Director, Claire Elsworth, Head of Behavioural Science, Mike Weir, and Paid Social Strategist, Cagla Caltili. As always, we hope you enjoy the content and insights we provide as a part of our monthly roundups.

Why marketers should take note of Netflix’s better-than-expected performance last year

Netflix is doing better than we thought it would, and that matters to the marketing industry.

Remember how last year everyone freaked out about Netflix’s crackdown on password-sharing and hailed the end of the streaming giant? Yeah, a bit dramatic that, wasn’t it? After posting much better-than-expected revenue and subscriber growth for the period, Netflix stock rose upwards of 7%. Here’s why that matters to marketers:

Still got it – Netflix’s position in culture, and finger on the cultural pulse

Netflix’s substantial investment in original content has continued to cement its status as a cultural giant. In January’s Primetime Emmy award ceremony, Netflix was the 2nd most nominated and awarded network, behind HBO. If the way to consumer hearts (and wallets) is through relevance, marketers could do a lot worse than turning to Netflix for inspiration. And they are – the Uber Eats Superbowl ad this year is a spoof of that now infamous scene from Netflix’s Beckham documentary, launched last year. Given these ads typically take months, and sometimes years of ideation and development, it’s a pretty big statement for one of the biggest global advertising moments of the year to be fuelled by something which came out on Netflix three months ago. 

There is a role for premium, trustworthy content in what will be a big year for trust and transparency

This year, over half of the world will be heading to the polls in what is set to be the biggest year for democracy in global history. The aftermath of Cambridge Analytica’s manipulation of personal data for electoral purposes in 2016 is still a recent memory for a lot of the democratic world, and consumers are going to be increasingly sceptical this year as the pillars of trust and transparency are wrenched back into focus. For marketers, that means the environments that our advertising shows up in are going to be more important than ever. People will still be using social media – that isn’t going anywhere – but those spaces are going to be running hot with political parley; so we can expect to see people turning to more premium spaces to find solace from the intensity of the democratic process. Netflix’s (and, more recently, Amazon Prime’s) recently launched ad-funded subscription model could prove critical to brands looking to position themselves around high-quality, trustworthy content and away from the maelstrom of divisive social discourse. 

The changing face of TV advertising and high-attention media in the home

A lot of the pessimism around Netflix last year came from their crackdown on password-sharing, with consumers threatening to leave the service altogether, rather than pay for content, especially with the ad-supported service commanding a fee. Clearly, these threats represented a minority, with subscriptions actually increasing post-crackdown. 

The thing is, we are not strangers to paying for content which is supported by advertising. This is how newspapers and magazines have worked forever. Plenty of people will get to the cinema nice and early specifically to watch the ads. The problem is not with advertising per se in paid-for environments. There is an argument to suggest that audiences exposed to ads in paid-for environments have a higher expectation of the quality of those ads, and a higher level of attention to boot – potentially higher than traditional, terrestrial TV. The challenge will be for marketers to leverage these emerging high-attention environments and ensure that the advertising stands up to this new expectation of quality to get the most out of them.

Article reviewed by Claire Elsworth.

How to sell ugly fruit

Behavioural Science journal outlines why people will avoid purchasing products they perceive as ugly and what to do about it.

Every year, 95 million tonnes of food is wasted in the UK alone. 44% of all food waste is fruit and vegetables. Many people when asked are aware of the challenges we face around food waste, but supermarkets continue to fruit and vegetables based on aesthetics. 

This article explores this topic and how marketers can use the principles outlined to their advantage. In a study by Grewal in the Journal of Marketing, researchers tried to understand why people reject safe and edible produce because they perceive it to be unattractive.  Across five experiments, researchers showed that people were averse to buying ugly produce because of how purchasing the product made them feel about themselves. 

Self Perception Theory and Self Signalling Theory theorise that people make inferences about themselves based on observations about their behaviours. Researchers therefore theorised that people don’t want to buy unattractive fruit because it clashes with their self-perception.  Simply put, they didn’t want to buy ugly fruit because they didn’t want to think of themselves as ugly. 

To overcome this, researchers conducted a series of controlled experiments whereby they added complimentary messaging to produce results that could be deemed unattractive. They found an increase of 92% in sales of unattractive produce compared to the control group. 

This worked because the compliment helped to offset people’s negative self-perceptions, meaning they felt less insecure about buying the unattractive produce. 

What can marketers learn from this: 

  1. Aesthetics matter. Sounds simple but this is continuously overlooked in an industry obsessed with performance.

  2. Compliments. Provide people with reasons to feel good about themselves. Whether that is feedback on the website when someone adds something to the bag or in the header of your next email.

  3. Frame the message. The way choices are presented to people fundamentally affects the outcomes. Consider the decision interface carefully.

  4. Liking: People are much more easily persuaded by people they like; compliments, similarity, kindness and reciprocity can help foster liking. 
  1. Research: Understanding aesthetic and purchasing decisions is complicated and subjective. Use research and experimentation to overcome these challenges and learn about your audience.

Insights by Mike Weir.

Embracing the Brrr

Embracing the chill

There’s no denying that January was a chilly one! In the UK we battled arctic winds, freezing temperatures and a total of 3 storms; Henk, Isha & Joyceline.

One brand embracing this chill was KitKat, the iconic wafer & chocolate bar that delighted fans with its latest marketing campaign – Take a Brr. This campaign embraced the frosty mornings and encouraged consumers to pause, take a moment and savour the KitKat experience.

The concept:

The Take a Brrr campaign taps into the essence of winter by celebrating the chill rather than shying away from it. KitKat cleverly plays on its popular phrase “Take a break” and transforms it into a season-specific call-to-action – “Take a Brrr.” This catchy and playful twist not only aligns with the weather but also resonates with the brand’s core message of taking a break and enjoying life’s simple pleasures.

Creating a lasting impression:

KitKat’s campaign is a testament to the brand’s ability to stay fresh and relevant by tapping into seasonal vibes. The campaign’s execution went from ideation to launch in just 36 hours showcasing the power of adaptability and acting as a reminder that the ability to respond quickly to current climates is crucial – pairing this alongside a rapid creative process has allowed them to create a lasting impact while delivering relatable and authentic brand interactions through Digital OOH & Social.

Definitely a great example for those looking to make an impression in the fast-paced world of advertising.

Campaign reviewed by Cagla Caltili

Look out for our next Impression Picks in March for more digital marketing articles, insights and campaigns to inspire your digital strategy. Have any further questions? Get in touch!