Yearly Archives: 2014

Foreword

Welcome to our 2014 Almanac. A year full of surprises. A surge in the public’s economic optimism this spring, but falling unemployment did not see a rise in personal financial optimism. Our politics is more uncertain than ever, a ‘war of the weak’: Labour’s post-referendum collapse in Scotland, the unpopularity of Ed Miliband, and their…
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Britain in 5D

Most Britons felt hopeful about this year, and our economic optimism reached record levels by the summer. However, the overall feel-good factor has remained elusive. In political terms, voters became more fractious than ever. Even as the recession slowly recedes, the public – and indeed Britain’s elites – are more and more concerned that multiple…
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How ignorant are we?

We know from our 2013 ‘Perils of Perception’ study that people in Britain are wildly wrong on many basic facts about our population and key social issues. The average person has a pretty poor understanding of things like what proportion of the population are immigrants or Muslims, what percentage of teenage girls get pregnant each…
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2014: The perils of prediction – politics and life on Mars

In January 2014, Labour were hoping to hang on to a nine point lead in the polls,1https://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/107/Voting-Intention-in-Great-Britain-Recent-Trends.aspx while the Conservatives hoped rising economic optimism 2https://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/43/Economic-Optimism-Index-EOI-State-of-the-Economy-1997-Present.aspx could bring up their vote share. The Liberal Democrats were just hanging on to third place in the polls ahead of UKIP, who the public thought were as likely to win…
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A bombshell in Scottish politics

Scottish politics feels a little like a parallel universe at the moment. Despite the ‘No’ campaign carrying the day in September’s independence vote by nearly 400,000 votes, the Scottish National Party (SNP) is enjoying a huge post-referendum dividend while Labour and the other unionist parties may suffer heavily in next year’s election. The referendum losers…
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What the recession did to the workplace: what’s been gained and lost in corporate Britain

The effects of the late-noughties recession are still being felt across society today, in terms of depressed real wages and pessimism about the future for young people. But what impact has it had on the workplace? Our companies have changed. In the eyes of their employees, companies have become more technically proficient at managing their…
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Where are all the shoppers going?

Until recently, Tesco was the bellwether of the UK grocery industry, helped by a sophisticated loyalty and customer segmentation programme powered by Dunnhumby. Ironically today, in the era of the ‘Big Data revolution’, the use of data and science to drive customer loyalty was clearly not enough – or wasn’t used effectively. What Tesco (along…
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An emotional year in adland

One of the long-term structural changes in economics, communications, psychology and research has been an increased understanding of the importance of ‘emotion’ and instinctive unconscious decision-making. In advertising it is all-conquering. It also has multiple meanings and definitions. Do we mean System 1 or System 2, engagement, salience, resonance, physiological reactions, emotional priming or emotional…
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Has mobile killed the radio star?

The decline of radio listening has been predicted for decades. The arrival of television, games consoles, CDs, personal stereos, music television, iTunes, iPod, Pandora and Spotify cover several generations of threat. Today, ‘Is mobile killing radio?’ adds another headline-grabbing threat. Is it finally true?   Certainly, the younger generation love their smartphones. Today, around nine…
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The death of TV? Video anytime

The number of British adults streaming TV programmes or movies reached record highs in 2014, fuelled by enhanced connectivity, technological innovation and increased affordability. Tablets and smartphones have become increasingly commonplace, giving content whenever and wherever we like. A whole generation of children in this country has grown up with no comprehension of video being…
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