2018: What just happened?! - Sonder
We saw owned media growth, experimentation, data fails, in-housing, experience-drives, purchase, retailer shifts, CLV and the rise of Omotenashi.
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2018: What just happened?!

2018: What just happened?!

A hugely significant year (they just seem to keep getting bigger!), here is our review of what just happened through our unique lens:

  • McDonalds, Commonwealth Bank and Sainsbury’s all saw material growth exclusively from owned media
  • We were all shocked into paying more attention to the credibility of our customer data thanks to Cambridge Analytica
  • Netflix bought their own outdoor company so they could own and control billboards
  • The circus used private homes as their primary communication channel
  • We marvelled at the sheer scale of our new clients Coles & Telstra’s, owned media ecosystems
  • We created a playbook for transitioning from retailer to media owner, using Amazon as the benchmark
  • We introduced new terms to our readers, like Omotenashi and Brand Fidelity
  • We explored ways to reduce CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) led by Zappo’s and Airbnb
  • We profiled cycling brand Rapha which built a global community around its owned channels
  • We saw Amazon, Lego & Spotify in-house their creative & content partly as a response to the increasing importance of owned channels
  • We witnessed the biggest owned media FAIL of the year when a horse race sponsor advertised on the Sydney Opera House to public outcry the world over
  • We talked about how banks and burgers are struggling with the expectation gap between advertising and reality
  • John Lewis and Seafolly experimented with new owned channels with mixed results
  • We wrote Sonder’s first ever song to celebrate the retail nexus moving from Christmas to Black Friday week
  • We saw retailers Myer, Debenhams and Harrods increase their investment in in-store experiences to attract and retain more customers


If you missed any of these stories, you can find them and more at sondermedia.com/blog/

We would like to take this opportunity to thank the organisations which chose to work with Sonder this year: George Weston Foods, American Express, Coles, Coles Liquor Group, Telstra and Stockland.

We look forward to beating the owned media drum even louder in 2019.