Archive for August, 2011

“Why let good times go bad?”…

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011
Asda's Responsible Drinking Campaign

Asda's Responsible Drinking Campaign

As part of the government’s initiative to promote responsible drinking, Drinkaware have recently launched a new mobile app to encourage responsible drinking.  Marketing Week reported recently that The Good Times app acts as a social media “scrapbook” of events that users, mainly students, can utilize via Facebook.  This is a great way to communicate to students and young people on a national scale and allow them to share experiences with their peers.  What implications does this have on the industry as a whole…?

It is obviously up to retailers to promote safe drinking. There is, and will continue to be, opportunities for brands to position themselves in the market as responsible alcohol providers that encourage safe drinking…Good news for marketing! Amongst the 60 industry partners (the clever ones!) who are involved in this campaign is Asda.  The food retailer has recently teamed up with Diageo to launch their responsible drinking campaign that helps customers track the volume of alcohol they consume.

The campaign includes free measuring jugs, with the idea that people will actually measure out the alcohol and also an in-house University Challenge, to measure how many units the participants have consumed.  The campaign will take place in 80 stores around the country.  Very clever — the strapline, the give a-ways, the academic timing, this campaign is evidently geared towards students.  It will be interesting to see whether this promotion will encourage more students to shop in Asda following the campaigns which will take place in the next few weeks!

4OD plan to launch targeted advertising to its viewers…?

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011
4OD To Launch Targeted Ads

4OD To Launch Targeted Ads

According to Marketing Week the television broadcaster in the past year has had massive success with its online catch up service. They now plan to redesign the registration process in order to get current and potential viewers to create their own account which is tailored to meet the requirements of the individual.   Based on the information given at the time of registering, 40D will plan to conduct a series of targeted ads based on the viewers demographic.  Is this a reflection on the way that TV broadcasters are anticipating the continued shift from TV to online…?


4oD’s re-launch this week will provide a more personalised experience for viewers with a view to increase the database of audience preferences and personal information.   Errol Baran, Head of Future & Digital Media Advertising at Channel 4, told new media age that this will create new commercial opportunities and build towards a central database to help improve the communication between the brand and the consumer.  Is it more the case that channel 4 anticipate the online catch up channel to continue to grow and therefore they might as well obtain as much data as possible early on..?

Surely this is a good thing for consumers who do not want lots of irrelevant ads? Well, they more than likely do not want them at all! However, the more targeted they are the less likely consumers are to be antagonised! The idea is that the data will be used to make the process more efficient and that viewers receive the right information ahead of broadcast, thus making the experience more enjoyable.  The investment in the catch up service is significant and is almost certainly where channel 4 sees further development and a way to increase market share.

Oakley from Virtual Media to Social Media…

Friday, August 26th, 2011


Oakley and Social Media

Oakley and Social Media

Oakley’s You Vs social media campaign is now entering its second phase with new competitions launching this week on Facebook involving US Open Champion Rory McIlroy. The new game will involve players competing against famous sportsmen on a branded video game and the overall winner will get the chance to compete against the sportsman in question in real life! This campaign’s initiative is to boost numbers on the brands Facebook community and with the sportsmen that are involved this should really push the brand’s position in the market as Europe’s leading sports sunglass provider!

Historical reports on the brand demonstrate their long term commitment to social media, using the channel to communicate to existing and potential consumers worldwide and to create new initiatives that aid the development of their products. The brand‘s endorsers have previously done really well with Keegan Bradley’s PGA win, and although reports focus on Bradley’s failure to win the US Open this is still good exposure for Oakley as a result of the key partnerships.

We have seen in previous blogs the success of Samsung’s sponsorship for the 2012 events so it will be interesting to see whether Oakley leaps onto the succesful Olympics 2012 band wagon.  But Oakley seem to be doing pretty well with an additional 30,000 followers on Facebook since the first phase of the campaign. They are the sponsor for the Tour De France which, for the brand, is a massive achievement and one that promotes the need for sustainable sunglasses through long endurance sports events. But maybe the Olympics is not the right event for Oakley to sponsor because you have to ask the question, how many Olympic participants do you see in a pair of sunglasses…?

Is Madonna back in the media…?

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Acting as brand ambassador for what is planned to be a £6m marketing campaign that will target countries around the globe, Smirnoff’s owner, Diageo are launching a dance competition that allows participants to upload videos on to the brands Facebook page in preparation for first of 50 parties that they are hosting in November.  According to Marketing Week Madonna will be judging one of the competitions and will be giving the lucky candidate the opportunity to be with her on tour! –This is a fantastic partnership deal to promote both brands and re-launch Madonna via the social media channels, let’s face it, she needs to keep up…!

Is Madonna Back In The Media...?

Is Madonna Back In The Media...?

A recent media report has confirmed that  Madonna has in fact not released any music since her 2008 hit album ‘Hard Candy’ and has kept a relatively low profile in social media which is unusual for many artists in the music industry.  Madonna has 6 million fans on Facebook, however her tweeting activity is non-existent and in order to promote the Madonna brand in preparation for her new album, Madonna really needs to get on board with this!

In addition to the event competition, the Smirnoff Nightlife Exchange Project, involves the vodka brand asking fans from around the world to share their nightlife experiences on the Facebook Page.  With real success so far the brand are anticipating a worldwide influx of promising potentials for the dance events in November of which they will no doubt be single handedly providing beverages for…! This combination of events, competitions and social media initiatives is a comprehensive and integrated campaign for both brands and we look forward to viewing the nightlife experiences from fans…let’s hope Diageo filter the wall posts before they are uploaded for public viewing!

Asda smart phone app…

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

Asda is reportedly making its first major leap into a mobile optimized website that allows consumers to literally shop as they go.  The food retailer accepts orders until 10pm for next day delivery! – Pretty impressive. However, is this enough to keep up with the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury’s who already have fingers in the mobile apps pie…?

As we have seen recently from restaurant brand Pizza Express, brands are exploring new media marketing channels to make information easily accessible for current and potential customers.  Asda’s innovative marketing strategy is a reflection of the shift from online ordering to other channels such as mobile apps. Are Asda too late though…?

Asda Smart Phone App

Asda Smart Phone App

We have recently discussed the success of leading food retailer, Tesco and their mobile app allowing customers to scan products on their smartphones and order directly whilst receiving double club card points, this is impressive and an innovative strategy that was launched over two months ago!

Marketing Communications: A Brand Narrative Approach describes the credibility of the message in relation to the success of the message received and the action taken by the consumer following the message (page, 454). This is significant when assessing the use of mobile apps and the shift towards transactional capabilities from consumers using mobile apps for gaming purposes.

YouTube as a Recruitment Tool – British Airlines

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

BA is hoping to recruit over 800 pilots in its largest recruitment drive of the decade. The recruitment drive is focused on the YouTube Video.  The campaign will be attracting trainee pilots through the British Airways Future Pilot Programme, pilots from other airlines and those pilots that have served in the armed forces. Click on the below link to watch their marketing recruitment video:

BA Recruitment Video on Youtube

This isn’t the first time we have seen companies use social media and video to help with their recruitment, in the past we have seen recruitment videos from a number of large companies including; Google, Cisco Systems, Emirates, Kings College Hospital, BAE Systems, London Fire Brigade among others.

Brands need to not only market their products/services they have to market themselves. To become the market leader in any sector, companies need not only the best product but also the best employees. Businesses are becoming savvier in ways to market themselves to potential employees, making sure that they are visible in social media channels.

As technology advances, video is not only viewed on television and computers but also on tablets and mobile phones which widens the potential audience for these recruitment videos.

Chapter 16 (Page 258) ‘Beyond Traditional Marketing Communications’ in Marketing Communications: A Brand Narrative Approach discusses the ideas of how marketing communications have evolved and the importance of digital engagement.

How has the UK Riots affected Marketing?

Monday, August 15th, 2011
Has UK Riots Affected Marketing Strategies?

Has UK Riots Affected Marketing Strategies?

As the week of unrest comes to an end in the UK with a large clean-up bill, how are business marketing strategies affected?

Levi’s has decided to postpone its latest advertising campaign which was due to show on TV, in cinemas and on Facebook during August. The campaigns contain scenes which are similar to those seen in the riots, out of respect Levi have postponed the UK ads.

VisitBritain tourism authority have also decided to not go ahead with the video promoting Britain with the tag line ‘You’re Invited’ which were showing on BBC iPlayer overseas.  Although Tourists haven’t been affected by the riots, VisitBritain felt that “they are not appropriate at this time” – which I have to say I agree with.

The speculation is rife over how these riots started, however one thing that isn’t being argued is the fact that social media had a huge role to play in the riots – both for good and bad reasons. Social media channels have seen huge spikes during the riots with Twitter accounting for 1 in every 170 UK Internet Visits (Hitwise).

Blackberry has been under pressure to disable it’s BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) as it was revealed to be the rioters primary means of communications. Is this fair? Why should companies suffer? The majority of people who use this service are normal law abiding citizens, BlackBerry didn’t cause the riots or support the riots in anyway. If BBM didn’t exist the riots would have still happened – the rioters would have just used another form of communication.

UK Riots

UK Riots

Although the rioters used social media networks to stay connected and plan their next moves, social media has also helped bring communities together with #RiotCleanup becoming the top trending subject. Communities rallied together to clean up the mess left by the rioters and looters – this makes you proud to be British – these are the images we should be using! Also, the Met Police have uploaded pictures onto social media sites in order to capture the perpitrators, which has proved to be a successful strategy.

Some businesses have been affected directly from the riots and looting whilst others have had to postpone their marketing campaigns which have cost time and money. However, there are some companies that are trying to use the riots to help promote their brands! A new start-up business ‘Love Da Popcorn’, who featured on last week’s Dragon’s Den episode were caught tweeting, “Guys there’s enough popcorn for everyone you don’t need to go looting. #dragonsden #riot”. Was this a crass comment or was it a lighthearted marketing campaign?

Speaking of the success of Ben & Jerry’s…

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Throwing more money into their marketing budget this year, Unilever strives to achieve a better than expected 7.1% sales increase in the second quarter.  The brands first approach clearly worked for Ben & Jerry’s as we have seen in the past…

Ben & Jerry's Sucess

Ben & Jerry's Sucess

Back in May the brand Ben & Jerry’s launched a Twitter application that promoted World Fair Trade Day in the leftover characters of one’s tweets, on Twitter.  This has reinforced their brand proposition as the fair trade ice-cream.  Like all brands in the Unilever umbrella (Flora, Dove and Lynx), Ben & Jerry’s continues to communicate its strong brand values in all advertising and promotion of new products.  A positive year for all brands mentioned above and it appears that, because of the strategy to grow them through their brand values, they all have significant market share in their industries.  We could certainly learn something from this…!

The ice-cream brand has an impressive website in relation to promoting brand values, with a keen interest in connecting with consumers on a regular basis and sharing ideas for the environment and sponsorship of events that help this cause, the brand dedicated many resources to social events (their own ice-cream events!) and online activity social media, this is the first thing that jumps out at you when visiting the homepage.  Go online now and sponsor a cow, or sign up to the 2012 festival…!

The ASA say goodbye to alcohol drink, Cell…!

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Everybody loves to hear about brands being caught out for not demonstrating corporate social responsibility. Alcohol brand Cell Drink certainly helped TV show Watchdog’s ratings this month!  Marketing Week reported the brand as being ‘slammed’ after breaking multiple advertising rules in a recent Youtube campaign.

The ad featured a free runner holding a non-spill version of the vodka based drink and included clips of a ‘raver’ and a ‘rocker’ spilling their drinks to reinforce the brands proposition! The advert was clearly pushing the relationship between drinking and dangerous behaviour (with the free runner!).  How did the brand come up with such an irresponsible campaign,

 The ASA say goodbye to alcohol drink, Cell...!

The ASA say goodbye to alcohol drink, Cell...!

featuring under 25’s in the ad and therefore targeting this age group…? Needless to say the ad is no longer available!

The ASA Adjudication on Cell Drinks, issued 3rd August, included an extensive report listing all allegations made against them with a particularly amusing complaint that implied the product could enhance physical capabilities.  Is Youtube now being used as a way for brands to promote new products without the advertising being approved by the authorities?

Corporate Social Responsibility should surely be second nature to all marketers working in industry.  Marketing Communications: A Brand Narrative Approach contains an interesting case study featuring Ben & Jerry’s ice cream on page 271, I would suggest the Cell Drink CEO should take a look at it !!

Radio, what does this mean for marketers…?

Monday, August 8th, 2011

This year’s radio stats show the biggest increase in the number of people listening to radio in 7 years…Marketing Week report that the percentage of population who are tuning in to their local, or national radio stations has grown significantly and the last 3 months show an increase of 91.7%! Is this due to the increase in channels that listeners can tune in to?

Radio listeners are going up!

Radio listeners are going up!


This may well be the case as listeners are not only tuning in more frequently, but also for a longer length of time which indicates they are listening during the day whilst at work. According to Andrew Harrison, chief executive of RadioCentre, the population are utilizing the increasing number of stations and combination of listening formats available to them.  The recent launch of Radioplayer has meant that many people can plug in at their work station and away they go with their colleagues none the wiser!  Are there other channels being used here…?

Recent reports show that radio listening via mobile phones has also increased in the last year, by 16.1%.  Clearly radioplayer and mobile application has had a massive impact on radio’s market share in the last year and this is reflected in the stats we have seen.  Are there other factors that have come in to play? Perhaps it could be content, maybe the radio is more in tune with what their audience wants, the increase in radio stations, listeners therefore shifting towards more localized stations, or even the caliber of radio presenters with this area becoming more celebrity driven thanks to the likes of ‘Johnny and Lisa’ as peak time presenters on Capital fm’s breakfast show.