Archive for September, 2011

Frocktober is the new October…!

Friday, September 30th, 2011

Frocktober - Cancer Research - Breast Cancer AwarenessIntroducing …‘FROCKTOBER’…! -If you haven’t already heard about it then get on board now! Cancer Research are launching the campaign in time for October, new name: Frocktober, as a way of getting the public to host glamorous events to get dressed up for.  Participants in these events are then encouraged to donate just £5.  This is a development from the ‘Movember’ fundraising campaign which focuses on raising money for men’s health and prostate cancer, by getting men to grow moustaches.

Cancer Research UK are looking to branch out to the female population with yet another revolutionary fundraising idea that not only raises money, but gets women feeling good about themselves.  According to Marketing Week, the campaign will involve the charity sending “handbag” packs to participants hosting the events which will include advice about what kind of event to host and posters to help promote the events etc…

With a view to increasing awareness, Cancer Research UK will continue to promote events through social media sites such as Facebook. The campaign homepage has already generated $8,145.00 worth of funds, and with the integration of Facebook this will dramatically increase as we approach October.

Community driven fundraising is becoming increasingly apparent with charities.  We discussed the partnership between M&S and Oxfam last month.  Oxfam’s more recent strategy to steer away from traditional advertising campaigns, include partnerships with university RAG (Raise and Give) groups.  The objective here is to get students to travel around four European cities whilst completing different challenges in order to raise money.

To find out more and order your pack today, please visit

“To fly. To Serve”.”To fly. To Save”…

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Easyjet's Marketing Strategy response to BAIn response to the recent British Airways campaign, Easyjet are launching a new online and print campaign with strapline, “To fly. To Save“.  The strategy is to reinforce the brands message as Europe’s most cost effective travel company. The message portrays all that Easyjet believe in, low cost and good quality service.  It is clear in the copy lines that Easyjet are directly attacking BA’s campaign by pointing out particular promotion tactics that BA use, advertising slogans on the BA wings is one example, and then ridiculing this in an attempt to drive customers towards the Easyjet brand.

The BA Facebook campaign includes a 90-second film that further promotes the brands values and its mission “to serve” in relation to the brands aviation heritage. All of this is to attempt to recover damage and boost pride in the brand for both employees of BA and consumers after a debilitating period of strikes over the last few years.  It appears that a real effort has been made on the part of BA towards achieving employee loyalty and commitment, once again.  This has been implemented through a combination of internal communications and new incentive plans to ensure that staff are committed and that this feeds through to customers.

Easyjet, as a result of this pressure from the competition, are increasing dividend payments to shareholders.  Founder, Sir Stelios Hajo-Ioannou, is determined to gain market share for business travelers by pursuing what is clearly an aggressive marketing strategy.  Easyjet appear to be more direct in their approach to internal and external communications, and neither brand are wrong here, it will just be interesting to see who comes out on top!

Braun and their first brand ambassador…!

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Braun have recently recruited Real Madrid and former Chelsea manager José Mourinho as the first celebrity ambassador of their male grooming products.  Mourinho has a reputation for being charismatic, stylish and passionate, all of which Braun claims are synonymous with its brand’s heritage.  This is a move forward for the brand who have not previously promoted male products in association with celebrities.  Is Mourinho the right choice for the brand…?

Jose Mourinho reported tJose Mourinho and Braunhat the partnership works perfectly as he claims that he will only do partnerships with brands that he feels some connection with. As a global ambassador Mourinho will certainly promote this brand on a global scale.  Braun received the red hot design award in 2009 which at the time, was one of the most prestigious awards for product design.  However, they have not received any such recognition since.

Rival brand Philips recently received a similar award in Australia.  Philips have also been pursuing the celebrity ambassador route, in June 2011 they recruited rugby star, Dan Carter who, as with Mourinho, is a well respected sports icon.  We are seeing here that the link between male grooming products and the market, is sports.  Icons in the sports industry are an obvious option for companies who seek reputable, or low risk, should we say, partnerships.

Braun’s previous partnerships with female celebrities Daisy Lowe and before Ms. Low, Model Heidi Klum, for the women’s range are a reflection on how effective this form of marketing is in this competitive market.  The partnership with Mourinho is one that clearly benefits both parties involved and is expected to give Braun the exposure they need on a global scale.

Can LA Fitness float above the rising water…?

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

LA Fitness - Marketing CommunicationsLA Fitness are less concerned with attracting new consumers and more concerned with retention in a market where consumers switch gyms like they do milk! They will focus on their social marketing activity as a key strategy for retaining consumers by offering them a combination of online gaming activities and additional health related information on the website.  Is it all about branding for these well established health and fitness clubs…?

Brands such as Fitness First and Virgin Active have global presence with health and fitness centres in many countries around the world and have relied on social media in their integrated marketing campaigns.  These are the ‘top dogs’ in the industry, along with high end UK brands such as David Lloyd who also integrate Social Media into their promotional campaigns.  Should LA Fitness accept their position in the market and focus on smaller, low cost, rivals in the UK…?

The bulk of the LA Fitness marketing campaign will involve giving customers more information on general health and fitness online and will also reinforce the brand as ‘fun’ with their social media activities.  Moving away from price promotion, and towards offering existing customers more for their money will hopefully encourage loyalty to the brand.  Will this be enough to keep customers who are being offered memberships at just £15 a month from low cost brands such as Fitness4Less and easyGym…?

In an increasingly saturated market let’s hope LA Fitness stand the test of time!

Is price promotion taking over and brand loyalty disappearing…?

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
Price Cuts & Brand Loyalty

Price Cuts & Brand Loyalty

There is real concern regarding the importance of brands in today’s somewhat, sluggish market.  Marketing Week reported last week that, despite the anticipated decline in brand equity and value from well known brands, price promotion will continue to be a key strategy for retailers and brands alike.  Is this a true reflection of the retail market…?

The statistics show that at least 60% of goods are now sold based on price promotion.  The retailers are enticing consumers towards products that are on promotion which is clearly working in the short term.  How far will the discounts have to go before brands go under as a result…? This will certainly have catastrophic implications on smaller brands; the retailers own brands may be to blame here…!

Luckily long standing brands such as Energizer and Wilkinson Sword are reducing this form of marketing activity as they believe this will have an effect on their long term brand strategy and in order to secure their place in the market in the long term they are prepared to sacrifice the short term share.   What are brands like Energizer doing to promote brand loyalty…?

Companies are forming partnerships with charities more and more, we have seen M&S’s current Oxfam partnership in a recent blog, and this has been a proven success for both parties involved.  Energizer arefollowing suit, with a partnership with Help for Heroes, the brand are encouraging consumers to donate to the charity.  Unilever and Heinz are also on board with cutting back on price promotions in order to focus on their long term strategy.   Will these companies stand the test of time and prove that the value added in purchasing their products is worth paying more for…?

Do men care about beauty as much as women…?

Monday, September 19th, 2011
Bull Dog - Male Grooming on Increase

Bull Dog - Male Grooming on Increase

Are reality TV programs such as The Only Way Is Essex and Made in Chelsea a reflection of men in the real world?  The TV shows have highlighted the increase in men’s demand for fake tans and straightened hair which may therefore open up more opportunities for companies to expand in male grooming products.

According to an exclusive report from Marketing Week the men’s grooming market is growing fast with men’s beauty regimes becoming the norm!  Beauty brands are therefore increasing levels in spending in this area in order to keep up!   But is it working for well established brands such as Adidas, Lynx and Hugo Boss…?

Bulldog is a new brand in the industry that demonstrates the importance of male grooming, however they have been very clever in their approach as they brand themselves as ‘a man’s best friend’, ok, a bit cheesy, but still, this has actually worked!  According to managing director Simon Duffy, the brand is not just for men who attend gay pride and who live in Brighton.  The products are targeted at the male population in general and have been far more successful than female beauty products such as Max Factor and Maybelline.

Bulldog has grabbed the bull by the horns so to speak, and has pushed the products to market at the right time.  We look forward to seeing more from well established brands such as Old Spice (check out last week’s blog for more details…).  Maybe the humorous approach from the more conventional brands will bring good results!

Bull Dog - The Natural Grooming Collection

Bull Dog - The Natural Grooming Collection

Old Spice adding a bit of old humour into their marketing campaigns…!

Friday, September 16th, 2011

The latest statistics on Old Spice’s new marketing campaign show that it was the most viewed campaign in the first 24 hours beating even the ratings of Obama’s presidential victory speech! The sales on bodywash are up 27% since the launch of the campaign, and 107% in total for the month… We all know what to get our dads for Christmas! See below the famously funny advert –

Old Spice Advert

Old Spice Advert Wins Awards

Old Spice Advert Wins Awards

Winning numerous awards at this year’s Pitch Blades event, ‘the brand achieved victory’, to quote the Marketing Week’s recent report on the Old Spice’s The Man Your Man Could Smell Like campaign by Wieden + Kennedy.  The awards were hosted by well known comedian Keith Lemon which, let’s face, is the icing on the cake really! The exposure that the brand has received with recent awards is a real boost for revenue and a well deserved award for a men’s aftershave that has been in existence since 1934, originally founded by William Lightfoot Schultz.  Interestingly the brand was first launched in 1937 as a women’s brand…this may only be available now on vintage websites and in people’s lofts as it appears to be discontinued!

Marketing Communications: A Brand Narrative Approach demonstrates the significance in keeping well established brands alive with an interesting case study on long standing brand Cadbury’s and the famously funny Gorilla advert (see page 17 for the full story).  It appears there is a pattern to promoting long standing brands with the use of humour…, maybe this is because they are so few and a far between these days!

Novelist Fires Publisher Over Sexism

Thursday, September 15th, 2011
Novelist Fires Publisher Over Sexism

Novelist Fires Publisher Over Sexism

Novelist Polly Courtney rather dramatically fired her Harper Collins publisher last night AT the launch of her new book ‘It’s a man’s world – but it takes a woman to run it.’ The thirty-two-year-old author had previously worked in the city in banking but quit, reportedly saying she, ‘couldn’t stand the sexism.’

Now it seems, sexism has entered the publishing world and Ms. Courtney won’t stand for it. The author said her new novel, ‘Had been given a racy jacket and inappropriate title against her wishes.’ Despite the fact that Harper Collins have helped her launch three previous novels onto the market succeffully she still attacked the publisher for ‘patronising women’ and ‘fluffy marketing campaigns.’ Even though it is easy to understand the publishers argument, perhaps Polly Courtney has a point.

Her strong words bring up an interesting debate as to whether sexim in marketing works. Does it boost sales if you promote products in a sexist but which is ethically unsound way? As you can see from the two below ads, both Kenwood and D&G  have done well for themselves and when you consider that the Dolce & Gabbana ad is not exactly old, you have to at least question whether a sexist marketing strategy works. However, something important to consider more than what sells products, is the reputation of a company. After all, a few thousand products sold over a short advertising campaign compared to millions of products sold by a company with an enduring reputation is vast.

Modern Dolce & Gabbana Sexist Advert

Modern Dolce & Gabbana Sexist Advert

Marketing and Communications: A Brand Narrative Approach compares a variety of marketing strategies in case studies and we have already seen in previous blogs the damage that reputation can do to sale and in particular with brand ambassadors such as Tiger Woods.

So, Ms Courtney may have had a point in firing her Harper Collins publisher, but whether or not she had to do it right on launch night is another matter which I think we’ll leave undiscussed…

Sexist Kenwood Advert
Sexist Kenwood Advert

Is the future of TV social…?

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011
Big Brother & Social Media

Big Brother & Social Media

Facebook’s MD, Joanna Shields, spoke at the IBC conference in Amsterdam last week on how social networking can complement TV broadcasting.  The vision of maintaining strong partnerships with broadcasters is a key strategy for the future of social TV to drive revenue for both parties involved by reaching a wider audience.  Are broadcasters concerned about the integration of social sites into the broadcasting experience…?

According to Joanna the emphasis is on driving traffic to TV broadcasts with activities such as the campaign enabling German viewers of channel 5’s reality TV show, ‘Big Brother’, to vote whether or not to keep the celebrities in the house.  This has given channel 5 more exposure, attracting a more diverse range of viewers to the show.  In light of the reality programs recent cut from ‘Big Brother’ they need all the help they can get!

Channel 5 have the opportunity here to promote the enhanced viewing experience on the show itself and in turn give the audience more options in terms of how they can vote.  Speaking of voting, Marketing Communications: A Brand Narrative Approach presents an interesting concept on media planning with a case study on Barack Obama and the use of social media in relation to communicating to the world (see page 384 for this must read…!).

What about branching out into new markets…? Facebook are planning to launch the campaign in the UK which will no doubt achieve success with the UK audience and bring in more revenue with their credit payment system.  Will this be enough to increase market share in the UK against competitors such as Google+…? Whatever the case, we look forward to seeing episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ on Facebook this autumn!

Sony Ericsson needs to step up it’s game…!

Monday, September 12th, 2011
Sony Ericsson Christmas Brand Ambassadors

Sony Ericsson Christmas Brand Ambassadors

In order to regain market, mobile brand, Sony Ericsson, are planning to focus on product differentiation in their marketing campaigns approaching the autumn and the lead up to Christmas.  Marketing Week reported on the brand’s failure to keep up with the market and compete with rival brands such as Apple.  Why has the brand fallen behind on new product development…?

The catastrophic events of the Japanese tsunami also affected the Sony Ericsson brand. It destroyed large amounts of stock and affected the launch of the new Xperia Play gaming phone. There were huge delays in the Xperia Play gaming phone getting to the market and as a result it has meant that sales have remained unfulfilled and, in turn, the company has lost millions.  The question is, what is the company going to do to build up brand presence in the market…?

Xperia Play Sony Ericsson Phone

Xperia Play Sony Ericsson Phone

The brand has been heavily criticized this year for their supposed flagship gaming devices. They are now proposing to focus the marketing around the Xperia range of handsets, with a mix of sampling,

TV, outdoor, retail and digital advertising campaigns.  Excitingly this will feature celebrity ambassadors, who they will be however, remains to been seen! The series of campaigns leading up to Christmas are an opportunity for the mobile brand to increase their market share, and this relies heavily on how they pitch the collection and which brand ambassadors they use…perhaps someone better than Jonas Berg, sorry who…?!