Archive for March, 2012

Government initiative to cut 5 billion calories from nation’s diet – Who’s involved…?

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Government Responsibility Deal - Marketing CommunicationsMajor food brands across the UK are joining forces to fight against obesity by reducing the calorie content in their products.  Among the leading brands are food retailers Asda, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and Tesco. Also part of the scheme are  Coca-Cola Great Britain, Mars, Nestle, and PepsiCo who have made pledges to reduce calories as part of the industry’s Responsibility Deal with the government.  Will this benefit the brands in the long run?

According to a report from the Guardian this week, Asda has pledged develop a new reduced-calorie brand that will contain at least 30% fewer calories than it’s Chosen By You brand.  This is a good opportunity to ramp up on Asda’s corporate social responsibility and even better for Asda, the launch of this new brand will entice new customers as well as redirecting current customers.

Coca-Cola have pledged to cut the calories in some of their soft drinks at least 30% by 2014 while Mars will cap the number of calories in its chocolate portions to 250 calories by the end of 2013. Do the timescales on these pledges seem somewhat optimistic…?

Government Responsibility Deal - Marketing CommunicationsAccording to the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, it is an ambitious challenge for the nation as a whole but the Responsibility Deal has made a positive start.  Do we think that retailers who have not signed up will receive bad press? As suspected, reports this week berate the companies who have not secured the deal including McDonald’s and KFC who have perhaps realized that making false promises is not a good idea and that they should just stick to what they know!

In the end it is a question of businesses jumping on the calorie reduction band wagon – But how many will do so?


Cadbury’s social impact on the Olympics 2012…

Friday, March 23rd, 2012
Spots V Strips - Cadburys - Marketing Communications

Spots V Strips - Cadburys

In a recent blog regarding chocolate brand Cadbury’s we discussed the increase in marketing activity surrounding the Olympics 2012.  The ‘Eye of the Tiger’ music video, launched this year, was the final part of the series of adverts in the Keep Singing, Keep Team GB Pumped campaign and was designed to motivate athletes on the Team GB.   This successful campaign demonstrated how important it is for brands to support the Olympic events this year.

It is evident that Cadbury’s motivation through their campaigns is to inspire people across the UK and Ireland to take part in sports.   The brand claims that it’s Spots v Stripes Olympic activity has been a success, not by measuring the number of chocolate bars it has sold, but how it has inspired people across the UK and Ireland to take part in sports.

A combination of different marketing campaigns – the Olympic postcard campaign – and sports events – Spots v Stripes games – over the last two years has positioned the brand as a key player in the promotion of the Olympics 2012.  How is the brand measuring its return on investment…?

Marketing Week reported that more than three quarters of a sample of 1,115 participants and spectators said they were more likely to get involved in community activities … Peter Taylor, professor of sport economics who took part in the assessment, claims that for every £1 invested in the campaign, the return on social investment, or benefit to the community is £1.90.

Cadbury’s agenda is about creating awareness and bringing communities together rather than increasing sales.  I am sure the brand will see a significant increase in sales off the back of this comprehensive campaign leading up to the Olympics.


Scary business for new feature film…

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Paranormal Activity 3 Ads Banned - Marketing Communications

Paranormal Activity 3 Ads Banned

The new feature film Paranormal Activity 3, rated ‘R’ for some violence, language, brief sexuality and drug use, has been banned from broadcast before 9pm by the ASA after receiving complaints that parents and the children watching were caused distress.  According to Marketing Week the campaign included a series of three TV ads for the third installment of this blockbuster; each 10-second ad featured quick changing scenes shot in the style of video and surveillance camera footage from the film.  Given the explicit scenes of violence and abuse you would have thought that Clearcast would have been reluctant to clear the program for the 7.30pm showing as opposed to 9pm, apparently not! Who are Clearcast anyway…?


In compliance with the BCAP TV Advertising Standards Code, and according to the company’s website, Clearcast are owned by the UK’s largest TV Broadcasters and it is their mission to ‘…make it easier to get ads on air…’ I think the mission says it all really!  This poses the question as to whether companies like Clearcast should be held accountable.

Hilariously Paramount Pictures said that the short duration of the spots “alleviated” the potential for harm or offence because they did not maintain a level of sustained threat and tension to leave a lasting impression on the average consumer. – So basically as long as the feature clip is short then viewers cannot be affected in a negative way.

Thank you to the Advertising Standards Authority, who said although the ads were brief, the general tone was of fear and the way the spots were shot.  It makes you wonder what would happen if governing bodies such as the ASA did not exist…?


VisitEngland campaign is part of Britain’s plan to boost tourism…

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

According to a report from Marketing Week the UK are planning to target domestic tourism with saturation marketing.  Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said that “there will be no escape” from the VisitEngland campaign and the VisitBritain “Great Britain” activity in overseas markets, the UK will benefit from being “the best country to visit”.  Will this be enough to encourage UK residents to holiday at home this year…?

VisitEngland 2012 - Rupert Grint - Marketing Communications
VisitEngland 2012 – Rupert Grint

Historically there appears to have been an underinvestment in domestic tourism marketing and the UK faces the challenge with marketing to encourage less travel abroad and educate the public to the benefits in ‘staycating’ by pushing huge events including the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.  How is the government tackling this challenge in practice…?

VisitEngland - Stephen Fry - Marketing Communications

VisitEngland - Stephen Fry

VisitEngland 2012 holidays at home £5m campaign features celebrities such as Stephen Fry, Michelle Dockery and Rupert Grint (Harry Potter star) who encourage people to do an array of activities in England, Scotland and Ireland.  Amongst the stars is Julie Walters who attends a garden party in the Cotswolds! What else will aid the marketing campaigns launched in the run up to the Olympics…?

VisitEngland - Julie Walters - Marketing Communications

VisitEngland - Julie Walters

In recognition of the importance of 2012, it has been reported that commercial partners are offering additional discounts on accommodation, attractions, and other tourism related goods and services. Operators involved include Thomas Cook, leisure group Merlin Entertainment, Travelodge, and more.

VisitEngland - Michelle Dockery - Marketing Communications

VisitEngland - Michelle Dockery

To ensure that this campaign is a success, the investment of £25m on a three-year strategy and the six-week TV activity is to be continuously monitored with a goal to establishing what campaigns are working and what the focus should be going forward…



Greggs secret ingredient to building a stronger brand…

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

Greggs Bakery Marketing Strategy - Marketing CommunicationsGreggs the baker is a fantastic example of how effective communication between businesses and consumers can be achieved through the use of social media sites such as Facebook, and this has been the height of discussion in marketing news this week.  According to Marketing Week the brands CEO, Ken McMeikan started at Greggs in 2008 and wrote to the 20,000 customers that the business had on file to ask what they thought of the brand.  The response was surprisingly high with 11,000 responses in total! So what has changed for Greggs beyond the famous sausage roll retailer in the last four years…?

McMeikan now prefers to receive feedback via Facebook, checking the Greggs page four to six times a day.  The report shows how feedback from consumers has gained results.   Suggestions for changes have been addressed, and in many situations implemented, and a new range of food has been developed in-house, using Greggs’ own bakeries.

The new range reflects the feedback and suggestions left through Facebook which is great PR for Greggs.  This means consumers can see that the brand is taking their opinions seriously and are in turn prepared to trial new products and methods for delivering the products, whether this is to sit down in store or tapping into the coffee market.   Does their new marketing activity stop at Facebook though…?

Introducing the new Greggs App…!  This free phone device will allow customers to access product menus, nutritional information, and includes a flashy GPS shop finder that will assist customers in finding their nearest Greggs.  This is yet another move forward that promotes the brand as one that is evolving to meet the ever changing demands of the consumer; this new app will certainly put them on the coffee shop map along with major chains such as Starbucks and Costa.

For a full report on Greggs comprehensive marketing strategy click here

Customers can also view meal deals, discounts and useful information.