Archive for the ‘Brand Blog’ Category

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.


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.

2012 Olympics, Only one year to go…!

Friday, August 5th, 2011

We have heard so much recently on the Olympic games, one of many TV programs on this was Olympics 2012: One Year To Go, did you see it? If not then go to bbc iplayer . There will be plenty more TV programs coming up! Marketing Week have listed the extent of campaigns that are being launched by sponsors in the build up and this can only increase as we get closer…! In a push to drive their brands as much as they can, companies such as Thomas Cook are jumping on the band wagon to offer great deals on hotels, mind you they could be too late in terms of visitors booking accommodation, surely they booked this during the last Olympics!

BP are ironically running a campaign advertising the fact that they have put more resources into offsetting carbon emissions using athlete Jessica Ennis in this campaign…please go and take a look, a petroleum company promoting sustainability is hilarious…!

2012 Olympics - One Year To GO!

2012 Olympics - One Year To GO!


We have recently seen many campaigns from McDonald’s, Cadbury’s and Samsung, who by the way are continuing to feature David Beckham as ambassador for the Olympic Torchbearers campaign for the opening ceremony.  It is all very exciting and the buzz created by these brands will continue no doubt for the next year.  There are also well known gatecrashers to the sponsors party pushing for gold in light of the Olympics, Sainsbury’s is among this extensive list, they are in fact Paralympics partners but have no official involvement in the Olympic Games…- the brand is launching a heavyweight advertising campaign in line with the Olympic Games campaign to push the Paralympics.  At least Sainsbury’s have some connection with the Olympics in general, I suspect we will see more irrelevant campaigns from brands attempting to grab some of the Olympic market share.


Brand awareness Verses cost effectiveness for Nestlé …

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

In a recent report from New Media Age the online marketing publication, Nestlé’s online and TV advertising campaign was used as an example to work out how effective in creating brand awareness the online advertising campaign was compared to TV advertising conducted within a certain period.  The results showed ad awareness for the TV channel came in at 11.8% and online reported a 5.8% lift (combined 18.7% increase), however online was more cost effective in terms of % increase and creating awareness for the Maggi brand.

Online advertising enabled Nestle to conduct a string of roll video display ads which were then complemented by more traditional forms of online advertising such as banner ads which were displayed across multiple websites.  This demonstrates the eclectic selection of campaigns that brands can run at one time using the online advertising channel…Does good old TV complement the online activities, or vice versa…?

Brand Awareness - Nestle

Brand Awareness - Nestle

The campaign was a success in its original launch and this is reflected on their website where all ads both current and previous, are displayed.   The list features all new and previous campaigns that have targeted women aged between 25-45 with children.  It is important to consider Nestlé’s reach in that not only are they targeting a wide scope of potential consumers but they are also targeting an international audience, literally…Nestle India loves the soups…!

Nestlé demonstrate the importance of integrated marketing campaigns to achieve optimal awareness, globally.  The campaign has been so successful that it is used as a case study across many papers, clearly a good example of integrated marketing communications.

Go forth with Levi…

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Following the launch of their latest ‘Waterless jeans’ earlier this year, the Levi brand has just launched a marketing campaign targeted at the global market in an attempt to derive positive change with regards to global sustainability. Marketing Week reports on the brands initiative to emphasise “youth optimism and energy”, which is what Levi believe to be what the brands stands for.

The digital engagement programme, set to launch in August, is to be the first activity of a comprehensive marketing campaign to encourage existing and potential consumers to get involved in global sustainability initiatives. It appears that sustainability really is at the heart of the brand…at least the first thing that jumps out at you on their website! Sustainability is right at the top there alongside ‘About’, ‘Brand’, ‘Investors’ and all the other important stuff…Levi have really put their heart and soul into this initiative and coupled with an extensive list including; TV, cinema, print, digital and outdoor marketing activity in 24 countries across the globe.

The brand is positioning itself to appeal to a growing population who are becoming more and more aware of their surroundings and the idea of sustaining that for future generations to come. Marketing Communications: A Brand Narrative Approach presents an interesting success story featuring Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, the story of the brand unveils their link to fair-trade and ‘climate-neutral’ production which has had a massive impact on their brand perception and values to the market (see page 271 for full story). Let’s hope Levi feature in the next edition as a success story when communicating strong corporate social responsibility!

‘Build A Rocket Boys’

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Build a rocket boys - Marketing CommsTo support their latest album, Elbow the UK indie band has formed a partnership with Stockport ale brewery Robinsons to launch the release of their new album, ‘Build a rocket boys’.   The boys are creating their own branded beer, surprisingly named after their new album and are cleverly linking the qualities of real British ale to their music.

The band announced recently on their Facebook page that the brew will be launched at this year’s Manchester Food & Drink Festival in October and will be available in selected pubs across the 400-strong Robinsons pub estate throughout September and October.  This is a reflection of how real ale is becoming increasingly popular amongst young people and with a focus on targeting this demographic the band are keen to get this into universities in time for fresher’s week…what good timing!  Will this brew, that will only be available in selected pubs and retail outlets over the North West, really take off with the student market…?

The product is described as a “golden ale with a rich rounded body, smooth bitterness, subtle tang of malt and fruity aroma”, apparently this is a perfect match to what their new album is all about! The brand and the band will need to ensure that this connection is communicated when consumers are purchasing this brew.  The launch of this limited edition brew is supported by point of sales and strong online promotion so who knows, maybe the beer will really take off too!

Topshop’s advertising is looking a bit thin…!

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

The Topshop brand has pulled ‘Codie’, their wafer thin model, from its online advertising campaign as concerns have been raised that this may encourage eating disorders to the targetaudience of their campaign.  What messages are they giving out here? Is this a reasonable claim, or are consumers becoming too sensitive as to what the fashion industry consider to be attractive and missing the point that, in fact, models (in general) are typically built tall and slim…?

Topshop's Skinny Advertising

Topshop's Skinny Advertising

Back in April the Miu Miu brand received allegations that they had used a ‘too skinny’ model in their advertising campaign.  The advertising Standards Authority recently cleared the brand from any such allegations as they reached the conclusion that a combination of lighting and make-up effects made the model look slim, however not significantly underweight and therefore fashion label Miu Miu was deemed to be not irresponsible in their advert! This poses the question as to what messages are acceptable in today’s market, given the rise in eating disorders as a result of heavier media exposure. Where do brands in this industry draw the line…Topshop?

According to Marketing Communications: A Brand Narrative Approach the importance of the ASA’s involvement in brand advertising is fundamental to establishing what campaigns are perceived as ethical, and what is unethical (please refer to page 486 for an interesting case study on insurance company,  It is reassuring to hear that the ASA are considering all facts and measuring what is acceptable in today’s society without completely discarding the importance of an industry’s impact on people’s lives…maybe we will see a shift in Topshop’s advertising to the using of hangers instead of real people in their adverts!