Topshop’s advertising is looking a bit thin…!

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!

Saucy Facebook campaign…!

July 19th, 2011
Heinz on Facebook

Heinz on Facebook

Following the success of Heinz’s recent Facebook  campaign, the brand plan to do more through ecommerce campaigns.   The most recent being the Facebook-led campaign to promote summer sauces. The campaign included a new Facebook app that offers the product as a cooking ingredient as opposed to a condiment.  Marketing Week’s report communicated how the brand plan to increase digital spend by 20% in order to ramp up its social media strategy .  This is in addition to the wider £5m offline marketing campaigns, including TV and radio that will continue to run until the end of August 2011.  Heinz are not putting all their eggs into one basket, although there are signs of increases in sales, the nature of the social networking channel means that it is not easy to track sales and therefore the brand are treating the Facebook campaign as part of their wider strategy.

The results are not clear as to how successful the Facebook campaigns, starting in October, were.  However brand manager, Lucy Clark emphasizes the importance of generating awareness of the limited edition product and increasing brand perception through social media routes.  As part of the marketing mix, social media is being used to compliment the launch of advertising campaigns for all new products and this is proving to be successful.  It will be interesting to see how much Heinz commit to directing consumers online to actually purchase the products through channels like the Facebook shop…? Will this mean they dedicate more resources to this sales channel or will this just be for limited edition products? – Let’s face it, this may be the first ever limited edition product for Heinz, but something tells us this won’t be the last – balsamic vinegar edition, whatever next…chutney?!

Blogger activity is also in the running for the brands marketing strategy this summer – According to a number of freelance digital marketing agencies there will be dedicated bloggers, blogging about new products and their experiences with these new products, as part of the digital marketing focus.  We could have another Walkers campaign on our hands where people enter in to suggested limited edition versions of the product, this would be a great idea for the brand!

Bye bye Jamie…

July 18th, 2011
Sainsbury's says goodbye to Jamie Oliver

Sainsbury's says goodbye to Jamie Oliver

The 11 year relationship between Jamie Oliver and the Sainsbury’s brand has come to an end.  Fronting over 100 advertising campaigns Jamie has helped boost performance for Sainsbury’s and has been the key driving force behind the marketing strategy for many years now.  But what will happen next…will Jamie’s wife Jules take over as the Sainsbury’s brand ambassador…?!

Essentially two brands are ending what has been a really successful partnership and this departure is said to be amicable.  According to a report from the metro, Sainsbury’s will now look to exploit the ambassador in the build-up to Christmas, for the very last time we might add! This campaign is expected to be extremely successful in the grand departure of Jamie as the face of Sainsbury’s…are we crying yet?

The Jamie brand has become more successful through a combination of contracts with different TV shows, including his own show of course, as well as forming important partnerships with brands such as Sainsbury’s, promoting their free range product lines as fundamental to food production in the retail industry.  Jamie’s website is reflective of this with a combination of shops, books, apps, TV programs, restaurants, food and wine etc…, the list is endless! With a well established  brand, Jamie is looking to develop it further with more of a shift to the charitable organization, the ‘Jamie Oliver Foundation’ (1 of 11 J.O. brands!).  Is it safe to say that Sainsbury’s has given Jamie a voice with which to communicate to the public and have an impact on the changing face of food production…?


Easyjet Holidays…Why Shell Out More?

July 14th, 2011

Low budget airline Easyjet, have recently launched, what Travel Weekly news bulletin describe as a heavy hitting price comparison newspaperEasyjet - Why Pay More? Marketing Communications advertising campaign in a bid to go up against big wigs such as Thomas Cook and Tui Travel.  By listing five different holiday options and comparing the prices to other brands, Easyjet are communicating to existing and potential customers that price is the main consideration for choosing their holiday this summer.   Is this the right message given recent cut backs on holiday spending…Why Shell Out More?

According to travel news, the newspaper campaign is set to run for a number of weeks with different deals in the weekend newspapers.  It is all about the timing of this campaign and with what Easyjet claim to be, a flexible holidays offering, this campaign will certainly give companies such as ‘Choice Holidays’ a run for their money!

Advertising in weekly newspapers is clearly key to marketing campaigns for holiday brands with the likes of Thompson and Choice holidays running similar ‘copycat’ campaigns. This indicates the importance of advertising in the industry above all else. It will be interesting to see which campaign will be the most successful as we hit peak holiday season for many package holiday customers!

A very useful model can be sourced from Marketing Communications: A Brand Narrative Approach that demonstrates the process of running campaigns and the considerations at each stage in order to ensure that the right messages are communicated through the relevant channels.  The similarities in the marketing approach for the holiday industry indicate that the brands know what works for their market!

Social Networking Is Good For The Heart!

July 13th, 2011

British Heart Foundation Social NetworkingThe possibilities for charities sharing information and engaging supporters through social media are endless! According to a recent report from Marketing Week The British Heart Foundation (BHF) hopes to utilize the free-to-use online community to help people affected by heart disease share experiences, advice and ideas.  This is fantastic news for obvious reasons but also for the social media rep…finally we see that this form of media can really change the face of how charities communicate with their supporters for the better, and also massively increase brand exposure, as that what it is all about.

Roberto Kusabbi, communities and social media executive at the BHF, expresses how the making of this new community has been going over the last two years and how it is now ready to be developed and will certainly go from strength to strength.  In the past the charity has used social networking sites, for example following the London to Brighton bike ride last year, which had proven success  in capturing a real buzz around the event and the volume of supporters who shared their experiences.  It is clear that the BHF has not created this community overnight but has invested time and resources over a long period to create a platform that can be developed.  This is a good example of how brands should consider investment into social media when looking at their marketing budget.

Great news for the market now in that Joe public can use their existing social platforms e.g Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to get the latest advice and share experiences without concerning themselves with where this information is coming from and how it is being used.  The social media era will hopefully promote more awareness with charities like the British Heart Foundation and encourage people to get more involved in not only raising money and taking part in events, but sharing experiences, whether they be good or bad and generally making people more aware.  It will be interesting to see if the hard core marathons and sports events of a similar intensity will receive more applicants as a result!

The low budget aviation industry, it’s Dog Eat Dog out there…!

July 11th, 2011

No Comparison - Thomson

No Comparison - Thomson

‘There’s no comparison campaign’ hits back at Easyjet who launched their price comparison press adverts recently…Jeremy Ellis, head of marketing at TUI UK & Ireland, claims that the Thomson campaign is a direct reflection of the brands business strategy to invest in distinctive product that the rest of the market is unable to copy.  They stress that no one else can copy their unique selling packages for the same price and quality. The idea of comparing prices originated from Easyjet’s messaging strategy for their campaigns while Thomson communicates how tailored the packages are that they offer to individual customers, meeting all their needs.   Thompson’s strategy here is to build brand equity by reaching out to existing customers and reminding them of their brand values.

After a tough year industry wide the fear of losing market share is apparent in not only TUI UK but also its sister company, First Choice. They  hit back with a more aggressive campaign ‘Big frills, low price’ that targets Easyjet Holidays directly.  When comparing the brand to Easyjet the following weaknesses are listed in the campaign…’boarding-time scrum’ & ‘holidays with run-of-the-mill hotels’.

Competition has become fiercer as a result of the market cutting spend on holidays. This Dog Eat Dog way of marketing is becoming apparent across many brands and although they all claim to be original, they are in fact all looking to expand into areas that other brands are associated with…, like all inclusive package holidays – THEY ARE BACK IN DEMAND, BUT WE WANT THEM CHEAPER!

Google+ takes on Facebook…!

July 8th, 2011

Google have not only launched a chat service that puts them in competition with Facebook but they are also offering more than any other  social networking site…! Speaking at Marketing Week live in London this week, Matt Brittin, Google’s managing director, was pleased to announce the Google video chat function and in doing so emphasized the fact that this is unique to Google.  –The introduction of new possibilities will entice customers and encourage them to move over to Google…will this be enough though…?

Google + takes on Facebook...!

Google + takes on Facebook...!

Marketing Communications: A Brand Narrative Approach discusses the importance of brands offering something different in order to entice consumers to shift from others brands, this is referred to as ‘other brand switchers’ (OBSs) (please go to page 83, chapter 4 for a discussion on the Tesco brand).

Brittin in his speech expresses that they have fixed problems that have come out of previous attempts to tap into the social media market by allowing users to integrate external email addresses, so users do not have to be on Google contacts.  However, according to a critics report back in 2010, Google Wave had many problems that it would need to overcome in order to compete against the bigwigs like Facebook and Twitter…and clearly still does! The burning question is that have Google dealt with enough of the problems of the existing platform to create a new application allowing users to move over to the Google+ side and would this mean a complete detachment from Facebook and Twitter  for many users…probably not!

‘Soft drink meets squirty cream’…

July 6th, 2011

Turbo Tango

Turbo Tango

Does this sound appealing to anyone or do people automatically think coca cola floats, which to be fair some consumers do like? Praising themselves as being pioneers of scientific know-how and expertise in creating original drink products that cater for the ‘tango teen’ audience, Britvic is set to launch their new drink in a can, the Tango Turbo…apparently this is expected to shake up the fruit carbonates sector! Will this appeal to the regular soft drinks purchaser? Apparently not, which is why Britvic are pitching this revolutionary combination of drink and cream to young adults…yummy!

…According to a report from Marketing Week the aerosol technology will deliver a foam blast of orange flavoured product straight into the mouth…as intriguing as this sounds it does raise the question as to what the product is…cream…? Foam…? Liquid…? –Does this actually quench the consumers thirst?

Britvic are cleverly associating themselves with the new teenage film, the Inbetweeners.   The brand has signed up to a sponsorship deal that involves digital campaigns and outdoor advertising.  An obvious place to market this new revolutionary product is in cinemas, and that is exactly what Britvic plan to do! –Will Tango’s teens buy into the new product or will the new fruit blast be too noisy in the cinema…?!

Marketing Communications: A Brand Narrative Approach discusses the importance of New Category Users (NCU) who purchase products associated with the brand (please go to page 83 in chapter 4 for the Next case study).  Britvic’s reason for targeting teenagers is that this age group are purchasing soft drinks regularly, and according to a recent survey are looking for more innovative products.

Should age be a significant consideration in Marketing…?

July 4th, 2011

We have seen a lot of marketing towards youth recently from popular brands such as Britvic, Samsung, Cadbury, however according to a report from Marketing Week marketers maybe be jeopardizing their brand positioning with the ‘valuable and influential’ older audience.   The report emphasizes the importance for marketing to respect and understand consumer behavior, rather than just focusing on age as an indicator for targeted marketing.  –Is this a result of the shift of marketing communications towards digital communication (see chapter 16 in Marketing Comunications: A Brand Narrative Approach), and more significantly the increase in social media…?

Age Consideration in Marketing

Age Consideration in Marketing












Well the statistics from a social media survey taken in March 2011 show that age is just one factor that marketers need to consider and that although there is a difference in users by age you can still see that the 35+ audience are very much present on social media sites…!

Rivalry between Waitrose and Distributor Ocado or Good Feeling All Round?

July 1st, 2011

Following a 10 year deal with Ocado which prevents Waitrose from delivering goods in London city, up to the M25, Waitrose have pulled out all theWaitrose Delivery Van - Marketing Communications stops on a new all singing, all dancing marketing campaign.  The campaign in question “we shop like you shop” will include a huge push on free delivery for orders over £50 if consumers order online.  According to Marketing Week’s report this will not take effect until the end of June when the agreement with Ocado has expired.  Waitrose will need to gain rights to deliver to the London city area to compete against Ocado.  But also not forgetting direct competition, what are supermarket brands doing…?

Waitrose comprehensive marketing campaign is set to include advertisements on Waitrose delivery vans, direct marketing via direct mail and emails, door drops, online advertising, social media campaigns as well as promotion in individual branches.  Other supermarkets such as Sainsbury’s have also ramped up their online offerings with their click and collect service which allows customers to order non-food products and collect the following day from over 300 locations in the UK.  This reflects the movement to online purchasing for supermarket products, whether this is food, or non-food goods.

According to the BBC the push to online activity is also reflective of Ocado’s support for the brand to encourage online purchasing.  Ocado view the shift to online shopping as beneficial to their business model.   Waitrose are taking advantage of their new position and are pushing the free delivery offer on the website.  Let’s hope they can break into London’s lucrative home delivery market…it’s all resting on their campaign to get the message out to the Londoners who are currently using other brands and distributors.