CAMPAIGN OF THE WEEK
Social media and outdoor are not obvious companions but the two have been brought together in a rather imaginative way by PespiCo. User-generated Vine videos have been posted into outdoor ads for Pepsi Max in what the food and drink maker claims is a “media first”.
Fans are being encouraged to submit their own six second videos of something “Unbelievable” they have done using the hashtag #LiveForNow with the best clips published on digital screens nationwide.
How many extra cans or bottles it will sell is difficult to say but what is easier to declare is that the campaign is innovative and another example of how outdoor is marrying its best with the opportunities digital brings.
GOOD WEEK FOR
WhatsApp (and Facebook?)
Facebook’s $19bn acquisition of WhatsApp is an early contender for the most out of the blue business story of the year.
Much of the coverage has focused on why Facebook paid a premium for an app that seemingly cannot be monetised – it is free to use and carries no advertising.
Theories espoused include: it is a defensive play from Facebook to thwart its Silicon Valley rivals and/or a marketing play to acquire data and offer demographic targeting opportunities.
For WhatsApp, the $19bn offers it the chance to scale in the US, where is it not as popular as it is in Europe, Latin America, India and Asia, and hands it the sort of research and insight resource it could previously only have dreamed of.
BAD WEEK FOR
Puma has just reported a 3 per cent sales slump to €2.9bn (£2.3bn) for the 12 months to December. Things are unlikely to get much easier in the first half of 2014, it says, admitting sales are likely to fall again.
It is not alone in its travails. Adidas has recently reported disappointing numbers, but unlike its great rival it does not have the advantage of being a FIFA or IOC sponsor in a World Cup and Olympic year.
To counter this, it has promised to bring its ambassadorial assets to the fore, featuring Arsenal FC and AC Milan star Mario Balotelli heavily in ads.
Under Armour under fire
Under Armour was forced to issue a robust defence of its brand this week after the Winter Olympic American speedskating team, which it sponsors, replaced its Mach suits with older versions.
The change did little for performance with the skaters finishing out of the running in two events using the older outfits but has made the brand a scapegoat for their failures.
Under Armour’s stock fell 2.4 per cent in the wake of the incident and the brand has launched a PR drive to mitigate any long-lasting effects including turning to brand ambassadors Lindsey Vohn and Michael Phelps for help. Both former Olympians have tweeted messages backing the brand’s equipment (see below), a move that could raise concerns over the ethics of asking paid ambassadors to use their Twitter feeds in this way.
Coke looks to take the social out of media
Are you one of those people that have to check their Facebook or Twitter feed every few minutes? If so, then Coke has the cure in the guise of the “Social Media Guard”. The drinks maker’s fake product for the US market, a giant Coke red dog collar, promises to take the “social out of media and put it back into your life”.
Shot in the style of a cheesy product ad, Coke shows how it prevents people from looking down at their smartpthones so that they can concentrate on the finer things in life – such as your cat, a sunset and a bottle of their product.
Ones to Watch
Apple headphones could be soon tracking the miles you run, the amount you sweat and heart rate after it was granted a patent for a fitness tracking system. The technology would be embedded into its headphones allowing users to control their iphone or possibly a future iWatch by carrying out certain head movements. The patent was filed way back in 2007, before the fitness tracking boom, and shows the company has been plotting a move into the market for some time.
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
@AdLawUK – lawyer at Wragge and co
on a recent ASA ban of a “nude scanner app”
”Why are ads that demean women always reviewed on the basis of suitability for children? Public has weird priorities.”
@SimonBirkenhead – director of global ad sales at Telefonica digital
being a tad tongue in cheek about Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp
WhatsApp founder: “no ads, no games, no gimmicks.” Sounds a great fit with Facebook’s strategy then.
@DoctorChristian – TV doctor
on the latest McVitie’s TV ad
”My god have you seen the kittens coming out of the packet in the @McVities digestives advert? SO CUTE!!!! ”
taking advantage of the furore surrounding MasterCard’s UK PR agency allegedly asking for marketing tweets from journalists in exchange for tickets to the BRIT Awards
“Hey @MasterCardUK. If you send us to the Brits & ply us with booze, we’ll tweet anything you want. We’re shameless. #PricelessSurprises”
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
- 24 February – Mobile World Congress begins in Barcelona. Future trends, phones and devices will be discussed and unveiled, while Facebook’s CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg will demonstrate how important mobile is to its future by providing the keynote speech.
- 26 November – ITV announces its full year results and ad revenue forecasts for the months ahead.
- 27 November – Virgin Media to unveil its future strategy plans.