The Marketing Week

Welcome to The Marketing Week, your guide to the good, the bad and the ugly in the marketing industry over the last seven days.

CAMPAIGN OF THE WEEK

Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches video was the most shared video in the UK last year, while YouTube pegs it as the fourth most watched ad of 2013.

In the hope of equalling such plaudits this year, the Unilever-owned deodorant brand has returned with another tearjerker.

The video depicts a group of women who are given a trial of what look to be pharmaceutical patches deigned to enhance the perception of their own beauty. The big reveal at the end is that the patches are in fact a placebo and that simply having a positive state of mind and openness helped them feel more beautiful. Aww.

GOOD WEEK

M&S

Almost everyone was expecting another quarter of disappointing sales when M&S reported its results this week, so it was a surprise to find out that the company’s investment in its clothing business is starting to pay off. In an unusual step, the retailer broke out clothing sales (presumably because they increased), reporting like-for-like growth of 0.6 per cent . Food also reported its 18th consecutive sales rise and while general merchandise as a unit was down, part of that can be blamed on the later timing of Easter and the switch to its new website, which led to a reduction in online marketing that impacted its homewares sales in particular.

MS leasing ladies

The growth gives chief executive Marc Bolland a little breathing room. The clothing sales growth is small but it is a step in the right direction, with Bolland claiming its focus on style and fashion is paying off. The marketing around clothing has also helped, with the retailer claiming it has sold more than 50,000 items that feature in its latest “Leading Ladies ” ads, with the most popular items such as a floral lace shift dress work by Alex Wek selling 2,500 in the first week. M&S will need to build on this start to prove it’s a real turnaround and that its huge investment in its product, marketing and in-store experience are worth it.

BAD WEEK

Manchester United

Man Utd

Manchester United were counting on the (slim) chance of beating Bayern Munich on Wednesday night and then going on to win the competition itself as their way into the Champions League next year with their domestic form in the Premier League unlikely to see them qualify for next season’s competition. That faint hope was cut out when they went down 3-1 on the night and 4-2 on aggregate, ending a run of 18 consecutive seasons in the biggest European competition.

That leaves the Manchester club with a funding gap and its commercial arm having to replace up to £40m in revenue the tournament generates every year. It is likely to be on the lookout for new sponsorship deals and money-spinning mid-season friendlies . However, brand experts warn such moves could dilute the Manchester United brand.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Chefs serve up new ways to eat Oreo cookies

Oreo has tapped three LA chefs to come up with new innovative ways to eat the snack in a series of online videos. From Oreo tortilla chips paired with strawberry salsa (see above) to Oreo-crusted chicken pieces, the chefs dish out their own quirky ideas with some spectacular results. The videos are the latest in Oreo’s “Snack Hacks” online series, which launched last year.

Carlsberg sets sights on wine and alcopop drinkers

Carlsberg is making its first move into the so-called “hard drinks” category with the launch of a new alcoholic beverage in Russia and Canada. The “Seth & Riley’s” range is inspired by American homemade lemonade and will target those drinkers aged 25 and over seeking an alternative to alcopops. Carlsberg says there is a “significant gap” to exploit between sweet drinks and beer and wine. The marketing strategy will use learnings from Carlsberg’s Somersby cider, which launched in 2012.

ONE TO WATCH

Facebook cleans up the News Feed

The social network announced this week it is making a series of changes to the News Feed to purge it of spam.

The update targets three categories: like-baiting, frequently circulated content and spammy links. Those page owners that are posting content that falls into any of these categories will see the organic reach of their post decrease over the next few months.

The sweep of the site is good for both users and brands as it will hopefully make the social network surface only the most quality posts, encouraging marketers to produce better quality marketing.

TWEETS

@ValaAfshar – CMO of Extreme Networks

on marketers forgetting it’s the brand, not them, that is the story

Dear marketer, it’s not all about you.

@CampbellClaret – former Labour spin doctor

on David Beckham partnering Diageo to create the Haig Club scotch whisky brand

There are plenty of sports people who refuse to endorse alcohol products so very disappointing that Beckham has got into bed with Diageo

@lifeofbry – marketing director at Znaptag

on Clear Channel CEO Bob Pittman’s appearance at the Festival of Media Global

‘Radio has done a terrible job of promoting itself’ Bob Pittman of Clear Channel. I think the UK brands have done pretty well #FOMG14

@simeonadams – partner at Goodstuf Communications

on Sir Martin Sorrell’s presentation at Newsworks’ Shift conference

Sorrell says agency brands are only important to those within them, not so much to clients. Not sure I agree, but sad if true. #shift2014

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

4 April Monday marks 100 days until the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. Expect sponsors to start their activation campaigns in earnest.

16 April Tesco reports its preliminary results for 2013/14. Analysts widely expect a second yearly drop in trading profits to below £3bn, the first time they have dropped below that mark since 2009.

16 April Burberry is also announcing its second half trading update. With current chief executive Angela Ahrendts on the way out, investors will be looking for signs that all is still well at the leading luxury brand.

17 April Co-op’s delayed yearly results are out and they’re unlikely to make pleasant reading. Consensus is on a £2bn loss and all eyes will be on what the group plans to do to improve a brand damaged by a string of troubles.

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