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

Lily Allen, Samsung

The stakes are always high for Samsung’s marketing team but the campaign for the Galaxy Alpha smartphone coming as it does in the week the latest iPhone is released needs to deliver.

It is Samsung’s first brand platform in the UK and is intended to appeal to young professionals that have an eye on style.

The TV element of the multi-media campaign, created by Cheil, stars pop singer Lily Allen who soundtracks the spot with “As Long As I’ve Got You”. ”Alpha Britons” – young people who “embody the spirit of new modern Britain and its stylish youth culture” – feature in outdoor executions.

GOOD WEEK FOR

Great Britain

So, the people have spoken and more than half of Scots have said no to independence. Much of the uncertainty that many in business had feared has now dissipated if the reaction of the financial markets is any indication of sentiment. Many of the questions on ad regulation have also been answered, in that it is now unlikely there will be any change to the status quo. The carrot the “Better Together” campaign dangled to the undecided, more powers for the Scottish Parliament, is definitely one to watch. If the give-away leads to greater control of health and consumer rights, both could impact marketing. But for now, the union is intact as is much of its business infrastructure.

BAD WEEK FOR

Sony

Sony mobile ad

Sony Mobile is switching its focus to a strategy aligned around premium handsets after warning that poor sales will lead to a heavy loss in its current fiscal year.

In a statement to investors released today (17 September), Sony says it expects to report an annual loss of more than ¥230bn (£1.3bn) in the year to 31 March 2015.

In light of disappointing sales – forecast to be up just 1 million on the previous year to 43 million units – and the reduction in value of its Mobile business, Sony has outlined a new strategy to concentrate on its premium handset lineup and reduce the number of models in the mid-range portfolio in certain geographical markets.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

PayPal takes aim at Apple

PayPal new york times ad

Samsung wasn’t the only company striking out at Apple this week. PayPal took out a full-page ad in the New York Times criticising the mobile payment technology that Apple launched on 9 September. The ad read “We the people want our money safer than our selfies”, a direct reference to the hack that stole nude photos of celebrities. PayPal also spread the message on social media.

Apple has since made its own move to assure people of its privacy and security measures. It, however, doesn’t take a potshot at rivals.

P&G turns to NASA for marketing help

Space may not be the most obvious choice of places to look for ways to save money on your marketing budget but that’s exactly where Procter & Gamble has been looking. It posted a request on NASA’s website looking for “new ways to produce moving images for TV commercials and digital video and produce more content at a cost that is significantly lower than the average for a TV ad in the US”. Anyone with any clever ideas needs to submit them before 13 October.

P&G is on a cost-cutting mission, looking for new ways to cut down on its ad spend. It has recently cut down on the number of brand ambassadors its uses globally and switched from 30 to 15-second TV spots. Not to mention the decision to cull up to 100 of its brands. Here’s hoping space has the answers P&G is looking for.

ONE TO WATCH

Alibaba floats on the New York stock exchange

Chances are you haven’t heard of Alibaba and even if you have you probably haven’t bought anything from it. But that hasn’t stopped it becoming one of the biggest ecommerce websites in the world. The online retailer handles almost all (80 per cent) of China’s online shopping, taking more transactions than Amazon and eBay combined. Last quarter it generated revenues of more than $2.54bn. And now it is floating on the New York Stock Exchange in an IPO that could raise more than $24bn, making it the biggest ever.

The decision to join the US stock market points to Alibaba’s expansion plans. It has already extended away from pure ecommerce to offer online payments, cloud computing and instant message. Now it wants to make it big in the US and Europe.

TWEETS OF THE WEEK

@Armano – global strategy director at Edelman Digital on Apple’s new privacy website

Tim Cook pushing a “we respect your privacy” strategy. A timely and interesting strategy. But most people privacy illiterate.

@LenaDunham – actress and screenwriter on brand endorsement

In the last 2 days I’ve tweeted my love of Walgreens and Starbucks. I’m not being paid for this. They’d probably pay me NOT to do this.

@Tom_TheSequel on Dettol’s new brand ambassador

‘Rachel Stevens to be the new face of Dettol.’ If she’s not wearing Marigolds and singing ‘Bleach For The Stars’, I’ll be very disappointed.

@IAmWilliAmKing – founder of King of Shaves on Phones4U’s downfall

The irony of @Phones4u #FutureYou ad campaign I’m sure isn’t lost on them. Oh, to get into the #BackToTheFuture car & rtn to the early 90’s.

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