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.


Argos is launching its biggest ever campaign to raise awareness of its digital transformation among consumers and make loyal shoppers ‘proud to be associated with the brand’.

The campaign marks a shift in strategy, with the alien family that has been the company’s brand ambassador gone. The campaign introduces a new strapline “Get set, go Argos” that the retailer hopes will enable it to communicate a number of messages, from the range of brands it offers to its service proposition and great value.
Speaking to Marketing Week, Argos’ marketing director Stephen Vowles said the campaign is aimed at raising awareness of all the changes that Argos has undergone over the past couple of years. That includes the roll out of its digital format, which replaces the traditional paper brochures and blue pens with iPads, as well as changes to click-and-collect and the expansion of its product range, which now includes more premium brands.


Game has refitted all its stores to fuel its omni-channel strategy.
Game has refitted all its stores to fuel its omni-channel strategy.

After falling into administration two years ago, Game is seemingly back. The retailer, resurrected as Game Digital, said this week sales rocketed 31 per cent to £681.8m in the 52 weeks to 26 July. It caps off a swift turnaround for a business that was floated on the stock exchange in June after being rescued from administration in 2012 by private equity firm OpCapita.

Marketing spend was up in the period and marketing was cited as a key driver of the growth. A “significant push” is also planned.



Sainsbury’s bad month continued this week when changes to its Nectar points scheme were met with anger on social media. Sainsbury’s is halving the number of Nectar points it offers per £1 spent and is attempting to soften the blow with more “bonus” point offers and personalised rewards.

Customers using Nectar’s scheme will earn one point for every £1 spent in store or online from April 2015, down from the two points per £1 offered now. stead, Sainsbury’s customers will earn more bonus points through events and increased personalised points offers including 10x points on fuel events, a “Christmas Double Up on points” event on products such as toys, entertainment, seasonal, electrical, home and clothing as well as one-off competitions.

One Marketing Week reader said: “This seems an act of desperation that will backfire and encourage more people to jump ship to Lidl and Aldi. Bad move!”

It comes amid a difficult time for Sainsbury’s, which has seen sales decline and its brand tarnished after it hit the headlines over a poster meant for a London store’s staff room that encouraged staff to try and get customers to spend 50p more each shop was accidentally put in the shop window.


Virgin America creeps the hell out of everyone

The airline has released a 6-hour online video featuring a hellish journey on a rival carrier. Not an actual rival, you understand, but BLAH Airlines. Of course, we didn’t watch it all but as much as we can tell, it depicts mannequins suffering the worst possible flight. The idea, we assume, is by making it an uncomfortable experience watching it will highlight the worst on offer by everyone other than Virgin.

Heineken does soccer

Heineken is no stranger to football – long term Champions League sponsor and all – but this week made its first foray into soccer. The brand has just been announced as the official beer of Major League Soccer. It will use its international ‘Open Your World’ platform to activate the deal in the hope of “creating unique experiences for fans everywhere and drive participation and engagement in the sport in a way that has never been done before in the U.S.”


According to Korean reports, Samsung and Facebook are busy bringing to fruition the social network’s long rumoured branded phone. The two have apparently met to discuss development. Facebook has tried and not entirely succeeded in launching a ‘Facebook phone’ a number of times in partnership with HTC. Most recently with the HTC First, which included the Facebook Home operating system alongside Android.


@LondonRobinson, managing partner at Oystercatchers on the eating habits of Shoreditch hipsters

That feeling of deep gloom when you’re standing behind 2 Shoreditch hipsters who have taken 5 mins to decide between granola or porridge.

@jdaykin, global digital director at Dentsu Aegis Network, on Android’s latest update

“So Android L is lollipop… Only a few more years until we can have Android Oreo eh 😉 #Mondelez

@keano81, head of futures for Havas Media UK, on trendy eating hotspots in the East end

“I once went to a restaurant in Hackney that was so innovative it wasn’t even there.”

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