John Lewis, Aldi and Trump: 5 things that mattered this week

From Trump’s marketing victory to M&S’s ad cuts, and on a lighter note John Lewis’s hotly-anticipated Christmas ad, it has been another eventful week in the world of marketing.

John Lewis’s Christmas ad aims to make people smile

John Lewis is hoping #BustertheDog can surpass Monty The Penguin in popularity

This week, John Lewis returned with one of the most anticipated Christmas ads of the year.

The £7m campaign, created by Adam&Eve DDB, features a little girl called Bridget whose trampoline becomes popular among the local wildlife community, including her family dog ‘Buster the Boxer’, who rushes ahead of her to the trampoline on Christmas morning.

Set to a cover by British band Vaults of Randy Crawford’s ‘One Day I’ll Fly Away’, the ad aims to move away from the sentimental heartstrings of John Lewis’ previous ads, including the popular ‘Monty the Penguin’.

John Lewis worked with Snapchat on a custom filter that turns users into Buster the Boxer, this will also be rolled out in store.

In response to the campaign, we asked industry experts for their verdict on the ad, with many welcoming a move to humour after a “politically challenging” year.

“In the dark tail end of a year that gave us Brexit and Trump, who doesn’t want to see trampolining animals?,” commented Richard Blake, international marketing director, Yahoo.

Aldi pins its hopes on a carrot in Christmas campaign

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The festive season is well and truly upon us, with Aldi, Tesco and Asda all having released their Christmas ads this week. Aldi’s features ‘Kevin the Carrot’ as he embarks on a mission to meet Santa while spotlighting festive food and drink items from Aldi’s premium Speciality Selected Range.

However the supermarket’s competitors, Tesco and Asda have moved in a different seasonal direction, by ditching one big ad in favour of running a number of videos or ‘Christmas moments’. Asda’s ‘Christmas made Better’ campaign is made up of 26 individual moments of christmas, moving in “rhythm with the season”. It looks to build up the anticipation the British public feels in the run-up to the big day.

Similarly, Tesco is also looking to break its ads down into moments. The grocer seeks to solve customers’ pre-Christmas worries with its ‘Bring It On’ campaign, as it claims to have everything customers need to start planning and preparing for Christmas.

Facebook brings ads to Messenger

Facebook Messenger

Facebook is rolled out ads on its news feed that open directly into Facebook Messenger chats. This gives brands the opportunity to go from mass targeting to one-to-one conversations in a single click, by moving consumers away from the mobile web.

According to Facebook’s vice president of messaging products, David Marcus, the development offers consumers a native brand experience, mixing customer service and storytelling in a way that also benefits the bottom line.

“We see ourselves as really solving a problem between mobile web and apps, with a layer of emails on steroid. You have the ability to communicate, but at the same time build a native experience,” Marcus said.

To help manage the customer journey, brands are also able to send sponsored messages to consumers who have already opened a thread with them. Businesses can not, however, send sponsored messages to Facebook users who have not previously opened a chat with them and users can block messages they no longer want to receive.

M&S cuts ad spend as it focuses on direct marketing

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This week M&S’s chief, Steve Rowe, hinted M&S could continue to cut its marketing budget as it focuses efforts on its Sparks loyalty card.

The retailer said it is cutting its marketing budget by 9.7% to £84.1m in the six months to 1 October, a drop it attributed to focusing spend around the launch of its loyalty card Sparks.

But when asked during an analyst briefing whether it planned to refocus efforts on fashion advertising in 2017, its chief executive Steve Rowe suggested Sparks could provide an alternative to costly above-the-line campaigns.

Rowe said: “Five million people now have a Sparks card and it gives us a completely different type of marketing.

“Rather than increase the overall cost of marketing, Sparks will allow us to keep it down and do more direct marketing. It is also a channel that lets us get closer to our customers and understand their habits and what it is they want.”

The US Election: Is this Brexit mark 2?

america

After a turbulent results night, leaving US citizens and the rest of the world on tenterhooks, Trump was announced as the 45th President of the United States.

The result was met with surprise in many quarters. Polls had suggested Clinton held a significant lead and that Trump would have to pull off a huge surprise to get in. In reality he easily got to the 270 electoral college votes required to move to the White House, despite losing to Clinton in the popular vote.

Experts, including the boss of WPP, Sir Martin Sorrell, were left by surprise, with many questioning whether the result reflected the UK’s referendum in June.

“Clearly immigration, trade and terrorism were key issues that swayed electoral opinion in a very significant way, just as they did in the UK, and probably will in the European referenda and elections to come,” he said.

However, despite the shock at the “unpredicted” results, it cannot be denied that Donald Trump’s move to the Whitehouse has been the biggest marketing story in 2016. He has rewritten the rules of political communications with a campaign that has earned billions of dollars’ worth of free media coverage and shown the power of emotion over reason.

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