Amazon Go, Coca-Cola and Lidl: 5 things that mattered this week

With Amazon unveiling its bid to revolutionise the supermarket, Coca-Cola putting a fresh spin on Christmas and Lidl winning plaudits for its TV turkeys, here are five of this week’s biggest marketing stories.

Amazon Go aims to eradicate queues

Amazon is hoping for a retail future where cashiers do not exist, after it launched a new concept store in the US this week.

The 1,800 sq ft Amazon Go store lets shoppers just grab the items they want and then leave the store without paying, with an order charged automatically to their digital Amazon account as they exit.

While on the surface this might all sound alarmingly close to shoplifting, Amazon Go works by using computer vision and sensors (translation; a shed load of smart cameras) to detect what items a customer is taking out of the store. Brendan Witcher, a principal analyst at Forrester, has high hopes for Amazon Go.

He said: “With the launch of Amazon Go, a 100% mobile-enabled store, Amazon has done to retailers what NetFlix did to Blockbuster years ago, which was break the mold, throw it in the garbage, and say, “How can we rethink this experience completely?”

Lidl’s Christmas ad most likely to make people buy

lidl-turkey

While everyone may have conflicting views on which 2016 Christmas ad was their favourite, it was Lidl’s that encouraged the most amount of Brits to make a purchase.

According to Kantar Millward Brown, Lidl’s ad (pictured above), which features the journey of one of its Turkey’s from farm to plate, scored top in nine out of 12 categories, including ‘persuasion’.

The research company’s head of UK marketing Jane Bloomfield praised the German discounter’s year-round approach. “Most people go for a more fantastical story style approach, including John Lewis and Marks & Spencer, whereas Lidl has kept quite consistent with its [Lidl Surprises] campaign, that has already been running for 12 months around product quality. They have something very clear in terms of messaging,” she explained.

However, Bloomfield was less impressed with Sainsbury’s ad, and the offerings from the big four supermarkets in general, saying they have a “big challenge” ahead. Sainsbury’s scored poorly in terms of branding, believable information and providing new information.

Sainsbury’s tops YouTube list of popular Christmas ads

sainsburys_christmas_750

However, even if Sainsbury’s disappointed Kantar Millward Brown, it did manage to top the YouTube views in November.

In November, YouTube said it saw a 53% increase in views for UK Christmas ads compared to November 2015, with Sainsbury’s proving to be the most popular ahead of second-placed John Lewis.

‘The Greatest Gift’ campaign sees the supermarket brand take on a “West End” musical style and has been created using stop-frame animation techniques. According to Google it’s a good time to be a marketer, with November searches for UK Christmas ads up 40% year on year.

Coca-Cola on evolving a classic Christmas campaign

Alongside its traditional Christmas truck ad, Coca-Cola is launching a brand new campaign this Christmas.

At the heart of the new ‘A Coke For Christmas’ ad is a young boy who aims to spread joy through gifting Coca-Cola to those who are making Christmas a reality, including a dad, shop assistant and, of course, Santa himself.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Aedamar Howlett, the soft drink giant’s newly appointed marketing director for UK and Ireland, insisted it wasn’t phasing out the tried and tested approach.

She explained: “There’s a saying ‘If it isn’t broken don’t fix it’, and while it’s not always necessarily true, it certainly is when it comes to the ‘Holidays Are Coming’ ad. We won’t touch the ad’s content as it’s absolutely iconic, but instead we’ll innovate around it.”

Marketing Week predicts the big trends for 2017

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With 2016 almost over (what a relief, eh?), Marketing Week has started making its predictions for next year.

Following a year of pricing stand-offs between the likes of Tesco and Unilever, we believe both the Brexit vote and victory of Donald Trump will threaten global free-trade agreements creating huge implications for businesses around the world. Essentially, don’t be surprised if prices go up in 2017.

Our list also touches on the rise of zero-based marketing, something we expect to become the new norm next year.

The latest IPA Bellwether report forecasts that ad spend in 2017 is set to decline by 0.7%, while moves to consolidate agency services, payment-by-performance agency models and increased scrutiny of digital metrics will also lead more companies to adopt zero-based budgeting.

Do you have any predictions for next year? As per usual, do let us know in the comments section below.

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