Samsung, Santander, Snickers: 5 things that mattered this week

From Snickers targeting the LGBTI community to Samsung launching its new Galaxy S8 smartphone, we have rounded up the five stories you need to read this week.

Snickers

Snickers takes ‘first steps’ on diversity journey

Snickers is focusing its marketing on the LGBTI community for the first time, using its online advertising to tell consumers they should “be who you are”.

The Mars-owned brand partnered with online publisher Gay Star News to launch Gay Star Support, a new section of the Gay Star News website that will provide resources for anyone in the community who is struggling with accepting themselves or coming out.

With Snickers’ advertising typically targeted at heterosexual males via its ‘Get some nuts’ campaign slogan, the activity marks a bold step change for the brand. Yet Snickers’ brand director Christoph Weber claims the Gay Star News collaboration isn’t a step change after all.

Weber tells Marketing Week: “I don’t think we have moved away from our original focus. [As a brand] we have always told a story about friendship, comradery, and acceptance among a group of friends. [This campaign] is a different way to tell that story of being who you are and the person you want to be.”

Samsung’s flashy Galaxy S8 impresses but the brand ‘isn’t out of the woods yet’

The major tech story this week came from Samsung as it unveiled its new Galaxy smartphones.

Launching on 28 April, the new Galaxy S8 and S8+ feature an ‘infinity display’ screen that runs the full width of the device, an invisible home button, the ability to unlock your phone via facial recognition technology and even an earphone port. The latter is a dig at rival Apple, which controversially decided to get rid of the port and place its bets on wireless earphones for the iPhone 7.

The Galaxy S8 marks the first major launch since last year’s faulty Samsung Note 7 phone, which was subject to a worldwide recall after faults caused it to catch on fire and in some cases explode.

Ben Stanton, an analyst at Canalys, believes Samsung will be banking on the short memory of modern consumers. He explains: “Timing is crucial, and consumers have short memories.

“This is because smartphone refresh cycles are very short compared with products like tablets and PCs. Samsung has two major launch events every year. It is very easy for them to quickly shift consumer focus onto the next big thing.”

Santander CMO Keith Moor on how marketers can get into the c-suite

In an interview with Marketing Week, Santander’s chief marketing officer Keith Moor revealed he had been promoted to the financial brand’s executive committee and will now have “more of a say” in corporate decisions.

Over one fifth (21%) of all FTSE 100 CEOs now come from a sales or marketing background, according to executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles. And Moor shared his tips to marketers on how more can get a seat at the top table.

He advised: “A CMO must speak the same language as the finance department or tech department. You need to be on the same page.

“A CMO must not think of marketing as something separate from the rest of the business but rather as just another framework to help the business grow. Gone are the days where it was just enough to deliver a great campaign in a separate wing of the building, instead you now need to be fully aligned with every division on a daily basis.”

Coke eschews YouTube for Facebook for new video series

Diet Coke

In what could be a further sign of brands abandoning Google, Coca-Cola revealed this week it would be launching a video series for Diet Coke on Facebook rather than YouTube as it looks to “bring the brand to life”.

‘Diet Coke Break’ will see brand ambassador Holly Willoughby feature alongside a host of online influencers to cover topics such as friendship, beauty, travel and fashion as part of its ‘Get the gang back together’ campaign. The first episode sees Willoughby and vlogger Patricia Bright taking the ‘Get to know you challenge’ where they have to answer questions about each other having only just met.

Natalie Whitehead-Farr, senior brand manager for Coca-Cola Great Britain, says: “We are really proud to be launching the Diet Coke Break series and working with such amazing online influencers.

The strategy of using influncers to front a video series is one Coke has used before following the launch of CokeTV on its YouTube channel. However, Coca-Cola recently axed that series, which saw it produce a video every week. The Facebook series will have 16 parts and run until November.

Study claims online brand safety is actually improving

The likelihood of brand’s advertising appearing next to unsafe or unsavoury content online actually improved in the second half of 2016, despite mounting concern over brand safety following revelations that ads are appearing next to extreme content.

According to research by Integral Ad Science released this week, the volume of “brand safe infractions” on display advertising in the UK decreased from 7.8% in the first six months of 2016 to 6.8% in the second half. That decline was mirrored in video advertising, with the proportion dropping from 11.2% to 8.9% globally.

However, the UK is behind just the US when it comes to the proportion of advertising appear next to unsafe content. The 6.8% figure for display is higher than in Germany, France, Canada and Australia, although lower than the US’s 8.6%.

Programmatic is the biggest culprit when it comes to ads appearing alongside risky content. The report found ads appeared next to unsafe content 6.9% of the time when display advertising was bought programmatically, compared to 5.8% when bought directly with a publisher.

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