Coke, Safeway and Sky: 5 things that mattered this week and why

Catch up on all the week’s big marketing news including Sky launching a new loyalty scheme, Coca-Cola exploring sustainability in its advertising for the first time, and Morrisons bringing Safeway back.

Coke’s first sustainability campaign

There is growing environmental concern about the use of plastic bottles. According to figures obtained by the Guardian, a million bottles are bought around the world every minute and this will jump by another 20% by 2021, an environmental crisis some claim could be as serious as climate change. And unsurprisingly major drinks brands are the biggest culprits, with analysis by Greenpeace estimating that Coca-Cola produces more than 100 billion a year.

Coca-Cola recognises that it has a role to play in reducing that number and a new sustainable packaging strategy, launched last month, aims to do that. It wants to increase the use of recycled plastic in its bottles from 25% currently to 50% by 2020. But it also needs to encourage consumers to recycle their bottles after use.

That is the role of the brand’s latest campaign, its first to focus on sustainability. The quirky, pun-heavy ad uses stop motion technology to tell the story of two bottles that have fallen in love as they are reused and recycled. And cleverly the whole ad is made out of recycled plastic.

READ MORE: Coca-Cola launches first sustainability campaign to promote plastic recycling

Are you ready for the return of Safeway?

Safeway was once a stalwart of the supermarket scene. The brand was established in 1962 and by 1987 had 133 stores around the UK. But then things started to go wrong. Profits began to fall and Safeway struggled to compete with the much bigger Tesco and Sainsbury’s. And so in 2003 it was bought by Morrisons and in 2005 the brand name disappeared.

But now the brand is set to be revived. Morrisons, which still owns the rights to the brand, is to use it on food products it manufactures and sells through third parties. And it has signed a deal with McColl’s to do just that.

It might seem like madness to bring back a brand that declined into insignificance but the move has been welcomed, with analysts expecting nostalgia for the Safeway brand to help drive sales. Expect to be able to pick up a Safeway lasagne in your local corner shop by the end of this year.

READ MORE: Why Morrisons is right to bring back the Safeway brand

Sky hits upon a novel new concept with its loyalty launch

Sky VIP

The loyalty space is a crowded market as brands as diverse as Marks & Spencer, Virgin and Saga aim to encourage consumers to spend more of their money with their brand. And Sky is the latest to get in on the act with the first loyalty scheme for the broadband and TV market.

Its strategy takes a novel new approach. Rather than reward people for how much they spend, it is saying thank you for how long they’ve been customers. Any current customer can be a member, but the rewards get better based on tenure, with those that have remained loyal for more than 15 years getting the best treats.

It’s a bold move for an industry usually obsessed with attracting new customers rather than retaining old ones. But as has so often been proved, retention is cheaper than acquisition. And with ever more competition in the TV and broadband space, both from traditional rivals such as BT and newer arrivals like Netflix, it is refreshing to see a provider look to remind long-standing customers that they are valued.

READ MORE: Sky unveils industry-first loyalty scheme that rewards tenure, not spend

Lucozade enters the water market

Lucozade Fitwater

The nation’s obsession with cutting down on sugar shows no signs of abating and Lucozade, clearly able to see the writing on the wall, is making some big moves to protect its business. Some of its more traditional drinks are laded with sugar, but it is now making a big move into the bottled water market with a new product ‘FitWater’.

It might sound like a marketing scam, but the water is aimed at regular exercisers who need to take on more than just water when they work out. It contains electrolytes aimed at providing some of the salt people lose through sweat when they work out.

Lucozade clearly think its has hit upon a winner as it has signed up boxer Anthony Joshua for the launch, its biggest ever. And the price of 89p seems attractive.

READ MORE: Lucozade plots biggest ever product launch as it enters water market

KFC avoids an investigation

Hundreds of complaints have poured into the ad regulator over KFC’s recent ‘The Whole Chicken’ ad. It seems to have raised the ire for a number of reasons, from being dubbed “misleading” to “distressing” and “offensive”.

But common sense has prevailed and the Advertising Standards Authority will not be investigating the ad. As our columnist Mark Ritson wrote, it might not be sensible for KFC to raise awareness of its attitude towards animal rights in its advertising, but that is its mistake to make.

The ad itself is clearly meant to be tongue-in-cheek and has certainly got people talking about KFC, a key aim for the brand given the size of its marketing budgets compared to bigger rivals. The ASA has made the right decision.

READ MORE: KFC’s ‘The Whole Chicken’ ad avoids investigation

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