Swedish brand’s ‘boring’ billboard, Velcro targets trademark abusers: International round up

Plus Uber launches bike-sharing service in Germany, Pernod Ricard targets Chinese millennials and the best brands for customer experience globally.

Pernod Ricard uses cocktail kits to target Chinese millennials

French distiller Pernod Ricard is using a cocktail kit-delivery service to lure Chinese millennials as it attempts to increase its presence in the Asian nation.

It is understood the distiller is trying to double the share of international spirits in China’s $156bn (£116bn) alcohol market and the company’s main goal is to increase the share of western-style spirits from the current 1% of volume to 2% in China by 2025.

While brands across its portfolio such as Chivas Regal whisky and Martell cognac are already well established in China, Pernod Ricard is now setting its sights on the nation’s emerging middle class, the company’s CEO Alexandre Ricard says.

As part of it’s pitch to the millennial market, the company is selling kits that provide all the ingredients for classic cocktails, with the promise they’ll be delivered to homes within an hour.

The distiller has also revealed an Absolut vodka-sponsored television rap contest and is selling premixed highballs – a combination of whiskey and soda.

Asia has helped drive Pernod Ricard’s growth, with net sales across China and India increasing by 19% and 14% respectively in the nine months to the end of March.

READ MORE: Pernod Ricard targets Chinese millennials with cocktail kits

Uber launches bike-sharing service in Germany

Uber is launching bike-sharing service Jump in Germany as a means of rekindling its relationship with European governments after it was banned from operating some of its services in several cities across Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Belgium.

The plan was delivered as protestors lined the streets in Germany holding signs saying “Uber go home” during one of the company’s conferences in Berlin.

“I want this to signal a deep commitment to Germany. Germany is a little bit of a signal of what the new Uber can be like. We want to work with local governments and cities to make our model work,” says Uber’s chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi.

Jump’s dockless electric bikes have already been rolled out in San Francisco, where there are 250 bikes available.

READ MORE: Uber jumps into Europe’s crowded bike-sharing service

Velcro responds to trademark complaints with catchy tune

For some, life’s too short to get angry and for Velcro – the company behind the renowned hook and loop system – that mantra rings true.

Last year, Velcro released a video featuring singing lawyers who urged people not to use the trademark Velcro brand name. While many found the marketing ploy amusing, there were a number of YouTubers who did not and it’s safe to say they weren’t afraid of speaking their minds.

In response to the criticism, Velco has released a new video titled ‘Thank You For Your Feedback – Don’t Say Velcro’.

Throughout the video, rude and expletive-laden comments such as “These f***ing clowns”, are turned into lyrics for an up-tempo rock song. The video also offers other alternative names for Velcro such as “Friction Fuzz”, “Grab-It Fabric” and “SKRRRSSHHHHH”.

While the video takes a humorous stance, Kate Swaine, partner at the law firm, Gowling, says it addresses a very real issue.

“This is certainly an innovative and amusing way to tackle what can be a very serious issue for a brand – genericism. The aim is to raise the profile of the word Velcro as a brand and not as a descriptor. The very fact that we are talking about it tells us the campaign is achieving some success. Perhaps we will see other brands trying to educate the public through the medium of song?”

Swedish brand brags about its boring billboards

Swedish wood protection brand, Sioo:x, has potentially created the world’s most boring billboard and they’re bragging about it.

The brand, which prides itself on ensuring patios or porches remain grey in colour and protected from the elements for 12 years, says the billboard in Malmö, Sweden, is made of wood that’s been treated with preservative.

The billboard is intended to remain outdoors for 12 years as a way of demonstrating the effectiveness of Sioo:x’s treatment against long-term exposure to the harsh environmental insults often dished out by the Scandinavian nation’s unforgiving weather.

The advert reads: “This is the world’s most boring advert. We’re going to leave it here for 12 years to see how long it lasts.”

The company’s chief creative officer Martin Cedergren says 12 years worth of protection is “almost too good to be true”.

“Our mission was to prove it is for real. So we created a billboard made from real Sioo:x-treated boards and booked a triple-sided billboard for twelve years,” he adds.

READ MORE: Swedish agency brags about how boring its billboards are 

The global brands consumers rank highest for customer experience

A new report by KPMG reveals which brands consumers rank highest for customer experience excellence, which focuses on six key measures: personalisation, integrity, expectations, resolution, time and effort, and empathy.

According to the report, brands that deliver the best customer experience achieve 54% higher revenue growth.

The leading brands in each market were chosen by customers were:

  • Australia: Singapore Airlines
  • China: Alipay
  • Denmark: Topdanmark
  • France: MAIF
  • India: Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces
  • Italy: Apple Store
  • Luxembourg: Ernster
  • Mexico: Marriott
  • Netherlands: Lush
  • New Zealand: Farmlands Co-operative
  • Norway: KLP
  • UAE: Emirates Airlines
  • USA: Navy Federal Credit Union
  • UK: QVC

The KPMG report suggests leading brands are leveraging technology to improve the overall customer experience in a number of ways including.

To get the results almost 55,000 consumers in 14 different markets reviewed 1,400 brands, therefore resulting in almost 600,000 individual brand evaluations.  

READ MORE: KPMG report

Wendy’s new campaign focuses on nutritious options

Wendy’s might be best known for it’s french fries, hot dogs and frosties, but the fast-food chain is pushing it’s healthier options in its latest campaign, which highlights its partnership with DoorDash – an American restaurant delivery service.

The pair joined forces last year when Wendy’s revealed it was on the hunt for an exclusive partner to deliver food to consumers. DoorDash says it’s mission is “to connect people with possibility”.

Wendy’s healthier options, such as its ‘Berry Burst’ chicken salad, are on show in the campaign, which VP of marketing at DoorDash, Jen Rapp, says is about more than just pizza.

“That could mean giving you an hour back in the day, or it could also mean helping you eat a little healthier,” she says. “What I love about this is that we’re telling that target customer that delivery can be more about pizza or Chinese food, but you can also incorporate delivery into your life in a really healthy way.”

READ MORE: Wendy’s pushes a healthy agenda in first TV campaign about delivery

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