Nike, Coca-Cola, EasyJet : 5 things that mattered this week and why

From Coca-Cola’s partnership with the Premier League to EasyJet’s emotional new camapgin, catch up on all the most important marketing news from the week gone by.

Nike Colin Kaerpernick

Has Nike got the targeting right with its Colin Kaepernick ad?

Few campaigns have split opinion quite like the Nike ad that features Colin Kaerpernick. For many, Kaerpernick is someone to admire for standing up for racial injustice. For others, his decision to take the knee during the national anthem at NFL games is disrespectful. And so reactions to the campaign have been both hugely positive and hugely negative.

Nike must have known that its decision would prompt both outrage and acclaim. The key is how it went down among its target audience.

Take US people aged 18-34 for example. These younger consumers are much more likely to be Nike customers than older people, according to survey conducted by Toluna on behalf of Marketing Week. And 50% of this demographic say they now view Nike more favourably, as opposed to 14% who view it less favourably. Some 49% say they would now be more likely to buy Nike products, versus the 9% that say they would buy less.

It’s a similar story among people from a BAME background. And in the UK, while more consumers think it won’t have an impact, among that think it will the reaction has been largely positive.

The data suggests that what could have been a disaster for Nike might well, over the long term, boost its brand. That’s because it’s part of a wider campaign focused on athletes such as Serena Williams and Caster Semenya that have forged their own paths and so fits with the brand’s positioning. Others should take that being controversial can also be beneficial.

READ MORE: Consumers split over impact of Nike’s Colin Kaepernick campaign

John Lewis and Waitrose trial joint loyalty scheme

John Lewis and Waitrose

John Lewis and Waitrose have traditionally kept their brands very separate, so much so that when talking to marketers on the teams they often seemed to be making digs about the others’ strategy, especially at Christmas.

But that is all change now. Their owner, John Lewis Partnership, has finally seen there might be benefits of aligning the two brands more closely, and not just for click-and-collect. So they now have the same name, joint marketing campaigns and, soon, joint loyalty schemes.

An initial trial will see 600,000 people sent cards that offer the benefits of both brands’ current schemes. It’s a move that makes sense on a number of levels. For starters, it will be one less card to carry around. Secondly, it links the two brands more closely which can only have a halo effect on consumers. And thirdly it should reduce costs.

At a time when both high street retail and the grocery market are struggling amid rising costs and shifting consumer habits, retailers need all the help they can get. Expect to see more from John Lewis and Waitrose to more closely align their brands.

READ MORE: John Lewis and Waitrose to trial joint loyalty scheme

Coca-Cola  partners with Premier League to promote less well-known brands

It’s been a busy few months for Coca-Cola; from its £5m campaign unifying Coke Zero Sugar and original to the planned purchase of Costa Coffee the company is making big moves in order to keep up with changing consumer trends and to diversify its portfolio.

This week was no different, with Coca-Cola Great Britain signing its largest UK sponsorship deal with the Premier League in a move that will see it promote less well-known drinks.

Jon Woods, general manager of Coca-Cola GB, told Marketing Week: “This partnership will allow us to accelerate growth on low sugar variants faster and is the beginning of more multi-brand campaigns. It allows us to bring the whole portfolio to life.”

Coca-Cola original and Zero Sugar, Diet Coke, Smartwater, Oasis, FuzeTea, Schweppes, Fanta, Sprite, Lilt and Dr Pepper, as well as all these products’ zero-sugar variants, will all be part of the sponsorship and Wood says Coke is excited about the prospect of making its less popular drinks “part of the regular conversation”.

The tie-up is a smart move for Coca-Cola. The deal is no doubt pretty pricey, but the exposure brands get from sponsoring the Premier League is huge and hard to find on any other property. By making it about all its brands, it also makes the investment more efficient and helps Coca-Cola position as a company that is about more than Coke.

READ MORE:  Coca-Cola inks deal with Premier League in first multi-brand sponsorship

Easy Jet wants to be known from more than just value

With its bright orange planes and cheap deals, EasyJet is synonymous with budget travel. As the highest ranked airline for value for money, according to YouGov BrandIndex data, it is well-known by consumers  but fails to appear in the top five for impression or recommendation.

The brand now wants to go beyond budget and deliver a “dollop of emotion” in order get customers to connect with it in different ways. CMO Lis Blair is doing this through a new TV campaign that debuts on TV this evening (14 September) during the ad break of GoggleBox.

The whimsical dream-like ad goes through the imagination of a passenger and is a step away from the bold, humorous ads previously seen. With a media budget of €12m across Europe, it’s a big push for the brand.

This is not the only innovation from EasyJet which will be launching a new addition to its app next month. ‘Look and Book’ uses image recognition technology to allow customers to screengrab pictures of destinations and match the location and book a holiday. It’s a smart move tapping into the Instagram generation and if it works well will no doubt be popular.

READ MORE: EasyJet launches ’emotional’ campaign as it looks to be known for more than value

Jamie Oliver becomes face of Tesco in bid to get Brits eating better

It appears Britain has not yet reached Jamie Oliver-fatigue.

This was reaffirmed earlier this week when the nation’s largest supermarket chain, Tesco, revealed a new partnership with the celebrity chef. The pair say they are looking to work together to help consumers make healthier choices.

Oliver, who ended an 11-year partnership with rival supermarket Sainsbury’s in 2011, argues this is not just a customer facing initiative and doesn’t just want to be seen as the “jazz hands” of the new campaign.

“For me this feels much more grown up. There’s a lot to gain and I think this will be changing the recipe industry,” he says.

As part of the partnership Oliver will front Tesco’s ‘Helpful little swaps’ campaign in-store, which shows customers healthier alternatives that offer reduced levels of sugar, salt and fat, while also being more affordable.

Success will come from getting more people to buy fruit, veg, nuts and seeds, so it will be clear if the partnership is working or not.

As Oliver says: “We are either effective or we’re not. Reviewing ourselves will allow us to interrogate whether I’m the problem or [Tesco is] the problem.”

During his partnership with Sainsbury’s the chef was responsible for £153m of the £535m profit made by the supermarket in 2001. So it’s not hard to see how this could benefit Tesco in more ways than one.

READ MORE: Jamie Oliver on why his partnership with Tesco is more than ‘jazz hands’

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