Mondelēz, M&S, Lloyds: 5 things that mattered this week and why

Catch up on all the major marketing news this week including Marks & Spencer launching mobile payments, Tesco’s ad blitz and why Lloyds’ marketing has been described as “advertising puffery”.

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Mondelēz ramps up marketing approach

Six months since its big marketing restructure, Mondelēz seems to have a clear idea of where it wants to be as a business and what it needs to do to get there.

Fast. Focused. Fearless. These are the three words it is hammering in to its marketers having realised that it needs to be more agile, get up to speed with the latest tech and understand the changing needs and behaviours of its consumers better.

This includes changing the way it works with agencies and exploring new partnerships that will help to “infuse newness, fresh thinking and innovation”.

The global confectionery giant, responsible for naughty cupboard fillers including Cadbury, Toblerone and Oreo, also says it is trying to take more of a social responsibility for snacking – especially as people search for healthier options.

Given the rise in obesity, especially in the Western part of the world, a focus on healthier snacking can only be seen as a good thing. However, it will be interesting to see how Mondelēz balances this with its ‘less-healthy’ options, and whether this has an impact on sales of chocolate, biscuits and sweets.

Its new ‘Snacking Made Right’ tagline extends to educating people from a sustainability standpoint too. This is a chance for Mondelēz to use its global stature to have a positive impact on the environment and influence others to take steps to reduce their carbon footprint, invest in more eco-friendly packaging and limit food waste.

M&S trials in-store mobile payments

m&s mobile payment

Marks & Spencer’s efforts to put digital at the heart of its business are starting to bear fruit as it trials new services that can help improve the customer experience. First up is a mobile payments service that will let shoppers scan and buy items through an app on their smartphone.

There are clear benefits to introducing tech like this. M&S is fully aware that it’s stores can get very busy at certain times of the day – namely lunchtime in the food halls – and so is looking to ease a pain point for customers.

It claims people will be able to buy products in as little as 40 seconds; that sounds much better than queuing for five minutes to buy a prawn sandwich.

New services such as this show M&S is listening to customers and finding ways for tech to enhance the customer experience. But for technology to make a real difference to its business, M&S must try to take a digital mindset across the business – from store to supply chain to customer experience.

READ MORE: M&S launches in-store mobile payments to speed up shopping experience

Tesco preps value ad blitz

Exclusively at Tesco marketing campaign

The growing popularity of the German discounters Aldi and Lidl has changed the supermarket scene in the UK. The big four have been forced to cut prices, simplify ranges and improve quality in their value ranges to compete, or risk seeing market share eroded further.

Tesco is only too aware of the threat. But such was the state of the business four years ago following the accounting scandal that it wasn’t in a position to really take on the discounters and their value message.

Well that is no longer the case, according to CEO Dave Lewis. Having spent the last three years reformulating its value range and rebranding it to introduce new brands, it is now ready to start communicating the changes to consumers.

Expect to see Tesco stores splashed with information about how cheap its value own-label is compared to Aldi and Lidl, and how little a basket of goods costs in the UK’s biggest supermarket now.

Pushing its value credentials makes sense for Tesco; it still doesn’t perform that well here according to YouGov BrandIndex and customers need telling that prices are improving. But Aldi and Lidl have made their name through more than just price, as Tesco is well aware. So while value is the focus, it must be be backed up with communications on service, quality and experience.

READ MORE: Tesco brings value focus ‘to life’ as it takes on Aldi and Lidl

Royal Air Force looks to tackle female stereotypes

The Royal Air Force won Channel 4’s annual diversity award this week, giving it £1m in free airtime for its advert challenging female stereotypes.

Channel 4’s diversity award has previously focused on disability – both physical and mental – but this year the broadcaster asked brands and agencies to create a campaign that challenged stereotypes around women. It’s been quite a year for gender with the #MeToo movement and the UK’s centennial of some women’s right to vote but advertising still has a long way to go in terms of banishing sexist stereotypes and the broadcaster felt in light of this it was important to encourage marketeers to rethink the way they advertise gender.

The ad, created by Engine, will be shown in February next year and beat Cadbury Milk Tray, eBay and Flybe in the finals after the two other finalists, HSBC and Jaguar, withdrew early from the competition.

It’s unclear why HSBC and Jaguar pulled out but this isn’t the first time that the award has had controversy. Last year Volvo pulled out after winning the competition claiming it knew nothing about the entry and had no plans to create the ad entered.

The award is a good chance to encourage more diverse ads and the broadcaster has offered the three other finalists match-funded commercial airtime of up to £250,000 to show their pitched ads to try to encourage as many of the ads to be made as possible. However, this was offered in previous years and so far only Ford has gone on to run its shortlisted ad.

READ MORE: Royal Air Force wins Channel 4’s £1m diversity award

Lloyds breathes easy as ASA backs the bank over Noel Edmonds

Lloyds Bank 'By your side'

The ad regulator has backed Lloyds Bank over its ‘By your side’ marketing claim, dismissing a complaint by Noel Edmonds that it is “misleading” because of historic issues at HBOS.

The Advertising Standards Authority defended Lloyds by describing ‘By your side’ as “advertising puffery” that nobody was likely to take literally. That will come as a relief to Lloyds, although doesn’t say much for the strength of the strapline!

In reality, the complaint was never likely to stick. If Lloyds’ campaign had been banned that could have opened the floodgates. Can BT always really claim to ‘Be There’? Is the future really exciting, as Vodafone claims? Can people actually ‘Go Further’ with Ford?

The might need to be a separate discussion about whether such straplines and brand positioning’s actually mean anything and generate positives for the brand. But that’s not a discussion the ASA wants or needs to get involved in!

READ MORE: Lloyds escapes ad ban after Noel Edmonds complaint

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