The Marketing Week

Welcome to The Marketing Week, your guide to the good, the bad and the ugly in the marketing industry over the last seven days.

Campaign of the week

Two weeks before Christmas Day and you’d expect most supermarkets to have launched their marketing campaigns and be waiting with bated breath for customers to turn up. Not so for Co-op Food. It has waited until the pivotal 14 days before Christmas to launch its campaign this year as it looks to assure the public that “help is only a Co-op away”.

The Co-op is trying to differentiate its food offering from those of its bigger rivals and the discounters. It wants to be a leader in convenience retail, one of the three areas (alongside online and discounting) that are seeing the highest growth. It is doing that by staying out of the early November supermarket ad fracas and making a push in those last few days before Christmas that promotes its role in last-minute purchases.

Going up against the big supermarkets for the big shop and the emotional heartstrings wouldn’t work for the Co-op. Here is another reason why its Food business is performing better than the rest of its business, it understands its audience.

Bad week for

Abercrombie & Fitch

a&f 2014

The resignation of its controversial CEO Mike Jeffries has thrown into sharp relief just how far the Abercrombie & Fitch brand has fallen. In the 1990s it could do no wrong. It was seen as cool, trendy and desirable and its clothes were worn by millions of teenagers globally attracted by its preppy aesthetic and exclusive marketing.

Fast forward to now and it couldn’t be a different story. The brand has posted 11 consecutive quarters of sales declines as teenagers leave in drove for rivals such as American Eagle or new fast fashion retailers such as H&M. It’s brand has also taken a hit, with Millward Brown’s BrandZ finding that its brand value has dropped by 67% over the past six years.

The resignation of Jeffries, who oversaw both its spectacular rise and dramatic fall, is a sign that the brand knows it needs to change. Actually going through with that change, with analysts say will require an overhaul of its entire proposition and marketing, will require a lot more work.

Good week for


There is reams out of data out there about how has the best Christmas advert. You can measure YouTube views, social media engagement, how much people like them. But the one key measure on which all advertising is measured is sales. The results of that won’t be known officially until after Christmas but some data from Millward Brown has provided some insight into who is winning by that metric and the results might surprise you.

It isn’t John Lewis’s emotional story of a penguin looking for love or Sainsbury’s controversial World War I-themed ad. It is Lidl with its campaign showing neighbours sitting round a table eating Christmas lunch only to be amazed when they find that the produce is from the discounter.

Lidl has had big success with its “Surprises” campaign, which made it into Marketing Week’s top campaigns of 2014. The aim is to prove to consumers that it is more than just a discounter. This campaign succeeds in that purpose.

International News

Johnson & Johnson hires former P&G executive for top consumer role

Jorge Mesquita will join Johnson & Johnson to chair a range of its consumer companies including Listerine Aveeno, Johnson’s and Tylenol. Mesquita joins the brand on 15 December and succeeds Lynn Pendergrass, who left the company for personal reasons in May. In his role he will be responsible for advancing J&J’s global strategy to “enable consumers to live health, vibrant lives”.

Mesquita was with Proctor & Gamble for almost 30 years, taking various positions from product development to brand management. By 2001 he became the VP of North America Fabric Care and helped build now well-known brands such as Febreze. Mesquita is also on the board for Mondelez.

Skittles introduces a man made of candy

You’ve heard of people being struck by lightening. Now meet the man struck by a rainbow. Skittles, as part of its long-running “rainbow” campaign has launched a mockumentary describing the life of a man whose life was turned upside when he was hit by an “unexplained meteorological, multicoloured phenomenon”.

In true mockumentary fashion, the spot shows the man’s awkward encounters, including that with his doctor who reassures him (and the audience) that there is nothing wrong with him, besides the fact that he is now made of candy.

Agency, BBDO Toronto and Conor Byrne partnered to create the ad.

One To Watch

YouTube tests autoplay options to stream suggested videos automatically

YouTube is looking into integrating an autoplay feature at the end of videos in the near future. Normally users have suggested videos at the end of their chosen content, however, with the new feature an automatic video would pop-up and start playing.

The automatic videos have been rolled out globally to a small amount of users, in the hope of getting feedback on the feature before making a decision on whether to launch it more widely. Although at the moment the plan is to only automatically play suggested videos and recommendations, it is easy to see how this could lend itself to advertising in the future, with marketers able to put ads between videos much like in linear TV. Brands should watch on with interest.




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