5 things you need to know this week

From the 60th anniversary of TV ads to that Volkswagen scandal and Heineken’s James Bond campaign, catch up on all the most important news in marketing this week.

John Lewis’ Christmas campaign featuring Monty the Penguin helping push up sales

1. TV ads turn 60

It was 60 years ago this week that TV advertising made its debut with a spot for Gibbs SR toothpaste. The medium has come a long way since then but undoubtedly faces more challenges than ever from newer formats like digital, social media and mobile.

Nevertheless Marketing Week columnist Mark Ritson thinks the challenge has been overblown, saying TV remains the most effective medium for mass reach.

And the IPA gave us its rundown of the top 10 most effective TV campaigns. Tesco’s “Every Little Helps”, BT’s “It’s good to call” and Foster’s “Good call” all made the cut.

volkswagen logo

2. Volkswagen hit by emissions scandal

What started a week ago in the US has turned into a full global scandal for Volkswagen after it was found to be doctoring emissions tests so that its cars appeared cleaner than they really are. On Tuesday the car marque admitted 11 million of its car could be impacted and it has already cost the CEO his job. More are expected.

What makes this scandal stand out is the level of deception – this is no human or computing error. Someone at Volkswagen set out to deliberately deceive. How high up the scandal goes remains to be seen but it seems unlikely the brand can escape unscathed.

Already brand metrics show consumer perceptions are plummeting. With the firm facing €30bn in fines, the question is no longer what damage the scandal will do to Volkswagen’s brand reputation but whether the company itself can survive.


3. Heineken gives Bond a female rescuer in “classy and sophisticated” new campaign

Heineken has broken with tradition by running a campaign for the upcoming James Bond film Spectre that has the spy rescued by a woman. The move comes after comments from Bond actor Daniel Craig (although its unlikely the two are related) that Bond is becoming less sexist.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Heineken’s brand director David Lette says the campaign aims to reflect the “progressive” attitude among its core 25-40 year old audience.

“The ad appeals to that modern progressive male and we wanted the rise of that way of thinking to be reflected,” he said.

“We’re now seeing men and women drinking together more often and that whole advertising concept of blokes in a pub feels outdated and so 15 years ago. Heineken has to reflect diversity and the brand’s modernity is playing a distinctive role – this isn’t lads having a beer, this is classy and sophisticated.”

EDITORIAL USE ONLY L-R Georgia Pachoo 9, Noah Panchoo 5 from Greenwich and Nick Stewart-Smith 10 from Clapham getting stuck in to reading eight specially created new Roald Dahl books, featuring extracts from Roald Dahl’s most popular stories, launching as part of the latest McDonald's Happy Readers campaign. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday September 19, 2015. Over the next six weeks, 14 million books will be distributed as part of McDonald’s Happy Meals, making the extraordinary world of Roald Dahl accessible to millions of children. Photo credit should read: David Parry/PA Wire

4. McDonald’s launches ‘landmark’ scheme to bring reading into the digital age

Parents should put their iPads away, as McDonald’s is handing out books once again. The brand is renewing its reading initiative after smashing targets it set in the initial campaign launched in 2013.

The new scheme will see 14 million more books featuring extracts from Roald Dahl’s most popular stories distributed to children in a partnership between McDonald’s, National Literacy Trust, Penguin Random House Children’s UK and the Roald Dahl Literary Estate.

The original project aimed to hand out 15 million books across the UK but actually delivered nearly 23 million.

McDonald’s is also launching an interactive app to offer a more immersive experience. The app includes voice recognition technology, triggering certain sounds or colours when a particular word is read out.

“We wanted to create a sense of sharing rather than reading being a solo experience. We are bringing reading into the digital age,” Steve Hill, McDonald’s UK head of marketing told Marketing Week.

Mobile customer engagement

5. Marketers ‘living in la-la-land’ by mistaking awareness for conversion

Some 76% of marketers are using the wrong measurements to track and prove the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns, according to a new study by the Fournaise Marketing Group.

The analysis tracked 500 marketing strategies in the first half of the year found and branded the results as “shocking”.

Some 74% of marketers believe a campaign’s success is dependent on “standing out” through creativity, media placements or innovative digital activity. But the report found this placed the focus too much on the ‘how’ and not enough on the ‘what’.

This leads to brands neglecting their message and unique proposition in favour of high-profile campaigns.

“If marketers want to be taken seriously and have a bigger, stronger presence in the boardroom, they need to stop living in their la-la land and start behaving like real business people,” concludes Fontaine.



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