5 things you need to know this week
Catch up on the biggest news in the marketing industry over the last seven days.
1. TfL unveils Santander Cycles as London bids farewell to ‘Boris Bikes’
Despite media controversy around sponsorship costs and safety, London’s Boris Bikes have provided a lot of joy. The Marketing Week team still can’t get the image of Boris Johnson riding with Arnie out of our heads!
This week, Transport for London (TfL) and Santander finally announced a £43.75m seven-year partnership to refresh London’s Cycle Hire scheme. Santander Cycles are set to grace the capital’s streets from April onwards.
Santander, which replaces Barclays as chief sponsor, has made the bikes strikingly red to tie in with London’s iconic buses and phone boxes.
Boris – in perhaps a dig at Barclays, which withdrew its sponsorship early – says that Santander’s ‘marketing expertise’ will take the Cycle Hire scheme ‘to new levels.’
2. Who are the real brand guardians?
In an ever-evolving industry, Marketing Week took a deeper look into what represents the modern-day brand guardians.
With a backdrop of 81% of marketers set to leave their posts in the next three years, who is upholding the core values of brands? And is there a fundamental shift from client-side marketers to the agencies that manage their accounts?
“I would argue it’s the CEO, not just the CMO, who is the ultimate head of brand,” said BBH London chief executive Ben Fennell. “I’ve worked with a number of CEOs who make this point very vividly – the brand is defined as much by the actions of a business, not simply its marketing.”
Jeremy Ellis, marketing and digital director at travel company TUI Group, believes that websites are becoming the brand guardians. “In the future the website needs to be one of the most powerful representations of our brand.”
Read more from the feature here.
3. YouTube launches a children’s app that hosts ads
YouTube has launched a new app aimed at children, which it said will hold opportunities for brands to host ads.
YouTube announced on its company blog, that the app has been created to make it safer and easier for children to find videos on topics they want to explore.
The US app, which is available on Google Play and Android devices, will only show ads that are approved as ‘family-friendly’ by YouTube’s policy team.
Whether that criteria includes marketing junk food to toddlers remains to be seen.
4. What the new Morrisons CEO appointment means for its marketing
Morrisons finally announced a replacement for departing chief executive Dalton Philips this week.
New Morrisons boss David Potts (pictured), much like chairman Andrew Higginson, is also a former Tesco man, but how will the move impact on the supermarket’s marketing?
One scathing supplier picked apart the Bradford-based retailer’s marketing strategy quite spectacularly.
“Morrisons issues are a lot deeper than just throwing in a new CEO,” the supplier told Marketing Week. “What is Morrisons USP? Why should people shop there? I think the only way it can restore supplier faith and return to growth is to become a true EDLP discounter. It needs to strip the staff out and all the fancy bits, and go back to basics like Ken Morrison’s vision.”
5. Aldi’s arrival on the grocery scene 25 years ago set the stage for the future of supermarkets
Everybody seems to be flocking to Aldi these days, my grandmother included, as the discounter continues its march towards securing the middle classes.
Marketing Week columnist Mark Ritson was the latest to heap praise on the German discounter. “Aldi having only 1,300 SKUs and hardly any manufacturer brands has spoken perfectly to the increasing desire of consumers to have simpler grocery shopping,” he argued.
He believes the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury’s will have to deploy a back-to-basics approach to overcome their current respective sales struggles.