5 things you need to know this week

As brands cut ties with tennis star Maria Sharapova after failing a drugs test and Public Health England launches its first new brand in eight years, here are some of this week’s biggest marketing stories.

Innocent says having a simple strategy isn’t boring

It’s fair to assume that most brands are chasing the youth audience. But in order for brands to attract and retain a youthful audience they need to have a clear, honest and simple strategy. However, this can’t be confused with “being boring”, said Jamie Sterry, brand activation manager at Innocent, in an interview with MW this week.

Addressing the topic of ‘how to win the battle for brand loyalty’, Sterry said: “There is so much noise from people vying for their attention and trying to connect with a younger audience. Try to be really honest and speak to consumers on a human level.”

He explained: “Our simple strategy is to help people live well, in the things we make and the things we do. That is a simple idea but the way we execute that is through personal human ways.”

Disney’s CEO admits it has ‘no idea’ who went to see Star Wars

LONDON CAPTION:.GamingBeaver, a digital star from the Maker Studios network, unboxed Star Wars: The Force Awakens Elite Series die-cast figure assortment from Disney Store in London, England on 3 September 2015 as part of the epic global event marking the countdown to ‘Force Friday’ when merchandise from the highly anticipated new movie goes on sale. Fans can tune in to watch live unboxing events, which unfolds over 18 hours, in 15 different cities and 12 countries on the YouTube Star Wars channel. Retailers around the the globe will open their doors at midnight on 9/4 and fans can document their experiences using #ForceFriday..

When it comes to drawing in the crowds, Star Wars was a huge success. It raked in over $2bn (£1.4bn) at the global box office. There is one problem, however – Disney has no idea who actually went to see it.

Speaking during a Q&A at the Deutsche Bank 2016 media, internet and telecom conference earlier this week, the brand’s CEO Bob Iger admitted: “All our IP is distributed through third parties, and in some cases very effectively, multichannel distributors, big box retailers and movie theatre chains, so there’s nothing wrong with that. But our access to the consumer data is very limited.

“We don’t have any idea of who went to see Star Wars in the movies. And I think there are opportunities there that we need to figure out how to take advantage of.”

As a result, Disney is eager to invest in the technology and “the people technologically” that enable Disney to make more direct connections with consumers.

EasyJet CEO Carolyn McCall says marketers are “fantastically placed” to become CEOs

McCall speaking at the Omniwomen UK Leadership Summit

McCall is only one of six female CEOs in the FTSE 100. Speaking at the Omniwomen UK Leadership Summit on International Women’s Day earlier this week, McCall said she is eager to see more women climb the career ladder but that the change of pace is “very slow”.

She also believes that marketers are “in a fantastic position” today to become the CEOs of the future.

“[Marketers] need to have customer insight and know the customer, but they also get to know the brand inside out, so they know how they can improve it,” she says.

Before embarking on a race to the top, marketers should work to get their head around company balance sheets.

“They need to broaden from [focusing on] the return on investment of marketing to the P&L [profit and loss] of the company and its balance sheet. If you are not confident about that financial side of things, then learn about it,” she explains.

Brands enter an era of zero-tolerance as sponsors drop Sharapova over failed drugs test


To say that tennis star Maria Sharapova had a bad week would probably be an understatement. After admitting that she had failed a drugs test for taking the recently banned substance meldonium, sponsors instantly started to pull their sponsorships of the star.

Nike was the first to suspend its relationship with the athlete. In a statement the company said it was “saddened and surprised by the news”, but that it will “continue to monitor the situation”. Porsche and TAG Heuer, meanwhile, were the next brands to cut their ties.

Rupert Pratt, managing director of Generate Sponsorship, says the Sharapova scandal shows there is a new era of brand reaction and crisis communications.

He explains: “We are seeing a new era in how sponsors respond to crisis or issue management, which is straight away this is not acceptable whereas previously there would have been an element of riding the storm out and sitting in the background and not become part of the story.”

Public Health England launches its first new brand in eight years for middle aged adults


This is the first brand launch by Public Health England since introducing Change4Life eight years ago. ’One You’ aims to help middle aged adults avoid future diseases caused by modern life. It is also the government health body’s first ever nationwide campaign to address preventable disease in adults.

The £6m campaign was launched after research showed that everyday habits and behaviours, such as eating too much unhealthy food, drinking more than is recommended, smoking and not being active enough, are responsible for around 40% of all deaths in England, and cost the NHS more than £11bn a year.

Public Health England’s marketing director Sheila Mitchell told Marketing Week that the launch was “the most significant” in the last eight years. “Our last brand vehicle was Change4Life. When we looked at the market as a whole, we saw a gap for middle aged people in terms of a positive brand that spoke to them.”



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