Coca-Cola, Airbnb, EasyJet: 5 things that mattered this week and why

Catch up on all this week’s marketing news including Christmas ads from Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and KFC, Airbnb’s Olympics deal and EasyJet’s move into package holidays.

Coca-Cola teases with promise of a new global campaign

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a Coca-Cola truck tour and its long-running ‘Holidays are Coming’ ad appearing across TV screens.

This year, however, Coca-Cola is bigger than before. Alongside the activity we’ve come to expect, there are a host of media firsts aimed at ensuring consumers see (and smell) nothing but Coca-Cola this year.

There’s a Piccadilly Lights takeover that will see carol singers encouraging shoppers into some karaoke, a Snapchat lens, a partnership with Waze where Santa offers directions to the nearest Coca-Cola shop, and an Oxford Street station takeover that will have the place smelling of cinnamon.

That’s before Coca-Cola kicks off a global campaign that will, somewhat cryptically, “remind us that there is more that unites us than divides us”.

With the retailer Christmas ads almost all launched now, Coca-Cola is part of a second wave of ads from the likes of McDonald’s and KFC, as brands beyond retail look to jump on the Christmas ad bandwagon.

McDonald’s is bringing back its ‘Reindeer Ready’ campaign for a third year, while KFC is taking its usual tongue-in-cheek approach by telling turkey cooking horror stories.

READ MORE: Coca-Cola launches biggest ever Christmas campaign as it prepares for global ad launch

Kellogg’s on why digital isn’t just a ‘box you can check’

Businesses might talk about integrating digital, but how many have really done this? Not many, is the truth, and Kellogg’s is one that sees this as a mistake.

Speaking at the IGD conference recently, the brand’s chief global digital consumer and customer experience officer, Julie Bowerman, explained that too many FMCG companies have ecommerce as a part of either sales or marketing, when it needs to be part of both.

“CPG can make mistakes [when] just checking the digital box,” she added.

Admitting mistakes is easy, changing them is much harder. It requires investment and hiring the right people, as well as giving them an environment to thrive.

READ MORE: Kellogg’s – FMCG brands make mistakes when they just check the digital box

Airbnb signs first global sponsorship with Olympics deal

Airbnb is taking another step along the tried and tested marketing model for building global brands by inking its first major sponsorship – a deal with the International Olympics Committee.

The nine-year deal will see Airbnb become the Games’ ‘unique accommodation products and unique experiences services’ partner and take a seat alongside other top-tier sponsors including Coca-Cola, Toyota and Alibaba.

The deal is a sign of Airbnb’s ambitions on the global stage and its desire to show how it can positively impact the economy, society and environment. Stats suggesting its service cuts back on the need to build hotels specifically for the Olympics are littered throughout the announcement, while Airbnb is also keen to show the role it is playing in helping refugees find accommodation.

This approach will be key as the brand continues to face opposition from cities worried that its service is pushing out people who want to live and work there, as well as complaints about anti-social behaviour.

READ MORE: Airbnb inks first major global sponsorship with Olympics deal

Playing with media mix modelling

marketing budgetsBig brands (think the Diageos, Boots and Centricas of this world) have long spent a decent chunk of their marketing budgets figuring out the best channels in which to put their investment, be that through econometrics, attribution or media mix modelling.

However, this can be a costly (and time-consuming) exercise and one that not all brands can afford. So to help those that can’t, Thinkbox – alongside partners Wavemaker, Gain Theory and MediaCom – has analysed £1.4bn in media spend from 50 brands and used the data to create a tool that shows, depending on six variables, what an optimal media mix might look like.

This should prove pretty helpful for brands, as well as providing some fun (if that’s the right word) for others who want to play around. And this isn’t just about fixing models so TV gets the most spend. Play with it enough and you can get TV spend down to 13% of budget, meaning this isn’t just a stunt by Thinkbox to get everyone spending 75% of their budgets on Gogglebox and I’m a Celebrity.

Thinkbox has backed up its tool with research that shows which media channels perform best on different metrics. TV, for example, is found to be least risky, delivering just 20% of variance from the median return. That also means, however, that for those will to taking a risk it might not be the best medium.

There’s also some data on the ‘multiplier effect’ across different media and which drives the highest short-term and longer-term growth.

READ MORE: TV the ‘least risky’ form of advertising, finds new research

Data key for EasyJet as it launches package holiday service

easyjetThe demise of Thomas Cook earlier this year hasn’t put EasyJet off launching its own service.

Its CEO Johan Lundgren sees a gap in the market for a “high-quality product” that offers “flexibility, great hotels and great value”. That will mean a focus on technology and data to build a service that offers something different to the incumbents.

Unfortunately, that also means we won’t see a hiring spree for EasyJet holiday reps. There will be no men and women in orange uniforms encouraging customers to sign up to bar crawls or booze cruises.

Instead, EasyJet wants to use technology to get real-time feedback and data to analyse what customers need. That makes sense. But EasyJet will need to remember that booking holidays is a big outlay for most people and an emotional one. It’s not an area where data alone can lead to success.

READ MORE: How EasyJet will use data to differentiate in package holidays