Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Marmite: 5 things that mattered this week and why

Catch up on all this week’s marketing news, including Coca-Cola’s first foray into energy drinks, AB InBev UK’s name change and the launch of Marmite peanut butter.

Coca-Cola launches first Coke-branded energy drink

In its latest move to become a total beverage company, Coca-Cola is extending its brand into energy drinks for the first time. Coca-Cola Energy will have different packaging, four times the amount of caffeine of ordinary Coke and launches in the UK in April with an integrated campaign to accompany its release.

The new drink is pitched at 18- to 35-year-olds, with the brand clearly trying to pitch to the health conscious millennial, listing ‘natural caffeine, guarana extracts and B vitamins in the ingredients.

The news is part of CEO Jame’s Quincey’s vision to become a total beverage company. The drinks giant recognises that fizzy drinks aren’t growing at the pace they need to so Coke needs to be catering to different lifestyles in other occasions.

According to a report by the British Soft Drinks Association, energy drinks market saw volume sales rise 2% to 679 million litres, up 2% year on year and giving it 5% of the soft drinks market, up from 3.8% in 2011.

This is definitely not going to be the last in innovations from Coke. Last year the company made headlines for a series of acquisitions most notably Costa, but we predict this year will be focused on product launches.

READ MORE: Coca-Cola launches first energy drink under the Coke brand

Marmite splits opinion with peanut butter launch

Marmite Peanut Butter

No, it’s not an early April Fools’ Day prank, Marmite is launching peanut butter. The brand is branching out with a new innovation that combines two of the nations favourite spreads.

The peanut butter has caused an onslaught of hot takes with Twitter divided on whether they love or hate the new idea.It’s a smart move from Marmite, with the nut butter category growing at a fast rate Marmite is rightly ensuring it can lead as consumer tastes evolve.

Marmite’s owner, Unilever, has also done research that suggests the innovation won’t steal from sales of its core product, with 60% of consumers telling the company they would buy Marmite Peanut Butter in addition to original Marmite.

The social media cycle can make this feel like a quick innovation to spark mild controversy but in fact is a well-thought out product launch that ensures that Marmite retains its iconic status while staying relevant.

READ MORE: Love it or hate it: Why Marmite’s peanut butter is more than just a gimmick

AB InBev looks to become more famous as it rebrands to Budweiser Brewing Group in the UK


AB InBev has changed its name to Budweiser Brewing Group in the UK and Ireland as it looks to boost consumers’ awareness of the wider business.

As it stands, if you mention AB InBev to most people they probably won’t have any idea what it is or does. Very few would realise it is the maker of some of the UK’s biggest beer brands – not just Budweiser but Stella Artois, Becks and Corona.

As part of the move, Budweiser Brewing Group has also outlined a new set of commitments to sustainability and responsible drinking, among other things, that it believes its new positioning will better enable it achieve.

Tying the company to one of its best known brands can only be a positive move for the business as it will provide an instant lift in recognition and understanding, not just at a consumer level, but when it comes to partnering with organisations within the industry too.

This intention was outlined by Budweiser Brewing Group’ s newly-appointed president Paula Lindenberg, who says: “Through the power and recognition of the Budweiser brand, we want to open ourselves up to working with more partners to achieve our ambitions.”

Whether it becomes confusing down the line for the wider business to be known as Budweiser Brewing Group in the UK and AB InBev elsewhere is a challenge the company will have to consider going forward. Especially if they take a similar approach in other markets where Budweiser isn’t the brand of choice.

READ MORE: AB InBev rebrands to Budweiser Brewing Group in the UK as it looks to become ‘more recognisable’

TUI develops academy to create more rounded marketers


TUI is on a mission to create more rounded marketers. The company has launched its own maketing academy in a bid to ensure that old and new marketers across the company are educated both in the business but marketing principles as a whole.

The company’s CMO for UK & Ireland, Katie McAlister, admits that previously much of the company had operated in silos with marketers sticking to their core capabilities – digital or TV for example. That held back movement between teams and led to a less cohesive customer journey.

The academy is made up of three elements: online learning courses, leadership training and TUI specific workshops. The e-learning platform, which has been developed by Marketing Week sister brand Econsultancy, is made up of eight online topics while workshops will be led by TUI’s top marketers.

Last year, TUI extended McAlister’s CMO remit to include sales, which has also been applied to to the academy, something which she describes as a “natural progression”.

Other company’s would do well to follow suit not only in prioritising marketers’ education but removing siloes in the business. That can only lead to more cohesive marketing and will ensure that TUI gets and retains the best talent.

READ MORE: TUI launches academy to break down silos in marketing

Government preps upskilling programme for marketers

The government is preparing to launch an upskilling programme for its marketers as part of plans to position its communications for a future where “everything is digital”.

The ‘accelerate’ programme focuses on four key areas: campaign management, programmatic, social media and paid search. There will be opportunities for learning including information sharing, online courses, podcasts and formal training. While it is not mandatory, marketers will be encouraged to get involved in areas they think are most relevant to their jobs and departments.

The programme is similar to a journey many brands have been on to ensure their marketing is fit for the future. By looking to best practice across government and learnings from outside, the Government Communication Service (GCS) should be able to position its marketers to improve effectiveness and deliver the best possible ROI on tax payer money.

However, the risk is GCS becomes too focused on digital and forgets other areas of marketing strategy. Having teams trained in best practice for execution is a worthwhile investment but must also be backed up with investment in other areas of marketing from research to insight and data.

READ MORE: Government upskills marketers for future where ‘everything is digital’