Diageo, Royal Navy, Utilita: Everything that matters this morning

Good morning and welcome to Marketing Week’s round-up of the news that matters in the marketing world today.

Diageo’s Scotch tourism centrepiece opens

Diageo has opened Johnnie Walker Princes Street, an eight-storey visitor experience for the world’s best-selling brand of Scotch whisky, in Edinburgh. Customers will be able to visit from next week.

The opening marks the culmination of a four-and-a-half-year project and is the centrepiece of Diageo’s £185m investment to promote Scotch whisky tourism in Scotland. The 71,500 sq ft attraction offers tours that will map the personal flavour preferences of visitors, a whisky collection, sampling opportunities, two rooftop bars and a terrace with views over the city. It is housed in a landmark former House of Fraser department store.

“The story of the world’s best-selling whisky has been brought to life with flair and imagination and we have built a team which includes some of the most talented individuals in their fields. We are now ready to welcome visitors and begin telling the next chapter of how we are woven into the fabric of Scotland’s history and communities,” says Jonnie Walker Princes Street managing director Barbara Smith.

VisitScotland chief executive Malcolm Roughead describes the centre as “An exceptional addition to Edinburgh’s world-class experiences, demonstrating the confidence international brands have in the capital city whilst supporting the Scottish tourism recovery.”

“This is a proud day for everyone. Last year Johnnie Walker celebrated 200 years since founder John Walker opened the doors to his small grocery store and today represents the next chapter of the incredible story. Johnnie Walker Princes Street is a landmark investment in Scotch whisky and into Scotland and it sets a new standard for immersive visitor attractions. It celebrates Scotland’s remarkable heritage, our incredible skilled whisky-makers, and looks to the future by engaging new generations of consumers from around the world in the magic of Scotch whisky,” says Diageo chief executive Ivan Menezes.

Diageo has invested in distillery experiences around Scotland to create a network of attractions across the country.

Royal Navy recruitment ad tackles cultural identity

The latest recruitment ad for the Royal Navy, launched today, is based around the complexity of cultural identity in the UK in a new twist on the ‘Made in the Royal Navy’ campaign.

The ad, by Engine Creative, tells the story of serving officer Lt. Raj and explores his childhood growing up between two cultures in West London. It shows Raj exploring his own identity, his family’s Sikh culture and their disapproval when he chose to join the Royal Navy.

“This film came about through the opportunity that C4 presented with their Diversity in Advertising award,” says Paul Colley, head of marketing, recruitment and attraction at Royal Navy. “The £250,000 of free airtime allowed the Royal Navy to provide a different and indeed unique insight into life in the Royal Navy through the eyes of serving Lt. Raj. His story is a reflection of diversity in its truest sense and the life you can lead in the Royal Navy.”

“Raj’s story showcases what many young Sikh’s face growing up. The Sikh identity is distinctive and has a long and proud tradition. Like Raj, the Armed Forces helped me discover more about my Sikh heritage and ultimately myself. The Defence Sikh Network is grateful to have been involved in guiding this project and to have for the first time a Sikh character at the heart of an Armed Forces advert,” says Defence Sikh Network chairman Major Daljinder Virdee.

The 60-second film will run for two weeks on Channel 4 and 4OD from next week.

Utilita sponsors Sheffield Arena

Sheffield Arena will be known as Utilita Arena Sheffield following a new five-year sponsorship deal between growing energy supplier Utilita and Sheffield City Trust.

The energy supplier, which specialises in ‘smart’ pay as you go contracts is a committed supporter of live music venues. It has existing partnerships with venues in Birmingham and Newcastle and has sponsored a number of music festivals.

“The UK live events industry has been particularly hard hit during the pandemic, so we’re thrilled to become headline partner of this fantastic arena as it celebrates its 30th birthday,” says Utilita CMO Jem Maidment.

“We’re not just going to have our name above the door. We’ve an outstanding relationship with the Trust, who share our vision around what we want to deliver in the wider community, from energy efficiency campaigns and sustainability lessons in schools, to support for local charities and staff volunteering programmes.”

The Arena has been used as a key vaccination centre during the Covid-19 pandemic and will be staging its first event since March 2020 later this month, with a homecoming gig for local band Bring Me The Horizon.

Retail footfall still below pre-pandemic levels

Changing consumer behaviour has resulted in retail footfall remaining below pre-pandemic levels, according to the latest figures from the BRC-Sensormatic IQ Footfall Monitor.

To reflect store closures in 2020, figures have been compared to 2019 to give Yo2Y figures. They show an 18% decrease in total shopper numbers in August (Yo2Y), despite being 10% ahead of last month.

Footfall on high streets was down by nearly a quarter compared to 2019 figures, and shopping centres saw a 32.9% drop. Retail parks fared better with just a 1.6% decline. These measures also saw a month-on-month increase.

“August footfall was a tentative step in the right direction. There were minor improvements with the return of some workers to the office and domestic tourism through August, however overall footfall remained significantly down compared to the pre-pandemic peak,” says British Retail Consortium (BRC) chief executive Helen Dickinson OBE. She repeated calls for a reduction in business rates to protect shops.

“Bolstered by staycationer shopper traffic and the Back To School boost, August saw footfall recovering to its highest point compared to pre-pandemic levels so far this year. In every UK city we track – including London, which has sorely felt the impact of slow returning commuter trade in recent months – showed improved shopper counts, as vaccine confidence won out against the fears and spread of the Delta variant,” says EMEA retail consultant for Sensormatic Solutions Andy Sumpter.

Heineken expands global portfolio with Edelweiss

Heineken has launched a global TV ad campaign for its Edelweiss wheat beer brand. The ‘Feel the Alps’ approach seeks to reflect the personality of the brand through a sensory and emotional cinematic experience.

Edelweiss is launching in a number of new markets after a successful pilot in Korea. It is now rolling out across the Asia-Pacific region and making a debut in Russia and Denmark.

“We are excited for Edelweiss to join our international brand portfolio and to introduce our first global campaign,” says Malgorzata Lubelska, senior director of global international brands at Heineken, “Taking the viewer of a cinematographic, sensory journey through the Alpine landscape.”

The beer comprises natural ingredients that include a blend of mountain herbs.

Thursday, 2 September

Wetherspoons taps run dry amid driver shortage

Wetherspoons says some of its pubs have run out of some beer brands due to supply chain issues, with Heineken, Carling and Coors among the depleted.

Heineken and brewer Molson Coors have been hit by a lack of HGV drivers, as have many industries.

Covid-19 and the Brexit have been blamed by the government for the lack of lorry drivers and have called for rules to be altered to allow EU drivers to return.

The government has also urged the hauling industry and retailers to train new UK drivers. According to the Royal Haulage Association, the UK needs 100,000 drivers to resume normal supply to businesses.

The supply chain issue has also hit other brands, McDonald’s stopped service milkshakes, Nando’s saw a shortage of chicken and some supermarkets are unable to stock Diet Coke.

A Wetherspoons spokesman says: “We are experiencing some supply problems with both Carling and Coors, which means that some pubs do not have the products available. We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused. We know that the brewers are trying to resolve the issue.”

READ MORE: Wetherspoons runs low on beer amid driver shortage

Amazon to hire 55,000 staff

Amazon UK warehouseAmazon is aiming to hire 55,000 staff globally to keep pace with the expansion of its retail, cloud computing and advertising arms.

Chief executive Andy Jassy says the brand “continues to grow quickly” and “relentlessly” continues to innovate in many areas. A large number of hires is tipped for the company’s satellite broadband arm Project Kuiper which delivers broadband access to underserved areas.

Around 40,000 jobs will be in the US, 2,500 in the UK and the rest mostly in India, Germany and Japan.

Jassy revealed the recruitment drive in an interview with news agency Reuters.

“There are so many jobs during the pandemic that have been displaced or have been altered, and there are so many people who are thinking about different and new jobs,” says Jassy to Reuters.

The announcement comes as Amazon comes under scrutiny for working practices from unions and working groups

READ MORE: Amazon to recruit 55,000 staff for expansion drive

Women’s Aid highlights the impact of coercive behaviour

Women’s Aid is launching a campaign targeting young women to raise awareness about coercive control an aspect of domestic abuse that is not often recognised.

The ‘Not Model’s Own’ campaign will run on print and outdoor activations, taking inspiration from fashion advertising and glossy editorials to showcase the effects of controlling behaviours on survivors of coercive control.

The campaign will subvert how fashion models have their clothes chosen by stylists, and instead show the model having everything selected for her by a partner.

Coercive control is a pattern of behaviours used to control, manipulate or frighten another person. Despite being illegal since 2015 offences through the behaviour has been “steadily rising” says the charity.

There were 24,856 coercive control offences recorded by the police in England and Wales in the year ending March 2020, an increase from 16,679 in the previous year.

The charity has reported a 41% increase in visitors to the Women’s Aid Live Chat site, within the first two weeks of lockdown.

Women’s Aid chief executive Farah Nazeer says: “Coercive control can be difficult to identify within a relationship if you don’t know what the signs are. A pattern of different forms of abuse with wide-ranging tactics can make it difficult to define when you are being controlled and manipulated by a partner.

“Perpetrators slowly isolate survivors from support, deprive them of their independence and regulate their everyday behaviour, gaining more and more control.

“This campaign is vital in raising awareness of coercive control to help survivors, and those around them, recognise the signs of abuse. If any of the signs highlighted in this campaign are familiar to you, Women’s Aid is here for you, please reach out for expert support.”

Rude Health launches first multi-channel campaign

Dairy-free drinks brand Rude Health has launched its first-ever multi-channel campaign as the brand chases widespread appeal.

The campaign is created with agency BMB and spans out of home, digital, social and shopper. It will playfully challenge tropes of the dairy-free drinks segment, such as taste must be sacrificed for health and sustainability.

The brand has won nine Great Taste Awards and has been accredited as a B Corps company. To boost the brand’s reach Rude Health will partner with fellow B Corps brands BrewDog and Mindful Chef and urban food brand Mob Kitchen to amplify the campaign’s reach.

Rude Health cofounder and brand director Camilla Barnard says: “Rude Health was established in 2005 to challenge the assumption that healthy food is bland. When we launched our Almond and Oat Drinks in 2013, dairy-free drinks were packed with gums, thickeners and emulsifiers and were tasteless.

“Fast forward to today and we’re proud to stand out in a sea of sameness with a large range of flavour-full organic dairy-free drinks, dressed in bright, bold 100% recyclable packaging and made from 100% natural ingredients, grown where they grow best.”

Pernod Ricard emerges from crisis ‘stronger’ with 9.7% bounce in revenue

Beverage giant Pernod Ricard has posted a 9.7% boost to sales totalling €8.8bn (£7.5bn) in its full 2021 financial year.

The jump in sales is reflected in the US which saw a 16% rise, and China which saw a 14% rise.

Advertising and promotion were highlighted as a key “dynamic growth” driver, with investment in the segment maintained at 16% of sales, as the company focused on “must-win brands and markets while stimulating innovation”.

Sales of premium brands was “strong” as the company hails its strategy in premiumisation, leading it to market share gains in most key markets.

Pernod Ricard highlighted its business transformation momentum continues to be strong, as it puts “significant investments behind priority brands and markets”.

In Q4 alone, the sales grew 57% year-on-year to €1.8bn (£1.6bn) due to the hospitality sector reopening in the US, Europe as Covid restrictions were relaxed.

Pernod Ricard chairman and CEO Alexandre Ricard says the company expects the “good sales momentum” to continue into the full year 2022.

“I would like to take this opportunity to praise the exceptional commitment of our teams during this difficult time and express my support to those who have been or continue to be impacted by this pandemic,” says Ricard.

“We will stay the strategic course, accelerating our digital transformation and our ambitious Sustainability & Responsibility roadmap. Thanks to our solid fundamentals, our teams and our brand portfolio, we are emerging from this crisis stronger.”

Wednesday, 1 September


Ryanair boss hits out at UK government over tourism rules

Low-cost carrier Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary says that the UK government is holding back the national economy with its confusing rulings over foreign travel.

The airline has just announced the opening of 14 new routes from London airports amid growing optimism about demand for flights over the coming months, but O’Leary cautioned against the government putting off potential tourists.

“Business is being hampered by this continuously chopping and changing of traffic lights that just cause confusion whereas the rules should be simple: if you’re double-vaccinated no restriction and if you’re not double-vaccinated get tested,” he said.

O’Leary added that London was “empty”, because rulings like PCR testing was prompting potential foreign visitors to the capital to head elsewhere for their city break destinations.

Ryanair says that it will create more than 500 jobs for pilots, cabin crew and engineers at its London airports before the winter travel season starts.

READ MORE: COVID-19: London is ’empty’ of tourists because of UK own goal on travel rules, Ryanair boss claims

LinkedIn to end Stories function after just one year

LinkedIn is to drop its Instagram-style ‘Stories’ function a year after it was first rolled out and aims to replace the temporary nature of the current offering with a more permanent version.

The platform’s senior director of product Liz Li says that the company is looking to “evolve the Stories format into a reimagined video experience across LinkedIn that’s even richer and more conversational”.

That means allowing users to create video and mixed media pieces with tools that can be a permanent part of their professional profile, adding a potentially more personal touch to their business-minded LinkedIn identities.

“In developing Stories, we assumed people wouldn’t want informal videos attached to their profile, and that ephemerality would reduce barriers that people feel about posting,” Li explains.

“Turns out, you want to create lasting videos that tell your professional story in a more personal way and that showcase both your personality and expertise.”

Google delays office return until new year

GoogleTech giant Google’s parent company Alphabet has told staff that they won’t be expected back at their officed desks until 10 January 2022 at the earliest.

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said in an emailed message to all Google employees that, “The road ahead may be a little longer and bumpier than we hoped, yet I remain optimistic that we will get through it together.”

Pichai added that he was pleased to see increased numbers of staff around the world returning to their offices voluntarily: “It’s heartening to see Googlers starting to come back to more offices globally.”

Last month Google pushed back its scheduled September return date to October. Now, with increased fears around the Delta coronavirus variant and the potential dangers of a looming winter, the decision has been made to further delay a mandatory return to office life.

“Beyond January 10, we will enable countries and locations to make determinations on when to end voluntary work-from-home based on local conditions, which vary greatly across our offices,” Pichai explained.

READ NOW: Google delays office return until January as COVID-19 worries linger

John Lewis celebrates diversity with Create Not Hate partnership

Non-profit organisation Create Not Hate has teamed up with the John Lewis Partnership to run a scheme targeted at young people that are underrepresented in creative industries.

As part of the partnership, John Lewis will offer a number of paid placements for participants to develop their skills further.

The brief for the programme is to create a campaign that reflects a truer meaning of ‘Made in the UK’, one that represents the diversity and ethnicity of the country’s contemporary culture.

“We have an opportunity to create unique and exciting work with fresh-thinking young talent, and I’m thrilled that Create Not Hate are a part of that,” says Create Not Hate founder Trevor Robinson.

“I can’t wait to see how the synergy between us develops into what I know will be outstanding creative work.”

John Lewis director of content and design Matt Richmond added: “We are excited to find and foster undiscovered creative talent that is waiting to be found within our business and the wider community and I can’t wait to see what we discover.”

The winning work is expected to be revealed early next year.

Playhouse opens at Selfridges

London department store Selfridges has opened Playhouse, a games-focused department in its basement.

The space is dominated by an installation featuring games, gaming devices, merch and other related product and has been designed by Smartech, the company behind the store’s hugely successful gadgets and ebikes departments.

Highlights include an Aston Martin car pod with wrap-around screen and a virtual reality gaming chair that allows you to spin upside down while playing Transformers.

As well as the latest tech, there are also plenty of nods to gaming’s past, with rows of old-school arcade machines, with retro-gaming options including Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat.

“Playhouse is designed to reinvent gaming retail and make it more playful, interactive and exciting,” says Smartech co-founder and CEO Nathalie Bernce.

“We’re introducing new exclusives on a twice-monthly basis, to keep the range exciting and fresh. We want people to walk into our store and discover, play or try something that they wouldn’t be able to elsewhere.”

READ MORE: Playhouse, a shrine to video games, launches at Selfridges as industry sales surge



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