Burger King, Asda, Boeing: 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.

Burger King has hidden a Big Mac in every Whopper ad this year

Burger King has revealed it spent the whole year trolling its rival McDonald’s by hiding a Big Mac behind its Whopper in every ad this year.

Burger King’s Whopper is sizeably bigger than the Big Mac, but while it is well known for its size outside the UK consumers in Britain are less aware of this. To change this, Burger King’s UK agency BBH hid a Big Mac in every print, TV and in-store ad.

It is now encouraging people to go back and check all its ads and spot the Big Macs.

BBH’s chief creative officer Ian Heartfield says: “Placing our competitor’s product in our own ads throughout 2019 without anyone knowing has been one of the most fun ideas we have ever executed. It is of course just a good old fashioned product comparison idea, but it’s been brought bang up to date by some lateral thinking and rebellious media behaviour. We’re loving it.”

Asda puts focus on community champions in Christmas Eve ad

Asda is making its community champions the star of a new TV ad that will air on Christmas Eve.

The spot features Clacton Veterans Club and is part of its ‘Let’s Make Christmas Extra Special’ campaign. It shows the 1940s themed Christmas lunch that was held at the club earlier this month to raise awareness of the nearly 400 community champions that have helped to deliver 600 Christmas parties this festive season with the help of a £1m donation from the Asda Foundation.

Asda’s vice-president of creative and media, Eilidh Macaskill, sats: “Across December nearly 400 of our Community Champions have been going the extra mile to spread the magic across festive events in their local communities.

“This generosity is also reflected through our whole Christmas campaign this year, from the wonderful spirit of Tilly and Jack in our ad, to a beautiful digital storybook of ‘Santa’s Leftover Magic’ that has been created in support of our Fight Hunger Create Change Initiative and the doubling of donations from the Asda Foundation to over £1m to support good causes since October.”

The ad will air on Christmas Eve during Emmerdale and Googlebox, as well as Christmas Day during Coronation Street and The Two Ronnies: The Unseen Sketches.

Boeing ousts CEO as it tries to rebuild trust following fatal plane crashes

Boeing has fired its CEO Dennis Muilenberg as the aircraft manufacturers tries to rebuild trust among customers, regulators and the public after two fatal plane crashes involving its 737 Max craft.

Chairman David Calhoun will take over as CEO is January. The company says a change is necessary to “restore confidence in the company moving forward”.

Larry Kellner, who will take over as Boeing’s chairman, says: “On behalf of the entire board of directors, I am pleased that Dave has agreed to lead Boeing at this critical juncture.

“Dave has deep industry experience and a proven track record of strong leadership and he recognises the challenges we must confront. The board and I look forward to working with him and the rest of the Boeing team to ensure that today marks a new way forward for our company.”

Calhoun adds: “I strongly believe in the future of Boeing and the 737 Max. I am honoured to lead this great company and the 150,000 dedicated employees who are working hard to create the future of aviation.”

Retailers brace for last-minute Christmas shopping

Retailers are hoping/bracing for a last-minute dash to the shops as consumers make use of the last day to bring Christmas gifts.

Waitrose says it expects sales on 23 and 24 December to double compared to last week, with milk, double cream and lemons the most popular food items. Meanwhile, John Lewis expects panicked shoppers to pick up last-minute gifts including novelty socks, smart speakers and Lego.

John Lewis’s head of gift buying Anna Berry says: “Maybe the reason we see so many customers buying expensive last minute gifts is because many people find those closest to them the hardest people to buy for. Our recent research found that more than one in five of us find our partners are the hardest people to buy for, followed by our parents.”

Adidas and Beyonce team up for gender neutral clothing line

Adidas is teaming up with Beyonce as she relaunches her Ivy Park brand with a new gender-neutral range.

The clothing line will include shoes, clothes and accessories, mostly in the colour orange, cream and maroon. The collection, which is on the cover of January’s issue of Elle magazine, is described by Adidas as gender-neutral and will feature the brand’s signature triple stripe.

Beyonce previously worked with fashion chain Topshop on Ivy Park but the singer cut ties with Sir Philip Green’s brand. Financial details of the tie-up with Adidas have not been released.

The partnership is aimed at boosting Adidas’s appeal to women, where it does not perform as strongly as rival Nike. However, CEO Kasper Rorsted has said it will take time for sales to ramp up to a meaningful level for the company.

READ MORE: Beyoncé and Adidas to unveil gender-neutral Ivy Park

Monday, 23 December

Waitrose

Waitrose shoppers increasingly turn to loose veg

Waitrose says its shoppers are becoming increasingly environmentally savvy, with many wanting to buy loose rather than packaged vegetables.

The upmarket grocer says orders of its six best-selling loose vegetables at Christmas are up by 75% this year, while sales of their packaged equivalents are down.

Over the last 10 months, sales of loose broccoli and parsnips are up by 8% and 6% respectively. Loose carrots sales have risen by 21%, while loose red potatoes sales increased by 23% in the last two months alone. Sales of loose sprouts are outperforming their packaged version by 5%.

Waitrose & Partners fresh produce buyer Paul Bidwell says: “For the last 20 years, the convenience of packaged produce has seen it outsell loose, but as consumers have become increasingly environmentally conscious and wanting to buy only what they need, we could be returning to how people used to shop with loose produce making a big comeback.

“We know we have a lot of work still to do to encourage customers to buy more loose fruit and vegetables, but there are signs we are seeing a shift in customer behaviour and we want to build on that momentum.”

Separately, sales of refillables at Waitrose’s four stores that feature its ‘Unpacked format’ are outselling packaged equivalents by 68%. The supermarket is testing taking products including pasta, lentils, cereals and frozen fruit out of their packaging.

High street footfall down on ‘Super Saturday’

Footfall on the high street declined by 10.3% year on year on 21 December, the last Saturday before Christmas and a crucial day for retailers, according to data from ShopperTrak.

However, across the whole year footfall is currently up 0.2% year on year, with ShopperTrak suggesting that with Black Friday and Christmas discounting starting early this year, many shoppers may already have bought most of their gifts. Footfall is expected to rise over the next couple of days as shoppers shift from online to high street stores.

ShopperTrak global general manager Nick Pompa says: “We expect to see shoppers switching from clicks to bricks and opt to hit the high street to finish off their Christmas shopping.

“Momentum is expected to continue as we head towards the big day, with many shoppers also taking advantage of later click-and-collect deadlines now being offered by retailers, with some even offering to fulfil click-and-collect orders on Christmas Eve itself.”

Tesco suspends Christmas card sales over forced labour allegations

Tesco has suspended production at a Chinese factory alleged to have forced foreign prisoners to help make charity Christmas cards and ceased sales of the cards.

The allegations, first reported in the Sunday Times, emerged when a young girl from London opened a box of the cards and found a plea for help inside one of them. The message read: “We are foreign prisoners in Shanghai Qinqpu prison China. Forced to work against our will. Please help us and notify human rights organisation.”

A Tesco spokesman says: “We abhor the use of prison labour and would never allow it in our supply chain. We were shocked by these allegations and immediately suspended the factory where these cards are produced and launched an investigation. We have also withdrawn these cards from sale while we investigate.

“We have a comprehensive auditing system in place and this supplier was independently audited as recently as last month and no evidence was found to suggest they had broken our rule banning the use of prison labour. If a supplier breaches these rules, we will immediately and permanently de-list them.”

READ MORE: Tesco withdraws Christmas cards from sale after forced labour claims

Zoopla repositions around the emotion of moving home

Zoopla is repositioning and taking a more emotional approach to its marketing as it looks to attract more users to its site.

A new campaign, created by new agency Lucky Generals, will first air on Boxing Day and run across TV, YouTube, video-on-demand, outdoor, display and social. It incluces Zoopla’s new positioning – ‘We know what a home is really worth’ – which aims to show the emotional, not just the rational, side to moving house.

January is one of the busiest times of the year for house hunting, with Zoopla expecting a 60% increase in traffic next month compared to December.

Zoopla’s head of consumer marketing, Richard Houston, says: “Our new campaign is all about how Zoopla understands the emotional value of moving home is as important as the rational side.

“The new campaign builds off Zoopla’s strength in house price estimates but highlights people are not just looking for a good price, they are looking for a place that means something to them. We are excited to see how people respond to the playful campaign and look forward to unveiling more creative, along with dedicated content on social media and our own channels, in the weeks to come.”

BT’s Dan Ramsey takes on new role at GREAT campaign

BT’s multibrand marketing director Dan Ramsey is leaving to join the Department for International Trade (DIT) as director of the GREAT campaign.

He will join in January. The GREAT campaign is the government’s biggest international marketing activity, active in 144 countries worldwide, and aims to showcase the best that Great Britain and Northern Ireland have to offer, encouraging people to visit, do business, invest and study in the UK.

DIT permanent secretary Antonia Romeo says: “Dan Ramsay brings significant marketing and campaigns experience from the private sector into the civil service, having led high-profile campaigns such as the launch of BT Sport. I am delighted that he will be leading the GREAT Britain Campaign at such an important juncture for the UK.”

Ramsey has worked at BT for more than 12 years and was most recently responsible for aligning and integrating its BT and EE brands. He takes over from Claire Pimm, who has been interim director of GREAT since June.

Ramsay adds: “I am honoured to be leading such a prestigious and high-profile campaign that makes such a massive difference to our nation. The opportunity to promote and grow a very special brand – the UK itself – means this is a truly unique marketing role.”

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