Heineken, Macmillan, Deliveroo: 5 things that mattered this week and why

From Heineken’s revamped employer brand campaign to Deliveroo’s strategy to win in the takeaway delivery sector and Macmillan’s new brand positioning, catch up on all the major news in the marketing industry this week.


Heineken puts focus on employees in ‘rejuvenated’ employer branding campaign

Heineken made waves when its launched its employer branding campaign ‘Go Places’ back in 2016. Used to seeing dull talking heads speaking up about why it’s so great to work at x company, both the HR and marketing industry got a kick up the backside when they saw what Heineken had done.

Fast forward three years and Heineken isn’t sitting on its laurels. The brand’s head of global talent acquisition, Benjamin Clark, wanted to “rejuvenate” the campaign with a focus on employee stories. What he and the marketing team came up with is a bold reimagining of those talking heads, with Heineken bringing to life the challenges its staff face on a day-to-day basis and how they are given the space and opportunity to turn those around.

Unsurprisingly, the campaign has been widely praised on LinkedIn for once again shaking up sector norms. Clark speaks with the authority of someone who has worked in marketing for a long time when he talking about the campaign, a sign of the close collaboration between marketing and HR on this project and what the two disciplines can learn from each other.

In an increasingly competitive landscape for talent, Heineken’s focus on attracting the brightest and best is to be commended. And this is no short-term hunt for an increase in job applications, Clark says he wants to be able to go to the CEO in a year’s time and show him how Heineken is hiring the best and retaining them.

Other brands will need to raise their levels, sharpish.

READ MORE: Awareness, engagement, pride: How Heineken is ‘rejuvenating’ its employer branding strategy

Deliveroo creates brand purpose to win in takeaway market

The takeaway sector is about as competitive as you can get having grown astronomically over the past five years. UberEat, JustEat and Deliveroo are all vying for a place at the top with convenience no longer the biggest selling point.

To combat this, Deliveroo has created a brand purpose – relentless pursuit of delivering food happiness. It’s not particularly catchy but the phrase has provided the company with a north star that underpins all its communications and a new three-pillar strategy.

It’s three-pronged approach consists of targeting“switchers” (consumers already ordering takeaway but from competitors); striking a balance between being a global brand but operating on a local level; and leveraging selection to ensure it offers the best quality food.

This has also affected communications with the company on a path to become less “functional” with its ad campaigns.

Last February, it launched its first global campaign, ‘Eat more amazing’, which it said at the time it wanted to be a long-term positioning. But despite the campaign increasing consideration and purchase intent it failed to bring a strong emotional connection for the brand.

The new ad campaign released this week is definitely not functional. The brand has gone for an oddball advert featuring lots of different futuristic scenes that it hopes will help it stay front of mind among consumers. As well as traditional channels, the campaign will appear on new platforms Twitch, Waze and Acast, all part of a media strategy it says is part of never losing that challenger mindset.

The company recognises that continued growth requires new steps and early this month created a new CMO role to help with Deliveroo’s growth. Having only just joined it is too early to see what impact she may have, but it will interesting to see what effect the new CMO has on the company’s purpose and strategy.

READ MORE: Delivering food happiness: Deliveroo reveals its strategy to win in the delivery sector

Macmillan launches new brand positioning

‘Whatever cancer throws your way, we’re right there with you’ is the message of Macmillan’s new marketing campaign, which launched at the beginning of the week.

It is an evolution of the previous ‘Life with cancer’ campaign, with Macmillan looking to highlight it is a charity that supports people at every stage of their diagnosis and not just at the end.

Macmillan’s last significant rebrand was back in 2006, however it has revamped its marketing strategy three times since 2016.

The charity’s director of brand, Kate Barker, says 2019’s refreshed strategy is less to do with the visual and verbal identity and much more about how Macmillan positions itself. As such, it has entered 2019 with a simpler, modernised and fresher identity, which Barker says has been designed to help the charity resonate better with its supporters.

It is an observation, not a criticism, that Macmillan has had so many strategic refreshes in recent years – even more so than many of those in the FMCG and retail industries, where everything moves at lightning speed and the pressure to keep up is perhaps felt even more.

But Macmillan’s financial motivations are very different to those in other sectors and as a charity of high importance, it is equally vital Macmillan stays top of mind and keeps the conversation moving on. So if it feels a refreshed message and identity will help to do that, and ultimately contribute to making millions of people’s lives easier, then it is the right thing to do.

READ MORE: Macmillan revamps brand strategy as it looks to bring ‘more unity’ to its marketing

One step closer to…cross-media measurement?


This time last year, Unilever’s marketing boss Keith Weed took to the stage at the IAB US’s annual conference, shook his fist (maybe) and told digital platforms including Facebook and Google that he would pull investment unless they overhauled their behaviour and took more responsibility for issues around fake news and toxic content.

Fast forward 12 months and Unilever claims to have made “significant steps” towards building the first cross-media measurement model that offers brands transparency of media performance, having worked “proactively” with digital advertising and measurement companies.

“We are hugely encouraged that our digital and measurement partners worked with us to enable these significant steps towards solving the challenge of holistic media measurement. This represents a genuine willingness across the industry to find creative, effective solutions to shared issues,” Weed says.

“To realise our vision of a more transparent and high-quality digital ecosystem, our partnerships have been, and will remain, instrumental in developing an always-on, privacy-safe model for cross media measurement.”

Holistic, transparent, high-quality, always-on, privacy-safe, cross media measurement. Bingo! But in all seriousness, if Unilever can get the rest of the industry involved to help bring this to life, then this could be a game-changer for a challenging digital ad ecosystem that has become increasingly murky, fraudulent and difficult to navigate in recent years.

READ MORE: Unilever calls for industry to help develop cross-media measurement model

Holland & Barrett wins TfL diversity competition

Holland & Barrett Me.No.Pause campaign

Finally we’ll see one of the most under-represented groups – older women – in advertising following Holland & Barrett’s win in TfL’s inaugural diversity competition. The aim of the competition was to improve the portrayal of women in ads after research found that the majority of people don’t feel represented by the ads they see around London.

TfL and City Hall had almost 90 brands enter, with Holland & Barrett winning for its campaign focused around the menopause and encouraging women to speak up about their experiences. Not only does it aim to tackle one of the last taboos, it also does in a diverse way – featuring women from a variety of walks of life and experiences of the menopause.

This also isn’t a campaign that will just be seen in London. While the £500,000 it will get for winning was clearly attractive, Holland & Barrett is running this campaign nationwide through social media, digital and in its stores, where staff have been trained to help women who have questions about the menopause.

Of course, the hope is this will also encourage other brands to look beyond the obvious and tackle more interesting subjects and feature more diverse people in their ads. That will only become the norm, though if brands like Holland & Barrett can shout about the effectiveness of diverse and inclusive ads (as Maltesers did after it won Channel 4’s first competition).

READ MORE: Holland & Barrett wins TfL diversity competition with campaign aiming to break the ‘taboo’ around the menopause



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