Marketers’ moments of 2019 and predictions for 2020

Marketers from brands including Tesco, Mars Inc and Monzo offer their views on the marketing moments of 2019 and what we can expect in 2020.

Alessandra Belini, chief customer officer, Tesco

Hafod Hardware’s Christmas ad is very powerful and demonstrates all the insight of a good and helpful shopping experience, which is really the basics of good retailing. For just £100, it’s a simple concept with great cast and lovely music. We should all remember the power of simplicity and strive for executions like this, which are memorable yet authentic.

For me, the USA Women’s Football team winning the World Cup was a huge moment that saw them breaking through as important protagonists in the sporting world. Sports sponsoring will increasingly include women’s teams as a consequence, thus able to extend their reach to a broader audience and more inclusive approach.

Global companies signing up female teams as well as individual talents will mean better paid teams, coaches, trainers and staff. It’s an important shift in marketing terms and all because of a handful of fearless women. Brilliant!

Next year, we’ll see more brands with purpose. As we have seen this year, more and more consumers want brands to help them do their bit for their families, their communities and the planet.

One example of how we have been doing that at Tesco is our commitment to remove a billion pieces of plastic from our UK stores, reducing the environmental impact of the products our customers love.

Tristan Thomas, marketing director, Monzo

This year kicked off with my favourite marketing campaign, when Greggs launched its vegan sausage roll to the world. Its parody YouTube video was a solid start but annoying Piers Morgan to the extent that he drove huge publicity for the launch was a masterstroke. If I didn’t know better, I’d think Greggs planned it…

The best part of the campaign was the clear impact it had on Greggs’ bottom line. Its profits in the first six months of the year jumped by more than 50% and sales continue to be over 10% higher than the year before. My Monzo account reflects this too, with an average consumption of one vegan sausage roll a month.

Next year, we’ll see a move towards more positive, inspiring marketing campaigns in an attempt to turn the tide on the pessimistic feeling across the country. Issues like Brexit and the global climate crisis tend to leave people feeling powerless, and brands will look to offer an alternative, inclusive message in response.

Steve Challouma, marketing director, Birds Eye, Aunt Bessies and GoodFella’s

The Carlsberg ‘probably not the best beer’ activity was my favourite marketing moment of this year. It was such a refreshing, honest and shocking admission, and a very clever way of positioning a product renovation. It was a genius moment but I am curious about what’s next and would love to see a case study of how it has done.

I also loved the new Churchill advertising. It’s such a powerful refresh and update of a classic advertising icon, executed with great production values. I was sp impressed. It’s a brilliant modernisation job.

I am keeping a close eye on the changes in media that will occur in 2020 particularly the development TV. Investment in long term media seems to have received a lot of attention and is making a comeback. The media space and tech continues to be more and more dynamic and interesting – with more players combining in – Apple TV+, Disney+, the launch of Britbox, as well as the ramp-up of addressable. It feels like the space is getting crowded and eventually there will be a shakeout.

Jane Wakely, lead CMO, Mars Incorporated

Beyond Mars, Nike’s ‘Air Max Graffiti Stores’ was a brilliant example of how a brand can create a digital sweet spot – linking intelligent reach and content with cultural relevance so seamlessly to online purchase. And Burger King’s election whopper showed cultural relevance at its best. Topical, culturally relevant and highly distinctive and archetypal for Burger King’s challenger approach.

Looking to 2020, I expect purpose 2.0, where purpose demonstrates measurable impact. The strongest marketers will help organisations make a shift from talking purpose to demonstrating how taking action with purpose results in a meaningful, measurable difference. Put simply – moving from ads to acts!

Purpose must be genuinely embedded in the roots of a business and should be a filter which informs all business decision making. We have seen many compelling case studies where more purposeful brands and businesses out-perform their categories – attracting the best and brightest talent to work at the company. Marketers have tremendous resources at their disposal and by finding meaningful synergy between their business’ deep rooted purpose and their brands purpose will be key to driving accelerated growth and making a measurable difference to the world.

Issues like Brexit and the global climate crisis tend to leave people feeling powerless, and brands will look to offer an alternative, inclusive message in response.

Tristan Thomas, Monzo

To give an example from Mars, our petcare purpose is to create a better world for pets and one of our goals is to help eradicate pet homelessness. We have a deep-rooted set of strategies and actions which seek to address the root causes of the issue and we believe in connecting our consumer to those actions via our brands.

One example here is Pedigree, where our ‘Feed the Good’ creative campaign has been key to driving dog adoption. This brand is a great example of how purpose has accelerated our growth and acted as a talent magnet for creativity.

What’s important is that we measure success not only in terms of consumer engagement and growth for our brand, but that we are working to ensure our communication platforms we have created, such as the ‘child replacement programme’, also make a meaningful and measurable difference in solving the tension highlighted – finding real dogs forever loving homes.

Abba Newbery, CMO, Habito

My marketing moment has got to be Aviation Gin’s ruthless hijacking of the Peloton ad disaster. The speed of execution was incredible. I have literally
no idea how they turned it around so fast, but it was utterly genius.

I very much enjoyed seeing the return of Churchill – all the more so on a skateboard. I like to think we were the first to bring skateboard vernacular to financial services marketing, but hats off to Churchill for a wonderful execution and a big idea, with lots more to come I am sure.

It’s post Election Day and so I am having to look at 2020 through blue-tinted spectacles. There is no doubt in my mind that this election was won by marketing – a single-minded message ‘Get Brexit Done’ hammered home endlessly, to incredible effect. I am predicting a new pared-down approach to brand messaging – where simplicity and bravery will be the new watchwords.

Pete Markey, CMO, TSB

2019 has been a year for great marketing. I’ve been lucky enough to judge the Marketing Week Masters again and the standard this year was exceptionally high.

What was impressive was the content award won by Bodyform, which also won in the diversity and inclusion category too. This was a breakthrough piece of work that challenged convention and took on a brave topic in a creative way. This year really felt like the year where brands got in their stride on content and delivered truly great work that really performed.

On top of this, my favourite marketing moment was seeing The Guardian win Marketing team of the year for their amazing turn around work. We missed out on the award as highly commended but I am gracious in defeat knowing how awesome the team are at The Guardian having worked with them over the past couple of years and seeing this first hand.

2020 will be all about personalisation and even greater opportunities to connect with customers with better experiences and better content. It will be the year marketers have to work more closely than ever with their colleagues to truly deliver brilliant and differentiated brand experiences. It will be another great year!

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