McDonald’s, Diageo, Ford: 5 things that mattered this week and why

From McDonald’s bringing back the CMO role to Diageo’s push into personalisation and P&G’s anti-racism call to arms, catch up on all the important marketing news from the past week.

McDonald's ceo leaving

McDonald’s brings back the CMO role

McDonald’s is bringing back the CMO role less than a year after it scrapped it as a part of a restructure, as it looks to “reestablish strong business momentum” after coronavirus.

Former UK marketing boss Alistair Macrow is taking on the top job. Macrow was most recently CMO of its international operated markets business and will be responsible for both marketing strategy and the career development of the brand’s marketing teams.

Macrow’s appointment comes less than a year after McDonald’s shook up its marketing structure following the departure of global CMO Silvia Lagnado. At the time, McDonald’s split the role but it seems Covid-19 means having a board-level marketer is needed again.

The reappointment shows a commitment from CEO Chris Kempczinski to marketing as the brand recovers from coronavirus and associated lockdowns. McDonald’s is aware that it has a significant job to recover and this new role shows that marketing will be at the core of that plan.

READ MORE: McDonald’s brings back the global CMO role less than a year after scrapping it

Diageo ramps up personalisation

diageo personalised giftingDiageo is ramping up personalisation as it looks to help consumers connect more. Its message in a bottle initiative, just in time for Father’s Day, allows users to create a personalised video message that then gets turned into a QR code and put on a bottle label.

This is not the first time that the alcohol giant has invested in personalisation, especially on whisky. Luxury products often do better on personalisation as consumers are already looking for personal touches.

This is all part of Diageo’s three-pronged plan to “recruit, re-recruit and disrupt”. It is actually spending less money in innovation after admitting it was at “peak”, instead focusing on landing bigger innovations and encouraging current ones.

This personalisation is particularly relevant during coronavirus as it will help  people connect virtually as people are separated from their families. A nice touch from Diageo.

READ MORE: Diageo launches personalised gifting pilot to help people ‘connect’

Brands urged not to cut recruitment of young people

Marketing Academy Foundation training session
Training for apprentices hosted by the Marketing Academy Foundation.

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to exert extreme pressure on brands as they consider how to bring back furloughed staff and contemplate painful redundancies. With recruitment freezes now widespread, it is tempting for companies to stop their search for young talent in the belief that it would be too difficult to induct them remotely.

The Institute of Student Employers (ISE) estimates that 800,000 young people will join the labour market come August, just as government support starts to be phased out for the 8.9 million people currently on furlough in the UK. As a result the ISE estimates there will be 12% fewer jobs overall for graduates and 32% fewer for apprentices and school leavers. The fear is this could be even higher in the marketing industry.

Stats from recruiter Indeed show that marketing vacancies on its site are down 69% on last year (as of 15 May), compared to a drop of 57% across all job types, meaning marketing jobs have dried up faster. While there has been a 20% uptick in new marketing job postings since 20 April, that still lags behind the 35% increase across all job types.

Aside from stifling their recruitment pipelines, by giving up on young talent during the current crisis brands could well be denting future demand for marketing apprentices.

Apprenticeships in marketing may still be in their infancy, but they are seen as an important route in for diverse talent. However, there is still a long way to go to make apprenticeships part of the mainstream as data from Marketing Week’s 2020 Career and Salary Survey shows just 0.7% of marketers have studied for an apprenticeship.

While progress has been made it is fragile and brands must be careful not to turn their back on young people just because recession looms, as diverse talent will be what brings them out of the crisis.

READ MORE: Why brands must not forget young talent during Covid-19

P&G’s anti-racism call

Procter & Gamble has called out race and racism before, but with a growing understanding that everyone has a role to play, it has taken a different tact with its new campaign.

‘The Choice’, created by agency Grey and Cartwright, emphasises that white people not being racist is not enough, they need to actively change their behaviour to bring about change. It contains a call to arms, noting that now is the “time to take action” and urging white people to “read, listen, donate, plan, march, vote, speak out step in, step up” and ends with a web address for a resource guide on race.

The campaign is a shift in approach for P&G because it asks white people to acknowledge the role they play in actively fighting prejudice and how they can serve as allies. Previous campaigns including ‘The Talk’ and ‘The Look’ have focused on highlighting issues such as bias.

But as the understanding of the role white people must play in tackling structural racism becomes clearer, it’s a message that is all the more important.

READ MORE: P&G calls on white people to ‘step up’ and tackle racism

Ford hires first brand and marketing director

Ford has hired its first brand and marketing director in Europe.

Peter Zillig will take on the role as it looks to strengthen its brand positioning. He is charged with focusing its messaging around the car marque’s new tagline ‘Bring On Tomorrow’.

The positioning, launched in January, aims to show consumers that the car giant is the future of electric vehicles, and focused on innovation and technology.

The move shows Ford’s commitment to marketing as it looks to ramp up its communications around electricity. Currently the motor industry is at a crossroads when it comes to the environment and all are looking to win the race of who is the next generation’s environmentally car of the future.

READ MORE: Ford brings in first brand and marketing director to ‘strengthen’ brand direction



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