Lidl lets customers vote on Christmas prices
Lidl unveiled an ‘industry first’ social media initiative that allows customers to crowdsource the prices of select Christmas products. The Twitter-based strategy means the more customers tweet about a featured Lidl product, the lower its final price will be.
The Lidl ‘Social Price Drop’ (a concept created by agency 360i Europe) started on Monday (21 November) with Christmas lobster. And thanks to people tweeting, it will cost £2.99 in stores tomorrow (26 November), rather than its usual price of £5.99.
And every Wednesday in the run-up to Christmas the final prices of featured items will be revealed, with shoppers then able to take advantage of the reduced cost in-store the following Saturday. In-store ticketing will also highlight the ‘Social Price Drop’ promotion.
“The Social Price Drop is a first for any supermarket in the UK, and we’re incredibly excited about giving our customers the power on Twitter to lower the price of some of our finest festive products,” says Georgina Hall, head of communications at Lidl UK.
“Christmas is a very expensive time of year for shoppers up and down the country and as a retailer at the heart of Britain’s communities, our ambition is to put the control back into the hands of consumers and save them even more in the run up to Christmas.”
John Lewis is winning the Christmas ad battle, so far
John Lewis is way ahead in the Christmas ad battle this year as its popular TV ad featuring Buster the Boxer and buzz on social media translates to high consumer engagement.
Thanks to the Buster the Boxer campaign, John Lewis has clocked up an impressive 203,199 mentions across social media since 4 November, according to Waggener Edstrom [WE] Communication’s brand agility index. To put this number into perspective, the closest competitor is M&S with 43,376 mentions.
On the other end of the scale, the likes of Asda, Boots and Debenhams have all struggled for social buzz, generating just 3,411, 2,223 and 1,578 mentions respectively.
WE’s index is compiled by ranking brands out of five in areas including a campaign’s scalability, relevance, the speed in which it responds on social media, engagement, originality, personalisation and sentiment. WE achieves this by analysing all conversations and engagement levels from brands across news, blogs, forums, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and comments on YouTube during the festive period.
With a score of 108, John Lewis is the most engaging Christmas marketing campaign out of a list of 15 retailers. Aldi’s Kevin the Carrot is also resonating with the discounter not too far behind with a score of 96 and way ahead rival Lidl’s score of 70. Aldi is closely followed by M&S (92) and Argos (80).
Microsoft thinks it is ‘cool enough’ to take on Apple
For the first time Microsoft is using Christmas to focus on product benefits rather than launches. Microsoft believes perceptions of the brand have changed, with consumers now seeing it as “cool”, thanks to product innovations, such as the Surface Pro 4 tablet, Surface Pro Studio desktop and Hololens virtual reality technology.
With this in mind, Microsoft is focusing on execution rather than product launches this Christmas, targeting a millennial audience with products it says are now “premium”.
People are saying Microsoft is cool again, that stuff doesn’t happen by accident, it comes from a lot of love for Microsoft.
Steven Woodgate, Microsoft
“Last year we released the Surface Pro 4, the first time we had a brilliant game changer in market. This year we have a product that we launched in February, so it is the first time at Christmas we are not worried about launches, we’re worried about the execution of the product,” Steven Woodgate, Surface marketing manager at Microsoft, tells Marketing Week.
The company started the campaign for the Surface Pro last week. The ad moves away from Microsoft’s previous stance of comparing its products to Apple, something Woodgate believes is “much more second nature to the US advertising team”. He believes that because the ad features a real person with real stories, there is no need for this sort of comparison.
“It’s a very different Microsoft to two years ago. People are saying Microsoft is cool again, that stuff doesn’t happen by accident, it comes from a lot of love for Microsoft. You now go into coffee shops and see people pull out their Surface Pro. Three years ago, you wouldn’t have said people would pull out Dell Windows laptops, they would have pulled out a Mac,” Woodgate says.
P&G cuts its agencies by 50%
Procter & Gamble (P&G) has reduced the number of PR and advertising agencies it works with by around 50% in a bid to increase its marketing productivity.
The number of agencies has dropped from 6,000 to roughly 3,000, and in just over two years it has divested, discontinued or consolidated 105 brands, reducing the number of categories it competes in by 60%.
Speaking at P&G’s analyst day, the company’s chief brand officer Marc Pritchard said the company’s marketing cost is its third biggest behind people and products. In 2015, it said it was looking to cut the number of agencies it is working with by 40% as part of an efficiency drive, this has now increased to 50%.
“Three years ago, we spent nearly $8bn in advertising, including more than $2bn in agency fees and the cost to produce advertising and marketing related material. Category-by-category, market-by-market, we consolidated to reduce the roughly 6,000 agencies that we use for advertising, media, public relations, package design, in-store materials by about 50%,” he said.
The FMCG giant is also on a mission to produce far fewer, but “much better”, advertising and marketing campaigns. So far, P&G claims to have saved $620m, which has been reinvested in media and sampling.
McDonald’s bets on wooden doll for Christmas
McDonald’s headline Christmas TV ad, created by Leo Burnett, features a vintage doll called Juliette who comes to life after being left on a shelf and missing out on becoming a kid’s festive toy.
As well as the TV ad, Juliette will feature in McDonald’s social activity and in a separate 20-second ad highlighting this year’s Christmas menu. The fast food brand’s in-store Christmas activity will also allow customers to potentially win £10 Amazon gift cards through McDonald’s first ever augmented reality-enabled tray mat.
“The Juliette tray mat is our first step into augmented reality and we’re excited to see our customers using it,” says Emily Somers, vice president of food and marketing at McDonald’s UK.