The Marketing Week

Welcome to The Marketing Week, your guide to the good, the bad and the ugly in the marketing industry over the last seven days.


Adidas’s World Cup ad might not be the best but it is certainly noteworthy. Millions have been spent on the TV spot featuring brand ambassadors Leo Messi, Dani Alves and Luis Suárez and a new track by Kanye West but the most noteworthy thing about the campaign is the unusual approach to engendering loyalty among social media followers employed.

The final frame of the Youtube ad asks people to click ‘all in’ or ‘nothing’ buttons, a reference to the campaign’s ‘all in or nothing’ name. Those that choose ‘all in’ will be connected  “to everything Adidas has to offer” on Twitter and via CRM initiatives during the World Cup but those that choose ‘nothing’ will, err, not.

Adidas said people choosing “all in” demonstrate they “understand Adidas’s philosophy and approach to football”, while it is happy to lose those choosing “nothing”. A focus on the quality rather than the quantity of its social media audiences the reason it offered.

Hubris? PR bluster? Or a trail-blazing eschewing of chasing social media followers for volume sake? Jury’s out.


The reason Apple splashed out £3bn on Beats Electronics is up for debate. The quest for pop culture cache, the potential of its streaming service or the desire to recapture its cool factor among the young have all been offered as the motivation by observers. What is less debatable is that it is a coup for Beats.

Payday for co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre aside, it is a huge vote of confidence in the Beats brand in particular its music product – “the first [subscription service] that really got it right”, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Apple is also buying into one of the most artist-friendly and celebrity-endorsed brands in Beats headphones – with stars such as Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj lending their name to the Beats lineup over the years.


An ad for e-cigarette brand VIP that attracted 937 complaints about its ‘overtly sexual’ tone topped the list of most complained about ads of last year.

The ad featured a woman pleading: “I want you to get it out. I want to see it. Feel it. Hold it. Put it in my mouth. I want to see how great it tastes” – an innuendo laden request to borrow a VIP e-cigarette.

The Advertising Standards Authority took issue with its scheduling and ordered it could only be aired after 11pm.

It could be argued that the attention that comes with being named the year’s most complained about ad of 2013 is a positive thing but clumsy innuendo is neither big or clever.


Coca-Cola Asia in partnership with Ogilvy & Mather China has created an array of fun bottle caps designed to recycle empty plastic bottles into more useful objects.

The creative Coca-Cola red caps transform empty bottles into everything from a paintbrush, to a water gun, and from a bubble blower to mini dumbbells.

Coca-Cola is hoping the fun campaign will ease the impact the millions of plastic bottles it produces have on the environment by giving its packaging a “life” beyond their original use.

Uniqlo has launched a service that lets Japanese customers design their own T-shirts from their smartphones. Users can create graphics, add lettering and upload their photos to a t-shirt before picking them up from a participating store or receiving them in the post. A shirt costs ¥1,990 (£11.69p).

Anyone remember the images created by Italian designer Marco Sodano that used Lego to recreate famous paintings such as the Mona Lisa? It seems Lego noticed them too and has appointed Sodano to create official versions, which are being used in marketing campaigns in Hong Kong. The message? Anyone can be a great artist like Da Vinci or Vermeer if they just have some Lego. Best get playing.


Hot on the heels of Apple’s acquisition of streaming service Beats Music, Amazon is reportedly prepping a music platform of its own. It will be bundled into the retailer’s Prime service, according to reports, meaning customers will not have to pay extra for the service. The caveat is that users will not be able to hear new songs with the service only offering tracks older than six months. If true, Amazon would be making its move into an increasingly competitive market. iTunes downloads have slowed as people turn to subscription-based services such as Spotify and Pandora where they can stream unlimited music for free.


@SatyaNadella – Microsoft CEO on “the more personal computing era”
The most powerful OS in the world is still the human being, that’s what drives us into the more personal computing era

@MalcolmColes – general manager of Mirror Online on brands’ disjointed social/mobile presences
If your brand is on twitter or facebook and you don’t have a site that isn’t easily viewable on mobile you really are an idiot.

@Cams5 – CEO of M&C Saatchi on the reality of after work events
Looking forward to @WACL1 tonight. Feels like forever since I last got into a black tie frock in the work loos. (These are glamorous times.)

@AndyButlernet – graphic designer and editor of on Adidas’ latest TV ad featuring Lionel Messi and Kanye West
First Adidas blatantly copy flyknit then they launch a World Cup TV ad that’s practically the same as Nike’s last few ads #cantbeatemjoinem


4 June – Tesco is widely expected to post its worst quarterly results in a decade on Wednesday as the price war bites into its sales.

5 June – The British Retailing Consortium holds its international retailing conference with speakers coming from Mothercare, Debenhams and M&S.



The Top 10 YouTube ads in April

Sarah Vizard

With the World Cup less than 3 weeks away brands are ramping up their campaigns. So far Nike and Castrol are the winners, securing 3 of the top 4 spaces in YouTube’s most popular ads in April, while Evian’s Spider-Man dancing baby and Waitrose’s carrot and boy also stand out.