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.


Think playing football and eating fries at the same time is difficult? Not any more. McDonald’s has replaced its iconic red French fries packaging with 12 World Cup themed designs from street artists. But that’s not all. Using its augmented reality “McDonald’s Gol” app, people can scan the boxes to launch a virtual trick shot challenge, with the fries appearing as the goal and other packaging used as objects to help the player complete the test.

But this isn’t just for fun, national pride is at stake. Players can choose to represent their country and accrue points for completing the trials, which are shown on a World Cup leaderboard. Hopefully one of the challenges isn’t penalties or England will be languishing at the bottom.



The media company topped off a good couple of weeks by seeing its brand value increase by 61 per cent in 2013, according to the annual BrandZ list of the world’s most valuable brands.
BT is the fourth most valuable UK brand, up three places from 2012, with a valuation of £15.4bn.

The launch of the BT Sport channel last year helped create a “sense of adventurousness and fun around the company”, according to Millward Brown global BrandZ director Peter Walshe.
Earlier this month BT credited the August 2013 launch of BT Sport – now available in more than 5 million UK households – for helping its consumer division post its first yearly revenue growth in more than a decade. BT told Marketing Week consumer interest in the channel has also had a halo effect on the wider BT brand.


It emerged this week that information on eBay customers, including their names, email addresses, phones numbers, dates of birth and encrypted passwords has been compromised after an attack by hackers. Although no financial data had been compromised, the market place has seen perception of its brand hit and has caught the attention of the UK’s data protection authority, the ICO, which says it is looking into it before deciding whether to investigate further.



McDonald’s ‘terrifying’ new Happy Meal will scare kids

The fast-food chain caused a stir this week when its new Happy Meal mascot was shunned by the Twitter sphere. The company tweeted a photo of the character, saying: “Say hello to our newest friend, Happy!”, but fans felt the animated red box with bulging eyes and large teeth was more likely to scare kids than make them happy. Within hours of the introduction, McDonald’s newest creation was scorched with words such as “scary” and “Epic fail”. The company hit back at the criticisms with the claim that social media posts do not “reflect the broader view”.

Pinterest makes itself more useful to brands


Pinterest has finally taken a step towards making itself more measureable to brands following the launch of its ad offering in the US. It is launching an insights API that will for the first time let third party software developers use Pinterest’s data on how Pins, the content companies upload to the network, are performing to help brands monitor the effectiveness of their campaigns. That includes information such as which products are most popular, what types of images are being shared and like and which are driving he most traffic.

This is the latest step by Pinterest to make itself more useful to brands. It formally launched its Promoted Pin ad format in the US earlier this month with plans to roll it out internationally in the coming months. Pinterest’s global head of partnerships Joanne Bradford also told people to “stay tuned” for new of its self-service ad platform.


Facebook will soon know what users are listening to or watching

Facebook unveiled its Shazam-style product this week, trumpeting it as “new way to share and discover music”. The feature, which launches on iOS and Android devices in the coming weeks, uses a phone’s microphone to recognise a TV show being watched or a song being listened to, before tagging it in a user’s News Feed. Friends can then link to the tagged show’s page or listen to a 30-second preview of the featured track. Facebook’s partnerships with music platforms Spotify, Radio and Deezer are facilitating the product. The move could spell trouble for Shazam as the social network looks to muscle in on the music discovery market.


@parkersteve – founder partner at The Social Practice
on O2’s £1 lunch update to its Priority loyalty push more dog and get free Pizza Hut and Walkers Crisps. Really liberating #bemoredog

@MatthewPhelan – 4Ps Marketing board member
 on eBay’s cyber attack
Anyone got an email address for these @eBay hackers? I need to find out my password and user name.

@suziwilliamsbt – BT Group chief brand officer 
on BT’s strong performance in this year’s BrandZ Top 100
BT’s brand is now valued by @BrandFinance and by Brand Z at $15bnn dollars. Good to see the hard work paying off. Well done Team BT!

@Underemployed – Channel 4 audience planner
 on PayPal’s new advertising campaign
Paypal’s tagline, “people rule” … What’s all that about, then?


@jopkins – head of digital at Nandos UK
 on the death of the flash mob
Remember when the answer to any brief was let’s do a flashmob? what’s the new flashmob?


29 May – B&Q announces its first quarter trading update.

30 May – The British Retail Consortium releases its British economic briefing report.



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