The Marketing Week – 16/8/2013

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


This week saw teenagers across the country breathe a sigh of relief as they celebrated their A-Level results. Natwest pounced on the party-vibe with an extensive social media, radio and digital campaign offering students advice on how to survive university. It marks the first time a UK bank has used Twitter’s Vine app, the bank claims. A series of 6-second videos have been released on the app ranging from how to use a pint glass as a speaker to information on the cheque clearing process.

The bank is hoping the focus on offering more practical incentives around its student accounts will encourage people to think harder about how they’ll use its various services. It is a shift from previous efforts, which have attempted to woo students with Laptops and MP3s but ultimately failed to prevent them switching banks when they leave university.


Magazine publishers


A shard of light to punctuate the usual gloom. Digital editions of consumer titles jumped 64 per cent year-on-year in the six months to July 2013, according to the latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC), an increase on the 61 per cent reported for the same period last year.

Growth necessary given total average circulation for the six-month period to June 31 2013 fell by 1.9 per cent, compared with the same period in the previous year.
One has yet to offset the other, of course. Indeed, the Professional Publishers Association (PPA) struck a note of caution declaring the industry is “in the very early days of a revolutionary period”. True, but progress all the same.  




Or, perhaps more charitably, not an ideal week. The supermarket reported a 0.7 per cent increase in sales for its second quarter, the three months to 5 July. First quarter sales, however, had grown 1.3 per cent. Displaying an admirable doughtiness CEO and president Andy Clarke declared himself “pleased with [the] results in a tough market”.

The supermarket will be hoping to report the same impact the sunny July weather has had on the sector as a whole next time out. The Office for National Statistics this week reported food sales jumped 2.1 per cent year on year in July.   


Coke debuts herbal drink brand

Earlier this week Coca-Cola debuted its Habu brand in Thailand, its first foray into the herbal drinks market there. The Thai launch, the global debut for Habu, was tailored for the Thai market with the brand name chosen specifically for its similarity to the English word ‘herbal’. The ready-to-drink beverage is a combination of four cooling ingredients: rosella, liquorice, luo han guo, and cogon grass. No plans for a multi-national roll out are being admitted to at present.

CNN readies for multi-screen world

US news giant CNN has redesigned its online presence to accommodate mobile users after revealing that up to 40 per cent of its traffic is generated by such devices. The site, currently in beta but poised to go public next month, was overhauled using responsive design to ensure users have a consistent experience on the site regardless of which device they are using.


Mobile ad industry
Formerly the poor relation of the online marketing world, the mobile advertising industry has never been in ruder health and earlier this week US mobile ad firm Millennial Media stomped its authority on the sector with the announcement it is to buy fellow ad network Jumptap in a deal worth a reported $200m. As the mobile advertising industry matures and comes of age, further consolidation in this formerly disparate sector is likely.


@levie – CEO of cloud-based sharing start-up Box
Whenever we think other industries are crazy for not being open, remember that Google blocks Microsoft from building a YouTube app.

@littlemisswilde – Twitter user “Jessica” on reading Marketing Week’s “Instant Connection”
In 6 months will saying you use Snapchat for marketing be as absurd as saying you use Chat Roulette?

@DJack_Journo – Late night editor of The Times, during this week’s International friendly between England and Scotland
Joe Hart’s only managed one save all night and that was in the ad for BT sport at half-time.

@MartinBelam – Founder of digital consultancy Emblem
Nothing says “I don’t get digital” like a pre-roll ad skippable after 5 seconds that DOES NOT MENTION THE PRODUCT IN THE FIRST 5 SECONDS

@karengeier – Contributor at Global News and business blogger for The Huffington Post
Facebook has truly put their mark on Instagram. It’s that bar at the top that says ‘couldn’t refresh feed’ 60% of the time when you update.

@IamLauraT- Brand marketing manager at Absolute Radio
I love how the ‘son’ in Coca-Cola’s new ‘anti-obesity’ ad has no weight issues.


  • 17 August The 2013/14 Premier League kicks off, with what is undoubtedly going to be one of the most interesting seasons yet from a media and marketing perspective. BT Sport will have its first chance to truly shine with its broadcast of Liverpool vs Stoke, while News UK will be hoping its technology to show highlights to Sun+ and Times+ subscribers does not suffer any last-minute hitches.
  • 21st August Heineken reveals its half year results for 2013


Russell Parsons

Cold calling can improve the customer experience

Russell Parsons

The clamber to outlaw cold callers has claimed its first high-profile victim. Last week, one of the big six energy providers, SSE decided to put a stop to sales calls unless they are being made to existing customers or prospects that had at some point somewhere indicated they are interested in knowing more.


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