The Marketing Week – 2/11/2012

Welcome to The Marketing Week, your guide to the good, the bad and the downright bizarre marketing highlights of the last seven days.


Taking over a huge outdoor site like Cromwell Road in London or forking out £4.5m to cover wrap several national newspapers (a la Vodafone) was not sufficient for Microsoft Xbox. No, the games console brand decided to take over the principality of Liechtenstein to promote the release of first person shooter game Halo 4.

Super fans and media from across the world were catapulted into a “war zone”, which recreated battle grounds from the game, featured pyrotechnic explosions and a cinematic set.
Here’s a some pics of the “lucky few” doing their best war faces.





Shoppers are planning to spend the same or more on Christmas this year and will stretch their budgets using discount vouchers or reward points from loyalty schemes to make their money go further, according to a study by HSBC.

The news will provide a welcome splash of festive good cheer for retailers, who have watched consumers’ budgets reduced to a shoestring over the previous two Christmas seasons.



Apple opened the week by announcing the departures of former Dixons group CEO John Browett who became its retail head less than six months ago and the senior vice president of its iOS software, Scott Forstall.


To add to the pain, the UK Court of Appeal rapped Apple’s knuckles later on in the week for the snarky “apology” it was ordered to run on its website, stating that Samsung had not copied the design of the iPad in its Galaxy Tabs. The judge took a dim view to Apple’s inclusion of the UK High Court’s judge’s comments in a separate hearing, who said Samsung is “not as cool” as its US rival.

The advert looked less Apple and a lot more sour grapes and the company has been forced to remove its bitter-tasting statement and replace it with more suitable prose by the end of today (2 November).


EE logo

Have you seen EE’s new-look high street stores that were unveiled late last week and thought they look a little familiar? Two shoppers walking past the busy Oxford Street store were overheard commenting they strike a resounding resemblance to the outlet in E4’s comedy series “Phone Shop”. Here’s hoping the staff inside are more enthusiastic than the hapless characters from the programme.

Is Comic Relief looking to create additional fundraising events beyond Red Nose Day and Sport Relief? The charity has gone IP crazy in recent weeks, registering the trademarks: Serious Relief, Book Relief, Science Relief, Food Relief and Dance Relief. Lenny Henry will be a busy boy.


  • 45 per cent of US voters feel Barack Obama is a “meaningful candidate” that listens and cares to them, compared with just 20 per cent for Mitt Romney. (Source: Havas Media Labs)
  • £550 the average amount Sky customers spend on its services each year. (Source: Sky)
  • 82 per cent of people think banks to do not have people’s best interests at heart. (Source: ICM)



American Apparel’s CEO Dov Charney’s response to the social media backlash about an email shot it sent to customers in eastern states of the US offering them 20 per cent off products using the discount code “SANDYSALE”.

Lara O'Reilly

A British supermarket unveiled a new strapline this week. But can you fill in the missing word?

Here for you for ____

Comment on this story or email with your answer for the chance to…appear in next week’s edition of The Marketing Week! No Googling!


Ruth Mortimer

HMV has hit a wrong note with its corporate stance

Ruth Mortimer

Retailer HMV has decided to ask staff to cover up any “prominent” tattoos and body piercings in a bid to improve shoppers’ experience. In what must count as the final nail in the coffin of HMV’s rock and roll reputation, the company says it feels a more “consistent approach” to staff appearance will meet the expectations of customers who have to be at the “heart of everything” the brand does.


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