The Marketing Week – 25/1/2013

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



Tesco’s first TV ad campaign of 2013 is a strange affair. In it we see your average customer, creative agency W+K calls her Lisa, doing her weekly shop with She’s daydreaming about who actually does the hard bit of picking out the products and putting them in the basket after she clicks ‘go’ on her laptop, sits back and has another biscuit.

Her fantasy shop-boy is ‘Borg’, a medieval warrior type who stalks through the store picking out fresh fruit and veg, painstakingly checking use by dates and shaking his mane of hair in the health and beauty. A parody perhaps of a Cheryl Cole starring L’Oreal shampoo ad.

He’s not to everyone’s taste, but the attentive way he squeezes avocados to check for ripeness and seeks out bananas just the right shade of green, addresses the dull things that are important to customers with a refreshingly whimsical approach.

It’s funny – not laugh out loud funny – but it makes you smile and provides Tesco with personality. Precisely what it needs to start winning back the hearts of customers.




Finally some good news from Nokia. The struggling smartphone maker posted its first profit in 18 months this week (14 November to be precise) with pre tax earnings of €375m (£316m) in the three months to the end of December.

This rare shard of light in an otherwise gloomy few years, however, does not mean Nokia is out of the woods yet – its sales are still hampered by supplier problems, for example. It does provide some indication the company is finally getting a grip on the smartphone market though. The increased sales of the Lumia range indicate the gamble of partnering with Microsoft is showing signs it is starting to pay off.



Sony Playstation Controller

Data watchdog the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) whacked Sony with a £250,000 fine for a 2011 data breach on its Playstation network earlier this week. Though the size of the fine might seem small for a business like Sony, the ICO considers it to be a “substantial punishment” reflecting the fact the case “is one of the most serious” ever reported.

Sony has hit back at the ICO and is planning to appeal the fine, adding it “strongly disagrees” with the verdict. It highlighted the regulator’s own findings, where, it claims, there was no evidence to suggest credit card details had been accessed during the breach.


TMZ pulls controversial footage after advertiser outcry

US showbiz site TMZ was forced to drop footage of the fatal shooting of US club-goer Andre Lowe following a public outcry which included brands such as Sony Music and Toyota threatening to pull advertising from the site.

The footage of the incident, which took place outside a Hollywood nightclub, was posted earlier this month, prompting criticism from Lowe’s family with a subsequent petition to take the footage down generating hundreds of thousands of signatures.

McDonald’s rebrands Oz operations

McDonald’s has embraced its Australian nickname referring to itself as Macca’s in its marketing in recognition of its popular moniker Down Under. See video below.




Twitter’s new standalone video app Vine –  a mobile service that allows Twitter users to share six second video clips – is literally a day old and only available on iOS at present but is sure to be spurring the creative juices of social media agencies across ad land. Marketing Week is eagerly awaiting the first example of a brand taking advantage of this new development.


29 January Final deadline for entries to the Marketing Week Engage Awards. The glittering ceremony takes place on 21 May

30 January RIM will unveil its make or break operating system Blackberry 10 to the world. Will it pack enough punch to take on Apple and Google or is BB consigned to the history books? RIM’s future success teeters on the reception to this new bit of kit.

30 January Fresh from soft-launching its new Graph Search feature, Facebook will be reporting its fourth quarter results and reminding us (and, crucially, its investors) it really does have this mobile thing down.

31 January The Advertising Association is holding its second summit for UK advertising, Lead 2013. The theme, advertising’s contribution to the UK economy, is the subject of next week’s (31 January) Marketing Week cover story also online at

3 February The US TV advertising event of the year is back and this time it’s more expensive than ever. No, it’s not Dallas. The Baltimore Ravens are taking on the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl.



Ocado is fighting back

Rosie Baker

Ocado’s appointment of Sir Stuart Rose as chairman buoyed the online retailer’s shares this week and is a great endorsement that the brand has staying power.


Brands back government’s soft drinks calorie cut

Seb Joseph

GlaxoSmithKline, AG Barr and Britvic are three of a raft of food and drink brands to commit to using lower calorie levels in their soft drinks as part of the latest phase of the Government’s Responsibility Deal with the industry.


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