The Marketing Week – 26/7/2013

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



Phones4U is weighing into the 4G advertising bunfight with a major campaign highlighting the fact that consumers can upgrade their handsets in its stores, rather than just with their own operators.

The comedic TV ad sees Phones4U staff “upgrading” newly single people by giving them better partners instead. The campaign continues on social media where consumers will be invited to use the hashtag #projectupgrade to get their “morning upgraded” by receiving premium cups of coffee and other, more lucrative prizes.



Starbucks remains for many the poster child of corporate greed in the wake of last year’s allegations of tax avoidance. Although it never admitted so, the subsequent lump sum payment to her majesty was transparently an attempt to manage reputation damage and arrest a drop in sales.

The coffee shop’s management has been on the front foot since, happy it seems to talk about the scandal in the hope of putting it behind them. The strategy appears to be paying off with the company’s UK business returning what it claims was its “strongest ever” third quarter sales performance this week.


Wonga 10 Commitments ad

Never a week goes by it seems when payday loan company Wonga is not taking a hit from somebody somewhere. To now, their critics have been confined to MPs, the OFT, consumer groups and Newcastle United players but this week one of the almighty’s representatives on earth was added to the list of objectors.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby reportedly said the Church of England wants to “compete Wonga out of existence” by funding what he saw as more ethical alternatives. Wonga hit back with press ads detailing its “ten commitments” (geddit) to customers.

Whether Wonga’s constituents will be swayed by Welby is debatable but it would be a brave polemicist who called it a PR win for the company.



Kit Kat is using the latest brainwave technology to allow fans to create art powered by their minds. Nestle is wiring up students across Singapore with headsets to track their brainwaves while they enjoy a Kit Kat bar. Students that take part in “The Break Art” initiative get to see a visual representation of what happens to their brands after they eat the chocolate and get to take home the personalised image. Nestle has roped in popular DJs, bloggers and actors to test the technology as it looks to drum up awareness for the seven week Campus tour. A Facebook app has also been created that lets fans create their own Break Art at home.


Cosmetics brand L’Oreal is trying to find out if mobile coupons work. It has teamed up with pharmaceutical retailer Walgreens to launch a US campaign in an effort to gather data on how smartphone promotions can drive bricks-and-mortal sales. Brands including United Biscuits, Kellogg’s and General Mills have been trying to gauge the value of mobile coupons after identifying the channel as the new promotional frontier.


@AdLawUK – Dan Smith, who heads up the Wraggle & Co ad law team, reacting to the ASA’s warning to brands about protecting children from adult ads on social media.

“Some children watch adult ads after 9pm on TV. Should brands take a tougher line to enforce bedtimes?”

@BenedictEvans – tech analyst, on the launch of Sky’s £10 Now TV box, which allows consumers to convert their TVs into “Smart TVs”

“The sheer pointlessness of YouView is more apparent everyday.”

@NeilRetail – managing director of retail analyst Conlumino, reacting to the ASA’s decision to ban alcohol brand BrewDog’s “post Punk apocalyptic mother fu*ker” claim from its website.

“Personally, I find it deeply concerning that the ASA is effectively censoring website content.”

@adamcranfield – chief marketing officer at Mynewsdesk

“Definitely brands should scour their ranks for content stars – writers, photographers, videographers and comedians!”


  • 29 July New West End company, representing retailers in London’s West End, are to unveil a major new brand positioning for Oxford Street.
  • 31 July – After slashing its marketing spend earlier in the year, AB Inbev will be hoping the decision is vindicated with the reveal of its second quarter results.
  • 1 August – BT Sports’ square off with Sky will turn into an out-and-out brawl next week when the channel launches.
  • 1 August – Motorola will reveal the Moto X at a glittering press ceremony in New York. The company is also set to reveal more about how the brand is changing and will change now it is “a Google company”.
  • 1 August – Pernod Ricard will be previewing its festive brand campaigns and presenting key shopper insights from the first half of the year at its annual Christmas briefing.



The best, worst and just plain audacious Royal baby marketing

Ronan Shields

Last year provided an orgy of marketing around both the Olympics and the Jubilee, meaning 2013 poses little by way of marketing opportunities by way of comparison. Many brands are therefore making the most of the birth of the future heir to the throne and the results are not always regal.   


Launching in Russia

Jonathan Bacon

Russia’s middle class is undergoing phenomenal growth and is predicted to represent 86 per cent of the population by 2020 with a spending power of $1.3trn. Savvy brands are entering the market now to target this next big opportunity.


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