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.


Marc Jacobs trades on tweets

Marc Jacobs has opened a pop-up shop in Covent Garden that won’t be accepting any money. Instead people will be able to get their hands on mini fragrances, coffee and macaroons and manicures with a simple tweet. All people have to do is tweet or post a picture or image using the hashtag #mjdaisychain, visit the store and show the post on their mobile phone.

The campaign is aimed at giving something back to Marc Jacobs’ social media audience, as well as prove its creativity and digital credentials. The brand is hoping to replicate the success of its first foray into social commerce in New York earlier this year, when 10,000 people visited the pop-up shop, giving the brand huge social visibility and some great brand equity with consumers.



Asda is reaping the benefits of its early move to cut prices and its consistency in communicating that message, posting a 0.5 per cent increase in like-for-like sales in the first half of the year. That might not seem like much but in an industry experiencing the slowest growth for a decade and with the discounters biting at the big four’s heels its something of an achievement. By comparison Morrisons Tesco and Sainsbury’s posted falls of 7.1 per cent, 3.7 per cent, and 1.1 per cent respectively in their most recent updates.

It is not just in food where Asda is winning either. The supermarket now claims to be the second biggest clothes retailer by volume, overtaking Marks & Spencer for the first time. Online sales were up 20 per cent, with click and collect making up 10 per cent of that after Asda moved first to open new locations such as at underground stations in London.


Magazine publishers


The results of the latest healthcheck of the magazine industry are in and the diagnosis isn’t good. The ABC figures show sales of paid-for print magazines fell by almost a million in the first half of the year, down 4.4 per cent. Compared to a year ago they were down 3.8 per cent. Nuts magazine has already shut down and Company is the latest to go digital-only, while NME’s circulation fell below 15,000.

The increase in sales of digital editions isn’t close to making up for this drop. They were up 26 per cent but that was equal to less than 75,000 more editions sold and digital still accounts for barely 3 per cent of the total market. Publishers argue that ABC’s figures don’t take account of all the different ways their magazine brands now reach consumers, whether via websites, mobile, social or events. However the prognosis for magazines themselves isn’t good and a new wave of closures is now expected.


Oreo goes big on small

The US can often be a land where only the biggest and loudest get the most attention. That’s why Oreo, with its Mini range, is treating 50 of the “mini-est” town in America to a branded surprise.

Each household in these small towns – one for each state – will receive a parcel from “Mel’s Mini Mini Mart”, containing a pack of Oreo cookies and a note on what makes their town so “Wonderfilled”.

HP TV ad made entirely out of Vines

HP has released a US TV ad created entirely by user-generated 6-second Vines. Each of the six Viners are featured having a play with the HP Pavilion x360 laptop/tablet hybrid as part of the brand’s #BendTheRules campaign




Samsung has acquired SmartThings, a startup that creates smart-home controllers, for $200m, according to reports. The company sells kits for around £100 that contain a router and adhesive sensors which can be attached to objects around the home in order to make them connected.

Samsung will be hoping that by attaching more things – including many of the household products it makes – to the net, its big-selling smartphone unit will become even more profitable.

Facebook changes the rules on promotions

Facebook announced earlier this week it is to ban brands from using “Like Gates” – asking consumers to Like their page as an incentive to enter competitions or gain discounts – from November this year.

Ruth Hobbs, who works on the Institute of Promotional Marketing’s legal advisory service, says the amendment will be a “big change” for the marketing industry as the vast majority of promotions using Facebook it has seen have involved a consumer liking a page before being allowed entry to a specific promotion.

She adds: “The promotional marketing industry will need to adapt as ever to this latest rule change; but what is clear is that promoters will need to be creative to put together compelling promotions that consumers want to participate in.”


@trevorbmbagency – BMB co-founder on the Oxford Dictionary’s annual new word additions
Several “new” words have yet again “made it” into the Oxford Dictionaries, including “CHEAP” “TRANSPARENT” “ANNUAL” and “PR-STUNT”.

@Cherylonbrand – CEO Ogilvy & Mather UK on important market research
Commissioned my children to compare brand experiences – #Pizza Hut triumphs over Domino’s every time across all touchpoints, inc taste.

@Simon_Price01 – Pop critic on the latest Sainsbury’s TV ad
Could the middle class family in the Sainsbury’s advert be any more smug? I hope they choke on their frozen yoghurt drops.

@NWalley – MD of media analysts Decipher on the Premier League crackdown on Vine clips
It feels like the Premiership has sold the @TheSunNewspaper something it can’t deliver: a protected, secure IP asset?


19 August HTC is holding a global event to unveil a new phone. The tech blogs suggest the device will be a Windows Phone version of its flagship One (M8) smartphone.

20 August Heineken is posting its half-year results. The brewer will be hoping increased marketing spend behind brands such as Sol and Desperados and football activity led by its master brand will have accelerated sales over the past six months.


Protecting workers’ rights

Tina Desai

It was refreshing to see a balanced view of zero-hour contracts (Making flexible staff work for your brand). These contracts are so often vilified in the media yet are crucial not only to experiential agencies but also the staff who work with them.  From students working their way through university, jobbing actors and dancers to […]