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.



Puma has somewhat been sidelined this year as attention turned towards the battle between Adidas and Nike during the World Cup but it still a brand pulling in £500m+ revenue a month.

Despite boating sponsorship of several teams at the tournament and deals with the likes of Italy’s Mario Balotelli and Argentina’s Sergio Agüero, it sat out the Brazil football-fest, relatively speaking.

It has now played its hand with a global campaign starring its football big-hitters and a little known sprinter called Usain Bolt.

The creative features Bolt and Balotelli in hot tubs with bikini-clad women in an attempt to play up to their maverick, twinkle-eyed mischievous reputations. The JWT campaign also features other less than conventional ambassadors including US golfer Rickie Fowler in the hope Puma will be seen as a brand with“ danger, risk and potential fugitive status”.

It’s definitely a differentiator, needed in the fiercely competitive sector but it could alienate with its laddish overtone as much as it attracts.


Marketing students

Reckitt Benckiser
RB to work with Facebook to develop marketing talent

Facebook has signed partnerships with some of the world’s biggest advertisers to develop marketing initiatives – Diageo, McDonald’s and Mondelez to name just a handful. It’s latest with RB, however, goes beyond campaign development and into nurturing marketers of the future.

The duo’s multi-year nine-figure global partnership is as much about developing young marketers as it is creating “innovative” activity. Combined recruiting events at universities will be held. Carolyn Everson, vice president of global marketing solutions at Facebook, says the deal marks a “radical new way” of working together with the aim of uncovering new ways to drive both businesses. Commendable.


Dixons Carphone

Dixons Carphone
Dixons Carphone unveils its new logo

Chief executive of the £3.9bn new company admitted things were always likely to be “bumpy” in the first throws of the combined entity. And so it proved. At the time this article was published, shares were down 3.29 per cent on their opening on Thursday morning (7 August). Their corporate identity was also the subject of debate with many in the Twittersphere unimpressed; while it emerged the company’s management had failed to register the domain.

Early days, of course and things can only get better for the company formed to exploit the so-called “internet of things” and see off the threat of online rivals such as Amazon and


Coke u-turn over stevia-sweetened Vitaminwater

Coca-Cola has bowed to consumer pressure over its use of stevia in Vitaminwater. The artificial sweetener was introduced in May in an attempt to make the drink healthier. However, it was so unpopular that Coke plans to reintroduce the fructose version in the US by the winter.

“The fans have spoken. We’re changing back to the taste you know and love,” says the company.

The move bodes ill for the introduction of Coke Life, which is also sweetened with stevia. It is already available in Argentina and Chile and is coming to the UK in the autumn. Coke says it is using stevia in Life due to “strong consumer demand” for natural sweeteners and to help it deliver its target of offering reduced-, low- and no calorie drinks and has no plans to change the formula.

“We’ve worked hard to ensure Coca-Cola Life meets the standards consumers expect from us, and we’re delighted by the overwhelmingly positive response we’ve had so far from our consumer taste tests,” says a spokeswoman.

Malaysia Airlines overhaul

Malaysia’s state investment firm Khazanah Nasional is planning a “complete overhaul” of Malaysia Airlines as it proposes to buy the shares it does not already own and delist the carrier. The airline has been hit by two major tragedies this year – the disappearance of flight MH370 in March and the alleged shooting down of flight MH17 in Ukraine.

Khazanah owns 69.4 per cent of the airline and is offering to pay 0.27 ringgit per share for the stock it doesn’t currently own. Shares in the firm have fallen by more than a third since the start of the year and it reported its fifth straight quarter of losses between January and May.

The brand has also taken a huge hit. Hugh Dunleavy, commercial director for the airline, has previously said the airline will conduct a strategic review that could include “renaming and rebranding”.


McDonald’s plots brand refresh

McDonald’s is prepping a significant new campaign as it attempts to turn around declining sales. AdAge says Leo Burnett has won the work, ahead of lead creative agency DDB, with plans floated for a brand refresh. It’s not likely that McDonald’s will drop its “I’m Lovin’ it” strapline, but a bold execution is expected that will push fresh food at the heart of McDonald’s marketing message.

Apple goes social

Apple is hardly known for being open and social but that could be about to change. It has just hired Musa Tariq as its new digital marketing director, a man who has worked at boosting the global brands of both Nike and Burberry.

Apple has traditionally taken a hands-off approach to social, both in terms of running campaigns on it and engaging with consumers. It doesn’t have an Apple Twitter or Facebook account, although there are profiles for iTunes. Tariq’s appointment suggests a plan to ramp up its social media presence.


@pkalotis7 – head of marketing at Pepsi Co Europe on Marketing Week’s feature on the changing retail calendar

Just seen this. I wonder what one actually goes out and buys for Movember??!?

@asmitas21 – Birds eye marketer on Tesco’s move into live events with Blinkbox Books

Not sure how #Tesco will achieve scale in the era of free content with £45 tickets. Does the price include a 3-course meal?

@keithweed – Unilever’s CMO on Snapchat’s new geolocation filters

This feels like a perfect way for @Snapchat to monetise. In-event #marketing strategies will surely benefit.

@TheSmarmyBum – global director of Nike basketball on Snapchat

Snapchat art is the etch a sketch of this generation


14 August – Asda reveals its second quarter results. Has it managed to see off the challenge of the discounters and post growth?


Computer Mouse

IAB nears standard metric for video ad views

Lara O'Reilly

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) is pencilling a Q4 release for a set of guidelines that will state the length of a video ad a user needs to have seen before it can qualify as an impression as the trade body looks to make buying inventory across the web comparable with more traditional media.