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. 


Premier Inn

Video – Premier Inn’s new campaign takes Lenny Henry out of the bedroom.


Premier Inn is aiming to shake up the hotel sector with a £15m multichannel campaign that it hopes will break the mould by focusing on outside locations, rather than showing hotel rooms. The hotel chain’s marketing director Russell Braterman explained to Marketing Week that Premier Inn wants to become a “heart of the nation” brand and is hoping to build a more emotional relationship with customers.

Once again featuring Lenny Henry, the ads show the comedian in a variety of outside locations, including on a football pitch and on the beach. Premier Inn wants to show customers the reasons behind why they might stay at one of its hotels, such as going to a wedding or taking a family trip, rather than focusing on hotel features. 


After enduring headlines detailing slowing sales and marketing job cuts at the end of 2013, Unilever bounced back this week.

Unilever Facebook page

The FMCG giant posted an improved performance for its latest quarter and full financial year driven by quickening growth from emerging markets. 

In a conference call detailing the results, the company was quick to praise its long-term investment in brands.

The investment was possible because the company claimed it had cracked a “virtuous circle of growth”, reinvesting the money generated from an increase in gross margin in advertising and promotion. The marketing emphasis is now very much on effectiveness and efficiency.


Manchester United are not only struggling to keep up with Premier League rivals this season the club is also being outpaced by European rivals off the pitch. 


The Premier League champions have dropped from the top 3 of Deloitte’s Football Money League, a list of the continent’s top revenue generating clubs, for the first time in the report’s near 20-year history.

Although the club increased its revenue haul to €423.8m (£348m) for 2012/13 season, up from €395m (£325m) for the previous campaign, it was knocked from third spot by Champions League winners Bayern Munich, who increased their revenue to €423.8m for the season.

Although there are no immediate concerns the club’s commercial appeal is wavering, Man U’s faltering on-pitch form under new manager David Moyes  – the club is languishing 14 points off the Premier League top spot in seventh place and was knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Sunderland this week – might lead some to be a tad concerned about where they might finish in Deloitte’s list next time out. 

International news 

Video: Arnold works at Gold’s

The Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger is taking a break from sipping Bud Light at this year’s Super Bowl to star in an ad for his own charity After School All Stars. The ad sees the badly disguised former body-builder pester unsuspecting customers at a Gold’s gym in Venice as a fitness instructor named Howard. The star is shown patting the heads of sweaty trainers and dishing out sage advice such as “when it burns, it grows”, all the while without being recognised. 

Ones to Watch

Dr Dre joined the crowded steaming music market earlier this week (21 January) with his Beats Music service. The platform is being pushed as a more innovative alternative to Spotify and Pandora by focusing on curated playlists from tastemakers. So rather than content being determined by a nifty algorithm, the service is relying on recommendations from actual humans to shape its listening experience. A marketing campaign has kicked off already and is building to an ad around next month’s Super Bowl. Time will tell if the hip-hop producer is able to shake-up the streaming market in the same way it did in the headphone space. 


@mattjones London – creative agency Monk’s managing director on the news that Samsung and Illy have tied up
A very smart partnership and way to keep the tech leaders’ credentials freshly grounded!

@anntreneman – sketchwriter on Npower’s customer service and PR tactics missing the mark
I have to say that being lectured by Npower about turning off my lights is like a burglar insisting that I hide my jewellery.

@synergytim – CEO of sponsorship agency Synergy on Zoopla’s decision not to renew its West Brom sponsorship following the Anelka furore
Dictionary definition of Zoopla henceforth: opportunist use of PR to rectify having paid way over the odds for a sponsorship.

@JedHallam – head of social strategy at Mindshare on segmenting marketing via productivity apps
The agency I’m at can be tracked purely by which app I’m knee-deep in at 2am. PR – Word Advertising – PowerPoint Media – Excel


27 January Apple reports its first quarter results, the first full quarter the iPhone 5S and 5C have been on sale and days after rival Samsung announced it had missed earnings estimates in its last fiscal quarter.

28 January Pernod Ricard will be giving marketers a glimpse into what is in store for the alcohol industry in 2014 on its innovation day. Digital and product development projects for the business will be previewed.

29 January The BRC launches its “A Better Retailing Climate” report with an event at the House of Commons.

29 January Amazon reports its latest results. We will see how the ecommerce giant fared over Christmas compared to the high street retailers it is in competition with.

29 January Facebook will announce its fourth quarter results. Expect to hear Zuckerberg and co answer tough questions about the alleged decline in teenage use of the site on the earnings call, following several reports suggesting teens have moved on to shinier, newer social networks.

30 February Diageo will be updating the industry on how well it performed over the festive period when it posts its half-year results. 



Zoopla’s attempt to influence West Brom hints at the future of commercial deals

Seb Joseph

The old adage of being innocent until proven guilty is being turned on its head in the world of sponsorship contracts. Zoopla’s decision to cut its ties to Premier League club West Bromwich Albion following the latter’s refusal to condemn striker Nicolas Anelka’s controversial ‘quenelle’ salute demonstrates that sponsors are more willing to take an ethical stance to protect their reputation.

Russell Parsons

Every day should be data protection day

Russell Parsons

Data protection day is not a day that will resonate as much as other celebratory days or public holidays. Its purpose – to raise awareness of data privacy among consumers, lawmakers and companies  – should, however, be of concern every single day. 


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