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.



Starbucks capped its turnaround this week with the launch of its first global brand campaign. The centrepiece of the ‘Meet Me at Starbucks’ activity is a mini-documentary showing the in-store experience of customers in 28 countries over the course of one day. The aim is to suggest Starbucks as the ideal location for one to one interaction.

Starbucks suffered a rotten start to the current decade in the wake of the recession, haemorrhaging sales, shedding jobs and closing stores. It suffered again in 2012 when news emerged it had paid next to no income tax in the UK during its lifetime there. The latest campaign, coming as it does during a period of expansion, indicates the brand has found its feet again.


Snack makers

Global sales for the snacks category have risen to $374bn, according to Nielsen, up 2 per cent year-on-year in the year to 30 June 2014. Much of the growth came from Europe ($167bn) and North America ($124bn), which both outpaced emerging regions following a year of flagging demand and shifting consumption habits. Opportunities for snack makers are likely to come in the form of better health, nutrition and wellness snacks , according to the report.

It found that non-sugary snacks closely aligned with meal-replacement foods are showing strong growth with sales of dips and spreads jumping 6.8 per cent in Europe – the fastest growing snacking category for the region.



After its run of 36 consecutive quarters of growth came to an end in March, Sainsbury’s star has dulled a little. Sales have slipped into decline and worsened in its latest quarter – down 2.8 per cent in the 16 weeks to 27 September.

It also hit headlines after a poster meant for a London store’s staff room that encouraged staff to try and get customers to spend 50p more each shop was accidently put in the shop window.

The stakes for its latest campaign and new approach to pricing are therefore high. Read our exclusive interview with marketing director Sarah Warby on the new campaign.

International News

Citizen Watch chases the sunset

Citizen Watch launched its first international campaign this week with a five-minute long short film that aims to “steal one night from the planet”. Stars photographer Simon Roberts and ex-NATO pilot Jonathan Nicol fly across the globe “chasing the sunset”, capturing some shots of sunsets along the way that will put anyone’s best efforts on Instagram to shame.

Where does the watch come into it? It’s the one checking the time to ensure that the Nicol and Roberts manage to “stay in the same hour” throughout the film using a time it gets directly from satellites. Be warned though, Citizen’s watches aren’t cheap, the one in the ad will set you back at least £1,100.

Celebrities raise awareness of testicular cancer

Forget about the ice bucket challenge, now it’s all about the “nuts” challenge. Celebrities are challenging each other to grab their testicles in a bid to raise awareness of testicular cancer. Similar to ice bucket and no makeup selfie that has gone before it, people are posting photos of themselves and nominating others to do the same. So far Hugh Jackman, Ricky Gervais and boy band 5 Seconds of Summer are among those taking part.

Unlike previous social media campaign, this one isn’t raising money yet. Instead it wants to make more people aware of the disease. Want to join in? Just get snapping.

One To Watch

Google’s “Physical Web”

Google is hoping to bring the internet of things a little closer with its new “Physical Web” initiative. The service aims to offer customers one app that will let them do a number of things in the physical world – from buying a sandwich to paying at a parking meter. It works by allowing companies to create web addresses for physical objects – whether that’s a parking meter, a poster or a bus stop – that they can enter into the app. A series of beacons will broadcast these addresses to people in the location that have the app.

For consumers the idea is to make interacting with real-world objects with their smartphones that much easier by offering them one interface to do it. For brands it’s an opportunity to get into customers’ hands without needing to develop their own app and then getting people to download it. The idea isn’t to create a service just for Google, but an open industry standard that any brand or marketer can use.

“People should be able to walk up to any smart device – a vending machine, a poster, a toy, a bus stop, a rental car – and not have to download an app first,” says Google UX strategy and design exec Scott Jenson. “Everything should be just a tap away.”


@RobSellers, director of Grey Shopper, on targeting millenials:
“Millennials are omnicultural, they want brands to tell great stories that are consistent across borders.” Err… Bingo?

@Kyleplacy, director of digital content and research at Salesforce on the customer journey:
“With any technology trend, data is where you start and experience is where you end.”

@AdamSinger, analytics advocate at Google on gifs in blog posts:
“Friendly reminder that, unless you are 15 years old, using gifs in blog posts makes you look ridiculous.”


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