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.

Campaign of the Week

Sainsbury’s story of the famous Christmas Day truce between British and German soldiers during the First World War has captured the imagination of viewers in this, the centenary of the start of the First World War. It’s beautifully shot, accurately told and offers deep sentiment around people coming together to share an experience, in this case Christmas, even in the most awful of circumstances.

The ad has had its critics, so far 135 people have complained to the Advertising Standards Authority over a supermarket using the First World War to promote its brand. But this isn’t just an awareness campaign for Sainsbury’s. The supermarket has worked closely with longstanding partner the Royal British Legion on the ad and will be selling a chocolate bar featured in the campaign in stores, with all profits going to the charity. It has also gone to great lengths to tell the story behind the ad with the aim of offering people information on the First World War.

Good Week for

John Lewis as its Christmas ad managed to win the inaugural “compassionate marketing award” from animals rights charity PETA for its use of CGI, rather than real-life, penguins. The charity said it was inspired to create the award by the retailer, who had demonstrated “why the exploitation of animals on-screen is obsolete”.

If that’s not enough, the campaign has also proved successful commercially for John Lewis with “Monty” becoming the most searched for term on the website and the retailer selling out of stuffed toy versions of the ad’s stars Monty and Mabel in record time. It has even been helping other brands. According to Waitrose, sales of McVitie’s Penguins were up 75% last week.

Bad Week for


Spotify has had a tough time of it of late. First multi-platinum selling singer Taylor Swift removed her catalogue from the site then, when Spotify tried to defend itself by saying a singer like Swift could make up to $6m a year from the service, she fired back with claims it was closer to $500,000 in the US.

To top it off YouTube this week announced the long anticipated launch of its music streaming service, Music Key. The premise is the same as Spotify – £10 a month for ad-free music, free if you’re willing to listen to ads. The difference is YouTube users will also have access to 30 million songs on the tech giant’s on-demand service “Google Play Music” and YouTube will be able to market the service to its hundreds of millions of users across search, email and mobile.

International News

No it’s not a hoax. PepsiCo tests Doritos-flavoured Mountain Dew drink

Cross-branded products are nothing new in the FMCG arena but PepsiCo’s latest combination could be one of the weirdest. A nacho cheese Doritos flavored Mountain Dew drink is being tested at university and college campuses across the US. The orange hued and nacho-tinged fizzy drink sounds like something a cash-strapped student would resort to in desperate times but we’re not quite sure that means they are the best audience to test its wider appeal.

Car brands promise to protect drivers’ privacy

Ford, Nissan and other major car makers have agreed to principles they claim will protect driver privacy. The world’s two biggest trade associations – the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers – have formed the voluntary guidelines, which include a pledge not to sell driver data on to third parties or send ads without them opting in first.

The principles, which are based on the Federal Trade Commission’s Fair Information Practice Principles, come in response to the proliferation of connected devices in cars. In-vehicle computers can now track everything from location to smartphone data, which has sparked fears from consumer groups that drivers could be bombarded with ads without agreeing to it.

Booths bids to become a national Christmas brand

The advertising war for Christmas buzz has never been greater with the likes of Cadbury and John Lewis pumping millions of pounds into making sure their festivities cut through to shoppers. For food and drink retailer Booths, it is an opportunity to spread its Northern roots across the UK. It is running a national delivery service to make its Christmas range available across the country for the first time. Additionally, it has pushed its Smith + Village-created catalogue toward a more magazine-inspired design inspired by “The Twelve Days Of Christmas” carol.

One to Watch

Yahoo bets big on video with $640m BrightRoll buy

Marissa Mayer has been on acquisition drive since taking over the reins at Yahoo in 2012 and her latest acquisition could be one of her more astute buys. BrightRoll is a video ad platform that hosts videos for publishers and allows them to pick what ads to serve against them. With consumers craving online videos, through BrightRoll Yahoo could push up prices of its existing video inventory with the promise of better matching content for advertisers.


@campbellclaret, strategist and spin doctor, on his Festival of Marketing speech:
Good to be sharing the bill with Wiggo @teamsky at #FoM14 He kicks off today, me tomorrow. I’ve got a Pinarello too!

@themarksmallman, EMEA partnerships and alliances manager at SaleCycle, on Professor Green’s suggestion at the Festival of Marketing that brands should sign artists.
Blimey, does @professorgreen ever get branding . “Artists could end up leaving record labels behind if they don’t keep up” #FoM14”

@Mildenhall, CMO of Airbnb on the news that Diageo is reviewing the global creative agency roster for Johnnie Walker.
Wow. Another iconic ‘ad built brand’ is at risk. ‘Agencies Question Why Diageo Is Reviewing Johnnie Walker shame.’

@brucedaisley, UK MD at Twitter on Apple’s targeting capabilities.
Not sure why Apple gets kudos. There can’t be a single store that knows what I *do* buy that shows me such rubbish.



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