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

What does knitting have to do with 7Up? You might well ask. But it is knitting that features heavily in the first TV ad to promote the soft drink’s new global image. 7Up has enlisted “urban knitter” Magda Sayeg, who also covered a double-decker Routemaster bus inside and out with colourful wool.

Kristin Patrick, PepsiCo Global’s CMO, told Marketing Week that the campaign aims to portray “flair and originality”, which Sayeg encapsulates.

“Building on our brand’s authentic equity and history, the new branding stays true to 7up’s witty, naturally confident character,” she added.

It’s certainly different.

Good Week for Sainsbury’s

Despite the Advertising Standards Authority receiving 727 complaints about Sainsbury’s “distasteful” Christmas ad, the supermarket avoided a ban after the ad regulator decided it didn’t warrant an investigation. Concerns had been raised that the ad was “offensive” because it uses World War I imagery to promote a company and that it wasn’t clear it was an advert.


However, the ASA ruled that it was unlikely to cause serious harm or offence and that it was “obviously distinguishable” from editorial content and therefore unlikely to mislead, meaning it didn’t break any of the ASA rules.

Sainsbury’s has said that the “majority” of reaction has been positive, but the supermarket has been caught off guard by some of the negative feedback. The fact the ad will avoid an investigation is a boon as the supermarket enters December and the crucial Christmas shopping period.

Bad Week for Black Friday

It was supposed to offer a remedy to retailers’ slow start to Christmas but so far the headlines and commentary around Black Friday have hardly been positive. Brawls have broken out in stores up and down the country, with Asda actually offering journalists a ringside view as customers that had been “penned” into a waiting area stampeded to get their hands on cut-price TVs and tablets.

There have been similar scenes at some Tesco stores, with police having to be called in and one customer carried out on a stretcher. Online has hardly gone much better, with the websites of retailers such as John Lewis going down and Currys/PC World putting customers into a short (half an hour long) “virtual” queue.

Retailers may need to kickstart sales, Asda’s marketing boss Steve Smith says sales are three weeks behind last year due mainly to the unseasonably warm weather, but they will need to make sure they are better prepared for customer demand if they want Black Friday to become a regular fixture on the retail calendar.

International news

NFL star Richard Sherman blasts the sport for hypocritical sponsorship policies

Outspoken cornerback Richard Sherman publically lambasted NFL chiefs this week, attacking the sport’s strict policies around players promoting alcohol brands, while one of its biggest sponsors is Budweiser. He went on to slam the league’s refusal to let players show or use items from non-sponsors 90 minutes before or after a game. “Yeah, it sounds a little bit hypocritical,” he said. But you know who pays me a lot of money? Beats by Dre, the wonderful headphones I wear. But the league doesn’t let me say anything about them.”

“It seems like we’re in a league where they say, ‘Players, please don’t endorse any alcohol. No DUIs please.’ But yet, a beer sponsor is their biggest sponsor.”

Sherman’s comments were made in response to fellow player Marshawn Lynch being fined for not talking to the media.

Snapchat debuts new ad format with Samsung in the US

Hot on the heels of its first ads, Snapchat unveiled a new format this week that lets brands promote sponsored content to people following certain events from the app. Samsung sponsored its own “Our Story” – a stream that gathers users’ posts around live events – for this year’s American Music Awards. While the ad format, like its predecessor, is basic in comparison to the efforts from Facebook or Twitter, they shed some light into how advertisers will be able to go about reaching the platform’s burgeoning userbase.

One to watch

Coca-Cola preps premium milk it claims will ‘rain money’

Coke is entering the US dairy market with a premium brand that will cost twice as much as regular milk and it promises to “make it rain money”. The drink, which contains 50% more protein and 30% less sugar, has already proved a hit in test markets, the company said.

If the thought of health-conscious consumers rushing supermarket aisles for milk isn’t disconcerting enough, then the brand’s odd advertising campaign offers a glimpse into what’s to come. The ads push the nutritional values of the milk in a possibly sexist way that could also double for some kind of lactose laxative. Shot in a retro-style, each ad features women covered in nothing but flowing milk standing in a puddles of the stuff. It’s debatable whether the images purport the Ferrari of milk positioning Coke is trying to instill in its new brand and time will tell whether it sticks with the risqué strategy.

Tweets of the week

@EsteveCalzada, CEO of Prime Time Sport and former chief marketing and commercial officer at Barcelona FC, on a Liverpool player flouting sponsorship rules:
“I guess @Warrior not happy with @LFC’s Henderson promoting @nike while on duty at #ChampionsLeague flash interview.”

@RobSellers, director of Grey Shopper, on Spotify’s new ad campaign:
“Spotify’s TV ads are terrible. All the fundamentals wrong. Will do nothing for them.”

@m_bertozzi, President of audience on-demand EMEA and client services US VivaKi, on the quality of perfume advertising:
“I despise absolutely EVERY perfume Ad. Every.Single.One. Hey perfumes why not do something crazy – make an Ad that is not nonsensical shite.”

@robinkayh, strategist for Unilver Canada, on the marketing opportunities around wearable technology:
“Power of #wearabletech will come from more contextual data to personalize experience w/o interrupting.”



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