Monthly brand mashup #10 November.

Welcome to Connect's Brand Mashup. To help you stay up to date, each month we bring you a monthly roundup of the latest brand news, insight and the trends in the world of marketing. Whether it's a look at popular brand campaigns or just a brief review of what is going on in each industry, here's a look back at what we think you need to know from the month of November 2015:

Christmas is coming

November has seen the brand ads out in force in the annual Christmas competition for what has now become an event in itself. Christmas advertising is a new genre in advertising. The usual suspects were all vying for the top spot, from John Lewis’ Man on the Moon to Sainsbury’s Mog the Cat (which although our favourite only really works as the 3 minute film), from Lidl School of Christmas to Aldi’s Christmas Favourites and from Burberry’s Billy Elliot piece to Mulberry’s rather strange miracle ad. Everyone is at it.

Everyone has had their favourite. But there can only be one nations favourite. Opinium Research polled 2060 people and half of those selected Mog the Cat as their favourite Christmas Ad of 2015.

The top 10 are as follows:

10 – Morrisons – Handmade Right Here

9 – Tesco – Gluten Free

8 – Lidl – School Of Christmas

7 – – The Journey/Sky

6 – JOINT – Asda – #becauseitschristmas/ Marks and Spencers – The Art Of Christmas

5 – Cadbury – Cadbury Christmas 2015

4 – John Lewis – The Man On The Moon

3 – Coca Cola – Holidays Are Coming

2 – Aldi – Favourite Things

1 – Sainsbury’s – Mog’s Christmas Calamity

But having a favourite advert doesn’t necessarily translate to an increase in sales. According to Net Mums, that award goes to Aldi, the ad they think is most likely to make them start shopping at the store.

As well as the usual suspects, other brands have been getting in on the act, in less traditional ways.

Pringles have shunned tradition and focussed their appeal on creating the perfect festive atmosphere - with the scented Pringles Candle. Yes that’s right, a meat smelling candle. Perfect stocking filler. And with a campaign featuring Strictly Come Dancing’s Ola Jordan, the brand is likely to get a lot of cut through amongst the key target audience.

Film Sponsorship

November has seen more brands tie into the Bond SPECTRE release. One of which is KitKat who we think have done a great job launching a new advert which plays on the ladies’ man image of the iconic spy while also using the brands famous catch phrase. The print ad speaks for itself really.

The brand also launched an ad to target Black Friday as part of their Celebrate the Breaks campaign.

The campaign seems to be working; sales were £194.0m in the 52 weeks ending 7 November 2015, compared to £186.7m in the previous year, marking an increase of 3.9%. It going to be tough for KitKat however as year on year sales decline for the category, with chocolate snacking decreasing by 10.30% between 2010 and 2015. The market is predicted to decline further over the next five years by 9.6% as consumers become increasingly health conscious.

The next major film for brands to get on board with will be Star Wars - The Force Awakens.  

Alongside their 7 global brand partners (Procter & Gamble through Covergirl and Max Factor, Duracell, FCA US, General Mills, HP, Subway and Verizon) there are various local tie ups. Then there will be the “opportunists” associating campaigns with the film without an official partnership (aka KitKat Bond example).

But we’re not just talking advertising tie ups. There’s Star Wars-branded nail varnish from Covergirl and a special edition ‘dark side’ laptop from HP to name a few interesting initiatives.

What’s interesting however is whether these brands will benefit long term or whether the tie up will just provide them with a short term awareness increase.  Sometimes, when sponsorship opportunities arise, and the event is big enough, any rational thoughts of “will that tie up actually benefit our brand and relate to our brand strategy” go out the window.

So for example we can see for Covergirl, with Daisy Ridley taking the lead role as Ray that the brand can use the tie up to target a key demographic, side-line their campaign into empowering females, more female lead roles etc. The opportunities are endless if they capitalise on something more than just the awareness opportunity. But brands have to be careful that they don’t neglect how the film and main message relate to their brand strategy.

We hope you enjoyed this month's brand mashup. If you'd like to start a conversation with us about your brand or join our mailing list, please do not hesitate to contact us.