Welcome to Connect Advertising Group'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 going on in each industry, here's a look back at what we think you need to know from the month of June 2015:
FIFA in trouble
In the run up to July and with excitement building for this summer's biggest sports events, it's not surprising that June saw a lot of sport in the news; and not all of it for sport reasons.
Early in the month, FIFA came under widespread scrutiny as arrests were made for alleged corruption within the organisation. Not surprisingly following the news, a lot of criticism was directed at the sponsors of the Qatar World Cup.
Brands such as Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Visa and Adidas were pressured to drop their support of the event, as Castrol, Johnson & Johnson, Continental, Sony and Emirates already had.
Many consumer-made images showcasing the brands as pro-slavery came out in force via social media, with many shared and supported across the world.
Such negative awareness does highlight the question as to how harmful sponsorship can be for brands, and whether it is a brand's responsibility to pull out and not be associated with events that receive bad press. Or, alternatively, especially in circumstances much like FIFA's, is it a brands responsibility to actually stay involved and make things better?
Also in football...
Manchester United became the first football club to be worth over $1bn, and was therefore, crowned the worlds most valuable football brand after leapfrogging previous title holder Bayern Munich. Despite only finishing 4th in the league and not claiming any silverware last season, the club attributes this success to Ed Woodward, the club's executive vice-chairman, by establishing a global fan base and sponsorship deals; including a £47m a year shirt deal with Chevrolet and a £750m decade-long tie-up with Adidas as official kit provider.
Last month also saw Cristiano Ronaldo named the world's most marketable footballer. The Portuguese star has unparalleled name recognition, with 83 per cent of people able to identify the star globally. Ronaldo is also seen as the best trendsetter of all the players with 82.5 per cent of people saying he reflects today's trends in society.
Global awareness of Ronaldo is what drives his commercial power and with over 82 million Facebook likes and 26 million Twitter followers, he is also one of the most liked in the business. However, what is interesting, but may not be surprising, is that more women than men have a greater awareness and liking for players such as Götze, Van Persie and Ronaldo. This makes them especially effective brand endorsers for products aimed at this target group.
The start of Wimbledon is now upon us, but June saw the pre-tournament chatter ramped up along with the heat! In the week running up to the event Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova took the top spots for most mentions on social media.
ADmantX released an infograph showing an analysis in the week up to Wimbledon and it was clear that success was a key conversation point. It was also a word most associated with some key players but as the tennis was yet to start, conversation also took a tangent on some less tennis-related topics such as style and sex.
However, Wimbledon offers a lot to the marketing space in terms of fashion. With spectator wives and celebrities sitting in the famous grounds, there is set to be a rise in real-time shopping trends over the coming weeks.
According to a survey by eBay advertising, there was a 37 per cent increase in searches for 'crochet dress' on the auction site when Kim Murray wore one during the 2013 final, whilst searches for 'black slip dress' shot up by 59 per cent when Victoria Beckham attended the final.
Traditional tennis brands such as Lacoste and Fred Perry look set to be the big winners from the event however, with searches for both brands usually peaking over the middle weekend of the tournament.
Some challenges for advertisers
This month also saw a couple of news stories that will pose a challenge for advertisers. The latest software for Apple's iPhone will let users block ads from appearing within the safari app.
The decision to allow ad blocking on its mobile devices comes as it looks to generate revenues from its own iAd formats via its News app. It could also be an attempt to combat Google and Facebook who have been allowed to amass huge ad revenues from iOS devices.
The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK Ad Blocking report stated that almost one in seven (15 per cent) of British adults online is currently using ad-blocking software. The study shows that the main motivation for using ad blockers is to block 'interruptive' (73 per cent) or 'annoying' (55 per cent) ads.
Men are 22 per cent more likely to block ads compared to only 9 per cent of women, and ad blocking is most prevalent among 18-24 and 25-34 year olds. Regionally, people in the North and Scotland are the most likely to use ad-blocking software.
This information obviously poses a challenge to advertisers but also highlights how agencies these days need to change convention. The role of advertising has moved from a role of disruption to that of serving the customer. People want to engage with brands and not be bombarded by messages that are not relevant to them. The challenge therefore, for advertisers must be to revolutionize the approach they take in communicating with people. Advertisers need to invite people to engage rather than interrupt them.
And finally Cannes
The most prestigious advertising awards took place this month with the Grand Prix being awarded to Volvo for their 'Live Test Series', a campaign by the Forsman & Bodenfors agency in Gothenburg. The judges praised the "huge results" that the Live Test Series campaign had achieved. Many people will remember it for Jean Claude Van Damme doing the splits between two trucks, but there were five more videos demonstrating various features that significantly boosted the brand metrics and sales.
The multipart video series intended to show how different technical features in Volvo trucks are tested in a spectacular and entertaining way. Judges said that the work told an otherwise functional story artfully, and the campaign saw huge results for the brand. We couldn't agree more. You can watch all the Volvo videos here.
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.