Welcome to Connect Advertising Group's Brand Mashup. To help you stay up to date, each month we will bring you a roundup of the latest brand news, insight and 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 within the industry, here's a look back at what we think you may need to know from the month of July 2015:
July saw some major beer brands in the spotlight, and not all for the right reasons. Carlsberg made news with its latest stunt which saw the brand turn London City Airport on its head with a surprise initiative rewarding commuters with free beer crates on the luggage carousel. Sending beer crates round the carousel with a 'Take Me, I'm Yours' invitation, passenger reactions were captured on video. Now armed with a free crate of Carlsberg, many of the commuters tweeted their surprise at the initiative.
However, July saw more bad news for Budweiser as its attempts to turn around its falling popularity have not been successful. It's largest market, the US, saw sales of Budweiser fall 2.2 per cent to retailers, while Bud Light's performance was similarly disappointing. Despite its recent marketing drive Budweiser was unable to return to its position as the king of beer in a market increasingly dominated by craft beer.
The popularity of craft beer is partly to blame of course, but Fosters is a case in point where a strong position and identity, as well as a clear strategy to market can make all the difference.
Bud, since the days of the famous 'What's Up' ad seem to have really lost their way, and gone are the days of the instant hit 'Watching a Game, Having a Bud, True True' line that positioned the brand as the beer of choice while chilling out.
Craft beers have really penetrated the off trade (at home drinking) market and Bud has failed to carve out any strong identity to combat this. The biggest question the brand has to crack is 'Why have a Budweiser?', and at the moment, I'm not sure even they know the answer.
This month also saw Eric Cantona swim the Channel from the shores of France to Dover - or so he'd like us to believe in aid of Kronenbourg.
A series of videos created by Ogilvy and Mather London for Kronenbourg showed the Frenchman making the crossing in one hour, 25 minutes. Social media executions and a projection onto the Cliffs of Dover were used to extend the creative. Two videos were posted to show his journey, here and here.
The campaign ran for over a month, boasting high social media engagement and tricking a number of media outlets into think the #LeBigSwim was the real deal. This was an example of a highly engaging campaign but one where one can question who the audience were engaging with; Kronenbourg or Cantona? The videos were very focused on the latter and as a result Cantona steals some of the attention from the brand which seems to be overtaken by his strong personality.
Bank adverts have also dominated our screens over the last few months. The recent creativity with bank and branch advertising, and the fact that the new Lloyds TV advert was voted ad of the day by the Drum recently, has really made us think about what bank advertising has become and how it has changed since the banking crisis.
In a sector with such bad PR, a lot of brands have taken to brand building to try and improve the way their customers perceive them - but have they taken it too far and is any of it believable?
Examples include the Barclaycard advert in which 'Dad', with the help of the Barclaycard, manages to find eternal happiness. This was followed by Nationwide, where again, the Dad is the focus of a story about a scarf lovingly made by his son which gets lost, only to be found by a helpful staff member. The ad delivers the message that Nationwide will always be there when you need them most.
Lastly, the Lloyds ad, where the brand uses their classic black horse as the symbol of how the bank has been by your side through 250 years of ever-changing Britain. The creative is emotive and impactful but all of this begs the question as to whether this advertising is effective and believable.
Are brands ignoring the obvious and simple answer to their advertising? Are they really considering what consumers want to know about them? In this current climate do customers want an emotional connection with a bank, or practical and helpful solutions? The other issue with these adverts is that they all, have, in essence, the same message and therefore, it becomes hard for customers to differentiate brand to brand or know where to place their trust.
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.