Thursday, 29 October 2015

Trick or treat: A marketers guide to Halloween

My favourite day of the year is almost here! Happy HALLOWEEN! 

A recent survey found that 25% of all Australians plan on celebrating Halloween this year. This number is steadily growing year-on-year but is still relatively small when compared to the 64% of Americans who celebrate the festive holiday by spending an estimated $6.9 billion annually. With its growing significance in the minds of the consumers, many companies are looking for novel ways to tie in to the festival with playfully spooky advertising. 
Earlier this week, Coca-Cola South Pacific announced the launch of its new campaign ‘Tastes Like’ Halloween. Through an integrated marketing campaign the brand will look to target both mums and teenagers. The brand manager for Fanta, Ramona Spiteri, said, "The 'Tastes Like' Halloween campaign is a direct reaction to the increasing popularity of Halloween celebrations in Australia and its role in driving significant growth across products in the Fanta portfolio in recent years.”


Over in the UK, Burger King has released its infamous “black burger” just in time for Halloween.  However, this won’t be the same as the Japanese version of the burger, which comes with black cheese made from bamboo charcoal and sauce coloured with squid ink. Instead it will feature traditional whopper fillings but with an unusually dark sesame seed bun. Burger Kings director of marketing, Matthew Bresnahan, said, ‘'We love creating new and innovative experiences for our guests and we felt that Halloween was the perfect occasion to satisfy this demand!'


Perhaps my favourite Halloween themed campaign came last year from Oreo. In the Oreo Laboratorium they cooked up the idea of the spooky cookie creatures called ‘nomsters’.
Each day the cookie manufacturer created new videos using stop-motion technology and invited fans around the globe to suggest new names for their creations. I think this is a really great example of how to successfully engage your social media community through Twitter and Facebook to become more involved with the product.


The award for the most frightening marketing campaign goes to the website, who dared customers to stay at some of its most haunted properties during the scariest week of the year. In 2013, the hotel booking website picked its most haunted hotels and created scary movie style posters for each with accompanying horror stories for its “stay if you dare” campaign. The pick of the bunch was for The Stanley Hotel, which is best known for its role in the Stephen King novel “The Shining”. They also featured the historic Gettysburg Hotel, whose resident Civil War ghost nurse Rachel is said to walk the hallways at night waking residents.


Robert Brunning
Current student in the
Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Friday, 23 October 2015

Woolies new priced-based marketing campaign

To reinforce its $500 million dollar investment into lower grocery prices, Woolworths has launched a new price-based marketing campaign. The new campaign, "Always at Woolworths", will substitute the previous Cheap Cheap campaign. The integrated marketing campaign is said to run on a range of media, including print, online, television and radio, highlighting the everyday value in Woolworth’s supermarkets rather than one-off discounts.


As a result of the new campaign, analysts have been impelled to question whether “Woolworths' new supermarkets team, led by Brad Banducci and Dave Chambers, is shifting towards an everyday-low-value pricing (EDLP) strategy rather than a high-low pricing model in an attempt to win back the trust of consumers.”

Based on other media releases, Woolworths is said to further invest more than $500 million dollars in reducing grocery prices in the aim of "neutralising" Coles and "containing" Aldi. So far the retail giant has invested more than $200 million into reducing prices this year, and claims its prices are now as cheap, if not slightly cheaper, than a similar basket of groceries at Coles.

Aimed at launching its new price position, the campaign called ‘’ The Always at Woolworths” was put together by Advertising agency Leo Burnett.

The Woolworths spokesman stated that the retail giant will always call out its value offer to their customers, and the new 'low prices, always' campaign does just that". The campaign reinforces to customers that with the hundreds of products for sale, prices can be expected to stay the same low price – week-in, week-out.

In August of this year, Woolworths’ food group managing director said that we would see their marketing strategy evolve and their key themes of “fresh food and cheaper prices” would remain the same, however the messages portrayed would become more cohesive. Some analysts are of the belief that the $200 million dollar price investment Woolworths has spent has not gained traction with consumers as of yet and is likely to have had little impact on same-store sales in the September quarter.

Lauren Musat
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

It’s time to go ‘Back to the Future’!

At precisely 4:29pm on October 21st 2015, Dr. Emmett Brown, Marty McFly and his girlfriend Jennifer Parker will arrive in Hill Valley. Of course, if you have watched the legendary time travelling film when it was released back in 1985, you would already know that this Wednesday we can finally celebrate ‘Back to the Future’ week!

The popular sequel in the movie franchise made many bold predictions on how life would look in future of 2015. Unfortunately hoverboards are not yet commonplace and flying cars are still some way away. However, this week of celebration has thrown up some unique marketing opportunities for companies featured in the movie.

On Wednesday Pepsi will be releasing the “Pepsi Perfect” soda drunk by the time traveller Marty in the second instalment of the films franchise. The unique Pepsi bottle designed to look exactly like the one ordered in the futuristic Hill Valley cafe. The marketing director for PepsiCo, Lou Arbetter said, "Pepsi fans asked and we heard them loud and clear, the 'Back to the Future' trilogy was as big a moment in pop culture history then as it is now, 30 years later."


One of the biggest stars of the movie was unquestionably the futuristic Nike self-lacing sneakers. These were worn by Marty as he tried to blend in with the ultramodern hi-tech dress code of 2015. Nike confirmed that they would finally be producing the famous “power laces” with patents filed for the technology back in 2008. Tinker Hatfield who designed the original sneakers for the movie confirmed that the shoes would be available to purchase by the end of the year.


In a famous scene of ‘Back to the Future II’, Marty McFly is swallowed by a gigantic holographic image of the shark Jaws. This was to promote the movie ‘Jaws 19’ and celebrate the future of 3D films which are now commonplace. Earlier this week, Universal Studios Entertainment released a trailer for a fictitious ‘Jaws 19’ movie. While in reality no actual film will be made, I think this is fantastic marketing and a great way of connecting with fans of the franchise.
Although Toyota only played a very small part in the blockbuster movie they managed to find an interesting way to tie-in to the film’s anniversary. Backed by the creative of Droga5 and Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, Toyota created an integrated marketing campaign centred on the Hydrogen Fuel Cell for its new car ‘The Mirai’. This played off the Mr Fusion generator from the movie that allows the DeLorean time machine to generate the 1.21 gigawats to travel through the space-time continuum.

To build excitement for the new car launch Toyota reunited the film’s actors, Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, for a short video hyping the car’s upcoming release. This was supported by a launch event in California where influential car reviewers and bloggers were invited using special 80’s style wristwatches. For many weeks Toyota has been releasing subtle teasers on its microsite, slowly revealing their tie-in to the BTTF franchise.

As a huge fan of the ‘Back to the Future’ films, it has been great to see so much creative marketing around a 30 year old movie.  I only hope for more surprises as we near the anniversary date, even if it’s not a Mattel hoverboard.

Robert Brunning
Current student in the 
Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Thursday, 15 October 2015

You got it! Pepsi is launching smartphones in china


In today’s world where we have an absurd number of unusual corporate branding decisions, Pepsi Co. has announced plans to launch smartphones as part of a bold new marketing strategy in hopes to attract more customers.

The notorious food giant has established that it will not be manufacturing the phones; it will instead license its brand for use on a new smartphone available only in China to market Pepsi gear. Targeting the growing Chinese middle class, the Pepsi will market products such as apparel, accessories, soda and food.

Pepsi spokesman stated, "Technology is a key cultural pillar at the heart of consumer interaction. Pepsi has no plans to get into the mobile phone manufacturing business, but we are committed to engaging with consumers in innovative ways to grow our brand."

Tech blogger Mobipicker states that the new smartphone, powered by Google’s android operating system, will be called Pepsi P1 and will more than likely be manufactured by China-based, Shenzhen Technology Co.


The phone will feature:
• Camera
• 16 gigabytes of storage
• It will retail for $205

Comparing Pepsi’s smartphones to giant retailer Apple, Apple has done exceptionally well selling iPhones in China’s booming smartphone market, where more than 500 million people access the Internet through a mobile device.

It could be argued, however, that Pepsi’s brand along with a price lower than the competition they might be able to reach a higher volume of consumers. It wouldn't be expected for this product this to hit the US or Europe, but don't be surprised if Coca-Cola follows suit.

Lauren Musat
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Marketing Campaign: Melanoma Likes Me

Oh boy, what a wonderful long sunny weekend!

As the temperatures sizzled and the beaches packed, I couldn’t but help think about one of the best marketing campaigns of the year. Aussies love the sun, and love telling friends about it on social media. But every time we do, we make a new friend, _melenoma.

Melanoma is a skin cancer that kills 1500 Australians each year and is the most lethal cancer in 15-30 year olds. Melanoma Likes Me was created by Melanoma Patients Australia as a digital advertising campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of prolonged dangerous exposure to the sun.

The first step of the campaign was to create an online persona for Melanoma to communicate with the target audience. Using a unique algorithm, the _melenoma page was able to search for and respond to popular hashtags on Instagram and Twitter. Words such as #beach #sunbake and #poolside were targeted, along with geo-located images such as @bondi.

Users who uploaded a photo would receive an unexpected 'like' from _melanoma with unique tailored messages from their new ‘friend’. These were sent right at the moment which mattered the most, as the audience were exposed to the sun.

Source: Ellen Fromm Youtube

The single-minded proposition for the campaign was to educate and raise awareness at the point of exhibiting unsafe sun behaviour. What was so clever about this campaign is the way it was able to connect through the use of technology to young Australians spending time out in the sun. More than 2 million people have already received a message from _melanoma, resulting in a 1371% increase in unique visits to the Skincheck mobile website.

The campaign, developed by George Patterson Y&R, has since been recognised with multiple awards at the Cannes Lions 2015 festival. What I think is so special about its delivery is the ability to effectively target the audience in real time. Advertising is as much about getting attention as it is about changing behaviour. The personalised messages serve as a reminder to always use sunscreen or put on a hat to protect yourself from sun damage. 


So next time you share a photo on social media with an associated hashtag, you may too receive a message from _melenoma.

Robert Brunning
Current student in the Master of Marketing program at the University of Sydney Business School