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Top of the Marketing Charts - April 2024

That's What I Call Marketing shares the top marketing moments from April 2024, in fresh updated marketing news. The newsletter that pulls together some the marketing highlights and discussions from April 2024. I would love to get your views on what has been missed from this list, leave a comment with your top marketing moment.

TLDR: Watch


Weetabix's discovery

Weetabix saw volume sales decline 8% – or 5.2 million packs – in the 52 weeks to 31 December 2023, according to NIQ data - presumably because consumers are happy to swap their Weetabix with the discounters own label versions for about a third of the price. Head of brand Lorraine Rothwell told The Grocer that  brand had “lost connection with its core heartland of shoppers aged 45-plus”. Of course we know strong brands can allow a brand to charge a price premium so Weetabix are investing heavily in this new brand campaign to win market share. I loved this campaign, a real fame campaign that depicts an emergency meeting, called by a scientist who wants to share his “discovery of national importance” with an audience of state officials. He shows how “Britain’s economical, societal and sporting performance has dropped,” pointing to a chart that depicts how each has declined. Because the country isn't eating enough weetabix. It’s clear that the brand isn’t afraid to poke fun at itself as it acknowledges people haven’t been eating as much Weetabix of late.  Weetabix and its creative agency BBH London have successfully managed to combine the essence of the brand with some wonderfully dry humor. One of my favourite parts is when the guy says “I've been eating croissants” and someone chirps up with “me too”. So good. Alex Grieve, Christine Turner , Kevin Masters, Marc Rayson and all the team at BBH and Lorraine Rothwell - you definitely had your weetabix making this ad. Thanks for making great work, you must be proud of this lot Karen Martin . Watch the ad here


Flaming hot at 70

Keeping things hot for 70 years

Brand birthdays are a often a bit navel gazing and can be a bit boring. But I think Burger King have done a really great job over celebrating their 70th tied to their core product differentiator - flame grilled. I enjoyed these, some suggested it wont solve the problems Burger King have, but at least its tasty advertising. Burger King - I told you you’d be making it to my newsletter.


Cairn Community Games

Irish property development company Cairn announced their sposnosrhip of the Community Games. Ireland has a strange old relationship with houses and property developers. So Cairn definitely had a job to do to convince people that they are just building 100’s of houses in communities that are under resourced by schools, roads and you know all the stuff you need when 1000’s of new families move into an area. They need to demonstrate a commitment to the communities they are in. To be fair I know some of their developments and they do a good job of creating a sense of community - but unless you live there or nearby you may not know that. So this was a great fit, replacing Aldi who had been a sponsor, but pretty quiet, they have definitely launched with a bang with a lovely piece of work that feels really fresh coming out of The Tenth Man Ken Robertson Aaron Goodliffe Alma Birbilaite Tom Noonan Watch the ad here


McDonalds Smells

Does McDonalds Billboard stink?

Oh there was consternation about this one! So its no secret that I love OOH and I love clever OOH executions. When I saw this I thought, this could be great. The new scented billboards are believed to be the first of their kind in the world, and were designed by an advertising agency based in Amsterdam by the name of TBWA\NEBOKO , in collaboration with production company Raúl&Rigel . The boards are red or yellow billboards that emit the smell of McDonald’s french fries, attempting to call hungry passersby into their restaurants. “Smell has been proven to be more effective at sparking clear and emotional memories than images,” Stijn Mentrop-Huliselan , CMO of McDonald's Netherlands said. “

  Will Poskett called it a scam asking

“Can you someone tell me:

-What business KPI this is driving?

-Who is it targeting?

-How expensive it was to make vs ROI?

Honestly, IMO, this is a piece of work to win a Cannes award”

Now I would definitely agree that this probably didn’t drive sales of fries; likely only a few dozen people got to engage with the sensory billboard, and they were filmed. I don’t know what business KPI this was driving, but I am guessing this was about earned media and sentiment. Possibly testing the idea of scent as a distinctive asset for McD’s (scent marketing is known to increase sales and product quality perception).  Stijn Mentrop-Huliselan , CMO of McDonald'sNetherlands, can you let us know? 


The B2B Marketing reboot

If you didn't get a chance to read the piece in Business Plus magazine about B2B marketing, you can check it out here.


Wild for 10 Years

The Wild Atlantic Way is a piece of tourism marketing genius from Fáilte Ireland. Essentially the organisation took the west coast of Ireland, highlighted lesser-known sights beside the main draws that people were going to and packaged it up as the Wild Atlantic Way. The brand was devised on the backdrop of the financial crisis which had pretty much killed tourism in the west of ireland. It has been a huge success, as reported in the Irish Times “The results are overwhelmingly positive: one million more international visitors in 2019 than in 2014. A flourishing tourism industry that supports 80,000 jobs and is worth €3 billion to the economy. The Wild Atlantic Way accounts for two-thirds of all revenue generated by out-of-state visitors, and as it celebrates its 10th birthday, 43 per cent of all domestic trips taken in Ireland will make their way to somewhere along the route”. I worked on web development for the Wild Atlantic Way so got to see a bit about how it worked and it was fascinating to hear how towns were pitching themselves to be included. It has lead to Failte Ireland creating Irelands Ancient East now.  There is still work to do, quoted in the Irish Times Miriam Kennedy of Fáilte Ireland says  “By 2027 the Wild Atlantic Way will be in the top five touring routes in the world, sharing the billing with the likes of the Pacific Coast Highway in California and South Africa’s Garden Route".


Fake Billboards Blow Up

I said I wasn’t going to mention them every month, but I have to for the context of this part. So Uncommon Studio released their new OOH campaign for British Airways - you know the one where they show only part of the brand. What happened next was a not unusual thing, where someone, Tom Birts, mocked up a fake competitor ad and posted it online. It all sort of blew up from there. First off people assumed it was a real ad and were sharing how brilliant it was. Then people realised it wasn’t real and were getting annoyed at it being fake. People were up in arms over the fact that this ad could never have been real and then some others got annoyed saying it was real, because I saw it, that makes it real. I was taken aback by the level of debate about the fake ad. It is never to origin that loses the context of it being fake, Tom was really clear in his post that it was fake, it is in the re-sharing that people somehow remove the context. I think these are great things, they are fun, creative and as Tom wrote in The Drum   “the aim was simply to get an idea out of my head and into the world.” The ad has had over a million impressions, I'm sure easy jet or even BA do not have a problem with it, it gave them both a lot more reach. I guess the only lesson for creatives is the one from Tom himself “If I thought it was going to do that (reach over 1mil), I’d have made it better”. Hopefully Tom's inbox has been full of work offers now.


Is your marketing strategy Rawthentic?

Well you are in trouble with Gen Z if it isn’t. Sigh

Ryan Wallman posted this during April and I don't know the actual source, but hopefully it can go away. Apparently understanding Gen Z is crucial and you need to be Rawthentic . What is it? It’s being genuine….really genuine. Its not just being real, its being really authentic. And Gen Z are all about it. Ok and don’t tell me they trust their peers more than mainstream media etc… I was getting these insights about the next generation 20 years ago! Looking forward to talking to Peter Hammer about this soon.


The Pause Guy

In March Sky Ireland released an ad to promote their streaming service and their media plan was definitely going for reach and frequency, the ad was everywhere. Which normally would be a good thing. I wondered if Sky went about creating something that people would talk about and hoped that the guy on pause going uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh for pretty much the entire length of the ad would almost get into culture, people would love it and have fun with it. Well it seems to have backfired it has been a while since I have seen such widespread hate (yes hate) for an ad. Comments on any social platform you went on were full of hate, people complained to the advertising standards authority about it, whatsapp groups were lit up with comments about how annoying it was. You never want this for any creative or marketing team, people want to make great work and the team at Sky have had an incredible hit rate recently. But it seems like Sky have had to listen to the groans and moans and have changed the ad. For now it is still available on youtube so if you haven't seen it you take a look.


The CMO - CFO relationship

On Strategy Showcase is a wonderful marketing podcast hosted by Fergus O'Carroll , the stillorgan man residing in Chicago. In April Fergus released his CMO/CFO series and started it with fellow Irishman Jonnie Cahill of Heineken USA alongside Timothy Bodart CFO at Heineken USA. It is such a brilliant episode delving into such an important relationship in any organisation. Turns out the CMO/CFO relationship doesn't need to be that complicated, understanding and a shared ambition is the key. Jonnie, as Timothy said, is a master communicator and it is clear Timothy was keen to understand marketing as much as Jonnie was his perspective. You can listen to that episode here and you can listen to Jonnie on That's What I Call Marketing here


Watch what happens next.

After turning the Stanley water bottle into a viral sensation Terence Reilly has returned to Crocs to head up its homely HEYDUDE brand of shoes. Reilly helped to “reshape the century-old, insulated drinkware brand into a must-have brand of current culture,” according to a Crocs statement he “propelled the brand's resurgence into a must-have icon,”. Stanley’s 40-ounce Quencher cup gained rabid popularity for its array of colours and ability to keep beverages hot and cold for long periods of time, driving Stanley’s annual sales from $75 million to $750 million in 2023 alone, according to CNN. This is definitely one to watch, Reilly has big ambitions, stating on LinkedIn “If another dream of mine comes true, footwear will never be the same again.” - Terence Reilly , why not come on the show and tell us all about it?


What the Croc?

Speaking of Crocs. The Pringles and Crocs collab is not something I thought we needed in the world. I'm pretty sure we don't. (checks calendar, no it is May 1st not April 1st). Someone must love this?


Dove Self Esteem

Dove have done some incredible work as part of the self esteem project, some of the stats they share are sad to read, in the UK and Ireland, 9 out of every 10 girls with low body esteem put their health at risk by not seeing a doctor or by skipping meals. According to Dove 90% of content is predicted to be AI-generated by 2025 and 1 in 3 women feel pressure to alter their appearance because of what they see online, even when they know the images are fake or AI-generated. This piece of work from Dove tries to re-balance things. Look an ad or piece of communications isn’t going to fix this problem and to be fair dove do more to champion real beauty. I definitely think this is a reminder to us as an industry to think about the impact of AI and unrealistic images of perfection that we put out into the world putting pressure on young people.


Lucky Beer

Lucky Generals have created a new campaign for  Spain’s number one draught beer Cruzcampo. Working with Heineken to launch the brand in the UK,  with an ambition to make Cruzcampo the biggest Spanish mainstream lager in the UK (how many mainstream spanish lagers are there?). They developed the brand platform 'Choose to Cruz' bringing to life the relaxed, go-with-the-flow Sevillian attitude to life. It is definitely chilled out and watching this I wanted to be sitting at that bar at the end, having some tapas enjoying the sunshine. Watch the ad here


Indie GPT

The Indie List are fully embracing the world of AI, now providing access to a range of  vetted Gen-Ai freelance specialists including strategists, creators and app developers. In addition, it is also creating tailored workshops for marketing teams across a range of topics with an independent take on the most relevant tools, crafting prompts, maintaining brand integrity and avoiding risks. It has also created a new Ai-powered platform, ‘IndieGPT’, which enables clients to perfect their own brief for freelancers. Can’t wait for UnaAi and PeterGPT next Úna Herlihy Peter McPartlin


Wonky Waitrose

Like most retailers Waitrose & Partners want to let people know that their prices are falling, so the created an OOH special build. A billboard erected in a wonky fashion, with a downward arrow and the copy “Well, this is good – new lower prices on hundreds of your favourites:. However people in Wandsworth were worried about the falling billboard and contacted the council in Wandsworth, south-west London, who promptly responded putting up bollards around the dangerous falling billboard. Waitrose responded in a post, which tagged the council, it said: “Thanks for the swift action but while our prices are falling rapidly, our billboard certainly isn’t!”. I suspect that billboard would not have been picked up by national press if this hand’t happened, definitely one of those ones that if you tried to plan you couldn’t have. Nice work Nathan Ansell and team.


Amazing Guest list continues

The amazing list of guests on That’s What I Call Marketing continues and in April we had

  1. S3 Ep13: The Magic of Numbers with Dr Grace Kite listen or watch

  2. S3 Ep 14: Inclusion in Action - Part 1 with Effie Kanyua , Ekaette Kern and  Leandra "LeAnne" Weekes listen or watch

  3. S3 Ep15: The Mindless Marketers Series a new segment with The Sleeping Barber Podcast hosts Vassilis K. Douros and Marc Binkley listen or watch

  4. S3 Ep16: Curiosity United, with Ellie Norman listen or watch

  5. S3 Ep17: The Cannes Young Lions Winners with IAPI - Institute of Advertising Practitioners in Ireland listen or watch


Cannes 2024

Don’t forget That’s What I Call Marketing will be at Cannes this year, so if you would like to get involved with us get in touch. Also if you are planning to be there, let me know, would love to find a time to connect and chat.

Our 2024 Sponsorship Kit is also available on our website We have some really exciting partnerships coming up so if you would like to talk to us about collaborating together it would be great to talk.

That's it for this month's top of the marketing charts, leave a comment with your top moments.

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