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Top of the Marketing Charts - June 2024

Yes that time again to take a look back at the month gone by and review what made it to the top of the marketing charts. June was an interesting month as I spent a week at Cannes and then a week away from my desk, so I was in a very different marketing bubble and then totally out of the marketing bubble, which I will cover in this newsletter, so lets get into it.

Winning at the Euros

This is a summer of sport and before we head into the Olympics we are getting sucked into Euro 2024 (and to a lesser degree the Copa America). Of course, outside of #footballscominghome, as a marketer it is fascinating to see how brands activate against the tournament. The challenges of navigating being an official event partner, a team partner or just trying to get in on the action around the edges. And lots has been going on.

Of course one of the best at doing something around a tournament that they have nothing to do with is Paddy Power, remember their London 2012 stunt? Anyway the rumour mill prior to the Euros was that Paddy had made an ad with Boris Johnson in it, the ad was (and is still) about England sbeing Europes Favourites. Now it seems very very very Paddy Power to do something like this, but I have been told by those at the top of Paddy Towers that there was never a Boris ad being made. Elsewhere I have heard the rumour mill is true and there was a Boris ad that got axed after complaints from staff! Anyway Paddy have released their ad featuring Danny Dyer, doing, well what Danny Dyer does best, Danny Dyer! It is a typical tongue and cheek Paddy ad, leaning into all the things that Europeans might like less than the English think they do. There is a great moment where a Spanish hotel waitress suggests it’s because they blend so seamlessly into new cultures and Danny Dyer orders “Egg and chips por favor please mate.” Good work by BBH London, Karen Martin, Michelle Spillane & all the team. Check it out here

Irn Bru had some fun with the German word for football team, Mannschaft! It is one of 3 ads in a series that use humour really well, something Irn Bru is well known for. Kenny Nicholson , head of brand at Irn-Bru owner AG Barr, explained in Marketing Week that the new campaign “builds on the core pillar of the brand, using humour to connect with people emotionally”. It is great to see humour coming through, I'm sure with Scotland out of the Euros things are a bit sensitive but I wonder are Irn Bru planning anything to react to other teams involvement in the tournament?? You can watch Mannschaft here.

Elsewhere adidas created 'Hey Jude' that uses a stripped back version of The Beatles song “Hey Jude", created by agency Johannes Leonardo , the ad shows support for the English team and specifically Jude Bellingham, who exemplifies “this generation of players who are embracing the support of their fans and overcoming the pressures of their nation’s past disappointments,” according to a statement from Adidas. The song chronicles the disappointment England felt losing to Italy in the final round of Euro 2020 and the nation’s hopes for victory this year. It is filled with former player cameos and comes together brilliantly with the chorus of fans singing the song. A lovely spot. When it first came on in this house there was a few "no pressure Jude" comments! Watch it here

Meanwhile Hellmans was left with some egg on their face when Jack Grealish wasn't picked for the England squad. They had pinned their hopes on Grealish being at the tournament (I'm sure he had too). Quoted in the NY Times-Breaking News Tim Crow , former head of international sports marketing agency Synergy said  “Grealish not making the team isn’t a big issue for Hellmann’s, Hellmann’s is a European-wide sponsor, not just England, and this campaign has been going for weeks, so most of the media budget will be already spent. They’ve had their value out of Grealish.... for the ‘big eventers’ who Hellmann’s is targeting, his selection or non-selection is unlikely to alter their purchase behaviour.” Speaking to other marketers about this (mostly because I am not sure anyone else would want to have the conversation with me!) we wondered why Hellman's didn't lean into this and create a campaign about those that got left behind, those who aren't in Germany. The rumour mill was that they wanted to do this but Grealish's agent wasn't up for it!

What else have you seen around the Euros? What brands are winning? Would love you to leave a comment with your views.


Believe in Chicken

KFC UK & Ireland launched a new campaign in June called 'Believe in Chicken'. Creative agency Mother take a dark look at current affairs....the rise of AI, people’s hate of politics, a general malaise and disbelief in so much (yikes that's depressing!) KFC wanted to remind people that they can believe in one thing and that is chicken and a night in with a bucket of KFC. They bravely teased the campaign with unbranded billboards. It’s a whole new “bold art direction” for the brand, which was all about simplification. You’ll notice in the ad there is no mention on ‘Finger Lickin’ or the Colonel, as highlighted in The Drum.

Quoted in the article was Mother’s executive creative director, Martin Rose saying “Firstly, it was about getting back to standing out in the category, and secondly, it was about youthfulness and appealing to a younger audience and that came from the photography style, including people in it” I think it is fair to say the campaign has done that and this is a bold new direction for KFC. They had gone back to using Finger Lickin Good and the Colonel for a while so I wonder why that has changed, are those DBAs not working anymore? Is the Chicken going to be the new DBA? I am just an audience of 1 and I know we are supposed to be more farm to fork aware, but I didn't love the idea of this cute dancing chicken ending up in my burger! I looked to see if System1 has tested the ad, but can't see it Jon Evans or Andrew Tindall let me know if you have, would love to see the scores. You can watch it here


BA wins and loses in Cannes on the same day

I have talked a good bit about Uncommon Studios, LLC and the work they do. And they won at Cannes with their work for British Airways. But the wheels come off advertising creative effectiveness when your product fails and at the same time as the gongs were being handed out, BA was cancelling flights filled with marketers heading to Cannes! Ooopps


The Cannes Sessions

While on the topic of Cannes the Cannes Sessions Daily Episodes are all available to listen or watch back on, you can find them here. And over the coming weeks I will be sharing episodes recorded at Cannes with these amazing people who kindly gave up their time to stop by and chat to me. Chidi Achara Mark Ritson Karen Nelson-Field PhD Karandeep Singh Kapany Gerry D'Angelo Mauro Porcini Jon Lombardo Peter Weinberg James Hurman & Jimmy Knowles so stayed tuned for these episodes coming soon. Thanks to Freedman International for their partnership.


Out of the Bubble

I mentioned I took a few days out of the Cannes bubble and general marketing bubble to spend time with my family. We spent a few days in London which was great and I quickly became really annoying as I stopped to take pictures of ads I was seeing. It was interesting to see who was advertising the most in London as you walked around, or at least what I spotted the most.

The one I saw most was Airtasker they seemed to be everywhere and not knowing what they did, I thought they were a removable company based on their execution which talked about moving, that seemed to have high frequency, so it was only on day 2 that I saw other executions and was able to figure out what they did.

Back to the Euros and Aliexpress were everywhere, with David Beckham in some of their larger format executions. He was also advertising Walkers Crisps and some headphones brand, I always worry about that level of over exposure for someone so well known, but he has the millions not me! The Aliexpress work made my eyes sore, it looked like someone created it on powerpoint!

Some of the work I saw that I liked - evian  for their Wimbeldon partnership, The Tofoo Co & Lucky Saint | B Corp™.


Fast Fashion Gets A Roasting

Fast fashion got a bit of a roasting from Saturday Night Live in June, with their Xiemu sketch taking a swipe at Shien and Temu. When the superbowl ad for Temu came out the people I spoke to (link) were not aware who Temu was so this may suggest that people are more aware now, but maybe not what Shien or Temu would want them to be aware of. To be fair the team at SNL can make good ads, wonder how it would score on System 1! Watch it here


June Podcasts

I've aready mentioned that all the daily episodes from Cannes are available here. But we had other episodes in June as well


That's it for this month, but as always please share your thoughts in the comments, what topped your marketing charts in June?

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