In case you missed it, McDonald’s lost it’s Big Mac trademark protection in the EU. The ruling was based on the EUIPO’s ruling that McDonald’s had not demonstrate genuine use of the trademark within the EU. That itself can be a great discussion when you cover brands and brand protection in class. However, Burger King in Sweden decided to take advantage of the situation by releasing a menu of “not Big Macs”. Burger King has a history of edgy marketing campaigns and it looks like the most recent is poking fun at their competitor’s recent misfortune.
Archives for February 2019
Online shopping continues to challenge traditional retailers. Less adaptable retailers like Sears lose the battle and go out of business but others, like Best Buy have found ways to adjust and enhance their value proposition to maintain relevance. The same dynamic is affecting drugstores and Walgreens and CVS are experimenting with added services to keep customers coming in. This CNBC article talks about some of those efforts. CVS is running a pilot with SmileDirectClub to fit people for invisible braces in-store. Walgreens is experimenting with opening a dental office inside a few of their stores. Walgreens is also experimenting with shifting their segmentation focus to double-down on seniors.
We love our Super Bowl commercials, especially in marketing programs, but I thought this USA Today article, “Who’s the real winner of Super Bowl LIII? Hint: It’s not the Patriots or the Rams” was a good example of a few different marketing concepts. According to the article, roughly 1.38 billion (yes, billion) chicken wings are expected to be consumed during this year’s Super Bowl – poor chickens! That number appears to be steadily increasing each year. Interestingly, women eat more wings than men on Super Bowl Sunday though men eat more food overall. The article talks about why wings are so popular and it’s a good example of a marketing opportunity to capitalize on a cultural tradition.
Our society continues to become increasingly polarized and we see that polarization spill over into marketing campaigns as well. One recent example is Gillette’s campaign, We Believe. The commercial calls out bullying and harassment, challenging men to rise above the stereotype of toxic masculinity. According to this MarketingDive article, the campaign was met with 1.1 million social media and news mentions within the first 24 hours of the ad’s launch which represented a 215% increase in brand mentions compared to the previous 24 hour period. As you would expect, not all of the mentions were positive but overall consumer impressions were very positive (79.6% of survey respondents saying they liked the ad) and the majority of respondents thought the ad was very memorable.
This can be used in a discussion about different forms of advertising (this seems to fit the institutional advertising definition best), it could be discussed in context of evaluating the social environment, and possibly even an ethical discussion – could campaigns like this be viewed as disingenuous or backfire on the company?