Cadbury has announced a campaign promoting the release of their white chocolate cream egg. The campaign encourages fans to search for hidden Cadbury eggs in other brands’ TV, print, and outdoor ads. Fans who find those eggs are supposed to take a photo of the egg and upload it to the campaign website. The website will then unwrap the egg and reveal whether the user is a winner or not. Winners can receive prizes ranging from a free white chocolate cream egg up to 10,000 British pounds (the campaign is running in Britain). Looks like a good way to bolster earned media, cross-promote other brands, and generate awareness and excitement for the new product. Visit Cadbury’s campaign site to learn more.
2018 was a rough year for Facebook on multiple fronts. This article, “Facebook Ad-Spend Growth From National Marketers Is Slowing, Intelligence Firm’s Data Shows” talks about one of those fronts. According to the article, the rate of ad-revenue growth for Facebook is slowing and those dollars are shifting to new players/platforms. The article quotes James Fennessy, CEO of Standard Media Index (an advertising intelligence service) as saying “Facebook’s growth from national marketers is slowing, indicating that major brands are concerned with recent events there and are focusing on brand-safe environments.” Still, the news isn’t entirely grim. Facebook’s ad growth is still positive, and in double-digits so don’t feel too bad for them yet…
We generally focus posts on clever, interesting, and/or effective marketing news but this post is all about marketing failures. Marketing Dive recently posted an article titled “Relive the year’s 6 biggest brand fails — they carry important lessons for marketers” that covers failures from Facebook (via Cambridge Analytica), Papa John’s, McDonald’s, Heinekin, Snapchat, and the digital media ecosystem.
The causes of these failures are varied but the impact is significant. For instance, following a redesign of the Snapchat app, influencer Kylie Jenner tweeted that she didn’t use the app anymore. That tweet erased $1.3B of Snapchat’s market value overnight. McDonald’s tried to show support for Women’s Day by flipping their golden arches upside down but it wound up being perceived as a publicity stunt and drew attention to some of McDonald’s own issues related to it’s female employees. The article covers these issues and more as well as talking about some of the lessons to be learned from each case.
Facebook has been plagued by negative publicity for the past couple of years but according to this article from AdAge, they don’t appear to be losing any advertising dollars. From all appearances, Facebook seems immune to issues resulting from high-profile hacks, Russian political interference, privacy issues, negative press, and more. Perhaps Facebook’s plethora of problems stems from their long-time motto: Move Fast, Break Things.
The lack of impact in advertising dollars to Facebook seems to fly in the face of a consumer society (primarily millennials) who value transparency and social responsibility. According to the AdAge article, many industry executives are urging caution and suggesting the tide might turn against Facebook if they can’t get a handle on their business.
I find the situation interesting, especially considering the fact that Facebook is now considered “old person social media” (at least according to my students). Perhaps the millennial desire for social responsibility won’t have an impact if advertisers aren’t focusing on that demographic.
As a side note, the article also talks about efforts made by a firm with ties to the Republican party that have tried to push lawmakers off of Facebook and onto Google and Apple. This can provide a good example for students of how the political/legal environment can potentially influence the business environment.
Coca-Cola is looking at getting into the cannabis-infused drink business. You won’t be able to get high off the drink since it uses a non-psychoactive component (CBD) in marijuana. Nevertheless, the story is garnering a lot of media attention and Coca-Cola says the industry has significant potential. You can read more about the story here.
Ask your students to put together a marketing strategy for the new Coke drink. Who do they define as the target market? Why? Students often see themselves as the largest market segment for products that they like and this can be a good opportunity to push them to think more broadly. Beyond the target market, what would their marketing mix look like? How would they treat the cannabis component? Would they downplay it or make it front and center? Why? Would they have to implement new logistical processes or distribution channels? There are many different directions you could take this discussion.