Dino's Masters of Marketing
Here's our 6 top picks for Brand of the Year
All the votes have now been cast for the Masters of Marketing’s Brand of the Year award. The winner, which will be announced at The Festival of Marketing this October, will be the brand who over the last year has set new industry standards when it comes to creativity, innovation and effectiveness. So while we’re waiting to hear who takes home the gong, the Dino Team has sifted through the contenders and picked out their very own favourite trailblazers.
Mark Beaumont, our Chief Creative Officer’s pick: Yorkshire Tea
Nestled among the myriad boxes of herbal tea in our house is Yorkshire Tea – the only black tea that makes it through our door. This is no mean achievement when you consider some of the other big, old famous brands that have been on TV since I was born, and of course, the fact that my house happens to be in Lancashire.
We all know that the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales are not famous for their tea production. In reality, ‘Yorkshire’ Tea is anything but; its leaves are plucked on farms in Africa and India. So what has got me reaching for their teabags before all the others on offer?
It’s quite simple –a brand as strong as the ‘proper brews’ their tea makes.
The proper way to position your brand
I’m full of admiration for the way it has amplified the brand by championing its point of difference: Yorkshire-ness. Why bang on about the finest selection and blends, or the quality inspection when that’s exactly what the competition does? Instead, its marketing communications defy convention.
From the brand’s past efforts with its 2015 Brewtopia campaign, delightfully offbeat experiential like the Yorkshire Tea Train, pack tie-ins with Gruffalo creators Donaldson & Scheffler, right up to the latest ‘proper’ campaign from Lucky Generals; their work never fails to deliver fun, warmth and energy in a refreshing way.
That’s exactly what I look for in a brand, and exactly what I want from my cup of tea.
Marc Young, our Social Media Manager’s pick: Maltesers
The Maltesers’s brand has undergone an amazing transformation over the last year. It has successfully shifted its position from a ‘light treat’ to an invigorated challenger brand fired-up with a purpose.
With its pitch for ‘Look on the Light Side’ campaign, Maltesers and AMV BBDO saw off competition from over 90 brands to win Channel 4’s ‘Superhumans Wanted’ competition – an open brief that challenged brands to increase the visibility of disability in their advertising. In return for winning, Maltesers was gifted £1million pounds worth of airtime during the Rio Paralympics.
The choc shock factor
Inspired by real life stories, the ads featured three different actors with a disability telling amusing anecdotes about everyday scenarios, from awkward romantic encounters to wedding party mishaps.
Not only did the campaign successfully raise the visibility of people with disability, but also managed to raise a few eyebrows along the way. One of the adverts, ‘New Boyfriend’ topped the ASA’s most complained about ads in 2016. The ad went viral and received the most praise on social media. The portrayal of disability in mainstream media remains under represented, so any reference was always going to evoke a strong reaction – but isn’t that just the point? Maltesers wanted to get people talking, and hats off to the people behind the brand for being bold enough to see it through.
One of the creative highlights of the campaign for me came on World Braille Day. In London, they put up a braille 6-sheet made from model Maltesers telling a joke based on a true story. Lovely stuff.
Mars said Malteser’s “Look on the Light Side’ campaign was its most successful in the last eight years. It proves that having a strong voice, a clear purpose and the balls (malty or otherwise) to do something different in marketing efforts can bring a host of treats for both the audience and the brand.
Dan Pitchford, our Creative Director’s pick: Brewdog
For many, ‘punk’ conjures up images of young men with spiky hair and impractical trousers, gobbing at each other in a mosh pit. And that’s if you’re lucky. At worst, it’s a slogan t-shirt on sale at H&M. Those in the know, understand that ‘punk’ reflects an ethos rather than a ‘scene’. So it’s good to see that 40 years on from Never Mind the Bollocks, there are still a few brands that are keeping that roaringly independent, ever-provocative, fuck-you spirit of punk alive.
Brewdog is one of them.
What started out as a crowdsourced project by two lads from Aberdeenshire has grown into a billion pound craft beer behemoth in just over 10 years. What attracts me to them as a brand is that it managed to keep a twinkle of mischief in its eyes and two fingers stuck up to the establishment along the way.
They are enfant terrible of the UK brewing industry. And like its beer, I find it really refreshing.
Brewing up a storm
Brewdog has always looked to break rules and ruffle feathers. It brewed Tokyo, the world’s strongest beer and then spearheaded a successful press marketing campaign to get it banned. It created the ‘End of History’ range, 55% proof beer presented in taxidermy roadkill animals. In 2016, it gave away detailed recipes for every beer it had ever created.
Last year’s ‘I am punk’ campaign expresses the brand’s ethos perfectly and, in its words, is a celebration of ‘individualism, diversity and not being told how to behave by The Guardian’. The social-first campaign features 2,500 members of Equity Punks – the 50,000 people that have helped crowdsource the company – plus members of Brewdog staff, all emblazoned with the statement ‘I am Punk’. A gloriously simple statement of freedom and independence.
Punk is about breaking the mould, and that’s what Brewdog does as a brand. More importantly, its audience reacts positively to the anti-establishment posturing – if you need proof, just look at the figures – Brewdog’s UK sales grew by 97% last year alone.
As a consumer, you get a feeling that Brewdog really love what it does. The brand is unapologetically passionate about the quality of its product, and is firmly intent on kicking the shins of the massive faceless corporations that it is competing with, holding a mirror up to all that is wrong with them.
And I for one will drink to that.
Frank Fenten, our Head of Digital’s pick: Just Eat
In just over 10 years, the Just Eat logo has become an integral part of our culinary landscape: appearing in the windows of over 27,000 takeaways up and down the land. Its simple business model should be easy to copy, so how has it fended off increasing competition to become the runaway success in this sector?
It starts with an entrée of great customer service, followed by a well-designed app with a large side order of network building and a huge dirty great slab of brilliant marketing. That’s Just Eat’s recipe for success (sorry, couldn’t resist).
I’ve long been aware of the innovative social marketing techniques that have supported its “Don’t Cook, JUST EAT” challenger brand positioning. They range from the daft to the genius. In March 2013, it ‘kidnapped’ Anthony Worral Thompson during the ad break of Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway as part of a week-long tv and social campaign. The audience was given the opportunity to ‘teach him a lesson’ by slapping him with a wet fish in an interactive game until he promised to stop cooking.
This lightness of touch and great sense of humour resonates well with its target audience of people who order a lot of takeout. This audience, because they are more likely to be in and watching television, are more likely to be engaged with popular culture.
As a brand, this presents great opportunities to create timely and relevant content, which Just Eat does to great effect. Its #cheesewatch live tweets about Eurovision featured instant video reactions in fromage-y form to each countries’ performances. Its latest social video for its #findyourflavour campaign has racked-up over a million views on Facebook. Think about that for a moment: a million views of a single Facebook post. That takes some serious social chops.
Creating tasty opportunities with new tech
And it’s not just on social media marketing where Just Eat is cooking up a storm. Its commitment to innovation in technology keeps pushing standards ever higher – essential for a business that has Uber Eats and Deliveroo snapping at the heels.
Last year, saw the launch of its Chatbot on Facebook Messenger. It helps people decide what they want to eat, and keeps them informed of new restaurants and options. Expanding the technology into a customer service with the goal of easing pressure on its team (which handles approximately 400,000 orders in just a few hours each Saturday night).
Over the last year, it has also been flirting with VR and Amazon Alexa skills and, to increase its reach, has already integrated with connected devices including Apple TV and Xbox.
This is a business heavily reliant on its brand positioning and communications technology for success. It has to offer more than just convenience; it has to become the go-to place for hungry people looking for a takeaway.
And the Just Eat integrated brand persuades you to do just that.
James Binding, Account Manager – Tesco
If you looked at the Tesco brand a couple of years ago, you’d be forgiven for thinking the retailer was going through a bit of an identity crisis. Poor sales performance suggested a fall in popularity as lower cost competition continued to snaffle more and more of its share of the market.
However, in April 2017, Tesco recorded its first full-year growth in seven years and was crowned ‘Most Improved Brand’ by YouGov.
So, what’s behind the shift?
It’s recent Food Love Stories campaign has done a great deal to help Tesco reconnect with its consumers. Part of this is because they make the person, not price, the hero. This marks a significant departure in both tone and positioning from the campaign fronted by, Gavin and Stacey actress, Ruth Jones of the past couple of years.
Falling in love all over again
This integrated marketing campaign focuses on ‘get together’ recipes and food inspiration, rather than value. With it comes a warmer, more emotive tone. By showing high quality home-cooked food and telling the story behind every recipe, Tesco is positioned as a brand that brings people together – take David’s ‘hot or not’ Christmas curry” or “Henry’s ‘being good tonight’ falafel” for example. The warm colours and smiling, natural faces portray a diverse community of foodies and help to represent its demographic.
Now, I’m not your typical Tesco shopper but I find myself warming to the Tesco brand as it considers the mistakes of the past and brings its messaging back to what should matter – the customer.
Its recipes made by real people, albeit hardly ground-breaking marketing, is enough to keep me curious enough to consider shopping there, proving that, perhaps after all, love is in the aisle of the beholder.
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Also published on Medium.