Red lips, MoMo, the power of the meat-free pastry. Welcome to the Weekly Round-Up!
In a time where university-level education is more available than ever, the marketing industry is going in a surprising new direction, bringing things back to basics and implementing an apprentice system.
Set up as an alternative means of entering into the industry, the Institute for Apprenticeships in the UK have created the first two government-approved marketing apprenticeships. The courses which, at present, can facilitate close to 150 apprentices, run from 15-38 months, vary between various levels from marketing executives to marketing managers. In order to get the programme off the ground the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) have been working in conjunction with big brands such as Clarks, BT, and British Airways to decide upon an agreed set of standards that candidates must adhere to be successful in their apprenticeships. This collaboration between brands and the marketing body will help to qualify the importance of apprenticeships and ensure job prospects for successful participants. Overall, this renewed entry to the industry will hopefully see it diversify and add a little mix to marketing.
In the spirit of International Women's Day, brands, companies, and employers everywhere are encouraged to step back and take a look at gender equality in their organisation. Some will aim to improve, making grand gestures à la Diageo’s short film, #BalanceForBetter | Gender Balance in Advertising. Some will miss the mark, like WPP’s failed attempts at closing their very wide pay gap. And some, like Virgin Atlantic, will grant their female staff the very basic right not to wear makeup in-air. While this is undoubtedly a good thing that the Virgin cabin crew no longer have to don a rouge lip at 35,000 feet, it does beg the question, how has this archaic cosmetic code continued to be instilled for this long? Cabin crew are notoriously low-paid, the idea that such a high-level of maintenance has been expected seems totally foreign in the world of the #MeToo movement. Still, Virgin Atlantic are dubbing the advancement a “significant change”, could it be that it is one small step for man, one giant leap brandkind?
From the negative backlash of Piers Morgan, to providing another layer of commentary, to both Brexit and class turmoil in the UK, the humble Greggs' Vegan Sausage Roll has covered much ground in its short existence. Its latest effect, however, might be its best yet as sales for the meat-free snack have pushed the bakery chain past the 1 billion mark for the first time ever. Sales have increased by 9.6% in just seven weeks following the quorn-filled product’s introduction to public and, even though praise is flooding in for the pastry, naturally this part of a much bigger plan for Greggs. Roger Whiteside, Chief Executive of Greggs said that they have poured pounds into boosting the brand and changing customers’ perceptions. "We want people to reappraise us and understand we've moved on from being a pure bakery business to offering people food on the go."
Buzzfeed is taking two steps forward and one step back with their latest endeavour, the publication of the first ever print edition of the news site. The limited edition, technicolour newspaper that features the controversial cover star, MoMo, was distributed freely from allocated spots in New York earlier in the week. Joking about the stunt, a spokesperson for the company said, "BuzzFeed, a company that was born on the internet and social media, is testing a new technology called print and unveiling a one-time, special edition BuzzFeed Newspaper, showcasing the latest news stories and favourite BuzzFeed content in an easy to consume mobile format.” But any of those looking to get their hands on this newfangled news medium will be sorely disappointed, Buzzfeed itself has said that the paper was simply a marketing execution by newly appointed CMO, Ben Kaufman.
Cool with the cadets
The Ministry of Defence have teamed up with the Japanese watch brand, Casio, to launch the official watch of the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force in March of next year. The collection launch comes as the second attempt MoD has made at reaching a younger audience. The first was the slightly tone deaf recruitment drive which resorted to calling their audience ‘snowflakes’ and ‘Me, Me, Me Millennials’ in a bid to engage them. While they defended the campaign, it was largely panned publicly, so we reckon MoD is hoping for a much better reception to this collaboration. On the collection Casio senior brand manager, Jennifer Kelly said, "G-Shock is an unbreakable timepiece built from a Never Give Up philosophy that makes us the perfectly equipped to support our servicemen both on and off-duty. We are already the watch of choice for many in the Armed Forces and look forward to strengthening our relationship further through this new partnership."