What got people talking this week — 23 April

First published on O2’s internal Workplace on 23 April

My theme for this week is Brands doing good with a few extra bonuses at the end!

A hot topic given our very own O2 vs CO2 campaign and debates over whether brand purpose can help brands grow.

My feeling is that brands can have a truly positive impact on society and it should be a responsibility with our spending power. In marketing this works best when it includes storytelling and elicits emotion, actually solving a problem or meaningful change / impact to lives, being fresh and original or bold and brazen. What do you think?

1. H&M

H&M has won a large amount of earned media by offering 24 hour suit hire free of charge for job interviews, the ONE/SECOND/SUIT.

The reason for launching? First impressions count. In fact, interviewers can begin to form their opinion of a candidate within seconds.

“A suit isn’t an outfit. It’s confidence… Book the suit. We deliver it. You smash the interview. You return the suit. All free. Job done.”

Late returns will incur a fee of £50, which will be donated to charity and H&M claim one of the reasons is to be more sustainable with people renting rather than buying, hmm!

Why it works so well? Simple to understand. Human language. Resonates with a large volume of people given the societal context, eg those who have lost jobs or graduates looking for a first job.

The scheme will run for a test period to gauge customer interest so it’s likely to be low cost for the brand too.

H&M’s One second suit window display

It reminds me of a scheme Timpson have been generously doing for many years and which goes viral every now and then as the sign is displayed outside their stores. It’s free dry cleaning for the unemployed “when times are tough, we will help you look your best”. More info here on why they are one of the most ethical companies around.

2. Dove have made a bold move by appointing Lizzo as Brand Ambassador, bringing her body positivity ethos for their new ‘The Selfie Talk’ campaign.

The campaign falls under Dove’s Self-Esteem Project, which launched in 2004. It furthers Dove’s commitment to teach young girls about empowerment and bring awareness to the negative impact that social media and retouched or distorted images can have on young girls. Their research found that by age 13, 80% of girls distort the way they look online.

As part of the launch, Lizzo posted a nude unedited selfie on Instagram and posted a new film, ‘Reverse Selfie’, that shows just how far retouching apps can distort beauty.

Lizzo’s unedited instagram selfie shows her naked and holding a cup of tea
Lizzo’s unedited instagram selfie shows her naked and holding a cup of tea

It’s great to see Dove’s long-term commitment continue. It taps into a trend where many celebs and influencers are looking to be more natural in their looks and the ASA recently banned influencers from using ‘misleading’ beauty filters, responding to the responding to the #FilterDrop campaign.

3. Morrisons and Lidl

An initiative from Morrisons offering free sanitary products to those in need has been “going viral” on social.

Lidl in Ireland also launched a similar initiative offering free boxes of pads or tampons every month via their Lidl Plus app. On top of this they’re making donations to homeless people or those without a smartphone, and have partnered with the Ladies Gaelic football association to provide products to clubs around the country.

Interesting insights on the issue of period poverty here

In November 2020, Scotland became the first country in the world to make period products free for anyone who needs them, including in public places, while in February, New Zealand announced all its schools would offer free period products from June of this year.

Hopefully the positive feedback on announcements like this may lead the way for more change in the rest of the UK to follow Scotland.

4. Brewdog continue to raise awareness of their environmental credentials and celebrated Earth Day:

  • Went after bigger competitors asking them to join in being carbon negative
  • Gave away free pints of Lost Lager (carbon negative beer) in Brewdog bars
  • Announced sponsorship of Forest Green Rovers (the world’s first carbon neutral football team)
Shows poster sites of Brewdog’s bigger competitors like Heineken and Carling, with Brewdog’s smaller posted slapped on top asking them to go carbon negative too
Shows poster sites of Brewdog’s bigger competitors like Heineken and Carling, with Brewdog’s smaller posted slapped on top asking them to go carbon negative too

On the same day, Budweiser launched a campaign celebrating they’re now brewed using 100 per cent renewable electricity including surprise outdoor posters saying ‘cheers’ to people, cities, sports teams and even competitors who are helping change the fate of the planet. This ironically included Forest Green Rovers who cheekily responded on Twitter saying they’re already taken by Brewdog!

Forest Green Rovers reply to Budweiser’s tribute saying they are already taken with Lost Lager “the real king of beers”
Forest Green Rovers reply to Budweiser’s tribute saying they are already taken with Lost Lager “the real king of beers”

Here’s a round up of other brand campaigns tacking climate change. Any favourites?

Bonus

  • The Super League was a huge talking point and saw a rapid influx of memes and reactive posts from brands. Champion’s League sponsor Heineken’s has been heralded as the best by many.
A cheeky reply from a customer to Domino’s #EuropeanSuperLeague tweet
A cheeky reply from a customer to Domino’s #EuropeanSuperLeague tweet
The FT’s image “is this the biggest own goal in the history of business”
The FT’s image “is this the biggest own goal in the history of business”
Heineken’s “don’t drink & start a league” image
Heineken’s “don’t drink & start a league” image
  • The Aldi vs M&S saga continues and research shows Aldi are winning the battle of the brands, with Purchase Consideration +6.08% vs M&S -2.72%, social engagement at 460,629 vs 253,581 and News Sentiment +8.5% vs -134.1%. Social media sensation Jim’ll paint it got involved, drawing an epic battle between the two caterpillars and producing a tote bag which sold out in moments.
  • Irn Bru saw its most successful organic tweet of all time with 3m impressions and 60k engagements asking M&S who their lawyer is with a pic of Yeezy trainers!
Irn Bru’s cheeky post showing a pair of Yeezy trainers in their brand colours and asking if anyone knows M&S’ lawyer
Irn Bru’s cheeky post showing a pair of Yeezy trainers in their brand colours and asking if anyone knows M&S’ lawyer
  • Aldi had a busy week as it also borrowed equity from Nike to launch its new clothing range with the slogan “Just Done It”. Who’s next?!
Aldi’s “just done it” outdoor poster shows a model modelling the new Aldi slogan hoodie
Aldi’s “just done it” outdoor poster shows a model modelling the new Aldi slogan hoodie

Culture & Innovation at O2 (Telefónica UK). Director of Communications, Conscious Advertising Network. Diversity & Inclusion and Sustainability champion 🎶 🍕 ⚽