The year started off with one of the biggest brand disasters of the past decade – The Bernard Matthews fiasco- which almost spelt the end of traditional mass-marketed Xmas fare.
Then there was the rise, and slight stumble of brand Lewis Hamilton. That said, it still looks like the young star is still in pole position for becoming a billion pound brand sensation by the end of 2008.
The Spice Girls started off the year teasing the press with rumours of a reunion and ended 2007 with a world tour and sponsorship deal which earned each ‘Spice Mum’ a million pounds for appearing in a series of Tesco commercials. (Posh Spice picked up sponsorship deals with brands such as Victoria’s Secrets). Yet, despite a nostalgic live show for the fans, the group never quite got reached Number one with their album.
For just about every celebrity – except Jade Goodie – 2007 was a good one. Mr T made a comeback promoting Snickers and various video games, Darth Vader turned up in a Woolworth commercial. Antonio Banderas smirked a Clark Gable grin in an M&S commercial, Lulu and Nick Hancock went shopping at Morrisons and even Steve Davis had a pot-shot at Nicole Kidman in a Nintendo commercial.
Cadbury almost bit off more than they could chew with news of salmonella in their confectionary. Yet, despite all odds, come the end of the year, whist many Cadbury workers faced redundancies, thanks in part to a viral marketing gorilla commercial, the company enjoyed relatively healthy profits, including excellent sales for the return of their Wispa brand. (2008 will see Cadbury’s featuring Joss Stone as their new Flake girl).
Farewell to British born and bred brands
2008 will also see Cadbury moving production of British favourites like Curly Wurly to Polish factories. Already Burberry has followed other British fashion icons like Paul Smith to switch production of its quintessentially British Polo shirts overseas. Smarties is to be made in Hamburg and Heinz has moved production of HP (House of Parliament) sauce, offshore. Aston Martin is also considering building their new Rapide model overseas.
Too much to swallow?
During 2007 in America, McDonald’s started advertising on young children’s school reports, whilst in the UK, television commercials promoting junk food for children were banned – in the afternoons at least – leaving 18 out of the 20 TV shows most watched by children – including X Factor, Ant and Dec and Coronation Street – untouched by the ban.
The controversial logo
2007 was also the year of the Olympic Games logo. Just days after its launch it was discover that the logo – which nobody quite understood – could induce epileptic shocks when animated. However, as the year progressed and sponsors of the games started to incorporate the logo design, it soon became an accepted part of quirky British culture.
Bits and bytes
During 2007, Apple saw the sell-out introduction of their first generation iPhone. Sales are expected to easily top 200,000 in the UK alone by January 2008. However, as with Windows’ Vista, the much-anticipated launch of the Leopard operating system didn’t quite come up to fast-track expectations; mainly because of reported teething software glitches affecting laptop models. The imminent 2008 announcement of a touch-screen Apple sub-notebook as well as 3G iPhone and likely later integrated movie-on-demand downloads is expected to once again boost the brand in 2008.
Best and the worst of times
Awards were given to the best and least loved brands. Number one best-loved brand went to Google. Next came Nokia, Amazon, Tesco, eBay, British Airways, Coca Cola, Persil, Heinz and O2.
The most hated brands of 2007 were: Pot Noodle, followed by McDonald’s, AOL, Sunny Delight, The Sun, Manchester United, The Daily Star, 3, Irn-Bru and Daz. (400 brands – 2412 respondents)
The advertising industry gave Trident Chewing Gum the accolade for the worst TV commercial of the year, Their ‘Mastication for the Nation’ campaign received more than 500 complaints for having racist undertones.
2008 promises to be another year of classic brand moments. Providing the consumer continues to call the shots, it will be one that brand leaders will be looking forward to with a mix of anticipation and trepidation.
Happy new year from www.brandforensics.co.uk