Magazine article Marketing

Review of the Year 2015: Top Ten Marketing Moments.

Magazine article Marketing

Review of the Year 2015: Top Ten Marketing Moments.

Article excerpt

The past 12 months delivered marketing that was controversial, groundbreaking and, at times, baffling. Nicola Kemp unveils the year's biggest marketing stories.

1. Google rewrites structure with Alphabet

The verb 'to Google' may have been added to the Oxford English Dictionary as far back as 2006, but the tech company still has the ability to surprise. In an industry awash with speculation and leaks, Google sprang a major company restructure on the world by revealing in a blog post that it would be creating a holding company called Alphabet, the biggest subsidiary of which would be Google.

The reorganisation, completed on 2 October, reflects the scale of the brand's ambitions. Alphabet's other subsidiaries include Google X, Wing (a drone-delivery project) and Nest, its Internet of Things offshoot.

In a blogpost, Google co-founder Larry Page explained: 'As Sergey (Brin) and I wrote in the original founders' letter 11 years ago, Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one. As part of that, we also said that you could expect us to make smaller bets in areas that might seem very speculative or even strange when compared to our current business. From the start we've always strived to do more, and to do important and meaningful things with the resources we have.'

Alphabet's launch, and its potent mix of ambition, purpose and excitement, made for a seismic marketing moment.

2. Apple Watch clocks in with strong sales

It is somewhat apt that the company that helped to make a dent in wristwatch sales through the unequivocal success of the iPhone is reinvigorating the sector with the launch of its Apple Watch. The roll-out of the smartwatch by the company, which famously prides itself on creating products consumers don't yet know they need, is an attempt to take wearable technology into the mainstream.

Commentators may have been itching to declare the product a flop before it even hit the shelves, but early indications suggest the opposite is true. Sales of the watch in its first nine weeks had exceeded those of both the iPhone and iPad after their launches.

This helped the technology behemoth post a record third-quarter. In the three months to 27 June, it sold 47.5m iPhones, up 35% year on year This drove a staggering 38% increase in profits, to dollars 10.7bn. Such figures suggest that consumers' love affair with Apple will not be ending anytime soon.

3. walks the walk with 'Epic strut'

The 'Epic strut' cemented its place in the public consciousness in March when The Sun superimposed Chancellor George Osborne's head onto the body of the ad's star, 'Dave', for its front-page story on the budget. Accompanied by the headline 'George's epic strut', this was a money-can't-buy marketing moment. Indeed, Osborne said he almost spilled his coffee when he saw it. After all, Dave's combo of jacket, tie, hot pants and killer heels was a rather more arresting sight than Osborne's usual staid suit and tie ensemble.

The ad, which was created by Mother, featured Dave strutting through the streets of Los Angeles to the Pussycat Dolls' Don't Cha. It underlined British consumers' continued love of visual humour and showed that, despite the endless interruption of the digital age, great TV advertising still holds phenomenal marketing firepower.

4. Protein World stirs up a social sandstorm with 'beach body' campaign

Marketers could be forgiven for assuming social-media users are perpetually enraged, so the backlash against Protein World's 'Are you beach body ready?' campaign could, in many ways, be viewed as inevitable. Yet the speed and scale of the negative response to the ad, which depicted a slim, bikini-clad model, garnered a glut of publicity for the brand's weight-loss products, taking it from relative obscurity into the realms of 'water-cooler moments' across the UK. …

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