InterContinental Hotels Group has become the latest domestic sponsor of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The hotel chain has agreed a third-tier deal, which it intends to use to promote its Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express chains.
- Mexico tourism push
Mexico is launching a $90m global campaign to encourage tourists to return in the wake of the swine flu outbreak. The illness has killed at least 83 people in the country, causing severe disruption to inbound tourism. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office lifted its ban on unnecessary travel to Mexico on 15 May, and the Mexican government is keen to lure visitors back.
- Philips kids' brush
Philips is launching its first electric toothbrush for children between the ages of four and 10. Sonicare for Kids' features include a 'KidTimer' function, which helps young users reach the recommended two-minute brushing time by progressively increasing it from one minute over 90 days. It will go on sale next month, priced £70.
- Xbox gets Sky access
Xbox 360 owners in the UK will be able to access Sky's video-on-demand service, Sky Player, through their broadband-enabled games consoles following a deal between Sky and Microsoft. Sky Player offers sports, general entertainment, movies, documentaries, children's programming and news. The deal will give gamers using the Xbox Live platform access to pay-TV content via their consoles for the first time. Sky Player TV launched as an online subscription TV service last December.
Jeremy Lee on media at marketingmagazine.co.uk
- BOGOFs survive
The European Court of Justice has ruled that EU member states do not have the power to ban buy one, get one free and other combined offers on consumer goods. Its interpretation of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, which was handed down last week, supports ISBA's view that member states should be forbidden from having stricter laws than the directive. It follows a challenge to a ban on the practice in Belgium. Other EU countries, including Finland, also enforce a ban at present.
- Robinsons tennis ad
Britvic has launched a TV campaign, called 'Wimbledon imagine', to celebrate its Robinsons squash brand's sponsorship of the tennis tournament. The ad, created by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, aims to bring to life the excitement the British public would show if a domestic player were to win the championships, which start on 22 June. Robinsons has been involved with Wimbledon since 1935.
To watch the ad, visit marketingmagazine.co.uk
- Brothers in TV first
Brothers Cider will make its debut as a TV advertiser next month with a £2m campaign. The ad builds on Brothers' positioning as an irreverent, free-thinking brand. The 30-second and 10-second executions were created by Contagious Content, with media buying handled by The Point Marketing.
- Bmi promotes lounge
Bmi has launched a press and outdoor campaign to promote the opening of its international passenger lounge, Number One Heathrow. The ads use the line 'No.1 Heathrow. Enough Said. Visit our new lounge in the number one terminal'.
- Ocean Village TV ad
Cruise operator Ocean Village is aiming its latest TV ad campaign at women around the age of 40 - younger than its typical passengers. The animated 30-second ad, developed internally with production house Tigervision, promotes the brand's 2009/10 winter sun Caribbean programme and features a voiceover by actress Sarah Parish, star of the BBC One series Mistresses. The ad is being supported by online and direct activity.
- British Legion website
The Royal British Legion has created a microsite to commemorate this month's 65th anniversary of the Allied forces' D-Day landings. Created by The Gate, the site, at www.dday65.org.uk, enables visitors to plant a virtual flag with a message on a Google map of the historic landing beaches. The online activity mirrors the real flag-planting event, which takes place on Gold beach at Arromanches, Normandy, on Saturday 6 June.
- Plum takes biscuit
Plum Baby will launch a range of premium organic baby biscuits later this month flavoured with orange oil, pomegranate, apple and ginger. Made with spelt and oats, the biscuits contain no added sugar, salt or additives, but are sweetened naturally with spelt syrup. The range comprises two products aimed at teething babies and a further two for toddlers.
- South Bank's 'I am'
South Bank Marketing Group, an alliance of businesses based at London's South Bank, is rolling out a print, online and film campaign encouraging Londoners to visit the area. The campaign, entitled 'Today I Am', emphasises the variety of entertainment on offer in the area, including its restaurants, shops and hotels. The ads were created by design agency I WANT.
- Bacardi's iMojito
Bacardi has created a free iPhone app designed to build the brand's association with the Mojito cocktail. The app provides users with the recipe and allows them to simulate making a Mojito or watch a demonstration. The app is part of a £15m investment in the brand which includes TV, outdoor and experiential activity at festivals.
- Virgin 1 turns Red
Virgin Media Television's Virgin 1, which is being relaunched on 9 June, has unveiled a brand character that is designed to represent the spirit of the channel. The character, Red, which was created by Red Bee Media and Virgin Media Television's in-house team, will appear in all on- and off-air marketing. Red will appear alongside channel talent such as Danny Dyer in idents, all programme navigation and credit rolls, commenting on forthcoming shows.
To watch a Red ident, visit marketingmagazine.co.uk
- Now relaunches
Now magazine is backing its redesign with a £1.5m marketing investment. The title has revamped its cover and masthead and overhauled its editorial content, one third of which will now focus on fashion and beauty.
- Kleinman appointed
Marketing columnist and Sunday Telegraph City editor Mark Kleinman has been hired by Sky News. As City editor for the broadcaster, he will be responsible for presenting financial news. He will also write a weekly column for The Times. Kleinman will continue to write for Marketing.
- Marmite's Pedigree chum
Unilever has teamed up with brewer Marston's to create a limited-edition Marmite jar resembling a cricket ball to coincide with the Ashes series.
Marston's Pedigree Marmite is made with yeast from the Burton Union brewing system used in the production of Pedigree, the official beer of England Cricket.
The variant will be available from next Monday (8 June) and be supported by marketing activity, including press ads, as part of a £3m investment in the brand.
Last week, Marston's unveiled The Lord's Taverners Ale. It will donate a percentage from the price of each pint sold to the cricketing charity.
Ed Kemp on sports marketing at marketingmagazine.co.uk
Marketingmagazine.co.uk's most clicked-on stories for the week ending 29 May 2009
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3. Sainsbury's Justin King retains hold on Power 100 top spot
4. Thomas Cook travel agents to intervene during online bookings
5. Procter & Gamble to run multibrand makeover ads
6. Tiscali launches Yell.com searchable listings online
7. Santander to scrap Abbey, Bradford & Bingley and Alliance & Leicester
8. Thorntons launches online sweet shop