Toys 'R' Us is to return to TV with its 'Magical place' ad. The spot, which first aired in the UK in 1989, will run from today (Wednesday) as the retailer celebrates its 25th Christmas in the UK. Toys 'R' Us, which operates 75 stores across the UK, claims it was prompted by customer feedback to revive the ad.
View the ad at marketingmagazine.co.uk
- John Lewis is Sweet
John Lewis has launched its 2009 Christmas ad campaign, which features a cover version of Guns N' Roses' track Sweet Child O' Mine. The ad, created by Adam & Eve, aims to take people back to their childhood and plays on the excitement generated when opening gifts. The soundtrack song will be available to download on iTunes and MySpace, with plans for direct links to it from the John Lewis website.
View the ad at marketingmagazine.co.uk
- DCSF selects WCRS
The Department for Children, Schools and Families has appointed WCRS to develop a TV campaign to promote diplomas, following a four-way pitch handled by the COI.
- Age UK unveils brand
The charity formed by the merger of Age Concern and Help the Aged has announced that it will be known as Age UK when it officially relaunches next spring. The charity researched three potential new names: Agenda, Age Matters and Age UK.
- Orlov meets The Hoff
Comparethemarket.com has launched a podcast featuring entrepreneurial Russian meerkat character Aleksandr Orlov. Called Meerchat, the podcast, created by VCCP, features news and interviews with big names ranging from Hollywood A-listers to industry leaders. In the first podcast, Aleksandr speaks to actor and singer David Hasselhoff about Baywatch and his social-networking site, HoffSpace.
- Cobra appoints BMB
Beer brand Cobra has hired Beattie McGuinness Bungay (BMB) to its advertising account. The appointment follows Molson Coors Brewing Company's acquisition of a majority stake in the brand, which had fallen into administration earlier this year. BMB already works with Cobra's sister brand, Carling. Molson Coors has created a dedicated business unit, the Cobra Beer Partnership, to grow the beer, backed by a £10m marketing spend over the next three years.
- Perfumery returns
A fragrance worn by Queen Victoria is being relaunched in the UK. Luxury perfume brand Grossmith, founded in 1835, was axed about 30 years ago. Simon Brooke, a great-great grandson of founder John Grossmith, relaunched the brand after discovering his heritage while researching his family tree. Brooke tasked design agency Holmes & Marchant with the creation of limited-edition, gold-etched crystal bottles.
- LV= backs bobsleigh
Insurance brand LV= is to sponsor the British Bobsleigh Association ahead of the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, which take place next February. The sponsorship will run under the umbrella of LV='s vehicle breakdown cover brand, Britannia Rescue. LV= will provide funding for the team's training equipment.
Ed Kemp on sports marketing at marketingmagazine.co.uk
- Renault revs Gordini
Renault has unveiled plans to revive its Gordini sports car brand for high-performance versions of its Twingo and Clio models. Named after a Renault mechanic, the iconic R8 Gordini was famous for its blue body paint with two white stripes.
- Morrisons drops ad
Morrisons has agreed to pull an ad campaign featuring My Family actor Robert Lindsay because of claims made in the ads about its sustainably sourced fish offering. A spokeswoman for the Advertising Standards Authority confirmed that Morrisons had come to an informal agreement with it not to show the ad again.
- Royal Mail reassures
Royal Mail has launched a press campaign intended to convince customers that it will cope over Christmas, its busiest time of the year. The ad, with the strapline 'Delivering Christmas for you', tells consumers that Royal Mail is working hard to resume its normal service, and directs them to its website.
- BA merges with Iberia
British Airways has agreed a £3.96bn merger with Spanish carrier Iberia, which would create the third-biggest airline in the world. The two carriers have agreed a binding memorandum of understanding setting out the terms of the merger, under which BA will take a 55% stake in the new company, and Iberia a 45% share. The deal is expected to be completed late next year.
- Nugent in 2012 role
Greg Nugent, interim marketing director at London 2012, has been appointed to the new post of brand and marketing director. The former Eurostar marketing chief takes on the role following the decision to separate the London 2012 marketing and commercial departments.
- Marmite spreads its wares
Marmite has opened a pop-up store in central London selling a range of more than 100 branded products, including tableware, cooking equipment and foods.
The Regent Street store has been opened by agency Hot Pickle under license from Unilever, and will be open for up to 10 weeks. Hot Pickle is headed by former Marmite marketing manager Rupert Pick.
Separately, Unilever has invited 40 consumers to join a Marmite-themed secret society, Marmarati, to help create an extra-strong variant. The product will be launched exclusively through social media channels such as Facebook.
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