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Colin Vs Cuthbert, Covert Collaboration Or Legitimate Lawsuit?

If you’ve been anywhere near social media within the last week or so, you’ll have noticed that there’s something of an unexpected war going on between two beloved supermarket brands at the moment: M&S, the British retailer, has launched a court case against German supermarket Aldi for allegedly imitating its birthday cake, Colin the caterpillar, with its own version, Cuthbert.

 

A sour taste

 

It’s an unusual case for many reasons, with the first being that Aldi is known for copying other, ‘official’ brands, and replacing them with a similarly-designed, cheaper alternative. The retailer has thus far evaded a case like this, which begs the question: why this product in particular?

 

Another question remains: why target Aldi for a lawsuit when there are many other retailers, including ASDA, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, that all have caterpillar cakes too?

 

Some people have theorised that the ‘lawsuit’ is actually a collaboration between the two supermarkets to generate publicity for their respective brands. Though a court case is an unconventional way to generate PR, there are instances in which the attention brought by the companies involved has ensured the brand name has been given an amount of exposure that would rival a typical PR campaign. McVitie’s court case regarding the categorisation of a Jaffa Cake as a ‘cake’, which was initially a ‘biscuit’, started the now well-known debate of which category the confection lies in.

 

Similarly, a 12-year-long case also involved M&S regarding whether or not a ‘teacake’ was classed as a cake or a biscuit (the retailer ultimately winning their case).

 

Eagle-eyed M&S shoppers have also pointed out the new abundance of Colin products, such as mini cakes, sour sweets and gift bags, as well as children’s clothing and a Connie Caterpillar cake, supporting the fact that the company is definitely going big on all things caterpillar right now. Though a court case sounds like a stretch in terms of marketing tactics, stranger things have happened in the world of PR.

 

Copycat-erpillar

 

However, in the opinion of Rebecca Jane writing in the Burnley Express, the case is a legitimate one due to the extent of the similarities between Colin and Cuthbert, compared to the cakes made by the other supermarkets. ‘If you compare them all, they have fundamental differences – except for Aldi’s. The Aldi cake is almost identical to Marks and Spencer, and that’s where Aldi’s defence will fall down. In law land, in my belief, it is called ‘passing off’. Therefore, M&S will win.’

 

So it seems M&S are indeed willing to go to bat over these similarities: but is the lawsuit worth the poor PR generated?

 

Battle of the brands

 

The case has provoked Aldi’s social media team to take things by the reigns, providing an endless stream of jokes and memes regarding the sticky situation…

 

 

Aldi has been known to poke fun at other brands on Twitter, such as the IPA company Brewdog and, more recently, Dulux paint, due to its own hiccup involving its new sponsorship of Tottenham Hotspur. Its approach to social media, with tongue-in-cheek jokes and references to other brands, far surpasses that of M&S, who has so far stuck to its guns and have kept pretty quiet on Twitter regarding the case.

It all came to a head on Twitter on Tuesday, when Aldi took M&S to task in its most tactical move yet:

 

M&S’s response clearly tried to invoke the teasing approach Aldi has so far perfected, but turning down an offer of a collaboration for charity was never going to look good. Aldi has boxed them in a corner here: if M&S do indeed win the case, as predicted by Rebecca Jane, it would be a poor move for its image to keep the money it wins as opposed to donating it to Macmillan.

 

However, in the other corner, some believe that ‘playing the charity card’ was in bad taste by Aldi and over-stepped the line.

 

At the end of the day, was it even worth challenging the supermarket in court over such a petty difference? The fallout might just mean shoppers choose the cheaper, similar alternative, as the case seems to have done little but draw attention to the fact that shoppers can get an identical version of the cake for less!

 

A final note: these are the Google search trends for the respective products over the last 30 days. Only the sales of the products will determine the true effects of the trial, however, it looks like, for now, Colin is still very much the king of the cakes…

Time will tell how the case plays out: who knew children’s birthday cake could be so complicated?!

 

At Source, we know how best to put your brand’s name out there without any hassle. We have over ten years’ experience in PR, digital marketing and communications, including crisis comms: why not give us a call on 01829 72078, or get in touch with us via our TwitterFacebookInstagram or LinkedIn?

 

 

 

 

 

5 REASONS TO USE A PPC MARKETING AGENCY POST-LOCKDOWN

As the UK eases out of lockdown, and more businesses open their doors again in the ‘new normal’, many are likely wondering how to get customers to trust it’s safe to visit again, and how to boost sales after months of inactivity. The truth is, there are many ways in which you can rebuild your brand’s trust and also introduce it to new potential consumers. One thing you might consider, is a PPC marketing agency.

PPC is otherwise known as ‘Pay-Per-Click’ and is a paid advertisement where the fee is worked out by the number of times a link has been clicked on. Most commonly, PPC is seen on Google, which merges with YouTube too. PPC usually works well when running alongside paid social, another method worth considering for your marketing strategies.

PPC can be an effective marketing tactic, no matter your budget. It’s also an advertising option applicable to most, if not all businesses. You could be a small company, or large-scale corporate, and PPC would still likely bring about measurable benefits to your business.

5 Benefits Of Using A PPC Marketing Agency

So, why use PPC? And moreover, a PPC marketing agency? A PPC marketing agency is a business that offers PPC advertising services to other businesses. They sometimes also offer other services too, such as paid social, SEO and more. An agency can sometimes be utilised instead of an in-house team, or can work alongside them. Here are 5 reasons why you might consider PPC now your business is back up and running…

  1. You’ll get easy-to-measure results

One of the best things about PPC advertising, is that you can measure and track your results, pretty much from the word ‘go’. If utilising PPC through Google, you can use data studio to record KPIS such as clicks, goal completions and conversions. If you marry your PPC strategy up to your Google Analytics too, you can also check bounce rates and more. You can see what elements of your campaign is working and also see the results right before your eyes – putting more faith in PPC.

  1. You can reach your target audience

PPC is also a popular marketing choice as you can target your audience with algorithms. With keyword research, you can identify what your potential consumers are searching for and then target them with your PPC strategy. This is particularly worth thinking about when 95% of clicks go to the top 4 results on the search page – 3 of which are ads. A PPC marketing agency will know how to effectively locate target keywords and then utilise them within a PPC strategy.

  1. Refining your strategy is easy

As mentioned above, tracking your PPC results is easy. As such, refining your methods are too. If you find out something isn’t working, then you can turn that element of the ad off. You can use trial and error to test keywords and home in on the tactics that are succeeding and driving the most conversions.

  1. Learn from other businesses

A big benefit of working with a PPC marketing agency, is that they will likely have experience in a wide range of fields. If you opt to work with a company that has B2B as well as B2C clients, then you can discover what’s worked well for them, and how that could benefit your own PPC strategy.

  1. Work with experienced professionals

Lastly, one of the main reasons why companies choose to use a PPC marketing agency, is because they are experts in their field and have a wealth of experience. When working with an agency, their bread and butter is the service they offer. Furthermore, there’s usually more than one person working on your account.

PPC marketing agency statistics for 2020

Credit: Econsultancy

Other Marketing Strategies To Use

Marketing works best when you focus on more than one tactic, working towards the same outcome, using different strategies. This is what’s known as a marketing strategy, and it can be the key to a successful business in a post-lockdown world. Whilst there are many benefits of using a PPC marketing agency, you might want to consider an integrated agency that offers the whole hog. Other tactics well worth considering, and all for different reasons, include…

If you’re looking for a PPC marketing agency, that has experience in the fields above too, then why not give us a call? We are a PR, marketing and digital agency with a whole range of skills – we can help with your PPC advertising goals, as well as use our other expertise to help your business thrive in a post-lockdown world. To get in touch, give us a call on 01829 720 789, or contact us online.