Skoda promotes a good drive’s sleep; Renault follows a mother and son relationship

Skoda promotes a good drive’s sleep

Screen Shot 2020-08-28 at 9.42.44 AMFor obvious reasons, a good sleep isn’t typically a product benefit featured in car advertising. As passengers, though, we’ve all nodded off in the car at some point, our body only kept (sort of) upright by the seatbelt, our face smushed against the window or chin touching our chest.

Those in-car catnaps are the basis of a fun new print campaign for Skoda France to promote its add-on Sleep Package.

Developed by Paris agency Rosapark, the campaign consists of a series of images of passengers awkwardly sleeping in a car, heads tilted at an unnatural angle and mouths ajar, accompanied by the message “So you can finally get some proper sleep.”

The Sleep Package, by the way, consists of fold-down headrest “wings” that keep a sleeping passenger’s head in place, plus two “comfy blankets.” It’s not perfect though: there’s nothing to prevent drooling (see all of the ads here).

Renault tells the story of a mother and son in emotional ad

Another European automaker, Renault, is also taking a true-to-life (albeit more emotionally resonant) approach to marketing with a charming new French campaign for its Clio brand.

Adopting a similar approach to last year’s buzzy ad “Thirty years in the making,” which depicted a same-sex relationship blossoming over the span of three decades, “The new chapter of a great story” follows a mother-and-son relationship from childhood to adulthood, with the Clio serving as an unobtrusive backdrop to their life.

The three-minute spot from Publicis is also notable for the complete absence of a father figure, with the mother taking responsibility for everything from soccer games as a young boy to teaching her him how to drive and how to shave. It’s soundtracked by “A Caged Bird/Imitations of Life” by the Cinematic Orchestra.

Directed by acclaimed German director Sebastian Strasser (who has helmed numerous car commercials including last year’s cinematic “Bertha Benz” spot for Mercedes-Benz and “Kids Dreams” for Volkswagen), the spot shows the possibilities that emerge when a brand is content to take a backseat to the story.

Walmart confirms interest in TikTok 

A surprise new player emerged in the TikTok sale saga Thursday: Walmart. While Microsoft was the consensus frontrunner to buy the popular social platform’s operations in the U.S. Canada, Australia and New Zealand, the retail giant confirmed that it is working with Microsoft on a joint bid, reportedly in the US$20-30 billion range.

The deal would open a new direct channel to hundreds of millions of potential customers to push Walmart product and to sell third part ads. In a statement, Walmart said the deal would “provide Walmart with an important way for us to reach and serve omnichannel customers as well as grow our third-party marketplace and advertising businesses.”

It’s also being viewed as a competitive response to be more digital and to own more content. “The subscription-based service is the retailer’s answer to Amazon Prime, which includes original TV shows and movies,” said MSNBC’s Melissa Repko.

Coca-Cola offering buyouts to 40% of North American workers

Coca Cola plans to offer early departures to nearly 40% of its North American workforce as it looks to cut costs amid a challenging soft drink market. According to Bloomberg News, about 4,000 employees will be offered packages with benefits if they agree to voluntary severance, with the soft drink company planning to introduce similar programs in other markets. There will also be an unspecified number of layoffs.

The soft drinks category is under increased pressure as consumers move away from sugary drinks in an attempt to cut calories and improve their health.

Speaking with the U.S. trade publication Beverage Industry earlier this year, Euromonitor International analyst Aga Jarzabek said that the carbonated soft drink market is “challenged” by volume declines. “The unhealthy perception of carbonates will only accelerate among consumers, leading to falling consumption rates.”

According to Bloomberg, Coca-Cola also plans to reorganize its business, creating new operating units for regional and local operations that will work with category marketing teams.” It will reduce its number of operating units from 17 to nine. In a July earnings call, Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey predicted that it would take two to three years for the global economy to recover from COVID.

Chris Powell