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That Works Weekly: The Sports Direct Effect, IKEA Is Recycle Central and a Toast to George Clooney

That Works Weekly provides an alternative take on the week’s marketing and branding news. In Episode 8, Sports Direct are bottom of the league, George Clooney teams up with Warburtons, IKEA want your old wardrobes and Twitter finally clamp down on abuse, kind of.

Sports Dire-ct

A Which? survey of 10,000 shoppers has found Sports Direct to be the worst place in the UK to buy outdoor and sporting equipment. It’s not great reading, but it’d be even worse for them if outdoor and sporting equipment was literally all they traded. What’s that? It is? Ah. The Mike Ashley-owned company registered an overall dissatisfaction rating of a whopping 65% in the survey - is it a coincidence that 6,500 of the research sample were Newcastle United fans? The retailer scored particularly poorly in the areas of Covid-19 response, after-sales service and product guarantees, but secured top marks in the ‘production of mugs big enough to have a bath in’ category.


Clooney earns his crust

In the biggest TV mash-up since Warburtons feat. Sylvester Stallone (and then Warburtons feat. Robert De Niro), the bread-making giants have now enlisted the services of none other than George Clooney for their latest advertising campaign. Does Matt Hancock’s aunt work in Warburtons’ marketing department, by the way? How are they affording all these A-listers?! A perfect representation of the last year or so, the ad shows company chairman, Jonathan Warburton, fobbing off a video call with Clooney in order to tuck into some rather exquisite-looking toast. We are all Jonathan in that situation – the novelty of Zoom and Skype calls wore off by about April. Last year. That said, however, a quick call with George Clooney sounds a bit more appealing than the Monday morning briefing with Carol from HR or a 55th consecutive Friday night Zoom quiz with your pals.


England’s beer Buds

The official beer partner of the England football team for this summer’s European Championships has been announced as Bud Light. That’s right, the beer brand from America. It should be John Smith’s every year and John Smith’s only. With Peter Kay booting a ball down Wembley Way shouting ‘AV IT’. Anyway, Bud’s ‘Boxheads’ campaign will see boxes of 12 and 20 bottles decorated with the faces of some of the England players, which can then be turned into masks for the fans to wear. Surely the last thing we want once Covid restrictions (hopefully) end is more masks. Gareth Southgate, however, is thought to have stocked up on boxes for his players to wear to hide the shame on their faces when they exit the team hotel after inevitably being knocked out of the tournament in the group stages.


IKEA’s buy-back bonus

Swedish furniture giant IKEA has launched its much-anticipated buy-back scheme in an attempt to reduce the amount of furniture going to landfill. Do people even take furniture to landfill these days? I always assumed unwanted items ended up on Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Gumtree or, if even that is too much work, the side of the nearest A-road. Items will be bought back in the form of vouchers at either 30%, 40% or 50% of their original price, depending on their condition, which can then be spent in store. I’m not sure Brits were short of an excuse to stroll aimlessly around IKEA stores, gazing at fine oaks and pines and gorging on their famous meatballs, but they got one anyway.


Twitter urges Tweet reviews

In ‘good news’ this week we are celebrating Twitter’s arguably overdue policy of prompting users to review and revise ‘potentially offensive and harmful’ replies. It is their most recent attempt to clamp down on the abuse and discrimination freely dished out on the site since they banned Katie Hopkins and Donald Trump from the platform. I can’t help but think they could maybe go a little further though and, you know, prevent the abusive from being sent. More ‘We’re not going to let you send this racist Tweet’ rather than ‘Are you sure you want to send this racist Tweet? Are you really sure? Have you thought about it twice? You still want to send it? Go on then’. I guess it’s a start.


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