Happy Friday. Here are some of the most important regional stories from around the Campaign global network you may have missed this week.
Rebekah Brooks: 'We must offer different things to advertisers'
Rebekah Brooks was always going to do things differently during her second stint running Rupert Murdoch’s News UK, but she has surprised the media industry by how far she has moved beyond newspapers. First, she acquired Unruly Media, the online video distribution company, for up to £114 million ($147 million). Now she is buying Wireless Group, owner of talkSPORT and Virgin Radio, for £220 million. Brooks also tore down The Sun’s online paywall in an attempt to catch up with MailOnline and reverted to an ad-funded model. It is all part of her strategy of "listening to advertisers" and offering them a broader "cross-platform sell", Brooks explains to Campaign in her first comments to the ad industry since returning as chief executive of News UK 10 months ago.
Volkswagen teams with LG for connected cars
Volkswagen has signed an agreement with LG to collaborate on the development of "connected car" technology. LG will take part in research and development for VW’s Cross-Over-Platform, which aims to bring smart technology into the car that will allow users to, for example, control domestic appliances in their homes from on the road. VW said the partnership would also be working on a context-sensitive notification center for its vehicles, that could deliver messages in an intuitive way and provide optimized recommendations to the driver in real time.
Comparethemarket.com takes 35-year-old Macaulay Culkin to the fair
In a gentle nod to the changes in Culkin’s appearance since he starred in "Home Alone," the UK ad sees the brand’s meerkat mascots visit the child star, only to find "he’s much bigger in real life." They go on a family day out to the fairground, taking 35-year-old Culkin as their surrogate offspring. After going on roller coasters, bouncy castles and eating ice cream, the pair take Culkin to the cinema.
How sushi chain Akindo Sushiro reels in customers
A lot of marketers in Japan target consumers based on a plethora of untested assumptions. But Akindo Sushiro, Japan’s biggest conveyor-belt sushi chain, has been reaping the benefits of focusing on backcast marketing, which draws on empirical purchase and other data from its restaurants. Established in 1984, the company operates 419 restaurants around Japan and six in Korea. It is Japan’s sole big sushi chain without a central kitchen; it prepares all dishes within its restaurants. That commitment to freshness helped the company garner the top spot in the food and dining category of the Japan Customer Satisfaction Index in 2009 and 2011.
Instant noodles warm up European market for Indofood
SINGAPORE — Indofood’s decision to formally enter Turkey, following the setting up of a factory in 2014, is part of a larger plan to penetrate the European market, where experts say there is good potential for the company to do well. In fact, Indofood is already the most successful instant-noodle company in Turkey, through sales of its products imported by distributors. Indofood's Indomie brand has a reasonable lead over Japan’s Nissin in instant-noodle pouches, a bigger market than instant-noodle cups, where Nissin remains the top-selling brand.