Thursday, 14 January 2010

The Seven Deadly Marketing Sins

Yesterday, I foolishly let my guard down and got (briefly) sucked in by a promo man offering me a shiny black paper bag with the name of a cosmetics firm emblazoned across the front. He shouted; “Take one, take one” but it turned out that the bag was empty and it was all a big con possibly designed to make me feel silly – but presumably to make me more inclined to purchase their wares.

Instead, the whole episode got me so cross that I swore there and then that I would rather leave the house with a giant boil on my nose than attempt to disguise it with said company’s concealer, no matter which celebrity tells me how good it is and whatever freebies come with it.

The event reminded me of a trip to the cricket some years back when I was accosted by the Brand Police who stole the crisps out of my picnic because they weren’t Walkers and Walkers were the match sponsors - so all other crisps were as illegal as cocaine and could therefore be justifiably confiscated, even though I had paid good money for them. I can only just about stomach Salt and Linekers now – and it was five years ago that they cruelly stole my Mini Cheddars.

Anyway, yesterday got me thinking and over the years, I have created a black list of companies that – based entirely on their marketing efforts – I have banned from my house. So, here’s the list – “My Seven Deadly Marketing Sins”. More additions very welcome.

· Companies whose adverts, quite frankly, make me feel physically sick – like the boy who will only poo at Pauls’ house. Poor Paul. Hope no one ever comes to my house just to do that.
· Businesses who persuade celebrities to sell out – like Iggy Pop and Swift or John Lydon and butter - but top of the list by a country mile is Carol Vorderman, a mathematical genius who will happily sell subprime loans to the unemployed. Yes, thanks to Carol you too can convert all your niggling debts into one life crushing loan.
· Brands who are so determined to make money out of Brits that they can’t even be bothered to reshoot ads for their target audience. Stick a British voice over the top. Job done. Just for Men and “The Man Who Now Needs More Ties” currently at the top of this particular hate list.
· Companies who think I am stupid. Very stupid. So stupid , in fact, that they think I will actually believe they interviewed a family of five about their love of low fat rice pudding and how they couldn’t get enough of it. You know the one - mum shocked that teen boy has sometimes stolen it out of the fridge. (Two main issues with that – 1. men can’t find anything in the fridge and 2. only thing teen boy would actually want from the fridge is lager.)
· Businesses who tell porkie pies. Remember Rick Mayall and Virgin? Remember his colleagues relaxing at a table of four planning for a key business meet. Where was the fat sweaty man, eating the cheese and onion pasty? Where was the guy with the iPod at max and where were all the people with standing room only?
· Businesses that get carried away, like BT. Don’t care about that couple (her from Spooks and him from My Family) – they strike me as ill-matched anyway.
· Anyone who stops me on the street when I clearly have two unhappy children, a crotchety husband and a hangover. There’s a time and place to sell and Touchwood at 1300 on a wet Saturday is not it.

I could go on but I have made my point and have ruined my PR chances with enough firms for one day. Unless they want to repent their sins and are after an agency who can rectify those wrongs? Well, you can but try...


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