Category Archives: Just for fun

Stuff that makes me smile that I’m sharing in the hope it does you too

Andrex Scrunch or Fold – has FMCG creativity found a new bottom?

Warning: this post contains contextually relevant toilet humour gags the author was unable to resist.

One of my first bosses in B2B Marketing told me why she had chosen to pursue a career in B2B as opposed to the (at the time) more glamorous world of FMCG Marketing “I didn’t find the idea of marketing nappies or tampax that challenging or interesting”.

Her words have stuck with me since and I was reflecting on this when I saw the recent Andrex campaign which asked the nation whether they “scrunch or fold” when using their market-leading product:

Andrex pack

Admittedly, there’s only so much you can do with loo roll (literally and creatively) – especially one that’s been market leader since 1961 according to the Superbrands Annual 2012. But there’s a reason for that. I may be an old-fashioned prude, but behind closed doors up and down the country, how we wipe our backside is our business.

Yet I couldn’t resist taking a peek at the results:

Andrex results

A staggering 14,728 people voted, although it is not clear how many others spoiled their paper.

Perhaps I’m missing the point and all will be revealed in a forthcoming awards submission for Andrex which will show results that during the campaign, the PCEI rose by 243% (Paper:Cheek Engagement Index – a standard measure across the industry).

Or maybe it was a test marketing exercise to feed into the new product development process? Was Andrex about to launch “pre scrunched” Andrex, one wonders, and have these landslide results flushed that idea down the pan.

I know it’s not possible to stick to the classic “soft, strong and very very long” for every campaign, but loo roll is loo roll. Use the full marketing mix to innovate and tell me about the features that make Andrex superior to the competition. I don’t need selling on the ‘benefits’ and certainly don’t want to segment myself as a ‘scruncher’ or ‘folder’ as some sort of lifestyle statement with deep emotional engagement to the brand!

All of this reinforces that, like my boss all those years ago, I am very, very happy to have spent the last 15 years as a B2B Marketer.

But how about you? Do you love or loathe this campaign? Does it make you proud to be a B2B or FMCG marketer? I’d love to hear your thoughts (about this campaign, not your toilet preferences please).

Diamond Jubilee – a Right Royal Rebrand?

As much of the nation struggled to get back into the swing of working life on Wednesday, I couldn’t help reflect on a weekend during which I felt the ‘rebrand’ of Britain’s Royal Family was complete.

I’ve never considered myself to be a royalist, but having seen the transformation of a nation’s mood (OK, helped by 2 extra days off for most of us) over the weekend I wondered whether we were witnessing the fruits of a ‘strategic review’ of their brand positioning? If it was, here’s how I saw it hang together:

1) Showcase event for ‘Brand Britain’: There’s no doubt that there will have been a positive and material impact on ‘Brand Britain’ as a result of these celebrations and not just from the millions watching on TV around the world. The streets, riverbanks and parks of London came alive in a celebration of positivity. Bring on the Olympics!

2) Commitment to deeper ‘customer engagement’: We appeared to witness a statement of intent to make the Royal Family more visible, accessible and open. The schedule of events Queen Elizabeth II attended over the weekend would make the most voracious networker shudder. The fact that the celebratory tour continues across the country allows those outside of London to experience a bit of Jubilee Fever at first hand.

3) Injection of a renewed sense of fun: Throughout the weekend’s activities, all the members of the Royal Family genuinely appeared to be having fun, even during the sideways torrential rain in the freezing cold for the Thames River Pageant.

The Royal Family has attracted more than its share of controversy over the years, so hopefully these will be the last fireworks coming from Buckingham Palace until the next celebration:

What do you think? Has your perception of the Royal Family ‘brand’ changed following recent events? What would you do differently if you were their brand agency?

Marketing lessons from Benny Hill?

Actor Benny Hill
Image via Wikipedia

It’s not often that Benny Hill is quoted in management or marketing textbooks, but this short clip highlights some of the dangers in making sweeping assumptions, and still makes me smile even today.

I come across many young people who are thinking of starting out in business through my work as a volunteer Business Mentor with the Prince’s Trust. We work with them through the Exploring Enterprise Programme to help them make sure there’s a market for the product or service they are looking to sell through their business.

The Market Research Society defines research as

“one of the most useful tools in business, any business. It is the way in which organisations find out what their customers and potential customers need, want and care about.”

Good business and marketing decisions come from good insight- developing a solid and compelling fact base about your target customer that allows you to understand their needs and wants better than anyone else. “Gut feel” is great, but any business that runs on this alone is a risky one in my opinion.

As it’s the weekend and the sun’s shining, I’ll hand over to Benny, to explain the dangers of assumption…

The best medicine

One of the things I love most about how the web’s evolved over recent years is the random moments of brilliance that can be found on YouTube. Every now and then, there’s a video that just makes you feel so good, you have to share it. I challenge you to watch without breaking into a huge, broad smile.