The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Crap Marketing Ideas From History!
June 4, 2007, 7:00 am
Filed under: Crap Marketing Ideas From History!

First I slagged off Colgate, now it is the turn of Macleans.

Please try and picture the scene … we’re in some non-descript boardroom somewhere and inside, Macleans Toothpaste Marketing Department are sat with their advertising agency.

Client: “We need to sell more toothpaste but don’t have anything new to say!”

Agency: “Tough one – toothpaste does seem to have maximised it’s opportunities.”

Client: “Well we’ve got 3 stripes, which is more than everyone else … anything in that?”

Agency: “Not really, we’ve been doing for the last 20 years!”

Client: “Eureka … I’ve got it!  Instead of calling it toothpaste, lets call it MOUTHPASTE!!!”

Agency: “OH MY GOD … BRILLIANT!!!  We’re in the room with a genius!!!” 

Client: “I can see it now, MOUTHPASTE becomes part of the vernacular and sales will go through the proverbial roof … I’ll be a hero!!!”

Agency: “I can see the ad now … lots of people, all from different backgrounds, smiling and saying forget Toothpaste, MACLEANS IS MOUTHPASTE!!!!”

Client: “Right, you work on the ad and I’ll go and clear some shelves for the awards that are about to come in.”

Agency: “Love your work Sir. Or should we call you, STAR!?”

CLIENT AND AGENCY Go Into Backslapping and mutual [false] affection OVERLOAD.

OK, so that scene might be fiction but the end product wasn’t – because on television screens all around the World, millions of people were subjected to an ad featuring happy, smiley people screaming out, “It’s not toothpaste, it’s mouthpaste”.

Didn’t they understand we could see through this bollocks from about 3000 paces

Didn’t they realise we knew all they’d done was change their product description from toothpaste to mouthpaste?

Did they really think we were suddenly going to start viewing them as deeply relevant and important in our lives!?


What next?  Renaming ‘Kentucky Fried Chicken’ … KFC and hoping no one notices? 

Damn, they’ve done it. 

OK, how about calling 2-minute noodles a convenient, quick, hot and tasty snack when we all know they are chemically made crap? 

OH MY GOD … they’ve done that as well.

Where has the thinking gone in advertising … where has the common sense disappeared to … where is the real voice of the people in the communication?

If planners and their ad colleagues continue to let this sort of thing go on [or at least let this sort of thing go on without insisting on fundamental changes to the product] then it is no wonder we are in danger of becoming as extinct as the dinosaurs and we don’t have anyone else to blame but ourselves.

I need a lie-down, this whole thing has left a very nasty taste in my mouth. [Boom Tish!]

9 Comments so far
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this is solid gold rob campbell! yay!
i think you should take a little copy of a macleans mouthpaste ad into that bollocks conference with you. just to keep you motivated 🙂

Comment by lauren

The word “Mouthpaste” is really awful… it’s not attractive at all, it sounds medicinal, and is a turnoff.

Comment by Age

It could be worse Age, it could be ‘Manpaste’ – which is even more of a turn off for a whole host of reasons. Cough Cough.

Comment by Rob

just ewwww.

Comment by Age

Back to your best Rob.

Comment by Pete

Mouthpaste makes me think of perscription medicine.

Comment by Jade

“we’re so good at television”.


Comment by Marcus

Absolutely! Mind you, here they were repeatng their happy family ad from 20 years ago!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I’m still waiting for a beer brand to call a product ‘man shandy’. THAT’D be innovation. 🙂

Comment by Will

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