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

Brand Humiliation …
June 26, 2007, 1:32 pm
Filed under: Comment

So I was in the hell that was Heathrow Airport when I spotted this lovely attempt to ‘grab consumers attention’.

Now you could argue that it worked as I not only noticed it, but secretly videoed it … however the only reason I did it was to demonstrate the sad lengths some companies will go to in a bid to make people notice them.

Apart from the fact its based on the same  ‘lowest form of idea’ that I wrote about a while back, the women look so fucking bored.  And maybe that’s what amazed me most – they look bored rather than humiliated.

I don’t even know what they were ‘advertising’ … but its bound to be some alcohol brand as loads of them seem to use this method to generate sales.

What gets me is that if this was a TV ad, it wouldn’t get through the strict UK alcohol advertising laws … yet in an airport, where there are tons and tons of small kids, it isn’t just allowed … it’s encouraged.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the importance/value of sales promotion and done properly, it can enhance the brand whilst also driving sales … however I can’t help but feel that in this case we have a company who has simply gone for [what they believe is] the quickest route to sales, and not given a second thought to whether it undermines their carefully crafted brand image and persona.  [even though I don’t know who it is for, ha!]

I love the fact that companies go on and on and on about the importance of brand strategy … and yet when they think there is an opportunity to make a few bucks more, they’ll turn their back on it in a heartbeat. 

There’s loads of examples of this … from Harley Davidson making watches [very ‘freedom’] through to MILO making chocolate bars [very ‘healthy energy’] … and all it does is show that strategy means nothing when a companies greed gets in the way!

55 Comments so far
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That video depresses me in more ways than you will ever know.


Comment by Marcus

Is that because it is placed higher up the ‘ladder of happiness’ than using a calculator in a printing company?

Not for much longer my dear Marcus, not for much longer!

Comment by Rob

I can’t believe you said that. I really can’t. You mum will be so cross.

Good bye everyone. This is the last comment I will make on this blog. Rob is nasty and I’m off.

I’m sulking. Good bye.

Comment by Marcus

Rather amusing that vid clip. Enthusiasm sells!

Comment by Charles Frith

Rob, say something nice to Marcus now.
Marcus, don’t be a ponce.

The video disturbing. Their slow and monotonous body movement is hypnotizing, it makes…zzzzzzz.

Comment by Seb

Come on Marcus … you’re not that wimpy are you? You know I’m only teasing and you can always say,

“Well I might use a calculator but at least I’m not from Nottingham”

That’s the trump card, I can’t beat that.

Come back. Come back pleeeeeeeeeeeeease!

Comment by Rob

Is being from Southampton better than being from Nottingham? Isn’t that like saying “Oh, thank god I have only gonorrhoea and not syphilis”?

Comment by Seb

Thanks Seb … you’re making things so much better!

Comment by Rob

That’s what I came here for. To make things better. Did you know people are calling me “Seb, friend of all human beings”? No, no?
Marcus will stop being so poncey anyway. Because we all know the greatest things on earth started with a calculator.

Comment by Seb

And not with a R2D2 presenting and entertainment tool. Though this would be cool.

Comment by Seb

Are cheerleaders who don’t cheer just called leaders? What are those girls “leading”?

Oh yes, I know now… the pointless promo girl fuckbrigade.

Comment by Age

That was harsh Rob. I think you should apologise to Marcus!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

“Is being from Southampton better than being from Nottingham? Isn’t that like saying “Oh, thank god I have only gonorrhoea and not syphilis”?”

Thanks Seb, you just made me laugh out loud.

As for the clip; it’s very very depressing, and a little bit sad. I have some photos of some Trident Gum sales promotion at Paddington – completely forced (but they didn’t look as bored as those girls).

Comment by Will

Its sad in a way, the Cheeky girls have sunk so low…

Awful. Truly awful.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Age … that is a shit-but-funny comment, abit like that shit joke of …

Q: ‘What do you call Postman Pat after he has been made redundent?’

A: Pat

And I HAVE apologised to Marcus … but being 40% German, he might not care for diplomatic ties to be rebonded!

Comment by Rob

The Calculation Appreciation Front is watching this blog. Appalling behaviour.

Down with calculator mobbing!

Comment by The C.A.F

I love calculators … I’m using a Texas Instruments TI-30 Galaxy which I got when I was 11 and – no word of a lie – is still on the same battery.

This could explain why I once got 2% in a maths exam as I never use the bloody thing. Well, except to write BOOBLESS.

Comment by Rob

And SHELLOIL, don’t forget that.

Comment by Will

I love the fact that the CAF actually exists.

I love calculators because thats how Commodore started.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

‘Rob M. They call him the set square.’


‘Because he’s always working the angle’.


Comment by Will

The C.A.F. will not be fooled. And a calculator is not just for writing silly words. Be warned, we are watching.

Comment by The C.A.F

Don’t threaten me Mr CAF … you and your calculators are the reason ENRON failed. Sort of.

Comment by Rob

Now now, we dont want to piss off Marcus AND the CAF in one go.

Besides which, can you imagine Maths and Accounting exams without them? Id rather live in a world of crazy calculator mishaps than one without them.

Do you want to present to clients with only an abacus? Do you?!! 😉

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Enron used Excel.

Comment by The C.A.F


Oh and thanks for the mathmatics related joke Will. 🙂

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Hi all,

Rob, a depressing clip, but this site is much better when it isn’t censored & I can see all the pics! I love being home.

Comment by Jade

If any of you are prepared to repent you’re evil ANTI-calculator ways call the CAF on:

+0044 (0)800-[(10x)(13i)2]-[sin(xy)/2.362x].

Comment by The C.A.F

What’ll happen to us if we don’t repent?

Comment by Will

Best phone number ever.
Id love to see a calculator company actually use that in an ad!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

3.14159265 will happen.

Comment by The C.A.F

Mmm… Pi.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Yes, Pi…and we’re prepared to use it. You have been warned.

Comment by The C.A.F

Ah HA!
Take that CAF. I now have evidence of your attempts to use mathmatical terror against the populace of the internet.

Yes. Thats right. I have been working undercover… I am really a secret agent for Abacus (Association of Britons Against Calculators Under (Mathmatical) Stress).

Soon the calculators will be free of your Pi related tyranny.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

No you’re not. Your Famous Rob. Stop being silly.

Comment by The C.A.F

Says someone who created a blog purely to make a point on someone elses blog??! 😉

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Pi…….what flavour of pi?

Comment by Will

3.14159 Blackbirds were baked in a Pi

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Ah, savoury. I was hoping for sweet, but never mind.

Comment by Will

I think the thing that depresses me more than anything about the video is the pointlessness of it. The girls know it’s pointless too. They’re doing it because they’ve been told to do it (it being to stand outside and “do something like cheerleading”) and they just can’t be arsed because their day usually sucks anyway, so why should today be any different.

To be honest, I couldn’t give to monkey’s about the brand (it deserves everything it gets), what worries me is what this business is doing with these two girls.

Girl 1: I’m bored

Girl 2: Me too.

Girl 1: You seen that bald bloke videoing us?

Girl 2: Yeah, he’s trying to do it secretly

Girl 1: Another Airport Pervert

Girl 2: Yeah. You done your homework yet?

Girl 1: Nah.

p.s. all is forgiven.

Girl 2: I hate my life

Girl 1: Yeah. Me too. Can I copy your homework later?

Girl 2: Nah. Bugger homework. Let’s get stoned and watch Eastenders.

Both Girls: Rah, Rah, Rah!

Comment by Marcus

So true.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Excuse me … can we stop all this calculator madness and say ‘hello’ to Jade who has come back after her little break.

HELLO JADE. You OK? We missed you, or at least I did 🙂

Comment by Rob

Marcus – would they really have that job if they ended a conversation with ‘rah rah rah’.

I like the airport comments though. 😉

Hello Jade. *Waves*

Comment by Will

Hi Jade. I don’t believe we have been introduced…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Does “Rah, Rah, Rah” make them over qualified William?

Jade, good afternoon.

Comment by Marcus

afternoon. don’t even get me started on promo girls and alcohol branding. promo fuckbrigade indeed. 5 cougars anyone? (actually, probably only age will know that one).

[insert fiery rant here about ‘sex sells/bootycall’ being the fallback of lazy creatives and pissweak MDs]

welcome back jade! i hope you’re having a wonderful time back home and enjoying not just uncensored images, but eucalyptus, great dried apricots, backyards, hills hoists and driving rain.

and rob, welcome home. ha!

Comment by lauren

Not very welcome today I can tell you Lauren.

I have developed into the Incredible Hulk – except I’ve turned red instead of green.

Writing to you now then going home to Jill – the only person who can calm me just by a look in her eyes.

Comment by Rob

Aw, sweet!
I did write something which touches on this subject yesterday actually.

Feel free to write that rant up in detail Lauren. Would make a good read!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Marcus – Rah Rah Rah implies that daddy can bankroll them through life.

Not that they are over qualified, oh no.

Comment by Will

Both Girls: [in a southend accent] Rah, Rah, Rah.

(you see, “rah, rah, rah” was the only scripted text they got from the store manager)

Comment by Marcus

hang on, not Southend accent. Stoke. They come from Stoke. They came to London dreaming of a better future.

Comment by Marcus

“Rah Rah Rah Duck”

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Came from Stoke? Unlucky them, especially if they support Port Vale.

Not from the finest county in the land, Worcestershire, you see. 😉

No idea what a Southend ‘rah rah’ sounds like (I was supposing it was the archetypal South Eastern rah – found predominately in Kent or Surrey), so I’ll bow to your judgement. 🙂

Comment by Will

Touché young man. Touché.

Comment by Marcus

rob c, i hope by the time you read this that you’re feeling a brazillian times better than yesterday. and if not, follow that advice george gave you and tell a pregnant woman how gorgeous she is.. or something.

rob m, maybe i will post a rant about that crap on my blog.. actually, i think i did somewhere, last year after age posted about the lee jeans ads. hmm i’ll dig it out.

Comment by lauren

Hi everyone,

I’m having a great time in Aus – it is so cold though! You’d think it was winter or something :).

Lauren, I’m looking out the window to my mum’s backyard at the hills hoist and the gum tree – much more relaxing than my view in Dubai :).

Comment by Jade

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