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

Standards And Opinion Are The Only Thing That Separates Us …
February 3, 2016, 6:15 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Brand Suicide, Point Of View

One of the things I hate about marketing is how it now chases customers rather than attracts.

They pander.

They crawl.

They basically say – or do – whatever it is their research says people want from them.

Which not only makes entire categories look, act and behave the same way, but it ultimately undermines the whole point of marketing in the first place.

Sure, every now and then you’ll get a ‘manifesto ad’ where a brands talks about what it believes … however, on closer inspection, you realise most of them are saying nothing whatsoever or are so contrived in their expression, that you realise they’ve been designed to blend in rather than stand out.

Great brands sacrifice.

Great brands polorise.

Great brands stand for something.

Great brands are stubborn bastards.

That doesn’t mean they don’t care about the people who embrace them, they do. The reality is their success is born from not trying to appeal to everyone, but to mean everything to someone.

Where loyalty is disproportionate.



But sadly, at least in terms of marketing, those days seem to be over.

Sure, there’s the odd brand out there that still proves the power of a strong point of view – the brands who were born from the culture they operate in – but in the main, the majority of communication out there is a bland, pandering, message of pleading beige.

The equivalent of a teenage boys begging an uninterested girl to love him.

I say this because I recently saw an ad for a wine merchants that gave me a modicum of hope.

Sure, they end it with a bit of a ‘sell out’ exclamation [but they still link it to the standards and quality that they believe makes them different to the competition], but at it’s heart, I like that they’re saying they know their shit and when they think you’re potentially going to make a mistake, they’ll tell you.

A focus group would claim this attitude ‘alienates the customer’.

That the brand is ‘condescending’ to its audience.

That the tone could ‘put someone off from going in the shop’.

That they should talk about their ‘royal seal of approval’ not their attitude.

But I say this … would you rather spend your money at a place that will happily let you walk out with something you might hate or a place that has the knowledge and experience to help you find something that will give a better experience than you originally imagined?

For that alone I congratulate Berry Bros & Rudd.

For ignoring the blandification of the focus group, I stand up and mightly applaud.

13 Comments so far
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i bet the wine shop in london who has the royal fucking seal of approval will be so happy some teetotalling ad fucker who looks like an alcoholic and lives in china has praised their advertising. it just gets better and better for them.

Comment by andy@cynic

All publicity is good publicity. Allegedly.

Comment by Rob

not from fucking you it isnt.

Comment by andy@cynic

but it is better fucking advertising than a lot of shit out there. its not great, but thats how fucking far the ad standard has fallen. ironically because all the twats in agencies are pissheads. except one, who is just naturally fucked up. i wonder if you can tell who im talking about campbell?

Comment by andy@cynic

Don’t be mean to Billy.

Comment by Rob

Shop. “what will you be eating tonight?”
Me. “just give me the most alcoholic wine you’ve got pronto”.

Comment by Billy Whizz

You forgot to say you don’t want them to put it in a bag [unless it’s a brown paper one], you’ll drink it straight from the bottle.

Comment by Rob

While I like the ad you have highlighted, I don’t think it is worthy of all the praise you are bestowing on it. However the points you make regarding how great brands should behave, certainly is.

Comment by George

Pleading beige sounds like the name of a Smiths tribute act.

Comment by John

An excellent read Robert. It is also an excellent wine merchant.

Comment by Lee Hill

Maybe they should show the Lee seal of approval on their ads. It would be more impressive than the royal insignia.

Comment by George

I like the ad but I like your point about stubbornness more.

Comment by Pete

This post meets with my approval.

Comment by John

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