Victoria Plumb and low prices

A year or so ago it was impossible to watch half an hour of prime time TV without multiple adverts of Victoria Plumb.  We all know that adverts stating best value are often not entirely true but, in this case, the whole proposition seemed really geared around convenience, saving the middle man and so on so I decided to test the offer. At that time we were in the process of refurbishing the toilet in my business so I decided to check their prices.  The range of products available was in fact quite rich and apparently at competitive prices … until I got to checkout time.  The biggest disappointment was that on a total bill of less than £200 there was an extra £50 in delivery charges which, in my opinion was excessive both as an absolute figure as well as in proportion to the total payable for products.  I cancelled the transaction and eventually bought from one of their competitors. Most Continue reading

Flash liquid gel: the marketer new excuses for advertising

Watch several adverts for many regular products for personal and house hygiene and the message is more or less unchanged for the last hundred years.  Soaps that clean better, washing up liquids that wash better (more recently they also need less so they help you to save the earth…), shampoo that make your hair beautiful and so on. They keep stating the obvious but simply by using the new endorsement or testimonial from the celebrity of the moment they remind us about that brand or product.  Next time we go shopping, if the product is visible, we are more likely to buy it. I kind of admire new ideas and angles to tell us, yet another similar story, that sticks to our minds.  The advent and amazing growth of social media have contributed to reduce our attention spam to ridiculously low levels so marketers must come with increasingly good ideas just to keep selling the products they advertise. A typical example that comes Continue reading

Vauxhall Mokka, another wrong name for a car?

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="299"] Vauxhall Mokka - Image courtesy of Top Gear[/caption] I was a proud owner of a Vauxhall Omega for several years and I have driven many Vauxhall rentals, from Corsa to Vectra and Insigna; I can call myself a fan of this British brand (together with Opel, its European cousin; they are both owned by General Motors which is one of the largest car manufacturers in the world). My biggest disappointment about Vauxhall started the other day when I saw an advert of the new Mokka (in the picture here on the right).  This post about the name of this car and is not even considering how good or bad it is as a vehicle.  I do realise how difficult is nowadays to come up with a new name that is, at Continue reading

KFC Gladiator Box Meal: really?

[caption id="attachment_285" align="alignright" width="225"] KFC Gladiator box meal - Image copyright Massimo Gaetani[/caption] I used to be a random and infrequent user of fast food restaurants but I did not step into one after I completed reading Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation back in 2002.  However as a passionate marketing professional I am always fascinated by their aggressive marketing strategies and how they are trying to convince us how convenient and excellent quality their food is... KFC has recently launched the Gladiator Box Meal that claims to be feeding super hungry Continue reading

Firewall on a car – geeky jargon gone wrong

I remember the first time I saw the SKODA Citigo Advert and felt immediately how wrong they actually did the whole thing.  This advert as part of a campaign launched in spring 2012 is using geeky jargon, possibly in the hope of capturing a young audience.  First of all they define the new Citigo a communication tool... it's a car, a vehicle, not a phone!  Then they try to re-invent the definition of firewall (here described as a useful app to avoid system crashes) which is totally misleading. A reputable source like wikipedia defines a Firewall as:
A firewall can either be software-based or hardware-based and is used to help keep a network secure. Its primary objective is to control the incoming and outgoing network traffic by analyzing the data packets and determining whether it should be allowed through or not, based on a predetermined rule set.
So I am really Continue reading