A pedestrian initiative that’s looking lame

Walkers’ latest creative wheeze is giving away free “walk-o-meters” to “Get Britain Walking”. What a joke. It has tied up with The Sun to encourage family and friends to join in, all to help combat the bad press concerning snack foods and obesity. What next – issuing skipping ropes?

Surely, Walkers could have taken a long-term view and linked up with a brand that could help to change perceptions of Walkers. The fact is, crisps are not the healthiest of foods, but Walkers could have positioned itself as the best in this sector to promote healthy lifestyles, by working with sport and leisure brands such as Raleigh. Not only would it import its partners’ brand values, but it would also have a platform of brands to tap into rather than looking for another cheap promotional toy to give away after a few months.

Marketers have to think smarter about creating positive affinities between brands that share the same values. They should research exactly what the public feels about what brands represent, and do something new with the research. The factors that make a brand attractive to its customers might not be the same as what makes a brand attractive to another brand.

Only when marketers stop approaching brand affinity relationships as amateurs and start setting up relationships based on proper, scientific matching will we see more brand affinity deals that have real meaning to consumers.

Until then, we will all have to put up with “unhealthy relationships” between brands.

Gavan Stewart

Managing director

Touchdown Brand Affinity Marketing

London WC2

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