Beware the backfiring spoof

The type of mockery marketing that has been pinging between the political parties does seems to be winning favour in the commercial world (The super spoof weapon, MW 6 May).

But humour, like the pistol pictured in the article, can backfire. Just because a satirical swipe at the enemy plays well in the marketing department doesn’t mean it will have any traction with the public.

BMI and easyJet, for instance, recently unveiled ads that seek to capitalise on BA’s well-documented difficulties. But will the public find it persuasive or puerile? And doesn’t Yahoo!’s US ad attacking Google (“there’s nothing to look at but a box and a button”) simply look like an inferior brand’s cheap attempt to score points off a bigger and better rival? An even more glaring example were the “grinning Gordon” outdoor ads run by the Tories, which probably did more for Labour than its own posters.

John McWilliams, Brandpool


Simply does it better for ads

Marketing Week

The finding that elaborately animated and video-heavy ads make little impact on consumers (Subtle animated outdoor ads are most effective, uk 12 May) confirms the justifiably well-worn phrase “less is more”.


Real meaning of CSR

Marketing Week

Mark Ritson is right when he says brand repositioning is almost always impossible (Rebranding cannot plug credibility gap, MW 13 May). But it can work – just take a look at M&S or Skoda. However, it will only work when the intentions and beliefs of what is created are a) authentic and b) delivered upon. Otherwise, yes, it is a sham of a marketing paint job – albeit a very expensive and neatly articulated one in BP’s case. In as much as this was “greenwash” it was also “brandwash”. And in both counts the brand and marketing industry are as culpable as the corporates who commission them.


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