Letters: Traffic light confusion

I see Lucy Tesseras’s point in her article ‘Understanding food labels’ and support healthy messaging on packs.

However, there are a growing number of icons on packs these days. Eye-tracking studies tell us that consumers only take in three to four things on a pack at any one time. So if we’re asking them to look at more icons, the pack risks looking cluttered, which will lose
it its standout appeal on the shelf and the consumer will simply not see it and move on. 

Also some brands struggle with labelling because it doesn’t differentiate between good and bad fats, for example. Consumers may be surprised to find their grilled artichokes now labelled with red warning stickers that are usually associated with foods such as crisps. The traffic light idea is perhaps too simple and may end up confusing the customer rather than helping.

Sarah Cameron, head of marketing, Coley Porter Bell


Consumers aren’t morons

Am I alone in thinking the article ‘The secrets of being a happy brand’ made for depressing reading?

It jumps on the fashionable thinking bandwagon that brands need to attract customers by creating an emotional bond.

I’m not convinced that people are so controlled by their emotions as agencies like to claim. The obsession of getting people to ‘love’ your brand by owning some kind of emotion makes consumers look like unthinking, manipulable morons incapable of logic and reason.

Get people to love your brand then they will buy it, goes the theory. The reality from empirical evidence is that if you get people to buy your brand, then they will love it.

A happy brand is a successful brand? No. It’s the other way round.

Andy Palmer, managing director,
Sell! Sell!


Cookies don’t make the cut

The Emarketer research that discusses the increase in mobile ad spend highlights what we all knew was coming.

Smartphone adoption continues to increase globally and so mobile web traffic will follow. It is inevitable that ad spend on these devices will also increase. But they may hit road blocks when it comes to cookies and targeting individuals.

Native apps don’t support cookies. Even on web apps where cookies may be used, they are coming up against browsers disallowing third party cookies, which means tracking and targeting isn’t so easily available, causing issues for targeted ads.

Brands need ways to get to know their customers across all devices and leverage the data to effectively target them. Streamlined, mobile-friendly customer profile management platforms will help gain customer data to target consumers with relevant mobile ads. 

And advertisers that leverage customer profile management platforms can use them to identify highly segmented customer groups and to effectively offer targeted, relevant content to their mobiles.

Russell Loarridge, managing director of Europe, Janrain


Educating consumers

Mark Ritson in his entertaining column ‘Why Kingsmill will fail to butter up the public’ tells us that marketing usually finds it impossible to educate ‘customers that what they currently think… is not the case.’ Usually, but not always. Anyone else remember when Lucozade was for sick people in hospital?

Peter Elliot, head of marketing proposition, Legal and General 




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