Posts Tagged ‘marketing’

Letter from Wales: Potty Plaid rewrite the rules of marketing

09/08/2013, 11:29:41 AM

by Julian Ruck

To those of a more shall I say rounded, political persuasion, I appreciate that what goes on in Wales may sometimes appear to be delightfully farcical, if not plain dotty and  believe me, the vast majority of Welsh folk would probably agree with you.

A typical example of Taffy complicity in keen but intuitive “Wales forever” slippery slopes, occurred last week.

The headline hitting the Welsh press went as follows: “Tourist video voiceover Is ‘too Welsh’ for English.”

Seriously, and we’re not talking here about the Welsh language.

Apparently, the story goes, Carmarthenshire county council’s marketing and tourism department (remember, that Carmarthenshire is a hot-bed of Plaid Cymru nationalism, it swung the “Yes” vote to devolution by a margin of .6% in a miserable turnout of 35.4% back in the 1997 referendum)  had commissioned a video clip to help Welsh accommodation providers pull in English customers.

A young boy was employed to do the sales pitch, there was just one problem – no-one could fight their way through his worthy Welsh accent! It was concluded by the powers that be– and after some market research in Sheffield, I’m not kidding – that the target market in England would have one hell of a job understanding what the young fellow was going on about and like I say, he wasn’t even speaking in Welsh!

It gets better.

A spokeswoman for the council said, “the voiceover was changed as the young boy had lost his two front teeth just prior to filming, which made him more difficult to understand.”


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Time for some nostalgia marketing for Labour

23/05/2012, 07:00:05 AM

by Peter Goddard

We are living, as the old Chinese curse has it, in interesting times. Greece is on the verge of exiting the Euro, in Spain, Bankia has to deny rumours of a run, the News International debacle just keeps on going. Short of Rebecca’s horses eating each other, the signs that the old certainties no longer apply couldn’t get much worse.

The Tories are playing directly into this narrative of unease with their programme of cuts, cuts and more cuts. And this week they have further identified themselves with the sense of national uncertainty and fear with their plans to make sacking employees easer.

This close identification between the Tories and personal insecurity for so many people provides Labour with an opportunity to offer something different.

Leaving it to finer minds to identify the policies that might take the country through this traumatic period and into happier times, there are a range of things we can do in terms of messaging and presentation to maximise the attractiveness of the party during a period like this.

It is a widely-agreed truth in marketing that in times of hardship or recession, nostalgia becomes a powerful ally.

As Martin Lindstrom says in his book, Brandwashing, “In the face of insecurity or uncertainty about the future, we want nothing more than to revert to a more stable time.”

Marketers have been acting on this for some time already. Back in 2009 the New York Times reported that, “As the recession continues taking its toll, marketers are trying to tap into fond memories to help sell what few products shoppers are still buying.”

Certainly things have not got any better since then.

Knowing this, what could Labour do?

First and foremost, it can stop reinventing itself, having ‘conversations’ in which nobody is really listening and obsessing about exactly what shade of what colour the Labour party might be today.

Secondly, it can start remembering, celebrating and reminding people of the substantial achievements of the Labour party, locating today’s party as the evolution of the party for people who stand up for the less fortunate.

The NHS. The sacrosanct-to-all-voters NHS that Labour built is the easiest example to point to, but there is much, much more.  The post-war social housing revolution, equalities legislation and most recently, rebuilding this country’s schools and hospitals after generations of neglect.

Practically, this can be achieved without mechanical repetition in speeches. Labour doesn’t have to trap itself in a retelling of the past to make its point.

What is required is some retro show don’t tell.


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Occupy’s marketing lesson for Labour

15/02/2012, 07:00:49 AM

by Peter Goddard

Despite an unbeatable city centre location, great transport links and, eventually, welcoming neighbours, it looks like London’s newest bijou residential opportunity – the Occupy camp at St.Pauls – is about to close its doors, or more accurately tent flaps.

Although a judgement on eviction has been postponed until 22nd February, it seems that even without the attention of the judiciary, time is running out for the not so happy campers.

The Telegraph reports “a leading group member” all but admitting the disintegration of the site, quoting: “it really is tough. People always ask about the cold, but the cold is the least of it. We have people with alcohol and drug addiction issues, we have people with mental health problems and very challenging behaviour”.

Thus the media narrative about the Occupiers seems set.

The campers were idealistic, they were naïve, they were probably long-haired and smelly. Despite their best efforts, big bonuses will still be paid (in the private sector at least), business will carry on as usual and, all in all, nothing will have been changed.

From a news perspective, the story of Occupy is coming to an end, the campers ultimately undone by their own lack of organisation and inability to express their needs beyond an angry cry of rage.

In one sense, this is right. It certainly describes the facts. But let’s not forget that although the media loves an easy story arc, the real world often offers much more interesting, and useful complexity.


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Dennis Skinner, viral YouTube sensation

10/02/2012, 08:27:51 AM

by Atul Hatwal

The internet is a strange place.

Last year, Uncut ran a regular shadow cabinet goal of the month competition. We picked some choice shadow cabinet moments from the previous month such as clips of parliamentary performances, media interviews and press stories, and asked you to vote on the best.

At the time, the clips – which are on YouTube – initially attracted viewing numbers that typically ranged from the low hundreds to the low thousands with views declining to a trickle in the days after the Uncut piece.

Until a few months ago, that is. Without any prompting from Uncut or elsewhere, the numbers of views started to rise. A little at first. Then some more. And more again to the point where several thousand new people are now viewing these clips each week.

The most popular is this excerpt of Dennis Skinner from last July’s goal of the month hacking special, questioning David Cameron at PMQs over his meetings with News Corporation. At the time, Skinner attracted a few hundred views. As of three months ago, there had barely been any movement in this number.

But in November the invisible hand of the internet intervened.

By last night, almost 34,000 people had viewed the piece with 89 comments and figures rising at a solid 10,000 views per month.  As I wrote this piece there were 40 more views.


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