Did John Lewis hit the spot?

The alluring execution and emotive soundtrack of the new John Lewis spot caught my attention.


The message  – ‘what’s important in life doesn’t change’ – has a ring of profoundness about it that will doubtless make consumers feel even better about a brand they already love. However it also somehow seems guilty of lacking substance and any real relevance to the retailer. Perhaps this is one of those examples of advertising where the creative is so powerful that the rationale takes second place.

What’s your take?




Can you cut the social mustard?

Grey Poupon is vying to become the most exclusive page on facebook. It requires visitors to actually apply to become a fan – and if it doesn’t like the look of them it rejects them…straight.


The mustard brand describes itself as ‘synonymous with all that is refined, exquisite and delicious.’ We can assume this elitist attitude is the inspiration behind creating an exclusive facebook club around the brand.

Despite failing to meet the entry criteria, I like this. It’s a bold move, potentially alienating fans that the brand deems too gauche to belong to the club. But the best marketing is always bold – and bold is rarely without risk. There is also a quality over quantity approach here, which is a refreshing nod to the importance of effective targeting so rarely seen in the online social world.  It’s not about more fans – it’s about the right fans.

The application process on Grey Poupon’s facebook page is beautifully executed. You are taken to a darkened virtual viewing room where a panel of judges (in period dress) reviews on screen various assessment criteria about your facebook profile such as what you like, how many friends you have and what your influence is, before deciding whether you cut the mustard…so to speak.

Will Grey Poupon alienate potential customers? I doubt it. Having failed to measure up to the brand’s lofty social standing, I’m more motivated than ever to refine my act and gain access to the club.   More importantly, I’m now tempted to try a mustard brand that’s barely been on my radar until today.

How great it is to see some social media marketing that’s actually compelling and original.

Never underestimate the importance of typeface

Mega Flicks

Is your brand promise credible?

Reading about September’s BrightonSEO conference in the UK I was similarly amused and impressed by one of the speakers’ claim that his new start up, EmberAds, will, “make online advertising a bit less rubbish”.

Amused perhaps because of the innate Englishness of the phrase: the English being probably the only nation that uses ‘rubbish’ as an adjective (or a noun for that matter); and ‘a bit’ echoing the Brits mastery of understatement.

But I was impressed because it takes guts to reduce your brand’s promise to little more than damage limitation. But there is an honesty about this proposition that gives it integrity and credibility, making it far more powerful than the safe but oh-so-tired ‘we’re going to give you the world’ approach to brand positioning.

It also recognises that awkward truth that nobody wants to admit, that your industry is a bit…well, rubbish. In doing this it empathises with your customers’ frustrations and needs, hopefully winning their affections before your ‘more rubbish’ competitors do.

A bold but refreshing take on the traditional ‘we suck less’ positioning statement – proof perhaps that sometimes less really is more.

Emblemetric: A New Resource for Logo Trends, Analysis, and Research

Emblemetric: A New Resource for Logo Trends, Analysis, and Research.