ADVERTISING & PROMOTION: Supermarkets put cash before basic questions

Have you ever felt ashamed at being attracted to some gruesome sight despite yourself? Road accidents, for example, always draw horrified yet fascinated onlookers. I know this from personal experience: at 18 I was run over and nearly died.

Have you ever felt ashamed at being attracted to some gruesome sight

despite yourself? Road accidents, for example, always draw horrified yet

fascinated onlookers. I know this from personal experience: at 18 I was

run over and nearly died.



Indeed, I was an object of medical curiosity as the first person in the

north of England known to survive a ruptured liver. I recall feeling

oppressed by the circle of gawpers pressing in.



I am often drawn in an analogous way to the antics of meretricious

entertainers with an engaging way of saying nothing in particular. Jimmy

Saville was one. Chris Evans is another. Not long ago he mentioned a

glorious invention which can only hearten those of us who believe

progress is still possible in this wicked world. The breakthrough in

question is the polypropylene artificial testicle for dogs, or rather,

since these things tend to come in pairs, polypropylene artificial

testicles. They have been introduced in the US, of course - where life

at its best and worst is to be seen - to assuage the post-operative

trauma of male dogs who have had their own removed. It all reminds me of

the touching joke: ‘How many Country singers does it take to change a

light bulb? Five. One to change the old one and four to sing about the

one they lost.’



In an age when such marvels are possible, what can we say about our

petty struggles in marketing? Take the great supermarket war, in which

the antagonists, exhausted from struggling over their traditional turf,

have sought to change the battleground, first launching competing

schemes of bribery and now moving into things like banking. In my view,

the bankers couldn’t possibly be as bad as people paint them, but if I

ran supermarkets I would think hard before allying myself with people

who find their own business so tough. Either because they might screw

things up in mine; or because anything as difficult to do well as

banking may not be a good business to enter.



There is a world of difference between fooling around with money and

fooling around with groceries. What is more, there are sometimes signs

that these new ventures are undertaken as a way of escaping unpleasant

reality, rather as prime ministers become engrossed by foreign policy

when everything at home goes pear-shaped.



For instance, a ton of money and thought has been invested in enlarging

and improving my local Sainsbury’s. When the grand opening occurred,

magnificently choreographed in stages, maps were given out to show you

where everything was and a small army of people appeared to direct you.

Despite all this planning in a business Sainsbury’s knows very well, it

was impossible for some weeks to find something in their kitchen section

you would think any fool would know is essential to anybody fitting out

a kitchen: a small knife for cutting things.



If something that simple is hard to do, I wonder how good they’ll be at

banking. We shall see.



Drayton Bird runs the Drayton Bird Partnership



Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Oasis #springasmile digital campaign gets people doing good deeds
Coca-Cola: 'Don't approach bloggers with a fait accompli'
Tesco CMO Matt Atkinson: 'It is so important not to stereotype mothers'
McDonald's gives Ronald a new look ahead of global 'Fun times' social media push
In pictures: BrewDog opens first craft beer shop BottleDog for 'beer aficionados'
Facebook ad revenue leaps $1bn as it invests in targeting
Malteser or Maltesers? Mars takes Hershey trademark dispute to court
Apple Q2 profits top $10bn as iPhone sales soar
Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers