That Works Weekly provides an alternative take on the week’s marketing and branding news. In Episode 2, Donald Trump plots a social media return, Waitrose ban plastic toys and the Government goes wild on ad spend.
Trump Trumps Twitter
We all remember the blissful moment when Donald Trump was booted off Twitter, don’t we? His removal and permanent ban from the social media platform came in the wake of several Tweets which ‘incited violence’ during the storming of the US Capitol. Well, Trump has responded with the alleged launch of his own social media platform which will, according to one of his advisors, “completely redefine the game”. Now, there is a strong argument that social media as a whole does need somewhat of a shake-up. However, that shake-up coming courtesy of a man so provocative and distasteful that existing social media couldn’t bear him? A less favourable idea, to say the least. Perhaps the new platform will just comprise of people who’ve been banned from Twitter hurling abuse at each other? Katie Hopkins is logging in as we speak. There has so far been no mention of a potential name for his new platform; perhaps he’ll just replace the ‘i’ in Twitter with an alternative vowel?
No More Toys in Waitrose Mags
In the latest instalment of ‘Why wasn’t this done five years ago?’, supermarket giants Waitrose have announced that they will no longer be selling children’s magazines which include disposable plastic toys. The whole ‘plastic is bad’ argument has been rumbling on for a fair while now and, in fairness to Waitrose, it should probably be the magazines who are scrapping the inclusion of pointless, environmentally-damaging toys which have shorter lifespans than the common housefly. Hopefully next on the list of things Waitrose will ban is the practice of charging £734 for a week’s grocery shop.
Government Splashes the Cash on Ads
The UK Government has overtaken the likes of Unilever, Procter & Gamble and Sky to become the UK’s biggest advertising spender over the last year. As if spending billions and billions on Test & Trace, the furlough scheme, Boris’ hair spray and Chris Whitty’s PowerPoint subscription wasn’t enough, their ad expenditure increased by 238% last year to an estimated £164m. Not only has every programme, conversation, announcement and news bulletin been about the pandemic, the safe space of adverts has now also been infiltrated. We just want to look at discounted sofas, listen to Russian meerkats and make a cup of tea during the adverts, Boris. Is that too much to ask?
The Changing Face of KFC
KFC’s Chief Marketing Officer, Meghan Farren, has been speaking this week on how the company has ‘reconnected with customers’ after becoming, in her words, a ‘fading old man’ brand. Was she being ironic or is she totally oblivious to the fact that KFC’s logo is literally a fading old man? In fairness, KFC certainly have modernised their brand image, particularly utilising some quirky social media marketing strategies to lure in the customers. Their Twitter account, for example, follows only 11 other accounts; the five Spice Girls and six random guys named Herb (reflecting the 11 herbs and spices in their recipe). They also often engage in nonsensical yet entertaining exchanges with other companies on the platform and, perhaps in their highest-profile campaign to date, who remembers in 2018 when they literally ran out of stock of the only product they sell?
What Does the World Need? A Second Poo Emoji
To reflect the mental health challenges which the past year have presented, the CALM charity (Campaign Against Living Miserably) has called for the Unicode Consortium to create a new emoji to reflect our mood – an unhappy pile of poo. It’s fair to say that an unhappy pile of poo would be a perfect representation for a lot of our moods recently, with CALM claiming it’d be a good way to kickstart a conversation about poor mental wellbeing. The absence of a glum-looking mound of faeces perhaps isn’t what’s been holding people back from opening up about their issues all this time, but we like the sentiment all the same.