It really is THAT simple!

Monday, June 6, 2016



In a week that saw the creation of a ‘deconstructed flat white’ (thanks Australia), the calorific #FreakShake (Manchester takes credit for this) and news that holding your fork in the wrong hand could help you lose weight (National Tabloid feature of course), it got us thinking.  Is reinvention the key to success or is it a rather unimaginative attempt to ‘con’ the masses into buying into a new concept or product?


The ‘Flat White’ formally known as a white coffee, now being sold across the other side of the world in three separate shots on a decorative platter – coffee, frothy milk and hot water.  Is this a clever marketing idea or just an attempt at glamorising a cup of coffee?  In our mind why have three cups to wash up, when you can have a cuppa out of one!


In this line of work, simplicity is key.  Simple, direct message that are concise, factual and clearly understood.  This of course does not dismiss the importance of creativity BUT should minimise the risk of messages, products, services and campaigns being misunderstood.


It is exciting and challenging for PR professionals and marketers to come up with those ‘stand out’ campaigns, but this often means having to take calculated risk.  Usually the biggest problem with campaigns is not getting enough attention, but once in a while some bright spark makes a miscalculation that leads to some unwanted attention.  Yet surely negative attention is still attention?!  I am not sure the creators of these campaigns would agree.


Bud Light – Somehow Bud Light got away with using the slogan ‘Up for whatever’ seemingly unnoticed until last year.  The tag line was created to inspire feelings of spontaneity and carefree living, but when coupled with the bottle’s thoughtless tag line “the perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the end of the night” it sparked a huge outcry and criticism on social media.  Many condemning the campaign as encouraging the rape culture and promoting reckless drinking.


Taking into account that alcohol is the most common date-rape substance it is baffling how this advertising concept every made it past the boardroom!


BIC – To celebrate National Women’s Day, the South African Division of pen maker BIC launched a campaign which boasted the tag line “Look like a girl, Act like a Lady, Think like a Man, Work like a Boss!”  After a plethora of criticism and social media backlash, BIC put pen to paper, removed the ad and apologised to its customers.


Proof that the ‘Big Guns’ can sometimes get it wrong, in our view the best advice is the KISS principle (well known by PR undergraduates and graduates worldwide!) Keep It Simple Stupid!